Weird families: is it me or them that's bat sh*** crazy?(60 Posts)
ladies, I want to share one of the several arguments I have with my family so I can really get some insight into whether I'm the one causing the problems or them. I'm going to present both sides of the story as best I can.
I live in Greece. I have three children under the age of five. My family in England (mum, sister, brother in law, niece aged four and nephew aged 12) have booked one weeks holiday to come and visit me. I asked them many, many times to come and stay in my four storey house when they visit, they would have an entire floor with bedroom and bathroom to themselves but they don't want to stay with me because they "wouldn't feel comfortable", so instead they booked one of the most expensive resorts in the country, it's an hours drive from me, so, in order to see my family during their visit to errr... "See me" I would need to drive upwards of two hours a day with three small children and then pay a daily entrance fee of 100 euro a day for the resort (just a reminder that I'm living in a country facing severe economic crisis and my life s very much affected by this as my family well know).
When I told my sister and mum that this was not a very place for me to visit they changed their booking so now they will spend three days at that resort. But that still leaves four days. I found them a lovely hotel ten mins drive from my house (I live just 25 min drive from the beach) but they didn't want that hotel because it's not right on the beach.
I should add that when I visit the uk I stay at my sisters house where my mum also lives,, even though they live in a town that I've no connection with at all and don't know my way around and s not rather difficult with the kids because you need to drive to get anywhere, still it would never enter my head Not to be there when visiting.
My mum and sister argue that it s their holiday too and their children's and so they should be able to enjoy it by the beach. For me, the closer we stay to one another the more time we can spend with one another. My sister says that her children would want to be at the beach and it should be about them. But I think children just love being around other children wherever. Yesterday this escalated into a massive row with my mum almost screaming that she should "be able to enjoy her money" without me telling her how to send it, which I totally agree wth in theory, but she's entirely missing the actual issue at hand. Anyway....for anyone out there who managed to read the massive thread intro firstly thank you!! And secondly...is this wrong or am I wrong?
Their primary motive for coming is the holiday, sorry!
I can see their point. If they're spending money to visit you and this is going to be their holiday that they should get to choone where they stay.
I'm not sure it is an issue of right and wrong but different priorities. It seems their priority is the beach holiday.
Trouble is, it's hard for people to understand how when you live abroad and go to home country for a visit, you are also using up holiday time and budget. There are so many places in UK I would prefer to visit than the towns where my friends and family live.
We went to stay in a different place we actually wanted to visit. Before we booked it, we checked with friends and family if they could visit us there. After we booked it, only one friend made the effort. It was only 45mins drive and they were all people with cars.
So now we just go back to the same area with DCs because for us the aim of the trip is to see family, to maintain the cousin's relationship etc.
It sounds like they are coming to Greece for a holiday not really to visit you. I'm afraid you need to change your mindset and expectations or their whole trip is just going to lead to disappointment
Agree with the first poster. Their primary aim is to have a nice holiday and seeing you is part of it but not everything.
I do see their point - they have compromised by not staying in the expensive resort for the whole trip. If they don't live near a beach at home, the kids will enjoy being near one on holiday. Holidays are expensive and it's not wrong to want to do what they enjoy.
Personally I have always hated trips to DHs home country where his family spend the whole time in each other's houses - if I am going to spend all that money I want to actually see the place.
Tell them you hope they enjoy their holiday and look forward to seeing them if they have any time to pop over
I live abroad too. You do end up cut off from your family. For them it's different as they still have other family members to socialise with. They don't understand how it is when you only get to see another family member once in a blue moon.
I think its to do with Greece being such a favourite holiday destination and the weather being so nice. They want all this after being in cold UK all year. So yes they want to see you but getting that holiday experience is important too as they head back to possibly no more heat or beach for the rest of the year. If l go to a hot country l want to be at the sea as it's cooler and more pleasant. So lm afraid you are going to need to fit in a bit with them. Would your mom not treat ye to a few days at the resort as she has money so all the cousins could be together?
Sorry but I think it's you. Some people don't like staying at someone else's house and need their own space. They've already compromised once for you and you've still had a go at them.
When you live abroad people have to sacrifice holiday time and money to visit you. It's also a lot of organising just to get there. Very different to being in the UK and visiting. This is one of the things you need to accept when moving abroad, you might think it should be all about visiting but for them it's a different experience.
I would re-evaluate before the whole trip is spoilt.
Don't assume that children like being with children wherever. The 12 year old will be bored of the younger ones very quickly, and some children just don't get on. Not being able to escape from cousins irritating the life out of you can make a really shit holiday and as they rarely see each other there is no guarantee that they are going to get on.
I agree with your mum, sorry.
I wouldn't be investigating local hotels for them. They can do that.
If they want to stay elsewhere they need to organise their accommodation, and you can decide whether/how often to visit or offer to host them and let them know your decision. Eg if they stayed at the posh resort an hour away all week you could visit them once for the day and they could rent a car and visit you once.
I don't think anyone is being "crazy", they are just trying to have a holiday as well as seeing you, and you want them to prioritise you.
Just to let you know that we're moving this to AIBU at the OP's request.
I think you're the unreasonable one, sorry.
You don't get to move abroad then dictate the terms around visits.
I'd much rather stay in a resort with a pool, near the beach, with food and drink on tap that I don't have to shop for or prepare or clean up after consuming, with a maid that makes my bed and cleans the bathroom, where I know my child will be entertained.
They've told you outright that they "wouldn't feel comfortable" staying with you, perhaps you need to have a think about why that is?
It does sound as if you want to see them more than they want to see you-in terms of time, I mean.
If they were an hour away in a resort that you would have to pay to get into, then I doubt that they would have been planning on you going over every day!
How much room do you really have for them?
Presumably you stay with your sister because you want to spend your visits with family & it's a convenient & cheap way to do it?
Yabu try to see it from their point of view
Aw I feel sorry for you OP because I can see their perspective but at the same time my family would never have done this to me so I wouldn't have been it in the isotope to argue with them (ie they'd want to visit me and the kids first and foremost).
I think you should tell them that you understand this is partly a holiday and partly to visit you which you hadn't really understood before(explaining why you were so upset). I'd suggest they stay with you half the time and do completely freestyle holiday stuff the other half. Tell them that while they are with you the plan is also to see and do stuff that they will enjoy and you are really looking forward to their visit for the time they can spend with your family.
I don't think you are being unreasonable it's just that you and your family gave difference perspectives about this trip.
You think they are coming to see you.
They think they are going on holiday.
In your circumstances I wouldn't visit the resort and effectively pay to visit them.
I would however invite them for dinner at your house one day and also perhaps offer arrange a day trip all together to somewhere interesting.
Other than that I'd leave it up to them to suggest anything else.
If you were my sister I'd be going over to see you and would enjoy Greece for what I could see and do with you.
Fellow expat here. I have been there and done that.
Now we chose a destination that we would all like to holiday in and meet in the middle. Saves the trip back to the UK and we all get a holiday. Win win
I don't think either of you sound batshit crazy. You just have different expectations of what their visit should entail.
But ultimately, seeing as it's their time and money, it's their call to decide where they want to stay when they go over to Greece.
Are you in a pretty/touristy/beachy bit? England to Greece for a week is a fairly long trip if you're not gonna see any of the nice bits of the country. I might be more on their side tbh.
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