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To not want to go back to the UK to see family for our yearly holiday?

(156 Posts)
BummyMummy77 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:04:07

So I'm about to book our yearly holiday. We can only afford one holiday a year as dh is self employed.

Since I moved to the States 5 years ago dh and I (and then ds who's now almost 3) have spent all our spare time and money going back to the UK. So we've not had a 'holiday' in 6 years. In fact, we've only been together that long so have only actually had one holiday together.

The problem is going back home is not a holiday for me. Of course it's LOVELY to see my family and very important for them to see ds as he grows up but it's also incredibly stressful. The journey there is a headfuck then when we are there family demand all of our time and either plan outings which involve a lot more travelling (not great with a toddler who's already off kilter being away from home) or just sitting inside watching the tv all day.

And then there's the arguing about having to see EVERYONE when we just don't have time. Another thing that makes it hard is both of my parents (who are separated so we have to spilt time with them) have very different views to me on parenting and constantly tell me. So staying with them is about as relaxing as pulling teeth.

Also I feel bad that this is dh's holiday every year! Although he does see it as more of a holiday in some respects as Britian is all new and exciting to him still.

Of course it's so important ds knows his British family and they see him grow up so I feel like a total selfish wankpot wanting to book this year's holiday somewhere nice instead. (Hawaii grin ) The Winters here are so long and so harsh (talking -30 and feet of snow and ice for some years November-April) it's a pisser jetting off to the UK instead of somewhere we could actually feel warm for a bit!

This would make me extremely unpopular with my family.

Aibu and selfish to skip a UK trip for a year?

SeaCabbage Tue 16-Aug-16 11:05:49

Not at all. You should have the holiday you want. Not the holiday that someone eles wants you to have.

Seeline Tue 16-Aug-16 11:07:23

No - I don't think you are. Presumably family could come and visit you in the US if they wanted to?
If you get really guilt-ridden, could you run to paying for a hotel in the UK, and getting family to visit you/have days out with them near the hotel? At least that would give you a break.
Is there an option of going to DHs family this year - that would be fair?

BolshierAryaStark Tue 16-Aug-16 11:08:28

Of course you aren't, do any of the family come out to you? If not why not? Hardly fair that you should be expected to do the journey & paying for flights etc all the time.

PortiaFinis Tue 16-Aug-16 11:09:57


I've been an ex-pat and I hated this element of it - and that was without dealing with all the hassle you seem to get when you land.

Go for Hawaii! Or the Caribbean! Or anywhere!

I once calculated that I spent longer going on the trains to see everyone I had to see than I'd actually spent hanging out with the people I love. DH and I are thinking of moving overseas again and if we do we are definitely setting time limits on how often we come back before we go - so everyone is clear.

MissMargie Tue 16-Aug-16 11:12:51

Send an email to all at the same time saying you are holidaying in X (possibly somewhere nearer than Hawaii) as going all the way to the UK is too exhausting, DH needs a proper break without all the travelling. They are welcome to visit any time hopefully they don't but you are keeping in touch by Skype now instead.

I don't think there is a way round just being firm and honest.
Skype is great anyway. Try to fix times for chats so you aren't constantly interrupted when busy.

BaronessBomburst Tue 16-Aug-16 11:14:53

Nope. Don't do it.
We are about to make the annual pilgrimage back. Driving there, driving around, driving back, air beds, suitcases, all stuffed into room. I love my family dearly but haven't had a holiday since 2008.
I'm not doing it next year.

ineedwine99 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:15:21

Not unreasonable at all, you need a proper break too, go to Hawaii, it's an amazing place!

JaniceBattersby Tue 16-Aug-16 11:19:13

The people I know who have moved to the States and Australia don't come back here every year. They are making the most of getting to know the different areas of the new countries in which they live.

If your family are so keen to see you then they'll come out to you, won't they?

Tweennightmare Tue 16-Aug-16 11:19:30

As an ex-expat you are definitely not unreasonable . Things we have done is tell people we are going to for example france and they are more than welcome to join us . That way you make yourself available but the impetus is on other people to also make an effort and you get a holiday . We have also paid for parents to visit us to ease the guilt if that is an option but I speak as someone who has spent far too much of my time in Premier Inns spending a fortune in god forsaken towns just visiting rellies

Ruhrpott Tue 16-Aug-16 11:19:37

I hated this too about living abroad. In the end I insisted we rented a holiday cottage for at least a week somewhere nice in the UK as well as staying with the family the rest of the time. People could then come and see us there if they wanted to (they never did)

BummyMummy77 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:21:12

Sorry to drip feed but the problem is none of them can come here. Well not my Mum, Dad or Grandma who we're the most close to.

Mum is the sole carer of my brother who's very high dependancy and my Dad has a degenerative health condition as does my Grandma. This also means that while I love seeing them and they love seeing me (but even more so ds) they are all pretty short tempered and that's just not a great mix with a rambunctious toddler. hmm They're all very much of the 'children should be seen and not heard and get a good smacking if they don't toe the line' which means I'm just like a cat on hot bricks trying to get him to be calm the whole time.

BummyMummy77 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:21:40

We can't do Skype as we have appallingly slow internet.

Pootles2010 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:25:51

Could you go, and rent a nice place nearby so you can see more of them, but with a bit of space?

I know people won't agree with me on this, but i kind of think if you choose to move away from your family, its up to you to maintain the relationship.

Amelie10 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:26:48

Yanbu we lived on another continent for a very long time and didn't make visiting back home our holiday priority. We visited every 2/3 years and preferred to travel to actual holiday destinations. Apart from seeing family, going back home is nothing of a holiday. It's trying to see everyone, nothing new because you know the place, and then back home where you feel you need a holiday after that.

aintnothinbutagstring Tue 16-Aug-16 11:29:54

I think its fine to skip a year (or two!) But then I'm pretty lazy about visiting my own family who only live the other end of the country. Book somewhere nice and warm!

CurlyMoo Tue 16-Aug-16 11:33:56

Until your second post I was going to say YADNBU. Visiting family is never a holiday as an ex-pat. It would be made slightly easier I think if you had your own place.

It is tough that the onus is on you to maintain the relationship between your ds and his DGD seeing as it is impossible for them to travel. We reduced our visits to home country until it became every 3 or 4 years and as a result my children feel little connection to that side of the family, so I suppose you need to decide how important this is for you.

Redken24 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:34:38

have the hols you want for a change

mrsnec Tue 16-Aug-16 11:35:36

I moved from the UK in 2011. It's a 5 hour flight and then 5 hour drive to visit my parents and I refuse to do it. The idea just fills me with dread because it wouldn't feel like a holiday and I am very fond of my family but they do come here because I can offer them more here in terms of accomodation etc. OP in your circumstances have a year off.

NynaevesSister Tue 16-Aug-16 11:36:34

I am in your position but reverse. Over the years I realise that people had home have no clue at all as to what this really means for you and what you give up to visit.

I would suggest that you set some boundries now that are very clear and be very clear with your parents what this means for you. And they have to understand that while they are your family, you also have a family of your own now.

I have down several trips now on my own. It's so so so much easier just to go with myself and son as then I can make it about family and not have to stress about doing holiday stuff for DH. It also means he doesn't use up his holiday time every year. I can work remotely so I take work with me, so it doesn't impact me so much either.

Also while I was able to go home every year before children we just had to put the brakes on that. As lovely as it would be it is just too much. You need your own family time too.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Tue 16-Aug-16 11:44:18

It seems an awful shame to live in a country with so many different things to see and places to visit and never get to do that. Could you go home every second year?

EttaJ Tue 16-Aug-16 11:46:25

YANBU. We go on holiday and go also go back to the UK but if it was one of the other, I wouldn't go back to the UK to visit. It costs a fortune for a start and people really can be dicks about it. I always feel we travel a bloody long way at great expense and some people can't even be bothered to make the effort or they treat you like you still live in the same village.

Have your holiday ,where and the way YOU want it.

Griphook Tue 16-Aug-16 11:48:28

What does your dh think? Does he want to visit his family? On the face of it yanbu.

jwpetal Tue 16-Aug-16 11:51:04

I am an American living in the UK with 3 children. My family kindly help pay for our flights. They find this cheaper than everyone flying to us and we see them more. Even with this, we do not go every year. This year we went to Croatia and my mom is coming here for 2 weeks. One of my sisters will visit in September. We will go next summer for 5 weeks.

When we do go, we have a gathering at one of the family houses and invite people including those we would not always see but we are still in touch with. This is great to make additional plans/get our visits in quickly. We also block out a week to go just as a family somewhere.

It is still stressful, but we find that we are able to see everyone and still have down time. What I am trying to say is don't feel guilty and do what works with your family. I don't know if you are in the US permanently but there are a lot of amazing places to visit on the other side of the pond.

BummyMummy77 Tue 16-Aug-16 11:51:55

I kind of agree Pootle that I feel as I moved away the onus is on me to make the effort. But saying that I do feel both dh and ds are missing out on having a nice holiday.

We can't afford to rent anywhere there, the plane fares and loss of earnings for dh are all we can manage.

At the back of my mind too is that both Dad and Gran may not see many more years so to skip one makes me feel awful.

But then as usual we end up going and the trip is awful and I'm left with smouldering resentment again. Gah. Dh is saying we should do four days with each parent then fuck off to Spain for some sun but typical American and they're crappy knowledge of any country but America doesn't get it that Spain won't be 25 degrees in December. grin

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