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?

SneezingwakestheJesus Thu 28-Mar-13 16:01:51

You're not a horrible person and it would be nice if you could have sd overnight by yourself so she feels part of the family even when her dad isn't there but it seems to be just a case of bad timing right now with everything you've got on. Maybe once your projects are done you can have her stay over.

boredboy Thu 28-Mar-13 16:03:37

2 children in your family and you only want one of them in the house overnight? I think you answered your own question already.

Poppet48 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:05:57

You have a lot of your plate at the minute so it is totally understandable to not want to have her overnight but I think in the future it would be nice for you to have her overnight (When you're less busy).

likesnowflakesinanocean Thu 28-Mar-13 16:06:30

i would see it as a way of building a closer relationship if you decide to go ahead it could be good but i do see why you dont feel able too with college work to do as well

EggyFucker Thu 28-Mar-13 16:07:50

I think your MIL is right, sorry

Bit harsh Boredboy , baby is only 5 weeks old and op has said she's struggling a little.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Thu 28-Mar-13 16:11:38

Hard one to call. And I expect you'll get alot of different responses to your post.

Does SD sleep over when DP isn't working?

Ultimately I think your DP needs to speak to his mother about whether she is happy to continue with the arrangement of SD staying there. Is there some reason why MIL thinks this arrangement has to change now? think MIL is being slightly U throwing it on you when you are overwhelmed with a 5wo baby.

gruffalocake Thu 28-Mar-13 16:13:43

I think it's quite sad you don't see her as an integral part of the family. Now you have a dd you will always be connected to your dsd as she is your dds sister. I understand it's tough with baby but your excuses are a little bit contradictory ( you are tired and busy dealing with dd but you also want to get working on a uni project).

I don't think anyone can blame you for feeling as you do but I do think the right thing to do is to put yourself out for your dsd sake.

FreyaSnow Thu 28-Mar-13 16:13:45

If you are really not going to able to spend time with her because you are busy doing college work, it might be better for her first evening with you to be arranged for a time when you can give her more attention.

greendental Thu 28-Mar-13 16:15:21

I'm confused that you've had a baby with dp but you're not close to your sd.

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 16:16:30

I'm afraid I don't have any sympathy with juggling multiple children - you'd have the same problem if you had two of your own. That's part of the job and you have to suck it up. On the other hand, I wouldn't think it was out of order to ask your MIL to give a hand with the kids if you have work to do.

I think you have to a) be honest about the reasons you don't want her to stay overnight - if it's really that you are just feeling uncomfortable with her then you have to get over it, and b) be prepared to have to get on without help from your MIL. Whilst it's nice to get help, she's not obligated I'm afraid

myroomisatip Thu 28-Mar-13 16:16:41

So you have just had your own DD? I do not think you are being at all UR. You are still adjusting to motherhood and getting to know your own little one as well as everything else that is going on.

No. YANBU since your DP will not be there to help.

Hugglepuff Thu 28-Mar-13 16:17:45

I get that it is exhausting with a new baby - but she is your sd's sister and I think it would be lovely for sd to feel part of the family. Bit of a pity the MIL had to step in though.

corlan Thu 28-Mar-13 16:19:13

It really comes across in your OP that you see your step daughter as a bit of an inconvenience.

You will never have a 'close' relationship unless you treat her as part of your family.

squeakytoy Thu 28-Mar-13 16:19:49

Sorry but I do think your MIL is right. Your stepdaughter should feel as much a part of the family as her sister, and right now when you have just had a baby is the time when she is likely to feel most insecure.

Your MIL is right! She is your DD's step sister, she is your DH's daughter - why should she be shipped off to your MIL's. YO won't build a close relationship if you don't commit to her - this is what happens when you get involved with people who have children. Don't make her feel second best to your baby and puppy.

FreyaSnow Thu 28-Mar-13 16:21:25

What does your dsd want to do? Does she want to stay with you or stay with her grandma?

Floralnomad Thu 28-Mar-13 16:22:31

YABU ,its hardly your SD s fault that you have college work or a puppy and TBH she should come above both of those in the pecking order .

RedHelenB Thu 28-Mar-13 16:22:59

At 1o she could help with her baby sister & let you get on with some work!!!

Bobyan Thu 28-Mar-13 16:24:04

Nothing like making your step-daughter feel like part of the family...

ruledbyheart Thu 28-Mar-13 16:25:47

Yabu she is your step daughter she was there before your baby, its not a sudden thing so why not try and bond with her, yes it's hard having a newborn and you having a puppy shouldn't come into it as your SD surely should come before a dog but you need to suck it up, in all honesty you are coming across like your SD is an inconvenience.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:26:21

You have a puppy? Why can't SD play with it and look after it a bit?
Or get a DVD or two and let her slob out after a tough term?
get your partner to put some thought into what she'd like to do, explain the situation to DSD and ask her.
Put some effort into the relationship.

Sorry but I agree with your MIL - not that you're a horrible person, but that you should spend some time looking after your SD. She is your family too, even more than ever now you are the mother to her sibling.

And it's not as if she's a baby - at ten she doesn't need watching or entertaining constantly. I bet she would love to spend some time with you helping you look after the baby. Letting her in to your life a bit more is the only way you will have a 'close relationship'.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 28-Mar-13 16:27:23

Why did you get a puppy? Presumably you knew you were pregnant when making this purchase? I think YABU as if she was yours you couldnt just ship her off. She is going to have a bed time, and may actually be able to help you.

Your OP sounds like you deem her less important than your bloody dog...shock

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:27:36

How long have you been her stepmother?

SucksToBeMe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:29:03

I understand that your busy but I can't help but feel hmm for your SD.

I'm sure she would love to be around her new sister.

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 16:31:21

Sorry OP but I do think YABU here. I'm 37 weeks and have a 10 year old DD of you my own when baby is born I will need to cope with them both no matter what because they will both be part of my family and that's how it should be for your DSD otherwise you risk alienating her and making her feel that shes never really going to be an integral part of family life with you her DF and her new DS.

freemanbatch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:17

its not on for your MIL to suddenly change a standing arrangement and then be less than nice to you when you're not happy about it, you have a new baby and you had expectations of how things were going to work right now and that's not unreasonable BUT you do need to think about how you are going to make your step daughter feel included in the family in the long term. discuss it with your DP, he must have set the situation up to begin with so he should be able to support you in making things move in the direction of bringing you all together as a family without you feeling pressured to change things right now

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:25

I don't understand why she used to stay overnight at her Gran's tbh.

I don't think you're a horrible person at all, I can see how horrific the prospect of having to look after another child when you've just had a new baby seems (I remember it well!) but as someone else said, that's what being in a family means; you'd have exactly the same issue if you and DP had an older child. It sounds as though your SD hasn't been integrated into your family and you might need to spend some time considering why that has happened and how you and your DP can change that. Although with a new baby, I know it's a tall order to consider anything else in those first few frantic weeks and months.

As she's 11, surely it's not that much trouble if she stays overnight? I would have thought that she'll probably be a bit of a help to you won't she? 11 year old girls love babies (and puppies) and want to be helpful and it's not as though she's going to be the one waking you up in the middle of the night. Is she capable of getting up and getting her own breakfast and pottering around by herself in the mornings (at her age she should be)?

I would take this chance to get your SD properly bonded into your family unit.

GoSuckEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:37

You are not being unreasonable at all! I dont have any of the excuses you do, but my SD does not stay the night!

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:35:21

Ok at no point have I said I NEVER want her to be solely looked after by me all night.

To clarify myself and sd were close but when her mum got wind of this she started saying horrible things to sd about me that she told her dad i.e I would hate her and take daddy away sad

Since we dont get to see her often i havent had much chance to persuade her this isnt true

And for those of you saying 'suck it up' fair enough you may be super mum

But yes dd was born 5 weeks early, and between reflux and a badly infected c section wound yes i am struggling...

We have only been out of the hospital 2 weeks and my point to mil was that its way too soon.

Im open to her staying just with me another time but not now.

And obviously she is staying with us whenever dp is not at work and able to lend a hand


FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:36:52

And yes it's not a very good time in the sense that it has happened suddenly (your MIL suddenly changing arrangements) but she is probably trying to ensure that her grand-daughter doesn't feel pushed out of a family she's already not really properly integrated into.

Although it's a crap time to make more of an effort to get her more involved, it's also a logical time - new sister, new puppy, more for her to have a focus on than you and her dad - at first glance it sounds a rubbish time but there may actually be a bit of a method in your MIL's madness.

Bobyan Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:25

She's not a young child and as other people have said she would be able to help you rather than you needing to look after her.

I think your excluding her and using the baby / dog / college as an excuse.

ApocalypseThen Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:30

Did the child say anything to her granny about her feelings when she's not allowed to stay overnight? Is there a chance that's why your mother in law framed this so strongly?

I doubt the child has failed to sense your ambivalence.

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:40

I think the point people are trying to get across is, what would you do if this girl was your own daughter? Would you expect her to go and sleep elsewhere right now?

I don't think you would. You would manage because you have to. You shouldn't treat your SD any differently.

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:46

Sorry but do suck it up. Your mil might want a break too.

JustinBsMum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:40:08

Mountain out of molehill imv.

Just say sorry MIL, will def look after SD next time but just too much on this time with new baby etc

redskynight Thu 28-Mar-13 16:42:28

YAB - totally - U.
She is part of your family unit, and at 10 years old hardly needs lots of caring for.

MidnightMasquerader Thu 28-Mar-13 16:42:53

To be fair, when we second-time Mums are dealing with newborns and older children, we've been through the newborn phase before and are experienced, old hands at it all.

This is all new for the OP. Plus her baby was prem and she has work on.

A bit of empathy for her might be nice, despite this being AIBU...

Have the SD to stay overnight when things have settled down a bit.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:44:51

And sorry I wouldnt usually justify myself but feel I have to

I DO see her as part of my family.

My family all buy her presents and my parents treat her like a grand daughter.

I go shopping for her xmas and birthday presents every year by myself

I have been doing activities with sd to try and repair the damage her mothers comments have done but she is still very distant

Oh and the puppy was not meant to be a permanant member of the household but just grew on us smile

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:46:02

Could you maybe ask your MIL to come over to help out in the daytime while her grand-daughter is there?

If you just remind her that you've got a new baby and are struggling and would be grateful for help, do you have the sort of relationship where it would be nice if she came and helped out in the daytime while SD is there (or would that actually not be a very nice experience)?

If you don't have a very close relationship with your SD, your MIL might be helpful in providing ideas as to how you can get her involved - being responsible for feeding the dog, or taking it for a walk or whatever.

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 16:47:51

What Squitten said. If you can cope with the puppy which you chose to purchase then you can cope with your SD who should be far more important and much less hassle than a puppy which it has to be tends to be as hard as raising a baby.

ParadiseChick Thu 28-Mar-13 16:49:52

Sorry yabu, she's ten not two, she won't be demanding your undivided attention

SomethingProfound Thu 28-Mar-13 16:50:10

If you don't want to deal with a SC then dont begin a relationship with a man who has children.

But you have so deal with it! It is not SD fault you are finding it tough dont exclude her because you can't cope!! angry

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:51:02

Sorry thought I had mentioned that in first post

sd is not happy with the arrangement either. She only wants to stay the night when her dad is here

mil is retired and usually always wants sd to stop with them so she gets to see her cousins who live nearby

so not sure why she suddenly wants to change it

Bloody brilliant being a stepmother isn't it, getting to choose when a child you are supposed to love as your own is allowed to stay or not!!! hmm

Seriously, she's not a bloody dog who you get to decide not to have. She is a little girl with feelings. Those of being bloody rejected now no doubt.

When I married DH, if he had told me that I need to find alternative care for DD when I not around I would have told him to pack his bags and fuck off.

weegiemum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:52:40

I don't get the puppy thing at all. Why would you get a new puppy when a new baby was almost due?

I was 14 (so a bit older) when my mother had a new baby with the OM she'd left us for (we stayed with Dad). The contact really dropped off - and we weren't her step children, she was our actual mother. Just one of he many things that means I don't ever see her or speak to her ...

EggyFucker Thu 28-Mar-13 16:53:13

Your MIL has realised that she is letting you and her son right off the hook of your responsibilities, that is why she wants to change things and I agree with her

SomethingProfound Thu 28-Mar-13 16:53:23

Have you considered she does not want to be there with out her Dad as she feel unwanted and unwelcome.

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


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.

MrsDeVere Thu 28-Mar-13 17:20:47

I think people are being harsh.
If SD was your birth child I doubt if anyone would get annoyed at you sending her to stay at GPs whilst you dealt with a refluxy baby and a painful C-section scar.

You would be told that you needed the break and you should absolutely take it!

However, SD is not your birth child and you will need to be very careful that your actions are not interpreted as being a rejection of her by her or her family (or half of MN it seems).

Fair or not, you are going to have to make that extra effort to ensure that this does not happen.

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 17:24:12

I don't think there's anything wrong with her going off to see her gran and her cousins.

I just don't think it should happen every single time her dad works overnight and be automatically timed to tally with that because it sends the wrong message.

VanitasVanitatum Thu 28-Mar-13 17:25:27

It doesn't sound like you are being unreasonable, but it might be worth trying it just this once, even though it is difficult timing. You will need to show your sd at some point that her mum is not right in the things she has said about you. Whilst she has said she wants to stay at her grandma's, that may be because of the things she has been told about you, so some time with you and her and the baby may be a good thing to clear the air, show her she is loved by you, although I'm sure you do show her that.

Obviously it's not ideal with your project work, but maybe dh could take her out sometime to give you some space to do your work.

I used to love spending time with my sd's by myself, establishing our relationship, we did a lot of crafts etc, or snuggled up with a girly film and popcorn.

ApocalypseThen Thu 28-Mar-13 17:29:19

I think though, OP, you need to stop seeing yourself as a victim of the mother and now the granny. You're a grownup. The one who is suffering here is your stepdaughter.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:32:23

I have enjoyed making cookies with her etc smile

I will be asking her if next time she wants to stay with me and go to nans one night when her dad isnt at work.

On the other hand I have Mil on the phone calling me the scum of the earth.

(she has a habit of downing sherry and being vile)

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 17:32:27

I thought the MN consensus was that parents do the parenting and step parents back off? Your husband should reorganise his shifts so that he is there when his daughter is or he should reorganise his contact so that it falls on the times he's not working. Nothing to do with you OP , you parent your child, his daughter's parents should parent her.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 17:34:20

OP you are not a horrible person at all. I hope whatever the outcome you have a good night with as little stress as possible!

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:37:54

Thankyou smile

EggyFucker Thu 28-Mar-13 17:40:15

Are you drip feeding, dude?

You originally said MIL was "cool" with you

Now she is calling you scum of the earth

Which is it ?

2rebecca Thu 28-Mar-13 17:40:41

If MIL has a habit of downing sherry and being vile then I definitely think you should have stepdaughter. Often the more time you spend with kids the more comfortable they are with you as well.
I appreciate you are tired but I'd say yes and have her, it's not like she's a hyperactive toddler, by 10 they can usually entertain themselves quite a bit and sleep better.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:42:55

Sorry but at no point have I said mil is cool with me 'dude'

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 17:44:34

If your MIL spends her time getting drunk and being abusive then you need to be having your SD and not letting her care for her for SD's safety.

FrauMoose Thu 28-Mar-13 17:45:30

There's a lot of talk about Disney Dads. I am just wondering if there is such a thing a Disney stepmum. I think this what I had anticipated being at first. (Being a stepmother would be such fun. We'd go sledging and make pancakes!) However occasions like the first time that my partner was unavoidably delayed at work, so I had to oversee baths, read stories, get kids ready for bed meant I became less of a Disney stepmum. The second time, when I had to change wet bedding after a daytime 'accident' involving a ill child, Disney stepmum just vanished for good.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:50:21

Oh she doesnt get drunk all the time

she can just be a mean old bag lady when she does

Didnt get anywhere on the phone with her so just hung up until she is sober. Dp said she will remember all the nice things I do for sd in the morning and apologise

( I doubt it)

KindleMum Thu 28-Mar-13 17:52:09

YANBU. She isn't your child and you don't actually get the "right" to treat her as yours and likewise you don't have the same responsibilities. And as you bond with her you will doubtless get hurt at points because your DH and his ex will pull out the "it's nothing to do with you, she's not your child" card. It happens to the best of step-parents. And essentially your relationship with her would cease if you and her dad split up. I have friends who often have sole care of their stepkids because their dads seem to think they can just disappear on contact weekends and it's a nightmare - the real mum often objects and causes problems and encourages the child to break rules/disobey etc. It mainly seems to result in 3 grumpy adults and one grumpy child. Is the child's mother actually Ok with you having her daughter overnight without the dad?

I'd question the MIL's motives. It sounds like she has an issue with the amount of childcare she's providing and instead of discussing it rationally with her son, she's decided to take it out on you. Or possibly that she's deliberately trying to make things difficult for you at the moment for whatever reason (does she think you fussed too much over prem delivery, or prefer his ex-wife or blame you for something else? Didn't want you to have a child?). If she is really being so rude to you about this, that is entirely unreasonable. Why is she doing this right now?

I don't think there's anything wrong with you wanting to focus on your own needs and those of your baby. It doesn't sound like you plan to exclude your SD in the longer term, that would be wrong. Good luck to you in resolving this and dealing with your MIL.

EggyFucker Thu 28-Mar-13 17:55:38

My said MIL was snotty with you

Which is a bit different to calling you scum of the earth, no ?

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 17:58:21

Im not sure MIL has always been a bit passive aggressive with me but it does seem to have stepped up a notch since the pregnancy

And hell no sd's mum would freak if she knew I would be having sd by myself

As ive said before she hates me for some.unknown reason. She has sent threatening messages on facebook etc.

P.s I have never met her and came on the scene years after her and dp had split.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Thu 28-Mar-13 17:58:37

I actually can't decide if YABU or not. I definitely don't think you deserve any sort of flaming, although the details you've added in subsequent posts would have been more useful in the OP. Drip-feeding isn't well received in here.

So... your baby dd was born 5 weeks early; you've been home from hospital for 2 weeks and are still suffering with an infected c-section wound. I think that affords you the right to dictate what you feel you can and can't cope with, regardless of who else thinks they would manage the same situation better/differently.

Your MIL sounds like a PITA to be honest. Her timing is more than a little hmm -worthy.

EggyFucker Thu 28-Mar-13 18:02:35

All these women in this man's life hating each other

And what is this girl's father doing about all this bad feeling?

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:03:25

Sorry didn't mean to drip feed.

I was trying to keep the length down on the op ( all the details would require me going on for pages!)

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:04:14

OP if you take on a partner with kids already you take all that goes with it. That means your stepdaughter too. I feel sorry for the little mite. What if god forbid something happened to her mother and your SD had to move in with you full time?

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:06:25

Dp actually was going to intervene on this one and I asked him not to.

Mil has a history of really upsetting/emotionally blackmailing dp which I put a stop to.

Mil has been passive aggressive for ages and feel its time to confront her and get it out in the open ( not in op as didnt think it relevant)

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:08:52

If sd lived with us full time there would be no problem as she would have settled in and realised her mum was not being truthful about me by now.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:09:40

I think you should have her. You are going to create a rod for your own back if you don't as it sends a very negative message.

Smudging Thu 28-Mar-13 18:12:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:14:20

Does it send a negative message if sd has been asked if she wants and says no?

I can assure you she recieves no hostility from me. The opposite infact i am sure she is sick of me making an over the top effort.

The question was never whether i was pushing sd out of the family.

It was aibu for not wanting to suddenly change a long standing arrangement at a very bad time and asking to just take a rain check on it once.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:16:57

Major overreactions, the op is not saying she does no want dsd to stay at all and does not want her round hmm, just not this moment in time. You lot should take your own advice and try a little empathy. The op is a first time mum (you all kno ho hard that is), her lo was premature and is not too well right now and she has college work. Sd sounds like a handful, not all 10 year olds are easy and compliant hmm. Mabey you could do part of the holiday or have her stay fr a few days or a week. Two weeks sounds like a long time to be away from mum, I know that I would not like dd away from me fr 2 weeks

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:17:41

Smudging I am fast learning that fact haha

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 18:18:06

As usual on AIBU OP you received the default, knee-jerk flaming from some posters here.

My son, at 10, wasn't one of those children who routinely helped around the house of his own volition, but at times he really could (and can) step up to the plate. Your stepdaughter is not a little girl really any more and I'm quite sure that she would actually enjoy being a help rather than a hindrance.

She's plenty old enough to sort you out with a drink and a sarnie whilst you BF, to wash up, perhaps even cook dinner (ds cooked steak and chips for his friends at sleepovers at that age).

In essence, rather than think that you'll have to run around after her, think of how much she'll enjoy being treated as a mature, contributing member of your family.

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 18:19:24

Goodness he even went to bed without a fuss when I was poorly grin

Would she not be of help to you? At 10 I would think she would want to help a lot with the baby and you could get her to help around the house for some pocket money?

My dd1 is almost 10 and is a massive help around the house (when she wants to be hmm). DSD was 10 when dd1 was born and she was brilliant, wanted to change her nappy, feed her (she was bottlefed), held her so I could eat/shower/have a rest. She lived with us though so I'm not sure if that made the transition a lot easier.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:20:57

Sorry Piglet but you can't do the "just not at this time" in my book.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 28-Mar-13 18:21:16

It's a bad habit that you have gotten into. Never having DSD on your own has created a "thing" now.

You need to stop this...asap. I DO get that with a brand new baby and work to do, this time is not the best but you need to change the way DSD is treated by you as soon as possible.

Roseformeplease Thu 28-Mar-13 18:21:36

She is 10. What kind of "Looking after" does she need? Watch TV with her, chat to her, feed her and make sure she gets to bed on time after washing / doing teeth. She should do everything for herself, really, and might even be a help. She can watch the baby while you do some work or whatever. At 10 she is old enough to understand your needs and the baby's needs. You, however, don't seem to care very much about HER needs.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:22:54

Well not all 10 year olds are like that when I was 10 I was very immature for my age and would be very hyper and hard work. Nowadays would I wash up or help, developmentally I was mre like a 6 year old. The dsd sounds lik she des need a lot of supervision and input

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:23:44

Compromise clipped, have dsd for part of the holiday

DeskPlanner Thu 28-Mar-13 18:24:01

In the circumstances, you are not being unreasonable. You certainly don't deserve all the crap your getting. Congratulations on your new baby btw.

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 18:24:23

This longstanding arrangement with your mil isn't going to work this time. You and your DH has to make other arrangements. Either your DH doesn't go to work or get other babysitting in place.

That's what parents do

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:25:45

I presume tat dsd wants to see her dad and spend time with him not just step mum, mabey he could try and get some leave

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:00

It's not fair that dsd would be in the gp house with her sternum and baby, the dad should step up and make some time for his dd, nobody is criticising him hmm

I still don't understand why you can't have her for one overnight - you need to break the habit of thinking she is optional and another thing i your list that you can't cope with,
Suck it up.
Start putting the children's interests first. Get your partner to speak to her mum. Involve your sd in your life, and like another poster said, the domesticity of it - the baby crying in the night, you complaining you get no sleep, deciding what to watch on tv, complaining about the pile of ironing, who is doing the dishes etc.

Having a stepchild is not about idealized weekends and visits, baking cookies and then shipping back to grandmas.

Jeez....I feel so sorry for the little girl. YABVU

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:31

Meant step mum doh

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:42

Good idea! Problem solved. Dh takes parental leave. That's what parents do.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:51

The child is not something to be compromised over surely. If the child wanted to stay with me with or without the father. The door would be permanently open to her. I wouldn't give a stuff what the MIL said. In fact she wouldn't be able to say anything then would she.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:32:28

Clipped what about te dad why don't you get into the dads case. Yes when I had my first I was a wreck, pnd, in a parallel universe, house a mess bf going badly, colicky baby, i would have been pushed over te edge having to look after another child alone. The op partner should make time GeForce his dd nobody blaming him

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 18:34:03

Reading back some of te posts here some people are really awful

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 18:34:10

You may not WANT to change the arrangement, OP, but it sounds like you don't have an awful lot of choice in the matter! What are you suggesting - that you should be able to force your MIL to provide accomodation whether she likes it or not?

She said no. So SD stays with you. That's it really

whois Thu 28-Mar-13 18:35:59

At 10 I would no fucking way have helped looked after a baby. I might have got you a cup of tea or made you a sarnie, but I wouldn't have cooked you dinner.

I would have sat quietly with a book or watched TV tho.

If I was SD I would much rather go off to grans for a night of undivided attention than be made to help look after a baby with a stressed step mother.

WTF is all this '10 year old girls love babies'
Nice bit of gender stereotyping there!

These threads are always so full of bull shit. Damned if you do (try and be her mum) and dammed if you don't.

I can see next weeks AIBU: "XH left my daughter with his girlfriend when he wasn't there and I don't know her. She could have gone to her grans. XH's woman has just had a new baby and made DD watch the baby while she was doing college work and then DD had to make her own dinner"

mumofweeboys Thu 28-Mar-13 18:36:41


Had a skim through your posts. I was thinking perhaps mil reckonised the damage the ex has done to the relationship with sd and was trying to help rebuild it but perhaps not if she is be passive aggressive.

My friend is in similar position and is really struggling with her new baby and finds having sd very daunting as she just isnt used to it.

How about a compromise? Let sd stay for night if dad on night shift but ask if mil could take her in the morning as you are struggling with the baby.

Donnadoon Thu 28-Mar-13 18:38:55

Sorry but why exactly don't these step mums get used to their step kids before having a child themselves then?

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Thu 28-Mar-13 18:44:18

Are we supposed to trial run other people's children before being allowed any of our own now?

Fuck me, I did NOT get that memo.

Donnadoon Thu 28-Mar-13 18:45:27

No just your boyfriends confused

acceptableinthe80s Thu 28-Mar-13 18:46:06

Isn't the whole point of contact with a NRP just that, contact with NRP? If the father isn't there what exactly is the point of the SD staying over? Fair enough if she already spent x nights a week at her fathers and he just happens to be working one night but that doesn't appear to be the case here. I don't actually think it's very fair to expect a new mum to have a step child overnight when the father isn't around and she has a poorly newborn.

PearlyWhites Thu 28-Mar-13 18:47:14

Sorry but yes yabu she is your dh daughter just the same as your baby and should have the same rights to sleep in his house. She is a little girl who needs to feel secure and loved not " in the way"

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Thu 28-Mar-13 18:48:40

Okay - I can see two sides to this, - I can see that OP is having a hard time with work load, new baby etc and to suddenly be expected to look after her stepdaughter alone,... but

Once officially 'with' a partner who had children, with enough to have a child together I would not be surprised that responsibility shifted from grandmother to myself.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:48:46

The dad is working night shift isn't he? But that's besides the point. As stated above when you take on a partner with a child you taken on the whole lot. That should be the childs home now just as much as the one with her mother. If the child wanted to stay with me rather than anyone else I'd be bloody honoured to be honest.

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 18:50:56

It's his contact night. Should nrps only have the children when they are available? He's an equal parent. It's his contact night. He either doesn't go to work or find other arrangements. His mother can't won't have his daughter overnight that night.

Dad should be a parent and find a solution

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 18:55:07

Seems to me op and her DH takes it for granted that the mil would always have DSD when dh works overnight. She doesn't want to do it all the time anymore.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:16

So what if its "his" contact night. They are married and that to me means they are equal parents to both children. If dad can't get the shift off (being Easter) then of course the other should step in a say a big yes. Even let's say the dad is shirking his responsibilites then I'd still have the child regardless. It just wouldn't be an issue or need compromise. We are talking about a little girl here.

ArtVandelay Thu 28-Mar-13 18:58:49

I haven't read the whole thread but on viewing your Op I think it will be okay. She'll be good help with the puppy if nothing else and I think it will bring you closer.

I have had my steps alone with me and a new baby and I don't speak their language too well so I understand feeling a bit awkward! It could be the start of something great so just give it a try! Good luck x

Hissy Thu 28-Mar-13 19:03:47

Oh FFS, have people started to actually read the thread yet?

OP has prem baby, with reflux, 5 weeks ago and Isa struggling with CS infection iirc.

The SD is old enough to say that she'd prefer - on the nights when her dad isn't there - to stay with her gran.

She's said this.

The SD does stay at OP home when her dad's there.

The SD is old enough to have all the stuff explained, and to be reassured and understand it all.

what I want to know is why laughing boy DP is allowing his ex to make threats to the OP, his own mother scream/shout abuse at the OP, and what's more doesn't get his own DD's birthday/Christmas gifts. He doesn't sound much of a man at all.

Why is he not solving this situation?, why is he getting to spectate all this while people trear into the mother of his youngest child? Why is he not taking charge by talking to his DD, and his mother about the fact that this time's a rain check, but that plans will be made for the next time.

He sounds wet, weak and a bit of a prat.

Dadthelion Thu 28-Mar-13 19:05:26

To help the daughter be accepted in the family, she should move in with the stepmum and her dad full time.

And the mum can be the non resident parent.

This would be less confusing for the puppy as well.
I notice no one is concerned about the puppy's feelings.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:08:00

Regardless of what the man is doing whether he's an arse or not, she picked him. If I took on another child they would be welcome whenever. Not just when it suited me.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 19:12:44

Not everyone is like you clipped sounds likeop is struggling right now. Would you say thatclipped if you had a poorly premature mother, new mum struggling to cope with an infected section.

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 19:13:05

DSD prefers to stay at her grandmother. However, this time grandmother can't accommodate her wishes. Op and her DH will just have to figure something else. Maybe they can hire a night nanny for dsd

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 19:13:54

Meant baby not mother

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:14:56

The child is 10 piglet not 2 or 3.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:18:45

If i were 10 and my stepmum said i couldn't stay i wouldn't like her very much to be honest.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 19:19:22

I know but op said she is quite hard work and very hyper so needs a lot of input

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 19:21:37

Have you read hissy thread dsd only want to stay if dads around which is not surprising as he is her parent.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:24:11

No wonder she's rather unsettled, the poor girl. Doesn't sound like she has such a good life with any of them wanting to pass her off.

How sad is that?

maddening Thu 28-Mar-13 19:25:20

Can you ask mil to come round as well and have a " girly " night all three of you plus baby? Maybe have a chance of trying it out with mil there to deal with sd?

ArtVandelay Thu 28-Mar-13 19:25:53

Ok Hissy! Then if the girl wants to stay with Granma then she should. Sounds like Granma is trying to pass the buck.

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 19:26:11

Op should ask her mother to come and stay over for a couple days if her DH can't take time off work

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:27:44

She probably only wants to stay if dads around due to knowing the OP doesn't want too much involvement.

Children know these things, they have an inbuilt sense of it.

My ex had kids that would rather be with me than anyone. I was honoured and am still in touch with them.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:33:22

How long have you been with your husband OP?

I'm guessing a few years?

seriouscakeeater Thu 28-Mar-13 19:39:20

If the op had been about her wanting SD to stay over, there would have been shouts of "your not even her sm, just want to take mothers place,she is not your child...."
The minute any one posts about sc on AIBU the knifes are out!
op how does SD mother feel? What does DP say?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:40:43

How often would you have been asked to look after a 10 year old stepdaughter? a couple of nights a month maybe?

I am sorry that you are having a hard time with a prem baby but it doesn't seem that you made an effort before this.

Phineyj Thu 28-Mar-13 19:42:04

I am at loss to see why this is considered the OP's problem and not her DP's to sort out!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:45:10

Because the child should be able to stay at her second home regardless.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 19:51:23

ClippedPhoenix most children don't get to stay at home regardless when their parents are working, they go to whatever childcare the parent has organised.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:54:24

If the other parent is there they do.

As stated up-thread, you take on someone with a child then you take on their children wholeheartedly as if they are your own, no if's or buts.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:55:08

or don't do it....

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 19:57:18

Nt necessarily clipped.

IneedAgoldenNickname Thu 28-Mar-13 19:58:30

I'm in 2 minds about this tbh.

I'm a single Mum to 2 boys aged 8 and 6, ex lives with his pg gf who has dd 13, and ds 9. (they met in September, moved in together the next week, got pg in Nov)

When they moved in together, my ds' started sleeping over, I wasn't happy spot out as I thought it was too soon, but they seemed happy enough, which is my main concern! Then DS1 told me that Daddy goes to work when they're there. I was a bit unsure to start with, but then if I was living with some one, I'd probably leave them with the DC while I worked.

Then they stopped being able to go and stay, as the gf has had sickness with the pg, and 'didn't feel up to having them' now to me, that's not really an excuse, when I'm sick I still have them. They both (DS1 especially) now feel that her DC are more important than them sad

But OP, your situation is more than just sickness, and I don't know what to think!

<picks splinters out of backside>

Awomansworth Thu 28-Mar-13 19:59:16

Not read the whole thread.

YABVU - If you decide to start a relationship with someone with children from another relationship, you do so accepting that said child/children will always be part of the family.

Ask yourself how you would feel if you and your dh separated and his new partner felt this way about your child!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 19:59:38

child/children obviously.

I'm a huge advocate of children coming first. Break ups and second marriages are not the childs fault.

I feel that the child in this case is unsettled due to the "adults" making their own selfish choices.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 20:00:07

Op is not the child's mother but ancillary to the father, her father is her actual parent so of course she wants to send time with him not stepmum

seriouscakeeater Thu 28-Mar-13 20:01:02

Step parents are HATED on here nothing you could possibly say could ever win OP
The only person you need to talk to is dp and SD. She might not even want to stay if her dad isn't there. What about taking her for lunch out do some girlie stuff then take to MIL later on till u both feel close enough for over night stays. I wouldn't have wanted my dd to stay with a sm they wasn't close enough.
Good luck with the new baby,course work and bf flowers

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:02:22

But the OP isn't this child's parent. The way I see it is the DP has asked the OP to look after his child, she is unwell and has her own new born so doesn't feel able to do it at the minute.How is that unreasonable? Am I missing something? Surely it his responsibility to find childcare?

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 20:03:42

I am nt in op situation I am not a sm to any Chidren, bu I would n like to replace the mother but be li a friend sort of role. Of course step children should be allowed to stay whatever but I can also empathise with op situation

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:04:24

If I separated from my husband I would never expect his new partner to take care of my children, alone, especially when she is recovering from major surgery.

ThePoorMansBeckySharp Thu 28-Mar-13 20:04:47

I think you, your DH and your MIL need to get together and talk about how this arrangement is going to work. I cannot understand why this is between you and your MIL? Your DH is the girl's parent!

Can I gently point out that this was a bit of a silly time to find yourself unexpectedly adopting a puppy, no matter how cute it was?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 20:05:03

What's with all this ancillary? children are children surely.

I split with my childs father when my DS was tiny and I'm soo glad that his choice of partner adored my son. I wasn't threatened by it at all. He had a mum away from mum. I can't thank her enough!

KayHunt Thu 28-Mar-13 20:05:24

SD needs to be made to feel part of the family She probably is feeling a bit overwhelmed and worried that she may be loved less.

I personally would have her overnight- I say this as a step parent and mother (of refluxy, never sleeping babies).

If you feel you would struggle could you compromise and ask MIL to help with bedtime a little (take your LO so you can settle SD).

It is so important that SD is involved in your family as she is your family

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 20:06:39

The op is ancillary the girls father is her actual parent

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 20:12:25

So what piglet? She has chosen to take on a daughter as well as a partner in my eyes. But hey, I love children anyway, no matter who they belong to.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:15:03

ClippedPhoenix I think it's great that you, your ex and his partner all are able to collectively parent your son. He's a lucky little boy. However, from my experience and from reading these boards most women don't want Stepmothers to take on their children as their own. Most women are very clear on the fact that their children have 2 parents and stepparents are certainly not included in parenting decisions, rights or responsibilities.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:15:26

only read OP but if you have new baby / reflux /caesarean pain your DP should be finding ways to make life easier for you. It's his issue to sort out - if you have never looked after SD on her own until now, now is not the time for you to take that on.

Completely agree that SD comes first but DP needs to sort it, not you. In the long run you want to work towards a situation where you are totally at ease with this but not 5 weeks after birth.

seriouscakeeater Thu 28-Mar-13 20:18:48

bruthas couldn't have put it better myself .

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:18:51

That's great Clipped, but I don't think it's the only model for successful stepfamilies.

I haven't taken my DSS 'on as my own', but we have a nice relationship and everyone in both families gets on well. I don't think DSS wants or needs me to be a second mother to him, I feel much more like an aunt or something.

Admittedly I haven't had any children of my own yet, I think it will be a challenge to get things right if/when that happens. As OP is trying to do at the moment.

mumandboys123 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:21:19

I don't get in these situations how the rest of us with multiple children cope? I have three - the last one on my own as my ex had walked out on me. I've managed to complete a teacher training course with three children under 8 and all that entails. My ex is around, but isn't reliable. I didn't have the choice of sending my children away when the youngest was born.

Whilst I accept step mothers can't do right for doing wrong, a child needs to feel equal in their parent's eyes and it's hard enough in 'together' families to achieve that when a baby is born. Missing out on time in dad's home sends a negative message, particularly to a young child who will struggle to understand and rationalise what they might be feeling (an older child could understand that the baby wasn't more important but that its needs and those of mum would perhaps take precedence for a few weeks).

OP - you need to examine your motives and in doing so be totally honest with yourself. If you are unwell, tired, trying to keep up with college work then perhaps missing a week is OK. But if you're OK and just looking for some 'space', you perhaps need to re-think? Just my opinion.

I had a a prem baby.

Who had reflux

OK I didn't have a section, but I did have a very sore undercarriage. And three other children.

I couldn't just ship them off somewhere else. And my ex had the sort of job that took him abroad - he went to Singapore for 18 days when she was 3 weeks and when she was 10 days old my DS1 went in to have his tonsils out.

Sorry but I don't buy the "well I had a baby and it's hard" line.

It's a piece of nonsense.

And that's not a dig because of the OP being a stepmother, it's a dig because she's being pathetic. And using having a baby as an excuse not to keep her DSD. Which she should have been doing all along for months.

And if the MIL really was that much of a drunk and that plastered on a regular basis then DH needs to step up and tell her she's not having DSD because she gets steaming drunk.

And putting DSD below a fucking puppy (and I love my dog to pieces) is utterly totally wrong.

uptherear Thu 28-Mar-13 20:22:49

Agree with prev poster who said now is not the time for this to be an issue. Dh needs to sort this out. Maybe he can have a word with mil.

My ds is from a previous marriage. His dad has a new partner and they have two kids together. I don't see my ds as her responsibilty. Infact during the holiday visit I have agreed with my exh that our ds spend time at his paternsl grandparents rather than with his partner and the two little ones. My ds would be bored ridgid and i am sure she has enough on her plate without my ds in the equation. Ds is not her responsibilty imo.

And if the ex wife doesn't want the OP to keep the DSD overnight, and that's the real reason she's been getting shipped to MIL, then DSD stays at her mum's on those nights. Or if there is court ordered contact in place, then it's up to DH to decide who keeps her when he's working.

MammaTJ Thu 28-Mar-13 20:24:46

I gave birth to DD1 when DStD was 11. I did everything I could to have her at our house!!

I don't get how you could love and be in a relationship with someone and not also love their child.

Not read anything other than the OP so don't know if I am going against the grain but actually feel so strongly about this that I do not give a flying fuck!!

firesideskirt Thu 28-Mar-13 20:24:52

Your DP should ask his daughter. "When I work late would you rather stay at Granny's or stay with Looking". If she'd rather be with you I would make the effort to do it SOMETIMES given all you have on.
MIL sounds lazy actually. You'd think she'd be keen to see her granddaughter.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:26:08

mumandboys123 I think it's very different parenting your own children than parenting your stepchildren. We, as mothers, normally have time to grow into our roles, we establish our own routines, we can effectively discipline our children with no fear of being accused of "hating " them, we rarely have to defer to anyone else. I know I find that I'm much more secure in the knowledge that what I'm doing is "right" with my younger children than I was with my first but that only came with experience.

And, you know, there's nothing wrong with saying to DSD "well I know you want to go and see your cousins but that's not happening this week." No isn't a dirty word.

ThePoorMansBeckySharp Thu 28-Mar-13 20:26:20

MIL sounds lazy???

expatinscotland Thu 28-Mar-13 20:28:48

How can she be your MIL when you are not married?

'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'

That's what NO is for. Guess it's easy enough when it comes to your partner's child, though. hmm

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

Perhaps not, but he's a wet girl's blouse and a prat of the highest order for foisting his child off on his mother whenever he has to work overnight in his contact time rather than presenting himself and his child as a single unit, non-negotiable to any partners or women in his life. She was a mug for putting up with it, I'd tell my son where to go if he treated his child like that, and now she's going to make it stop. Quite right. Maybe she's tired and embarrassed at what a selfish git she raised.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:29:44

Freddie I think that's the first time in MN history that woman recovering from a CS, with an infected wound, a premie baby and a DP who isn't pulling his weight re. childcare has been called "pathetic". Well done.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:30:22

ok I'm going to play thread bingo here. I 've had the prem baby, the reflux, the caesarean and am a lone parent of two so have done the new baby alone and the new baby and the older child alone. I'm also a stepdaughter. So I think I can really see all sides of this.

As I said before OP should be working towards this but DP needs to facilitate it and make it ok. It won't be ok when she's still working towards being confident of managing her new baby alone. SD won't feel fully accepted in the new environment unless DP makes that happen - OP has to take her lead from him. She may dread doing it but I'm sure she will do it for the good of the family - but unfair to say this is her failing.

Jemma1111 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:30:51

Op, women the world over manage to look after a newborn and other children at the same time quite easily. Many even have a puppy to contend with too, and still they manage!

Oh and believe it or not if need be these women could also juggle college work aswell. It looks not so much like you can't cope with your dsd but that you DON'T WANT to cope. Stop the me me me attitude and think how pushed out you will be making that poor liitle girl feel if you continue to moan.

Well, she's not so sick she can't prioritise her puppy and her "projects" is she?

ThePoorMansBeckySharp Thu 28-Mar-13 20:31:20

Sorry but I agree with expat.

I think you need to be a bit more honest with yourself here.

"I didn't mean to adopt a puppy but he was so gosh-darn cute I did anyway but now it turns out I've just got too much on my plate for my step-daughter to stay here."

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:32:57

I get that lots of mothers have to deal with their own older children + young baby when they are still recovering from giving birth.

But I definitely think it would be harder to do this as a stepmum, trying to get used to the fact that you are suddenly a mother and being responsible for a tiny baby, PLUS negotiating a delicate relationship with a child who is not yours, and who you simply don't have that massive and permanent, all-consuming attachment of parental love for. That you presumably are feeling for your new baby.

I really admire step parents who genuinely love their stepchildren, certainly if they love them as much as if they were their own. But in my experience you can't just 'fall in love' with your stepchildren at will, much as you might feel you should.

Anyway, you could say all the of the above is even more reason for OP to start dealing immediately with the obvious imbalance between the relationship between herself and her new baby, and herself and her stepdaughter. I think it's possibly true, but I'm not totally convinced it has to happen right now this week. OP has said she isn't objecting to overnights in general, just this one.

Strawberries - they were looking after the puppy for someone else, who eventually decided they didn't want it any more and just left it with the OP and her family, IIRC.

ThePoorMansBeckySharp Thu 28-Mar-13 20:33:50

And your DH needs to sort this out!!!

Drunk granny or unwilling stepmother,poor child!

Well, river, she had 8 months when she was pregnant to involve her DSD and change the status quo of foisting off on her MIL to "play with her cousins" didn't she?

Well, sort of DSD and sort of MIL since he's only a DP. But you get my drift.

Viviennemary Thu 28-Mar-13 20:34:49

I haven't read the whole thread but could you not just have her for three or four days. Because it is reasonable that you are tired at the moment and getting used to a new baby. Not to mention your course work and so on. And she is 10 so should be able to help and probably would want to.

And you know what? I read the op. And then when the thread wasn't going the right way it was drip drip drip.

I'm out.

Startail Thu 28-Mar-13 20:37:56

She's 10! At 10 both my DDs were quite capable if sorting themselves out for bed and getting themselves breakfast in the morning.

10 year olds can switch on the TV, work the disc recorder while you feed and entertain the baby in between.

It's not like having a toddler to stay.

MammaTJ Thu 28-Mar-13 20:39:04

*To clarify myself and sd were close but when her mum got wind of this she started saying horrible things to sd about me that she told her dad i.e I would hate her and take daddy away sad

Since we dont get to see her often i havent had much chance to persuade her this isnt true*

You need to a) have her more often and b) have a similar chat to the one I had with my DStD 'I love your Dad and I love you too, we are a family and it is nice to all spend time together but if ever you just want a bit of Daddy time, just let me know and it will be ok'.

That will give her permission to do so while making her mum out to be a liar, without actually saying it.

I had similar poison dripped in to my StD ear including 'the baby won't be my real brother ot sister, it will only be my half brother or sister', which got a 'well it is the only brother or sister you are likely to have, so make your choice, do you want to be 'half' or 'full' neither of you is half a person'.


riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:41:16

From what the OP said, she has been working on her relationship with DSD, but they haven't been able to have her very often in the last few months - I believe due to the issues with DSD's DM? If I have understood correctly.

seriouscakeeater Thu 28-Mar-13 20:42:33

wouldnt it be nice if all step parents and sc feel in love with each other on first site! Some of you guys are just angels/saints! grin how do you do it???????
I would not expect another woman to look after my child if dp wasnt there. She is not there responsibilty. She is the mothers and DP, which frequently gets shouted if a sp tries to make a impact on the dc.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:43:26

riverboat is right. I'm still close to my stepmother 40 years after she came into my life but it was not her job to make things right for us at my father's house. It was my father's job. I actually would have felt very strange staying over at my dad's without my dad being there. These things can take a long time. It's not at all the same as me looking after my two DCs on my own.

If I came by a stepchild somehow (very unlikely as I never leave my front room) I like to think I would do it well and over time we would come to be as close as I now am to my stepmother but it took us decades. A stepmother's job is sometimes just to not get in the way of the parent/child relationship and that must be bloody hard in itself. Sometimes a stepparent does a whole lot more than that but sometimes they really do just have to facilitate someone else's relationship and that sounds hard.

Losingexcessweight Thu 28-Mar-13 20:43:28


You are definitely not being unreasonable.

dietcokeandwine Thu 28-Mar-13 20:43:49

I haven't read the whole thread in its entirety but the one thing I would say in response to everyone saying things like 'other people manage to look after a newborn and other children quite easily' is...the OP's newborn is her first child. OK, she has a stepdaughter, but in terms of parenting experience with a baby she's a first-time mum, with a difficult baby in terms of prem/reflux etc. And let's face it for the majority of people, getting on with things after having a first baby is a COMPLETELY different ballgame to doing the same after your second/third/fourth, isn't it?

Just my opinion, but I don't think it's entirely fair to compare the experience of someone coping with older children + newborn when they've had a baby before, to someone coping with older children + newborn when this is the first time they've ever had a baby to care for...

Completely agree re comments about the puppy though.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:44:51

This is an honest question, could someone please direct me to the post in which the OP states she never wants to look after her SD on her own? My reading of the thread is that the OP is unwell, her newborn is unwell and she doesn't feel able for it at the minute. I still can't see the unreasonableness is that.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 20:45:20

I love my SD, but nowhere near as much as I love my own children. Nowhere even close. I am very fond of her, and see myself as a friend and someone for her to turn to whenever she needs me. But I cannot force myself to love her.

I would always have her on my own if I had to, because we have a fantastic friendship and relationship. I have known her for 4 years and I am a very consistent figure in her life. That's why it would be easy for me to look after her. I know her likes, her dislikes, her personality traits good and bad, I know her routines, she will listen to me when I tell her it's time for tea or time for bed, she'll do as she's told and we both respect each other.

In OP's case, she doesn't have that same relationship with her SD. It has been spoiled by the girl's mum and the OP has tried to rectify this but the girl is still very distant. Try dealing with that, whilst looking after a small baby and recovering from an infected c section.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 20:48:12

"stepparents are certainly not included in parenting decisions, rights or responsibilities"

ummm when did i say that

Who said anything about rights here? Btortoise? wouldn't you relish the fact that the child was being loved by another other than yourself when you weren't around?

I chose a mother figure as a childminder for my son also and they adored each other (still do). I dropped him off in the morning and he ran to her. I went to work every day with a happy heart knowing my son was very cared for.

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:53:50

drjohnsonscat - from a personal point of view, that is really nice to hear. I feel that my relationship with DSS is getting better and better all the time, and I really hope that 40 years from now we'll be as close as you and your stepmother. I feel encouraged now!

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:54:46

I not sure what your asking Clipped. You said that stepparents should take their stepchildren on as their own, does that not include parental rights and responsibilities? Your childminder may love your son but I don't believe she loves him the same as her own children and if she does I feel a degree of sadness for her own children.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:55:27


BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 20:56:39

Please ignore my bad spelling, typing while feeding my DS, should really learn to preview smile

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 20:59:25

I agree Brathus, the girl has has a mum and a dad, op does not need to take on the mother role, that would piss a lot f mothers off if some woman tried to take over. Freddie well done fr being such a perfect mother give yourself a big at on the back for being so perfect.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 20:59:27

Bruthas don't worry about it I am doing exactly the same thing! smile

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:00:46

I don't think parental rights and responsibilites come into loving a child that isn't yours to be honest. Surely you love the father then you love the offspring of him? You develop your own unique relationship with them. It has nothing to do with rights.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:01:40

Yes I would want Amy step oarent of my child to be kind and caring but not assume the mother role as they already have a mother, me!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:02:41

Why would it piss off a lot of mothers? Mothers that need their child to only love them? that's weird and then you need to take a look at yourself really...

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 21:03:16

And to answer your other question I think it's great if stepparents love their stepchildren, I adore mine and as they're resident with us I take care of them a great deal. However, I take care of my stepchildren because I choose to, the only people on the planet I HAVE to take care off are my biological children because they are the ones I'm responsible for. The OP is not responsible for her SD, the child's parents are, if the OP is not well enough to take care of her SD then that's that, her parents need to make other arrangements.

tory79 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:04

Completely agree with dietcokeandwine

It is an utter joke that people are comparing looking after your OWN child and a newborn, to looking after your partners child and a newborn.

I have looked after my stepdaughter for a few days while dh was working, and ds was just coming up to a year, and that was fine, but the thought of doing it when ds was 5 weeks old....I could barely tell left from right. Its not OP's job to just get on with it, her sd is not her child and not her responsibility.

I am very fond of my stepdaughter, but as far as I am concerned, ultimately a step parent should be kind to their stepchildren and not interfere in their relationship with their bio parent, and thats it. Anything on top of that is a bonus.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:40

It would piss a lot f women off if you try to take over clipped you are not their mother tey already have one. A step moter should not do this but be liked and caring to their stepchild and assume a different type of role

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:53

Clipped I do apologise if I've misunderstood you but I though when you were talking about taking on a child as you own you meant as an equal parent to the mum and dad.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:06:05

Meant kind and caring

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:06:15

Jealous over another person loving your child? really? why on earth can't another woman love your child if they are with your ex? why can't they build their own unique relationship with them?

That smacks of something not right within yourself in my book.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:09:22

Erm I am not talking about loving clipped but trying to take over from the mother, yes you would build your own unique relationship with your stepchild, one that is different to teir mother. No I am perfectly fine tanks clipped

Dancergirl Thu 28-Mar-13 21:10:40


I would imagine that sd is v hurt that you don't want her to stay. In terms of you being 'busy'....she is TEN, not a baby. She could help play with/cuddle the baby etc to help you out.

I don't have stepchildren but surely it's important to make them feel part of the family?

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:11:07

Also I guess if you were te other woman than I might be a leeetle bit resentful

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:11:08

No one is talking about taking over the role of a mother here. I don't understand why the OP only had the child when the father was there. Thats a bit weird if she lives with him as a married couple.

jacks365 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:12:11

The dsd is there for two weeks not just the one night. For that one night the dad has to work and his mother is refusing to have the dsd as i see it your options are dad to take holiday, send dsd back to her mother, giving an opportunity for mum to say see i told you or you bite the bullet and cope, if nothing else it'll prove she isn't being pushed out. You can't however force mil to take her.

While i do appreciate that it is bad timing we don't always have that choice. Refusing totally is unreasonable being annoyed that you have to grin and bear it isn't.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:13:11

Yes, piglet, being the other woman would sort of make it harder but at the end of the day, the child comes first.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 21:14:07

I think that if my stepchildren were non resident and didn't come over often then I would expect my husband to be with them during the contact time. I mean not necessarily every minute but I certainly wouldn't expect him to go to work during the limited time they were there.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Mar-13 21:14:54


If I hooked up with anyone my children would still be my responsibility the person I got involved with wouldn't become responsible for MY kids.

If you only have your kids a small amount of time then I would change my work commitments or change my contact times.

The sdd is not your responsibility she is the responsibility of her own mother and her father you are under no obligation to baby sit her nor should you be put under pressure to do so.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:15:40

Shiftwork makes this unavoidable sometimes Btortoise. Now and again should be more than acceptable.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:18:32

Thank god you weren't my step parent socket is all i can say. Very cold attitude to take.

seriouscakeeater Thu 28-Mar-13 21:20:19

expat i was actually waiting for some one to write some thing like you have - how can you call her MIL when your not even married...well the same applies to DS...but she is still expected to step in a play that roll.
clipper you'd be surprised, not every one is so liberal when it come to there children and SM.
bruthas i'm shocked too at the the reaction to the fact the op has just had major surgery with her first child but not surprised as most sp get there eyes scratched out on here off those mums that have 10 kids, done course work, pushed a tractor up and down blah blah its the same people that shout-Dont touch my kids but dont dare say you wont have them over night!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:20:27

One with such an attitude as socket really would be best off to find a man with grown up children. Which I hope they have and not young ones.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:21:40

No they aren't so liberal about it, hence major problems for the child.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:31:37

Bloody hell, this thread is on balance half awful (too much) where it comes to blended families which are so common these days. That speaks volumes, which is sad.

As a child advocate i feel very sad about supposed "adults" not actually looking at a childs needs before emarking on a second relationship.

It's rather shocking.

If you feel that you will only ever love your own, don't bloody take up with someone that already has one/some.

If you think that you don't "mind" - then again don't do it.

It's not bloody good enough for that child.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 21:33:25

I am surprised at the reaction to the OP's CSec. I've never had one but anything I've ever read encourages women to take it very easy in the following weeks especially if the wound gets infected. I actually think the OP is doing well by accepting that her DP has to work and she is going to be left alone with her own newborn. I know that after I had my firstborn, a ridiculously easy straight forward birth, I cried when my DH went back to work 4 weeks later! Mind you, by the time I had my third I was willing him back to work so I could get back into routine.

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 21:33:50

Seriouscakeeater You seem to have a real problem with step parents being asked to do anything that might mean supporting the stepchild. You constantly repeat that step parents can do nothing right here on mumsnet but I have honestly seen nothing but support for them. I don't know why you have this opinion but its really not helping the OP or the discussion at all.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:36:37

Peach. We are talking the odd night, not all the time. There is taking it easy and there is not wanting a 10 year old around for a bit.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 21:37:19

If you feel that you will only ever love your own, don't bloody take up with someone that already has one/some.

But the love I have for my own children I will never have for my SD. It's as simple as that. It doesn't mean I don't CARE about her though. I'll always be a friend to her.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:38:22

Apologies here peach. I meant that to be directed at BTortoise!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:39:52

Depends on the age SoWhat really. If they are 13 plus then i'd totally agree, but the child is 10 and needs that bit extra.

Yfronts Thu 28-Mar-13 21:41:03

say you don't mind the odd night for bonding but actually you have a big commitment in terms of course work/screaming babies

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 21:41:10

Well my SD is 7 so I must be a really bad person then.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 21:41:54

I think that was meant for me Clipped smile. I was more referring to the fact that the OP was called pathetic. I think that was harsh.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:42:24

im not saying youre a bad person, just maybe wont go that extra mile that makes a huge difference.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Mar-13 21:44:43

Clipped I have several step children all but one of whom are adults now who at no time in their life considered me cold. I also remain very good friends with there mothers

Quite a few of them thanked me for putting a rocket up their fathers arse and drawing the line when he wished to abdicate his responsibility over to me so he could pretend to be a involved dad on 'his weekend' when really he wanted to leave all the parenting to me.

All have a better relationship with their father than they did before I came along. I am godmother to two of their children ( my ex's grandchildren) and the one belonging to my most recent stbxh is currently upstairs watching a film with one of my own children as her mother is on a date and she asked if she could come over and hang out with him.

As a step parent you should do everything you can reasonably be expected to do to facilitate a good relationship between their actual parents and them but you are not and never will be the child's parent they already have two of those and any actual parenting is their job not yours. Overstepping the parenting mark is one of the main step parenting causes of issues and resentment and is not a good also shows a lack of respect for the child and both parents and can lead to a lack of decent boundaries.

Part of actual parenting is arranging suitable childcare when you are unavailable,suitable childcare is something that all parties have to be comfortable with if they are not then it is not suitable and requires a rethink.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Mar-13 21:46:53

Oh and they were all children when I was with their dad.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:47:51

grin yes you BTortoise.

Calling the OP pathetic was indeed very harsh. I make you right there.

I work with children so hence my sway on things.

I'm so sad for most of them (and want to take them all home with me most of the time) that aquire step parents due to so much shit going on with the adults.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:49:45

Socket, your first post was indeed cold. Your subsequent wasnt.

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 21:50:08

I love my stepchildren but I genuinely don't love them the same as my own children. I cant quantify the love so I dont like to talk about more or less but the love is different. The love I have for my stepchildren is based on the people they are, by the time I met them they were already fully formed small people and we grew to love each other as people. The love I have for my children is basic and primal, I didn't grow to love them, I just loved them and combined with the huge responsibility I personally have for them I don't think the two "loves" can be equated. Wow that's a lot of loving smile

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:50:40

Exactly so what, te love that you have for your own children is in a different level tan a stepchild. If I were a step mum I would assume a different role to teir mother, of course I would care and look after them, and build up a
Voting bond in time. I would want them to feel comfortable enough to come to me if tey feel happy or sad o if tey have any problems tat they feel tey cannot all to their oarentsabout

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 21:50:44

Oh trust me I make sure my SD feels very much a part of our family and feels wanted. I wouldn't treat her any differently but I don't have to feel any maternal love for her.

ImperialBlether Thu 28-Mar-13 21:53:06

Well I'm divorced and my ex has remarried, so technically my children (now adult) have a step mother. There's no way on this earth they would go to stay with her when he's not there. Why would they?

Of course the OP wants a bit of peace and as someone said above, if this was her own child she wanted to send to her granny's, nobody would blink any eyelid about it.

For those who think it's the same as having your own children at home, don't be so daft. Of course it isn't.

The girl doesn't want to come.
Her mother would be furious if she knew the OP would be the only adult in the house.
Why then would anyone suggest the girl should come?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 21:54:46

I actually differ here. i have my own child and when another came into the fold i made them feel more than welcome because that's what you do. your own child "knows" you dont favour, you do the welcome mat thing. DS did it too.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 21:55:12

I agree sockreturning the step Chidren already have arents which is not me, the role I assume would be a different one

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 21:56:11

piglet You are absolutely right there, spot on.

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 21:56:40

Clipped I do actually think it is great that you are an advocate for step parents being an important figure in their DSC's life. That is completely non sarcastic - I know sometimes on MN things don't come across the way intended. I just can't agree that it has to be feeling a mother's love for them, or nothing at all. I am absolutely sure some stepparents do feel like that and that this makes for a very happy step family, but I am also sureits not the ONLY way.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Mar-13 21:56:51

Why's it cold to point out a basic fact.

Parents are responsible for their children the only responsibility a step parent has is to celebrate and facilitate that relationship and make sure they do nothing to hinder it.

Ime that's how you end up with the type of beneficial relationship that continues even if your relationship with the sdc's parent ends.

Pitmountainpony Thu 28-Mar-13 21:57:24

Yanbu for now.
Say you will have your s d overnight when
A you have recovered from c section.
B you are on top of your work

It will not do anyone any favors for you to do it under pressure and it strain a relationship that has yet to develop.
It is not the same for the op having two kids as this is her f irst experienceof being a mum to a baby. The other child is one she has not developed a strong relationship with, which may or may not come with time.
Work it out with the mum so you have dsd when your partner is not on night shifts.
I think people are naive if they think the op can be expected to instantaneously have the loving bond you have with a child you have raised from day 1, with a child who suddenly comes into your life.
I had friends who had step mums and I saw that yes they were treated differently by the step mum. Very few people are altruistic enough to selflessly love what starts out as a stranger to you unless it is their partner. Not saying it is the best way to be but it is the way it often is and the lucky step kids are the ones who perceive no difference in how their mothers and step mums treat them.
The op is just being honest. She has just had major surgery, is adjusting to being a mum for the first time, is breastfeeding, and is trying to come to terms with being responsible or a much older child with whom a relationship is just developing.
Ignore the moral mother superiors on here. Easier to say than do. Give yourself some time and have your sd when you think you will be able to build a healthy relationship which takes energy.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 22:00:20

That does not mean I would not ae them welcome, I would bend over backwards to make them at home and welcome, but as sock said tey already have parents my role would be different. I am not theirmum and it would cause trouble I think if you step over tat boundary

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:50

OP I'll just say one last thing imagine that was your DD being turned away because she would be in the way, wouldn't you want someone to make that tiny bit of effort for her? She's just a little girl a confused and hurt little girl stuck in the middle of someone else's war please just try to make it a little better for her it won't cost you much but it will mean the world to her if not today then in the future.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 22:02:19

Thanks sowhat smile

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 22:04:30

All im really asking of any step parent is just try to go the extra mile for the child. Im not into debate where kids are concerned and it's not their fault they find themselves in other environments.

A good ask?

BruthasTortoise Thu 28-Mar-13 22:05:29

Just to let you a know the time I have spent on this thread has taken away my nightly tidy up time smile. All the best OP, hope you recover from your CS, enjoy your newborn and hopefully the relationship with your SD will improve. Being a stepparent is hard but honestly it's very rewarding in the end.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 22:07:32

Be a mum when their real mum isn't there. It's for such a short time really.

ImperialBlether Thu 28-Mar-13 22:09:22

Why do people keep saying she should have the child when the child has said clearly she doesn't want to be there and wants to go to her grandmother's house instead?

ImperialBlether Thu 28-Mar-13 22:10:33

And why are people ignoring the fact that the child's mother would be furious if she knew the OP was looking after the child alone?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 22:10:59

I don't get it Clipped. To go the extra mile are you suggesting a step parent must love their step children in the same way their love their own?

Many many many step parents absolutely do go that extra mile for their step children, fueled by a good heart and a fondness for the children of their partner, not necessarily through pure love.

You can't force yourself to love a child that is not yours. But you can still care.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 22:11:03

Her grandmother doesn't want her to. So the OP needs to step up to the mark now.

Andro Thu 28-Mar-13 22:11:13

Just to point out, not all mothers who have a newborn (or more in the case of a multiple birth) DO sill look after the older child...mine sure as heck didn't!

OP, YANBU at this particular point. I do think the issues surrounding poisonous comments ought to have been dealt with very firmly by your DP when they happened!

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 22:12:34

Well it's up to the individual how they want to define themselves toth step child, but I most certainly would be kind caring and loving

Pitmountainpony Thu 28-Mar-13 22:13:41

Clipped. Maybe going that extra mile when you are 5 weeks out of surgery with a tricky newborn is too much. Frankly if it was my daughter I would be thinking of this new mum and not want to put on someone healing from major surgery. Have not read whole thread so not sure why the mother cam't have her daughter when her ex does night shift.
There will be many years ahead when going the extra mile will become the norm for the op who will indeed have to suck it up and embrace it as much as is possible. Not now with all she has on her plate. There is more than just the sd welfare at stake. There is the op and her demanding new baby too.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 22:13:46

All about grown ups here huh. Put yourself in the childs shoes.

The step mom is busy with a new born. The dad is away working. The granny doesn't want her. The mother has said "this is contact time no matter what"

That poor girl.

pigletmania Thu 28-Mar-13 22:13:54

My turn to say spot on sowhat

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 22:15:45

Lol Thankyou Piglet

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 22:16:55

I'll have her OP....

ChippingInIsEggceptional Thu 28-Mar-13 23:00:43

Jesus christ on a bike - why don't some of you READ the THREAD???

The child has been asked by her Dad & she wants to stay at her grandmothers and see her cousins as she normally does.

The mother would be furious if she found out the OP had the DSD on her own.

The mother soured the relationship the OP had with the DSD.

The OP has a nasty CS wound & is an exhausted new Mum.

The OP's baby is prem & not well.

The MIL has always wanted to see the DSD - why for the love of fuck has she decided that now, with a prem newborn in the house and the Mum with a nasty wound is the time for the DSD to stay at the OP's house - especially in light of the fact that her mother would be furious?

Stop being so fucking nasty and READ the thread.

If you feel the need to shout at someone - shout at the DP who doesn't seem to be doing an awful lot in the way of telling the ex to STFU and stop poisoning his daughter against the OP, that he will decide who looks after her during his contact time, not her AND he needs to sort his fucking mother out - how DARE she be so vile to the OP - he should not be saying 'oh she'll remember how good you are with DSD in the morning' he should be putting a stop to her being so utterly vile. How on earth can he let anyone speak to the OP like that?

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 23:39:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

edam Thu 28-Mar-13 23:50:55

Wow. I think it's really unfair to ask you to suddenly have SD overnight when that's not the normal arrangement AND you have a brand-new baby AND you are recovering from a CS AND the dad's not going to be around AND your baby was premature and has only been out of hospital for two weeks.

I say that as a former step-daughter btw. I'm normally quick to object to step-parents being hostile towards their step-children but I don't think you are at all - I think you are being asked to take on far too much right now.

Lilipaddle Fri 29-Mar-13 00:17:29

Right now, you need to focus on you and your new baby. Forget college projects, and do the bare minimum for a bit while you get through these first weeks. Avoid any extra stress. Yes your SD is important too, but right now she's not #1. Considering her mum isn't helping the relationship between you, it's clearly not her priority either. (or DP's if he is doing nothing about it).

Not read the whole thread, and unsure how bad yours and his ex's relationship is, but is there any way of trying to make peace? Even something like "I'm really struggling with BF/sleeping, I was wondering if you'd come over for a cuppa and a chat as you've already been through all this?" I know it's sucking up your pride, but it would be best for your DD and SD to have a more relaxed relationship if you can possibly manage it.

LookingForwardToMarch Fri 29-Mar-13 02:21:28

Wow sorry have been busy but thanks for all the replies!

So far the plan is not to have sd on my own this visit, but Im going to ask her this time if she would like to another time.

Dp unfortunately can not have a remotely amicable discussion with sd's mum ( the last time they actually met she attacked him so badly the police had to be called!)

I am trying to build a relationship with sd but now is not the right time for
or either of us to get dropped in the deep end.

Thanks for the support grin

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 02:36:31

Poor little girl. My heart goes out to your SD.

Pitmountainpony Fri 29-Mar-13 02:57:27

Sometimes children,s needs have to be balanced against others needs and frankly since the op has had major surgery her needs are very important at the moment as she is vulnerable. Being a child does not mean your needs and desires trump all others. Rights and needs have to be balanced against each other.
If the op is put under too much stress right now she could develop post partum, depression or there could be other consequences that mean all will be affected.
I put myself in that child's shoes and I would not want to put stress on a new mum who has a lot on her plate. I would not want to stay over with a woman I am only just getting to know.
The mother and mil need to step up to their plate, not the poor is not as if this child does not ave other options, just that those options who have a greater responsibility to her, are being awkward and thoughtless to the op position right now. Who would ask this of a new mum who is in the early weeks of motherhood. Who would judge the op for not wanting to do it? Plenty on here it seems.
I feel sorry for the op. You are being shafted at a time you should be getting to know your new baby and being able to relax and not be worrying about looking after another person, who you are not yet close to, even though you will become so, now is not the time for bonding. As a new mum you need to at this time priorities your baby and you. The mil and m can prioritise this little girl till you are more established as a mum. There is some serious emotional blackmail going on here.

CheerfulYank Fri 29-Mar-13 04:28:30

Honestly...some of y'all are kind of being assholes.

The SD only sees her cousins and Gran when she visits, what on earth is wrong with her going to stay when her father's not home? Especially if her primary caretaker (her mother) has no idea that her DD will be alone with her SM and would not be okay with it if she did?

I'm having a baby in less than two months and this summer am sending my DS (he'll be 6) to day camp two days a week, and he'll also be going to my parents for a few long weekends as he loves them and they don't see him as much as he/they would like. Of course I can cope perfectly well with DS and a newborn all day every day, but why would I? He's beyond excited for camp and "big boy" trips to his GPs. So here I am, fobbing off my very own biological child to have a more relaxed time with my newborn. Wanna flame me for it? grin

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 08:50:04

Yes sweetmelissa poor dsd for having a vile mother

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 08:53:58

I agree pit mountain it's the girls father and mother who should step up and grandmother. Why should op in her current vulnerable position be expected to take te lions share and full responsibility. There are health and psychological implications on te op if sh is placed under a lot of stress

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 09:10:20

There seem to be a lot of perfect maryters on here, I wonder if you will be if you yourself found yourself in the same situation as the op

Losingexcessweight Fri 29-Mar-13 11:11:11

Have skipped the last few pages of the thread but one comment really stuck out

"If you cant love someones children like they are your own them don't bloody get with someone who has children"

Most people over the age of say 25 have children or a child. So the chances of you meeting someone who has no children or no child over the age of 25 is fairly slim.

Its impossible to love someone else's children like they are your own.

Step children are not your responsibility.

I have waded through the whole thread and I think you have been given a tough time, especially at the beginning. It may be you need to start building a better relationship with you DSD but just not this visit. Just this once people should be taking responsibilities off you hands not adding to them given what you are having to deal with. pigletmania pretty much says it all for me and I agree with her.

I also think a lot of you over estimate the abilities of a 10 yr old. She might be helpful but equally, since her mother has had a good go at poisoning DSD against her step mother, she might start pushing every boundary she can and really play up when left alone with the OP. Or she just might be your average 10 yr old child who can be a bit self centred and not much interested in helping out at all. Now is not the visit to be finding out what type of 10 yr old she is!

I don't think anybody has asked this question (it is a long thread) but what is the relationship between the child's mother and grandmother like? The timing of all this is a bit suspect in my eyes and I am wondering if it isn't one of those weird situations where the MIL thinks more of the ex than her DS's current partner and is trying to make the OP the baddie here rather than the weak DP or the spiteful ex. It is a shame that DSD is caught in the middle really. You can understand the OP not wanting the DSD by herself (having sole responsibility for both children as a first time mother is a big deal despite what some of you think) but what is the grandmother's excuse? - the child is her GD and she should be supporting her not causing WWIII over her.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 11:39:05

Its impossible to love someone else's children like they are your own.

Hear hear. I think it's ridiculous to expect a step parent to love their step children the way they love their own children.

There's nothing as strong and amazing as the love you have for your own children. It's something that is so natural and definitely not something you can force yourself to have for someone else's child. I would only be lying to myself and everyone else if I said I love my SD because I don't. That's not to say I don't care about her though.

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 11:41:05

Thanks big boobi

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 11:43:31

Sorry im on my new phone so getting used to it. New amwsy can you love step children same as your in and its a silly idea to expect it. The relationship is different abduction live them in a different way

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 11:53:40

Piglet I think you have been autocorrected. I'm a bit confused by your last post lol!

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 11:56:46

The love that a mother has fr her child is different to that of a step parent. You already have a little person who has developed ter own ersonality and characteristics that you were not responsible for. The bond has to develop between step parent and child. Really it's op dh who has put op in a very difficult situation having to care for an extra child fo the duration of te Easter holidays with the stuff she is going through, very unfair. Not all 10 year odds are easy, she might come with her issues ( her mum sounds very toxic) op has to deal with that on top of her own issues. Op is not saying sh is not Wacom and she doesn't want her hmm, just at the moment this is not th right time. Op dh and her mum has to arrange things round the little girl and put her first, why should op shoulder all the responsibility iypts not on really. From what op has said this littl girl is not easy ad rob ably needs a lot of input

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 11:57:48

Sorry swat I have indeed been autocrrected, back on I pad now, tats better

Crawling Fri 29-Mar-13 12:11:17

As a teen mum I had a newborn baby and had to look after my 4yo sister so my mother could work nights to support me. Op is a fully grown woman and is not doing it because she puts her needs above the sd.

A bad start yo sd introduction to her Dsis .

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 12:14:40

Yes I would be annoyed however nice stepmom is if I was left with her most of the time than spending quality time with my dad which I te main thing, as he sis the childs father.

I have to say, I can't see how you can automatically love a step child like your own when the situation is very different. A lot of step children already have 2 parents and don't need a 3rd. They need somebody who cares about them, treats them well and tries to be as fair as possible but to expect somebody to love the child just because they love the parent is odd. I don't get the reasoning behind that. The child is an individual not a copy of the parent. You can't care for a child who doesn't live with you most of the time, like a child who does either, not when you have to take into account the wishes of the other parent, who you possibly don't even get on with.

But I am not a step parent so what do I know? It is just that they seem to have a very difficult path to tread between being a part- time parent and being an outsider in the relationship between the biological parents and the child (very different from being an adoptive parent I might add so it isn't all about biology). In the Op's case, I think for just this one visit, she should be allowed to put all the issues aside and concentrate on getting well and dealing with her new baby, then when she is stronger in only a week or two, she can work on her relationship with DSD without the massive pressure this visit would place on her at a very difficult time.

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 12:23:41

Hear hear. I think it's ridiculous to expect a step parent to love their step children the way they love their own children.There's nothing as strong and amazing as the love you have for your own children. It's something that is so natural and definitely not something you can force yourself to have for someone else's child. I would only be lying to myself and everyone else if I said I love my SD because I don't. That's not to say I don't care about her though.

As an adoptive parent and also a foster parent I have difficulties with this one. Maybe it is the case for many people, I don't know. But I do know that whatever you feel inside you have to outwardly treat the children the same, and try to make them feel equally loved.

BruthasTortoise Fri 29-Mar-13 12:29:59

sweetmellisa do you honestly love your foster children as much as your own children and did the love begin the second they were placed with you? I agree I think it's important that all the children feel loved but at the end of the day the OPs SD is presumably very much loved by her own mother and father, the relationship between the OP and her SD will hopefully develop into love but it will take time and probably will never be the same love the little girl feels for her own mother or the OP feels for her own child.

Bonsoir Fri 29-Mar-13 12:32:15

Hmm. I think that if you have a SD, you have to be prepared to let her live with you part of the time and that includes overnight. She is ten - not a baby.

If you need childcare because you have projects to complete and a small baby, you should purchase some, not palm your SD off on her granny (unless granny is chomping at the bit for it and SD too).

Bonsoir Fri 29-Mar-13 12:33:48

But I do know that whatever you feel inside you have to outwardly treat the children the same, and try to make them feel equally loved.

NO NO NO NO NO NO this is so wrong. Don't pretend you love your SDCs the way you love your DCs or you will f* them both up.

BruthasTortoise Fri 29-Mar-13 12:36:14

Bonsoir her SD does live with them some of the time, when her dad isn't working. The OP doesn't feel able to look after her alone ion the occasion as she is unwell, the little girl's mum doesn't want her to stay with the OP and granny had never previously gave any indication she had any problem with her granddaughter staying.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 12:36:17

Melissa, with adopted children I think it is very very different. Adoptive parents take on their children as their own, and bring their children up the way they choose. With step children you fall in love with the parent and if they have a child you have to take their children on too. If you adopt a child you make that choice to love them as their parent.

I am sorry if I offended you.

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 12:39:04

But I do know that whatever you feel inside you have to outwardly treat the children the same, and try to make them feel equally loved.NO NO NO NO NO NO this is so wrong. Don't pretend you love your SDCs the way you love your DCs or you will f them both up.*

Oh dear, I have f*** up a lot of children then....oops.
Obviously I am talking about birth/adopted/foster children here, but I have always worked on the belief that any child I am caring for in the short or long term needs to feel loved and important. Can you seriously explain why you think this is wrong? I hope this doesn't come across as sarcastic, it isn't meant to me, I am really concerned at the strength of your reply. I have been caring for children for over 20 years now and am now seriously questioning if I have been wrong.

BruthasTortoise Fri 29-Mar-13 12:44:17

Adoptive children are your children so from your perspective I would equate step children with foster children, specifically children you have fostered who have loving parents who temporarily can't care for them. By saying that you love those children the same as your own children you run the risk of minimising the special relationship between you and your own children and also undermining the relationship between the child and his/her parents. I hope that makes sense, it does in my head smile

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 12:49:11

sweetmellisa do you honestly love your foster children as much as your own children and did the love begin the second they were placed with you? I agree I think it's important that all the children feel loved but at the end of the day the OPs SD is presumably very much loved by her own mother and father, the relationship between the OP and her SD will hopefully develop into love but it will take time and probably will never be the same love the little girl feels for her own mother or the OP feels for her own child.

A really interesting question, Bruthas, and you make very much sense when describing the love for a SD. I will try to repect you by answering honestly.

Of my adoptive children one I loved before they were even born (I knew they would be coming to us) and another older one I fell in love with within seconds of meeting him, I had not known love like that existed before and it hit me like a thunderbolt...the same passionate love I later had as I watched my grandchildren come into the world. Another two older adopted children I grew to love very quickly as I began to know them, another one, I admit it took a long while (though that was possibly due to autism and communication difficulties clouding the relationship). One foster child who has been with us some while I also loved within a few moments of meeting him, and that love is as strong as for my adopted children. Several other foster children I consider I love, even though they have now moved on - maybe that can be compared to the love of a niece or nephew. Other foster children, just like with one of my adopted children, I have more difficulty with and any affection takes some while to develop. That's for the interesting question.

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 12:50:46

Melissa, with adopted children I think it is very very different. Adoptive parents take on their children as their own, and bring their children up the way they choose. With step children you fall in love with the parent and if they have a child you have to take their children on too. If you adopt a child you make that choice to love them as their parent. I am sorry if I offended you.

You haven't offended me at all - but thanks for your sensitivity anyway! You make much sense!!!

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 12:54:12

Adoptive children are your children so from your perspective I would equate step children with foster children, specifically children you have fostered who have loving parents who temporarily can't care for them. By saying that you love those children the same as your own children you run the risk of minimising the special relationship between you and your own children and also undermining the relationship between the child and his/her parents. I hope that makes sense, it does in my head

Thanks you responding, Bruthas. I understand totally where you are coming from now - thanks.

StillSeekingSpike Fri 29-Mar-13 13:14:49

'Step children are not your responsibility.'

Er- unfortunately they are- because of the fact that they are CHILDREN and you are the ADULT.
If your husband had a friend to stay for two weeks, but for one night had to work would you really say to that friend 'Sorry but tonight you will have to stay somewhere else'?
The child isn't requesting a spreadsheet quantification of how much she is loved in relation to her new half sib- just ask her if she wants to stay and if she would rather stay at Grandma's then at least you have done the decent polite thing.

BruthasTortoise Fri 29-Mar-13 13:24:54

No children are not the responsibility of any adult that just happens to be there, they are the responsibility of their parents.

And yes, I think if the OPs DH had invited friends to stay while she was unwell, she would be well within her rights to say she doesn't feel able to entertain them while he works and she takes care of their own newborn.

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 13:48:53

That's wonderful Melissa and its great you feel that way but not all people are the same emotionally, for many it comes with getting to kno the child and developing a bond in time, that des not mean you wont care for te child and not treat them equally.

That contact time of op sd is meant to be with her dad, not primarily with op, the dad should have ensured he was available during contact time or ade arrangements with his mum to help op out

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 13:50:35

It ident for one night though te impression I get is that dsd is staying all holiday with op,

Crawling Fri 29-Mar-13 13:53:00

It shouldnt matter if op loves her sd as much as her dd. Bottom line is whether she loves her or not she should treat her fairly and imo that means not refusing her to stay for 1 yes just 1 night. Why cant op do her studies another night, I see no reason and if it really is too much to have a puppy a newborn and sd then puppy should go to MIL for the night not sd.

pigletmania Fri 29-Mar-13 14:10:21

Is it only one night, than I agree op should have her, I thought I was all holiday during the day and night. Even several nights fine

Crawling Fri 29-Mar-13 14:38:37

Its only one night when her husband is working.

lcdaff Fri 29-Mar-13 17:22:39

Feel very sorry for your poor step daughter and you!
What an awful time for your mother in law to suddenly decide to move the goal posts.

From your step daughter's point of view everything must have changed soo much already without her grandmother suddenly not wanting to have her. With her mother having such a track record for saying awful things about you taking away her daddy this visit was probably already a big deal for her. If I was her I'd be at least a little worried about how the new baby would change things for me with my dad, not sure if things would be the same or if the baby in some way was replacing me and dad would love me any less. I think it sounds like up until now going to stay with her grandmother has not been an issue on the odd night her dad has to work and it doesn't sound like she feels like she is not wanted or pushed out.
So feeling nervous about being around dad and the new baby and then out of no where suddenly my grandmother doesn't want me to stay with her anymore. So now having to worry about her loving me less and being expected to say with my step mother who my own mother is telling me horrible things about and the new baby I feel a little threatened by before I've experienced everything still being normal.
At 10 I don't think I'd be emotionally mature enough to be able to discuss my feelings on the subject with anyone and it doesn't sound like her mother would be supportive of her or reassuring if she did.
It sounds like you all needed consistency this visit to get used to the changes that have already happened. Your step daughter needed to have been able to follow her normal routine spending time with her dad and her new sister; you, her dad and her new sister; and she quality time with just her dad. All the nights she is with you and the days she is there is plenty of time for her to bond with her sister and help to do things if she wants to. Staying with her grandmother and seeing her cousins might even be a nice break from the baby.
I'd hope your mother in law would respect her granddaughters choice and let her stay because she is actually the one rejecting her not you. I'm hoping whoever asked your step daughter what she wanted hasn't let on that her grandmother doesn't want her to stay and made it seem like they are just checking what she wants so no damage has been done to that relationship.

Then putting myself in your place I can't say you're being unreasonable for wanting and needing this long standing arrangement to continue for at least this visit. This is the first time you've experienced being a mum with all the responsibility of a new little life you've created for the first time before you even begin to factor in the stress of both you and baby being ill.
You've been home for two weeks and I get the feeling your other half hasn't worked many if any night shifts before now so being left alone with your baby all night might very well be a very daughting prospect all by itself, being left in the day time is very different than overnight. To cope with that you probably were already considering all the things you already had to do by yourself at home and trying to reassure yourself by thinking of what you'll be able to manage without him under your feet. Then mother in law suddenly expects you to be soul responsible for your step daughter over night too, that would add no end of pressure.
No mater how good and self servicing she may or may not be it's another repository on your part when you're still adapting yourself.
When you're stressed and hormonal everything gets blown out of proportion and you can very easily make mountains out of mole hills. I'm positive you don't actually value your step daughter less than a dog and course work but when you are in your position I'm sure they really are on your mind and are massive things for you at the moment.
By the sound of it you should have had 5 weeks to work on your college work and could actually still have been very heavily pregnant. I doubt you expected your baby to be early and that you would spend three weeks in hospital. You must have expected to be in a highly different position with your work and with all that has gone on I'm sure there must be some fexlablity with deadlines when you're more ready to look into it.
I would imagine they thought of looking after baby, yourself and the dog is a dating enough prospect at the moment and I'd always be imagining the worst case senorio.
If you were asking about having any other type of house guest on your own people would tell you to think about you and your baby.

Your mother in law is being really unfair to both you and your step daughter. To me it feels like it used to suit her to have her granddaughter but now you have a baby yourself you should just get on with it and cope.
If she really doesn't want to have your step daughter any more she owes it to her to help create a smooth transition!

Smudging Fri 29-Mar-13 18:05:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 18:22:54

Coming back to this thread again, two things occured to me. I apologise if these have been addressed beforehand and reasons given why this can not be the case:

1. Couldn't your SD be a help to you if she comes? It occured to me because my usual terror of a foster son has been a huge help to me this weekend with the little ones, including a new baby. I am having an operation next week therefore not feeling well, so he has been fetching and carrying galore for me and although he is helping me, in many ways he is helping himself by helping the bonding process between us. I would not have believed he could be so gentle and caring after his horrific past and usual behaviour...but he's turned into a angel!!

2. Maybe it could help to consider what you would do if you were to have a second child. Obviously you would then have an older child and a baby, and I am sure would not want to exclude the elder one at such a time - and again to do so would not allow the relationship between siblings develop. As you will know it's also a difficult time for elder siblings, which maybe brings me back to my first point - couldn't the little girl help (or have her thinking she is helping you) in some way while your partner is away?

Just a few thoughts and again I apologise if this cannot be so, but I admit I missed a few pages on my read through.

Good luck whatever you decide.

puffinnuffin Fri 29-Mar-13 19:07:00

I'm a step mum of 20 years and also have my own children (also a teacher). In my experience when a big change happens in a child's life they need to stick to their normal routine in order to feel some sense of stability. In this case the normal routine is that SD stays with MIL. She wants to stay with MIL who would be in a position to give SD lots more attention and understanding. MIL has changed the goal posts. It is unfair to both SD and OP to suddenly force them both into a situation where neither feel comfortable. Adding a crying baby in the middle of the night and no support for OP could be a recipe for a disaster.

Not all 10 year old children would want to help out (my step children at that time certainly wouldn't have wanted to). In this situation it could lead to more resentment and fuel for the child's mother if twisted in a certain way.

Building a relationship between a step parent and step child takes many years. It is always one step forward and two steps back, no matter how hard you try to love and care for them.

OP get yourself on the road to recovery, get DH to sort things out for now and then revisit this when you feel strong enough. I also recommend joining the British Second Wives Club who are very supportive and can offer excellent advice.

sweetmelissa Fri 29-Mar-13 19:19:35

Not all 10 year old children would want to help out (my step children at that time certainly wouldn't have wanted to). In this situation it could lead to more resentment and fuel for the child's mother if twisted in a certain way.

You are quite correct, of course. I was just offering the suggestion that as in my case the help my 10 year old FC is giving me came naturally - and yes, probably if I had asked him beforehand he wouldn't have wanted to!!

Rulesgirl Sat 30-Mar-13 19:49:36

Hi OP..... Having your FIRST child is a life changing experience and one we are usually not equipped to deal with at all. We learn as we go along and it can be terrifying at times, scary and sometimes you seriously doubt yourself. You need to look after yourself and rest as much as you can in the first couple of months and just try and concentrate on you and your new baby. Establishing breastfeeding is difficult enough and this should be your main focus, that and finding time for yourself. You also have college work to do. I do not think you are being unreasonable at not having your stepdaughter to stay overnight when your husband is not there. You have not had her to stay overnight on your own before so not is not the time to start. That is just too much stress. I don't know why your mother in law is suggesting this at this time because if wont be good for either you or your step daughter. As long as you involve her with the baby when she is with you and your husband she will feel loved. In about six months time when you are feeling more confident then you could review the situation . I don't think anyone should blame you for wanting to take time to bond with your baby without the added stress of looking after your step daughter without any help. She wont suffer, because you sound like a sensitive person who is concerned enough about her step daughter to have posted this in the first place.

If too much is put upon you in the early months you could end up becoming depressed and unable to cope especially as your baby has reflux. Please look after yourself now as these are important times for you and your baby and you cant get them back.

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