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Is this a reasonable request?

(93 Posts)
ColaCubed Tue 03-Feb-15 11:37:59

I'm in a newish relationship (less than a year). We both have DCs from previous relationships. We've all met one another and things are gong well so far.

However, DP's ex has made some demands requests along the way such as insisting she meets me before I met their DCs etc. So far I've tried be understanding and have gone along with this. For the most part I stay out of their parenting relationship and do not offer my opinion unless DP specifically asks for it. I am always honest, even where I actually agree with his ex's stance. I try to see things from her perspective as I understand it must be difficult for her to see her DC's form a relationship with someone who is a stranger to her. My ex has not yet moved on but we have a much less involved parenting relationship than they do and so I don't tend to 'interfere' (for want of a better word) in his time with our children. I think hope this will remain the same when he chooses to introduce our DCs to any future partner.

Anyway, his ex has recently said she would like to collect/drop off their DCs at my house the next time they come over (DP doesn't live with me yet but stays over a lot) and I don't know how to feel about it. Apparently she says its because she wants to know where her DCs are when they're away from her (although they've stayed over many times already). Again, I'm trying to be understanding about it but if I'm honest, it's starting to feel a little intrusive and like I'm being 'checked up on' and evaluated. I'm also a little concerned about where these requests will stop. I'm obviously hopeful that we will all remain amicable for the DC's sake and so I don't want to say no to anything that is reasonable. This is the first time I've dated anyone with DCs so this is all unchartered territory for me and so I'm unsure of what is reasonable but I'm keen to do the right thing by everybody. I guess it just feels a little strange that I'm having to accommodate a quasi relationship with his ex when I've only met her briefly and this is all being done through DP. Incidentally, I'd be happy to get to know her better but it's still early days in my mind and I just assumed this would be something that developed naturally over time rather than being 'forced'. Any thoughts or advice?

QueenB14 Tue 03-Feb-15 11:45:36

IMO if her DC's are at your house then she should be allowed to pick them up from there/ drop them off

I would let her

MaxPepsi Tue 03-Feb-15 11:47:29

Well, I always thought it was strange that my now DH ex never wanted to meet me considering they have a child together.....so everyone must be different?

ColaCubed Tue 03-Feb-15 11:49:35

Thanks Queen. As I understand it, this will be a one off so she can see where I live and after that, the arrangements will remain the same as they've been so far, ie. DP collects and drops off. I think you've helped me understand that my issue is feeling 'checked up on' though as if it was just a case of the drop offs/collection arrangements changing, I don't think I'd have any issue at all.

QueenB14 Tue 03-Feb-15 11:55:21

As it's only the once I would indulge smile

I'm sure if she is checking up, she won't discover anything she doesn't like.

Think of it as if it was a play date of one of your DC's, just seeing where their child will be spending X amount of time

ChazzerChaser Tue 03-Feb-15 11:57:51

If let her and I think the play date analogy is a good one.

Goneintohibernation Tue 03-Feb-15 12:01:51

I think its a reasonable request. I wouldn't feel comfortable with my DS going to an address I didn't know. I can see why you are not comfortable with feeling checked up on, but I can see why she feels the need to do it. You already know you are a safe person for her DC's to be with, she doesn't.

ColaCubed Tue 03-Feb-15 12:03:21

Do parents really check out where the parents live before their DC's go on play dates? I've never done this and never had it done to me either. Granted, all our play dates are arranged with school friends so the parents sort of know each other.

Ok, I shall go along with this if others feel it's a reasonable request. Although I am starting to feel a little fed up with the demands. I kind of feel she's trying to control things, particularly given that she has a lot to say over my DP's time with their DCs but this is something I keep to myself as mentioned up thread.

ColaCubed Tue 03-Feb-15 12:06:00

Gone, I am doing my best to understand how she must feel in the circumstances. I'd probably understand more if their DC's were visiting alone, but they are here with their dad at all times so I personally don't see the need but it could just be me.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Tue 03-Feb-15 12:08:37

OP if it was your children going to stay over at a house of a woman you never met and your ex didnt even live there, would you be ok with it?

GlitzAndGigglesx Tue 03-Feb-15 12:09:59

I think it's a fair request made by her. I'd want to know who my children will be around and to know thurr in a safe environment. It's when she starts arranging coffee mornings you need to worry wink

GlitzAndGigglesx Tue 03-Feb-15 12:10:27

Ffs they're*. Really need an edit option!

QueenB14 Tue 03-Feb-15 12:10:38

I'd check depending upon the situation, play dates with school mums I see everyday I might be fine with

She might think it's weird if you refuse

ColaCubed Tue 03-Feb-15 12:12:18

Lump, I've already thought about this and actually I think I would be ok with it, particularly if I'd already met her. Having said that, and as I mentioned in my OP, ex and I have a very uninvolved parenting relationship. I'm not always happy with some of his parenting (feeding them crap all the time for example) but I never mention this to him as aside from anything that could be harmful to the DC's, I think his time with the DC and his parenting are his business alone.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 03-Feb-15 12:17:51

I think it's a perfectly reasonable request and tbh I'm amazed that you don't think so. My children would not be disappearing off to someone else's house without me knowing exactly where they were, especially if I didn't know the person. You could be anybody. Would you really let your exh take your children to a new girls friends house that you didn't know? Not going to happen!

ColaCubed Tue 03-Feb-15 12:22:47

MsAdorabelle, IMO it's none of my business what ex chooses to do with the DC on his time. For all I lnow, he may have taken them to another woman's house. Like I said, it might be different if they were going alone, but they'd be with their dad (and to a degree I have to trust his judgement) as is the situation here.

It's all a matter of context though, and this is another example in a long line of demands where I feel she is trying to control things. They have stayed many times already so not sure why she is asking this now. Also, we have met, it was a stipulation she made before DP introduced me to their DC.

DoJo Tue 03-Feb-15 12:30:41

Do parents really check out where the parents live before their DC's go on play dates?

Not before, but presumably you drop them off and at least have a chance to see where they will be spending their time. It may just be as simple as the children have been telling her about the time they spend at yours and she just wants to see the house they have talked about.
I certainly don't think it's an inherently unreasonable request - I can understand you not wanting this to be the thin end of the wedge, but it sounds like she is being reasonable and relatively good-natured about the situation so I would be inclined to concede this point for the sake of maintaining a good relationship between all of you.

notonyourninny Tue 03-Feb-15 12:37:01

I think her request is ok and i would just go along with it. Personally I'd like to think I could trust dh with care of dcs if we ever split.

velvetspoon Tue 03-Feb-15 12:40:19

I think you've already been more than accommodating enough by agreeing to meet her. She's really got no business coming round to your house, even just as a one off.

I'm in a relationship of similar duration, and I haven't met my bfs Ex, indeed he didn't even tell her of my existence before i met the DC as they're not on anything close to friendly terms. I certainly wouldn't want her coming to my home.

Unfortunately when a relationship ends and children are involved, you have to accept you can't really control what the other parent does with the DC when they're with them, where they go, who they meet, what they eat etc. Just as they can't control what you do.

PtolemysNeedle Tue 03-Feb-15 12:40:38

I can understand where she's coming from. You said yourself it's early days, you've been in this relationship less than a year which is no time at all, yet his children have stayed at your house several times. That's not for the children's benefit, it's for the benefit of your boyfriend and you, so it makes sense that she is being extra protective.

TheyLearnedFromBrian Tue 03-Feb-15 12:41:10

I would agree, not least because I don't think telling her that she 'cannot' do something which directly involves her DC is the way to go at the moment, but it might be worth having a chat with your DP and giving him the heads up that you are coming to the end of the road with this, and are beginning to feel a chill wind of control here and an element of her wanting to stick her nose into the relationship via the children.

Keep it cool, friendly and use your co-parenting relationship as an example of why you are slightly puzzled at this and not 100% happy. You may as well be upfront and say that you know full well she's basically being nosey, you are going to be gracious and say fine, but let him know you are not about to stride happily into a relationship that ends up having three people in it. So - his parenting, his children, his business (just as you respect the same boundaries with your own ex and his time with your children) - but don't make the mistake of thinking that respecting her boundaries equates to trampling on mine.

SweetsForMySweet Tue 03-Feb-15 12:46:10

It's a reasonable request imo. She wants to meet the person who may be a possible step parent to her children in the future. She wants to see what sort of environment her children are spending their time in when they spend time with their dad. She seems fair, if she waited until your dp was moving in or you were getting married before making these requests, you might think she was being awkward. I'm sure her children's wellbeing is her main concern

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 03-Feb-15 12:46:55

I would like to think I was respecting peoples boundaries. I wouldn't want to see inside the house, I couldn't give a shit about her tastes in decor. I would just want to know exactly where my children were or they wouldn't be going. What if they rang home upset about something? How could you go and get them if you didn't know where they were? I don't know how old your dcs are but mine are only 8 and 5 and quite frankly hell would freeze over before they slept at a strangers house that I didn't know the whereabouts of.

Rabbitsnap Tue 03-Feb-15 12:48:44

It may be early days for you in your relationship, but you are having this woman's children staying regularly at your house. I think it is totally normal for her to want to be able to drop and pick them up from the house where they will be staying. Assuming she is polite to you, surely there is nothing weird/intrusive in saying a quick hello/goodbye to the mother of the children you are sharing your weekends with.

juliej75 Tue 03-Feb-15 12:52:57

Depends on the backstory and what sort of perso she is. I had all this when I got together with DH. Turned out his ex just wanted to interfere and find issues.

I let her come round to my house (in fairness, DH was living with me then so it was where DSS would be staying). She poked into every room at length, ignored every hint that it was time to leave - stayed around 40 mins in the end.

Then in DH's and her next mediation session, she said it was an unfit place to have a child overnight citing various 'safety' issues such as lack of stairgates (for a three year old), scissors on a worktop (out of reach), tv on a chest of drawers (secured to the wall). Bonkers thing was that I have a child of the same age who has never had an accident whereas hers practically lived at A&E due to all his mishaps when with her (never had an accident on DH's watch).

It was all just an excuse to find reasons to limit contact even more. She hasn't been allowed over our doorstep since.

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