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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been using the our joint account to buy his DDs bits and pieces eg among other things £30 spent in New Look and cash withdrawn here and there when he's been with them and almost £25 in mcds, all of which he told me about but I assumed it would be him paying out of his account, not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!

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 15:39:29

Ask him why he thinks it's ok to spend more money on some of his children and not on others.

Ask him when he's going to repay it as it's not his money only.

Ask him what he's planning on buying for your dd for Christmas.

frootshoots Wed 12-Dec-12 15:39:58

It's both of your money, you have both contributed.

They are his children.

Where is the problem? And why have your own accounts plus a joint one?

narmada Wed 12-Dec-12 15:40:27

Before you tackle him, make sure he's not actually spent his money on a big present for you - now that would be embarrassing grin.

cantspel Wed 12-Dec-12 15:42:12

It is joint family money and his dd is part of the family so unless he is buying diamond encrusted shoes for her i dont see why he has to ask you first.

LIZS Wed 12-Dec-12 15:42:34

Surely when you married him you knew he had the sdds and he would need to support them too. If you had an agreed spending plan and he has gone above that fair enough but otherwise I think you need to express concern that your dd also needs specific things too and that you need to budget for all expenses, regardless of whose account it comes from.

I'm a bit confused that you are buying seperately for your DD, is that normal? We buy our DCs present together, or at least pay for them together. I would also expect to pay for any other Christmas presents for anyone to come out of a joint account. He is your husband and they are your step daughters. I think you need to clarify exactly what this "joint" account is for.

QuacksForDoughnuts Wed 12-Dec-12 15:43:21

YANBU. Obviously you should accept that he needs to pay day-to-day expenses for his children and that a Christmas present from the two of you should be standard - but, and I say this suspecting that a few people will deduce otherwise from your post, I suspect you do already get this. But if it's luxuries for one family at the expense of necessities for the other, he needs reeling in a bit!

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 12-Dec-12 15:43:31

Talk to him about it.

If you are scrimping on things because you're on maternity leave (which is a shared family cost) and he is spending money on children (which are a shared family cost), that is not on.

I don't think it's fair to expect his children to be a private expense since you two are married. But it's also not right you should be scrimping when he isn't. If money is this tight you should both know how much the other is spending from the joint account.

laptopdancer Wed 12-Dec-12 15:43:48

I have always bought DS' gifts etc from my account only as well so it is relatively normal.

ENormaSnob Wed 12-Dec-12 15:43:52

Yanbu

I wouldn't be happy at all.

If you have seperate money (which I prefer btw) then you can't just dig into the joint account when you've spent your own.

curlypoo Wed 12-Dec-12 15:45:12

I think you are being completely unreasonable. Those other children are part of your family, that was your choice and they are your dds siblings.

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Wed 12-Dec-12 15:46:09

Ordinarily, I'd agree with frootshoots, but in this case I don't.

He hasn't contributed ANYTHING towards your joint DD's christmas presents from his own 'spending money' account, but has allowed you to buy her presents exclusively with your spending money. He has bought his older daughters presents from his own spending money.

He has spent money that is presumably accounted for, out of the joint account, on frivolities that his girls from a previous relationship do not need (no one NEEDS McDonalds, no one NEEDS £30 spending on them in New Look a few weeks before christmas).

He has spent so much from this carefully budgeted joint account, that there is now little money left to feed and put nappies on his infant daughter.

He's a prize pillock.

CheeseandPickledOnion Wed 12-Dec-12 15:46:10

YANBU.

I wouldn't expect him to be using 'joint' money for Christmas presents for his own children unless agreed in advance, and especially not when it means you don't have enough now.

laptopdancer Wed 12-Dec-12 15:47:01

It is just a matter of clarifying what the joint account is for. If you have felt it isnt for dipping into to by the kids' (any of them) gifts and he has, you need to determine what it Is for.

laptopdancer Wed 12-Dec-12 15:48:14

by? buy rather

runningforme Wed 12-Dec-12 15:50:01

I don't understand why you buy things for your kids from separate accounts?! They are all your children together and, as a family, the money should also be all yours all together. As such, it shouldn't matter where the money comes from and who it is spent on. It seems you have a 'them' and 'us' attitude which is VU

Floralnomad Wed 12-Dec-12 15:50:23

Surely his daughters are your step daughters and hence presents will be from you both so I can't see what your issue is . From what you read on here there are lots of problems with having my money / his money / our money , that's why we have a joint account only .

Allergictoironing Wed 12-Dec-12 15:53:58

Frootshoots read the OP, the joint account is for their own DD specifically. The problem is that where there is shared money then it should be spent on things that benefit both donors to the account, and anything else needs the agreement of both. In this case, the OP has ended up paying for her partner's children by a previous relationship to have better gifts than they can afford for her own.
Own accounts plus a joint one is pretty common e.g. where both work then each gets their salary paid into their own account, money is then transferred into the joint account then shared outgoings paid from that. Each person then has their own money to spend without having to justify it to the other, while (in theory) ensuring that there's enough money for the shared outgoings.

BridgetBidet Wed 12-Dec-12 15:54:28

Sorry, I'm finding this a bit hard to understand. Are you claiming that neither of you has any money after he has spent this cash. From you saying that you can't buy milk and nappies that would seem to possibly be the case. If so then YANBU and he shouldn't have left you broke by spending money on stuff for his other daughters.

If on the other hand what you actually mean is that the family has money elsewhere you can use to buy milk and nappies but you wanted to buy it from this particular account the YABU.

It's a bit hard to tell because if you genuinely can't buy essentials at all because he's spent this money then he shouldn't have done it. But on the other hand if that's not the case then you would just be begrudging him spending money on his other children which is not fair. You can't earmark a certain amount of money which is to be spent on your daughter only unless you are doing the same for the sdds.

EMS23 Wed 12-Dec-12 15:55:12

You're brave putting a step question in AIBU!!!

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Wed 12-Dec-12 15:55:19

I think yes, talk with him about it and remind him that you both need to be sensible with money ATM, but I think generosity of spirit towards your DSD's and your DH would be a good approach too. They seem relatively modest sums and for a good cause to me ?

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 12-Dec-12 16:02:32

I think if this account is specifically just to buy things for your DD and you have agreed to each put a certain amount of money in it then yes he is BU. I personally don't think it is down to you to pay for stuff for his children. If you are close to them and want to then fine.

MerylStrop Wed 12-Dec-12 16:02:44

YANBU to be worrying about buying milk and nappies IF the money in the only account you have access to has been spent on treats

YANBU to expect him to budget better and communicate with you better about money

YABU to not consider your SD's presents etc not to be part of your family's expenditure

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 16:03:02

I don't like the whole separate accounts thing in general but I see what you mean and yanbu

The joint account is a small amount of money to go towards household bills and essentials including essentials but not luxuries for dd?

Then you each have your own accounts to spend on yourselves, luxuries, presents etc?

So yes, he shouldn't be using the joint account for those purchases

It might be easier to sit down and talk through exactly what the joint account pays for etc. Also, if you are on mat leave, your contributions to the joint acc might need re-adjusting so you are both still paying in the same proportion of your salaries. Maybe the joint account should also cover presents for all the kids?

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 16:03:02

I don't like the whole separate accounts thing in general but I see what you mean and yanbu

The joint account is a small amount of money to go towards household bills and essentials including essentials but not luxuries for dd?

Then you each have your own accounts to spend on yourselves, luxuries, presents etc?

So yes, he shouldn't be using the joint account for those purchases

It might be easier to sit down and talk through exactly what the joint account pays for etc. Also, if you are on mat leave, your contributions to the joint acc might need re-adjusting so you are both still paying in the same proportion of your salaries. Maybe the joint account should also cover presents for all the kids?

MaxPepsi Wed 12-Dec-12 16:09:08

I think your DH is being VU

The account he has used is for a specific purpose, in this case your DD, but it could be the mortgage account, the loan account, retirement account anything.

He has then used the money in it for something other than it's purpose.

Out of order and I'd be speaking to him about it.

Fairyegg Wed 12-Dec-12 16:14:34

How you divide your money sounds very complex, I'm not quite sure why you are buying sperate presents for your dd from different accounts. However yabu, I presume you knew he had kids when you married him? They are now as much as part of your family as dd is and he has every right to spend the families money on them as they are family. 10 year olds can have expensive tastes so I wouldn't be surprise if he has had to spend a lot more on your step children than your dd, that's just the way it is.

girlgonemild Wed 12-Dec-12 16:14:52

I think yanbu really but you need to much clearer that the issue is about the joint account being for joint essentials not for 'extras' and that you don't have a problem with money being spent on dsd but that non essentials for them come out of dh's own budget not household expenses.

Narked Wed 12-Dec-12 16:16:16

So, to summarise:

- You use separate bank accounts and don't have joint finances

- The joint account, which you each contribute 50% to, is solely for things your DD needs (not things you might fancy buying her, which you cover from your account.

- You are on maternity pay so are earning a lot less ATM

- He has spent own his money (in his own account) and so has been dipping in to the joint account for your DD to pay for McDonald's for his children and various 'treats'.

- You now have no money for milk or nappies


He is a shit.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 16:16:50

YANBU, his dc now have 3 adults paying for their gifts. I also think if you have a joint account you decide together on what purchases you make.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Wed 12-Dec-12 16:18:56

I think her being a step daughter and whose money it is is actually something of a red herring. If they were both the OP's chidren then it wouldn't be appropriate to spend £30 on clothes for the elder daughter (assuming that she has some other clothes she can wear) if that left no money available to provide milk and nappies for the younger ones.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Wed 12-Dec-12 16:22:11

Yabu.

You seem to think that his dds from previous marriage is solely his exs responsibility. Yet, you think his dd with you is also his responsibility?

Ya both U for having another child if you you are so skint that a trip to mcd and some clothes in New Look (for a child he also have some duty and responsibility for) leaves you so short that you cant buy nappies and formula for the child you have together.

Yabu for having a child with a man who already had children if you cannot accept that he also need to spend money on them.

A one year old does not need a stocking any more than a pre teen needs leggings.

NatashaBee Wed 12-Dec-12 16:28:43

I think this is a bigger issue than Christmas. You need to agree a budget for everything in general, so you have enough for milk/nappies and can also provide for his SD if needed. And next year, agree a budget for xmas presents that's fair to both you and the stepdaughter.

RacHoHoHog Wed 12-Dec-12 16:29:03

Yanbu.

We bought all of our children equal presents, from joint finances but extras are bought from our own money.

If dp had been dipping into the essentials pot for treats for his Dd which then meant my children had to go without I would be livid.

Essentials, presents ect are a family expenses and are treated as such but why should one child have extra treats at the expense of the others. Really unfair.

Waspie Wed 12-Dec-12 16:30:06

YANBU. Ask him when he is going to pay the money he owes back into the joint account.

I would be livid that one child was having to go without essentials while the others were being treated; that's outrageous angry

Having separate finances is in no way "complex" hmm My partner and I have separate accounts and both pay, by standing order, into our joint account for bills and household expenses. It's incredibly easy and simple and keeps household stuff nicely separated. We both know exactly where we stand this way.

CatchingMockingbirds Wed 12-Dec-12 16:37:29

Can I just double check I've got this right? Private/joint accounts aside, you've been skimping and watching the pennies as you're on maternity leave but he's then spent a lot of money on unnecessary luxuries leaving you low on cash for nappies etc?

If so, yanbu. He should have discussed it with you first.

Waspie Wed 12-Dec-12 16:38:10

"You seem to think that his dds from previous marriage is solely his exs responsibility. Yet, you think his dd with you is also his responsibility?"

Erm, yes, obviously. Of course someone elses children aren't the OP's responsibility. And Yes, their child is her partner's responsibility as well as hers.

My DP's daughter isn't my responsibility. My DP pays maintenance, and buys presents/treats for her from his money, not from our joint account.

TeaOneSugar Wed 12-Dec-12 16:39:16

This is exactly why I prefer separate accounts, I know what's going in and what's coming out and it can't all be thrown into turmoil because DH has made an unexpected purchase I haven't accounted for.

PearlyWhites Wed 12-Dec-12 16:41:15

An sorry I find this my his and our money very strange. If you are married or living together in a long term relationship they surely all the money should be shared. Therefore yabu, your dp should be able to spend what he chooses on his dc just as you and dp can on your daughter.

Fairylea Wed 12-Dec-12 16:42:30

I don't understand why people don't have a joint account for household bills and separate spending accounts... all money in goes into household proportionate to pay received and the same amount of spending money is allocated to each person to the spending accounts.

Money for spending on dc should be agreed and paid for from household. Spending is.literally just your hobbies and coffee or lunch out etc.

Dh and I have a joint spending account that we mentally split but the result is the same..

It's never going to work like this.

The joint acc is for our joint household bills eg mortgage/heating/telephone etc, our food shopping (which I am kind enough to allow DSDs to eat when they're here shock) and essential baby stuff like nappies and milk.

We have our own accounts that our wages go into and we each transfer money into the joint account. TBH I don't feel it's that complicated and it's worked in the 5 years we've had a house together. There have been times in the past when he's dipped into it to treat the DSDs which I never really minded as we could afford it. The difference is this time we can't and he is well aware of this. I would be just as upset if he spent £30 on our DD from that account at the moment.

We're not buying DD separate presents, he spent ALOT of money on ipads for the DSDs and had hardly anything left afterwards and this is why I've bought DD her gifts.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 16:43:36

So, you have a joint account to pay for things the children need, he spends some of that money for things for the children, a d you are pissed off? hmm

If these are things he would have bought for his oldest children before you went on maternity leave, then he should still keep buying them. His older children shouldn't miss out because of new children to a new marriage IMO.

His older children are as much your financial responsibility as your biological children, because you decided to marry and procreate with a man who already has children from another relationship. That means they became your responsibility too.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 16:47:19

As a stepmother I have accepted that I have chosen to take on some form of responsibility for a child who is not biologically mine. If I did not want that responsibility I could have walked away.

Having said that your finances sound vey odd and your DH is unreasonable to leave your children hungry. However I agree that the existing children should not be forced to lower their standard of living because you or your husband want to have more children, unless all the adults involved are in agreement.

MerylStrop Wed 12-Dec-12 16:49:57

The issue then, is that he has spent more than he can afford on Christmas presents, leaving you short for essentials. You are in NO WAY Being Unreasonable.

Who the presents are for is irrelevant. It's not a step-parenting thing, don't make it into one.

Did you say i-pads, plural? thunk

diddl Wed 12-Dec-12 16:50:16

I don´t see why money shouldn´t come out of the joint account for his older daughters.

But, not when it leaves you struggling to buy essentials.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 16:50:26

His other children don't need ipads. The op's daughter does need nappies hmm

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 16:51:21

The issue then, is that he has spent more than he can afford on Christmas presents, leaving you short for essentials. You are in NO WAY Being Unreasonable Who the presents are for is irrelevant. It's not a step-parenting thing, don't make it into one.

Yes to what Meryl said

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 16:52:21

So are you allowed to buy 'essential' clothes for your dd and your newborn out of the joint account? Is it just frivolous party dresses that you want that you pay for out of your own account?

Because if you are allowed to buy clothes for your two children out of the joint account, then he is allowed to but clothes for all of his children out of the joint account too.

Personally, I'd also say he is allowed to treat them to things like mc Donald's as well, seeing as how there is a good chance that they feel slightly left behind or jealous of the new children that get to have both their parents living together.

ENormaSnob Wed 12-Dec-12 16:53:59

Bit of a difference the older dc getting treats such as mcd and fucking iPads and the youngest dc therefore going without essentials hmm

Surely there is no one on earth who thinks that's right.

And I disagree that the op should have any financial responsibility to the step children.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 16:55:14

We have taken the attitude that we spend the same amount on all of our children, whether they are children from our marriage or not.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 16:56:41

I agree it is daft to buy iPads for one child and have the others starving. However I would not have a second child if I could not give all my children the same standard of living .

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 12-Dec-12 16:56:57

Even if we assume that all three children are part of the family, which I do but others may not, YANBU. If DH and I had three DC and my DH took two of them out for McDs and New Look and bought them iPads for Christmas while we had no money for nappies and formula for the baby, I would be livid, regardless of accounts, step-families and all that gubbins.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 16:58:21

Enormasnob what if the step child lives with you, as our stepson lives with us about half of his time. Should I refuse to buy his food simply because we do not have a genetic link? If we are out shopping should I refuse to get him anything. Families cannot work like that.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Wed 12-Dec-12 16:59:17

how the hell does someone spend 25 quid in mcd?

cantspel Wed 12-Dec-12 17:01:43

The op says the balance in the account is lower than she expected not that he has spent all the money on his dd leaving nothing to buy nappies or food.

Please clarify op whether you now have no money for nappies or not just as much as you thought you had.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 17:02:06

freddos that would mean that only the OP has to pay for her daughter? confused she has no problem with her husband paying for his daughters..she is saying why is their joint money paying for them.

Right now they have their mother and father and possibly a stepfather paying for them. Shouldn't dad pay for his previous kids and their mother. And dad ALSO pay for his daughter with the OP?

OP has also alrady said she hasn't got money for essentials

MerylStrop Wed 12-Dec-12 17:02:28

THe i-pads are the problem.

The MacD's and leggings shouldn't be and wouldn't be, were it not for the i-pads. Plural. Can he take one back? Or get two decent tablets for the price of one i-pad?

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 17:04:39

I find it very strange the number of couples who have such separate finances. If you agree to marry a man who has an existing family you have to accept that guy are agreeing to support existing children to a lesser or greater extent.

LIZS Wed 12-Dec-12 17:08:46

I don't think you need to be awkward about it . Perhaps while you are on ml the contributions to the joint account need to be adjusted and if needs be increased overall so he can budget for a particular amount towards his dd's and you buy the family essentials. As a matter of interest if he had paid out of "his" account , would you have noticed or minded ?

Fairylea Wed 12-Dec-12 17:12:00

I would work backwards. You should both end up with the same amount of spending money regardless of individual income. Even if he earns more or you earn less you should have the same.spending money as you are both contributing equally to the family in different ways.

With Christmas, amounts should have been agreed between you for each child and money put into household account from incomings equally to accommodate this. Therefore leaving equally less spending money.

Lack of communication and equal money are at key fault here.

ENormaSnob Wed 12-Dec-12 17:15:01

Aris, my ds1 is not my husbands bio child and lives with us full time.

Financial responsibility falls to me and his bio dad. I would not expect his fathers partner and their dd be left in the position the op has.

Dh and I share household bills and ds1 bio dad pays maintenance.

If I took money out of the joint account to treat ds1, thus leaving our dd and ds2 without essentials, I would expect dh to be furious. Rightly so.

Ds1 doesn't get more or preferential treatment just because he's a step child.

midori1999 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:18:05

Surely the problem here is not that your DH spent money from your joint account on his DC, but that he bought iPads you couldn't afford for his DC for Christmas?

This is why DH and I have joint money. Any out of the ordinary/larger purchases, including presents either for our DC, my DC or My DSC are discussed first. Hence, neither of us make large purchases we can't afford or haven't agreed.

If you really haven't got money for milk or nappies (and I suspect maybe you have, but in your own account?) then perhaps your DH can take one of the iPads back and his DC can share one between them for Christmas, or he can return them and buy a smaller gift each?

DorisIsWaiting Wed 12-Dec-12 17:23:12

Was going to post the same as midori- it's not where the money's come from that the problem iot's his priorities.

ipads and meals aout at MacD's are fine if you can afford them, but atm with you on mat lewave HE can't!

He needs to understand that prioritising ipads over nappies and milk is appalling behaviour, You also need to thibk somemore about discussion prior to buying large value items. DH and i discuss any high value purchases before any spending happens including which account it's coming out of (mostly joint acc's btw).

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 12-Dec-12 17:23:50

"your dp should be able to spend what he chooses on his dc"

????

Like the rest of the population, he should only be choosing to spend what he can afford.

Not stealing money from the household expenses account to buy leggings and junk food while his baby goes short of milk.

Jesus, the "freedom" some women think men are owed is astonishing.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 17:26:14

Is the baby really going to go without nappies and milk just because her older siblings went to Mc Donald's? I doubt it.

And where did the mony for the iPads come from? Was it out of the joint account, or was it out of the Fathers account? Did he buy the iPads in exactly the same way the OP said she would buy an unnecessary party dress?

EmmelineGoulden Wed 12-Dec-12 17:26:21

It sounds like, regardless of how many accounts you have, that your DH is spending more on your DSDs than you can afford as a family. If buying DSDs presents is leaving you short of money for food and nappies then he is being really irresponsible. And if he's buying ipads for some of his children while you have been uanable to spend a few pounds a week taking another to an activity you wanted to, that is something you really need to talk about.

But it also sounds like you think of the DSDs as being his expense and your DD as being a joint expense, and possibly even more your responsibility than his. If this is the case I think you need to revaluate. That's not a constructive way to think of your step-children.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 12-Dec-12 17:27:18

"However I would not have a second child if I could not give all my children the same standard of living ."

grin

Easy sums not your strong point obviously.

How the hell do you spend 25 quid in McDonald's?!

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Wed 12-Dec-12 17:34:21

he probably spent more on his DD's as they are older? Yours is her first Christmas, so like you say, she won't notice, but they will , I think YABU.

The DSDs are a financial expense of their FATHER and MOTHER, not the OP.

The joint account pays for the household bills and foods, and necessities, so she is contributing towards the DSDs while they are with the OP and their father anyway for daily costs.

It's not also then her responsibility to provide gifts and treats, that's why they have separate accounts. The father can use his account spread across ALL of his children, the OP uses hers for their joint children, and if she is able, or willing, is able to treat the DSDs too.

I don't get this expectation that the 2nd wife needs to financially provide for children by another mother at all.

I had SS growing up, and my parents kept their finances separate. FFS their mother (who I loved dearly) asked for money towards ponies one year. Fine for Dad to fork out for that if he was able, not fine for my mother to also have to contribute towards them.

nkf Wed 12-Dec-12 17:54:09

Personallly, if you are short of money for nappies, then there is a problem whatever the cash has been spent on. I'd talk about it as.a.money issue rather than a step one.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:01:39

As soon as I married my husband we became a joint financial unit and therefore I bore some financial responsibility for DH.

When I met DH although he was on a good wage much of it went to his ex because she was not working. So indirectly I supported my future stepson by paying for most things when we met.

When we got married, again despite having two healthy incomes we had a small wedding because of our stepson .

Now we are married we have one pot of money once the bills are paid. I am pleased that my husband pays his ex well in excess of what he has to because it shows a level of respect .

In my past career I would get bonuses , I always split them between all of our children including our stepson as he was part of the family - a family I chose to take on.

DSS lives with is for half of his time? It does not even enter my head to not pay for things for him .

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 18:02:36

This is not about step-children though, is it?

It's about OP's DH spending money they don't have on things the children don't need.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:09:53

I agree there is also an issue about money , I said that below. Children do not need I pads ,

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 18:16:09

You seem to have missed the point that you are not a family of three and that when you married him you got his DCs with him - and they are equal to his DC with you.
Where he is wrong is that you should be discussing what you are getting for all your DCs and agreeing on the presents.

MasterOfTheChristmasDisaster Wed 12-Dec-12 18:21:18

So your step children get IPads, yet your DD gets bugger all?

I'm sorry but he isn't treating his children fairly, and IMO that's wrong.

As well as leaving his wife to struggle financially. Sounds like a nice guy hmm

JenaiMathis Wed 12-Dec-12 18:22:28

Presents for children should come from the joint account imo, with any particularly lavish spends being discussed more than usual. It sounds as if you and your husband haven't budgeted for this though.

If you've been left with insufficient funds for essentials, then you need to talk.

Fairy's suggestion that ideally you should work backwards so that each has the same amount of personal money is a good one, and something we try to do.

JenaiMathis Wed 12-Dec-12 18:24:13

Master - when you say "your dd gets bugger all" are you referring to presents specifically? Nobody in their right mind would spend the same on a baby as they would a 10yo at Christmas, surely? confused

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:25:16

MN is full of people who spend obscene amounts on babies and toddlers

It doesn't sound like the op has a problem with him buying iPads, just that he left himself short so decided to buy non essentials like mcdonalds out of the joint account not leaving enough for nappies Xmas tree and a stocking for their dd. That's pretty shit IMO

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:26:34

The moment I found out that a man I was seeing left his children to struggle I would be out the door .

Apart from singling him out as a twat, odds on that will be you one day

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 12-Dec-12 18:32:35

But it is her Arisbottle and it is today. The older ones have meals out, new clothes and iPads. It is the baby who is now going to go without.

RacHoHoHog Wed 12-Dec-12 18:33:48

I wonder what the response would be if the op dipped into the joint pot for treats for her dd, meaning there wasn't enough left for the maintenance payment for the older dd's.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:36:36

I am not disagreeing that it is daft to spend money on extravagant presents when another child is going hungry.

I am disputing the idea that a step parent has no financial responsibility to the step children they knew about.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:37:31

I would find it hard to get worked up about a top from new look and a McDonald's .

iPads are a different matter

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 18:38:31

It is just a lack of communication- needed to have discussed presents some weeks ago and what they were getting OP's DD and her siblings - and budgeted from the joint account.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 12-Dec-12 18:38:59

Arisbottle I wholeheartedly agree with you about that. I think a family is a family, regardless of what shape that is. Fostered, adopted, step, half all just DC as far as I am concerned. The issue is that he is trying to rob Peter to pay Paul.

What presents are they getting from their DM and family?

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 12-Dec-12 18:49:02

I am disputing the idea that a step parent has no financial responsibility to the step children they knew about. But they don't same as they have no parental responsibility. Do you really think the mother would let the step mum have a say in their education for instance. So why should they pay for children who aren't theirs. The financial responsibility lies with the parents.

I can't decide!!!

If he is spending money on treats for your step dd meaning you can't afford basics then yanbu.

But maybe the step dd needed clothes? Tbh £25 in new look is probably a top and tshirt.

The account is for household expenses, his dds are an expense.

Inertia Wed 12-Dec-12 18:54:35

If the joint account is used to pay bills, direct debts, food and essentials, it shouldn't be spent on treats / presents for anybody.

Sounds like you (as a couple) could do with a separate savings account which pays for birthday presents / Christmas presents / treats / school trips etc for both children.

Whichever parent receives child benefit should use that to pay for essentials for the child - milk, food , nappies unless the household budget can absorb the cost, and for essential clothes and shoes.

Between you, you need to figure out how you and DH support all the children in your family so nobody goes without.

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 18:55:14

Like it or not, a step child is not the responsibility of the step parent!

Most of us would, I imagine, share the financial responsibility from the household income but nobody has to if they don't want to.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 18:55:43

SPs bear no financial responsibility to SCs - most SPd I know - do financially continues to the SCs - but that's a personal choice.

How much say in an SCs life does an SP get?

Being married to someones dad does not give you PR.

I raised my former SS for 7 years with no help/input/financial contribution from him ahem mother - I spent a lot of money on him along with his dad - but I didn't have to, I chose to.

How he totally destroyed our lives repaid us - is a long story but helping him and his sister was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life.

I would be 10s of thousands better off - literally, if I had never helped to support them - and I wish I had paid more attention to my own childrens needs - they were always second to the "poor" SCs.

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 18:56:08

Sounds like you (as a couple) could do with a separate savings account which pays for birthday presents / Christmas presents / treats / school trips etc for both children

I think they do Inertia but her DH has been using the joint account to treat his children.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 18:59:54

Oh and this idea children from first marriages shouldn't have "less" because of new babies in a second marriage - ridiculous - hats how it generally works in "together" families.

Having siblings does bring non financial rewards - not everything can be measured in terms of £s.

And MacDonalds is a treat - we never go there because when morny is right it's an extra extravagance.

maleview70 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:01:50

A baby won't have a clue what's going on. Why waste any money on a baby who is still clearly very young if you are getting smp.

Complete waste of money.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 12-Dec-12 19:05:10

I can imagine the scene in ten years. All the kids together looking at the photo albums (or holograms by then). "It was your first Christmas DC", "Look at your sisters with their iPad", "What did I get for my first Christmas, where are my presents and where is the tree and stocking?". "You got fuck all, flower, your DF can't budget".

CremeEggThief Wed 12-Dec-12 19:12:43

I think he should have discussed it with you first and he should have made sure there is enough for the essentials, such as formula and nappies.

JenaiMathis Wed 12-Dec-12 19:14:36

Don't be ridiculous MrsTerrys.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 19:16:01

Like it or not, a step child is not the responsibility of the step parent!

Are you serious? shock

I very much hope you don't have any step children, and I am very thankful that my lovely husband doesn't feel that way about part of the family he chose to join!

QuacksForDoughnuts Wed 12-Dec-12 19:17:02

maleview70 - why waste money on a new baby? Yes, clearly the greedy little blighter should go without food and nappies so her big sister doesn't have to miss out! OP is fine with the baby getting less by way of presents. Why should she also be fine with being short of money for the basics? Her husband should budget as a person with three kids rather than two...

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 12-Dec-12 19:19:43

Just trying to point out why it is not a waste to spend a little on a baby, Jenai. Glad to have annoyed you. smile

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 19:23:29

We have five children in total and careful planning has meant that our earlier children have never really gone without because of the others , certainly not in a tangible way that a child would notice. Partly because we have never really lavished our children with lots of stuff even when we could afford to .

EMS23 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:24:34

And this is why AIBU is no place for step parenting discussions.
Same old shit, same crap cliches:

"You knew he had kids when you married him"
"Well I wouldn't have children if I couldn't afford for kids from 1st marriage not to be affected"
"So you don't want your money spent on his kids".

Seriously OP, next time you have a question like this, come to the step parenting board. You'll get much more sensible replies.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Dec-12 19:26:06

If his money is going into the account then I can't see why he should not use the money from this account to buy presents for his children. But you need to know what is going out of the account regardless of what the money is for. It might be easier to have separate accounts if it's going to cause friction. If my money was going into an account I would expect to be able to spend it on buying presents for my family and friends.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 19:27:23

EMS23 I am a step parent . Why does my view not count?

EMS23 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:40:45

Arisbottle your views absolutely do count, my apologies if it sounded like I was saying they don't.
But can you see that some of the replies from others, who seem to have no actual experience of step parenting, have trotted out the lines I put in quotations? I see this time and again when the step factor comes into the equation and its infuriating because it muddies the waters and can derail a thread.

merrymouse Wed 12-Dec-12 19:41:14

I don't think its really about step parents/step children. The problem is that you thought the joint account was for necessities, excluding presents, and you have planned very carefully how that money will be spent because currently money is tight.

You don't need to attribute blame - he made a mistake, spending money that you don't really have. You do need to talk to him about money, so that he understands what is available to be spent.

ginnybag Wed 12-Dec-12 19:41:56

OP, your husband feels guilty about having a third child and is trying to be a Disney Dad, spoiling his first DD's rotten rather than taking the much harder route of really making them believe that h loves them and always will and that they will always have a home with him.

He's already spent most of £800 on them for Christmas - by all logic, then, where's his £300-odd quid for your DD? He has 3 children now, not two, and should be treating them all equally.

Even if you agreed that he should, perhaps, spend say 80% of the budget on the older two, he would still 'owe' around £100 to his other DD. How much has he spent on her?

Instead it sounds like you're bearing all the responsibility for your shard child, whilst he bribes spoils the other two into liking him.

He's then taken this even further, by spending yet more money on them, from money allocated to run your home.

Did he have a £1000 to spend on Christmas, after all essentials, including living costs for all his children were taken care of? Did you? If you didn't, has he been saving all year, or do you not having equal spending money at all?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 19:48:17

Ginny, treating children equally does not mean spending the same amount on them! As long as they have what they need, it is ridiculous to spend the same amount of money on children just for the sake of being equal.

EMS23, what makes you assume that some of the people saying things that you disagree with have no experience of step parenting?

There would not be more sensible replies on the step parenting board I don't think, I read things on there and it scares me! I am very glad my ex has a girlfriend that he's not that into and not a wife that doesn't see how important our children are.

IceBergJam Wed 12-Dec-12 19:51:47

I see some people are completely clueless when it comes to stepfamilies. Glad it's only on MN.

You are not BU. That account was for essetials for your DD specifically. For nappies etc. He spent it unnecessary items. You need to reclarify with him what the money is for.

We have a joint account that covers food, bills for the whole household etc then our own private accounts for our own spending. I have two stepchildren who live with us 50/50 and am not finacially responsible for them. Additionals, above the basics (food etc) is paid for by the parents. I do however often give money for college bits, lunch or take out to dinner, holidays etc. I do not expect to fork out for a car, uniform, new shoes etc. They have parents. If DH was made redundant obviously things will change.

We have a DD. From my own money I buy
Her what I fancy and have set up a savings account I pay into. It is up to my stepchildrens parents to do this for their children should they wish.

This works for us because our wage is nearly equal.

MasterOfTheChristmasDisaster Wed 12-Dec-12 19:52:44

What ginny said.

Yes, it would be daft to spend the same amount on a baby; however that money could be put into a savings account for his third DD.

maddening Wed 12-Dec-12 19:52:59

The thing is as a family they don't have enough to take the dds on shopping trips and have a massive present - he could of scaled down the presents and had the days out or vica versa - they have to budget and he went and spent it and now they don't have enough money - the step parent is a red herring as it's really just about op's dh not budgeting properly and leaving them short.

EMS23 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:54:31

Outraged quite often, posters will say if they are a step parent or grew up as a step child etc but yes, I take your point and accept I could well be wrong.
A while back there was a thread about maintenance that got completely derailed by a few posters who had an anti step family agenda, IMO.
Well, actually, it's my opinion that some of them had an anti step family agenda and it is fact that one of them did as she admitted that firstly she had no direct experience of step parenting and secondly she was anti step families. I'm afraid my view is clouded by memory of that thread as it showed me that as a step parent, sometimes it won't matter what I do or say, I will just always be 'the baddie' in someone's eyes.

CaHoHoHootz Wed 12-Dec-12 19:55:11

Yikes, what will happen the DSD's go to university???

This is such a difficult situation. I can see it from both sides. OP's DD shouldn't go short but she is only one so won't really care about presents. On the other hand the DSD's are 'shortchanged' on having their Dad around and are at the age where they like things . However, it is obviously very wrong for the OP to struggle to afford things while the DSD's get IPads. confused
It was daft of the OP's DH not to discuss any of this with the OP but I think this is a tricky AIBU

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 20:08:22

But EMS I have trotted out some of those views that you object to.

I agree entirely with posters that say a lack of communication is a problem here, with stepfamilies you have to communicate more not less .

It is the iPads that make this a different matter. If I were to say to my husband that we would not be able to take his son out for the day to buy an item of clothing and a cheap fast food meal because we could not afford for him to do that and us have a baby , I know he would have said that we could not afford a baby. However if he said that we could not afford to have a baby because he wanted to buy his son outlandish gifts that would be a different manner. However we have never been the type to buy huge presents so his son would not expect them anyway .

I am a step parent so have no interest in casting them as the baddies however it was made very clear to me when I met DH that whenever we made a decision we would have to factor in his stepson. That until his stepson started school that most of his money would be handed over to his ex. It was probably at that time that I realised I had found a keeper.

Your DH has been the 'doting part-time parent' who has lavished money on his children from his first relationship, while giving fuck all thought about the baby he has at home. Who has needs NOT wants. £25 fucking quid in McDonalds is stupid. How the hell do you spend that much on shite?

Id be livid at DH if he had frittered our 'essentials' money away. YANBU.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 20:32:11

Maybe part of this problem is whether you consider clothes and treat time with the non resident children 'essential' or not.

Personally, I would consider them essential. Not more essential to getting food and nappies for the baby, but they are, in my opinion, as important.

OP hasn't actually come back to say that her baby is actually going to go without anything she needs, but the way I see it, is that Christmas is expensive when you have children. This isn't a normal month for most of us, we all feel like we don't have enough money in December. So DH is a bit short because he rightly bought presents for his children, which made him feel it was acceptable to spend 'essentials money' on essentials like spending time with his children and buying them clothes. And as long as the baby has what it needs and is happy, I don't see the problem.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 20:34:26

I would also like to be able to say that taking them to Mc Donald's seems like a nice cheap and easy thing to do to make his children happy and to be able to spend some time alone with them, but I have NO idea how you go about spending £25 in Mc Donald's for two children and one adult.

ginnybag Wed 12-Dec-12 20:46:31

I agree that treating equally does not mean spending equally - it would be ridiculous to spend on a baby what you would on 2 older children.

But, the OP's husband seems to equate stuff with love and therefore, should be getting equal stuff for all three.

Frankly, yes, a weekend away for all five of them would have been a far more sensible use of the bloody money than Ipads, Mcd's and tat clothes. It would have given the two older girls what they actually need and want - time with their sister and time and attention from Dad.

Ask him this, OP - would he have bought such lavish presents had he still been living with them?

My Dad spends silly amounts on me, still, but very little time with me, and knows nothing about me, and never did. It was fun, as a kid, to have this figure swooping on and pouring stuff at me.... but it was my Step Dad, who spent very little actual cash - I think I recall the odd cinema trip - who helped shaped the person I am,and my relationships with my siblings, and he did that by teaching me the value of things, and having boundaries, sharing interests, and, yes, by including me in family holidays with my brother and sister.

RacHoHoHog Wed 12-Dec-12 20:48:31

I agree with ginny I find this thread very interesting.

Nobody has answered my post from earlier, what if the op spent the joint money on treats for her Dd which meant her dp couldn't pay the maintenance?

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 20:49:12

Its easy to spend £25 in MacDonalds on 3 adult sized meals, plus McFlurries etc.

I don't think of MacDonalds as a cheap meal, its cheaper to go to our local pub.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 20:52:11

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddo I am very glad my ex has a girlfriend that he's not that into and not a wife that doesn't see how important our children are.

By realize how important they are you mean you want her to financially contribute her own money to your children?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:02:48

Of course I don't mean want her to contribute her own money to my children. hmm

What I mean is that I'm glad my Ex's finances are not so tied up with another person that he could ever find himself in a situation where he had to justify spending his money on our children.

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 21:03:51

With no experience of step-parenting I have to say how surprised I am that so many people think the new partner should be contributing financially to the upbringing of step-children. I'd always just assumed the parents were responsible for paying for their own children. How is CSA calculated? On the parent's income or the joint family income?
As I understand it, the op's dh has his own money and the 'joint account' is really just an account for paying joint bills and for their own, joint, child. Presumably the dh pays for his other children out of his own account?

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 21:06:54

But that's what is happening. They each have an account and a joint account. Their shared pot is going to the step children. His money is his money and their money is his money.

I am amazed that you think going out to McDonalds is equally important to a baby having food though!.
The dad can take his kids to a park if they are skint for essential time.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 21:07:55

I would also say that while Christmas is an unusla time and you have to expect to blow money... maternity leave is also an unusual time and if you cant afford ipads and mcdonalds. YOu dont buy them,

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:17:20

I'd like to ask the mothers on this thread a question. Imagine your family had a joint bank account that both you and your DH/DP considered was there for family needs. Then imagine your DH/DP told you you were only allowed to spend money from that account on two of your four children.

Would you really be comfortable with that?

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 12-Dec-12 21:18:57

I do think leggings can actually be essential and not extra if a child has few clothes. Nappies are more essential though!! Work out how much you need and request he puts x amount into the account to cover the cost of things. You and you DD should not be left short just because he went crazy in MD's and New Look.

I think you both need to sit down and work out an appropriate amount for you both to spend on all the children. Budget essentials first like nappies, pants etc. Then work out where the money should come from.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 12-Dec-12 21:21:34

Outraged - so two children would be entitled to unnecessary luxury items (Mc Donalds and fashion clothes) while the other children wouldn't be entitled to the basics (nappies and wet wipes)? Madness!

My DH used to be unreliable with money, so I did a spreadsheet of incomings and outgoings. If there's money left at the end then we can both spend it where fit, a joint account is joint and both parties should be consulted if something else than the norm is coming from it!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:27:39

That's not what I said carrots.

RacHoHoHog Wed 12-Dec-12 21:27:55

Outraged, that would be your joint money being spent on your joint children though. Of course if all the money was joint then he would pay for the dd's from there but as it stands they have a joint acc for their household bills and joint Dd and he usually has plenty left in his own account for his own dds. It just happens that on this occasion he has overspent his budget and took from his youngest to give to his eldest.
If spending money for all dc was to come from the joint pot thwn the dh should be putting extra in. Why should ops Dd go without so that the elder two can have, whilst the dp has lots of spending money in his own account?

EMS23 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:29:06

Arisbottle it sounds like we have very similar DH's. I, as a stepmother, support my DSS in many ways, including financially. I always will, he's my responsibility but that's my choice and not expected of me by anyone.

But I strongly disagree that people shouldn't have subsequent children if the first ones will suffer financially. Every time a family, together or not, adds a new sibling the existing DC's suffer financially and who can say where that line should be drawn? Who can say what is essential and what is luxury? It's all relative to each families circumstances and when it's trotted out as a reply on here, it oversimplifies the matter.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Dec-12 21:29:07

I know it's hard but I think it's best to not think of this as a step-parenting issue. But the point is he overspent and there isn't enough money for essentials like nappies. It isn't because those children are step children but because he spent money unwisely. I am not a step parent and haven't been a step child. But that's my opinion so if I've got it all massively wrong I apologise.

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 21:31:13

But outraged, how is that the same at all? How would you feel if 2 of those 4 children were getting a financial contribution from an outside person and the other 2 were not for a start.
The op's dh should be paying for his children, all of them. The op has arranged finances almost as if she is getting maintenance from an ex, so he pays a set amount to a joint account to be spent on her dd. Not to be spent on his other children. He has a separate financial agreement with the mother of his other children. It's not how I would arrange my finances but it does seem quite logical.

EMS23 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:31:31

Viviennemary I think you've got it spot on.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:35:18

Outraged, that would be your joint money being spent on your joint children though.

Exactly! You would effectively be excluding your own children from something fundamental to your living as your bank account.q They are all his children!

I don't believe that any mother on this thread that has children by two different Fathers would ever get themselves into a situation where they have two bank accounts, but only selected children would be able to be supported by both of them.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 12-Dec-12 21:37:51

*Maybe part of this problem is whether you consider clothes and treat time with the non resident children 'essential' or not.

Personally, I would consider them essential. Not more essential to getting food and nappies for the baby, but they are, in my opinion, as important.* WTF??? As important as food and nappies which are a basic need for a baby. That's a very strange way of thinking!!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:41:32

Mercibucket, I just don't agree with any of that. It doesn't seem logical to me at all.

merrymouse Wed 12-Dec-12 21:42:12

It doesn't really matter what he spent the money on. The OP had budgeted that it would cover other costs. As Viviennemary says, this is really more financial openness and honesty in a marriage.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:46:05

It's not about food and nappies though KellyElly.

OP said she wanted to get a Christmas tree and a stocking for her own dd with the money. I don't see how either of those are worth more than a chance to have time alone with your children who you don't get to live with, or how they are more important than clothes.

RacHoHoHog Wed 12-Dec-12 21:47:37

His children have access to his bank account though, it is just a seperate one. They all have access to his money, what you are saying is that his first two children get access to all accounts, the one allocated to them and the one allocated to his younger Dd.

I have children by 2 fathers and dp has his own Dd. I pay for my own children of both fathers with my own money. He pays for his own daughter from his own money. Any extras my first dc need I get from the maintenance from their father. Anything baby needs I ask dp for a contribution.

I did however buy dsd some winter clothes and her Christmas presents this year because dp has been in and out of work. So dsd then became a joint expense.

I don't expect dp to fund my dc and he doesn't expect me to fund his, I also don't expense ex to fund my new baby it dsd.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 21:51:41

Its not about justifying spending money on his own children, its about justifying spending money he HASNT GOT exactly as if he had bought himself an ipad he couldnt afford.

FWIW, my DC1 is a lot older than my others, and there is money that comes in as maint for his dad that is ringfenced for him. I do not believe my ex husband pays me money to be spent on the other children in the house. Clearly a large proportion of it goes on food and bills, but DC1 certainly has more "stuff" and def no second hand stuff, than my other DCs, but they are too young to notice and at the end of the day, I have made the choices I have made.

That said, DC1 does not get anywhere near the amount spent on him he did pre my "second children", life is not all about money, and I believe he has "non financial" benefits to having siblings. If I had stayed with his dad the same would have happened, financially, he would have had less.

I would be livid if the money that goes into the joint account (and is budgeted for to the penny), was spent on anything additional. That covers essentials.

We then have a joint credit card that covers everything else,neither DH or I would make unilateral decisions on spending lots of money though,

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 21:58:31

Timeforachange, it sounds like your arrangement works for you and that's fine, it can work well when there is enough money. If you found yourself in a situation where your youngest child actually needed something and your oldest child's 'ring fenced' money was the only money you had available right at that time, wouldn't you spend it on the thing that your family most immediately needs?

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 22:11:12

Probably not no - but then I don't see all of my maintenance as family money, I feel quite strongly that exh doesn't work to provide for me and mine, he works (bloody hard and long hours) to provide for him and DC1.

So unless it came to the point we literally couldn't eat/keep a roof over our hears, that ring fenced part would stay ring fenced, DC is older and it is transferred directly to their account.

Exh is on more money than our whole household income and when things are tight, it would be easy to dip into DC1s money, especially when DC1 was younger, but the choice to have additional DCs and for me to more or less become a SAHM was mine and DHs not exhs and DC1s.

It may have been harder if the age gap was smaller, as they may notice they have everything second hand and DC1 doesnt, but its not an issue.

I wouldn't for example use DC1s money to pay for a school trip for DCs 2 or 3 etc.

foreverondiet Wed 12-Dec-12 22:23:03

I don't really get separate accounts - my DH and I share all our money and discuss any purchase that isn't really necessary. I think when you are sharing a house and food and children totally impossible and impractical to keep money separate in a totally fair way and best to just give up and have one joint account, especially when on maternity leave.

Out of your total money, you (both) need to fund presents for his children, and as they are older than one, they will need more expensive presents than a baby who doesn't know what Christmas or presents are.

That all being said you aren't earning, so if he used the money you'd saved for essentials like nappies and milk or Christmas presents he can't afford then he will have to fund the essentials like nappies are milk.

So I think you are being a bit U for various reasons.

MulleredWhines Wed 12-Dec-12 22:31:30

Oh come off it - in 3 years time when you take ALL of your children to Mcdonalds, how are you proposing to split the bill ? You pay for one happy meal for your child, and he pays for 2 for 'HIS' children ?

Do you really have no money for milk and nappies? You say the account is 'low' - not empty then ?

YABU.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Wed 12-Dec-12 22:38:19

Agree that this is a family budgeting issue rather than primarily a step one. OP has been hard done byin that she is still paying the same amount into the joint account despite not earning, and has to scrimp to buy stuff from her own account, only to find her husband merrily using the joint account to buy indulgences. Not fair and all this needs to be discussed calmly but without special pleading that favours one child over another. And OP should be paying proportionately less, not more, into joint funds.

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 22:47:55

Have a joint account and discuss it seems the best option and treat all the DCs as an equal part of the family- bearing in mind that a baby doesn't need much- and they are really not going to look back at photos and feel aggrieved! (Or not unless they have a personality problem)

JenaiMathis Wed 12-Dec-12 22:56:34

I'm interested to know how large this buffer is. Are you actually unable to buy nappies, or is that you don't want to eat into a £500 safety net, OP?

Totally agree that this is, for now, a finance rather than a step issue.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 23:11:36

but even if there is a buffer, it has come from the OP not doing things she would like to do with the baby, so it has come from OP making sacrifices, I can remember being in tears about 3 boxes of fish being rammed in the oven and eaten with no chips, no veg, when we were really skint.

It was a totally disproportionate reaction to a trivial thing really, but it was 3 main meals gone as a snack.

MacDonalds when you are on a tight budget is a treat, and sometimes its a case of straw and camels back, this is a time of year, when people are cutting back on non essentials to buy things like ipads. Not splashing out.

mammyof5 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:13:14

i dont think yabu. if you are struggling like you say at the moment i agree that mc d are a luxury if he couldnt afford it then they should have done something else dito buying stuff in new look. 55 is a lot of money when it comes to buying baby essentials

maybe sit him down and explain to him just how careful you have been with money.and this is why you are upset

if he doesnt at least try to understand than i am sorry be he is being an arse.

SantaWearsGreen Wed 12-Dec-12 23:36:50

I find the thought of seperate accounts depressing when you are in a long term committed relationship or are married. To me its a 'what's mine is yours' situation.

Money is paper and yet in the grand scheme of things it all seems so important. It can literally divide and break people. Its silly when you actually think about it. It doesn't mean all that much to me, I just would hope that DH wouldn't spend money we should be spending on important things such as food and bills on something frivolous and unimportant.

Your dh was wrong in spending money you don't have on stupid unnecessary things (£25 in mcdz, did he buy like 6 meals?!). It isn't about which account it came from, the money should just all go into one big pot and then a budget created from that. It is about the fact he spent money you do not have and money you need for your baby to eat.. Even if he had spent it on himself it would still bvu of him, its not even a question of who he spent it on.

I did notice a comment up thread which I found vu of you. You said you 'kindly' let the sds eat food from your weekly food shop.. what?! Do you expect DH to buy them seperate food for their stay and basically treat them as visitors or guests? They are his children and when you married him you married the whole package. That was a very unkind thing to say imo.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 12-Dec-12 23:41:24

I think that bit was a joke the op did put a smilie in

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Wed 12-Dec-12 23:45:09

If it was me I'd be trying to see things more like I had 3 DD's - I'd be wanting to treat my step-daughters more as daughters too.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 23:54:20

Santa op was being tongue in cheek when she said she kindly let them eat etc.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Thu 13-Dec-12 00:11:27

The 'kindly' bit was a joke.

Juggling agree, but even then I wouldn't countenance 2 of my daughters getting iPads when the other is getting very little. There should be an agreed approach to spending on all 3.

MyLittleAprilSunshine Thu 13-Dec-12 00:13:23

I hope he pays some money back into the account with his wages. After all although they are your stepchildren, unless you live with them you don't really have a financial responsibility, he does. Of course it's nice to treat them and obviously not to leave them out on gifts, that's hardly the issue. If he had budgeted or bought out of his own account, there wouldn't be a problem. I am sure in years to come when you have more money you wont mind putting some money towards your DSDs presents. It may seem selfish but I'd sooner sort out a baby than a teenager. Teenagers can go without expensive tops and lavish tablets, whereas babies need new clothes, a few games to stimulate their brains etc.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 07:47:39

You need an agree spending approach, but the baby doesn't need much at all. It is the one time that you can get away with second hand clothes and toys- all of which you can pick up really cheaply in wonderful condition- and their brains can be just as stimulated with a saucepan and wooden spoon or bowl of clothes pegs etc. By the time your youngest is old enough to want iPads the eldest will need less.
Of course you both have financial responsibility- you got his DCs when you married him. No way would I have married my DH if he put our joint DCs before my DS. We are a family of 5 and not a family of 4 - and an equal one. I would be utterly horrified if DH thought our eldest wasn't as much his responsibility as the 2 youngest.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 07:54:13

Why on earth is everyone insisting that this money was for milk and nappies? confused

In the OP, and we were going to buy an Xmas tree and a ds's first stocking

This isn't essentials money that he spent on frivolous stuff, it's money that was going to be spent on luxuries either way.

Babies do not need new toys and new clothes I agree. It's far more difficult with teenagers and more expensive.
Babies don't need or care about extra things at Christmas . I don't understand how this went from a Christmas tree and stocking to 'vital' things like milk and nappies either. I do actually, it elicits more sympathy.

apachepony Thu 13-Dec-12 08:13:31

Exotic fruits, is your eldest's dad on the scene providing reasonable support? If so, is this support spread amongst all children or does eldest get more?
As it is, it appears the op's dh has contributed absolutely nothing to their joint dd's christmas, how can this fair?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 08:13:47

I just love the double standards when it comes to Stepmums - it reinforces everything I have read grin

If my DSC are MY financial responsibility as I have chosen to be with a man with DCs from a previous relationship then how come I can't go to their nativity, parents evenings, have their ears pierced or talk to them about developmental milestones?

How come paying for my DSC is expected but taking emotional responsibility for them is overstepping?

Perhaps my DSC mum has got it right after all - anything I buy for the DSC is destroyed by her if its taken to her house.

For me, it's to do with practicalities though. I just wouldn't spend the same on a baby as teenagers. Two of my closet friends have recently had happy accident third babies and there is a ten year and fourteen year gap between the next child up and the baby. Neither of them are getting anything at all for the babies. They don't care. Presents at that age are for the parents benefit.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 08:22:36

Nota, that's exactly what makes being a step parent so difficult.

My DH has to consider my children in decisions he makes, he takes responsibility for them financially and will always put their needs and wants before his own, yet when it comes to making big decisions for the dc, like what secondary school they will go to and the like, he knows his view will be considered, but won't have anywhere near as much weight as mine or my ex's. when we are only allowed three tickets to the school play he doesn't always get to go.

But on the other hand, he gets to have these wonderful children in his life, he gets to be a big part of their lives and take pleasure from watching them grow up. He gets to be their friend and when they need to be disciplined, that falls to me or the ex.

He gives a lot, and I'm very thankful and appreciative of that, but I don't think he gets a bad deal either. After all, he chose to join our family, no one forced him to marry me!

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 08:31:45

outraged So the financial support provided to DSC by their step-parents could be considered a payment for the privilege of being a part of the DSC life?

I'm afraid I don't see it that way at all hmm

Teenagers don't need iPads, my older scare no more important than my younger dc. They may have more spent on them because they're older but I wouldn't be buying iPads if it would mean buying the other dc nothing.

Of I'd say it's nearly Christmas so we can't have a mcd this week.

Teenagers don't need iPads, my older scare no more important than my younger dc. They may have more spent on them because they're older but I wouldn't be buying iPads if it would mean buying the other dc nothing.

Of I'd say it's nearly Christmas so we can't have a mcd this week.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Thu 13-Dec-12 09:17:23

My DH has to consider my children in decisions he makes, he takes responsibility for them financially and will always put their needs and wants before his own, yet when it comes to making big decisions for the dc, like what secondary school they will go to and the like, he knows his view will be considered, but won't have anywhere near as much weight as mine or my ex's. when we are only allowed three tickets to the school play he doesn't always get to go. Does he have children from another relationship?

financialwizard Thu 13-Dec-12 11:40:32

This is not a step parent issue at all, it is a budgeting one. My husband and I have a sole account each, sole savings account each, joint current account and joint savings. All income goes into the joint current account and I run a spreadsheet to tell me what spare cash we will have every month after bills and savings and then we will split the remainder 50/50. Presents for the children will come out of the joint savings after agreeing what we are going to buy each of them. If we need to spend anything over £50 on anything throughout the year we talk about it because both our previous partners were so bad with money that we tend to err on the very cautious side.

As an aside we have 3 children, only 1 of which is our child together, my ds11 lives with us and is treated by my husband as his own and my husband has a 13 year old DS who I call my part time son. They are all treated as equally as we can, although the older 2 are by far the most expensive!

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 12:04:33

You know it doesn't really matter whether the money was for nappies or a tree! The facts are that DH took money from their joint account without discussing it, and he did so knowing that he was blatantly spending it on two children and leaving one out.

Some of you think it doesn't matter because OP's dd is a baby but that's beside the point. If OP wanted to spend that on her baby that's her choice.

Now she can't because he took it for his older two. It's just not very nice is it?!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 13-Dec-12 12:26:08

Notadisneymum, you make a very good point there.

Stepmums are welcomed from a financial point of view, they are very much a convenience.

Anything else and they are interfering and over stepping boundaries.

Love it!

riverboat Thu 13-Dec-12 12:46:05

YANBU. When you don't have joint finances and the DSC already have two parents who are financially responsible for them, its reasonable for there to be a line drawn somewhere re: the stepparent's financial contribution. Sounds like your DP is either overstepping this line, or doesn't understand where you want it to be.

bochead Thu 13-Dec-12 14:00:23

Be careful to set some ground rules here OP. Effectively your DP is prioritising the welfare of the older children over that of the younger. Favouritism causes all sorts of long term damage to families.

I have a step son in his twenties whose father lavishes money on (The lad won't wear trainers on under £75 and thinks nothing buying £50 T-shirts). He even bought him a flat last year.

Meanwhile my son gets no maintenance at all and never has. The worst thing is that this year DS has finally become aware of just how much one child is favoured over the other and it has really damaged his relationship with his father. (Dad & I are not together).

Once parental behavior is entrenched it's almost impossible to change and favouritism causes all sorts of emotional issues further down the line. I really regret not kicking up a bigger fuss when DS was still an infant. For emotional security children need to be treated equally (in an age appriopriate way of course and ipad for an infant is silly). Let this be the last year you are soley responsible for buying the babies presents.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 17:28:47

Some of you think it doesn't matter because OP's dd is a baby but that's beside the point. If OP wanted to spend that on her baby that's her choice.

Why is the OP allowed to choose to spend it on her daughter, but her husband isn't allowed to spend it on his daughters without discussing it first? hmm That is a huge double standard!

KellyElly, no he doesn't have children from another relationship. Why?

And this Sounds like your DP is either overstepping this line, or doesn't understand where you want it to be.

What about where the husband and Father of three wants the line to be? Why does it only matter where OP wants the line to be?

And then this, in response to my post So the financial support provided to DSC by their step-parents could be considered a payment for the privilege of being a part of the DSC life?

I'm afraid I don't see it that way at all

I don't see it that way either, which is why that isn't what I wrote. My husband joined a family that already existed, we didn't start one from scratch. Neither did the OP. She joined a ready made family and then she and her husband decided to add to it. What I meant was that when my DH joined my family, he accepted that as I already had dependants, his needs and wants were not always going to be my priority. It sounds to me like OP needs to realise that her want for a Christmas tree and her want to buy a Christmas stocking do not come above her husbands wants to buy things for his children that are old enough to know the difference.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 13-Dec-12 17:53:32

I hope the OP manages to find money from somewhere to buy a Christmas tree and a stocking. £25.00 that was spent on the McDonalds would have covered a tree and a stocking.

OP could you perhaps lend the money off a family member to get what you need?

apachepony Thu 13-Dec-12 18:00:22

Freddos do you think it fair that it seems the op's dh has contributed nothing towards their joint dd's Christmas? In what other context would it be acceptable in a relationship for a woman on maternity leave to be solely financially responsible for her and her partner's child?
In stepfamilies I think the two separate accounts with joint account for joint expenses is a good solution. It's also a good solution for frugal/careful people married to spendthrifts. My parents have managed a 40 year marriage this way, I can't understand why some people think married couples must share one account, and that is the only way to do it! Op you need to speak to your dh, he is abusing the joint account.

The dp can spend whatever he wants of the money he has in his own account on his dc's. That doesn't mean when he runs out of money he should start on the joint account

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 18:05:59

Abusing the joint account I honestly don't know whether to laugh at the stupidity or cry out of pity for the children involved. Abusing an account by spending his own money on reasonable things for his own children

Do you honestly think that it is likely that a man who is happy to spend over the required maintenance on his non resident children is likely to contribute nothing to his wife and baby's Christmas? Even if he was, where on earth in the OPs posts have you read her say that he is contributing nothing? I'm sure OP would have mentioned it if it really was nothing.

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 18:07:28

I don't think it's so much of an issue about which account he has taken it from as surely if the joint account is low he could just top it up out of his own account? I think really in a relationship it shouldn't be about 'your' money and 'his' money, it should all be seen as being family money.

Hoerver, if times are hard and you can't afford this spending then you need to speak to him about it.
I'm in a similar situation to you, on SMP and DP has 2 children, I have 1 and we have 1 together.
DP usually spends a fortune on them at Xmas and I've never been one for spoiling DS anyway but months ago we agreed that we weren't going to be able to spend a lot on any of them this year and set a budget. The kids are still young and I doubt they'll even notice the drop in the amount spent, especially as they get so much off other family.

It sounds like he's maybe not grasped that his old ways of spending can't continue whilst your on maternity leave, DP is only just getting used to this too...he's always been a bit of a Disney dad and spends money we can't afford spoiling the kids every weekend...but after me consistently pointing out that we can't afford it he's finally getting the message.

A lot of it is just breaking the habit and he's going to have to learn to start saying ''no'' occasionally to his DC.

Maybe whilst your on mat leave it might be best to just have 1 joint account? It's not really fair if you're having to constantly worry about money whilst he's happily going round spending it willy nilly.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 18:09:59

Also, you think is a good idea for a step family to have two separate accounts? Maybe in some cases where the children don't live with the parent you are concerned the most about, but I can't see how it would work in a family like mine where the step parent and step children live in the same house.

What do you propose I do when I want to but the ingredients to cook a roast? Should I buy my DHs potatoes out of one account and my dcs potatoes out of another? Which account should the meat come from? Should my dc be bowing down in gratitude if my husband pays for the meal their mother cooked? hmm

thegreylady Thu 13-Dec-12 18:11:57

I have 2dc and 3sdc all now grownup with dc of their own.They were teenagers [13 to 19] when we got married and dh had sole custody of his younger ones[oldest was 19 and stayed with us anyway].All 5 were treated equally and there was never any 'his' and 'mine' but also there was no 'our' dc either.
It is very important that the dh in this case makes all the dc equal from the start.
Op YANBU at all.

apachepony Thu 13-Dec-12 18:18:47

Op says "I've bought her things from my own account and dh hasn't contributed".
The benefit of separate accounts is that the dh can splash out on luxuries - like the iPads - without having to justify it or getting the op's agreement, but this benefit falls apart if he then starts dipping into the joint account too.
Also surely a Christmas tree is for the benefit of the whole family, including stepchildren?
I guess we are all just extrapolating from our own situations, how matters are run will vary depending on resources available, whether maintenance is given or received, resources of other parent and therefore how much stepchildren have overall,how much time stepchildren are in joint home. But it's surely un controversial that in a relationship money should not be spent from a joint account without implicit or explicit agreement as to what it should be spent on.

apachepony Thu 13-Dec-12 18:24:27

Also joint account is for necessities in my view - so stepchildren''s heating, housing, food, while they're with the stepfamily. I think op has already made it clear that her dh doesn't have to buy his children food separately!

riverboat Thu 13-Dec-12 18:29:42

Outraged - as I have understood it, the OP is happy to fund luxuries for her DSC when she can afford it, but not when she can't, and not at the expense of more basic things for her DD. It seems like a reasonable line to me, but granted it is unclear whether her DP may see the joint account as a 'family account' rather than a 'DD account' and it is unclear whether he realises the OP has been scrimping with this money and not bought things for DD that she would have liked to. Its also not very clear how significant his spending from there on treats for his DC has been compared to what he put in.

Re your comment about the groceries, I think that is exactly the kind of expense that you should expect to contribute to asa step parent without thinking about divvying up. But there are other expenses you may not be able to/not expect to contribute to, and tthat's fine in my book. But every family and step family is different, I don't think there could ever be a 'one size fits all' approach to step-family financing. Depends on the individuals involved and their views and agreements on various financial/familial matters.

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 18:32:41

outraged we have 2 separate accounts and no joint account in a step family but we view all our money as joint, the 2 accounts might as well be joint. There is no 'but I bought that' etc we just share cards and pin nunbers, if one account runs out of money then we just use the other one.
So I think it's more about the attitude towards money rather than how many accounts you have.

StinkyWicket Thu 13-Dec-12 18:37:02

I think you need to talk to him about it.

IMO, if you had stepchildren you want to buy gifts for, this should come out of 'family' money. Likewise, any other gifts should come out of 'family money'. The fact that you are buying for your daughter screams out to me more than him spending joint income on his daughters.

I think you should reassess what monies are staying in sole accounts. My husband was recently made redundant so we are reliant on my salary and tax credits. I changed everything so it no goes into a joint account, and all DDs are paid out of it. Why should he have to ask me every single time he wants to buy anything?

(FTR, he has a son from a previous marriage and 3 of our own so not totally clueless on the gifts for stepchildren thing)

poppy the point is he's spent all the money in his account and then bought non essentials out of the joint account leaving them short so he can't top it up out of his own account

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 18:43:13

Why is the OP allowed to choose to spend it on her daughter, but her husband isn't allowed to spend it on his daughters without discussing it first?

She spends her money on her DD. He spends his money on his children. He spends all his money so starts taking their joint money. So no, he isn't allowed to spend it on his daughters without discussing it.

Because his daughters have another parent also spending money on them. OP's doesn't.

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 18:47:44

Sorry I'll admit I didn't read all the posts, just the first and last ones.

Again it comes back down to him needing to realise that old spending habits can't continue when your mrs is on SMP, the whole family has to feel the pinch, not just the mum on mat leave.
I'd be fuming if I wasn't able to buy things we needed because DP had spent it on things we didn't need, regardless of who it was spent on.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 13-Dec-12 18:50:37

I can't get round the his, her, our children.

I don't see how you can rationalise children that way.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 18:50:37

Some people just aren't bothering to read the OP's posts.

They each have their own bank accounts

He pays for his DC from a previous relationship from that account

For joint expenses they each contribute 50% to a joint account - even though the OP is on maternity leave she's still keeping this up.

He spent all of the money in his account, on ipads for his children from the previous relationship, and has then taken money from the joint account to spend on treats for his DC from the previous relationship, leaving his new child without any money for nappies.

How is the OP in any way being unfair to her DSC?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 19:06:56

Personally, I think she is being unfair to her DSC because she is saying that one frivolous thing for her dd is more important than another frivolous thing for the two children that don't have the luxury of living with their Dad.

For all we know, he took his daughters to Mc Donald's as it was the easiest thing to to to have some time alone with them away from a toddler. I think that counts as an essential, much more essential than a stocking for a child so small that they won't care what Santa delivers their presents into.

Poppy I agree with you. Our family sees all money as joint, even though we have a joint account, a separate account and a savings account that only DHs wages ever go into. We also get the maintenance from my ex in cash. It all just gets spent wherever its needed, it doesn't matter where the money came from. That's what I don't understand about the OP and some posters on here. I can't get my head around how any parent could reasonably separate their children into categories where some can be bought for out of one account and some can be bought for out of another. That's just not the meaning of family in my mind.

It is about the attitude to money, and I find it horrible that a mother would have the attitude that one of the children in her family is more important than another child in her family. Because that's pretty much what it boils down to when you say that one child should have something they don't need but another child shouldn't.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 19:10:10

And I'll point out again, he hasn't left her short of money for nappies!

He has reduced the buffer that the OP admits she wants, and she may just have to dip into that buffer to get the luxuries she wants like a stocking and a tree!

Can we stop talking as if this man is leaving his baby in squalor while he buys iPads for himself?

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 19:14:48

outraged do you not think the amounts of money being spent is an issue though? Yes a stocking isn't essential for a baby but neither is an iPad but iPads are a lot more expensive. I think the amounts being spent on each child needs to be equal.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 19:36:01

* She joined a ready made family and then she and her husband decided to add to it. What I meant was that when my DH joined my family, he accepted that as I already had dependants, his needs and wants were not always going to be my priority. It sounds to me like OP needs to realise that her want for a Christmas tree and her want to buy a Christmas stocking do not come above her husbands wants to buy things for his children that are old enough to know the difference.*

They are looking at it differently. OP sees them as a family of 3 with DSC as 'extras' but her DH has 3 equal DCs. It is a budgeting problem and a communication one in the OP needs to be in on the discussion on what to buy 'their DCs' for Christmas.
In answer to apachepony earlier -DS1's father is dead so I agree that it does make a bit of difference. However-it is still a communication problem and DH needs to know what the ex is buying -I think that if all the adults were communicating the older DCs could quite reasonably see that their sister is getting less with only 2 parents and be happy with evening up. However there are lots of things we don't know such as OP's parents-do they think they have one granddaughter or 3-what do they do with presents etc?

They need to sit down and talk about it all before next Christmas, but I would agree that OP joined a family-she didn't start one.

Arisbottle Thu 13-Dec-12 19:39:15

It is ridiculous to suggest that you should spend the same on a baby and an older child.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 19:43:02

It is ridiculous to suggest that you should spend the same on a baby and an older child.

I agree, but it is something that you know when you have them from birth-if you suddenly get older DCs you could, possibly, not appreciate that they are more expensive the older they get. Many people that I know don't get their baby anything because they know other people will give things and they don't need to-apart from to feel good themselves.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 19:46:04

I think that however odd I find split finances, this is what they both agreed to do. They keep their money in their own accounts and put some into a joint account for agreed joint expenses.

In this arrangement, if he decides to buy iPads for his DC and spend £600+ (probably more like £750+) on their Christmas presents, that's his choice. If doing so means he can't afford to buy anything else in terms of treats for a while, like £25 on McDonald's, that's the consequence of his choice of Christmas gift. It doesn't mean taking the money that should go on a Christmas tree for the house to spend on treating his DC because he can't spend within his means.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 19:48:10

Nothing wrong in having separate accounts, in addition to the joint one, but their DCs should come from the joint one and be discussed.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 19:49:05

It is a bit odd to have 2 of your DCs from one account and the third from another, when they are siblings.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Thu 13-Dec-12 19:51:31

Outraged I asked that as I wanted to know whether you were seeing it from the OPs perspective or not. You have a partner with no children from a previous relationship, he is a step parent to your children and a dad to the children you have had together. You have never been in the OPs position where you are being asked to contribue financially for another womans child so your view is from a completely differnt perspective.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 19:55:55

Not really. I find the idea of splitting accounts a bit odd generally, but the way I understand it, when people set up a joint account for joint expenses they put in either 50:50 - unfair IMO as one person might earn twice what the other does - or a % of their earnings, and this money pays for the costs of running the home they share. The rest of their money is theirs to spend as they see fit. In this case essential purchases for their joint child are covered, as is food for his DC when they're around.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 20:00:05

boney Are you a mum/dad?

How would you feel if someone else (your DCs step-parent) referred to your DCs as theirs?

Step-parents really can't win, can we?
If we refer to a child as ours we overstep, but if we refer to them as our partners rather than imply a relationship then we are also in the wrong.

I give up! OP - it's clear that no matter what you do, someone will be quick to tell you how terrible it is that you love/support/pay for your DSC, and someone else equally quick to point out how terrible it is that you don't!

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 20:01:33

Basically, he can't have his cake and eat it, but that's exactly what he's doing. He gets to spend £££ on Christmas presents for two of his DC without having to agree the cost with his partner (as they have split finances) and then bails himself out by misusing their joint account to cover more treats for his DC that he can't afford.

If they had joint finances I'd imagine the OP would have pointed out they can't afford to be spending so much on presents when she's on maternity leave. As it is, he's getting to splash his cash around and use money earmarked for household expenses to bail him out because he's overspent.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 20:07:44

On the off chance that the OP hasn't been scared off, please take this as an opportunity to sort out your finances. What you've done in the past may need to change now. You've said this isn't the first time he's done this, but that it matters because you're not earning fully ATM. I think it matters full stop. Your DD will grow up and need more money spending on her - childcare costs, school uniforms, trips, pricier gifts - and you can't and shouldn't have to keep paying for more than your share of that to cover his overspending.

Arisbottle Thu 13-Dec-12 20:10:46

Notadisneymum I think there is a difference between treating a child as an equal member of your family and claiming that they are yours.

festivelyfocussed Thu 13-Dec-12 20:12:21

ilikelongnaps: I hope you have managed a conversation with your DH about this. IMO YANBU. Your DD should not have to miss out so that her SSibs can have more spent on their Christmas. Also, if the plan is for you to spend equally as a family on all children (your sds as well as your DD) then this should be discussed and shared.
In addition, I think those criticising OP's approach to DH's spending on SDs should remember that SDs have other ppl also contributing to their lives and to their Christmas.
good luck and happy christmas.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 20:51:48

Narked I think that however odd I find split finances, this is what they both agreed to do.

That is a fair point, and I take that on board. I wonder if they both feel that they have agreed to the same thing though. They may well have agreed that the joint account is for family expenses, and as far as the DH is concerned, 'family expenses' includes all of his children, but in the OPs mind, family expenses mean herself, her DH, and her own children, and the extra children when she thinks there is a big enough family expenses 'buffer'.

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 20:54:11

I've been thinking about this and some may disagree but I think it is quite often a male approach to money, I know my DP and ex's have always thought 'well if the money is there I can spend it', they often don't seem to get that money can be ear marked for other things, especially if they're used to not having to budget.

I do think that an iPad is too big a gift for any child but that's my personal opinion, I think such a large gift should have been discussed with OP first.
Although I do think that presents should be equal to a certain extent I do agree that baby's don't really need any gifts, we're not buying anything for our baby as there's nothing she needs and she'll get plenty off family but we are setting aside money that will be spent on her as and when she needs it.
But there is 10 years age gap between me and my half sister and 17 years between me and my other half sister and my brother is 4 years older than me and as we were growing up all 4 of us got exactly the same spent on us for Xmas and birthdays so no I don't think it is that ridiculous to say older kids need more spending on them. Kids these days are spoilt and if they want such large presents like iPads then it should be joint between several family members or they get gift vouchers to put towards it. That kind of approach teaches them to have an appreciation for money and teaches them how to save.
But that's just my personal view, if parents can afford to spoil all their kids then that's up to them but from the sounds of things in this situation they can't afford it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 21:00:37

KellyElly, you say I'm not seeing it from the OPs perspective, and it's true that I have never been exactly in her position. But I don't think that matters. I am in a position where I have to handle the feelings of two children whose Father doesn't live with them but instead lives with his new baby. It's the children that matter.

However, I think if my ex had buffer money sat in an account but told me he couldn't afford to take our children on an outing that would enable them to spend a little time alone with him, I'd think he was being a cunt, and I'd be gutted for my children.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 13-Dec-12 21:05:42

I've followed this thread and have been very interested in the different perspectives on it.

My view point is that if you agree that actual real essentials ( household bills grocerys nappies ) come from the joint account that both parties equally pay into but that wants come from personal money.

As it appears to be in the op,

Then your being dishonest to not stick to it. So op yanbu in being cross by this dh has basicly used his personal money for wants then moved onto joint money to continue with more wants,whilst you have been left in a position where you are nervous about needs and any of your wants or your dd's wants have been made impossible.

Your dc does not have another parent elsewhere to also buy Christmas stuff or provide gifts and treats in essence that is what your dh has forced you to do for children who are not yours but who also have another parent who is responsible for these things.

Fwiw unless you are well off and it sounds like you are not buying kids iPads for Christmas is silly and Disney parenting.

IMHO a step parent is under no obligation to be financially responsible for a step child unless they wish to be funding children is down to the parents ( however they do it) and that's everything inc maintainance,part of the responsibility of a nrp is to meet these costs. It's nice when step parents do wish to but they shouldn't feel obligated to do so.the only thing they should be responsible for is home related costs for when the step child is in there home.

I also think its a bit silly when divorced parents over compensate with expensive gifts and treats to make up for living apart from children and think any over compensation should be made with time and love.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 13-Dec-12 21:16:33

NotaDisneyMum

My point is that the "DH" and "DSC" came as a family and should be treated as such.

The DSC may not be biologically her children but the DSDs are part of her family, the OP's view of you can't spead my money on your children is (to me) baffling.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 21:22:51

Sock I can see so much of your view point so clearly, but this

Your dc does not have another parent elsewhere to also buy Christmas stuff or provide gifts and treats in essence that is what your dh has forced you to do for children who are not yours but who also have another parent who is responsible for these things.

This is what OP chose. The DH hasn't forced her, she has knowingly chosen to bring two children into a family that already contains children. That choice does mean that things will be different than if you had started the family together.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 13-Dec-12 21:48:04

not read the wholepost but can I suggest you open a new account and depoait a set amount of money in to be split 3 ways for all dcs next yeara birthdays & christmas pressies. if your joint dd isnt needing presents then invest her share in her isa / childrens bind etc. keeps it fair and eliminates aby resentment.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 21:48:23

'I think if my ex had buffer money sat in an account but told me he couldn't afford to take our children on an outing that would enable them to spend a little time alone with him, I'd think he was being a cunt, and I'd be gutted for my children.'

The only reason he couldn't pay for the treats himself is that he's already spent £££ on christmas presents for these DC. And then taken money that's there to cover a christmas tree, household bills etc. A buffer gives some cover if a car or the boiler breaks down. Not because someone's spent all their money on very expensive presents and still wants to take his DCs for a Mcdonald's. The £500+ he spent on ipads would have paid for a hell of a lot of McDonald's.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 21:55:02

The DSC may not be biologically her children but the DSDs are part of her family, the OP's view of you can't spead my money on your children is (to me) baffling.

When my DSC are emotionally a part of my family, then they will be treated as such financially.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 22:03:11

I completely agree that he spent too much money on iPads. That was completely unnecessary for a variety of reasons. But if he wants to buy his children iPads then that's his business.

In my opinion, the second family are getting what they need. OP chose to create her family in this way. She knew she was getting involved with a man who has financial commitments and two little girls who he was likely to want to spend money on. She doesn't get to come along and uproot that, she gets to come along and fit into it.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 22:04:47

If it was all joint finances then the OP could have told her DP that they couldn't afford for him to spend £££ on expensive gifts.

Narked Thu 13-Dec-12 22:07:38

She has fit in with it. He's overstepped.

BegoniaBampot Thu 13-Dec-12 22:08:51

Sorry, only read the title and thought it was your spliff money. That would have been totally unreasonable.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 22:16:27

Why does she get to tell him how much they can afford? Surely as a grown man he can look at his own bank account and decide how much he can afford to spend.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 13-Dec-12 22:19:42

Outraged, I do compleatly understand where your coming from but I don't think the op knew she would end up in a situation where the her dh would think its ok to blow about £660 ( iPad 2 new from TESCO £329 on offer a few weeks ago cheapest place I found them) as well as expensive trips out so near to spending that on two of his children with her contributing 50% towards the trips but think it was acceptable for her to solely provide all the treats and clothing for his third child.

No matter how you look at it that's not cricket

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 13-Dec-12 22:23:04

And it's not his business if that purchase led him to feel the need to use
Her money to contribute towards things that are his responsibility.or to abdicate his other responsibility and leave it up to her.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 13-Dec-12 22:24:37

In my opinion, the second family are getting what they need. OP chose to create her family in this way. She knew she was getting involved with a man who has financial commitments and two little girls who he was likely to want to spend money on. She doesn't get to come along and uproot that, she gets to come along and fit into it.

She gets to fit in but she shouldn't have to fund it

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 22:25:13

They may have been slightly cheaper than that if they were the new mini iPads, but, still, that's irrelevant.

But you must have read the OP differently to me. I didn't get that the OP was paying for all the treats and clothing for her dc, I got that those things were paid for out of the family stuff account.

The iPads came out of his own money, the treats for his three dds will all come out of the same account.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 22:26:56

She doesn't have to fund it, absolutely not. But she does have to raise her family on what is left after the first family are taken care of. They were there first.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 13-Dec-12 22:31:56

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.

^

From the op saying joint acc is for needs her acc is dd's or her wants then goes on to say that she used her own acc to pay for dd's presents not the joint acc

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 13-Dec-12 22:32:56

Doesn't matter which children "were here first". If a man has children in his "new" family then they are just as important I'm afraid.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 13-Dec-12 22:38:41

She doesn't have to fund it, absolutely not. But she does have to raise her family on what is left after the first family are taken care of. They were there first.

So second family second best then? Why should he be lavish with first family ( assuming he also pays maintainance ) but tight with subsequent children that are also his? The step parent should under no circumstances be funding lavish gifts or treats if it means her own dc's go with out.

If the situations were reversed and he was blowing hundreds on gifts for new dc's and shopping trips and McDonald's whilst being tight with his original children all hell would break lose and he would be flamed.

nkf Thu 13-Dec-12 22:43:06

I think the step children issue is a red herring in this case. Ipads are expensive and I think it's not on to buy two of them from a joint account, particularly not when the joint account isn't as fat as usual due to the OP being on maternity pay. It's not practical or reasonable to do this.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 22:43:21

What kind of woman really expects financial support for her DCs from her exH's DP?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 13-Dec-12 22:50:10

I think I might just reside myself to the fact that the child I have with my partner will never be an equal priority to his older sister (partner's daughter). He can live off beans and wear clothes too small for him, he'll be reet. I mean, he isn't that important is he that he should have the same basic needs met as his sister should too, because he came "second".

But then of course I forgot, any siblings she would have had if her mum and dad were still together they would all be equal. I get it now.

Kiwiinkits Thu 13-Dec-12 23:03:13

I think if things are that tight that we couldn't afford nappies and milk, I'd be thinking very seriously about finding ways to bring some extra money into the household. What are your skills, OP? Can you find a way to bring in some cash?

Kiwiinkits Thu 13-Dec-12 23:04:35

OP, it also sounds like you were scrimping and budgeting based on an assumption that he was too. Had you talked about it? Did he know that that's what you were doing?

Arisbottle Thu 13-Dec-12 23:14:34

It is not that my DH's ex wife expects me to support her child, rather she does expect my DH to and we are a financial unit.

We also respect the fact that she put her career on hold to be at home with our stepson and lost years paid into her pension.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Thu 13-Dec-12 23:30:13

Ok. This is getting silly now. A man and woman have a child. They have parental responsibilty of which financial responsibility comes part and parcel. Man and woman split and get new partners and have other children. Again the respective parents have parental responsibility and financial responsibility for respective children. The end!!! I am a lone parent, my DD is mine and her fathers financial responsibility. If I meet another long term partner it will be his CHOICE not his obligation whether or not to financially contribute to DD. However he will have no right to decide where she lives, her education or even to attend her school play if tickets are sparse. So does he have a legal or moral obligation to pay for her?...NO, its a choice and if he has his own kids or other financial responsibilities should he be vilified for this? Absolutely not. OP YA fucking NBU FFS!!

My exh pays maintenance, a whole £25 a week but he's on a low wage.

I don't expect his other child to have to go without so he can take ours to mcd or buy expensive presents. I think it's odd that anyone thinks that children from a second relationship should be raised on whatever's left because the first dc deserve treats.

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 23:37:47

So if the theory is right that any child who is here first should come first, is that the same in a family where the parents are still together? Because surely that's the same right?
I just find that a totally ludicrous theory!
Does that mean that if my DP was to spoil his DC before we had our baby then I get to spoil my DS the way I could before I had baby? No of course not! If DP lost his job then does that mean he should still carry on spoiling the kids the way he used to, well after all why should they suffer? No...if there is less money to go round then yes it's crap but its just the way of life and its a valuable lesson in life which will do children no harm to learn...you can only spend money once. It doesn't matter what the reason is, new baby, new house, new car, no job...if the money isn't there they can't have hundreds of £££££ spent on them.
This is what is wrong with the youth of today, they're spoilt and everything is handed to them on a plate. We were so poor growing up but I honestly think I have turned out a better person for it. I know how to save, I appreciate nice things, I know the value of money, I look after my stuff etc. this next generation just want everything handed to them on a plate because parents don't want their poor darlings to have to save for their precious iPads!

Snazzyfeelingfestive Thu 13-Dec-12 23:37:53

No one, whether chronologically the 'first' or 'second' family, should have to raise their kids on what is 'left over' from the others. Budgeting should be done with all the kids in mind and considered fairly. It just doesn't sound like that is happening here.

PoppyPrincess Thu 13-Dec-12 23:47:18

kiwi omg so now you want OP to go out earning whilst she's on mat leave?! Now I've heard it all!
The point is that her DH should be taking financial responsibility and ensuring that they can cope financially, not going out spending ridiculous amounts of money on his dd's, probably in an attempt to over compensate for the fact that he has a new baby.
HE should be looking after money so that OP doesn't need to be worrying, she should be looking after her baby not going out at night to earn extra cash to fund his spending!
I do really feel for OP, I imagine for once in her life she probably just wants to be looked after, not having to scrimp and scrape whilst her DH obviously isn't worrying about money!

Redbindy Thu 13-Dec-12 23:53:16

This situation is a good example of why the bible forbids adultery.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 23:55:19

People have more than one marriage without committing adultery!

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 00:02:20

I don't think it is about one child being worth more than another, rather you should not have another child if you can't meet the needs of the existing children , whatever the family arrangement .

However when you have a situation where one parent has left the family home and set up home with another partner , extra care has to be taken to ensure the previous family are not left feeling abandoned or neglected .

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 00:04:20

Poppy if you don't spoil your children in the first place they will not have to adjust when another child comes along ,

My dc doesn't need iPads and mcd.

You don't know that he left the family home and set up home with someone else. They could have been divorced for years.

Me and exp had been separated for 7 years before either of us met someone else and had more children

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 00:17:39

My husband was divorced before he met me. That doesn't change the fact that he was married to someone else and had a child with her and then left. Ok it was a few years down the line before he married me but he still left a family and created another one.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 00:36:03

However when you have a situation where one parent has left the family home and set up home with another partner , extra care has to be taken to ensure the previous family are not left feeling abandoned or neglected

That shouldn't have to revolve around money.

Narked Fri 14-Dec-12 00:38:33

His DC by the first relationship have their father contributing to their upkeep 1) through what he pays to his ex and 2) through what he buys them from his own bank account. And they have their mother's contribution. And they stay in the home that's 50% paid for by the OP eating the food that's 50% paid for by the Op.

His DD by the second relationship gets what he pays into the joint account. Half of which comes from their mother. And he's taking money out of that to treat his other DC. And any extras are bought by her mother.

Kiwiinkits Fri 14-Dec-12 00:40:47

Poppy it's a case by case basis. I had two pretty easy going babies and managed consultancy contracts throughout both my mat leaves. Only a few hours per week but managed to bring in some extra income. Some babies sleep a lot and are pretty easy work.
Admittedly, this guy's taking the piss if he bought ipads for his DDs from family funds without discussing it with his wife. I'd go apeshit if my DH did that.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 00:57:08

Poppy it's a case by case basis. I had two pretty easy going babies and managed consultancy contracts throughout both my mat leaves. Only a few hours per week but managed to bring in some extra income. Some babies sleep a lot and are pretty easy work.

If you were in recept of smp or ma and did more than ten normal working days worth of work during the whole time you were on ml, then you committed fraud

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 01:04:55

Sockreturning no it is not all about money but that is certainly a factor. Whether it is ensuring they have a comfortable home to live in or paying for hobbies .

piprabbit Fri 14-Dec-12 01:07:42

So maybe the OPs DH should be looking for a second job to supplement his spending - rather than expecting the OP to fund his overspending by finding work while she is on maternity leave.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 01:18:28

A child with 2 active parents in there life,has 2 parents to take responsibility for basic maintaining of the child then luxury maintaining of the child in accordance with there income and other financial responsibilities.

A parent who has responsibility for more than one child should not be splurging on some but not the others. To do so would be a disservice to all the children involved.

Kytti Fri 14-Dec-12 01:34:52

I never understand couple who have separate accounts and not all joint. Aren't you married? Don't you share everything?

Yes they're his dds and not yours, but they deserve the odd treat too, just like your infant dd will too one day. You both need to make sure there's enough money for nappies and milk though. Are you sure things are that dire?

I think you're being a bit of a meanie. Are you sure you're not jealous of the care and attention he gives his dds?

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 01:34:58

Our stepson is lucky to have three adults in his life. I am sure to be honest he would rather have had just two , his biological mother and father .

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 01:36:14

I agree that a parent should not splurge on one and ignore the others, however he should ensure that he can support the first before having another .

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 02:16:00

This thread is the perfect example of why I try to never breathe a word on here about my beloved ss. (I accidentally referred to my son as DTS2 blush)

NotaDisneyMum is right, we can't win! I don't dare post anything about him (plus, I think his mother may be on here) but I lurk and take my advice from the step parenting board if I have a question... Not posting though.
Wording a step parenting question the wrong way will have you eaten alive on this forum. Or abused anyway because you dared to marry and have children with a man who was already a father.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 14-Dec-12 03:15:35

An iPad is not a 'reasonable present' for a 10yo when it means that her younger sister won't even have a Christmas tree, and is short on nappies and formula.

You can't dress that up as reasonable in any way, shape or form.

The stepchild thing doesn't matter here.

It would be like me buying an iPad for each of my older DC's and buying my 22 month old nothing.

Never going to happen.

Yes, ok, the toddler has had far less spent on him - but he still HAS presents!

If all three DC's were joint DC's, it wouldn't make this any less wrong.

The problem isn't the fact that they are stepchildren at all. The problem is the OP's DH being a Disney Dad to his eldest 2 DC's whilst being a shit dad to his youngest.

Put quite bluntly, that's what it boils down to.

Where is HIS contribution to his DD's Christmas? It's winging it's way to her older siblings, that's where. And that's just plain wrong.

Two iPads = about £800. If that was the OP's DH's total present budget, then it should have been split THREE ways, not two. Three DC's, that makes by my calculations, an equal split at around the £265 each mark. Maybe allow for the stepDC's being older, and spend £300 each on the older two, and £200 on the baby. Or £325 on each if the older two and £150 on the baby.

He has got THREE DC's now, and should be splitting his total present budget THREE ways now, not two. If that means he can't afford the 'grand gesture' presents of iPads for the older two, well then that's just the way life goes. He can still buy them stuff, just not an iPad.

My 14yo DD REALLY wants the new Samsung camera. If she was my only DC, then maybe she could have it. But she's not. I have 4 DC's. So she won't be getting it. I wouldn't buy that for her and leave my other 3 DC's with NO presents, that's not how having multiple DC's works!!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 14-Dec-12 03:25:34

I'm NOT a SM, btw. But if the OP and her DH have another DC, do you not think that it will affect how much the OP spends on their DD?!

You have a present budget of £800. If you have one DC, you will probable spend a maximum of £300 on them. You have two DC's, you would probably spend up to £300 on each of them. You have three DC's, you then have to start to spend LESS on EACH child, so that you aren't leaving one child with far less than the others. You have four DC's, you spend less on each again, down to £200 each maximum now.

If your present budget hasn't increased with each additional DC, then the only right and fair thing to do is to drop the amount spent in EACH child.

Surely that's just common sense?! Which obviously needs pointing out to the OP's DH.

She needs to point out that his present budget now needs to be split three ways, not two!

Even my ex, with Autism and LD's has copped on to that since we had a second DC together and split up...

He has only ever had a £300 budget. It used to all be spent on my DS2, his only child. Since we had my DS3, his second DC, he now spends £150 on each of them. Didn't think that was rocket science tbh...

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 14-Dec-12 03:42:00

Arisbottle - I am the RP, and while I think a father should ensure he can continue to pay reasonable maintenance if he chooses to have further DC's in a new relationship, NO WAY would I expect DS1's dad to continue to spend the sane amount on presents now he has FOUR DC's to buy for (DS1with me, his SDS from his partner, his DS2 and his DD with his partner) that he did when he just had our DS1!

That is insanio!

I don't still spend the same on DS1 now as I did before I had my DS2 and DS3 for presents either.

You can't change essential living expenses, therefore maintenance should not change when an NRP has further DC's in a new relationship IMO.

However, I would fully expect my Ex to spend less at Christmas on DS1 now that he has 3 younger DC's to buy for. It doesn't make a difference that DS1 was here first, or that he was older, why should his younger half siblings miss out and get nothing just so that he can have an Xbox or whatever?!

That is ridiculous. My DS1 would not expect that or even think that. He would WANT his younger half siblings to have a tree and some presents MORE than he wants the Xbox. And he REALLY wants an Xbox!

I can't understand the mentality of an RP who would like to see their DC's younger half siblings go without presents at Christmas just so that THEIR DC doesn't have to get slightly less. I actually can't wrap my head around THAT kind of bitterness.

As long as they can still pay the prior amount of maintenance, that is for essential LIVING expenses, any other drop in treats and presents is to be expected, surely, and would be no different if you were still in a relationship with that DC's NRP and chose to have another DC.

God, this thread really has me riled.

I would far rather my Exes have my DC's their TIME than any grand gesture presents. It's not an iPad that my DC's will remember in 30 years time - it's whether they remembered this trip to the woods where they watched a squirrel, or they got a hug from their dad...

An iPad is far less important than their time.

Why is he buggering off out to New Look and McD's with just the older two anyway? Can't he take the baby along too, and go to the park instead, and give you a break? Then all 3 siblings get to spend time together. Which wouldn't cost anything either.

He really needs to learn to budget for the fact that he now has THREE DC's.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 14-Dec-12 03:52:42

And talking about the earlier poster who said DC's don't want to save for their previous iPads - you're wrong. Not ALL DC's are like that.

My DS1 desperately wants a 3ds. He has wanted one since they came out. For the last two Birthdays, and last Christmas, he asked for money and has been saving it up. He is now just £30 away from getting it, and is jumping with excitement that he might have enough after Christmas to buy it. It's taken him two years of getting practically no presents to save up for it, but save he has. He's been saving since his eighth birthday. He is ten and a half now!

Not ALL DC's lack the understanding that having an extra DC, whether it is their mum and dad together, or their mum and a new partner, or their dad and a new partner, is going to mean that they have less spent on them.

Arisbottle Fri 14-Dec-12 07:16:04

We have four children in addition to our stepson , we hope to have more . We have never reduced what we pay to our stepson because we have chosen to have more children. We did decrease the amount of support when his mother went back to work and that enabled me to have a child, however in real terms there was no decrease as we paid off her mortgage.

riverboat Fri 14-Dec-12 07:17:39

OP chose to create her family in this way. She knew she was getting involved with a man who has financial commitments and two little girls who he was likely to want to spend money on. She doesn't get to come along and uproot that, she gets to come along and fit into it

IMO its not a case of either 'fitting in' or 'uprooting'. There is a massive negotiable space in between the two. OP is a person too and her DP has also chosen HER to be part of his family, rather than staying a single dad. Of course she shouldn't have to live her life (financial or otherwise) going along with whatever her DP and his children want no matter what.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 07:32:04

The terms being used joint finances, financial unit, shared finances strike terror into me.

I was a financial unit with my ex for 12 years - there was no his and mine, it was ours.

He spent our money on gambling and porn - when I found out, we were weeks away from defaulting on the mortgage.

Funnily enough, the idea of joint finances is not one I'm entirely comfortable with now.

As it happens, my DP and I have both financially supported each other over the last two years as we have both been without any income at different times.
If my DP had ever given me the impression that he expected me to support the financial indulgence of his DCs, I'd be gone.
It's a state of mind - if a couple view each others money as their own, there is always the risk that a fundamental difference in values will bring things crashing down.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 07:55:33

This is an excellent post and pretty much sums up how I feel about this whole thing.

I don't think it is about one child being worth more than another, rather you should not have another child if you can't meet the needs of the existing children , whatever the family arrangement

However when you have a situation where one parent has left the family home and set up home with another partner , extra care has to be taken to ensure the previous family are not left feeling abandoned or neglected.

And Sock, no it shouldn't have to revolve around money, you are right. But sometimes, it does have to revolve around money if a Father wants to spend some time alone with his oldest children, which is almost certainly what the children will want sometimes. The DH can't kick his wife and small child out of their home while he has some alone time with his DC, so where is he supposed to take them in this weather? If he wants to spend time with them without an attention demanding baby around, then he is likely to need to take them somewhere that requires money to be spent. The way I see it, this is an essential expense, it's not a treat.

And why is everyone still ignoring the fact that there is 'buffer' money in this account, and that it's OP who wants it there? Why is it being assumed that the DH is contributing nothing to his third child's Christmas when it's highly unlikely that that is the case?

We don't even know for certain that the DH paid the full cost of the iPads. He may have gone halves with his ex, it would still be a considerable expense if he only paid half.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 07:58:01

Arisbottle, you sound like a lovely step Mum that I would welcome with open arms into the lives of my children. Thankfully, the mother of my children's half sibling is very similar.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 08:29:56

outraged Your DCs stepmum, you mean?
What a convoluted way of referring to her - an easy, understandable label is available smile

Because we've read the ops posts and she's said that she has bought their dds presents as he was short after buying the iPads.

She has also said that buying the mcd out of the joint account wouldn't usually be a problem but as she is on mat leave and due to the cost of the iPads they don't have the money at the moment.

waltermittymistletoe Fri 14-Dec-12 09:06:14

I'm saddened by what I'm reading here. She should get less because she came second?

So she has to be financially punished because her dad had a previous relationship?

That is insane! It's not fair whether you think babies should get less presents or not!

We budget for presents for my bio children and my sd. Imagine I decided to spend £100 each on my children because I want to treat them but £10 on sd because I ran out of money on the other fancy presents?

You'd all be up in arms. But it's ok because this child chose to be fathered by a man who has children. Oh wait. She didn't chose did she?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 09:20:00

In a way she is my dcs step mum, but we didn't start referring to my DH as step Dad until after we were married. My ex and his girlfriend are not married, and my children don't stay with her when they have overnight visits with their Dad. He takes them to his Mums because my dc don't get on brilliantly with the step mums other dc from her previous relationship. They have some time all together and they go on holidays all together, but my children would be very upset if every weekend they had with their Dad they were also forced to spend time with children, one of whom is very difficult and they have fair reason not to like.

Either way, she's lovely, and she and I get on well.

So she has to be financially punished because her dad had a previous relationship?

This is ridiculous, and not what I have said. But you could just as easily turn it around and say that the oldest children are bing financially punished because their Dad decided to have a new relationship.

Why should the oldest children miss out on something that both of their two parents want to buy for them because the new wife isn't happy about it?

Moomin, so the OP has bought presents out of her own money for her own child that the DH hasn't contributed to? So what? That doesn't translate into 'DH has bought nothing for the baby and OP has bought everything'. It means that OP has bought stuff that wasn't needed but that she wanted to out of her own money. I can't see a problem. The step children's Mother has probably done exactly the same and bought presents for her own children that their Father hasn't contributed to as well. And that's ok.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 09:28:50

outraged Do you and your DCs live together in another home, away from your DH, rather than live together as a family?
Do you have one home with your DCs and another with your DH?

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 09:30:55

And outraged wasn't your older DC financially punished when you had your younger, or did your household income increase every time you had another child?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 09:31:06

No, obviously not. My DH and I chose to get married. My ex and his girlfriend have not made that commitment to each other, nor do either of them want to. My ex's commitment to his girlfriend is no different to the commitment he has to me, except they choose to have a personal relationship on top of that.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 09:32:11

Ah, marriage. That one in a lifetime, til death us do part commitment.

Makes a difference to the stability of a relationship, does it?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 09:33:07

No, my second dc wasn't financially punished, my ex and I could afford to give them a reasonable standard of living before we chose to have them. But then he wasn't emotionally punished either, and didn't have to feel like his Daddy was starting a new family away from him.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 09:34:16

It makes a difference to me, I'm only talking about my own situation in answer to your questions.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 09:34:36

Actually - can you convince the CSA of your POV?
Then MY benefit income wouldn't affect the amount DP has to pay for his DCs - after all, I'm not significant in his life, am I !

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 09:35:38

The CSA is a joke in many ways unfortunately.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 09:39:03

Outraged, how come you say this:
But then he wasn't emotionally punished either, and didn't have to feel like his Daddy was starting a new family away from him.

In the same breath of mentioning you went on to have another child? Why is it different? confused

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 09:41:05

Both of my children have the same Father. My DH and I have chosen not to have a child of our own because we feel it would be detrimental to the dc we have.

I said that because I think 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.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 09:48:42

The op has said she got her dd's present, given the detail she has already gone into it would be unlikely she wouldn't mention if dh had also got presents for dd.

The op has also indicated by saying dh brought them iPads that it was dh who did not dh and his ex if that was the case she would have said dh went halves with ex on iPads,

The older children are not missing out,if its raining and you want to get away from other household members you do not need to go on a £55 trip that has to cost the person you are getting away from half, you could just as easily
Go for a hot chocolate or coffee after lunch.

The buffer that you are very keen to keep bringing up is obviously something they have agreed to, having both paid equally towards most people use buffers for emergencies going to new look and McDonald's is not an emergency.

Bonsoir Fri 14-Dec-12 09:50:37

"I said that because I think 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."

That's a strange opinion.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 09:56:54

Apologies I misunderstood! blush

Well deep, scared breath... We always planned to have one child. We could quite comfortably afford more, but we agreed it wouldn't be fair on DSS with the new contact arrangements he was going to need to adjust too, plus we never wanted him to feel like we were a nuclear family and he was the offcut.

Long story short, he was with us 100% of the time for his first two years while his mum was getting her life back together and went to rehab.

Now she's back, we discussed contact and I told DH as much as it killed me as DSS calls me mummy, he deserved a chance at a relationship with his mother. DH can't forgive her and wanted to fight for sole custody but when she's clean, she's alright and she is a good mum to DSS. Anyway, we agreed one child so DSS could have a sibling and I fell pregnant with twins! So that took us from 'quite comfortable' to just 'comfortable.' Obviously not intentional though, we never wanted two more children, just one.

DSS now spends 70% with us and the hope is to eventually get 50/50 amicably.

I treat him no different than DTS and this has been really hard on me, but at the end of the day I'm not his mother... She is. I don't have a right to take that away as much as I selfishly want to!!

Sorry for the speech, I just needed a vent and I figure MN hates stepmums anyway so I might as well let rip! grin

At the ages of DSS and DTS they essentially get the same spent on them, maybe a little more on DSS.

I think OP's DH is trying to be a Disney Dad which seriously needs to be addressed, but it concerns me he used their joint account for treats for the kids without even saying anything. I know it's not technically lying, but if DH ever took out large sums and spend it on things the money wasn't meant for, the lack of honesty would piss me off the most.

Outraged- it could be said that you having a second child could be detrimental to your first child. Or should all parents never have any more children even if they can afford them?

But if you see a couple of preteens not having a McDonalds and an I pad as being detrimental then you should stop being so materialistic. Money doesn't bring love.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:02:19

outraged When you had your DCs, with your exDH, did you plan to divorce their Dad and live separately from him?
Did you plan to suffer the financial consequences of making your joint household income stretch to cover the cost two households?
Was it really possible to separate, & divorce without it impacting on your DCs at all - either emotionally or financially?

Has your new relationship and marriage had any impact on your DCs lives? Or are they totally unaffected? They have the same amount if your time, emotional and financial commitment from you that they had when their parents were together?

Or have YOUR choices affected your DCs lives as well?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:03:14

Bonsoir, I think it's strange that anyone would assume the oldest children are always going to be happy about it and never upset because of a new half sibling coming along.

Perhaps the DH is being a bit of a Disney Dad, but I don't understand why that is always seen as such a terrible thing. It's just a Dad who doesn't get to live with his children trying to spend quality, enjoyable time with his children when he does get to be with them, and perhaps spending a bit more money that he would otherwise.

My ex does the Disney dad thing sometimes. He also does all the important things that are fundamental to good parenting. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:04:55

This has just got ridiculous now, I'm astounded by some of the opinions on here, the one that really got me was...
You should not have another child if you can't meet the needs of the existing children
Yes I do agree with this to a certain extent but come on let's gain a little perspective here, he pays maintenance, he clearly takes care of their needs but I do not think that a 10yo needs an iPad!
I would love an iPad but I can't have one because I can't afford it. Kids need to learn that they can't always have everything they want, that's just life.
DP used to spend about quadruple on his kids than I did on my DS but now that we live together I don't think it would be fair if his kids got so much more than my DS so what do we do? Do I have to spend money that I can't afford on DS so he gets the same as his step siblings? DP can't afford to spend as much on his kids as he used to but should he get in to debt because his kids shouldn't go without now that their Dad's circumstances have changed? Maybe he should have stayed living with his mum for ever to ensure he could afford lavish gifts forever? No it's just ridiculous, jointly as a family we can afford X amount on the kids and it will be split fairly, they will have a lovely Christmas and love their presents.

I think everybody should remember one thing... CHILDREN NEED YOUR PRESENCE NOT YOUR PRESENTS!

Bonsoir Fri 14-Dec-12 10:07:41

If siblings have a good relationship with one another and with their parent, IME there is no problem about have new half-siblings. Problems arise when parent-child or sibling-sibling relationships have a history of dysfunction.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:08:30

Disney dad is bad because other than the fact they're avoiding parenting, the kid has no special memories of a Disney dad. I had one. All he ever did was give me ridiculous presents and if he couldn't see me, send money. It made me act up to get his attention and severly damaged my self esteem. I saw him every other weekend Fri-Sun and I was always spoiled.

As an adult? That makes me feel cheap. I meant so little to my father that he's rather throw money at me than to have been my dad.

Mum's a hardass but she's the one I have all the happy memories with.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:08:58

But if you see a couple of preteens not having a McDonalds and an I pad as being detrimental then you should stop being so materialistic. Money doesn't bring love.

My words are being ridiculously twisted there. Being able to time alone with your Father when you have just had a new half sibling is something I see as detrimental. When you are ten, and you have based your expectations of your parents on the way they have treated you and spent money on you for your entire life, then you get told that all this is going to change because Daddy's new wife has had a baby and she says so, is actually quite detrimental.

Of course my choices have affected my dcs lives. My choices and those of their Father are supposed to affect our dcs lives. Our new partners choices should really not have any significant effect on out children's lives at all. That's the way we run our extended family, and it happens to work exceptionally well.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:11:45

And if I was the DSD's mum I don't think I'd be over joyed about them getting iPads off dad, now she's going to feel under pressure to get them something just as impressive.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 10:13:07

Fwiw I'm pretty sure I don't hate step mums i just think the ones who constantly say unpleasant things about the actual parent and are overly outwardly negative about them and try to play a huge role in the lives of the children usually after about a week of seeing the parent they are involved with are a bit unpleasant.

You didn't do that as far as I could tell.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:13:15

AgentKat, I don't think it always means that. Like I said, my ex does more exciting things with the dc than I do on many of his weekends, but he does the important stuff too. He is every bit their parent, just as much as I am.

I had a Disney Dad too, and while I can see why my Mum hated it at the time, I can now understand that my Dad loved me very much and showed it in the best way he knew how. So, he wasn't perfect, but then I'm not the perfect parent either. He loved me and provided for me - that's pretty much all that children need or want.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 14-Dec-12 10:15:42

Outraged, you might think it would be detrimental to your children, that's your viewpoint and opinion on the situation.

But it doesn't apply to ALL families, and a lot of the time when mum or dad goes on to have more children it doesn't mean the lives of their existing children are ruined. My OH's ex is about to have another baby, and we have 1 boy together with another due in March. We're all sooo bad.

Bonsoir Fri 14-Dec-12 10:18:15

My DSSs (15 and 17) quite frequently tell us that if DP, DD and I weren't there, they'd have f*ed up big time by now. Our family (and that includes DD) provides the structure, stability and ambition for their futures that is totally absent from their mother's home.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:18:17

outraged but it was their father's choice to marry and have a new baby. The implications with that choice include his wife being on maternity leave, having another mouth to feed and therefore the family has less money.
Or do you propose that when a woman has a baby then it should only be her who feels the affects of the reduced wage? She should go without things whilst her husband carries on living and spending as he always has?

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:19:53

Sorry Sock, I shouldn't have tarred everyone with the same brush. I've just seen a lot of it on the forum and since our situation is quite... Delicate (one night stand culminating in DSS, DH wanted to be in DSS's life. Ex had a serious drug problem, we started dating when she was 7 months along, things got ugly... Not going into further detail in case I out myself)

So I've always had that feeling that he was 'my son.' But no matter how I feel, he isn't. She's a nice woman, been clean for awhile and she deserves a relationship with her son. Just wish she'd pay all the therapy bills I've been taking since I 'lost' him sad

Hmm Outraged, fair enough. May I ask, in the pursuit of knowing whether out perceptions are just different or your dad was a better one than mine, how did he 'Disney Dazzle' you most often? Toys? Trips? Cinemas?

I think that adds in as well.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:20:53

When you are ten, and you have based your expectations of your parents on the way they have treated you and spent money on you for your entire life, then you get told that all this is going to change because Daddy's new wife has had a baby and she says so, is actually quite detrimental.

What if it changes because Daddy loses his job, or Mummy gets ill? Is that detrimental, too?
Or, do effective parents explain it to their Dc's in a way that is age appropriate, allow them to be angry and resentful and then support them to live with the reality of their life?

It's easy to teach a DC how to be a victim. It's teaching them to be resilient and adapt to whatever life throws at them that is much harder, and a lot of parents don't seem to bother.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:22:23

I know that too, honestly!

I adore my children's little sister, she is lovely, and of course her arrival hasn't ruined the lives of my children. Her arrival hasn't been detrimental because my ex has been very careful to not allow that to happen, either financially or emotionally. However, it could very easily have been detrimental if his girlfriend had thought the way that some people on this thread seem to think.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:24:06

What if it changes because Daddy loses his job, or Mummy gets ill? Is that detrimental, too?

These things are unfortunate consequences of life, not things that parents knowingly choose to inflict on their already possibly emotionally vulnerable children.

It couldn't be more different, so you cannot use those things as a comparison.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:25:54

bonsoir I totally agree with you.
I loved going to my Dad's as a kid for that reason, it was like a proper family which I didn't really have at my mum's, it was just me and her.

My DSC (especially DSD) love it at our house for the same reason, it's not about whether they get spoilt, it's about having a stable loving home, we have lots of fun together and quality time as a family which from what I can gather is something they lack at home with mum (sorry that's not me slating her).
I'm sure they love their new extended family more than the expensive gifts they used to get before we came along.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:27:09

On the money issue, does anyone else feel like if he dipped his hand in the savings pot for huge frivolous purchases (irrelevant of what they were for or whom for) that's quite a betrayal?

Just on that I'd say OP YANBU.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:27:22

Hmm Outraged, fair enough. May I ask, in the pursuit of knowing whether out perceptions are just different or your dad was a better one than mine, how did he 'Disney Dazzle' you most often? Toys? Trips? Cinemas?

Toys and trips mostly. But I should add that my Dad passed away when I was a teenager, so I may have a rose tinted view as our relationship never got the chance to be a Father and adult daughter one.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:28:59

inflict??!! so DP inflicted a sister on his kids did he? He inflicted having a loving family home on them? He inflicted all the fun we have on them? My DSC love their sister and love their new family, I really don't think they consider it as an infliction.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:29:20

Her arrival hasn't been detrimental because my ex has been very careful to not allow that to happen, either financially or emotionally. However, it could very easily have been detrimental if his girlfriend had thought the way that some people on this thread seem to think.

Of course it is detrimental!

Your DC's Dad spends regular overnight time away from the family home, your DC's are unable to share a normal family life with their baby sister, and they are growing up experiencing a model of family life that puts significant additional pressure on their Dads relationship at a time when many relationships fail even when everything is ideal.

You may believe that your DC's are living the ideal - but from the outside, it looks to me like all the adults are putting their own needs ahead of the DC's.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:31:55

My DSC (especially DSD) love it at our house for the same reason, it's not about whether they get spoilt, it's about having a stable loving home, we have lots of fun together and quality time as a family

Same Poppy! DSS adores his brother and sister. The other day he sternly told the dog she had to give DTS as many lickies as DTD 'to be fair.' grin He loves telling everyone and anyone 'to be fair' since the twins came along and he is learning about sharing and turns.

He's started criticizing DH if he pours himself a bigger lager drink than I! Cheeky little mite, loves his rules.

P.S. Was a totally safe scenario. Toothless old Chihuahua mix.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:32:18

What if it changes because Daddy loses his job, or Mummy gets ill? Is that detrimental, too?

These things are unfortunate consequences of life, not things that parents knowingly choose to inflict on their already possibly emotionally vulnerable children.

Is divorce an unfortunate consequence of life - or is is a choice that parents knowingly choose to inflict?
Why didn't you and your ex stay together for the sake of the DC's if you are so determined to protect them from any negative impact of your actions?

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:36:17

I'm so sorry Outraged. sad I don't know what to say. sad

My father was big on trips to the zoo, aquarium, carnivals etc with many toys and souvenirs from each event. First I was a spoiled brat and I'm ashamed of how I treated my mother, then the novelty wore off as I noticed all these outings or giving me a toy or something to go distract myself with meant I was away from him.

In the 8 years I have known my Step son his mother has had at least 8 new partners, at my house we have 2children, but we have stability, we still give him as much as we did (within reason!) and he still has quality father-son time. My role as a step mother and mother is to give a chance to the DC's to have equal time with their father as well as me.

I didn't have a Disney dad growing up, my dad took me to walk round a market each Saturday then clock watched until my mum came home from work. I know that situation is shit.

I'm glad my dc don't think the amount of money spent on them is as important as the relationship they have with their dad and their half brothers.

Having expensive gifts and trips to mcd really doesn't matter to them.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:40:32

Nota I can assure you, our situation is not detrimental to any of the children involved in it.

My DCs Dad didn't live with them in the first place. He had another child to a woman who already has 2 children, before they were at the stage of even living together. She was a beautiful surprise.

I will admit they don't share a 'normal' family life, but then what is normal. Does any child in a step family live a 'normal' family life. I suppose that depends on what you consider to be normal. Personally, I wouldn't use that word, but if I did then I would consider a normal family to be one where two co habiting parents are biological parents to all of their children.

They do all have a happy life though, all the children are well adjusted, well cared for, and are considered special and important by all of the adults involved in this family.

I will also admit that this situation may cause additional pressure on my ex's relationship, it took his girlfriend a long time to come to terms with the fact that we fully co parent and are friends. But I would argue that it's not me and my children that have put pressure on their relationship, it's them having another child that has caused any pressure because her expectations of my ex changed after they had their child together.

I can assure you, the adults here are very much not putting their needs ahead of the children's. I can't even see what makes you think that. The fact that all of us have always put the children first is what enables us to have a happy extended family. We all get on well.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:41:41

notadisneymum & outraged sorry have I missed something? Why is dad spending time away from the family home and DC missing out on a normal family life with half sister?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 10:41:52

If a child lives in a house with both parents what tends to happen is Christmas presents are obtained and given jointly to the dc's it would be unusual unless the household is very well off for one parent to get a £300 ish gift for the dc and for the other parent to do the same,

When parents split up the dc's tend to end up with 2 households gifting significant or main type gifts each where as before it would have just been one.

It's pretty unfair to any children of both households who have both there parents under the same roof who don't have 2 different households doing this but they have to watch the outcome of it.

Or the ones who don't get trips out ect due to cost but then have to sit by and watch whilst the other children of the same parent do,or only get to do fun stuff whilst the other children are there.

I have a friend who is a step mum she is also the only earner in the household her dc's (with dh) never get to do anything fun like trips or the cinema or treats,holidays ect without the none resident dh's dc's also coming because dh is a Disney dad who over compensates. Every treat is let's wait till this day when we are all here. as a result they feel like its all about the other kids and they aren't worth as much to the family as the other kids are they also know that the other kids get treated in the other household all the time ( not a issue but relevant) as a result of this her dh is shortly about to become her ex dh.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:44:12

Oh no! AgentKat don't worry, it's fine! smile I didn't mean to make you feel bad! I was also a spoiled brat as a child, but I always knew I was loved by both sides of my family, even if the way that my Dad showed it was endless trips to Hamleys!

My parents split when I was still little, so I grew up not really knowing any different.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:46:20

I would argue that it's not me and my children that have put pressure on their relationship, it's them having another child that has caused any pressure

I would suggest it is not just another child, but your ex's choice to leave the family home on a regular basis in order to pander to accommodate the desires of your shared DC's that has created pressure.

Presumably, if/when your ex and his DP get married, then you will insist to your DC's that they stay overnight at the family home with their stepmum and step siblings - just like you have insisted they live with your DH as a family?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:47:06

Poppy I said somewhere earlier that my ex doesn't always stay overnight in the home where his youngest child lives, he stays with his family often because my dc have their own bedroom at his Mums house. They do spend time together though.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:49:02

poppy If you read back, outraged's ex regularly leaves his family home with his DD and DSC to spend overnights with his DC's from his marriage with outraged. Their DC's won't join the family because they don't like their Dads DSC - and outraged supports this because her ex and his DP aren't married.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 10:51:45

Perhaps her expectations changed because she expect her children's dad to also co parent there child fully in the same way he does with his other child

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:52:30

Yeah, mine split when I was young too. Going back to your post about the word 'normal...' I think I would have found it downright weird if my father lived with us! grin

Serious question: With regards to your e's girlfriend, are you sure her expectations of your ex didn't just naturally change like most women do with motherhood, or do you know it was a step related change?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:52:47

Then you are mistaken Nota

When my children's half sibling was conceived, my ex and his girlfriend didn't live together. They didn't have a family home for him to leave.

He does not pander to our children, he accommodates them in his life, obviously. That's what parents are supposed to do! He didn't want his relationship with his children to change because of an unplanned pregnancy. That's one of the things that makes him an excellent Father. He is an excellent Father to his youngest child too.

Why would I insist on anything that my ex chooses to do with his own children during his time with them? hmm He is their Dad, and can be trusted to make his own decisions on where to stay with his own children.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:54:38

Yes, I do expect that my ex's GFs expectations changed when he became a Father to a child of hers, of course.

That doesn't mean his relationship or commitment to his previous children should change though.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:54:50

When my children's half sibling was conceived, my ex and his girlfriend didn't live together.

Do they live together as a family now?

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 10:54:50

sock it's a little like that in our house too but it's not DP who suggests waiting till his kids are there, it's usually me. I would feel guilty splashing out on a day at the zoo without DSC there, especially since they don't do things like that with their mum. And you can guarantee that my DS would tell them and they would get upset but I've never really seen it from the viewpoint of my DS, he is only 3 though so I'm not sure he would have thought about it yet.
DP's ex has stopped contact at the mo but we're still not going for days out as I know DP would just be sad that his kids aren't there. We've not even been to a park together since the contact was stopped 2 months ago, it's silly really because DS is missing out and we're all missing out on family time because part of the family is missing. I'd not even thought about it until I've just read it though.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 10:55:25

Wait what? Why does marriage matter? confused When/if they do marry, isn't it going to be a much more jolting change because they won't be used to their new stepmum? confused

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:57:27

Why would I insist on anything that my ex chooses to do with his own children during his time with them?

Let me re-phrase - will you actively encourage your DC's to live with their Dad, step-mum and step-siblings when/if their Dad remarries?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 10:57:29

Do they live together as a family now?

Kind of, but I don't think they would if their joint child didn't exist.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:00:19

I already actively encourage my children to have a good relationship with their Dad, step mum, step siblings and half sibling.

That doesn't have to only happen if they all sleep under the same roof on a regular basis.

They are already used to my ex's GF, they know her well and like her a lot. As do I. They don't get on very well with one of her older children, which is why we have found that all the relationships actually work better if the children aren't all forced into spending too much time together.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 11:01:19

That doesn't mean his relationship or commitment to his previous children should change though

But every parents relationship with their child changes over time - surely?

I don't have the same relationship with my DD now she is 12 as I did when she was 8 years old - but my responsibility and commitment for her hasn't changed.
Why should your ex's relationship and practical arrangements with his DC's remain identical forever?

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 11:03:46

I already actively encourage my children to have a good relationship with their Dad, step mum, step siblings and half sibling

Well avoided.

So, it's OK for you to force your DC's to live your your DH as a part of your family, but not for them to be expected to live together with their Dad and his family?
How long before you think they'll notice your double standards?

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 11:04:47

Do they live together as a family now?

Kind of

By that you mean that your ex regularly leaves the family home to spend the night with your DC's at his Mums?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:07:06

Every parents relationship with their child changes over time, yes, but that is usually a natural thing that just happens as the children grow older. No one forces it, or makes active decisions to encourage it, it just happens.

Why should my ex's relationship and practical arrangements with his children remain identical forever?

I don't suppose they will remain identical forever. I doubt they will still want to stay at their Grans house with him every other weekend when they are in their twenties. But at the moment, they are still children, and this is the way my children's Dad wants it. It's not harming anyone, we are all happy. It's not a problem. Why do you seem so determined to project a different situation on to ours and insist we are doing something wrong? We aren't.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 11:07:34

"And Sock, no it shouldn't have to revolve around money, you are right. But sometimes, it does have to revolve around money if a Father wants to spend some time alone with his oldest children, which is almost certainly what the children will want sometimes. The DH can't kick his wife and small child out of their home while he has some alone time with his DC, so where is he supposed to take them in this weather? If he wants to spend time with them without an attention demanding baby around, then he is likely to need to take them somewhere that requires money to be spent. The way I see it, this is an essential expense, it's not a treat"

Only on a thread about step-children could a trip to MacDonalds be seen as essential expenditure. hahahahahahahahaha

Do you take your eldest child out for these "essential purchases" so you and she can spend time alone away from her younger sister?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:09:04

By that you mean that your ex regularly leaves the family home to spend the night with your DC's at his Mums?

Sometimes. It allows his GF to have time alone with her older children too when he takes his youngest, which he usually does. They have all spent time together at some point over the weekend too, so it's not a problem.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:11:23

So, it's OK for you to force your DC's to live your your DH as a part of your family, but not for them to be expected to live together with their Dad and his family?
How long before you think they'll notice your double standards?

You are just being rude now. It's not double standards at all. It's different relationships and different situations.

And I wouldn't have forced my children to live with my DH if he hadn't proved himself to be a wonderful husband and an excellent step dad who both my children like a lot.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 11:12:48

Me and DP didn't live together when I got pregnant and his DC also have a bedroom at his Mum's and their are probably times when they would like to spend the night at his Mum's because they are spoilt rotten there and get their dad's attention all to themselves.
But DP's home is here with us now, this is his family and his children are a part of it.
When baby was first newborn and she was suffering from colic and therefore screaming most of the night EVERY night there ware a couple of occasions when DP took the kids (his 2 and my DS) to his Mum's for a sleepover so they weren't kept awake but this was our choice, not because the kids didn't want to stay here.
His ex wasn't happy that the kids stayed at his Mum's because she wanted them to be included in our family as much as possible but then understood when we explained about the colic.
I wouldn't be at all happy if DP dropped us to go running off to his Mum's with his DC every weekend. This is his home, this is where his 3rd child is and we should all be together.
That poor woman is there on her own with a baby and 2 other children, whilst her DP is at his Mum's with just 2 of his children, probably getting waited on hand a foot by his mum...no wonder its putting a strain on their relationship. That really mustn't be easy for her.

Me and DS have got our own bedrooms at my Mum's, does that mean I can just start leaving DP with our baby so I can go for a night off at my Mum's?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 11:16:34

All of my children's none residential siblings are adults and I am solely funding everything for my dc's so its not really something that effects our life anymore

I do have step children still because there dad and I have not divorced but he is not allowed to come within a certain distance of me or my children. Some of these step children are adults some are not. The ones who are not have regular visits with me accompanied by there mother and I still spoil them lots at Christmas.

I am also providing financial support to the child of my late husband and will until she is in a position to be self funding just as her dad would have done should he still be alive.

My ex bf who is the father of my youngest child ( very short term none committed relationship baby a very happy surprise) has another child. Dad who started life as a good friend of mine was going through a tough time so as a friend I started paying his child's maintainance for him almost 2 years ago. Him and I are no longer friends and parted company before the baby was born .I have only recently been bothered enough inform him and his ex that I will cease to be paying in February ( I figured that gave them enough notice to sort it out) without messing up her Christmas budgeting. I have also funded her Christmas and birthday gifts by providing dad with £100 on each occasion since I started paying for her.

This obviously indicates I do not believe that step children should go without needs and reasonable wants.

Nothing will ever change the fact that this is my choice and always has been.by doing so I am being generous it is certainly not my obligation to do so

And it's not unpleasant nor depriving of any step parent who chooses not to.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:17:08

Outraged, am I understanding correctky? Do your DC not stay at your EX and his DPs house when they visit, but your ex-MIL? If I've got it correct... Well, why?

DH and his ex didn't even have a relationship...Just too much booze and a defective condom. It's strange, I actually got to know her only at a slightly slower speed than DH did.

When she came back from rehab, I insisted she have access (started supervised by MIL, went from there etc.) I was pregnant at the time so I knew as badly as I wanted too...I couldn't claim him as my own. Still going through therapy but the way I see it is he has three adults who would die for him and a brother and sister who worship him like a demi God.

I'd say if you took DH, Ex and my feelings out of it, DSS is a very lucky little boy!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:17:23

Right, so my children should have to stop spending time at Granny's house, with their much loved cousins nearby, which they have always loved, because of an unplanned pregnancy?

Err, no. Sorry.

This is exactly the sort of thing where my ex has put his children's wants ahead of his girlfriends possible wants, and I think he should be applauded for that.

I think he sounds like an idiot who needs to grow up tbh

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:20:20

Outraged, am I understanding correctky? Do your DC not stay at your EX and his DPs house when they visit, but your ex-MIL? If I've got it correct... Well, why?

Sometimes they stay at my ex's DPs house (and it is her house, not his), but more often they stay at my lovely ex MILs. Why? Because they all want to.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 11:20:40

This is exactly the sort of thing where my ex has put his children's wants ahead of his girlfriends possible wants

I disagree - he has put the wants of his DC's with you ahead of his baby DD's need to have a stable home/family life.

But your are right - every situation is different. Why is it that because YOUR ex has decided that this is best for your DC's, that everyone should do the same thing? Isn't is possible that in MY situation, my DSC would benefit from exactly the situation you say would be detrimental to your DC's?

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 11:21:37

more often they stay at my lovely ex MILs. Why? Because they all want to.

Fine - but why does your ex have to stay with them?

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:23:13

Fair enough, everyone makes different choices for their family.

May I ask how your kids bond with their step and half siblings if they don't stay at your ex's home with his DP? What makes them want to be at granny's? Is it the new baby, step siblings?

(No judgement I swear...Parenting is hard enough, blended families are just confusing!!)

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:23:31

Yes, perhaps he should grow up. hmm

Obviously a man who provides well financially and emotionally for all three of his biological children, maintains an excellent relationship with his co parent, gets on well with his children's step Dad, and is also a good step Dad to two children that are not his, is a complete idiot who needs to grow up.

Only on MN....

So when your ex goes home to play happy families with his new partner and baby how will your child think of them? IMO it sounds as if you're deliberately causing a divide. Your child can still see extended family when staying at the fathers home.

I say that as the result of a fucked up family like you're showing, it will mess with your child as he grows.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 11:24:33

I'm not convinced that doing what children want (as opposed to need or what's best) makes someone a good parent

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:26:26

Fine - but why does your ex have to stay with them?

Because that's his time with his children! He stays with his GF nearly every other night of the week, surely one or two nights away every fortnight to be with his own children isn't that bad?!

Sorry, but if it is that bad for his GF (which it isn't, she likes being able to do do older children stuff without the little one) then she should have thought twice when having a baby to a man that has already been very clear about his commitments to his children and his co parent.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:27:09

Exactly allnewtaketwo. A good parent spends their life consumed with the guilt of the never ending question.... 'What if?' grin

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 11:28:07

outraged you sound like the ex from hell! I think the chances are his gf probably has a voodoo doll of you at home!
It doesn't matter whether a pregnancy is planned or not, that baby is still his!
Most people probably think that our baby was unplanned but she wasn't and even if she was then it doesn't make an ounce of difference to her importance!

Well he doesn't sound like it, he kind of lives with his gf and new baby but you don't think he would if it wasn't for the baby.

Your dc don't get on with her dc so he buggers off to his mums whenever he wants instead of dealing with the situation.

Doesn't sound like a stable happy situation to me.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 11:32:23

Outraged do they get to have a relationship with there half sibling? Does your ex also take his newer child sometimes?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:33:50

May I ask how your kids bond with their step and half siblings if they don't stay at your ex's home with his DP? What makes them want to be at granny's? Is it the new baby, step siblings?

They are not as close to the youngest sibling as the other two older ones are, but the other two live with her and my children don't. They have time all together, and they have time just them, their dad and their half sibling.

They are very good friends with one of the GFs children, my oldest one especially is as they are the same age. They struggle to get along with the other older child, just because he happens to be quite difficult, and he has been very mean to my youngest in the past. But with support from all of us, the problems are minimal, and they all understand that they are part of a family.

They tend to like to be at Granny's because there is a bedroom for them there, they don't have to sleep on the floor, and there is a big park right outside the house where they play with their similar aged cousins, who they have always been very close to, who all live nearby. That's all.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 11:34:42

I think that moomins comment was to the op not you outraged

No it was to outraged not the op

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 11:37:39

Sorry outraged I didn't realise you had explained that already.

I agree that its normal for children to have stronger bonds with other children they live with than ones they don't.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:37:55

Trying not to judge Outraged but I don't understand why your partner gets to be around when you have DC, but your ex must leave his DP, baby and her child?

I mean...Why? How are they supposed to bond, form their own family unit built on mutual respect. How can that happen if they don't even live with dad, they 'live' with granny?? confused

I think leaving your baby for a few days a week to be with other children is a pretty shitty thing to do. Not just in terms of favouritism, but his poor partner probably wants a hands on dad who helps with night feeds etc.

That kind of segregation will teach the kids there's a very good reason to be kept away from stepmum/little sister/step sibling. THAT isn't healthy.

Sorry, judgey pants are on. If your DH leaves when you have the DC, I shall humbly drop them and apologise profusely.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 11:38:11

Ok then moomins it was rude nasty and unwarranted

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:39:08

Outraged do they get to have a relationship with there half sibling? Does your ex also take his newer child sometimes?

Yes, they do. He nearly always takes the little one. I have already said that, but I appreciate it can be confusing!

I realise that people are having problems accepting this, but all the children in this family are well loved and well cared for, by all of us.

We share special occasions, we help each other out. We worked through initial problems and discomforts and now we have five happy children between us who have four loving adults to support them. I know it's unusual, but unusual isn't wrong, and we do what works for us. I don't like being made to feel like I have to justify my family set up because its unusual.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:39:36

Hmm sounds like your ex needs a bigger house and to make sure there's no rivalry going on Outraged!

No it wasn't, he sounds like he needs to grow up and provide a stable home for his dc when they are with him. Trotting of to his mums when he has them is hardly doing that.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:43:28

No I agree Outraged, unusual isn't wrong...I'm closer to DSS's mum than DH...By far. I facilitate all of the contact arrangements. Almost everyone I know finds this really weird. DH has valid reasons for not wanting to see her, but don't wanna out myself!

I get unusual (never dreamed this would be the way my family life went!) I just worry for ex's DP ad the baby.

Then again DH knows if he so much as glances at a clock when DTS and DSS are going off he's doomed. grin

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:43:47

Trying not to judge Outraged but I don't understand why your partner gets to be around when you have DC, but your ex must leave his DP, baby and her child?

It's not that my DH 'gets' to be around but that my ex 'must' leave his DP. It's just not like that. He chooses to take his children (usually all of his children, sometimes including his step children) to stay at his Mums because she has a lovely environment for them.

And it's his choice! I can't force him to do anything, but I am glad that he didn't change everything my children had become used to and were very happy with when he had a new baby.

Also, the new baby isn't a baby anymore, she has just started school.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:46:08

Hmm sounds like your ex needs a bigger house and to make sure there's no rivalry going on Outraged!

Yes, he could do with a bigger house! smile But then so could I! Couldn't we all?

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 11:46:44

outraged I don't really believe that you do get on with the gf like you claim you do or that you think their baby is so lovely as you first said....if you did you wouldn't keep speaking about their relationship and their 'unplanned pregnancy' the way you do.

Why say things like you don't think they'd be living together if it wasn't for the baby. How do you know that? You really know what goes on in their relationship?
And you made a comment about your DC's relationship with their father shouldn't change because of his unplanned pregnancy. So you discuss contraception with your ex do you? He told you the baby was unplanned? And what if she had have been planned? Would that make it ok for your children to he affected by her arrival? It is a baby, a human being we are talking about and that human being is as much your ex's as your children are, they are no more and no less important.
I think the way you talk about his gf, his relationship and the baby makes you sound a little bitter.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:49:19

Sorry Outraged, I feel stupid but I don't get it...Though I'm sure you've heard that before! grin I won't tie you up explaining the dynamics, every (blended) family is different.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 11:49:35

So he now apparently sometimes takes the step children too? I thought the reason he took the kids to his mums was because they didn't get on with the step children?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 11:50:57

On the rivalry thing, I won't lie an pretend this has never been an issue. It has, but this family has been going a long time and it's not a problem now.

Exs GF and I talk to each other so that we ensure that none of the children are getting significantly more than any others for Christmas.

We have the situation we have and we make the best of it. We all just want happy and well adjusted children. That isn't going to happen for any of us if we as the adults encourage bad feeling.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 11:52:25

Moomins

So the gf is happy with this suituation as she gets to spend quality time with her older children some of the time outraged dc's are with dad.

Outraged is happy

The children are happy

The grandparent is happy

The cousins are happy

The baby is not left out

It is not every time dad has the dc's

Everybody is happy.

It may be odd but it obviously works. Whilst I think outraged's way of explaining it is negative and unpleasant as I think a lot of her posts are and her attitude towards second families are vile.

But don't jump on her for something that keeps all involved happy and works just because you can't get your head around it ripping into her and her ex for keeping everybody happy makes you look silly.

Pick up n something rational instead like her belief that iPads McDonald's and new look shopping trips are essentials.

Whatistodaysname Fri 14-Dec-12 11:58:30

You can never really know what someone is like until you actually live with them - and you should have no right to dictate the life of your ex - its sim

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 11:59:21

I don't like being made to feel like I have to justify my family set up because its unusual.

And yet, you expect others to justify their own choices, judging them because they don't mirror your "unusual" situation.

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

It amazes me that your focus is on the fact that your ex and his DP were not living together when your DC's sister was conceived, and that you consider yourself to be an equal to her in his life, as you are both mother to his DC's and they have chosen not to marry, so they have not made a commitment to each other.

The baby is now at least 4 years old so your ex and his DP have been in a stable relationship for at least 4 years, she has been a part of your DC's life for at least 4 years, and she has been his choice of life partner for at least 4 years. Like it or not, she is your DC's stepmum, and a piece of paper doesn't define that relationship - actions do.

Whatistodaysname Fri 14-Dec-12 11:59:21

It's simply wrong to be spending nights away on a regular basis like this and sad that you can see it - I love to see the situation reversed.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:00:00

outraged I don't really believe that you do get on with the gf like you claim you do or that you think their baby is so lovely as you first said....if you did you wouldn't keep speaking about their relationship and their 'unplanned pregnancy' the way you do.

I can assure you, I get on fine with the GF. I have no reason not to, she's nice to my children, she accepts that I co parent with her BF, what more could I ask for?

I can also promise you that I adore their little one. I work with children and generally like most 5yos, but this one is my children's little sister! Of course that makes her special to me!

Why say things like you don't think they'd be living together if it wasn't for the baby. How do you know that? You really know what goes on in their relationship?

I don't know that, I said 'I think'. it's my opinion based on what I have seen and heard from them. They both work hard to make their relationship work.

And you made a comment about your DC's relationship with their father shouldn't change because of his unplanned pregnancy. So you discuss contraception with your ex do you? He told you the baby was unplanned?

Yes he told me it was unplanned and I discuss things with my ex that are likely to affect our dc. We are friends as well as co parents. Either way, it wouldn't have been hard to work out that the baby was unplanned thinking about the situation they were in at the time.

And what if she had have been planned? Would that make it ok for your children to he affected by her arrival? no, if my children were affected negatively, that wouldn't have been ok with me. Although I wouldn't have had a choice anyway. I'm just pleased I had children with a man I like and trust.

It is a baby, a human being we are talking about and that human being is as much your ex's as your children are, they are no more and no less important*

Yes, obviously. Talk about stating the bleeding obvious!

I think the way you talk about his gf, his relationship and the baby makes you sound a little bitter.

Really? Then you are wrong. I actually feel very blessed that I have been able to be part of this family.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 12:02:03

I would say at five years old, she qualifies as a life 'partner' not just a 'girlfriend.'

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 12:02:26

*at HAVING a five year old!! blush

Outraged, why do you class a child of school age as a baby? Why can you not see that the situation isn't at great as it should be, and why does the story change.

Agreeing with NotaDisneymum here.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:05:06

It amazes me that your focus is on the fact that your ex and his DP were not living together when your DC's sister was conceived, and that you consider yourself to be an equal to her in his life, as you are both mother to his DC's and they have chosen not to marry, so they have not made a commitment to each other.

I am equal to her as a parent in his life.

I said that they weren't together when they conceived because people seem to be talking as if they brought their baby into an already set up and stable relationship, which is not the case.

You're not equal. You're facilitiating an equal relationship.

An unequal relationship

Whatistodaysname Fri 14-Dec-12 12:07:25

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

No and they will never be seen to be if that's the attitude - that is an absolutely appalling thing to say.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 12:07:38

I think after five years (at least, given conception time) any kiddy arguments between step-brother and your DS would have passed... Or should be forced to pass while they live together.

Too old for granny's now IMHO. I'm surprised ex MIL doesn't tell her son to pull his finger out. Leaving his DP with a five year old and two of your ex's step sons while he pretends they don't exist at his mummy's doesn't seem... Right. At all.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:07:58

They have split up and got back together in those five years.

Outraged, why do you class a child of school age as a baby? Why can you not see that the situation isn't at great as it should be, and why does the story change.

Probably because she is the baby of the family and I started out trying to be vague! But clearly, vague has gone down the toilet and I'm likely to be instantly recognisable to anyone that knows us. The story didn't change, it became clearer as I was asked more questions. I don't have anything to hide.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:09:31

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

No and they will never be seen to be if that's the attitude - that is an absolutely appalling thing to say.

I think that sometimes, it's the truth. Sorry, but I do.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 12:10:12

I can assure you, I get on fine with the GF

She is your ex's partner and your DCs step-mum. They live together. They have a child together, they have been in a relationship for at least 4 years - _why do you refuse to acknowledge the importance of her role in your ex and DC's life?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:10:21

You're not equal. You're facilitiating an equal relationship.

I'm not sure what you mean.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 12:10:54

But I do agree that you are not a step parent if you are not married to the other parent.

Whilst you may be mum or dads gf bf even long term you are not step parents until as a couple you decide to marry and then be a step parent.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:11:33

Does it really matter what she is called nota?

It's funny how you pick up on that and stick at it like a dog with a bone bit you have chosen not to comment on plenty of the other things I've said.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 12:15:17

you are not step parents until as a couple you decide to marry and then be a step parent.

What does marriage change? Legally, absolutely nothing - in fact, after two years of living together, a resident, unmarried step-parent has more rights under family law than a married non-resident one.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 12:18:12

It's funny how you pick up on that and stick at it like a dog with a bone bit you have chosen not to comment on plenty of the other things I've said.

because most of what else you have said, I don't have an opinion on - it';s up to you how you live your life (its a bit hypocritical to attack others choice and then get defensive about your own, though!)

With regard to the "label" you give your DC's step-mum, my opinion is that it matters a great deal - hence my returning to it, like a dog with a bone as you say. It is also the only thing you have not defended - if it doesn't matter what you call her - why not call her your DC's SM, and exH partner ?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Dec-12 12:19:56

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

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:24:33

I don't feel like she is my DCs step Mum tbh. She is an adult that they are lucky to have in their lives, but she isn't a Step Mum. Not in the way my DH is a step Dad.

I think marriage makes a difference because its making an active choice to be committed to someone, rather than just plodding along with life and then finding yourself in a situation.

My ex and I weren't married, we found ourselves in a situation where we were having an unplanned baby, and for us, that made us committed to each other as co parents, but clearly not as partners, or we would still be together!

Obviously not everyone feels the same about marriage, but I feel it's important, and as I've been talking too much about my own situation, it's that that I am referring to.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 12:25:23

DH's ex gave DSS to him 2 hours after he was born, said 'Kat can be a real mother to him' and disappeared. We raised him together, never hearing from her. Then she sends us a letter saying she's been doing great in rehab and how long she's been sober: She wants DSS in her life. DH went off tap. Never seen him so angry. I wasn't angry. I cried. He was MINE. What right did she have? This junkie bitch? She couldn't just swoop in and take him away! I'd kill her first!

Then I calmed down. (Admittedly, as I am not a saint it took awhile) I contacted her and we met for coffee, sans DSS. I saw the same love in her eyes for her son, I saw the determination. I knew we'd win if we went to a judge given certain scenarios. But I could tell she was really ready to be DSS's mum. Like I said... Could have gone to court.

But I love DSS too much. He deserves a relationship with his mother. He doesn't love me less, at the moment he calls both of us 'mumum' or 'mummy.'

If I loved him less, I would have encouraged DH's hurt and anger. Instead I have developed a timid friendship with ex and encouraged every progression she has made.

It's so painful but I did what was best for him. Mum and I keep in touch and our friendship has significantly strengthened, hey, even DH is getting less bitter!

I went to the park with DSS and DTS, I invited ex. She was just... So good with my kids. I knew then that I'd made the right choice.

When we get to 50/50, I know I'll need to bloody double my therapy. I honestly feel I'm slowly relinquishing 'my' son to 'the enemy..' But my head says DSS is happier than ever. He will live a life so loved by three adults.

God being a step parent is hard! Hence why I tend to lurk not post.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 12:25:38

If I was this woman I wouldn't like to be referred to as just his girlfriend, I wouldn't be happy about him telling his ex that our baby wasn't planned.

And my point about the fact that the baby (who is actually 5) being a human, being his child was that you talk quite disrespectfully about her by repeatedly referring to her as an unplanned pregnancy. If I was her reading what you have said about their family, relationship and their child I really wouldn't be happy

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 12:30:08

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.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 12:30:28

kat you sound like an amazing step mum, DSS is so lucky to have 3 parents. That's the most important but most difficult thing about being a parent, doing what is best for the child and putting their interests first, despite how much it can hurt at times x

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:31:46

I've just referred to my own child as an unplanned pregnancy, and there is no questioning my love for him!

You might not be happy in her position, and I may well not know her true feelings about the whole thing. But it is what it is, there's no point dressing it up in fluffiness just for the sake of it.

PoppyPrincess Fri 14-Dec-12 12:31:47

kat sorry can I just ask one question? Did you meet DP after she'd got pregnant or was it an affair? Hope you don't mind me asking

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:33:19

AgentKat

You really do sound lovely, and thank you for trying to understand my situation. It comes across that you love your step son very very much, and he is lucky to have you in his life.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 12:33:33

she isn't a Step Mum. Not in the way my DH is a step Dad.

So your way is the right way and no-one elses circumstances could possible be different?
You have a pre-conceived idea of what a step-parent should be - your DH fulfils it and your DC's SM doesn't hence you refuse to acknowledged it.

Whatever happened to everyone's situation is different and you shouldn't judge other peoples circumstances?

Whatistodaysname Fri 14-Dec-12 12:35:45

I am appalled that you think keeping 2 separate lives like this is acceptable for your ex - it's almost if if his partner is OW - I have no doubt she feels sidelined and possibly it is contributing to issues in their relationship.

Rarely have I read such an unjustifiable situation - what you have done outraged is encourage this situation for your DCs at the expense of the exes. Which is fine from your point of view because for you as a mother you DCs are fine - it is not acceptable behaviour from your ex - nor would you accept it in your own DH of he had children from a former relationship.

I note with interest you refer to your DCs relationships with their cousin but not their half sibling or step siblings.

You are encouraging them to dismiss their step mother and half sibling with this attitude - and marriage does not a step or any other type of parent make. Love and care makes a parent.

IceBergJam Fri 14-Dec-12 12:36:27

'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 '

What an idiotic thing to say.

My DD has definitley added yo my DSSs lives. You only have to watch them together. The desperation of wanting to come to the hospital to see her, to hold her. Near tears when they heard how we nearly lost her during birth. Hours of playing with her and practicing parenting skills. Facebook profile pictures of her. Eagerness to book time off work for her first birthday. Money spent on gifts. Cuddling and kissing her.

I am proud of them and have watched them grow into amazing teens since DD was born.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:38:29

Didn't say my way was the right way and I didn't say no one else's circumstances could be different.

My DH didn't get referred to as step dad until we got married because we wanted to save it for the wedding. He didn't behave any differently before we were married to the way he does now, it was just that for us, we wanted to keep that term special so that it was something the dc actually gained from our marriage.

CaHoHoHootz Fri 14-Dec-12 12:41:00

outraged. I don't know why you are getting such a grilling. It sounds as though you, your DH, your ExP and his partner have a great approach to to raising your DC's. The fact that you can all get on is fantastic. All your DC's are lucky to have family around them who put all their needs first.

SpecialAgentKat Fri 14-Dec-12 12:47:26

Oh thank you Poppy and Outraged! With the help of therapy, I've come or am at least trying to the conclusion if my DSS knows I love him the exact amount I love my DTS, I can find a way to accept I will never be 'his mum.' I can live with that as long as he knows how much I love him.

Poppy, no, and I dn't mind you asking. In fact, I prefer it. People usually just assume the worst instead of asking!

DSS was conceived through a one night stand at a concert, (charming, I'm sure? hmm) DH and I met less than a month later. I look back and think "If my daughter stayed around with a prick who knocked some junkie up..."

Yet DH has an amazing job where he helps people and earns a good salary, he finally got rid of his goatee so he's completely gorgeous grin

As soon as he found out ex was pregnant, he pulled his act together, got a job and started being hygienic. and that's when I met him.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:51:02

I am appalled that you think keeping 2 separate lives like this is acceptable for your ex - it's almost if if his partner is OW - I have no doubt she feels sidelined and possibly it is contributing to issues in their relationship.

Whatis, you are reading my situation very differently from the way I am trying (maybe badly) to put it across.

It is very much not two separate lives. If anything, an extended step family where children are picked up from one home and family and are taken to another home and family is encouraging separate lives far more than the way we do things.

It is not two separate lives because all the children have seen all of us in each others homes having a cup of tea, they have seen us all go out together, they have all been looked after by all of us without their biological parent being there at the same time. They have continuity between the two sides of the family because we talk about things.

what you have done outraged is encourage this situation for your DCs at the expense of the exes.

No, I haven't. When this strange family set up first began, yes, I put my children first and as I am their mother, my concern for them was the biggest concern I had. But it was never going to do them any favours if they saw another woman being treated badly, they weren't going to grow up with stability if they were treated vastly differently to their step and half siblings. Which is why we have all done our best to make this work, because its what's best for all the children.

If the ex doesn't like it ( big if, because as far as I know she is as happy with it as I am) then no one is forcing her to be part of it. If she doesn't like the way her boyfriend/partner/whatever treats her and her children, she is free to get rid of him!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 14-Dec-12 12:55:18

Thank you CaHo smile

Whatistodaysname Fri 14-Dec-12 12:59:19

So she should end it with DP rather than want a normal family situation for her children?? That works.

You make it sound like she has no choice in these matters - it maybe she loves it - especially if they haven't got the space - but personally - over my dead body would I allow this situation to have ever arisen in the first place.

How would you feel if your DCs started spending their weekends in their fathers home (where they should be).