This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Feeling sorry for DSC(15 Posts)
NC as a bit outing.
I’ve been in my DSC’s lives for many years. They’re great kids, I love them dearly. Had a slightly more difficult relationship with the youngest initially, but things are very good now. Have a baby of my own with their father. All kids get along as well as any kids do. The elder two dote on the little one.
We’ve had problems with their mum from the off. (I am not the OW - we got together a few years after they split.) She’s always viewed us as babysitters rather than their dad as a co parent. Contact has always been about her needs (on occasion she has withheld access to the the children in exchange for money).
Anyway, for the last 3-4 years things have been pretty stable. But now mum is planning on moving in with her bf and things are becoming difficult again.
DSC dislike her bf intensely. He is rude, behaves like a child, selfish, offensive, etc. Her family are NC with him because of his behaviours towards them and the children. My eldest DSD largely ignores him, but stands up to him when he’s rude (I’ve heard the way he speaks to them, it makes my blood boil). Now their mum is saying that she wants the youngest out of the house more as she’s getting in the way of her alone time with the bf, and we need to have her more.
Eldest is not an issue according to their mum - she’s 18, has a ft job and is out a lot in the evenings with her bf.
We love having both kids - we’d have them all the time if it was our choice. Having them more is not an issue - we’re happy to have them more days in the week as well as weekends (we already have them at least one night every weekend, usually we have at least one of the girls for both nights - mum has never allowed them to stay with us more than two nights per week as this reduces her maintenance money).
My youngest DSD has always had a very close bond with her mum, at least before the bf. Now she wants her out of the house more as bf sees her as an inconvenience. I suspect the bf has said the same to DSC already, so DSD knows he does not want her there. She’s 15 and very very sensitive. I feel so sad about all this. I can’t imagine a parent wanting you out because you’re ‘in the way’ or because the bf doesn’t like you around. (DSD mostly reads in her room, it’s a bit of a joke that she’s a hermit. So she’s not really getting in anyone’s way.) DSD is already very hurt and upset about this and says she feels like nobody wants her. (Not true, but I don’t think it’s unusual to think that in the circumstances.) She also has GCSEs this year and we’re worried this will impact her results.
For background, bf has cheated on their mum multiple times and I suspect she’s desperate to keep hold of him, which is what’s prompting all of this. Ie, if he’s living with her, she thinks he won’t cheat. We think it will end badly, so in that sense it’s better if the kids are out of it and with us more, but it’s not great while we’re all having to pander to this manchild.
Just wanting some advice really on how best to support my DSC, especially DSD2.
Can you guys apply for custody, do you have enough space for them? I hate to think of my stepchildren feeling like this.
At the older age they will probably give a lot of weight to the children's wishes so might be worth a go?
Thank you. My DH has considered applying custody in the past, but my DH travels a lot for work, and so have never been sure a court would approve. A joint custody arrangement might be better perhaps, but I suspect their mum will object as she’ll see her maintenance money disappear. I guess the main thing we can do is make them feel loved and wanted here.
Apply for custody!! A stable fab dsm is better than a flakey dm - the fact your dh is away won't take away from them they (the dc) are settled in a living home environment! And surely their choice would count for a lot in court anyway?!
They're old enough to decide where they want to live. Have you asked them?
Maybe should have mentioned I had joint custody with exh of ds's and they went nc with him at 12+14. I never heard from him in the nearly 4 years since ! Rarely texts them and they only reply asking for cash (typical teens!)
How horrible! Can you have them full time? What a tender age and she feels unwanted.
Can she get to school from your place? Even if informal to start with, could you then have a case for residency and reduce maintenance payments that way.
If the child is 15 there is no point in applying for custody. It's her choice. If SD wants to live with you full time her mother can't stop her.
But SD will need to speak up and make her wishes clear. At 16 she can legally live independently so no court will take it on when she is 15.
My SD came to live with us full time at 14. Her mother was objecting but there was nothing she could legally do. SS spoke to SD and her wishes were enough to make it happen. Parent registered for child benefit is the considered the main carer.
In our case SDs mother tried to cause trouble, didn't respect her daughters wishes at all and there was A LOT of hassle for us due to false allegations but ultimately at 15 the child is old enough to decide and at 16 they are practically considered an adult.
What does your step daughter want?
I think she’d like to maintain the status quo. She likes her mum’s as it’s closer to friends, but is feeling forced out and unloved. Both DSC are ok tolerating the bf in the main, but this man doesn’t like having them around getting in his way. That’s the issue really. Mum is blinded by lurve, kids are being marginalised as a result.
I don’t think it would be an issue otherwise. However difficult their mum is, it’s been stable for years.
Another consideration that I think would stop them both living here full time is that they share a room here, but have their own room at their mum’s. We can’t afford to move unfortunately.
That’s really sad and even if she lived with you the sting of her mums behaviour wont be taken away. I think you just need to keep on showing her love and a consistent home life when she sees you; make sure she knows she can come to you whenever she wants
I think it might be worth asking DSD2 if this is what she wants as even if she turns you down, at least she will be reassured that she is loved in your home?
Thanks all. We will sit down and talk it all through with them, and ask what they want. The hard thing is that what they really want is out of our control. They know how loved they are here, and I hope we can reassure them they will always have a home with us (even if it means a shared bedroom!)
We have had similar issues op so. I can sympathise. My disc are younger dss is 15 dad is 13 but their dm's partner refuses to have them in the house if his kids aren't there (he is both other man and rp to his kids). He has been exceptionally vocal about it in front of the kids. Dsd is fiercely loyal to dp so has begged him not to say anything but she often offloads to me and is aware that whilst some things are confidential between us girls there are things I will talk to her dad about if I feel he needs to know. She knows that dp would do his nut as dm's partner was his friend before he discovered them in bed together.
We would have dsc here full time in a heart beat and after several rows over low level neglect and other issues that resulted in an ultimatum to dm that she step up or the kids wouldn't go back to her full time. their dm has mostly been a lot better since...
Your dp needs to step up and remove his girls. At 15 & 18 he doesn't need to go to court, talk to the girls, ask their opinion and then tell their dm that it is a final decision.
I would say to them both that they are welcome to live with you, given the circumstances. However just check you have this all straight first, and that their Mum is aware. Obviously it would be much better, if possible, for the situation to be resolved at her Mums house.