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Is it ok to disregard bedtime on vacation? What if your new fiance is against letting the kids stay up? What do you do?
Parenting is not easy. You’re always second-guessing yourself and wondering if what you said or what you did may have had an impact on your children. That said, parenting someone else’s kids is even more difficult.
You might be new in their life, and they may not see you as an authority figure, especially if the biological parent says or does one thing the step or soon-to-be stepparent says another.
A simple rule would be the biological and the step-parent should be on the same page. As with any relationship that children are a part of, it’s important that their parents show a united front.
One woman may have seen a red flag she hadn’t previously seen, and this could end the relationship if he doesn’t get on board with her and the rules for her kids.
The original poster (OP) recently got engaged to her boyfriend, whom she has been with for 4 years. Before her new relationship, she had two sons with her ex. She goes on to say that once a year, she and her children go to her family’s vacation home with her entire family, and up until this last year, her fiance did not attend.
Now that she is engaged and merging families with her fiance, her family asked that he come too, as they all really like him and get along very well with him.
OP had explained to her fiance prior to them going to their family retreat that during their week-long stay, her kids do not have a bedtime. She went on to say they do a lot of night activities, such as night swimming in the pool, karaoke, fires, and nightly strolls through the neighborhood.
So during that week, her kids do not have a bedtime, which is how it has always been. OP also made it clear that bedtime was not to be enforced like it is at home because this is vacation and time with family, and she doesn’t want her kids to miss out on the nightly activities.
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Up Too Late
OP then says that the first night they are at the vacation home, she could tell that her fiance was already uncomfortable with her children staying up past their bedtime. She said he was stressing out because the kids were still in the pool at 10 pm, and he felt they should be in bed already.
She softly reminded him that they were not enforcing a bedtime here, and he let it go after that for the first night. On the second night, she said, 9 pm rolled around, and the kids were still up, and her fiance was making comments to the kids such as, “you’re lucky you’re even still awake right now. You should be in bed” and saying it right in front of her parents, who looked mortified that he had an attitude about it even after their previous conversation.
This upset and upset OP, and she told him to knock the comments off in private. He responded by saying he thinks it’s wrong and that it will be terrible trying to get them back on their sleep schedule to which she responded it’s never been an issue in the years prior. She said she stood firm with her plan and told him to knock it off and let it go.
On the third night, her fiance started angrily sighing every single time he looked at the kids still awake. OP had had enough and pulled him aside and told him he was embarrassing her and her family because he kept making audible sighs and comments in front of her family, which had led to awkward silences and judgemental glances her way.
The Bedtime Blow Up
OP said she warned him prior to going on the vacation that if he had an issue and he couldn’t control himself during the vacation about the bedtime issue, then he would need to leave because he’ll ruin their trip with his passive aggressiveness and schedule surrounding a bedtime. Her boyfriend said she’s being completely unreasonable and that she’s treating him like garbage over wanting to keep the kids on a schedule because it’s “what’s best for them.”
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The Masses Weigh In
Redditors quickly let the OP know exactly how they felt about this vacation bedtime situation.
One Redditor said, “He has an opinion that differs from yours. He doesn’t have to agree with you, but he does have to respect your decisions.”
Another Redditor said, “This says to me that you’ve already seen concerning behavior from him, even if not quite this bad. That is a red flag, and you should be very careful going forward and really consider if marrying him is the right move.”
A user said this, “Yup. Run for the hills! You’re lucky this happened and showed you his expectations when it comes to parenting. NTA”
A Redditor had this to say, “NTA, he’s not concerned about the kids keeping a schedule. He’s concerned about maintaining control. When someone shows you red flags, believe them.”
A user also commented, “Now, for most people, this isn’t an issue at all. It’s barely notable or noticeable. But this guy clearly simply can’t handle the fact that he’s not in charge here. It’s eating at him to the point of irritability.”
Finally, a Redditor had this to say, “NTA. Your kids, your family, your tradition. This might be the first time he’s showing it, but I would be concerned that it comes out more and more after you tie the knot.”
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As a full-time working mom of three, I know what it’s like to feel like life is out of balance and out of control.
While I don’t have it all figured out, I am committed to sharing helpful tips and tricks with other mommas who are ready to break free from negativity, ditch mom guilt, & finally, live life on their own terms.