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Advice on a new step mum(8 Posts)
I hope any step parents or parents can advise me on the following:
I have daughter who is almost a teenager, I split with her dad when she was little so she doesn't ever remember a time me and her dad were together. About a year after we split her dad married and up until last Summer went her to dads every other weekend. He never offered to have her in the school holidays and never asked to have her more than what he did and didn't get involved in parents evenings etc. When they split it came out that his ex wife never had much time for my daughter and that was why he hadn't played a massive part in her life. My daughter was only upset thinking her dad was upset about the split. He did acknowledge he had let his ex rule when he could have his daughter and promised he would be different moving forward and between us as separate parents we would make the best life for our daughter putting her needs first.
8 months on and I have found out from my daughter that he has moved in with another woman and she now spends time with him at her house at weekends. He has not told me about the new relationship or his new living arrangements and my daughter has been upset as shes been the one to tell me. She spent the last weekend with them and ever since she has been back its been like living with a different girl. She's upset all of the time and spends her time instagram messaging the new girlfriend, both sides telling each other how much they love each other and the new girlfriend sending her messages throughout the day telling my daughter what she is making for her dad every meal and what they will get up to when my daughter is next there, and maybe they could have her more than the current arrangement we have in place (no conversation with me about this at all).
I don't know how long they have been together - the fact that all of a sudden my daughter is living somewhere else when with him and doesn't appear to have had prior meetings with the girlfriend worries me, and my daughter gets very attached easily.
How do I deal with the situation? I am planning on talking to my daughter about it but don't want to come across as having a go at her dad. The new girlfriend may turn out to be a really positive influence on her at this difficult age but I don't know her and given her dads past dating history she may not always be around.
Hope you can help x
I don't think you need advice on the new step mum, I think you need advice on your ex, who clearly hasn't the backbone to parent your child properly.
You have little control over what happens when he has custody of your daughter, so you will need to let go to a certain extent..... but it might be helpful to give him some information about the consistency of approach and minimum that you would expect from the time that she spends with him.
Do't fall into the trap of demonizing his girlfriend(s) and letting him off the hook. He is the father he should step up. Communicate with him.
You need to sort out child arrangements for your daughter. Ask your ex to meet you informally to discuss things and if he refuses you need to ask him to attend mediation.
Download CAFCASS parenting plan template and go through it making notes for your meeting. Remember everything you suggest bar contact times is reciprocal.
Should add the template has a section in introducing new partners to your child.
I think that it's very convenient for your XP to blame his ex for his years of hands off parenting.
It sounds like the new girlfriend is enjoying the novelty of playing at being stepmum, and he's being more hands on now because the new girlfriend is pushing for it.
Hi op - My interpretation of your post is that it's possible your dd is trying to do all she can to appear amenable to the new gf in the hope that she'll want her around more than her sm did. But, like others have said it's her df who was slack in his parenting & yes it's very convenient for him to now blame his exw. Whatever the truth of the situation he has no backbone.
I too would be worried that your dd will get dumped by the new gf once the novelty wears off & to that end I would ask your ex if you can stick to eow (as per the last number of years) until the dust settles on his relationship. He seems to have moved on very quickly & is really giving your dd no space or time.
I’d be talking to your ex about this ASAP! She’s really overstepping by suggesting that contact increases and all the messages sound a bit much to be honest. When you say almost a teenager what age? My DSD is 11 and we exchange a couple of messages in the week but she has more interesting things to do than message me all day and I’d never dream of interfering in contact arrangements. The girlfriend is unlikely to be able to maintain that level of contact even if they are together a long time.
Thank you for the responses.
Thought I would give you a bit of an update.
I have met up with my ex and spoken to him. First and foremost he doesn't see the need to let me know about his change in living arrangements, even though it involves my daughter - this is something he strongly believes and I can't get him to see my view point on this.
He agrees that his girlfriend shoudn't be messaging our daughter as much as she is and with the messages she is and has 'reined' her in (not sure what this means as the messages are still happening). However he also told me that the girlfriend has a child who is slightly older than our daughter but doesn't live with her/them.
I think I was that gobsmacked by that piece of information I didn't ask any questions, and I know there could be a number of reasons why but I also know if I ask him I will be told its none of my business. This is making me really nervous now. How do I get my ex to understand I am only asking so I know my daughter is safe and I can relax when she is with them.