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Time spent over Christmas with PIL

(40 Posts)
Prometheus Thu 13-Oct-11 09:59:31

First post in AIBU so please be gentle.

DH, baby DS and I live abroad (Europe). We travel to the UK every year to spend Christmas one year with DH’s parents in the south and the next year with mine in the north. Whoever we don’t visit for Christmas, we visit for NYE so we see both sets of parents over the Christmas/NYE period.

My parents are divorced so our trip up north entails time spent at my mum’s house and separate time spent at my dads.

We have almost 2 weeks annual leave available for Christmas (this has to include 3 days of travel). I have proposed we spend 4.5 days at my mum’s, 2 days at my dad’s then travel down south and spend 5.5 days with DH’s parents.

DH says this is unfair as it means we spend longer up north. I have pointed out that out of all sets of grandparents, his parents will see DS for the longest as our time up north is split between two houses (my parents live an hour from each other and have no contact).

DH is insisting we cannot spend 5.5 days down south and 6.5 days up north as it isn’t fair (this is despite his parents seeing DS for the longest time out of all grandparents as their time is uninterrupted as luckily for them they are not divorced). Apparently it is not DH’s fault that my parents are divorced and I should accept that this means my parents spend less time with DS.

I am fed up with arguing as he cannot see that my solution is favourable to his parents and the best compromise I can do. AIBU? Maybe my judgement is clouded – please enlighten me!

squeakytoy Thu 13-Oct-11 10:01:48

Wow... you are definately not being unreasonable.. and he is making all this fuss for the sake of ONE day!....

NinkyNonker Thu 13-Oct-11 10:01:57

But surely doing it equally only means half a day more for 'his' end...hardly a big deal?

SenoritaViva Thu 13-Oct-11 10:02:43

I think your plan sounds pretty fair. Ridiculous that he's being so petty. Are you driving? Or can you suggest that he goes down 2 days early on the train to spend time with his folks?

He sounds pretty inflexible to me!

Alibabaandthe80nappies Thu 13-Oct-11 10:03:42


He is being daft, and actually a bit horrible.

NinkyNonker Thu 13-Oct-11 10:05:00

I meant that as a YANBU point, in case it was ambiguous!

AMumInScotland Thu 13-Oct-11 10:05:26

If you've done this in previous years, what were the arrangements then? Did you both feel it was "fair"? I know the new baby adds an extra element to the mix, but you are all visiting as a family, so it hasn't completely changed the situation, has it?

I think your DH needs to get a lot less nit-picking about exactly how many days get spent where. But equally if you've decided arrangements have to change from previous years because of the baby, you both need to think about what was fair before and what the difference is 9and ought to be) now.

fluffyanimal Thu 13-Oct-11 10:06:03

With this type of extended family nothing can ever be 100% fair. Does your DH feel that you always spend slightly more time with your parents? Could you agree to do it his way next year? I do think that he sounds a bit petty over just one day's difference.

skybluepearl Thu 13-Oct-11 10:06:11

I think what you are suggesting is perfectly reasonable and your DH sounds like a hormonal teenager who can't get his own way. You could have split the the 14 days exactly/fairly in three and spend only 4.5 days in each location.

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDawn Thu 13-Oct-11 10:15:49

Just say "ok then, let's not go at all, then none of our parents get longer than another" and smile sweetly.

diddl Thu 13-Oct-11 10:32:54

How about three days with each and some time for yourselves as a family?

diddl Thu 13-Oct-11 10:35:11

Or failing that, is there any reason why they can´t be travelling to you?

I´m afraid I couldn´t be doing with that journey every year.

Are you both only children?

YANBU btw.

TandB Thu 13-Oct-11 10:37:47

Tell him that if the extra day with his family is that much of a sticking point, he can go on ahead and have his extra day and you will follow with the baby.

diddl Thu 13-Oct-11 10:39:38

Also, there must be someone left out since you don´t spend Christmas Day or NYE with both of your parents.

Also sad that your dad gets only half the time your mum gets & a third of what ILs get.

Prometheus Thu 13-Oct-11 10:39:41

Thank you! I didn't think I was being unreasonable. I have told DH this is the final year we have this arrangement as, next year, DS will be old enough to understand Christmas better and I want to start our own family traditions as our little family unit.

Just need to stand my ground and not back down.

Prometheus Thu 13-Oct-11 10:42:05

diddl - yes my dad always loses out. To be honest he was the one who walked out on my mum and his kids (me and Dsis) so I don't feel too guilty that he doesn't spend Christmas Day or NYE with us.

However with the birth of DS he is pushing to spend more time with us. Tricky situation as, whilst I have forgiven my dad and like spending time with him, I don't like spending time with step-mum (who was the OW) and who is a very difficult lady.

Iteotwawki Thu 13-Oct-11 10:43:00

I'm with your DH. Half the time between each family - 5 days each. You decide how to split the time with your parents.

We also live abroad so I know how difficult it is!

diddl Thu 13-Oct-11 10:48:56

Well that makes sense-and as he has remarried, he´s not alone-and the same could be said of ILs.

I have been married 16yrs & have had one Christmas with ILs.

That was the year we married.

The next year we had PFB & said we are not travelling, had the first Christmas us three & all parents Boxing Day.

The next year we had another new baby so had parents to us Boxing Day.

Since then we have been abroad & they have never visited(more than 10yrs)

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Oct-11 10:56:29

He is being petty and mean.

I wouldn't give in to him and would suggest 5 days each then a day to yourselves if he is so arseholey insistant.

diddl Thu 13-Oct-11 11:04:12

"Half the time between each family - 5 days each"

I dont agree-I don´t see why OPs parents should see less of their GC because they are divorced.

Or do ILs insist on dividing the time that OP & her family are there between them?

Does that mean in the future when there´s only one IL they deserve less time?

2rebecca Thu 13-Oct-11 11:41:19

I can see where the husband is coming from. We all prefer to be with our own family and he is spending longer at xmas with his wife's family than with his own. For 1 day I'm surprised he's moaning though, but he probably just misses his parents. I much prefer being with my family than someone else's and no I don't believe my husband's family are magically mine now just because I went through a ceremony with him.

slavetofilofax Thu 13-Oct-11 11:45:19

Your plan is fine, if he doesn't liek it, tell him he can go to his parents a day early (or leave a day late) and have the baby, as he's so worried about the time his parents get to spend with ds. You then have a spare day to spend with your Mum, or your Dad, or an old friend.

minipie Thu 13-Oct-11 11:49:01

2rebecca makes a good point. It is partly to do with how much time each GP gets with their child and grandchild. But it is also partly to do with how much time each of the OP and her DH get to spend with their own parents vs with their in laws. Which is why IMO half each is fairer.

OP - as another suggestion - would it be possible for you to stay up north a bit longer than DH and then travel down on your own? DH could take the train down a day or two earlier than you? Ok it would mean less time all together but would mean that you each get more time with your respective parents.

DizzyKipper Thu 13-Oct-11 11:49:07

YANBU. In fact I was actually thinking if anything it's unfair on your dad as he'll be spending the least time with all of you (though I've now read your reason for this). I really don't understand the logic behind half the time between each family. Since your parents are separated it would mean your parents not seeing their GC as much, and possibly meaning his parents will form a better relationship with their GC as they're seeing them that much more. How is that fair? It unfairly punishes your parents because their marriage didn't work, and that's not what family visits should be about. They're now separated, you treat them like separate people! Hope you can remain strong and tell him no.

minipie Thu 13-Oct-11 11:50:19

"I don´t see why OPs parents should see less of their GC because they are divorced."

But the result is that the PIL get to see less of their GC. Why should the PIL get to see less of their GC because the OP's parents are divorced?

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