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Do you provide childcare for your dsc?

(48 Posts)
Iloveapplepie Fri 29-Jul-16 09:18:39

My dss is on school holidays. Is it my 'duty' to provide childcare so my oh can work?

I work part-time and there are some days when I don't work that dss is in our care, but I have my dd (not oh's) to look after.

They are the same age and when I have looked after them both together on my own before, I have found it exhausting and extremely stressful for all involved!

They clash a bit and I find myself disciplining my dd when it should be dss - but I'm scared to tell him off in case it gets back to his mum. I also find that I need to watch them lots as otherwise they will bicker - I find I become a bit of a referee!

I'll be on maternity when the next holidays are around and my oh said that I can look after baby and both the children. I asked if he was joking!! My friends tell me it's my role as a step mum that I shouldn't treat them differently, which is true, but I would never dream of asking my oh to look after my dd, I would seek support from her dad's family or my family.

Missgraeme Fri 29-Jul-16 09:22:27

U (and dh) should be be responsible for both kids if they are in your home. Not his dd this and your dd that! And yes u should be treating them the same even if that means telling off too! Your house your rules. Or u will never have harmony!

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Fri 29-Jul-16 10:02:38

I think it's fair you look after his child on his days, but it would absolutely not be on for him and his ex to arrange that his child is there more than at mum's just because you're off work. You're at risk of this when you go on maternity leave. And you shouldn't be expected to babysit for mum on her days.

Wdigin2this Fri 29-Jul-16 11:40:11

Do not fall into this is sooo not your duty!
Make it clear now, by curtailing the number of hours you look after your DSC. If you say no, or perhaps you intend to visit friends/family, what happens, are you lumbered anyway?
Next time your DP has to work when his child is due to visit, simply say you can't (and won't) babysit that day because your doing/going ***, or whatever. Stick to it, don't be guilted into anything, and make it a regular occurrence, until they get the message that you're not their fail safe for child care.....especially when baby comes!!

Lunar1 Fri 29-Jul-16 14:39:34

If it's on your dp's time it's up to him to sort out and where necessary pay for childcare. You need to decide as a couple how that works.

The cost of holiday clubs adds up, can you afford them to cover his time? How will his child feel if yours is at home with you and half sibling while she is shipped out?

Lunar1 Fri 29-Jul-16 14:42:37

Posted too soon. How do your finances work, if it's his wage that enables you to work part time, can he do that plus afford childcare. If not you may have to go full time so he can pay for care.

That's not such an issue if you earn enough part time to cover your half of expenses.

Talk To him though, he cans decide for you.

wonderpants Fri 29-Jul-16 14:43:39

Do you expect your DP to look after your child at all in anyway?

popperdoodles Fri 29-Jul-16 14:52:06

You mention maternity leave so I am guessing you guys are having a child together in addition to having a drink each? For the future harmony of a blended family you need to start seeing all of them as your children and treating them equally. Imagine how that child would feel if they had to go to childcare so you can take your dd out for the day. Fair enough in the very early stages of the relationship but not if you are building a family.

popperdoodles Fri 29-Jul-16 14:52:41

*drink should read dd

WannaBe Fri 29-Jul-16 17:43:29

Do you expect your DP to look after your child? TBH I find this idea of a couple who live together, have children together and yet the individual dsc are either his or hers with the other having no responsibility for them bizarre. While I do think it is something that couples should communicate over, I do also think that if the dsc are there and the parent (be that mum or dad) has to go out, then it's reasonable to expect the other parent to look after them. And if the other parent have their own children as in OP's case, not doing so sends out a very clear message to the dsc that the step parent would rather they weren't a part of the equation.

stitchglitched Fri 29-Jul-16 17:53:52

I think if you have arranged your family so that you work part time only to help with childcare then that should include all the children in the family. Presumably your daughter gets some financial benefit through her stepfather working full time so why shouldn't you help out with his child? I would be very resentful if I was working more hours enabling you to be at home with your child and had to pay for childcare for mine or turn down contact because you wouldnt look after them on my days.

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Fri 29-Jul-16 17:59:44

I can see why the OP is concerned. If the she is going on maternity leave then her DP and his ex might want to arrange that his child is at his house for most of the holidays because it's convenient, because they assume the OP will look after him. I think in that case the OP would be well within her rights to refuse to look after him more often than usual.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 29-Jul-16 18:02:44

My DP is not DD1s Dad, but equally parents her with me in our home. He's taking two weeks leave to help with summer hols care, he wouldn't dream of looking after our DD (DD2) and sending DD1 off to her someone else, how would DD1 feel?! sad

I think if you are comitted to DP, then that means a commitment to his daughter too,so if that means helping out in the holidays, it means helping out.

AGruffaloCrumble Fri 29-Jul-16 18:04:54

How long have you been together? Are you not interested in you all being a blended family?

Lunar1 Fri 29-Jul-16 18:05:37

They are going to have to be a blended family, the op is pregnant!

AGruffaloCrumble Fri 29-Jul-16 18:09:20

Sorry I meant as in a family unit, step kids and all. No 'his' or 'my' kids, just 'the kids'. If my DP wanted to ship off DD1 but not our DD2 because he was just DD1's stepdad I would be really upset and so would DD.

WannaBe Fri 29-Jul-16 18:09:21

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys it would be a different matter entirely if the DP and his ex were arranging for him to have the DD for more days so his partner could look after her. But that is not what's happening here. At the moment the days OP is looking after dsd are his contact days anyway.

Lunar1 Fri 29-Jul-16 18:18:26

I completely agree with meandmy that the op shouldn't cover the ex's time.

WannaBe Fri 29-Jul-16 18:22:18

No absolutely. but at the moment that doesn't appear to be the case, OP needs to make it clear that ex is responsible for childcare on her time.

Iloveapplepie Fri 29-Jul-16 18:39:36

I work part time and I have done way before i met my partner. I earn exactly the same working less hours, so he doesn't work full time to subsidise me so that I can provide childcare for the children.

He only wants help on the days he has his ds - his ex has her own arrangements.

Due to my job I can only help on one of those days. I have offered to look after dss many times, and have done, but it's just hard when it's a regular thing as I find it extremely challenging. It also means that play dates with my dd's best friends need to be cancelled as I can't turn up with dss who refuses to play with anything vaguely girlie and refuses to listen to anything I say.

Iloveapplepie Fri 29-Jul-16 18:40:23

Oh and my oh doesn't get paid for the days he doesn't work, so he NEVER takes days off during the school holidays.

LBOCS2 Fri 29-Jul-16 18:52:58

The fact that he doesn't listen to you and you're scared to discipline him is more of an issue, IMO - and sorting that out would go a long way to making your life easier when looking after him.

I do have my DSS when we have him over the school holidays - I'm on maternity leave at the moment with DD2 and we have toddler DD1 who is with us all the time.

On the days DD1 is at nursery we try and arrange for DSS to go to my ILs, as the whole reason we're paying for DD1 to go is to give me a break and have one on one with DD2. The fact that we've got DSS at the same time doesn't change that so we make similar arrangements for him to be elsewhere!

The rest of the weekdays, it's the three of us. He comes with me to DD1's swimming lessons, she comes along to the games shop/Pokemon hunting etc, we all go to the beach - we just arrange for things that we can all do. No different to if he were my own. At the end of the day childcare for him when we have him would come out of the family pot - so it makes sense. And he's part of our family, he's my daughters' big brother, I wouldn't want him to feel any different.

Mycraneisfixed Fri 29-Jul-16 18:54:02

Disagree with those pp who say treat DD and DSS the same. DSS has his own mother and she and his father can sort out access and childcare. You have to put your own child first. Your DD will probably be jealous of new baby and you'll be exhausted dealing will the whole situation.
DSS spends most of his time being the apple of his mother's eye. You shouldn't have to cancel DD's play dates. Be very firm with OH that you will not be unpaid childminder now or ever. (Of course when DSS is visiting during access he is part of your family.)

AGruffaloCrumble Fri 29-Jul-16 19:06:06

And DSS will probably be jealous of the baby too and need extra love. Why would anyone choose to exclude a child from the family? It genuinely baffles me that people have these stepchildren that they don't seem to even like. (Not saying this is you OP). Why not try to use it as a chance to develop more of a relationship with DSS?

PrincessIrene Fri 29-Jul-16 19:09:53

DS1's stepmum will be providing 2 weeks childcare this summer, however this is her choice, she enjoys it and he's the only child there. It's certainly not expected by me, but what she and ex arrange is none of my business. DS is happy with it.

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