Woman Admitting She Doesn't Want To Spend Time With Stepkids Sparks Debate

A woman who has admitted she doesn't particularly want to spend time with her stepchildren has ignited a fierce debate online.

The mom took to Mumsnet to vent, explaining she and her husband have two young children, a toddler and a baby, and he has two kids from a previous relationship, aged 12 and 9.

The mom-of-two, posting under username Loco323, claimed she and her husband have fallen out after he requested the two of them spend time with his older children alone.

She wrote: "Basically he was saying we need to spend some time with older DC [dear children] on our own, take them out somewhere or whatever so, in his words, they still feel special to us.

"I get what he's saying about feeling special and he does have 1 on 1 time with them a lot, whenever he wants, I'd never stop him. But from my POV [point of view] I don't know why this needs to involve me."

She explained her parents help out with childcare when they need it, including when she and her husband go out by themselves.

File photo of a family.
File photo of a family having a picnic. A mom has claimed she doesn't want to spend time with her step-children, sparking a debate. H. Armstrong Roberts/Getty Images

Her husband was now suggesting they look after the youngest kids so they can go out with the older children as a foursome.

"I've said no. He's okay to have one on one time whenever he wants but I'm not shipping my children off so I can join. I don't see the need. Apparently I don't show them any focus anymore since having our DC...

"What does he want from me? I'm perfectly nice and get on with both of them really well but I don't think we need loads of one on one time or to make a big fuss about them being special to me.

"They don't live with us 24/7 they have a very involved mum so not like they need that from me. Quite happy to go out as a family but don't see why I need to join these special 1 to 1 trips," she added.

Her situation, posted on Monday, has amassed more than 500 replies, and can be read here, as her view divided opinion.

I'm not shipping my children off so I can join.
Mom

Mewkins thought: "I don't feel you're being unreasonable. The kids probably want to spend time with their dad anyway. If all the kids were a similar age it would be weird to leave the two shared kids out in order to spend time with the older two."

Onlyforcake pointed out: "They are children in your family. Children that age do need a certain amount of input and are still easily hurt by things they might misconstrue as being pushed out. So why wouldn't you? It sounds like he's right."

MichelleScarn commented: "Of course you're not unreasonable, would he expect this to happen forever?! What when the dc don't want to be made to leave their home to facilitate this?"

AllFreeOwls asked: "Why is it your parents you are expected to pick up the slack? Why not his own parents?"

Coffeecupsandfairylights reckoned: "I actually don't see the problem with his suggestion at all—I think it sounds like a good idea."

Gamerchick stated: "Tell him fine but he can sort the childcare out and it won't involve your parents. Job done."

While Hellodarknessmyoldpal added: "I think it sounds like a nice idea. If once a month seems a bit much then maybe just making the effort to do it regularly (ish) is a good compromise."

In the comments, the mom also clarified she works, adding: "Me working also means weekends that I do spend with my DC are precious. I probably meet with friends or go out with DH once a month for some adult only time.

"Doing this on top would mean I either don't do that or I spend two weekends out of 4 without my DC after working all week and relying on my parents to facilitate that."

Website Family Lives shared tips for parents navigating relationships with their stepchildren, saying: "We don't always feel we have enough time for our partners, our own children and ourselves so stepchildren may come some way down the list of priorities.

"It is important to try and prioritise children where you can as unlike partners who are with you for life children grow up and leave.

"Patience, acceptance of the child for who or what they are and spending as much time as possible with them will help as will having realistic expectations."

In the U.K., where the family is thought to be based, the 2011 Census revealed there were 544,000 stepfamilies with dependent children in England and Wales, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS.)

They noted: "The number of stepfamilies with dependent children has fallen by 14 percent from 631,000 in 2001."

According to the figures, around one in 10 dependant children lived in a stepfamily in 2011.