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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:
IwantedtobeEmmaPeel · 05/12/2019 17:37

Fuck that for a game of soldiers, your DP and his Ex have organised that very nicely for themselves haven't they. The are trying to off load their parental jobs to their new partners. Why did they have children if they can't be bothered to act like parents which includes buying cards and presents for their DC to give to each parent. I'd be on guard Op to make sure this pair don't have any more plans to land you with more wifework. The only response to their request is NO.

BabyDubsEverywhere · 05/12/2019 17:39

Just stick their names on the card and present you already buy your DP from you. No extra effort at all that way.

Aderyn19 · 05/12/2019 17:39

Tell your dp that you want him to take your kids out to choose things for you. It doesn't matter that your exh also does this - you will have double gifts Wink
More importantly though, it will tell you whether your dp is willing to put in the effort he is expecting from you.
I understand why his exw doesn't want to do it - yes they are her kids, but he isn't her husband. I expect she buys stuff for them - she shouldn't really have to buy stuff from them.

Chewbecca · 05/12/2019 17:48

I'm a SM (married) and I didn't do that and wouldn't have wanted to. Not really because I was too busy, just it's not my role. Buying presents for my husband from everyone did not become my job when I married him.
I can barely remember to be honest but I am pretty sure their Nan took on the role of prompting them to buy /make him a card.

Polowithoutahole · 05/12/2019 17:56

Sorry am trying to keep on top of questions! It really isnt just a case of chucking in an extra item and card into the trolley while doing the weekly shop, the DC choose individual presents themselves for him and a card each, all of which are a surprise. This is how they've always done it but if I am to take this over their expectations are going to have to be very much reduced. But then I feel bad that his enjoyment of his special occasions would be impacted by that so maybe he should do it himself with the DC.

It's not so much a case of definitely not wanting to do it, but trying to be realistic about what I'm walking into, i.e. thin slice of the wedge. My life is full of 'ten minute' jobs as well as the major ones and it does add up, both time wise and mentally. That's how life is and I'm cautious about agreeing to things that add to my workload.

OP posts:
BrokenWing · 05/12/2019 18:00

I have never bought presents for dh from ds. Totally up to you and your family unit if you want to do this or not, but if you do it works both ways, he takes your dc and dsc to buy for you too.

eddielizzard · 05/12/2019 18:04

I would be honest and say that you're struggling as it is to stay on top of everything, you're not happy to take on extra work. It's just starting the discussion, and see what your DP's reaction is. I personally wouldn't be happy about that. It just feels like they're quite happily fobbing off work onto others. I'd love to know what her DP thinks of this plan.

NoSquirrels · 05/12/2019 18:04

Tell your DP you'll be happy to organise the DC's gift-giving but you won't be able to take them shopping to choose cards and gifts.

So he should set up a wishlist on Amazon for them to choose from, and you'll go through that with them one afternoon. And they can make him a card instead of buying one.

NoSquirrels · 05/12/2019 18:06

Basically - if he wants you to do it, you do it on your own terms.

If no one is happy with that (DP or his DC) then it reverts to a job for his ex to do.

dontalltalkatonce · 05/12/2019 18:09

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?

I'll bet he is! Funny, you don't blend finances, but he's well keen on funding this.

Nope, nope, NO!

Start as you mean to go on.

It's so easy, no hassle, so he can do it.

Just NO.

'This doesn't work for me. I don't have time for this. You two work it out how you want to do this but this isn't for me.

To every one of his 'it will cement the family' you reply, 'There are so many ways to do this. This one doesn't work for me. You two work it out . . . '

Over and over.

mathanxiety · 05/12/2019 18:09

The gift and card buying should be done within the original families. DP and his exW buy gifts or cards 'from the children' for each other.
You and exH buy stuff 'from the children' for each other.

This is far healthier because it acknowledges who exactly the children's parents are and the relationship of those people to their children, which is important for the children after divorce and remarriage/ second relationship. What is important for the children needs to come first.

Agree with SickNotes and several others.

CharityConundrum · 05/12/2019 18:09

I'm surprised that so many people are bemused by the idea of children 'buying' presents for their parents. I am married to my kids' father, and they get excited about buying him presents for his birthday and Christmas. They know that people exchange presents on these occasions, they know how much they enjoy getting presents and they take joy in choosing things to give their dad and watching him open them. They make him cards etc as well (and fathers day gifts tend to be homemade) but I don't see why they should be excluded from the fun of choosing and giving gifts just because they aren't paying for them.

I'm not saying the OP should do it - it sounds a bit contrived the way it has been decided - but I am genuinely surprised that the idea of including children in an adult's birthday celebrations should be considered so peculiar by so many.

dontalltalkatonce · 05/12/2019 18:12

No hassle, not a lot of work. So he can do it.

SlightlyBonkersQFA · 05/12/2019 18:13

This wouldnt bother me if he does half childcare andchalf housework

mathanxiety · 05/12/2019 18:14

I often thought I would have received far fewer crappy gifts from exH if the DCs had had a hand in choosing them, CharityConundrum.

We were a 'make a card' family.

Molly2016 · 05/12/2019 18:18

Another one who finds the idea of children ‘buying’ presents for their parents a bit odd. Certainly not something we do.
Can you not just suggest you keep the current arrangements in place and see what their reaction is? I’d keep pushing back if at all possible, sounds like a lot of hassle.

LadyAllegraImelda · 05/12/2019 18:18

I think it's weird ex's getting presents for each other in the first place. I certainly wouldn't be doing that or expect it. I think you should do it for him and he should do it for you and both cut out the ex's doing it!

BlackSwanGreen · 05/12/2019 18:19

Definitely don’t say yes unless he takes on the equivalent task of taking your DC to buy you a present.

messolini9 · 05/12/2019 18:20

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.

Er ... isn't it far more logical & straightforward for mum, i.e. ex wife, to buy the dadstuff, & dad to buy the mumstuff?
No need to facilitate this nonsense OP.

I would counter propose something ridiculously complicated like a 3-way present buying rota for ALL DCs & step- DCs, then 'allow' DP & ex to fall back on my suggestion above ...

RollOnNextYear · 05/12/2019 18:21

That's no work at all. Get ideas from dc.. Order online.
Alternatively be organised and go a month early or If push comes to shove. Go to asda and they choose. Could be clothes, smellies or. Whatever

I have always from. Day 1 purchased dhs gifts from his dd. (only because his ex doesn't even let her make a card)

2andahalfpints · 05/12/2019 18:24

Surely in becoming a blended family, you would blend all of your traditions together to make your own? Without the exes?

I have always treat my dss the same as dd1 and dd2, including gift giving and card making etc.

I wouldn't consider this wife work, just part of family life 😊

TowelNumber42 · 05/12/2019 18:26

Surely it is more important to cement that their biological parents are still their biological parents?


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TowelNumber42 · 05/12/2019 18:26

If it is such an easy job why are they trying to pass it on to you? Bollocks to that.

mummyway · 05/12/2019 18:29

If your dp is buying for his ex wife, then his ex wife needs to buy for your dp. There is no reason for you to get caught up in this. Please stay firm

blubberyboo · 05/12/2019 18:31

I’m afraid I’m another one who doesn’t get this trend of young kids “buying” presents for the adults in their life.

People frequently ask me what my husband buys me for mother’s day etc “ from the kids” and I’m totally bemused by it. It would just be another gift from him.

Making a card or whatever is fine.. or making breakfast in bed...

young kids aren’t earning and don’t have mega finances and using someone else’s money to buy a gift that someone else has chosen doesn’t teach them anything about “giving”. Different when they are teens earning a part time wage it might be nice to get a token gift from and chosen by them.

If you don’t want to do it just let the ex do it that way in her household with her new hubby... and you and DP just arrange to do it your own way or not at all.

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