Extra nights with step child

(59 Posts)
lhh00002106 Tue 04-Oct-16 21:48:09

My partner and I have been living together for a year and a half now with his 7 year old daughter. He has 50/50 custody and we have always managed to work with a good system which we are all happy with. However, recently we have been having his daughter on extra nights and whilst this is not the issue, I'm happy to have her, I don't like the way in which he tells me. He TELLS me we are having her without any consultstion with me. He doesn't ask if I had plans or if I'd mind us having her extra. I don't know is this is me being selfish or not? And I'm not sure if it's really fair for me to feel annoyed about this but I just wondered how others would feel or deal with this? At the end of the day it changes my days and my plans when we have her extra and I feel like, as the partner who also lives in that house I should be consulted before decisions are made? Basically I'm asking if I'm being unfair and if not, how do you think I should tackle this without it seeming like I don't want her around? Thanks!

Maybe83 Tue 04-Oct-16 21:56:52

This is a very devise subject on here.

I don't ask my dh before arranging with dd and her dad when she ll there or here with us. He never asked me if ss could stay here.

We both just say to the other dd/ss are home or not tonight until x. We have teenagers though so it's much more fluid than rigid.

When they were younger I never consulted him either. If we had plans I got a babysitter. If he had asked me if Ss could stay I would looked at him like he had 10 heads to be honest!

Wdigin2this Tue 04-Oct-16 22:01:32

Of course you should, you are the other grown up in the house, and no doubt do the bigger share of shopping, cleaning, cooking, washing & ironing bedding etc! (I don't think that's generalising too much!).
This has been debated many times on MN, and some agree with me, that you should be part of any decision making on changes to normal household routines.
However, there are those that say, she's his daughter, he shouldn't have to ask, but that's not the point is it...it's not about [asking] it's about common courtesy, and making sure you have a chance to discuss the changes as they affect you too!
By the way, if her DF is having more than half the week, that should be reflected in maintenance payments.

lhh00002106 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:08:45

Yeah it's not really that he needs to "ask" as such, I would never say no, it's just feeling like I am considered and involved in my own weekly...happenings, I suppose. Maintenance is a complete other issue here. He pays maintenance every month even though its 50/50...something I tend not to get involved in.

AyeAmarok Tue 04-Oct-16 22:15:17

I think it's not unreasonable for him to let you know in advance, but not reasonable to have to ask if his own young daughter can stay at her own home an extra day/night.

Why does it have to change your plans? Can't you just carry on with what you were planning on doing that day/evening?

lhh00002106 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:21:37

Ayeamarok: I agree. Perhaps it's my phrasing that I need to think about! And when I have my own plans they don't, in fairness he is very good at letting me do my own thing and doesn't expect me to be there on extra nights. It's more if I've been looking forward to a night, in or out, with him. Our jobs are on very different schedules so our time together is precious!

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:24:56

Maybe it should depend on if dh will be the one to actually be doing the child care during the extra hours or is he expecting you to be around? When I was a sm we made all child care plans between us as we were both working and both had kids in and out at various days etc. But it is your home too and surely common courtesy to make sure alternative plans haven't already been arranged.

CannotEvenDeal Tue 04-Oct-16 22:42:57

Yes you probably should get a heads up really. On a positive note, at least you get on well with her and don't essentially mind.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 04-Oct-16 23:49:58

Yes I've had this too! I think even if other parents are 'very loose' at arrangements, they must recognise that it puts their needs totally above other significant people. In fact it ignores that there are any.

I've had to run around stretching a meal, cancelling plans, just because my DP couldn't be bothered to organise in advance too. It's annoying! I also think it's really disruptive for kids, but I know other people disagree. It definitely fed into my DPs Ex being able to control our household to an uncomfortable degree.

Put your foot down. It really isn't asking much to be told and even asked in advance.

crusoe16 Wed 05-Oct-16 06:41:43

Something very basic that I think is really helpful here is a family / shared diary. He can then check if you have something booked for two of you before agreeing to have his DD or if he still wants to have his DD, arrange a sitter for her.

We have a family diary that I expect DH to update online and check before he commits to anything. It's pretty easy to do especially if you're both using iPhones.

It isn't so much an issue for us having extra nights, my problem is DH not being around for things like DSD's parent teacher meetings, matches, weekend commitments. This way he can't claim he didn't know they were happening!

Maybe83 Wed 05-Oct-16 07:18:07

It isn't our needs. This is a family home all of our children can be here when ever they want.

We have a joint understanding that having a toddler, teenager and an adult son means we have a busy, changeable life.

I think the mention of your time together being precious is important. We try to have one night a month out of the house together and every few months schedule a night away.

We also have a calendar every thing goes on it. Date night, night out with friends, activities etc. So dh or I know if the other is in our out and what the others plans our.

Penfold007 Wed 05-Oct-16 07:36:14

Is he doing all the parenting work including childcare, school runs, cooking, shopping and so on?
I'm not sure there is a right or wrong way to deal with 50/50 parenting, your home is also her home but you also need to feel comfortable.

swingofthings Wed 05-Oct-16 18:03:47

If he isn't expecting you to do anything and he lets you know, even if not long in advance, then I think you are unreasonable to make a fuss about it. It would of course be different if he expected you to change your plans as a result.

My kids are now teenagers and tend to come and go a lot more, especially during holidays and because OH and I have very busy lives and sometimes I don't find our what my kids have planned until the actual day, I don't have time to tell him, but it doesn't matter to him, it is their home, they can come and go as they wish. I believe it is the same with their SM, she doesn't mind because it won't alter her plans in any way.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 05-Oct-16 20:56:02

I think what can be ignored in these situations is that a live in step parent is a parent, has to be - and therefore changes to arrangements of step kids are no longer the sole concern of the child's parents.

DoinItFine Wed 05-Oct-16 21:00:29

Is he making arrangements that make demands on your time?

Like he won't be there, but agrees to have her regardless and treats you are his nanny?

Wdigin2this Thu 06-Oct-16 00:00:54

Spot on Bananas

NZmonkey Thu 06-Oct-16 01:14:24

Unless its an emergency I expect my DH to ask me before agreeing to having DSD extra nights its just common curtsey. Especially since its me that gets up with her in the night and first thing in the morning etc. I see it as the same as my mum or dad coming to stay. I wouldn't just tell DH they were coming after deciding on it, id talk to him about it first.

swingofthings Thu 06-Oct-16 07:29:40

I don't agree Banana. My husband is not and never has been a parent to my children and we would all agree to this statement. We all live under the same roof, he cares about them and so do them, he would support them in need etc... but he does not and never has parented them. Therefore whether they are here or not doesn't impact on him.

He sees it that it is their home as much as his and therefore that they are free to come and go without having to be 'warned'.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 06-Oct-16 13:31:37

swing I understand that other households don't view a step parent as a parent, and if it works for all in your household and everyone is happy then that's all good.

In my experience both me and DP are both parents to the step children, whether we want to/like it or not! I say that, as even if the other parent is there, one of us will still be the ones to:
- tell the teenagers to turn down very loud music
- praise a child if they've needed it
- maintained the house - and got kids to help with chores
- cooked or cleaned or washed clothes etc
- negotiated or helped with negotiations over how long on the XBox, sibling fall outs
Etc etc

In my experience it is unworkable to just leave all of these things only to the actual parent. I wouldn't just cook for my own kids. I wouldn't just ask my own child to turn down their music. I wouldn't just praise my own child. So any extra nights or days with step kids directly affected me.

Ghostqueen Mon 10-Oct-16 13:20:43

Being a SM it feels like I have always been expected to change everything to suit SS mum and dad and agree that with our home it is mine, husband's, step son's and daughter's, all four of us have an equal right to it.

I do expect him to check with me if SS can stay extra days/ nights as it does impact things I can do (for example I do washing, I do more with the baby so husband can take SS out and I do do half the parenting) however I would not say no unless there was a genuine reason 9eg we have arranged to go away or medical trips). Have had to cancel trips in the past due to this.

It goes both ways I do not think SS mum and SD should cover our time from SS either and SS mum has asked for a week' notice to changes in the schedule so we expect the same.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:34:39

I agree ghostqueen I do think that changes to arrangements should be something we are asked about, and not just told. Although 99% of the time it would be fine, but it acknowledges that we as SMs are co-managers of the household/parents. Being asked respects that, and opens up a conversation if need be, e,g, ok that works or perhaps these hours works better because you need to pick up x, or cook for x etc.

Somerville Mon 10-Oct-16 13:40:54

Whichever PP compared it to telling a partner if her parents are coming to stay - it's totally different. The parents are guests coming to visit the house - whereas the child is coming to one of her (two) homes.

I have my children 100% of the time as I'm widowed. In a way I think this makes it more straightforward for my fiancé - he knew the full situation right from the start. It seems like some people don't stop and consider all the ramifications of being with someone who already has a child before they commit: facts like that the child will be there 100% of the time if the other parent dies, that older children and teenagers often come and go as they please with no notice, and, as in this case, that the child had a home with their parent way before the parent got into this new relationship, so it was the child's home first (in spirit, even if the actual location of that home has changed to due to the new relationship) and notice or being asked shouldn't ever be necessary.

Ghostqueen Mon 10-Oct-16 16:26:59

I agree ghostqueen I do think that changes to arrangements should be something we are asked about, and not just told. Although 99% of the time it would be fine, but it acknowledges that we as SMs are co-managers of the household/parents. Being asked respects that, and opens up a conversation if need be, e,g, ok that works or perhaps these hours works better because you need to pick up x, or cook for x etc.

Exactly. As shitty as it is we have to plan our lives based on the current arrangement (we have SS weekends or Mon-Wed if DH is on call) so sometimes it isn't possible to change that.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 10-Oct-16 17:50:17

somerville I don't agree, there is a big difference between 100% residency and EOW for example. I don't think I would have moved in with my partner if he'd had 100% residency of all the children, (although we had two). Particularly if it is the main earner of the two parents. My DP bought his Ex a house which we are still paying for, therefore he needs to work long hours, not back until 8pm. I would not have moved in if there were three children (aged 9 to 14 at the time) full-time as I would have been the main parent then for all of them.

It is reasonable to make a decision like that and then expect to be part of the conversation if it does change in the future, as we as SMs in particular, perhaps not so much step dads, we are often the ones who are left to do much of the parenting.

swingofthings Mon 10-Oct-16 17:58:06

What would happen then if indeed, the resident parent was to pass away? Should the children be sent to foster carers because them coming to live with their dad wasn't part of the plan when moving in together?

I expect not, and this would be considered differently, yet it would make no difference in terms of the impact on the SM. What I do agree is that whoever is the resident parent shouldn't expect their partner to participate in the looking after the children. There are many single working parents who get no help at all and manage just fine, so no reason why adjustments can't be made so that the parent hold the full responsibility of their children.

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