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To lie to my dad to stop him from visiting so much

(27 Posts)
Buddahbelly Sun 20-Mar-16 10:38:53

My parents spilt when i was 3, i saw my dad every other week. I love him to bits but he's not the most talkative person ever, were both on the quiet side, but he's extreme and will only come out of his shell if he's had a pint.

He's Very routine orientated and gets upset if his routine is messed about with, which is annoying to the rest of us, but we just have got used to putting up with it. Everything is about him and his ways, there is no room for manoeuvre with ds's needs or mine.

His partner sadly died a few years ago, up until then we had only spoke on the phone twice a month at most. I was never included in their life together, it was very much them and her 4 children. (who now only send a xmas card for the sake of their inheritance). so to suddenly have him back so much is a complete and utter shock and it's like sitting with a stranger as he doesn't open up or try to chat.

Around the time she passed away I gave birth to my ds, who is now nearly 4. as he was grieving so badly I just wanted to help in anyway he could, he would arrive at 7am some days when id had no sleep and just wanted to go back to bed. he isnt the type of person to just hand over the baby to, he really hasn't a clue and only wants to know about the fun side like taking him the shops for sweets - he thinks thats all you have to do with ds to entertain him. So anyway 3 years on and his visits have progressed to tuesdays, fridays and sun or sat, only mornings, he has to visit between 9.30 and 10 otherwise he wont come out.

He's here an hour max then looks at his watch and says well I best be off. he will hardly chat, i ask him if he has any plans - they only ever include going to the pub to see his mates or going to see his new lady friend, apart from this he has no hobbies. So for 3 years he has come for 3 hours a week, on some occasions he has taken ds out for a walk but is back within an hour, then ds would be asleep so that was pretty much my whole day taken up by him and his visits. on the days I was going out he would usually be here waiting for us when i got back.

Ds is in nursery 2 days a week or I think my dad would be here on those days too. Its not like we have a break from each other and then have something to chat about when he comes again. He has absolutely no clue what to do with ds at all and isn't willing to learn. family members understand my pain and have asked him to take ds up to there's to give me a break but he refuses to put ds in a car seat as he says " I can't learn how to do that at my age". He's so restrictive that I now hate the days I know he's visiting.

Ds will be starting school full time in september so these are the final few months with him where we are free to do what we want and not have a school timetable to stick to, I want to be spontaneous and go for days out if the weathers nice, so my plan is to tell him ds is doing a few more mornings to get him used to school. Dp thinks I'm a bitch and he's my dad and i should just put up with it, but i'm also trying to balance seeing my mum (who is also grieving right now but in no way gets the same attention i gave my dad, because of my dad!) and my in aws who barely get to see ds. and the place ds loves going more than anything is to the in laws house.

he doesnt take note when i say that i'm going to certain places, I get he's lonely but 4 years on I think he should be able to pick up hobbies etc to fill his time. when he's here it feels like he doesn't want to be and I just cannot go on much longer. I missed out on so much when ds was a baby that looking back I wish id done - baby groups etc, for my own sanity. Ive spoke to family members who agree that I couldn't just tell him to stop visiting, he's the type of person it would destroy, but this doing extra days thing would work i think, just dp has had a go at me for being a bitch.

sorry for the long thread but didn't want to drip feed

BumWad Sun 20-Mar-16 10:43:19



MoggieMaeEverso Sun 20-Mar-16 10:48:38

I don't understand why you say your whole day is taken up by him if he only visits for an hour in the morning. I've reread that bit several times, perhaps I'm missing something!

For the rest - I assume you've already tried making plans in the morning and taking DS out somewhere before your dad arrives... How did that go?

I would be worried about your dad finding out you lied and bring devastated.

Evabeaversprotege Sun 20-Mar-16 10:53:21

If he's only there an hour in the morning how is it an issue?

Buddahbelly Sun 20-Mar-16 10:53:23

The morning bit - was more when ds was still napping. he would never sleep in his pram so I was restricted to staying at home so he'd go in his cot.

We would be up around 7, my dad came at 10am, stayed for a bit, then would take him out about half 11, bring him back for dinner then he'd be asleep until 2/3. all that time i've sat in!

Most of the baby groups finish around here by 3. I just think i've missed out on so much.

plus the lie would only be for another 5 months. I don't know how he will cope come september when he wont be visiting here, as ill be moving from2 days part time to full time work.

Ive tried to get him to come for tea - anything really to change up his routine, but nothing. he came once and has refused every offer since, my cookings bad but noones been put in hospital yet wink

Buddahbelly Sun 20-Mar-16 10:58:34

eva cos its an hour of sitting in silence. Its like torture. and its been this way for 3 years and i really cannot take another visit of silence.

I dont think I could take visits this much from anyone actually so its not just my dad, its the fact he feels he HAS to visit as he started doing it so now its in his routine for the week. sometimes he's sick, he still comes.

Like yesterday for example, I called him to say leave it today as ds was sick, he'd been up since 4am and was asleep and Ii didn't want him to catch whatever he had. he then tells me well its just fr the best as he did not feel that great either.

He comes whether he's sick or not because its his routine and that's what he must do. I've asked him to stay away when he feels ill so ds doesn't catch it (fil undergoing chemo so if ds is sick it means he cant visit fil). he doesn't listen to me though.

I also couldn't just drop into his house to visit him like a normal relationship, he dosnt like me going as ds runs up and down his stairs and it tires my dad out hmm he should try having him for a full day!

Cocolepew Sun 20-Mar-16 10:59:16


PuppyMonkey Sun 20-Mar-16 11:00:19

Do you know any nice social groups /clubs that take place for his age group? Could you find one and take him along so he could meet other people? He sounds a bit shy and set in his ways - maybe he just needs a bit of encouragement to get out there.

Are there any clubs at the pub for instance? Darts etc?

Do you know any single ladies of his age? wink

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 20-Mar-16 11:03:44

I don't understand why you're contemplating lying to him instead of just telling him you want to do more stuff with DS before your days get dictated by the school routine, so he should call before coming over because you may be going out.

Also, have you asked him why he comes to visit? I understand the frustration of grandparents being useless, but you're sounding a bit useless about how you develop his relationship with you and your DS - have you not talked about any of this in 4 years?

Buddahbelly Sun 20-Mar-16 11:05:04


We have all tried that with him, A while back i got a few leaflets for college courses near to us, we were both going to do a cookery course (was also going to help him be a bit more adventurous than a pot noodle). he wasnt interested.

He also has recently started seeing someone new again, yet again his routine shows up as he can only see her on certain days - these days are the same days he went out with her in the first couple of weeks. they go the same places each and every week... god knows how she puts up with it!

whatdoIget Sun 20-Mar-16 11:06:48

Maybe it'll do him good if he sees you less? He'll be forced to find some clubs or hobbies to go to. You're not responsible for your dad's life and it really sounds like you've done a lot for him anyway. It's time for him to stand on his own 2 feet a bit more now.
Why's your dp calling you a bitch btw?

PuppyMonkey Sun 20-Mar-16 11:09:04

Oh dear.

whatdoIget Sun 20-Mar-16 11:09:33

He sounds really annoying and boring actually. It's all about him and his needs and what he wants to do. I couldn't put up with him but obviously it's different when it's your dad.

BettyBi0 Sun 20-Mar-16 11:09:58

It's really annoying that he won't budge on timings. Having him over for dinner a couple of nights a week would mean he still gets the company that he clearly needs, but that you also have the flexibility to do full day trips out.

It's tricky telling a lie about doing extra hours at nursery because your DC is old enough to drop you in it.

I'd say start small so if he usually comes over tues, fri and sun/sat, then say "we are off to Whitby (or wherever) on Tuesday to see Soandso. Will we just see you Friday then?" Get him used to you making your own choices a bit more without it being a massive deal. If you could get him down to 2 days a week. Then maybe add in the odd weekend away to get out of the Fri/Sat visits. Make sure you give him a ring sometime on the days he'd normally visit so that it doesn't feel like you've suddenly abandoned him.

If your DS is starting school soon, do you think your dad will still visit you? Or will he expect to come over every weekend?

Buddahbelly Sun 20-Mar-16 11:10:48

boomboom of course i have. I cant write every thing we talked about here as id be here for a month writing it all down.

He drinks an awful lot and this has been an issue in the past, when i've said i'm taking ds here, he comes along too and shows up at a toddlers gym class smelling of booze. This has been the biggest issue in that his drinking is affecting his joining in with us. but he knows it pisses me off and continues to do it anyway. after that I stopped inviting him thinking that would be the end of it. I suppose in some ways ive enabled his routine by letting him get away with it but at the time I though I was helping someone grieving. I can see ive not helped matters at all and now its worse than ever.

He's very selfish in some ways and the most generous man in others. My reason for lying is that it may make him start coming at other times that fit in with us, for tea/ meals out etc, coming the park at the weekend. its all about him visiting us and sitting in silence so he can go back and check his visit of his to do list. even when hes here, hes not really here if that makes sense.

If i just say come for tea or whatever, theres always an excuse but if there is no other time we can fit him in then he has no choice but to either see us when its convenient for us or not see us at all. He loves ds to bits so i know he would choose to come another time but right now he doesn't need to as we can fit in with his plans.

Buddahbelly Sun 20-Mar-16 11:12:53

betty thats what im afraid of, that suddenly our whole weekends will be taken up by his visits instead. Its not that i dont want to see him, just not as much on his terms

Evabeaversprotege Sun 20-Mar-16 11:13:44

Ah, I see.

I would find it awkward too. My sister is monosyllabic and I find her visits awkward.

I don't like lying though - can you not explain to him it would be easier seeing him once a week for quality time rather than three times with nothing to say?

Just explain it as you'd like to do more with ds.

My brother is a recovering alcoholic and routine is important to him - he visits my sister much in the same was your dad visits you.

CauliflowerBalti Sun 20-Mar-16 11:13:53

I don't know why you'd lie. Yanbu - but it also isn't unreasonable to say to your dad, can we come up with a new routine together as now the dude is bigger we are going to be out and about a lot more, before school starts.

You could even invite your dad on some of the adventures.

I know it's a pita. It really sounds draining. But one thing you wrote stuck out for me: I feel like I've missed out on so much.

Well, yes. But you've also gained so much. Your son has a relationship with his grandad. My son didn't. My dad died when he was 2. He can't remember him and there are barely any photos of them together and this breaks my heart.

I don't wish to be maudlin. Or preachy. My dad was also fairly annoying at times. But while you may have lost, you have also gained - and in a way that really matters. Baby groups are just a different circle of hell...

Just tell him the truth. That time and those days don't work any more. Let's come up with a new plan!

BettyBi0 Sun 20-Mar-16 11:19:04

I'd missed the bit about the booze sorry. That would really get on my nerves. Do you think his drinking is part of the reason for needing fixed routine stuff? Maybe in his head he has this window of staying booze free during the hours he spends with his grandson which stops him drinking at breakfast every day

jay55 Sun 20-Mar-16 11:19:21

Do you have any friends with a similar aged parent?
My dad took up bowls when a neighbors dad took him with them. It was much easier to get him to go to something social with someone.

BettyBi0 Sun 20-Mar-16 11:19:44

Not that you should feel any sense of guilt or responsibility about his choices - easier said than dine

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sun 20-Mar-16 11:21:03

Why did your DP have a go at you!? It's not his Dad and it's not him having to put up with it. I bet in a few months when your Dad has been there when DP is home more, he'll be only too willing for you to lie to your Dad.

It's not great that you have to lie to your Dad, but sometimes it's the best way to deal with a difficult person & not make a situation worse. It just is. If I tell my mum I'm too tired or seeing friends ir whatever she gets very upset & huffy...if I tell her I'm working it's ok. I do incredibly long hours 🙄

Littleorangecat Sun 20-Mar-16 11:21:30

Can you use the time he visits to get him to play with your DS with board games, football or to actually do something that will give you a little break or time to yourself ? Could you get some games and hand them over to your dad and say "DS is really looking forward to playing xxxxx with you, see you in an hour I'm going swimming / for a walk or whatever"?? He is at yours so often I would encourage this do you are feeling obliged to 'entertain' him and waste all your day.

SeaCabbage Sun 20-Mar-16 11:22:43

If one of the reason's you do'nt want him round in the morning is to attend a class, can't you tell the truth adn say, sorry we won't be in on Tuesday (or whatever) as we are going out. See you later in the week. Start telling him you won't be in and have to miss a day. Keep doing it so his new routine is seeing you less.

I agree it sounds very difficult and frustrating for you and it's time you put yourself first.

With regard to your partner, has he ever had to put up with your dad by himself three or four times a week? I hope he is normally more understanding with your stuff.

eddielizzard Sun 20-Mar-16 11:57:14

i'd cut his visits back to once a week max. if you feel comfortable with lying and see that as the best way then yanbu. if he tries to make arrangements to make up the time say that you don't have time as you're starting swimming / cartwheeling / tight rope walking and you'll only be able to see him on friday mornings.

thing is, life is so short. you've only got a few months with your ds left and you won't get another chance. try to take the guilt out of it for perspective. you're not really getting anything out of these visits, they're a chore and they've gone on for too long. don't feel guilty!

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