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  1. #1
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    Unhappy expecting dad/ step dad figure needs help.

    Hi all im new to this forum so sorry if this is in the wrong topic

    My partner and i are expecting my first child in 2 weeks, im very nervous as any new parent would be, she has a 4 year old son who's father last saw him on boxing day and has called twice since then so basically i am his father figure which is fine by me i love him.
    My partner was a single mother when we got together living with her parents (well off people but lovely none the less) my partner has never had to worry about money, and being a young mother, she had her son at 18 her mother was very involved in his life, this brings me to issue number one.
    My step son is glued to his ipad 24/7, i come home from work on my lunch break and he is on it, i come home at the end of the day and he is on it, he takes it to bed and dosent get to sleep until 11ish because of the ipad, i try to address the issue with my partner and she dosent seem to care we have argued about it many times to the point where i have just given up, were 2 weeks away from having our baby and im worried that his being up all hours is going to affect my childs sleep as the 4 year old generaly will call out to his mum for a drink or even food which she will gladly get up and make him food at all hours of the night, another topic we have argued about and gotten no where, i have tried to talk to her mother about it also and she listens but at any point where i voice my opinion i get shut down with "it will be different when its your kid" or "dont be so hard on him" like im attacking him or my partners parenting ability, im not i just think that we need to address these issues but i cant without being shut down.

    My second issue is money, im a mechanic and my partner worked at a cafe up until 2 weeks ago when she had to stop work, which is fine and i dont hold that against her at all, her and the babys health are more important to me than anything, last night we went to a charity auction with her family for her cousins family who past away so the event was for his wife and children, now me being the only one working money isnt tight as we had been saving for this but by pay day i usually have about 80 bux left so unneeded spending is a no no, whilst at the auction my partner spent 150 dollars on shampoo and an umbrella, i got the ****s at the end of the night when the anouncer announced that she had bid on and won the items, she thinks im ****ty because it was shampoo and an umbrella, im ****ty because of the price, she has repeatedly said to family and friends that her 4 year old is staying at home with her 4 days a week because we cant afford to send him to daycare/preschool more than one day a week, his pre school costs her no more than 16 dollars a day (his father dosent work so she gets it cheaper somehow i dont no the details) and he didnt go a single day this week i dont care whos kid it is they need school end of story ,she dosent seem to have figured out that im ****ty because she could have used that money for his schooling, his swimming lessons she could have put it towards our gas and electricity bill i pay it off every week so when the bill comes its smaller than it would be,i ride dirt bikes and needed a tyre fixed and i waited a month and saved and got it fixed and paid mostly in coins, im frustrated that im ment to be okay with it and not be cranky but im not spending money on things we dnt need without thinking about it or planing and saving, which brings me to my next issue.

    My sister baby sat our 4 year old while we were at the auction and stayed the night, i got up early this morning and went into town and got a hair cut and went to bunnings to get screws to fix a broken toilet roll holder, came home and my partner and i were still not talking, her 4 year old was on the lounge on his ipad, his ipad went flat and he started to crack it, i said mate calm down put it on the charger stop carrying on to which i got shut up and i hate you back, i was ****ed off so i said whatever mate i hate you too, i no i shouldnt have reacted like that but this would atleast be the 200th time he has carried on like this without his mother disiplining him, he got his charger calmed down and carried on playing his ipad, when it was time to take my sister home to my parents farm my partner asked her son to put his shoes on to go, he said he didnt want to go and that he wanted to stay at home, she asked him again he said the same thing, i then said he can stay with me and he said i wanna stay to which she said no your not staying with him put your shoes on he started to get the ****s again and i said why cant he just stay with me and she said hes not staying with you hes coming with me, i got the ****s and said it would be different if he was my kid we bickerd a bit and i said whatever ill take her home, i took her home and stayed at my parents for a while to calm down and help my dad out on the farm, i came home and asked my partner if she new why i was cranky with her to which she said "nah" in a snarky tone and we havent spoken since.
    I am at my wits end with what to do, i dont want to talk to my family because they will take my side , and i cant talk to her family because then im the bad guy,i want a true no bull opinion, i just want her to understand why im angry, and that she cant keep making me the bad guy with her son when everyone keeps on expecting me to be the dad he dosent have, im worried that when my baby is born that im going to be treated the same and if we ever split up be shut out of my babys life, i love her and her son more than anything in the world i just dont no what to do, ive never felt like this, i dont no what to do and its making anxious.

    I would love to hear what other parents & step parents think.

    I realise i sound *****y when i proof read this but it is how it is.

  2. #2
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    Default expecting dad/ step dad figure needs help.

    I think you need to come to terms with the fact that kids can be little ****s - it's a natural and normal part of being a kid. If you love the kid enough you won't dwell on that or resent them for it. If you are adult enough you will realise your role is to work with the other parent (not argue with them) to guide them through those challenging times so they can grow into awesome little human beings.

    How long have you been with your partner for? Has your communication always been like this? Or was there a time when you both clicked and got along?

  3. #3
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    weve been together for 1yr 4 months but have known each other for over ten years, when we arent fighting were best friends get along like a house on fire, i dont resent him but when its constant its hard not to dwell. the first time its okay and you can brush it off, the 30th time and nothing is done and ive got to get cranky at him when his mother wont so i look bad again, i cant brush it off so easy.

  4. #4
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    It's late and I really need to get off my phone but your thoughts on this sound entirely reasonable. I'll come back tomorrow to write more. There is a 'parentline' service in every State. If you're looking for some unbiased, qualified advice and support then google them + your State and give them a call.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zackx450f View Post
    weve been together for 1yr 4 months but have known each other for over ten years, when we arent fighting were best friends get along like a house on fire, i dont resent him but when its constant its hard not to dwell. the first time its okay and you can brush it off, the 30th time and nothing is done and ive got to get cranky at him when his mother wont so i look bad again, i cant brush it off so easy.
    Maybe you need more time as a couple to get to know each other. Friends v couple is very different. It takes time.

  6. #6
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    From what you've written, I think you sound completely reasonable. Sure, there's some things you could go about differently, but I don't blame you for your frustration. I don't think you'll ever have full say in a child that's not biologically yours, but the fact that you are helping to raise him and acting like a father figure should have some bearing on the situation.

    I think you need to have a big, calm discussion with your partner. Don't make out as if you're blaming her. Remember that she might be a bit hormonal and irrational because of the pregnancy, but that shouldn't be an excuse for her to not listen calmly. Use 'I' expressions, not 'you' expressions. E.g. 'Im feeling quite stressed at the moment, as money is a bit tight. I feel we need to create a new budget/look at our spending differently'. Maybe even suggest something both of you could do differently. If you want to address the iPad issue (this would be a HUGE issue with me) maybe say 'I'm concerned that so much screen time might be affecting step son's behaviour and taking away from time he could be playing', instead of 'you let him play with the iPad too much'. She surely can't complain about you worrying about his health?

    I think you definitely need to work out a new form of communication if you want your relationship to work. It sounds like you know each other well, but it's different in a relationship when day-to-day life comes in to play.

    Good luck with your upcoming arrival. I hope you can work some things out beforehand so you can focus on enjoying fatherhood.

  7. #7
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    I think you need to have a heart to heart with your partner about how to tackle the issue of discipline in general - you're going to need to be doing the same things/have the same rules for both children so you need to work out what works for your family and both stick to it and present a united front. This will probably involve compromise for both of you on a range of issues. You also need to go to your step son and apologise for saying you hate him - I get that he ****ed you off, but you need to be the bigger person and show him that you don't hate him, you shouldn't have said it, and you're sorry for saying it. Set an example.

    Maybe a suggestion you could make to your partner about the iPad is a family rule of all devices in the kitchen (or wherever) after a certain time of night. No phones for you or her, no iPads for anyone. We have a rule in our house when we eat meals that there are no devices at the table and everyone has to stay at the table until the last person has finished eating. Maybe you could also put forward the idea of the iPad being a reward or even just balanced out with other activities ie he helps with the dishes and get 15 mins of iPad time, or he helps you in the shed with your bike (I know he probably won't actually help, but our 3yo loves to just hang out in the shed with his dad) then he can spend time on the iPad afterwards.

    Good luck


 

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