New Stepmum being pushy over kids(629 Posts)
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I am divorced with two lovely children and have a very good relationship with my ex.
He has the children EOW and one evening a week, this has always been the arrangement since we split 5 years ago.
The kids come back to me on Sunday evenings when it is his weekend. This has always been the case as 1. I think it better for them to get back into their routine before the new week and 2. their Dad often has a very early start on Mondays. He travels a lot for work and often takes a Monday morning flight or has to catch an early train.
He recently got married, and his new wife doesn't yet have kids of her own. I have found her pushy in the past regarding the children.
Ex-husband last weekend raised the possibility of him keeping the children on the Sunday nights when it is his weekend, and taking them to school on the Monday.
We talked about it ,and when I pointed out that he often isn't there, he suggested step-mum can get the kids up and do breakfast / school run.
I don't want this. I was happy to talk about him having the kids when he can take them to school on the Monday, but said that when he can't be there that the children should come back to me on Sunday, as we have always done.
I'm their mum and I WANT to do that for them, get them up, give them breakfast and see them off. I feel that giving time that was mine to their Dad so he can spend more time with them is one thing, but I don't want to give my time with my kids to step mum.
We agreed it last weekend - he said fine, he would bring kids back on Sundays when he has got to go off early. All was very amicable.
It's his weekend this weekend coming. I texted him to reiterate what we agreed re: Sundays and asked whether he was taking the kids to school on Monday or returning them to me on Sunday.
He has now come back and said that he won't be there first thing Monday as he is going to the States and step mum is going to do the school run! That she 'is their step mum now' and it is his decision! Not what we agreed!
We are now arguing about it (we never argue!) - and I know that this is coming from her - she is hugely controlling and wants to 'be important'.
As far as I am concerned he has reneged on our agreement to appease his new wife.
Other than turn up at their door on Sunday evening, what do I do?
I'm their mum and I WANT to do that for them, get them up, give them breakfast and see them off.
Like it or not they now have a step-mum........and this isn't about you.
Their dad wants to have more time with them, encourage a good relationship with the step-mum and get them used to a new dynamic.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
He's also allowed to sort out any childcare that falls within his contact time.
Stop being so selfish and petty!
Who would be doing the other 4 breakfasts/drops off per week - you!
Who has more 'contact' with the dc - you!
Are you jealous that he's married again and you aren't?
I bet if/when you move in with a partner you will be involving him in the dc lives to the same degree if not more.
He has the children EOW and one evening a week, this has always been the arrangement since we split 5 years ago
Now the dc are 5 years older, i would think the contact arrangements need to be revised anyway so they can see more of their dad.
One Monday morning a fortnight?
Is it really worth risking ruining an - up to now - amicable relationship with your children's father for the sake of a few hours?
Presumably your partner will be getting more time with his kids, on the Sunday evening - as he doesn't really spend an awful lot of time with them as it is I don't think I'd begrudge them that.
So step-mum wants to spend time with the children, happy to do school run when he isn't there?
I see no issues there.
DD's step-mum has her overnights when ex-H is away. They love the time they spend together, it would be churlish of me to deny them what has blossomed into a special relationship.
Why not extend to overnight on Sunday once a month?
What you seem to miss is that the kids will get Sunday night and bedtime with their dad!
I am also remarried. Very happily. No jealousy. I left him.
Why do so many mumsnetters immediately assume if there is step-parent problems that the ex wife must somehow be bitter and jealous?! You are stereotyping there - and making massive assumptions.
This isn't HIS contact time - it's mine. Sunday nights have always been my time.
He has asked for more - I have agreed, but not when he can't care for them.
He has basically asked for more, we agreed between us that he could have them on Sundays when he is about to do the school run and he has IMMEDIATELY reneged on this - on the very first weekend!
I feel like I have been duped, and lied to.
He drops them off to me on Sundays at bedtime - 9pm anyway, so it is not as though he will get anymore time with them by keeping them - unless he can get them up and take them to school in the morning.
Which I am fine with.
YABU - the step mum is making it possible for your children to spend more time with their dad. You have by far the most time with them.
How would you respond if your EXH said your DH couldn’t take the DC to school? It’s one Monday, not very often.
How is the step mum pushy in other ways? What has she done in the past?
Sorry but I think you are being unreasonable - just because he's always dropped them off on Sundays before doesn't mean that's always how it must be. Bedtimes aren't just about "being there in the evening", they are about the whole routine and tucking in, sleepy goodnight kiss etc. He had to miss out on Sunday bedtime before because he had no-one to take them to school in the morning, now he does. It's time to loosen your grip a little.
How do the children feel about it? That’s what should settle it.
the step mum is making it possible for your children to spend more time with their dad.
No she's not. He can't have anymore time with them when their bedtime is 9pm and he drops them to me.
He can only have more time with her when he is travelling.
I have said repeatedly that when he will be about on Monday mornings to have that time with them that I am happy for them to stay. Yes, then they DO get more time with their dad.
I should also say that I have talked it through with the kids and THEY want to be dropped home when Dad isn't there in the mornings. They don't want step mum doing the school run as she is 'stressy'.
I can absolutely see where you're coming from - why should your DC be effectively given contact time, not to their father, but to his new wife.
-As p have said, one morning routine time every two weeks- is this worth fighting over?
-The chance to form their own relationship with her, (although you may not feel particularly positive about that) could make the DCs life when at their dad's run more smoothly
- In case of emergency, having someone else they are familiar with, and have a relationship with, can be valuable - as I found when stuck in hospital with one DC, and their Dad away.
But, maybe the important question is, how do they feel about it?
She's their stepmum not some random stranger. Your children have 2 sets of parents now so you should try to facilitate reasonable access for your kids sake.
Trying to control your ex's access so rigidly will backfire and won't do you any favours with your children when they've grown up.
Ah, cross post, I see you've just answered that.
Tricky waters ahead. If you say they would prefer not to, will probably be seen as coming from you.
If DC say that to him, well firstly that may be difficult for them, and it'll probably still be seen as coming from you.
I wouldn’t worry too much OP, in my experience when the second wife has her own children, the first family frequently get pushed aside .
I don't think that you are being unreasonable. You had an agreement and now he is trying to force you into doing something that you didn't agree to at the last minute. Why not just say that you will stick to the agreement this time but promise to discuss the issue further? I can understand why you wouldn't want to loose time with your childrenso that SM can spend more time with them but it's not a lot of time and, provided that she treats them nicely, probably for the best. She's going to be in their lives for a long time, for their sake it's best that she gets attached to them.
I think it would be better just to say he has the kids until mondays when it is his weekend and how he organises the school run is his issue. Saying he can keep them only if he is personally available means he has to run his schedule past his ex and that sounds controlling to me. Would you put up with that? If your kids are ever going to be left in the care of your new husband do you ring their Dad instead?
I'd be gutted if my DSS's mum was so strongly against something so relatively inconsequential and harmless.
Though obviously as stepmum my feelings would be the least important in the matter.
It sounds as if you have worked really hard to maintain a health relationship with your ex so that you can both successfully co parent together. Ultimately you have to work out if you want to strain that relationship for what probably works out as 24 hours extra contact per month. Once you go down that road there is often no coming back and the children often suffer in the long run.
Their step mum sounds eager to build more of a solid relationship with your daughters and while that might irk you I really think you should encourage it. I take the view that in this world you cant have too many people love you and your girls will benefit from building a strong bond with a woman who could potentially be their future step brother/sisters mother.
Your daughters are five years older than when the contact pattern was arranged and will really benefit spending extra time with their dad on Sunday evening.
Just as a precaution that there are is no ulterior motive behind this request check with your ex that your maintenance will not be at all altered if you agree to this new arrangement. I'm sure this is not the case at all though and that this request is genuine and honest.
Why should you give up time to the step mum? What's the point in that?
If the kids don't want to be put out to school by their step mum, for no reason than she wants to, their dad should listen to them, not her.
I'd tell him the kids don't want this, so if he forces them to he has to accept that this will affect his relationship with his children. If he's going to ignore their wishes they are going to be difficult with him, and with their step mum.
Why should you give up time to the step mum? What's the point in that?
To foster a close and loving relationship?
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