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)

How will not going on holiday with them mean you have any less cooking, cleaning or childcare to do?

ENormaSnob Fri 01-Feb-13 15:43:12


Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:46:19

At least we can do the hard graft on our own terms and timescales, rather than having to fit around and consider them as well as the kids.

wineandroses Fri 01-Feb-13 15:50:45

As children get older, holiday needs change. You shouldn't always have to holiday with the ILs, you need family holidays too, where you can focus on your own family and not have to worry about making it fit with IL's needs (example - holidays where lots of walking will be done, may not suit elderly inlaws).

Tell them you want a different type of holiday, maybe you want to caravan/camp/sail, whatever, and, in years that you can afford two holidays, you'll have a second (shorter) holiday with them (if you want to, of course).

diddl Fri 01-Feb-13 15:51:01

You had me at "for the past 7yrs..."

There doesn´t really have to be a reason does there-just that you don´t fancy it this year/ever again.

It´s not as if it´s their only chance of a holiday!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 01-Feb-13 15:51:04

Is this UK holiday with PILs for a week or a fortnight? Why not suggest a long weekend in lieu of a 7 10 or 14 day break? If MIL wants to see more the children, she and FIL could come and stay at a B&B near you during term time.

To be fair it's their business how often they go away or what level of holiday they can afford.

rainbow2000 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:51:07

Just dont tell them problem solved.Or just tell them that you want a child friendly place as the kids are getting older and they want to do more activities.

Then maybe spend a weekend wit them them before you go or when you come back to avoid the blackmail.

MaxPepsi Fri 01-Feb-13 15:52:59

How will not going on holiday with them mean you have any less cooking, cleaning or childcare to do?

She'll have 2 less people to look after for a start.

I'd be tempted to tell her you are thinking of putting a stop to it, then if she complains about not seeing the kids, just bugger off out and leave her to it.

Moknicker Fri 01-Feb-13 15:53:23

"they were a bit younger, ..... so everyone was happy. However,... The IL's are older"

God help you when you get older OP.

Obviously I think YABU. Cant you talk through the issue with them and all pitch in for a catered cottage or with some cleaning help?

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 15:56:33

I agree you should all sit down and consider some kind of compromise. Just suddenly stopping the extended family holiday could really upset your ILs or make them feel not wanted. Would your ILs, for example, be prepared to pay a little bit more than their share of the cost so that you could afford a small hotel or guest house somewhere?

TheVermiciousKnid Fri 01-Feb-13 15:58:01

Does your husband help with washing/cleaning/childcare etc or is it all left to you?

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 01-Feb-13 15:58:49

I like Donkeys suggestion, or if you are away for a fortnight, they could come for a few days ( make sure its at the end rather than at the beginning or they will end up staying for the full period).

Or you could suggest that now the children are more active that you stay in two lodges that are beside each other but not in the same one.

Or perhaps if you drop out they will offer to pay for it so you could have two holidays per year grin

Monicker I think you are missing the point somewhat. Catered cottages are hugely expensive - it would be cheaper to go abroad than stay in one.

Naturally the OP is going to have different plans and expectations that the aging ILs for a holiday, who lest we forget also have foreign holidays by themselves unlike the OP and her family.

I dunno, it seems like the main complaints are that ILs won't look after kids until they are in bed and they have lots of foreign holidays.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MegBusset Fri 01-Feb-13 16:09:31

YANBU at all. Of course you're not obliged to holiday with the ILs if you don't feel like it!

Just book a holiday for just you, DH and the DC. Don't tell them until after you've booked it then it's a fait accompli and there won't be any point them moaning about it. Perhaps you could also either go and stay with them for a few days/long weekend or invite them to yours, then they won't feel like they've missed out on time with the DC.

boodles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:14:53

I do not think you are being unreasonable for you to want your only holiday a year to be just you, your husband and kids. You are not obligated to go on holiday with your inlaws. I have been on holiday with mine every year for the past 7 years too. I only do it for my husband so he can get some quality time with his parents. My husband is very good and I know if I didn't want to go with them then he would be fine.

BabyRoger Fri 01-Feb-13 16:19:32

I don't think YABU. I wouldn't want my only or main holiday each year to be with the IL's.

Just say you wish to have your own holidays from now on.

however, it does sound a bit like this has only come about because you are pissed off they don't provide childcare

Can you afford to have your own holiday plus a weekend with them as a compromise?

Crinkle77 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:24:34

If you went on holiday without them then you wuld still have to do everything. Can't you suggest a week abroad all inclusive then there would be no cooking, washing up etc... Or even a hotel in this country?

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:25:28

I think just going out and booking a holiday without letting them know you've decided to change plans this year would be unkind and hurtful. At least, if you're going to let them down, do it tactfully and consideratly.

I still think it would be worth trying to find a compromise first though.

ledkr Fri 01-Feb-13 16:31:39

Ah op come to my thread in chat where there are lots of people who would rather eat their own eyes than holiday with parents or in laws.
You could get a cheap holiday in the med with a kids club and no cooking for the price of a uk cottage.

ledkr Fri 01-Feb-13 16:34:00

I don't think just because you holiday with relatives every year, that you bed to compromise when you want a change.
Imagine if we applied that to all areas if our lives. Just tell then you fancy something different now the dc are older you aren't beholden to them.

boodles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:36:55

Why should she have to compromise? When you marry someone it doesn't mean you are obligated to go on holiday with their parents till the end of time.

To those who are saying she should compromise or choose a holiday which would suit them both so she still goes away them, do you go on holiday every year with your inlaws? And if you do, do you intend to do it until they die?

Stropzilla Fri 01-Feb-13 16:40:14

Why not just say "We fancy a holiday with just the kids and us this year, although we di enjoy spending time with you too maybe we can all go on a long weekend later in the year?"

If they argue just keep repeating til they get the message. Missing out on time with DGCs needn't happen just a shorter period on a different date.

Moknicker Fri 01-Feb-13 16:42:59

"Monicker I think you are missing the point somewhat. Catered cottages are hugely expensive - it would be cheaper to go abroad than stay in one. "

Perhaps that particular suggestion wont work but my fundamental point that it seems harsh to dump the Ils just because they are now old and cant provide the childcare that they used to. People do get old you know - are they just to be jettisoned then? The very fact that they did pull their weight when they were younger and that the OP doesnt seem to have issues with them apart from that seems to suggest that on the whole they are not unreasonable people.

I think it would make more sense to have a conversation with ILs about the fact that the OP also wants a holiday and find some sort of compromise that works for them as a family - maybe stagger the days as someone upthread suggested or ask them to take over the cooking. To not do so seems unreasonable to me.

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:43:26

Its about not upsetting people in your family if there's a way of agreeing to something that keeps everyone happy. The GPs have got used to holidaying with extended family every year. To suddenly drop them like that could be very hurtful and upsetting for them. Its not all about 'rights', its about being understanding to elderly grandparents. I'm not saying the OP has to go on and on doing something she doesn't want; just find a way of changing things that, if possible, doesn't involve upsetting or hurting or excluding the GPs.

elizaregina Fri 01-Feb-13 16:44:00

you poor thing.

i get where your coming from, your being the slave i presume - the house maid whilst they have a nice holiday with thier GC and your also paying for the privalige. Its like they could it seems afford to at least pay for the cottage seeing as the holiday seems to be moslty about them and them having a nice time.

whereas before you didnt mind paying half because you all got equal benefit.

dont go - 7 years is a hell of a time, say your needs and wants have changed.

they are more than welcome to stay near you in a b and b when they want to come and see the GC. thanks for 7 wonderful years of holidays....

elizaregina Fri 01-Feb-13 16:45:28

But i thought they were too old to be put upon monical?

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:46:51

You sound lovely Eliza hmm

boodles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:48:51

Is there any need for comments like that?

Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:49:16

I am thinking of a med holiday with a kids club. Myself and DH want some time as a couple and as the ILs would prefer not to take 3 kids on, then a kids club holiday village type place seems ideal. The ILs shuddered when it was mentioned in generic conversation, said they wouldn't like that sort of holiday as they dislike water/swimming, and they are much happier helping us with the childcare as they do at present.

But they don't, not enough. Which is fine. But we need to change the format of our holidays, instead of resenting paying out for holidays we don't want.

Am def going to suggest a long weekend, centerparcs or something (no doubt they'll hate that) sad

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:49:20

Yes, boodles, I think there is.

I wouldn't say you're never doing the shared holiday again, just not this year. (You can intend to never do it again, but you don't have to say that straight off).

Reassure them that they are wonderful and you love them, but that things change, children get older and want different things. This was going to happen sooner or later, unless you can afford two holidays a year, and you can't.

The line to stick to is "We'd love to, we just can't afford two holidays". They get to choose other holidays, where they do things just together, and do things they couldn't do with you in tow. Why should that apply only to them? You are also entitled to a family holiday, doing things you choose without having to cater to other people.

As for your MIL missing out on her time with the gcs - tell her you'd love to come and visit for a week in a half-term. On her turf, with her looking after you all.

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 16:51:10

I agree you need to change the format of the holdays Kat and maybe even the length of time your ILs join you for. That's the kind of thing I, and I assume other posters, meant by compromising as opposed to suddenly pulling the rug from under them.

It seems a bit harsh that you only wanted to holiday with them when they were of use to you.

You have a 7, 4, and 2yo and you are not supposed to take them on water & swimming holidays because your ILs are "much happier" on another type of holiday? What selfish grandparents!

Book your club med and then say "We know you don't like that kind of holiday so we're not pressurising you to join us, such a pity as we love our shared holidays, but we know you wouldn't enjoy it".

I think switching to a weekend away with them this year is an excellent compromise.

ENormaSnob Fri 01-Feb-13 16:59:59

So you have offered an alternative that they have declined?

I can't see a problem tbh.

I certainly wouldn't be going.

Viviennemary Fri 01-Feb-13 17:03:19

I don't think you are being unreasonable to want to go on holiday without your ils. . But a lot of holidays when the children are young are hardly a rest. Unless you go somewhere with a lot of childcare and child entertainment facilities and meals provided. I found sometimes I was more exhasted after the holiday than before the so called holiday.

atthewelles Fri 01-Feb-13 17:04:03

In fairness, Bertha the OP said the GPs said, as part of a generic conversation, that they wouldn't enjoy that type of holiday. I got the impression they didn't realise the OP was hinting that this was they type of holiday she was considering booking for the following year.

I think OP and her DH saying "How would you feel if we went on a club med with the kids this year, now that they're getting older and then we all went away for a long weekend afterwards so we get to enjoy a holiday with you' would be better than just presenting GPs with a fait accompli and a sense of not being wanted.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 01-Feb-13 17:29:11

Atthewelles suggestion is a good one, but I suspect MIL will say "I feel terrible about it I want to see my GCs " rather than understanding the OPs pov.

OP I'm not sure I understand your family holiday budget. Surely a med holiday is a lot more expensive than a shared cottage in the UK?

I believe you are entitled to book holidays to suit yourselves, but it would be the right thing to come up with other suggestions, such as dates they could come and visit for a long weekend, or search and see what cheap cottages you can find.

I love my parents but we went on holiday with them once and never again so I already think you have done pretty well to go for 7 years particularly as its your only holiday. We are sharing a cottage with SIL and family this year and though I get on well with them I am slightly wary as DH spends all his time with his nephews and I'm quite a fussy eater and worry about what SIL is making for dinner. But I'm ok with it because it isn't our main break, if it was our only holiday I would put my food down and say no.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 01-Feb-13 17:33:20

No of course yanbu!

elizaregina Fri 01-Feb-13 18:08:44

Isnt it also a little harsh that these PILS sat round watching this poor lady running herself ragged looking after THREE small children AND her now elderly PILS? knowing THEY would be going on several other breaks but this is OPS only break??

Ummm thats lovley too!!

Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 18:08:56

We usually go on uk cottage holidays as we've always had a child younger than 2 / I've been pg and its been easier. This time the youngest DC will be nearly 4, and no more pgs to factor in.

We get on v well with them. They come down for weekends lots, we go up when we get the opportunity (with work etc). 2-3 times a year MIL comes down for a week and I take her to toddler groups etc which she loves and she goes shopping and out for coffee when I'm at work. Its all great. The sticking point comes where DH and I don't get any couple time and we need to make changes to holidays to rectify this.

Also the kids moan that cottages are boring and they want splashzones etc. Which suits me - we might get a sit down while they tear about. Difficult to include the I'll though - most places that are designed with kids in mind are not their cup of tea.

elizaregina Fri 01-Feb-13 18:11:21

why do they have to spend time with you on a holiday?

Let them come down for a week to your house or a local b and ba instead and go off on your own holidays.

Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 18:16:31

Visiting each others houses (as detailed above) seems not to be good enough, they don't like the uk weather.

It is partly my fault for allowing this precedent of holidaying together to develop I think.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 01-Feb-13 18:17:05

Completely off topic but made me laugh seeing how suddenly PILs are described as "elderly" they may only be in early 50s if that!

Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 18:18:41

When I say uk weather, I mean the weather where we and they live. They are ok with the (generally) milder south coast for holidays.

Kat101 Fri 01-Feb-13 18:20:24

Now in their 70's (just)

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 01-Feb-13 18:23:47

Well however you phrase it, don't make it look like it's all your doing not DH's. Seems perfectly reasonable to tell them you are going to book the kind of holiday that wouldn't suit them, now the children are getting older. It needn't mean you won't ever holiday together again, and they won't 'go without' as hey already enjoy more than one trip away anyway. They may well change their attitude to UK holidays or B&Bs etc if they are faced with holidays without you.

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


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 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

MrsClown1 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:29:01

I cant believe people think they are obliged to go on holidays with their ILs. When my children were young we never went with the ILs. We loved going alone with the kids and spending absolutely amazing 2 weeks on our own with the children. I have some amazing memories of those times. My kids are now grown up and I would not do it any differently. I also have some happy memories of weekends away with ILs. That was enough for me. My FIL lived in Malta and we used to go over but always spent time away off on our own.

YANBU. However, I never expected anyone to look after my kids, apart from the kids clubs in the hotels we stayed in. My ILs had done all that with their kids and I think they deserve a break. Now my kids are grown up we are enjoying time for each other not having to chase around after kids.

Helltotheno Sat 02-Feb-13 18:33:02

OP Yanbu whatsoever. There's nothing set in stone to say that you have to either holiday with PILs or go to a place they decide. This is about you and your family. If you want the children to experience a fun holiday hanging out with other kids and doing activities, just organise it and tell them it's been great the last 7 years but those holidays are no longer meeting your needs and you want to do something different.

At the age your PILs are, they are obviously fully independent and enjoying life, and it would B highly U of them to expect you to tailor your family's holiday around them, especially when it sounds like they see a fair bit of you anyway, and even more so the fact that they get to gad around the world on other holidays that wouldn't be open to you. Organising a weekend with them away another time would be the perfect solution.

StiffyByng Sat 02-Feb-13 18:40:50

I sympathise with you, OP. I agree that your ILs are obviously not elderly and infirm enough to be unable to holiday in different places, and that therefore they appear to be being quite selfish here. I've holidayed with my in-laws more than once and it really is a mixed blessing. On one hand, they are happy childcare providers and very hands-on with the kids, the kids adore them, and we have similar ideas about where to go on holiday. On the other hand, they can be hard to please about food, can be hard work conversationally, and going away with them has also involved wider family members who are less fun.

It doesn't sound like it's just the childcare aspect that bothers you, which I can see might annoy people if they think you're just looking for that from your family, but also the resentment at cooking, cleaning etc. for them with little assistance. That would truly irritate me. We have done the cooking before, because we like it, and they don't, but they are always willing washers-up etc.

Maybe your mention of a water-type holiday before wasn't direct enough. Can't you word it as 'we really, really NEED a different type of holiday this year. I need more of a rest, and the kids need more of a distraction. This is our only holiday. You're very welcome to come along but we will be going to X.' The ball is in their court and they can decide whether to put up with a holiday that isn't exactly what they want for the sake of their grandkids.

DontmindifIdo Sat 02-Feb-13 18:50:19

Surely the solution is to book the med holiday village type holiday so you're not cooking/cleaning/looking after the DCs the whole time, tell them that's where you are going and when and if they want to book the same time they are welcome too. As you don't think they will want to go too, then you've invited them and they are chosing not go too. If they do want to go, at least you won't be running around after everyone in that sort of holiday where other people are cooking and cleaning andyou get a few hours off from the DCs.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 02-Feb-13 20:15:14

I remember that thread too. SOMEONE GIVE ME AN UPDATE!!!!!

pluCaChange Sat 02-Feb-13 20:21:55

Your wish is my command, o multitudes!

pluCaChange Sat 02-Feb-13 20:23:05
Inertia Sat 02-Feb-13 20:51:16

Do they invite you and all the children on their other luxury holidays abroad? I suspect not. And it's bloody selfish of your MIL to start pulling pouty face and moaning about having the GC kept from her - just because you want to go (on your only annual holiday) as a family , to a place that meets your family's needs, that you are paying for!

'The ILs shuddered and told them it wasn't their type of holiday' - well, that's your cue to say you're relieved they feel that way because you were planning to go on holiday as a 5 this year.

Of course YANBU.

Astelia Sun 03-Feb-13 02:52:56

We have been on holiday twice with the in laws, once self-catering in a big group- disaster, I hated every minute. Once in a hotel, separate rooms- worked very well. PIL did insist on paying in both cases as they wanted everyone there.

I would never go self catering with another family or couple as it is hard enough work sorting out your own family, you don't need extra chores- where is the holiday in that?

Separate accommodation and going out for days together might be worth a try. You can find holiday cottages that are in a group, where everyone has their own front door. Don't expect them to babysit, then you won't be disappointed.

However as this is your only holiday you have the right to say you are doing your own thing this year as the children are growing up.

If they insist on you all being together, they should pay. You should not be paying for something you don't want to do.

Astelia Sun 03-Feb-13 02:57:00

Sorry missed the update, splash style hols would be great for your family. Rather fortuitously your PIL don't like them, so you can do your own thing. You must choose what works for your family.

If they want to do something with you at another time of year that they choose, they will have to fund it.

MollyMurphy Sun 03-Feb-13 03:11:51

YANBU at all.

Why shouldn't the inlaws help out on a group holiday? they hardly sound infirm and the main benefit of these arrangements seems to be their ability to spend time with their gc's.

OP only gets one holiday a year....sorry but I like my inlaws but there is no way I would spend my only holiday at a UK cottage share with them, no way.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 03-Feb-13 03:20:28

Surely your ILs don't expect your one and only family holiday tailored around their needs, and not the needs of your growing children...?

I mean, people in their 70s can pretty much holiday anywhere and find something to do - even if it's mostly relaxing and putting their feet up - especially if it's not their only holiday of the year.

YANBU - they are being selfish.

Just tell them that the kids now need a different sort of holiday, you need a bit more hands-on support childcare-wise so that you get to enjoy the holiday too, and so this is what you're doing this year. They're welcome to join, but if they don't want to - no problem, they can come for a long weekend to visit you.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 03-Feb-13 06:34:01

Thanks for the other Thread update. Wonder if she did go away with them again. . .

Fairylea Sun 03-Feb-13 06:47:24

I can't believe people think you are being unreasonable not to want to holiday with your in laws after doing if for 7 YEARS!

No one owes their in laws anything. And I say that as the dd of a very toxic mother. Yes it's nice to have a holiday with them if it's what you want but you shouldnt feel.obliged to!

The grandparents can see the children and babysit from home, they don't need to go on a holiday with them..maybe if they really wanted to and the parents didn't mind they could take the gc away somewhere for a few days.

But they don't have the right to automatically have the summer family holiday with them every year.

That's bonkers.

I wouldn't expect my own children to invite me on holiday with them every year when they are grown and have children.

EugenesAxe Sun 03-Feb-13 07:16:16

What HecateW and MidnightMasquerader said really.

If you can only take one 'big' family holiday each year you want it to be something your children enjoy & have good memories of. It's not like this is your IL's only holiday too. I would think there's quite a real possibility of the GC resenting them if they were told (in answer to grumbles about a lack of swimming complex) 'We've got to come to places like this because it suits GPs'.


Jollyb Sun 03-Feb-13 07:24:42

I'd definitely look into going overseas. At that age all I wanted to do on holiday was jump in the pool and build sandcastles. Far cheaper than having to pay for wet weather alternatives in the UK.

I agree with suggestion about a long weekend with your inlaws. That should be manageable for you all.

Don't feel guilty. You have to do what's right for your family.

gimmecakeandcandy Sun 03-Feb-13 07:47:28

I think your IL are bloody selfish trying to make you take the holidays they want. Of course you want different hols and time out with just your kids and dh. Bloody well book your club med hol and just say that's what you are doing from now on. Don't keep having the cottage hols - get on and have your type of holiday - why shouldn't you! Just because they are 'elderly' it doesn't mean they should rule your holiday choices.

Now go book your hol and tell us all about it. And don't don't don't feel guilty - nothing to feel guilty about. Your children will love your new holiday.

2rebecca Sun 03-Feb-13 08:34:55

I agree with you and your husband deciding on your holiday and telling the inlaws this is where you are going. You can invite them or other people as you see fit. You are adults now and I don't see why you feel you have to explain your holiday plans to your inlaws. there are 2 of them, they can go away together. I don't see why you feel the need to involve them in your holiday. Nice occasionally, not every year if you don't want to.

Kat101 Wed 06-Feb-13 21:00:47

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!

This describes last year exactly, except my DH did help.

I have decided that I can't invite them, I can't risk them coming along. If they ask me (which they will, they know i'm the decision maker not DH) then I'm going to tell them that we're doing our own thing next year. No details of location etc until the last minute, just that we're doing our own thing involving lots of other families with young children. No excuses, no justifications, I'm going to have to lay it on the line so we all know where we stand. I think that would ultimately be fairer on them too.

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 21:13:32

you know what, you're allowed to do what works for you lot not just your PILs. I hope you enjoy your summer holiday.

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