Vent- RE: ILs - Long — The Bump
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Vent- RE: ILs - Long

My ILs like to go away some place warm from 12/26 returning 12/31.  I am not a fan.  I find it very stressful to rush through the holidays, have to pack up 2 children (w/ clothing for a different season) & leave early am of 12/26.  We didn't do the trip this past year and are now getting guilt-inducing e-mail invites for a trip for this year.

I explained very clearly to my MIL when we were up there at the beginning of the year that I DON'T want to travel during that time frame (w/ the exception of going up to see them for holiday related events.)   That leaving on 12/26 is difficult after playing Santa & doing Christmas (was up until 1 am this Christmas Eve doing the Santa set-up.) 

We did this trip w/ them twice since DD was born & when we did it we had Chinese food for Christmas dinner because we didn't want to drive an hour each way to have dinner @ my parents the day/night before traveling via plane for so long.  Hosting a major holiday the day before going away isn't my idea of a good time either- it typically takes me 24 hrs to do the full post-party clean-up, etc.  I enjoy hosting holiday meals and hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

What is really irritating me right now it the lies of my MIL & SIL are telling to get us on board.  When I asked my MIL if she has always gone on these trips even when her children were little she said yes.  Completely contradicting statements she has previously made about how her family celebrated Christmas.  Also SIL just wrote in an e-mail that it's a 30 yr tradition.  REALLY? you've been doing this since you were 2?  I asked DH and he said they haven't been doing it since he was 5- more like since he was 10- I know it's just semantics, but I hate that they are lying in order to apply pressure/guilt.

MIL said she would never go to Mexico (I suggested going to an AI family-friendly resort there for another vacation) but the cruise they are pushing right now stops in Mexico! 

I am this close to writing back a very blunt e-mail.  I am clearly an afterthought in this whole thing, meanwhile I am the one who bears the brunt in terms of prepping/planning w/ the kids. I love to travel and love to travel w/ my kids, but I need the time/space to prep and pack in a thoughtful manner and I would rather do it not during the holiday season.


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Re: Vent- RE: ILs - Long

  • How does your husband feel about it?  Does he want to go or does he also feel like he has to go to apease his family?

    If your husband is on board with staying home, you guys need to just put your foot down and say, no.  (I know that this is much easier said then done!!)  Just because it was a tradition that they enjoyed when their children were young doesn't mean that it is okay for them to require your presence every year.  Their children are adults with their own families.  Why can't you make your own traditions?

    Also, it isn't "fair" to your family that the in-laws get to have you guys for the entire holiday break. 

    If you want to be nice, maybe you can agree to go with them every other year and on the alternate year you can stay home.  However, from things you have said before it sounds to me like your in-laws are very selfish.  An every other year swap probably won't stop the guilt trip on the "off years." 

    Good luck no matter what you decide!

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  • It sounds like you have a tough fight on your hands.  Is your DH in agreeance with you on not going on the trips?  If so, it sounds like you may just have to put your foot down and do what is right for your family. 

    Good luck!

  • I don't understand what Billy's role in all this is and why you always get stuck having to deal w/ his mom?  You're are so emotional about this (for a variety of reasons) I can see how its hard for you to hold your cool on this.  I think you need to stop trying to negotiate this with them and just say "I'm so sorry, but we aren't able to come." and leave it at that.  If they want to discuss it or suggest other options (or even keep laying on the guilt trip) they need to do that w/ Billy.  You are going to snap at her/them SOOON and he needs to interce if he doesn't want that to happen.  I'm annoyed for you that he's not onboard w/ you about this and you always get stuck dealing w/ her BS.

    She's going to be unhappy - she doesn't want to compromise and just figure out a way to see the kids, she wants you to come on her vacation - period.


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  • I hate over-planning around the holidays. I would absolutely not want to take a trip that week after Christmas - and that's without kids yet!!

    Hopefully your DH is behind you on this and you guys and just put your foot down and start a new tradition. From what I've heard about your MIL, she is going to be difficult no matter what so you might as well just go with what YOU want!


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  • I'm with Kathryn on pretty much every point.  I would tell them nope, not going, and leave it at that.  Billy's got to put his foot down too. 

    I absolutely agree with all your reasons, I can't imagine in a few years when E & D are older and you have to try and tear them away from all their new toys.  I remember traveling for the holidays as a kid and it sucked, and my mom was always super stressed.  When we were middle school aged, she decided to stop, and we had such nice relaxed holidays from there on out.  Hell, it's exhausting traveling between my parents houses and the IL's houses for the holidays and we live within a 5 mile radius of each other.

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  • DH is definitely not a fan of the trips- but he hates confrontation and the guilt works on him a little bit.  He still doesn't get it that the time our kids spend w/ his parents vs. my parents will never be "fair" because my parents live an hour away and take us out to dinner at least 2x a month.  On the flip side we never spend the night @ my parents' house, they never spend the night here- so both sets of grandparents get different experiences.  My parents will gladly rent a place at the beach and invite us to join them, ask us what dates work, consider how many bedrooms we need, etc.

    MIL & SIL are bossy - plain & simple- they want what they want and they tend to get it.  I don't think that DH or my FIL have ever thought to argue with them, they just go along.  

    I wish there was reasoning w/ my MIL (like how about instead of going away w/ them right after Christmas we go up there for 10 days over the summer staying w/ them for 2 weekends and doing a midweek rental at the beach w/ a pool close to them, so they could see the kids everyday but we could still have our own space.)  But I know that's not enough for her.  

    Oh and I don't think I mentioned- the trip they want to go on is a cruise.  If I ended up on a boat w/ them it would probably end up as a 20/20 special. 

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  • Yea, it sounds like reasoning wont work with her.  I think you have to go with the broken record approach, pick your statement and just repeat it.

    And I'm pretty sure I've said it on here or TN before there is no way in HELL I would step foot in Mexico, I don't care where, all hell has broken loose down there, no where is exempt.

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  • image Cooper81:

    Yea, it sounds like reasoning wont work with her.  I think you have to go with the broken record approach, pick your statement and just repeat it.

    And I'm pretty sure I've said it on here or TN before there is no way in HELL I would step foot in Mexico, I don't care where, all hell has broken loose down there, no where is exempt.

    My ILs only under stand the broken record approach. Sadly, I am afraid that is all they will understand. 

    I agree with PP, I wouldn't go to Mexico now and especially not with two small children.

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  • I feel for you! I have a very small family, but DH's family is large and they are all local and we are constantly having different events. DH wants to make sure we go to everything, well I get totally overwhelmed. I love my IL family, but sometimes you can't make things and just have to say no. I did tell my DH that once our little guy shows up, that I want to make our own traditions within our little family. I think you need to do whats best for your family - your DH and kids.
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  • I always find that if I write the email and don't address it (so it doesn't accidentally send) that I have the option later to decide. If it is something that I feel like I need to address, then I will send it...but mostly they are really blunt emails that get tossed after a few days. Regardless, they always make me feel better and most of the time I am pleased that I haven't sent them.
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