Author Topic: Advice - MIL and beach trip  (Read 3128 times)

nurseart

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Advice - MIL and beach trip
« on: January 27, 2019, 09:07:42 AM »
Husband and I are struggling with this one and could use some other perspectives. His mom wants to do a one week beach trip this summer. She's 70 and hasn't been in a long time. His brother has some development delays and last year got a job as a cashier on the other side of the states and will likely come back for the trip which would be his first time back. Financially MIL is living within her means from retirement and we'd pay for half of the beachhouse which would be $800 plus I'd have to take an unpaid week off work and it would likely push back the hubs starting a new position after renovating a house full time for the last year. I'd probably end up cooking meals for the four of us. Going during non peak time got shot down and she very specifically wants the beach they used to go to.

Financially can we swing it? ...yes but there are many (many) other things we would prefer to use our money on and neither of us particularly think this sounds like a vacation. Still, it would be quality time  that we might be glad we  invested in in the future. we both like the MIL and appreciate that she would use the extra help physically and financially and I haven't done this sort of trip with her before. This is what they did as a family for vacation and the hubs hasn't gone with them since high school. I think we are feeling like we should go but honestly don't really want to. :-/

Any ideas on handling the family sort of obligation stuff?

Noodle

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 10:11:15 AM »
Honestly, I would try to make it happen--I work with a lot of older adults, and often the serious health problems come along in their 80s...so there is a limited window for the time when vacations like this would be possible. Based on your description, it isn't an outrageous request and it sounds like it would mean a lot to her--so participating may be more about a gift to her rather than "would this be a vacation I would like?"

But do you need to go? Especially since MIL wants to go back to the same vacation your husband and his brother did as children, it sounds like this vacation would really be about their closeness as a family. I'm sure you would be welcome, but your presence might not be as central to what your MIL hopes for from the trip. Perhaps you could join them for one of the weekends. Needing to take unpaid leave to do it is the perfect excuse for participating only a bit.

Or go, but start planning and saving for an experience for you and husband that WOULD be the kind of vacation you would like to take.

szmaine

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 12:36:16 PM »
I know just what you mean about not really wanting to do it. I have done some things like that I didnít want to do either so I know that if you do it you really need to change your mindset once you commit. IF, you do...youíll need to embrace it and get past the what-I-could-do-with-the-funds thought in order to get some value out of the experience. This probably is a big bucket list thing for her and you could help make it happen and even really enjoy it too. Think on it.

remizidae

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 01:00:54 PM »
Why can't your husband do the cooking? Especially since this trip is about *his* family.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 01:54:38 PM »
I would recommended to ask MIL whether she would like to share cooking duty.  Looks like she is already is prepared for paying for half of the rental cost.  This way, you wouldn't be the only person in the kitchen.  Kitchen duty all the time is not much fun even if one absolutely loves to cook.

However, you have indicated that DH and you don't want to go.  Have you discussed exactly why?  Is there something between MIL and her son, and you that you don't want to touch?  If the only reason is that DH and you would like to do something different, a week with family might be more fun that is looks now.  You don't have to say yes or no now - just it is worth thinking about all of the issues before decision is made.

Cassie

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 02:03:06 PM »
I would go. We lost MIL unexpectedly at 67 and glad we had taken some trips. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 02:50:06 PM »
If you both like being with your MIL, then I would do it. I might see if it could be a long weekend (like 4 days) instead of full week just because if you do take a full week off you likely will need a day or two once you get home to rest after this type of "vacation" (obli-cations is what I called them when I did this same thing).

So she wants a full week rental Sunday-Saturday. I'd tell her you can come up on Tuesday night, but have to leave on Friday night so you can get things ready for work. You don't have to make excuses - you both work for a living and she needs to give a little considering she's making demands like peak season, selection the location, and expecting you to pay half and cook. I wouldn't argue, just tell her what you want to do and leave it up to her if that's going to be enough for her.

Make sure you have a separate bedroom to go to if you need a bit of alone time, don't be afraid of making very basic meals (sandwiches! order a pizza!) and maybe plan at least one outing of a few hours (late dinner? if MIL goes to bed early and the BIL is fine by himself could go for a beach stroll and maybe get some drinks?) with just you and the husband so it doesn't feel like you have no opportunity to enjoy some time together on your trip.

nurseart

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 05:36:25 AM »
Thank you for all the insights! We will go and take your ideas with us!

Re: cooking DH will help a lot and while I'll wind up leading most of the dinners we can go simple. MIL isn't that into cooking (or eating, gasp) and really burned out after having to take care of her parents in their older years for a decade.

There isn't any unspoken drama or tension, they are just family and can be a bit exhausting but I agree that it is important to go and with a good frame of mind.

Dee18

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 05:51:14 AM »
You might want to go ahead and plan one or two things you, or you and DH, would especially like to do on your own and that the others would not join in on. A few hours away can make a big difference. 

saguaro

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 06:51:36 AM »
You might want to go ahead and plan one or two things you, or you and DH, would especially like to do on your own and that the others would not join in on. A few hours away can make a big difference.   

I say go for it.   Nothing wrong with planning some activities for yourself and DH to get a bit of a break.

My folks went on vacation with my sister and her family a few years ago.   Sister and her family did a couple of things together separate from Mom and Dad who did their thing.  Sister's family took a tour, Mom and Dad stayed at the beach to watch the surfers.

Since both my folks are now gone, sister is glad they had a chance to take the trip. 

Plugging Along

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 07:23:15 AM »
This is what money is meant to be spent on, memories and relationships that bring you joy.   If your MIL is in her 70s, in not that long of a time, she wonít be able to do these types of trips.   

I have spent tens of thousands in order to travel with my extended family.   Super expensive, but well worth the memories.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 07:49:29 AM »
Tell us more about this beach house.

I see a week of family time with no privacy as sucking balls.

But I also see a week of family time, then you and husband dinner out alone being nice. Ore opposite of MIL/bro stored at the beach while guys do something else relaxing and regroup together for a family dinner as potentially being nice for everyone.

When we do stuff like this, we rent one unit, the parents a second unit, the inlaws a third ect. Together and apart.

mm1970

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2019, 12:00:25 PM »
Thank you for all the insights! We will go and take your ideas with us!

Re: cooking DH will help a lot and while I'll wind up leading most of the dinners we can go simple. MIL isn't that into cooking (or eating, gasp) and really burned out after having to take care of her parents in their older years for a decade.

There isn't any unspoken drama or tension, they are just family and can be a bit exhausting but I agree that it is important to go and with a good frame of mind.
I agree with everyone else.  Go.

We live on the opposite coast from our families.  We've managed to come up with a system - we travel to visit them once every 2 years for 2 weeks.  Drive 2 hours to nearest large airport.  Park car for 2 weeks.  Fly in to nearest airport, beg for a ride home from the airport (2 hr drive) spend a week with my family.  Beg a ride to the rental car place 2.5 hours away, rent a car and drive the rest of the 7 hours to his family.  Spend a week, fly home.  Retrieve car.  Drive home.

It is a mixture of relaxing and not relaxing.
Not:
- During my family week, I end up doing all the cooking.  Not only for just my family of four, but also the parent we are visiting AND relatives who "happen" to show up.
- Endless visits to other relatives.
- Figuring out what to eat when I'm at the in-laws, because I have a few food sensitivities and I hate to be a bother.  (I end up eating a LOT of instant oatmeal.)
- Uh...live in SO at one of the stops - we just don't get along.  They aren't a fan of kids.  I have kids!

Fun:
- Letting the kids spend time with cousins.
- Choosing to NOT do "all the visits" (sorry aunt Jane!) some of the time. (Last trip to visit my family, we literally spent the entire week with my nieces, and took them on all sorts of adventures.)
- Visiting my one stepparent (who lives alone - I KNOW he loves these visits) and seeing the in-laws and their SO's.  Everyone is in their 70s.
- Siblings!!

I also think it's important to make sure you have your "space".  At my family's, our family of 4 shares one large bedroom, and it's kind of the escape spot when you need quiet.  At in-laws, we have a bedroom and the kids do too.  Same thing there - it prevents us from getting on everyone's nerves.

Laura33

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 04:52:37 PM »
I get it.  I love my in-laws, but vacationing with them is not at the top of my list.

But, yeah, go.  Suck it up and go.  It sounds harsh, but people will start dying soon, and you will regret the things you didn't do more than those you did.

At the same time:  figure out in advance what you will need to do to stay sane.  Claim a spot in the house that's quiet and away from everyone.  Plan a night out with just you and your DH.  Plan an event or day trip that is just you solo or just the two of you.  Etc.  (Spoken as someone who ended up on a couch in the kitchen with noise-canceling headphones because it was the only way to get away from all. those. people. who. would. just. not. stop. talking.)

And also:  remember all of the little things that annoy you about these people, and plan in advance how you will work around them.  One of the things that I am most embarrassed about is the time I completely lost my shit at my brother on one of those trips.  Yes, he was totally being a selfish prick.  But this was not a surprise to me; he was always a selfish prick.  So I should have handled it by asking for what I wanted when it first started ("hey, I love your kid, and I don't mind taking her to the beach with us while you gallivant with your girlfriend all day, but could you maybe return the favor so DH and I can have a nice dinner by ourselves?").  Instead I tamped it down to "keep the peace," until I couldn't take it any more an absolutely exploded -- making myself the bad guy, of course.  Ugh.  You already know what these people will do to drive you nuts, so expect that to happen and plan your response now.

kei te pai

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 01:17:35 AM »
Be kind, and gracious. Go.
In our indigenous language there is a proverb
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2019, 01:44:08 AM »
A whole week sounds like a very long time to me, especially if you need to do all the cooking, and you feel that you can't really afford to take a whole week unpaid off, or could spend that unpaid time in a much better way. I would rather turn it into a long weekend, for example 4 days, of which 2 are weekend days. Then you husband can go back to work the other 3 days.

My parents in law have a few times invited us to join them on a vacation in a little rental house, together with BIL and his family. But then they paid for the rental house. We have joined them for a couple of days and also had to take extra time off for that. We all had responsibility for cooking on different days. I still think your MIL should take responsibility for a few meals, but she could order take away if she cannot or doesn't want to cook.

Some people here say that your MIL is 70 and she won't last for many years. But I wouldn't be so sure about it. For her this is a very good deal, being cooked for and sharing the price for the rental home. Se might want to do it every year. And it sounds like you don't have much to say in where and when. It is not a very good deal for you.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:29:16 AM by Linda_Norway »

MayDay

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2019, 03:56:39 PM »
We have nearly this exact scenario.

I hate going to the beach.

I dislike my in laws.

I dislike spending 1700$ on airfare to go on a trip I hate.

They do it every year so it isn't a one time suck it up.

If we don't go to the beach we still visit them for the same amount of time and much cheaper airfare!

So I am very sympathetic to you.

freeat57

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2019, 05:26:53 PM »
Just buy plenty of wine (or your choice of stronger stuff) and self-medicate as the week goes along.  Time will fly!

On a serious note, I agree with others.  There's no second chance after the Grim Reaper gets his way. 

former player

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2019, 05:37:18 AM »
Your MIL sounds like good people: she raised a son you liked enough to marry, raised another son with developmental delays into becoming a contributing and independent member of society, and looked after her elderly parents for a decade.  She's even living within her means in retirement!  And none of that means that you would choose to spend your time and money on a holiday that is for her rather than for you and your husband.

Like others, I would say that you should go.  I would minimise the cooking with prepared foods or try to make it something you and your husband can enjoy doing together.  I would also definitely look in advance for something that you and your husband can do together for a day out that the others wouldn't be interested in, if you can - getting a break from the family togetherness sounds like a great idea.

The other thing I would suggest is brainstorming some ideas with your husband as to how you can get out of this particular scenario becoming established as an annual event.  You can do this in part by talking about it to your MIL as something special and out of the ordinary - "how lovely that we have this one chance to do something that was so special again" sort of thing - and in part by working out a more acceptable alternative for future years - a shorter time for the holiday, a location you prefer, a different financial split, and so on.




Car Jack

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2019, 07:36:34 AM »
I say NO for a number of reasons:

1) You'd have to take the time unpaid.
2) Husband is taking the chance that his new job will be ok with this delay.  I'd sure want to get my foot in the door of a new job before taking time off, even if it were to work for 2 weeks, then take a week off.
3) This seems to be the MIL trying to bring back the past.  Same place from when everyone was younger.  This is going to be a disappointment because the "kids" are no longer 10 and obedient and cute little ones.
4) It doesn't sound like you or your husband even want to do this.  If that's the case, then why make all these sacrifices to do something you don't want to do?

Laura33

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2019, 08:20:00 AM »
It doesn't sound like you or your husband even want to do this.  If that's the case, then why make all these sacrifices to do something you don't want to do?

Because sometimes you suck it up and do things you wouldn't choose yourself because it is important to someone else.

If it were every year, sure, opt out.  But a "getting the band back together" nostalgia trip specifically requested by an aging mother?  Yeah, I'm in.  I'll bitch and moan to DH in private, but I don't even need to think twice about going.

I lost the stepdad who raised me a few years ago (he had a stroke returning from our second special family vacation).  And those two vacations are the best things I ever did and are memories that I will hold forever, even though I was terrified of the cost at the time. My MIL also has cancer, so when she asks us to go somewhere, we go.  Even though they keep choosing muggy, buggy places I hate.  I enjoy what I can and appreciate the limited time we have together as a "complete" family.

I know it's trite, but that's because it is so often true.  People die, sometimes too young, sometimes unexpectedly.  And when that happens, you regret the times you said no, and hang on to the memories from the times you said yes.

chasesfish

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2019, 10:04:56 AM »
I would do it.  It will be exhausting in the moment, but take tons of pictures and you'll look back and remember most of the good.

Like the others have said, I wish I had spent some more time with certain family members in my 20s, especially before their health deteriorated past 65. 

I have to remind myself this early and often when I have moments of frustration with the in-laws, but deep in their hearts they are great people.

We actually rented a beach house last year and invited all the inlaws.  Enjoyed it even if it it was a manic one-week vacation.  We're probably going to rent a place for 3 weeks this year and invite them for one and friends in for another weekend.  Its an important goal for us in early retirement

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice - MIL and beach trip
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2019, 04:30:42 AM »
One of my colleagues is in the same situation. Only she has to visit her MIL in the US, flying there with her whole family. The 3 weeks they will spend there will be the only 3 weeks per year that the grandparents will be able to spend with their grandchildren.
Her MIL wants to spend the time at a beach resort that I have been told would look like a paradise if it weren't for those large quantities of tourist that are there at the same time. My colleague has to rent an (expensive) apartment for her family in this beach area.

My colleague also swallows this and goes there MIL wants to spend the summer. Although last year, they didn't visit the beach, but stayed at MIL's house which is close to several national parks that they visited. She said that her children really enjoyed the parks. I advised her that MIL should not be the only one who has a say in where they spend their vacation.