27 answers

MIL Invited Herself on Our Vacation!

Ok, really long story that I'll try to make shorter. My husband and I planned a family vacation with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their kids to my sister-in-law's family cabin. We are staying with them at her cabin from next Thursday through Sunday morning. They have 2 kids, we have 1. There was just enough bedrooms for parents and kids to have seperate rooms.

My MIL has now invited herself along!! Nobody ever asked her to come, she just called up my brother-in-law and said "I'm coming too!" Because she says she wants to spend time with everybody. Now my husband and I have to share a room with our daughter to make room for her and her husband. Not to mention the fact that it was supposed to be a vacation with just the "kids", NOT the parents. And should I mention again that I just don't get along with her!? She is overbearing, neurotic, and just simply a pain in the butt. My daughter doesn't know her at all, and doesn't want anything to do with her when she does see her.

So my question is what can I do!? Should I just suck it up, and try to enjoy my ONLY vacation of the year spent with a MIL I don't like that intruded on our vacation plans? I told my husband how unhappy I was, and he just said it's not his cabin so it's not his place to say anything to his mom. We have another baby coming in September, so really this was our last chance to get out and relax as a family, and she is completely ruining it for me. I'm at the point where I don't even want to go anymore! HELP!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everybody for your input, it is much appreciated as always!!! I want to start by clarifying that no, I am not in any way trying to keep my daughter from having a relationship with her grandma. It has been GRANDMA's choice to not spend time with my daughter. I completely understand how important that relationship is, and I just thank God every day that my daughter has 2 other grandmas and is very very close to both of them.

Ok, so the update - another long story but I'll keep it short. I have the best hubby in the world. I talked to him last night and explained my frustrations/concerns to him. He called his mom and was honest with her and told her that it would be best if we all just got together a different time outside of our family vacation, since the vacation was intended for us to have some alone time. She was disappointed, yes, but she decided not to go to the cabin. After speaking to both my BIL and SIL they THANKED us over and over again for being firm enough to let MIL know that her self-invitiation was inappropriate. They said that we saved their vacation and they couldn't be happier! We have all been manipulated by her for too long, and I couldn't be more proud of my hubby for finally standing up to her.

Featured Answers

I could've written this post myself last year. We had the exact same situaiton happen. The difference, is that my DH (her son) called her and explained that this was a trip meant for just my SIL, us and the kids.
We told her that she was welcome to drive up and join us for a day, but that the rest of the trip was for us to spend together, and we didn't have the room for an extra person.

Sometimes you just have to be polite and direct.

11 moms found this helpful

My advice...call her up and thank her, adding that it is wonderful to now have a "sitter" for the kids, that you Moms and dads were really looking forward to spending some adt time together, and that now that she is joining you all you moms and dads will actually be able to enjoy more time sans kids, daytime activities, and the night time activities now wo't be glued with ears to baby moniters. And not to worry about sleeping arangements since you already have an aero bed and insist that you bring it along so they can be more comfortable (go buy one, small price to pay) and she and her husband will be more happy on it in the kids' room, won't have to
crash on the couch or roll out sleeping bags in the kids' room. And that the kids are excited to spend so much time with g-ma

She'll either oblige, plus...or back out altogether, Super plus plus!!!

Enjoy ;)

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I could've written this post myself last year. We had the exact same situaiton happen. The difference, is that my DH (her son) called her and explained that this was a trip meant for just my SIL, us and the kids.
We told her that she was welcome to drive up and join us for a day, but that the rest of the trip was for us to spend together, and we didn't have the room for an extra person.

Sometimes you just have to be polite and direct.

11 moms found this helpful

I agree with your husband; it is not your cabin nor place to disinvite someone.

If you are that upset about it, then I would bow out of the trip and plan something else with your husband and child to do next week. Maybe a road trip somewhere? Tell your SIL that unfortunately, because of the pregnancy, you are having a hard time sleeping, getting comfortable to fall asleep, back aches... whatever you want to say... and that you and your husband have decided that the sleeping arrangements will make it hard on you physically and could leave you sleep deprived and exhausted. If your SIL wants you all there after hearing you're not coming, then she can call her mother and clarify that she and her husband were not invited.

9 moms found this helpful

You don't need the stress of being in a cabin with your inlaws for an extended amount of time. Call your sil and cancel out and then plan some nice get away for your family only.

And as a side note I hope you have addressed your mil situation with your hubby. Mine was terrible but I didn't want to stand in the way of her seeing her son and grandkids. Our solution was that my hubby would take the kids over to visit and I stayed home. We only lived a couple miles away so they saw their grandma often and since she didn't drive I didn't have to put up with her.

7 moms found this helpful

My advice...call her up and thank her, adding that it is wonderful to now have a "sitter" for the kids, that you Moms and dads were really looking forward to spending some adt time together, and that now that she is joining you all you moms and dads will actually be able to enjoy more time sans kids, daytime activities, and the night time activities now wo't be glued with ears to baby moniters. And not to worry about sleeping arangements since you already have an aero bed and insist that you bring it along so they can be more comfortable (go buy one, small price to pay) and she and her husband will be more happy on it in the kids' room, won't have to
crash on the couch or roll out sleeping bags in the kids' room. And that the kids are excited to spend so much time with g-ma

She'll either oblige, plus...or back out altogether, Super plus plus!!!

Enjoy ;)

6 moms found this helpful

I would suggest to your brother and sister in law that they need to tell MIL that she is not invited, because there is not enough room for them to sleep. Sorry, maybe next time they can work it out in advance but you all had your plans made and there is no changing them now. And if they are unwilling to have that tough talk with her, then I would tell them that you are not going. I wouldn't spend my only vacation miserable and cooped up in one bedroom with my husband and child, and they shouldn't expect you to either. Especially since you are pregnant. There are plenty of other places for you, hubby and child to spend a few days vacation, away from your MIL. Go ahead and make a back-up plan in case things don't work out at the cabin. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

I was thinking the same thing Diane said, isn't there some way to cancel and plan your own vaca w/out any other family members? I understand where you're coming from, Hubby and I went along a vacation once to San Antonio with his family and we ALL get along great but not so much at the end of the vaca, everyone wants to do their own thing and not be told by anyone else "what to do" so it ruined the trip that we adults had to tag along with his parents and so I can't imagine having to vaca with in-laws I don't get along with.

You seem very stressed so cancel and do your own thing with your hubby. I wish more than anything hubby and I could go on one last vaca before baby comes, and if we could, I wouldn't let anyone get in the way of our fun. : )
My own Mother sounds very much like your MIL, she's very over bearing and if she doesn't get her way, she'll make sure she ruins everything for everyone else to be miserable so I know it's not always easy to just call someone up and say "hey, sorry we don't have the room" some people just don't understand that easily, especially over bearing ones!
If she's anything like my own mom and it sounds like she is, I say your best bet is to vaca somewhere else. If you're saving money vacationing at a family members cabin, see if you and hubby can use the cabin another week "alone", you're pregnant, you could just say you're not feeling very well and need to re-schedule.
Good luck, hope everything turns out good.

6 moms found this helpful

Go and enjoy the vacation and be gracious. The last two nights of trip I would make a reservation at a hotel for just your just you your husband and daughter. Its a comprise your making you MIL happy and yourself at the same time.

5 moms found this helpful

I LOVE what Melissa suggested!

Your husband or SIL just need to let her know that there is not enough room, but they can come up for a nice lunch.

Nip this behavior in the bud.

4 moms found this helpful

If your daughter does not know her well, this may be a good chance to encourage a change in that situation. Your husband is right, it is not his place to dis-invited the mom. How do you know she was not invited by the bil or sil? (even if not really intentionally) Would you be rude and tell her she was unwelcome if it was your mother? I do not understand the big deal of having to share a room with your child for a couple of nights? If you do not want to go, that is fine and your right, but I would then expect my husband to go without me because I would never be that rude to my own mother, out of respect for the fact that she raised me if nothing else. This may not be ideal for you, but I really think you should get over it and try to have a good time. If your vacation is ruined it is not going to be because she is there, it will be because of your attitude about her being there.

I just read your so what happened, and i just had to say, I hope you one day have a DIL just like you, you will deserve the disrespect. If I was your mil I would be mad at my son, and very, very hurt. I would feel unappreciated and unloved. Shame on him for treating his mother like that, and shame on you for making him hurt her.

4 moms found this helpful

It's a tough situation, but because it is your SIL's family cabin, I'm going to have to agree with the people who say it isn't your place to say anything. Perhaps your husband can talk to your SIL and see if they mind her coming along.

If there isn't a polite way to diffuse the situation, perhaps you just bow out of your plans and make other arrangements for your vacation.

I personally wouldn't be interested in spending my only vacation time in an unpleasant situation. But, I do think it's important for the sake of your children to maintain some kind of relationship with her (even if you don't personally wish to have one).

Good luck in figuring out what do to. I hope you are able to enjoy the few days of vacation you're planning.

4 moms found this helpful

You said your daughter doesn't know her Grandma...sounds like she doesn't get invited to many family events. Maybe that is the reason she is inviting herself along? Your daughter (and future child) deserve to have a relationship with their grandma! Please put your personal feelings aside and give your children the opportunity to decide for themselves...they just might find themselves loving Grandma...and they will have you to thank for it, if you give them the chance. And please, do not put their grandma down in front of them. It won't be productive for anyone involved! She is your MIL and sometimes we have to put up with less-than-desirable behaviors for the sake of keeping the family peace.
You should talk to your husband in a calm matter, non-judgemental manner and find out how he really feels about the situation. He might actually be glad that she is coming along. Most dad's want their kids to have a relationship with their parents. Maybe your in-laws invited the grandma but aren't telling you because they knew how you would react?
Also, your MIL is not doing this to ruin your vacation...she wants to enjoy your family too. After all it is her family too!
Relax, tell yourself it isn't going to be so bad, and change your frame of mind. Remember, you can't control other people's actions...you can only control how you react to those actions.
Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

While I sympathize, your husband is right. It is not his cabin and he cannot uninvite (if that word applies here) her. So your choices are to either go on this vacation or not.

Just to put it out there: My mom did not get along with my dad's family, for whatever reason. Because of her, we did not have a close relationship with my dad's family.

I am 37 years old and FULL of resentment at the loss of my family, the waste of time, the feud that denied me my right to know my family. Don't do that to your kids.

4 moms found this helpful

C.,
Please remember the old adage..."What goes around, comes around." You will one day be a Mother-In-Law too. How would you feel if your daughters husband doesn't get along with you and tries to keep you away from your Grandchildren? Think of the position you put your husband in by wanting to keep your daughter away from his Mother. What if he wanted you to do the same with your Mother? She is family. Regardless of whether you like her. She is family. There are many kids whose Grandparents are no longer alive. Teach your child to cherish them while they have them. The Grandparent/Grandchild relationship is pricless. Along the road of life you have and will meet many people you don't get along with, but I bet you are still polite and respectful of them. Just know that your daughter is taking her cues from you. She wants nothing to do with her Grandma because you don't. I understand pregnancy hormones may be adding stress to the situation for you, but I still think that your MIL in not ruining this vacation for you, You are. You have already decided this is going to be a disaster. Your MIL hasn't done anything yet. You will get out of this vacation what effort you put into it. If you plan to have a good time, even if there are any squabbles they will roll off your back, you will have a good time. I bet this vacation will be great for you, even with MIL. I don't mean to offend just to offer my opinion. I have a Sister-in-law that sounds much like you.
V.

3 moms found this helpful

Your mother in law isn't ruining your vacation, YOU are. This is your husbands mother and she can't be so bad raising a man you fell in love with, can she? Grant it that some mothers don't let go very well when it comes to her children but I bet she wants to get to know her grandkids and even her daughter in laws better. I have three grandkids who I love very much. One is from my daughter in law who has been very open and caring, who has included me in everything with her daughter. The other two are from a daughter in law who is very unapproachable. I don't see her two very often and haven't developed the bond I have with my one granddaughter. It makes me sad to think because this mother is so unapproachable her children and I are missing out on a wonderful relationship and that she and I are missing out on a wonderful friendship that I know we could have. I have held my tongue many times to make my son's life easier, the hardest was when she was upset that he didn't stay home with her and their children instead of coming over here to meet with the funeral director and minister for my youngest son's funeral. She insisted they do their grieving at home instead of supporting him and our family. Make sure you aren't that kind of daughter in law. Make friends with your mother in law, she will be your biggest ally if you ever need one and will be your support if you ever find you need it in the loss of a loved one. My daughter in law isn't just this way with me but also with my family and my husbands family. It shows a immaturity and a self centeredness and I am sure you don't want to come across like that... which I am sorry, but your letter does just that.

3 moms found this helpful

Sounds like your husband needs to man up and take charge of this situation. Has he always been unassertive with his mama or is this a new thing? I would voice my feelings strongly to him asap and tell him it is best for your immediate family that he call his mom today and casually tell her that after some thought. it would be better if your family get together with her another time. He can do this in a calm and nice way by saying it is special family time for your familyand wife b4 the new baby comes. (You dont need the added stress with a baby on the way that she will cause). Have him set a long weekend to get together with her in the future works better for all of you. It might be nice if he goes and sees her witht the kids soon after the baby is born so you can have one on one bonding time with the new baby. Curious, how is your bro-in-law and sister taking the news of thier mom coming with out an invitation? Why are some grown ups often so afraid of being honest with their parents? I dont get it.

3 moms found this helpful

It's not your cabin so you don't have much leverage. If you are close to the brother and sister you can talk about it. Maybe you can change your days so that you are all there to together a couple of nights with Mom, but then without her.

2 moms found this helpful

It's a done deal at this point. Looks like she's going. The ball is now in your court. You can go or not go. But imagine what it will cause if you cancel out b/c of her. Think down the road.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, I suppose she probably thought it was okay for her to come along because her other son was going as well as his wife. She probably thinks that if other family members are going why should she not go as well.
Maybe someone else might not have invited themselves if they were not asked but like you said she is overbearing so it probably is not unusual for her.
I feel your pain. I probably would not go. I would have to take time off from my job and I refuse to use my vacation time being unhappy. I can stay at work and get paid for that.
Hope it works out for you.

1 mom found this helpful

Thank goodness your hubby stood up to his Mom. My ex-husband often took his mother's side over mine. That's why he's my ex. I wish I had stood up to my former mother-in-law it would have made my life so much easier. The person I am now (30 yrs later) would tell her to mind her own business. That woman had a better way of doing everything. If I washed dishes she had a better way, if I changed a diaper she had a better way, if I cleaned a room she had a better way. It was so irritating but I ignored her and when we went to her house to visit I would pull a book off the shelf and read until it was time to leave.
My advice to you is to sit down with her and explain your feelings to her. Tell her that her advice isn't welcome, ... Or whatever her intrusion is. Explain to her that you are adults and it's time to have an adult to adult relationship with her.
She may appear as overbearing and neurotic and a total pain in the butt but she may actually be insecure and lonely. Hopefully you can develop a relationship with her that doesn't step over your boundries but allows her to spend time with her kids and grandkids.

1 mom found this helpful

I would be annoyed and maybe back out of the trip and do something with your husband and kids. Maybe you can have your daughter go to the cabin with the family and go on vacation with just your husband.

1 mom found this helpful

Its not your cabin so you can't un-invite her... even if she rudely invited herself. Just cause she is staying at the same place as you doesn't mean you have to spend your whole vacation with her. Just do your own thing then if she tries to butt in on those things it WILL be your place to say no. Also... can your child not share a room with the other children?
Sorry you feel like your vacation is ruined but it'll only be as much fun as you are willing to make it.

1 mom found this helpful

someone has to talk to her. it sounds like this is a pattern of her whole life; she doesnt respect anyone else's boundaries. it sounds like your husband's whole life was controlled and disrespected by her. always her forcing her way on everyone else.

this is HORRIBLE behavior, and its sad that your husband even as a grown adult cant just suck it up and stand up for you guys.
whos cabin is it? is it the brother in law's ? what is his view on it? one way or the other, SOMEONE has to talk to her and say "hey, we just dont have room". this is really not fair to you or anyone else. its just going to make vacation a torture, you are going to be cranky, so then that affects everything else, including how you feel about spending time with your daughter and everyone... i mean, holy cow, i know how you feel!!!

my husband's mother is similar to this. when i read this, i could literally imagine myself going through the same thing. when we go to see his niece, they always think they have to go also. we have finally gotten to the point where we KNOW we enjoy the time with his niece much better when shes not with us.

you just have to be firm. and hopefully your husband will at least back you up. you dont want him caving because of the pressure she puts on him, so you really need him to be SURE he supports you and your opinion and feelings. this is a HUGE disrespect of your boundaries, and everyone else's too. i mean, seriously? she thinks its ok to just call BIL and say "im coming with" without even asking!?!?! seriously? this is NOT cool.

holy cow. you need therapy. not because you are doing anything wrong, but because you can be darn sure SHE wont go to therapy, but you and your husband need to know how to deal with her; how to lay concrete boundaries and not let her violate them.
im so sorry you have to go through this, but i empathize because i know the frustration, i know the anger, i know the feeling of just wanting to give up, lock the doors, and turn off the phone.
im guessing just having a baby is another time where she forces herself into your house and life too huh? man, my MIL would not leave me alone when i had my son, and it really destroyed our relationship. she couldnt respect me enough to leave me alone with my son, and she couldnt even let my husband - her own son - comfort our son. i handed him to my husband once, and she rushed over to him and TOOK OUR SON OUT OF HIS ARMS. my husband just stood there with his jaw dropped, and his heart totally shattered. he was just trying to be a good dad, and it was a big adjustment for him to begin with... and then she undermined him like that... it was a big blow to him.

anyway. im kinda just blabbing
im so sorry. i hope that you can find a way to stand up for what you feel, and that your husband at least would back you up and stand behind you. he needs to do this. he is NOT under his mother's control unless he LETS her control him. as an adult, its time to step up and be the man of your house, and be on YOUR team and not fear her.

Personally, I wouldn't go. Who needs that kind of stress during a pregnancy? I would just tell the hubs, "you can go if you want, but I'm not goint to subject myself to it. Me and (daughter's name) are staying here." And leave it at that.

It's your choice, do you want to go? I would be mad too. If it was me and I had to share a room with my kids I wouldn't go. This happened to me before and it was a nightmare. If your sister in law and hubby are ok with her going there isn't much you can do other than not go.

Good luck in whatever you choose.

Yes I can see how that would be an extra burden you don't need at this point. I would probably back out of the trip with the excuse that you don't think there is enough room in the cabin for everyone. Use your pregnancy and explain that it will be too hard on you for the time being.
Wish them all a great vacation and let them all know you would love to spend time with them all very soon - be as gracious as possible.
Then use the time to do something else with your husband and daughter during that time. It might even be a gift that you get to spend some more time as a family on vacation.
Just do your best to be kind and gracious, I can't stress that enough.

I agree with SA Mamma.

Your feelings are valid but agree with other posters that you cannot even passively encourage your SIL/BIL to uninvite her.

I totally sympathize. My family and I rented a lake cabin for our summer vacation a couple years ago and my FIL invited himself up for the day, which turned into overnight which turned into another night. It more or less ruined 2 days and left me feeling alternately bitter and guilty feeling for the remainder of the days. And get this...we get along fine. He is not a bad person. Maybe a bit annoying but the problem was simply my disappointed expectations. I expected to enjoy a totally relaxed week with my boys and instead had to play hostess...Which let me tell you, we did not have the funds to do.

Use your pregnancy as an excuse for a reschedule. So you miss or delay your vacation...Trust me - It is better than to have to live thru a miserable one. Oh! And I also agree with the poster who encouraged you to find ways for your daughter to connect with her gramma. Don't force it...But even small opportunities to get them together will mean a lot to her when she is grown and a mother herself.

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