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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?

PotteringAlong Fri 12-Jul-19 06:31:02

but yes she has isolated herself

Has she? Or have you and your dad isolated her by never going to France to see her?

TriptychDebbie Fri 12-Jul-19 06:32:53

Tbh my family's more like the Munsters grin

Toddlerteaplease Fri 12-Jul-19 06:37:14

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

Was just about to say the same thing!

sneakypinky Fri 12-Jul-19 06:37:14

If he hasn't got a passport it's likely he isn't a seasoned traveler.

If it was life threatening/life saving surgery I'd agree with you.

But it's not, it's her collarbone. There's no reason at all why she shouldn't come home to recover, which sounds far more practical.

You can't move countries and then complain that people don't visit, especially if one doesn't have a passport and one is bankrupt.

I don't see the problem with her coming home to visit, it's hardly the other side of the world. It's probably the same amount of time as driving London to Scotland.

FancyACarrot Fri 12-Jul-19 06:40:17

YABU, it's basically giving up his holiday. He finally gets out there only to bring someone food and cups of tea. That's very precious of you and your sister IMO. I wouldn't dream of expecting a relative to come from somewhere else in UK never mind abroad to be 'my carer' instead of having a holiday.

If your sister needs a carer as others have said she could come to the UK

Juells Fri 12-Jul-19 06:40:32

I think you should mind your own business. "Oh, you can travel to France and look after your daughter, get on with it." If he's elderly and doesn't speak French, why do you think it would be such a breeze for him to travel to the Alps, and do the travelling to and from hospital that he's described?

Why don't you take some time off work and do it, as it's so easy?

RhiWrites Fri 12-Jul-19 06:42:07

dare i say a female touch may be that is needed?

The fuck? Some random woman would be better than her dad because of the magical healing power of a woman’s touch? 🤮

Juells Fri 12-Jul-19 06:44:25

HRTFT when I posted, I see you've just had surgery, so can't go yourself. But honestly, if you move to furrin parts and take up dangerous sports and break something, you can't honestly expect someone to come and look after you. It's a broken bone, not major surgery.

Jennbot Fri 12-Jul-19 06:48:09

Having a fractured collar bone plated is hardly major surgery. I've had it done myself. She just have her arm in a sling for a week. She has a perfectly good other arm. No one looked after me as imdidnt need it. And no I wouldn't have expected anyone to fly out to nurse me. I actually broke bother of mine at the same time but only one needed plating.( knocked off my bike and landed on my back snapping both collar bones in half and splitting the back of my head open ) Yet still I managed to look after myself. How weird.

SciFiRules Fri 12-Jul-19 06:49:27

YABU. Why would a grown adult expect family to visit them having moved some distance away? I have family 100miles away and others around europe, it's nice when they visit but it's not expected similarly we visit when we can but it's not expected. A broken collar bone is nasty but not life threatening. Families are complicated, perhaps draw breath and be glad for the times you do have together.

allthegoodusernameshavegone Fri 12-Jul-19 06:50:22

YABVU let him be. Your Dsis gets to live the life she wants then expects family to come to her and your financial situation is not your DF issue either, grow up.

TheStuffedPenguin Fri 12-Jul-19 06:51:00

She is one of those ex pats who has ended up living away so long that her home is really there . Family ties get stretched in these scenarios and it takes a great deal of effort to maintain them year after year . I perfectly understand where your Dad is coming from ! You are expecting him to go to a place where he has never been and go to and fro . He has his own life and she is not a child !

Juells Fri 12-Jul-19 06:52:08

Yet still I managed to look after myself. How weird.

Yeah but some people seem to love organising other people, and deciding what they should do. I'm a nervous traveler, I'd come up with all sorts of excuses as well if one of my daughters was pressuring me to go to the Alps to look after the other one.

You're not the boss of your father.

TitianaTitsling Fri 12-Jul-19 06:52:24

Rhi now I've got that bloody song 🎶a woman's touch, a woman's touch the magic of Aladdin couldn't do as much🎶 stuck in my head... Agree 🤮

Belenus Fri 12-Jul-19 06:52:57

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.

This. He sounds scared and defensive. He may feel rejected because she moved away somewhere which is difficult for him to get to. Yes, some parts of France are 21 miles away from the English coast. The bit the OP's sister is in is hundreds of miles away. If she ended up continually helping him out he would be more hindrance than help.

I think you have to accept if you move that far from your family that you may limit how much help your family can give you.

ComeAndDance Fri 12-Jul-19 06:56:35

I’ve done ‘living in a different country than my family’ for years. First my parents moved away (with me a child), then I did then they did.

Your and your dad mistake there has been to make any effort to maintain that relationship. Yes you could have gone to see her. But it’s also the little things such as regular phone calls etc etc.

Your dad’s reaction is very much on the same line. He isn’t going there to see ‘her’. He is going there for a holiday where he is expecting her to pick him up, show him places etc.... So of course, he doesn’t want to go there to care for her!
I think his reaction is the sign of a relationship that has been slowly dying because it hasn’t been nurtured (assuming no other big issue where they’ve fallen out, childhood problems etc...). It’s up to him to decide whether he wants to do something about it or not.

FWIW, I think you need to be careful too. Granted you have a 2yo and have just had surgery. But you can still ring her, ask her how she is etc... and then make a plan to go and see her when you are BOTH better. At the very least, when she is coming to the UK, make space for her, ensure you are making time for her rather than ‘fitting her in’ etc....

LikeDolphinsCanSwin Fri 12-Jul-19 06:56:36

A broken collarbone shouldn’t need a live-in carer, or preclude her from coming home.

Messyisthenewtidy Fri 12-Jul-19 06:57:41

I don’t think your dad IBU to not go out there now but it’s a bit odd that he’s only been twice in 20 years.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 12-Jul-19 06:59:28

OP do you have this idea that if he goes over to care for your DSis that it could be the start of you all becoming a close family?

Isatis Fri 12-Jul-19 07:00:09

She can't get home, how can she with a broken collar bone?

Very easily, once it's pinned and plated. People stagger home regularly with worse injuries sustained on skiing holidays.

ComeAndDance Fri 12-Jul-19 07:00:29

Why would a grown adult expect family to visit them having moved some distance away?

Because that’s what you do when you care about people and want to nurture that relationship with them.
We’re not talking about any family member there but parent and child. As a parent, I would bloody make the effort to go and see my child. As a child, I would make sure i am in contact regularly with my parents. I would want a relationship with them and I would make seen them a priority.

Snog Fri 12-Jul-19 07:05:10

Yes he is being selfish but it's really up to him. Does your sister actually need looking after though?

TitianaTitsling Fri 12-Jul-19 07:06:09

Where's all the 20 years come from? The sis is 34? Did she leave to live abroad independently at 13/14?!

Birdie6 Fri 12-Jul-19 07:06:44

She can't get home, how can she with a broken collar bone?

Same way anyone else would - she'll have her arm in a sling, that's all.

cushioncovers Fri 12-Jul-19 07:06:43


you're not close as a family.

Your father isn't a frequent traveler if he's only just got a passport and he's probably nervous doing the trip.
Your sister is used to having a minimal support system as she has lived there for many years by herself.

You can't force feelings that aren't there🤷🏻‍♀️

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