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Time together v DSD's social life?

(29 Posts)
BuzzLightbulb Wed 12-Feb-14 10:29:31

I foolishly made some surprise Valentine's Day arrangements, we don't get out much as we don't have much free time or much money so this was going to be a little treat. Nothing fancy, just an overnight stay and dinner in a nice local hotel.

We don't have the kids this week, and I checked with DP she had no plans for Saturday and she said no.

Her 3 kids are with their dad this week, he has plans to take them to visit relatives. 16 yr old daughter is kicking up a fuss cos she has a party to go to so Dad has said she'll have to stay with us.

This is complicated because we had offered to have her full time while she studies for her exams. Dad admits his house is a bit disruptive.

So this came up over dinner last night, text from Dad saying daughter is refusing to go away with them.

Now to me, that's his problem. In my head she can miss a party for a change. They're only going away for two days.

DP says that because we've just offered to have her full time for her exam revision we have to have her this weekend. I pointed out that she ought to think about what this Friday is and that this issue is nothing to do with exam revision, it's a 16yr old who's always been able to wrap her disney dad round her finger.

Oh, and I get on fine with her by the way !!

Anyway, I had to spell out what I'd arranged, and that it was meant to be a surprise.Apparently she hates surprises, which is a bit of a kick in the teeth.

And we can still have Friday together, just we'll have a 16yr old with us. She's not safe to leave in the house by herself so we'll probably not get out either.

Am I being over sensitve? Should I just roll over and cancel everything?

My choice is stick to my guns, and see who blinks first. If I don't cancel today I lose the money for the room booking, chances of her making a decision today are historically slim as her ex will kick off if we don't make life easy for him.

Just fold and swallow it as another chance to spend time together gone begging. And another reminder that here DD's social life is more important than us?

Feel selfish, but on the other hand we have just had a surprise birthday dinner for DSD and she was out at two parties last weekend. And the ex has a history of ducking any sort of parenting.

Do I get voted down for being the evil male partner ??

Petal02 Wed 12-Feb-14 10:38:04

Stick to your guns. You are not evil.

Bonsoir Wed 12-Feb-14 10:41:10

I'm not sure a surprise night away was a great idea but you acknowledge that.

Otherwise, no, YANBU at all.

uc Wed 12-Feb-14 11:27:20

Trying to think of a practical solution... Personally, we'd tell DP's ex that we couldn't do this weekend, so then DSD would have to either go with her dad, or make an arrangement to stay at a friend's to go to the party.

You can't put your life on hold just in case one of the children decides 3 days before a weekend that she wants to be in a different house than that which is scheduled - unless of course that child is old enough to be left alone and trusted while you are away.

Your DP is using the exam revision thing as an excuse I think.....

TheScience Wed 12-Feb-14 11:30:18

Why is she not safe to leave in the house?

BuzzLightbulb Wed 12-Feb-14 11:48:20

Why is she not safe to leave in the house? Hmmm, where do I start???

Bluntly she has no common sense, she has on occasion

- nearly burnt the house down
- almost given herself food poisoning
- left the house doors unlocked
- turned the house into a pig sty when having friends over

and as her social life seems to revolve around teenagers getting very drunk and 'misbehaving' to put it mildly and she's constantly on the look out for an empty house......

Kaluki Wed 12-Feb-14 12:06:12

I think you will have to cancel today or you will lose the money and that will be shit.
If your DPs ex won't have her and you can't leave her alone in the house then you are left with very little choice unless there is a family member you can send her to or ask to housesit.
Your DP sounds a tad ungrateful - I would be overjoyed if DP arranged a surprise night in a hotel.

uc Wed 12-Feb-14 12:35:00

I don't think Kaluki's right in this case (sorry Kaluki!) - I don't see why YOU should have to cancel because DP's ex isn't strong enough to sort out a problem caused by DSD wanting to stay home instead of going away with him on one of the weekends she's meant to be AT HIS HOUSE! I totally agree with you OP, it is her dad's problem. A teenager should accept that if there are plans as a family that clash with a party, then the party is missed. This would not even have been an issue when I was growing up - my parents would have just said, sorry you can't go to the party uc, as we are going to Auntie X/Grandparents/family friends. And that would have been the end of that.

If she really won't go away with him, why doesn't HE cancel his plans, instead of expecting you to do so.

So I would say to DP's ex, "sorry, DSD can't stay here this weekend because we are going away". Full stop.

I do agree with Kaluki's last point. I would be over the moon if DP organised a surprise trip away for us!!

purpleroses Wed 12-Feb-14 13:05:01

I would tell DSD that if she wants to go to the party she needs to find a friend to stay over with either.

I can't believe any party-going 16 year old wouldn't be able to find someone she can stay over with. And if it makes you more comfortable with it, then ask for the parent's landline and check it out with them first.

Then everyone's happy.

I'd not be too angry at her dad - if a 16 year old is refusing to come somewhere with you there's really precious little you can do about it at that age.

But do think that a 16 year old really ought to be old enough to be left alone at least for an evening and probably overnight. My DSDs has been off to festivals with friends and stayed one night alone at home since she was only just 16. Your DP needs to work on building up her levels of self-sufficiency - she may be living on her own in a couple of years!

emblosion Wed 12-Feb-14 13:14:06

Can't she stay with a friend for the night? I was going to say why on earth can't she stay on her own for one night, but as you don't think she's sensible enough surely there's a friend she can stay with?

I don't think you should cancel your plans.

LyndaCartersBigPants Wed 12-Feb-14 13:14:38

My 14 yo sometimes refuses to come with us when we go out. No way I'd let his stubbornness ruin a rare night away though, and bringing her along to the hotel sounds like a really bad idea! She'll spend the whole time moping that she's missed the party and is bored, so your romantic weekend will be ruined anyway.

Your DP sounds a bit ungrateful. Yes, surprises can be a bit tricky when you have DCs, but if my DP had managed to sort something out on a weekend when I was supposed to be kid free I'd have been overjoyed and there's no way I'd rearrange such a thoughtful gesture for a teenage party.

I agree that it's up to DSDs dad to find a solution, you're busy, end of story. If your DP would rather miss the night away with you than make her dd stick to the arrangements I'd be sure to let her know how wrong her priorities are.

holidaysarenice Wed 12-Feb-14 13:23:07

Ex dp sorts it out.

Alternatively step daughter gets the choice to go with her dad or stay with you, but if you have to cancel your night, she's going to have to cancel the party.

BuzzLightbulb Wed 12-Feb-14 13:43:01

Holidays - that's a great idea.

Except it would paint me as the really mean bad guy, instead of just the mean bad guy.

And I'm always the bad guy when I suggest DSC's dad should sort himself out.

I had choices. None of which were going to repair the situation, and as we've been having a rocky few months which has led me to dragging her to this forum to prove I'm not mad/alone creating a confrontation isn't sensible.

It's all just ading to my feeling of self worth !! hmm

Petal02 Wed 12-Feb-14 13:43:02

I do understand the OP's stance on not letting her be alone in the house; DSS is 19, and whilst I can't imagine him hosting a drunken party, his inability to switch off grills, rings on the hob, bath taps etc, plus the confusion that arises when he's asked to lock a door ..... You get the drift.

sanityseeker75 Wed 12-Feb-14 14:25:44

I suppose it depends really.

You could refuse to cancel and let them sort it out between themselves (DSD and her dad) BUT if you do that will you have a good weekend? Is your DP likely to relax and make it worth your while? Principles are ok but if your are both then feeling stressed and it ruins the weekend then is it worth it anyway.

It is a sad but true fact that often plans have to get cancelled due to things cropping up - it is a case of pick your battles (not that I agree BTW)

NatashaBee Wed 12-Feb-14 14:39:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BuzzLightbulb Wed 12-Feb-14 15:09:45

NatashaBee - yeah that conversation opens up a whole can of worms, can't afford to go there either.

Hotel's cancelled so no money lost. Dinner reservation held just in case.

Tonight will be fraught, we might talk, we might not.

Either way I see this as just three or four days of stress for no reason.And the week we don't have the kids is supposed to be the sress free time.

But a valuable lesson learned, credit card stays firmly at home from now on.

purpleroses Wed 12-Feb-14 17:37:21

If I was your DP I'd feel bloody guilty over making you cancel such lovely plans. Hope she makes it up to you somehow.

Kaluki Wed 12-Feb-14 18:18:13

Uc sorry I didn't mean it was right to cancel but that it would mean he wouldn't lose any money if he cancelled today. From the OP it sounded like fighting a losing battle as OPs DP wasn't going to stand up to the ex and make him have his dd.
I still say she is ungrateful and yes she really should be feeling guilty now!

croquet Wed 12-Feb-14 20:17:10

^^ what Lynda said.
Don't cancel it are you mad!! She's 16!!!
There's no way any teen of mine (or DHs) would affect weekend plans because of a party. Your DP needs to step up on this one. She needs to say you're busy and it's not doable. End of.

croquet Wed 12-Feb-14 20:18:23

Oops just saw you did cancel it. Poor poor you - what a crapper.
Definitely go out lots over the weekend, don't stay cooped up with grotty teen hangover!
What a let down for you.

croquet Wed 12-Feb-14 20:18:51

p.s. Teenagers are the pits.

TheMumsRush Wed 12-Feb-14 20:47:10

I would tell the dad it's his problem, he any really leave her on your empty door step

clam Wed 12-Feb-14 21:19:31

I actually think you've done the right thing in cancelling, annoying though it must be.
I think you're between a rock and a hard place. But if I were you, or your dp, I wouldn't have been able to properly relax on a night away if I was torturing myself with what a bunch of 16 year olds might be getting up to in my house in my absence!

caramelwaffle Thu 13-Feb-14 08:47:17

I don't think you are being unreasonable and your dp does sound ungrateful.

You did the correct thing in cancelling the hotel, although it is not the right thing.

Hope you have a nice weekend regardless.

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