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'Blended' Family - What's ok?

(32 Posts)
Mablethorpe Mon 06-Nov-17 17:54:45

Family member has three kids from previous relationships and now lives with someone who has two of her own who also live with them.

Have only known the new GF and her DC since June. Is it acceptable to spend less on gifts at Christmas than on family members DC?

They are my niece and nephews for clarity.

eyebrowsonfleek Mon 06-Nov-17 17:57:13

Young children don’t know the relative value of gifts (is Lego more than a computer game for instance) so as long as you get something I think that’s fine. Can you check with that family member ?

Threenme Mon 06-Nov-17 17:57:34

If they live together and you can afford it I'd spend same personally. They're a family now.

TalkinBoutWhat Mon 06-Nov-17 18:01:15

As long as you're not talking about £100 vs £5, it should be fine.

Mablethorpe Mon 06-Nov-17 18:01:18

Worried it’ll cause a fallout if I bring it up - we have a £20 limit for the each DC so if I spend the same on all of them, it means we will drop £100 and we have only two DC so they will only spend £40.

It probably sounds petty but money is a consideration for us, not so much for them.

3rdrockfromthesun Mon 06-Nov-17 18:31:11

Could you do boots three for two deals? Like previous posters have said children will notice if they do not have a gift and their parents will appreciate them being remembered

Love51 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:38:47

Why not just spend 10-15 on each kid, bio and 'step'. So 50-75 overall. Don't run a two tier system.
Personally I spend less on little kids than big kids because you can wow a toddler with a fiver! But you haven't put ages.

wobblywonderwoman Mon 06-Nov-17 18:49:46

I think I would spread it out too. Try and get deals. Easy to buy big looking toys for little ones.

I wouldn't really discriminate between them all really if they are living together and a family together now.

YellowMakesMeSmile Mon 06-Nov-17 18:55:32

I'd spend what you usually spend on them and do a token gift for the others. They will get from their own aunts and uncles etc.

2014newme Mon 06-Nov-17 18:58:44

I would not spend the same! They are not your family you hardly know them. I'd get them a small token. £5 each max, selection box and something small. Presumably your nieces and nephews won't be receiving the same value in gifts from new girlfriend family as her own dc will!

2014newme Mon 06-Nov-17 19:00:02

'they're a family now', they aren't the ops family she hardly knows them!

Aderyn17 Mon 06-Nov-17 19:02:06

Personally I think it's fine to spend more on your relatives than dc you barely know. The step dc will presumably be getting presents from their own family

shakemysilliesout Mon 06-Nov-17 20:30:28

If i were the gf I think I would be impressed if you got my kids something to open at all, I really would not expect it.

MadMags Mon 06-Nov-17 20:31:51

You don't even know them! A token gift is fine.

DeadDeadDeadRose Mon 06-Nov-17 20:45:26

I've always spent much the same on my two step-nieces as on my niece - one was only 18 months when my brother got together with her mum, so I've known her practically all her life. The other was 12, and I always spent similar amounts on her. If it's money, I'll give the exact same amount but if it's a present I'd probably spend a tiny bit less - say £20 on my blood niece and £15 on the others. We do the same with DP's blood nephews and step niece too.

2014newme Mon 06-Nov-17 20:54:54

@DeadDeadDeadRose But surely it's different if you've known them their whole lives than you barely know them at all?

Stompythedinosaur Tue 07-Nov-17 00:14:31

I think you get all the children in a family roughly the same. Get smaller pressies for everyone maybe? I don't think comparing what they spend versus what you spend is really in the spirit of christmas, give what you can afford and let them give what they can afford, it's not a like for like transaction.

Isadora2007 Tue 07-Nov-17 08:26:34

It’s christmas and they are your niece and nephews new step siblings so they ARE family now.
I would spread your budget over the five children unless there is a far younger one who could get a larger gift for less money. Definitely use bargains or 3 for 2 and base your calculations on RRP value each being similar.
It’s horrible to treat some kids better than others in a family and as a blended family I can assure you I think a lot less of those who do for us. Even my husband gets annoyed at his parents spending more on their grandchildren than my other two but I don’t really mind that as Much as other people who just give to our joint kids and nothing to the older two.
Be giving in the spirit of Christmas not in a “they have more than us” manner... that’s horrible.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 07-Nov-17 08:31:43

Is it possible that you could buy a joint gift for all of them (if their ages allow).

Some of the Board games are quite expensive now, so a family Board Game between all 5 and a selection pack of chocs each/or cheap smellies each eg. Lynx set or Dove set might fall within a general budget.

2014newme Tue 07-Nov-17 09:16:11

If my brother moved in with a woman with kids, those kids would not be my family. A token gift if anything. If 9ver the years a family relationship develops then that would be different. Her family won't be buying your brothers kids presents I'm sure!

Threenme Tue 07-Nov-17 09:25:33

Why don't you op drop it to £10 per child but really bargain hunt so boots have a 3 for 2 that's 3 £15 presents for £30 the Argos/ bnm etc have loads 2 for £20. Plus all the sales especially the entertainer toy shop. I bet you could get £100 worth of toys for £50 easily! I bet they would really appreciate it as they are aiming to become a family. My friend has a baby with her new partner and they have one each from a previous relationship. Her entire family treats his child exactly the same and I can't tell you how much it means to them all.

Aderyn17 Tue 07-Nov-17 10:18:05

Family is about relationships built up over time. Just because two people decide to move in together it doesn't make their children automatically family to all the aunts and uncles and gps - you can't just decide to create a new unit and expect everyone to view your new step dc as their grandchildren. I think that comes over time.

I think parents need to recognise that
although they are blending their families, the children won't all have the same relatives and it is impossible to treat the children exactly the same - kids have relatives on the side of the 'other' side of their families, which affects things like inheritances and on a smaller scale Christmas/birthday presents.

I think that it would be mean and unkind to not buy any presents for new step relatives, but it really is okay to spend a bit more on your own family in in the recognition that the step dc will be getting gifts from the other side of their own family.

I think I would only view them all as exactly the same if they were all being raised full time as one family, with no other parent.

MadMags Tue 07-Nov-17 11:05:03

They're not family. Not yet.

A token gift is fine.

Honestly, I wouldn't be reducing my niece's and nephew's present because a stranger has come along with her kids.

I wouldn't leave them out, either. Same as if I was visiting a friend over Christmas I'd take a selection box and some fluffy slippers for his/her dc as a gesture!

DeadDeadDeadRose Wed 08-Nov-17 07:24:08

2014, the older stepdaughter was 12 when my brother got together with her mother, and I always treated her the same. I'm not sure I would have done if she has been the only stepdaughter though, tbh. Because one was so little and then they had my blood niece so close to the younger stepdaughter, I couldn't treat them differently which meant I couldn't treat the older one differently. If that makes sense.

Equimum Wed 08-Nov-17 08:01:45

I would probably look to spend what looks like the same in all of them, but then bargain hunt, so the overall cost to me was not much more. So, look at deals on places like Book People, the Works, Smyth Toys (often do discounts on certain amounts being spent), 3for2s etc and then buy things they will like for much less than the original cost.

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