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Family want to take my children on holiday but we don't feel comfortable

232 replies

lovingmother82 · 25/09/2022 12:35

I've got three DC aged 5, 7, 11. My family live locally apart from my brother who lives in Melbourne.

We are very lucky to be able to take our kids on holiday a couple of times each year and to give them experiences. We love taking them away and spending time with them but there's only one issue.

My family members (parents and brother) have expressed an interest in taking our children on holidays annually. This wouldn't be together - my parents want to take my kids on a separate trip to the one my brother wants to do.

DH and I have several issues with this

  1. my parents live locally and can see their grandkids whenever they want so why do they need to take the kids away abroad (they have emphasised it would be abroad) every year. We don't want our kids to be spoilt and would rather they get quality time than two weeks in a school holiday somewhere.
  2. My brother wants my kids to visit but because he lives in Australia he has barely seen them. We've suggested we all take a family trip but he has no interest and wants to have 121 quality time with the kids without us there? It's a long way for my kids to go to see someone they don't know.

    We very much like taking our kids away when we can and spending family time together. We don't want to deprive them of opportunities but this is not something we feel comfortable with but family members have emphasised that this is important to them. Feels like they're trying to tell us how to parent. Not sure how to handle this.

    So AIBU to say no?
OP posts:

ILikeHotWaterBottles · 25/09/2022 14:14

lovingmother82 · 25/09/2022 13:09

2 boys one girl. The main convo is about DS who is 11. No one is asking to take the five year old anywhere - yet

I'm sorry but that makes this whole thing weirder. Your adult male relative is particularly interested in spending alone time with your pre teenage son? Does he not realise how creepy that sounds? Even if he is innocent, that sounds ridiculously creepy.

I'd say no and keep a very close eye on his future behaviour towards your kids.


StopStartStop · 25/09/2022 14:14

Say no. Keep saying no. Just because you are not comfortable. That's enough.


andtheweedonkey · 25/09/2022 14:18

Do your parents ever have all 3 kids for a sleepover? How are the kids after that..?

I'd just laugh and say no, A FIRM NO. You're quite happy with the holidays you've had over the past **yrs, which are just you, your DH and your 3 children.

Maybe you could have a long weekend at the same place then they could have the kids for one evening while you and DH have a meal close by..?


museumum · 25/09/2022 14:18

Do you work? I’m asking because most adults can’t take time off for the whole school holidays so a holiday with GPs would be lovely and a great alternative to holiday club/camp.
the Australian trip is a whole other story. No way would I send my kids that far and definitely not to stay with an adult they barely know.


HamiltonFan1 · 25/09/2022 14:21

YANBU to say no - your kids and all that

That said I'd have 0 issue with what your family have proposed and think it's a little precious personally to get so caught up about it


MinnieGirl · 25/09/2022 14:24

I think it’s really creepy that your brother wants you to send over three children he hardly knows but doesn’t want you and DH? I would be asking very bluntly why he wants the kids and not you… and I would not be even considering sending the kids.

As for grandparents…. You like to take the children for holidays. Grandparents are welcome to join you for one or two, but why would you want a seperate holiday from the kids? They could take them away in the UK for a weekend but not abroad. That is your time as a family.


Tootels · 25/09/2022 14:26

Parents - No issue. Mine have never taken them away without me though.

Brother - He doesn't know them and lives in Australia? What the hell? Sounds dodgy to me.


ChocolatemilkBertie · 25/09/2022 14:26

Different answer for different parts of this.

I went on holiday with my grandparents and have fond memories of those times.
Never for a fortnight though and never abroad, a combination of uk holiday parks and beach holidays generally, and staying at their house. Mostly long weekends if I recall correctly, possibly a Monday - Friday kind of week. This also came to a stop when I was about 12, I think largely because of my grandparents age by this point and those kind of holidays just not being what we wanted to do anymore.

Could this be a compromise? Certainly to start with? Let them book a long weekend trip somewhere in the Uk and see how it goes? I totally get that they’re your children and you don’t want to be without them for so long, it just sounds like your parents are trying to do something nice but maybe overreaching. An annual holiday with the grandparents, so it doesn’t interrupt your own family time or holidays, could be a really lovely thing. Also completely understand that two weeks is a long time but particularly when your youngest is a a few years older, a week of peace for you might be a nice thing? If they hate it, then nip it after the first try.

As for the brother wanting them alone in Australia…….that’s just strange and no way.
First of all that’s a hell of a long way for unaccompanied minors, would involve changing planes, horrendously long flight - is he mad? And that’s only the practical logistics. They’ve never met him. A firm no on that. You’re all coming. You’ll meet him and have a great holiday with him as a family.

Im not against sending children as unaccompanied minors but that’s insanity.


cyclamenqueen · 25/09/2022 14:28

Brother .straight no and I have family overseas , travelled alone as a child etc . Maybe when the two oldest are teenagers say 16 and 18

grandparents , I would suggest a week to start with and see how it goes, maybe in the U.K. the first time. I went on holiday with my grandparents and have really happy memories and it was a bonding experience for us. Especially the year I came out with chickenpox mid holiday !


Thelnebriati · 25/09/2022 14:29

We've suggested we all take a family trip but he has no interest and wants to have 121 quality time with the kids without us there?

No one could possibly think that's a good idea. Why doesn't he suggest getting to know them using Face Time once a week? Does he ever write to them and send photos or postcards?


UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter · 25/09/2022 14:30

My parents always took mine away in the summer holidays. It was nice for them to spend time with each other and experience different type of holiday to the ones we had as a family. And also have me two weeks do not having to stress about childcare during the holidays.
they often had another week or few days in the Easter holidays as well.
this was as well as our family holidays. I don’t think it made them spoiled it’s nice they have these memories and a few times it’s given us suggestions for places to go that we wouldn’t have otherwise chosen.

going to visit brother in Australia is different. If they were going with grandparents I might consider it but 100% no to going alone. And kind of weird that your brother would even suggest it.


MzHz · 25/09/2022 14:34

This all has my instincts going into overdrive. Not a fucking chance!

only on mumsnet have I come across this insanity of grandparents demanding alone time with their tiny baby gc and this, some total stranger male wanting young kids flown half a world away from their parents… and @lovingmother82 is the nutter for saying she’s not keen?

fuck that. There is no sane or unintentioned person on earth who would make this request. Literally nobody wants a herd full of kids on holiday or thousands of miles away from the people who raise the kids and keep them in line.

id take a massive step back from the lot of them. I don’t trust their motives


destinybaker · 25/09/2022 14:34

You have the right to say no but it is a very very kind offer from both

If you want your kids to have a great relationship with them that it is a lovely idea. I do think it would be hard for your brother to form a bond with them if he lives in Australia.

Why not ask your kids? Do they want to go?


Stainon · 25/09/2022 14:35

Children have 13 weeks' school holiday. And every day is "family time"? My Dsis used to take my children for a week a year, and I was absolutely thrilled. The children loved it, and I purposely didn't "hover", either. To be honest I think the OP sounds pretty controlling. The oldest child is 11, fgs, and these are his grandparents. When my DD was 12 she went to a foreign country to live with a family there we knew slightly for 2 months to learn the language. She's never looked back - life-changing in a very positive way. Sometimes you need to think of the children and let them develop outside of the constant oversight of their parents.


liggertia · 25/09/2022 14:36

Why has this come up now?

Was this something your Uncles and Aunts did for you and he wants to do the same? Why is he only interested in the kids now?


fanta18506ww · 25/09/2022 14:40

@Stainon I agree with you. It is very controlling. Have the kids been asked if they want to go?

If I had a family member invite me to Australia and my parents wouldn't let me go I would feel very angry.

Assuming you are 100% sure your brother and GP are asking in good faith and are not perverted, I think it's cruel to limit contact.


janemummytothree · 25/09/2022 14:46

@lovingmother82 they're not trying to tell you how to parent, they want 1 on 1 time with your kids! This is normal. Why would you deprive them of this relationship? It's just so much more fun going away when your parents aren't around. I think you need to chill and be kinder to your brother who is clearly a very caring uncle. They say it's important to them so why not give it a go? You and your DH seem very self centred


lovingmother82 · 25/09/2022 14:53

@fanta18506ww @Stainon

Just to clarify no contact is limited. GPs see the children about once a week. They know them well. I have no issue with them taking them away for a weekend to start with, although three is hard work and DD is only five. But as I said previously there is a compromise to be had.

RE my brother, his intentions are good he is not a creep but the travel to Australia alone is about 24 hours. He's been to the UK twice in 10 years - my kids barely know him. We haven't even been out to Australia as a family yet. My brother wants to use the trips to get to know my children but they barely know him.

OP posts:

fanta18506ww · 25/09/2022 15:00

@lovingmother82 I think this is a great way for your kids to get to know your brother. Why are you so reluctant. Do you not want your kids to have a relationship with their uncle? It must be hard and expensive to travel back to the UK. I would at least let the kids go abroad to visit him, but only if they wanted that. The airlines deal with these situations all the time and it is very safe. This is a once in a life time opportunity. Don't be surprised if your brother or kids hold a grudge because you are effectively denying them a relationship.

I would feel very sad if I was your brother and I wanted a relationship with your kids.

I also don't understand why you are so controlling over your kids with the GPs time with the kids and are not allowing them a week.


MRex · 25/09/2022 15:03

I think the older ones could easily do a week each with grandparents, we used to enjoy that as kids. As you say, start them off with one child, one weekend, in UK, and see how it goes before jumping into weeks abroad with 3 kids! It shouldn't feel like a big step to any of you, if it does then it's going too fast.

The brother is daft, that would wind up upsetting for all 6 of you. Family holiday with time all 5 of you plus him, then he gets each kid alone to do a specially planned day trip out for one full day (age order, then half day for the little one). Repeat the next week if it all goes well. That lets him really get to know each one of them without it being crazy.


Booklover3 · 25/09/2022 15:03

I’d jump at the chance for the grandparents or my brother to take children on holiday.

Dont think they could fly long haul alone though… and not would I want them to at that age. They would have to be quite a bit older.


Goldpaw · 25/09/2022 15:04

I suspect if you say no to your brother and yes to the grandparents, then the grandparents' 'abroad' will turn out to be Australia where your brother is.


lovingmother82 · 25/09/2022 15:04

@fanta18506ww I've not said I won't let GPS have a week, just think it needs to start with a weekend.

And regarding my brother. Flights to Australia are equally expensive. Who pays for that? As I said we can afford a couple of family holidays a year but if I'm paying for my kids to go to Australia then we can't afford that.

He's welcome to have a relationship he can FT, he can travel and visit his family.

OP posts:

NumberTheory · 25/09/2022 15:06

Your brother I get, though if it’s just the 11 year old at the moment, it might be a good experience for him if he’s interested.. But your arguments against your parents’ request don’t make much sense. Of course they don’t need to take them, going abroad on a holiday is an extra not an utterly essential part of a relationship with grandchildren. But you don’t limit relationships to only the essentials, you let them be as good as they can get. There’s no reason to think your kids would be less able to have quality time on holiday, in fact it’s more likely when people have made the effort to set that time apart for them. There’s no reason to think a holiday with grandparents is going to make them spoiled. You already take them on two holidays a year, what’s the magic tipping point about this one? It’s their day-to-day life that will determine if they’re spoiled or not, not an annual adventure with grandparents.

it sounds like you got a bit overwhelmed by the double requests from your brother and your parents around the same time. I suggest just taking a deep breath. The questions to be asking are - would your kids enjoy it? Can your parents look after them? Does it stop anything else from happening?

I would be a bit noncommittal on it being every year, though, just take one proposal at a time.


Taillighttoobright · 25/09/2022 15:06

I understand the OP. When I was young, the thought of going away anywhere was not pleasant - I was a real homebird. I remember being dumped with a grandparent for 2 weeks so my parents could go on holiday - I barely knew the woman and spent my days cooped up in a musty room.
If the brother wants a relationship with his nieces and nephews, he can come over, surely? Then, when they are much older and more capable, autonomous and independent, they can go to Australia?
As for the grandparents, I'm not sure having 3 young kids bouncing around them would be the holiday they were actually hoping for, so I'd say no to that, too.

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