I am due with Baby #2 (actually 3 days overdue now) and I have a 2.5 yr old DD from my previous marriage. She lives with me and sees my XH at least once a week...but the schedule is completely random. I recently told my XH that after the baby comes I would like my DD to be home for a week as we all adjust to having the new baby and for bonding. He is freaking out on me, saying I am pushing him aside and he doesn't want to not see her for a week. It should be noted, he has gone MANY times not seeing her for a week when it suits himself (ie. going to Mexico with his GF, going up north snowmobiling), but now because I am suggesting it is in her best interest to not be sent away from the home for that time period he is acting like it is a huge injustice. Am I being unreasonable? Really I would like to tell him to leave my family alone for a month after baby comes, but I obviously am not. Thoughts?
1 week of alone family time after baby is born...is it unreasonable of me to ask for this?
When you say the schedule is completely random, do you mean that you have no court set visitation of who gets her on what days? If so, then don't worry about it, you can't prove that it was "his" time during the baby's first week, plus, if you don't have an actual court ordered visitation, then technically, you don't have to let him visit her at all. (Keep in mind, it's generally not a good idea to piss off the other parent unless absolutely necessary, as it could come back to bite you in the butt if he decides to take you to court claiming you won't let him see his daughter and he does want a set visitation schedule.)
Given that he often goes without seeing her for a week, I would not say you are being unreasonable, however I will play devil's advocate for a minute here- depending on your daughter's relationship with him and your daughter's temperment and needs, it might not necessarily be a bad thing if he were to take her for a day, so she can have some adult one-on-one time. Just food for thought, but only you would know what's best for your daughter and if you think it's a bad idea for your daughter to go anywhere during the baby's first week, then go with it.
I don't think it is necessarily unreasonable, and I certainly understand your desire to have her there with you. But, consider the fact that if she is used to seeing her dad once a week, that is part of her routine as well (even if it is not scheduled at a certain day/time every week) and she might be thrown off by not seeing him, especially in the midst of a pretty big change at home!
How long does he take her for? If it is just a day/afternoon, I don't think I would fight about it too much. Maybe try to get him to agree to at least wait 2-3 days after baby is born, enough time for a little bit of the excitement to wear off and for her to be ready for some 1-on-1 time? If he usually takes her for a night, again, I would probably try to compromise by asking that it be delayed a few days so she has time to be with you and the baby.
FWIW, I totally do understand the desire to keep your dd with you-I had a homebirth with my second that was ~75% influenced by not wanting my dd to be away from me, and I was very hesitant to have her go out with family members because I didn't want her to feel "pawned off" while I was at home with the baby. In the end, she was fine with going out with daddy or grandma for a few hours, especially since I wasn't feeling up to anything super fun at home :)
I think each of the responses you've already received is very good.
If you decide you're still set on having your daughter home that week, declare that it's your vacation time. If you have court orders, there is a provision somewhere for you to be able to skip regular weekly visitation to take your daughter on vacation. She's too young for that to be dictated by her school schedule. So tell your ex you're taking your vacation with her, that week. You're just not going anywhere. He may flip out and say that's not how it's supposed to work. It's not. But is he actually going to spend the money taking you to court to quibble over it? Certainly not. And if he DID? You don't have a pattern of denying parenting time. You have a pattern of being flexible and accommodating of his inconsistent schedule. Even if a judge didn't agree with you wanting all your kids at home the week your youngest one was born, he/she is not going to issue an injunction or change custody, over one incident. And it's not going to come to that, anyway. In the end, it will simply be about whether you're disappointed, or your ex is. You're having a baby. Why should it have to be you? I'm sure you've been the one disappointed, plenty of other times. He can accommodate you, the week you give birth.