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Old 07-26-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,181 posts, read 16,715,561 times
Reputation: 12341

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My mother-in-law is taking a 10-day trip to the Panama Canal next spring and has invited her 5 daughters and their husbands to come along at her expense. While we appreciate her generous offer, my wife and I don't want to go for the following reasons:
  1. We don't really have anyone to leave our 7-year-old daughter with for 10 days.
  2. We have other obligations, including pets and a business, that make it very difficult to get away for that long of a trip.
  3. We haven't been able to take a family vacation in the last 4 years; if we take this trip there's no way we will be able to get away for a family trip next summer, and if we have to choose we'd much rather take a trip with our daughter, even if it's just a camping trip to a state park.
  4. Frankly, we're just not interested in going on this type of vacation.

My wife is getting the guilt trip from her mom and a couple of her sisters about us not wanting to go. To add a little background, the sisters' kids are all either out of the house or old enough to stay on their own. They are also doing well financially, whereas we took major paycuts so we could move closer and help out when my FIL's health went south 3 years ago (he passed this spring). So they have a hard time relating to our point-of-view.

So I need some opinions here. Are we just being selfish, and do we need to suck it up and take this trip? Or are our reasons for not wanting to go legitimate?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:35 AM
 
2,065 posts, read 4,189,577 times
Reputation: 2385
Not in my opinion.
It is much better to take a trip you can genuinely enjoy than one you would just take as an obligation and keep worrying about all you have to take care of back home. You will probably feel miserable and make others - who notice your discomfort - miserable as well.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:47 AM
 
1,249 posts, read 2,996,309 times
Reputation: 1842
It seems to me that your reasons #1 and #2 should be more than enough to justify not going on the trip.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:59 AM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,364,239 times
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Don't take this the wrong way, but based on everything you wrote, you two seem like the martyr type. No vacation in 4 yrs and you get a chance to do this for free and you turn it down?

I think the reasons you listed are not reason, they are excuses. There is something else going on here. Either you are resetnful that you moved for the FIL and you feel like that sacrifice wasn't appreciated or there is some other issue with that side of the family.

In my opinion, unless you have a SERIOUS conflict (your best friend is getting married, etc), you don't turn down something like this. A lot of people would change places with you in a heartbeat.

Also, with the business and pets, are you EVER going to take a vacation?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,181 posts, read 16,715,561 times
Reputation: 12341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
It seems to me that your reasons #1 and #2 should be more than enough to justify not going on the trip.
I agree. However, both of these could be overcome at our expense and someone else's inconvenience. Reasons #3 and #4 are what make us not want to overcome reasons #1 and #2.

I should add a reason #5. There is quite a bit of dysfunction in my wife's family, and too much togetherness usually leads to a fight at some point.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Illinois
718 posts, read 1,808,263 times
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No one can make you feel guilty but yourselves and you are doing a great job of it. Say no but thank you....and live your life. It is, after all, a vacation. Why does the mil need the entire family to go to the Panama Canal? If she were truly generous, she would have asked everyone where they wanted to go and called it a day.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,053,469 times
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Of course not. It is a kind and generous offer but you should not feel in any way you HAVE to take up on it. I think to be honest if you are going to be spending all your time on the trip worrying about this and that, or it is so much hassle for you just to get ready to travel then surely it is not worth it.

I am the kind of person who would pretty much never turn down a trip but that is me ! Travel is supposed to be enjoyable and fun and if it is not your cup of tea then it is your choice.

I think all the things you mention can be overcome but there is no point if you can't see something worthwhile to you at the end of the day. Being miserable is not really what travel is about.

The only thing I would say though is that it is a lovely and generous offer so think about whether you might create long lasting issues perhaps with your MIL.

I would personally jump at the chance but whatever works for you. Your MIL would not fancy inviting us along instead would she ? I can be ready to pack in about half an hour... Have passport , will travel.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,181 posts, read 16,715,561 times
Reputation: 12341
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnKK View Post
No one can make you feel guilty but yourselves and you are doing a great job of it.
We don't feel the least bit guilty about not wanting to go, sorry if I didn't make that clear. It's an inconvenience, we're not interested in the destination, and if we are able to get away we would rather do something with our daughter, and we are comfortable with how we feel about it.

I mainly just wanted to find out if others think we are abnormal for feeling this way.

Quote:
If she were truly generous, she would have asked everyone where they wanted to go and called it a day.
This thought crossed my mind as well, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:32 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 30,431,007 times
Reputation: 22358
Quote:
Originally Posted by duster1979 View Post
My mother-in-law is taking a 10-day trip to the Panama Canal next spring and has invited her 5 daughters and their husbands to come along at her expense. While we appreciate her generous offer, my wife and I don't want to go for the following reasons:
  1. We don't really have anyone to leave our 7-year-old daughter with for 10 days.
  2. We have other obligations, including pets and a business, that make it very difficult to get away for that long of a trip.
  3. We haven't been able to take a family vacation in the last 4 years; if we take this trip there's no way we will be able to get away for a family trip next summer, and if we have to choose we'd much rather take a trip with our daughter, even if it's just a camping trip to a state park.
  4. Frankly, we're just not interested in going on this type of vacation.

My wife is getting the guilt trip from her mom and a couple of her sisters about us not wanting to go. To add a little background, the sisters' kids are all either out of the house or old enough to stay on their own. They are also doing well financially, whereas we took major paycuts so we could move closer and help out when my FIL's health went south 3 years ago (he passed this spring). So they have a hard time relating to our point-of-view.

So I need some opinions here. Are we just being selfish, and do we need to suck it up and take this trip? Or are our reasons for not wanting to go legitimate?

Thanks in advance!
Someday your mother-in-law will be dead. And maybe so will some of your wife's sisters.

Maybe it is a monumental inconvenience for you. Maybe you just simply don't want go. it might mean more to your wife than she is letting on. She might be afraid of expressing her true thoughts and feelings about this because she knows you are so dead-set against it.

I would start thinking of someone else besides myself if I were you. Just sayin'

20yrsinBranson
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,181 posts, read 16,715,561 times
Reputation: 12341
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Someday your mother-in-law will be dead. And maybe so will some of your wife's sisters.
Someday I will be dead, and so will my wife. I would like my daughter to remember trips we took together rather than the time we might have gone on a family vacation but we couldn't because her parents dumped her off with somebody so they could go to the Panama Canal.

Quote:
Maybe it is a monumental inconvenience for you.
Significant, but not monumental by any means.

Quote:
Maybe you just simply don't want go.
This is true, I have no interest in going. There are a hundred places I would be thrilled to go to with the same group of people, this just isn't one of them.

Quote:
it might mean more to your wife than she is letting on.
I seriously doubt that. I was actually intrigued by the idea until she told me that I could go without her but she didn't have any desire to go whatsoever.

Quote:
She might be afraid of expressing her true thoughts and feelings about this because she knows you are so dead-set against it.
You obviously don't know my wife.

Quote:
I would start thinking of someone else besides myself if I were you. Just sayin'
And you obviously know nothing about me, either, but I won't hold that against you.

Last edited by duster1979; 07-26-2011 at 12:00 PM.. Reason: spelling
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