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To be irritated that people gasp in horror because I’m not overly family orientated?

(50 Posts)
Aumtumnalredsky Wed 25-Oct-17 10:33:42

DP and I were out to dinner at the weekend with DP’s friend and his wife.

DP and I are going away next week on holiday, I mentioned that my parents are also away that week. The wife said ‘Oh lovely, you’re going together.’ I said ‘Oh no, we’re gong to different places.’ She looked horrified and said ‘oh no, what a shame, why on earth don’t you all go together?!’ I said because as much as I love them, I wanted a relaxing week away with DP. She looked ‘sad’ at this, but didn’t press further.

A few weeks ago we saw In Laws (who are all live in each other’s pockets types, who also have to holiday together 3 x a year) and they said ‘Are you not seeing your parents/ siblings this weekend Autumn?’ I said ‘I saw them all last weekend so no not this weekend.’ ‘You don’t see them very much do you?!’ ‘I see them about once a fortnight/ every few weeks mostly.’ ‘Ah, that’s such a shame’

I know there is no right or wrong here and everyone is different etc, but AIBU to feel fed up of people ‘pitying’ me and almost insinuating I’m abnormal for not wanting to spend every waking minute with my parents and siblings? I’m 31 FGS.

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 25-Oct-17 10:34:44

Not abnormal. Everyone has their own thoughts about what is a normal amount of contact.

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 25-Oct-17 10:36:25

I don’t think it’s normal to be irritated by it though. And I also don’t think it’s normal for people to “gasp in horror”. Is this actually happening? You say you saw them 2 weeks ago and they literally recoil, gasping in breath and goggle eyed? If so, that really isn’t normal.

2014newme Wed 25-Oct-17 10:38:01

Of course they did not gasp in horror that you aren't holidaying with your in laws.

Aumtumnalredsky Wed 25-Oct-17 10:41:37

I think what gets me the most is the sheer ignorance of it all.

You only have to look at the Stately Homes thread to see that a lot of people don’t have any contact with their family, or grew up in v abusive households etc. It’s v insensitive IMO to keep banging on about it all the time. (In laws go on about it A LOT to me) I do love my family, but I’m afraid nowadays I can only handle them in smaller doses. They’re lovely people, we just don’t have that much in common and TBH, I tend to enjoy company of friends more. Having said that, some weeks I’ll see them 3/4 times, it really just depends on what we’re all doing.

It must be nice to have a really close family, however people need to realise that not everyone does and comments like the one made at the weekend (which were made pretty incredulously) are irritating and insensitive.

SylviaPoe Wed 25-Oct-17 10:42:28

Seeing your parents every two weeks is surely much more than the average person does.

Do you live very near them?

Aumtumnalredsky Wed 25-Oct-17 10:42:38

She did. She really, really did. She thought it was ‘such a shame’ I thought it was odd and OTT myself which is why I was irritated.

Aumtumnalredsky Wed 25-Oct-17 10:43:56

They’re about 10 miles away, so not far.

MoistCantaloupe Wed 25-Oct-17 10:44:47

No one I know sees their family that frequently, or holidays with them.

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 25-Oct-17 10:45:47

Tell her she’s welcome to visit them if she wants.

Aumtumnalredsky Wed 25-Oct-17 10:47:09

Well, I’m starting to think I’m just a bit unfortunate in that regard as I seem to be meeting more and more people lately that spend A LOT of time with their families. Which is fine, lovely for them. Just don’t try to shove it onto me.

Helendee Wed 25-Oct-17 10:49:28

My family is really close and I see my children and grandchildren all the time, we also go away together every year; it works for us but different strokes for different folks.

Fluffysparks Wed 25-Oct-17 10:50:29

Yes thank you for that Cauliflower hmm

MiniCooperLover Wed 25-Oct-17 10:54:27

I haven’t seen my mother or siblings in over a year. 2 sisters live in this country and another sister and mother in another country. We talk regularly, we keep in touch. We’d drive each other mad if we lived near each other !!

ichbineinstasumer Wed 25-Oct-17 10:57:02

when I go home to visit my parents twice a year I too get lots of pitying remarks that I am 'only' able to stay for a week, and how wonderful it must be to be back home. In reality I go out of duty because as much as I love my parents I don't enjoy being 'back home' and just want to be back somewhere less judgmental doing my own thing. I smile and nod.

2014newme Wed 25-Oct-17 10:57:19

Ok so 'people' gasp in horror was one person on one occasion. 🙄

NameChangeFamousFolk Wed 25-Oct-17 10:58:57

So one woman had her jaw hanging open with shock, and weeks later your in laws gave a low-key 'oh that's a shame' type response to a similar thing.

I'd probably just chalk that one up to 'life' or something to be honest.

Choccyhobnob Wed 25-Oct-17 10:59:32

I'm a bit like this. See my dad every month or so, he lives 30 mins away, see my mum and siblings every2 or 3 months as they live 200 miles away. I speak to my mum on the phone once a week and my dad maybe once a month! Have whatsapp Group chat with my siblings but don't tend to call them. We don't spend Christmas day together as it's hard with distance, new kids, split parents and in laws. We don't love each other any less, we know we're always there.

DH on the other hand speaks to both his parents every single day, sees his dad once a week, his mum 2 or 3 times a week and he always says it's like my parents don't love me as we don't have this relationship. So stupid, he's an only child, I'm one of 5 from multiple marriages. It's just different!

Member984815 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:00:24

Most of my family live in the same town as me .I don't make a point of visiting ,if they want me they know where I am same if I want them .just because you don't spend a lot of time with people doesn't mean u are not close you just don't feel the need to be in their space all the time .

amusedbush Wed 25-Oct-17 11:03:14

Once a fortnight is quite a lot. I'm seeing my parents a week on Saturday but the last time I saw them was in May. They live 90 minutes away so hardly the other side of the world, but my mother is an unbearable narcissist and I limit my time with her.

DH is even worse - his dad lives a ten minute walk away from us and he hasn't visited him since June!

peachgreen Wed 25-Oct-17 11:03:30

I see my mum and dad maybe four times a year and it works perfectly for us. I love them both dearly but there’s no question that a) we get on better from a distance and b) I function much more effectively as an adult when I’m more independent from them as they can be very controlling. Now if only my brother (firmly attached to the apron strings) would realise the same thing...!

We see DH’s siblings once or twice a month and would go on holiday with them (although not for our main holiday - that’s time for just us) and really enjoy it. But they’re very different people!

My priority is my DH and the little family we’re building, and I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of.

goingonabearhunt1 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:06:13

Yeah I've found ppl have very different ideas about what's 'normal' re family time.

I don't get it either OP; I get on OK with my parents but I don't need to see them every week. I probably see my folks 5/6 times a year for at least 2 days each time, one longer visit which for me is plenty (but then again I have 2 lots of DPs/DSPS so it's actually twice that which people don't always get). I also them every couple of weeks as a minimum too. But there's only so much annual leave I get and I don't want to use all of it seeing family I'm afraid. I also want to see my friends and spend time with my partner too.

Does anyone else think women get more judged on this issue as well? My partner definitely sees/phones his parents less and I don't see anyone questioning him on it.

crazycatlady5 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:07:00

In a way I’m jealous. My family used to see each other in every Sunday (grandparents, uncles, aunties, everyone) and you’d be seen as out of order if you dared to plan anything else that wasn’t an actual holiday abroad.

goingonabearhunt1 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:08:44

*phone them every couple of weeks that was meant to say

goingonabearhunt1 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:11:31

I would find that stressful crazycat, Sundays are my only time to rest and clear up the place!

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