Imagine your family is finally going on a trip together, and you want your stepkids to stay back for a good cause. Are you doing the right thing?
An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for suggesting to cancel my stepkids’ trip to Paris and Kyoto?”. We need you to find out!
The Original Poster’s (OP’s) husband has two kids from a previous relationship (9f and 7m). The kids have been with OP’s husband 100% of the time since OP’s husband and his ex-wife broke up.
“She has not been very involved in their lives since the youngest was just a year old. They do not have a relationship with their mom; however, her mother and grandmother visit the kids, but not often. I’ve known the kids since they were 3 and 5”, says OP.
THE TRAVEL CRISIS
OP has traveled a lot during her childhood and as an adult. It’s something that the kids are interested in. OP goes on vacation multiple times a year, and unfortunately, her husband and the kids could never travel with her outside the United States.
“The kids need a letter of permission to travel abroad, which was hard for us to get since his ex-wife never answers her emails,” says OP.
THE UPCOMING TRIP
OP and her family have been planning a trip to Paris and Kyoto to visit her maternal grandmother and paternal grandparents for Christmas and New Year. OP’s entire family is going on this trip: her parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
“We’ve been planning this trip for over two years, and we finally bought our plane tickets after my son was born eight weeks ago. My husband’s ex-wife has also signed the letter of permission, so everything is in place for the trip”, says OP
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND?
Last weekend, OP’s husband’s ex-wife sent him an email regarding their trip. She asked if they could cancel their trip so the kids could spend Christmas with their great-grandmother.
“Their great-grandmother is supposedly ill, and they’re unsure if she will be here next year. My husband immediately wanted to reject that idea, but I asked him to think about it”, says OP.
OP’S TAKE ON THE MATTER
OP thinks staying behind with their grandma might be suitable for the kids. They’ll get to see their great-grandma for maybe the last time, and they’ll also see their mom.
“I know the kids are excited to travel abroad, but I think this is more important than Paris or Kyoto. Both are just cities they won’t go anywhere, and we can visit in summer”, says OP.
THE ARGUMENT AHEAD
OP told her husband all of this, and he argued that they’d probably not get the money back we already spent. OP told him they bought business-class plane tickets, and she knows they’ll get that back.
THE CLASH OF OPINIONS
OP’s husband got angry and told OP they wouldn’t discuss it. OP’s parents and siblings are on his side, but she feels they only look at the money. When OP was a kid, her parents also left her and her siblings in Kyoto with OP’s grandparents to go on a trip.
“At the time, I was also angry about it, but as an adult, I am pleased that I got to spend that time with my grandparents,” says OP.
WHAT DOES OP ASK?
“I think this is also the case for the kids. They probably won’t be happy about it now but will appreciate it when they’re older. My husband disagreed with this, told me I was not looking at the kids’ situation, and was angry when I again suggested canceling their trip. Am I a jerk?” asks OP
YOU THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA?
“You want to leave two kids with relatives they barely see while the rest of you go off and have a fun family vacation they were looking forward to? Do you realize how hurtful that would be? Especially if you just had a baby that gets to go while your stepchildren have to stay behind. You’re the jerk.”
THEY’RE TOO YOUNG FOR THAT
“You’re the jerk. Kids are too young to appreciate staying behind with old, sick people while everyone else ‘has fun.’ This travel experience is as valuable as time with an older person. You can arrange a visit with their mother/great-grandmother over Thanksgiving or Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (if in the United States).”
LEAVING THEM BEHIND WOULD BE CRUEL
“You’re the jerk. You would be depriving the kids of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The cities would still be there, but the rest of your traveling companions would not. Leaving them behind would be cruel, especially to stay with a family they don’t know.
You would likely ruin your relationship with them for the rest of their lives. They would remember. Take the kids to visit their great-grandma before the trip if you feel it is important that they ‘see’ her.”
DAD SAID NO, AND THAT SHOULD BE IT
“I’d say you’re not the jerk for suggesting it, but you will be if you keep insisting on it. Dad said no, end of story. Let it go, and enjoy the holiday with your kids. Stop projecting your past onto them.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.