Greedy stepkids

mom23step23March 22, 2009

Well, I will stop using names, I didn't realize it was a problem.

My DH is not at all dramatic. He stayed with his ex, because he knew that in the 1980's custody wouldn't have been granted to a Dad (most likely, at least in Wisc). So, if he would have left his wife then, he would be subjecting his kids to her alone at least half of the time. He didn't want that. He did what he thought was the best for him and his kids at the time. Hind sight is usually 100%. Like I said, at the time he did the best thing that he knew. Looking back, staying with her damaged the kids. Oh, if we could live our lives over!

When the vacation was offered to SK29, I really didn't realize that he had this feeling of entitlement, or definately I would have never offered it. My DH was unemployed at the time of this offer, but I had the cash. SK29 and his DW were having marriage problems, and DH and I saw this as a way to invest in their marriage. He has had several long years in graduate school, and no time alone with his wife, and the burden of 3 little kids. Our intentions were pure. All I wanted was a simple Thank You from them. We thought this was something that we could afford for all of the children. I have already decided that when all of the kids have gotten their turn at a vacation from us for their 5th anniversary, that we are done!

As far as saying right on the spot to SD24 that her brother was only getting $1000, I didn't feel that it was my place as a SM to be the bearer of sad tidings to her. It would only make her like me less. DH and I talked about it, and we decided that if kids want to take a more expensive trip, then the $1000 will be applied to their trip, but they will pay the balance of the trip. My DD said they would like to go hiking in New Zealand, but she up front said they would not expect us to contribute any more than the $1000 towards their trip. That's fair.

As far as never spending one on one time alone with kids, I think somehow I gave the wrong impression. I do not think that when the week end rolls around that DH should leave and go to visit DD and not spend any time with me. I have no problem at all with him spending time alone with his kids. I work in the same community that SD24 lives in, and so does DH. She could phone DD any day of the week and say, "Hey Dad, can you come early to work tomorrow and do breakfast somewhere with me?" DH would be thrilled! I work at a big city hospital, and the hospital that SD24 works at is right next door, they are even connected with a tunnel. I have phoned her to take her out to lunch or something after work, but she never reciprocates, so I stopped. DH has phoned her and asked her to meet him for breakfast and she has, I have absolutely no problem with that. We commute an hour to work. Sometimes I work different times than DH, and he could quite easily spend time then with his DD. I do have a problem with having to travel 200 miles to see SD25 just because she cannot control her tongue, and doesn't want to see me. She travels down to our area, and doesn't call him, or doesn't see him. Then complains that she is neglected. Almost 100% of the contacts made between DH and his kids is made by him! We both are tired of the one sided relationship. So we both are backing off.

No, I really don't want to go and visit my kids without DH. When I get into bed at the end of the day, I snuggle close to him, and we both call this, "The best part of the day". I don't want to give that up to see my kids. I shouldn't have to decide between him and them. My kids don't put me in this situation. But his do. I just had a girls day out - movie, dinner, shopping with my DD, and my son's wife. They paid their was, never expected at all for me to pay. We had a great time. DH wasn't invited. He was at work, he wouldn't have wanted to come. He has an airplane, and offers to fly to see his kids, or take them flying. They usually don't take him up on his offers. We certainly do things apart from each other. But that is different from planning to do things apart in order to accomodate moody kids.

In counselling, it has always been said that the BP should be the one to address concerns with the BC, not the SP. We both feel this is best.

I definately feel that backing off from relationship with my SKs is the best thing. That is what I started to do 6 months ago. I answer communications from them, and polite to them, and try to make them feel comfortable when they are in our home. But I don't go out of my was at all to try to contact them. I am to the point where I don't even want gifts from them, because I know they are only obligatory.

We have been giving gifts of cash to each child and their spouse for Christmas and their birthdays. We took a poll about 2 years ago and this is what they wanted. Now I think that I want to reconsider this at the end of the year. I think that we should give gifts to them in the manner that they give to us. In other words, treat them like they treat us. Give them a dose of their own medicine.

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I can certainly understand your frustration and disappointment. My SS19 is already exhibiting some similar signs that you describe...a sense of entitlement. My DH and I often wonder if we created this monster. But then, our other kids (step or bio) don't seem this way. So, I'd like to think it's a personality flaw of some sort. Although, had we picked up on some subtle signs a little earlier, maybe we could've intervened or worked to redirect those behaviors that have become habit. Reading your post makes me think about what my future may look like with my SS...and it makes me sad.

As for the gift-giving and one-sided attemtps at contact, we have a similar situation with my FIL (DH's father) and his wife(#4--who I affectionately refer to as MIL4). I think it's mostly MIL4, but for FIL to just stand by and watch his wife destroy/manipulate his relationships with his kids/grandkids is incomprehensible to me. I think MIL4 pretty much runs the show/makes the decisions. So, at this point they only sent Christmas gifts to SKs--and sent them to BMs house 5 states away---both kids live here! My son (not their bio) hasn't rec'd a Christmas/birthday gift (or even a card!) from them in 2 years. Nor did our youngest, who IS their bio grandaughter (6 yo).

So I, like you, have decided to step back. If they decide they would like a relationship with us or their grandkids, they are welcome. I am not going to be the one to do all the work to make that happen. I have "extended the olive branch" so many times. MIL4 was here to visit her own daughter and grandkids for a week. She didn't call to let us know she was in town (they live in FL, we live in MI). When we were in FL on holiday last Spring, we invited them to come to the beach house where we were staying, about an hour from them. They didn't come. Their actions speak loudly, so I am stepping back. My husband completely agrees. He has always felt that I was too kind to them, and too giving. We are going to FL again in a couple weeks. I will not be calling to inform them or invite them to visit. If they call us and inquire, certainly my husband is welcome to share that info....I guess I'm taking the NMP-NMP (not my parents, not my problem) stance. Since they haven't made any contact with us in months, other than the obligatory Christmas card/money (which I suggested we send back!), I doubt we'll hear from them.

I do believe that family is very important, especially the relationship between grandparents & grandkids. My parents are very close with all the kids (step and bio alike!) But the relationship has to be forged (and wanted!) by the parties involved (ie., the grandparents & gkids) When my FIL & MIL4 decide to act like grandparents, I hope that the kids will still have the desire to get to know them.

It does make me sad that my kids (step and bio) have essentially zero relationship with their grandparents (that set anyways!). It's a good thing that the other grandparents more than make up for the "missing" ones.

As for the "entitled" SS, I hope he's young enough that we can help him identify his behaviors and actions, so to avoid issues like the ones you are experiencing in our future. I think it will take much work.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:01AM
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Well i'm really glad to hear that you have made the decision to back off and that both your dh and you have come to this decision of backing off with money. It only makes things worse.
There are alot of adult children that feel entitled...even many biokids these days because we as parents have spoiled them.
My dh's sister buys her kids 200 dollar hand games...even more expensive stuff too...and when they do not get what the want , all hell breaks loose...soo...its how we raise our kids.
I think you and your Dh should enjoy one another and dont pay too much attention to people who do not appreciate or respect you.
I'm glad you have decided not to give cash at christmas time. and ...back off. I usually give small gifts to the kids and save the expensive stuff for my husband. He comes first in my life. The kids follow suite afterwards.
Final thing is respect. Respect yourself.
I hope christmas doesn't blow out for you and your husband because of the decision...but if it does, enjoy the holiday regardless of the backlash for these selfish adults and enjoy your marriage .
You truly love your husband mom23step23. And i think you are also very lucky that he stands his ground for you as well.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:52AM
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I also understand the disappointment you have with these adults. I'm not trying to lump everyone into this category, but there is a large chunk of spoiled rotten, young people spanning a couple of generations. My niece and nephew are the same way and they are in their 30's. It has really angered and disgusted me over the years to see the way they have both used my parents for money (never visiting or only calling about three weeks away from their own b-days or Christmas & and a few times when they got up the nerve to just ask outright for cash). Their mom, my sister, died when they were 13 & 20. My parents felt saddened for these kids. Additionally, these two were the only connection my folks had to their deceased daughter. Ten years ago, when my niece was 20, my mom wanted to give both kids their inheritance. My dad put his foot down and told my mom they can wait until after he and my mom die. My dad and I had many discussions about these greedy g-kids and I told him that I knew I would probably only see them once after my parents die, and that is with their hands out asking me for the $$$. Sadly, my dad agreed with me. He passed a few years later and the trust he and my mom had automatically put me in charge of the $$. My mom tried to get me to give those kids their inheritance a couple of months after my dad passed. I refused, and stated that I promised my dad that I would make sure she didn't do something stupid and shortsighted with the money, as she would probably need it. When these kids got wind that the gravy train ended, they stopped visiting. My mom hasn't seen her granddaughter in more than 6 years - disgusting.

That being said, which is probably more than you want to know about me, you still don't seem completely satisfied with just backing off from them. Maybe you guys need to clear the air with all of the kids and start fresh. Perhaps your DH should write them each a similar letter, but personalize it. Let each of them know that he is proud of them and their accomplishments, that they have grown into fine ADULTS and that he loves them...but that he foresees a possible problem with the generous gift giving getting out of hand. He believes he needs to nip it in the bud before anyone has hard feelings. Then he can explain that the gift is $1,000 and that is not an all expense paid trip - it just appeared to be like that because the first recipient lives in a port city. At this point you guys can let everyone that you also want to curtail the extravagance of gifts period - the economy is uncertain, DH doesn't have stable employment and you need to plan for your retirement. Let them know you will always be there for them for moral support, know.

This is just a suggestion and it may anger them initially, but in the long run it may save you two some grief. You can be like my dad and give them all they $$$ after you're both gone. geri

P.S. - don't ever expect any "thank yous" and you won't be hurt.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 1:12PM
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I am not saying that I have decided to stop giving money gifts, I said that I was considering stopping money gifts. In part, it seems logical to give money. It saves us time from shopping, and it streamlines things. The kids live in different areas, and cannot always make it home for holidays. Also, I have no idea what they really would want. I could buy them something, and them most likely they would return it, or donate it to Good Will after the holidays. Yes, last Christmas I bought my SD24 two new tops, and in February she came over with a garbage bag of "stuff she diddn't want, and she was taking to Good Will". She asked me to go through it and see if there was anything that I wanted before she dropped it off @ Good Will. There was in the bag every gift that I had gotten her. I felt like crying, and thought this was heartless on her part.

I feel like the best way to handle future gift giving is to think about it more, and consider the options, and consider what the outcome would be if we changed things.

Gift giving is very subjective. I worked with a nurse who gave each child, their SO, and their children a money gift of $300, and 8 gifts apiece. How she arrived at 8 I do not know. Some of the 8 gifts would be things like a down comforter from Lands End, designer clothing, new release movies, concert tickets, etc. So she spent at least $500-$700 on each child, child's spouse, and each grandchild! She didn't feel that this was too much. Wow, I couldn't keep up with her, and had no desire to. My point is, that no matter who you talk to, including you good people on this forum, everyone has their idea of what an appropriate gift is. My husband says opinions are like navals - everyone has one!

We decided on an amount of $100 per child, and $100 for their SO. DH wants them to have a "gift to open", so we get them a gift too, this was about a $40-$50 gift apiece last year. For the grandchildren, we give toy gifts no more than $35 total. By the time you add up all of the $100 bills that we gave, and gifts, and the extra food that we bought for people visiting overr Christmas, we spent about $3000 for Christmas. And I don't even remember some of them saying thank you.

I remember I kept asking my DS23 what he wanted for Christmas and his birthday which is right after Christmas. He just kept saying, "Really Mom, I appreciate the thought, but I can't think of anything that I need. I'm going on deployment in a few weeks, so there's not much that I can use or take with me. I really don't need anything." My DD said with surprisement, "Mom, you're giving ____ (her SO) money too for Christmas. I mean Mom, ____ (my DH) hasn't been working that long. Can you afford that? I appreciate the thought, but you really don't need to do that." My youngest told me that the only thing he wanted for Christmas was a handheld language translator, which he told me cost about $30-$40. I know the sky is the limit on the price of these, I'm just telling you what he told me. He is studying spanish and german in school. And has interest in learning arabic. I though the responses from my kids were pretty selfless. From SK29 we get lists of expensive things to buy for their kids, like SGC3 wanted some sort of an airplane toy that cost from $90-$110 depending on where you bought it. I replied by telling them that our gift budget for grandchildren was $35 apiece, and that was met with stone silence and break of communication. They were obviously annoyed that we wouldn't buy this for him. They usually spend about $10 on me. If this was what they spent on the other set of parents, and what they could afford I wouldn't be hurt. But it is not. They have lots and lots of expensive electronic toys for their kids which they buy. I just think that gift giving should be reciprocal. If someone spends $10 on you, then why should you continue spending over $300 on their family? This seems outrageous to me! If they spend $10 on a gift, then that says to me that they think that is an appropriate gift. It shouldn't be a contest to see how much we can spend in December.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 4:21AM
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8 gifts are usally given at Chanukkah. but those are little gifts that just add up. like a pair of socks one day, hand lotion second day etc. Not like 8 expensive gifts. maybe your nurse is Jewish, this year Christams was at the same time as Chanukkah. If i would tell people I give DD 8 gifts they woudl be mortified, but in reality each gift might be only $5.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 11:48AM
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Someone posted that I am actually not their step Mom, I am their father's wife. Well, if I am not their step Mom, then they aren't my step son or step daughter either. And their kids aren't my step grandchildren either. How far does this go?

I have never heard of someone being referred to as my father's wife. If DH and I were to be killed in a car accident for example, the courts would divide our estate (including the house that I have paid for for 28 years) equally between our 6 children.

My nurse friend is not Jewish, she just likes to spend money on her kids and grandkids. She set out to buy 4 gifts apiece, then she kept finding something else to get them. Before she knew it, the count was up to 8! She's Catholic.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:23PM
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"Someone posted that I am actually not their step Mom, I am their father's wife. Well, if I am not their step Mom, then they aren't my step son or step daughter either. And their kids aren't my step grandchildren either. How far does this go? "

My POV on this is fairly simple --
If you helped raise these SKids, acting in the capacity of a mother for many years, then you're a StepMother.
If you married their father and did NOT help raise the kids, then you're Dad's Wife.

Sounds to me like you'd be in the 'Dad's Wife' category, and this is really a very different role -- and NOT a bad one!

And unless you and StepDIL really bond on a personal level and she 'adopts' you, or your husband is really close to and involved with his kids, you're probably not going to be 'Grandma', just 'Grandpa's Wife'. And that means that unless Grandpa does the shopping, you buy all the gifts and Grandpa gets all the credit. (Unless they're crappy gifts, in which case, you get the blame.) And to the kids, all gifts from you-two are really from Dad. This is just how they THINK, regardless of the objective financial truth.

I appreciate how hard it must be for you to try to build a close relationship with his kids and feel yourself being 'slapped inthe face' for trying.
So Stop! Disengage. Don't hate them, but stop trying to make them love you, because it either will or won't happen on its own and on its own timeline.

You can make them love you by acting as if you love them.

Be courteous to them and expect the same in return.
Try to accept a different role in the family - Dad's Wife - and make it into a role you can be comfortable with.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:03PM
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Mom23- In response to this comment that you made:

*Someone posted that I am actually not their step Mom, I am their father's wife. Well, if I am not their step Mom, then they aren't my step son or step daughter either. And their kids aren't my step grandchildren either. How far does this go?*

I have known and been in my two SD's since they were in 1st and 5th grades. I've lived in the same house with them for for 5 years and I spent half of the week, each week, at their home prior to this. I cooked for them, took them places, bought food for the house, helped with homework, and I let them cry on my shoulder just to name a few things. I married my DH only recently. I refer to these girls as SD on this forum and that's about it. They consider me and refer to me as their father's wife (they aren't little girls) and I consider them their father's daughters. NO HARM, NO FOUL. Who cares? It's just a label.

I'm sure you mean well, but you are really trying too hard. The thing about keeping a journal, as mentioned in your other thread, to document all of the time you and DH spends with each person is just weird. What are you going to do with it? Are you saving it for the next time one of them complains about not seeing DH to show it to them? If you do, it's going to make you look very petty, and it will probably cause them to back off more.

It almost sounds like you are trying to force a blended family situation that would perhaps have existed had you & DH married twenty years ago when they all would have been youngsters. Sounds harsh, but you are sort of stranger to them.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:04PM
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Mom23, I m sure my SKs refer to me as their fathers wife, and thats really how I think of myself.Of course legally they are your stepchildren, says so right in our wills, and thats what I think you better get, if you dont already have one so your house of 28 years doesnt go to them, unless you and DH have already agreed on that is what is to happen....

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:04PM
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I do not currently keep a journal on the visits from the SD. I sat down and took about 4 hours to write the journal of events to turn in to the counsellor that we were going to at the time, so he could give us an objective opinion. I threw it away after he looked at it. It's one thing to say we've done something, but the journal actually helped the counsellor look objectively at the events that happened. You're absolutely right, if I currently kept a journal, it would be ridicudous!!! The counsellor said to DH and I that the SDs were spoiled.

My DH and I have absolutely no problem with his adult children being too busy with their own lives to connect with us every 2 weeks (like they said that they wanted). They are young, in college, have lots of friends, that's what life is supposed to be like in your 20's. We're happy for them. We're proud of their accomplishments. The only thing that we're not happy about is when they accuse us of neglecting them and depriving them when we feel that they continuously turn down invitations from us. They are not bad people because they have a busy life of their own. They are not truthful when they accuse us of neglecting them though, and that is what hurts.

I either am Step Mom, or I am not. That's the way I see it. They can't change my role season by season to suit their needs. I refuse to be Dad's wife one month, then Step Mom the next month. I have feelings and rights too. I am tired of being jerked around.

My oldest son has a distant relationship with my DH. He is always polite and respectful, but distant. No one faults him for that, you're right my DH is somewhat of a stranger to my DS. But then, my DS isn't whining about being neglected either!

All of my DH's kids call me and introduce me as their Step Mom. This is not a role that I picked for myself or that I want. I would be happy to be their Dad's wife. The little kids call me Grandma. I have never told any of them to call me these names, they picked the names themselves. In the future, I would be happy to correct them if they introduce me as Step Mom, and say, I'm really their father's wife. Apparently, this is what is politicaly correct. I also don't need the little ones calling me Grandma, I'd be quite happy with Step Grandma. Or L--a for that matter.

If they choose to think of me as Step Mom, and reap the benifets, then that is what I will be all of the time. The isn't one set of rules for me, and another set of rules for them. I won't be walked on this way.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:43PM
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Forgot to mention - if I am their father's wife, then they are my husband's children, and my husband's grandchildren, and not step brother or step sister to my kids, since we didn't all spend time together growing up as a family in the same house. I would be ssssoooooo cool with that!!!!!

I would be happy to get and receive gifts from only my husband and my kids, and have him only get and receive gifts from me and his kids. My DH would prefer that too.

I fell in love with their Dad, I didn't pick him because he had awesome kids. He didn't pick me because of my kids either. Three kids is enough for me, I never wanted more. If they want to embrace me as Step Mom I would do it, but I am not pushing for it. I just want to be treated with respect.

The same rules have to be applied fairly to all. What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 2:03PM
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So why do you sound so 'pissed off' about it?
Let it go.

My husband has a son (J) who was 21 when we met.
To me, he is my husband's son; and to him, I'm sure I am his father's wife. We've come to like each other over the years, but we started from zero and didn't pretend otherwise.
To my younger son, J is a brother, but to J, my younger son is his half-brother, who he enjoys on occasion, but ignores for the most part.
To my older son, J is the much-older son of his StepFather; to J, my older son is the son of his father's wife.

Frankly, I think most of these relationships work best from a moderate emotional distance!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 4:48PM
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I feel like I came to this forum for support, not to be told how wrong I am. And why do I sound so angry, well if you had been at the receiving end of the crap that they have dished out to me for the past 3 1/2 years, I doubt that you'd be real cheerful about these issues either.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:03PM
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You did come here for support and I don't think that any of us is trying to tell you that you are wrong for your feelings. There have been times on here where I have felt raked over the coals and where I have seen others raked as well. So, I am sorry that you feel this way. It's understandable that you want mutual and reciprocal respect with your SK's. I want it too, but I don't necessarily get it. I believe that this is a common element of step-families in general. I just had an incident this morning with SD (21) pulling disrespectful crap w/me. I didn't like it one bit, called her on it, but she just stormed out of the house on me in a huff. Not much I can do about it. I've seen her treat others that way too, and in fact, she is acting just like her mother. I can tattle on her to her father, but it he doesn't want to hear it and it will only cause us both grief.

You were already told by a therapist that your SD's are selfish and spoiled. I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect them to change. These kids were not raised with the values and morals that you instilled in your own kids (who sound wonderful by the way). I know you want respect, but they are probably incapable of it or they believe they are being respectful. I think we're all trying to tell you to chose your battles with them because blended families are so difficult by nature.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:44PM
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It feels to me like some of the rudeness that some of the posters are getting in their own homes, they are bringing to the forum and dishing out on others. This is for support. OK to disagree, but don't have to be rude.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 12:14PM
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Sorry M23Step23 -- That would have to have been me.
I'm not normally a rude person, but somethimes points are made more clearly when stated in short, abrupt sentences.

In your post above my last one, you implied you didn't really care if your SKids didn't love you so long as they treated you with respect.
That you merely wanted a relationship that was cordial and courteous.

Yet all of your prior frustration seemed to be how you lavished them with attention, money and thoughtfulness and that they rejected your affection, credited Dad, and took your gifts for granted.

That sounded like hurt feelings over spurned affections -- like to you, it was personal.
My whole point is that it ISN'T personal.
And if you don't LET it feel personal, it won't hurt.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:42PM
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I understand that they are upset with whoever it is that their Dad remarries. I know that it is not me personally.

They told us that they wanted a close, tight relationship with them, so we did our part. I guess I was hurt because I tried so hard to do what they had asked for. If they ask for more communication, and more closeness, then I didn't feel like I was forcing myself on them. Well, that was then, this is now. It is obvious that whatever the name of their Dad's wife is, they aren't interested in her. Don't worry, I won't be getting hurt like that again. All of my walls have gone up.

We have alot of guilt dumped on us from my DHs girls and because of it, I feel that my every move is being watched. If I do something with/for one of my children, then I feel that I have to do the same thing for his children. But I have gotten over this recently. I still don't have all of the answers that I want, but working on it. I try to be fair, and treat all of the kids alike. But this is impossible, when they all treat us so differently. And I ask myself, "Why should I do less for my kids that I would have normally have done, just because I remarried?" I felt that if I bought my daughter a dress, that meant that I had to buy one for DHs daughters too. But my daughter would thank me, and appreciate it. And his daughters would not thank me, be annoyed by the gift, and give it away, or donate it to Good Will. That cured me of trying to please them. I'm working on just letting all go.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:59PM
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I will be in your shoes one day. I can SOOOO feel it. Took my SD shopping for her dads birthday. She could hardly go into a store without hinting she wanted this or that. Not fair to the other 4 kids left with DH while we shopped. I wouldn't buy one of my boys a 20.00 tee shirt I'll be dang if I buy one for a SD who just wants to see what she can get out of you. She hardly has the time of day for her dad let alone me.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Good for you!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 3:16PM
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I don't know that they are upset that their dad remarried, it may just be how he handled it. Not all SK's just want money. Since you've came along its obvious that he was better off financially, what did he do before?

Did he maybe buy gifts for his children that were less expensive, but more personal? And the key words are "did he"

I think you've tried really hard but maybe missed the point. I think most adult stepkids are fine with their parents remarrying, but they would like to keep the same type of relationship without interference. Not to say exclude you, but personally, I would be very skeptical of my dad if he stopped buying my gifts. LOL, I sound like a greedy stepkid, don't I? What I mean to say, is if it is a gift, I would prefer my dad to shop for it, not the new SM. It wouldn't mean that much to me and its kind of along the lines of when a young kid gets a SM and Dad just stops parenting because there is a new mommy in town! I don't know if Im saying this right, but thats how I would see it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Read my other thread, StepMom of Adult Children needs Help, and tell me if you still think that his kids are fine with him remarrying. His oldest and youngest was OK with it. His middle child definately was not fine with it. The other kids threw us a surprise engagement party and his middle child wouldn't come. She admitted to trying to break us up, and admitted being mean to me to try to drive me off. That doesn't sound like she was fine with things to me.

An old saying from my grandmother, they "want their cake, and eat it too". I have never stopped him from visiting them. They however cut down on visiting him since I am in the picture though. This is not my fault. I do not interfere with their relationship. The girls told me when I came on board, that their Dad always bought them crappy gifts, and they were glad that I was buying them now.

DH lost his house in the divorce, it had to be sold, any profit went to pay off loans, so he didn't have alot when we met. But he had the potential for earning far more than me. He is an engineering manager. The first year we were married, his salary was double mine. But he had to rent an apartment in another city, that cost $15,000 that year. Then he had to pay 38% of his paycheck to his ex. I have always worked 3 days/week, and continue to do so. Our takehome pay is about the same now.

We have no issues with money. There is plenty of it. We have plenty of money to buy for our kids and grandkids. I just want to be thanked when we do. That is the issue.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 5:12PM
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I don't think that you feel obliged to buy your SD's a dress or whatever else because you bought the same for your Bio's. It's very thoughtful, but seems very unnecessary. Again, it's not like they are children. If they were all under 10 years-old, it would be understandable that it would appear that you played favorites with your own children, but that's not the case. Your kids have been in your life many times longer than your stepchildren. It's a different and more intimate relationship because they are your kids. Even in intact families parents don't always do the same for each child.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 9:12PM
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honestly your stepkids and your DD sound unreasonably demanding. even if parents make a lot of money asking for trips to New Zealand or Hawaii is a bizzare request. I udderstand wanting parents to help with college but asking mioney for vacation is weird. why did you ever offer? I think because you keep buying and offering they keep asking for more. and since they know you can afford they don't even think of saying thank you. it sounds like trying to buy their love wiht gifts and money, sounds wrong to me. I would stop all this nonsense all together. if they are in need, help them. if not, stop these lavish spendings. that's awful amount of money to give to grown kids for fun and vacation and gifts that they don't even want or like. i see no point.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:29PM
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It is unfair of you to say that my DD is unreasonably demanding. Go back and read what I originally wrote about her New Zealand trip. There is a huge difference in what my SD24 did and what my DD did. My SD24 planned in her mind a 7 night cruise to Hawaii, which would mean that air flights from Wisconsin to California would have to be included in the trip, as she lives in Wisconsin. The price that she expected us to pay was for the entire trip, it would be at least $5000. My DD said that she would like to take the $1000, that we were offering each child, and apply hers to her New Zealand trip. We said we didn't care where they took a trip, as long as it was without children. We were not paying for a family vacation. The trip was offered as a weekend getaway for the couple only. We said right up fron that if the kids go, we do not pay anything. My daughter did not ask for a trip to New Zealand from us. She was already planning a trip there, and wondered if the cash could be applied to her already planned trip.

We offered this trip because we wanted to do something nice for our children for their 5th anniversary. I do not feel that we are trying to buy love.

My daughter did not ask for money, it was offered to her first. She only clarified with me how she could use the money that I offered to her.

It is OK for SD24 to clarify details of the weekend getaway that we'd offered her too. But she only heard that her brother was going on a cruise, and translated that to a cruise for her too. We'll send her on the same 3 day cruise out of San Diego as we sent her brother. Her brother got himself to San Diego, he happens to live nearby. The problem with her, is that she made the assumption that whatever she planned, how ever long it was, or where ever it went, that Daddy would pay. Far different from what my daughter did.

And now that the first kid took the trip, we can't very well retract the offer for the others. This will be the last offer of anything like that after they've all gotten their turn.

As far as buying something for DD and not for SD, well they are keeping score. If they hear of something that I did for my kids, and not for them, then there are problems.

I mailed a "care package" to my son in the Marines while he was in Iraq. At the same time my DHs daughter was 200 miles away in graduate school. I didn't see this as the same situation, but I was newly married, and didn't want to cause waves over a care package. It seemed like my DH wanted me to send one to his DD too. So, I did. I get an email for DS23 for Iraq telling me that he shared the brownies with the rest of his troops, and they all said thanks. He said they lasted about 5 minutes. The culture on base in Iraq, is when you get a package, you share. 2 weeks went by and I heard nothing from DS25. My DH phoned her and asked her if she got the package or not. She said yes, but was to busy to call and thank me. I never bothered to send her another one. My son now is in Somolia, and I send him one about every 4-6 weeks. If he starts taking them for granted, I'll stop with him too, but he hasn't.

It's OK to disagree on the forum, but I think we should be curtious to each other. I don't think we should write something here that we would most likely not say to someone's face. I think we should share our experiences to help each other, but refrain from telling others how wrong they are just because they don't do it our way.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:15AM
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you described situation that apparently is not working. if you just want to continue doing what you are doing it is fine, but if you are unhappy about it then maybe you can pay attention to what others say. there is no wrong or right here but if you are unhappy about current situation then why not change it?

sorry i misread your post, I misunderstood that she asked for a trip to New Zealand. makes a difference if she just clarified how she plans on spending the money.

as about buying same stuff for everyone, there is no need for that. even in intact family if you buy somehting for one kid, doesn't mean you have to do that same for others. if they keep score, let them.

I am just offering my opinion that there is no need for such extreme financial involvement even if you are wealthy. I think you should stop. Apparently what you are doing doesn't work so why continue? Disengage and live your own life. kids are grown and on their own. it is OK to help and be involved but up to a certain limit.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Are you saying to stop giving the 5th year anniversary gift of an extended weekend get away to the other 5 kids, after the 1st child has already received his? It seems like this would make the others hate him and cause WW III.

Or do you mean to stop after each has had their turn?

I do not consider myself to be wealthy. Our income is lower middle class. I've just been in the workforce since age 14, and I make good investments with my money, and don't waste alot. My favorite store to shop at is St. Vincent de Paul, a huge thrift store. I buy alot of my clothes from there, and DHs suits too. We make a hobby of finding old stuff, and turning it into something new.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 12:20PM
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If you already promised 1000 for each kid, give it to them and then start spending on yourself. If you aren't wealthy and shop at thrift stores then I absolutelly cannot understand gifts or all these trips. In my opinion you should spend that money on your own vacations and buy yourself nice new clothes. Buy yourself trip to Hawaii.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:02PM
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The trip was promised for each child when they reached their 5th anniversary. No one else has reached their 5th anniversary yet. Some aren't even married yet. It was promised as a weekend getaway for a couple who had been married for 5 years. SD24 just had her 4th anniversary, she will get hers next March. Since we knew this would be spread out over maybe even 10 years, it wouldn't be that difficult.

As for the thrift stores, remember I said it was a hobby. We don't have to shop there. But rather we enjoy doing so.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:13PM
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I think you should concentrate on your kids and stop giving thing to your husband kids. They dont appreciate you and you get pooped on.
Like i mentioned before, you are not their SM. You didn't raise them from young and help them with homework and help them personally while at a very young age. You are their fathers wife. There is nothing bad about that title and i think its an even better one.
Soo...that being said, your other post states about dividing estates.
The house is yours and should go to your kids. Not 6 split because you've been married for 3 years to their father. Sorry that is my opinion.
He lost his house to his ex, let his kids knock on mommy dearest door since they feel so entitled to everything.
I'll be doing the same for my estates. It goes to my son. Not to my skids. My husband also lost the house and eveyrthing to the ex. He litterly left with the clothes on his back and a bag. And put himself in debt which i got himout of.
I have made it very clear when dating my husband that any kids we have together will be entitled to property and money. His kids who live with ex wife can have the house and stuff he left behind for them and as for his money if he wishes to give it to them its his business...but mine will not go there. It will stay with the child or children that i am raising.
Now if he had custody of his kids in any shape way or form and they lived with us, it would have been an equal split. Easily. But that is not the case and they hav echosen to stay problem but they wont double dip and my kids gets nothing! Especially if i'm the one putting the downpayment and paying the yearly taxes. Because my husband wont have the cash to put donw. He wont have the money to put aside to taxes due to child support and he wont have the cahs upfront to pay for the move, the welcome tax, the will or anything else except for the monthly mortgage no...the sk will not benefit from getting this house. And yes, i will also put a clause that if i should pass before him that it goes straight to our biokids togetgher with a clause stating he lives there until his passnig and biokids can then claim it after his passing.
That to me is fair.
Sorry, i should have posted this on the other one...but since i was here...i thought..what the heck! lol...
And dont feel entitle to buy something for them everytime you buy something foryour daughter. i have this problem too and i still have to deal with it. The guilt gets me but then sk are very young and i dont think its fair that if i buy easter chocolate for my son that i wont do it for sk...i do it for all. and they all have an easter hunt. In some circumstances it is just too plain hurtful to do that to any human being.
But you are dealing with adults here who are selfish...soo...i say dont let them step on your any more.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:38PM
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My DH is an engineer, so he was the one always asked to help get/keep his father's antique Lincoln Continental 1964 baby blue convertible running. His dad was elderly, and he always asked my DH to work on this toy car over the years. Now DH's Dad is 85 years old, and a few years ago he moved to assisted living, and he gave the Lincoln to my DH.

DH was the logical kid out of the 4 of his siblings to get it, since he'd been the one to spend so much time on it over the years (with no pay, he just did it to help his Dad).

About a year ago, SD24 told me that her Dad had given her the Lincoln. I thought this was odd, since it was something that DH and I enjoyed using. I thought he would talk to me about it at least before giving it away. And I also wondered how he arrived at giving it to SD24, instead of SD25, or SS29. So, I asked him about it. Come to find out, he had never given it to SD24. He didn't even recall having a conversation about it. Other than SD24 saying one day that her DH really liked antique cars, and someday would like one like the Lincoln.

How's that for a feeling of entitlement?

DH doesn't think his kids have a feeling of entitlement! What do you all think?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 6:40AM
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Sounds familiar. Yes they sound like entitled SKs. Try not to keep thinking about it. Let it go. With time truth comes out and liers look foolish.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:35AM
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