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New Beginnings :
I said something I shouldn't have

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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 4:53 AM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

I feel so awful about it. I think I need to prioritize finding a counselor to process my shit.

So my partner moved in last March. We locked down together and it worked well so we made it a thing. Now, at the time his daughter (15) was with us every other weekend. I have a 2 BR, 2 BA house, so she didn't have a room. But she assured me that it was fine, she didn't mind.

So this summer things kinda came to a head with her home life with her mom, and my partner and his ex agreed, with my full support, that she would be better off moving here. There are a lot of reasons but short story is it's just a better environment here. Anyway, we started making plans to build an addition so she could have a bedroom, but COVID and supply chain, it's been slow. The house is under 1400 sq ft and there are 5 of us when we are all here.

So I've mentioned my ex is building a huge house on the lake. I'm aggravated about this for many reasons, but it's especially hard listening to my daughter go on and on about all the cool things that will be in the new house. Tonight she made a snarky comment to me about how the hand towel in the upstairs bathroom "hadn't been changed in weeks" and I just kind of lost it. I spend my entire Sunday on my not kid weekend cleaning the house top to bottom. Ex's current house ( not the fancy mansion) is bigger than mine but every time I go over there it's just gross. And my house is small and cluttered because - 5 people! Small space! But it's not DIRTY and YES the fucking hand towel gets changed out. I told her that if she has an issue with the towel she can march her little butt downstairs and grab a fresh one. Then I told her my entire cleaning to-do list that I do every Sunday. By this point she was feeling bad, because she's a good kid. But she still kept saying she misses her old house (the marital hone I had to sell two years ago) and she wishes we had more bathrooms. It's been hard for her, at 12, to share a bathroom with her brother and my partner's 15yo. Maybe I made a mistake agreeing for her to move in. I don't know. Maybe my daughter is just spoiled. But the thing I shouldn't have said was, "I'm sorry, I'll never be able to give you a huge house on the lake with a pool and a boat. I'm doing the best I can. I don't know what you want me to do." And that's when she started crying for real and I felt like a real asshole. Fuck. I made her feel guilty for being excited about the new house, all because of my issues and fear and insecurity.

I fucked up. Please don't try to make me feel better about it. But I don't know how to shake the fear that the kids will prefer the big house to my little one. And I'm ashamed to say, the resentment that my BF isn't in a financial position to help me make it possible for us to move to a bigger house, since it IS big enough for my kids and me, but we are bursting at the seams with the addition of 2 more.

I always try to listen to my kids, to be there for them, make sure they have what they need, show the fuck up to soccer games and parent-teacher conferences. All the things everyone says is more important than money and nice things. But I fear that's bullshit. Why hang out in mom's cramped little house when you have your own art room and theater room and pool at dad's? He's a horrible person and he always wins. I honestly feel like the biggest loser on the planet. I'll probably read this tomorrow and roll my eyes at what a drama queen I was being but right now it feels pretty bad.

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8701729
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 1:10 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

You are human. And we all have regrets.

Sit down and apologize to her and explain how YOU feel bad that she doesn’t live in the old house too. But life throws curveballs and you are doing your best.

And she needs to know that you have her best interests first and foremost. And while the D wasn’t your idea it was what needed to happen.

And part of life is Makin’ the best - of whatever the situation is.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8701775
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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 2:27 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Thanks, The1stWife. I talked to her a bit on the way to school, and she said, "It's really ok, mom," and then wanted to talk about perler beads. So I think she's all right.

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8701792
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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 2:27 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

I need to sort my shit out, though.

[This message edited by JanaGreen at 2:28 PM, Tuesday, November 30th]

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8701793
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:38 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

I've had a number of those type things through the years. It's single mom territory, I swear. BOTH divorces had me leaving nicer homes for lesser ones, so that's twice that I've had that nagging "I fail as a mom because I can't give you the best of everything all by myself" bullshit.

My last home with my XWH had huge bedrooms. My current home that I can afford on my own salary is fine, but it has small bedrooms for the kids and no, their stuff could not all fit when we moved. They were really good about it at the time, but every so often there's a "I wish I still had a big bedroom" comment and I have to bite my entire tongue off so that I don't say "Well, the moment you want to pay several other bills in this house, I can maybe upgrade to a larger mortgage".

My first husband is a fantastic cook. I am not. I've had some moments where I reacted snarkily to my son saying "I eat so much better at Dad's house" where I suggest that he's welcome to either learn how to cook from his dad and grace us all with fabulous meals or go eat with him every day.

You will say these things at times because kids do not understand what it takes to provide them with what they need and they are naturally a bit entitled and ungrateful. They haven't had to work for things like we have. They don't understand how it feels or how much work it really is. They haven't lived it yet. Where I might sit in my house and revel in the satisfaction of being able to afford my own home and have peace that my bills are paid because I bought the home I could afford, my kids may sit around and lament that they don't have as much space provided to them. I mean, they get it, they understand that half the money coming in means half the house. They get it logically. But they won't truly get it until they've left home and lived on their own. That's when they'll look back and have appreciation for the sacrifices made for them and the effort you put into raising them. That's when they'll truly understand the value of everything you did.

So though you asked for no one to try and make you feel better, I'm gonna do that anyway. You're human. It takes a lot to be a parent under any circumstances. It's really hard when you feel like you're being compared to the other parent or your kid complains about something not being perfect when you're doing all that you can do to give them a good life. Your kids will say inconsiderate things because they're kids. The challenge is to try to pause and breathe before responding. And it is a challenge.

Most of all, you are NOT less than because you make less money. Some of my kids' friends live in much nicer houses than we do. Some wish they lived in a home as nice as ours. The value of the home is truly in how much love there is in it. I grew up in a double-wide trailer and most of what I remember from my childhood home is the love I received, not the wood-paneled walls.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4789   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8701805
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wildbananas ( member #10552) posted at 3:42 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Girl, I hear you. I have 5 adults in 1,800 SF and I feel like I'm losing my mind some days. I can only imagine how you're feeling!

And you aren't alone - I know I've said things like that to the bunch before when totally overwhelmed. Their father (back when he deigned to see them, that is rolleyes ) always had the fun stuff - horses, dirt bikes, Disneyland trips. Me, I was just doing my best to put a roof over their heads, and feed and clothe them. I was also afraid they'd choose fun over stability but in the end? They did not. And yours won't, either.

It's hard blending families, no matter how much you all like each other... especially in such a small space! I think IC would be awesome - go! I started about 5 months ago and it's the best thing I've ever done for myself. You know, other than divorcing ex-asshat. laugh

Hang in there, Mama... you've got this. smile

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. ~ Yogi Bhajan

posts: 16510   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2006   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8701806
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 6:02 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

I dunno. After my mom's divorces we ended up moving to smaller spaces/apartments from houses, but I NEVER minded. For me, the toxic relationships and horrid atmosphere in the houses made a smaller/calmer/more peaceful space far preferable, even if my bedroom was smaller. I'd prefer a happy smaller home to a big toxic home every day!

I am sure your daughter is a good kid, but that was a crappy thing for her to say to YOU about the hand towels. Did she not notice you busted your ass cleaning? Just saying if I had said something like that to my mom, she woulda lit in to me too and rightfully so. Not saying I would have agreed with her back then mind you, but as an adult I sure do.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3306   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8701828
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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 8:47 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Ellie, it was a crappy thing for her to say. But my post was so long, I left out some context. And this kind of explains sort of why things have been a little tense. My partner's daughter moved in, and she had this girlfriend who is long distance. And everything was dark and dramatic. And then they broke up. And she was doing really well, going to counseling, making a lot of friends. And now she's back with the long-distance girlfriend, and suddenly everything is drama again. She told her dad that she didn't like the counselor that they were going to, and he started looking for another counselor and she told him that she didn't need to go to counseling. Well, she is saying that she has an eating disorder. But also, that she doesn't need to go to counseling. I had an eating disorder when I was her age, and I would have rather died than talk about it. But she throws it out casually. Now yesterday, she got in big trouble with him because he found out that she had been on the phone all night with the girlfriend and didn't get any sleep. So I'm not saying that she was making herself throw up for dramatic effect, but I do find it very suspicious that two hours after he read her the riot act about staying up all night on the phone, she goes and throws up her dinner. So the issue with the hand towel. I went upstairs to tell my daughter good night, and she was drying her face off with a face wipe. So I asked her what she was doing, and that's when she snarled at me about the hand towel. Well, it turns out that his daughter had not really cleaned the toilet very well after she threw up, and there was a little bit of vomit still in there. My daughter has a phobia of vomit. And she was afraid that there was vomit on the hand towel, if C had maybe wiped her face on it. And she couldn't get a new hand towel right then, because all the hand towels were in my bedroom and my partner was asleep in the bedroom because he has to get up really early. So that is a really really long story to provide some context, but I kind of saw where she was coming from after that.

Honestly I'm very exasperated at him for letting her quit counseling. I told him that she can't have it both ways. She can't do eating disordery things but say she doesn't need counseling. He told me that he thinks she doesn't have an eating disorder at all, but is playing manipulative games. I told him that that right there is something that needs to be addressed in counseling as well. I'm afraid I'm not terribly sympathetic. I am at the limit of my bandwidth with my kids. I need him to handle this, and I feel like he has been lax about getting her in counseling again after the first one didn't work out.

[This message edited by JanaGreen at 9:05 PM, Tuesday, November 30th]

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8701847
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 9:28 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Ahhh okay the context helped. Jeeze girl, that sounds like a LOT you have on your plate right now - I'm sorry. As a happily single-living-alone person the thought of alllll that drama and angst makes my ass twitch!

Sounds like you guys just got snippy at each other for a minute - it happens. Happened more than once with my mom when I was a teenager too! Sounds like you guys have mended your fences, so I wouldn't beat yourself up about it.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3306   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8701861
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GotTheShaft ( member #52466) posted at 10:43 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

JanaGreen: You're allowed to have a frustration mistake once in a while, and what you said was fairly innocuous. If anything, I'd use it as a teaching tool and explain that sometimes we all get frustrated and say things out of frustration. We don't mean those things, but that doesn't excuse the behavior. We all have to do a better job of watching what we say so that we don't hurt the people we care about. Your daughter knows you're human, and she will be OK.

posts: 424   ·   registered: Mar. 27th, 2016
id 8701873
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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 2:58 AM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Thank you guys. Thank you. I do feel a bit embarrassed at my moaning last night. My daughter is fine, and his daughter is in better spirits today too. And the towel is clean. tongue

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8701908
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deena04 ( member #41741) posted at 2:04 AM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Don’t beat yourself up too much. We all say things.

Me FBS early 40s
Him XWS mid40s (lovemywife4ever), D
He cheated before M, forgot to tell me
Free and loving life

posts: 3143   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2013   ·   location: Midwest
id 8702064
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 3:26 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Could your daughter be less frustrated with the dirty towel and one bathroom…and maybe more frustrated about having to share space with basically a stranger?

I’ve done the live-in thing with kids for a short period of time. I think one of the things we can forget when it comes to our kids is - we, as the adults, have both a benefit and motivation (the R with the SO) for making these kinds of things try to work. The only reason our kids have for doing so (making it work) is their relationship with us as their parent. When there’s tension between the children, it will always create a strain on the R the child has with the primary parent.

Maybe this is where you need to have the conversation with your daughter…about how she feels about the living arrangements vs the size of the house? Regardless of the choices that you make about the arrangements, the ability for your daughter to talk openly with you about what is *really* bothering her is the key. It may take some coaxing to get it out of her.

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

posts: 8773   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8702110
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wildbananas ( member #10552) posted at 7:45 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

I agree with truth here. When I let xso and his kids move in with us years ago, the bunch all said they were perfectly fine with it when I asked them about it beforehand. Two horrible years later when we moved to a different house to get away from them all, I found out none of them wanted xso to move in, but they didn't want to tell me no, or they didn't know how to.

DD might be perfectly okay with them being there, but I agree that a conversation with her, at least to check in, is a good thing. If you're feeling the strain of all the people in a small house, odds are she is, too.

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. ~ Yogi Bhajan

posts: 16510   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2006   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8702175
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 4:02 AM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Thanks for the context, that helped a lot.

I was just thinking about something... I wonder if the SO’s daughter is a good influence on your daughter?
I’d probably let the SO know that his daughter has to continue IC bc you and your child don’t need any drama in your lives, you’ve been thru enough....❤️

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5378   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8702251
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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 4:05 AM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

That's a good point. DD did say she was good with 15yo moving in ("oh, that's a good idea, [nearby high school] is a good school and she'll get to see her dad so much more"), but reality is so different than expectations. And NONE of us thought the addition would take so long. I think that will help tremendously.

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8702252
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 6:15 AM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

I think the addition will definitely help a lot!

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5378   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8702258
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 3:09 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

For girls that are 12 yo, a 15 yo girl can seem really cool.

In reality, 15 yo girls can also be really nasty…especially to a younger 12 yo girl. Might want to ask DD about that too. It can be really confusing for a younger girl because the older girl enjoys the "idolization"…but can also turn really quickly to demeaning when it’s convenient. And it sounds like the 15 yo already has some stability issues.

I would imagine that your DD doesn’t want to be uncool by telling…but opening up that door for her in a safe way may also bring further insight. I would guess that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that you may be totally unaware of.

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

posts: 8773   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8702342
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SallyShrink81 ( member #50219) posted at 1:48 AM on Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Jana it sounds like you've already been processing this quite a bit so I won't try to make you feel better but guilt never benefitted anyone. wink

There is a difference between cognitively understanding something and emotionally understanding with something. It's hard for adults but even more so for children and teens. I think that given the stressful situation just continuing to connect with your daughter to talk about things that are going on and how she FEELS about it are key. Also blending is difficult, especially in a space meant for 3 that is gone to 5 people.

FBS now surviving and thriving
2 kiddos born 2011 & 2014
"If a woman steals your husband, she might as well steal your shoes too, because one day she'll be walking in them." #karma

posts: 905   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2015   ·   location: Michigan
id 8702666
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 JanaGreen (original poster member #29341) posted at 6:14 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

You guys, thank you. Feeling much better about things. I took both the girls to see The Nutcracker on Friday and we had a great time. Then afterwards my DD raided my makeup bag, and his DD gave her free reign to put as much makeup on her face as she wanted - it was a lot of giggling. We'll just keep working at it.

posts: 9446   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8704097
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