Just wondered what your opinions were on this. How to manage DP's expectations.

(535 Posts)
MinesADecaff Fri 07-Jun-13 10:53:26

DP and I are expecting our first baby. He has a DD who's 5 and who lives with us about 60% of the time.

Three days a week it's his responsibility to arrange childcare for her after school. At the moment a childminder picks her up and then DP collects her on his way back from work. I work FT too.

But now he's started talking about how, when I'm on maternity leave, I can start picking up DSD from school. But I really don't want to. Especially not in the first few months when I'm still getting to grips with being a new mum and feeling knackered.

I don't have any family or friends where we live - everyone is at least an hour away. So I'd be on my own with new babe plus DSD until DP got home.

I'm not completely averse to the idea once I've got a routine established with the new baby and I've found my feet a bit. But I've got a feeling that DP is going to be expecting me to be doing the school run the first Monday after he goes back from paternity leave.

AIBU to say that for the first six months or so I just want to be able to bond with my baby and find my feet as a mum without having to provide childcare for his DD too?

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 11:09:12

Honestly, I thin YABU. BUT you shouldn't have to feel you HAVE to help him with DSD's childcare and you are perfectly entitled to say no and that you feel she should continue to go to the childminders after school.

However, if you are on maternity leave and have no other children in the house surely you have all day every day as alone/bonding time with your baby. Collecting DSD from school 3 days a week would only mean you are "giving up" perhaps 9 hrs a week in total. You'll still be with your baby, it's juts that DSD will be there too.

Your baby will be DSD's new sibling too remember. If she is at full time school than the after school hours those 3 nights per week are really the only time (other than the weekend if she is with you then) that she gets time to spend with the baby.

MinesADecaff Fri 07-Jun-13 11:12:55

She's with us every other weekend too.

I'm just imagining myself feeling knackered and completely overwhelmed. It'll be my first baby so it's not the same as comparing the situation to someone who has two of their own children and has done it all before.

Maybe I'm just scared about not coping. It's dawning on me just how alone I'll be with no family or friends locally.

Verycold Fri 07-Jun-13 11:13:15

Totally agree with starbuckmum.

NatashaBee Fri 07-Jun-13 11:15:54

I think it would be a nice thing to do to make sure DSD feels involved and gets to spend time with you and the new baby. But I would definitely plan for the worst case scenario and make sure he has childcare arranged for the first 6 weeks in case you have a c-section and can't drive.

Morgause Fri 07-Jun-13 11:17:21

I think you'll cope fine. Being a first time mum isn't overwhelming when you get into it. The thought of it is, though, lots of people feel the same way.

DSD also needs to bond with the new baby and not feel pushed out. She can help pass nappies and clothes and the walk will be good for you and the new baby.

seeker Fri 07-Jun-13 11:18:07

How easy/difficult is the school run?

BigPigLittlePig Fri 07-Jun-13 11:20:32

I have a dsd and a new (ish) baby too - and would feel the same. The situation is not comparable to someone who is expecting their 2nd child, because, as you say, you have no experience at all. Once your baby is here, you will have all the time in the world to bond with him/her, and it is a lovely thing to see how the baby and dsd develop their own relationship. However, a new baby is exhausting, and hard work, and YANBU at all to say to dh that, certainly whilst you are finding your feet, you would like dsd to continue going to the CM. I woulddn't set a time limit on this, just say that once you are feeling a bit more together, you will happily do it. And no doubt dsd will love beng the proud big sister in the playground!

Leviticus Fri 07-Jun-13 11:23:08

First six weeks or so, yes but six months is a bit silly. You will be fine and it will be a lovely time for the three of you to be together. Your DSD will love helping you with the baby.

Leviticus Fri 07-Jun-13 11:25:13

Sorry I don't mean you're 'silly' just you're worrying too much and will cope fine after a few weeks.

Jadems Fri 07-Jun-13 11:25:24

I'm in the same situation. DP will be expecting me to pick up DSD from school as I'm not working, and we're expecting our first baby in August too. Also, I don't drive - so would have to take baby on the bus. I'm not too keen on it either, and hoping DP will arrange a childminder for DSD on the mornings/afternoons that she needs to be picked up or dropped off.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 11:27:01

I think either way is ok. Lots of mums who have had a second baby still keep their DC1 in their regular childcare arrangements as it keeps the routine going and isn't as much change all at once for DC1 with a new baby around too.

DSD is obviously going to spend quite a lot of time with the new baby anyway. I think a lot of it depends on what DSD would like best and how easy it is at the start. Having your first baby can be overwhelming and if OP finds it really hard dealing with both DC at once then she will be stressed and neither DC will benefit from that.

You could always have a chat to DSD and see how she feels? Maybe she would like continuity or maybe she would like to be at home more with the new baby but I think take the time on DP's paternity leave to have a look at how things work and what would be best. Make a decision then.

GroupieGirl Fri 07-Jun-13 11:27:19

"Being a first time mum isn't overwhelming"

Way to make people feel inadequate. It bloody well is for some. OP I don't think you're being unreasonable given how you feel now, but perhaps be prepared to be flexible as time goes on?

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 11:31:18

I agree that being a first time mum can be overwhelming. Especially if you have a colicky baby or a 'screamer' as I affectionately called DS

ThingummyBob Fri 07-Jun-13 11:35:02

Presumably the savings on childcare would benefit you all though too OP? Is your dh thinking along those lines? It makes sense really if cm is expensive and your wages will presumably be a lot lower too?

Perhaps he's thinking practically/financially rather than considering your emotional needs?

Fwiw I think continuing with the cm is fine, I kept my oldest in part time childcare (to maintain the place) but at the time I did feel bad about the money being spent on it unnecessarily.

talk to him about it smile

coppertop Fri 07-Jun-13 11:35:20

I think it's something you need to discuss further.

What is your dsd likely to think about the plan? Is she likely to view this as the baby being the reason for her not being able to go to the childminder or not having time alone with her dad on the way home from school?

If the plan is for her to go back to the childminder when your maternity leave ends, would there still be a space for her?

piprabbit Fri 07-Jun-13 11:40:57

When I had DC1, I loved being able to potter around and do what we wanted when we wanted.
When I had DC2, DC1 was at school and all of a sudden my life revolved around picking up and dropping off. I hated not having the flexibility to head off and do whatever I wanted with DC2. There never seemed to be enough time between drop off and collection to actually do much or go anywhere. I think he missed out on doing things that I did with DC1 because we had to do things during the school holidays, just simple things like lunch with grandparents was always curtailed by having a 30 min drive ready to collect DC1.

So I can understand where the OP is coming from. I certainly think that she should get enough time to recover from the birth and maybe start some sort of routine before starting with the school run (shouldn't be a problem - just delay cancelling the existing childcare arrangements for another month).

But she is in the position that although she is a first time mum, her baby is joining a family as a younger sibling and most younger siblings do have to fit in with their older brothers and sisters.

Morgause Fri 07-Jun-13 11:49:52

Apologies, I meant to type "isn't necessarily overwhelming" not sure where the "necessarily" went.

Branleuse Fri 07-Jun-13 12:08:49

i think yabu.

GroupieGirl Fri 07-Jun-13 12:11:05

Understood, Morg !

Smilehappy Fri 07-Jun-13 13:14:41

I think YABU.

Give yourself a few weeks but what is 2-3 hours per night- baby will be asleep most of the time and its perfect for getting DSD involved with baby so she doesn't feel left out. Plus it's only 3 days per week... Or compromise... You pick her up 2 days. DSD is your responsibility too...

20wkbaby Fri 07-Jun-13 13:36:39

I think it is totally your decision and one your DH should at least agree to defer till the baby has arrived and you can tell how confident you will feel doing it. I know that when I had DD1 each everyday task seemed 100x more complicated because I had her with me, I certainly would not have felt happy having my attention split between 2 children as well.

What are your DH's reasons for suggesting this - convenience? save himself time and money? for DSD to bond with the baby?

Whatever his reasons he can't decide how you spend your time if you are not comfortable with it.

Also DSD will not need less attention because the new baby has arrived and may feel well and truly put out to have to wait because of a baby - won't help with the bonding process. Much better for them to see each other at the weekends when there is the potential for her to get full attention from one adult until everyone has got used to having the new baby around.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 13:47:02

SmileHappy "DSD is your responsibility too."

I agree, that's how our step family works, but many don't. I think of my DSC as my responsibility just as much as DP's when they are here, as he does with my DD. I don't think our family could work any other way to be honest, especially as we have a "joint" baby on the way! Because of this I do find it hard to understand people who work with the "your kids" idea.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 13:56:03

I think if you took the 'step' away from daughter in OP's original post she probably wouldn't get as many people saying she is BU.

However maybe you should all consider what DSD wants rather than a knee-jerk 'it's your responsibility' response.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 14:01:33

I wouldn't mycatistoosexy I really wouldn't.

If I had a pre school age older child and was expecting a baby then I would quite likely keep the older child pre-school after the baby was born so they have continuity, time to socialise still and I got a break and some 1:1 time with the baby as otherwise the toddler would be there all day every day.

However, this child is in full time school and only lives with OP and her DP 3 school days a week and every other weekend anyway. So the OP has plenty of time alone with the baby (every other weekend, 2 full days every week and 8:30-3:30 on the other 3 days even when DSD is there). Surely a few hours 3 afternoons a week won't make so much difference?

As I said though, I treat DSC as they are my own and take responsibility for them when they are with us. So my opinion is likely to reflect our own personal circumstances.

IKnowWhat Fri 07-Jun-13 14:02:22

I would give yourself a few weeks to get over the initial tiredness but it would seem a shame for DSD to be kept at a childcarers when she could be at home with you and her sister.

Is it at all possible for her to be 'delivered' home to you after school?

I used to like having a reason to leave the house and have a chat at the school gates.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 14:12:11

I really wouldn't what Starbuckmum? Express my thoughts? Especially if they are different to yours?

I haven't said that DSD should definitely stay at CM. Just to see what works best for DSD and her once baby is here if you read my original reply.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 14:18:45

Sorry mycatistoosexy That's me typing fast and making no sense! smile I meant I really wouldn't agree with you that taking "step" out of the original post would change the response.

Smilehappy Fri 07-Jun-13 14:30:22

I am currently expecting a DS with my OH which is not my first borns father... Which means my DS1 is his stepson, I feel if my OH was at home with baby and I was working and OH told me to keep my son in childcare after school while he sat at home with new baby I would be completely angered. You will have your time with baby for 7hours + every day! What is 2-3 hours 3 days a week?! You took on your DP and with that is a massive responsibility with his daughter. She will see it as not meaning as much to you as baby so you need to prevent this child from feeling like this.

Smilehappy Fri 07-Jun-13 14:31:30

Also saving money is a bonus! smile

needaholidaynow Fri 07-Jun-13 14:32:07

OP you are well within your rights to not want to pick your DSD up from school. Even if the reasons were different, you don't have to justify yourself.

Whilst DP is off work I refuse to pick DsD up from school simply because I don't want to. Her mum is on maternity leave same as me and her dad is unfortunately currently unemployed, so why if both of her parents are off should I even contemplate picking her up from school?

When he goes back to work and it's his time to have her, I won't have a choice unfortunately. I want to support my DP in having his daughter here so I will have to do it. Doesn't mean I want to nor does it mean I will embrace it. I'm sorry but I really really don't enjoy it. Does that make me evil? It's just not the same as picking your own child from school and being full of pride seeing them run out to you and them telling you about their day. This is another woman's child and I feel no pride at all. It's not something I enjoy doing.

Of course the other mums there who have a dig at me for being DSD's Stepmum don't help and reinforce the fact that I don't want to be there.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 14:33:42

Ah ok Starbuckmum. Did sound a bit threatening otherwise so I probably got my arse out a bit sorry

alarkaspree Fri 07-Jun-13 14:44:52

One of the things I found hardest about having my first baby was the sheer tedium of it all. Newborns are very sweet and lovely but they don't really interact that much, and it can get pretty boring being alone with one all day. I found it a lot easier emotionally with my second because I had a bit ore of a schedule based on the needs of my toddler, even though sometimes it was inconvenient to have to wake up ds to pick up dd from nursery, for example. Of course everyone's experience is different but it's possible that a trip out to pick up your dsd from school and maybe have a chat to some of the mums in the playground might even work well for you.

I think you should keep your options open for now.

FrauMoose Fri 07-Jun-13 14:56:12

I don't think 'bonding' with a baby is about some romantic perfect one-to-oneness. I loved my baby daughter but didn't find the early months the most interesting. It was basically lots of routine maintenance. However what I did like is the interest everybody took in my baby! (The last thing I wanted was hour after hour after on my own with her.) However my stepchildren were absolutely brilliant with my baby daughter.

Usually after school too, children just want to have a snack and maybe veg out watching cartoons. It's not as if you're going to have to do any kind of intensive activity. I can see that if you've not had much one to one time with your stepdaughter you feel about nervous of this. But babies aren't made of porcelain - they need feeding and changing and holding and putting down to sleep. They also need stimulus from those around them. However I don't think they need 100% 24/7 attention from their mother - who really would get overwhelmed if she didn't attempt to carry on with some kind of normal life quite soon after giving birth.

Smilehappy Fri 07-Jun-13 14:57:53

Frau - couldn't agree more

BigPigLittlePig Fri 07-Jun-13 15:04:42

It partly depends on the temperament of the new baby and the dsd. My dd would not be put down, woke hourly at night and only slept on me (reflux ishoos) for the first 4 months. And dsd is of a boisterous nature, and incapable of amusing herself for anything beyond 5 minutes. The whole situation would have driven me mad tbh, much as I love dsd.

I think OP needs to voice her concerns to her dp, and re-assess when the baby has arrived, and things are settling down.

Fwiw I now love picking dsd up, and getting out the house! No more cabin fever grin

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 15:06:53

Smile - It was my post that was arse about tit, not your reading! smile

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 15:11:16

Needaholidaynow Why are the other mums having a g at your for being DSD's stepmum, that's disgusting! What is wrong with being her SM?

I have to say I have always had the opposite experience from other mums and school teacher/front office staff. They seem to be full of compliments and admiration that I collect/drop off DSC and do extra things for them (baking for the cake sale, making costumes etc) and how wonderful I must be to take them on as my own (they seem to forget I go there and back everyday anyway to take my own dd but hey) I find it a little hmmm to be honest, but it seems to be the opposite of what you get. Do you think your DSD's mum has anything to do with their reaction to you? Are they all very clicky with her and that's why? (not that that's an excuse).

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 15:20:49

BigPigLittlePig has it spot on IMO.

My DS was a screamy clingy nightmare for the first 3 months. Wouldn't go in pushchair. Wouldn't go in a car. Wouldn't be put down without screaming. All. The. Time.

If my DP had suggested I do the school run too even only for three days I probably would have had a meltdown.

This is a situation that needs discussing concens now but looking at again when the baby arrives. Then you can decide what's best for all of you as a family

FrauMoose Fri 07-Jun-13 15:31:50

This isn't meant in any kind of negative spirit. Mothers and babies vary hugely.

But I am not sure when I had my daughter - in the late 1990s - there was such a stress on routine. I didn't have a particular expectation of 'getting into' one.

In any event what a baby does for a period of weeks, will suddenly shift for some sort of mysterious reason - maybe for a day - maybe for good because suddenly they're in some different phase. So from that point of view, I am not sure there would really be a definite point when you'd think, 'Hurray my baby and I are now a) bonded and b) in a routine so I can now c) pick my stepdaughter up from school.

needaholidaynow Fri 07-Jun-13 15:40:18

Starbuck It's this little group of about 3 or 4 mums at school who's children DSD plays with them. Her mum befriended them and she regrets it now because she's realised they are a bit nasty about other things as well as about me.

The issue with me started when one of the mums started having a go at my DP about not letting DsD go to hers for a sleepover because we had plans. I think it pissed her off that I stood by his side (didnt argue back at all).

She has now, every time I go to school, been saying snidey things such as,

"Oh that's JUST X's stepmum"

"Why is she even here. She's playing mummy."

Then she calls DSD over, she runs over. "where's mummy.", "Oh you'll get to see mummy tonight dont worry." DSD doesn't come back to me and runs off. Mums are laughing at me and I look like a pillock.

The last time I went to pick DsD up I took my 2 year old with me just to try and make a point. "Look X it's your little BROTHER." And I just wanted her to be able to see me with a child that she has absolutely nothing to do with and I don't look like a completely useless tool.

Xalla Sat 08-Jun-13 21:14:31

Oh needaholidaynow that sucks thanks

And yeah, take your DD with you. Let them see you've got plenty going on in your own life without having to 'play Mummy' for someone else's kid.

I've been in a similar situation at my DSD's previous school and used to absolutely dread going. When my son started school and DSD had to start going to after-school club so I could manage the drop-offs I was so relieved, coz I wouldn't have to hang around in the playground anymore! She's at a new school now and things are fine at this one but I remember that feeling of dread clearly!

OP I don't thing you're BU at all. If DSD is used to going to the CM after school then I think there are plenty of good reasons to keep that in place. Enough is going to change when bub arrives for your DSD so keeping that bit of normality in place may actually be really helpful for her. Also, presumably she likes her CM and would miss going?

If you do have to do it, maybe try and compromise by just picking her up once a week. See how it goes...

RandomMess Sat 08-Jun-13 21:20:17

I think in part it depends on whether you will be going back to work and DSD will need a CM again. If she has a great CM that you will need to use again in the future then it would be madness to give that up, perhaps cut down to evening per week when you feel ready though.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 08-Jun-13 21:32:26

I don't think YABU to want a bit of time to get used to being a mum. Indeed if I were ever to have a 2nd child, I would want my established childcare routine to remain in place for a bit after the birth. However, I think that 6months is a bit long.

2-3 months should be long enough to get over the worst of the shock to the system, allow your body to heal and let DSD get used to life with a new baby around.

I think that you should get some time and your DSD should be allowed to maintain the security of her current routine until you all get your heads around the changes in your family.

Congratulations on the pregnancy and all tge best in the times ahead OP.smile

ShinyPenny Sat 08-Jun-13 22:18:03

You'll be fine after six weeks.

LittleBearPad Sat 08-Jun-13 22:26:41

There's probably a compromise between the Monday your DP goes back to work and six months. Talk to your DP about your concerns. Perhaps you could build up to 3 days a week.

starbuckmum4 Sun 09-Jun-13 08:17:56

Needaholiday- That really is such an awful way for that group of mums to treat you. Actually I find it hard to imagine, as I said, I always find other mums (especially) are particularly positive about me being the DSC step mum
rather than their biological mum (if that makes sense). It must be horrible to be made to feel so awkward when it's something that needs doing so often. Bitches! sad

This thread has made me think a little. I will be doing the school run (by bus) every day after our next one is born. I will have 3 primary aged children to take to school
and back each day with baby in tow. Obviously after DP has gone back to work after paternity leave (2 weeks). I'm
hoping I'll be glad of the need to get up and out the house each morning as once I'm out, I'm out and motivated. Plus all the older ones will be at full time school so I'll have all day with new DD/DS smile

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 08:30:04

I don't understand the 'someone else's kid' and 'DP's childcare arrangements'- OP seems to miss the point that DP and the DC came as a package and she has 2 equal children, not one child and a visitor. DP is not expecting his first baby, as stated, he is expecting his second. I wouldn't allow my DH to treat my first child differently to our joint children- he has 3 children- he does not have 2 children. In schools all over the country you find mothers with babies collecting- they don't opt out - the baby just has to slot in.

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 08:50:28

What exotic said.

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 09:45:11


When you decided to become a part of your dp's life you must have realized that he came as a package , it wasn't just him !

I think you're being very precious by whining about wanting to spend time with your new baby without your dsd around . How excluded do you think your dsd will feel if she's made to go to the cm's when she knows your quite capable of collecting her ?.
Doesn't she have the right to be able to bond with her new sibling ?.

It's honestly not that difficult to put baby in a pram and go pick up your dsd from school , the fresh air will do you good .

Also, I dare say if dsd was your child then you would have no problem finding the time to collect her with her new sibling .
There is going to be two children in this family that need you , not just one .

agnes2404 Sun 09-Jun-13 10:35:45

Judgemental toss. I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. OP - you set your own boundaries and do what you feel comfortable with.

Having first baby is often overwhelming and exhausting. Also beautiful and life changingly wonderful. I wish I'd set firmer boundaries around my commitments to my DSD based in what I know I can cope with rather than what I think I should be able to cope with.

I'm sure you do your best for your DSD, don't feel pressurised into doing more.

FrauMoose Sun 09-Jun-13 10:49:53

I think that doing what is best for a) oneself b) the new baby and c) a stepchild are not actually incompatible.

I accept everything that others have said about the particular exhaustion that may follow the birth of a baby who does not feed or sleep and/or who has health problems. And the need to be very much focused on getting them through the early months. However most babies, though tiring, are a bit easier. And if you accept other people's help - that also reduces the pressure. It is also true that if there's a good childminder on the scene, who an older child is very settled with, there's something to be said for keeping that relationship open.

My personal experience of this sort of situation was as follows. Before the birth of my daughter, my stepchildren were told by their mother and her friends and family. 'Oh FrauMoose may seem to be fond of you now. But when the new baby is born things will be very different.' It seemed rather important to assure my stepchildren that these dreadful warnings were wrong. They had a new sister and the fact that they were my baby's family made my stepchildren more important than ever. I also had bad memories of the arrival of my younger brother. My parents had been very focused on his arrival, but became cross and impatient with us around the time of his birth - and immediately afterwards. This had lasting consequences. I was very jealous of my brother, because I felt much less cared for.

Essentially making the effort to assure a stepchild - who may feel quite insecure about the birth of a sibling - that she is cared for and valued, will end up making your family life a lot happier. You can decide that all you really care about is your baby, and that all your other responsibilties are of no importance. But that it short-term thinking if you want to be part of a bigger and more stable family.

Sorry if that sounds preachy. And of course different people make different choices. But I am very glad that I acted as I did, and feel it has paid dividends.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 10:59:51

I don't think your DSD's routine should be changed because you are on maternity leave with your baby. Keep the child minder in place and see how you both feel in a couple of months' time.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 11:01:23

In schools all over the country you find mothers with babies collecting- they don't opt out - the baby just has to slot in.

Yes. Mothers with babies. Not SM's.

The OP is not her DSD parent.

The OPs baby deserves the same undivided attention from the OP as the OPs DSD received from her Mum - the compromise in this blended family is that the father has other DCs, not both parents.

Baby or not, any parent who expects to be able to delegate their responsibility in this way purely on the basis that they have remarried/have a partner are failing their DCs.

Taking responsibility for someone else's child is something that should be willing offered - not obligated and expected.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 11:02:54

Taking responsibility for someone else's child is something that should be willingly offered - not obligated and expected.

I agree 100%.

FrauMoose Sun 09-Jun-13 11:53:52

I think some people are very clear that they want boundaries. 'This is the Father's job. This is the Mother's job. I am a Stepmother. This is not my job. I will do this for My Child. I will not do that for Someone Else's Child.'

I think my line has been that I need to respect (try at all times to respect?) my stepchildren's relationship with their mother. But I have not found constantly resorting to these boundaries - other than in occasionally, in moments of crisis - particularly helpful.

This thread, for some reason, has reminded my of something I read in a biography about Johnny Cash, about his wife June. I went online to look for this and found the same info here. It is in Roseanne Cash's tribute to June, her stepmother.


I'd also been thinking about Arthur Miller's play 'All My Sons'. It's as if there - ideally - should be a kind of including generosity towards a circle of children, rather than a narrow focusing on those who are felt to be most 'yours'. And yes, I do know this is easier said than done.

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 12:03:35

"Taking responsibility for someone else's child is something that should be willingly offered - not obligated and expected.

I agree 100%."

Does this mean you decide whether or not you want your own biological child to have a sibling relationship with your step child or not?

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 12:06:05

Well no, it doesn't.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 12:36:26

I agree with notadisney and others who say you are not being unreasonable. This is your first child and you are going to need time etc, I am in a similar position in so much as do has other children. However I think the key is talking.

Have you explained how you feel to your do?

I have spoken to mine a lot and said that I want no one visiting for the first 24-48 hours and I don't care who that is and what relation they are. I have also said that whilst I have no.probs with dsc's visiting I don't want overnights for the first few weeks so have asked him to talk to his parents about them staying there. We only have a 1 bed flat atm and I want to try and get settled before we have to start moving cribs out of bedroom into lounge when its our contact weekends.

I have also talked to the dsc's about it and explained that I will be very tired and baby will be up a lot in the night etc for feeds and have asked if they would mind staying with HP's rather than us and they are so far quite happy.

I do the school run once a week and am quite looking forward to doing it with baby, but I drive and I am not sure I would want to do the return journey on the bus with baby either so I do empathise.

I do think 6 months is a bit long decaff maybe a compromise of 3 months would be better. But then as some have Saud if you need cm etc after maternity leave you may need to find out if cm will.ring fence a place. All things you should find out before you make a decision.

Also talk to dad about how she feels, like someone up thread said, she may need/want that 1:1 time with her dad even more now she has to share him.

Good luck and please don't let the "anti" brigade upset you. Just because its.not what they would do.doesn't mean its not right for you to do xxx

LittleBearPad Sun 09-Jun-13 12:36:36

Talk to your DP about waiting til the baby's born to decide. In the first few weeks you may want to keep the status quo ie 3 days with childminder however as you find your feet you may want to pick up SD one, two or three times a week. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

If SD is happy with childminder then it may be good to keep her there at least one day a week so their relationship continues for when you go back to work. It could solve your own childcare question when the time comes.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 13:43:18

Yes. Mothers with babies. Not SM's.

Hit the nail on the head there NADM ! When DS1 starts school I will have DS2 with me who will be 2 by that point. That's because I am their mother. I am not DSD's mother so I won't be taking my DS1 (2) and DS2 (3 mo) to pick her up because I won't be picking her up. They both shouldn't have to fit in to a strict and rigid routine each week because there are other things I could really be doing with them, which may simply involve chilling at home watching a film when it is chucking it down outside. No, the school runs are a responsibility that DSD's mum and dad should do and not me just because I am her SM. my kids don't just "slot" in to it!

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 14:02:15

So you are not treating the step child as a "proper" sibling for your child? Because most people, I would say, think it's a good idea for a child to spend as much time as possible with a new baby. The sibling relationship needs to be worked on- even more so when it's a "step" relationship.

I think yabu tbh, the school run with a pram will be fine and it shouldn't be a problem. You are over worrying about something very simple that most mums have to do everyday except she isn't biologically yours.
Pfbism at it's very best, and tbf it isn't fair & doesn't make financial sense for the dsd to be picked up by a childminder when you are available to do it yourself.
You and your dh are a partnership & you must respect he has a child also.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 14:15:16

Picking a step child up from school is not the determining factor of maintaining a good sibling relationship though is it? They don't miss each other because of it. They spend a lot of time at home with each other, so by me not picking DsD up it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. DP is off so he can bloody do it!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 14:25:46

You are over worrying about something very simple that most mums have to do everyday except she isn't biologically yours.

You know what? SM spend their whole lives doing this!

It's not like a DSC/SM relationship can be compared to other "non-biological" mother/child arrangements - there are biological parents whose opinion and responsibility will always overrule that of a SM.

Like most SM issues, it's the inconsistency that is more disrespectful than anything else. SMs are equal when it comes to the school run, Drs appointments and other less convenient aspects of parenting and should suck it up and get on with it.
Suggest that same SM has an equal say in her DSD's ear-piercing, haircut, prom dress selection, sex-ed, or curfew time, and suddenly SM isn't a 'parent' after all.

OP, if you want to prove a point to your DP and his ex, do the school run and pop into Clare's on the way home to have your DSD ears/nose/belly button pierced; after all, you've as much responsibility for your DSD as they have because you chose to be with her Dad wink

Slambang Sun 09-Jun-13 14:26:09


For the first 2 to 3 months you don't know how you will find having a baby. You don't know how life will feel or if you can cope with the simplest things like having a shower. Tell dh you will see how you feel but to start with it's best for his dd to carry on her normal routine of going to a childminder.

After 3 months or so, life will be on a more even keel. Then you could start picking up more of dsd's care. perhaps reduce the childminder days to just once or twice a week.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 14:29:46

No seeker, stepchildren absolutely do not need to spend as much time as possible with a new half-sibling in order to have a great relationship.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 09-Jun-13 14:40:35

As others have said, there are plenty of full siblings who stay in their normal childcare arrangements when a new baby arrives, if money allows.

OP, if your DSD stops going to the childminder for 6-12 months, will the space be there still?

If money is not the issue you could pick DSD up from the childminder's early sometimes.

NatashaBee Sun 09-Jun-13 14:42:14

Well said NADM.

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 15:10:19

"No seeker, stepchildren absolutely do not need to spend as much time as possible with a new half-sibling in order to have a great relationship."

So, different from "ordinary" siblings, then?

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 15:13:19

I don't think siblings need "to spend as much time as possible" with a new baby either! I'm of the school of thought that siblings in nuclear families spend far too much time together anyway.

FrauMoose Sun 09-Jun-13 15:36:27

This isn't a question that is one right answer to. But is having a new (first) baby that hard if the baby is reasonably healthy? I was in my late thirties and had a forceps delivery with some tearing, plus an infection after childbirth that needed treatment. I breastfed and my baby woke about three times a night for feeds. I didn't have any difficulty with milk supply, but there was the usual soreness at first. I put her in terry nappies so there was more laundry to do. (I also had my stepchildren staying overnight in the normal routine at the normal times which meant wet laundry as neither of them were dry at night.) I did feel extra-ordinarily tired at times. We were also pretty skint, so there were some concerns about money.

But from the very first week I carried on doing freelance work at home. I went out and saw friends. I just got on with life. I didn't think, 'Oh I now A Mother and must Bond with my Baby above all other things and all other people.' I am not underestimating the major upheavals and adjustments and the fact that you want to do the right thing for a very small human being. But there is a great deal to be said for Keeping Calm and Carrying On.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 15:45:29

Sure, but in the OP's case normal routine is that DSD goes to a CM. "Carrying on" would mean carrying on with that routine, surely?

LittleBearPad Sun 09-Jun-13 17:14:51

Bonsoir That argument could be made with regard to any older sibling (step or not) when a mother/step mother is on maternity leave but previously worked and used a childminder.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 17:28:18

litlebear exactly! when it is a full-sibling relationship, the parents make the decision together whether or not to continue to pay for the childcare that they agreed on (together) or whether to change the arrangements for their older DC in order to save money/allow bonding.

In this case, the DC's parents have decided to change the arrangements for their DC and place her in the care of the OP against the OP's own opinion and wishes, because she is available, in order to save themselves money - which the OP will not benefit from in any way.

The fact that the OP isn't confident that she can provide the older sibling with what she will need, the fact that the older sibling hasn't been cared for in this way by the OP before and the fact that the OP doesn't have authority to parent the older sibling as she feels is right seems to have been totally overlooked!

If the OP's DSD "needs" her, as some posters have suggested, then it implies the parents are not meeting their DC's needs. Why on earth should the OP divide her time between her own newborn DC and one who has two parents already, just because those parents are absolving themselves of that responsibility?

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 17:34:47

Excellent post NADM.

LittleBearPad Sun 09-Jun-13 17:38:51

Um, because she is a key person in her SD's life and may want to build a deeper relationship with her. I wouldn't suggest doing it straight away but after the first few months once she feels she's used to having a baby she may feel differently, especially about one or two afternoons a week or picking up earlier from the childminder.

I take your point about the SD's parents deciding what to do rather than the OP and I think her DP is being very thoughtless but it doesn't have to be a blanket no for all of her maternity leave.

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 18:01:41

But surely the OP can establish a solid relationship with her SD without doing school pick-ups, that's not the only way to become close?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 18:13:08

The OP may well feel differently in a few months - but if she does, then that will be led by her, not directed by her DSD parents who seem to view her a free childcarer, rather than the new Mum of their DD's half-sibling!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 18:14:17

I wouldn't suggest doing it straight away but after the first few months once she feels she's used to having a baby she may feel differently, especially about one or two afternoons a week or picking up earlier from the childminder.

This is exactly what the OP proposed in her original post.

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 18:19:20

I think that if the OP decides to do it because it becomes convenient/practical/possible, then that's very different to being expected to do it, for the convenience of the bio parents.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 18:26:05

Exactly Petal If the OP decides that it is practical and convenient for her, then that's fine and everyone is happy. But if this is simply forced on to her because she is now on maternity leave (I am just making assumptions there) then she is basically being used as a free babysitter at the parents' convenience.

She doesn't have to do it.

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Sun 09-Jun-13 19:59:53

Wow, I think there is a bit of 'projecting' going on in some of these posts sad confused
It is true that technically the OP doesn't have to pick up her DSD but what a cold and uncaring way to address this problem.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 20:00:39

There is absolutely no way I would have married DH and had more DCs if he was going to take the line 'I can't do this because I am the step father'! He got me and he got DS and he now has 3 DCs.
I didn't say I can't collect my 8 yr old from school because I have a baby!! I did what all mothers do and took the baby and met him. DH saying that 'it is what *fathers do - and I am step father' would have been grounds for divorce! OP has a family of 4 -and she has 2 equal DCs- I don't think much of DP if he allows one of his DCs to be second class.
This DC is with them 60% of the time.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 20:01:43

It was never convenient t for me to collect an 8 yr old with a baby- you get on and do it.

MortifiedAdams Sun 09-Jun-13 20:01:57

OP is this the second thread you have started on this topic? Why werent theresponses on the first thread not good enough?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 20:19:10

It is true that technically the OP doesn't have to pick up her DSD but what a cold and uncaring way to address this problem.

Surely that depends on the circumstances? You are projecting in exactly the same way by assuming that the OPs DSD will benefit from the arrangement proposed by her parents, when in fact, you have no idea whether she will or not.

Is it uncaring to acknowledge personal limitations and (perhaps selfishly) put your own DC first? Is it cold to resist to being pressured into an arrangement that is new for the DSD at a time when the whole family are unsettled and finding their feet?

If the OP was an equal parent in her DSD life she would have an equal say in the childcare arrangements - as it is, she is anything but equal as her opinion and feelings are being disregarded. The OP does not have two equal DCs, any more than her DSD has three equal parents !

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 20:19:39

How can any man let his DP treat his 2 DCs differently? hmm

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 20:19:49

Imo some people are acting as if the op has to pick up a dog !

It is a CHILD with feelings who is involved in this !

If the op is moaning already about her dsd its obvious she doesn't see her as part of the family .

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 20:20:26

She is more than equal- they have 60% of the care.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 20:23:27

How can any man let his DP treat his 2 DCs differently?

So, going back to my previous post - it would be OK for the OP to agree to piercing, surgery, different childcare for her DSD, whether or not her DP agreed, because she's an equal parent and has equal responsibility?

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 20:23:29

But why should the OP dilute those precious first months with her new baby, to do schools runs for a step child who has two bio parents? Talk about the second family coming second!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 20:26:23

She is more than equal- they have 60% of the care.

No they don't - the DDs Dad has care, the OP has nothing.

If Dad was incapacitated or his relationship with the OP broke down then the OPs relationship with her DSD would end immediately, unless the DDs Mum decided otherwise.

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 20:27:01

"But why should the OP dilute those precious first months with her new baby, to do schools runs for a step child who has two bio parents? "

Because the step child is her new baby's big sister.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 20:31:01

Yabu. Dsd is part of your family too. I could understand a week or two, but six months? No.

MortifiedAdams Sun 09-Jun-13 20:31:17

Op your dsd has an equal link to your dh as your dc will have, and as he is you r husband, his children are partof your family. Both dsd and your dc.

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 20:32:12

I don't think it's about 'precious moments' so much as coping with the nuclear explosion of what is, after all, the OP's first baby. I am clearly a wimp, but I could barely function for the first three months of DD's life.

And what's with the 'the SD will love to help with the baby' declarations? She may quite probably not. (I was three when my sister was born and I absolutely hated her for the next 10 years.)

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 20:33:49

"How can any man let his DP treat his 2 DCs differently?"

Of course DCs get treated differently - even biological siblings get treated differently, because their needs are not identical. Half-siblings should receive different treatment, because they have different mothers (or fathers).

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 20:34:06

But it still sounds like the needs to the first family unit (the step child and her bio parents) are being put before the OP and her new arrival.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 20:35:24

"I was three when my sister was born and I absolutely hated her for the next 10 years."

Indeed. I know someone whose sister died when she was 6 and her sister was 4. As an adult, she still remembers it as the best day of her life - the day she got her parents all for her.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 20:35:54

I don't get it.

Why should the OP take on more responsibility for her DSD just because she's having a baby?

The OP doesn't pick up DSD from school now because she works, and she'll be going back to work after maternity leave. Why on earth would any parent choose to disrupt their DC by changing childcare arrangements for a few months unless motivated by money?

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 20:36:22

No. The needs of the children wr being put first. Which, in these circumstances, they should be.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 20:42:00

I'd have thought that the needs of the DSD being put first would mean not disrupting her routine more than the arrival of a new baby is going to, and therefore carrying on with the CM. The only good reason to stop the CM is to save the bio parents money, which implies using the SM as free childcare. That is quite the wrong message to send to both SM and child.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 20:42:37

The dsd is in after school childcare at the moment because the op works, disneymum. When she's at home and presumably capable of looking after the child, there is no longer a need for this.
If she can't manage a 5 year old and a newborn; let's hope she sticks at just the one child? How the hell do the rest of us manage?

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 20:42:44

I really think if you can't put your own needs first when you've just forced a human being out of your vagina when can you?

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 20:44:08

Most of us manage because it is the second time. And in any case lots of us keep childcare going for preschoolers while on maternity leave on any case.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 20:49:42

If you can't put your own needs first when you've just forced a human being out of your vagina when can you?
That's the day your own needs stop coming first, motherinferior, didn't anyone tell you?

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 20:59:29

No they didn't. I don't do martyrdom. Sometimes my needs do come first. And when I'd just given birth the first hellish time there was no way I could have dragged myself to the school gate.

Mycatistoosexy Sun 09-Jun-13 21:01:40

People do seen to be making a lot of assumptions here and not really offering any advice anymore. Also there seem to be a lot of ishoos being barely concealed hmm

There was a thread a couple of days ago about a mum having DC2 and wondering if she should keep DC1 in childcare and that OP did not get a flaming.

Not exactly the same situation but enough that maybe we all need to calm down a bit on this thread.

As a family they can sit down (probably best when the baby has arrived so they can actually judge how things are) and see if after the first couple of weeks what would be the best thing to do

Bonsoir Sun 09-Jun-13 21:06:47

I hid in another country when my DD was born, largely to avoid any sort of stepmothering responsibilities and to ensure I was well cared for and could spend lots of time with my baby.

This has not harmed anyone's relationship with anyone - rather to the contrary smile.

This thread is getting very cold, this is a 5yo little girl not an unwanted pet. Very sad at the attitudes on here towards step-children, no wonder i detested being one.

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:12:09

I actually can't believe some of the pathetic posts that are in support of the OP .

At the end of the day this is how it should be :
Woman meets a man who has children of his own
Woman falls in love with the man and because she loves him she respects his children , she accepts that her man has responsibiltes towards his children and she encourages her man to continue to have a healthy , loving bond with his children through the years . If she goes on to have her own children with this man she makes sure ALL of the children are treated equally .

The reality is that when some women meet and fall in love with a man who has children , they can't handle it and after a while jealousy of the children (and his ex) often sets in . They also expect any children they have with their man to always come first and step children are frequently pushed out

catsmother Sun 09-Jun-13 21:12:52

The dsd is in after school childcare at the moment because the op works, disneymum. When she's at home and presumably capable of looking after the child, there is no longer a need for this.

What an arrogant thing to say. Childcare arrangements for the DSD are the responsibility of her parents. Any help from anyone else can't be assumed and should be viewed as a bonus.

And I very much doubt that before the OP fell pregnant, her DP agreed with her then that if she ever had a child of her own with him, it would be conditional upon her also taking on additional childcare for his older daughter. Yeah - thought not, seeing as he's apparently only just started talking about it. Which is fine - if he's prepared to have an objective discussion about it and is fully prepared to hear a "don't know yet" or a "maybe" or even an outright "no" - what with it being a complete sentence and all that.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 21:16:33

The dsd lives with them, catsmother!! Op should leave her in childcare till her Dad gets home? Really?

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:17:03

What if, heaven forbid, the OP is unwell after the birth, surely some ladies have c-sections that result in complications? And, again god forbid, the new baby needs extra care (think recent Coronation Street story), is the OP still going to be expected to take on extra child care, instead of getting better at her own pace?

I would have a totally different view if the OP had been involved in the decision-making process, but it sounds like her DH and the ex have been making decisions in her behalf.

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:21:29

Floggingmolly, the DSD does not live with the OP, this is clarified in the opening post.

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 21:21:39

Actually I do have friends who did this - the maintaining after school club while on mat leave thing. Worked just fine.

I think a woman who has just given birth for the first time is in a totally different place from one who's had that induction into parenthood already.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 21:22:52

She lives with them 60% of the time...

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:25:46

I think it's unfair that people are criticising the OP and saying this thread feels 'cold' - it appears that people think its fine for the bio parents to be too busy for school runs, but wrong for the step mother to decline.

Double standards!!!

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:26:42

Yes Molly, so she's not a resident child. That's what I meant.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 21:30:00

She's resident for 60% of the time. Presumably including some schooldays...

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:33:11

I get what you're saying Molly, but I still don't think the OP should have to take on extra child care when she's just had her first baby. If the term 'baby brain' has any truth in it, the poor OP will probably forget to collect her SD!!

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 09-Jun-13 21:37:20

Do all the people judging OP say that mothers taking their 2nd/3rd/whatever maternity leave should take older DCs out of childcare too?

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Sun 09-Jun-13 21:42:51

If it were actually in the DSDs best interest to stay with the childminder then she should stay with the childminder. However, I bet the best thing for her is to go home straight after school - the home in which she lives with the OP for 60% of her life.

I can also understand that if there were medical reasons that the OP couldn't look after her DSD then the DSD should stay with the childminder. That is obvious.

Otherwise, as long as the OP is up to fetching her DSD it would seem kinder to pick her up and bring her home. It would be kinder for the little girl and it would be a way of supporting her DH.

It is telling that some posters and the OP refer to the OP looking after her DSD as 'child care'. sad

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 21:43:46

It isn't the OP's second child.

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 21:47:14

Looking after children is child care, isn't it?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 21:47:45

molly When my ex and I were together and DD was young, we occasionally took the day off work together and still took DD to nursery/childcare, even though we were at home and didn't need to.

Do you think our lack of commitment to DD as a member of our family contributed to our marriage ending?

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:49:42

But it Is her partners SECOND child !

If she took him on she should have been prepared to be there for his child too , he came as a PACKAGE , why can't some sm's see that ?

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Sun 09-Jun-13 21:52:58

I used to work two and a half days a week but left my DC with the childminder for three days. I loved that half day, I could do a million chores and even have some 'me' time. There is nothing wrong with that.
The OP will have lots of time without her DSD. It is just about fetching her from school. IF it is in the best interests of the DSD. (Which it probably would be.

I have never referred to looking after my kids as 'child care' confused

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 21:53:35

So you think that however the OP is feeling with her first new baby, she should be feeling and acting like someone who has had a baby before?

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 21:55:14

Jemma, are you suggesting that once a second wife is in the picture, that the bio mum can then abdicate some of her responsibility?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 09-Jun-13 21:58:23

This thread's taken a rather horrible turn

Indeed. I know someone whose sister died when she was 6 and her sister was 4. As an adult, she still remembers it as the best day of her life - the day she got her parents all for her.

That's heartbreaking. I hope your friend's parents don't know this.

pmgkt Sun 09-Jun-13 21:59:14

Haven't read all posts so sorry if I'm repeating but why not just wait and see. How much notice do you need to give, cos maybe rather than setting a timescale on it now why not wait and see and give notice when you know how you feel ready. Also what is the plan after your mat leave? If she needs to go back to a childminder after school then how easy will it be to get another space that she is happy with? It maybe worth keeping her in routine at least once a week, and there is no rule that says you can't pick her up the odd day even if she stays at the childminder

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 21:59:48

Yes, they came as a package. But that doesn't mean that the OP has miraculously gone through parenthood already.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 22:00:07

How can it be in the best interests of a child to have temporary childcare arrangements that place her in the care of an adult who is, at best, on a steep learning curve, (and more likely to be having difficult and stressful days) rather than familiar, dedicated care?

I think this is more about peoples views about care outside the home than the role of SM's.

Yes, I'm projecting - my DD was in f/t childcare from the age of 16 weeks to 10 years because thats what I chose for her.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:02:15

Jesus people, the double standards in the step parent forum are immense,

According to most threads and a great number of posts here as a SM I am not allowed to discipline step kids as I would my own, I am not allowed to think of or love them as my own but I am expected to run after them, collect from school when it is inconvenient for me just because I am.with their father. Are you guys for real????

Quite frankly I think all those making the point that as a sm the op should be running about after dsd because there are now 2 kids in this family need a reality check. If a friend of your dp had asked him if you could lookafter their child just after you had had your first born and ur dp had said yes without consulting you then you would be up in arms. So.why should the op not have that same right just cos she is a sm? There is a perfectly useable situation that the child is used to and will at somepoint be needed again so why disrupt her?

She has not been included in the decision, opinion was not sought by her dh. She has been dictated to that this is how it will be.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 22:12:14

Im sure the OPs DP and his ex won't mind how she occupies their DD after school; perhaps the OP could enquire about confirmation classes and her DSD could be confirmed at the same time as her DD is christened - Im sure that would be a lovely surprise for the DSD parents wink

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 22:13:42

Btw I am not a step parent but I too used childcare from 4 months (I am a freelancer and had to get back to work), am very bad with small babies and also used childcare part-time on my second maternity leave.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:15:20

I fail to understand how anyone can have a new partner with a child and not realise they are a package and she gets the child for life.
All this should have been sorted out before they produce a sibling. Of course the SM should DS discipline the DC - the child is in her house and in her care- of course she should have a say and a separate relationship with the DC, that has nothing tomorrow with her DP. If she hasn't got this I can't see why she is still with the DP. She is with them 60% of the time and in that time they do things her way- as a family. You can't have siblings in the same house treated differently.

PearlyWhites Sun 09-Jun-13 22:15:47

Yabvu what are you going to do if you have a second child, send your dc1 to a childminder. Quit being so selfish and let your dsd enjoy the time with her sibling.

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:16:35

Thanks for everyone's opinions and suggestions. I think I'll just tell DP that I'm not against it in principle but would like a few weeks of the current routine with the CM just to find my feet and see how things go. And try to reserve the right to say no if I really think it'll be unworkable. I am actually quite worried about losing the CM place. When I go back to work we'll be fucked if we couldn't find another one.

It does irk me that DP just assumed that I would automatically become the default school run person. He didn't really ask me or offer it for discussion. He does this quite a lot with things regarding DSD: arranges or manoeuvres me into situations where I have to take on default parenting responsibilities for DSD when I feel it really should be him or her mum doing it.

Anyway. Interesting to get such a wide perspective.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:17:04

Sorry iPad - nothing to do with and not tomorrow!

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 22:17:20

If her first child is at a childminder already she may well choose to do so, PW.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 22:17:20

Indeed. I know someone whose sister died when she was 6 and her sister was 4. As an adult, she still remembers it as the best day of her life - the day she got her parents all for her.

I would be devastated if my DSD said that if her brothers died. In fact, if I lost any of them and she was happy then I can safely say that I wouldn't be her SM anymore.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:18:32

Why should the mum do it when she is with you?

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:19:14

If I have a second child I might well send my DC1 to a CM, yes. Or to nursery. I really don't see why that would be terrible.

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:20:07


This doesn't have anything to do with the bio mum. The point is, the little girl apparently lives with her dad and stepmum more than half the week, therefore if her dad is at work and her sm is at home then the sm should be collecting her from school and letting her have quality time with her new sibling.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:20:44

Usually when people produce a sibling they bend over backwards to make sure the eldest isn't jealous- they don't palm them off with someone else.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:20:49

pearly as a first time mum how the hell is op being selfish for wanting to establish herself as a mum to her own child before having to deal with a lengthy bus journey to collect her step child???

No other first time mum would be expected to.do this so why the frick should she just because she is a step parent

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Sun 09-Jun-13 22:23:23

That seems like a sensible way to approach this situation. You really can't anticipate how you will feel and how you will cope with a new baby. It is much better to wait and see.

I hope everything goes well for all of you. flowers

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:23:32

if I have a second child I might well send my DC1 to a CM, yes. Or to nursery. I really don't see why that would be terrible.

Nothing terrible at all decaff, f it is what works for you go with. And I agree about the risk of losing cm place

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 22:23:46

pearly as a first time mum how the hell is op being selfish for wanting to establish herself as a mum to her own child before having to deal with a lengthy bus journey to collect her step child???

No other first time mum would be expected to.do this so why the frick should she just because she is a step parent

Absolutely! Her DSD's mum was able to establish herself as a mum and develop a bond with her baby when DSD was born without having to run around picking another woman's child up from school, so the OP should have the same opportunity with HER OWN child too. Harsh, but true.

motherinferior Sun 09-Jun-13 22:23:54

Well, my wonderful childminder was not 'palming off'. In fact I rather think that the fact DD1 continued with her life there 3 days a week when I had DD2 was a big factor in my girls' great relationship, in stark contrast to the bewildered boredom I felt when my mum produced my sister and I was supposed to enjoy being with this tedious attention-grabbing baby.

Rowanred Sun 09-Jun-13 22:25:24

I wouldn't do it. I think you'll miss out on things with your baby if you do. With my first we went to so many groups and met up with friends a lot at all times of the day because we were all first time mums. With my second it's much harder. We have moved areas and all the baby groups are mainly 1st time mums so when you have to leave by 2.30 it's hard to really join in. I would compromise by maybe doing one pick up a week and the cm on the other 2 days?

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Sun 09-Jun-13 22:25:45

The OP hasn't mentioned having to catch the busto do the school run ????

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:26:01

Thanks needaholiday, you've pretty much summed up how I feel!

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:30:47

decaff I am due in august with my first and dp had 2 kids already so I know exactly how you feel! I only do school run once a week but it is my choice so Ian fine with it to carry on, tbh I collect them, feed them then pack them off to cubs and brownies so don't really see much of them. But I choose that as I enrolled them.in the clubs but otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. They are dp and exw kids not mine, they are resp for sorting out pick ups etc not me. I will happily help out if needed but only if asked and will happily say no if not convenient

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:32:20


have you actually sat down and asked the little girl what SHE wants to do ?, does she want you to collect her with her new sibling or does she want to go to the cm's ?

I would guess her wishes have'nt even been given a second thought.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 22:32:39

I can completely see where you're coming from decaff Yes your DSD is part of your family but in all honesty I think people can be a little too PC when it comes to stepchildren. Some people make them out to be totally hard done by in every possible scenario, whereas you get the same thing occurring in a nuclear family and nobody bats an eye lid.

karinmaria Sun 09-Jun-13 22:32:56

I realise I'm wading in rather late here, but it seems it has been forgotten that it is much harder to find decent childcare than to cancel or alter existing childcare.

I have a two month old, who is my firstborn. If I'd been expected to go anywhere three days per week with baby two weeks after the birth (when most paternity ends) it just wouldn't have happened. Because I couldn't walk... However now it wouldn't be a problem and it would be a good marker in the day for baby's routine and enable your DSD to feel included etc.

So I'd have a chat with your DP, keep the existing arrangements but be flexible about when you can start to collect her. Talk with her too as she may want to stay with the friends she has made there, and if it's financially viable it would be a shame to stop that.

It's understandable you are feeling concerned and nervous about caring for your DSD whilst getting used to a new baby. However I do feel that needing six months to bond is rather a long time. Take it from this first timer - six months is a very long time in baby land and you'll most likely find you'll be feeling differently within two months of your child being born!

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:36:10

Jemma, apologies if I'm getting you wrong, but you appear to be suggesting its more important for the new baby to spend quality time with his/her half-sibling than for baby and mum to bond?

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:36:26

When I married again it was a question of 'love me- love my DS' - otherwise I would have walked away- my DS came first and he wasn't going to live in a home where he wasn't loved or you have one parent saying they can do a thing with their bio DC but not their step DC.

If OP was to have another DC in 5 yrs time she won't be saying that she can't possibly collect the middle one because she needs to bond with the new baby.

Luckily DH always says he has 3 DCs and he has never once said 2DCs and a step child- or that he can put himself out to collect DS2 from football training etc but not DS1.

If I was DP I would make it quite clear that the 2DCs in the family were equal- not that the baby is the favoured one.

racmun Sun 09-Jun-13 22:37:22

I would say no. I got roped I to a similar thing once a week for my ss and to be honest I really resented it.

In the end I said I couldn't do it - it is a pita being tied for time and that's what is so nice about being a first time mum is that you come and go as you please.

Just say to dh you don't want to drop the cm at the moment as you'll need things to settle down and don't want to not have any support etc. don't mention time scales and just play it by ear.

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:38:27

Jemma111 if it was up to DSD she wouldn't go to school at all and would just spend all day at home with me watching Ben 10 and The Amazing World of Gumball.

I think the person who actually has to do the thing in question should be the one who has the final say.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:38:43

exotic no one is saying baby is favoured but as a first time mum the op deserves the right to be selfish and want to have time to adjust

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:39:48

I don't think a 5 yr old should call the shots in this situation!!

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:41:09

I got roped In to meet my DC everyday from school- it is what parents do! Of course it was inconvenient and stopped me coming and going as I pleased with the baby- and missing some groups - it happens with the second child. OP has a second child- if she wanted a first child she needed to have a first time father!

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 22:41:53

But exotic I am a step parent and I have TWO children and a step child.

Just because I only class myself as being the mother of two children when three live here, it is NOT having a negative impact on my DsD. I'm not prepared to call myself a 3rd parent just so we can say DSD is part of the family and doesn't feel left out. She is part of the family anyway without me trying to convince myself I am her 3rd parent.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:42:20

She may be a first time mum but she is producing the second DC of the family! ( I am jolly glad I wasn't a step child!)

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:42:45

Op doesn't have a second child she has a step child there is a huge difference.

AThingInYourLife Sun 09-Jun-13 22:43:23

"In this case, the DC's parents have decided to change the arrangements for their DC and place her in the care of the OP against the OP's own opinion and wishes, because she is available, in order to save themselves money - which the OP will not benefit from in any way."

This is how I see it too.

It's just another example of a man thinking his wife's maternity leave is an opportunity for him to foist extra work on her without her agreement.

OP, your maternity leave is for you and your baby.

You might choose to do all sorts of things with that time.

But nobody else gets to commandeer it in the way your husband had tried to.

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:43:56

This is my first baby. My very much wanted and planned for first baby. I will never get this time again. I want to enjoy it. I feel I deserve to enjoy it as any other first time mother would.

I don't think that's unreasonable. I'm a bit hurt that DP doesn't want that for me too.

Sorry if that seems like I'm romanticising or being pfb to some. But having a baby is a big deal to me.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:45:16

DH has 3 children- his step child is just as much part of the family- he is not an inconvenient or optional extra- we don't bother with the words step and half. Luckily all the grandparents and uncles and aunts don't either- they treat them the same regardless of blood.

Petal02 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:46:01

Totally agree minesadecaff

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:46:30

I bet DP is very hurt- it would be grounds for divorce for me- I can't have my DCs treated differently.

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:46:52


The sm has ALL DAY to bond with her baby fgs !, baby will most probably be asleep anyway during the school run!

Petal, if the op had a bio dd she did'nt want to collect but instead wanted to have her go to a cm's whilst she spent time 'bonding' on her own with her new baby, what would your attitude be then ?

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:47:09

needaholiday Christ can you imagine the flaming we would get for calling ourselves the parent of our step kids?!

I am not a parent to my dsd or dsd neither do I want to be. They have a mum and a dad. I will support my dp and I love my step kids but I am not now nor will I ever be a parent to them so I will not be forced into caring for them in the absence of their dad being available unless I.choose to

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:48:14

Exotic have you ever asked yourself how you'd feel of your DH had a child with another woman? Honestly, would you love it like your own?

I asked DP this and he admitted that, if I had DC that weren't his, he wouldn't feel the same way about them as he does his own DD. the he went really quiet for ages.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 09-Jun-13 22:48:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 22:50:18

This is my first baby. My very much wanted and planned for first baby. I will never get this time again. I want to enjoy it. I feel I deserve to enjoy it as any other first time mother would.

You're right you won't get this time back again. Please please enjoy it sad It makes me so sad that all of this is being tarnished for you. That little girl has 2 parents who are responsible for her, not 3. You enjoy your little baby and enjoy your maternity leave.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:50:39

I agree with other posters' points about the timing. A lot of afternoon meet ups/activities start at 2ish and you would miss out on that. It would eat into your day.

I think it's a reasonable request of your DP, as it's only a couple of hours a day, but you are also reasonable to explain you don't want to initially. Maybe see how you feel a couple of months in.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:51:49

If I met DH when he had a child I would have the choice and if I chose him then I choose the child too.
There is no way DH could pretend to himself that my second DC was a first DC - he got his first DC when he married me.

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:52:31

Jemma111 if I wanted to put older bio kid in childcare while bonding with DC2, some might judge but it'd be MY decision to make and no one else's business.

But I don't have any rights to make the same sort of decisions about childcare for my DSD. Yet I'm expected to accept the same responsibilities as a parent. And suddenly it's everyone's business.

And that is the eternal shitty catch 22 for SM's.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:52:58

I missed out on all groups that start at 2pm-it is what happens when you have an older child.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:55:14

If the DC is with you 60% of the time then I would take decisions for childcare- you are the one in charge if you are at home.( in that way a CM could well work- but you decide if it affects you)

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 22:55:35

Exotic everyone's opinions are valid and welcome on this thread. But I really do feel that unless you've ever been a SP you can't possibly really understand what it's like.

It's pointless to s

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 22:55:42

exotic Does your DS's biological dad support your DHs equal role in his DS life?

disclaimer - i know the term bio is offensive to some but I use it here to distinguish between exotics DH and her DSs Dad who she says is an equal parent.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 22:55:51

decaff at some timed it sucks being a sm!

exotic for the love of god she is a first time mum ffs she doesn't have to miss out if she doesn't want to

You might find after the first 6 weeks or so that the routine of doing the school run is actually quite helpful for you, and might become something you really enjoy doing.

I ended up signing up for all sorts of classes and things for DS when I was on mat leave just so I had things I knew I had to do at certain times - having a baby is so immersive that I found it really hard without routine for me (never for DS though! He was on demand for pretty much everything!).

You seem to have built this up to be some terrible imposition on your time, but after 6 weeks (and I do think a few weeks is totally fair and needed to find your feet), there are plenty of hours in the day to walk/drive to DSDs school three times a week. It's not that big of a deal, and will help your DSD feel part of your new family. Which she is!

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:57:03

I equally wouldn't have the child in my house and not be able to parental decisions for that time.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 22:58:46

I nearly became a step mother- I didn't go through with it - one of the reasons being different expectations on parenting.

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Sun 09-Jun-13 22:58:58

I am sure the OP's DH can accept that the OP wont love 'his' child like she loves 'their' child but I imagine it might be hard for him to accept that she would not treat them with as equally. confused

christinarossetti Sun 09-Jun-13 22:59:30

But OP doesn't have an older child - her partner and his ex-partner do.

Lots of families keep an older child in some sort of childcare a couple of days a week when a younger one arrives. Partly not to disrupt their routine but partly to make life easier in those first few months.

In this situation, I would say that no-one knows what type of birth you will have or how you will feel afterwards and whilst I wasn't completely adverse to the idea of picking up dsd, I need time to get used to having a baby and working out what I can and can't cope with. Then I would want to pick her up as soon as I felt on top of things.

Most childminders require 4-6 weeks notice and, depending on whether you're planning to go back to work thus needing childcare, it may be worth keeping up links with the cm.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 22:59:46

babyHmummy oh god I know! But then we also get flamed for not treating them the same as our own if we don't say we are like a mummy to them! hmm

I am lucky to have a DP who understands my feelings. I have made it clear from the start that I do not wish to force myself to be a mother figure to his daughter. More like a friend. He understands the emotional and psychological implications it sold have if he, his ex, his daughter or anyone else for that matter thought of me as a motherly figure and that she is one of my children. I am a mother of two. I didn't give carry her, give birth to her and consequently I missed the first vital 4 years of her life, so I refuse to be called mummy. And I also refuse for this to be the cause of DSD feeling pushed out, if she ever did. Which she doesn't.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 23:01:47

I wouldn't expect OP to love them equally but I would expect her to treat them equally.
The problem is in OP- 'we are expecting our first baby' - she is but he isn't.

MinesADecaff Sun 09-Jun-13 23:02:13

Oops. It's pointless to say that I chose DP and DSD as a package. Of course that's what I did at the time and I thought I knew what I was signing up for and was happy about my choice.

I love DP and DSD. I'd sooner die than be without them. But fuck me, being a step parent is hard in ways you can't possibly imagine until you're right in the middle of it.

And dare I say it being a SM is harder than being a SD. Because we have things like maternity leave where people just assume that means you're free to do stuff for them.

Exotic I bet you never make assumptions of your DH in the same way do you? If he's got time off, do you fill it for him with things for him to to with his DSC? Or do you discuss it with him and ask him first?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 23:02:26

eggs are you saying that any second-time mum who chooses to continue with the established childcare routine for their first DC is treating the baby more favourably?

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 23:03:52

I agree you need to discuss first!

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 23:06:38

Oh exotic they are expecting their first baby together. Surely you understand that this is what she is getting at. Once again someone implying that the SC has been forgotten about.

And it is the OP's first child. She wants to enjoy this experience and bond with her baby without being used to her DsD's parents' advantage. What a terrible evil stepmother she is, for showing some enthusiasm about her baby without her SC coming first. hmm

Jemma1111 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:17:26

If she didn't want to have to 'share' her precious first baby bonding time with another child in the picture then really she should have chosen a man who had no other children!

It seems to be always about how the sm feels, what about the stepchildren in situations like this ?

Remember, this little girl is having already to get used to seeing her parents for only half the week and she may feel excluded when she realizes her sibling will see their dad every day.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:18:12

Decaff its the hardest thing in the world being a step mum cos whatever you do/say/feel you are wrong in someone's eyes.

You are allowed to be selfish, you will never get to be a first time mum ever again.

Talk to your dp and explain how u feel, turn the tables and ask.how he would feel if roles were reversed. It seems from ur previous post that he felt uncomfy when posed this previously.

PearlyWhites Sun 09-Jun-13 23:23:34

Nothing wring with a childminder if you had a second dc op but most mothers wouldn't put their dc in childcare just to avoid the childcare. And it may be your first dc op but it isn't your dp's first child. You have all day to bond.
I totally agree with Jemma1111 her dp's child should be part of a package. I never realised how selfish some step mums could be till I read recent threads on mumsnet.

PearlyWhites Sun 09-Jun-13 23:24:08

Just to avoid the school run sorry not childcare.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 23:24:16

If she didn't want to have to 'share' her precious first baby bonding time with another child in the picture then really she should have chosen a man who had no other children!

Wondered how long it would take for that classic statement to pop up. Ignorance at its very best! smile

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:28:19

pearly its not about avoiding anything its about taking the time to adjust to and god forbid enjoy being a first time mum

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 09-Jun-13 23:29:55

PW, the DSD is already going to this childminder after school, she's not being "put into childcare" specifically.

PearlyWhites Sun 09-Jun-13 23:32:04

Bu that is my point the op is not a first time mum, her dsd lives with her more than half of the time.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:34:36

That does not and never will make her a mum to.her dsd. She did not conceive, carry or give birth to dsd.

She is a first time mum and as such deserves the time to deal.with the adjustments that come with that role

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 23:37:29

She IS a FIRST TIME MUM!!! FFS! Her DSD is NOT her child!

This is why I should avoid MN.

The OP is having a baby, her FIRST baby. How can you say that her stepdaughter is her first child? Did she carry her for 9 months or give birth to her? NO. She didn't. She also didn't bond with her as a newborn or share the baby and toddler years or anything like that.

I am now going to be applying this to my own situation, wondering if I should be viewing my DSD as my "first" child, or "first" born. sad It is very very emotionally damaging. My first was born in 2011, 5 years after my DsD was born. She was NOT my first, and never will be.

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 23:41:42

This has really really upset me this thread. I cannot believe the mentality of some people. Poor OP, poor me and poor all of those other SMs out there out there excited about having their own children, only to be told they already have their "first" child/ren (their DSCs)

It's so so wrong and messed up. All for the sake of warped principles and being too PC.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:47:19

The prob is people want to remind step mums constantly that they are not mums to their step kids until it suits them to treat them as such. F***ing double standards

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Jun-13 23:49:36

Yep. Damned if you do aaaand damned if you don't.

PearlyWhites Sun 09-Jun-13 23:51:00

If you apply that logic then adoptive mums are not really their dc mums because they didn't give birth. I am not saying that a stepmom is a mother in the same way as the childs mother. However they are a mum to that child and should love them as if they were their own. I don't intend to upset anyone but I see no evidence on some recent threads of step mums doing that. I think it is very sad for the dsc who have not only had to cope with a parental breakup they then have to live partly in a home where they are made to feel second class compared to their half siblings.

babyhmummy01 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:54:01

Adoptive mums have legal.rights and custody step mums don't.

No.one.is.suggesting the ops dsd is second class but she is not the ops child and the op.is.entitled to.enjoy being.a first time mum

"If she didn't want to have to 'share' her precious first baby bonding time with another child in the picture then really she should have chosen a man who had no other children!

Wondered how long it would take for that classic statement to pop up. Ignorance at its very best!"

The post you have quoted just about sums up my thoughts on this, Needaholiday.
Can you explain why you feel it shows ignorance?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 09-Jun-13 23:57:40

Bu that is my point the op is not a first time mum, her dsd lives with her more than half of the time.

...and presumably has all the same responsibilities and privileges that come with being her DSD mum.

No-one has responded to my (tongue in cheek) suggestions that the OP should arrange her DSD's confirmation, or take her for her first piercings while she is in the OPs care. Presumably those posters who are adamant that the OP can't be a first time mum would have no problem with the OP making those decisions for her DSD independently of the biological parents?

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 00:03:23

I really do not intend for my DSD to feel like a second class citizen compared to her brothers, and I am quite entitled to say that my DSD is not my child without her feeling excluded. I won't be forced to see her that way.

SPs are nothing at all like adoptive parents. No legal rights, no custody, no say in their upbringing, nothing. It's not the same. A SC most likely already has parents on each side, whereas a child who adopted, their parents give up their rights/ have sadly passed away etc.. and someone takes them on as their own children.

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 00:03:54


I'm not being 'ignorant' as you put it. I'm being REALISTIC

The op lives with this child for half of her life, SHE CHOSE THAT LIFE !

Some people obviously feel that the SM should have no responsibilty towards her dsd, and are agreeing that she should'nt have to collect her from school if she wants to stay with her baby.
Wtf SHOULD the sm do for her dsd? shove her in a cupboard out of the way until dsd's dad gets home?, or not give her any dinner or whatever until dsd's dad gets home? after all she's HIS responsibility isn't she?

Do you understand now what I'm trying to say?

Every woman/man who chooses to live with a woman/man with children of their own should NOT start moaning and whining when they have to think of the needs of their stepkids !

FFS I need to leave this thread before some people do my head in even more.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 00:08:22

It is ignorance because a lot of step parents go in to their lives with their partners without a crystal ball. They might not have even considered having children at the time when they first got together, let alone having to share their time with their baby with another child. Nobody knows how they are going to feel in the future when they have their own baby. The OP in this case didn't expect to be used as a babysitter whilst on mat leave when her and her partner have their own baby, and it is something she did not predict would happen, nor did she know how she would feel.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 00:09:02

It makes a lot of sense to wait until the baby has arrived and see how things go. Some babies are easy, some more tricky and you never know how it's going to go. I would very likely keep my DS in an afterschool place if having a DC2 so I don't see why the OP shouldn't. Plus it is not fair of him not even to talk to you before he 'decides' this stuff, OP. Are you his wife and co-parent or are you a nanny/servant who gets given their instructions and expected to get on with it?

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 00:09:08

I wasn't suggesting an adoptive parent is the same as a step parent,it was an example that you don't have to give birth to be a mum.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 00:12:57

But a step mum is not a mum to.her step.kids pearly and that is.the whole point

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 00:15:37

I make my DSD's tea just like I do with my niece and nephew when I am looking after them. Doesn't make me a mother figure to all three of them but they are still family.

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 00:15:45

Babyhmummy but she should be, the clue is in the name stepMUM

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 00:22:48

No no no no.

Her DSD already has a mum why is that so hard to understand? The OP and other SMs like myself do not want to be viewed as mummy number two.

My in laws used to get my DsD to call me "mummy X". It used to make my teeth itch, until I put the record straight. It's just too full on.

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 00:28:10

But you don't understand what I am saying. Of course you are not your dsd mum. BUT you should be a mother figure and treat her as you would your own child and love her because she is your Dp/dh child. Your post re not enjoying picking up your dsd made me very sad. You should be proud of her.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 00:34:17

I don't enjoy it though, and I'm sorry if that upsets you. She isn't my child so her school days are not something that are precious to me. It is something for her own mother to cherish just as i will with my own. But to me it is very much like a chore, especially due to being made to feeling like a complete tool every time I set foot in the playground. That is just me being very very brutally honest.

"It is ignorance because a lot of step parents go in to their lives with their partners without a crystal ball. They might not have even considered having children at the time when they first got together, let alone having to share their time with their baby with another child."

That may be the case at the start of the relationship.
But once you begin to plan a family with a man who is already a parent you make the choice; you will be sharing your 'baby time' with another child. If this is unacceptable to you, then yes, you should only contemplate a child with a childless man.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 00:39:19

No pearly we shouldn't be a mother figure. Most of us are told explicitly by our dp that we are not to parent their child with exw. We are not mums or mother figures to these kids, we are extra adults who are involved in limited parts of their lives. The.kids themselves don't want us to try and act like or replace their actual parent.

I am guessing u r not a step mum?

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 00:51:50


Even in the planning stages, before the hormones kick in, and that protective motherly instinct kicks in, and the intense love you feel for you own child kicks in. Even then you don't know if these three factors will make you feel differently than you did about 9 - 12 months previous. Some people are ok and some people are not.

When I had my first, I was very much the same person as I was and didn't struggle with the stepmum stuff, (sort of wish i was that person again) but a lot has changed since then and second time around it's a whole different story. I had my 2nd baby 3 months ago and my emotions are all over the place, and I am struggling a lot. The last thing I would need right now is to be used as a convenient babysitter when I am not at my best.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 10-Jun-13 03:26:48

I always get the chills on these threads. Crap like this is what keeps women in awful marriages, the thought of their child ending up with a stepmother like the ones on here.

I grew up with half siblings ( though they are my full siblings to me) never had any of this rubbish, we were indeed treated exactly the same.

christinarossetti Mon 10-Jun-13 04:16:26

It would be impossible - not to mention peculiar - to treat a 5 yr old and s new born baby 'exactly the same'.

A 5 year old needs a reliable, safe and interesting place to be after school where she will get a chance to wind down and a decent meal. Nowhere does op indicate that the cm isn't providing this.

Stepmooster Mon 10-Jun-13 06:27:27

I am a mum and a stepmum. My DD1 is going to stay in nursery FT once DC2 is born. We saved the money up and DH is taking and collecting her. We want to keep the routine for DD1 and if I have a nightmare baby like DD1 was, then DD1 will not have to witness my mini-breakdowns where I would just cry because she refused milk on/off for weeks on end. DD1 will spend time with mummy when hopefully some kind of order is in place and she is not caused any distress.

DSS is not my son, and I am not his parent. The only way that would happpen is if I adopted him or I got PR. Until I have the right to parent him as my own and make decisions for him like a parent I will always be his stepmum. I care for him a lot but I can't say I love him as my own.

I also think if as a parent you go on to have children with someone else, you shouldn't expect your partner to take on your parental responsibilities. Whether male or female. DH has changed his job/hours in order to spend more time with all his children.

OP why not suggest your DH goes on leave and looks after all his children so he can save a few quid at the childminder? Surely his DD would much rather he was picking her up and not you?

The law has changed, fathers can share your maternity leave. DH has spent 6 months with DD1 as did I. He told DSS if the law wouldve let him he wouldve done the same for him.

Some men need to step-up more, seems like having a second wife means less parental responsibility for them. If bio mum is not able, then second wife can plug the gap and I can carry on with minimal disruption to my world. They've got it all worked out in their heads and don't even have the decency to talk to you about it and have the opportunity to make mutual decisions.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 07:00:41

I am just glad that I am not a step child, you always appear to be a 'cuckoo in the nest' as people argue over who does what and whether they have to do it, whereas their younger sibling is the 'proper' child of the family and is treated normally. It must be very difficult being a visitor when you are living there for 60% of your time, but still an 'outsider'.
It must be very hard to live with the fact that, ideally, the step mother would prefer a life without you and be able to be a 'first time' mother without the irritations of school runs, Brownies, play dates , whatever.

Rightsaiddeb Mon 10-Jun-13 07:18:48

Exotic, I'm sure no adult in their right mind deliberatley makes a child feel unwelcome, step or otherwise.
In my experience resentment builds up when the new partner is being used by the dsc parent to offload responsibility in any shape or form, but without getting the moral authority to parent said dc.
My dsc had a nanny and they loved her. Why? Because both parents depended on her and welcomed her and made her feel respected and appreciated.
When I told my dh once he was treating me like a childminder, he said that his kids had loved their nanny and I should be happy to get the same response. Wtf? Needless to say, I was not receiving the same warm fuzzy feelings.... Because I was being vilified by their mum (not ow, btw).

Please don't make the sm responsible for the bad parenting skills of the parents.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 07:21:08

Play dates??? With who? Isn't that again something for her mum to arrange with her own friends and enjoy? I have friends who are mums but never gone a play date with my own children let alone DSD.

And just in relation to hobbies, my DSD does dancing as a hobby at the exact same time as my DS does football. So no I don't take her for this reason because I am watching my DS. When dp goes back to work I'm not prepared to have my DS miss out because I then have to take DSD to what she enjoys doing. Her mum will have to take her.

I also go to toddler group on Wednesday afternoon. DP asked me if I would go to this maths session after school but it coincided with toddler group so I said no. So he went instead.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 07:22:56

All of the above I feel do to make DSD feel like an outsider. She hasn't suffered for it.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 07:23:13

*no not

seeker Mon 10-Jun-13 07:23:27

"Please don't make the sm responsible for the bad parenting skills of the parents."

Absolutely not. No.

But everybody needs to take responsibility for a 6 year old, and the building of a relationship between that 6 year old and her new sibling. And if the child's biological parents aren't prepared to do that, then sombody has to. It's no use saying that it shouldn't be the step mothr's job (although I do think it should be at least partly). If it doesn't happen then apart from anything else, there's hell to pay down the line. It's not a situation where you can say "It's not my job so I'm not doing it"

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 07:26:15

But everybody needs to take responsibility for a 6 year old, and the building of a relationship between that 6 year old and her new sibling. And if the child's biological parents aren't prepared to do that, then sombody has to.

But the parents are going to HAVE to suck it up and do it aren't they? That "somebody" shouldn't be the SM and she shouldn't have it all put upon her shoulders.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 07:45:44

All the talk about treating your stepdaughter "equally" is really fuck

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 07:48:33

AThing I really don't understand what you're getting at?

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 08:10:19

Sorry, talk of treating her "equally" is really fucking weird.

In what way is being told it is now your job to pick a child up from school and provide childcare several hours a day about any kind of equality?

The woman having her time filled with work by other people is certainly not being treated equally.

You can't meaningfully treat a 6 year old and a newborn equally. It makes no fucking sense to demand that of anyone.

When I've had newborns the older children have had far more care from their father for a time because I was busy breastfeeding and providing the constant care that small babies need from their mothers.

And my older children didn't still have two other parents to care for them.

They had to deal with getting less attention from their own mother from a period and more from their father because the family had changed.

I left DD1 with her CM a couple of days when DD2 was born for continuity, to give her time away from the baby, and to give DD2 and me time together without a toddler setting the agenda.

I didn't use any childcare while on maternity leave with DD3 because I preferred to save the money. But no fucker told me that being off work with my baby suddenly made me responsible for all the childcare for all the children.

I am not a stepmother, but I find the demand that a woman who marries a man with children enter a fantasy world where she has to pretend that a child that has two living and involved parents is somehow magically her child too is bizarre and unreasonable.

And it's not even consistent because the "equality" demanded of the stepmother here is nothing that would, or could, ever be asked of anyone else.

The only way to make sure everything is "equal" between the older girl and Round's first baby is to go back in time and make sure the SD's mother had to do school runs on her maternity leave.

My children didn't have anything like equal access to me during my 3 maternity leaves - I took different lengths of time off, I used different childcare arrangements, I grew in confidence and experience as a mother.

This whole thing of a woman being told that as a woman/mother all childcare (and often housework) is now her job is about the opposite if equality. It is about women being treated as drudges.

For the childcare foisted on a first time mother without discussion to be for a child that has two parents to look after her appals me.

Should my daughters ever have a stepmother, I would be horrified to find out their father was treating his new partner as a skivvy in this way.

It's fucking horrible.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 08:10:24

seeker At what cost?

If parents aren't doing their best for their DC, then how far should a SM go? How much time should she devote to her DSC, at the expense of her own DCs - and herself?

What damage is it acceptable to cause while doing 'the right thing' - to the SM's health, to the relationship between siblings (step, half and otherwise), to marriages and co-parenting relationships?

DCs do not view stepparents as a third parental figure in their life. That is well documented and evidenced.

why insist that a stepparent fulfils a role that neither they, nor the DC, welcome or accept?

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 08:25:44

I'm not prepared to vilified by people about this over the Internet. Everyone is happy with the arrangements and just because I don't do certain things with my DSD that doesn't mean she is treated any differently. She knows I am not available on Saturday mornings, as does her mum, as does my DP. That arrangement will not change and as her mum decided to start to dancing lessons it is up to her to take her if my DP is unavailable should he work at weekends. I am also unavailable on Wednesdays and Fridays as I am doing things with my own children, and those are two of the days that DSD is here. My DP knows I am unavailable so whilst he is off he should be picking her up. When he gets a job I will have no choice but to rearrange my week. But whilst I am on maternity leave I am making the most of my children as I will only get to see them 8 days a month when I go back to work, and 4 of those I will have to share my time DSD, apart from Saturday mornings obviously.

I am not intending to push her out, but I think I am entitled just as her mum was, to spend time with my children whilst they are so little. Like the OP I will never get this time back. And my job is pretty hard work so when the weekends come along I will be tired. These 9 months are like a godsend to me.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 08:36:26


I have a DSD and two DC. There is no way I would have felt equal to the task of having sole responsibility for DSD and the new baby for any length of time when DD first arrived. It was too overwhelming just dealing with DD to start off with. So I would have said no to start off with, and then reviewed when I felt more able to do so.

And I felt exactly the same after DS arrived. DD continued with her current childcare arrangements despite my maternity leave for a host of reasons, but mainly because keeping DD's timetable consistent so she felt secure was important, she loved it and it was a much better, more stimulating day then the days at home with me to start off with (post section stuck on sofa with newborn bfing all day long), I didn't want to lose the place, I wanted time with just DS, and I was terrified of having to manage the two of them alone to start off with.

Now that DS isnt brand new, I have all three on my own every other Saturday when it's DSD's weekend with us and DH works. It's fine. But I took that on once I felt able to cope. There is no way I would do it if I felt it was too much.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 08:36:43

When DH and I decided to maintain DC1's childcare arrangements whilst I was on maternity leave with DC2, we talked about it and came to a mutual decision based on:

- not disrupting DC1
- not losing DC1's place at day care
- giving me and DC2 similar amounts of time together as me and DC1 (and even then it was somewhat less)
- minimising how exhausting it would be for me, which is lucky as DC2 took 20 minutes to settle for a 20 minute nap, was up 4-5 times a night etc

Financially we could do it, childcare vouchers continue through maternity leave etc.

OP has already said that if she gives birth to a second DC she will consider not changing her first DC's childcare.

OP, is your DP planning to split parental leave with you?

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 08:46:02

needaholiday agree with much of what you say.

pearlywhites you said:
I am not saying that a stepmom is a mother in the same way as the childs mother. However they are a mum to that child and should love them as if they were their own
IMHO this is very wrong. I am not DSD's mother in the same way as her actual mother and am not her mum in any way and I don't love her like my own. Her mother, quite rightly, would not be happy if I set myself up as some kind of alternative mother. I am her step-mother, I am extremely fond of her, she is part of my family and my DC adore her. But I am not her parent. She has two parents. And it would be wrong for me to take that role.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 08:52:53

AThing you said it perfectly there. Exactly my thoughts.

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Mon 10-Jun-13 08:53:53

eggs are you saying that any second-time mum who chooses to continue with the established childcare routine for their first DC is treating the baby more favourably?

I am absolutely NOT saying that. I agree that it might well be in the DSDs interest to stay with the current arrangements. It might also be the best option in order to keep the spot or it might be the best option if it is too difficult for the OP to collect her. I have this before. It could also be that the DSD prefers to stay at the childminders.

AThingInYourLife. I find your posts a bit full confused on but I can see where you are coming from. You clearly can't treat DSC and DC 'equally'. I can see there is a difference.

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Mon 10-Jun-13 08:56:21

Typo blush
.....I have said this before....

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 08:58:31

athing exactly the points some of us have been trying to make!

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 09:16:39

You do not do play dates with 'mummy friends' when they start school- they make their own friends and get invited out- if they are living with you on that day then you arrange it.the mother isn't there.

I only know that there is no way that I would have had DCs with DH2 if he was going to pretend we were a cosy little first time family- with an extra.
Of course he was excited to have a baby for the first , but it was our second child and the first one needed meeting from school, taking to cubs, football, friend's houses etc- and he did what fathers do- did it if convenient without telling me it was my child and up to me to arrange.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 09:20:53

But that's the whole point exotic. if it was convenient

It is not convenient at first for the op as she wants and is entitled to have time to adapt to being a first time mum.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 09:25:05

But all of DsD's friend's mums dislike and bully me. I can't arrange it!!

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 09:32:46

It sounds as if you have this DC for 60% of the time and yet you have no control over anything- that is what needs sorting out with DP. If she is in your home then you should be in charge. If you are being bullied by other women at the school gate then I am being very unfair- you obviously supposed to do all the work with no say!
I would use the time before the baby is born to sit down with DP and tell him that things have to change and you are not going to be 'put upon' and you need to be in on the planning stages.

FrauMoose Mon 10-Jun-13 09:33:49

It's a really interesting thread - though I find some bits of it disturbing. I have needed to remind myself that there are many different types of stepfamily. It's also true that particularly in the very early years of stepfamily/blended family life step-parents are regarded in a very different light from biological parents.

I do think that there's an underlying issue which goes beyond the operational details of childminders, and the distance to a stepchild's school etc.

That issue is one of values. The way I was brought up means that I think my obligations aren't just to my biological kin plus my partner. They are to a wider community and particularly towards those I know who are in need. I brought those values into step-parenting. (Children whose parents have separated are quite needy, and I had to think about the extent to which my behaviour and actions might help them towards finding some new kind of security.) That sense of obligations/awareness of needs is not the same thing as a willingness to be exploited. It is about active conscious choice.

I also believe that ultimately you reap what you sow.

I wouldn't wish to sound preachy. It's just that this conversation has caused me to reflect on my eighteen years as a step-parent. (It's a long-term game.)

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 09:36:39

If you expect the step parent to treat them equally then you have to treat the step parent as a parent and not an unpaid skivvy!

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 09:41:13

It can't be good for children to grow up in the reality-free zones advocated by some as how blended families should operate.

I can see why, in the case of child abandonment or very early bereavement, you might want to take on a step-child "as your own".

But where a child has two loving parents, why is there any need to pretend their step parents are third and fourth full parents?

Why is it not OK to acknowledge the reality that you live in a different kind of (just as good, maybe better?) family?

That the woman who lives with you in your father's house is not another mummy just like the one you have already, but is still another adult who cares about you and is interested in you and gets to tell you off?

I'm basically an outsider here. I'm not a stepmother, all my children are DH's, I not a stepchild.

I'm just amazed at the demands that are being made here of women - that if they marry a man with children it is not enough to grow to love the children, to care for them, to treat them well and fairly.

No, unless you can suspend reality and pretend they are your first born, you are treating them badly.

DH has a lovely stepmother. She is from an enormous, complicated family with steps all over the place.

Most of what I know about step families comes from her.

Does she love DH and his sis? Undoubtedly.

Is she a third granny to our kids? Definitely.

Does she treat her step kids the same as her own children? No

Her step grandkids the same as her own children's children? No

Is that mean/sadface evoking/hurtful? No

She is extra. She's a bonus.

If MIL and FIL had stayed together we would never have had her in our lives.

We're glad that we do. And she's glad too.

There's an element if choice to stay close that doesn't exist to the same extent in nuclear families.

Different is OK.

Pretending to be the same is weird.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 09:45:02

It's interesting because I was a stepchild. Now I am a stepmother. I think because my stepdad didnt get the respect he deserved I realised how incredibly difficult it was for HIM as a step parent and not me as the child. I had a good childhood. Being a stepchild didnt entitle me to have people overcompensating for me just because of how my family set up was. I was still the same child as before and didnt automatically become more precious when my mum and dad split.

Bonsoir Mon 10-Jun-13 09:48:31

FrauMoose - I think a lot of stepparents have values that strongly preclude them from stepping on the toes of biological parents and muscling in on the upbringing of DC who are not their own. I speak from experience, because that was my strong feeling as a stepmother in the early days. I "edged in" little by little only when I felt that it was for the benefit of my DCs and it was not going to be resented by their biological parents.

We are now years down the line and things have changed - in particular, the DSSs have got to the stage in their lives when they are taking control of their own development and therefore reach out independently to the adults around them (parents, stepparents and other family members and friends) according to the skills and willingness of the adults in question.

Bonsoir Mon 10-Jun-13 09:48:58

for the benefit of my DSCs

Floggingmolly Mon 10-Jun-13 09:49:56

a step mum is not a mum to her step kids
This 5 year old spends 60% of her time living with her Dad and the op; so sure, she's not her mum but it does fall to her to actually help parent the child...
Could she really abdicate all responsibility for this little girl to her father because she's not her mum?

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 09:51:39

What's the mum doing? Where is she to help? Why should the SM pick up the pieces?

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 09:54:36

frau your comment is very true imo.about early days being very different. The longer a step parent is around the easier it becomes to parent as roles change as do expectations as bio parents get used to the additional adults and grow to trust them. However, a step parent can only parent if the bio parents allow

It is early days for me like it is for the op, and it is hard. My dp's ex doesn't like the fact I am responsible for her kids when their dad is at work but then told the solicitor she is pissed off with them always being with her. Solicitor told her outright to suck it up she couldnt have it both ways. That said it doesn't mean I am allowed to discipline them in the way I see fit, I am restricted by the agreement between dp and his exw over how they chose to parent. Imo kids need rules and to learn consequences to their actions, exw doesn't believe in telling kids no or repremanding bad behaviour. I do clash with her on that as dp believes as I do so he allows me some leeway.

It unfortunately isn't that way for the vast majority of step parents. All too often partners use each other as free service to offload their kids without any consultation which is what has happened for the op.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 10:01:08

athing a very true post hun!

flogging she is not abdicating responsibility she is pointing out that her primary responsibility is to her own child

carabossse Mon 10-Jun-13 10:01:35

Hello, I'm a bit late to the party but hope I can add something useful.

I wouldn't make any commitments before the birth, definitely make decisions afterward, when you know what you're dealing with.

If childcare is in place and working then why change it, why risk the disruption of changing routine and potentially looking for another childminder if / when you return to work?

I'm concerned that your partner is making assumptions like this without discussing it with you. He should not be making commitments on your behalf.

I actually feel that it would be unnecessarily stressful for you to have a time-sensitive commitment like school pickups unless it's unavoidable. Sorry to be less than optimistic but childbirth may take more than a few hours to recover from, walking without leaking/ peeing yourself may take some time, the lochia bleeding can last a month, standing and walking may be sore and midwives sometimes recommend bedrest. The first 6 weeks or so in a baby's life can feel like constant growth spurts with lots of cluster feeding, some babies are particularly sensitive to being overstimulated which builds up over the course of the day in which case late afternoons and early evenings are the worst time to be outside, they want to be held quietly. .. But fundamentally, even if you have an easy birth and feel like going out for walks immediately- it's your choice!

Good luck.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 10:01:53

"All too often partners use each other as free service to offload their kids without any consultation which is what has happened for the op."

Or in reality, all too often men use their wives as a free service without consultation.

It's not acceptable to do that, regardless of the parentage of the children.

The answer to the topic title question is - tell him to stop having any expectations about telling you how to spend your time.

Going on maternity leave doesn't turn your time into a resource that is his to exploit.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 10:10:48

Agree with carabossse and athing above. The DP here making this decision unilaterally is a concern - these things should be decided as a team by the couple regardless of parenting identities. And it makes total sense to wait and see how things are after the birth in case there are unexpected complications etc. Plus has the DP given any thought to what happens after mat leave finishes and a childcare space is needed again? Will the OP be expected to cut her working hours to do school pickups, but he doesn't even consider it himself?

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 10:15:44

I am assuming that when the OP goes back to work then it's tough luck. He'll have to pay for childcare again. Or is he going to tell her that she must go back part time so she can pick HIS daughter up?

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 10:22:22

What’s the Mum doing? Where is she to help? Why should the SM pick up the pieces?

Excellent point. And I expect I’ll get flamed for this, but why is the SD with the OP and her DP for 60% of the time? Will this be sustainable once the new baby arrives?

parttimer79 Mon 10-Jun-13 10:33:30

athing yes everything you have said more coherently than me as I am 7 months pregnant with my first child.
And yes they are my first, as my DSCs are not my children! They are absolutely part of my family. But to suggest that they are mine or in extremis that DSS is my first born is lunacy. He is my DPs first child, and his Mums first child.

Happily my DP and his exW are both sane and reasonable people who realise that while I happily care for and feel connected to DSCs they are the parents and I am as stated above (hopefully) a bonus adult in the DSCs lives.

Oh and we are not treating them the same, I will return to work after 9 months mat leave and DSCs have a full time SAHM until they started primary school. This is because the 2 sets of parents have decided how to parent their children, doing what they believe to be best. Gosh what terrible people we must be...

Kiwiinkits Mon 10-Jun-13 11:09:49

Just wanted to say that Frau I have found your posts to be a breath of fresh air and I've enjoyed reading them

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 11:19:01

Petal, I assume the Mum arranges childcare or picks up her DD on the other two days pw

Kiwiinkits Mon 10-Jun-13 11:20:55

My two cents on this is that a) whatever happens six weeks will probably be long enough after birth to feel perfectly capable of doing the school run (it's hardly massive job that makes you into a beaten down skivvy a la AThingInYourLife's post. its a task that needs doing and you have the capacity to do it. I think to say a flat-out no is unreasonable and unkind to your dsd) and b) talk to your step daughter, ask her what she would like and tell her that you're worried about leaving yourself enough space for doing baby tasks/bonding/groups/whatever. You may be surprised at how maturely she can work with you to make solutions that suit the whole family. Involve her.

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 11:22:03

Reading this thread I hope to god that my xh never remarries.

Now, I understand that as a stepparent it must be frustrating to be in a position where you are expected to have the responsibilities for a child but not the right to e.g. discipline etc, I do get that. But this attitude that a stepchild is “not my child,” even though said child lives with the family for the majority of the time I frankly quite horrible. Is it any wonder that stepmums get such a hard time on here when that is the way they think about their stepkids. The reason is because no mother would want to think that someone who was in a position of caring for their child for any amount of time had that attitude towards them – as if they are an inconvenience compared to their own children.

It is very simple really. If you get involved with someone who has children then those children come as a package with the man you get involved with. No-one is saying that the kids need to call you mummy, but equally yes it does mean that all children should be treated as equals in your household regardless of whether they’re yours or his or the joint kids.

I wonder actually whether there is a corallation between the “is not my child,” attitude and the lack of own pre-existing biological children. E.g. I wonder whether stepparents who already have their own children and thus are expecting their new partner to take those on as a package are more open to the idea of taking on someone else’s children and integrating those into their family in a way which those who do not have children appear to be unable to do, esp once they have their own children.

Exactly what wannaBe says.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 11:30:45

wannabe were you allowed time to bond with your first baby without being expected to run about after another child?

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 11:40:28

Talk to your SD, and ask her what she would like to do. You may be surprised at how maturely she can work with you to make solutions that suit the whole family.

The SD in question in 5 years old. I doubt many 5 year olds can suggest mature, family-orientated solutions.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 11:42:29

Wannabe but my DSD is not my child, and if my DC ever have a stepmum, I wouldn't want her to think of herself as their parent either. DSD has two parents. My DSD is treated equally and I regard her as part of my family. But somehow I am at fault by not thinking of her as my own? DSD and her mum would both hate that, and it isn't true. Have you read threads where step mums get ripped to pieces for their presumption if they do say what you suggest?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 11:48:50

I wonder whether stepparents who already have their own children and thus are expecting their new partner to take those on as a package are more open to the idea of taking on someone else’s children and integrating those into their family

I'm not! I'm a strong advocate of disengaging and leaving parents to parent their own DC, and have been soundly criticised for my lack of involvement in my own DSS life (who I refuse to have sole care of at all) so it might surprise you that not only do I have my own DD, but that my DD spends 50% of her time in her Dads care, where she has a SM, too.

I disagree with your blanket statement that 'no mother would want their DC to be treated an inconvenience'. I am sure that my DDs SM, who has no DCs of her own, undoubtedly views DD as such at times - and I would never consider her responsible for DD in any way, at any time.

If DDs dad chooses to place DD in her SM care, I view that in the same way as I do when he places her in the care of any other trusted adult - His DW is not subject to additional obligations towards DD just because she married my ex.

Playing happy families and creating a replica 'nuclear family' withmale and female parental-roles for the DCs is a desire many people have - including Stepmums in the early days. After you've live it for a while, you realise there are too many obstacles to overcome.

I can't help noticing that despite the cries of 'the OP is equal' , my questions about piercings, religious instruction etc have still not been answered. I assume that when it comes to those issues, the OP is less equal?

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 11:54:56

NADM i do love your posts hun!!! Your ones about the ear piercing had me in hysterics!! I suggested to DP's exw that she had DSD's hair cut significantly shorter than it is due to persistant nits and the fact they are hiding in her very long ponytail, she has bites on her neck and back from the little blighters. DP agrees with me and back me up but mum vito'd it. I can only imagine the flaming i would get if i posed the question on here of should i ignore her MOTHER and just take her to the hairdresser!

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 11:55:38

Absolutely what notadisney says.

Cases of bereavement or abandonment excepted, step children have two parents. They don't need or want more.

I view myself as a responsible, caring adult in DSD's life. If I am in sole charge of her, I "parent" her by ensuring she is looked after, entertained, that she behaves according to the rules of my house etc. Just the same as my kids, age adjusted for needs. But also just the same as if I was looking after my nieces.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 11:58:24

babyhmummy that is an example pd exactly the kind of presumption I was talking about.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:01:32

madam - exactly! I can make the suggestion to her Mum and Dad as I would to the parents of my Godsons and my God daughter because I care about her welfare and well being, but all i can do is suggest. I have absolutely no right whatsoever to make a decision and would never presume to do so.

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 12:03:16

Agree with Wannabe

Why wouldn't the existing access arrangements be sustainable after the OP's baby is born. The SD will still be her father's daughter and therefore entitled to consider his house her home. She's not a bloody puppy to be passed around as an inconvenience.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 12:06:19

littlepad have you read the thread? No one is talking about changing access. The OP has been asked to replace the child care arrangements the child's father has made.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 12:10:45

I don't really see it as appropriate to ask a 5 yo to 'work with you to come up with solutions'. It would be far more appropriate to ask the DP, who so far has been deciding unilaterally how everything's going to be, to do this.

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 12:10:48

Yes I have and I read Petal02's comment above

"Excellent point. And I expect I’ll get flamed for this, but why is the SD with the OP and her DP for 60% of the time? Will this be sustainable once the new baby arrives?"

My comment was in response to this as the thread seems to have become a wider debate now about stepchildren/step-parent dynamics.

sanityseeker75 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:11:36

Shocked at the responses on here is an understatement.

As you so clearly have all the responsibility of your DSD then I assume that her mom and dad are going to sign and give you Step Parent PR so that legally you are protected should something happen to your DSD whilst in your care?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 12:13:01

There has been a question about whether 60% care will sustainable after the OPs baby is born - I guess it depends who has been responsible for the DCs care during that 60% and whether those arrangements can be maintained in a "two-DC" household?

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:13:45

What I meant was: once the new baby arrives, there's an extra person to consider, would the SD's bio mum be able to do a little more of child care for her own daughter? If she only has her for 40% of the time at present, is there a chance she could do a little more? This may be totally out of the question, impractical, inappropriate etc - but I was just asking the question.

dufflefluffle Mon 10-Jun-13 12:15:58

Lots of people I know keep their own kids in a childminders even though they are on maternity leave to give them some breathing space and to keep the routine going.
When and if you do start collecting her from school why not start with one day and go from there.
Good luck with your new baby - go easy on yourself and your expectations of what you'll feel up to, IMO it can be a tough time emotionally.

oscarwilde Mon 10-Jun-13 12:20:17

Lots of good advice on here. I would make accepting this conditional on your DH being home by 6pm [or whenever he would have usually collected his DD]. Most babies cluster feed from 6pm onwards so you will be glued to the sofa for hours with a small and possibly bored child who also needs feeding and putting to bed and some attention from her Dad.
Don't let him use those evenings to work late, have a couple of pints or get regularly "held up".
Are you planning on going back to work at 6 months ? Will her place at the CM still be there [and for your DC also]? I would look at it in the overall context of your career plans and childcare generally so that it is not specific to your DSD. YABU to be concerned about coping but you will be fine, it just takes a bit of practise and that can be tricky.

Floggingmolly Mon 10-Jun-13 12:25:09

There has been a question about whether 60% will be sustainable after the OPs baby is born. hmm
Why wouldn't those arrangements be maintained in a "two DC" household? confused. The op is having one baby, not quintuplets, and her husband already has two children.
I would hope that he wouldn't entertain the notion that his dd making the household a "two dc" one is unsustainable; if there was indeed a question of that then op shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place hmm

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:46:23

But as it seems OK to ask the stepmum to do more "care", why isn't it OK to make the same request to the bio mum? For example, if it's acceptable to ask the step mum to do school pick-ups, why isn't it (very hypothetically) acceptable to ask the bio mum to do a little more "care" of her own daughter once the new baby arrives?

I'm just illustrating what I perceive as a double standard.

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 12:47:29

“wannabe were you allowed time to bond with your first baby without being expected to run about after another child?” yes, but I wasn’t in a relationship where there was already another child. If you get involved with someone who has kids then you do so in the knowledge that while you might have a “first” baby of your own that will not be the “first” baby of the household, and that time to bond with that baby in the same way as if you were an actual first time parent just won’t necessarily be available. This baby is not the first baby in that family – it is the second baby in that family, it just so happens that the op is not the biological parent of the other child, but the other child is still an equal part of that family.

Anyone who can’t see that shouldn’t get involved with someone who has kids.

seeker Mon 10-Jun-13 12:47:34

"There has been a question about whether 60% will be sustainable after the OPs baby is born."

Well, that's not going to have any negative impact on the step child, now is it? hmm

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:48:13

petal02 tbh i was just thinking exactly the same having reread some of the posts on this thread!

it is highly unusual for the father to have the bigger % of care so it does beg the question of where is the bio mum in all of this

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:51:04

so just because she is a step parent she shouldn't be allowed the same rights as any other parent?!!

there are several bio mums who have posted to say that they needed time to bond with a second child and left first in childcare until they felt able to cope so why are you not flaming them???

why is it that just because the OP is a step parent she is flamed for wanting to do exactly the same?

The hypocrites and double standard brigade on this board really do my head in!

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 12:51:58

aAs for the idea that a 60% arrangement wouldn’t be sustainable after the new baby arrives, what an absolutely ridiculous idea.

Imagine the outcry on mn if someone posted “I have a dd of my own and I am expecting my first baby with dp. Dp has suggested that the 60% arrangement we currently have is no longer sustainable and that dd’s dad should be taking on more of the childcare. Would people be agreeing whole-heartedly with the new dp saying “yes, your child is not your dp’s child, it is entirely appropriate that your dp shouldn’t have any responsibility for her and that her dad should have her for more of the time,”? no didn’t think so.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:55:14

if the dp was being forced without consultation to give up his paternity leave to look after the older child then yes i would be saying exactly that, it would be his first child and he has the right to bond without worrying about having to care for someone else's child

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 13:00:10

bhm there is nothing wrong with the op thinking that the older child remaining in childcare is the best idea. I don't necessarily agree with it even for biological children but that's a personal thing. but what I have issue with is this notion that because the dd is not the op's biological child she somehow should be treated differently; that the op has the right to not want to be involved with her even though the child lives in the same house as her; that the "she is not your child and has her own parents" line is being trotted out as a justification to treat stepchildren unequally.

The fact that this is a father who has the greater share of the access is irrelevant. Just because that's not the norm (and actually it is becoming more common) doesn't make it wrong or more relevant of the question of why the mother can't do more of the childcare.

If this was a man in the same situation he would be torn to shreds on the basis he married a woman with kids, nobody would ever suggest the biological father should do more in the event the stepfather would rather do nothing - they would tell the woman not to stay with someone who could treat her children like that. The position doesn't suddenly change because the stepparent is a woman. hmm

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 13:00:19

WannaBe - the OP will be an "actual first time parent". I was NOT a parent before my DD was born. I was a step parent. Yes, the baby is the second baby of the family, but the first of the OP.

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:04:52

I just find it strange that the bio mum has a 5 yr old who she only sees 40% of the time. No one seems to have questioned this. It's only the step mum who's being criticised.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:05:06

So what do you make of this? I've got a day off tomorrow. It's the last day off I'll be able to take for a while (massive project about to start at work) and I was really looking forward to spending my last day of 'freedom' just pottering around, doing whatever I felt like.

This morning DP says to me 'maybe you could pick up DSD from school tomorrow?'

Now, what should I say to that? The truth is, I'd rather not. I want to spend all afternoon in a cafe, reading my book. But if I say that he'll just think I'm really selfish.

Why is it selfish of me to say that just because I'm free for one day that shouldn't automatically mean I'll pick up DSD?

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:07:43

Minesadecaff - if you're about to have a baby (and have a large project starting at work) I wouldn't think twice about having a quiet day to yourself. It's probably the last quiet day you'll get for 25 years!!

Why can't the bio mum collect SD? She seems to be fireproof here.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:12:48

To answer pearly's question about DSD's mum: the arrangement is supposed to be 50:50. But it's 60:40 because once a month her mum cancels at least one weekend with DSD because she's got something else to do. For example, this weekend it was a music festival.

So you get the picture.

Where DP and I disagree is that he feels I should step in to the gaps her mum is leaving.

I feel like he should stop his ex behaving like that towards DSD in the first place. By not enabling her so much.

She's the one he has a co-parenting arrangement with, not me. He's entitled to ask more from her.

Stepmooster Mon 10-Jun-13 13:13:33

MinesADecaff - I would probably pick DSS up to be honest, seems at least your DP has asked you this time though.

Doing something for yourself in your spare time over doing something that will help others is selfish by definition. Whether you are entitled to be selfish now and then, well that's a different matter. I suspect you maybe be flamed.

I don't understand why you don't just talk to him? Just say you have things planned, you seem to expecting a problem rather than there actually being one, there is nothng wrong with having time on your own. You've told him you've a day off he's asked if you would pick up your dad, just say you can't, why would that make you selfish?

Your problem seems to be a lack of communication rather than anything else tbh. He might be trying to force your relationship with your dsd, he needs to understand it'll come naturally and over time. Go and have you coffee, guilt free.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 13:13:54

I'd say 'Sorry, I've got things to do so it's not possible tomorrow'. You have!

Has he asked for a specific reason, i.e. something has come up and he suddenly has to work late? If not, it seems a bit like he is now trying to channel your free time into DSD-care without feeling like he should do the same himself.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 13:17:52

Erm, why doesn't your DP feel he should be 'filling the gap'? Why is that your job? Does he think childcare is something only women can do?

Stepmooster Mon 10-Jun-13 13:18:00

btw I am 7 months pregnant, my feet are swollen and ache, I still throw up and have back ache. If you're suffering from pregnancy related symptoms that mean that you're going to feel like a sack of crap having to haul yourself onto a hot bus to get DSD then that's different to wanting to spend all afternoon in a cafe reading a book.

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:18:26

Minesadecaff - I am horrified that the ex is off to music festivals, cancelling contact, and that you're expected to fill the gaps. That's bad enough under normal circumstances, let alone when you're pregnant.

You're right that your DP should stop enabling her behaviour, but that's the tough bit. However if you start saying "no" then that forces his hand somewhat. If you keep saying "yes", are you a little guilty of enabling too?

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:19:38

Ordinarily DSD's CM would pick her up from school tomorrow as per usual.

DP just wants me to do it for this one day only because it would be 'nice for DSD'. Well, I'm sorry but it's not really how I wanted to spend my day off.

DP just can't see it from my perspective though. Because to him, an opportunity to spend an afternoon with DD is his idea of heaven. So he can't understand why it wouldn't be my absolute preferred and favourite thing to do too.

Also, I think it just messes with DSD's head. When I was between jobs I was able to do school pick up for a couple of weeks. Then I started my new job and it went back to the CM (so lucky she kept a spot open). Since then DSD is always asking when I can pick her up again. And the answer is always the same - I can't now because I work. But because I did it those few times it's really confused her and I'm just not sure it's worth disrupting her for that one day when she's only going to want it to become a regular thing when that's just not possible.

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 13:20:53

I read all these posts, “I should be allowed to bond with my baby/sit in a café/have a lie in/not have to pick up the stepkids/<insert as appropriate.” Overwhelmingly people’s attention centres around themselves. It’s all me me me me me. My time, my life, my rights, my child. At no point here do any of these entitled stepparents seem to be considering that they are putting their own selfish needs above those of innocent children. Children who had no say in whether their biological parents split up. Who had no say in whether those parents then got remarried to selfish entitled people who considered them an inconvenience, in the case of the op’s child, a child whose own mother is not in her life for the majority of the time, which probably brings its own issues.

These children have no choice in the matter, yet the people who are brought into their lives did, you chose to get involved with someone who had children, if that wasn’t the life you wanted you shouldn’t have got involved in the first place.

And no doubt these are the same people who ten years down the line will be posting about how strained the relationship is with the stepchildren, once they’ve grown up and realised that they were only ever considered an inconvenience and accepted into the house because they so happened to be a part of their stepmother’s husband’s life… A bit like the inlaws no doubt. hmm

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 13:22:32

Agree with Petal above that if you soak this up, you are effectively enabling your DP to let things slide, and neither he nor his ex have to up their game. And frankly at least one of them, and preferably both, should be doing that.

I feel sorry for this little girl, who is only 5 and doesn't seem to be anyone's priority - but the first people in the firing line there should be her mum and dad, who are the people in the world who are most obliged to put her first. I think you need a word with your DP about this, as he has one child already and another on the way, and his attitude to both seems to be that it's not his role to make sacrifices for them. It is.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:22:38

Petal if I say no he interprets that as me being obstructive to him seeing DSD. We've had arguments about it before.

If he's given an opportunity to spend more time with DSD he'll take it. Even if it means enabling his ex to treat him and DSD like second class citizens. (And by extension, me).

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:23:31

WannaB - but the bio mum is off to music festivals, cancelling contact etc, and you don't criticise this. As I said, she seems to be fireproof. She can do exactly what she wants (or doesn't want) and it's fine, but if the pregnant step mum can't fill the gaps, then she gets flamed.

Double standard or what??????

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 13:25:04

So he needs to organise some early finishes for himself at work, even if that means working at home in the evenings, so he can pick his daughter up and give her a nice treat. Suggest that to him. Though I would not be surprised to find that his job makes that 'impossible' hmm - it's amazing how often this is the case for men but women are expected to rearrange their working lives at the drop of a hat.

wannaBe I think the 'it's not all me me me' is a lesson this little girl's mum and dad need to learn first and foremost.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:27:10

decaff I totally understand and dp should stop enabling his ex. It is not ur job to pick up her slack... Before I am flamed this is exactly what a lot of u flaming the op told me when I.posted about my step.kids behaviours so think on.

The distruption to her routine isn't helpful but for a one off would it be so bad? Could you guys not do.something nice like shop for baby so she feels involved. And at least he asked rather than assuming

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 13:27:17

'If he's given the opportunity...' is not good enough on his part. Few of us are given the opportunity. My boss doesn't say to me 'Oh, Snazzy, why don't you leave early this afternoon and go and spend some time with your DS?' I have to work out how I'm going to make that happen. Your DP needs to be proactive no reactive in organising time with his daughter. And he shouldn't be assuming that you doing it as proxy is as good as him doing his share.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:28:06

Snazzy he does sometimes leave work early and pick up DSD as a surprise. He's very good like that.

But he loves to do it. I don't so much.

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 13:29:02

“I feel like he should stop his ex behaving like that towards DSD in the first place. By not enabling her so much.” But how exactly do you propose he do that? By saying “no, I’m not prepared to have dd.”?

Sorry but it’s very easy to say that when you have no biological children of your own. As a parent you can’t just turn around and say “sorry, you’ve cancelled contact, well I’m not prepared to have her either so it’s up too you to sort it out.” Because cancelling contact brings with it its own issues and sadness for the child.

As a parent you are so 100% of the time, not just the 50% that the access arrangement stipulates.

Yes your dp should be having words with his ex about the fact she cancels contact for her own selfish benefit. But he should do so because of the welfare of his daughter, not because of his desire for daughter-free time (which clearly he doesn’t want anyway).

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:34:01

WannaB - but you're still suggesting that if the ex cancels contact, the DP should continue to expect the OP to fill the gaps? Then nothing will ever change.

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 13:35:48

Pedal the biological mother cancelling contact to go to music festivals is despicable – that’s not in dispute here.

But I don’t see this being a man who doesn’t take responsibility for his children – op has already stated that the dp picks the dsd up from school and takes her to the childminders, that he takes time off work to be with her and that he loves the time he spends with her.

To me it actually sounds as if this is someone who puts his child first and loves the time he spends with her and wants to spend as much of it as possible hence why he doesn’t stand up to the ex cancelling contact. It just happens that his new partner doesn’t share his desire to spend time with his child.

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:40:40

But why should the OP want to spend as much time with the child as her DP does? And actually, it's not about the DP arranging for himself to spend extra time with the child, it's about him arranging for the OP to spend time on his behalf - the old chestnut 'access by proxy' .....

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 13:41:43

Pedal actually yes. The op married a man with a child. It seems obvious to me that the op’s dh considers them (him, the op and his dd) to be a family, and that he therefore doesn’t make the distinction here between him wanting to spend time with the child and his dp (the op) wanting to, iyswim.

I do think that when you become involved with someone with children to the extent you live together and have your own children together then yes, you do take on some of the responsibility for children who come with that person.

I feel deeply sorry for the dsd in this scenario, because it seems blatantly obvious to me that the op will be incapable of treating both children (her’s and the dsd) equally.

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 13:41:45

I know this thread has moved on but I think it is better for the child to keep the same arrangements when the baby is born as not to confuse her further. I say this as someone who was a stepdchild in several families and a stepmum. Children need continuity

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 13:42:26

It just happens that his new partner doesn’t share his desire to spend time with his child

Well, quite. Absolutely.

Is that wrong?

I must be a dreadful mum because I prefer to be with my child (the one I have birth to and share genetics with) than I do my DSC.

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 13:42:28

Playing happy families and creating a replica 'nuclear family' withmale and female parental-roles for the DCs is a desire many people have - including Stepmums in the early days. After you've live it for a while, you realise there are too many obstacles to overcome.

It is conceivable, you know, that the poor old OP will do the unforgiveable thing of preferring the baby she's just given birth to than the one she didn't, at the beginning. Secretly. In a way that presumably if she admits to on MN she'll be screamed at for her lack of maternal/womanly wotsitness. And that it might be better to have some time with that new baby, and work out how to manage and cope with and - ideally - override those emotions.

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 13:44:21

It's not 'blatantly obvious' at all. People are projecting massively onto what's happening and what is going to happen. And in between, a woman who is about to give birth for the first time is being told that she needs to rewrite her own biological history and remember the other child she gave birth to five years ago as well confused

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 13:46:06

he therefore doesn’t make the distinction here between him wanting to spend time with the child and his dp (the op) wanting to, iyswim.

Ah yes, a phrase I used with my ex

"The women in DDs life are not interchangeable"

My ex considered his Mum, his DW, and his sister to have the same equal status in our DDs life as I did.

DD was distraught about it.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:46:55

I'm just scared. Scared that DP is going to fall out of love with me because I can't be what he wants to DSD. Scared that I'm going to ruin DSD's life because I'm not good enough. Scared that when the new baby arrives I'm not going to be able to cope because I don't have any friends or family Scared I'm not going to be good enough at work.

And rather than give any reassurance I just feel like everyone, including DP is saying 'yes, you're right, you aren't good enough'. 'Be better, try harder. But I'm not going to cut you any slack or offer any help in return'.

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 13:48:19

Minesadecaff - your DP is putting you under far too much pressure.

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 13:49:17

I think it's more confusing to have someone else trying to be your Mum and actually more upsetting. A forced situation is not a positive one. The daughter will want to carry on as normal as much as possible and things may develop to other arrangements naturally. I know with my Stepdad we were never very close when I was growing up, even when we shared a house, but we have developed naturally quite a father daughter relationship since my children were born, but that was something that happened over time not something that was forced.

All families are different though and what works for some doesn't work for others, but the most important thing should be how the child feels and I think she should stick to routine and see how things pan out in the future. It's not like she is having to fend for herself at the park wink

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 13:50:14

Sweetie. I think you do need to tell him, upfront, how you are feeling. We all feel like that in the run-up to having our first babies, and it's harder for you.

BTW I wrote a feature some years ago for a women's mag on divorce and the effect on kids and among other people interviewed various MNers. And it finished with a quote from one of those MNers' grownup step-daughters:

“Positive things come out of it,” Elizabeth concludes firmly. “It’s nice to have siblings and new people in your life. Your parents are happier. Your family expands. And we all get on.“

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:50:16

*friends or family nearby, that should say. I have lots of both, just they're all at least an hour away.

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 13:51:34

Oh don't be scared sad It will all be fine you know. You will make new friends once you have the baby too. Try and relax about things and use your instinct about your own life, it will serve you well (oh goodness that sounds trite, but hopefully you will know what I mean!)

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 13:51:49

You need baby groups. NCT and antenatal stuff. There will be lots nearby.

Stepmooster Mon 10-Jun-13 13:54:53

flowers for Minesadecaff, don't be scared. Are you anywhere in West London by any chance? I am due in September with DC2, am a stepmum, and have no family around either. I found enrolling at NCT was great for meeting new mums2be.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 13:58:48

This might be hormones but I can't stop crying. I'm really terrified DP's going to leave me because I'm not good enough for DSD.

I'm just going to have to say yes to everything otherwise he's going to think I'm such a shit mum. I can feel he's already disappointed in me. He'd never say it but the way he acts around me is different lately. Like I've let him down or something. Just because I can't love DSD the way I'll love my own child.

He's created this situation too by being unrealistic and refusing to see my point of view. He's so single minded when it comes to DSD. God forbid he'd ever empathise with how hard it must be for me.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 14:00:27

Fuck I have a meeting in half an hour and my face is covered in snot and mascara.

Maybe I've made a huge mistake. I should never have had a baby with a man who has a DC. I obviously can't do it. We'll all be unhappy now.

Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 14:00:34

Just because you are about to be a mother should not mean you have to INCREASE your duties as a stepmother to take up the slack others create, - that's nonsense.

If anything you are about to take on a new job (mother to a new baby) so will have to spread yourself more thinly in other areas.

Your post up there has made me feel quite teary, I am angry on your behalf that people are making you feel like this.

You will be fine though, honest - listen to motherinferior..


Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 14:04:41

Of course you can do it. He is being unrealistic though and you can recognise that yourself. Does he ever ask his daughter what she wants or does he just look at the world through rose tinted spectacles? He seems to want some romanticised version of family life instead of looking at things pragmatically

You do need to talk to him it about, you cannot agree to things just because someone else tells you to do them!

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 14:07:13

decaff I have just talked to my dp about this thread and he is disgusted at the attitudes of those who have flamed you and those of us who have supported you. He agrees wholeheartedly that I am not a parent to.his kids and if their mums bf tried to act as a 3rd parent he would be livid as would his exw if I tried it.

He agrees that you are a first time mum and deserve the right to get to.grips with that.

You are not failing and are nit a shit mum, ur not a mum yet. U r a step parent and that us entirely different

theredhen Mon 10-Jun-13 14:07:14

I haven't posted on this thread because I haven't really had time but I have been reading all and just wanted to say that I think you have EVERY right to have time alone with your first baby of your OWN.

DP should be supporting you. Maybe later down the road, you can change your mind but as a new mum you need that time and shouldn't feel ashamed to ask for it!

There are lots of us who do have empathy and understanding.

You are not a bad person for not taking up the slack of this little girls parents. She is not your daughter. You are a positive role model for her and part of her family but you are NOT her parent.

carabossse Mon 10-Jun-13 14:13:41


You may find it useful to post on the relationships board where I think you'll get useful viewpoints and support.

carabossse Mon 10-Jun-13 14:15:00

I think your partner is behaving unrealistically. Almost like he's having a crisis himself.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Mon 10-Jun-13 14:26:34

If he leaves you, he will have to do a hell of a lot more himself. So even if he is thinking that way (and I'm not sure he is) he is being foolish. And even if he does occasionally pick her up from school as a surprise, I still think he has a lot of ground to make up in stepping up and filling the gap her mother leaves. I don't know if he is now getting a bit carried away and imagining that you will be Supermum to both his kids in one go, all problems therefore solved! but he needs to get real. This is a situation that will be addressed by him stepping up and the two of you working as a team, not him behaving like a disappointed boss and you feeling bad about yourself.

There have been a few hostile posts but largely I think people are supportive of you on this thread. Don't get overwhelmed by the few posts 'against' you. Lots of us are saying this is not fair on you.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 14:35:33

You may find it useful to post on the relationships board where I think you'll get useful viewpoints and support

From experience, I suggest that the OP avoids the relationship board; there have beenany threads in which the step aspect of the situation dominates and I fear it would go the same way as this one sad

OP - I understand your fears and tears - the expectations placed upon Stepmums are huge and the lack of support you have received in real life and here has left you feeling alone.

You're not. There are lots of us struggling on as best we can behind closed doors - hoping that we're not ruining our DCs lives or letting our DPs down.
You will cope, you will survive and as you settle into your new life, you will be happy flowers

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 14:40:17


I hope you enjoy your afternoon! smile

So many have explained it far better than me. But basically what I want to say is that the wrong person is being targeted here and that's you. Your DSDs parents really do need to up their game and sort out this mess they are putting YOU in. You are very entitled to an afternoon relaxing even as a stepmum, and you are also entitled to this without it being seen as an opportunity for your DP to yet again use you as a convenience.

I can really understand why you wouldn't want to give up that time to do what he asked of you. I wouldn't like it. It's like when my DP asked me to go to a Maths session after school. NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY. Her mum was at home and I wasn't prepared to give up the afternoon with my child so she can do whatever she felt like doing. She is responsible for these things not me.

The impression that's get is that stepparents must always put their SC first even over their own because it's as if these children are sacred. I choose not to pick my DSD up from school due to being at toddler group and I am classed as excluding her from the family. I choose to take my own child to their activities on a Saturday over my DSD to hers and I am somehow again excluding her. If nobody else would take her on a Saturday then yes she would be an inconvenience because she would interrupt my plans that happen each week.

When it is convenient for me I will always do whatever is required of me. But when there are two parents who are both off work I am not putting myself out for them or my DSD when it's not my responsibility to do so.

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 14:41:33

Being frightened about becoming a mother is completely normal and there are lots of people you can talk to here about it. Can you talk to your friends in real life about it too. They may not have step children but could empathise with the pregnancy and new baby emotions.

It sounds like you have a fairly intensive job as well and that can be difficult to take time out from to get yourself ready for motherhood.

With regard to tomorrow it's ok to say no as you have plans and with regard to maternity leave posters have given you lots of good and positive reasons to say no. Continuity, important to keep the childminder place open, don't know how you'll be post-birth, whether the baby will be a good sleeper, reflux etc (Don't add these to your worries - you'll be ok). All these reasons show care and consideration for your SD.

I don't think you are going to be able to affect the behaviour of the bio mum but you shouldn't have to pick up the slack.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 14:53:06

I think it is really sinister and worrying that this man is trying to fill up all your time with caring for his daughter.

Why on earth should a knackered, pregnant woman spend a precious day off work doing childcare for a 5 year old, when that 5 year old has childcare in place already?

My husband wouldn't ask me to do that for our daughter.

And I wouldn't ask him.

It's just weird and controlling the way he wants to commandeer your time.

You are your own person.

He is not your boss.

You don't answer to him.

His expectations are not just unrealistic, they are unfair.

I'm so sorry you are feeling so upset sad

But I don't think you should continue to allow yourself to be hectored and browbeaten in the way that you have been.

If he leaves you because you won't just do as you're told and mind his kid whenever he demands, you're better off out of it.

Oh and I don't want to spend every available minute with my own children. That is a ludicrous thing to ask of you.

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 14:58:59

I don't think he's being sinister, I think he's being a thoughtless muppet with very little empathy for the situation in which the OP finds herself.

Pushing the OP to spend more time with his daughter is not going to allow their relationship to grow naturally, especially when the OP is pregnant, hormonal, tired and very busy at work.

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 15:15:07

Yes, a thoughtless muppet rather than anything sinister. Still very frustrating though.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 15:15:42

Do thoughtless people really come up with ideas that involve taking children out of childcare?

There seems to be quite a lot of thought going into all these demands for Round to give up her time.

I can't think of a single nuclear family where either parent would ask this of the other.

It is an extremely domineering request, and Round, your response makes me think you are accustomed to such treatment. sad

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 15:18:26

I agree with littlebear its not sinister its just not appreciating how the OP feels. He probably thinks that he is doing right by 'encouraging' contact between them, but he needs sitting down and explaining that this is not working for the OP

Decaff I suspect the emotion of this thread and your hormones are not helping your anxiety over talking to your partner. You really do need to sit down and explain that whilst you don't want his daughter to feel pushed out you do need to have time to adjust to being a first time mum and for the first few weeks at least you would prefer that either he finishes work at 3 to collect her and bring her home from school and spend extra time with both his kids or she needs to stay at child minder and the 'normal' routine remain. He needs to speak to the CM and find out if the place would be ring fenced for when you go back to work as this would need to be a consideration, decent childcare where I live is about as readily available as rocking horse sh1t.

You have EVERY right to want and expect what you are asking for and I suspect once he has a chance to hear you out and think about it he will see that, I have had exactly the same conversation with my dp recently about his kids and he is 200% supportive of the fact that I am a first time mum and not a third timer just because he already has 2 of his own.

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 15:18:41

Extremely frustrating, yes

carabossse Mon 10-Jun-13 16:08:13

Decaf, I suggested posting on the relationships board because it seems your issues are about you are your partner, not the fact that you're a step-mum.

From reading this thread it seems you could use some advice and support on communication, dealing with his expectations and maybe a bit of assertiveness.

Fwiw if your partner sometimes collects his daughter as a surprise, that could be unsettling. Maybe she's the type who responds better to knowing in advance what the days plans are.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 16:59:29

Thank you for being kind. Hormones got the better of me there for a sec.

It helps to know that I'm not being an unreasonable selfish cow and you think I am entitled to plan my free time as I wish.

Getting DP to see my point of view is a bigger issue I think and maybe one I should explore over on relationships.

I definitely feel like he's trying to force an artificially close relationship between me and DSD too quickly. The more he does it the more it makes me uncomfortable. But if I try to explain that to him he just reads it as I don't like DSD. He's so obtuse.

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 17:15:12

Decaf brew for you and a friendly biscuit.

Enjoy your day off tomorrow.

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 17:38:42

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

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 17:44:06

Jemma, where has the OP said she takes no responsibility?

Did me and my DH take no responsibility for DC1 because we left him in childcare when I was on maternity leave with DC2?

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 17:46:45

The 50:50 arrangement used to be a bit more reliable. But since the ex got a new boyfriend (about 18 months ago) she's been chipping and chipping away at the time she spends with DSD so that now, for example, she's only having her for ten days this month. That's not unusual either. It was the same story in February and March. She didn't have her for any of the last half term week.

So it's been slow and incremental. Not something I foresaw.

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 17:47:40

Jemma, please don't be unkind to the OP, I think she's really struggling with this.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 17:48:57

Jemma, where has the OP said she takes no responsibility?

Did me and my DH take no responsibility for DC1 because we left him in childcare when I was on maternity leave with DC2?

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 17:51:23

Jemma, please stop making stuff up. What the OP is saying is that she is having a baby, her first birth baby - involving all that stuff, you know, pregnancy and labour and lochia and possibly stitches and leaky boobs and feeling a touch under the weather - and she's concerned that after two weeks she'll be expected to do school pickups a few days a week. It's a totally valid concern and one quite a lot of us have with our second children (I actually arranged pickups for DD1, so shoot me now, on her three CM days)...^but that was with the knowledge of which way up to hold a new baby and how to put a nappy on and knowing that the odd shriek didn't mean an emergency dash to A&E^.

Some of the posts on this thread are reminding me of that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Buffy's new sister Dawn appears and as viewers you have no idea how that happened, because everyone's memories have been magically altered. The OP hasn't had a baby before. I know her partner has been a father before. I know she has taken on caring and parenting responsibilities (although frankly I think expecting people to love their new step-children on demand is as unrealistic as expecting children to love their new siblings on demand. Or expecting step-children to love their new step-parents on demand). But the OP hasn't.

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 17:51:45

I take plenty of responsibility thanks. I pay for half of all DSD's holidays, etc.

Her mum is happy to keep taking CSApayments even though she has her less than half the time. And still does FA with her. DSD has come on every holiday DP and I have ever been on.

She's never been away with her mum, ever. Despite her pissing off on breaks with her boyfriend regularly.

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 17:51:53

Ok let me rephrase that

I probably should have said 'any responsibilty when it doesn't suit'

Because , if the Op is avoiding even school pick ups , and she has said that she wants to go and read a book instead of picking her dsd up , well do I need to say more ?

MinesADecaff Mon 10-Jun-13 17:53:26

Sorry that was a bit of a tangent. Bit it's not like I'm completely detached from DSD as some posters seem to think.

I just want to enjoy my new baby without running around like a blue arsed fly the second DP goes back to work.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 17:53:45

No, jemma, you really don't need to say anymore. In fact, please don't.

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 17:53:57

Christ on a bike, don't you ever want to sit in a caff with a book rather than pick up your own kids?

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 17:56:20

No-one thinks you are detached, some of us are realistic and don't make assumptions

Apart from anything your dsd needs continuity of care through a period of transition and I think it's more responsible to let things take a natural progression rather than it being a forced one. I think it is different if your dp were at home with new baby and decided to that himself

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 17:56:45

Pregnant woman just about to start new work project fancies a day off shock horror.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 17:57:07

If I want to go read a book, instead of providing childcare for my husband's kids, I will. Can't actually imagine him having a problem with that, frankly. He's appreciative when I voluntarily take on the care of his children, but he knows that its his own responsibility.

(and pssst, I'm not even pregnant! I just like to read.)

NotaDisneyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 17:57:08

she has said that she wants to go and read a book instead of picking her dsd up

Do you know - I've said that about my own DD, how awful!

I remember having a text conversation with my then DH promising him all sorts of things if he'd pick DD up on his way home - I was sunbathing in the garden and really didn't want to move.

Need I say more?

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 17:59:02

Decaff, I was a bit flippant there, but seriously - you are not asking for too much, and please please don't start doubting your own instincts and your own limits. That will do more to harm your relationship than anything else.

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 18:00:36

Sometimes it is only the prospect of a few hours off with a book that makes the company of my children bearable grin

And I can say that, of course, because they're my birth children. Were they my step-children I'd be shouted off MN.

BalloonSlayer Mon 10-Jun-13 18:01:59

I haven't read all the thread and I am not a step-mum, but my sister is, She is widowed with 2 DCs of her own, and has no family close to her.

She adores her step children yet has been known to foam at the mouth at being the one who has to do pick up because her DP is late home from work.

She points out "They have TWO parents, and local grandparents, my DCs only have ONE parent and no one else, why do both their parents get to not have to pick them up and do as they please while I have to race there and do it?" confused

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 18:02:06

Yy NADM - sometimes me and DH take a day off together and go out for the day, leaving our biological children in the childcare we'd have to pay for anyway.

Crazy, ain't it?

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 18:02:27

Ok , turn it around

If your partner who is your child's stepfather decides he doesn't want to pick up your child from school when you can't do it (even though he lives with you) what would you say ?

"ok darling you do your own thing "
Like hell you would .

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 18:04:19

"Because , if the Op is avoiding even school pick ups , and she has said that she wants to go and read a book instead of picking her dsd up , well do I need to say more ?"

Um yeah, you do need to say more.

Why the fuck shouldn't she go and read a book on her day off from work?

Why should she spend the afternoon looking after a child for whom there are childcare arrangements already in place?


Sometimes I want to read a book instead of doing the school run.

If there was paid childcare in place, you better believe I'd be reading my little head off rather than standing outside the school gate.

And the differences in my case
1 it's my actual child
2 I am not pregnant
3 the school is a 2 minute walk from my house, not a bus ride away

Doing the school run is work.

It is work that somebody else is being paid to do.

Why should that work be given to the OP just because she takes a day off?

Why should it be given to her on a permanent basis just because she has a baby?

This is like those grim SAHM threads with all these bossy women declaring what work other women should be doing for their husbands.

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 18:08:34

The child is settled with a childminder going about her normal business, she will have a new person to contend with which is a half sibling. I think that's enough change for a 5 yr old tbh without complicating matters

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 18:09:25

Jemma, your alternative universe seems to be one where the OP's DH would usually be doing this, and he can't and the OP is refusing to do it for him. This could in fact be a completely valid thing to do...but in reality it's not the case. Three days a week the little girl goes to a childminder and then comes home. The OP suggests this continues while she gets (literally) to grips with her new baby (I do realise that in your alternative universe she's already had a baby...)

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 18:09:34

You all know its not just about having a day reading a book to yourself ! Ffs of course that's ok if :

The op hadn't originally posted about not wanting to do school pick ups because of wanting to be with her new baby , therefore excluding her dsd

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 18:11:20

"No, jemma, you really don't need to say anymore. In fact, please don't."



Scratch my last answer. This is what I really think.

I love how a childminder is supposed to get a paid afternoon off so a busy pregnant woman can spend a rare day off on the bus and doing childcare.

We should stop teaching girls to read.

It's giving women some terrible notions that they should have any access to leisure time.


TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 18:11:29

Jemma, the child is being picked up by the childminder. Given her age, she has been picked up by the childminder three times a week since September and possibly the previous September. DSD isn't sitting in the playground or something.

So yes, I absolutely would say "ok darling, enjoy your book".

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 18:11:35

Eermm , I've never said the op already has a baby so please don't make things up .

I have said that if she took on a man with a child she takes on his child .

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 18:11:49

doing something does not equate to one thing
life is far more complex than that

some of you are making me feel old and I am only 35

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 18:12:00

No, she doesn't want to do school pickups for the first month or so of her new baby. So what? You seem to think this is equivalent to locking her step-daughter in the cellar.

parttimer79 Mon 10-Jun-13 18:14:41

owllady you are in fact as wise as your username suggests!
jemma I think you need to look at these very calm, child-centred responses from owllady and see why people are taking issue with your rather broken record approach to the poor OP.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 18:18:17

Jemma, if OP had been picking up DSD all along and wanted to stop for six months when she had the baby, that might be different.

But nothing changes for DSD if the childminder continues to pick up.

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 18:24:00

Well just because dsd is only 5 she will be aware that her SM will be at home with her sibling when she is taken to the cm's house .

She is bound to wonder why she can't be at home too.

Owllady Mon 10-Jun-13 18:31:47

Jemma, what do you base this on?

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 18:32:07

My 5 year old is always asking to go to after school childcare.

There is no reason at all why a child of that age should be upset by the idea by being in childcare for a few hours.

What if her SM was at home working?

She'd be less busy, but still unable to look after DSD.

It's not beyond the wit of a smart 5 year old to understand that just because an adult is at home doesn't mean they are available to look after you.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 10-Jun-13 18:32:38

Or she might wonder why a caring adult ie the childminder who's been in her life for a year or more isn't any longer.

Stepmooster Mon 10-Jun-13 18:39:22

Hi Decaff I thought you would get flamed, and you are braver than me for saying you wanted to go read a book on this thread instead of picking up DSD. I've had to really think twice before posting something like that as the high and mighty brigade shoot you down in flames. God forbid as a step parent you may want to be selfish once in a while!

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 18:40:01

Jemma she will likely wonder the same thing about school. However on the basis she is happy at the childminders (and there is absolutely no suggestion she isn't) it really will not be the end of the world if she continues to go there for three days a week, or whatever the OP and her DH agree in the coming months (and hopefully post-birth when OP has caught her breath). Life isn't as black and white as you would suggest.

Plus newborn babies are very boring and really crap at playing with five year olds. I think my niece was sorely disappointed by the efforts DD made at the games to begin with.

theredhen Mon 10-Jun-13 18:51:16

I used to work from home and put my ds in childcare. He knew mum
Was busy and couldn't devote time to him. He went to child are and had fun with other kids and adults who could concentrate on him. Far better than being stuck at home in front if a DVD because his mum didn't have time for him!

wannaBe Mon 10-Jun-13 18:57:52

This isn’t about the op wanting to have a day off to sit in a café. In fact the café wasn’t even mentioned until about 200 posts in. In fact for me this isn’t even just about the op – it’s about the prevailing attitude by what seems to be the majority of stepparents on here that when you marry a man who has children those children somehow remain detached from your family – they are his children and his alone, and he and only he should take responsibility for them. This thread has even degenerated to the extent that it has been suggested that now that the op is going to have her own biological child it is perhaps no longer appropriate that the husband’s child (you know, the one who is already biologically his) spend as much time with them and that the biological mother now be required to take over more.

Now the biological mother’s input into this child’s life is IMO irrelevant on this thread. There are plenty of biological parents out there who let their children down on a regular basis, but that’s a different discussion. But can you imagine if this was a man suggesting that the op’s biological dc spend less time with them because they were going to have a child between them? There would be outcry! (and obviously it’s not the op that has suggested this, but plenty of others have, and have agreed).

Yes, I can imagine that the op’s dh is scared too. Scared that his partner, who is already fairly apathetic wrt his biological child, will be less so once she has a biological child of her own. It’s a natural fear to have.

But I didn’t imagine it would be long before someone wheeled out the “he is controlling” line.

I think this thread highlights something I had long thought – that women are far less accepting of stepchildren than men are, predominantly because it’s not the norm for stepchildren to spend the majority of their time with their father, therefore most women who marry a man with kids only have to have them part time, whereas a man who marries a woman with kids is more likely to have them on a more permanent basis iyswim and is therefore required to be more accepting. And as such, women are far more accepting of the fact that women are less accepting of their stepchildren. If this was the other way around and it was the op’s biological child the responses would be vastly different.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 19:11:35

"I think this thread highlights something I had long thought – that women are far less accepting of stepchildren than men are, predominantly because it’s not the norm for stepchildren to spend the majority of their time with their father"

It's also not the norm for step children to spend the majority of time with their step fathers.

Very few step fathers are asked to do the amount of childcare expected of many step mothers.

Very few women seek out a new partner specifically to lighten the load of looking after their existing children. But men do.

Asking a woman to take on another child "as her own" is almost never the same as asking a man to do the same, when women do such a disproportionate amount of childcare.

ThereAreEggsInMyViolin Mon 10-Jun-13 19:16:58

I have found this thread really informative and it has changed my views. Despite some posters being a bit, umm, forthright, I think I can now understand that step parents are not simply a 'third' extra parent.

I couldn't understand some posters reluctance to help out and now I do. I also can see that you can deeply care about your DSC but still not want to act as a third parent.--or skivvy-- grin

It must be very difficult to be a step parent. Those of you that make it work deserve a big pat on the back.

I hope the OPs situation settles down. Pregnancy and first borns are often the cause of extra emotion and change. It can be a difficult time in the most settled families. I hope that OP can find the right balence between supporting her DH, her DSD AND supporting herself.

I like it when I have my views changed for the better. smile. It is what MN talk should be all about......

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 19:21:29

Minesadecaff - whatever else has been said in this thread, I think you come across as very caring and genuine. And if you weren't pregnant I'd send you a cyber-glass of wine. But til the baby is born, will you settle for a chocolate hob nob??

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 19:45:09

thereareeggs, you have made my day. Thank you! smile

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 19:56:59

Same as brdgrl

Mycatistoosexy Mon 10-Jun-13 20:05:45

OP it's natural for you to feel a hormonal wobbly mess when pregnant and please don't get too upset by some of the more forthright rude people on here.

Step-parenting is a hard gig. Harder than being a biological parent IMO (I am both). You cannot expect to feel the same love for your DSD as you will do your biological child. Not in a bad way or a lesser way but it's not the same. Because you aren't her mother.

If I split up with DP and his new GF said that she loved my DS like 'her own' I would appreciate the sentiment but think that a mothers love is very different. Different, but that doesn't mean that all step-parents don't care for their DSC. Most step parents do loads for the SC, treat them fairly and equally and love them dearly. All that in the face of opposition from the SC sometimes and frequently the ExP.

It is a responsibility that step-parents take on by choice (but so is having a biological kid) but still something that many people wouldn't or couldn't take on.

I do agree that you aren't a parent but more a carer. I choose to see it as an opportunity to try and be part of my SC's lives as a person who can guide and help them through life along side their parents.

Long post sorry but you are going to feel down about your ability, all that is expected of you and at times it could be bloody tough. Ask for support from your DP, talk to him about how you feel and do your best xx

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:13:07

I would bet that if the husbands /partners of many SM's posting , could read threads like this one and see how some of the Sm's come across and realize how many obviously find step children a burden / inconvenience or words to that effect , then they would be horrified to say the least .

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 20:19:39

What wannabe said

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 10-Jun-13 20:19:58

Horrified when they realise how thoughtless and insensitive they are towards their dps? Whole-heartedly agree.

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:24:42

And I'm sure that if the children of all the complaining mothers on the teenager etc boards read the posts they might feel the same Jemma hmm.

Jemma1111 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:25:36


No, horrifed that they didn't know what they were letting themselves in for .
In time though , these men eventually figure it out .

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 20:29:05

Imagine this thread in aibu,My dc are in ab after school club however my Dp's work shifts have changed so he is around to do the school run. He has said that while he is happy to pick up his dd from infant school he is not prepared to pick up my ds ( who
lives with us both the majority of the time) from the junior school a few streets away from the infant school . My dp says he wants to be able to chat to his dd in peace on the way home and enjoy fun activities in the house with his dd without interruption from my ds. Aibu to be upset by this? Honestly what do you think the reaction would be?

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 20:32:38

But it's not equivalent. The OP will have just had a baby. Her first baby.

<head on desk>

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:32:45

jemma as I have posted previously on this thread I have discussed this thread and my comments with my dp and he whole heartedly agrees that no step-parent should be considered by themselves or anyone else to be an extra parent. His kids are his and his exw's responsibility and as step mum (a term he dislikes) I am an additional adult in his kids lives. He fully accepts that whilst his kids are part of my family they are not now and never will be my children. He fully expects me to feel differently about our forthcoming baby to how I feel towards his kids.

I think most parents would be appalled at the suggestion that anyone other than them should parent their children.

At most I am a care giver and someone they can come to for support with things they don't feel comfy talking to mum and dad about. But I am not a parent to them.

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 20:33:30

If you think having a new baby is 'enjoying fun activities' you must have had a very different maternity leave from mine. FWIW the first few months of DD1's life were possibly some of the worst of mine.

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:33:44

Pearly in your example the DP would need to have a new baby and the poster's DC would need to be happily settled with a key carer. In such a case, the DP certainly wouldn't be unreasonable to keep consistency in the DC life rather than in a likely mundane boring baby filled bubble at home

motherinferior Mon 10-Jun-13 20:35:30

And the DP would need to have stitches up the wazzoo and be shell-shocked.

(Sorry, OP, not painting very rosy picture of maternity here!)

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:36:42

Lol @ mother am now sat with my legs crossed and dreading giving birth

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:37:03

Yes I remember those baby fun activities well hmm. Boring as f* for an older child.

All mothers I know have chosen to keep an elder child in childcare the majority of the time when on maternity leave. The elder child gets more interesting activities rather than acing to fit in with the baby, and the mum has more opportunity to rest when baby is asleep etc. win win.

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 20:40:15

while I did find being with my baby fun for the most part.
If the op was being asked never to have time alone with her baby that would be one thing but it is a few hours .
The point I was trying to make was imagine how hurt her do would be.

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:41:27

"while I did find being with my baby fun for the most part"

Are you a 5 year old child though?

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 20:42:15

Dp not do

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:42:21

A few child & work free hours a week keeps me sane

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 20:43:47

Obviously not but I have 4dc and the older 3 have enjoyed being with their baby siblings.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:44:58

But u made that choice pearly. The op has been told this is how it will be

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 20:47:26

I would bet that if the husbands /partners of many SM's posting , could read threads like this one[...]

I frequently share these threads with my DH.

In fact, we spent most of lunch this afternoon discussing the vile attitudes towards stepmums that are put forward on these boards at times.

I think my DH accepts that the DSCs are, in fact, inconvenient at times. So is our DD, actually, and we can both acknowledge that without any suspicion that she is unloved.

My DH and I do things to help one another out...or to make family life more pleasant. So he might go out of his way to give me a lift to work, or give my cat his medication twice a day. And I might look after his kids while he's away for a weekend, or do the laundry for everyone, or sew buttons on the kids' school shirts. But we don't take each other for granted when we do something which really is the other person's responsibility.

I do an awful lot for my DSCs, but I have my limits and boundaries, and DH expects nothing else.

She is bound to wonder why she can't be at home too.
This happens in a great many families, surely. The older children go to nursery, and the younger ones are at home with mum. In fact, my weekly playgroup is full of mums who are there with their under-threes, while their four and five year-olds are at nursery or school. This is more common than dirt, is it not? But now it's a problem?

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:47:56

I think if I was to take DS (4) out of the after school club he adores and make him instead watch me feeding and nappy changing a new baby it would feel very selfish of me. I know what he'd prefer to be doing. There's plenty of other time in the week for siblings to bond.

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 20:51:04

Allnewtake2 maybe more time for you dc but maybe not for the op dsd as the rest of the time she will be at school/ not have long till bedtime/ be at her mothers and may only have a short period of the time with her baby sibling.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:54:23

Pearly you seem intent on making out like the op has done this before and she hasn't.

She is a first time mum ffs no first time mum should be expected to chase after anyone in those first weeks irrespective of whether it is a step child, a partner or the flaming milk man. So why the hell should the op not be allowed that right just because her dp wants to pull his child out of an established routine she is happy and secure in

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:55:43

Dont be so silly. The DSD will only be in childcare a short while and then there's tea time, bath time, play time. And that's just week days, not counting weekends. Are you saying that families whose child are in childcare don't bond with their siblings hmm

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:56:49

brdgrl is right about the jealousy of older child being at school/nursery while baby is at home. My best mate had a nightmare with her ds1 refusing violently not to go in to nursery because ds2 would be at home. It is a natural part of growing up that kids have to go through.

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 20:59:53

Babyhmummy did you not know DSC are not allowed to be exposed to normal childhood feelings wink

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 21:01:23

allnew oops must have missed that memo!

theboutiquemummy Mon 10-Jun-13 21:05:11

I'd play for time with the let's see how I feel once the baby arrives what happens if the delivery isn't straight forward ?

Don't feel pressured into anything and let your DH know that's how you feel

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 21:11:46

My baby was a dreadful sleeper and I spent the first 3 years number of months sleepless and exhausted. Every ten mins hours sleep he had was the only thing that kept me going. No one knows how easy or difficult a new baby will be. Much better for the DSD to have a happy SM with some rest than a worn out exhausted one

PearlyWhites Mon 10-Jun-13 21:18:18

All new yes but there is not plenty of time if she spends forty percent of the time at her mums.
I never said the op has had a baby before but her baby does have an older sibling.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 21:23:29

Her baby has a half-sibling. Who has two parents of her own.
They can have a marvelous relationship.
Lots of siblings do, even when their parents work and time together is limited.

But that should not necessarily be the first priority of the OP, anyway.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 21:29:44

"Her baby has a half-sibling. Who has two parents of her own."

I know, that is truly an outrageous situation.

These two children must be equal in everything.

The OP really needs to go and find a second mother for this baby so it will be the same as her DSD.


exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 21:30:04

I agree with WannaBe. If you choose a man with a child you are never going to be those first time parents- you are adding to your family. Of course 60% is sustainable- people don't get rid of an old child because they get a new one! Obviously, from her DP's point of view 100% would be the ideal, but you have to be fair to the DC and the mother and he can't have the ideal.
OP has my sympathy in that she has the DC for 60% of the time and yet she has no control. That is what needs sorting out. It is her home, her family and she should be in charge when she has her- otherwise she is the housekeeper/nanny/cook- all without pay! She needs to change things.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 21:48:54

If DP is lucky enough to get 60%, most men are not that lucky, then I can't see why he would voluntarily go down to less. Parents are generally fighting for time- not fighting for less time!!

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 21:59:46

Parents yes but the parent in this instance isn't getting more or less time, he is expecting the step parent to pick up his slack

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 22:10:58

It isn't his slack- she is living with them as part of the family. If OP didn't want a family she shouldn't have chosen a man with a child. My DH is expected to treat his DSS in exactly the same way as our joint DCs - he certainly can't tell me be is my DS and he isn't doing it!! When he got me he got my child.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 22:14:34

Then I feel sorry for your dh exotic

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 22:14:47

If DH wanted a cosy little nuclear family than he should have married a woman without children- it may have been his first experience with a baby but it wasn't mine and we were having a second child of the family. This closed a lot of groups etc to me and time alone with a baby- that is what happens when up add to a family.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 22:16:16

But the point is it was your second child, you had your time as a first time mum and the op should be allowed hers

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 22:20:41

exotic, that is one model for a blended family, but it is not the only one and it is not the automatic 'best practice' for every family.

I did want a "family" with my DH and now my DSCs are part of my family. But they are not my children. They are not my nephews or my in-laws, either, and yet those are all also members of my family. My DSCs are my DSCs - a unique and completely incomparable category.

All the children in our family are not treated equally. To do so would be both impossible, and undesirable and unfair to pretty much every member of the family.

If this is the dynamic that you and your DH have arrived at, that is your choice. But it is no more a universal truth than any other blanket statement about "how families should be".

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 22:21:06

I don't see why babyhmummy. I certainly wouldn't have married him had he had your attitude. I gave him the most precious gift- a relationship with my wonderful DS- had he said that he didn't want it then he wasn't the man for me! It has all worked out wonderfully well- he has been a step father for over 20 years with a great relationship. Once you have a child they come first- it wouldn't matter how much I loved DH, if it didn't suit DS then I would have walked away. I am an adult and I can deal with heartbreak. I was not going to have a position where DH couldn't meet him from school because he wanted to bond with his biological child.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 22:23:17

I was and am a first-time mum with my DD, and I am very glad that DH supported/supports (because it is an on-going thing) me in that.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 22:23:18

I can see that you can treat them differently if you both have your own DCs. It once you have joint ones you can't have siblings where some are favoured and some are mere visitors.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 22:26:19

It once you have joint ones you can't have siblings where some are favoured and some are mere visitors.


We have one joint child, and DH has two children. I had none.

There are no visitors, they all live here 100% of the time, but no, they are not treated the same.

I'm sorry, but I think you are projecting from your own experience to where you can't see how another 'method' might be right for another family or set of circumstances.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 22:27:40

I expect that we are all projecting our own experiences- that is what people do.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 22:29:53

I expect that we are all projecting our own experiences- that is what people do.

Yes, but - and I mean this respectfully - I am willing to accept that your set-up is right for you, and you seem to be making rather declarative statements about how things "should" be for others.

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 22:30:03

sorry - quote fail, there!

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 22:30:57

Pearly, in most step family situations, the time spent with DSCs is much less than 60% (for NRP). Yet the half siblings can bond well, even when access is every other weekend. You're talking nonsense and grasping at straws

exoticfruits Mon 10-Jun-13 22:40:48

In my case my child came first- we were a package.
I am surprised that there are parents who would put their DP first- but accept that that they do.
It is unacceptable to me that my DCs would be treated unequally in their own home or by relatives - I accept that people find it quite acceptable to treat them differently.
I would imagine that our own experiences colour our views.

babyhmummy01 Mon 10-Jun-13 22:50:54

Exotic no one is saying their own or op's dsc are treated as visitors but for those of us who have taken on the step role and then gone on to have our own children will always want and deserve to have that first time mum experience

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 22:53:06

I suppose, too, that there is a lack of clarity about "equally" and "differently".

When people see a stepmum talking about 'differences', this is often interpreted as 'unequal'.

needaholidaynow Mon 10-Jun-13 23:30:09

Well that is truly all very rosy for you exotic but believe me just because you have your own values about how YOUR partner should be, it doesn't apply to everyone else. Some people with children are more understanding than you. So hey, I got lucky! smile

My DP is amazing. He really understands how I feel and I feel like I can raise my worries, sadness, anger, etc.. regarding anything to do with his daughter without him threatening to leave. My DP knows my boundaries that I am reluctant to cross re his daughter, and things that I get upset about. He understands that I am not here to be used to his and his ex's advantage. He knows that I feel very strongly about the whole thing, and that I let my emotions run away with me sometimes. Last night I was a mess with being told that my DSD was my first child and that my poor DS was never going to be seen as my PFB because of my DP having a daughter 5 years previously. He sat on the bed and calmed me down, and I am truly thankful that he isn't some parent that would threaten to leave me for being upset at the thought that some of society view my DSD as my first born. It's just one of the things on MN that continues to mess me up. This leads to resentment towards my DSD- because of wild statements made like that last night. It makes me even more protective of my identity of a mother to my own children and their identity as MY children.

But again there are some wonderful, supportive and lovely people on here that really do speak words of wisdom. I continue to come back for some moral support and I am very very thankful smile

babyru Tue 11-Jun-13 00:23:53

OP is definitely NBU. I suspect that because all the children in exotic's relationship are biologically hers, she may not understand that no matter how much you genuinely care for, respect, or love your DSC, the feelings you have towards your DC are different. The difference does not invalidate the relationship with your DSC, nor is it showing preference towards your DC. Every parent should get to enjoy being a first timer - it's something that my DP had to adjust to with me because he kept assuming that I knew everything about looking after DS because I've been involved in caring for DSS previously. With me being on mat leave, DSS still goes to his childminder because that's what works for us and his mum (we have him 4 nights one week, 3 nights the next). He enjoys going, he gets to play with his friends and it's what he's used to - why should that change, especially when there's a new baby who needs so much more hands-on attention?

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 11-Jun-13 01:33:10

Need - what some strangers on the internet write made you feel resentful towards your stepchild. Really?

theredhen Tue 11-Jun-13 04:16:59

There is lots of research on what makes a successful step family and one thing that stands out is that the succesful ones are where the couple are at the "top of the heap" within the family. Putting the couple "first" is the way to ensure that all the children within the family feel secure.

Of course that doesn't mean that a new partner should trample all over the children's needs but ultimately if the couple consider everyone's needs within the step family and communicate together in an open, honest way, the children can and do benefit along with the adults.

Bonsoir Tue 11-Jun-13 06:10:11

"Putting the couple "first" is the way to ensure that all the children within the family feel secure."

Absolutely, and that is true of nuclear biological families as well as blended families. DC often try to take control of (aspects of) families through manipulative or other means and it is vitally important that the couple are aware of this and don't let it happen!

exoticfruits Tue 11-Jun-13 07:07:39

OP post wants time alone to bond with her baby- maybe the problem is that she has never had the time alone with the step child to bond. She seems to run the whole relationship through her partner and not have forged one if her own. Would the 2 of them even want a relationship if they were not stuck with it?
I came close to being a step mother but I did spend a lot if time alone with his DD doing things together and we made a relationship. When we split up she wrote to me and said that she hoped it wasn't her fault (it wasn't)- we kept in touch for a while.

exoticfruits Tue 11-Jun-13 07:28:59

I also made sure that DH2 and DS had lots of time alone before we got married and that they were well beyond the 'honeymoon period'- DH had seen DS at his tired and grotty worst and deal with it- and made sure that they actually enjoyed each other's company and were completely natural with each other. DS was thrilled when we got married and he got the brother he had always wanted.(he had hated being an only child).

FrauMoose Tue 11-Jun-13 07:37:54

There is a very sensible article here. It doesn't talk about the couple regarding themselves as 'top of the heap' - but rather about the importance of them talking, function as a team, and making time for one another.


NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 07:45:52

exotic While that's all very lovely for you, and may, or may not, have contributed to the positive relationship between your DS and DH - it's not exactly practical for the OP, is it?

She can't hop in her time machine, turn back the clock and do things differently!
She is where she is; heavily pregnant with her first child, facing the demands of her DH to 'treat his DD as her own' when her feelings towards her DD are not compatible with that.
Who knows, in time, the OPs relationship with her DSD may begin to mirror the one your DH has with your DS - but as you say, that took time, it didn't happen at your demand.

The OP is not in the same place as your DH is; just like he needed time, so does the OP, and unlike you, her DH isn't giving it to her.

needaholidaynow Tue 11-Jun-13 08:22:14

Gosh It does sound awful but yes. I start applying all this shit to my own situation and then I think about my own SC and it makes me so sad how she is seen by some to be more important than my own just because her mum and dad made a decision to split a few years ago, and then I came on to the scene and I am expected to devote every inch of my life to her and call her my first born.

You know what's weird? Before I came on to MN I never read in to anything. I never analysed every single thing possible to do with being a step parent. I just got on with it. But now it's like I try to prove a point to everyone all the time that I am NOT her mum. Even before this thread, I have seen other threads in the past but this one has been very intense.

needaholidaynow Tue 11-Jun-13 08:28:01

Oh and I don't want my own to be more important than my DSD. They are all important. But equally so I don't like this society that views SC above everyone else. I think I need to take a break from MN for a while. It's not healthy.

exoticfruits Tue 11-Jun-13 08:39:09

I can't see why on earth the SC should be more important - they should be merely an equal member of the family. OP may not have a time machine but today is the first day of the rest of her life- she can make that important relationship that seems to be missing. She thinks it important to bond with the baby so I can't think why she doesn't think it important to bond with the baby's sister.
Once you have a DC you lose the luxury of a completely free choice in life- you are always choosing a partner that suits your DC rather than you. The DC is more important, if it goes wrong you are an adult and can deal with it but the DC is powerless. Anyway- that is the way that I saw it.
If I was DP and utterly thrilled to have my DC for 60% of the time I wouldn't expect others to be saying I should have less and it wasn't sustainable with a baby. If OP has another DC she will be managing both- not saying it isn't sustainable.
If you marry a partner with part time children you have to bear in mind that one day you might, through circumstances, get 100%.

exoticfruits Tue 11-Jun-13 08:44:25

Anyway- a new baby is a great chance to bond- DSD is an age to get really involved with her sister and help.

needaholidaynow Tue 11-Jun-13 08:49:55

I would love my DSD to be here 100% exotic. It's not like then I would be expected to devote my life to her 3 days a week, have 4 days off and then it all starts again. There's no consistency do by the time she's back I have bonded even more with my own children. If she was here all the time It would be completely different and I wouldn't need to switch to stepmum mode every few days. It's the lack of consistency that gets me.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Tue 11-Jun-13 08:50:26

OP I hope you're feeling better today. With regards to your day off, stick to your plans, it if definitely not excluding your DSD, it is about recharging your batteries. With my own children I relish a day with no clock watching or school runs. Sometimes sitting in a cafe with a good book is very much needed smile!

I'm a SM too and I can remember that feeling of trying to figure out my role in their lives, and it is not easy. I think you are doing the right thing by seeing how it goes, but you must be clear to your DH how you feel about it. You may however be surprised. I just loved watching the sibling relationship develop between my step sons & their half brothers, & having them enhanced my feelings for my step children. I did already have a very small child though & DH has always unquestioningly treated him as his own, (his bio dad isn't on the scene) so I have felt that as a family we needed complete commitment to the children.

Saying that my DH knew that his children arriving did alter the running of the house & that sometimes I would find the sheer chaos overwhelming, & I would need to go out by myself! It was very natural for us to do that. We have never been in each others pockets all if the time. Truly loving a step child takes time & can never be forced. My money is on the fact that you will get to a stage that you quite fancy picking her up from school, BUT it must be your decision.

Good luck.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Tue 11-Jun-13 08:55:15

I agree with not planning to have her less. I know it is t you that has said that OP. I had DS2 just before DH's weekend with the children & I can still remember being in hospital thinking how much I wished they weren't coming. They did come, DH did all of the caring, & it was great. I have fabulous memories of that first weekend & with the benefit if hindsight I can see that DH was 100% right to want them there. It would have been quite wrong to make them feel they couldn't come because DH had another child.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 09:21:22

Once you have a DC you lose the luxury of a completely free choice in life- you are always choosing a partner that suits your DC rather than you.
I think this is a remarkable statement. Should anything happen to my DH, I would choose to be alone before I would choose a partner 'for the sake of' my DD.

I have fabulous memories of that first weekend & with the benefit if hindsight I can see that DH was 100% right to want them there. It would have been quite wrong to make them feel they couldn't come because DH had another child.
Just to present an opposite view- my DSC were not there, and in hindsight I am nothing but glad. It was the right decision. (And has had no impact on their ability to bond with their half-sister.)
Horses for courses.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Tue 11-Jun-13 09:47:20

Brdgirl, it is horses for courses. Therein lies the answer to most of this. We all parent differently and we all step parent differently. Finding an equilibrium for your own family is the hard part!

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 09:50:23

Once you have a DC you lose the luxury of a completely free choice in life- you are always choosing a partner that suits your DC rather than you.

Selecting a life partner on the basis of their suitability as a parent for your DCs of a previous relationship is a recipe for disaster and incredibly disrespectful.
Does your DH know that if he fails to live up to the standards you have of him as a father-figure, he'll be history?

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 09:58:03

I came close to being a step mother but I did spend a lot if time alone with his DD doing things together and we made a relationship. When we split up she wrote to me and said that she hoped it wasn't her fault (it wasn't)- we kept in touch for a while.

exotic, you can't know how that would have turned out, though. It is a bit like saying "I baked a cake the other day, and I used mayonnaise instead of eggs. The batter looked great. Sadly, the cake burned, so I'm not sure how it really would have tasted, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with the mayonnaise."

I understand that you think you know 'the recipe' for blended families because you had a success with your DS, in your own terms. If someone asked you how to bake a cake, you'd give them your recipe. If someone asked me the same question, I'd give them a completely different recipe, based on my successful attempts.

You might be baking chocolate cake and I might be baking yellow cake. But I see no reason or point in trying to get you to tear up your recipe and declare it worthless. Maybe people in your house like chocolate cake.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 09:59:14

We all parent differently and we all step parent differently. Finding an equilibrium for your own family is the hard part!

This. And the problem with the boards lately has been a refusal to respect this, frankly.

allnewtaketwo Tue 11-Jun-13 10:26:09

I love the cake analogy.

Some posters are insisting on us baking chocolate cake, when our DSCs might not even like chocolate cake. Or in some cases, their mother doesn't let them eat chocolate cake.

Petal02 Tue 11-Jun-13 10:58:31

And some people might insist that the household eats cake on a rota basis: chocolate cake Monday-Fri , carrot cake Sat-Sun, then on Thur-Sun EOW we eat Victoria Sponge - just because that's what we started off doing 7 years ago !!! And any cake being served on a Sunday has to be finished by 6pm sharp ......

Anyone serving tiramasu is guilty of emotional abuse!

tigerrose Tue 11-Jun-13 11:09:48

I have exactly the same situation as you no near family. My little girl is now 17 months old. However, I had that situation where due to birth I needed recovery time and could not excert myself for 8 weeks. I also had the difficult colicky baby who never slept - I was exhausted for 6 months! if your baby is like this and you happen to get them to sleep just when you need to collect step child from school that would be difficult to manage and would be exhausting and fustrating- in any other family situation if you are busy with a new baby the other parent takes responsibility for the older child. keep arangments as they are currently until you find your feet with your little one and you know what type of baby you have. If you are luck enough to have one that sleeps through after 6 weeks and has a nap at regular times. then I think that it is ok for you to pick up other child after a couple of months bonding. But for the first 2 months you will not know if you are coming or going esp as you have no other experience of managing baby. Also the older one may be bored as will want to do more active things. Good luck and enjoy those first few months they are very precious.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 12:29:14

no wonder we end up with toothache!

Stepmooster Tue 11-Jun-13 13:45:25

Once you have a DC you lose the luxury of a completely free choice in life- you are always choosing a partner that suits your DC rather than you.

Oh dear this is very dangerous. This happened to my DH, his first wife married him because he was good with her eldest children. He paid for everything, treated them as his own, loved them, was there for them when they were ill, they called him daddy. He bought them extravagent presents, savings accounts set up for them the lot. After 10 years and a mutual child later, she falls for a bloke she meets at work. Sparks fly and she realises she never loved DH only that he was a good dad.

Someone please tell me how that has not f**ked up those 2 children's heads? Why they suddenly have a new daddy, and a real dad BTW , that the old daddy they lived with since being babies can no longer be contacted. Now I assume you will all tell me that DH should now turn off his love for his stepchildren, but he can't because it doesn't work like that, and it's times like this Sunday coming where he is going to feel it the most.

So no I am not going to love DSS as my own, he has his own mum, and if his mum were to sadly pass away or disown her son then yes I would adopt him and love him as my own. But until then, and I really hope it never happens for DSS sake, it's cruel I think for parents to portray their spouses as equal parents. They are not, their parents just happen to live in different homes. I have no right to start parenting my DSS over the wishes of his mother or his father. I do however have the right to parent my own children how I see fit, and will not make out that DSS is some kind of special child who requires extra fuss and attention because he happens to live in two homes.

It really gets on my nerves when women make their partners out to be their children's 'daddy'. It is confusing and cruel, you may have no intention of leaving your partner but you never know what your partner may do. Are you going to facilitate contact for the real dad, the ex daddy, and the possible new daddy you meet later on?

I just can't beleive how this thread has gone on and on, because the OP wants to get to grips with being a new mum. She has no family nearby to help her, and she doesn't need preachy mothers who are so bleeding perfect making her feel inadequate. She deserves support and love like we afford to all new mums to be. Give the gal a break!

LittleBearPad Tue 11-Jun-13 13:50:13

Anyone peckish now. I hope you are enjoying your coffee and book OP and based on the last few posts that you have cake grin

allnewtaketwo Tue 11-Jun-13 13:57:12

I love the way the preachy mothers always assume "a new baby will be easy". Not all babies are easy. Some babies DO NOT SLEEP (mine!). Thankfully my DH was sensitive to meeting everyones needs and did not wrap the DSCs in cotton wool. He wouldn't have dared to ask me, sleepless and frustrated, to run after them while he was at work.

exoticfruits Tue 11-Jun-13 19:11:11

*Once you have a DC you lose the luxury of a completely free choice in life- you are always choosing a partner that suits your DC rather than you.
I think this is a remarkable statement. Should anything happen to my DH, I would choose to be alone before I would choose a partner 'for the sake of' my DD*

That was exactly what I meant!! You stay alone if the partner doesn't suit your DC. No way do you chose a partner to be a parent!

Does your DH know that if he fails to live up to the standards you have of him as a father-figure, he'll be history?

This again is not what I meant!! We discussed it all first-I wouldn't have married him if he wasn't going to be suitable. He wouldn't have married me if he couldn't have taken on my DS. He won't be history-he has lasted over 20 years and the DS has left home and they still have a great relationship-an equal relationship with our other 2 DCs.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 21:06:17

We discussed it all first-I wouldn't have married him if he wasn't going to be suitable.

Oh, exotic...
Do you think my DH and I didn't discuss our roles and parenting? And hey - he thought I was suitable. And yet, you and I have different ways of doing things, and a different view on what our family dynamics are/should be.
Do you not see the arrogance it projects, when you conclude that your way is the 'right way', and those of us who put forth a different view are met with these broadly declarative and completely judgemental statements about THE WAY?

exoticfruits Tue 11-Jun-13 21:19:23

I can't see that if OP left her DP and had another baby with a new partner in 6 yrs time she would be happy that he wouldn't want to meet her DD from school and he wanted to concentrate on his own baby. I think that she would want to include her older child and do what you normally do when you have an older child. Would she really want her 2 DCs to have a father figure who favoured one of them and wanted to spend more time with one of them?

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 21:29:55

I can't see that if OP left her DP and had another baby with a new partner in 6 yrs time she would be happy that he wouldn't want to meet her DD from school and he wanted to concentrate on his own baby

Why not, though? You have people here telling you that they are OK with exactly this. You don't want to believe that people can be ok with this, and I don't understand why.

In your theoretical scenario - no, I would not expect my "new" partner to do the things for DD that were my or her father's responsibility. If we had her in childcare, I would expect that arrangement to continue. If for example I were working and my [imaginary new] partner were on paternity leave, I would not expect him to be going to fetch DD out of childcare to come home and give him another child to look after when he could be devoting that time to the newborn. Absolutely not!!!

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 21:31:28

do what you normally do when you have an older child.

That's what many people normally DO, exotic, as has been pointed out several times on this thread already. It is very common for an older child to be in childcare or nursery while a newborn is at home. Very very very common. Shall we conduct a poll?

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 21:31:37

But her DCs wouldn't have the same father! Not all step-dads are father figures - my DP certainly isn't a father-figure to my DD!

exotic you've avoided my question before and I think it's relevant to understanding the perspective you are coming from so I'll ask it again;

How does your DS's biological father feel about the role that you have given your DH, as a father-figure to his DS?

(Apologies for using the term biological in this context even though I know it offends some people - I've done so because it distinguishes between the two 'equal' men in exotics DS life)

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 21:35:25

And this - Would she really want her 2 DCs to have a father figure who favoured one of them and wanted to spend more time with one of them?

Unless her current DP is completely out of his daughter's life and the daughter has been adopted by the new partner - then DD will already have two parents, including, presumably, a father who would rather spend time with her than with her half-sister or half-brother. DD will have an extended paternal family who will have no connection to the new half-sibling. They will be half-siblings. That means things are different for each of them, and they have different relationships to the OP's [imaginary new] partner, in your scenario. It doesn't have to be a negative.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 21:39:55

Unless her current DP is completely out of his daughter's life and the daughter has been adopted by the new partner

Or unless she is trying to re-write history and create a nuclear family with her current partner, regardless of whom actually fathered her DCs, and actively prevents them from having any kind of relationship with their Dad.
A common scenario, unfortunately sad

Jemma1111 Tue 11-Jun-13 22:55:01


So you would never expect any potential 'new' partner to help you to look after your older child.
I guess its easy for you to say now because your'e not in that situation, you really do come across like you know it all but , you never know, one day you might be eating your words.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:04:36

So you would never expect any potential 'new' partner to help you to look after your older child.
Erm, no, that is not what I have said. Please don't misquote me. It is really rude.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:07:17

As for not being in the situation, I am, and have been, however, in the situation of looking after my DH's older children every single day.

What situation are you in, Jemma?

Jemma1111 Tue 11-Jun-13 23:15:01

Erm yes you did, post at 21:29 words to that effect.

wiltingfast Tue 11-Jun-13 23:16:59

I hate these threads, piles of people saying yeah it's fine to treat your partner's child as an annoying add on and second fiddle to your own glorious life and your kids.

Awful stuff.

The kid is 5. She's enough to cope with. If you're able at all, you should just go pick her up. And be nice and pleasant about it too! Good to get out of the house anyway ime.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 23:21:53

jemma It's me who said that, and I am in that situation.

I don't expect my DP to provide care or support for my DD. I ensure that arrangements are in place for her when I am unavailable; I do not rely on him to be at home after school while I'm at work, look after her alongside DSS during school holidays or see her off to school in the mornings.

If he does those things - which he does, on occasion - it is because he offers to. And he offers knowing that I don't expect it.

My DD's care is shared 50:50 with her Dad - if I can manage to take sole responsibility for my DD in that time, I'm struggling to understand why NRP whose DSC spend EOW with them need to delegate care to the step-parent.

Jemma1111 Tue 11-Jun-13 23:22:26

Ooh wiltingfast I totally agree with you

Be aware though that some posters on here will flock together and try to shoot you down in flames because they don't like people telling them how it should be.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:22:53

No, Jemma. I am sorry, but your reading comprehension seems to be lacking.
Let me quote myself, then, OK?

no, I would not expect my "new" partner to do the things for DD that were my or her father's responsibility.

It is not my responsibility now to provide childcare for my DH's children, should they require that - it is his. It is not the responsibility of my future fictional partner to provide childcare for my child - it is mine.

I suggest that you read (and please do so carefully) the legal terms regarding Parental Responsibility.

Of course I do things voluntarily to help my family members out. The key word being voluntarily. And as a voluntary childminder, I reserve the right not to help out if I have other commitments, such as looking after a newborn, or meeting a friend for a beer as many beers as I like.

I would expect the same from Future Mr Brdgrl, should DH and I split up, as I feel sure that DH would continue to be DD's parent. Should DH pass away, and in the fullness of time, it seemed appropriate for Future Mr to adopt or acquire PR, that would be a different situation.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:24:01

So, Jemma, care to answer my own question, now?
Posted at 23:07:17, if you missed it.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 23:26:15

it's fine to treat your partner's child as an annoying add on and second fiddle to your own glorious life and your kids.

Or, from my perspective - it's fine not to burden my DP with the additional responsibility of my DD when he's getting to grips with parenting his own DC's.

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:27:11

they don't like people telling them how it should be.

That's right. I don't like people telling me, unasked and in the most unpleasant of ways, how I should feed my kids, how I should potty train my kids, how I should paint my house, or how I should make love to my husband.

I really wonder about you lot who think you have a direct line to god and think you know how things "should be" for all the rest of us. Where do you get such expertise, I wonder?

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 23:28:57

some posters on here will flock together and try to shoot you down in flames because they don't like people telling them how it should be.

How it should be?!? You're damn right I don't like being told how it should be.

This is a forum, not a dictatorship - no one tells me how it should be in my home!

Jemma1111 Tue 11-Jun-13 23:37:50


I can actually read thankyou, you are purely splitting hairs now to try to twist the meaning of your post Imo.

It doesn't matter whatever situation I'm in or not in, I'm allowed to post on any thread and any topic just as you are, I'm also free to give my opinion. From what I've read so far there are some very self centered, the world revolves around me not my dss's kind of people on here

Jemma1111 Tue 11-Jun-13 23:39:33

I'll leave you and your sidekick to trot out some one liners but I'm off to bed now , night night

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:46:15

It is not splitting hairs, it is rather an important distinction. I'm sorry you can't see that. It suggests to me that you actually don't understand the meaning of parental responsibility, legally or otherwise.

I've not suggested that you aren't free to post, only inquired about your position and expertise on the topic you seem to speak so confidently about. You are evading that question, while making massive assumptions about my own situation.

Nighty night.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 11-Jun-13 23:49:32

I'll leave you and your sidekick to trot out some one liners

Me? A mere sidekick? Surely I deserve more acknowledgement, as a dreadful mother who hasn't sought out a willing father-figure for my DD, for whom I share responsibility with her father alone, rather than a collective commune of step-relatives whose role is anything but clear!

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 23:56:39

NADM, I was hoping that one would get past you - it is the first time I have ever been 'anybody' on MN, warranting an actual sidekick. Awwwwww....please let me have it?

(to be honest, I think I'm the sidekick...)

NotaDisneyMum Wed 12-Jun-13 00:09:33

brdgrl you're far better at the one liners; this ones all yours!

brdgrl Wed 12-Jun-13 00:13:32

Thank you NADM! I will just give the badge a good polish and get it back to you all shiny. smile

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Jun-13 06:07:20

Thousands of new mothers up and down the country, and millions more worldwide, will be keeping an older child in childcare when a new baby arrives, for consistency, bonding with the child and generally also to make their lives a tiny bit easier during a very busy sleepless time. Yet, despite this cultural/societal norm , never questioned, when a SM does it, this apparently = treating the older child as an "annoying add on and second fiddle to your glorious life and your kids"

Rightsaiddeb Wed 12-Jun-13 06:21:37

When I had my (only child) ds I was happy to have my mum come and stay for 3 weeks, to look after me as much as my baby (c section).
Dh1 was more than useless, wanting looking after himself. I dread to think what a first time mum must be going through, knowing that this extra pair of loving hands will be happily employed elsewhere. A great scenario for causing future resentment all round.
Dh should be supporting OP first and formost here, she's in a vulnerable position and will probably love him and his dd all the more for giving her consideration, respect and that bit of extra attention she so deserves.
Granted, having a second baby is usually not as frightening and older dc may even be around for the birth, but can't comment on that as I only have the one (dh2 didn't want more, different story...).

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 12-Jun-13 06:23:48

I would absolutely not dream of keeping my kids with the cm when my baby arrives in September. Way to make them feel pushed out! Cannot understand this mentality and never have. Neither do I get it when people send one to nursery and keep one off in the hols or whenever. To me, a family unit is a family unit.

Perhaps it's just the way I was brought up. The kids get one on one time, but not through their sibling being shoved in childcare whilst the other one goes off on a jolly to the cinema. Can't see how this would do anything other than breed massive resentment.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 12-Jun-13 07:06:54


.......shoved in childcare......

No doubt what your views on professional childcare is, then!

I'm actually quite impressed that a mainstream MN argument has made it to the step- boards; makes a change to be berated for something not step- specific grin

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Jun-13 07:13:00

Kind of proves the point that there is no "should" about how to parent a family. Each individual has their own views and makes choices based on their specific values and circumstances. Each board on mumsnet shows that on a daily basis. Only on the SP board are those choices used as a judgement of your bad character, showing you are treating children as an annoyance/add on/secondary to your other children

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 12-Jun-13 07:20:18

Oh no, I absolutely judge non-step parents who do this WAY more than steps! As far as I am concerned, I am not my step-mum's child. She treats me as though I am, which is absolutely to her credit, but I don't feel that she has the obligations to me that my Dad does.

My own dear late Mum worked as a cm, and I have worked in a nursery myself. I have a great deal of respect for the cm who looks after my kids. However, I definitely see professional childcare as being a second-class substitute for kids being at home in their own environment. Do I use it because I don't want to be unable to work for the rest of my life? Yes. Would I use it when I am at home with another of my children? Absolutely not. And I just don't understand why people do. Obviously, I would never share this opinion with friends who do it (of which I have many). I personally like to keep my judgey pants firmly covered by open-minded trousers when communicating irl.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 12-Jun-13 07:21:04

Obviously I am not anyone's child, being 34 years old - I should probably have put "I am not my step-mum's daughter".

DumSpiroSpero Wed 12-Jun-13 08:01:15

I've only read half the thread so will steer clear of the heated debates about step parenting and stick to the OP!

YANBU to expect to have some time to adjust to having a new baby without having to factor in the school run.

At the very least I'd want to keep the childminder in place for 8 weeks, which allows for baby being a couple of weeks late and having to have a CS. Ideally I'd suggest 12 weeks by which time you'll have got the 'shock to the system' out of the way along with the most frequent/regular midwife/HV/baby clinics and jabs.

I'd remind your DP that there is a lot more to having a newborn than sitting at home watching daytime TV and actually, a return bus journey 3x a week could put quite a spanner in the works re important appointments as certain things only run at specific times. Certainly where I live, there are 2 set baby clinics per week, and midwifes have 1 day per week for home visits.

Another thing to consider - if you know you will definitely be going back to work after maternity leave, it's not going to be a good idea to mess with DSD's routine too much (sounds like her own mum is doing enough of that already) or potentially relinquish reliable childcare.

Having said all that, it sounds like you have a good relationship with DSD on the whole and that she wants to spend time with you, so compromising and picking her up directly from school once or twice a week for the remainder of your mat leave would be nice (depending on what suits you and what will enable you to keep the CM on).

Mycatistoosexy Wed 12-Jun-13 08:09:17

mynameisnotmichaelcaine exactly! Most SMs do treat their SC with a huge amount of love and care (and being a SM is different IMO to a SD as women seem to be more responsible for childcare all round it seems). However we do not have the same obligations nor rights as "biological parents". I wouldn't expect them to either.

I think you can treat SC very well without having to pretend that you are their mother. That is not healthy for the SC or the SM.

Petal02 Wed 12-Jun-13 09:18:36

I think you can treat SC very well without having to pretend that you are their mother. That is not healthy for the SC or the SM

Excellent point.

Thousands of new mothers, and millions worldwide, will be keeping an older child in childcare when a new baby arrives. Yet despite this cultural/society norm, when a step mother does it, this is apparently “treating an older child as an annoying add-on and second fiddle to your glorious life

Another excellent point. I know we’ve had debates before, where it’s fine for a bio child to be despatched to granny/sister/auntie etc when mum goes into labour, but if anyone suggests doing this with a step child, well, light the blue touch paper and stand well back !!!

needaholidaynow Wed 12-Jun-13 10:28:14

Be aware though that some posters on here will flock together and try to shoot you down in flames because they don't like people telling them how it should be

That's how YOU THINK it should be. Not how IT SHOULD be.

babyhmummy01 Wed 12-Jun-13 11:06:31

NADM & brdgrl which one is batman and which one is robin lol

Why is it Jemma1111 that when you are challenged to qualify why you feel you are qualified to vilify SM's who interact in a way different to how you feel it should be done you feel the need to insult them?

Living in a country that allows each of us freedom of speech and choice we are all entitled to have differing opinions just as we are entitled to parent our biological and step children how we deem fit - the only person who is allowed to have a valid input into this is the father of the child.

This post has long since stopped being about the OP and has instead become a forum for people to attack others based on what they deem is the only way to parent - wake up folks, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. I believe is was brdgrl who has posted several times the phrase horses for courses. Each to her own quite frankly.

Respect that others do it differently and it works for them

mrsshackleton Wed 12-Jun-13 11:12:43

Of course you're apprehensive about the newborn. Of course the thought of any obligations is frightening. Your dp should realise and acknowledge this. I too can't see how it will help the sd to be yanked out of her routine and into a house with a probably exhausted and nervous new mum and a screaming baby. But then again you might find you enjoy the company and the structure of a school run, so keep your options open and don't commit.

Stepmooster Wed 12-Jun-13 11:50:29


I must be the shittest mother going in your eyes! I am due in September and DD will stay in nursery. My DD was in neonatal for a few days, then it took us a long time to get her feeding sorted. Midwives didn't discharge her from their care for ages. Then the health visitors were around for ages all trying to get her to feed. It was not a pleasant atmosphere at home, it was stressful, heart breaking and once DH's leave was up something I had to go through alone.

I am hoping DC2 will be normal and healthy, that my birth will be straightforward. I really don't want DD to spend her days at home watching TV with mummy having a meltdown over why the newborn isn't 'thriving'.

I think unless you've got family around to help, which I dont and nor does OP you can't just assume everything is going to be perfect with your new DCs.

Anything can happen, good or bad to you and the baby. If you've got no back-up plan you're up shit creek without a paddle!

OP has said she will do the school run once she's got her head around it all.

Is that really so bad?

My DD will be home FT once DC2 and I are well enough, so that I am there for my DD when she needs me too.

needaholidaynow Wed 12-Jun-13 13:19:53

I am still baffled as to why my DSD is seen as my first born confused Suppose she is her stepdad's first as well? Wow, that girl is very special, having 4 parents whilst all 3 of her brothers (her mum has a son with new partner and I have 2 boys with her dad) only have 2 parents.

It must mean she is a very very special child and we all need to overcompensate for the fact that her mum and dad decided to split. Then me and her stepfather came on to the scene and we must both call her our first born and devote every single inch and detail of our lives to her (including days off!) or our poor little DSD will feel excluded from the family. We both need to wrap her up in cotton wool, confuse her in the process and also, just to top it off, make sure our own children see their sister as much more worthy than them.

What a load of BULLSHIT. Me and her stepdad have our own children with each parent, and we both have a STEPDAUGHTER. She was born years before we came on to the scene and so we are NOT her parents, we have zero parental rights or responsibilities and she was NOT either of our first born.

There is including a SC in the family and then there is completely an utter mollycoddling them to avoid making them feel left out. I am not prepared to sabotage my identity as my boys' mother just because my partner has a daughter and I should call her my first. If that means I am excluding her from the family then... well... What can I do apart from shrug my shoulders?

izziewizzie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:14:41

Op, you are taking a lot of crap on here. Ignore it. This is the steps board,where a strange universe exists whereby you must treat your step child as your own, put said child above your children and yourself, but also understand that whilst doing so you will be vilified for "over stepping". You can't win, and you don't need to justify yourself to anyone on here.

Fwiw, I was a fulltime step mum to one child, and a part time step mum to another. I had a dd of my own, and me and Dp have a dd of our own. Sad to say, my Dp was very much in the "taking the piss" category, and always felt I was free child care for his children. He went to work for very long hours, and insisted on his full entitlement to see his children, and saw no reason why I would mind looking after them eow and half the holidays.

He had his children for 3 weeks last summer, when I had a 3 week old newborn, and my dd off school (she was 5). He did not take one day off. I was trying to breastfeed and there was no where I could go and just be in peace.

I tell you this, because it is easy to fall into a trap of being pushed into these things, and it becomes the thin edge of the line, because once you have done it once, it's hard to say no next time. If you don't feel you can do it, then don't.

My baby was (and is) a nightmare sleeper and very full on. After 3 weeks with all four children here and no help from Dp I was a physical wreck. I did put my 5 year old dd into a play scheme because it was really hard (just shows you, if it can be done for my dd there's no reason why your dsd can't stay with her childminder too)

I still look back on that period with resentment, that no one realised how hard things were for me.

If I had this time again, I would not be pushed into what I wasn't comfy with. This is your first baby, it wasn't for me and I struggled to do it all.

It won't kill dsd to stay in her childcare and she won't feel pushed out. And trust me, a 5 year old and a newborn can really be very wearing together grin

I hope it goes well for you. Take the good advice on here, and ignore those who frankly know sod all about these things. It's very easy for people to spout how it should be, while they do not live a step parents life.

Good luck x

Rightsaiddeb Wed 12-Jun-13 14:20:43

Thanks for the above needaholiday, would like to scream that at my dh at times.
I'm all for respect and appreciation and showing affection between sp and dsc, but there is no stronger bond than that, at least not in our house. And that is fine for everybody all round. It's really only dh, funnily enough, that has been trying to put me into the awkward position of substitute mother for dsc, probably some left over bitterness after divorce...

Petal02 Wed 12-Jun-13 14:24:47

He had his children for 3 weeks last summer, when I had a 3 week old new-born, and my dd of school (she was 5). He did not take one day off. I was trying to breastfeed and there was no where I could go and just be in peace

Izzie, he didn’t have his children for 3 weeks, you did !!!!

It drives me insane when these men want their full entitlement of access, but someone else actually has the access for them. Just what is the point in that?????

Can you imagine saying to your husband “I’ve invited my mother over for the weekend” and then in the next breath telling your DH that you won’t be around to entertain her? It’s exactly the same principle.

izziewizzie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:31:05

I agree Petal, and we are of the same mind on this, you and I.

I did not put my foot down enough in the beginning, and I should have, because that is how my situation was allowed to occur, which is why I say to the op it's the thin edge.

Granted, there were many other issues with my step children, which I have talked about on here, which led to resentment, just I have namechanged now so people don't know me grin

Op, you must never feel bad because you don't view dsd as your first born, or you love your own child more. You will do the best you can, like the rest of us.

Sadly there is no easy way for step parents. I think most of us are flailing about just trying to do our best, and sometimes failing.

catsmother Wed 12-Jun-13 14:44:55

I'm gobsmacked at your post Izzie - angry, and also very sad for you that what should have been a special time has been marred so badly by the complete lack of consideration shown by your DP - apart from anything, he totally disregarded your health (physical and mental) by the sounds of it. I really don't know how or if you can ever get over something like that.

I just hope the OP did get to enjoy her day off yesterday - which was a perfectly reasonable thing for her to want to do - and wasn't emotionally blackmailed or harangued into doing what her DP wanted her to do instead.

Bonsoir Wed 12-Jun-13 14:52:13

I have always taken DD to stay with my parents for a few days during school holidays leaving DP and the DSSs alone at home. It makes DP appreciate all I do to keep things running smoothly when I am around for them!

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 12-Jun-13 14:57:07

Stepmooster, it really doesn't matter one tiny jot what I think. You feel you're making the right decision for your DD and family. It's not one I could justify making to myself, but I don't have to look after your kids, and you don't have to look after mine, so we have to decide for ourselves. I hope everything goes well with the birth.

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