really don't know if I'm BU and need to calm down or if my dad is being a twat...

(71 Posts)
quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:15:01

Going on a short break with my parents this weekend with DH and DD (2.5), long weekend up north. My mum is quite unwell and dad needs a lot of support and respite. I go down about once every three weeks/month to help out. Don't resent this at all as he needs the support but its stressful sometimes, he can be quite entitled and a bit selfish about it, just not saying thanks for the fact that we do a ton of housework/cooking for them or taking into account that I have a small child I need to care for alongside fitting in with what he wants to do.

He's also paying for our accommodation though we're chipping in for petrol and have agreed to go halves on meals.

He wants to head off very early on Saturday morning to get a good start driving. Fair enough, as the drive will be (conservatively) four and a half hours without factoring food/loo breaks. He asked if we could be at their house on Friday night. We can't because we're both working. He gave me a hard time about this as he has trouble grasping that we can't just drop work at a minute's notice but has now accepted it but is now saying we need to be there by 9am on Saturday.

For us to be there by 9am on Saturday we would need to be leaving our house by about 5am (we don't have a car and would have to travel across London to get to the place where we'd get our train where it would then take a further hour and a half to get to their house.) DH has been working until around 7pm every night this week and isn't expected back until about 8pm on Friday. We were also all at their house last weekend.

I called this morning and said was there any way we could get a train to somewhere that's en route which would allow us not to have to be up at the crack of dawn and also wouldn't mean he would have to make too much of a deviation from his journey (I have somewhere specific in mind and have worked out that it would mean he'd have to drive about 45 mins out of his way.) He said flatly no way, he's old and doesn't want to have to go too far out of his way.

Now I know that his life is a bit shit at the moment as looking after my mum really takes its toll and I know he's doing us a favour by paying for us. But AIBU to expect him to at least consider meeting us half way on this?

buss Thu 29-Aug-13 13:17:06

yanbu
getting up at 5 and then travelling all day will be horrendous

GrendelsMum Thu 29-Aug-13 13:23:26

Yes and no, I think.

Of course you're not being unreasonable by not getting to them for 9am, and I think your suggestion was a sensible one, but I think that elderly people can lose track of what life is like when you've got a job and small kids. it's not that your dad is being a twat, it's that he's elderly, he's focused on his smaller life and home environment, he's caring for his wife, and things aren't the same as when he was younger.

I'd try that technique that people talk about for children, where you agree that it would be lovely to do the thing suggested (be with them on Friday evening, arrive first thing on Saturday) but go ahead with a practical suggestion that you can actually manage without the need for time travel.

TakingTheStairs Thu 29-Aug-13 13:23:31

I think on this occasion you have to suck it up and get up at the break of dawn. It would be nice for your Dad to be flexible, but he doesn't want to be and there's not much you can do about it unfortunately.

jacks365 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:24:53

Problem is neither of you are being unreasonable, adding an extra 45 mins onto an already long drive isn't nice but neither is having to get up so early.

frogwatcher42 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:26:10

Hes old. Hes probably knackered caring for your mum. He needs a stress free, quiet break away where he can relax. Driving further and having to find a new train station etc wouldn't help.

Why can't you go to his after work and start your holiday at his house? I don't understand that really - if you finish work before dh then you and dd could go earlier to get her settled then dh come over later. Then you all get up and pack mum and dad into car (if mum is going with you).

Maybe your dad is worried about setting off and remembering everything, shutting up house etc and would like you there.

Its hard being old and losing confidence, health etc.

purplewithred Thu 29-Aug-13 13:27:14

yanbu, but as you say he is having a shit time and it's a very long drive already - is he doing all the driving?

This doesn't sound like the greatest weekend away - you've got a 2 1/2 hour travel to him then 4 1/2 hours in the car with a toddler? Whatever time you set off it's going to be a grind. I'd bite the bullet, get there early and sleep in the car.

LouiseAderyn Thu 29-Aug-13 13:27:17

He's not really doing you a favour if going on this trip means loads of extra work and hassle for you.

i think you should just tell him that if he is not prepared to put himself out for 45 minutes, then you are certainly not prepared to put yourself out by leaving at 5 am and travelling all day just to suit him!

I think this trip sounds like a nightmare and you will spend all weekend feeling beholden because he's paid for your accommodation, so you will spend the whole time turning yourself inside out to appease him.

Old age and a difficult life is no excuse for selfish, bratty behaviour. Remember that when you deal with your father. Perhaps a little blunt speaking is necessary so he understands tha tyour own life has its pressures too.

Your choice as far as I can see with the holiday is to a) book Friday afternoon off work and go to theirs in the evening or b) insist they meet you somewhere sensible along the way and if they refuse, back out of this trip or c)hire a car and make your own way there.

He wants you to add four hours to the journey so he can avoid adding 45 minutes?

Something is weird.

FastWindow Thu 29-Aug-13 13:29:02

Sorry yes I think yabu. You're young and healthy. Can you not get a train all the way to the final destination? Then you can all leave whatever time you want.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:30:04

frog the problem with this is that DH wouldn't be in a position to even set off on his journey until about 9pm (he finishes about 6.30/7 and has to come home to shower and pack as his work is physical so he's absolutely filthy when he finishes). So there's no way he'd get to their house before midnight on the Friday.

I do totally understand how shit his life is and how pissed off he is with everything, and I'm willing to do a great deal for him, but a bit of gratitude and consideration would go a long way. He just seems to take it as read that people will fit in with him and it never crosses his mind that it might be extremely stressful and disruptive for others.

frogwatcher42 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:30:58

The more I read it the more the solution for all is for you to get to him the night before. Can't you leave work by 5ish and get to him by 8ish or so with your dd.

Then you can have a lovely evening with him too.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:31:16

LouiseAderyn we don't drive, unfortunately sad

frogwatcher42 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:31:38

op - but midnight is ok for your dh surely. My dh would think nothing of that (and neither would I).

frogwatcher42 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:33:43

To some extent you are bu because a lot of the difficulties are because you don't drive. Presumably then, your dad is doing all the driving too. Thats a lot for an older person. No wonder he doesnt want to add another 45 minutes on.

I now think yabu as you are the ones with the difficulties through not driving. He is having to pay and drive you so can surely call some shots.?

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:34:02

frog DH has to travel across London, shower, pack, eat, then set out again, after an extremely physical work day. He would much rather an early start on Saturday than go down on Friday night.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:36:23

Window it would cost over a hundred quid each. We initially offered to do this (booking early we would have saved a lot of money) but he said that was silly as we were needlessly adding cost to the journey.

But that was before I realised he was intent on making the whole thing so punishingly difficult.

frogwatcher42 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:37:15

Theres your answer then. You take dd over friday night and dh can join you Saturday.

Sorry op but it is beginning to sound as if you and dh won't put yourselves out too much for this (I understand that you do loads already to help your dad and mum). Traveling is doable even after a long hard day at work. Dh can eat as he travels so once he gets home he can have a 5min shower and get straight back out. Surely he can pack the night before and just grab his bag.

riskit4abiskit Thu 29-Aug-13 13:38:39

I think the problem is planning a weekend so far away for you all? Perhaps next time you could plan a weekend an hours drive or train away, driving for all those hours just for a weekend doesn't sound very restful for any of you, never mind if you were elderly.

In the current situation I would go with your dad's plans just this once.

I know going once every three weeks is hard for you with a young family and you have my sympathies, but perhaps it seems a long time between visits for your dad and maybe he is struggling and could do with more care put in place? ( Im only guessing here )

Hope you enjoy the weekend whatever happens

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:43:15

riskit I did suggest this to my dad but he had his heart set on this place. He's really prone to this: he still routinely plans trips to the USA and so forth (the last one he put money down before realising he didn't have respite care for my mum and lost the price of the ticket after he had to back out.) He's used to a really selfish active life and is massively in denial about how much my mum's condition curtails this. Its a big problem.

pinkdelight Thu 29-Aug-13 13:45:01

Is there a reason you can't just get yourself to the destination? Is it not on public transport (or train to nearest station then minicab)? Seems like he can't cope with the extra stress and you can't go the night before / at the crack of dawn on the day, so just meet them there. I don't think YABU (although I would probably go the night before and have DH shower there etc), but I can see it's putting pressure on him to ferry you all around.

pinkdelight Thu 29-Aug-13 13:47:37

Ah, just seen the £100 post. Well, that's the choice then - £100 for hassle-free journey, or free journey and suck up the hassle. Sorry, but I think a long drive is stressful enough without a last minute detour. My dad is lovely - not a twat at all - but I can imagine that'd really stress him out. Wouldn't have when he was younger, but you have to make allowances.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:48:46

pink as I said, we could go on the train but we've left it too late to book cheap tickets so the fare would now be over a hundred quid each. I offered to go by train and book early but my dad said he wouldn't hear of it, needlessly adding cost etc etc. But that was before I knew we were required to be there so early.

wonderingsoul Thu 29-Aug-13 13:52:53

personally i think you should leave early, with your dhs bag so all you dh has to do is to straight to your fathers and have a shower there.

quesadilla Thu 29-Aug-13 13:53:15

thanks all, I guess both me and my dad are being a bit U and we need to suck it up. I'm just really fricking stressed out about it and feeling quite resentful but I know I need to deal with it for the greater good etc.

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