To ask my DC stepmother to pay for their extra curricular activities?

(478 Posts)
secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:10:24

Backstory:Ex-DP and I broke up 7 years ago, he left for another woman, we already had two DC - DD1 now 10 and DS now 8. After being splitting up I found out I was pregnant with DD2, but ex decided to stay with other woman and they were married 2 weeks before I gave birth. 6 weeks after I had DD2, OW discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to twin boys, so EX now has three DC who are 6 years old, as well as OW already having a DD who is only a month younger than my DD1.

Well that was an info spill; now onto the real issue:

My DC stepmother not only has a high paying job but when her first DH died he left her a very considerable amount of money and because of this, as far as I'm aware, her and EX keep separate finances, both contributing a percentage of their wage into a house hold account and then whatever is leftover is their own to spend on what they see fit (I know this seems like a ridiculous amount of information to know about EX finances but how I know will become apparent in a minute) Ex is a firefighter and earns a pretty average wage.

SM spoils her DC (Her and Ex have had a further three DD's), they have the best of everything - toys,clothes, electronics activities. Her eldest two DD's are both in competitive dance and own multiple ponies that they compete with , something my DD's would love to do but will never get the chance as I can't afford it.

My DC spend every fortnight, Friday evening through to Monday morning, at their fathers and most weekends follow are the same; SM and her daughters go off to a dance competition or horse show, while EX takes DTS to whatever activities they are doing that weekend, all fine and dandy, except neither me or ex can afford for them to do these activities, so my children just have to go and watch their brothers angry This is how they spend almost every weekend with their father!

Naturally this has caused more then a few fights between me and ex, as I think it's cruel to get my DC up every Saturday morning to go watch their siblings do all these fun activities knowing that they would never be able to do them. Ex has said he would pay half if I payed half, as this is what He and OW do,because it's not fair on his wife and other DC if he pays the full lot for our DC. He doesn't seem to understand that I earn a low wage and cannot afford to even pay half.

This is especially hard as the children are all such similar ages.

EX does take them all to soft play, wave pool and movies ect after, which is fully paid for out of his own pocket after ( I know, what a saint), but that doesn't make up for the fact his children have been forced to sit around all morning watching their brothers have fun.

It just seems my children will forever be getting the blunt end of the stick because their father and stepmother have decided to have separate finances.

So, would I be unreasonable to ask their step mother to either fund or give permission to EX to fund these activities? After all it is because of her financial situation that my children have to miss out, as she has made it clear to ex that she expects him to split everything evenly between all his children, and spend no more or no less on our children then he does on theirs, and she could afford it or would that just make me bitter, jealous cow? How should I go on from here?

SaraBellumHertz Sun 13-Jan-13 14:48:09

Well it seems very mean, but ultimately they are not her responsibility.

That being said there is no way on this earth I would allow my DC to visit their father if that was what they were expected to do.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 14:48:49

It's up to her what activities she funds for her own children. She has no obligation or need to fund yours. Your children should be living within the joint means if both their own parents, as they would be if you were still together. I think the issue here is how your ex spends the time with your joint children. Would it make more sense for him to collect them after the DT's activities, then they wouldn't have to watch?

What activities do your children do? Don't they do any at the weekend at all?

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:51:38

CrazyChristmasLady I don't think I explained that perfectally - SM takes her DD's to riding or dance, EX takes the twins to whatever activities they are doing that week, they change continually. Ex says he can't leave them as one of them can't talk to strangers confused

Their a definite differences in other ways, education being the biggest. We live in a town where the only high school is private, so next year when DD1 goes she will have to go to the closest public school 35 minutes away, an hour by bus, while SM DD will go to the private school, which is the best school in the area. I assume it will be the same with the other children.

Alisvolatpropiis It's actually been sugested in the past, but SM freaked out saying nobody could ride them in her absence as it would hurt their mouths hmm

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 14:53:43

what a horrible situation for your dc to be in. Doesn't your ex as their father care how they feel in that situation?

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 14:54:04

Are the DTs activities that you speak of on a Saturday morning? Does he see your joined children in the week or only every other weekend?

maddening Sun 13-Jan-13 14:55:33

If he can't fund the activities (and it should be him that pays) then his wife should take their dc to activities and you ex should take his other dc off to do different activities - it is wrong that their time with their father is spent sat around watching. What his wife does and has is their own business - your ex otoh should wither fund the activity or do something else with them.

I tacitly pay towards my DSD every day, as even though she's now grown up, the money DH pays towards her is money out of our collective pot for the other children. I don't begrudge her one penny that my DH pays, and has paid towards her as he should be supporting his daughter, but I am not financially responsible to her.

You need to take this up with your DH and ask himself how he feels about his DC missing out. Talking to her is a non-starter. If DH's ex had asked me to pay for DSDs extracurricular activities, I would have pointed her to DH and told them to sort it out between them.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 13-Jan-13 14:57:25

For your ex, is it the principle of paying half, or is it the actual amount of money, because it seems really shit that he pays £X every week for his dcs 3,4,5 and 6 to do activities but nothing for his dcs 1 and 2 because you won't pay half of it and then he takes dcs 1,2,3 and 4 to softplay or whatever so dcs 3 and 4 are getting more money spent on them by their father. Maybe the dds could do an activity whereby he pays the same as he spends on his ds's.

Bonsoir Sun 13-Jan-13 14:58:20

This is a complicated situation but I do think it is positively grotesque for your exH and his DW to expect your DCs to watch her DCs doing lots of lovely weekend activities.

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:58:20

allnewtaketwo Only every second weekend, occasionally a wednesday night for dinner. This is despite living in the same small town.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 14:58:21

I think they have split it so the stepmother takes the girls somewhere (their activities), the father takes the other dc elsewhere to different activities and OP'S dc have to tag along with their father to this second lot of activities.

maddening Sun 13-Jan-13 14:59:06

Well then the dtwins will have to do whayever activity their father can affors for all his children.

Or what about gps? Could they be drafted in to take the twins (who see their father every day) to their activities so he can focus on his dc that he sees a lot less often through no fault of their own?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 13-Jan-13 14:59:47

I suppose what I am saying is that he is spending different amounts of money on his dcs, which should be rectified by him either stumping up more or spreading it out more evenly rather than getting his wife to pay.

JustFabulous Sun 13-Jan-13 15:00:07

If you were close friends with the SM maybe you would have a grown up relationship where you could talk about finances and fairness.

You and your ex are responsible for your children and if you can't afford for them to do what her children do then that is just a fact but I would be asking your ex how he thinks your chidlren together feel about having to watch their siblings do something they are not allowed to do too. It is awful and it is cruel.

bamboostalks Sun 13-Jan-13 15:01:41

Just stand up for your bloody kids and lay the law down. Of course your ex has enough money to treat them as well. He's being a total shit here. Tell him that he will need to drop them back to yours and then pick them up after as it is wholly unacceptable for them to be discriminated against like this. What sort of different activities are we talking about? I feel so sorry for your 6 year old dd having to go through this.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Jan-13 15:02:36

secret wtf? How would it hurt their mouths? Ponies at riding schools manage to be ridden by god knows how many different children!

It does sound like step mum is deliberately excluding your daughters in an underhand way and your exh is too much of wet blanket to see it/do anything about it angry

difficult one and you do have my sympathies but its not her place. I do however find it really cruel they go to watch. I'm a stepmum and split between houses and I wouldnt let this happen I would either be involving them with mine and dps finances or not taking them along. sometimes ds will go out with his uncle for the day and if his day off happens to fall when sc are here I will simply say he has gone out, if questioned further I will tell them they do activities without ds just like he does without them but I would never expect them to tag along and not join in that's just cruel.

winterdays Sun 13-Jan-13 15:06:55

This woman broke up a family with very young children.
Now these innocent children are being treated very unfairly.
Yes she does have a moral responsibility and so does the father. Your children should not made to suffer because of her and your ex -husbands actions.
I would refuse to allow this to happen. I would not send my children.
Any human being should not treat children like this.
They all do it when they are together or no-one does it

Viviennemary Sun 13-Jan-13 15:09:10

I've read this twice and don't understand it. Maybe it's just me. How many children are there altogether? But I don't think your children should spend their weekends be dragged along to shows to watch other children do activities which they don't do. This would apply in all families not just ones with step-parents.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 15:09:19

If I were you I would do some thing nice with yours DCs each Sat morning and then access time starts say Sat lunchtime instead

cakebar Sun 13-Jan-13 15:09:22

I'm finding it quite hard to get an accurate picture.

If the wife is away with her DDs doing horse riding and dancing then your dcs are not exposed to this really - your only issue is with your DC watching the twins? Is that right? What are the twins doing each weekend? You say it constantly changes. That sounds a bit odd. If they are doing one off, paid for activities then your dc should be allowed to join in and your ex should pay. If it is a regular thing like judo or something then your DC should enjoy their time with dad while twins are off being occupied by the club.

If they are all getting soft play/swimming/movies etc later in the weekend they all sound quite lucky!

Daddelion Sun 13-Jan-13 15:16:39

He's very fertile, can't he sell his sperm?

He'd make money hand over fist.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 15:18:51

Dandelion that is in terribly bad taste

Xales Sun 13-Jan-13 15:19:09

Unfortunately she would laugh in your face and tell you to take a running jump.

What a shame their dad cannot treat all his own children equally.

Nanny0gg Sun 13-Jan-13 15:19:13

I suppose the ExH could say to his wife that if she wants the twins to do all these activities, she must pay for them as he has to pay for his children with you?

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