Not to want to go on holiday with dh's family again?

(47 Posts)
IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 01-Aug-13 20:43:47

I just feel that when we're away with them, I don't fit in with dh's brother and family nor with his parents and increasingly it's a fortnight of not saying what I think or doing what I think my children need in order to be respectful to dh's parents who take us away and not to cause controversy with dh's brother. I end up, as a consequence of treading in eggshells for so king, snappy and irritable with everyone.
If I could, I'd bin the whole thing it's become so stressful, but the dc love bring with their cousins. It's just that we have very different ways of doing nearly everything and the truth is, dh's brother's way of doing things is more closely aligned to his parents than ours is.
Tonight, it came to something of a head when I snapped at dh's mum when my toddler had refused a cup of a certain colour and I'd got cross with her (the toddler!) when she knocked it over. I wouldn't have got cross at home, just mopped it up and asked her if she wanted the drink (in the cup provided) or not. But the others all seem to just give in over stuff like this and it's not my style. Dh's mum asked if I was okay and I (in a raised voice) said no I was not. I apologised but of course I was rude. There's been an atmosphere since.
I feel I just don't want to be part of it but at the same time don't get why I can't just fit in for the sake of peace and harmony for a fortnight.
Do I just steel myself and grow up and fit in, or is it a sign that actually we should just admit it doesn't work with all of us going away together?

I genuinely can't think of anything worse than going away with my DHs family. Why not suggest going away on your own next time, or going to the same place but not together as such, so eg. all staying in ST. Ives but in your own holiday home. Less pressure, easier to get away from them and yet have plenty of time that you can meet up. YANBU, in my opinion anyway wink

ElsieOops Thu 01-Aug-13 20:49:48

Exactly what Justforlaughs said. Or why not say you'll do a few days with them but your main holiday is just for immediate family.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 01-Aug-13 20:50:42

Thing is, iabu in many ways because they look after us brilliantly and are amazing with the children. I feel I can lack flexibility in things like food, bedtimes and screen time and because dh's brother is less strict, I feel (dh and I are a team but I use I because I know he feels less stressed with it all than I do) like a killjoy with our children. Half of me wants to unclench and let them do whatever they please, go to bed when they want and eat what they want and half of me can't-hence the struggle!

yummymumtobe Thu 01-Aug-13 20:57:04

You are within your rights not to go. If they are paying they may expect everything their way. Family holiday time is precious and it is fine to say, we work hard and want quality time with the kids and each other. I wouldn't even want to go on holiday with friends I don't think, I don't see dh enough and holiday is just for us. Agree with suggestion about overlapping for a few days only. We went camping for 10 days and overlapped with parents for half and they also stayed in a separate mobile, not next to ours.

Of course we all have different ideas of what a holiday should involve as we all relax in different ways. That's why goIng on holidays with others is so hard as holiday should be the time to chill, not fit in with everyone and be on best behaviour!

Doubtfuldaphne Thu 01-Aug-13 20:58:13

I know how you feel and its very very hard. You have grown up in a completely different family and the way you do things are going to be very different to how they do things and it can cause a lot of friction. My il's are a world away from my family and it has caused awful arguments in the past. I have in the past spoken up when ive felt upset, even if I thought they'd think I was being difficult and I have had huge rows with dh.
It comes down to this though: it's just a couple of weeks out of your life. Look how happy the dc's are. You do love your dh don't you? Do it for them. Count to ten before doing anything next time.
I've managed to get myself known as a bit of a diva now by my il's but at least they are better around me now as they know I won't take any rubbish. I know I'm a rational person and they're the awkward ones but at least it keeps the peace now.

Can you ask for one thread to be deleted, i know I'm sad, but I get really frustrated by more than one asking the same thing! grin

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 01-Aug-13 21:04:01

It is such a different environment to the one I'm used to and in so many ways better and more loving. That's why I find it so hard. I'm very, very tired at the moment with a non sleeping toddler and that is making it so much harder. I feel I'm under the spotlight and not doing well. And I'm ashamed that I got cross today. The trouble is, it's not a family where things like this get talked about. Dmil will no doubt think I was wrong to get cross with the toddler and yet that won't be discussed. Nor will she be able to say any more to me about how I behaved today. Things don't get aired. Maybe that's good. Who knows. But I'm weighed down by it all. Dh and I talk about stuff.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 01-Aug-13 21:05:57

I've reported myself, justforlaughs, really sorry, it is frustrating. Hopefully the other thread will be deleted. I put a note on the other thread warning that its a duplicate.

Hassled Thu 01-Aug-13 21:07:54

It just doesn't sound like any sort of a holiday for you at all - all that time being permanently stressy and tense must be exhausting. Just do your own thing next year, and then you can actually relax (which is meant to be the point).

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 01-Aug-13 22:09:22

Okay-so after a couple of cooling down hours and the therapy of offloading on mumsnet I might have overreacted somewhat. I think I need to relax a bit and realise that I am absolutely as difficult as any of the others. Hopefully the others won't have decided that they don't want to go on holiday with me again. I am finding it hard but families are difficult sometimes. As a virtual only child I find it harder to fit in and although I'd like more open discussion, I perhaps might hear stuff I don't want to. Anyway. Going to have a glass of wine and relax a bit.

MovingForward0719 Thu 01-Aug-13 23:46:10

My mil has been trying to force get me to go on holiday with her for 20 odd years and I have held firm because I know I won't be able to maintain my normal polite exterior with her in that situation. Really it's for the best, I think the fall out would be major. We did a weekend once and that was enough.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 02-Aug-13 01:37:28

We went on holiday with family a few times and I always found it really stressful. I totally agree with what Doubtfuldaphne said. Not having grown up in the same family I found that almost every element of the micro-culture clashed and jarred with me. Even with DM I felt a huge clash.

It isnt compulsory to go on holiday with family. You would not be wrong to say never again.

bragmatic Fri 02-Aug-13 02:11:39

I get along with my family. But I'd never holiday with them. The only thing I might be talked into, is holidaying, but staying in different accommodation.

kickassangel Fri 02-Aug-13 03:18:26

Can you just say that you are sorry you snapped but lack of sleep is really getting o you?

What compromises could you make? E.g stick to bed times (specially with no sleeping toddler), but let them make other choices about food etc?

Does it help you to think that being on holiday means that some rules can be relaxed so you will go with the flow a bit for those, but know the ones that really affect you will be stuck to.

I would also suggest that you stay by yourself for a day and catch p on some sleep, that will help you a lot.

Kiwiinkits Fri 02-Aug-13 03:35:37

We have a family holiday every year. Every year, ten days. I feel your pain. I dread the fricking family holiday! My SIL is very lax with her kids and lets them stay up till REALLY late (like 10 or 11 o clock). So my dd wants to stay up too, making me look like mean mummy when I put her into bed at 7.

LadyFlumpalot Fri 02-Aug-13 03:46:30

oh god no. I went camping for a week once with PIL. Near on killed me. DH knows I will never do it again. Ever.

The snoring that could be heard from the toilet block was the icing on the cake.

thebody Fri 02-Aug-13 04:07:14

it is not the law that you holiday with family.

just say no.

Scrounger Fri 02-Aug-13 07:58:52

I have just got back from a holiday with my BIL, we were three days in and I was saying, 'We're never fucking doing this again" to DH. My BIL is very controlling and it was really stressful. BIL unilaterally deciding that there would be no TV all holiday for all the children as they should be playing with eachother. Controlling over food, where the children slept, where we go etc. It just gets tiring ignoring / challenging it. Never again.

My PILs are lovely however I wouldn't go away with them for more than a day or two. FIL in particular is very set in his ways, what TV to watch etc and there is a lot of fussing. I just find it very hard to deal with it and cannot relax, even though as I said before they are lovely. TBH whilst the cousins get on great and enjoy it I don't so it isn't a holiday for me. Don't feel guilty if you don't want to go again and maybe once you are through the haze of tiredness you may be able to take a more objective view and decide if it isn't for you.

Beautyatethebeast Fri 02-Aug-13 08:16:00

Jeez, bloody ell, I've explained about train. Yes of course there are ways of getting there. The nearest train is an hour away, it isn't even a direct train it has 1 change and it looks to cost £69 just for myself one way.

I suppose I could always walk

shewhowines Fri 02-Aug-13 08:25:33

It is a holiday. It doesn't really matter if they stay up late or eat a load of crap for a couple of weeks. Having said that, I feel your pain. It's not a good idea to go away with family or friends who have different expectations and ways of doing things.

pianodoodle Fri 02-Aug-13 08:26:14

Even if they're nice (and it sounds like they are) it still doesn't necessarily mean you all have to go away together smile

I know what you mean it's tricky if you're the only one who seems to do things differently but feel overwhelmed by the majority. In your position I'd have probably ended up feeling like the monster too.

My family are great but much more "no nonsense" than DH's. To me they seem a bit wishy-washy and not firm enough, but that's just because I'm more like my mum which is natural enough!

Example - MIL comes into the kitchen where I'm calmly doing dishes with a two year old lying on the floor behind me throwing a paddy because she wasn't allowed to play with knives and threw the offered wooden spoon across the room in disgust grin

MIL says "Oh baby what's wrong" and tries to go in to comfort her. I say "nothing's wrong - ignore that nonsense"

MIL hangs around the doorway wringing her hands and looking worried.

I don't care. I know she thinks I'm being a hard hearted villain though!

I can't imagine a whole fortnight of similar incidents with them all exchanging concerned looks while I cruelly "enforce" things like bed time or not eating a whole packet of biscuits while conversly they attempt to pander to her every whim lol

gintastic Fri 02-Aug-13 08:33:54

We go away 4 weeks a year with my MIL, 2 in summer and 2 at Easter. Me, DH, our 3 kids, my BIL/SIL (no kids and they usually only join us for a few days) and MIL/FIL. The first thing she does when we get there is organise the rota of who has to get up with the kids in the morning. She expects all adults in the house to share equally which means I only have to haul myself out of bed 1 day in 4. Means it really really is a holiday for me and I luffs her very much indeed.

Scrounger Fri 02-Aug-13 08:36:24

pianodoodle, that is precisely the position I'm in with my PILs. I find it a bit exasperating, plus I am a lot more stand back when they are playing etc and let them make mistakes and fall etc Obviously nothing that it is dangerous but I have a different mindset whilst they immediately swoop in if one of them falls over. If you left them to it they would just get up and keep on playing. I sound miserable as they are lovely.

ComtesseDeSpair Fri 02-Aug-13 08:45:47

Just say no. You've given it a go and don't need to feel guilty. I generally like my PILs well enough but holidays are personal things and my tastes differ from theirs. I don't see the point in spending hundreds of pounds on flights and accommodation just to spend a fortnight sitting about on the sofa in a rented villa with excursions out to eat at another country's version of Pizza Express or Nandos - which is my PIL's holiday routine.

I've done it twice and after the second time DP and I both (luckily) agreed that holidaying with PILs isn't much fun. So we don't do it and, as we've at least tried it, don't feel guilty about the decision.

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