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Children's stepmum

(55 Posts)
crs80 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:21:47

Advice please! I have 2 children and they used to go to their Dad & SM every other weekend plus 2 week days after school, my ex changed his job so could no longer collect them from school so their SM started doing it; last month my ex called to say that the week day visits won't be happening anymore as his wife is refusing to have the children due to their poor behaviour. I know my son is a handful & I really struggle with his behaviour myself so I know she is not wrong however last week my ex contacted me to say that on his weekends they won't be having them the Friday night either as she is refusing to collect them from school and have them for the same reason. So my kids have gone from seeing their Dad & SM (plus their little sister as they have a 3 year old together) 15/16 days a month to 4/6 days a month. I didn't want to say too much but I did speak to my ex when he last picked up the kids & he basically said that his wife has given them enough chances & has spoken to the kids about their behaviour but it hasn't improved and that she doesn't want to spend her days off dealing with fighting kids & disrespectful behaviour from kids that aren't even hers. So whilst I completely understand her position I can't help feeling angry about it as well, I am having issues with my sons behaviour but I can't help feeling that she just can't be bothered with the aggravation& would rather be doing something else than look after 'somebody else's kids' which I also know she has every right to do!

Peppapogstillonaloop Sun 14-Aug-16 18:24:01

Your ex is the problem not the sm it isn't her problem at all. If he can't pick them up why isn't he arranging childcare for after school that he can pick them up from? He cannot just opt out of being their parent because t isn't convenient for his work..

Lilaclily Sun 14-Aug-16 18:25:48

Agree it's not up to the stepmother surely

Tiggeryoubastard Sun 14-Aug-16 18:28:27

You're angry with her? Fuck me the poor woman has been picking them up and looking after them even with their (by your own admittance) awful behaviour. Maybe you should save your energy for dealing with your children. You sound awful.

JenLindley Sun 14-Aug-16 18:29:12

Well I can totally understand her point of view, however, their father does not just get to absolve himself of dealing with his children because unlike her, he is their actual parent who chose to have them, why is it ok for you to suddenly have to deal with the bad behaviour for more time? Why are you suddenly entitled to less free time? His wife doesn't have to deal with them at all but he does! He is going to have to work something out. What would happen if you had a new partner who didn't want to deal with your children? Would you just leave them at school over the weekends? No you have to parent them and so does their father. Difficult or not they are his children!

crs80 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:30:59

I do agree absolutely, the issue with that is before he changed his job he would pick them up from school so they got to spend time with him, that was kind of the point, I would rather pick them up myself & have them home than be with a child minder as they didn't stay overnight during the week smile

m0therofdragons Sun 14-Aug-16 18:32:52

Sounds like there are 2 issues here. 1, Ex is using his new p as childcare - he should be arranging after school care until he is able to collect on his days. You split the days between you and his days are not your problem.
2, if dc's behaviour is an issue (which you admit it is) then would it be possible for you and ex to sit and agree boundaries/rules to keep things consistent and present it together to the dc? How old are they?

You cannot be cross with sm over this surely?

m0therofdragons Sun 14-Aug-16 18:33:59

How old are dc and what's their behaviour like at school?

veryproudvolleyballmum Sun 14-Aug-16 18:34:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crs80 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:43:12

I'm not cross with their SM at all, I know my sons behaviour is very bad at times so get why she feels this way I'm more angry at the situation really, we have never formally agreed on how we split the week/month regarding childcare it just sort of evolved (over last 9 years) as my ex used to finish at 2pm so he just suggested collecting them from school for the 2 days.

JenLindley Sun 14-Aug-16 18:47:33

So what would happen if you got a new job and couldn't lift them from school? You wouldn't just get to not collect them any more, you would have to arrange childcare. Why does he think that doesn't apply to him too?

Missgraeme Sun 14-Aug-16 18:49:53

Your ex should find a child minder for those hours. It is his allocated time with the dc so he needs to make arrangements for their care in that time. If his wife won't do it - for well entitled reasons - he needs to sort it. Sorry but u shouldnt be helping him out in his time at all.

veryproudvolleyballmum Sun 14-Aug-16 18:50:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlightlyperturbedOwl Sun 14-Aug-16 18:51:00

It sounds like you need to sit down and re-draw the agreement. Some of the behaviour may even be down to a lack of time on their own with their dad. It's not his new partners job to be child-minding regularly, though it's reasonable for her to agree to it on occasion (as a favour to your ex). If Can you pick up from school and have your ex collect them from you after work for example? This is what we used to do with DSD as her mum was at home quite near the school and we were both working. Then you and your ex need to tackle the behaviour issue together he is their dad and doesn't get to just opt out when it's difficult. It's not easy to have to work together like that but your DCs need you to.

crs80 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:51:55

I hear what you're saying but I know that he wouldn't entertain that idea, to be fair (& I'm probably digging myself a hole here) he did ask to rearrange the week so he could have them when he was around but I refused because of my work hours and the inconvenience it caused for me. Also as the resident parent it's very hard to insist on anything, I just wondered if anyone had been in similar situation and how they handled it

Maybe83 Sun 14-Aug-16 18:54:06

I'd be furious with the both of them. So when the 3 year old behaviour isn't great are they going to throw them out of the house. No of course not because that relationship is non negotiable unlike the relationship with his older children.

The week days I completely understand, during my dd life time spent with her dad has sometimes changed due to work commitments. That is reasonable and under standable at times. I wouldn't expect sm to continue with the school days. Dropping the Friday is him taking the easy route and checking out of being responsible for his children.

Why is your son's behaviour just your responsibility now if they have had so much contact do they think they have nothing to do with it?

Continue to work on your son's behaviour for his and your benefit. There is little you can do if that's the decision they have made but you know the lay of the land now as they say.

gettingtherequickly Sun 14-Aug-16 18:54:42

So he offered to move contact so he was available and you refused.

And if you don't think it's her responsibility why title your post "children's stepmum"?

Mollbie Sun 14-Aug-16 18:57:50

I think you need to sit down with ex and work out the logistics between you.

It's not really his wife's responsibility, although yes, their family unit does include your DC. It sounds like she's tried and struggled with it.

What would he do if she wasn't around?

FuzzyOwl Sun 14-Aug-16 19:00:03

Why haven't you stepped in before it reached this stage to speak to your children and agree a discipline plan for all three of you to stick with?

It isn't the stepmum's responsibility at all to be your free childcare (and I mean that for both you and your ex).

veryproudvolleyballmum Sun 14-Aug-16 19:00:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crs80 Sun 14-Aug-16 19:03:40

He said he could have them later & drop them off later but I work night shifts so I wouldn't be home, I would normally drop them at my mums on the way to work on my nightshifts, so it timings wouldn't work out. That's not fair, I didn't really think about title just what was in my head when typing the post, nothing to do with responsibility

veryproudvolleyballmum Sun 14-Aug-16 19:06:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Sun 14-Aug-16 19:06:15

It's not her responsibility to look after your kids so don't be mad at her.
And as for her 3 year old playing up, that's her child and it comes with the territory of being a parent. And she will be naturally more accepting and tolerant of her own child playing up. It's completely different if it's stepchildren making it hard work and it's a lot easier to not want to put up with it and leave to parents to parent their children.

Sorry, I can only see it from her POV.

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Sun 14-Aug-16 19:07:14

Oh and I forgot to add..
Her life doesn't revolve around your kids.

Missgraeme Sun 14-Aug-16 19:10:05

So he expects u to find alternative care when u work but he won't?? Classic male responsibility aversion!!

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