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How many children do I have?

(22 Posts)
AnonymousDad Tue 16-Nov-10 17:38:26

Serious question...

I have 2 children from my first marriage and 3 step children from my current marriage.

How many children do I have?

I say I have 5

My wife says she has 3

What would you say?

SatinShoes Tue 16-Nov-10 17:39:51

I think you have 5 children.

I think your wife should say she has 5 children too.

Do they all live with you?

NonnoMum Tue 16-Nov-10 17:47:13

Depends... if your children live with their mother, then I would say (as your wife ) that I have 3, and 2 step-children.
If they all live under one roof and are being raised jointly by you, I might say that I have 5.
As a step mother myself I find it disrespectful to my DSC's mother if I claim them as my own...
But it's different for different people...

I know when my now DH found out that his ex-wife had chosen to move her new partner into the house and he would happily go to parents' eve etc as if the children were his own, my DH was furious and really upset...

AnonymousDad Tue 16-Nov-10 17:49:31

They live with us half the time.
We have an arrangement where children and step children have 2 days here on their own 5 days together and 7 days with other parents.

SMummyS Tue 16-Nov-10 18:40:58

I say I have a step child. My DP as pp said gets upset as his exW won't let him go to parents evening but her husband goes with her.

nymphadora Tue 16-Nov-10 19:10:28

Dh says 3 (2 are his step children). Last parents eve he came with me & my xh as we had to take the baby! All v friendly though

Bonsoir Tue 16-Nov-10 19:11:30

It depends on circumstances - if I am booking a holiday in a hotel I say three, if I am talking to a doctor I say one.

DuelingFanjo Tue 16-Nov-10 19:12:52

Why does your wife say she has 3?

harassedinherpants Tue 16-Nov-10 19:39:53

I say that we have 4 in total. Only because most people only see me with dd as dsd lives with her mum most of the time and I have two older ds's who have both left home.

Of course if it's for medical purposes then 3.

CarGirl Tue 16-Nov-10 19:42:33

Hmmmm my eldest has moved out to live with her Dad, so I guess I would say 4 but only 3 live with me, if she lived here 50% ish of the time I'd just say 4.

In your situation I would say 5 as they all live with you around 50% of their time.

ThatllDoPig Tue 16-Nov-10 19:44:27

I would say 5, if they live with you (even part time)then say they are step children if necessary.
Have you discussed it with your wife to find out her reasoning?

cobbledtogether Tue 16-Nov-10 20:37:46

My dh says 3, I say 2 and a step daughter.

WildistheWind Tue 16-Nov-10 21:08:02

DH and I got together when my DD was 18 months and DBDs were 2 and 4- We both say we have 3.

theredhen Wed 17-Nov-10 08:18:24

Myself and DP will say we have 5 children between us.

If the discussion was more in depth, we would probably explain that he has 4 children by birth and I have 1 child.

The facts are that 4 of those children I didn't give birth to and DS isn't DP's. I don't believe in forcing the issue and trying to pretend we are not a step family, we are not the stereotypical family unit and I don't see why we should try to be.

marriednotdead Wed 17-Nov-10 08:34:16

It's an awkward one and there's no right or wrong IMO.

DH has 4, I have 2, we haven't had any together.

3 of his are older and have never lived with us, one of them he no longer sees sad

We currently have the other 3 at home.

My usual answer is - it's complicated!

cobbledtogether Wed 17-Nov-10 08:41:53

I answer the way I do because I used to say "I have three", but then they'd start asking more questions about how come I have one so much older and whether its my husbands, then I have to explain that she's my bonus daughter and then they wonder why I didn't say so in the first place!

To me its not about separating her or keeping her at arms length, its to save me from having that same bloody conversation ad-infinitum!

I really don't think there's a right or wrong about this.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 17-Nov-10 09:01:16

I say we have 6 between us and then explain further if necessary.

BigChiefOrganiser Wed 17-Nov-10 17:39:44

I say 2 children, DH would say 3. Because that is how it is! I'm not claiming a child that isn't mine. She has a mother.

From another perspective, I have 3 half siblings and 2 step sisters (so 6 in total). If I say to someone, there were 6 of us, they go, oh how wonderful, must have been lovely growing up. However the true picture is, 3 different households and I only grew up with 1 half sibling, and seeing 2 step sisters in holidays. The other 2 half siblings, I didn't meet until I was in my 20s. And my DB I grew up with also has half siblings that he has not met. See how complicated it can be, and why would I want to get into all of that!

So, I will say, there were 2 of us growing up. If the person asking becomes a friend, then I would talk about all the others in our family.

EnnisDelMar Tue 30-Nov-10 19:01:31

I would say that you have two children.

And your wife is correct; she has three.

This is why the distinction is made between children and step children.

I never considered my partner's children to be suddenly 'mine' when I became his partner ( and would not have had I married him, either). And my son's father's new wife is certainly not his mother. She has never even met him. I would resent it hugely should she decide he was her child.

Together you have five children though.

EnnisDelMar Tue 30-Nov-10 19:04:27

I should qualify the sentiments in that post by explaining that I am very fond of partner's children, and would have liked them to have been mine. But they were not.

Parenting does not confer the honour of being someone's actual parent - unless in exceptional circumstances when a step parent is closer and more like a parent to the child than its actual parent.

FreudianFoxSquishedByAPouffe Tue 30-Nov-10 19:10:54

I tell people the precise truth - I have two children and 3 step children.

I love my stepchildren dearly but I am not their mum. I wouldn't say I have 5 children, I didn't give birth to DH's 3!

One of my DSDs once asked if she should call me mum but I said no. I would have loved it but it seemed wrong and frankly quite offensive to DH's exW. I said thank you for the lovely thought, but it might upset your mum.

pleasechange Wed 01-Dec-10 08:43:34

I say I have 1. The fact is that for 12 days out of 14 there are 3 of us, me, DH and DS. He has 3 children of course

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