Your family is not going thru this, you are. Do you want the kids together or not?
Is the older kids dad in the picture at all?
If you have never made the distinction between the kids, why do it now? Those kids do not deserve to be treated less then your bio kids.
I understand wanting your XW to step up and be responsible.. I wanted my XH to do the same thing. But we can't make them be the parent our kids need. We only have control over how good a parent we are.
Be the best dang parent you can be.
In this situation, you should do what feels right for your family (ie you and all of the kids).
My concern with the current plan (only taking the stepkids at the weekends instead of during the week with your bio kids) sends the message that they're not as important to anymore.
If you decide to decline being the driver for the older kids, you should have a conversation with them yourself, outlining that its so that their mom has to be more responsible; schedules, etc change due to the divorce and custody...not because you dont love them.
DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids (4 Dogs, 2 Cats)
WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs
Note: I edit often for clarity/typos.
I think it is great that you are concerned for the older teens. I would ask them what they want. Have an honest discussion with them stating that even though their mom and you are divorced, that does not stop your feelings towards them. If its good for you and your youngers to continue to have the teens then go for it. You should explain to them that house rules have not changed, you will still act like the adult and they will respect your house rules. If they decide they want to run "free" with the mom, that is their choice. While you don't want a revolving door with them, make sure they know you can be counted on to if they need adult guidance.
Hope that make sense. The teens probably have mixed emotions. Want to be loyal to their mom, but they know if she is not putting them first. I have a 15 year old son, I can't imagine introducing him to anyone I was involved with for a long time. I don't want him to think not only is he not important to his dad (my STBXH), but me also. Just wrong.
They have a choice: they can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one." — Daenerys Targaryen
Just keep being consistent.
Just keep being consistent.
What is right? What is right for the younger two? What is right for the older two? What is right is one of the kids rebels?
If your ex will let you co-parent the older ones, then I would encourage you to stay involved with them since you already have a dad relationship. If she isn't going to help in co-parenting the older ones you might quickly find yourself if a situation where they are rebelling and sapping your energy and affecting the younger ones. Then it might be time to cut the ties with the older ones. It isn't an easy decision. It might actually be the right thing to do.
Keep listening to your conscious about was is right and follow it.
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
I would have a discussion with the teens and ask them what they would like to do. If you have been a big part of their life and you were all a family together then it is going to be more harmful to them now to try to convince them that this family exists no longer.
You can couch it in terms of still being a family, just in another way.
The teens are old enough to let their mother know their needs.
If the teens are then not given permission to follow out their needs, you know you have done your best, and they will know what you want for them too.
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous