Buying clothes etc for stepchildren

(57 Posts)
Fianceechickie Sat 03-Oct-15 09:57:53

Just wondered what other step-parents do about buying clothes, shoes etc for stepchildren especially as they get older? My DH's policy (which he is wedded to) is to buy our DSD (10) and DSS (8) everything they need at our house so they bring nothing at all from their mum's. They have clothes, shoes, books, gadgets. They could literally move in tomorrow and it would make no difference. As they get older this is getting more expensive...my DSD is the size of a 12 yr old already and growing fast and they are obviously getting more conscious of what clothes they have (latest Nike footie boots etc). The topic is not up for discussion in our house and causes a row at the merest mention. AIBU to think its getting a bit much? We pay a lot of child maintenance to their mum so it feels like we're paying to bring them up twice over....

lighteningirl Sat 03-Oct-15 09:59:47

If it's his money butt out if it's joint money set a separate budget from his money if it's your money yanbu

BrandNewAndImproved Sat 03-Oct-15 10:09:51

I understand his reasoning in that he wants his house to be their home as well. It's not going to feel the same if they haven't got their own stuff.

Otoh why is there never any middle ground? My dc have a couple of outfits and shoes at my exs, a wii a football and a few books/dvds.

It doesnt stop them going over because they haven't got a full wardrobe and their better games console is at home.

Yellowpansies Sat 03-Oct-15 10:20:20

I think your best bet might be to encourage your DH to be led by the DSC as they get older. My ex used to keep clothes at his house, toys, etc at his house which made handover very easy as they didn't need to take anything with them. It hasn't worked since the age of about 11 - they need school books, gadgets, and like to have their preferred clothes with them. So I think you'd be best to phrase discussions about the DSC's changing needs (rather than the money) You may find the start of secondary school is a time when their needs change a lot. Your DH will want his house to be their home too, so they're bound to still need some stuff there, but taking things between houses becomes unavoidable ime at that age.

When they're a bit older still he (or hopefully his ex) might want to give them more money direct and set them in charge of buying their own clothes, which would solve the problem.

Twolefttoes Sat 03-Oct-15 10:32:51

As yellowpansies says, it will become led by the dc very soon anyway. My dsd's like to bring their current favourite things. We have always sent things back with them though, so they get the benefit of the things all week, instead of just when with us. Plus they grow out of things so quickly, it would be daft to keep an up to date set of everything at our house too.

BlueBlueSea Sat 03-Oct-15 10:55:56

We have always viewed the kids clothes etc as theirs, and upto them where they keep them, who bought them is not relevant. As long as they have enough school uniform when they need it we are fine.

I think keeping strict policy of wardrobes at each house, is just passing on anger about the situation to the kids. Not logical and expensive.

m1nniedriver Sat 03-Oct-15 13:20:52

Do you mean they have 2 iPads, Xbox, football boots etc? That seems a bit ridiculous to me. How often are they at yours? Do you pay for maintenence or their second consoles etc??

SouthAmericanCuisine Sat 03-Oct-15 15:04:36

My DD is 50:50 care between me and her Dad and even she doesn't have two of everything, despite having two homes.

Where will it stop? Will your DP buy a second mobile phone for them when they're teens? They'll hate that - two different numbers? No way. Two laptops? They'll never know where their homework is. And then when they're older still - two cars? He needs to think this through before the kids get much older and begin to expect it as its been the status quo for so long.

How is your DP planning on preventing the D.SC. taking shoes, tops etc out of the house?

Sounds to me like your DP is trying to prove some sort of point at the expense of his DCs best interests and of common sense!

Madbengalmum Sat 03-Oct-15 15:12:23

We tried with the clothes at our house thing,but she grew out of everything so quickly.
I also have given up on buying anything on spec as i am always wrong with my choice.

Bigfeet21 Sat 03-Oct-15 16:13:16

a few pairs of undies, socks, pjs and a spare t shirt, toothbrush etc would not be unreasonable but double of everything is patently ridiculous.

I forgot to pack enough undies for one of my DSs on one of their rare trips to their DF and I was lambasted on facebook, text messages etc!!

What I do object to is having my DCs return late on Sunday afternoon and their school uniform, sports kit etc has not been washed. Along with all the other dirty clothes, I feel like the Exs laundry service - your contact time is about looking after your DCs - in its entirety and that means washing clothes and ensuring the homework is done!

Fianceechickie Sat 03-Oct-15 16:55:16

Hi All
Thanks for your responses. It's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks its a bit OTT. I am at as one or two of you have said it will become an issue which solves itself as they get older but as another poster has said, where will it all end? At the moment, it is very much 'I need one of those at your house' or 'I have that colour at mummy's and this one at daddy's'. The children have come to see it as two totally separate entities where everything is provided in duplicate. The only things that might come either way are school uniforms. They have tablets, games consoles, laptops, bikes, football boots at both homes. They are provided with the same as my DS who lives with us full time and for whom we receive child maintenance from his dad. Sigh.

Fianceechickie Sat 03-Oct-15 17:03:55

They are with us every other weekend and half the school hols...

SouthAmericanCuisine Sat 03-Oct-15 17:42:36

bigfeet for every RP I've read a post from who resents the fact that their ex doesn't do the DCs laundry, there are an equal number of posts from RP who object to their ex's doing the DCs laundry - some going as far as to rewash and iron the clean clothes when they are returned.

It's a very contentious issue and one that creates a huge amount of stress for far too many DCs.

Artandco Sat 03-Oct-15 18:22:17

I think it depends. If they live there 50/50 i would say more equal. But as only every other weekend and half holidays I would say they don't need double most things.

Fianceechickie Sat 03-Oct-15 21:02:51

I think a lot of the issue underlying this is my DH not really accepting that they don't live here all the time. It's so difficult because obviously he wants them just as much part of the family as any of us and they are but for him part of that is buying them everything as of they were here full time. He says he wants all the children treated the same and again for him that means having the same as my DS at our house. Is almost like he s pretending they live here full time.

m1nniedriver Sat 03-Oct-15 21:16:10

That ridiculous, but if he can afford it and it doesn't negatively impact on your life crack on. If it does of be having a word

Marilynsbigsister Sat 03-Oct-15 21:30:26

Grrrrr this 'it's their home' drives me absolutely f'ing nuts ! It's utter nonsense. It may 'sound' nice but it is blatantly untrue. Majority of dsc live at their dms house and visit their df EOW and sometimes a day in the week. ( I know there are myriad alternatives to this arrangement but I'm talking about the norm) . It is absolutely obvious to any one who can count to fourteen, that their dads house is NOT their home. It is a place they visit 2/14 days a fortnight. Not half and half or 2/3 vs 1/3 but 1/7 vs 6/7 !! Saying it's THEIR home is a nonsense that is meant to make the NRP feel better for not living with his dsc for whatever reason. This does not mean that dsc should not be made very welcome and comfortable and happy to be there, but calling a carrot a parsnip does not make it a parsnip..

Ok rant over. Back to the thread. Short answer, no way ! Regardless if money is joint or not. You are a couple and money is joint regardless of it being in his or your account. (Would your dp not buy you food if you had no money and he did, would he not pay the electricity bill if you couldn't ).. The money left over after paying maintenance is what is left for your household. The only fair way to do this is to pay all monies into a joint account which pays all bills, when they are paid then the money is split for whatever you each want to spend it on. If he wants to buy whatever for his dsc, on top of maintenance, then that's his call....you can spend it on whatever you please in just the same way.

Bigfeet21 Sat 03-Oct-15 21:53:18

Sorry 1930 on a sunday evening and three sets of sports kit and uniform - can bloody well be washed at their dear fathers!

Once and only once has something come back washed - it was pointed out to me on the phone later.Sadly I had done the usual and dumped everything in the washing machine. Nothing to do with my distaste for his washing just not expecting it.

2 weeks on holiday - everything came back dirty. Stupidly they had mixed up her DCs and mines clothes. Hers were all washed and cleaned, mud, wet and smelly for mine!

Yellowpansies Sat 03-Oct-15 22:59:58

I think it does also depend how your DSC travel between homes. If they come via school they'll need more stuff than if they are picked up by car every time. If they cycle between homes then they don't need a bike at each, but if they don't then they kind of do.

3phase Sun 04-Oct-15 06:16:44

My SC is here 50:50 and we have a set of everything she needs here which is doubled up at her mums. Pick ups are via school so uniform is shared to a degree but that is all. I have two younger daughters so whatever we buy for DSD gets handed down to them. It doesn't seem that ridiculous to me. It's certainly much less stressful than sharing was for us. I don't see it lasting forever though. She'll no doubt have favourite outfits that she'll want to take between her two homes before long.

thegreenhen Sun 04-Oct-15 08:03:02

My dsc used to be with us a third of the time. They had a full wardrobe each including football boots, coats, shoes, wellies, games consoles etc.

They were only allowed (by their mother, their father wasn't consulted) to bring things from our house to hers.

My dp used to then try and insist that my ds share everything with his kids because they had taken everything to mums and left it there!

Bloody ridiculous.

Like you, op, my dp has been trying to recreate the fantasy that the kids live with us all the time.

It ends up being about the dads feelings more than what's best for kids.

My dsc are older now, and one does live with us full time. The youngest gets her sister's (who lives ft with us) hand me downs, so has a wardrobe full of clothes but with no extra expense to us.

My own ds never even had a toothbrush at his dad's house!

Thegreatunslept Sun 04-Oct-15 08:32:52

I am a step parent we have dsd 1 night every weekend and for visits during the week. She has pjs slippers and spare underwear and a swimsuit here that we have bought and they stay st our house but she brings her clothes with her.
We (I) often buy her clothes when out shopping and after being on holiday with us she took hole a small suitcase of clothes we had bought for the holiday.
But we and her mum see it as pointless for her to have clothes here that she wears for 1-2days and that's all. It makes more sense to us to send any clothes we buy to her mums with her so she has more choice and gets to wear the clothes b4 they get too small for her.
Each to their own but this works for us and dsd's mum is much better at laundry that me she irons everything I'm slattern and can't find my iron.

Bellemere Sun 04-Oct-15 08:42:50

My DSC have a full wardrobe but it's mostly handed down from my older DC, still in great condition, or presents from birthdays and Christmas etc. Their mum sends them in formalwear without fail and they are terrified of getting "her" clothes dirty.

I have drawn the line at shoes though. We can't afford £30 each on proper shoes twice a year on top of the maintenance we pay.

Nothing from our house goes back to their mums house. Last time we did that, she sold it on eBay..!

riverboat1 Sun 04-Oct-15 08:50:07

DSS's mum buys all his clothes, and gives DP sone if them to keep here. Periodically she gives us new stuff as he outgrows things.

I think it is a tremendous waste of money to buy two of everything like wellies, football boots, snow boots, raincoats, etc given that kids grow out of them so fast. Much more sensible for the DSC to bring what they need from their main house for this kind of item.

OTOH things like bikes are more problematic as difficult to transport.

Consoles and the like can be used by all the household, so I think it's reasonable to have two of those.

swingofthings Sun 04-Oct-15 12:46:52

It is absolutely obvious to any one who can count to fourteen, that their dads house is NOT their home.
It might be obvious to you, but it isn't for many people. A child will feel at home at the residence they are made to feel as such. If it is both with the rp and the nrp, then they will feel at home at both. For some nrp, it is very important that they should feel just at home at their residence, and if they can afford it, what is wrong with that?

I totally agree with Lighteningirl, who is OP to dictate what her OH should spend on his children? If they can't agree on how joint money is spent, then it should be divided fairly and each can spend as they see fit. If in its case, it is to make his children feel as home with him then their mum, then good on him.

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