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Feel taken for granted by DPs ExW

(45 Posts)
Snowflake2016 Thu 22-Dec-16 21:59:43

NC so I don't out myself.

Feeling annoyed with DPs ExW.

DP works shift, he has the kids as much as his shifts allow, normally 2-3 nights a week. ExW is the RP due to the shift work.

ExW has said she wants to drop the kids to us at 7am on Christmas Eve and New Years Day as she has agreed to work. I'm more than happy to have the kids, I'm looking forward to doing Christmas things with them and generally love spending time with them.

What I'm annoyed about is DP said she couldn't bring them round that early as he is working till 4am so will need a few more hours sleep. We normally do a lunchtime handover after DP does a night shift and ExW is fully aware of his shift pattern.
ExW response was 'snowflake will be there, she can look after them while you sleep'
I do help DP out by looking after the kids if he has to go to work early at the weekend before ExW picks them up, but this is never expected by DP, I offer so that the kids don't have to get up super early.
Is it just me who thinks this is cheeky? If she had asked if I would do it, that wouldn't bother me it's the expectation that I will do it.
Now I feel I can't go out on New Years Eve as I'll have to be up to be with the kids, or DP will have to get up and he won't get chance to have another sleep before going back to work again New Year's Day evening.

Emeralda Thu 22-Dec-16 22:29:38

Hmmm. I partly think she should have checked if it was ok first. However, what would happen if you were not there and he lived on his own? Would the drop-off time be the same, which means he'd have to get up to look after them? Or if they all still lived under the same roof, surely he'd have to get up to look after them?
His working hours and his kids are his responsibility. Anything you do is a bonus, which he should appreciate and not take for granted, particularly if he's asleep while you're doing it.

WhisperingLoudly Thu 22-Dec-16 22:35:22

I don't have step children, nor do my children have step parents so no input based on experience but it does strike me as odd that you feel the mum is taking you for granted.

You live with you partner and therefore I'd expect a certain amount of co-parenting. I don't think it's unreasonable of the mum to assume that

Snowflake2016 Thu 22-Dec-16 22:40:52

It's not my DP that has taken me for granted, it's his ExW.

Her words were, 'you can sleep, snowflake can look after them'

DP will get up to look after them if I didn't but as I said, the normal agreement after a night shift is he has the kids from lunchtime. But she thinks that because I'm at home, it's fine to drop them with me without asking if that's ok with me.
DP is very appreciative of all that I do with the kids and makes sure I know it but he doesn't expect me to look after them as I'm not their parent.

DelphiniumBlue Thu 22-Dec-16 22:43:10

No, I think if she knows his shifts, and is expecting you to look after them, then she needs to ask you in person. Then it's up to you.
Personally I wouldn't be up for looking after someone else's DC at 7am on New Year's Day if I had already made arrangements for NYE.
And if you haven't, would you be spending NYE by yourself? In which case you might as well have them for the evening, so you'd have company and more chance of a lie- in in the morning.

avengerhart85 Thu 22-Dec-16 22:55:14

I think she should have asked you first out of politeness rather than assuming, although you should feel flattered that she sees you as another parent that will help with the DCs and it may not have occurred to her to ask

rollonthesummer Thu 22-Dec-16 23:00:50

What would the arrangement be if he hadn't met you?

Snowflake2016 Thu 22-Dec-16 23:18:47

I don't know what the arrangement would be if he hadn't met me. He did say no, that's too early as I'm on a night shift, so I assume if I wasn't around, the answer would have been no.
DP always tries to accommodate his ExW work and social arrangements but he has to work again, on New Year's Day anyway, so it's unreasonable to get less than 3 hours sleep. She wants to work these days as she has been on holiday and wants the money from longer shifts.

Snowflake2016 Thu 22-Dec-16 23:20:06

And I'm supposed to be out on NYE, but don't fancy getting up with them he kids with a hangover.

TakeMeUpAndAway Fri 23-Dec-16 00:31:46

I definitely feel like it would be common courtesy to ask whether that would be okay, rather than take you for granted and assume, but on the flip side I think it's actually quite nice that she seems to see you as an additional parental figure, as you are.

hoddtastic Fri 23-Dec-16 00:38:03

If your dp is working then she's facilitating that- she's working too - so you (as a couple) need to facilitate that (or not) if they were your kids what would you do?

Evergreen777 Fri 23-Dec-16 06:44:44

Were you actually there when she said that? I'm assuming not and that your DP relayed her comment to you. It may be that his ex assumed he'd have the sense to ask you politely rather than just telling you you had to look after the DSC because his ex said so hmm

Snowflake2016 Fri 23-Dec-16 07:17:53

It was said by text so its not my interpretation or the way DP has said anything. My DP would never assume I'll have them. Luckily I've not been well this week as I was supposed to be working overtime tomorrow morning, but that was cancelled.

Maybe I'm just sensitive to it as she's manipulative in so many ways. Its a shame, I really liked her at the start but the more I got to know her, the more I've seen through her.

But it's Christmas so I'm going to enjoy having the kids when they are so excited about it all.

FrostyWind Fri 23-Dec-16 07:20:30

Your DP needs to tell her that it isn't convenient and that she should have asked you first and not made assumptions.

Emeralda Fri 23-Dec-16 08:15:56

I agree with PP about having the kids the night before if that's possible? Thst would save thembgetting up and out really early on their hols. Does anyone know what the kids might want?

Step-parenting can be a minefield of expectations and resentment. Or like a snakes and ladders board where you're proceeding along nicely until someone feels unhappy about something (child/parent/step-parent) and it feels like a set-back.

I wonder if Mum was looking at it as a practical solution to her childcare problem rather than thinking about the sensitivities of it. Your DP could have a stern conversation with her about checking first. She may not care and it may not change hwhat she does now or in the future. (Or maybe that's just my own bitter experience).

I do still wonder what the scenario would be if they all lived under the same roof. Surely he would just have to get up when she's going to work? So maybe she's thinking along those lines and suggested you as a solution when he objected to having them because he needed sleep?

If you feel she's become more manipulative over time, take a step back, let DP manage her and tell him not to let you know what she has said or texted. Let him manage the frustration.

You sound like a lovely step mother. You can still be a lovely SM and supportive partner while taking a step back from the logistics and their conflict. Remember that - THEIR conflict.
Hope it all works out.

Snowflake2016 Fri 23-Dec-16 08:43:47

Thanks Emeralda

I wasn't involved in the conversation, I stay out of the arrangements, and DP wouldn't have said anything but he was showing me something on his phone and the text popped up.

I'm more than happy to help, but to be asked, not expected to do it.

I look after my nephew every 4th Saturday and my DSis still checks with me the week before, even though the answer is always yes.

Its not that shes become more manipulative, its just at the start I didn't see it. I don't normally let it get to me, but this pissed me off. I guess I just needed somewhere to let it out as I don't want to make my DP feel bad by venting at him.

Evergreen777 Fri 23-Dec-16 09:04:40

I'd reiterate to your DP that he needs to ask you whether you can have the DC, not just assume. He could also make that point to his ex by replying that he'll need to all you, then making her wait a little before doing so, do she's aware that he doesn't take you for granted (maybe too late for this time I'd guess, but good to have a plan for how you'd handle it another time if you're worried it'll become a pattern) If you're out on NYE then getting up to look after kids at 7am is a big ask. Certainly not fair to assume it's ok without checking

satinthedark Fri 23-Dec-16 09:43:14

OP- you faciitate her work and social arrangements but no recognition that she facilitates your DP and his work. Manipulative, yet she accommodates his shift pattern - as someone who has to do this, it is an absolute pain in the backside, not knowing what someone is doing each week and when they can care for THEIR children. Any change in my work / life/emergency etc is called manipulative .

For example, mine did double shifts so he could go on holiday told me on the Sunday of that week and then went on holiday without his DCs for a further 2 weeks. No notice and 3 weeks of no parenting done by him! Of course I adapted aorund his needs.

It works both ways.

Some of the comments about making her wait are making her aware - grow up am sure she realises it, but her DP needs to work it out not the OP. Not I appreciate in the OPs, case, but this need for your DP to ask everytime the DSKs need to be looked after -so you do not feel taken for granted is so bloody childish. For those of you with your own DCs, do you ask your DP if he can mind your DCs everytime you go out to do some shopping socialise - NO, becuase you see that as your family, but the step kids just never are.
Double standards

satinthedark Fri 23-Dec-16 09:43:57

sorry typo - her DCS, he could not afford to take his own DCS!

SomethingLikeFlying Fri 23-Dec-16 09:51:26

I think what she said was cheeky and she shouldn't assume you will look after the children. You could have been going out for all she knew and had other plans for your day so it's unfair to see you as an on hand babysitter just because you're in a relationship with her ex.

As others have rightfully said, what would she have done if you wasn't around?

WhisperingLoudly Fri 23-Dec-16 10:09:47

I understand you think it's her taking you for granted.

I think it's reasonable for her to assume that you, as the live in partner of her children's father, participate in co parenting those children when they're in your home.

As another poster stated she is facilitating your partners ability to work. So must you as a couple facilitate hers.

SomethingLikeFlying Fri 23-Dec-16 11:07:04

Whispering I get what you're saying about facilitating, but that would mean the op cancelling plans constantly because of shifts arranged at short notice and generally planning around the ex's work commitments constantly. Surely the op gets to have a say based on her own circumstances, plans and commitments at that point in time?

JenLindleyShitMom Fri 23-Dec-16 11:10:21

Wow! She is cheeky! I wouldn't agree to have my own children back from their dad's at 7am unless it was an emergency. No way. And certainly not at Xmas when we are all in need of extra sleep!

Mirandawest Fri 23-Dec-16 11:14:40

I would never assume that XHs DW could look after the DC. Quite how they organise things themselves I'm not sure it wouldn't be up to me to decide that it was ok as she'd be there.

NewNNfor2017 Fri 23-Dec-16 11:22:40

I would never assume that XHs DW could look after the DC.

I agree - I have no idea of their set up, or even if she'll be there on a particular night.

OP It sounds like she's projecting - does she have a partner? If she assumes that her own DP will happily accept delegated parenting responsibilities, then maybe she's just applying the same to you.
No reason to accommodate it though - if you're not there then you can't look after her DCs.

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