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Over ILs taking us away

(232 Posts)
notonnelly Tue 29-Oct-13 21:08:00

Okay, we tend not to go away with DD (1) as she doesn't sleep that well when we are away and is generally just much happier at home.

It was in the in laws wedding anniversary and they wanted to go away for a weekend to celebrate with the family. That is MIL's mum, DH, me and DD, their other son. It was to be in a hotel which we weren't mad keen on as DD won't go to sleep if we are in the room (meaning WTF do we do when she goes down for the night?). ILs know how she is. ILs are retired, but very young and active retired. Think golf/tennis everyday.

But fine, they wanted this weekend in this hotel, so we went along. They very kindly were paying. They said they really wanted this weekend to spend lots of time with DD. They live 5 mins along the road.

SO, on the Friday night they book dinner at 7pm in a pretty formal place in the hotel, expecting DD to join. We managed, but had to get her away early as she was so knackered. Then once she was tucked up in bed I had to sit on the hotel corridor reading a book whilst they all had drinks in the bar. We told them we would be down for breakfast with DD about 7.30 - 8.30. They said, oh well, we set our alarm for 8.30, we will see you later on in the day.

Saturday, they arrange sporting stuff to go an do and not stuff DD can come along for.

Then Saturday night they arrange a formal private dinner at 8pm. DD cannot come and is not the sort of baby that would sleep in the room in a buggy. So, I am pretty much pressurised into doing that phone monitor thing and I hated it, hated it. And then again, I have to sit in the corridor once dinner is over and they have drinks.

I thought it would have been nice to have a more relaxed early dinner that DD could have joined in on!

Same scenario at breakfast the next day.

So, it just leaves me wondering, why the fuck did they ask us, why did they want this 'family' weekend. I am not expecting people to bend over backwards to accomodate our somewhat rigid DD, but bloody nora, they hardly saw her and I spent alot of time camped out in a cold hotel corridor. Why bother?

AIBU, I think I may be a little as it was a nice thought to pay for us to go away with them, but it was a pretty hellish weekend all in all!

HissyFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 00:01:34

It's all about appearances. They want to be able to say that they took ALL their family out, including the children and everyone was falling over themselves to be there on their special day.

They will say/tell you anything they need to to get that.

Reality is, to them, "meh", whatever, and as long as they've achieved their goal, nothing else matters.

You and your child are pawns to an extent.

Liveinthepresent Fri 01-Nov-13 23:01:11

Fix it up I just read your entire post out to DH in the tone I think you meant it. Well said smile

Twoandtwomakeschaos Fri 01-Nov-13 22:43:13

LittleGrey That's horrid!!

Fluffymonster Fri 01-Nov-13 21:24:15

My worry over using a baby monitor was that it wouldn't be very effective in a hotel where there are lots of other signals, and perhaps other people using monitors too.

I was never convinced that a device made for home use, would funtion down several floors, along huge corridors, around the other side of the building.

wiltingfast Thu 31-Oct-13 21:58:28

Well some people are just determined to be inconvenienced and will pooh pooh every suggestion that might mean they have a good time too.

I'm lost as to the sins of using a baby monitor? Is it a fire I'm supposed to be worried about? Or a kidnapper? Or a meteorite? Or an alien invasion?

FixItUpChappie Wed 30-Oct-13 21:49:22

I'm shocked at the number of people suggesting a baby monitor in this day and age. I wouldn't get a hotel babysitter stranger either.

A baby is pretty portable but a 1 year old is not just a baby who will drop off anywhere with a bit of pushing in a buggy - at least mine weren't.

My ILs once set up a family weekend away where they booked a shared a rented condo. It was a first and last type of experience. They too booked expensive fancy meals late in the evening - where we paid a fortune to for the privilege of placating our overtired 19 month old the whole time. They thought nothing of drinking, yelling and whooping it up in the next room thoughtfully waking our son up for hours each night. They couldn't be arsed to shut up for even 30min - not for night sleep, not for naps.....they made no concessions to the parents and young child who didn't have the luxury to just do whatever, whenever. They also tutted and moaned (loudly) about inflexibility. Stuff them. We will never do it again.

Hotels with young children who are light sleepers suck. Even if you don't sit in the hallway....its not much more glamorous to sit in a dark hotel room staining to hear the television at its lowest pitch or reading by flashlight. As if I'm the only one to have done it! Doubt it.

CuriosityCola Wed 30-Oct-13 19:45:13

I agree with not wanting to use the monitor. I don't like the idea of there being a fire in the hotel and not being able to get to the room.

Greenfircone Wed 30-Oct-13 19:27:57


I'm totally eye rolling at all the 'old schoolers' telling you your child should be more flexible.

notonnelly Wed 30-Oct-13 19:09:08

I did ask what the plans were re night times before we went away. I was assured that the bar etc was really close by and the monitor would work. I was told Friday night we would have an early family dinner (which turned out to be a tad late and in a formal place) and sat night was a formal meal, after DD went to bed. I did ask and therefore it was clear DD wasn't to be part of it.

I didn't expect them to bend over backwards to fit in with DD and her routine and quirks. I was really just surprised that they were so so keen for DD to be there and twittering on about it to everyone. But that didn't match up with how things were.

mootime Wed 30-Oct-13 19:08:06

I've not read the whole thread, but wanted to say that I totally empathise. Ds was exactly like your DD, and while we did holiday while he was younger it was a real strain. Dd came out just knowing night from day and was and mostly is, a peaceful little thing who was totally flexible re sleep and would sleep anywhere until I got too pregnant in a sling on me. As such it shows that it is totally dependent on the child. I never forgot how difficult ds was and was sure that Dd would transform into a terrible sleep theif, but she never did (although mornings are a different matter). People who have only ever had children like DD really don't get the horror of a child who come what may is a terrible sleeper.

So OP you are definitely not being unreasonable. My ILs are very similar and just expected DS to fit around them and simply didn't get what was so hard about it. I also understand not wanting to leave your DD with a phone monitor. I find that terrifying and have only ever done it once.

Maybe next time suggest doing something separate if things haven't improved, or book a room that can be divided off so that you are not stuck in the corridor.

whatareyoueventalkingabout Wed 30-Oct-13 18:52:13

love your responses OP. YANBU.

waterrat Wed 30-Oct-13 18:31:21

Completely yanbu - people forget what it's like. As ds has got older I am so pleased to realise how stressful things like hotels are and completely avoid them

Pilgit Wed 30-Oct-13 18:20:58

Personally I would have done a lot more research on the hotel and IL's plans before the weekend - so could have pointed out the issues with timings if they 'really wanted' their GD to be there but then we all have 20/20 in hindsight (and I am an anally retentive planner who assumes the worst and doesn't just trust that things will be ok). It does sound very odd that they really wanted her there but then arranged things without her during the day - when she would be at her best - and then late meals, which are always going to exclude a small person. My MIL for her 60th arranged afternoon tea at a hotel near us (and got everyone else to travel) so that DD could be there. That is the kind of thing that considerate grandparents that want their grandchildren involved do. It sounds bloody awful.

notonnelly Wed 30-Oct-13 18:16:05

Ha, meant looked after, not looked at by a stranger! I am not that pfb!

notonnelly Wed 30-Oct-13 18:15:05

Wow! Okay, to respond to points;

- Interconnecting rooms not an option. They don't do them in that hotel.

- At home DD does not sleep in with us. She moved into her own room at 6 months.

- To whoever it is who seems strangely curious about what happened when I went to bed. I went in, went to bathroom, changed to pjs and went straight to bed/sleep. She stirred a little, but not enough to fully awake (she had been asleep for a couple of hours at this point, so pretty deep). Perhaps you think getting changed in the bathroom is creating a rod for my own back. Not sure how it is? Please explain. Am I meant to keep on going into DD's room and creating noise (thus waking her up), in the hope she will eventually get used to it. Fuck that for a bag of toffee

- DD is generally a very very good sleeper. Sleeps through. Settles relatively easily in her own surroundings. But she won't sleep ANYWHERE and is a LIGHT SLEEPER! That is the bottom line

- Hiring a sitter? At this stage DD isn't at nursery and has never been looked at by a stranger. Does a sitter really sound like it would work. It doesn't to me

- Why didn't I go and sit in the bar once she was asleep? Again, it was a ten minute walk away and monitor didn't work there. I make no apologies for not doing that. What sort of parent would leave (these days) their 1 year old in that situation?

Tinpin Wed 30-Oct-13 17:48:22

Yes, sorry I did sound a bit like Enid Blyton! Surely though I can't be the only parent who has been out in the hotel garden or wandering along the beach several hours before breakfast. Breakfast always tasted so much better for the enforced early start and exercise. Obviously my suggestion of a baby sitter is seen as unhelpful as well. I never suggested it was the it was the OP 's fault . I was just thinking about a way in which she could have maybe enjoyed the weekend a bit more.

catus Wed 30-Oct-13 17:18:06

I'm mainly a lurker in here, but I just need to say to the OP: YANBU.
Having a hard to settle baby is a nightmare. It's just completely shit. And there is nothing you can do about it, you just have to accept that is how it is and endure it while it lasts.
But what I can't accept is that it is made much worse by all the "oh come on, babies are so portable and flexible, let's all be cool and relaxed parents" brigade. From the pit of your exhausted frustration, you can see the patronising looks and hear the snide comments, you just know they think it's all your fault. And it hurts, because you know you look like an uptight and pathetic human being, which is not pleasant.
So please, people, don't assume you know everything, don't offer "helpful" suggestions, just show some compassion.

mortuusUrsus Wed 30-Oct-13 17:17:36

Yes come along children, tally ho, let us begin our 5.30 am jaunt across the moors. Look spritely now, for we shall return to a well earned tiffin! Remember children, you must always earn your tiffin. Chop chop!

HorryIsUpduffed Wed 30-Oct-13 17:12:52

Tinpin I doubt very much that anyone whose baby is as sensitive as OP's, or mine at a similar age ::shudders at memory, though he LOVES his sleep now:: would be able to book a babysitter so I don't think your comment is helpful hmm

Tinpin Wed 30-Oct-13 17:09:04

Half your problems would have been solved if you had got a sitter. I'm a sitter for a local hotel and I'm ace at getting small children to sleep in hotel rooms and then sitting outside the room with my book!! Since your hotel room had been paid for I imagine this would have been an affordable expense.Secondly I don't understand why you couldn't have given your daughter something to eat when she woke up, gone for a refreshing early morning walk and then joined your family for a well earned breakfast, Sometimes we have to look for solutions to problems rather than moaning about them. I'm sure the weekend brought your IL a great deal of happiness. Try to think about that.

jellyboatsandpirates Wed 30-Oct-13 16:25:20

I wouldn't have sat in the corridor? Why did you do that? I would put baby to sleep in room then chilled out, had a bath, glass of wine, read for a bit and early night.

OK, I'm curious. How exactly do you do that then (have a bath, read etc) when there's only one hotel room? Which I've unfortunately had to do endure in the past.
If baby had been put down in bed with me still in there next to him reading, he'd have been boinging about in his cot and being extremely cross as he'd think he'd be missing out on something and have been yelling. hmm
If he'd have been left in silence he'd have been out for the count in 5 seconds flat.
So I can completely see where the OP is coming from sitting out in the corridor if that was the only way to settle her 1 year old.
In my case, I turned the lights off and pretended to go to sleep myself then when he was fast asleep (about 10 minutes later) THEN I turned the light on and could read. grin

Fluffymonster Wed 30-Oct-13 15:17:41

I sympathise with OP - my ILs used to expect us to join them for Christmas/New Year in an hotel. They're semi retired but work part time running special events, so their busiest times are holiday season.

Invariably, they work over the festive period, so we would go and see them. They also kindly paid for our accommodation - but DP would be counted as casual paid staff, so he was obliged to be on hand to help out for hours throughout each day. As a childfree couple this was OK, as I could chill out in the hotel room, watch tv etc while everyone else did their thing (though even then I felt a bit like a spare part). Then everyone met up for evening dinner at 8pm. So out of a whole day - most of it was hanging around and then a social bit at night.

It changed when dd1 came along - or rather our needs as a family changed but nothing else in terms of ILs/DP's expectations did! I remember when she was 6mths old and trying to entertain her and myself all day, with sporadic company, trying to sort out regular feeds and naps (i.e. not able to leave the room or make too much noise for 1-2hrs morning and afternoon) - being stuck in a place with none of the conveniences of home - and DP off socialising/working. Then dragging her downstairs with me for dinner which threw her sleep pattern off. Everyone else had a lovely time, and as others have mentioned, it's a chance for the grandparents to show off their grandchild when other guests coo and fuss - comment on how cute etc. and basically be able to say how all the family got together etc.

The next year was worse - I foolishly agreed again precisely because it's a family occasion and 'naice' for everyone (else). I was 7mths pregnant and dd1 was 18mths by then. Ended up spending New Years Eve perched on a cold, hard toilet seat alone in the bathroom, just so I could at least read my book quietly, while waiting for my restless dd to settle in the main room, with the lights off, tv off etc. Couldn't leave her to go off to dinner. So ended up climbing in to bed 9pm as too bored sitting in the bathroom. Tbh it was a miserable, boring, and exhausting couple of nights.

Following year - dd1 was 2.5yrs old, dd2 was 9mths. They even had different naptimes, different sleep patterns. At home they both had their own rooms. I refused to be the killjoy so turned it back onto them and asked them what they suggested regarding that - how could DP and I share our childcare duties fairly so I could get a decent break too? As far as I could tell, either DP would need to be on hand for myself and the kids - i.e. do his share of entertaining both of them, throughout the day and be around in the evening so that I could go down to dinner for a change...or we would need to have adjoining rooms so I could at least watch TV once they were in bed. That gave everyone pause for thought, and strangely enough at that point ILs and DP seemed to get it, that it "might be more hassle than it's worth".

Since then we go and see them, but don't do the hotel stay.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 15:05:51

The weird thing is that it doesn't bother other people. I went out to lunch with a 10 month old the other day. She was really pretty good and we didn't push our luck too much, but there was a bit at the end when we were all very much all hands on deck, waiting for the bill to finally arrive so we could get out of there. Once we had gone past the point of no return it was no fun for anyone. Why do others not feel this?

My dad is a classic for this - it all goes so over his head - he has never altered a hair of his plans for anyone

mumaa Wed 30-Oct-13 14:25:15

Oh my goodness friday so true! I have finally convinced ILs to go for a family lunch in a couple of weeks rather than the usual dinners which are just a bit painful towards the end for us and I am hoping they will see that it's a far more pleasant experience and if they want DD included that this is a better option. I have been asking for this to be an option for over 14 months so glad I finally got an 'ok then'

I don't expect the world to revolve around my DC but when you have the option of a pleasant lunch when DD is not cranky and is full of life and fun or a late dinner when DD really should normally be winding down for bed, ate her own dinner a while ago and isn't interested in sitting at a table and we have to try to wrestle poor DD into coat/pushchair/car seat at home time when she just wants left in peace... I know which I would prefer!

EvenWickedierDevil Wed 30-Oct-13 14:15:33

I'm sorry it does sound a bit rough. DH and I learned early that LOs and hotels made for a miserable experience and went SC for the next decade!

As others have said, your DD will settle in time, but for now she, and you need her routine. This doesn't stop others doing their thing, but you are fine to put the needs of your family first.

A tip I would offer is to try audiobooks. I am a big fan of audible, and it has been a life saver. I can listen to a good book (and drink wine) in the dark. You might try this? At least then you could be with DD and it would be a lot more comfortable than a corridor.

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