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To say no?

(226 Posts)
PieAllThePie Sun 14-Jun-20 19:58:49

Try to keep it brief, my husband has children with his ex. Both are still working through lockdown.

My husband has been doing his best to sort work around his days with the children, taking annual / unpaid leave and I've been having them when he can't for his days. As I understand it, his exes partner was watching the kids on her days as he has been furloughed, like me.

He (exes partner) has now been told he needs to go back next week and so basically DHs ex is stuck for childcare on her days as there are no places at school.

She has asked if I will look after them on her days too, I am still furloughed.

DH doesn't really have anymore leave to take now and we could do with him not losing out on money taking unpaid leave so the idea was I would start looking after them on his days from now on. If I also look after them on his exes days, it will mean I'll have them Mon-Fri every week.

To be perfectly honest I don't want to do this. I don't mind helping the odd time but I really do not want to commit to every day, all day and everything that includes, school work etc ... I do get on with them well, but they can be difficult at the best of times and are playing up a bit at the moment due to lockdown and missing their friends which I understand but it's a nightmare just trying to get them to do anything when I do have them, like going on a walk or doing their work. And I don't want to now sacrifice the only days I have free to do things like go on a walk, do my food shopping, I've been doing some online training for when I'm back at work etc.

She has been quite difficult with us in the past as well so that is also making me reluctant to do this now. I also don't know when I'll be asked to go back to work although they've hinted that it may not be until after August so this could be a long term arrangement if I agreed which tbh I just don't like the thought of.

She has parents that live close by, whilst I appreciate it could be that they have underlying conditions I don't know about, I know they have been round to their house during lockdown as the kids have told us, and not socially distanced, grandma cut their hair etc...

OP’s posts: |
heartsonacake Sun 14-Jun-20 20:02:38

YABU. You married him and took on his children; you wouldn’t just be able to get rid of your own because it wasn’t convenient.

If you weren’t prepared to be a family you shouldn’t have married a man with children.

GalwayGrowl Sun 14-Jun-20 20:03:35

She should pay for childcare on her days.

PieAllThePie Sun 14-Jun-20 20:03:58

heartsonacake

YABU. You married him and took on his children; you wouldn’t just be able to get rid of your own because it wasn’t convenient.

If you weren’t prepared to be a family you shouldn’t have married a man with children.

Yes I did which is why I look after them on my husband's days.

OP’s posts: |
Ponoka7 Sun 14-Jun-20 20:05:24

How old are they and what does your DH think?

Your relationship with them may never recover. It's a crisis and you are unwilling to care for them. Would the same apply if she was in hospital?

user1473878824 Sun 14-Jun-20 20:05:54

And you didn’t think that through your entire marriage there might be a time when sometimes you might have to look after YOUR step children not on your husband’s days with them? You’re being hugely unreasonable.

WendyHoused Sun 14-Jun-20 20:06:28

YANBU. Helping on your husband’s days is decent of you, but she and her partner need to sort out their own data. You are not her childminder.

TreeTopTim Sun 14-Jun-20 20:06:59

heartsonacake

YABU. You married him and took on his children; you wouldn’t just be able to get rid of your own because it wasn’t convenient.

If you weren’t prepared to be a family you shouldn’t have married a man with children.

I agree with this. What would you do if it was your own children?

FreeFromDinoMeat Sun 14-Jun-20 20:07:35

I don't think YABU. You are helping out your husband on his days which is fair enough and you've said you don't mind helping out the odd time. But on her days, they are his exes responsibility and she should look to make her own arrangements. Has she taken any leave like your husband has? If not then I guess she will need to look at doing that.

I'd maybe offer to do one of the days to help out but no I wouldn't give up my time doing training for my work so that I can do a favour for someone who's been difficult with me in the past. This is why it pays to not be an arse with someone you might need a favour from in the future 🤷

edwinbear Sun 14-Jun-20 20:07:39

It would be a kind thing to do, although I completely understand why you don’t want to. Does your DH think you should?

chateaudekaleidoscope Sun 14-Jun-20 20:07:43

I wouldn't do it. Explain why to your husband and he can tell the ex no. You are doing more than your fair share by helping out your husband on his time never mind the ex's too.

I'm working from home and my two oldest boys father is working too, his partner is on furlough. I wouldn't dream of asking her to have my kids all week it's up to me and their dad to sort. If it was on my ex's time she looked after them then so be it but not on my time.

Tinyhumansurvivalist Sun 14-Jun-20 20:08:09

Honestly I think you are being a bit petty however I do appreciate the whys and wherefores of being a stepmum and the expectation that you will drop everything for the exw.

My honest advice is suck it up and do it, it with guidelines that you expect all parties to adhere to. Ie School work takes priority, they will be expected to help with chores and mum and her partner need to find cover for 1 day per week as a minimum.

Don't be too awkward about it, once your furlough comes to an end then you may find you and your dh need her help for care toom swings and roundabouts etc!

FreeFromDinoMeat Sun 14-Jun-20 20:08:22

user1473878824

And you didn’t think that through your entire marriage there might be a time when sometimes you might have to look after YOUR step children not on your husband’s days with them? You’re being hugely unreasonable.

It's a bit different when we are talking about months though isn't it hmm

LumaLou Sun 14-Jun-20 20:08:59

I would imagine that it’s in everyone’s best interest for your stepchildren’s parents to keep their jobs.

Maybe this could be a good opportunity for you to develop a better relationship with them.

Surely they would be in your house anyway if your husband takes unpaid leave to look after them?

Why don’t you talk to him. Could you get out of the house to go shopping when he has a lunch break, or could he do a few hours work once they have gone to bed and take them out of an afternoon?

Longer term, could grandparents help out more when it’s safe to do so?

There is a difference between visiting grandchildren and having the ability to look after them Mon-Fri. - are they old?

Alsohuman Sun 14-Jun-20 20:10:09

You’re not being remotely unreasonable. Get your husband to tell her to sort out some childcare. Looking after them on his days is one thing. Doing it five days a week is a completely different ball game. I was a very accommodating step mum and I wouldn’t have done it.

heartsonacake Sun 14-Jun-20 20:11:14

Yes I did which is why I look after them on my husband's days.

A parent—biological, adopted, step—is a parent all the time, not just on set days.

I repeat: if you weren’t prepared to be a family you shouldn’t have married a man with children.

You joined their family, and you don’t just give family back when it isn’t convenient for you.

FreeFromDinoMeat Sun 14-Jun-20 20:11:52

I also hate the saying 'what would you do if they were your children'.

They aren't her children so it's irrelevant. They have two parents who are responsible for childcare.

FreeFromDinoMeat Sun 14-Jun-20 20:12:31

heartsonacake

*Yes I did which is why I look after them on my husband's days.*

A parent—biological, adopted, step—is a parent all the time, not just on set days.

I repeat: if you weren’t prepared to be a family you shouldn’t have married a man with children.

You joined their family, and you don’t just give family back when it isn’t convenient for you.

So by the same logic, mum is giving the kids back to OP/her husband on her days because it's inconvenient for her?

Jeschara Sun 14-Jun-20 20:12:34

Yanbu, you look after the children on his days, the Mother should not expect you to do it on other days.
I disagree it is your responsibility to look after his children, it is his responsibility. Do not feel guilty, you married your husband, you are not the Mother of his children.
I collect my Grandson from school when I am not working, as my daughter works, I do not expect my partner to share responsibility, as he has not his Grandfather.
Since when does marrying a man with children mean you have responsibility for them?

FreeFromDinoMeat Sun 14-Jun-20 20:14:43

Since when does marrying a man with children mean you have responsibility for them?

When mum needs something usually on MN, that and when it comes to money. If this were the exes partner and OPs husband were asking him, everyone would say it weren't her partner's responsibility and the ex should take leave/sort something else out.

2007Millie Sun 14-Jun-20 20:14:56

YABU

This is a pandemic and things aren't normal.
Just step up and be a decent step parent.
Who knows, you might actually see the children positively afterwards

YenniferOfVengeberg Sun 14-Jun-20 20:17:41

YANBU OP, there's no way I'd do that. Stick to your guns.

PieAllThePie Sun 14-Jun-20 20:19:16

People seem to be assuming that I have a terrible relationship with the kids. I don't. I have a good one, we get on well. Its not because I dislike the kids that I say they can be difficult, they can be it's just the truth. Their parents say the same thing, one of them especially is suspected of having some issues although undiagnosed right now and can be very hard work. That's not me being horrible, it's a fact.

I like a PPs suggestion of perhaps offering to cover one of the days.

Grandparents wouldn't be expected to look after them Mon-Fri as I'm already doing my husband's weekdays. It would only be her days which is two days one week and three the next.

OP’s posts: |
Jeschara Sun 14-Jun-20 20:19:45

OP If you do not want to do it please dont, it is not your responsibility, it is the parents responsibility.

ladytremaineswig Sun 14-Jun-20 20:22:41

Not unreasonable. I wouldn't want to

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