Good for the shit parts but not the good ones

(57 Posts)
LiptonPeach Thu 05-Sep-19 08:27:02

Long story short, I've ended up doing a lot of things for my SC that maybe some step parents wouldn't do, including the school run and morning/ after school care as it ended up being impossible for DH and ex to do it and keep their jobs on track.

I work flexibly from home and could nip out to drop off/pick up. I make breakfast and packed lunch for school and look after SC after school until DH/ex get home. I genuinely don't mind doing it.

SC is having their first birthday party soon (they've always just had a sleepover at ours/mum's other years) and apparently DHs ex has said she'd prefer it if I didn't attend because it would make her uncomfortable.

I'm confused because we get on okay, not the best of friends but enough to have a polite conversation at the door kind of thing.

I'm being taken advantage of here aren't I?

It's not necessarily the fact that I desperately want to go to a birthday party. It's more that I feel I'm good enough to use for the shit parts of parenting but unwelcome to share in any of the nicer parts!

OP’s posts: |
MsPavlichenko Thu 05-Sep-19 08:30:40

You are right. She clearly trusts you with her DC, so it is hard to see how you make her uncomfortable.

Banangana Thu 05-Sep-19 08:36:17

I think that if the child is comfortable with you there the mother should suck it up and yes, you are being taken advantage of. I'd move on and let them find themselves another servant.

Windydaysuponus Thu 05-Sep-19 08:44:44

Send her an invoice for 50 % of the child care you do.

PerkyPomPoms Thu 05-Sep-19 08:47:36

Stop ferrying the kids and be very clear why you’re stopping

DriftingLeaves Thu 05-Sep-19 08:47:44

Message her saying you're sorry she feels that way but you understand. And she has a week to make alternative child care arrangements.

Whenaretheholidaysover Thu 05-Sep-19 08:50:24

Definitely not fair on you. I would withdraw the childcare if she doesn’t feel comfortable.


AE18 Thu 05-Sep-19 08:53:13

Unbelievably cheeky. Yes I would stop doing the school runs (at least on her contact time) and I would make it very clear why.

HugoSpritz Thu 05-Sep-19 09:02:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceAnd Thu 05-Sep-19 09:31:36

How about gently and politely asking her to reconsider. Send her a message saying that you understand that it's a little awkward but that you would like to be there. Point out that as you take the DC to and from school and look after them you feel like you are important part of their lives and it would feel awkward for you not to be there. Although other PP's to send her an invoice etc for childcare etc might seem more tempting you want to be thinking about the long term here. It's better for everyone even if it means you approaching it more gently than you would like.
Ask her to reconsider and take it from there.

NiceAnd Thu 05-Sep-19 09:32:43

Missed out a word

^ Although other PP's^ SUGGESTIONS to send her an invoice etc

hsegfiugseskufh Thu 05-Sep-19 09:32:50

yep. you're good enough to be her nanny but she doesn't actually want you to play the role of step mum. I wouldn't go, because I wouldn't cause a drama, but I wouldn't be helping her any more, or your dp for that matter.

AuntieStella Thu 05-Sep-19 09:39:22

Is she the host and organiser of the party?

If so, let it go (and gave DH host next year's)

If DH is cohost and is pulling his weight in the actual organising, then he should be insisting on your behalf

Clearly XW wants no contact with you, but as there may be many family events ahead, finding a way to be in the same room will be in SC's interests.

candlie Thu 05-Sep-19 09:53:31

Yeah just say to her that you won't be doing the school run or after school care anymore as you're aware how uncomfortable you make her feel and wouldn't want to worsen the situation. grin

averythinline Thu 05-Sep-19 10:01:31

If she's hosting/paying for teh party it is up to her who she invites- and depending on DC age maybe too many adults is a thing (the older the kids the less the adults)
I wouldnt have expected to see a Step parent at a DC party, but equally would not be surprised either way depends on how family organise things...I know some that are very close and integrated and others distinctly 2 households...

Although why are you doing the school runs etc on her time????- that doesnt seem to fit with the distinct households model she is suggesting...

what you decide to do as your DH partner is up to you - but he should be making the lunches/sorting the uniform/getting the bags ready etc or do you do that for all DC???

thi smaybe a bit of a wake up call about how you all see each otehrs role so just be sure you are doing what you are happy with .....not just 'expected to pick up as work flexibly ( i do as well so know how easy it is to slip into the person that sorts stuff)

MuthaFunka61 Thu 05-Sep-19 10:02:05

I'm agreeing with @NiceAnd in that you're an important adult in the children's lives and a way to be included in celebrations and family events needs to be found.

I'm sure you can find a way to word a text or phone call to express your intention to find a harmonious way through any awkwardness as you come across as someone who's supportive and considerate.

Good luck

funinthesun19 Thu 05-Sep-19 10:08:58

It’s not your job to do the school runs for her on her time.

Even if you were going to the same school to pick up your own children, it’s the principle of it. It’s her responsibility no matter what!

Banangana Thu 05-Sep-19 10:15:47

Although why are you doing the school runs etc on her time????- that doesnt seem to fit with the distinct households model she is suggesting...

This is the issue. She's willing to accept the free childcare that you provide because you consider the children as family. She's now making it clear that she doesn't feel the same about your role in the children's lives so I'd be stopping the favours and reclaiming my time. Let her sort out paid childcare in her time instead so that everyone is clear about where they stand.

WhoKnewBeefStew Thu 05-Sep-19 10:19:46

If you were doing these things as your dh couldn't do them, then I'd say you should let it go. However you've quite clearly enabled the exw to also be able to have less stress, carry on with her career etc due to you helping. As this is the case I'd be very pissed off!

You could refuse to do anymore however this is likely to affect the dc and your dh. But I'd make it crystal clear to the ex that she's out of order. I'd be sending her a polite, but strongly worded message reminding her of her shortsightedness and lack of consideration to someone who has gone out of her way to help her

TwentyEight12 Thu 05-Sep-19 11:05:33

Well that isn’t very nice...

What’s the deal with this? You help both of them out with the children, I don’t understand why you are suddenly not welcome at the birthday party.

Is the party being held at her house or yours and DP’s house or in a public space?

MotherofTerriers Thu 05-Sep-19 11:10:55

I'd be inclined to sit down with your dh and say that you'll continue to help with childcare on "his" days but will no longer pick up, drop off or provide after school care on his ex's. If she expects you to facilitate her working life at no cost to her then she can have some manners and invite you to the party. And say thank you, offer to help you out in return etc etc

Kaykay06 Thu 05-Sep-19 11:15:27

Absolutely stop the free childcare
These aren’t your kids, if neither your partner or his ex can step up and show their appreciation for what you do I wouldn’t do it either. You’re good enough to be a lackey but not enough to be involved in the nice parts as you say I think that’s so cruel.

It’s good for the kids to see you all getting along, why can’t parents put their kids first, suck up the ‘awkwardness’ and parent their kids like adults.

Of course there are situations where being civil isn’t appropriate but you’re good enough otherwise OP I’m angry for you. I have kids of my own, 4 so child care is difficult. My ex is great we get on really well but single at present. But if he met someone lovely who had a relationship with my kids of course she would be invited to family parties.

Sotiredofthislife Thu 05-Sep-19 12:35:04

Who’s paying for the party?

Branleuse Thu 05-Sep-19 13:03:41

if shes paying for the party, i wouldnt expect either you or your dp to be invited. Dont you do seperate birthday celebrations?

If your dh and his ex and both paying, then you should be invited, and moreso because youre so hands on.
If thats the case, then id definitely stop the childcare as youre being taken advantage of

LiptonPeach Thu 05-Sep-19 13:13:55

It's a party in a venue which they are both contributing to. Think like wacky warehouse type.

OP’s posts: |

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