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Am I right to be fuming about this?

(296 Posts)
AintNobodyHereButUsChickens Wed 21-Oct-20 01:30:01

It's a MIL one and I could really do with some perspective.

We have a DD who is 9 and a half and a DS who is 2 and a half. Since DD was 1, she has had regular sleepovers, days out, even the occasional short (UK) holiday with MIL. This time last year, MIL watched both the children at our house for a few hours while me and DH went out. That is the ONLY time she has spent any time with DS without us there, AND she went home early and called a family friend to sit with them instead. We phoned her to say we were leaving and she said "Oh I've gone home, had to get back for the dogs. I phoned X and she came round to sit with them."

Today, (well, technically yesterday now considering the time grin ) she phoned DH and said in 2022 she wants to take DD to Florida (I guess to Disney) for 3 weeks. If it's relevant, this trip will be paid for by BIL (who will also be going along with his son the same age as DD). My first reaction was to say hell no, she takes both or neither. I'm sure DS will soon start to notice that DD frequently goes to grandmas without him and at 4 he will definitely understand that grandma took his sister on a big holiday and he was left behind.

I'm really torn because it's a trip of a lifetime and DD would have a fantastic time, but we'd never be able to afford to do anything like this so DS will almost certainly miss out on doing it at all which just isn't fair. DH said we could take DS away for a week when DD is away but it's not the point.

WWYD? Would you be angry? Am I right to be angry at this?

OP’s posts: |
YerAWizardHarry Wed 21-Oct-20 01:35:44

I think there's a big difference between taking a 11 year old and a 4 year old to Disney especially when its not your own child. Your DD would be a lot more independent and actually be able to remember/go on all the rides etc. I wouldnt even take my own 4 year old on a long haul flight etc so definitely wouldn't be offering to take someone else's

Stompythedinosaur Wed 21-Oct-20 01:37:00

That's really tough. If mil was paying i would be firmly on the side of "both or neither" but it sounds like bil is paying and wants company for his child. Is there any chance you might be ble to save up for something equivalent for your ds by the time he is dd's age?

3 weeks seems an awfully long time for your dd to be away, too.

I woukd address you mil's favouritism separately though - it will damage both dc.

EveryDayIsADuvetDay Wed 21-Oct-20 01:42:40

agree with PP that two girls of similar age will amuse themselves - adding a much younger child to the mix will be a much greater burden.
I'd be furious about her agreeing to babysit, then buggering off (unless you were tons later back than arranged - but even then she should have called you).
I would address the favouritism (outside of the holiday) with her, and try and find out what's behind it.

jessstan1 Wed 21-Oct-20 01:51:12

I don't know whether or not you are being unreasonable but I do think your son will be too young next year, at four, to be away from you and his dad for three weeks and your mother in law would find it difficult to care for such a young child on a holiday.

He won't fret about his sister going and him being left behind if you tell him he can do things like that when he is older. It's not unusual for older ones to go away on a trip without their little sibling.

Try to address any perceived inequalities tactfully, your mother in law may not realise you see it that way.

Ponoka7 Wed 21-Oct-20 01:54:31

How old is she now? My eldest GC is 6, the youngest 3 1/2. I helped out a lot. My eldest DD is ttc, I'm dreading if she wants the same level of hands-on help. I haven't got the energy levels or the patience for a new born/toddler again. I feel I'm done with the under 3's. I still babysit for people whose children are over 3.

I think it's fine to split the children for the holiday. It will be a better experience for your DD without him. Going forward any favouritism should be addressed, if that's what's happening.

PracticingPerson Wed 21-Oct-20 01:57:01

I'd say no to three weeks away anyway tbh, but certainly with only one. It just seems a bit odd. But this would just never come up with my kids/their grandparents, so not easy to judge forme!

Shxx Wed 21-Oct-20 02:10:30

I'm going to be the harsh truth here.
You choose this man. The nan told the truth. Truth hurts.
Make better decisions next time.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 21-Oct-20 02:14:51

I think it's time to point out the blatant favouritism to your MIL, and to ask her why. You and your husband need to bring this out into the open and address it. Your son is already at the point where he can notice, and it will not only sour his relationship with his gran, it also runs the risk of poisoning his relationship with his sistersad. Don't let that happen, deal with her behaviour ASAP.

Goosefoot Wed 21-Oct-20 02:15:33

I don't think kids all have to have the same experiences. That's just not how life is.

Eleven is a great time to make that kind of trip, four is not. And your MIL may just have had more energy when your dd was younger, or she may have been an easier child.

Honestly, he won't really have much memory of his sister going away a few years from now and will likely love having you to himself for a bit while she is gone.

AbsentmindedWoman Wed 21-Oct-20 02:20:55

There's a big age gap between the kids though tbh. Taking an eleven year old away is massively different from a 4 year old.

Your younger child will have opportunities down the line that your daughter won't have. Maybe by the time he is 11 the relationship will have developed with his grandma?

Goosefoot Wed 21-Oct-20 02:21:08

I'll also add - I have four kids, and they don't all have the same relationship with their different relatives and all go off and do things separately from the others or have different opportunities. They understand that things don't have to be the same for all of them to be fair.

AbsentmindedWoman Wed 21-Oct-20 02:21:50

Shxx

I'm going to be the harsh truth here.
You choose this man. The nan told the truth. Truth hurts.
Make better decisions next time.

confused

CloudyVanilla Wed 21-Oct-20 02:29:07

😂🤣

Catsup Wed 21-Oct-20 02:36:49

I think pp might be spot on in regards to it just being a bit much for MIL. 10yrs on. How is she in respect of equal presents for birthdays/Christmas? If Dd was getting a pony, and DS a selection box I'd be asking what was going on. But if she just feels a toddler is too much too wrangle these days then I'd understand that.

showgirlie Wed 21-Oct-20 02:40:22

Having been to disney your 11 year daughter (in 2022) will
A. remember it
B. enjoy it
C. be company for BILs DC
D. be independent enough to make the trip enjoyable

So as much as it seems like favouritism I really dont think theres much point bringing a 4 year old as how much will they actually remember and even though they'll enjoy it, Disney is long and tiring and thats from an adults perspective.

What if she were to take your DS on a big holiday when hes older and can appreciate it?

Coffeecak3 Wed 21-Oct-20 02:41:01

I put yabu because I wouldn't think a 4 year old could enjoy Disneyland properly and it's too far anyway if he gets homesick.
My dd was 6 when I took her to Disneyland Paris. Only just old enough imo.

Oncemorewithfeelin Wed 21-Oct-20 02:45:04

I think 4 is a great age for doing disney. It’s all still so magical for them at that age.

I agree depending on the child it can be more of a challenge flying long haul with a 4 year old.

I however wouldn’t let them take one but not the other. You are right your son will be upset about not going and then he will need to hear all about how fantastic the trip was.
Contact your BIL direct and say thank you for the fantastic offer but it wouldn’t be right for your son to miss out.

Nikori Wed 21-Oct-20 03:26:59

Is your son hard work for her? No judgement, just a lot of 4-year-olds can be quite a handful and maybe she doesn't have confidence in taking care of him. I agree that taking an 11-year-old on holiday is a completely different thing to taking a 4-year-old on holiday. My parents struggled with my kids when they were young ad active, but are fine now they are older.

Nikori Wed 21-Oct-20 03:28:41

Also, I wouldn't say no to this. Just tell your son, he can go when he is older.

GeorgiaGirl52 Wed 21-Oct-20 04:11:51

Goosefoot

I don't think kids all have to have the same experiences. That's just not how life is.

Eleven is a great time to make that kind of trip, four is not. And your MIL may just have had more energy when your dd was younger, or she may have been an easier child.

Honestly, he won't really have much memory of his sister going away a few years from now and will likely love having you to himself for a bit while she is gone.

Totally agree with Goosefoot. My grandchildren are six years apart in age and I admit I did more with the older child because I was younger and more active. I did always give them equal (but not identical) gifts but not the same experiences because I was not physically up to it.

DC3Dakota Wed 21-Oct-20 04:23:25

Shxx

I'm going to be the harsh truth here.
You choose this man. The nan told the truth. Truth hurts.
Make better decisions next time.

What?!?! Are you on the correct thread???

Marchitectmummy Wed 21-Oct-20 05:05:38

Let your daughter go, if you aren't paying its not your call who is taken. As others have said deal with your perceived favouritism separately. And be very careful how you handle it, it could end very badly.

We have 5 girls and neither of our parents would ever cope taking all of them out together so often take the older 3 or the younger 2 somewhere unless I or my husband are present. The younger ones are aware my parents have a yacht but have never been on it while the older ones have had 4 week holidays travelling around parts of Europe on it. They are fine with it, its all about offering explanations as to why something is the way it is.

In saying that fairness is important, I think your idea of taking your son away at the same time somewhere else is a good one. He will get to have some quality time on his own with his parents. Perhaps he can choose the type of holiday you go on, beech or woods so he feels a bit special too.

Poppingnostopping Wed 21-Oct-20 05:07:16

Are you sure your dd would like to go away for three weeks with her grandma, that's quite a long time from home. Mine would probably like a week/two weeks max. I don't think it's unfair in that your MIL can probably only cope with one child at once and they would make good companions. If this issue persists when your DS is older (5+) you can tackle it then. Mine have had separate holidays, but similarly interesting (e.g. you could take your 4 year old somewhere great).

CeeceeBloomingdale Wed 21-Oct-20 05:13:04

I wouldn't allow my children to be treated differently, I wouldn't allow DD to go.

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