Family vacations can quickly get emotionally complicated. All the crunchy emotional dynamics can quickly turn up to ten all while you're in a setting that's supposed to be novel and relaxing.
It can be difficult to figure out when to let go for the sake of keeping the peace, and when to confront a family member for their behavior. Sometimes it feels like you're choosing between peacefully rolling over or calling something out that might blow up in your face and never change.
AITA for causing a scene and leaving a free vacation over the way my daughter was being treated?
My brother, Nate, and his wife, Jen, invited me and my daughter, Maddie (10) to go on vacation with them and their kids, Laura (12) and Danny (9). Nate and Jen are extremely well off. They both have high-paying jobs and earn around $350k between them. Maddie and I are middle class.
I own a small house and Maddie goes to a private school. Maddie has a good life but it doesn’t compare to her cousins. My brother and Jen rented a house for us and paid for the rental, all of the food, and all of the activities. The only thing I paid for was gas when driving myself and Maddie to the house.
I also have to say Nate and I don’t get along very well but I have a great relationship with Jen, mostly because of how they are with the kids. Nate tells the kids they don’t have to be nice to anyone, never encourages them to share their toys, and doesn’t discipline his kids. Jen is the opposite.
She constantly tells the kids to share with their cousins and will punish them if they’re being rude to the other kids or adults. Now to the vacation. They rented a 3 bedroom house. Nate and Jen had the master bedroom, I had the second bedroom with a double bed, and all of the kids were going to share a room with 2 bunk beds (4 beds).
The first night was pretty rough. The kids brought tons of toys but refused to let Maddie play with them. Jen came in and told them that before they left she told them they’d have to share their toys so they either share or she takes them away. They were a little rude but mostly fine the rest of the night.
The second night Jen went out to dinner with an old friend and Nate and I were home with the kids. We were getting the kids ready for bed and an argument broke out between the kids because Laura and Danny decided they don’t want to share with Maddie and told her to sleep on the couch.
I expected Nate to tell them that the bedroom was for all of the kids but he told Maddie that she either has to sleep with me or on the couch. I asked if he was serious and he said yes and that his kids weren’t comfortable sharing with Maddie and since he paid for the house, he has a right to kick Maddie out of the room.
I told Maddie to get her bag and that if she doesn’t have a bed, we’re going home. Maybe an hour after we left Jen came back and asked why Maddie and I left. I told her what happened and she asked me to come back and promised that she’d take care of her husband and the kids because she wants her kids to have a good relationship with their cousins.
I said no and shortly after we got home I got a call from my brother yelling at me for causing a scene, creating problems between him and his wife, and being ungrateful for a free vacation. He got our parents involved and they’re agreeing that it’s a free vacation and I can’t be picky. AITA for leaving with Maddie?
NTA. Nate is one of those parents who wants his kids to 'win' at all costs. He never figured out that the most important thing for a parent to remember is to raise decent human beings. That's what his wife is trying to do; he's hellbent on raising a couple of a**holes. I feel sorry for Jen. Your parents are dead wrong. You did the right thing. Sounds like a miserable free vacation.
'I paid for your vacation so you should be grateful for whatever crumbs I throw your way.'
NTA. This isn't a vacation.
'I said no and shortly after we got home I got a call from my brother yelling at me for causing a scene, creating problems between him and his wife.'
Nate created the situation, and thus caused the scene. You leaving was the result of his actions. It follows that if you leaving caused problems between him and his wife, those are also of his own making.
'He got our parents involved and they’re agreeing that it’s a free vacation and I can’t be picky.'
It's a vacation, not an indentured position. You aren't obligated to stay, and chose not to.
Keep being a good mom. NTA
'Being ungrateful for a free vacation'
BS. He was treating you poorly. I am glad you stood up for her.
'He got our parents involved and they’re agreeing that it’s a free vacation and I can’t be picky'
Sounds like your parents are picking those free trips they also get over your and your daughter's welfare.
'yelling at me for causing a scene, creating problems between him and his wife'
He did that himself. NTA.
F*ck no NTA. This is your brother? Gross. I would have gone too. I feel horrible for your little one. That's atrocious behavior and Jen should absolutely being giving her husband the business. NTA and it might be time to think about a lil time out for your bro.
Clearly OP is NTA, but her brother Nate is a giant AH who needs to learn how to treat people.