To think staying with in laws is not a holiday(80 Posts)
DH parents moved to France years ago, before our children came along. They have recently started with slight digs about how we do not go to visit them. We have been over a few times but not since kids were born....they live in the middle of nowhere and visiting involves a plane and car hire or ferry and a 12 hour drive in France neither of which are cheap. Also if we visited we cannot go when the weather is good as they let out their holiday cottage to paying guests so have to go off season. Other things that put me off are:
1. Have to completely self cater so again adds to cost (bit bitter about this as we always feed/booze/house them when they come to us)
2. Last time we went PILS drank all our booze(enough to last the week) and then got huffy when we didn't buy more.
3.Absolutely fuck all to do there, nothing in walking distance, several hours drive from beach etc. I don't know what they see in it!
It's not that I dislike them although to be honest we see so little of them I don't really have much of a relationship with them either. I just feel that considering it's so boring and expensive I would much rather spend the money and precious annual leave entitlement on something the whole family would enjoy. DH is starting to talk about going back over but I think it's more out of feeling obligated than anything else but I feel bad saying no. Am I being a miserable selfish git??
It's more of an endurance test than a holiday!
God no you're not a miserable git, it sounds like hell on earth.
How come they manage to let the holiday cottage if there is nothing to do there?
Err, how old are the kids? Have they ever visited their grandparents in France?
Obviously I have no idea, but mine would find it quite an adventure staying in a different country; though admittedly they are not well travelled, having only been abroad once so far!
Maybe I'm off here but I think you should try it at least once, for the sake of the kids relationship with their grandparents. Unless it is not a relationship you wish to nurture. It will save nagging for a few years if nothing else (though I agree it sounds like it may not be fun; but you may be surprised)
My fiancé's parents live in a very small village in the Black Forest in Germany - a 10 hour drive from Calais, or an hour's drive from Basel airport. Visiting them feels like a holiday, but I put that down to them and circumstances. There's plenty to do, it's easy enough to get to (if a long drive!) and they are very welcoming. Under your circumstances, I think I'd find it a tad trying.
Can you stay with them during good weather and get the sun and some catering?
I don't go anywhere I don't want to and certainly if it involves in laws.
Do they come over to see you OP? How old are your children? As long as PIL are getting the chance to see their grandchildren - by visiting you I mean - I don't see why you should go out to the middle of nowhere with children who will clearly be bored to tears, no fun for anyone. And it was them who moved away, not you. YANBU.
Tell DH to pay them a visit on his own for a week. Site the reasons you listed ie distance, cost, location (difficult to amuse small children) and not wanting children to spend their whole holiday in a car as the reason you and the kids are staying behind.
Or suggest you meet them somewhere, nearer, more child friendly. Lots of nice holidays spots in France, especially as you pay for your own accommodation and food anyway.
When people move to remote places they have to be realistic.
In your case it doesn't sound like a holiday at all, but it isn't always like that. My PIL lived in Philadelphia, so we could only come and see them every other year. They had little money so flying over to see us was a struggle for them too. We treasured those visits and were always made to feel really welcome - we had to argue to be allowed to contribute to the food bill but it was all friendly. There was lots to do and see in the city too, and we had the chance to catch up with everyone in DH's family. We have amazing memories of the time spent holidaying with my PIL. I would say whether or not it's a holiday depends on the location and on the PIL.
I agree - that sounds crap! In the end, they've chosen to live in the middle of nowhere and they don't sound particularly hospitable either, so they shouldn't be surprised that you don't want to visit out of season to an area with little to do. My parents have a thing about rural France too, but tbh, having had holidays all through my childhood that involved wandering around dusty, boiling castles and traipsing around hill towns in the midday heat I have no wish to spend my adult holidays doing the same thing! Give me a hotel with someone else to make my bed, someone else to make breakfast and a lovely pool to lie by and slide into periodically and I'm happy. Surely a holiday should be about ease, leisure and someone else doing the work? Otherwise, its just the same shit in a different place.
Visit them when you want and stay in a different area near them and just pop over for a couple of days rather than spending all week with them at a time you don't want to go.
Otherwise as they are the ones who have moved and they don't have kids tell them it's inconvenient and they're welcome to visit.
And speak up if they drink all your alcohol, although they maybe feel they are doing you a favour letting you have their holiday cottage and don't realise you're the ones doing them a favour by visiting them.
I find whole weeks with people just because they live a distance away can be too much.
Another vote for staying somewhere fun within striking distance of them.
We have just stopped holidays with the inlaws after ten years
please God let it stick and although I love them dearly, they picked the locations really well and are fun to be around, I just can't wait not to go next year.
I have no idea what kind of mad person would choose it as a holiday let! They do get good weather in the summer and is very peaceful but other than that nothing going for it. It's not even like the cottage is special...it's really basic and baking in summer/freezing in winter.
Don't want to out myself by saying where they are, it's about 12 hour drive from Calais.
Kids are 5 and 1 - they have stayed with us once a year since eldest was born although spend a lot of that time doing crosswords and watching crap telly so me and DH often wonder what the point was!
I don't think DH going in his own is an option, i think he and they would expect the kids to come.
I have suggested getting ferry before and meeting half way between port and theirs for a week somewhere nice but DH and in laws not interested.
How about you visit them for a few days and then head somewhere more interesting. If you fly/hire a car that should cut down on travel time. 12 hours drive from Calais must be nearly in Spain ...
It's visiting family, not a holiday. There are lots of good reasons for not going; the expense, the difficult journey, the fact that you can't go when the holiday cottage is let, going out of season may be restricted by school holidays (in the future if not already,) and you prefer not to self cater on holiday. Plus there is nothing for you all to do and what there is, is far away so even more travelling. You don't say whether the PIL are good GP's, because if they didn't make any effort with the DC that would be a no from me.
Would it be out of the question to say that DH could go alone to see his parents?
Where do they live? How old are your children? Could you not stay somewhere nearby where there are things to do? Would you be staying in their holiday house? Could you ask them to keep it free for a week in the summer so you could stay in it then?
I completely sympathise OP, my ILs have a second home in a completely dull and rubbish, landlocked part of France that they spend the summer in, and I go stir crazy when we visit. Admitedly my ILs do cater for us (well) when we are there, and its an ancestral home so an important part of my DH's and DC's roots (DH is French).
No matter how dull I find it there, I do make sure we go every 2 years (ie every other summer holiday). Its important for my DC to have the time with their GPs, and it means a lot to DH. I think you should try and visit at least once. Ways we have made it more bearable is to fly to said boring place, then plan a 4-5 day break somewhere more interesting that is a TGV or drive away, the back to boredom for the last few days - it breaks it up a bit and I feel I do get something interesting and worthwhile to do in the middle (and a break from the ILS!). There is nowhere in France that is not 3 hours drove from somewhere interesting. In our case we done the swiss lakes one time, Marseille another...
Suggest they meet up with you in Brittany -- pay halves on a gite. Somewhere where there's a beach for the DC. Then at least you've made the offer. Be very upfront about your financial situation as well.
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