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I really don't know what is fair in this situation(44 Posts)
Bit if background. I have an 11 year old DSS. He lives with his mum in a city 250 miles away. His mum moved away when her and my DH seperated when DSS was 3. DH couldn't move too because hes cares for his parents. DH travels to see his son every other weekend and we have him for most of the holidays. He is a fantastic dad.
We also have a 7 month old DS.
That's the background but Im happy to answer any more questions!
Basically, I'm not sure what is fair and was wondering what other stepfamilies do.
My mum gave me a little bit of money to treat myself with. I suggested that we take DS to the zoo this weekend. He loves animals and loves going the farm and I thought, as its going to be lovely and sunny, DH is not in work/away/with his parents, it would be a lovely treat!
DH doesnt think he can because he feels sad at the thought of DSS missing out. He suggests we wait until DSS is next up in the half term.
I do understand his point of view but I also feel sad because I feel like our DS is missing out (I know he's only 7 months, I more mean in the long term if this keeps happening)
DSS doesnt like the zoo, he finds it boring. I wouldn't suggest a day out that I think DSS would like if he couldn't come.
I was wondering what other step-families do in this situation? Do you only do days out when everyone is together?
I want to do what's right for everyone but really dont want my son to be missing out
So you can’t do anything nice as a family at weekends unless dss is there too?
Your DP is being utterly ridiculous.
You can't put everything on hold for when DSS is with you! Your DS needs a normal family life which includes trips out both with and without his non resident sibling.
And I say this as someone who was brought up with 2 step parents and whose oldest child has a 2 step parents!
I think it's the fact that it's a family day out type thing that's bothering DH. Things like the park/museum etc are never an issue. We don't often get the chance to do bigger days out because money is a bit tight with me being on mat leave at the moment
I understand how your dh must feel but he IBU to postpone all family activities until his ds is around.
Thank you. I do feel a bit sad because I feel like ots unfair on our son. DH really is a great dad and a wonderful husband, but im not sure if he can see my point of view. I thought i was being a bit unreasonable to be honest.
None of you should be putting your lives on hold until your DSS is with you. It's not fair on any of you. And does the same rule apply to your DSS - can he not do anything without his dad there?
Though having said that I wouldn't consider a day at the zoo with a 7 month old to be "treating myself" - unless you especially love the zoo? He is too young to care!
Your DP is wrong.
Your child is entitled to days out and fun times when his half sibling isn't with you. Why should he have to live with his life on hold for those rare times his half sibling is there?
Tell your DP to get a grip.
I doubt dss's mum holds back on taking him out for the day so your baby doesn't feel left out, he has two sets of parents to spoil him your baby only has one 🤷🏻♀️
Unless the zoo trip is literally the only family day out you will have this year go to the zoo, with or without your grumpy DH.
The only way it wouldn't be fair is if you either weren't doing anything else the rest of the year, or you always planned your days out when dss isn't around.
It sounds like you don't have many opportunities when your dh is either not traveling or with his parents, so he's being pretty selfish to be honest.
As a dm with 'ft' and' pt 'dc I made a conscious effort to have fun with the dc I had with me at the time!! It's not fair on your ds to have half a life!!
Your dh can maybe get pizza with dss next time for a' lads night 'if it makes him feel better, but ultimately he chose to have another dc and he need a fun life too!!
DSS will be having days out with his Mum won't he? I can understand DH wants to save big treats for when DSS is around but if it's not something he would enjoy anyway I don't see the issue.
There is a big age gap, they will have different interests. The older boy comes to see his dad, not spend time with baby. Of course baby is his family but I don't think that is his priority. The boys should spend time together just not all the time
Just ask DH what he thinks DSS will be doing on a nice sunny bank holiday weekend this weekend? And does he think DS is missing out?
He’s being really out of order. This sort of thing comes up a lot in blended families but the answer to him not seeing his son as much as he’d like ISN’T to put your life on hold or for your child together to miss out.
Many good points raised above already. This is going to crop up time and again so it’s worth tackling now.
DSS has two families and gets to do fun things (hopefully) with both his parents.
Ask him why he’s willing to stop life continuing for your baby. Why that’s fair. How it helps DSS that he’s effectively responsible for your baby to have fun things to do.
I think your DH should understand or maybe you need to have this discussion with him. It is unfair for your DS. Imagine at 7 month old, what is it going to be like when he's at the same age as your DSS?
I am saying and feeling this just because I'm a SM to two SDC, boy (12) and girl (10). I don't have a child yet with my DH but we are planning to have 1 in next couple of years. I would feel very dishearten and upset if my DH reacts like that. I am very loving SM to my SDC. We share a great bond and my DH is great father too. But I wouldn't appreciate it if DH wouldn't want to go just because SDC are not there that weekend. NOWAY that's fair!
Thank you so much for all your replies.
I think one of the big problems is that DSS's mum doesn't do days out/trips to the park etc with him. I'm not judging her parenting, that's not my place, but he's often with an auntie when he's not with my DH. DH spoke to him earlier and he mentioned being sad that he had nothing to do this weekend and it was going to be sunny. I don't think DH had said anything about us going to the zoo at this point.
DH just feels so sad about DSS not doing anything or getting much attention when he's at home that he can't bare the thought him missing out.
Ive said I do understand his feeling but I dont want to feel like we can never do days out when DSS isnt here. I still don't think he gets where I'm coming from.
I do have to say, it isnt because he's selfish (he is the most selfless person I know) or grumpy. He's just feeling so sad about DSS. But I still dont think its fair for me or DS to miss out. We could go on our own of course but I wanted it to be a nice day out for all of us.
I feel quite sad about it all. I know I'm going to feel resentful when its so sunny and we could be doing something fun. We will probably go the park or something still but i really wanted to make the most of it.
We're gonna start with DSS coming up here for the weekends that DH has him, that's happened the last 2 times and has worked well. But next weekend DH is going to him because he has his sats that week so didnt want him travelling. So I'll be on my own, with our DS. This isn't something I complain about. I dont mind if they have a fun day out (TBF, money is tight so without the money from my mum that wouldn't be possible)
I think money is part of the issue. We can't do big days out all the time. But if we went to the zoo this weekend I would have made sure there was something fun for DSS to do when he's here
Taking a 7 month old to the zoo would be a sit waste of the money IMO. He’ll get nothing out of it. Unless you really like the zoo yourself I would spend it on something else. Maybe a night away for you and DH?
The key part is that it is not an activity he would be interested in so it's not like he is going to be jealous. Unless you say that he's not interested and your OH doesn't agree, I think your OH needs to chill out, his son is not going to disown him because he is doing one activity with his baby brother a week-end is not there and he doesn't feel he is missing out on.
DH said he would love to spend it on a meal for the two of us so we can have a bit of quality time, but that its up to me as its my money. I would like that too because I feel like I miss him a bit, we don't get much, if any, quality time together. But I find it hard to leave DS I do need to get used to it though as I go back to work in 7 weeks That's a different story though!
DS does love animals, he gets very excited if he sees a cow at the farm. Maybe I secretly love going to the zoo too
Feeling a bit better now, thanks everyone for letting me talk things through.
Oh no, DH was the first to say that DSS doesnt enjoy the zoo. However, I must say that I think he'd enjoy it with DS. He absolutely adores his little brother and is an amazing big brother to him.
Im starting to feel like, with money being tight, maybe saving what is a rare day out for us money wise for when we're all together is reasonable.
But I find it hard to leave DS
Have the meal with your husband. You have years and years ahead of you with your son. A few hours is nothing! Go and have a date with with the man you love!
Poor DS his daddy won't let him do nice things until DSS is around. Ask DH - Is his whole life going to be like this? Is this going to apply to birthday parties and christmas and holidays? When does it end? Do you put a hold on board games unless DSS is around?
For what its worth, we're in a much more fortunate situation - we have DSD every weekend Friday-Monday, but I would never allow my DS to miss out on something nice just because it happened on a day when DSD isn't with us. If its feasible, there are some things I'll rearrange for the weekend so she can be there, but if things have to happen when she's not, he gets to do it anyway.
It's nice to do things with them both, but don't allow DS to grow up believing you only do nice things for DSS and nothing for him.