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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:
Stooshie8 · 05/12/2019 16:59

The Amazon wish list idea could work and I could suggest that

Just do it and don't discuss with anyone FGS stop being a muppet.
This is your easiest route don't ahve DP humming and haaaing about whether the DCs like it or the ex will approve.
Be sensible get it set up.

Polowithoutahole · 05/12/2019 17:00

I'm really seeing both sides here which is why I'm struggling to know what to do. I guess the other factor I hadn't considered was the flip side - will he be taking my kids to buy presents for me and will she be taking hers to buy presents for her husband? Otherwise it does all seem pretty one sided.

OP posts:
TreeSwayer · 05/12/2019 17:00

I find it weird that you would want his ex wife to be choosing gifts for your husband even if it is from the children.

Surely when you are looking to buy him a present you just stick an extra thing in either your physical basket or an online order.

It is 3 times a year, hardly a weekly thing. I think it would be lovely to be involved with his children buying a gift for their Dad or even just making him a homemade card. I am not a step-Mum but my best friend has been one for 30 years.

TENDTOprocrastinate · 05/12/2019 17:02

I don’t see why 6/7 year olds need to give anything more than a card to their parents on their birthdays. So yanbu.

My DC don’t buy DH or me presents because they don’t have money so it wouldn’t actually be from them would it. They can make us cards etc and they do.

fascinated · 05/12/2019 17:07

Sorry but people pretend that they get presents from their kids? That makes no sense....

Drum2018 · 05/12/2019 17:09

So your Dh will be giving you money to buy him gifts. What a daft idea. Tell him to go out and buy his own gifts for himself. Or he could bring the kids out shopping, tell them a few things he likes and let them choose what he buys (the blue hat or the brown hat). At least that way they get some input and can say they chose daddy's birthday/Xmas present. I certainly wouldn't be getting involved and you shouldn't either.

DelphiniumBlue · 05/12/2019 17:09

Why is anybody buying things " from the children?"
If they want to make a cake or a card, then that's great. You might help them make a cake. But buying presents individually at that age seems a bit unnecessary. If they've got sufficient money they could get something ( I think mine used to get bar of chocolate or something, but I think that was when they were old enough to get to the corner shop by themselves.)
But if it's something that would make DP happy, then it wouldn't be hard to do it when they are with you.

PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 05/12/2019 17:11

Not a chance, it’s a job for the mother of the children not the partner of the father.

jamaisjedors · 05/12/2019 17:12

Sounds like a great deal... for your DP !

You buy presents for him from his DC (and your DC and yourself).

His ex's husband buys gifts from his DC for his ex-wife.

If he's not doing it for you, don't do it for him. Otherwise I agree, it's wifework.

It's good that he is released from the obligation of buying gifts for his ex-wife (can't tell you how much it cost me to drive my pre-teens around to get father's day gifts this year for their abusive father who I had just left).

But you can have a tradition in YOUR household that the parent of the children takes them to buy the gift.

You already do this. Your DP can start doing it too.

Take them to a shop, point out 3 things you like which are in their price range (or what you are willing to spend) and then turn your back while they go to the till. Or better still, go with your mum or another adult who can accompany to the til.

crystalize · 05/12/2019 17:14

There's no way I would expect children of that age to be 'buying' gifts. Because they are not. All very immature. Encourage kids to make a card, something they drew and created is so special. Much more meaningful than any tat.

lazylinguist · 05/12/2019 17:15

I do not see the point of this at all. In my family, children do not buy presents. Why buy things and pretend they are from the children? Our birthday/Christmas presents are from the family, not separate ones from wife or husband and from children. For Mothers' Day/Fathers' Day the kids make a card. When they are older, they maybe buy or make a little present themselves. It's not as if your dh will actually think the presents are from the children!

OrangeZog · 05/12/2019 17:15

It’s not wifework.

I don’t believe that you don’t have the time to add a couple of cards and minor gift to your shopping basket when you do an online grocery shop or buy something via Amazon etc. It’s fine if you don’t want to do it because you don’t want to help his exwife or help his children but be honest and say that.

jamaisjedors · 05/12/2019 17:18

Even if they draw or make a card that means you would need to supervise (ie prompt them to do it, help with ideas, help keep it a secret, provide art supplies).

Again, is that something he would do for you?

lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 17:19

Storm. Teacup.

The time it took you to start this thread you could have ordered something off amazon

lifeisgoodagain · 05/12/2019 17:19

Its hardly a huge amount of work, most people only have one birthday a year as I'm guessing the queen isn't a Mumsnetter!

jamaisjedors · 05/12/2019 17:21

I don’t believe that you don’t have the time to add a couple of cards and minor gift to your shopping basket when you do an online grocery shop or buy something via Amazon etc

This absolutely IS wifework - it's picking out the cards and the gifts, not clicking on the first thing you see.

I am in the process of divorce, and have realised how much I took on at Christmas before for my exH's side of the family, because they always contacted me directly about any gift-giving.

30to50FeralHogs · 05/12/2019 17:23

Sorry but people pretend that they get presents from their kids? That makes no sense

For divorced parents especially, getting a gift from the DCs may be the only one they get.

On my birthday last year my XH helped the DCs to choose me something and also ordered a cake for me. It was very kind of him and much appreciated by me and the DCs, as they would have been sad to not have a gift to give me.

I can see both sides of this as I think separating the families a little can be a good thing - you probably know better what your DP would like/need, so are best placed to help the SDCs buy for him. However, if your own side of this equation is going to end up imbalances because you’re also still buying for your ex and your DP doesn’t have to worry about helping sort out either you or the XW then that seems a bit unfair!

Is your DP any good at gift buying? Could it be that she’s fed up with receiving sub par presents and would rather her DH takes over so that she can get something nice for a change?!

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet · 05/12/2019 17:26

It might not be a lot of work (depending on how demanding/fussy he is about gifts) but the idea that he and his ex wife have got together and assigned a task for me to do would have me raging. The two of them shouldn't be deciding what the OP does or doesn't do. And since it doesn't sounds like she wants to, she shouldn't.

If it's important to him that the kids give him a present then he can buy it. My kids like to give me something for my birthday (because the idea of a birthday without a present is upsetting to them, if not to me), but I make sure that they can by buying it myself.

OrangeZog · 05/12/2019 17:26

Not at all @jamaisjedors as the children are old enough to specify what gift and point at a card on the screen or else create one of their own. The OP doesn’t want to do it, which is my point, and that’s her prerogative but she should at least be honest about it.

CSIblonde · 05/12/2019 17:28

I'd pick your battles. Its probably just her not seeing him as so central to her life any more, so I wouldn't mind. I shop online for everything, never on High St & it's what, 10mins, if you know what someone likes/wants. Then they can wrap it for their Dad.

Whoops75 · 05/12/2019 17:30

I wouldn’t do it OP
It’s nonsense, you buying gifts to give to his children to give to him!
Tell dh to let his children know that a song or picture is all he wants from them.
Ye can all have cake near/on his birthday.

northerngirl2012 · 05/12/2019 17:30

I'm thinking that you're creating work where there neeedn't be. However when you're buying things for their Dad, it does make sense to include them in some of the decision making. Eg shall I buy a pink or a green xxx. Which of these torches, lego sets, bikes shall we buy?


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Cacklingmags · 05/12/2019 17:30

Fucking mental idea. There are many ways you can set this up to make it easy, but why on earth should you? Is DP going to be farting around doing the same for you? I would bet not. Also, mate, thin end of the wedge, what other little jobs have DP and exW got up their sleeves for you to do? Principle of the thing - cheeky fuckery, say no.

RevengeOfTheReindeer · 05/12/2019 17:31

Surely you ask the Dc what they want to get him and add it to the shopping list?

I have similar aged DC. DC 1 wants to get DH a bottle of beer for Christmas, DC2 wants to make him a decoration. Last year DC1 wanted to get him a bottle of beer and DC 2 wanted to give him a candle. For his birthday, DC1 said DH had enough stuff so a card would do 😂

You don't need to start looking for meaningful expensive gifts. It sounds quite sensible to me.

BoomyBooms · 05/12/2019 17:34

Won't you be buying gifts for him at his birthday and Xmas, from you and your DC, anyway? So one more from his DC won't hurt? Maybe you could make it a whole family thing so that he and all the kids also buy for your birthday and Xmas as well, so the cost is equal on both sides. Seems more inclusive.

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