Doctor Love: Stepmother

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.Dr-Love

Dear Doctor Love,
My husband has three grown children by his first wife. Since we married ten years ago his children treated me like some kind of fool. I did not like it but I put up with it out of respect for my husband and because they were still young. Now they are in their twenties and they treat me even worse. They invite themselves and their families over for dinner through their father. I never know until the last minute but I am expected to cook for as many as twelve people when they all show up with their children. They never bother to help clean up. They also expect me and their father to baby sit without giving us any notice. This week was the last straw. The oldest daughter came over with her family’s dirty laundry because her washing machine is in for repair. Since she knows I wash clothes on Tuesday she asked if I could do hers, too. She did not want to use my washer. She wanted me to wash them.
For me, this was the last straw. I told my husband that things are going to change or else. He agreed with me but he had no idea what to do without causing a big scene. I told him I would deal with it but I’m having trouble deciding how. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
/s/ The Maid

Dear Maid,
Taking control of this situation is going to take some work. You can start the next time they decide to come to dinner. When you get the call that they are coming contact them and tell them to bring food, since you are only buying enough for meals for two. If they do come over and actually bring food, don’t cook it for them unless you have help. Tell them that someone must help or they won’t get fed. When your helpers serve dinner that is the time to announce that you expect those who did not cook to take care of the dishes. This change from the normal routine might be just the wakeup call that they need. If they don’t get it the first time, repeat it until they do.
As for the babysitting situation, get the telephone numbers of several people who do babysitting. When the kids show up for their babysitting give them the numbers and tell them that you won’t be babysitting tonight.
If you repeat these steps a few times your situation will change for the better.

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