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New Here- AIBU?

(22 Posts)
Sparkle86 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:18:04

Hello - I'm new here so please bear with me on the acronyms ;)

OH has 2 children from prev r'ship/marriage. SD is 6, SS is 5. XW (ex wife) got pregnant by accident, her mum forced OH into marriage with darling daughter who couldn't be unmarried and a mother. Recipe for disaster really.. but hey ho!

OH & XW split up when children were 18m/2ish and 2.5/3. Situation wasnt great - immature behaviour on XW behalf and generally not sticking to access agreements/trying to make life difficult where ever possible - lots of detail but don't want to bore you with her antics!

Eventually OH loses temper one weekend where XW demands he keeps the kids longer than agreed at the weekend (Fri Eve - Sun Lunch) - knowing he had plans. Claimed she was 'stuck in Leeds'.. when in fact was at home with new OH. OH gets angry & returns kids - XW (early 20s) stops him seeing them.

12m later after lots of attempts at contact etc we go off to court & get regular access. XW seems to be slightly more reasonable, but kids are calling XW new OH 'Daddy' - still an ongoing issue.

OH has ALWAYS given XW £300 PCM maintainence - more than CSA say he needs to and agreed as acceptable by XW/OH. Kids come every other weekend for the weekend, and we have them for tea in the week that we don't have them for weekend. XW changes this as it suits her but is careful to stay within Court Order requirements.

XW has since gone on to have child with new OH and is about to deliver her 2nd. 4 kids, council house, SAHM etc.

AMIBU to expect her to provide for the kids with her benefits, OHs wage, maintainence and what we provide beyond that?
Kids often come in too small clothes/shoes - dirty clothes where she 'cant be bothered/whats the point' in changing them before they come.
When challenged on the fact SS shoes were TWO sizes too small (we told her they were 1 size too small last september when we bought school shoes for kids - in the interim we have bought him shoes for at our house & eventually sent him home in them but she doesnt think "white trainers are acceptable for a 5YO & doesnt like them" -they fit, surely that's the point?) - claims "we aren't all loaded" - Isn't it her choice to be a SAHM (she worked between SD and SS but gave up when caught pregnant with SS) and not go to work? We are far from loaded - but do fund shoes/school uniform/toys/treats/clothes for the kids beyond the maintenance paid so I'd expect it almost evens out.

SS/SD still call XW OH Daddy - OH tells her this isnt on and she claims its not her fault/doing. Kids say she MAKES them. There is an issue every time we collect children in that XW has made comment/upset kids/behaviour issues/lunch money not paid at school etc.

AIBU to expect her to behave rationally, understand its not fair for OH to have kids calling her OH Daddy etc. OH is lucky to get card on birthday/fathers day etc as XW 'doesnt want him/her new OH to think she likes him'. (WTF?) AIBU to expect her to clothe/feed/provide shoes for the children appropriately without using the "we arent rich card" - understand she has limits/struggles, but why choose to have 2 more kids if you struggle that much??

Apologies its so long - just needed to let steam off & get opinions.

choclatelickurs Tue 16-Aug-11 16:27:25

sorry, didnt get to the end of the 1st para, way too complicated for me

momobiker Tue 16-Aug-11 16:28:15

YANBU regarding the too small shoes issue, that is shocking to have a child with shoes 2 sizes too small!

Tanif Tue 16-Aug-11 16:28:46

It sounds like you're taking it all rather too personally.

So she now sticks within the court ordered maintenance - that's good, isn't it?

She isn't tapping your OH up for increased payments - that's good isn't it?

She's letting/encouraging hers and your OH's children to call her new partner 'daddy' - the kids are only young, they will stop doing this as they get older and realise how odd it is. They have a daddy, they see him and appear to have a good relationship with him. You need to ride it out for now.

She doesn't buy your OH a birthday/father's day card from the kids - couldn't YOU do that? You're his partner. Just get the kids to sign it.

rainbowinthesky Tue 16-Aug-11 16:29:37

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking us to comment on.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Tue 16-Aug-11 16:30:22

No you are not being unreasonable

Greatdomestic Tue 16-Aug-11 16:32:22

OP, do you and your partner have kids? IMO, it sounds like she thinks you and her ex are living the life of riley, whilst she's stuck at home with no cash and 4 kids.

Prepare yourself for years and years of this kind of behaviour till the kids are grown up. And if you don't have kids yet as a couple, more fun and games if and when this happens.

My ex SIL did all this sort of thing for years - it just never got old for her. DN wanted a football strip of his fave team for his birthday - my choice to buy it, no one forced me. I swear she must have put in a boil wash - the thing was a rag the next time I saw him.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Tue 16-Aug-11 16:36:03

4 kids, SAHM AND a council house? Hang the wench

Sparkle86 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:36:34

Apologies, it is rather complicated- I guess what I'm asking is am i being unreasonable to expect OH's XW to provide for the kids in terms of clothes/shoes that fit & to send them to us for the weekend in a 'presentable' state - IE not filthy. Also, are we being unreasonable to expect her to discourage the kids from calling this new bloke 'Daddy' - to the point they tell OH that "he is their real Daddy and he's just Daddy XXX (1st name)'

Appreciate you think I'm taking it personally - but it is personal when it affect OH/our life. Understand I knew he had SS and SD when I got involved and it isnt about them - its about XW and how she behaves. She does stick with the court access - but often contacts us at 11pm the night before we are due to collect them for 'extra' access and says "change of plan - you cant have the kids, I'm doing XXX with them instead'.

Agree we need to ride the Daddy thing out - but she asked SS and SD to call her new partner to sing happy birthday daddy to him the weekend we had them -imagine how upsetting that was for OH?

Again, don't expect her to buy OH a card at all - I do do it and ask the kids to sign it but she tells OH she feels 'awkward' that I do this, but doesn't want OH/her new partner/me to think she 'likes' OH if she does it.

I'd rather her ASK for more money/help than have the kids in clothes/shoes too small or is that a warped view? The problem is, she spends the money on other things - not the kids.

Sparkle86 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:39:54

JTA: Don't have an issue with her being a SAHM and having 4 kids/council house, just don't understand why she openly admits she struggled to provide for the two - yet has two more knowing how tight money was when it was just two!

No - we don't have kids. I can imagine it'd be world war 3 if we ever did!
We've offered to have the kids more - taken them on holiday for a week etc but she doesn't really want us to have them more than we do unless its a special treat. Feels like we can't win really!

worraliberty Tue 16-Aug-11 16:42:14

Sadly you can't make her spend the money on her kids clothes and shoes. Maintenance is spent on all different things...gas/electric/water/rent/etc... It's all swings and roundabouts really.

As for the kids calling her OH Dad...again that's not something you can do anything about. I know the kids say they're 'forced' to...but do you know that's really true or do they just tell their Dad that because they think they have to keep the peace?

Sparkle86 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:45:41

Appreciate that the maintenance goes on other things like food/gas/etc - but surely the kids should have stuff that fits?

No - I don't think they do say it to keep the peace.

Cocoflower Tue 16-Aug-11 16:47:13

He can't be that much of a 'new' bloke as you keep referring him too if they already have 2 children together now though?

Sparkle86 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:49:32

'New' is easiest way to get the point across - they've been together 2years ish I think. Have 1 child whos just 1 and a child that's due shortly IIRC.

Other than the fact they call him Dad - its not really relevant I didnt think - regardless, its still not 'right' IMO for them to be told he IS the dad/real dad.

Thanks for the reply though smile

cantreachmytoes Tue 16-Aug-11 17:02:39


The Daddy thing is appalling IMO, but not a battle you'll ever win, so no point going there really.

Having children in dirty clothes is ridiculous! I've lived in countries where people are seriously hard up and their children are presentable. Ok, children get dirty and they are coming to spend time with their father, not the queen, but still, it's not really on.

As for the shoes: speechless! (well, almost wink). From what you have said above, this is veering towards neglect. The kids don't have to be in designer gear, but they should be in shoes that fit.

If your OH is paying more maintenance than directly required, perhaps he should say that the next pair of shoes will come from her, or, if she's too busy tired etc with the new baby (which would be fair enough), he can do it and then deduct the cost from the £300 that month.

And as for the colour, she's being ridiculous given that her son was wearing shoes two sizes too small!

squeakytoy Tue 16-Aug-11 17:04:05

They are young children who have grown up with this man as the father in their everyday life. They now have two siblings who WILL be calling this man Daddy because he is, in every sense of the word. I appreciate it may be a bit hurtful to your bloke, but he is the adult and he has to try and see it from a childs point of view too.

AbbyAbsinthe Tue 16-Aug-11 17:08:23

How long have you been with your partner, OP?

Cocoflower Tue 16-Aug-11 17:12:53

The reason I said he is not 'new' is along the thinking of squeaky

However there is a whole world of difference in you OP to simply referring to step-dad as dad and "for them to be told he IS the dad/real dad".

sue52 Tue 16-Aug-11 17:15:34

I agree with squeaky toy about calling the other man daddy. A child wearing shoes that are too small is a concern, so on that YANBU.

Inertia Tue 16-Aug-11 17:26:06

You need to bear in mind that being a SAHM might not be much of a choice for her- some people are in the position of being financially worse off if they work, once they have paid out for child care etc. Presumably she cared for your stepchildren while your H (when they were married) worked- she may have given up a career to do this. It's reasonable to expect that the maintenance paid for the children funds their general living costs - food, housing, heating etc- as well as their clothes and shoes.

It's not reasonable to force children to wear shoes that are too small, ever. What have they agreed between them about buying shoes? I'd be tempted to buy a pair of shoes for at yours and another pair that the children can go home in, and just keep the too-small shoes out of the way at yours so the children can't be forced to wear them again.

Dirty clothes- can't always be helped, especially if they are travelling straight from school. Again, might keep the peace to have spare sets of clean clothes at yours and send the children back in the (ideally washed) clothes they arrived in.

Calling their stepdad Dad- think your DH can only really have a say on what his children call him. What they call their stepfather is up to them. As far as the children are concerned there are 2 father figures in their lives. As long as they call your DH Dad rather than Dave, he can't really complain.

Inertia Tue 16-Aug-11 17:27:29

Sorry, have misquoted you- meant your partner rather than your husband, sorry.

Sewmuchtodo Tue 16-Aug-11 17:34:46

No child should be wearing clothes/shoes that are too small. Have you or your OH spoken to her about this?

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