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Turning "stepdaughter's room" into an office?

mamalife's picture

I have been with my husband since my stepkids were 3 and 5 (they're now 12 and 14). My husband split with their mother for a number of reasons, one being she cheated on him and another being she was abusive physically, verbally and mentally. 

My husband is a good man and yet she did everything she could to smear his name and gain custody of their kids. She went so far as to lie about my husband being a pedophile (after which he wasn't allowed to see his kids for 30 days as he was investigated by police, who came up with nothing). This woman is sick, sick, sick. The first time I met her, she screamed at me to stay away from her kids, in a public setting with her kids sitting right beside me. 

That said, the first few years were really tough. My stepkids were awful to me and my son (who is now 13). I had to call the police on my husband's ex a number of times - once for her breaking into our garage and refusing to leave, and another time for throwing rocks at our windows. 

I kept telling myself it would get better and it did, as far as my stepson goes. In fact, he and my son get along great and my stepson is very respectful to me (for the most part - he is 14, after all). 

My stepdaughter is a different story. 

She's developmentally delayed and her mother's puppet. She has heard lie after lie from her mother's mouth since she was small and she does nothing but wreak havoc the minute she enters our door. She's stolen from us and my son, and recently she's had a few episodes where she's been violent towards my husband AS HE'S DRIVING, with our toddler in the backseat (we have two little ones together as well). She tried to choke him one time and another time she attacked him with a tool she found under the seat.

Needless to say, I no longer allow my kids in the car with her. I don't even like having them around her, as she's aggressive and they mimic her behaviour. 

She hasn't slept at our house in four years. She comes over to visit once in awhile (the most is one or two days a week, for an hour or two, although some weeks she doesn't come at all and we don't ever see her during school breaks). We moved into a new house a year and a half ago and set up a room for her, which she's never used. 

I recently started working from home and I have all my papers scattered on my bedroom floor, on my dresser, etc. and I'm bothered thinking we have this bedroom that no one ever uses, that could be my office. I waste so much time looking for things I need for work when I could have them organized on shelves and on an actual desk in an actual office! 

I'm torn about what to do here. If we turn "her room" into an office, my stepdaughter and her mother will have a meltdown. On the other hand, we live in a small house with four kids staying here full and part-time, and we could really use the space instead of having a bedroom sit empty all the time. 

What would you do in this situation? Turn the room into an office or leave it?

Thisisnotus's picture

Even without any history, all I had to hear was she hasn’t slept there in 4 years.....and if it were me....she would have lost “her room” about 3 years ago.

absolutely turn it into an office!

DH and I have 5 kids between us and 1 shared.

SD12 stopped sleeping here 2 years ago....she lost “her room” a year after thatz

DD17 stopped sleeping here about 2 years ago also....she lost “her room” about a month after she made her hateful exit.

you and the people that live in the home get the space! In my house we don’t hold unused space for anyone. 

ESMOD's picture

If the girl literally has not laid her head in her bed for 4 years?  I see no reason for keeping it as a shrine to the stepdaughter that everyone wishes she could be.  

How will she even know.. if she never comes over lol?

Actually, I would have her father tell her.  Just want to let you know that we need some office space at home and we are going to use the room where you used to stay... you are still welcome to come over and we do have a place for you to stay if you decide to do that.  But, we need the space for work...and you aren't using it so we just wanted to give you a heads up.

don't let him whisper a word that it's YOU that needs the office.  it's that your household needs it and it's a better use of the space.

Petronella's picture

Good tip, do NOT let on that it’s SM’s office. Just let her think that it’s a spare room in general. Or a computer room or something. Watch out that she doesn’t go in there and destroy stuff. 

Siemprematahari's picture

 

I'm torn about what to do here. If we turn "her room" into an office, my stepdaughter and her mother will have a meltdown.

First and foremost what you do in YOUR house is not SD and BM business. She’s rarely there so that shouldn’t be an issue. You work from home and need the space. Don’t you ever place their feelings above yours. Remodel that room and have fun making it your own.

Rags's picture

Non full time resident children are accomodated when they are present. The full time residents of the home are the people the home should be configured to accomodate.  

Make the room an office.  Put a trundle bed in the office or some other room in the off chance the Skid shows up again.

End of issue.

Siemprematahari's picture

If she's rarely there she can sleep on an air mattress in the living room...... if having her in your new office is a concern. I wouldn't trust her violent @ss, so I'd place a lock on the remodeled room.

Rags's picture

I'm good with that.  An air mattress under the dining table works just fine.  She won't show up anyway so it is in all likelihood a moot discussion.

fedupinwa's picture

Agreed.  When my SO moved in with me, his son 17, who hadn't stayed with him in months pitched a fit about not having his own room.  The house has 2 bedrooms, one for us, one for guests, including his son and his and my adult daughters.  Why are non custodial parents obligated to pay for the child's room at custodial parent's house through child support but also afford a dedicated room at their own house?

Petronella's picture

Oh my goodness I could have written this whole comment! It's the same with us! We live in a 2 bedroom condo, our oldest daughters are grown and live on their own, his younger teens choose to live with BM and always refused to follow any kind of  custody schedule. My DH moved in with me into this 2bedroom while my daughter still lived here in the 2nd bedroom. BM and the SKs acted soooooo scandalized that they didn't have dedicated rooms anymore at Daddee’s house. Why the hell should DH have gone on paying ridiculous amounts of rent for a 2br+den house that never got used? Now we have a spare room and it's going to stay that way! So that ALL our kids will have a place to sleep when they visit us. Emphasis on VISIT. 

 

ndc's picture

I would turn it into an office.  The girl hasn't slept at your house in 4 years!  Does she use the room when she visits during the day?  If not, I'd just lock the door when she's there.  If so, your husband will have to let her know that she can hang out in a different space in the house.  It sounds like the kid is already alienated, so does it really matter if she and her mother have a meltdown?

ndc's picture

I would turn it into an office.  The girl hasn't slept at your house in 4 years!  Does she use the room when she visits during the day?  If not, I'd just lock the door when she's there.  If so, your husband will have to let her know that she can hang out in a different space in the house.  It sounds like the kid is already alienated to a degree, so does it really matter if she and her mother have a meltdown?

Harry's picture

SD is not going to change.  She is a lost.  No reason to have a monument in your home.  SD sleep here as George Washington sleep here.   

Frustrated4ever's picture

I haven't been on here in months, but this is the whole reason I logged in.  I have a SD18 and SS16.  Minus the specifics, it's pretty much the same situation with my SS and SD.  SD has always been emotionally detached and manipulated by her psychopathic mother. SS, not so much.  He is genuinely a loving kid.  She moved out to go to a $75 K a year college and has had 2 complete, irrational, temper tantrum meltdowns:  1) over the third car being driven by her brother while she is gone (hs never paid a dime towards it, has been driving on a suspended license (we just found that out), etc. and 2) now, we are moving her brother into her much larger bedroom.  His old, small room will be made into a third bedroom / workout space with a couch sleeper.  She was supposed to have been here 50% of the time, but for various reasons, my DH gave up that fight, so she pretty much would only visit occasionally.  Despite the fact she is 18, her mother refused to allow her over here on "her time" and before she left for college so in my estimation, it is pointless to have a room.  Her behavior was screaming at her dad "allowing him" to put all the furniture, weight bench, etc. into her room just so her brother won't be allowed to sleep in "her"room.  We are going through with the move, but I was told to make the new room extra nice, so we can avoid hurting her feelings.  It drives me nuts because my husband is incredible, but when he rewards bad behavior it repulses me. 

tog redux's picture

How would she even know what's in there if she never comes over and uses her room? Make it an office and don't say a word to her. If she notices, say, "Oh, right! Well if you want to come over and spend the night, we will find space for you."

Don't let BM and SD put fear into you. It's ridiculous that the room is empty when the kid won't even visit.

Petronella's picture

I like this idea. Don’t even say anything about it and see how long it takes her to notice that “her” room has changed. She shouldn’t be getting free range of the house anyway, not with her behavioural issues.

tog redux's picture

We left the bed in SS's room and his stuff, but also made it an office. He didn't care, but he's not an a$$hole like many of these entitled skids.

Climbmountains91's picture

Go for it and turn into an office. I've already said to my partner as soon as we get a 3 bedroom house because that's all we could afford then my 2 girls would have the bedrooms because he's two only stop twice a month. He agrees, my kids shouldn't have to share just because his kids stop twice a month. Obviously we'll come up with a sleeping arrangement or is this me just being a cow lol 

mamalife's picture

Thanks all for the advice! I really appreciate it! Sad to see so many of us are in the same boat. I will definitely have to keep a lock on the door if/when I turn the room into an office, as SD goes through everything and I don't want her wrecking or stealing stuff I need for work.

I don't even know if there's a point in getting a daybed though, as she's never actually slept in the room. My husband says he'll tell her that if she sleeps over for more than two nights in a row, we'll turn it back into a bedroom for her. I think that's fair, but I honestly don't think she'll ever sleep in this house, considering she hasn't slept over in four years and how attached she is to her mother.

Siemprematahari's picture

My husband says he'll tell her that if she sleeps over for more than two nights in a row, we'll turn it back into a bedroom for her.

That shouldn't be an option. Since she's rarely there just because she sleeps over for 2 nights doesn't really mean much. If she stays over consisently in a span of 6 months to a year maybe entertain the thought but nope I wouldn't bend on that one. Should she ever sleep over, there is a air bed and call it a night.