The husband said that his wife told him from the beginning that his stepdaughter didn't need "a second father figure"
This Redditor asked if he was in the wrong after refusing to give up his Saturday plans indefinitely so that he could "babysit" his wife's daughter
He noted that his wife had told him he wasn't a father figure to his stepdaughter, rather a "trust authority figure"
The Redditor had weekly plans to go golfing with his siblings that he felt were too important to give up
A Redditor is questioning his responsibilities as a stepdad after his wife volunteered him for a parenting task without asking.
The original poster (OP) went to Reddit's AmITheAss---- subreddit to ask if he was in the wrong for refusing to give up his Saturday plans indefinitely in order to "babysit" his wife's daughter.
OP noted that he has been with his wife Jane for five years, who is mom to daughter Emily, 9, from a past relationship. Emily stays with OP and his wife Monday through Thursday and then goes to her father's house Friday through Sunday.
He also said that from the beginning, "Jane told me Emily doesn't need a second father figure as she had her dad to fill that role." Understanding that he would only be a "trusted authority figure" for Emily, OP respected his wife's boundaries.
However, things got confusing when Emily's dad got married, bringing two new stepkids into the mix that Emily did not get along with. Because of the turbulent situation, Emily's dad asked if they could change her schedule so she didn't overlap with the new kids.
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While OP said he had no opposition to Emily staying with them on different days, the issue was that Jane had "agreed to it without consulting me." His wife was completing a certification course for the next 12 months, with classes on Saturday from 9-5 p.m., conflicting with Emily's time at the house and requiring someone else to watch her daughter.
"She asked me if I can babysit Emily on Saturdays, but I can't because I play golf with my brother and sister on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.," OP wrote. "This has been our tradition from before Jane and Emily came into my life and I had told Jane from much before that this is important to me and my siblings."
When OP suggested hiring a babysitter, his wife said that she didn't want to spend money when OP could do it for free. After telling her that this situation wouldn't work for him, his wife got mad at him and said that he should put his stepdaughter over his siblings. OP reiterated that he didn't have anything against Emily and said if there was a family emergency he'd be happy to watch her. But he couldn't commit to "something this important to me for 12 months continuous."
Commenters on the post shared their support for OP, with one Redditor writing, "I was ready to read this and read you for filth, but this is truly an AH move from your wife. I think it's totally fair that she asks you to help out, but agreeing to it without talking to you, and assuming you'd consistently do this is wild! Why did she agree and then work to loop you in after?!"
"It's also interesting that now that your wife needs your help, Emily is your 'stepdaughter' where it seems like there was a clear boundary that you aren't a father figure," the commenter continued. "If your wife wants to revisit what your role is to Emily, totally cool, but it shouldn't be because she needs a babysitter."
Another commenter agreed. "Your wife can't say her daughter doesn't need you as a stepfather, then expect you to step up as a stepfather every single Saturday when she needs you. She can hire a babysitter."
"Dad and stepmom also need to step it up and work on the relationship between the new stepsiblings and get that under control because there are going to be times they are all together in the same house, that's just life."
OP later posted again to express his gratitude for the support from his fellow Redditors. "Emily deserves to feel cared for and not like a hot potato who no one wants," he wrote. "I spoke to my brother and his wife and they have offered to let Emily stay at their home on Saturday morning with their other children so that we can golf."
While his wife agreed to this solution, OP also told her that their arrangement wasn't working anymore. "If she expects me to have parental responsibilities towards Emily, then she needs to treat me like another parent of her daughter," he wrote.
OP concluded his statement by revealing that the two are headed to family counseling to try and make things work.
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