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Old 03-01-2005, 10:41 AM   #1
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Opinions on Step-daughter issue

DH has an 8 year old DD that we see every other weekend and also we get her for three weeks in the summer. I am due June 26th, but will probably schedule a repeat C-section mid-June. Here's my question - is it OK for me to ask DH to only pick his daughter up in July & August for a week each time, and to skip June? For starters, I am going to be home taking unpaid leave until mid-September, so I will be the one taking care of her and my new born and my 15 month old daughter for July & August. I know this sounds bad, but I already feel like I am giving up some of my BONDING time with my daughters to spend with her during these two weeks in July & August. Its just if we get her in early June (and DH works second shift so he's not home in the evening to help), I know that I might have more doctor appointments then, and be more tired, and I could go into labor at any time. If we get her after I have the baby in June, I'm afraid that DH wont be able to take care of us as much as I need him to, plus, not to be mean, but she has alot of "energy" (i.e. she's loud). I feel like I should be able to have a couple of weeks to myself to get used to my new family. I'm not saying that she's not part of my family, but last time, we came home from the hospital on Wednesday, she came on Friday, and had her friend over, and they ran all over the house for two days. It was terrible. I was layed up with my C-section and trying to take care of a newborn, so I didn't even realize how bad it was until they left. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this right, but opinions and advice on how to handle (and how to approach) dh is appreciated.

 
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:47 AM   #2
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hshaw81 HB User
Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

I really don't know what to tell you. I also have the same kind of issues. I have a 7 yr old stepson adn things like that happen. I guess you should go about it that you will need your rest after the baby is born so that he doesn't take it the wrong way when you tell him that you don't want her to be there right away. It is really a sticky situation with stepkids and new ones with the DH huh! LOL! I hop eeverything goes well for you.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 10:55 AM   #3
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starredrebel HB User
Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

Don't be afraid to talk about this with your partner. You should be trying to make that time as stress free as possible. So it's not selfish to not want her around while your about to deliver or already have. It's not an easy task to take care of a newborn and 2 little girls. If you feel you would be too overwhelmed then don't have her there.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

That is a tough one. I don't have any stepkids. Do you think she would be excited about helping with the new baby? Maybe now that she's older you could give her some kind of responsibility to make her feel special like a good big sister. I probably wouldn't allow friends of hers over at this time though. I don't know. Good luck with your decision!

 
Old 03-01-2005, 11:49 AM   #5
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

JodyC - it's your house, and you're the new mommy - if it were me, I wouldn't have any problem explaining to DH that you need some alone new mommy time, and once you're settled into your new routine, you'll be happy to resume regular visits with his daughter. I presume she lives with her mom - does your DH have a civil relationship with her? Maybe she can make up the 'missed' June week in September or something, or some other time after you've been able to adjust. I know I definitely would NOT want an 8 year old running around the house after I'd just given birth!

If you have a close relationship with his daughter, you might also want to have a personal conversation with her, too. Explain how you love her and have a great time when she visits, but that you're going to need some 'quiet time' in the house after the new baby comes, and that you'll make it up to her with a special trip or something later. I think she may be old enough to understand that concept.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 12:32 PM   #6
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

When you married him, she came with him. No offense. She's as important as you and your children with your DH. If she was your bio daughter, there'd be no thought as to her being there or not being there correct?

She's a child, no matter what she may say or how it's explained to her, she will only remember being told she couldn't be around because of the new baby. How would you feel if that were you? How would you feel now if your DH insisted that your 15 month old go stay with grandparents the weeks that his older daughter was to be there because he needed "bonding" time with the new baby and older daughter and she's "too loud" or "in the way"?

I agree with Maxx, 8 years old is old enough to be given special responsibilities and she will LOVE that new baby and want to help. I have an 8 year old, a 10 year old and a 4 year old, I cannot imagine sending them away when the new baby arrives. It doesn't matter if they are mine or step. Parenting is parenting, you can't do it when it's convenient or whether they are your bio kids or step.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll work it out.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 12:48 PM   #7
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

Well put. I raised 2 step children and never would consider leaving them out of any "family" situation. Bringing a new baby home is part of being a parent. The new baby is also a half sibling to the stepchild. Step children should never feel left out. The only way I would feel this would be appropriate is if your children are going to stay with "grandma" during this time. But I just couldn't imagine that. My 3rd child was born when I had a 6 year old daughter and an 11 year old son, as well as a 12 year old step son and a 16 year old stepson...they were all happily waiting the new arrival when I got home from the hospital. Bonding will happen no matter who is around. Children need to bond too.
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Old 03-01-2005, 01:43 PM   #8
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

I agree that she is part of your family and also needs bonding time with you, her dad, your newborn and your older daughter - HER other family. I would suggest that she come after the baby is born, though, so you don't have to find someone to watch her while you're in the hospital or go into labor. 8 years old is old enough to explain the idea of quiet time when the baby or you are sleeping. It is old enough to understand that you are recouperating and may be in a lot of pain and will need her help with a lot of little things. It is also old enough to help out, not only with the baby, but also with you, and I'm sure she would be honored to be given some responsibilities to feel more included in your family. You just need to set the boundaries and expectations ahead of time, and perhaps mention some of the things that you didn't approve of the last time, when she was younger. Step or biological, part- or full-time, she's still your daughter and your husband's and should be treated as part of your family like she is.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 02:43 PM   #9
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

I am so glad that someone voiced what I was thinking before I did. I was 12 when my parents split and my fathers wife has always excluded me and my brothers, she made us feel unwanted and as if we were in the way. Because of this I don't have a good relation ship with my father or her for that matter. Even now at 26 I feel like a stranger when I visit. I realize that a c-section is major surgery. I would keep the visits the same, but maybe you could make arrangements with your husband to take some vacation time to spend with his daughter and help you out. If that is unrealistic, maybe another family member could help out. If you exclude her now it may put a strain on your relationship with her forever and that will adversly effect your DH's relationship with his daughter. It may also leave a very bad taste in her mothers mouth. My mother saw how hurt we were by my fathers wife and took it to heart as we were her babies no matter who else came along. She felt that it was my fathers responsibility to be a father all the time, and that ment keeping promises and commitments all the time, not when it best suited him or his new family. It's a very hard issue and I do really understand where you are coming from, just keep in mind that thought it makes sense to you and possibly your husband, it may not make a child feel to good about being kept away, especially if visits have always been consistant up until the new baby. When she is there keep your rules, no friends, maybe a quiet time, let her help with the baby and make her feel like a big sister. She will love you and the baby for it!

Last edited by Di12779; 03-01-2005 at 02:46 PM.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 03:22 PM   #10
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

Dont be afraid to ask for what you want. having a new baby is a stressful time, and you will need this time to bond with the new baby and to make sure things get situated as you need them to be, without adding to it by having the step-daughter there. I dont think it is unreasonable to ask for it. Not sure how the mother will feel about it, but hopefully she is understanding of the situation. Or maybe you all can work something else out. Maybe have a shorter stay, or something like that.

 
Old 03-02-2005, 06:28 AM   #11
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

I promise you the mother will not be understanding of her daughter being left out. The step daughter will not be understanding. She is a child and is probably excited about a new sibling. I can't imagine the father being understanding either. The decision you make over this will affect your relationship with the step daughter. There is always sibling rivalry and even more so with steps. Please try and put yourself in the child's place and imagine how you would feel. Making all things as close to equal with all children is very important. I just can't imagine leaving this child out of such an important occasion.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:46 AM   #12
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

But at the same time, if she has just had the baby, she will physically not be feeling all that great. And the baby probably will not sleep much. The ideal solution would be for hubby to take time off during that time. She is going to need help. Its a hard position for her to be in and I think we need to remember this. My only concern is that she will be taking on too much and that is something I have experienced firsthand. I still think the husband should take time off to help if he is going to have his visitation at this time. Otherwise it kind of seems like his wife's needs will be coming last, and that isnt really fair to her. Its kind of a darned if you do, darned if you dont. You are in the middle of a delicate situation, and I hope you can openly discuss this with your husband. Regardless of what you decide to do, you need him to be on your side and back you up as well. All children involved in this situation are important, and noone should feel hurt or left out. But you arent chopped liver --voice your concerns, and pray hubby doesnt let anyone make you out to be the bad guy. Maybe there is a way to make everyone happy. Good luck!

 
Old 03-02-2005, 07:49 AM   #13
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

I understand where you are coming from. BUT--this is your step-daughter's sibling. I think she would LOVE to help out more once the baby is born. I would talk with your DH, and see if you can have his dd come AFTER the baby is born, BUT NOT the "weeks during other months" deal. Like another poster said, this step-daughter is a package deal. You might find it's more beneficial to have the 8 y/o there to help than it is to NOT have her there. Plus you don't want to send her the message that she's not important to her dad anymore because he has a new baby, and BELIEVE me-she will think that way if you suddenly change her schedule with her dad. My ex-husband will have placement of our daughter when I am due--I only WISH she could be around a ton to be with her future brother. Talk this over with your DH--maybe because of hormones you are thinking the worst. We all have done it!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:56 AM   #14
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

You are absolutely right about her not feeling well after having the baby. I had 3 C-Sections. Having grandma/friends/dad around for chores and handling the day to day of the children should be a given. Mom should be tending to baby as much as she can or wants to and tending to herself. To me these are seperate issues. Excluding the stepdaughter in MHO should not even be considered. I just hope you weigh the possible long term consequences.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:47 PM   #15
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Re: Opinions on Step-daughter issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllTheLarsons
When you married him, she came with him. No offense. She's as important as you and your children with your DH. If she was your bio daughter, there'd be no thought as to her being there or not being there correct?

She's a child, no matter what she may say or how it's explained to her, she will only remember being told she couldn't be around because of the new baby. How would you feel if that were you? How would you feel now if your DH insisted that your 15 month old go stay with grandparents the weeks that his older daughter was to be there because he needed "bonding" time with the new baby and older daughter and she's "too loud" or "in the way"?

I agree with Maxx, 8 years old is old enough to be given special responsibilities and she will LOVE that new baby and want to help. I have an 8 year old, a 10 year old and a 4 year old, I cannot imagine sending them away when the new baby arrives. It doesn't matter if they are mine or step. Parenting is parenting, you can't do it when it's convenient or whether they are your bio kids or step.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll work it out.
I TOTALLY agree!

Is there any way you could convince your DH to take some time off work?...even if it's just half days? Or even have your mother/friend come help out to watch the older ones when the baby is born?

I can understand your feelings....but...I really think if you were to persue it in the way you want....it would cause major problems down the road for all involved.

Good Luck

 
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