Mixed family

It’s been a while since I’ve written but I am feeling a little mixed. I’m off on vacation this week, partly because my boyfriend’s birthday was Tuesday and partly because we wanted to do something for the kids as a little mini vacay. I say “the kids” instead of “our kids” because the first three kids are from my ex-husband and the last child from my current boyfriend. To understand the dynamics of my family, there is my boyfriend who just turned 38 and is 1 of 2 kids (he and his sister)…then there’s me, 1 of 4 kids (3 sisters). My boyfriend and I started dating in 2008 but prior to that I had been separated from my husband of 14 years, for about 3-4 years. When I started dating again, it was rare if at all that anyone would meet my 3 kids at that the time. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend, when I decided that it felt right to introduce him to my daughters. I felt that anyone who was privileged enough to meet them was good in my book. I can’t say that dating was easy at all and it definitely wasn’t easy with 3 kids and I say this only because my boyfriend didn’t have any kids of his own. So I guess he walked into a relationship with “baggage” as it’s so often referred to. Each day was a learning experience and still is. It was 2010 and I became pregnant with my and my boyfriends son. Initially when we started dating my boyfriend did not want any kids at all but I somehow was the one he felt blessed to be with and felt that we would be ok having a baby. My girls took the news ok with the exception of my oldest daughter. She told me it was gross and she really wanted nothing to do with my pregnancy at all. At least not until towards the end and the day for delivery was to come. She immediately, along with her sisters, fell in love with him.
To back up a little bit, my boyfriend and I decided that he would move in two months for the baby was to arrive. Although the girls were ok with it, it wasn’t until later that I found out that they were a little disappointed in the fact that I didn’t communicate that with them and ask them what their thoughts were. And they were right, they should have been spoken to. I doesn’t necessarily mean they would’ve altered any decision that was to be made.
Well, in August 2010, my boyfriend moved in. I don’t know who it was harder for, me, the girls or him. The girls had to adjust to living in a home with another male other than their dad. My boyfriend had to learn to live in a home full of women, especially with those that came from a prior relationship and belonged to me. And then there was me. I had been on my own since 2004 and had taken care of my kids on my own. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. Now it was time to learn to re-adjust.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that we are all in one home. What I don’t like but know I have to live with is the fact that there tend to be disagreements. Firstly, my boyfriend does not try to replace the girls’ dad in any way shape or form. He does not try to discipline them but will come to me first if something is bothering him. (i.e… dishes in the sink, or cleaning). He told me from the beginning that he would not try to be their dad but that if he felt they were being disrespectful he would say something.
Lately it seems that we’ve been on a budget more than ever and food is a big issue in our home. We try to do discount grocery shopping and get what we need without going overboard.
My middle daughter asked if her friend could spend the night last night and my boyfriend mentioned that he should go to the store to get more chicken to make wings. I piped in and jokingly asked my daughter (because my boyfriend jokes with them too), if her friend was going to come pre-fed. My daughter said something to the effect of “hey….blah blah blah”…and when I said something, she said she wasn’t talking to me that she was talking to my boyfriend (My daughter, although joking around, can sound rude without meaning to). So the dispute began. My boyfriend (having just woken up from a nap), said something to the effect, of it was him who buys the food in our house. Wish is true, but I do as well. My daughter then went on to say that, that when she cooks, she cooks for us. I think my boyfriend took it wrong and proceeded to reply, “Well then don’t cook”. I think that he was out of line, possibly a little groggy as well. When she proceeded to talk to him, he nearly cut her off and tried to explain that we were on a budget and needed to make everything last. My kids can be notorious for eating stuff way to fast. My daughter was merely trying to explain to him that she didn’t mean anything by it and was joking around, and was going to apologize but he was already flustered by everything. So, it blew out of proportion. She did apologize and he accepted but just tried to explain the situation further. She went upstairs and stayed away for awhile which was out of her norm as she usually would spout off. I became a little irritated at the whole thing, felt he could’ve woken up on the right side of the couch. My daughter was in tears and it hurt me.
Although things have settled for the most part, I’m torn!!! And hurt. Although both myself and my boyfriend buy things for the house, he can be a little selfish on his part…but I get it. When he moved in, I never expected him to have to take care of my kids from my first marriage. But he Is always one to help out. Sometimes he’ll say, I don’t care what you girls eat as long as you leave some for others or tell me when we’re out of something so we can re-stock. Sometimes he’ll want something specifically for him and so he’ll put it in his little fridge we have. Or sometimes if he specifically wants something, he’ll forget to put it in his fridge and then it gets eaten. And then he gets a little annoyed or comment in an indirect way or joking way that he didn’t get anything but then he’ll say, just kidding…. or i’m joking.
It’s hard as a mother to hear your child say that she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own home and feels as those she has to ask to eat something in her own home. It shouldn’t be like that, but I feel I’m being pulled different ways. He pays for quite a bit in our home and he has a right to say something, but at the same token my kids shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to appear as a bad mother but I get both sides. Is that wrong?
Looking for some guidance and some suggestions!!

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