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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.


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.

NorthernLurker Wed 30-Jan-13 12:39:45

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!

NorthernLurker Wed 30-Jan-13 12:51:59

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!

ChinUpChestOut Wed 30-Jan-13 12:56:59

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.

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