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To not want to look after my step daughter overnight?

(322 Posts)
LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 15:58:27

Ok don't flame me please...(sorry long)

My DP's daughter is ten and coming to stay for the easter holiday. It will be nice as 5 weeks ago our DD was born and hasnt spent much time with her yet.

But my problem is this. DP works overnight sometimes and before sd would stay with Mil at those times and with us when he wasnt at work.

Anyway Mil just said to me that it would be 'nice' if I looked after sd now when dp is at work! And got very snotty with when i said i wasnt comfy with that.

My reasons were
1. Sd likes me ( i think) but we dont have what id call a close relationship

2. Breastfeeding a hungry reflux baby is taking it out of me a bit, and im not sure how I will cope with a sometimes very hyper sd, baby and a puppy!

3. Im at college full time and have 2 massive projects to do. Was hoping to complete these when dh was at work and sd at mil's

AIBU or is Mil right and Im a horrible person?

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:27:36

How long have you been her stepmother?

SucksToBeMe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:29:03

I understand that your busy but I can't help but feel hmm for your SD.

I'm sure she would love to be around her new sister.

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 16:31:21

Sorry OP but I do think YABU here. I'm 37 weeks and have a 10 year old DD of you my own when baby is born I will need to cope with them both no matter what because they will both be part of my family and that's how it should be for your DSD otherwise you risk alienating her and making her feel that shes never really going to be an integral part of family life with you her DF and her new DS.

freemanbatch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:17

its not on for your MIL to suddenly change a standing arrangement and then be less than nice to you when you're not happy about it, you have a new baby and you had expectations of how things were going to work right now and that's not unreasonable BUT you do need to think about how you are going to make your step daughter feel included in the family in the long term. discuss it with your DP, he must have set the situation up to begin with so he should be able to support you in making things move in the direction of bringing you all together as a family without you feeling pressured to change things right now

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:25

I don't understand why she used to stay overnight at her Gran's tbh.

I don't think you're a horrible person at all, I can see how horrific the prospect of having to look after another child when you've just had a new baby seems (I remember it well!) but as someone else said, that's what being in a family means; you'd have exactly the same issue if you and DP had an older child. It sounds as though your SD hasn't been integrated into your family and you might need to spend some time considering why that has happened and how you and your DP can change that. Although with a new baby, I know it's a tall order to consider anything else in those first few frantic weeks and months.

As she's 11, surely it's not that much trouble if she stays overnight? I would have thought that she'll probably be a bit of a help to you won't she? 11 year old girls love babies (and puppies) and want to be helpful and it's not as though she's going to be the one waking you up in the middle of the night. Is she capable of getting up and getting her own breakfast and pottering around by herself in the mornings (at her age she should be)?

I would take this chance to get your SD properly bonded into your family unit.

GoSuckEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 16:34:37

You are not being unreasonable at all! I dont have any of the excuses you do, but my SD does not stay the night!

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:35:21

Ok at no point have I said I NEVER want her to be solely looked after by me all night.

To clarify myself and sd were close but when her mum got wind of this she started saying horrible things to sd about me that she told her dad i.e I would hate her and take daddy away sad

Since we dont get to see her often i havent had much chance to persuade her this isnt true

And for those of you saying 'suck it up' fair enough you may be super mum

But yes dd was born 5 weeks early, and between reflux and a badly infected c section wound yes i am struggling...

We have only been out of the hospital 2 weeks and my point to mil was that its way too soon.

Im open to her staying just with me another time but not now.

And obviously she is staying with us whenever dp is not at work and able to lend a hand


FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:36:52

And yes it's not a very good time in the sense that it has happened suddenly (your MIL suddenly changing arrangements) but she is probably trying to ensure that her grand-daughter doesn't feel pushed out of a family she's already not really properly integrated into.

Although it's a crap time to make more of an effort to get her more involved, it's also a logical time - new sister, new puppy, more for her to have a focus on than you and her dad - at first glance it sounds a rubbish time but there may actually be a bit of a method in your MIL's madness.

Bobyan Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:25

She's not a young child and as other people have said she would be able to help you rather than you needing to look after her.

I think your excluding her and using the baby / dog / college as an excuse.

ApocalypseThen Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:30

Did the child say anything to her granny about her feelings when she's not allowed to stay overnight? Is there a chance that's why your mother in law framed this so strongly?

I doubt the child has failed to sense your ambivalence.

Squitten Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:40

I think the point people are trying to get across is, what would you do if this girl was your own daughter? Would you expect her to go and sleep elsewhere right now?

I don't think you would. You would manage because you have to. You shouldn't treat your SD any differently.

mynewpassion Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:46

Sorry but do suck it up. Your mil might want a break too.

JustinBsMum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:40:08

Mountain out of molehill imv.

Just say sorry MIL, will def look after SD next time but just too much on this time with new baby etc

redskynight Thu 28-Mar-13 16:42:28

YAB - totally - U.
She is part of your family unit, and at 10 years old hardly needs lots of caring for.

MidnightMasquerader Thu 28-Mar-13 16:42:53

To be fair, when we second-time Mums are dealing with newborns and older children, we've been through the newborn phase before and are experienced, old hands at it all.

This is all new for the OP. Plus her baby was prem and she has work on.

A bit of empathy for her might be nice, despite this being AIBU...

Have the SD to stay overnight when things have settled down a bit.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:44:51

And sorry I wouldnt usually justify myself but feel I have to

I DO see her as part of my family.

My family all buy her presents and my parents treat her like a grand daughter.

I go shopping for her xmas and birthday presents every year by myself

I have been doing activities with sd to try and repair the damage her mothers comments have done but she is still very distant

Oh and the puppy was not meant to be a permanant member of the household but just grew on us smile

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:46:02

Could you maybe ask your MIL to come over to help out in the daytime while her grand-daughter is there?

If you just remind her that you've got a new baby and are struggling and would be grateful for help, do you have the sort of relationship where it would be nice if she came and helped out in the daytime while SD is there (or would that actually not be a very nice experience)?

If you don't have a very close relationship with your SD, your MIL might be helpful in providing ideas as to how you can get her involved - being responsible for feeding the dog, or taking it for a walk or whatever.

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 28-Mar-13 16:47:51

What Squitten said. If you can cope with the puppy which you chose to purchase then you can cope with your SD who should be far more important and much less hassle than a puppy which it has to be tends to be as hard as raising a baby.

ParadiseChick Thu 28-Mar-13 16:49:52

Sorry yabu, she's ten not two, she won't be demanding your undivided attention

SomethingProfound Thu 28-Mar-13 16:50:10

If you don't want to deal with a SC then dont begin a relationship with a man who has children.

But you have so deal with it! It is not SD fault you are finding it tough dont exclude her because you can't cope!! angry

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 28-Mar-13 16:51:02

Sorry thought I had mentioned that in first post

sd is not happy with the arrangement either. She only wants to stay the night when her dad is here

mil is retired and usually always wants sd to stop with them so she gets to see her cousins who live nearby

so not sure why she suddenly wants to change it

Madamecastafiore Thu 28-Mar-13 16:51:27

Bloody brilliant being a stepmother isn't it, getting to choose when a child you are supposed to love as your own is allowed to stay or not!!! hmm

Seriously, she's not a bloody dog who you get to decide not to have. She is a little girl with feelings. Those of being bloody rejected now no doubt.

When I married DH, if he had told me that I need to find alternative care for DD when I not around I would have told him to pack his bags and fuck off.

weegiemum Thu 28-Mar-13 16:52:40

I don't get the puppy thing at all. Why would you get a new puppy when a new baby was almost due?

I was 14 (so a bit older) when my mother had a new baby with the OM she'd left us for (we stayed with Dad). The contact really dropped off - and we weren't her step children, she was our actual mother. Just one of he many things that means I don't ever see her or speak to her ...

EggyFucker Thu 28-Mar-13 16:53:13

Your MIL has realised that she is letting you and her son right off the hook of your responsibilities, that is why she wants to change things and I agree with her

SomethingProfound Thu 28-Mar-13 16:53:23

Have you considered she does not want to be there with out her Dad as she feel unwanted and unwelcome.

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