Mom of Two Refusing to Invite 'Moaning' Stepson on Family Vacation Slammed

A woman who did not invite her 12-year-old stepson on a family vacation is being blasted online.

In a post to Reddit's Am I the A******? (AITA) forum, user u/Glittering-Excuse-99 said she shares a house with her 26-year-old boyfriend and her two daughters, aged 9 and 7. Her boyfriend has a 12-year-old son, who has to share a room with her two daughters when he visits.

"He has decided he doesn't want to stay anymore (which is fair enough! He's getting older and wants space, plus he is getting too old to share now)," she wrote.

"I don't have a problem with this AT ALL! He needs to do what is best for him and I'm not going to force him to come to my house all the time when he doesn't want it, but he also doesn't want to spend any time here whatsoever," she said.

She wrote that she believes her stepson doesn't like her or her daughters and that he prefers to spend time with his mother and grandmother.

"I was planning on booking a holiday for the end of this year, but I told my partner that I wasn't paying for [stepson] to come with us as by the time we go, he would [have] spent zero time with the family," she said.

Parents arguing in front of teenage son
A stock photo shows two adults arguing in front of an upset teenager. A Reddit poster said her 12-year-old stepson doesn't like her or her daughters and no longer stays at their house. As a result, she did not invite him on a family vacation. Liudmila Chernetska/iStock/Getty Images Plus

"[He] probably wouldn't enjoy coming away with us for a week as he doesn't enjoy being around my kids anymore and doesn't really like me," she wrote.

But when she told her boyfriend this, he "threw a massive tantrum."

"[He] said I was purposely leaving him out of stuff just to be spiteful, but in reality, I'm the one who pays for everything i.e. the holiday, clothes, food, activities etc. when we are away," she said.

"I want to enjoy myself and let my kids enjoy it without [stepson] moaning about being here in the first place (which he did the last time we went away), AITA?"

In a poll attached to the post, Reddit users voted "YTA" (You're the A******). However, they also had plenty of questions about the unusual situation, with the story receiving over 7,000 upvotes and more than 3,000 comments.

Make Your Stepchild Feel Included

It can be hard bringing two families together, but with an estimated 1,300 new stepfamilies formed every day in the U.S., according to the Stepfamily Foundation, it's important that stepchildren feel loved and wanted.

Ruth Freeman, founder and president at Peace at Home Parenting Solutions, said it's important for parents to let go of "unrealistic Brady Bunch expectations."

"Just because two adults fell in love does not mean that the stepparent and stepchildren, nor step-siblings will love each other," she told Newsweek. "They often come to care deeply about each other over time, if the adults follow some helpful guidelines."

Freeman said the biological parent should remain the primary caregiver and not foist that responsibility onto the new stepparent, as this can negatively affect the bonding process.

"Until the stepparent and stepchild have an ongoing positive relationship, the stepparent really needs to step back," she said. "They need to follow their stepchild's cues on the pace of the relationship and get to know each other on their own terms."

Lisa Lawless, a psychotherapist and founder of Holistic Wisdom, said that couples with multiple children should acknowledge that each child has unique needs and feelings, without showing favoritism.

"Validate their emotions, concerns and opinions while creating a safe space for open communication," she told Newsweek. "Create family traditions and rituals that involve all children. This can be as simple as a weekly family dinner or a holiday tradition in which the entire family can participate.

"Ensure that you are not prioritizing your biological children over your stepchildren. Treat all children with equal love and respect."

'Forget the Holiday'

In the comments, Glittering-Excuse-99 explained that her boyfriend was only 14 years old when his son was born, as was the child's mother. As a stay-at-home mom, her rent is covered by state benefits, so she can't afford to move to a bigger home to accommodate her stepson. Her boyfriend has a job but is "rubbish at saving," so she pays for everything.

"It's really f***** up to exclude your step son because he doesn't want to stay at your house," said commenter SigSauer320."As for dad...Why isn't he helping pay for this family vacation? This should be 50/50 trip between the two of you."

Ezana_aksum agreed, writing: "Your life style excludes him. Your spouse should be doing more so yall can afford a new place where there is space for him."

Schoobydoo42 said: "You clearly don't think of him as family and it's apparent to him, hence why he stays with his grandma. You are fine with this because you don't actually want him in your life. That is clear."

Individual-Tale-6287 wrote: "Forget the holiday, how about saving up so he has a comfortable place to stay and feels welcome when he's there."

MediumSympathy commented: "There's definitely something massively fishy about the whole financial situation she is describing. He only contributes a small amount to bills, but never has any money? Where does it go? How can you have nothing left from a full-time wage if you don't pay rent OR bills?"

While NoPerformance8733 said: "His DAD is excluding him by not paying, not contributing enough to have a home with a bedroom for him. There's so much inequality in this relationship. OP, why are you with this man? He doesn't take care of his son, he doesn't take care of you."

Newsweek reached out to u/Glittering-Excuse-99 for comment and could not verify the details of the case.

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