would anyone else find this a bit odd/frustarting?

(160 Posts)
Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 00:19:12

DH has been told today by DSS that his mum and her DH are going abroad on hols for 2 weeks in summer. Forgetting for one moment that DH has been helping with her court ordered mortgage payments until FMH sale has gone through because she's supposed to be skint, isn't it a bit odd not to tell the only other person with PR that you are planning to be out of the country?

What makes this especially annoying is DSS doesn't know the dates. DH will have to ask his ex and no doubt she will send him some usual bitchy reply.

We got told what 2 weeks we're having DSS by his ex a few weeks ago, not open for discussion. No probs that I will be 8 months pregnant and both of us working FT. First baby born 2 weeks early too. DH has managed to sort time off but I need to help us through maternity leave financially so I will have to work. I am guessing this is when they are going abroad. Although DSS has been known to stay for a week or 2 with his maternal gran when ex has gone on holiday (and Dh not asked if he would like to have his son then instead).

I'm just dreading August, a long commute on the tube, a 13 month old, a bored 11 yo for 2 weeks. What are we going to do if babba arrives early we only have a 2 bed?!

I dont understand.

What was your plan for when he comes to stay anyway? How does not knowing the dates change anything?

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 01:10:11

We wanted to have him earlier in the 6 weeks if possible, it was agreed last year that we'd have DSS for 2 weeks early on. Mainly because DH has to get time off at work and its not easy to do at last minute. The plan was to struggle on anyway but not be 8 months. Consultant may want to induce me early, late/aug sept depending on 36 week scan. Dh had asked his ex back in Jan if she could be flexible around late aug/sep as with DD1 I had fast labour and then PPH, DSS was with us, we got to hospital at 3am, and DSS heard me deliver (not pretty by all acounts) and was shook up by it. His mum was too far away to come get him. DH got no reply from his ex about being flexible around due date. This baby could be here in half the time and on the bathroom floor. Midwife has told me to get some rest if I can before baby comes. If I'm induced early then I won't even have a week to myself.

Also is it not odd then to go abroad and not tell the other person with PR? I'm not saying don't go, but what if something happens to DSS? Or something happens to his nan? Or something happens to me/baby, DH or...? Shouldn't we know where his mum is in an emergency? I mean so we can put relatives on standby.

Or are we not worthy of any respectful communication? Just told you pay for this. You have him then. We're changing this weekend. We're going on holiday next week, you want him?

Maybe its just me then? Busting agut to work until due date cos our savings for the baby pay someone elses mortgage.

Perhaps being informed would have been apropriate, yes.

However, your DH does not get to pick and choose when he is DSSs father. You cannot have a life and children with this man if you are not prepared to factor in his first son. The son didnt choose this life. Your DH and his ex did. And you chose to become a part of that.

You live in a two bed house with two children and a baby on the way. Thats not DSSs fault is it? So you didnt get told. And? Children are not convenient. They dont work around you.

DSS has just as much right to be in you and your DHs house near the end of your pregnancy as your 13 month old does.

Oh and its not "someone elses mortgage" either.

Your DH bought the marital home with his ex. Thats a contract that he entered into.

brdgrl Sun 19-May-13 01:51:15

Sorry, stepmooster. It is certainly unreasonable of her, and not in the best interest of the child.

wannabe, your hostility is unwarranted.

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 02:32:10

DSS has just as much right to be in you and your DHs house near the end of your pregnancy as your 13 month old does.

For goodness sake what is with the hostility towards "second children" from some people?!! What's with people having sly digs towards them all the frigging time on MN?!

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 02:49:42

Jesus christ, I am not mad at DSS. I'm mad that 1) we won't know where she is in an emergency and that 2) if I give birth and its fast, at home, with DSS and I am blue lighted to hospital due to PPH and all that blood that comes with it. DSS could witness all that and where is his mum? Abroad and DH didn't know. I don't know abt your kids but when they are upset they want there mum. And I think I wouldn't want my son seeing that?
3) That we have tried since last summer when we got told a week before we got DSS to have some earlier communication. To avoid disputes/tension and to try and get along. She even agreed, but its all out the window.

The ex is court ordered to pay the mortgage, she can't afford it so she syas. We want to move, if DH doesn't pay the mortgage his credit rating will be ruined and we are stuck in this 2 bed forever.

We are not her bloody overdraft facility so she can go on holiday. I wouldve gone on maternity leave in July if we didn't have to pay her mortgage.

The ex remarried and put FMH on market over a year ago, then in Jan wouldn't agree to sell it unless DH reduced his charge by 50pct. We've had to pay legal fees to get her to stick to the court order.

My fertility won't wait for her to stop blackmailing DH. Anyway I am resigned to the fact DSS will be here. Is it not odd then to go abroad and not tell the only other person with PR?

It would be nice to be able to get some 2 way flexibility with the ex. She tells my DH when to have DSS at short notice. He works FFS to provide for his kids, all his kids, what would she do if DH or I couldn't get time off? That is not DH problem, he could quit his job I suppose and look after DSS. We could survive on my wage, he could see his son 50/50 but he won't be providing for his son financially.

This is nothing to do with marrying a man with kids, just wishing for some respectful communication. And just trying determine if she has DSS best interests at heart here. How must he feel? Having to tell his dad all the time when DH has asked his ex to talk to him directly for sake of his son?

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 03:00:56

For the record wannabe, DSS is a child of his mothers second marriage. My children are a child of their father's second marriage. So they are all the same to me, conceived by one parent who had a first family already.

My DH did not choose to end the marriage and start all over again with DP number 3. He had no choice, should he just have lived in a bedist seeing DSS EOW and babysitting for his ex when she needed a babysitter or was he in your opinion allowed to fall in love and remarry and start again as his ex has (for the third time)?

IsThatTrue Sun 19-May-13 03:05:10

But she hasn't gone abroad without telling your DH. She's booked it without telling him, and tbh she has a right to do that. I book stuff without telling my XH. But I would inform him before I left the country if he was having the dcs during that time. Don't see why he'd need to know months in advance tbh.

I think you are stressed about your pregnancy which is understandable due to your previous problems. But it is possible that dss' mum would have/will inform you closer to the time. As for only having 2 bedrooms that a red herring really as you're not going to put a newborn into its own room straight away so you just stick to the bedroom arrangement you have now, with the baby with you. Have some family/friends on standby for the 11yo (as you would your dd I assume) in case of emergency.

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 03:26:55

Isthattrue, my DH needs to know in advance in order to book time off with work. All the parents with children understandably book school hols off early in the year, I.e Jan/Feb. DH has what is left, DH ex should know she was married to him for 10 years. So no I don't agree that should just tell your ex at short notice. I think its rude and puts NRP in a difficult position with work and their children.

Its not unreasonable is it to ask ex to try to have DSS in early 6 weeks hols because you're having a baby in early sept? Or to ask her to be flexible and rearrange contact around due date so DSS doesn't has to witness the birth, again? When my waters break I'm not going to be worrying about DSS I'm afraid, I'm going to want to worry about delivering safely!

I guess I am wrong.

The 2 bed thing is not a red herring, when DSS is here he has it to himself, DD sleeps in our room, we may put DD downstairs in travel cot with DH on sofa after babba is born when DSS visits. We don't let DSS share with babba cos he has night terrors and sleep walks. He also has to share a room at mums with his Dsis and we like to give him some space to himself EOW.

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 03:41:53

Its my family on standby for DD, my dad was coming to stay for a few weeks. I don't know how that will happen now in this red herring of a 2 bed. My dad has met DSS 4 times. They don't know each other really. I can't figure out how this is going to pan out.

Part of me wishes I could just take DD and stay with my dad up north until after babba is born. But then DH is down here in london and will miss everything and I really want him not my dad to be my birth partner!!

IsThatTrue Sun 19-May-13 03:59:15

But in she has informed you of dates hmm you were complaining she wasn't telling you she was going abroad. It is ride of her to unilaterally decide on dates without your DHs input, but that wasn't what you were complaining about. Surely if you have the dates for having dss, it shouldn't matter where she is when you do this (in normal circumstances). Also she may very well not be expecting you to look after dss while she is away, you said he sometimes goes to the maternal gm. If you don't know the dates you don't know if she is going while he is with you or another time. If I go abroad and my dcs stay with my parents I don't inform XH of my holiday. Oh and btw I'm not rude to XH, I was talking about informing him I was going abroad not *informing him of dates^ .

As for your dad coming to stay in your 2 bed (which was also missing from your OP) what would be happening on your weekends with DS'S there? Surely you don't expect his visits to cease completely during your last few months of pregnancy.

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 04:49:26

My dad can't be here when DSS is here, so that's not happening now. DSS is coming here for 2 weeks in august and I will have to just get on with it. And I can't go to my dads anyway as hospital, conusltant etc are all here. Plus in final days you have to be at home with fast labour. It was just a wish. I didn't put it in my post cos its not an option now

I'm just stressed that we can agree something months ago, late July/aug for her to change it.

I'm stressed that I have to work up to 35 weeks until I can go on leave because we are helping the ex out financially so she can go on this holiday. And DH asked her in Jan if she could be flexible, when I was only 6 weeks pregs. No reply. DH has told ex that consultant may want to induce in august and could she be flexible, no reply.

Last summer we had DSS for one week, then ex told DH that she was going away with her DH and we could have him or he goes to his nans. DSS is bored at his nans would rather be here. A little communication would mean everyone is happy.

If I go into labour and its just DH and DD here. My sister lives an hour away and they will come to the hospital and collect DD. DH had to sit outside with DSS last time and it was just me nad midwife until DH brother came to help - not an option this time. If its in the day and DH is at work, DD will be in nursery and DH will be taking and fetching her. He will just miss the birth. I will have to get a home birth/ambulance.

I can give birth alone with midwife I won't be the first.

We were hoping to reschedule weekend contact as ex has done in past so that DSS is not here to see birth. He doesn't want to be here when I give birth. I don't blame him. Ok so it means one maybe 2 weekends we don't have him. But then we aren't going away this year and it would be no different if we were having a holiday without DSS. Except that's never happened or been tested with the ex.

I know the chances of giving birth when DSS is here is not that high. But it flipping well happened last time and I'm not chancing it again.

I am dreading august, and I can't help being frustrated by this. You agree dates for them to change with no thought.

Ok I accept the ex may have told DH some point in future abt being abroad. But I doubt it!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 08:43:20

However, your DH does not get to pick and choose when he is DSSs father.

At the moment, the OPs DH is being told by his ex when he can be a father - she is the one dictating when the contact will happen based on her own plans, with no consideration for the welfare of her DC.

I can't imagine being comfortable going on an overseas holiday without first assuring myself that my DC was going to be well cared for - undoubtedly the OP and her DH will do their best, but what parent would choose to expose their DC to that situation unless it was unavoidable? It's not like the DCs mum didn't know about the baby - but she's made plans that places her DC in Dads care even though she's fully aware that it will be less than ideal for her child - what kind of mother does that?

I am not being hostile. Not agreeing with the OP does not equal hostility.

Also, "hostility towards second children"? Really? I am merely reminding the OP that DSS is DHs son no matter how many babies she has.

Fact is, his ex doesnt have to rearrange her life around your pregnancy.

She can have a holiday. Your DH paying the mortgage doesnt give him, or you, the right to have a say over that. You dont know who is paying or what the circumstances are, and how many bedrooms you have is not her concern.

Your post is full of I, I, I. But actually, it isnt all about you. There is an 11yo being passed from pillar to post here. Yes he doesnt want to be there if you go into labour, and the fact that his mum isnt thinking about that is really shit, but you need to make arrangements for where he needs to be, shes not your free childcare. If hes supposed to be with you at that time and he cant be, then you make arrangements, just as you would with your 13 month old.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 08:51:41

you need to make arrangements for where he needs to be, shes not your free childcare

But the OP and her DH are being treated like free childcare aren't they?

The contact happens when mum needs it not when it's best for the DC!

The OP tried to dictate it too so it didnt coincide with her due date.

I dont think anyone is thinking about the DC tbh. He still needs to see his father. Some would say it is more important for contact to happen around the time that a new sibling is entering the family.

carabossse Sun 19-May-13 09:04:51

OP- I think it's quite sad that the boy's mum chooses to go on holiday without him. It sound like he's not invited anyway. On reading your OP my initial thought was that this is a silly thing to do as:
The boy would surely rather be on holiday
His mum is not available for him should your baby arrive early, she is not the backup you'd expect her to be on any other visit near your due date. She is unconcerned about your arrangements for him- she's going abroad without checking that in the event of labour, who will he be with, will he be comfortable with the arrangements etc?

Coupled with her dictating terms it sounds like a deliberate move. I'm surprised that you have to accommodate her whims in this way. Presumably since this is not unusual you've had legal advice.

I don't think you have to explain your reasons, I think it's obvious why this situation is unusual and frustrating.

Is there any chance of contacting other family members e.g. grandparents to have them as backup?

I hope all goes well for the rest of your pregnancy and that you can enjoy the newborn days.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 09:15:50

The OP tried to dictate it too so it didnt coincide with her due date.

Really? You think that the NRP asking at the very beginning of pregnancy for contact flexibility around a babys due date is the same as a RP booking an overseas holiday and stating that is when contact will take place?

I know that there are people do think like that - its just unusual for them to be as open about it as you are!

I don't understand. Is the contact court ordered? Is there a "standard" two weeks that your DH always has DSS?

She "informed" you when you were having DSS, well that's not right if there was no discussion, but I wasn't aware that I had to tell my ex where I was going if I didn't have the kids and they were in his care?

At the end of the day, your husband agreed to have DSS those two weeks. If he's a patsy and a push over then that's a separate issue. But the exW can go to the moon and back in her fortnight and it's nothing to do with your DH, once DSS is with him then the logistics are his problem.

Why should the exW have to take holidays only when it suits you and your DH with baby coming, father visiting, two bed house and so on?

I will repeat.

The OPs pregnancy has nothing to do with the ex.

She is entitled to book a holiday whenever she likes.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 09:32:48

The OPs pregnancy has nothing to do with the ex.

How ridiculous , her DC is going to have a half-sibling; of course it has something to do with her! How can she possibly support her DCs emotionally if she refuses to acknowledge that her DC has a life beyond her own?!?

Your attitude is exactly why so many DCs struggle with conflicted loyalties when their parents separate sad

You are being ridiculous actually. The ex has to be there emotionally, yes, but she doesnt need to rearrange her life around the OP.

I am bowing out now, because the raft of "second childrens" parents clearly want to stroke the OPs hair and tell her shes right. Oh well.

There's a difference between supporting your child emotionally and having your life dictated to by the new wife and exH childbirth logistics.

Exactly Freddie smile

When my kids are with my ex I often go away with work. And I have gone away for the weekend with my partner, for example. I'm occasionally not in the country. I don't inform him I'm doing so, because it's none of his business, and since he's the parent with care at the time, I trust him to deal with any emergencies that come up and contact me if need be.

Am I wrong then?

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 09:58:28

Contact is not court ordered. DH worked with family solicitor last year to get a formal agreement in place. 5 weeks and EOW, plus 50/50 birthday and xmas. This was on the back of a letter DSS wrote to his mum and dad asking for more contact. The ex and DH spent months and quite some money agreeing on how many days each school holiday they would share. She works at a school, DH doesn't. So she agreed and signed the agreement end last year because she refused mediation on grounds of cost.

Next step is mediation and court but that's expensive and DSS has asked DH not to because he ends up being involved. The ex doesn't hide it from him.

You know I don't care where she goes and she could have won the holiday for all I know.

What I care about is trying to plan care for all the DCs and knowing who to call in an emergency. My father was going to be here to help us, and he can't now.

But its not just this its everything you'd expect communication abt. This weekend for example. DSS was late because his mum was working late, so I had to wait at station for him. Although DH asks every week for his ex or DSS to let me know if he's going to be late. And yes it was agreed by the ex that I could do pick-up because otherwise DH would have to fetch him saturday morning. I work near where he lives.

DSS is going on school trip for a week, leaving Monday morning. DH asks ex do you want me to drop him off early, no reply. DSS says to DH on friday night I need to be home at midday on sunday. We kind of second guessed that. But not the oh, I need underwear as I have none for the trip. DH again asked his ex a month ago if DSS needed help with anything, and DSS brought a list over last weekend he was with us and we sorted it all out then.

I feel we are being punished, for wanting to come to a formal arrangement on contact, for DH not agreeing to handing over half his charge when the house sold.

Ladies when your DH does stop pandering to a controlling ex, this is what happens.

And yes I am being self-centred abt final weeks of pregnancy, because the pregnancy has been hard, and I don't want to greet babba stressed out and depressed.

DH in-laws are elderly, and don't drive or live near us. DH has already asked if they would look after DS around due date, and I don't feel comfortable in forcing them.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 09:59:51

carboose - seriously? what if mum waded in wanting to know exactly who was going to care for her child and when and what would happen if this happened, and where is he going on Tuesday and what if the plans for Tuesday don't quite come off, what happens then? Surely then you'd be saying that mum has no right whatsoever to question what goes on in our home and that we are perfectly capable of making plans and of doing the right thing at the right time and she has no need to worry? Or is this somehow different to 'normal' contact and going out and making plans and being a blended family?

And I agree, you have no right at all to know where she is going on holiday. Should something happen and you need to get in contact with her, you try her phone. If she doesn't have that working abroad then it is her who will need to live with the consequences of that when she returns home.

Plenty of children attend homebirths in a planned way. They are not traumatised by the event. Perhaps talking to the child about what might happen and giving him specific jobs to do should it happen so he knows where he fits in would be helpful? He could at least be in charge of making everyone a drink and organising a sandwich or something else? Even if you never eat or drink it, it would give him a purpose and a role in the event should it happen at home. Rather than assuming he's going to be a burden and a problem, look at ways of making him part of the family instead of some annoyance who is spoiling all your plans.

I also feel a need to scream at the top of my voice if mum refused to allow the child to visit soon after the birth to meet his brother/sister, all hell would break lose on that account. It might be an incoveinience to you to have this boy around but I am sure your other half will be happy to have all his children in the same place at what should be a happy, family time.

You need to re-think it, I think.

What age is DSS? (Sorry if I missed that in your posts)

I really don't like the dig about her working in a school - that implies her holiday time is somehow less important than your DH. Perhaps the holiday was planned around when her husband could get time off?

I am sorry to sound harsh, but your baby's arrival is important to you. It isn't to the ex. What arrangements you need to make are no different to if DSS was your own child.

If there's an emergency, you call your DH and he deals with it. I really don't see the problem. You call her phone and let her know - if she's not in the country then she takes the consequence of that in that your DH has to deal with it as he sees fit.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:14:17

Ladies when your DH does stop pandering to a controlling ex, this is what happens

Yes. I agree. DP did end up in court because contact was withheld, and his DCs are both emotionally screwed up because their parents refused to put their interests first even when the court ordered what would happen.

OP, this is your time. Disengage and leave your DH to deal with his ex. If DSS parents haven't got the courtesy to tell you that DSS is going to be late, then don't agree to pickups. It's your DH who is asking you to do them - and he's ultimately responsible for the inconvenience to you even if its his ex whose messing him about.

Even in court ordered contact, this situation could arise - my DSS mum is court ordered to make DSS available for three weeks contact in the Summer - with specifics listed about periods and start days/times; she still 'told' DP that contact would be arranged to fit around her work, and that Saturday handovers weren't convenient.
If its not convenient for DP either - then what?

BumpingFuglies Sun 19-May-13 10:16:25

IMO, this is all about communication, control and rudeness. Why on earth can't the ex communicate about dates? She is being rude and unreasonable in not agreeing dates early on so your H can book time off. Nothing to do with baby, all to do with care of DSS.

If my son's father was going out of the country I would expect him to tell me - that's what parents who care about their children do. What if there was an emergency? I wouldn't go anywhere without letting my DC carer - be that the ex, family or whoever - know how to get hold of me! Especially since not all mobiles work abroad.

Can't believe what a hard time the OP is getting!

I make sure my mobile works abroad. I also let my parents know where I am and when I'm leaving and coming back. Most of the time. It's nothing to do with my ex. If I trust him to look after the kids, then what's the issue?

I do agree with NADM - in as much as the issue is your DP and his pandering to his ex and taking you for granted and you should disengage.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:22:03

I am sorry to sound harsh, but your baby's arrival is important to you. It isn't to the ex. What arrangements you need to make are no different to if DSS was your own child.

I can't believe this attitude!

I happily agree to change contact arrangements for my DD when its better for her - she lives with her Dad 50% of the time and when they have been having building work, family illness etc of course I'm happy to have her here even though its his time. Of course she could stay with him, and he'd manage - but why on earth wouldn't I want to avoid that if I could?

I'm DDs mum all the time, no matter who she's with - its not a responsibility I cease to have when she's with her Dad.

NADM I understand that's your attitude.

It isn't mine. Once my kids go to their dad, they're his responsibility. I do swap and change and am as flexible as I can be, but sometimes it just can't work out like that.

I would never ever be deliberately obstructive, and I do take the kids at times when it's not his "contact" time to accommodate him, but sometimes I just can't.

Should I have to change my plans (usually work to be fair) to accommodate his inability to organise himself?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:31:24

freddie I used to strongly hold the same belief as you - but as DD has got older, I've realised that she needs to know that her Mum is there and that its selfish of me to absolve myself of responsibility just because I'm doing something else.

But then NADM if I follow that logic, I could not do my job. DCs know if I can be there I will, but sometimes I just can't.

I can't help that I have to travel with my work. Or are you saying I should never go away with work, or go on holiday? confused

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:58:59

freddie I chose redundancy (and sold my home) over an alternative position that would have meant I would be unavailable when DD was with her Dad - I think that probably answers your question.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 11:01:21

so those of us who work for a living, have stressful jobs, need to travel for work purposes, need to be late some evenings in work....who then make arrangements for our children to be in after school clubs, with childminders, with the other parent, with grandparents, with friends...where they are safe and where the people they are with are trusted to be able to make sensible decisions should they not be able to contact me.......we are all selfish and not there for our children?

I have bills to pay. That's the bottom line. I have a job. I have a career. I work damned hard. I do my best to juggle and balance and be there for my children. Sometimes they have to be in after school care. Sometimes they have to be with their grandmother. Sometimes their dad even looks after them and if I'm very lucky, I also might get to spend some time with them. I don't believe they are insecure or unhappy children. They know that I will drop everything to be there for them if there is a problem. But they also know that I am working my backside off for us as a family and I know that they support that. What is the alternative? benefits?

But not everyone is in a position to do that confused I can't, there is only me and I would have no money to live on....

NADM, are you seriously saying no parent should have a job in case they need to be available for their DC?

NADM grin sorry but thats utterly ridiculous.

You might want to live a life of martyrdom but IMO that is a very very unhealthy message to be sending to your DD. That the whims of your ex are more important than your career and life. Its a very very odd viewpoint that you have.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:11:13

My life has never been better - I chose a career and life that accommodated being a parent rather than absolved myself of that responsibility when DD is in the care of her Dad.

In the OPs case, she has decided that a holiday alone us preferable to ensuring that she is available at a significant time in her DCs life - if her DC needs parental support, that will come from a parent who will be distracted by other events. I wouldn't do it to my DD and don't understand the motive of those that do.

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 11:11:30

Mumandboys, last year DSS was here when I gave birth. He cried hysterically the whole time and DH had to stay with him until his brother arrived. It was a fast labour, it was my first. I don't care if I give birth alone with a midwife. I do care that DSS may have to go through that again. But hey if mum thinks its fine then what the heck.

If I'm crawling around on all fours, wailing like a banshee as I give birth at home, and DSS has to shut himself in a room crying then fine I disengage.

The school thing wasn't a dig, she's lucky she can have her children with her as much as she can. BESIDES SHE AGREED LAST YEAR BEFORE I BECAME PREGNANT AS TO HOLIDAYS.

NADM I want to disengage but feel I would be flamed by half of mumsnet/world for not assisting in contact. Besides my DD adores her brother, I actually like him too.

I have agreed to the new dates, I just dunno, it feels odd that you'd go away and potentially expose your kid to drama. Without trying to work out what would happen if...

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:18:47

I am a step mum and also gave birth to my dd 11 weeks ago. I found it hard when I first entered into a relationship with my DH but have had to get over it during our time together as I was the one who was the addition to their family and it is not DSS' fault that his parents are no longer together.

Anyway, DH chooses to pay his ex way above what the CSS advise in order to make sure she's comfortable. She has had twice the number of holidays that we have and her house is way bigger than ours. I worked until 39w4d to help fund our dd as obviously DH has commitments to his DSS financially. I gave birth the very next day.

The first visitor was DSS, this was my choice. And in the weeks leading up to the birth, we saw him more as he got really unsure and worried that his relationship with us would change.

The biggest thing for me to have to deal with is the fact that due to the size of our house and the fact that DH's financial commitments to his ex mean that we probably can't move anywhere bigger, I can't have another child. But that's just how it is and something I have to accept as part of the situation.

Basically my point is that DSS has to come first. He is totally innocent in all this. And as hard as it seems, being a step mum often means making some huge adaptations and sacrifices. You need to decide whether or not that's something you can/will do.

So what about any parent around the time of a new arrival then? Are they all neglecting their existing childrens emotional needs?

I just dont understand this concept that the fathers in these situations are somehow less responsible, less capable and are in need of supervision should something go wrong.

A child has two parents. Of equal responsibility. If one is on holiday/working/busy then it falls to the other to see to the child. I dont understand why that only works one way.

Or do you need to feel indispensable?

I go away all the time. Lost of drama might potentially happen. I can't melt my brain trying to work out every little thing that might happen. I have to just live my life.

Your DH should have had a discussion with her and not let her dictate, but that's not her problem, that's your DH's problem.

NADM - what about those of us who can't have that choice? I can't. I'm a single parent, there are no jobs, if I sat at home I'd be on benefits. Which is not a lifestyle choice I am comfortable with. And I don't think it's good for kids to think they are the be all and end all every second of the time.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:21:09

stepmmoster I imagine just the thought of being there when you give birth must be stressing your DSS out given his experience last time - poor kid is probably begging his mum to change her mind sad

Can your DH get some NLP or similar for him in place to remove the negative associations? If mum won't budge, at least his Dad can limit the damage as much as possible.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:24:10

And on a practical note, surely whoever is looking after your other child can also look after DSS?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:26:24

freddie I believe that everyone has choices - there were no jobs for me, so I created one, and DD is anything but the be-all-and-end-all; yesterday she was up to her elbows in dishwater for several hours at work with me.
My point is that I don't assume that my life is my own when DD is with her Dad - when her SMs dad died suddenly infront of the family, I dropped my plans and picked up DD rather than expect ex to manage. Surely one of the benefits of separated parents is that DCs need not be exposed to situations they find distressing?

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 11:27:39

surely it is this child's father's responsibility to support his child through this 'life event' (very dramatic!) that is the birth of a sibling? The sibling is not the mum's responsibility. That's the reality of separated parenting. I am not suggesting that she should refuse to answer questions or be supportive or anything else, but surely the main focus of this is the blended family which mum is stepping away from? is she not actually making the 'blending' easier by taking that step away? would it not be worse if she were refusing to let her child be part of the new family?

Whilst I agree I am a parent 100% of the time, I am not responsible for the relationship that exists between my ex and our children. That's his responsibility.

stepmooster - of course a child that age will be scared by labour and the moaning and groaning that goes on. But that's where your responsibility as a blended family comes in, surely? Why can't your partner explain to him in age appropriate language what will happen? how a baby is born? what that means for mum, dad and siblings? why on earth is it mum's responsibility to make him feel a part of YOUR blended family?

I disagree NADM. I have created a job for myself. It involves travel. The other option is to sit on benefits.

Loads of parents do jobs like that, why can't the father cope?

I did say if I can help I do and I have the kids at inconvenient times to accommodate my ex, but there are times when I can't. I have to work. That's my job. I am away.

And I don't believe as a parent my job is to protect my child from situations they find distressing. Not always. Sometimes shit happens and you have to deal with it, separated parent or not.

Is it just mothers that are expected to be always available for their children or is it fathers too?

I agree entirely mum.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:32:26

I can see your point of view NADM but ironically the only child we have who could be "removed" from a situation like that is DSS as his mum is lovely. In fact her attitude is pretty much identical to what you've been posting!

But if anything happened then it's DD, my biological child, who wouldn't have anywhere to go as we don't have family etc who are in the position to take her. I know DSS' mum would help in an instant though and would happily look after her!

The point is that yes it's a benefit but not something that all children have so it's somewhat confusing to me that some people seem to see it as a step child's "right".

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 11:34:44

you are being ridiculous, NADM. In 'together' families it is often the case that one parent is away or has to leave early and the other parent manages this, works their job around it. The situations being described here are no different. No parent can be available to their children 100% of the time - we sometimes get ill, for example. If you have been able to create yourself a job from home, that's wonderful. But you also have a partner and not everyone does. I also believe you receive maintenance for your children. Again, not everyone does. Some people do not have the luxury of choice in their lives, they have to get on and earn a living and pay the bills. You are basically suggesting that every parent who works and isn't able to leave their workplace at the drop of a hat is somehow a 'bad' parent. This country would fall apart if that many people didn't take their jobs seriously, don't you think? Oh, sorry, got a phone call, must now divert my ambulance to my kid's school rather than pick you up after you've had an accident? really?!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:35:03

Is it really preferable for a DC to be present at a birth (where there is a history of complications) when there is a viable alternative?
Even assuming that Dad is failing his son by not putting arrangements in place, why on earth would any mother decide that her holiday is more important than her DS wellbeing? She knows this will happen but is going ahead with her own plans even though the OPs DH has made it clear that he can't/won't put arrangements in place.

If the DCs mum can't rely on her ex to protect her DS from that distress, what does it say about her that she's still prepared to leave her DS in dads care, knowing how distressed he was last time?

Why can't whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after DSS?

Why is it the mother's responsibility to sort out child care for her ex's partner?

Sounds utterly ridiculous to me.

Why is it the mums responsibility? Are fathers incapable of making other arrangements?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:39:32

nadm the existing child is not being "protected from the distress" but surely there's a plan in place for that child. I don't see why DSS can't be included in that?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:39:43

Is it just mothers that are expected to be always available for their children or is it fathers too?

My ex has a similar ethos - as do many of my separated friends (mums and Dads) who have chosen (for instance) to remain living close together rather than pursue career opportunities.
There will be plenty if time when DD is an adult for me to do my own thing - right now, it's important that I'm there for DD. As I said, I used to feel differently; my change in viewpoint has come about through my own experience..

I agree with wannabe.

I live close to my ex. That's a choice I've made.

But to conflate that to doing a job that means I can drop everything at the drop of a hat to accommodate him is nonsensical. I can't do a different job, there isn't one to be had. I don't have a partner living here and I don't get maintenance.

What the fuck else am I supposed to do? Genuinely? Sit on benefits so that if he has a "distressing incident" that he doesn't want the DCs to witness I can go running in like the Lone Ranger?

Life doesn't work like that. Sometimes shit happens. He'll have to cope, just like I do. If I can help I do. Sometimes I can't.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:43:15

Why is it the mums responsibility? Are fathers incapable of making other arrangements?

Because if/when one parent can't or won't put arrangements in place, the other parent has a choice. To carry on and ignore it and hope that their child doesn't come to any harm or to step in themselves and look after their child's needs.
It's not fair, but if both parents say 'tough' then it's the DC who suffers.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:45:14

Freddie but thus isn't a sudden emergency. The OP disclosed her pregnancy at a very early stage in order to make arrangements for her DSS to avoid him being in the same situation as last time she gave birth.

There's no 'lone ranger' needed; just a mum who puts her DSs needs ahead of her own holiday.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:46:54

I am just of the opinion that stepchildren need to be included in normal family life as much as possible, not carted off whenever something happens. What a way to make them feel different to any step/half siblings they have. If normal family life includes a new baby coming then so be it. These things happen, he can't be protected forever.

On a similar note (but much less dramatic/important) we went out the other day when dd was screaming in her car seat. It was pretty obvious she was tired and would be asleep by the end of the road. DH actually asked me to take her in my car instead (so we'd end up taking 2 cars to our destination) as he didn't think DSS would cope with the noise (he's 7!!). I flatly refused as a crying baby is totally normal plus DSS' mum is trying to conceive with her new DP and I know they won't take 2 cars everywhere in case their baby cries!!

So why is the OP annoyed at the mum? She should be equally annoyed with her DH for not making other plans.

She says that if DSS is there then FIL cannot stay, well, why? Are their no cheap hotels nearby?

Tbh, if a two bed house is all they can afford, should they be having another child? Why is the first child being treated as An Annoying Thing? He was there first. If you cannot accomodate this situation you shouldnt be in it.

This baby is going to arrive. A baby that the ex had no part in. Yet she is the focus of the OPs annoyance. Its bizarre.

Why should I organise my holiday around my exH new wife giving birth when even for a normal birth there's a 4 week window? And if I'm a teacher and only have 6 weeks off?

I just don't get this "I'm a mother I must be a martyr to my children"

Why can't whoever is looking after the OPs other child look after DSS?

That's what would happen in a together family and all the separated stuff is irrelevant, really.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:54:33

normal family life as much as possible, not carted off whenever something happens

Normal family life does not (in my opinion) include a young DC witnessing the emergency transfer of their SM during labour because she is haemorrhaging.
Call me over-protective, but I think most parents would try and protect their DC from that. The ex in the OPs case knows it may happen, knows that the OPs DH can't/won't protect their DS from it, but is going on holiday anyway.

Shit happens, NADM. Sometimes you can't prevent it.

What is different about it being a DSS to it being a DS?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 12:04:33

Exactly freddie, in that situation firstly there should've been a plan made by the child's father in case the OP went into labour when DSS was with them. Secondly if DSS was a DS would you be so worried about it all?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:05:56

What is different about it being a DSS to it being a DS?


Its not within mums power to protect the OPs DC from the situation - but she can prevent her own DC being exposed to something that many adults would struggle to cope with - she has chosen instead to tell the DCs dad to deal with it and doesn't seem bothered about the impact on her own DC.

I'd be furious if my DD was exposed to such a distressing set of circumstances when it could be avoided.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 12:07:59

are we sure that mum knows the detail? I find it unlikely that the OP's partner is discussing her gynacelogical history with his ex. Might be wrong.

And even if she does know the exact detail of what MIGHT happen...how does that change anything? is the child not going to spend time with dad at all over the summer just in case? because surely she can go into labour at any moment and a whole host of complications arise in a very short period of time....possibly even before mum is able to get there? what if mum doesn't hear her mobile 'cos she's out shopping on a busy high street? should she seriously be confined to her front room with her phone in her hand for the duration of her summer holidays IN CASE something happens that MIGHT be upsetting to her son? (And which probably wouldn't be upsetting if his father bothered to 'brief' him about what happens when women go into labour in the first place?)

So because he's a DSS he's worthy of more protection than a DS. Strange. I never thought of it like that. I'd consider them all the same.

And still, why can't whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after DSS.

And then, given that normal birth has a 4 or 5 week window, how close to the ex does she have to be for those 4 or 5 weeks? Suppose she goes swimming? Or to the park? Or out with her mates and gets bladdered?

Can't you see the restrictions that would put, unfairly, on her life?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:26:27

So because he's a DSS he's worthy of more protection than a DS. Strange. I never thought of it like that. I'd consider them all the same.

So do I - that's my point.

The OPs DSS has two parents who are responsible for his emotional wellbeing. They both seem to be in agreement that it won't do their DS any harm to be exposed to the OPs labour a second time, despite the distress he experienced last time. Mum had refused to discuss it and Dad can't/won't put any arrangements for his DS in place.

The OP feels differently and has, if I've read it right, put things in place to protect her own DC from that situation. It is not her responsibility to put things in place for her DSS, he has two parents who can do that, and they clearly don't think it's necessary.

Ultimately, all the OP can do is disengage, look after her own DC and concentrate on her own health, which will not be helped by her DH and his ex playing power games with their DS who the OP (understandably) feels responsibility for.

But when the DSS is with his father, it's his father's responsibility. If he was a DS not a DSS he wouldn't be protected, therefore he is more worthy of protection than a DS.

Why can't whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after the DSS? Surely that's the simplest option?

And would involve expecting the exW to be completely at their beck and call for 4 or 5 weeks?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:35:03

But when the DSS is with his father, it's his father's responsibility. If he was a DS not a DSS he wouldn't be protected, therefore he is more worthy of protection than a DS

As I've said, I disagree that a parent ceases to have responsibility for their DC when they are in the other parents care.
Both DCs have two parents making decisions about them - neither is more worthy, it's just that the OP disagrees with her DH and his ex. She has protected her own DC; and I believe it is the DSS mums responsibility to protect her DS if his Dad isn't, just like the OP has done.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:36:30

Why can't whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after the DSS? Surely that's the simplest option?

Who knows? But that isn't the OPs problem - it's up to her DH to arrange that and if he doesn't then his ex could do something herself.

But surely the simplest solution is to have whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after DSS as well? <head desk>

And are you really really saying that the exW should be at the beck and call of the current wife and her exH all the time?

But saying that means you're buying in to the hierarchy of parenting where the mother is more worthy and the father isn't an equal parent NADM.

And I don't.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:41:37

And are you really really saying that the exW should be at the beck and call of the current wife and her exH all the time?

No, I'm saying that she has a responsibility to her DS all the time. If her ex is failing to protect their DS then doesn't she have a responsibility to do so?

The OP has no responsibility for her DSS.

But if she really really believes that her ex is failing to protect her DS, why is she not seeking a restriction to contact?

If I believe my ex is a suitable person to have contact unsupervised, then I have to let him do that.

If I thought he was "failing to protect" my children, I would be getting my arse and his arse into court ASAP,

I never said the OP had responsibility for her DSS. She doesn't. Hence why she should disengage, stop doing pick ups and make her DH step up to the plate.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:45:36

But saying that means you're buying in to the hierarchy of parenting where the mother is more worthy and the father isn't an equal parent NADM.

No - I'm buying into a model in which both parents are responsible for their DCs wellbeing all the time.
I don't stop being DDs mum when she's with her Dad any more than my DP stops being his DCs Dad when they're at home with their Mum.
If one parent believes their DCs welfare is at risk then they always have a responsibility to protect them.

This is the underlying principle of the Children's Act - a parent is always a parent regardless if whose care the DC is in and parents are all equally responsible at all times.

I know that NADM.

I just don't see why you would let a parent who you thought was at risk of significantly failing to protect your child, to the point where you can't do a job in case you're phoned, have contact other than supervised.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:48:11

But if she really really believes that her ex is failing to protect her DS, why is she not seeking a restriction to contact?

She doesn't, though, does she - it's the OP who thinks its 'odd' that mum isn't more bothered.
Mum and Dad are in agreement that the OPs DSS won't come to any harm - the OP faces a situation in which she believes her labour will upset her DSS but she can't do a thing about it.

The mum isn't bothered. The father isn't bothered. It's not the OPs business.

Non-issue. Let the mother and the father deal with the fall out then and disengage.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:56:33

Easier said than done!

I have faced a similar (more low level) situation with my DSS - he displays significant distress when in my sole company - even if DP is elsewhere in the house.

I could disengage from the distress and carry on being alone with DSS when my DP chooses to leave the room- just like the OP will have to disengage from her DSS distress when she's in labour.
The difference is, I have a choice - I can refuse to be alone with my DSS - the OP can't refuse to go into labour when her DSS is present. She is totally at the mercy of her DH's decisions, even though it is her actions that will cause the distress.

I think NADM the best thing is for us to agree to disagree. This is a circular argument and it's really not contributing to the OP.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 12:59:27

I have to disagree with the disengaging part. When my DSS is with me then he is in my care and I would not be able to sit back and watch this situation happen. I treat him like he's mine. However, I would never have made arrangements for my own child and not for DSS. They are both equal and should be treated as such, if that meant making arrangements for DSS where my DH had failed to do so then so be it.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 13:07:21

spg disengaging is often best for the DSC when there is a high conflict relationship between the DCs parents.
Would you be as willing to put arrangements in place for your DSC if you knew that they would suffer the anger/abuse from their Mum as a result?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 13:09:32

Yes that's a good point. I think I'm very lucky that DH and I get on very well with DH's ex and her DP. I know there would never be any repercussions from anything DH and I did with DSS.

I think that the OP had arranged for FIL to come to look after her 13 month old.

But due to space (cannot think of any other reason) he now cannot come because DSS is there.

I am sure there is another perfectly reasonable way to provide care for both DCs during this time.

But its easier to blame the big bad exW isnt it!!!

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 13:18:06

Well, when my DS2 was born, DSD's mum was on "standby" when DSD was with us. Just as my DP was when she had her baby. It's called working together and showing a bit of consideration, instead of swanning off on holiday at a time when their child could need them.

Luckily I went in to labour when DSD was at her mum's, so it was ok. But if she was here, DSD's mum only lives 10 minutes away, and she would have gone back to her mum's. my DS1 went to my in laws across the other side of town. It would have made absolute sense for DSD to have gone to her mum's. If she had gone to my in laws with DS1, then it would have been a nightmare getting her to school the next day and it wouldn't have been fair on her.

And it wouldn't have been DP shirking his responsibility to look after her. It was a one off event, and he didn't want to miss the birth of his child! If he was "shirking his responsibilities", then does that apply to DS1 as well? Or just the child he has with his ex wife?

Well, when I had DD2 my ex (DD1s dad) offered to be on standby when I was 5 months pregnant.

Two weeks before my due date he announces that he is going away on my due date. Yes, it was annoying, but I knew he was doing it to be a prick and we got DPs parents to have DD1. That wasnt ideal really, but thats what had to happen.

At the end of the day, I could have got wound up about her Dad not putting her first etc etc or I could accept that really, DD2 had nothing to do with him so it was my issue to sort.

DD1 wasnt aware of any of it, and having a sleep over at DPs parents was a big adventure. I appreciate that with an 11 yo its harder to shield them from it. But it can still be done.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 13:34:12

Just remember though that the best laid plans can change, DSS' mum was on standby to collect DSS if I went into labour when he was with us. However, just an hour after my first twinge, I was pushing dd out. Luckily DSS was not with us but if he had been, his mum wouldn't have made it and DSS would have had to go to hospital with us. These things happen and not just because of lack of organisation. I agree it's not ideal but it's certainly not a disaster.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 13:43:59

It's called working together and showing a bit of consideration, instead of swanning off on holiday at a time when their child could need them.

It's a model that requires both parents to buy into it.

I'm the first to admit that for a long time, I selfishly left my ex to it when DD was with him - he wanted 50:50 care, so I considered it to be his problem when DD was with him.
As time has gone on, I've realised that DD doesn't benefit from that. By being flexible and putting her first, even if that means sacrificing my own wants, she has had both parents there for her when she's needed them.
Of course her Dad is more than capable of parenting her alone half of the time, but why should DD miss out on having two parents at the same time, just because we don't live together?
Why shouldn't she benefit from having both parents input in major events in her life, no matter how unexpected or unplanned they are?

Even if I was still married, my job is such that my DC can't have two parents at the same time.

That's what life is like, separated or not.

I didnt realise that if one expected their childs father to act like the other parent it meant one didnt care about ones DCs.

Funny that. I have managed for 4 years to love and care for my DD1 while still having a life while she was with her father.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 13:58:36

they way I read it, NADM, is that the OP has indeed put something in place to protect her other child - that would be putting them in the care of her husband's parents. That would be his grandparents. That would be the same set of grandparents as the DSS has, no family boundary crossing. She doesn't want to ask them to take their other grandchild because they live a distance away and are old. I do wonder what extra effort it would take to pick up an 11 year old child at the same time as a 1 year old given that presumably, the 11 year old can dress himself, take himself to the toilet and strap himself in a car seat, follow instructions etc. And why the OP's husband can't ask his parents to care for BOTH his children whilst another is born is beyond me, but I think it is clear that alot of the frustration here is that the husband is not really taking much responsibility for the care of his child, is he?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 14:46:16

And why the OP's husband can't ask his parents to care for BOTH his children whilst another is born is beyond me, but I think it is clear that alot of the frustration here is that the husband is not really taking much responsibility for the care of his child, is he?

Quite. Both the OPs DH and his ex have equal responsibility for their DS - who has, based on the account of the OP, some fairly traumatic memories of her giving birth. The parents could work together to minimise the impact on DS this time, whether that is for Mum to be available if DS needs her, or Dad to put arrangements in place for both his DCs. Neither parent has done so, and I think the OP is perfectly justified in feeling frustrated that neither parent is doing what she thinks is best.
Of course, that means that the OP, as a step mum, is questioning her DSC mum (as well as her own DH) - something that just isn't the done thing in MN!

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 15:03:33

Both the OPs DH and his ex have equal responsibility for their DS

Agreed! As I said before, it's about working together as parents for the benefit of the child!! DP was fully supportive his ex when she was having a baby and she did the same for us, and that included being there to look after their daughter when needed.

It wasn't a case of "tough shit, it's your night so you deal with it! If you don't want to then you're a feckless parent!" Being there for your child when it isn't practical for the other parent to look after the child you have together in instances like these, is far more important that trying to stick to rigid rules, routines and "principles".

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 15:15:06

Being there for your child when it isn't practical for the other parent to look after the child you have together in instances like these, is far more important that trying to stick to rigid rules, routines and "principles".

It took me far too long to realise this - I look back in horror at some of the things I said to my ex blush

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 15:26:39

I didnt realise that if one expected their childs father to act like the other parent it meant one didnt care about ones DCs.

Funny that. I have managed for 4 years to love and care for my DD1 while still having a life while she was with her father.

Wannabe - it's not about not caring; for me it's about being available.

When my ex and I were together, we regularly left DD in her grandparents care for weekends away..

But, I wouldn't have planned to leave her in relatives care for her first day of a new school, or her exam week, for instance - I think it's important that she has her parents support at times like that.

I don't do it now either; even if she is in her Dads care - why shouldn't she have both of us around if she needs us?

I fully understand why the OP thinks her DSS mums behaviour is odd - why would you plan to be unavailable for your DC at a time when they are more likely to need you?

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 15:34:31

NADM Ah we've all said things in the past we regret! Don't worry! smile

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 15:42:57

Quite. Both the OPs DH and his ex have equal responsibility for their DS - who has, based on the account of the OP, some fairly traumatic memories of her giving birth. The parents could work together to minimise the impact on DS this time, whether that is for Mum to be available if DS needs her, or Dad to put arrangements in place for both his DCs. Neither parent has done so, and I think the OP is perfectly justified in feeling frustrated that neither parent is doing what she thinks is best.

but what this comes back to is responsibility and reasonableness. Is it reasonable to expect someone who works in a school to not have a holiday during the summer because their ex is having a baby and they want the other parent to be available to care for their child when labour starts? We have established that if we are going to insist on this, mum basically has a good 5 week window during which she will have to sit and wait. She has 6 weeks holiday so a 2 week holiday away, abroad, would not be unreasonable. Basically, because her ex is having another baby, she is unable to go on holiday by your rules.

The OP is suggesting her baby is likely to come quickly. This means that if DSS is around, he's going to see and hear something. Should he not see his father for 5 out of 6 weeks in the summer cos something might happen? Would it not be more sensible to include the child in the set up, sit him down and explain to him where babies come from and the processes that women go through to have a baby - if he's 11, he's going to get the gist any day soon anyway! It's dad who's having the baby...so it's his responsibility to do that. If he doesn't, should mum? Probably, yes, but what should she say? You're not really that important to your dad cos he can't even see you for 6 weeks 'cos the baby, who is destined to arrive in record time, might just arrive in front of you? What you're suggesting is that she misses out on a holiday, has her 11 year old for the whole holiday (and swallows the cost of activities for that), that he doesn't see his dad for the whole summer and that she bothers to explain to him what it means to be a blended family and where he will fit into someone else's family even though none of it means nothing at all to her?

This is absolutely without question the responsibility of the father to sort out.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 15:44:42

but why is the child more likely to need his mum when it is his dad who is having a baby?! his position in his mum's household remains unchanged. It's dad who needs to reassure and support and be there for ALL his children.

I am flouncing off. This is not getting my essay done!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 15:51:43

mumandboys what I'm suggesting is that both parents try and put their DS first.
The OP has said that her DHs ex has ignored his emails about the issue, they were sent back in January. I don't think it's unreasonable to criticise her for that.

As for 'explaining where babies come from' - that would have worked the first time. Problem is that he already has very negative memories and associations of his SM labour. I know plenty of mothers and fathers who have had traumatic birth experiences who need specialist support in subsequent pregnancies - why shouldn't this little boy be given similar support?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 15:55:11

but why is the child more likely to need his mum when it is his dad who is having a baby?!

Because, inconveniently for the adults, DCs don't box off their lives into 'life with mum' and 'life with Dad'. If there's something going on in Dads house that upsets them, then they are upset - even when they're with Mum - and will benefit from support from both parents.

I learnt this the hard way sad

breaktheroutine Sun 19-May-13 15:56:51

"She is entitled to book a holiday whenever she likes"

hmm without any thought to who, if anyone, will be able to take care of the child? Goodness, what an odd view of parenting you have. Sounds extremely negligent to me. What if dad is also away at that time/working whatever. She didn't even check. I don't plan so much as an evening out without first ensuring I know exactly what arrangements there are for DS's care, let alone 2 weeks


I will leave you to your mad ideas. Honestly I have never heard anything more ridiculous.

So two nights a week I should sit by the phone incase my ex has a crisis while caring for his child and needs me to pick up the pieces? Haha. Sorry but no.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 16:05:21

I do 'get' that it's unfair that the decisions of one parent can have such a significant impact on the other even after they've split - why the hell should I care if my ex is getting married, having a baby, moving house - that's none of my business, and I'm not going to live my life around him, right?

But, it affects my DC in exactly the same way as the SATS week or school change, or death of her school friend does. I didn't swan off to celebrate my DPs 40th during my DDs SATs exams, or decide to see my favourite band in concert the day she started her new school. I cancelled my weekend away when she was inconsolable when her friends left the area and I certainly wouldn't plan to go abroad for two weeks the summer her SM was due another baby - because in DDs life, they are all equally significant even though they mean very little to me personally.

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 16:05:22

What is big deal about being there to help????

Anything could happen whilst your child is with their other parent. An emergency could crop up, such as a family member being hurt, or the electricity has gone (this happened to us once!!), etc etc... I'm not saying you should sit by your phone just in case you get a phone call saying that such and such a thing has happened and could your child come to yours. Sometimes it might not be that easy! That is understandable. But if you can help for the sake of your child and the parent of your child, then surely you would?? And wouldn't just say no due to it not being "your night".

But what we have here is situation where it's not an emergency. Plenty of time to plan holidays that do not coincide with the other parent not being available due to having a baby. I do not see what the big deal is?

YouMaySayImADreamer Sun 19-May-13 16:43:46

Just reread the op - she knows what date her and dh are having dss - these have been communicated, whats the problem? Reading between the lines of the main complaints listed, and the last paragraph of the op in particular, sorry but it very much just comes across that the op just doesnt want dss around for two weeks and is trying to use all sorts of reasons to justify/disguise this fact!

From what the op has said about the potential for the baby to come early, and factoring in that every pregnancy is different (it sounds like op has only based her predictions on her previous pregnancy father than what she has been told to expect with this one) and any baby can potentially go two weeks overdue, that is quite a huge window to expect dss's mum to be available!! That is not her shirking her responsibility or being unreasonable - it doesnt even sound from the op that she has booked her hol around the due date!!

It does come across that op just doesnt want the inconvenience of dss around, but as other posters have said, the same arrangements should be made as for the other baby. If dss was their joint child too, im sure there would be SOMEONE else who could have him.

When i recently gave birth to my ds, it was my dps night to have my dss. We knew early in the day that i was in actually in labour, but we still had him as normal for tea in order to keep things as normal as possible for him and not push him away from "our" little family. I just kept away from him when i was in real pain and when things got really bad, dps mum came and got him - we made arrangements from our side since it was us who had him that night!

breaktheroutine Sun 19-May-13 16:48:46

" If dss was their joint child too, im sure there would be SOMEONE else who could have him"

Not necessarily. DH and I have NO ONE else to help. So every event has to be meticulously planned way in advance

I'm with wannabe and mum.

I'm out.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 17:19:08

Just reread the op - she knows what date her and dh are having dss - these have been communicated, whats the problem?

The 'problem' is that these have been dictated, not agreed, and fall precisely within the period that the OPs DH explained months ago would be difficult for them to accommodate.

As I'm a very WSM, if I were the OP, I'd be making it clear to my DH that he's on his own in terms of caring for DSS during those two weeks; no pick ups, sitting while DH is at work, nothing. It's his ex dictating when DSS has contact so he can deal with it. Can he care for his DS without delegating responsibility to his very pregnant DW (the OP)?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 17:49:02

youmay I agree 100% with you. nadm my DH would never tell his ex that it was too "difficult to accommodate" his son. DSS is his son, no matter what else is going on in his life. You can't just switch off from being a dad because it's not convenient at that time!

And as for leaving DH to care for DSS, it's not fair on the stepchild if someone totally disengages from him because they have a new child to focus on and DSS suddenly stops being the OP's problem. Relationships don't work like that, you wouldn't expect her to do that to her own child! The poor DSS will already be feeling unsure, this rejection is cruelty.

When you enter into a relationship where children are involved you have to take on the new lifestyle and relationships that come with it. You can't pick and choose where vulnerable children are involved.

brdgrl Sun 19-May-13 18:34:15

You can't just switch off from being a dad because it's not convenient at that time!

and yet this is ok for the mum to do.

The point is that both families ought to be equally entitled to flexibility around the time with the child. In this case, the mum seems to be presuming that she is entitled to such flexibility - but is not respecting the request of the other household for some flexibility. That's crap.

If instead of a birth, the dad and OP had made travel arrangements of their own, previous to being informed of the dates, presumably they'd have then to cancel their own holiday so that the mum could have her's? In that case, people would be saying perhaps that the OP and DH should have waited to book a holiday until they'd been informed of contact dates. It's ridiculous.

I don't think it is necessary for a mum (or a dad!) to "wait by the phone" in case their child needs them when they're away at work or holiday - but I certainly don't abandon all responsibility and concern for my DD when I levae her in someone else's care. What an awful idea.

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 18:54:23

spg1983 That's an awful way to put it! It's not a case of switching off from being a dad at all!

It's all about making sure the child is comfortable and happy, and if that means the child going to the other parent's house for whatever reason then so be it! I would much rather DSD went back to her mum's than go to the in laws as it would be far more complicated for her the next day, or even worse, come to the hospital!! What good is that for 7 year old child?? She would have had a far more calm, comfortable and safe environment at home with her mum.

Turning to the other parent of your child when you need them is not a bad thing you know. It is not about switching off from being a parent; having a baby doesn't happen all that often, so a dad being there to experience the birth of his child isn't a horrific thing to do when he already has other children! If he has children that their mum is able to look after for a couple of "his nights" so that they are safe and secure, what harm is there?!

It really does help when the two parents get along, because obviously it is a very good opportunity for some parents to get one over the parent and tell them that they aren't going to look after their child when they are perfectly capable of doing so, just to score some cheap points and again stick to those god damn principles. How in the world would that benefit their child??

needaholidaynow Sun 19-May-13 19:08:27

Also, I suppose DSD's mum would have been switching off from being a mum if DSD had to come here when she was having her baby? Those were the arrangements, when I was having DS2, DSD was to go the her mum's and then vice versa when she was having her baby. Again, much easier for DSD and far less interruption for her because my DP wasn't stubborn about and neither was his ex if we needed her.

Does it apply to mum's too? Is she in the wrong for asking her ex to look after their child when she has a baby? Or is it just dads?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 19:21:15

needa yes I agree it was a pretty drastic way to say it but...my reasoning behind it is that the OP has said that her and DH have told DSS' mum that they don't want DSS to visit from when she's 8 months pg and then says that when the baby's there then there's nowhere for DSS to sleep! I'm sorry if it offends/upsets you but I think her DH is behaving disgracefully by naming this "window" of time where they say that DSS is not able to be accommodated (at least 4 weeks but potentially longer depending on when OP gives birth and if/when their rooming issues get resolved).

I would think very seriously about having a child with someone who can treat his son like that.

By the way, please don't think I'm suggesting DSS should be there for the birth just to prove a point or stick to principles. I just think DSS deserves to be treated with the same care and consideration as the op's biological child and that doesn't seem to be happening. There's enough disruption in a stepchild's life without being told they are not welcome at their parent's house because of a new baby...

brdgrl Sun 19-May-13 19:45:42

why oh why is no one asking why it isn't a disruption and a horrible offence and unfair and hurtful to this same boy that his mum is going on holiday with her new husband and not taking him along?

...because I know that is what we'd be seeing if it the OP and her DH were going on holiday and sending DSS off to his mum's.

Total double standard.

My ex went on holiday twice last year and didn't take my kids.

Not an issue.

I went away last year with my then partner and didn't take my kids.

Not an issue.

Well, not for me anyway. If I have the kids, I get to choose what happens, if he has them he gets to choose. And when we don't have them we are free to choose what to do.

brdgrl Sun 19-May-13 20:00:32

That's fine, freddie, but not comparable. Sounds like you and your ex have an equally respectful thing going on there.

In this case both parties have a period when they would prefer the kid were with the other party. In the case of the mum, it is the weeks she is on holiday. In the case of the OP, it is when she is eight months pregnant (I don't see her indicating that she doesn't want DSS there at all). These are either both reasonable positions, or neither is.

And again - why the double standard about the 'poor kid'? He's being treated abysmally because his stepmum and dad would prefer his stay was another time, but it is absolutely ok that his mum and her own DH can piss off on holiday without him. (for the record, I agree with you that both sets of parents should be able to have child-free holidays, but I have been around here long enough to know that if the stepmum were the one planning the child-free holiday, she'd be getting stick for that.)

Alwayscheerful Sun 19-May-13 20:28:11

I only read the first 20 or so posts and I am astounded at some of the vile attitudes displayed.

For goodness sake, can we not give our ex partners, new wives and children/stepchildren the same consideration we would give to strangers or fellow human beings?

A new mum deserves to have her husband by her side wherever possible. Even animals are allowed to give birth in stress free situation. Mums and Dads should share holiday dates at the earliest opportunity and why wouldn't they share this information? It does not matter if they are together or separated, it is simply considerate.

Parents should be the first port of call, if one is not available it is in the best interest of a child for the other parent to be available or to make themselves available, RP, NRP and court orders aside, it is simply common sense.

OP your DP or DH should be protecting you from this stress insist he sorts it NOW.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 21:27:34

Well, not for me anyway. If I have the kids, I get to choose what happens, if he has them he gets to choose. And when we don't have them we are free to choose what to do.

Do you tell your ex when he's having the DCs, too? Or do you discuss it with him?

Do you ignore emails from your ex telling you that there are dates when DSS may be less likely to have quality time with him, because his DW may be in labour? Or do you acknowledge that it may not be in your DS best interest for you to insist on contact so you can go on holiday when your ex is unable to give your DS his full attention?

Why are you being so aggressive with me NADM?

I was just saying how it was for me.

I think it best I hide this thread now.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 21:41:05

freddie if you think I'm being aggressive them you've not been on the step-boards that much - SM are fair game here ; we've had to develop thick skins and robust responses.
I'm not picking on you particularly, just saying it as I see it - I think you've given the OP a hard time, but clearly don't like being on the receiving end.

breaktheroutine Sun 19-May-13 22:02:33

I don't think parental responsibility can be absolved such that when your child is with someone else (even a parent) they're not you're problem. For example, when DSS is at school or in childcare, he's still my responsibility and I will still make sure it's in his best interest to be there. I don't feel any less responsibility if DH is supposed to have him that day after school. So the idea of booking a 2 week holiday without first knowing the plans for DS's care is abhorrent to me. I dont understand how any parent could do that.

YouMaySayImADreamer Sun 19-May-13 22:25:07

Noone is questioning the fact that the ex is having a holiday without her son, because thats not the question and its not the issue the op is raising!! The op does make it sound like she doesnt want the dss staying in the huge window of up to six weeks that the baby could be born in, which is just insane, and even more insane that anyone would suggest that the childs mum should be on standby for!

Also, the ex hasnt witheld any information, she has told them what dates she needs them to have dss, and as op says herself, she is just guessing that this is when she is going on holiday, she doesnt even actually know! And again, as op says herself, dss may be staying with his maternal grandmother when his mum is away, so the 'evil ex' might have made arrangements for her ds afterall - op is just guessing all of this!

I totally agree that op deserves to have her husband there, by herself when their child is being born, because it is a special moment. But she cant clear a whole 6 week window of opportunity where he cant stay and i dont see why, IF the dss is there when op goes into labour, he cant just go wherever their baby is going. If they can look after a 13mo baby, im sure they can have an older child and wont object to this for one or two nights in an emergency. I find it hard to believe that they cant cope with one more. What if op went on to have a third child, would her two existing dcs be sent to two separate people?! It does very much seem that dss is being treated differently, and a much bigger issue is being made out of childcare arrangements just because he isnt her own child and its getting her back up that hes going to be there. I feel so sorry for this little boy.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 20-May-13 00:42:34

Also, the ex hasnt witheld any information, she has told them what dates she needs them to have dss

And therein lies the fundamental issue.

Two equal parents - one of which tells the other when she needs him to have the DC.

Such a familiar story.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 20-May-13 03:04:23

OFFS, this is unreal. My DS, almost 23, has a son, almost four, by his now ex. His now ex is currently having a difficult pregnancy, by another man, due July. Ds has lots of festivals and so on he'd like to attend this June/July.

He hasn't booked any tickets because he knows his ex is likely to need more support with their joint child at some point in the next several months.

If a "teenage dad" can give his ex, and her new dp, that much consideration, wtf can't the mother of an 11 yo? She's not being asked never to have a holiday again, just that this year she gives a bit of thought.


<But proud of ds, who did not need this shit pointed out to him>

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 06:41:02

Because it seems that they only cant cope with this 11yo just because he's not "theirs". If he was "theirs", they would find a way, because theyd have to, so why the big fuss! Op does come across quite resentful of the fact he'll be there more generally, complaining of having a "bored 11yo for two weeks"...whats this got to do with her original complaint. Not saying that the complaint of the logistics of him being there around the birth doesnt have some validity, but the uncurrent of her just not wanting him there more generally definately comes through and it feels as though its playing big part. It comes across as resentment.

breaktheroutine Mon 20-May-13 07:15:26

It really sounds like she's done it deliberately in the weeks leading up to he birth. Who the hell books a child free holiday in the summer holidays, namely the most expensive time of the year

NotaDisneyMum Mon 20-May-13 07:36:37

She works in a school wink

The suggestion that the OP treats DSS like theirs is laughable to those of us whose normal involves treading on eggshells around their DSC for fear of incurring their mums anger - but it's so normal for us that most of us don't spell it out in our posts.
I'm prepared to bet that if the OP treated her DSS like her own - be that arranging for him to share a room or expecting him to entertain himself without complaint - the fallout would last months.

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 07:44:29

NADM I think you're getting into dangerous territory by saying that having a difficult situation is "normal". I know that DSS' mum would go mental if we treated DSS like that and is happy with any arrangements we make for him so long as he is included in everything. She would hate it if he were made to feel "different" or not part of our family. It sounds like your situation is difficult and quite acrimonious and that you find it easy to disengage from your DSS - you've said that you find it necessary sometimes as he won't even be in the same room as you without getting upset.

Please don't assume that every stepfamily works like this. There is no "normal" and every blended family has its own problems but I think you'd be surprised at just how far people are willing to go to make it work, and just how successful they can be.

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 07:47:57

And maybe it would only take the OP showing a bit of care and consideration towards her DSS to help the situation improve. What mother would be happy to send her child to a place where one of the adults living there is happy to disengage and treats them as though they're not as important as other children living there? I certainly wouldn't be happy about it and it would seriously impact on my relationship with the adults concerned.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 08:38:30

Well pin me up and stone me as the evil stepmother who has to revise the end of her final month of pregnancy because of the financial situation her DH ex has put them in, who DH ex has decided to unagree dtaes of end July/Aug to come up with her own dates with no discussion. Dates we've agreed to, but no I guess its not something I'
m allowed to be frustrated
About. I would prefer my father to stay and help out as was planned, he gets to see his granddaughter, and I don't have to come home to bored 11yo moaning winging because his friends are over 2 hours away, and he's only got my DH and a 13 month old for company.
I will be knackered, moody and stressed and not really chipper company for anyone. DSS can be packed of to his nans whenever his mum wants it doesn't bother me. It bothers DSS though, he'll be on his own no internet, friends or siblings on either side. He'll just ring his dad and moan, and DH will tell no you can't come over.

If the consultant wants to scan me at 36 weeks because she thinks I'm likely to deliver early and FAST then I am inclined to listen to her.

Anyway I have no idea if DSS mum will agree to swap the weekend we want her to in early sept, she just doesn't reply. DH has decided its a no.

DH did say when DSS was born the ex packed her eldest 2 off to their dads for the week so they could cope. Shame that's not something she sees fit to consider for DH. DH has said if DSS is here and it all kicks off like last time, DSS will have to just cope on his own if he has to help me. DH will ask DSS to speak to his mum about coming to fetch him, or rearranging weekends. If she won't then its up to her to deal with whatever state DSS is when he finally goes home.

I do find it odd that once you divorce, you can switch the parent button EOW. If it were my son and he'd had a traumatic exp last time then I would try to be there for my son and not try to make silly points with my ex.

DH has decided no more favours for the ex, if she wants to rearrange a weekend she will get a no in reply.

brdgrl Mon 20-May-13 08:52:05

Because it seems that they only cant cope with this 11yo just because he's not "theirs". If he was "theirs", they would find a way, because theyd have to, so why the big fuss!

If he was "their's", the kid might be sent off to maternal relatives or friends - a solution which the ex might find unacceptable and kick off about. And make a "big fuss".

If he was "their's", the solution might be to have him sleep on the living room sofa - a solution which the ex might find unacceptable and kick off about. And make a "big fuss".

The OP can't treat the child as "her's", because he's not, and because that very very clearly isn't the model which is acceptable to the child's mum, either.

Op does come across quite resentful of the fact he'll be there more generally, complaining of having a "bored 11yo for two weeks"...whats this got to do with her original complaint.
I believe the OP's point was partly that by coming during this time, the child will be, unavoidably, deprived of some of the attention and activities which he might be getting at another time. So it is very relevant. If the baby does arrive, the kid is not going to be getting as much interaction with the adults in the household. (If the baby doesn't arrive, OP will still be 8 months pregnant in the height of summer and working FT - I think anyone with any sense can empathize with the idea that a bored child will be a bit more to handle under those circumstances than others. Whether "theirs" or not. OP mentions it as one piece of the sum package. Fair enough.)

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 08:58:46

stepmooster I do really feel for you, I know exactly what it is like to know I'm going to deliver early and fast, and it did happen. It does seen though like you don't want your DSS anywhere near you and I think that's a really sad situation but obviously if your DH's ex behaves like that then it is going to cloud your relationship with DSS.

However I think the person who really needs to step up here is your DH. I'm sorry but DSS is his son and he needs to step up to his responsibilities. I agree that ex is being unreasonable by announcing holidays suddenly but if she can't be relied upon then DH needs to look after his son or make suitable arrangements.

You still haven't said where your child is going when you go into labour, why can't DSS go to the same place? You'd be amazed how helpful people are prepared to be in an emergency (except the ex of course!!).

I found myself just wanting to be on my own with DH before my child was born, it's something I'm pretty ashamed of but it's a feeling I couldn't shake off. However I knew that DH would not allow that to happen so I tried to make the most of the situation and tried really hard to bond more with DSS and include him in everything to do with the baby. He is now the most caring and helpful child who adores his sister. I know every situation is different but it's nearly always the adults who have to make the first move and if one of the adults is being difficult then the others need to stop thinking about punishing the others and do what's best for the child. As a step child myself i guarantee the child will grow up to remember all of this and will remember who treated them with care and consideration.

Xalla Mon 20-May-13 09:19:47

However I think the person who really needs to step up here is your DH. I'm sorry but DSS is his son and he needs to step up to his responsibilities. I agree that ex is being unreasonable by announcing holidays suddenly but if she can't be relied upon then DH needs to look after his son or make suitable arrangements

Exactly, this is your DH's job to sort out. You're never going to be able to control the ex's behaviour. Your understandable frustration stems from the fact that it's you that's being left to deal with the consequences of her actions and you shouldn't have to; your DH had a child with her, it's his job to deal with her / his child and shield you from all the c* that comes with it when you're about to deliver another one of his children.

Tbh I agree with the posters that have said she's entitled to take a holiday while DSS is with your DH regardless of the fact that you're about to deliver. Of course she should give you her contact details for while she's away but I don't think she's obligated to do so until the day before she leaves on holiday if she doesn't want to.

BUT I think it's important to remember that none of this situation is certain. Surely your best plan of action would be for your DH to approach his ex, explain your situation, establish when she is actually going away and ask for her help in arranging a 'birth plan' for your DSS - where he goes, where he sleeps, who cares for him etc.

If she's really determined to have her holiday you may find she's willing to compromise on certain issues wink

I've done this twice before and I'm due again in October. DH's ex has swung between insisting we have DSD over the birth (mine were both planned sections so more easy to plan for) so DSD didn't feel left out (second chid) and insisting we didn't have DSD for a week either side of the birth in case she felt left out (first child) hmm Not quite sure what her instructions are going to be third time around!

This stuff is never easy but ultimately it's not your stuff, it's your DH's.

Secretlifeofplants Mon 20-May-13 09:45:41

Hear you! The best thing now is to look after yourself. Rest assured you have a lot of moral support out there.
Can your dad still come but stay in a b&b?
All the best, xx

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 09:45:52

Great post Xalla.

OP, something which I found weird was realising that my DH had a really important role as a non- resident father as well as being my partner/husband. I think that in my head, because he was/is an amazing DH to me, it automatically meant that he was also an amazing df to his son. It took a long while for me to realise that some of the things he initially suggested re contact with his son were actually quite selfish and that there were times where he really wasn't stepping up to the plate. I loved DH so much that at first I was unable to see where his behaviour as a df was less than amazing. Does that make sense?

I think sometimes you need to take a step back and consider your DH's attitude towards this situation. Since being pg and having my dd, it's been easier to do this because all I have to ask myself is "would I be happy if he was like this with my child" and if the answer is no then it's not good enough for DSS either.

It may seem like I'm a really pushy step mum but I just love DSS to bits and want him to be happy with us. I probably stand up for DSS more than DH!

OP I would feel exactly the same as you in this situation although like I've already said I would try and make the best of the situation without pushing DSS out. But I think you really need to question whether or not you think your DH has fulfilled his responsibilities as DSS' father, no matter howuch you love him or how much he looks after you...

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 09:47:45

Oops, that should be "how much you love him"

NotaDisneyMum Mon 20-May-13 11:37:34

Surely your best plan of action would be for your DH to approach his ex, explain your situation, establish when she is actually going away and ask for her help in arranging a 'birth plan' for your DSS - where he goes, where he sleeps, who cares for him etc.

That requires the ex to engage though - the OPhas said that repeated attempts at any communication have been ignored - hence the need to pass messages via the 11 year old sad

From experience, I'd say that the best way for the OP's DH to get a response from his ex is to stop trying to negotiate with her and instead tell her what you intend to do. For instance, if the OP is no longer willing to collect her DSS from the station because he is frequently late with no notification, then rather than ask ex to 'please let me know if DSS is going to be late' which will be ignored, just send an email saying 'because DSS has been late so often, I'll pick him up on Saturdays from now on'. The likelihood is that will elicite a response, all be it a negative one, but will break the stonewalling she's been doing and allow some communication to take place.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 12:33:08

My friend from NCT has offered to take care of DD if things kick off, and my sister cannot get to us in time. My sister has offered to take DD for a week because she is on maternity leave. But she lives an hour from us and 2.5 hour dirve from DSS home. She hardly knows DSS and DSS hardly knows her, if DSS went with DD to my sister's how is is going to get home again?

I don't really want DSS to be around when I give birth, no. Partly for him and me. Last time before my waters broke I had no porevious symptoms of about to go into labour, It was 2am and I ran into the bathroom trickling fluid everywhere. DH had to get DSS up and ready, and I stayed in the bathroom until DH had the car covered in protective mats. DSS was in shock although we explained everything to him the evening before, ironically to prepare him. I then spent the whole ride in the car contracting every minute, trying not to faint/vomit/poo myself in front of DSS.

We got to the hospital, I was examined and DH and midwife had to carry me into delivery room as birth was imminent. DSS wasn't allowed in as only children of the mother are only allowed to be present. I was screaming the place down. DH then had to sit in the visitors room with DSS, and when DD was about to be delivered the midwife or whoever went to get DH to see if he could come into the room. (I didn't actually ask him to be there I told him he could sit with DSS if he liked). DSS grabbed his arm in hysterics begging DH not to leave him, but DH convinced DSS to sit on the phone with his uncle who was in a taxi to the hospital so DSS would not be alone for long.

DH came into delivery room and DD came out just after. I then haemorraghed and there was blood everywhere. I was off my head on gas and air and trying to remain conscious, I kept shouting at DH to take DD and give her some skin-to-skin with a least one parent as I was being hooked up to fluids and having doctors and midwifes poking at my down belows trying to ascertain if I needed surgery.

DH felt faint, had DD on his bare chest, was worried about me and DSS was alone in the visitors area waiting for his uncle. When BIL arrived he took DSS back to our house and then took DSS home in a taxi for usual drop-off time.

After the birth I was in the hospital 3 days, once for me and 2 days in neonatal with DD as she became jaundiced.

I don't know what will happen this time, consultant says birth likely to be quicker, second births always are apparently, although I would LOVE to be proved wrong. I don't want to go through all that in front of DSS. I don't think DSS wants to go through all that either.

It is DH problem and he acknowledges this. But still I know there will be a chance DSS will be with us when I go into labour, I am not thrilled by the idea but hey-ho whatever. DH brother is not able to help this time around, and DSS will just have to be a big boy and cope with it.

DH has tried to start a dialouge with his ex about it all, tried to explain what DSS went through, both after the event and in January.

I accept then that DH ex can go aborad without telling DH, although it's not what I'd do.

I do reserve the right to remain frustrated that our plans for final weeks of pregnancy have been scuppered by changes in agreed dates.

If DSS were our child, then my family would be able to help but he isn't. They don't know him and they live too far from DSS home to be of any use really.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 12:36:28

Spg1983 - your situation and story sounds incredibly similar to mine.

Op i dont want my posts to come across as an attack at all, but there is some resentment towards dss being there at at all coming across in all of your posts. I dont really think some of the logic behind what you think should happen is "right" or fair towards the dss BUT thats not to say that as someone who has been in a similar situation, i dont understand and empathise with how you feel (noone can help how they truly feel). As spg1983 says, i felt a strong desire for the birth of my baby to be shared by just me and dp and for all of his attention to be on me and the baby for that moment and the days either side - i even googled it and apparently it is a biological thing for mothers to want to "push" any "intruders" out of the nest. But i knew i really had to change my mindset because dss was my partners child and had a right to be there in the surrounding days if that was the arrangement (enforced or not enforced, that is just how it is), just as any of our own kids would likely be there when i went into labour (which wouldnt necessarily be straight forward just because they were mine, but i would sort something in an emergency).

Like spg1983, the love i have for my own baby now (which is obviously very different from the love i have for ne dss) helps me understand better how it must feel for dss and how id feel if he was mine.

There does sound like theres A LOT of other background on the ex, and ive no doubt that she sounds obstructive and difficult, and id be fuming with the money situation, especially the stress in late pregnancy whilst she is going abroad. But my point was just that its coming out in resentment towards the child in the way you talk about him. Not saying ive never had some of these feelings or cant understand, but you really have to try and change your mindset towards him and accept him as though he was part of a "normal" family. It will lead to a happier situation for him, and less stress for yourself if you stop tryig to fight it.

For the poster who said that whatever arrangements are made for the dss will cause the ex to kick off - it sounds like youre just guessing this from your own bitter experiences now, because nowhere does the op suggest that this would happen. In fact the suggestion has been that the ex doesnt care what happens to her ds when she is away, so you cant have it both ways! Plus the op has said they dont hear from her anyway, and even if they did, she wouldnt have a leg to stand on because she had been informed of the situation. It sounds like there is no point trying to do the "right" thing by her as it sounds far from amicable so nothing will ever be right. It would make more sense to accept the situation and focus on making dss happy with whatever situation you are left in...not saying thats right, but if she is that unreasonable, it doesnt sound like there is a choice.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 12:37:42

Thank you NADM you have given me some food for thought regarding the stonewalling, and how DH can approach the issue.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 12:46:36

Sorry cross posted there. After reading your full story, thats fair enough, i understand your situation a lot better. That is pretty horrific, and although you say you didnt mind your dh staying with your dss, youre a better person than me because i think id be pretty upset if my dp missed the birth of our first born (i know he didnt but you were still prepared for that to happen).

I do sympathise with your frustrations about the change in plans. But on the bright side, you know it could be quick this time and at least have the chance to make some back up plans, so it shouldnt be as bad as last time.

brdgrl Mon 20-May-13 12:50:54

OP, that sounds so scary. I hope you have a much smoother experience this time around! (do keep us posted please.)

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 13:00:29

Dreamer, last time when I got pregnant I told DH that if it came down to it I was prepared to give birth with just the medical staff for comapny if DSS needed him, he was to stay with DSS. I didnt want a child to see me give birth, as births are not all 'one born every minute'. That's my personal choice and not everyone's I know. Midwife/NCT/relatives/friends all had us convinced that first babies take hours/days to arrive and are always late - not 37 weeks as DD was. DSS was ex's third child and he took 2 days to arrive. DH and I were not at all expecting DD birth to be as it was, we thought contractions would start, DSS uncle would collect him and then DH and I would be left in peace. It didnt work like that. Now I know what it was like, and only having gone through it once I am trying to plan in my head how I will cope, where everyone will be, based on my previous experience. I am not going to be in control of my actions once labour begins. For the last month of pregnancy I am not even going to be alone with my daughter she is going to be at nursery during the day and DH will be with me/her every other time.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 13:28:48

Op, i wasnt being sarcastic, i was genuinely complimenting you for your selflessness in that situation.

Having read your whole story i understand and sympathise with your situation.

I think it is just difficult to offer a solution that will work for both you and the little boy, and that will be fair to you both. The problem from his pov would be that theres quite a big window of opportunity where he cant stay over with his dad (could be up to six week period if the baby could be early or even overdue) just incase you go into labour. That doesnt mean i dont understand that its worrying for you, but i just think youre going to have to risk it, make some plans as best you can, and keeps your fingers crossed that baby doesnt arrive early.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 13:41:56

Chancing it is what the plan is, feeling frustrated certainly. I can't help it, I just am! Sorry I am in extra defensive mode. I posted on Saturday having heard the news, and I didnt feel great yesterday. Woke up this morning to 100+ posts about how evil I am. I must admit I didnt read them all I just flicked through them. It's quite a mission to try and explain a whole back story in my original post so maybe I drip fed things, which I apologise for. I just thought if I said in one post that birth was traumatic for DSS people would agree with me...

AmberLeaf Mon 20-May-13 14:06:47


Ive just read through all of this thread, my thoughts;

Sorry to hear you had such a tough time with your DDs birth, that all sounds really scary.

With my armchair psych hat on, Im going to say that I think all this stuff being sort of 'up in the air' and out of your control with regards your DSS being there around the time your baby is due has become a focal point for the quite understandable anxiety you have about this babies birth.

That is just my thoughts based on how I think I would feel in the same position, no criticism of you about how you feel towards your DSS, because I really don't think that is the issue here.

I do think though, that your DH needs to take control and get something sorted, for your DSSs sake, but for you too, you need to be able to focus on having this baby safely without having to worry about what is going to happen with your DSS and how that is going to rebound on to your DHs availability to you at the birth, I know you've said that obviously the birth is your priority, but I think if your DH stood up on this matter, it may make you feel better.

I hope you [well, your DH!] can get this sorted and I hope your babies birth is smoother than last time.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Tue 21-May-13 00:42:47

Wow there are a lot of bitter people on here. I can't quite believe the stuff about "well on my exs day the kids are his responsibility". Does that apply to every other time they are away from you? So nursery phone you one day and say "oh sorry to bother you, but your DC has had an accident n is being blue lighted into hospital" ... You do what? Tell them its exs day n to go bother him? Tell them its their responsibility as what else are they being paid for? Lovely. Wish it was that easy to switch off! (She says, as someone who works full time on all sorts of weird shifts, who needs to do so to pay for raising her kids, and fully understands having to chose between work and being there)

I'm imagining OPs DSSs mother on her holiday now, sitting by the pool with a glass in her hand. "So where's your son DSSs mum?" "Oh back in England, watching a woman close to him hemorrhage and potentially worse... What's that? Aren't I bothered? Fuck that sweetie, its dads week! Chin chin!"

But I do see the POV that OPs husband sounds like a wet blanket and needs to grow up a bit, accept that help/support from the ex is not going to happen so he needs to sort it all out by himself instead of leaving OP worrying and getting more and more frustrated. The default position for OPs husband should have been pro-active planning for ex not cooperating seeing as it sounds the norm in this setup.

OP, I totally get why you're pissed off. Your posts are slightly garbled and possibly bringing some unrelated frustrations which contribute to your feelings but aren't relevant to the specific situation - so it could make some posters think you're just a WSM ;) but really... Your issue should be with your DP. Yes, the exw sounds like a bitch. But there's fuck all you can do about it, so let it go. Raise your issues with your DP and leave him to understand its his problem.

Just make sure you get the outcome best for you right now as stress is not going to help. If your medical needs are as bad as you say they could be re: this next birth, then you need your dp to be with you. He needs to be your advocate if anything goes wrong and you can't speak up for yourself etc.

You get a funny mix on here... Some posters accuse others of being "anti first child" - which some of them are. Some posters are also "first child worshippers" who's opinions normally focus around thinking these poor little mites from broken homes should come before every other being in the universe including other children. The creamy middle is usually best.

Oh n I agree with everything NADM said - she knows what she's on about ;)

WandOfElderNeverProsper Tue 21-May-13 00:49:31

I'm still chuckling over the thought that biomums holiday is more important than OPs potentially very complicated labour. Heh. I might see if DP wants to run off n have babies with a fancy woman so I can have holidays and have my word be law, and generally be the Most Important Person Ever. Or... I'd probably just stick around for my kids. You know. Being their mum and all.

Xalla Tue 21-May-13 06:46:30

I very much support NADM's tactical suggestions regarding your DP dealing with his ex.

He should send a factual, non-emotive email to her laying out his concerns, outlining his current plans (or lack of) for their son around the time of your baby's birth and finish off with something like "please respond with your thoughts regarding the above". Asking nicely won't get in our experience. Nor should he be tip-toeing around her anyway; the child is his as much as hers. Their responsibilities towards your DSS are equal.

Secretlifeofplants Tue 21-May-13 06:52:06

Hehe, Wandofelder, nearly peed myself reading your last post.
I have obviously missed my window of opportunity to become ruler of the universe. Ds has a sm, a lovely person, and though ex and she can be flexible regarding holidays and having ds I don't book even a weekend away without consulting them first, if my hols fit into their plans.
It simply shows respect for the people who care for my ds, I don't think it matters if they're related to him or not. Considering bad press ex usually get on mn (and yes, I'd have enough to complain about), being polite to them as you would to strangers allows everybody to move on. Bitterness just smacks of holding on to old grudges and therefore holding on to the relationship (and yes, have been on shared receiving side from dh ex ridiculous notions of her word is law etc.).

spg1983 Tue 21-May-13 07:51:03

I think some posters have missed the point of some of what has been said...the idea was not that ex could do whatever she wanted and that we supported her, the point was that she IS doing whatever she wants and DH needed to try and get through to her but ultimately if he wasn't able to then he needed to sort things himself. As a stepmom yes it is bloody frustrating when you only get certain times for holidays and then you are told it's not convenient but most of us go along with what's best for everyone even though it means sometimes changing our plans. And some people in this situation do what they want anyway and unfortunately these people cannot be forced into being considerate or helpful. That's the point we were trying to make...If ex is going to wash her hands of the child then DH almost has to become the equivalent of both parents that week and pull his finger out instead of letting the OP get all stressed out about it. It shouldn't be her concern but her DH's lack of organisation has made her worried about what could maybe happen and that's not fair.

Petal02 Tue 21-May-13 09:47:46

WandofElderNeverProsper that was a superb post !!!!!!

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