Ask Ashlee: I'm Not Buying Expensive Gifts For His Children!
Dear Ask Ashlee,
As you know, we are in holiday season mode and I have been shopping around getting gifts for my children (including my boyfriend's children) for Christmas. I had everyone provide me with a Christmas list of items they wanted and his children put extremely extravagant gifts on the list. I am not their mother (respectfully) and I just don’t feel like I should be the one to purchase such lavish gifts for them. I shared this with their father and he got so upset with me. I wasn’t trying to be selfish or funny about the items. I work really hard to afford what I can for my children and anything I do for his children is extra, but not my obligation. Right? I explained this to him and he feels like I have a negative attitude towards his children and their mother, and I allow that to interfere with my interactions with his kids, which is far from the truth. While it is true that I don’t like their mother at all, I still just feel like getting his children expensive gifts is their job, not mine. Am I wrong?
Ms. Claus Not Mrs. Claus
Dear Ms. Claus Not Mrs. Claus,
So here’s the thing, I think it’s important for you to take a look at your overall situation with him. I don’t think you are wrong for not wanting to overstep as “dad’s girlfriend” and know where you stand when it comes to your relationship with his kids. However, the moment you two decided to try this “blended family” relationship you are in, there should have been a conversation regarding the children and the expectation of each party to those children. When you are dating someone, no one should have any expectation of anything, but when you all decide to be in a relationship, you all have to have some kind of foundation to fall back on. What foundation between you all can you fall back on within this moment? First you referenced them as “your children”, then they were “his” children. Consider the fact that there may be some truth to his point of view regarding how you feel towards their mother and how you may or may not act upon those feelings when the kids are involved. Children should feel loved by whomever it is entering their lives. That love doesn’t have to come with a price tag attached to it. If you don’t want to buy something expensive for the children then don’t, but understand if you go above and beyond and provide lavish gifts for your children instead, you will create a divide in your household because you have intentionally treated one child differently than the other. Prepare yourself for honest and open conversations with your man about how you all want to raise your children together as you move forward. What are your plans for the children and your family as a whole, not “them” vs “us”.
I hope this helps!
Love & Light,