at friends inviting their adult (step)son to join our joint family holiday

(147 Posts)
Merguez Sat 07-Dec-13 10:20:02

Now I do not fully understand the dynamics of 'second families' so I may have got this wrong.

We have a tiny holiday house in the mountains, quite near some skiing. It sleeps 7 people.

Ages ago we invited friends to join us for a few days, they have dc same age as ours - there will be 4 adults and 4 kids aged 12 to 14. One child will be on mattress on floor.

The mum has just asked if they can bring her adult stepson too as he loves snowboarding - not sure how old he is but he's been at uni for a while so I would guess about 20. He will sleep at B&B down the road but will be with us the rest of the time.

It will already be a squeeze trying to fit 8 round the table in the evenings, with a 9th adult it will be virtually impossible. Oh, and I am doing all the shopping and cooking. I have said yes because I felt anything else would be rude. But inside I am seething.

thecatfromjapan Sat 07-Dec-13 10:39:33

You need to learn to say "No".

Especially if "She has done it before."

Seriously, think about it. You are cross because she asked you if something was OK. She hasn't just turned up with him. She hasn't burned your house down or slept with your husband. She's asked you whether it would be OK to bring an extra body.

You put the tip of your tongue behind your teeth, breathe out, then constrict your throat, lower your voice, as you continue to breather out.

You can do it!!

As for the seating: well, use a laundry basket with a bread-board on top. And pretend you're being a welcoming Bohemian.

HeGrewWhiskersOnHisChin Sat 07-Dec-13 10:42:46

Surely the step son is actually one half of the couple's(the DH's) 'real' son?

My DP is a 'stepson'. Always the partners' (on both mum and dad's side) stepson but never referred to as his mum or dad's son.

As a PP said, if he's still at uni, he's probably still considered part of the family in the way the other children are. Why should he not be treated the same?

It may now be inconvenient to you, but really you should have invited him in the first place.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Dec-13 10:43:20

I think in friendship you have to be honest. So if you think it would be fine to have them and too stressful to add another, say so nicely, and all will be well.

It sounds like you need to run house parties a bit more like a hostel though, with allocated tasks and clear expectations about everyone's roles at mealtimes and so on. I do that regardless of how grand the guests are and it means I can be a lot more sanguine about the workload.

How old are the little children - can one of them sit on his knee, or a parent's knee, round the dining table?

Have a chat with her about cooking/chores. Now they are bringing an extra person, it's a good time to make it clear you will all be taking turns to cook/shop/wash up/tidy up. (And the men as well, just meant talk to her as you've been talking to her re SS.). He may well be more use now he's older than he was as a stroppy young teenager. OR might be out all day not wanting to hang out with the oldies.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Dec-13 10:45:01

Oddly enough I find it's peers of the realm who are quickest to grab tea towels if required, and the wives of lower ranking property developers who are too spoiled to stick a pair of rubber gloves on. wink

thecatfromjapan Sat 07-Dec-13 10:45:27

Sorry for that last post. I have a cold and that comes across far grumpier than it should. I was aiming for humorous and to make you laugh. But then my teen came in and started snarking at his sister and I think it went a bit sharp. <sigh> Whole other story there ...

I have taken years to get past the whole being pressured into saying "yes" when I really want to say "no". I'm only beginning to get past it now. It is VERY hard. But I am learning that it is far, far better to "No". It really will transform your life, I promise. And the weirdest thing that I have found is that other people seem to like it more too. I think that is because they don't have to spend time trying to "intuit" what it is you really want.

So, you can see that it is really good all round.

HarderToKidnap Sat 07-Dec-13 10:45:39

Disagree with the above, when I was 16 onwards my mum and dad were always going on holidays without me. That was fine, I was doing my own holiday thing with friends! Certainly wouldn't have expected an invite when I was 20.

However, she's asked and you've answered... It will be fine, brilliant to all squeeze in round the table, great meal, wine... It'll be fantastic! Don't fuss so much about mundane things and life will be more fun.

Boffin, that's not a stealth boast, that's a great big actual in-your-face boast. grin

IME experience, the proper peers (the ones who have been chucked out of the Lords) do have beautiful manners. I once had a brief stand-off with a very elderly Duke as I tried to hold open a door for him, and he insisted on holding it open for me. I gave way in the end...

BoffinMum Sat 07-Dec-13 10:47:41

I had a big falling out when a friend said 'no' to me really rudely a little while back, when I genuinely thought she had meant something completely different, and I felt I was putting myself out for her in making the effort to visit as it had been a while and she appeared to have been angling for company from me. So be clear and friendly about boundaries and it is usually OK to say no, snap at people stressfully and don't be surprised if you are off their Xmas lists.

Branleuse Sat 07-Dec-13 10:48:39

oh ffs, they asked, you said yes. Hes one of their kids.

I would possibly say to them now, that, while you have agreed, you keep now panicking about the space issue, and certainly with another adult around, youre worried about how cramped its all going to be, so youre going to need to all get together and decide how youre going to make it all work, because maybe it will be better if they now use it as a base to sleep in, but catering for everyone is going to be too much, so theyre going to have to look after themselves a bit more than youd originally planned.

Merguez Sat 07-Dec-13 10:48:47

Thank you all for your comments. I put my hand up to being grumpy and a martyr and can see that I am in the wrong.

I am going to follow thecatfromjapan's advice and try and be a nicer person.

I referred to the boy as stepson because the request came from his stepmother not his father, sorry if that was in any way offensive to step-families.

He no longer lives at home, and we always see this family with just their younger children so I do not feel that we should have invited him at the outset, especially as we already have one child sleeping on the floor. It is a tiny house.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Dec-13 10:49:06

grin Sorry Edam, you are right, that was a fucking awful boast. Suffice it to say in my current lifestyle role I no longer have posh people coming to stay in my very ordinary estate house so we can all stand at ease now.

<chortle>

Preciousbane Sat 07-Dec-13 10:52:14

I am always quite fascinated by people having holidays with friends. I have had a weekend away once with lovely friends and we did have a nice time but I just don't understand it, maybe I'm deeply unsociable.

As she asked and you said yes I think YABU.

Uni may have brought him out of his shell and taught him a few social graces, so you might find that he's now great at looking after the children and wielding the odd tea-towel. <Optimistic>

Did you have an issue with a family staying with you last year or was that someone else? I think it will be fine,he will be doing his own thing

thecatfromjapan Sat 07-Dec-13 10:53:21

<shakes Merguez gently>

I am very sure you are already very, very nice. And I'm sure have no need to be nicer.

Wishing you a lovely Christmas and a lovely holiday.

FredFredGeorge Sat 07-Dec-13 10:55:55

BoffinMum What are high ranking property developers and how do they differ from low ranking? stone cladding?

difficultpickle Sat 07-Dec-13 10:57:09

Why aren't you taking turns with the other family for cooking? Or are they paying you for their use of your holiday home? Seems odd to me that you are all going on holiday together but you won't get much of a holiday with having to apparently shop and cook (and clean?).

BoffinMum Sat 07-Dec-13 11:00:10

<arf> at stone cladding.

The wives look indistinguishable from high class prostitutes for a start.

Forgive me, I had a snobby moment there. I've spent some difficult evenings with women like that, crushed under the weight of their dreadful pyramid selling schemes. Normal service will resume shortly.

HECTheHeraldAngelsSing Sat 07-Dec-13 11:01:28

Well, it's a joint family holiday and any child of any of the parents going is an equal part of their family, so it's not odd that he's part of their family and any joint holiday would not by default exclude him, so I'm glad you've changed on that, but I am curious as to why you are saying all cooking etc is to be done by you.

What's wrong with all the other adults? When was it agreed you were playing maid for a week?

Ignore my question if this was your choice, because obviously you can't be the one to make a choice and at the same time bemoan it grin

LoopyLobster Sat 07-Dec-13 11:02:04

How mean and nasty. He is their child at uni, which is very different to having moved out, but more importantly, you were like this when he was a teen too? Shame on you.

Mia4 Sat 07-Dec-13 11:02:47

OP, why don't you guys all do an online delivery together for the food shopping. Have 'pregoing away' drinks the week before and sit down and buy it all then split the costs. Any 'top ups' can also be split. You could also get delivered to the place.

carabos Sat 07-Dec-13 11:02:55

Is there more to this than you're saying OP? I ask because I can't understand the problem. Your friend asked if it is ok to bring her SS.

He is staying at a B&B so isn't adding to the space issue re beds, but have mentioned a couple of times that a child is sleeping on the floor.

Presumably as is the way with boys of his age (I've had two), he will lie in bed (at the B&B) till the last minute, then have breakfast there, thus no extra work at your end.

You will all spend all day on the mountain and have lunch out - again, no extra work for you. He will then return to the B&B to shower and change before coming to you for dinner.

Your two tiny problems seem to be a perceived shortage of chairs and no help with shopping and cooking.

Solutions 3-
1. Get another chair and squash up.
2. Work with your friend to draw up an agreed rota for shopping and cooking before you go and stick to it.
3. Unclench. None of this is about the SS. You are temperamentally unsuited to having house guests.

LIZS Sat 07-Dec-13 11:03:35

Would it be easier if they all stayed at the b & b, You evidently set a precedent where she feels comfortable to ask, confident that you will agree, and I can't help wondering if you simply find his age and situation awkward. You could say on reflection now that all the dc are older/bigger it is going to be really difficult to cater of that many in such a tight space . fwiw when friends came to visit us abroad they would always buy shopping and even cook or pay for a meal out . You are providing free accommodation after all.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Sat 07-Dec-13 11:06:22

Just get another bloody chair.

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