If you're the stepparent, do you get the kids when their bio parent is gone? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-21-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DP works out of town from time to time - right now he is out of town for the next month or so - and usually I don't take the kids when he is gone. His ex is very relaxed about visitation so I certainly COULD get the kids if I wanted (and have in the past). The thing is that right now I have an almost four month old plus the five year old to deal with and I'm EXHAUSTED. Things are just so much less chaotic when the other kids aren't around and I feel sort of guilty saying this, but I'm sort of relieved when they don't come.

So do you usually continue the same visitation if your SO is gone or how does that work? I want the kids to still see each other (stepkids see their half sister and stepsister) but like I said, I'm so tired...

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#2 of 13 Old 01-21-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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I think you can and you can't, and either can be right for you in your situation. I wouldn't have taken my stepkids when my kids were young. It's just now (my kids are 2 and 5) that I will have the stepkids come over if dh is at work.

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#3 of 13 Old 01-21-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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My husband has never traveled without me or his daughter or both when his daughter was scheduled to be here...but I suspect, if he did, she'd come here regardless, because the placement schedule is largely designed around my SD's mother's work schedule.

But, yeah, I hear you on the tired thing--I'm 14 weeks pg and am still exhausted and antisocial to the point I don't want anyone around.

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Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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#4 of 13 Old 01-22-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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Ours is long-distance, so if we have them, say, for the summer, and DH has to travel for a few days, then I do keep them (can't fly them across the country for something like that!) Though the first time this happened, the kids' mom completely flipped -- like we should have sent them to her because he was gone 2 days -- but once we got legally married (instead of merely a several-year relationship and living together) she stopped vocalizing those objections.

But if he were to be gone the whole time, we'd pick a different time for them to come visit.

In your case, if you're too exhausted, then I don't see why you should do it. One month does not make or break a relationship. How many visits would you normally have in that time? Maybe having one or two and skipping a couple would make sense if you feel up to it, or just wait for your DH is you're too tired.

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#5 of 13 Old 01-22-2010, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post

In your case, if you're too exhausted, then I don't see why you should do it. One month does not make or break a relationship. How many visits would you normally have in that time? Maybe having one or two and skipping a couple would make sense if you feel up to it, or just wait for your DH is you're too tired.
We'd probably have quite a few since at this point we go every other evening and a weekend night/day. I don't think anyone faults me for skipping the visitation (especially since now dsd has an ear infection and dd 1 has bronchitis), but I just don't want the "family" bond to suffer because of it - and I guess I feel vaguely guilty about not really wanting them around right now.

Mama to Maia (12/04), Nora (9/09), Sam (8/12) and Step-mama to Aidan (3/02) and Luci (10/04).

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#6 of 13 Old 01-22-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Yeah, I know what you mean. I feel guilty over things like that too from time to time. If they're used to coming over so much, then maybe see them some of the time? Like, when your kids are feeling better? If your kids are sick and you're exhausted, I don't see how it's in anyone's best interest for the stepkids to come over. But maybe when you're all feeling better, some less frequent visits so the family bond is still there and the stepkids know you love/care for them even independent of your DH?

Hope you're all feeling better soon.

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#7 of 13 Old 01-22-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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Don't feel badly. 4 kids, with one of them being an infant, is a LOT for anyone, even without taking the blended family dynamics into consideration. If their mom is willing to be flexible, wait until everyone is healthy and see what you think you can manage. If you feel up for having the kids a few times over the course of the month, great. If not, that one month truly will not hurt the family bond.
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#8 of 13 Old 01-22-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I would love to have DSD when DP is out of town for work. Just like my work trips, his are usually no longer than a day or two, but DSD's mom would never let me pick her up from either school or her house. Like I said, DP is never gone for too long, so I don't have fears of risking the family bond, but I feel sort of disrespected as a family, when DSD's mom lets anyone else pick her up (including grandma on dad's side) but not me. I also noticed that I'm much closer to DSD when her dad isn't around (maybe cause she can't run to him for everything, so she accepts my affection.)

However, I'm the one who travels for longer periods, with my DS, usually to visit my family out of the country. I have to say, every time DS and I leave for a couple of weeks, it takes a while for all of us to get used to each other and close again.
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#9 of 13 Old 01-24-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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Dh is the custodial parent, so if for some reason he was out of town, yeah, the kids would stay with me. My stepsons' mom works, and she'd have to drive them to and from school, which would never work.
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#10 of 13 Old 01-24-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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i understand. DH works up north for two weeks then here at home for two weeks. When he is home we have DSD most of the time but when he is up north i rarely have her. I could. but.... i don't. i feel both relieved and guilty when i don't have DSD.

i'm pretty sure this will change at some point although i probably wont ever have her as often as when DH is at home. for now though i need the break.

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#11 of 13 Old 01-27-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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My DH works away a lot. When DSS was younger, I usually didn't take DSS when DH was gone but would help out if his mom had to work. I actually enjoyed the break because when DH was home, there were times when DSS's mom came up with every reason under the sun of why she needed us to take DSS. Now that DSS is older, he will sometimes come to visit on DH weekends when DH is gone, but I think he visits because he needs Grandpa's (IL's live with us) help with XY or Z. There have also been times where we didn't see him for months while DH was gone because he was more interested in spending time with his friends. DD's still love him even if they don't see him for months at a time. If you don't normally take the kids when DH is gone, I wouldn't worry about it. You have enough on your plate.
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#12 of 13 Old 01-28-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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I think the decision is entirely yours, you know? If you're not up to it, you're not up to it.

AFM, yes, when DH is out of town the girls are still here. This is as much their house as their biomom's house is, and if anything I wish they were here more, but that's just our dynamic. They make life a heckuvalot easier.

In fact, I'm trying to make sure that they're here all summer with me instead of stuck in daycare so I'll have DDs1&2 (10 and 8...the "step"s), DD3 (4), DS1 (3) and DS2 (6 weeks or so when school lets out).

Whatever works best for you.

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#13 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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*have only read OP and OPs replys*


What about not doing all the visits but still some? That way they could still ahve some time together as your kids seem to see your SC alot it would probably be noticable to them but it would also give you time to relax a bit more. Ifyou an Bio mom get along maybe you could do a weekend night so she can go out or something like that.


Really I think its not going to break or make the relationship.
I think I'm just jealous because I have so much free time that me and my kids could spend with DSS but arn't allowed to because SO is working.
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