Possibly Not Taking Kids on an Amazing Holiday...... WWYD?

(235 Posts)
19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:43:13

Sorry this is kind of long!

I’m 32 and have recently got married to my DH, after 4.5 years together, who has 2 girls (14 and 10) who we have 50% of the time, we all get along really well so no problems there.

The girls mum is a recovering alcoholic, who sorted herself out about 2.5 years ago, and now works, and has them 50% of the time. She is doing a bit better, but still pretty useless in terms of providing for the girls (we buy pretty much everything, despite her promises to buy ½ school uniforms etc, it never happens). She has promised that she will take the girls to New York in 2015 to her cousins wedding, but based on past experience, I really can’t see it.

My IL’s have a small holiday home in the Algarve, so the girls get taken there every year without fail, which they love. The girls love it and it’s really great as it means we can all have a break with only budget flights and spending money to cover. Also, the kids are not spoilt, but they do not go without in terms of gadgets, clothes pocket money. I think my DH tries to make up for their useless Mum, in some ways.

About two years ago my OH and I went to Florida for a week together, without the kids, I felt a bit guilty, but it was the only holiday we had taken together, ever, and when we were looking for a week in Europe, a very cheap deal popped up (as it was term time I guess), so we grabbed it. The kids didn’t seem that fussed (they have been before), but I did feel a bit bad going without them.

Then last month we went away without them on our honeymoon for 10 days, round SE Asia (paid for by my parents as a wedding present), I don’t think the kids would have even wanted to go to these locations and it was our honeymoon, so I don’t feel too guilty about going away without them, but obviously, on paper, it was a child free holiday.

At the moment we are all in my flat that I bought before I met my DH, it’s a bit cramped but we are trying to make do and save up for a deposit on a house so we can upgrade to a larger place, nearer the girls school and friends. We will need a minimum of £15k, and have £3.5k so far.

So, anyway, my Dad and my DSM are moving to San Francisco shortly for 2 years. He has spoken about my DH and I going to visit, an told us he has enough Avios (air Miles) to “pay” for our flights whenever we want to go over for a visit and they have a 2 bed place, so we can stay there, no problem. Great!

However, the dilemma is, I would feel really guilty about going away without the kids again, especially to America, but the problems are…..

1)My Dad isn’t overly keen on children, and it would be a bit of a squash with all 6 of us in a 2 bed place. If we asked, I know he wouldn’t say no they couldn’t come, but I wouldn’t impose all of us in his place for 10 days, so I guess the plan would be spend 5 days there, then hire a car for 5 days and do our own thing (California theme parks, maybe?). This obviously would cost.
2)The “free” flights for my DH and I that my Dad is offering will be available on a few select dates only. Realistically, the chance of getting them in the school holidays, is slim to none, so to cover 4 flights during the holidays would be about £3200.

So, to cut to the crunch. Dh and I have the chance of a free holiday, we would love to take the girls, but if we do it’s going to cost us upwards of £5000, basically all our savings, when we are trying to save for a house deposit.

Also, I haven’t had any serious discussions about this with my DH, but he has already mentioned in passing to the kids about us all going there on holiday at some point, but I don’t think he has considered the cost implications (he does this a lot).
I will feel a total bitch if we can’t take them, but I think at the moment our financial priority should be focusing on the house. It’s kind of a heart vs head situation!

WWYD? Help!

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:45:21

PS Obv my main worry is how would the kids take it if we went without them? I have explained the reasons on here, but a 10 and 14 year old would just see it as we're going and don't want to take them....... I don't think they would kick up a fuss to our faces, but I'm sure that's how they would feel

PrimalLass Tue 19-Aug-14 09:47:14

Have you checked what the tax would be on the Avios flights? It's normally pretty high to the US, so the free isn't free at all (hundreds of £).

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:48:24

yeah I know, my dad has offered to cover that too, for my DH and I.

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:48:58

I'm looking after his flat which he is renting out while he is away, so the flights are a thank you for that.

callamia Tue 19-Aug-14 09:52:11

I think it's ok for you to visit your own Dad without it being a family holiday and costing loads of money that you realistically don't have. Or, do you mind spending another six months (or however long) in your smaller home while you use that deposit to pay for you all to go?

I don't see that you shouldn't go, just because you can't all afford it - would you go on your own, or would that be too miserable?

hesterton Tue 19-Aug-14 09:53:48

I think you should go yourself and let him decide if he's coming too.

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:55:46

I don't know. Me going alone would be an option I guess, but I wouldn't have anywhere near as good a time as if my DH went too. Plus he would be gutted too I think.

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:58:09

Hesterton, I think that's prob the best solution.
I just wish he hadn't mentioned it to the kids already, and planted the seed in their heads. They haven't gone on about it but it's there now.

I was speaking to my colleagues in work (who have kids) and they pointed out that the kids go to Portugal every year, so they're not going without. It's just that this would be an amazing trip, and I would feel like a right bitch leaving them behind.

manofsponge Tue 19-Aug-14 09:58:33

you went to FLorida without your kids? When your kids were aware of the fact you were going?

bloody hell

Ragwort Tue 19-Aug-14 10:03:42

I think the girls are old enough to understand that your dad is treating you and your DH to the air fares to visit him and step-mother at their home.

Does your dad act as a 'grandfather' in any way to the two girls?

You can tell them that this is a very special treat and hopefully you will be able to take them to San Fransciso another time but your dad's flat is very small and that you will take the opportunity to look for suitable hotels for a future visit - all of which is true.

Not everything is 'fair' in life and the girls need to understand that adults are entitled to nice treats as well. (Presumably you will be going in term time and the girls will be with their mother?)

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 10:08:40

manofsponge - yes, not ideal I know, but bear in mind that at the time they weren't my (step) kids. they were my boyfriends kids, and we didn't live together. they had also been the year previously, and had been to Portugal for a fortnight 2 months earlier.

we didn't plan to go to florida, it was a last minute deal, that believe it or not worked out £50 more each, than a week in Greece.

ragwort - I think I know you're right. I just feel rotten. I guess the first thing to is have a proper discussion with my OH about it all. He has mentioned taking the kids, I just don't think he has added up all the costs.

Kablooger Tue 19-Aug-14 10:10:02

AH florida thing sounds more understandable now.
Even so a mate of mine has a kid who is fully aware of ' daddy going on foreign holiday with new partner" all the time - where as she is in a caravan in England with him in the summer.. hmm

I am not saying you do that, but it always irked me. sad

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 10:11:10

Kahblooger - That's what I'm worried about.

macdoodle Tue 19-Aug-14 10:13:03

Umm stop spending money on holidays and save for a home for you and your children, except you don't really see them as your children do you. Are you going to have children, we you leave them at home every time you find a "cheap holiday".

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 19-Aug-14 10:15:50

I think you should take them. They are his children and came as part of the package.

Children from split families have enough to contend with without feeling second best to their parents new spouse. Having had friends in this situation as children, it causes a lot of resentment.

angeltulips Tue 19-Aug-14 10:15:54

I really don't think this is a problem. We go on trips without our dc at least once a year - and she is ours, and with us 100% of the time! Surely kids can understand the concept of you going to visit your dad?

Ps if you manage to get avios tix I salute you - the west coast routes always seem to be booked out.

19lottie82 Tue 19-Aug-14 10:16:35

macdoodle - umm with the greatest respect, take a hike! you don't know anything about my life and my relationship with my stepkids, who I work damn hard to provide for and love to bits. take your judgey pants, based on what you have decided with limited information, elsewhere"

Floralnomad Tue 19-Aug-14 10:18:33

I wouldn't go on holiday without my DC ,would you do the same if they were your children rather than step children ?

RiverTam Tue 19-Aug-14 10:18:43

that seems rather unfair, macdoodle. The OP has fully explained why these 3 (well, 2 so far but possibly 3) holidays have happened as they did.

chinamoon Tue 19-Aug-14 10:18:57

I think the main thing is to make sure they don't feel second best as a result. So you could say you are going to see your dad's new home and that you don't want them to miss out, so you will save up for them to either go on a school trip (to which you are not invited grin) or for a family holiday to a destination of their choice.

They are learning that sometimes good fortune befalls other people and the best way to deal with that is celebrate it and make sure they enjoy it, not deprive them of it.

That's what i'd do: go without guilt and in return let them pick a holiday together with you or a school trip abroad each, and save like mad for it to show they matter to you.

jacks365 Tue 19-Aug-14 10:20:59

I wouldn't go. I also wouldn't be impressed if either of my parents treated my step children like that.

macdoodle Tue 19-Aug-14 10:24:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Tauriel1 Tue 19-Aug-14 10:26:46

I think you should go. If it's going to really upset the girls, then your DH will have to stay home. Ultimately you need a relationship with your Dad. What if you want to visit him every couple of years?

If they go to the in laws holiday home, they are still pretty lucky. I didn't go abroad until I was an adult.

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 19-Aug-14 10:27:07

Floralnomad, suspect it will be very different when the OP has her own.

Maybe not though, it's seems to be getting more common to be selfish and holiday alone whilst leaving your children to miss out and putting the responsibility on other adults to look after them.

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