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im also a 26 year old stepmother, pregnant with my first. are you interested in keeping this post open for people outside melbourne to chat and share?
Hi there,

Thanks fo replying!
I'd definitely be happy to have this post open for stepmums in other places...I just need to talk to someone / some ladies who understand how I feel & I'd love to do that in person with a group, but online would be great to:)....
Yay! i have been having some trouble with my partners 7 yr old, with me being pregnant and her being an only child, we have tried very hard to make sure she is informed and involved through out but she is starting to act out, the closer we get to our due date. be lovely just to have someone to share with that understands and may have ideas. i just dont know if i will have as much time and energy to concentrate on miss 7 and her extreme clingyness and need for constant attention at the moment.
how many stepchildren do you have? whats going on for you?
Hi again,

wow, you've got alot on your plate! being stepmum is hard enough, let alone bringing your own child into ther world (we haven't had a child of our own yet but have talked about trying in a few months). I have 1 stepdaughter & she'll be 5 in a few months.

I completely undertand the issue you have with her clinging to you so stepdaughter went through a phase like that & she still has her moments (I think it was a separation anxiety - I guess I'm the closest thing to her mum, so when she was/is away from her mum, she clings to me). it used to be so bad that she wouldn't let her dad do anything for her (bath her, do up her seatbelt, take her to the loo, dress her, do her hair, put her to bed, read her a story or even give her dinner), it had to be me or she would have a fit & she would follow me everywhere. I couldn't even go to the loo without her trying to follow me was very hard & there wasn't much we could do. We had to be really firm & persistent, and keep on saying things like 'no, I can't do that just now, you'll have to let daddy do it etc, or "she's busy / very tired, or "I can't do everything for you". I had to distance myself a little at times as well. Thankfully she seems to be getting past that phase, but the problem we have now is her behaviour...

she knows how to get what she wants from daddy & he tries to be firm & say no, but he struggles because she's his little girl & his only child (& he also feels guilt over the fact that she doesn't have a normal family life), so she tends to get away with things most kids wouldn't. he even admitted she plays him at times. If we don't get a handle on this we'll have a very spoilt girl on our hands in a few years & it will become a huge problem. He's happy for me discipline her but thinks most of the discipline should come from him...but the fact is, he doesn't discipline her anywhere near enough & it's already starting to show. I don't want to push it or upset either of them, nor do I want her to resent me, so I have no idea what to do.

We're also having problems with her going home to mummy & telling stories (we think she just does it to get a reaction, alot of little ones go through this phase apparently) & her mum then calling my partner & making accusations). she tells us stories about her mum & stepdad, but we know not to take them seriously...I just worry she's going to start pitting them against eachother to get her way when she's older. she's smart that way...

It's so hard & complicated!!
this all sounds very familiar. ive been with my miss 7's dad now since she was 2. so she has grown up with me. we have shared custody so she spends equal time with both mum and dad. she has always been daddys girl tho. but she is at that point where she wants EVERYONES attention. if someone is talking she butts in, dances in front of people, dances in front of the tv, tries to talk over people on the phone, its twice as bad at pickups and drop offs when both mum and dad are in the same room. i feel like im the only one who can see what she is doing as her parents ignore it. we are trying to get some rules in place before the new baby arrives but i dont know if we have made the adjustments in time. we havent had any story telling which is a bonus. that cant be fun. my partner is the same as yours when it comes to disipline. i always feel like the bad guy as i do it the most.
we have a really good kid which makes it very hard. we havent had any problems and in most cases she is very well behaved. its just the attention seeking thats getting on top of us. it would be nice to be able to have an adult conversation and specially at 7 years old, i feel she should know better.
I know exactly how you feel...I do most of the discipline because either he is letting her off the hook for bad behaviour or he just doesn't see it at all. He's blinded by his love for her & the fact that she's his little girl, & he doesn't see what she's doing or is just in some sort of denial about it. I brought it up with him on the weekend...I told him that because I'm able to look at it from an outside perspective, I can see things he can't & he needs to listen to me / trust me. She always yells over people when they're having a conversation or are on the phone, she's very impatient & expects to have everything NOW...she's recently started giving people attitude (says things like "I know" & "I already said that" in an unkind tone). He sees it sometimes, but most of the time he doesn't & I can't just sit back & let her behave that way so I have to step in & say that 'we don't talk to people like that' or 'that wasn't very nice, please don't speak to grandma like that', or 'you just need to wait & be patient' or "darling daddy is talking, you need to wait until he's finsihed speaking & then you can talk to him'. If I don't do it & she is allowed to behave like this, she'll become very rude & spoilt, & by the time she reaches 11/12/13, she'll be very hard to handle (I've been reading stories about this sort of thing happening & its horrible, it ruins marriages). I also worry that if she keeps it up, the kids at school won't want to play with her etc & she will become very lonely. I've explained to my partner that he needs to think about the kind of person he wants her to grow into & I asked him, 'would you be with me if I didn't have manners & was inconsiderate' - he said no & said, well exactly. If she doesn't learn some manners, people won't want to be around her & men won't be inetrested in a relationship with her when she's older etc. The good thing is that my partner's mum is wonderful, she sees everything & completely agrees with me, so I do have some backup & I can say I'm not seeing things or trying to make things difficult, your mum sees it too. I guess you & I just need to be persistent & calm with the discipline...choose our battles & let the girls win occassionaly so their father's don't feel as though we're doing it too much / being too tough etc. It's very hard to find that middle ground though...

In terms of the attention seeking, I think children tend to do that when they are feeling insecure...when my sister had her second child, it was very tough for the first child because he had all the love & attention for years & he didn't like the idea of someone taking that away from him, so we all had to make a huge effort to make sure he knew he was loved & important, & make him feel special by telling him what an important job it is to be a big brother & what a great big brother he was going to be etc. Still there were times when you simply had to say 'that's enough, we don't do that' and send him to his room for a 'time-out', for 5 minutes or so...maybe you could do something like that??
gosh that sounds like our house hold to a T. ive tried explaining to my partner that letting her continue to behave like that will not be good for her or us. my mother made a comment in the weekend that if we dont get our miss sorted she will get worse. she couldnt believe how bad it had got. miss 7 told my mother that it is her house and she will do what she wants. i couldnt believe it! she doesnt get away with talking like that to me so she got in big trouble. so far i have not had the ' your not my mother, you cant tell me to do' line but im waiting for it.

im hoping its just the baby making her act out and it will pass with the excitement of having a new sister.
miss 7 was more shy before she started school, and i think being at school, the other kids soon put her in her place. she still doesnt play well with children younger than her tho but kids the same age are fine now. being an only child, with everyones attention is never healthy. i said to my partner that our miss needed a sibling asap. i think its soo important to learn how to share and work together when they are younger. but my partner kept putting it off, he admitted that he was scared he wouldnt be able to give miss 7 as much attention if we had a baby and that she would hate him.
thank goodness he is getting over this.
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