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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?!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:26:24

freddie I believe that everyone has choices - there were no jobs for me, so I created one, and DD is anything but the be-all-and-end-all; yesterday she was up to her elbows in dishwater for several hours at work with me.
My point is that I don't assume that my life is my own when DD is with her Dad - when her SMs dad died suddenly infront of the family, I dropped my plans and picked up DD rather than expect ex to manage. Surely one of the benefits of separated parents is that DCs need not be exposed to situations they find distressing?

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 11:27:39

surely it is this child's father's responsibility to support his child through this 'life event' (very dramatic!) that is the birth of a sibling? The sibling is not the mum's responsibility. That's the reality of separated parenting. I am not suggesting that she should refuse to answer questions or be supportive or anything else, but surely the main focus of this is the blended family which mum is stepping away from? is she not actually making the 'blending' easier by taking that step away? would it not be worse if she were refusing to let her child be part of the new family?

Whilst I agree I am a parent 100% of the time, I am not responsible for the relationship that exists between my ex and our children. That's his responsibility.

stepmooster - of course a child that age will be scared by labour and the moaning and groaning that goes on. But that's where your responsibility as a blended family comes in, surely? Why can't your partner explain to him in age appropriate language what will happen? how a baby is born? what that means for mum, dad and siblings? why on earth is it mum's responsibility to make him feel a part of YOUR blended family?

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:29:40

I disagree NADM. I have created a job for myself. It involves travel. The other option is to sit on benefits.

Loads of parents do jobs like that, why can't the father cope?

I did say if I can help I do and I have the kids at inconvenient times to accommodate my ex, but there are times when I can't. I have to work. That's my job. I am away.

And I don't believe as a parent my job is to protect my child from situations they find distressing. Not always. Sometimes shit happens and you have to deal with it, separated parent or not.

Is it just mothers that are expected to be always available for their children or is it fathers too?

I agree entirely mum.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:32:26

I can see your point of view NADM but ironically the only child we have who could be "removed" from a situation like that is DSS as his mum is lovely. In fact her attitude is pretty much identical to what you've been posting!

But if anything happened then it's DD, my biological child, who wouldn't have anywhere to go as we don't have family etc who are in the position to take her. I know DSS' mum would help in an instant though and would happily look after her!

The point is that yes it's a benefit but not something that all children have so it's somewhat confusing to me that some people seem to see it as a step child's "right".

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 11:34:44

you are being ridiculous, NADM. In 'together' families it is often the case that one parent is away or has to leave early and the other parent manages this, works their job around it. The situations being described here are no different. No parent can be available to their children 100% of the time - we sometimes get ill, for example. If you have been able to create yourself a job from home, that's wonderful. But you also have a partner and not everyone does. I also believe you receive maintenance for your children. Again, not everyone does. Some people do not have the luxury of choice in their lives, they have to get on and earn a living and pay the bills. You are basically suggesting that every parent who works and isn't able to leave their workplace at the drop of a hat is somehow a 'bad' parent. This country would fall apart if that many people didn't take their jobs seriously, don't you think? Oh, sorry, got a phone call, must now divert my ambulance to my kid's school rather than pick you up after you've had an accident? really?!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:35:03

Is it really preferable for a DC to be present at a birth (where there is a history of complications) when there is a viable alternative?
Even assuming that Dad is failing his son by not putting arrangements in place, why on earth would any mother decide that her holiday is more important than her DS wellbeing? She knows this will happen but is going ahead with her own plans even though the OPs DH has made it clear that he can't/won't put arrangements in place.

If the DCs mum can't rely on her ex to protect her DS from that distress, what does it say about her that she's still prepared to leave her DS in dads care, knowing how distressed he was last time?

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:36:51

Why can't whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after DSS?

Why is it the mother's responsibility to sort out child care for her ex's partner?

Sounds utterly ridiculous to me.

Why is it the mums responsibility? Are fathers incapable of making other arrangements?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:39:32

nadm the existing child is not being "protected from the distress" but surely there's a plan in place for that child. I don't see why DSS can't be included in that?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:39:43

Is it just mothers that are expected to be always available for their children or is it fathers too?

My ex has a similar ethos - as do many of my separated friends (mums and Dads) who have chosen (for instance) to remain living close together rather than pursue career opportunities.
There will be plenty if time when DD is an adult for me to do my own thing - right now, it's important that I'm there for DD. As I said, I used to feel differently; my change in viewpoint has come about through my own experience..

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:40:35

I agree with wannabe.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:42:56

I live close to my ex. That's a choice I've made.

But to conflate that to doing a job that means I can drop everything at the drop of a hat to accommodate him is nonsensical. I can't do a different job, there isn't one to be had. I don't have a partner living here and I don't get maintenance.

What the fuck else am I supposed to do? Genuinely? Sit on benefits so that if he has a "distressing incident" that he doesn't want the DCs to witness I can go running in like the Lone Ranger?

Life doesn't work like that. Sometimes shit happens. He'll have to cope, just like I do. If I can help I do. Sometimes I can't.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:43:15

Why is it the mums responsibility? Are fathers incapable of making other arrangements?

Because if/when one parent can't or won't put arrangements in place, the other parent has a choice. To carry on and ignore it and hope that their child doesn't come to any harm or to step in themselves and look after their child's needs.
It's not fair, but if both parents say 'tough' then it's the DC who suffers.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:45:14

Freddie but thus isn't a sudden emergency. The OP disclosed her pregnancy at a very early stage in order to make arrangements for her DSS to avoid him being in the same situation as last time she gave birth.

There's no 'lone ranger' needed; just a mum who puts her DSs needs ahead of her own holiday.

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 11:46:54

I am just of the opinion that stepchildren need to be included in normal family life as much as possible, not carted off whenever something happens. What a way to make them feel different to any step/half siblings they have. If normal family life includes a new baby coming then so be it. These things happen, he can't be protected forever.

On a similar note (but much less dramatic/important) we went out the other day when dd was screaming in her car seat. It was pretty obvious she was tired and would be asleep by the end of the road. DH actually asked me to take her in my car instead (so we'd end up taking 2 cars to our destination) as he didn't think DSS would cope with the noise (he's 7!!). I flatly refused as a crying baby is totally normal plus DSS' mum is trying to conceive with her new DP and I know they won't take 2 cars everywhere in case their baby cries!!

So why is the OP annoyed at the mum? She should be equally annoyed with her DH for not making other plans.

She says that if DSS is there then FIL cannot stay, well, why? Are their no cheap hotels nearby?

Tbh, if a two bed house is all they can afford, should they be having another child? Why is the first child being treated as An Annoying Thing? He was there first. If you cannot accomodate this situation you shouldnt be in it.

This baby is going to arrive. A baby that the ex had no part in. Yet she is the focus of the OPs annoyance. Its bizarre.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:50:20

Why should I organise my holiday around my exH new wife giving birth when even for a normal birth there's a 4 week window? And if I'm a teacher and only have 6 weeks off?

I just don't get this "I'm a mother I must be a martyr to my children"

Why can't whoever is looking after the OPs other child look after DSS?

That's what would happen in a together family and all the separated stuff is irrelevant, really.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 11:54:33

normal family life as much as possible, not carted off whenever something happens

Normal family life does not (in my opinion) include a young DC witnessing the emergency transfer of their SM during labour because she is haemorrhaging.
Call me over-protective, but I think most parents would try and protect their DC from that. The ex in the OPs case knows it may happen, knows that the OPs DH can't/won't protect their DS from it, but is going on holiday anyway.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 11:59:06

Shit happens, NADM. Sometimes you can't prevent it.

What is different about it being a DSS to it being a DS?

spg1983 Sun 19-May-13 12:04:33

Exactly freddie, in that situation firstly there should've been a plan made by the child's father in case the OP went into labour when DSS was with them. Secondly if DSS was a DS would you be so worried about it all?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:05:56

What is different about it being a DSS to it being a DS?


Its not within mums power to protect the OPs DC from the situation - but she can prevent her own DC being exposed to something that many adults would struggle to cope with - she has chosen instead to tell the DCs dad to deal with it and doesn't seem bothered about the impact on her own DC.

I'd be furious if my DD was exposed to such a distressing set of circumstances when it could be avoided.

mumandboys123 Sun 19-May-13 12:07:59

are we sure that mum knows the detail? I find it unlikely that the OP's partner is discussing her gynacelogical history with his ex. Might be wrong.

And even if she does know the exact detail of what MIGHT does that change anything? is the child not going to spend time with dad at all over the summer just in case? because surely she can go into labour at any moment and a whole host of complications arise in a very short period of time....possibly even before mum is able to get there? what if mum doesn't hear her mobile 'cos she's out shopping on a busy high street? should she seriously be confined to her front room with her phone in her hand for the duration of her summer holidays IN CASE something happens that MIGHT be upsetting to her son? (And which probably wouldn't be upsetting if his father bothered to 'brief' him about what happens when women go into labour in the first place?)

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 19-May-13 12:13:57

So because he's a DSS he's worthy of more protection than a DS. Strange. I never thought of it like that. I'd consider them all the same.

And still, why can't whoever is looking after the OPs existing child look after DSS.

And then, given that normal birth has a 4 or 5 week window, how close to the ex does she have to be for those 4 or 5 weeks? Suppose she goes swimming? Or to the park? Or out with her mates and gets bladdered?

Can't you see the restrictions that would put, unfairly, on her life?

NotaDisneyMum Sun 19-May-13 12:26:27

So because he's a DSS he's worthy of more protection than a DS. Strange. I never thought of it like that. I'd consider them all the same.

So do I - that's my point.

The OPs DSS has two parents who are responsible for his emotional wellbeing. They both seem to be in agreement that it won't do their DS any harm to be exposed to the OPs labour a second time, despite the distress he experienced last time. Mum had refused to discuss it and Dad can't/won't put any arrangements for his DS in place.

The OP feels differently and has, if I've read it right, put things in place to protect her own DC from that situation. It is not her responsibility to put things in place for her DSS, he has two parents who can do that, and they clearly don't think it's necessary.

Ultimately, all the OP can do is disengage, look after her own DC and concentrate on her own health, which will not be helped by her DH and his ex playing power games with their DS who the OP (understandably) feels responsibility for.

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