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Step-dad can't pick his battles
I was a single-mom to my 6 year old daughter for most of her life. I met my fiancé a little over a year ago, and now we all live together - so he has taken on a step-dad role (he doesn't have any biological children of his own - although I'm currently pregnant with our son, so he will be a biological parent soon enough). As a parent, one of the major things that I have learned is the ability to pick my battles (something I'm sure many of you can relate to) - and my fiancé seriously doesn't know how to. Maybe it's because he doesn't have any children of his own, and therefore he doesn't have any experience raising a child from day one (and all the difficult and challenging phases that go along with doing so) - I don't know - but it's always causing a lot of unnecessary friction for our family. Take today for example ... The company that I work for allows me to work remotely, which means that I work from home 4 days a week. My daughter is in half-day kindergarten, so she gets home from school around 1:00pm every afternoon. Then she manages to entertain herself pretty much 100% until I'm done with work at 5:00pm. I've had this arrangement with my work on and off for years now, so this ability to entertain herself is a skill that she mastered when she was pretty young. I have always greatly appreciated how lucky I am to have a well-disciplined child who is able to make this work. I know plenty of other kids her age who wouldn't be able to pull it off. That being said, she usually likes to play upstairs, in her room, which is on the same floor as my home office. Her playroom is down on the first floor, and so it doesn't tend to get that much use. This is something which drives my fiancé absolutely nuts - it kills him that we have a playroom that doesn't get used that much. I say who cares, as long as we have a daughter who is disciplined enough to entertain herself for hours every day, allowing me the ability to work from home, who cares which room she does it in?!?! Anyway, it came up again today, for the hundredth time. He was basically yelling at my daughter and threatening to turn the playroom into a 2nd office if she doesn't start using it more. I felt so, so bad for her - she's such a good kid and she isn't doing anything wrong. I tried to stick up for her and defend her, but then he basically just got mad at me too. I don't think he's being reasonable at all. I don't think he's picking his battles, and I don't think he's being much of a parent. He has no idea the give-and-take that goes into being a good parent. Since I'm currently pregnant, I'm finding it harder than usual to stay calm, and I really need some thoughts / feedback / help / advice from some other mommas ...