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AIBU for being really angry with my adult step children??(15 Posts)
So I have been with my OH for 26 years. He had 3 daughters then. (nothing to do with me btw why he split with their mum) The youngest was only 2 so I've basically known her all her life. We also have 2 children. His children are now adults with their own children. When they were younger, they spent every other weekend at ours and we also saw them in the week. Took them on holidays etc etc. The problem only started when they became adults. They have zero interest in their younger siblings. They have zero interest in me and very little in their dad. The only time we see them is if we invite them over for dinner. With their OH and children and us 4, that makes it 18 around the dinner table. When they are here, they don't lift a finger and just expect to be served. They let their children do what ever they want, including jumping on our sofa with shoes on. One of them sits and moans the whole time and drains every bit of energy I've got. I want them to be part of our lives but I hate how it is always on our initiative. None of them ever just nips in to see us, or their dad in particular. I feel sorry for my OH cos obviously he wants to see his children. How can I solve this? I've tried suggested meeting up for picnics in parks and camping weekends for all of us but no one is interested. I am really going mad about it and would love for someone to give me some sound advice!!!
I also want to add, that when we have arranged things with the grandchildren, things doesn't happen. For example once, one of the grandchildren was gonna have a sleep over here. That was arranged. When my OH went to collect him, they had forgotten and he had gone to a sleep over with a friend. Another example....one of the grandchildren was playing a football match and my OH asked what time it was as he wanted to go and watch him. He was up early to go but didn't get the reply from his daughter until the afternoon saying, sorry I forgot to reply but it has already been on. These are just some examples to give you an idea.
What can you do really? They're adults with their own lives.
I split up with ExH, my DDs dad, years ago when they were little. Now grown they're off here & there travelling, 1 is engaged, they're living their lives. Evrn I don't see them much these days.
DDs don't dislike their dad but they didn't grow with him so perhaps that's why they don't make a huge effort to see or be with him.
He's remarried, they're polite to his wife, theyre ok with their step-siblings when they meet, but it doesn't seem to be a priority in "we must actively make an effort to see/be with them' way.
So it's just one of those things really. No animosity but no huge interest. I'd think this situation is quite common, people tend to deal with immediate family in their world ie, who's around.
I've not seen my own step-sister for 3 years or so. Again - non-issue with her but I grew with my siblings so they're my 'go to' family that I'm close with. I don't visit my dad much although we do speak on the phone. He remarried and had more children so obviously he wasn't present in our family home. Dad's ok but I've no big urge to maintain strong ties.
It's a shame you're holding anger about this. You don't like their behaviour when they're around anyway. You have your partner and children, you could just let it go and accept you can't order people's lives. You just have to live yours.
Yeah I get what your saying. The only reason I'm even trying to suggest things is so that my OH sees his children and grandchildren. But maybe I should stop. I really can't be bothered if they can't.
You have some control as they won’t do anything unless invited. As summer is coming I’d be like a broken record and refuse to cook. Suggest meeting for a picnic where everyone brings their own. Meet up at an animal park or playground.
I find ignoring the adults and concentrating on the kids helps! Not so much you become childminders. Be the fun granny, buy them ice cream!
The kids might form a real bond with you?
Thanks for the advice! Weirdly I have just sent them all a message asking if they want to join us for a picnic in a park near theirs this weekend. So let's await the replies.....
As you said OP, if they can’t be bothered why should you bother.
Siblings often grow apart when they have their own families, more so when they’re half-siblings. Let it go. Concentrate on your own children and enjoy them.
They have busy lives probably just about coping with every day demands. How much has your OH done to help them?
They don't owe to make your OH part of their lives. He has to do things himself (and you if you want) to become involved in things.
My parents were like this when my kids were little. My ex and I both worked FT both commuting kids at nursery FT kids poor sleepers. It was tough very tough but my parents never offered to help but would thrn moan that the kids were not bothered to spend time with them when it suited them and complained that they rarely heard from me when I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't rely on them for any help which was fine as their right but didn't make me want to give anything back either.
Did you read my earlier reply that we've offered to have them over, my OH has been trying to get involved in activities etc. I am 12 years younger than him and we also both work full time jobs. One of his daughter is moaning because her friends mum has retired to look after her kids. What does she expect us to do??? Retire at an age of 44??? Or for my OH to stop his business?? We have helped them all financially and also been guarantors for flats when they first left home. I'm sorry but they can't have the cake and eat it. If we hardly ever see them, how could they expect us to help them? I'm not expecting to see them all the time but maybe a few more times than at their birthdays or Xmas.
They sound quite selfish and entitled. Why was their relationship like with their dad when they were growing up? I have some cousins a bit like this and I've stopped banging my head against a brick wall.
In your shoes I would emotionally detach from the situation, every couple of months you could suggest a meet up like you have done and see what happens. If your OH wants to see more of them let him continue trying but you can't flog a dead horse forever, at some point you'll both have to accept that they aren't interested in their dad's side of the family. It's their loss.
I understand that both of you working FT you would have been limited in providing help but the statement made about the friend does point to them feeling you (your OH really) could have done more.
They might be right or not at all but it doesn't change the fact that it might be how they feel and the way they act is reflective of it.
We’ve been playing this game for 20 years. It will never suit everyone and someone is always left feeling pushed out. Usually my DH. I try not to get involved anymore.
To be honest amongst my friends (I am about 10 years younger than you, so perhaps around the age of your DSC) everyone goes to their parents for dinner, very few seem to invite their parents over. They consider that to be their 'down time' so don't really help either! My DM and her friends complain a lot about it.
All you can do is offer things like that picnic and help sometimes. If they don’t reciprocate what can you do?
Don’t become like my DP and feel massive guilt that you don’t see enough of adult kids and then become their personal PA! He runs around after them, and they’ve become very entitled with him. It’s up to parents to aid children into a slightly more two sided relationship. We are not just their personal childminders, banks, taxis and admins!
You are doing more than enough OP. I’d leave it now.
I would just stop inviting them personally. Let them make the first move.