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to want to be asked to look after Step-son??

(51 Posts)
wantstosleepnow Fri 04-Sep-09 13:18:13

Not sure if im being petty or not, so would appreciate honest answers!

My SS is 8, other DC's are 6,5 and 2.
SS stays over fri and sat every other wkend.

He has done for a couple of yrs now, before that he stayed with my DP's mum as that was the habit he had got into.

I have been with DP for 7 yrs so have known SS all of that time.

So about 2 yrs ago I started to insist SS stayed with us as he should be building a relationship with his half siblings and with his Dad and I thought it was a bit strange he didn't stay with us. Anyway after a while DP agreed and so now he does.

DP has recently taken on some more work which involves him working some wkends, its not regular and varies from week to week.

He never stops to consider if its his DS wkend to stay or not, and he has never turned down work for this reason.

He just assumes I will look after him, which I will...but i want to be asked first. When I say this he says 'fine, i'll ask my mum' but the problem with this is my other DC love going to their nan's and would be very upset if SS just went and he wouldn't ask his mum to have all the kids.

I just want him to take responsibility for his SS and stop assuming i'll just pick up what he cant do.

So....am I being unreasonable???

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 13:25:32

You are absolutely right on all accounts - to have insisted that SS spend his weekends with you, your DP and his stepsiblings rather than with his grandmother, to wish to be consulted if your DP is going to work at the weekends and to leave you on your own with all the children, and to not want SS to go on his own to his grandmother's as it is not fair on your children for him to have a special relationship like this with her.

What you want is for your DP to treat you with the same respect and courtesy you are extending to him (by welcoming your SS), by asking you whether it is OK to leave you with all the children. I am sure you mean to say yes - you just want to be consulted and acknowledged for your efforts.

Try to explain this to your DP!

Good luck!

caykon Fri 04-Sep-09 13:25:45

I think yabu just a little bit.
I have 2 dsc and I they stay over every weekend, they are part of our family and I don't see them as purely my dhs responsibility. He is going to work for the good of the family whilst you look after the family at home, its not really a big deal.

CornishKK Fri 04-Sep-09 13:28:57

YABU - the SS is one of your children and part of your family so should not be treated differently, do you expect DP to ask about your own children?

I think your DP should say "Sorry, I'm working this weekend which means you are on your own with all of our children which is extra work for you, thank you, I love you, here's some flowers" and then you could say "Darling, I appreciate that you are working at the weekend which means extra money for us as a family, thank you, I love you".

And everyone would be happy and appreciated.
But then I am an idealist.

SoupDragon Fri 04-Sep-09 13:29:02

I think YABU - you insisted he stay with you in the first place. Either you see him as part of your family or you don't. Do you expect to be asked to look after the other children too?

This is not the time to be turning down work. I assume your DP is not working just for the fun of it but to support his family.

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 13:30:46

In this case, it is the OP who has been insisting that SS be treated as part of the family and her DP who tends to treat him differently!

That of course changes nothing about the fact that this is the OP's stepchild and she does not, in law, have responsibility for him.

NeverLeapfrogOverAUnicorn Fri 04-Sep-09 13:33:27

I think your husband should value his son more and move heaven and earth to not have to work when he has him. After all - how much does he see him? Once a fortnight? If I only saw my children once a fortnight you would have a hard job prising me away from them tbf! I think I'd be asking why he doesn't want to snatch every moment he can to be with his child who he doesn't have the luxury of living with.

wantstosleepnow Fri 04-Sep-09 13:43:36

Its really hard to work out why it bothers me, but i think I have managed to start to understand.

He gets to see our DC most days after work ect. He only gets to see SS every other wkend, so I think I just expect him to want to spend more time with him and take responsibility for him, and to make plans for him. He's never been the 'taking them to the park' type and I am, so it always falls to me to insist we do things like this (SS mum never takes him out either, so i feel under more pressure to organise fun things, which DP doesn't seem to care/understand)

wantstosleepnow Fri 04-Sep-09 13:45:28

I agree neverleapfrog, but if i bring this up he just says we need the money, but I know what i'd pick first!!

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 13:46:13

It would bother me, too. In much the same way as it bothers me when DP's mother makes arrangements to see the DSSs when they are staying at our house and when I am responsible for them (while DP is out at work) without consulting me. How am I supposed to organise our life as a family if I have no clue when the DSSs are going to be here?

pooexplosions Fri 04-Sep-09 13:46:23

Hmmm, I see where you are coming from, but hae to go with YABU. You insisted he come to stay regularly, I think its up to you to make him feel the same as his siblings, and singling him out in this way does not so that. Yes, your husband should think about it more, and should be more appreciative, but you wanted him to stay on a regualr basis, its up to you to make him part of your family and is your responsibility while he is there. I think that by expecting DH to ask you to look after him, to mind him as an extra, is saying "he's not my child, he's not my responsibility, he's yours".
If that is how you see him, thats fine,you need to tell DH that, but you can't have it both ways. Either he is your DSS or he is your husbands son, he can't be both if you see what I mean?

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 13:48:58

I just don't agree with that last post.

Different rules apply to a stepparent-stepchild relationship than to a parent-child relationship. There is nothing wrong with that - on the contrary, it is much better to be upfront and honest about it. Your stepchildren can feel perfectly welcome without needing to be treated in the same way as your children.

My DSSs would hate to get into bed with DP and me! DD loves to. Etc.

fizzpops Fri 04-Sep-09 13:50:12

I don't think YABU - we are currently having a minor version of this. No stepchildren just one DD but DH worked last weekend and will probably be working this weekend - heard about this last night.

I can't blame DH for working as he has to really to get the work done but I do resent that it means that DD misses out on seeing her Dad and I miss out on the extra help I get when DH is around so effectively I have no weekend. And that I am not given any notice meaning I look forward to the weekend all week only to feel disappointed on Friday.

Parenting is for both parents and if he hasn't cleared it with you then he is saying that he thinks it is solely your job. So nothing to do with the step-parent relationship you have with SS, just about being a parent imo.

Harimosmummy Fri 04-Sep-09 13:50:35

I'm afraid we're in the position of DH having to be away sometimes when we have the DSDs.

But, I think the OP is BU.

Your Step kids should be welcome in your house any time.

I'm home alone with a 14 month old and a 4 week old and I still would never refuse to look after my DSDs. I just had them this week (DH had to work aborad).

After 10 years, I don't expect to be 'asked'... If my DSDs need something, then it demanded. Just as it would be if my biological children needed something.

As far as I'm concerned, my DSDs are no different to my biological kids - except that my DSDs have a mum!!

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 13:51:55

"Your Step kids should be welcome in your house any time."

Courts never uphold this.

thumbwitch Fri 04-Sep-09 13:52:32

I think your DP is being more unreasonable than you in that he should consider which weekends he works in the context of when his son is staying - but I agree with others that you wanted him there, so YABa bit U to be wanting to be asked to look after him now.
If you have known him for 7 years, and he is only 8, then surely he must feel like part of your family anyway?

You sound like a lovely mum but don't let this resentment build up - your DP SHOULD indeed take more responsibility for ALL of his DCn, not just your SS - but he doesn't sound like he's going to change now, and he obviously thinks you do a good enough job of it, so why should he bother his arse about it?

Change your expectations of your DP, which sound unrealistic in his case, and I think your problem will go away.

GypsyMoth Fri 04-Sep-09 13:53:34

fgs you have know this poor boy for 7 years!!

you expect your dh to STILL be asking you when the boy is in his teens??!!

petty,petty,petty!!

NeverLeapfrogOverAUnicorn Fri 04-Sep-09 13:54:33

Does it <massive leap here> make you fear how he would be with the children you share if - god forbid - your relationship broke down?

could that be at the back of your mind, causing some of this unease you feel? The thought that if he doesn't make the effort you feel reasonable for this child who doesn't live with him, then what if...?

Harimosmummy Fri 04-Sep-09 13:57:50

but, anna, it's not sbout courts, it's about how the child feels.

I want mu DSDs to feel wanted and cared for at all times when at their dads.

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 14:00:23

Well, family law upholds that children feel safer and more loved when they know exactly where they are supposed to be, and that any possibility of them being shoved around and taken care of by someone other than the parent who has responsibility for them on that particular day should be avoided at all costs.

thumbwitch Fri 04-Sep-09 14:01:38

Sounds like the OP has more care and love for her DSS than her DP has, tbh, Anna.

thumbwitch Fri 04-Sep-09 14:03:57

btw, Anna, I do agree with you

fizzpops Fri 04-Sep-09 14:04:35

How is it petty to expect your own husband to show consideration for your time?

The OP (I think) meant that she would like to be party to the decision making about who has the children and when rather than it being assumed.

I look after my DD on the 2 days I don't work, DH has her in the mornings before nursery and I have her in the afternoons. The weekends are when we decide who will take her when and what time we are all going to spend together.

If DH needs me to look after her all day Saturday then of course I will but I would appreciate knowing in advance so I can plan things and feel that he isn't taking me for granted.

I think the fact that this child is a stepchild has clouded the issue. It reads to me as if the OP is saying they see each other so little that it is a shame to schedule work for one of those specific weekends. What is wrong with that?

pooexplosions Fri 04-Sep-09 14:14:47

Bonsoir, I don't disagree that it is a dif relationship, and in many respects will of course be treated differently. But for something so basic as to ask the stepmother to effectively babysit for her Dh? You don't have to think of the child as your own, but neither do you have to hang a sign on him saying "not my problem"......

BonsoirAnna Fri 04-Sep-09 14:16:32

You are missing the point.

Any stepmother who takes sole charge care of her stepchildren is doing her DH/DP a favour. It is just common courtesy to ask for favours (even if you know they will be given) rather than take others for granted.

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