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DH spending our joint money on his DCs

(451 Posts)

I just want to post here to see if IABU before i tackle this with DH. I'm on mat leave atm receiving stat mat pay so things are tighter than usual. DH and I have a joint acc which we use for our DDs things (although if i'm buying her something not necessarily needed eg a new dress I'll use my own account. We put in an equal amount of money to the joint acc and i like to keep a buffer in there.

Xmas is coming and bearing in mind things are tight this year I've been so careful with buying for our dd. It's her first xmas and wont even notice that she has n't got stacks of gifts so i'm not bothered really but if i could i would have got her a few extra toys etc. I've bought her things with money from my own account and DH hasn't contributed to this.

Today i was checking our joint account online and its ALOT lower than I had expected. It turns out DH has been using the our joint account to buy his DDs bits and pieces eg among other things £30 spent in New Look and cash withdrawn here and there when he's been with them and almost £25 in mcds, all of which he told me about but I assumed it would be him paying out of his account, not ours. I know he's bought his DDs big xmas gifts this year that he said has left him short of money but now i'm stuck with hardly any money in the account to buy dd nappies and milk etc. and we were going to buy an xmas tree and a dd's first stocking.

It's not fair that he knows I'm not earning what I was and i'm going back to work in the new year but i was so careful and not done alot of things with dd that i would have liked to while ive been on mat leave and felt guilty about taking money from the joint account for 'fun' things and not bought any clothes for myself (I wouldn't spend £30 in New Look on myself atm as i wouldn't be able to justify it) and it just seems a bit unfair that just because he's low in his account he can just use our money to treat his dds which i would have no problem with if we could afford it but we can't.

So that was long! I guess i'm ranting and ordinarily i wouldn't mind him using our joint acc to pay for stuff for his dds as long as our dd was stocked in nappies and formula which i think are more important than a 10yo getting some leggings!

riverboat Sun 16-Dec-12 11:28:27

I was/am an only child who had/has parents who argue regularly in a very unpleasant way. As a child I thought that my parents getting divorced would be the worst thing in the world, and I wasnt keen on the idea of a sibling either. Now, as an adult my perspective is completely different. As I face another Xmas being constantly on edge waiting for the next argument to erupt from my parents...

My DSS of course sometimes wishes his parents were still together. But when he realises that means he wouldnt have his two sisters (really step sister and half sister but to him they are both just sisters) he concedes maybe its not such a perfect picture after all. He adores them both.

In brief, in my admitedly narrow experience, seperation and the creation of blended families can lead to a multiplication of love and loving relationships. And staying doggedly together in the name of what the child deserves can lead to that love constantly being chipped away at, narrowing instead of growing...

Marne Sun 16-Dec-12 11:16:20

My dh has 3 other children, we have seperate banks but i have bought the step dc's christmas presents. At the end of the day they are a part of my family and it doesn't really make a difference who buys the christmas presents. I would be a bit anoyed if my dh did it without telling me though (we tell each other exactly what we are buying and for who).

PoppyPrincess Sun 16-Dec-12 11:11:37

I remember when I was pregnant with DD I was discussing the pregnancy with my friends and my fears of how DS would react to having a sibling and I made a comment about it being a positive thing for him and one of my friends disagreed, she thought that she would have been better being an only child because she has never really got on with her brother. I'll admit it wasn't what I really needed to hear at the time but it was her opinion.
Although me and my brother used to fight like cat and dog we were very close and had lots of fun together, I think life would have been very boring as a child if I was an only child.
So I suppose it just all depends on individual experiences as to whether you see a sibling as a positive or negative addition.

exoticfruits Fri 14-Dec-12 22:24:35

It is only a problem if they are not equal and the second family think they are a family of 3 with a visitor and not the family of 4

exoticfruits Fri 14-Dec-12 22:22:46

Of course you are adding to the lives of the step DCs when you give them a half sibling! DS hated being an only DC and was utterly thrilled. He actually got 2half siblings and it enriched his life, they get on wonderfully well. ( what a peculiar thing to say sad)

Writehand Fri 14-Dec-12 21:36:38

"some step parents convince themselves that they are adding to the lives of their step children when they give them a half sibling, when actually, they are not "

I'm not sure it's a disgusting thing to say. But it is a very odd, very sad way to think, Outraged. What miserable life experience leads to that? I'm a step-mum, and it's been very hard at times, but so, so, so rewarding. Even my DSDs mum likes me now. I'm amazed.

My DSD was an only child. When I got pregnant, her first reaction was fear that she'd lose her dad (because her DM kept telling her so - so cruel). But when they arrived, one by one, and she was just as loved and precious as before, she relished having little brothers. She had so much fun & joy with them when they were little.

Now they're 17, 20 and 32 and they adore each other. She's offered to have the older one to live with her - and there are already 4 of them in her tiny house. I know she found their very existence a huge support when their father died. All her father's other relatives are dead now. Her DM had no interest in discussing her dead dad, but she had brothers, blood relatives of her dad, and that meant a huge amount to her. They are always brother and sister. We don't do halfs, thanks!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 21:21:19

SoWhat, you sound like a lovely step mum, and it's sad that you feel the need to worry about 'overstepping the mark'. If there is no valid reason why the other parent would feel upset with something you do and you are doing something good for the child, you shouldn't have to worry.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 20:57:03

They each have a personal account used for wants and they have a joint account for needs. Both pay equal amounts not % of income into the joint account.

It's not that hard to understand

CaHoHoHootz Fri 14-Dec-12 20:56:20

OP you must remember that when your DD is the same age as your DH's older children you will probably have more available cash as the older DC will be adults. This will mean you will be able to buy your DD more expensive gifts.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 20:52:32

Devotion doesnt mean spending on non essentials when one of you is on smp

Writehand Fri 14-Dec-12 20:46:28

I'm a bit confused by all this, OP. Your various accounts don't make sense to me. Is the joint one only for your DD or for all the children? Because I can't work out why you'd need a special account for a baby. confused

Childcare is ruinously expensive, but babies themselves don't cost much: nappies, milk - all the rest can be found cheap as chips at car boot sales.

I only really have a couple of things to say, one of which is that what you spend on children's presents changes radically as they get older. Your DD won't notice whether or not she gets anything at all. Presents for babies are a pleasure for the parents & the giver, not for the baby. Up to the teens children's Xmas wishes tend to be fairly inexpensive.

OTOH, your SDDs will care a lot what they get, particularly as your DH isn't living with them any more. I'd expect to spend a lot more on any girl old enough to want things from New Look than on a newborn. Also, they are your DDs too, even if they're only step.

Take it from me: a man who cherishes the kids from his first marriage will be a good father to yours. Never resent his devotion to his DDs. I had so much fun buying Christmas presents for my DSD. I remember particularly a gorgeous black velvet party dress when she was 18. She's 32 now, and I've spent all afternoon shopping for my SGCs. wink

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 14-Dec-12 19:59:09

I don't want to be SD's mum. She has a mum and I don't intend on taking that role believe me. I don't even like the term "stepmum" if I am being truly honest. I am Rachel to her and always will be, and I like to think of myself more as a role model than a mummy figure. Someone she can always talk to if she needs to and that sort of thing.

I can still make her a packed lunch though without people thinking I'm trying to "play mummy" though, surely?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 19:50:18

Outraged has very clearly stated that she does not consider her own husband to be an equal parent in comparison to the children's actual parents.

And to be honest, if I got myself a boyfriend and said your going to be an equal parent to my existing children he would probably run so fast I wouldn't see him for dust, if he didnt I would think he had issues.

No matter how much you love your partners children even if you do marry him /her without actually adopting them you will never be there actual parent no matter how much you want to be

timeforachangebaby Fri 14-Dec-12 19:19:37

You don't give her the chance to do any of those things though do you, you clearly do not see her as equal in any way to your DH - even if you can't see that yourself.

She appears to have lesser status in yours eyes.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 14-Dec-12 17:54:08

I even put a bed together for my SD, that's how good I am smile lol

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 14-Dec-12 17:53:17

As a stepmum I've done most of the things listed above. Have I over stepped the mark?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 16:36:25

You really are determined to find reason to have a go at me aren't you?

I'm not your DPs ex you know. Why don't you take it out on her?

I don't think it is important really, saving the term 'step dad' was just something we thought would be nice to do as they were involved in the wedding in every way possible. It was for the children to feel they were gaining a step dad. It made no difference to their actual relationship or they way any of them behaved, or were treated, or were respected.

I thought it was more about me referring to my ex's DP/GF as GF rather than DP. You may have a point about my using the term GF, I just prefer it to 'partner' which I think sounds a bit twee.

I stand by my feeling that a person doesn't become a step parent until they are married to a parent, but still, it's only a term.

But if you really want to know, there's loads she doesn't do that my DH does. She doesn't do school runs for my DC, she has never put together furniture for them, she has never taken them out somewhere special on her own, she has never made them a packed lunch, she has never been out at 9pm to pick them up from clubs, she hasn't paid for them to go on holiday, or do after school clubs, or helped them with their homework.

But then she has never needed to or been asked to so it's a non issue. I don't see why you asked the question, she is not in a competition with my DH over things you do for other people's children FFS.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 15:59:50

Which is it, outraged?

Does it really matter what she is called?

we wanted to keep that term special so that it was something the dc actually gained from our marriage.

It can't be both can it? Either, it's not important how you and your DC's refer to their stepmum, in which case, where is the harm in displaying more respect by acknowledging the commitment between her and your ex, out of respect for her and the role she plays in their life?

Or it is a special term, bestowed on a person by their DP's DC's in the event of their marriage and kept for that purpose alone, just as you did for your DC's - you gave them a stepdad when you married your DP.

You seem to think that your DC's are grateful to you for remarrying as they have gained a stepdad. The idea that this should be led by the DC's seems to be missing completely - if your DC's had started calling your DP stepdad before you got married, would you have stopped them? You obviously expected them to call him that after you got married, regardless of their own feelings about it.
Similarly, your continual reference to their Dads GF - a woman who you claim plays a significant role in their lives - is contradictory. What doesn't she do that your DP does?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 14:22:14

*Not in the uk they don't unless they are named in a residency order.

A step parent who is not named on any court orders has no rights at all*

Actually, that's not true. An unmarried step-parent who has lives with a DSC for over 2 years has the automatic right to apply for a contact order - a married step-parent only has that right if the child lives as a member of the family.

A married step-parent who is kept at arms length and does not engage in family life with their DSC does not have the automatic right to apply for contact, unlike an unmarried step-parent who does.

In all other cases, a step-parent or other adult has to seek permission from the court to apply for contact before they apply.

not if they don't have pr via agreement or court order they cant or permission from the court

However I will add that I thought your post was referring to a unmarried step parent having more rights than a none residential parent.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 14:14:05

No you cannot use an iPad to satisfactorily complete senior level homework, then you need a laptop

Really? My ds who is in year 8 uses an iPad frequently for doing homework! It works perfectly well for homework that requires Internet research, word processing and then emailing or word processing and then printing, and it works fine when he has to do set questions on the school website or the maths website they use.

timeforachangebaby Fri 14-Dec-12 14:11:10

and to clarify before anyone accused me of being led up garden path by a teen, DC1 already had laptop and never asked for an iPad it was a complete surprise for 16th and Christmas from me and exh.

Its just the way in practicality it works.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 14-Dec-12 14:07:44

I also asked him if he would go off to his mum's everytime we have his daughter here.

I think you can probably guess his response.

timeforachangebaby Fri 14-Dec-12 14:07:24

No you cannot use an iPad to satisfactorily complete senior level homework, then you need a laptop.

DC1 has both, he does his homework on the laptop (which is effectively now a glorified word processor) and uses the iPad for everything else.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 14-Dec-12 14:02:21

I told my OH about the OP's situation and all he said was, "WTF?" he then went on to say what does a kid need an iPad for?

I am blessed to have met a man that continues his financial and emotional support to his first child, and who includes her in our family without her having to "suffer". At the same time he does this without pushing his family out and we all learn to be a family together. Both of the children are well provided for and adore each other.

I am also very lucky because his ex is not an interfering so and so and she is completely happy with her ex moving on and having new children, which also means that money and attention will be shared as he now has two children. She has a baby on the way too. So?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 14:01:11

And I think you will find, you can in fact do homework on an iPad!

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