32 answers

Child Invited on a "Mom"trip

My sister and I recently started planning a trip together. I have 3 small children and have never had a vacation, even an overnight trip without them. That is 8 years! We are planning a beach, escape winter type of trip. Today she tells me she feels bad that her 14 year old daughter will be home rather than away with us. She wants to invite her along. Great. No it's not the end of the world, and she's not young like my kids but it will entirely change our vacation. As I mentioned this is a very rare luxury for me. They on the other hand go on at least one vacation a year as a family. Hawaii, Dominican etc so it's not like her daughter has never been anywhere. Am I wrong to be resenting this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the replies, and yes I think it's too late to do anything about it. I agreed to her changing the plans so it is what it is. I need to learn to speak up for myself or pay the price. I just didn't want to offend her by saying no... Oh well. Soon I'll be sitting on the beach enjoying myself and out of the snow!!

Featured Answers

It's not wrong to want it to be an adult trip. It's not wrong for her to want to take her daughter. It is wrong for her to change the dynamics without asking the other parties but if you say "Great" without saying "That's great and it would be great for her to come since she is 14 and not a little kid but I am really looking forward to an adults only/sister getaway. Can we plan something else with her later?"

9 moms found this helpful

I don't think you need to feel awkward about this at ALL. You deserve to have adult time, without filtering what you say. I filter around children and a vacation to completely let down and let go, you deserve it!!

"I love (said 14), but I'm so looking forward to adult time. I just feel like I need this trip to be just adults. Love to include her next time..."

I would resent it big time. Protect that adult time!

Add: I love my daughter and include her on so much, but I'm that much better for her because I get that time for me.

9 moms found this helpful

"Sis, I was really looking forward to an adults-only trip. It's something I haven't had in nearly a decade. As much as I love Niece, I really want to keep this adults-only... SISTERS only. We can plan another weekend where we take Niece along. It's not that we're leaving her out this time. We're leaving ALL of the children out AND the husbands."

She can either accept it or not, and if not then you can plan the trip with a friend.

7 moms found this helpful

More Answers

You're wrong IF you haven't told her.

Meaning if you say "Yeah, okay, great" and then seethe in secret... That's wrong.

Meaning tell your sister

A) you want it to be an adult trip
B) you haven't had a vacation in 8 years (people who go on yearly vacations often forget not everyone does)

11 moms found this helpful

Even at age 21 it would change things. I do not talk dirty around my son and he is 21+. But, with an all girls trip, of course you wanna talk without the filter.

She's your sister. Tell her how you feel!

I envy that you and a sister would take such a trip. I could not/would not with my 2 sisters.

10 moms found this helpful

It's not wrong to want it to be an adult trip. It's not wrong for her to want to take her daughter. It is wrong for her to change the dynamics without asking the other parties but if you say "Great" without saying "That's great and it would be great for her to come since she is 14 and not a little kid but I am really looking forward to an adults only/sister getaway. Can we plan something else with her later?"

9 moms found this helpful

I don't think you need to feel awkward about this at ALL. You deserve to have adult time, without filtering what you say. I filter around children and a vacation to completely let down and let go, you deserve it!!

"I love (said 14), but I'm so looking forward to adult time. I just feel like I need this trip to be just adults. Love to include her next time..."

I would resent it big time. Protect that adult time!

Add: I love my daughter and include her on so much, but I'm that much better for her because I get that time for me.

9 moms found this helpful

I would totally feel the same way. It puts you in an awkward position because if you say nothing, you don't get what you were really hoping for and spending a lot of money on, but if you do say something it may put a damper on the whole thing. I don't know your sister or your relationship with her, so maybe it will be fine? I have freinds who have done things like this before. I'm sorry but it's irritating to me that some people just can't bear to be away from their kids every now and then. Like if they have fun without their kids they can no longer claim to be the wonderful, giving, selfless matyrs they make themselves to be. Ugh!

8 moms found this helpful

"Sis, I was really looking forward to an adults-only trip. It's something I haven't had in nearly a decade. As much as I love Niece, I really want to keep this adults-only... SISTERS only. We can plan another weekend where we take Niece along. It's not that we're leaving her out this time. We're leaving ALL of the children out AND the husbands."

She can either accept it or not, and if not then you can plan the trip with a friend.

7 moms found this helpful

I think sister needs to get over feeling badly that teenager has to stay home. I have two teens and I have had sisters weekends every year without them since they were probably 3 and 7. I think you should tell sister that if she wants a getaway with her daughter, to please go ahead and take it, and that if she should decide at another time to do just a sister's getaway, without any kids at all, to let you know. I don't understand feeling guilty for doing something without your kids and thinking they're entitled to everything adults get.

6 moms found this helpful

No, I don't think you're wrong in your feelings. However, instead of being resentful I'd just be direct with my sister (at least I hope I would) - "I really need an adults-only trip so if you can't go without dear niece [whom I love to pieces btw] then I'm going to head to a spa by myself."

Do not give up this chance to have a retreat. My mom and I did a "mom's retreat" (no kids or grandkids) a couple years ago and it was wonderful!

6 moms found this helpful

Speak your truth. It's your sister. You should feel comfortable being honest with her and saying exactly what you told us. "I love ____, but I'm really looking forward to an adult trip. I rarely get to get away from my mom duties, and I'd like to have some sister time with you when neither of us is wearing any other hats."

If anything, she should be upset only because you didn't say something from the start, and let her get down the road with a plan to invite her.

Hope this helps.

T.

5 moms found this helpful

Oh please, her daughter can't find things to do with her own friends while Mom is away? I would be very unhappy with this arrangement and I'd say so.

It's not what you will be doing that you can't do with a 14 year old it's the vibe of the whole trip. When I'm with my girlfriends, without kids along, I want to talk and spend time with other grown women. Having a 14 year old changes the whole climate. If it's Mother-daughter weekend fine but not on the Mom's vacation away. In my mind they are very different trips.

BTW I have a super mature 14 year old daughter who often gravitates toward the women at parties, holiday celebrations and family trips with friends. My daughter and best friend can often be found huddled in a close conversation during these times and I love that but if I tried bringing her on an adult women's trip no one would be happy, including myself!

5 moms found this helpful

I would let go of the resentment and feel OK about just saying you'd like this to be adults only. It is OK. You will get much better reception if you can ask for it in a calm, loving voice. Be assertive. State what you need while recognizing your sister's feelings too.

After your SWH. Why is it too late? It's never too late to have honest communication with those we love. If you go while feeling resentment you won't have a good time and may end up in a fight with your sister. I urge you to be honest with her. Perhaps you'll decide it's OK for her daughter to go after you talk with your sister. You don't have to insist that she not go. You do have to deal with your feelings and your relationship with your sister.

5 moms found this helpful

Your not wrong. She's older so it would be different then taking little kids but if you want it to be a kid free weekend you need to say something.

5 moms found this helpful

You're not "wrong" to feel how you feel.
But you'll be wrong if you go with a resentful attitude.

"Mary, I love Susie. I haven't been on a vacation for 8 years. I have been in mom mode for that long. I need a trip for adult time."

Then see what she says and then respond accordingly. If that means you'd rather not go--say so!

5 moms found this helpful

Is there a way you can compromise? You could say, ' I was hoping we could just do a trip together me and you, and talk about adult stuff and do adult things (like maybe have alcohol - which shouldn't be done with kids around anyways) and just get away from all kids for a while......I have never had a chance to do that.....then - I would love to do another small trip a few weeks later with your daughter along! (a trip more geared toward the teen's liking, not adult themes.)

I have been in her shoes too. When My daughter was 14, we had just moved, and she didn't have any freinds in our new town. The neighbor would come over and ask me to walk with her. My teen would want to come. It was probably not so much fun for her, but I couldn refuse my daughter. Her heart was heavy for some outside attention.

5 moms found this helpful

I think you are wrong to resent it IF you have said, "Wow...Molly, I was really looking forward to some time away from kids! I would rather not bring Katie with us. Please, lets spend some serious SISTER time together!" and she said that she wants to bring Katie anyways.
If you haven't spoken up then nothing to complain about!
Laura
(which, can I just say, a vacation without children would be LOVELY!!!)

4 moms found this helpful

I can see both sides. I guess I would question is there something you can't do because the 14 year old is coming along? Is it somehow going to completely ruin the trip?

Some have mentioned going out drinking, was that something you planned? I know when my older daughter was 14 and I wanted to go out drinking she could stay by herself.

I guess I am saying before you declare the vacation completely changed actually consider has it been changed.

I have had girls weekends out ruined by bringing kids but that was because they were little kids so instead of doing adult things they insisted they not be left out of anything so pretty much we had a kids weekend out. If your sister understands this is your weekend and it doesn't turn into her daughters weekend it may be fun.
_____________________________
Oh I am also going on the assumption that her daughter would be the only female left at the house when she leaves. You have three who will play with each other, teens don't do that. You don't feel guilty leaving your kids because they have each other but she does feel guilty leaving her daughter, why?

4 moms found this helpful

i would be right there with you.
with-kid vacations are wonderful. it's not a matter of less-than. it's simply that one-on-one time with a sibling (especially a sister, i'm guessing! 5 brothers here) is rare and precious. and it WILL change the energy.
sigh.
khairete
S.

4 moms found this helpful

Speak up.
Yes, it is sweet she wants her to go, but did sister ask you if the girl could go?

Let her know you were really envisioning this as just the 2 of you grown up women going alone.

She can go on a weekend trip with her daughter on her own time. This is your trip as well..

You are being very gracious, but unless you speak up for yourself, you will not be heard. This in no way makes you a bad person or a responsibility for you to feel any guilt.. The trip was planned.

3 moms found this helpful

I would resent it for sure. There goes any and all adult fun that you guys might have-hitting a bar or disco will be out of the question. Also your topics of conversation will be on a constant edit. Do you have anyone else to go with?

3 moms found this helpful

I would be annoyed since this obviously started as a moms getaway. And BELIEVE me a teenager can be worse then a small kid on a vacation!

Did she already invite her daughter? Either way I'd let her know that you really want a kids free vacation. 14 isn't old enough to send off on her own. So you are taking a child. Defeats the purpose doesn't it?

3 moms found this helpful

Dear M.,

Do yourself a BIG favor and tell you sister what the vacation with JUST the two of you means to YOU. I had something similar with one of my sisters a couple of years ago. This was to be a "dream vacation" for me, while she and my other sister vacation two or three times each year. I went along with my sister's agenda because if she doesn't get her way, she has a way of making life miserable for anyone around her. The entire trip was a disaster. We haven't spoken in over two years.

We were once very close. A few months ago, she sent me email acting as if she was reaching out to me, I was anxious to put the past behind us and move on. However, she wasn't reaching out to me, she just wanted an opening to tell me what a horrible person I was. At the end of our "vacation from hell", when she got home she emailed everyone in our family and said some really nasty things. I told my son and my mother what actually happened.

My sister has always been known for her bad temper and need to be the center of attention. I have stood by her through four husbands and numerous boyfriends. I use to take her side when no one else would. Well I still love my sister, but honestly do not miss her.

If your sister insists on taking her daughter, gracefully bow out.

3 moms found this helpful

I would resent it big time. Talk to your sister about it. It changes the whole trip. I would not be happy. Sometimes kids need to be left home. If she insists on bringing her, I would bow out. A girls weekend or week is just that. You want to. E able to talk about things that might not be appropriate for a 14 year old. How about going to a bar. Can't do that. I hope you. Can work this out.

2 moms found this helpful

Might just be a different prospective. I wouldn't want to go on vacation without my child. We have a good time together. Maybe that is where you sis is coming from. But maybe you can explain that you have not had a vac without kids and were hoping it would just be a grown up vacation with no bed times and going to bars, R rated movies etc. And having the 14 year old will impede that. You might think she knows but you never know ,if like you said she has been on a ton of vacations she might not.

2 moms found this helpful

yes I would resent it and probably would tell her to go with her daughter and that you will plan a different trip later. It will be a totally different trip. you wouldn't be able to go to a bar if you wanted to have the kinds of discussions that sisters have with younger ears listening.

2 moms found this helpful

If you're agreeing to it then you shouldn't resent it. I think you should have told her no way, the child stays home. You can always change your mind and tell her no but if you agree then you have no right to resent her or your decision. Be honest or drop the resentment. If you're having resentment then you must really not want the child to go along, so tell her the truth.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

2 moms found this helpful

Yeah, I would resent it. And yeah, I'd suck it up, say nothing, and feel frustrated the whole trip, which would ruin it even further for me. That's me, and that's the relationship I have with my sister. I hope you find a way of fixing it better than my non-confrontational approach.

eta: is there a reason why she CAN'T be away from her kid? I think that's a little odd -- I realize 14 year olds are on their way to being adults, but is she uncomfortable being an independent adult? Is it too weird for her to be away without a child that it's like a security blanket for her?

2 moms found this helpful

You have a right to your feelings, absolutely.

But have you tried saying, "Hey, sis, you know I love Niece but I was figuring on this being grown-up down time. I haven't had a break without kids along for eight years. Is something going on that you need some time with Niece? Is everything OK with her? I wondered if maybe you wanted to bring her because there was something wrong, or you felt you and she need time to talk or whatever. Can you fill me in here?"

I would indeed be wondering if there were some reason that your sister wants her child along. If this were a younger child it would be different, but a 14-year-old could be needing some mom time, or time away from social media and her own friends if those friendships are fraught with pressures. There could be stuff going on with Niece that you don't know about that could make this trip a good thing for her. Or it could just be that mom feels guilty because Niece just wants to hit the beach. You won't know until you ask, but HOW you ask will set the tone -- pleasant or cold -- for this trip. Maybe your sister just does not get that you have had zero child-free days in eight years -- you can put it that way but to her, this girl may not be a "child"; she may figure that at 14 her girl can be "one of the girls" with the two of you.

However you approach it, approach it from a perspective of affection for them both and concern if there IS something going on that makes a beach trip more than just a nice outing for this teen.

1 mom found this helpful

You should have, right then, said you were not okay with that.
Now its too late.
But, did your sister ASK you if it was okay... or did your sister just say... she is bringing her daughter along, and did not ask you?
If your Sister did not ask you if it was okay, then that is a bit presumptuous of your sister.
Or, maybe your sister does not equate this trip... with it being a "Moms only" type trip???? So she didn't bother to see her daughter coming along as a big deal.
(Is this your sister's only child? Or does she have more kids? If this is her only child, then sure she may feel bad leaving her behind).

BUT, you also need to tell your Sister, that you have NOT had any time away alone, since you had your 3 little kids, and its been EIGHT years... without any time off for yourself.
Your Sister... does not know that. It is not even on her radar.
So, she is not thinking about you in that sense. She only knows, "her" situation. Because you never told her your, situation.

You are not wrong.
She is not wrong.
BUT.... was it ever, stated between the two of you that this is a MOMS ONLY trip??? Because if not, then, anyone can go. Even your kids.

The thing is, siblings do not always know the full story nor can they read our minds. So if you are resentful about it, you better tell her.

If your sister is taking her 14 year old, yes it will change the dynamic of the trip. AND it may become a "Mommy/daughter" trip, instead of a Mom trip. So talk to your Sister. Right?

1 mom found this helpful

To me, your sister should've had the common decency to not invite her child on the trip. But, it sounds like you are too nice & said "yes" to keep the peace. I'm sure you know where this whole went wrong. The only reason to be resentful is because you said "yes", when you meant "no".

1 mom found this helpful

Politely, ask her what she will do if the two of you decide to have a drink and remind her this is your get away from the little ones.

1 mom found this helpful

I would put my foot down. This trip was an intended adult trip. Right? I would tell her that Yes she may feel bad for her daughter but she is the parent and the daughter doesn't get to come just because she may be sad. This is for you and her to have some fun adult times and its not ok for her to change the plans. If thats the case you may as well make it a big family vacay.

I would tell her no, plain and simple. It's not what you talked about. Depending where you are going, her mom might not be comfortable leaving her alone in a hotel room if you go to a casino, or club or just to the hotel bar. Plus even poolside you might want to have adults only chat. Yeah, I'd be like no way.

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