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pil want to all meet up with great aunt every school holiday

(28 Posts)
thegardener Mon 24-Sep-07 12:34:31

Every school holiday pil say dh's aunty (she's a teacher)is coming over and would we like to go over to them/they come to us. obviously with half term approaching i know they will ask, but as nice as it is to keep in touch with relatives i don't want to get into a rut of it being every school holiday.
This year we have managed to see her a few times (feb & summer - got out of Easter said we were busy)and will see her at xmas aswell.
Pil don't like it when we say we're busy so it makes it really difficult.

Does anyone else have family like this and how do you handle it?

themildmanneredjanitor Mon 24-Sep-07 12:37:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nailpolish Mon 24-Sep-07 12:44:31

you can think of it 2 ways
you go to them and that way you can decide when you want to leave


they come to you and you dont have the hassle of travelling

spending the day with dhs family is not my idea of heaven but thats life

jellybellie Mon 24-Sep-07 12:45:40

TBH I don't really see what the problem is - if you enjoying meeting up, what is wrong with it being every holiday? If you don't enjoy the visits then just say that you are busy with other things this holiday and ignore any bad's not up to pil how you spend your time with the children!

MintyDixCharrington Mon 24-Sep-07 12:47:49

I don't think you should prevent your dh's aunt from knowing her great nieces and nephews.

Be generous.

TellusMater Mon 24-Sep-07 12:48:54

Are you busy - or do you just not want to see her?

nailpolish Mon 24-Sep-07 12:50:07

you could always leave the children with great aunt for ah hour or 2

have some time to yourself, i fyou prefer

thegardener Mon 24-Sep-07 12:53:35

It is only for the day so we will probably see her this holiday. It's just that i don't want to get into it being nearly every holiday like last year.

I agree with you that it is nice to keep in touch but not when it is expected and when you don't it becomes a real issue with pil.

It has only been the last few years that she has been coming over more frequently, when dh was younger it was only 3 times a year,for a few days, now she comes over all the holidays except one for a few days.

We see my aunts & uncles about 3 times a year and i feel that's enough.

nailpolish Mon 24-Sep-07 12:54:46

thats quite sad gardener
seeing children is such a joy for older people

themildmanneredjanitor Mon 24-Sep-07 12:56:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TellusMater Mon 24-Sep-07 12:56:44

All the holidays except one? So 5 times a year?

Why don't you want to see her? Does she have family of her own?

Anna8888 Mon 24-Sep-07 12:58:25

It depends on how large your family is, and how spread out.

We have five major school holidays a year here in France. Our children have three sets of grandparents between them, my stepsons have one great uncle/great aunt and my daughter has five great uncles/great aunts and one great great aunt. They live in lots of different places. We could not possibly see every one of them every holiday - that's all we'd ever do. As it is, I don't see enough of my sister because her in-laws are very demanding, and I don't see enough of my first cousins (or at least, not enough of the four of them of whom I am very fond). Etc etc.

thegardener Mon 24-Sep-07 13:05:26

She does have family of her own, a daughter in America which is gay (so no gc) Aunt is divorced but living with her partner who doesn't keep in touch with his family.
So maybe we should keep in touch more because of her cicumstances and i should try and be more generous with our time...
Because of aunts circumstances and being a teacher she can be overbearing as can pil (also teachers)so generally don't enjoy meeting up that much with them.

warthog Mon 24-Sep-07 13:05:27

if you don't want to see her this time, don't. sounds like your pil are being a bit unreasonable to expect you to come to every occasion.

TellusMater Mon 24-Sep-07 13:07:05

OK, you're not winning me over with the teacher thing hmm wink

Anna8888 Mon 24-Sep-07 13:09:01

I think that 3x times a year would already be very generous of you grin since it doesn't sound as if you enjoy the aunt's company much.

Personally, I think that there is no obligation to like and spend time with your extended family. If you enjoy their company - lovely. If you don't, leave it.

themildmanneredjanitor Mon 24-Sep-07 13:09:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thegardener Mon 24-Sep-07 13:42:44

Thanks Anna & warthog for your messages- I have a few aunts & uncles (one lives 10 miles away, the other 2hrs away)and 4 cousins - 3 with families who we rarely see unfortunatley and a sister who lives locally who we get to see every 2/3 months.
Dh's parents live an hour away as do his sister & dh, his aunt 2 hrs away and another uncle 20 mins away, who we raely see and he has two cousins, 1 in America and one again who he rarely sees 4 hrs away.

Wilbur Mon 24-Sep-07 13:55:31

When I was little, my father had two aunts, neither of whom had children, so we spent a lot of time with them, certainly we saw them every month or so. They got a lot of pleasure out of seeing us, and although one was pretty strict and visiting her could be dull at the time, I am now glad that we did so much with them, they are a source of hilarious family memories and I like the idea of children knowing their extended family (not to mention, understanding that sometimes you have a duty to see or look after people in your family, even when you are not particularly keen). I can see how if your PIL makes a big deal out of it, that can be aggravating, but I would try to be flexible and maybe further down the line, your dh could have a word and ask pil to chill a bit.

ally90 Mon 24-Sep-07 20:45:20

Work out with dc and dh what works best for you. Work in a compromise to offer to pil. And go with that. And then stick to it.

And I have to disagree that we should put ourselves out for family. Families should not work on a model of obligation. Families should be treating each other with mutual respect and trust. And that means not getting huffy when you can't get your own way. And if visiting said aunt is a chore, don't go. I know, harsh...what happens when I'm old etc. No problem with old people. My problem is assumptions that we can ride roughshod (be overbearing) to family and expect the family to lay down like a door mat and take it. Stand up for yourselves, its unhealthy to be a doormat And if this were a husband being would you hear a different response on here gardener wink

thegardener Tue 25-Sep-07 11:46:31

Thanks Ally you've really helped & i totally agree with what you've said. Will have another chat with dh & try and work out a compromise for pil, we've already discussed not seeing his aunt every time she's over.

One of the first times dh & i went away for a few days his aunt was visiting at the time and we had just got back to my house and dh's dad rang his mobile wanting dh to go back to his cold house so his aunt could have a look at ithmm

WinkyWinkola Tue 25-Sep-07 20:30:13

I totally agree with ally90. Make sure you are happy. I think seeing this aunt like once a year is very good of you. Remember that! Not many would give up even a day to make an effort for other relatives. I think too often the effort made by us mums isn't recognised.

And yes, responses on here are often so heavy on the OP's duties and responsibilities. Your holidays are for you! Personally, I'd make sure I was abroad every half term and other school holiday!

However, read my Is it worth it thread and you'll see I've got myself in a pickle!

thegardener Wed 26-Sep-07 18:01:44

Thanks WW, like i have said i am happy to see relatives incl great aunts & uncles but not when it is pushed on me to do it when other people want. I don't feel ds is missing out by this as he does see them regularly

skidoodle Wed 26-Sep-07 23:25:01

this is the sort of thing my cousins and I are talking about when we laugh about how weird English people can be.

If you're so selfish that you resent spending time with older relatives to the point where you want to ration it (!) and think families have no obligations to one another then you will end up being very lonely.

thank god my parents were more like wilbur and janitor and didn't think their only responsibility was to make themselves happy.

Christ I hope nobody I'm related to ever marries anybody who would try to distance them and their child from the rest of us by making up rules about how often they should visit.

How does your DH feel about this? It's his family, so really it should be his decision.

WinkyWinkola Wed 26-Sep-07 23:30:30

Now wait a minute, skidoodle. The OP does not sound selfish one bit. She's prepared to put herself out for not very close relatives. She does a lot more than most.

I suggest you take your smug holier-than-thou attitude elsewhere.

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