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....

Squitten Sun 13-Oct-13 07:30:11

How old is your DD?

Fugacity Sun 13-Oct-13 07:31:50

It wouldn't bother me or my DCs if DH isn't there when they wake up.

We do the Happy Birthday, cake and presents at supper time.

OrangeSunset Sun 13-Oct-13 07:32:18

She'll be 5. He works long hours so isn't likely to be around much on the next 4/5 birthdays.

confusedwwyd Sun 13-Oct-13 07:33:48

i think shes old enough to understand that daddy will see her on her birthday even if not waking up to him being there.

TidyDancer Sun 13-Oct-13 07:36:00

What time would you anticipate he'd be back in the morning?

How can you predict he won't be around for the next four or five years of birthdays? That can't really form part of the decision on this, you really don't know.

Jinty64 Sun 13-Oct-13 07:37:17

It wouldn't bother me or my dc's. We both work and our dc's are lucky to get a quick happy birthday on the way out the door in the morning. They get presents and a cake in the evening.

Squitten Sun 13-Oct-13 07:37:18

My 5yr old would understand that Daddy won't be there immediately and would be so busy opening his stuff, he probably wouldn't notice!

That said, I wouldn't be explaining anything! It's your DH's job to explain it to her that he won't be there and he can tell her when he'll be home.

Spirulina Sun 13-Oct-13 07:39:28

It's life. Sometimes we miss some of the best bits. He'll be there for most of it, can't see the problem. Daddy appearing later Will give her something extra to look forward to won't it?

sparkle12mar08 Sun 13-Oct-13 07:40:37

Totally unreasonable, sorry smile He's only am hour away, will be back early that morning, I can't see the problem. My dh got tickets to see England play in the six nations at Twickenham on ds 2's third birthday, and was away for the whole day. I encouraged him to go. Your daughter does not need to wake up with daddy in order to be able to celebrate her birthday with him.

froken Sun 13-Oct-13 07:42:58

What sort of present opening traditions do you have in your family? When I was small I'd go into my mums bedroom first thing and open the presents, my dp always had a special family breakfast. If you do something like that it isn't fair for him to be away and for your dd to have to wait for him or not have him there.

Could he drive and then get up at 5/6ish so he is home before the sun comes up?

impatienttobemummy Sun 13-Oct-13 07:43:49

I disagree, I would expect DH to be there if he could. Working is one thing but he is going out with his mates! DS would be gutted if Daddy wasn't there on his birthday. Could he not drive himself? That way he could leave early in the morning?

Flicktheswitch Sun 13-Oct-13 07:45:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choceyes Sun 13-Oct-13 07:52:41

Wouldn't bother me personally. My ds is 5 next month and he would be more interested in opening presents ( although we'd leave the present opening till the eveningif its a work day).

But my dh would never stay the night away if only an hour away. It would be a waste of money on a hotel room unless he is planning to go out with friends all night- in which case I would not be pleased if he is thentoo ti the next day to enjoy ds' s birthday.

Morgause Sun 13-Oct-13 08:00:15

It's sad for you and your DD but you can't make him want to be there if he doesn't.

He's the one missing out, really.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 13-Oct-13 08:00:56

My DH would come home.

If he is reliant on a mate for a lift then it will be lunchtime because they will all go out and get drunk and then be hungover.

I'm assuming that he won't be around for the next few years because the birthday will fall on a week day when he will be working.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 13-Oct-13 08:02:33

Meh, he'll be there later. Birthdays are a social construct anyway. If he was missing an operation or something it would be an issue.

tumbletumble Sun 13-Oct-13 08:02:53

I think it depends how often he has a night away with his mates. If it's very rare and he is really looking forward to this then YABU. If it happens fairly regularly then YANBU and it would be nice for him to come home early for her birthday.

Florin Sun 13-Oct-13 08:22:06

My husband wouldn't have booked to stay in the first place as he wouldn't want my son dissapointed when he woke up in the first place. It would seem sensible for him to just drive himself and come back in the evening he then get his day out without upsetting your son. If he can't remember his birthday maybe he needs it tattooed on him somewhere so he can't forget again!

PeppermintScreams Sun 13-Oct-13 08:22:51

DP works shifts so is often either asleep or working on birthday mornings. He does try and make an effort for birthdays either going in a bit later (7.30 instead of 6am) or getting out of bed for a bit. DS understands that daddy goes to work and isn't always around.

But at aged 5 DS knows when Daddy is and isn't due to be at home, and would be upset if DP wasn't around on a day he was expecting him to be (like a Sunday for us - DPs non working day) especially if it's a birthday, so YANBU.

Can he get the train back first thing, so he's not relying on a hungover mate? DS would love to go and pick Daddy up from the station. if not, he needs to come back early from the trip.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 13-Oct-13 08:40:53

Will he be drinking after the sorting event? I would be more worried about a hung over husband rather than when he gets back.

colleysmill Sun 13-Oct-13 08:57:49

The night away wouldn't particularly bother me but the time he gets back the next day would maybe.

My idea of back early isn't necessarily everyone else's and if he's relying on a lift that's kind of out of his and your hands. If he's going to stroll in late afternoon having had stop for lunch and a pint on the way I wouldn't be particularly impressed.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Sun 13-Oct-13 09:15:46

Plenty of shift workers miss part of special days - birthdays, Chrsitmas etc.

DH will miss most of Christmas Eve and Day this year - it is just the way it is.

As long as your DH doesn't return at teatime with an awful hangover, then I wouldn't be too bothered.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 13-Oct-13 09:21:25

I also wouldn't be happy with this arrangement. If it is possible to come back on the day then he probably wants to just catch up and have a few drinks with his friends. Any other time wouldn't be a problem but surely his dd birthday is priority. Sorry but him being rubbish at dates is no excuse of not remembering his own dd birthday.

JGBMum Sun 13-Oct-13 09:28:48

If it means coming home on Saturday or Sunday morning, then yes, I think he could drive himself/ get train, and be home for DDs birthday. Particularly if the staying over option involves lots of drink, then turning up shattered and hungover the next day.

Otoh, if it's a school day, then dd herself will only be there for a short time before leaving for school. So not such a big issue.

Given the follow up on long hours, is the real problem that you feel that you, and your daughter, are right down at the bottom of his priority list? For myself, I wouldn't be too concerned about him not being there in the morning (but he explains it to her, not you), but I would be very concerned if I felt that he placed his family right down the pecking order behind anything else he wanted to do.

Chocotrekkie Sun 13-Oct-13 09:50:47

I wouldn't be happy that he doesn't want to spend the day with your dd on her birthday when it would be so easy to do so.

Having to work is totally different to choosing not to come home after a day out to see her excited face when she wakes up.

pixiepotter Sun 13-Oct-13 10:01:54

YABU lots of times kids are at school on their birthdays, or their parents have to work.

Lweji Sun 13-Oct-13 10:06:59

I wouln't think it's a problem. Just as l

Lweji Sun 13-Oct-13 10:07:37

Just as l

Lweji Sun 13-Oct-13 10:09:04

Just as long as my fat fingers don't mess it up he's there for the rest of the day.

Twooter Sun 13-Oct-13 10:12:22

Yanbu. Assuming her birthday is a Sunday, so will be the last birthday for years until it falls on a weekend, I feel he should be there. Lets face it, his mate isn't going to be in a rush to drive back, and if your dh is getting a lift he won't be able to dictate what time they're going to get home.

Rubybrazilianwax Sun 13-Oct-13 10:17:51

It wouldnt annoy me tbh. We would have a birthday tea or whatever wgen dh got home. We've had lots of birthday parties start at 2.30 after school, my dh has often just been home from work for the last bit or has missed the party but has had cake after. Likewise I was in New York for one of ds birthday. Its only a birthday after all

Yabu. Take her out for, or make her, a special breakfast and then meet up with your dh later. I don't see what the problem is.

Mia4 Sun 13-Oct-13 10:25:29

On one side op I think its unreasonable to put so much stock in ensuring parents are there on their child's birthday when they wake up. If he is goinghttp://m.fanfiction.net/s/9087159/1/Completeness to be there mid morning then I think yabu if he will be gone a lot of the day then he I'd bu. If you make it a thing that you both have to be there then you may well find tears hysteria and tantrums when you actually can't.

Would you turn down a wedding invite the day before for a birthday? A work conference? Or work that morning or day? Seeing an old just in town friend? Not to mention sickness. Best to get them used to the possibility though it'snot for you to explain- your eh should have to. Regarding the meltdown when mum or dad isn't there- ite alway q possibility. My sisters went the same ideal as you but both shot themselves in the foot insisting on it because one found she couldn't attend a wedding the day before if she kept it up and one had noro- both times my dns' were distraught.

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.

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

Even more stupid phone inserting bookmarks!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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