Why do Stepchildren need to stay the night?

(102 Posts)
tinybluemoon Mon 18-Mar-13 10:41:15

Just a question that was raised in my other thread (Sorry MN head quarters, I know you hate these spin offs) that I thought might be worthy of exploration.

Why is it so important that our stepchildren stay the night? It isn't like any activities or bonding can be undertaken while sleeping, and I know myself I've always preferred to sleep in my own bed, and I know my own children are much the same. Surely it would be just as worth while to eat dinner as a family and than return home, especially if the children must be up early to be delieved home in the morning, not leaving much time for morning activities.

So why is it always viewed as important for visitation to include overnights? Who actually benefits from these? The children? The parents? The CSA? Who?

MortifiedAdams Mon 18-Mar-13 10:42:53

Because then the children can feel.at home with both parents. They get the whole.experience. The second home feels theirs too, rather than them simply being made to feel like guests in it.

Because why.not?

50BalesOfHay Mon 18-Mar-13 10:44:19

So the other parent can have a night out and a lie in?

Branleuse Mon 18-Mar-13 10:45:13

everyone benefits.

The stepchildren see it as another home. The mother gets a night off, your dp gets to feel like his children are part of the family, you get the opportunity to bond and feel like theyre part of your family, which they ARE. Its partly symbolic.

why are they only staying one night instead of weekends?

Startail Mon 18-Mar-13 10:45:55

Because the other parent might want space to form, cement a new relationship.

Because it's nice for their Dad to put them to bed?! don't you love putting your own kids to bed? All snuggled up and sleepy? Then see them again in the morning, it's different, why don't you like them staying?

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 10:49:39

DH's solicitor told him that overnighting only "came into fashion" when the CSA started using 'nights per week spent with NRP' as a method to calculate maintenance.

FreakoidOrganisoid Mon 18-Mar-13 11:03:04

My children don't have a step parent yet but they stay at their dads overnight so that
They have a longer stretch of time with him
So that he does some actual parenting (bath, bed, get them up and dressed etc) rather than just taking them out on jollies
So that I get a break (yes I know most parents dont but t is very different being the sole person responsible day in day out to having someone to share the load with- I don't know how lone parents who don't get a break cope tbh)
So that they have more of a parent/child relationship with him than him being someone they see for a few hours at a time
So that his house is a second home for them...

UC Mon 18-Mar-13 11:10:07

Because he is their dad!

My DCs spend time at their dad's and time here. Just because we split up doesn't stop him being their dad, and their relationship is important. The DCs have a right to that relationship.

tinybluemoon Mon 18-Mar-13 11:14:59

But UC why is it necessary for them to sleepover to achieve that?

Branleuse Mon 18-Mar-13 11:15:13

why do you need to live with your dp?

Their bed at yours should be seen as their own bed


Are you reading the thread OP? Can I ask again, why don't you like them staying over?

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 11:24:51

Libertine, the OP has very limited space, and 3 step children who stay over each fortnight. There's another thread running about bedrooms.

tabulahrasa Mon 18-Mar-13 11:25:47

There's bathtime, bedtime, waking up and having breakfast together... it's not just about sleep, they're all important things to do with a parent.

The ideal is that they have two homes with two parents, not one home with somewhere they visit occasionally.

Ah, cheers petal unfortunate, but still think once a fortnaight they could be accommodated?

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 11:31:01

Libertine, that's what is being discussed on the Bedrooms thread smile

I shall go, forthwith and RTFT grin

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 11:37:06

I can see no harm in overnighting if it works for all parties, but we seem to have a culture whereby overnighting HAS to take place, even if it means people (step children included) practically sleeping on the washing line and/or having silly journeys to school by being in the wrong place on school mornings.

UC Mon 18-Mar-13 11:42:44

Tiny, in an ideal world, sharing their living between their dad and me means that the DCs have an equally strong parent/child relationship with both their parents. We are lucky, we don't live far away from eachother and can both do school runs etc. I think staying there increases their view that his home is their home, and so is the home they have with me. They stay at his for nearly half their time, and with me for just over half. Both of us are involved in homework, activities, friends.

The OP's other thread puts her dilemma into perspective - 7 children to accommodate plus her and DP, and 3 bedrooms to do it in until they can finish the house they are building for them all to be able to live in.

RaspberrySchnapps Mon 18-Mar-13 11:46:22

slow hand claps OP. ere you go love, have my very first ever biscuit.

because they are now your family, not visitors, and have a place and a right to be in the home just as much as you do. If you don't like it, don't live with someone who already has children. You have that choice, the children don't.

If you are short on space, muck in all together. You know, like a big family does. Make it fun, shared beds, sleeping bags and zed beds depending on age. Don't reject children because it upsets the furniture arrangements. Furniture can't learn to hate you. If the children have gone through a family breakdown the last thing they need is to be made to feel like outsiders by their own parent and his/her partner. Poor kids.

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 11:49:57

UC, you've hit the nail on the head with your "in an ideal world" comment. In an ideal world, everyone would have plenty of space, and would be close to the child's school. In an ideal world though, there wouldn't be separated families ....

CoreOfLore Mon 18-Mar-13 11:55:33

From what I've read Raspberry most of the children involved are babies, or little more than babies. I don't think sleeping bags and such are a good choice.

Al0uise Mon 18-Mar-13 11:57:13

It's been the practice since way before the CSA was even a twinkle in a politicians eye. Parents both need to provide a home for their children.

A very bitter op I suspect.

UC Mon 18-Mar-13 12:11:21

Exactly Petal, in an ideal world. It isn't always possible to achieve, sadly.

fuzzpig Mon 18-Mar-13 12:13:23

Because it's nice?

My 14yo DSDs stay round lots even since we moved to the same town (ie it would be possible to just come round for daytime visits) but why on earth wouldn't they?

Unfortunately our house is tiny (we are actually on the housing register due to 'overcrowding' and hoping to move to a 3 bed where they will have their own beds) so they just sleep on the sofa or mattresses but they have their own stuff here which gets moved back and forth as need dictates. They love it, we love it, our little DCs get loads more time with their big sisters because they are here when they wake up (sometimes they end up kipping together anyway!), and DSDs get grown up time with DH and me once the little ones are in bed, because they don't have to get home. When they were younger they'd come into our room in the mornings and we would just chat for ages, that was always when any worries about school etc would come out.

The only thing we don't do is sleepovers on school nights - none of us drive, and their school is the opposite side of town, so we stick to weekends and holidays. We don't have any particular access arrangement, it's all casual which works brilliantly. Last month they both chose to do their work experience at our DCs' school/nursery, so they stayed with us all week - it was a very crowded hectic house but it was absolutely wonderful. They are very easy going teens and really aren't fussed about where they sleep!

Also as they are twins who share a room at home it's nice that they can escape from each other by coming here.

As a PP said in an ideal world we'd have a huge house with a room each for them but we don't - but it doesn't seem to have any negative effects, we all get on brilliantly and are a very happy family. I can't imagine not having them to sleep over.

Pinkshaman Mon 18-Mar-13 12:13:26

I've been dealing with the fall-out of my dd and dsd (who lives with me, not her Dad) being pushed out of his life by him moving his girlfriend and her children into what was the family home and there being no room for them.

Dsd was devastated as her life-long dream was to live with her Dad and I, and then when I left to live with her Dad and have the relationship she had always wanted with him. They couldn't understand why dsd was upset about the new arrangements, and this was compounded by they way she was told.

DD found it really difficult too as in her eyes, that had been her home and from having a whole bedroom to herself most of the time, the whole room had been changed and she only had a couple of drawers and another child yelling at her that it was her room, not dd's.

But it wasn't the rooms that were at the root of it. What was really going on for them (and still is) was that their Dad had prioritised the new family over them. The first weekend the new family arrived, they were taken to meet dd (who was with my sister at the time) and once introductions were over she was told that they were all off to the beach and she couldn't go as there wasn't room in the car. My heart still breaks for her over that.

The next call I got from xh was to say that while dd could visit, there wasn't room for her to stay. I kicked up a fuss and xh conceded that she could go with a blow up mattress and they would see how it went sad.

To my girls it really doesn't matter that they are being squeezed into a tiny house, what they wanted reassurance over was that they were still as important in their Dad's eyes. Yesterday I held dsd who cried until she was sick because she had been begging her Dad just to spend a couple of hours with her and he refused angry sad. And dd too would love that she went and did something with just her and her Dad, nothing much - a walk in the woods and little trip out to the shops. But he won't, he tells her that everyone has to go.

Please, please make sure that when you are considering this that you look at things from the childrens' point of view and make sure that they don't feel pushed out and unwanted by their Dad like my girls feel.

Greensleeves Mon 18-Mar-13 12:16:32

Because there should ALWAYS be a place for a child where his/her parent lives, unless he is in prison

If you really can't understand that, maybe you should do your dp and his family a favour and do one hmm

Oh pink that's so heartbreaking, how the hell do they expect children to not feel deserted and devastated by shit like that?

PatriciaHolm Mon 18-Mar-13 12:21:07

Because "home" isn't just one place for these children, it should be two - one with each parent, a home in which they feel equally loved and welcome. Not a place in which they are treated on a par with next door neighbours who pop in for a cuppa and toddle off later.

Viviennemary Mon 18-Mar-13 12:22:10

I think it is quite important. They need to feel part of the family rather than get the feeling they are being despatched off home as soon as possible. Which seems to be the situation in your case. Sorry if I have to this wrong. but this is what it sounds like to me. You wouldn't like it if somebody suggested you should get your own flat and not stay overnight. Same thing.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 12:31:21

i think i'm going to start putting the dcs out at night. i mean who really benefits from them sleeping here. it's not like we actually do anything together while they sleep so there's no point letting them sleep in the house. and breakfast, they could sort that themselves outside soemwhere. again, no benefit to anyone having us togetehr to eat. and bath-time? forget it, what a waste of time. it can be done just as easily by, er someone else? yeah, pretty much unless we are at the funfair or eating mcflurries, there's no real point to my dcs being with me so i'm just going to leave all that dull parenting business up to some other person whose time i place no value on.

What a strange question to ask.

Perhaps some people are just not cut out for step parenting.

badguider Mon 18-Mar-13 12:34:28

I have no direct experience but I assume it's exactly so that there is no own bed and other bed as you say in the OP. It's so that the child feels they have a home with both parents rather than one home and one place where they are a guest and 'visit'.

In some ways I suppose this will depend on the balance of care, if they spend 90% of their time at one parent's then it will be 'home' and the other parent will be 'away', but I think most parents try for something more like 60/40 or 50/50 in terms of care.

fuzzpig Mon 18-Mar-13 12:35:19

Oh pink that is horrific sad

Thank goodness you are there for your DSD.

Just another 2p to respond to the OP - if my DH didn't get to put his DD to bed and see her the next morning, I think the temptation to keep her up past bedtime and overstimulate her during the day would be much, much stronger. Having the kids overnight gives the adults a sense of security about their relationship with the kids too, IMO, and actually allows the grownups to prioritize the kids' well-being. Considering how many of us flip out when our children bond with another well-meaning adult in their lives, be it a step-parent or pushy in-law grandparent, I think the adults' sense of security is just as important as the kids'. I think we are told that this should not be the case - that the adults do the breaking up and therefore maybe do not deserve to have feelings - but I think that need for a secure relationship is still just as present in the grownups.

Besides, no one should have to go through life feeling surplus to requirements, whether that's stepmom, Dad or kiddo. smile

pinkbraces Mon 18-Mar-13 13:15:40

Because they are not just my step children, they are my husbands children, and its their home.

And, you cant have late night chats with the teens if they are not there, or sleepy sunday mornings, or giggles and hot choc when they come in after a dates.

So many many reasons why - but mainly because we are a family

theredhen Mon 18-Mar-13 13:21:03

Pink, that does sound awful and I can relate to a lot of your post as a Mum to my own child and the way his father has behaved.

However, there is so much that your ex could do to make your DC feel loved and valued by him that doesn't involve overnight stays. I can see that being pushed out of the old family home must be very hard on the kids but never taking them out for the day on his own, having them round for tea, insisting on taking step siblings out etc. is really what is the problem, basically he's being an arse! Overnights or no overnights.

My own DS stays overnight at his Dad's (no bed or belongings are allowed to be kept there), does it make for a better relationship with his Dad? I really don't think so. I think it just reminds DS that he's not really part of his Dads life all the more. It also makes it easier for his Dad to say he has a "relationship" with DS when he can sit in another room and ignore DS for the weekend, whereas if he had to take him out, he would be forced to talk to him and interract with him.

I think it all depends on so many things, closeness to PWC home, school, friends, how many hours NRP works etc etc.

I have seen my 4 DSC when they were younger literally being dragged out for hours in the car to faciliate 4 different school runs which are miles away (had they lived with us, they would have got free transport) rather than getting 1 lift home with Mum / getting free transport back to Mums and Dad picking them up from there later. I've seen my DSC being made to get up 2 hours earlier than they would at Mums to fit round DP work and the school runs. I've seen sick kids being transported around by car to faciliate the rota and timetable. I've seen kids getting upset and stressed by having to remember their Monday morning books and clothes, show and tell items on Friday mornings knowing that they are "not allowed" at the other parents house until after school on Monday.

Who really benefits in all those circumstances? Dad gets to say he has his "contact", Mum gets a break, the kids get stressed and bored when it's not necessary. I know that every situation is different but I actually believe my DSC would be better off only staying overnight at ours on Fridays and Saturdays and school holidays.

And as an adult who was passed from pillar to post as a child, I really feel that kids need stability and routine. All I wanted was a permanent, safe place where I could feel at home and I could be part of another place but I had the security of my home when I needed it, not when a court/rota/parents agenda dictated it.

willyoulistentome Mon 18-Mar-13 13:21:12

My step kids live 90 mins away. Apart from all the good reasons mentioned above, it would have added another 3 hours in the car for the kids and another 6 hours for DH PER EOWeekend, if they had had to ferry to and fro for bedtime.

Pinkshaman Mon 18-Mar-13 13:21:32

It is Libertine and fuzzpig, thank you.

pictish Mon 18-Mar-13 13:22:06

What a stupid question. hmm

CointreauVersial Mon 18-Mar-13 13:24:31

Pink - that's so sad.

When my dad remarried (I was 13), my stepmum made it a priority that I should be able to stay over whenever I wanted.

For the first few months I slept on a campbed in a store-room, surrounded by tins of baked beans, until they were able to rearrange the house and create a small bedroom for me. I didn't care; the important thing was that I was welcome and considered part of the family. Packing me off home in the evening would have given a very different message.

It's one of the reasons I love my stepmum.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 13:30:05

also worth noting OP that they're only step children to you. to their dad they're his children, to their mum, they're her children, to themselves they are their parents' children. they probably dont think of themselves as being in a state of 'step' except in relation to you whereas to you they are always step children.

seeker Mon 18-Mar-13 13:33:04

Because it's their home. We're not talking about a play date here.

"My own bed" is telling.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 13:34:55

i also think that if a child is used to having both parents at home in the evening, sharing bathtime, bedtime, breakfast, school runs, finding uniforms etc then it is very confusing for the child to suddenly not be 'allowed' to do those things with one parent just because the parent lives in another house. obviously it has to be practical and if dad moves to australia then an overnight visit once a week just wont work but where possible i think the adults involved should be doing what they can to make it possible for the children to spend good quality time with both parents. as much as it might be inconvenient, the children really should be the priority.

Pinkshaman Mon 18-Mar-13 13:39:28

I know, he could be doing loads more. He doesn't even bother to phone dd between visits. I am grateful (on dd's behalf) that he relented and had her for overnights, otherwise that would have been even worse. I don't feel though that even if he were doing all the other things that it wouldn't matter whether they were there overnight or not - I think it definitely would matter to them. As it is, it's only dd that goes overnight.

pictish Mon 18-Mar-13 13:44:55

I'm astonished that anyone - even someone without kids - needs to ask this.

But then I suppose...if you don't know, then you don't know.

AThingInYourLife Mon 18-Mar-13 13:46:22

"yeah, pretty much unless we are at the funfair or eating mcflurries, there's no real point to my dcs being with me so i'm just going to leave all that dull parenting business up to some other person whose time i place no value on."

grin sad

Well said

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 13:54:50

I’m astonished that anyone – even someone without kids – needs to ask this

Pictish, I think you can only draw on your own experience when commenting on threads. I think overnighting is fine when physically/practically/logistically possible – but when it’s not ……. I’ve never seen the point in making entire households suffer with ridiculous levels of overcrowding (as per the OP’s situation) and/or making it extremely difficult for the child to get to/from school, simply so that someone can say they’ve achieved overnighting. It’s overnighting for the sake of it when it gets to that point. I don’t know who benefits.

It’s like sticking slavishly to the access rota, doing insane things to achieve rota compliance, even if such compliance doesn’t actually mean the parent/child get to spend time together.

Why does common sense go out the window with step families?

lunar1 Mon 18-Mar-13 13:55:59

I am shocked that any human being could need to ask this question. Maybe you could just put kennels out the back for them all.

pictish Mon 18-Mar-13 14:00:59

Fair point Petal.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 14:02:17

"Why does common sense go out the window with step families? "

because with step families/blended families there are far more people to be fair to than in a family where both parents are together or even where they are separated but both still single and no other children.

with step families you still have the obligation to be fair to your existing children and their other parent but you also have the commitments you have made to your new partner and they have commitments to their children that may live with you and so in an attempt to be fair to ALL involved sometimes you end up performing this insane balancing act that ends up with nobody getting what they feel is 'fair'

Pinkshaman Mon 18-Mar-13 14:03:09

I didn't have room for my dsd. She sleeps on the sofa and we've made part of the lounge her bedroom. It's not ideal by any means but at least when neither her mum nor dad were bothering to make sure she had somewhere to live I was able to show her that someone cared.

If I went on to have another 2/3 children or more I wouldn't be saying that dd and dsd could no longer sleep at mine as there wasn't room. I'd be finding a way round it.

FrauMoose Mon 18-Mar-13 14:04:02

"Why does common sense go out the window with step families?"

I think it's about love. Does that answer the question.

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 14:17:20

I do wonder how many children, who get shunted off for overnighters (and then suffer overcrowding, difficult school journeys etc) actually appreciate the experience? They might have been perfectly happy to see Dad, but would then prefer to go home to their own bedrooms, and a short journey to school the following day - rather than be room-sharing with children they may not know very well, or may not like, and then having a silly journey to school the next day, having to cart their overnight bag with them. All in the name of box-ticking.

wannaBe Mon 18-Mar-13 14:22:05

I think the whole reference to "their own bed," is very telling indeed.

Ultimately, if you get involved with someone who has children then those children become a part of your life, 24/7 if that needs to be the case. As a stepparent you don't get to choose when the stepkids should and shouldn't be allowed into the equasion. In this regard I think that stepfathers often expect and are expected to take on more because more often than not it is the case that the mother is the primary carer and as such the stepchildren live with them on a far more regular basis, yet women who take on a stepparent role seem to have an expectation that the stepchildren spend less time in the family environment as traditionally they would live with their mother and only be seen on access visits.

FrauMoose Mon 18-Mar-13 14:25:49

My experience is that children - particularly as they get a bit older - are actually very good at letting parents know whether or not an arrangement works for them. They may be balancing their own needs and also doing some complicated juggling about the needs of their parents. But certainly once they become of an age where they are able to spend time unsupervised and their social lives begin to develop, they get very vocal indeed!

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 14:28:35

I think the whole reference to “their own bed” is very telling indeed

When I said “their own bed” I meant the bed in which they spend the majority of nights. And if it’s the usual EOW arrangement, then the child lives with Mum and visits Dad. So they spend the majority of nights at Mums.

And I also speak from my experience of being a step child; I was happy to visit Dad, but preferred to go home (yes, I used the word “home”) to Mum afterwards, to my own bedroom and then would be happy to see Dad again next week.

This isn’t to say that overnighters are never appropriate, just not mandatory, and you can certainly have a fulfilling relationship with your NRP without them.

FreakoidOrganisoid Mon 18-Mar-13 14:36:19

Petal it doesn't have to involve complicated school runs. My dc go to their dad every other weekend. Friday night to Sunday lunchtime.
It's not an even split no, and they do consider my house more home than his but having that two night stay with hin has really changed their relationship with him from when they used to see him for a few hours during the day.

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 14:38:38

Freak, when overnighters don't involve complicated school runs, then there's no problems. We only had problems with my DSS's overnight stays if we had to get him to school the next day. If it was on a weekend, it wasn't an issue.

These days fathers and children are much more involved in all parenting aspects. Dhs special time with the dcs is the evening routine, the story at night etc, why should a father, and child, be denied that?

In the 70s it was the done thing that fathers had access for a Sat or such, for some it might have worked, but for many it didnt. I think its great that the role of the father is much more these days.

I don't think a child needs to stay with their parents over night, my sisters and brother and I stayed occasionally with my dad, but we saw him every weekend. I am so glad they did not do every other weekend when I was a child, I find it quite disgusting that some children get to see one of their parents two days every two weeks, surely seeing them at least once a week is much healthier. 50-50 is rarely practical.

My dad did not live close enough to have us during the week, but if he had to have us for a whole weekend, I don't know how my brother and sister could have continued to play tennis, my eldest sister to play netball nor would I have been able to continue with my gymnastics. I probably would not have been able to go to youth group, these things I would have resented, as it was my eldest sister resented having to see him every weekend as she wanted to be spending time with her friends when she was a teenager and she wasn't given a choice unlike I was at the age of 14.

I have some great memories of spending days out with my dad, we went on long drives, camping, to the beach, he still took us to the library and read us stories. I suppose I am lucky my mother had no problem him coming in our house and spending Sunday afternoon, playing board games if the weather wasn't nice.

You have to what is best for your children and that isn't always having them sleep in your home if there is no room, the important thing is making the time you do spend with them quality time.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 14:41:29

Simply put-they have two families and you tend to sleep with your family.When you got DH you got his children -for life.

It was 'love me, love my child'-they certainly would not be coming into a home where someone has to question whether they spend the night there! As many nights as they want is the answer-for as long as they want.

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 14:48:59

You have to do what it best for your children, and that isn’t always having them sleep in your home if there is no room, the important thing is making the time you do spend with them quality time

Hallelujah !!!! Is common sense starting to prevail?????

seeker Mon 18-Mar-13 14:50:07

So what about the other parent doing what's best for his/her children?

KobayashiMaru Mon 18-Mar-13 14:53:10

Perhaps your husband should have thought it through before having 6 children in 6 years with 2 different women. 3 2 year olds was never going to be that easy, and your answer to just throw out half of his children because yours are more deserving of their fathers time is a very selfish one.

EldritchCleavage Mon 18-Mar-13 14:59:12

It just sounds like code for 'Why do I have to have them?'

bakingaddict Mon 18-Mar-13 15:00:39

Why get it on with a guy who already has 3 children if you didn't want the hassle of stepkids. Did you think they would just vamoosh out of his life the minute yours came along? You need some perspective really and maybe for your DH to get the snip

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 15:13:57

I really have got to get some ironing done - so can we all just agree to differ?


wannaBe Mon 18-Mar-13 16:06:18

but why would you live in an environment which is not condusive to having your children overnight? I really, really don't get that. Presumably if you split from your h you wouldn't then go and live in a house which meant your own biological children couldn't stay there? or would you? hmm

As a matter of interest, how does your h feel about all this? Because if he feels as you do that his children are an inconvenience then you do realise that if you split then the same will apply to your children yes?

wannaBe Mon 18-Mar-13 16:07:13

oh and, you can't just close a discussion just because the majority don't agree with you. hmm

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 16:15:36

Wannabe - I'm not trying to close the discussion, it's not my thread, I'm not the OP. I was just bowing out for a few hours to get some other stuff done.

Wannabe, so if you divorce you suddenly have the money to provide another house the right size to accommodate all your children. When my father first left my mum all he could afford was a one bedroom flat over a shop, we slept it the front room, with neon lights from the shop shining in. I hated it. Some men and woman end up living with their parents, on the couch of a friend or sharing a house if that is all they can afford.

I don't for one minute say the OP is right, actually I find it a bit strange that she has 2 year old twins with her DH and he has a 2 yeas Dc with his ex, how is that possible unless he got her pregnant either as soon as he left his wife or whilst still married to her, why would you get yourself into that situation.

I think you have to divorce yourself from her other thread and the question asked as I think there can be many situations why it is not best for children to be spending the night with the NRP.

Snuppeline Mon 18-Mar-13 17:47:15

"Perhaps your husband should have thought it through before having 6 children in 6 years with 2 different women. 3 2 year olds was never going to be that easy, and your answer to just throw out half of his children because yours are more deserving of their fathers time is a very selfish one."

Assuming the quote is correct... Then I can only think how very odd disgusting that you have dc the same age as one of the dc of the xwife... Is that true? Care to explain that one?

I chose to begin a relationship with a man who had children from before. This means our holidays are not our own, it means our family time sometimes include more dc than live here permanently. It means sharing resources: financial, practical and emotional. It means becoming a family and learning to love all that are a part of that family and making sure everyone feel fairly treated and safe and loved. If you didn't have it in you to provide any of those things you shouldn't have had dc with a man who already had them. At the very least you should have waited until the dc were grown before having your own. That way space wouldn't have been an issue either.

The measure of a man surely is how he treats his x and non-resident children. I therefore hope you dp is made of something different than you appear to be made of and that he ensures that his non-res dc are treated equal to the ones you have in common. Frankly OP, you sound horrible and toxic. I hope you read all the replies you've had here and get some counselling so your attitude and resentment doesn't blight these poor sdc future.

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:02:31

The OP has a shortage of bedrooms. This does not make her disgusting, horrible or toxic. Just a bit short of space.

Snuppeline Mon 18-Mar-13 18:40:00

Her attitude does make her toxic and disgusting. If she had that many children in her extended family then that is just something she needs to live with. Finding a solution would be seeking a larger home not seeking to gauge opinions on whether sdc need to spend the night in their fathers house.

Petal02 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:49:55

Can't you read?????? The OP is in the process of having a larger house built, to accommodate everyone, but it won't be ready for another six months.

KobayashiMaru Mon 18-Mar-13 18:51:06

Rubbish. You can always make room if you want to. She just doesn't want them there.

Petal why are you defending every single post? Like you say you're not the OP. Maybe she should be answering for herself?

And yes, travel cots, ready beds, blow up beds, it is possible.

Mother2many Mon 18-Mar-13 18:57:47

Wow...shocked anyone could/would even think this way! How would you feel if your child wasn't able to feel at home at their father's house!! Children of Divorce have 2 HOMES, 2 BEDS, sometimes, 2 BEDROOMS of their own...

I'm speechless at the inconsiderate question of the OP. angry

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 19:27:14

petal i think you are getting confused between OP's threads. this one isn't about her shortage of bedroom space and she hasn't asked for suggestions as to how to fit in all her and her DH's children here. this one is where she questioned why the children should even be staying over at their father's house in the first place.

wannaBe Mon 18-Mar-13 19:42:26

well as her twins are the same age as one of the stepchildren it surely makes sense that op was the ow. Which probably goes a long way towards explaining her attitude to the sdc. hmm

Bonsoir Mon 18-Mar-13 20:42:18

So that both parents take responsibility for the whole of parenting.

purpleroses Mon 18-Mar-13 21:21:19

There's lots of good reasons for staying overnight already been posted on this thread - but just to emphasise one in particular - In my experience it's quite hard for kids to be visiting a house with other kids in it, where they don't have their own bit of space - even if that's just a small part of a shared bedroom.

Before I moved in with DP me and my DCs would often spend whole days round at his. My kids and his sometimes fell out and one of his would say to one of mine - "get out of my room" or something like that, and my DC would be upset as they had nowhere else to go. The DCs actually get on much better since we moved in - everyone has their own space, the ground rules are clear - and fair, and DSC are much less territorial than they were before.

Having a bed in the house isn't just about being able to stay the night - it's also about having a bit of space that's yours. You can play on a bed, read a book, have a nap, and it marks that you belong in the house. If you don't let the DSC have a bed in the house (even if it's a high sleeper/camp bed/whatever) then you also deny them any chance of feeling at home there, or on an equal footing with the DCs that do live there full time. I think you'd end up with some rather unhappy children if you did that

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 07:25:12

Why is it so important that our stepchildren stay the night? It isn't like any activities or bonding can be undertaken while sleeping

Because they are family
Because parenting isn't all about bloody "bonding activities"
Because the resident parent shouldn't have to do every single one of the shit boring things just so the NRP can have fun "bonding activities"

You don't seem to like having your DPs children very much. The house that's being buying is irrelevant - this thread kind of proves the point that you don't want them imposing on you as it's not related to house size.

wordfactory Tue 19-Mar-13 11:43:01

Why OP?

Because you tend to live with your family...and the NRP is still family, or meant to be.

If he doesn't consider how he is going to house his DC when he leaves, and enters into a life where there will be no room for his DC (either physically and emotionally) then he is not worht the name of parent.

They may be your stepchildren, but they are your partner's children!

They just some inconvenience that is supposed to disappear when he ends his relationship with their mother.

Reminds me of a couple of work colleagues over the years, who have stepchildren. Then when pregnant with their own child they start saying that the stepchildren will have to come over less often. Terrible. The stepchildren were there before you were, its up to the adults to accomodate them.

bluebell8782 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:52:01

OP - the house is your step-children's home. Sleeping-over shouldn't be something to be considered. It is important for the children and for the parent (and step-parent) to get to enjoy reading, putting to bed, breakfast etc - all the normal things they would have got to do together if the parents hadn't split. There is always room, even in a full house. Sleeping over shouldn't be thought about it should be assumed.

My DSD comes EOW - love to have her more but we aren't allowed. Her mum's home is her 'main' home but ours is hers as well. She LIVES with us EOW - not just comes to stay. She has her own bed here and at her mum's. If we have someone to stay during the week DSD will be asked if it ok to use her bed as it is hers. Step-children are not visitors, they live in your home.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 19-Mar-13 15:42:40

I think whether or not DCs spend regular 'overnights' with each parent is far less significant than whether the parents/adults in the DCs life place equal value/significance on whatever arrangement happens to be in place.

There are plenty of 'together' families who experience regular, prolonged separations - where one parent may not have any regular direct or indirect contact with the DCs for weeks at a time; the childs relationship with their absent parent is reinforced by the other parent during that time, and the child does not experience any longterm negative affects.

In contrast, too many separated parents view the relationship their child has with their other parent from totally different sides of the beachball - and the child receives mixed messages and conflicting emotions. Many NRP may strive to provide a home for their DC, and consider them to be a member of their family, whereas many RP reinforce the message that the DC is sent to visit their NRP, often reluctantly on the part of the RP, that the DC should be a guest in the NRP home and that any new family members should concede the time between DC and NRP as protected and uninterrupted. It is inevitable that this will lead to very confused and mixed up DCs!

It is quite possible for a DC to feel loved and valued without overnight stays, and equally possible for a DC who has two homes to feel uncomfortable in both.

Petal02 Tue 19-Mar-13 16:29:24

NADM you’re usually the voice of reason, and this time is no exception.

I agree totally that the quality/value/significance of the time spent with the child outweighs whether overnighting takes place or not.

I say this because there are many occasions when DSS overnights with us, but doesn’t actually spend any time with his Dad. For example, his Dad may collect him from school at 3.30pm, drop him at our house, then return to work, sometimes not getting home til 9pm, obviously everyone sleeps during night time hours, and then DSS is back to school the following day. So the “overnight stay” box has been ticked, we’ve also been rota compliant, but in reality DSS/DH have probably spent 30 mins together. It’s quality versus quantity. Box ticking and rota compliance has long been more important that the quality of DH/DSS’s relationship; and I suspect this applies to many other households.

You also state that many RP’s indoctrinate children to believe that the “guest time” they spend at their father’s house should be ring-fenced, uninterrupted, protected, and not subjected to the normal fluctuations that would apply in ‘together’ families, thus creating a very artificial situation. So if a new baby arrives in a ‘second family’, rather than everyone blending together and simply morphing into a larger family (as would happen in a together family) the exact same access arrangements have to be maintained at all costs, even if the resulting situation is unrealistic. One of the reasons I chose not have a baby with DH, is that any baby I delivered would have his/her life dictated by the rigid EOW regime that DH/DSS, and by extension me, lived by. No doubt everyone will be cheering from the rafters – well done Petal, you were absolutely right not to bring another child into the household, after all, he/she may have distracted DH from DSS for a few hours …….

In a together family, if a new baby comes along then of course everyone’s time/money/attention is diluted slightly by the new-comer, but no one bats an eyelid. But if the older child is a step child, then god forbid if any of that were to happen.

The regulars will know that slavishly sticking to historical arrangements which defy common sense, whether regarding bedrooms, overnighters or rotas in general, is a subject close to my heart. But DSS is now 18 ½ and still expects to have the same amount of overnight stays that he did when age 11. We’re presently trying to factor this into our forthcoming holiday; DH is working away for the days prior to our holiday, we could have DSS for one overnighter when DH gets back, but the following night we’re not really going to bed due to a crack-of-dawn flight, we’d need to take DSS back home at 1am (yes, 1am in the morning, that’s not a typo!) if he were to (try to) overnight with us that night.

AmberLeaf Tue 19-Mar-13 16:47:47

Why do step children need to stay overnight?

Erm, because they are spending time with their Dad? do you think they are there to see you?

To their Dad they are children not step children.

Not read your other thread, but going by some of the replies you were the other woman? is that correct?

Ok, ask yourself what you would like to happen when your DH/DP is with his next partner/wife and your twins want to spend time with him.

Will you then think that he should have them overnight, or just take them for a few hours?

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 17:04:51

Many NRP may strive to provide a home for their DC, and consider them to be a member of their family, whereas many RP reinforce the message that the DC is sent to visit their NRP, often reluctantly on the part of the RP, that the DC should be a guest in the NRP home and that any new family members should concede the time between DC and NRP as protected and uninterrupted.

Don't forget the "many" shit NRP who expect the RP to fit in with whatever their plans are.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Mar-13 17:08:22

'You also state that many RP’s indoctrinate children to believe that the “guest time” they spend at their father’s house should be ring-fenced, uninterrupted, protected, and not subjected to the normal fluctuations that would apply in ‘together’ families, '

That's because it's not a 'together' family, it's a blended family, so it can't work the same way. Guest time? Their father is their parent, his children are never his guests, they are his own flesh and blood.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 19-Mar-13 17:13:32

Based on the OP of this thread alone, its clear that one adult in the DCs life (the OP) considers her DSC to be visitors to her home, and that her DSC's home is with their Mum.

What we don't know is how the DCs parents view the arrangement - but if all the adults are in agreement with the OP that her DSC are subject to visitation with their Dad, then the DCs are unlikely to suffer emotionally if overnights aren't included. They may have a different relationship with their Dad than if they were an integral part of his family, but that is preferable to years of emotional conflict caused by mixed messages and no clear sense of belonging that many DCs experience in this situation.

allnewtaketwo Tue 19-Mar-13 17:17:23

**"'You also state that many RP’s indoctrinate children to believe that the “guest time” they spend at their father’s house should be ring-fenced, uninterrupted, protected, and not subjected to the normal fluctuations that would apply in ‘together’ families, '

That's because it's not a 'together' family, it's a blended family, so it can't work the same way. Guest time? Their father is their parent, his children are never his guests, they are his own flesh and blood"**

I agree with NADM. In some cases, the PWC does indeed indoctrinate the children to believe that she "owns" them and that they are "allowed", by her, to "visit" their father on a strictly rostered basis. That dynamic is extremely powerful in how the children perceive the respective houses. It would be extremely difficult for a child to view the NRP house as their home under that dynamic, regardless of what rooms and or beds they have there.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 19-Mar-13 17:19:09

soup There is no doubt that DCs who are subject to the kind of fickle parenting from a NRP that you describe are also damaged.

My point is that when contact is regular it is be better for a DC to receive a consistent message from both parents - whether that be that they are family member or a guest in their NRP home - rather than to be subject to years of emotional conflict.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Mar-13 17:20:31

These kids of his are 6,4 and 2. And apparently, the OP has 2-year-old twins by him and now another baby. They are young children. They can't help it their father puts it about like a rock star.

AmberLeaf Tue 19-Mar-13 17:22:21

It is also better if the step parent in such circumstances has a healthy attitude towards her DH/DPs children too, doesn't see them as an inconvenience and views them as part of their blended family.

Doesn't always happen though.

AmberLeaf Tue 19-Mar-13 17:25:22

Im imagining how the childrens Mum will feel at the prospect of no longer getting one night a fortnights break, while the OP waits for her 'dream house' to be built.

Can't imagine it has been easy caring for 4 children 2 of which are 2 yr old twins on her own.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 19-Mar-13 17:25:47

expat There are some fathers who treat their DCs as guests though; often motivated by fear that the DCs will refuse to 'visit' if they are disciplined, expected to do chores or fit in with family plans.
A parent can discipline a child without fear and with authority - when that is not possible, then the relationship ceases to be that of parent/child and the child becomes a guest in the household rather than an integral part of the family.

Petal02 Tue 19-Mar-13 17:47:06

DH treats DSS like a guest; DH is fearful that DSS may stop visiting if he's ever parented, disciplined or expected to muck in round the house. He's treated like a cross between royalty/toddler/invalid, not a family member.

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