Man Refuses To Watch His Stepdaughter On His Golf Days — 'I'm Not Giving Up My Hobbies To Babysit'

What is his responsibility in his stepdaughter's life?

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Blending families together is no easy feat. When a parent settles down with a new mate who is not biologically related to their child, what the bonus parent's role is in the rearing of their stepchild varies from family to family.

But for one man, his wife made it abundantly clear that he shouldn't try to be her daughter's father because the girl already has one. Then, she moved the goal post. Looking for clarity, the 38-year-old stepdad took to the AITA subreddit (later uploaded to TikTok), to share his convoluted dilemma. 


The stepdad was suddenly asked to give up his golf days to start parenting after five years of being told not to.

His wife, Jane, was transparent when she let him know that her ex is a fully involved parent to her 9-year-old daughter, Emily. Basically, he would never need to step into that role. And for five years, he hadn't. 



RELATED: 11 Things I Would Never Do As An Experienced Stepmom Of Older Stepchildren


Things changed, however, when Emily's father's got married. Family dynamics caused a change in the custody split, and Jane agreed to a revised plan without consulting him. 

The new custody arrangement means breaking a long-standing tradition of Saturday golf with his family.

Here's where it gets tricky. For years, even before they were married, Saturdays have been spent golfing with his siblings as a way to spend time together and connect. Unfortunately, Jane, who had enrolled in a 12-month Saturday certification class, changed the custody arrangement under the assumption that her husband would change his family tradition and parent Emily on Saturdays instead.

She was shocked and surprised when he said no. She insisted that Emily take priority over his family tradition and insisted golf is "stupid." 


He clarified that he doesn't mind being with his stepdaughter, but he should not be expected to give up something he loves for the next year to suit Jane and her ex. Now he finds himself sleeping on the couch and eager to know if he is wrong. 

RELATED: Mom Admits She Loves Her Stepchild And Biological Child Differently

Readers were overwhelmingly on his side, believing that his wife should never had made such a big decision with her daughter's father without consulting him. They found it disrespectful that she thought she could make decisions about her husband's life to make things easier for her ex.


What's happening in this family hints at some of the main reasons happy blended families take hard work.

Gabrielle Applebury, LMFT wrote that some of the primary reasons blended families fail are major parenting differences that can't be overcome, false expectations about the roles and responsibities of each person in the situation, challenges with ex-partners, and difficulty adjusting to routines, all of which exist in this scenario. 

That's not to say that they can't work, however. Since 50% of children under 13 are living with at least one biological parent and one step-parent, that's good to know.

Family therapist Ron Deal candidly explained to PureWow that blending families is never a "Brady Bunch" scenario. “You’re normal if you struggle in finding parental unity and if your relationship with your stepchildren feels fragile. You’re normal if you feel a little guilty that your marriage has brought more transition to your children’s lives or if you experience family togetherness one day and disconnection the next,” he said.

It's the adults in a blended household that have to communicate to make the family thrive. As Deal explained, “Getting on the same page, knowing how to work together and what to expect from each’s role in the family is crucial to building love together.”


In the end, a husband and wife should always prioritize one another when it comes to making decisions regarding their household. 

RELATED: Mom Of 3 Sparks Debate After Questioning Whether She Should Move In With Her Ex-Husband To Help Raise Their Kids

NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationships, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.