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Adult kids, steps and my own

Newimprvmodel's picture

Maybe my SAD is kicking in, but lately I have not been happy with any kids, including my own. Daughter attends college thousands of mile away, in a state where her father lives part time with a girlfriend.  Yes I agreed to it because I would be the bad guy. Anyway informs me that she is not coming home for Thanksgiving because her father’s girlfriend’s son is turning 21 and she wants to be there. Ok, I seethe quietly and she throws out coming home Columbus Weekend. I book the ticket for her. Turns out her best friend home turns 21 that weekend. Trying hard not to feel a little hurt. 

My DH and I are planning a trip in January. We rarely travel but it usually involves family or my kids or lately his. He asked about inviting his daughter. I told him NO. This week for us. He is free to plan a week with his kids or whomever. I AM SONE PLACATING ADULT KIDS UNGRATEFUL. including my own!  My daughter, who stayed this summer at beach rental for a week, says oh don’t rent the same was nice but creepy. 

Guess what?  I’m tired of pleasing these adults.  The whole lot of them!  Anyone can relate?

tog redux's picture

Sorry you aren't feeling too great. But isn't it OK if she spends Thanksgiving with her dad?


Newimprvmodel's picture

she has spent the last 5 Thanksgivings with him. Don’t forget she sees him on many weekends since she flew out  there to begin her last yr college in Aug. I don’t get the luxury of seeing her bet Aug and Dec. He does. I also pay most of her expenses.  He spits the tutution but doesn’t pay her rent. I do. 

ITB2012's picture

If her school schedule is the way ours kids is for college. They only get Th/F so for the one who is far away it’s gonna be an ordeal to get him home for that holiday. I am less focused on Thxgiving and more focused on the Christmas holiday. 

Also surprised your XH has not encouraged her to alternate holidays. Or maybe he has and she has chosen not to. 

FWIW, based on the first two weeks of OSS in college, he is in contact with BM and has already come to her house once. He hasn’t even texted DH back once. Who knows if it will turn around. I think my DH is going to have to push for a relationship now and may end up buying their time like you have had to do.

Newimprvmodel's picture

I do buy daughters time don’t i?  With little to show for it I feel. Maybe it’s been tough on her with parents divorced since she was 5 years old.

The crazy thing is she has balked at her relationship with her father the past few years. Yet she seems afraid to go against him. Me she doesn’t have the same respect or fear of. 

Just feeling a bit blue this beautiful weekend. Time to get off my rear end and enjoy the day. Thanks for listening. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

challenge the parent whose unconditional love is a certainty. Disappointing you does not pose a risk. She knows that you have and will always be there for her.

She knows that her father's feelings and presence in her life can not be assumed or taken for granted.

Sometimes the outcome of being the consistent and reliable parent can be that you are taken for granted. This is not a negative. It just means that you have given her the security to test her wings with the knowledge that you are ever in her corner.


ITB2012's picture

I KNOW this is how my DS has viewed me and XH. (XH is an involved parent but its obvious that I am the constant presence and XH sometimes has a question mark.)


(Also, I've been divorced from XH since DS was five/six, too. Maybe it has something to do with divorce at that age.)

tog redux's picture

I didn't mean to be offensive - but this is part of having adult kids and adult kids of divorce, to boot - they are not going to always be there on holidays.

I don't really think that who spent what on her should be the measure of who she visits more frequently.  If you feel she isn't appreciative of what you do for her, that's a different story.

I would be mad about the plane ticket being bought and then she cancels, though.

Newimprvmodel's picture

I would be hurt too. Why can’t you be present on Xmas morning?  

I think I am feeling the loss of 3 kids now. All out of the house. But honestly my daughter could do better.  

I am learning my happiness is up to me. For many years I would accompany husband to a conference in Nov and spend 5 lonely days while he was gone 7am to 7 pm and then dinner with me and colleagues. That would be our trip until the summer. So this year I told him nicely I was not going and we should book a week trip together somewhere fun. At first he was annoyed but has gotten it. 


MissTexas's picture

feelings are normal.

As my kids got older, and left home, I found that since they were adults, it was up to them to do what they wanted on their birthdays, holidays and so forth. I wasn't paying any of their expenses, and had I been, I would not view it as "I'm paying for A, B, and C, so you need to obligate to me first." And please know, I'm not saying that is what you are doing, but you mentioned that you pay her rent and half her tuition. You do a lot for her financially. Does she work? In that case, had it been me, my child and my money buying a plane ticket and she backed out, I would definitely take that dollar amount off her upcoming rent, and let her know that you hadn't counted on being out for that amount of money, and it would need to be accounted for since she elected not to come see you after suggestedshe would.

As for your trip with your DH, ABSOLUTELY MAKE IT ABOUT YOU TWO, and NOBODY ELSE! Stay firm here.

Curious Georgetta's picture

with sightseeing, shopping, museums, day cruises, art galleries , etc?

What would you have done had you been alone in any of those conference cities?

Stop always thinking of your time as couples or family  time . Some time can be great me  time.

Newimprvmodel's picture

been going there for 10 years straight and we do not gamble. Only so much shopping one can do there. I just felt that the week counts as one week of our time together and enough is enough. 

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Focus on your relationship and you time. You have adults that have successfully fledged, you should be giving yourself a pat on the back and throwing a party. 

Your daughter will not fully understand what you have done for until she has her own kids. 


Thumper's picture

Ask her IF she has time to visit IF you fly out there on Friday after Thanksgiving "LETS GO FOR LUNCH and dinner"

advice.only2's picture

It's rough, but this is the natural progression of kids growing up. I remember being in my early 20's and not wanting to do stuff with my parents, it wasn't because of lack of love for them, but because I wanted to to have fun live my life and not be judged.

I am dealing with the same situation with my BS right now, he is flying out weekend before Christmas to spend the entire holiday with his GF he's met three times and won't come home until after new year. It stings for sure, but at the same time I understand he wants that freedom to go celebrate his life as an adult.

mskaye2012's picture

Sometimes we equate loyalty of our children with what we provide as far as money and gifts. In reality that has nothing to do with emotion and closeness and it builds resentment within our kids because they start to feel like a possession and not a person. My daughter actually told me exactly poster above states that she wants her freedom to live on her own terms and as women we always have something to say about those terms (right or wrong). Yet it doesn't hurt any less. Sometimes we have to disengage from our own kids as well when they are unappreciative and don't respect our boundaries. You also may need to step back and provide less so they can learn to appreciate you and what you do.