Date night ambush - what should we do?

(132 Posts)
Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 13:58:36

My DSD used to come on set days 50/50, she went through a stage of no contact following years of an alienation campaign by her mother, then when she started coming again it coincided with her reaching an age where a contact rota wasn't really appropriate so she comes and goes as she pleases now. Well, she's only allowed a certain number of times in a month as Mum wants to protect her CM hmm

Anyway. Wednesday night has always been our "date night" midweek, no kids. We have really long hours, stressful jobs and it is so nice to have one night a week where we can just be ourselves, not step mum/ Dad/ Mum etc. DSD usually favours coming on a weekend so even if my DD isn't here, we have one kid at least.

Now, our view was very much that this is DSD's home and she is always welcome here. That is what we told her. However, since this has been in place, she has treated it less and less like her home. She doesn't contribute anything at all and she only comes on "fun" days when she knows she'll get taken out for dinner or similar. She has told us as much.

Part of me thinks - she's his DD and it's her home and she should come when she likes. Part of me thinks - why can't his commitment to his plans with me come first, why should we drop everything for her? And why should she get the message that our plans come second to her whim?

She's 15 btw.

A big part of me wishes he wouldn't ask me my opinion and just tell her no. I could just tell him "you decide" but that would be testing him and is therefore unfair.

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 19:02:31

There are other days I don't have dd, but I work very late on thise days, so she could see he dad on her own then as well. There are lots of options. It's a shame really. She's replied to say she can't come at all on other days so he's obviously not passed the test sad

petal02 Wed 26-Mar-14 19:07:43

If she's replied to say she can't come on any of the other days, then it's almost become a game of who blinks first. What if you and your DH both worked on Wednesday nights? If she's with you most weekends, then please don't feel guilty about a midweek date night ( or whatever you want to call it)! Otherwise, when are you supposed to have any couple time?

HopelessDei Wed 26-Mar-14 19:15:44

Can't you go out on another night? She is a child who will be grown up and out of your hair soon enough. She matters more right now. I see Weds is usually your child-free night but most parents don't have any child-free nights without paying a babysitter so you're not exactly deprived.

FabBakerGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 19:27:16

Do what you would normally do when your child has a tantrum.

Date night does sound poncy though, sorry.

Petal02 Wed 26-Mar-14 19:32:16

Hopeless I still think that even if the OP changed the night, the DSD would then want to visit on whichever night they'd changed to. I don't think this is anything to do with calendars/schedules, it's quite blatant power-play from the DSD.

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 19:33:59

Hopeless I appreciate that but we made the choice not to have children together. We've always said if either child had to live with us full time we would accept that, and would welcome it. But as that is not the case, one of the softeners of not having your child live with you full time is that you get child free time wink

Date night is a bit poncey isn't it grin we always say it tongue in cheek but it does describe what it is and gives it some importance or regularity or whatever

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 19:35:36

And actually hopeless in "most" families by the time the child is 15 they are out of your hair and you can have a date night or however you want to describe it. Only in step families are we required to stand on ceremony and be present every moment the teen is home wink

KellyHopter Wed 26-Mar-14 19:41:09

Because its not that often?

nkf Wed 26-Mar-14 19:45:16

Does she have to have you there? Surely, if it's her home too, at 15 there will be times when she is alone in the house.

RandomMess Wed 26-Mar-14 19:47:14

Well she could come over and you go out anyway without her wink or disappear off to bed very very early - she may then decide she doesn't want to ever intrude or your Wednesday evening ever again. In fact probably cuddling up on the sofa and snogging in front of her would be enough...

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 19:51:59

Haha random that's funny! He said she could come but that we had plans. But she turned down the offer. We do have to be here with her, or she comes out with us. It's not normal IMHO

Sandytrousers Wed 26-Mar-14 20:06:46

I've had a share of arsey teen dsds and could cheerfully have strangled them at times.

But I feel so sad about this poor kid whose mum drinks and who just seems to want to be where there might be some fun and distraction.

Can you not put her first for a few months? This is such a fragile time and I think she cones with her own set of unique challenges that are far from the 'toddler tantrum' suggested earlier.

Petal02 Wed 26-Mar-14 20:09:18

OP, I'm waiting for someone to suggest she accompanies you on your date nights .....

RandomMess Wed 26-Mar-14 20:19:53

Erm no it's not normal! Although I really would snuggle up on the sofa and kiss - it's enough to make my dc go urgh yuck and disappear!

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 26-Mar-14 20:27:19

a - why can't she be in the house when you guys aren't there?
b - just get him to say that he can't do wednesdays.

Petal02 Wed 26-Mar-14 20:31:24

(a) what's the point in access if parent/child aren't spending time together
(b) if only!

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 20:38:26

I do hear you Sandy, that's what I struggle with but to be honest it's not just a few months, it's been years. And it's seen us in counselling and almost breaking up over it all. The counsellor said it is crucial that we put each other first. Of course truly putting your partner first actually means putting their child first often. But sometimes you have to weed out when it is a "need" and when it is something else. It's really hard.

We would be fine with her being here and us being out. Even though she is light fingered. But she wants to be involved in everything so will want to come out with us, or not come at all.

RandomMess Wed 26-Mar-14 20:49:02

I would just carry on reitterating "you are welcome to come stay over on Wednesdays, as you are any night of the week, however we will be going out as usual"

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 20:53:26

Yesi think you're right random

RandomMess Wed 26-Mar-14 20:54:51

Let's face it if your dd was home or you had dc of your own you would be booking a babysitter and still going out, perhaps ask if she feels she needs a babysitter wink

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 21:01:17

Another very good point!

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 26-Mar-14 21:10:10

You'd book a babysitter for a 15 year old? Really?

CorporateRockWhore Wed 26-Mar-14 21:19:18

I don't really understand; there is a massive gap between you saying it's very sad that she can't come over more, then saying you don't want her around when you've got a 'date night' (urgh) planned and that one of the nice things about sharing custody is the child free time.

It doesn't sound that sad, it sounds like a wee bonus. If it were me, I'd have her over, she is a child. The adults can rearrange, surely.

RandomMess Wed 26-Mar-14 21:25:34

No I wouldn't book a babysitter hence the wink

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 21:31:29

I realise I'm contradicting myself - that's the issue. I'm torn.

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