Should I have to plan around my step son when I have my own children?

Lauren - posted on 10/07/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )




I would like to do things or activities as they come but my partner feels that it is imperative to include his son. So instead of going out and making memories with our own kids we must wait for my step son to return. Is this fair?


Jodi - posted on 10/08/2014




Of course you should be able to do fun things with your children when he isn't there. I'm sure he does fun things with his mum too when he isn't there, so why shouldn't your children? It is completely unreasonable of your partner to think this shouldn't happen.

Ev - posted on 10/07/2014




Are these two kids of yours his as well? If they are yours together, then even when the step son is not around its not fair to do fun and memorable things only when the boy is there with the rest of you. You can always do those things again another time he is there. But as for the certain holidays you have him, then yes, it would be nice to include him. If these children are your own from another relationship, its still not fair to make them wait to have fun and make memories until the step son is there. It takes away from the family a lot. You need to sit down and work this out by what he means that you have to wait for his son to return....does the boy come a few times of the month and then split holidays and summers? Or is he with you all the time but for what visits mom gets?


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Chet - posted on 10/07/2014




It's not reasonable for you to expressly work on having zero fun as a family when your step son isn't there. Time doesn't stop when he leaves. At the same time though, I'd really want to consider his feelings and how excluded he might feel when you're planning family events.

What kind of stuff is your husband wanting the family to not do when his son isn't there? Is this about little stuff that happens all the time like going to playgrounds, the library, or the community pool? Can you pop popcorn and play board games without his son, or are we talking about going to theme parks, concerts, weekend trips out of town, big parties, new release movies, the theatre, the zoo with balloons and face painting, etc?

If you would normally make plans every weekend I think it's fair to make plans every weekend, and to just try and schedule the things the son would like most for the weekends you have him. If there is a one off event (like a parade or fireworks for a holiday) when you don't have the son you shouldn't all miss the event specifically because he can't be there. But if you plan stuff for about half of your weekends, and you have the son every other weekend, it seems reasonable that a lot of the time you could schedule around his visits and not miss out yourselves.

Mainly, I would try to think about the kids. You didn't mention how the kids feel about any of this.

Are the kids you have together bored and climbing the walls when the son isn't around because they can't go anywhere or do anything? Are they being truly deprived by your husband's request or does this just bother you? How fun is the stuff you do, how interested is the son, and how sensitive is he about not being included? Or does this mostly bother his dad?

One thing I'll add though, is that working to maintain the relationship with the son long term is an issue to keep in mind. I've definitely noticed over the last few years as the children of our friends have gotten older is that the "every other weekend" arrangements aren't working as well. This certainly doesn't happen with everybody, but a lot of kids have their friends and lives with the parent they live with most of the time, and they seem to be missing a lot of weekends with the parent they visit because it's not where their life is. Your husband may be legitimately concerned about your son eventually growing to not feel like your house is his home, and like he's not fully a member of your family. Again, that's not a reason sit around watching dust settle when the son it's with you, but it's something to consider and something you might need to talk about if that's how dad is feeling.

Lauren - posted on 10/07/2014




We have three kids together and he has a son from a previous marriage. His son is with us every other weekend and we split holidays and summer. I don't intentionally exclude him I just feel that I should be able to do fun things with my children whether or not he is present. Hope that clarifies things a bit!

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