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What is it with the clothes thing?

(40 Posts)
pleaseletmesleep Sun 06-Jul-08 02:56:45

Ok, so am a bit of a lurker but I have noticed a bit of a running theme on the step parenting boards that I though only applied to us. What is it with dscs mums sending them in innapropriate clothing??!! It seems to be such a common theme. We used to get a bag packed by dsd's mum with stuff for the weekend and it constantly contained clothes that were dirty, too small, innapropriate for the season etc. We would always buy new clothes for dsd but they were usually unpicked at the seams and taken back to the shop by dsds mum who would then tell us that they didn't fit, despite us buying them the week before. We now have a wardrobe for dsd here but it seems such a shame that we can't send her clothes back with her as we can't trust her dm to send them back. What is it with this control via clothing - does anyone have an answer apart from having two seperate wardrobes?

seeker Sun 06-Jul-08 06:39:59

My friend's ex partner makes their dd change into clothes he has chosen and brought with him when he collects her. He then hands my friend the clothes she was dressed in. When he brings her back he insists in the process happening in reverse - the little girl changes then gives him the clothes she was wearing. My friend dresses her in jeans and sweatshirts - her dad puts her in little dresses and tights. Actually, my friend thinks that although it's very odd, it actually helps her dd because it helps her separate the two parts of her life....I'm not convinced, I have to say!

IAmNotHere Sun 06-Jul-08 07:03:23

That poor little girl seeker, how confusing for her - does she just strip in the hall?! She might think it normal now if she's v young, but I don't see that continuing.

I had this with an ex and his children. Their clothes would mysteriously disappear, so he started to keep clothes at his house for them.

Odd, odd, odd.

nkf Sun 06-Jul-08 07:07:13

I've noticed this too. I think it sounds like a miserable power game played out via the children's clothes. It must be awful for them.

Alexa808 Sun 06-Jul-08 09:17:50

Dscs mother would throw out clothing we bought the kids. Black lather ballerinas, a rain coat, a scarf, a dress, etc. anything bought by us would be yanked off them and thrown in the bin. At one point dsd called her Dad sobbing that her mother had thrown away her new summer dress and she wanted it back. We subsequently made the kids keep the things we bought for them at our house instead of taking them back home. The poor kids were confused and couldn't understand why their mother was being so nasty taking their belongings away and neither could we.

By the by, this is the woman that bought plastic wedged high heels (4cm) for her 7 year old daughter and a make-up set for her birthday hmm

nkf Sun 06-Jul-08 10:37:47

It's obvioius to me why she would throw out clothes bought by her ex and his new wife. It's not good behaviour but it is very understandable.

beaniesteve Sun 06-Jul-08 10:43:05

what nfk said. Depends of course on the circumstances of the split.

Surfermum Sun 06-Jul-08 11:40:04

Why is it understandable nkf?

gagarin Sun 06-Jul-08 11:46:39

Because choosing clothes for your dcs often involves a style choice that reflects the personality of the purchaser not the child wearing them.

So in effect the dcs return to their mother not looking like "her" dcs and that hurts.

And those clothes smell of another house/family and that hurts too.

But in general IMO adults should be able to deal with this sort of stuff and dcs should not have to be upset.

nkf Sun 06-Jul-08 11:51:35

She doesn't want another woman (other than a sister, friend or mum) buying her children clothes. What's not to understand? She should deal with it but then I think the step parents shouldn't be catty about the mother's choices. Bad behaviour on both sides. Like I said, a power game and children gettign hurt.

Surfermum Sun 06-Jul-08 12:11:52

But it's the Dad who is buying them too. I don't see what's wrong with that. Why shouldn't he buy clothes for his child? And if he buys them and sends them home surely that's a way of supporting his child? And I can understand that there will be hurt and all sorts of feelings involved if the woman was the injured party in the break up - but that isn't always the case.

This is interesting because the other day there was a thread moaning because a Dad was buying clothes and insisting they stayed at his house, and that was wrong too. There are so many different opinions about what is the "right" thing to do.

I do think that when there are issues like this it's because there are underlying issues in the relationship between the parents or about the break-up, it's not really about the clothes.

And when I think about it, in the early days if we bought clothes for dsd and sent them home we were trying to buy her. If we kept them that was wrong too. But these days, now that things are better between all of us, it's just a complete non-issue. I have just bought an outfit for dsd to wear to her auntie's (Mum's sister) wedding that she had chosen. I took her to buy her school uniform and have just phoned her about some board shorts I wanted to see if she'd like for our holiday.

nkf Sun 06-Jul-08 14:12:09

Of course it's not really about the clothes. The clothes are the way a one time couple (and sometimes new partners) score points off each other.

gagarin Sun 06-Jul-08 16:48:16

My dh has NEVER bought clothes for the dcs (or anyone come to think of it!) without a female in the background - and I suspect that's prob the case for lots of men grin

jammi Sun 06-Jul-08 16:57:40

Message withdrawn

twinsetandpearls Sun 06-Jul-08 17:02:37

We have it the opposite way here we buy dd everything and it tends to go missing at her dads. He buys her a few bits everynow and again but they tend to be from shops I don;t allow dd to shop in or look a bit trashy so I kept sending her with things until he realised she could get much nicer better quality things from us and he could save his money. As he pays no maintenance I don;t think it is his place to buy her clothes regukarly.

pleaseletmesleep Sun 06-Jul-08 17:09:44

I get the not wanting another person choosing clothes for your child (have to confess it took me a long time to realise that - it is hard to sometimes understand when you don't have kids of your own I think) but we have always let dsd choose her own clothes within reason and it was upsetting for her when they were then taken away.

Anyway, I was just thinking about it recently as we have just done a huge shop for dsd, she will insist on growing grin and just thought it was a bit of a shame that she will hardly get any wear out of these either. Also I can see it must be a pita for her mum to have o pack a bag for her every other week and we don't like the thought of her turning up with her stuff like she is staying over ( I know essentially she is but we want her to feel this is her home as much as her mums house is).

So in conclusion there is no right answer and I shouldn't post random thoughts in the middle of the night smile

twinsetandpearls Sun 06-Jul-08 17:13:33

DD quite likes packing her bag, although she only sees her dad for a few days a month anyway. It may have been different if she saw more of him.

DD chooses her own clothes as well and has more freedom of whatshe can buy with us as the financial limitations are not there.

ivykaty44 Sun 06-Jul-08 17:18:23

I shop for clothes for the dc in the charity shops and so does my neigbour - you get some great bargins as dc often grow out of their clothes rather than wear them out.

As far as I am concerned dc clothes belong to them and not either parent, so if they want to take there own clothes with them they should be able - also toys from one place to another. I know that my dc have been stopped in the past and I dont pass coment - not my place to.

The only thing I do is wash the clothes they come back in as they smell like ashtrayshmm, then fold them up and put away in their cuboards.

Aimsmum Sun 06-Jul-08 17:29:21

Message withdrawn

mummynumber2 Sun 06-Jul-08 17:44:31

We've just started a a new system for DSC's clothes. (It may have been me harping on about this before!) We've always had a wardrobe of clothes for them here and things used to be swapped from here to their DMs frequently. We had the problem that they were arriving every week in clothes far too small (age 5 for a 9yo etc)ripped etc. and we were sending them back in good clothes. We also had the problem that DSD1 was arriving in extremely inappropriate clothes, which DP's ex admitted in a text to be encouraging her to wear here as it winds him up!
We now have an arrangement with DP's ex where we will wash the clothes they are sent in, put them in a carrier bag and send them back with DSCs, and visa versa. It does require a bit of cooperation but seems to be working well for us all.

jammi Sun 06-Jul-08 18:11:40

Message withdrawn

mistressmiggins Sun 06-Jul-08 20:03:56

here's the other side... I used to send a suitcase full of clothes for the DCs to their dads. Some would come home damp & the rest dirty for me to wash. It was quite stressful.
One of my friends suggested I gave my ex some of the DCS clothes for him to keep at his house & I no longer send anything apart from the clothes they are wearing.

It works for us. The DCS return in the clothes they were wearing when they left on Friday. I no longer have a bag of dirty laundry. ExH realises the cost of clothes & so is now respectful of the clothes I send.

I think families should do what works for them.

ElenorRigby Sun 06-Jul-08 20:32:42

Two separate wardrobes is our solution. DP's ex used to take all the new clothes we bought and we always got dirty, too small clothes back.
Now we send her back to mums in the clothes mum sent her in.

ElenorRigby Sun 06-Jul-08 20:33:12

Washed of course!

Alexa808 Mon 07-Jul-08 06:43:41

Why is it obvious nkf? There was no injured party, 2 years on both partners are in new relationship, the kids chose what they wanted and (within reason) got it.

The ex is harping on about how the dsc ought to have new shoes, belts, etc. yet when it is bought it gets yanked off the poor kids and is thrown away or 'disappears' because it was 'faulty/old, etc'. The kids can't understand her behaviour and are confused and upset. The explanation is simple: their mother is just not mature enough to see beyond her own 'wants' and understand her childrens' needs.

Since when is it wrong for a father to buy school uniform stuff, shoes, etc? IMO, he should buy clothes and school gear and the occasional treat is up to him. It's not like I am buying clothes or accessories to make dsc look like mini-me's.

Oh and Dh has tried sending an extra cheque on top of maintenance just for clothing etc. to ex. She bought a big outdoor trampoline with it...and the kids still had no new school uniforms and books, etc. hmm

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