June 17, 2008,
K.C. asks from Marysville, CA on May 21, 2008
Is This Normal to Break down and Cry? Kind of Long and Detailed
So, for the past 2 months I have been a fulltime stepmom. I have having been doing all the typical wife/mommy stuff. It seems now that aleast once a week that I have a "breakdown and cry and get upset". Only once has this happened when the boys were awake. Last night it happened after then had gone to sleep. I dropped a plate and I just starting crying and complaining that my fiance has not been helping me enough. He helped clean up the plate. But not the dirty dinner dishes or fold clothes. Another example I was cooking dinner and I asked him to help get the boys a drink and talk to the oldest who was misbehaving. He said he was busy. Busy was playing that stupid online computer game that he plays. (He did thank me for making a good dinner.) So, I had to do it. Anyway, He tried to help me by calming me down but I was so upset. He then said do you think you can handle this? Meaning parenting? Which felt like a slap in the face to my ego. I love my role but it can be trying. That day the oldest had really been pushing my buttons. He said he did not like me and did not want me around.
I was so tired but had so much to do. He said that I should just go to bed which I did. Another thing I think also has to do with the fact that right now he only has his street bike for transportaion so I have to get the kids to daycare and pick them up. So, that means no gym, no staying late at work, etc. He will be starting a new job that pays much better so a another car is not that far away. My fiance has been cut to working parttime at his current job. We also have not recevied our IRS checks which should be soon. I handle all the money/finaces which is very tight right now. We also, just got someone to clean the house. We have date nights once or twice a week. So, why I'm I getting so flipped out? Could it just be hormonal/stress? I had 2 periods/break through bleeding this month. I have also been sick and on medication. He has also been sick. I worried that this is not going to workout when I want it too.
Guess I made him sounds pretty bad after rereading my post. He does help out (just not as much as I like)does do the yard work and work on the car. He does treat me great last night he did rub my back and listen to me rant with out a harsh word.
Addressing issues brought up.... When I say money is tight is after when have paid all the bills and the housekeeper who comes 2x a month & at a great rate. She has come once so far. I get his pay check each week. Date nights for us are usually grandma takes the boys so we can stay at home, nap, watch a movie and eat frozen pizza. The boys mom is not really around and is going signing away her rights. She rarely sees them by her choice and does not pay child support. Do not have another car as it was in an accident (someone ran a stop sign) and insurance is taking its time getting here. Plus the bike is great on gas mileage.
So What Happened?™
Just wanted to say thanks. We had been talking a lot more and things are getting way better. He was not aware of my feelings as I only talked to him when I was upset. I think that I was not as prepared as I thought and being too hard on myself. We have started a chore list that seems to help a lot. I think that after only 2 months of full time "parenting" there is going to be a learning curve. Also, we are resuming the couples/prewedding counsling. The new added stress of money is not helping but we just need to stick to our new budget. Also, he is giving me way more me time.
C.C. answers from Fresno on May 21, 2008
I have been known to break down and cry on occasion, so you're not alone! You're under a huge amount of stress right now, between finances, your fiance's work situation, having 2 "new" kids, having been sick, etc. Just do what you can do, and don't work yourself into the ground trying to do everything for everyone.
You may need to sit down with your fiance when you are away from the kids (or when they're in bed) and let him know that you need his help with certain tasks. Be specific about what you want him to do. For instance, tell him that you need him to give the kids a bath when you're making dinner. Or tell him that while you are putting the kids to bed, he needs to wash the dinner dishes. I have learned that my husband has no clue what I want or need from him unless I am very specific. If I just say, "You need to help out more," it makes him defensive. But if I tell him, "While I'm cooking dinner, please help the kids clean up their rooms," then he will do it. You have seen that he will help when you are at a breaking point - I think he just may need some specific instruction before you get to that point.
It sounds like you're on the right track, getting some help with housework. Also something that has helped me tremendously as a working mom, is that I started going to Dream Dinners. It has actually saved me money on my grocery bill, which I did not expect, and most importantly it has made dinner prep go SO much faster. I am much less stressed out around dinner time now. I don't know if you enjoy cooking, but if it's not a task you love to do on weekdays, it's worth checking out Dream Dinners or another dinner prep place.
Hang in there, it sounds like things are going to get a whole lot better for you guys soon.
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T.V. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2008
I say this with respect and concern. If you were my daughter or sister or best friend, I would say this with love, respect and concern:
You have many red flags going up and I would advise that you take some "alone time" to really think long and hard about your situation before you actually get married.
The children are very young, how long have you been with their father? Where is their mother? Does she take any roll in their lives? How did your fiancé care for his children before you came into the picture?
Your fiancé sounds pretty inconsiderate and immature, so you may wind up picking up and doing for three children instead of two. If he has time for video games, a motor cycle, and two date nights with a limited income and no car of his own, he is depending on your transportation and time and care of his children, extra income, and clearly does not have his priorities in order. This is NOT the basis for a solid and lasting relationship or marriage.
He asked you “if you were up to it?” I ask you “is HE up to it?” What would he do or say if you said, I need some time to myself, to think this relationship and huge responsibility through? Would he understand or say its over?
I am not prone to bursting into tears, but if I were in your situation with all that is on you, I’d probably be crying all the time.
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L.D. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2008
What would he do if you just dropped everything and left? Who would take care of the kids then? It is HIS responsibility to care for those children. They are HIS kids. It sounds like you are being taken advantage of. I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but you have NO baggage. It's out of the kindness of your heart and your motherly instincts that you take care of these kids and because you love your fiance.
I was married for 8 yrs with 3 stepchildren. I know exactly how it is. My ex-husband was very selfish and I should've seen all of the red flags. My priorities are much different today then they were back then. I have a daughter from that marriage and that is the only good that came from it. Unfortunately ,he doesn't play an active role in her life!
Now is your time to think with your head and not your heart. Yes, it is very hard to make the right decision, but you really need to do it now, before you're married and before you have your own children. Is this really the situation you want to be in til death do you part?
I now have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for almost 3 yrs and I too am a "stepmom" (again). He is my friend and my equal partner. I don't tell him what to do. He is not my child, he is my best friend and we respect each other.
Sometimes life lessons are the best teachers, but I just wanted to share my feelings with you. Think about what you are getting in to.
B.S. answers from Yuba City on June 17, 2008
I do not have step children, however I have recently adopted two beautiful boys, ages 2 and 4. There is actually a "Post Adoption" just like "Post Pardum" believe me I have had the same feelings! It sounds like the birth mother is signing over her rights so you will be adopting the boys? Don't worry about feeling the way you do, it's normal, your life is changing in so many ways right now that you just need to wait for everything to catch up and find "your new" normal. Everything changes when you add kids to the mix, no matter who you are or where the children come from. Children like to test....constantly....don't take what they say personally. It's OK for mommy to take a time out too! Do one thing a day just for you! I am seeing a therapist which is a GREAT help and GREAT ideas, he had told me that morning sun helps boost the spirits. So I get up an hour earlier than before, just for me, I sit in the back yard with my cup of coffee and watch the sun rise....it helps. But that's me, and what will work for you will be totally different, but take time to figure it out. :)
You are not alone, and crying is normal and OK!!!!
Hope this helps!
E.C. answers from Sacramento on May 21, 2008
Please think long and hard about getting married. All of those tears and stressful breakdowns you are having right now are not going to go away when you get married. Think about what you are signing up for: raising two little children who are not your own, all by yourself with no support from their real mom, who sounds like trouble and will continue to be a burden and a problem for you, your fiance and the kids all your lives! Plus, take a good look at how your fiance is treating you now. Is he supportive, understanding? Is he a good role model to the kids as to how to treat a wife? He will be your partner for life, you will raise these children yourself. I'm not trying to talk you out of a marriage, I'm just trying to encourage you to give it more thought, ALOT more thought. Do you really want it? Maybe you can tell your fiance you want to get married ONLY when you feel total love and support from him and you feel like you are respected and loved by the little ones. You are so young, don't be in a hurry to get married and take on two babies, with a man who sounds like he really needs a Mom for his kids AND himself! Listen to your instincts, if there are doubts pay attention and deal with all these matters BEFORE the marriage happens. Take care of YOURSELF!! Best wishes, E.
P.W. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2008
Sounds like the normal stress of parenting. You sound like a great stepmom. Those kids and that guy are lucky to have you. Keep it up and cry when you feel like it. And don't be surprised if you always end up doing more than the fiance.
A.R. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2008
I see a lot of ladies that have seen a lot of tears respond to you. I would like to add a few thoughts. I agree with most of these ladies, I think your fiance needs to work with you to figure out what needs to be done. I think that by him not aknowledging your break downs, that he looks like he does not care. It may be resentment that may break you before you make it to a alter. When you break it all down, it is not the dishes that make you cry or the stress of what you have to do, it is the fact that you don't have support from him. As mothers (your children or not) we get it done. We make it happen and many, not all, men will let us do it. You need to sit down and it needs to be negotiated and he needs to follow through. If not, then you will lose yourself! You will become a dish washing, story telling machine and somewhere under the diapers, you left yourself behind. ......I didn't see that you get out for yourself. Take a walk hit the library, go see a girlfriend. It is easy to leave these things behind and submit to what must be done. Put yourself first, it is not selfish, when you give so much. My mother used to say, "In the airplane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then your child, not the other way around" .......Carefull K. you don't pass out. Take care of yourself andgood luck
S.H. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2008
There are so many women I know that have no respect for themselves and don't feel worthy of a respectful and loving partner. I wish you would stand up to this man and put your foot down. You are doing him a favor and these are not your kids, so it behooves me that he declines to help. The only way the kids will treat you with respect is by following the behavior and treatment of your fiance. If they see him dumping on you, they will most definately do the same. Furthermore, do you want them growing up disrespecting women and belittling women.
My husband and I both work 45-60 hours a week, have three small children, cook, clean, do doctors, dentist, shopping, laundry, keep a very tidy and organized house, etc. There is no way I am going to do this on my own, if that were the case I would get a divorce so I would have a real reason to do this on my own. ...and these are both of our kids. These are not your kids and not really your responsibility. Maybe you've made a committment to help him, but that doesn't mean your his slave - he should be doing most of the work - this is his baggage.
Furthermore, if you don't have much money why did you hire a housekeeper. That is the last thing I'd spend my money on. He needs to get of his butt, grow up and help...or get out.
Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but seriously I would break down too. I can almost assure you that if you had someone to share the pain (especially who should rightously do so) I don't think you'd feel the pain because you would feel loved and respected rather than like a piece of trash and overworked.
Good luck. Obviously I am a very independent, hard working mother of 3 and I'd never allow this treatment from a man - whether he is the bread winner or not.