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Who is being unreasonable regarding family holiday?

(25 Posts)
kingcnut1st Thu 25-Apr-19 22:28:27

So since before birth, MIL has paid for all of her immediate family to go on holiday where they rent a (very) big house for a week by the sea side.
BIL and family fly in from the US for it, and it's when dc see their cousins the most. We do all enjoy it but it can be boring. Even though the house is very big (for 18 people), DD 21 and her cousin (14) have to share a room.

MIL puts lots of pressure to make sure we all go. She constantly makes passive aggressive comments like "Oh won't it be lovely that we're ALL there together"... "Saul it'll be so nice that you will be there"

Now my DC are graduated from university or the one is at university. My graduated DS booked a week off work for it. My DD at university wants to apply for a summer job that falls over the dates of the week of the family holiday. Would I be unreasonable to suggest that she applies for the job and if she got it, then to go? Or is MIL unreasonable to expect her there?

ZippyBungleandGeorge Thu 25-Apr-19 22:29:51

Work comes first

FamilyOfAliens Thu 25-Apr-19 22:31:28

You get to a stage with family gatherings here people’s commitments means they can’t always attend.

So I think it’s fine if she would prefer to work than attend this gathering. But make sure she tells her grandmother herself.

MsJaneAusten Thu 25-Apr-19 22:32:12

She can’t not apply for a job because of a holiday! Would she be able to join you for a few days?

kingcnut1st Thu 25-Apr-19 22:35:53

Should have said; the job is the other side of the world so she wouldn't be able to join

Cherrysoup Thu 25-Apr-19 22:36:13

They're going to go their own way. It would be ridiculous to expect everyone to turn up forever more.

Leeds2 Thu 25-Apr-19 22:36:47

I would tell my DD to apply for the job. And, if she gets it, to explain to grandma herself why she can't go on holiday. That surely can't be a problem.

MyNewBearTotoro Thu 25-Apr-19 22:37:50

Of course MIL is being unreasonable. Work comes first. Maybe she could try and go for a couple of days if she’s able (and wants) to in order to see people but I wouldn’t see it as an obligation. To be honest even if your DD wasn’t working I wouldn’t think she was unreasonable if she didn’t want to go because it’s boring or because she could be having more fun with friends etc. I used to do similar holidays with my grandparents, aunts/ uncles and cousins which I loved as a child but I stopped attending in my late teens because to be honest I found them boring and a bit uncomfortable as I only saw some of the relatives once a year so didn’t really know them that well.

BackforGood Thu 25-Apr-19 22:38:00

Not sure how MiL saying "Oh won't it be lovely that we're ALL there together" is passive aggressive - she is hoping that is how it will be and is looking forwards to it.
Once the dc get to be adults, then they will sometimes have to miss things due to work - my dc do all the time because they all work odd shifts and will commonly be working when someone arranges a family get together. It's just the way it is once they get to that age.

Of course she should still apply for the job.
She might still be able to book a couple of days off and join you all - I would have thought she'd want to see her cousins and Aunt and Uncle from America particularly. But your MiL isn't being unreasonable to hope that everyone can be there if at all possible, either.

BackforGood Thu 25-Apr-19 22:38:37

x posted with the bit about the job being abroad.

pallisers Thu 25-Apr-19 22:42:33

Your MIL has had a great run of it - having a week each year in which every family member showed up to the holiday she organised. Most people are glad if most family (not all) show up for a day or two at easter or christmas or whatever.

She can't possibly expect this to now extend to her adult grandchildren? They are off with lives of their own that may conflict with the dates of the holiday. Or they may prefer to use their holidays for something else. Or they may not want to spend that week with family at all. All are perfectly reasonable attitudes. Tell both your children to do whatever suits them best - if one loves the family get together, that's great. If one prefers to prioritse work, that is also fine.

And if your MIL gets stroppy, I suggest you sit down with her and gently (and if that doesn't work, seriously) tell her that she cannot control how her adult grandchildren spend their time for an entire week unless she wants them to think she is utterly unreasonable and uncaring of them.

Purpleartichoke Thu 25-Apr-19 22:43:34

She should apply for the job. That is her priority right now.

Also, as they are heading out in the world, this tradition is not sustainable. Your sibling who lives in the US, well high school kids there often have summer commitments that if skipped mean they can’t participate in an activity for the next year. Before too long there will be partners and the house will be too small.

The best way to keep this going is to be a little flexible. Our family had a 50 year holiday tradition, but the younger generation had to force a week change because the school schedule is different than it was back then. There could have been tension, but thankfully the older generation adapted/. There have also been spells in the early 20s where people might not come every year, but then they start coming again. This time independently and as part of the adults, not the kids.

HolesinTheSoles Thu 25-Apr-19 22:57:56

I actually think the family gathering sounds lovely and even though the adult kids probably want to spread their wings they should make an effort to attend. That said they can't completely put the rest of their life on hold for the sake of it. If the summer job is a good opportunity (not just any old job that could be replaced with another) then I think she should go for it and maybe try to join for the weekend.

HolesinTheSoles Thu 25-Apr-19 22:59:20

Oh sorry the job is abroad - in that case I'm assuming it's not just a menial bar job and is a good opportunity for DD so in that case I do think she should go for but try and make the next gathering. She won't have endless opportunities to work abroad.

Squigglesworth Thu 25-Apr-19 23:17:29

Things change. Children get older and circumstances alter accordingly. MIL will just have to deal with her disappointment, but of course your daughter shouldn't schedule her life around (or base important decisions on) a family holiday.

Would MIL really want her to miss out on an opportunity just for the sake of a week's holiday? It's understandable to be disappointed that not everyone can make it, but she's unreasonable to expect it every single year.

Cranky17 Thu 25-Apr-19 23:20:11

Has the mil moaned that dd might not be able to come? She may well say congrats well done?

pallisers Thu 25-Apr-19 23:20:42

even though the adult kids probably want to spread their wings they should make an effort to attend

why? their grandmother loves this get together but she has had the joy of it for loads of years. why on earth should adult grandchildren have to make an effort to spend a week with extended family in their early 20s - time when they want to be doing other things (having had 20 years of a week of family reunion already). No they don't need to make an effort. They can still be loving involved members of the family without spending a week in a house with their uncles and aunts and cousins.

CalmdownJanet Thu 25-Apr-19 23:23:35

Imagine not applying for a job so you can go on a boring sounding family holiday for one week just to keep granny happy 😂 you'd want to be insane! Tell her apply for the job, pass nobody an apology and if granny has the hump tell her cop the fuck on - simple enough really

TowelNumber42 Thu 25-Apr-19 23:25:55

Overseas work opportunity wins hands down over a boring holiday that she's already been on 20+ times.

MIL has to get her head around adult grandchildren choosing not to join in. It will happen increasingly. Overseas job is such an obviously good reasons for not going that it's a gentle way for MIL to start getting used to the idea.

I wouldn't breathe a word to MIL until very close to the holiday so she can't spoil DD's job excitement with emotional blackmail (whether intentional or not). That's assuming the house cost is fixed independently of how many attend.

saraclara Thu 25-Apr-19 23:30:42

The kids are becoming adults. This holiday can't possibly remain exactly the same in years to come. And the less fuss is made about those who have to start missing it, the more likely that it will carry on in the best possible way. People will stop enjoying it if a fuss is made about anyone having to miss it.

The same has happened (though not at quite the same scale) in my inlaw family. It's almost impossible to get everyone in one place at the same time, now that my daughters and their cousins are adults. But when the change started to happen, no-one made a fuss, interest was shown in the jobs or other commitments that meant someone couldn't come, and so everyone's still very enthusiastic about trying to make things if we can.

Bringbackthestripes Thu 25-Apr-19 23:36:13

Job comes first and MIL SHOULD be thrilled that DC has got a new job and, although her saying how sad it is DC is not joining the holiday this year, should be saying how fantastic it is they got a job-yay! (pre-empting may be necessary)

DC should apply for the job. If not now- when? Would they spend the rest of their lives explaining to employers they had to have ‘this’ time off for a family holiday for ever more ??!

Soozikinzi Thu 25-Apr-19 23:45:50

It is ridiculous to expect the grandchild to miss out on this opportunity. Unfortunately much as we may wish to do so we can't make time stand still. Our children grow up and fly the nest . MiL will have to get over it .

Chocmallows Thu 25-Apr-19 23:49:01

Change happens, it's life!

Let the DC decide as they're old enough.

mathanxiety Fri 26-Apr-19 00:01:55

I have gone through this with the ILs and big family holidays.

Work comes first. It is unreasonable for MIL to expect anyone at university and presumably working in the summer or when graduated to do this.

I would say even for late teens who might have a full time summer job (happens a lot in the US where I am and summers last almost 12 weeks) it is unreasonable. Your DB's family will be looking at this situation before long. In addition, when his children graduate and get their first jobs they will most likely have just one week of vacation per year plus a few personal days and will be looking at squeezing Christmas and maybe Thanksgiving or Easter into those few precious days.

Doesn't matter whether the holiday is boring or whether a young adult DD must share a room with a younger cousin. The only thing that matters is the job.

Sad to see a lovely tradition go but children grow up.

kateandme Fri 26-Apr-19 08:43:54

no this is just what day she will cirlce back and comes if its still going on.and other time other "now adults!" wont be able to make it.its little sad and you miss them but not really. you come together and you do things apartone day they will have their own fmily and this might too take them other places.
let your daughter choose.

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