Just wondered what your opinions were on this. How to manage DP's expectations.(535 Posts)
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?
I would give yourself a few weeks to get over the initial tiredness but it would seem a shame for DSD to be kept at a childcarers when she could be at home with you and her sister.
Is it at all possible for her to be 'delivered' home to you after school?
I used to like having a reason to leave the house and have a chat at the school gates.
I really wouldn't what Starbuckmum? Express my thoughts? Especially if they are different to yours?
I haven't said that DSD should definitely stay at CM. Just to see what works best for DSD and her once baby is here if you read my original reply.
Sorry mycatistoosexy That's me typing fast and making no sense! I meant I really wouldn't agree with you that taking "step" out of the original post would change the response.
I am currently expecting a DS with my OH which is not my first borns father... Which means my DS1 is his stepson, I feel if my OH was at home with baby and I was working and OH told me to keep my son in childcare after school while he sat at home with new baby I would be completely angered. You will have your time with baby for 7hours + every day! What is 2-3 hours 3 days a week?! You took on your DP and with that is a massive responsibility with his daughter. She will see it as not meaning as much to you as baby so you need to prevent this child from feeling like this.
OP you are well within your rights to not want to pick your DSD up from school. Even if the reasons were different, you don't have to justify yourself.
Whilst DP is off work I refuse to pick DsD up from school simply because I don't want to. Her mum is on maternity leave same as me and her dad is unfortunately currently unemployed, so why if both of her parents are off should I even contemplate picking her up from school?
When he goes back to work and it's his time to have her, I won't have a choice unfortunately. I want to support my DP in having his daughter here so I will have to do it. Doesn't mean I want to nor does it mean I will embrace it. I'm sorry but I really really don't enjoy it. Does that make me evil? It's just not the same as picking your own child from school and being full of pride seeing them run out to you and them telling you about their day. This is another woman's child and I feel no pride at all. It's not something I enjoy doing.
Of course the other mums there who have a dig at me for being DSD's Stepmum don't help and reinforce the fact that I don't want to be there.
Ah ok Starbuckmum. Did sound a bit threatening otherwise so I probably got my arse out a bit sorry
One of the things I found hardest about having my first baby was the sheer tedium of it all. Newborns are very sweet and lovely but they don't really interact that much, and it can get pretty boring being alone with one all day. I found it a lot easier emotionally with my second because I had a bit ore of a schedule based on the needs of my toddler, even though sometimes it was inconvenient to have to wake up ds to pick up dd from nursery, for example. Of course everyone's experience is different but it's possible that a trip out to pick up your dsd from school and maybe have a chat to some of the mums in the playground might even work well for you.
I think you should keep your options open for now.
I don't think 'bonding' with a baby is about some romantic perfect one-to-oneness. I loved my baby daughter but didn't find the early months the most interesting. It was basically lots of routine maintenance. However what I did like is the interest everybody took in my baby! (The last thing I wanted was hour after hour after on my own with her.) However my stepchildren were absolutely brilliant with my baby daughter.
Usually after school too, children just want to have a snack and maybe veg out watching cartoons. It's not as if you're going to have to do any kind of intensive activity. I can see that if you've not had much one to one time with your stepdaughter you feel about nervous of this. But babies aren't made of porcelain - they need feeding and changing and holding and putting down to sleep. They also need stimulus from those around them. However I don't think they need 100% 24/7 attention from their mother - who really would get overwhelmed if she didn't attempt to carry on with some kind of normal life quite soon after giving birth.
It partly depends on the temperament of the new baby and the dsd. My dd would not be put down, woke hourly at night and only slept on me (reflux ishoos) for the first 4 months. And dsd is of a boisterous nature, and incapable of amusing herself for anything beyond 5 minutes. The whole situation would have driven me mad tbh, much as I love dsd.
I think OP needs to voice her concerns to her dp, and re-assess when the baby has arrived, and things are settling down.
Fwiw I now love picking dsd up, and getting out the house! No more cabin fever
Smile - It was my post that was arse about tit, not your reading!
Needaholidaynow Why are the other mums having a g at your for being DSD's stepmum, that's disgusting! What is wrong with being her SM?
I have to say I have always had the opposite experience from other mums and school teacher/front office staff. They seem to be full of compliments and admiration that I collect/drop off DSC and do extra things for them (baking for the cake sale, making costumes etc) and how wonderful I must be to take them on as my own (they seem to forget I go there and back everyday anyway to take my own dd but hey) I find it a little hmmm to be honest, but it seems to be the opposite of what you get. Do you think your DSD's mum has anything to do with their reaction to you? Are they all very clicky with her and that's why? (not that that's an excuse).
BigPigLittlePig has it spot on IMO.
My DS was a screamy clingy nightmare for the first 3 months. Wouldn't go in pushchair. Wouldn't go in a car. Wouldn't be put down without screaming. All. The. Time.
If my DP had suggested I do the school run too even only for three days I probably would have had a meltdown.
This is a situation that needs discussing concens now but looking at again when the baby arrives. Then you can decide what's best for all of you as a family
This isn't meant in any kind of negative spirit. Mothers and babies vary hugely.
But I am not sure when I had my daughter - in the late 1990s - there was such a stress on routine. I didn't have a particular expectation of 'getting into' one.
In any event what a baby does for a period of weeks, will suddenly shift for some sort of mysterious reason - maybe for a day - maybe for good because suddenly they're in some different phase. So from that point of view, I am not sure there would really be a definite point when you'd think, 'Hurray my baby and I are now a) bonded and b) in a routine so I can now c) pick my stepdaughter up from school.
Starbuck It's this little group of about 3 or 4 mums at school who's children DSD plays with them. Her mum befriended them and she regrets it now because she's realised they are a bit nasty about other things as well as about me.
The issue with me started when one of the mums started having a go at my DP about not letting DsD go to hers for a sleepover because we had plans. I think it pissed her off that I stood by his side (didnt argue back at all).
She has now, every time I go to school, been saying snidey things such as,
"Oh that's JUST X's stepmum"
"Why is she even here. She's playing mummy."
Then she calls DSD over, she runs over. "where's mummy.", "Oh you'll get to see mummy tonight dont worry." DSD doesn't come back to me and runs off. Mums are laughing at me and I look like a pillock.
The last time I went to pick DsD up I took my 2 year old with me just to try and make a point. "Look X it's your little BROTHER." And I just wanted her to be able to see me with a child that she has absolutely nothing to do with and I don't look like a completely useless tool.
Oh needaholidaynow that sucks
And yeah, take your DD with you. Let them see you've got plenty going on in your own life without having to 'play Mummy' for someone else's kid.
I've been in a similar situation at my DSD's previous school and used to absolutely dread going. When my son started school and DSD had to start going to after-school club so I could manage the drop-offs I was so relieved, coz I wouldn't have to hang around in the playground anymore! She's at a new school now and things are fine at this one but I remember that feeling of dread clearly!
OP I don't thing you're BU at all. If DSD is used to going to the CM after school then I think there are plenty of good reasons to keep that in place. Enough is going to change when bub arrives for your DSD so keeping that bit of normality in place may actually be really helpful for her. Also, presumably she likes her CM and would miss going?
If you do have to do it, maybe try and compromise by just picking her up once a week. See how it goes...
I think in part it depends on whether you will be going back to work and DSD will need a CM again. If she has a great CM that you will need to use again in the future then it would be madness to give that up, perhaps cut down to evening per week when you feel ready though.
I don't think YABU to want a bit of time to get used to being a mum. Indeed if I were ever to have a 2nd child, I would want my established childcare routine to remain in place for a bit after the birth. However, I think that 6months is a bit long.
2-3 months should be long enough to get over the worst of the shock to the system, allow your body to heal and let DSD get used to life with a new baby around.
I think that you should get some time and your DSD should be allowed to maintain the security of her current routine until you all get your heads around the changes in your family.
Congratulations on the pregnancy and all tge best in the times ahead OP.
There's probably a compromise between the Monday your DP goes back to work and six months. Talk to your DP about your concerns. Perhaps you could build up to 3 days a week.
Needaholiday- That really is such an awful way for that group of mums to treat you. Actually I find it hard to imagine, as I said, I always find other mums (especially) are particularly positive about me being the DSC step mum
rather than their biological mum (if that makes sense). It must be horrible to be made to feel so awkward when it's something that needs doing so often. Bitches!
This thread has made me think a little. I will be doing the school run (by bus) every day after our next one is born. I will have 3 primary aged children to take to school
and back each day with baby in tow. Obviously after DP has gone back to work after paternity leave (2 weeks). I'm
hoping I'll be glad of the need to get up and out the house each morning as once I'm out, I'm out and motivated. Plus all the older ones will be at full time school so I'll have all day with new DD/DS
I don't understand the 'someone else's kid' and 'DP's childcare arrangements'- OP seems to miss the point that DP and the DC came as a package and she has 2 equal children, not one child and a visitor. DP is not expecting his first baby, as stated, he is expecting his second. I wouldn't allow my DH to treat my first child differently to our joint children- he has 3 children- he does not have 2 children. In schools all over the country you find mothers with babies collecting- they don't opt out - the baby just has to slot in.
When you decided to become a part of your dp's life you must have realized that he came as a package , it wasn't just him !
I think you're being very precious by whining about wanting to spend time with your new baby without your dsd around . How excluded do you think your dsd will feel if she's made to go to the cm's when she knows your quite capable of collecting her ?.
Doesn't she have the right to be able to bond with her new sibling ?.
It's honestly not that difficult to put baby in a pram and go pick up your dsd from school , the fresh air will do you good .
Also, I dare say if dsd was your child then you would have no problem finding the time to collect her with her new sibling .
There is going to be two children in this family that need you , not just one .
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