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"Don't go to France..."

(21 Posts)
lacktoastandtolerance Thu 28-Jul-16 23:33:03

We're about to go to France for a holiday, very excited. MIL, who worries a lot, has said she doesn't want us to go because of the "risk".

This post isn't so much about whether we should go (we will), rather how to handle it gently.

I suspect trying to argue logically won't help - more likely to have an accident on the way to the airport etc., nor do I want to go down the blunt route, however tempting.

My gut feeling is to say how much we appreciate that she cares, but simply don't want terrorism to change our lives, especially when the risk is so small, and we want to enjoy the holiday we've planned. A sort of "thanks for your love and caring, but we intend to carry on with our holiday as planned"

Obviously we are adults and can do whatever we want, and will, but if someone is genuinely worrying then I want to handle it sensitively. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

CalleighDoodle Thu 28-Jul-16 23:39:06

Im having the same from my mum. We are due to go to france at the end of august. Tbh if it wasnt already booked i wouldnt be going.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Fri 29-Jul-16 06:47:52

"Mum
You're the person who taught me to go and look under the bed and see there were no monsters rather than pull the sheets over my head and be frightened all night
You taught me to be strong and go out and play in the sunshine inspite of the bully's in the playground
You lived your life with joy and happiness and brought up a family in the shadow of potential nuclear war!
I know you love me and want to protect me but I need to teach my children what you taught me "

OhTheRoses Fri 29-Jul-16 06:51:49

You are probably safer in France than here tbh. It's on hyper red alert.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Fri 29-Jul-16 06:53:32

Sigh...just realised no children mentioned, I might be a generation out here...

PsychedelicSheep Fri 29-Jul-16 07:09:40

I'm off to Turkey next week, been getting lots of panicked looks from people when I tell them! At the end of the day though, terrorism is as likely to happen here in the UK as anywhere else. We are classed as 'high risk' on the foreign office website, same as France, Germany, Turkey and Spain.

I actually had the same response from the dcs dad a few weeks ago after the airport attack. I sent him the link to the foreign office website which says its 'generally safe' to travel but to take extra precautions etc. (Whatever the fuck that means?!) He's calmed down now and agrees we shouldn't miss out on out much needed holiday (first in 5 years!) because of the potential of attack.

France and Turkey are both enormous countries, the risk of being in the exact wrong place at the wrong time, while of course possible, is very small.

Interestingly, my mum (who is usually like your MIL) hasn't said anything about it. Probably coz she knows it would fall on deaf ears and we'd go anyway, and because it was her idea we go there in the first place!

Dozer Fri 29-Jul-16 07:13:50

You can't really reason with anxiety. You also don't have to justify your decisions. If she keeps making comments I would politely ask her to stop mentioning it, and to manage her anxiety.

Mum2Pea Fri 29-Jul-16 07:18:15

We are in Turkey at the moment.
When we told people months ago we were coming here in July, everyone said they wouldn't.
After Istanbul last friday, people called me to ensure i wouldn't be travelling.
We decided that turkey would be on higher alert and possibly safer. We said as long as the FCO says its not banned, we would travel. plus you have to live your life and not be fearful of what could happen.
We're here, having a wonderful time and so glad we stuck by our convictions.
Reassure your mum but even if she is worried, it will be ok x

NoahVale Fri 29-Jul-16 07:20:08

i think if you have booked a holiday, you have booked a holiday.
and take advice
and take care.
live your life

Lolimax Fri 29-Jul-16 07:21:45

Not sure if it helps but I'm in France on holiday. We were shocked on arrival yesterday at the amount of (heavily) armed police, soldiers and apparently even special police (family members live her) that are patrolling the streets. Family say the very sudden change in response to security was slightly noticeable since the attack in Nice but hugely noticeable since that poor priests murder. In the city we're staying over 100 arrests have been made in the last week.
So to your mil. I get her anxiety, it's out of her control. I'm very blasé usually but did have a 'are we doing the right thing' moment before we left. Tell her security in France has never been so high. Good luck and enjoy your holiday.

treaclesoda Fri 29-Jul-16 07:32:01

My MIL is like this. To the extent that she doesn't want us to go anywhere or do anything. Even us commuting to work daily has her worked up to a state of panic. But she refuses to acknowledge that she has anxiety (I know I shouldn't diagnose people but I'm certain of it, because I suffer from it badly myself) and just persists with nagging us to never leave the house. And then when we're at home she rings us to lecture us on locking the doors and unplugging everything in case we get burgled/the house goes on fire.

Anxiety is horrible for the person who has it, but it's also very draining for those who have to live alongside them. sad I think the only thing you can do is not engage at all - don't bother trying to offer reassurance because weirdly it just feeds the worry.

Dozer Fri 29-Jul-16 07:34:41

You don't have to engage or even listen to the anxious person if they behave inappropriately, like treaclesoda's MIL is doing.

It's up to those of us with anxiety to manage it and seek help as we need.

NoahVale Fri 29-Jul-16 07:37:44

france is a huge country, look at the size of it. tell your MIL to look at the size of France, see the amount of people. therefore the chances of you being involved in anything terrorist related are miniscule

NoahVale Fri 29-Jul-16 07:38:37

or you could get run over by a bus tomorrow

Playduh Fri 29-Jul-16 07:41:25

I think you're biggest concern in all these places are massive delays due to increased security. I'd be checking your insurance for cover accordingly, but you're as safe there as anywhere these days.

ThisIsTheRightTime Fri 29-Jul-16 07:57:32

As a Brit/French citizen, living in France, I'd, perhaps foolishly, compare it to living in the UK during the IRA attacks many years ago. We just get on with our daily lives knowing that there's precious little else we can do. I won't advise you to avoid anything in particular as that really won't change anything; nor, let us be honest, will the presence of the ever increasing armed forces.

Stevefromstevenage Fri 29-Jul-16 08:03:47

Yes ThisIstheRight that is my view too.

ravenmum Fri 29-Jul-16 08:53:46

My daughter is going to France to au pair for a year next month. When the attacks took place I did wonder if I was sending her off into the land of terrorism. Then there was an attack in Munich. We live in Germany. It makes no bloody difference where you live in Europe. Show her the headlines from your local newspaper and say you are fleeing the violence.

lacktoastandtolerance Fri 29-Jul-16 09:38:23

Thanks all for the replies.

No children involved, but we are in our 30s, so it's not like we've just left home!

I think my biggest concern, which I didn't realise when I was typing this up last night, is the effect it will have on my OH. She has had a lifetime of this anxiety drilled into her, and is remarkably strong and positive (almost as a rebellion I think) given the circumstances, but does have the occasional wobble. I'm worried it will have a negative impact on her holiday, and the run up to it, which is why I want to put a stop to this now.

The route of 'firm but fair' looks right: I agree with not trying to justify our decision, just to say that we appreciate her concern but want to enjoy our holiday, and then not engage further.

(Although I am tempted to go along the lines ravenmum mentioned and tell her we're trying to get away from all the eastern European rapists which are apparently roaming our towns and cities... wink)

Dozer Fri 29-Jul-16 10:09:31

Sounds a good plan OP!

Good for your DP for managing to be positive etc: I have super anxious parents and an anxiety disorder myself (suspect due to both nature and nurture in my case!) and often have much more than a wobble, it's really helpful to have support from one's partner both on helping with the wobbles and the tricky, anxiety related family dynamics!

lacktoastandtolerance Fri 29-Jul-16 10:38:40

Dozer - thanks. I struggle to remain calm about it all sometimes, but I know how little getting angry will help! Whilst I understand the anxiety, and how crippling it can be, I do feel that part of it is controlling too: not giving a housekey until 18, put pressure on her not to leave for university, not to change career from a safe-but-dull to a riskier-but-happier one, and also this sort of thing around the holiday.

I think one of the best things a parent can do for their child is to allow them to live the life they want to live, whilst remaining supportive. I have very little patience for people who try to manipulate others, especially their adult offspring, and especially someone I love.

Thanks again for the advice.

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