I visited a friend recently who is in a similar position to myself. She had married a man who has children to his previous wife. 4 in fact.
Being that school holidays had just finished and a few more were just around the corner we were chatting about school holidays and how do they split them and also if she includes his children in in all their holidays.
Her response was very truthful and I agree.
She said they do split them but as her husband works full time and long hours, when his children are with them for the holidays he arranged for them to stay with his parents – the Childrens grandparents, half the time so that she doesn’t have to change her plans or do the running around after them. After all she said – quote – ‘they are not my children and they require a lot of work and it’s also important for them to see and spend time with their grandparents’.
I understand that this may offend some people but I think it’s a smart move. She has a 3 year old with her husband and is pregnant with their second child. She said their 3 year old is her main responsibility and that the other children are also old enough to be self sufficient.
Their ages are varied between 13 to 17. I agree that they are old enough to be self sufficient.
I also know that a toddler is busy and does require a lot of attention.
So when she said that her husband also believes that they should be doing things including ‘alone’ holidays with just them 2 (adults/parents/her and him/hubby and wife) and their child I was intrigued as I know my husband thinks that step children should be included in everything.
I asked why he says they need to do things with ‘just them’ and her response was ‘although he loves all his children it’s important for us to do things alone as our family, we do separate holidays with his children but he understands the importance of us having our time together. Me him and our son’.
I was impressed that her husband understands this as most split families are not as open minded and some have a sense of ‘guilt’ so therefore go over and beyond to try and make the step children or children to previous relationships feel super important and in most cases they get all the attention and are not self sufficient as they are mollycoddled. Or felt sorry for. (See previous post on step children which I write after meeting a family in fiji)
I get each family is different and everyone has different needs.
I also understand children to previous relationships still need to be included in some things but do they need to be included in everything?
Do you see importance of doing things as a family and not always having to include step children or children from previous relationships?
I think in most cases it will help the husband and wife’s relationship as my friend was saying that the 2 younger step children are quite jealous of the 3 year old and if her husband is playing with the 3 year old, the others interrupt and ask the father to do things that they know they 3 year old can do, that way the 3 year old is excluded.
What are your thoughts on this?
Do you think children to previous relationships should always be included in everything?
Should they get special treatment as the parents are no longer together?
Should there still be holidays for the new partner and their children?
Is it important to have separate holidays?
I’d love to hear from you – email me, firstname.lastname@example.org