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AIBU to want to take my daughter to visit my friend ?

(59 Posts)
poshfrock Tue 21-Jan-14 12:55:07

I have a friend from uni that I have known for over 20 years. We lived together at uni and for about 2 years after when we both moved to London for work. She stayed in London, married and had a child. I moved away and also married and had kids. We don't see each other very often ( mainly at friends' weddings and more recently 40th birthday parties) but we do keep in touch.
At Xmas I put a note in her card saying that we must get together and how lovely it would be to catch up and I suggested a visit to her in London. I can't remember the exact wording but it was something like " would be lovely to see you, we must come and visit".

Just as a bit of background I have a DH who is in the police and so works shifts, only 1 weekend off in 3 and those we try to spend together for obvious reasons as I also work FT. I have 2 teenage sons who can be left during the day while DH is at work and DD who is 9. I am OK with DSs looking after DD for a couple of hours at a time if DH and I want to go out for a meal to a local restaurant say ( 10 min walk) but would not be happy to leave her with them all day for 2 days when I would be 250 miles away and DH at work.

Anyway I get an email from friend saying she would love to meet up and suggesting dates in March. I say "Great, are we better coming by car or train?" ( not sure what parking is like in her part of London). She say "We? Are the whole family coming?" I say, "No, just me and DD." I make a joke about not wanting to inflict teenage DSs on friend and DH is working. I also explain about DH's shift pattern. Friend has a DS who is only 8 weeks older than DD ( age 9) so thought they would get on OK.

Friend then says that she thought I wanted a "girlie" weekend and that she would have to think about where DD would sleep.

I haven't replied to that last email as I don't really know what to say. I have only done 2 "girlie" weekends in the last 15 years since having DS1 ( both hen nights of family members) because DH's shift pattern makes it virtually impossible for me to go away without DCs. Friend has a 3 bed house with only her, DH and DS living in it so I'm not sure why finding DD somewhere to sleep is an issue. DD has sleepovers all the time and she and her friends either sleep together in her bed or on the floor in sleeping bags so I wasn't really expecting her to have her own room or anything. Personally I'm happy on a sofa , but then I come from a big family and when we visit each other we all just sleep on the floor, share beds etc. She's an only child so probably isn't used to this. It all sounds like an excuse and she doesn't want DD to come but then I am back to square one and won't be able to go. DH hasn't got a free weekend off until about July.

FTR whenever I visit family or friends I usually have DD with me ( and until the last 18 months or so both DSs too) and I expect my friends to bring their kids when they visit me. I though that's just what people did at our age until our kids grew up and could be left. Most of my friends have kids much younger than mine so I expect it to be like that for a few years yet.

I'm quite sad that she doesn't want to see DD ( who she has never met) and I thought it would be nice for our kids to meet each other. I had an idea of a lovely couple of days in London seeing the sights etc but I suppose as she still lives there it's less of a novelty for her.

Rereading this post I clearly am BU to expect her welcome DD with open arms when she obviously didn't have a child-centred weekend in mind, so I guess the advice I'm looking for is how to reply to her.

I don't want to just say " Well I shan't come if DD can't," because that sounds petty but it's the truth due to our childcare issue.

If you've read this far thanks very much.

pussycatdoll Tue 21-Jan-14 12:59:31

I think she probably just wants it to be the two of you
A boy and girl although the sane age won't necessarily get on
& maybe she is hoping her dh will babysit so the two of you can go to the cinema or a restaurant or something

Chippednailvarnish Tue 21-Jan-14 12:59:42

Why don't you just call and ask her what the plan for the weekend is confused ?

squeakytoy Tue 21-Jan-14 13:01:55

I think yabu. She wants a weekend with her friend without a child in tow. It really isnt the same when a child is there too. You cant talk freely or have the same fun.

If you have a big family, surely there is someone available who would babysit your daughter.

Also your daughter is 9, not a toddler, so I cant imagine why you couldnt leave her with her brothers for longer than a couple of hours.

pussycatdoll Tue 21-Jan-14 13:02:15

You also say dd has lots of sleep overs so maybe you could arrange one for this particular weekend so your sons wouldn't be looking after her?

ThoughtFox Tue 21-Jan-14 13:04:46

I expect she was looking forward to seeing you, and to being able to have a really good uninhibited chat about your lives.

When you've got the children in tow, activities have to be geared around them, and conversation has to be geared around them too. Which is lovely, but it's not the same as two adults spending time together, which sounds like what it was what she was expecting.

Grennie Tue 21-Jan-14 13:05:34

She obviously had in her head a different idea of what kind of weekend it would be. Sounds like she was maybe thinking you two going out and her DP looking after their child. But just ring her and talk to her. These things are hard to sort out via the written word as it is so easy to misinterpret

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 21-Jan-14 13:06:29


and breathe.

HavantGuard Tue 21-Jan-14 13:06:56

'FTR whenever I visit family or friends I usually have DD with me ( and until the last 18 months or so both DSs too) and I expect my friends to bring their kids when they visit me. I though that's just what people did at our age until our kids grew up and could be left. Most of my friends have kids much younger than mine so I expect it to be like that for a few years yet.'

Er, they might do that with babies and toddlers but dragging a 9 year old (and by the sounds of it older ones until recently) to every meet up with friends is odd.

DeWe Tue 21-Jan-14 13:07:08

In all honesty, if it was me, then I wouldn't necessarily mind you bringing your dd. BUT you needed to check and ask first, not assume that she can come. Just because she has a dc of similar age doesn't necessarily mean that it's no hassle for her-she may have alreasy arranged for him to be somewhere else, and I'm not sure many 9o boys would be too impressed by having an 9yo girl they don't know, expected to play with them (or the other way round).

3 bed house = 1 room for her and dh, 1 room for her ds, 1 room for you. When we were in a 3bed, our third bedroom was tiny-only just fit a small bed in, certainly couldn't have managed someone on the floor.

At the beginning, you should have said along the lines of "I'd love to come, would it be okay to bring dd too, as dh's shift patterns mean he can't take her at the weekends".

And if she's 9yo, isn't there a friend of hers you could ask if they could have her, and you do the same another weekends.

redskyatnight Tue 21-Jan-14 13:09:37

I have various old friends that I see occasionally.
We either see each other on an "adult only" basis - obviously the children of whatever house we are going to are about, but the understanding is that they will mostly be under their dad's responsibility so not underfoot.

We also have "whole family" get togethers.

The whole family get togethers are virtually impossible to actually have any adult time together - the last one I had I felt that I scarecly said a word to my friend as the whole time was focussed round practicalities and keeping the children happy.

If I wanted to actually catch up with a friend, no way would I want children in tow. I suspect your friend is thinking along the same lines.

Is it really not possible to organise DD's to go to a friends/DH to juggle shifts/your DS's to do some childcare?

pussycatdoll Tue 21-Jan-14 13:10:22

Yes I agree that if her dh doesn't work weekends he was probably going to look after their ds & she was envisaging shopping & cocktails
Not natural history museum & macdonalds with 2 nine year olds grin
her son might do activities at the weekend anyway - football etc

MorrisZapp Tue 21-Jan-14 13:11:17

Yabu I think. You should have made the deal plain at the outset, ie 'DD and I would love to visit you'. Now she's agreed to a visit that turns out to be very different to the one she signed up to.

Ring her up and sort it out.

Davsmum Tue 21-Jan-14 13:11:57

Give yourself a break and go on your own! You were a 'person' before you had children - and its that person your friend wants to meet up with!

Perhaps you could arrange a get together to meet families another time but for now why not enjoy some 'me' time with an old friend?
You are with your DD all the time - get a break!
I think I would be a bit miffed if I invited a friend for a meet up and they wanted to bring their child or children along.

Patchouli Tue 21-Jan-14 13:12:24

How they use their spare bedroom isn't really your concern and I know my 9 year old wouldn't want to sleep top to toe with someone they've never met - so I think she's being fair enough there.

Maybe just message back that you'll have to make it a different weekend then (one when your DH is off for childcare).

Pigsmummy Tue 21-Jan-14 13:13:33

She wasn't to know that you would assume that she would know and be fine with you taking your DD along, so YABU. She isn't a mind reader.

You could still go along with DD and discuss in advance what plans are,you could rearrange until July or ask one of your DD's friends parents if there is any chance of a sleepover for the Saturday night so you can stick to your original date.

PurplePidjin Tue 21-Jan-14 13:13:47

I think you're over thinking it. I wouldn't dream of hosting a guest in a sleeping bag on the floor or my sofa, why not email back to say that she can bunk in with you and you'll bring a lilo?

motherinferior Tue 21-Jan-14 13:13:56

Shift it to a weekend when your DH is off. Sorted.

TippiShagpile Tue 21-Jan-14 13:17:39

A girlie weekend for me would be mooching around the shops, lots and lots and lots of chat, coffees, long lunches etc. I wouldn't want my dc with me - how can you talk freely about all the things you used to get up to or have a good gossip?

Or maybe that's just me? grin

ArsePaste Tue 21-Jan-14 13:18:43

How on earth was she supposed to know you never go anywhere without your daughter? I'd be a bit miffed if a friend I'd invited for the weekend just assumed she could bring her kids without checking first, tbh - it's an entirely different situation, with kids or without.

flipchart Tue 21-Jan-14 13:21:18

To be blunt I wouldn't want you turning up with your daughter in tow.

I wouldn't expect people to enjoy the company of my kids when they were younger so it works both ways and never turned up at friends with them.

Ask one of your DD's friends mum's if she can sleepover at theirs and you will do a sleep over in return a few weeks later.

She probably just had a different sort of weekend in mind, shopping, cinema, adult conversation. I like meeting my friends both with and without the DCs, you can't talk about the DCs when they are with you plus you do have to compromises a bit on where you go, how late you stay out etc. I'd tend to assume it would be either the whole family or you on your own too. Probably just a misunderstanding - why don't you give her a ring and explain that DD would love to see London and as it's so far away you don't go there often and would her and her DS like to show you the sights?

pinkdelight Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:41

If you want to take DD to London, book a hotel and arrange to hook up with your friend for a couple of hours while you're there. If you want to go to London specifically to catch up with your friend, arrange childcare for your DD and go on your own. Most people can manage night's away without the DC even when they are very little. At age 9, I'd be going crackers if I didn't have the occasional night away not being a mum.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:23:16

I would also have assumed not bringing your daughter if I was your friend. I think yabu, children being there changes the dynamic. And why would you assume the kids would get along without never meeting just because they are the same age.

There are many options for your dd, her brothers, a sleep over, family or friends etc.

AdoraBell Tue 21-Jan-14 13:23:16

If it were me I'd be thinking of the shopping and cocktails mentioned by Pussycatdoll rather than something moré child friendly.

I think you should call her and sort it out without getting into "Well I'm not coming if my child isn't welcome" territorio.

FWIW, it's my DDs I need To Get away from occasionaly, not my friend's, but as already mentioned the conversación just isn't as free with DCs around.

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