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Stepmum worried about future(17 Posts)
Hi All, I have a lovely stepson who stays with us around 2 nights a week and am really trying hard to be a great stepmum. However as we are now thinking about having our own child I have worries about how that will work. My DP pays his child maintenance as he should of course but I worry if that will mean we will struggle financially with our own child- finding the money for expensive childcare etc. My stepsons mum also asks us to have him quite often- if she wants to go out we kind of have to drop everything to go and get him so there’s not much of a routine. She also likes to be very involved in what we do together and has even suggested the 4 of us all go on holiday together which I’d be very uncomfortable with! I guess I just want to know if anyone had a their own child in a situation like this and how to make it work. I just want to make sure there would be no detrimental effects on a child of my own Thanks xxx
You'd all be better off with a routine. How old is your stepson? Children need to know where they're going to be when. Flexibility is great but within an agreed schedule rather than as the basic principle. How does your partner feel about it?
If he and his ex are fine with how things are then it won't change but future babies aside, I'd be going mad with no idea what was happening from one week to the next. Do you all go on holiday together or has she just suggested it? it sounds like she hasn't moved on from your partner unless they're both very good friends with healthy boundaries who happen to enjoy spending a lot of time together. Does she have a partner?
My situation is the opposite so I can't relate at all but I'd deal with any feelings you have about the current set up before even thinking of having a baby.
Worries about money when you're thinking of starting a family are normal and sensible. Can you afford it? You need to do the sums like anyone would, and he's committed to supporting his son which is right so work out your financial picture bearing that in mind and that children get more expensive as they get older so your SS is going to cost more not less as the years go by.
He’s only 3, which I think is why everything is so flexible, I’m hoping that when he starts school things will become more structured!
And yes his ex definitely isn’t over him, still sends cards and presents for his birthday which she draws hearts in- very strange and she hasn’t expressed a desire to meet anyone else. I think she still thinks he’ll go back to her one day. A very awkward situation but it makes building a good relationship with her very hard. They were only actually together for a couple of months and we’ve been together for a couple of years now. She’s just suggested going away together but I don’t want to appear horrible by saying no. I think finance wise I need to sit down and crunch the numbers and also come round to the idea that I will always have to pay more than him if we had a child as he would have 2 to support.
Can he not address her lack of boundaries?
I would let him know you're not happy to do a joint holiday
Also if she has hopes of them getting back together then your dss may get his hopes up once he can understand it all so its best to make clear boundaries and make it clear that there will be to reuniting
There is always a money worry, I think if you two have a child the amount he will be expected to pay drops a bit, though if he wants he can always give the same amount, I suppose how much he wants to give depends on how well the mum can afford it all on her own though if she receives any help in the form of benefits if he drops maintenence a bit then she will be entitled to a bit more?
Children are expensive but I'm sure you can make it work, I doubt the amount he pays in child support would make a huge difference unless he pays way above what is suggested.
Lapenguins advice re the money is wrong. Benefits are not affected by how much maintenance is received.
Also, how much maintenance he pays should not be adjusted because the mother can afford it or not. He has a responsibility towards his child as much as she does.
I suppose how much he wants to give depends on how well the mum can afford it all on her own though if she receives any help in the form of benefits if he drops maintenence a bit then she will be entitled to a bit more?
That is really awful advice. Maintenance and benefits have nothing to do with each other and his son will cost the same amount to maintain whether or not OP and her DP have a baby together. What the NRP pays is linked to their salary, not how much or how little the RP has coming in.
doubt the amount he pays in child support would make a huge difference unless he pays way above what is suggested
Sorry to quibble with this as well, but it's an odd thing to say. My DH pays around £900 a month - the cost of maintaining his ex and DC just when they're with her, plus all the costs when they're with us - and no child of ours will get as much spent on it. This isn't stopping us from having a family but it's more than our mortgage and the finances take some planning.
It’s awkward all round have to feel kinda sorry for her having a baby with someone and her ex is in another relationship quickly. Boundaries will help both parties maybe suggest a routine contact for work purposes.
Wow. You really think it OK to drop maintenance with the expectation that the tax payer picks up the difference? That’s quite something. And then in addition, maintenance is variable depending on mum’s income? Wow. Again.
So much making excuses and seeking out non- existent loop holes to justify poor behaviour. What goes around frequently comes around.
Not suggesting dropping or changing maintenance at all, just asking if anyone has been in this position and how it worked out for them if they then had another child
You need to number crunch. CMS is a non-negotiable fixed cost like Council Tax.
CM will obviously affect how you afford maternity leave and how long ML can be but if you do your research and save them it's not impossible.
There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’d ever go on a joint holiday with my DH’s ex! It’s definitely not mean to not want to do that. Especially given she has hopes for a reconciliation. There’s no way the holiday would end well for anyone, his ex included.
I think the advice from @lapenguin is just awful. He can't chose to have a second child based on how much he can get away with putting the job of supporting his first child on his ex.
If he can afford to raise to children then brilliant, but it can't be on the basis of reducing his first to the bare bones! Thank god that @Katexoxo doesn't agree.
Child maintenance would decrease if he has another child to support. That's a fact.
Do some checks on your joint finances and think about your maternity benefits at work. Will you be taking mat leave? How long for?
Will you be going back to work?
Childcare costs? They are high if using a nursery or childminder.
Can he support you and the baby if you become a SAHM?
Yes I’d be taking mat leave and then returning to work. I am a teacher so during the holidays I wouldn’t need childcare but during term time I’d need a nursery, it’s just so expensive!
Honestly yes his child will impact massively on your own family plans. Massively.
Financially and emotionally.
I think you must prepare yourself and decide whether it is worth it. It might be much easier with a childless man.
The Ex May be better with boundaries or she might be uncomfortably around for a long time. This is not an easy path, but it has worked for some. Not for me, ex and step child resentments have totally thrown my relationship off course. And we did have a child together. So just be open eyed.
Kids do cost a lot but you find a way. We don't have much money at all and have just had our little boy. I wouldn't replace him for the world.
Honestly you just cope financially. As long as you can cover the morgage and basic bills then go for it. Childcare is expensive but there are options around that - for example both me and my dp are going back part time to work and covering childcare between us that way. Family help also can assist and once they are two or three you get some childcare free.
Child maintenance does reduce slightly is you and your partner have a baby if he is paying the minimum, which a lot of people don't do, that is s fact based on the CMS calculator. But tbh the difference is unlikely to be a deal breaker.
My mom raised four children with my dad on a teacher wage and a policeman's wage (basic back in the 80's) and they managed. So I'm sure you will be fine!
Also it can change the DSC relationship but sometimes for the better. The kids adore their half brother and it's great that he has siblings as I'm not planning on having more children myself.