To not want to look after my step daughter overnight?

(322 Posts)
LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 15:58:27

Ok don't flame me please...(sorry long)

My DP's daughter is ten and coming to stay for the easter holiday. It will be nice as 5 weeks ago our DD was born and hasnt spent much time with her yet.

But my problem is this. DP works overnight sometimes and before sd would stay with Mil at those times and with us when he wasnt at work.

Anyway Mil just said to me that it would be 'nice' if I looked after sd now when dp is at work! And got very snotty with when i said i wasnt comfy with that.

My reasons were
1. Sd likes me ( i think) but we dont have what id call a close relationship

2. Breastfeeding a hungry reflux baby is taking it out of me a bit, and im not sure how I will cope with a sometimes very hyper sd, baby and a puppy!

3. Im at college full time and have 2 massive projects to do. Was hoping to complete these when dh was at work and sd at mil's

AIBU or is Mil right and Im a horrible person?

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:53:48

Once again the puppy was not a purchase.

We were meant to be looking after him for a week for my cousin who then decided she didnt want the hassle

And we just fell in love with him

Bobyan Thu 28-Mar-13 16:55:33

shame you can't fall in love with your SD.

Poor girl.

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 16:57:47

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you hate your SD or anything terrible like that. You are overwhelmed at the moment and it sucks.

From what I can see however, and I don't want to sound harsh, you seem to take it for granted that you can shuffle her aside when it's inconvenient and that your MIL will take over so you can do whatever you need to do. My point is that if you had other children of your own, you wouldn't be able to do that and you would cope. Because that's what we do.

A new baby is a testing time for the most secure children. Imagine how your SD must be feeling about this new person arriving in her Dad's life. She needs reassurance. The fact that she doesn't want to stay on her own with you suggests that you need to be working on that.

And come on. You can tackle the challenges of a puppy but you can't have an older child stay overnight...? Your SD is as much a "challenge" (my word) that you have no choice but to deal with than the puppy. I'm not sure you're being honest with yourself TBH

landofsoapandglory Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:43

IMO you should have been having your SD to stay overnight before the baby was born.

No wonder she wants to stay at her Gran's, she probably feels wanted there.

FrauMoose Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:49

Maybe the crucial thing is that being a step-parent isn't just about buying presents and 'doing activities.' It's the everyday slog of domesticity.

Your step-daughter is as permanent as the dog. It's a pity (for her) that you seem to prefer the dog.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:59:51

I have never made her unwanted or unwelcome

her mother has spouted vile crap that has made sd uncomfortable, possibly she feels guilty because we were getting close and her mother hates me for some reason.

I really must be awful because I cant see how sd spending one night at her nans in two weeks is pushing her out of the family? Especially when she herself wants to go there

StuntGirl Thu 28-Mar-13 17:01:49

I think this bridge should have been crossed a long time ago.

Would she usually stay overnight at her grans even when your partner had her? confused Poor little thing probably already feels pushed out as it is. You must start making more of an effort with her, you presumably knew of her existence when you got with your partner so you must fit into her life, not the other way round.

Donnadoon Thu 28-Mar-13 17:02:59

I don't think you're a horrible person, I could never be with a bloke who already had kids
But seriously ..poor poor girl and shame on your boyfriend for bringing another child into this world before this situation was sorted.

MimiSunshine Thu 28-Mar-13 17:03:54

Do some people bother to read the whole thread or at least just the OPs posts? Seriously some people just must read the subject line and then the red mist descends.

OP I don't think YABU, it sounds like bad timing on your MILs part and really sad on DDs mums part, quite frankly, what a bitch to poison her child like that. I hope your DH picked her up on it.
On the basis you are a new mum to a prem baby, taken on an abandoned puppy, then the last min change of plan is daft.

You don't have to have SD overnight just to prove you're not a wicked step mother. Just say no not this time but we're going to do it next time, by which point you can build SD up to it so that she feels happy about it as well

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:05:46

Ok over reaction there. Sd did not say she didnt want to stay with me.

She infact said she wanted to stay with nan for a night

( am showing dp these messages to get an insiders view as you lot have really got me questioning myself.

grin he said thats what I get for posting on an internet forum and im not the evil stepmother

ha)

YellowTulips Thu 28-Mar-13 17:07:12

I have been where you have with a new (difficult) baby and an older DSD.

It's not easy and I do think that some posts here are underestimating the difference in the dynamic of dealing with 2 children of your own that that which exists with a fledgling relationship with a stepchild.

That being said I think you need to tread carefully here. Whilst I know it will undoubtably be harder for you to have her overnight in these early days, you are risking your longer term relationship with her by an act that whist maybe pragmatic can only be interpreted by a child as rejection.

In turn this will also impact the relationship your DSD has with your child so please bear that in mind.

If there is one lesson I could pass on as a step mum it is that fairness and equality are key. You clearly would not refuse to look after DSD if she was your child - so your actions in these very early days are sending a message that DSD is a secondary concern (or worse still, third after the puppy hmm).

I think you are on very dangerous ground here I would ask that for all concerned you rethink your position.

You can't put yourself first anymore as a parent, the children are top trumps here and unless you DH surprised you by announcing the presence of a step child after your baby was born you have to accept she is an integral part of your family unit and that means however difficult it may be, you cannot (unless you really want to play the part if the wicked SM) push her to the bottom of your priority list.

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 17:07:21

Ok. So is your MIL saying that she won't have her to stay at ALL over the two weeks or only the night your DH is working?

StuntGirl Thu 28-Mar-13 17:07:51

I have read it and it seems so insane that I asked for clarification, because it seems madness to me that they would ship her to the grandmas when she's supposed to be staying at her dads. The OP is not some fling, presumably, if they live together and have a baby together, so they really need to make more of an effort to integrate these families.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 28-Mar-13 17:08:58

the SD stays all the time when her Dad is there too

just needed to clarify this, people are not reading the thread

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 17:10:21

What freemanbatch said.

If you are being honest with yourself about your reasons, I think YANBU.

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Thu 28-Mar-13 17:10:50

I actually think it's really bad that every time your DH is away overnight you have shipped your DSD off to your MIL! What kind of message is this giving to that little girl? She will think you don't like her/want her. It's no wonder you don't have a close relationship with her.

Donnadoon Thu 28-Mar-13 17:12:14

Oh come on ..lets be honest..IF Dad dropped down dead tomorrow, these two innocent children would have nothing to do with each other from what OP has said. Which is why I stand by my earlier post.

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 17:12:34

Well put YellowTulips

iZombie Thu 28-Mar-13 17:14:10

I think you're getting an unfair pasting here. You're not in a position right now to cooe with the additional care if a child who has expressed a preference for being with her grandmother. I think that grandma should respect the child. There is plenty of time to make a good go at family time, having a sick preemie and a manky wound aren't conducive to being a fun and attentive person.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:14:12

Oh thankyou mimiSunshine, felt like I was talking to a brick wall for a while there.

Yes absolutely want her and dd to be very close and want mine and sd's relationship to go back to what it was...

But the fact is it isnt close right now. I am having trouble coping and mil made me feel like a bond villain because I said please lets not change the arrangements THIS time

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 17:15:57

So you think the reason the SD wants to stay overnight at her gran's is beacuse her mum has been poisoning her against you?

Problem is, by allowing that short term solution, you're sort of playing into her mum's hands by confirming that SD isn't a real member of the family.

I think you can get into bad habits without meaning to and without actually realising that they are in fact bad habits. It's only now that the situation has changed, that it turns out that they were in fact, not a neat solution, but a bad habit.

There's something not right about her not being able to stay with you without her dad there and though I can understand that you didn't want to push it so allowed it to happen, the result has been that you've not really bonded with your SD by the sounds of it.

Which means that this situation that your MIL has sprung on you, is more of a probelm than it needs to be.

However, it doesn't need to turn into a bigger problem. Be aware that you could open up a rift with your MIL if you don't handle this well.

I do feel sorry for you, it's a lot to deal with when you've just had a baby. But I think you have taken short term solutions to a problem and unfortunately you can't do that anymore.

VonHerrBurton Thu 28-Mar-13 17:16:14

You need to think how you would feel if you and dh split up and his new partner wasn't happy to have your child stay with her.

That would break my heart and I wouldn't be happy letting her spend time around someone who felt their new baby/dog/dissertation took precedence.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 28-Mar-13 17:17:05

Surely its better if she visits when her dad is there. You're not her mum, although in time she may want to come and stay with you when her sibling is older. It sounds a bit hard on sd when she doesn't even want to stay with you. Poor kid. I would have hated being foisted onto a step mum as a kid. I would have wanted to stay with my mum, gran or when my dads there.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:19:11

Thanks izomie

and yes to clarify sd stays with us all the time when she visits except the rare occassion when her dad has to work 24 hours ( he is a carer and sometimes covers overnight shifts)

Historically on these nights she has gone to mil because she wants to and to have a night with her cousins who she loves and only gets to see when she visits

Dadthelion Thu 28-Mar-13 17:20:44

There's a lot of shipping going on I feel sea sick.

I can't imagine sending my children to stay with my ex's partner.
They'd stay with me. Or go to my mum's.

But to stay with my ex's partner when she's not there? Nope.

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