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Paternity leave - Being used as summer contact time for DSD

(43 Posts)
AlizarinA Fri 07-Jun-13 09:55:31

DP is going through children's act proceedings for DSD (10) with EW. Latest hearing was to agree interim arrangements and summer holiday contact. DP happy as he managed to secure half of holidays, but had to work around EWs already booked holiday (which she'd just gone and booked without checking holiday arrangements with us). Problem is that we're expecting first child in August (due date August 03), and we now have DSD for practically all of August including week of baby's due date.

May not be a problem, as I've already been into hospital with severe abdominal tightenings and had steroid injections at 31 weeks. So baby may be early. But I'm getting increasingly pissed off at the thought that DP is planning to use his paternity leave for DSD. Might be being totally unreasonable, but this is the one time that I'll need looking after and he's just made himself completely unavailable. Seriously thinking of making my own plans for August (regardless of whether DS has arrived or not), and just let him get on with looking after DSD at home.

AIBU? Just so fed up of second families coming second. Just for once it would be nice for us to be the priority.

Franykins Thu 13-Jun-13 15:32:04

I'm more than happy for them to come once we're settled in and had a bit of us time and fully understand they are going to be a MASSIVE part of the twins lives and am happy for that. I just also want the first time family thing too blush

Bonsoir Thu 13-Jun-13 15:13:23

It isn't selfish not to want DSCs around in the days/weeks after giving birth - it's common sense, both for the mother and for the DSCs.

Franykins Thu 13-Jun-13 15:12:18

I can sort of see how she feels blush

I am pg with my first (twins grin) but have 2 DSS. This may be totally selfish but I would rather they weren't there for the first week after bringing babies home. Not that I don't want them around, we have them week on week off and I do all I can for them when they are with us from picking up from school to cooking, cleaning and playing with them. I have no problem with this at all and enjoy doing it. However, as these are my first DC I want all attention on us. If that is selfish then so be it! I want DP to be with us for the first week, plus as it stands we can't afford for DP to take the two weeks mat leave as its reduced money, therefore I will be home alone with 2 new-borns from day one potentially, so in the evenings for the first week home I would like DP to be able to look after us without having to also look after DSS, one of who is very demanding. I accept that after that first week it will be week on week off again and that is ok, but as a SM who has no children of my own previously I do sort of feel you miss out on a lot of 'first time things' My DSS will be great with the babies so I am not so worried about that, they are great with babies and have a baby brother from their mum and her partner and love him to pieces. (although I do worry I will be a bit get off my babies but as I am aware of this I will make sure I don't - if that makes sense. The babies will be DSS brothers or sisters and I understand this)

I have't spoken with DP yet about if it is our week with DSS when I go into labour/bring the babies home as I am only 15+5 but will definitely be talking to him about it as the pregnancy progresses.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 09-Jun-13 23:21:22

Mycat, isn't that other thread about a 5 year old DSD?

Turniptwirl Sun 09-Jun-13 12:31:15

I think the problem is DP being an inconsiderate bastard rather than DSD being around.

How do you expect a 10 year old to clean up after herself when her father,a grown man, doesn't bother?

brdgrl Fri 07-Jun-13 20:35:51

But I lived in my own home when DD was born. DH arranged for his own stepmum to come to his for the first week after DD was born, and he spent more time at mine for that week. It was a good arrangement, frankly. (though obviously not open to all stepmums!)

brdgrl Fri 07-Jun-13 20:33:52

Just to clarify - when I say similar set-up, I don't mean that DP was not supportive - I was referring to a different part of your post.

brdgrl Fri 07-Jun-13 20:30:02

Jadems, I think I understand how you feel, having had similar feelings and set-up when DD was born. You are right - you are still a single mum in many many ways and you are entitled to make the choices that are right for you and your child, not feel you have to compromise on this as well.

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 16:47:35

Ok I'm going to be really honest and say I had similar feelings when I had DS about the DSC being around. I feel quite a bit ashamed now that I didn't deal with it as well as I could have done (I love my DSC I really do)

With the benefit of glorious hindsight I realised it was because DP was not so great at helping me out with a newborn. He literally just left me to it and ignored me and DS completely when DSC were there. He probably felt uncomfortable and guilty and he himself dealt with it badly.

Plus I was responsible for all the food, housework, childcare, planning for everyone and then when DS arrived I wasn't so on the ball and DS took up a lot of time so looking after the older DSC was overwhelming for him without me helping all the time.

Anyway.... I too think that your problem is not with DSD being there but with DP and the level of help you'll get once your baby is born. You need to talk about DP about that.

MissStrawberry Fri 07-Jun-13 16:29:28

OP you have bigger problems than your step daughter being at your DP's house when you give birth sad.

You have not only compromised you have settled.

Madamecastafiore Fri 07-Jun-13 16:16:33

Sorry to be blunt but if this were a dramatisation I wouldn't be forgiven for thinking the main male character had got the cleaner/housekeeper pregnant?

What do you get out of this relationship apart from being a warm body and a bloody good cleaner all for food and lodgings?

Madamecastafiore Fri 07-Jun-13 16:12:49

My god girl having this baby is going to throw a huge spanner into your little well ordered life!

Prepare for Armageddon!!

Madamecastafiore Fri 07-Jun-13 16:10:50

I have a cleaner FFS but couldn't think of any more kids as great as mine to have around in terms of helping. That's a really silly thing to say.

Madamecastafiore Fri 07-Jun-13 16:09:39

I think it will be a wonderful experience for you all. I know you would have just had a baby and will feel the need to be looked after etc but there is no reason that can't still happen and it would be better for dsd emotionally to be treated as part of the family unit from the off and be included in maybe looking after the pair if you and getting to know her new sibling.

I was sent to my grandmas when step monster had more kids and it was awful to feel excluded and go back to their happy little set up once they deemed they could cope with me!

Mycatistoosexy Fri 07-Jun-13 15:55:09

Jadems are you the lady from the other thread about the school run for DSD?

OneStepCloser Fri 07-Jun-13 15:35:12

Jadems, the problem is not your DSD but your DP, he sounds somewhat unsupportive of you and the new baby, I think you need to tackle the problem of him first.

Cloverer Fri 07-Jun-13 15:28:41

Agree with flowery, this issue with DSD is just a symptom isn't it?

I think you and your DP need to decide if you are a family, or if you are some kind of lodger/housekeeper.

If you're a lodger, then of course you shouldn't be providing childcare. If you're a housekeeper, then what exactly is in your job description? Are you just providing housekeeping for your DP in return for room and board?

Of course, if you are a family then both the baby and your DSD are part of that family. Your DP is providing for you all financially and as the SAHP you are looking after home and children. It's unreasonable to exclude one child from the deal if that is the case.

You really need to work out what your position here is though.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 15:12:30

Flowery - I was thinking the same, what a strange set-up. sad

flowery Fri 07-Jun-13 15:05:29

"I don't work, but neither do I get any financial support from DP. He pays the bills for the house (his house), but I have to rely on family etc for things for me and the baby... After the baby is born I want to go back to work, which will mean spending all my income on travel and childcare"

Whoa! Seriously?! You have way more problems than your DSD being around for a few weeks tbh.

Jadems Fri 07-Jun-13 14:58:35

Yep - I don't want to have to take my newborn son on a 20 minute bus ride to collect DSD, spend another 20 minutes waiting in the school courtyard in all weathers, and then another 20 minutes waiting for the return bus home. If that makes me unreasonable, then I really don't care. I don't work, but neither do I get any financial support from DP. He pays the bills for the house (his house), but I have to rely on family etc for things for me and the baby. So don't really see why I need to make myself available as an unpaid childminder. After the baby is born I want to go back to work, which will mean spending all my income on travel and childcare, so would prefer for DP to sort out his own arrangements for DSD rather than relying on me.

And it is all completely shit and unrewarding - I moved out to Herts to be with DP, but I hate it here. I would much rather live in a city than some rural suburbia. But that's the compromise I had to make to be with DP. But I'm fed up of making compromises. This is the first and perhaps only time I'll get the experience of being a mum, and I'm entitled to want it to feel right for me. My whole life has been about making things ok for other people. Priorities are my son, and then myself.

BTW - you have to give the ironed socks thing a try. Seriously. Feels so much better not to have to dig out crumpled socks from your drawers in the morning, but to have neatly folded rows of socks sitting stacked waiting for you. Bit of tranquility on even the most hectic mornings wink

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 13:55:21

Oh and yes, I agree with Clover, ironing socks is a waste of time smile I recently found out some people iron bed sheets - but they are there to be laid on and crinkles up! Relax.

starbuckmum4 Fri 07-Jun-13 13:54:10

OP Am I right in thinking you posted on another thread saying you don't want to have to do the school run for DSD because you will have to get a bus and don't want to do that with the new baby too so would like you DP to put you DSD in childcare for before and after school whilst he works? My apologies if that wasn't you..

But now you tell us you don't work at all and DSD lives with her mum most of the time. Why on Earth wouldn't DP expect you to do the occasional school run?

With that as the fact you don't want DSD there for DP's paternity leave or when the baby is born and are considering taking your new born and living with family for the whole of August because DSD will be at home with you and DP...

I have to say, and I say this as a fellow step mum who knows just how shit and unrewarding it can be, it very much sounds like you see DSD as an inconvenience and one you'd rather just disappeared now you are having the baby and that is really sad. I'm not being nasty, just stating what comes across to me when I read your posts. Read them back yourself, if this is true she will pick up on it and that would be awful for her.

Can't you try a little harder (with your DP) to set firm house rules for DSD and also to maybe cut the kid some slack and recognise that your standards of cleanliness may be far higher than what is considered normal.


Cloverer Fri 07-Jun-13 12:58:02

The issue definitely seems to be your DP, not the child.

He needs to take care of cleaning, meal prep and childcare while he is on paternity leave while you take care of the baby. You'll also need to drop your standards a bit, children are messy and ironing socks is a ridiculous waste of time I'm afraid.

Stepmooster Fri 07-Jun-13 12:52:19

Hi OP, I had a similar thread recently:

I sympathise. My concern is not that DSS will be around in the first days of new babies life, just what happens when I give birth. He was here for my firstborn, and it scared him witless. We have no family nearby and I have a high chance of fast labour and haemorrhage like last time. My DH has told me not to worry and he will take care of things.... Not seen much evidence of that yet!

I think you'll find the last thing you will be doing when your baby is born is worrying about socks being ironed. Not to make fun of you, but boy my house still looks like a bomb has gone off and my first is now 11 months old. That sort of stuff won't be on your radar.

I completely understand why you'd want to be with your family for a month. I would love to go to my dad's but it's not an option. For me I just don't want the stress of worrying about DSS and how he is coping. At least my family are comfortable looking after my DD, they hardly know DSS and he them. There is no reason why your DH and DSD can't make the journey over to see you once things gets moving. Also in my local hospital, stepchildren are not allowed onto the labour ward, have you thought about what to do if you give birth when DSD is around?

JazzTheDog Fri 07-Jun-13 12:51:47

I can see where you're coming from. I gave birth on a contact day, DH's ex rang him to collect the kids an hour after I gave birth so she could go out. So he left me in the hospital on my own with new baby until drop off time later that day.

He then spent the 2 weeks of paternity having extra access to the step kids because he was off. Things like going out and doing the school run in the car so his ex wouldn't have to when I still had to get my ds to nursery. This was 8 years ago and I still haven't forgiven him! Having him off on paternity was just a PITA, if he'd been at work he'd have been away mon-fri and I could've had a much more relaxed time.

I did de-camp to my mum's for a week when the schools broke off for summer when ds was 3 weeks old because I couldn't handle 3 step-kids, my own ds and a newborn plus normal family routine. My mum was fab, all I had to do was feed the baby!

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