AIBU to expect my ex to wash the kids uniforms on the w/es he has them?!

(63 Posts)
Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:13:26

Background - been divorced for 7/8 yrs.

Great relationship until he met new partner has been with her 5 yrs and she has 11 yr old DD (so she has a school uniform).

She has meddled and stirred over the yrs to the point that Ex H and I no longer speak and the kids hate her (solely because she is mean to them). They choose to go in spite if her to have a relationship with their dad. They are 14 and 16 so old enough to choose although sometimes I feel they are going into a borderline mental abuse situation sad.

He has always refused to wash the kids uniforms when he has them. He even stops off here at home so they can leave their uniform here for me to wash. I have asked a few times for him to wash them when I have been going away but the kids have always come back saying he's said the washing machine broken/they have done their mixed/white wash this week so the uniforms are still dirty. hmm.

OH was here (we have 5 of our kids here every other weekend 2 DSDs who I would not dream of sending back to their mum with dirty clothes) when they stopped in on Friday and made them take their uniforms (it's 6 items of clothing) as we were going away.

They have returned saying their dad told them Friday night he didn't have time to do them although the kids watched him wash and iron her DDS uniform confused so now I have to send 2 teenagers to school tomorrow wearing jumpers they have worn for a week probably stinking and dirty on school photo day (they are woollen and new so don't want to risk tumble drying tonight and I could only afford to buy them 1 jumper each).

I just cannot understand why he needs to be such a dick and how she a mother herself could deliberately not wash her step children's clothes sad.

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:15:58

HE could have washed them.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:18:01

Sorry - I didn't mean it was her responsibility - that came out wrong.

Yes HE should wash them.

motherinferior Sun 22-Sep-13 21:18:25

Or they could have put them in the machine themselves.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:22

They are not allowed to use the washing machine at their house.

TigerBabyyy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:33

This is a very common problem.

Its not his partners responsibility to wash your childrens clothing.

It doesnt take much i know, but dont blame her, blame him.

Is it possible to buy another uniform set to avoid them having dirty clothing on at the start of the week?

mineofuselessinformation Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:47

Tell him (if he lives near enough) to drop uniforms round on a Friday, or let the kids wash them as it's unfair to them.

mrspremise Sun 22-Sep-13 21:20:00

Do they only have one set of uniform, iut of interest.. ExH should totally be pulling a bit of weight and washing them, FFS

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:20:33

TBH I was also pissed off with OH for sending them as I knew this would happen and I would rather avoid the stress and just do it myself.

TigerBabyyy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:21:45

Could you make it a rule where if hes not willing to wash them over the weekend, he will have to ensure the uniform is with you on the fri night

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:22:54

Gossip is he a tightwad I had an ex who used to shout at me for being in the shower for longer than three mins.

Is this whats behind it?

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:23:41

No it's not her responsibility but when I wash my kids uniforms I also wash my DSDs too - because it's no hassle and its not fair to expect their mum to do it on a Sunday night - and why wouldn't you?

NachoAddict Sun 22-Sep-13 21:23:57

I wouldn't dream of sending dsd home with dirty clothes but dp probably wouldn't be bothered either way. If they went in the wash they went in if not he would just send them back. I purposefully save enough whites for a wash to make sure dsd's shirt goes hine clean.

Your ex definitely should have done it but if the 'family' washing is done by his partner then she should included that of her dsd's as part of her family.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 22-Sep-13 21:24:24

Yes can he not see that he's not doing you a favour by washing them, but is letting his dd down by not washing them?


Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:25:41

He does drop the uniform off (which I feel is highly twatish as they have to wash her DDs too) he makes a special trip like I am the fucking launderette.

This was a one off/occasional request when I am away and not sat next to my washing machine all weekend.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 22-Sep-13 21:25:58

If he really isn't going to wash them, or let them do it would he consider buying them a 2nd jumper each?

MrsLettuce Sun 22-Sep-13 21:26:02

If HE (like an arse) wont launder the uniforms he should be buying a second full set of uniform for each DC, to be worn in the week following their visits to him.

MrsLettuce Sun 22-Sep-13 21:26:33


TigerBabyyy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:26:39


Its nice you do it for your step child, but just because you do it, it doesnt mean she has to do it.

You seem bitter that the step mum wont do something to help you.

Blame the father

BruthasTortoise Sun 22-Sep-13 21:26:49

Firstly your ex is a dick an should've washed the uniforms. I'm unclear though - did your ex pick the kids up from your house and your DP made them take the uniforms even though he knew that the ex wouldn't wash them?

Enb76 Sun 22-Sep-13 21:27:11

They are 14 and 16, they can surely wash their own clothes.

AllDirections Sun 22-Sep-13 21:27:40

Of course YANBU

But don't expect your ex to change because he probably won't and his DP sounds vile too. I could never wash my own kids uniforms and not do the same for any other child who was staying here. My ex doesn't wash my DD's uniforms either but they've got more than one of everything except blazers. But he won't wash stuff even if it is needed.

Maybe you (or the DC) could wash their uniforms on a Thurs evening so they won't be too dirty on the Monday.

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:27:48

Nacho what would your DP do if you were ill

RandomMess Sun 22-Sep-13 21:29:00

Can I just be clear:

The girls aren't allowed to use the washing machine at their Dad's house
Dad won't wash them so drops them of at their Mum's house

He's an arse, that's why he's your ex!

AllDirections Sun 22-Sep-13 21:29:01

No it's not her responsibility but when I wash my kids uniforms I also wash my DSDs too - because it's no hassle and its not fair to expect their mum to do it on a Sunday night - and why wouldn't you?

I agree and you sound lovely OP.

TigerBabyyy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:30:33

It is twattish of him to make a special journey with the uniform when he has to wash his other childs too.

Maybe they have a number of sets of uniform and dont do a uniform wash over the weekend

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:30:43

Lots of expectations of women but male DPs get to shrug their shoulders and say ......meh and not be bothered even when its their own children. <checks calandar to double check what year we are in> Fucking hell.

BruthasTortoise Sun 22-Sep-13 21:33:39

Have to say on the very rare occasions that my DSSs stay with their mum from Friday - Sunday she doesn't wash their uniforms, empty their lunch bags or check for weekend homeworks. I would appreciate her dropping the stuff to me on a Friday evening rather than it all being returned at 6 on Sunday with the kids. Doesn't make your ex any less a dick though OP.

TigerBabyyy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:33:46

Have you posted about this before op?

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:34:35

Sorry would like to reiterate I do NOT expect his partner to do it.

When he lived on his own before her they were washed and ironed every weekend he had them.

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:34:49

Why is it not her responsibility as well as his to make sure they have a clean uniform? She met a man who had two children already. Why does anyone think it's ok for her to not take some form of responsibility here?

I am a step mum. I married my husband knowing he had children and it was IMO my role to take them in. That includes their washing when they are with me.

I can not get my head around this thinking that step parents are absolved on any responsibility. They chose to be step parents FGS!

gamerchick Sun 22-Sep-13 21:35:22

Can you not stick them on a quick wash now and tumble them in the morning?

Do they really wear them for a week between washes?

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:35:42

And he is a fucking twat!

TigerBabyyy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:37:57


If he used to do it when he lived by himself then he should carry on doing it now hes not living by himself!

It sounds like his wife doesnt want him to do the uniforms.

AllDirections Sun 22-Sep-13 21:40:33

ThisWayForCrazy You also sound lovely smile

BruthasTortoise I also used to get lunchbags back complete with 2 day old remains. It's grim isn't it?

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:40:34

I have spare shirts and trousers but they have one jumper each as they were £25 each and I had to buy 3 on top of all the other uniform.

Cluelessandlost Sun 22-Sep-13 21:41:49

I know quire a few people are saying it's not her responsibility but I find it bloody immature not to do them but do her own kids. I was about half my step kids clothes as the clothes are always backwards and forwards between houses and yes does make the wash load a lot bigger but I'd look like right dick going out my way to separate theirs from mine and my kids when I was doing a load.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 21:42:01

Yes I also have unwashed lunch boxes.

I would feel ashamed to send my DSDs home like that and would fully expect their mum not to trust me to have them in my house.

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 21:43:31

I think its bloody ridiculous.

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:50:46

Aww thank you alldirections smile

One of my DSDs lives with me. Wonder how it would work if I didn't do his washing...

NachoAddict Sun 22-Sep-13 21:50:52

darkesteyes if I were ill then dp would be doing all of hr washing and I would remind him to make sure dsd's was included. There are 6 of us so it would be easy to miss as there is usually more than enough of each type of washing for a load.

Dp doesn't expect me to wash dsd's clothes but I do the family washing, dsd is part of the family. It would be ridiculous for me to separate it out on the basis of wether I gave birth to her. I also wash the clothes of any of our nieces & nephews who stay with us and make sure all children are returned to their parents bathed.

oh and I polish dsd shoes and iron labels into her stuff too. Just as I do for my own kids.

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 22-Sep-13 21:51:05


Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:04:55

The way I see it I chose to be with a guy who has 3 DCs therefore it is my job to facilitate that relationship and support him in that.

they did not choose to be in this situation - I did. Sometimes its bloody hard but I am an adult and they are children.

I also feel that it's healthy for his DCs to see that I respect their mum and that we are friendly - therefore yes relationships end but it doesn't mean it's negative.

I also genuinely love my step children and enjoy my relationship with them and enjoy seeing how lovely all 6 of our children are to each other when they are together. I love having a big family and loads of washing/cooking is part of that.

In contrast I think my kids are an annoyance to their step-mum - one of my kids (not ex's biologically but he has brought him up since he was 3 months old and allowed him to call him dad) has been totally cut out of his life. I know my DS sometimes tries to call humans he won't even speak to him.

I feel a bit like he is in a domestic abuse situation and isn't "allowed" any say in his parenting sad.

solveproblem Sun 22-Sep-13 22:07:57

I'm going to sound a bit twatish here (for the record I don't have any stepchildren) but I sometimes refuse to do things I think my DH can do himself just out of principle.
I let DHs pants and socks pile up on the landing until he realises they're not going to fly to the laundry basket themselves.

Maybe your ex and partner are having some issues and she is deliberately not doing this washing for them as she thinks it's his responsibility and she shouldn't have to do it? Or does not ever do any washing that has not been put in the basket (like me) and your DCs nor their dad are putting the items there?

Either way, your ex should do the washing or at least let the children do it themselves.

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 22:26:10

Good point solve.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:29:08

Yes but Solve I would behave like a grown up when it came down to the kids - hence me not sending the kids with just their uniform next time like I really want to to punish HIM not THEM.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 22-Sep-13 22:32:33

YABU - because DP and I were screamed at and abused by my DSC mum (in front of them) for daring to touch their clothing, let alone wash it.

I tell all SMs that they have to resist the temptation to help out in any way - it's not welcomed by DSC mum and its best not to upset them!

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:33:44

ChinaCupsandSaucers I am not she.

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 22-Sep-13 22:34:39

China, I think that may be a minority. All parents I know of would accept the step parents help in this situation. Including myself.

Yanbu, He should wash them, one day a week and cba to wash his own kids clothesshock Disgrace of a man!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 22-Sep-13 22:37:49

SM's don't know that though til it's too late!

Too risky, and horrid for the DSCs to witness - best approach is "I'm doing nothing, cos then at least I'm doing nothing wrong" wink

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:39:51


Best approach is to be the bigger person and behave like an adult.

basgetti Sun 22-Sep-13 22:41:53

YANBU. My ExP always washes DS' uniform on his weekends and sends it back clean and folded in his bag. But that is because he is a reasonable human being.

The fact that your Ex probably spends longer dropping the laundry off to you than it would take to stick it in the machine with his family washing makes him sound even more twattish.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:43:25

basgetti that's actually really funny grin TWAT!

WafflyVersatile Sun 22-Sep-13 22:43:32

Have people all missed the bit where he washes and irons his DSD's uniform but not his own kids?

It sounds like he's landed himself in an abusive relationship. Not sure what you can do to change that though.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:44:59

WafflyVersatike - Yes that's what I think - and so do the kids sad.

WafflyVersatile Sun 22-Sep-13 22:48:37

Does he spend any time in your house when picking up etc? Any chance you can do something like pass him a tick list of red flags with a contact number for mankind helpline and suggest he reads it and bins it on his way home?

WafflyVersatile Sun 22-Sep-13 22:49:40

I'm guessing these are all just excuses because he can't say 'new partner won't let me'.

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:51:18

She always comes with him and they sit in the car outside and he texts the kids to tell them he's here.

I work FT so am often not here anyway.

He has zero respect for my opinion anymore and she has convinced him I am a "physco" sad.

WafflyVersatile Sun 22-Sep-13 22:57:34

Of course she does. sad

Can you get one of you kids to pass it to him ONLY IF THE CHANCE ARISES WHERE SHE WON'T KNOW?

Gossipmonster Sun 22-Sep-13 22:59:19

I would never involve them to that degree.

I think she makes him bribe them to not tell me stuff about what happens there.

I long for the day they no longer want to go - they are such fab kids and so loyal to their dad.

WafflyVersatile Sun 22-Sep-13 23:09:50

Fair enough.

I'm not sure there is anything you can do to get him to stand up to her so you may have to just wait until they don't want to go or he realises he wants to and is able to leave her.

3littlefrogs Sun 22-Sep-13 23:17:32

On a purely practical level, I would suggest that your DC wash their uniforms as soon as they come in the door on a Thursday evening. They will be dry by the morning and will only have one day's worth of dirt on them by the following Monday.

I tend to wash all DD's school shirts midweek and hang them up. They don't need ironing if they go on a slow spin and then straight on hangers.

I realise that your ex should be washing the uniforms, but it isn't going to happen so you need to just remove the problem.

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