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So, my MIL was saying the other day that she really wants to go just once with the kids to Disneyland while they are all still young (my two are 9 and almost 6 and my SIL has one who is 7.5).<br><br>
Over the years I have found that while I really like my inlaws, us all traveling together is not fun. They're kind of crazy when it comes to making arrangements, the communication is crap, and my SIL and MIL bicker all the time. Plus, my neice has been getting pretty bossy and whiny lately, and it's causing some problems when the kids all play together, so we've been saying no to some playdates. However, I didn't really think much about it because my MIL talks about stuff like this all the time and nothing really comes of it.<br><br>
Well, the very next day we get a call from my MIL - she has the dates picked. She'll pay for hotel and admission, all we have to pay for is food. She says she wants to go 8/2 through 8/5 for her birthday. Uh, her birthday? Her birthday is 8/7. But, wait, there is a birthday 8/3 - oh right, my neice's birthday. So basically this is my SIL organizing this trip for her dd's birthday, and getting MIL to pay for it by passing it off as a family trip.<br><br>
I was already dreading being on a 4 day trip with all of them, and now throw in the fact that it's my neice's birthday, and I really don't want to go. She has turned into such a whiny and demanding kid, that I just picture the whole trip being all about her and her birthday - "let's eat where she wants to eat, it's her birthday," "let her have a turn, it's her birthday," "she gets to pick the ride, it's her birthday," - that kind of thing. My SIL has always thrown these $1k plus birthday parties for her, and makes a super huge deal about it.<br><br>
I don't know - going was bad enough to begin with, but now making it all about my neice's birthday bugs me. And I know my MIL knows, because otherwise she wouldn't have tried to pass it off as going for her birthday.<br><br>
I know I'm being petty, but I'm dreading just the thought of this trip.
 

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I don't think it's odd that your MIL would phrase it as being for her birthday since her birthday is that same week. Do adults really care that much about the celebration being on the actual day? I've gone on trips "for my birthday" that were a week or two before or after the actual day. Although she must realize that your niece's birthday falls during the actual trip, and it is odd that she couched it in different terms when she spoke to you about it.<br><br>
That said, the trip sounds fun to me, and I'd probably be the one offering to let the birthday girl choose the ride and the restaurant (but letting the other kids pick stuff too), but it sounds like you guys have a stressful family dynamic. What are your DP's thoughts? Would your kids enjoy it? Is it something you could put up with for 4 days to give them some fun memories? It seems like it'd be really hard to come up with a plausible, non-offensive reason to turn down a free trip to Disneyland, you know?
 

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If you think the kids would have a great time, I'd definitely go. We went to WDW with the IL's (including MIL and SIL's family), and had a great time despite any differences. By differences, (we get along great), I just mean that they are more planners and go-go-go, and we are very much go with the flow and laid back. It just meant when our family needed a break, we went off on our own, or stayed in the hotel to relax and watch cartoons or hang out at the pool instead of feeling rushed/exhausted.<br><br>
Anyhow, since your IL's are offering to pay for everything but food - I would say it's an opportunity you should take! Even if it means enduring a whiny niece and going knowing it is to celebrate the birthdays. I think in the end it would be worth it - if it's something you think your kids would love. In a couple years they aren't going to get near the same magic from a Disney trip, IMO.
 

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I think if you're that put off by a 7.5 year old's behaviour and concerned about her stealing the limelight, so to speak, it probably is best not to go.<br><br>
However, if you do go, I would definitely mark one morning or afternoon out as "nuclear family time" - a half + day where you aren't all confined to the choices of the larger group, both to refresh yourselves and so your kids do get a chance to choose.
 

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Because my ILs range from severaly dysfunctional to criminally dangerous, because I am an only child and my own DS has no cousins, I would grit my teeth, say thanks and go enjoy the trip to the best of my abilities. I say this because whiny neices and wording of dates/b-day seems minor.<br><br>
I understand about not being thrilled with your neice's behavior as I have little patience for other people's kids but I would try really, really hard to put on a good face. Your own kids may end up with wonderful memories, which would make it all worthwhile.<br><br>
This assumes that your budget allows expenses associated with the trip. If not, I would change my option.<br><br>
Where is your DH/DP in all of this? will he also be on the trip? If so, maybe he can run interference for you, like saying, for example "the oceanbaby family is breaking off for a while so oceanbaby kids can re-visit ride X" to give you time away.<br><br>
We travel with my mom on occassion and I always make sure DH has an "out" and a break away from her.
 

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The only way I'd get through something like that would be to make sure our family was not "required" to do anything other people decide to do. In fact, that's how we get through the extended family vacations in our family.
 

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I'm sure we're going to go - there's no reason to NOT go, and the kids would have a blast. I'm just feeling whiny about it - dh and I were going to take the kids ourselves in December. I don't like dealing with crowds and heat, and the idea of doing that while listening to my MIL telling the kids to pose for a picture every 5 seconds, SIL snarking at MIL, the kids fighting over who is going to sit next to whom, and hour long crazy discussions about what time to eat dinner that inevitably end up with us all sitting at a table waiting for an hour because SIL says MIL told her the wrong restaurant.<br><br>
I know I should stop being such a grouch about it. It will be fine. At least we're all driving separately. If we all had to travel together I might have to drink the whole time. It's too bad no alcohol is allowed in the park.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
It will give me good practice in my new technique for dealing with the dynamics - space out and pretend to not have heard any of the conversation, and then when they turn to me and say "What do you think?" I say "What? Oh, sure, whatever, fine with me."
 

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We went this year, my family plus my mom and dad and my half brother and his wife - so 3 family groups.<br><br>
I survived by making sure I felt independent (tricky, since I'm blind). Sometimes I got sucked into doing what "they" wanted to do (and that's ok, it's not all about me), but DH and DD and I made sure we went on our own as much as possible (except my mom "stuck" us with my dad, bless his heart, who was using a wheelchair that day so it was really awkward - at some points I was forced to wheel my dad around even though I use a white cane!).
 

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I don't know, seems like the minute you let someone else pay for something, they make it all about them. I'd only go if I could do my own thing. But for us Disneyland has always been a split up and do what you want and meet back for lunch or fireworks. But then I grew up close to the park and we went alot. I'm guessing your MIL would want to spend all day with you.<br><br><br>
edited because I just relooked at the dates. August? UGH, you couldn't pay me to go in August. I avoid summer at the parks. It's hot and crowded.
 

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I'd go, but I don't think I'd try to hang together as a group while in the park. That never seems to work. People have their own things they want to do an it's usually better to split up into small groups anyway, at least in my experience of going to amusement parks and fairs.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm sure we're going to go - there's no reason to NOT go, and the kids would have a blast. I'm just feeling whiny about it - dh and I were going to take the kids ourselves in December. I don't like dealing with crowds and heat, and the idea of doing that while listening to my MIL telling the kids to pose for a picture every 5 seconds, SIL snarking at MIL, the kids fighting over who is going to sit next to whom, <b>and hour long crazy discussions about what time to eat dinner that inevitably end up with us all sitting at a table waiting for an hour because SIL says MIL told her the wrong restaurant.</b></div>
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Oh honey, I hear you on this one. BTDT but with my own circle of family and friends (the friends we travel with a very guilt of the above)<br><br>
At least you use that hour to have a cocktail or two or three. If you opinion is asked, make sure you pick a restaurant that serves booze!
 

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Or you could eat on your own sometimes. By the end of the week everyone might want to do something alone.
 

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I agree. I hate Disney, but if somebody else was paying, I would definitely let my kids experience it. Once in the park, I would have several reasons on hand why your family is going to split off for a couple hours.<br><br>
You are forgetting one VERY expensive item, though, and that is souvenirs. You might give the kids a budget before you go to make sure they are on board.
 

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I would go "Yay that sounds great!!" if SIL got overwhelming with the "BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY!!!!" thing I would just say "Hey maybe you would like to have some family time for your dd's birthday? My kids haven't spent their birthdays at Disney so they would also like a turn at things/their say/we want to eat where we want to eat!/i'll do what I want!!/you aren't the boss of me!<br><br><br>
I have three sisters and am known as the "easy going" one that just goes with the flow. Two of my sisters are bossy control freaks so I just play along. After a few days of being bossed and control freaked I start getting this wild look in my eye that dh recognizes and we kind of do something else for a bit so I can relax. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
My nieces and nephew don't live near me so I am always thrilled to get to spend sometime with them. My sister wouldn't go all wild like you are describing your SIL. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
You should plan restaurants ahead of time, I think y'all can get special deals if you do some sort of package thing and make reservations ahead of time. Make a printed itinerary of restaurants so there is no confusion. Everyone look at restaurants and each person pick a meal or something so everyone gets a say.<br><br>
IMO August is just a really bad time to go, are y'all from a hot state where you might be used to horrific humidity and heat? To me December would be a better time of year.
 

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If you can get away from everyone else for periods of time, I'd do it. We went to WDW last week and it was AWESOME! Now if I had to go with my whole family, I'd DEFINITELY have escape plans for some period of time each day.
 

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You are already planning a trip in December? Hrm... I must say I have only gone in December before but went last year in October. OH MY GOSH THE HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!! Awful. We did not enjoy it as much because the heat really affects us. Never again. I cannot imagine going in August.<br><br>
But then I also cannot begin to imagine vacationing with my inlaws. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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After reading your second post, I totally understand how you feel. I also remembered that I don't like going to Disneyland with other families because the more people there are the longer everything takes and the more chaos there seems to be. So other posters' advice to make sure you take time for yourselves as a nuclear family is a good thing to consider.<br><br>
As for alcohol, California Adventure sells margaritas and beer! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We do trips with my family (parents, brothers, their wives, kids) about once a year but...we don't all stick together. That would SUCK. You can't possibly all move as one entity all the time without everyone being miserable. That makes no sense. Generally, we will all stay at the same place and make an effort to have breakfast together and then at night, take turns staying home with all the kids so the other adults go out to eat (usually later than the kids would be up anyway so light early supper with kids, out to eat later). In between, whatever happens happens. Some of us might go off to the same place and get meet up at some point, or not. It's PLENTY of togetherness.<br><br>
Even when we do trips with just one other couple and their kids, we don't try to stay on top of each other the WHOLE time.<br><br>
If you do go, and I would, I would try for something similar. I can not possibly see that many adults and kids all doing the same thing all day and having a good time. Ok, see ya in four hours at the tea cups, bye! And get moving.
 

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Hmm, I'd go, but with the understanding that there would be "whole group" time and "just family" time. Like, OK, dinner can be a whole-family affair, and maybe all meet for one of the shows at Disney every day, and let grandma get take the kids on a few rides... and then just do your think. MIL can alternate between tagging along with SIL's family and yours, so she gets plenty of grandkid-at-Disney time.<br><br>
It kind of ends up happening, anyway, in my experience. Growing up, we went a few times, and my mom always ended up taking one or two kids while dad took the other two or one (there were three of us), and then we'd meet back at a set place at a set time. Even easier nowadays, with cell phones and all.
 
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