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would anyone else find this a bit odd/frustarting?

(160 Posts)
Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 00:19:12

DH has been told today by DSS that his mum and her DH are going abroad on hols for 2 weeks in summer. Forgetting for one moment that DH has been helping with her court ordered mortgage payments until FMH sale has gone through because she's supposed to be skint, isn't it a bit odd not to tell the only other person with PR that you are planning to be out of the country?

What makes this especially annoying is DSS doesn't know the dates. DH will have to ask his ex and no doubt she will send him some usual bitchy reply.

We got told what 2 weeks we're having DSS by his ex a few weeks ago, not open for discussion. No probs that I will be 8 months pregnant and both of us working FT. First baby born 2 weeks early too. DH has managed to sort time off but I need to help us through maternity leave financially so I will have to work. I am guessing this is when they are going abroad. Although DSS has been known to stay for a week or 2 with his maternal gran when ex has gone on holiday (and Dh not asked if he would like to have his son then instead).

I'm just dreading August, a long commute on the tube, a 13 month old, a bored 11 yo for 2 weeks. What are we going to do if babba arrives early we only have a 2 bed?!

Exactly Freddie smile

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 09:53:19

When my kids are with my ex I often go away with work. And I have gone away for the weekend with my partner, for example. I'm occasionally not in the country. I don't inform him I'm doing so, because it's none of his business, and since he's the parent with care at the time, I trust him to deal with any emergencies that come up and contact me if need be.

Am I wrong then?

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 09:58:28

Contact is not court ordered. DH worked with family solicitor last year to get a formal agreement in place. 5 weeks and EOW, plus 50/50 birthday and xmas. This was on the back of a letter DSS wrote to his mum and dad asking for more contact. The ex and DH spent months and quite some money agreeing on how many days each school holiday they would share. She works at a school, DH doesn't. So she agreed and signed the agreement end last year because she refused mediation on grounds of cost.

Next step is mediation and court but that's expensive and DSS has asked DH not to because he ends up being involved. The ex doesn't hide it from him.

You know I don't care where she goes and she could have won the holiday for all I know.

What I care about is trying to plan care for all the DCs and knowing who to call in an emergency. My father was going to be here to help us, and he can't now.

But its not just this its everything you'd expect communication abt. This weekend for example. DSS was late because his mum was working late, so I had to wait at station for him. Although DH asks every week for his ex or DSS to let me know if he's going to be late. And yes it was agreed by the ex that I could do pick-up because otherwise DH would have to fetch him saturday morning. I work near where he lives.

DSS is going on school trip for a week, leaving Monday morning. DH asks ex do you want me to drop him off early, no reply. DSS says to DH on friday night I need to be home at midday on sunday. We kind of second guessed that. But not the oh, I need underwear as I have none for the trip. DH again asked his ex a month ago if DSS needed help with anything, and DSS brought a list over last weekend he was with us and we sorted it all out then.

I feel we are being punished, for wanting to come to a formal arrangement on contact, for DH not agreeing to handing over half his charge when the house sold.

Ladies when your DH does stop pandering to a controlling ex, this is what happens.

And yes I am being self-centred abt final weeks of pregnancy, because the pregnancy has been hard, and I don't want to greet babba stressed out and depressed.

DH in-laws are elderly, and don't drive or live near us. DH has already asked if they would look after DS around due date, and I don't feel comfortable in forcing them.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 09:59:51

carboose - seriously? what if mum waded in wanting to know exactly who was going to care for her child and when and what would happen if this happened, and where is he going on Tuesday and what if the plans for Tuesday don't quite come off, what happens then? Surely then you'd be saying that mum has no right whatsoever to question what goes on in our home and that we are perfectly capable of making plans and of doing the right thing at the right time and she has no need to worry? Or is this somehow different to 'normal' contact and going out and making plans and being a blended family?

And I agree, you have no right at all to know where she is going on holiday. Should something happen and you need to get in contact with her, you try her phone. If she doesn't have that working abroad then it is her who will need to live with the consequences of that when she returns home.

Plenty of children attend homebirths in a planned way. They are not traumatised by the event. Perhaps talking to the child about what might happen and giving him specific jobs to do should it happen so he knows where he fits in would be helpful? He could at least be in charge of making everyone a drink and organising a sandwich or something else? Even if you never eat or drink it, it would give him a purpose and a role in the event should it happen at home. Rather than assuming he's going to be a burden and a problem, look at ways of making him part of the family instead of some annoyance who is spoiling all your plans.

I also feel a need to scream at the top of my voice if mum refused to allow the child to visit soon after the birth to meet his brother/sister, all hell would break lose on that account. It might be an incoveinience to you to have this boy around but I am sure your other half will be happy to have all his children in the same place at what should be a happy, family time.

You need to re-think it, I think.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 10:00:48

What age is DSS? (Sorry if I missed that in your posts)

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 10:04:25

I really don't like the dig about her working in a school - that implies her holiday time is somehow less important than your DH. Perhaps the holiday was planned around when her husband could get time off?

I am sorry to sound harsh, but your baby's arrival is important to you. It isn't to the ex. What arrangements you need to make are no different to if DSS was your own child.

If there's an emergency, you call your DH and he deals with it. I really don't see the problem. You call her phone and let her know - if she's not in the country then she takes the consequence of that in that your DH has to deal with it as he sees fit.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:14:17

Ladies when your DH does stop pandering to a controlling ex, this is what happens

Yes. I agree. DP did end up in court because contact was withheld, and his DCs are both emotionally screwed up because their parents refused to put their interests first even when the court ordered what would happen.

OP, this is your time. Disengage and leave your DH to deal with his ex. If DSS parents haven't got the courtesy to tell you that DSS is going to be late, then don't agree to pickups. It's your DH who is asking you to do them - and he's ultimately responsible for the inconvenience to you even if its his ex whose messing him about.

Even in court ordered contact, this situation could arise - my DSS mum is court ordered to make DSS available for three weeks contact in the Summer - with specifics listed about periods and start days/times; she still 'told' DP that contact would be arranged to fit around her work, and that Saturday handovers weren't convenient.
If its not convenient for DP either - then what?

BumpingFuglies Sun 19-May-13 10:16:25

IMO, this is all about communication, control and rudeness. Why on earth can't the ex communicate about dates? She is being rude and unreasonable in not agreeing dates early on so your H can book time off. Nothing to do with baby, all to do with care of DSS.

If my son's father was going out of the country I would expect him to tell me - that's what parents who care about their children do. What if there was an emergency? I wouldn't go anywhere without letting my DC carer - be that the ex, family or whoever - know how to get hold of me! Especially since not all mobiles work abroad.

Can't believe what a hard time the OP is getting!

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 10:18:13

I make sure my mobile works abroad. I also let my parents know where I am and when I'm leaving and coming back. Most of the time. It's nothing to do with my ex. If I trust him to look after the kids, then what's the issue?

I do agree with NADM - in as much as the issue is your DP and his pandering to his ex and taking you for granted and you should disengage.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:22:03

I am sorry to sound harsh, but your baby's arrival is important to you. It isn't to the ex. What arrangements you need to make are no different to if DSS was your own child.

I can't believe this attitude!

I happily agree to change contact arrangements for my DD when its better for her - she lives with her Dad 50% of the time and when they have been having building work, family illness etc of course I'm happy to have her here even though its his time. Of course she could stay with him, and he'd manage - but why on earth wouldn't I want to avoid that if I could?

I'm DDs mum all the time, no matter who she's with - its not a responsibility I cease to have when she's with her Dad.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 10:24:20

NADM I understand that's your attitude.

It isn't mine. Once my kids go to their dad, they're his responsibility. I do swap and change and am as flexible as I can be, but sometimes it just can't work out like that.

I would never ever be deliberately obstructive, and I do take the kids at times when it's not his "contact" time to accommodate him, but sometimes I just can't.

Should I have to change my plans (usually work to be fair) to accommodate his inability to organise himself?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:31:24

freddie I used to strongly hold the same belief as you - but as DD has got older, I've realised that she needs to know that her Mum is there and that its selfish of me to absolve myself of responsibility just because I'm doing something else.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 10:34:38

But then NADM if I follow that logic, I could not do my job. DCs know if I can be there I will, but sometimes I just can't.

I can't help that I have to travel with my work. Or are you saying I should never go away with work, or go on holiday? confused

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 10:58:59

freddie I chose redundancy (and sold my home) over an alternative position that would have meant I would be unavailable when DD was with her Dad - I think that probably answers your question.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 11:01:21

so those of us who work for a living, have stressful jobs, need to travel for work purposes, need to be late some evenings in work....who then make arrangements for our children to be in after school clubs, with childminders, with the other parent, with grandparents, with friends...where they are safe and where the people they are with are trusted to be able to make sensible decisions should they not be able to contact me.......we are all selfish and not there for our children?

I have bills to pay. That's the bottom line. I have a job. I have a career. I work damned hard. I do my best to juggle and balance and be there for my children. Sometimes they have to be in after school care. Sometimes they have to be with their grandmother. Sometimes their dad even looks after them and if I'm very lucky, I also might get to spend some time with them. I don't believe they are insecure or unhappy children. They know that I will drop everything to be there for them if there is a problem. But they also know that I am working my backside off for us as a family and I know that they support that. What is the alternative? benefits?

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:01:24

But not everyone is in a position to do that confused I can't, there is only me and I would have no money to live on....

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:03:17

NADM, are you seriously saying no parent should have a job in case they need to be available for their DC?

NADM grin sorry but thats utterly ridiculous.

You might want to live a life of martyrdom but IMO that is a very very unhealthy message to be sending to your DD. That the whims of your ex are more important than your career and life. Its a very very odd viewpoint that you have.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:11:13

My life has never been better - I chose a career and life that accommodated being a parent rather than absolved myself of that responsibility when DD is in the care of her Dad.

In the OPs case, she has decided that a holiday alone us preferable to ensuring that she is available at a significant time in her DCs life - if her DC needs parental support, that will come from a parent who will be distracted by other events. I wouldn't do it to my DD and don't understand the motive of those that do.

Stepmooster Sun 19-May-13 11:11:30

Mumandboys, last year DSS was here when I gave birth. He cried hysterically the whole time and DH had to stay with him until his brother arrived. It was a fast labour, it was my first. I don't care if I give birth alone with a midwife. I do care that DSS may have to go through that again. But hey if mum thinks its fine then what the heck.

If I'm crawling around on all fours, wailing like a banshee as I give birth at home, and DSS has to shut himself in a room crying then fine I disengage.

The school thing wasn't a dig, she's lucky she can have her children with her as much as she can. BESIDES SHE AGREED LAST YEAR BEFORE I BECAME PREGNANT AS TO HOLIDAYS.

NADM I want to disengage but feel I would be flamed by half of mumsnet/world for not assisting in contact. Besides my DD adores her brother, I actually like him too.

I have agreed to the new dates, I just dunno, it feels odd that you'd go away and potentially expose your kid to drama. Without trying to work out what would happen if...

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:18:47

I am a step mum and also gave birth to my dd 11 weeks ago. I found it hard when I first entered into a relationship with my DH but have had to get over it during our time together as I was the one who was the addition to their family and it is not DSS' fault that his parents are no longer together.

Anyway, DH chooses to pay his ex way above what the CSS advise in order to make sure she's comfortable. She has had twice the number of holidays that we have and her house is way bigger than ours. I worked until 39w4d to help fund our dd as obviously DH has commitments to his DSS financially. I gave birth the very next day.

The first visitor was DSS, this was my choice. And in the weeks leading up to the birth, we saw him more as he got really unsure and worried that his relationship with us would change.

The biggest thing for me to have to deal with is the fact that due to the size of our house and the fact that DH's financial commitments to his ex mean that we probably can't move anywhere bigger, I can't have another child. But that's just how it is and something I have to accept as part of the situation.

Basically my point is that DSS has to come first. He is totally innocent in all this. And as hard as it seems, being a step mum often means making some huge adaptations and sacrifices. You need to decide whether or not that's something you can/will do.

So what about any parent around the time of a new arrival then? Are they all neglecting their existing childrens emotional needs?

I just dont understand this concept that the fathers in these situations are somehow less responsible, less capable and are in need of supervision should something go wrong.

A child has two parents. Of equal responsibility. If one is on holiday/working/busy then it falls to the other to see to the child. I dont understand why that only works one way.

Or do you need to feel indispensable?

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:19:09

I go away all the time. Lost of drama might potentially happen. I can't melt my brain trying to work out every little thing that might happen. I have to just live my life.

Your DH should have had a discussion with her and not let her dictate, but that's not her problem, that's your DH's problem.

NADM - what about those of us who can't have that choice? I can't. I'm a single parent, there are no jobs, if I sat at home I'd be on benefits. Which is not a lifestyle choice I am comfortable with. And I don't think it's good for kids to think they are the be all and end all every second of the time.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:21:09

stepmmoster I imagine just the thought of being there when you give birth must be stressing your DSS out given his experience last time - poor kid is probably begging his mum to change her mind sad

Can your DH get some NLP or similar for him in place to remove the negative associations? If mum won't budge, at least his Dad can limit the damage as much as possible.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:24:10

And on a practical note, surely whoever is looking after your other child can also look after DSS?

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