Stopping the "holidaying with the IL's" routine

(95 Posts)
Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:36:19

For the past 7 years we have mostly holidayed with the IL's. This worked well at first - they were a bit younger, we only had one DC, everyone took turns and everyone got a bit of down time / time off to do adult stuff. We always booked a holiday cottage and self catered so everyone was happy.

However, and in the last year in particular, this is not working for me any more. The IL's are older, we have 3 young DC (7, 4, 2) and so they don't help any more. They take their own time out but don't offer us any (until 10pm when the last child is in bed and i'm falling asleep on the sofa). But they think they do help! Sitting with your eyes closed on a lounger while the (then) 1yo runs around an open space is apparently "keeping an eye out". There are many more examples such as this - last year I was counting the hours til we could leave (DH and DC1 had a sick bug and I cleaned puke up all day) while my MIL was pressurising asking me whether we could phone the owner and extend our stay as the sun was out!

I totally appreciate that they are not obliged to help in any way. But I want a holiday where I actually get a holiday too! Not one where I'm just doing all the washing / cleaning / childcare etc to support the running of the cottage while enabling them to enjoy the holiday. It also gets on my goat that they have several holidays a year (luxury abroad type ones) and we have one holiday in the UK (share the cost jointly with them).

I am by nature a people pleaser and I know they will argue the point if we mention that we are going to book a holiday alone. MIL will be "hurt" and "missing out time with her gc" (they live 5 hours away), etc etc. DH will support what I want, he is laid back about such things although doesn't feel as strongly about this as I do.

So, aibu? And how could I tell them that joint holidays are off the agenda? (sorry for the essay)

Levantine Fri 01-Feb-13 18:25:01

OP just go ahead and book the holiday and your children want. They're not being fair. I absolutely would emphasise that the children want splashzones etc and that you know that's not really their sort of thing, so why don't you do a short weekend with them (do funds allow for that?) so you can continue your lovely tradtion. Or some such thing

MerylStrop Fri 01-Feb-13 18:26:59

YANBU, of course

You can either say that you just ALL really fancy some proper sun/proper beach holiday abroad

OR

Give it to them straight and say that you need to organise a holiday that gives you plenty of proper time off together as a couple.

ledkr Fri 01-Feb-13 18:27:03

It is totally reasonable for you to now want a holiday without them. Yes they might be a bit put out but it's not as if its their only chance to see the gc. Just ex's in politely that you fancy a change And some sunshine now the children are older. They won't want to come so you are assured a nice holiday with just dh and dcs no crime there.

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 18:33:10

Of course YANBU to want your only family holiday to be with PILs for the EIGTH year running. I'm baffled by some of these responses. As long as they have other opportunities to see the DCs it is not reasonable for them to expect to be welcome on all your holidays. What about your family time and your relationship with DH?

When we went on holiday in Italy with my IL's a couple of years ago I paid for a cleaning lady to come in every morning for 2 hours to blitz the place and it was money WELL SPENT.

In a similar way, could you try to get a local childminder (the house owners might be able to help, or childcare.co.uk) to come in and lend a hand with the children (and load the dishwasher) for three or four hours a day and factor it in as a holiday expense?

You're NBU to be cranky at it not being a holiday, but in fairness, you can't really ask your older IL's to supervise 3 children - it's hard enough at our age, never mind theirs.

ReallyLoveWine Fri 01-Feb-13 18:49:35

Just wanted to offer some words of support to OP. It's hard not having lots of money for lots of hols so you can keep everyone happy. I agree it is important to have time just for your immediate family but of course you are sensitive to others' needs and don't want to upset inlaws. Maybe inlaws also have thoughts about the type of holiday that they have not voiced to you. Sounds like it is a bit of a hard topic and really who would find it easy to say 'we have done this for years but frankly it doesn't suit us anymore'?? Good luck finding a solution.

ledkr Sat 02-Feb-13 09:41:12

Op don't try to find a compromise or get some help with cleaning or babysitting. Just go on your own holiday.
The majority if people go on holiday just within their family unit done chose to spend it with family most don't. Just because you've done it before doesn't mean you have to now.
No compromise, just go.

Sausagedog27 Sat 02-Feb-13 09:52:47

You are getting some very odd responses!

Yanbu- to me it sounds as if wants/needs/expectations from holidays have just altered as time has moved on and everyone has got older. It's not a slight on anyone, just the truth. I get the impression that they want you to amend your needs to suit them (ie no activity holidays) and it's come to the critical point where it just doesn't work for you as a family now.

Book your own holiday op- guilt free- and like other have suggested, suggest a weekend break somewhere.

mrsbunnylove Sat 02-Feb-13 09:58:16

your in-laws should realise that a young family need time together without other people present.

you've allowed a bad precedent to form, where your only holiday is with them. presumably this came about because they are helping to pay for your holiday?

weekends away always seem horribly expensive, but you could establish a new system where you all go away together for a weekend, to somewhere familiar and safe with lots of activities for the children. and gently train the grandparents in how to 'spend time' with children responsibly. then when your youngest is old enough ('old enough' = capable of phoning mum if there's a problem) you and your partner could let the children go to that same place with the grandparents while you and he do something more adult.

you could have your main holiday with the in-laws on alternate years, one year just family, one year with grandparents. or you could invite all your other relatives along on the shared holiday.

but i think you really do need a holiday which is just your close family. that's an experience which you and your children shouldn't miss out on.

Flisspaps Sat 02-Feb-13 09:59:34

Can I just point out that despite Naan's suggestion, a childminder won't come and 'help out for a few hours with the kids, and load the dishwasher'. It's a small gripe of mine, but as a childminder that's not what we do.

OP - I'd go for the suggestion of booking your own holiday, explain to the ILs that the kids want somewhere with pools and kids clubs and sun so you're going to give that a go, but perhaps a weekend together somewhere would be nice. I like my inlaws, but I wouldn't be holidaying with them every year for 7 years!

whatphididnext Sat 02-Feb-13 10:13:31

OP I have noticed that as my IL have aged, they are less tolerant of the GC.

They were brilliant with my 2 when they were little and a holiday with the ILs was a real holiday for DH and me.

My DC are now 13 & 14.

My one SIL has a 2 yr and 5yr old and she complains that IL aren't involved or particularly helpful when she visits. (IL live overseas)

My point is that maybe your IL find the holiday with you quite tiring but everyone is tiptoeing around the topic.

Maybe an honest talk with them explaining young kids need active holidays and you and DH also need time together so somewhere with lots of other young families and kids clubs is what you now need rather than an isolated cottage?

natwebb79 Sat 02-Feb-13 10:14:46

I live my in-laws but still wouldn't want to go on holiday with them every year and they wouldn't expect us to. I can't imagine expecting my son to want to go on holiday with us every year when he has a family. YANBU.

ceeveebee Sat 02-Feb-13 10:24:24

We went with the PILs last year for the first time - our DTs were 10 months old at the time. Before we even got home they were talking about where we should go next year. So I've booked a holiday in Portugal for just DH, me and the DCs - am definitely not letting this turn into an annual tradition!

ModreB Sat 02-Feb-13 10:41:23

We have holidayed with my family for the last few years, and it is a real pain as they got to decide where they wanted to go, what we did, where we stayed due to their own physical limitations.

This year we booked a holiday that we wanted, and just said if you want to join us, this is where we booked, and this is when we have booked. If you want to join us, please do, if you don't fancy it then we won't be offended.

There was so much moaning and whinging, but guess what. They have booked the same time at the same place. Why not try that - book what you want and tell them they are welcome to join you if they wish, if not you won't be upset. Take back some control.

girlywhirly Sat 02-Feb-13 15:39:50

I think now is definitely the time to start going on holidays that will provide what your immediate family wants and needs, more activities for the DC, more couple time and relaxation for you and DH without having to do all the chores of a S/C holiday.

I don't really think that the IL's can complain; they seem to need more relaxation themselves now and it is a bit unfair of them to expect you to do all the cooking/cleaning/shopping while they sit around supposedly looking after the DC. I think they have been taking advantage of you really. If they are capable of doing the above jobs for themselves at home, they should muck in on holiday. However, I wouldn't say that directly. The reasons in my first paragraph are more than reasonable, and you can discuss other ways of seeing them without actually sharing holidays. I get the impression that you would be happier not having them with you on holiday, even if they were at the same accommodation and doing their own thing most days.

When I've gone on holiday with my parents (not the PILs) -
DH and I paid the accomodation and the first 'Big Shop' to load up.
I do all the cooking (because I like to cook,my mum doesn't)
We've always rented a place with a dishwasher and whoever is in the area willload/unload it.
My dad bought any food during the week and they kept an eye on the DC while I was busy.
During the day we split the DC between us to give each one some time alone with grandparents and time alone with parents.

If you are paying half each, and you are still doing all the cooking/cleaning/shopping/childcare, it's NOT a holiday. It's housework in another kitchen grin

Surely on a family holiday, everyone mucks in?

And YY holiday abroad with Kids Clubs next time. It's everyones holiday to consider, and that includes your DC. Keeping children entertained in the UK can be £££

Saski Sat 02-Feb-13 16:23:02

I feel for you OP. My IL's were very helpful when my oldest was first born. Five or so years later when I had two small children, I felt irritable whenever I had to share quarters with them because I felt overworked and tired and resentful of the fact that no one was helping me (including my husband). I didn't even want to be around people who were sleeping late, reading books and so on. I'd rather be on my own!
Of course, this is probably more an indictment of my husband than them.

HecateWhoopass Sat 02-Feb-13 16:26:14

Now the children are older, you want a holiday that is more fun for them, so you're going for ones with kids clubs and lots of activities for them.

That's not an unreasonable thing to want or to say.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 02-Feb-13 16:31:58

Yanbu. Do a holiday this year that you and the kids would like. One involving swimming sounds lovely. Just say you're doing that this year because the kids would love it.

I must say though you're not going to get any more holiday childcare doing that but Im sure you realise that. Also paying half has probably worked out ok for you all these years seeing as there are 5 of you and 2 of them. I also really hope your dh helps out with all the work and doesn't leave it all to you just like the inlaws do. If not then you're annoyed at the wrong person.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 02-Feb-13 16:36:10

Does anyone remember the thread where the op and her family were offered a free holiday by the inlaws in a caravan, and then it turned out the inlaws were coming too and were going to take the main bedroom meaning the op would be sleeping on the sofa along with the dogs, and was also expected to look after her sils 5 or so kids as well as her own all day to give sil a break! I seem to remember lots of people telling her not to bother going. Anyone know what happened?

Phineyj Sat 02-Feb-13 16:39:39

YANBU. I was going to say that it would be a good idea to discuss this with them first, but it seems like you've done that and been eminently reasonable. What's the point of a shared holiday if you end up feeling knackered and resentful most of the time?

For balance, our DPs are in their 70s and on our holidays shared with my DSis and her young kids would pay for more than their share of things and my DM would do much of the cooking, take turns to feed/bath/entertain DC etc. I think my parents would be horrified to know they would be considered old, tired and past it! (to be fair my DF's main contribution to childcare on such holidays was to "supervise" from behind the newspaper, and OP it sounds like you have two ILs like that).

akaemmafrost Sat 02-Feb-13 16:49:14

I agree entirely with Eliza.

And why on earth should the inlaws step up and do some childcare so OP gets a break too? They sound very selfish.

I hate this "don't expect childcare" attitude on MN. Why shouldn't families be expected and more importantly WANT to help out?

Hey OP give me their email and I will tell them if you like wink?

ledkr Sat 02-Feb-13 18:11:54

fuckadoodle I remember that thread too. What did happen?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 02-Feb-13 18:19:00

I recall it too, sounded exhausting before she even went. Did I go on holiday before it concluded? Anyone know how it finished?!

ledkr Sat 02-Feb-13 18:23:45

There's been a few that I've wondered about but never heard the conclusion. The nerve if people not updating grin

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