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My first post on step parenting so please be gentle - is this a nice thing to do?

(30 Posts)
Newtothisbutanoldhand Sat 13-Feb-16 12:15:55

Hi all,

Hope you won't mind me posting here. I am not a fully time step parent but I am after some help and advice.

Ok brief history, I'm a single mum to dd (8) met a lovely guy that has a dd (8) almost exactly the same age as my dd. he's just lovely we have known each other for 18months, been dating for 6months. He is not a Disney day and has a great relationship with his dd

We have been taking things slowly.

I work near him and live in a different part of the country. So we are only able to meet up when I am near him for work. This has worked well for us as we both have come out of unpleasant relationships and wanted to take things slowly.

Anyway, to the question. The next time we are meeting up he has suggested that I might like to meet his dd (she has started a hobby that I'm a qualified instructor in so we are planning on doing that hobby, and I can maybe help her out a little - very chilled, relaxed sort of thing) anyway so two questions

1 - I was going to take her a couple of things I know she doesn't have but need for this hobby nothing expensive, but thing she will need and use daily in this hobby. Do you think this is ok?

2 - it's her dad birthday a week later (she idolises her dad) historically there has been no one to even take her and get her a card (no family near by and her mother is not willing) assuming when we meet up she is happy would it be odd to offer to take her if she would like? Not literally take her. but there is a big shopping centre where her dad and I where thinking we might get a bite to eat after the activity if everything goes well (there is a big card shop almost opposite the food court - so we could pop in there)

It's a very odd situation for me, because I've heard so much about this little girl for 18months and things are going very well between her dad and I. I'm don't want to over step the mark. Please be gentle with me, I'm worried enough about this as it.

Bluelilies Sat 13-Feb-16 13:42:15

I think both those things sound lovely and not overstepping. You could check with your partner whether he's happy with the hobby gifts but sounds fine to me

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 13-Feb-16 13:46:48

I think no.1 is an excellent idea, especially as you've said the things are inexpensive - if they were costly, it might not be such a good plan (could be seen as trying to "buy your way in") - but as they're not, it's lovely.

No. 2 - I'd wait and see how things go before you offer this. If she's very relaxed and comfortable with you, then ask her if she'd like to do it; but if she's not, then don't - don't push an intimacy that she may not be ready for.

You do sound very caring - I hope it works out for you. thanks

Newtothisbutanoldhand Sat 13-Feb-16 15:07:27

Hi both,

Ok so I've not totally lost the plot. They are cheap things, things you'd need to be involved in the hobby to appreciate their use. But she has worked so to get as far as she has particularly without lessons. These thing should help her come one no end and cost very little (I've got stacks of laying around from when I used to teach everyday but I've had a look and found a couple of new ones for her in her preferred colours) we are talking under 10quid for the lot.

Her dad won't mind I know him well enough (if it was an expensive thing or an actual present then that would be different) I also know that 10quid is a lot of money to some people.

Of course if she isn't relaxed, happy etc I won't mention anything about a card - I'll have to see how things go on the day. If she seems happy and relaxed I might drop something in about having to pick a card up for him myself and see if she's says anything

there's a boy in my daughters class that I take shopping for cards and gifts for his mum, so I'm not new at this but it seems a bigger deal this time.

Anything else I haven't thought of?

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 13-Feb-16 15:11:39

Number 1 sounds great, a really lovely though, but I'd give number 2 a miss, I personally think that's overstepping the mark, it's too soon.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 13-Feb-16 15:11:51


Newtothisbutanoldhand Sat 13-Feb-16 15:15:07

Sorry I should have said, all I want is for her to have a fun time. I'm not brand new to her (she knows im a friend of her dads, but it will be the first time we meet) I'm probably more nervous about her than I was about meeting her dad!

Newtothisbutanoldhand Sat 13-Feb-16 15:18:44

Thanks drgoogle I totally see your point and I have gone back and forth on it ( obviously or I wouldn't have asked here) think the best plan is to go in with no expectations on the day and see what happens. If it feels right I may say something if not then I leave it.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 13-Feb-16 15:33:42

It's lovely that you are thinking so much, but if I were you I'd just try to relax, and don't be expecting too much. A relationship takes a long while to develop, and trying to be liked can feel like a pressure. I'd see if you all can do an activity like bowling or skating instead, so the pressure is off.

OSETmum Mon 15-Feb-16 19:31:20

I'd definitely take her the bits for her hobby especially as you are going to be doing the hobby, I bet she'll be really pleased.

With regards to the card, I'd see how things are going at the time. On the one hand, it's only a card but on the other you don't want to seem like you're trying to be 'new mum' ( I don't think you are btw just that it might come across that way to certain people).

Wdigin2this Mon 15-Feb-16 22:54:18

Definitely take the hobby things, it sounds like a lovely idea....and just gauge how things are going with regard to the birthday card!

coffeeisnectar Mon 15-Feb-16 22:59:08

I was a single mum for years and my kids would have loved someone to take them to buy me a card. Honestly I think this is a lovely idea.

gooseberryroolz Mon 15-Feb-16 23:39:57

Lovely that you're thinking so much about what she'll be comfortable with.

Newtothisbutanoldhand Tue 16-Feb-16 13:22:43

Hi all, sorry didn't expect so many replies.

I am definitely don't want to over step her comfort level or infer any sort of relationship, or any sort of forced intimacy.

I just want her to have a nice time hopefully we can have a bit of fun. It's a very physical hobby and its really impossible not to enjoy it and have a bit of a giggle.

I'm just going to see how the day goes, if she seems happy and relaxed then I may mention something. I definitely won't push anything about it. I don't want her to be uncomfortable at all so I'll take my lead from her and if its something she wants to do then great.

It's just really difficult, I just don't want to do the 'wrong' thing. Honestly I'm really very relaxed about meeting her on one hand on the other I'm probably more nervous than meeting her dad for the first time. She's had a really rough time of it and I just want her to have a nice relaxed day

Newtothisbutanoldhand Tue 16-Feb-16 13:33:06

I suppose I also know what a big deal it is for dp to be introducing me to her.

I just wish weekend would hurry up and get here

timelytess Tue 16-Feb-16 13:36:43

Where does your own dd fit in? How does she feel about you meeting up and taking part in with activities with another girl her age? Where will your dd be? Sorry if I've missed it, not read something, but she seems to be overlooked here and she will certainly have some feelings and opinions.

Newtothisbutanoldhand Tue 16-Feb-16 13:50:26

My dd will be with her dad (access) she's pretty rock solid. I've told her that in meeting with db (i prefer boyfriend to partner) and his dd and we are going to do x. She's asked a few questions which I have given her honest answers to. She's ok with the situation and knows that if she wasn't I wouldn't do it.

swingofthings Tue 16-Feb-16 16:34:14

My view is that both is too much for a first time when you have no idea how she will be welcoming you in the life of her father. You are already assuming that it is all going to be roses, that she will be grateful for you being there doing the things that others in her life aren't. You are risking raising your expectations to be disappointed if it doesn't go well. You are also risking annoying her mother before you are even officially in the life of her daughter.

How about just going there and taking things as they go? Talk to her about her activity, ask her questions about it, tell her you are an instructor and see how she reacts. Mention the thing you are thinking of getting her and again, see how she reacts. If she talks about it with longing, then maybe then could you mention it.

Same with the cards, mention her dad's birthday and see if she says anything about getting him a card and only suggest you can help if it comes up.

The more you do earlier on, the harder it will be when it is all thrown in your face later on. Don't invest too much too quickly, just let nature takes its course.

BifsWif Tue 16-Feb-16 16:38:22

Both lovely ideas, especially the bits for her hobby. Definitely do that - a shared interest is a great way to break the ice. I would also mention getting a card and see how she reacts. I bet she'd love to be able to get her dad a birthday card.

amarmai Mon 29-Feb-16 23:42:12

read the other threads in this section before you rush into being a stepmum-as that is what you are hoping for IMO.

dolkapots Tue 01-Mar-16 08:17:38

You sound lovely OP. My advice (I've had several step mums hmm ) is to be laid back and friendly with her, offer the gifts in a laid back/casual way and if she seems comfortable with you then you could say that you are going to shopping centre to buy a card, and if she wants to get one too?

I don't know if you are into PDA anyway, but if you are then i would advise against it in front of his DD. The first time I met one of my SM's she couldn't keep her hands off my DF, which really put me off her.

All the best.

VioletVaccine Wed 02-Mar-16 13:34:05


It might be a good idea, if you do go to the card shop with his DD, maybe saying, "I'm going to choose a card for your DDad's birthday next week...would you like to choose one for him too?" might help her feel included in a joint decision with no pressure, as it's something she's not had chance to do before she might feel 'on the spot' if it's just specifically for her to choose one, IYSWIM.

You sound lovely OP, and it's great you're putting thought into something that is so important.

VioletVaccine Wed 02-Mar-16 13:34:48

Oops, xpost with dolkapots smile

wallywobbles Wed 02-Mar-16 13:48:26

I still remember some 35 years later the present my step mum to be got me. It wasn't expensive but was some equipment for the hobby we had in common so I'd say you were absolutely on the right track!!

Newtothisbutanoldhand Sun 06-Mar-16 10:22:25

Hi all,

Just a quick update, things went very well. It ended up turning into a lovely day.

The little girl was pretty relaxed to begin with and got more relaxed during the day. She was really happy with her "presents" and has apparently been talking about them since - which is nice.

In the end I said that I was going to choose a card for her dad and would she like to help me pick one - she was really happy with that. We ended up getting a card for her too, a badge and a little present (she was literally bouncing about with her bags which was lovely to see) it was really sweet to see her so happy at the chance of being able to choose a card. (Her dad was really made up as well)

So all in it was a very relaxed 'first' meeting,

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