I’m a step mum and struggling

(44 Posts)
Abcdefgh12345 Thu 14-Nov-19 08:44:51

I’m a step mum to 3 boys that come over every other weekend and once during the week.

I have been with their dad for nearly 4 years.
Not going to lie it’s hard work and drains the life out of me.
But This issue is about Xmas.

My partner doesn’t spend a lot on them for bday or Xmas. They usually get one big present and one small.

He could afford more and put more effort into it if he was more organised. He leaves everything to last minute and therefore has little money to share between everyone at Xmas. Last year I got a pair of 99p earrings from eBay!

I always end up feeling sorry for the kids as I buy my son lots of gifts and stocking fillers because I have planned for Xmas and can afford to.

I think the kids like to see lots of presents rather than just one or two so I end up buying them loads and between 3 of them it’s a lot of money j spend.

He knows that if he doesn’t spend anything I can’t sit back and let them have hardly anything on Xmas so he knows I’ll end up buying extra.

This year I’m reluctant to because my son wants a laptop for his school work and that’s going to wipe me out.
I’ve already bought them little bits but no where near what I usually do and what he’ll be expecting me to.

What should I do??
Feel guilty for not buying for them or find the extra money somehow and provide for them and feel totally pissed off at him???

He has money to go to his snooker matches twice a week and spend 10-20 quid on drink each time. Grrrrrr

I’ve tried talking to him about it but he just says he deserves to have a life

OP’s posts: |
sauvignonblancplz Thu 14-Nov-19 08:51:03

He sounds stingy and selfish. That’s a deal breaker for me.
Leave him.

Humpdayruminations Thu 14-Nov-19 09:13:42

So fair enough. He isn't going to spend on his sons. You don't have to either. I'd make sure your son opens his presents at a different time so his don't feel bad.

LatentPhase Thu 14-Nov-19 10:44:21

Tell him this year you won’t be picking up the slack so he should treat this as fair warning that he has got a choice about whether he ends up looking like Scrooge.

Presumably the boys will be getting more gifts from elsewhere (his mum, Santa, depending on age)? So won’t be going ‘without’?

How old are they?

DriftingLeaves Thu 14-Nov-19 10:49:04


CaptainCautious Thu 14-Nov-19 10:50:43

God leave him, he sounds awful. You shouldn’t have to have this much responsibility over his children

HappyPunky Thu 14-Nov-19 10:55:02

Do you subsidise him in other ways?

It sounds like if it was just you and your son you would have more money, time and energy.

Do you gain anything from being with your partner and what about your son? Does he benefit from his stepdad and step brothers?

If not I'd rein it right in and get a couple of bits from yourself and your son at the most for his boys and make a plan to leave


IWorkAtTheCheescakeFactory Thu 14-Nov-19 10:56:43

Last year I got a pair of 99p earrings from eBay!

Ignore everything about his children and what he gets them. This^ is what he thinks of you! This is how little he values you. His partner. The person who is on an Internet forum worrying about how to cater for his children at Christmas. You’re busy worrying about his children because he won’t and what thanks do you get? You get 99p earrings. Does that sound like you are valued? Does that sound like a future you want?

Take the doormat sign off your head, pick up your bags and leave. This will not get better and you deserve better.

LightDrizzle Thu 14-Nov-19 11:05:20

He sounds mean and tight. Dump him. You can do better, like his ex-wife.

MzHz Thu 14-Nov-19 11:17:19

Wow... and now you are completely in the know as to why this prince among men was single...

You can do way better than this!

Lovemenorca Thu 14-Nov-19 11:22:20

You’re not struggling as a step mum

You’re struggling because your partner chooses not to spend lots on his children

So you simply have to accept that situation.

Presumably you’d buy your step children presents naturally, so do what you’d do, not worrying about having to do equal parents. Presumably the children will also get presents from their mother.

SunshineAngel Thu 14-Nov-19 11:33:53

You say he gets them one big present and one small. But they will also get presents from their mum, grandparents, other family etc.

When I got with my partner I was also shocked at how few things he buys his son at birthdays/Christmases, but after talking to friends I realised it was because I was spoilt as a child, so expected more.

This will be normal for them, and what they're used to.

I hate the way people decide how much someone loves them based on how much money gets spent on them. That's just rubbish!

If he's an absolutely knobhead in other ways too then that's different, but if this is the only concern.. it really isn't one.

ChaosisntapitChaosisaladder19 Thu 14-Nov-19 11:37:07

I couldn't be with a man who was so mean and stingy with his kids and partner.

lunar1 Thu 14-Nov-19 11:37:45

What does he buy for your son. Something tells me it's even less than a 99p pair of earrings. You, your son and his children all deserve better.

IdleBet Thu 14-Nov-19 11:38:01

I’ve tried talking to him about it but he just says he deserves to have a life

Why are you with such a selfish fucker?

Youseethethingis Thu 14-Nov-19 11:47:20

I think i know the answer to this already but does he buy anything for YOUR son from him?
Let that be your guide.

LatentPhase Thu 14-Nov-19 11:59:49

My DP also buys only one present for each of his dc.

Their mum goes completely overboard with gift buying. I’ve seen her lounge at Christmas. You can’t get in because it’s a sea of gifts. So it’s a good thing! Context is everything.

funinthesun19 Thu 14-Nov-19 12:44:40

He’s a selfish prick and it’s not your job to make up for his selfishness. Especially if it will impact on your son. Your son wants and needs a laptop so that should be your priority, not stressing about making up for your partner not getting his own children their presents.
All I can say is bin him and leave him to it.

Abcdefgh12345 Thu 14-Nov-19 12:56:59

The boys get spoilt from mum. They’re 7,8 and 11 and my boy is 11 too.

OP’s posts: |
LatentPhase Thu 14-Nov-19 12:58:04

Do they have to receive gifts at the same time?

chocolatesaltyballs22 Thu 14-Nov-19 13:01:44

Agree with the others who have said it's not your job to pick up his slack. Concentrate on your son. By all means buy the stepkids a token gift but you shouldn't feel guilty about how crap he is as a dad.

Also re the present you received - I would be fuming. It's completely thoughtless. You don't have to spend a lot on someone to give them a thoughtful gift.

FairiesontheSwing Thu 14-Nov-19 13:04:57

Bet he doesn't get your son anything.

Courtney555 Thu 14-Nov-19 13:05:10

Are they with you Christmas Day? As in will they see a direct comparison with what your son has?

If they're all opening stockings together, it will be tough. But on the flipside, your DS (only) has those presents, whereas the others get loads at their mothers house, plus whatever they get at yours. Do they need two huge hauls of presents simply because their parents aren't under the same roof?

Would you feel bad about DS being at another home opening a couple of small presents when you know he'd be at yours later being spoilt to bits with loads?

isaidaflip Thu 14-Nov-19 13:08:58

Can you not speak to your husband about this? If u say he can afford it then why don't you offer to buy presents for his children too and he sends you the money for it? He sounds like an ass tbh, you shouldn't have to take on this kind of responsibility for his children too although it is a lovely thing for you to do.

sassbott Thu 14-Nov-19 14:44:57

Firstly, if I’m honest, it’s completely his choice on how he decides to spend his money on his children and how much he does/ doesn’t give them. Just as much as it is your choice how you plan/ spend on your child. If you feel guilty over what your child gets. As others have said, do present exchange with your DC privately.

Not all parents believe that children should get ridiculous amounts of gifts on Xmas/ birthdays. To some people it really isn’t a big deal and does not reflect on how much they love/ value people.
My brother never buys me a birthday or Xmas present. His view is I go out and buy you something for 100 quid. You do the same for me. Maybe we like what we’ve been given, maybe we don’t. He shrugs and says, you keep your hundred quid. I’ll keep mine. Does he love me? Of course.
Do I link a lack of present to no love/ lack of thought. No. That doesn’t make him selfish. That makes him someone who doesn’t buy into presents. End of. I personally find his view quite entertaining.

Re the children getting spoilt at their mums. Could it be that he doesn’t agree with the level of spoiling? And is trying to show them that experiences matter more than things?

You buy what you wish for your child. You let him buy what he wishes for his life child. End of.

If you have a problem with the 99p earrings then I suggest you spend less on him and spend the money you would have spent on him, on yourself.
Or have a conversation with him about it. But don’t confuse the presents he buys you with what he does/ doesn’t do for his children. Not your place to interfere IMO.

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