I miss time with my children, any one else?

(18 Posts)
hurryup Mon 24-Jun-13 13:37:41

I have woken up this weekend and thought - my life is actually shit. On the surface, supportive financially secure dp with 3 ds who life with us 24/7. I have 5dc who also life with us except every other weekend when they are at their dads friday night to sunday night, so my 5dc get quality family time with father and gf, dp's 3 children get time with their father and me every other weekend and I get precisely nothing. Both sets of kids get on ok but not great and very different interests, almost a year after moving in it feels like dp and his 3dc are 1 family in their home, me and my dc stay with them but aren't really part of it and it doesn't feel like our home. I just want my own home back and for one day to wake up in the morning with only my 5dc and make them pancakes for breakfast. Both exh and dp get quality time with their kids, I get none, I have no financial independance now we are living together as have given up work, court next week to try and agree financial settlement with stbexh which is another nightmare. Any advice welcome pls, I'm at my wits end with it and feel so sad.

juneau Mon 24-Jun-13 14:00:25

You sound like you've made two choices you now deeply regret 1) moving in with your DP and 2) giving up your job. Any way to reverse those two things? I think that would give you back the control you want and this I just want my own home back and for one day to wake up in the morning with only my 5dc and make them pancakes for breakfast

juneau Mon 24-Jun-13 14:02:36

One other thing - blended families are terribly hard to get right. I grew up in one and it wasn't a lot of fun, as a kid. I don't think there's any harm in admitting that it's too hard for you and your DP and your eight (!!!) children to make it work. Better to live apart and get your own family situation as right as it can be.

needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 14:12:26

I can sympathise OP. your situation sounds incredibly difficult. I do get a lot of time with my DCs but that's only because I'm off work on mat leave. When I return to work most of the time I have off will be when DSD is here so my attention and planning will nearly always be divided.

hurryup Mon 24-Jun-13 14:24:08

his dc are so different to mine, mine are loud and full of life. Any naughtiness is obvious and easy to deal with as a result. His are quiet, the one that causes most trouble does nothing except watch tv, lie and lie a bit more - to get others in trouble or himself out of it. I don't regret moving in with dp, but I want some time with my own dc,is that so wrong?

mummytime Mon 24-Jun-13 14:47:37

A lot of very successful long term couples don't/haven't lived together. It really isn't compulsory. (E.g. Iris Murdoch and John Bayley or Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton.)

With 8 children in the mix maybe it would be far easier and better to live separately?

With 8 children it is very hard to not get "lost", and I wonder if this is what you feel is happening to you.

purpleroses Mon 24-Jun-13 16:50:31

I feel the same sometimes - DP and I have 6 between us and it's not easy to give everyone enough time. I think it's quite natural to miss just having yours around and feel a bit lost in the large new family.

But realistically if your DP has his DCs 24-7 then you're never going to get very much time with you, DP and only your DCs.

What you can get though is some time with just you and your DCs. I take mine off to visit family sometimes or out for the day with just us. It's nice to have some time to focus just on them sometimes, or do the things that we like doing that DCS don't. I do think it's OK to say "me and my DCs are going off to do XX on Saturday and we'll see you all later". Or even ask your DP if he's OK with you taking just some of them out and leaving him with the others - 5 is a lot to be giving anyone much individual attention, even without the DSC!

A question though - how did you manage to work as a single parent to 5 DCs? And if you did, does moving in with DP really mean you need to give up work? Presumably he had some sort of childcare in place before you moved in?

theredhen Mon 24-Jun-13 22:20:13

I understand exactly how you feel. I only have one ds but I have felt that I have lost all the time I used to take for granted with ds so I can give dsc quality time instead and indeed when my ex sees ds, I feel envious of the long car journey they get alone together! hmm

I am luckier in that we don't have dp's 4 children all the time although one only goes to mums one night a week and inevitably we seem to end up doing "adult" things then like going out to dinner with friends. Ds is supposed to go to his dads on those nights too but he has got very unreliable and I have to admit, it suits me as I can get a few hours with ds if we're not going out.

I think you have to lay it on the line with your dp that you need time with your kids alone and he needs to make that happen. My dp will take his kids out for a fry up or go shopping and although its only a hour or so, it does help as does picking up ds from after school clubs and going for a costa, get new clothes, cinema etc.

My dsc all get on well with ds but they do all cling into him for entertainment, so i have been in the situation many times where ds is not alone for one minute over a weekend because there is always one of dsc with him. However, there would also always be one dsc by my side too and I can't tell you how suffocated and trapped that has made me feel!

One of dsc doesn't come to ours anymore, the eldest has a new part time job and dsd2 has an occasional weekend job too so it's got easier to get sometime with ds.

I often crave a lazy morning with just ds and myself and making pancakes and chatting and slobbing around but I do accept that it's going to not really happen very often or for very long.

I do think you need to talk to your dp and make some changes.

I feel incredibly guilty if I go out with ds and leave dsd2 at home but I still do it. I might feel guilty but it helps me feel less resentful.

Xalla Tue 25-Jun-13 05:24:35

Yep, I understand too! My DSD left yesterday after an 8-night stay and it was soooo nice to make my two tea, have a bath with them and put them to bed, just the three of us. I was a much calmer Mummy last night!

Your situation sounds much, much harder than mine though OP. I have 50% of the year with just my two.

I think you need to make space for you with your DC asap. I know you said you're not financially independent anymore but I presume your DP is supporting you - maybe ask him to help you rent a cottage somewhere for a couple of weeks this summer and make sure at least some of your time there it's just you and your DC??

When I get really frustrated, my DH will take DSD away for the weekend or suggest I go an visit family / friends with our DC for the weekend while he stays home with DSD. It's only a couple of nights but it does the trick. I think building resentment and frustration are a big thing for us stepmums, a bit of release every now again is vital imo!

Good luck.

hurryup Tue 25-Jun-13 11:35:39

Wow, it's such a relief to know it isn't just me. I've been feeling like a step witch not step mother and second completely second what redhen says about feeling suffocated and trapped. There is always one of dsc in the room with me or asking me something completely pointless or telling me something I already know. Time on my own with my dc has always felt wrong though, excluding dsc after they made space for us all in their house and lives.

theredhen Tue 25-Jun-13 11:48:27

I've spoken to an expert on step families who has studied them to phd level and she has said that one if the main difficulties which faces step parents who are also parents themselves is the guilt and frustration they feel at having to share themselves with their dsc and their own children.

If you also read step monster, she talks a lot about how in nature it's quite natural to protect your own blood line first and want to nurture them first and foremost.

hurryup Tue 25-Jun-13 22:43:23

Trouble is, I think know that I have put his children first sad

needaholidaynow Tue 25-Jun-13 23:11:24

theredhen

I wish I could speak to someone like that with in depth knowledge and understanding. There is so much truth in what that person says and the more I hear about others sharing the same experience and views as me the more it reinforces the fact that it isn't all in my head.

I feel a huge amount of guilt and frustration with having to share myself with my DSD and my own DCs. It is something that really wears heavy on me and I can't shake the feeling. I find myself very unable to do anything with just DSD. I very very rarely spend any one on one time with her because I feel like I am putting her before my own children, and would feel guilty that I am pushing them out. I keep this shield up all the time, something that has gradually become bigger as DS1 has got older. I can't break that shield down though, I feel like in a strange sort of way I would be betraying my children. I always always make sure that what ever I am doing it always includes DS1 (Ds2 is a baby).

But equally so, time spent with just DSD would reinforce our relationship and make our bond stronger wouldn't it? The thing is I actually WANT to do something nice with her whilst DS1 spends quality time with his daddy, but I just can't let her in. I feel out of the two relationships the ones with my sons the most important to me, and I couldn't ever bring myself to feel like I am letting them down. I just need to let go of these bad feelings, but I can't.

Bonsoir Thu 27-Jun-13 18:25:50

8 children is too many. Anyone sane would feel overwhelmed. Can you not reorganise time so that you get some more time with your own DC?

ladydeedy Thu 27-Jun-13 21:21:29

Also, how much time can you possibly have with just you and DP? Seriously, that must not feel like anything in the scheme of things. And how do your own children feel, do you think, about not having time with just you?
If you could consider it, and if you can, what about moving back to separate homes but still being with your DP. A year has shown you it is very tough and these are your children's important years.

FedupofTurkey Mon 01-Jul-13 08:07:45

Marking my place as recently moved in with dp and step kids - 24/7. Whilst 75% of the time my ds loves not being on his own he (and i) struggle - its very early days though and lots to be ironed out and routine to be sorted, but i think i may need some support!

hurryup Mon 01-Jul-13 11:42:32

OMG you are all so wise. Thank you. Yesterday dp took his 3dc out (very begrudgingly). Me and all 5 dc had the best day, nothing exciting except pub for tea. Just ordinary everyday things and I could be their mum for the first time in months. I was pretty devasted though when dc5 who is 5 said that today she had her old mummy back. We are having the day together again in 2 weeks when mine aren't at their dads.

hurryup Mon 01-Jul-13 11:43:39

oh and the stepmonster book is amazing.

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