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Lose Lose Situation!

(87 Posts)
needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 08:05:21

For the first time in a pretty long time DSD's mum kicked up a fuss about me last night.

Basically, DSD has got a dance show coming up soon, it's her first one since starting doing dancing. I've not seen her dance yet but DP says she's really good at it and she loves doing it. This show was a chance for me to see her dancing.

However, as I have 2 very young children aged 2 and 4mo to look after I can't go. We've asked around for a babysitter and tried really hard to get it sorted but we can't find one. I don't think it would be fair on DS1 to have to sit still for 2 whole hours, and to get all frustrated and it be a horrible experience for him. It wouldn't be fair on him. DS2 is fine, he's a baby and will probably sleep through most of it. But DS1 is a toddler and very restless and would get upset. DP told his ex I won't be going and she really wasn't happy about it.

She said if it was my son I'd be there watching him. Well, yes I would as he would be the one performing and obviously wouldn't need looking after. If DS2 couldnt go and we didnt have a babysitter then again unfortunately only one of us could go to that one! Same applies and I don't know what makes her think her daughter's show is an exception! This emotional blackmail was the thing that got to me. As much as I would like to go and watch her, I have to think about DSs' well being and ensure they are comfortable and happy. An environment like the show would not be suitable for DS1 but she just doesn't seem to understand this.

It is just unfortunate that I can't attend this show. My dad is away on holiday, ILs won't look after them (yeah they're not going either), my mum is at work that day. Hopefully the next show I can attend as I'd really like to see it, and in the future when they are older we can all go as a family to watch her and DSs will enjoy it, but this one is near impossible and DSD's mum doesn't understand that my commitments mean I can't go. I think if it was any other commitment like work the. She would fine with it, but because that commitment is indeed my children, she doesn't like the fact that I am putting their well being before her daughter's show. That's the impression that I am getting and I don't appreciate having to justify myself.

It's a situation where each outcome will mean someone is unhappy. If I don't go then DSD's mum will be angry at me, but if I do go then DS1 will have to switch off being a toddler for 2 hours, which ain't going to happen as its impossible!

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 18:04:38

Duffle Exactly that's the way it goes. These things happen (or, in DSD's Mother's case, my DS "happened!" Lol) And I think her face would be as sour as grapes if my DS starting kicking off and ruining the whole illusion lol. I'm doing her a favour trust me! DS can have a right temper with a loud screech when he's unhappy!

stepmooster Thu 27-Jun-13 18:09:34

Hi Purpleroses, that was my thoughts exactly. Before our DD was born DSS was the 'baby' of both families. Now he is not the baby on our side anymore and the ex has accussed my DH of starting a new family to forget about the old one (completely forgetting DSS is a product of her Second marriage when she already had kids).

But in our case the ex doesn't care if I go to DSS end of year play just if DH didn't attend. DH is going and DD is at home with me for the exact same reasons as OP. So I'm not really sure what planet the OP's DP' ex is on?

CaptainSweatPants Thu 27-Jun-13 18:12:48

Well I'd go & if ds makes a fuss either you or dp could take him out

You said you wanted to see the show so why don't you try that?

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 18:20:47

I see your point Captain I really do, but what's going to be enjoyable about running out of the room, Sutton him back down, he has the tantrum of the century, runs away again, throws his juice across the room, I sit him back down again, he hits me in the face, shouts, disrupts everyone else and they could lose their patience and have a go, and by the time I've done all of that i didn't see the show? Sounds a bit daunting for DS1. When we went to Haven he didn't last 5 minutes at the shows, wasn't interested and wanted to run off or even worse, run on to the STAGE. Picture that happening at DSD's show: him trying to get on stage!

Honestly it's not even worth trying.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 18:24:19

After the first night (after literally those 5 minutes), we avoided the shows for the rest of the holiday. And me and DP knew after that night that he's just too young to do anything like that. He even hated the kiddy discos etc and tried to run out of the room to the arcades. Little terror!

PrettyPaperweight Thu 27-Jun-13 19:05:06

I'm just trying to fathom out why this is such a big deal and the only thing I can come up with is it's very important to this little girl, it's her first show and she wants you there.

jan I assume you're not familiar with step-parenting dynamics?

What the DC may, or may not, be feeling is frequently at the very bottom of an exW considerations!
Fathoming out why things are such a big deal for their DSC mum is a full time job for many Stepmums - why doesn't she want her DCs laundry to be done at Dads house, why can't her DCs say hello to their stepmum when they see her in the street, why can't stepmum go along to sports day?

What bloody difference does it make why the OP doesn't want to go? Would a grandparent be expected to go along to see a dance show if their DGC wanted them to, and told they were exaggerating if they explained they may not be able to sit for that long (aches, pains, weak bladder)? What about an aunt? Would toddler cousins be expected to sit through the dance performance because the DC wants their Auntie there?

Bollocks. This is yet another example of how Stepmums are expected to sacrifice their own lives, opinions, values and ethics in order to keep the mother if their DSC on side.
If that is what society expects then forget it - I'm certainly not cut out to be anything other than a WSM!!!!!

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 19:56:29

Paperweight You said that perfectly. That is precisely how I felt then other night.

I felt like as a stepmum my own values, opinions and my own commitments to my children just did not matter to DSD's mum. You made a good point about an aunt not going or a GP not going. Their reasons would be justified and would be accepted, yet as a stepmum I am expected my much of society to put my own reasons to one side and just "suck it up" Is my son expected to just suck it up too? He simply wouldn't understand as he only turned 2 in March! In a year or so I will be able to reason with him a bit more and he will understand that if he doesn't sit nicely he will be in trouble!

DSD's mum simply doesn't care or understand. To her, her main priority is her daughter (fair enough), but on the same note my priority is making sure that my children are happy too. If she had it her way then that means DS wouldn't be happy, so why would I put a grown woman's wants and expectations over my 2 year old son's. Oh, sorry I forgot, it's because she is my DP's ex and what she says goes, I am the stepmum, and my DS is the stepmum's child (together with DS2 we are second family) so he comes second, right?


ladydeedy Thu 27-Jun-13 21:24:15

Ignore the stupid woman and dont let it rile you.
there'll be other opportunities. Enjoy getting the full rundown from your DSD later.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 22:10:40

Thanks ladydeedy I refuse to suck up to her

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 22:20:04

You can't win can you really - a Mum that is stropping because the step-mum isn't going... who'd have thought??

I would go with DS, then take him out if he can't sit still - IMO they need regular 'tries' at this before they can do it but because I wanted to go, not because of DH's ex.

She is being an idiot - best ignored.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 10:57:34

"can't he behave for two hours in an environment where there will be other children just like him there?"

A 2 year old? Are you serious? - "can't he behave for two hours" hmm. Yeah OP, why don't you just drug him up so he'll sit quietly to keep the ex happy.

2 year olds ruin many a school play/show - what's the point in bringing them to ruin it for the children performing/adults watching, make the toddler bored and miserable, just to keep the OP's partner's ex happy.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 12:47:19

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it allnew?
I do think she's threatened by him though. How I can't just drop everything for her convenience or to meet her values. Things aren't the same as they used to be and aren't as simple as they were before ds1 came along and I certainly won't have her say what I should be doing regarding DSD if it affects DS1. My time, attention, love, finances, priorities have to adjust and now I am a mother myself I have to BE a mother because who else will? If that means deciding to keep DS1 at home whilst DSD does her dance show then so be it. As much as it would have been nice for me to see her and trust me I really want to, my priority has to be my child being happy. I shouldn't make that my bottom priority because I am a SM. smile

Jan45 Fri 28-Jun-13 13:26:30

Ok, before anyone else blasts me for not having the brain to work out what a stepmum is all about, I've been there and wore the t-shirt. If the OP cannot take her toddler to a show that is so important it is causing friction between both families and upsetting the little girl then fine, her choice of course. Personally, I wouldn't let my badly behaved toddler stop me from going, in that case, you'd never go anywhere that involved sitting for more than an hour or so, surely if your child plays up you can take him outside for a bit, we've all been there, sometimes toddlers have to learn to suffer the boredom! Prettypayperweight: no need to patronise me because you don't agree with my opinion. If the OP really means she wants to see the show, the only thing stopping her is her toddler's behavour - looks more to me like you actually don't really want to go and perhaps the mum is thinking the same.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 13:36:16

No Jan, I do want to go. My reasons aren't any less valid than if it was work commitments, I end up ill on the day, I'm meeting a friend etc... It's just because my reason happens to involve my child that she is kicking up a fuss!

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 13:43:28

"badly behaved toddler", "the only thing stopping her is her toddler's behavour".

FGS the child is 2 years old. A bored/fidgeting 2 year old has got nothing to do with bad behaviour. Good god.

SidneyBristow Fri 28-Jun-13 13:52:00

Even if she just flat out does not want to go, and is using her toddler as an excuse - what business is it of the DSD's mum?

Is the OP allowed to review the DSD's mum's diary and weigh in on whether her reasons are "valid" for going/not going to events?

Personally OP I still think you never owed an explanation and your DH was wrong to give one. The only answer should've been "Needaholiday can't go; hopefully she'll be able to make the next one; DD is fine with it and understands" - end of. Once she started in with her opinions, your DH should've said something along the lines of "your opinion is noted" and changed the topic.

It's ironic how so often on MN you read "No is a complete sentence." Why doesn't that apply here?

Jan45 Fri 28-Jun-13 14:46:41

All toddlers can be badly behaved, I'm not singleing out one child, you all need to chill out a bit and respect other people's opinions whether you agree or not. If you don't want opinions, don't post.

This is my last bit of input here as clearly if I don't back up what is said then I'm talking mince, nice to see folk seeing two sides to every story.

OP, you must do what you think is right, you asked, I gave my opinion, I can't help it if you think it's wrong, I still stand by it, it appears to me to be a very lame excuse on this little girl, it's nothing to do with the mum.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 14:55:32

I will make no bones about disagreeing with anyone who labels a 2 year old badly behaved just because his or her mother is reluctant to make them sit still and quiet for 2 hours

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 15:14:36

Actually it's got everything to do with her mum. She is the one kicking up the fuss when I actually thought my reasons were perfectly acceptable and nothing more would be said of it.

You think its a lame excuse and that's your opinion. You also don't know my DS, just like DSD's mum doesn't. She knows naff all about his personality and his likes and dislikes, and where he feels comfortable/ uncomfortable. Granted nobody on here does either, but they still respect my reasoning as I know what is right for DS. She basically doesn't give a stuff.

If I was working and couldn't book the day off I wouldn't pull a sicky, if I had arranged to meet a friend from down south months ago I would not change my plans, if I was ill I know I wouldn't be able to stay in bed but I wouldn't be going out if it made me feel worse. If I have a 2 year old I'm not going to take him and make him sit down for 2 hours and it be a horrific experience for him.

Can you see any difference at all? These all sound like very reasonable "excuses". Mine just so happens to be the latter one and this is what DSD's mum can't stand.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 28-Jun-13 15:31:17

jan Assuming your still reading, I think you are quite right. The OP doesn't need an excuse to say no, she doesn't want to go. She has the right as an independent human being to say that.
And you know what? It's a parents job to teach and support their DCs to learn that lesson if they are disappointed.
Only in this case, the DCs mum doesn't want to parent her child, she wants to control the actions of others so that she doesn't have to parent.

Parents cannot control the environment their DCs experience - good parents teach their children how to deal with life, lazy parents expect others to deliver the environment they want their DC to experience.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 16:01:59

I Might have been a bit unclear in my last post. Thinking about it, my reason is much much more valid than any of the other reasons. If my DP was to go and watch his daughter, I would be staying off work for childcare reasons, and I would re arrange with a friend for child care reasons, unless she fancied coming to mine or we went out somewhere for the children, If it was DS1 performing I would do the same in order to look after DS2. Usually babysitters are easy, my dad is 9 times out of 10 available, but on this occasion he's away on holiday, so it's tough luck. If I did have a babysitter and I had to work I would have to go to work. Life is shit and as paperweight said we all need to experience disappointment. But the only reason I would ever get off work is to look after the kids! If I have explained that as well as it is going through my head then you probably get my point.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 16:04:50

But it is all hypothetical because I'm on mat leave and I only work Monday to Friday! So it doesn't apply to me smile One less complication because my weekends are always free.

50shadesofvomit Fri 28-Jun-13 16:05:44

Its probably been suggested but you should have said that you weren't going because ds1 would spoil the show by being restless.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 16:25:33

50shades that is basically what DP told his ex but she wasn't happy about it

twinkletwinkle9 Fri 28-Jun-13 16:59:55

I completely sympathise. My DS was very difficult as a toddler, would not sit still for even a minute. Just waiting in the GP's waiting room for 10 minutes was stressful.
If you went to the show you're going to end up hardly seeing any of the show, you'll be stressed, your DS will be bored (therefore get up to more mischief), the people sat around you will get annoyed, you'll get even more stressed.
You'll get plenty of opportunities in the future to see her dance. Deep breath and let her BS go over your head.
I've had similar things off DP's ex but one minute it's a case of "she should be treating her DSC like her own", the next minute it's: "I'm not having her playing mum to my kids". FFS you can't bloody win!

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