Is this reasonable or cheeky?(81 Posts)
I’ve had an odd message from DSDs mother and I’m wondering if she’s being reasonable or a bit cheeky...
My partner and I have one child together and he also has a child from a previous relationship who stays with us a couple of nights a week. DSDs mother also has a 12 year old son who’s father lives abroad. My partner pays child maintenance and he also buys school shoes, uniform, sports equipment, pays for school trips.
DSDbis a lovely little girl who enjoys going shopping. At Christmas I took her shopping to choose an outfit as a gift - she chose a hoodie and jeans from Gap. For her birthday she chose some pink Adidas trainers. The only other thing I’ve bought her is some hair clips, as a thank you for helping me choose a birthday gift for my niece who is about the same age.
I received a message from her mother last night saying could I stop buying DSD expensive gifts and send the money to her instead. That way she can decide what the money is spent on and she can ensure that the older son also gets something as he feels left out. Is this reasonable or a bit cheeky? I don’t think she gets any maintenance for the older son as his Dad lives abroad.
I would assume she was April fooling you. As you were op. . She is a cf imo.
I'd ignore it and carry on as you are. I somehow think the money would be taken from DSD.
Get your DP to tell her to get lost.
She is being remarkable cheeky!
Tell her you will spend your own money as you please and it’s none of her business
Tell her very politely that anything you may buy is completely separate to the child maintenance side of things
I would email her as if she misunderstood and say "I've only allowed her to choose a Christmas gift from me, the other gift was just a cheap hair clip"
Was it directed at you and not her dad? Very odd of her. You’d think she’d be happy that you cared about her DD?
Very cheeky of her.
You have done a nice thing and should continue. It's up to you what you get her for a birthday present and a thank you gift! It's not like you bought anything inappropriate!!
I would just let DP deal with it by saying that his wife is allowed to buy gifts for his dd and it has no relation to maintenance payments.
She's very rude. She should be calling you to say thank you.
She is rude and should be thanking you for saving her money which she can then spend on her other child so he doesn’t feel left out.
I'm a bit sorry for the son tbh, but it's not your responsibility. I'm sure the dsd gets pleasure from someone giving her a little gift occasionally. What happens on her birthday and Christmas - are you not supposed to give her presents then either?
"Hi x, I really only buy things when we go shopping together, they are extra treats, I can buy things to leave here instead if you rather but definitely not sending money for either child instead"
She has some neck!
I was a bit taken aback. The gifts aren’t excessive and are also quite practical.
Money is a bit of a contentious issue - she thinks my partner should pay maintenance for her elder son too.
Money is a bit of a contentious issue - she thinks my partner should pay maintenance for her elder son too
Tell her you will spend your own money as you please and it’s none of her business
^That. No excuses, because they are not necessary. She's totally on another planet to expect you to pay anything towards her other child.
I’m sure it must break her heart that only one child gets gifts/money spent on her but her DS gets nothing BUT it isn’t your place to provide for DSD sibling.
She sounds like a loon! Maintenance for her other child???
How often does your DSD stay with you? If it's fairly regularly (50:50) I'd be inclined to keep the clothes you buy for her at your house so her mother can't comment any more. She has an absolute cheek to think that you should send her money. Her son is none of your/Dh's concern.
She’s crazy!! As if you are going to send her money!!! And why on earth should your dh pay for her ds - she needs to pursue the father (although I am guessing its difficult if the bastard is abroad).
I second telling dp to tell her that what you buy for dsd is a matter for you both to decide, and reminding her that the eldest son is not your responsibility.
You would think she would be grateful to have more money to spend on eldest son, as you are providing much of what she would need to but otherwise.
She sounds a little jealous actually if your relationship with dsd, mo doubt dsd went home happy and excited. What kind of parent begrudges their child being treated well. Steer clear and leave it to dp.
I think the money would be taken from DSD so I’d continue buying gifts because at least then you know she’s getting them. You can’t be expected to support another sibling who’s no relation to your DH. Does she also expect you to have contact and sleepovers with the sibling?!
They weren’t in a long term relationship when she got pregnant with DSD, I think they’d been seeing each other for about 3 months. He moved in with her when they found out she was pregnant as he thought it was the right thing to do, it lasted about a year. When he moved out she told him that he would never see her elder son again but then applied for CMS for him, although her claim was rejected. I don’t know why she thinks he should pay for the elder son.
I do also feel sorry for the elder son, he has no contact with his father or his fathers family. DSD has quite generous paternal grandparents too and often goes back from a weekend there with more gifts. I have considered sending him a small gift at Christmas but I’ve never met him and DP doesn’t see him anymore.
So they were Christmas and Birthday gifts and a pack of hair clips. I think I would just remind her of that and that you don’t want to give money as a present. She has nothing to complain about. Her DD’s gifts are her own whether money, toys or clothes.
It can’t be nice for the boy or his mum seeing him miss out but she must know that it’s not your place to make it up to him. Was your DH a father figure to him when they were together. I don’t think he should pay maintenance for him but it might be nice to get him a little gift at Christmas and maybe for his birthday off DSD.
Ignore her and let your partner deal with her.
I could ubderstabd her asking you not to buy her crazy extravagant gifts (games consoles every week etc) but asking you not to buy her an outfit from gap for her birthday is crazy. Asking you to send the money to her is even more crazy.
Your latest update makes the whole thing a lot more understandable from her POV. She's not really fed up with you, you're just the latest person buying gifts for DSD and not for DSS.
I totally get why you and DH's family are doing as they're doing, however there's a second child who watches his sister come home from visits with generous gifts, and who gets additional gifts at Christmas, and additional gifts on her bday. While he gets none of it.
I'm sure his mum tries to rebalance it, but she's obviously finding it difficult to treat her kids equally given the imbalance in family interest.
I would be inclined to start buying Christmas gifts for both of them, and cut back on the other gifts (birthday excepted). But YMMV.
If you wanted to be nice to the elder son you could have dsd buy him a gift at Xmas or his bday (with your money). I wouldn't entertain what the mum is suggesting though. It's insane.
I mostly see your side, but from her POV, she may be struggling to but her a winter coat/school shoes and then the daughter comes home with a winter outfit, say, when she has a tonne of leggings/hoodies or whatever the outfit was.
I think that may be the way forward - buying the elder child a birthday and Christmas gift from DSD with our money.
DP buys her school shoes and winter coat. DSD’s mum messages him if she ever needs anything like that and we/he buy it for her. Along with school uniform, school trips, sports equipment.
Agree with @lannieduck. Of course OP and her DH have no responsibility to the older boy, but if I put myself in the mum’s shoes, it must be difficult to watch DS see DD getting lovely gifts, time with her dad and a whole other family that loves her. I’d definitely be trying to make it up to DS if I were the mum.
I think it would be a really lovely gesture to get the boy a gift at birthday and Xmas. Not something you are obliged to do at all, but a lovely gesture all the same.
Blended families are a minefield!
We thought we’d cracked it as DSD is such an easy going little girl and seemed to accept me and our new child quite easily. We hadn’t thought of DSDs half brother as his mother stopped DP from having any contact with him and we were focussing on our little family.
I suppose she tried to argue that her ds was a "child of the family" when she applied to the CMS for him. (I doubt your OH was with her for long enough though).
I really like the idea of helping dsd buy her brother a present. I don’t know if it would be feasible but could suggest she asks her mum for ideas or ask her yourself (or dp, although that might be stirring things up given the batshit maintenance request). I’d be nice as I appreciate it must be difficult to see the disparity as a mother, but firm. Your dh had only been with her 3 months before preg with dsd and stayed another year or two and she thinks he should pay maintenance for her other son?!
I’d just say something like, “oh, those were just birthday and Christmas gifts - you’ll have to speak to dh about the maintenance side of things, I don’t get involved.” She’s bonkers!
I’d definitely be trying to make it up to DS if I were the mum.
But you would do it yourself, not expect someone who never sees him to make up for your shortcomings. I don;t see the requests stopping. She's a cheeky mare, OP. Don't give her an inch or she will be back for the mile.
I do feel sorry for her son but in no way is he your D H responsibility.
Maybe as pp have said Christmas and birthday gifts are the way to go.
My older dc have £££ off their df. Younger ones don't see theirs. No issue as they accept it's just the way things are.
She needs to see her ds right, not your dh.
How rude!! Some people are sooo cheeky! Continue to buy things and tell your step daughter that she has to leave it at your house due to her mother not liking it
She wants £ for the son but refuses to let your DH see him? She's definitely a CF. I would give the boy a gift on occasions, it's not his fault his mums a loon.
Her other child is not your problem. To me it sounds like she wants the money for herself. I have DS with my ex and DD with my OH. Sometimes DS comes back with stuff my ex or my family has bought him. DD doesn’t mind!
Carry on what you’re doing. It is your. I should to do as you please with.
She should be grateful you are a fab step parents and help out with clothes etc etc.
She does have an issue with money. I earn a professional level salary and DP earns about half as much but we do both work full time. She works 16 hours a week in a supermarket and is topped up with maintenance and benefits. She has said before that she thinks he should pay more maintenance due to my salary (she doesn’t know exactly what I earn but she knows what I do so she will have a rough idea of what I earn).
I have always stayed out of financial conversations with her. Messages between us have always been about pick up and drop off times and that’s about it. She’s usually civil but frosty, which is fine. I was never the OW but I can see why she may not like me due to the situation.
She does sound like a cf but I do feel sorry for the son . When I was growing up I was friends with a family, their mum was single mum and they had different dads ( not judging) they were also quite poor , mum didn't work , on benefits. Anyway the girl had a generous grandmother and would go and visit and come back with new outfit looking lovely her siblings got nothing well they weren't her biological GC so fair enough but I always felt bad for them as they had no contact with their dad or dads family.
Obviously this is not your concern as you've never met him but maybe you could send a little something or maybe have a little thought for how he'd feel .
When you choose to have children by different fathers this is the choice you make. My niece and nephew have different dads but luckily my nephews family treat his younger sister like their own grand daughter, look after her for childcare, buy her presents etc. Likewise my nieces grandmother buys for my nephew also. But there are other issues for example if my sister and partner dies in a crash or something obviously my nephews dad would want to have custody of him but my niece would come to us meaning the siblings were split up.
I do think people are in too much of a rush to have more kids with people there just met without considering the full impact of that decision.
I think one of the issues is that DSD’s mum refuses to let my partner see her elder son (and he has no legal right to see him) and therefore I’ve never met him. If DSD’s mum hadn’t made that decision then we would be more likely to treat him as a member of the family.
OP it sounds like a difficult situation for all. I have 2 DS with my ex husband- they live with me and DH, having 2 nights with their dad- and a DS with my DH. My older boys have a grandma very active in their life ( visits/ presents/ days out/ holidays) but my DH has lost both of his parents so younger DS doesnt have any of this. The older two also have 2 sets of holidays as they go with their dad too ( we're away this week all together and they're away next week with their dad). DS3 is still a little young (7) for it to bother him, but we have both said that as he gets older we will fill in the shortfall in terms of extras/ holidays.
It's also a difficult prospect as my older boys will get a substantial inheritance from their grandma. I'm thinking we should adjust our life insurance and will to reflect this? But I'm not sure as it's contentious.
It's hard for the ex and her other son but she'll need to try and adjust her side of things so he gets more from her or start requesting maintenance from his dad abroad.
She came here as a single parent from Eastern Europe, leaving the elder son’s father there. Apparently he was the result of a fling and his father is married to someone else. I’m not sure how maintenance laws work over there but I don’t think she has ever had any money or support from her elder son’s father. I do really feel for the little boy as non of this is his fault.
That's tough OP. The wee boy has a difficult lot, but it's not your place to address that. Her relatives should try to even it out if they can- a special card at birthdays even. Then she needs to use her money disproportionate to get what her son needs knowing that her DD will get from your ok and his family. The suggestion of presents from your DD is a great one.
"No, sorry. That's not appropriate." Ignore thereafter.
Sounds fine to me (and I’m a step mum). DP tends to pay directly for things for the kids ie; school fees, uniform, clubs/hobbies. As we found when giving money directly to their mum she was spending on her other child, step children or her partner. The kids we missing out on basic things like proper fitting school shoes because her partner needed money to pay his phone bill! We have had a similar complaint in regards to spending money on the kids but at the end of the day both me and DP work and just have his 2 kids so we can afford nice holidays and can often let the kids choose whatever shoes they like when buying new shoes (within reason, we aren’t shopping in Gucci!). At their mums house she doesn’t work (her husband does, but not high earner) she has another child from a different father who pays minimal maintenance and 3 step children (her husbands children) who live 50/50 between their mum and dad, so no maintenance. So their income is has to cover more things and they can’t afford some of the things we can. But we don’t think we shouldn’t do nice things when we have the kids just because their mum can’t afford the same for her other children.
I don't think it's fair that you get to balance this out but it would be kind to. Thoughtful presents don't need to be expensive and perhaps when you buy her something pick up something for him occasionally because you thought it looked so nice. It's not easy but I appreciate every bit of kindness my PIL showed my children who they only met when they were in junior school.
Doesn't sound like you are spoiling dsd, I would continue as you are. You want to keep dsd and your own DC equal too. You sympathise with older boy but apart from Christmas gift which is a lovely gesture there is not much else you can do.
Totally CF! And crazy!
It looks like she wants to spend some of your money on her d's too!
I would say "I think this is a misunderstanding. They are presents." Or just ignore tbh.
I think the mum does sound awfully cheeky. It’s a very kind idea to buy dsd’s Brother a present from her for Christmas and birthday. That is very generous of you considering he isn’t allowed contact
Hi op,you sound a lovely dsm,the ex-wife is being a very mean,Grabby,c.f. And I would not send her a penny.it will not be for your dsd once in her grasping mitts.
Carry on as you were,your money,not hers.you owe her no explanation.
If you worry your dsd will get in trouble with her when this happens again,you can simply acknowledge her message with one of your own.
"Thank you for your message ,however I no longer need parental guidance on how I spend MY money and I will continue to control my own finances."
good luck Op
Many years ago I used to work for CSA. It's different now, I know.
BUT the Absent Parent's partner's earnings/income was NEVER taken into account when calculating how much child maintenance was due. It was asked for but only to calculate whether the Absent Parent could afford the amount of maintenance calculated, considering he also had a partner to support. [No-one ever believed that though.....]
So whatever your earnings are, it does not affect maintenance for your partners child. So his ex is wrong when saying that your earnings mean he should pay her more.
When I was a kid you couldn't enforce any child support payments from outside of the UK. Not sure if this is still the case. So she probably wouldn't get any money unless the father gave it to her off his own back.
Anyway, she is absolutely being rude. I would just reply and say that it's none of her business what you spend your money on and that a Christmas gift that you buy DSD is seperate from child maintenance. If she mentions it again I would completely ignore her, don't even respond.
She sounds very odd...
YANBU. I'm also wondering why DSD is so easy going? I hope the mum is not over-compensating for her son not having a dad by treating her kids differently. She seems to begrudge her DD the shows and clothes.
She thinks because of YOUR salary that YOU should pay maintenance for a child that's not yours?!
I can understand if your overshadowing her gifts, that would probably hurt but it doesn't sound like that's what's happening.
Agree that buying the older son a gift sounds like the ideal way forward.
I wouldn't reply. Just pretend you hadn't received the message, or if she asks say outright that you didn't reply because you thought it was odd and you certainly won't be doing that.
I do think it must be tough on the other kid if mum can't afford to buy him brand names but his sister comes back with pink addidas trainers or whatever while he's in supermarket's cheapest. I'm undecided uhh that would change what I bought DSD or not. I do like the idea of occasionally taking her to buy him something just because, like a nice rucksack for school or
I have no idea what's cool for boys.
- you shouldn’t be expected to buy things/ financially support a child that isn’t related to you/ linked to you in anyway.
I think you she is being cheeky, but I do think it's hard for her to have two children who have different financial circumstances. I would make sure that the Christmas/birthday presents you get her aren't too expensive (though it doesn't sound like you went crazy) and agree that it's a good idea to help her buy similar presents for her brother.
DP did used to give her more maintenance but found that DSD was turning up in cheap school shoes, too small winter coat etc so they agreed that he would pay less maintenance and buy DSD what she needed directly. The disparity in finances is going to be an ongoing issue but there isn’t a great deal I can do to rectify that other than (as already mentioned) buy a small present from DSD every Christmas and birthday.
You sound very kind, and I think your compromise is a kind one.
I'm going to go against the grain here (though I do see that the ex is a bit bonkers).
If I was in the ex's situation I would really hope to have a good relationship with my DD's father so that in the situation you describe, I could be forewarned if DD was to be given presents.
I could then prepare the older son who, through no fault of his own doesn't get the same treatment. It must have been tough for that boy over the years, and while I absolutely wouldn't get him presents when it was the DD's Birthday, I would at least like to...I don't know...just work out myself how I was going to soften the blow for him.
TheOrig, the ex is not asking to be forewarned, she is asking for cash in lieu of presents
which DSD will never see
With OP's update about cheap shoes and too-small coat, there may be already be a disparity in how ex treats her son and her DD.
Someone made a comment about ensuring DSD is treated the same as our child - this is something we are trying to do. It’s difficult though - there is a big difference in school quality between the area DSD lives and where we live, to start with. We’re thinking of paying for tutoring for DSD but that’s something her elder brother hasn’t had so would that also be unfair?
@Ivy44 No it wouldn't be unfair to pay for tutoring for her and not the boy.
You have no responsibility towards the boy. Its not your fault that he has a different Father.
Why not have the tutoring at your house when she visits you?
Its not your fault that he has a different Father.
Very true and it’s not DSD’s fault either.
@Ivy44 I imagine tutoring won't go down well, it could well make her feel like you are solidifying for life the advantages her daughter already has over her son. That doesn't mean I don't think you should do it though, just be prepared for some upset.
DSD’s older brother is at a high school that is in special measures and DP is concerned that DSD will end up there too. We live in an area that still has grammar schools and DP would like DSD to have a decent chance of passing the 11 plus. I agree with him but he’s going to have to put his foot down with his ex on this one.
When I mentioned keeping dsd and your own child fair I meant it to show how it is impossible to keep everyone fair unless you keep your own DC to dsd's brothers budget which is not reasonable at all. Like any decent person you sympathise with dsd's brother but your priority is your own children DC and dsd. So I would get a tutor for dsd.
Think about when she is 25 and hasn't had same opportunities as DC, we wanted to keep you in line with your brother isn't going to sound reasonable at all. When it comes to education help her where you can and dont feel guilty about it.
If I thought my child needed and could pass the 11+ when the other option was a school I would be making sure a tutor was provided. Extra job, sell my clothes anything.
Yes, I agree. There is a big difference between not buying branded trainers because it’s causing upset and not doing something that could have a big impact on DSDs chances in life.
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