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Not to want to spend EVERY HOLIDAY with my Mother?

(26 Posts)
LittleOneMum Mon 04-Aug-08 11:06:28

Deep breath. Am trying to be calm.

When my sister and I were growing up, we'd spend every holiday at my gran's. This was mainly because my parents had no money and my gran lived in a nice place by the sea (abroad). We always had a fab time.

Now that I am an adult, my Mum wants me and DH and DS to spend a similar amount of time at her home. I.e. she takes the view that we should spend part of every holiday at her house (she has now moved to the same nice foreign place by the sea as my granny lives).

My DH announced very early on that this was not part of his life plan, that we work hard and earn decent money and in return for that he wants to go off and do different things each holiday, not always be at my Mum's. I totally agree.

Last night: complete showdown. Mum accused me of not caring about family, of being selfish, etc etc. when I said that we will be going to hers for a week in the summer each year and that's it (by the way she has an open invitation to come here anytime she likes). She said she felt insulted because it is her home and I never show any enthusiasm for going there (which is true).

The truth is, any more than a few days with my Mum does my head in but being at her house always seems to magnify it.

So - straw poll: (1) Am I being unreasonable? Selfish? (2) How often do you spend holidays at your parents?

TheHedgeWitch Mon 04-Aug-08 11:12:16

Message withdrawn

TheArmadillo Mon 04-Aug-08 11:12:24

it's your life.
It's your choice.

I refuse to go on holiday with my parents as it is just stressful and a nightmare.

I go away with dp's parents for a fortnight every year cos I enjoy it.

We all live in the same town so I see them all alot anyway, which probably makes a difference.

TigerFeet Mon 04-Aug-08 11:12:32

(1) YANBU. at all. How far away does she live? Would you be able to go for a weekend a bit more often to soften the blow as it were? Your mum has no right to dictate how you spend your holidays. In her defense though, she probably had ideas about how she would be a grandmother and equated that to how your grandmother was - my Mum does this all the time. Different people though, different times, different circumstances.

(2) Once a year to my Mum's, she comes to us a bit more often. A bit more often to the IL's as they live closer. They come to us too. I would say we see my Mum three or four times a year for 3-4 days at a time and IL's 8 or so times a year for a weekend.

BitOfFun Mon 04-Aug-08 11:13:30

YANBU - I don't know if I can say anything useful, but IMO it is bizarre that people get so wound up by trying to please their parents. You are the parent now, and it is your turn to set up some family traditions/ways of doing things for your kids, like your mother did before you. Just explain it gently but assertively in a letter perhaps, leave the door open (as you have said you do anyway) and GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE without feeling guilty, as it really is too short! Good luck.

findtheriver Mon 04-Aug-08 11:16:14


Most grown ups want to have their own holidays. When you work hard, you need your holiday to be restful, and somewhere you feel relaxed and happy to be. Absolutely no point in staying out of a sense of duty - you won't enjoy it and tbh I can't see how your mother can either unless she's totally self centred and can't see how you and your dh feel. Your mother has no right to try to dictate how you spend your free time.

LittleOneMum Mon 04-Aug-08 11:17:26

I could almost cry with relief at your answers. She lives in France, it is not too far and maybe DS and I could fly out for long weekends occasionally to see her...

Sobernow Mon 04-Aug-08 11:21:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumblechum Mon 04-Aug-08 11:29:08

1) No, you're not being selfish

2) I have never been on hols with my parents since I was a child and though I love them dearly, only see them for a few days at a time a few times a year.

I don't think your husband is being at all unreasonable, either. Those few weeks of holiday a year are too precious to waste doing something which is going to make you and your dh stressed out.

As a compromise, would it be poss. to do your own thing for the annual family holiday, but just you & the children to go over for a few days at say the Oct and May half terms?

TigerFeet Mon 04-Aug-08 11:30:36

I agree Sobernow I will be gutted when dd leaves home and develops her own relationships. However I hope I wouldn't be like the OP's Mum who has called her selfish and uncaring for not wanting to spend every holiday together.

I don't want to spend every holiday with my Mum, my IL's or anyone really other than my dh and dd.

What of the OP's IL's? Do they not deserve to have time spent with their grandchildren too?

The OP's Mum has every right to be disappointed but her reaction was OTT imho.

LittleOneMum Mon 04-Aug-08 11:38:15

Sobernow - you are right, of course. I am trying to be sensitive. But she knows that she has an open invitation to come to my house (not true of many of my friends, for example). DS is only 10 months and not at school so she can see him during the year anytime.

Dropdeadfred Mon 04-Aug-08 11:55:18

Could you possibly try the angle thsat you would like your Ds to experience different places/cultures/experiences/people/languages/food etc on his holidays as he grows up.therefore although her offer is kind and will be welcome for perhaps one full week (and maybe a couple of long weekends a year) you will not be able to take EVERY holiday of his childhood there....?

The world has moved on alot since we were children and kids these days are well travelled by the time they are at school. My dd aged two had been to more places than I had aged 20!!

moondog Mon 04-Aug-08 11:58:54

She's acting like a complete nutter. Utterly unreasonable demands. Stand firm, be pleasant and support your dh.

lucyellensmum Mon 04-Aug-08 12:16:11

I think she is BU i guess you only have a certain amount of holiday per year and i totally understand you wanting to spend it with your family, ie: your husband and children. I can understand she wants to see you, and she probably cannot understand why you would not want "free holidays" but in all honesty, i can see exactly why this wouldn't be a holiday for you. Would it be out of the question to spend a week there with the children, then leave them there for a further week while you and DH go off on your own - everyones a winner grin

GrapefruitMoon Mon 04-Aug-08 12:21:31

Do you mean that you only want to visit your mother once a year? What about when she is older and might find it harder to travel?

I think you need to look at this from the angle of you and your family spending time visiting your mother, not just where you are taking your holidays iyswim - which is possibly the way she is looking at it.

My parents also live abroad but it is where I grew up so I suppose I have more reasons for visiting - still have friends in the area, etc.

When dd was little we probably went to visit 4 or 5 times a year and grandparents came to see us several times too.

We have only managed twice a year recently and tbh I feel that is not enough even with reciprocal visits. But one of the reasons for not going in the summer holidays recently was to get better weather and because we wanted to spend more time just by ourselves.... we usually spent a week with family and then rented a place for ourselves for a week by the coast.

I think you are justified in not going to your mothers for your main holiday but if you can afford it your idea of going with your ds for long weekends is a good one... Or maybe you could combine a visit to your mothers with a holiday in another part of France?

lucyellensmum Mon 04-Aug-08 13:33:34

Grapefruit, that is a little harsh i think. Maybe the OP cannot afford six visits a year or wants to spend time alone with her family at some point in the year. I know i would. I would find a visit to my inlaws or my mother in fact, excruciating and really wouldn't want this to be my families main holiday.

You asked about what the OP will do when her mother is older, but to be perfectly frank, it was clearly her mothers CHOICE to go and live abroad so its hardly her daughters responsibility if when she gets older she finds it harder to travel, maybe that would be time to come home if it is that important. I honestly don't see how the responsibility lies with the daughter to visit if it wasn't her that went abroad.

The same really with the visits. She went abroad, her choice, this shouldn't limit her daughters holidays which are limited for most people to school holidays and around the four weeks a year paid leave.

I have just refused to go on holiday with NIL and SIL even though i get on with them really well and their kids our great. This will be our only holiday since DD born three years ago and it is about US, DP DD and myself, no one else. If thats selfish of me, i dont really care.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 04-Aug-08 13:52:43

Well in the OP she says they earn decent money and she herself had the idea of visiting for long weekends rather than the main holiday...

I would feel sad if my extended family refused to visit us because we "chose" to move abroad...

lucyellensmum Mon 04-Aug-08 18:51:47

yes but grapefruit, the OPS mother wasnt happey with that

lucyellensmum Mon 04-Aug-08 20:01:56

can you BELIEVE my spelling!! happey FFS

LittleOneMum Wed 06-Aug-08 14:12:45

OK, so now my Mum isn't talking to me - she has refused to take my calls, or answer texts and emails. Hm. DH says to let her stew for a bit.


I am SO far from being selfish. I spend my life in a job where I help people. I am considerate with everyone. She can come here whenever she wants. They are MY frigging holidays!!! (Takes deep breath).

LittleOneMum Wed 06-Aug-08 14:12:47

OK, so now my Mum isn't talking to me - she has refused to take my calls, or answer texts and emails. Hm. DH says to let her stew for a bit.


I am SO far from being selfish. I spend my life in a job where I help people. I am considerate with everyone. She can come here whenever she wants. They are MY frigging holidays!!! (Takes deep breath).

BananaSkin Wed 06-Aug-08 14:30:34

V childish behaviour. I'd play the adult (seems like she wants to keep you as little girl, doing what you are told) and she then has two choices, to see sense, or not.

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 06-Aug-08 14:31:42

Tell her that when ds is older he can come for the whole school holidays. You can take him for a week to drop him off, then go back for a long weekend to pick him up.

We are going to do that when my kids are old enough to stay with my sister in Valencia.

Well maybe not the WHOLE school holidays, but it will give you and dp a chance to go on a nice hol to suit him, dc and gm can bond, you get to see your mum too.

Win win win no?

reallyannoyednow Wed 06-Aug-08 14:33:01

yup she is being v childish, she ought to realise that this won't endear you to her!
stick to your guns,she is welcome to visit you, you will visit her but not ad nauseam.

fruitful Wed 06-Aug-08 14:39:33

Oh well. You get some peace and quiet for a bit then, until she decides to reopen communications. How lovely.

Deep breath. I am an adult. I am an adult. Slooooww breath.


Parents, who 'ave 'em?

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