Meeting DP's Daughter

(10 Posts)
sporktacular Mon 09-Dec-13 00:56:42

I've been seeing my partner for… *counts up*… 16 months now, and have never met his daughter (aged 8) because I live 200 miles away and have always timed my visits around the weekends when he has her. Don't have kids of my own, in my 30s.

I'm about to ask him if I can meet her. Her mum sounds brilliant and I'm not aware of any problems, either with them sharing or with communication between them in general. My DP is sometimes very ill and I've decided to outright ask to meet her, partly because then maybe I could visit and actually be helpful when he's ill, rather than just keep avoiding DD-weekends when otherwise I would visit to help/handhold because he is ill. Surely he needs help MORE on DD weekends when he is ill.

And also because I'd LOVE to spend time with a child sometimes, and she sounds awesome, and she's a big part of DP's life etc. But have been taking cues from him so far and I think he's just a bit reluctant to Make A Decision to introduce us and organise it etc.

Does anyone have anything I should consider when asking? I have no kids myself so please feel free to point out the obvious!

Should I suggest that we all three adults meet up and talk about parenting in general and their daughter in particular first? (We and mum met once ages ago in a crowded room, only really enough to get a vague first impression of each other.) Or is that just inconsiderate of their childcare needs since I don't think there's anyone apart from them to look after their daughter? Should I just ask DP to teach me parenting (as far as the bits I might ever need to do) as we go along? Should I give her mum a hello on Facebook at some point to give a potential channel of communication if she ever should want it with me?

The subject of me meeting his DD has come up a few times but we've managed to avoid it because it would have been an accidental/unplanned meeting and it deserves to be done in a planned, thought about way. Not got the impression that he actively doesn't want it to happen though, more just that he struggles with the concept of meeting worlds i.e. his role as my partner and his role as a dad and having to be both people at once... maybe not difficult for some people but it would be difficult for me, so I think I see where he comes from on this and will try to leave him free to be in his "dad role" and sort of take a back seat with any demands on him while we do this. Perhaps I should tell him that to reassure him. Obviously if I meet her then that means I am absolutely committed to this relationship and plan to stick around, which I do.

Anyone have any particular thoughts on reading this? Ideas on how either of the parents might be feeling that I might not have thought of?

AddictedtoGreys Mon 09-Dec-13 07:57:03

hi sporktacular,

how old is his DD? I think you should definitely ask to meet her after that amount of time being together, but be prepared for him to say no if maybe he isn't ready.

I would advise that you will probably need to take a backseat to the parenting of his DD especially in the beginning, as you suggested in your post meeting with her DM as 3 adults and discussing her parenting - this might be seen as overstepping by her DM in the beginning. however, meeting with her DM for a chat so that she can get to know you and see who is going to be around her child would be a good thing to offer to help prevent future issues. parenting will come in time when you Gert to know his DD and how your DP does things.

you will probably be surprised how much you "know" and do by instinct when you spend time with your DP's DD and don't need to be taught how to look after her. after all you wouldn't be taught if you had a baby of your own wink

and finally, relax smile don't over think it all too much. just meet her, be yourself, be prepared for questions from his DD and perhaps a little while for her to get used to/get to know you.

good luck!! grin

AddictedtoGreys Mon 09-Dec-13 07:57:41

sorry just realised you said his DD us 8, ignore my how old is she question smile

peppersquint Mon 09-Dec-13 12:54:51

are you for real?

UC Mon 09-Dec-13 13:04:28

Why would OP not be for real peppersquint?

OP you are perhaps overthinking this a bit and jumping ahead. I would take it a bit more easy if I were you. Second Addicted's advice, definitely don't jump in and talk about "parenting", rather talk about meeting and reassuring.

Good luck talking to your DP about it.

peppersquint Mon 09-Dec-13 15:57:05

UC - this:

And also because I'd LOVE to spend time with a child sometimes

I'm about to ask him if I can meet her

Should I suggest that we all three adults meet up and talk about parenting in general and their daughter in particular first?

Should I just ask DP to teach me parenting (as far as the bits I might ever need to do) as we go along?

Do NOT, NOT, NOT ask to meet this child's mother to discuss parenting!

Meeting her first, fine.

But only so that she gets a chance to meet the woman who could potentially spend a lot of time in her daughter's life!

She's not just "a child", she's his child. His and hers.

Don't go into this thinking she's like a shiny little toy, seriously.

Do you know NO children?

purpleroses Mon 09-Dec-13 17:02:39

I think you're maybe jumping ahead a bit to trying to envisage what a step-mother role would be like.

But the first step is meeting her as "dad's girlfriend" and take it from there. My best tip would be to think a bit about what you were like when you were 8 and see if there's anything there to start up conversations on. Most kids respond a bit blankly to open questions such as "what do you like at school, or what are your hobbies" So it's easiest to meet them at first whilst doing some activity together - take her to the park, cinema, whatever the first time you meet her.

I guess you'll need to move quite swiftly to being around her for whole weekends, as it would hardly be worth your while to visit just for a few hours if you're 200 miles away, though the very first time it might be worth staying elsewhere. Your DP should also make clear that she knows beforehand that you'll be staying and where you'll be sleeping so she's not taken aback by any of it. Does she know about you yet? Your DP should probably start mentioning things you do together before she meets you so that she gets used to you being in his life. As to what she'll think of you at first - one of my DP's DCs was delighted about hearing their dad had a girlfriend, but one of them ran off to his room to sulk and refused to be in the same room as me for the first few months.... but your DP should have some idea how she'll react if he talks to her. It is hard juggling being a partent and a partner at once - but I think your DP can only really work out how to do that one when he lets his worlds combine.

missinglalaland Tue 10-Dec-13 12:25:46

I would read a few of these step parenting threads. You're bright and bushy tailed at the moment...I bet a few of the despairing/miserable women posting now MN were too! It's obviously a difficult, sometimes frustrating role to play.

LittleOwlie Tue 10-Dec-13 22:41:01

Okay...so my experience. I got together with my DP a few months after he'd split from his Ex. I didn't meet the DC for another 18 months. In the months in between he did tell his ex...and she wanted to meet me before I met their kids. This was a few months into me dating my DP. Things kind of took a few weird turns and I didn't end up meeting her. At the 18 month mark, my DP was in the position of having to move in with me and he decided we needed to do the DC introduction, as they were going to have to come and stay in my house in the very near future.

I have to admit...I was full of excitement about having three new DC to look after. I love kids. Oh my goodness, nothing could have prepared me for the truth about being a SM. It's hard. Really truly hard. My DSC are all wonderful. But it's still hard. I know I can say this but until you're in the situation you won't understand how hard it is. My DSC are so well brought up (testament to their mum and dad). It doesn't make things easy. I've had the 'no, I only want dad' etc' to deal with. Totally understandable. I just don't want you to be set up for a fall...they love their mum and dad, and they can be difficult for other people.

I would suggest having a discussion with your DP. Honestly from a Facebook perspective, my DPs ex blocked him and all his family. I think everyone needs personal space and this isn't a place for new partners... Just my opinion.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now