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?

elizaregina Wed 16-Jan-13 16:55:10

I think its dependant on the child really irish, my DS was alot older than me and was married when I was 9, she had horses - and lovely houses in the countryside and dogs etc, I would always do different activities with her than at home, when i went there during the holidays for one or two weeks at a time, she was younger than my mum, and i cant deny it was more fun at her house....she would also help out my mum with costs occasionally...

but a childs happiness surely isnt soley dependant on horses and fun even? I never yearned to live with my sister or go there more often than I did, I didnt love my mother any less at all, infact I much prefered my mothers personality and well just loved her and missed her when away from her! My life wuoldnt have been bleak had my sister not been older and been able to provide these extras into my life...

However, I did look forward to visiting - it was a nice bonus if you like.

what I mean is - I think ops children can be exposed to this life and not feel like they are missing out on other days of the week. i also dont think them not going to private schoolis an issue unless the adults around them make it one....

HOwevr it happens - ops children neeed to look forward to visiting thier half siblings.

And isn't that the most important thing - actually spending time with dad/siblings and building the relationship?

I think adults can become too focused on spending money/material things when other activities can be done that don't involve money and which allow the kids to spend time just as happily with their parent that they don't live without feeling they are being ignored in some way financially.

Its the adults that create the financial disagreement not the children.

Writehand Wed 16-Jan-13 18:59:31

I'm a stepmother. YABU to expect her to pay - it's absolutely nothing to do with her. She has no obligation

BUT, BUT, BUT...

I wouldn't have dreamt of doing this to my DSD. The only way half-siblings are going to grow up with the kind of bond anyone with half a heart hopes for is if they are allowed to share as equals at least sometimes and be treated siblings. In her position I would be very happy to pay if I could afford it. Either that or change the activities so all the DCs could share whatever it was. I would want to encourage them to enjoy themselves together.

I suppose the pony business is pretty impossible - I mean no one could expect her to buy extra ponies - but if she's a nice woman surely she could think of something they could do together? I loved spending money on my DSD because I loved her (well, I grew to love her). This woman doesn't seem to be learning to love your kids, which in my view is a waste.

In the end, though, it's down to your Ex. The current situation sounds very dull & frustrating for your kids. He needs to entertain them separately. If she's not going to offer - which would be the simplest solution - then I can't see he's got any excuse for the poor quality attention he's giving his kids with you. I would've become very bitter and resentful if my Dad had treated me like this. It's like something out of Cinderella.

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