Cm - posted on 04/15/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
I married a man who is considerably older than me, who has two adult children and several grandchildren. I have no children, although we hoped to have a child together at some point. I am writing to kind of vent about a situation and get perspective from other moms (especially since I have never had a child of my own). I care deeply about my husband's children, although I will never have the kind of bond even the step-parent of a small child could hope to build with them.
A bit of background: His relationship with his daughter was strained when we met and continues to be this way - he rarely gets to see his grandchildren from her because they live quite far away. I think she resents that he doesn't drive 2+hours away to visit, despite the fact that we run our own business that is very demanding and has an odd schedule (mornings/evenings, 7 days/week, with about 5 days having tons of extra work throughout the day - we are farmers). I have tried to be supportive, and even made my husband MAKE time to go visit his daughter and her family. This weighs on my husband quite a bit, and frustrates him, although he doesn't ever talk about this situation directly with his daughter. I have always had pleasant exchanges with her, although I believe she just politely "tolerates" me... I guess I'm okay with that, and continue being nice, hoping one day things will get better (especially for my husband's sake). She has done some very unkind things to him that infuriated me at the time, but I WANT him to have a relationship with her and encourage him to.
His relationship with his son is much better - he lives very close by, and my husband and his son enjoy one anothers company. We see them quite often, and I feel that I have a good relationship with them. His son has a toddler, whom I adore...
Without discussing it with me, my husband agreed to babysit the son's toddler twice a week. I was excited at first, and then I got to thinking about the fact that we never have time alone for ourselves because of our business, and babysitting just is an added pressure. We still have to perform our business duties, despite the fact that now, on top of it, we are chasing a 3 year old. He is tons of fun, great comic relief, and I truly do love him dearly. I just don't like being strapped down, and resent the fact that my husband agreed to this without first discussing it with me. I would never say anything to the son about it... but I am finding myself furious with my husband from time to time.
I love the grandson, and certainly feel incredibly more attached to him (since I've known him from birth and see him regularly) than I do the other grandchildren who live hours away. When I have tried asking my husband to cut back to babysitting once a week, simply because we are so busy, he get defensive and says that "You will NOT dictate how or when I see my grandson!" Which, of course, only hurts more (on top of the fact that he never bothered to see if I minded). He ends up turning it into a "You can't make me hate my children" argument, when the problem is simply that I feel overwhelmed, and don't want this added responsibility - one day a week I'd be good with. 2 days (when we work 7 days a week, and actually have to make the grandson do our work with us) is just too much. It has nothing to do with his kids... and everything to do with free time (and the lack thereof). I guess I feel that, if we have the extra time to watch a kid, we have the extra time to go do something nice together... :(
I am at a loss :/