Background: My (40sf) husband (40sm) and I bought a 3-bedroom house a few years ago, shortly before the panini. We of course took the master bedroom, and the other two bedrooms went to our children (then 12f and 10m).
We put a very nice double bed in the larger room, and a single bed in the smaller room, and told them both that they could choose their rooms, but whoever ended up in the larger room may be asked to share or relocate for visiting family members, while whoever ended up in the smaller room would have it to themself always.
We almost never have family over (hubby and I are both only children, and our parents are in other provinces), so we were surprised when our older daughter chose the smaller room, and our younger son chose the larger room. But ok, they worked it out between themselves, both seemed happy with the choice, so ok. And it has remained that way for a couple of years.
Now, we have a 4-day weekend coming up (my kids are now 15f and 12m), and my mother decided to come down to visit. Of course, we told her ok (my husband and I), as we hadn't seen each other in awhile, and I told our son (with the larger room and bed) that grandma would be here for a few days, and would be using his bed.
Well, my son threw a fit. He didn't want to share a room with grandma, not even on an air mattress, not even for 3 nights, she smells funny. So we reminded him of the original deal, and offered to put the air mattress in the living room, but that wasn't enough, he'd have no privacy there.
His sister offered to let him put the air mattress in her room (which she wasn't required to do), and that wasn't ok either. My husband and I offered to let him put the air mattress in our room, and he said no to that (because sharing a room with your parents, yugh! god bless the privilege, but whatever).
Finally, I put my foot down and said, the condition of you having the bigger room was that you'd give it up for visiting family members. So one way or another, you're sleeping on an air mattress for 3 nights. You can choose if the air mattress goes in your room or our room or the living room, or literally any room in this house, but you are sleeping on an air mattress while grandma is here.
Shortly after that confrontation, my husband came to me and suggested that we encourage my mom to stay in a hotel. I asked him who was going to pay for that hotel, since she can't afford it, we can't afford to put her up, and he went silent.
Now he's calling me TA for forcing our son to give up his room for all of three nights, and suggesting that I tell my mom not to come at all since apparently 'none of us can afford it'.
Edit: I sincerely appreciate everyone's comments and judgements, but I have officially reached the point where every time I look at my notifications, it adds 2 every second without me even having to hit refresh. Clearly I should've posted this on my main account, since apparently reddit karma is important in some way. Lol.
To follow the common AITA trend and respond to some common themes:
1. Why don't I offer my own (and my husband's) bed to my mom?
My husband has back problems, so also cannot viably sleep on an air mattress. I will not be going into detail on this. I also assume that it will be incredibly obvious to everyone why it is not viable for my husband and my mother to sleep in a bed together while I sleep on an air mattress. Not to mention that she would never allow me to give up my bed for her as a visitor.
2. Why doesn't my mom sleep on the couch/air mattress?
She's 83 years old. Need I say more?
3. Anything involving my son and daughter switching rooms.
My daughter is willing to help in the short term, but she seems a bit smug right now about the overall room choice, so she has no desire to switch rooms. And I will not force her, because what kind of parent would I be if I hold my son to the letter of his deal, but go back on my word to my daughter? You may decide I'm TA, and I'll accept that, but I am not a hypocrite.
4. I am fully aware of the privacy a 12yo boy requires, we've had that conversation, and (at the prompting of a couple commenters), I have also recently asked my husband if there was a private conversation between him and my son that would in some way change this situation.
He said no. Since I do not currently have any reason to believe my husband would lie to me outright, I'm considering that conversation closed.
5. Rip my DMs, apparently? Lol, I didn't know that happened to 40-something married moms, but please know that I am not interested.
A deal is a deal. Your word has to mean something even at 10 years old.
Haha you know what, good for her for thinking it through. I made the assumption that she would be happier with the bigger room which was wrong. I guess he's stuck taking his lumps and learning a life lesson.
Firstly you are NTA. But neither is your son. When you bought the house you probably figured family/friends spending a weekend would be an occasional thing from the start. Your son would be used to it from the beginning then things happened and two years of life got all mucked up.
Your son has also had a rough two years things are finally starting to go back to normal and now he’s being ask to (in his eyes) make a big change to his life.
That’s tough. It’s okay to be firm in your decision if it’s in your budget you could offer to let him pick out some sheets for air mattress. Or buy sheets for grandma to use on his bed specifically for the visit. Suggest him spend a few nights leading up to the visit trying sleeping on the air mattress in his room or other rooms.
Reassure him that grandma is just going to be sleeping in his space the room is still his all day she’s not going to be hanging out in there playing video games. Let him have some choices in the situation can go a long way to reassuring him that he’s not being displaced and that a change in routine can be tough but manageable.
Broad-Anxiety5936 OP responded:
Thank you very much for this. It honestly never occurred to me that he might be afraid of his private space disappearing permanently. I might have gotten a bit too much wrapped up in the 'it's 4 days!?' thing, and not realized how long 4 days may seem to a 12yo. Also, I like the sheets idea, I can't offer an entire hotel stay to anyone lol, but a moderately-priced sheet set is something that can happen.
And more than anything else, thank you for your understanding. Of both sides. You are the reason I came to reddit about this.