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#51 TeenagerMom

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:37 PM

Both sets of parents took vacations with a younger sibling and step-siblings when I was a young adult. I feel no resentment.  I was an adult who no longer lived at home. They were no longer responsible for me.


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#52 Χάρων

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:44 PM

If you don't have the money to invite all the children, don't invite any of them IMHO. Playing favorites will lead to feelings of resentment and a belief that younger siblings are being spoiled.

If DH and I ever have the money to travel, we're either going to do it when youngest DD is away at summer camp (there are special needs respite camps) or we will take all 3 of our children regardless of if they're teenagers or 20somethings. Taking some and not others is unfair IMHO.


In this case they have had these experiences, taking them will cause the budget to be stretched so thin that DS will not get anywhere near the same experiences.
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#53 okbud

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:48 PM

Ok let me throw in my anecdotal experience.

My sister is a lot younger than me.


Both our parents have done tons of fun stuff with her that I didn't get to do.

...I was just happy for them. No resentment, no bitterness, no feeling like they love me less.

I'm not some kind of saint outlier, promise. If the grown kids have a problem with a child being treated like a child, that's indicative ONLY of their emotional problems.
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#54 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:55 PM



No.

That's all that is required.
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#55 Seasider

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:59 PM

My 20-somethings do not come on longer trips because they have school and work responsibilities and don't have that much vacation time. They know this full well and it doesn't bother them. We try to include them in weekend things but even then they have their own lives and plans.

In YOUR shoes, I'd flat out tell dh that for the sake of the health of our marriage, we need a trip without the adult children. Let him deal with the flack from the in-laws.
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#56 onelittlemonkey

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:01 PM

I don't remember your past threads (I apologize... I tend to pop in and out of here and have trouble remembering everything), but from the comments others have made, I doubt the older kids will be happy/content/grateful regardless of whether they go or stay. So on that note, I'd do what you feel is best for you, dh, and minor child only and leave it at that.
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#57 Seasider

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:02 PM

Ok let me throw in my anecdotal experience.

My sister is a lot younger than me.


Both our parents have done tons of fun stuff with her that I didn't get to do.

...I was just happy for them. No resentment, no bitterness, no feeling like they love me less.

I'm not some kind of saint outlier, promise. If the grown kids have a problem with a child being treated like a child, that's indicative ONLY of their emotional problems.


Ditto. With my oldest kids, if there's a need to do so, I remind them of the fun things they did when they were younger that the youngest didn't get to do. They had their fun in turn.

I was a significantly older sister myself. I had lots to keep me occupied with my own life and schedule in my 20's.
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#58 Crimson Wife

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:04 PM

Both sets of parents took vacations with a younger sibling and step-siblings when I was a young adult. I feel no resentment.  I was an adult who no longer lived at home. They were no longer responsible for me.

 

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

 

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.


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#59 Seasider

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:08 PM

See, this is the kind of thing I said to my kids when they were 13. Once they're in their 20's I want them to level up and play as adults. (Which is why our 20 somethings don't vacation with us unless we specifically plan for the trip to be 'all family')

I feel your pain, but I think if you make these kinds of rules you're going to HATE this trip and spend the whole thing monitoring all the meals, activities, etc.


I agree and I think the trip will be miserable for you if you have to play cop and bookkeeper the whole time.
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#60 Moxie

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:09 PM

None of our feelings toward our parents matter in this situation. These kids have serious issues that I doubt any of us share since we're all functional adults.
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#61 onelittlemonkey

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:11 PM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.


I don't really understand this. If your parents didn't have the money to take you on expensive vacations, but they still took you places that they could afford at the time, isn't that a good thing? Most people are more financially stable as they get older.
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#62 Pen

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:26 PM

I was listening to an audio book where a woman could not bring herself to tell freeloading family members to get out.  She finally got so disgusted with the situation that she picked up a bowl of macaroni and spilled it over the head of one of the freeloading guests. It was a funny scene, but possibly the point made was that if she had stood up to the situation earlier it would not have reached that stage.


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#63 Mergath

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:35 PM

My mom and my stepdad go on tons of vacations together. I would never dream of expecting them to pay to bring me along now that I'm an adult. Nor would I get upset about that fact. If they had a minor child, I'd have to be unbelievably petty to begrudge that child a fun vacation just because I can't go, or because I didn't get to have similar experiences as a kid.

If the children were all minors and living together, then I think it would be sort of mean to only take some of them. But the ones in their twenties need to strap on their big kid panties and suck it up.
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#64 Farrar

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:36 PM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

 

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.

 

That would bug me too. Not in an eating away inside, but I wouldn't just be super happy about it either.

 

I don't think things have to be equal per se, but it's also nice to travel with your adult kids (at least, from the adult kid perspective). I think if I were the parents, I'd want to spread those experiences around a little. I've been glad that my parents were generous with me in getting started in life. There's often an attitude on this board that doing anything for adult children is negative and wrong, which I find a little strange.

 

That said, I think the OP's situation just sounds different. And a trip to Florida when the older kids have been more exotic places themselves doesn't strike me as anything she's obligated to provide in the interest of fairness.


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#65 Alessandra

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:39 PM

if mid20 somethings want to come- let them know how much hotel rooms cost (and they'll be paying for their own room) and how much meals cost (and they'll be paying for theirs)... .when they have to cough up money, it's not as fun anymore.
and while I can be more patient with a *full-time* student - I'm not so patient with one who isn't.


eta: I guess I will add this. last summer, I took the two students who lived at home and rented a 2bd condo. an established child wanted to come. I let said child know they would need to pay the cost difference between a 2bd and a 3bd (they could easily afford it). suddenly - it wasn't as enticing and they didn't come.

I wouldn't do this, but I am mean. I would let them know itinerary. They can make own reservations, pay own bills with own money. If you get in a position of paying and trying to get reimbursed... could be awful. And you avoid the problem of kids complaining about accommodations -- too cheap, too expensive. Let them choose.

Also, it can be a pain to make reservations and schedule things. If you leave it to them, it may never happen. :-)

And think about this -- you buy some non-refundable tickets, and the kids cancel. If you were super rich, it would be nice to treat people, but not so nice if it means cutting back on your own plans.

ETA
Noooooooo! Big problem with my idea. They'll come with you and say they lost their reservations. So you either make them sleep in your car or pay them.

I am having a hard time seeing a solution here. You have my sympathy!

Edited by Alessandra, 14 July 2017 - 10:43 PM.


#66 Frances

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:49 PM

Ok let me throw in my anecdotal experience.

My sister is a lot younger than me.


Both our parents have done tons of fun stuff with her that I didn't get to do.

...I was just happy for them. No resentment, no bitterness, no feeling like they love me less.

I'm not some kind of saint outlier, promise. If the grown kids have a problem with a child being treated like a child, that's indicative ONLY of their emotional problems.

I completely agree. My parents have been able to do much more with all of the other grandchildren because they live closer to them than they do to us and our son. I feel no resentment at all and am just happy for them that most of their grandchildren live nearby.

My sister, on the other hand, is one that can not let go of feeling that things were not completely fair and equal when we were growing up and now are not completely fair and equal with the grandchildren. That is completely on her and not my parents. She should just be thankful for all of the wonderful things my parents do for her and her daughter.

Travel is a luxury that many in the world never get to experience. I'm honestly surprised that some here feel resentful that their parents did not make sure all siblings got exactly equal travel experiences regardless of differing financial and life circumstances. If that's the worse thing your parents ever did to you, consider yourself blessed and fortunate to have travelled with them at all.
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#67 desertstrawberry5

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:53 PM

If you don't have the money to invite all the children, don't invite any of them IMHO. Playing favorites will lead to feelings of resentment and a belief that younger siblings are being spoiled.

 

If DH and I ever have the money to travel, we're either going to do it when youngest DD is away at summer camp (there are special needs respite camps) or we will take all 3 of our children regardless of if they're teenagers or 20somethings. Taking some and not others is unfair IMHO.

 

 

But we are not talking about playing favorites. We are talking about adults who want to tag along on the parent's dime, because there happens to be a child still in the family. 

 

if we play by these rules, I cannot take Luna for a girls weekend when she's twelve, unless I also bring Ben at 24 and his possible spouse and children, as well as my other 3 sons in thier late teens and 20s. that's ridiculous. 

 

I already took Ben with me to my grandmother's funeral. It's a 7 hour drive over desolate desert. D wanted me to bring him so i wouldn't be alone. I left the other kids at home. i would have had to miss the funeral rather than pony up for extra gas (I rented a tiny car), an extra room, extra food, etc. 

 

I hope my kids aren't all resentful in 30 years that i treated them as individuals, and that they understand that circumstances change over time  :001_rolleyes:


Edited by desertstrawberry5, 14 July 2017 - 11:00 PM.

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#68 IEF

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:57 PM

Okay, I didn't read the other posts and I'm not even sure if you and I wouldn't get in a heated argument about our twentysomethings on a debate thread, but you wanted help making Florida sound unpleasant and I'm in the mood for snark without actually wanting to hurt anybody so atcher service:

OH NO!!!!! Not Florida! Please, Χάρων, that's just mean. Your kids are from the Midwest. They aren't much older than I was when I could NEVER keep Glamorous Sunny Gorgeous California and that other awful place snow country kids fantasize about straight so there probably isn't anything you can do to keep them from looking forward to movie stars and getting stuck with mosquitoes instead and O....M....F....G.....the humidity. I will never forget the humidity even though I wasn't any older than they were when I realizewd what a horrible mistake I had made and that Florida is NOT California and the only thing the two places have in common is the scams travel agents pull on unsuspecting snow country kids.

And the beaches; are you kidding me? No volleyball with movie stars under the palm trees there, all I remember is swamps. That's where the bugs come from. Also the alligators and all those weird diseases that killed my cats, both the one I'd had since I was three and the new kitten I broke up with my boyfriend over when he said they were "just cats" to him but I was your kids age then! My cats were like children to me!

O....M....G...Χάρων, you aren't really taking real children to that awful place are you? Are you sure they can afford enough health insurance? Maybe you should make sure they're telling the truth first because I just can't imagine how you would feel if...and who really cares if you have to secretly sell all their electronics and cars to make sure they have enough health insurance to come home from Florida ALIVE because if I could have done that for my poor kitties I would have in a heartbeat and like I said, my kitties were JUST like children to me.

And for that matter, by the time they replace all those electronics, even if you do just give them the money back and everything is fine, they would have spent more money than it would have cost to go to California anyway and that would save them the embarrassment of what would happen if they REALLY ever told anyone they'd been to Disneyworld as if it was a GOOD thing.

Poor little wee lambs; of course they think they want to go to Florida. That's nothing to be ashamed of. ALL kids from snow country go through that phase and it's your responsibility to protect your own, right? I wish MY mother had the courage to tell ME "No, honey, that's California. Florida isn't like that at all."

And wait a second....maybe they want to go to California because of the people? Florida is part of the Deep South! The land of Dixie! I'm too ashamed to say how that made me feel when I was expecting liberals and movie stars and all the things kids like on their vacations that grownups don't.

Florida is fine for you (and any random Floridian who happens to read this, is amused rather than offended, and asks me to write one about California for THEIR kids) but what a nightmare for your poor kids! I'm not sure I'll ever forgive my mother for....let's see....dead kitties, relationship I had to end with crush who may well be a lot cooler than the ex-husband I actually wound up with, bugs, alligators, swamps, have I got everything, Florida peeps?

Anyway, hth and ignore if it didn't as always

ETA: read the other posts now. Nope, not ashamed, not going to edit a darned thing, not into a debate thread tonight, and what I saw is why I post these random "I didn't read any of the other replies" posts directed just at the OP in the first place so I'm not gonna stop that any time soon either.

Okay. Carry on. My bad. The story was written for Χάρων's amusement anyway and wound up having nothing at all to do with the thread. No offense intended to anyone or Florida itself and the rest of it was none of my business anyway.

Edited by IEF, 14 July 2017 - 11:17 PM.

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#69 ErinE

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:01 PM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.


My parents were better off financially. Though the vacations weren't quite that exotic, they were much nicer for a younger sibling. No resentment on my part. The idea that me, in my mid-twenties, would expect my parents to provide something for me that they provide for a minor child is mind-boggling. Should I have also requested a cell phone? A laptop? A car less than a decade old? No, because I was a working adult and things like vacations, electronics, and cars were my responsibility.
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#70 shawthorne44

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:01 PM

Adult children aren't kids and shouldn't be treated as such.  If the oldest was 17, then yeah oldest would have to be invited.  But for a 20-something?   No, not required.   At what point would it stop?   When the grandparent generation goes on vacation are they required to invite all their descendants along?  If the children are pleasant companions they CAN be invited, but required?   Heck no.   

 

I wouldn't make the trip sound unpleasant.   But, just last week we did cut a Florida vacation short by a day because the heat/humidity was getting to me.   I'm a Texan who likes the house at 78, so that is saying something.  

 


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#71 theelfqueen

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:04 PM

Find a way to make them terrified of alligators. Whenever they're in the house be watching news clips about sink holes and alligator attacks and hurricanes.

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#72 J-rap

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:07 PM

You do whatever works!  We've taken trips with just our minors, and sometimes have taken ones when we foot the bill for everyone.  It's life.  There's no right answer.


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#73 desertstrawberry5

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:08 PM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

 

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.

I'm sorry, but this comes off as exceedingly selfish, entitled, ungrateful, and bitter.

your parent provided you with vacations. I have not been able to do that for my children. at all. Ever. they would love to go camping. but i guess no one ever gets to go because Ben is going to grow up, and then all fun must cease forever for all younger kids. lest they accidentally have a better experience than we provided for the oldest. 

 

I am having such a hard time drumming up sympathy because a sibling got "better" vacations because he had the fortune of being born later. 

 

I mean. Really. 

 

The alternative you put forth is no vacations ever for anyone. that's not fun. 

 

the score keeping is a bit over the top. 

 

i doubt that your childhood was spoiled by inferior vacations  :glare:


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#74 amy g.

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:12 PM

I see this as a not uncommon blended family issue.

In my family, there is no issue if I take 1or 3 of my 5 children someplace and don't include the others. I don't worry about being fair and the older ones offer to give up things so that the younger ones can have more.

But growing up, my sister and I went hungry during the week so that on the weekends when the step siblings were visiting my mother and step father could take everyone out to eat and to the movies or other activities constantly. It was very important to court step children's affection so that they could be the fun parents and drive a wedge in between step siblings and their biological mother.

Later, when I grew up, I was constantly shocked when my friends who had married a divorced man with children were genuinely jealous of his children from a previous marriage both minor and adult.

I know this is not the situation with you AT ALL.

I'm just saying that I see it as common that the second wife feels like money spent on step children takes money away from her real family. The husband is stuck in the middle because they are all his family.

As a child, I certainly wondered why my mother was spending her money on someone else's children. The bottom line is that we were not one family in my eyes. And I don't think you and your Dh and your step children and your biological child are one family in your eyes. I feel like you feel like money spent on them takes away from money spent on your real family.

I know that many people will say that they are adults and need to pay their own way. That is one family culture. There is another one where parents want to provide for/spoil/ruin/cripple adult children by continuing to give to them no matter how old they become.

It really matters what your husband's family culture/preference is. I'm not saying that he gets his way. I'm just saying that it helps to know if, in his eyes, you are asking him to abandon his own flesh and blood. If so, I don't think that arguments about paying for extra meals or hotel rooms is going to sway him.

If I were in your position, I know my trip would be ruined by inviting the step children.

I'd cancel this trip and take every opportunity to travel alone with my biological child and other opportunities to travel alone with my husband. I would not agree to any family vacations until they could be had on terms agreeable to me.

Let's face it. Even if they could come up with their own portion of the money, it would still not be a relaxing vacation for you, so why agree to that?
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#75 desertstrawberry5

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:17 PM

 

 

I don't think things have to be equal per se, but it's also nice to travel with your adult kids (at least, from the adult kid perspective). I think if I were the parents, I'd want to spread those experiences around a little. I've been glad that my parents were generous with me in getting started in life. There's often an attitude on this board that doing anything for adult children is negative and wrong, which I find a little strange.

 

 

 

 

i don't think anyone is saying don't vacation with you adult children if you want to and are able. What I hear is don't feel obligated to provide a luxury for someone who 1. doesn't need it, 2. is not apparently super deserving of it, 3. isn't really all that interested, 4. is capable of providing it for themselves, 5. is likely not going to be pleasant to be around, 6. when you can't afford to provide it really at all. 

 

It's great if you can give an adult child a helping hand. There are times when a little help is too much. It's up to each of us to decide between the two. and of course, we don't always have the help to give, even if we want to. 


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#76 gardenmom5

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:21 PM

 

In YOUR shoes, I'd flat out tell dh that for the sake of the health of our marriage, we need a trip without the adult children. Let him deal with the flack from the in-laws.

 

except from her previous posts - that might be an incentive for them to go to the effort to come along.  it sounds like they'd love to break up her marriage to their father.

 

I wouldn't do this, but I am mean. I would let them know itinerary. They can make own reservations, pay own bills with own money. If you get in a position of paying and trying to get reimbursed... could be awful. And you avoid the problem of kids complaining about accommodations -- too cheap, too expensive. Let them choose.

Also, it can be a pain to make reservations and schedule things. If you leave it to them, it may never happen. :-)

And think about this -- you buy some non-refundable tickets, and the kids cancel. If you were super rich, it would be nice to treat people, but not so nice if it means cutting back on your own plans.

ETA
Noooooooo! Big problem with my idea. They'll come with you and say they lost their reservations. So you either make them sleep in your car or pay them.

I am having a hard time seeing a solution here. You have my sympathy!

 

they can know what hotel they're staying at - and make their own reservations. on their own credit cards. . . but if there are multiple hotels, they may well not bother, then whine when there is no room at the inn and expect to be bailed out.

so - it may well be just say "no".


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#77 Grover

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:25 PM

Wow, I'm surprised it's even an issue.  Around here it'd be "hey Bob, we're heading away from the 12th to the 27th, can you feed the cat?"  Adults are adults and pay their own way.  If you had an unlimited budget (and they were nice, and you wanted to) it'd be amazingly generous of you to bring them along.  But I can't imagine it being expected. 


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#78 gardenmom5

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:26 PM

i don't think anyone is saying don't vacation with you adult children if you want to and are able. What I hear is don't feel obligated to provide a luxury for someone who 1. doesn't need it, 2. is not apparently super deserving of it, 3. isn't really all that interested, 4. is capable of providing it for themselves, 5. is likely not going to be pleasant to be around, 6. when you can't afford to provide it really at all. 

 

It's great if you can give an adult child a helping hand. There are times when a little help is too much. It's up to each of us to decide between the two. and of course, we don't always have the help to give, even if we want to. 

 

this - not saying this applies in this situation, but I saw that help constantly given to a sibling who didn't appreciate, but had a tremendous sense of entitlement. what I also saw . . the adult helping her, it wasn't about helping her, it was about themselves saying "look at me and what I can give this kid"  (and later came out how resentful this person was their father didn't bail them out during reverses.  never mind the father didn't have it to give . . . )

and all it did was create even more sense of entitlement in this sibling.


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#79 Mergath

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:29 PM

i don't think anyone is saying don't vacation with you adult children if you want to and are able. What I hear is don't feel obligated to provide a luxury for someone who 1. doesn't need it, 2. is not apparently super deserving of it, 3. isn't really all that interested, 4. is capable of providing it for themselves, 5. is likely not going to be pleasant to be around, 6. when you can't afford to provide it really at all. 

 

It's great if you can give an adult child a helping hand. There are times when a little help is too much. It's up to each of us to decide between the two. and of course, we don't always have the help to give, even if we want to. 

 

Exactly. If money isn't an issue, take everyone on vacation. I'm sure most of us would do just that if we were wealthy and the people in question weren't completely awful.

 

But for adult children to have hissy fits when they can't come along for free because of financial constraints, while also being unwilling to pay for themselves, is... wow.


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#80 KungFuPanda

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:40 PM

Do they live with you? Whether they do or not, you don't have to treat adults like children even if the rest of their family does. If they're this draining, you may NEED a vacation from them. Offer to meet them at your last stop and pay for that, but too bad if they want the whole shebang. It sounds like they'll be miserable either way, so they might as well be miserable at home where you don't have to see it.

On the other hand, they do sound a bit mentally ill. The behavior you're describing isn't normal and could be out of their control. If this is the case, you may still need a respite from that. Caregiving an impaired person supplies a stress level that most people don't really understand. Will your DH back you up?
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#81 Frances

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:46 PM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.

So what were they supposed to do? Borrow money when you were younger so you could go on exotic vacations while you were still at home? Not take your younger brother on nice vacations when they could finally afford it? Not go on vacation at all?

It sounds like you had some pretty substantial college visit trips to various parts of the country, something only a small minority of students ever get, in addition to whatever other trips you had. My grad advisor at Cornell University had never been out of the state or even flown before Cornell University paid for his interview trip. Growing up, I knew no one who visited colleges outside of the Midwest. I never even flew in an airplane until Cornell University paid for my trip after I was admitted to a grad program there.

And if you wanted to "jet" off to Europe in your 20s so badly you could have done what countless college grads do every year and found discount airline tickets and backpacked around Europe on the cheap. That's what my husband and I did.
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#82 Χάρων

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:47 PM

I see this as a not uncommon blended family issue.

In my family, there is no issue if I take 1or 3 of my 5 children someplace and don't include the others. I don't worry about being fair and the older ones offer to give up things so that the younger ones can have more.

But growing up, my sister and I went hungry during the week so that on the weekends when the step siblings were visiting my mother and step father could take everyone out to eat and to the movies or other activities constantly. It was very important to court step children's affection so that they could be the fun parents and drive a wedge in between step siblings and their biological mother.

Later, when I grew up, I was constantly shocked when my friends who had married a divorced man with children were genuinely jealous of his children from a previous marriage both minor and adult.

I know this is not the situation with you AT ALL.

I'm just saying that I see it as common that the second wife feels like money spent on step children takes money away from her real family. The husband is stuck in the middle because they are all his family.

As a child, I certainly wondered why my mother was spending her money on someone else's children. The bottom line is that we were not one family in my eyes. And I don't think you and your Dh and your step children and your biological child are one family in your eyes. I feel like you feel like money spent on them takes away from money spent on your real family.

I know that many people will say that they are adults and need to pay their own way. That is one family culture. There is another one where parents want to provide for/spoil/ruin/cripple adult children by continuing to give to them no matter how old they become.

It really matters what your husband's family culture/preference is. I'm not saying that he gets his way. I'm just saying that it helps to know if, in his eyes, you are asking him to abandon his own flesh and blood. If so, I don't think that arguments about paying for extra meals or hotel rooms is going to sway him.

If I were in your position, I know my trip would be ruined by inviting the step children.

I'd cancel this trip and take every opportunity to travel alone with my biological child and other opportunities to travel alone with my husband. I would not agree to any family vacations until they could be had on terms agreeable to me.

Let's face it. Even if they could come up with their own portion of the money, it would still not be a relaxing vacation for you, so why agree to that?


You are right, it would not be relaxing with them along even if they paid their way. I do want to be away from them.

I see it as continueing to handicap young adults who are so far behind what society expects as to be extreme outliers. I view it as one more thing that is keeping them from reality.

And yes, it is taking away from my son, and no, I do not view that as fair, nor do I view it as appropriate that he, as the minor child, has given up more than the legal adult children have even considered. He has given up the most of anyone in the blended family. He had a sucessful business where he was banking well over a hundred dollars a month that he gave up because we moved to accomadate the step-kids. He has way more chores, where step kids barely do anything and then only half a$$ and that took me blowing my stack after months of talking nicely by both myself and DH. Due to step kids not helping during the move I have a permant injury and have not been able to drive more than an hour in over a year. DS and I used to go on road trips every year, sometimes to see family, other times to visit national parks. DS has given up the most. Early on we were so busy dealing with one adult child's drama that we had to miss several of my son's activities. He really had given up a lot.

What did they give up? Daddy time? Both DH and I have made it a point to have time where DH is available and DS and I are not there. They ignore him.

I do not want them to come. I want to give DS a trip like we used to take. I am willing to pay for a ticket to spend a few days with us and then go home. Sorry not sorry. Mostly, I want DS to have a trip like we used to take. I want to take him to the Keys like I was planning before we decided to blend the families and it got put on hold. But, I cannot make the drive :(

#83 KungFuPanda

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:50 PM

I'm sorry, but this comes off as exceedingly selfish, entitled, ungrateful, and bitter.

your parent provided you with vacations. I have not been able to do that for my children. at all. Ever. they would love to go camping. but i guess no one ever gets to go because Ben is going to grow up, and then all fun must cease forever for all younger kids. lest they accidentally have a better experience than we provided for the oldest.

I am having such a hard time drumming up sympathy because a sibling got "better" vacations because he had the fortune of being born later.

I mean. Really.

The alternative you put forth is no vacations ever for anyone. that's not fun.

the score keeping is a bit over the top.

i doubt that your childhood was spoiled by inferior vacations :glare:


I agree with this. It's common for older children to experience childhood with younger, more energetic parents and younger children to experience it with older, more financially secure parents. It's never going to be 'fair.' The younger kid may get Europe, but the older kids get to spend more YEARS with their parents. They get younger, more active grandparents for their children. Vacations seem a poor trade-off for that. When you're an adult you can spend your money how you want to and other adults shouldn't judge you for that.
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#84 amy g.

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:56 PM

I understand that you can't make the drive. If I were in your situation, I'd have a Lincoln Town Car pick me and Ds up at the house and drive us to the airport where we would fly to our destination.

That can not be more expensive than a road trip for 5.
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#85 Χάρων

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:57 PM

Do they live with you? Whether they do or not, you don't have to treat adults like children even if the rest of their family does. If they're this draining, you may NEED a vacation from them. Offer to meet them at your last stop and pay for that, but too bad if they want the whole shebang. It sounds like they'll be miserable either way, so they might as well be miserable at home where you don't have to see it.

On the other hand, they do sound a bit mentally ill. The behavior you're describing isn't normal and could be out of their control. If this is the case, you may still need a respite from that. Caregiving an impaired person supplies a stress level that most people don't really understand. Will your DH back you up?


Impaired is a good word. Mentally ill? Probably, but they deny any depression and while not appropriate behavior, it is not off enough to merit forced intervention supported by all. I believe the intervetionn needed has a name, "Swift kick in the rear." You might have heard of it. I am not making light of mental illness, I really feel this is a dysfunctional dynamic mixed with apathetic young adults and they have been allowed to flounder where as in a healthy setting they may be apathetic, but would be pushed to functional adulthood.

Yes, I need and want a break. I am pretty sure DH will back me up. I will probably push for them to be invited to only part of the trip.
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#86 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:00 AM

I understand that you can't make the drive. If I were in your situation, I'd have a Lincoln Town Car pick me and Ds up at the house and drive us to the airport where we would fly to our destination.

That can not be more expensive than a road trip for 5.


The funny thing is last summer when I was planning a trip a towncar was the cheapest option to the airport. Anyway, the trip is a multi state and multilocation trip. A plane ride does not solve that.

#87 amy g.

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:17 AM

Then I would cancel this trip and plan one that a plane could solve.
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#88 luuknam

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:46 AM

I'm not sure I'll ever forgive my mother for....let's see....dead kitties, relationship I had to end with crush who may well be a lot cooler than the ex-husband I actually wound up with, bugs, alligators, swamps, have I got everything, Florida peeps?

 

 

I'm not from Florida, I can't even quite remember if I've ever been in Florida (I think maybe technically for a couple of hours - my in-laws live in AL), but anyway... isn't Florida full of OLD people?

 

Anyway, I like the college tour plan (and no, 13 is not too young). Alternatively, see above, you could frame it as retirement planning (visiting all sorts of communities for OLD people...). Okay, probably too soon for that, unless you're much older than I think you are. 

 

They live with you, right? So, you could play up the getting the house to themselves angle. 


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#89 laundrycrisis

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:03 AM

You aren't obligated to take your adult kids on vacation.  You also aren't obligated to explain your decisions regarding the minor kids to them.  There really is no puzzle for you to solve here.  If your adult kids have a hard time dealing with this, that is their puzzle to solve.  


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#90 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:06 AM

I agree with this. It's common for older children to experience childhood with younger, more energetic parents and younger children to experience it with older, more financially secure parents. It's never going to be 'fair.' The younger kid may get Europe, but the older kids get to spend more YEARS with their parents. They get younger, more active grandparents for their children. Vacations seem a poor trade-off for that. When you're an adult you can spend your money how you want to and other adults shouldn't judge you for that.

 

I was the much younger child.  My siblings got to go skiing and all sorts of things that I never got to do because my parents weren't up to it by the time I came along.  I'm not bitter.  It's just the way it is. 


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#91 fraidycat

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 02:30 AM

My older brother and I stayed home and "missed out" on vacations that younger sister "got" to go on while we were still in high school. Because we had jobs. We stayed home to work and hang out with our friends starting at 16 years old. There is no resentment - we had our own lives!

Do what you want to do, so that it is actually a vacation for you. Leave the adult-ren at home. If the in-laws have a problem with it, they can be reminded of the Mexican, European, and Canadian vacations, or that nothing is stopping them from planning and paying for their own vacation to take their precious widdle grandbabies on.
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#92 IEF

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 02:50 AM

 

I'm not from Florida, I can't even quite remember if I've ever been in Florida (I think maybe technically for a couple of hours - my in-laws live in AL), but anyway... isn't Florida full of OLD people?

 
Yup. Sure is. I was trying too hard to sound like a nice, normal college student instead of who I really was when I had that disappointing bad first impression of Florida to remember.

As a proud AARP member, I can assure you that's where they want all of us to move to. If whoever writes the ads in AARP magazine had their way, the whole state would be this concentration camp for Senior Citizens.
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#93 Diana P.

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:47 AM

Didn't you just do a whole family camping trip? I thought there was a thread on that.

I think it's fine to take a college tour trip. And to plan more college tour trips in the next couple of years. No one but you and dh need to know the itenerary. I wouldn't tell anyone in case a friend doesn't accidentally share not knowing certain people don't know.

From what you've described older children are going to be resentful no matter what.

Even without step issues it is a simple fact that parents tend to have more money as they age. They should be able to spend on trips they like. The truth is if they wait until every caboose baby is out of the house they may not be physically strong enough to enjoy some trips. I know a lot of families where a single minor child was brought along on fabulous trips. The truth is if that minor child had not come along those trips would have occurred as more extravagant childless events. I don't see telling the parents they have to wait 8 years to travel. Who knows what will happen in that time. Additionally, in the OP situation I don't think has a responsible adult to leave her minor child with.

#94 solascriptura

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 05:58 AM

I agree with this. The inlaws do not. It has been less than ideal to navigate the rock and hardplace to blend the families.


Can you tell them that you can't afford the extra cost? If they really want to see the adult kids maybe they could pay?

#95 transientChris

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:44 AM

We have done all combinations- taken only one adult child, taken only minor child (ren), taken some combination of adult children, taken all children (adults now), taken no children.    But in our case, we take them along because all of us enjoy being together and the adult children who come are enthusiastic and non complainers.  I would have zero and I really mean zero patience taking anyone along who didn't want to be there for the whole trip.


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#96 Alessandra

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:46 AM

except from her previous posts - that might be an incentive for them to go to the effort to come along. it sounds like they'd love to break up her marriage to their father.


they can know what hotel they're staying at - and make their own reservations. on their own credit cards. . . but if there are multiple hotels, they may well not bother, then whine when there is no room at the inn and expect to be bailed out.
so - it may well be just say "no".


You are absolutely right!! I thought about my first suggestion, realized it was garbage, thought about deleting my post, but left it in with the ETA.

Such a difficult spot for op to be in!

#97 DawnM

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:04 AM

How many adult step children are we talking about?

 

What does your DH say about the entire thing?  He has had any input?

 

i am not in this scenario so I am not sure I can really give great advice.  For us, we will continue to take adult children if we can afford it and if they aren't married.   Our oldest has some special needs though and I think that has changed our parenting style.


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#98 Bluegoat

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:34 AM

I think there are a number of things that could work.

 

It can be nice to take adult kids, sometimes.  And I agree with Crimson somewhat - it can sometimes create resentment if kids feel a younger sibling is really being favoured in an unfair way - that being said, one hopes by their 20s most people realize circumstances aren't always equal.

 

In this case though, especially where they had their own trips in the past, I don't think you need to justify taking your younger son, or make up some silly story about visiting a university when he is only 13.

 

I would invite them to universal, offer the bus ticket and so on.  It would be fun, a treat for them, and you'd have some nice time with just the younger boy, too.

 

The only thing I would add is I think, since they are your dh's kids, he gets a say in this, and he should tell them.


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#99 Bluegoat

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:40 AM

Ok let me throw in my anecdotal experience.

My sister is a lot younger than me.


Both our parents have done tons of fun stuff with her that I didn't get to do.

...I was just happy for them. No resentment, no bitterness, no feeling like they love me less.

I'm not some kind of saint outlier, promise. If the grown kids have a problem with a child being treated like a child, that's indicative ONLY of their emotional problems.

 

Yes.  My youngest sister is my half sister.  She got to do a bunch of stuff - my parents were much better off when she was growing up, and more laid back by then.

 

My step-dad may have felt differently a bit too about his own child.  Well, that is natural.  He was and continues to be an amazing step-parent.

 

The only thing that ever needles my other sister and I a bit is my mom tends to be a little revisionist about some things.  Like, saying they paid for all of our undergrad degrees.   Which they totally didn't.  I don't think she actually remembers, she has rewritten it in her mind.  What can you do though - roll your eyes a bit is all.


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#100 eternalsummer

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:49 AM

Yes.  My youngest sister is my half sister.  She got to do a bunch of stuff - my parents were much better off when she was growing up, and more laid back by then.

 

My step-dad may have felt differently a bit too about his own child.  Well, that is natural.  He was and continues to be an amazing step-parent.

 

The only thing that ever needles my other sister and I a bit is my mom tends to be a little revisionist about some things.  Like, saying they paid for all of our undergrad degrees.   Which they totally didn't.  I don't think she actually remembers, she has rewritten it in her mind.  What can you do though - roll your eyes a bit is all.

 

 

My mom thinks this too - she is convinced that she offered/was willing to pay for my undergrad at whatever schools I could get accepted to, but that I wanted to go where I did (on a full ride) because my best friend was going there.

 

Nope!  They offered to send me $300/month for living expenses, that is all.  I didn't care at the time because I had known for years there was no money for college - I didn't even apply to elite schools as I knew it would be impossible to pay for - but it does irk me a bit, as she later signed up for/paid cash for something like $70,000+ for my sister's (useless) musical theater degree.

 

I wouldn't mind if she'd just say oh yeah, we weren't willing to pay, so glad you got in for free somewhere!  The revisionism drives me bonkers.


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