Post # 1
My DH and I have a 4 year old son. I have been trying to keep my distance from my MIL because she guilt trips us and is manipulative. When she doesn’t get her way, she gets all upset and sometimes becomes verbally abusive towards us. . I try to keep the peace between us and my MIL but my DH tends to feel bad because she guilt trips him.
Anyways, my MIL and FIL are celebrating their 40th year anniversary and they told us and my BIL’s family that she wants to take us on a trip to Disney, which is very very nice of my MIL and FIL to do that. However, we don’t have a say in how many days we can go to Florida. She told us we will have to go from Saturday to the following Saturday because she is paying for it. My DH and I don’t have many vacation days and we already planned a trip to Asia because I have not seen my family since 2007. We told my MIL that we can only go to Disney in Florida from Saturday to Wednesday which would give us 5 days there. She was all upset and yelled at us that “she knew we were going to ruin it for her and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Disney”… well.. my grandma is not doing well in Asia, so i think that take priority.
My MIL puts my DH in a difficult position by making him feel bad. Today, my MIL said that we cannot stay the whole week, she wants our son to stay with her and we fly home.. I said to not nicely that I would like to think about it. But I plan on saying no because I want to be able to fly home with my son.
My MIL got all upset and we left as quickly as possible to prevent fighting. My DH said i am being selfish by not letting our son stay until Saturday and that i will be taking the experience away from him, but we will be there for FIVE days!. I do not feel easy of our 4 year flying without me, I want to be there with him on the plane.
I appreciate any advice on handling this situation. i don’t want to do because my DH and I tend to end up arguing about dealing with my MIL
Post # 2
I have a 3 and 4 year old and I would have really hard time leaving them as well, although I also had a hard time leaving them for a week at my parents house the first time we took a vacation without them. Maybe it is something that you have to force yourself to be ok with (as long as grandma isnt a total nutcase). Or tell your husband that your not comfortable leaving your baby there and let him explain this to his mother. She was a mother once, she would understand if she was told that your just not ready to leave your child in another state, far from home.
Post # 3
dreamyme: Your DH needs to grow a set and stand up to his Mom.If your son is 4 and you have not seen your family since 2007, that means your family has never met your son and vice versa.
DH needs to tell her it’s 5 days or none (because you are taking your son to Asia)- her choice.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
I tend not to worry too much about these things. But that’s b/c when I was ten my mother sent me to Europe from California by myself. I thought it was was awesome! And also, I don’t have kids, so maybe my opinion is moot.
ON the one hand, I think even TWO days at Disneyland would be enough for a 4 year old, but I might be alone on that one. On the other hand, unless you think your MIL is actually irresponsible, I don’t see why you can’t leave your son for the extra few days. I understand that you’re nervous, but this woman did raise your husband! And having an option for future babysitting if you and your husband want to go on a trip alone… I think that’s something you might want to take advantage of!
I know it’s irritating to be treated to the guilt trips, but I would think carefully about what you actually want. Are you saying no just b/c she’s asking? And are you being over-protective of your boy?
Post # 5
dreamyme: I think you should find a way to do the entire week, even if you have to take a couple of unpaid days from work.
You are seeing your family, your DH and son should get this experience with theirs.
I understand your Grandmother is ill (and I’m sorry) but don’t take your in-laws health for granted. You never know when misfortune or sickness can come and this might very we’ll be your husband’s family last opportunity to have en experience like this together.
Find a way to make it work.
Post # 6
Leaving your son with your MIL isn’t the issue. I don’t think I could handle sending a 4 year old on a plane by himself! Has he ever been on a plane before? I flew for the first time by myself when I was about 10 years old but 10 is very different from 4.
Also, as much as this Disney trip is once in a lifetime, 5 days is a lot for a 4 year old and it will also be A LOT for you! I don’t think I could do Disney with a 4 year old for 8 days!!!!!
And yes, going to FL with your inlaws who you see often is completely different from taking your child to Asia to meet your family members for the first time (and possibly last if your grandma is doing that poorly) That trip is definitely more important in my opinion and if you cannot afford to take days unpaid, or CAN’T take unpaid days (like me), then I think your priorities are in line.
Post # 7
dreamyme: Aside from not wanting to travel without your son, which I understand. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on two days at Disney with your son! Grant it he isn’t going to remember the trip but kids at that age at Disney are just too adorable and they are memories for you.
Stick to your guns on this one! Plus like a PP said has your family in Asia met your son? If not that is most definitely more important!
Post # 8
dreamyme: a 4 year old will barely remember disneyland anyway. A day or 2 will be fine. Anything more is wasted on a child so young – wait until he’s at least 8. It’s ridiculous to say you’re taking anything away from your son.
I agree it is unfair for your son to travel without at least one of his parents.
I agree with you that you need to make time to see your family.
Post # 9
Zhabeego: Couldn’t disagree more with this.
dreamyme: Your 4 year old should not be traveling without his parents because MIL wants to play grandma of the year. Five days is PLENTY of time at Disneyland. Your son will still get the full experience spending several days there and he will still have the comfort of his parents. You have other commitments that were already made, you do not need to shift your life and schedule around to accommodate MIL’s pouting.
The main problem I see here is not your MIL but your husband. He’s a grown man with a family to consider, he shouldn’t be caving to his mommy anymore.
Post # 10
Your MIL sounds like an unchecked momzilla. There is no way my FI and I would be considering a “present” with so many strings attached. The second his mom tried to dominate by saying it HAD to be Saturday to Saturday or nothing? We would’ve said it’s either our preferred dates or not at all, thanks. And our child staying without us would not be an option. Not because we’d never leave our child, but we don’t negotiate with or give in to someone (especially our parents) if they’re being emotionally manipulative and controlling. we wouldnt leave our children alone w someone who has so little respect for our autonomy and need to set our own priorities and make our own life decisions.
unfortunately, it seems your husband never cut the cord? My FI and I have a rule that the two of us will always be on the same page and a united front w his parents. Your FI is letting his mom divide and conquer. I’m surprised you all didn’t develop better boundaries and teamwork (when it comes to his mom) while wedding planning?
you and your husband need to get on the same page before you have a shot at a productive way to make decisions re his mom.
Post # 12
How many vacation days per year do you get? When is your trip to Asia? Will your bosses be accommodating?
I can see how spending a week at an amusement park would be horrible, but isn’t going to Disney more than that? My friend has been taking her daughter since she was months old, and the pictures are usually of them lounging in a pool. I always think of it as more of a pool vacation than an amusement park vacation, so spending the week makes sense.
Also, how much of the cost are your parents-in-law (your…PILs…lol) footing? If they’re paying for airfare, you need to go the whole time.
We live very close to my in-laws and far from my family (they’re about 500 miles away so not Asia, but still not conveniently close). While my husband’s family can be overwhelming and, um, provide a negative experience for all those involved (at times), I try to look for all the positives in spending time with them. It can be very difficult…but it’s what’s best for everyone, and certainly for our future children.
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY
If your trip to Asia was already planned and you can only go to Disney for 5 days, everyone should be focused on making the best out of that time, not trying to change what you and DH already decided as a household. If your grandmother is ill in Asia, it would be good that she met your son.
Post # 14
spiffanee: I agree with you but my MIL plays the guilt card on him, so he feels bad… She is only nice to us if things are going the way she likes it. My poor DH cannot see it because he grew up with her treating him that way.. If my MIL throws tantrums, people don’t want to deal with her so they just give in. I do feel that 5 days are enough and two extra days won’t make much of a difference..
Post # 15
Zhabeego: Thanks for your advice but we won’t be able to afford to take unpaid leave because going to Asia is already going to be pretty expensive… I just wish my MIL asked us how many days we can take for vacation.. she gets 6 weeks vacation from work..