I can't wait for the times that me and DH are on our own

(61 Posts)
JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 18:51:46

Is this normal?

We have my step child 50/50 but the contact days change every week so I never have a clue what days they are staying (and most importantly, neither does DC).

I really do like my step child, we get on well. But I find myself feeling disappointed when DH mentions that he is staying that night.

I don't know why, I guess the dynamic is just different and I prefer the evenings when it's just me and H.

I'm struggling with various things at the moment mental health wise and I think part of it is because I have to put on a face when he is here if that makes sense? Like I have to just be happy step mum and crack on with things. Whereas when it's just me and DH I can come home and just collapse like I need to some days.

I do feel bad though, I find myself doing a little internal 'phew!' when DH says they aren't staying tonight/they are getting picked up soon.

It's not because he's a difficult child or anything. I just feel much calmer and less mentally drained when we're on our own.

OP’s posts: |
PerfumeAddict Thu 12-Mar-20 18:58:28

Your not cut out to be a step mum.

Children do pick up on were they are not wanted even if you say you hide it

Maxhiggins Thu 12-Mar-20 19:01:45

Yes completely and utterly normal and please don't let anyone tell you otherwise, ignore the poster above.

JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 19:07:32

I guess part of it is because I sometimes feel like I do a lot of the parenting when he is here. I feel like I have no space. I never noticed until I started feeling overwhelmed mentally with other things in life. Everything I could cope with before is now just too much.

OP’s posts: |
DisasterousManagementPlan Thu 12-Mar-20 19:08:25

It would be much better for everyone if you could have regular days. Would that be a possibility?

It won't be helping your mental health that you can't prepare in advance for contact or control what you do if an evening. You'd probably feel differently if it were properly organised rather than ad hoc.

JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 19:11:29

Disastrous, it absolutely would be better for everyone I completely agree but my suggestions of this just fall on deaf ears. At the moment both parents working is very chop and change so it works for them. I personally don't think it works for DC though, they've made comments before and I know he struggles not knowing where he is from one day to the next but ultimately it's not my decision.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfgirrl Thu 12-Mar-20 19:12:17

It sounds like you just dont feel you can be yourself when he is there. How old is he may I ask?

It also sounds like the impromptu visits make it worse, like you probably look forward to an evening with DH then suddenly hear he is coming over. If you had a routine and anticipated his visits (and also knew when you and DH are going to have the evening alone together) do you feel this would help with your mindset? You could then plan to spend some of those evenings seeing friends/family, doing hobbies, beauty appointments etc - that way he will get some time with his dad which I'm sure he would appreciate? smile

Just for the record I'm a stepchild so I know how complicated stepfamilies can be! flowers


Windyatthebeach Thu 12-Mar-20 19:13:20

Any reason why no set days?

itsallthedramaMickiloveit Thu 12-Mar-20 19:14:19

I'm not a SM. Just a mum to 3. And honestly I completely sympathise with you. I can't imagine having no control or organisation over such a massive aspect of your life. And you're absolutely it being unreasonable to prefer child free time. I love it! I get disappointed when my parents bring my kids back after one night. Sometimes they surprise me by saying they want to keep them for two.

I live for those moments.

Maxhiggins Thu 12-Mar-20 19:14:46

OK there are lots of things you can do. Talk to your OH and get set days tinned etc in place that need min 2 weeks notice to change on either side.

What is your OH like as a parent? Good with a routine and boundaries or Disney? Do you have space in the house that is you space eg your bedroom and maybe a study that is child free? All these things are so important for survival in these situations

Detach a bit from the whole situation, so doing most /any of the parenting and see that time as you time where you can go to the gym /spa/pub/to see friends /what ever you like cuz you have an amazing child free life.

Maxhiggins Thu 12-Mar-20 19:15:50

Stop not so. MN needs an edit function

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 12-Mar-20 19:16:13

No one would be happy or comfortable not knowing from one night to the next who was sleeping in their home, what an awful set up?! That’s horribly unsettling. Is it court ordered? Who is dictating the random nature of it? Why is DH okay with it, is it down to him?

A lot of parents are glad of a bit of time off from their children so it’s normal and natural to feel the way you do.

A regular pattern of conduct will make life a lot easier and more manageable.

JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 19:16:45

Wolf, I definitely think it would help knowing when he was coming in advance. You're right I do sometimes think 'God I just can't wait to get on the sofa with DH and have a good cry/talk/chill' and then it's like 'DC is staying tonight' when I'm 5 mins from home. So yeah I do feel then the disappointed feeling I mentioned in my OP because I know the evening is going to be very different.

The reason for no set days is it just works better for both parents. I personally don't think it's what's best for DC but like I say, it's not my decision.

OP’s posts: |
DisasterousManagementPlan Thu 12-Mar-20 19:16:54

* but ultimately it's not my decision.*

This is really the problem. It's not about the DSC but about you feeling that you have no control over your home life. That's really, really not OK.

Can your partner look into changing job to something with more regular hours? Obviously magicking up a mrs job is not going to happen, but he does need to start working towards making a change for both you and his DC.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 12-Mar-20 19:19:33

Why are you doing a lot of the parenting, if you want to get on with your life then do so, you don't have any input as to whether the child is there or not.

How old is the child?

And it seems a reasonable emotional reaction to a rubbish situation to me. I'm a mum and like my time with just my partner when my children are with their dad.

DisasterousManagementPlan Thu 12-Mar-20 19:19:36

Or he could apply for more family friendly hours under the company's flexible working programme for parents.

You really can't go on never knowing if the DSC are staying or not when you come home from work. That's not fair and would cause anyone stress.

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 12-Mar-20 19:21:15

X post on contact pattern. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be living like that. How long has it been like that?

Why are you doing a lot of the parenting? He’s there to see his dad and his dad should be doing the bulk of the grunt work. I’m a step mum and we operate as a family and I do a lot but if I felt like DH was resting on his laurels expecting me to do too much I’d dial things right back.

Maxhiggins Thu 12-Mar-20 19:21:41

The reason for no set days is it just works better for both parents. I personally don't think it's what's best for DC but like I say, it's not my decision.

Arghhhh just because it works for them doesn't mean it works for you. Its your home too and you have a right to have a say in what goes on in it. Have you talked to your OH about any of this? What has he said? His response is key in deciding what to do and how to deal with it. Either way the important thing is don't let someone elses kid make you unwell and don't let your wants and needs be pushed aside they are as important as everyone elses. If your OH can't accept that and make adjustments maybe he isn't in a position to be in a relationship

JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 19:23:19

DSS is 12.

Contact has been this way since I've been with DH (7 years).

Mums work is very sporadic and we rarely get much notice so DH just works around it because he wants to see his son as much as possible.

OP’s posts: |
DisasterousManagementPlan Thu 12-Mar-20 19:23:44

It's not even someone else's kid making you unwell. As with almost all these things, it's a DP problem. He's organising things to suit himself and giving no consideration to how it affects you. That's not ok.

Maxhiggins Thu 12-Mar-20 19:24:48

Well his mum needs to arrange child care on her time then and your OH needs to take you into consideration rather than for granted

JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 19:24:51

I guess I'm worried DH would see me pushing for it as a rejection of his son. He's quite happy to just see him as often as he can so isn't bothered about the short notice.

I mean realistically, SS could turn around tomorrow and say he wants to live with us so I feel like I should be able to deal with him being there at short notice iyswim.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfgirrl Thu 12-Mar-20 19:25:53

It's a bit like waiting for the door to ring isnt it, it's the not knowing when that kind of puts you on edge even though theres nothing 'wrong'!

My opinion is that it is very much your business to know when your stepson is staying over, especially if you are the one cooking and cleaning.

Okay so they work odd days but cant they just plan say 1 week ahead? And review/change each week? Is your DH's relationship with ex wife civil enough to create a family WhatsApp group for this purpose? smile

I'm sure your stepson would be grateful, my parents never sorted a routine and it was pure chaos. Hated it confused

JusticeApple Thu 12-Mar-20 19:25:59

I think he'll be confused as to why it affects me though. It's his sons house and he should be able to come here at short notice. I just don't want it to seem like I dislike him because I don't. It never really bothered me before. But I'm so up and down right now it's nice to know what's going on like you say.

OP’s posts: |
JKScot4 Thu 12-Mar-20 19:27:33

Very few parents are happy and entertaining every day, I’m sure at 12 hrs not expecting to be amused by you every minute.
Though it’s a bit concerning if you’re having days you want to have a ‘good cry’ that seems quite self indulgent.

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