A woman who was asked to look after her stepson because his mom “ended up staying out” for a “piss up” the night before received a storm of support from users on Mumsnet, the U.K.-based online forum.
In a viral post shared by user CottonCandy11 on Mumsnet’s Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) forum, where it received 658 comments, the woman said her stepson was due to be back with his mom after spending three nights with the user and her husband.
But his mother asked whether her son could stay an extra night as “she had been invited out to something.”
The original poster said she was “so angry” and is refusing to miss out on a day out with her son.
According to the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) published by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are estimated to be nearly 2.4 million stepchildren under the age of 18 in the country.
Stepfamilies face various unique stressors, such as co-parental conflict and stepparenting issues, as noted in a March 2017 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Family Process.
The study stated: “Children and adolescents who are exposed to interparental conflict are more likely to perceive it as threatening to their well-being or that of the family, which in turn is a key risk factor for internalizing problems.”
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the most challenging element of stepfamily life is parenting. “Under the best conditions, it may take two to four years for a new stepfamily to adjust to living together,” the APA says.
The original poster in the latest Mumsnet post agreed to her stepson’s additional stayover on the “very strict proviso” that his mom picks him up at 8 a.m. the next morning, as the user had a day out planned with her 4-year-old son.
However, the mom messaged the user’s husband “saying sorry [that] she won’t be here for 8 as she ended up staying out so won’t be home yet until about 11.”
The original poster said her stepson’s mom and partner have a baby, so he’s at home with the child. Her stepson also has a house key if the partner is asleep and can’t let him in.
“I’m seriously minded to go and drop him off with her partner. She’ll be furious but I literally couldn’t give a s**t about what she thinks now, she cares about no one else whatsoever. It’s always been the same, hers are the only plans that matter.
“But I’m not missing my day with my son, I’ve been looking forward to it and I’m not having him and me miss out because she wanted to go on a piss up last night and didn’t get home,” the user added.
Several Mumsnet users sided with the original poster, stating the stepson’s “irresponsible” mom is taking the “absolute piss.”
One user said: “Yanbu [you are not being unreasonable], that will firmly send the message across that you aren’t her skivvy. How irresponsible of her. If her dp [dear partner] is there at home, go drop him off.”
Another agreed, stating: “Drop him off. The partner is there – why would she be furious? You should be furious, she has no right to be.”
A third asked: “So you are expected to look after their son but her partner isn’t? Honestly some people just take the absolute piss. I would be beyond livid and would drop him home.”
While another questioned: “If she has a partner at home with their child why couldn’t he have gone back home last night anyway?…I’d drop him back home and leave him with his mom’s partner/step dad.”
Some users advised the original poster should tread carefully for the safety of her stepson.
One said: “I don’t know if I would just go and drop him off, I am in two minds about that. I might be more inclined to deal with it this time, but then I would absolutely refuse to help out again.”
Another asked whether there are any “safety concerns” with her partner and stepson. “Just because he’s looking after their baby doesn’t mean your DSS [dear stepson] is safe with him and as a pp [previous poster] said be mindful of how you handle the situation in front of the boy.”
When another posed the same question, the original poster said: “Yeah he’s fine. He’s done the odd thing in the past but very very rarely. I suspect he’s told her she’s not dumping DSS on him so she can go out and things in the past so now she never asks him.”
Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.
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