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How Old is Old Enough

DarlingMom28337's picture

My SD is 19 and attending college. She does not live with us. Prior to turning 18, she had regularly scheduled visitation time with my DH. She is employed but lives with her BM. She has been just dropping by randomly without any notice or very short notice. It seems this is only when she wants to avoid driving back to her BM's house, because she is supposed to meet up with friends or has a game later. She comes, uses my shower toiletries, takes up the bathroom for 2 hours, will sit around waiting for my DH or I to make food, or just eats anything she wants in our house without replacing it. She expects to come in and out late at night, even though we want to sleep, and we have younger children in the home. 

When is she old enough to supply her own groceries and food? 

Can help but feel she is using us. 

DarlingMom28337's picture

Not to mention when she is here she ignores everyone, sleeps in all day and stares at her phone. 

MrsStepMom's picture

The food wouldn't bother me so much (my mom still buys me food and I am 36...well, just when she finds something she know's l'd like but still) but the waking or keeping you up is BS. She can be back by a certain time (before you go to bed) or she can drive back to BMs. Wake up, and go back to BMs if she stays the night, not sits around your house all day.

notasm3's picture

It's not really an issue of "is she old enough to act better" - because she will not act better without correction.  But the issue is she is now old enough for you to stop treating her as a child.  She is an adult who is violating your space.

When my SS34 and his GF invaded my home I was LIVID.  If it had been a 15 year old who was used to stopping by it might have been different.  But a grownass skid who decided that MY home and my belongings were totally available for him to use was NOT ACCEPTABLE.

thisgirlrighthere's picture

The only thing that bothered me having an adult stepdaughter and young children in the house, was the coming in and out at late hours, having her friends over and being loud late at night when our daughter was a newborn and I'm trying to get what little sleep I could, but then she had the audacity to complain our 3 day old daughter kept her up at night when she chose to stay at our home that weekend, rather than her mothers house.

I don't personally get bent out of shape about food and such. I also don't eat a whole lot so maybe that's why lol. My mom often will pick us up food she thinks we'll like when she's at Costco just because that's how she is. 

My major gripe is her still not having her license and treating DH like her own personal cab whenever she's home. All plans must cease almost in case she needs a ride somewhere. 

DarlingMom28337's picture

At what age is it appropriate for her to start contributing to buying things on her own? She has a job. It seems she uses her own money for frivelous purchases and tries to use DH. 


MrsStepMom's picture

Well no i wouldn’t really ask my 19 year old to buy their own food. But cell phone, clothes, toiletries (although I’d probably still grab toothpaste, body wash just because I’m nice and those are necessities) etc, yes. 

tog redux's picture

This is hard because she still thinks of your place as “home”, like she did when she was visiting.  But since she no longer lives there or visits regularly, she should be asking if it’s OK to stop by and spend a few days there, much as she would if she had moved into her own apartment. 

I don’t think she should have to pay for food, but she should have to ask to come by, ask to stay, and respect house rules and the needs of others.  Is DH willing to have a talk with her about that?

wildstang's picture

behavior would bother me.  By the time my kids are adults, not living with me, I miss them.

I actually would love for them to come back every once and awhile and act like a kid again.  The last thing I would want is for my kids( 19-27 ) to feel like I can't afford to feed them once in awhile or let them take a shower in my house.

My 25 year old comes to my house to shower many times a week.  He has his reasons and I actually love to interact and connect with him.

How does your DH feel about it?

MrsStepMom's picture

Ya but were they your BIO kids or Skids. My Skid won't walk through the door without prior approval as of the second he moves out, which I am counting the days until. F that noise. You bond with him when he showers there? I totally get "my place is an hour away and I am near here and have to go to my second job and stink can i stop by and shower...." or something along those lines but otherwise f no. YOU may like it but perhaps your spouse does not.

tog redux's picture

Yep, and that's the problem in blended families.  The bio parent may be perfectly fine with this behavior because it's their child, while the stepparent may not be. So compromise is in order if the stepkid is a decent kid, and in some cases, it's just not going to be possible. 

TwoOfUs's picture

Well I think the interaction is the key. 

I'll drop by my mom's house occasionally without asking...though I will often text or call to make sure she's going to be home. I usually bring her a coffee and we sit and chat. Sometimes I do this on my weekly grocery run and offer to pick her up a couple items if she'd like me to. Sometimes, she makes me coffee and shares some eggs from her backyard chickens with me. 

But the point is, I never just drop by and use her home like a hostel without any interaction with her. That's rude and user behavior, whether you're a biokid or a stepkid. This adult skid needs to be taught better. 

tog redux's picture

Agreed.  Once I moved out of the home, any returns home for more than just a pop-in were approved by my parents. 

MrsStepMom's picture

I am the same with my moms. I CAN go at anytime if I need. I have a key and she would not care, if there was some need but she also knows I don't. I think at most I ran in to use her restroom once as I had been on the road for hours, her house was right there and it was that or a gross gas station bathroom. Otherwise she knows if I am coming by. Sometimes I do go when she is not there if I have to drop something off, pick something up, but she knows in advance. Otherwise I will call and check if she is there and pop by. I might eat something while there but I would basically just ask "do you have an apple or anything like that, I am starving". I actually tend to cook for her when I go over as a treat to her.

Thisisnotus's picture

So many things bother me, but I don't think this one would bother me...well it would but.... I have a SD16 and bio DD16, so in 3 years I can see my bio DD doing this and she'd be more than welcome (espcially being in school AND having her own job) to come and use my things and have me cook for her....and I'd probably send her with more food when she left and other necessities and probably some cash. So..........obviously I would feel differently about the situation if it was my SD but I will need to remind myself over and over again that if it's okay for my DD it has to be okay for SD. SD gives me no problems, she is nice and kind and friendly to me always  but I still feel annoyed by her for other reasons beyond her control.......I guess it's normal. haha

With that all being said....if the 19 year olds are 100 percent moved out, I would expect a heads up before coming over even if it's just a quick text or call saying I'm on the way.

MrsStepMom's picture

This was how my mom was with me when I was younger. She'd cook me something, she usually had bought me some little thing ("oh I found this cool flashlight for your car"), maybe had something she was going to get to me I had left behind at some point, would offer me something she had too much of or knew I might just like.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'll tell you what my mom and SF did to/for me when I went off to college (and, therefore, lived elsewhere):

  • Converted my bedroom into a guest room; I could use it, but not make it "mine".
  • Required that I buy my own toiletries, clothes, shoes, gas, etc. They bought food, but had no problem telling me to pick up milk or bread if thr household needed it.
  • Required that I kept the guest room clean to their standards.
  • Required me to do my own laundry and clean my own bathroom.
  • Required me to park on the street or at the end of the drive so they could get in and out of the house when they needed to.
  • Be SILENT after 9:00 PM. I could come in late, but I needed to not be on my phone, not do my laundry, not have my television turned up loud, not have friends over (unless no one else was home), etc. My parents worked and needed sleep. My siblings were still in middle/high school and had earlier bedtimes. I needed to integrate into their schedules.

My mom and SF never restricted my access to their home, but I basically had to be a ghost. And they weren't mean about it at all. They would make enough dinner for me. They didn't give me a curfew. I was more-or-less a rent-free tenant. They DID require that I work, and that I didn't throw a fit about contributing to the household as needed. They had no problem telling me that if I didn't like their kindness, they would take my key and I could go elsewhere. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with you and DH sitting SD down and reminding her that, while she is family, she is now an adult and responsible for her own housing. You're "happy" to have her as a guest, but she'll need to follow rules. If she won't, her key needs to be turned in to you all and she can only visit for short durations - no overnights, no being in the home when no one else is home, no access to your home's accommodations (e.g. laundry room, shower).

I don't think there is an issue with her coming and going so long as you know that she is coming and going. However, she needs to be as non-existant as possible when she is there. Her presence should be felt only positively.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Change the locks and do not let DuH give his mooch adult spawn a key. Set up boundaries with DuH that his adult spawn can no longer mooch. Must live with BM and use BM’s house, not yours.

Karen369's picture

I know your pain, DarlingMom28337.    I have three step children -- their ages are 30, 26 and 23.    the 26 yr old SS sticks to the visitation schedule STILL  (every other weekend and when he is not in school every Tues & Thurs evening until 8 p.m.)   At 8 p.m. he must be home at his BM house.   Up until 2 hrs ago I had both the 30 and 26 yrs old doing that.    the 30 yr old got mad with his father and only comes over on holidays (Christmas basically =$$).   My husband and I split up and we have since gotten back together but for how long I can continue to tolerate this I don't know.    The 23 yr old is getting married and I am not invited to the wedding.   I was until me and her father separated.   But since we have reconciled she does not want me at the wedding and refuses to be around me.    

I hate my life living there.    On top of all of that, my inlaws live next door.     I just want to take my husband and move out of state to get away from all of them.    they all have treated him pretty crappy but he still defends them.


RBH1984's picture

I dont mind the kids eating our food too much. But the sitting around waiting for us to cook her something?? My SD does this all the time! Then when i get hungry and start to cook, my wife will insist sometimes to make her daughter something. This will usually start my attitude up. I get pissed when my DW puts me on the spot like tht.