Being a step mom before being a mom

Megan - posted on 04/20/2015 ( 12 moms have responded )

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There's a lot going on in my world. My fiancé has 6 kids. Two are living with us who both have some issues going I with them. He barely gets to see his other kids cause they live 3k apart. My fiancé & his son have add & ADHD. The daughter has a lot of health issues as well. I have health issues with MS.

It was fine at the beginning, but it seems my fiancé, ever since the two kids came to live here with us, don't have the same views on respect for feelings, things in the house and they are 14 boy & almost 16 yr old girl.

I have had a lot of fights with the boy about chores and the way he speaks to me. The fights consisted of me asking nicely 3-5 times for him to do something and he disobeys & raises his voice at me (which he says that's part of who he is & his ADHD). I have only been Nast back at him cause he's nasty with me first. I'm that way with anyone anymore. If you're rude to me I'll be rude right back!!! So the boy and I have had 4 major fights. Once I slapped his chin very lightly for him to shut up. Another time I pulled his ear to shut up. And twice I grabbed his shirt so he would stay, listen to me and talk to me in the appropriate manner. The rest are minor yelling spats.

About 3 weeks ago though, the boy left his shoes out in the middle of the walk through to get to the garage and I tripped and fell REALLY bad. My knees still kinda hurt. Anyway, after laying there trying to feel better I get up, go back to living room where we still had company over. I told my fiancé that his boy left his shoes out and I tripped and fell. Which wasn't the first time either. Fiancé gets all steamed up at that I said he needs to control his kid and I'm not having them disobey my rules in our house. So I lightly put my hand on my fiancé's head to calm him down and he forcefully grabs my hand & throws it away. My friends leave and after that my fiancé pushed me. Then trying to get my balance, we were drinking, but I was not drunk, and I couldn't feel my legs for a few minutes and my fiancé said I was crazy and I'm crying cause I seriously couldn't feel my legs. My fiancé was drunk. When I was finally able to get up I pushed him back and he lunged at me grabbing my neck. Not putting pressure on my neck but that was scary. He then told me to get out and a long laundry list of evil things to me that I would never be a good mom, and I shouldn't have kids period.

So I wrote him a note right after the fight, & I took a picture of my hand all red & puffy. He slept on the couch and I in bed but I couldn't sleep. When I finally did I think I got an hour and a half that day. Then later he read the note, crumpled it up and told me to get out. But he stuck around and we talked about everything so far. But I still seem to not be heard by him and he just treats me like one of his kids.

Easter weekend was another huge fight with the boy.

I suggested counseling and so far we've only gone 3 times. 2 weeks ago he decide to postpone our wedding cause he said he doesn't trust me with the kids. But the boy still has no respect for his own actions that hurt me. And my fiancé doesn't think that his kid is a manipulative little brat who gets his way ALL the time!

I have no say and I feel invisible and a live in babysitter and not an adult or equal to my fiancé.

So, I've consulted all my friends, my parents, although they don't know about the choking part. I've never been physically abused, only mentally & emotionally abused.

Ever since the kids moved in, I don't have an opinion, I don't have any say anymore of what happens in our house. I pay for part of the mortgage I buy food on our joint account and my own money so that we have a good variety of things, snacks and whatever we all like stocked up. I buy the kids things I see that would look good in their rooms, clothes, games etc.

I have been carrying this burden so long of feeling lost and my fiancé doesn't compliment me much anymore or notice the things I do around the house. Or appreciate my efforts.

My fiancé though had been supportive of my bills for medical and he helps me with that. I'm in the process of getting new teeth. But I still feel he doesn't get my ms pain and I keep putting off my health to go see my chiropractor. My fiancé doesn't believe in them. But I do get a massage twice a week for my pain management, which still isn't enough to take away enough to make me feel normal. I don't know what normal feels like anymore.

We have a new chore chart implemented and so far it's going great. But today the boy left his shoes out and I almost fell AGAIN!!! I went in to confront him and I was angry cause I needed to get to work. So I told him by in rage that ever since you left your shoes out THAT night that's what started us having this huge fight. I apologized and also brought up the fact that he needs to respect my rules and wishes in this house.

I've read books, blogs, articles all on step kids, how to handle them and all my fiancé seems to be doing is being his kids friend instead of their father and not teaching respect the way it's supposed to be taught.

I don't know what to do cause I truly love this man and all his kids. Most of our wedding is planned, except we had to text, email, call people who we already invited that we postponed till further notice. I wear this engagement ring and think to myself; "what does this circle represent? It means everlasting love!" And then I cry...

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Trisha - posted on 04/22/2015

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My husband's solution for shoes in the way, in a location where they get tripped over are to throw them outside. It doesn't matter the weather. No arguing happens then. We know that fighting and arguing about it won't change the situation. It is just a matter of making that process as inconvenient for them as it is you when things like that occur.
It still occurs on occasion, but the reminder happens as soon as he can't find his shoes.
You should not be blaming your stepson on the fighting between you and your fiance though. Regardless of what triggers the fight, that fight is between the two of you and is based on your inability to communicate and be on the same page regarding household expectations.

Raye - posted on 04/22/2015

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Not your circus, not your monkeys. It's your BF job to parent his kids. Not yours. Some things you will have to just let go. But both you and your BF should be on the same page with expected behavior and consequences, and he should be backing you up. A request to pick up their things coming from you should be treated the same as a request from their father. And HE should be the one to enforce that. YOU DO NOT lay a hand on those kids. Sorry to say, but YOU are an outsider in their family. YOU have no legal standing with those kids. So, without the support from your BF to help the kids adjust to you being part of the family, they will continue seeing you as nothing to them. Doesn't matter how they are with their bio mom. That's not your circus either.

I am a step-mom myself, so I have gone through some of this. My suggestion... watch where you're going. Assume the shoes will always be in the middle of the floor. If the kids don't mind you or they disrespect you, take it up with their dad in private. It's not that you don't have any say, but legally, it's his and their mom's responsibility to raise those kids. Your job as step parent is to support him, try to help guide the kids according to their father's rules, and then let him deal with the punishments. You're one of the ring-leaders in the circus, to help direct a few of the acts, but yours is the smaller ring, and there are two other more prominent ring-leaders (the natural mother and father). And you really should not try to control the whole show. It's not your circus, and not your monkeys. If he doesn't begin making them behave, then he's not doing any of you any favors, and he needs to man up and deal with things. If not, you don't have to stay where you're mistreated.

Their ADD or ADHD may be an explanation for some of the behavior, but that doesn't give them a free pass. And what's your excuse? It does sound like you've been acting a little crazy and wanting to control everything. Do you show any love to the kids, or are you just focused on the negative all the time?

I think you're miles away from having a successful marriage. You need to iron out all this stuff to see if you can actually be partners in this relationship without either of you forcing or controlling the other.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2015

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No one should be walked all over by anyone, I do agree, but at the same time, things should have been set up long before now. It would have saved you from anger and the hitting/pulling issues. I am not out to make you the bad guy here. But your boyfriend is not doing his kids favors as you have pointed out to me; and as long as he continues to do that or does very little to help, there is not much you can do. Three and a half years is a short time frame. I am not sure how long you have lived together either but you can not expect a home to blend together over night or in a short time frame. It takes time. Its work and if you want the kids to listen to you, you have to get on their level in a manner that best suits the situation. My kids have had two step moms in their lives whom neither one gave a care inside the home but to public acted as though they knew them as good as I did. And they expected the kids to respect them from moment one. It has to be earned. The kids have to learn to get used to a new person in their lives. It takes time.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2015

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"I have had a lot of fights with the boy about chores and the way he speaks to me. The fights consisted of me asking nicely 3-5 times for him to do something and he disobeys & raises his voice at me (which he says that's part of who he is & his ADHD). I have only been Nast back at him cause he's nasty with me first. I'm that way with anyone anymore. If you're rude to me I'll be rude right back!!! So the boy and I have had 4 major fights. Once I slapped his chin very lightly for him to shut up. Another time I pulled his ear to shut up. And twice I grabbed his shirt so he would stay, listen to me and talk to me in the appropriate manner. The rest are minor yelling spats".
~~~~You have had a lot of fights with this boy. It does not matter what they are about but the things you have done to him are not the right way to handle a child. Being nasty back is getting on his level. Hitting him on the chin and pulling his ear are considered abusive. Holding his shirt so he could not get away and made to listen to you and talk in appropriate manner was not right either. Your treatment of him was not right. You have anger issues from what this is telling me. You can not do these things and then expect a 14 yr old to listen and respect you at all no matter if you are the GF, Fiance, or step mom. (By the way, technically speaking you are not the step mother until you marry their father.) You should have addressed this all to dad instead of taking it on in the way that you did.

"About 3 weeks ago though, the boy left his shoes out in the middle of the walk through to get to the garage and I tripped and fell REALLY bad. My knees still kinda hurt. Anyway, after laying there trying to feel better I get up, go back to living room where we still had company over. I told my fiancé that his boy left his shoes out and I tripped and fell. Which wasn't the first time either. Fiancé gets all steamed up at that I said he needs to control his kid and I'm not having them disobey my rules in our house. So I lightly put my hand on my fiancé's head to calm him down and he forcefully grabs my hand & throws it away. My friends leave and after that my fiancé pushed me. Then trying to get my balance, we were drinking, but I was not drunk, and I couldn't feel my legs for a few minutes and my fiancé said I was crazy and I'm crying cause I seriously couldn't feel my legs. My fiancé was drunk. When I was finally able to get up I pushed him back and he lunged at me grabbing my neck. Not putting pressure on my neck but that was scary. He then told me to get out and a long laundry list of evil things to me that I would never be a good mom, and I shouldn't have kids period."
~~~~As for this incident...where to begin. Your actions in front of your friends that were over were not necessary at that moment. You could have addressed this after the fact and when the father was sober. Instead you end up in a physical fight over it after the friends leave and he is drunk. I am surprised that no one called the cops.


"Easter weekend was another huge fight with the boy."~~~So another fight?

"I suggested counseling and so far we've only gone 3 times. 2 weeks ago he decide to postpone our wedding cause he said he doesn't trust me with the kids. But the boy still has no respect for his own actions that hurt me. And my fiancé doesn't think that his kid is a manipulative little brat who gets his way ALL the time!"
~~~You have not given the counseling time. And how could he trust you with his kids if you are hitting and yelling at them. I will get to the point of the brat line later.

"I have no say and I feel invisible and a live in babysitter and not an adult or equal to my fiancé.

So, I've consulted all my friends, my parents, although they don't know about the choking part. I've never been physically abused, only mentally & emotionally abused."
~~So where does this come in here? Has the BF been this way with you?

"Ever since the kids moved in, I don't have an opinion, I don't have any say anymore of what happens in our house. I pay for part of the mortgage I buy food on our joint account and my own money so that we have a good variety of things, snacks and whatever we all like stocked up. I buy the kids things I see that would look good in their rooms, clothes, games etc."
~~I would stop spending the money on things then if you do not feel appreciated.

"We have a new chore chart implemented and so far it's going great. But today the boy left his shoes out and I almost fell AGAIN!!! I went in to confront him and I was angry cause I needed to get to work. So I told him by in rage that ever since you left your shoes out THAT night that's what started us having this huge fight. I apologized and also brought up the fact that he needs to respect my rules and wishes in this house."
~~~I am not sure what to say on this one but your anger is not going to get you anything accomplished on this. You need to get some anger management going in counseling.

"I've read books, blogs, articles all on step kids, how to handle them and all my fiancé seems to be doing is being his kids friend instead of their father and not teaching respect the way it's supposed to be taught."
~~~~You can read these things until you are blue in the face but at the end of the day, it does not work unless you and the man have complete communication that is open and are on the same page as to how the kids are to be at your house and what rules are in place and what happens if they are not followed. You both have not had any communication going that I can see from this posting that works. He ignores you and then lets the kids get away with what they want. You are not yet his wife and so being the girlfriend or fiance makes a difference. You have not been very respectful to your BF or his kids from the sounds of it. So you can not expect that back if you yell at them. Also as for being a brat, its what this kid has been allowed to do all this time that is the problem. He has not had dad make him mind and you are not going to get it to work for you if dad is not on the same page as you are and is willing to make changes himself.

All I can say is this from what I have read here:
1) You were angered and did some abusive thing to the boy (hitting his chin and pulling on ear). You yelled at him. You then expected him to show respect and did not get it when you thought you should have had it.
2) You and your BF need some major counseling period. That incident where he actually laid hands on you and you gave it back in return shows that you two may not be ready for marriage like you think you are. Love has only a portion to do with getting married not all of it.
3) All the blogs and books in the world are not going to give you answers that you need to make this work. You need to get into family counseling too. That is the only way you are going to work through this mess. But! He and the kids have to be willing to go too. If not, it won't do any of you good.
4) A blended family takes work and this is not work. This is fighting.

I hate to see people try to do something without putting thought into it and work at it. You can not simply expect things to work this way or that way just because of the choices you make.

12 Comments

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Megan - posted on 04/22/2015

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I threw the shoes outside the other day! I've signed up for a gym membership 30dat free trial to help with my ms mostly but we spoke today about how to handle stress and it'll be a struggle cause of my sleep patterns and day to day. When the boy says anything that bothers me I try and leave the room and breath and meditate. Cause it's instant stress when he comes home with loud stomping, yelling etc. because he's always loud in some way no matter how many times we tell him.

Raye - posted on 04/22/2015

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Starting with yourself is good, since you are the only one you have the direct power to change. And you should go to your chiropractor, if that really helps you. Just because your BF doesn't believe in it, doesn't mean you should live in pain. And you need to keep open communication with your BF, to try to iron out the household rules and enforcements. Be open to compromise, because meeting the needs of 4 people is much harder than 2 people. Hopefully it will all come together for you and you can begin to see a more pleasant future.

Ev - posted on 04/22/2015

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But there is so much more going on here than just with you. Maybe you need your own space, i am just suggesting, so you can concentrate on yourself. And Raye is right and just as I have stated if communication had been going on since day one about the rules of the house and the consequences, things might not be where they are now. Also the ADD and ADHD though can cause things to be like this, it can not be used as the total reason why. At this age these kids know the differences in things and what is supposed to be and not supposed to be. My friend has a son with ADD or ADHD and is on medication for school and it also helps his attitude. I have seen him off the meds and he is more aggressive in his attitudes than he is on the meds and he knows it now that he forgot a dosage for school one day and how different things were when he tried to do school work.

Megan - posted on 04/22/2015

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I show them lots of care & love. Saying, doing and getting them things. It's not always negative. The counselor I started seeing yesterday said that my fiancé does need to set boundaries but he doesn't when a "thing" happens. The only time was when I found cigarettes and beer bottles and beer bottle caps in the girls room that he said anything. Right now I'm only supposed to focus on me because I've been looking after them and my fiancé so much I've been neglecting myself in a lot of ways.

Megan - posted on 04/21/2015

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I have spoken to the boy calmly before and he didn't listen to me! I said to him exactly what you just told me I should have done.

My fiancé & I have been together 3 and a half years and we did have talks but I'm telling you, that whatever went on between the boy and his bio mom is the same treatment he gives his bio mom that he's doing to me! I will not be walked on by ANYONE!

Ev - posted on 04/21/2015

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I am not a counselor but I have worked with children for over half of my life. I was trained to watch for unusual behavior that might be signs of abusive issues that the child might be facing. You can not sit there and tell me that hitting a child on the chin to get them to be quiet or pulling an ear does not hurt them no matter their age and yelling at them is going to get their attention and also make the situation better. Hitting and pulling on body parts where I come from is considered abuse not matter again the age of the child. You even stated in your post that you were angry and yelled at him. Past or not, those were not appropriate ways to have handled this situation. Anyone can tell that right off. I am not judging here...but pointing out things in your post and as it reads it sounds like you have anger issues. Also the communication with the BF is not there. He ignored your pleas to do anything with his kids until whenever he decided to do that. You did not say how long you guys had been together and if that was recently (five years or less), then it does have an impact on things even with teens. Regardless of that, your actions in reacting to his treatment of you was not correct. You could have told him that until he could come talk to you in a calm manner and acted at the least respectful of things and you, you did not want to hear it. You could have also just said in a calm tone that you did not like how he did things or said things and that you were going to talk to his father about it. Anything like that in a calm way would have been better than hitting his chin, pulling his ear, yelling at him, and forcing him to look at you to talk to you appropriately. And the fight with the boyfriend when he was drunk? You both gave it to each other as you said in your post. You all need some serious counseling.

As for not replying to your post, this is an international forum and you are going to get replies here that you are not going to like. And some are going to agree with what I have said in one way or another.

To put the total blame on the boy is not going to help the issue either. I told you in my post at the end that communication was key to running a blended family. You two should have thought this out and worked this out before the kids came to live with you or stay for extended time periods.

Megan - posted on 04/21/2015

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To Evelyn as I cannot reply to your post for some reason.

I went to my family doctor today and I started one on one counseling with a counselor and she was Extremely helpful. I already apologized to the boy multiple times and his dad has had lots of conversations with him when everything had happened in the past. Things are picking up a little. The counselor said that everything I'm going through is normal. I didn't hurt the boy! Your interpretation of the fights is not very conducive in the fact you weren't there! The boy ever since he "asked" his bio mom to move out here, since then, through my eyes and the counselor agreed with me, that the boy is taking advantage of the situation. So the boy is somewhat manipulative! And who knows when he was/is!? But all he seems to do when his dad is not around is treat me like crap, get my buttons pushed and then runs off to daddy (yes this 14 yr old still calls his father daddy, and acts totally different when his dad is around in front of me, using baby voices as if he is 4yrs old!) Any other time he thinks he's the adult and treats me like shit. I never hurt him. My fiancé just hasn't had a talk about how we should handle the ground rules and the counselor suggested that today. And she also mentioned I have neglected myself, so right now in all this chaos my fiancé is taking responsibility finally for his kids and their behavior. There's no consequences yet, and that will also be something we need to work on. The boy has anger issues not me btw. I've NEVER in my life EVER heard a kid treat ANYONE like he has treated me.

Evelyn, are you a certified counselor? If not I appreciate your input but you had to be there to see what happened. Those who judge and not as it from all perspectives, doesn't learn anything and when you sound like you are diagnosing someone you don't know, that's a wrong approach, and the counselor even said so.

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