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How to tell father I don't want to stay with him when I visit?

(43 Posts)
Nansnet Tue 28-May-19 09:12:56

I live overseas and up until now, whenever I return 'home' for visits, I've always stayed with my dad (mum's no longer with us). I've had a lot of lengthy stays with him, especially when my mum was ill a few years ago, and also since she passed away, I've spent a lot of time visiting him. I've certainly never shirked my daughter duties, and although I live overseas, I've always gone above and beyond the call of duty where my parents are concerned. As dad is getting older, he is very much set in his ways, and can be rather irritating at times!Lol If I'm staying with him on my own, I can just about grit my teeth and put up with his ways, as I do love him very much! Also, when I stay with dad, I seem to spend most of my time running errands, shopping, taking him to appointments, and cleaning/tidying the house from top to bottom (even though he has a cleaner!). This, I don't really mind as I feel I owe it to him for all the things he's done for me in the past. However, I'm not getting any younger myself and, consequently, I return home after the 'break' feeling exhausted.
When my husband comes (very rarely!), although he and dad generally get on OK together, things can get rather tense and stressful, as he doesn't have the patience that I do with my dad, and it doesn't make for a very relaxing/enjoyable visit. My husband has a very stressful job and works very long hours so, naturally, when we go away, he wants to relax and to be able to enjoy his time away. Which leads me to our next visit - husband will be coming as we have a family thing to attend, but he insists that we can't stay with dad this time, as he doesn't get chance to relax. I totally understand how he feels, but I really don't know how to tell my dad without hurting his feelings, or offending him, as I know he will automatically expect us to stay with him. Anyone out there able to offer me some advice on how to go about this tactfully, without upsetting dad?!

aggie Tue 28-May-19 09:17:53

Just tell your Dad that you are staying in an hotel to save him (dad) the bother of disrupting his routine , and stick to it !

love0c Tue 28-May-19 09:20:44

I do understand your predicament here. It is a difficult wondering how to please everyone! However, I do tend to think that as you live overseas and do not get to see your dad too often you might put how his feelings to the top of the list. He is obviously getting older now and used to be on his own. This does not mean he likes living on his own. I'm sue he is looking forward to you coming and some company, so be kind and stay with him unless he suggests/wants otherwise. You do not know how many more visits you may get to spend with him.

love0c Tue 28-May-19 09:22:02

sorry for the mistakes! My keyboard has a life of it's own now! Time for a new one!!

sodapop Tue 28-May-19 09:24:56

Could you compromise and spend some time with your Dad and the rest elsewhere ?

ditzyme Tue 28-May-19 09:28:17

Let your husband have his holiday and you stay with dad, if you feel you have to. As has been said, he may look forward to your visits more than he says/you know. Does your husband know how torn you feel now. I think most children feel in later life that they owe their parents, your husband perhaps doesn't? Some may see it as selfish that he wants peace and quiet and a relaxing time, after all, isn't that what holidays are for? Personally I don't go on holiday, they are not important and never have been. Plus I lost my parents/family many decades ago now so don't have this conflict.
Of course, it could be that your dad doesn't actually look forward to your coming and breaking his routine but doesn't want to offend you by saying so!
Talk to him, explain the situation.

SisterAct Tue 28-May-19 09:39:47

My brother-in-law and his wife had this situation with my father-in-law, when coming from America. They booked in a hotel and saw him part of everyday, but still went out and did their own thing. I truly believe he was relieved he had his own space.

Last time they came (My FIL has since died) they did the same with us, despite us having 3 spare beds but no ensuite lol!!

BradfordLass72 Tue 28-May-19 09:58:09

Book into an hotel, your hard-working husband deserves the break and so do you.

You will be with Dad a lot but please don't go cleaning the house from top to bottom.

Just take Dad out, to wherever he loves: gardens, museums, for coffee or lunch, cinema, theatre, places you can both enjoy so he has wonderful memories when you go home, not looking back on you as cleaner and health shuttle smile although of course if he does have appointments you may feel obliged to take him - how does he get there when you are not with him?

Tell Dad that most nights, you and your husband have dinner for two booked as a special treat because DH works so hard and needs this break - and on one or two days you'd like to spend together (as well as at the family event you mentioned)

Tell him all this in advance, so he has time to let it sink in. You may find there's a bit of resistance, he loves you so naturally wants you there all the time but that isn't good for any of you, as you've found out.

Your visit needs to be enjoyable but you need to change the habits of the past now because as you, husband and Dad get older, none of it will get any easier.

seacliff Tue 28-May-19 09:58:19

It's quite possible he may also be relieved if you don't stay! I know he has a cleaner but he may also feel a pressure to tidy up etc before your visit, and it may be a big effort at his age. The feeling of irritation can work both ways too.

You love each other of course and you have been a good daughter. But when it can only be an occasional visit from abroad, the sudden 24 hour constantly being with him is possibly a bit much for you both. It's good to have a bit of down time.

I'd say to him you're staying at a hotel as your husband needs a real chance to relax. See what his response is. If he seems very disappointed you could suggest just that you stay with him for a few nights.

Also, perhaps do something different and fun for you both. Ask him if there's a special place he'd like to revisit with you. My parents in their 80s were taken by my sister on a tour of their old home area, were they lived when first married. They really enjoyed it. Treasure your Dad, you are lucky to have him x

midgey Tue 28-May-19 09:59:51

It is lovely when family come to stay but oh how good to have your home back when they leave! I bet your father would prefer to live at his own speed and have jaunts out or visits from you. How much more restful all round!

TerryM Tue 28-May-19 10:26:05

Another vote for spending the days but not the nights with your Dad smile

Humbertbear Tue 28-May-19 10:29:54

My husbands parents simply told us we couldn’t stay anymore which put us in a difficult position as we could afford accommodation and we simply visited for the day instead.
We have the reverse with my brother in law who proudly announced that we could now stay with him as he had turned a downstairs room into a bedroom. I have informed him we will continue to stay in a nearby B n B as I like to be en suite and it has a car park. If we stayed with him we would be forever hunting for a space.
Could you say you have booked accommodation but will be with him everyday because you thought it would be too much for him?

Blinko Tue 28-May-19 10:31:31

Our 2 DSs and their families always stay at hotels when they visit us. This is because our DiLs like a spa experience when they're away from home. Or at least that's what we're told hmm At first, I felt rather put out, but now I find we're happy they stay elsewhere and join us for various outings or activities. Your father may be relieved that he can see you and retain his own space.

Chinesecrested Tue 28-May-19 10:38:42

The dad doesn't necessarily want you to stay, but may be embarrassed to say anything. It's a strain having guests to stay. Just book a hotel and don't worry about it - say it's to spare him the disruption.

inishowen Tue 28-May-19 10:39:53

I don't like staying in anyone's house. When we went to visit my brother 2 years ago we told a white lie. We said we were tying the visit in with a business trip and the hotel was all paid for. He was happy, and we were happy.

nipsmum Tue 28-May-19 10:45:55

I agree with Bradfordlass. Let his cleaner do the housework. If it's not up to your standard, just bite the bullet and bear it for a few days. I imagine if your dad is able to look after himself when your not there he will be pleased to see you and spend some time in your company. Maybe your husband could manage to be a little flexible in his tolerating your dad too.

crazyH Tue 28-May-19 10:54:35

I doubt very much think that your Dad will really want you there 24/7 - he is used to his own space - and his own routine. Ofcourse, he would love to spend time with you and vice versa. Secretly, I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you decided to stay in a hotel.
And you have to consider your husband's views on the subject. Have a lovely trip and enjoy your visit.

TenGran Tue 28-May-19 11:49:58

When my partner and I visit my mother (both in UK but six hours drive) we stay in the nearby Premier Inn because I like an en-suite and some privacy. My mother doesn't like it but she's got used to it now. I feel that I have spent a lot of holiday time and money on family visits over the years so when my daughter and family visit the UK from Australia I am fine with them having a holiday in Europe and either meet them wherever they are, or they tag a few days in England onto that. They get an Airbnb when SiL comes or with me if it's just my daughter and/or grand children.

H1954 Tue 28-May-19 12:39:27

Yes, I agree with aggie on this one! Research for a nearby nice hotel, perhaps with a spa, tell dad your staying there rather than with him but assure him you will still be visiting all the same.

That way, DH gets to relax, you get to relax, and you all get that precious time with dad; after all you don't know how much longer dad will be around.

Kim19 Tue 28-May-19 12:43:10

I'm with the majority here in that I suspect your Father would secretly prefer it if you stayed locally and independently but, like yourself, he doesn't want to inflict hurt. We are so understandably precious about the feelings of those we love and rightly so. Sometimes we just get it wrong by not being able to discuss. Good luck with whatever you achieve here.

Nannarose Tue 28-May-19 12:54:22

I wonder if you can stagger the visit at all? Tell dad that husband needs a good rest, especially around the 'family thing' so hotel for the time around that, some time away together 'so husband can visit... whatever he wants to visit (he's always wanted to see KnottyAsh) and then some time, on your own with dad.

dublingran Tue 28-May-19 13:01:11

When we visit our son & his family in the Middle East, we stay in a hotel & meet up whenever - they have 5 indoor cats + a large dog which trigger my asthma. Plus I enjoy a bit of hotel luxury! Much less tension all round......

rocketstop Tue 28-May-19 13:29:10

ok, what about a little white lie? Say someone has given you a voucher for a hotel as a gift, but living abroad you haven't had time to use it and it's due to expire so you want to use it for the visit to stop the gifters asking you if you've used it yet.
Say you can use it at the nearest one to him, so you'll be able to see him lots and not get under his feet. You could even bring him to the hotel for morning coffee or a drink at the bar as an outing for him.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 28-May-19 13:33:11

Tell him that you and your husband will be staying in a hotel this time as you have family things to attend to and you don't want to disrupt your father's routine by coming and going all the time.

This may not be strictly true, but it is a kind way of explaining that you don't want to stay with him.

You might like to add that you and your husband have been very busy this year and need time to relax,

EmilyHarburn Tue 28-May-19 15:18:21

Book a hotel visit a part of every day.