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New baby(15 Posts)
I've recently had a new baby (my first) so of course I'm in love completely. I've been with my partner for five years and he has a 6 year old son who I've known since he was just under 2. He comes every week and has a lovely mother who hasn't caused any issues with me, so me and him have had a close relationship. To be honest I think I took too much on with him and my partner started to take a step back when he'd come to stay. It was me organising days out, me playing with him, me buying all his clothes. Now I have my own little baby I obviously need to take care of her whilst she's so small and can't take partners son out all the time like I used to. He's been really fed up staying, especially when the baby cries but we've explained it's not forever and she'll soon be running around playing with him. It's gotten to the point now he is refusing to stay, doesn't want to come and said doesn't care if his bedroom isn't his anymore. So for two weeks he's not come. My partner is gutted, but when he's spoken to his ex, the issue seems to be that things aren't fun anymore and dad doesn't play with him. Partner said he would change that and make more of an effort whilst I'm wrapped up with the baby, but it seems he's left it too late and now he wont come at all. I feel so guilty about this and was wondering if any advice how we can get him to start staying again. I feel like he's resenting the arrival of his little sister 😔
You haven't done anything wrong.
Your partner is at fault here. If both kids were yours then you'd have the same problem and each parent would tag team and look after a child each.
Your partner needs to meet his son and explain that he's sorry and that he will make more effort if the boy will give him a chance. 6yo are usually very forgiving or parental mistakes but your partner needs to make a commitment towards changing his ways because it's not fair on his son.
What I think you need to do is also evaluate how much he does with the baby. He doesn't want to make the same mistake twice.
Well firstly, this isn't on you. You sound like a great stepmum who's really put time and effort into getting to know your step son and its natural that you're focused a lot on your new baby, especially as this is your first so everything is new exciting and nerve wracking. As you've already mentioned, your partner should have stepped up already (although he shouldn't have to step up at all it's his son!)
I think if his son doesnt want to come to yours he should go to his son. I dont mean hang out with his ex but take his son out for a few hours on his own, the park, soft play, anything really, away from the baby and try to build the relationship back up. At 6 your step son is young but old enough to understand that a baby will change things
I don’t think it’s appropriate to allow a 6 year old to decide whether he has contact or not. This is the trap a lot of NRP’s fall into I think...basically unless it’s not non-stop entertainment, I’m not coming. That’s not how a family unit works.
*unless it’s non-stop entertainment
You sound lovely, your partner not so much. He's had a second child and the biggest part of his job right now is making sure his eldest doesn't see his sibling being the reason he's pushed out. Is it your partner or his ex stopping contact?
@lunar1 no one's stopping contact its more so he's said "I don't want to come anymore" and his mum doesn't want to force him and neither does his dad. (or me I guess if he's miserable here) the child has been centre of attention since he was born and gets everything he wants, so I can understand the jealousy as he's never had to share his dad before now, or share me I guess as he loved spending time with me. But I'm just sat here really thinking well how long does this go on? It feels like both mum and dad are letting this continue and he won't be coming, I suppose it's down to my partner to fix things ASAP as I don't want him to resent his little sister and think it's her fault he doesn't come anymore
Could you try taking him for days out? Or plan something specific? We had some difficulties a few months after our DD was born where DSD didn’t want to come and wouldn’t tell us why and it turned out to be something a bit similar and her mum really didn’t help the situation by not pushing her to. We made a point of planning things that DSD would like; not necessarily expensive things but movie nights with sweets and popcorn and letting her choose the places we went. I didn’t want to end up feeling like we had to make every weekend amazing as sometimes it’s just real life but it worked to get her to come the first few times again
I feel for you OP I have a 9 year old DSD who has been the centre of attention and our weekends used to revolve around her, now it's harder as we have a newborn and I can see she's starting to get fed up and playing up for attention more... I don't know what to do about it and I wouldn't want her to say she doesn't want to stay anymore.
Totally agree with @MellowBird85 - the child is 6 years old and too old to make the adult decision to stop contact.
Families don’t always do fun stuff - the sooner he learns this the better. Your OH needs to step up and explain this to him.
We have had the same with DSS 15. I used to be a very involved SM but started to feel taken advantage of and simply didnt have the mental or physical energy after having a c section. Now we have a toddler, DSS has gone from visiting EOW and holidays to perhaps every 3 months because he doesn't want to come down and gets bored. I've encouraged DH to do things with him that he'll like but it doesn't seem enough unless the weekend is constantly tailored to a teenager. He has his own room here so doesn't get disturbed but he got pissed off because I wanted to go to bed early last time he visited (because I get up at 5/6am with a toddler). I've taken a step back and DH and his ex can parent as they wish. It's a shame as he has only met his sister a few times but it's his choice.
I also agree with @MellowBird85
I have a 7yo and would not allow her to dictate when she will and wont be visiting her Dad based on how many fun activities they have planned. It's not how life works and is unpractical for all involved.
You sound like a lovely caring person.
It was me organising days out, me playing with him, me buying all his clothes
So what was his dad doing?
Did you notice he wasn't doing these things and stepped in? Or did you think it was your job to do and took it on?
His dad needs to try and talk to his DS. Tell him he really misses him and work with him on a few fun activities to start with.
If this isn't resolved, from your DSSs viewpoint, it will feel like things changed when the baby came along and he will resent her.
He may also (as time goes on) feel that you changed and he was no longer a priority once you had your own child.
You're doing what every SM would do... your baby needs you...and babies are hard work and tire you out.
Your DP really needs to sort it out, or this could damage the relationship with his son forever.
I was 6 when my DM had a baby. I didn't notice any difference in how my activities, so it's old enough to remember.
@SandyY2K I think I just became very enthusiastic and used to love playing that second mother role to him, that I let my partner take a step back. Thats my fault for doing that and my partners fault for letting me. Weve had words over this and said it cannot continue and dad has to be the main carer with me there as back up. We've actually organised him to come for tea today so we'll see how that goes. I think he also noticed I wasn't the nicest company to be around when I was heavily pregnant right at the end, or after giving birth and my baby having colic. I must have gone from fun loving step mum to the devil due to sleep deprivation poor thing. Hopefully we can get this all sorted now things Have settled and try to become a little family together.
I did wonder, as some ppl do take over with enthusiasm and trying hard to be liked, by father and child. That is not out of the norm for us humans.
My SIL (brothers GF at the time) asked me what she should buy for my niece and nephews when she was meeting them.
I hope it goes well today.