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To be reluctant to do this 'wifework'?

127 replies

Polowithoutahole · 05/12/2019 16:30

So I've been with DP for five years and we have recently moved in together, both of us have DC from previous marriages and we all get along well. DP's EXW has suggested that as part of this going forwards, that from now on we will be responsible for the purchasing or presents and cards etc from the children - i.e. her husband (she's remarried) will buy them on behalf of the kids for her birthday/Mother's Day/Xmas and I will buy them for DP for his birthday/Father's Day/Xmas.

DP has offered to finance this (as we don't share finances beyond bills/rent) but my greater concern is having the time. I work FT, have a long commute and my own DC I have the majority of care for. DP only has his DC EOW from Friday night until Sunday Eve. The DC are used to having the time to go out shopping for presents as their Mum doesn't work and they don't do after school clubs, and I'm just not able to dedicate that kind of time. But on the other side I feel mean for not being accommodating as I do still buy DP presents for his birthday and Xmas but from me.

As much as I like his DC, I just think this is giving me more to do - the time aside there is the additional brainspace/wifework element of having to be super organized about this and I struggle enough to get everything done in my life as it is. DP is keen, as is his EXW presumably as it means less organizing for them, and he says it will 'cement' us as a family unit of our own. But AIBU to not being particularly keen?

OP posts:
EL8888 · 05/12/2019 16:32

Hahaha lm sure he has suggested it. I personally would say no. It’s lots of hassle for very little reward l expect. My ex tried to get me into this role and was most put out when l wouldn’t

Brakebackcyclebot · 05/12/2019 16:34

How old are his DCs?

muddledmidget · 05/12/2019 16:35

Could your husband set up an amazon wishlist with some things on, the children choose what they would like to buy him and you click the button that let's it be charged to your husbands credit card. Cards could be done on moon pig. Obviously depends how old the children are

Polowithoutahole · 05/12/2019 16:35

I should have included that in my original post Brakeback, apologies! They are 7 and 6.

OP posts:
Waveysnail · 05/12/2019 16:35

Ask kids what they fancy. Look together on amazon and buy

AnneLovesGilbert · 05/12/2019 16:37

I can’t see how it’ll be that much work. You’re a family unit now and it makes sense to keep gift giving with him that unit. Seems churlish to me but if you don’t want to do it then you don’t have to. Does he get you gifts from his DC?

I buy DH gifts for the normal events and have enjoyed buying him things from/with his DC, it’s not complicated or onerous. He does the same for me. Plan ahead and you’ll be able to fit it in, even with a job and a commute.

AnneLovesGilbert · 05/12/2019 16:38

*within not with him

AryaStarkWolf · 05/12/2019 16:38

Why is his ex suggesting what you should do? If they're that young why don't they just make him a card on his birthday? Why is he expecting two so young to "buy" him something

Sirzy · 05/12/2019 16:41

It’s only a couple of times a year though surely? I couldn’t get wound up about it. Talk to them a few weeks before ask what they want to get and then order it online together

Cakeandcustard123 · 05/12/2019 16:41

If the kids were yours then you would do it so is it not just part of being a family? I dont have step kids so maybe I'm being naive!

TuttiCutie · 05/12/2019 16:41

So DP and his ex have cooked up between them that you and ex's partner will take this job on.

Is your DP also going to start sorting out gifts for you from your children? I'll guess not.

I'd laugh in his face and then simply say no.

Ellisandra · 05/12/2019 16:43

It’s not “wifework” if he organises presents for you from your children. Does he?

Do you even want to be a gift giving family? We’re not. We do something together instead - theatre, meal, roller skating - whatever.

It’s 3 presents a year - it’s not onerous in these days of online shopping. If you can’t spare the brain power, then either get him to do a wish list, or settle into a pattern, e.g. daddy always gets chocolates for Father’s Day and socks for his birthday.

Polowithoutahole · 05/12/2019 16:43

He doesn't get me presents from my DC AnneLovesGilbert, my EXH does that on their behalf, as I do for him in return. It hadn't really occurred to me to think of changing that to be honest, as my EXH is their Dad. Blush

Present giving is just one of the things they've always done I guess AryaStarkWolf.

The Amazon wish list idea could work and I could suggest that. Feel I should point out that we aren't married though and no intentions to be. Grin

OP posts:
Mileymileymoomoo · 05/12/2019 16:45

Does your DP not already get gifts from your DC? Would it not simply be one present from all the kids, yours and his so not actually any more work? What about your presents for your own / his DC, who is responsible for organising these?

I think you are being a bit unreasonable but perhaps because this is something which doesn’t really need organised but should happen naturally over the course of a relationship.

I help my DSD but gifts for her dad / my DH. I’ve even been known to help her buy gifts for her mum because it’s a nice thing to do for someone you are about.

EL8888 · 05/12/2019 16:45

@TuttiCutie exactly!

Andysbestadventure · 05/12/2019 16:45

"No, sorry. You are their mother. I am not."

ohprettybaby · 05/12/2019 16:47

Is it "wifework" though? It actually sounds very practical to me. Otherwise presumably your DP would take the DC shopping for his exW's birthday and Christmas and she would do the same with them for his. It is helping to untwine your DP and his ex from each other to an extent.

Who takes your DC out to get you presents? Who takes them out to get their DF's?

Mileymileymoomoo · 05/12/2019 16:47

Sorry I see you have answered my question about who buys your presents.

sweeneytoddsrazor · 05/12/2019 16:47

Is it really that much of a hassle. If her DH can manage it surely you can and your DP could do the same for you. As already said you can spend an hour browsing on line with them or pop out with them and your own dc occasionally. Its a max of 3 times a year.

Embracelife · 05/12/2019 16:47

The parent of the children arranges for the children to get the present for that same parent.
Takes them to shop gives cash let s them choose.
His problem

ohprettybaby · 05/12/2019 16:48

Sorry, took so long to post I didn't see your update.

MakeItRain · 05/12/2019 16:49

When we first separated my ex and I would get gifts for each other from the children. It didn't last very long though. For years and years I bought my own gifts from them, and it was fine! I remember one Christmas my lovely young ds saying very happily "you love that dressing gown we got you, don't you" (I'd ordered it, wrapped it and added a tag on it to me from my kids then excitedly opened it in front of them!)
These days a very lovely friend organises presents from them which is lovely! Personally I think it's fair enough for your DP's ex to give up the role. Like someone else said, order some via Amazon. He can do that himself, it's no big deal.

TuttiCutie · 05/12/2019 16:51

If it's such little hassle

And it's such an easy job

And it's only 3 times a year

And it's only a case of an Amazon wish list and a mere click of a button...

Well then his ex can carry on doing it Confused for her children.

AutumnRose1 · 05/12/2019 16:52

Took me a while to work that out

It’s shit

The parents of the child can sort out the child’s gift buying.

SickNotes · 05/12/2019 16:52

"No, sorry. You are their mother. I am not."

That's what I'd be saying. If necessary say that you and your ex are continuing to buying presents for one another for the children, you'd prefer it stayed 'symmetrical' and your DH and his ex-wife continued to arrange it among themselves.

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