Do you care for your step children alone?

(28 Posts)
AmigoShamigo Mon 17-Feb-14 22:27:40

Dp and I have two children aged 6 years and 20 months. His other children are 6 and 7. Because of dps work pattern he can only have them one weekend per month with extra in school holidays. I'm thinking of suggesting that at the next court hearing he asks for the common pattern of every other weekend contact and I care for the children while he's working. He'd see them for a couple of hours in the evening.

I love my step children and all of the children get on really well. My dsc are really happy with us and we're all sad when they have to leave. Does anyone else have the arrangement of looking after the dsc alone while their dp works? Has it worked out?

Back2Basics Mon 17-Feb-14 22:30:31

If you can do it without feeling taken for granted and pissed off then do it. Kids will build a better bond as siblings and you can make a deal with dh that he has to bring a take away home that weekend so you get a treat to.

TamerB Mon 17-Feb-14 22:31:42

I can't see how you manage without- it isn't feasible. You are one family while they are there.

AmigoShamigo Mon 17-Feb-14 22:39:25

Not sure I understand your message TamerB?

Wouldn't feel taken for granted. I want my dsc to feel they have a home with us too. They love contact and one weekend per month isn't enough.

redcaryellowcar Mon 17-Feb-14 22:47:00

speaking as a step child (now grown up of course) i can't have imagined anything i would like less! i just wanted go see my dad and failing him being around through work or otherwise i would rather have been either my mum .
maybe you are much less 'wicked' than my step mother, in which case maybe good for children to spend time together?

princessalbert Mon 17-Feb-14 22:51:38

So is your youngest DC the sibling of the DSC ?

If yes, then even if your DH isn't around they are spending time with their brother/sister.

But if all parties are happy with your proposed new arrangement, then try it.

I rarely have had to be alone with my DSC -they are teens now, so not so much 'babysitting' required. They don't come to see me - they are visiting their dad.

Lozcat86 Mon 17-Feb-14 22:53:51

I do it all the time, sometimes DH has to work most of the weekend so I have DSS and my baby DD alone. But we all get along well so it's fine

Maybe83 Mon 17-Feb-14 22:55:24

Yes I do..when he s here if my dh has work etc he goes or stays with him if my dd father is working his partner minds her. It means we all still get evening together...if day time isn't possible.

I don't get the whole baby sitter stuff because I don't view it like that I baby sit my friends children my ss is part of my family. Just like dh minds dd if I have an appointment he doesn't ship her over to her dads because he isn't a baby sitter. Also if there is shared siblings it isn't just about spending time with your dh it's about building relationships with them also.

If you think it will work and are happy definitely try..

AmigoShamigo Mon 17-Feb-14 23:00:14

Redcar the children love me and their siblings too and Would be happy here without their dad too. Their mum wouldn't be happy with the arrangement but she often sends them to their grandparents on the weekends she has them anyway and I know (they've said) they'd rather be here.

Kaluki Mon 17-Feb-14 23:24:30

I have always avoided it unless it's absolutely necessary.
Mainly because in the early days they were a handful and because I believe that it is DP they are here to see, not me.
I wouldn't be happy with my ex leaving my dc with his gf while he worked. If he can't have them them then it's up to me.

shey02 Mon 17-Feb-14 23:45:49

I am so, so envious of your dsc's acceptance and love for you. You are so lucky and maybe for you guys this sounds like a plan. But, sharing kids is hard for everyone and as Kaluki says, from a moms perspective this may not fly.

TamerB Tue 18-Feb-14 08:07:39

I meant that when the step children are with you they are part of your family, I can't see how you can operate if you don't have them alone. I came close to having a step daughter once but we did things alone, and I had her without her father being around. We didn't get married or live together, for other reasons, but I wouldn't have contemplated it if she couldn't just come to us and my children if her father was working. I am not the paid housekeeper! She had to be part of the family and muck in, with my rules.

purpleroses Tue 18-Feb-14 09:28:47

I do, though not on as regular a basis as what you're suggesting. Like you I have simiilar aged children of my own and don't really find it any harder to have the DSC too.

If don't see why not if the DSC, you and their mum are all happy about it. Even if your DH only sees them for a couple of hours in the evening, that's still a useful bit of time to keep up with their lives, so good for that relationship too.

AmigoShamigo Tue 18-Feb-14 22:53:06

Shey - their mum definitely wouldn't approve as she worries the kids prefer it here and wants them here as little as possible. But then dp doesn't approve of the children being left with his ex-pil as often as they are when supposed to be with mum and there's nothing he can do about that.

Frogbyanothername Wed 19-Feb-14 00:26:28

OP I'd urge caution.

As your DSC get older, they will begin to realise that their Mum disapproves of their time in your home, and it's quite possible that this will impact on their comfort level and emotions when they are in your sole care.

My experience is extreme, but my DSS was so aware of his mothers feelings that he developed physical symptoms of anxiety when faced with the possibility of being in my care - and eventually it got so bad, that he couldn't cope with being alone in a room with me even if his Dad was in another room in the house. Contact eventually broke down completely and there is an ongoing court case.

I'd suggest your DH tries to secure a flexible working pattern rather than placing his DCs in your care regularly if their Mum isn't supportive.

TamerB Wed 19-Feb-14 07:29:27

I think that abusive, frog, and yesterday a father won custody, one of the reasons being that the mother put her personal animosity before her children.
I found that it was easier as they got older. e.g. The girl that I almost became step mother to was 13 and wanted to help at my 5 yr old's birthday party so she did, her father was at work and even if he hadn't been I doubt if he would have wanted to help!

Frogbyanothername Wed 19-Feb-14 08:08:07

Of course it's abusive - but changing residence is a last resort for courts, even in cases of implacable hostility.
All the OP can do is be aware of the potential impact on the DCs - and while supporting her DH to secure a court order for contact that she is required to honor in order for contact to take place is laudable, is it in the best interests of the DCs?

TamerB Wed 19-Feb-14 08:14:10

How can an extra adult loving them not be in their best interests?

WaitingForMe Wed 19-Feb-14 08:27:40

Yes, quite a lot. I have a great relationship with them and don't consider it babysitting.

Our situation is different as DSS1 wasn't happy in holiday childcare so I offered their mum the option of using me. She has their best interests at heart so said yes.

Largely developing from that, if DH needs to be away at the weekend it wouldn't occur to us to even tell her because they'd not want to miss seeing their baby brother and would think the few hours in the evening would be worth it.

But that's my family and is led by what the children want.

purpleroses Wed 19-Feb-14 10:16:42

I hadn't read the bit about your DP's ex not being keen on the idea - I never look after mine for substantial, planned bits of time without DP's being OK about it. IF DP is going to be away at a weekend he always offers for her to have them instead - sometimes she has them or if she has plans, then she's happy for me to have them instead.

But if you think your DPs ex would oppose it I'm not sure I'd start a fight over it - better to see if you could offer it as a one off, on an occasion when you know she'd otherwise be sending them to her parents, or when there's something particular you want to do with your children that they'd enjoy too - ie try and do it with her agreement, but not push the issue without it.

coffeeaddict11 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:41:48

As long as you don't feel like you have to then its okay but ive never understood the idea that step kids seem to have a right to alone time with their dad and irritates them when their step mother is there and thinking she shouldn't be there as there seeing there dad not them. That maybe but if the step mother lives with their df then they have every right to be there and shouldn't have to leave their own house. My mum and dad were together but i never got alone time with my dad as my brother and sister or mum was there that was the norm. Its totally ridiculous.

Exh and I will be divorced any day now and live 125 miles apart and I have dss alone 3 or 4 times a year.
He lives 600 miles away so is here for long chunks in holidays and I still love him. He is as brother and we are still a family. I often have him for a week/few days at the start of his visit. His mum and her sp work full time as does exh and they cannot always get exact days holidays to match so I can help them both out with childcare and get to spend some time with dss.
My older dc stepmum also helps me out during hols as well. She only works 3 days and I used to work full time. She helped when she was on mat leave and lets me know when her annual leave is in case I need a few days.

needaholidaynow Wed 19-Feb-14 18:22:50

youmake I definitely wouldn't be telling my DP's ex when my annual leave is as that is "my time" away from work. Quite valuable time to be honest and it goes in a flash so it wouldn't be used to run around for DSD's mum all week. But each to their own and that's just my choice just like your children's SM chooses to do the opposite. smile

tiredandsadmum Wed 19-Feb-14 18:56:48

It is a tricky situation as clearly you are a loving person who wants the whole family (all 4 kids) to blend together. However, I am a mum on the receiving end of an ex and his new partner (actually the OW who broke my family up) who push boundaries on contact all the time. Just today there were issues over half term. The bad feeling it causes is just awful and I end up being less flexible not more.

Another poster has mentioned the principle of "parental first refusal" - if you live close this could be a good option and should work both ways. Purpleroses had some more sound advice about not pushing it.

It hasn't always been like that needaholiday and there are 101 other issues but she offers I don't think I've ever asked her to but on case of emergency the offer is there. I would happily take her dc as well and she has asked my mum to watch her and ex's toddler as I've asked her to attend a hospital meeting with me re my dd as she is available and ex isn't as easily in his line of work.
Haha it actually sounds very civil but it isn't always and certainly wasn't in the past but we are stuck with each other for a few years so we try and make the best of it.

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