Some advice please(19 Posts)
I'm a childless stepmum. OH and I have been together nearly 3 years, and moved in together about 8 months ago.
Step daughter is 5 yo and we have a fantastic relationship. She's very sweet and loving and will readily seek me out for chats and play time.
The only thing is, we have her EVERY weekend. Although a little frustrating before we moved in together (in as much as OH and I had little time together) - but at least I had a sanctuary to retreat to. Working full time, I'm now finding I'm dreading a Friday, as the world turns upside down.
During the week I'm doing housework, shopping, chores etc to ensure the weekend is 'clear' of menial activities so we can all have fun at the weekend.
Sometimes I just feel it's all too much, and I just need a bit of 'me time'. It sounds so awful, but I just might want to take myself away to read for half an hour to get away from all the mess and noise. But I'm literally followed from room to room. Which does my head in. I've never snapped, but feel so caged. OH doesn't seem to 'get' 5 year olds need a bit of attn (not just TV) which I think is why she seeks me out (bored with Daddy)
I really don't want to feel resentful - I'm truly blessed for what I have. It just feels as though I've lost a bit of me - am I the only one feeling this way?? Any help or advice please?
I so want to make this work, but can't live dreading my 'time off' each weekend, and feeling like I have to hide myself away in our home for some sanity.
I want to be involved and happy, and know o can only do this if I can feel relaxed, get enough sleep etc.
The only solution is for you to arrange time away when she is there, your dp time is precious to him he doesn't get to see his dd daily so it you need time away why not make plans with friends go for a swim you don't need to be constantly there when the dd is there.
You need to schedule time for her and her dad to spend together.
Either he takes her out for part of the day (swimming, cinema etc.) or he spends the day with her at home (doing activities) and you go out for the day, doing your own thing.
Weekends with DSD is about her spending time with her dad, not you.
As lovely as it is that she loves you and enjoys spending time with you, it is about him and her, not you and her.
I get where your coming from, working all week then having no down time at the weekend would start to piss anybody off no matter how noble their intentions. Its all well and good going out for a swim or whatever but sometimes its nice to just sit in a stained pair of old joggers staring at the wall/book/tv whilst drooling vacantly.
When I was a wee nipper I used to visit my dad and my SM on a regime of sleepover every other weekend and i would go for tea a night during the week.
I see both sides of this though, you don't want to appear like your rebuffing the DSD or resenting her time with DP as this could drive a wedge between you both. Just approach with care OP xx
This doesn't sound fair on her or you. Her father should be parenting her for the majority of the time that she spends with the two of you.
I'd be suggesting alternating trips out. One weekend you go out for a few hours the next he takes his dd out for a few hours. But I would also stress to him that he needs to be the one to entertain her the majority of the time. If you want to go read for an hour he should be more than capable of entertaining her and distract her from following you. It sounds like he is just happy to pass the 'mum' role onto you which is not fair to anyone.
Your DP needs to step up and play with and entertain his daughter. It's lovely that you have a good relationship with her, but he should be parenting her. Equally, he should be doing lots of the prep work for her visits. Does he do any of the housework and food preparation for the weekend? Because he should be doing most of it for his child.
Totally agree. He should be spending his time with her.
And you should be able to say "go and find Daddy for a while I'm a bit busy right now"
Tell your DP that you need some space
Her dad sounds a bit useless.
Don't feel like you need to make every weekend super special and fun though. It's quite normal for kids to have to entertain themselves whilst parents get on with chores, especially if she's with you every weekend. It's good for normal life to continue whilst she's there because it'll make her feel less like a visitor as she gets older.
I would suggest to your Dh that he signs her up for an activity one of the mornings (swimming, soccer, ballet etc).
My five year old does gym, tennis and swimming at the weekend. Get her dad to take her to something like this.
How come it's every weekend, and not the usual EOW? Do you ever get any time as a couple?
Thank you so much for your support and advice - it's great to know what I'm feeling is a little bit valid!
Reading your replies, think I need to take control (sounds so obvious writing it here) - but was half hoping OH might pick up on what I do and offer to give me a break/spend time with SD...
And yes, sometimes it is that I'd like to chill out in my (unstained ) joggers at home and zone out for a weekend. Realistically that's not gonna happen - so will look to see how it could work having a bit more me time.
In answer to one q - I do all the housework, shopping and am the main cook of the house. Just feel it's the one thing I do to give OH & SD time together @ the weekend. Not that it works that way - end up being followed about by SD @ the weekend 'what you doing?' Bless....
Not needing to do special stuff every weekend struck a chord. I do try and make everything super fun and SD related so she has a nice time with us... Maybe time to settle into a 'normal life' routine...
I am worried tho, if I do start saying to find Daddy as I'm busy (in the nicest poss way) - would I be causing issues for SD? In that I'm suddenly unavailable to her? So worried about mucking things up - such an important age... x
EOW is a question I ask myself all the time - just how it's always been since we met... Mummy/grandparents during the week and us every weekend. I did ask if that might ever change/we get a weekend to ourselves. Answer: if there was ever something I really wanted to do. Took that as a no. And I'm not gonna force time together as afraid of resentment. Feels like life is happening TO me - not being in control/part of it... x
So, your doing all the housework AND child care? Exactly what does your DP do on weekends? Because he's gaining an awful lot in this situation whilst you are doing all the work. That's not the basis of a healthy long term relationship.
Having the child every weekend is absolutely fine if it works for the whole family. Not having a weekend to yourself is normal with children. It's unrealistic to expect to have such times except for special occasions because that's parenting.
You shouldn't be having to say go find daddy. He knows you need some space he should preempt it and occupy her.
It sounds like you might be a victim of your own success here - you're doing such a good job of everything that everyone is happy for you to keep doing it!
How did weekends work before you moved in and before you met? How was DP managing all this without you? How would he manage now without you around?
I agree with the suggestions of alternative trips out, and also the suggestions of regular activity class or sport he takes her to. You might have to be structured about it because he's not.
I also wonder how DSD feels about not having weekend time with her DM and whether that's a factor in her seeking you out as well.
It sounds like there are lots of positives in the situation but don't exhaust yourself trying to keep everything going for everyone else - re-charge your own batteries too.
What is your DP doing when you are doing domestic stuff and looking after DSD? You are not the nanny-housekeeper. Or her mother, for that matter. It sounds like you plan your weekend like you are a parent, tbh. Make sure your goodwill is not being exploited.
I know that if you had the child full time you'd never have a weekend to yourself ....... but this isn't a full time arrangement. If your DP wants a relationship then he needs to make room in his life for one. And I''m surprised the child's mum never wants any weekend time with her daughter?
I can only assume Mummy likes every weekend 'off'.... OH does help with the few chores left over, but then generally watches TV and ushers SD away if I get frustrated and ask him to entertain her. Think he thinks we have such a good relationship, just lets us 'get on with it' as SD is happy x
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