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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sun 13-Jan-13 14:14:59

I would find the money to go halfs even if it meant i had to cut back in other areas.

Reaa Sun 13-Jan-13 14:17:11

No harm in asking

Pseudo341 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:17:39

YABU It's not because of her financial situation that your kids are missing out, it's because of your and your ex's financial situations. She's not finanacially responsible for your kids. It does seem a bit off that they have to go and watch though, they should be doing something else with their Dad while the others are off on their expensive activities. I have to admit she does seem a bit mean, I'd like to think in her position I'd be bending over backwards to make step DC feel welcome and treated fairly, it's hardly going to be encouraging brotherly/sisterly love if things are so uneven, but ultimately her money is nothing to do with your kids.

They're not her children, a FF wage is quite a good wage overall and he should pay as should you. Your DC's are of no financial responsibility to you and why beg her?

No responsibility to her

heyannie Sun 13-Jan-13 14:22:01

I don't think she should pay for children who are not her own to do things, but can't your ex take your children and the twins elsewhere to have fun rather than have them sit on the sidelines looking at what they could have won?

She sounds mean, not because of the money thing but because she expects the children to have to sit around watching, when really they could all do something affordable instead.

If she wants your ex to spend the same amount of money on all of his children, he should also spend the same amount of fairness and attention on them. If it were me, I would say "well on my own I can't afford to pay for all of them to do X, so I will take them to Y instead which is affordable for all, rather than just pay for half of them to do X".

Have the children said how they feel about it? Do they feel left out or jealous? Sometimes as a kid I used to stay at weekends with a friend who had tap and ballet classes on a Saturday morning. There was no way my family could afford that kind of thing, so I had to sit watching through the window. I really wanted to join in but it didn't make me sad or envious as such, it just meant I made up my own dancing at home. But that was less frequent than what your children are facing, if it's week in, week out, I can see how it might build up to resentment.

RedHelenB Sun 13-Jan-13 14:22:31

Two separate issues imo. No, your dcs should not have to watch the others do activities BUT it is up to your ex to fund them not the step mother. He really needs to put his foot down & say he is treating all his kids the same.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 13-Jan-13 14:22:40

It sounds to me that this woman has cleverly ring-fenced her money so that HER children benefit. In my experience, few step-mothers think that children from a previous marriage deserve the money they get from their fathers. If your daughter gets half a pony, that's half a pony less for her own kids. That's her maths and I think you'll find a pretty stony wall around it.

I don't think you're going to have any luck with this and if you're already fighting with our ex, she's not going to be too pleased, either.

VonHerrBurton Sun 13-Jan-13 14:23:45

I spend a lot of money on ds's activities. To the 'outsider' it would appear we had money to burn. We most certainly don't. However it's not her job to pay for your kids' activities and if it was me I would find a way of going halves, for my dignity's sake if nothing else.

What wouldn't go down well with me is my kids watching hers. No way. Just no way.


trixymalixy Sun 13-Jan-13 14:26:14

No I don't think you should ask her. You should be asking your DH to do something different with the DC than making them sit and watch their step siblings.

atacareercrossroads Sun 13-Jan-13 14:26:15

Yabu, you and he need to sort this out. Would you want to go begging to her anyway? Id rather shit in my hand and clap tbh

twinklesparkles Sun 13-Jan-13 14:26:18

Yabu... He pays for half and she pays half for the kids they have together

You should pay half and he should pay half for the kids you have together

Tryharder Sun 13-Jan-13 14:26:42

YANBU. Your XH and his DW should treat all their children the same whether they are 'full' or 'half' siblings. Your DCs are being treated like fucking Cinderella.

You can't afford to pay for ponies and what not which is why your DCs don't have them at your house. But when they are at their Dad's, they should have access to exactly what the other children have.

I can't understand why anyone would think that is unreasonable or why this woman is mistreating her own children's siblings.

ThingummyBob Sun 13-Jan-13 14:28:15

Firefighters are on a very good wage imho. THey also have more than 50% of their time off work and very many of them hold second jobs.

Get your ex to either pay for his kids activities or to arrange a suitable alternative for their time together. Its not fair on his first children to have to sit and watch their siblings week in week out. I don't think that even children who live together all the time would be expected to sit and watch the others' activities week in week out, with no chance of ever being ale to join in, or without their own activities to look forward to, iyswim?

catsmother Sun 13-Jan-13 14:28:17

Difficult situation.

TBH, I don't think you can ask SM to pay for your kids' activities as they are the responsibility of you and your ex which mean any activities they do should be paid for between you - however you divvy up the percentages.

On the other hand, it's undeniably "off" (at best) and arguably "cruel" (at worst) to expect children of very similar ages - and who, after all, are close relations ! - to regularly sit through (I think occasional spectating is okay as siblings often have to do this - but only when the do-ers and the watchers even out), as spectators only, the sort of things they themselves would really like to experience too. It's very divisive and for young kids, who don't understand finances, let alone the emotions in a step scenario, they would probably most likely think that their dad's "other" kids are being favoured.

If your ex and his wife want their kids to do particular activities then that's fine - up to a point - but when sorting out both finances and practicalities they also need to consider the impact of that on his other responsibilities - i.e. his other kids. So far as I can see - the answer would be to either ensure that his "other" kids only do said activities when their half-siblings are not there - so there's no "them and us" sitiuation, or, your ex should speak to his wife and firmly point out it's rotten to expect small children to have to watch exciting stuff their brothers are doing on a regular basis and that if she wants them to do this it's all the kids or none of them. At that point, if it means that he stumps up "more" money for the children who don't live with him then so be it. The alternative is that all the kids do some other form of cheaper activity all together. I don't think in a situation like this you can ever be completely and totally exact down to the very last £ but it's more the principle that you simply don't carry on with a situation where some kids are being left out. Kinda strikes me that your ex needs to put his foot down with his wife if she'd object to either of the solutions I've suggested.

Alternatively, she organises someone else to take "other" children to their activities so the non resident children can stay with their dad and aren't having their faces rubbed in it. Though it'd be much much better of course if all the kids could do something together with their dad.

'She' isn't doing anything its all down to OPs XH

YWBU to ask her to pay for your kids to do activities, would you pay for her children to attend something your children do?

I think you need to ask your ex to take them somewhere else and do something else though, your childrens time with their dad shouldn't be taken up by watching other kids do activities.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 14:34:25

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

sue52 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:35:05

I can understand your anger OP. Your ex is way out of line to flaunt the inequalities in front of his children. Horrible to treat his own kids from his first family as second class cinderellas. He and his current wife should have more empathy.

CSIJanner Sun 13-Jan-13 14:36:13

What Cats and Trixy said. It's unfair for your DC's to spend their time with their father watching siblings do more exciting or expensive activities from the sidelines. Either XH & DW find someone else to take the twins, rechedule or find something cheaper to do all together. You can ask DW to help fund but I think she would probably and rightly say no as it's not her responsibility to find yours and your XH children. XH needs to stump up.

XH DW does realise that she will be seen as the evil stepmother in this scenario (akin to rubbing your children's noses in it) even though she is essentially thinking of her biological children? Trouble is that step siblings can be forgotten and as Red Helen says, XH needs to grow some balls and state that he is now treating all of his children the same.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Jan-13 14:37:23

YANBU to want them to be included.

I don't think it's practical to expect your daughters to be able to take part in show jumping competitions if they only spend ever other weekend with their Dad. But,you say the Step mums older daughters have multiple ponies? Couldn't their Dad take them to ride the ones not being used whilst Step mum takes the other two to the competitions? They cannot need all the ponies with them for each show? No extra money would be spent and the ponies would get a ride out when they otherwise might not/might have to pay the stables to do it.

I do think that how they do their fianances is none of your business at all though. And for what it's worth,their way is the only way I would even consider doing it with a partner. Even though I am the lower earner.

CrazyChristmasLady Sun 13-Jan-13 14:40:11

She should not have to find activities for yours and your exs children at all and you shouldn't ask her. How they split their finances has nothing to do with you and if your ex won't fund these activites and you cannot afford to meet him halfway then unfortunately they can't take part in them. They sound like very expensive hobbies.

However, they should certainly not have to go and watch every week. That seems cruel. Can't your ex take them somewhere and meet his wife and their children after? I don't see why they need to be dragged along each time!

SkinnybitchWannabe Sun 13-Jan-13 14:40:35

YABU to expect her to pay. Its up to you and your ex.
Why do your dc have to go and watch all the time? Couldnt your ex take them somewhere else whilst the other kids do their activities? Seems very unfair of him to drag them along all the time.
He could find activities to do with them that dont cost the earth, go to a park, bike ride or have a games morning at home?

SantasENormaSnob Sun 13-Jan-13 14:42:19

I don't think it's up to her to pay towards your dc.

Maybe you and your ex could pay half? Or he could take them elsewhere.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He'd make money hand over fist.

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

Dandelion that is in terribly bad taste

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

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

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

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

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

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 15:19:42

cakebar From what I understand twins are trying out ranges of activities and tend to do one for a month or so and then move on, which in theory is fine, their 6 years old, but I don't think it's fair that my children have to suffer for this to happen.

Viviennemary There are 9 children - 3 mine, 5 theirs, 1 hers - They also have DH nephew who spends the week with them then the weekend with his father in London, so he doesn't count here. Strangly, SM is a model mother figure towards him.

bamboostalks Sun 13-Jan-13 15:22:54

Well what are you going to do about this appalling behaviour? You need to be focused on your dc here. It all sounds manic, easy for them to be overlooked. I mean we're talking about 10 children's needs here.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 15:23:46

Secretagent have you considered my idea?

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Sun 13-Jan-13 15:23:57

I'm probably being slow, but what was the reason that he gave for not wanting to do something different with your DC whilst the twins were with their DM?

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 13-Jan-13 15:25:57

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

While I don't agree with excluding your dc from activities I do understand just how different a competition ponies mouth is to a bog standard riding school pony. Yank mine in the gob and he'll have you off, so I wouldn't want mine ridden by someone who didn't know what they were doing. <- SM may be thinking of your dc's safety as well as the fact that horses are easily ruined and very expensive wink I do also own a rather lovely bog standard ex riding school plod who is teaching my friends dc to ride

SantasENormaSnob Sun 13-Jan-13 15:28:35

The ponies having soft mouths is a valid issue tbh.

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 15:32:21

allnewtaketwo There are court orders in place.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome One twin has some kind of mental thing going on where he cannot speak to or around people outside their immediate family, and only whispers to a few other selected people. He will speak around my DC but will only actually speak to DD2, not my other two. Which in its self is also a poor excuse in my opinion as he can sign and other twin understands him and can speak perfectly fine.

thegreylady Sun 13-Jan-13 15:32:23

I think the problem is time not money.There is no reason why your ex cant do something else with the twins while the sm does what she does with the other children.They should not have to watch their steps doing things they cant join in.
I am a stepmum and my dd had a pony-dsd said she had always wanted a pony so we offered to get one on loan to see if she enjoyed it and if she did to buy one for her.
She hated it when she tried but the offer was there.When you marry someone there shouldn't be your kids and their kids just our kids-all of them.

bamboostalks Sun 13-Jan-13 15:33:08

Yes am sure pony mouths is valid but it's not THE issue here. Forget about the animals and focus on these kids being treated like second class offspring.

Well, I expected to say YABU, but thinking about it I was a bit concerned by " she has made it clear to ex that she expects him to split everything evenly between all his children, and spend no more or no less on our children then he does on theirs".

A few points on that :

Firstly, if the Ex-DP is paying half of the current activities of his twin boys, that must come to a fair amount by the sound of it. He then takes them ALL to, for example, the cinema. So the twins are having his money spent on them AGAIN, to the same amount as he is spending on OP's DC - so when (if ever), does he spend the same amount of money he spent on the twins activities, on his first three children? Something tells me he doesn't, so he's probably not spending equally on each of his children, as per his wife's demands.

Secondly, consider an imagined scenario - she wants her twin boys to do a very, very expensive activity which she can afford to pay half of, but he can't. Would she tell her twins that they couldn't do it? Or would she pay the whole cost? I'd hazard a guess that she'd pay the whole cost, just as she presumably does for her older DDs. But, she is happy to insist that he cannot act similarly.

Thirdly, the 'no more no less' might seem fair on the surface, but it's not actually fair in practice. Because she can match what he spends on the twins, doubling the money; and presumably knows the OP can't afford to do the same. She must be able to see that, in a child's eyes, daddy gives his twin boys lots more than he gives me, so he must love them more than me. Or maybe that's the plan; rub the kids noses in it until they tell OP that actually they don't want to go see daddy this weekend, and then she doesn't have to have these pesky reminders hanging around her house. So much for blended families, huh?

Lastly, the way they run their finances - why does she have any say in how he spends what they have both agreed is his personal money? Ring-fencing her money as hers means his is ring-fenced as his, and she has no more say in how he spends it than he has on how she spends hers.

So although I don't agree that the stepmother should pay for OP's DC's activities whilst visiting their father, I do think the father should grow some balls and treat his children better, by putting his hand into his pocket a little deeper for his first family.

lljkk Sun 13-Jan-13 15:34:42

I don't understand why the OP's children are being hauled along at all to the dance/pony competitions. If they aren't participating in (fun activities) then why are they there? Why doesn't the ex-H do something else with them, go to the park or whatever? So that's how I would put my foot down. Someone else drops off the twins/step-sis at their clubs and the OP's ex-H does something fun with his kids, like play cards or computer games, whatever. Get back together for meals and stuff that everyone will be doing together. This is how big families function; today I have one in the city doing his thing, 2 at swimming with dad & one at home pottering on poota.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Sun 13-Jan-13 15:35:42

Does he have selective mutism? It is a real condition (which most children grow out of) but I can't see why exDP needs to be there. I've worked with children with selective mutism who won't utter a word to anyone in the building but have managed to still communicate their needs just fine (youngest was 2).

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Jan-13 15:37:40

Nothing I know ponies can have soft mouths,I used to have one. I just meant,how as in...surely they would be taught how to handle the pony not just chucked on the back of one and sent on their way .

I need to remember to use all the words important to a sentence sometimes! For someone who is quite articulate in real life I can be the complete opposite on here grin

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 15:37:45

She very possinlt perceives that the OP can pay half though. I doubt ALL these activities are prohibitively expensive, given they vary every month.

OP do you children do no weekend activities at all?

Arisbottle Sun 13-Jan-13 15:38:25

As a stepmother I could not stand back and allow my biological children to have a better standard if living than my stepson. However I am not the kind to stepmother who steals other women's husbands and then marries them whilst the first wife is pregnant. I also do not get myself pregnant if that means I cannot give all of my children the same, and that includes my stepson.

However your ex is more to blame than she is, he had the affair, he then left your pregnancy and then got another woman pregnant and allowed them to get into this hurtful situation.

Although as a stepmother in this situation I would pay up, the onus is in your ex.

lljkk Sun 13-Jan-13 15:38:39

Okay, I'm making more sense of OP's posts, now.

Selective Mutism, that's the odd thing the twin has, and yes he will have to learn to cope. I know quite a few kids with it and they get left at clubs by themselves from age 8 or so. 6yo might be a bit young, but as OP points out, the other twin can help.

Why can't the SM do all the chauffeuring, is it to do with hauling a pony trailer or travelling too far in wrong direction?

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 15:39:09

I think the way you described one of the twins as having some "mental thing" is awful by the way

Arisbottle Sun 13-Jan-13 15:40:32

IMO the father and stepmother need to realise that they have a financial and emotional responsibility to all 9 (?) children and if they all can't have it, that will usually mean that none of the can.

JumpingJackSprat Sun 13-Jan-13 15:44:25

i cant get over the fact that you think she should pay for your kids to do activities just because you cant afford to meet your DP halfway? why should the twins have to miss out on their weekend activities? i think you either need to find half the money for them to join in or suck it up.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 13-Jan-13 15:44:34

Still think it would be unreasonable to expect SM to pay for you dc, you could ask your ex if SM would mind putting money towards an activity that all the dc could do together.

I'm not a SM but wouldn't think it fair to make my hypothetical sdc sit and watch ds doing an activity - Fair enough if I/GPs couldn't take him so DH had to or if the sdc had tried it and didn't like it and then did something inclusive after...

Do your dc do any activities?

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 13-Jan-13 15:47:49

*Nothing I know ponies can have soft mouths,I used to have one. I just meant,how as in...surely they would be taught how to handle the pony not just chucked on the back of one and sent on their way .

I need to remember to use all the words important to a sentence sometimes! For someone who is quite articulate in real life I can be the complete opposite on here*

LOL I was just chucked on the back of mine and told to get on with it, if you do ok you can have lessons grin but some people really don't understand that sort of thing

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 13-Jan-13 15:48:12

* Not sure why that didn't bold?

Arisbottle Sun 13-Jan-13 15:49:53

jumpingjacksprat why should one set of her OP's children have more than another.

This is especially bad as the children getting the least are the children he the ex decided to forget about when he was shagging someone else.

Frikadellen Sun 13-Jan-13 15:53:39


I suggest you ask for some mediation on this with your x likely his wife and yourself involved

I am reminded of the saying " treating your children equally does not mean treating them the same" However in this case your x is neither treating your children equally or the same.

IMO you need to state your concerned about your childrens welfare. I would also ask if it would be acceptable after your x has taken the twins to their activity if he was to take your children to an activity that the twins would not take part of but had to watch. (after all he is expected to spend equal on all his children)

I do think you have a point in the equality Imo the simple way around this is that on the weekends your children are with your x his twins do not attend their activities. . (likely will not be acceptable - but this may be the way around her agreeing to pay full for her children if dh pays full for the ones he has with you) However I think you need to stress the importance from your point of view for your childrens welfare. This is not taken into consideration here.

As for the private school etc can you look into bursaries etc but also simply state to your children that you are unable to afford it but step sister/ half siblings mother is. They wont love you any less for being honest with them.

For what it is worth having grown up with a step mother similar to this. (one darling daughter who could do nothing wrong and was spoilt beyond sense my full blood brother who lived with my dad and step mother permitted to do any sport/music/activity he wished and myself who was sooo like my mother that I was just an eyesore and could not be trusted nor should I have a room to live in (despite her dd having a sspecially decorated room for her - she was with them every 2nd weekend) I grew up resenting her and my relationship with my father suffered badly..

lljkk Sun 13-Jan-13 15:53:48

I doubt selective mutism hasn't been explained properly to OP. It is a kind of mental/emotional rather than physical impairment.

SM is a swine, I have a lot of sympathy for parents trying to figure out how to manage it.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 15:56:31

OP do your children not do any activities?

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:05:38

Frikadellen SM wouldn't do mediation, she views it that as long as their being kept alive and fed, her job is done - she is very disengaged, and me and EX already did it before going to court, so I doubt he will go for it again.

They don't have their own rooms there either - EX and SM brought a renovated pub a few years ago, of course only taking in their own childrens needs, they all have their own specially decorated rooms, but when DC go over the girls sleep in the very adult guest room and DS has a choice of ever sleeping in DT1 bed or the bunkbed in DT2 bedroom.

SM DD is the golden child as well, even in EX eyes (which especially hurts as he seems to favor her over DD1, who is the same age) according to them she is the most beautiful, smartest, talented and kindest 10 year old to ever grace the earth

It sucks doesn't it sad

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:08:19

allnewtaketwo Sorry, I keep meaning to get around to you blush

No they do not. I am on minimum wage, barely keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table, and EX refuses to pay if I don't pay half.

hermioneweasley Sun 13-Jan-13 16:10:20

Yes, it sucks. It doesn't sound like there's a solution because your ex is either spineless or careless, and the OW is a bitch.

All you can be responsible for is your behaviour and what you give your kids. Time, love and attention are more important to kids than any amount of activities.

You can of course point out to your ex that it is crap for his other kids, and he is spending more on his other kids because you can't afford any activities at all.

He sounds like an utter arse.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 13-Jan-13 16:13:22

Of course the SM should not be expected to pay for activities for your children, do you pay for hers to do any? I doubt it.

Whilst its not very nice to be dragged along to a siblings activity, hundreds on here do it and claim its "part of life" but I dont agree with it as its boring watching a sibling do their hobbies if you dont share them.

You and the ex need to sort this out or change access to another day. Perhaps the two of you between you can cover the cost of the activity if you want your children to join in or reduce the maintainance to cover it if its so important.

She seems wise keeping their finances separate if she had an inheritance as the money was meant for her not her new partner. I dont actually see what her earnings have to do with it, she is supporting her own children and with that many would need a good job like she has.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Sun 13-Jan-13 16:14:08

I'm assuming (hopefully!) that he does at least pay maintenance?

fuzzywuzzy Sun 13-Jan-13 16:15:47

Can he not spend the same amount he spends on his children with the OW on your children?

Surely if he did that as they have more children 5 by my count, he will be able to pay out for the extra curricular activities for your children as well (and still save some money as he has one less child with you.

Does that make sense?

It is unreasonable expecting the OW to pay for your chidlren tho.

doublecakeplease Sun 13-Jan-13 16:17:04

Could he not use the money he spends after the activity on softplay etc on the activity for your dc?? Then they all get to do it and they could do free stuff in the afternoon?

Haven't read the whole thread - sorry if someone else suggested this too!!

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:17:18

Yes he does pay maintenance, but it's bare minimum and has only been going down and down with all these kids he's been popping out left right and center.

Arisbottle Sun 13-Jan-13 16:19:44

HappyMummy to be fair to the OP why should she pay for the stepmother's children . she has not helped to destroy one family. The Stepmother has chosen to become part of a wider family , that choice has consequences .

Even if she were not the other woman , by marrying a man who has children she has chosen a life of compromise .

everydayaschoolday Sun 13-Jan-13 16:24:06

I'm a SM. I have 3 lovely (teenage now) DSD who visit some weekends (they have a life now!) and DH and I have 2 little kids. I was not the OW. DH and I have separate finances for now while we earn equitable wages (we pay halfers on joint amenities and bills then the rest or his/my money is our own to do as we please - if he wants to spend it on DSD he's free to do so smile). I recognise my little kids are in a far more comfortable position than DSD, but this is because of my salary in comparison to DSDs DM. However, on 'kids weekends', we do stuff as a family and everyone is involved - DH and I share the cost. I'm thinking of starting swimming lessons for little kids, and if DSDs were younger, I'd prod DH for funds for DSDs to join swimming lessons (if they wanted) or just to go swimming. Nowadays, I think they'd prefer to have the quality time with their dad while we're at lessons. I couldn't bring them along to watch and feel left out. I agree with most other posters that it's not SM place to fund just because she has the money, but I'd be prodding your ExH (his responsibility) to find a better more inclusive solution ie him funding it or doing something else with them in that time. Your children are not at a disadvantage because ExH and SM have separate finances, your children are at a disadvantage because your ExH and SM are making a poor choice to have your kids 'sit and watch' every weekend.

Grapesoda Sun 13-Jan-13 16:28:16

I would like to think that in sm's position i would pay towards these
Activities. I mean, would a sm feed her own dc one meal and serve a cheaper alternative to her dc? shock But you can't expect her to and it sounds like it aint gonna happen.
I do feel for you. It must feel horrible.
It sounds like sm has compartmentalised hers and her dc's lives to be separate from your dc (and your ex). Imho he should take them to do something else when they visit. The current arrangement sounds lazy and thoughtless at best.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 16:31:51

If your on min wage don't you get tax credits. With CB and maintenance on top, can you really not even afford to pay half for swimming lessons or something?

ajandjjmum Sun 13-Jan-13 16:43:58

Have your DC had much to say about this OP?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 13-Jan-13 16:44:37

allnew I'm guessing that paying for 3 kids' activities while (I assume) being a lone parent on minimum wages is pretty impossible. I've only got 1 and know for a fact I couldn't afford to pay for more than that, and I'm not on min wage but still get some tax credits too.

Grapesoda Sun 13-Jan-13 16:45:03

Whether or not the op can afford swimming lessons is not really the point though is it? Having to spend their time with their father watching step sibs take part in expensive hobbies, which they are not able to join in with is not fair on them.

newNN Sun 13-Jan-13 16:50:48

I think that if you are the OW and instrumental in breaking up a family, then you have a moral obligation to ensure that life is as nice as possible for the dc from the marriage you helped to break up.

However, the sort of woman who will shag someone else's husband (esp when that someone else is pregnant) is unlikely to feel any moral responsibility for anything. OP, you would be banging your head against a brick wall to even try.

Your spineless ex is the real problem here - he and OW have popped out a bunch of kids, without him thinking/caring about how he is to afford to treat them all the same. If I've read this right, he has eight dc?

I would refuse to allow my dc to visit until the twins have finished their activity and also talk to him about how he is spending less on the children he has with you, that with the dc he has with skanky wife

Arisbottle Sun 13-Jan-13 16:58:45

I agree NewNN, if I were in this situation I would just move away with the intention of stopping access.

probably the wrong thing to do, but I would best bloody angry.

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:03:13

ajandjjmum DD1 gets angry at me sad She is very jealous of SM DD and wants everything she has; her bedroom, her clothes, her hair (she thinks SMDD is prettier then she is) She would love to take the dance and art classes she takes and would kill for a pony. SMDD has three, and she gets to ride them every now and then, but it's not the same. SM is very much the fun, artistic mum every girl wants; she watches Disney movies, paints pictures on the wall in nail polish and all that jazz. Unfortunately neither her or her DD are that interested in my DD, and I am just not that cool mum and that hurts DD. sad

DS is the least effected as EX seems to spend sometime with him, teaching him how to ride motorcycles and all that, and occasionally takes him out surfing, just the two of them.

DD2 and twins spend their time fighting for attention, twins usually win out as mummy adores them and in public they are novelty (identical)

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Sun 13-Jan-13 17:03:56

I don't think it is reasonable that SM should have to pay for your kids, but I do think it is entirely reasonable that their father should put his foot down that all his kids have the same opportunities available and that if he can't afford for one of his kids to do something then the others shouldn't get it.

However, good luck getting them to agree to this, it is up to them to decide how to parent in their time, not you. It sucks and your kids loose out.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 17:08:04

The thing is, all these suggestions about what the SM or the father should do, none of that is ditching the OPs control. The fact that they've been to mediation before yet access is court ordered, suggests she won't get far negotiating with him over activities.

Hence my suggestions, either access from Sat lunch, or else OP goes half for something chespish like swimming lessons. The OP needs to think of solutions within her sphere of influence

JumpingJackSprat Sun 13-Jan-13 17:08:16

regardless of the circumstances around the marriage break up she has no obligation whatsoever to spend her money on your children. i choose to spend my money on days out, clothes, toys etc for my DSS but that is totally my choice. no i was not the OW in my relationship before someone comes out with that old MN chestnut.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 13-Jan-13 17:09:04

she has money so she can pay for your children's ex-curric activities?
what planet do you live on?
outrageous! i suppose she should buy you a new dress and shoes, and pay for you to have your hair done and a night out, while she's at it? after all, her late husband left her money, you must be entitled to it!

breathing deeply.

asking if your dp can pay is totally reasonable. ask him, not her. if their household is awash with money, he might not mind paying. give it a go.

but don't think your children are entitled to money left to a woman by her late husband. or to money that she earns. that's going too far.

parttimer79 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:09:17

I'm rather gobsmacked by this. I would agree with those who said that your DCs dad should be making sure a saturday morning activity is one all the DCs in his care can do - hwo many activities do 6 year olds really need to try out??

My DP has 2 DCs (5 and 3) and we have a baby on the way. Before doing this we sat down and talked about how we can make sure all the DCs feel equally loved and provided for. We make sure we have a house big enough that they can have their own rooms here even though their DM is going for a child-led approach and won't let them stay over until they ask to (contact has been weird, totally another thread).

Whilst I hate the "you know what you were getting into attitude" to partners with children from a previous relationship on here , I do feel that you need to consider that when you get into this kind of relationship you are becoming part of a wider family, all of who have their needs to be taken into account.

You exH needs to be working with you to find a solution to this.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 13-Jan-13 17:10:25

Her finances are nothing to do with you, so you are being unreasonable to ask HER to pay. What she pays for her DC is again none of your business.

I appreciate that they both contribute towards their household, but it should be your EX paying extra not her funding it for him.

bluebiscuit Sun 13-Jan-13 17:11:30

Difficult. On the one hand, your dc are not financial responsibility so I don't think you can ask directly for her to pay for your kids.

However, it is extremely nasty to force your dc to watch the twins doing enjoyable activities every weekend. How horrible for your dc and they are of an age where they will remember that they always had to watch and not join in. Your ex needs to address this ASAP as they will definitely resent him for this in the future if they don't already. Him and his wife are treating your dc unfairly and they should either cancel the twins' activities or pay for all the kids to do it. But that doesn't change the fact that you can't really ask them to pay for your dc.

Secret have you looked into dance classes at all? My DD goes to one for an hour a week and it costs £3.50, I know its not at a competition level or anything but she may really enjoy it anyway.

Frikadellen Sun 13-Jan-13 17:13:23


Could you not ask your x when he is going to take your 3 out for their treat that equvillent the £ he spends on the twins classes?

If he wont do mediation then I think the suggestion to change time spend with him and I would quote " your childrens emotional wellbeing" as the course.

I am 42 I have put to rest a fair bit about my childhood however I dont think I will ever truly understand why my x step mother could act like she did. as I had children of my own it became even more of a puzzle for me.

JustFabulous Sun 13-Jan-13 17:16:13

Well it is clear to me that the father is not going to do the right thing by his first family now in terms of money/time/activities as he has already shown that he isn't fussed about doing right by them by cheating on their mother and breaking up the family.

My response would be to refuse access. Sorry but it would. Those poor children are being shown constantly how they are not as special, beautiful, or worthy as the other children by the fact they can't do the activities and don't even merit their own bedroom. I feel so sorry for them.

I spent time in a family where I was never treated the same as the other children and I am so scrupilous now about making sure my children never feel that anyone is getting something that they are not.

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:18:44

I would refuse access until he can treat all his children fairly.

I think this is emotional neglect and I feel sorry for the child always on the side line.

Worriedaboutchances Sun 13-Jan-13 17:19:10

It is grossly unfair. If they won't compromise with you can you cut down the amount of time they spend with them?

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:20:19

No, I can't. There is a court order in place.

TandB Sun 13-Jan-13 17:22:09

OP, I think you should take the financial side of things out of the equation altogether and simply point out to your ex that it is absolutely unacceptable that on the days when he has contact with three of his eight children, he enables the other children to do fun things and makes these three sit and watch them do it.

These are HIS contact days. How he works out the finances is his problem. I assume you pay for everything they do when they are with you? Either he pays for all the children to be treated absolutely equally when they are in his care - forget the stepmother and the other DDs as they are off doing their own thing - or they all do something cheap/free that they can all participate in. He shouldn't be asking you to fund his contact time with the children - he just needs to get his head out of his backside and make sure all of his children enjoy their time with him and with each other. If the SM is unwilling to have the twins miss out on any of their activities then she can make alternative arrangements for them.

If he isn't willing to do that then I would suggest mediation and possibly a return to court to renogotiate the terms of the contact order so that he doesn't have your children on a Saturday morning when he appears to be unable to place their interests equal to those of his other children.

He's being an utter cunt. If he wants to have separate financial arrangements to his wife, or let her spend vast amounts of money on the children they have together, that is entirely up to him. But he has a duty to make sure that when he has his other children, they are not treated as second-class citizens. If he can't sort himself out then the current contact arrangements are unsustainable and have to change. I can't imagine any court looking terribly favourably upon a father insisting on having contact for a period of time when he makes one set of children sit and do nothing while the other set have fun.

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:31:18

Take it back to court then.

It is unacceptable that your children are treated as 2nd class over his other children.

I hope he is paying you maintance

Ah, kungfupannda always puts her finger right on it - in your shoes I would follow her advice OP.

TandB Sun 13-Jan-13 17:40:43

If you want it to stop and he won't do anything about it, then you need the contact order changed.

I would suggest that you approach him verbally to see if he is willing to change the contact arrangements. If not then put your proposals in writing. If he still isn't interested then you need to see a solicitor, or you could actually do it yourself if you've been through the process before. Letters to try to reach agreement, mediation, if he will agree to it. If he refuses or mediation fails, then application to the court to vary the contact order to lose Saturday mornings and replace with another convenient time.

I would imagine that the court will look favourably upon such an application if you can show you've tried to reach agreement and are willing to facilitate contact at another time to replace that Saturday morning contact which is completely detrimental to your children.

You never know, if he thinks you will take it back to court he (and possibly SM) might grudgingly come up with the money to treat all the DCs equally.

Nanny0gg Sun 13-Jan-13 17:41:05

If they didn't keep their finances separate, but combined them as many people do, should they then pay for the OP's children to do these activities?

I think it's awful that the children are treated so differently. It's building up a lifetime of resentment which will not end well for their dad.

TandB Sun 13-Jan-13 17:41:39

Whereyouleftit - it's been a long time since I did family law though!

I'd qualify that with "check she isn't talking out of her arse first!"

Isn't Spero a family lawyer?

secretagent007 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:46:18

My fear is that I would get to court and get laughed at, because once you summarize it, my complaint is pretty much ' My DC Stepsister's deceased fathers estate pays for her hobby and education, their brothers play tennis on a Saturday morning and my DC are jealous' When put like that even I know it sounds petty.

bamboostalks Sun 13-Jan-13 17:48:07

kungfupanda has it in one. This man is a total disgrace. Having brought 8 children into this world, he cannot treat them equally and is happy to rub the less fortunate children's noses in it. Beast.

JustFabulous Sun 13-Jan-13 17:49:42

No, your complaint isn't that at all. And surely it is worth a bit of humiliation through laughter - though I am sure a judge would not laugh at you - is worth it if it means your children are not seen as worth less.

5madthings Sun 13-Jan-13 17:54:12

What kungfu said, your ex is being an arise, horribly mean for the children.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:54:46

I agree take the finances out of it, and the reality is that 3 of his children have to watch the other 2 having fun every fortnight. This isn't on, it just isn't.

He either needs to find an activity that all the children can do eg pay for his other 3 children to have tennis lessons or whatever, or focus on the children who do not have a scheduled activity and make other arrangements for the ones who do.

The current situation will cause short and long term problems for all the children involved and have a very negative effect on their relationships.

It's not about your DC being jealous OP. It's about their contact time with their father being restricted to catering for his other children. It's about them not having their own space at his house, being relegated to 'guests'. It's about their noses being rubbed in it. It's about unkindness on the part of the adults towards the children they so obviously find surplus to requirements. angry

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:55:13

I am not laughing at you, I think what he is doing could be very damaging to your DC mental Heath.

His other children has him 24/7 and when he does see your dc he is spending his time and money on them these other children while your DC are sat on the side lines.

Roseformeplease Sun 13-Jan-13 17:56:24

Surely he is damaging his relationship with some of his children? When they get old enough to choose for themselves whether or not to see him, they will probably refuse.

I also think you should try ad remove money from the equation. Surely, at bottom, it is about time (quality time, although I hate that expression). They are spending their time facilitating the SM's children's activities rather than having time, focused on them, with their father. I think they should let him know they are fed up and restless.

Also, there must be free or cheap activities they can do. Council run tennis courts? Local clubs that offer subsidised access? Can you look out for something for them to do on Saturday morning that is free/cheap and get the, signed up and leave him to take them on his weekends?

Sorry, you have probably thought of this. Sounds horrible. I had a similar situation with cars and money being lavished on half siblings and I ended up resenting them AND my father.

realcoalfire Sun 13-Jan-13 18:03:07

YANBU.Your DC are part of the family too and the fact that the couple keep separate finances is irrelevant She took on your Ex knowing he came with baggage.

RabidCarrot Sun 13-Jan-13 18:04:41

I really think it is your EX that needs to be footing the bill, maybe he should have thought about the cost of raising all his children before having so many.

LPplusOne Sun 13-Jan-13 18:05:58

Weekend activities/classes (ie. judo, art classes, football, etc) for 6 year olds don't tend to last much more than an hour. At least they don't where we live. So, in reality, the time OP's DC spend 'watching' their siblings every second weekend (1-1.5 hrs at most) is actually not that long and then, according to OP's description, DF takes them all to another activity such as soft play. It's not as though OP's children are being dragged along to the horse and dance lessons/competitions (which are generally more time consuming than a once-a-week kung fu class. I fail to see what the big fuss is about.

LPplusOne Sun 13-Jan-13 18:07:11

And yes, if anyone needs to shell out, it's DF - not his DCs SM!

As much as OP's exh is to blame for this I do agree with another poster that SM is probably making it harder for these "little reminders" to be around by not having a house to accommodate all children or at very least decorating a lovely room for them.

I used to be a step mum with separate finances from my then DP. (Again not OW!) and I bought a house (my mortgage, not his) with 3 rooms instead of 2 so DSD could have her own room. It's what's you do for children. I'm appalled by your story OP and have no practical advice but I do think contact needs to changed to avoid the Saturday. No one will laugh. Your poor children.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 13-Jan-13 18:25:19

I'd take it back to court. If you word it properly it does not sound petty, not at all. It sounds nasty, calculated, unfair, unjust, and a whole host of other horrible adjectives.

She is a bitch. She chose to have a relationship with a married man who had small children and a pregnant wife and to top all of that off, she now treats his children incredibly badly.

He is the main culprit though. HE had the affair, HE had other children, HE stands by and watches his 'new' children get everything while his 'original' children get sod all. HE allows her to dictate to him how his money is spent. HE will only pay if you pay, HE is being an utter bastard. How can any man stand by and watch this happen sad

Get someone to help you word it in a professional way and take it back to court. Someone has to stand up for these kids and it's NOT going to be him.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 13-Jan-13 18:30:43

I'd suggest the twins accompany their older siblings to 'sit and watch' with their mum, and see how long it is before she gets pissed off with them whining how unfair it is to have to 'sit and watch'. smile

HollyBerryBush Sun 13-Jan-13 18:34:36

Well, the New Wife has money, which is quite probably going to be her childrens to her deceased husband, inheritance. The money was left for the upkeep of those children from that marriage. That is why she keeps it way from your ExH.

However, YABU to expect her to fund activities directly for your children.

You are not BU to not want your children to feel second best.

You've said your ex pays the 'minimum' - is this the government going rate? Don't you get tax credits etc?

It is unfortunate but the New Wife can choose to spend her money how she ses fit on her children - your children are the responsibility of the father in this situation.

irishkitkat Sun 13-Jan-13 18:46:11

Wouldn't the simplest solution be for your ex DH to find someone else to accompany his DTs to their activity? Possibly not the easiest thing to arrange if one of the twins has SNs but a solution anyway.

I don't believe theSM has to make any form of reparations for the fact that she was the OW. If that was the case surely there would be thousands of children all over the country receiving maintenance payments from their parents' affair partners.

Regarding your DC not having their own room, I assume they have their own rooms at your house which is ultimately their home. It's crap but that's the way it goes in many cases when the DCs only see their other parent EOW. They have a home with one parent and visit the other.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 13-Jan-13 18:48:11

I agree completely with HollyBerryBush.

Their father left that money for HIS children. If they were fortunate to still have their father alive with them, and he paid for his children to do these activities whilst the other children didn't do them it would be no different.

The money that SM has she has presumably kept seperate for a reason- because it was meant for her children. I don't see why she should have to foot the bill for her DP's children to do the same activities/ have same savings for their futures/ possessions bought with money left for them.

It is her DP's responsibility to sort those things out for his own children.

lunar1 Sun 13-Jan-13 18:48:54

I would be taking this back to court tbh. You ex and ow are cruel nasty people, the affair was bad enough but getting married two weeks before your due date!

I would never allow my children to be treated like this. They have no room to call theirs which is disgusting when it could clearly be afforded so they shouldn't be spending nights there. And no way should they have to watch others doing these activities.

DoJo Sun 13-Jan-13 19:06:07

"I think that if you are the OW and instrumental in breaking up a family, then you have a moral obligation to ensure that life is as nice as possible for the dc from the marriage you helped to break up."

Why is it her responsibility more than that of the father who was even more instrumental in breaking up the relationship and is refusing to pay for his own children to do activities unless their mother pays half?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 13-Jan-13 19:10:39

Tbf to the OP I think she has suggested the SM pay out of frustration with the situation - it doesn't seem that she has been dumping a list of expensive requests to her XH based on how wealthy his DW is. Fair enough it's unreasonable to think the SM should pay but I don't think it's right that her DCs get indulged while the other DCs are left on the sidelines. Either not a lot of thought has gone into this arrangement (in which case try and resolve it through talking/mediation) or the thought has gone into it, and it's a whole load of unpleasant thought at best.

Most of 'us' on the other side of these situations are only too aware that its only too well it's the ex DP who is liable for children's expenses.

bubby64 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:24:27

Is there a possibility of you DC. Not going to ExH until the Saturday afternoon, when he seems to do the inclusive things, I know it's not ideal, but at least it will stop them sitting on the sidelines being ignored. I do think however that if ExH wants to have access to his DC from your relationship, he should pay for them to join in the activity with their half siblings, and, knowing what a firefighters wage is, (my DB is one), he is not that poorly paid.

irishkitkat Sun 13-Jan-13 19:28:24

Also worth considering that the SM may believe that what she is doing is right. Many women don't want SMs, especially those who had been the OW, to have anything to do with their DCs. By being completely detached from the DCs, encouraging her DH to spend the exact same amount of money on each of his children and not interfering in what activities they may or may not do,she is, in many situations, being an ideal SM.

AThingInYourLife Sun 13-Jan-13 19:31:36

What awful people sad

I agree with Chipping and those recommending you get a new court order.

QueenofPlaids Sun 13-Jan-13 19:41:07

I don't have DC, so feel free to ignore, but having been in an extrndeed family where them and those were treated one way and everyone else the other, this resonated with me. (Can you tell I was part of everyone else?)

Gut feel, YABU to ask her to pay straight off. It's not her responsibility. I also understand that many second families have this 50/50 split because at an old age and with DC inheritance can get a bit complicated.

That said,i couldn't imagine taking a bunch of kids out and offering a 1st and 2nd tier offering. It's your ex's job to deal with that. He really ought to be saying that they stretch to all DC when there or if that's not possible, they choose alternative activities. Do DSC need to ride at weekend (even at weekend / in summer?).

CrazyChristmasLady Sun 13-Jan-13 19:42:06

Seen your response on page 2.

That is ridiculous that they have so many activities on a weekend morning, they need to split it which means your children get dragged along to watch. What a fun way to spend time with their father. hmm

You need to sit down with them both perhaps and explain that it isn't fair for them to split the children between them whilst your children get ferried along for the ride but ultimately are not allowed to take part because of finances.

They need to sort this out and have the activites at different times so just the mother can take them whilst your ex looks after your children. Or tell them that the children are so bored and left out they are resenting the time spent with their father.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 13-Jan-13 19:46:21

irishkitkat makes a good point. If you look at the step-parenting section SMs are often criticized for paying any attention to their sdc's and are thus seen as trying to steal them/treat them like their own dc which is apparently wrong/poisoning them against their real mum... If they don't act like this then they are accused of other things...

Step-parents really can't win

bamboostalks Sun 13-Jan-13 19:49:29

The inheritance is to benefit only one dd. The twin sons are not beneficiaries. I also can barely understand the dynamics of this. How can she manage to ride with what must be 3 more dd under 4/5. What an odd situation. I am amazed she can earn all this money with 6 children; 5 under 6 and another random nephew. Their childcare must be complex.

JustFabulous Sun 13-Jan-13 19:52:19

That is not fair.

The SM could talk to the parents of her step children and ask what they are willing to let her do without there being any question of her muscling in.

Saying SP can't win is just childish.

Bubblegum78 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:01:22

I agree with the others;

It's your's and you ex's place to go halves and pay for these activities not his new wifes.

If neither of you can afford it he needs to take them elsewhere to do something not just make them sit there and watch.

This sort of thing makes me cross, my hubby and his ex have 3 children together (he is 8 years older than me and I had nothing to do with their split) their children now live with us permanantly aswell as my 1st DD from my 1st marriage and our 2DD's (so that's 6 girls in total).

Not only have I taken on her children, put a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs, plus holidays, school trips ect.. (which I do willingly) but I am now having to go to work full time to support these children and that greedy cow STILL asks us for money.

I smell jealousy, he left you for another woman who has given him another family and has a good job and wealthy lifestyle..... I understand how painful this must be but it's time to move on and your ex needs to get a grip and do what's right for his children, all of them.

Bottom line, her income is none of your buisness.

Yamyoid Sun 13-Jan-13 20:01:40

Sorry, I've not read the thread but wanted to say that I think that's awful for your DDs. Ex and partner should include them in the activities, they should pay. Maybe you could contribute but it's their time with them and that's what they're choosing to do. We have a young relative who's the same age as my ds who visits regularly. We'd never make her sit and watch him do an activity, we'd pay for her to do it too.

SpottyBagOfTumble Sun 13-Jan-13 20:07:47

Gosh, sounds like a hard situation. sad I hope you can work something out, but it does sound like court is the best option if he is not willing to negotiate.

irishkitkat Sun 13-Jan-13 20:08:29

But in this case the SM has 6 children of her own. One of whom has (if I followed this correctly) lost her father at a young age and 5 DC age 6 and younger, one of whom has SNs. And a very well paid job ( Im assuming long hours?). I know she was the OW and she knew her DH had DCs but maybe she genuinely doesn't have time to play any sort of a real role in her DSCs lives and is willing to let their parents parent them without any input from her.

TBH if another woman had an affair with my DP while I was pregnant with his 3rd child I wouldn't want her to have any input, financially or otherwise.

TandB Sun 13-Jan-13 20:14:10

It is, of course, possible that the DP is being spineless, rather than actively nasty. If he has the SM banging on at him about paying half of everything for their own children, he might have lost perspective.

Is it worth a chat about what you think is fair, OP? It might give him a bit of confidence to take on the SM about it. For example, he could decide a total budget that he is personally willing to spend on all 9 children's activities and allow their respective mothers to top it up according to their wishes/means. Or he could have a "Saturday budget" that he is willing to spend on all the children that he is looking after on the Saturday - split equally between them on the understanding that if their mothers don't think it is enough then anything they add goes into the collective pot for them all to enjoy. Then the SM can make alternative arrangements for any expensive activities she wants her own children to enjoy, at a time when their half-siblings aren't present.

At the moment he is quite deliberately spending less on the children who already have less because their mother has a smaller income, and more on the children whose mother can give them more. It's all topsy-turvy.

TandB Sun 13-Jan-13 20:20:43

Hang on, I've just done the maths. If the DTs are 6, then the other 3 DDs are presumably a maximum of 5, 4 and 3 at a push, but probably more like 5, 3 and a toddler (unless there is another set of twins).

OP, are you sure you have the correct information about what is happening? Who is the information coming from?

It seems very odd that the SM is apparently taking 3 such small children to weekly horse shows and dance competitions. How could she possibly cope with the younger one while getting the older ones ready to ride? And it seems unlikely that the older two who cannot possibly be more than 4 and 5 really do have multiple ponies and are dancing competitively.

If the information is coming from your children, are you sure there isn't some exaggeration going on?

cakebar Sun 13-Jan-13 20:23:00

Sounds a horrible situation. I would ask that the DC have an inclusive activity to do on Saturday mornings (I wouldn't mind what it was, as someone else said, card games, park, whatever) and request that the girls have their room redecorated in age appropriate way and see what happens.

BillyBollyBrandy Sun 13-Jan-13 20:23:32

He could refuse to pay his half for his children

He could say he has "x" amount that has to be split 8 (!!!!) ways so he will have "y" to spend on his/sm dc's activities. She can put the same and they decide what activities dc's do or she can put more.

What I would say though, is that must be an awful household to live in. Parents ringfencing money to make sure no one pays more for one child than the other - these are dc's that they both created!!

Just be glad you and your dc are healthy and happy. It sounds a horrible pressurised place to have a home.

And I agree that if your ex won't stick up for your dc then you need to revise the visiting arrangements.

nkf Sun 13-Jan-13 20:29:32

You can ask. I wouldn't. But you could. It's not a nice thing to do and your kids will probably resent her. Perhaps they could do something else. Bit depressing to watch their siblings having a good time. Could you suggest to your ex that he uses the time to do something with them?

DoodlesNoodles Sun 13-Jan-13 20:31:10

I have not read all the posts but what a horrible situation this is!

I agree with the posters that say the problem is with the EX DP, he needs to stop making our DC's watch their step/half siblings doing their activities. It must be really boring for them quite apart from them feeling jealous.

I'd be half tempted to tell them to wander around when the activities are going on and let all the other parents knw that they are the'poor relatives'. I think I am joking grin

I hope you sort something out.

allnewtaketwo Sun 13-Jan-13 20:33:29

Calendar, are you for real, you would ask that your ex and his new partner redecorate a bedroom?? That hardly seems a priority here, let alone the fact that no ex can or should be asking/telling ex how to decorate the house he shares with his partner

DoodlesNoodles Sun 13-Jan-13 20:35:37

I might also consider spelling it out to your DC's that the money that your DC's step mother has was given to her for 'her' DC only. Even if it is not quite trueit may make your DC'sfeel happier with the situation. It would be awful to think your DF favours his new children.

....or something like that confused

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 20:36:11

OP's eldest is 10 and she says the stepmother has a dd (from her previous marriage presumably) who is a month younger than this girl, so also 10. I presume she is the one dancing and horse-riding and the stepmother takes her and the toddler along to this while ex is taking the twins along to some other activity with his other dc who are visiting over the weekend.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 20:40:52

actually sorry I don't know how many dc the OW has. One aged 10 from her previous marriage, twins aged 6 with this man and maybe some more.

VestaCurry Sun 13-Jan-13 20:53:53

Your dc's should not be having their noses rubbed in it, watching their other siblings taking part in expensive activities which you can't afford to pay half towards. Insist your ex does other things with your children when these activities take place. There are plenty of free/inexpensive things to do. IMO this is a form of emotional cruelty towards your children and it needs to end asap.

TandB Sun 13-Jan-13 21:07:41

ZZZ - there are three DDs younger than the twins - the twins were the first children that the ex and the SM had together and they have another 3 DDs, so they must be younger. There is also the SM's older daughter.

This is why I am wondering if the OP is getting the true picture of what the other children actually have/do. It just seems a bit unlikely that the SM really is at horse shows with her multiple-pony owning daughters, when at least two of those daughters must be pre-schoolers!

I am wondering if there might be a bit of Chinese whispers going on.

irishkitkat Sun 13-Jan-13 21:09:19

ZZZenagain As far as I can understand there are 10 children in the household on a Saturday.1 is the SMs DD with her deceased husband, 3 are the OPs DC, 5 are the SMs and the DCs DFs children and lastly there is a nephew who spends his weekends at their home. 4 of them do an activity on a Saturday morning, 6 of them don't. Then they all meet up for a treat on Saturday afternoon.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 21:13:22

I see. Quite a crowd!

elizaregina Sun 13-Jan-13 21:15:13

I am confused -EH is paying for activities for the DC he has with new woman - becasue OP cant afford it - his Dc with HER do nothing except soft play - BUT - his new woman said he must not spend more or less on his children with OP?

Is ExH paying for his children with new woman or not? If so - he IS spending more on them than children with OP. So by now - surely quite a kitty should have built up to spend on his first children.

Anyway - Kung Fu and whereyouleft it - have it all spot on.

I find it mind blowing when people are talking about finances and what SM should and shouldnt pay for - no one mentions what is " morally" right!

She shouldnt pay for this or that etc...but what about morally.

What is the first DD worth? What is her little life worth, her feeling of self worth - worth? She is being set up for a life time of not being good enough - pretty enough - pushed out - wortless must be pure torture for her - utter horredous nightmare.

Is anyone laughing at you on here OP, has anyone said they think you are being petty?

The problem is OP - these situs - creep up on you - they happen gradullay and before you know where you are - you poke your head up and say hang on - something is very very wrong here - and in your situation something is very very wrong.

A bar has been set - and its been set by new womans wealth - not your finances - but all the children MUST be treated equally.

It is not acceptable that your DC wacth the others and dont have thier own room etc etc...someone has to stand up for them and it sounds like it has to be you. It must not be allowed to go on.

You say the new woman is fun - yeah she is SOOO fun she happily lets this situation go on - what a fun woman!!!! If she wants her children to have expensive things to do she must allow or appreciate that his first children have to be treated the same!

She will get away with what she can - she is clearly un scrupulous - he is either weak or pathetic or plain stupid or plain nasty - so its down to you.

And even if - in the worse case scenario - the fiances dont for whatever reason get sorted by a court - or visiting times etc - at least your DC will know and rememeber you faught for them - you cared about them and you said - they are worth more than this.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 21:16:02

well possibly if she had twins once, she had them again. Perhaps she has a dd aged 5 or say twins aged 4 who could I suppose conceivably be having riding lessons already and ballet classes. One or two are perhaps just sitting with their mother while all this goes on.

irishkitkat Sun 13-Jan-13 21:26:16

Also OP regarding maintenance you said your ex is paying the bare minimum but it had went down as they had more DC? I'm assuming this means the CSA recommended amount, which in your case would 6/7ths of 25% of 75% of his income. If he has continued to reduce the amount based on any subsequent DC after the DTs he is wrong. The CSA only give you a reduction of up to 25% for 3 or more children, it doesn't increase beyond that no matter how many DC.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Jan-13 21:33:15

I worked it out as eight children. OP has two children with ex. New wife had one of her own children. Then they had twins. Then three more children. I don't think it's as much to do with money as it being not fair on children that they must watch activities every week that they do not participate in. They either participate in said activity. Another activity is found where all the children participate. Or the children stop going until a more satisfactory arrangement is reached.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 21:38:29

OP had 2 children and was pregnant with nr. 3 when ex went on to marry the OW. So that makes 3 plus 1 the OW already had, twins with her new dh and then another 3

elizaregina Sun 13-Jan-13 21:47:38

yes and in mean time = do what kung said - with aim of going back to court if no solution is found, and also do reasearch and look into help for your DD and her feelings...

you only get one childhood, one chance. she has already had to have her parents split up and now this.

charlearose Sun 13-Jan-13 22:11:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlearose Sun 13-Jan-13 22:14:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

simplesusan Sun 13-Jan-13 22:14:52

I don't think the Sm should pay for the op's children to do activities. It should be the op and her ex who pay.

I think there are 2 choices either the op pays half , which the ex is happy with,or she asks that they come home during hobby time. This should be very simple as they live close by.
I think it is also absolutely fine for the sm and her husband to split themselves between their children to cover hobbies.
I also agree with a poster up thread, if the ex keeps his money separately from his new wife then it is up to him what he does with the surplus so to speak.
Surely instead of taking all the children he is looking after out for a meal, he could cook a meal at home and then with the savings he has made pay the full cost of the activities for his oldest children.

pigletmania Sun 13-Jan-13 22:27:12

Gosh where do I start. Th sm sounds awful and quite nasty tbh, it sounds she is putting down op chidren in an underhanded way. No it's not her responsibility to fund your children's activities, really your ex has to stop being a Wet blanket and see what is happening. He should ntsllow thi to happen, when your dcs come to stay, everyone should do t same activities as a family.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 22:31:53

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

I don't know if we been told what these fun morning activities are that the twins are doing and whether OP's dc actually want to do the same activities? If they do want to, it is a good point someone just made about saving the money from meals out to fund the activities. I nthe same way, how about ex skips the soft play, wave pool, movies and pays for his and OP's dc to do the same morning activities? Of course then the dc are not occupied all day but it wouldn't be the end of the world, would it to just hang about at home in the afternoon?

Journey Sun 13-Jan-13 23:02:21

How a father can allow this is to happen is beyond me. It is emotionally cruel as VestaCurry said.

Your dcs' father should be stopping those activities which means your dcs can only be participants. The fact that your ex allows this to happen, and the fact that you think the answer is down to money is very worrying. A loving parent would never allow such blatant exclusion.

Your ex needs a wake up call. Even if you had the money to pay your half I think you need to have a serious discussion with your ex on how your dcs are being treated. It is heartless.

You may not have the same amount of money as your ex and his wife but you can provide a loving home for your dcs. Your ex is failing hugely in this area but you can fill this gap.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 13-Jan-13 23:02:35

Forgive me if this has already been mentioned as I've only got up to page 5

But I think its wrong that his maintainance keeps going down everytime they have another child so he's not paying full maintainance but is also expecting mum to pay for social things that he chooses to go to on his contact weekends.

I wouldn't let them be collected until after activity s had finished

JumpingJackSprat Sun 13-Jan-13 23:10:12

so all these people saying its not fair that op's kids cant join in. apart from the daughter being jealous of her step sister has op said the kids actually care about sitting and watching or want to join in whatever activity the twins are doing? are the children driving this complaint or is it you, OP?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 13-Jan-13 23:22:10

I would think it would be unlikely for someone to raise it as an issue if the children didnt say it was.

pigletmania Sun 13-Jan-13 23:24:15

How a father can allow his dd to be treated that way, and contribute to her feeling of low self worth is appealling, op you need to hit this on the head

irishkitkat Sun 13-Jan-13 23:34:00

The disparity between the two 10 year old re. Ponies etc is unfortunate but at the same time it is the one area I think the SM is behaving correctly. If her DD is her child with her late husband then she is right to use any money she inherited from him solely for that child's benefit. It is nearly universally accepted on MN that wills should be drew up to protect inheritance from subsequent marriages/children. Ofcourse it's hard for the OPs DD but it should be explained to her that the other child's daddy died and while she may have more materially, the OPs DD still has her Mummy and Daddy.

Vijac Sun 13-Jan-13 23:40:56

Have you thought of asking the people who run the activity if your kids could get it half price as they're only there fortnightly? Then your ex could pay that half! Or if they'll give a discount for extras from the same family? Do your kids want to do these activities? They may not mind watching?

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 00:46:12

These twins are 6 years old? Where I live activities for 6 year olds last for an hour. an hour and a half tops. I don't see a problem if this is the case and the activites last an hour, and they get to go to soft play or the pool afterwards.

I think you are making a mountain out of mole hill, especially about the bedrooms, unfortunately step children don't always get their own room, especially if they only sleep there a few nights a month. Be happy that they have beds to sleep in and are not made to sleep on the couch like many before them have had too!

Catchingmockingbirds Mon 14-Jan-13 01:15:01

Yabu, they aren't her children sorry, she shouldn't have to pay for them.

Arisbottle Mon 14-Jan-13 01:29:45

They may not be her children biologically but if you choose to become part of an existing family you cannot expect to carry on life as it was before, Everyone has to compromise.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 01:43:26

But the SM here has chosen to disengage, which is a popular step parenting strategy. Nobody can force her to do other wise. And true everyone does have to compromise, and unfortunately that seems to be the OP and her DC, in this case.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 04:58:52

No you are not being unreasonable. Your EX and his Wife are being absolute cunts TBH.

If they want to indulge their children in these lovely activities brilliant - but ALL children, step or not, should be able to join in. When your children are with them they ARE their responsibility - That is what having a child is. That is what happens when you marry someone who already has children.

She is obviously just being horrible - It would cost nothing for your girls to have a potter around on the pony - And the hurting it's mouth excuse is bullshit. It's easy to stop a beginner doing that - You tie a knot in the end of the reins and get them to hold that and lead them around. Simple.

At the age of 14 i taught my brother to ride without pulling my 5 year old INCREDIBLY sensitive (To the point he could not go out in the sun without covering his nose in material to prevent it hurting) mouthed pony.

She is being spiteful PLAIN AND SIMPLE. There is NO excuse for that and i would be going ape shit at that.

I feel so sorry for your kids having to put up with such vile people.

HollyBerryBush Mon 14-Jan-13 05:31:02

Re reading, I think we've been sold a pup with this OP.

Between the NewWife and ExH - there are 6 children? this woman biologically has 6 children, under the age of 10 and holds down a 'high paying job job' - ok, so she must be super woman but who the hell is paying the childcare? Who is she? Nicola Horlick?

It is only the NewWifes eldest two - two?? The eldest two girls go to horse shows and dance competitions in the morning.. Ok so the EXH has the other 6 children - and no one is watching anyone ride a horse.

When they get home, from this morning horse show, ExH takes the boys to their activities - undisclosed activities, that his daughters to his first marriage have to watch - then he takes the daughters swimming/cinema.

I'm starting to raise an eyebrow at this - one adult and 2 kids at the pictures would easy pay for an hours horse riding lessons.

Re the bedroom thing, you'd need Buckingham palace to house that lot in their own rooms

Still trying to work out all these children

OPs DD aged 10
OPs DD aged 8
NW DD aged 10
Twins aged 7
3X more DDs

ok again 2 eldest girls go to a morning horse show, the Ops girls have to watch the boys doing their activities, so what are the other two girls doing?

none of it makes sense unless there are a fleet of au pairs in the back ground

Mosman Mon 14-Jan-13 05:48:18

I think you're confused Holly that's eight children you've accounted for there.

lockedkey Mon 14-Jan-13 05:52:20

I have 7 DC in their own rooms, it's not actually that hard to find accommodation if you have the means and are willing to look outside the average four walled family home.

From what I gather there is 2 DD's aged 10, 1 aged 8, 3 aged 6 and 3 aged under 6.

The Op has stated that SM has a high paying job but most of her funds come from her deceased husband. I find the story pretty easy to follow and believable.

HollyBerryBush Mon 14-Jan-13 05:52:34

Thats right!

OW discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to twin boys

Her and Ex have had a further three DD's

the OP has two, and the newWife already had one

thats 8?

lockedkey Mon 14-Jan-13 05:59:16

From orginal post
* DD1 now 10 and DS now 8. After being splitting up I found out I was pregnant with DD2,*
OW already having a DD
* OW discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to twin boys*
* (Her and Ex have had a further three DD's)*

9 children. The OP has been pretty consistent with the number all the way through, or so I think.

SaraBellumHertz Mon 14-Jan-13 05:59:21

Presumably the SM is paying childcare out of her salary. If she has a "high flying career" this shouldn't be an issue, particularly as the DH presumably works shifts which allows for flexibility.

Woman are quite capable of having a career and DC's you know hmm

If two girls go off with step mum and two twin boys go off with dad then that leaves two other presumably very young DC who either go with stepmum or dad to watch their siblings.

The OPs (and "dads") DCs are 10,8 & 6 and dragged from pillar to post watching the twins.

One adult and 3 child tickets might pay for an hours lesson for one of the OPs DC but certainly not all three of them.

BadLad Mon 14-Jan-13 06:06:01

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

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

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

SM spoils her DC (Her and Ex have had a further three DD's), SEVEN EIGHT NINE

I make it nine children.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 14-Jan-13 06:13:30

No- the OP has three (DD1, DD2 and DS) and the MWW has six (4DD and the twins), so there are nine in total.

Presumably the SM takes the 4 DD with her
Then the ex takes the twins plus his three with him (5 total)

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 14-Jan-13 06:15:38

Anyway, crux is that your Ex has the responsibility to esnure that when he sees his children, he treats them all equally. How he achieves that is his problem.

lockedkey Mon 14-Jan-13 06:15:59

BadLad Bonus points if you go through the thread and find the extra child (though it is acknowledged as an extra DC, with an plausible explanation, so still a consistent story in my books)

HollyBerryBush Mon 14-Jan-13 06:19:04

High paying - not high flying - big difference - I made that original mistake too.

and I missed the OPs original son ..... I stand corrected

You're never going to get the real financial picture of what the deceased husband left, how it is tied up, what caveates are in trust funds or wills for his daughter. You aren't going to know if it's a lump sum, an anniuity etc, whether there are trustees and so forth. Or dictate how she spends her 'high' salary - presumably on her children.

And I still stand by, its the NewWifes money to spend on her children as she sees fit. It is the fathers responsibility to sort his own children out and as he seems to have 8 of them, it isn't going to go far on a firemans wage - its not as if he can moonlight with all that childcare going on. If he's paying 50% towards the new family childrens activities AND maint to the original family children, it is morally right that the first wife and the father go 50/50 on activities for their shared children.

I know it's unfair to outsiders looking in. But that is one of the downsides of step families.

BadLad Mon 14-Jan-13 06:22:06

lockedkey - I also came across XH's nephew, whose accomodation is shared between XH and the nephew's father. Is that who you mean?

BadLad Mon 14-Jan-13 06:26:18

It's a very unfortunate situation for your children, secretagent007. I think the best advice you have had is some kind of mediation where, rather than ask her to pay for your children, you discuss ways in which things can be made to seem fairer and nobody made to feel left out.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 06:41:04

I don't see why there has to be a 50/50 split at all.

My daughter does activities with me, paid for by me, when she's with me.
She does activities with her father, paid for by her father, when she is with her father.

It is that simple. We both have partners. They understand that they chose to enter into a relationship with someone with a child and therefore take on responsibility that comes with that.

I don't understand all this 'half for this and half for that' nonsense.

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 07:23:24

Really I think the main issue here is not te activities but the way in which your ex treats his dd, preferring ow dd and bigging her up in front of your dd which is not on, making her feel awful. You have to tackle your ex over this

Regarding activities the ow does not have to pay for your children. As you live nearby Mabey your ex could pick up your children after the activities and take them out instead of the kids watching from the sidelines, they are gaining nothing from it. I would talk to your expand come to an arrangement

VestaCurry Mon 14-Jan-13 07:27:18

Agree with pigletmania

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 07:31:21

In fact, considering he pays you next to nothing for child support - If he paid for your daughters to have riding lessons it might total half of your overall expenditure you know - Being a decent parent.

My mum bought me a pony and they earned 30k between them. I think they are just being horrible.

lljkk Mon 14-Jan-13 07:39:16

OP Said: "^There are 9 children - 3 mine, 5 theirs, 1 hers.^"

That seems clear, but very confusing following which child is which, which has ponies, etc. Not OP's fault. My dad is part of a 10-member sibling set like that. 4 dads and 2 moms involved.

I've come around to the YANBU side, OP. Ask the Step-Mum, she can only say No. At least you will having tried to fight your DC corner and to make the other parents more aware of the inequity.

Does anyone else think it's sad that the Bloke only seems to spend 1-to-1 time with the ONLY boy in the sibling set?

WHAT JOB does the step-mum do?! Is she a Sleb or similar? I wouldn't mind having a high paid job in spite of 6 children.

BadLad Mon 14-Jan-13 07:51:16

There are 3 boys - the son of the OP and her ex, and the twin boys of ex and OW

freerangelady Mon 14-Jan-13 07:55:12

You don't have to work long hours in a job to earn money! What if the sm has a business of her own where she works a couple of days a week but earns a lot? Or is part of a family business where she earns a lot but it can only be spent on her kids (I'm thinking farming or some such where ponies etc effectively don't cost much but as the business pays the business decides who benefits and with all the inheritance issues that would entail it would be not only fair but sensible to keep it all separate.) furthermore, if there is inherited money for sm maintenance and for her first child it would be highly unlikely that there were no trust funds/caveats set up that she cannot change.

I do however think the exh needs to man up and not force his first set of kids to watch the 2nd set of kids. That's just rubbing it in.

Op - could you not see it as a challenge to increase your own earning power ?

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 08:11:54

Yes the ow does not sound very nice, she can afford those activities for her kids you can't so an alternative solution whereby your children do not have to sit on the side has to be reached. Te bedroom issue is fine, they do not live there permanently, the other children do so of course they hav their own rooms. At least your children have a room with a bed while there. Mabey they can tie some stuff with them to make it more homely whilst they are there. I think you are still hurting and bitter. Yes you have to rack lope your ex over the issues tat I have mebpntione

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 08:41:56

"it would be not only fair but sensible to keep it all separate" - really even it means two siblings grow up to loathe the sight of each other - purely because one was treated like the primary one - and other like cinderella? Isnt that relationhip important in life? If they dont naturally get on - fine - but it doesnt sound as if that relationship is being given enough of a chance with the current set up.

OP I really wouldnt ask her - its obvious whats going on - she hasnt offered so far - I agree with other posters saying she is slyly undermining your children...

If you approach her - do it properly as Kung said with the longer view you will then go to court - so with eveidenec you can show in court...I think court is your only option even if the threat of it - and never actually getting there - sorts the situation.

Its not something I would ever put my own DD through...I would be approaching, if no result - straight back to court - and keep going until I got a judge who can see what a vile situation this is - and helped me do something about it. "just jealously" - jealousy is one of the most powerful emotions - unchecked - people kill each other - Othello!

OhTheConfusion Mon 14-Jan-13 08:47:12

Surely is is not unreasonable to expect your EXP to spend the same amount on each of his children... so if he is paying for half the upkeep of a pony, dance lessons and costumes etc then he should set aside the same amount to be used on your DC's regardless of your income/financial contribution.

lljkk Mon 14-Jan-13 10:01:32

Ah, thanks BadLad, I was thinking last night OP should have started thread with a list of the children and then explained the dilemma, lol.

bamboostalks Mon 14-Jan-13 10:21:46

Lets not forget the nephew who lives there all week who the SM apparently treats well. So clearly, she knows how to behave but does not want to treat her sc nicely.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 14-Jan-13 10:28:56

So, the essence of the original complaint is that the 10, 8 and 6 year olds go to watch the other two 6 year olds undertake an activity of a Saturday morning. Presumably this takes an hour. Then all five children are taken to soft play, wave pool, a film, a meal out, which is paid for in full by their father.

So really, he's spending a fair wad of money on the children, only that the twins do a - changing, and presumably shortish - thing first before they all go and have fun together. I mean, that's not fair, but it's hardly Cinderella, is it?

And OP also mentions that her eldest DD has huge issues with the other similarly-aged DD. That must be really hard. All that glamour, and pony riding, which is a big deal at ten. I think that's a lot of the real issue, isn't it? That OP is struggling, and trying her best to raise three children on a shoe string, and the SM is waltzing around all glamour and ponies and fun, and her DD is taking it out on her. So of course the OP resents the situation. But the original scenario, with the short activity and then the Full Filled Extravanga Saturdays, are not the problem. The problem is that one set of children have a charmed life, and the other set struggle.

Lafaminute Mon 14-Jan-13 10:32:47

YABU. Why shouldn't her children benefit from her healthy finances. Why should yours??

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:32:54

The watching activities issue aside, the OP's children do most definitely benefit from the ex's new situation though. If he was still with the OP, he may not be able to afford the cinema/soft play etc trips. Also I imagine the lifestyle in general is more affluent, which they will undoubtedly benefit from the remainder of the time they're there. Food, eating out, trips etc etc

Catchingmockingbirds Mon 14-Jan-13 10:36:18

If the step mum paid for the OPs kids to do these extra activities they'd be missing the classes every fortnight.

AphraBehn Mon 14-Jan-13 10:42:49

I have no comment on whether the OP is BU but the logistics of accomodating 9 children doing activities is making my head spin.

ZZZenAgain Mon 14-Jan-13 10:42:57

If he was still with the OP, they would have (presumably) 3 dc on a fireman's wage and another wage and be doing fine with that. They could probably afford riding lessons and/or ballet for the 10 year old if they wanted to. But no point in thinking about things that are not to be.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:46:22

No, if he was still with the OP then all those tax credits would presumably disappear. I doubt £30k + min wage job would equal riding lessons, ballet, weekly cinema trips, soft play, eating out etc etc for 3 children would be feasible on those wages, really

BadLad Mon 14-Jan-13 10:46:32

I think it is too much to ask for the Stepmother to pay for the other three children to participate in the activities if they are expensive, but a feeling of resentment and unfairness benefits nobody, and the likelihood is that everybody will be happier if something can be done.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:46:48

"considering he pays you next to nothing for child support"

Where did that assertion come from? Clearly I have no idea of his salary. Say he's on £30k. He gets max 25% deduction for the other children, so his monthly maintenance payment would be circa £307pm. Hardly next to nothing. And don't forget the tax credits the OP receives will disregard this payment, so will be generous.

TwoFacedCows Mon 14-Jan-13 10:53:16

I wouldn't pay towards your DC.

DH has a DD from a previous marriage, and our DC will be going to private school, together we can afford to do lots of activities with them/for them. I would not pay money towards DHs EX so that her DD can do activities.

I work hard to pay for my DCs and all that they need, I do not work to sub DHs EX!

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 10:53:47

"the OP's children do most definitely benefit from the ex's new situation though. If he was still with the OP, he may not be able to afford the cinema/soft play etc trips"


We dont know ops personal circs in terms of arguing etc and home atmosphere, personally mine were much better when they spilt up - but far too late.

I speak with passion about the ops daughter because I had a fleeting moment of this myself.

When I was little I was very into acting - very into it - loved it - took great parts in school plays and firmly wanted to go to drama school.

My DF had an affair with a lady whose daughter at the time was a v famous actress.

I felt humilated and my poor DM did too....

Had my DF gone onto live with this woman, I do know catagorically that DF suddenly being able to take me to sort play and the cinema would not have made up for my smashed and broken family, my destroyed - mother - the saddness in our family - and the difficulty with all of that and then on top of all those problems - a huge wealth divide...where someone elses acheivements and lifestyle were literally like cinderalla where I was cinderalla.

soft play and a cinema trip really reall really does not make up for that.


ZZZenAgain Mon 14-Jan-13 10:56:53

of course not eliza. Ridiculous to even suggest that the dc are benefitting from being taken to soft play and the like

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 10:58:19

All children are innocent you cant punsih innocent children because of thier DM or DF.

If I was step mum - and I wasnt the OW - and I took on a relationship knowing there are other children involved - then I take on that responsibilty as part and parcel of being with that man.

If there is enough money to pay for the other children to join in with thier siblings I would do it - even if the ex W is deliberlaty being awkard for some reason and not paying.

If I couldnt afford to pay for them - I couldnt afford too...but IF i could I would pay for them. They are children.
I would also value my relationship with those children more than the money - if I could afford to pay for them.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 11:00:16

of course it doesn't make up for it for goodness sake, I didn't say that. My advice to the OP has categorically been to remove the children from this toxic situation by starting access after the activities they are made to watch.

But all those slating the SM for not sharing her wealth, what I am saying is that the children do undoubtedly benefit indirectly from her wealth in material terms while there

ZZZenAgain Mon 14-Jan-13 11:03:35

you wrote: "the OP's children do most definitely benefit from the ex's new situation though. If he was still with the OP, he may not be able to afford the cinema/soft play etc trips"

It is a ridiculous comment

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 14-Jan-13 11:08:18

I thought the op was fairly clear with how many children.

The bedroom thing is a no brainer really, they don't live with dad from what I can tell they are with him every other weekend and once during the week,this means they live with the op so not having a room at dads is no big deal,lots and lots of children have this arrangement when they visit the nrp. They are not expected to sleep on one room with the adults or on the floor of the living room ( that I would have a minor issue with) .

The activity thing is what I would consider a big issue and this thread it indercates lots of other people agree,to me that surgests its a reasonable complaint. But how you deal with it is fairly important because some things may make you appear unreasonable.

If you ask sm to fund anything you will sound unreasonable and that will give dad license to ignore it.

But it is not unreasonable to ask dad to either not do activity s where some of his children ( the same ones every time)are watching from the sidelines every time he has contact or to make sure those children are not being left out. There are several ways he could do that.

1. Get someone else to take some kids to activity s and stay home with ones who don't have any.

2.collect your children after his other children have completed activity s

3. Arrange with activity people to have a pay per use with the children who cannot attend every week.

4. Find out if the activity s offer a sibling reduction.

5. Have the children he lives with only do activity s every other week.when the others are not there.

6. Make the activity something inexpensive and one he can afford for all such as swimming,

7. ( this one would be your doing) check your local authority to find out if they offer something like a wise/ leasure/ concession card something like this

Or simerler, if you are on a low income inc tax credits you apply for it for you and the children most LA's issue separate cards for all family members so the children can use them independently any activity s that are council run or receive gov funding will accept the one in your area. And they could use them whilst with dad and with you. Giving him a discount.

Granted you have a court order but there is nothing wrong with ignoring it if certain things happen stuff like the suituation changing and resulting in something that causes a child distress.

As long as the court did not have the info when the order was made it makes it a change.

A court order should provide for a suituation that is in the best interests of the children if it no longer does so then it can be changed if needed, some parents will be able to resolve issues without going back to court but some won't.

Its down to the person who wishes to enforce the order to try and do so by going back to court but obviously try to resolve the issue reasonably first, if needed do it in writing so you can demonstrate you have tried. But confine it to reasonable issues and reasonable requests don't go jumping in with every tiny complaint or with requests for the sm to fund things as that will not work and could make you look grabby and vindictive

piprabbit Mon 14-Jan-13 11:11:54

Your Ex-P needs a gigantic kick up the arse.
It is up to him to decide how to entertain your/his DCs appropriately.
Rather than just tagging along with the existing arrangements, he should either talk to his wife about including all the DCs in the the existing activities or find something fun to do with his DCs that he can afford while the SM takes her DCs to their activities.

But that conversation, between Ex-P and his new wife, is none of your business. How your Ex-P funds the activities he does with your DCs is not really the issue - the issue is that he needs to find something special and fun for your DCs to do which he can afford.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 11:16:55

The OP has stated that her children dont do ANY activities. In that context I would say that doing something like going to the cinema/soft play is a good thing, yes.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 14-Jan-13 11:21:25
spotsdots Mon 14-Jan-13 11:28:28

As a mother your child comes first, and this is what both OP and SM are doing. SM happens to afford the extras for her children so why should she fork out for OPs children?

OP you need to speak to your XP and not SM. Personally, I wouldn't have the guts to ask such a favour from SM/OW. I would dread what venom SM would spit at me.

I think the SM and her money is irrelevant in one sense here. When Ex has his children from his first relationship he should be doing 'something' with them. It does not have to be galloping around the countryside, or practising to be Andy Murray. Frankly, my 6 year old is so knackered from school most Saturdays he just wants to play in his room. Sometimes we get it together to go swimming or for a walk, but the emphasis is on family time and relaxing, eating , chatting. That is what his children need once a fortnight. Time to know that their father loves them and has time for them. Why can't all the kids sit round the (presumably massive) kitchen table and paint/play a board game? Or go for a fabulous long walk with a picnic, via a park?

My cousin ended up in a blended family for a couple of years where he was treated like a second class citizen. To the extent that he was fed different food to his step-brother, slept in the living room on a pull-out while his SB had a room to himself. When they went to the pub he would be given tap water while his SP had lemonade. He moved back to his father's when he reached 16 but he has never forgotten or forgiven his parents for putting him in that situation. He has grown into a lovely man, but has little relationship with his family now.

And I'm sorry, a couple of posters have made disparaging comments about first wives. If you get together with someone that has children, before or after their marriage ends, you take on a family, not just a man. You should NEVER come first with him, his children should always come first. They didn't choose the situation, YOU did. If it's too fucking hard for you to manage, emotionally or financially, find a man without kids. I have no time for that attitude.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 11:38:47

becasuse spots she married a man she knew had children , she would also have known about his e'w financial situ.

doesnt anyone consider the children of ex partners in these set ups? Before they commit to each other shouldnt as adults the new wife and ops ex discuss things like this - and whats fair on the children?

or is it ok to walk all over them and treat them like cinderella? TBH i would be totally put off any man willing to treat his own children like this in terms of DD1. TBH i wouldnt touch a man with a barge pole that could do this to his own DD1. Its vile vile behaviour and girls and thier daddies?

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 11:39:40

"considering he pays you next to nothing for child support"

Where did that assertion come from? Clearly I have no idea of his salary. Say he's on £30k. He gets max 25% deduction for the other children, so his monthly maintenance payment would be circa £307pm. Hardly next to nothing. And don't forget the tax credits the OP receives will disregard this payment, so will be generous.

Well compared to what he is providing his children with the new wife it is next to nothing. He is paying her the bare minimum (OP stated this) Reduces this each time she slings another kid out... It's just vile all round.

And yes, I'm sure OP is rolling in it on tax credits.

He should be providing the SAME for all his kids. I cannot believe two adults can be so vile. I really cannot. you enter a relationship with somebody who has children you take on the responsibility of those children when they are in your care. You provide for them the same.

The sort of people this poor woman and her children have to put up with are the reason i am terrified of how my daughters Dads wife will turn out. I bet she claimed to 'love them as her own' at first too!

People like the step mum just shouldn't get with men who have children - They are obviously no good for it and out to hurt the poor bloody kids as much as they can.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 11:40:39

"My cousin ended up in a blended family for a couple of years where he was treated like a second class citizen. To the extent that he was fed different food to his step-brother, slept in the living room on a pull-out while his SB had a room to himself. "

you have reminded me of a comment that a social worker said on here once that alot of cases of child abuse - one child has nice room and the other has been singled out and bullied and treated appallingly.

lockedkey Mon 14-Jan-13 11:49:04

elizaregina What's the ex doing that is so terrible to DD1? He makes her wait an hour or so every Saturday morning why her brothers finish their sports commits before taking her out to the cinema and out for a meal? Oh the horror!

Of course the other children should take priority room wise, they live there - it's their home!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 14-Jan-13 11:54:50

That's appalling Eliza!

I don't understand the attitude of some people saying "why should the SM pay for the OP's children." or "I would not use my money to fund the Ex-W" It is not funding the 'Op's children' or funding the 'ex-W', it funding the children of the man you loved enough to marry! It's not as if the Op is just refusing to pay half for the activities even though she can afford it, she has said that she is struggling to make ends meet as it is so just cannot afford to go halves.

This woman must know what heartache she has helped to cause to those children by having an affair with a married man and him leaving his wife for her. Surely, anyone with an ounce of decency in them would be bending over backwards in that situation to try to make the children feel as happy as possible and to ensure that the children know that Daddy still loves them just as much as his other children. If that means spending some of her money on them, and her children having a little less, then so be it.

I understand that the inheritance is for the benefit of her DD1 only, but her significant earnings (if I have understood correctly) are not. I'm not saying that it should automatically be the responsibility of the SM to pay for the activities because she had an affair with the Dad, but if he cannot afford to pay for them in full, and the Op cannot afford to go halves, one would think she would help out.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 12:01:56

Lockedkey - It's the fact that the girls want to join in and they are not allowed to, there is no reason for this.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 12:03:51

Someone asked earlier in the thread if the OPs girls could not just have a ride on one of the Stepmums multiple ponies. She refuses on the basis that they would hurt the ponys mouths. This is bullshit and just blatantly pushing the OPs girls out - It would cost nothing for them to have a potter around on the pony when they're there, They'd feel included, have a nice time - Where's the problem? She has no good reason to refuse this.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 12:09:36

dreamingofmaldives - exaclty.

even if her children did thier activities at diff times of day or diff days but she helped out a little tiny bit or let her DH help out - on the days he has access....

reading some posters on here - wow - there must be alot of sad miserable little children out there - and of course - at a time when they are coming to big crossroads in thier life of big school - gcses etc....

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 12:11:48

TBH It's not even the financial aspect really - It's the blatant spite. I feel so sorry for these children i really do, And it must be awful to be the OP having to send them to this nasty piece of work.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Mon 14-Jan-13 12:19:42

YABU it's not her responsibility to pay for your dc to do stuff.

However, as a step mum myself, i could not imagine my dc doing stuff and my dsc missing out and in her position i would make sure they were doing exciting stuff/joining in as well.

You maybe unreasonable but she sounds like a bitch and you must hate sending them there.

Dh's children and our children are equal and i could not imagine a situation where i would consider it differently.

What is her relationship like with your children in general?

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Mon 14-Jan-13 12:21:39

Oh and also should have said i would expect your Ex to being doing everything he can to sort the situation out.

Why should your dc have to sit and watch anyone do anything, he should be taking them somewhere else.

lockedkey Mon 14-Jan-13 12:24:11

But Hokey they are doing fun stuff, their just having to wait a bit longer to do it.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Mon 14-Jan-13 12:40:11

Yes locked they are going swimming or the cinema, but after they have watched their siblings dance or ride or whatever else.

If that were the case in my family and my dc were doing stuff like that i would be saying - or would expect dh to say. Right well this isn't very fun for A and B so if they can't join in i'm going to take them to do something more fun and then we can all go to the cinema or whatever after.

Trying to explain to 10,8 and 6 year old why their siblings can do all of that stuff when they are not allowed to join in must be horrid so i would expect him to remove them from the situation and do something else.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 12:51:09

after watched hte other siblings dance or ride- and that thier own father is funding and he refuses to fund the SAME activities for them. he then spends more on the richer children as they all go out to soft play.

Kung fu said earlier its all topsy turvey he is spending more on the richer children and penalising the pooer and deliberalty spending less on them!

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 13:02:17

Locked - Even with that though - Where is the justification for refusing to allow OPs daughters to join in something that costs absolutely nothing? That in itself says there is more to this than 'contributing half'.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 13:10:05

Is is actually a fact that he's funding half of the children's activities though? It's not uncommon to have separate finances, but this doesn't literally mean that each and every expense is literally halved

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 13:10:18

yes dizy and the fact SHE has told HIM he must not spend more on his children with her...knowing they have less and need more to keep up with HER.

Lasvegas Mon 14-Jan-13 13:30:04

Re ponies being ridden by OP kids. A fireman who has no ridding experience cannot teach 2 kids to ride. It is a dangerous suggestion. I would not let my pony be ridden by someone who i had not assessed for riding ability.

The dad should spend his contact time doing something constructive and or fun with his kids when they are visiting. He chose to have multiple kids and families so he needs to spread his time around all kids.

I am a step mother and would never dream of dragging visiting skids to stables, piano lesson, drama lessons that there half sibling does. Likewise when their dad takes skids to play golf, he doesn't take our child (who doesn't play) with him

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 13:36:25

Vegas - The girls want to though. They wouldn't be being dragged up to the stables to be sat in a corner - And i wasn't suggesting the Dad teach them anything.

I fail to see why they cannot be given half an hours lead around the menage/field each. If they own ponies i would bet money that he will at least know how to do that - My other half has absolutely no interest in horses but within a month of meeting me he was catching up my section D stallion, turning out, rugging up, feeding... It is not hard.

She is actively preventing them from joining in with the family for no damned reason.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 13:37:06

And what wouldn't be constructive or fun about taking his daughters for a nice wander around doing something they enjoy?

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Mon 14-Jan-13 13:40:10

She is actively preventing them from joining in with the family for no damned reason.

Exactly that DizzyZebra

Yorkpud Mon 14-Jan-13 13:41:16

YANBU - while the children are staying there they should be treated in the same way as their children. It is not up to you to pay for activities that happen when your ex is looking after them (as some people are saying) as I am sure you have enough to pay out as the main carer. Your ex and her don't sound like they have an equal financial relationship which I think is out of order when he can't afford to pay for things for your children that their children do.

DreamingoftheMaldives - agree totally.

Just thinking. If I was to die and leave money for my children, I wouldn't mind if DP remarried and used some of his money for his new children. As long as they were happy.

spotsdots Mon 14-Jan-13 13:41:51

Based on the original post secretagent007 wanted to know if she would be unreasonable to ask their step mother to either fund or give permission to EX to fund these activities?

OK further in the post the SM sounds like a typical fairy tale wicked SM but in this case the question is about whether she should fund for all the children in this blended family. In ideal world she should voluntarily do it and treat all children the same, but in reality this is not always the case.

OP should speak to her Ex and not to SM. Personally, I would be too bitter to approach the new wife and the fact that she earns more than me, that would be like rubbing salt in the wound.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 13:42:31

A valid argument, RE the horses, From the step Mum would be that ok, she doesn't really want to shell out for lessons every other week, or to enter them in shows because they're not going to get much out of it unless the OP also keeps that up during time with her - Which she has stated she cannot do. That is fair enough and understandable - It's an expensive hobby, I wouldn't want to shell out that money when the child isn't going to get that much out of it because of the infrequency.

The normal thing to then do would be to say 'But if the girls really want to, they are welcome to join in at the stables and have a potter around the menage on the lead rein,', Maybe go to shows with them and enter them in the fun classes that involve being led around at a walk on a lead rein - Again, if theyre going anyway, its costing her nothing more than the 3 quid per class. What normal person wouldn't do that when the children quite clearly want to? What is it taking away from her? How is this any less constructive than them taking them to soft play? They might enjoy this more.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 14-Jan-13 13:43:33

I expect he probably would not consider taking his none resident children to soft play and expecting his resident children to sit and watch.

Chances are their mother would think that was horrible.

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 13:57:15

Really it is not on to drag op children to activities, it is not benefiting them and at th same time rubbing ther faces in it as their mum is not able to pay half. The solution would be for t father to collect them when the activities are over. The step mum does not sound very nice, well she wouldn't to break up a family. They have expensive hobbies but the sm might be paying for most of it. You have to see how these hobbies are divided financially.

If op ex is indeed paying half of these expensive hobbies than it is only right and proper that op kids are fpgiven the same amount from him towards their hobbies, that migh be more than half if they are cheaper hobbies. Really the ex needs to stop being a bloody wallflower, stop having kids and support the ones he has and treat his chidren with op better and defend them. It's not right how he is treating his 10 year old dd, favouritising his stepdaughter this asking te other girl feel awful

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 13:59:02

Exactly sock, I don't think he would do tat to his resident chidren, sm would not allow it. Op,you should not allow it either

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 14:13:22

The more I read of this the more I believe that the SM is being genuinely disengaged. I can completely understand how it would have come about. I would assume that in the early days of the split the OP, quite rightly given the circumstances IMO, didn't want the SM to have any involvement in her very young DCs lives. The SM then made the decision ther she would parent her children, be distant, but again I'm assuming polite to the OPs DC and leave any parenting to their parents. She has chosen to make it her DHs sole responsibility to entertain and care for his DC. This wouldnt be my choice of how to deal with a step family set up but it is a legitimate strategy of coping which is recommend my many Step family therapists.(Feel free to correct me OP if I've assumed incorrectly!)

On the other hand I think the father is being a twit. He should spend equal amounts entertaining all his children. if he is paying half for some of his children to attend an activity every week he should pay the full amount for his other DC to attend EOW. If he and his DW have genuinely separate finances then his money is his own to do with as he pleases. The cost of taking 5 children to the movies, etc would probably cover the tennis lessons for his three older children.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 14:21:43

You know the saddest thing of all? This family has the potential to be such a happy one. And the step mum is ruining it out of spite.

IrishKitKat - You could be right about the early days - But then the step mum needs to grow up and realise that when you get involved in something so raw, You're not going to be welcomed with open arms. She should have got over this a long time ago, Not continue to push out the step children - And even if that is so, Again, Where is the justification for her actively preventing them doing activities such as riding? She doesn't have to be there. She has said they can't do it as they would hurt the animals mouth, which is a crock of shit.

gotthemoononastick Mon 14-Jan-13 14:24:39

this has made me very sad.The years fly by so quickly and resentments pile up never to be forgotten... forever. Wish I could help you a little OP..where in the country are you?

DoodlesNoodles Mon 14-Jan-13 14:27:07

Maybe the SM is a MN'er and has read posts on other threads advising that SM's don't get too involved with their step children confused.

If the Ex hasn't told her that there is a problem then she may not realise that it is not working.
It is also possible that the OP's DC don't complain when they are at their fathers house so the Ex doesn't see that there is real problem and might just think the OP is being difficult.

OPs eldest is ten, I wonder what she has said to her Father and SM? She is at an age where a lot of DC's dont keep their opinions to themselves?

What does the Ex do about all his DCs birthday and Christmas presents?

It is a tricky situation and one that won't go away. The problems will continue with, cars, Uni fees, weddings etc etc.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 14:36:35

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with what the SM is doing. I'm a SM myself and all the DCs are simply children of our family, no distinction between steps, halfs or fulls.. I just understand where she's coming from. She doesn't view her SDC as anything to do with her, responsibility wise. Of course she will have nobody to blame but herself in years to come when her SDC want nothing to do with her. The OPs DC are getting older every day and they will realise that they very definitely have 2 parents and then Daddy's wife, not a real stepmother at all. The real damage will be done to these DC if they think their DF doesn't care for them not their SM, who is nothing to do with them. Therefore it is his responsibility to treat them equally not the SM's.

TwoFacedCows Mon 14-Jan-13 14:38:42

I wouldnt pay for my DHs children, that is entirely up to him to do with his EX. If the EX approached me asking/demanding that i pay for her DCs also it would really put my back up and i doubt i would.

BUT the DH should take his DC to do something fun and enjoyable, he should not hang around until the other DC are finished.

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 14:41:02

It's not acceptable that he might be paying half of these expensive hobbies whilst op chidren are going without dupe to her financial situation. If he cannot afford to extend the same amount that he funds his children with sm to op chidren, these expensive hobbies should not be going ahead, or sm should fund her kids hobbies herself

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:44:26

Did I read correctly that one of the twins has special needs? Wouldn't that be a good reason not to leave it alone? they are very young after all.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 14:44:37

If my other half ever told me we were only to provide half for my daughter because she is not 'his' i would leave him on the spot TBH. I can't understand why this man hasn't done the same. I really can't contemplate the sort of person you have to be.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:47:15

Dizzy What are you referring to?

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 14:48:09

We don't really knows who's funding the DTs activities in reality though. If they live the high life, they I very very much doubt all expenses are split 50:50. He simply wouldn't have the resources

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 14:49:59

That i can't understand why the man is with a woman who actively tells him he cannot spend more than X amount on his children, and who actively pushes the children out. I would leave OH if he did that. I would expect DDs Dad to leave his wife if she started treating DD badly. And i am 99% sure he would do too.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 14:53:19

But they have separate finances DizzyZebra so the father is only paying half towards his other children's activities too. The SM is expecting the OP to contribute half towards her children's activities in the exact same way the SM does for her own children. The main problem here is the disparity of incomes, if the OP earned more or the SM earned less, this wouldn't be an issue. I really think this man is taking the P, 9 DC and he isn't the main provider for any of them.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:56:33

But she hasn't, has she?

I agree with irishkitkat; I see it as a disengagement situation, which is the first advice any step family therapist would give to a step mother - to disengage.
I do wonder that if the stepmother was to be engaged with the DC, would we be seeing threads about how she is over stepping her boundaries?

The OP just seems very bitter towards me.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:58:00

* To me* - I assure you I'm not the SM in question grin

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 14:59:41

And as far as I can see the SM is telling her DH she expects him to spend the exact same amount on all his DCs. I'm not sure why this isn't equating to the OPs DC attending activities EOW but I suspect this may be more to do with their DF than their SM.

olgaga Mon 14-Jan-13 15:00:08

I think it's the Ex here who needs a kick up the backside. Why can't he spend his contact time with his children doing something with and for them, rather than dragging them around and making them be spectators rather than participants?

I agree with the other posters who have suggested mediation - but that also costs money.

I think you're just going to have to make your feelings clear, OP - your children will vote with their feet when they are old enough. You'll end up back in court then anyway.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:02:28

She has treated them badly - She won't even allow the children to use anything of her daughters. She has made up ridiculous excuses. She has told OPs Ex he must spend X Y Z - She knows the step children cannot have this. That is wrong. The children should be treated the same, Regardless of monetary sacrifice - There needn't be any, But the spiteful exclusion needs to stop, The ONLY people she is harming is the children.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:05:33

No one seems to want to comment on the things i have pointed out - The fact that she excludes the children despite it costing her nothing to do so, Despite her not having to actually do anything. That is just spite. That speaks far more for her motives and character than strangers on the internet inventing parenting strategies does. I'm sorry but the disengagement shit is just a tarted up way of saying 'ignore the step kids they're not there all the time anyway', No, I'm sorry, you get in a relationship with someone with children, You deal with it properly, like an adult, you don't go pussying out of it and making up ridiculous excuses and terms.

You know what, I couldn't do it, so do you know what i didn't do? I didn't get involved with a man who already had children. Simple as.

PiccadillyCervix Mon 14-Jan-13 15:07:31

Not read 11 pages, but it is not fair the step mother to fund your kids, but I also don't think it's air that you get paid less because they haven't figured out this family planning lark.

Your dh is a massive twat though for providing for one set of dc if he can't provide for all or at least switch their activities to a different date

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 15:08:12

I agree dizzy you said what I've been trying to say

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:10:59

Dizzy I think the reason no-one is engaging with what you're saying is that it's simply a diatribe of how spiteful the SM is. None of that is remotely constructive for the OP because she is not in a position to influence a) how spiteful the SM is or b) whether her ex leaves the SM for this or otherwise

olgaga Mon 14-Jan-13 15:15:06

Yes Dizzy but the OP can do nothing about that. It's the Ex who needs to ensure his children are treated fairly when they spend contact time with them.

It's his failure. He is the only one who can be take to task about allowing such an unfair situation to develop. It's his responsibility, not the SM's.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:16:44

Or because there is no justification for her behaviour whatsoever. There simply isn't.

The disengage thing is bollocks. Ok, If there is no court order in place - Distance yourself until a solution is found in court. That has happened. OP cannot just stop contact - So SM has no reason to be distancing herself. This is the arrangement for the forseeable future and she should be accomodating that and striving to make herfamily exactly that - A family. Not a unit split down into ranks and pecking orders.

The husband is as big of a twat for allowing it. It's a crying shame all around - There is the opportunity for a really happy, stable family here, that should be enjoyed and embraced, Not scrutinized down to the last penny.

You know what if i lived near you OP and i still had my ponies i'd teach your girls to ride myself i cannot believe someone would actively prevent children from joining in when they have the means to do so. Just CANNOT believe it.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:17:56

And whats more i cannot believe the willingness on here to swallow such ridiculous excuses and dress them up to make the adults appear somehow victimized.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:19:09

I still don't believe he pays 50% of everything if they live quite an affluent lifestyle. He wouldn't be able to afford this. So he isn't therefore funding half of what his other children get. The SM must be contributing quite a bit more than 50%

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:19:55

Me niether allnewtaketwo. It just doesn't add up.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:21:02

Who is swallowing daft excuses?

I dont think you can really ask your ex's new wife to fund your dc sports.

But, I think your ex is a total imbecile for sitting with his children watching his other children play a sport! If he can pay for his new children playing, he should also pay for yours. FGS, it is only one activity, that falls on the day he has them. He either pays, or his kids dont play sports on Saturdays!

Why can these children not sit and watch their sister do horseriding or whatever while your ex has daddy time with his other children?

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:24:38

Allnewtakestwo - Well no one seems to be able to justify her refusal to allow the girls to be lead around on the pony. How can anyone deny that that little blinder isn't done out of spite? What other reason does she have? Everyone has ignored that though despite the incident being quite relevant as it highlights her efforts to exclude the children.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:28:50

She said nobody could ride them in her absence. I didn't see anything about them not allowed on the ponies at all. You see that as spiteful, but she (and some others with horses - not all obviously, yourself excluded) hold a similar view. If she was willing for the children to ride the horses in her presence, but not absence, then I don't see that as her being spiteful as such, no.

The actual problem the OP's children have is being ferried to the DT's activities on a Saturday morning. That itself isn't down to SM spite but down to ex not changing the arrangements to include all his children. That is his responsibility.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 15:31:30

Did the OP say that the girls got to ride the ponies in her last post?

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:33:02

She said they would hurt their mouth. Which is crap.
Considering the dad contributes 'half' to these ponies, He should get some say in who rides them and when. I would be incredibly surprised if he were incapable of leading them around. That is being spiteful and it does highlight her motives - Or if her absence is the only concern, why are they not welcome when she is there, If their Dad goes along too. She has to be there at least twice a day, for some considerable length of time if they have more than one! It just screams inflexibility and spite.

No you're right on the last bit - The ex needs to put his foot down and sort it out, I've not denied he is just as much at fault here. I just can't get past the blatant exclusion on something the girls would evidently like to do. There is no reason to stop them at all.

LPplusOne Mon 14-Jan-13 15:33:14

It seems like there's no happy middle ground for a SM to achieve. If, in this case, the SM was paying for OP's DD1 to have lessons and ride competitively, what do you bet that the thread would be vilifying SM for 'overstepping' ?

I can hardly believe there is so much random anger, bitching and moaning about SM's - according to most some of the views posted here I don't see how any SM could ever get it right in the BioMum's eyes.

It's ridiculous how nasty some of these posts are towards the SM and the DF, especially as it's a situation that none of us really truly knows the details of. How convenient that the OP hasn't even been back to respond.

My first ever biscuit

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:33:38

Not that i saw core - But then i haven't slept in over 24 hours so i'm probably not to most reliable source.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:35:46

There is a happy middle ground. It's so goddamned simple. Include them a bit. Ok don't spend a fortune - you don't have to, But plonk them on the beast and let them have a potter about for half an hour each.

Stop this ridiculous dragging them around to watch the others enjoy activities while being told they are not allowed to partake in.

Stop scrutinizing every penny, They're children, family. Something you commit to. Treat them as such!

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 15:38:04

Maybe the SM is just a bitch of the highest order. Maybe she is genuinely disinterested in her SDC. Maybe she doesnt want to take more children with her on her day off and thinks the OPs DC should spend contact time with their DF. Or maybe she is taking her DD out of the way on a Saturday morning so she doesn't have to watch all the other DCs having fun with their DF when her DF is dead. Either way the OPs DC have an obviously loving mother and a DF who needs to wise up and treat his DC equally. The OP is in no danger of losing her DC nor is the SM, the Father certainly is when they are old enough to vote with their feet.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:38:43

Yes "She would love to take the dance and art classes she takes and would kill for a pony. SMDD has three, and she gets to ride them every now and then, but it's not the same"

So the SM does indeed let the children ride the ponies. Just not in her absence.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:43:43

I must have missed that, Though OP is right - It isn't the same. The Dad should be putting his foot down then and taking the girls himself to ride if they want to - They are as much his animals as hers.

I think OP should point out to the ex that anyone who knows anything about horses knows two very, VERY easy ways to prevent the mouth even being touched.

If she believes the mouth excuse herself (SM) then she shouldn't be in charge of the animals in the first place because she obviously knows nothing about them (Going to stop that one there though as going OT!).

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:45:26

The SM doesn't seem as awful now. I think the ex just needs to man up tbh and put his foot down over the silly comments/excuses.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:46:32

How do you know he pays half towards the ponies. The OP says they both put a percentage of their salaries into a household account, and that the remainder is for each of them to spend. How do you know that she doesn't spend her surplus on the ponies?

Its not for you to judge who she lets ride her ponies in her absence. And it's nothing to do with the actual nub of the problem here, namely the OP's children being made to watch the DTs doing their activities (i.e. nothing to do with ponies!)

LPplusOne Mon 14-Jan-13 15:48:55

Okay, so when SM's make the effort to treat all the children in a family the same (bio, step, whatever) and the DSC's go back to their BioMum's chatting about how wonderful SM is and how much fun they have with her then the BioM needs to suck it up. But that usually doesn't happen because BioM is jealous. Instead there's another thread posted about how SM is 'overstepping' and behaving inappropriately.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. No happy middle ground.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:49:23

They are a couple. The ponies are theirs. OT again but the mouth excuse is a silly one as it is so easily 100% prevented from happening at all.

If he contributes to their keep then he should get be putting his foot down to give his daughters quite a nice opportunity for enjoyment.

olgaga Mon 14-Jan-13 15:50:03

I do think kungfupanda has the best advice here. Can you speak to your Ex without it all degenerating into an argument and simply explain to him that your children feel left out and hurt?

Surely it must be possible to find affordable days out for all the children in his care on these occasions - it's only every other weekend after all, not every weekend. He can do all activities he likes with the other children on the weekends when he doesn't have contact with yours.

If he doesn't see there's a problem I can see your children being less and less keen to go. They will certainly feel the unfairness of it all as they get older.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:52:38

I very very much doubt that the ex contributed towards the cost of the ponies or their upkeep.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 15:53:04

As I far as I can gather a good proportion of the SMs wealth came from her late DH who we think is her DDs father. If the ponies were bought with the DDs inheritance money then no they don't belong to the SMs new husband. They belong to the DD. I would also think that many of that DDs activities are being funded by this inheritance and not by the SM and her DH.

LPplusOne Mon 14-Jan-13 15:53:57

Xposted Dizzy - I'm glad you're finally placing the blame elsewhere than the SM! (Who, in all honesty, may be trying to 'do the right thing' by intentionally giving DF space to spend with his children over the weekend.)

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:55:13

I would be interested to know how the court order for access came about. It does suggest that the ex was keen to see the children more than he was "allowed", particularly as mediation failed. But it seems the OP is not returning

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 15:57:12

I agree it's up to the ex really, not SM. what she des with her money is up to her. But ex has to provide more for his kids with op

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 15:57:41

Where is the op?

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:58:06

It doesn't matter who laid out - They will be taking up a large chunk of income - He contributes to the hobbies, which i assume is included in this. They will be impacting on his life - He should get a say.

I bought my horses before i met OH - When we became a couple i still gave him a say over what we did with them, their care. That's what couples do. It doesn't matter who was laying out for them. You become a couple, You make decisions together, based on what is best for your whole family, not just the children that live with you all of the time.

I do feel for some SMs to be fair. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't. Not for anyone. Not even my OH. Makes me a hypocrite because he's done it for me. But still. I'd make a child miserable. So i wouldn't involve myself.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 15:58:26

Dizzy Have you ever seen horse show mothers? The only way I can describe them is closely related to those pageant moms in america. If the SM is anything like the ones I've witnessed I'm not surprised she won't allow anyone to ride her ponies in her absences. Horses are expensive when their just hobby riding, but show horses - Phew, I don't know how anybody affords it!

pigletmania Mon 14-Jan-13 15:59:07

Stop dragging them to,activities where they cannot take part in

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 15:59:24

There are lots of reasons allnew - My court case came about despite me giving the ex 50:50 care... It was out of the blue. He'd been planning it for some time though!

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:59:55

Putting all this aside (and notwithstanding I strongly think things need to change regarding how the children are ferried around on a Saturday morning) -

I do think it's a great shame that the OP's children don't do any activities at all in her charge. As other posters have pointed out, many council run activities are very very cheap. Is there really nothing at all they can be doing?

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:01:03

Core - I have many years experience with horses of all background. I have taught children. It is quite frankly an absolute basic bit of knowledge - How to stop a child pulling your precious ponies mouth - Detatch the pigging reins. SIMPLE. AND makes for a much better rider.

I frequently ride without reins to keep myself in check!

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 16:06:43

I trying to think about from the perspective of the SMs late husband. If I I had any wealth to speak of (which I don't smile) I think I would want to make sure that, in the event of my death, the vast majority of my wealth passed to my DC, not to my DHs new children and not to his new wifes DC. From his perspective I would imagine he left the money so that his DD could have ponies and private school, not so other children could benefit. It's all foreign to me anyway because we and my DSCs DM have a similar level of income (not much!!) and we all do our best to make all the DC happy.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:07:02

"When we became a couple i still gave him a say over what we did with them, their care. That's what couples do"

Not necessarily. DH has a specific hobby that involves expense items. I don't take anything to do with it, including who can use these items or how much money he spends on them.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:10:35

Kitkat - Half an hour is hardly spending his wealth on someone elses kids is it?

Allnew - Does his hobby impact your choices in life? Do you have to consider your DHs hobby if you want to go out for a meal, or visit family, or go for a family day out, Or just spend time at home with your family for once? Does your DHs hobby cause you to have to drop everything at a moments notice when it goes arse over tit in the field no matter what you're in the middle of?

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:10:48

Dizzy you're sounding a bit obsessed with this reins issue. Let it go FGS.

We've already established the children are allowed to ride the ponies. The fact that the owner of the ponies is only happy for them to do this in her presence is not the problem here. The problem is that the OP's children have to sit and watch the DTs do their activities on a Saturday morning. This issue would not be alleviated by the OP's children riding the ponies on a Saturday morning, as their father is "too busy" and the SM by the sounds of it has her hands full with 5 other children

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:12:19

"Allnew - Does his hobby impact your choices in life?"

But the ponies do not impact the ex's choices in life! He has the choice what to do with his children on a Saturday morning. Ponies or no ponies.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Mon 14-Jan-13 16:12:33

So the inheritance was for Sm's first child. I get that bit and she should be the only child who benefits from it.

Then she has children with her DP and she also has stepchildren who have 2 parents actively involved in their lives.

I think the disengaging point is a very valid one. She is taking a step back and concentrating on her own children. She is a high earner and her children reap the benefits of this.

That said, as it is not really a new relationship anymore, the disengaging point could be a little bit dated now as the SC are familiar with her. I think that when the children are THERE, she could be including them more as they are part of the family.

I am a SM and I have always said that DP's daughter is part of our family and I will make sure she's happy and included when with us- and she is. We live in a two bed house, have a son and another on the way and once the baby is ready to move in to his own room, he will share with his brother and SD will have our room which we will decorate for her. When she is here I would bend over backwards for her but that's not to say I HAVE TO. But I will.

When she is in the care of her mother she is no longer my responsibility financially or otherwise. That is when I concentrate soley on my children and it is between my DP and his ex to make arrangements about anything. If it concerns me such as if DP and his ex were discussing additional expenses, for example school uniform, snack money, I'd help him to pay for that no issue.

On the whole I concentrate on my own children when SD is at her mum's, so if we went on a day out somewhere on her mum's weekend she wouldn't be missing out as she'd be doing something with her mum. But if she's here of course she will be included.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:14:16

Allnew - I was just making a point that her excuse is crap!

The ponies will impact on his life in general - He will undoubtedly have to sacrifice certain things in order for them to have them. Therefore he should be allowed some say! Its half an hour fgs.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:14:42

If the SM has a FT job and 6(?) children, I very much doubt she does even part time 'care' of the horses. I'm pretty sure it's outsourced

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:15:50

You weren't just making 'a' point, you've made it about 100 times

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 16:17:03

Dizzy, you keep saying it's half an hour - What is half an hour?

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 16:17:21

"You know the saddest thing of all? This family has the potential to be such a happy one. And the step mum is ruining it out of spite. "

totally agree dizzy - agree with all you have said - my BF at school had a pony, sometimes when I stayed over with her on a friday - we would both go to her stables, she wld go off on the horse as she was more advanced - but they made sure i was entertained - then i was allowed to trot round on the reign was great fun.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:17:48

Because no one seems to be understanding that there is no reason for that shit and the ex needs to stop being a twat and tell her to sit down and have a minute! The whole situation is just ridiculous anyway and i can't believe i sacrificed my opportunity for a nap to argue it sad

I'm going to say ta ta for now ladies! Lovely discussing with you, As much as i would like a nap, It has been enjoyable.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 16:17:52

Sorry Dizzy I was referring to the idea that the ponies were family belongings when if they came from the inheritance i believe they belong specifically to the DD. I think it's a bizarre set up but then as I mentioned I have no idea how truely wealthy people operate. The OP mentioned the inheritance was the reason they keep finances separate so I'm assuming it's had caveats to protect the eldest DD. I could well be wrong but the OP hasn't clarified. Also if it were me I would just let all the kids enjoy whatever luxuries we could afford.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:18:26

Core - Half an hour pottering around on the beast. It's not exactly taking away from anyone and could be something that would bring a lot of happiness to a little girl.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:19:59

"Because no one seems to be understanding that there is no reason for that shit and the ex needs to stop being a twat and tell her to sit down and have a minute!"

I don't think it's so much that people don't understand, more that people realise this isn't the nub of the issue and there is sweet f a the OP can do about the SM's preference for the ponies. What she can do is sort out how the Sat morning situation affects her children.

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:20:21

Kitkat - Yes i suppose they are specifically the daughters - But whats half an hour for the SD every other week? Hardly taking away from her is it? I used to have my little brother led around on my pony for 20 minutes whenever i couldn't be arsed to warm him up.

Anyway, really am going now! I have tidying to do (STILL!)

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 16:21:12

But by the same argument couldn't it be said that it's only an hour(?) that the children have to wait for the twins?

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:23:11

NO Core! I am GOING. Bad MN! grin

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 16:23:18

Though Dizzy I do agree that riding a pony isn't going to take away from SM DD, after all she only has one bum, she can't ride all three at one time!

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:24:47

Maybe she's that guy...

Now... this living room WILL be tidy.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 16:27:16

Enjoy your tidying Dizzy. I'm off to make tea for my own neglected DC smile. MN certainly is the Thief of Time.

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 16:28:50

How you found that picture so quickly is astonishing, I'm getting vibes you've had it bookmarked, waiting patiently for years for this moment to present itself grin

CoreOfLore Mon 14-Jan-13 16:30:26

I'm off as well; it's 3.30 am here in Australia, and I need my beauty sleep. Night MN.

LPplusOne Mon 14-Jan-13 16:34:26

grin @ Lorenzo

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 16:37:29

I have moved 3 toys. THREE TOYS. I am failing.

It just sprang to mind - I saw him on TV doing it and googled 'man standing on horses' and it came straight up haha.

Now it doesn't seem half as witty and hilarious.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 16:41:10

I hope op comes back to fill in some gaps. I feel particulary moved by her childrens plight

Well YWBU to ask the step mum, but YANBU to expect your ex to pay. Could he sign your dcs up for an activity every other week? That way he'd be paying half of what his other dcs get as they get it every week iyswim.

Tbh though, is your dcs watching their siblings for an hour REALLY the issue? Do they even want to so tennis etc? What so they have to say on the issue?

I think the real issue is that the oldest dd has what your oldest dd wants/ what you want for her ( private school, ponies etc) and I'm afraid as crap as it is, there's nothing you can do about that sad

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 14-Jan-13 17:01:11

OP shouldnt have to pay half for her ex contact, shes the RP and foots most of the bill already, he pays minimum support, but still expects for her to pay for more, my ex pays me, whatever he does with DD his out of his pocket, OP's ex needs to remember he made 3 other children, they arent just random family members, they are his kids.

The ex DP, shouldnt have to contribute, but shouldnt restrict what he pays, he had 8 kids he deals with it.

WifeofPie Mon 14-Jan-13 17:31:58

I think that if the pair of them have decided to have all these children together knowing that they already have three children with other partners, then they should be prepared to TREAT ALL THE CHILDREN IN THEIR LIVES THE SAME. If you decide to break up families and mess up lives, then you should be prepared to alter your lifestyles in order to compensate the children involved. So they shouldn't have some kids with multiple ponies and others doing NOTHING. Not fair at all. They should choose cheaper activities so that all 9 (10?) kids can participate. It's not fair to the children that are left out and also a very poor example to the spoilt children and does nothing for building family relationships.

Sorry for the SHOUTING but this had made me quite cross angry. What a mess.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 17:34:22

greg may I ask you who pays for your DCs regular weekend activities if they go to any? If your DC has every other weekend contact with their DF but goes to the activity every week? In my family my DSS go to their DMs EOW but by DH (as the RP) pays for them to attend a sports club every weekend. So one week he takes them the next week their DM does but my DH pays their membership.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 17:36:24

i am also surprised the sm dd doesnt want to share the pony riding - with her step sister...and just share things...

what sort of lessons are being taught to the richer children !

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 14-Jan-13 17:37:28

Irish My daughter only goes once a month, (i'd be happy with more but meh) anything my DD does is in and outside school i pay for or, i use the maintenance money.

irishkitkat Mon 14-Jan-13 17:43:09

See that's the same for us, although EOW. The DSSs DM is perfectly nice but she genuinely believes the maintenance she pays should cover all extra-curricular planned activities even if they occur on 'her weekend'. She will treat the boys to movies, etc out of her money like the OPs ex. I'm just wondering if he believes the maintenance he pays should pay for the DCs extra- curticulars, like many other NRPs do, and he's actually being generous offering half. He's still a twit to think like that though.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 14-Jan-13 17:47:52

My ex is a dick but understands the maintenance he gives me is my DD's essentials and I use it as such, if he so much dared asked me to fund his weekend, he'd get a "no way in hells chance", Just because im the RP, doesnt mean i have to pay for everything. My BIL, pays maintenance and more for his activities, some men are so pig ignorant it amazes me.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 14-Jan-13 17:49:04

*his DS activities

TwoFacedCows Mon 14-Jan-13 18:06:28

DizzyZebra, just because people are a couple, does not make the horses both of theirs.

I have 2 dogs, they are not DHs dogs at all. I do all of the walking and caring. The dogs know that they are mine, just as DH does.

My dogs certainly would not be walked by my DsD, So i can understand why this SM wouldnt want the DC riding the horses in her absence.

notallytuts Mon 14-Jan-13 18:15:03

I'm a bit confused by how all the money is split, but if I understand right, one SD has three ponies? Now assuming that these are half funded by your XH, could he not put the same amount of money he does into this daughter, into a pony that your DDs could share? Obviously this would be a big commitment, but might be feasible if your DD(s) are really that interested, and could be doable if you all live in the same town? It all sounds very unfair, your poor DC sad

Arisbottle Mon 14-Jan-13 18:21:36

As a stepmother, if I treated my stepson in this way or refused to treat all of our children the same , my husband would show me the door. I am horrified that your ex would allow another woman to treat his children in that way.

Dinglebert Mon 14-Jan-13 18:22:20

Surely he needs to do fun, cheap things with your children, while his other children do the expensive stuff. Then when your children are with you, he can watch them.

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 18:24:27

arisbottle - i know, how can HE do it? how can they both do it - both as horrid as each other...

DizzyZebra Mon 14-Jan-13 18:29:35

*DizzyZebra, just because people are a couple, does not make the horses both of theirs.

I have 2 dogs, they are not DHs dogs at all. I do all of the walking and caring. The dogs know that they are mine, just as DH does.

My dogs certainly would not be walked by my DsD, So i can understand why this SM wouldnt want the DC riding the horses in her absence.*

Not really a comparible situation... I wouldn't let my kids walk my dog. Because that would be stupid and irresponsible. I would let both ride because that is not stupid or irresponsible and could bring them both happiness and enjoyment.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 18:58:21

SM does let the childtdn ride the ponies <<Sighs at pointing this put yet again>>

elizaregina Mon 14-Jan-13 19:05:54

no the sm has put conditions on it and dizzy who has ponies has said these condtions are a load of crap and totally unnessacary.