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Memories of the vacation from hell with the stepkids

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

I haven't done any chapters from the past Bratty McBratface style but if I did this vacation would be a whole chapter and it would be titled the "Disney Vacation from Hell" or "the big breakup at the Carribean Beach Resort  pool parking lot".

Guess just what showed up in my facebook memories today? That's right.  THE vacation from hell with the stepkids.  This was the event that led me to this site.  I keep seeing posts about "should I vacation with the stepkids" and "what's going to happen if I vacation with the stepkids" and of course "disney dad." so I think its kind of fitting that the memories showed up today. 

So here is my cautionary tale.  Don't let what happened to me happen to you.

Facebook says it was eight years ago today!  IT was Younger SD's 12 birthday.  Mind you I live in Florida but I paid for a Disney vacation for me, him, my three kids, his two kids, and a friend of SD's.  We didn't have to do plane tickets.  I'm less than two hours form Disney and I was a Disney passholder and had passes for two of mine.  He used to work at the monorail and still had friends at Disney and I have a friend who works for Disney so we got Sd's and friend in for free but I paid for everything else.  I booked three rooms at the Carribean Beach resort side by side for several days and it wasn't cheap.  I also paid for the food.  It was very expensive.  So most of the time it was me and my three off together at the parks and it was he and older SD together and younger Sd and her friend went off together.  So last day we didn't go to the parks.  We went to Downtown Disney.  Since my kids and I were annual passholders, we went to Disney a lot.  We took them to the Rainforest Cafe and said, "Here's where we have reservations for dinner tonight.  Can't wait!  Isn't this place amazing?"  Older SD even helped my littles pick out their outfits to wear for dinner.  We went back to the hotel and were swimming in the pool at our resort when over swims DD's dad (she wasn't born yet) and older SD and I get hit with, "Now don't be mad but we want to go to dinner tonight just us.  We want to use our reservation for the Rainforest Cafe but we don't want you and your kids to go cause we want daddy daughter time.  Oh but we want to bring younger SD's guest just not yall.. and we want you to pay for it."

I remember blogging on my ipad on that hammock at the resort upset and crying and so incredible hurt and feeling so used.  Everyone here gave me courage and he and I had it out right there in the parking lot and we broke up.  We ended up at the McDonalds on Disney property (the most expensive in the world, I think) where I was crying and still blogging on Steptalk and then we drove home.  Disney vacation over.  

and I never vacationed with Stepkids ever again.  (I did do a day trip with them to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror nights and they still didn't learn their lesson and me either apparently).  He and I did end up getting back together many, many months later and therefore I now have DD6 but yep that's what happens when you vacation with Disney dad and ungrateful stepkids.  They use to follow me on Instagram and get mad about all the fun trips we did that they were invited to anymore and I'd say, "Nope. I'm going to leave you guys to do daddy/daughter time."  He of course would never pay for them to do anything fun so they all shot themselves in the foot.  "Don't get mad,"they said.  Well I definitely got mad.          And the funny thing is I spent a lot of years here in stephell cause of older SD but you know what?  We are ok now.  She texts me once every two weeks.  She has a relationship with DD.  She's not a bad kid.  She was just never parented and he wouldn't do it cause of divorce guilt.  She once asked me why I got so mad and why we broke up when she just wanted some alone time with dad.  So I said, "Imagine your grandmother invites you on a cruise and she foots the entire bill.  She also pays for your  guest.  You have dinner plans on ship that she arranged and planned.   You help grandpa pick out his tie and suit to wear to dinner that night at the Captain's table but then you go to grandma and say, "I don't want you to go.   I just want it to be my and my dad and my sister and her guest and I still want you to pay for it."  She got it.  She did. 


WwCorgi7's picture

That's awful! I would have been so hurt too. I would have dumped their crap on the side of the road if they did that to me. What a crappy thing to do.

I hated vacationing with SD. Everything was an issue! Forgot barbeque sauce when we stopped on the road? World War 3. I want to vacation so badly since SD is PAS'd out. Our kids together don't complain or cop an attitude over every little thing. They are just happy to go somewhere new. We are waiting for vaccine approval for kids under 12 to take our next vacation. I cannot wait!

caninelover's picture

Use your reservations and you pay but don't go?  Unbelievable.  I guess at least OSD somewhat understands why you got mad though the fact that she had to ask when it should be plain obvious is odd.

Bratty still doesn't understand why I got upset at Thanksgiving when she randomly demanded vegan food and then chose Boston Market the next day.  Its my fault for not guessing she wanted vegan food at Thanksgiving, and its SO's fault that she HAD to pick Boston Market because of their imaginary tradition, and it was Boston Market's fault because if they had vegan food she would have ordered it.  Her excuses are actually more entertaining then her company.

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

But not as bad. My sd's weren't parented. North Korea patents (if you can call it that ) exactly like Regina's mom in Mean Girls were she was handed condoms and alcohol out to the kids. If you had asked me eight years ago to predict today I would have told you I would have zero relationship with older SD and that I would be close to younger SD. I paid for that trip cause it was stepdaughter youngest birthday and I loved her very much back then but she went the way of former munchkin now back stabber Clove's SD.  

I once took older SD out with me and my children when we visited my brother and he said he was treating. What did she do ? She ordered the steak and lobster with an extra lobster tail and desert to go. I was mortified.  

CLove's picture

What gall. What nerve. Sounds JUST horrible. Im glad you found us, but not glad you had to endure that debacle on your hard earned cash. 

And shame on OSD! Shame shame shame! No class!

I had different thoughts on vacations with Backstabber/Munchkin previously. I had thought "well maybe it will be ok! She might be sort of fun!"

Now, I just know its going to be walking on eggshells the whole time. She'll be on the phone texting or whatever to Kansas City. She might even say things like "so when  are we going home?" OR push me out of the way to wak next to Husband.

This memorial day is her birthday. Typically I would relish planning fun things for a possible overnight getaway sor something fun for all of us to do, but I think I made it very clear that Husband was the one planning anything. Im just along for the ride.

Yeah, Before and After really sucks.

notsobad's picture

DH and I took all the kids on vacation and it was actually wonderful. They were all adults (19 to 25), skids had gf/ bf that came too. It was a very pricey trip (we'd made good choices on the stock market) but everyone was grateful, helpful and accomodating.

We are planning on another trip as soon as we safely can and everyones scheduals work. All the kids will be paying for their own flights and portion of the accomadations this time, but we'll cover all the food and drinks.

Just wanted to let everyone know that it can actually work out if DH is a parent and the skids are respectful.

Cover1W's picture

Oh yeah, after a vacation when the SDs were, I think, 9 and 11, that was the last time I went on a vaca with them for a while - at least with just me, DH and them. I thought the first long weekend away was bad....yeah, just a taste of what was to come. We did take them with us a couple times to visit my family and they were on good behavior then because if we were with my family I was the one calling the shots.

After OSD PAS'd out, we went on an acutally super fun vacation with YSD, then 12.  We all had fun and it was great. No stress. 

Don't get me started on the Europe trip DH insisted on, OSD was 15 and YSD was 13. I had nothing to do with them, it was all on him but for one day I went with his older sis' family and YSD one morning.  That was ok. But otherwise, nope, he had to figure it ALL out himself because I objected to it as OSD wasn't speaking with him, food issues, behavor issues, etc. On our way back I heard OSD tell YSD "Well, I don't think all this flying makes Europe worth it.  I wouldn't do it again." OK great!  YSD does want to go again however....someday DH can finance that himself.

JRI's picture

First of all, lets all agree that a trip with the SKs is not a vacation.  There should be another word because its NOT a vacation.

Our early trips with all 5 kids were hellacious.  I blogged about the trip where the boat was sinking in the middle of a lake.  I told myself I was calling a divorce lawyer the second we got home.  As  the kids got older and once the SKs moved in and things calmed down, trips weren't quite so bad.  But I still wouldnt call them vacations.  "Vacation" is DH and me at a casino.  Lol.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I still have PTSD from the time we took SDs on vacation. It was so bad I would never even consider doing it again.

YSD and OSD had fist fights all day long. YSD would throw temper tantrums because she wanted to stop some place to eat every 5 min. 

Neither SKs appreciated or showed interest in any of the things we did or places we went. YSD had absolutely no idea how to behave in public being rude and disrespectful to people.

By the end of every night I had a migraine. I get anxiety just thinking about it.

Cover1W's picture

"Neither SKs appreciated or showed interest in any of the things we did or places we went..." yeah, we were in the UK and doing all kinds of stuff and seeing amazing things, old casltles, medeavil buildings, amazing parks, graveyeards, etc., and OSD15 just shrugged except for doing things SHE wanted to do....hours at a bookstore (not an old one but a chain....) and wanted to go in every single time we saw one - same books!  Same stuff!  NO!  And for one tourist thing she wanted to do. At one point we were on a bus tour and she went and sat way away from all of us. DH tried to go sit with her but she was so nasty to him he came back and sat with YSD and me again. She has a very good and practiced b*tch face. So she made herself miserable.

Now, I know I wasn't always pleasant as a teen on a family vacation either, but my parents never allowed that attitude and there were very real threats of leaving me in the hotel room or come to the beach - i always chose to go and usually ended up having a good time. Even if was just a local little thing.

thinkthrice's picture

Taking Chef's three ferals to a KIDS RESTAURANT was HELL ON EARTH and completely embarrassing.  All the other patrons were shocked and in horror that such brats actually existed.

Ispofacto's picture

Studies show that empathy can be selective, as in, people can have empathy for their own tribe and not have empathy for Others.

It sounds like you've been Othered.  Many of us have.  But a lot of these skids are empathy-challenged in general.

It's incredible that OSD thought it was appropriate to make that request, but she prefaced it with "don't be mad", so she must've known that it wasn't.  But she's so spoiled she doesn't care.

But yeah, vacations were a nightmare with Killjoy and we went on several.  I'm stupid for trying more than once.  They pushed things over the edge, for sure.


Stepdrama2020's picture

What a memory! Dang your SD sounds like so much fun. I just dont get why you dont vacation more often. LOL

The friggin nerve to bump you from dinner AND expected to pay for! Dang your DH mustve apologized profusely to get back with him. What on earth was his reaction to this?!!

ESMOD's picture

My OSD burned a bridge with me on vacation.. she was maybe 16-17 and we had brought my inlaws with her and her sister to our small vacation home in FL.  It was 3 br but only 1 bath.. so a bit tight... and unfortunately while we drove separate from my inlaws I expected them to do their own thing with their grandkids a bit so that my DH and I could have some couple time too.. but they wanted to do "everything as a family"  well, my OSD was a pill several times during our trip.. once when we wasted over an hour waiting for her to decide whether she was going to spend money on her coveted North Face jacket (spoiler.. when neither grandma nor her dad would pony up and buy it.. she passed on using her own precious money).  She generally would just be sullen etc.. 

I overheard her on the phone complaining to her mom that "I hate it here".. yeah.. FL in December is horrible right?  Eating great seafood every night? Going to all the beaches and the mall etc? 

I blew it into her for that.... yelled at her for being a selfish and entitled brat and that she wouldn't have to worry about EVER coming with us on vacation again because we would hate to have her do things she hates.. 

My Inlaws got upset about it all.. and honestly.. I had just had it at that point.  I was hosting all these people.. we paid for most of it.. we had to do what everyone else wanted to do.. no alone time.. and yeah.. as an introvert it was extra tough.

The inlaws decided to cut their trip a bit short and tbh.. I was perfectly fine with that.  If they were mad at ME for not wanting to be disrespected by an entitled brat like OSD  in my own home on my dime?  They could take the door too. lol.

I actually don't worry too terribly much about my inlaws.. they are nice people but my MIL has one of those "all for the kids and poor COD" attitudes.. Me and my DH feel like it's our life.. the kids just got to share in it.. 

YSD got many more vacations.. and still does to this day as an adult.. but OSD?  I think she may have gone on one day trip with us since then.. but no more fun trips.. 

Evil4's picture

I refused to vacation with the ferals again after a trip to Disneyland. The SKs were 13 and 15 and that's when SD started her 7 year reign of shunning me. The SKs acted like they were too good to walk with the rest of us (DH, our DD 5 at the time and myself) and they always walked way ahead of us and acted like they didn't know us. They brought a laptop and whenever we were in the hotel or at the side of a pool, they had BM on it. My ball-less wonder DH didn't say a word.

The trip was a disaster and DH wanted a re-do. He was planning some great trip to attach to a business trip so I would have to fly home with the ferals myself.

SS had this thing where he tortured DD to please SD. I was constantly on SS and DH for not being strong enough with SS. DH played both sides against the middle and acted to me like it was just us three. With the SKs, he played them and made out like it was just them and DH. When I overheard SS ask DH a question about the trip they're all going on, I told DH I'm out and I'm keeping DD home. DH was so upset and begged and begged and begged and I told him that I refuse to ever travel with BM's fucking mug shoved into my trip ever again. I told him that since he didn't say anything he obviously enjoyed being a happy family with her and his first failed family experiment so go take them. I also told him that I will not be able to have him as a witness on our way home and I will not stand by and allow SS to tease, to the point of abusing DD. I will handle it each and every time and since DH wouldn't be there, SS will ramp it up. That leaves me with no witness so SS and SD can just use that as extra fodder to claim what an abusive bitch I am. I told DH that I know damn well that will happen and I cannot afford any calls to me made to CPS because I will not have my child removed from me pending investigation. I told DH that it could get that far and I'm not willing to let it. I told him if he parented his ferals properly and was raising them to be at least somewhat normal, I would be happy to try traveling with them again. I would also require that BM's ugly mug be kept the fuck out of my trip. If they don't like it, they can stay home from our trip and go travel with her since she's so great and wanted all the time. DH ended up canceling the whole thing and guess who got the blame. Yep, it was all my fault according to BM and the SKs and guess who didn't correct them at all. 

Stepdrama2020's picture

Evil that sounds beyond shitty.



missgingersnap2021's picture

So to sum things up - Would you say you and DH are good now? That you are happy? And that going through such bad times were worth it? I a mhaving so many issues with DH becuase of his Guilty Parenting but I am hoping that once SD (almost 17) gets older I'll look back at all the battles we have had and see that it was worth it in the end. 

Oh and I told DH 2 years ago I was done vacationing with just him and SD. He doesnt want us to all be  one happy family under this roof so why does he think I want to act like one on vacation? He knows I will only agree to go somewhere if she brings a friend. Since she has only 2 friends and both have busy lives I am fairly confident we wont be going anywhere this summer. (Fingers crossed!)

lieutenant_dad's picture

NoWire has been divorced for a few years now (and he's remarried), so I'd say it didn't get better.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

NWCHE,  I remember your original blog!  It horrified me at the time.

This also brings back memories of my last ever trip with any of the SSs.  Like you I was paying for it.  I had two blogs called Fun in the Snow and Update from the Piste at the time.  Short story was my SS was sulking and tried to storm out of the holiday, failed dismally but eventually left.  We had a much better time without him so it was ok in the end.

MissK03's picture

If any drama happens on our trip in Nov. it will be my last depending on who and what happens. I already told SO this. Last year wasn't bad. Our cruise to the Bahamas in 2019 was good but, drama. I mean....SS17 (16 at the time called me a f'n loser) SD was cranky our first day on the boat whining about dumb shit then had a meltdown. SS16 (14 at the time) said in the cabin half the trip. No one seemed excited for anything. 6k later.

Our vacations before that have always had some sort of something. 

What bothers me the most about the vacation topic is because I didn't get to experience anything as a kid/teenager like these kids are getting. My parents divorced when I was 7/8. My mom could barley afford anything, then we moved back with my father (who had a drug problem at the time) then back with mom who still struggled with money etc. It really gets to me sometimes. Just how good they have it and don't get it. 

There is a bunch of people going on this vacation and I was joking around the other day and said to SD I plan on doing nothing and hanging with my people. She got all moody about it because she sometimes gets all like missk do this, missk come with me, missk can you get me etc. I want to relax this vacation and be running around the resort all day. There will be a ton of kids/teens in our group so really no excuse for me not to be relaxing haha. 

FinallySkidFree's picture

During my Stephell we took ONE family vacation with the Skids to a gorgeous resort in the caribbean. Just ONCE and NEVER again. SD was viciously mean to my niece, she tag teamed with the daughters of our friends who joined us and attempted to ice out my niece on all activities. I literally had to threaten her to stop it. She snuck out of the room once and went to hang out with the teenagers, I lost my shit. She was super young, I'd like to say maybe 10? I never ever planned another vacation where the SD was included. We would go on weekend trips and only take SS because he and my DS were/are close. I would purposely plan those getaways when it wasn't DH's time with SD. SS moved in with us when he was 16 and SD came EOW so it was easy to do. I don't miss those times. Having to calculate every move was extremely exhausting.