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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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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'.


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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

pluCaChange Sat 02-Feb-13 20:23:05

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

Your wish is my command, o multitudes!

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 18:11:54

fuckadoodle I remember that thread too. What did happen?

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?

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).

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