To not want DDs, 5 & 6, to go on holiday to Spain with aunt

(125 Posts)
tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 11:31:24

DH and I have been invited to a wedding in Scotland during May half term and SIL, DH's sister, has offered to look after the children for us. She has done this often since they were babies, she is single, lives alone and is a primary school headteacher, so she likes to have them, does brilliant stuff with them and is generally a very good auntie. DH told me a few weeks ago that he wants to make a holiday of our trip to Scotland and that SIL was planning to take the children to Spain while we were away. I said no way Jose (sorry, very weak joke....). Partly because it is a long way for them to be from me and all sorts of things can happen and I wouldn't be able to get to them. That might sound overprotective, but I'm not particularly, it's just that I've hardly ever been more than a couple of hours drive away from them. Partly because they've never been on a plane before and I want to share that "first" experience with them. And partly because I want to go to Spain with them, not to Scotland for a holiday! So a mix of jealousy and parental protectiveness. The DDs are just 5, and 6 and a half, so still pretty young for a trip like that I think. Maybe if they were 10 and 11, say. DH is rolling his eyes about my attitude, and I have been instructed to call SIL and have the conversation with her.


TisTheSeasonToBeJolly Wed 30-Jan-13 11:35:44

No yanbi, I don't think id like that either. If you don't want your daughters going abroad then don't let them go.

Lovelygoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 11:37:41

I don't think yabu, I think your husband is. He wants to go on holiday to Scotland and you don't especially without your kids. He has not put your needs first at all. I can understand it, I have never taken my kids abroad and we are hoping for a trip to Spain this year and would be gutted if someone else took them, no matter how good their intentions.

KC225 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:41:13

No - 5 and 6 is still quite young. By the sounds of it, I do think they would ok with your SIL but I get the whole 'first experience' of a flight and Spain. I think when you do speak to SIL in law, that is the approach you should take - a holiday in Spain would be so much fun that I would want to be there. Make a joke and admit your jealousy. She sounds like a great Auntie, I'm sure she'll understand.

Would you be happy holidaying in Scotland if she was staying at home?

I can understand where you are coming from but I think its unreasonable to expect her to do you such a massive favour while you go away for a few days and stipulate that she has to stay at home.

Is there someone else that could babysit if she wants to go abroad?

hermioneweasley Wed 30-Jan-13 11:43:31

Your SIL sounds fab. Could you go to the wedding and then fly to join them in Spain?

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 11:44:52

Yes, that's the problem, she's got all good intentions, and I am feeling left out and a bit jealous (as well as worried!) so I am the "bad" one. However, I feel as their mother, it is my prerogative to put my foot down if I want to. DH is saying that they should be able to have the experience. In that case I think we need to take them to Spain, not SIL, if he thinks they need the travelling experience. We could afford it, it's just that we choose not to, whereas for SIL travelling abroad is more important to her.

iseenodust Wed 30-Jan-13 11:47:25

I wouldn't be turning the wedding trip into an adults only holiday. A nice weekend break then get the DC. <Not judgey just my preference.> Then perhaps a few days holiday as a family (incl. or without SIL).

irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 11:50:14

No OP Yanbu at all. It is perfectly understandable and reasonable how you feel about this. Sil should understand, and so should your dh, he is being unfair by doing the eye rolling routine, just put your foot down, as their mother that is your prerogative.

MrsMushroom Wed 30-Jan-13 11:50:46

YANBU BUT it is a bit odd to say "We should be taking them to Spain not her" and then adding "We could afford to but choose not to"


Is it DHs choice?

Lovelygoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 11:51:08

Do you want to go on holiday to Scotland without your kids? If you do then I think YABU if you could have gone abroad with kids and chosen not too. For me going abroad to Spain is a massive deal so maybe my situation is not the same. What do you want to do?? Is this all your husbands decision or do you have any say in it?? Decide and then there is your answer but I would not dictate anything if you want to go to Scotland anyway.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 11:51:16

MissyMoo, exactly that, I will feel terrible saying "you may look after them, but I'll stop you having fun while you do"! Yes, my mum would happily have them, so I won't be stopping her from going away in half term if that's what she wants to do.

Hermione, that might be the sensible win win answer. Perhaps if she had them for a day and a night, then we all went to Spain together for the rest of the week, that might keep us all happy?

And by the by, DH told me last night that she is going to Amsterdam in Feb to meet a friend for a weekend and she wants to take DD1 with her. I am sort of feeling that she is borrowing my children for the fun stuff and to "show off" a bit. Now that is not a bad thing because I am pleased that they are nice for her to be with and that she's proud of them and that they have fun together - aunts are supposed to be fun, aren't they? But I still feel jealous!

irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 11:56:50

I am sorry but I would not be letting anyone else take my kids abroad when they are that young, beloved auntie or not. Amsterdam?? Thats ridiculous!

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 11:57:05

MrsMushroom, we always start on the "what shall we do for holidays this year", look at some ideas, price it up, and then think "bloody hell we're not spending 2 grand on a week in a villa in spain" and end up going to wales! I like the idea of holiday in spain, it's just not a spending priority. But we could put aside the money if we thought it was really important. So if DH is saying "let her take them because it's a great experience" well my feeling is that if he thinks that experience is really important, then it's something we should all enjoy together. If it's not really important, well then it doesn't matter if they don't go.

It's a funny one. I sound unreasonable to myself when I say all this, but I don't feel unreasonable. My gut feeling says to me that I am NBU.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 11:59:28

You are being one hundred percent insanio

You should fall to the ground and cry and weep with gratitude at your SIL's feet.

You have no idea how fortunate you are that another adult and relative loves your children and wants to look after them for a WEEK. And how lovely for your children to have a close bond with another adult. My dc are v v close to their aunt and it is invaluable. Please don't be silly.

dear lord

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 11:59:48

hey, thanks irishchic, you are making me feel better about feeling grumpy!

lovelygoldboots, what I would like to do is go to the wedding (it is a friend of DHs, it is important to him, it will be fun and I want to go) which is one day and one night away, with SIL or my mother looking after the children for that short time, then come home and spend the rest of half term doing fun stuff at home.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 12:01:45

I am astonished that out of your own jealousy you would deny your dc the chance to have a fabulous week with someone they love.


Lovelygoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 12:01:53

I think you need to take charge a bit more. It sounds as though DH and SIL are not talking to you about decisions they are making about your kids that you may well agree to if you were involved a bit more. I am a bit shocked about the Amsterdam thing to be honest. I don't think its fair that he decided that without involving you.

MrsOakenshield Wed 30-Jan-13 12:01:59

aaah, she sounds like the perfect fun aunt!!!!. I understand you feel jealous, I would too, but I also feel jealous that your DDs have someone like that in their life, how wonderful for them. I would do as hermione said, dirty weekend wedding in Scotland for you and DH, then join them in Spain. Win win!

Would she take offence if you said you didn't realise she wanted to go to spain for her holidays, and suggest your Mum take the girls instead as you were planning on taking them next year as a surprise, or something along those lines. Then that puts the ball in her court whether she wants to go on holiday or to have your dds.

Its a tricky one to handle without causing upset.

Maria33 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:02:22

What Hullygully said

Jeez - some people don't know they're born grin

In fact, pass her on to me. We'll adopt her wink

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:03:50

hmmmm. well I see your point hullygully. it's not an obvious answer anyway, opinions at both ends of the argument!

Lovelygoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 12:04:08

BTW I do know that Hullygully posts everything with her virtual tongue in her virtual cheek. Stop it Hully, naughty (slaps Hullys legs)

jellybeans Wed 30-Jan-13 12:04:20

YANBU. If you are not happy don't do it. I declined MIL's offer totake DD1 abroad without us when she was 1. I would hate to be in another country from my small DC. Politely decline. I wouldn't go to the wedding either to be honest of the kids weren't invited and it is a long way. DH went to one on his own recently that that reason.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 12:05:30

Seriously, you should embrace these opportunities and possibilities and most importantly relationships that your children have. The more you can give them, both opportunity and relationship-wise, the more confident they will be in the world and the better people they will be. They will learn to be flexible, not to panic, to look after themselves, to love other people, that different people do things in different ways...

You'll still be their mum and their best-beloved you daft bint

ThoughtsPlease Wed 30-Jan-13 12:05:47

If your SIL was looking after them anyway, she is not taking away time you would have been having with them. You say she is very capable at looking after them and used to it, otherwise I assume you would not be leaving them with her anyway.

I assume you think they would have a great time in Spain, it doesn't stop you taking them another time, so they get the benefit of an extra trip to Spain, surely that is great for them?

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 12:06:46

don't be mad lovelygold, no one in their right mind would deny their kids a lovely time with a beloved aunt.

shallweshop Wed 30-Jan-13 12:07:25

Tootsie, go with your gut feeling otherwise you are unlikely to be able to enjoy the wedding or the break with your husband as you will be constantly stressing. If its possible, I think its a good idea to do the wedding and then have a joint break with your DC and SIL in Spain.

irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 12:08:31

tootsietoo I have 2 dds as well, and an older dsis who is the most adoring and kind auntie I could ever ask for to my girls. They adore her and she spoils them rotten. At the age your dds are, my dsis would never have asked to take them abroad, and she loves them more than anything. I would not have let them go if she had asked to do so.

You do not need to justify this to anyone on here, it is a gut thing that is very strong when your dc are so young. Maybe when they are a bit older, yes. But not at this age. Just be totally straight with your SIL about this. She sounds lovely, she may not totally get it, she doesnt have kids of her own and this is a mother-thing, but she just needs to respect your feelings on this one.

DragonMamma Wed 30-Jan-13 12:08:47


You say it isn't a spending priority (fair enough) but the minute your sil wants to take them you suddenly get all uppity about it.

My DM has taken my DD abroad before when DH and I didn't have enough money or holiday leave. There's not a chance in hell I would deprive her of a holiday because of jealousy. Madness.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:09:32

ta for the tip off goldboots!

I know you are right hullygully but I am not perfect and I want to be with them!

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 12:10:45

This is the thing.

It's about you, not them.

Can you not see how unfair that is?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:10:51


I wouldn't want my children in another country without me either. I also agree with wanting to be there for their first trip on a plane! Their faces would be amazing! Who would want to miss that! And also their first time in a foreign country.

Just simply say to the sil that you appreciate the offer but you want to be there when your kids experience all that for the first time.

That does mean you need to do it though and pay the extra money instead of going to Wales!

irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 12:12:34

Just because you dont want your 5 and 6 year old in a different country to you for a week does not mean that you are stifling their chance to bond with other people, have interesting life experiences, become independent etc etc.

They are 5 and 6 ffs, I could understand if they were 12 or 13, then is could be suggested that maybe you were being a bit precious, but they are still little!

Beamur Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:49

I don't think YABU - I'd want DD's first time doing these big milestone events to be with me and DP too, not another family member.
Your SIL sounds great though, and your daughters will really benefit from a loving fun aunt to do things with.
Perhaps you need to have a chat with her though about how you feel about her taking them abroad just yet - I wouldn't want to be in a different country to my 5 yr old DD either. But maybe I'd feel differently once she is a bit older.
One thing I wouldn't like much in your situation though is the feeling the DH and SIL are talking these things through and then suggesting them to you.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:58

oh well


irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 12:14:55

The OP is not putting her needs before her dd'd because her dd's dont actually need to go to Spain, they would be quite happy i imagine at home with their auntie.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:15:15

NB it is not ONLY jealousy. There is the issue of the fact they would be probably a day's travel time away if there was a problem. And the fact I would like to go too because it would be a fun thing to do with them and I want to be part of that.

I think I will try to go with that option, that I will go with them, and hopefully DH as well.

irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 12:17:23

Also I dont agree with the posters who are saying that you now have to follow through and book a holiday to Spain with the dd's poste haste just to prove that you wanted to experience this with them for their first time.

Book whatever bloody holiday suits you as a family, and dont be rushed in to going on a holiday that you dont need or want to, just to prove a point!

DragonMamma Wed 30-Jan-13 12:18:07

hully - I'm with you.

Maria33 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:20:54

I have no idea whether Hully gully has her tonue in cheek but she speaks sense imo.
You are happy to leave them with SIL while you go on holiday for a week. You could take them to Spain but choose not to. You know they'd love to go to Spain (hence the imagined happy faces), you still don't want to take them, your SIL does, you don't want to cos you'll miss out.
Take them to Spain if you want to - if not, let them go with SIL. They are so lucky.
Lucky them, lucky you. You will appreciate this relationship more and more as they get older and you will always be their mum- not as fun as the aunty, but that's not a mum's prerogative. You're their mum - you'll always be number1 - no matter how many holidays SIL takes them on - that's your prerogative! Enjoy being part of a wide supportive family network. Ultimately it will make your relationship with your kids stronger.

DragonMamma Wed 30-Jan-13 12:22:09

Won't somebody think of the children? (silently weeping)

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 12:22:40

I do not have my sodding tongue in my sodding cheek ffs

iwillsleepagainsomeday Wed 30-Jan-13 12:23:52

I would jump for joy at this occasion. They are 5, not 2. It would do some good to me and my husband. And i am still my dc favourite mummy for it. As they grow up there will be more 'first ones' you will not experience with them. Think about how exited they will be to tell you all about their trip with their fab aunt!

shallweshop Wed 30-Jan-13 12:25:12

Hullygully don't think you need to despair - we are talking about a 5 and a 6 year old - they won't fully appreciate the cultural experience that a trip to Spain will offer and would more than likely be just as happy at the Auntie's house. They could however get a bit overwhelmed about all the new experiences - plane trip, different country, food, language, and need their mum there for reassurance. I would find it quite a handful to travel to spain on my own with my two DC so I know I would not feel comfortable in the OP's situation.

UC Wed 30-Jan-13 12:26:59

I would let them go. You can go another time. Don't be precious about "the first time in an aeroplane". They'll have a great time.

UC Wed 30-Jan-13 12:27:45

totally with hullygully, and my tongue is definitely nowhere near my cheek!

DragonMamma Wed 30-Jan-13 12:30:13

I don't get all the fuss around 'firsts' - who takes them swimming first, gets their first haircut etc. It's just weird to dominate every 'first' for purely selfish reasons.

You sil sounds great btw. I wish mine were half as good.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:30:33

you lot haven't helped much at all, you do not all think the same, I expected the Mumsnet Liberal Harridans (what did Toby Young call you/us??) to give me a definitive answer, now I am going to have to think for myself!

Bluemonkeyspots Wed 30-Jan-13 12:31:00

I would let them go but fly out after the wedding and surprise them at the hotel (surprise dc not sil- let her know)

Then you could spend the rest of the week doing all the fun water parks etc and fly back as a family

Branleuse Wed 30-Jan-13 12:32:33

id definitely let her take them. they'll have a whale of a time x

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Wed 30-Jan-13 12:33:29

Cultural experience shallweshop? I'd imagine they'll be running around a pool with ice cream covered faces, not looking around art galleries and ancient Islamic Spain sites of interest. confused

I was kind of with you in the 'yanbu' camp, as they are quite young- but your argument has veered onto jealousy and wanting to do things first and not wanting to be away from them.

They are little, but give them a little bit of independence from you and DH and bond with their aunt. They'll have a gorgeous time.

And a family of 4 in Spain should not cost two grand for a villa. You could even snap up a nice all inclusive for about 450 for you and DH with the LOs free or reduced.

Branleuse Wed 30-Jan-13 12:33:32

id maybe suggest another adult along withthem if possible though

BlueEyedPeas Wed 30-Jan-13 12:34:25

My mum took my son (5 at the time) to America skiing for 2 weeks to see family. He loved every minute of it and had an amazing time, still talks about it now 7 years on. Yes, I was nervous, worried etc but glad he did it as my mum is no longer with us.

Maria33 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:35:00

Didn't realise it was a cultural trip - was imagining beach and pool and no Spanish speakers in sight rather than the Prado grin

grin at Dragonmama

My mum's Spanish so we went on our own to family we hardly knew in central Spain for weeks quite young shock Not an English speaker in sight

Maybe that's why I don't see 5 days in a resort with auntie they know well as a big deal

Anyway, whatever. Must get on with rl.

Your SIL sounds wonderful -I wouldn't push her out and start saying she's showing off your kids to friends in Amsterdam. You'll live to regret that I suspect...

purrpurr Wed 30-Jan-13 12:35:10

Crazy, absolutely crazy. My DH and in laws won't spend money on foreign holidays as it's a waste, so we go to absolutely freezing hovels in the depths of winter and relish the opportunity to lose feeling in our extremities. Ooh yay.

My parents took me and my sister to France every year from age 5 upwards and we had an absolute hoot. Not sure what the reference to 2 grand on a holiday villa is about either, maybe we're more 'working class' but we just stayed on a caravan park, children ran riot whilst being entertained by staff, parents retreated to a quiet bar. SUCH fun.

Sounds like you don't value foreign holidays, yet recognise they could be fun, but won't allow your kids to have fun, er, without you, but you won't take them abroad... Crazy madness.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:35:27

Oh god DragonMamma I am NOT that sort of mother, I did not video their first haircut and save the hair and in fact I was infamous at the school gate (for about a day) for happily bunging DD2 on the bus on her first day at school and not weepily dropping her off like most of the others! But this feels different.

shallweshop Wed 30-Jan-13 12:37:56

Euro - was being a tad sarcastic about the 'cultural' experience as some of the other posters seemed to be suggesting that the OP was depriving them of an amazing opportunity. That's why I said they are more than likely to be as happy at home with Auntie (running around with ice cream covered faces) as they are in Spain.

I agree with hully too. Selfishness and jealousy aren't attractive in a parent.

I will get maybe 30 minutes with my oldest child on her birthday this year. She will be 15. This is because she is going on a German exchange with school and they get back at 11.30pm on her birthday. I don't like the thought of this at all but I would not dream of saying or doing anything to stop her because how I feel is all about me and her life isn't actually all about me.

If you trust sil to look after the dcs then you trust her in Surrey or Spain. quite honestly OP I think you need to get a bit of a grip.

Andro Wed 30-Jan-13 12:42:57

I think 5 and 6 is a bit young to be going abroad without a parent (however close they are to their Aunt).

Children react differently to experiences such as this, there is no particular rhyme or reason for just happens. A negative or potentially negative reaction if often best dealt with by mummy or daddy, that's not a slight against he aunt it's just common sense. There is also the point of how far away they would be and in unfamiliar a language barrier.

I traveled a lot when I was young, but I didn't travel without at least one of my parents until I was 10 - my first trip without my parents was with my favourite aunt (who would have loved to take me on holiday when I was younger but understood my father's views on the matter).

shallweshop Wed 30-Jan-13 12:45:01

Northern - I think your situation with a 15 year old is wholly different to this one. The OP did say she would probably feel differently about the situation if her kids were a lot older.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:45:06

ok, sounds like I'm wrong about the price. we looked at going to brittany to join PIL in a chalet thing, and the cost of return travel to Portsmouth, ferry for 4 and the week in the chalet all added up to about 2 grand. I guess we're looking in the wrong places.

Don't know how to do the cutting pasting linky thing, but what Shallweshop said about being overwhelmed by new experiences and the trip with 2 children on your own being a handful hits the nail on the head.

Thank you all kindly for your views, all taken on board I promise, I will do my best to do the right thing!

turningvioletviolet Wed 30-Jan-13 12:46:57

I sent dd2 (6) off to holiday with her aunt and uncle last year. She had a fab time. I felt no guilt and saved on childcare for a few days. It was only to Ireland to be fair, but was still almost a day's travel if anything went wrong (plane and long car ride) - not that that even crossed my mind tbh. Win win in my opinion. She spent time with family who love her like their own, i got a bit of time off (2 other dcs much older and not in so much need of parental looking after!). Honestly, i would let her do it again in a heartbeat.

Sallyingforth Wed 30-Jan-13 12:48:10

Selfishness and jealousy aren't attractive in a parent

I think that's a bit strong. The OP's feelings are perfectly understandable.
But nevertheless I think she should over-ride those feelings in the interests of the children.

Fecklessdizzy Wed 30-Jan-13 12:50:13

I'm in the fly out and join them after the wedding camp, and I really wish my rellies were half as keen on my spawn as yours are envy as I used to have to practically fake my own death to get them minded for a couple of hours!

I don't the feelings are understandable or indeed acceptable at all. And I have a 5 yr old as well as a 15 yr old.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:52:48

Purrpurr. Perhaps you should make the decision about where you go on holiday this year. He's your husband not your boss.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:53:50

Northern. You can't compare a 15 year old who will be becoming much more independent now with a 5 and 6 year old!

I don't think I would send DC aged 5 and 6 abroad with a much loved aunt or anyone else for that matter. What happens if they get ill? Or she gets ill? Violent tummy bug, clinging to the loo kind of thing? Who looks after them then? This proposal is for a hotel holiday, and presumably SIL will have sole care. There won't be any other family around. But even if there were - some parents will be OK with it, and others won't.

OP I don't think you're being jealous at all. I think it's perfectly natural to want to do those things with your DC. Tell your SIL "oh that's a lovely idea, but I'm not happy with the DC going abroad without their parents just yet. Far too much can go wrong, I would worry, and I would want to be there with them anyway. But I think a holiday in Spain is great - can you join us if we go later in the year?"

HugeLaurie Wed 30-Jan-13 12:57:04

My son has been going to Spain to stay with his grandparents since he was three. He usually stays for the entire summer holiday now he is at school and has done this for the last three years (he is eight now).

Yes, I worried about him, but I trust my parents to look after him. He has a wonderful time and no doubt when he is an adult he will have some amazing memories of his childhood summers. He basically spends six weeks in the sunshine, on the beach and in the pool. Two of my brothers also live there so he sees his uncles and sisters in law too.

I do miss him when he goes but I can't afford to take him anywhere on holiday as I am a single parent on a very low income. I would much rather he has that experience than spend six weeks in paid childcare, as I work full time.

The other massive plus is the close bond he has with his grandparents. Bearing in mind they left the UK when he was a baby and he sees them once or twice a year they are so close to each other.

On balance I think you should let them go.

HugeLaurie Wed 30-Jan-13 12:57:47

** my sister's-in-law!!

YellowTulips Wed 30-Jan-13 13:02:07

At what point do you say its ok for your children to have a "first" without me?

I do feel some sympathy with your view, but I can't help feeling its "all about you" rather than the children.

They have been give a fantastic opportunity by a caring, loving, trusted and (most importantly) capable member of the family.

I think you have 2 options (unless you want to come accross as both petty and unreasonable):

1. Ring and SIL and be very honest (basically you are grateful for the invitation, but actually quite jelous that the childrens first "abroad" would not include you). Ask if she wouldn't mind some sort of compromise e.g. if you could fly out after the wedding or if she could holiday with them in the UK. If she is not ok with this, then I think you need to bow out of going to Scotland - remember she is doing the favour here not you.

2. Ring SIL and say thank you for being such a great Aunt. Offer her some money towards the holiday and ask her to take loads of pictures and get a Skype account set up so you can check in every day with the children and be involved in what sounds like a wonderful opportunity for them.

BlueberryHill Wed 30-Jan-13 13:03:40

I can understand the OPs feelings. I've had the odd mention about PILs and SIL's family taking DS1 abroad for a week, he is 6 yo. He gets on really well with them all, especially his cousin.

I've said no as he is too young, I find it really difficult to put my finger on why. When he was away from DH and I for a weekend, he had a great time but was starting to miss us, so I feel a week is too long and if he is upset it is too far to get him easily. Also, I don't trust them to sort out child seats in the car properly and just put him in an ordinary seat whilst reassurring us that they have got another one. Its just a short trip, it will be fine.

I don't think that he will be missing out, we will be going abroad there within the next year or so.

LabelsGalore Wed 30-Jan-13 13:06:21

Well I think you can not decide for your SIL if your dd will too much of a handful for her or not. Only she can decide and she clearly think it's OK.

Your dd will have a lot more new experiences that they will not experience with you. My dcs have done lots of things with my parents and PIL wo me, things that were their 'first time' and it will only get worse (whihc is fine, that's what you call growing up).

As for 'being far away' and 'not being able to get to them' if there was something serious... do you think it would be easier if you are in Scotland? My experience is that it can just as difficult to move within the UK and across the Pond.

Seriously, I think the main issue is that they will be going away wo somewhere you would like to go (but you --or your DH?--have always said 'No too expensive for what it is'). And it feels wrong that your dds will get to go there but not you (Very indulgent thing to do?) especially as you would get a week in Scotland instead.

Just let them go. Let them have this great opportunity to have a week hols away with someone who is very happy to spend a week with young children.
And review the week hols in Scotland with your DH. Perhaps this year a week away somewhere warm for the summer should be on the card this time?

DeWe Wed 30-Jan-13 13:08:28

I don't get that as a "first".

I've never been abroad with my (much loved) parents. Do I feel I (and they) missed out and have a worse relationship as a result? Of course not.

The only reason why I'd worry about it being a first, would be if I thought one of them would get worked up about being in a plane. And then I suspect it would be more for my anxiety I'd want to be there, than their comfort, assuming they know and love their aunty.

If you think she would cope fine with them, then let them go. If you feel that she won't look after them properly then don't.

LabelsGalore Wed 30-Jan-13 13:11:47

ChinUp what would happen if you go away with your dcs, on your own and you get ill?
what would happen if they get ill?

If I am giving the authorisation for someone to take my dcs away on hols, I am expecting them to be able to deal with all that on their own, just as I would have to do if it was me.
Actually I would expect the same thing if we were only 3 hours apart in the UK.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 13:19:06

OK, here's the thing. I think DD1 would be ok, she's a tough old battle-axe. I think DD2 is more likely to feel sad or homesick or scared by the plane, bottle it up and not tell SIL and she'd feel miserable and I would not be there to hug her.

expatinscotland Wed 30-Jan-13 13:19:46

Sounds like it's your DH's idea to get a child-free holiday. I'd tell him to stick it. I don't do weddings far away, either. Stoopid, IMO.

I love my sister to bits, she's fab with kids, but no way I'd leave my kids with anyone for that long. I had to be separated from my little children whilst my eldest was ill. Now she is gone, and every day I was without her during her illness pains me.

You only get one shot at this, it's not that long, they grow up fast.

There will be time for adult holidays and such later.

YANBU. And if this stoopid wedding meant no family holiday for us, I wouldn't be going. I'd tell my husband to go on his own and stick a sock in it. Our family comes first as a unit.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 13:25:20

Expat, I'm massively sorry to hear about your child. Thanks for your advice.

expatinscotland Wed 30-Jan-13 13:29:17

If you feel they are too young, then they are. You are their mother.

DewDr0p Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:33

Your SIL sounds like a lovely fun and generous aunt.

However I also have a 5 and 6 yo and I wouldn't let them go away for a whole week. It's too long imho (for the kids and the aunty grin ). How long has your SIL had them for previously?

Andro Wed 30-Jan-13 13:31:20

I think DD2 is more likely to feel sad or homesick or scared by the plane, bottle it up and not tell SIL and she'd feel miserable and I would not be there to hug her.

Do you think it would be in your DD2's best interests to experience this?

There's your answer!

What is appropriate for one child is not necessarily appropriate for another, you know your children and need to act accordingly.

tittytittyhanghang Wed 30-Jan-13 13:32:23

YABU, i dont understand how your dd2 would be anymore homesick in surrey than in Spain. If anything she will have a whole load more holiday things to entertain her. Plus you either trust your sil or you dont, so i think any argument on whether she will cope with them is a red herring. Also flights from Scotland to Spain wouln't be substantially any longer timewise than trains/driving from Surray to Scotland i think. It sounds like you don't want them to go because of your own issues re missing out on some 'firsts'/anxiety away from them, which is fair enough if you feel like that, but pretty unreasonable to deny your children a lovely holiday with their aunt over.

LadyWellian Wed 30-Jan-13 13:39:35

I think YAB a bit U, although you've acknowledged it's mainly because you'd rather go to Spain than Scotland yourself. You are lucky to have a SIL who is so engaged with your DDs and you have reaped the benefit of this over the years (bit jealous here myself as my SIL has babysat literally twice for my DD in 13 years, despite living less than 2 miles away, yet DD still thinks the sun shines out of SIL's arse). I think you need to lay your cards on the table with SIL and see if you can come to some kind of compromise.

Lovelygoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 13:40:31

Hullygully, I could never stay mad at you. You crack me up too much.

BlueberryHill Wed 30-Jan-13 13:45:59

Getting from Surrey to Scotland, you don't need to book in advance, you can just buy a ticket at the station and get on a train or drive. If you need to get to Spain, you need a ticket, you may get one at short notice / standby but probably not if it is a popular destination at half term, you may need to wait for a couple of flights or until the child comes home. There is an element of uncertainty that you don't have with being able to jump in a car.

Lovelygoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 13:46:42

Sorry also Hully I thought you were being ironic and not serious. Just the tone in which you write.

tootsietoo Wed 30-Jan-13 13:53:57

Dunno where Surrey came from. But it's nearly there!

Thanks BlueberryHill, as you say, hard to put finger on why, but 5/6 feels too young to be that far away for that many days.

DoItToJulia Wed 30-Jan-13 13:54:15

I don't get all the people saying that your "jealousy" means YABU. As their mum, why shouldn't you get to be there for their first plane ride. If that's what you want to do and that's what's important to you.

Yes it is lovely that the DCs have an aunt wealthy enough and involved enough to be able to do this, but that doesn't mean it has to happen.

And those who are saying think of the children need to remember that a free holiday to Spain without their mother and father isn't the be all and end all.

OP, do as you wish, but you will need to tell your DH and sil straight.

galwaygirl Wed 30-Jan-13 13:54:28

Haven't read all the replies but my God, no way would I want my DD a plane ride away from me so on that point alone YANBU!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 13:57:02

You only get one shot at this, it's not that long, they grow up fast. There will be time for adult holidays and such later. YANBU. And if this stoopid wedding meant no family holiday for us, I wouldn't be going. I'd tell my husband to go on his own and stick a sock in it. Our family comes first as a unit.

Well said expat.

Astelia Wed 30-Jan-13 14:07:51

YANBU as they are so young. If they were 10 and 11 it would be very different.

My DD2 is a terrible traveller and has ended up in more foreign hospitals than I care to remember. Last year she was in a hospital in another country (school trip) and I was beside myself and she was 13.

For a 5 year old to be so many hours away is not good. I would not do it.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 30-Jan-13 14:16:02

YABU I think. If this were me I would be really happy for my DC to have a week away with a responsible member of my family. It's the sort of thing my sister would do. She has no children and I know they would all have a ball.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:02:39

YABU. DS1 was 5 and DB and SIL took him and "her" nephew to Disneyland Paris. I was so excited for him. He had a great time. Their circumstances changed and they were not able to take any DC away with them again. I just think that DS1 was so lucky. He already had a passport as we had been away with him ourselves, but not to Disneyland.

Agree totally with Hully. How lucky are your DC! I would just be so grateful to your SIL and allow her to take your DDs on holiday while you are away elsewhere. That is such a great bond for them to have. You don't have to do everything first with your DC, you know. It's lucky for them that they have such a lovely aunt.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 30-Jan-13 23:09:53

I wouldn't have been happy for Dd to go abroad for that long at that young an age without me. However she did go to France for a week with her grandparents when she was 8 and had a great time. I understand how you feel.

mrsbunnylove Wed 30-Jan-13 23:16:31

do not let them go. give up the scotland trip if necessary.

let other people do it their way, and you do it yours.

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:20:16

Oh ffs, the kids are 5 and 6, there is plenty of time for them to go abroad, when it'll be easier as they'll be able to help themselves. My ds is 7. I'm on my own, no-one would offer to take him anywhere, no-one ever has. He is the sweetest child ever, easy going etc etc. I'm exhausted most of the time, have him 7 days a week, week in, week out. Ex is long gone (thank god)

There is no-way I'd ever agree to someone taking him out of the country, let alone a childless person, on their own.

Looking after 1 DC on holiday is tiring, really tiring, looking after 2, such young ones too, would be irresponsible.

As for Amsterdam? Jog on SIL! That's not right at all.

Ignore those that say yabu, they are. These are your DC, and they are too young to be that far from you. Ask your mum to have them.

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:22:38

I don't see the aunt as lovely, the Amsterdam thing makes me think she's playing at being mummy.

It doesn't sit well with me for some reason.

deleted203 Wed 30-Jan-13 23:27:31

YANBU. I am sure they would be fine, and she sounds fabulously capable - I just wouldn't want my children of 5 & 6 to go abroad without me. Worst case scenario? - she's hit by a car and two bewildered children are crying at the side of the road in a foreign country with no one they know to care for them. Or she gets food poisoning and is ill. Ridiculous I know, but I just wouldn't want my small children that far away from me if an emergency cropped up. A couple of hours drive away from a 5 year old is about my limit. And I'm with you that I would want us to be enjoying their first time abroad as a family rather than worrying that they were ok. (Will they be ok without you for a week? It seems quite a long time for a 5 yo).

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 30-Jan-13 23:28:47

I agree with Hully, totally.
Your kids have a fab auntie that is not only willing to look after them so you can have some adult time at a wedding, but is willing happy to take them to Spain too.
And for some reason you have a problem with this?
Have I read the thread wrong?confused

gimmecakeandcandy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:33:22

Don't feel bad. They are still so young, no way would I let my kids at that age go abroad without me! Yanbu at all. Don't be forced into doing this unless you want to.

NeverFullyDressedWithoutAScarf Wed 30-Jan-13 23:38:06

I am totally with the OP. I would never agree to this and I agree with Expat that family time should always come first, even over weddings.

Shellington Wed 30-Jan-13 23:39:50

Has she taken them places before, on a smaller scale? B&B by the sea for a night or two? Weekend camping? It seems a big leap at 5/6 to go from home comforts of aunts house to a week abroad.

Too young, too far, too long imo.

"That's a lovely, generous idea - thank you - maybe next year when they are just that bit older." smile

suburbophobe Wed 30-Jan-13 23:57:33

Not read the whole thread...

But, kids that age are not too young to travel. My DS first went on a plane at 5 months (Xmas with GP).

As an avid traveller I've dragged him everywhere since.

It's completely up to you of course if you want to let them go, however she sounds responsible enough being a primary school head.

I would say a compromise is in order. You could fly from Scotland to Spain to join them after the wedding.

And. Amsterdam is amazing for kids.

Great zoo, Nemo (Science Museum, looks like a half-sunken ship next to Central Station; architect - Renzo Piano), trips on the tram, pancake restaurant, canal ride, etc.

Nova26 Thu 31-Jan-13 00:05:11

No yanbu... i wouldnt let my ds go either.....too far imo.

tootsietoo Thu 31-Jan-13 11:00:55

Wow! Completely polarised opinions, split almost 50/50. I meant to call her last night but completely forgot. Will sort it out tonight.

I am thinking I will say yes to her taking DD1 away for a night or two to Amsterdam. DD1 is very capable and confident for her age and the two of them are so similar - they understand each other and get on very well, and they went away together to Paris last summer on the train for a day/night. But two children, particularly the younger one who is more sensitive and literally just turned 5, for longer, further away, just tips the balance into too much worry for me, so I shall explain nicely that it will have to wait a few years.

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 11:18:06

well all right then

tootsietoo Thu 31-Jan-13 11:49:21

thank you hullygully!

sweetkitty Thu 31-Jan-13 12:43:28

Personally I wouldn't allow my DC to go abroad without me. Not that I would ever have to make that decision as DP have never even had a night out together nevermind anyone willing to take the DC on holiday.

If your unhappy about it don't do it, you're their mother.

I don't understand this adults only wedding miles away thing. Agree with expat

sweetkitty Thu 31-Jan-13 12:44:24

Actually I'd bin the wedding and go to Spain instead but I may be biased sitting in a freezing rain lashed Scotland

tootsietoo Thu 31-Jan-13 13:09:27

mmmmm. they are very well behaved, they would be absolutely fine to take to a wedding and stay up a bit late. but the invitation specifically says no children!

Mytimewillcome Thu 31-Jan-13 13:19:16

I wouldn't. If you don't want them to go then its up to you. You are the parent. You don't have to keep her happy in such a major way. Can't you just give her some chocolates?!

Mytimewillcome Thu 31-Jan-13 13:25:47

And I totally get you wanting to have all their firsts with them. Who else are you going to have them with?!

expatinscotland Thu 31-Jan-13 13:31:30

'Your kids have a fab auntie that is not only willing to look after them so you can have some adult time at a wedding, but is willing happy to take them to Spain too.
And for some reason you have a problem with this?'

She doesn't feel comfortable with it because of their ages. She's their mother. There's plenty of scope for 'adult time' (blech, is that like 'me' time?) without her young children being in another country from her.

expatinscotland Thu 31-Jan-13 13:34:36

Oh, just read that now, a no children wedding at, bet it's a castle? Your classic wanky people, 'Oh let's have our wedding 500 miles away from where we're from and everyone we know and make it childfree, so we can have adult time (bet they don't have any kids, either)'. BOAK! I think I'd take the kids to Spain instead. Or send your husband on his own.

givemeaclue Thu 31-Jan-13 13:35:09

Either go with them or let them go without you.

TrinityRhino Thu 31-Jan-13 13:37:58

I wouldn't be able to let mine do it

Lemonylemon Thu 31-Jan-13 13:45:11

OK, would this be a compromise? All of you, including SIL go to Scotland for the wedding. SIL and kids go off and do something else while wedding is on. Morning after wedding, you all fly off to Spain for the week? Bit expensive, but best I could come up with.....

I wouldn't be able to let my youngest (who's 5) go off for a week either.... My eldest I could, but he's 15.

expatinscotland Thu 31-Jan-13 13:58:39

Skip the wanky childfree wedding miles away. Take kids to Spain. Sorted.

We decide on our holidays together. If DH said, 'I want to on holiday to Bournemouth,' and it wasn't some place I'd want to go on holiday, and you don't want to go to Scotland on a holiday by your OP, then we'd find another place to go! Same way if I wanted to go one place on holiday and he didn't fancy it. So then we find another place to go together.

Mytimewillcome Thu 31-Jan-13 14:06:21

I wouldn't go to the wedding either. I'd be too worried about the children to enjoy it.

Lovethesea Thu 31-Jan-13 14:20:21

Wow. A week free of parenting 24/7.

A dream. A dream.

tootsietoo Thu 31-Jan-13 19:52:59

It's not a wanky wedding. She's Scottish. And we live oop North, so it's more like 250 miles not 500, so can drive it in about 4 or 5 hours. And I don't have a beef with people who don't want children at their wedding. It's their wedding, they could have a zillion reasons for not being able or wanting to invite the kiddies. And we do have 2 lovely family members who will look after the children happily for 2 days and 1 night, so it is possible that we can go. So the wedding doesn't need to be ditched.

I have also been thinking about the fact that since DD2 started school in September, weekends, half term and the Christmas holidays have been really precious. A couple of years ago I would have done nearly anything to have some child free time, but now I really enjoy being able to spend time with them just mooching, because the weeks are so busy. So to miss a half term with them would be quite a sad thing.

I have liked my first AIBU thread, might try you again when I am doubting myself!

teacherandguideleader Thu 31-Jan-13 20:33:55

My mum allowed me to go to Florida when I was a small child with a friend of hers who offered to take me. I am so grateful to my mum that she allowed her friend to do this and didn't prevent me from going as she felt she should be experiencing it with me.

expatinscotland Thu 31-Jan-13 20:37:11

So go to the wedding and then take a holiday for the rest of half-term.

charlearose Fri 01-Feb-13 12:57:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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