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Does it matter if I don't see DSC?

(9 Posts)
CandyLane Wed 08-Jul-15 11:46:39

we have DSC EOW, they're 7&9.
I currently work a 12 hour shift one day per weekend (Saturday one week, Sunday the week after).
On the weekends we have DSC I work on a Saturday so they get to spend a day having some quality time with Dad and then on the Sunday we usually try to do something as a family.

The weekend we don't have DSC, DH works on the Saturday so I work on the Sunday so that I can care for our two DCs whilst he's at work.

But work have just announced that they're changing our roster system and everybody has to be doing the same pattern which is that we work Saturday and Sunday one weekend and then get the next weekend off.

In some ways I think this will suit me better as it'll mean I get a weekend again, it'll mean we can have a bit more of a social life, if we ever want to go away for a weekend or visit family, we can do it without me having to book time off work.
Also, when I work on a Saturday I'm often knackered on a Sunday so don't enjoy my day to the full.

But it'll mean that I'll have to work on the weekend that DSC are here as DH works on the weekend they're not here.

So I'll hardly see them, maybe just for an hour or two per weekend.

There's not much I can do about it, apart from the occasional shift swap with colleagues, but I feel guilty that I won't see them, I don't want them to feel like I don't want to see them.

But part of me feels like my life will be easier, things are difficult with the ex and I'm sick of walking on egg shells and worrying about everything I do and say because if I say the wrong thing they go running telling tales to mum who, in her eyes, thinks that I'm not good enough to have the privilege of being in the same room as her DCs.

My current job and working these hours isn't a long term thing, it suits at the moment whilst my DCs are young but once DD is settled in school and has (hopefully) over come the problems she's got, then it will be easier for me to work normal hours.
My current job is also excellent for my career as I'm gaining lots of training and will hopefully soon be promoted.

So my question is, does it matter that DSC will hardly see me?
Should I feel guilty that they're kind of missing out on having family time with us? They will probably like having dad to themselves (with my two also) but I won't be around to take my two out whilst they get their dad totally to themselves.

I know it's not an ideal situation but it's just so hard to juggle everything and to make sure we're doing our best for all 4 kids whilst also paying the bills.

Sorry for the essay but I'd appreciate some thoughts, sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees!

QuiteLikely5 Wed 08-Jul-15 11:49:51

I wouldn't feel guilty at all.

My perspective is that they are his children and whilst you are an important fixture in their life in the sense that you are with their dad their life you aren't responsible for them.

Leave it to dh.

CandyLane Wed 08-Jul-15 11:57:50

Yeh that's what I keep telling myself - although they're part of our family, they aren't my responsibility.

But I worry that they won't feel fully included in our family and their Dad's life if they aren't getting proper family time with us all.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 08-Jul-15 12:36:34

I honestly believe they might be a little bit pleased you aren't there and I mean that kindly.

Most kids want their parent all to themselves anyway when in step situations

PeruvianFoodLover Wed 08-Jul-15 20:12:33

Does this mean that your young DCs will be in your DPs care along with your DSC for most of their contact time?

I think it's important that your DSC get some dad time without their step/half siblings - can you arrange some alternative care for your DCs while you are at work on a regular basis - say, every Sat afternoon?

HoneyLemon Wed 08-Jul-15 20:30:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thisismyfirsttime Wed 08-Jul-15 20:34:58

I would try to be present when the change is explained to dsc and let them know I was sorry to not be seeing them and then occasionally take a day off to spend together and make a bit of a fuss of it. (Like a bit of a 'treat' day out or whatever.)

CandyLane Wed 08-Jul-15 20:44:43

Peruvian - Yes it will mean that DH will always have our DCs, apart from my DS who goes to his biological father's one day per weekend, but DH will always have our DD.

There is nobody else to look after DD, she has special needs so I'm not comfortable with her being looked after by other people - hence why DH and I work opposite shifts.

My DCs do go to bed earlier than DSC so they will still get a bit of time alone with their Dad before I get home, but admittedly it isn't much.
However, it's probably no less than the 1-2-1 time that my DS gets with me.

It is difficult at the moment but I just have to keep telling myself that this isn't forever.

PeruvianFoodLover Wed 08-Jul-15 23:43:48

i do think there is the potential for problems, although I do understand the realities and that there may not be another option.

In nuclear families where a DC has special needs, parents are encouraged to ensure that other DCs have quality time with each of their parents away from their SN sibling. In your DSC case, they have very limited opportunity to spend time with their Dad, and now all of that time will now be shared with their younger half-sib whose needs only he is able to meet while you are at work.

Also, and I mean this kindly, I think that you may find it a lot harder to rejoin your blended family in the future than you anticipate. Your DSC will develop routines, traditions and a family dynamic with your DP and DD over the next months/years that won't include you. When the time comes to integrate you into that, it may be difficult for everyone. If this new arrangement lasts for a couple of years, your older DSC is likely to be approaching their teens when you are no longer working at weekends. This is an age when many stepDCs suddenly display irrational and unexplained resentment of their stepparent even if they have been a familiar and welcome figure in the DCs lives.
I'm not saying that it is wrong to do it, but being aware of the possible negatives in advance will help you plan for them. Could you use any holiday entitlement to spend the odd weekend day with them through out the year, for instance? Could you spend some time all together during school holidays?

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