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Is it OK to go without DSC?

(55 Posts)
ChristmasSparklee Wed 10-Dec-14 11:37:06

My sister has just announced her engagement, they've not booked the wedding yet but she's warned us that they're looking at getting married abroad summer 2015, possibly Turkey or Cyprus.
I'm so excited for her but I'm really worried about how we're going to afford a foreign holiday with not all that much notice.
She doesn't expect us to go and would understand if we couldn't afford it but I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Oh and she's a teacher so it'll be in the school holidays, yes that's great that we don't need to take the kids out of school but not great as far as the cost is concerned.
I can do some overtime at work and we can reign in our spending and if necessary put some costs on the credit card, and my parents will probably help us out a bit so we'll probably manage it but realistically there's a big difference between paying for 4 of us (me, dh and our 2 dsc) or paying for 6.
DH thinks we should go without DSC, they're already going on a foreign holiday with their Mum next year but I know we would never hear the end of it from her, she is very critical of anything we do / don't do. And more importantly I'm worried about upsetting DSC. DSD asked a few months ago if we could all go abroad and we said we can't afford it, I just think it will now look mean if we go without them.
DSC hardly know my sister, she doesn't live locally so they only usually see her about twice a year.
My own DC are quite close to her though as we (me and DC) often go and stay with her for a few days in the school holidays and they're always speaking to her on Skype.

We usually take DSC camping for 2 weeks during summer holidays but I don't think we will be able to afford to do that as well as the wedding holiday, we might manage a long weekend or a week at the most.

I could go to the wedding by myself but I would miss DH and DC and my sister wants them to be bridesmaid a page boy, we've never been abroad together, not even just me and DH so it would be lovely if we can make it happen.
Part of me thinks it's mean to not take DSC but paying for 2 extra children will probably make it unaffordable and we would probably have to not go or I go on my own.
So then I think it's not fair that my children have to miss out on going to their Aunty's wedding because we can't afford to take DSC who are already going on a foreign holiday.

It's just so frustrating, we can't win what ever we do.

Like I said, nothing is confirmed yet, so we could just be worrying over nothing, fingers crossed they'll realise how expensive weddings are and move it back 12 months. But I'm just interested to hear what others would do?

honeysucklejasmine Wed 10-Dec-14 11:44:14

There's quite a lot of unknowns i think. You don't know when or where the wedding is. Maybe it'll very somewhere you can get to cheaply, maybe it will be at the same time as dsc holiday with their mum, etc.

I think You need your dsis to make some more decisions before you make any yourself. smile

Petal02 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:47:27

If they're non resident step children, and they're already going to be having a foreign holiday next year with their Mum, then I don't think you need to take them. Why should your children miss out?

HermioneWeasley Wed 10-Dec-14 12:50:08

I don't see the dilemma - it's the wedding if someone they barely know. Go with your DCs who have a role in the wedding day

Cocolate Wed 10-Dec-14 12:50:12

It's your family and your childrens family but not your dsc's family so I wouldn't feel in the slightest obliged to bring them.

daisychainmail Wed 10-Dec-14 12:52:25

I agree with the others.

catsmother Wed 10-Dec-14 13:04:16

If you think you can manage to attend - just - then go for it. I know what you mean re: the difficult ex for whom nothing is ever right but all things considered it's not as if you are deliberately excluding the SC, as in, you could afford to take them but would prefer not to.

I'd explain to the SC that it's an extremely special, one off situation, where, if you want to see your sister married, you have no choice but to go abroad. Had she not been getting married, you wouldn't have booked a foreign holiday. I don't think it'd do any harm either to tell them that if it weren't for the generosity of your parents in helping you meet the costs you wouldn't have been able to go.

Fact is - both sets of children will experience a holiday abroad next year. How can you argue with that ? If they persist in describing the event as "unfair", perhaps, depending on age, you could ask what would be fair about the SC getting to have two foreign holidays (assuming they did come with you) while your kids have one ?

As for the ex, I know exactly what it's like but to an extent you just have to try and grow a very thick skin. It's your own conscience you have to answer to - not her !

Ludways Wed 10-Dec-14 13:06:58

I've been to my own family events without taking dsc, I wouldn't go to dh's family events without them, though. Perfectly ok to go without them.

TheJingleMumsRush Wed 10-Dec-14 13:08:55

If DH is on board then go for it smile I'd go away without my dsc just as their mum can in the times we have them. What you do in your time is not her business and what she does in her time is not yours smile

rollonthesummer Wed 10-Dec-14 13:15:41

From your sisters point of view-two children she barely even knows, may well not even be invited to the wedding!

Take your two and ignore what the ex says.

needaholidaynow Wed 10-Dec-14 13:18:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purpleroses Wed 10-Dec-14 14:59:27

I think I'd delay the decision until you know where it is and when, and have some actual costs in front of you. The flights will be 50% more for 6 rather than 4 people but if you self-cater the other costs might not be much different. If you can afford to take them too it would be lovely to make a holiday out of it and include them. If you really can't afford to, then it's OK to go without them - especially if they are already going abroad with their DM. But for now I can't see how you can make that decision until you know what the costs are.

ChristmasSparklee Wed 10-Dec-14 17:44:20

Although I don't really care what the ex thinks/says/broadcasts on facebook, i do worry about what she will say to the kids.
She took to facebook last year to have a bitch about us "excluding her children from family holidays" when the truth was that after i had been extremely poorly we felt like getting away for a few days so paid £249 to go to center parcs in January. We just needed a relaxing break with our two little ones. We didn't want dsc arguing and all the "can i have? Can i have?" Etc.... We also couldn't afford the school fines and the extra expense of entertaining 2 older kids.

I suppose the main problem with us going without them is it will impact on them as we probably won't be afford to do the usual camping holiday, so although they're still getting a holiday with their mum, we won't be able to do what we normally do with them. Realistacally I don't know whether we'll even get a few days camping, its not cheap with 4 kids.

Their mum now has 2 dsc and according to her she's the perfect dsm and they apparently never do anything without her dsc.
Ffs we can't even go for a day out on our weekends without DSC without being accused of 'leaving them out'.

I know I shouldn't let her bother me but I don't want her giving off these negative vibes to dsc and filling their minds with a load of crap about how we don't care about them and don't want them involved in our family.

purpleroses Wed 10-Dec-14 17:49:21

I do think you need to think carefully about taking your DH and younger DCs with you to Turkey if it would mean no family holiday at all with the DSC. Holidays do matter as marking out who is a member of the family. And most teenagers would see Centre Parks as a lot more exciting than camping, so I can see why they might be a bit miffed already.

I'd see if you can take them and do things on the cheap, get help from grandparents, etc - or failing that go without them but only if you can afford some sort of a holiday with them instead. If not, then it might be best to go alone. Your DSis should understand that if she wants to marry abroad lots of people won't be able to come.

But compared to the cost of travelling with 4 people to Turkey, surely camping is cheap - it's what - £30 a night at a decent campsite isn't it? £150 for 5 nights, plus a bit for entertainment. Whereas Turkey would be £200 ish a person for flights alone during the school holidays.

StockingFullOfCoal Wed 10-Dec-14 17:52:53

I wouldn't expect ExDP to take our DDs to any weddings of his DPs family, let alone one abroad. In my situation they have next to nothing to do with her - they've been together 2.5 years and they haven't seen her for the last 18 months of that, no explanation offered as to why confused BUT even if they were close to ExDPs DP, I wouldn't expect them to go along to her DSis wedding if she has a DSis I know nothing about her so just speculating here

However - I have several siblings - if some of them got married abroad I would take my own DSS as he sees some of them semi-regularly. The other siblings he's only met once and so I wouldn't take it if were one of them.

ChristmasSparklee Wed 10-Dec-14 20:00:41

Purplerose- yes camping is cheap in comparison to a foreign holiday, which is why we invested in all the gear, we knew we wouldnt be able to afford foreign holidays with 4 kids for the foreseeable future.
But it's still not cheap, we will need to get our tent repaired plus theres the fuel for 2 cars (we can't get 6 + camping gear in 1 car), pitch fees, the main expense is entertaining them. If we're lucky and get good weather it's easy but if it's raining it can get expensive. We would need about £500 just for a few nights camping. Cheap in comparison to going abroad but it wont be easy to find the money in addition to the 4 of us going to the wedding.

DH just really wants us to go to the wedding, he is good friends with the groom and i think he is just really excited at the prospect of a proper holiday. We love camping but it isn't particularly relaxing, in fact its bloody hard work at times.
Our dd will still be under 2 so it's our last chance to get her a place on a holiday for practically nothing.
DH thinks we should just ignore the ex, DSC are getting a holiday anyway, and if we can afford to go camping then we will. But i do feel guilty just at the thought of it.

Regarding Center Parcs- I don't think DSC even know we went, we've never told them and my kids were only a couple of months old and 2 yo so they weren't of an age to go telling them all about it.
The ex only found out through facebook, some of her family were still 'friends' with DH - most have now been removed!

purpleroses Wed 10-Dec-14 20:06:06

Maybe you could go without them this year and take them to visit relatives instead but make some plans for the following year to go abroad with them? Just some sort of plans to show you do want to include them would probably help.

I think it's difficult really - as a wedding on your side of the family isn't necessarily something they need to be included in, but if it eats up all the family holiday budget for a year then that is a bit rough for them.

I would assume that if their mum likes badmouthing you and she knew about the Centre Parks trip, then the DSC probably do too, or at least could easily be told if she was given more reason to feel they were being hard done by.

ChristmasSparklee Wed 10-Dec-14 20:07:47

And I'm sure the dsc will be more than welcome to the wedding if we decide to take them, my family have been great at welcoming them in to the family and my sister always gets them lovely christmas pressies etc, even though she rarely sees them. It's just due to distance and circumstances that she doesn't see them much, not because she's not interested in them iykwim.

daisychainmail Wed 10-Dec-14 20:08:50

OP - follow what your DH says. It's up to him - they're his kids and it's his ex. Just relax, follow his lead, and remember to enjoy your sister's wedding!!

needaholidaynow Wed 10-Dec-14 20:11:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChristmasSparklee Wed 10-Dec-14 20:20:16

Yeh i think you're right, if we promised a holiday for the following year it would probably go down better. I'm not sure if we can promise a foreign holiday until DD starts school, or at least gets her free 15 hours in nursery. Until then things are tight, but i suppose they are for most families with young kids.
I'll check out eurocamps, we might be able to stretch to camping abroad smile

daisychainmail Wed 10-Dec-14 20:21:12

You mustn't care so much what the Ex thinks.

I know it's a whole new thing having someone out there who doesn't like you or doesn't like your DH -- I'd never experienced that before becoming an SM and found it very hard that the DSC's mum didn't like DH, because the idea that anyone didn't like my partner was hard to stomach! None of my exes have disliked me afterwards. But it's different when there's divorce/kids involved.

You must do what's right for your family overall and right for you. There's no need to be utterly selfless here, it's your sister! It's just an arbitrary holiday for them, and even one they might find quite stressful/not focussed to their needs.

ChristmasSparklee Wed 10-Dec-14 20:25:06

needaholidaynow yep it would seem we're expected to sit twiddling our thumbs whilst dsc aren't here and as soon as they arrive it should be non stop entertainment!
Having a family bbq, going to the park, picnics, walks, cycling etc...these things apparently count as "not doing anyhing with the kids"

Awww i love their mum, she's so reasonable hmm

daisychainmail Wed 10-Dec-14 20:26:01

Your DH sounds like he's taking it all in his stride. Copy him!

Liara Wed 10-Dec-14 20:27:33

I would just ask the ex if she could pay for her dc to come to the wedding - if she pays the flights you will pay for the accommodation or whatever works for you.

You'd like them there, but you can't afford them to be. If their mother can help, you will happily include them in your family holiday.

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