You are here

Family clearly doesn’t come first

Trying to Stepmom's picture

My oldest SD gave birth today! DH, DD and I are going to go visit tomorrow. Is SD13 coming with us? Nope. 

Apparently she has 3 tests tomorrow (which she could totally make up). 

Heres the thing, DH mentioned the importance of coming along to visit and she asked if she’d have to miss school. Then he tells her to think about it (wrong answer) and that he’ll talk with BM (should have done that first). BM didn’t really agree or disagree to anything and just told DH that SD would call him later. DH eventually calls SD back and that’s when she drops the “I have three tests” bomb. Based on what her teachers post online, she only has one test and it’s open note. And her school is not so stingy that she can’t make up the work. 

I need to let this go, but she just doesn’t seem to value family. She only seems interested if she’s going to benefit from something. We’ll see OSD and her new baby at the end of the month when we’re in town for middle SD’s wedding, but still. Someday down the road she might realize the importance of supporting family.

DH is disappointed that SD13 isn’t going but is also glad that she won’t sour the trip with her attitude. He even said that he felt like he’d have to entertain her on our visit. I told him that no, he had no obligation to entertain her and he knows that she would just spend the time in the corner of the hospital room being on her phone. He couldn’t disagree with that. 



Jcksjj's picture

Maybe its just because I prefer my SD to not be around but ...I dont really get why you care? 

Trying to Stepmom's picture

Well, if SD is going to be an inconsiderate turd, I’d prefer she not be around.

I guess I grew up in a family that supports one another, so it’s weird to me that she wouldn’t want to visit. 

And what middle schooler chooses to stay at school when given the option to miss? And it’s not like she loves school. She probably complains about it more often than not. 

ntm's picture

They only care about what they care about. I think it’s better for her to be in school. That’s her job right now. She’ll see the baby when she sees the baby. Maybe she’s not all that into babies. Let it go. Not a hill to die on. 

Trying to Stepmom's picture

She is 13. And I took that into consideration too. 

I’m not for taking kids out of school for every little thing. My parents were teachers and we hardly ever missed. DH and I understand the importance of school too. We would make sure that missed work could and would be made up, which is more than what BM would do. She doesn’t even help SD with her homework. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Alright, let's look at this aspect then.

She's going to have to make up the work this week WHILE ALSO going to school and doing other work. Some kids see a day off as a reward. Others see having to do extra work *after* school as torture. Especially in middle school, which tends to be some of the hardest years of school due to ALL the life transitions happening (e.g. different type of schooling structure, puberty, heavy emergence of social strata).

Plus, SD likely recently just found out how babies are made and where they come from. Some teens don't care about the details; others may get very weird when they put 2 and 2 together about their niece being born.

And, maybe SD doesn't want to be close to family. Maybe SD doesn't want to miss school and then have zero support when she gets home from her mother to do her work. Maybe she feels a little left out recently because OSD was pregnant and MSD is getting married. 13 is still very young, and it's lot of different emotions swirling internally that they don't know how to process or let out.

For her, this may not be a day of joy and celebration. It may be a day where she comes face to face with the realities of puberty and what that could mean for her future WHILE ALSO meaning she's stuck doing double duty on school work by herself without her mother's help or support. 

Missing tests and making up school work may not seem anxiety-inducing to us as adults, but that is a kid's #1 daily stressor. You want to make her make up 6 hours of work (which is a lot for a kid) to hold a baby for 5 minutes and talk to a sister that she can communicate with whenever that she'll see in a few weeks at an event that she is either in or has heard about non-stop.

From a 13 year old's perspective, especially one that isn't very social or feels like she doesn't get support and won't get much because her siblings are either going through major life changes or are so young that they need fairly constant care and attention, this just doesn't sound like a good trade. Let her miss this and don't guilt her for it.

ndc's picture

In my family, we would not have missed school to go visit a relative (even a sibling) after childbirth.  We would call to offer congratulations and then go over the weekend to see the baby.  Obviously in your family it is different.  Does SD have a stellar attendance record?  I'd be annoyed if she doesn't hesitate to skip school when she feels like it but can't miss school now.  But if that's not the case, this wouldn't bother me a bit.

Powerfamily's picture

Sorry but SD 13 is right.  School is more important then visiting the birth of a baby.

And if seeing the baby is so important then visit when everyone is avaiable.   


Cooooookies's picture

Not just 13 but she has 3 tests and school is important.  I'm sure she will have plenty of time to visit her new niece or nephew outside of school hours.   Whether she sees the baby 3 minutes after they're born or 3 days after... it does not mean she'll love them any less.  Sorry OP but I don't understand your upset with this. 

I'm out's picture

I have to say that I have a 14 year old and they do take these tests very seriously. Nothing would make my DD miss school on her test days, one day last year she was really ill and I was telling her to have the day off but she went in for fear of missing the test.

It may have something to do with the fear of being segregated when your sd goes back to have to do the test on her own. Also I think she probably has the teachers drumming it into her how important these tests are.

Honestly at that age I don't think we're talking about a simple spellings test these tests are to evaluate where she is in the subject and which class or set she needs to be in (at least they are in the UK) I'd let this one go and not see it as family aren't important to her, she knows she can see the baby another time.

Disneyfan's picture

This isn't  about supporting  family.  

This is about a year old that has learned to prioritize.  Being in school should come before visiting a new born.  

Today is Friday, why can't the family trip to the maternity  ward take place on Saturday  or Sunday?  Why is the 13 year old being more responsible  than the adults involved? 

Trying to Stepmom's picture

DH has work obligations Saturday and next week that he can’t miss. So in reality, Friday is the only day we can go. Not to mention that OSD lives 3 hours away. So it’s either now or almost a month from now. 

DH’s relationship with his older three children has gotten better over the years. So he feels it is important to support OSD in this way. 

Disneyfan's picture

So, could dtive up Sunday.

If it's OK for SD to miss school, why isn't OK for dad to miss work?  School is SD's job. 

She is making the same choice about work, that your husband is making 

Trying to Stepmom's picture

He is missing work today. 

It’s just more crucial for him to be there Saturday and since he’d get home so late, Sunday wouldn’t work  

I’m not trying to argue, just stating facts. I posted more below.  

bananaseedo's picture

SO it's more crucial for him not to miss Sat, but not crucial when she has a test Friday?  I don't understand why you're so upset or your DH.  She's 13 and is taking her test/school seriously, not a bad thing.  She's going to see the baby in a month. At a month old they are MUCH more entertaining then a brand new newborn that she will be able to hold for all of a couple mins.  Not a big deal. For grandparents? Sure....


Trying to Stepmom's picture

OSD lives 3 hours (one way) away. This will be a one day trip since DH has a work obligation all day Saturday. 

tog redux's picture

I’m with the others - I think you are off the mark here. She’s 13 and she wants to go to school, which should be her priority.  She can see the baby any time.  I don’t think it says anything about her lack of care about her family - it seems actually like she has her priorities straight. 

Trying to Stepmom's picture

I know school is important- trust me. 

But I’ve also witnessed SD’s attitude towards school be very flippant. 

And I’ve also witnessed SD blow off family things for less important things. 

Now granted, this is just my opinion, but I feel SD is given the option to decide what she’s going to do in almost every situation (even decisions that children should not be making). DH realizes it’s something he needs to work, but doesn’t realize it in the moment. And yes, I’ve seen SD get anxious over the smallest decisions (cue drive-thru meltdown a few years ago after she ordered the wrong thing). She’s gotten better over the years, but she wasn’t outwardly anxious over this particular situation like she has about other things.

So oh well, I’m going to enjoy the day and hope SD has a good day at school.  

futurobrillante99's picture

One of the challenges of being a person and growing up in this world is accepting that everyone will not see things the same way as you do and that does NOT make them bad people with wrong or weird points of view.

Some people like babies - some don't. Both kinds are good people.

Some people want to be physically present for all major life events of their loved ones - some don't feel it's THAT imperative. Both good people.

Some people think nothing of missing school and being in a car for 3 hours each way - some do. All good people.

Growing up is a journey and learning to accept that good people think differently than you is one part of it.

Curious Georgetta's picture

School over the opportunity to see a child that she will have ample opportunity to see for many, many years to come.

Do you think that it really matters if the 13 year old sees this child  this month vs 3 months from now?

It certainly won't matter to the baby and likely won't matter to the baby's parents.

You are taking a non issue  and making it a problem.

hereiam's picture

Wow, some people will come up with the strangest reasons to bash their step kid.

So, she doesn't want to miss school, that's a good thing.


Trying to Stepmom's picture

Yup, I guess so....

I guess I just see her contradictory actions towards school. Which I know can be a teenager thing, not just an SD thing. And she doesn’t have a bad attendance record. She’s hardly ever absent. Just tardy, which hasn’t gotten bad yet this year. 

I’m over it. I was just venting. I guess my priorities are just mixed up. 

hereiam's picture

Your priorities aren't mixed up, they are just YOUR priorities, and not your SD's.

She's 13. Her life is school and her friends, not adult stuff, like traveling in a car 3 hours for an obligatory visit to see the baby.

SacrificialLamb's picture

I am just suprised your OSD will let you see her baby. You need to give thanks and not worry about SD13.

Trying to Stepmom's picture

Because I am the SM? 

OSD is the most level headed of the stepkids. She’s been the most welcoming since DH and I got together. 

STaround's picture

But still not want a lot of people in her house right now.  She may need rest but not want the thought of a 13YO holding her new baby.  this is really for the best, tell her when she gets more settled, you guys wil bring 13Yo

bananaseedo's picture

That's a huge age gap, and I don't see why they would be particularly close if not raised in the same I can see even MORE so now why it's not a big deal to her and no reason to miss a test.  You're applying YOUR priorities/feelings on a teen that is related but not close. This is NOT something to worry about.   It could simply be one of those things that when you can't stand someone-EVERYTHING they do bothers you.  Remember that meme:  

"Sometimes when you hate someone, everything they do annoys you. Look at that bit** over there, eating crackers like she owns the place"


still learning's picture

Many new moms prefer less visitors than more. I knew ladies who holed themselves up for months only letting a few people see the baby, definitely not a germy 13 yr old. If my own SDIL has any more babies I won't be dropping everything and rushing over to see it. I gotta go with SD on this one. Way to make school a priority! Wish more kids were that way.  

Trying to Stepmom's picture

Oh no, I understand not wanting a lot of people around. OSD actually told DH that Friday is a fine day to come down. And if SD had any kind of runny nose or cough, we would not encourage her to come. 

ESMOD's picture

I'm in the school first camp. She has probably spent a lot of time preparing for the three tests and wants to take them when its fresh in her mind. I have also found make up tests to be more difficult.  Sd13 is right.  Plus I actually doubt her teachers would view a visit to see a new baby worth three overworked teachers having to do extra work to give her a late test. Sorry but this is a situation where the kid is right

shamds's picture

He wanted to come to the hospital. Hubby hd come home to shower etc after the birth as he was exhausted from the night before me being admitted. He had his sister and brother coming with their kids just to congratulate us but we’re super close with them. 

Hubby knew how selfish ss is and he would arrive and 30seconds later shout at hubby that he’s done and to go home.

so hubby told him not today. The next day he came to the hospital he asked hubby which one was ours. I gave birth in malaysia, a majority brown skinned race of people. There were 2 patients, a malay and a caucasian woman. There were 2 babies, a brown skinned and a white skinned one.

hubby looked at ss and said “the white one, like seriously”. They come in the room and ss was huddled in a corner fidgeting and staring into his hands and the floor. Yeah I totally wanted that negativity around me the day after i’d given birth and not slept in 3 days...

do eldest sd a favour, she doesn’t need that negative vibe around with younger sd

Trying to Stepmom's picture

So sorry that you had that negativity around you. 

SD hasn’t shown her negative side too much to her older siblings. She does actually open up to OSD about things and she listens to what OSD has to say. She’s a good influence in so many ways, I wish SD would have a stronger relationship with her. But based on SD’s last visit with us, I wouldn’t be surprised if she would sit in a corner of the room on her phone the whole time. 

bananaseedo's picture

Probably, like 99.9 of teens out there.  You get to take a sd free long car trip and you're finding reason to gripe.  File this in the 'I'm bitchin for nothin' category lol-we all do it at times.

notsobad's picture

I get that this is about family for you and you wish that SD was more family orientated.

However,I sometimes feel that skids can never get anything right, much the same way SMs are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

If SD wanted to go and said she was going to miss 3 tests, lots of people would be saying "Well, isn't that convient. She's never wanted to do family stuff before but now that she can miss school she suddenly wants to come with us. She'll probably never put her phone down and won't communicate with any of the family anyway, so why even bring her? I hate that DH lets her do whatever she wants. She should be in school and writting those tests!!"

It's a catch 22. Personally, I think she made the right decision. 13 year olds are not that interested in new borns and she will see the baby soon enough.