I’ve needed a place to offload my stepmum journey and I even recently looked into creating a blog (then realised I didn’t have the time to keep it up). So I am so pleased I have found this place because I have felt so isolated and lonely as a stepmum for ages. I’ll apologise now for the long post!!
My partner and I got together 5.5 years ago. He had a 8 year old boy (my SS) and I had a son (13 at the time) and a daughter (9 at the time). My kids got on great with my partner - he had stepkids from a previous marriage so he was used to all the chaos and he’s also a fun person to be around. My partner and I both have 50/50 custody of our children so we’d spend a lot of time together as a blended family.
My SS has never been diagnosed with anything but he does have ADHD and sensory type challenges so his behaviour was difficult at times - especially around identifying other people’s personal boundaries and social cues. But my SS and I were close. We’d play together, I’d cook for him, pick him up from school, have him to stay at my house and he’d spend time with my kids. His mum was in hospital a lot so it was more than 50% of the time that we’d be together.
Then when he was 11 his behaviour started to become more and more challenging. We went on a family glamping holiday and my son wanted to sleep one evening because he was tired. My SS was bored of this so he pulled the tent down on top of him (I know this sounds like typical boy behaviour but he was like this all the time and did not care at all about anyone). He’d act more and more entitled and spoiled which my children (who are both very patient and down to earth) got more and more irritated with. Around this time his mum also found lots of really offensive p0rn open on his tablet (she told me it wasn’t regular stuff - it was something you’d really have to search for).
Then he started to become really rude and horrible towards me. I tried my best to be kind and patient but I felt very alone and unsure of how to handle it. If I brought it up with my partner, he’d get really defensive and then not speak to me for ages.
Then in Nov 19, I found out I was pregnant with twins. I was super nauseous and tired all the time but my SS was just so obnoxious towards me. We were all living together by now. My kids are polite and tidy kids who eat vegetables and are generally easy to be around. My SS was super difficult, wanting everything his own way and disregarding the fact that anyone else had feelings or needs.
Lockdown in March 2020 and the birth of my twins in June 2020 was a particularly rough time for me - especially as I’d been made redundant from a job of 15 years whilst on maternity leave. So being stuck at home with my SS with two tiny babies and trying to homeschool my
SS was a nightmare.
Things did get easier but I did not need my SS being rude and offensive towards me when I was pregnant. I also needed my partner to step up and support me with finding ways to help me as a step parent (which unfortunately he didn’t).
Fast forward to now, June 2022. I don’t trust my SS. He has displayed some odd behaviour- I’ve woken up in terror a couple of times in the middle of the night to find him stood at the end of our bed, he flashes me the most evil looks across the dinner table for no obvious reason, he switches personalities very quickly so I have no sense of who he is etc. I also don’t know if/when he’s going to start being obnoxious towards me again. He also doesn’t wash / brush his teeth / change his clothes etc unless I remind him (his dad forgets to tell him). He will only eat crisps and chocolate. He’d stay up all night on his Xbox until I had to put my foot down (he was keeping my daughter in the next room awake). His dad is very laidback about it so I’ve been torn between being a good parent by gently enforcing some healthy boundaries or just leaving them to it.
My SS’s mum’s fiancé (his stepdad) has confided on me a few times that he finds our SS’s behaviour extremely challenging so at least I have someone that can validate how I feel. I can’t talk to my partner because he either goes into denial or he gets defensive.
It sounds horrible but I don’t like my SS anymore and I feel uncomfortable being around him. I also don’t like him seeing my girl twin without her nappy on or naked in the bath.
I’ve always wanted to do the right thing by him and by my children but honestly most days all I can do is take a deep breath and turn a blind eye.
Thank you so much for making it all the way to the end!