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Getting paid to help out with skids?

Jc1211's picture

Hi everyone! I need a little advice. My fiance and I moved in together a few months ago. I have 2 children, ages 12 and 5, from a previous relationship and he has a 3 year old with his ex. I have primary custody of my kids. They go to their father every other weekend. My FI has his son 3 mornings/afternoons per week and alternating weekends. The problem arose recently concerning my daughter. Prior to us moving in together, I had her schedule and alternative childcare arranged. When we moved in together it all changed. She went from attending full time kindergarten to a half day program. I did find a daycare program for her for the second half of the day, but had to pull her out because they were seriously mistreating her. I also just started a very demanding new job. My fiance does not start working until the afternoons. Because he is already home during that time he offered to bring my daughter to the bus stop and pick her up in the afternoon. Most days he is with her 30min-2 hour before I get home. Ive already made arrangements for her this summer. So this current set up would only last another month. He really is great and I appreciate how he's helping. I definitely try to do my part as well. He works every Sunday and I have taken on watching his son on those days. Recently he asked if I can babysit on a weekday morning because he had a meeting. He knows my schedule is packed, but I cancelled all my meetings for the day so I can help him out. Well he was talking to someone and casually mentioned that he got his ex mother in law to babysit that day instead. I guess he didn't think it was important to tell me that lol. He has a great career, but June is a slow month for him. We were talking the other day and he expressed that he feels I'm taking advantage of him for dropping off and picking up my daughter. He told me I should be paying him to do it to show my appreciation.... I was extremely upset about this. He is always saying how much he loves my daughter and that he thinks of her as his own. We are trying to build a cohesive family unit and work as a team. I do so much for his son as well and never throw it in his face. To me paying him as a babysitter is completely opposite of the life we are trying to establish. I really dont know if maybe I am unintentionally taking advantage of him, even though it was his idea. I would love some opinions please.

dysfunctionally_blended's picture

Do you and SO live together? Trying to put together how serious this relationship is. 

Before addressing each others childcare arrangements you may want to step back and discuss each of your expectations. 

He may want a relationship separate from his kids. You may want a relationship inclusive of all kids and operate as a family unit. 

Neither of you are wrong in either of those scenarios. 

Get on the same page first. THEN address issues that arise. 

Jc1211's picture

Yes we do live together. Before we made that commitment we made our expectations and wants very clear. He is adamant about us blending our kids together, having a cohesive family unit. It a lot of ways it is working. His son and my kids adore each other. My daughter absolutely loves him and calls him daddy often. His son loves me too and I love him. I think some of this problem stems from his first marriage. His ex wife was and still is manipulative and took him for a ride, emotionally and financially. While the relationship with my ex and his wife is very friendly. We all get together for family meals and they have welcomed my fiance with open arms. It may be more a case of him wanting a family and partnership just not knowing what a healthy one looks like. 

dysfunctionally_blended's picture

In that case it is unreasonable to ask for payment for childcare given. Actually its a little crazy. 

Even in blended families there is a reason of expectation. Shared responsibilities and an understanding of roles. Unless you both agree otherwise. For example: If your DH's stand is that you are each responsible for own children then I can see his point to a degree (minus payment that is over the top). But he hasnt proven that in reverse if you are caring for his child. 

This is a lack of communication issue IMO. You need to sit down together and discuss these expectations, then work out what you are comfortable accepting. BEFORE you get married Smile


Kes's picture

Welcome to ST!  My response would probably be to write down the number of hours that you spend doing stuff for his child, and the number of hours he spends doing stuff for your children, and then total it up.  My guess is that from what you've said, your hours would be more, and you could suggest he recompenses you!  

Seriously though - it is a ridiculous idea that he should be paid by you for childcare.  The only way I would see this as fair would be if one partner was opting to be a stay at home parent, for the other's children, and was losing out on wages by this.  

twoviewpoints's picture

Just my two cents, but no, I would not cash pay a live-in fiance to do what he pre-volunteered to do. 

While I do not believe a stepparent must provide childcare for a stepchild, I also believe it is unnecessary to cash pay the stepparent to do so. I am assuming that finances are spilt as to household bills (mortgage/rent, utilities, et and with you paying a larger share as you have two fulltime children living there with the exception of EOWE). 

I am also assuming your DF is paying his ex CS while you are receiving CS from your children's father/s. With that said, I might consider taking on something like a bigger share of the internet or cable or similar bill ( giving him a break) in appreciation for his volunteering to be sure he is home to do the task of seeing your little one gets to and/or from where she needs to be. 

Bottom line is he does not have to do this for you, and yes, he did volunteer, but he may now be starting to resent it. If that is the case, I'd certainly find someone else who might be able to do this task instead of him For example, there may be an older lady in your neighbor who would do the task for a fee. 

I'll also add, I would be pretty upset to volunteer as you did to the point of canceling meeting et only to last minute find out he didn't bother to inform he found a family sitter instead and doesn't need you now. What would he think/feel if you handed him a bill for the day off you took but found your services suddenly not needed afterall?  Yeah, he wouldn't like that at all. 

Before you two get to settled into this new living together, you both need to sit down and hash this out and come up with 'what if' other scenarios that perhaps surely will arise and how you two agree on handling those situations. 


Salems Lot's picture

You are looking after his child on Sundays when he is working yet he feels you are taking advantage of him and wants to be paid to look after your daughter for a few hours a week while you are working?..... Ummm no, I don't believe you are unintentionally taking advantage of him, but it seems like he wants to take advatage of you.

Harry's picture

I can see him refusing to watch your kid,  but then you can refuse to watch his,  But I don’t understand the money. getting payed. Do you make more then him, or after his CS and you getting CS. That you have much more money coming in each month.  I never asked my wife to paid me to watch her kids, Money went into a joint account that paid bills and all exters.  Fun thing, Vacations 

Is this more about money then the kids 

beebeel's picture

Something happened after he agreed to transport your kid. Was it only supposed to be temporary? Did it START out as only a half hour and now the norm is more like two hours? 

Plenty if us SMs volunteer for stuff in the beginning, only to have more and more dumped on us. And when we complain about being taken advantage of, our spouses get mad! Just like this OP and so many of the responses...interesting. 

Cash payment may not be appropriate, but your BF is certainly feeling unappreciated. You need to address that and find out why ( has your daughter started mouthing off to him? Is she being disrespectful when you're not there?). 

ldvilen's picture

I think she is saying that she will move things around to take care of his child, but when she asks him to do something for her children, payment is expected!?

hereiam's picture

Maybe he would like to be paid for sex, too?

Seriously, he volunteered to do it, it's going to be temporary, and this is the exact opposite of his words, that he loves her as his own and wants to build a cohesive family unit and work as a team. I am one of the most selfish people on the planet and I would NEVER even think to ask my DH to pay me for watching his kid (who is not a kid, anymore, but when she was). That is just so wrong. I can't even imagine how he thought it was okay for those words to come out of his mouth.

He asked you to watch his kid, you cancelled meetings to do so, then he made other arrangements, without telling you? What is that about? Complete disrespect and so inconsiderate.

I have to wonder if there is something going on with him. You've only been living together a few months, maybe he's not really ready for the "cohesive family unit" thing?

theoldredhen's picture

Your fiancé’s suggestion of payment for a favor previously agreed upon and, to some extent, as recompense for your babysitting his son is simply ridiculous. Are you positive that he was serious instead of merely teasing you?

If he is actually expecting you to pay him, despite his talk about ‘trying to work as a team’, and ‘loving your daughter like his own’, then he’s, at best, a hypocrite. Have you asked for babysitting fees for Sundays? If not, you should!

Having to cancel your meetings to, again, babysit for him without him advising you of his alternative arrangements smacks of inconsideration. Quite frankly, Hon, your fiancé does not sound like a stand-up guy. Is it possible that he’s getting cold feet about your upcoming nuptials?

I’d think long and hard about marriage to this thoughtless scrooge. Divorce is stressful and expensive whereas resolving differences prior to the huge commitment of marriage is plain common sense.

ldvilen's picture

Ha!  When the shoe is on the other gender's foot, suddenly payment is expected!?  "He feels I'm taking advantage of him for dropping off and picking up my daughter. He told me I should be paying him to do it to show my appreciation.... "

This would be hilarious, if he wasn't serious.  I always say good ol' fashioned sexism is at the heart of how SMs are treated and thought of in general.  Yes, SMs are expected to be unpaid servants for the initial family, for the most part.  No one blinks an eye when this occurs.  But, switch it around, and suddenly a DH is being taken advantage of.  

If what is good for the goose is good for the gander, where are all the people insisting that SMs get paid by their DHs or initial family as a show of their appreciation?  As a SM, I never expected to get paid for helping to take care of DH's children, but I sure as H- didn't expect to get my butt kicked down the line or treated like my marriage to DH was non-existent.  If SMs were simply treated and respected for who and what they are--DH's/dad's wife (or SO)--then this site wouldn't even need to be here.  (But, considering that is not true for so many of us, thank goodness it is.)

In a marriage, any marriage, it comes down to mutual respect and not tit for tat.