Family Matters
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Family Vacation

Hi everyone,

Each year, my parents and my in-laws try to plan a family vacation. Right now, I am in grad school and have a mortgage to pay, so our vacation budget is rather sad and does not allow us much money to play with. Being that I'm a teacher, I'm also pretty much restricted to the summer months, which tend to be a bit more expensive around here. 

My parents rent a beach house each year and invite us down. My DH gets 2 weeks of days to be used as sick or vacation each year. Typically we try only to use 1 wk of his days as there are occasions when he might be sick, need a personal day, etc. His parents sort of change up what they're doing each year. 

 Here's the thing: my parents invite us, and basically won't take money from us. I offer it each year, and they turn me down. So usually we bring them a nice hostess basket, buy groceries for the house for the week, and take them to dinner to make a contribution. This, admittedly, leaves some money to play with for family vacation.

His mom finally got the hint last year that we don't have money for vacation and it becomes this big issue for her-- she had planned a multi- thousand dollar Hawaii vacation, and we had to be totally honest with her that we didn't have that budget. My parents actually want to invite them down this year, and I thought this would solve our problem. They're renting a home with a detached cottage so there would be some privacy, and everyone would get to have vacation together.

 When I brought this idea up to his mom earlier she told me that it wouldn't count as a family vacation for her family, as it is a house my parents are renting. Now I am sort of at a loss. The home rental is for a week-- we really don't want to use any more days. She already seems offended, and I am just unsure of what to do with a meager budget. When I offered a weekend trip (trying to avoid taking too many days) she got even more offended. I've decided to give it some more space, but just want to get your take on this. 

~CaraMia~ Married to my HS sweetheart since 7/2/10 Celebrating 10 years together 6/3/12! Anniversary

Re: Family Vacation

  • His mom sounds like a snob. She should be more understanding about your financial situation, if she wants you to join in for Hawaii or expensive trips that she knows you can't afford right now, she should offer to pay for you or quit 'scoffing'.  If I was with, I would stop stressing, you already extended the invite/suggestion to your parents rental home vacation, she can take it or leave it, enjoy the week with your family.

    Your parents sound accommodating (detached cottage) but your MIL does not. Now it's up to her to decide what she plans to do.


  • image vpine:

    His mom sounds like a snob. She should be more understanding about your financial situation, if she wants you to join in for Hawaii or expensive trips that she knows you can't afford right now, she should offer to pay for you or quit 'scoffing'.  If I was with, I would stop stressing, you already extended the invite/suggestion to your parents rental home vacation, she can take it or leave it, enjoy the week with your family.

    Your parents sound accommodating (detached cottage) but your MIL does not. Now it's up to her to decide what she plans to do.

    all this.

    Is there a reason why it's not a family vacation if only family is there (other then tour parents renting the house)? Are there siblings, aunts, uncles, etc that normally go on vacation with MIL? MIL needs to get over it and accept the facts. You two (and your parents) have done all you can do. Balls in her court. 

  • Tell MIL that Hawaii is off the table and if she wants to go on a vacation together, then you all will have to come up with a solution.  Can your husband take off 2 days around a weekend and all of you guys can go to a place that is only a few hours away ?  Could you research some good deals on Groupon Getaways, Expedia, Priceline or Hotwire ? 

    I wouldn't hold it against her for not wanting to vacation with your parents.  It was a kind and generous offer, but it sounds like that isn't how she wants to spend her vacation time.  Personally, I probably wouldn't either.  However, on the other hand, she if she isn't trying to think of some soultions, then she shouldn't be complaining either. 

  • Personally, I'd use this as a chance to back off do vacationing w both familys EVERY year. I feel like your backing yourselves into a corner. Vacation w one family one year, and the other the next. Maybe - that still depends on $$. 

     

    But.  You're scrambling to appease everyone instead of saying "sorry, we just can't do 2 vacations this year".  Think bigger picture. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • image EastCoastBride:

    Personally, I'd use this as a chance to back off do vacationing w both familys EVERY year. I feel like your backing yourselves into a corner. Vacation w one family one year, and the other the next. Maybe - that still depends on $$. 

     

    But.  You're scrambling to appease everyone instead of saying "sorry, we just can't do 2 vacations this year".  Think bigger picture. 

    I agree with this, why do you or your H want to spend every vacation each year with your parents? It seems to be all or nothing with your MIL. Is she like this on everything? You have given her an awesome alternative that you can afford. The having a vacation with her son is an option she now has, if they don't go, it's on her.

    Most people don't get a vacation if they can't afford it, your parents are being very generous here. I just don't see why any parent, your MIL, gets to dictate vacation plans of two adults that she isn't paying for. Someone is going to be unhappy it seems, make sure it isn't you in this situation. 

  • Hey guys,

    Thanks for your advice. I generally don't plan a vacation unless it's a short weekend-trip due to the money (and time) factors I mentioned earlier. My parents go out of their way to accommodate us (which is so sweet of them, but totally unnecessary). My dad has a huge extended family, many of whom live in the area, so my cousins usually stop by, my friends stop in for a day or two, my DH's brother (MIL's other son), comes by, and even some of his aunts and uncles. We grew up together (I have known my DH for 14 years, been married for 2 1/2), so I guess over the years, my parents have always been willing to take him on vacation (although now we get to bunk together, lol).

    I have always considered a little time away to be better than nothing, but was trying to figure out if I was being unreasonable, because maybe the situation is uncomfortable for his parents...although they have come to stay with my family in the past, and his mom also works for a school and lives in the area. I think she wants to take a nice family vacation together as we've never done it, but part of it has always been financial. She used to invite me when my DH and I were dating and engaged, but would ask me to bunk with her on a cruise (kind of awkward), and pay the several $1000s I couldn't afford when I was in college, or high school..which is why I never went. Maybe I'll see if she cools off? I'm going to remain firm on the fact we can't afford a more expensive trip, and I have told my parents that in another year and a half when I'm FINALLY done w/ grad school, DH and I are going to vacation on our own for a year or two (which doesn't bother them).

     I should also say, my parents are always very open. They rent a house for a week with a bunch of bedrooms and whoever wants to come, can come. It's not my ideal vacation, but it's still something, and I love the beach in the summer. Thanks again, guys!

    ~CaraMia~ Married to my HS sweetheart since 7/2/10 Celebrating 10 years together 6/3/12! Anniversary
  • Why is this about you dealing with your mil? Why isn't your DH telling her you all can't afford to go w her? 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • image EastCoastBride:
    Why is this about you dealing with your mil? Why isn't your DH telling her you all can't afford to go w her? 

     Thank you! I was just going to post the same question.

    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • I don't blame your MIL for not being all gung-ho on vacationing at your parents' rental house.  My idea of a fun vacation isn't spending a bunch of time with my sister's inlaws either.  Remember - your husband married into your family, but his parents didn't.  They don't have to be BFFs with your parents, and they don't have to choose to spend their vacation time with them.

    But you don't have to keep trying to appease her either.  The vacation that your parents offer up works for you, the one that his MIL offers up doesn't.  So stop trying to make it all work for everyone - do what works for you, and if MIL really truly wants a family vacation then it's on her (just as it is your parents) to come up with something that works for everyone. 

    Stop trying so hard.  This isn't your problem to deal with.

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Thanks again for your advice. As far as my DH dealing with her, they don't have the best relationship b/c he's a very blunt person, so I guess she calls me. I should probably just refer her to call him about it in the future. I am all about communication and trying to keep the door open for the future, but obviously I have hit a point where we're not going to solve this to everyone's satisfaction, and I think I just need to take a breather from it. He's totally supportive in the sense that he doesn't want to go, and when we see them tomorrow for New Year's Day, he said he'd have a word with her. Thanks again.
    ~CaraMia~ Married to my HS sweetheart since 7/2/10 Celebrating 10 years together 6/3/12! Anniversary
  • image vpine:

    His mom sounds like a snob. She should be more understanding about your financial situation, if she wants you to join in for Hawaii or expensive trips that she knows you can't afford right now, she should offer to pay for you or quit 'scoffing'.  If I was with, I would stop stressing, you already extended the invite/suggestion to your parents rental home vacation, she can take it or leave it, enjoy the week with your family.

    Your parents sound accommodating (detached cottage) but your MIL does not. Now it's up to her to decide what she plans to do.

    This. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. End of story.

  • image CaraMia886:
    Thanks again for your advice. As far as my DH dealing with her, they don't have the best relationship b/c he's a very blunt person, so I guess she calls me. I should probably just refer her to call him about it in the future. I am all about communication and trying to keep the door open for the future, but obviously I have hit a point where we're not going to solve this to everyone's satisfaction, and I think I just need to take a breather from it. He's totally supportive in the sense that he doesn't want to go, and when we see them tomorrow for New Year's Day, he said he'd have a word with her. Thanks again.
    Sometimes being blunt it what is needed.  And I don't really see what's wrong with "Sorry- we can't afford it".  BLunt, but also valid and honest. 

    To not be blunt in this situation tells me that you're dancing around the issue, putting out statements that makes her think "there IS a chance they'll go", etc.  So....  jsut say "No- we can't go".  You don't have to be rude about it, but dancing around the issue isn't going to help things either.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I would follow your husband's lead in this.  There is nothing wrong with being direct or blunt.  In fact, with some people, that is the best way to talk to them.  My MIL is one of those.  You can't sugar a messge to her because she won't get it.  You really do have to be blunt. 
  • Hi guys,

     

    I know, one of the reasons I love my DH- he's a straight-shooter, and I could learn a lot from that. The issue is she is very persistent, and he's had 28 years of practice having these 'discussions' with her. I'm still relatively new to it. We'll be upfront with her tomorrow. Thanks again!

    ~CaraMia~ Married to my HS sweetheart since 7/2/10 Celebrating 10 years together 6/3/12! Anniversary
  • Well she is probably persistent because it works for her.  Maybe not with your husband, but she was probably testing you out trying to see if she can wear you down and agree with what she wants. 

    Yeah just let your husband handle her from now on.

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