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'babysitting' BF children? WWYD?

(32 Posts)
weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 09:58:35

Hi sorry if this is a long one.

BACKGROUND: I split with ex-p when DS 1 yo and have been single since.

Boyfriend - split with EX-DW 18 months ago. They had been childhood sweethearts married young and also had DS. He worked full-time and did 1 night a week DJ-ing which she didn't want him to do. Eventually they split as grew apart/ couldn't compromise over dj-ing. I met him at a charity event competition as he was the DJ and it was raising money for special school where I work. We became friends. 2 Months after split she finds out she's pg, and after discussion he wanted to try again and quit his dj-ing thinking that was the root of the original problem. He then got made redundant from his FT job. Being together all day didn't work and split was final.

3 months later we got together. He got a full-time job for more money and dj-s 1/2 times a week to make extra to give her some more on top of his maintenence - in short he's a fab dad. My ex-p doesn't see or pay for DS btw.

He has his DC's every weekend from Sat am until Sun lunchtime. Sometimes I'll stay round on a Sat night, but usually we meet altogether Saturday afternoon and the older DS's get on brilliantly. (they are 4 &6, youngest only 1yo).

About 3 months ago she popped round his as he some extra money for her. He told her I was there and she still wanted to come - probably curiosity.

When she came in her DS ran to mine and they went off and played, as I said hello the baby reached out to me. Now I understand how hard it must be for her but she started 'having a go' at me about how its alright for me etc, working and being able to afford weekend activities with DS and hers, and being with him who could afford to help me too. Somehow my political skills evolved and we ended up talking nicely and it turns out she felt trapped and wanted to return 2 days a week to her admin job. She put LO in nursery 1 day and her mum had him the other. Her DS goes to school and after club.

She only works 14 hours though and has been offered a job on Friday evenings at a pub/restaurant and if she takes it she'll be financially better off and on a different tax credit teir of something?

Now BF works 30 miles away and only gets home at 7pm but she has to start at 6pm. I have said that I will collect her DC's at 5pm from her and they could come round Friday until Sat/Sun (alternate 1/2 nights a week). He DJ-s alternate Fridays, sometimes on a Saturday too. Obviously this will mean a lot of extra work for me but I think if it helps his ex-w things will be better for everyone.

Boyfriend is very happy with the arrangement (he sees a future, us, house more kids etc!) and his ex-w is unsure - think it is because she sees us forming a family and its a big adjustment for her iyswim?

Anyhoo, AIBU to suggest this? and WWYD with regards to ex-w, (try to persuade her/ say nothing more/ get BF to talk to her). She has to let pub manager know tonight.

If you got this far TIA grin

rainbowinthesky Fri 03-Dec-10 10:14:14

Not sure I'd be putting myself forward to do this tbh. It's fine whilst the kids get on but what happens if and when they don't and this arrangement continues as they get older. Much harder to say no once you've started. They should really sort out the childcare between them.

FindingMyMojo Fri 03-Dec-10 10:17:27

BF? BreastFed children? Best Friends children? Oh Boyfriends children - dammit I have to start again .............

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 10:19:23

thats a good point rainbow. I guess I'm looking at it from the point we are looking to move in together next year so it will become 'our' house at some point and therefore the dc's house as opposeed to mine and his as it is atm.

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 10:20:18

My boyfriends children grin. Sorry forgot BF could be a multitude of things smile

moondog Fri 03-Dec-10 10:20:32

You sound like a very nice person, but personally i would run screaming from the whole set-p.
How the hell do people's lives become so complicated?
It's staggering?

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 10:21:04

So finding AIBU? WWYD?

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 10:23:52

moondog grin. The set up is fine atm. I live with DS, spend Sat pm with boyfriend and his dc's and sometimes stay over. We're trying to balance time he spends with his dc's with me and quality alone time.

The new set up is kinda like a living together set up when it hasn't happened yet - although that is the plan. grin

MmeLindt Fri 03-Dec-10 10:25:25

Bit confused by the BF, thought it mean breastfeeding.


You have been with your DP for a year? And are talking about moving in together. So a fairly committed relationship.

You both work and have childcare sorted for your DS.

I would offer to do a trial run. She is not committing herself to a lifetime of this, she is going for a job in a pub. If it doesn't work out, she quits her job and the arrangement is ended.

Set a time scale of 8 weeks. If either of you are not happy with the arrangement by the end of the 8 weeks, she looks for an alternative.

melezka Fri 03-Dec-10 10:30:52

I did this for years (although you are clearly more evolved than I am, not just politically, as I could never stand to chat with DH's ex). Not the exact set-up, but certainly (because DH is a musician) I spent a lot of time looking after DSD when he was not with us. If you'd asked me on a bad day in the middle of these years i'd have told you that you never get thanked. But that's the nature of step-parenting anyway IMO. If you'd asked me on a good day I'd say it made for a more blended family. Now, with the benefit of hindsight? I'd just say i couldn't, realistically, have chosen anything else. Sometimes it feels like there's a choice, but many choices are actually dictated by circumstances, and not just your own.
(This sounds rather negative - not meant to be -sorry!)

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 10:31:22

Oh MMe Lindt - excellent idea. Yes we have been together just over a year, known him for just over 18 months. He never wanted to get married again after his break up and I didn't want to have to trust another man after mine.

But this relationship is right. I love him and respect him as he's a great dad to his kids and fab with my DS. He has started talking about us getting married but I've said wait until he's divorced and the inks dry smile. Do not tell him but its a yes. grin

I read a lot of threads about step families and how dificult they are and think that if everyone involved is happy in their own personal lives then it will work better. <naive emotion?>

melezka Fri 03-Dec-10 10:32:27

And agree very much with MmeLindt - it's not a forever thing. Families are all about compromise and trying to go with the flow.

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 10:34:07

Melezka - interesting POV. I am offering this as I love BF and his dc's and maybe I'll have to remember that if I ever feel taken for granted.

FindingMyMojo Fri 03-Dec-10 10:38:22

I wouldn't right it off just because she is his ex. I came from a divorced family, but eventually we all ended up getting on very well - my Mum & her kids, Dad's new partner & their kids. We helped each other out, did things together etc - it was an amicable situation.

I really can't make full sense of the situation. Your BF has kids with his ex, you have a child of your own. BF doesn't live with either of you & you are going to bend over backwards & go out of your way to help his ex with her childcare, take her kids to your home (? or will you take them to BF's home?) for no payment, to help your BF & his ex? Or are you being paid?

What's in it for you? I'm curious as to what is motivating you in this?

racmac Fri 03-Dec-10 10:58:13

I think it sounds good - you are all working to the best interests of the children here - I have no personal experience of step children or split relationships but you all seem to be able to communicate and are trying really hard.

I say good on you - but i agree with poster above - put a time limit on of 8 weeks and review it.

At the end of the day you are going to be involved in each others lives for a long time to come given the ages of the children and if you can sort things out amicably then go for it

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 11:08:04

finding Thankyou when it put it like that it does seem wierd. wink

Basically instead of me going to his Sat pm and staying, and them going to his Sat am - Sun lunchtime, it will change to Friday nights at mine, (he'll be working every other 1 til late), he will then spend Sat with his kids and Sat night every other weekend. ATM she is happier as she's back at work, therefore has outside interests and friends which she often sees on a Sat eve when the dc's stay with their Dad.

We are planning to move in together in the New year, eventually buy somewhere. This would have to wait until/ if she returns to work FT (which she wants to when LO is 2) as atm he is still paying the mortgage on their house and rent on his flat.

I guess I'm working on the babsis that in 4-6 months when we live together there will be times when they stay I may care for them alone and its just sooner rather than later.

Don't get me wrong this isn't entirely selfless - if she is happy and getting out she isn't worrying about what me and boyfriend are doing and her kids when they're with us.

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 11:09:42

racmac Thanks. I can just see the future woes if this isn't working concretly from the start.

dignified Fri 03-Dec-10 11:13:00

she started 'having a go' at me about how its alright for me etc, working and being able to afford weekend activities with DS and hers, and being with him who could afford to help me too.

I wouldnt do anything for someone who felt they had a right to speak to me like that .Why did she feel entitled to bleat at you like this ? I think its really nice of you to offer , but possibly a little naive. Arrangements like this often dont work well with freinds and family , let alone ex wives , and as its an overnight arrangement it could become very tiring very quickly. Circumstances change very quickly sometimes.

What if your dp stops djing , or you want a night out one of these weekends , or your dc , or you , are ill ? Are you willing to not go out ever on the weekends for how ever long ?

So , your dp does this extra work to be able to give her extra money , and your having her ds so she can earn extra money , what about you and your earning potential ?

Seeing as its only an hour between her starting work , and your dp finishing work sureley its reasonable for her to get her mum or someone to sit in for an hour , and for your dp to renogotiate his d jing ?

Childcare issues are both their responsibility , if his second job is interfering he needs to change it , because the way i see it there both onto a good thing here. If you do get married you could potentially be in the role of free bbysitter for the next 15 years or so.

Unless ive read it wrong , why is he d j ing on a saturday night when hes got the dc ? Are you looking after him then anyway ?

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 11:45:43

dignifies Thanks for the reply. We go out to pub on Tuesday - quiz and yes I know sad. grin Very good point about when we would go out but I will suggest alternate Saturdays when we don't have his dc's. The dj-ing is because his maintenece pays the mortgage and he can then provide towrds food/ clothes etc. He doesn't give it all to her but as he has his own rent to pay it is extra for him/us too.

The 'having a go' was really just her frustration about her life which came out of the conversation, and which I could actually empathise with having been there. My boyfriend has offered to pay for a babysitter at her house for dc's on a Friday night, another option, but it means an extra £100 ish a month spent out unessecarily. The dy-ing is actually parties, events and he's contracted it out before when his LO was ill once (hospitalised for 3 days) as he needed to look after his older DS.

Lots of food for thought here, boyfriend is ringing me in about 1/2 hour during his lunch so I will have a chat with him about it then, bring up some of the points raised.

I'm thinking of suggesting if she takes this on he only DJ once a week and maybe revises how much 'extra' she gets as she is getting more from the job/ CTC. <dons flame retardant hat for suggesting that one>.

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 11:47:11

Oh and sorry he dj Sat night sometimes and hos Sis babysits for him at his. She can't do a Fri night tho.

colditz Fri 03-Dec-10 11:50:14

I'd do it without a qualm.

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 11:50:33

Oh and she's not 100% about the idea either, I just want the best for all of the children. When we live together he will effectively become the only father my DS has ever really known and do not want his dc's feeling oushed out or less important.

We both know and agree that our own children come first.

weddingnochance Fri 03-Dec-10 11:52:18

Oh good colditz, I didn't think this would be too much of a problem when I offered/ suggested it tbh. Just thought its what you do when you get together with someone who has dc's.

TheNextMrsDepp Fri 03-Dec-10 11:57:11

I think you are being very mature and rational, and clearly trying to do the best for everyone. After all, you are more-or-less a stepmum to the children. If you can stay on good terms with the XW then things will be so much easier.

I would second the view that you agree to a "trial basis" and see how it goes.

lalalonglegs Fri 03-Dec-10 12:07:38

I think you are being incredibly accommodating. At a push, I might offer to do it for a few weeks while she sorts out long term childcare.

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