I Left My Step-Kids Off at My In-Laws Because They’re No Longer My Problem

2 months ago

Imagine losing your wife and then having to deal with kids who won’t listen because they’re not your biological children. A guy went on Reddit to spill about this, but got a mix of opinions that left him scratching his head on how to handle the situation.

The widowed man turned to Reddit to seek help.

“My wife passed away just before last Thanksgiving. It came out of nowhere, and I am somewhat broken. To make it worse, my stepchildren have decided that since I’m not their father, they don’t have to obey me anymore. They are teens, and they have never been my biggest fans. They love their dad, and I was only ever their mom’s husband.

However, when Deena was alive, they treated our home well and me with respect. After she died, they became jerks. Yes, I know their mom died. But that was my wife and the mother of my children. I am also having a tough time dealing.

Their paternal grandparents are also giving me a hard time for not being more understanding of all they are going through. I have tried. I have offered them counseling. I have given them space. I have been there for them. I am at my wit’s end.”

“The last straw was when we were over there for supper last week. I said it was time to go, so I could get the littles to bed. My stepkids said that they didn’t want to go and that I should leave them and come back for them. It is a two-hour drive. I said no.

Their grandparents said I was being too hard on them and that I should let them stay. I am having a hard time with two small children, the loss of my wife, and two teen jerks without having my in-laws pile on to make my life more difficult. So I did. I also packed up their stuff.

Instead of coming back for them, I dropped off their stuff at their grandparents’ house. I have two kids under the age of five to take care of. I don’t really have time to babysit two teens who are just making my life harder. My house is clean for the first time in weeks. My kids are sleeping through the night. My stepkids are living with their uncle in the same city as me so they can finish high school with their friends.”

“Everyone on their dad’s side is against me. I really don’t care. I was told by both of them and by their father that I was not to try to parent them. So I’m not. I actually do not have any parental rights over them. Their dad was not even okay with me being a contact for them at school. So his parents bear the contact.

My wife left behind a small life insurance policy, which I will divide between the four kids. But I was the breadwinner in my house. I bought pretty much everything there for the last eight years. So now it’s all mine. My in-laws are calling me insensitive for not being there for the kids, but I have two kids that need me more. The older two have a dad and grandparents to help them. My kids do too I guess, but they also have me and I want them to have a peaceful home.”

People offered him controversial opinions on the matter.

  • You’re doing your job, and that’s to take care of yours. It sounds like these kids’ families are perfectly content letting you handle raising their kids or grandchildren and then being critical when things don’t go according to what they want. What’s curious to me is that their father is still alive, and they aren’t with him.
    After “the dust settled” following their mother’s death, he should have become their primary parent. But he’s part of the peanut gallery, criticizing you. You did nothing wrong. Don’t let these people make your life more miserable than it is. I hope you can find peace. JayGatsby8 / Reddit
  • It seems like the best solution for everyone. And at the end of the day, not your kids, not your problem. Anyone who has a problem with this is welcome to take them in. notforcommentinohgoo / Reddit
  • I feel that his 2 children losing their mother trumps his job situation. Everyone needs to stop blaming you and start asking him why he’s not stepping up in this terrible situation. I’m sorry for your loss.
    I can see why you came to a breaking point. You had a difficult choice to make, and you prioritized your 2 younger children. The 2 teens have a father, and he needs to start being a dad to them. Final_Figure_7150 / Reddit
  • They have lost their mom, absolutely right, so you would expect trouble and playing up, etc., but what I don’t understand is why their dad has not swooped in... If you were such a hindrance, where is he?
    As long as everyone is happy, including all the kids and yourself, I wouldn’t fret about anything, as I cannot see what you have done wrong here. You haven’t left them on the streets; you have left them with family, and they are happy. If Daddy is so worried, he can step in, can’t he?
    girlwithagreenstare / Reddit
  • The grandparents and the father should have done more to ensure the teenagers were listening to you. Sure, teenagers act out, but the grandparents and father encouraging them will guarantee that it stays this way. There was no hope for betterment; it would have only gotten worse. hummingelephant / Reddit
  • If what you say is true, and you’ve done everything within your power to help them grieve and transition going forward without their mom, then what else can you do? It’s bad that the other two kids are losing that day-to-day contact with their siblings, but it may be better for all involved, especially if the teens hold contempt for the little ones.
    If their father wasn’t willing to step up right away, then that says a lot about the dad and the in-laws, in my opinion. Wash your hands of that family, as they will only try to harm you going forward. Ogbigboob / Reddit
  • Why are you looking after children whom you have no parental rights over, and who hate you? What happens if you need to give medical consent for something? They’re acting out, but they have a living parent and grandparents who can step up and look after them (though as they’re now living with their uncle, it looks like the conflict was about them not wanting to do this but also not supporting you in doing this). Chemical-Row-2921/ Reddit

Stepparenting could potentially be more challenging than raising one’s biological child. That’s why we’ve compiled stories that delve deeper into this subject.

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