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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!

Anya Sat 15-Jul-17 15:04:47

Personally I'd simply say you're not going to visit and cut contact with this grabbing child (she's certainly not grown up yet).

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

Your DD is behaving badly towards you. I agree with Desdemona. I would find a cheap B&B and make a big fuss of DGD as you don't see her often. At end of visit I would also casually say to DD that the B&B cost quite a lot of money and now you don't have enough to pay her car expenses. would try to find out how DGD s being educated and how frequently. I would also consider asking DD if your DGD could visit you in states in her holidays and if so take her back for a few weeks with you and find her a really good tutor to help her with school work while she is with you. I would also stop helping your DD out financially except maybe with clothing etc. for DGD. Once you are back home I would write to DD and say you understand if her partners daughter is at college near there and is now living with them there was not room for you to stay but she should have told you this in an adult way. I would also point out you respect the way she choses to live her life but you worry about the effect on your DGC who is effectively having her chances in life diminished due to no formal education.

Alidoll Sat 15-Jul-17 16:08:44

A freeloader will continue to do so for as long as they think they can - whether that's your DD from you or her boyfriend from her. You need to be the one to set the boundaries and continually bailing her out (and not paying you back in any shape or form) is a rod you need to break. As others have said, she might not be in a position to pay a full years worth of insurance but she CAN set up a Direct Debit for monthly payments to spread it across the year. Suggest she does this straight away as you won't fund the car any longer. She might have a serious tantrum about it but she won't change unless she's made to..

I'd do this AFTER you've seen your GD though and telling her how much you love her but her mummy needs tough love.

Galen Sat 15-Jul-17 16:57:35

Note. OP has not come back
Is this a windup?

Teddy123 Sat 15-Jul-17 17:16:07

She mentioned she had no wifi as was staying with mother .... Said she was using library internet ....

Brismum Sat 15-Jul-17 17:59:43

Try a b and b and have granddaughter to stay if you can. She's the important one in this situation.I would try and be less generous with your funding. I also think it should be possible for your granddaughter to have a holiday with you but that will require your daughters co-operation! I doubt she will want to fall out with you she needs you. Is your daughter very young and how old is your granddaughter? Maybe she has her own ideas about her schooling. Not a good situation for you I hope you can find some sort of resolution.

pollyperkins Sat 15-Jul-17 18:26:02

I don't understand about the 'unschooling' (home schooling?)! Its mandatory in this country for a childe to be educated. Home schooling is fine but it's a lot of work for the parents. If your daughter is going to work and has a childminder, who is educating the child? The child minder? The boyfriend? Who checks up on this?

pollyperkins Sat 15-Jul-17 18:26:59

As for accommodation, as others have said, grit your teeth and book a b & B but try to discuss with your daughter how you feel.

kwest Sat 15-Jul-17 18:28:38

Above all keep lines of communication open. She may really need you one day and be too proud to ask for help.
Perhaps say that your circumstances have changed and in a real emergency you will be only too willing to help but on a day to day basis you cannot afford to keep funding her.
Emphasize how much you love her and that nothing will change that but sadly there is less money available than there has been so you must conserve what you have.Perhaps this is not a good time to visit the UK but you will make fresh arrangements when it is convenient for both of you.

FarNorth Sat 15-Jul-17 18:45:45

Really, Anya? You'd cut contact with your grandchild who may need you? That's what would happen if you cut contact with the daughter.

Iam64 Sat 15-Jul-17 18:50:43

Galen - exams are finished aren't they

FarNorth Sat 15-Jul-17 19:01:05

"According to a 2013 study by Boston College professor Peter Gray, which looked at the outcomes of 75 adults who had been unschooled as children: “Unschooling benefited them for higher education and careers by promoting their sense of personal responsibility, self-motivation and desire to learn.”"

jacq10 Sat 15-Jul-17 19:28:32

If a genuine post it's really quite sad and has provoked a lot of differing opinions. I would agree with Desdemona and NewNanny who seem to be putting the grandchild's welfare to the fore and definitely would put an end to any support. I did a quick check but could not find any reference to the daughter's age but she certainly is of the age to be a "responsible adult" and should be looking out for her own daughter.

Caro1954 Sat 15-Jul-17 19:29:34

kwest - absolutely right IMO! Reduce support, but gradually.

Brismum Sat 15-Jul-17 19:49:10

A difficult situation. I would concentrate on your granddaughter and see if she could stay with you for a few days in some accommodation. How old is she and how old is your daughter? She obviously isn't seeing her father this weekend unless she saw him on Friday so maybe a stay with you in the U.S could be arranged. Your daughter would have to co-operate on that one. Even if your granddaughter is unschooled, somebody must know of her existence and be checking her welfare. Maybe you could just as someone else has suggested give goods rather than cash. When you discover what the situation with the boyfriend is then you can review your financial situation. He's on to a good thing at the moment! Enjoy your granddaughter and if you haven't already maybe some sort of trust fund for her? Good luck

Brismum Sat 15-Jul-17 19:55:52

Posted twice as didn't think first one had gone through. I don't do this very often but felt I needed to

Anya Sat 15-Jul-17 20:24:37

I know that FarNorth

BlueBelle Sat 15-Jul-17 20:30:27

No one checks on home schooling in U k I was amazed as I expected there to be loads of hoops to jump through and exams and check ups along the way but I have two neighbours home schooling and also a friend with a 6 year old One of the neighbours husband has a shop and I see the 14 year old opening the shop up and running errands they are nice kids and seem bright but I was so amazed to realise there is no needed structure or tests with home schooling
You really have made a huge rod for your back by giving so much, I was a single mum with three kids and my mum and dad helped me considerably but I helped myself too and always paid them back any time they lent me money to buy some necessary item even if it was only a bit a week. I think you have over indulged big time and are reaping the rewards now, to be honest to completely furnish a home is silly she could easily do it from charity shops that's what I did a saucepan here cups and mugs there until you d got what you need Children's clothes truely beautiful ones in charity shops are a £1 or £1.50 in our shop we sell all school uniform for 50p
She has never had a moment to learn how to manage, you can give a hand without taking her independence away Schooling which may worry you is none of your business and she's right you were black mailing her
It is hurtful that you can't stay with her but you really won't know the reason until you are there you are just guessing and surmising as is all of us

Juggernaut Sat 15-Jul-17 20:33:22

You and me both! We'd best be careful though, in case we get accused of 'troll hunting'!

radicalnan Sat 15-Jul-17 21:23:41

Hmmmmmmm already had one abusive relationship and needed vast bailing out and now seems to be embarking on another dubious relationship, doesn't matter what he is like, if she is keeping him hidden then she has her doubts. How many bail outs can you afford, or for that matter you GC?

I don't share the others GN view on not laying down rules for continuing your financial support, where is the benefit for you in being put into the position where you are potentially supporting benfit fraud and school evasion and she does as she likes knowing that you do not approve.

Unschooling......fine perhaps for organised people, with their wits about them, probably not so clever for those who cannot teach by example how to live sensibly, budget etc

I would bite the bullet and go to a B&B in order to see GD but my fiscal support would end there. Plenty of men seeking ready made nest with money thrown in and no responsibility........why would you contribute towards that set up?

She doesn't seem tohave learnt anything from past experience, not even respect for her mother. Don't facilitate her foolishness.

starbird Sat 15-Jul-17 23:36:53

Tell her you can pay the car insurance or the hotel but not both.

Starlady Sun 16-Jul-17 05:25:50

Radicalnan, I can see laying down rules for continuing support if they're related to the support. Like, "We'll continue to pay for this/that, for x amount of time, but you have to show us you're working towards full self-support." Or "We'll pay for this/that, but you need to pay us back for it by such & such date." But I don't see saying, "We'll stop financing your car if you don't let us decide your child's schooling" - that IS blackmail as the dd charged, imo, though, apparently, an idle threat. I can't see saying either, "We gave you furniture, so we have to be able to stay in your apartment." One doesn't maintain ownership/rights to a gift once it's given.

I agree that dd hasn't learned very much from her past, especially since the new relationship does seem "dubious." But Op, there seems to be some confusion over whether the bf is a new one or her abusive ex. Which is it?

Also, I'm wondering how the courts gave her ex more access to gd, given that he's abusive, Even it he "only" abused dd and not gd, he's not a good person for gd to be around, imo.

Anya, are you saying it would be worth losing contact with gd, as well as dd? Do you think Op would find it worth it?

radicalnan Sun 16-Jul-17 06:33:13

I don't see anything wrong with setting 'conditions' for further financial support after all GC is not a social experiement, she is a child in what sounds like a bit of a chaotic household, where her interests are not being put first. School does more than educate, it is a useful support system for children who may need additional support.

I have home educated my own children, it was not easy, and it costs money to do it properly, trips to musuems, galleries, books,etc. Unschooling, is a variation on home ed. as I understand it, more unstructured, I am not sure from reading the post that the child in question will thrive with less structure.

She may be stuck at home with poor intellectual stimulation and few peers and new opportunities. OP daughter, is selecting another expense in that method of educating her child. I paid for online courses to assist my son and just one of those cost me over a thousand pounds about 10 years ago, he was however the youngst person to take that course and he passed with distinction, so money well spent. It was my money to play with though. Music lessons, drama, sports all add to the bill. I took my son on a tour of the D day landing sites as part of the history we covered together and he had a maths tutor as my maths was a bit sketchy.

If someone has trouble managing their money and then declines a standard and free education, then my concern would be that the 'bohemian' lifestyle, money management and the ability to manage in general, is seen as less important than a lifestyle choice funded by someone else. I am not sure if child would receive free school meals for instance, certainly there would be school counsellors, and some medical services at school and the availabilty of non bohemian people to rub shoulders with.

I live in Glastonbury so plenty of home educators here and we are not short of bohemians either, not sure they all rely upon their parents to subsidise their choices though or that they feel free to reject a parent who is demonstrably supportive.

The child's father does seem to have some formal access so hopefully he will be able to oversee her education too and he may even be amenable to a visit to American GP, who knows unless he is asked. We only hear that he is abusive and we don't know if his access is supervised or not so maybe he is fine as a dad.

A trip to America would be a wonderful experience educationally for any child so certainly worth asking.

It does seem that the daughter is reluctant to have her mother in her home, that to me would sound alarm bells and I would be making life less easy for the boyfriend, after all, he is not a priority here. When it comes to my children's partners and people in contact with my GC I am not keen on free loaders and would make that clear.

Not making your mother welcome, when she has travelled so far is just rude and unkind, and that alone colours my opinion on this post.

MissAdventure Sun 16-Jul-17 09:14:15

I would be quite concerned to check if my grandchild was ok. No school, and a new man in the home..

JanaNana Sun 16-Jul-17 09:20:54

I posted earlier and have read through all the other replies. Is this boyfriend the father of your little granddaughter as well as his 16 he old daughter? I am now reading this as if he is but maybe wrong! If I had fled from an abusive relationship I would be very worried that he had moved to a town I had moved to miles away from my family. Maybe a bit scared .Is"nt your daughter at risk of losing her flat if her LL finds out she has other people living there with her....breaking her tenancy agreement. As you paid for her legally to help escape from this man in the first place it now seems like a farce that he has turned up in the same town and also his 16 he old daughter as well. Something does not add up here. As the reason for her moving away in the first place is now in jeopardy in my opinion...I would seriously have to think whether to stay in this flat or return to my original town for the sake of my little girl. She can home school or unschool just as easily and have more family support around her too.