Wendy - posted on 08/16/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
I have 2 children aged 4 and 6 currently. Their father and I are divorced. He has moved away and doesn't see them too often. They are well adjusted and I have very few major issues with them. They had therapy to cope with the divorce. My son had some anger issues but has managed to control them. Occasionally he will get physical but it is rare, he still wears his nighttime nappy, but I'm not too concerned about that as most nights he is dry. He is big for his age but he is still young. so some allowances should be made for his behaviour. I am quite a strict disciplinarian and I expect my children to listen to me and behave well.
My problem is I have been dating a man with 2 children as well, he is the full time gardian there too. My kids are very fond of him and I feel have formed a healthy bond with him. I love him very much and get on very well with his son (8years). There are the usual kid related issues with his son but nothing I feel is a problem. His daughter however is a rollercoaster ride. (The mother is a drug addict and is in and out of their lives, she is also bipolar.) This obviously creates issues of it's own.
The main dilemma I have is we are discussing living together and I'm not sure what to do. I would love to live with him and his son, but I feel the daughter might create an environment that is not good for me or my kids.
She is very attention seeking and has a serious mean streak. She enjoys getting other people into trouble then playing the innocent victim. Right from the start she was very huggy and kissy and overly fammilliar with not only me but pretty much every stranger she meets. My boyfriend is much less strict than I am so he lets her get away with a lot that I wouldn't allow my kids to do. Climbing on furniture, interrupting, demanding things, wanting her own way, saying hurtful things. However as soon as my kids dish her back her own medicine out comes the fake cry (and yes everyone can tell the difference between her real and fake cry, but it gets her the attention...)
I have been partially involved in her discipline but often end up in arguments with my boyfriend when this happens. I have to walk a fine line of not getting involved and being the "evil" step mom or letting her do what she likes and when my kids start doing it just dealing with them. Which sets a double standard, and I feel like I'm setting them up to get in trouble. I keep an eagle eye on my kids and likewise his, so everytime she does something wrong I see it.... I constantly have to decide wheather I say something or just keep my mouth shut.
My fear is when we live together it will just come to a boil and explode, causeing everyone more heart ache. I'm the kind of all in person. So if she lives with me there would have to be one set of rules and one set of punishments for all the kids (age appropriate of course.)
I feel like I am the wicked witch always picking on this "sweet innocent" kid. This year her teacher has called in her dad twice to discuss her behaviour as she is disruptive in the classroom. She suggested the child get therapy, which I had been suggesting for over a year! He has not gotten her therapy at all.
I am frustrated as he says it is financial, yet she can do ballet and other extra murals that cost money. This is a propblem he seems to refuse to seriously address. He and her teacher now have a special merit system for her, which I think may help her in some way, but it is then unfair on the rest of the class/house. To be honest though it doesn't seem to motivate her very much in the end anyways. I personally feel some serious structure and boundries would set her straight. He as I said is very relaxed on the discipline... he is also very spur of the moment, there is little predictability in his schedule and he feels the kids like surprises so why plan or structure anything.
I don't want to have to prioritise her over my own kids, or her brother. How do I get my boyfriend to realise this is serious... or as my mother says, should I just walk away from the baggage as she is part of the package and always will be. It will be hard enough dealing with my own kids as teens, adding someone who will resent me and fuels any fire would make my life too stressful for words.
But how do you walk away from someone you love cause you can't deal with his kid, whom he adores.... or do you keep fighting in the hope it will all come out okay in the end?