Non-custody parent with visitation rights and steppparent.
Non-custodystepparents: If you are a non-custody parent with visitationrights, protect your spouse from all the work of having your children. Plan to do thingstogether as a blended family and also with your children alone.
Non-Custody Stepparents:What if one spouse is a non-custody parent with visitation rights?
Non-custody stepparents: If you are a non-custody parent with visitationrights, protect your spouse from all the work of having your children.
What about the remarriage of a parent who does not have custody of his/her children?
Often the new couple completely ignores any potential problems because the children will only be with them a few days a month.
Karen said, "We never really thought about the kids being a problem for us. After all, we were only going to have them every other week-end. Actually, I learned to dread those week-ends. I found myself cooking, cleaning, and being ignored all week-end. It would start on Wednesday or Thursday night with shopping and preparations. It did not end until the house was straight again and laundry done again on Monday. These kids ruled the roost while they were there. I went from adored new wife to maid in one instant. I felt completely ignored and frankly, I started dreading their arrival days in advance. Dennis enjoyed having them so much that I then felt guilty and petty resenting them. The fact that he always expressed his gratitude, thanking me profusely for what I did for them, eventually did not make the fact that they never said "thanks" much easier to take. We finally hashed it out and they started helping out, at first reluctantly, then as a matter of fact. But it should have been done before marriage."
David reported, "We only had her kids during holidays and on the first, third, and fifth week-ends. I could not believe that I felt so ignored and yes, even jealous, although I hate to admit it. We never did anything without them while they were there. Getting a babysitter was out of the question when she had so little time with them. And she was exhausted for two or three days after they left. I felt invisible and resentful for a long time. Eventually I got used to it and we talked it out enough to change things somewhat. They weren’t even really bad kids. I just felt mad about it. We should have realized how it would be before we married."
Some new spouses resent the attention; some feel like the parent always sides with the kids; some feel overworked and underappreciated; some are just surprised that it even makes a real difference in their lives. All agreed that it should have been discussed before marriage.
But the new spouse is not the only problem. Your children probably feel uncomfortable with, resentful of, and/or jealous about your new spouse, too. Remember that they are living with you part-time. They should not be waited on or treated like guests. A few chores while at your home will help, not hurt. Remember that working together helps you feel close to each other and the kids feel at home.
Plan some projects that involve all of you but make certain that your new spouse realizes you will want some time with your child(ren) alone. Encourage the spouse to plan something with their own friends or family for that time.
You are the link between everyone here. Don’t spread yourself too thin but make certain everyone has a chance to have their turn with you on the kids time with you, including your new spouse.
Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.