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Because I'm a woman/stepmom, when kids are with us, shd I be the one providing care? They have 2 qualified parents.

skidsrule's picture

I have kids.. 3 grown. I love kids. Now 2 stepkids. They have a great participating mom.
I wanted to plan an "aunt" type of stepmom role.. because I'm so super close to my nephews & nieces.. I thought that would be a good perspective for us all. That was fast rejected when we married 2.5 years ago.
My husband works far away, long commute & custody is split 50/50. He expects me to care for the kids. drop off and pick up from school, dinner, etc. but I don't want to.
My husband and his family think I'm HORRIBLE, selfish, uncaring. I really don't know how to handle it.
Any input would be appreciated.. a way to explain maybe? they have 2 parents.. I'm supposed to be the fun one! Even my own 22 year old son says.. mom this is what you signed up for.. but I disagree.
the issue this week is that BM needs to go out of town for 5 days straight in Oct and again in Nov. He thinks I should drop off & pick up (leave work when they get out). I said i'll drop off or pick up if you do the other (he'd have to go in late). This is the cause of a HUGE FIGHT.
help?

ybarra357's picture

No! You absofreakinlutly don't HAVE to do ANY babysitting/being a taxi service if you don't want. How did you DH handle this before you got married? I can't believe your BS thought that this is 'what you signed up for'. That sux.

moeilijk's picture

Of course you want to help your DH out, and of course you want to contribute to a relaxed and happy home.

But just because DH bit off more than he can chew (works far away, long commute & custody is split 50/50) doesn't mean that he can *expect* your help, nor does it give him the right to be angry with you that you won't pick up his slack.

I can see helping. But helping is always VOLUNTARY. Your DH and your inlaws are trying to shame you into doing DH's work for him. I'd be hurt, angry, disappointed... and I'd be less inclined to help than ever!

If you are interested in mending fences, maybe talk to DH about reducing his custody time, or changing his job to one that puts less pressure on him. This is HIS problem, but I can see you being willing to help him come up with possible solutions.

another step's picture

Pitching in to help seems to be part of the expectation package no matter how much we resist it. But there is definitely a limit and where it negatively impacts your life is that limit. If someone needs to leave work early or go in late, that person needs to be one of the parents. Why on earth would it be YOU that has to disrupt your day, potentially cause problems with a boss or co-workers, or lose money? They are not your kids!

If neither parent can do this duty, there are people who do this type of work for a living. They can find one of them and pay them for their time. If the BM is not going away until October, there is more than enough time to make suitable arrangements.

hereiam's picture

Custody should not be 50/50 if he is not able to do it.

You are not responsible for their kids.

still learning's picture

^^Exactly. You're the one facilitating his ability to have this arrangement, just stop. Maybe you should have a last minute out of town trip. Who will watch the kids then? You're not BM/DH's nanny, you're his wife. No this is not what YOU signed up for, this is what BM and DH signed up for when THEY had kids.

ldvilen's picture

Smile Have to laugh at this one, sorry. I remember when my DH and I first started going out, he would try to get me to do just about everything for the kids, much like a mom, and we were just dating! I did wind up going over there Sat. mornings to take care of them for a little while while he worked Saturday. Thank goodness that didn't last too long. However, once I realized it was far different than babysitting or being an auntie, I started just going out shopping or running errands when they kids came over. Not for the entire day; just for a while. I actually feel and felt it was very important for them to spend time alone with their father, and it is. Yeah, I realize now after BMs and DHs divorce my husband actually felt uncomfortable around his own children. He still does to this day, somewhat, even 15 years later. Odd to me. But, it is another one of those oddities, where men don't have a womb, so unless they are around their children on a day-to-day basis, they start to lose that connection. I have seen many posts from SMs that are literally ran ragged and taken advantage of by DH, BM and SKs. It is sad. I would say that you and you alone have to decide what your boundaries are, and make sure DH knows what they are. You are not a free babysitting punching-bag service. I'm sure that was not on the dotted line when you married your husband.

skidsrule's picture

Thank you .. ALL INPUT was amazing and some made me giggle, ALL were helpful.
I can see I'm not crazy.
I was thinking that if I were a SD.. I would not be expected to participate, much like my SK's SD. he helps when needed, but its a favor & he's appreciated, and if he can't the bm finds a way. not the same case.
@ soccerwifeandmom: I am not sure if that was sarcasm, about the gas reimbursement? the kids are older now..12 & 15. I don't mind an occasional drop off / pick up.. last school year I committed to 2 days each week because of his schedule, but I still kind of resented it. Both BM & DH live out of school district so they needs rides am and pm, at different times.

I do feel he works far away and you can't be 50% parent with that time commitment to work.

even though my job is super flexible and I can work from home if needed, I feel its the principal and I never want to put myself subject to being a doormat.
DH adamantly wont give on custody.. and I don't get an answer when I say: why do you have custody at noon on Saturday, when you don't get home until after 6? same for weekdays after school. this is reasonable right?

skidsrule's picture

I really need the perspective, I'm very grateful! My job is awesome, sales, I can come and go as I please and I do. His job is super rigid and not flexible. set schedule.
when he got this opportunity we sat and I said.. you can't be a parent and have this job. you'll be gone , you'll never get to games, etc. He said he had to .. they'd find a way to trap him into his current position and it was also a huge promotion.

so I did not agree to it in the first place. I think he thought I'd just come around. we did premarital counseling with a married couple. they both said, SM you have to know you have duties as such. and that seems to be the consensus but I'm flabbergasted as to why his parental duties are mine.
I also have a lot of resentment with my kids bf. I resented I had to be the one to register kids, back to school nights , transport to games, etc. he did not participate.

I would not expect him to pick up my kids from school. if I did, it would be a huge favor and I'd be very grateful. I feel like he thinks its my job- not appreciated and not a favor.

StepDrama's picture

Youve gotten great advice! Id like to add that i think that some resentment (at least for me) probably comes not only from doing so much for the kids whether its pick ups, drop offs, cleaning up, babysitting, or worse disciplining but from feeling like you arent appreciated for any of it. If something goes wrong, kids start manipulating, SM is the first to blame after everything we've done for these kids.

I know how you feel. "Horrible, selfish, uncaring" and if you ask me they are the ones being horrible, selfish and uncaring toward your feelings for not considering your thought process on this as being valid. His family doesnt REALLY care about you more than the health, emotional and physical well being of their grand children, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc etc, and this is one reason you are resentful and wish to break free for yourself, am i wrong? Who is there to take care of you when you are too busy taking care of his kids, not his family. You wont have time to see your family who genuinely loves and cares about you when taking care of them when he is not around.
I'm not trying to say his family really doesnt care about you but im sure you understand what i mean.

Then theres the child support thing, perhaps he doesnt want to pay more and that is why he doesnt want to ask bm to take more time. Too bad! The way i see it is, if the kids arent with you then that is less food they are eating at home or out, money on activities, clothes, day care if needed or whatever is needed. Now you dont have to pay that so you (or dh rather) pays bm!

Im glad you got a lot of help here xo