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But I thought...

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

We were only supposed to have SD13 eow, christmas, and every other easter. No spring breaks. No fall breaks. And a week in summer. Dh and i agreed to it. Bm agreed to it. But that didn’t happen. 

And when i ask dh why we took sd13 for fall break and why we will have her for spring break next year, his answer is that there was never a signed aggreement. And he wants more time with sd13 anyway, so he’s happy to take her for fall break. 


Fast forward to this week. Dh is planning when his summer week with sd13 will be. And get this, he is offended and resentful of me for not wanting to babysit sd13 while he is at work.


”i just feel like that should be part of the deal. I make the money and you take care of the kids.”




If I were a babysitter professionally, I would be wearing nicer clothes and in general be paid better.




Monkeysee's picture

Nope, he doesn’t get to make plans without consulting you then get upset when you don’t agree after the fact. Good for you for making sure those boundaries are clear.

Disneyfan's picture

Expecting a NCP to only have his/her child for one week in the summer is ridiculous.  I think each parent should get a full UNINTERRUPTED month during the summer.  Then return to the normal 50/50 or EOWE schedule when school resumes.

A 13 year old doesn't need a babysitter.  She should be able to hang out at home while her dad works.  If she can't do that, then he should enroll in a day camp.  

What he shouldn't do is give up extra time with his child.

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

OK. Let me just jot down BM’s phone number and you can arrange that for us. She is VERY reasonable and not at all souless.



ndc's picture

Why can't a 13 year old stay by herself while her dad is at work?  Does she have issues, or can she not be trusted alone?  Or do you just not want to hang out in the same house with her?

I know many on here think that a stepparent should never have to watch a skid, but I'm not one of them.  I think if a couple has agreed that one will work and be the primary breadwinner while the other stays at home or works part time in order to take care of the kids, that unless otherwise agreed this includes all kids in the household, including part-time skids when they're there.  Of course, if the stepparent is expected to be responsible for a skid while they're in the home, she should be consulted about the schedule and if the skid is going to be there at other than the normal times.  That's just my opinion as to what is fair and reasonable.  

ntm's picture

Why is he taking her for a week if HE is not taking the week off? What is the freaking point? You want time with your kid, then put in for a week of vacation at work and YOU be in the home to SPEND TIME WITH HER. And the SAHM arrangement does NOT cover skids. It’s an arraignment for the “us” kids. AND I and many others can attest to how much supervision a 13 year old SD can require. The teen years are HORRIBLE, the worst. I think it’s only the lurking non stepmoms here who seem to think the SAHM arrangement somehow requires the SM to parent the visiting skids too  


Nope, he takes the week off or sends her to camp. Where he will do drop off and pick up. 

Disneyfan's picture

When a BM uses child care expenses as an excuse to have CS increased for young teens, many here scream a 13 year old doesn't require child care.  NOW, all of a sudden a 13 year needs a baby sister.

The average 13 year old can(and do) hang out at home during the while parents work.  That is typically what happens those last few summers prior to lids getting their first summer jobs.

Can you imagine the uproar on here if fathers starting taking time off from work in order to hang out with their children during summer visitations?


TwoOfUs's picture

I'm always kind of tickled and kind of chagrined about the rampant misogyny on this board. I don't know what forum you're part of, but I rarely if ever see anyone "scream" (or whine, pitch a fit, stomp their foot...or any other such thing) about this stuff. I see mostly women/stepmoms asking fair questions, reasoning things out, getting answers to their unique situations, etc.

It's ironic to me that it's the posters who are the self-appointed "double standards police" of the board are also the posters who, in my experience, are the most likely to give canned responses, assume the worst about the OP, make wild speculations about what the situation actually is, refuse to see any nuance, and fail to ask any follow-up questions or try to offer specific advice above and beyond "screaming" about the supposed "double standard" they've found.   

At any rate, I agree that 13-year-olds don't need babysitters and a BM trying to claim regular childcare for a 13-year-old to increase CS payments would be absurd. 

However, that doesn't mean they aren't a presence in the home or that they don't require any care at all. The fact is, it's different with your own kids vs your stepkids. While your own kids could hang out by themselves in your home and you wouldn't feel annoyed or hindered in any way...having a stepkid who's rarely in the home underfoot all day, every day is frustrating and annoying for many of us. That doesn't make us bad or evil's just a natural emotion or response to having a virtual stranger in your home for a full week. It gets old. It's OK, as a stepmom, to acknowledge that it gets old and isn't pleasant. It's OK to let our husbands know this, too. 

I don't think the OP should refuse to have her SD in her home, of course. But it wouldn't be out of place for her DH to recognize that this is a more difficult situation for her than it is for him and try to make some accommodations. It wouldn't be out of place to expect some discussion about the schedule before it's agreed upon with the BM. That's not too much to ask of a marriage partner. 

Perhaps he could take a week off or work from home that week in order to be present for his daughter. Many full-time parents change work schedules in the summer to do more with their seems an NCP would want to be there even more than a CP...rather than dumping the kid on his new wife for the week. 

Or they could enroll her in some kind of day camp...which would probably be fun for her and provide some relief for the stepmom. 

There are lots of solutions that take care of the kid without making the SM feel like it's unfairly all on her. 


"Can you imagine the uproar on here if fathers starting taking time off from work in order to hang out with their children during summer visitations?"

Again with the emotionally-laden "screaming" and "uproar" kind of language? You may as well get it over with and call all stepmoms "hysterical" and "crazy" while you're at it. Given the fact that half a dozen stepmoms on the site have now suggested that OP's DH take some vacation days to hang out with his, I can't "imagine the uproar." It seems you're the one with the great imagination. 


Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

It is about parenting and interacting with your child. It is about DH being present and parenting his child because she is HIS child. He has known her and has invested in her since she was a baby. I am not her mother and I never will be. She is not mine to discipline or guide. She is not mine to parent. 


MommyT's picture

A 13 year old does not need a baby sitter. Why isn’t he taking the week off work? It’s one week

ndc's picture

One week is all some people get for vacation in a year.  I have no idea what OP's husband's situation is, but my DH gets one week of paid vacation a year.  He can ask for additional unpaid time, but there's no guarantee it'll be approved.  The last thing I would want would be for my DH to take his only week of vacation to hang out all day with his kid, rather than take a vacation with me.  And our finances are such that a week unpaid would be a hardship.  Maybe taking a week off while a skid is visiting is an option for some, but not for everyone.

Curious Georgetta's picture

It is not unreasonable to ask you to pitch in and help him out.

A 13 year old probably does not require a baby siiter, but just tell him to use his income to pay for a sitter during his working hours.

That will solve your problem.

MommyT's picture

Agreed. I help DH out because he works 5-6 days a week which gives me the opportunity to stay at home with our other kiddos. If I can’t do it then he needs to pay for a baby sitter but that takes money away from my other kids so I try not to do that. 

tog redux's picture

I don't personally think a stepparent has to watch a skid ever if she doesn't want to, not even if she stays home with the other kids.  If they agreed on that ahead of time, fine, but if they didn't agree on that, he doesn't get to just add that into the plan.

I actually liked my skid much of the time. But like most 13-year-olds, he could be a major pain in the ass. The only way I would have agreed to have him in the house every day for a week without DH, is if he was allowed to play video games all day so he didn't bug me non-stop.

What would DH do if he didn't have a wife to parent his kid for him? And if he only has her for a week, why isn't he taking time off?

Disneyfan's picture

Plenty of single parents face this dilemma every summer.  Their kids reach that awkward time when they are no longer young enough for day camp but not yet old enough for a summer job.  Those kids usually spend the summer hanging out at home while their parents are working.

shellpell's picture

He should not assume you will take care of skid outside of the agreed upon original schedule that he had previously. He needs to see if you’re ok w it first. If you’re not, then a day camp would be a good solution.

Monkeysee's picture

This is exactly the point. This was not a week that was written into agreement. It’s not something OP was expecting, nor was she asked if she was ok with having SD there from what I can see. Since when is it acceptable to make a decision that affects your partner without consulting your partner first? Some people think that’s acceptable, and that’s fine for them, but I expect respect in my relationship & OP has the right to expect the same. 

Love_and_Loathing's picture

Seems like he rarely ever sees her. In my situation we have 50/50 and I was somehow expected to take SD on ‘dad nights’ even when he was out of town when mom was at home doing whatever the fuck she wanted. I put a stop to that because SD isn’t my child and isn’t my responsibility when there is another bio parent who is perfectly capable of caring for her. I have two kids of my own to care for.  And my SO pays for me to stay home to take care of OUR son, not theirs.


In this situation, however, (if I’m reading this situation correctly, which I may not be as I see no clarifiers on custody) one week won’t kill you. And she’s 13. She doesn’t need a babysitter. 

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

I save us about $800 a month because I am a SAHP. Saved money is earned money. DH and I agree on that.


DH has a flexible job because he is the boss. He can safely take SD13 to work with him. This is what happened last summer. I am not questioning his one week in the summer. I am annoyed at the prospect of eo spring break and fall break. Why take her an extra week each year if you don’t plan to spend time with her beyond evenings and breakfast?

I do not want to be left alone with SD13 because she has a history of telling some pretty serious lies. Her mommy made her do it, but that excuse does not make me feel more secure around her. I actually get along quite well with SD13 and she gravitates towards me. Beyond hygiene issues, she is pleasant to be around in short bursts. She does this weird thing where she basically repeats, sometimes verbatim, whatever she has just heard. But that is slowly being replaced by general teen sassiness (to her dad). Around me without him in the room, she is polite and mostly silent. Which is OK a few times on the weekend, but a solid 8 hours of that for a week is just uncomfortable. 

DH plans to send her to her grandparents and to take her on a two-day trip. 

After a talk, he recognizes my need for “breaks.”

But there is still underlying resentment. He resents me for not “pitching in” and being willing to “watch her”. I resent him for assuming it would be my responsibility from the start. I halfway wonder if he got into a relationship with me because he needed a babysitter.

And because I’m pretty, of course. Wink


tog redux's picture

Don't forget the sex!   Smile

I can't imagine expecting someone to take care of my responsibilities, and not even asking them first, just assuming.

I had that worry about being alone with SS, too, depending on what frame of mind BM was in - would he lie about me?  Thankfully, my DH didn't ever dump his parenting on me and I would have said hell no if he did.  A day, maybe.  A week, NOPE.

bananaseedo's picture

This post angers me badly.  This is what my ex has done- EOW and then it was only late Sat pm to early Sunday- has only maybe a random holiday day every couple years- In 15 plus years hes taken them a full week vacation 2 and a couple other times for 3-4 days.  Here you have a guy that wants to spend a little more time w/his kid (even if it's evenings) he affords the OP to be a SAHP and she can't return the favor so he sees her just a little more?
Selfish people amaze me, whether step-parent or deadbeat parents. NO I don't think his request is unreasonable-people can agree to all kinds of things and there are times he simply wants more time with his kid.  Maybe he doesn't have that much vacation time ?  So you get your kids and to stay home 24/7 365 days a year but god forbid he has an extra few days every year? WtH? 

Step-girlfriend's picture

Did you read the part where she said SD has a history of making up lies about OP? She should just suck it up and take that? Also, what about her DH not consulting her first? Also acceptable?

Monkeysee's picture

Apparently all of that is acceptable because OP is a SAHM to their kids. It seems women who make agreements with their husbands for an arrangement like that wave the right to respect and consideration within their marriage. I didn’t realize this was 1950, but I guess I’m wrong? Smh

tog redux's picture

He didn't make "a request".  He made plans and told OP she'd be watching the kid.  And the kid has lied about her in the past to BM, so why should/would she put up with that?


Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

This post angers you badly because you didn’t read it well enough. I have no problem with DH spending more time with his daughter. But I do have a problem with the assumption that I am the designated adult in the house for the majority of that time over a child I am not allowed to parent and who has told ridiculous lies about me. 

Ironically I am the one who has pushed DH to focus on his daughter when she is here, rather than on whatever task he has planned for the weekend.

slow down on who you call selfish

bananaseedo's picture

I fully agree he should have consulted w/her- but apparently she's saying no regardless because it's extra time then agreed on by her.  That is what I find odd.  As to the lies- shes made it sound like it hasn't happened again.  She's 13 and says they get along.   IMO if you're a sahm you should contribute to the care of all kids - but I guess that makes me unreasonable.  Not full time but hes not asking for that or 50/50 either.  His request isn't unreasonable IMO.  

I'm so glad my SO isn't this way...I'm primary bread winner and I have full custody he's more then enough times been the sahp, chauffer, and help with the boys- granted they are grown but he would help me when they were much younger as well.  I DO understand annoyance of extra time unplanned with a SD- TRUST ME- I hated it when BM would decide unilaterally (even w/out my SO agreeing) that SD would stay longer...or SD would announce she's staying longer (they always treated her as an adult and allowed ot make decisions). I get that annoyance and she should demand better, but then if he does want more time she needs to be able to accomodate an extra week or so a year.  That's NOT much to ask.  

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm of many, many minds on this topic, but overall, my opinion goes back to this:

If he would have asked for more time with his kid, would OP have entertained that request?

If the answer is yes, then he's an entirely selfish a-hole. If the answer is no, then both he and OP are being unfair in their relationship.

I don't know the answer to the question I proposed above. I think it would be perfectly acceptable for OP to request that her DH find things for SD to do during the day while she is visiting. I don't think it would be acceptable to flat-out say no because DH will only spend the mornings and evenings with SD. That's how much time most parents get with their kids during summer, and any time is better than no time the majority of the time. Very few parents are able to take off a week every time a child has a break.

For OP, her DH saying this is what is GOING to happen is enough, IMO, to tell DH NO, this is NOT going to happen. But, I think this opens the opportunity for OP and her DH to have a discussion about what would be acceptable so that DH can see his daughter more without relying on OP to be babysitter/entertainer/child minder. I don't think it's reasonable to not allow DH to spend more time with his kid in his own home. But, it's also not reasonable or respectful for him to make unilateral decisions "because of the kid".

TwoOfUs's picture

Very well stated. Completely agree. To me the issue is not the extra time but the presumption and lack of respect. 

Also...I'm not sure why so many on here are saying that they "only get SD for 2 weeks a year" so what's the big deal? Is that really correct? That's not how I read this at all: 

"We were only supposed to have SD13 eow, christmas, and every other easter. No spring breaks. No fall breaks. And a week in summer. Dh and i agreed to it. Bm agreed to it. But that didn’t happen." 

To me it sounds like they get her every other week, right? Or is that every other weekend? PLUS Christmas, every other Easter, and a week in the summer. That sounds like a lot. 

I totally get being frustrated about the ever-expanding visitation schedule with little to no communication about it...and a lot of presumption on someone else's time. 

We would take skids every single Spring Break, for example...and I couldn't understand why. I taught...and sometimes I actually wanted my Spring Break to be a break for me. But BM also taught and she and DH just decided he'd get every Spring she could have a vacation, I'm assuming...even though that's not what the CO said and no one asked me. 

These things pile up. It's not wrong for a SM to feel overwhelmed and want time away from kids who aren't hers. 



bananaseedo's picture

"o me it sounds like they get her every other week, right? Or is that every other weekend? PLUS Christmas, every other Easter, and a week in the summer. That sounds like a lot"

I interpreted is Every other weekend, Christmas Day/Easter day- and a week in summer-if you thinkt that is a lot you're delusional-of course I don't know if that's what she meant.  

TwoOfUs's picture

I don't know...I think we were unusual maybe...and we lived close to BM when the skids were growing up so we got added days. For us, EOWE went from Friday to Monday morning...then we got a full 10 days in the summer, and Christmas, and over Spring break, which included Easter (both weekends on either side of the week).

On those months with the long weeks...we still got our other two weekends. So for 3 months out of the year we had the skids for 15 days+ including 3 out of 4 weekends. On holiday Mondays, we often kept kids into the evening. I often felt like I never got a holiday Monday and BM got all of them. We used our address for skids since we were zoned for better schools...and when skdis were in middle school they could walk to our they often walked to our place and waited there for 2-3 hours every weekday until BM could pick them up. 

As someone without any kids of my own, this felt like a lot to me. I once counted up all the overnights through the year, and we had well over 1/3 of the overnights. 

When DH added to this already grueling schedule without consulting me first, it really upset me. 

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

I meant EOWeekend and every other easter, halloween, 4th of july. Major holidays like christmas are shared. 


I didn’t want the every other spring break and fall break added in because BM makes it into a contest. She always takes SS18 on exotic vacations when she DOES NOT have SD13 as a way to rub it in that we can’t afford that kind of travel.

Monkeysee's picture

I agree 100% with this. It’s the fact that ‘this is happening’ that bugs me about what OP’s DH is doing, not the actual time he wants to have SD in the house. 

I had this conversation with DH a week ago. He made a unilateral decision without consulting me & the outcome was one I didn’t agree with. We’d spoken about this already, so I told him he was on his own, and further explained why it’s not ok to make decisions that include your wife without discussing it with your wife in the first place. 

I ended up doing my own thing, he had the boys & did his thing with them (which ended up being miserable like I said it would as he hadn’t considered logistics at ALL) while I had a great day without any of the nonsense. 

Had he consulted me first, I might have agreed to go. Don’t consult me, then you deal with it on your own regardless. I’m not a doormat, OP being a SAHM doesn’t mean she needs to be a doormat either. 

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

THANK YOU! My DH is pretty reasonable if I use logic and I am calm while doing so. 


Luckily he doesn’t consider being a SAHM to be any less of a contribution than a full-time job. But still, he often doesn’t stop and think. And he likes to group his daughter in with my workload.