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Être la belle-mère des enfants de mon partenaire est le pire travail de tous les temps

CHER DEIDRE: BEING a stepmum to my partner’s children is the worst job ever.

It’s fine for me to take them to the hairdresser or get them fitted for shoes, but with simple requests like “brush your teeth” or “tidy your rooms”, then I need to remember I’m not their parent.

My stepkids refuse to do anything I ask of them

My stepkids refuse to do anything I ask of them

My partner and I have been together for three years but I only met his children – a boy of 11 and a girl of nine – one year ago.

Je suis 39, my partner is 42 and I don’t have any children of my own.

There aren’t any problems when my partner is with us, but when I’m on my own, they refuse to do anything I ask them to.

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My partner insists they will only listen to their parents and I need to get on with it.

I just can’t see a way through this.

DEIDRE DIT: Your partner may be worried about upsetting their mum.

Perhaps he feels guilty about the breakdown of their relationship.

The time has come for you to sit him down and ask how he sees your role.

Of course you would be far more effective presenting a united front.

Could you agree he leads on the big issues, but that he backs you up on the day- to-day requests?

He can explain that while no one will replace their mum, as you are an adult taking care of them, they need to listen to you.

I’m sending you my support pack on Stepfamily Challenges which I hope can help you both.