Just wondered what your opinions were on this. How to manage DP's expectations.

(535 Posts)
MinesADecaff Fri 07-Jun-13 10:53:26

DP and I are expecting our first baby. He has a DD who's 5 and who lives with us about 60% of the time.

Three days a week it's his responsibility to arrange childcare for her after school. At the moment a childminder picks her up and then DP collects her on his way back from work. I work FT too.

But now he's started talking about how, when I'm on maternity leave, I can start picking up DSD from school. But I really don't want to. Especially not in the first few months when I'm still getting to grips with being a new mum and feeling knackered.

I don't have any family or friends where we live - everyone is at least an hour away. So I'd be on my own with new babe plus DSD until DP got home.

I'm not completely averse to the idea once I've got a routine established with the new baby and I've found my feet a bit. But I've got a feeling that DP is going to be expecting me to be doing the school run the first Monday after he goes back from paternity leave.

AIBU to say that for the first six months or so I just want to be able to bond with my baby and find my feet as a mum without having to provide childcare for his DD too?

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 11:09:12

Honestly, I thin YABU. BUT you shouldn't have to feel you HAVE to help him with DSD's childcare and you are perfectly entitled to say no and that you feel she should continue to go to the childminders after school.

However, if you are on maternity leave and have no other children in the house surely you have all day every day as alone/bonding time with your baby. Collecting DSD from school 3 days a week would only mean you are "giving up" perhaps 9 hrs a week in total. You'll still be with your baby, it's juts that DSD will be there too.

Your baby will be DSD's new sibling too remember. If she is at full time school than the after school hours those 3 nights per week are really the only time (other than the weekend if she is with you then) that she gets time to spend with the baby.

MinesADecaff Fri 07-Jun-13 11:12:55

She's with us every other weekend too.

I'm just imagining myself feeling knackered and completely overwhelmed. It'll be my first baby so it's not the same as comparing the situation to someone who has two of their own children and has done it all before.

Maybe I'm just scared about not coping. It's dawning on me just how alone I'll be with no family or friends locally.

Verycold Fri 07-Jun-13 11:13:15

Totally agree with starbuckmum.

NatashaBee Fri 07-Jun-13 11:15:54

I think it would be a nice thing to do to make sure DSD feels involved and gets to spend time with you and the new baby. But I would definitely plan for the worst case scenario and make sure he has childcare arranged for the first 6 weeks in case you have a c-section and can't drive.

Morgause Fri 07-Jun-13 11:17:21

I think you'll cope fine. Being a first time mum isn't overwhelming when you get into it. The thought of it is, though, lots of people feel the same way.

DSD also needs to bond with the new baby and not feel pushed out. She can help pass nappies and clothes and the walk will be good for you and the new baby.

seeker Fri 07-Jun-13 11:18:07

How easy/difficult is the school run?

BigPigLittlePig Fri 07-Jun-13 11:20:32

I have a dsd and a new (ish) baby too - and would feel the same. The situation is not comparable to someone who is expecting their 2nd child, because, as you say, you have no experience at all. Once your baby is here, you will have all the time in the world to bond with him/her, and it is a lovely thing to see how the baby and dsd develop their own relationship. However, a new baby is exhausting, and hard work, and YANBU at all to say to dh that, certainly whilst you are finding your feet, you would like dsd to continue going to the CM. I woulddn't set a time limit on this, just say that once you are feeling a bit more together, you will happily do it. And no doubt dsd will love beng the proud big sister in the playground!

Leviticus Fri 07-Jun-13 11:23:08

First six weeks or so, yes but six months is a bit silly. You will be fine and it will be a lovely time for the three of you to be together. Your DSD will love helping you with the baby.

Leviticus Fri 07-Jun-13 11:25:13

Sorry I don't mean you're 'silly' just you're worrying too much and will cope fine after a few weeks.

Jadems Fri 07-Jun-13 11:25:24

I'm in the same situation. DP will be expecting me to pick up DSD from school as I'm not working, and we're expecting our first baby in August too. Also, I don't drive - so would have to take baby on the bus. I'm not too keen on it either, and hoping DP will arrange a childminder for DSD on the mornings/afternoons that she needs to be picked up or dropped off.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 11:27:01

I think either way is ok. Lots of mums who have had a second baby still keep their DC1 in their regular childcare arrangements as it keeps the routine going and isn't as much change all at once for DC1 with a new baby around too.

DSD is obviously going to spend quite a lot of time with the new baby anyway. I think a lot of it depends on what DSD would like best and how easy it is at the start. Having your first baby can be overwhelming and if OP finds it really hard dealing with both DC at once then she will be stressed and neither DC will benefit from that.

You could always have a chat to DSD and see how she feels? Maybe she would like continuity or maybe she would like to be at home more with the new baby but I think take the time on DP's paternity leave to have a look at how things work and what would be best. Make a decision then.

GroupieGirl Fri 07-Jun-13 11:27:19

"Being a first time mum isn't overwhelming"

Way to make people feel inadequate. It bloody well is for some. OP I don't think you're being unreasonable given how you feel now, but perhaps be prepared to be flexible as time goes on?

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 11:31:18

I agree that being a first time mum can be overwhelming. Especially if you have a colicky baby or a 'screamer' as I affectionately called DS

ThingummyBob Fri 07-Jun-13 11:35:02

Presumably the savings on childcare would benefit you all though too OP? Is your dh thinking along those lines? It makes sense really if cm is expensive and your wages will presumably be a lot lower too?

Perhaps he's thinking practically/financially rather than considering your emotional needs?

Fwiw I think continuing with the cm is fine, I kept my oldest in part time childcare (to maintain the place) but at the time I did feel bad about the money being spent on it unnecessarily.

talk to him about it smile

coppertop Fri 07-Jun-13 11:35:20

I think it's something you need to discuss further.

What is your dsd likely to think about the plan? Is she likely to view this as the baby being the reason for her not being able to go to the childminder or not having time alone with her dad on the way home from school?

If the plan is for her to go back to the childminder when your maternity leave ends, would there still be a space for her?

piprabbit Fri 07-Jun-13 11:40:57

When I had DC1, I loved being able to potter around and do what we wanted when we wanted.
When I had DC2, DC1 was at school and all of a sudden my life revolved around picking up and dropping off. I hated not having the flexibility to head off and do whatever I wanted with DC2. There never seemed to be enough time between drop off and collection to actually do much or go anywhere. I think he missed out on doing things that I did with DC1 because we had to do things during the school holidays, just simple things like lunch with grandparents was always curtailed by having a 30 min drive ready to collect DC1.

So I can understand where the OP is coming from. I certainly think that she should get enough time to recover from the birth and maybe start some sort of routine before starting with the school run (shouldn't be a problem - just delay cancelling the existing childcare arrangements for another month).

But she is in the position that although she is a first time mum, her baby is joining a family as a younger sibling and most younger siblings do have to fit in with their older brothers and sisters.

Morgause Fri 07-Jun-13 11:49:52

Apologies, I meant to type "isn't necessarily overwhelming" not sure where the "necessarily" went.

Branleuse Fri 07-Jun-13 12:08:49

i think yabu.

GroupieGirl Fri 07-Jun-13 12:11:05

Understood, Morg !

Smilehappy Fri 07-Jun-13 13:14:41

I think YABU.

Give yourself a few weeks but what is 2-3 hours per night- baby will be asleep most of the time and its perfect for getting DSD involved with baby so she doesn't feel left out. Plus it's only 3 days per week... Or compromise... You pick her up 2 days. DSD is your responsibility too...

20wkbaby Fri 07-Jun-13 13:36:39

I think it is totally your decision and one your DH should at least agree to defer till the baby has arrived and you can tell how confident you will feel doing it. I know that when I had DD1 each everyday task seemed 100x more complicated because I had her with me, I certainly would not have felt happy having my attention split between 2 children as well.

What are your DH's reasons for suggesting this - convenience? save himself time and money? for DSD to bond with the baby?

Whatever his reasons he can't decide how you spend your time if you are not comfortable with it.

Also DSD will not need less attention because the new baby has arrived and may feel well and truly put out to have to wait because of a baby - won't help with the bonding process. Much better for them to see each other at the weekends when there is the potential for her to get full attention from one adult until everyone has got used to having the new baby around.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 13:47:02

SmileHappy "DSD is your responsibility too."

I agree, that's how our step family works, but many don't. I think of my DSC as my responsibility just as much as DP's when they are here, as he does with my DD. I don't think our family could work any other way to be honest, especially as we have a "joint" baby on the way! Because of this I do find it hard to understand people who work with the "your kids" idea.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 13:56:03

I think if you took the 'step' away from daughter in OP's original post she probably wouldn't get as many people saying she is BU.

However maybe you should all consider what DSD wants rather than a knee-jerk 'it's your responsibility' response.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 14:01:33

I wouldn't mycatistoosexy I really wouldn't.

If I had a pre school age older child and was expecting a baby then I would quite likely keep the older child pre-school after the baby was born so they have continuity, time to socialise still and I got a break and some 1:1 time with the baby as otherwise the toddler would be there all day every day.

However, this child is in full time school and only lives with OP and her DP 3 school days a week and every other weekend anyway. So the OP has plenty of time alone with the baby (every other weekend, 2 full days every week and 8:30-3:30 on the other 3 days even when DSD is there). Surely a few hours 3 afternoons a week won't make so much difference?

As I said though, I treat DSC as they are my own and take responsibility for them when they are with us. So my opinion is likely to reflect our own personal circumstances.

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