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What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Posted by mom23step23 (My Page) on
Thu, May 14, 09 at 13:59

I have 3 adult children, and I encourage them to do something for their father to honor him,on his specail day (I am divorced from him and do nothing for him).

My husband also has 3 adult children. My husband is not the father of my children. I do special things for my husband often, but I feel that this is a day that it is meant for children to do something to honor their father on his special day (it would be different if they were minor children living with us, then I would help the minor children organize something for their Dad). His children are ages 24, 25, and 29.

My husband and I talked about what expectations are, and he said that he feels that his kids should do something for him, "After all, it is Father's Day, not Husband's Day", said my husband. It would be different if he were the father of my children.

My hushand's children will (based on what they have done in past years) do nothing for him. They will wait for me to organize a celebration for him, and then invite them to it. They will expect me to either invite them to a Father's Day cookout (and they will offer to bring NOTHING, and offer to do no clean up, or preparation, and they will arrive and expect to be treated like guests), or they will expect me to organize a Father's Day meal at a restaraunt (the meal is to honor my husband, but he will get stuck paying the tab for everyone). His middle child almost never gets him a gift, she apparantly feels that her presence alone is gift enough!

My 3 children have always gotten my husband a Father's Day gift. His children have never gotten me a Mother's Day gift.

I wonder what I should do. I feel like if I sit back and wait to see what happens (another words, I don't organize anything) that most likely nothing will happen. Then his kids will go into this "Poor Dad" mode, where they will feel sorry for him because his new wife won't even do anything special for him. It seems that they feel that it is up to me do plan something for Father's Day. And if something isn't planned, that I would be the one letting my husband down. They don't look at it like they would be the ones letting him down.

It seems like they think that it is "Children's Day. A day for them to come back home and be honored. Any sugestions for getting them to take ownership of Father's Day celebrations? I am not trying to be negative, and don't really want negative comments back. I am looking for positive feedback please. I really don't think that his kids realize how this comes across to us. I think they just take it for granted that I will organize a celebration and pay for it, but they should get the recognition.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I think in intact families, mom does organize fathers day activities. My xmil would orchestrate dinner. My xfil would insist on paying -- finally, when my X and his brother were wll into their 40s, they wrestled checks away from him. I think it was a macho thing.

I help my almost adult D pick out a gift for her dad, as he is very difficult to buy for.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Gosh...that is tough. I always ask my father (and I am 28) what he wants to do. In some years past, he has come over to our house for dinner, or we (my DH & I, and my bro if he is town) have taken him out to breakfast.

Last year my dad really wanted to bbq at HIS house. And yes, he did all the grilling, but he likes that sort of thing, and it was HIS decision. I made a cake and brought that for dessert.

I always get him gifts---usually a couple books, and a nice framed pic of my DD.

I think it is rude of your DH's kids to not do anything for him.

If I were you, I would call one (all?) of them up and say "what are your plans for Father's Day? Please arrange something and let us know so we can put it on our calendar." That way you are putting the ball in THEIR court.

JMO.


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clarification

Yeah, I should clarify---to go along with what KKNY said--that my parents are NOT together and my dad is not remarried. So it is up to me to arrange the plans for Father's Day.

I do still think, though, that your stepkids could at least take some initiative here.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I don't think it's the parent's job to organize anything for adult children, bio or step. But, it's 'Fathers Day' and just like Mother's Day is to honor Mother's... not just one's mother, but any mother.... same for Father's Day. Why can't you honor your husband for being a father? I wouldn't organize a cook out that they can invite themselves to... I would call them and ask if they have made plans to spend the day with dad and if not, take your husband out to dinner... just the two of you.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I agree, I would call who ever is the lead sibling and ask them what they had in mind. I would do it sooner then later so they have time to realize your not kidding and put something nice together for him.

My Bio dad didn't do anything for me birthday wise or any of that stuff, If I did it was my Step-mother. I would call dad on his birthday but I fussed over my step-dad who I lived with and acted like a father.

I once made my step dad a card that said, "He was my father by birth but you are my father by Grace of God." That card made him cry and I think forever changed the relationship I had with my step-dad. This will be my kids first year with DH for a step-dad. I think they will do something cool for him even after they kinda blew-off mothers day. They were with their dad and he didn't return my calls until nearly regular pick-up time. They were in the nastiest mood. It was terrible. Our Divorce papers say I get them on Mothers Day no matter what weekend it falls on. I didn't let him know I was mad, he would have felt like he won.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I agree that a diplomatic call asking if most 'responsible' child (unfortunately that job often falls to the female children) are planning something, you will have to call on all your wisdom and diplomacy so you are not the 'wicked stepmother' but I believe it's only right.

If you are able to be frank, explain that you *would* do it, but it means a lot more to be coming from them.

Kids especially these days, seem to be a bit passive and just go with the flow, assuming that parents will keep 'doing christmas' or whatever, unless something changes - my inlaws moved to a small retirement place so naturally xmas dinner moved to one of the kids places, we have kind of rotated it, yet MIL still mostly takes charge of the cooking - she's great at it, and generally wants to do it, so it works out well.

Once the 'original' family dynamics change, ie divorce/remarry, it's difficult. My youngest hasn't spoken to me in almost 7 years, the eldest and I have a much better relationship now, and she calls me fairly reliably on father's day now, but (I guess since she's a student) there's usually no gifts but for the most part I always sent my parents gifts at least for xmas/birthdays etc.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Hmmm... harder for me to answer because I had the opposite problem. When I was visiting my Dad out of state during a time in which Father's Day fell, I asked my Dad beforehand what he would like to do and he was going to mull it over but my SM started to make plans for us all to spend the day at the house of some friends of hers, even though he wasn't even himself so up for that being that he had terminal cancer at the time. (Had to at least force a compromise on that one: long lunch with them but not having the day all chewed up with that.) It's not like this was any traditional thing they did every year or anything... usually they did nothing, and I reside several states away so it's been a nice card and gift and phone call from me every year and that's about it.. maybe a card from her too, but nothing more thaT I'm aware of. Which is fine... But basically in this instance she wanted to act like I had no input, and that my Dad himself didn't have much either. Like it would be out of line for me to have an opinion on what *I* wanted to do for *my Dad* on FATHER'S Day... I guess this was because she thought of him more like a Daddy figure than a partner... But I digress...

I can see where there is a definite difference between the role of the wife in intact vs. stepfamilies. I guess, simply put, it's because in intact families the wife is the mother of all the children. Don't get me wrong: I think it's totally nice that a 2nd wife would want to honor her husband on Father's Day... it just shouldn't be overly dominant and precluding of what his actual kids want to do for their father.

In your case, the situation is reversed. It is still a nice thing for you to do all that on Father's Day. But only if you yourself really feel liek doing it. If you feel you HAVE to because no one else will, that's not fair to you. You certainly shouldn't have to bear the SOLE burden of doing EVERYTHING for Father's day, because you're right: it's not like it's "Husband's Day".

I think this is good advice: "If I were you, I would call one (all?) of them up and say "what are your plans for Father's Day? Please arrange something and let us know so we can put it on our calendar." That way you are putting the ball in THEIR court." And it doesn't have to have any edge to it, it can just be a nice neutral request. that shoudl get them thinking that it's time they stepped up to the plate and not just expect you to do everything. But here's the thing: make sure you really do let them handle it, and refrain from criticizing what they do or mumble anything about what they didn't do right or how you could have done it better. If you did that, you'd be essentially acting like my SM did. But from the sound of it, I don't think you'll be like that because it sounds like you'll enjoy the well-deserved break!


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RE: clarification

I just re-read this part I wrote before in a hurry: "I can see where there is a definite difference between the role of the wife in intact vs. stepfamilies. I guess, simply put, it's because in intact families the wife is the mother of all the children."

Just want to clarify that I mean the role of the wife ***specifically in regards to Father's Day*** and how that holiday is handled... And also that this difference I point out (where in intact families the wife is the mother of all the children) starts to blur when the 2nd wife has kids with the same man who is father to her step-kids.... because in that case, even though SHE isn't mother to all the kids, HE is the father to all of them... Or at least ONE of hers... Am I making sense? lol, now even I'm a bit confused...

I guess the crux of what I'm getting at is it's a day specifically to honor FATHERhood, so it makes more sense for a wife to be heavily involved in planning Father's Day celebrations if she ---like his kids--- has a direct connection to him in that capacity of him being a father. Like because he is the father of her kids, she wants to honor what a good father he is to them, since they are also part of her. Again, not that there is anything wrong with her honoring him as a good father regardless, but it gets wierder if she has a dominant or "leading role" if she doesn't have kids with him.

It would be no different than, say, a child planning a big to-do for her parents on Valentine's Day and even buying all the cards and gifts and everything. On the one hand, it's very sweet to a point (and if it was like a one-time or once-in-a-blue-moon thing), but it would of course have to be okay with both the "valentines", the romantic partners for whom the holiday exists. If either of them have a different idea of what they want to do to honor that romantic "valentine" relationship, it would be wierd if the child pushed his/her own ideas. This comparison starts to get really apt when you consider it in light of stepfamilies. You can see where if a stepdaughter made all the plans for what the Dad and SM were going to do on Valentine's Day, it would most likely NOT be a good scene. It would mean either that the Dad is totally slack, or the SM is totally slack, or the stepdaughter is overstepping a certain boundary by taking too much presumptive action on a holiday for a relationship in which she is not a direct participant. Technically speaking, the stepdaughter could claim a more valid role in this by saying that she wants to honor the romantic relationship that "forms the basis of the family" of which she is part. She could say that whether it was an intact family of both her bio-parents or a stepfamily where one of them is not her bio-parent. But admit it: it would just be kinda wierd if she pushed it too much, as well as people wondering what is wrong with the parents that they weren't capable of doing for each other on Valentine's Day because it isn't "Parent's Day".

No different with the OP situation: it's primarily the duty of the kids to honor their FATHER on FATHER'S DAY, and if the wife is doing all of it, it's a bad sign because it means either that the kids are slacking or the wife is dominating it too much or both.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

The oldest child age 29, soon will get his Phd in genetics, but he is very scatter brained (believe it or not). This is the experience that I had 2 Christmases ago with him:

He phoned me 6 months prior to Christmas asking for gift ideas for his Dad. I told him that we knew that they all were in college/graduate school and we didn't expect much in the way of gifts from them. (By the way, my husband paid for college in full for his kids). I told him that I was going to save up and buy a custom made cover for DH's airplane, and that the one I was looking at was approximately $600. I could afford this. Well, he told me that the airplane cover would be a perfect gift to get for their Dad, and that HE PERSONALLY WOULD ORGANIZE A JOINT EFFORT FOR ALL OF HIS SIBLINGS/STEP SIBLINGS OR GO IN TOGETHER ON THIS GIFT. He said, "That's perfect, each kid can go in $100, and between the 6 of us, we can buy it". I told him that my 3 children do not usually spend $100, on their stepdad. I gently told him that they have 2 Dads to buy for, and that they try to be fair, but they usually spend around $20 apiece on their stepDad. (These are kids who usually spend nothing or next to nothing on me. How is it that he thought it would be OK to ask my kids for $100 apiece for his Dad? And not to mention 2 of my kids were in high school at the time with minimal spending money). I told him that this was far too expensive of a gift, and that their Dad would NEVER except anything that expensive from them. I did say that their Dad would however appreciate it if the 3 of them could get together and wash & wax his airplane though. This would cost them nothing but 2 hours of their time.

Well, the oldest child said he would organize it, so I let him. Months went by and I heard nothing about the airplane cover. But not wanting to interfere, I let the oldest child take ownership of the project that he said he would do.

I received a phone call on December 23 from the oldest stepchild. The purpose of the call was to ask me if I had collected the money from the others and if I had ordered the airplane cover?!?! (I knew that he would drop the ball, so I went to Plan B. I made other arrangements for a gift for my husband from me. My children made arrangements for their own gifts too. They were never contacted by my husband's oldest child, my kids never heard anything about the airplane cover. I knew that nothing was being done about it, because I knew that he didn't have the measurements of the airplane, and couldn't have a cover custom made.)

It turned out that the oldest stepchild was miffed at me for what he thought was me dropping the ball. I reminded him of his commitment to take ownership of that gift project 6 months earlier, and he somehow had forgotten. He said he remembered talking about it, but he thought that I was going to buy it, and I was going to contact all of the children, stepchildren, my husband's brother & sisters, and my husband's father.

Here it was Dec 23 in the evening. The stores were closed, and he had nothing for a Christmas gift for Dad because his stepMother dropped the ball. Anyway, that is how he say it. His sisters saw it the same way. The fact that their brother dropped the ball, was swept under the rug.

My husband still doesn't have an airplane cover. He decided to start renting a hangar for his plane, which is better. He also never did get any of his kids to offer to help him wash & wax his plane. Alot of talk, but no action.

Last year for Father's Day, I decided to organize a group gift for him. We needed a new grill badly, our old one was falling apart. I shopped at Menard's and bought a grill, a nice one that I spent $369 for. Most of the other grills that my husband had owned cost about $99. I wanted to get something really nice for him. I sent out an email informing all 6 kids/stepkids that I had bought a grill for Father's Day for their Dad/stepDad. I told them the price that I paid, and stated that I had already had it delivered as it came in 2 large boxes. I said that if anyone wanted to contribute money towards a gift that they could give the money to me, but that they were in no way obligated to contribute towards the gift that I had already picked out. I wanted them to feel like they could get him something else if they wanted to, that they didn't have to go along with what I had already done. I also said that I would have a card that those who contributed to could sign. From 5 of the kids I received money, and a hearty, "Thanks, we never know what to get him. That really helped alot." From his middle child, she was angry, and told me that the grill should be from all of the kids and not from me. And that no one should have to pay anything, "It shouldn't be about the money. The grill should just be from the kids, with their names on the card, and they shouldn't have to pay anything." Another words, apparently she thought that I should pick gift out, pay for it, pay for delivery, notify the kids that a Father's Day gift has already purchased and that all they had to do was sign the card when they showed up on Father's Day. This daughter is very tight with her money, and she was angry that her name wouldn't go on the card without contributing something toward the gift. I never set an amount on what each one was supposed to contribute. Some gave $20, and some gave $50, I didn't let any of them know what the others had given.

That Father's Day was a horrible experience for me. I vowed that I would never again make any arrangement with my husband's children to plan a group gift.

It inappropriate for me to phone any of his kids and ask them what they are going to do for their Dad for Father's Day. That is being presumptous! I cannot presume that they are going to do anything for him. And to tell them that I would like to put it on my calendar would make them feel pressured by me. They would still see it that I was letting their Dad down. That wouldn't help them get the picture that it is their responsibility to do something. I think that they would feel that I was putting my nose where it didn't belong. They would realize that their gravy train was running out (I wasn't planning everything and letting them reap the benifits) and they would not be happy about it. Then no matter what happened, somehow it would be my fault if it was not good. I just want them to take complete ownership and leave me out of it.

When my Dad was alive, we invited him to our home for a homecooked meal of his choosing. He had to travel 200 miles to see us. I made his favorite meal, his favorite dessert, and I always presented him with a gift. On some years we would travel to his home, but he would NEVER pay the tab at a restaraunt on Father's Day, NEVER!


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I see your point that you shouldn't HAVE to call the adult SK's up and remind them about Father's Day... But you shouldn't have to do all the work yourself, either...

If you're really concerned about if it's going to come off as offensive to them if you make that phone call, that's where the nice neutral tone and lack of hard edge would come in. Because the way I see it is if you feel like you're "damned if you do, damned if you don't" anyway, then at this point it becomes a choice of which option has the LESSER chance of causing a blowup or bad blood. In my opinion, if you DON'T call them and then you turn around and DON'T do anything for Father's Day, they have more reason to feel that this was a passive-aggressive set-up on your part when a more straightforward conversation about how you really feel and what to do to solve the problem would have been more fruitful for all. NOT LEAST of which would be for your husband's sake, who if he gets zilcho on Fathers Day from anyone is going to be hurt. No, they shouldn't EXPECT that you will do everything, but the sad reality is that they *do* expect it, and I think they know that you know they expect it. The way to impart to them that they shouldn't expect it is to just be honest with him and give them enough notice so that they really can plan something. then if they don't, they really have no one but themselves to blame.

As long as you don't cop too much of an attitude when you make the phone call, I actually think that they'll appreciate it. Maybe not now, but at some point they will and they may even thank you for it if you handle it right. As in they'll appreciate that you gave them the chance to save face and do the right thing by their Dad without too much guilt or friction over the whole thing. So again, I think straightforward honesty is best: "Listen, I'm not wanting to judge or condemn you for it and I know you all get busy and maybe by now you're used to me making most of the arrangements for Father's Day. But I gotta be honest and share with you that I'm feeling a little put upon by it. I know it isn't YOUR fault what *I* choose to do for him, but what I'm saying is I just think it's best for you all to not plan on me having made all the arrangements every time. If you guys want to do something for him, especially if you want to take the lead, that's great, and I will certainly help some if you need it. I just don't want to always be doing all the work, and I think that's only fair. So I'm stepping back this year and passing the torch to you..."


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

My husband did not contact any of my children to remind them to plan something for Mother's Day. I don't think that is his role. If nothing would have been done for me by my kids, why would I feel as though my husband had let me down. I would be hurt by my kids, and them alone. It would not be a bad reflection on my husband in any way. My husband planning something that is supposed to be from the kids would be fake.

Someone wrote about Valentine's Day. I had to laugh about that. My husband's oldest daughter phoned him on Valentine's Day 3 years ago, at 7pm. She is the daughter who admitted to being mean to me to try to break us up. Unknown to her, her Dad had bought a diamond engagement ring for me, and asked me to marry him on Valentine's Day 3 years ago. We had a romantic dinner in Chicago, alone, and then went back to his apartment when his daughter phoned. It was a most unwelcome call. She has no significant other in her life, and is resentful that he does. It didn't occur to her that Valentine's Day is a romantic holiday for couples. Three of our 6 children are married, and we are careful to never phone any of them on Valentine's Day. We hope they are off doing something romantic with each other that we don't want to interrupt.

Without any reminders all three of my kids came through for me. I even heard from my son with the Marines somewhere in the Gulf of Aden fighting pirates. The Navy has shut down all communications for them, but they let them phone their Mothers for Mother's Day! His wife came over and spent the evening with us and brought me a lovely gift, so did my daughter, and my other son. Had one of them forgotten about Mother's Day, I would have just thought that they forgot. My youngest son did not get me a birthday gift this year, he totally forgot. When he remembered, he said he was broke, and he offered to clean my car inside & out for me, which was great! My husband has nothing to do with whether or not my birthday or Mother's Day goes well (as far as what my kids do for me).

On the other hand, he could encourage his own children to recognize me on my special days. But he chooses not to. He feels that they are adults, and it would be best not to force things, let them recognize people for special days when they feel that they should.

It was suggested that I phone my husband's kids to see what they are planning for Father's Day. I am not in the habit of phoning them, and it would be totally out of character, and forced. I spent the first three years of our marriage trying too hard to be a good stepMother, etc. The more I try, the more they take. So about 6 months ago I stopped communicating with them. I told my husband that I was making a conscious choice to do this. I do, and will continue to be kind, courteous, and respectful of them. I will answer any communications from them. I however, will not initiate any communications to them. Prior to this decision, I phoned or emailed about every 2 weeks. But the relationship seemed very one sided. I wondered what would happen if I stopped phoning and emailing. And sure enough, I haven't heard from them in months. I'm OK totally with a cordial, distant relationship with my husband's kids. I didn't raise them, and they didn't choose me in their lives. So we are cordial, but distant. I'm not at all comfortable with phoning them to see what they are planning on doing for their Dad for Father's Day, or phoning them for anything else for that matter. I don't feel close enough to them for that.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I agree that if you have cut off communication with them, then it would be weird for you to make the call asking them about Father's Day plans in that casual, acting-like-everything's-normal way. You could still call and initiate a more directly honest conversation about how *you're* not planning anything because you're feeling like it's only fair that they step up to the plate... But you know your relationship with them best, and if you think that wouldn't go well either then maybe it is best for you to just stay out of it. It is certainly true that it's not your *responsibility* to remind them or make sure they're planning something.

As for the Valentine's day thing, ahhhh... so much is a matter of differing perceptions, expectations and lifestyles of the specific individuals involved. For every parent or step-parent who feels as you do about being contacted on Valentine's Day, there are parents and step-parents who would feel anything from minor disappointment to abject personal insult that they WEREN'T contacted on Valentine's Day by the kids... like the kids are insulting their marriage by refusing to acknowledge their love on the hallowed day. All depends on the specific people, and sometimes none of us can ever win for losing... Some occasions are just total minefields for misunderstandings, misplaced expectations and hurt feelings all around. (I sometimes wonder if some of these holidays are just cruel jokes on us all...)


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Bart's Paradox

I can certainly relate to "Bart's Paradox" - "You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't" - Bart Simpson.

I must say my wonderful wife always says "Happy Father's Day" to me (I forgot to wish her a happy mother's day this year, oops) especially because she knows my youngest won't have anything to do with me, and the eldest is somewhat unreliable, but improving. I think she'd like to give them a little kick in the pants because she knows how much pain I feel about them.

My stepson and I get along more or less ok, eventually I had to speak up when he was living here because he didn't treat his mother with much respect - he speaks more nicely to her now, he used to be very sarcastic - but would not stick to his end of the bargain regarding housework, rent etc (the rent thing we more or less forgave when he became a student again) and I've tried to be helpful - he's funny, he would rather let something fall off his car than let me fix it, he does prefer to go to his grandfather for stuff like that, but even with him, he told me his grandson's going to blow an engine before he learns his lesson. He doesn't have 'time' to check his oil.

He paid around $1000 for snow tires for his Volvo (older second hand, good car) and hasn't gotten round to taking them off yet, and it's May. They are very high quality and very soft, we've all told him they'll be ruined if he doesn't do something. I know he's broke and we've talked about changing them over for him as an early birthday present...but he's stubborn.

He's pretty good about Mother's day and birthday although much of the time he gets her nothing, but will use his credit card to buy two identical laminated posters of Paul Newman - so I shake my head.

It's very difficult being a stepdad when you don't think ss is doing the right thing. Mind you, my own kids aren't so much either. I think if my now-wife and I had raised our kids together, they would have turned out better. Unfortunately you can't go back, so here we all are treading on eggshells.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Anyone else out there with other ideas?


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I have much the same circumstance...my DH has 3 adult children. During the 12 years DH & I have been married, I have never planned anything jointly with his children around Father's Day. They are grown adults and perfectly capable of buying a gift, sending a card, making a phone call. I usually get him a card and a small gift; sometimes his youngest will come over and we'll cook out on the grill...but that depends on her work schedule. The other 2 live nearly 2000 miles away...so getting together for Fathers Day doesn't really happen.

He is my husband. I admire and respect the experience I have of him in his role as a father. It is only one of the virtues about him that I love and value. I acknowledge him for that. His children need to decide how to honor/recognize him as their dad. I can't do that for them.

I will also note that since his kids have become parents themselves, they do a much better job of acknowledging their dad...nothing like having children of your own to increase your appreciation of the sacrifices your own parents made for you. ;-)

Relax...do what you want to do for your DH...enjoy that...and give his children room to be with their dad however they are going to be with him...their relationships may never be what you would hope for them...but they are their relationships...not your issue. Your relationship with his children may never be what you hope for...you are really dealing with two different disappointments...do your best to keep them separate...it will result in less anguish for you.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

wrychoice1 thank you for your response. Your last paragraph has some good wisdom. It totally should be their relationship with their Dad, and not my issue at all. I wish that they would accept that.

If I do not plan and pay for an event for Father's Day, they will treat me like I am letting their Dad down. I have decided this year that I am not going to plan anything for him that involves his children. If they phone and invite him to something then that is great. I have decided to stop rescuing them.

I grew up in an alcoholic home, and I became the peacemaker/rescue person. I have always sacrificed my own needs/comfort/happiness to try to please others (this is why I stayed 25 years in a horrible marriage). It is a very difficult process for me to try to break these bad habits of mine.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

mom23step23, I like your approach. You're doing something for him, if the kids ask afterwards, you can say "I made him a special dinner" or whatever, and then the ball's in their court.

I don't know why kids and even adults are so passive nowadays. Maybe I'm a little different because I'm a bit older, and have lived in a separate country from my parents for most of my adult life. Contact's a little more planned and formal that way I guess.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I am in the same situation as many of you here when it comes to Father's Day. I have been with my spouse for 20 years and I have always acknowledged him on Father's Day by giving him a card and a small gift. Last year, however, I didn't. I figured he doesn't buy me a card or a gift for Mother's Day, so why should I. He does wish me a Happy Mother's Day but that's it and I guess it's because he knows I've been there for them but since I am not the biological mother, he doesn't see t he point of buying me a card or a gift. Oh well!

Despite this, last year, for a little while, I did think of inviting his three adult children with the two grand-daughters up to the lake for Father's Day weekend. Then, I thought more about it and I decided not to do that because once again, I would be the only one with DH stuck having to feed them all weekend and cleaning up afterwards.I told myself they are adults and they know what is the right thing to do.I told myself I would just wait and see if his three adult children would call and plan something for him. They never did. We're at the lake on Father,s Day and all day DH kept checking if his children were arriving. He would not even leave the premises for fear of missing them if they did come. I felt really, really sorry for him but I was convinced that it was their responsiblity to do something for their father and that it wasn't up to me to do it! In all the years I have been with DH, never has one of his children come over to visit him on Father's day. His youngest daughter will call him to wish him happy Father's day, but the oldest one hasn't always called and his son never does. His daughters usually give him a gift for Father's Day the next time they see him. This usually happens weeks later. Oh well. I think it's very sad but it is what it is and I guess it's going to be the same this year!


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Fleurs, when your stepchildren were growing up, they saw their dad EOW and limited holidays as I recall. That may sound like a lot to you -- but I suspect they saw it differently. I can appreciate that kids do limit vacationing, etc., but thatis what happens with kids.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Fleurs, I don't have all the details, nor do I know the customs or patterns of the way your family does Father's Day...

but on the face of it ---and again, without knowing any more info--- it sounds like a dreadful miscommunication may have happened. Especially if your husband himself was under the impression that they would be coming... Is it normally the situation that the SK's are welcome to come to your lakehouse whenever they wish, or could they have been waiting for an invite?

As with Mom23, I do understand that it's not your job to make Father's Day arrangements for grown SK's, but it just seems to make more sense to have clearer communication on this subject to avoid any future miscommunications and hurt feelings all around. The mum approach can't be helping the tension surrounding the situation, and most importantly to the holiday, Dad himself was anxious and hurt and had a miserable day. I know that on another thread I advocated a SM letting the cleanliness of the house go until her husband got mad about it and realized that SD was not cleaning up after herself. But I see a difference between doing that with a physical mess that has no emotional weight to it and a lot less power to deeply hurt the Dad's feelings personally and this situation. In a way, it's no different than bio-parents or step-parents who allow (or even encourage) their children to be emotionally crushed by the negligence of the adversarial parent, simply to prove to the kid and themselves how bad the adversarial parent is or how much better they themselves are. The point may or may not get taken, and meanwhile you've allowed someone you love to suffer emotional pain when a more direct, solution-oriented approach could have avoided the pain AND solved the problem.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Serenity, to your question :

"Is it normally the situation that the SK's are welcome to come to your lakehouse whenever they wish, or could they have been waiting for an invite?"

The SK'S are welcome to come up to the lake whenever they want. I invite them all the time. All I ask them is to let us know a little bit ahead of time so I can prepare their visit, get the food and the place ready for their visit. In the last few years his two daughters and his grand-children did spend some time up there with DH. At one point, I just stopped going while they were all there cuz I was really tired of having to pick up after them and having to worry about the meals and so forth. It was no holiday for me, believe me. Last time, his daughters were there with DH for a week, they never cleaned before they left. When I came back to the cottage after they had left, I spent an entire beautiful day cleaing up from their visit!

I just think they are old enough today to call a week or two before Father's day to make plans in regards to Father's Day. It is their father after all. They are not kids anymore.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Again, I don't know the particulars of your family's patterns and habits... Just that depending on what those are, there could be room for misunderstandings and miscommunications. Just the fact that your husband was clearly expecting them to come indicates that there was some miscommunication along the way. He either was expecting them to come because they always do otherwise, or because he was otherwise under the specific impression that they would come. If they usually don't do anything for him on father's Day, why was he expecting them to show up?


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The Irony

I find it kind of interesting or perhaps ironic that this thread runs concurrent with the Mother's Day thread. In the Mother's Day thread we have several people stating that SM's are out of line for even thinking that they are worthy of some or any sort of acknowledgment for the motherly things they do for their DH's family; and yet we expect these same peon SM's to run around for their adult SK's, planning Father's Day, buying the gifts and cards. This way the kid shows up, maybe chips in for the gift, signs his/her name to the card and scores points for remembering dad. If there's a BBQ or dinner, the dumb Bazitch SM gets to plan the day, buy the food, cook and play hostess, clean up the mess, but she does nothing nice nor motherly for the family - after all this is something an aunt could do. I suppose if SM doesn't do this and the kids forget and dad gets hurt, it's her fault for changing the rules on the kids and leaving it up to them to step up to the plate. At least that's the way some of the responses read.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I see a difference between deciding for oneself to quit doing something one feels unappreciated for and letting the chips fall where they may vs. actively misleading the honoree in question into thinking something is going to happen which supposedly has no prior precedent. In the former case, the honoree's ensuing hurt can be traced to everybody dropping the ball and can reveal a pattern of "if I [SM] don't plan anything, nothing gets done b/c SK's don't do anything on their own". In the latter case, the honoree's ensuing hurt can be traced to a deception in which his hopes are deliberately and artificially raised so that when they are crushed, the pain is even worse. The first scenario is an attempt to reveal an existing problem, the second scenario is an attempt to create and/or exacerbate a problem.

So, still, my question would be who told Dad the SK's were coming to the lakehouse and artificially inflated his expectations? Did the SK's tell him they were coming and then stand him up? Or did SM say something to him to indicate some sort of firsthand knowledge that they would or might come?

Even though either way I think direct honest communication is superior to game-playing, but I suppose if honest communication has been attempted to no avail, then that first option of letting the chips fall where they may is the necessary next step (but again, only AFTER honest communication about the specific problem has failed). But then the question has to be "what is the goal of the game?" If the goal really is to prevent Dad from being hurt on Father's Day ---if it is really ABOUT DAD--- then an action on anyone's part (SM or SKs) to deceive Dad into expecting something that is not really planned and won't really happen is diametrically opposed to the stated goal.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Serenity, I think there is also history with Fleurs in the times she did not allow her skids to visit over the summer. We've all discussed how child free times can be good -- but there are consequences -- I think the kids likely remember the times when Fleurs nixed what were already limited visits.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

"I think the kids likely remember the times when Fleurs nixed what were already limited visits."

That's true. I think people in general tend to remember bad things over good... it usually has more of an impact on our memories. Kids are no different. But, it's hard to gauge someone else's perception. Who has a responsibility to see their children? A parent. If a step parent or SO discourages contact between a parent/child, yes the SP or SO is out of line, but ultimately.. it is the parent that allows it that is to blame. Does a child blame a SP/SO because they know for a fact that the SP/SO prevented the parent from having more contact or is the SP/SO just a scapegoat because they don't want to take it out on or be angry at the parent, who is really the person responsible for maintaining the relationship?

I say this because in my situation, SD takes it out on me because her mom moved away and doesn't see her much. She's told me she takes it out on me but doesn't really mean it. I know she doesn't want to get angry at her mom and risk her mom not seeing her at all. It's much easier to get angry at me and blame me when her parents don't do what she thinks they should. She writes me letters and makes me cards to tell me she loves me and then... now that her mom has decided to take DH to court for custody (because DCSS is taking her to court for arrears), BM (who won't take the time to come get her own daughter for her weekly visits) took a day off work to come take SD to talk to the mediator. She insisted on being the one to bring SD... surprise! Surprise! SD goes in and tells the mediator how much she hates me and how much I hate her and how horrible it is to live in our house and everything, I mean everything she said about us was negative... so much so, the mediator told DH she couldn't believe everything about our home was negative. So, does SD secretly hate me and is only nice to me and makes me cards/letters saying she loves me because she depends on me to take care of her... or does she only say she hates me because it's what her mom wanted her to say? I guess the only person that knows how SD really feels is SD. She can't tell her mom she likes me (if she does) or her mom will be angry/hurt. I'm not sure she 'truly/honestly' likes me because she might just be saying it because she feels she HAS to. So, I am with the camp that has NO expectations from the kids... if she forgets or doesn't care to honor her dad on Father's Day or his birthday or any other time, that's between her and him. It's not anyone's job to facilitate a relationship between two other people... it's the two other people's job and if they want a relationship, they will have to form it on their own. If grown step kids do not plan a celebration for their dad on Father's day, then I'd tell him "lets go to a movie... or dinner" and not make a big deal about it. It's his relationship with his kids and even if he's a great father, there's nothing you can do about what someone else does or doesn't do... if anything, the father needs to decide if he will tolerate being treated poorly by his kids.

Letting go is liberating. For those that know my situations history knows that BM went to the school behind DH's back to set up a lunch account... to wield her 'power' as BM. Well, DH didn't fight it.. we know that's what she wanted, but instead he said fine, buy her hot lunch. Well, SD came home a couple of days ago and with an attitude, told me that she was 'starving' because she had no money in her lunch account and the school stopped letting kids charge since there's only a couple of weeks left of school. She said it like it was MY fault! So, I offered her the phone to call her mom so she can tell her mom how 'starving' she was because I don't have access to the lunch account to know if she has money in it and I have no way to know she wouldn't get lunch so I could not make a lunch for her. As soon as I said that, her attitude changed and she didn't want to call her mom to complain about 'starving'. It felt kinda good to finally be able to say... it's not my problem... and that's my point, if kids don't call dad on Father's Day.. it's not my problem. If I want to honor him because he's a great guy/dad and get him a card from me.. not his kids, then that's what a loving wife does. It surprises me for someone to say "he's not MY father or the father of my kids, so I don't do anything for him.." but then complain that his kids don't either or that they expect her to plan it all. Don't do it for them, do it for you and don't have any expectations because that only leads to disappointment.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I'm done with this Board because of one ignorant person! KKNY!

I've had with her bringing up stuff about me and my step children that are totally false!!!!


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Ima, I think everyone is different. My mom, who is great, and has not had the easist life, remembers the good things. Maybe that is why sh is so happy. But I agree, people have selective memories. It doesnt necesarrily mean they're lying. It could mean they remember what they want. I suspect that your SD has an idealized vision of what a mom should be -- and tries to remember the things that support that vision and forget others.


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fleurs --

From fleuers

Posted by fleurs_gardener (My Page) on Thu, Oct 18, 07 at 16:08

kkny,
The children did live mostly with the ex-wife and we had them EOW, xmas holidays, etc.

For the first 10 years of our relationship, DH and i never had one single holiday together as a couple and alone. We had the children every summer when DH had only two weeks off. It was written in the divorce papers that he had to have the children for 2 weeks each summer and since he only had 2 weeks holidays, we spent them with his children all the time until the 10th year, is said enough is enough. We will have one week with the children and one week by ouselves. Ex-wife agreed and so did DH. The one week that we took off to be with ourselves was ruined because the step son called everyday saying : dad, did you forget us. I had 10 phone calls of him. Dh asked the ex-wife what the problems was. She said she had forgotten to tell their son about the arrangement. Ya right!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, i don't have children of my own and i don't see the reason for this question. I don't believe you have to give birth to a child to love a child, to care for a child or to understand a child.

Keep posting.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Oh Fleur, dont quit this board because of one person.... We all have our opinions here and others have their own perception regardless if the truth is shoved down their throats..lol.
And there is nothing wrong in choosing time to spend with anyone and having private time. I'm a true believer in personal time and space. You cannot have a child whether its your own or someone elses stuck to your hip for absolutely everything! I take time off from my own husband and family and no one will ever make me feel guilty for that!
And fleur if you chose not to see a specific person....lets say your sk...its yoru right. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Soem people on this board tend to think Stepkids should be treated with red carpets and special treatment above others. WTF?? They're human as anyone and will be treated as such.
As for father day, i think the best approach like everyone here is doing is to do something special for yoru SO and if the kids want to do something its in their court. THey are old enough to think and use their brains.
2 years ago my skids did nothign for their dad...i made sure i overcompensated because of that. Last year they got him a gift and acknoweledged him. Why? because they realized what they did was wrong...not because i said somehting. I said nothing. That is their business...but i made sure my dH had the time of his life and they heard about it. And realized its not nice to sh*T on people.
Kids need to learn by example. They need to know what is right and wrong...you cannot force them in the end. Its their choice as well.


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Why kids may not visit

Organic, of course, a SM can cut down on already limited visits by kids. But then to be surprised when they dont visit on Father's Day as adults is strange. Fleurs had plenty of time -- EOW other than vacations to be with Dad. It just wasnt enought for her.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Gerina, thanks for your input. I totally agree with your comments, and they help validate my feelings. I don't think that the goal of Father's Day should be for me to do all that I can to avoid my DH from getting hurt by his kids. That should be their role. My husband is not stupid, if I plan something and invite them to attend, he can see who did the work, etc. His "take away" from the day will be that his wife planned something nice in his honor. I can do that any day, and I often do plan nice things for him.

There are only 3 people on this planet who can call him Dad, and those 3 adults are the ones who can plan a meaningful event for Father's Day. If I plan something, he will see it as me trying to rescue his kids once again, (that won't honor him). The only way that his kids can honor him, is for them to actually do something for him. Letting their Dad's wife plan something, and then show up and sign their name to a card, and let Dad's wife plan food, pay for food, and wait on them, is not honoring to Dad.

Unless a lightning bolt strikes, and I get some revelation, my plans for Father's Day are to take my DH out to eat alone. My oldest son is on deployment with the Marines overseas, my daughter has already gotten my DH a Father's Day gift, and she will probably give it to him early (she will be visiting next weekend), and my youngest son will be in Germany on Father's Day. That leaves his 3 kids open for planning something. I have NO intention to phone them to remind them, or to ask them to help me plan somehthing for him. They are COMPLETELY on their own. I sincerely hope they come through, but it has to be from them, not me.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

"Organic, of course, a SM can cut down on already limited visits by kids."

oh stop with such BS comments kkny against SM's. WE do not cut time off, if hubby dear wants to see his kids, he's got a mouth , hands, a brain and he's an adult and can say to his new wife ' you have me all the other times, their time is limited and i wont want to shave that time off , you;ll have to accomadate during those slotted times'
Get real! Its not SM who cut the time off of skids, ITS THE PARENT WHO DECIDES THAT IN THE END. regardless of how much prodding and pushing some sm do.
There are sm out there who are selfish and are rotten. But from what i've seen in this forum are caring woman who want to blend and make things work. Only to be spat on by the skids due to BM brainwashing and Bm accusing sm as being the other woman!
I've seen good family units , but very few and far between when you have one parent or both not willing to work together.
Now you say fleur would cut timeoff of eow???? where? if she encouraged her kids to keep in touch with an ex she has no desire to see why would she not let sk see her hubby? No sense!
What she is stating , is that they do not respect dad and do not do anything for him on father's day...i'm sure there is alot of history behind it and i'm sure BM is not innocent in that respect.
I myself made sure i'ld work eow for the most part of the day to give more time for my hubby with his kids......later on the kids demanding why i wasn't spending time with them ..so i changed my schedual. My skids do not hate me...we've had bumps in the road but i would never do things to keep my dh away from his kids. In fact i encourage it. Unfortunately in my case, my dh stays his distance because of his ex....is it right..no...but the kids understand and they even phone when they are out of reach of their moms ears or person... so it says alot eh?


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I guess I'm confused Organic, you say SM may prod and push, but decision is Dads, but then you also say parents should make decisions as a team, and spouse comes before kids.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I find it ironic because if I encourage more time with SD... like wanting to keep her more time, BM accuses me of trying to take her away like I am 'stealing' her daughter from her. But, if BM wants SD to be with us on her time because she had plans and DH said he can't because we had plans too, now he is the worse father and it's all because of me... he'd rather spend time with me than his daughter. (and that only happened ONE time when we had plans to go on a cruise that he said no to taking his daughter) It's a no win situation with some BM's.

Parents SHOULD make the decision as a team... but if a SM is prodding & pushing to cut down time with kids and dad does not stand up for his kids, it's HIS fault. It's HIS fault for being with someone that would prod and push to interfere with his time with his kids. When a parent gets married, they have to consider how the new partner feels about and treats their existing children. There are bound to be problems or issues from time to time in step families, but the deciding factor should be the step parent's willingness or unwillingness to deal with their step children. It should be discussed BEFORE marriage happens.


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mom23step23

mom23step23 your SKs are my least favorite on this forum. I would not do anything for the father's day as it is their job, they are adults and need no reminders. especially since they are rather nasty individuals in my perception. I would maybe do something from me such as buy a gift or take him out but i would not call the kids and organize outings. not your job.

as about calling on Valentine's day LOL my SO has a cousin, single female, who consisentely calls him on Valentine Day in the evening. this year she called around 7PM as we were driving to a restaurant for a romantic evening. when he told her that we are on our way to a restaurant, she continued talking and talked the entire hour as we drove (we wanted a special place). He feels bad for her as she has been single her entire life, not even dating, so he feels obligated at least keep with her on the phone on Valentine day. Bizzare. when i didn't date anyone i didn't call my married cousin on a Valentine day and kept her on the phone for an hour. LOL


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I call my mom and send her a card on Valentines Day as it was her mothers Bday.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I think that having only two weeks summer vacation with dad and having to cut it on one week because of SM was a very very wrong decision and selfish on dad's and SM's part.

I understand wiht 50/50 arrangement it could be OK but
wiht EOW arrangement two weeks in summer is not much at all, in fact it is rather short. kids lived wiht mom but dad thought two weeks is too long? why was it OK for mom to have kids full time but not OK for dad to see them for two weeks? he already saw very little fo them yet SM thought it was too much?

under these circumstances it is possible children still remember it, want very limited contact with their father and SM. it explains their attitude toward father's day. If it is SM's right to cut down children's visits then it is certainly within their rights do nothing for their father.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

"I think that having only two weeks summer vacation with dad and having to cut it on one week because of SM was a very very wrong decision and selfish on dad's and SM's part."

I am SO sick of kkny throwing it up at fleurs... and all the hoopla that is created from it~ GET OVER IT! (and yes, I know FD wrote the quote above but it was kkny that keeps bringing this up) The reason I quote FD is because she (FD) may think it's selfish or wrong... but the only opinion that matters is the kids. My parents divorced and I lived with my mom. I didn't go to dad's every other weekend... no weeks during summer... there was NO set schedule. My dad's policy was 'come see me when you want, call me & I'll send you a ticket.' and I did. I would ride the bus/train or he'd come get me and I did not hate him for not seeing me two weeks in summer. My relationship with my dad was what it was. FD's DD has a father that saw her on a non traditional arrangement too... so I don't get why it would be wrong and selfish unless she's going to say it was wrong and selfish of her ex to not take her DD two weeks every summer.

It's only wrong and selfish if the child feels that way... otherwise, who are we to judge?


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

We dont know if the kids resented it or not. People can have non-standard visition, but when SM nags to get it reduced, she shouldnt be surprised when the kids dont do anyting for Fathers DAy.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

imamommy when DD and X lived closer to each other their arrangement was very typical and not unusual, DD was wiht me during the week and on the weekends with dad, and in summer two weeks wiht me and two weeks wiht him and then again same pattern until time back to school.

when DD lived geographically further from her dad she lived with him the entire summer, as soon as summer break started until it was time to go to school. X wanted her around any time he could get. Whenever she was out of school. if one doesn't see their children every day wouldn't they want to be with them every time they could get? summer or winter doesn't matter.

two weeks in summer is nothing, and limiting it to one week...why wouldn't parents want to be with their children the most they can get? it is beyond me. and yes if all of a sudden X decided two weeks is too long (he would consider two weeks is too short) I would be shocked and considered it selfish and wouldn't know how to bring it to DD. He would have to say it to her hismelf. I am shocked Fleur's DH wanted BM to bring it to the children. It was his job to tell the kids they aren't welcome for 2 weeks anymore.

the fact that fleur's DH was willing to limit his time says a lot about him. and possibly that's why kids ignore him on father's day. it wasn't very fatherly of him when they were minors. let's face it, i doubt your DH would limit SD's time wiht him to one week to please you.

as an adult DD is very close to her father, fleur's SKs are not, it says a lot.


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iamommy

of course child feels this way. fleur's SKs called and asked dad why isn't he getting them. he called every day and fleurs didn't like it. isn't it normal to get a daily phone call from a child who clearly misses his dad? daily phone call bothered her? from a minor child? it was dad's job to tell them, he didn't. guess he knew he will hurt them by saying not to come over.

yes it is about the kids. maybe you didn't miss to see your dad more often, or going on vacation with him or live with him but others do miss their fathers/mothers. I understand fleur has no children and might not understand but I am surprised you have such a take on this.

frankly I don't care what fleurs did, i just sense that kdis do not have much attachement to their father and SM so why is she surprised they don't call on father's day or that she didn't get a corsage on children's wedding? this story is a typical case of a man choosing a woman over his minor children. But actions have consequences.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Ima, many times here when a SM complains about the stepchildren we dont know much about the history. Fleurs complains about the stepchildren being selfish and not celebrating fathers day, and we DO know the history. It is relevant. And it is not pretty.

Why is it that some people only critize stepchildren or mothers for being selfish and not understanding there are consequences to actions?


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

DH and I went shopping last week to get some stuff for the house, and I just made some mental notes of anything he commented on, touched,etc. I'm going to get him a '#1 Dad' tshirt/hat combo from the kids, and a clock that looks like a car brake for his office.

Plus breakfast in bed and a day off to do whatever he wants.

Here is a link that might be useful: father's day gift ideas


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KKNY: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

kkny,

I have called both of my skids, SS29 and SD35 about Father's Day next week. Also, e-mailed and text messaged. I've asked them what they have in mind. Didn't hear back from them. Usually, I'm telling them my ideas, a barbecue, restaurant, something I'm putting togeter. Not this year. I've decided to only make sure my DS6 and I provide small gifts and cards. Since DHs other kids are adults, they can handle this ONCE A YEAR holiday.

I had to call SD35 AGAIN this morning to ask if she had "any thoughts" about Father's Day next week. She said she had to think about it and let me know. I told her that whatever she plans will be fine. She was silent for a minute because she is used to me picking up their slack. Not this year.

You talk about the "consequences" stepmoms have to face. Father's Day is for THE FATHERS. These people are punishing their fathers for divorcing their mothers. Period. Like most Stepmoms, I want harmony and a blended family Like many stepmoms, my stepkids have different ideas. They accept the work, investment, resources and energy from me but put out very little because they think someone owes them something. Well, maybe someone does but it's not me.

This year, if DH's adult kids don't come through, well, my DS6 will give him a card and a gift and DH will have a chance to see his other children a little more clearly. Without me, or stepmoms in general, doing the work these skids and their mothers need to do themselves.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Lamom, I complained about a specific SM, fleuers, who demanded that her dh husband reduce the already very limited time his children could spend with them. If you had read the history you would see this. But in any event, when a family breaksdown, there are consdequences.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

KKNY - YOU MAKE ME SICK!


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Fleurs, I think I remember the post, you just changed a week vacation, no big deal in the scheme of things..I believe sks can showered with time , attention, money and it isnt going to do dear old dad a bit of good if mom is going to harp on what a b***8rd he is, and what they are NOT getting..Never enough....


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

In her own words, she took away a week, this from a SM married to a dad who had the kids eow and two weeks in the summer. You really can not expect kids to bond when dad doesnt have much contact. What makes you assume mom complained -- seems to me that kids can draw their own conclusions.


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Father's Day?

I was referring to my MOM situation, not Fleurs..Kids bond to dad ,lets say if he chooses to join the military and by his choice has to be deployed for 12 or 18 months...A week is not going to stop kids from bonding with dad, by any means....


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SMs demanding visitation be decreasedd

If dad is deployed, his absence from his family is unavoidable. Children understand intent and reasons. If you think a SM wining and demanding to cut out a substantial part of visitation is "no big deal" I have to disagree with you -- and unless one is part of the everything a SM does is right, can not understand.


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appropriate

Children understand intent and reasons..Well, for arguements sake, cannot they not understand after say age 12 or so, Dad is working so hard to pay for your education and toys, he needs a week adult time vacation with his wife?


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Dotz -- he and his wife get EOW the rest of the year alone. That is way more than most married couples get alone. Plenty of time for adults to be alone. Unless the calendar works awful funny, there are a few 3 day weekends in there too.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

SD is 10. Just the other day, SD was defending her mom's right to go out with BF during the weekends mom has with SD (during the school year).

Specifically, BM promised to spend the weekend of her 9th birthday doing something for her, but instead went out with her BF. At the time, SD came home bawling her eyes out over it but now she's okay with it, saying mom needs time to go hang out with adults... I guess kids do make up their own minds, don't they? (guess SD hasn't figured out that BM is kid free 5 days a week during the school year)


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Ima, I have never defended this behaivor on the part of your skids mom, but if no one but me criticizes when a SM freezes the kids out -- it seems hypocritical.

I think we all know your SD is making excuses, and fantasizes re the perfect family. And I do feel sorry for her. But that doesnt make what her mom or anyone else does right.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

My point is that nobody knows for sure that fleurs stepkids were even bothered by missing a week with dad. IF mom makes a big deal about it and makes kids feel they are losing out or missing out on something, they will probably feel slighted.

When a small child falls down, they might start to cry. If the parent casually picks them up and goes about their business, not making a big deal about it, the kid forgets they fell down... unless they really hurt themselves of course. But, if a parent picks up the child and makes a big deal over the little bump, they are actually ENCOURAGING the child to fuss over something they might forget in a minute. It's all about perception and the way people are taught to look at the world. Optimistically or pessimistically?

I only saw my dad a few times a year after the divorce, I think Finedreams' DD only saw her father under non traditional schedule, kkny's DD sees her dad less than EOW, but I think it's still possible to have a good relationship between a parent & child if they are allowed to define their own relationship and not under the expectations of the other parent. For years, I had a strained relationship with my dad because my mom was constantly telling me how horrible he was, how he wouldn't pay for anything, how he left us... (and come to find out he supported her and us... she didn't work but as a kid, I never thought about THAT. Dad paid for EVERYTHING. and yes, he left but he left because she had a boyfriend and she took my dad's paycheck to loan to her loser boyfriend... she never told me 'bout THAT!)

SD fantasizes about what she wants her life with her mom to be like because her mom has made promises and disappointed her repeatedly. If her mom had not made promises and broken them, SD may not feel the way she does, unless DH or I made her feel her mom doesn't spend enough time with her. DH and I have tried very hard to never make her feel we think her mom is not spending enough time with her, but we do get frustrated when SD gets let down and cries to us. So, we may be guilty if she can feel when we are frustrated with what BM is doing. In some situations, it's easy to see how no matter how hard you try to keep things under wraps, kids are going to be affected and sense their parents feelings.

As to freezing kids out? I wonder why SD and her sister are staying with grandma over summer, 2 hours from BM's home. BM is working 25 hours a week and she works a couple of blocks from her house (walking distance) and SD is 10, her sister is 13 & going into high school so it would not be outrageous for them to stay home alone two blocks away from BM's work during the day. BM's BF also has retired parents that live in town and could watch the girls, unless there is a reason they won't. Could it be BF doesn't want BM's kids all summer? Is HE freezing her kids out? Maybe, but it's really BM that is allowing her kids to spend the summer with grandma and therefore it is BM that is 'freezing her kids out' and she is to blame, even if her BF said he doesn't want the kids there. She could easily say, those are my kid and they are going to come stay with me for summer... period. It may also be BM's choice but either way, it's BM's responsibility to her kids. Also, it makes me wonder what BF thinks of BM going after full custody of SD?

But, as long as a parent allows a BF/GF or new spouse to reduce, limit, or eliminate time between them and their child, it is the parent that is freezing their own child out if they side with or go along with someone that is trying to cut off that relationship. They are choosing the BF/GF or spouse over time with their children. (children will naturally be angry with or blame the other person before they blame their parent, who wants to believe a parent doesn't want to see them?)


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Ima, fleurs said that SHE was the one who demanded the visitation be reduced. I am not saying there not a lot of selfish or useless people out there -- but please stop giving SMs a free ride.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

So what? If I demand my husband to rob a bank, HE is the one that goes to prison for it, not me. (unless it can be proven that I am an accomplice of course or participate). He makes a choice to do as I demand or do what he wants. If he wants to do what I demand or if he is so weak that he is 'controlled' by what I tell him, the result is the same! He lives with the consequences of HIS choice because he is a grown person that is capable of making his own decisions.

Nobody gets a free ride. We all make decisions and choices and live with the consequences of those decisions. It's called 'TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY'.


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RE: What do you think

Ima, well thought out analogy with the crying child picked up and fussed over or not..Exactly...BM should not be the arbitrator of child father visits,telling sks he doesnt care about you...My DH has missed visits recuperating from surgeries, trips, etc..SS has missed visits for parties , friends wanting to do things, DH and SS are fine with it...BM has a visitation log that she brings to court to prove what a junk father he is because he missed a weekend here and there..They are FINE...She wants to prove something....Its a little nit picky to say if you miss a week or weekend, its traumatic, or SMs fault...I m not involved in visitation, thats between them....


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Dotz, fleuer's situation, which may or may not be uncommon, is where dad has limited visitation, and SM says too much. But there's a lot of pussyfutting here -- oh well thats the same as dad being deployed, dad being sick. Well wake up -- its not. But you guys just can bring yourselves to say any SM has made bad choices.


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Gee -- wonder why not much on Fathers Day

And in Fleur's situation, she now wonders why the stepkids dont celebrate Fathers Day much -- well wake up and smell the roses --


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for

KKNY, Deployed or sick was used as an example when you said no wonder kids dont bond or call day after missing a week visit...I cant say Fleurs was wrong in this case, because I think a weeks vacation in years was OK...If a SM discouraged her DH from continually missing visits, I would say she was wrong and selfish, OK?


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EOW plus one week

So you think for an EOW and two weeks in the summer dad to cut down to one week is just fine? I dont. Its like dad had the bare minimum to begin with.

Go back and read her posts. After she demanded that dad cut down visits, then she is mad that mom wouldnt break the news to the kids. And the kids kept calling -- and that also is moms fault.

When you guys support even selfish SMs -- you show your true colors.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I agree with KKNY. I know how upset my stepdaughters are when their mom cancels their limited visitation. I'm a little surprised that other full-time custodial stepmoms have not agreed... Actually, I am unable to understand how an EOW stepmom could NOT see how detrimental this particular matter would/could be for a child...


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

LP, thank you. It isn't right when your SDs mom does it, it isnt rigth when others do it. When a bio parent has limited visitation, he or she owes to the kids to use the allotted time. Absence severe illness, miliatry duty, both of which can and should result in the parent trying to get make up time, the bio parent should try to avoide reductions in already limited visitation time. Unfortuantely no one can make a parent do that.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

"When a bio parent has limited visitation, he or she owes to the kids to use the allotted time."

Very true kkny. As a custodial SM, I am in agreement with this. That is why I blame the NCP if the NCP allows a BF or GF or new spouse to talk them into cutting time down. It does not make it the fault of the BF, GF or new spouse that suggests it.. or even demands it... it is still the choice of the bio parent to say "Sure, I will give up half my vacation to make you happy.. anything YOU want!" or "Hell no, those are my kids and I don't get to see them enough as it is. YOU are not going to interfere with that!"

It is the parent's fault if they make a choice that hurts THEIR kids... nobody else. (unless a SM ties up dad and he can't go get his kids)


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

IMO, its still the HUBBY who makes the final choice. Anyone, anyone even his own sister can tell him off and convince him not to pick up his kids. but in the end its his choice. No one elses. So it doesn't matter what a SM or a BM wants. Its the decision of that person.
And let me bring another perspective to this arguement. You all are ticked off when a weekend is missed from an already constricted schedual eh..???? WELL WHAT HAPPENS WHEN BM MAKES PLANS ON DADS' WEEKENDS OR CONVINCES THE KIDS ITS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO GO??? Then WHAT? SHE MAKES DAD LOOK LIKE A PUTZ FOR THE LOST WEEKENDS.
Its happening now with us. Damned if you do take them, and damned if youdont.
Well guess what, i'm keeping a log for the last 2 years now of all the weekends lost with his kids and the reasons behind it. When on misses and why. Whether its a school activities, grandma's bday, cousins bdya party, just not up to it, wants to be with mom that weekend...ALL OF IT!. This way, when bm accuses my dh of it , i will have a record with dates and who showed up and who didn't so she doesn't try any funny business.
and even the kdis have lashed out at my husband saying, oh your msising alot of weekends. He said yah, and who';s fault is that? YOURS NOT MINE! you want ot be with your friends, and go party and i call you ever week to know if you are coming...so dont play the tag game on me and try to guilt me. YOU ARE DITCHING ME. Be responsible , accept it and stop blaming others for you actions!
And this is what i would say about this situation. STOP BLAMING SM'S FOR DADS DECISIONS. She has an imput but not the ultimate say.
I think the mentality of blaming sm all the time comes for the same mentality that kids have the final say in these divorce situation and i cannot stress the fact even more that kids have absolutely no say and power lies between the adults. Between mom and dad. And in the end , a SM can b****ch all she wants, if dad says otherwise, its otherwise.
And to add, if dad wants to skip one weekend, its also his right. He can make arrangments to picck them up another time for longer.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

I agree Dad shouldnt do , nor should a CP not try to accomodate visits -- but at least now your conceeding that some SMs mgiht be a "b***ch"


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Ima I think your SD knows that it is wrong of mom to go out wiht BF alone on the weekends when she supposed to be with SD, she knows and is upset about it. She says it otherwise to make herself feel better, to make her BM look better etc

And we see the consequences of all this stress, she lies all the time and overall is unhappy child.

It doesn't matter what fleur's kids said or did, what is important is what they felt. Although we cannot say for sure what they felt then, it is pretty easy to see how it effected them, we can judge by their adult behavior towards their father and SM. I don't know why fleurs and her DH are surprised SKs want very little to do wiht dad and SM. What did they expect?


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

finedreams,

You don't know what you are talking about!

First of all, mytwo step-children who did not spend two weeks with us when they were 8 and 10 years old have never, ever said a single word to their father or I about that incident! Not one single word and they have never, ever complained to their mother about it. Otherwise we would have know about it! It has never, ever affected them!

Secondly, as far as their adult behavior towards their father and I is concerned, there is absolutely nothing wront with it. As a matter of fact, my step-daughter gave me a heart pendant as a necklace for Mother's Day and on it she had engraved the following words : To my Mother in my heart! My other step-daughter called last night and talked to her father on the phone for at least one hour. She called me on Mother's Day to say I love you! My step-son and his father get along great and my step-son is having a tatou done on his leg that will remind him of me!

How do you like them bananas!

You and KKNY don't know what you are talking about. You think you are experts on step-parenting! Why don't you both go away from this board instead of trying to pretend you are experts in the field!


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

Fleurs, YOU said the kid(s) kept calling on the week given up and YOU were annoyed with the calls. I dont make up these things.

From above -- "Despite this, last year, for a little while, I did think of inviting his three adult children with the two grand-daughters up to the lake for Father's Day weekend. Then, I thought more about it and I decided not to do that because once again, I would be the only one with DH stuck having to feed them all weekend and cleaning up afterwards.I told myself they are adults and they know what is the right thing to do.I told myself I would just wait and see if his three adult children would call and plan something for him. They never did. We're at the lake on Father,s Day and all day DH kept checking if his children were arriving. He would not even leave the premises for fear of missing them if they did come. I felt really, really sorry for him but I was convinced that it was their responsiblity to do something for their father and that it wasn't up to me to do it! In all the years I have been with DH, never has one of his children come over to visit him on Father's day. His youngest daughter will call him to wish him happy Father's day, but the oldest one hasn't always called and his son never does"

Some of yoru stepchildren may be great kids -- good for them. To many people here, if the stepchildren are terrible it is on them or the mom. If their great, my god -- it is becuase of the EOW SM. Too funny.


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RE: What do you think is appropriate for Father's Day?

fleurs if people do not speak of something it doesn't mean it doesn't effect them. and actions speak louder than words.

First you said that they do not acknowledge him on the father's day, they NEVER come visit and mistreated you at the wedding etc now all of a sudden everything is great.

"In all the years I have been with DH, never has one of his children come over to visit him on Father's day" We didn't make it up. Your words.


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