The internet has backed a mom who shared her frustration after her teen daughter’s new boyfriend left his child at her home.
In a post on the popular discussion site Mumsnet that has received over 700 replies, user crostina1 asked if it was unreasonable not to want her daughter’s boyfriend’s child in the house.
The Mumsnet user explained: “My 17-year-old DD has a new boyfriend of 22 (will call him J) who she met at work. They got together two months ago, and it has moved very fast. He has a 3-year-old son with an ex who he sees once every few months. He lives in his friend’s family’s spare room but is outstaying his welcome and needs to be out by Christmas.”
Explaining that J only works part-time hours, the mom said that he had been staying at their house more and more, staying for five days recently.
“I tried to ban him from the house at first but then they’d disappear for the night. I put my foot down and said he can only stay one night at a time, and no more than one night a week as this is our family home and we have my daughter’s autistic brother to think about, who is unsettled having a stranger in the home,” explained the poster. “J makes no effort with us at all. I haven’t ever actually had a conversation with J, he acknowledges me with a nod when he sees me in the house and that’s it.”
Just days earlier, the 17-year-old daughter had been to meet J’s child. “I didn’t agree with it, but saying anything would have been futile,” said the poster. “I was told they were getting the train to pick him up, going for lunch and to the park and then taking him back to his mom. I finished work early and came home at 3 and opened the door to find the child playing in my hallway.”
The Mumsnet user explained that she was furious and felt it was completely inappropriate for the child to be at her home. J had left to go to the shop and the Mumsnet user demanded that her daughter take the child to him to go home.
“My daughter and J don’t get what the problem is,” she wrote. “I barely know J. What if something had happened to the child in my house under my daughter’s care?”
Online, other Mumsnet users were quick to share their reactions, overwhelmingly siding with the mom. “It is refreshing to see a post where the OP already has sensible boundaries and made their points early on,” said one reply. “Seriously, kudos. You are 100 percent in the right.”
Award-winning author, broadcaster, and psychologist Dr. Audrey Tang told Newsweek: “The pandemic taught us that we need our own space, we need privacy, and that living with someone long term can be far more exhausting than we might at first appreciate. It is made all the worse when it is someone whom we haven’t necessarily invited in the first instance.
“As with any adult house guest it can be important to set—and stick to—ground rules, and even when it involves your own children.”
Other replies on the viral post shared their reactions, siding with the mom and telling her to keep an eye on the situation. “Go with your gut and show her a good example of how to deal with situations like this,” said one reply, while another Mumsnet user wrote: “J is an a**hole who is trying to move in by stealth. You are doing everything right OP. Ban him from the house.”
Relationships with new partners, particularly where children are involved, can cause issues in families.
“The first thing you might need to ask yourself is why you are struggling to accept a partner/their child and so on. What is it that is causing you the concern…is their behavior triggering an emotional experience in you, what are you fearful of—and is it reasonable?” said Tang. “Something that can seem flippant and unreasonable, may actually be understandable and explainable—and—when you take the time to unpack what exactly is going on.”
But other Mumsnet users warned that the mom may accidentally push her daughter away. “I’d personally tread very carefully with this, as much as you have your daughter’s best interests at heart you will be pushing her into his arms,” said one reply.
“In many cases, if a conflict is not managed well, it can result in your own child leaving home,” said Tang. “Once again, communication is key. Have the conversation at a time when you are all calm, in a neutral environment, and write down the points you want to mention.”
Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.
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