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to not visit relatives who more than one hour away until the children are older?

(128 Posts)
indiewitch Sun 25-Oct-09 13:56:10

Is this unreasonable do you think? We have an 18m dd who is terrible in the car, she basically screams/cries continuously.
I'm thinking of refusing to visit anyone unless I can do it in a day until they are much older, would this be very unreasonable?
I hate this idea that somehow a weekend away somewhere the other side of the country is in any way fun, horrendous journey, v. little sleep at night and then similarly awful trip home. Then back to work and school the next day, all shattered and couple of days later one of us is ill and taking time off work and school.

HolidaysQueen Sun 25-Oct-09 13:59:54

But nobody is expecting you to do it every weekend, surely. I think you should be prepared to make the effort once or twice a year however hideous - not fair on relatives to say "you only see us if you make the effort to come to us, we are never making an effort to come to you"

I speak from experience - 19mo DS, parents who are 3.5 hours away, soon to be 5 hours away. We go to them 2-3 times per year and they come to us the same or more. The journey isn't pleasant, but it's really not much to ask over the course of a year.

So YABU, and a bit selfish I think.

stuffitllllama Sun 25-Oct-09 14:01:26

well, on your title I'd say completely yabu

however having read your post I think you aren't being unreasonable at all

if it's miserable for her, and miserable for you, then don't do it, be happy at home smile

honestly, if you want to curl up like a cat in front of the fire I think it's completely natural

but throw out a couple of invites every now and then just so that you don't seem anti-social -- and you might find that others feel the same way about the travelling! and similarly, just try again in six months or so -- you never know

piscesmoon Sun 25-Oct-09 14:02:26

It is much simpler when they are small. They will be far worse when they get bored and squabble and fight, and they won't want to do it as teenagers. Plan the trip for when she would sleep.

stuffitllllama Sun 25-Oct-09 14:03:50

yes i should say here I throw my children in the car for a 000s of miles in the car over six weeks around britain to visit people every summer

i have plenty of experience in this field! but lots of people we visit are much MUCH happier to have visits than to travel themselves

I don't think you are alone

JANEITEPatrickNormanMcHennesy Sun 25-Oct-09 14:04:47

YABU I think. People's lives shouldn't stop because they have children. How about trying the train? It might be more pleasant for her and less stressful to you.

stuffitllllama Sun 25-Oct-09 14:05:32

indie i must say i'm on your side over this

wait until you can do it in a settled and happy way without too much disruption

indiewitch Sun 25-Oct-09 14:06:34

Honestly, we've tried all different times of the day/night and she just won't sleep, never more than 1 hour at a time.
Also no rest when we get there, and by that I mean absolutely no rest. She won't sleep during the day.
Just realising writing this how much my 18m dd does not like travelling.

Hulla Sun 25-Oct-09 14:06:56

I know what you mean indiewitch, it horrible isn't? My dd hates the carseat and never had a good time when we visit my inlaws but we do the journey probably once a month.

We time it so that she naps (she's 9 months) and put up with the fall out from dodgy naps, unsuitable food and undermining comments from the inlaws.

I don't have the best time but I do it for my dh and my dd. I want her to have a good relationship with dh's family. They do come to us every now and then but for dd to spend proper time with my PIL we have to stay for the weekend.

I know exactly what you mean about the crying but I know if I suggested this it would be my dd who suffered in the end. All her cousins live near their GPs and I don't want her growing up feeling like an outsider.

Are they close relatives? Do they/can they visit you? I think if they're close relatives and they can't get to you then YAB a bit U.

But I totally feel your pain!

MmeGoblindt Sun 25-Oct-09 14:10:33

I would not do it often for family who never make the effort to come to us. Once or twice a year is not too bad though.

Are they relatives that you would otherwise want to visit?

indiewitch Sun 25-Oct-09 14:11:12

Oh thank you. That is so nice, it's not just me.
It's MIL and my mother. Mine is okay, comes to visit regularly and I thought I'd try the train next time 200 miles away. But getting heat from MIL that we won't stay over. But we can do her in a day and to be honest although the journey is awful, it's better to come home and put dd in her own cot.
I have friends that regularly go up 300 miles to see their parents and it's all wonderful, children sleep or watch dvds and I just despair, our journey is never like that.

IsItMeOr Sun 25-Oct-09 14:13:13

YANBU, and you have my sympathies as we are struggling with similar with our DS (nearly 8mo). He sleeps so badly all the time, that I don't have the brain capacity to even think about going away. But even my tired brain realised that my mum has got the hump with me because MIL has been to visit us quite a few times and we have only seen my mum and dad 4 times I think so far - two at ours, two at theirs. But we have only been to MIL once and FIL once (they are divorced). All the other times they have come to us.

It is a five hour round trip to my parents if you're lucky with the traffic, and they're now in early 70s. So not easy for either of us to travel. And I'm not going to tell MIL who only lives an hour away and is happy to come to us to play with her only DGC that she isn't allowed.

I think you do your best, and try to explain the situation so that they can understand. I was wondering about persuading my parents to get broadband so that we could do Skype video with them. Would help with other DGCs who they only see a couple of times a year.

TheMysticMasseuse Sun 25-Oct-09 14:18:22

YABU. Speaking as someone who has to get on a 3 hour + flight (plus another 3 hours in the car and all the waiting around at the airport) with two under 4 to see any of my relatives, i think a one or two hours car ride is something you should be able to cope with. yes so you'll be tired, and the dcs a bit out of kilter of a day or two, but that's just life, not everything comes easy and maintaining good family relations is important.

as children we drove for 400 miles with only a 5 min stop for fuel and toilet regularly. can't say it was fun but you do get used to it. i am really happy my parents put up with all the hassle as i have amazing memories of our holidays and our distant relatives.

MmeGoblindt Sun 25-Oct-09 14:33:14

We have always had to drive 6 or 8 hours, with an overnight ferry crossing or fly to see my parents. We did it once or twice a year but our DC were always reasonably good travellers so it did not bother me.

I don't want to say that YABU as I have never had to do the trip with a screaming toddler in the car. I would understand your MIL being annoyed though.

Does your DD always sleep badly when she is somewhere else?

bloodredcherrymonster Sun 25-Oct-09 14:36:47

is there a reason your dd doesnt like being in the car? i only ask because i often take my 4 on long car journeys, and have been doing so since they were newborns. obviously when they are tiny its a little more awkward, i can remember having to stop halfway to cornwall and get into the back of the car to change and bf dd1 when she was 5 weeks old. but they have grown up being used to long car journeys and now dont even bat an eyelid. also recently found that they adore going by train. (dd2 especially, she is nearly 4)

piscesmoon Sun 25-Oct-09 15:30:04

If your DC doesn't like travelling I should take her out in the car a lot so that she gets used to it. It is going to be very inconvenient if she is such a pain.

Bubbaluv Sun 25-Oct-09 15:43:23

"unless I can do it in a day "

But surely an hour is easily a day trip?
My Mum lives 1.5 hours from my sister and DSis drives to her place with her DD (1yo) at least a couple of times a week.

Bubbaluv Sun 25-Oct-09 15:47:59

Sorry - I see you are actually talking about MUCH more than 1 hour.
I think you need to investigate those train options?

SCARYspicemonster Sun 25-Oct-09 16:01:24

I'm not sure if it's the car thing or the staying over bit that's bothering you. It must be awful having a child who screams constantly but I can understand why your MIL is upset if you never stay over. I think you should try the train and then stay the night. Your DD might always be a horrible traveller and you're presumably going to go on holiday at some point!

SquIDGEyeyeballs Sun 25-Oct-09 18:30:31

YANBU to not want to spend much time in the car with a screeching toddler, but then if you don't try longer trips she'll never get used to them IYKWIM.

Have you tried a portable DVD player? Or switching off the passenger airbag and putting her in the front next to you?

It must be quite limiting only being able to do trips in one day - a handy excuse for avoiding relatives you don't want to see but rather restrictive if you want to go away for a weekend somewhere.

indiewitch Sun 25-Oct-09 18:38:27

Well after this year's holiday 2 and half hours away, we vowed never again, but I'm sure by next summer I will be in need of a break.
She's just terrible in cars no matter how short/long the distance, even the 10 min journey to the childminder is a nightmare. I'm not keen on having her in the front to be honest, she's forward facing and I would worry it's not safe.
The sleeping over wouldn't be so bad if one of us, either DH or myself could have a lie in but that's pretty hard to do in the confined space of MIL's flat. Hotel rooms aren't much better, tried it last time and got disturbed by the cleaner.
I will try the train option and see if that's better.
I'm not saying never travelling to visit, maybe just for a year or so, until she's old enought to understand and reason (bribe) with.

lovechoc Sun 25-Oct-09 18:40:46

that must be very limiting for you socially. i have relatives like this and it really annoys me that they expect us to make the effort. now we don't visit anymore, get fed up of it being one-sided..haven't seen their DC for a year now. their loss really.

perhaps the train option may be an idea, lots to see out the window for your DD.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 25-Oct-09 18:41:07

ds would never sleep at all when visiting overnight. We avoided doing it after a few ghastly trips - who likes socialising when you have had half an hour sleep (this actually happened to me), and entertaining a stroppy, knackered toddler in someone else's home with people judging you on their behavior?

YANBU, it isn't just the car is it? You still go and visit. Do it your way. Ds sleeps when away now, we tried again at about two and a half and he was so much better.

SimonHowl Sun 25-Oct-09 18:41:16

why does she scream,

that is odd
and yes YABU really

Morloth Sun 25-Oct-09 18:42:10

Gawd the last time I visited family it took us 31 hours to get home. With a total travel time of 55 hours there and back.

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