When dating a person with kids where does parental responsibility land? What is acceptable for either person to expect from each other?

The reason I ask this is this is the first serious relationship that I have had with a woman with kids. Now we got into a fight because she was offered a promotion at work that would require nights and weekends to be worked, aside from the pay being complete shit and her wanting to choose this over going back to school that would mean the responsibility for the kids ( neither of which are biologically mine) would rest on my shoulders, it also conflicts with my schedule because sometimes I have to work late and I don't get any notice when I have to, it's like hey there's a truck broken down it's an emergency I need you to go fix it.
When we talked about it she accused me of saying her kids were a burden which I didn't say, I just told her I felt the majority of the responsibility for her kids should rest on her shoulders and I feared with this new job I would turn into a single parent of kids that weren't mine.
Do I have any traction with the way I am feeling or is it wrong and I just need to suck it up and take one for the team?
I also told her I felt like going to school would be the better long term option because I felt like the company was feeding her full of crap about wages and endless advancement opportunities and that school would not only open up opportunities within her current job, but across the board in any job and that the company she is working for now isn't seeing her for what she is worth, and I feel like there is something out there that will be more fulfilling, has less crazy hours and pays more with a boss who sees her worth and us willing to show that to her to keep her around.

Any advice on what to do if she accepts the offer anyways and forces that responsibility on my shoulders?

Any advice appreciated! Thanks!


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What Girls Said 2

  • You're not married, so they're not your responsibility. BUT if you plan on marrying this woman, or at least making her permanent, then get used to the idea of being the step dad.
    If you don't want to be responsible for the kids, then you don't want her. They are part of being with her. Now if she's being a bad/lazy/selfish parent, that's another story entirely.
    But it honestly sounds to me like you want to change her into someone that you think she should be. She's sounds immature as well, and in case you didn't realize it, you're already playing daddy with her.

    • I realize if I stay with her then they are my kids. I get that. Would it be fair in that case to ask the same of her if the situation was flipped? If they were my kids, would it be fair game? To decide to take a position that I know would put extra stress on her and work and let your spouse pick up the slack?
      I personally wouldn't treat my spouse like that.
      Maybe that's not how it works and I'm too nice I don't know.

    • I just think she's immature and expects you to take care of her, and her responsibilities. I don't think you'd be in this position at all with a more mature woman.

  • You are not the parent and you aren't married so her kids are her responsibility and you need to express in a polite manner. Unless you live together and have discussed the issue thoroughly she shouldn't expect or assume you look after her kids.

    • we live together and won't have the kids until summer break and then we will have one indefinitely for the next 7 years, it's not like I haven't said I'd pay 50% of the bills which means covering one kid for her, I just feel like it should be up to her to work her career around her kids not be work my career around her kids. We've been together 8 months

    • Show All
    • That's what I'm talking about, and yes I do have an idea what childcare costs. If I wanted to take a job that would require me to pay for childcare I would make damn sure I could afford it instead of shirking it off on someone else, or not accept a job that would require me to do it. Because I do enjoy my family and family is of great importance to me. Parenting is about teaching your children how to become successful self reliant people, while at the same time showing them unconditional love, it means being the person they need rather than the person they like sometimes. It means teaching them morals and values. And I know it isn't easy, I actually do have experience in this area.

    • I'm parent, talk to me about your idealism and how they should be applied in real-life after you know what you're talking about.

What Guys Said 1

  • You are her boyfriend. You are not a father. Some people think that when you date a mother you immediately have to become the father. You don't. You're just the boyfriend. The only person who decides to if you become the father or not, is you.