Providing DSD's mother with basics - wwyd?(35 Posts)
I'm in a bit of a quandry here.
I have posted before so will keep the context brief - DSD lives here, she is currently seeing her mum every friday night but this goes through phases.
Mum does not pay any maintenance or contribute AT ALL.
DSD has recently come to me to ask me to buy mummy some pants because she doesn't have any ... and has told me that she wears the same pants home as she goes in 'even if they have poo in them'...
She also recently came home in her cousins socks (who is TWO! DSD is 8!) because mummy didn't have any and her socks got dirty.
DSD has recently also let slip that she doesn't brush teeth at mums because she doens't have a toothbrush there and they use 'grown ups' toothpaste.
My dilemma is this.
Do I a) buy her a set of pants, socks, toothbrush etc for mums? (this option makes me cross, because really, who can't afford such basic things ffs)
b) send an overnight bag
c) accept that one night per week in dirty pants probably isn't going to kill her?
We have had similar things like this before and when DH tackles mum about it she just lies and says it's not true, but I know what pants I am sending her in...
DH thinks that for the sake of the peace we should let it go...
but DSD has now asked me on more than one occasion and I don't want her to start feeling upset about having to be in dirty pants!
Only read the OP but goodness yes, of course you send her with a bag of these things! Annoying yes but the kid doesn't care who buys them and what can possibly be achieved by refusing to get them for her. She needs them so as unfair as it is, this is not the time or place for making a point
See DSS mum used to be like this - kicking off in a huge way over the barest hint of critisism. DSS always coming back in dirty stinky clothes, too small socks etc. I decided to just be a bitch too - "is there any reason you haven't bothered to wash DSS clothes?" "School have written a letter to say they've picked up on his poor attendance on your days, any particular reason your lie-ins are more important than his education?" "Just been shopping for new uniform, you may as well keep it, looks like you need it" "you DO know its not OK for him to be left with nits, right?"
At first she shrieked like a banshee but eventually started doing what she needed to avoid being had a go at. Especially the mentions of the school getting involved etc seemed to scare her. All talk no balls.
But it is a very risky strategy, to call out biomom. DSS didn't suffer, she dressed it up as "ohh mummy's decided all by herself to take you shopping! Isn't she lovely!" And he'd come back all smiley face happy thinking she gave a shit for once
Maybe I'm a giant cow and a bit of a bully, but I really don't give a shit as he's much happier now, although a lot of stuff does fall through the cracks still.
Get DP on side and get him to stick up for his little girl.
I think I would encourage DSD to pack a bag for herself on the basis that she's growing up and is old enough to choose what she wants to take with her to her Mum's. I would also take her shopping for a cheap overnight bag and buy her the toothbrush, paste etc which she can transport each week, effectively negating the possibility of them being forgotten being an issue.
DH would have to re-iterate this 'she's growing up' decision with her Mum. It's all in the sales pitch with children and it stops it being Mum v Dad iyswim.
I agree - more difficult in practice though, isn't it?
If the OP knows that her action will result in a reaction (from Mum) that causes the DSC upset/pain/anxiety, then the decision to go ahead anyway is anything but straightforward.
I don't think that children should be taught to second-guess others' unhealthy functioning to avoid conflict.
Bonsoir Is there a point at which fulfilling obligation/duty is secondary to protecting the DC from abuse and harm?
Does there come a point where the negative consequences on the child outweigh the benefits of 'doing the right thing' - or in this case, should the NRP anticipated reaction be disregarded when the OP's household decide on their own actions?
Isn't it funny, I was once flamed on here for moaning that DSD was always sent to us with nothing, whether she was coming for a weekend or for a longer holiday. We didn't see DSD much at the time (one weekend a month) and didn't have room for a lot of stuff for her. I was wrong for being pissed off that we always had to spend the first day of any visit buying stuff (because she always took it home with her and it never came back).
Different in this case of course if the mum doesn't want the OP to do it. But I'd persevere and always send an overnight bag.
If your DSD lives full time with you and her father, the two of you are responsible for her clothing and should send her to her mother's with an overnight bag containing her own clothes, toothbrush etc. How odd not to do so.
I wouldn't care too much about her opinion. Sorry - not in this case. Pack an overnight bag and instruct your child to use it if she wants to/needs to. Then you know your child is taken care of. And if the bag comes back unused then that's ok too. If your child doesn't use the bag but you can see she definitely needed to - take it up with your child.
In the past we've bought and sent home toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash with the kids when they told us that they didn't have that at mums house (and we're the non-resident parents)!
It got her back up but we couldn't have cared less. It's more important to us that the kids are provided for than offending their mother and it seemed to do the trick as we've never had that problem again...
I'd do B; send an overnight and not make a big thing about it. Like others have said, encourage your DSD to pack it herself.
Can you get dsd a messenger style bag that doesn't look like an overnight bag and just casually mention that dsd wanted to bring a few things with her, put some non basics in there like a magazine or something.
Really tough one by the sounds of it.
I think you should send the overnight bag, but for the sake of DSD and preserving the peace, re-frame things so that the bag is not coming from or packed by you, but by DSD. Get your DH to pack it with her and just take a step back.
(This is not to be interpreted as my saying that you are overstepping, by the way - I don't think you are.)
Why not ask dsd to choose what she'd like to wear the next day and pack those, so it's less about you providing and more about the choice of your dsd?
My two sons have been having overnights once or twice a week at their dads for four years now. They are six and five. I always provide a bag with a change of clothes and their comforters. Their dad has tooth brushes, pjs and bath stuff but clothing comes in an overnight bag - far easier for me to have it all returned and washed here with football kits and school uniform etc.
I agree double cake - ideally we wouldn't have to step around the point and could just be direct, however in my experience, that doesn't work with this woman and she would have no problem in making DSD feel bad about it. In the long run it just isn't worth it.
Isn't step parenting just absolutely joyous?!
There is no need for you to be sending a bag. It's no hardship to get in a few bits for a weekend stay. I used to provide everything dsd needed for her stays with us. She was a member of the family not a visitor with a suitcase. I think it would have been really taking the piss to expect her mum to do it, plus it was much easier as she always had what she needed for the activities she did with us.
In this case though I would send things. It's not fair on her to be in soiled pants or not be able to clean her teeth. I think that your dp needs to talk to her mum about it and explain why, it's down to him to tackle this not you.
I must be hardfaced but i think easing round it will make things worse. She needs to know that she's failing her daughter in order to change (unlikely but you never know)
Get your DH to explain that the child was upset at not having a toothbrush, pants etc so you've provided them so she can see what she needs (tbh she might nite have a clue) but that if she wants to provide appropriate stuff for future weeks then she can.
Sounds like you've made a decision on what to try, but the grownup toothpaste is fine - infact the dentist told us to just use a tiny bit of bog standard toothpaste, so that might be one less thing to pack.
Could she develop an attachment to a "handbag" which could then contain a couple of essentials?
Hope you don't get into too much trouble
Thanks, overnight bag it is!
Think I will just do a gentler tack of 'hasn't DSD done a growth spurt recently'... or maybe pull some bullshit about how isn't she growing up - she asked for her own make up bag so I fobbed her off with a wash bag' so mum doesn't see it as some sort of dig...
thanks for the opinion poll
X posts. Go with the jacket option. Good luck getting it sorted!
I'd send an overnight bag with all the necessities. You shouldn't need to and her bloody mother should pull her finger out but you sound like a lovely person who is doing the best by your DSD - she'll grow up learning what is right from you.
It's not a shared custody situation where your DSD spends a significant proportion of the week with her mum - of course you should send her with an overnight bag. It would be great if you didn't have to but the issues that seem to surround shared custody and children's clothes, washing and "returning" them probably means you're all better off with the overnight bag system anyway.
If your DH wants her to contribute financially he should persue it.
If you get her a jacket with pockets, you can buy a travel toothbrush that folds in half and a tiny tube of paste, also a little washbag to pop clean knickers and socks in. She'll be self conscious about not changing bless her - help her take stuff with her thats hidden in her pockets if you think it will cause an argument with Mum.
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