Giving up on this step-parenting lark

(98 Posts)
ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 09:54:29

After 10months in this relationship, I feel undervalued and unloved. Here's the setup:

DP has his DC (age 7) for 50% of the time. DP still invites me over during this time (and frequently asks me to move in).

DP is a Disney parent. I am 100% ignored when DC is there. Not even a cuddle or a conversation. (Perhaps normal? This is my first step-parenting experience; in that case, why invite me around?)

I get on well with DC. I think they are lovely and have as good rapore with them. When I am present, DC will always want to play with me. They are constantly wanting my attention. It is not unusual for me to single-handedly entertain his DC for hours while he hides away in his office. I always facilitate this but when DC are not around I tell their dad that I need some space sometimes, that I've got work to do and can't be a babysitter whenever I visit. His response is "just tell DC to go away then". Obviously, I feel very uncomfortable doing this. DC are not my children and I don't want to be rude or be seen to 'reject' them when I've worked so hard on building a good relationship with them. AIBU to think that it's DP's job to manage the situation?

Also consider this:

DP goes on very long work trips (2 weeks at a time) which means that when he returns, he has to "make up" that time in childcare. Totally understandable. However the consequence is that I get hardly any adult time with him. DC don't go to sleep until 10pm and by that point DP is too tired to converse or even just watch TV with me.

I feel unappreciated and neglected. I have a very stressful work situation at the moment and feel burned out and weepy but am receiving no support. It's getting depressing and isolating.

Is there anything I can do to salvage this relationship? Or shall I just accept that I shouldn't date a parent with this much contact time and find a man without children or a weekend dad?

Have any of you guys experienced similar?

Disclaimer: DP is a good father and very hands on most of the time. He's one of the best parents I know and dotes on his DC. His life revolves around his DC and secondly, his work.

OrianaBanana Sun 27-Nov-16 09:57:43

Assuming that you have let him know how you feel, I think you'll have to accept that he will always be this way. His kids come first (except when he's shutting himself away?) and that's as it should be but it doesn't look like he will put himself out to make time for you I'm afraid.

Sorry, someone wiser and more experienced will comment but I didn't want to read and run.

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:05:50

So, it's just the sex that he wants me for? I' sure this setup suits him well sad

OrianaBanana Sun 27-Nov-16 10:15:40

The set up does suit him well. He gets sex and companionship when he wants it, plus free childcare that his children are happy with. The question is, what do YOU get out of it?

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:19:22

I get sex and a bashed self-esteem. That's what I get.

Looks like a single xmas awaits.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Sun 27-Nov-16 10:22:23

Run!!! I'm two children in and wish I'd left before. You're his babysitter with benefits. Short term pain for long term gain x

LadyVampire Sun 27-Nov-16 10:22:43

I feel so sorry for you. Maybe try talking to him as he may not realise there is an issue and see if he is willing to change. You haven't said you want him to cut time with his child for you just when he is free to give you time.

rollonthesummer Sun 27-Nov-16 10:25:06

This is my first step-parenting experience; in that case, why invite me around?

I think you have answered your own question there-

It is not unusual for me to single-handedly entertain his DC for hours while he hides away in his office.

He sounds like a lazy arse to be honest!

Yoarchie Sun 27-Nov-16 10:28:08

You are a fantastic babysitter and general slave with sex thrown in. I bet he wants you to move in!

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:28:51

You haven't said you want him to cut time with his child for you just when he is free to give you time.

If I'm honest with myself, I think the problem is that he has no free time. So I'm beating a dead horse here.

He sounds like a lazy arse to be honest!

He's got 50% custody, so not lazy. He takes his DC everywhere - swimming, violin lessons, piano lessons, Chinese lessons, drawing lessons, the park, etc. Deffo not a lazy dad in general.

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:30:08

general slave

No, not really. I've only cleaned his house a handful of times, and cooked for him twice. I don't want anyone getting the idea that I'm Mother Teresa. I'm not very domesticated.

rollonthesummer Sun 27-Nov-16 10:31:47

Letting you single-handedly entertain his children whilst he 'hides away in the office' does sound pretty lazy though.

Imbroglio Sun 27-Nov-16 10:36:36

After 10 months its far too early to be considered a step-parent.

Don't spend so much time there when his kids are around.

Tell him you understand that the kids need time on their own with their dad and leave him to it.

AnthonyPandy Sun 27-Nov-16 10:38:40

But you shouldn't be cleaning his house at all!

And he doesn't have 50% custody he has 25% and you have 25%.

PenguinsandPebbles Sun 27-Nov-16 10:39:59

This isn't normal in my experience. He is setting you up to fail in my opinion.

Have you had a discussion with him? Do you want it to work? Have a real think about what you get out of it, my DP went to great lengths to make sure that I did not feel like a nanny.

I don't actually believe in this DC should always come first, there needs 100% come first but nobody's wants trump anybody's needs in this family. Adults may be adults but they have needs too and if they are not met then children don't see loving happy parents and I don't think that is a good thing at all. It baffles me why it is ok if a biological parent needs space and time they should get this at the step-parents expense, that the step-parent should somehow suck this up, no that shouldn't happen until you have become a fixed entity in the relationship/family and then it is discussed like biological parents discuss (saying biological to distinguish)

Anyway, thinking back to when I first met DP and the two monkeys, they very much did see me as a novelty when I first started visiting at home, but I knew them pretty well by that point and it became apparent quite quickly that I wasn't really there to see DP in their eyes smile if your new and your fun and they like you then they are going to want your attention, at the 10 month mark your DP shouldn't be running off to his office for his needs to be met, he should be working with you to build bonds and show the DC that you are not a babysitter!

Aderyn2016 Sun 27-Nov-16 10:47:10

I think the main thing that stands out to me from your post is that he ignores you whenever he is with his child. That is totally unacceptable. If you are good enough to have sex with then you are good enough to be acknowleged as an important person, infront of his child. You are not the babysitter, you are supposed to be a dp. For this reason alone I would drop him .
He might be an involved, loving dad but he is using you as childcare to give himself a break. Again, utterly unacceptable. That is not your role. If he needs a break he should ask the gps to babysit or employ a babysitter. I think you do need to get rid, sorry.

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:47:51

And he doesn't have 50% custody he has 25% and you have 25%.

Tbh, I try to limit the time I come over when DC is here because the scenario is always that I am a plaything while he potters around in his office. So I've started asking for his weekly schedule in advance so I can dodge the times when DC are there. He has cottoned on to this and has now started lying: saying DC won't be here and then picking them up at the last minute. Example: I finished a double nightshift this week (50+ hours without sleep). I was exhausted and DP promised me that we could spend some time together, that he would "look after me". So I dragged myself to his house. DC were there. I locked myself in the bedroom and wept silently. Dramatic I know, but I was so close to burnout. If I'd known DC would be there I would have went to my own home and slept peacefully in my own bed. Sometimes I even lock myself in his bathroom with my laptop and work on the floor, as it is the only room with a lock. If I stay silent I stay undetected.

Don't spend so much time there when his kids are around.

How would this relationship ever work long-term, seeing as he has 50% custody?

my DP went to great lengths to make sure that I did not feel like a nanny.

What things did he do?

if your new and your fun and they like you then they are going to want your attention

That's EXACTLY the scenario. I am a novelty. I am good at getting onto DC's level and could talk for hours about Pokemon with them (a genuine shared interest), so in that sense I probably am "fun". I enjoy it - but not for hours on end - on my own.

PenguinsandPebbles Sun 27-Nov-16 10:50:25

And why are you cleaning his house? You don't live there. I never cleaned my partners house until we lived together, because it was his house. Obviously if I cooked something there (I think even people with no kids cook for each other) I'd tied up but not general cleaning.

I did loads of research when I met DP, I had been adamant I would never date a man with children let alone a RP - oops! But the best advise was slowly slowly slowly. 10 months is so early! When did you first met his child?

Aderyn2016 Sun 27-Nov-16 10:50:45

You should have walked out the moment he pulled that stunt. It is all about him getting the break he needs at your expense. If he is lying to you and manipulating you already, how much worse is it going to get if you live with him and mesh finances and maybe have kids with him?

OrianaBanana Sun 27-Nov-16 10:53:11

I've started asking for his weekly schedule in advance so I can dodge the times when DC are there. He has cottoned on to this and has now started lying

OK this is really not good OP.

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:56:41

And why are you cleaning his house?

Two times I blitzed the place as a surprise when he was on work trips, so it was nice for him getting back. Another time he asked me to help him.

When did you first met his child?

Around 3-4 months into the relationship.

ChanseysEgg Sun 27-Nov-16 10:57:57

I thought you would all jump on me and tell me to suck it up or leave. Thanks for everyone's support. I feared I was being a mega-bitch stepmother-from-hell for feeling resentful and unloved.

ElspethFlashman Sun 27-Nov-16 11:00:38

That double nightshift story is awful. He was a prick for doing that - he knew you had a double nightshift and he didn't give a shit as he wanted a hand with the child.

And the lying?

Ugh. I'd dump, pronto.

Aderyn2016 Sun 27-Nov-16 11:04:59

You are not being a mega bitch sm at all. You have been kind and loving to his child. But it is perfectly okay to want some time just with your boyfriend and to resent being forced into a child care role.
At 10 months in, you are not a sm. You haven't agreed to take on that role. You are just a woman whose bf happens to have a child. Looking after that child is his job, not yours!

PenguinsandPebbles Sun 27-Nov-16 11:07:42

Sorry I keep getting distracted, and cross posting.

What did he do to not make me feel like a nanny? i didn't even have to discuss my concerns on this, when we started talking about me meeting his children.

DP already had a nanny look after DC on occasion (once/twice a week, pick ups and or overnight stays because he runs his own business and couldn't do that without some support his family lives miles away) so they were used to a babysitter and he actually was worried they would view me in that role not as an extension of him (that's not in a sexiest way, just that he wanted it to be clear that if we were going to have a family life together I was to be seen like him more than a nanny iyswim. It was a big concern for him. basically he just made sure we all spent time together, when we had "dates" together and he would focus his attention on us together with them. There routine was never disturbed by me being there in an evening. We did fun things together, he just made sure i was treated differently to the nanny and my DP never withheld affection from me in front of DC, obviously it was slowly introduced but he would sit next to me on a sofa, hold my hand, put his arm around me - that sort of thing when we were all together. I did spend time alone with them if he went off to cook dinner or something, but they were also encouraged to do the normal things they do in an evening. But it was a fair while before I went there of an evening and we had a very strong bond before I started looking after them for short periods of times but it was long after I was a novelty and I was a fixture in their lives.

We also had time and still to have evenings and days where it is just the two of us despite him being RP, but this man has 50/50 so you should be able to do this too.

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