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to not have step kids while I have Chemo?

(274 Posts)
bessyboots Sat 22-Oct-11 07:28:11

AIBU to have emailed OH's ex wife to tell her we will be unable to have his children (we have them every other weekend) aged 12 & 14 for at least 6 months while I undergo Chemo for breast cancer?

She relies on us to have them as she works full time, but I am worried about catching an infection from them. I have my own DS who is 8.

mumatron Sat 22-Oct-11 07:30:51

where will your ds be?

i can understand that you may not be able to spend as much time with them but none at all seems a bit much.

sorry that you are going through chemo though. good luck with it.

seeker Sat 22-Oct-11 07:31:54

What arrangements has you oh made to see his children during the 6 months?

You are bu, but understandable, obviously. But it may have been a knee jerk reaction- also understandable - but you migh need to rethink.

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Sat 22-Oct-11 07:33:15

Hmmm... that's a really tricky one.

I can see your POV absolutely, but if you have an 8 year old yourself, he's more than likely to bring something home for you to catch.

So no, i wouldn't have emailed her to say that - in that reespect i do think YABalittleU.

However, i think it would be more than reasonable to cut down on the visits once the chemo has started and you're feeling the full side effects.

I hope that the chemo goes well - good luck.

PavlovtheWitchesCat Sat 22-Oct-11 07:36:28

Oh what a horrid situation for you to be in!
firstly, so sorry to hear you have cancer, and good luck with the chemo, I hope it is not too harsh on you.

Secondly wgt the children. They are your OH children. I suspect he does not just care for them as a babysitter/childminder when their mother works, but as he is their dad and wants to be with them? And you have, by being with him taking on the role of 'step-mother' and all that comes with it.

You are a mother to your own child, he is father to that child, and he is father, you are step-mother to the other children and you must continue that. They still need to be loved and nurtured and cared for and felt welcome and not second best to their dad's other child.

You simply cannot walk away from those responsibilities, although I can see how hard it will be. You don't love them like your own son, but your OH does, I hope and that cannot stop.

I really hope things work out for you.

Vajazzler Sat 22-Oct-11 07:37:36

YABU. As much as I sympathise with the chemo situation you are just as likely to catch an infection from your ds as from them. It's not fair on the SDC's that they won't see their dad as they should and if their mum relies on the care so she can work then she might have to give up those days working.
Where will your dh be on these weekends? If you don't feel up to caring for them then surely he can still do it?

bessyboots Sat 22-Oct-11 07:38:59

DS will be here. I have suggested that OH can take them out for a few hours on the weekends we should have them (normally Friday from school till Sun eve) but I have told her overnight visits will be out of the question for 6 months at least as OH will need to help me get to the bathroom etc and my immunity will be low.

His ex isn't happy because I emailed and because she is saying this will massively affect her life as her partner lives away and they fly to see each other when we don't have the kids.

fivegomadindorset Sat 22-Oct-11 07:42:32

My SIL went through chemo, she and my DB share 50 50 custody of his children, they had them still the same as normal unless they had a verynasty bug which happened once. I am sorry you are going through chemo but as aother said you still have a child at home with you and yes wit will massively affect her life which is unfair on her.

PavlovtheWitchesCat Sat 22-Oct-11 07:42:49

I am not surprised she is not happy. It will affect her life majorly, and also the kids happiness and sense of wellbeing.

Think about it from their point of view? Do you think they will understand ? accept their relationship with their dad will be damaged because their step mother is ill but that is all ok and they will get along just fine without that contact? how might they view your 8yo who continues to have lots of contact with dad, even when step-mother is ill? they will just not understand.

Are you on speaking terms with their mother? could you go and have a cup of tea with her and talk about it civilly? how old are the children? can you talk to them? get them involved, tell them what is going on, and that you want them to stay but some weekends it might not be possible if you are really ill. Kids take things much better from adults if the adults are honest with them and they are not kept in the dark.

DawnOfTheDeementedDead Sat 22-Oct-11 07:44:19

Thining more on this, i think it's important for your DH to have his children as normal.

Presumaly they are aware that you have cancer? If so, then they need to know that the world does not stop or alter simply because you have cancer and are going through chemo.

I understand you feel the need for privacy, but these are your DH's children. What if the roles were reversed and he had cancer and said that he wanted your DS to stay away for six months, but of course he'd still see his own DC? How might you feel then?

I think you need to be a family now more then ever.

bessyboots Sat 22-Oct-11 07:44:38

Btw not stealth but me and ex do not get on at all.

She says wait and see how I feel and says she is prepared to be flexible and has already adjusted some of her working hours but I think she is being really selfish and have told her we all have to to take the good and bad in life and this is the bad. I need to focus on being well.

fivegomadindorset Sat 22-Oct-11 07:45:17

Also what will happen if they have colds etc and your DH is seeing them, you cannot guarantee that he will not be bringing the bugs back with him.

Finallygotaroundtoit Sat 22-Oct-11 07:46:15

Sorry you're in this situation and hope you get better soon.

But as others have said you and DH are parents to all the DCs not babysitters. If your DS stays so should step kids.

Would you expect to have stepkids fulltime if their mum was having chemo?

PavlovtheWitchesCat Sat 22-Oct-11 07:46:16

bessy i think her advice sounds really sound tbh. take it as it comes and she is prepared to be flexible. You can't ask for more than that surely?

fivegomadindorset Sat 22-Oct-11 07:46:37

How is prepared to be flexible selfish?

seeker Sat 22-Oct-11 07:50:28

Where is your dp in all this?

bessyboots Sat 22-Oct-11 07:51:01

Ex wife was ill last year for 6 months and relations were at an all time low so we did not help out at as much as we maybe could've.

She has pointed this out and OH has apologised to her for that and we were hoping we could all move on as now being I'll myself puts a whole new perspective on things.

longjane Sat 22-Oct-11 07:51:06

I am really sorry you have Cancer and have to have the chemo.
But you have no right in emailing a the ex wife

and as for canceling contact well I think you may well be misguided in thinking that children can be cancel and forgot about.
Your DH has a responsibility to care for his children every other weekend.
Now if you dont want them near you that is fine but
It is up to your DH to sort their care NOT THE BIRTH MUM.

If you are going to need care then find someone else you DH is going to doing thing like going to work caring his children. He has to do these these things.

The birth mum is not your free child minder when you dont want the step kids there. find other child care you know like you are going to have to do with your son.

longjane Sat 22-Oct-11 07:52:28

and wow you asking for something you did not do.........

SmilingHappyBeaver Sat 22-Oct-11 07:52:31

Sorry to hear of your illness, but i do think YABVU.

Why will you DH need to help you to get to the bathroom? Are you disabled? Presumably your DS and DH leave the house and are likely to come into contact with germs and bugs that they could bring home, and if your step children are older than DS they will have better immune systems and so present less risk - it's not as if they are toddlers/new school children who will pick up everything going.

Would it not be more sensible to ask them not to come when they are ill? I suspect you are massively stressed because of your situation, and perhaps there are some wider issues here with resentment around looking after your step children. Could you not spend the weekends they are with you resting, and let your DH look after them?

I also don't think it was your place to e-mail their mother, it is DH's job to communicate with her about their children.

Faithless12 Sat 22-Oct-11 07:52:37


His ex is not being selfish, you are. You aren't hurting his ex (inconveniencing her yes) you are hurting him and his children. He's allowed a few hours every other weekend because you say so. That's so nice, not. Tbh if you are that worried why is your son staying with you, primary age children come back with more illnesses than secondary age on the whole.

TheHumancatapult Sat 22-Oct-11 07:54:12

Sorry on your knees understandable your panicing

But sadly it is more likely to be your Ds that brings bugs home as 8 year olds are not best at washing hands etc and they tend to share germs more let alone more childhood illness

Yes some weekends you may feel unwell and also if your sc have cold bug then yes they can not come while they are Ill so there is going to need be some flexibility

But 12 and 14 they may help amuse your Ds and around house once understood what's happening and remember if you been with their dad a long time they may be scared of loosing you and worried about their dad

But give yourself some time to get your head around things

mumatron Sat 22-Oct-11 07:54:17

how is your dh helping you to the toilet going to be affected by having two (almost) teenagers in the house?

sorry but yabu. how is it ok for your 8 year old to be around but not you dsc?

my dc step mother has just had a double mastectomy and their contact with them only changed by about 1 hour. we have a very hostile relationship but I can fault how she has treated my dc during this obviously distressing time.

fivegomadindorset Sat 22-Oct-11 07:56:57

Wow, just wow at your thoughtlessness.

Shodan Sat 22-Oct-11 08:00:40

So despite the fact you and your DH didn't help her when she was ill, she is still trying to help you by adjusting her working hours and assuring you she'll be flexible.

YABU. I'm very sorry about your cancer and chemotherapy but your DH is his children's father and he doesn't get to pick and choose when he is a parent. You said yourself that you have your own 8 year old ds- this is no different.

As for this "She relies on us to have them as she works full time"- I assume that your OH works full-time and relies on his children's mother to have them so he can work?

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