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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?

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 08-Aug-13 00:46:50

Op I feel your pain. We go on holiday with Pils and DPs brothers family to the same destination EVERY YEAR. they're fine enough but have very different families vibe to mine (they argue about road directions very heatedly and PILs tut ALL THROUGH FUCKING TIME,). There is always a big arguement (usually involving.SIL) and it freaks me out a bit because my family just chat and laugh and are really borringly polite to each other. But DP looks forward to it, the DCs love seeing there coussins, so I put up and put on a front. On the plus side theres always a babysitter around, but I'm a bit of and introvert at heart so donto finds it relaxing plus.I really do wanna go somewhere else

WafflyVersatile Thu 08-Aug-13 00:17:24

[Always read page 2, waffly. Always read page 2]

WafflyVersatile Thu 08-Aug-13 00:16:40

A fortnight is quite a long holiday. How about if it was a week? (the second week so the kids aren't upset at leaving) You could say you only have a week's holiday to spare for it because you want to use the other week for a holiday for yourselves.

Or you could see if they'd like to take the kids and you and DH have some holiday time just the two of you.

Or a combination.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 08-Aug-13 00:10:45

Oh, and on the beach the other day, I genuinely think I heard that song "the time of your life" or some such (not the "dirty dancing", the other one, playing on some kind of speaker in my head as I watched my children playing together with their cousins.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 08-Aug-13 00:08:41

An update! Nearly a week on and we're having a great time. We've worked out how to make it work for our family, keeping some of our usual ways of doing things and considerably relaxing others. I realise I was very, very stressed before we came away and was getting over controlling about things. Throw me into an environment where, despite being lovely, the people I'm with are doing things really differently and it was bound to be difficult.
Do I still think some of the things bil and family do are completely, inexplicably bonkers? Yes. Do I know they love us? Yes. Are we lucky to be able to spend a fortnight without killing each other? Yes. Are we rebooking next year? Erm yes. I'm not convinced I am actually the op, but there you go. Thanks for the comments that got me through some days that genuinely felt unbearable and helping me not to get in the car and drive home!

Ledkr Spain Fri 02-Aug-13 18:48:21

I went with my pil a few months ago and consequently our already strained relationship is now pretty much over.
My holiday is just that, a holiday.
We are away in France at the moment and we are just enjoying being together and concentrating totally on each other and its bliss.
Go alone next time

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 18:42:50

So, I have learnt today that two hours in bed helps with most things. Also that it is possible to switch rapidly from loving every minute of a holiday and wishing it would last indefinitely to wishing I were at home in a darkened room...

EarlyIntheMorning Fri 02-Aug-13 17:19:37

2 weeks is a lot. Couldn't you just do 1 week? More bearable that way.

Weegiemum Argentina Fri 02-Aug-13 16:45:24

We've holidayed with family.

After dh's brother and his wife told dh they though I was an alcoholic (because I had wine every night for a week!) we'll never do it again.

Funny enough, sil and my dh also had wine every night. And bil had "headaches" that needed hours in bed and strong painkillers every day, just at the point that children were looking to go in the pool/to the park/needed to eat.

But you can't criticise Mr Perfect Dad.

Dh and I are clear - never again (and that includes the 2 holidays they've had staying in our house over the last 2 years).

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 02-Aug-13 16:34:45

We are just back from a week with SIL and their family. We have stayed in adjoining cottages, but never shared before.

First couple of days were not good as they have a much bigger family than ours and I quickly realised that SIL was the only one who did all of the work, despite some of the DCs being grown up. Fair enough, their family, their way of doing it, but by virtue of being female I somehow ended up doing a lot of additional grunt work, whereas we have only one DC and tend to eat out a lot more, plus DH does his fair share when we are on holiday.

I got to the stage of being really annoyed and then DH really stepped up to the plate and made his nephews do a bit more, plus I refused (quietly and to DH only) to eat in for a few meals as I was so fed up with having to do so much of the prep and tidy up.

Then it seemed to calm down and other people did a bit more and I felt a bit of a meany for having been so annoyed at the beginning. We had a fab time and I would do it again now that I know that a) I will only do my fair share - if others want to do more/less that is there problem and I don't care what they think about me and b) our family budget is a bit more therefore we will eat out a bit more giving us some valuable time to ourselves).

I think group holidays take a bit of easing into. We share every other year with two other families, the first holiday was a learning experience, now we have it down to pat and it's loads of fun.

You do what you feel is right, let the other parents do what they want. If anyone comments just say "Well that's what we do" and smile serenely. Enjoy the rest of your holiday - you probably will now you have it off your chest.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 11:40:04

Sorry-nannyOgg you're right about the routine, sleepyfish you're right about the cup!

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 11:36:21

We've had a good morning. Things seem mended and I think there is a middle ground. I can not want to do things the way they do all the time, but give a bit. Some of the things we do differently are strengths which we can stick with, some are not which, little by little I can change. It would be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. Pl can I still have permission to scream a little internally sometimes? I really took on board the poster up thread who talked about their controlling relative who spoilt the holiday. I think part of the reason it's got tough bits on this holiday is I'm fighting the urge to do that, and with good reason.
NannyOgg, you're right about the cup. I don't think yesterday's outburst was all to do with that-more feeling scrutinised with everything I'm doing. But small stuff like that is important and I need to let our toddler have a bit of autonomy. Funnily, I do usually. Perhaps I feel a bit out of control sharing space with everyone and I'm getting it back in some of the wrong ways.
Hey ho. Dh has also acknowledged that I'm very, very tired and is taking our children out this afternoon to give some space to nap. Nothing feels easy after a night where my toddlers been up between three and seven.
Bottom line is I'm very lucky to have a holiday with people who love me and I need to get over myself a bit. Whilst realising I also do lots of stuff very well.

BackforGood Fri 02-Aug-13 11:14:04

I can totally sympathise with you. There is no way in a million years I could holiday with dh's Mum and Dad - not that I've ever fallen out with them, it's just that they are very different people with different values and different ways of doing things - all of which is fine for the odd family afternoon or meal out, but wouldn't work for a week away let alone two.
Nor could I holiday with my sister though - we tried once and it was very clear we wanted completely different things from a holiday.
We did holiday for many years though with my dbrother and dSiL. They have a very different lifestyle from us in lots of ways, but I think it worked so well because we always got 2 cottages on the same farm, so we could 'opt in' to spending time together, but weren't on top of each other all the time. We sorted own breakfasts, own bedtimes, own whatever was important to each family, and each had somewhere to go for a quiet hour if we needed it, but then actually spent most of each day together in a non stressed way. Would that work for you ?

tumbletumble Fri 02-Aug-13 10:57:54

I can totally see why you find it stressful OP. How about just doing a week next year? A fortnight is a long time!

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 10:01:58

Thanks for all the sensible comments. I guess that a fortnight with them makes me question virtually everything I do. I don't think I'm a completely rubbish parent although my failing is probably a lack of flexibility on routine and principles. Being very, very truthful, I really wouldn't want to do things the way they do. Both children have a very limited diet - one main meal each really and are only polite to their parents while things go their way. Which they pretty much do so it seems peaceful. I can't bear the fact that nearly all morning is spent on screens of some kind or another.
So, whatever relaxing of routine I do makes me fearful that we'll end up like that. Which is ridiculous. But a real fear.

pianodoodle Fri 02-Aug-13 09:24:41

You can only be who you are

Yep. I guess the only alternative to not going on holiday with them is to be happy with how you do things and not give a rat's ass how it looks to anyone. That makes me relaxed.

I find that much easier than giving in to doing it their way - I wouldn't find that relaxing because I just wouldn't be happy about it!

Scrounger Fri 02-Aug-13 09:21:06

Pianodoodle, I understand the stop fannying about bit so much. I'm smiling at some of the stories here in recognition, esp the looking after everyone's children and them become my problem when they hit the wall.

Parmarella Fri 02-Aug-13 09:05:36

It is really hard, my children needed a strict routine and bed time, boundaries etc. when they were little.

I remember going on holiday with friends, and everyone telling me I was so uptight and intense about kids, but mine were highly strung and prone to massive tantrums, which was just so hard and the only thing that worked was having lots of routine and predictability in their lives!

Going to a family wedding, kids were 3 and 5 so a bit older, and everyone said just relax, so I did. Uncles fed them cans of coke, they ran around, had 3 cans of coke each, and crashed into screaming heaps during speeches, at which time looking after them was suddenly my job again...

Still, I have learned to relax a bit and the kids are niw very relaxed themselves and happy with a laid back holiday routine.

You can only be who you are.

SummerHoliDidi Fri 02-Aug-13 08:59:39

We went on holiday with my sister and her family a couple of years ago, and spent time with other family as well. We won't do it again. Lovely as they all are, I felt like I did all the parenting of everybody else's children (6 of them in total) while they went off and did their own thing.

pianodoodle Fri 02-Aug-13 08:55:28

scrounger yes I sometimes think they wanted to be in a position of "showing" me what to do with my first baby and are maybe a bit taken aback that I'm perfectly confident with my own ideas.

Trouble with DD is although she's 25 months she hasn't yet "stretched" into looking more like a little girl - she's still thin on top and really just looks like a gigantic chubby baby! I think it makes people forget she's actually pretty sharp and more than capable of exploiting weakness when she sees it smile

PIL are very tentative in general e.g "oh dear she doesn't want to go back in her buggy, she wouldn't let me put her in" etc... And look exhausted and sweaty.

I just think "she wouldn't let you? Ffs your bigger than her just bodge her in there and stop fannying about" grin

SleepyFish Fri 02-Aug-13 08:54:59

Have to say i don't like going on holiday in big groups, too many people to please, so YANBU in that respect.
However why on earth don't you just let your toddler choose her own cup/bowl? Sounds like you're sweating the small stuff. Toddlers need to feel like they have a little control over their lives and choosing their own cup is a good starting point and makes no odds to anyone else.

Nanny0gg England Fri 02-Aug-13 08:52:06

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!

You're on holiday! Can't you try to relax? I'm actually struggling to see here what they're actually doing wrong. It is usually very difficult to keep home routines going when you're away. In fact, that is often the point!

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.

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.

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.

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