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QUESTION: Should I Be the One to Wake Up with My Boyfriend’s Child in the Middle of the Night?
“I just wanted some advice about my current situation. My boyfriend and I have been together for about 2.5 years, and he has a 2-year-old and a 7-month-old daughter.
I’ve helped him take care of her since about a month after she was born. Don’t get me wrong; I love her a lot. I feed her, bathe her, help her go to sleep, etc. However, she does not sleep well at night, and I’m sure that is because she goes between houses… but she wakes up about six times throughout the night and sometimes more. We share a room with her as we live in his parent’s house.
My problem is, is it my responsibility to sleep on the side of the bed closest to her and have to wake up 6+ times a night to tend to her while my boyfriend catches his zzz’s? I already have bad insomnia and have to take medication just to get to sleep and constantly getting woken up by whining and crying is so draining for me as it’s hard for me to even get back to sleep.
We typically switch off every night.. as in he does one night and I do the other etc. But recently, it’s just really gotten on my nerves. I’ve talked to him about it, and he thinks I’m being overdramatic and still wants me to switch off nights with him. Am I selfish and overdramatic, or am I right by telling him it’s not my responsibility as I literally help him with everything else imaginable when it comes to her? Please, no negativity.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“Don’t do wifey stuff for a boyfriend. Absolutely not your responsibility.”
“If Bio dad isn’t waking at all to help then yeah I’d be pissed too. Being a step mum myself I walked into this relationship knowing I’d be a big part of my step sons life. I’m more mum than his womb donor… But, I’m not in a relationship to do the bits that dad doesn’t want or feel the need to do.”
“You took on the ‘responsibility’ when you decided to date someone with a child. After 2.5 years, you should be used to being a parent to her by now. You should probably re-evaluate the situation and decide if you’re willing to commit to being a stepmom 24/7 because if the answer is no, don’t waste anyone’s time.”
“Girl, the loss of sleep can make you mentally unstable. It’s hard I know. I had two children back to back and getting up all through the night and being up with a 1-year-old throughout the day was the hardest thing I had to endure. That little girl has anxiety. Perhaps instead of getting up with her maybe lay her next to you so you both sleep. Her getting up also is hard on her as well. Talk to the doctor about the sleep issues…
… She/he may have some suggestions. Also, hug her as much as you can to put her at ease. Maybe even hold her and read to her. Moving around a lot can stress a child out. This will pass soon.”
“My son is not biologically my husband’s but… Even before we were married, my son was only a year old at the time… and my husband stayed at home caring for him while I worked full time. I was able to find better-paying jobs than he was so he chose to stay home while I chose to go to work. Many looked down on us for that especially since my son wasn’t biologically his but today my son is 7 and he and my husband are closer than any pair I’ve seen…
… You couldn’t even tell that wasn’t his bio son unless you really knew us. They do everything together and now that my husband works and I stay home, it’s my turn to get bonding and memories with him. I think it really depends on your relationship but for me, I made sure my husband knew that it was a package deal. There’s no way someone can love me and not love my child.”
“You are her other mom. You have been there her entire life. I personally wouldn’t mind it. Switch off nights with him. If you see forever with him, she is included in that forever. She is your responsibility too. When you date someone with a child, you have a different set of responsibilities.”
“I think switching is fair since you have taken on role as stepmom… you’re obviously sleep deprived and annoyed… take a few nights off. Tell him it’s necessary. You deserve that at least.”
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