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To those holding out till DSC fly the nest, a cautionary tale

(33 Posts)
Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 13:32:39

of my BH weekend.
l had a nightmare six or seven years of two teenage/young adult SSs living with us full time - usual crap - Disney Dad, = two very rude disrespectful young men ruling our home. Wont bore as you are all familiar with my all too common story.
But then they 'grew up' and left home (couple of years ago) and l had dreamt endlessly of how 'blissful' it would be when they did, just me and DH. That was the only thing that kept me going tbh.
Anyway this was my much looked forward to BH weekend and some quality time with DH. hmm

Saturday morning we had to go shopping so l suggested we call in (it's en route) to DSS2, his DW and 3DCs as they usually visit us every weekend so DH can obviously see his grandchildren - fair enough - l am very fond of them too. So we visited them on way back from shopping and stayed a couple of hours, all very nice and everyones happy so far and l'm thinking that's one box ticked l must admit . Then DSS announced 'We were going to come and see you though tomorrow' to which DH said 'Well we're both going out tomorrow (we were, but separately with respective friends) so we thought we'd come and see you for a change'.

So Sunday l went out with my friend for most of day but DH cancelled his and rang DSS2 to say so (am pretty sure he only cancelled so DSS2 could visit after all tbh) - so he could come round with DGCs after all if he wished. No skin off my nose as l'm out with friend.
DSS apparently said yes he probably would (he knew l was out for day btw) but later phoned to say he couldn't be bothered and he would 'pop round' tomorrow. DH said he and l might be going out tomorrow (again true) so ring first.

So Monday comes and DH asks me what l want to do. Lovely day here so thought would like to go a walk, get some lunch etc, make a day of it. But l was doing something on my laptop that needed concentration so l said hang on a sec. Meanwhile DHs phone rang. So after call l responded to DHs question with my idea for the day as above.
DH looked slightly flummoxed so l said 'What's up, who was that?' and he said was DSS2 and he was coming round with DCs in about half an hour but had said 'was only staying for half an hour' . I expressed my annoyance at him for not waiting till l had answered before inviting them and he just said that they'd only be here for half an hour and then we could go out. So l was fine ,fair enough.
So nearly an hour goes by angry before they arrive (on bikes) and DSS2 announces on coming in that they can only stay half an hour as he had to get kids (and their bikes obv) home by 12ish as his ex was picking up her DD ( DSSs eldest ) later from his. So about half an hour later DSS2 asks if DGCs can have some sandwiches and have lunch here (?) DH makes them sandwiches and another half hour or so passes whilst they fanny around throwing their food around and then DSS2 realising he's behind schedule join the club! announces (note not asks) that he'll ring his ex and ask her to now pick their DChild up here at ours as he wont have time to all cycle back to his.
He rings her and she says ok, she'll be here soon. DSS2 then 'announces' (again not 'asks'!) that he is going to leave all their bikes in our garden and ring his current partner to pick him and remaining 2 DCs up when his DC1s mother has been and gone and collected DC1.
So we are all waiting for DSS2s ex to arrive and collect DC1 and she is nearly an hour angry DSS2 has been made aware earlier on that we are going out for day when they've gone btw.
DC1s mother arrives and collects her DC and so then DSS2 rings his DP and asks her to come and collect them ( he now has a spare bike DC1s obv. so they cant cycle) She is another half hour at least and it's now around 2pm.
As they are finally leaving DSS2 again 'announces' he doesn't want to scratch DPs car so he will call round ^again^ later in his car with bike rack and get two of the bikes and then come back ^again^ and get the other two.
So that's two more visits ffs and would mean we would have to come back early from our 'day out' (if we ever manage to go on it that is !!) . At this point l am afraid l lost patience and muttered something about 'oh don't worry, we don't want a life' and stomped upstairs.

So those of you that think you'll be throwing each other round the house soon once they've flown the nest, sorry to be the voice of doom.

If l didn't laugh l'd cry.

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 14:49:29

Good lord. Are you, by any chance, the poster who's adult step son used to round on a Sunday morning, with his wife and three children, so they could all have a bath? And it would then take nearly all day to complete the task?

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 15:19:08

Hi Petal, no, but don't give them ideas. The way they just announce they are having a meal at our house and then take all day, as above is annoying enough thanks !
I really don't mind at all DGC or DSGC coming for tea etc and they often do and always get given snacks/treats etc when here as is quite normal with young children but it's the way my SSs just announce that they are having their meal at ours whilst they are here, even when as on this occasion they know full well we are waiting to go out.
They live 5mins drive away btw, so not as if travelled for miles/hours to visit us
I mean what happened to being invited for tea or asked if you want something and then accepting ?hmm They just always get in first (the two SSs do but my SD is ok tbh) and just announce what's happening. <grrr>

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 15:21:28

Next time it's a Bank Holiday, you need to "insure" your day by either (a) going out Very Early Indeed; or (b) be away for the whole weekend. Or move house and don't tell them .......

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 15:41:05

Yeah l know Petal, next weekend l have arranged a weekend quite far away and got a hotel booked for Sat night and we will have to set off early Sat morning and wont be back till Sun tea time.
But it's a bugger when you have to flee your own house cos it's the only way to get your DH to yourself for 5 mins.
I really really am not trying to stop DH seeing his DC or DGC and l appreciate that sometimes weekend is the best time (though actually there are other times with both his sons and DGCs when they could see him but hey ho).
But two,three,four even, times a week where we either see them or they visit us, it's just ridiculous.
What really gets me is even when we visit them as in above saga on a weekend they still come and visit us as though it's engraved in stone that they must come to our house on the same day,same time they were going to anyway. There is never any thought of 'Oh dad and MYOB came to visit us or took the kids out all day Saturday (which we do every few weeks) so we wont bother calling on them on Sunday.
It's almost as if to make a point, they still have to visit on the Sunday.
God l sound a miserable cow, but it's hard to explain, l don't want to ration them or make them feel unwelcome but just now and again one of them think that we too have a life as a couple (or are trying too)

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 15:43:50

that should have read two,three even four times a weekend is ridiculous sorry.

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 15:47:26

That would really drive me mad. When I was married to my first husband, his mother used to visit 3/4/5 times per week, and the visits were never brief. We moved house in the end.

But the intrusion, the lack of privacy and the inability to execute your plans would drive me up the wall, OP. Other than moving further away, I don't have any magic words of advice.

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 15:54:03

Isn't the issue here with your husband though? Or has either of you told the son firmly that there are times that are and aren't convenient?

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 15:59:35

Yeah it is the way it always overrides our plans, the way they presume that their visit will be more important to us than anything else planned.
One weekend (we had already seen them twice ) they turned up just as we were getting ready for a wedding night do. Now l really enjoy getting ready and playing my music and walking round in a bath towel etc etc etc and in they walked (seen them approx. four hours earlier) - 'just passing' and l said from behind the door in my bath towel - cos god knows DH will never put them off - that actually we were going out in an hour and were getting ready and they said 'ok, we wont stay long' walked in and then proceeded to stay for an hour, only leaving when our taxi came.

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 16:06:28

DSS18 has just passed his driving test, and he now visits on the proviso that he phones first - for exactly the same reasons the OP has outlined. I agree that the OP's DH needs to sort out some boundaries, although you'd think that adult step children would be more considerate .......

And I'm surprised that DSS's wife wants to spend so much time with her in-laws? No offence OP !!

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 16:12:34

Well yes Numberlock partly l do agree, he is still very much Disney Dad and doesn't like saying 'No' in any way shape or form however gently to any of his DCs even though they are now adults.
But as in the case of DSS2 in OP l think he is very much at fault as he is also an adult and in a relationship himself so l would expect to be a lot more considerate of our 'rights' as a couple. In OP for example he just ran roughshod knowingly over our plans. He could have either taken heed that we were probably going out and not visited at all or visited the day before when his dad had invited him and stayed in to accommodate him and his dad was on his own. He could have stuck to his 'only staying half an hour' especially when he knew for certain now we were going out. He certainly could have refrained from inviting themselves all for lunch instead of going home when he said he was to give them lunch.
And so on - there's just no consideration in there.

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 16:15:11

But if he's never been told this before in his life by his dad, he's not suddenly going to learn it now, however old he is.

It needs spelling out to him, but before that you and your husband need to agree on what the 'rules' are.

Does he have a key? You mentioned that he walked in when you were getting ready for the wedding.

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 16:17:36

grin @ Petal. His DP doesn't always come with them, as in OP l suspect she is not blameless in all this as l have overheard her saying on phone to DSS2 'Why don't you give them something to eat at your dads/ stay there till ex comes to pick up DC1' and similar. I think she enjoys having time to herself while her DP and DCs are out visiting tbh.

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 16:23:32

Yes you're right Numbrlock l suppose it's entrenched in his DCs that everything of his, his time, his home, everything is merely there for their convenience. As l say l do speak up occasionally, but l am battling a lifetime of entitlement l suppose. No he doesn't have a key. DH wanted them both to still have a key after they left home and l firmly said 'err no' to that one.
No l was stood behind the door answering it, iyswim and they just came in anyway despite my 'deterrent statement'. We have the door on the snick a lot aswell (i.e locked open ) in the day so often they can just walk in but at least we are in control of that and can put the snick down if we don't want anyone to walk in.

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 16:33:31

I suspect DSS’s DP is not blameless in all this – I have overheard her on the phone saying “why don’t you give them something to eat at your Dads, or stay there til the ex collects DC1

Ah – so therein lies (part of) the problem. She’s taking advantage of your DH being far too soft and accommodating. She’s a cheeky mare. It’s pretty presumptuous to turn up, unexpectedly, with numerous children and decide to sort out a meal for everyone. Even if you’ve got the right food in the cupboard, it’s not necessarily up for grabs, not to mention the mess in your kitchen!!!

Actually I’m just trying to imagine how I’d feel if a group of people turned up at my house, unexpectedly and made use of my kitchen like that ………

You and your DH definitely need to agree some ground rules and your DH needs to implement and enforce them.

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 16:54:27

Trouble is though Petal, all you get of people on here, though not as much on this board obv. is that 'yes but they are family,why shouldn't they be welcome in their own fathers home' blah blah blah. Which as you and l know isn't the point and shouldn't exempt them from manners/

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 16:59:02

Its one thing to be welcome, but another thing entirely to walk roughshod over your lives and plans though. But I know what you mean - if you suggest any sort of boundaries you tend to get roasted on here.

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 17:15:38

I presume you love seeing them on the times where's it pre-arranged?

Mindyourownbusiness Thu 09-May-13 19:53:38

Yes l do and l am a very loving SGM to them all. I don't even mind tbh when they turn up or like in OP, say for example they really did only stay the half hour predicted or even three quarters or whatever and then said 'right,we'll be off now seeing as you're going out'.
I would most definitely have just shrugged that off and thought 'ah well, we've set off slightly later on our day out but big deal.'
But no because of their disorganised uncaring attitude, DSS immediately commandeered hours of our day and ruined our plans because that worked better for him.

DeskPlanner Thu 09-May-13 20:20:06

Oh, Petal, I was thinking about that thread while reading this as well. It was so shocking. shock

Numberlock Fri 10-May-13 08:13:37

if you suggest any sort of boundaries you tend to get roasted on here

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to have boundaries in your home, whether they're your children, stepchildren, friends, neighbours or whatever.

But OP I do think you need to be clear as to what the boundaries are and agree them with your husband before you present them to your stepson and family.

I suspect the most difficult part of this will be getting your husband to agree to them and then stick to them.

Mindyourownbusiness Fri 10-May-13 08:43:49

Yes you're right Numberlock we have such a long history of arguments from when his late teens to young adults DSs lived with us that he is super-sensitised to even the mere mention of one of their names by me and leaps straight into defensive mode no matter how diplomatically l say anything other than pure praise of one of them.

I will try and speak to him while we're away this weekend and try and leave personalities out of it and just say - look last weekend was a farce and we spent the whole weekend either visiting or waiting for people to visit us or waiting for them to leave so we could go out and with a bit more organisation (maybe wont say consideration) and sticking to our plans more instead of keep moving with other peoples goalposts it would have been better all round and not ended up rowing more to the point.

It needs work ! But something along those lines. But l do know from previous bitter experience that l have to depersonalise it.

Petal02 Fri 10-May-13 08:56:46

MYOB, my DH also leaps straight into defensive mode if I talk about DSS, the only exception is if the comments are 100% glowing and praiseworthy. I doubt bio parents talk about their children with such reverence, but that’s another matter ……

I have to pick my times to have such conversations, I have to use the same language as I’d use at work, if I had to deal with an awkward business issue. Down the lines of “things we can do to improve the situation”, “how can we make things easier for everyone” etc etc – it’s like having to remember basic customer service training.

It’s such a sensitised and prickly subject, that unless I deploy special tactics, it will have dissolved into a row by the second sentence.

theredhen Fri 10-May-13 10:33:03

Petal,it's actually quite refreshing when my ds does something wrong because I know I can have a right old moan and be perfectly honest and true to myself. Issues with the steps are always a bit top toed around, with some very similar terminology to what you suggest petal. "It would be so much better for dsc future if we were to encourage him/her to do x y and z". Same issue with my ds "I'm fed up with ds being lazy and moody, so he's going to do x y and z from now on and get some consequences if he doesn't". There's definitely a difference!

Petal02 Fri 10-May-13 10:36:22

It simply perpetuates my belief that step families are just not natural situations. We all try and make the best of our situations but it never really sits right, if you know what I mean.

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