AIBU to want to know comings and goings?

(48 Posts)
alikat724 Wed 09-Jan-13 21:37:26

Please help, I need to know if I am being unreasonable to want my DH to let me know when his 14 yo sold is going to be visiting/staying over. DSS's mother is a nurse, so I would expect she would know her shifts at least 2 weeks in advance. DSS comes and goes as he pleases, DH wants it like that and I can't seem to make him understand that I see it as a matter of basic respect to be advised. I would never attempt to put any restrictions on his visits - I just want to know! AIBU? Thoughts/advice greatly appreciated.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 10-Jan-13 01:15:38

I would want to know too; and would expect the same courtesy from my own DD, but I know a lot of families for whom this isn't an issue and having to give notice of a visit would seem just as rude to them!

So, you'll probably get a mix of replies, half saying you are a WSM and hate your DSS because he's obviously not welcome in your home and the other half saying its disrespectful of your DP to expect you to live your life like this.

Sorry - not much help!

NatashaBee Thu 10-Jan-13 01:28:17

Is he coming over because his mum is working? If so, then it would be polite if she would let you know her shifts. If he's just popping in on the way home from school, then I guess that's a bit more difficult - I expect your partner wants him to feel welcome which is fair enough. Does he have a key? I would be pretty annoyed if someone let themselves in when I didn't even know they were coming.

I want to know too! We are a bit more organised in that it is one midweek, and eow, but often on the weekends the dsds arrange sleepovers at friends, or decide to stay in town and go to MacDonalds for dinner....I don't really mind what they do, i like it when theyre here, but dont mind if theyre off socialising more as theyre getting older, but its bloody difficult to buy, then cook for everyone, if no one tells me what they're planning.

Booyhoo Thu 10-Jan-13 01:38:54

surely his dad's home is his home too?

Booyhoo Thu 10-Jan-13 01:40:12

oh yes i suppose if he's coming expecting dinners and lunches made then yes you need to know to buy food in.

I think its lovely that it isn't all arranged and there's an open house for him. Lucky lad having two homes where he is equally welcome.

Tell dh to get the shopping sorted and then its not your worry about food.

Theoldtriangle Thu 10-Jan-13 07:43:28

I agree with missy, if dh thinks the set up is so great, he should be totally responsible for it too. All the food shopping, cooking etc. I used to be understanding and welcoming, blah, blah, but felt put upon eventually and this clouded my relationship to dsc. now dh has stepped up to his role as caregiver and all is well. I don't hand out keys though, so coming and going needs to be announced at least via text, short call etc, so basic respect provided all round.

purpleroses Thu 10-Jan-13 08:23:44

If you're responsible for cooking or food shopping then I think it's fair enough that you know which meals he'll be there for. If he's just popping round at other times, and is used to that regime it would seem a bit harsh to stop it though.

My DSD does quite a lot of coming round, whether we're in or not, mainly because our house is convenient for her. I'm OK with her doing that really, as I want her to feel at home here. I find that it's actually easier to ask her direct when she'll be eating with us, rather than go via DP. She seems to respond a bit better to me asking her too - she's more polite than she is to DP.

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Jan-13 09:43:37

I think the main issue for me would be food. As I work FT I plan meals and get stuff out to defroat or whatever in the morning. If I then had an extra person for dinner there wouldn't be anything to eat.

I think it's manners. A mother would expe t her own children to let her know if they were going to be in for dinner or not. There's no reason why you don't deserve the same respect

theredhen Thu 10-Jan-13 10:01:13

You're not unreasonable to want to know what is happening in your own home.

In a "normal" family both Mum and Dad would know what is happening. The reality is that Mum and Dad do still know what is going on, the difference is the step parents aren't informed by the kids and just expected to fit in.

This used to be a huge issue for me, but DP understands now that it's important for me to know what's happening so I feel like part of the home life, not just a lodger who cooks and cleans! Even if I'm not at home, he tells me who is there so I at least know who I am going home to, or not.

I also think kids in seperated families use the "both homes" as a bit of an excuse sometimes to avoid responsbilities. I don't see what's wrong with giving you a bit of notice before he turns up not just because it's "easier" for him to turn up at yours rather than Mums.

mumandboys123 Thu 10-Jan-13 19:18:17

but why it is assumed it's 'easier' for him somtimes at one parent rather than the other? what responsibility is he avoiding? I don't get your point that mum and dad know what's going on but step mum doesn't if you're basically operating an open house policy? A child is surely allowed to turn up when it suits him? Surely he doesn't turn up at his home expecting there is a possibility he will be turned away? Surely at 14 years old he's allowed to make his relationship with his dad work in whatever way suits father and son without involving mum all the time?

I accept that it would be reasonable for mum to let you know her shifts if that is the time that your step son turns up as you obviously need to be aware of from a having food in point of view and for you to know that there's a possibility he will be there but if it's open house, surely there will always be that possibility anyway? Or is it the case that it's not really his home? I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that - but you will then have to accept the fall out with your other half as you're not accepting his son as having an unconditional place in your home the way a biological child would. But he IS your partner's biological child and it IS your partner's home?

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Jan-13 21:03:02

My home is that, not a hotel. My husband children , and step children, would all be expected to notify their comings and goings. Being a stepchild does not remove that requirement

Petal02 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:14:39

Excellent post Allnew. Too many people are afraid to expect basic standards of courtesy from a step child. Like you, I also work full time, and prepare my menus/food shopping on a weekly basis, so I need to know how many people are wanting dinner each evening.

theredhen Thu 10-Jan-13 21:17:57

If you are a "together" family nobody offers an open house policy because the child will be at "home" every night unless they are seeing friends or extended family, all of which would have a degree of organisation.

It's ok to have an open house policy when everybody it affects is comfortable with it. What is so wrong with a bit of consideration for the step mum here? Why does she have to fit in with what her dp, dss and dp ex want with no say in her own home?

If she were mum and they all lived together all the time and ds just didn't turn up for tea several times a week, I would say she would have every right to question where her son was and his lack of manners towards her by not keeping her in the loop.

This is step mums home too, she's not a lodger. She would be unreasonable to say her dss can't come but I don't think it's unreasonable to know when dss us coming.

mumandboys123 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:33:23

OK. I get your points redhen, not sure I entirely agree but I can see where you're coming from. But who's responsibility is it then to 'inform' where the child will be at any given time? Is it the case that mum is refusing to liaise with her ex on the issue or is the OP's partner refusing to discuss the issue with his ex? Isn't it about mum and dad working this out and then dad liaising with his current partner as to whether or not that works? A child of that age surely is able to manage his own 'timetable' also? when is it 'too late' to let the OP know the child will be coming over? I'm not sure as a parent I would ever turn away my teenage child from their home because they were impolite enough not to let me know they'd be home for tea. I would tackle it, of course, but I wouldn't be telling them they had to find another bed for the night or letting them in but refusing them food....

The problem I see with it is that it's about being 'at home'. Apart from the food issue (which I get, despite what I'm saying), really a child of 14 should surely be able to enter either of his parent's home at any reasonable time? I am not suggesting he should be made welcome with hoards of friends or allowed to run up phone bills or put his feed on the furniture...I'm just suggesting that a parent would never question the arrival of their child in their home. Or would they? I don't know - my children are too young - I just can't imagine me ever suggesting that they have to let me know when they're arriving (other than me knowing where they are as a general rule and expecting them to have to eat at some point in the evening).

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Jan-13 22:38:20

Any child should be equipped with the manners to let a parent know if they intend to be at home or otherwise on an evening

Petal02 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:58:56

As a previous poster mentioned, the majority of children with separated parents, tend to have a " main residence" with the parent-with-care, and then visit the other parent on a, for example, alternate weekend basis. So they live with one parent, and visit the other. If you happen to live with/be married to the non-resident parent, then the child will be a visitor, which doesn't mean they are unwelcome, but nevertheless a non-resident. In which case it's entirely reasonable to be given notice if the child is coming over for dinner.

To put It in a different context - my Mum is always welcome at our house, but I always like to know if she's on her way over, expecting a meal!

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Jan-13 23:01:54

Yes equally I would always like to know who is staying at our house on any given evening. Its just common courtesy

ladydeedy Fri 11-Jan-13 17:11:51

Agree with allnew. Well said. Not least because we may be doing something/going out etc! I think it's just manners.

EwokStorageUnit Fri 18-Jan-13 21:05:30

I thought that it was just me...

Two DSC 12 and 19. They rarely tell us when they are coming or going and the most irritating thing happend a couple of weekends ago when we were informed 10 minutes before they left that their mother was picking them up! They didn't even bother to walk from their bedrooms through to the front room to tell us... and we live in a bungalow!

It happens all the time, last week the youngest was dumped at grandmothers at 7:30am, in his pajamas, claiming to be sick. No phone call to the father, no call checking that grandmother was in and no text to me (I actually had a days holiday) How rude? He came to me at about 9:30, I made him have a sleep (no TV on) and then made him have a hot bath and get dressed. He was collected at about 4pm (day off shot to pieces...) and mother didn't even bother to knock on the door to find out if he had been OK.

It drives me to distraction that we have not notification of comings and goings, but I get looked at as if I'm a complete witch if I make a fuss. DP is so keen that they feel welcome that we're just getting walked all over. They are here every weekend and usually several evenings a week and eldest doesn't work, so there are occassions that I feel that we have no quality time.

I'm dreading telling them that we're expecting....

EwokStorageUnit Fri 18-Jan-13 21:07:04

Sorry, meant to say - I don't think that you're being unreasonable at all!! grin

NanaNina Fri 18-Jan-13 21:12:42

Alicat I'm wondering why you aren't responding after so many people have responded to your post.

ladydeedy Sun 20-Jan-13 12:20:34

Maybe just busy? I havent been on here for 10 days or so. I think others are same?

Petal02 Sun 20-Jan-13 13:17:52

DP is so keen that they feel welcome, that we're getting walked all over

Ewok, you've hit the nail on the head. Your average non-resident father is usually so desperate to indulge his children's every whim, that basic standards of etiquette and courtesy go out the window.

EwokStorageUnit Sun 20-Jan-13 15:33:29

We spoke to the kids yesterday about talking to us and trying to impress on them that we weren't being ogres, or that we didn't want them to be here, but that we also had a life.

From what they say they get as little notice about changes of plan as we do. Means a chat with the ex, but we've tried before and it makes no difference whatsoever.

Just going to have bear with it and hope that I manage to keep my temper (and blood pressure!!) under control.

Hopefully as they get older things will get easier.... hmm

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 13:51:57

Struggling with this one myself at the moment... on one hand I feel like it's my DSD's home too - and if she lived here full time she would come and go as she pleased (as will my DD when she grows in to a teenager) but on the otherhand I hate when the untidy, sulky lummox appears on my sofa without warning when I'd planned (for example as with yesterday) to spend the afternoon in my PJs on the sofa watching the eastenders omnibus. I guess if it was my DD I'd be happy to share that time with her.. which is the sasd thing as to me DSD just gets in the way sad

DP doesn't really see the problem as he always wants her around. But even he is getting a bit pissed off with it at the moment as he's expected to do the driving around/ station pick ups etc. at the drop of a hat!

EwokStorageUnit Mon 21-Jan-13 21:40:08

I hear your pain Lioness!

Days off, days with my family all ruined because nobody thinks to tell me that I need to provide childcare during school holidays angry, however to say too much is to provoke guilt ridden discussions and sad eyes and me feeling like a complete witch...

Oh, I don't know, if anyone has the answer, please let me know!

Libby10 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:00:05

I'm really torn about this one at the moment. We have always lived close to DP's ex and the kids school and there has always been a certain amount of drift with kids picking stuff up/dropping by on way to town etc which I've mostly been fairly relaxed about because I do want them to feel our home is their home.
But last summer DP's ex moved slightly further away (25 min walk) and drops and picks up SD at our house on "her" days. Most days this doesn't affect me but I do work at home some days and have started to find it more and more irritating as SD ends up spending 30-45mins at our house in the morning and anything from 2-4 hours in the afternoon (she is in the 6th form). I don't see why she can't walk to school/get a bus. DP spoke to her about it just before Xmas and she said she didn't want to walk to school in the dark. I keep trying to tell myself to let it go but it is one of those things that I've completely lost perspective on so would like to hear what other people think.

Nicky1306 Thu 24-Jan-13 10:12:47

Hmmm I have two DSD and they both have keys we have scheduled visits once a week and EOW and in between they come and go as they please....... I like it that way and it works for us.
I want them to know this is their home just as much as its mine, DP's and DD's x x

allnewtaketwo Thu 24-Jan-13 10:45:23

Nicky what do you do if they literally turn up just before mealtime though? Do you just always have to make spare in case they show up? Or do you eat frozen food so there's always something that can be heated up??

Nicky1306 Thu 24-Jan-13 11:36:48

To be honest it's never happened but it wouldn't be a problem if it did....I cook from scratch and usually make too much so there would be enough to go round. If there wasn't there's always either fresh food in the fridge I can chuck together to make them something, or there are leftovers in the freezer which I have frozen ( spag Bol, curry, chilli) so I could get them a dinner together pretty easily.
If this doesnt apply to you how about getting some quick stuff in? Waitrose do nice frozen filled pasta which can be cooked from frozen in 5 mins, spare garlic bread in the freezer and a jar of pasta sauce and you've got a meal in 15 mins

X x

allnewtaketwo Thu 24-Jan-13 11:55:24

It doesn't apply to me personally as we still have the access schedule strictly in place.

But this just dropping in before mealtimes really wouldn't work for me. We both work full time so I have to be very organised, also I meal plan in advance so don't just have bits of spare food lying around ready to eat. Also I wouldn't like a situation whereby I'm making a separate (even if quick) meal for a teenager who doesn't have the manners to let me know in advance they'll be in for dinner. Really bad precedent imo. I certainly wouldn't have got away with this myself as a teenager

theredhen Thu 24-Jan-13 12:02:53

I wouldn't want a teen turning up unexpectedly at grandparents or friends homes and expect dinner. I know my home is their home too but I think it's just teaching them that everyone will accomodate their wishes (not needs) just because THEY feel like eating somewhere else that evening. Teenager are naturally entitled at the best of times, this just encourages it all the more, in my opinion. Teens need to learn courtesy and this isn't a way to teach them that.

thelionessrichie Thu 24-Jan-13 13:06:58

Yes, the dinner thing should apply to ALL teenagers. It doesn't here though... I even ask her if she wants dinner but she doesn't reply, then arrives hungry when I've just cleared away our meal. Completely rude. But I have learned to pick my battles to be honest. It's not my job to ensure that she doesn't grow up to be more of an entitled selfish madam and if mum and dad haven't got the balls to teach her manners then I'm not about to be the "bad guy"

allnewtaketwo Thu 24-Jan-13 14:06:55

The thing is, it will be our problem because they turn from being selfish children into being selfish adults and they will be in our lives forever

Petal02 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:34:35

The thing is, it will be our problem because they turn from being selfish children into being selfish adults and they will be in our lives forever

Quite. When you find you’ve got an entitled 25 yr old turning up whenever he/she feels like it, whether it’s convenient or not, and demanding a meal, that’s when you realise you should have (tried to) put your foot down years ago …..

If it’s your bio child, you’re quite within your rights to say that if we don’t know your movements on a particular evening then don’t expect a meal, but as a step child is usually “above the law” then common sense and courtesy won’t apply.

purpleroses Thu 24-Jan-13 16:37:19

I still think if you're the person cooking then it has to be absolutly ok to ask a DSC directly when they'll be in to eat. Mostly I agree that you want to leave disciplining etc to their parent wherever possible but this isn't about discipling - it's about two adult or nearly adult people (you and the DSC) negotiating what works for them. If it matters to you to know when they'll be in for dinner then ask them direct to tell you.

elliebellys Thu 24-Jan-13 21:03:57

Think if it keeps happenin,just tell them straight if they expect food then it will have to be something like sandwiches or beans on toast etc.if they moan then they might think bout actually lettin you know in future.they should soon learn.

thelionessrichie Fri 25-Jan-13 08:15:54

Yeah, I know all that. I just can't be doing with it. I focus in parenting my child now, dsd has two parents and if they can't be arsed then I'm not going to give myself a breakdown over it

EwokStorageUnit Fri 25-Jan-13 10:19:03

DSC are particularly faddy eaters and it drives me beserk that we usually have to do separate meals for them - and one of them will rarely eat that.

I'm trying to pull back from it and let the parents do the parenting, but the attitudes infiltrate my life and stress me out.

allnewtaketwo Fri 25-Jan-13 10:47:58

Same here Ewok. DSS2 eats normally but DSS1 is so picky and there is a long list of foods he doesn't eat. As a result tbh they get the same old tinned
crap stuff for lunchtime which is not how we eat at all, so 2 different meals at the same sitting. I will not pay for food he won't eat, nor will I watch a 17yo picking at food. It is not my job to bring him up to eat a more varied diet. But it doesn't stress me out any more (that bit anyway!!)

EwokStorageUnit Fri 25-Jan-13 15:59:57

I think one of DSC will turn into a chicken nugget and the other a pizza!

...here's hoping, then woofer might make them disappear if they accidentally fell on the floor!! wink

thelionessrichie Sat 26-Jan-13 09:07:20

I just get pasta and sauce in so I can make that. Again, have given up worrying about her diet and weight. I do get annoyed by the two pounds that has to be found for school dinner the next day because she refuses a packed lunch even though the rest if the family has packed lunch because we can't afford the alternative.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 26-Jan-13 09:26:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allnewtaketwo Sat 26-Jan-13 10:03:25

I didn't just 'drop in and out' of my own home as I wished though, I had a responsibility to let my parents know of my comings and goings.

I would have thought that this is particularly important for a child with 2 residences. If they just come and go as they please without ever notifying anybody, then how does anyone ever know that they're ok/safe, quite apart from the manners aspect. In theory they could go missing for days and no-one would know, just assuming they are 'coming and going' at their other residence

EwokStorageUnit Sat 26-Jan-13 10:26:31

I agree with All New, and its a discussion I've tried to have. We live in quite a rural location and as I asked DP last week "is X supposed to be here, do I need to send out a search party or call the police?".

They all think I'm paranoid, but if the child got hit by a car and was lying in a ditch at what point would the alarm be raised if nobody has the decency to tell us where they're going to be??

Petal02 Sun 27-Jan-13 14:40:41

That's a really god point -we also live in a rural location, and if no one knew where DSS was supposed to be, then it could easily be assumed he was with the other parent, when in fact he was upside down in a ditch.

DSS is about to take his driving test, which should make everyone's life easier - and the plan is that visits will operate on an adhoc basis, but I'd still like some warning if he's coming over expecting a meal. At least I can ensure I'm not walking round in the nude ( god forbid!) and that there's enough food for an extra person.

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