Author Topic: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?  (Read 9068 times)

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scotcat60

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #105 on: February 04, 2013, 10:41:45 AM »
If you don't return the items, you may end up providing the ex with a stick with which to beat you (they are miserable, they can't be bothered to give me my sons old baby stuff they don't even need)

amylouky

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #106 on: February 04, 2013, 10:43:48 AM »
I would give her the items that you can identify as coming from her mother or other close family. And that is it, and I would make it clear that nothing further would be forthcoming. I'd probably even make it clear that we were returning those items only because they were gifts from her mother.

Because this isn't about items, it's about boundaries. She is acting as if she still has ownership of the house and the things in it, and she doesn't. The fact that she demanded clothes that you had bought for your DH's son, to me, shows that she is not respecting your role as DH's wife and DS's stepmother. She's still viewing things that deal with son as her domain, and you have no say. You need to nip it in the bud, now.

Another issue that I see, and maybe I'm overthinking it, but.. your son is going to have a sibling who lives full time with a mother that he rarely gets to see. I think giving sibling your son's baby stuff (if he knows it was his) could make him resentful of her child.

Sharnita

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #107 on: February 04, 2013, 10:46:34 AM »
See, I think sharing baby items could create a bond.

TurtleDove

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #108 on: February 04, 2013, 10:51:58 AM »
I would give her the items that you can identify as coming from her mother or other close family. And that is it, and I would make it clear that nothing further would be forthcoming. I'd probably even make it clear that we were returning those items only because they were gifts from her mother.

Because this isn't about items, it's about boundaries. She is acting as if she still has ownership of the house and the things in it, and she doesn't. The fact that she demanded clothes that you had bought for your DH's son, to me, shows that she is not respecting your role as DH's wife and DS's stepmother. She's still viewing things that deal with son as her domain, and you have no say. You need to nip it in the bud, now.

Another issue that I see, and maybe I'm overthinking it, but.. your son is going to have a sibling who lives full time with a mother that he rarely gets to see. I think giving sibling your son's baby stuff (if he knows it was his) could make him resentful of her child.

While I can see how this would give the OP some power, in a complex family relationship like this I think it is short sighted to present yourself as antagonistic to anyone in the stepson's life.  His mother is not going away.  She will be in the stepson's life, and hence the OPs.  If the OP is actively antagonistic to the ex (and this comes across that way to me), the stepson will likely start to think poorly of the OP because she is hurting his mother.  I have seen this play out multiple times.  Actual etiquette advice is often very poor advice in family relationships like this.

Unless I am completely misunderstanding, the items in question are not even big ticket items like a crib, but rather more like a bathtub.  I am pretty sure my DD's baby tub was at most $17. We know the ex is not particularly rational and we have concerns about her parenting.  I get that.  But she is still the stepson's mother and I think the OP can take the high road, earn the stepson's respect, and let go for a more peaceful life for everyone involved.  Coming out with essentially, "Look, I have replaced you as your husband's wife and your son's mother - what I say goes" is just not the way to go here.  (And it seems the OP gets that and is handling this well, in my opinion). 

WillyNilly

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #109 on: February 04, 2013, 11:15:14 AM »
Unless I am completely misunderstanding, the items in question are not even big ticket items like a crib, but rather more like a bathtub.  I am pretty sure my DD's baby tub was at most $17. We know the ex is not particularly rational and we have concerns about her parenting.  I get that.  But she is still the stepson's mother and I think the OP can take the high road, earn the stepson's respect, and let go for a more peaceful life for everyone involved.  Coming out with essentially, "Look, I have replaced you as your husband's wife and your son's mother - what I say goes" is just not the way to go here.  (And it seems the OP gets that and is handling this well, in my opinion).

OP has been very clear - they have every intention of giving back the baby tub.  its really not even up for discussion - its going to the ex.  In fact all the specific items the ex has asked for are going back.

Its the other stuff, the non-specific "all baby items" that are the issue if I understand correctly.  Because the ex asked for a few specific items which she named, like the tub, plus expects the OP and her DH to pack up and hand over any and everything else baby reacted in addition.

I don't see how that could possibly earn the stepson's respect.  It would have devastated me as a small child.  First mom leaves, hardly to ever make appearances again, and then all my baby stuff leaves.  What?  Me next?  Is dad just erasing the whole beginning of my life?  Is mom just trying for a do-over and is now going to completely forget me and just do it all over exactly the same for the new kid? Or maybe stepmom hates my mother... who's part of me... maybe she'll hate me soon too and when she has a new kid she'll just ship me off and start over.

For every argument about the ex being the child's mother is an equal and opposite argument, the OP's DH is the child's father and primary parent.    Mother's do NOT have some sort of special, more important rank as a parent by default.  In some families it might end up like that, but its not an automatic and it certainly doesn't sound like it is in this case. 

amylouky

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #110 on: February 04, 2013, 11:21:12 AM »
See, I think sharing baby items could create a bond.

I agree that it could, in a normal sibling situation where the children live together. But in this situation, where OP's stepson was 2 when his mother left, and rarely gets to see her, but the new baby lives with her all the time.. I think it could be upsetting to a 5 year old to see "his" baby stuff being shipped off for the new baby.

WillyNilly

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #111 on: February 04, 2013, 11:26:32 AM »
See, I think sharing baby items could create a bond.

I agree that it could, in a normal sibling situation where the children live together. But in this situation, where OP's stepson was 2 when his mother left, and rarely gets to see her, but the new baby lives with her all the time.. I think it could be upsetting to a 5 year old to see "his" baby stuff being shipped off for the new baby.

And to take it further, OP and her DH - the child's father - plan to try for a kid in the next year.  OP and her DH re-using some of the older child's stuff on the new baby would be a true bonding experience because the child would see it being re-used.  And it might help him feel like he's part of the whole 'new baby' thing, like he's playing a very important "big brother" role by sharing his baby items with his new sibling.

Mom's new baby won't be part of his everyday life and he won't see the stuff being used to feel that bond.

TurtleDove

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #112 on: February 04, 2013, 11:34:11 AM »
For every argument about the ex being the child's mother is an equal and opposite argument, the OP's DH is the child's father and primary parent.    Mother's do NOT have some sort of special, more important rank as a parent by default.  In some families it might end up like that, but its not an automatic and it certainly doesn't sound like it is in this case.

The point is that the OP is NOT the stepson's mother.  She sounds like an amazing step-parent.  But she is still not the stepson's mother.  I don't think anyone is saying the ex is a more important parent than the DH.  Obviously not.  No one is saying the OP is not an awesome stepmom.  Some of us are saying that no matter what, the ex will always be the stepson's mother.  It sounds like the OP is respecting that.  It sound like some posters think she shouldn't.  I think she should. 

WillyNilly

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #113 on: February 04, 2013, 11:44:10 AM »
For every argument about the ex being the child's mother is an equal and opposite argument, the OP's DH is the child's father and primary parent.    Mother's do NOT have some sort of special, more important rank as a parent by default.  In some families it might end up like that, but its not an automatic and it certainly doesn't sound like it is in this case.

The point is that the OP is NOT the stepson's mother.  She sounds like an amazing step-parent.  But she is still not the stepson's mother.  I don't think anyone is saying the ex is a more important parent than the DH.  Obviously not.  No one is saying the OP is not an awesome stepmom.  Some of us are saying that no matter what, the ex will always be the stepson's mother.  It sounds like the OP is respecting that.  It sound like some posters think she shouldn't.  I think she should.

But the OP is not a stepparent is some sort of vacuum.  She is a step parent due to being married to the child's father.  that connection cannot be dismissed.  The OP is involved because her DH is the child's parent, the child's primary parent no less.  Its just the father isn't posting here, the OP is essentially posting on his behalf.  So every time anyone says 'well its her kid not yours you should give it back' its dismissing the fact that the OP is part & parcel to the child's father and the OP giving the ex the baby stuff would be the OP metaphorically slapping her own DH and the child's father across the face "its her child after all, so we have to give the stuff to her".  No its not the OP's kid.  But it is her household's and her family's kid, just as much if not moreso then the ex's.