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Didn’t sign up to be a caregiver

Floridablues's picture

I have four stepkids: SD is 26, SSs are 25, and two who are 24.

Three are married with children.  My oldest step son is 25, he lives in Canada with his wife and 2 daughters, so we never see them, we have seen them about ten in the four years since he's graduated college and moved there, my husband has gone to NY more times then that to see them when they visit his ex, to see the grandkids. My youngest step son is married to a Austrian and they live there, they have a two year old, and DH goes there to see his granddaughter, they visit about three times a year, but usually go visit my husband's ex.

Here's the issue, of course it's my SF. she married a widower with a two year old.  She's a flight attendant, she married an Irishman (almost escaped all stepgrandma responsibilities, but of course, he has to live and work in America), he is a software engineer.  He is 32, I think, they now have a four month old son, and and his two year old daughter.  My SD has adopted her husband's child.  they just relocated to a city about 25 miles from DH and I.  She is has just returned to work, and her husband is working from home for a while, but is now going into his firm to work staring September, he will have daycare provided by his work starting the .  Their son is a tiny baby, their daughter is a monster (who I honestly don't understand why my DH feels a connection to, she is not his granddaughter biologically, but I know that is just me, because I don't like children)

Anyway, DH desperately wants to assist with taking care of the kids while his son-in-law works for now, as his son-in-law is struggling with balancing working from home and watching the kids.  I have made it clear I DO NOT want any small children in our home, and may make an exception for his grandson, as it is his biologically, but I do not want my SD's 'daughter' in my house during the day.  My DH is taking it extremely personally, and saying O'm being unreasonable, but has ageeed to my terms.  Now his daughter has said we cannot okay favorites with her kids.  If we are going to take one a few hours a week, we need to take both.  

I am torn up about it, DH knows I hate children but he feels he risks his relationship with his daughter if he stands his ground and says we are only willing to watch her son and not the girl toddler.  What should I do?

tog redux's picture

She adopted the girl, that is her daughter, too, and it's very cruel to treat adopted kids as less than bio kids.

That being said, you have zero obligation to be grandparent to either one of them. DH can take them for the day himself and go elsewhere with them. 

notarelative's picture

 My SD has adopted her husband's child. ....

  Now his daughter has said we cannot okay favorites with her kids.

I'm with SD on this. Both are her kids. 

tog redux's picture

Me too. I have 3 adopted nieces and it chafes at me to hear someone say an adopted kid isn't as important as a bio kid. Ugh.

Husband's wife's picture

I think the main issue here is that the OP hates children in general but doesn't feel like saying "no" to the bio GK.
Doesn't mean she likes this kid, she is just ready to cope with him.

This is how I read her story. She simply need to understand that she doesn't need to cope with any kids that are not hers.

tog redux's picture

I get that, but it's just as bad. The adopted child is DH's grandchild too. She can't decide she will cope with one grandchild and not the other just because she's adopted. If she wants to say she can't cope with the older one because she's poorly behaved, that's a different story. 

I agree that she has no obligation to either of them. 

Husband's wife's picture

The subject of your post says it all.

You didn't sign to be a caregiver, so don't be it.

You also said you hate children so the solution is very easy, let DH go to his daughter's if he wants to take care of these kids. And stay away from all of them. 

I am never at the house when DH's boy is visiting (once a year), but I let him visit his boy of course. I do not have to be around this boy, he does have to, so be it. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Since English is not your first language, i'm not sure if you actually meant you hate children or if you just hate the idea of having to spend your time being a caregiver to them. You married a guy with adult children, so you didn't expect to have to. 

It does sound really bad to say you will care for the bio child but not the adopted one. If you truly just don't want to take care of kids, you will be better off just being honest with your husband and saying that, rather than trying to minimize the workload by choosing one. Since you aren't biologically related to any of them, that makes more sense. I know different cultures have different ideas about what is acceptable, but in most places where English is spoken, it will be highly frowned upon to say you will care for the bio but not the adopted kid. 

Rags's picture

Adopted children are family.  If someone rejects that child merely for being adopted, the one who rejects that child is not worthy of remaining family and purging them from the family can only be a positive for the rest of the family.

Good riddance to the rejection of that unworthy characterless individual which can only be a distinct positive for everyone else in the family.

I accepted my SS-27 was my own when his mom and I married the week before SS turned 2yo.  As did everyone in my family.  Anyone taking the stance that my parents and my brother's family that SS is not their family would find that perspective to have a decidedly vigorous and negative reception.  My SS asked me to adopt him when he was 22.  We made that happen.  Nothing changed other than we had papers for what had always been the case. I his dad. He is and always has been a member of our family.  That his presence started just prior to his turning 2 makes him no less family than if he had been born into it.

IMHO and our family experience of course.

SteppedOut's picture

I think if you have such a distain for children, it was not a good idea to marry a man with kids/grandkids that enjoys spending time with them. 

Thinking your husband will never have his grandkids spend time with him in his/your shared home is not reasonable. 

Now if he is wanting the grandkids to come and ecpect you to help with them, that is not reasonable... he wants to do it, he can. 

TheEvilStepmomStrikesBack's picture

Idk ladies, I kind of agree with the poster somewhat. My mom will keep her other (read older) grands for entire weekends but I'm not allowed to leave DD stb3 there to run to the store. Why. Because my child is a tiny terrorist. She knows it. I know it and that's ok. She did watch babygirl when she was smaller (read not walking/talking) for me a few times. i think that's maybe more of what's going on (I hope anyway). 

toddlers are hard and I wouldn't willingly choose to let one in my house either. Stuck with mine though! 

I think she clearly doesn't want to be involved with anyone's child but is possibly making an exception for the tiny baby that's only four months. I think that's fair. She doesn't see to have any kids herself 

MumOfCats's picture

It's the OP's home and she didn't sign up to provide a free childcare service. It's understandable if her DH wants to care for the grandkids but he should take the OP's feelings into consideration. Grandparent hood doesn't automatically confer caring obligations.