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How would you feel about this?

SMto2's picture

We're on vacation with SS26, his DW & 2 SGDs this week. SS25 & his DW came for 2 days & had to leave. This is a 7BR beachfront  house with private pool, hot tub, pool table that we paid over $11k to rent and we're buying all groceries plus paying meals out. Things have been better than last year because I bought paper plates, plastic cups, plastic cutlery as someone here suggested to limit dishes. I also bought no food that can be cooked (like eggs) &  we're carrying out every meal due to COVID. I've been very specific in asking BS12, BS19 & his gf to help--sweeping, carrying and putting up umbrellas and chairs on the beach. I asked nothing of SS26 (or SS24 when he was here) and they've done nothing. To her credit, SS26's DW has taken out the trash (with all the paper plates,  etc., there's a TON) and she has put SS26's & SGDs' bowls in the dishwasher. I haven't touched their dirty dishes. They've all been cordial and I guess it's gone as well as can be expected.

Here's the issue. After they returned home, SS25 & his DW made multiple posts on social media with pics of their relaxing "mini vacay." Pics were of them, SS26, his DW & SGDs. NO mention of DH & no pics of us or our bios. I mentioned it to DH and HE commented it probably looked as though SSs took their wives  on vacation together (to a million dollar beach home.) Since then, SS26 has made multiple posts with pics of him, his DW & SGDs, including a couple pics I took of SGDs by themselves & sent to SS26's DW.

DH says SSs don't want BM or her  "clan" to see pics of them having fun with us. SS26 ALWAYS posts pics of anything they do with BM. I feel like we're a "dirty little secret." We''re being erased from a vacation we fully funded. 

On top of that, BM has started her old tricks from SSs with the SGDs. Without fail, every time we took SSs on vacation when they were young, there was always a party or something special planned at BMs the day they were to return they couldn't wait to get back for. We were in the hot tub with SGDs when the oldest told us she couldn't wait to get back to BM's because they were having a sleepover with a girl next door to BM. She listed 4 favorite foods they were going to eat, and I couldn't help commenting that we had every single one of those in the kitchen at that moment (that WE bought at the store at their request.) Before I had a chance to say something to DH, he later mentioned it to ME that BM had pulled out the old playbook!

I'd like to think we're just reading too much into all these things, but I've lived through 21 years of dealing with BM and her PAS & desire to be the favored parent (& now grandparent) at all costs. All I can do is guard my heart & try not to get too close to SGDs, and of course, not do anything more for any of them than what I want to do because I'm a good person. 
I'm just curious. Does anyone have any other takes on this or think I'm off base? 


JRI's picture

My SKs made crystal clear (without saying it) that BM was the alpha grandma.  All holidays, she got first choice of  celebration times.  She was given all pictures, whether professional or casual.  I could go on with many examples.  To give her her due, she was a good GM, if still her volatile self.  It was similar to the way a daughter-in-law sometimes makes her own mother the favorite.

We have 9 GKs and treat all the same, in my mind, generously.  I wasn't exactly disrespected but there was a difference.  DH & I were both working full time and BM wasn't. So I didn't actually have the time or energy to do more than I did (trips to waterparks, amusement parks, children museums, Christmas cookie baking, etc).  One day. SGD said, " you're not my real grandma".  I said, that's true and changed the subject.  I'm sure that wasn't her idea.

I took it as, oh well, thats the way it is.  I sometimes felt like my role was primarily gift donor.  I know where you are coming from when you put out a lot of effort and money.  If you choose to do it. I wouldn't expect much recognition or thanks.

Now that our BM had passed, I've noticed that my status has risen.  I have also noticed that 2 of the SGDs have become closer to me, calling, texting, staying in contact.  I try not to get too giddy about that, being a SM has made me cynical.  

In any event, this vacay sounds it went better than your earlier ones.  That's a positive step.


SMto2's picture

Alpha Grandma, indeed! Im glad you're finally feeling loved and worthy. I actually don't want to be the "alpha grandma." I'd be content to just not be treated as though we don't exist as far as the world can see. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

If you do what you always do, you'll get what you always get.

As long as you and your DH continue to chase after and reward the bad behavior and narcissism of his older sons, nothing is going to change. They'll keep using you and taking everything you give them without a second thought.

You are NOTHING to them. Do you get that? Twenty-one years, and still NOTHING. Just a purse, married to a wallet.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

What exjulie said. These kids don't care about their father or you in any way other then a financial one. I really wish your DH would stop taking them on these lavish vacations, but I understand that at this point he is still willing to buy them in order to spend time with them.

I am very glad that you have not been the cook and maid on this trip - good for you!

SMto2's picture

Well, I think it will change slightly starting next year. DH and I are buying a lake house and have decided the big "family vacation" will take place there the next 10 years, Lord willing. (We're factoring that in as $ towards the house.) They'll be invited to come for a week. Since it will be our own place, I don't think I'll feel as resentful. 

Winterglow's picture

Here's a suggestion...

Once their dates are fixed, book yourself a trip somewhere that you have always wanted to go for that week. Fair enough if he wants to invite these ingrates , but you don't have to stand and watch their bare-faced and ungrateful exploitation of your husband. (I spent a week once at a sea therapy place where I was pampered and treated for stress and it was absolute heaven! I'd do it again in a flash if I could!) Why waste any of your precious vacation time on such ungrateful churls?

Maxwell09's picture

And get your DH to hire a cleaning service after they leave! You shouldn't have to come home to their mess to clean up either. 

ESMOD's picture

It may be also that the skids wanted to appear like THEY were the ones that could afford to have such a luxe vacay?  Hanging with parents isn't cool.. having to have them pay etc...

It also may be that the emotional fallout of posting things with their father that mom could see is just too risky.  You say she is a Pas'er.. she is a one upper.. maybe they don't or can't bring themselves to do something that will bring her "wrath" on them?  Some people are strong enough to say  "Eff it.. I'm an adult and I will hang out with whoever I please".. others will try to downplay it because it is less risky for them.

If they were reasonably respectful and "fun" and pleasant to you during the vacation (even if they didn't do much help).. I think you probably might want to try to dwell on the good stuff because BM and her Toxic mess don't need to cloud those good vacation memories.

SMto2's picture

I agree it's possible they wanted it to seem like THEY paid for their own vacay. It seems rude to not acknowledge that we completely sponsored the trip.

tog redux's picture

I would never go on another vacation with them again - DH can pay and do everything - but I would have quit going on vacation with them a long time ago. It's absurd to me that DH keeps paying such exorbitant costs to keep his kids in his life.  And as long as he does so, he's going to get the same treatment from them.

So if he's intent on continuing to buy their pretend love, he would have to do it on his own.

SMto2's picture

We won't be "going" on another trip after this year, as we're buying a lake house, mainly for us to use on weekends, but we'll have the "family vacation" there as well. We think that will be less work, since we will already be set up. 

tog redux's picture

Won't you still feel resentful that they use your house without even acting like most friends will act when they visit? Ie, buying food, cleaning up, etc?

advice.only2's picture

I agree with Tog, it's one thing for them to be slobs who don't pay their way in a rental house, but when it's your own house that will be a whole other level of disrespect.

tog redux's picture

I'd also be worried that they will want to use the house when OP and her DH aren't there, and will leave it a mess if they do.

SMto2's picture

We have specifically discussed the "use" of the lake house and agree no SKs or bios can be there without us. This house is 25 minutes from SS25, who lives with his band mates & gfs (10 of them) in a "commune" type situation. We've discussed what a nightmare (and a liability) it would be to allow SS25 to go there without us present, as the chance of his friends showing up are high. 

Our thinking on the rest is it will be simpler to have them there, for example, there will be less groceries to buy, since we'll already have condiments, etc., set up will be easier, since we'll already have chairs in place on the dock, etc. I also doubt they'll want to stay a full week. Before the end of the week at the beach , they don't want to leave the house and I can tell they're ready to go. SS26 packs his car the night before and heads out early, leaving us to complete the list of items required to get our deposit back. At least then it will be at our home. 

tog redux's picture

Will your DH stick to it if they demand to use it? Or beg and cajole, whatever their style is?

These selfish twits, I want to punch them for you.

Winterglow's picture

I suggest that OP add an extra set of locks and keeps the keys in her possession, just in case.

advice.only2's picture

Yeah and a security system, because we have heard horror stories of skids breaking into houses while the adults were away and trashing the place. I don't see this being any different, an entitled skid bragging to his friends about a lake house and them deciding it will be a good idea to just to out and "borrow" the place for awhile, no key needed just a nice heavy rock.

SMto2's picture

Oh yes! No doubt about that. As a lawyer of 26 years, DH knows full well how baaaadddd that could turn out. We've both got terrifying visions of drunken 20 somethings getting smashed at our place & then ripping up & down the lake on our jet ski. Lol. Fortunately, besides that, it's a gated community as well, so a homeowner has to let in visitors. 

Maxwell09's picture

I suspect what will happen is the skids-more accurately  named Ingrates-will start popping in for more 'mini vacations' and extended weekends and they will still be messy and they will still post pics of 'their family lake house' to social media without a trace of the actual owners. 

SeeYouNever's picture

My SIL does the same thing. She is trying to make it look like she is rich/clever/blessed etc... All on her own. She lives in my mother's house and doesn't pay rent but makes posts like she is a "homeowner"

SMto2's picture

Oh my gosh, how funny is that? Surely enough people know her IRL to know the score. As far as everyone on social media is concerned, it def appears SSs 26 & 24 just went on vacation together.

CLove's picture

Ive been obsessed with Lakehouses recently. But a beach house sounds like another slice of heaven pie.

Biggrin And they were rushing out to go to BM? Good riddance! More time and energy for YOUR kiddos.

And get security cameras for Lakehouse because the SS25 will certainly disrespect and violate your haven, if given the address.

SMto2's picture

Security cameras are a very good idea anyway! And yes, I'm lake house obsessed, too! Lol! 

StrawberryPie's picture

Good progress on not doing EVERYTHING for these ungrateful kids this year!  I'd be ticked off too about how they are portraying it on social media.  My SD18, would never post anything that included our family - just the BMs.  I ended up muting her on social media.  I don't need those bad feelings in my life.

Tried out's picture

bugs me.

"I've been very specific in asking BS12, BS19 & his gf to help--sweeping, carrying and putting up umbrellas and chairs on the beach. I asked nothing of SS26 (or SS24 when he was here) and they've done nothing."

Why are you NOT asking your SKs to share in the work burden? Why not just say "SK, I need you to xyz, please."

If they act like little sh!ts about it, who cares? If it creates an uncomfortable situation for your DH, too bad. It is totally unfair of you to demand your kids to play servant to your DH's kids. If you and DH want to sacrifice yourselves, more power to you.