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

(99 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!

Elizabeth1 Sat 15-Jul-17 09:38:39

From the start of employment age both my son and daughter have been encouraged to pay their "digs" and they're own way. I have given both my son and daughter a help from time to time over a good few years however I'm pleased to say I haven't had to bail them out. I don't know how I'd feel about giving giving giving and my adult children taking taking taking. It sounds like this daughter has grown accustomed to taking but only because she's been given all her adult life. I would suggest you allow her to grow up and stop this cycle of overindulgence.

NotSpaghetti Sat 15-Jul-17 09:48:55

Nanabilly - whilst there are obviously some instances of poor home education there are plenty of uneducated people who have been through the school system too, so why all the focus on this issue?
Sometimes a child has been to school, had a bad experience, and needs a period of "unschooling" to recover. We don't know the background here.

Re the other issues...
the supposed partner may be uneducated but we don't know him either. He may be offering something very valuable to this little family. Let's not write him off just yet. It does sound as though he has lacked opportunities but in spite of this has maintained a relationship with his daughter - which is more than many educated (and older) men seem to be able to do.
Please don't make conditions on the things you have given with love. This is a way to push your daughter away and will make her feel she can't come to you if desperate. Obviously you have been very generous in the past. There's no reason that this needs to go on to the extent that it has in the past as presumably she now has the curtains, the white goods etc.

Why not take this visit as an opportunity to enjoy your granddaughter (on your daughter's terms) and find out gently what further help they really do or don't need?
It must be so hard from a distance.
I do appreciate your frustration.
Good luck. I hope you really do enjoy your visit whatever happens.

SunnySusie Sat 15-Jul-17 09:58:45

I think I would focus on the GD and think out what would be best for her (and you). To my mind a few days with GD would be absolutely wonderful and might allow you to assess how the unschooling is going and if GD is happy. That could well set your mind at rest to some extent and also give GD someone to talk to if she needs it. Eloethan has mentioned Air B and B and I have found them very good. You can get a room in someones house very cheaply and hosts are very used to visitors. I definitely wouldnt give any more money, nor advice to your daughter, right or wrong. If she is determined to lead her life, her way, it will inevitably be rejected or make the situation worse.

luluaugust Sat 15-Jul-17 10:02:47

Book into a B & B and see your granddaughter. You don't say if your daughter actually got a job, if not then does she need to run a car. Try avoiding the subject of money completely and see what happens. Give the boyfriend a chance we all know of cases where very different types have enjoyed a good relationship. Good luck flowers

Teddy123 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:03:17

Much as I appreciate your disappointment and frustration, personally I would prefer to find a b&b. Especially since your GD could also come and stay as she requested.

I'm a little confused as to why GD can't come and visit you in the US.
I understand that she spends weekends with her father, but surely one is able to request to the childrens court for changes to court appointed access dates to allow for holidays etc.

I understand why you feel hurt by her refusal to let you stay with her. Perhaps it's more simple than her BF having moved in. Whatever it is you will at some point have to discuss 'money' with your DD. Sadly you can't dictate her life style because you part fund it. I would feel the same as you over her choices .... My main concern would be your GD and I would do as much as I could to ensure she's happy and healthy.

So in a nutshell, find a B&B, and see as much of your daughter and GD as possible. At best if your daughter/boyfriend are driving you crazy, you can escape! At worst it's going to cost.

And enjoy your holiday!

Please let us know how it pans out.
Good Luck x

jocarter Sat 15-Jul-17 10:10:30

I agree with others, see if you can take Dgd to a premier inn or something and spend a couple of days with her, don't question her about living arrangements but children love to talk ! You must also stop the money if she says Dgd needs something then actually buy the item and not give money (although I realise that may be difficult when you are in the USA)

Nezumi65 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:13:22

I think you can't dictate schooling choices because you hand over money. The two issues are not related. If you have concerns about the safety and wellbeing of your grandchild then you can raise a safeguarding concern - but you can't say 'do this or I won't give you any money'.

On the other hand you have been exceedingly generous and your dd seems to expect you to bail her out (which would have me bristling). You don't have to fund her - is there a way you can directly fund your granddaughter (e.g. buying shoes etc)?

I think I would find a cheap b&b (not ideal I know - maybe try airbnb? I have had good experiences with them) & focus on your gd. Then maybe have a chat with your dd about how you do not have unlimited funds.

JanaNana Sat 15-Jul-17 10:15:09

I would book yourself into a B & B somewhere nearby and take it from there. There are quite reasonably priced ones around less than hotels. It does sound like she has moved someone in with her. As parents you never stop worrying about your children whatever their age but sometimes you just have to let them live their own lives regardless of the anxieties they cause you. Some adult children do seem to expect more financial help than others do. No matter whether you help her out or not with paying for things she needs she will probably still do her own thing as she sees fit. You will have to play it by ear and make your decisions like that I think.

Maidmarion Sat 15-Jul-17 10:20:05

Yes, Airbnb Is a great idea! Inexpensive and often really nice and it gives you a bolt hole if things get awkward!
......and yes, a little less with all the handouts - don't think that's helping in the long run! I sympathise/empathise - I have similar problems in reverse when I visit family in USA!!!!

nancyma Sat 15-Jul-17 10:26:09

Stay in a lovely hotel and spoil yourself, enjoy time with your granddaughter. On returning to the states discuss with your husband what help you wish to continue giving to your daughter and let her know what you will fund. Give with out expectations of return, or don't give.

HannahLoisLuke Sat 15-Jul-17 10:47:57

She's living a completely feckless life at your expense and setting a terrible example to her child.
You said the boyfriend was abusive and she fled to another town to escape. So how did he find her?
I'd do what others have said. Stay in a cheap B&B if you can find one and do not give her another penny!
She's chosen this life and expects others to pay for it. You and the rest if us as taxpayers.
I feel furious on your behalf but you have to be cruel to be kind.
She needs to get a job, ditch the boyfriend, send the child to school and just pull herself together.
By the way, I speak as an old hippy so can see the attractions of that lifestyle but there comes a time when you have to grow up!

Madgran77 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:48:01

|Give her two months to sort her finances out! Tell her you want to stay as you are paying for the flat. Tell her you will sleep on the floor but you ARE coming! Stop indulging her! Tell her you are going to stop paying for...then list all the items ....take it from there really!

jevive73 Sat 15-Jul-17 11:06:14

It is sad that there seems to be a lack of honesty between op and daughter. Why cant dd just be honest with her mum? it seems that in some respects dd has been kept in a child rather than adult role. however, i would also wonder whether there mght be drugs in the flat which is not unusual in some less traditional homes. dd might not want mum to know. i understand mums hurt though and think far too mch financial support is being given. op can you keep in touch with gn to let us know what happens

chattykathy Sat 15-Jul-17 11:07:56

You mentioned she fled from an abusive relationship, I take it from this man who has now moved in. I'd be very worried about this. 'Home schooling' is often a device abusers use to keep the authorities away. Also, is there a possibility he's the one calling the shots and not allowing you to stay? I may be totally off mark, I hope I am, but it might be something to investigate.

nigglynellie Sat 15-Jul-17 11:21:12

What an awful situation to be in and I simply cannot imagine treating my mother with such casual selfish disrespect and lack of affection. Surely if she loves you she must realise how much she has relied on you over the years and feel some slight gratitude?!!, but tbh I think that you've done far too much which has probably coloured her attitude to you. Whether you've been happy to help or not isn't the point, thankyou is always nice to hear!! Frankly I would be so hurt and deeply upset at her attitude to me (nothing more than a cash cow!!) that I wouldn't want to see her or have anything more to do with her, I would be cancelling my visit and telling her why in no uncertain terms. As someone said it's her flat, her life, her car, her child, and HER responsibility! However, I am very sorry for you, it's a horrible situation to be in, but you can't let her treat you like a 19th cent servant and just put up with it.

nigglynellie Sat 15-Jul-17 11:29:22

Opening up a bank account for your granddaughter as suggested would be a good idea as it certainly sounds as if she will need money when she is older, but don't tell ANYONE until gd is old enough to manage her own affairs.

Juggernaut Sat 15-Jul-17 11:52:45

Sell her car and buy one with a smaller engine!
For Vehicle Excise Duty (was previously called road tax) to be over £300 per year the vehicle must fall in tax band 'K', which are mainly older diesel engines of 2.0 or above, or new diesel engines of 3.0 or above.
If your daughter is in receipt of benefits, works part time, and is living in a 'tip' does she honestly need to be driving the equivalent of a 3.2 Mitsubishi Shogun?

grandtanteJE65 Sat 15-Jul-17 11:56:53

You have come all the way from the US to the UK to visit, so if you can get a cheap B&B for two nights near your daughter do so and when you see her explain as kindly as possible that you were willing and able to help last year when she was leaving an abusive man, but that you cannot afford to go on helping her in money matters and that you really need to ask her to pay for her car and car insurance herself.

When /if she says she can't and that she really needs the car, you will have to just state that you are sorry, you can no longer help. After all your mum is an old lady and I am sure you want to be able to visit her next year sometime too.

I do feel that home schooling may not be the best thing in this set up, but I honestly do not see how you can change your daughter's mind about that. Even if you lived nearby, I don't think she would listen to you on the subject.

Probably your daughter will be hurt and think it quite unreasonable that you are not able or willing to go on helping her, but she is the unreasonable one here, not you. None of us are entitled to expect family to help out; if they can and will it is sometimes a good thing and sometimes not.

I was as a young adult often forced to ask my parents for financial help, and I always felt that I had to be ashamed to ask and had to pay the help back somehow or other. Your daughter may feel something similar and is badly placed to help when you are living so far away.

I hope you will be able to see your daughter and granddaughter and discuss things with your daughter

Norah Sat 15-Jul-17 12:00:11

If you gave for reward, you were off the mark, stop giving. If you gave from love you may want to reassess the totality to your giving. Don't expect to stay with her, find a room on your own and see what is going on with her or go on home.

NotSpaghetti Sat 15-Jul-17 12:07:32

Oh chattycathy it didn't occur to me that the boyfriend might be the grandchild's father.
I took this to be someone else.
Would be way more worried if she's taken him back....

Gemmag Sat 15-Jul-17 12:15:25

It doesn't matter what you've paid for she will not appreciate any of it so best way forward is to stop paying for stuff for her. Let her live the life she's chosen as she will not take advice from you. Only then will she realise that she has to get a proper job and that will hopefully mean that she has no option but to put DGD into the local school.
Book yourself into a small b&b on the outskirts which will be cheaper and when you do see your DGD try not to quiz her as her mum will almost certainly ask questions i.e what did granny ask you, what did she want to know etc., Small children tell you everything!.
Obviously you are very unhappy with the situation your DD is in but I don't think she will listen to you or take on board any advice you try to give her. She has made her bed I'm afraid but you are obviously very concerned about your DG.
If you keep putting your hand in your pocket what can you expect, it will just go on and on and DD will go on letting you!.
If boyfriend represented himself in court he can't be that illiterate!.
Thread carefully and best of luck.

icanhandthemback Sat 15-Jul-17 12:56:58

If you read your post again Fishandchips, you'll see how sniffy you are about your DD's boyfriend )who may or may not have moved in) and it may help you to see why she might not want you to stay with her. There are a lot of assumptions in your post like "unschooling" not being good for your GD, the boyfriend moving in, etc. What is wrong with just asking outright what the situation is?
I can see how you might be uneasy about your daughter's lifestyle and parenting skill but you had your turn with your children and you have to let her get on with hers. Giving money and expecting to have a say is the quickest way of alienating your daughter. You don't say how old your Daughter is but maybe it would be better for your relationship to let her stand on her own 2 feet or at least reduce the amount you give. If she is expecting you to pay for the car this year, you could just say that next year she will have to find the money herself but don't link it to your GD's education.

Lewlew Sat 15-Jul-17 12:59:14

I am speechless... what an ungrateful little madam! angry

Jinty44 Sat 15-Jul-17 14:19:45

I'm thinking in two separate lines, as it were. Each sparked by a single word - 'abusive' and 'bohemian'.


Your daughter "fled from an abusive relationship and had to give up her job as she moved to another part of the country" yet you are now sure that he and his daughter (aged 16) have moved in with her. Are you certain that this is her choice? Is she trying to hide this from you because she is back under his thumb?

What ties does she have with this town? She moved there as an escape, it is no longer an escape from him, so what is holding her there, in what you describe as a damp slum? It seems irrational for her to prefer it, and I'd be thinking that through for myself.


A valid lifestyle choice, but not if you insist that other people pay for it. Stop being her cash dispenser. You set her up in her flat with her car, it's time to cut the apron strings. She is not going to grow the fuck up (and she really really needs to) in this situation, so frankly, bankrolling her is effectively infantilising her. Be there for moral support, but cut the financial support to birthday and Christmas presents.

Either way - you need to change your relationship with your daughter. The money is not helping her really, it's trapping her into poor choices. Time to accept that she is an adult, responsible for herself and her choices, and to step back.

I would book two nights in a B&B, go see her, enjoy your granddaughter, and lay out the new rules of engagement.

* Boyfriend pays his way, or your relative withdraws from being her guarantor - her going behind the landlord's back puts your relatives money at risk, and that is not acceptable.

* You are no longer going to finance her, she's a big girl and it's time she stepped up to the plate. You realise now that it's just making her into a target for her unscrupulous freeloading 'boyfriend'. You bought her the car, it's her responsibility to finance the running of it.

* You love her and your granddaughter, but realise you're smothering and infantilising her, so you are stepping back into a more normal mother-daughter relationship.

I have no doubt she'll have a tantrum. But change is needed, and you have to implement that.

Best wishes.

Devorgilla Sat 15-Jul-17 14:41:12

A good post Jinty44. This young woman needs to start to take responsibility for herself and her daughter. I would caution though, because of her past problems, pulling the rug out too fast. A gradual withdrawal of funds, clearly spelt out, would be my way. That allows her to plan her finances. E.g. I'll pay the car this year but you need to save to take that on next year.
I too would be concerned about home schooling from the 'abusive' element as suggested by others. Also, it should be monitored by the Local Education Authority, but I am a long time out of teaching and don't know the current rules. I would definitely go and stay in a hotel or B&B and make sure daughter and GD are in good health etc. I would leave heavy conversations until you are home and have discussed with your husband and then write saying how pleased you are she is getting her life back on track and is now able to fend for herself. Good idea to put the money spent on your daughter into an account for GD but tie it up firmly and legally so she gets it at an appropriate age.