When you really dislike your DSC's mother and see her traits in them and it affects the way you feel about them?

(96 Posts)
madonnawhore Fri 15-Mar-13 17:34:13

How do you deal with it?

I feel like a horrible, shitty person.

TobyLerone Fri 15-Mar-13 17:42:34

This makes you sound like a horrible, shitty person.

whattodoo Fri 15-Mar-13 17:44:25

Can you make a concerted effort to see the positive traits within them that they've inherited from their father?

madonnawhore Fri 15-Mar-13 17:45:04

Okay thanks.

What whattodoo said. IME, once you do that, you will start to notice the dafter traits they've inherited from Dad too.

madonnawhore Fri 15-Mar-13 17:54:03

DSD's mum is very selfish, self-centred, arrogant and treats DP and DSD like crap if you ask me.

I resent her so much. Every time DP comes home and says 'oh ex is going on holiday/going away/has a lefty to go to so we're having DSD for that week' I feel enraged.

We never get to do stuff like that on our own. DP isn't interested in us going away together or doing anything nice on our own without DSD coming too. Fair enough I guess. But how can her mum not want to do anything with her? I just don't get it.

Honestly, I am finding it so, so hard. I feel so resentful of the imbalance of the situation. I feel like everyone else has a say in the way things are and I don't have any say at all.

How the hell do I pull my shit together? I surely can't be the only person who's ever felt like this? And trust me, I feel BAD.

madonnawhore Fri 15-Mar-13 17:54:25

Lefty? Party.

madonnawhore Fri 15-Mar-13 18:00:10

God I know I sound awful. But I'd love it if DSD had been hatched from an egg that had been lovingly tended to by DP and was nothing to do with her mum IYSWIM?

I suppose I hate the fact that the price of having DP and DSD in my life is that I have to have her awful mum in my life by extension. And deal with staggering selfishness on a daily basis.

If my dh never done anything nice with me without dss I would feel resentful aswell tbh why doesnt he? but, its not really your dp exs fault that she does nice things but you dont.

My advice, find nice things in your Dsd, theres going to be, shes her own person.

balia Fri 15-Mar-13 18:07:01

Hmm...I read the title and thought I knew what you meant - DSS's mother has a sort of 'hippy' attitude; calls the police 'pigs'; thinks stealing from shops is fine because it is getting back at the capitalists who steal from the planet hmm; refuses to work and be 'exploited' - although is bang alongside having a 3 bed house paid for by the state...etc.

I found it very difficult to be calm with DSS in the past when he parroted this sort of belief (or, memorably, tried nicking stuff when out with us).

However, in your case d'you think the resentment is more to do with never going away without DSD, rather than the ex? After all, she's just doing what most people do - sharing the care of the child with the other parent. Could you explain to your DP that you need to do nice things with just him?

TobyLerone Fri 15-Mar-13 18:12:01

So basically, you're annoyed that your partner's child comes first with him, and your feelings about this are getting wrapped up with your feelings about the child.

Casmama Fri 15-Mar-13 18:19:03

I think you probably need to walk away from this relationship. You seem to have a lot of negative feelings which are IMO misdirected. Your partner is the one who is showing no interest in meeting your needs

WakeyCakey Fri 15-Mar-13 22:04:56

I know how you feel OP

DSD's mum gets to go on foreign holidays and do what she wants but the second that we go away for even a day she tells DSD that we have gone because we don't care.
I love my DSD and I have known her mum for years (before I even met DP as awful as that sounds) and I find it hard when DSD acts like her mum, she can be so selfish and spoilt and entitled and I resent her mum for it.

I just have to remind myself that I love DSD and I love DP, I feel enraged sometimes thinking about the fact that I can't initiate anything in our lives without DP's ex being involved in some ridiculous way!

Just try to remember that it isn't your DSD's fault in any way, she didn't get to pick her parents and she had no choice in the fact she can't have her parents together so it's just a case of going a bit easier on her and understanding that she has been brought up like it and that isn't her fault so to try and pick up on her good traits that she has grown into herself

purpleroses Sat 16-Mar-13 11:06:05

I think the best thing is to try and reduce your hate for DSD's mum. You're seeing in front of you - from DSD - how her personality is forming partly inherited or learned from her mum. So presumably her mum learnt/inherited the same traits - which isn't her fault any more than it's DSD's fault.

Is your DSD's mum still single? If she is she may be finding it hard to do 'family' things with her DD, and feels more of a need to continue a single life. Seems you're maybe feeling angry at DSD's mum because she's enjoying child-free times that your DP doesn't seem to feel the need for (but you, understandably do!). But that's more jealousy, than a reason to hate someone. If you can try to understand why DSD's mum is the way she is - even if you still find her hard to deal with - maybe you'd find it easier to accept some of the same traits in her DD?

Have you tried telling your DP that you want some time away together with just the two of you? Maybe you'd resent his ex less if you managed to get that?

shockers Sat 16-Mar-13 11:29:53

I don't think calling the OP selfish is particularly constructive. She acknowledges that these feelings aren't appropriate and has come on here for help.

It's understandable that you resent having to work around someone who you don't like, but DSD didn't ask to be in this situation, whereas you took it on as it was. I agree with focusing on her Dad-like traits and the positives you see in her.

If it helps, my DS1 behaved appallingly toward DH when we first got together, but DH Knew he was in it for the long haul, or not at all, so he persevered. DH and I have been together for 16 years now and they have the most wonderful relationship smile.

wrinklyraisin Sat 16-Mar-13 11:45:20

My dsd is showing some traits of her mothers, like laziness ("get me a drink" as she lays in the couch watching spongebob, "ummmm no, darling stepdaughter, you have legs, get it yourself" is heard several times a weekend in our house) but we (my OH and I) try to encourage more of her positive traits like her blossoming creativity (she and her cousins write and put on the most amazing funny musical plays!) and have a routine of getting stuff done as a family so there's little time/opportunity for her to display the known traits that we don't enjoy seeing iyswim.

My dsd is growing up so fast, a beautiful and smart young lady is starting to show herself. Her mother, sadly and inexplicably, doesn't see or encourage this at all. So we see it as our responsibility to ensure she gets taught good self care, a healthy diet, lots of fun experiences, mixed in with being part of a family unit that all works together to be a strong and loving and supportive environment to both live in and grow up in. Her dad is awesome, definitely not a Disney Dad. If anything, her mum is the Disney mum despite having residence. She doesn't put any effort into showers, homework, healthy food. Nor does she step away from her laptop long enough to do anything fun or constructive. It's leading to my dsd asking to spend more and more time with us. I get so sad that she doesn't feel good about being with her mum.

shockers Sat 16-Mar-13 11:49:29

How old is she?

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 12:05:01

I should think that it is a very common problem-there are lots of people on here who can't stand their MIL and yet they don't seem to understand that they could produce a mini one!
I would just see them as their own person and don't dwell on the association.

Libby10 Sat 16-Mar-13 12:44:02

I don't think you are the only one who feels like that. Sometimes the SC do or say things that mirror DP's ex and it sets my teeth on edge every time. All I can say is separate the ex from the SC. Especially when they are young they are bound to parrot what their parents say and do. Remember that what you do and say will also have an influence on their lives and opinions.
DP's ex has never taken the SC on holiday. Sometimes I have resented the fact that we have born the burden but then we have the memories too. As they have got older I think the SC have also appreciated the fact that they have done things with us and that has meant a lot to my DP. Try to focus on your lives and not worry about what his ex gets up to and don't feel bad about how you feel - its what you do that counts and it sounds as if you are doing a great job.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 12:55:50

It is entirely wrong that your DP lets his exW impose her own personal agenda on you. If she wants to go on holiday and for you and your DP to have DSD, she needs to negotiate that with both of you (in practice, with your DP but he must consult you and listen and respect your opinion).

purpleroses Sat 16-Mar-13 14:03:48

Bonsoir - it's not the ex's duty to consult with the OP. It's her DP's responsibility to consult with her before he agrees to the ex's requests.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 15:33:11

The exW has a duty to consider the agenda of the OP. In practice, as I wrote, that means that the OP's DP needs to take her into account when responding to requests made by the exW.

TobyLerone Sat 16-Mar-13 15:48:41

I disagree. When the OP decided to be with someone who already had a child, she agreed to have a large amount of her partner's spare time taken up by that child. She makes a choice to go along with it when it happens.

Yes, he ought to discuss plans with her. But it is in no way the XW's responsibility to consider her XH's new partner when they make plans regarding the child. If he agrees to the XW's requests re contact, it's up to him to square it with his new partner.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 15:56:16

I disagree with Toby. If you meet someone with a child you accept that the child is part of them and they will see a lot of the child as a couple and they jointly make plans. I would not be relegated to housekeeper where I have no say over what happens in my own house. The step child becomes part of my family- and my extended family- and any plans have to include me. I am not conveniently staying in a compartment- he needs to square the plans with me first.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 15:58:04

Exactly, exoticfruits. Stepmothers are not housekeepers and enablers for the exW and their DP to share out their children without responsibilities!

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 16:06:55

I never became a step mother, but I came close and it irritates me no end that you are expected to be a voiceless, servant in your own home. DP and the exW are supposed to sort it out and you are supposed to say , 'yes sir, no sir, - of course I can do extra meals on Thurs and tell my friends they can't visit- we have no spare room'. You have every right to be in the planning stage.
If I had been a step mother I certainly wasn't staying in a box and I would have been doing things with the DSC without her father sometimes.

TobyLerone Sat 16-Mar-13 16:15:07

But the 'inclusion' is the responsibility of the partner, not the partner's XW.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 16:20:37

The XW needs to realise that the partner will have to agree everything with his new partner before it is finalised.

TobyLerone Sat 16-Mar-13 16:22:05

Still not her responsibility.

And absolutely no reason for the OP to be horrible about a child.

TobyLerone Sat 16-Mar-13 16:22:57

Or, more accurately, no excuse for her to be horrible.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 16:27:13

No excuse for her to be horrible but it is pretty pointless them making an arrangement and then the step mother having to explain that it is impossible and she could have told them at the time, had they bothered to ask.

TobyLerone Sat 16-Mar-13 16:36:50

Again, the OP's partner's fault. There is no way I would make plans with my XH's new partner. It's up to him to make sure the plans are suitable.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 16:39:02

Just as well I never became the step mother then!

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 16:43:11

It's also up to the exW not to make unreasonable requests.

mumandboys123 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:06:36

but how do you define 'unreasonable'? I don't personally consider it 'unreasonable' that my ex has the children if I am unable to (work, emergency, desire to have a weekend away with friends) but would always do my best to make plans based on usual contact arrangements. However, my plans are not always controlled entirely by me and sometimes a clash is unavoidable. I don't, in those circumstances, expect to have to consult with the latest partner to find out if that fits in with her social calendar. I expect my ex to make a decision and stick with it - if he says no, then I will make alternative arrangements but he is an adult and should be allowed to make a decision to have his children in his home for a couple of extra nights, surely?

and why is it that step parents never seem to see their home as being a second home to for their step children but rather see them as some kind of inconvenience that need to be accommodated rather than welcomed into a home environment? surely children shouldn't have to 'ask' to be part of their NRP's home?

Theydeserve Sat 16-Mar-13 18:49:43

OP - complete respect that you recognise there is an issue and that you ask for help to deal with it.

mumandboys123 - completely agree with your last post.

All I can say OP is please find a way to deal with it and not affect the children.

My then 5 yr old told me that they knew the fathers new partner did not like DC. I said how do you figure that -
"well, there are no pictures of us ( DC and sibling ) in the house but her kids are everywhere,
"we are not allowed any toys and clothes in the house" ( I know that because what ever I send comes back for me to wash!)
"when we give daddy a present it stays here and he never takes them to her home
" it is not our home, it is hers and * and ****"
"when she smiles at us, her smile does not reach her eyes"
"she calls me darling but does not mean it"

I cried that night, how can a 5 and 3 yr old be exposed to that and know, their presence is barely tolerated. The hours he spends with them go down every week and the tenuous hold on their relationship diminishes by the day- for what a jealous, selfish woman and a pathetic weak father who can not learn his DCs are his priority not his new ***.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 18:53:35

That is exactly the problem, mumandboys123! You really can't have it both ways! If I had a step child they would be part of my family and they would not only have me, they would have my mother, brothers, cousins etc.It would be their second home and they wouldn't be an inconvenience! However I am not paid staff just ready to fit in with whatever is arranged- as second family I expect to be in on the arrangements, in fact it would be more sensible to bypass DP and deal directly with me. Of course I would take them in an emergency but I would expect to be the one phoned and asked- not someone that has to be put up with, but the ex would prefer to pretend I didn't exist and that the house fairy cooks the meal, makes the beds up, helps with homework etc!
If you want the DCs to have a second home you have to acknowledge that there are other people living in it!

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 18:55:56

mumandboys123 - I am a stepmother and for many years my DSSs did 50:50 between our home and their mother's home. This is their home, but they do have to ask if they want to come here at times that are unspecified, for the very good reason that we do also have a life that does not involve them and if they show up at short notice or swap days around, we won't be able to accommodate them. We aren't hanging about with nothing better to do than wait for them when they aren't here!

DSS1 has chosen to live with us full time now, and that is fine because we all agreed to it. DSS2 continues with 50:50 and that is fine too.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 18:56:42

That is entirely different Theydeserve- I doubt whether the new partner wants or needs to be consulted- she obviously has no intention of getting involved and wants everyone in their own compartment.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 19:01:12

"but he is an adult and should be allowed to make a decision to have his children in his home for a couple of extra nights, surely?"

As an adult, he should know that he should consult his wife or live-in partner before agreeing to sort of visit or social arrangement.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 19:05:17

If you live with someone they are not a paid employee that you 'inform' - you are a family to be consulted.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 19:11:27

Let me give you a word of warning, mumandboys123. My DP's exW thinks the way you do and hasn't always kept to the schedule for weekends, holidays etc (we decide it every September for the academic year). We had many arguments about this over the years with her - we wanted to keep the schedule set in stone so we could make our own plans but she wanted flexibility. Not that she ever wanted to return the favour - the flexibility was hers and hers alone.

The DSSs are nearly 18 and nearly 16. They have got completely fed up with their mother being unreliable and taking unilateral decisions about nights out, weekends away etc without consulting anyone (them or us). DSS1 has come to live with us and DSS2 is chomping at the bit to do so. DCs don't like having their schedules messed around to suit their mother's personal agenda anymore than exH's new partners do!

mumandboys123 Sat 16-Mar-13 19:28:30

Oh dear Bonsoir, you have completely misunderstood me. I doubt very much that my children will be going to live with my ex at any time in the near future because they would be in the way and he wouldn't let it happen. It would affect his social life far too much and he might actually have to take some responsibility for his children.

But regardless, I work damn hard in the week and I support our three children on my own because my ex refuses to pay maintenance and is able to get away with it because he is self employed (and of course, his various partners support him in that). I deserve time off and I make no apologies whatsoever for having a weekend away or spending time just for me. I do that as a general rule on my ex's time with the children. Very, very occassionally I ask my ex to cover for me - such as when I had to take a work related course for 2 weeks or when I have to work during the Easter holidays because my school operates a slightly different term calendar to that of my children. Do you think our children will be resentful of me for getting off my backside and supporting them or my ex for having 4 partners in 4 years (and counting), disappearing from their lives when it suits him, not bothering to make any financial contribution towards their upbringing?

Seriously, Bonsoir, my ex has 'moved on' and is able to conduct his personal life in the 6 days a week he doesn't see our children. Why on earth my children would be resentful that I take the odd day for myself whilst they spend time with their dad is beyond me. Your posts just serves to demonstrate the bitterness and anger that is displayed by many step parents (on both sides) who can't bear that the other person has managed to re-build their life and enjoy it without the person they think is wonderful catch. My ex was never a good catch. I only wish he'd left me sooner!

mumandboys123 Sat 16-Mar-13 19:36:23

exotic - I would happily acknowledge any of the women my ex brings into our children's lives if only he were happy to admit they exist. With the first two I was called various names and told that his personal life was none of my business. That has been his choice and I abide by it. I no longer ask questions. I therefore struggle to see how I can directly involve a woman in my arrangements who officially doesn't exist!

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 20:07:01

I think that we are talking about 2different situations mumandboys123- you have the type where they are not a family so of course you would just consult your ex- I am talking about the involved sort who loves your DCs and needs to be included.

Stepmooster Sat 16-Mar-13 20:25:14

mumandboys123 it sounds like your children have an idiot of a father. I think however that the OP has a DP who is on the opposite end of the scale. Stepmother's are not Stepford Wives, and we do deserve the respect of our DP/DH discussing with us having our DSC's with us on unplanned stays. It shows a lack of respect, and 9 times out of 10 I am sure a stepmother would be happy to see DSC if consulted. What we are not happy with is having to source food and child care at the last minute without being asked. Most of us work too, and weekends are our time to relax also. You enjoy your weekends without your children, for stepmothers especially those with children, when do they get this precious time off alone? Ex partners seem to hold that very dear, even when they themselves have moved on with their lives and found someone new. Stepmothers are not second class citizens, and there is a world of difference between the string of women your ex works his way through and proper stepmothers. I would hope that if your ex does ever settle and finds someone to be a stepmother to your children then you do give her half a chance. You would have no right to get involved in their personal life, and why should you? Unless they are running a drug den or a brothel, what they do in their spare time is not your concern. But that doesn't mean you can pretend she doesn't exist, she does, and she is a human being and like all of us we deserve mutual respect. That means you must expect your ex to communicate with her before he answers you.

I don't agree that OP should have negative thoughts about the DSC being reincarnations of their mothers. I think that the problem is more with the DP and the way she is being treated like a doormat. The DP needs to stand up to his ex and say no if it truly is inconvenient.

DizzySometimes Sat 16-Mar-13 20:32:20

and why is it that step parents never seem to see their home as being a second home to for their step children but rather see them as some kind of inconvenience that need to be accommodated rather than welcomed into a home environment? surely children shouldn't have to 'ask' to be part of their NRP's home?

They NEVER see their home as a second home? Wow - how to make a sweeping assessment of every single step parent. As a step parent, I would like to state categorically that my step son is not an inconvenience - this is his home, and he is welcome here. All that I would ask (as my parents would ask of me), is that he let us know if he's going to come over at a time when we're not going to be available/aren't expecting him to be here so that we can ensure we have food and that his dad is around to see him. I have seen other threads where posters have tried to twist this into the fact that stepchildren aren't welcome - it's no such thing, but showing respect for others and ensuring you communicate what is going on.

This kind of thread is very sad - there seems to be assumption on mumsnet (not surprising, but still very sad) that every mother is a saint and every stepmother is an evil witch out to take the father out of their children's lives. Both mums and dads can behave appalling, and I don't understand why posters don't realise that, and why they don't feel that a step parent is entitled to have her feelings acknowledged, at least, rather than being told to, basically, suck it up and accept he has a child.

OP - it really sounds like you need to discuss this with your DP and work out how you can do things together as a couple. All parents need time away, and if you were her mum, people would be telling you you needed time for the two of you - one of the inequalities of being a step-parent, I'm afraid, is that you won't necessarily hear the same thing. Of course she's going to have traits of both parents, and I do think it's understandable that that is causing you stress at the moment, but it does seem you're misdirecting your feelings to her, rather than your DP. He is the one who should be ensuring that the arrangements work for both you and his daughter. I hope you're able to sort things out to suit all three of you.

mumandboys123 Sat 16-Mar-13 20:53:15

dizzy - In fact, I use the word 'seem' alongside that 'never' which is very much indefinite and is not stating fact. Please don't get me wrong, I do understand the argument from the step mum's side but see it from a different side and find it very tiring that step mums seem to see 'real' mum (I hate the term 'birth' or 'biological') as trying to interfere, cause problems or just generally be difficult. I don't see the 'saint' thing you describe, I see quite the opposite.

Of course it is reasonable that you have notice of a step child coming over but it is the 'right of veto' that step parents seem to believe they hold that bothers me. I don't get to tell my children to sod off, I've got something else to do today that doesn't involve you, I have to have them and make arrangements for them everyday. Why my ex should have to 'consult' to be allowed to spend time with his own children in his own home is beyond me. I'm sorry, but I really don't get that.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 21:05:37

"I don't get to tell my children to sod off, I've got something else to do today that doesn't involve you, I have to have them and make arrangements for them everyday. Why my ex should have to 'consult' to be allowed to spend time with his own children in his own home is beyond me. I'm sorry, but I really don't get that."

I can assure you that my DSSs' mother does not hesitate to tell her DCs to sod off when she has something better to do! She is a lot less accommodating than we are.

DizzySometimes Sat 16-Mar-13 21:07:20

Mumandboys - I don't have the 'right to veto', and I don't think that anyone else is saying that. What they are saying is that, if you are having someone come to your house who you're not expecting, then it is showing respect to those you live with that everyone who lives in that house knows what is going on. Yes, it is his home, but it is hers too!

You make arrangements for your child - would you not realise that your exP would make arrangements for your child with his new partner, particularly if they were living together? Say his new partner would be cooking, for instance, then they would want to know from a practical point of view. Or should his partner just arrive home not knowing what was going on? I am not my step son's parent, but his coming to stay with us still affects me, so I have a right to know. I can't see what is so difficult to understand, and why the new partner should just be invisible, which is what you're implying.

My husband generally lets me know what is going on before agreeing it with his son's mother - as his partner, should I not expect that level of respect? What you are saying is that the children should come first, to the exclusion of everyone else. I feel that both my step son and I are equally important to my husband, and am glad he seems to feel that way too!

Stepmooster Sat 16-Mar-13 21:51:01

Right to veto Oh yes that wicked stepmother trait of just deciding on a whim to deny our DP's contact with their much loved and mostly much missed children out of spite.

Why my ex should have to 'consult' to be allowed to spend time with his own children in his own home is beyond me. I'm sorry, but I really don't get that. I feel really sorry for the poor love who is with your ex, not only is she made to feel like she doesn't exist by her DSC's mother, but she is also not expected to have a voice in her own home when the ex wants the DSC's to come over at a time not previously agreed, when it's not always convenient. It doesn't matter how much notice you give, you don't get to dictate what happens in someone else's life without consulting them first.

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 22:16:02

I think that it needs to be realised that the father and step mother are an item and need to be consulted together. It is extremely difficult to have last minute arrangements when you are unaware of them. You don't generally with your own children - you have advance warning to get childcare and you have a network of help. e.g. with my own child - if I unexpectedly get them when I had something important on like work or a hospital appointment I could drop them off with a neighbour, my mother or a friend, but I can imagine the fuss if I suddenly got a step child, I would be labelled the wicked step mother if I did the same- and yet you can't just drop everything - and why should you if you are treated like paid help?
In my home I am quite happy to be as helpful and as flexible as possible, but not if it all goes through DP and I am just 'told' what is happening.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 22:40:22

Especially when the person doing the telling is your DP's exW. Having to live at her beck and call - the idea is outrageous!

exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 23:02:20

I always get the impression that the stepmother is supposed to be a shadowy figure in the background, like a well trained servant, oiling the wheels so that DP and his children can spend quality time alone!
In reality they are a family, they will spend time alone with step mother, go out alone with step mother, have step granny around, be ferried to Brownies or similar by step mother so therefore stepmother needs to be consulted. If they do take at the last minute, in an emergency, the mother has to realise that the neighbour might look after them for an hour or step granny- just like you would with your own children in an emergency. .

Bonsoir Sun 17-Mar-13 07:27:41

I suspect that many mothers are in denial about the role that stepmothers play in their DCs' lives, hence a tendency to underplay their importance and, indeed, accord them a sort of shadowy housekeeper role.

I know that my DP's exW is in denial about the role I play in the DSSs' life - it would require too much painful self-examination and acknowledgement of her own shortcomings to realise just how much I have influenced their upbringings.

exoticfruits Sun 17-Mar-13 07:44:06

They seem to want the impossible-on the one hand you are supposed to be accommodating, drop your own plans and open your home -and on the other be invisible while they are there 'seeing their father' as if it is only him they come to see and you are just a murky figure who cooks and cleans in the background.
In actual fact the child is coming to see you both as part of the family and will muck in as part of the family, is just as likely to see and do things with the step mother as the father, and therefore they need to be consulted as a family.
If my mother wants to come and stay she discusses it with both me and my DH, she doesn't say 'exotic is my DD, I don't need to discuss it with her DH,' so I don't see why any other member of the family is different.

Bonsoir Sun 17-Mar-13 07:48:54

Inevitably one isn't a murky figure in the background but I do understand that it is very hard for many mothers (even my own DSSs' very unmaternal mother) to accept that their exH's second wife or partner will influence their DCs' life and thinking.

Libby10 Sun 17-Mar-13 12:15:21

It is a matter of showing some basic consideration. My DP always checks with me re holidays etc. most times he could just go ahead and say yes but I appreciate the concern that he shows for my feelings. These decisions do impact on me. I also know that DP's ex's BF has been unhappy when she has agreed to holidays without checking with him first. I think the OP might feel better if at least it was acknowledged that changes affected her too.
I would also say that in our case, the SC have not always been welcome to drop in at their mum's house on the days when they were with us and I know of other instances where this is the case.

theonewiththenoisychild Sun 17-Mar-13 12:26:57

dsd may be picking up her mother's traits but as a female role model in her life she will pick up traits from you too maybe her mother will be unhappy about that maybe she won't but my point is you dp and dsd's mum all have influence on dsd so maybe concentrate on showing dsd a good example

Quiltsgalore Sun 17-Mar-13 15:30:51

My dh has been just been summoned to exw to discuss the new 50:50 arrangements starting after Easter. I could have "come along" but chose not to. We have own way of doing things, our house our rules. Which is partly why dss wants to move in: we have rules.
Dh isn't the nanny and I'm not the housekeeper. And, yes, it's still hard work getting dsc to accept that! But we're getting there.
And the more confident dh and I are as a team, the more secure his dc feel and the lesser their need to parrot their mum.

Theydeserve Sun 17-Mar-13 20:17:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

mumandboys123 Sun 17-Mar-13 20:54:22

stepmooster how utterly insulting. The 'poor love' (the current 'poor love') that my ex is currently with (one in a long line...) has plenty of say what goes on her home and indeed, has never yet been asked to care for our children outwith the normal contact arrangements my ex and I have. Oh, other than the two weeks I asked my ex to have them during the summer when I had to complete a training course to be able to get on a teacher training course - they had 5 months notice of that and I told my ex about it the same day I found out about it. Indeed, she has the pleasure of living mortgage free with a man who is on a very high wage whilst he doesn't pay any of that towards the children he just about manages to see one night a week and the occassional Saturday night when it suits him.

But hey, us 'mothers' who work hard and are independent of our exs, bring up our children as best we can 13 days out of 14 really don't deserve any kind of life, do we?

elliebellys Sun 17-Mar-13 21:42:52

Really makes me laugh on here,the ops partner was at fault for not disscussin with his partner but hey just blame the ex wife.

Theydeserve Sun 17-Mar-13 22:33:10

Kids are never convenient be they your own or someone elses.

It is a shame that step children are considered an inconvenience by all sides.

Parenting for the birth parents is 24/7 365 days per annum, it does not take into account court orders, pre made plans, other peoples wishes and whims - you have to bend on all sides at all times. Fault can be apportioned depending on how you feel abut the situation - just try and tell a kid that Dad / Mum only bothers about them on set days decided by the court and outside that time - tough otherwise someone will get their nose out of joint!

theredhen Mon 18-Mar-13 06:21:29

If I want to go on holiday, I have to ask someone to have my ds. I have to ask my boss for time off. I make all those arrangements before I just "decide" to do something for myself without ds. If I can't arrange things, I don't go. I don't just decide I have a "right" and go.

In my case I have long given up asking my ex to have ds, I just ask and pay other people.

However my dp ex just books a holiday for herself and her boyfriend without consulting anyone at all. Both dp and I work and have to juggle work to look after 4/5 kids but apparently we don't have any "right" to be consulted, we are "told". We, our bosses, our clients, our families, our resident children all have to fit round the whims of the ex wife because we would be out of order to expect to be consulted!

Had we actually had any say in things and been able to negotiate dates or given more than a few weeks notice we might have been able to ensure the kids had a nice time with us instead of being passed from pillar to post or left home alone.

Ex's who continually state that they have the best interests of the kids at heart, sometimes need to take a step back and look at their own behaviour. shock

theredhen Mon 18-Mar-13 06:26:32

And to the person who said parenting is a 24/7 job, I can assure you it isn't that for very many "bio" parents.

Often nrp and step parents are denied contact constantly until bio parent wants a "babysitter". Nobody likes being "used" and that's exactly what some parents do to Nrp and step parents.

It's not very nice to be treated as an unpaid babysitter, it would be far better to be treated as an equal co parent who is a parent 24/7!

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 07:43:17

It all goes to prove to me that people need to accept that everyone moves on and that the child has not only parents but step parents in their lives and they all need to get together and discuss arrangements. It would work so much better than the biological parents doing the arranging and then just telling the rest of the families what was happening, as if the children were nothing to do with them other than to allow the biological parent time.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 07:46:01

They seem to hide the truth from themselves as in 'the DCs are going to their father's house this weekend' - when the children are actually going to 'the father and step mother's house this weekend'.

mumandboys123 Mon 18-Mar-13 07:54:18

but why assume it's just about 'telling' people what is happening? I make arrangements for myself and always ask my ex if he wants the children during that time if it is outwith his normal contact time. I don't expect him to always have them and I accept that it may well be inconvenient. But in the case where I needed someone to help me out for 2 weeks, for example, had I not asked my ex if he wanted to have the children I am in no doubt that there would have been mumblings of why have the children been put into holiday club for 2 weeks with grandma on-call when dad could have taken time off to have them? Shouldn't the children's father or NRP always be the first port of call if the other parent is unable to have the children for some reason? Why is

If he can't have our children, I have other options at my disposable and indeed, would never make a firm plan for anything unless I had back up to my back up! I don't get why on earth any parent should feel guilty about asking the other parent to have their own children and be subjected to cries of 'unreasonable' and 'trying to dictate to the step mother what she should do in her own home' because a parent who is doing the majority of care sometimes struggles to fit everything in and asks for help. And again, it's also about balance and having a life. But somehow the PWC isn't allowed that, is she?

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 08:06:11

You are far more likely to get a balance if you have a good relaxed relationship with the other family- if you can pick the phone up and speak equally to the ex or the DP.
You are immediately saying if 'he' can't have our children rather than 'they'- and there lies the problem. Maybe he is away with work and she could have them if you need help.

theredhen Mon 18-Mar-13 08:10:07

That's the thing isn't it? There's nothing wrong in ASKING the Nrp if he wants the kids if pwc is going away but so often he's not asked, he's told.

There is also nothing wrong, in my opinion in asking / consulting all the other people it affects before Nrp agrees to an ad hoc arrangement. That can include grandparents, childminders, resident children and particularly step parents.

allnewtaketwo Mon 18-Mar-13 08:19:21

Mumandboys you don't seen to be reading the posts. You say why assume "telling" and then describe how reasonable you are when you "ask" your ex if he's available. The posters complaining on here are cases where the ex has NOT asked. Therefore "telling" is not an assumption, but what actually happened in the cases of the other posters. You seem to be taking their posts personally as a slight against you, when actually they are posting about very specific examples in their own lives of which you have no knowledge.

Bonsoir Mon 18-Mar-13 09:23:49

Often nrp and step parents are denied contact constantly until bio parent wants a "babysitter". Nobody likes being "used" and that's exactly what some parents do to Nrp and step parents.

Yes. And when DC grow up, they become wise to their parents' behaviour. They tend not to like the users...

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 11:37:58

Shit I typed a massive reply and my phone lost it.

Lots of interesting points on this thread.

DP is supposed to do 50:50 with his ex but in fact he has DSD over half the time and always has had since I've known him.

He considers DSD as 'living' with us and she just 'stays' at her mum's.

He doesn't think he should have to run things like holiday cover for his ex past me because I should assume DSD is always with us unless I hear otherwise.

The thing is, in reality, he still pays CSA to his ex even though technically he's the RP. And yet she still calls all the shots really. I hate feeling like I have no say about what she decides for us all.

DP interprets that ad me being obstructive to him seeing DSD. But I just want him to understand that it's my life too. I don't like being told we're having DSD for a week. I'd just like to be consulted before he agrees.

Is that so unreasonable? I think a lot if my resentment would go away if I felt more like I had a say in what goes on.

Dahlen Mon 18-Mar-13 11:48:02

madonna I can't help thinking that the person at fault here is your DP, not your DSD or even your DSD's mother.

If your DP values you, there is lots he can do to make you feel cherished and important, despite having his DSD 50% or more of the time. The imbalance you are feeling is down to him not prioritising you enough (not over his DSD, but just making you an important priority in his own right).

Have you considered the fact that this sort of behaviour may have been exactly why his relationship with DSD's mother broke down? Maybe the Xs behaviour now is a direct consequence of that. Is it possible that while they were together your DP wouldn't facilitate his X's needs but now they are apart he is able to do so in the capacity of free childcare and she's taking full advantage.

IME, if most adults involved in step-parenting arrangements are normal, happy and functional people, this sort of jealousy doesn't occur. If your DP made you feel like the most special person alive, I really don't think you'd feel this way about your DSD.

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 12:26:30

Dahlen there's some truth to what you're saying.

That's definitely not why they broke up (won't bore you with how I know). But some of what you're saying is hitting a nerve.

DP thinks that because he's shared his life and precious DSD with me and because we're TTC, then I should automatically know how important I am to him.

But it's about the little things too isn't it? I feel like when he's with me he's really just wishing DSD was there. Any opportunity for us to get away on our own, he wants DSD to come too. As if money spent on a dirty weekend away or something is money wasted because DSD isn't there.

How the hell do I say that without it coming across like I don't want DSD around? Because I do, but I want him to want to make time for us. And not look at every moment spent with me without DSD as a waste of time?

Dahlen Mon 18-Mar-13 12:30:45

I feel for you. You shouldn't have to spell it out because most people just 'know' this. I love my DC and they are my priority, but that doesn't mean that I don't want parts of my life that doesn't involve them, particularly when it comes to time with a DP. If your DP doesn't 'get' that, it's possible that this relationship just isn't meant to be. I'm sorry. sad

The only thing you can suggest to your DP is that it is extremely unhealthy for your DSD to be your DP's sole focus. The burden of knowing that she is his whole life and that nothing else without her matters is not a good thing for a child.

I hope you work things out.

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 12:51:57

He wants me to be like a full on mum role with DSD when she's here.

It's like he desperately wants her here as much as possible and wants us all to be a family. Which is fine and lovely, but I sometimes feel he's not looking at the reality of the situation. Anything less than DSD living with us 100% is going to mean he'll be obsessed with spending as much time as possible with her. I don't think he's fully come to terms with the fact that he will never have her 100% of the time ever again. And no matter how hard he tries he can't recreate that with me because we're a different sort of family now.

He's really not an asshole it anything like that. He's truly lovely and kind and gentle. He just needs to accept DSD will never be here full time and stop trying so hard to make that not the case.

It's like there's a constant feeling of crisis and that he has to have every spare second with her as if at any moment he might not see her again. So I can't see a time in the future when he'll be able to be okay with the access he does have. It'll always feel 'urgent'. Does that make sense?

madonna, I mean this as nicely as possible but do you really think its wise to go ahead and have a child with your dp while you feel like this? I think you need to set the ground rules up first. You should be consulted as to when your dsd is comming thats just good manners, you should be having time out together just you two as a couple. He needs to want you because he loves you not to be a mother to his child, if that makes sense. If you go ahead and have a child with him I think it will just get worse.

He needs to understand that the relationship between you and your dsd needs to take time to grow and to grow naturally and no amount of forcing it by him will make it happen faster. Your last paragraph is a bit worrying aswell, why does he feel like that?

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 13:47:31

Oh I can't wait to have children with him. He's a brilliant father and he honestly is a fantastic partner. I just don't get the panicky 'must grab every spare moment with DSD' thing that he does. I mean, the way I see it, she's not going anywhere, he will always have her at least 50:50. So if it genuinely is a bit inconvenient for us to have her one weekend then he shouldn't feel like he can't say no.

I just wish he'd calm down and stop looking at it as a competition with his ex over who has her the most.

He never asks ex to have DSD for him ever. It's always her asking him. If he ever needs someone to watch DSD he asks his mum or CM. Anything to avoid asking his ex.

TobyLerone Mon 18-Mar-13 13:58:30

I feel sorry for your SD. Your feelings about this will ramp up if you have a child and you will resent her being around even more sad

Quiltsgalore Mon 18-Mar-13 15:08:57

OP, was in very similar situation. Dh would be over accommodating at every chance. Never saw the need for this urgency either as it was obvious he was the best and cheapest babysitter. But he was in a panic and guilt ridden when we met (2 yrs after their breakup) so I was roped into being the perfect super mum and we bought a house soon after so that dsc could have a perfect life with us and never leave. VEry disturbing, very frustrating. After 4 years he has calmed down significantly, dss now to move in 50:50. Different story with dsd...

Out of interest Toby - are you a stepmum and have any friends that are step parents? your comments sound oddly unreal at times.

madonna, your situation is just going to get worse when you have a child as he will probably compensate even more for your dsd and you will resent that for your own child. You do contradict yourself a bit as well, `he,s a brilliant partner` but earlier you said `We never get to do stuff like that on our own. DP isn't interested in us going away together or doing anything nice on our own without DSD coming too` hmm

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 15:28:46

Hi quilts. Glad he calmed down eventually.

I think DP is incredibly guilt ridden that DSD had to go through his break up with the ex. His ex was the one who ended it. Just decided family life wasn't for her and off she walked. I don't think DP's got over how she so unilaterally broke up their family and he had no say over it and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He's been overcompensating for DSD ever since.

Was there anything you said or did that helped him calm down? Or is it just a matter of time?

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 15:32:55

Hi quilts. Glad he calmed down eventually.

I think DP is incredibly guilt ridden that DSD had to go through his break up with the ex. His ex was the one who ended it. Just decided family life wasn't for her and off she walked. I don't think DP's got over how she so unilaterally broke up their family and he had no say over it and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He's been overcompensating for DSD ever since.

Was there anything you said or did that helped him calm down? Or is it just a matter of time?

madonnawhore Mon 18-Mar-13 15:43:11

Dreams I'm slightly over simplifying because there are do many shades in this dynamic it's impossible to convey in one post.

If I said 'let's go on holiday just the two of us' he would go along with it because he wants to make me happy. In fact we've done that in the past and it's always been great. But because of the 50:50 thing it means that if we go away for a week, he's missing out on some of his days with DSD. And I know he hates that. Even though he'd never say anything, I can tell he's mooning over her and feeling guilty that he forfeited his time with her.

But I feel like parents surely want to get away for some one on one time with their partner once in a while. And they don't feel guilty right?

It's like, at some point we need to move put of this panicked 'grab every second' phase and into something a bit more like a routine. Where our own relationship has space to be nurtured.

Your right madonna, you know what he needs to do, can you talk to him about it. Just a thought, your saying your ttc? do you think he feels a bit guilty about that for his dd? and maybe going over the top to compensate to her, if you see what I mean. It sounds like he just needs to relax a little, but I think its worth trying to talk to him, reassure him that his dd will always be v v important but so are you, so is your relationship and you will work as a team, but its vital that he discusses things with you first. Might just work smile

TobyLerone Mon 18-Mar-13 16:20:22

What is unreal about what I'm saying, quilts?

Quiltsgalore Mon 18-Mar-13 16:55:17

OP, dh is still a bit driven, but I got him to read some really beneficial stepparenting books, like Stepmonster, which basically said same as me, but most use was the couple counseling, where again common sense in the shape of a therapist told him to respect himself to receive respect, I.e. from his exW and his dc. I felt I couldn't handle his behaviour on my own anymore, he was destroying our marriage by sheer bloodymindedness.
Now he listens to me and we build common strategies.
DATES really important in a marriage, also mini breaks for just you two help enormously. Could not have survived these years without that.

Toby, when I read your posts on other threads as well as here I feel you automatically jump on the stepparent, defending dsc as if from a dragon? Were you an unhappy sc perchance? Sorry if I'm totally misunderstanding your replies, just a vibe...

givemeaclue Mon 18-Mar-13 17:00:02

I don't think it wise to ttc until these issues are resolved

Bonsoir Mon 18-Mar-13 17:03:12

You have every right to be consulted and to know in advance when your DSD is going to be in your house. It is perfectly reasonable and normal to plan child-free times and times without DSD but with your own DCs (when you have them). It is incredibly bad for stepchildren to be calling the shots in any family and your DP need to get to grips with this.

TobyLerone Mon 18-Mar-13 20:38:52

Quilts, you're not only 'misunderstanding my vibe' (hmm), you're also being completely and inappropriately presumptuous. I also think you have me confused with someone else. I have maybe posted on 2 'step parents' threads in my entire time on MN, and I certainly don't remember ever coming across you before.

Despite it being irrelevant, FWIW I've never been a stepchild. But I will always defend any child against someone who is dismissive at best and downright nasty at worst.

Bonsoir Mon 18-Mar-13 20:41:12

IME people who have no experience of stepfamilies are totally clueless as to how the boundaries in them work.

TobyLerone Mon 18-Mar-13 20:44:17

Are you talking to/about me, Bonsoir? If so, you are also presuming quite a lot!

MarshmallowCupcake Tue 19-Mar-13 20:44:00

I completely understand your frustration madonnawhore sad I'm in a similar situation.
You have to chat with your partner to sort things out. You need a relationship and all the fun things that come with it or its not worth being with this guy.
Tobylerone.......are you a step parent?

Strongertogether Wed 20-Mar-13 11:09:56

Oh Madonna, please think very carefully before committing yourself with a child with your DP. If you have a child together his overcompensation for his daughter will get worse and you will become more resentful. This will be no good for anyone. Please ask yourself honestly, is this man and the situation you're in really making you happy? If the answer is 'no' then cut your losses and run.

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