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AIBU?

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:
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jellybean85 · 05/12/2019 19:28

"I'd laugh in his face and simply say no"

This seems like a very simple thing to do for him once a year and surely it makes more sense for you and ex's partner to do it.
I bet if rx was doing it people would be saying she's sticking her nose in and over involved Hmm

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ChristmasAngst · 05/12/2019 19:28

I don't get this. If I dislike my ex enough to be his ex, why would I want to buy him a present? I have had my issues with my DH this year but if we split, I sure wouldn't be wasting my own time and money on a present for him.

Maybe his ex wants to be his ex and not think about nice things for him. I think yes you should take up the job.

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rhubarbcrumbles · 05/12/2019 19:33

That sounds like a good idea to me, I don't see why you have a problem with it unless it's because his ex-wife has suggested it.

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MinervaSaidThat · 05/12/2019 19:34

YANBU, I bet pretty soon he’ll expect you to get Xmas and Birthday presents for his DC and wiser family.

You’re busy and you’re allowed to say no!

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MinervaSaidThat · 05/12/2019 19:35

@rhubarbcrumbles OP does explain in her OP - she’s already busy juggling various balls and this is another slice of wifework.

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WhoKnewBeefStew · 05/12/2019 19:35

Bugger that.

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MulticolourTinselOnTheTree · 05/12/2019 19:38

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

So why can't the ex do it for her DC? As she was married to the DP at one point, I presume she has some idea of his likes and dislikes.

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lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 19:41

I don't get this. If I dislike my ex enough to be his ex, why would I want to buy him a present? I have had my issues with my DH this year but if we split, I sure wouldn't be wasting my own time and money on a present for him.

Because one side doesn’t fit all. I continue to care very much about my ex. As does he for me.

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lovemenorca · 05/12/2019 19:41

size

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MulticolourTinselOnTheTree · 05/12/2019 19:46

Maybe his ex wants to be his ex and not think about nice things for him.

She won't be doing it for him. They have joint DC, she'll be doing this for them. It won't be long before the DC can do it on their own.

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AnneLovesGilbert · 05/12/2019 19:48

I’m all for offloading wife work but I really don’t think this is the hill you want to die on. It could be something positive and a bonding experience with your new step kids who are at an age when I’m sure they love choosing thoughtful gifts for their dad.

As mine have got older the way we’d done it has changed and last year we were at a Christmas fair and I sent each of them off with a fiver to choose something for DH, they wrapped them when we got home, hid them somewhere safe and I sorted a moon pig card that they signed. Some of it’s inevitably tat but the delight they have in giving gifts is lovely and worth any hassle, not that there is any. We have lots of happy memories of gift choosing and giving. Lots of things involved in step parenting are a mega ball ache but not choosing gifts with the children.

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Pogmella · 05/12/2019 19:51

My ex is a cheating shit. My kid loves her dad though, regardless. She wants to wrap up some generic supermarket mug and proudly present it to him.

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MsChatterbox · 05/12/2019 19:51

I think this is fine. So long as he will be sorting your mother's day presents.

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SleepingStandingUp · 05/12/2019 20:00

It isn't wife work tho is it?

Dp's Ex's DP will do it with the step kids. Your Ex does it with your kids. It's the other partner being expected to do it, not you because you have a vagina.

If you can't spare an hour once a few times a year to do it, tell him so and explain that you won't do it. But at least own it's because you don't want to rather than it being a stance agaisnt wifework

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DarlingNikita · 05/12/2019 20:12

YANBU. Fuck that. Why does his ex get to decide?

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Murraygoldberg · 05/12/2019 20:22

I was all for saying don't do it, I do very little if any wife work. But this doesn't seem too bad, just ask the kids what they want to get their father. I don't buy my partner presents from his kids as they are late teens plus but he does from my ds to me (ds dad dead but that's not the only reason why he does), it's just a nice thing to do for your partner

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PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 06/12/2019 05:27

It isn't wife work tho is it?

Dp's Ex's DP will do it with the step kids. Your Ex does it with your kids. It's the other partner being expected to do it, not you because you have a vagina.

If you can't spare an hour once a few times a year to do it, tell him so and explain that you won't do it. But at least own it's because you don't want to rather than it being a stance agaisnt wifework


Its the outsourcing of parent responsibilities to the step parents, it isn’t acceptable. It wouldn’t take me an hour to think about, travel with the children to a shop (or look online with them), pick a present, buy it, travel home (or take delivery at home), get wrapping paper and wrap the present. It’s also something you do for the children not for the ex partner and thus falls under the parent remit.

It’s an added bullshit task when you already work and have your own kids. No thanks. I am not anti step children and I do arrange all presents and birthday parties for my DH’s kids and families as he doesn’t make as much effort as I do and I think it’s nice to do a bit more. I still would not be relieving their mother of this duty though, or not indirectly, my DP of his. I would simply say I don’t have time and it doesn’t work for me.

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fascinated · 06/12/2019 10:55

Now I understand why some people think Christmas is a lot of work!

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embarassednewname · 06/12/2019 11:14

UNACCEPTABLE!!!

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 for her children

This with bells on

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embarassednewname · 06/12/2019 11:15

Honestly, do not take it on. You cannot let the ex dictate what you do. It's such utter bullshit.

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lovemenorca · 06/12/2019 11:19

**
It isn't wife work tho is it?*

Dp's Ex's DP will do it with the step kids. Your Ex does it with your kids. It's the other partner being expected to do it, not you because you have a vagina.

If you can't spare an hour once a few times a year to do it, tell him so and explain that you won't do it. But at least own it's because you don't want to rather than it being a stance agaisnt wifework

This. This. And this.

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lovemenorca · 06/12/2019 11:22

* It wouldn’t take me an hour to think about, travel with the children to a shop (or look online with them), pick a present, buy it, travel home (or take delivery at home), get wrapping paper and wrap the present. *

Oh come on.

You’d get online if time so tight.
And if you didn’t - you wouldn’t go shopping for just this one thing! You’d incorporate in to a shopping trip you are already going on
And you’d already have wrapping paper


This is perfect example of making something small.... something big

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awesomeaircraft · 06/12/2019 11:32

YANBU.

If this was no extra work, he would take it on.

Now, it may indeed lead to some nice chats (but also expectations) with the kids, but it is up to you.

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PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 06/12/2019 16:36

Oh come on.

You’d get online if time so tight.
And if you didn’t - you wouldn’t go shopping for just this one thing! You’d incorporate in to a shopping trip you are already going on


One of those shopping trips one frequently goes on alone with the step children? Yep, loads of those in my standard week. Finding the time to sit down with the step kids and look online when DH isn’t there, again, not exactly bundles of it. Sure, I could just pick a quick gift without the step kids and just say it’s from them, but that isn’t the point is it? You are supposed to pick it WITH the step kids.

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PlatoAteMySnozcumber · 06/12/2019 16:38

This is perfect example of making something small.... something big

It’s a breakdown of the process. Kindly let me know which one is an extra step making more work for myself, I would love to know where I have been going wrong in life making things unnecessarily complicated.

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