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What can I say to dsd, if anything?

(24 Posts)
Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 12:32:29

My dsd is nearly 8. She comes to us (me & DH) EOW Friday-Monday.
She lives with her mum at her mums parents.
Mum is often absent. Preferring to spend time with her bf and his son. She's away from the house 2-5 nights per week. The GPs look after DSD.
DSD has kind of accepted this but I know she misses her mum. There has been the odd meltdown where she's told her mum that she wants to spend more time with her & mum then says she will make more effort, spend more time with DSD etc. this lasts a couple of weeks & then she's back to vanishing all the time.
DSD is meant to be with her mum next w/e (mothers day). We made a Mother's Day card today & she seemed really sad so I asked why.
It appears that her mum has told her she's going to watch her bf's son play football next Sunday so won't see DSD on Mother's Day. By experience we know this means she won't be around all w/e. She'll go to bf's on Friday & come home Monday or Tuesday. So DSD won't see her on Mother's Day.
What can I possibly say to DSD? DH won't speak to ExW because he will just get abuse & screaming / crying. The GPs won't speak to us because they believe I am OW & split them up (actually she had DH beaten up in a pub car park, that's what split them up!)
I just feel so sad for DSD. she usually accepts her mum not being around but she's really upset about Mother's Day.
What can I say to help?

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 12:59:02

Poor girl. So presumably most of the time she's with the grandparents. How does she get on with them and do they do things with her?

RhondaJean Sun 23-Mar-14 13:02:10

I don't think there is anything you can say really that will fix this.

This must be so hard, poor little girl. All you can do is let her know how much she matters to you and her dad.

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:04:59

She loves them to bits & they love her. They don't really do a lot with her, she spends a lot of time in front of the tv. They work too (even more now they've got to support DSD & her mum) so she goes to my MILs some evenings too. Trouble is, she sits in front of the tv there too.
We try to make our weekends a bit more active. Her bike is here & we do crafts, baking, that kind of thing.

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:08:02

RhondaJean, you're right, I know. DH got a bit upset this morning when DSD was upset & said to her 'well don't you think you should be more important to mummy than watching (bf's son) play football?"
Of course that should be the case, but it clearly isn't. I know DH gets incredibly frustrated but saying that to DSD isn't going to help is it?

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:10:02

Would there be any possibility to have her more often, even if just for half a day and not overnight?

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:15:06

I've suggested that, we could have her one night a week maybe. Trouble is, DH doesn't get home till at least 7.30 & I work shifts so it would be a bit pointless to get her here at 7.30, she'd just have tea & go to bed!
DH has tried to sort his hours, he already comes home early every other Friday & goes in late every other Monday so he can pick up
& take DSD to school. She's at a private school & he has to work to pay for it!
DH has asked MIL to speak to ExW (she's VERY involved I. ExW's life, does an awful lot for her) to tell her that DSD is unhappy about not seeing her mum enough. But we've tried that before. ExW says she'll change but doesn't.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:21:06

As you say she enjoys crafts, could you get her some kits to do at her mum's? Then at least she would be a bit more occupied and could show you what she made next time you see her. And does she enjoy reading?

I know this doesn't solve the underlying issue but just trying to think of ways to make her time at her mum's a bit happier.

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:25:14

Thanks Jean. Yes she does enjoy crafts but she enjoys tv more! (She will watch anything, with that slack-jawed staring face that kids get when they watch tv smile)
She doesn't really enjoy reading. She struggles a bit, she can read ok but doesn't really 'get' that the words are making up a story.
DH reads with her every night she's here but she always chooses the big, colorful books for 4-6 year olds. I don't think giving her books would help. TV would always win.
It's so hard isn't it? I hate to see her unhappy but I can't do anything! (DH has banned me from contacting ExW after I threatened to when she was being an idiot & stressing him so much he ended up in a&e)

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:36:10

You sound great. Hold onto the fact that time goes quickly and soon this girl will be old enough to choose who she wants to spend time with. So her mum will be the loser in the long-term and the rest of you will reap the rewards for many years to come.

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:43:06

That's what DH says. Thing is, I really don't think that ExW thinks she's missing out. It's weird that she doesn't want to spend time with her child.
DSD is a nice kid, easy going & no hassle. I just dread the day the hormones kick in. I think she'll rebel against DH & I because she knows we'll always be there for her.
Oh well, what will be will be smile

Marne Sun 23-Mar-14 13:44:50

I would ignore your dh and contact his ex anyway, my dh find
So it hard to talk to his ex so from time to time I do the taking. Maybe see if she will agree to you seeing dsd more often ( maybe every weekend )? Poor girl, she must be feeling really left out sad.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:46:02

Yes it's very weird but you can't try and understand her against your standards of how to be a good parent.

Also, not all teenagers rebel so think positive. wink

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:51:45

Does it sound terrible to say I don't really want DSD here every weekend? I know it does. I want DH and ExW to have alternate weekends, like we agreed when this all started! I'm happy to have DSD here more often but not every weekend. And the 'mean' part of me thinks why should ExW 'get away with' not looking after her child?
I think she should be made to stay home & look after her but her parents & my MIL enable her terrible behaviour.
I daren't speak to her, she'd go bonkers & I'd retaliate & say far too much.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:52:49

No it doesn't sound terrible. You've a right to enjoy child-free time.

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 13:55:36

Thank you smile I feel awful admitting it but yes, I'd like to see my husband alone occasionally.
When DSD is here, the weekend is, quite rightly, very child orientated. I want it that way because of the way DSD is treated elsewhere, but I also want time with my new-ish husband!
I suppose I just want ExW to change, and she won't.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sun 23-Mar-14 17:07:14

I don't understand why DSD can't go with her mum when the mum goes to see her boyfriend. The mum probably doesn't want the responsibility / distraction / interference that DSD would bring. God she sounds awful.

I think you are doing all the right things.

Maybe83 Sun 23-Mar-14 17:09:07

No it's not terrible that you want child free time but if I was your dh I would want full custody to be honest. As would my dh. We accept spending time away from both of our children because they have great relationships and families with their other parent.

It would break my heart to think of my child being rejected like that and have her grandparent s raising her instead of me.

Some people are just crap parents it's so sad and it must be so frustrating for you both. But Children have two parents and I do believe that if one is seriously lacking the other needs to step in even if it means doing more than is fair because a child only gets one childhood and they deserve it to be a happy one.

You say your dh ex prioritises her new partner and child over your sd. If your dh has the capability to have her more knowing that she isn't being parented by her mother but chooses not to because of the needs of your relationship it's kind of the same. Tea and bed with your parent every night is what most children get due to work etc.

There is little you can say your sd is old enough to be wise to the lay of the land with her mother and no doubt it does upset her desperately. But if full custody isn't an option then all you can do it keep being supportive and make the time you do have as a family as happy and secure as you can. You can't change her so all your can do is keep going as you are. You seem to have a close relationship and hopefully it will continue like that as she grows and she ll know how much she was cared for in your home.

Russianfudge Sun 23-Mar-14 17:09:34

You absolutely have the right to want your DH to yourself every so often. However, you can't change this woman's behaviour. So, either you have the child more often yourselves, or you accept that her life is this way.

I'm sorry but that is the reality.

And your husband was very wrong to say what he said the his dd about her mum. I understand how hard it is and know from first hand experience how hard it is when they come with these stories and it just breaks your heart. But he needs to control his anger towards her mum when she's around. She knows her mum's shit (I imagine) she doesn't need it pointing out and there's nothing she can do about it.

What does your husband want to do about this horrible situation?

Slh122 Sun 23-Mar-14 17:15:06

I feel really sorry for your DSD OP. But really - why can't you have her every weekend? Sounds like this little girl is wanted very much anywhere.
Growing up I had a step mum who didn't want me and my sister around (not saying that this is the case here) and my mum wanted to go out drinking every weekend so I spent every weekend and school holidays with my grandparents. My mum went from boyfriend to boyfriend and consistently chose her relationships over me and my sister, to the point I was living with my grandparents at one stage. I would have loved to see my mum more and I wanted to spend time with my dad as well. I appreciate you want 'child free time' but you knew your DH had a daughter when you married him. What would happen if his DD wanted to live with you?

Germgirl Sun 23-Mar-14 18:44:44

Slh, the situation with DSD sounds the same as your childhood. ExW doesn't want DSD around when she goes to her bf's because she spends most of her time in the pub & also smokes which DSD doesn't know about.
DH & I have talked about full custody although I have no idea how we'd make it work. ExW has told DH many times that she'll never agree to us having custody.
She likes the idea of having a pretty little princess to dress up & of course she loves the maintenance money, which she spends on herself. (That's not just sour grapes, she never buys anything for DSD, we, MIL or the GPs buy everything DSD needs)
She even told DH that she wants him to take DSD out of school. When asked why she said that she wanted him to pay the £1000/month it costs to her instead!
She's unbelievable. She really is.
I spoke to DH about losing his rag & slagging ExW off to DSD earlier, he knows it's wrong but it's so hard, we do our best to be completely neutral about ExW. Something she doesn't do with us (DSD tells MIL what ExW says about us, MIL gleefully relays it all hmm)
We have asked DSD if she'd like to live with us. But she just says that she misses her mummy & wants to live with her. DSD knows that daddy works long hours & if she lived here she'd spend more time with MIL. Can't say I blame her when she doesn't find that a happy prospect!
Also. If she lived here, ExW knows she'd have to pay us maintenance. A hilarious concept. She'd never manage that! (She doesn't work, doesn't want to, doesn't claim benefits, just lets her parents & MIL pay for eveything)
Oh I don't know. All I can do is make DSDs time here nice. And I do try to do that. Although I'm not popular at the moment since I presented her with some handwriting practice books I bought her. smile

Russianfudge Sun 23-Mar-14 22:02:00

I can really feel all of your frustrations but I have to say that I think you need to be much more careful about what you say to your dsd.

Why did you both ask her if she wants to love with you if you know that it can't happen? What if she'd have said yes? Maybe you could set aside time to talk and moan about the situation with your partner so it's in a little box away from your dsd and away from the rest of your relationship?

It seems like a fraught situation that could make things miserable for all of you and lead you and DH to make unwise decisions about what you say and do just out of the pure frustration of all of it.

I can understand why you wouldn't want her with you 100% of the time. I wouldn't want that here either. And it sounds like her grandparents look after her well. So there's little point in letting annoyance over a situation that you can't/ won't change take over your lives.

Rant away here whenever you like though grin

chickenoriental Sun 23-Mar-14 22:08:45

As Russian said.

I completely understand that you want to help her , however, please think before you ask such things as does she want to live with you.

We have a similar situation here ( re adults asking questions. / making statements to dsc) and I can tell you all it does it add to the confusion in little ones minds at a young age especially. Dsd needs to know she can open up to you, not be questioned and confused ( although I'm sure this wasn't your intention).

I know how frustrating these situations are, especially when the other party does and says what they like. confused

Germgirl Mon 24-Mar-14 04:20:37

I shouldn't have put that we asked DSD about living here. It wasn't a bald question like that. It was more a 'what would make you happier DSD?' from DH. A 'can daddy do anything?' when talking about her living arrangements.
If she'd have categorically said that she wants to live with us then we'd certainly look into making it more possible.
She's confused, she can't understand why her mummy isn't interested in her & we can't explain because we don't understand either. There's only so many times we can say 'mummy was busy' before it starts to sound hollow.
She's usually ok about her mum not being around much but the Mother's Day thing has upset her.
She is generally a very happy, calm child so for her to get visibly upset about it, it must be hurting her.
DH has said he will tell ExW that DSD was upset about not seeing her next weekend. But I doubt it'll make much difference.
Thank you for letting me rant ladies.
Step parenting is difficult & I'm a rank amateur at this talking to kids business! (Only child & no kids of my own!) smile

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