I'm a stepmom and a mom and need some advice... **Jaiden's Mommy** 1 child; Eugene, Oregon 178 posts
15th Jul '13

Let me start out with a bit of history; my DH and I have been together 6 and a half years, since his two boys from a prior marriage were 1 and 7. Their mom causes nothing but problems in all out lives. It started when DH and I decided to move in together years ago, she decided she was moving to Las Vegas and taking the kids. A month later we followed. In the year we lived there she had the kids sporadically and spent most of her time partying. At one point she got in trouble because the youngest got out while she was sleeping well into the afternoon and he was wondering around the apt complex in a diaper when the office staff found him. Several times when she'd drop him off to me so she could "work" he'd still be in the same diaper from that morning. It truly disturbs me that she's a parent... A year later we all moved back because she couldn't keep a job. She took the kids again and moved to a town 2 hours a way. We had them on weekends. During this time my DH and I were expecting out own child together and when she found out it was hell. I was 25 at the time and I will never forget the ugly things she said to and about me. After our son was born she decided to move to Cali but (for once) my DH refused to let her take the boys so they moved in with us. The youngest had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the new baby and we really had to watch him because he could be down right mean to him at times, I've always thought that was just a sibling thing? X gets ready to start pre K and starts having lots of issues, he doesn't seem to play well with others, can follow instructions and seeks out negative attention. This has confined for the last 3 years as he's just finished 1st grade. Last fall their mom moved back AGAIN but they boys still live with us, thank god! So that's the background to these poor kids lives.

Last year, at my insistence, my DH took him to counselor and he has been diagnosed ADHD, but my DH does nothing to help him. Since our son was born the relationship between X and I has drastically changed. His negative behavior has increased greatly even though I've tried positive reinforcement and making a big deal when he does do nice things. He's 7 now, rolls his eyes any time I talk to him, seems to go out of his way to do things I've asked him to stop doing, and he and my DS who's now 3 are always at it. X says really hurtful things to him (I wish you were never born, that kind of thing) puts him down constantly, set back potty training because J had an accident in his undies and was made fun of, a year later even with all the support and encouragement he freaks out if you even ask him to wear underwear. Last week at the park my son was driving the fire truck and X slapped him in the head because he didn't want to call it a fire ship. He's always trying to dictate how others play.There are many other little things.

It's caused many arguments between me and my DH...if I ground X from video games but only put the 3 year old in time out I'm being unfair. When I try to explain I expect more from a 7 year old than a 3 year old I'm still in the wrong. My patience had been pushed to the absolute max, ESP this last time their mom moved back, he just seems out of control and I do not trust him around the 3 year old. I feel that he hates me because I'm the only one that tries to set rules and sticks with them. Not a week goes by that my son isnt crying that X is mean and he doesn't like him and it breaks my heart. I feel totally on my own and don't know how much more I can take, which leads to me feeling incredibly guilty because this poor kid hasn't had much stability in his life. His behavior is making life really unpleasant for my son and I.

Any moms have any advice? Anything, any insight would be much appreciated.

.Jezebel. 1 child; Sumter, South Carolina 9136 posts
status 15th Jul '13

Yikes! First of all, you and dad need to be on the same page. Not much is gonna change until then.

user banned 1 child; Germany 12377 posts
15th Jul '13

Honestly, if my husband was unwilling to at least put forth an effort to correct the problems I'd probably leave with the youngest. I mean, it's not fair that the 3 year old has to suffer and that you're trying to fix things with no support. There's only so much one person can do/take.

Have you had a serious talk with your husband about this and what you expect from him?

Garfield636 TTC since Apr 2013; 16 kids; Utica, Michigan 599 posts
15th Jul '13

You need to work it out with you DH first. Have a serious talk with him, tell him how you feel. Then set up rules together. Good luck mama, I know how hard that must be for you.

That girl Amber +2 2 kids; California 6981 posts
15th Jul '13

I dont understand why you wouldnt expect X to be jealous about the baby-- he IS a sibling. Why did you make that distinction? Do you treat X as your own son? It kind of sounds like you treat them differently. I can understand why X has these issues, he probably feels like he doesnt belong anywhere. Does he go to counseling still?

**Jaiden's Mommy** 1 child; Eugene, Oregon 178 posts
15th Jul '13

<blockquote><b>Quoting Amberchik78:</b>" I dont understand why you wouldnt expect X to be jealous about the baby-- he IS a sibling. Why did you ... [snip!] ... I can understand why X has these issues, he probably feels like he doesnt belong anywhere. Does he go to counseling still?"</blockquote>

That's why I said I thought that was a sibling thing at least when Jaiden was a baby. I tried to involve him as much as I could, he'd help my hold the bottle and feed Jaiden when he started eating baby food. There were times he would try to bend Jaidens fingers back and flipped over the bouncer in the hallway while I was using the restroom. We've tried talking about what's ok behavior and what's not. When I do scold him (now, not back then) he often smirks and just rolls his eyes. I try to keep it short and on point but even his teachers say he has trouble with authority. He is not in counseling anymore, not by my choice.

**Jaiden's Mommy** 1 child; Eugene, Oregon 178 posts
15th Jul '13

I think their dad feels really guilty because of all the hell their mom has put them through but I don't feel that's an excuse to let them act how they are. He tells me that because I'm an only child I don't understand how it is to have a sibling and he's right, I don't. But I do know I was expected to behave or there was consequences and to know what was right or wrong and I expect that of all the boys. We have never sat down and had a talk about all this at length...I've told him how I feel, how it bothers me when he goes against mr in front of the kids as I feel this shows them they don't have to listen to me, but its gotten worse not better.