Glorified babysitter again!

(85 Posts)
entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 10:01:32

DP rang me at work yesterday, just to inform me that DSD 9 would be staying until Monday because she is off school.

Is he taking time off? Is he boll**ks. I now have to change my plans for my days off with Dd3 to babysit her.

I wouldn't mind except that for the last few months Dsd9 has become rude and sulky towards me and appears to be turning into a mini-wife whenever Dp is around.

She is currently sat on the sofa, refusing to get dressed or have breakfast, and occasionally throwing me some majorshiteye because I have had the audacity to speak to her.

ExW has cottoned on to the fact that I don't work Thursdayor Friday and last week I was minding her again as ExW had a party

NatashaBee Thu 06-Jun-13 10:08:49

I'd be annoyed too, especially that my DH had discussed it with his ex and presented it to me as a done deal without even asking. Your DSD does sound like a bit of a grumpy preteen, and I can see why you're annoyed that your plans have bee ruined, but your DH is the real issue here I think. Can he take at least an afternoon off so you can do some of the things you'd planned to do with your DD?

(Love your name btw!)

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 10:25:14

Dp is self employed and can't afford to take any time off.

I've spoken to him about this but ExW goes ballistic if he doesn't have her or she threatens to leave her home alone. He has had to go and get her before when she's left her.

I'm really annoyed though as I see Dd3 for about 1.5hrs on a work day and like to spend my days off doing something fun.

We're stuck in the house for now because I can't just bugger off out and leave Dsd9 alone.

If she was mine I would be telling her to get dressed and out or her phone is going in the bin.

Unfortunately, I have to treat her like a royal visitor because as Dp says, ' if she gets upset she won't want to stay'.

This has been the root of many an argument between us and now that is affecting my own children I'm ready to throw in the towel.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 10:48:29

Unfortunately I have to treat her like a royal visitor because as DP says, “if she gets upset she won’t want to stay”

And that, coupled with a calculating ex, is why lots of us step mums are on a hiding to nowhere. Your DP is terrified to upset the child in case she stops visiting, and the ex does exactly as she pleases because DP is too scared to rock the boat.

White wine has been my salvation.

racmun Thu 06-Jun-13 10:48:56

You poor thing i bet you could scream - i feel annoyed for you!! I think you need to document exactly what is going in today and you seriously need to get this sorted with your DH.

I'm a step mum and there is no way i or my DH would accept my ss to be so rude- what example is your sd setting for your younger children - it is only going to lead to trouble.

I think you need to speak to DH tonight if she doesn't want to stay if she has to behave appropriately then what message is she getting - cone here treat your step mum like shit and get your own way, but that's ok because it's so important you come over- that is not right. She's a child and needs to fit in with your family.

As for you having to look after her I would refuse until your DH can get her to behave properly for you- tough shit if her mum threatens to leave her home alone - she won't it's just emotional blackmail that your DH falls for.

Furthermore yours days with your children are important and need to be respected by your DH and additional childcare not just dropped on.

You have got to get this sorted for your own sanity otherwise it will not end well.

Tuckshop Thu 06-Jun-13 10:56:02

Is she poorly? Why isn't she at school?

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 11:24:56

racmun ExW has left her alone with ADHD elder sister 16 before. DP has had to race over many times when the elder sis has been trashing the house and ExW has gone clubbing.

Dsd 9 apparently has 2 weeks off at half term. I did find this a bit odd as Ds14 is back this week.

Think I should maybe just check the school website.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 11:37:29

What would your DH do if he wasn't married to you? What did he do when he wasn't married to you?

My point is that his ex-wife can play these games because your DH is just passing the problem on to you. I appreciate that some people might say this is your responsibility because you married him but when did common decency and respect for other peoples time go out of the window? I am sure that you do not mind looking after your SDD when it's been agreed and organised in advance but equally that doesn't mean that you are his on tap child care as and when it suits him and his ex-wife.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 11:42:02

And I'm not a step-mum. However I am a single mum with a 8yo DS and an ex-husband who has a partner who he lives with. I wouldn't do this to her in a month of Sundays. In the last seven years I have asked my ex to have our son once as an emergency and at short notice, when I was burgled.

UC Thu 06-Jun-13 11:54:29

Agree with Huge Laurie. Some people will probably come on and say you married the man, take on the daughter. Which is fine, EXCEPT that you clearly aren't allowed to treat the daughter as you do your own children. I don't think many people "get" this. Just because you don't work Thurs and Fris does NOT meant that you automatically should be the one to look after your DSD. She has two parents. They should be working out childcare for the holidays. And that childcare should not be the assumption that you will do it.

I speak from experience. I had to have this very same conversation with my DP about my DSSs. I was in a position where both he and his ex (with whom I get on well - there was no manipulation of the situation by her) had just got used to assuming that because I, like you, am off work 2 days a week, I would have all of our children (i.e. my own and theirs) for those days in the holidays. I found it stressful and difficult (there are 4 of them, ranging in age from 13 to 6), and I was dreading every holiday. I made my own rod to some extent because I did used to offer sometimes, especially if I had plans to go somewhere, I'd offer to take all 4 - and they got used to it, and started expecting it. Which is somewhat different...!

The difference though is that once I explained how I felt to DP, he and his ex sorted it out, and now it doesn't happen anymore. I do sometimes do something with all 4, but that's now my CHOICE.

I fear that maybe the difference is that my DP is not a Disney dad at all, and his ex is very supportive of me, my role, and of the children's relationship with their dad. This is perhaps the root of it.

I think you need to sit down with your DP, and lay it on the line. Otherwise it sounds as though you will reach the end of your tether.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Thu 06-Jun-13 12:00:38

Your DH has a royal cheek (& I'm very pro, it's the step child's home etc..), and you have every right to be really fed up about it.

You can tell her to get dressed or the phone is confiscated etc though, you really can. If your husband is angry about it then tough, you're angry about being taken advantage of. Either way it's an argument but this way you are taking a little control back of your day.

To be fair your DSD sounds just as cheesed off about the situation as you are and would probably enjoy going out once she sorted herself out. Maybe try again with a light / breezy approach and take it from there. I feel for her if she is fed up at home at only 9 years old but your DH shouldn't use you for babysitting without laying down some behaviour rules to his daughter first.

zipzap Thu 06-Jun-13 12:01:09

What sort of work does dh do? Is it something that his dd could go along to and sit quietly whilst he does it?

Or could you say what your plans were and tell him to tell his dd that that is what is happening and that she needs to buck her ideas up. Her mum also needs to be telling her to behave for you - if she is happy to dump her on you (as it seems to be you that she has cottoned on to having the days off and doing the looking after rather than her ex) - sounds like the ex is doing to dump her on you as much as she can regardless of whether or not not dsd wants to come!

Make sure you tell dsd about your plans for the next few weeks (or maybe more importantly - for the summer holidays) when you are going to be out or changing to be working on ad hoc days to fit in with other people's childcare at work or going to stay away or whatever you have to make up to make it sound like you no longer regularly have thursday and friday off so that she can't just dump her on you. Also look into local day care - I know our local primary school runs a great summer camp over the summer that you can use on an adhoc basis - her own school or a school local to you might do the same - so that if the mum tries to dump her on the dad and your dh then expects you to look after her regardless of plans, you can say 'I have plans but she can go to xxx play scheme today' and you can pay for it. Might make them think twice about using you as a free babysitter at their convenience!

StillSlightlyCrumpled Thu 06-Jun-13 12:02:17

Oh and he shouldn't use you for babysitting without your permission either.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 06-Jun-13 12:02:58

HugeLaurie I was going to post the exact same thing. I would never ever make that kind of assumption about my ex's fiance, and there have been a few occasions where I've been in a pickle due to childcare problems - it still didn't cross my mind to even consider asking my ex if his fiance would be able to help out. It's just so wrong to expect someone else to pick up that slack with no effort made to ask if that's OK. OP, both your DH and his ex are taking you for granted, as a glorified baby sitter as you say. I've no doubt that part of your DSD's behaviour towards you is at least partly based on the knowledge that neither of her parents want or take the responsibility to care for her when it's needed. So you are on a hiding to nothing in terms of how to address her behaviour/rudeness towards you.

brdgrl Thu 06-Jun-13 12:03:47

HugeLaurie and the others are right.

I appreciate that some people might say this is your responsibility because you married him but when did common decency and respect for other peoples time go out of the window?
Those 'some people' would also be massively doesn't become your responsibility through marriage. In fact, as stepmums we are constantly reminded by the rest of the population that we are not mums to these kids. As such, the childcare 'obligation' most closely parallels that of a non-parental and unpaid family member. This means, or certainly ought to mean, that the person looking after the child does it voluntarily, without undue inconvenience, and with at least the level of authority one would grant to an aunt/uncle/grandparent. Added to that, since it is in your home, the child should be expected to comply with whatever house rules you lay down.

I wouldn't look after my nephews, for free or for any amount, under these circumstances. And I love them beyond reason.

If she was mine I would be telling her to get dressed and out or her phone is going in the bin.
And until you can say that - and know your DP will back it up - you should be refusing to be a caregiver.

I'd be sorely tempted to hire a babysitter for your DSD and carry on with your own plans. And let your DP pay for it. He's taking the piss.

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 12:36:43

Well I managed to get us all out for a while till Dsd got bored.

Dp and I are not married, we just co-habit, so to speak. That however is a whole other story!

Not looking good is it?

Dsd back on her phone and I've set up Dd3 with her peddling pool.

The school is on holiday. Shame on me for thinking otherwise!

catsmother Thu 06-Jun-13 12:36:44

This is such a perennial old chestnut on the step boards - but my hackles rise every time I read about yet another poor SM being taken totally for granted by her partner and his ex.

Yes, yes, yes to everyone who agrees this should be discussed and agreed with the stepmum beforehand. And that means, that possibly, she might say no ! As Huge says, the DP and his ex would have to sort something out between them if the OP didn't exist.

But most importantly, even if the OP agreed to this it should be conditional on the fact that whilst in her care she should be allowed to discipline SD properly (what "properly" means is of course subjective and something else OP and her DP should agree on together - but being unable to do anything is plain ridiculous and of course the kid plays up).

If that means she strops off - where have I heard that before - so be it. I'm sick of reading about adults and whole households being held to ransom by manipulative kids - even if that manipulation has been born out of bad parenting. At that stage the DP needs to man up and consider what, exactly, has led to that stage ..... it's certainly not normal ..... and perhaps think about a different approach. Ultimately, a 9 year old shouldn't be able to decide not to come anyway - it's a totally inappropriate level of power to give her - and if she refuses to budge (and her mother doesn't enforce this) then he has the option of a contact order to ensure he keeps seeing his daughter.

And if the DP's concerned that SD is being left alone and/or in the company of an older child who can't be trusted to care for her properly then he needs to inform social services. Otherwise the mother knows that the slightest hint of that happening will scare DP into complying with short notice care - regardless of how practical this actually is.

PS: this is why I thank god there's a huge distance between us and my stepkids (created by ex moving, not us) because I'm sure if we were nearer this kind of crap might have been tried on me too, especially since I work from home which some people imagine means I'm not actually working at all.

PPS: please UC can you clone your DP, and his ex too for that matter, and let us all have copies of them !

PPPS: if my 9 year old was refusing to get dressed they'd not only have their phone confiscated (not that they'd have a phone at that age ?!?) but they'd be dragged out to wherever we were going in their nightwear. That is what your DP should be threatening too - along with a major bollocking for being so rude and disrespectful to you OP. It's outrageous that you're stuck in because of a bloody 9 year old yet your pathetic DP won't do anything about it !

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 12:38:41

Arrrrrrgh. Paddling pool, damn autocorrect.

I do not have Dd3 doing a car boot!

UC Thu 06-Jun-13 12:51:14

OP, you have got unanimous replies - unusual for the Step parenting board! I really think you should perhaps consider showing your DP the thread.

Catsmother, your posts are always so very clear and well structured. I find myself agreeing with you pretty much always!

I realise I am v lucky with our set up, and that DP and his ex both value what I do, and don't overstep (hahha!!) the mark. If they didn't, I would have reached the end of that tether long ago I think. My ex is the same. We sort out our childcare between the two of us, and if there's a problem we both ASK our respective partners first before getting them to help out. This means that usually, they are willing and able to help out, rather than feeling put upon and resentful. There's nothing worse than being in a position of powerlessness, which is where I think OP is.

OP, take some power back if you can. What if you had been away these two days? Maybe you should be going to visit friends/family next time... Your DP and his ex need to see that you aren't always just "there" to be dumped on.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 12:53:13

My view on this is that my son is the product of my marriage to my ex-husband. We decided to have a child and unfortunately not long after that we split up.

He sees our son twice a week on fixed days and times. There is some room for changing days if required, however this is done at least a week in advance and I ask my ex-husband not his partner if these changes are ok. This happens once or twice a year, maximum.

I do this for two reasons:-

1. Our son is our responsibility and not his partner's.
2. I would never want her to resent our son because of a lack of basic manners and respect on the part of me and my ex-husband. The routine is there for a reason. Changes are pre-planned with lots of notice.

They are basically using you as unpaid childcare without even asking you if it is convenient. This is not about whether you like your SDD or not or whether you are trying to prevent him seeing his daughter or any other emotional reasoning. This is about decency and respect for your time.

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 12:55:51

DP works at a busy hospital so can't have Dsd with him and I'll admit that I would feel awful about sending Dsd9 to childcare and excluding her from our day. I always try and make sure that any family trip has something from toddlers to teens.

To be honest when we are alone she has her moments but isn't that bad. When Dp is around or due home Dsd9 is a nightmare and I usually end up doing chores drinking wine in another room

i think as everyone else has said your DP needs to deal with this and you should refuse to care for DSD if you cannot discipline in some manner.

I often has DSS when DP is not avalible however i can discipline him if needed, yes he sometimes doesn't like it but then niether do my own DC!!

You need to talk to your DP or this situation will drive you away.

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 13:30:39

I think I already know in my heart that DP needs to 'rman up' as far as ExW and Dsd9 are concerned.

I work with ex-offenders and ExW was recently pi**ed off that I couldn't take her to work with me!

I've had the chat numerous times with him. Usually this results in excuses. ' I don't see her all the time' , she has been through a lot' etc.

I've actually planned a trip for myself and the kids. DP and Dsd want to come along but to be honest I can't afford it and I want to have some quality time with my own children.

If I had known the issues surrounding ExW and Dsd9, I probably wouldn't have dated DP at all.

DP is always telling me that I should treat Dsd like my own. Think I will get the ball rolling on that one and I guess we will see how it goes.

Good luck!

It can be easily resolved as long as he is willing to listen!

I've had the chat numerous times with him. Usually this results in excuses. ' I don't see her all the time' , she has been through a lot' etc. but he not seeing her if she with you and he is at work so he can't use that as an excuse to make you look after your SD

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 14:32:03

wheredidiputit I've said exactly the same thing, especially on Friday night when he picks her up at 6pm and swans off to the gym till 10.30pm, just in time to put her to bed.

Dsd is in a much better mood. She had thought her dad had nipped out and would be back soon, (as I said earlier Dsd9 is a nightmare when he is about), I told her that it would be around 6pm and she is back to being a lovely girl. Has even asked if we can watch tv together. smile

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 15:00:55

So he collects her, drops her with you and then buggers off to the gym? Who does this benefit exactly? So from the point of view of SDD her father collects her, takes her to his(?) house and leaves her with you. He then arrives home just in time to take her to bed?

I am a resident parent. Sometimes I crave time for myself. I get two hours in the week (5.00pm-7.00pm on a Wednesday) and from Friday at five until four on Saturday without my son. I have no family to have him and I work full time as well.

However, if I thought that my son was going to his dad's house for him to either not be there or to bugger off just after he had arrived I would be asking what the point was of him going? My ex has six full nights a week to go to the gym/pub/meal/whatever.

Why can't your DP go to the gym at times when he doesn't have his DD? I appreciate that his ex will want to have fixed times when she doesn't have responsibility for her DD and that is fair enough, but I do think that he wouldn't be able to go to the gym or whatever if you were not there to "baby sit" for him and her.

Resentment can breed and cause huge problems later on if you are not clear about what you want long term. Again, this is about boundaries, respect and clear lines of communication between you and your DP. Emotional blackmail (I don't see her very often etc) is not, nor should be the issue. It's just a way of shutting you up and making you feel bad so you do what he wants you to do without comment.

theredhen Thu 06-Jun-13 15:07:03

Your DSD is the responsibility of her parents. If you CHOOSE to help, then great, but you have every right to CHOOSE not to. Just as your DP has every right to CHOOSE to go to the gym etc. HOwever, his responsibility as a parent should come first just as I assume it does for you with your children.

You need to stop worrying about how DSD will feel and start putting yourself and your children first. No one else will. DSD has two perfectly capable (if not willing!) parents.

You don't have to be nasty but you can simply state that you have plans and will not be sitting DSD this time.

Both parents are shirking their responsibilites and because you are a good, responsible person you are picking up their slack and then listening to their demands on how you do it!

Don't let them do it to you.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 15:08:24

The trouble is, a lot of men think that providing their child is either under their roof/on their 'watch', that access is taking place, even if they are not physically spending time with their child. Their new partner is actually having access on their behalf. I call it 'access by proxy.' I think it's ridiculous, but it seems to happen an awful lot.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 15:17:09

I would very much doubt that it happens the other way round though. If, for example, the ex-wife in the above scenario were to meet a man, would she leave her DD with that man with no notice or discussion? I would very much doubt it. I certainly wouldn't do that.

There seems to be a theme on this board of men who, at almost any price, want to be seen to be having their children. Whether they actually look after them is by the by. As long as the children are in their house then this seems to constitute quality time. Ridiculous. That is like me leaving my son with any one who will have him and calling myself a resident parent.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 15:20:29

Excellent post Huge, especially your second paragraph. The definition of access does seem to vary quite widely ....... My DH always seemed to think that access constituted removing DSS from his mother's house. Whether they spent time together after that was immaterial. Although to plenty of exes, they don't seem to mind whether proper access takes place (or not) providing they get a child-free weekend.

PearlyWhites Thu 06-Jun-13 15:28:41

Plenty of schools have two weeks for half term. Ever thought about " doing something fun" for you dsd as well as your dd3 or do you begrudge spending the money?

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 15:33:52

Pearly, I don't think the OP's issue is about money - it's about being expected to babysit without being consulted first, and about having to have access on behalf of her DP.

tootdelafruit Thu 06-Jun-13 15:38:50

"Dp is self employed and can't afford to take any time off."

well if you didn't exist he'd have to so that excuse wouldn't cut it with me- he would have to arrange childcare of some sort or tell her mother he couldn't do it. has he any family that can have her?

Thumbwitch Thu 06-Jun-13 15:39:32

Totally unnecessarily snidey there, Pearly. OP has already said she often does something that caters for all ages of the children.

OP - do you have any idea why your DSD plays up so much more when her Dad is around or about to be around? It seems odd that she settles down more when she knows it's just you to deal with for a longer while - are you able to ask her and get a sensible response?

And fwiw, if your DP has told you to treat her as one of your own, then really that's exactly what you should start doing - as other posters have said, she shouldn't have that power to refuse to come to see her Dad.

It seems as though her mum has trouble with boundaries and being the grown up (from what you've said re. clubbing and leaving her home alone) so maybe that's what she's really after - some good solid boundaries. You'd probably be doing her a favour. smile

fuzzywuzzy Thu 06-Jun-13 15:40:25

Refuse, just be unavailable, very politely don't do it.

DSD probably would appreciate time with her father and you need to have time with your children and for yourself frankly.

Dont see why DSD would refuse to come your house if you refused to babysit, if she gets her dad instead. And if you are not allowed to discipline her and shes' being rude and disrespectful, you need to refuse to go along with your H and ex's plans.

What would your H do if you weren't available to babysit?

Tuckshop Thu 06-Jun-13 15:42:08

My xh asks to have dd when he isn't going to be there to see her and when I say no he tells me I'm preventing him from having contact! It's definitely about being seen to be the great Dad who wants loads of contact without putting any of the work in. Of course the other thing I get accused of is using them as a babysitter so I can spend time with my boyfriend. So basically if I say no because he isn't going to see her I'm in the wrong, and if I ask I'm in the wrong.

I think if she is with you because it's the school holidays then there was plenty of notice for both parents to have made arrangements, and not spring it on you. He needs to be a lot more appreciative and not take it for granted that you are going to do it.

Poor girl, it sounds like what she would actually like is for her Dad to make her feel important. And that happens by spending time with her, not by having no boundaries.

I don't blame you for feeling fed up with this.

HugeLaurie Thu 06-Jun-13 16:13:52

Last week I had no childcare. It didn't even cross my mind to even ask my ex-husbands partner to have him. My ex works too and I think she works part time, but I don't actually know this for a fact. But even if she didn't work, my son is not her responsibility. If she rang me and wanted to take him out for the day or whatever then of course I would say yes. But that is quite different to expecting the partner of my ex to deal with childcare issues.

The simple fact is that they have made a decision that you will have SDD without even asking you. I think you should nip this in the bud now.

mummytime Thu 06-Jun-13 16:25:32

I think you are going to have to be vey blunt with your "D"P. Both him and the mother seem to be neglecting this poor girl. Neither of them want/can be bothered to look after her properly. Her Mother dumps her on your DP or with inadequate child care. He in turn dumps her on you (the only responsible adult in all this).

If it was me this inability to care for his own child would be good grounds to split.

Both you and your DSD are the losers here. (I also suspect that her behaviour is linked to trying to get attention from her Dad.)

brdgrl Thu 06-Jun-13 16:35:18

About her behaving better when you are alone than she does when DP is there...I think this is not uncommon. It was definitely true of my DSD when she was a bit younger. And very definitely about seeking attention from dad, although I think it was also about testing the limits about me. She'd be much nicer to me when we were alone together, and then get snarky towards me when my DP was present. She was clearly checking to see if he was going to let her get away with it.

You sound lovely, by the way.

needaholidaynow Thu 06-Jun-13 16:58:51

Ugh. If I was you OP I would say point blank NO as my plans with my DD are more important. I'm lucky enough to have a DP who understands that I do not appreciate being lumbered with DSD at the last minute when he isnt around. I'm not a 3rd parent and definitely not a glorified babysitter, so unless my DP is around to look after her then DsD's mum will have to find an alternative arrangement. If I have plans I have plans end of.

Luckily my DP does not work at present (was made redundant a few months ago!), so it isn't an issue. I just worry about when he does start work and I'm left doing things like the school runs or taking her to dancing lessons. Saturday mornings I take DS to football so I don't want to be in that position of picking and choosing who misses out. If DP is at work then her mum can take her whilst I put my time in to my own child's activities.

I am actually dreading him going back to work and I'm left to do all the running around. I used to work myself (on mat leave now) the last time he was at work so I wasn't always left with all the responsibilities.

needaholidaynow Thu 06-Jun-13 17:09:40

Plenty of schools have two weeks for half term. Ever thought about " doing something fun" for you dsd as well as your dd3 or do you begrudge spending the money?

Fuck sake. So because she is a Stepmum she is not entitled to spend time with her OWN child is she not??? Does she give up that right? Because I certainly haven't given up spending time with my own children. DSD's mum gets to spend time with DsD so why shouldn't I with my own?

And sometimes it is a financial thing. I plan my days out when DSD isn't here if money is tight! Shoot me.

theredhen Thu 06-Jun-13 17:29:05

Pearly, why do you expect op to do something fun with dsd? Isn't that for the parents to do? Are you a parent? I am and I've always done fun things for my ds without expecting anyone else to do it for me.

mumandboys123 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:20:25

I don't get it...we have thread after thread of how the ex is blocking contact and how we have to go to court to get any access whatsoever and how dreadful it is that mum is leaving the children with grandma/aunt/best friend. In such cases, the new partner is supportive of her partner and is scathing about the ex who simply doesn't understnad how important it is to have the other parent in the child's life...and then we have these threads where mum is happy to have the father take responsibility for his children but rather than look at the dynamics of her relationship with her partner, the thread becomes a matter of how the ex is controlling everything and how she will have to wait if she wants to have any kind of life and what a dreadful mother she must be to send her children to their father's house when the father isn't there.

a) both parents are entitled to a life. Never ceases to amaze me that your partner has 'moved on' into a live-in relationship with you but an ex who is getting on with life is doing nothing other than palming off her children onto her ex.
b) the issue here is with the partner, not the ex, so why continually make it about the ex?
c) it is highly likely that your partner doesn't tell you much at all about what he does/doesn't discuss with his ex. Indeed, I would hazard a guess that every time you are told it is 'last minute', she asked him 3 weeks ago but he 'forgot' to mention it to you.
d) does the ex even realise that her ex isn't parenting the children when she sends them over to dad's house? I couldn't care less what goes on at my ex's, I don't ask questions ('cos I'd only be lied to) - he wants his time with with the children, he has it, no questions asked. I am not going to stop them going because he sometimes, possibly, may be not in the same room as them the whole time they are with him...
d) if your partner is 'disney parenting' why do you accept it? is that the kind of man you want to be with? I don't mean to be confrontational on that issue but seriously, why respect a man who clearly has no bollox and won't stand up to his children and demand their respect and ultimately love by actually parenting, let alone stand up to an ex who he (supposedly) considers doesn't look after the children properly/drinks too much/ expects him to have his children more than one night a week/ expects him to take responsibility for his children....

I don't get it. It's all double standards, isn't it? Doesn't matter where you sit with this issue, it never quite adds up!

Oh and I when I say 'you', I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, just a general 'you'.

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:45:20

Most men are cowards and prefer the path of least resistance in the majority of situations.

Change2013 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:55:47

Mumandboys123, you've expressed my sentiments precisely! I didn't become a parent on my own and just because my ex has a new partner does not mean he's stopped being a parent. Before it happened he always swore that if we split he'd want us to have our children 50/50, needless to say that never happened.

There are so many threads where it seems to me that people are angry with the wrong person which causes lots of problems. I bet the dsd in this case would like time and attention from her dad.

entersandmum Thu 06-Jun-13 19:12:13

Oh dear its all kicked off. Setting the table and Dsd9 was lightly teasing Dd3. Quickly said stop teasing and ran back into the kitchen so dinner didn't burn.

Cue DP returning and Dsd9 bursting into tears telling him I had shouted at her, (seriously major sobbing).

I'm still in the kitchen dishing out when DP comes storming in saying what gives me the right to tell his daughter off.

Well, I must admit I snapped and told DP that if I'm good enough to look after Dsd9, clean up after her, cook for her, help her with her homework and buy her xmas presents and easter eggs because DP has no money, yet I can't say in passing not to tease my Dd3, then he can find another f*cking sitter for tomorrow because I am not doing it.

Apparently I'm a f*cking b*tch. DP and Dsd9 are currently cuddled up on the sofa. I'm getting some lovely smirks from Dsd9 and DP is pretending I'm not inthe room.

NatashaBee Thu 06-Jun-13 19:20:44

Well, I must admit I snapped and told DP that if I'm good enough to look after Dsd9, clean up after her, cook for her, help her with her homework and buy her xmas presents and easter eggs because DP has no money, yet I can't say in passing not to tease my Dd3, then he can find another f*cking sitter for tomorrow because I am not doing it.


Good for you OP.

needaholidaynow Thu 06-Jun-13 19:25:03

sad oh my god OP. That is terrible. What gives your DP the rights to talk to you like that? Like you said you do all those things for your DSD, AND support her financially, whilst your DP just let's it happen. And then has the cheek to pull you on "telling off" his precious daughter???

This situation sounds very bad. I just don't know how you put up with it.

Xalla Thu 06-Jun-13 19:30:02

Jesus Have you got anywhere you could go? Anyone you could go and see?

Are you OK?

My thoughts are that he's a complete twat. For what it's worth flowers

StillSlightlyCrumpled Thu 06-Jun-13 19:36:22

Oh no! I think you need to seriously consider the benefits of staying with this man. As your step daughter grows up she is going to become more complex before she grows out of it ime & you need to be 100% certain of his support.

Your DSD's reaction (whilst bloody naughty) is relative to her age and circumstances, your DP's.........hmm

I agree with Xalla says make sure your P know before bed that you will carryout what you said earlier unless his behaviour changes.

zipzap Thu 06-Jun-13 20:35:21

Well done op - sounds like your 'd'p got what was coming to him. Have you been in to ask him yet who he is going to get to look after dsd tomorrow as he obviously doesn't think you can or want you to?

What time does he go to work - any chance you can be up and out before he goes so he has no option but to sort something out?

Id also make sure that you told your dsd when your dp is there, that when she is with you by herself she can be lovely and you enjoy spending family time with her and your other dc but when you have been left in loco parentis you are there to parent and not to be a friend. And as such you will parent exactly as you would one of your own children, particularly when she doesn't behave, double when her misbehaviour affects other people. and that you will not stand for it when she exaggerates or lies or manipulates situations with dp either as she has done this evening. Finish by saying that you are happy to look after the 'nice' dsd again so long as it has been agreed by you in advance and she is not dumped on you again by her parents taking advantage of you - albeit that is their bad habit and not her.

That way you are telling her that you know she can be lovely and that you think she can be lovely again but have the telling off and facing tricky truths bit in the middle. But she and dh have to accept that they have both behaved badly towards you this evening.

And also dp will see how serious you are about this and having to look for alternative childcare will make him realise this. However if he is struggling moneywort I can see how this makes the problem so much worse (and makes you the free option all the more appealing).

Petal02 Thu 06-Jun-13 20:35:32

I also agree with Xalla.

And if you're deemed appropriate to be a child minder, then you should also be allowed the authority for reasonable discipline. You can't babysit on any other basis.

It's rather like telling a teacher she has no authority in the classroom. It's just ridiculous.

Please update us when you get chance.

Thumbwitch Fri 07-Jun-13 05:53:27

And HAS he done anything about getting alternative care for her tomorrow? Because he bloody well needs to with that show of stupid behaviour!

LtEveDallas Fri 07-Jun-13 06:24:02

I would be seriously reconsidering this relationship OP. You are being taken for granted and DP is being the worst kind of Disney Dad. Things will only get worse as DSD realises what she can get away with, right now she is just being a kid and pushing the boundaries, but it will get worse when she hits the terrible teens and her father is still disneying. She is being failed by her parents, and you will suffer the brunt of it.

Whatever you do, do NOT look after DSD today, even if it means you have to get out of the house early. If you do you will be setting yourself up for serious hurt.

HugeLaurie Fri 07-Jun-13 10:14:14

Seriously? So it's ok for for you to look after his DD without being asked and with virtually no notice but it's not ok for you to ask her not to do something?

I wouldn't blame you for not looking after her today. This isn't her fault, she is a child, but he is a grown man who is behaving like a sulky teenager. Let him sort out his own childcare arrangements from now on. Clearly, in his mind, you are not up to the job. And while he is about it he can tell everyone else in his DD's life that they can't ever tell her off, teachers, family, friends etc. That will do her the world of good.

racmun Fri 07-Jun-13 10:27:11

I intrigued to find out what has happened today- are you looking after her OP?

catsmother Fri 07-Jun-13 10:27:32

How dare he call you a 'f*cking bitch' but expect you to look after his child nonetheless and let her do exactly what she wants in the process, thus demoting you to some sort of lackey .... and an unpaid one at that.

Worse, 'f*cking bitch' is pretty damn low - it's a vile thing to say, and astonishingly so just because you had the temerity to voice an opinion and exercise a tiny bit of discipline in the most casual way.

I really hope, that to add insult to injury, he didn't do this in front of or loud enough for SD to hear - because that'd put the final nail in the coffin wouldn't it ? ..... reinforcing what this child already appears to think, that you are the lowest of the low, and it's okay to ignore you when she wants and treat you with contempt (because that's what she sees her dad do).

Hope you're okay this morning - and far away from the twat and his daughter. No doubt you have lots running through your head and are probably wondering where you go from here.

Thumbwitch Sat 08-Jun-13 14:02:03

Any update, OP?

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 11:09:20

This is totally unreasonable. Stepmothers are not emergency on call childcare. You have to say no.

entersandmum Tue 18-Jun-13 10:17:59

update I've had no phone as DP actually threw it whilst we were arguing, so no mumsnet! I could have been more tactful, but decided sod it and told him all my grievance.

dp was, as expected, very defensive of his daughter but, once he called down he actually apologized. By the end of the weekend he admitted that he was blinkered when it came to Dsd9 and now I had said how I feel he does think Dsd9 can be manipulative when he is around. Dp has been a lot more hands on with Dsd9, for her last day, and it has made a huge difference.

I guess we will see how it goes this weekend....?

Stepmooster Tue 18-Jun-13 12:21:38

He threw your phone at the wall and has called you a f*cking bitch. He treats you like a skivvy glorified babysitter.

Please enlighten me as to why you needed to be more tactful? Unless you were throwing things and screaming obscenities at him he has no right to behave like that. Don't make excuses for him! Even if you did behave equally as bad he should not have 'joined in' but I doubt you acted like that.

OP you are not in a healthy relationship and if those things happened to me (and they have) I would be very frightened!

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 13:57:41

This makes me really angry. Sure, as a couple you do things for each other. And if you have kids then it's acceptable to do favours (ie. my partner is in with DD while I go to the gym after putting her to bed on a Thursday - I do things for his DD, who is older and doesn't need caring for as such, ie. making her dinner, helping her with homework etc.) but what this guy is asking fro from OP doesn't seem to be being reciprocated...

Him and his ex wife have a free babysitter. It actually makes my blood boil to be honest.

pinkbraces Tue 18-Jun-13 14:05:15

Dsd9 can be manipulative when he is around

Yet again, another child who is at fault - not your pathetic excuse for a partner. Perhaps you could encourage your DP to parent his child properly then you might not have any issues, alternatively you can continue as you both are and blame your DSD.

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 14:17:39

Pinkbraces - 9 year olds can be manipulative. It doesn't mean it is their fault. It is often learned behaviour. But dad's still need to see it.
It isn't OP's responsibility to correct it, Dad should be doing that. And she doesn't have to put up with it. I don't personally think this one will put it right. He'll just come up with weak little games to keep everyone bobbing along as happily as possible with minimal confrontation because that's what these types of father's/ husbands are like.

So often I wonder what on earth these kids are going to be like as adults.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 18-Jun-13 21:15:31

pinkbraces How is calling a child manipulative finding fault?

DCs have lots of behaviours; enthusiastic, subdued, anxious, noisy, quiet, studious, manipulative - these words all describe behaviour, they are not accusations!

You may choose to place a positive value on some behaviours and negative value on others, but that is incredibly subjective. My ex and and view my DDs behaviours very differently - her confidence he considers a negative, whereas I see it as a positive!
Similarly, the ability to take advantage of and manipulate a situation is one that many people consider an asset wink

Xalla Wed 19-Jun-13 05:45:47

I have a 7 year old DSD who can be extremely manipulative!! Actually she got in trouble at school yesterday for cheating on a spelling test! And she's very skilled at playing her parents off against one another. Why wouldn't she be? It's easy when the two adults involved are coming blows!

She has tried to play my husband and I off against each other several times but fortunately for me, we're generally on the same page and she doesn't get away with it.

OP is not being backed up by her DP and her DSD is understandably exploiting that. It's not the DSD's fault. It's the DP's.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 06:02:37

At least you finally got it 'out there' and he apologised.

Not that it's the major issue here but why are you paying for everything??

9 year old DD's can be a handful anyway, but 9 year old DSD's with no boundaries...

You definitely need to sort out the whole relationship dynamic. Either you are parent number 2 3 or you aren't - he can't have his cake and eat it too... and when his DD is here he doesn't get to fuck off out as and when he pleases - dropping her and going to the gym - ha fucking ha that would stop - immediately.

Cuddling up to her while she smirks at you and he ignores you... it had better have been a bloody good apology and things would have to be A LOT better this weekend for me to not still be considering ending it.

entersandmum Tue 25-Jun-13 11:24:53

DSD9 has taken it to a whole new level

So we rolled round to the usual access weekend with Dsd9. DP informed me, just as I was taking dinner out of the oven, that Dsd9 had asked her mum for supernoodles and had eaten them in the car. 'That's ok', I say. I'm a bit miffed as my Dc's had requested paella, but knowing Dsd9 does not like anything 'forrin', (according to her mum), I had plumped for a roast chicken dinner. Dsd9 then decides half way through that she does want some, cries as there probably isn't any left and asks DP if she can eat off his plate. No problem, I figured you would want some so made extra. Dsd9 eats half and spits...yes spits...the rest on the floor. This is NOT the first time this has happened. DP ignores it. I ask Dsd9 to clean it up and am rewarded with yet another dirty look. DP finally sensing I am about to blow asks Dsd9 to clean it up, which she does whilst sulking.

I bought Dsd9 an SD card for her mobile, which she then snatched off me and ran to DP to fit. When DP asked if she had said thank you, I got a shrug of the shoulders and another dirty look. Hmmmm, I'm thinking Dsd9 must be perfecting these in her bedroom at home.

Anyway, I thought I would treat everyone to ice-skating. DP and Dd3 were just going to watch, whilst Dsd9, Ds14 and myself went on the ice. We never got there.

Ds14 was sick in the car so we had to go back, he spent the rest of the day ill in bed.

Dsd9, instead of her usual dirty look as I had, 'ruined her day', decided to kick me instead. She must have seen my adult version of a dirty look as she ran screaming to DP that I was going to get her.

Yes, I did scream 'what the f*ck is wrong with you', and yes she probably did think 'oh s*it, I've gone too far'.

Dsd9 spent the rest of the day sobbing about how she was only playing a joke on me and how I'm soooo horrible to her.

DP seemed more concerned at what she would tell ExW, than anything else.

I have decided that, for my own sanity I am going to detach, detach, detach and unless it directly affects myself or my Dc's I am going to let DP build a rod for his own back, where Dsd9 is concerned.

Dd3 has started smacking DP when Dsd9 is here because this is what Dsd9 does when she doesn't get her own way.

Thankfully I have got 2 glorious weeks of a happy home before we're back in the thick of it again.

entersandmum Tue 25-Jun-13 11:50:02

Please note

I am sure that other stepmums will identify with DP's behaviour when Dsd9 is around.

When Dsd9 is not with us, DP is a completely different person. He step -parents my own Dcs fantastically and we are on the same firm but fair page.

I do lose respect for him when Dsd9 is here as he is so terrified that Dsd9 will want to go home, (she says this if not allowed her own way, and I can see that it breaks DPs heart), or worse she will report back to ExW.

Whilst most of us in seperated relationships know that Dcs will play both parents off against eachother and most things should be taken with a pinch of salt, DP and ExW use these things as ammo. I believe that Dsd9 has picked up on this and is very much exploiting it.

I have tried to explain to DP that if he does not start 'parenting' Dsd9 instead of trying to be her best mate and the coolest dad in the world, she will only get worse in her behaviour towards me, my Dcs and himself.

I am not going to give up on DP or Dsd9, I may be detaching myself, as I am sick of playing bad cop all the time, but when DP feels less 'scared' of his daughter and more able to be the parent I know he can be, I will back him up 100%. Guess it's babysteps for now.

LtEveDallas Tue 25-Jun-13 12:10:05

I have decided that, for my own sanity I am going to detach, detach, detach and unless it directly affects myself or my Dc's I am going to let DP build a rod for his own back, where Dsd9 is concerned

I agree, and think you have no choice.


I think that letting DP 'disney' his daughter is actually going to cause more problems in the long term.

Was she punished for kicking you? There is no WAY I would allow that, from DD or DSD. I would have SENT her home - you do not deserve to be 'assaulted' in your own home (OK, that may be an overreaction on my part, but that is the tack I would have taken with my DP/H)

TBH entersandmum, I would be seriously reconsidering the relationship. I don't think your DP values or respects you in any way. He is too scared to discipline his DD in case she goes home to her mum, but doesn't make the effort to be with her when she is about.

I honestly think this is a situation that is going to get worse, not better and I wonder if you would be better off out of it in entirety.

Sorry, I do feel for you. This is shit.

entersandmum Tue 25-Jun-13 13:12:28


The problem with reconsidering the relationship is that DP does have it in him. He is fantastic with both my Dcs. I imagine having 2 stepkids at the most trying ages of toddler and teen would be a lot for anyone to take in.

He is very close with Dd3, who probably listens to him more than me, and has a positive male influence on Ds14, who does not see his own father.

This is probably why it is so frustrating for me to see how he is around Dsd9.

It's also frustrating to see how Dsd9 speaks to both her mum and her dad, (I have actually told her to ring her mum back and apologise once, when I heard her screaming at ExW and then put the phone down on her because yet when we are alone together she is absolutely fine. She does have the odd moment but this is normal for her age and is quickly dispelled by distraction or a word on my part.

TBH, I am pretty frustrated by myself, this behaviour has escalated over the last few months and although I have said some things to DP, I have not directly said how much it affects me and Dcs until recently.

I am just at that point where I'm absolutely flummoxed at what to do that will benefit everyone in the long-run

Startail Tue 25-Jun-13 13:21:24

Right stop sulking and search 9yearolds of both sexes on here lots of threads on stroppy 9yearolds (they excel at horrid) and order a copy of how to talk so kids/ teens will listen.

If DP and Ex expect you to have girl to look after you need to stop pussyfooting around and parent her.

If you don't she will only get worse.

Also nice 9 year olds are a thousand times better company than toddlers, regardless of biological parents.

entersandmum Tue 25-Jun-13 13:28:05

LtEveDallas No Dsd9 was not punished. She told DP she was only joking around, but it was a full on kick and it bloody hurt.

I would not have suggested sending her home though as this re-enforces what Dsd9 says when she is not pleased.

I would have sent her to her room. Instead DP spent nearly an hour with her sobbing, just incase she told ExW that I was really peed off with her.

Should point out that ExW does also have an alternate reason. Since DP has been with me and eating healthily not going to the chinese every night the gym has paid off and ExW has been openly flirting and asking if they are getting back together. They have been apart 4yrs and DP has been with me for nearly 2.

Probably explains why Dsd9 is so negative towrds me when DP is around?

entersandmum Tue 25-Jun-13 13:43:13

Startail Maybe you have not read my posts correctly. I do have a Ds14, so I know all about sulkiness, manipulation and the dreaded hormones.

Dsd9 behaves like any other 9yr old when with me but turns into an absolute nightmare when DP is around.

As a step parent it's not like having your own child you can mould...this one is pre-programmed and you are not the one with the controls.

If I upset Dsd9, DPs sense of fatherly protection kicks in and I'm the bad one, but DP is so scared of upsetting his own child that it is like throwing a live grenade into a room and watching everyone toss it to someone else.

Probably a bad example there. Well deserved of a flaming!

LtEveDallas Tue 25-Jun-13 14:01:02

You need to have another serious talk with him then entersandmum.

You say "it was a full on kick and it bloody hurt" did you tell him that?

Either he steps up and parents his child even if she gets upset or he allows you to do it even if she gets upset

If that is not acceptable, if he won't agree to that, then really, it doesn't matter how nice he is at other times to your children - he is still a BAD parent.

You've already said that DSDs behaviour is affecting your own kids - how much longer are you going to put up with that? I'm sorry, I know that sounds harsh, but you are contradicting yourself, and I just don't understand.

PrettyPaperweight Tue 25-Jun-13 20:00:00

Have you asked your DP how he'd feel if another bloke his age began to treat his DD like a BFF?
Isn't it a bit odd that a grown man chooses to spend his time being 'buddies' with a pre-pubescent girl?

He's obviously not spending time with her in order to fulfil his responsibilities as a parent - so what are his motives? Does he really see himself as an equal to a 9 yr old brat girl? Does their friendship really provide him with the same rewards as a friendship with his peers would?

I'm not for one minute suggesting there is anything sinister about their relationship - but he's obviously lost sight of his role in her life and pointing out how other people might see it may shock him into action!

entersandmum Fri 05-Jul-13 09:25:42

The last 2 weeks, far from being the harmonious household I expected, some things have come to light that have confirmed in my mind that DP is a spineless twit.

1. When I spoke to DP earlier in the week about Dd9 kicking me, I was dismissed with an, 'are you still going on about that?'.

2. For Dd4s birthday this week I had told DP months ago I was going to get her a new, faster and bigger tablet, possibly a second hand ipad 1. She has looked after her previous one fantastically but it was a very slow cheap model. This week DP tells me I can't buy her an ipad 1, even second hand as 'she is too young'.

I pointed out that Dd4 got her first tablet on her 3rd birthday and is more than competant at using it. Plus they use ipads in reception class.

Eventually after realising that the istore charges for apps that are free on android, I decided on a fantastic 10" tablet with the latest Android system and a 2 year warranty. Under £120, money well spent as this should last her a few years before becoming obsolete.

DP announces last night that he is going to buy Dsd9 an ipad2....WTF?
This is the same Dsd9 that has been through and i kid you not, over the last year. 3 ipod touches, 2 phones, 1 android tablet, 2 bikes and an electronic keyboard. All lost or broken, but easy come easy go!

I actually paid for Dsd9s tablet as DP couldn't afford it, if he is expecting me to put my hand in my pocket again for a brad spanking new ipad2 then he can fuck off forget it. I will not be buying her anything like that until she proves she can take care of the stuff she has got.

3. I asked DP if he had been using Dd4s moist toilet wipes as, surely Dd4 can't have gone through them all. DP matter of factly told me he had used them to wipe Dsd9s bottom as she couldn't do this herself???

I honestly don't think he realises how bizarre this is, not to mention creepy. How on earth do I tell him this though without him feeling like a ....?? He still treats her like she is a toddler, from spoon feeding, yes spoon feeding her and in public!!!, making her cereal and testing the temp if it has warm milk in, fixing her juice and even carrying her to bed. My eyebrows are permanently raised on access weekends and even my Ds14 has commented on how odd it is.

4. As we didn't have Dd4 for her birthday, I thought a nice trip out, somewhere of her choosing, would be nice. DP has suggested a drive through safari and says he will pay!!

I had a think about it and don't think a 4 yr old would enjoy that as much as a petting / or farm zoo where you can get up close with the animals. When I told DP this he seemed very insistant on the drive through safari. It turns out he had spoken to Dsd9 and asked her where she wanted to go as I had 'ruined' the ice skating trip previously. DP immediately said yes and now Dsd9 is expecting this trip on what is supposed to be my Dd4s birthday weekend!

Even better, DP has said that if Dd4 and I don't go on this trip. He won't be able to as 'it isn't value for money'. I think he is just terrified of being alone and having to actually parent Dsd9.

I have told him that maybe Dsd9 might really enjoy having DP to herself for a change and that the two of them doing something together would be nice.

I have also realised that DP does not actually spend that much time with just Dsd9, and expects me to play the 'bad cop' when we are together to make himself look better and to compensate for his lack of parenting. Dsd9s mother is no better. ExW has never worked yet since Dsd9 has been in primary school she attends the breakfast club and after school club meaning she is at school from 8am - 6pm!

So this weekend I will definately have to take a step back and if this means DP is forced to parent Dsd9 then so be it. All I can think about is that in a few years time we will have a hell of a time with her. This will not be Dsd9s fault but her lazy and feckless parents.

I'm not sure I can still live as a couple unless DP starts to grow some balls and stop being so bloomin lazy. At the moment I am starting to look at him with a touch of disappointment and even resentment. I think that evaluating his parenting skills with Dsd9 has made me e do the same with our relationship as a whole. The prognosis is not good at this time. sad

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Jul-13 09:33:37


I'm sorry, I really am, but tbh I don't even think that detaching is going to work here. He is too far gone.

I think you need to get out of this relationship - and fast. I don't think it can be fixed, I don't think he will change.

For this weekend, take DD4 wherever it is that she wants to go on her birthday, and tell P that he is to take his daughter on his own. If you don't then YOUR daughter will suffer.

But pleae, just get out. This relationship is dead.

UC Fri 05-Jul-13 09:50:02

Enters, I just wanted to comment on the kick that DSD9 gave you. One of my DSSs kicked and hit me once in a temper because I had asked him to wait for 10 minutes before we left somewhere, as his brothers weren't ready to go yet. As a consequence, he had to stay in his room all afternoon, his dad docked some pocket money and he had a party cancelled. It is totally unacceptable to be hit and kicked in your own home (or anywhere else for that matter). If these were grown ups, it would be assault and you would be within your rights to call the police. This cannot be allowed to happen, and your DP is a prick for criticising you for "going on about it" when it has not been resolved.

Totally agree with the others who have said that your DP either needs to step up and parent his dd himself, or he needs to allow you to do it AND BACK YOU UP. The first option is obviously the best.

Your dsd has the makings of a very difficult teenager, and your children will also be affected. They need to see that hitting and kicking result in consequences that are fair and justifiable.

I agree too with LtEveDallas about this weekend. Take your DD4 wherever she wants to go, and leave your DP to it. Tell him why too.

To be honest, if I were you, I'd be issuing some form of ultimatum now. Step up or leave. Because, honestly, it sounds as though you and your kids would be better off without him. The children in your household are not treated equally by your DP and it is a recipe for disaster.

Out of interest, have you shown your DP this thread? Maybe you should?

entersandmum Fri 05-Jul-13 10:17:58

LtEveDallas I can see your point but have to apportion some of the blame myself. DP and I have been together for 2 years and I have only just started to really voice my concerns.

I do believe that change will not happen overnight and both DP and Dsd9 will have to take baby steps towards this.

I think everyone deserves a chance but admit my patience is wearing pretty thin.

UC I have no intention of spending 2+ hrs cooped up in a car with Dsd4 as I know she would get bored and then tempers would fray. I have told DP to take Dsd9 on his own as I think the fact that he does not spend a huge amount of time alone with her is one of the factors that make her seek attention any way she can, good or bad.

entersandmum Fri 05-Jul-13 10:19:36

UC I most certainly have not shown DP this thread. That would open a whole can of worms.

Who wants to think that they have been discussed with strangers over the internet??

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Jul-13 10:54:59

OK, entersandmum, I'm sorry if I have upset you at all, it wasn't my intention. I suppose we all do things that others wouldn't.

I hope you can sort something out, I really do. smile

entersandmum Fri 05-Jul-13 11:21:44

LtEveDallas I'm not upset and I don't think you wre being mean. I would probably say the same thing to someone else in my situation. I guess with MN you only get to hear one side of the story.

I am going to give DP the chance to change as it would be unfair to expect this instantly.

However, my patience is wearing thin with his attitude and if I don't see any improvement, the best thing I can do for everyone is to call it a day.

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