Why Not To Do Drugs

>> Sunday, August 31, 2008

Odd news...

A man shoots up with drugs but thinks he injected air into his vein. So, what does he do? Call 911? Nope. He tries to cut off his arm in a Denny's restaurant. When the butter knife (yes, a butter knife) didn't work, he used a butcher knife. So, do you think anybody had an appetite after witnessing a man trying to cut his own arm off? Guess not. Good thing Denny's closed up for the night after that.

Another bit of odd (but this one good) news...

An 18-month-old baby fell from a third story window in Brazil on Thursday. His disposable diaper snagged on a security spike on the building and saved the child's life (good thing it was the diaper and not the child itself). He wasn't stuck up there though left to dangle from his drawers. The diaper did break open and dropped the child anyway but at a much slower speed...enough to save his life. Lucky kid.


Ack! Dreams will get me thru the week.

Ack! Our hot water tank died on us. It's been a slow death for it. My husband has been relighting the pilot for months now to extend its use but that finally stopped lighting. It's 34 years old so I guess it can be retired permanently now and a replacement brought in (like we have a choice). While picking out a new hot water tank tonight, we were pricing a new bathroom vanity and bathroom lighting (ok, we were dreaming while trying not to think of the price of having to replace the tank). Our house needs some serious remodeling still. I am going to keep dreaming about it as I bathe in cold water over the next week until our new tank can be installed. We are going to go back in time and boil water for baths, lol. This should be a fun week!


Children's Furniture

Two children's bedrooms are in need of new beds. We have been looking for discount furniture for them since we can't afford the expense of anything else. They want loft beds in their room with a desk underneath their bed. It makes more sense since their bedrooms are on the smaller side and they are getting older so a desk would definitely help during homework time. For me, I'll just be happy when this house is done being remodeled and furnished and looks more homey as opposed to always being a work in progress.


Asthma, Your Child, & School

With most children in school or soon to be starting within a couple of days, have you updated your school's records with the nurse to allow your child to use and/or carry their asthma inhaler during school hours? If your school is like ours, they require this be done (updated) every year. So, if you don't have this in place yet at school, take care of it now so you aren't scrambling to take care of it AFTER your child has an asthma attack at school.

Also, make sure the school and nurse has all your current contact information so if an asthma attack occurs, they can get hold of you easily.


For Better or For Worse

>> Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wow! The comic, For Better or For Worse family drama is ending. I used to read this when I was a kid. I haven't read the comics in many years now so I wasn't aware that they aged these characters along with the comic strip. That is a really good idea. Now I wish I'd checked it out to see through the years.

If you were a devoted follower of this comic strip, it's not REALLY ending. The writer, Lynn Johnston, will have about a month of new strips of when Elizabeth and Michael were very young. Then it will merge into a combination of new and old strips.

So take heart devoted FOOBers...it's not really the end.


Current News

>> Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain picked a woman for a vice presidential candidate and she sounds like a good choice in my opinion from what I've heard of her so far. If I could vote for her and just shuck the other three, that'd be great. People seem to be singing her praises:

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin can help Sen. McCain win this election by appealing to independent and young voters. She’s a mainstream Republican who will unite the Party and serve John McCain well as Vice President. Gov. Palin is an inclusive Republican who will help Sen. McCain appeal to gay and lesbian voters.” (says President Patrick Sammon)

I watched Glenn Beck tonight and seemed to think she was a good choice.

The forums are hopping talking about it and a lot of people are encouraged by his choice. I have to admit that it is the first time since campaigning started, which seems like 100 years ago, that I felt a twinge of excitement.

Other things in the news today...

Where is Hurricane Gustav going to hit? Read the latest news here.

Two airliners almost collided in the air. My sister was just trying to encourage me the other day to fly. Oy. It's not going to happen. Read that here.

Casey Anthony was arrested again. Her three-year-old, Caylee, has been missing since June and the latest DNA tests show that a dead body had been in her mother's trunk. Throw the book at her. Better yet, lock her away and forget about her.


Fathers Are Equal Parents Too

Fathers are equal parents too. The family court system isn't set up to recognize that fact as it takes federal funds out of the state's pockets to do so. Sometimes, I believe family courts are driven more by money than by the best interests of the children. There is always legislation pending all over the United States put forth by organizations trying to equalize both parents' time with their child or children. However, it is met with huge obstacles. It was this way when I became involved in the movement to gain equality in the family courts for fathers and it is still that way today - 13 years later. Nothing has changed. That is very sad for the children and all they miss out on by not having equal time with both parents.

Both parents are needed to raise a child if both parents are available.


Traffic has been awesome

Adding the 1,682 visitors to my site here yesterday to the approximately 3,000 I had in the couple of days preceding yesterday, I've had almost 5,000 visitors since Tuesday. How exciting! All it took was somebody stumbling one of my posts soon after I posted it (whoever you are, thank you) and it took off from there. I love how that works!

If you don't use sites like stumbleupon, digg, reddit and I hear Yahoo buzz! is another (though it didn't bring any traffic in the one time I tried it), you should check them out if increasing traffic is important to your blog.


Contact the School!!

>> Thursday, August 28, 2008

Most school-aged kids have gone back to school by this week or will by next week. My stepkids go back next week so we will plan to make school contact by early next week at the latest to make sure we are on the mailing lists for report cards, interim reports, and any other pertinent information. If you are a non-custodial parent looking for information on how to stay involved in your child's education, I have some information for you here. Read it and stay involved. Yes, I am being bossy, lol.


Traffic is Jumping

My web site has had 3,000 visitors since Tuesday! Wow! I wish traffic was always so high, lol. Still, traffic isn't bad. I got over 3,000 unique visitors a month in the past so that's still good. Obviously, this month is going to be really good for total visitors. I was just happy to see the spike in visitors the last couple of days.

Hi everyone!!! *big wave*

OK, I'll stop being a dweeb now and go.


Nasties at McDonalds

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I bought Happy Meals from McDonald's for my kids through the drive-thru - four of them (three cheeseburger happy meals and one double cheeseburger mighty kids meal). While eating one of the cheeseburgers, my daughter bit into something hard. We were shocked to see her pull out something from her mouth that shouldn't have been there:

In this picture, you can see the two pieces against a white piece of paper. The little yellowish spot toward the top is the cheese that was on it when my daughter pulled it out of her mouth (yak, yak). This was in her cheeseburger! She could have choked. She could have broke her braces on this. If it had been one of my younger kids, they could have easily choked. How the heck does something like this get ON the cheeseburger? I don't even know what this is. It is smooth on one side and rough on the other.

I contacted McDonald's online and left my complaint. They responded back asking for the address of the McDonald's I was at (I'd given them the name of the city, not the specific address with my first contact online with them) and I supplied it. I never heard a word since!

What kind of customer service is this that they don't respond to a complaint such as this?

I haven't eaten there since. I haven't bought food for my kids there since. If I have my way, my kids will never eat at another McDonald's during the rest of their childhood after finding crap in a cheeseburger and their unsatisfactory customer response.

I knew their food wasn't the healthiest for my kids, though my kids enjoyed the treat of going sometimes (what kid doesn't?) but I didn't realize it could be fatal for them to bite into a cheeseburger and choke on something that isn't supposed to be there.
Edited 8/31/08: McDonalds finally called (after I sent them a link to this post). I guess the thought of getting publicity was enough to get them to call. Well, after almost three weeks of no contact, until I made my complaint public, I could care less what they have to say at this point. They should have responded three weeks ago and gave some indication that they cared about what happened rather than just caring after they get bad publicity. I wish there was someplace I could send a piece of what was in the cheeseburger so I could find out what it was.


Mortgage Quotes

>> Sunday, August 24, 2008

I have been kicking around in my head the idea of refinancing. With the housing market in such a slump, I was wondering if we would be able to refinance for a lower mortgage rate than we have now or if this slump, which likely lowers housing values, would work against us from that respect. I guess it wouldn't hurt to get some mortgage quotes and see.


Franchise Opportunities

This week, I start studying for my state license (the big secret...shhh!) so I can work from home and make a very good income. My sister is doing the same thing and knows our future boss well so I trust that this will work out if I want it to. It's a career change but that's OK.

If you are looking for a change yourself, there are opportunities that are available such as franchise opportunities for advertising, children's franchises, cleaning, home improvement, computer, home inspection and more for your own business.


Always Neverending

>> Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New information on the stepkids "neverending" post...

SD got herself grounded so she can't text us. Apparently, she can text her mother since sd already told us that. She wasn't texting her dad back for awhile but today she finally did. Nice to know she's not grounded from texting her own father anymore. Guess that means she is still grounded from texting her SISTER though.

You don't ground your child from communicating with their FAMILY!!! Oh wait, that would only be accurate if the ex actually considered her children's biological father or his other children their family right?


The Speaker Company

>> Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quality Discount Loud Speakers



Well, we can't text the stepkids. Apparently, they have to save their texts for their mother. I guess that tells you on what level dad's importance is huh, not to mention the siblings not being able to text each other anymore.

I don't know how dh keeps it all in. I'd have exploded all over my ex if the situation were reversed.


My Daughter's Best Friend - Her Horse

>> Thursday, August 14, 2008

My oldest daughter is a horse lover. Her horse, Rex, is her best friend. She rides English right now and hopes to jump one day.

Her love of horses isn't the only reason why I encourage her with lessons. I am hoping that her love of horses will keep her out of trouble over the coming years when teenage angst hits. Having a horse is a large responsibility and I am hoping it will keep her busy enough that some of the trouble teens can get themselves into won't seem so attractive to her.


Finally Found The Stepkids

>> Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hubby finally got hold of the stepkids via telephone. Nice to know they're ok. They saw our texts looking for them. They just didn't respond. Nice.

I can't believe sd had the nerve to lie to her grandmother at the family reunion just a few weeks ago (about how she calls and we don't pick up the phone when she hasn't called here in 18 months and her last phone call before that would've been several years ago) and then they ignore their dad and sister trying to get hold of them for about a week. I was getting ready to call the Sheriff's Department to take a run by and make sure they were ok.


I'm Going Back to School...sort of

>> Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am going back to school...sort of. I have a goal to change careers from what I ever imagined myself doing. I have ordered the study materials in preparation for my state test. My goal is to be licensed by the end of September. I have talked to my future boss once I am licensed and I will be working from home (how great is that?). So when my kids go back to school very soon, mom will start studying at home as well.

I'll let you know what I am getting licensed for when I get it:) I don't want to type it now until I finish the process. Sometimes, there are snoopers reading this who just like to be nosy (it's a stepfamily site and I am the stepmother so I will leave it to you as to who that "snooper" might be).

Wish me luck!


ATTENTION: Non-Custodial Parents

>> Monday, August 11, 2008

If you are a non-custodial parent or married to one, school is just around the corner. It is time to make preparations now so you are ready for the coming school year. You want to make sure you have all your contact information, and everything else, in place so you stay involved in your child's education from report cards to newsletters to parent-teacher conferences to picture orders. You can read more about it here.


Stepkids Ignoring Us

Well, with my daughter getting upset about not hearing back from her older brother and sister, I sent a text to my stepdaughter's cell phone asking her if everything was ok because her sister was getting worried about her. Do you think I heard back? Nope! They are at home this morning because I could see that ss was on his myspace page and sd has been using her computer all morning (so I sent her an email too which will probably be ignored). Nice kids huh? SD's myspace page has disappeared as well just this morning. No more myspace. You'd think she'd have sent her sister a message thru her myspace first letting her know or returned one of the many text messages or something. Oh wait, that would be what a person would do who has been taught to be considerate and respectful. Instead of ignoring their father and their sister. They can ignore me all they want. I don't give a 'you know what' but ignoring their little sister is just plain hurtful. Ignoring their dad is hurtful but it is also blatantly disrespectful.

Now, if sd was grounded (which isn't likely), that shouldn't include grounding them from contact with their father or sister. If she was grounded, that doesn't explain why ss didn't respond back since he's been on myspace so he's obviously not grounded.

Boy, their mother sure has them trained well. She should be so proud.


Stepkids Disappeared

>> Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nobody can get hold of the stepkids. Dh says he hasn't heard back from them in several days. My daughter tells me everyday these past several days that her older sister isn't texting her back. I had her text her brother instead tonight to see if maybe stepdaughter's phone was just off or something. Nope, no response there either from the stepson.


They go on vacation without the ex letting dh know (violating court order btw) at the end of July. Now they aren't responding to their dad or sister. Nice. Really nice. We have no clue where the heck they are at. They could be on vacation still. They could be home. No idea.

I mentioned something to dh about our daughter trying to get hold of her older sis. He said they only seem to respond when it is time for them to come here. Otherwise, they ignore us. What great manners. How respectful of them.

It's SO nice that the ex has taught the kids that it is ok to treat family like this. What great parenting.


What Savings Accounts Teaches Kids

Growing up, I wasn't taught how to save money. Maybe it was because we didn't have a lot of money to save. I'm not sure, but I've been trying to teach my kids how to save money and what the value of a dollar is.

Three out of four of our kids have their own savings accounts and our youngest toddler has one but it's in our name yet (until she's old enough to sign her own name for her own). They save birthday money, other monetary gifts, tooth fairy money, and allowance when we were giving it. They make a goal on what they want to buy and they save for it. My 11 year old daughter has been saving over a year for a piece of furniture she really wants.

I have found that them having savings accounts has come in useful many times. When they ask for something as all kids do (video games, toys, etc.) I tell them they'll have to use their own money to buy it. They will then think about whether it is worth spending their own money or not. I have to say that 99% of the time, it's not worth it to them to spend their own money. It has given them a little perspective on the value of money that they wouldn't have when I just tell them I won't buy it for them with my money. They "get" it when it is their own money on the line. It's been a great lesson for them.


Family Trip to the Zoo

Oh my gosh, we went to the zoo yesterday (my first time at this zoo) and I am beyond sore. We were there for a good eight hours! I have never spent that much time at a zoo. It feels like every part of my body hurts from the neck down from walking all day long.

We thought this would be a great family activity to do together before school starts up in 2-1/2 weeks. It was our three year old's first time at a zoo. She had a great time but by late afternoon, she was walking in a sleepy daze. Our older kids held up better than I did.

I'll post pictures soon.


What court order?

>> Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The ex is supposed to let dh know when she takes their kids on vacation away from their home. Come to find out, they (ex and dh's two kids) been on vacation since last weekend and dh wasn't told. He had no idea. It must be really nice to be above the law like that and worse yet, to know she can get away with it. After all, dad isn't important right? *sigh*


Leptitrex Review

If you are wondering how some diet pills and other diet products work, I found a web site that gives a review on one of them. The diet pill is called Leptitrex. It makes claims of doing several things - fat loss, detoxification, acne, euphoric high, and appetite suppression. According to the review, it scores high in fat loss, acne and a euphoric high (mood improvement). You can see the grades in each category on the web site, plus the pros and cons.

The review on weight loss indicates the amount of weight loss depends on how overweight you are (more overweight = more weight loss first seven days). For being slightly overweight (my category), the expected weight loss is 4-7 pounds the first week. I'd love to lose seven pounds from my middle to see if there are any remnants left of the abdomen I had before several kids.


He's Not Just Black!

>> Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Barack Obama's biological father was black:

Barack's biological mother was white:

Somebody please explain to me how, if he is elected, it makes Barack Obama the first black president? He is half white. Does he disregard one half of what he is so he can get elected...so he can endear himself to the black voters? Is he ashamed of his mother's skin color...of half his culture and heritage from his mother? Why doesn't he publicly embrace his white half as much as he has his black half heritage publicly in this election? Is he really just "black"? Doesn't seem so in my opinion or according to his mother.

Race has become a huge issue with this election. If race is going to be used, shouldn't it be based on reality?


Told Husband His Daughter is a Liar

>> Monday, August 4, 2008

Well, not in those words at all. I wouldn't do that. I told my husband about what his daughter said to his mother (see story here). He just shook his head and wondered aloud why she would say that...why lie?

I don't get it either. There was no reason to lie to her grandmother at the family reunion (all of hubby's family). None. Her mother wasn't there (I don't think though I wouldn't be surprised honestly) so there wasn't anybody standing over her pressuring her. Why make it seem like her dad, and the rest of us, just ignore their phone calls when in fact, they NEVER call us? Never! Why do that?

My daughter's best friend spent the night the other night. Her parents have 50/50 custody and she splits her time between both her parents' homes equally. This girl is confident and you could see how comfortable she was with the arrangement as she talked about it. There were no hesitations or anything. Her parents are doing a good thing for this girl by giving her both parents without all the conflict and bitterness.


LAB88 Weight Loss

A lot of men and women struggle with his problem: how to lose weight. I never did until seven years ago, after my third child. I developed thyroid disease at that time and that on top of a total of four children just did my metabolism in. I have those last stubborn 15 pounds to go.

LAB88 includes information on weight loss pills, detoxifying, energizers, exercise videos, pain relief, sleep aids, mood enhancement and more. An article on one of their products, Metabospeed, was featured in Harper's Bazaar.

My husband asked me the other day why I wasn't playing volleyball lately (that was my weight loss regimen). Honestly, while not liking the way I look didn't slip my mind, volleyball did. Life gets in the way sometimes I guess. I really wish I could lose these last pounds so I could let it slip my mind permanently.


OK-Go Video

>> Sunday, August 3, 2008

I was stumbling around stumbleupon and came across this video. This is a fantastic video! You have to watch this one. I am sure you will recognize the song and choreography. These college kids did a great job. You can see it here.)


Oh no you didn't! I dislike lying!

I was talking to my kids' grandmother this morning and she mentioned that my stepdaughter told her that she calls here all the time and we don't answer the phone. Sha! NOT! The last time my stepdaughter called here, and I remember it specifically because it sent my daughter into tears, was January 2007 (yeah, that is 19 months ago). She called on my daughter's birthday (not to wish her a happy birthday but to talk to her dad). When my daughter answered the phone, my stepdaughter hung up on her. That was not the first time they had hung up on her. My daughter tried calling her siblings several times and EACH time they hung up on her! I can honestly say that in the last decade, the stepkids may have called our home number maybe a handful of times.

In addition, she said that she calls her dad's cell phone all the time and he doesn't answer. Sha! NOT! My husband has been upset on more than one occasion and talked about how his kids never call him. He has said many times that he calls them and they don't answer the phone or call him back when he leaves messages. He is always chasing after them to talk to them on the phone. No matter how many times the kids conveniently don't get the message that their dad called them (like they don't get our emails because they get deleted before they can see them or our letters that get tossed before they see them, etc.), he calls them until he gets hold of them. He is faithful about talking to them regularly (assuming he can get hold of them).

We even gave the kids a calling card about six years ago that I could keep track of online to keep filled up so they could call us whenever they wanted or needed to and not cost their mother a penny. They never used it. It's still active and full of the money we spent to set it up for them.

Their mother won't even call my husband. She will send him an email and tell him to call her. She refuses to pick up the phone first and make the call herself. Stupidity.

As far as I am concerned, lying is uncalled for. What was the point of lying to their grandmother about that? Seriously?

I don't know if my mother-in-law believed me or not, but it was really upsetting to me. It aggravated me to no end to hear about that because we have bent ourselves into pretzels trying to get hold of the kids via phone and email, giving them phone cards to call us, etc. and our attempts are always blocked (gee, I wonder by who). We have always wanted a close relationship with the kids and his ex has made it darn near impossible. To have this outright lie by my stepdaughter was unnecessary. I can't even blame that lie on their mother unless they were put up to doing it while at the family reunion. My stepdaughter would know whether she actually picked up the phone or not to call us.

This was said at the family reunion too. Makes hubby look real good in front of all his relatives, eh? Hopefully, it was just said to their grandmother alone and not in front of the rest of the family. I didn't ask. I didn't want to make a huge deal of it with my mother-in-law because it would just upset her and I don't want to do that. I wanted her to know that it wasn't true though. I wish everybody knew just how much my husband has done over the years that many fathers don't bother with. It's not his fault that his ex does everything she can to interfere in their relationship. It's also not his fault she puts on a friendly face for his family but stabs him in the back behind theirs.


Son's Eyes

>> Friday, August 1, 2008

I thought for sure my son was going to need glasses this year but his exam this morning showed he doesn't. He's been complaining of blurred vision and blue spots. His eye exam didn't show a thing. Either he is straining his eyes with too many video games or I need to talk to his pediatrician about those spots to see if they can mean anything else that an optometrist wouldn't pick up. He isn't going to like this at all, but his video game time just got restricted substantially. I need to see if this changes anything for him. Oh boy is he going to be upset!


Disengaging Essay

For those of us who have been in stepfamilies for awhile, like me, you have probably seen this essay on how to disengage from the chaos around you. I don't know who wrote it originally but it has become well-known throughout the stepfamily Internet world.

Disengaging Essay

Author Unknown

No grammatical or other corrections to original article.

I believe (my libber genes go crazy with this one) that men & women convey different facets of life to their children. Women tend to be concerned with socialization: manners, morals, respect, appreciation, cleanliness, thoughtfulness, etc, as well as physical & emotional health. Men tend to be concerned with results: touchdowns, batting averages, spelling bees, "accomplishments" in general. (You know, the really important stuff!). In normal (not critically dysfunctional) nuclear families, this arrangement works pretty well. The children develop bonds with their parents which permit the parents to maintain the "moral authority" to deal with their kids. Most of these men think they've been great parents, & have terrific kids who could be loved by anyone. Then they get divorced & eventually marry us, expecting everything to function in the same way that it did in the first marriage. The problem is, they have no idea beyond their own personal, limited "input" what is involved in raising kids. One stepmom on one of the boards made the remark "I just don't understand how his 4 year old son can be sitting directly between him & the TV, & he doesn't see the kid playing with a lighter!" I believe he doesn't see because he's never had to. There has always been a woman in his life who takes care of "that stuff."

When we as stepmoms come into the lives of these people, many of us already mothers to our own biokids, we willingly assume that we can expand our mothering role to include our new SKs, intending to keep on doing what we've been doing. Even those who have never had children of their own have those "mothering genes." Our problem is that we don't have the bonding with these kids that is required to give us the "moral authority" to parent our SKs. The only way we can get that "authority" is through our DHs, & he must give it to us by expecting & demanding that his kids respond to us with obedience & respect, or at least respectful behavior. THAT is what is meant by a supportive DH. Most of them THINK they are supportive, & many of US think they are supportive. But unless they are willing to discipline their children every single time they speak disrespectfully to us, or ignore us, or disobey us, they are giving their children permission to continue & sometimes escalate, this behavior. And because our DHs have NEVER had to be mothers, they don't know what we're talking about when we try to get their help. They are still being the same parents they were when they were married to their exes, things worked out ok there, so they assume that the problem is US!

The more we "nag" & point out what's wrong with their kids, the more convinced they become that we have no parenting skills . The more we are determined that these kids ARE GOING TO MIND US, the more parenting we do. And the more parenting we do, the less our DHs have to do. Which is exactly the way they want it. They would rather we didn't scream so much, but we're getting the job done (the kids brush their teeth when we're red in the face, they go to bed when we have spittle spewing). Dad can just keep on being a father, which means he doesn't fool with this stuff. But he's still thinking we're crazy, & can't understand why we're so mean to his kids. In addition, our "criticism" of his kids is seen as a criticism of him.

DH is not a mother, has never been a mother, & doesn't know what it means or requires to be a mother. DH is content being the same parent he has always been, & thinks his kids are fine the way they are. He's just as confused as we are about why we're having so many problems with our SKs, but in his heart, he believes that we are at fault.

Now we come to the kids themselves. Here we have children who, for the most part, have been raised by two parents with whom they are bonded & for whom they accept the power of their bioparents authority. We stepmoms come into their lives with no bond & with no authority. But we blindly assume the role of mother in our own homes, & all the responsibility involved. After the "honeymoon" with the kids is over, if we even have that period of peace & tranquility, the kids begin to test the waters. Now, keep in mind, they do this with their bioparents too, but quickly submit to the authority of these people for whom they have respected & admired since birth. They look to DH to see what they can get by with, because they have no intention of submitting to our authority until they are made to do so. DH has never involved himself in these struggles between his ex & his kids, because she can handle it herself. He doesn't see the problem. The kids don't know that he can't see the problem. They think he is giving them unspoken permission to defy us. And so they do. The struggles become more angry, more bitter, more frustrating.

And another amazing thing occurs. In some cases, we give these kids their first real taste of power. With their parents, they are willing to submit, because if nothing else, they fear the loss of their parents' approval. They feel no such need to have our approval. They find that with the mere shrug of a shoulder or a rolling of the eyes that they can turn a big strong adult into a raging maniac. By this time, we have become so frustrated, everything they do infuriates us. And in getting by with disrespectful behavior (& they get by with it because DH doesn't stop it), they are encouraged to even greater heights of disrespect, & gaining an even greater sense of power. We end up handing these kids tremendous power over us, on a silver platter, & they love it.

There we are, doing all the work (laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, chauffeuring, supplying needs, the list is endless), doing everything reasonable to maintain our family as we had envisioned, and these kids are treating us like bugs on the soles of their shoes. We are raging to our DHs, who can't understand why we're so angry, & we're wondering what we're doing here, working our rears off, trying to raise these children, feeling abused & unappreciated by DH AND his kids. Sometimes we think about divorce.

Now it's time to disengage.

In order to successfully disengage, you have to accept some realities. They are:

  1. Your SKs are not your children.

  2. You are not responsible for overcoming their previous "raising."

  3. You are not responsible for what kind of people they are.

  4. You are not responsible for what kind of people they become.

  5. You are not obligated to become an abused member of the household just because you married their dad.

  6. You are not responsible for raising your SKs.

  7. All the responsibility belongs to your DH.

  8. Your DH is not a mother.

  9. Your DH is not going to raise his children the way you want him to.

  10. Your SKs are not going to turn out the way they would if DH supported you.

What all this means is this: You must stop parenting your SKs. You must stop telling them what is expected of them. You must stop disciplining them. You must turn over all responsibility for them to your DH. You must allow DH to make whatever mistakes he makes.

But first, you must explain to DH & SKs what is happening. This is what you say: "Everyone is unhappy, our home is miserable, & I'm completely frustrated & angry all the time. You kids are angry & frustrated with me, & >it's getting worse. Someone has to do something about this, & I decided that it will be me. I have decided that I will no longer be responsible for getting you to bed on time, or getting you up in the mornings. I will not tell you to wash your hands before dinner, & I will not tell you to brush your teeth or take a bath. (You must list all those things for which you have assumed responsibility, whatever they are). I am no longer going to do anything that will give you the opportunity to treat me with disrespect. In the future, if you need anything, you must ask your dad. I will no longer take responsibility for (whatever, getting your school supplies, shopping for your clothes, doing your laundry, taking you to basketball practice, etc.) What I hope to accomplish is for us to begin to get along with each other, & the only way I know to do that is to let your dad be the parent."

Many of you may be saying, does all this mean I have no rights? Absolutely not. You must choose your battles, & to disengage, your battles should be about those things that DIRECTLY affect you. For example, you have a right to keep your home with the degree of neatness & cleanliness that you desire (just leave the SKs rooms alone & concentrate on the communal areas). You can say, "From now on, I expect everyone to put their stuff away by bedtime. Since I will no longer be asking you to do it because I don't want to argue with you, anything that is left out after 9:00 will be disposed." Period, no discussion, just do it. If it's important to DH for his kids to keep their "stuff," HE will parent his children, or do it himself. "If you don't clear the table after dinner, I will not set a place for you at the next meal." Period, no discussion, just do it If it's important to DH for his kids to eat, HE will parent his children, or do it himself. "If you leave your dirty clothes on the floor in the bathroom, they will be disposed." Are you getting the idea?

You see, the REAL problem is not between you & your SKs, it's between you & your DH. These children are HIS responsibility, & if he wants good things for them, he will parent them. If he doesn't care (believe me, he really does!), why should you beat your head against the wall?

My son ALWAYS had a bedtime, my SSs NEVER had a bedtime. Now I tend to my son, & let DH tend to his. If he wants them to get a good night's sleep, he will parent them. If it's not important to him, I don't make it my concern.

My DH goes to work at 5:30 AM, which leaves me the task of getting everyone up & ready for school. It used to be a nightmare getting my younger SS up, he would growl & yell & scream, & roll over & go back to sleep until I was screaming my lungs out, jerking the covers off. Every day started like that, & I was miserable every evening, thinking about my next morning's task. So....I just stopped. I told DH to get him an alarm clock. And I told DH that if he wanted to help his son start his day well, he might consider making sure that SS goes to bed at a reasonable hour, but that I would no longer make it my concern. SS missed 2 days of school because he wouldn't get up, & I refused to make a second trip to take him there. DH decided to parent his son. He did it without being home by using consequences if his son did not get up in time to get ready for school.

The point is this: DH must decide what is important to HIM. You must be willing to put up with some degree of inconvenience to "allow" him to parent his children. But whatever inconvenience you suffer will be minor compared to the conflict that might be part of your life right now. My DH stepped up to the plate. Your DH might not. But that's HIS decision. Don't expect him to agree with your "new position." He doesn't agree with your current position. Don't expect him to like what you are doing - or to be more precise - not doing. The less YOU do, the more HE must do, & that will not make him happy. You must remember that he has no right to expect more parenting from you than he is willing to do himself.

You may be thinking, this is nuts! We agreed to be "parents" to each other's children. Yes, but he also agreed to be a parent to his OWN children. None >of this means that you can't do ANYTHING. It's very likely that DH will need your help. That's OK. The issue here is that DH must ASK you for your help, instead of what you've been doing - assuming the responsibility & being unappreciated for it.

When DH needs something done that he can't do himself (a ride for one of the kids while he's a work, for example), first, you have already told the kids "Go ask dad." So DH is REQUIRED to become involved in his children's lives. He now must THINK ABOUT what's involved in raising his kids, & we all know it's a lot of work. And you can agree to help out, only if DH asks. BUT, to disengage, you must be willing to withdraw your agreement to help IF the kids, between now & the event, treat you disrespectfully! And you must refuse to assist next time if DH & the kids don't say "Thank you." You also have a RIGHT to have your efforts appreciated.

When you begin to value yourself in this whole relationship by expecting to be treated with respect & appreciation, you'll feel a lot better. When I say "to value yourself" I mean that if your efforts are not appreciated - don't do it! Sometimes the SKs will think, "Well, we're in the car on the way to the ballgame, now I'm home free to be disrespectful!" BAM! They smart off to you! Well, turn that car around & take them back home - don't raise your voice or act insulted or point out how ungrateful they are. Just say "I'm sorry you've decided to treat me disrespectfully. I must withdraw my offer to take you."

BTW, these are also good methods of getting your OWN children's respectful behavior!

I know, from my own experience, just how hard it is to "let go." But it's up to you to make the choice - "Am I going to continue to live in this awful situation, or am I going to do something about it." While you fear what will happen to everyone when you "disengage," as if the family will fall apart, you will be surprised at the change in your own life. I can't guarantee that everything will turn out the way it has for me, but I can guarantee that you will no longer feel angry, frustrated, resentful, & hurt. The HARDEST part is giving up the need to straighten out these kids & "change" them into the children YOU want them to be.


  © Blogger templates Shiny by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP