I refuse to buy presents for my stepchildren – they never made me feel welcome’

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A mum took to Reddit to ask for advice after her family hit out at her for treating her step-children different from her own kids – but users are on her side

A woman has sparked a debate after she revealed she bought gifts for her children but refused to buy anything for her stepchildren.

The woman, who has been married to her husband for 15 years, admits her relationship with his children from his previous relationship hasn’t always been the best.

She believes this is partly down to their mother who tried to turn the children against their dad and step mum after spreading rumours that she had “seduced their dad and made the family break up.”

During this time, the kids mum lost custody and they ended up living with their dad and step mum for a while until shared custody was granted.

However, the relationship with their step mum didn’t improve.

“We had two kids of our own during all this. Our boys. My stepchildren never accepted them as their brothers. When they were all teens they decided to spend most of their time with their mum. It was tough to see how things had gone but we had to accept it,” the woman wrote in her Reddit post.

“My stepkids are now 23, 21 and 18 and my boys are 7 and 5.

“The youngest one graduated high school this summer and that was when the kids got together to tell my husband they were having a dinner for the youngest graduation but I was not welcome and neither were our boys, that there was no place in their lives for us and we were not welcome to try and play a part anymore.”

This was the final straw.

“I decided I would just be done. No more open to anything or hoping for more while accepting their boundaries. I would just be done.”

So, she went out and bought her sons a little present each which she hid with plans to give them to them at some point in the future

“One day my sister-in-law was over to borrow a pair of earrings and she found the gifts while helping me search. She told her parents (my husband’s parents) and the three of them confronted me and said I should have bought something for my stepkids too.

“That while things are bad now I have been a mother figure in their lives since they were young and I shouldn’t give up on our relationship. And not getting anything makes it a certainty things will never get better.”

She concluded her post by asking users their opinion on the situation, and they were divided.

While a few people sided with the sister-in-law, the majority of users said she has “zero obligation” to the adults.

One person said: “The step kids are all now legally adults, and while it’s sad and disappointing they’ve chosen to entirely exclude their stepmother and half brothers from their lives, they are allowed to do that. And it sounds like [original poster] and her husband are in agreement that if they want nothing to do with her and the kids, fine, but she’s under no obligation to try and be nice anymore either.”

Another wrote: “They don’t want OP in their lives, so……guess what? No gifts from OP as well!!!”

A third commented: “I don’t even understand why the sister-in-law felt like it was any of her business to say anything in the first place.”

And someone else put: “Your stepkids deserve nothing from you.”