about DH staying away for (part of) DD's birthday

(60 Posts)
OrangeSunset Sun 13-Oct-13 07:28:35

DD's birthday is in a few weeks. DH has been invited to a sporting event the day before, and it transpires they are planning to stay over in the city where the event takes place.

DH is rubbish with dates, and when it was booked, didn't realise that DD's birthday was the next day. When I reminded him last night, he got a bit uppity and said his mate will be driving there and back, so they will be back the next morning (ie. the morning of DD's birthday).

AIBU to be annoyed by this? The city is only 1 hour away, and so it's entirely possible for him to get the train back after the event to enable him to be here in the morning.

If he stays and waits for a lift, its likely to be hours before they get back. I would feel a bit bad for DD having to explain why DH isn't there for her birthday when she wakes up.

To be fair to DH, it was only last night that he realised the clash...hoping that having had some time to think about it he will reconsider..! But still interested in opinion....

OrangeSunset Sun 13-Oct-13 19:43:05

Interesting replies, thanks all.

To be fair to DH, we haven't discussed it further since he realised the date clash. We'll see what he comes up with...but if he is sticking to the plan of staying over I will think that is pants...and more justified in doing so given that some of you would too wink The event finishes at 7pm, and the last reasonable train home is at 9pm, so he could still have a jolly good day out before coming home and being around for DD in the morning. The first train home the next day arrives about 1030, definitely preferable to a lift with a hungover mate however.

I do think it's different to a situation involving work or more serious commitments than a social with mates. Obv these are important too but its all about balance.

He's going to a similar event 2 weeks beforehand, but not staying over. For birthday-related and non-birthday-related reasons (the journey home is a pig) it would be better if he stayed over at that event.

Ho hum. Perhaps I will ask the GPs if they'd like to stay over, so being there in the morning. We do normally do presents in the morning, and DD will be terribly excited.

shockers Sun 13-Oct-13 19:38:27

I was away on a hen weekend for DS's birthday this year (I was a bridesmaid). Rather than tell me I was in the wrong, DH offered to drive over to where we were (about an hour and a half away), so that I could go for lunch with them. Then he had booked an add-on activity in the area for the two of them to do afterwards. I was very grateful. Perhaps you and DD could re-jig the usual course of a birthday morning so that everyone wins. Get up and bake a cake together to surprise Daddy when he gets back maybe... It's only a big deal if you treat it like one.

I've just read Peppermintscreams post, picking Daddy up from the station sounds like it would be exciting, especially if a lovely breakfast out was included!

UniS Sun 13-Oct-13 19:14:50

YABU - its a short part of a day he's not there for. plenty of birthdays she will be in school and "not there" for part of the day.
I managed to miss DS's 7th birthday entirely as I was on a course. was working on my birthday and DH will be working on his.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Sun 13-Oct-13 18:49:00

I would ask him to come home by train. The thing about relying on a lift is that you are reliant on someone else'S schedule - wanting a lie in and a long breakfast the next day, maybe time to sober up, wife calls and asks him to pick up some shopping on his drive back, bit of traffic and the next thing you know its two in the afternoon. Yes we all have to work, but that's not what's keeping your DH away and and a child's weekend birthday is special family time IMO.

DoJo Sun 13-Oct-13 18:46:48

I think the point is that it would be easy for OP's husband to be there, but he is still choosing not to be. Comparisons with working are unfair as that is not a choice, and given that he is already limited in how much time he can spend with his daughter, it would be nice if he made an effort to spend as long as possible with her on her birthday. I doubt that the OP is going to paint him as a heartless bastard to her daughter, whatever he does, but I think she is justified in being upset that he seems unwilling to make the effort to be there when it would be easy and appreciated.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 13-Oct-13 18:24:01

Too PFB, what happens when it falls on a school day or you and your DH are working? Will you insist on annual leave and pull her from school?

Wouldnt bother me or DS at all, DH works hard so i wouldnt begrudge him a night away to return the next day.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 18:03:06

A bit PFB, sorry. It is disproportionate. She's only five, it doesn't matter that daddy is due back a bit later. If he was going to be late for her wedding you might have a point.

DoBatsEatCats Sun 13-Oct-13 17:51:27

YANBU. If he had to work, fine, that's life - but he doesn't, this is a social thing that he could get back from the night before. I would be pretty disappointed in your shoes because it looks as though he puts your DD rather low down the priority list.

Mojavewonderer Sun 13-Oct-13 16:55:53

It wouldn't bother me or the children if my husband wasn't there but then we are used to it because he has missed all our birthdays and a Christmas at one point or another due to him being in the forces and being away on detachment.
I would say though that I don't see why your husband can't catch a train back after the sports event unless they are planning a big night out drinking? I would be concerned about that in case they were too hung over to get back in the morning.

Mutley77 Sun 13-Oct-13 14:14:23

It wouldn't work here as everyone's birthday is celebrated by coming into our bedroom at the crack of dawn for presents! So our dc would miss daddy being there. However if it were unavoidable we would work round it.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 13-Oct-13 13:57:01

Nope no issue we often both work on children's birthdays so we have the party on the next most suitable date and have a birthday tea to mark the day itself. No complaints ever from them.

whois Sun 13-Oct-13 13:54:51

I'm usually all for each partner having a life, but if the city really is only 1h away by train then I would rather he came back the night before. No really need to stay over is there.

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 13-Oct-13 13:51:13

Birthdays are a very big deal for a five year old. If she was going to be 2 and oblivious, or 12 and old enough to understand why he wouldn't be there - fine, but it will be tough for a five year old.

He should be there, especially if his only excuse is that he will be one whole hour away!

BooCanary Sun 13-Oct-13 13:36:15

it's one of those classic 'different things matter to different people' issues. Everyone has different life experiences, and there's not necessarily a right or wrong.

For example, I would be very upset if DH was back late for my birthday, whereas DH really wouldn't give a shit if I did the same on his birthday.

I would feel the same as you do re. the DCs birthdays, but my DH would just think '<shrug> I'll be back by midday so what's the problem?'

When my DH was a child, his family used to open Xmas presents in the afternoon once everyone had had their lunch and a nap/walk, and then they'd sit in silence watching telly for the rest of the day. And the 'menfolk' would go to the pub whilst lunch was being prepared!!!

I can't understand that at all. In my family, we would be up at 6am excitedly opening presents, the day would be spent with visitors, games and lots of socialising.

curlew Sun 13-Oct-13 13:24:02

Or you could have a special birthday lunch.

Unless you are a fully paid up member of the "precious moments" club?grin

SanityClause Sun 13-Oct-13 13:19:33

I think all you can do is suggest to him that your DD may be upset if he isn't there on the morning, and suggest he gets the train home.

It's up to him to build a relationship with his DD.

Obviously, it does depend on how you "do" birthdays. We have presents in the morning, regardless of what else will happen later in the day, and I don't think any of the family would be happy to miss this, even for another family member's day.

But, if your usual celebrations are different to this, it may well be less important to your DD to have him there for the morning.

lborolass Sun 13-Oct-13 13:13:29

It wouldn't bother me at all but then I don't get all the fuss about birthdays anyway so probably not the best person to ask grin

Your DD will only be upset if you make a big fuss about it though, why not just explain that Daddy will be there later in the day and have twice the excitement.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 13-Oct-13 13:08:39

What kind of father doesn't remember his own daughter's birthday?

What would happen if you wanted to go away for the night/next morning? Would there be no one there to celebrate with DD? Why does he think this is appropriate behaviour/parenting?

He seems pretty selfish to me - particularly since the place he's going to is an HOUR away. That's shorter than a lot of people's commutes to work.

Are you left to pick up the 'family occasion' slack often OP?

MusicalEndorphins Sun 13-Oct-13 12:37:48

It's only as important to your child as you make it. If he actually did not realize the date of the event was the day before his kids birthday, better to not give her unrealistic expectations. My step dad was at work when we woke up, and only now when I thought about it did I even realize that! We still had birthday breakfast with our mother, and a special dinner and cake later on.
However, I don't see why he can't come home after the event. Regardless of birthdays etc., he has no important reason to stay away overnight does he.
Personally, if it were ME in place of your dh, I would want to be home for my child or partners birthday, and only a very important reason(having to work, someone critically ill) would keep me out the entire night before.

Fairenuff Sun 13-Oct-13 12:37:25

I think it's more of a concern that, when booking, he had no idea that it was the day before his dd's birthday.

However, if he is only an hour away, he can be home by, what 8am? I don't think that would be a problem, she could wait until then to open her presents.

Floggingmolly Sun 13-Oct-13 12:36:44

Will you be one of those mums who insist on their dh taking a day off work on their kids birthdays? hmm

BrokenSunglasses Sun 13-Oct-13 12:24:55

I don't see why it has to be an issue if he's going to be back in the morning.

That depends on how reliable the friend is though, and if he'll decide to hang around rather than just getting up and coming home.

If your DH can trust the friend to be coming home early, then it doesn't have to be a big deal.

PresidentServalan Sun 13-Oct-13 12:21:49

YABU - lots of children don't see their father first thing in the morning on their birthday (shift work, non resident parent etc) and he will be coming back in the morning anyway.

Mia4 Sun 13-Oct-13 10:29:46

Even more stupid phone inserting bookmarks!

Mia4 Sun 13-Oct-13 10:28:39

Stupid phone. However op I don't think yabu because.it sounds like this is the last straw in his making you both less of a priority. That's if I'm right from your updates.

If that's the case then yadnu to tell him that and insist he does.prioritize you both a good amount of the time.

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