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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?!

Petal02 Tue 21-May-13 09:47:46

WandofElderNeverProsper that was a superb post !!!!!!

spg1983 Tue 21-May-13 07:51:03

I think some posters have missed the point of some of what has been said...the idea was not that ex could do whatever she wanted and that we supported her, the point was that she IS doing whatever she wants and DH needed to try and get through to her but ultimately if he wasn't able to then he needed to sort things himself. As a stepmom yes it is bloody frustrating when you only get certain times for holidays and then you are told it's not convenient but most of us go along with what's best for everyone even though it means sometimes changing our plans. And some people in this situation do what they want anyway and unfortunately these people cannot be forced into being considerate or helpful. That's the point we were trying to make...If ex is going to wash her hands of the child then DH almost has to become the equivalent of both parents that week and pull his finger out instead of letting the OP get all stressed out about it. It shouldn't be her concern but her DH's lack of organisation has made her worried about what could maybe happen and that's not fair.

Secretlifeofplants Tue 21-May-13 06:52:06

Hehe, Wandofelder, nearly peed myself reading your last post.
I have obviously missed my window of opportunity to become ruler of the universe. Ds has a sm, a lovely person, and though ex and she can be flexible regarding holidays and having ds I don't book even a weekend away without consulting them first, if my hols fit into their plans.
It simply shows respect for the people who care for my ds, I don't think it matters if they're related to him or not. Considering bad press ex usually get on mn (and yes, I'd have enough to complain about), being polite to them as you would to strangers allows everybody to move on. Bitterness just smacks of holding on to old grudges and therefore holding on to the relationship (and yes, have been on shared receiving side from dh ex ridiculous notions of her word is law etc.).

Xalla Tue 21-May-13 06:46:30

I very much support NADM's tactical suggestions regarding your DP dealing with his ex.

He should send a factual, non-emotive email to her laying out his concerns, outlining his current plans (or lack of) for their son around the time of your baby's birth and finish off with something like "please respond with your thoughts regarding the above". Asking nicely won't get in our experience. Nor should he be tip-toeing around her anyway; the child is his as much as hers. Their responsibilities towards your DSS are equal.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Tue 21-May-13 00:49:31

I'm still chuckling over the thought that biomums holiday is more important than OPs potentially very complicated labour. Heh. I might see if DP wants to run off n have babies with a fancy woman so I can have holidays and have my word be law, and generally be the Most Important Person Ever. Or... I'd probably just stick around for my kids. You know. Being their mum and all.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Tue 21-May-13 00:42:47

Wow there are a lot of bitter people on here. I can't quite believe the stuff about "well on my exs day the kids are his responsibility". Does that apply to every other time they are away from you? So nursery phone you one day and say "oh sorry to bother you, but your DC has had an accident n is being blue lighted into hospital" ... You do what? Tell them its exs day n to go bother him? Tell them its their responsibility as what else are they being paid for? Lovely. Wish it was that easy to switch off! (She says, as someone who works full time on all sorts of weird shifts, who needs to do so to pay for raising her kids, and fully understands having to chose between work and being there)

I'm imagining OPs DSSs mother on her holiday now, sitting by the pool with a glass in her hand. "So where's your son DSSs mum?" "Oh back in England, watching a woman close to him hemorrhage and potentially worse... What's that? Aren't I bothered? Fuck that sweetie, its dads week! Chin chin!"

But I do see the POV that OPs husband sounds like a wet blanket and needs to grow up a bit, accept that help/support from the ex is not going to happen so he needs to sort it all out by himself instead of leaving OP worrying and getting more and more frustrated. The default position for OPs husband should have been pro-active planning for ex not cooperating seeing as it sounds the norm in this setup.

OP, I totally get why you're pissed off. Your posts are slightly garbled and possibly bringing some unrelated frustrations which contribute to your feelings but aren't relevant to the specific situation - so it could make some posters think you're just a WSM ;) but really... Your issue should be with your DP. Yes, the exw sounds like a bitch. But there's fuck all you can do about it, so let it go. Raise your issues with your DP and leave him to understand its his problem.

Just make sure you get the outcome best for you right now as stress is not going to help. If your medical needs are as bad as you say they could be re: this next birth, then you need your dp to be with you. He needs to be your advocate if anything goes wrong and you can't speak up for yourself etc.

You get a funny mix on here... Some posters accuse others of being "anti first child" - which some of them are. Some posters are also "first child worshippers" who's opinions normally focus around thinking these poor little mites from broken homes should come before every other being in the universe including other children. The creamy middle is usually best.

Oh n I agree with everything NADM said - she knows what she's on about ;)

AmberLeaf Mon 20-May-13 14:06:47


Ive just read through all of this thread, my thoughts;

Sorry to hear you had such a tough time with your DDs birth, that all sounds really scary.

With my armchair psych hat on, Im going to say that I think all this stuff being sort of 'up in the air' and out of your control with regards your DSS being there around the time your baby is due has become a focal point for the quite understandable anxiety you have about this babies birth.

That is just my thoughts based on how I think I would feel in the same position, no criticism of you about how you feel towards your DSS, because I really don't think that is the issue here.

I do think though, that your DH needs to take control and get something sorted, for your DSSs sake, but for you too, you need to be able to focus on having this baby safely without having to worry about what is going to happen with your DSS and how that is going to rebound on to your DHs availability to you at the birth, I know you've said that obviously the birth is your priority, but I think if your DH stood up on this matter, it may make you feel better.

I hope you [well, your DH!] can get this sorted and I hope your babies birth is smoother than last time.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 13:41:56

Chancing it is what the plan is, feeling frustrated certainly. I can't help it, I just am! Sorry I am in extra defensive mode. I posted on Saturday having heard the news, and I didnt feel great yesterday. Woke up this morning to 100+ posts about how evil I am. I must admit I didnt read them all I just flicked through them. It's quite a mission to try and explain a whole back story in my original post so maybe I drip fed things, which I apologise for. I just thought if I said in one post that birth was traumatic for DSS people would agree with me...

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 13:28:48

Op, i wasnt being sarcastic, i was genuinely complimenting you for your selflessness in that situation.

Having read your whole story i understand and sympathise with your situation.

I think it is just difficult to offer a solution that will work for both you and the little boy, and that will be fair to you both. The problem from his pov would be that theres quite a big window of opportunity where he cant stay over with his dad (could be up to six week period if the baby could be early or even overdue) just incase you go into labour. That doesnt mean i dont understand that its worrying for you, but i just think youre going to have to risk it, make some plans as best you can, and keeps your fingers crossed that baby doesnt arrive early.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 13:00:29

Dreamer, last time when I got pregnant I told DH that if it came down to it I was prepared to give birth with just the medical staff for comapny if DSS needed him, he was to stay with DSS. I didnt want a child to see me give birth, as births are not all 'one born every minute'. That's my personal choice and not everyone's I know. Midwife/NCT/relatives/friends all had us convinced that first babies take hours/days to arrive and are always late - not 37 weeks as DD was. DSS was ex's third child and he took 2 days to arrive. DH and I were not at all expecting DD birth to be as it was, we thought contractions would start, DSS uncle would collect him and then DH and I would be left in peace. It didnt work like that. Now I know what it was like, and only having gone through it once I am trying to plan in my head how I will cope, where everyone will be, based on my previous experience. I am not going to be in control of my actions once labour begins. For the last month of pregnancy I am not even going to be alone with my daughter she is going to be at nursery during the day and DH will be with me/her every other time.

brdgrl Mon 20-May-13 12:50:54

OP, that sounds so scary. I hope you have a much smoother experience this time around! (do keep us posted please.)

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 12:46:36

Sorry cross posted there. After reading your full story, thats fair enough, i understand your situation a lot better. That is pretty horrific, and although you say you didnt mind your dh staying with your dss, youre a better person than me because i think id be pretty upset if my dp missed the birth of our first born (i know he didnt but you were still prepared for that to happen).

I do sympathise with your frustrations about the change in plans. But on the bright side, you know it could be quick this time and at least have the chance to make some back up plans, so it shouldnt be as bad as last time.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 12:37:42

Thank you NADM you have given me some food for thought regarding the stonewalling, and how DH can approach the issue.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 12:36:28

Spg1983 - your situation and story sounds incredibly similar to mine.

Op i dont want my posts to come across as an attack at all, but there is some resentment towards dss being there at at all coming across in all of your posts. I dont really think some of the logic behind what you think should happen is "right" or fair towards the dss BUT thats not to say that as someone who has been in a similar situation, i dont understand and empathise with how you feel (noone can help how they truly feel). As spg1983 says, i felt a strong desire for the birth of my baby to be shared by just me and dp and for all of his attention to be on me and the baby for that moment and the days either side - i even googled it and apparently it is a biological thing for mothers to want to "push" any "intruders" out of the nest. But i knew i really had to change my mindset because dss was my partners child and had a right to be there in the surrounding days if that was the arrangement (enforced or not enforced, that is just how it is), just as any of our own kids would likely be there when i went into labour (which wouldnt necessarily be straight forward just because they were mine, but i would sort something in an emergency).

Like spg1983, the love i have for my own baby now (which is obviously very different from the love i have for ne dss) helps me understand better how it must feel for dss and how id feel if he was mine.

There does sound like theres A LOT of other background on the ex, and ive no doubt that she sounds obstructive and difficult, and id be fuming with the money situation, especially the stress in late pregnancy whilst she is going abroad. But my point was just that its coming out in resentment towards the child in the way you talk about him. Not saying ive never had some of these feelings or cant understand, but you really have to try and change your mindset towards him and accept him as though he was part of a "normal" family. It will lead to a happier situation for him, and less stress for yourself if you stop tryig to fight it.

For the poster who said that whatever arrangements are made for the dss will cause the ex to kick off - it sounds like youre just guessing this from your own bitter experiences now, because nowhere does the op suggest that this would happen. In fact the suggestion has been that the ex doesnt care what happens to her ds when she is away, so you cant have it both ways! Plus the op has said they dont hear from her anyway, and even if they did, she wouldnt have a leg to stand on because she had been informed of the situation. It sounds like there is no point trying to do the "right" thing by her as it sounds far from amicable so nothing will ever be right. It would make more sense to accept the situation and focus on making dss happy with whatever situation you are left in...not saying thats right, but if she is that unreasonable, it doesnt sound like there is a choice.

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 12:33:08

My friend from NCT has offered to take care of DD if things kick off, and my sister cannot get to us in time. My sister has offered to take DD for a week because she is on maternity leave. But she lives an hour from us and 2.5 hour dirve from DSS home. She hardly knows DSS and DSS hardly knows her, if DSS went with DD to my sister's how is is going to get home again?

I don't really want DSS to be around when I give birth, no. Partly for him and me. Last time before my waters broke I had no porevious symptoms of about to go into labour, It was 2am and I ran into the bathroom trickling fluid everywhere. DH had to get DSS up and ready, and I stayed in the bathroom until DH had the car covered in protective mats. DSS was in shock although we explained everything to him the evening before, ironically to prepare him. I then spent the whole ride in the car contracting every minute, trying not to faint/vomit/poo myself in front of DSS.

We got to the hospital, I was examined and DH and midwife had to carry me into delivery room as birth was imminent. DSS wasn't allowed in as only children of the mother are only allowed to be present. I was screaming the place down. DH then had to sit in the visitors room with DSS, and when DD was about to be delivered the midwife or whoever went to get DH to see if he could come into the room. (I didn't actually ask him to be there I told him he could sit with DSS if he liked). DSS grabbed his arm in hysterics begging DH not to leave him, but DH convinced DSS to sit on the phone with his uncle who was in a taxi to the hospital so DSS would not be alone for long.

DH came into delivery room and DD came out just after. I then haemorraghed and there was blood everywhere. I was off my head on gas and air and trying to remain conscious, I kept shouting at DH to take DD and give her some skin-to-skin with a least one parent as I was being hooked up to fluids and having doctors and midwifes poking at my down belows trying to ascertain if I needed surgery.

DH felt faint, had DD on his bare chest, was worried about me and DSS was alone in the visitors area waiting for his uncle. When BIL arrived he took DSS back to our house and then took DSS home in a taxi for usual drop-off time.

After the birth I was in the hospital 3 days, once for me and 2 days in neonatal with DD as she became jaundiced.

I don't know what will happen this time, consultant says birth likely to be quicker, second births always are apparently, although I would LOVE to be proved wrong. I don't want to go through all that in front of DSS. I don't think DSS wants to go through all that either.

It is DH problem and he acknowledges this. But still I know there will be a chance DSS will be with us when I go into labour, I am not thrilled by the idea but hey-ho whatever. DH brother is not able to help this time around, and DSS will just have to be a big boy and cope with it.

DH has tried to start a dialouge with his ex about it all, tried to explain what DSS went through, both after the event and in January.

I accept then that DH ex can go aborad without telling DH, although it's not what I'd do.

I do reserve the right to remain frustrated that our plans for final weeks of pregnancy have been scuppered by changes in agreed dates.

If DSS were our child, then my family would be able to help but he isn't. They don't know him and they live too far from DSS home to be of any use really.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 20-May-13 11:37:34

Surely your best plan of action would be for your DH to approach his ex, explain your situation, establish when she is actually going away and ask for her help in arranging a 'birth plan' for your DSS - where he goes, where he sleeps, who cares for him etc.

That requires the ex to engage though - the OPhas said that repeated attempts at any communication have been ignored - hence the need to pass messages via the 11 year old sad

From experience, I'd say that the best way for the OP's DH to get a response from his ex is to stop trying to negotiate with her and instead tell her what you intend to do. For instance, if the OP is no longer willing to collect her DSS from the station because he is frequently late with no notification, then rather than ask ex to 'please let me know if DSS is going to be late' which will be ignored, just send an email saying 'because DSS has been late so often, I'll pick him up on Saturdays from now on'. The likelihood is that will elicite a response, all be it a negative one, but will break the stonewalling she's been doing and allow some communication to take place.

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 09:47:45

Oops, that should be "how much you love him"

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 09:45:52

Great post Xalla.

OP, something which I found weird was realising that my DH had a really important role as a non- resident father as well as being my partner/husband. I think that in my head, because he was/is an amazing DH to me, it automatically meant that he was also an amazing df to his son. It took a long while for me to realise that some of the things he initially suggested re contact with his son were actually quite selfish and that there were times where he really wasn't stepping up to the plate. I loved DH so much that at first I was unable to see where his behaviour as a df was less than amazing. Does that make sense?

I think sometimes you need to take a step back and consider your DH's attitude towards this situation. Since being pg and having my dd, it's been easier to do this because all I have to ask myself is "would I be happy if he was like this with my child" and if the answer is no then it's not good enough for DSS either.

It may seem like I'm a really pushy step mum but I just love DSS to bits and want him to be happy with us. I probably stand up for DSS more than DH!

OP I would feel exactly the same as you in this situation although like I've already said I would try and make the best of the situation without pushing DSS out. But I think you really need to question whether or not you think your DH has fulfilled his responsibilities as DSS' father, no matter howuch you love him or how much he looks after you...

Secretlifeofplants Mon 20-May-13 09:45:41

Hear you! The best thing now is to look after yourself. Rest assured you have a lot of moral support out there.
Can your dad still come but stay in a b&b?
All the best, xx

Xalla Mon 20-May-13 09:19:47

However I think the person who really needs to step up here is your DH. I'm sorry but DSS is his son and he needs to step up to his responsibilities. I agree that ex is being unreasonable by announcing holidays suddenly but if she can't be relied upon then DH needs to look after his son or make suitable arrangements

Exactly, this is your DH's job to sort out. You're never going to be able to control the ex's behaviour. Your understandable frustration stems from the fact that it's you that's being left to deal with the consequences of her actions and you shouldn't have to; your DH had a child with her, it's his job to deal with her / his child and shield you from all the c* that comes with it when you're about to deliver another one of his children.

Tbh I agree with the posters that have said she's entitled to take a holiday while DSS is with your DH regardless of the fact that you're about to deliver. Of course she should give you her contact details for while she's away but I don't think she's obligated to do so until the day before she leaves on holiday if she doesn't want to.

BUT I think it's important to remember that none of this situation is certain. Surely your best plan of action would be for your DH to approach his ex, explain your situation, establish when she is actually going away and ask for her help in arranging a 'birth plan' for your DSS - where he goes, where he sleeps, who cares for him etc.

If she's really determined to have her holiday you may find she's willing to compromise on certain issues wink

I've done this twice before and I'm due again in October. DH's ex has swung between insisting we have DSD over the birth (mine were both planned sections so more easy to plan for) so DSD didn't feel left out (second chid) and insisting we didn't have DSD for a week either side of the birth in case she felt left out (first child) hmm Not quite sure what her instructions are going to be third time around!

This stuff is never easy but ultimately it's not your stuff, it's your DH's.

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 08:58:46

stepmooster I do really feel for you, I know exactly what it is like to know I'm going to deliver early and fast, and it did happen. It does seen though like you don't want your DSS anywhere near you and I think that's a really sad situation but obviously if your DH's ex behaves like that then it is going to cloud your relationship with DSS.

However I think the person who really needs to step up here is your DH. I'm sorry but DSS is his son and he needs to step up to his responsibilities. I agree that ex is being unreasonable by announcing holidays suddenly but if she can't be relied upon then DH needs to look after his son or make suitable arrangements.

You still haven't said where your child is going when you go into labour, why can't DSS go to the same place? You'd be amazed how helpful people are prepared to be in an emergency (except the ex of course!!).

I found myself just wanting to be on my own with DH before my child was born, it's something I'm pretty ashamed of but it's a feeling I couldn't shake off. However I knew that DH would not allow that to happen so I tried to make the most of the situation and tried really hard to bond more with DSS and include him in everything to do with the baby. He is now the most caring and helpful child who adores his sister. I know every situation is different but it's nearly always the adults who have to make the first move and if one of the adults is being difficult then the others need to stop thinking about punishing the others and do what's best for the child. As a step child myself i guarantee the child will grow up to remember all of this and will remember who treated them with care and consideration.

brdgrl Mon 20-May-13 08:52:05

Because it seems that they only cant cope with this 11yo just because he's not "theirs". If he was "theirs", they would find a way, because theyd have to, so why the big fuss!

If he was "their's", the kid might be sent off to maternal relatives or friends - a solution which the ex might find unacceptable and kick off about. And make a "big fuss".

If he was "their's", the solution might be to have him sleep on the living room sofa - a solution which the ex might find unacceptable and kick off about. And make a "big fuss".

The OP can't treat the child as "her's", because he's not, and because that very very clearly isn't the model which is acceptable to the child's mum, either.

Op does come across quite resentful of the fact he'll be there more generally, complaining of having a "bored 11yo for two weeks"...whats this got to do with her original complaint.
I believe the OP's point was partly that by coming during this time, the child will be, unavoidably, deprived of some of the attention and activities which he might be getting at another time. So it is very relevant. If the baby does arrive, the kid is not going to be getting as much interaction with the adults in the household. (If the baby doesn't arrive, OP will still be 8 months pregnant in the height of summer and working FT - I think anyone with any sense can empathize with the idea that a bored child will be a bit more to handle under those circumstances than others. Whether "theirs" or not. OP mentions it as one piece of the sum package. Fair enough.)

Stepmooster Mon 20-May-13 08:38:30

Well pin me up and stone me as the evil stepmother who has to revise the end of her final month of pregnancy because of the financial situation her DH ex has put them in, who DH ex has decided to unagree dtaes of end July/Aug to come up with her own dates with no discussion. Dates we've agreed to, but no I guess its not something I'
m allowed to be frustrated
About. I would prefer my father to stay and help out as was planned, he gets to see his granddaughter, and I don't have to come home to bored 11yo moaning winging because his friends are over 2 hours away, and he's only got my DH and a 13 month old for company.
I will be knackered, moody and stressed and not really chipper company for anyone. DSS can be packed of to his nans whenever his mum wants it doesn't bother me. It bothers DSS though, he'll be on his own no internet, friends or siblings on either side. He'll just ring his dad and moan, and DH will tell no you can't come over.

If the consultant wants to scan me at 36 weeks because she thinks I'm likely to deliver early and FAST then I am inclined to listen to her.

Anyway I have no idea if DSS mum will agree to swap the weekend we want her to in early sept, she just doesn't reply. DH has decided its a no.

DH did say when DSS was born the ex packed her eldest 2 off to their dads for the week so they could cope. Shame that's not something she sees fit to consider for DH. DH has said if DSS is here and it all kicks off like last time, DSS will have to just cope on his own if he has to help me. DH will ask DSS to speak to his mum about coming to fetch him, or rearranging weekends. If she won't then its up to her to deal with whatever state DSS is when he finally goes home.

I do find it odd that once you divorce, you can switch the parent button EOW. If it were my son and he'd had a traumatic exp last time then I would try to be there for my son and not try to make silly points with my ex.

DH has decided no more favours for the ex, if she wants to rearrange a weekend she will get a no in reply.

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 07:47:57

And maybe it would only take the OP showing a bit of care and consideration towards her DSS to help the situation improve. What mother would be happy to send her child to a place where one of the adults living there is happy to disengage and treats them as though they're not as important as other children living there? I certainly wouldn't be happy about it and it would seriously impact on my relationship with the adults concerned.

spg1983 Mon 20-May-13 07:44:29

NADM I think you're getting into dangerous territory by saying that having a difficult situation is "normal". I know that DSS' mum would go mental if we treated DSS like that and is happy with any arrangements we make for him so long as he is included in everything. She would hate it if he were made to feel "different" or not part of our family. It sounds like your situation is difficult and quite acrimonious and that you find it easy to disengage from your DSS - you've said that you find it necessary sometimes as he won't even be in the same room as you without getting upset.

Please don't assume that every stepfamily works like this. There is no "normal" and every blended family has its own problems but I think you'd be surprised at just how far people are willing to go to make it work, and just how successful they can be.

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