SM views wanted on childcare

(13 Posts)
nobutts Thu 10-Jan-13 15:52:46

Hi all, I'd like to get a range of views really. I'm mum to a ds who has a sm who does ALL the childcare stuff..reading, baths, pick ups, homework when he's at his father's. Ex pushed for a midweek night and after expressing concerns that it wouldn't be worth it because he works late/upheaval I agreed. Sm was able to pick up and take to school. Overtime, her mum has started doing this as sm can't anymore so Ds goes back to SGM house on that night until sm finishes work. Ds is OK with this ( he's just 7) but I'm put out because it seems my time with ds is compromised not for more time with dad but for more time with SM family.
Should I care? Say anything? Is this 'right'? Seeing as I've agreed to the midweek night should I just put up with whatever their arrangements are even if I think ds time would be better spent differently? Many thanks for your views...

NatashaBee Thu 10-Jan-13 15:56:14

Does your ex see your DS at all on those days?

Intothefire Thu 10-Jan-13 15:56:48

Is it something you could raise with your ex and the sm amicably and discuss the options?

nobutts Thu 10-Jan-13 15:59:39

He sees him for an hour or so it seems. I could raise it, maybe even to see if temporarily they wanted some flexibility and I could collect on some nights when it was v difficult for them unfortunately ex is usually very anti any of my suggestions even if it benefits him.

Fooso Thu 10-Jan-13 16:01:23

I think if he;s not spending any time with his dad then it does seem a bit pointless... I think what happens is these things start slipping over time - probably started out with good intentions but obviously both the SM and your Ex are struggling to find the time. Perfectly reasonable I think for you to say that it looks like the mid week thing is not really working - either they will agree or maybe make more of an effort to get there for him?

NatashaBee Thu 10-Jan-13 16:05:17

Is there a day that could work better? It seems a shame to stop your DS going if your ex wants more time with him... but sounds like he's getting shuttled about between babysitters. Does your son go to him every other weekend, or every weekend?

nobutts Thu 10-Jan-13 16:05:20

I think I'll just have a chat and hope it's well received then. I know they intended it to work initially although perhaps didn't think it through.

nobutts Thu 10-Jan-13 16:08:34

Ds goes 3 out of 4 wknd and half holidays too, in principle more regular dad time is of benefit its just over time ex has pushed for more and more time and often it appears to exclude me rather then gain time with ds. ( PS I'm def not imagining this he takes pleasure in dropping in veiled 'custody' threats.)

purpleroses Thu 10-Jan-13 16:10:38

I only care for my DSC whilst DP works on the odd ocassion - if he's already agreed to have them and then finds he needs to work. Though the older two (who don't really need childcare as such) come round on a Friday straight from school whether or not DP is there, as it's easier for them logistically.

Depends how you look at contact time really whether it's right or not - is it about your DS spending time with his dad, or is it about sharing parenting - and that includes your ex being allowed to get someone else to look after your DS. Can you just look at it as a good opportunity to have a night off, to work later, or to get out and socialise, or are you feeling that you really don't see enough of your DS? I think overall life is better and more relaxed if both parents can avoid feeling that their time with their children is so precious that they mustn't waste any of it. But maybe that's easier said than done.

It's rather nice that your DS's DSM's mum is happy to get involved - suggests that your DS has been happily accepted into her family, which is good for him.

Doing stuff like baths, reading, etc when he's at his dad's is a difficult one really. Many people would say your ex should be doing these things. But I think it kind of depends what kind of a dad he is, and wants to be. Many men who live with their kids full time leave some things to their partners, and stepping in to fill that role when they're separated doesn't always come so naturally. My DP does most of the care of his DCs but there are a few things that the DSC come to me for rather than him - wanting to be taken shopping, clothes needing fixing, spider removal (!), and a few things that DP was failing at really when on his own (ensuring teeth were brushed) so I tend to do those things. I find they come fairly naturally as I have my own DCs of a simlar age, so I'm kind of doing the mum-things in the house anyway. It seems a bit more odd to me that a SM who doesn't have her own DCs steps into this role, but if her relationship with your ex is secure, and your DS is happy with it, then overall it's probably a good thing.

pinguthepenguin Thu 10-Jan-13 16:13:47

Why is he going 3 out of 4 weekends, what about fair quality time with you?

Lafaminute Thu 10-Jan-13 16:16:37

But isn't it just as important that your son has a good, relaxed relationship with his sm (and even her family)??? I say this as a sm who has had a terrible relationship with her sd. It all started out well but has gotten worse over the years. Now dh doesn't see his adult dd - not my fault I should add though I am sure I could've done more over the years. I think step relationships need to be handled with such grace and care that I wasn't capable of at the time, but my sd would have been so much better off if I and my mother (as in your ds case) had been willing to have such a hand in her care. My dh wasn't always that interested/available/capable of being useful to his dd and if I and my family had been able to fill that gap maybe their relationship would not be so lacking now.

nobutts Thu 10-Jan-13 16:20:17

Thanks purple..really helpful. Its great that sm is so committed and she and I get on fine...its no surprise ex does little domestic stuff and i guess fair enough, relationships operate in a range of ways.Her relationship with ex is not equal ( she's v young) so I guess I worry a bit about her not having a big say in discussions. But also parents of all types have busy lives and ds might otherwise go to clubs etc anyway so perhaps it doesn't matter.

nobutts Thu 10-Jan-13 16:24:02

Pingu. Afraid I've buckled under pressure over time.
Lafa. I think your right and he does have a great relationship with them, have to say I worked hard to make sure ds respected her. If ex and she ever split I would for Ds sake always ensure she had contact and relationship.

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