Every year my in-laws attend a Pow Wow in another state. Last year they talked my husband and I into going. I was about 5 months pregnant at the time. My S.I.L.,F.I.L. & M.I.L. dance in this Pow Wow which goes on for about 3 days and they camp right there. My S.I.L. nevers brings her youngest kid because he doesn't listen and she can't watch him while she dances. He has older sibling but they don't want to watch him ethier. When she heard I was coming both her and my M.I.L. assumed I would watch him but I said no. All during the Vacation all I heard was to bad he couldn't be here. When we returned home from vacation both of them kept saying how no matter what he was coming this year! My husband and I had a great time and he helped out with the Pow Wow and was asked back to help this year.
Well next year is here. I want to go again but I know they will try to stick me with that kid. She wants all her kids (3) to come and they get bored easily and want to ride around. I know they wil try to trick me into babysitting and being chauffer after I get there. Plus, I already have my little guy to look after. I plan to stay in a hotel this year and my husband plans to camp so he can help and sometimes stay at the hotel. They want the kids to stay at the hotel too, which means I will be the only adult there with them. I thought about staying home with my son while my husband went to help (anything to get out of work). I figured though my S.I.L. would want me to keep her little troublemaker but I can easily say no than because he needs to go to school and it's about 30 minutes from where we live. Anyway I don't know if I should go or stay. Keep in mind that these people hate to be told No and they never let you forget it if you do. They make rude comments and harrass you! What would you do?
tough position. my mum went through the same thing when my siblings and i were little...she had no family here and my dads family was horrible to her; making up lies, trying to pawn off their cousins kids on her to do regular babysitting for free, etc. my mum refused and stuck to it, BUT there was a cost - she became an outcast in the family, someone tolerated but 'not in'. my dad eventually figured out what was going on, and now 20 yrs later after years of family get-togethers, they worst people now compliment my mother and say how she raised the best kids in the family....
anyway, if i were you, i would follow that guide. i do not believe anyone should stop you from having fun, so if you really want to go to the pow-wow, go. just be prepared to stick to your guns. don't watch those other kids for 1 measly second, that second will turn into a minute, will turn into a half hour, etc. refuse refuse refuse. im sure you will not be popular but if lofe is giving you a struggle in this form, i believe it can be a lesson.
if you decide to go to the hotel, don't let them in your room, and still inform your SIL and MIL that you won't be watching them...i don't think they can register a room for three kids!
if you decide to stay home and the SIL wnts to pawn some kids off, i wouldn't say no b/c of how far the school is, i would say no, b/c you want to bond with your son and her kids are not your responsibility. if u tell her its b/c of the distance, she may think you would care for him if he didn't have school-i'd say you'd want to erase any thought like that out of her head (and just watch her say he can take those days off school for a little vacation). and then on top of that, what if something terrible happened to him while he was in yur care...you definitely will not be liked.
i guess bottom line is i would try to be honest if i were you. if you start to compromise yourself on this issue, you will feel helpless towards them in the future. please finf the strength to assert yourself.
If it were me, I'd just not go at all. I've been battling vacations with the in-laws for years, and honesty and standing my guns got me nowhere -- if anything, it made it even worse. There are a few exceptions where I'll travel & vacation with them, but no more than a day trip, and DH & I must have our own hotel room away from the clan.
I don't know; maybe some personalities can deal with this better than me, but after 15 years, I find it easier to just come down with the flu, have a work situation that keeps me from traveling, have a conflict, anything. The in-laws in small groups are fine, but not all 20 of them vacationing together for days. And being honest caused a real problem; standing my ground made me feel like a jerk, and I felt like I was fighting during my vacation. Nah. Not for me. Vacation time is hard enough to come by for DH & I.
Thanks for the advice! I think I have decided to stay home. I know aht will happen when I get there I can see it already. You see once you are a dancer there they have like a special arena and after a certian amount of time the dancers are basically stuck in there and no on else is allowed unless they are helpers. Since my in-laws are dancing and my husband is a helper that leaves only me to take care of the kids and no one else. If I say no they will run wild or my S.I.L. will have to drop out of the dance and once you enter so to speak it is a very bad thing too quit. She tends to scam people too so I she springs things on people at the last minute knowing they won't be able to say No easily. That is how she gets her way alot of the time. So to avoid all of the stress i think I will stay home with my son. Thanks for the advice once again everyone!
Your SIL sounds a lot like my sister. She has 3 kids (11, 8, and 2) and they are always someone elses problem. She would call last minute in a panick or just stop by and assume she could leave them. One hour would turn into five. It was crazy. No wonder the younger two were always so crazy, there was no structure. My brother, parents, and I had to put a stop to taking them. After about a year of not watching them she finally got the hint. Now I will take them for legitimate things (like parent teacher conferences) and will not babysit past 7 for any reason.
Don't feel bad! Some people just take advantage and don't care. You deserve to do what you want to do. It's not your problem. A responsible mother would make other arrangements and not just assume someone will do it. Maybe she should hire a babysitter for the weekend?
Keep in mind that these people hate to be told No and they never let you forget it if you do. They make rude comments and harrass you! What would you do?
Tell them no anyway, smile and ignore their rude comments in the future, and make fun of them as soon as you leave their presence. They're being presumptuous expecting to leave their kids in a hotel with you or expecting you to cart their kids around. You can say that you don't mind staying in the hotel with them if their mother stays too. You can politely, or humorously, tell them that this is a vacation for you, and you want to be able to relax. You can talk about alternating some afternoons/evenings with the kids, i.e., someone takes all 4 kids one time, you take them another, etc. If they are ignorant about those requests, then don't go. And don't let some thinly veiled insults after pressure you into being a sucker. They're obv. trying to take advantage.
I'm not sure I could tolerate being in the same room as these people if this is what they do! I'd be like, "You wish your youngest kid was here to enjoy this? Then sacrifice some of your own time to entertain him and bring him instead of guilt tripping someone else into feeling like it's their fault." Seriously, these people sound insane!
There's one in every crowd, every family If you really want to go to this event, just tell them up front that you are not going to watch the kids. Rather than stewing and worrying about the situation, just get it out in the open.
Tell them if they continue to give you trouble that you won't be going at all. Or have a back up plan -- mine was always sinus headaches or stomach flu. Don't let them in your hotel room and you can always use the excuse, too that the baby is napping and that you'll meet up with them later.
As for the comment about wishing the youngest could've been there -- come up with a witty response, like "Yeah, why isn't he here" or "well, maybe when he's older and you don't have to worry about him missing school"