Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

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Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

Postby Abooster1989 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:18 am

Hi there everyone, im going through a bit of a tough time at the moment and would just like to see what other peoples views are on my situation,

Im sure a few of you out there may have gone through the same thing and it would be refreshing to see how you may have handled it,

First a bit of history to bring you up to speed,

Me and my Dad were always close and at times I would have considered myself a bit of a Daddys Girl. My dad left us when I was 11 after having an affair with a younger woman, leaving me and my Mom at home. I didnt wish to see my Dad for a while but time passed and eventually I came to terms with things.

He moved in with his new girlfriend and she became my step mom and they married a few years later. I had to move in with my Dad and step mom after my mom couldnt afford to keep the old house, she herself then decided to move out with her new partner further away from our home town (she, thankfully is now very happy and due to get married again yay!). Eventually it was decided it was more practicle for me to live with my Dad because of school and such.

The years passed and me and my "new" family had our ups and downs but I cant say I wasnt treated properly and not looked after because I was. Then one day we had the news that my step mom was pregnant with her first child. Which in many ways was a shock but exciting all the same. My first half brother was born in the October and I was over the moon. He was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.

I took on the role as responsible big sister and made sure I was a good role model to my new little brother as he grew up, then more news hit us.

My Step mom was preganant with her second child, my brother was 2 and a half at this point. I couldnt believe it. I was blown away and again very excited. In the May my second brother was born and all the emotions I felt the first time came flooding back.

I was still living at home, working part time and attending college. I was quite happy, I was doing well at school, I had great friends,great family, a boyfriend and a job i enjoyed. Often on weekends I would babysit whilst my dad and step mom went out with friends or to meal etc. At first it was fun and I liked the responsibility, but then it became more and more regular to the point where my weekends were backed up with babysitting and my social life was deteriorating. I felt like I had to say yes and was trapped into situations where I was guilted to do so.

Thats where the problems started.

For many years leading up to me moving out of my Dads house I was asked to babysit. Sometimes it wasnt a problem, other times it was. Arguments became more and more regular over the topic. I loved my little brothers to pieces but they werent my responsbility I was nearly 20 and was trying to make the most of my youth plus having a full time job at this point meant I wanted to make the most of my spare time.

It got to a point where I needed to refuse to babysit as I felt used and was made to feel like it was MY duty as big sister. This, I felt caused a rift between me and my step mom and we drifted apart, she saw me as "unreliable" and "selfish". This I understand put my dad in an awkward position. It was time for me to move out.

I officially moved out the January after I turned 21 with my boyfriend a good few miles away from my Dads house. Me moving out has affected me and my dads relationship, we dont talk as much and he doesnt call often. He's only been to my flat about twice for about 10 mins a time since January 2011. My step mom even less.

Whenever I rang him to see how he was, he would seem distant or preoccupied. On the days he would call me, I would get excited to hear from him only to be asked to watch the kids. I felt used and upset. I felt pushed out from the family and feared I would loose contact with him. I almost felt like a family friend rather than his Daughter. I came to learn that my step mom didnt think much of my boyfriend which only made things more awkward.

I felt angry because I had done a lot for them in the past, helping out with babysitting and watching the kids, picking them up from school on the odd occasion and generally being there if they needed me at the last minute. All I wanted was a bit of input into the flat and a helping hand but nothing really came.

Things came to a head not long ago, me and my Dad had a massive argument, probably the biggest ever. I found out that my step mom doesnt think a lot of me and still see's me as selfish, spoilt and unreliable which angered me. My dad sided with her and said he couldnt keep seeing me if it was gonna keep being like this. I honestly think my step mom has influenced a lot of his decisions and the way he see's things and to a degree I understand becuase it is his wife.

But I'm his first child, and his only Daughter. Why am I being made to feel like I'm not?

Im scared that if our relationship continues this way that one day we will stop talking all together, we're not talking at the moment and its horrible. I also fear that if this were to happen I wont be able to see my brothers who are still only 5 and 7. I understand my dads got his life and Ive got mine. But it would be nice to know hes there and that he's still got that place in his heart for me regardless, without anyone else getting in between. Relationships are a two way thing and I just want him to pull his weight. I dont want to loose him.

Im now nearly 22 and still living in the flat with my boyfriend, we are both happy and have a lot to look forward to. But I want my dad and my brothers to be there indefinately in the future otherwise a part of my life will be missing, I also wish that maybe my step mother will understand my dad had a life and other responsibilitys before she turned up.

Please, any help and advice would be much appreciated!! It will also be interesting to know if people have been through a simarlar situation : ]

-Abooster1989
If we didnt have shadows we wouldnt be standing in the light..
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Re: Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

Postby Abooster1989 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:26 am

Oh yeh, sorry all for the long story, just submitted and realised how long it was! Apologies but at least you get all the gorey details : ]

Feedback welcomed. I'm new to this ; ]

Looking forward to reading your comments...
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Re: Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

Postby Bel Bel » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:26 pm

Have you actually talked to your dad and explained things like you have here
I think if you haven't perhaps you should. If you feel a face to face would just lead to arguments then perhaps write a letter.
Don't acuse just explain how you feel and see if you can find some middle ground.

From what you have written you don't sound like you have been selfish.

It's hard when you are the unpaid babysitter but at 20 they really shouldn't expect it anymore. Helping out occasionally is one thing but regulalry is not on. I think your step mum was just angry she lost her babysitter. I can't really see why your dad is being quite so hard unless his wife is making him feel like he has no other option.

Can you honestly say you haven't been at all selfish along the way. If you have admit you faults on the way but say you are grown up now and all teenagers are selfish to a degree but you still played a massive role in ensuring they had a socila life for a long time and now it should have been your turn as you got older. They are their kids afterall so you shouldn't have to look after them.
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Re: Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

Postby Ithfifi » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:25 pm

Hi Abooster!
I want to start off by saying I don't relly post on here but your problem really struck a note..

As someone the same age as you it feels hard to comprehend the situation you where been put in at such a young age; But it sounds like you've coped to the best of your ability (And no one could ever ask for more) it sounds like you took what happened in your childhood and delt with it maturely, which is not an easy thing to ask a child. In this case I agree with Bel Bel about the letter.

If you've been 100% honest and you believe you have not acted selfishly then I think this is a great way to get this out. You've shown so much emotion in your post and I wonder if you can get that across in a heated argument. Probably not, Its hard to when emotions are running high. Where as if you tell him everything you have here he will see the picture. He may be shocked. He might not even realise how you feel. He may even be shocked at how he has made you feel and want to put things right.

There are times you have to be selfish.I don't think your being selfish, I think this is your time, to make your way in life. You've done more than enough, You are not a mother. This is the same for everyone, even people who will refuse to believe that. As a 22 yr old independant woman you have things that are a priority. Ie, Bf, Job. If you have helped out as much as you could while you where a teen WHILE studying, what more could be done? Your no longer working a part time job, your working full time and working on defining you life, the things that you want to achieve long term. I personally think that right now, if he is still asking you to babysit it is too much. You should be there to see them when you can, like a weekend, but they shouldn't rely on you. Maybe the fact you are his first daughter is something he has held on to and maybe he doesn't want to accept your a grown woman with a life of her own that can't be there in 5 minutes to pick up the kids.

You are more then entitled to a relationship with your father but it shouldn't be at some cost of you having to baby sit or doing some favour just to feel noticed.

I really hope this gets resolved how you want it to sometime soon xxx
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Re: Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

Postby Ticktock » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:03 am

I always think it is strange when people throw insults around that they often accuse other people of their own worst flaws, maybe by the nature of being like that you are blind to the consequences of your own actions.

You dad and step-mum are selfish, and also trapped by the assumption that you would always have been there. Suddenly the second family has become a cage with no way out and they are going to resent the heck out of you for calling an end to the babysitting.

Of course with both boys being school age then in three to four years then this will probably not be an issue.

I agree with the others that you should write your letter, but you should also acknowledge that your dad being selfish will constantly be trying to get the old set-up back again. You have to move the relationship with your father from daddy's girl to impressively mature young woman, something quite a few of us don't manage!

Give them some space and let them come to you, build your relationship and life with your boyfriend, keep the lines of communication open, and eventually your dad will improve, not least because you won't be arguing all the time.

Your step-mum's comments are sadly not uncommon when step-children are involved. It is very easy to make judgements based on your partners opinions of their own children, without the experience to place those opinions in perspective. She might also be seeing the less attractive side of your father's character now he has to be responsible and can't run off with her whenever he feels like it. Remember to keep sending birthday/xmas cards to her and the boys and ignore any relayed comments from your dad, he may just be using her voice to express his own opinions...

Also have a talk with your mum, you are old enough now to understand why she and your father split up, at 11 you wouldn't have seen or understood half of it, you will probably find his current behaviour is just a reflection of how he has always been. Understanding and dealing with the flaws in our own parents is a difficult thing.
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Re: Dads changed and step-mom getting in between us

Postby Abooster1989 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:18 am

Hi everyone, first of all let me thank you for all your extremely helpful replies! Its great to see what people outside the chaotic loop think! : ]

To make this easier I will reply to each one of you individually.. again im still new to this and kind of overwhelmed yet pleasantly suprised by the response!

Bel Bel..
Thank you for your kind words, first of all i did try and explain how I felt to my dad the other day when we had the heated argument, but as you know when people are angry, you say things you dont mean and I was very emotional so I couldnt quite find the words at the time to get how I felt across in the right way. So we ended up just falling out. I think at the time he was quite shocked by my revalation, because I'll admit i'm not the kind of person that often speaks up for myself or goes on the offensive. I hate conflict and I know this quality hasnt worked in my favour over the years. He probably felt it wasnt really me talking and didnt take me seriously.. Its gonna take it a few days for it to sink in I believe.

I will openly admit that when I was younger in my teens, at times I was selfish. Favouring my time with my friends rather than spending time with my family. And I can see how that would annoy my Dad thinking I put them first. But I feel I have done a lot to help them out as well. At one point they had more of a social life then I did, but they decided to have kids, they should have made some sacrifices which I strongly believe parents should do.

Thanks again for your help it made me look at things from a different angle. : ] Xx


Ithfifi...

Thank you for taking an interest in my post even though your not a 'regular' as such. Its interesting to know it struck a nerve.

I do feel I coped as best I could, times were tough and often confusing but I just had to come to terms with things. I had to think of my Mom as well who obviously had the worst of it. My parents were obviously unhappy and overall they are much happier apart. Growing up with my "new" family was difficult at times and me and my Step Mom often had our spats. I'll admit I was jealous of her and resented her in some ways because she was the centre of my Dads affection. Sometimes I didnt babysit to spite her I just kept thinking "Why should I do you a favour?".

What happened made me a stronger person and a billion times more independant. It gave me the courage to move out when I did. To leave some of my past behind. And you are right, I do have new priorities and a new life. I just want an easy relationship with my Dad and at some point, my Step Mom. I believe everyones lives will be easier in the end.

Im not expecting to be Daddys Girl again, these days are in the past. I just want to feel like a Daughter.

Sometimes I think they ask me to babysit even to this day to save some money but one day I'll have kids and I would never expect a single member of a my family to watch my kids just so I can save a few pennies. I go back to my point before, you have to make sacrifices for your kids.

You are right in saying that my Dads consideration should come at a cost or to feel like I should owe him something. Thats all I want and thats what I aim to tell him like you advised. Thanks again for putting some grey areas in the light for me Xx

Ticktock...

Thankyou for your insight, its been most helpful.

I do agree that when people throw insults that they often accuse other people of their own worst flaws. I will happily step back and realise my flaws I'm not perfect and as I said in my last response some of the actions I took were to spite my step mom. But thats where my Dad and her go wrong, they think they are completely innocent in this, they're blind to their own actions and dont take into consideration all the help I've provided in the past.

I plan on giving them more space like you said and I'm going to focus more of my energy into my own relationship ( which to a degree has been affected by all this but we're happy ), my career and my social life. I know re building a relationship with my Dad will take time. You cant change people, he is who he is and I am who I am.

Sometimes my Dads comments are based on what she thinks of me and he has a problem of letting that overide how he feels deep down for the sake of his relationship. This is what I believe, he may disagree but thats my gut feeling. I know the man beneath the layers. But im not gonna be a spoilt child and try to get in between their relationship I respect they've got their own lives. I just need my Dad to consider my feelings..

Im gonna take your advice and apply it immediately.. fingers crossed things will improve! : ]

..AND A MESSAGE FOR YOU ALL...

All of your advice has been so helpful and I have come to realise that in a way its my own fault for agreeing so much to babysit in the past even when I didnt want to because they became used to relying on me, I was their scapegoat. I should have been more assertive and now I'm seeing the repercussions of moving out and not being immediatley available.

There is some good news to this story though, My dad has contacted me and wishes to meet me this weekend to sort things out ( Its his birthday aswell. ) I'm gonna write a letter and put it in his card like you have all advised just expressing my feelings in depth. My Step Mom on the other hand, I dont know quite how to deal with her... That bridge I will have to cross at a later date.

APOLOGIES FOR LONGGG POST BUT I HAD A LOT TO SAY!! THNKS A BUNCH! XxXxX Will keep you posted on how my meeting with my Dad goes!
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