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Advice as step dad - loss of identity(51 Posts)
Good morning all!
First post so please bare with me.. desperate times.
Just a quick back story - met partner 11 months ago. She has two children one aged 7 and one (now 11 months, met when he was just two weeks old). I’ve done everything I can, or so it seems to me, for all of them which includes waking eveyother day to give partner a lie in, feeding, bathing and bed time routines etc. I’d say shared responsibility when we are both at home.
Now to the point(s).. should I just take a back seat in the decision making regarding the children? For example, on times that I am up with the children, I may need to go to the toilet. I leave the youngest with he 7 year old for a few minutes whilst I relieve myself. I only ever do this in desperate times and have the door open so that I can clearly hear what is going on. Before I leave I sit the 7 year old down and explain that I needn’t him to keep a close eye and that I’m only just a few meters away.
This morning my partner came down whilst I was in the toilet and hen called me a ‘joke’ for leaving the children for a few minutes.
Would you say I was in the wrong? Each time something like this happens, or anything really, I get met with ‘they’re my children’.
Am I in the wrong here?
Thanks in anticipation.
I don't have children and even I know that you take an 11m old to the toilet with you if you need to go
If you are at home then no, you don't take an 11-month-old to the loo with you . You make sure they are in a safe place (cot, play pen or whatever) and then keep an ear out. If you were retiring to the loo for half an hour with the paper and shutting the door then that might be a problem.
Honestly I would take a step back. If she throws it in your face that they are her children then she should deal with them in the morning.
I understand the mad dash to the loo as you've held as long as possible. I had a mad moment to check there wasn't anything my toddlers could get hold of so I could rush to the loo this morning.
I'd recommend you have a frank chat with your partner about what each of your expectations are. I found with my step son I had to find the balance of discipline and supervision and co parenting. You need to know in the future does she expect to make every decision for the kids without talking to you even though a lot of it will effect you. Things like that are better to get out in the open before you get any more serious and involved in their lives.
It's a bit harsh to expect you to get it right every time.
But, 7 is too young to take responsibility for a baby, even briefly. Is the baby crawling? In which case, you cannot take your eyes off them for a moment unless they are in a safe place, like a play pen.
What does your partner do with the baby when she goes to the toilet?
It's a few years since mine were this small, but I think I had a bumbo or baby seat of some kind in the bathroom to pop the baby in while I used the bathroom.
Well, TBH I wouldn't leave an 11 month old to go to the loo, unless they were securely strapped into, buggy, highchair etc. However, these are not your DC, so it's not your responsibility to be with them, whilst their DM sleeps. And as for her name calling you.....well, are you sure this is the right relationship for you?
You've both rushed this relationship and no I really don't believe you should be sharing the parenting at this early stage. How long have you been living together?
You're 50/50 parenting after meeting someone 11 months ago.
You're both batshit, frankly.
Yes, this is all a bit soon I think!
My husband has an 11 year old been in her life 5 years I do 99% everything for her I mean all of it for 5 years
Last year something happened and he said don’t get involved she’s my child
I said well your daughter your responsibility you do all her care
He took stock and now I don’t get involved with her say so so much but I still do all her care
Some people shouldn’t be parents tbh
Leave a baby toddler in a playpen cot or pram strapped in when you need to be out sight you can’t expect a 7 year old to be mature enough to care for them saying that is now back right off tell your partner she needs to do her job sadly you sound like me a mug - sorry
I think respect where respects due. You sound bloody good to have taken on so much within such a short space of time (11mths)
Remembering back (my dcs are grown up) but yes, didn't leave little one alone at that age with sibling but thats why we always used a playpen for those short moments. Like others have said or cot.
Not nice for her call you a joke. She should comunicate with you what she does/or expects you to do, your not a mind reader. Shes been and done this all before, you haven't. She is lucky to have you on board. Playpens may not be top choices now but was the only way I could manage when no one else was around.
I hope she respects you and is not taking advantage of your helpfulness.
Still cant believe your so commited after just 11mths.
Wow!! She fairly struck gold when she met you didn’t she? Insta daddy from the off.
Why the hell are you living with and taking on parenting duties for children you met less than a year ago? What’s wrong with you?
I never took a baby that age (or any age) to the toilet- I don’t think you’re unreasonable at all. At 7 the other child could let you know if there was an issue- and you’re out the room for a matter of minutes. I find it hard to believe no one except me and you have never ever left an awake baby in another room for a few minutes, if it’s a safe environment. You sound as if you’re doing a fair amount for everyone, not holding back. If you’re being shouted at, then she should get up and do it herself. Calling you a joke was utterly uncalled for.
Assuming that the child is mobile, the room is as child safe as can be and the 7 year old can shout out if the baby does something dangerous, I think it's fine.
If I took a baby to the toilet, it would see my genitals and probably be very interested in playing with the toilet thus creating more problems than getting the 7 year old to shout if baby tries anything dangerous.
Personally I think you made the right call but shouldn't be doing 50% of the parenting.
Many thanks for all your replies - much appreciated.
When I say shared responsibility, I mean that when both kids are awake, we try to ensure that we both are involved as much as possible. She will take the 7 year old for a bath, I then take the 11 month etc.
She has raised that I shouldn't leave the children unattended, and I agreed that I wouldn't. However, this morning, I woke prior to the 11 month old to ensure I could try and make sure I was 'done' before he stirred, however, no such luck so tried to make the best of the situation. I have and will apologise again.
I personally feel that I have done and do more than some biological parents do, including their own fathers (sperm donors?) and yet I am still made out to be a joke, or that I am not doing enough. The chat this morning wasn't the best and yet again, I was told that I am not making life any easier. At which point in any of this has my life been made easier..? I have taken on two children, the responsibility. I work full time to provide, do what I would say is my fair share at home and yet I still don't do enough.
It's weird that it takes a few strangers on a forum and typing things out to put things into perspective. I guess that being beaten down and manipulated for so long has you second guessing yourself along the way - hence the lost identity. Totally taken for granted.
Apologies for the rant, I kinda took my own thread off topic.
P.S I don't know how to reply to individuals - I will figure it out and send replies. I'm not ignorant, just at work without time for figuring it out.
P.P.S I work in IT so have no excuse
Your partner is taking advantage of you. They are her children, not yours, she should be looking after them. She calls you a ‘joke’ for leaving them for a few minutes to go to the toilet. She needs to step up. Sounds like you are doing far too much.
You are being used here. How much does the children's father do?
I do feel you rushed into the living together...and going to the loo as you did isn't unreasonable IMO.
Yes I would also say you're being used. Step back - it's way too early to be this involved. I'm not saying she doesn't love you but you met two weeks after her giving birth. This is a very vulnerable time when new mums need lots of support & it sounds like you've been drafted in as a ready made dad.
To do so much and be called a joke is awful for you.
If you need the toilet and you are in charge of the 11 month old, I'd suggest going to the bed, waking her and giving her her child so that you can relieve yourself.
She's annoyed that you aren't giving proper parental care to her children while she's lying in bed?
Both fathers aren't in the picture and haven't ever been really. Might be part of the reason I wanted to get involved so soon and early?
Well regardless of what's been said and done, I think that we both need to just agree that we aren't meant to be together. This is just one of many issues. Both parties need to feel valued and I don't think we will get that from this relationship. Talks today have been far from productive to say the least. A recurring theme that doesn't seem to want to end
She can't use they're 'her children' card,when it's convenient.... as for needing the loo,is there a baby seat,he could go into and bring him with you a.so you can relieve yourself without rushing and b. So in the incident if something did happen,the 7 year old wouldn't feel responsible. But if overall your feeling under appreciated,I'd take a step back from all you do...if your partner asks why,simply explain you feel 'your not good enough' for 'her' children..... otherwise I fear this will carry on forever,if she isn't aware,your doing all you can(without having any obligation to)
The step I'm taking is a big one. I don't think we can come back from this as well as trying to sort the other issues.
I let her know about this thread and I was asked why I didn't bring it up with her. On many occasions I have tried to raise issues and have then somehow ended up apologising and feeling bad for raising the issue.. I told her that and got the reply 'you are a joke'.
What pains me is that she can't even understand how frustrated I am. Frustrated enough to come to a bunch of welcome strangers for advice! Regardless of what causes us to feel something, they are feelings none the less and if someone can't respect that then what else is there to do?
I really should add that I am by no means perfect. I get tired etc. and sometimes I take things in the wrong way. I don't name call but I do go incredibly quiet until I realise that whatever I was frustrated about really isn't worth it in the end. The issue here is that I get questioned over it, I then explain what was on my mind and this is where everything gets blown out of proportion. But, that being said, I always, eventually, apologise if I am in the wrong.. Something that rarely happens when the shoe is on the other foot.
When did you actually moved in together? Soon after you met? If so, why? I'm quite curious as to how a woman with a 6yo and 2 weeks old newborn get to meet someone new? The supermarket?
It sounds like you have rushed into getting together, and are now rushing to separate, with these two children suffering the emotional damage. Very sad.