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To come home from my dad's house early and never want to see him again? Long and ranty. Sorry.

(32 Posts)
Pennies Wed 30-Jul-08 09:06:37

I took my two DDs to my dad's house in France for a 2 week holiday but brought us home a week early yesterday. The house is part of a group of houses which he all owns and rents them out as holiday gites. There were guests in both the gites, each with children aged 18 months, 3 year, 4 years and 6 years. My DDs are 2 & 3 years. We left the the following reasons:

1) He totally ignored my children and would hide in his study all day. When he did emerge he would chastise them about something or tell them not to do something. His tone is alway very abrupt and his reasons were often very flimsy (e.g. the two of them playing with a bucket of stones and some water in the courtyard caused him to tell them to stop - they were just cleaning the stones, so there was no throwing, screaming or any hideous behaviour). I spent the entire time feeling stressed that he'd bollock them for something each time he emerged.

2) My step-mum kept telling me what to do with the children in a kind of didactic manner and related to everything I did with them.

3) Step-mum also hugely patronsising.

4) Dad and step-mum just bitch and judge all the people that stay at their gites, unless they fit into their categories of acceptability (i.e. intellectual and cultural snobs who would rather chop their own heads off than relax for two weeks by the pool doing nothing). Basically, if anyone stayed put in their holiday home during their stay they bitched about it. Now, seeing as this was my intention (i.e. staying put and having some quality playtime with my DDs) I began to feel hugely unwelcome if I didn't clear out of the house for half the day, but there was nothing to do or go to without driving for bloody hours.

5) My two were sharing a room and due to the change in location, the heat, the fact that they're not used to sharing rooms and general holiday excitement they were hard to settle each night and it would take up to an hour and a half to get them to go to sleep. This is very unusual for them and I tried every trick in the book, including changing rooms, seperating them so one was in my room, leaving one downstairs watching a DVD (cue barely veiled comments about "why would anyone want to watch TV on holiday..."). Our rooms were at the very top of the house, at my request so that we would not disturb anyone. Despite all this it was always hard work and my two would scream and it was not pleasant. However, you COULD NOT hear this from downstairs and I also closed the windows to minimise any disturbance through them too. Despite this my dad - who basically was pissed off that I was busy settling them rather than sitting with him and his wife listening to them bitch the night away - told me that I HAD to sort out your children's behaviour "because I'm not having my guests complaining because of your children" add on to that, "They are paying guests. You are not. That's the deal."

What more could I have possibly done?

These are the same guests who's kids were also creating at the same time. The same guests whose children I'd entertained giving the parents an hour or so to themselves each day. Of course I accept that as paying guests they don't want to be disturbed but I genuinely don't think they were and I made every single effort I could to try and minimise any disruption.

During the day their behaviour was great - I worked hard to make sure they didn't cause any noise and spent the entire time clearing up anything that could be considered messy. It was bloody hard work.

I made my feelings very clear about how I felt and he then hid from me for the rest of the time I was there.

So I brought us home. Sick of his obvious dislike of my children, sick of constantly being on edge around him and sick of trying to be someone I'm not just to please him.

Sorry, very long and well done if you got this far.

Upwind Wed 30-Jul-08 09:11:24

Not wanting to ever see him again sounds a bit extreme and unreasonable.

Leaving early because you were not enjoying your holiday - very reasonable.

wb Wed 30-Jul-08 09:16:47

Gawd, not surprised you came home early.

If/when you do decide to see him again I'd keep it child-free (his loss) even if it means you only see him for an hour once a year.

chipmonkey Wed 30-Jul-08 09:26:33

YANBU! What a way to treat his own grandchildren!

GooseyLoosey Wed 30-Jul-08 09:32:48

Not unreasonable - it sounds like a hideous experience for you, not relaxing at all. I would not stay in his house with the children again and would prefer that he came to stay with me.

nametaken Wed 30-Jul-08 09:33:55

See this is why I never go to other peoples houses but have people over to me instead.

Reading your post it doesn't seem as though you've done anything wrong and I felt quite sad when you said you worked hard to make sure they didn't cause any noise sad. FFS, your dad lets out FAMILY cottages during SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!!!!!! Of course there's gonna be noise. Did the other parents gag their kids then?

I would have left early too. But he's still your dad so there's no point never seeing him again (after all, who stands to inherit those properties eh? wink.)

My kids wash stones too!!!!! I must admit I find it a strange thing to do.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Just an afterthought - as your kids are only 2 and 3, could you holiday in term time for the next couple of years? It is a lot quiter and obviously cooler. Children don't cope at all well with the excessive heat on the continent IMO and it just adds to the stress.

Notanexcitingname Wed 30-Jul-08 09:36:32

YABU to wait a week! I'd been home within two days wink

Think you deserve a medal for long-suffering children grin

overthemill Wed 30-Jul-08 09:40:17

you poor thing! You did well i reckon. it's hard when you need their hospitality but you should also be treated with rspect.
dont cut him off if you can tho

i have similar issues with my dad. my mum died 12 years ago and since then he's been dreadful. really grumpy (sure he is depressed).

hope you enjoy the summer weather we are having here tho

Pennies Wed 30-Jul-08 09:51:33

Thanks for taking the time to wade through all that.

WRT to not seeing him again, well that relates to years and years of him basically being a bully, a snob, a marriage wrecker and on several notable occasions his words or actions have caused such immense distress to me (and other members of the family) that I no longer have the energy to tip toe round him in the event of more shite coming my way.

He is also demonstrating that his grandparenting skills match those of his mother and she was such a class A bitch to me (she called me a whore and disinhertied me at the age of 12 because I put on a little bit of eye shadow when I was playing at a friend's house) that I can't bear the thought of my children having to have to endure that.

As for inheritance. Believe me there's nothing that he owns that I would want. Anyway, thanks to his mother I'm used to being disinherited - it's quite fun and certainly gives one the higher moral position wink. Seriously though, this whole thing is about him putting money in front of family, so even if he left me the whole lot it's of no interest to me because it's the cause of many, many of his isshhooooos.

piratecat Wed 30-Jul-08 09:56:30

people keep mentioning the toxic parents thing, i might go and google.

How very disappointing for you. You did your very best.

kando Wed 30-Jul-08 11:12:19

God how awful for you. Sounds like you need a proper holiday now, where your kids can behave like kids are expected to and you can chill out. Don't blame you one little bit. My parents drive me up the wall on the few occasions we see them, which is why I can only stay at their house for a max of 4 days and even that's pushing it for me! (They're in Scotland, we're on the south coast of England - there is something to be said for distance wink )

Enjoy the rest of your holiday with your dds.

posieflump Wed 30-Jul-08 11:19:21

you poor poor thing, what a way to spend your holiday
you wren't nreasonable at all to come home

if you do decide to visit again just stay somewhere else. Do you have a dh/dp? Get him to come too and rent out a cottage nearby, that way you can dictate with you see the pair of them and how often.

mrsleroyjethrogibbs Wed 30-Jul-08 11:31:59

YANBU you have my sincere sympathies. there is no way you can keep children quiet, they are children fgs. You woudl have thought they would spend more time wanting to know their grandchildren rather than criticising.
Believe me when I say

tiredlady Wed 30-Jul-08 11:40:04


He sounds awful.

If he has treated you and your children with contempt, I would not hesitate in cutting him out of your life.

Life is too short to try and seek approval from toxic parents

HonoriaGlossop Wed 30-Jul-08 12:20:29

good for you for being assertive and telling him how you felt, and leaving!

Don't blame you AT ALL for not wanting to see him. He sounds thoroughly nasty.

rebelmum1 Wed 30-Jul-08 12:36:04

I have awful times visiting my parents in France to. I empathise, I think it's worse because they don't see them day to day, they don't have a bond and they are so detached from what being a toddler is all about and also so set in their ways. Good for you for leaving and not tolerating it. I would see him again but on your own terms. I would book into a gite somewhere else! Or hire a nice villa somewhere.

catsmother Wed 30-Jul-08 12:52:23

They sound like a horrible, bitter, pair and having heard them bitch on about the other guests, I should say that the only reason those families and their children weren't also subject to an unreasonable lecture is because they were paying ...... which is a bloody cheek really, to bitch about people who are providing your living.

I have never understood anyone who works in, or provides, any sort of service to the public, yet who patently hates others. Like people who all but snarl at you when you go in their shop.

As for your experience ........ how dreadfully sad and disappointing for your own dad to put such a downer on your holiday. Presumably, he had actually invited you over there - you weren't forcing yourself on him. It's not just about a ruined holiday though is it - it's about being rejected, and I understand why you don't want to see him again right now.

muggglewump Wed 30-Jul-08 12:58:00

I went on hoilday with DD and my Dad this year, his idea, his choice of location and a huge treat for DD and I to have a holiday.
Total nightmare, I would not go again.

I'd have come home too, in fact I salute you for sticking it out for a week, I was stuck or I'd have done the same

BuwchBywiog Wed 30-Jul-08 12:59:33

YANBU I'm sorry you had such a crappy holiday and I hope you can forget about it and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Kids washing stones! I blame Makka Pakka!!!

rebelmum1 Wed 30-Jul-08 13:03:08

Trust me this time next year you will have forgotten how awful it was and think about going again. I do every year (sob).

Pennies Wed 30-Jul-08 19:40:11

I"m not sure about that - DH never wants to go back there either and I'm sure he'll keep me on the straight and narrow.

LittleBella Wed 30-Jul-08 19:49:37

No you don't sound unreasonable at all.

He sounds utterly and completely selfish and if you're going to spend money going abroad, spend a bit more and go where you can relax. It doesn't sound like you had a holiday at all, thanks to your vile father. Also sounds like there's a lot more history there than just this latest attempt at a holiday.

Turniphead1 Wed 30-Jul-08 19:53:19

YAsooooNBU . He sounds like a right piece of work, as does his wife. There are just so many elements to his behaviour to dislike that you did the best thing by coming back.

Out of interest, when you left was it a big shouty crackers storming off or a low-key "I think it would be better if we left" type thing.

Your children sound lovely - I would be delighted if mine would sit and do something as constructive as stone washing! But there is nothing more unrelaxing than walking on eggshells in case they make a noise/do the "wrong" thing. Grrrr.

noonki Wed 30-Jul-08 19:56:47

to leave the house,

I would write to him and let him know why you left and why you are upset, but try and avoid name calling etc

then at least you have had a go at sorting things out,

he sounds totally thoughtless so maybe you will make him think

poor you

giraffescantdancethetango Wed 30-Jul-08 20:22:55


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