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Is this reasonable or cheeky?

(81 Posts)
Ivy44 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:48:35

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.

Ivy44 Tue 02-Apr-19 19:59:12

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.

Disfordarkchocolate Tue 02-Apr-19 19:53:56

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.

LL83 Tue 02-Apr-19 19:51:04

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.

Ivy44 Tue 02-Apr-19 19:38:46

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.

Disfordarkchocolate Tue 02-Apr-19 19:32:32

@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.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 02-Apr-19 19:19:11

Its not your fault that he has a different Father.

Very true and it’s not DSD’s fault either.

Littleduckeggblue Tue 02-Apr-19 19:06:13

@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?

Ivy44 Tue 02-Apr-19 18:49:13

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?

M4J4 Tue 02-Apr-19 18:41:28

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.

TheOrigRightsofwomen Tue 02-Apr-19 17:39:44

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.

ScrewyMcScrewup Tue 02-Apr-19 17:34:28

You sound very kind, and I think your compromise is a kind one.

Ivy44 Tue 02-Apr-19 17:29:30

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.

bridgetreilly Tue 02-Apr-19 15:21:44

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.

lovinglifexo Tue 02-Apr-19 14:22:44

- you shouldn’t be expected to buy things/ financially support a child that isn’t related to you/ linked to you in anyway.

LeesPostersAreInFrames Tue 02-Apr-19 14:15:04

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.

ImNotTheDramaLlamaHere Tue 02-Apr-19 14:12:43

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.

M4J4 Tue 02-Apr-19 14:06:54

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.

PregnantSea Tue 02-Apr-19 14:01:32

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...

redwoodmazza Tue 02-Apr-19 12:10:09

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.

KarmaStar Tue 02-Apr-19 12:03:54

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 Opflowers

Blondebakingmumma Tue 02-Apr-19 11:55:46

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

blackteasplease Tue 02-Apr-19 11:25:34

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.

LL83 Tue 02-Apr-19 11:20:33

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.

Disfordarkchocolate Tue 02-Apr-19 11:10:05

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.

TwoShades1 Tue 02-Apr-19 11:06:24

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.

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