Clothes at the weekend

(80 Posts)
emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 10:52:36

I've just been looking on another thread about clothes and is it right for the mum to have to pack a bag eow (a resounding no and flaming of xDH). We have tried a few different options. I suggested we have clothes hear (we always have toiletries, pants, coats) but thing inevitably go back to mums and with the weather being unpredictable and growing to fast to use them only twice a month it's just not worth it. Dh gets skids Friday straight from school so they come in there uniform and bag of clothes. I try to send uniforms back washed and anything else I can.....just wondering what your set up is

emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 10:54:33

We do also take them clothes shopping from time to time and they obviously want to take new gear home which is fine.

chocoreturns Fri 05-Jul-13 12:17:24

I've just had a really odd situation develop with my xH, where I was sending them without a bag but I asked him to return anything that needed washing. I then realised that he was asking the kids to strip at the door, change into 'his' clothes and strip half an hour before coming back to my house, back into the clothes they arrived in. Very upsetting for the kids and just weird of him to be honest - I can't understand why he would see that as a solution rather than just sending back washing... Sorry I've just realised this is a bit of a waffly response to your question and slightly off topic - apologies for long winded reply!

Anyway, our set up now, is that I've gritted my teeth calmly suggested that if he would like the clothes he has bought kept track of and returned that's no problem. I'll simply label the clothes the kids keep at my house in black permanent pen, and he can label 'his' in red. If a 'red' item turns up at mine, I'll return it, washed at their next visit. They can wear it in the time between visits too, if they want to. He doesn't have to hang onto any of the stuff they come in if he doesn't want to, as I'm happy to have it returned unwashed, on the day.

It's a bloody minefield but I think the important thing is how the kids feel. If they really like something, personally I think it's theirs, not mine or their dads, so they can take it, wear it, use it as they wish. I know that not every NRP is as weird about it as my ex, and not every RP is as ok with washing as me though, so I can't say whether labelling is a simple solution or not. I've yet to see whether xH will actually bother either labelling or returning anything... but the idea of the kids not being allowed to wear their own stuff, just because of washing/who bought it makes me sad.

chocoreturns Fri 05-Jul-13 12:18:05

by *the kids in the last sentence, I mean *our kids btw, not being judgy about anyone elses!

purpleroses Fri 05-Jul-13 12:22:52

My DCs keep some clothes at their dads and most of them at mine and the clothes all kind of cycle around. Clothes don't normally get carried betweeen houses except if we need to even things out because we've ended up with all the school uniform, etc at one house. It pretty much works, though we live pretty near which helps.

My DSC come to us with a suitcase each weekend - and take it back to their mum's full of dirty clothes on a sunday night. It's a bit of a pain if they don't bring the right stuff (coats, outdoor shoes, etc) so I try and keep a few things for them at ours that tend to get forgotton. Also works OK, and means their DM gets all the laundry grin (her choice). I always think it must be a pain for the DSC to be living out a suitcase every weekend, but they seem to be used to it.

However the younger DCs don't come straight from school, so this works. Once they're all at secondary, then they'll come straight to us, so it will be more difficult. Will need to revisit.

Kaluki Fri 05-Jul-13 12:49:48

Oh this is a real bugbear of mine.
My dc go to their Dads with an overnight bag of clothes which come back dirty. They take whatever toys/games they want for the weekend in this bag and it all comes back. Easy.
As for my dsc - ex wife has a rule that NOTHING (and I mean nothing) must travel between houses. We have clothes for them here and she has stuff there. So they arrive in 'Mums' clothes, then wear our stuff all weekend then at 5.30 on Sunday we do the quick strip and change to 'Mums' clothes again. If a sock or pair of pants is muddled up we get abusive texts accusing us of stealing. I have had them in tears worrying that they can't find a sock because "Mummy will get angry"
Its the same with toys everything they have at one house has to be replicated at the other.
Bloody crazy if you ask me!!!

emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 12:55:47

Yes, I didn't think it would be nice for the kids to feel they are "packed off" to ours so tried to keep stuff at ours and have a more home from home feel. Didn't work as stuff goes back. Also tried the coming in one outfit and going in another so it rotates but that didn't work as it limited what we had and the weather might dictate otherwise. The stripping off thing at the door is crazy! shock
I think a packed bag is ok, the kids choose what they bring, I try to send some backed washes so the ex hasn't got a mass of washing on a Sunday night (don't think she would be to fussed though). I only ask as I saw it on another tread from the other point of view and as I said, the xdh's got flamed but I can't really see another solution, well not for us anyway.

emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 12:57:38

Kaluci! That's nuts! Poor kids

emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 12:59:07

Dose that also mean you have to wash "mums" clothes by the time they go back?

VBisme Fri 05-Jul-13 13:05:06

The kids come to us with anything that we purchased which is kept with him (laptops, phones etc) and the clothes they are in (usually school uniform).
We have clothes and toiletries for them here and they go to school from here in the uniform they arrived in (very quick overnight wash if its midweek).

SoupDragon Fri 05-Jul-13 13:06:55

I send my 3 off with a bag. They do have some clothes at their father's house and when these come home I wash them and send them back so that they still have some clothes at their father's house!

In my mind, I am paid child maintenance in order to feed/clothe/house my children. If their father wants to provide extra clothes then that is his choice but I should be responsible for the bulk of it.

emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 13:16:05

That's very reasonable soup. We went through a stage a while back of the kids only really coming with the clothes we had bought. it started to feel like their "uniform for dads house" if you only get the stuff back you buy.

welshfirsttimemummy Fri 05-Jul-13 15:14:30

We have clothes/coats/shoes at our house for my DSD who we have overnight every weekend. I wash any of her mums clothes she brings and send them back with DSD in a bag, and she does the same for us when DSD comes back the next weekend.

Works for us smile

Kaluki Fri 05-Jul-13 16:24:34

No she doesn't like me washing their clothes. I might contaminate them!!
Soup that is how I feel. I am lucky that my ex buys clothes for them over and above the maintenance - he will buy the more expensive 'designer' type stuff.

SoupDragon Fri 05-Jul-13 16:33:39

I hate it when clothes get washed at their father's house - god knows what combination of powder/softener they use but it stinks and takes a good three washes to get rid of the scent! I'm more than happy for stuff to arrive back dirty.

mumandboys123 Fri 05-Jul-13 17:30:19

i find all this incredibly frustrating because you're always wrong, no matter which side of the fence you sit and no matter what you do. I really do think it's a case of suck it and see and work out what works for indivdiual situations.

My ex provides clothes when the children are with him and as we hand over on Saturdays it means I sent in casual clothes and they come back in casual clothes. My general rule is that I send them back in whatever they were sent back in because my ex has no taste whatsoever and I don't like what he puts the children in 'cos it just seems easier that way. I do my up most to hang onto clothes I like/that cost me more than usual as inevitably those are the clothes I never see again. I am not beyond sending children in worn out/ankle-swinging/mildly stained clothes simply because my ex doesn't look at what the children are wearing in comparison with the activity they are doing and stuff gets ruined. It is easier to deal with it this way than it is to get annoyed at yet another decent item being ruined which inevitably gets his back up and we're arguing unnecessarily. I am sure many a conversation is had with the latest girlfriend about how badly they are dressed but as he doesn't pay maintenance, he doesn't have much of a leg to stand on! From my perspective, it is always damage limitation(to the clothes, getting the most out of my money, to my sanity) and as the children are young, they have yet to complain about what they're wearing. I guess things will change as they grow older.

Bonkerz Fri 05-Jul-13 17:37:04

Dsd arrives on a Friday in her school uniform which gets washed and she puts it back on to go home in. She has enough clothes here to last 3 weeks without washing! She has everything she needs here and brings nothing with her. Occasionally she will take something from here home but we make sure it comes back. Dsd has now been coming every weekend and half all holidays since she was 2 and she will be 12 soon! It's just part of her life and what we do!

VBisme Fri 05-Jul-13 17:41:45

Mum&boys, I never thought that the trousers round the ankles thing could be because the kids do tend to be "active" when they are here.

Thanks, that's given me a different perspective, it's all too easy to fall into the "ex is unfair" trap, on both sides.

UC Fri 05-Jul-13 17:53:01

Our kids wear whatever they like between houses. The clothes are theirs. I buy and ex buys, DP buys and his partner buys. Occasionally we have to text to swap things around if they have 4 school sweaters at one house and none at the other. The key though in our situation is that all 5 of us (me, DP, my ex, his DW, and DP's ex) get on ok and we are able to do this without any hassle.

Occasionally either I or my ex will have bought something particular, and if the DCs wear it to his/mine, we'll just say could you please make sure that comes back - and it's usually only because the DCs will want it again before going again.

Also, ours are more 50/50 than EOW, so it has to be a bit more flexible, as they often go in school stuff but come back in ordinary clothes and vice versa.

emilyeggs Fri 05-Jul-13 19:27:26

Yes, I also never thought of the damage limitation side, although we would be a bit more considerate than to use good clothes in the mucky situations.

mumandboys123 Fri 05-Jul-13 20:01:18

not everyone is considerate through, emily, and the other issue is one man's treasure is another man's rubbish and it's hard to know what is/isn't important to the other person. You then magnify that by I couldn't care less what is important to the other person and it's a recipe for disaster! I have long since learned that it's just not worth it - I also find that the less than attractive clothing reappears and the good stuff doesn't...so I'm not buying twice, or three times, or more.... I have learnt from bitter, bitter experience, believe me!

Imanonperson Fri 05-Jul-13 22:51:21

My DSS travels in school uniform or, when handovers happen in holidays, clothes that he grew out of about 3 years ago and usually have holes in. He brings literally nothing with him despite DH paying massively over the odds in maintenance as well as paying for extras. It's really sad but when we used to send him back in nice clothes, that was the last we saw of them. It's just too expensive to buy a new outfit every other weekend, on top of high maintenance costs.

I wonder what DSS will think of this as he gets older...

We have a 50/50 set up, wed after sch -> Fri pm, and then wed pm-> mon to sch.

Dss has 5 sets of uniform, 2 at each house, and a floating set which travels, depending which house he's doing 3 mornings at, if ygwim. Actually, his mum has 4, because she lost the first lot in the black hole of laundry, although bits resurface. She's just chaotic

Each house provides home clothes, and these are returned whenever they come over. She's a bit funny about them, because she buys from new. Here, they're mostly hand downs. Usually she sends him over in old/too small, even mufti days, if he's with us in the am, he'll change here!

Mostly he moves between the 2 in uniform.

theredhen Sat 06-Jul-13 10:10:42

My ds packs a bag and has literally nothing at his dads, not even a toothbrush. I have had issues where my non maintenance paying ex would let ds go and play in mud in brand new trainers and ruin them. shock Personally I think he should provide some basics, a t shirt, some track suit bottoms, underwear and pjs. He never has but on the plus side ds has learnt to be very efficient with bag packing and remembering things and is brilliant compared to my dsc when it comes to holidays. smile

My dsc have everything provided for them, in fact when dsd2 moved in, we had to buy her nothing as she already had a complete wardrobe, bedroom, uniform etc. we have to provide everything and send nothing back apart from what they came in (usually uniform) after being washed.

The cost of providing shoes, coats, sports equipment, swimming costumes, wellies, trainers etc (when they don't get used much) is silly in my opinion, when dp pays maintenance and ex lives a few miles away.

The current issue around clothing is that dsd1 is now 17 and freely takes all clothes "between" homes. In reality this means we provide all her clothes, then they all end up at mums and she then tried to demand dp picks her up from school because its raining and her coat (that we bought) has never been back to ours apart from the day we bought it. Basically we provide all her clothes which then live at mums. Thankfully dp has cottoned onto this and a. Makes her walk home now regardless (its her choice to leave her coat at mums)and b. makes her buy her own clothes from her earnings from a new part time job she has. grin

sandiy Sat 06-Jul-13 21:27:03

I think I was the one that started the last thread.When I started it it was because ex was coming to my house letting himself in to collect the clothes and as it has since turned out having a bloody good nose.Any way since then I've had the keys back and over the last few weeks feel that things have improved.I went to primark and bought loads of cheap and cheerful basics which the kids love so now I just send them with clothes and encourage them to keep them at his house in the hopes that he will realise he needs to buy some more as the seasons change.I can't stand the idea of them being uncomfortable and I feel like I've been the bigger person.I try to pick up a few bits as I can afford to.I get the impression he is a bit pissed off that it's primark stuff but that's his problem.They are dressed and clean It will be interesting over the summer hols though as they are going to mil for a bit and I know she loves showing them off in fancier stuff.I don't intend to send the nicer stuff as invariably it will be trashed and not washed properly.Im waiting to see if I get any help with new school uniform and shoes this September some how I doubt it.

RinseAndRepeat Sun 07-Jul-13 09:52:47

DSD has two whole wardrobes of clothes, one here and one at her mum's.

It's easier. Once a month everyone swaps back whatever's been left at the other parent's house.

JazzTheDog Sun 07-Jul-13 10:01:17

My DS has a full set of clothes here and at his dads house. We just send each others things back (ex buys much more expensive things than I do).

My skids used to have their own sets of clothes here until they started coming in old things they were growing out of and leaving them and taking the stuff that does fit back to their mum. Meaning whenever we had them and were going out to do something/somewhere nice (parties for example) we had to go out and buy more new things. Eventually we sent everything home with them for their mum to sort out and pass down to relatives and they now just bring a bag every time they come. If it's for a weekend it's not washed before going home, if it's for a week, i'll wash it all the night before they go.

Wow, who knew this would be such a minefield!
I'm not a stepmum but I am a stepchild.
FWIW, I took anything I needed in a bag with me from DMs, it's never occurred to me that there would be any other way! I certainly never felt pushed out of DDads family or that he was 'mean' for not buying me stuff while I was there confused TBH, having two sets of things sounds like a colossal waste of money, especially with younger kids who grow out of stuff so quickly.

PrettyPaperweight Sun 07-Jul-13 11:14:00

whispers That speaks volumes about the way in which both your parents dealt with the situation - the fact that it never occurred to you to do things differently is a testament to their ability to co-operate smile

Unfortunately, it's all too common for parents to openly disagree and involve the DCs - Mum demanding that the DCs bring all clothing back with them dirty rather than be laundered by SM, or Dad complaining that mum always sends them in clothing that is too small. Is it any wonder that it becomes an issue for some DCs?

Xalla Sun 07-Jul-13 15:02:08

DSD has a complete wardrobe here and another at her Mums. DH does 50/50 in a week on / week off routine atm Monday - Monday so she arrives and leaves in uniform. We send a set of uniform back with her for her to return to us wearing the following Monday. Mum does the same.

During the holidays Mum will provide a set of clothes for DSD to wear when she goes from Dad to Mum. We provide a set of clothes for DSD to wear when she comes here from Mum.

She's 7 and doesn't have a problem with this system ATM but I can imagine she will when she's older and develops a preference for certain items of clothing.

We couldn't find another way. Mum's house is a bit of black hole - things that go into it invariably seem to disappear and when my DH complained, they'd come back damaged with indelible ink or dyed pink in the wash. When Mum dressed DSD to come back here she'd make a point of sending her in T-shirts etc that had "My Mum is the best" or "I love my Mum" all over them. It was awful.

At least this way everyone knows where they stand.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 07-Jul-13 15:26:37

my dc's (both primary age) have clothes at both houses.

Uniform - 3 sets (though ds2 has lots more as we seem to have accumulated hand me downs). They wear a clean set to school, picked up by dad, that set stays there and is washed, wear a clean set the next day and come back here. I have 2 sets here for 4 days wear a week, so wash midweek.

If dad has them Fri evening they change out of uniform into home clothes before they go so that uniform doesn't accumulate there and they don't run out of home clothes. As they haven't worn those clothes for very long they usually wear them again the next day and come home in them that evening.

If he has them Sat evening they just go in what they have been wearing, change into clean clothes the next day and come home in them that evening.

They don't have masses at either house, so if either of us is taking them away we usually pass clothing over so they have enough shorts, trousers, t-shirts etc to last the time they are away.

Occasionally have a sort out when seasons change.

I buy the bulk of their clothes, as they are here more of the time, but dad does buy them some stuff. All clothes just cycle between the two houses depending - there isn't any returning to the house that brought it.

As far as I am aware they only have the coats and shoes they have here, they don't have any there, other than maybe wellies.

ds1 doesn't give a toss what he wears, ds2 will pick his clothes - but isn't bothered enough to say "where is that item" if it isn't there. Will see what happens when they get older and more fashion conscious.

xuntitledx Sun 07-Jul-13 16:12:36

We have separate wardrobes for the DSC, it wasn't always like that but it got to a point where the new clothes that fit them would disappear at the exes house and never return and it seemed that she deliberately sent them in clothes too small as nothing ever fitted them.

Rewind a few years and the situation is worse than ever, the clothes they arrive in smell like damp, wet dog and are always ridiculously smokey despite her insistence that she doesn't smoke anywhere near them.

Our budgets are clearly a lot different and not to sound like a snob but I don't want to trade all of our good quality Next or John Lewis clothes for cheap outfits from Primark which never last, never fit them well and are usually torn or snagged within a few wears.

Unfortunately it means that as soon as we collect the kids, we get them changed and change them back before they leave but that is mainly because of the smell rather than anything else.

Pretty - absolutely, my parent's divorce was completely amicable and I never remember any mention of issues with maintenance, custody, etc etc. Neither ever said a bad word about the other in front of me.
I should have been a completely well adjusted child of divorced parents but sadly one of them did not choose their next partner quite so wisely so I had a miserable few years in my teens!
It's really sad to hear stories of exes making life so difficult, ultimately it just hurts the children sad

MirandaWest Sun 07-Jul-13 19:04:03

When DC go to their dads house they take clothes with them and they come back again. I don't mind if they are clean or dirty - I don't have any problems washing them. If they've been there longer then XH will generally wash some clothes. Occasionally some clothes will end up there when they want to wear them here but these things happen (although when all of DSs three pairs of denim shorts were there it was a little annoying and somehow there are odd socks in both houses grin)

I buy all school clothes and nearly all shoes I think. XH buys some clothes as well but neither belong to either house. It helps that we are generally amicable and that we only live a few miles apart.

halestone Sun 07-Jul-13 19:38:44

We buy DSD clothes all the time but we have been sending them back to her mums with her. Sometimes she comes back in them if her mum doesn't sell them mostly we never see her wear them again. The Ex also sends her with a bag every weekend but often sends her in her sisters clothes that are far to smallhmm.

Instead of arguing about it with the Ex about it we just end up buying DSD new clothes. But after having months of this we've decided that any clothes we buy we will be keeping at ours and then at least she has clothes that fit.

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 08:28:19

Why would she send her in her sisters clothes?

halestone Mon 08-Jul-13 08:55:09

God knows you can tell there not DSDs as the pants are far too short. We think its so we buy more but we're not sure.

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 10:10:59

My DH just ask if they need more clothes.....always get a no though, even if things are to small and coming back time after time hmm.wouldn't it be so much easier if conversations could be had with out it being taken the wrong way

heidiwine Mon 08-Jul-13 10:33:17

My DP's children bring bags with them that have their clothes in them. We have the basics here (spare underwear, pyjamas, toiletries etc.) but nothing close to a full wardrobe. It helps that their mum lives nearby so if they do leave anything (at either house) DP can pop round.
Re washing - when we're doing a wash we wash anything that might need a wash. It has been known for the children to bring a full week's worth of washing round when their mum has gone away for the weekend but that's unusual (as well as being petty and spiteful). Regardless, we washed it and sent it all back clean and ironed...

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 10:57:38

Sandiy, you should definitely get help with school uniform/shoes! DH pays maintenance but that stuff is expensive! I'm glad you got your keys back, how rude to go snooping! It's so interesting to see the clothes thing from both sides....I've read things now which make sense ie not wanting good clothes ruined smile

PrettyPaperweight Mon 08-Jul-13 13:55:27

Sandiy, you should definitely get help with school uniform/shoes! DH pays maintenance but that stuff is expensive

I don't think it is as clear cut as that.

If a DCs parents live together as one household, uniforms and shoes are bought within the budget of the household - be that high quality, discount or second hand.

If a DCs parents are split, then the amount of money available for uniforms etc is inevitably going to be less (two households to maintain etc) and unevenly distributed - one parent takes financial responsibility for the DC and receives maintenance, child benefit etc.
If a NRP can afford to increase their financial support to contribute to uniforms etc then that is great, but should be part of the overall arrangement, not an expectation that places the NRP in debt.

MirandaWest Mon 08-Jul-13 14:11:40

I think it must depend a little on how much maintenance the RP receives. In my case XH has a fairly well paying job and so the maintenance I receive is sufficient that I would only ask for an additional contribution for an irregular expense ie when DC go on school residential trips I will probably ask if he can contribute. But for normal expenses such as uniform, given the amount I get I think it would be unreasonable to ask for any more.

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 14:24:27

Pretty, I don't mean to buy the lot but a lot of people I know share this one off cost. One buys the shoes, the other buys the uniform...or whatever way works

PrettyPaperweight Mon 08-Jul-13 16:05:27

emily If that is the maintenance agreement that has been reached, then great - but regular maintenance, CB, tax credits are all paid monthly to the RP who is responsible for budgeting - and if that means setting aside a small amount every month in order to cover those larger, less frequent costs then thats what they need to do!

If maintenance is relied on by the RP for day to day costs such as mortgage and utility bills then a change in circumstance of the NRP can be catastrophic on two households - and what happens when a DC reaches 16/18 yrs of age and benefits and maintenance stop?

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 16:20:19

Then they get a job if not in school grin I do see where you are coming from. I just don't think the odd pair of shoes would put someone into debt. You can't always budget for stuff, we've had school shoes lost, ties lost, stuff left at ours and need quick replacement, but ever one is different x

Thyeternalsummer Mon 08-Jul-13 16:39:39

Recently gone from 50/50 to EOW and one week night. DP not happy with this, but think likely to be long term arrangement as exW able to be SAHM, can do school run etc. Change has necessitated maintenance payments whereas previously each parent was responsible for own costs. Think clothes situation is going to have to change as well.

Previously we were happy to have complete set of clothes etc here for DSD but now we won't be able to afford to maintain a full wardrobe on top of maintenance payments. So DSD is going to have to start bringing a bag when current wardrobe comes to end of the season. Not massively looking forward to this (aside from the fact that I'd like to dress her in Boden and her mum prefers an alternative style), as exW likes DSD to take responsibility for her own clothes/packing etc. - whereas I prefer not to leave matters like having clean school uniform to a disorganised 10 year old..... Nothing more annoying than being told that we can't go out as she hasn't brought the 'right top', having her trying to wear seasonally inappropriate clothing, or taking an age to get ready for school as she doesn't have the correct uniform. I prefer knowing that she's got a sufficient supply of clean, well fitting clothes and it's one less thing to worry about.

So my preference would always be separate wardrobes at both houses; but appreciate financial arrangements often necessitate parent in receipt of CM etc needing to provide clothing.

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 19:21:50

The dc gets a job I mean....I did when I left school and I expect my own ds to do the same

PrettyPaperweight Mon 08-Jul-13 20:44:02

emily what if they move out/away?

My DSD Mum is facing this - when DSD finishes further education, her Mum will no longer receive tax credits, child benefit and maintenance - DSD already lives away from home for college, but Mum hasn't used any of the maintenance or benefits towards DSD costs as she says that she can't afford to.

Mum has told DP and anyone else who will listen that when the money stops she won't be able to pay the mortgage, and will be out on the street hmm.

DP and I have been supporting DSD financially as much as we can, but it does mean that DP only contributes the minimum for DSS (via the CSA) and doesn't hand over extra to his ex for school shoes etc - we just can't afford to do it.

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 20:55:58

And that's fair enough, each situation is different. Do you mean the ex is worried about money when dsd leaves school/home? Surly your DH only concern is for dd, the ex will have to find another source of income when the money stops. Sorry if that sounds mean but it's life. No?

PrettyPaperweight Mon 08-Jul-13 21:15:18

emily Yes - despite a F/T job, DP's ex relies on child benefit, tax credits and maintenance for day to day living costs.
DSD lives away during the week, but her Mum doesn't pay towards the costs of that - even though she is still receiving CB/TC and maintenance for both DC's. DP pays maintenance to ex for both DC's, and we financially support DSD as much as we can as well.

When DSD finishes her studies, she won't move back in with Mum, and Mum will lose the benefits/maintenance for one DC, and says that she won't be able to manage financially.

Labro Mon 08-Jul-13 21:18:26

ExH and wife are a nightmare about clothing. I've sent bags of clothing with ds yet they still send him home in stuff at least 3 sizes too small yet 'demand' that its returned. When ds is at his dads for longer than a weekend, ExH states hes not allowed to take a bag but will then txt 10 minutes before hand asking for underwear etc. Got caught out one weekend, ds stuff all in wash so sent him without, ds came home stating that exh couldn't find anywhere to buy underwear for an 11 year old anywhere in the whole of Yorkshire!!!!! Wife drives me bananas as ds is allergic to most washing powder, got abusive text from her when I queried (politely) the itchy rash and cloying scent,to be told that as I had such an issue with her washing ds clothes I could **ing do it myself and that he 'never itched' at their house!

theredhen Mon 08-Jul-13 21:31:04

I've been with dp for over 5 years (ex w left him for another man over 7 years ago), his ex has never met me despite me offering several times. Dsd2 lives with me and dp and I know more about her life than her mum, she still won't meet me.

She has, however, sent me emails on how I should wash her children's clothes! I wouldn't mind if she sent the kids to us in an immaculate state, but she doesn't! One of the reasons dsd2 states as wanting to live with us is cleaner clothes and access to ways to keep clean properly. hmm

I was a happy bunny the day I got that email - not! grin

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 21:33:09

Well pretty, you and your DH are doing all you should. If ex ft job doesn't cover her bills she will have to re think her situation/finances.....like we all do when times are tough.

emilyeggs Mon 08-Jul-13 21:35:56

No redhen I should imagine you weren't! grin

stepmooster Mon 08-Jul-13 22:00:39

Surely the clothes belong to the kids not the parents? DSS packs his own bag and we tend to have some wet weather gear and swimmers for when he comes over as he wouldn't really use them at home.

The ex buys all the basic stuff, DH will buy him a decent pair of shoes/trainers or any other items that are generally a bit more expensive than primark/bhs.

If he's here longer than the weekend I'll wash his laundry.

Kids clothes are expensive, what's the point in two lots?

DSS is in charge of his own bag. When DSS was a bit younger DH used to ring him up night before to check what was packed was suitable for the weekend weather. Now DSS is older and bit more vain, he takes great care in his wardrobe.

mumandboys123 Mon 08-Jul-13 23:57:40

pretty so if there are two households to cover, the NRP shouldn't get into debt to cover basic costs of children...but the PWC should? single parents with care who are working full time can, in reality, receive very little in the way of benefits/tax credits/maintenance yet still be expected to keep a roof over children's heads, feed them, clothe them etc. etc. I detest this idea that because there are benefits/tax credits, it somehow covers the cost of having children and the NRP is therefore absolved of any responsibility beyond a basic contribution. My childcare costs me over £200 a week. Tax credits contribute £80 towards that. My ex should contribute £45 a week (but doesn't) which means I'm not even covering childcare costs between my ex and the state. I therefore pay for EVERYTHING for 3 children as well as keeping the roof over our heads - and it's a struggle. And sometimes it will mean that I have to put essential expenditure on the credit card. No doubt if I refused to do that, I would be hounded as a 'bad mother' because the children's trousers were too short or school jumper has a small hole in it and my 'lifestyle' would be called into question. Many of us live incredibly close to the edge and life is hard for all of us. But hey, OK for the PWC to get into debt as long as the NRP is OK, eh?

PrettyPaperweight Tue 09-Jul-13 06:38:00

mumandboys A PWC is financially responsible for the DCs, therefore in a position to budget, making choices about lifestyle, quality of purchases and financial commitments. In contrast, the NRP is often faced with demands for money without any notice whatsoever, because the PWC has decided that the DCs will go on that school trip/need new blazers/have grown out of shoes but that as they can't afford it, they expect the NRP to contribute.

It's a fact of life that many DCs can't have everything their parents want them to have unless the parents choose to get into debt. In separated families, Because the PWC is financially responsible, they are the ones responsible for making choices about what their DCs can, and cannot, have.
I appreciate that it's incredibly unfair that one parent is burdened with the financial responsibility for a child - but that's the way the system works, at least at the moment!

Of course, the ideal solution is that the NRP forms a partnership with someone who is able to support them, which frees up the NRP income to meet the demands of the PWC. wink

mumandboys123 Tue 09-Jul-13 08:39:56

I disagree. Financial responsibility for children is a joint issue which should be shared proportionately between parents. What we have is a system that allows countless parents - usually but not exclusively fathers - to take no financial responsibility for their children whatsoever leaving the PWC in a position of enforced poverty and/or of having to make choices between the basics/clothes/home repairs/school trips. The suggestion that we have a choice about whether we get into debt or not is laughable - working full time in a professional job with a modest home to manage and maintain and primary aged children to care for, I have no 'lifestyle' and no spare cash to make 'quality' purchases for anything. Whilst it won't kill my children not to have what others have, it is galling to read countless posts about how money grabbing PWC are when every working PWC I know struggles at least some of the time to put food on the table. And believe me, when the children are of an age to understand, there will be no holding back on exactly why there is a hole in the celing, the shower has needed fixing for 3 years and I have fallen out of the tree in the back garden trying to trim it myself 'cos I can't afford a professional to do it.

And I hope to be a new partner some day soon. Being my partner would never free up the income of an NRP to meet the demands of his PWC. He will be too busy filling in the hole that my ex has left - because I will lose all my tax credit and child benefit when we move in together. Meanwhile, my ex is out making babies he has no intention of supporting with countless other women.

PrettyPaperweight Tue 09-Jul-13 10:04:23

What we have is a system that allows countless parents - usually but not exclusively fathers - to take no financial responsibility for their children whatsoever

I agree, and it equally excludes NRP (such as my ex) who wish to be involved in the financial management of their DCs lives.

But what's the alternative? If separated parents can't agree on simple issues like the allocation of clothing between houses, they're not going to be able to sit down civilly and decide how to spend the finite pot of money available to support the DCs.
I know of very few PWC (me included) who welcome their ex questioning how the money available to support the DCs each month is spent.

purpleroses Tue 09-Jul-13 15:46:15

I agree with pretty. If the two parents can sit down together and decide together how to support their DCs then that's fine.

But the child support system is an alternative for those who can't or want responsibilities to be clearer between them. It places a fixed and non-negotiable burden on the NRP, who then has no say over what the money is spent on. But gives both power and responsibility to the RP whose responsibility it then is to budget and provide for the DC.

My ex pays me money so I buy the DC's clothes. My DP pays his ex money, so she buys DSC's clothes. If money is tight, DCs have hand-downs and charity shop clothes.

kezLOU1977 Wed 17-Jul-13 21:14:15

I have experience with this from all angles. My 3 kids take a suitcase full of clothes to their dads and he doesn't supply any clothes unless he wants to buy them something and that's totally fine with me, they bring all clothes back including new ones and I wash the lot and the week starts again. My dh's ex insisted we buy all 3 of her kids enough clothes for weekends & holidays including shoes, coats and underwear to keep at ours because it is our duty to clothe the kids while they are with us. I objected but my dh went out and bought everything because he was so scared if he refused she would stop contact.
I was not happy at all and after a few weeks of washing six kids clothes for 2 weeks on the trot and finding somewhere to store them mid week I rang the child maintenance people who said that it was wrong of dh's ex to demand the clothes so she didn't have to pack a bag and do the washing every Sunday and she even sent me an email saying this so I could send it on to dh's ex who rather sheepishly back peddled. No apology though and my kids went without that month. I was so tempted so cancel the maintenance for one month and send the damn clothes to her but my dh wouldn't let me. Funnily enough though now we have moved 4 hours away because of work we hardly see the kids anyway and although that upsets dh his ex deffo prefers this arrangement as it means less packing & washing.

theredhen Wed 17-Jul-13 21:25:21

Kez, I've had the same. Having to do all washing for all kids, resident or not. Washing for 7 people, bed linen, towels etc for weeks at a time isn't fun. Especially when I was used to washing for 2 people only before I met dp!

Ironically I was working full time and dp ex wasn't working at all but I was doing her kids washing for half the week.

I do a bit less now as contact has changed as the kids have got older.

It's bloody annoying but I decided long ago that it wasn't a battle worth having with either my ex or dp ex.

Tuckshop Wed 17-Jul-13 22:52:41

Everyone's situation is different, but in mine I think it's taking the mickey to expect the RP to do all the packing, unpacking and washing of things. It never occurred to me that dsd should come with anything, it was so much easier just to buy what she needed and keep it. And her mum had enough to do without having a bag of dirty washing at the end of dsd's weekends with us.

I feel the same now that dd goes to her Dad's. He is just as capable as me of sticking a few clothes in the wash and sorting out what she needs for the couple of days that he has her, and I don't see why I should do it. She has 2 parents supposedly co-parenting. It's a nightmare having to keep track of what's where, he's refused to bring her things round if she needs them and left them at his and it's a waste of money to keep having to replace things that have disappeared at his end.

I have found it so much easier if each party sorts out what they need.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 17-Jul-13 23:24:56

I sent my dc to their dads eow with clean pants and top for the next day (trousers/shorts can be reworn) Ex has pjs, toothbrushes and swimmers at his. He doesn't pay maintenance, and won't buy them things unless he feels like it. He bought ds2 a t shirt recently (which is 3 sizes too big) and told me its because he bought him nice ones for Christmas, but he never wears them (because I put them away until they fit) I asked him what was wrong with what I dress him in, he said nothing but its not what I bought confused
Anyway, ds2 has worn this top home a few times,.and i always send it back the next week washed and ironed. The one time the dc left clothes there they took 3 weeks to come back, were still damp from being washed and so screwed up i cant fathom how
they had been left to dry!

Ex is taking the dc on holiday for a week in the summer, and I am supplying everything including suncream! I know it will all come home unwashed (assuming they wear more than 2 outfits like last year) even though the weekend they come home is 'his weekend' apparently he can't have them, as they (him and his gf) will have washing and stuff to do!

I don't mind supplying all their clothes, just fed up with it always being me who washes it, and having him.moan about what they do or don't wear despite not paying!

I used to take clothes to my dads, and don't remember being bothered. It was just what we did.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 17-Jul-13 23:25:56

Also I don't think it would be worth him keeping outfits there as they just wouldn't get worn much.

Interestingchanges Thu 18-Jul-13 08:24:11

When dh and I first got together, exw did not want dsc to feel at home in our house (specially bought to accommodate all 5 of us), and so dh had to carry massive suitcase of stuff they thought they needed for the weekend (we had no car) through a large town on public transport and then back again (although I felt it served him right for not standing up to ex and not making dsc, 12 and 8, at least carry a small bag each...).
Did not want to be married to a mule so I gave dsd some money to buy essentials at our local mall (manic shopper, loved the idea), and dss is still happy to wear (perfectly in tact) ds hand me downs like jeans, jackets and t- shirts (ds outgrows clothes in proverbial bat of eye), bought him undies etc. too.
Dsd then started packing her own bag for weekend as was pretty independent already, dss happy to avoid that hassle.
I did their laundry for 3 years but since last year gave them all a basket each and they do their own once a week (including ds).
Dsd not so keen on doing own laundry but willing to bring and carry back stuff herself, which is fine too. Sorted.

TobyLerone Thu 18-Jul-13 08:37:59

My XH is insane insists on doing the 'separate clothes' thing, to the point where the DC come home on Sunday evenings after his weekends in their school uniform because he's picked them up from school on the Friday hmm

ushush Thu 18-Jul-13 08:44:07

Not sure why I read this thread. Just caught my eye, but I must tell you it makes me very sad. Competitive clothes washing, my clothes and her clothes....soooo sad for all of your children.

I remain so wonderfully grateful that my parents chose each other well, adapted and committed to each other, dealt with any challenges and continue to give me such a stable, loving home.

Please, whatever you do, think of your children first in all of this. Compromise, understand, tolerate.....your chance to at least manage one aspect of a painful time with dignity and compassion for those who did not choose such a complex situation......

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:47:11

Please, whatever you do, think of your children first in all of this. Compromise, understand, tolerate.....your chance to at least manage one aspect of a painful time with dignity and compassion for those who did not choose such a complex situation......

As stepparents we don't get the luxury of doing those things; we are dictated to by the behaviour of our DSC parents who we are unable to influence.

TobyLerone Thu 18-Jul-13 08:52:09

As stepparents we don't get the luxury of doing those things; we are dictated to by the behaviour of our DSC parents who we are unable to influence.

Sadly this isn't always true.

Surely as the step parent it's most important for you to behave as ushush says.

Petal02 Thu 18-Jul-13 09:01:06

But as a step parent - even if you are the most balanced, fair, tolerant person on the planet - if those around you are behaving in a ridiculous manner, you're often powerless to change the situation.

Satnightdropout Thu 18-Jul-13 09:13:52

Partners kids just wear whatever backwards and forwards (we gave the kids at weekend). Anything partner buys may end up at their mothers place and vice versa. Majority of their clothes are at their mums, but if they need some thing from ours then they just pop in after school (they're school Is literally 5 seconds way) before their mum picks them up or as partner works with his eldest then they just text him and he'll take it in for son to take back.

However, the only reason why the ex is so chilled about this arrangement is because she isn't the most domesticated of women and knows I'll wash whatever clothing's at mine regardless of who bought them, lol.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 18-Jul-13 09:32:30

dsc have clothes and toiletries here, they change out of what they are wearing as soon as they get to us and put the same clothes on just before we leave to drop them off.

it is entirely down to their mum as she has always refused to allow them to bring anything with them including toys and if they take anything from ours to hers she throws it away, so even Christmas presents have to stay at separate houses sad.

we decided after a particularly upsetting incident where she threw dss brand new star wars t shirt away (he sobbed down the phone to dp for about an hour) that it was less stress to just keep everything separate.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 18-Jul-13 10:45:49

Sorry. It's not competitive clothes washing, although I'm aware it looks like that. It's just an honest account of how being the rp of children with a step family is for me.

I always put my dc first, when they bring screwed up damp clothes home I just hang them to dry, iron them and put them away.

I'm also aware that my experience is just that...mine! Everyone has different experiences and opinions!

Tuckshop Thu 18-Jul-13 10:47:55

Don't be sad for my children ushush. They are both massively better off for our situation, I am too. Were your parents divorced, I wasn't sure from your post? If they are, then yes you are very lucky that they were able to do so and not have issues between them.

Like others have said, it's all very well saying that we need to compromise etc. but when one party is hell-bent on being difficult and obstructive then there is little you can do other than minimise their opportunity to affect the children. And one of the things that I did was stop sending dd with everything she needed, and that put a stop to the phone calls asking for things back and asking what she needed to take.

ushush Thu 18-Jul-13 13:39:39

Sorry if I seemed a bit critical. I did not mean to be and I believe everyone does try their best in these awkward situations. My sadness is that the break ups happened really. I know just how fortunate I am to have a very happy mum and dad. I hope that they will never fall out. We did a survey in school a while ago about families. I just remember that out of 20 of us I was one of 2 that had no splits/steps/separation etc.....

One time to be happy to be odd......

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 14:14:56

With l due respect (ie I know this is rude but can't think of any other way to say it), I'm quite taken aback at a poster who comes onto the stepparenting board and express sadness for DCs with separated parents!

Bit like going on the lone parents board and saying how much nicer life is witha partner, or the relationships board saying how great it is to be single?

We're all trying our best as step parents - whether our DSC mum is their primary carer, occasionally has contact or is sadly deceased.

Tuckshop Thu 18-Jul-13 14:16:05

Being from a blended family and having parents that don't live together can be a positive thing though, all of us have had experiences and growth opportunities that we just wouldn't have had if I had stayed in the marriage, and dd, dsd and I are certainly all much, much happier and better off in all ways And just because two parents are still together, it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is happier than those in a separated or blended family.

wrinklyraisin Thu 18-Jul-13 14:30:18

My dsd arrives (more often than not) in dirty clothes and unshowered for at least 3 days. I wash her, her clothes, and we have several changes of clothes here for her too. I think it's awful to send her to us so dirty on a Friday night (when we often have plans to go out with her somewhere) and then her mother send us texts on Sunday afternoon telling us to "make sure she's showered and hair washed before she comes back". If we ask the same thing, we get told "the tantrums aren't worth it". Ugh.

It works for us as a little family though, to keep things here so we know she will be clean and well turned out. She's 9 and I think it's important to teach her good self care even if that's not being taught to her at her mums.

wrinklyraisin Thu 18-Jul-13 14:32:01

Oh and yes I agree. A blended but happy family is way better for the children than an unhappy marriage and parents who live together but resent each other.

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