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Just wondered what your opinions were on this. How to manage DP's expectations.

(535 Posts)
MinesADecaff Fri 07-Jun-13 10:53:26

DP and I are expecting our first baby. He has a DD who's 5 and who lives with us about 60% of the time.

Three days a week it's his responsibility to arrange childcare for her after school. At the moment a childminder picks her up and then DP collects her on his way back from work. I work FT too.

But now he's started talking about how, when I'm on maternity leave, I can start picking up DSD from school. But I really don't want to. Especially not in the first few months when I'm still getting to grips with being a new mum and feeling knackered.

I don't have any family or friends where we live - everyone is at least an hour away. So I'd be on my own with new babe plus DSD until DP got home.

I'm not completely averse to the idea once I've got a routine established with the new baby and I've found my feet a bit. But I've got a feeling that DP is going to be expecting me to be doing the school run the first Monday after he goes back from paternity leave.

AIBU to say that for the first six months or so I just want to be able to bond with my baby and find my feet as a mum without having to provide childcare for his DD too?

mrsshackleton Wed 12-Jun-13 11:12:43

Of course you're apprehensive about the newborn. Of course the thought of any obligations is frightening. Your dp should realise and acknowledge this. I too can't see how it will help the sd to be yanked out of her routine and into a house with a probably exhausted and nervous new mum and a screaming baby. But then again you might find you enjoy the company and the structure of a school run, so keep your options open and don't commit.

Stepmooster Wed 12-Jun-13 11:50:29


I must be the shittest mother going in your eyes! I am due in September and DD will stay in nursery. My DD was in neonatal for a few days, then it took us a long time to get her feeding sorted. Midwives didn't discharge her from their care for ages. Then the health visitors were around for ages all trying to get her to feed. It was not a pleasant atmosphere at home, it was stressful, heart breaking and once DH's leave was up something I had to go through alone.

I am hoping DC2 will be normal and healthy, that my birth will be straightforward. I really don't want DD to spend her days at home watching TV with mummy having a meltdown over why the newborn isn't 'thriving'.

I think unless you've got family around to help, which I dont and nor does OP you can't just assume everything is going to be perfect with your new DCs.

Anything can happen, good or bad to you and the baby. If you've got no back-up plan you're up shit creek without a paddle!

OP has said she will do the school run once she's got her head around it all.

Is that really so bad?

My DD will be home FT once DC2 and I are well enough, so that I am there for my DD when she needs me too.

needaholidaynow Wed 12-Jun-13 13:19:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

izziewizzie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:14:41

Op, you are taking a lot of crap on here. Ignore it. This is the steps board,where a strange universe exists whereby you must treat your step child as your own, put said child above your children and yourself, but also understand that whilst doing so you will be vilified for "over stepping". You can't win, and you don't need to justify yourself to anyone on here.

Fwiw, I was a fulltime step mum to one child, and a part time step mum to another. I had a dd of my own, and me and Dp have a dd of our own. Sad to say, my Dp was very much in the "taking the piss" category, and always felt I was free child care for his children. He went to work for very long hours, and insisted on his full entitlement to see his children, and saw no reason why I would mind looking after them eow and half the holidays.

He had his children for 3 weeks last summer, when I had a 3 week old newborn, and my dd off school (she was 5). He did not take one day off. I was trying to breastfeed and there was no where I could go and just be in peace.

I tell you this, because it is easy to fall into a trap of being pushed into these things, and it becomes the thin edge of the line, because once you have done it once, it's hard to say no next time. If you don't feel you can do it, then don't.

My baby was (and is) a nightmare sleeper and very full on. After 3 weeks with all four children here and no help from Dp I was a physical wreck. I did put my 5 year old dd into a play scheme because it was really hard (just shows you, if it can be done for my dd there's no reason why your dsd can't stay with her childminder too)

I still look back on that period with resentment, that no one realised how hard things were for me.

If I had this time again, I would not be pushed into what I wasn't comfy with. This is your first baby, it wasn't for me and I struggled to do it all.

It won't kill dsd to stay in her childcare and she won't feel pushed out. And trust me, a 5 year old and a newborn can really be very wearing together grin

I hope it goes well for you. Take the good advice on here, and ignore those who frankly know sod all about these things. It's very easy for people to spout how it should be, while they do not live a step parents life.

Good luck x

Rightsaiddeb Wed 12-Jun-13 14:20:43

Thanks for the above needaholiday, would like to scream that at my dh at times.
I'm all for respect and appreciation and showing affection between sp and dsc, but there is no stronger bond than that, at least not in our house. And that is fine for everybody all round. It's really only dh, funnily enough, that has been trying to put me into the awkward position of substitute mother for dsc, probably some left over bitterness after divorce...

Petal02 Wed 12-Jun-13 14:24:47

He had his children for 3 weeks last summer, when I had a 3 week old new-born, and my dd of school (she was 5). He did not take one day off. I was trying to breastfeed and there was no where I could go and just be in peace

Izzie, he didn’t have his children for 3 weeks, you did !!!!

It drives me insane when these men want their full entitlement of access, but someone else actually has the access for them. Just what is the point in that?????

Can you imagine saying to your husband “I’ve invited my mother over for the weekend” and then in the next breath telling your DH that you won’t be around to entertain her? It’s exactly the same principle.

izziewizzie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:31:05

I agree Petal, and we are of the same mind on this, you and I.

I did not put my foot down enough in the beginning, and I should have, because that is how my situation was allowed to occur, which is why I say to the op it's the thin edge.

Granted, there were many other issues with my step children, which I have talked about on here, which led to resentment, just I have namechanged now so people don't know me grin

Op, you must never feel bad because you don't view dsd as your first born, or you love your own child more. You will do the best you can, like the rest of us.

Sadly there is no easy way for step parents. I think most of us are flailing about just trying to do our best, and sometimes failing.

catsmother Wed 12-Jun-13 14:44:55

I'm gobsmacked at your post Izzie - angry, and also very sad for you that what should have been a special time has been marred so badly by the complete lack of consideration shown by your DP - apart from anything, he totally disregarded your health (physical and mental) by the sounds of it. I really don't know how or if you can ever get over something like that.

I just hope the OP did get to enjoy her day off yesterday - which was a perfectly reasonable thing for her to want to do - and wasn't emotionally blackmailed or harangued into doing what her DP wanted her to do instead.

Bonsoir Wed 12-Jun-13 14:52:13

I have always taken DD to stay with my parents for a few days during school holidays leaving DP and the DSSs alone at home. It makes DP appreciate all I do to keep things running smoothly when I am around for them!

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 12-Jun-13 14:57:07

Stepmooster, it really doesn't matter one tiny jot what I think. You feel you're making the right decision for your DD and family. It's not one I could justify making to myself, but I don't have to look after your kids, and you don't have to look after mine, so we have to decide for ourselves. I hope everything goes well with the birth.

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