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What to do if you don't want to go on holiday with your inlaws

(28 Posts)
Mytimewillcome Mon 14-Jan-13 17:32:58

Basically I despise my mother in law. She has been horrible to me since the children were born. But now my DH's father is having a big birthday and she wants everyone to go on holiday together in the summer. Abroad. I can just about stand it if I stay with them for one maybe 2 nights but this fills me with absolute horror. I get on fine with everyone else in the family it is just her. We went there at Christmas and she was fine but I feel that I am just waiting for her to fall back into her horrible ways and say something to me. She is putting pressure on us to commit to this but I am just back to work after maternity leave and am not comfortable booking off holiday yet (I'm talking about back by a few days). We would also lose out money because both children are in nursery so we are talking about hundreds of pounds.

PoohBearsHole Mon 14-Jan-13 17:38:31

How many of you are going on this holiday?
How long is it for?
When is it - i.e have you accrued enough holiday time at work?
Speak to your dc's nursery - they may well have half time holiday pay which is what ours do, but to be honest if you were ever going to go on holiday you would encounter this.

Your MIL it seems was better a christmas, how many dc do you have (are they twins or seperate births?)

Are your dc the only dgc?

You could use the work/ml/holiday excuse but also think of your dh in this, does he want to go? Would you be depriving him and your dc of a lovely holiday with their extended family? Does this happen often? I.E family holidays or is this likely to be a one off in 5-10 year period?

Also if there are other people there do you not think MIL will be better behaved?

Without prying too much what has she done since the dc were born that is so horrible?

RedPencils Mon 14-Jan-13 17:44:03

Can't afford it
No time off work
Don't want to leave my sick mum/dad/sister/goldfish

I'm crap at excuses as you can tell, but fortunately my MIL is lovely so I wouldn't mind going.

RedPencils Mon 14-Jan-13 17:45:34

Nursery fees are a bit of a red herring though, you'd pay whether the kids are there or not so you haven't really 'lost' anything.

DSM Mon 14-Jan-13 17:51:10

You'll pay nursery fees whether you go or not so you aren't 'losing out on money' hmm

It's a lovely gesture, having someone pay for you to go on holiday. Your DC's will get to spend some lovely quality time with their GP's and presumably other relatives.

Also you said she was fine at Christmas. Maybe she has changed.

Hesterton Mon 14-Jan-13 17:51:17

Can't you book a break in the general area, own car and be independent except for the party itself?

PoohBearsHole Mon 14-Jan-13 17:51:58

I agree with Red you would have nursery fees for the following reasons:

You are ill
The DC are ill
You go on holiday
DH takes the day off and sees them
Possibly even Bank Holidays

I think that the most hurtful thing you could say to them is that you can't afford to take the dc out of nursery as this means you will never be able to go on a holiday. Ever. Just remember that. Also it may be an assumption but does your dh contribute in anyway to nursery fees or is it just your salary? If he contributes then it is as much his say as yours!

You haven't alluded to whether your dh wants to go or not. I am sure he is aware of your "history" but saying to him - I don't want to go because I hate your mother - is a little cruel.

PoohBearsHole Mon 14-Jan-13 17:52:47

And DSM blush x posts

Depending on how awful your MIL has been in the past, I'd actually be inclined not to go. If anything kicks off while you are there it will be unbearable. Not easy to just leave.

There is NO OBLIGATION to have to do anything you don't want. You're a grown adult. Unlike friends, you have no choice with who you end up with as a family - you are thrown together and in many cases, left to your own devices you might never want to spend any time with this person if they weren't family.

If your MIL has been particularly awful, your DH should be on your side. Depending how far away this holiday is, if you want some form of compromise for your DH's sake, could you see about going for a weekend?

Mytimewillcome Mon 14-Jan-13 20:36:10

Yes I would have to pay nursery fees if I went away etc but at least it would be for my holiday and with us now paying childcare for 2 holidays are going to be rare for us.

DH wants to go.

It would be for a week and Portugal and France have been mentioned.

There are 4 couples in total and ours are the only grandchildren.

In the past she has totally undermined my role as a mother by making comments like 'your son doesn't need you' (she said it was a joke); called me a milk sucker and milk bank when returning my son to me for feeding; saying that she 'could take my children but she wouldn't'.

She hasn't said anything recently but I feel that she could do so at any time. She doesn't behave like this towards the others because they don't have children. Every comment is directed towards my relationship with my children.

I want to go for 5 days but he has said if we are going so far we should go for a week. He did suggest getting separate accomadation but she has just sent an email to everyone with accomadation that would mean we all stay together.

RandomMess Mon 14-Jan-13 20:40:14

Suggest DH goes and takes the dc as you can't get the time off work?

SofaKing Mon 14-Jan-13 20:47:26

You cannot get time off work because an important event is happening that week. There is nothing you can do about this.

We are in the same position as we tried to arrange a weekend away with pil which has suddenly turned into them hijacking our family holiday and arranging when and where we can go away. They will not take no for an answer or let us have any input so we are simply not going to go.
Your time with your family is precious and I would under no circumstances be sacrificing it for someone who has never even bothered to be polite to you.

2rebecca Mon 14-Jan-13 20:58:30

I would discuss with my husband the fact that I'd only want to go if we stayed seperately. Just because your MIL has emailed somewhere where everyone can stay doesn't mean you have to stay together. If you and your husband agree to this compromise then he tells his MIL that you'll consider coming if you sort out your own accomodation as you'd prefer a bit more personal space, otherwise he takes the kids and you stay at home.

WhizzMcFizz Mon 14-Jan-13 21:15:45

I can sympathise, we recently went through the same. We have the only DGC, and had to travel to a family event. We declined the offered share house (nightmare!) and booked a room elsewhere. Lo and behold ILs booked room next door... They also came and stayed in our house for a week, god never again.
I have learned from this that DH must stand up to them. If your DH doesn't see a problem with them he never will stand up for you, in which case you either grit your teeth and try to get through it, or don't go and maybe permanently damage the relationship with the ILs.
Sorry I don't know the answer, but I plan to be much more firm with my boundaries with them in future (we will be moving closer to them soon).

olgaga Mon 14-Jan-13 21:35:39

I think if it means you won't be able to afford a family holiday yourselves, don't go. It won't be a relaxing break for you and if you've just gone back to work you'll need one later in the year, when you've accrued enough holiday.

Just tell them it's difficult for you to take time off having gone back only recently. If they don't want to accept that, tough!

I honestly don't know why people have to go abroad for these family events, and expect everyone else to traipse along too.

PoohBearsHole Mon 14-Jan-13 21:44:16

Can I just ask how old your MIL is?

Believe me I am not on your MIL side at all, but my dh and I got to a point where the MIL was interfering and causing issues in our relationship and much as I have ishoos she is still my dh's mother and although eh can see her flaws from a mile off, he does still love her.

Just from what you are saying, I suspect your MIL is:
1. jealous of your new dc
2. is reassessing her relationship with her own dh
3. has realised now he and you have children you become of ultimate importance to him as a priority NOT mummy
4. has realised her procreating days are over
5. is just a class bitch

However, depending on the context of how these were said she could just suffer from foot in mouth disease.

I.e - "your children don't need you", was this said just out of the blue or were you in conversation about something else?

I do feel your pain, I am about to go on the holiday from hell with the IL and associated others and there will be critique about my skills at parenting and the choices I make of childcare but DH wants to go, thinks it is unlikely the occasion will arise again and if it does will have a rethink about it as things have come up since we agreed. I love my DH and will put up with my IL for his sake, (really not saying you don't love your dh iyswim) I will come back with a tongue that either will need to be stitched back on or at the very least hanging out of my mouth. And believe me when I say that she has said some incredibly vile things to me, way way more incendary and unpleasant than the examples you have given sad I just view her as bit silly, very pathetic and I ignore most of the conversations we have (which ain't hard as they are very much one way due to MIL inability to listen to anyone except herself!)

elfycat Mon 14-Jan-13 21:46:05

Whizz one benefit of living closer is that they don't have to stay over every time you see them, and you don't have to stay at theirs. (keep your enemies closer kind of thing)

We have a similar holiday nightmare brewing for the summer. We vetoed going abroad as we don't like heat and have young children. My only other goal is to avoid the communal living idea. I will not house share as I don't have the please go and get therapy level OCD tidiness thing that they have going. They want 2 weeks but we have to avoid that. The inlaws see to think that children should be fed at a different time, and different foods (cheap orange meals for kids). We eat with our children and we all eat the same things. Their cousins have fussy eating habits that we don't want ours to observe this and then consider it as an option.

Getting out of it is going to be impossible. I'm on damage limitation.

Mintyy Mon 14-Jan-13 21:48:21

I really wish people wouldn't put pressure on other people to go on holiday with them (in similar situation to you op and I sympathise).

PoppyWearer Mon 14-Jan-13 21:57:17

Oh gosh, we naively invited my DPs and PILs on several holidays with us when DC1 was between 1yo and 3yo.

"On-tap childcare!" Thought we. We paid for 90-100% of the holidays every time, asked them for a tiny bit of babysitting (one night per holiday) in return....every single time the holiday was hijacked by our parents and we ended up having a considerably less enjoyable time as a result. I think they forget they are now the grandparents, not the parents, and just try to click back into their old roles and run the show.

It would now take a LOT of persuading to get us on holiday with either set of parents.

OP, if you are not convinced by it, don't go, certainly not for two weeks. What about a long weekend, and come up with some reason based around the children?

Suzieismyname Mon 14-Jan-13 21:58:35

I really feel for you, I have been on holiday with the in laws for the last 3 years. They're not horrible, just annoying, I do not just want to sit on a beach all week!

Suzieismyname Mon 14-Jan-13 22:03:13

Poppy, sounds like you've had the same experience as me!

PoohBearsHole Mon 14-Jan-13 22:28:57

Damage limitation grin

NamingOfParts Mon 14-Jan-13 23:24:26

If you arent 100% in favour then dont go. We have had a few holidays with GPs and have said never, ever again.

It isnt a necessity to go on holiday with GPs. Three-line whips to attend these types of holiday can be politely declined. This wont be free for you even if GPs are paying for accomodation.

Even if your MiL wants you all in the same accommodation you dont have to fall in line.

Mytimewillcome Tue 15-Jan-13 09:57:21

Both my children are under 3 and my youngest isn't 1 yet so them going with my husband and his family isn't an option that I am comfortable with and plus this is exactly what she wants to play mother without me there and I wouldn't give her the satisfaction. I understand the being selfless thing and going for the sake of my children (I did that at Christmas) but its hard to be selfless all the time when someone obviously doesn't care.

PoohBearsHole I have come to the same conclusions.

Anyway. I've already done the MIL bashing thread grin I just need to work out in my head what is the best thing to do. I know I have to go but in a way that is going to preserve my sanity!

I do feel that she is being very manipulative. She knows that if it was for her I wouldn't do it but in all her emails she stresses how its for the FIL and how much he would love it. She is basically the most manipulative person I have ever met. I was very naive when I met her. I'm not now.

Maybe the best thing to do is to say that I will only go for a certain amount of time. If we go in this country we will be able to get separate accomadation and to say that we want some time to ourselves as we won't be going anywhere else that year.

However. I'm not going to bring the subject up and will wait until DH says something!

SoggySummer Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:27

I am now the mum of an almost 12yo and a 14yo.

Your post was me 13 ago.

Relations with my ILs have always been strained - they decided I was no good from our dating days and I have no real idea why. They have been vile to me right up until about 3 years ago. Told me I would not look nice on our wedding day etc etc.
MIL was when the DC were small very very controlling over them and would lie about things and mess with my rules just because she wanted to prove she could. Just basic silly things like my 3yo having a tantrum about eating one of her easter eggs one easter day literally as I went to leave the lounge and go to the kicthen to dish up a roast easter dinner I had cooked for the family. DD had already had more chocolate that morning than usual so I said no to DD but that if she ate her dinner she could have some chocolate that afternoon. but no the minute I left the room MIL was stuffing smarties aand chocolate buttons into DD.

Anyway DD1 was 1 and we were co-erced into a family holiday to Greece. I didnt want to but our compromise was we would go for 2 weeks and they would come for 1 week - the 1st week. It was a bloody disaster. They did not offer any child care once (fine to a point but that was one reason they wanted to holiday with us - to help us with DD1 and give us some alone time). It didnt worry us that much we had a beautiful sea view so would sit with a bottle of wine and watch the sun set playing cards or scrabble whilst DD went to bed. But then every night they would come upto our terrace on their way back from the entertainment and rave loudly about, tell us what a fab time they had had and wake DD up in the process.

We took the bus and DD off out for the odd day trip (to give us some space from them) whilst they stayed at the hotel but they were like a pair of little kids and MIL had a tantrum because she had been bored all day with FIL and had wanted to come to X town - forcing DH to take her homself again the next day.

Sorry I am waffling on - but we tried all the compromises. Split accommodation, days out etc etc but they still dominated our holiday. It stretched us financially and we had a pretty poor and difficult week the first week because of needing to put up with their selfish behaviour. MIL made difficult and unneccessary comments all week. I bit my tongue but even DH at the end of it could not wait to wave them off to the airport and our 2nd week was bloody lovely - just me DH and DD1.

If your relationship with MIL is shit - dont go. You wont enjoy it and if she is still on a power trip or feeling threatend by your motherhood or whatever - it will be shit.

Make out you cant get leave the weeks they are free to go and maybe arrange a short break in the UK with them instead- maybe a Fri to Mon one. This will serve 2 purposes. Hopefully pacify MIl to a certain degree at the dissapointment of her holiday not going ahead and it will give you and DH (and your ILS) to suss out how everyone will behave on a break away. If it goes tits up - its only a few days to grit your teeth and not too difficult to pack up and come home and dissapointing that will be, its a weekend away and not your main holiday of the year ruined.

Good luck

Mytimewillcome Sat 02-Feb-13 08:22:58

Ok so I have agreed on a trip to the UK for a week as long as we have separate accomadation but of course now that we have agreed she is now insisting that we all stay together in the same house. Luckily DH, whose suggestion it was in the first place, is insisting but so is she. All her emails are "I want...' 'I think...'. I know that even though this is supposed to be for her DH it really is all about her. I am trying to meet her halfway but she is making it difficult. She says she has compromised by agreeing to stay in the UK rather than a hot holiday in a villa.

My suggestion to my DH about going for a long weekend was discounted straight away. I can imagine that once we are on holiday it will be difficult to do anything on our own.

I think I am going to insist on the split accomadation and see how this trip goes but if she keeps trying to push her own wishes on us then never again. She doesn't realise that unfortunately the more she pushes the more I will dig my feet in.

Sorry just thinking out aloud.

Lovingfreedom Sat 02-Feb-13 08:29:59

If you don't want to go....just don't go. Don't bullshit just say you don't want to take time off work yet and its too expensive.

Lovingfreedom Sat 02-Feb-13 08:33:15

On sorry...just seen that you've agreed to something. Tbh I think you'd get on better if you just said what you did or didn't want to do cos actually...although you MIL sounds like a nightmare...everyone is trying to arrange this around what they think you might be willing to do...when you're not really interested.

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