AIBU not to want my niece to come as well?(192 Posts)
I think I just need to be told to get a grip. But I'm a bit annoyed.
I live in a different country than my parents and sister. I don't see my parents that often, once-twice per year. They've only seen DC1 a handful of times, and DC2 just once.
My sister lives an hour away from them. My niece (11) spends all school holidays and most of the weekends there, and goes on holidays with them, either with my sister or without.
This summer, we agreed that my parents will come over for a week or 2, to spend time with DC. (Not to provide free childcare, I'm taking time off too). They've just emailed me that they bought tickets and oh, your sister can't take time off, so they're bringing my niece.
And I don't want her to come.
First, I'm sure my sister could take time off, at least some. Niece also has a father (they're not together) and other grandma. Plus there are summer camps and stuff, so it's not the only option. Of course, it's easier for my sister just to have parents taking care of this.
But more importantly, I know she's just a child and all, but my niece is spoiled, rude, ungrateful, messy and general pain in the arse. I do try - last time she was over I organised all kinds of activities for her; I always send her presents etc, but everything is met with a 'not interested', shrug or 'whatever'. So instead of spending time with my family, my parents will be busy running after her, again. Cooking her separate meals, going places where she wants to go instead of where my kids would and so on.
So - AIBU to want my parents to actually spend time with my DC for a week per year? Or am I a mean cow? If I am a mean cow, how to deal with this?
Well if it makes you feel better I'd be miffed aswell, so if you're being U so am I I get shes just a child, but it's the fact that your parents will (from your post) be running round after her when the main point of the visit was to spend time with DC's. Not much you can do now though I'm afraid, hopefully you can try and ensure your kids get quality time!
Oh and yes in principle would be lovely for the cousins to play together, but niece shows little to no interest in DC. So that's no silver lining either.
Have they got the ticket for your niece yet? If not, I would be contacting them and saying "look... I rarely see you and I just wanted some together with you and my kids"
Also, if there's a big age gap between your niece and your DC's I bet everything will hinge around what she wants to do....
I would be really pissed off TBH
Yanbu that would piss me off too, can you not say it to your mam?
Yanbu I would feel the same. Not sure what you can do now though..
Is it definitely too late, tickets all paid for etc? Because I don't think it's unreasonable for you to ask that it's just them. Either that or really be strict with your niece when she comes and don't take any crap from her. She'll either behave or never want to come again, so that'd be better anyway.
My DC are 2 and a baby - niece is 11, so not many common interests.
They have already bought the ticket, I can pay for it, that's not a problem. I just feel horrible saying that I don't really want to see my niece (although parents themselves admit that she's 'challenging').
Urgh. Really bad of them to present it as a fait accompli. I would be pissed off too, and can imagine exactly the issues.
Have an honest talk with them about it?
I'm really surprised by all the responses so far.
My sister lives a fair way from us too and we don't meet up that often but when we do, the very best bit is to see the cousins together. There's an age range of 15yo - 5yo and it's wonderful how they all rub along together in a way that other mixed groups wouldn't (or don't often get the opportunity to?)
It sounds like you hardly ever see your niece so how can you be so certain how she will behave?
It wouldn't surprise me if your parents have instigated this so that they can have all their DGC together (mine would) rather than it being the easy option for your sister.
Make sure it isn't too late and they haven't booked yet Tell them to leave her behind. Rude to bring someone not invited even if she is your niece.
Mostly I try not to upset my parents but occasionally I think it's worth saying when you're feeling disappointed or let down by something. If I was in this situation I'd probably say (on the phone) something like:
"I can't help but feeling very disappointed that DC1 and DC2 won't have you all to themselves when you're here. I know we don't see niece as often as we'd like, but we also don't see you as often as we'd wish and I'd hoped that it would be a special time with just you visiting".
Any justification for the arrangements on their part, I'd say "I know, I'm just disappointed though".
I would just say "Actually we were looking forward to just seeing you. I'm happy to postpone until such time as you can come yourselves without niece. " and see how they respond.
I really would speak up this time. Don't have your precious time with your parents ruined. Just say you have activities planned that older child will not like, that are baby centred. You should have been asked before if you minded. It's rude.
Tell them she's not invited and if that means they can't come also then you're sorry to hear that, maybe next time.
What would be the point of them coming if they're going o be wrapped up in her needs anyway, they can do that at home.
Well I'm joining the mean bitch camp because I'd be pissed off too.
I start by saying what ceebie suggested.
I then might even throw a strop.
don't say that you had acticities planned that older child will not like, as Betty has suggested. Be more honest than that. I like Lea's suggestion of postponing until they can come alone.
I wouldn't be happy either. I know when my 11 year old niece is staying with us she wants to go shopping and to see films for older children. There is not much she can do with my 6 year old DS. I can't imagine you'll have to follow her about on her activities - as she'll be complaining of being bored going to places that suit small children.
OpenMe she's been the same for the past 11 years and has unfortunately not recently matured and changed (based on the skype conversations I try to have with her). I would love if they rubbed along, but she just ignores them when they're together.
It's entirely reasonable of you. Of course you don't want to childmind an adolescent in the rare and rather precious time you get with your parents.
Having said that, my heart does rather go out to your niece. She sounds rather shuffled off on to grandparents, and she has to know that.
Yanbu, that time is to spend with you and your dc, not your niece as well. She already gets granny time. I would contact them, and tell them that you would rather niece not come, and rearrange another time if it is inconvenient.
"When I planned the visit I did not know you would be otherwise engaged, let's rearange for when you are free"
I would reply quickly that there is not room for her/ you have plans and payed for activators she can not attended etc. Lay it on thick. They will probably be too nice to challenge you.
My Dc are the older 2 among the cousins and we find the opposite. Activities are arranged to suit the youngest. Which is fine. DS1 (15yo) loves an opportunity to play in the sand, feed the lambs at the petting farm etc with the little ones, when he would be too grown up
and miss the fun without them. Ds2 (12yo) loves being the big boy and getting a bit of supervised responsibility looking after the LOs.
I do find it helps if they have a rough idea of the "itinerary" in advance. i.e. they know that any films with be U rated and we'll be going to the farm, not the shops.
YANBU - but it would be healthy if you could grasp that grip one way or another. You either need to phone your parents and say that that does not work for you, or you could refocus your ideas and look on this as another chance to support your parents and neice, who does, I agree, sound rather shuffled off, and who may, one day, thank you for giving her a break.
The worst option would be to fall between the two - not to feel that you can put your foot down, nor to feel that you can put your needs aside and support them all, but to end up hosting them all, feeling resentful/used/neglected.
If you do let them all come, see if you can take time to talk to your parents whilst they are with you, and let them know that you would really love them to come over and spend time with your dcs and you, without your neice one day. They probably have come to feel obliged to look after her, but they are grown ups and need to step up and say no, occasionally too. If you make it clear this time that you would like them to, they might feel able to do that next time.
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