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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:
Katgurl · 05/12/2019 18:31

I think you should do it in a way that is convenient for you.

I would ask your dp to buy you presents from your children.

I would also assume his exW is trying to cement her family unit and feels buying gifts for her ex doesn't help that.

Personally I jump at any opportunity to prevent my DP's exW sticking her oar in so I may be biased.

McCanne · 05/12/2019 18:33

I don’t really think you’re being unreasonable, and I don’t blame you for not being keen. It should be something their parents do with them imo. If everyone was fine with it, no hassles. But you’re not keen on it so don’t do it!

LL83 · 05/12/2019 18:34

I think it is natural for exW not to organise DC's gift anymore (and vice versa). What she should do is step back from it, tell the kids to make a card or something. Then if you wanted to help them you might offer. It is annoying to be asked/told to do something especially nice and extra.

If you do it then you can do it on your own terms. Ask them what they think dad would like. Pick it up and give it to them to wrap. Keep it to a minimum. Also I wouldn't expect dp to organise presents from the kids unless they suggest it, will make it much nicer when they do.

Basilicaofthemind · 05/12/2019 18:34

They’re not your kids. If their father and mother wish to continue this tradition of buying gifts then it’s up to them to facilitate it until the children are old enough to do it themselves.

MulticolourTinselOnTheTree · 05/12/2019 18:35

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.

I agree with this. The present choosing and buying is something well established for the DC, and it's up to the parents to facilitate it. That's their job as parents.

Yetanotherwinter · 05/12/2019 18:36

I would definitely do it. I’ve done it for my stepson since he was two. If I didn’t my hubby would never have got any Christmas, birthday, and Father’s Day card from his son. I think you would appear very awkward if you didn’t do it. I would suggest you pick your battles and this isn’t worth it. Just be the bigger person and do it.

vivacian · 05/12/2019 18:38

Do it OP and decide that from now on the children will be buying their father a day out somewhere with them.

Soontobe60 · 05/12/2019 18:43

I'm sooo confused!
Why would your DDs ex buy gifts from her children for their father?
Once me and my ex split, I never expected him to go with her to buy a gift for me, that would just be weird! I've asked my DD if she bought her DF gifts, and she said her step mother took her shopping to choose them.
In your situation, I'd be helping my step children to choose gifts for their DF.

VividImagination · 05/12/2019 18:46

I would do it. Ive been a stepmother for 27 years. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to scream at all the demands, the things I was expected to do, all the times I was left with the responsibility. The funny thing is these are the things that dsd remembers and, as an adult, realise how much I put myself out for her. Her mum is long gone and I am the only granny for her dc’s and she considers me a proper mum and granny. In a way your Dh is right. These are the little things that will cement you as a family

dontalltalkatonce · 05/12/2019 18:47

Yeah, so it cements you as a family, so he'll be taking off doing all of it for your kids to your family from them whilst you do it for him, right?

lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 18:51

My present to my ex is taking him and children out for a very indulgent brunch on the 27th dec.

His present to me is some stupidly expensive £75 Xmas Blush slippers (that I sent him link to but my DD selected colour.

It’s a nice way of showing the children that we still care for one another.

Op, it’s not going to take up much time but will mean a lot. I’d do it. However i strongly suspect... you won’t

dontalltalkatonce · 05/12/2019 18:52

She's already explained why it will take up much time and that she's already doing a lot of 'ten minute jobs' already. Hmm

1984in2019 · 05/12/2019 18:56

Is your partner an adult? Then I’m sure he won’t get upset not getting gifts from
his kids that were actually bought by his partner and not by them. Honestly what nonsense. He and his ex need to grow up.

lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 18:58

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

It’s not brain science!

May children absolutely love the drama and excitement around birthdays etc, even when not their own, and gift giving is a huge part of this.

Mine love to be involved in the wrapping, the giving and the glory!

VenusTiger · 05/12/2019 18:59

Nope, parents sort presents out for kids to give - in this scenario anyway.
You’ve got your own kids to sort presents out for so then it’s fair.

Minky35 · 05/12/2019 18:59

Nope, she’s off loading her job onto you!
Just smile and say, no thanks, it works better for me if you keep things as it is.

MerryDeath · 05/12/2019 19:00

bugger that. my DP is extremely expectant that i do the gift purchasing for his family, which i by and large push back. he keeps trying though!. but it's a shame and i do feel guilty because he makes no effort and just gifts everyone spirits, which coming from him is crass, imo. his mother's only job is wife work but he's delusional if he thinks I'm getting any more domestic than i already am.

lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 19:02

* She's already explained why it will take up much time and that she's already doing a lot of 'ten minute jobs' already. *

She said that the dc like you pick out. Fair enough, let them pick something out on amazon.

And as for her comment re having lots of ten minute jobs. Don’t we all?!

dontalltalkatonce · 05/12/2019 19:04

And as for her comment re having lots of ten minute jobs. Don’t we all?!

Sure do, that's why she says she has enough of them already. Since it's no biggie, he is perfectly capable of getting on Amazon, too. Sorted!

TatianaLarina · 05/12/2019 19:07

Nah, it’s her job, and if she doesn’t want to do it the kids can make him a card.

lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 19:08

It’s how you approach blended families I suppose

Dive in. More work but more reward
Keep your distance. Less work but less reward

dontalltalkatonce · 05/12/2019 19:11

Funny, this 'work' has been cooked up by her partner and his ex . . . Hmm


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Spacerader · 05/12/2019 19:19

I don’t see the problem with this. This is the exact set up that I have. It’s not really much effort at all. Plus he is more likely to get something he likes or to his taste, as you will know them a lot better.

Pogmella · 05/12/2019 19:20

I think it’s the parents’ job. What if she gets divorced? The parents doing it means that regardless of relationship status the children always have someone who will support them in fining their parent a gift.

Clymene · 05/12/2019 19:21

Hahahaha. No.

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