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WWYD 2 nephews

(42 Posts)
Henrietta75 Sun 14-Jun-20 14:16:22

My younger sisters’ lads aged 22 and 23.

Their father left them when they were younger so he’s completely out the picture. My sis raised them herself and they amazingly haven’t gone off the rails when I’ve seen other kids in the same situation. Both lads work as builders and work long hours and look after their mum.

Couple of years ago my other sister, her DH and 3 younger kids invited the lads to stay 7 to 10 days in the summer during their annual leave. This sis is a bit more well off than the rest of us and live in a large house in the countryside. The younger lad broke up with his girlfriend and was going through a tough time so his mother was happy they could get away and have a rest before the slog of work resumes. Their mum (she told me) offered some money to the other sis for their board and she told her to stop being ridiculous.

On the morning of day 5 of their stay the lads thank their hosts for their hospitality and abruptly leave and head for the coast saying an old friend has come in from abroad and they wish to spend time with them before he heads back.

Both of my sisters are then off with each other a couple of months later when we catch up. Eventually I get the 2 sides to the story :

Nephews - Wanted a complete rest e.g. sit in the garden relaxing, country walks, baked cakes, family board games, pub lunches (they’d pay their own) time to recuperate and chill. Come back refreshed ready for 10-12 hour shifts again. Day 1 they cut their massive lawn, day 2 stripped walls of younger cousin bedroom, day 3 went shopping and dragged around carrying bags of clothes for aunt. Day 4 asked if they could help clear out shed for sale as uncle had to go out for the day.

Sister - Needed a few bits doing so could combine holiday with a few jobs that had accumulated.

Christmas comes and we’re all together at my parents for Christmas dinner. BIL snipes at nephew that please come again and stay with us where nephew snipes back why does your roof need tiling?

The nephews now flatly refuse any offer of staying more than a day with any aunt (including me) and their family again. All the other cousins (albeit are younger) all stay a few days during school hols here and there with different aunts.

Their grandmother has asked me to try and smooth things over with the nephews and I am not sure what to say to them. I don’t have any jobs for them to do nor would I ask even if i needed a builder, I just want them to feel at home and be chilled.

OP’s posts: |
LindaLovesCake Sun 14-Jun-20 14:29:20

I think it’s totally fine that 22 and 23 year old men don’t go and stay at any of their aunts houses. The other cousins are doing it because they are children. Either the children still want to go and stay at various aunts houses in the school holidays or they do it because their parents need childcare.

These adult men don’t want to spend their probably precious holiday time staying with aunts any more.

SeasonFinale Sun 14-Jun-20 14:36:33

Why would you expect them to have gone off the rails anyway?

Any way they are adult men and presumably want to use their annual leave doing things they want to do and going places they want to go.

It is a very strange thing to expect them to spend that time with aunts.

AnotherBoredOne Sun 14-Jun-20 14:39:14

That was a terrible holiday and I'm not surprised they left at the first opportunity.
Maybe going for a pint and a meal with you is more appealing and then it is just a social event.
They are adults with there own lives and own holiday time let them be adults.

Gamble66 Sun 14-Jun-20 14:40:21

So they don't want to use thier holidays being used as unpaid labour ? How rude !

VettiyaIruken Sun 14-Jun-20 14:46:50

Did they know in advance that she had invited them to stay so they could work for her or did she invite them for a holiday then spring it on them when they got there?

mbosnz Sun 14-Jun-20 14:54:13

How rude of your sister to exploit your nephews as unpaid labour, having offered them a holiday, especially given the disparity of circumstances.

I'm not surprised they're once bitten twice shy.

Maybe just invite them out for a pub lunch? And I'm afraid that uncomfortable as it may be, these young men, if their account is the more accurate one (and it sounds to me like it most probably is), are understandably hurt and annoyed, and that might just be the way it is going to be - unless Aunt and Uncle are prepared to apologise, which seems most unlikely.

gutentag1 Sun 14-Jun-20 14:54:36

Good on them, I wouldn't return after that either. Aunt sounds very cheeky.

Ellmau Sun 14-Jun-20 14:56:10

Did they know in advance that she had invited them to stay so they could work for her or did she invite them for a holiday then spring it on them when they got there?

Sounds like the latter from the OP. Honestly, I don't blame the nephews at all. I'm surprised they made it to day 5.

OP, you can just invite them to stay (if you want to) and say, "Don't worry, I understand there was a misunderstanding with Aunt CF but I'm not expecting you to do anything but relax and have fun. If I did want some help I would expect to pay the going rate."

Freddiefox Sun 14-Jun-20 14:57:00

Wow I’m not surprised they don’t want to go back. Your sister and her dh are cf. it would have been polite to ask them to do all those jobs before they came so they new what the expectation was.
I’m not surprised the dh wants them back too all that free labour

dottiedodah Sun 14-Jun-20 14:59:40

Maybe nothing to say really .These are two guys in their 20s, who would no doubt prefer to be having a fun filled week or two away with their mates! Your DS has been using them as unpaid labour so they are not keen to go again. Just say to your Aunt that the lads want a week in Spain and have grown out of staying withe the rellies!

holidaydisaster2020 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:00:28

Firstly these are adults, why would they want to spend 10 days of annual leave sitting around their auntie's house (even with jobs taken out of the equation)? They're free to do as they like and the family should stop pressuring them.

Secondly, your sister was a CF inviting them to stay when she clearly wanted free labour. She should have been upfront and offered to pay them for their time.

The lads have done nothing wrong, if you want to "smooth things over" I suggest telling the family that they all need to back off and leave these two adults to make their own decisions.

KatnissK Sun 14-Jun-20 15:01:35

Wow the aunt and uncle were massively cheeky. I think it's fine they don't want to go and stay with relatives all the time - they are adults. I wouldn't want to go and stay with my aunts for days on end regularly either, especially if I was using my annual leave to do so. I think just leave them to it. Also not sure why you would have assumed they'd "go off the rails" either. Many of us are raised by single mothers and manage to function quite well in society.

Ellisandra Sun 14-Jun-20 15:08:34

Amazingly they didn’t go off the rails? WTF?

Why would young men want to come and stay with you? I don’t think that’s a decision not to stay with their aunts (any of them) just life - they’ve no reason to.

These young men dealt with it:
- they left when they felt used
- they weren’t involved in sisters being off
- they said no - and why - when invited back

There is nothing for you to get involved in here, and you should tell your mother so.

Itwasntme1 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:10:20

This is really odd.

First of all ops amazement that the boys grew up into decent men. Why wouldn’t they.

Then the greedy aunt and uncle treating them like poor relations in the 1800s who should work for their room an board and be grateful.

also a little odd that adult men Would spend their holidays at their aunt and uncles house.

Sounds like the family dynamic as a whole is off.

Teacher12345 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:13:57

As an adult I would never stay at my aunts house "for a break". I would only stay if it was a specific occasion.
I think you should leave them alone.
Also not sure why them having a single parent, would automatically cause them to go off the rail.

CoraPirbright Sun 14-Jun-20 15:16:00

I am not sure what there is to say really. Sister was an utter CF, basically conning them into free labour. No wonder the nephews are pissed off and they have every right to be. The only ‘smoothing over’ that would be useful was if the sister and bil were to apologise to the skilled young men they sought to exploit. Nowt to do with you as far as I can see.

Ellisandra Sun 14-Jun-20 15:18:16

How exactly did your BIL “snipe” at them at Xmas, in inviting them back? I understand their snipe about the tiling, but why would his invitation have been sniping?

Is the information from the nephews that you’ve posted the full amount of jobs, or just a sample?

I don’t see day 3 - the shopping - as a “job” at all. That sounds far more like just being invited to be part of the family whilst they were there. It’s not the same thing at all as being asked to mow the lawn. Even that - two young men wanting “baked cakes” (who exactly was baking then cakes for them?) having free board for a week or so... I think most family members would happily pitch in with mowing a lawn between them, if the host is feeding them - including preparation and possibly baking?

It’s obviously very different expectations of “do nothing” and “lend us a hand whilst you’re here”. What’s your experience of your sister? Would she have thought it was just asking for a hand whilst they’re there, thinking it won’t take long and not realising it was a bit much (which I think it was)? Or do you think she’s exploitative?

Iloveacurry Sun 14-Jun-20 15:19:00

Their aunt and uncle were using them for unpaid labour. Of course they don’t want to stay with them again.

Honestly why would two young guys in their 20s want to stay with relatives for their holiday?

AreYouLocal2 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:21:19

Good on your nephews! Their mother has raised them well, because they have personal boundaries!

Maybe your nephews have noticed something about your family that you cannot see yourself.

Mumto1andthetinybun Sun 14-Jun-20 15:25:00

Your sister and her DH should apologise, they way they treated their 'D' Nephews was appalling. If they wanted free labour they should have said so when they invited them to stay and asked then to help.

Why are they annoyed? Did they keep their big jobs for later in the week and are annoyed they didnt get done?

Beautiful3 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:36:40

I think these young men have lovely manners, and dealt with it well. They were used as free labour. It was not a holiday! Asking for help on one day would be okay, but not every single day! They are right to refuse to stay again! Everyone needs to mind their own business and accept that they're never staying over again

SmudgeButt Sun 14-Jun-20 15:36:40

Make a joke about it when you invite them. "We're having a bbq so have got in all the burgers and beers and there's a room for you to sleep over if you aren't able to drive after. Don't worry, there's no DIY or garden work required as we hired provessionals rather than family for that!!!"

monkeymonkey2010 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:38:39

do you have your own relationship with them?
i'd speak to them to clear up any confusion and let them know that they're always welcome at yours - cos you love them and just want t enjoy their company.
reassure them that you'd never expect or ask them to do work for you in such a sly manner- that you'd respect their professionalism and book them properly if you wanted any work doing.

don't speak to them about anyone else though.
the others can do their own dirty work.

poor guys! what she and BIL have done has really hurt them deep, and yet nobody in the family has acknowledged the piss taking, stood up for them or said anything to your sis n her husband!
i'm not surprised at how they've asserted their boundary - you've all let them down.

TriciaH Sun 14-Jun-20 15:45:55

Your sister clearly used a "holiday" as an excuse for cheap labour. All you can do is tell them it was disgusting behaviour and she should have been straight about that from the start. It was more work than holiday for them. Point out if they ever stay with you they will not be expected to work and that your sister should have paid them for doing the jobs.

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