Background: dh and I have been married almost 2 years and together almost 5. Dh and his ex were divorced (finalized) by the time sds was 6 mo. They had many issues and realized they were not in love. They are very civil and work together to make sure sds is taken care of. We live about an hour from his ex and sds. We (dh and I) have a 8 mo.
Here is the issue: sds (almost 6 yo) is spoiled. End of sentence. He gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants. His mom knows this. She admits he is spoiled. She says she is his only and she wants to give him everything. She also does not want to re-marry because it will take time away from sds. She give sds what he wants, also because she says it is easier to give in when you are a single parent. His birthdays and holidays are WAY over the top. He is allowed to watch and play video games that are way too 'old' for him. Dh doesn't agree, the ex knows it, but still does it. We often don't get to see him on the weekends because she has some extravagant thing planned for him (trips to sea world, Disney world, etc.). Sds also gets asked if he wants to go see daddy or do x. Of course he would rather go the th birthday party!!!! Going back to court really is not an option. We can't afford it, and her parents would get the best lawyer money can buy ($ not being an issue for them).
She ( the ex) has her moments and can be great with letting us see sds a lot, but to put it frankly: we just are not as fun as mom.
We don't let him play video games all day. We don't let him watch a lot of movies h can watch at mom's. I don't feed him mcdonalds and Kool aid. (that's all he drinks with mom, she even sends a packet with him, but I refuse to make it for him). We eat healthy, don't watch a lot of tv (dh only watches sports, I don't watch any) and we don't believe in buying sds every toy he wants, just because he wants it.
So.... Ds is 8 mo and will not be raised like his brother. My question is, how do we blend these boys without having too many issues. I know ds is still young, and it helps there is a big age gap, but how do we keep the peace? We try to do fun things with sds to make it not so boring here. Will ds be jeoulous when he is older? I know this is not something we are going to deal with immediatly, but I would like some experienced mamas to give me som insight of what to expect.... Thanks!
The big age gap is key, really. We have a similar situation with houses that are very different, but the other kids are all 7+ years older than my kids, so it basically just works out. A 5 year old isn't going to complain about a 13 year old having something, or if they do, you can easily explain it away as AGE, not different parents, as the reason, you know? Like, when my 5 yo wants to know why big brothers all have cell phones, we tell her it's because they're older.
As far as the oter stuff...we enforce our rules in our house to ALL kids..so, for example, even though they might get unlimited TV attheir moms house, they don't get it here. We just don't do that. We also don't buy junk food much, and you knwo what? They;ve learned to like apples and bananas and veggies w/ranch dip instead of chips and candy.
A child should not be the one making visitation decisions. Is this occurring on court-mandated parenting time of your DH's? If so, he really needs to start enforcing that, birthday party or no birthday party. Heck, why can't your DH take him to the party? If DSD has a birthday party, whichever parent she is with at the time takes her.