Throwaway account because my family members are on here. I (f38) and my husband (40) have had a bad year. He had major surgery and I looked after our 6 year old and 2 year old for the last 6 months, while helping him recover and working full time.
My parents helped out from time to time but they are in their 70s so I only ever asked them to mind the kids maybe once a week and never for more than 2 hours at a time. They are in creche otherwise.
A close cousin sent out wedding invites last week. The wedding is next year on the other side of the world to us. A trip of a lifetime basically. We decided we should treat ourselves for once and go.
I told my parents we going and they seemed to be happy for us at first. Then out of nowhere today they called me. Apparently my mother has been upset for days that we’d even consider leaving the kids and travelling so far away. They said they weren’t up to minding them at all. I said we were never going to ask them that, we had other relatives lined up.
They said even so, they’d still feel totally responsible for them while we’re gone and if anything happened to them we’d be too far away. They said we needed to rethink the decision to go.
My SIL would have happily taken them, she has kids the same age and they adore each other. But my parents think our kids wouldn’t be happy there and ultimately they’d end up looking after them.
I feel totally disrespected as a daughter and mother. I was made to feel guilty for upsetting my mother and for considering leaving my kids for a week. So am I the ahole for considering going to this wedding in the first place?
NTA As long as your kids are well cared for there is no reason you shouldn't go on a vacation. Is family time important? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean you have to spend every waking moment with them.
What I will say is if they haven't spent a long time away from both you and your husband, make sure to prep them with smaller sleepovers and stuff before the big trip.
I used to work at a summer camp, and the kids that have the roughest time being away from home were the ones who had never been without a parent. But I honestly think this could be a positive experience for them as well, it's a great way for them to start learning a small age appropriate amount of independence.
NTA. You're a mother, but your children aren't newborns. They can stay with a family member for a week. It's not like you leave them all the time, it's exceptional and it's for a wedding.
You could just as easily have taken a week's vacation with your husband and it would have been just as fine. As parents, you and your husband know better than anyone if your kids are ready. Trust your judgment.
NTA. This between you and your husband. Your mother is the AH and is being overly dramatic. Go.
NTA, do your parents expect you to never take vacations again? I dunno why it's reasonable for them to dictate your kids' care so long as they are left in the care of responsible adults. Their fears over your kids shouldn't dictate how you live your life so long as there's no abuse or neglect happening.
NTA. Go! Tell your mom you're through discussing your travel plans with her. If she continues tell her she'll be put on an information diet. Sounds like you both deserve a vacation and have childcare covered by a person you trust. You shouldn't have the people you love making you feel guilty. It's a week. The kids will have fun with their cousins.
NTA. My MIL feels the exact same way as your mom. She feels that parents shouldn’t go on any trips without their kids. They took my husband everywhere. I had the opposite upbringing.
I would go on trips with my parents, but they took trips by themselves too. And I absolutely loved when they had trips away, because I would get to have a fun stay with whoever was watching me.
Wow I didn’t expect hundreds of responses! Thank you all, I’ve read every one. Some of you thought their reaction was a little odd, so a little update to clarify:
Turns out my mom had a full blown panic attack for those reasons: • she’s nervous about me travelling so far away • she assumed they would take the kids for a week and was afraid she wouldn’t be able for it and possible have a panic attack while they were in her care • she doesn’t think the kids would be happy anywhere except their house so they would feel obligated to take them
I responded to this after reading many comments here by saying I understood her anxiety around it but that was HER problem and not mine to fix. Cancelling the trip is not the solution to taking away her anxiety.
I also told her how we had already sat down with SIL to make a plan to settle the kids gradually over next few months so they’d be comfortable going there. And we also had two other people as back ups, neither of which were my parents.
Unfortunately this has fallen on deaf ears and now my parents have managed to convince my siblings and an aunt that they are right and we should not be going. It’s making me reconsider the trip for that reason, as some of these family members will be going and I will not put myself in a situation where we will be judged and shamed.
My thoughts are this: plan a new trip of a lifetime. No relations involved, no kids. Same plan with SIL. But a trip on our own terms with just the 2 of us because we deserve a bit of happiness. And possible go NC with my family.