DSD's mum suddenly allowing more contact now we have baby(38 Posts)
Quick rundown, we've been together 6 years, his DD is 6 (they split before they found out she was pregnant, relationship was apparently dead and buried- she finished it). He's always had trouble with the mum, access has been crap and he set the CSA payments up himself as she "didn't want anything". We have her every fortnight Friday night until Sunday night.
We now have a nearly 4 month old DS together.
All of a sudden, DSD seems to be with us all of the time. The mum is constantly offering us to have her now, and of course my OH isn't going to say no. We've just currently had her from Friday until Wednesday this week. OH works and I'm on maternity leave so I seem to be with her the majority of the time. Today she's text saying to OH, "DD has said she's staying at yours on Sunday, is that right?". DSD wouldn't of said that at all. Later she text to say, "I've just found out the childminder isn't working Mondays throughout the rest of the holidays so can you have her for the Sunday nights until Monday night". So it was obvious that the first text was a lie.
AIBU to feel annoyed? I enjoy mine and OH's chilled out Sunday nights together and as I'm still in the barely-any-sleep stage with DS, I've got in a routine of how me and DS sleep in the weekday mornings.
Well, if access has been 'crap' surely extra is good, whatever the ulterior maybe?
I guess increased access is great for building a relationship but it shouldn't just be on her mothers' terms.
It also depends a lot on whether you are happy to be caring for her when her dad is working. If not, other arrangements need to be made for childcare.
It may also be that his daughter enjoys the baby and is pressing her mother to see more of you as a family now.
Call me cynical, but I suspect the ex is trying to make life difficult for you OP, now that you've got a baby ......
And I agree with the poster who suggested the access can't be totally on the mother's terms.
Would you have been happy with more contact before you had a baby? If so why is it bothering you now?
Maybe the ex didn't see the point of you having DD more as you both worked however now you are on mat leave DD can spend time with her new family instead of being in daycare or school.
As long as you are happy to look after her while you are on mat leave I can't see a problem. If you are not then you need to speak to DP and get him to take time off work or discuss other arrangements with the ex.
The ex may well be using you as free child care and taking advantage of you not working but that is something you will need to discuss with DP.
Are you being left with all the child care?
Sometimes a new baby thaws frosty relationships with an ex. It gives everything a finality no matter how old the split is. Maybe your dp is communicating with his ex better now or even being more understanding of her role as RP to his DD. i have seen this happen before, have also seen the opposite!
This is happening with us right now too.
DSD is actually resident with us, but there's an understanding that summer holidays are shared half and half (at ex's request). Though this summer (and at Easter, and at Feb half term when DS was 4 weeks old!) suddenly because I am on maternity leave we seem to have DSD over 75% of the time.
Completely coincidentally, Ex has a new boyfriend who lives in a different city...
I think you probably are being over cynical about the ex.
Why shouldn't she encourage her child to see more of her father, especially if that's what her dd wants?
Seeing her dad for a regular couple of nights out of 14 isn't a lot is it? and maybe she wants to be able to spend time with her new sibling, nothing wrong with that.
I can understand why you're annoyed and I would imagine that it's the following that has annoyed you:-
1. The last minute nature of the text messages and the lack of actual communication over when DSD comes. Text messages do not equal an actual conversation, when the parties can discuss and agree.
2. Placing the request on the child, as if it is the child who is requesting the additional over night stays. Children of that age generally do not make those types of requests, and even if they did it is up to the adults to discuss and agree times and dates.
3. Using the OP as a babysitter. This really is not on, unless the OP has agreed to it and this should be done on a case by case basis. OP is not responsible for childcare unless she wants to do it.
And for what it is worth I am divorced with a DS. If I want my ex to have DS on a day which is not a usual day then I ring him and ask him if he can do it. I am the resident parent and I don't see my ex-husband's partner as a potential babysitter. Either my ex can have him, or he can't and then I have to make alternative arrangements. It's not ideal, however I want my ex-husband's partner to feel like she has some say in her own house. No-one feels resentful and situations like the OP's do not crop up.
She is probably taking advantage of the free childcare however it is a chance for your dsd to feel involved with her baby brother and be mire secure in her father's family. If it is one extra day I would definitely consider doing it if you can.
This happened to us OP, she's trying to sicken you off! And you shouldn't be looking after HIS DD? If he can't have her then he shouldn't be relying on you to look after her and your own baby. I understand how tough it is! Been there, you are entirely within your rights to say no!
As with anything, I think it is mainly about control - and the Mum sounds like she has it all her way. Whether she is being intentionally spiteful or not - she's certainly not being fair or considering you at all - and as you are bound to be either the sole or a carer for her child then you should have a say.
I wouldn't be happy with last minute changes or arrangements.
My advice would be to put an immediate stop to casual last minute changes to your DSD's presence at your home and to get your H to renegotiate a new regular arrangement with more contact. You are not free childcare with 24/7 availability. Don't let DSD's mother use you.
It sound like YOU are providing free childcare for the Dd. if your DH is at work and can't have her he needs to arrange childcare for her - it's not down to you.
Sometimes a new baby thaws frosty relationships with an ex. It gives everything a finality no matter how old the split is. Maybe your dp is communicating with his ex better now or even being more understanding of her role as RP to his DD.
As a parent I would think it's wonderful to see your child's excitement about a new baby brother or sister. That would melt even the hardest heart and it was certainly the case for us when our ds was born. DH's ex even bought ds birthday/ Christmas presents from my DSDs. And we see dsd2 loads (she's 15 now, really close to ds and babysit for us). Ds's birth definitely brought us closer and DH's ex became much more reasonable and flexible with contact. And I think I had more of an understanding of what it actually feels like to be a parent and loved my DSDs all the more (and respected/ understood the ex) for it.
I think you need to have a serious talk with your dh.
If you don't you are going to be a babysitter for the foreseeable future.
I suspect she has a BF.
Set up clear contact days and stick to them. Tell dh if he wants to break the agreement he needs to be the one who is available to look after his child.
how can you possibly know what she said or didn't say to her mother with such certainty? Maybe she comes home and worries her Daddy won't want her now he has a brand new baby with someone else and her mother is trying to reassure her by building a relationship with you. Of course it's because you're on maternity leave - it wouldn't be an option if you weren't.
The comment that you want your chilled out Sunday nights rather than accommodate your husband's child is a bit worrying. Both of your husband's children and their needs should come before yours for him. Not baby, you, older daughter.
Cynical here too. School holidays and you suddenly get more access added to having a new baby too hmmm
But...make it work for you and her dad to build a better relationship with her
that will probably peeve the mum as she might be thinking it will make your life harder
it's not DSD fault and she needs to be put first - have fun and build memories - she's also your baby's half sister so baby will benefit too
I would see it that the child needs caring for and she is part of your family, so I would have her over the holidays, get her involved with the baby, the ex may be taking the piss a little, but it's not the little girls fault and sometimes children do interrupt routines and quiet nights in, but you have to do that sometimes as well as the fun once a fortnight fun times.
Having a really irregular and last minute change to contact is not good for the child - however young they are, they aren't clueless and a sudden change where you are left with your step mum isn't fair.
I used to get this with my DSDs, I suddenly had them - with no discussion - for 2 weeks stretches on school holidays when I was on maternity leave. The kids knew I was struggling to cope with the baby and having to cook/clean for 6, their Dad working long hours to provide for them, while their mum was just using me to have time off in the house (she'd booked holiday off her part-time work to stay in her house without them!).
It is completely different if your DP has more time with his child - in a way that is negotiated fairly with him and his Ex and takes into account when he is available and off work. I tried just trying to make my DSDs part of the family but you know what? It didn't work as they knew they were being 'dumped' by mum and just skulked around unhappily and resenting any of my attempts to include them.
I agree with others, shes trying to sicken you, make life difficult for you with a newborn and taking advantage of free childcare.
However, is DP providing or paying for any of DSD's childcare atm? Could that be a point she is making?
What DP needs to do is say that he is loving having DsD there more, and that they need to make it more regular rather than ad hoc. So say he takes off work every other friday (or finishes early) and dsd stays thursday evening until monday morning school drop off, but he has to be doing the drop off! Not you. You are on maternity leave, not babysitter leave!
I think new BF and she is using you for extra time with them.
Enjoy it whilst it last because it may not be on offer for long.
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