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Not sure about this.....

(7 Posts)
onionlove Thu 01-Oct-09 13:41:32

Hi everyone,
Would be grateful for any views. DH has an 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship who is generally pretty spoiled by various people in her life and is used to being centre of attention but she is on the whole a good natured child and nice to have around.
The past few months are seeing a lot of changes for her, DH and I expecting our first baby in December, her mother got married again a month ago (to someone who has two kids) and starting back at school etc.
We have her every other weekend and have been for about 5 years with no problems, the odd up and down as you would expect. She has over the last few times we have seen her been crying at bedtime and wanting her mother which my DH finds really distressing and stressful and feels it is a reflection of him as a Dad which I have tried to say is not true and its just growing up etc and going through changes. The last time DH went to pick her up on a Friday as normal his ex (who he doesn't really get on with so they don't talk a lot) told him she started crying 5 minutes before he got there saying she didn't want to go with him and wanted to stay with her Mum.
He has a long round trip so he persevered and tried to pursuade her to come back with him but she wouldn't and he had to go back and get her on Saturday morning, he was very upset by this as you can imagine.
I asked him yesterday what was going on this weekend (he is due to pick her up Friday night) and he said he is waiting for her to decide and her mother is going to email him.
I feel this is not a great way to handle it to leave her to make the decision as she is too young and I think her parents have to keep the routine to give her security, whether its Friday night or Saturday morning they should decide and not her.
I told him I also think its a bit impractical that she decides as the implications for everyone else trying to plan around it aren't really fair, most Fridays when DH goes to pick her up he goes to his Mum's on the way home for dinner so she can't plan, her mother can't plan and we can't plan, also DH has a lot of pressure at work at the moment and needs to plan his working day and whether he has to leave early etc.
I suppose I'm just uncomfortable with a) SD learning that crying is a way to get what she wants and b) leaving her routine up to her is not great for a child with a complicated life who needs some security and stablility. Being selfish as well I can't see how this is going to fit in with a new baby very well.
Also DH is suffering from stress at the moment and I don't want him being put through the to-ing and fro-ing every other week not knowing what is going to happen and whether she is going to be upset or not.
I know this is not really for me to sort out but I just wondered if anyone had views/or experiences that might help?
Thanks very much
Onion x

piscesmoon Thu 01-Oct-09 22:33:48

It must be very upsetting for her, after being a much loved only DD, she is suddenly sharing her life with siblings. I would expect that the problem comes from the fact that while she is away her step siblings are with her mother. She is also probably worried about the birth of your baby who will be with her father all the time when she is only part time.
I don't have any answers-but thought I would bump it up. I would sit down with her and your DH and have a quiet and calm chat about how she feels, her worries and what she would like to happen with visits. I think you need to explain it from your point of view, so that she knows that arrangements can't suddenly be changed.

BitOfFun Thu 01-Oct-09 22:45:41

It's a difficult age with the best will in the world, they can get very whingy. I agree with you that she needs gentle but firm reassurance of the usual boundaries, with a good dollop of understanding for all the upheaval she's going through. I know you say your partner and ex don't get on, but surely they should be discussing this and coming up with a united front?

purpleduck Thu 01-Oct-09 23:29:08

I think if she needs to be with her mum right now, then she should be allowed. Maybe your dh can stay at his mums so that he can still see her on his regular weekends.

Maybe she just needs to be at (her mums) home to take stock of all the changes.

Perhaps her room at your place could be redecorated - or do something special together.

Does your dh call her lots?

If he's been under alot of stress, you are having a baby, her mum just got married - maybe she's been a bit overlooked - or she feels like everything is changing and doesn't know where she will fit in.

Does she know that the baby is "hers" too?

Surfermum Fri 02-Oct-09 12:48:26

Poor girl, there've been so many changes for her to get used to. It sounds to me too like she has all sorts of emotions to deal with and doesn't quite know how to verbalise them. I agree about making a big fuss of her - decorating her bedroom is an excellent idea (it's what we did grin!), or what about some girly shopping, or just making sure she gets lots of attention?

I'm not sure I necessarily agree that if she wants to stay with her mum that she should just be left to choose. I don't mean that in a hard-hearted, drag her away from her mother sobbing at all costs way, it's just that when we or dh's x have problems with dsd I always feel it's more important to get to the bottom of what's going on, rather than pander to the choice dsd's making. In a family where parents are still in the same house those children don't get the choice to say they're going to live with the other parent or refuse to see one of the parents - they have no choice but to sort things out so it shouldn't be any different.

Is there any chance your dh and her mum can have a chat about it, and a chat with the 3 of them? I know that can be easier said than done if one party simply won't discuss things with the other.

Something does need to be sorted though as it isn't fair on anyone for the arrangements to be so up in the air.

MrsParker Sat 03-Oct-09 22:59:49

Hi, we're going through the same thing. my dp's son usually comes to us every weekend. He's 7. Has started not wanting to come, wants to be with his mum.
He's decided he only wants to come alternate weekends, which i think is hard for my dp to accept.

His mother has a new boyf, and i suspect that he doesn't like leaving mummy alone with boyf. He has expressed an insecurity, that he thinks his mummy loves her new boyfriend more than him.

My dp is not going to force him to come. we have a ds 18months and i have a dd, and it will be strange for them not to see him as often. My dp thinks he'll reject him more if he forces him to come when he doesn't want to.

Its a very tricky situation, and i symphasise with you.

purpleduck Sun 04-Oct-09 21:29:06

Mrs Parker
Maybe your 2 could send him a "We miss you card"

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