Glorified babysitter again!

(85 Posts)
entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 10:01:32

DP rang me at work yesterday, just to inform me that DSD 9 would be staying until Monday because she is off school.

Is he taking time off? Is he boll**ks. I now have to change my plans for my days off with Dd3 to babysit her.

I wouldn't mind except that for the last few months Dsd9 has become rude and sulky towards me and appears to be turning into a mini-wife whenever Dp is around.

She is currently sat on the sofa, refusing to get dressed or have breakfast, and occasionally throwing me some majorshiteye because I have had the audacity to speak to her.

ExW has cottoned on to the fact that I don't work Thursdayor Friday and last week I was minding her again as ExW had a party

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 14:32:03

wheredidiputit I've said exactly the same thing, especially on Friday night when he picks her up at 6pm and swans off to the gym till 10.30pm, just in time to put her to bed.

Dsd is in a much better mood. She had thought her dad had nipped out and would be back soon, (as I said earlier Dsd9 is a nightmare when he is about), I told her that it would be around 6pm and she is back to being a lovely girl. Has even asked if we can watch tv together. smile

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 15:00:55

So he collects her, drops her with you and then buggers off to the gym? Who does this benefit exactly? So from the point of view of SDD her father collects her, takes her to his(?) house and leaves her with you. He then arrives home just in time to take her to bed?

I am a resident parent. Sometimes I crave time for myself. I get two hours in the week (5.00pm-7.00pm on a Wednesday) and from Friday at five until four on Saturday without my son. I have no family to have him and I work full time as well.

However, if I thought that my son was going to his dad's house for him to either not be there or to bugger off just after he had arrived I would be asking what the point was of him going? My ex has six full nights a week to go to the gym/pub/meal/whatever.

Why can't your DP go to the gym at times when he doesn't have his DD? I appreciate that his ex will want to have fixed times when she doesn't have responsibility for her DD and that is fair enough, but I do think that he wouldn't be able to go to the gym or whatever if you were not there to "baby sit" for him and her.

Resentment can breed and cause huge problems later on if you are not clear about what you want long term. Again, this is about boundaries, respect and clear lines of communication between you and your DP. Emotional blackmail (I don't see her very often etc) is not, nor should be the issue. It's just a way of shutting you up and making you feel bad so you do what he wants you to do without comment.

theredhen Thu 06-Jun-13 15:07:03

Your DSD is the responsibility of her parents. If you CHOOSE to help, then great, but you have every right to CHOOSE not to. Just as your DP has every right to CHOOSE to go to the gym etc. HOwever, his responsibility as a parent should come first just as I assume it does for you with your children.

You need to stop worrying about how DSD will feel and start putting yourself and your children first. No one else will. DSD has two perfectly capable (if not willing!) parents.

You don't have to be nasty but you can simply state that you have plans and will not be sitting DSD this time.

Both parents are shirking their responsibilites and because you are a good, responsible person you are picking up their slack and then listening to their demands on how you do it!

Don't let them do it to you.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 15:08:24

The trouble is, a lot of men think that providing their child is either under their roof/on their 'watch', that access is taking place, even if they are not physically spending time with their child. Their new partner is actually having access on their behalf. I call it 'access by proxy.' I think it's ridiculous, but it seems to happen an awful lot.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 15:17:09

I would very much doubt that it happens the other way round though. If, for example, the ex-wife in the above scenario were to meet a man, would she leave her DD with that man with no notice or discussion? I would very much doubt it. I certainly wouldn't do that.

There seems to be a theme on this board of men who, at almost any price, want to be seen to be having their children. Whether they actually look after them is by the by. As long as the children are in their house then this seems to constitute quality time. Ridiculous. That is like me leaving my son with any one who will have him and calling myself a resident parent.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 15:20:29

Excellent post Huge, especially your second paragraph. The definition of access does seem to vary quite widely ....... My DH always seemed to think that access constituted removing DSS from his mother's house. Whether they spent time together after that was immaterial. Although to plenty of exes, they don't seem to mind whether proper access takes place (or not) providing they get a child-free weekend.

PearlyWhites Thu 06-Jun-13 15:28:41

Plenty of schools have two weeks for half term. Ever thought about " doing something fun" for you dsd as well as your dd3 or do you begrudge spending the money?

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 15:33:52

Pearly, I don't think the OP's issue is about money - it's about being expected to babysit without being consulted first, and about having to have access on behalf of her DP.

tootdelafruit Thu 06-Jun-13 15:38:50

"Dp is self employed and can't afford to take any time off."

well if you didn't exist he'd have to so that excuse wouldn't cut it with me- he would have to arrange childcare of some sort or tell her mother he couldn't do it. has he any family that can have her?

Thumbwitch Thu 06-Jun-13 15:39:32

Totally unnecessarily snidey there, Pearly. OP has already said she often does something that caters for all ages of the children.

OP - do you have any idea why your DSD plays up so much more when her Dad is around or about to be around? It seems odd that she settles down more when she knows it's just you to deal with for a longer while - are you able to ask her and get a sensible response?

And fwiw, if your DP has told you to treat her as one of your own, then really that's exactly what you should start doing - as other posters have said, she shouldn't have that power to refuse to come to see her Dad.

It seems as though her mum has trouble with boundaries and being the grown up (from what you've said re. clubbing and leaving her home alone) so maybe that's what she's really after - some good solid boundaries. You'd probably be doing her a favour. smile

fuzzywuzzy Thu 06-Jun-13 15:40:25

Refuse, just be unavailable, very politely don't do it.

DSD probably would appreciate time with her father and you need to have time with your children and for yourself frankly.

Dont see why DSD would refuse to come your house if you refused to babysit, if she gets her dad instead. And if you are not allowed to discipline her and shes' being rude and disrespectful, you need to refuse to go along with your H and ex's plans.

What would your H do if you weren't available to babysit?

Tuckshop Thu 06-Jun-13 15:42:08

My xh asks to have dd when he isn't going to be there to see her and when I say no he tells me I'm preventing him from having contact! It's definitely about being seen to be the great Dad who wants loads of contact without putting any of the work in. Of course the other thing I get accused of is using them as a babysitter so I can spend time with my boyfriend. So basically if I say no because he isn't going to see her I'm in the wrong, and if I ask I'm in the wrong.

I think if she is with you because it's the school holidays then there was plenty of notice for both parents to have made arrangements, and not spring it on you. He needs to be a lot more appreciative and not take it for granted that you are going to do it.

Poor girl, it sounds like what she would actually like is for her Dad to make her feel important. And that happens by spending time with her, not by having no boundaries.

I don't blame you for feeling fed up with this.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 16:13:52

Last week I had no childcare. It didn't even cross my mind to even ask my ex-husbands partner to have him. My ex works too and I think she works part time, but I don't actually know this for a fact. But even if she didn't work, my son is not her responsibility. If she rang me and wanted to take him out for the day or whatever then of course I would say yes. But that is quite different to expecting the partner of my ex to deal with childcare issues.

The simple fact is that they have made a decision that you will have SDD without even asking you. I think you should nip this in the bud now.

mummytime Thu 06-Jun-13 16:25:32

I think you are going to have to be vey blunt with your "D"P. Both him and the mother seem to be neglecting this poor girl. Neither of them want/can be bothered to look after her properly. Her Mother dumps her on your DP or with inadequate child care. He in turn dumps her on you (the only responsible adult in all this).

If it was me this inability to care for his own child would be good grounds to split.

Both you and your DSD are the losers here. (I also suspect that her behaviour is linked to trying to get attention from her Dad.)

brdgrl Thu 06-Jun-13 16:35:18

About her behaving better when you are alone than she does when DP is there...I think this is not uncommon. It was definitely true of my DSD when she was a bit younger. And very definitely about seeking attention from dad, although I think it was also about testing the limits about me. She'd be much nicer to me when we were alone together, and then get snarky towards me when my DP was present. She was clearly checking to see if he was going to let her get away with it.

You sound lovely, by the way.

needaholidaynow Thu 06-Jun-13 16:58:51

Ugh. If I was you OP I would say point blank NO as my plans with my DD are more important. I'm lucky enough to have a DP who understands that I do not appreciate being lumbered with DSD at the last minute when he isnt around. I'm not a 3rd parent and definitely not a glorified babysitter, so unless my DP is around to look after her then DsD's mum will have to find an alternative arrangement. If I have plans I have plans end of.

Luckily my DP does not work at present (was made redundant a few months ago!), so it isn't an issue. I just worry about when he does start work and I'm left doing things like the school runs or taking her to dancing lessons. Saturday mornings I take DS to football so I don't want to be in that position of picking and choosing who misses out. If DP is at work then her mum can take her whilst I put my time in to my own child's activities.

I am actually dreading him going back to work and I'm left to do all the running around. I used to work myself (on mat leave now) the last time he was at work so I wasn't always left with all the responsibilities.

needaholidaynow Thu 06-Jun-13 17:09:40

Plenty of schools have two weeks for half term. Ever thought about " doing something fun" for you dsd as well as your dd3 or do you begrudge spending the money?

Fuck sake. So because she is a Stepmum she is not entitled to spend time with her OWN child is she not??? Does she give up that right? Because I certainly haven't given up spending time with my own children. DSD's mum gets to spend time with DsD so why shouldn't I with my own?

And sometimes it is a financial thing. I plan my days out when DSD isn't here if money is tight! Shoot me.

theredhen Thu 06-Jun-13 17:29:05

Pearly, why do you expect op to do something fun with dsd? Isn't that for the parents to do? Are you a parent? I am and I've always done fun things for my ds without expecting anyone else to do it for me.

mumandboys123 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:20:25

I don't get it...we have thread after thread of how the ex is blocking contact and how we have to go to court to get any access whatsoever and how dreadful it is that mum is leaving the children with grandma/aunt/best friend. In such cases, the new partner is supportive of her partner and is scathing about the ex who simply doesn't understnad how important it is to have the other parent in the child's life...and then we have these threads where mum is happy to have the father take responsibility for his children but rather than look at the dynamics of her relationship with her partner, the thread becomes a matter of how the ex is controlling everything and how she will have to wait if she wants to have any kind of life and what a dreadful mother she must be to send her children to their father's house when the father isn't there.

a) both parents are entitled to a life. Never ceases to amaze me that your partner has 'moved on' into a live-in relationship with you but an ex who is getting on with life is doing nothing other than palming off her children onto her ex.
b) the issue here is with the partner, not the ex, so why continually make it about the ex?
c) it is highly likely that your partner doesn't tell you much at all about what he does/doesn't discuss with his ex. Indeed, I would hazard a guess that every time you are told it is 'last minute', she asked him 3 weeks ago but he 'forgot' to mention it to you.
d) does the ex even realise that her ex isn't parenting the children when she sends them over to dad's house? I couldn't care less what goes on at my ex's, I don't ask questions ('cos I'd only be lied to) - he wants his time with with the children, he has it, no questions asked. I am not going to stop them going because he sometimes, possibly, may be not in the same room as them the whole time they are with him...
d) if your partner is 'disney parenting' why do you accept it? is that the kind of man you want to be with? I don't mean to be confrontational on that issue but seriously, why respect a man who clearly has no bollox and won't stand up to his children and demand their respect and ultimately love by actually parenting, let alone stand up to an ex who he (supposedly) considers doesn't look after the children properly/drinks too much/ expects him to have his children more than one night a week/ expects him to take responsibility for his children....

I don't get it. It's all double standards, isn't it? Doesn't matter where you sit with this issue, it never quite adds up!

Oh and I when I say 'you', I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, just a general 'you'.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:45:20

Most men are cowards and prefer the path of least resistance in the majority of situations.

Change2013 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:55:47

Mumandboys123, you've expressed my sentiments precisely! I didn't become a parent on my own and just because my ex has a new partner does not mean he's stopped being a parent. Before it happened he always swore that if we split he'd want us to have our children 50/50, needless to say that never happened.

There are so many threads where it seems to me that people are angry with the wrong person which causes lots of problems. I bet the dsd in this case would like time and attention from her dad.

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 19:12:13

Oh dear its all kicked off. Setting the table and Dsd9 was lightly teasing Dd3. Quickly said stop teasing and ran back into the kitchen so dinner didn't burn.

Cue DP returning and Dsd9 bursting into tears telling him I had shouted at her, (seriously major sobbing).

I'm still in the kitchen dishing out when DP comes storming in saying what gives me the right to tell his daughter off.

Well, I must admit I snapped and told DP that if I'm good enough to look after Dsd9, clean up after her, cook for her, help her with her homework and buy her xmas presents and easter eggs because DP has no money, yet I can't say in passing not to tease my Dd3, then he can find another f*cking sitter for tomorrow because I am not doing it.

Apparently I'm a f*cking b*tch. DP and Dsd9 are currently cuddled up on the sofa. I'm getting some lovely smirks from Dsd9 and DP is pretending I'm not inthe room.

NatashaBee Thu 06-Jun-13 19:20:44

Well, I must admit I snapped and told DP that if I'm good enough to look after Dsd9, clean up after her, cook for her, help her with her homework and buy her xmas presents and easter eggs because DP has no money, yet I can't say in passing not to tease my Dd3, then he can find another f*cking sitter for tomorrow because I am not doing it.

applauds

Good for you OP.

needaholidaynow Thu 06-Jun-13 19:25:03

sad oh my god OP. That is terrible. What gives your DP the rights to talk to you like that? Like you said you do all those things for your DSD, AND support her financially, whilst your DP just let's it happen. And then has the cheek to pull you on "telling off" his precious daughter???

This situation sounds very bad. I just don't know how you put up with it.

Xalla Thu 06-Jun-13 19:30:02

Jesus Have you got anywhere you could go? Anyone you could go and see?

Are you OK?

My thoughts are that he's a complete twat. For what it's worth flowers

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