due date and half term.(41 Posts)
I suspect i'll get flamed for this but here goes anyway.
I am due my 1st baby with dp (my first altogether, he has a dd 12 and ds 8) We are currently having problems with his ex re. collections and drops etc. which is a whole other issue. However she has been talking about xmas and the holidays next year, when we will have them, usually there is never a problem and we have them for the week over the half terms, and during the summers for a few weeks, however my due date is literally 3 days into half term and I have asked DP if for that week only we could not have them.
I know the kids need to bond with the baby etc. and not feel pushed out, however and I may be being selfish, this is my first (and most likely only baby) the week I'm due I don't want to be running around after the dsc, cooking, clean etc. also if I do go into labour, we need to sort out childcare etc. and once home and breastfeeding, I want to be able to do this comfortably without 2 kids there, as first weeks are stressful.
The ex has gone mental over this, and is making out that due to the fact I can't /won't do all the driving and now the half term that I am trying to stop contact, we emailed back explaining exactly why and said once the baby is born, they can come down within a few days to meet baby, or the first weekend they can come. She is saying no, either we have them half term or else.
I am so tired of arguing with her over everything, and want to know if I am being unreasonable, or if this is normal and any advice on dealing with it.
DP thinks she will calm down and see reason but from past track record, I think he is totally delusional.
I remember someone else posting similar a while back and was flamed.
Having recently had DS I do understand.
I didn't think I would kind, in fact I thought I would like it with DSD - I didn't have an option not to have her around as she lives with us but I found it really hard, mostly because I am usually her primary carer and she suddenly lost that whilst I was trying to get to grips with a new baby and I felt guilty and it was just all hideous.
Also you may be overdue and you definitely won't be wanting to drive.
What if you need a c section?
I would say, if you do end up having them, DH is solely responsible. You do not do ANY driving or other child are but they do get a chance to bond.
Perhaps they could come and see you in hospital and then go home to mums and come back a few days later for a night? I think the whole week would be difficult, plus you could go into labour anytime so it's not practical anyway!
Call her bluff. You cannot be a childminder whilst giving birth FFS! I'm glad your DP is supporting you. And even if she doesn't back down, she can't force you to collect them for half term week.
I say call her bluff too. If you are about to go into labour you won't be able to drive anyway!
If you and your DP are in agreement what can she really do about it? Take back the control from this horrible woman and start your new family as you mean to go on.
As long as you explain it to the DSC and make it clear they are still very much loved and wanted but that it isn't fair on them to be with you when you could be going into hospital at any time.
I don't get why you would be cooking and cleaning though - surely your DP should be doing all that!!
It would be good if they could come to the hospital and then come back a few days later but unfortunately they live a four round trip away so totally unpractical.
My dp has been surprisingly supportive over this, I suspect cause I have been doing a lot regarding helping with contact and the kids etc. and told him in no uncertain terms that I needed more support, he does agree himself though, he doesn't think, having spoken to DSD, that she would want to be here for when the baby arrives, she reckons that she would spend most of her time at her aunts and when home have a screaming baby around and it would be boring, which she is quite right that is how it would be.
However it is just the ex who is in disagreement and the last thing we want is the kids feeling pushed out or being told by their mum that we no longer or more specifically I don't want them around etc.
Half term is a while away - Feb I assume. I would keep reassuring the kids that you do love them and they can come and visit the baby as soon as they like, and explain the practical reasons why it won't be possible to do half term eg. not being able to drive, possibly being in hospital and giving birth, being very tired for a couple of weeks etc. And say they will definitely be coming to stay whenever the next holiday is.
Ex sounds nutty. She sounds like she depends on you having them, so I can't see her removing visits from you. And anyway, she wouldn't have a basis for it.
Also I think with all the recent upset regarding other areas my dp doesn't want to push it to far and have her stop contact, the last thing we want is to have to start court proceedings having just has a new baby.
I really wanted to check that I was not being totally unreasonable as dps sister seems to think that we should have them and I am being selfish.
No your aren't being unreasonable. Definitely not.
DPs sister should mind her own business - what has it got to do with her???
Oh flower I feel so sorry for you after reading your other thread as well. What is the plan for getting the stepchildren to your home when you've just had the baby anyway? Is she still expecting you to drive as if I remember correctly that is the only 'option' she is open to.
Fwiw I don't think you are being unreasonable wanting time alone at first just you, DH and baby. But be prepared for someone to come along in a minute saying 'you can't exclude them, if they were your kids they'd have to be there' etc etc... It doesn't sound like your DH helps out much when his DC's are there if you are doing their cooking and cleaning?
Of course you aren't being unreasonable.
Does she have children? Was she driving around on the week of her due date??
What does she think you will do with the children when you're in labour?!
I am due on Sunday and it is our weekend of having DSS, we do not communicate at all with DP's ex (that's a whole other story) and she doesn't even know I am expecting. My SS is autistic so we can't even ask someone to sit with him if I do go into labour so we have had to accept that if this baby comes this weekend then sadly DP will not be able to be there.
I'm our world DSS has to come first, although its hard occasionally we just have to suck it up!
I hope you find a solution but in reality, would it really be the end of the world if they were there, at 12 and 8 I don't imagine they would be hard work and might even enjoy helping you out?
Just a thought
TBH, it's not going to be a fun holiday for the kids anyway I wouldn't think! If DPs sister thinks you are being unreasonable, maybe she should have them come stay with her?
When my stepmum was due I stayed at my mums for an extra week - just seemed sensible, rather than my mum having to come collect me at some ungodly hour.
You're not being selfish at all. DP's sister should butt out - unless she'd perhaps like to have them for half term instead (which would probably get the ex off your back). Without being alarmist, what would happen if there were complications meaning that DP had to be at hospital with either you or the baby ? Who would look after the stepkids then ? ...... it's a big ask of family/friends who may have been okay with one or two nights but longer might be more difficult - and ridiculous when they have a perfectly good home with their mother and would probably rather be with her anyway. I think I posted on the other similar thread (and others like it in the past) and I really do think this is one of those occasions where a woman should be able to put her foot down and thereby look forward to the baby's arrival without the stress of complicated travel and contact arrangements. God knows, we're never normally able to put ourselves "first" and it's not as if you'll be having babies every single half term from now on is it ?
I also feel that with labour imminent, the PWC - if they were a normal nice person - would cut a bit of slack re: contact arrangements and co-operate in trying to reassure the children that nothing untoward is meant by one missed half term. Handled properly by all the adults concerned there's no reason why children should feel pushed out .... my oldest child has two younger (half) siblings from his dad, and it was never an issue for him despite - shock horror - the fact that contact was slightly disrupted around the time they were born for very understandable reasons. Unfortunately though, if you have a bitter and spiteful ex they will revel in using what should be a happy time to shit stir - not caring that they upset their own kids in the process. As others have said, you need to keep talking to them, reassuring them, involving them and so on, but also explain that there are times immediately before and after a birth where it would be very hard to look after them properly and therefore it's far better for them to visit asap once everything has settled down and everyone can enjoy being with each other properly.
I'm glad at least your DP is on your side over this. My DP prevaricated right up until the last minute about collecting his older kids when I was near to my due date - I'd said I didn't want to run the risk once I'd gone past even if that did mean one missed weekend (as there's similar long distance involved, his ex would NOT have come to collect them, or even meet him halfway, no nearby relatives etc and I had visions of him missing labour) but he wouldn't give me an absolute no re: contact at that time so consequently I spent several months worrying what might happen. Thank god the baby arrived on a non contact weekend but that was pure luck - I'm not sure I'd have forgiven him had he insisted on contact to appease his bitch of an ex (who's caused so much unnecessary trouble like you wouldn't believe) and this had ruined the birth. At the end of the day, this is an occasion where you hold the cards for a change and DP can't be compelled to collect them.
I fully understand your reasons & I'm sure the DSC will too. I have just had DC2 during October half-term & I also 'cancelled' DSC's week here for exactly the same reasons. Mine was a planned c section so knew the exact date plus having had a section b4 new how little I would be able to do afterwards. I wanted to be able to sit around with my boobs out establishing feeding which would not have been appropriate in front of two teenagers and I wanted my DH to be able to focus on our toddler so he didn't feel to left out.
As long as you explain it fully to the kids & give them the opportunity to meet their new sibling ASAP then the ex will just have to suck it up
fairy1303 it was me I was the one who was flamed! I didnt want DSS to be here when I gave birth to DC2 and he didn't want to be here either. He was here for birth of DC1, when I had a quick labour 2 weeks early on his weekend. It shocked the hell out of him, as my waters went at home and then I had a postpartum haemorrhage.
Anyway as it turned out I gave birth 2 days after DSS went home after his 2 weeks with us. It was awful 2 weeks, I had to have surgery to remove an abscess without anasthetic during that time, it was height of summer and I was grumpy as hell from being heavily pregnant.
I just shut myself away for the enitre time and counted down the hours until he went home. nothing against the lad, but I wanted to walk around in my underwear due to the weather and clothing rubbed on my scar. I wasnt about to do that in front of an 11 yo boy.
I have no idea whether it truly is unreasonable or not to want your DSC's to be with their mum, but I totally feel for you.
Oh forgot to say that I hired a trianee doula (half the cost) to be my birth partner with DC2. I would totally recommend it, especially as DH had to look after DC1 anyway. When I gave birth to DC1 my DSS was not allowed in to the delivery ward area because he was not my son, so DH had to sit in the canteen with him until BIL arrived to sit with DSS. DSS was absolutely terrified and wouldn't let DH leave him for ages until BIL convinced DSS it would be ok. DH got to my bedside about 10 minutes before DC1 shot out. Tbh 10 minutes with DH was enough! Cracking jokes to try and take my mind off it made me want to thump him.
My dps sister is a whole different nightmare, she will automatically side with the exw no matter how unreasonable, as she is the mother of the children, and therefore must be bowed down too, she in my opinion over steps the mark a lot and interferes to the determent of my dp.
I am glad to have my dp onside with this as usually he will give in to exw to make sure contact is not messed with. I don't think I would forgive dp is he missed the birth of our first child together due to something that could be avoided.
We have the kids again next fri-sun and will speak to them and make sure they understand why (dsd is already pretty much in agreement with us) but making sure they understand we're not pushing them out etc. and say no to exw and just ride out the threats and manipulation.
At least I feel better knowing I am not being selfish.
Of course your not being selfish. These women make me soo angry, no doubt if she was having a newborn the skids would be over at yours!!
Anyway heres my experience of the same thing 6 years ago now
You know, with a manipulative spiteful ex in the background this might be one of those times when I'd apply a little bribery
and corruption. I wouldn't normally advocate bribery at all - IME, far too much of that goes on in many step families once (some) kids get wind their dad is desperate to see them ...... but with an out of the ordinary situation like a new baby I think I'd explain, like you say, the ins and outs of why half term won't be happening this time, and then say "but of course we'll miss you and will be looking forward to seeing you as soon as we can, and were thinking that when we do, we could all celebrate together by doing (insert something special you know they'd like to do and you can afford)". A small baby would be pretty portable after all, even if you maybe had to sit on the sidelines, but if the stepkids had something special to look forward to it might mean they were less susceptible to any nasty remarks from their mother - and a special day out is something you may have wished to do anyway so older kids don't feel that life now revolves completely around the baby. It might just take the edge off any troublemaking the ex does.
Elenor, you are so right, the ex in our case did pack of her eldest 2 to their dad's when DSS was born. In our case she booked a foreign holiday at the last minute changing prior agreed dates so we had no choice but to have DSS.
I read your thread and it struck a chord, it's pure spite I am sure.
good idea catsmother I like the thought of having something nice planned for the 5 of us to do together once everything is settled down.
Of course your not being unreasonable in wanting to take it easy before and after your child is born. Of course there's lots of things to consider though. You most probably won't even have the baby on your due date, he/she could be early/late.
If you do have the step kids who will look after them if you went into labour while they were staying with you? Basically I think you are right to request the week free of kids. It's just not practical and their mum should make other arrangements for this one week but make sure it is just one week or the kids will feel pushed out and no one wants that. Hopefully the ex will chill out and see sense.
It's awful isnt stepmooster. I think its a mixture of spite, entitlement and control freakery. The world owes them dont you know
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