Gransnet forums


Flown In From Overseas - now DD says I have to stay in an Hotel!

(98 Posts)
Fishandchips Fri 14-Jul-17 11:53:26

I'm really upset and would value any comments or suggestions.

Last weekend I flew to the UK from the States with a girlfriend and we had a few days looking at castles and stately homes. She has had to return to work in the US and I am staying on to visit my family members.

I've rented a car and after dropping off my friend at the airport have gone to stay with my mother. She doesn't have a computer or wifi and I'm in the public library right now. The plan has always been for me to get over the jet lag, see my mum and then continue to see my daughter and granddaughter a few hours drive away in a coastal town. My daughter has known for weeks that I was coming and even this week texted me to ask what day/time I was arriving.

The background is that my daughter fled from an abusive relationship and had to give up her job as she moved to another part of the country, Her dad and I paid the deposit and first month's rent on her flat. We also arranged for a relative to be the guarantor as she claims housing benefits and few landlords would take her on. (Slum LL in may opinion....the place is dreadfully riddled with damp and terribly cold but she likes the location of the flat). I have also fully furnished it, from all white goods to cutlery, towels, crockery, pots and pans, kettle/toaster, beds, chest of drawers, curtains etc. as the place was just an empty shell. We've bailed her out a few times to help pay her rent when she was short of money.

We also bought her a car and pay for all the tax, insurance, breakdown cover and any repairs/spare parts as needed. We also paid a fortune for a barrister for DD when her ex who has relocated to the town she fled to (whom has never paid a penny in child support represented himself in Court for more access. He was awarded more access but not for overnights as he has no fixed address).

Last Summer we relocated with spouse's job from mainland Europe to the US. I was in transit via England and at her request, stayed with my daughter and GD for 6 weeks and cared for GD when DD went to an early morning cleaning job. My DD never put her hand in her pocket as I was happy to buy food, pay for outings etc. We all got on really well and my daughter kept saying so.

I was hoping originally to come over and visit last Spring, but my DD said to me "you can come, but you can't stay here as I have visitors". I said I could come before they arrived or after they've left - but she said they would be there for some time. (My GD piped up "Nanny if you stay in an hotel, can I come and stay with you"?).

Well, I wasn't happy about that and decided to come over this Summer instead. Now my DD knew I was coming and asked for dates etc. This weekend she is camping at a festival and not going home again until next Monday. I called her a couple of days ago and she said that she has 'visitors'. I said, ok, let me collect the little one and I will drive her up to where my mum and siblings with as they would all love to see her. DD said 'no' as she has Summer activities planned. (She also has to see her father every Friday or Saturday as the Court I can't have her visit me in the USA sad )

The penny has dropped. I am certain that she's moved her boyfriend in. He is supposedly renting a room in a lodging house a few streets away, but he became a father at the age of 17 and his daughter who is now 16 has moved from another part of the UK to live with him....who wouldn't want to move from a grim industrial city to a seaside town? My mum says that his daughter is attending a local 6th form college. It has dawned on me that he can't have her living with him in his room and they've moved in with my DD. Not officially though....the Landlord won't let another person move in without a guarantor (which he can't provide) and my daughter claims housing benefits....I have no idea if she is still claiming as a single parent. The boyfriend dropped out of school at 14 and is barely literate...he just does casual jobs and has a Summer job for a few weeks, but the town shuts down when the season ends.

This morning I got a text from my DD, as I'd sent her a message saying that I'm coming over next Tuesday. Her reply is that "Okay but you will have to book somewhere to stay". I am livid. It is peak Summer season and hotels/B&Bs/motels all cost a fortune! It has cost a lot of money for a transatlantic flight and car rental.

Guess what? Her car tax (over 300 pounds, diesel car) and car insurance are due at the end of July. Her car insurance will be high as she's had a claim earlier this year for causing a minor accident and also speeding fines. I am so exasperated....we got her the car so she could return to work as public transport is expensive and very limited where she lives.

Another thing....she is a bohemian hippy type who is 'unschooling'. Sadly she has turned out to be very selfish and entitled. My spouse sent her a note many weeks ago and said that we strongly felt that she should put GD in school if she wanted us to continue to pay for her car. She went berserk, accusing us of blackmail. She will only work 16 hours a week so she can get the max Housing Benefit but pays for a child minder out of her low wages.

Gransnetters.....what should I do? What would you do? It's going to cost a fortune to pay for hotels....I can't believe that I can't even stay on the sofa bed I bought brand new for her last Summer!

MissAdventure Fri 14-Jul-17 12:27:09

Could you perhaps tell your daughter that you've realised her boyfriend is now living with her, and that you would still like to visit? (If you still would, that is)
She seems to enjoy her bohemian lifestyle funded by you - wouldn't we all? That's a whole other issue though. I would be furious, but then I often am. flowers sorry your trip is not how you had planned.

grannysue05 Fri 14-Jul-17 12:41:25

Can I suggest that you have over indulged this precious daughter of yours.
She has obviously moved in the boyfriend, as she wishes to do that.
As you have been so good to her financially, why has she not confided in you ?
Do you generally take over her life so that she doesn't think things out for herself ?
Hope you can have a talk with her and sort out the issues and I wish you much luck.

devongirl Fri 14-Jul-17 12:44:52

Put a lock on your purse! I have to say that she sounds like a complete user, and your amazing generosity has given her a complete sense of entitlement. Other single parents manage, let her fend for herself for a while at least.

Baggs Fri 14-Jul-17 12:48:51

If you feel very strongly about your grand-daughter going to school, then you should do what you said you'd do (stop funding her car) if this doesn't happen.

Not that home schooling isn't schooling, but that's a separate issue.

It sounds as if your daughter needs some powerful 'encouragement' to stand on her own two feet.

Elegran Fri 14-Jul-17 12:58:18

Tell her you can't afford to stay in a hotel at the height of the season as you have spent so much of your money on her, so you are afraid that you will have to divert the car money to that expense.

When you have confirmed that the boyfriend is living with her, suggest that he should be the one to fund the car, in lieu of paying rent. He can pay his share of everything else too - if he wants a readymade family he can take on the responsibility of paying part of their way. The pair of them need to grow up.

paddyann Fri 14-Jul-17 13:49:45

see ..I dont think you should help or give things with conditions attached .Neither should you give and expect them to give the same or more in return.If you dont want to keep helping her then stop doing it,but just because you paid her rent and furnished her home doesn't give you the right to live with her for weeks at a time ...when YOU want to. Its HER home .I too have supported a D after her marriage break up ,and helped financially but it was her life and her choices that counted not mine .

cornergran Fri 14-Jul-17 13:52:48

Exactly Elegran, I wish you well fishandchips but fear you will have a struggle ahead.

MissAdventure Fri 14-Jul-17 14:08:33

I would look at it that the daughter shouldn't keep taking from someone she can't extend a common courtesy to. Its fine to live life exactly as one wants, but not at others' expense.

NanaandGrampy Fri 14-Jul-17 14:40:18

Perfect Elegran.!!!

Luckygirl Fri 14-Jul-17 14:53:05

I do think you must stop funding her lifestyle and let her get on with the business of being an adult.

However I do not think you and your OH should use money as a means of influencing her decisions about her child's education.

Imperfect27 Fri 14-Jul-17 15:09:31

Dear fishnchips, what a painful situation for you.

I agree with Luckygirl.

You have been very generous and clearly helped your daughter a great deal when help was desperately needed. She has been very fortunate to have your support.

However, such a high level of support can also lead to boundary problems - she probably feels that you have certain expectations and that she 'owes' you in some ways. There is a delicacy about helping and expectation and perceived rights to influence. You are not a frequent visitor and your daughter has made a new life ... maybe one you do not approve of, but it is her life. However, if you feel she is truly abusing the help you have given her, then the decision to hold back further financial support - or perhaps redirect it so that your GD benefits more directly - is yours to make.

I hope you can find a way of steering a course where you have access to your dear GD so that she feels your continued love and support for her.

This cannot all be solved in a short visit. I hope you can make the most of actual contact time you have ahead of you and open up channels of communication in a positive, rather than a chastising way so that you can establish how to show support and assistance - not necessarily all financial, but potentially emotional / practical - in the future.

Desdemona Fri 14-Jul-17 16:00:12

Not sure what I would do in similar circumstances but at a guess I think I would bite the bullet and book a few nights in a cheap B&B, go and visit the grand daughter, take her out and make a fuss of her - then leave without paying any of my adult daughter's bills.

The home schooling thing is a worry. Your daughter sounds a bit feckless - who is checking the standard of her home schooling - do Ofsted?

Louizalass Fri 14-Jul-17 17:21:04

Good suggestion Desdemona !!

beeelaine Fri 14-Jul-17 17:55:51

Personally if I was you I would book a B&B, go and visit, spend time with daughter and grand-daughter and not give out as much cash, just a token amount.... because really a mother daughter relationship should be able to bridge over any troubled waters but it sounds like you are being pushed out a little despite all the financial help you have given.

Dont just be the cash cow that turns up to be milked at regular intervals - I would hate that as an expectation of my visits. If you want to give some money why not open a bank account for the grand daughter and put some in there (dont tell them about it) - it sounds like she will be needing help to set up in life later.

You daughter sounds like she has had a lot of problems in the past and the present - but its up to her on how and when she gets her life back on track. You may not like the boyfriend moving in but its up to her (unfortunately), sometimes we can see vulnerable people make mistakes in our eyes, but he may be what she needs at this time (it cant have been easy living away from friends in a strange town alone with a little one), or he could be a total shit but its her life decision. Give a token amount of cash (no where near what you have been giving which i think is extortionate - say you cannot give as much as you are paying for hotel/B&B), give her and grandaughter plenty of hugs and kisses and grit your teeth and give the bloke a hug too.

Why not do a load of self addressed envelopes for the grand daughter to post drawings/letters to you...

wondergran Fri 14-Jul-17 19:06:40

Sometimes, the more we give, the more we are crapped on from great height!!
I think you should slowly start reducing the amount you are giving her/paying for. You'd be better off putting it into a future fund for your GD.
She might have boyfriend stay over rather than actually live there.
Try not to be critical of her lifestyle or life choices when you see her. Ask about GDs schooling with genuine interest. It's her choice how she educates her child and I really think you should stay out of this area and certainly not threaten her with refusing to pay for car if GD doesn't go to mainstream school....that's not fair.
Try to enjoy what time you have together. Family life isn't always easy.

Eloethan Fri 14-Jul-17 19:23:29

I would be very upset and angry too but often people with these "bohemian"-type lifestyles don't think much further than the next couple of hours ahead and live quite precarious lives.

It would be a huge shame if you rowed with your daughter and didn't see your grand daughter who no doubt is eager to see you. She shouldn't suffer because of her Mum's rather selfish and irresponsible behaviour.

I don't know what the answer is. Is it possible to look online for Airbnb accommodation which is cheaper? I know people who have done this and it has generally been successful.

As others have said, it is very nice of you to help out your daughter with various expenses but perhaps now is the time to gradually start reducing that support. Your daughter at some time needs to be able to stand on her own two feet without expecting others to sort things out for her. And generosity - of spirit if not of finances - should be two-way thing.

f77ms Fri 14-Jul-17 19:29:27

I would not give her any more money , you have made her dependant on you and for her own sake she should learn to stand on her own two feet . You have indulged her so much she has come to expect that you will always bale her out of every situation. Book yourself into a travel lodge and spend time with your DGD but its time to call it a day on the bank of Mum .

Nanabilly Fri 14-Jul-17 21:42:56

What do you mean by "unschooling"?
Is the child being home educated or having no education at all. If the boyfriend is not so bright he's a great example and is not going to help is he?
Is your daughter bright enough to home educate? Sorry I Hope that does not offend but you don't very often find one half of a couple educated and the other not. Couples tend to pick similar to themselves in the education area .As far as i have found at least.
I worry about all this home ed stuff I think it is often just laziness.
As for the money giving side of it , I think others have all ready said it...Stop it !!!
The lodging with daughter ..I would not want to if he is there.

Starlady Sat 15-Jul-17 07:38:32

What a frustrating situation, fishandchips!

I take it that you and dh have helped dd so much because you wanted her out of that abusive marriage as much as she did. Also because you want GD to have a home, food to eat, etc. Hopefully, there's an end goal for dd to become more self sufficient/a plan in place where she will eventually earn enough to support herself and gd and no longer need to depend on you and dh.

If not, imo, this is something you need to take up with her. But not now because it will look as if you're doing it out of anger. I suggest waiting till you've been home a while and contacting her about this then.

It might be a good idea to begin cutting back on financing her gradually. I wouldn't pull the rug out from under her all at once. That could end up hurting gd (due to financial issues) and might lead to backlash on dd's part (i.e. not letting you visit or see gd in the future).

But I agree with paddyann that there shouldn't be strings attached to your help. The fact that you pay someone's rent does not entitle you to stay in their home. Nor does the fact that you bought somebody a sofa bed mean that you're entitled to sleep on it. It's a gift like any other - once given, it belongs to the other person to do with as they choose.

As for staying in a hotel/motel - Can you afford it? Are you willing to? It sounds as if you can but just don't want to. If that's the case, then either skip the visit altogether or cut it short. (You can tell dd you can't afford more than x number of days in the hotel/motel.) Do only what you can with a glad heart. And don't do/say anything that will add tension to the visit. That's my advice.

Starlady Sat 15-Jul-17 07:56:26

Also, I know why you and dh are concerned about the "unschooling." But nothing you are doing for dd entitles you to a say in how she educates her child. Threatening to stop financing her car unless she does your bidding and sends gd to school? Way out of line, imo!

The car is tied to her ability to work, right? Why would you threaten that, anyhow? Yes, maybe it would be better if she had to pay for public transportation, but then she would have less money for/turn to you for other things. If you and dh would rather have it that way, that's something you'll have to discuss. But, imo, you shouldn't use the car as leverage to get a vote in parental decisions.

I think it's great that she pays for a child minder on her own. Her day, as I understand it, is divided between work and childcare, for the most part, and, of course, household chores. You can't begrudge her some free time, here and there, surely?

Starlady Sat 15-Jul-17 08:07:23

Nanabilly, "unschooling," apparently, is a form of "homeschooling," and yet, different:

As it says here^^^^:

"Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning. Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction...."

I understand the op's and dh's concerns about this. But it's not their call, imo.

Btw, good point about not wanting to stay in dd's flat if the bf is there! Op, there would very likely be discomfort and tension. Also IF his dd is there, maybe she's using that sofa bed, Imo, you'll be better off in a hotel/motel for as long as you can afford and wish to stay.

suzied Sat 15-Jul-17 08:10:25

If you've money to finance her car , home etc then a few days in a B and B shouldn't break the bank and will give you both a bit of space. You are obviously concerned about her lifestyle choices but she's an adult and you can't unfortunately call the shots. You have chosen to bail her out financially as a caring mum, but if this becomes more difficult or you are worried it's actually supporting the deadbeat BF then gradually scale back.

jusnoneed Sat 15-Jul-17 08:23:46

Make her grow up, why are you paying for her car/furniture etc? She will never change if she knows parents will bail her out. She needs to take responsibility for her life and her daughter.
It sounds as if she is getting herself into another mess with the chap she is involved with.

harrysgran Sat 15-Jul-17 09:28:57

You need to let her stand on her own two feet financially supporting her has not done her any favours in the long run she needs to realise how she lives her life is up to her but as long as you are putting your hand in your purse to bail her out she won't learn from her mistakes sorry but sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind