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Should my dad look after my sister (34) after a big operation? I think he is being ridiculously selfish.

(205 Posts)
Chillijamntuna Fri 12-Jul-19 05:03:33

My sister has lived abroad for many years in the French alps, she does downhill mountain biking and is very into the young exciting lifestyle.

She has been very bitter that my dad has only visited her once since she moved there in her twenties (it's quite an expensive resort) I suppose because she was the young free and single one, partying, working in bars and flat sharing, she has always popped back to the UK each year so me and my dad (Mum died) have been a bit shit and lazyI suppose (I have had money struggles and been gaining qualifications for 5 years) and she is pissed off and increasingly angry with me and mainly him about this.

Anyway, recently my dad said he'd bought a passport and was going to go and stay with her later in the summer.
Yesterday, she broke her collar bone in 3 places and will soon be going for surgery to repair it with pins and plates.

I said to my dad (thinking it would be an amazing opportunity for him to 'show up' for her) that he could bring his trip backwards and go out there to take care of her as she recovers from her operation.

He reacted SO strangely, he said "well she can't pick me up from the airport so that's £80 for starters on top of two flight to/from France in peak season" then how am I going to get from where she lives to the hospital, the hospital's in another town and what am I going to do when she gets out?" I said "err take care of her, show her that you care, make her cups of tea, help her with practical stuff" he said "well she's got loads of mates can't they just make her a cup of tea?" she doesn't really have mates that she can ask for help, they've all started having babies now and she is also very full of bravado and can't ask for help if it kills her.

I said that it wasn't really to do with money/ practical stuff/ cups of tea it was to do with showing he cares (she often feels he doesn't)

Anyway, I have just had surgery today myself, I am literally bankrupt at the moment and have a two year old but I will go out to care for her if he doesn't. He is living with his partner, in her house paying a portion of rent, has no debts/money worries, owns a property outright, is working a lot and enjoying life in the sense of buying himself things.

To be honest, I'm quite baffled at how selfish he is being. He then got all shirty and said "I'm a good dad". So odd and childish.

The backstory is pretty long so I'll spare you but he brought us up single handedly so maybe he now wants to do what he wants to do but we've never been needy and both me and my sister have always stood on our own two feet and not asked for anything as adults.

IABU to suggest that he do this?

brainfrying Fri 12-Jul-19 05:16:29

YANBU. I wouldn't think twice about it or how much it costs if my DD was in that situation. It sounds as though he is not very well travelled and maybe the thought of how he would go about it sounds too much for him. Do you think you could offer to help him plan it?

SausageEggAndSpam Fri 12-Jul-19 05:17:45

He was going to go and see her soon anyway, so I think he should do the decent thing and go now.

I can understand that navigating round a foreign country on your own can be daunting and he originally must have planned for her to help with that. But she needs him.

F2Feee Fri 12-Jul-19 05:30:51

I think yabvu. She wont be able to do much and he will be in a foreign country trying to find his way about. And should he sit around making cues of tea, cleaning her house, help her to the bathroom? I dont think he should do that. Sounds like the airport thing is an excuse, he doesnt want to do that and your sister needs to sort out actual care help.

user1483387154 Fri 12-Jul-19 05:36:36

sorry but for the financial part alone yabu. if you were literally bankrupt and out of money there is no way you would be able to help either. I sure as hell couldn't afford all the extra costs involved and wouldn't be able to do it for my family.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 12-Jul-19 05:46:36

Idk how much help your sister will actually need. So perhaps she could work that out before you go all guns blazing and dictating to your father or even going over yourself.

I had a hysterectomy ie major abdominal surgery last year. Dh took a week off work and that was great. For context I was opened from pubic bone to above my belly button, which is far worse than what you are describing. Then I had a second op as the entire wound herniated. Dh had to work this time and I had no help beyond people having dd after school some evenings and others bringing her home after school. I also had to feed her etc.

I’m still recovering almost 6 months on as these ops are far more invasive than what you are describing.

The main thing I needed was a supply of food tbh. If your sister can get someone to take her home and ready meals delivered, I imagine she should be fine. The other thing is drinks. Having water bottles or bottled water is great so as to be able to rest.

I know surgery is daunting. Idk why your dad can’t face it. You cannot force him to. Maybe your time would be better spent discussing strategies with your sister.

floribunda18 Fri 12-Jul-19 05:51:42

I don't think he does care, very much. I can't imagine being in these circumstances and not going out to my daughter, tbh.

HennyPennyHorror Fri 12-Jul-19 05:52:08

She's got herself into a position which isn't practical hasn't she? LIving in a place with no family and only shallow friends.

It's a wake up call for her. Perhaps your Dad can't afford it?

I moved to Australia 4 years ago. I have DH;s family here as well as close friends of my own from years back.

None of my family have come to visit me once. I don't expect them's my choice to live here. Of course I'd LIKE it but I wouldn;t EXPECT it.

If I got hurt, I'd have DH and his family plus my own friends.

Your sister has isolated herself.

makingmammaries Fri 12-Jul-19 05:55:43

There is almost certainly a shuttle bus from Geneva airport. Look at

Rachelover40 Fri 12-Jul-19 05:59:57

I didn't vote for reasonable or not unreasonable because I can see your point of view but also your father's.

He is probably intimidated by the idea of being in another country and having to look after your sister on his own. If she lived around the corner or even in the next town he'd probably do it in a shot but so far from home is quite different and scary.

I think your sister will be mobile when she returns home from hospital though will have a sling.

Maybe dad will go out there, he's aired his misgivings but will now seriously consider and make a decision. You say you would go but you've had surgery recently, are broke and have a small child - would you take your child with you, would it be a suitable environment for him/her being as your sister isn't on top form?

Many things to consider.

BurnedToast Fri 12-Jul-19 06:01:58

It's quite a leap to go from seeing someone once a year to going over to a foreign country and helping them recover from an op. It doesn't sound as though the three of you are that close. I think sometimes we have expectations of people with certain roles, like parents, but in truth the person doesn't live up to them. We can't all be the Brady bunch.

TitianaTitsling Fri 12-Jul-19 06:06:03

Sorry think yabvu- how good is your sisters set up for visitors to stay? Would it not be better for her to come 'home' to rehab? Think it's a bit odd of you to be judging him so much and harshly. As pp she's chosen to isolate her self with her 'party' lifestyle. If you are literally bankrupt how will you afford all the flights etc, most who are literally bankrupt can't afford to take a bus never mind trips to the Alps! Never ask this but are you the broken collar bone sister?!

SuzieQQQ Fri 12-Jul-19 06:07:33

I 100% think your dad is a selfish tight arse arsehole and is not a good dad at all! So no, yanbu. He has the opportunity to help and could easily but is thinking how it will impact him. I had a very similar experience with my mum who could have helped me and didn’t. Years later she said she regretted not being there for me. I was furious and said “well it was your choice not to be there and I had to get on with it and sort myself out because you and dad didn’t support me “. She looked very ashamed/guilty and never brought it up again. It seriously affected our relationship and I have sworn to myself I will never be so selfish as a parent myself. I have no idea what she was thinking. I needed her and she wasn’t there. Sadly of her own volition 😢

HennyPennyHorror Fri 12-Jul-19 06:10:14

Would it not be better for her to come 'home' to rehab?


Chillijamntuna Fri 12-Jul-19 06:12:10

Thanks all.
She can't get home, how can she with a broken collar bone?
Maybe we're not that close but we're all she's got but yes she has isolated herself so I think IABU and IANBU!

GhostRidersInDisguise Fri 12-Jul-19 06:18:57

Why can't she come home with a broken collar bone? It's just a collar bone not two fractured femurs.

HennyPennyHorror Fri 12-Jul-19 06:19:42

Of course she can come home. She can book assistance from the airports to help with bags.

katewhinesalot Fri 12-Jul-19 06:20:40

Perhaps your dad could help you financially if you have to go over instead of him?
Why haven't you been over before?

Does your dad never go abroad on holiday? If he never does then perhaps there is a confidence issues and your sister shouldn't take it personally.

makingmammaries Fri 12-Jul-19 06:21:07

There are also coaches between the resorts and the nearest town (is it Annecy or Grenoble) so if he wanted to he could do it for sure. This resonates with me as my late dad never came after I moved out here.

Sirzy Fri 12-Jul-19 06:21:20

It’s a collar bone!

Presumably if he has only just got a passport he isn’t a seasoned traveller so it wouldn’t be an ideal time for a first time abroad alone. Could easily end more of a hinderance than a help.

I think if you move away from family, especially overseas, then you have to expect that will mean less support at such times because of the practicalities

EleanorReally Fri 12-Jul-19 06:23:11

Can he and his partner go? dare i say a female touch may be that is needed?

TitianaTitsling Fri 12-Jul-19 06:25:04

You say he still works so would his employers be happy with him just going away now? Would he even be able to? Will your sister get sick pay while she's not working and if not how will she fund her life out there?

Sirzy Fri 12-Jul-19 06:26:46

And have you actually asked your sister what she wants or have you just decided she needs a guardian angel to swoop in?

EggWrap Fri 12-Jul-19 06:26:58

I assume the injury is from her downhill biking or other extreme sport? My sympathy with injuries grinds to a dramatic halt when they are self inflicted. She shuns the boring life of family and reliable but boring friends, but wants the perks of it??

PotteringAlong Fri 12-Jul-19 06:29:41

She lives in France, as in the country just 21 miles over the water from England, and he’s only been to see her twice in 20 years?! How often have you been?!

Also, it’s not “home” for her rehabilitation. She’s lived there for 20 years! Her home is there!

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