The other parent!(29 Posts)
I have been with my partner for over 2 years now, we both have a child of our own and one together.
My partner has his daughter pretty much at every opportunity he gets which is near enough every other weekend and would only change due to work.
Anyway recently we have starts to receive messages from his child's mother to say that she has gone home to 'complain' about the sleeping arrangements we have in place. We usually get these messages a good 3-4 days after she has gone home and when she is here she never complains, baring in mind she is 4.
At the moment my son sleeps in a high sleeper bed and when she stays we have a toddler blow up air bed with a bumper round the side, which we cover with a soft blanket and she has a princess duvet, she always looks cosy and never complains. Her mum seems to think it is a camp bed and has now told us if we don't get bunk beds she isn't letting her come stay with us?! Any ideas on what we can do? Money doesn't grow on trees and we can't afford to just go buy bunk beds and two mattresses and get rid of my sons bed which isn't even a year old!
Also when my partner asks to have her for the weekend she asks her daughter if she wants to come? Surely it shouldn't be a choice at 4 years old, children change their mind by the minute?!
Really at my wits end, please say I'm not the only step mother that faces these problems? My parents have been split from me being s young age and I never had a permenant room or bed at my dads, never bothered me?
It will bother some children though. She really does need a proper bed. Its making a two tiered family again that props up here time and time again. One kid gets a proper bed, one doesn't.
You don't need to rush out and get into to debt to buy a bed but it would be a good idea to get saving.
It's not easy being a step parent, but it doesn't sound like your situation is that bad if I'm honest.
If I were you I would buy a bed for the four year old. I know it is an expense but I think for the the child that she is welcome enough to have a 'permanent' abode for herself will really help her feel as at home as your other kids. An air bed is not enough. You can get 'pull out' beds that store away as a cupboard or another bed, there has to be some solution here.
And no, I don't think her mother should be asking her whether she should come.
well, I don't really know why the 4 yo doesn't have a proper bed
I would also say get a permanent bed for your dsd. It doesn't seem very fair if she's there often to sleep on an air bed.
Are there formal contact times or does dp always have to 'ask' for her to come? That is probably half the problem if so, it needs to be more set - kids need to know what is happening.
I can't understand why she doesn't have a bed though, you've not said other than that you can't afford bunk beds. How many rooms do you have? She won't be able to share with a boy forever either.
There are three kids, so you either have two boys, or two girls. The sex you have one of goes in the smallest room, the sex you have two of share.
You might find you could get a reasonable single bed on Freecycle, we gave one away recently on there.
I think it would help if there was a more formal 'contact' or 'shared care' arrangement in place, so that everyone knows where they stand.
Having his daughter at "every opportunity" and "asking" to have her at the weekend, should not be a long term arrangement.
Once a regular pattern has been agreed as to when your DSD is going to be at your house, then you can make more permanent arrangements for her; she can have her own bed, and belongings.
At the moment, it sounds as if arrangements to see her are very week-to-week, in which case, it's understandable that making a permanent space in your family home for her is more difficult for everyone (including your DCs), psychologically.
Of course, all arrangements can be flexible to accommodate visiting relatives, or special occasions, but a pattern that means that plans can be made, and family time can be anticipated, will be better for everyone.
I think you need to get bunk beds. How old I your other DC? Could he/she move into the high sleeper when they're old enough? Or put DSD in the high sleeper and your toddler in the bottom bunk?
You bought only one bed a year ago despite having a dsd? Why did you get a high sleeper instead of bunk beds? Sell the high sleeper and get a bunk bed- it's not fair on your dsd!
If funds are really tight, dsd needs to cosleep with her Dad in your bed and you sleep on the sofa/floor.
Money doesn't grow on trees and we can't afford to just go buy bunk beds and two mattresses and get rid of my sons bed which isn't even a year old!
So you bought your son a bed that serves only him less than a year ago despite knowing that your DP has a child that stays at your house? Why wasnt a bed for her budgetted for?
And yes it is a shitty temporary camp bed. What message does that give the child about her place in her dad's home? Will you be putting your baby into the aired when it grows out of the cot or will money magically appear for a bed?
Say that you appreciate that at some point she will need a proper bed, but at this time, you can't afford it yet. Put money aside and when you have enough, sale the other bed on ebay and buy bunk beds.
In all honesty I would sell your sons bed and look on eBay or free cycle to get bunks, it's really not fair on your dsd, I would feel put out too.
As for asking a 4y old, that's not on. You need a more formal arrangement that doesn't put pressure on dsd.
My two dsc have bunk beds and our son has a cot bed. It's just something you need to do as a parent, step or otherwise
So you can afford for your son to have a bed but not his daughter. Lovely!
I'd just get saving for a bed for your dsd. They don't cost an arm and a leg and you can always see what offers are on at Argos when it comes to buying one. It doesn't have to be from one of these expensive furniture shops. I've just bought a children's divan from Argos and there was an offer on which saved me £30! I spent £150 altogether and you really can't go wrong for that price for a divan- plenty of storage underneath as well for toys!
So you can buy a new bed for your son but your stepdaughter has to sleep on an inflatable?
Stop being right, save up and buy the poor child a bed.
If you keep an eye on freecycle a bed will come up soon enough, if you can't afford to buy one new. She needs to feel at home at your house, not like a visitor. I think making an effort with this will make a big difference.
Fb selling pages and gumtree. Beds going for £30/£40/£50. I'm selling my son's solid wood single bedframe for £40. Nothing wrong with it, sturdy as fuck. There are loads of others local to me as well.
I can't imagine thinking it was ok to accommodate my DSC on an inflatable bed.
I realise money is tight but if you sold the air bed and the high sleeper that would go a lot of the way towards bunk beds.
There is zero chance my dss's would be in temporary beds. Stop treating your dsd like a guest in her own home!
Tbf, when I lived in a one bed flat my dsc both slept on a blow up double bed. That was all we cold affor (and fit) at the time. But I made damn sure we saved for a two bed flat ASAP.....then they had bunks, and now their db and that are all happy. And what's more, it was my dh who was dragging his feet. I saw the importance straight away with them knowing they had a home.... OP, it may look cost, but it's not a permanent fixture
dickie that's harsh - the OP has explained that her DP has to ask for any contact with his DD, and that it is entirely dependent on the DCs mum asking the DC whether or not she wishes to see her dad.
The OPs house can hardly be described as her DSD "home" - no one seems to know from one week to the next whether she will ever spend time there again!
No bed? Bought your son a high sleeper a year ago? Why not bunk beds? There are high sleepers that have a spare bed-why on Earth didn't you choose one of those? Why,oh why, would you not have accommodated your DSD then? Outrageous behaviour.
DP needs to sort out a regular contact schedule which doesn't involve DSD's Mother 'asking' if she wants to go to see her Dad so there's no confusion as to where everyone stands going forward.
But first go and buy a bed for the child. Sell the high sleeper if you need to but get the girl a proper bed.
I do understand what you're saying but it is his child and a bed is a necessity. Its a pain in the arse that there isn't anywhere else to put a proper bed for her and that might mean getting rid of DSs bed but a bunk bed on eBay or gumtree is probably the most sensible thing here. She needs a bed just as much as DS.
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