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Step parent and mediation involvement

(10 Posts)
yogamom2020 Mon 16-Nov-20 14:17:34

I am with my partner almost four years. We have a 1 year old daughter together and he has a pre teen daughter from a previous relationship.
We are not married but we have a home together and see ourselves as a family. My 'unoffical' step daughter included. I have a great relationship with her, love her dearly and I see her as a family member.
However it has come with its difficulties.
Before my daughter was born I pretty much let my partner and his ex call the shots. I was too flexible looking back now. They had no routine and I just slotted around them. A mistake now looking back. I did always ask for more routine and I slowly got some but plans were always swapping and changing.
Things changed quite a bit for me when my daughter was born. Routine and structure became more important. Covid messed up everything but we are at a place where we would like to take our step daughter more and she wants that too. His ex partner has been asking us for ages to do this but our circumstances didnt allow. We now are in the position to take her more as we moved (closer) and have changed our work schedules. It has been hard for everyone and we haven't seen her as much as we would like or she would like but we want to change that now, now that we can.
Communication between my partner and his ex has broken down and she suggested mediation to which we were delighted as we have found her interfering in our life and decisions too much and we need more boundaries and structure. For both us and our step daughter (structure for her).
His ex does not seem to think I should have any involvement in mediation and I agree when it comes to parenting that is all up to them I don't feel that is my place and I respect that but when it comes to routine and things that directly affect me I feel like I need to have a say. I guess my question is does a step parent get to be involved in discussions around routine. It is my home too and I have a daughter to consider too. I don't feel it is right for other people to make decision that affect my life and my daughters life. It feels incredibly controlling.
Appreciate any feedback. Its quite lonely being a step parent (and not officially too) and not knowing what is the right thing to do.

OP’s posts: |
Notcrackersyet Mon 16-Nov-20 14:33:17

I’m a stepmum too. In your situation I would not expect to attend mediation. But you can help your partner prepare for it and in doing so, make your preferences clear.

Stantons Mon 16-Nov-20 14:38:51

I would not expect to go to mediation but would expect input into routine. Does the ex have a new OH?

NerdyBird Mon 16-Nov-20 14:45:58

I would have thought your partner would represent your views, or your joint view. Or do you think that he will not?

KylieKoKo Mon 16-Nov-20 14:46:35

I don't think that you need to be physically present at the mediation but your partner should take your needs and wishes into account.

I would say the appropriate thing to do talk to your partner and come to an agreement with him about what he will say and what deal breakers are.

Also, I think that you have to accept that you are unlikely to get everything the way that you want it as it has to work for her mum too.

aSofaNearYou Mon 16-Nov-20 14:47:39

I agree with the others, you don't need to go to mediation but you should absolutely discuss potential scenarios with your partner beforehand and he should stick by what you both agreed to when negotiating. Of course that may mean that they are wasting a lot of time going back and forth as he needs to relay what she has said to you, but that process absolutely should be respected and yes you should be involved in the discussion, through your partner.

yogamom2020 Mon 16-Nov-20 14:53:54

Thank you. Appreciate your replies and I agree with them. I had said to my partner the other day that I am happy for them both to do the mediation but I guess I just didn't know if that was the right thing. To be honest I really have no interest in being a part of the mediation conversation but I do want input when it comes to plans and routine. Its a lot to navigate. It's nice to get advice from others in the situation.
No she doesn't have a new OH from what I know.

OP’s posts: |
yogamom2020 Mon 16-Nov-20 15:02:12

Thanks @KylieKoKo Absolutely I know that and I don't expect to get everything the way I want it and we are more than willing to be flexible.

OP’s posts: |
zatarontoast Mon 16-Nov-20 15:06:07

This is very much a DP problem, in that he should be taking on board your feelings and should factor them into his thoughts/goals during mediation. I would not expect you to be present there, no.

Isthatitnow Mon 16-Nov-20 16:01:19

No. I wouldn't accept you at mediation. It would feel like 2 against 1 and ultimately, what is decided is between the parents. It is up to your partner to discuss with you can/can't manage and negotiate accordingly with his ex. However, you both need to accept that some give and take maybe required before it's all finalised

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