September 2, 2008 11:20am CST
I am a mom of a 2 year old and a 7 week old. I am a stay at home mom and their dad works 40 hours a week. Luckily he is home by 2:30 or 3:00pm everyday. He also has a 7 year old that he has custody of every other week. If you have multiple children how do you deal with the stress? if you are a stepparent how do you deal with a stepchild that makes it very clear that they don't like you or refuses to listen to you?
2 Sep 08
Hi there - I can sympathise greatly with you. When I met my partner, he had two boys that he had custody of and I had two children of my own so from me being a single parent of two, we suddenly all became a family of 6! Firstly, well done you for being a stay at home Mum - I just wish more mums would choose to be stay at homes instead of having kids and then depositing them onto others while they try and continue as before. Having a 2 year old old is a stressful time - I've had it twice! Not all 2 yr olds have severe tantrums but at this age they have become much more independent and ooze enormous amounts of energy and enthusiasm. They want to be at something all the time - the day is too short for them and they want Mummy's attention all the time - does this ring any bells? On top of that you also have a 7 week old and you are probably absolutely exhausted. From the minute you get up in the morning (or should I say the baby wakes you up) you are on duty - caring, cleaning, washing, cooking, entertaining. No doubt as soon as you have finished dealing with the baby, your toddler is demanding your attention etc... It's non stop. On top of that you have a 7 year old step-child which is none to keen on you being "Mummy". This I can very much relate to as my partners two were forever reminding me that I was NOT their Mum - It's hard to cope with. It's good though that your husband/partner comes home every day in the afternoon - at least you can delegate some of the tasks to him. Noone can force a child into accepting a new parental figure in their life and it does make it difficult if the child lives mainly with their Mother and comes for visits but I think the best plan of action is to try (I know it is hard and I'm not suggesting for a minute that you are not already doing this) to make his time with you an exciting one and one that makes him feel special and wanted so that he actually wants to be with you and looks forward to it. Because he is older than your two other children, you could try and give him some responsibility because is is "the big one". They could help you with the baby, help make decisions as to what they wear, where you all go etc... just to make them feel a bit important. Obviously, I don't know the whole circumstances surrounding your situation but I think the older one feels a little insecure about his/her father having other children. They will be worried that Daddy will forget about them or not love them as much as the others. The difficulty with you is possibly because he is subconsciously afraid to get close to you in case you and Daddy split up and he loses you. There will be underlying issues there which are causing it and it can take a while for trust and respect to happen. When possible, do try and have a little time to yourself to remind you that you are "still you". Go for a bubble bath when Daddy can take over for a while. Also, believe me - it wont be like this for ever. Sorry if I've not been much help but it would be nice to think I have helped a little bit. Take care
• United States
3 Sep 08
Thank you so much for your response. it was a great help to know that there is someone else in my shoes. I think dealing with a step child is harder then dealing with your own children, atleast thats how it is in my situation. i'm not saying my girls are perfect, they have their flaws. my 2 year old is very jealous and has temper tantrums. definately going through the terrible two's. but i can handle that better i think because i CAN dicipline her. i'm not comfortable diciplining someone elses child.
• United States
2 Sep 08
well i wouldn't know how to deal with a stepchild but i am also a stay at home mom of a 4year old girl and 18 month old boy. it can get stressful at times, my husband don't get home til 6pm so your lucky there.my kids normally get up early and i try to set activities for them you know to have them tired by time to take a nap then nap time is my time to relax i usually just do for myself because you know that gets hard to fit in having a husband and kids.like the saying goes a womans job is never done.