to expect a bit more gratitude for spending time with DP's children?

(67 Posts)
dingledangleflipflop Fri 28-Dec-12 23:29:23

I have been with my DP for 3 years (have known each other for about 7), she has two children aged 4 and 8 and I'm sick of her not appreciating the effort I make with them.

I see the children once every week or fortnight as I work away, when I'm around I do spend time with the children but rather than appreciate my efforts, DP says this is simply what she expects me to do.

According to her, I knew the situation when we got together (her having kids) and if I want to be with her I should be prepared to just get stuck in and stop expecting praise.

Things came to a head yesterday when I looked after her children for half an hour while she went to the supermarket, I do not have children so I do find it stressful being around them at times. After driving her to the supermarket, looking after her kids and then driving everyone back to her house again I said I'd like to watch a DVD on my laptop (with headphones in) while they sat and watched a film in the same room.

DP kicked off and said if I wanted to do that I might as well not be there, it would be rude to sit in the same room doing something else when we could all sit together and watch something suitable for the children.

I'm sick of her selfish attitude, I was stressed out from entertaining her kids while she went shopping and just want her to understand that sometimes I need time to unwind after being around them.

She refuses to back down and says I'm trying to cherry pick when I am involved with her kids, who is being unreasonable?

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 23:31:24


CrazyChristmasLady Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:30

Her selfish attitude?

This is some sort of reverse AIBU isn't it?

MissyRain Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:44

Do you live with her and the kids?

WorraLorraTurkey Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:44

You see them once every week or fortnight and you were stressed out after minding them for half an hour?

Are you for real?

Booyhoo Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:55

i think you should do her a favour and tell her you dont want to spend time with her children.

as for expecting praise? what are you, 4? grow the fuck up.


I think she is being unreasonable - you're not joined at the hip.

But you don't sound keen on the kids, not one word of affection for them in your post - I'm not criticising you for that but parents are quite attached to their kids grin and generally expect you to start to love them after a while.

SantaFlashesHisBoobsALot Fri 28-Dec-12 23:34:36

You sound like a right catch.

Don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 28-Dec-12 23:34:39

Do her a huge favour and leave.

usualsuspect3 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:36:01

Yep, the biggest praise you will get from her is when you do one.

IamtheZombie Fri 28-Dec-12 23:36:19

Ummm. Yeah, right. After half an hour you needed time to unwind? Do everyone a favour and let her find someone who appreciates the whole package.

WildWorld2004 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:38:25

This has to be a joke, right?

Because no one would be so selfish that they would post something like this.

KittyFane1 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:38:30

Actually, YANBU for not really wanting to spend time with her DC. YABU to expect to have a serious relationship with this woman without realising that her DC are part of the deal though.
Maybe this relationship isn't for you OP. Her DC will always be there and whilst they are young, will need her care. If you don't want to be part of it you should break it off.

Cheesemonkey Fri 28-Dec-12 23:38:54

I think you need to grow up.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 23:39:07

Do her a favour and leave.

Its not unreasonable to want to watch a film in your laptop.
Yabu to need to wind down after 30 minutes with them. Yabu to expect praise for minding them and helping your PARTNER out with her children.

do you live together?

TraineeBabyCatcher Fri 28-Dec-12 23:39:34

Haha, how have you made it to 3 years with an attitude like that?

greenplastictrees Fri 28-Dec-12 23:40:08

I've never called troll before but surely this cannot be genuine?!

kickassmomma Fri 28-Dec-12 23:40:16

I age with your dp!! if you are to start a relationship with someone with kids you shed make the effort with and not expect praise! you find it stressful because you don't have kids everyone who has kids finds it stressful !! lose kids are guna be in your life fr a long time. you shed treat them as If they were your own your do might just need a break for a while !!

WildWorld2004 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:40:36

My dd comes first before anyone & i am sure it is the same for every other loving parent. If someone cant handle that then they are not welcome in my life.

WorraLorraTurkey Fri 28-Dec-12 23:41:08

I age with your dp!!

Do you use the same anti wrinkle cream? grin

CabbageLeaves Fri 28-Dec-12 23:41:50

Kids are an integral part of your life when you are a parent. She's right that you did know she had kids. She's misunderstood that this meant you'd know what this meant.

I'm guessing you haven't got any otherwise you'd appreciate that your attitude is fine (in that you are entitled to feel as you do) but totally incompatible with having a relationship with anyone who is a parent

AngryBeaver Fri 28-Dec-12 23:42:30

Sorry, if you don't love these children by now, it's not fair on them, her...or yourself to continue with the relationship.
You sound very detached.
The reality is, if you start a relationship with a Mother, the expectation is that one day you will be a family unit.

And the praise thing is plain odd. Quite childish and needy,tbh.

OldBagWantsNewBag Fri 28-Dec-12 23:42:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kissmyshineymetalass Fri 28-Dec-12 23:43:43

Are you taking the piss? shockconfused

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 23:43:53

Is this for real?

If it is, whatever your DP is saying is right. I expect everything else she has said that you haven't posted, she is right about too.

Do you actually love her and want to build a life with her? Because if you do, you need to behave as if you are part of a family, not as if you are doing her a favour. Don't you see how much privilege she has given you by trusting you with the most precious people in her life and by inviting you to be a part of their lives?

Really, she isn't the one whose being selfish here.

SchmancyPants Fri 28-Dec-12 23:46:14

This must be a reverse AIBU surely?

ComposHat Fri 28-Dec-12 23:46:18

This is either a reverse post or some bellend from Pistonheads.

WorraLorraTurkey Fri 28-Dec-12 23:47:49

OP has the thought crossed your mind (and I realise it may be a long and lonely journey) to actually come back to the thread and elaborate?

CabbageLeaves Fri 28-Dec-12 23:48:48

The MN wisdom is to build a relationship without children (for 6 months minimum) which I always find bizarre. It leads to a false state of affairs where a DP expects a woman but not the children. It also means you don't weed out men who aren't capable of parenting

BelleDameSousMistletoe Fri 28-Dec-12 23:49:00

^^ this

BelleDameSousMistletoe Fri 28-Dec-12 23:49:33

Dammit - Composhat was the "this".

Narked Fri 28-Dec-12 23:51:27

You poor thing. She's being so unreasonable. I think you would do well to think about leaving the relationship and finding someone who can give you the appreciation you deserve.

Have your friends been supportive? If you have any single, straight male friends that have laughed at you when you've told them about her awful behaviour, please leave her their numbers before you go.

TheSecondComing Fri 28-Dec-12 23:52:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IamtheZombie Fri 28-Dec-12 23:52:26

CabbageLeaves, that wisdom is so that young children aren't subjected to a string of strange men or women popping into and then out of their lives.

dingledangleflipflop Fri 28-Dec-12 23:52:50

No not a troll, I should probably confess it is a reverse AIBU blush

I'm sooo fucked off with my 'D'P but he has said he thinks I'm being selfish expect too much from him, we don't live together but he has spent Christmas with me (DC were with their dad Christmas Eve til Boxing Day so we've not been stuck inside with the kids the whole time!)

It was the fact he needed to unwind after looking after them the really pissed me off, when I said he might as well leave he got into a huff and did exactly that!

Not sure if we are totally different wavelengths with our expectations?? Every now and again he'll bang on about how it really is a lot of effort for him to get involved with my kids, not easy for him as he has chosen not to have any for a reason and that I need to appreciate this (reason being he's a selfish bastard mostly!).

I've been in a few shitty relationships in the past, have self-esteem issues etc and often find it difficult to know when I'm right/wrong. I've had a tendency in the past to be a push over so when I try and be assertive it often backfires and I end up going over board and being in the wrong...

Just wanted some opinions to put things into perspective really!

usualsuspect3 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:54:14

It will never work. Sorry.

Narked Fri 28-Dec-12 23:54:27

You deserve better. They deserve better.

TheSecondComing Fri 28-Dec-12 23:56:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorraLorraTurkey Fri 28-Dec-12 23:58:57

He doesn't like kids

He has every right not to like them

He shouldn't be in a relationship with anyone who has them

Dump him, it'll never work.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 23:59:06

I don't see the issue in him wanting to watch a film. Bit I think this was the straw that broke the camels back.

I rarely say this but leave the bastard.

BumpingFuglies Sat 29-Dec-12 00:00:10

WTF is it with these "reverse AIBU's" ? Why not just say what you mean in the first place?

Tell him to jog on btw.

riverboat Sat 29-Dec-12 00:00:39

Reads like a reverse AIBU to me.

But for what its worth, I think YANBU for finding it difficult to cope with being a 'step parent' and not loving having the kids around, but YABU to expect praise every time you make an effort. It makes you sound like a third kid your DP has to juggle. Sounds like you and your DP are not on the same wavelength re: what you expect from each other. There are not neccessarily rights or wrongs re involvement IMO, but if you both have different expectations and can't find a have some tough decisions ahead.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 00:01:30

If he's chosen not to have kids then what the fuck is he doing getting involved with a woman who has kids? And what the fuck are you doing letting him get close to your kids when he has spelled it out that he doesn't want particularly children in his life? confused

riverboat Sat 29-Dec-12 00:01:42

Cross post!

sue52 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:05:13

He's not going to change for you. Get out now.

GroupieGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 00:07:16

I've been with my partner for ten months, and he's currently putting my two year old back to bed. I do not expect this, but I accept it gratefully. I do thank him, however he usually tells me to shut up when I do. We are a family...this is how it should be, I think.

dingledangleflipflop Sat 29-Dec-12 00:08:31

I tried to type thing from my POV but it didn't seem quite right so thought I'd do it from what he has told me about how he feels, seeing as he believes I never see things from his POV.

We have been friends for a few years so he has always known my situation, he is very good with children (my own and his nieces/nephews), he just finds their energy and excitement very stressful. We discussed children when we first got together and I think in a way he was glad that I have my two because he felt it would stop me from wanting any with him in the future.

He has told me he doesn't think it will work due to our different expectations and that he is shocked and speechless at how I feel, definitely seems like it's time to call it a day.

Thanks for the replies, all very useful!

SantaFlashesHisBoobsALot Sat 29-Dec-12 00:27:27

I hate reverse POVs, they piss me off.

But you deserve better than this bullshit. DP put DS to bed tonight because DS wanted him to, and he came out afterwards saying how much he adores DS, and loves that he can do the odd bedtime etc. He goes out of his way to do things with and for DS, and has never once indicated he wanted praising for it. I do praise him a lot, and he gushes about how wonderful DS is in reply. In fact, he probably boasts about how amazing DS is to anyone people more than I do.

And whilst that is wonderful, it is also the way things should be. He should feel privileged to be allowed in to your children's lives! He shouldn't be treating you, or them, like this.

LTB. You will be much much happier.

SantaFlashesHisBoobsALot Sat 29-Dec-12 00:29:00

Sorry, should also add that DP and I don't live together, he sees DS a few times a week briefly (playschool drop offs etc) and the odd evening. He also watches him for me when I have hospital appointments.

Aspiemum2 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:46:06

You deserve better than this. He is totally wrong for you, totally wrong for your dc's.
I do understand how hard it is when you have self esteem issues but I would urge you to take some time to work on that outwith a relationship, you will settle for less than you deserve if you are not confident in yourself.

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 07:02:08

Agree kids/lady comes as a package. For a proper relationship he does need to take on a vague father figure and accept them as part of his life. He must develop a bond with them also.

However I think it is possible to date once a week and have little child contact but the relation will be superficial and light. Dates would also take place while the kids are in bed. Keeping man and child separate.

What do you want from this man? If you just want sex and some company in the evening then it could work. If you want anything more then it really is time to move on.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Dec-12 07:11:17

You are in a relationship that isn't going to work- I would move on- he is never going to understand that he has two children for life.

AllSnowballsAndNoKnickers Sat 29-Dec-12 07:22:06

WTF is it with these "reverse AIBU's" ? Why not just say what you mean in the first place?

So very very this ^^^.

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Sat 29-Dec-12 07:49:18

Rather than AIBU you should be in relations, the answer you would get there is when a man tells you what he is like LISTEN. He does not like children, he knows this, you know this and yours kids probably do too. If you want a man to enjoy being part of your family then you need to find a new man.

There's nothing wrong with not wanting kids, and as he said that's why he hasn't, but to try and make him is wrong and can never work.

RandomMess Sat 29-Dec-12 07:55:00

actually I think dipping in and out makes it harder for him to build any sort of relationship with them and "normality" as he works away etc.

Still time to move on I think.

Tee2072Thing Sat 29-Dec-12 08:00:41

YABU for doing a reverse AIBU.

Honestly how hard is to write: My DP thinks being with my children for 30 minutes is stressful and never wants to help with them. We don't live together and he doesn't see them that often. What should I do?

Then I could say: LTB

So I'll still say: LTB

StuntGirl Sat 29-Dec-12 08:20:50

I don't actually mind reverse threads, didn't realise there was such hatred for them. It's usually pretty obvious when its a reverse anyway!

Why your partner, who is by choice child free, decided to date a woman with two children is beyond me. And why you chose to be with a man who has admitted he doesn't like or want children is equally bizarre. I couldn't be with a man who had such wildly different ideals for life, you need to decide if you do.

financialwizard Sat 29-Dec-12 08:33:17

Why have you not told him to fuck off to the far side of fuck and then fuck off some more?

I met my husband when I had my DS and he was superb with him. We have been together 6 years next year, married for 5 and he is like a Dad to him. You should be a family unit.

Get rid ASAP.

tiffinbaker Sat 29-Dec-12 08:42:05

It was obvious that it was a reverse AIBU, no man with the attitude described in the OP would choose dingledangleflipflop as a nickname.

LTB from me too I'm afraid. He has a childish attitude to family life and will be very bad for your children's development as they grow up. You need a relationship with an adult, not an overgrown child.

biff23 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:42:38

Don't think you are unreasonable for watching lap top, we do things like this all the time. Can't stand the crap the kids watch.

However, expecting praise is ridiculous when spending time with the kids. You are either there for them all, with no cop outs when you're feeling tired/stressed etc (this is what being a parent is all about) or you don't really want the role of step-parent, on which case you need to walk away. I'm afraid with children it's all or nothing.

diddl Sat 29-Dec-12 09:16:41

Wanting praise-seriously??!!

Doesn´t seem that he sees the kids often enough to find them stressful tbh!

Watching something different in the same room-can´t exactly see the problem with that tbh.

Unless they really would have enjoyed for him to watch the film with them as a family.

Seeing how little he sees of them that doesn´t sound a very big ask tbh.

HecateQueenofWitches Sat 29-Dec-12 09:19:04

Yup. I think it is time to call it a day.

If someone cannot fold someones children into their life then they have no business taking up with someone who has them. None at all.

splashymcsplash Sat 29-Dec-12 10:56:35

I read this as clearly a reverse aibu and read on with the thread and it is.

While he is of course bu, yabu for not simply posting it straightforwardly.

From your post I think its clear you need to find someone new.

jessjessjess Sat 29-Dec-12 11:01:34

He's acting like a child. Please leave him. If you end up shacking up together he will make your DCs' lives a misery.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Dec-12 11:07:52

OP- the man is an utter dickhead. Leave him. You deserve better and will meet a much nicer man than him.

He sounds like every woman's worst nightmare. Pretending he is happy to be with a woman with children,pretending to accept they come as a package only to turn around and be like "well actually no".

riverboat Sat 29-Dec-12 18:08:44

As someone with no kids of my own, who isn't a really a kid person, but who got involved with a man with a child - would just say in his defense that there isn't really any way to know what you're getting into. For a start, when I started seeing DP I didn't necessarily think that this would be "the" relationship, I thought maybe it would just be a fling. And secondly, even when I started to think it could develop into something, and I knew he had a kid - well, I hadn't been around kids since I was one, I had no idea what to expect to be honest. What you imagine it will be like isn't necessarily what turns out to be the case. And by the time you have had enough contact with the kid to start realising "actually having someone else's child(ren) in your life on a permanent basis isn't that easy" probably you are already deeply in love with your DP and it's not just a case of saying "well I'll be off then".

For me, I went through some serious internal struggles of "can I do this?" - but came out the other side. I like having DSS around now, even if it's not always easy. I think we've all found a happy balance in our family dynamic.

But if after three years (incidentally roughly the same length of time I've been with my DP/DSS) OPs DP is still stuck in this negative place - I think that yousmell is right, unless you just want to have a very casual "dating" relationship, where can this really go?

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