I've been married for 15 years (in April), and have one child (son) who is almost 9. My husband and I have not had any type of vacation since our honeymoon, 15 years ago. While we (I) try to plan for a vacation every year, something always seems to happen... no money, not enough time off from work, husband seems generally disinterested, etc.
I've even had several years, where I had both the time and the money set aside, but unforeseen circumstances always seem to arise that require the need to use the vacation money for other purposes.
This year, we have both the time and the money, and I have VOWED that the funds WILL NOT be used for anything other than our long overdue vacation. I feel like a horrible parent, never having taken our son on a vacation!
Now, my MIL told us a little over a month ago that she has been planning a family vacation at Disney World since before she retired (5 years ago). She’s had the money set aside since then, and would like to take my husband and I, and our son to Disney World this summer.
My husband and I discussed this briefly, and I was completely against doing the whole family vacation thing (with extended family), until we’ve taken our own family vacation. Since we have not yet taken a vacation with our son, I do not want to compete with my MIL and FIL for his attention. While my husband agreed with me, I suspect he only did so because I was so against it.
He discussed it with my MIL and explained that while we appreciated the offer, we did not want to do it until we had a chance to take our own family vacation. All seemed to go well, and it appeared to be the end of the discussion, until… she brings ups the subject again a few days ago.
My husband tells me that she wants to discuss the issue with both of us… “just to state her peace”. At this point, I was angry and refused to discuss the matter with her further. I felt like I was being pressured and backed in to a corner… we had already stated our reason why we did not want to participate in a family vacation this year, and she should respect our decision.
While I generally get along well with my MIL, there are definitely occasions when she grates on my last nerve, and in recent years it has become apparent to me that she is quite passive-aggressive. My husband is an only child, and I truly feel that she still coddles and caters to him, which absolutely aggravates me! But that’s a whole other story…
We did not refuse the family vacation completely, just to postpone it until next year or the year after. She indicated that she’s been planning this since before she retired, yet she waits over 5 years to mention it to us… and she’s insisting to do it this year.
We were concerned with her “urgency”, so my husband confirmed that neither of his parents have any underlying health issues they were not telling us about, or would prevent them from doing it next year. And, I know we have a history of our own vacation plans falling through , but I still feel our very first family vacation should be private… without any of the in-laws (his family OR mine).
Am I completely over-reacting? Or, should I graciously accept her offer and do the big family vacation this year, knowing there’s always a possibly that our own plans will fall through yet again?
Sorry for the very long, rambling post…. it felt good to vent, though.
Thanks for all the advice so far... but I feel the need to clarify a few issues.
1) This is in NO WAY a personal issue with my MIL.
2) TWO vacations this year will never happen... neither I or my husband get enough time off work for that.
3) The importance of family is not the issue - my son gets plenty of quality time with his grandparents every week... they visit us for 5+ hours EVERY Sunday (since he was born).
4) I know my son best... given a choice of who to hang out with (mom & dad vs. grandparents) he will choose his grandparents every time. Would be a rather disappointing "family" vacation if you didn't get to spend any significant amount of quality time with your own child.
I vote go with the inlaws. Like the others said you can plan for a little private time... that is a great compromise...
My husband lost his dad last year, he was only 66... you never know how long you are going to have them. This is a wonderful memory for you son :) Fortunately we took a few vacations with my inlaws so my kids have those memories. I will be honest, i never really wanted to go... but... it was very important to my husband and his family...in the end i am glad that we did.
you want to wait until when? until your son is 18? you've had 15 years to take that vacation and something has always prevented you from going on vacation (not to say any of it was your fault) ..But usually, the way it goes is..you wait for the right opportunity/time..and usually the opportunity never comes. Before you know it, another 5 and then 10 years past. Then you neither have your own family vacation nor any vacation for that matter..and your son's already in college. And your in-laws aren't getting any younger. They're not trying to infringe on your family vacation. They're trying to build memories with their you guys (their family) and especially their grandson before it's too late. But they're here, stuck waiting until WHEN you guys are ready.. And who knows when that'll be? How long can two, retired grandparents wait?
Does it look like you'll be able to take a vacation anytime soon? I mean, you say you have the money and time...but...do you really have a plan? If not, do the selfless thing and give your family a vacation, ANY vacation. You've got the resources (even if it's not your own money). It's not a competition. It's a family vacation to be with your loved ones.
To answer your question---I think you should graciously accept the offer and do the big family vacation this year. You have put off a family trip for 15 years-what is one more year gonna hurt? Your in-laws won't be around forever. I don't 100% believe this has nothing to do with your personal feelings with your MIL--if It didn't, you wouldn't have even mentioned that you have some issues with her and your husband. You may not even realize you are harboring these feelings and inadvertently punishing your MIL by trying to exert control over the situation. Honestly--you guys haven't had a vacation in 15 years---maybe you forget that a vacation is supposed to be about having fun and enjoying each other's company, not arguing over who is deciding where you go. Go and have a great time....you and hubby can probably go off a bit by yourselves even since you have the grandparents there to occupy the kids once in awhile. You see your son everyday and have the rest of your life to take trips and do fun stuff---GO TO DISNEY WORLD!
From where I sit this looks like TWO vacations in 2010!
Seriously, you have some options. here are some:
1. Tell you you have made plans for your own vacation and do not have additional time off for Disney. Go to Disney next year or in the fall/winter of 2010 when it will be nicer, anyway, to get to warmer weather.
2. Piggyback the vacations together, but that might be a little overwhelming.
3. Go to Disney and start planning for 2011.
4. Go on two vacations.
I suspect that you are feeling so resistant to the trip with them is a control issue. You feel forced. That said, it IS what is IS--it WOULD be a fab, free trip for your son!
I'm not sure why it would be 'better' for a vacation to include fewer people who love your son... I'm not sure I even understand your objection.
I mean, I don't have any interest in going to Florida under pretty much any circumstances, and I'd rather have all my teeth pulled than go anywhere with my mother-in-law (she met my 2nd/youngest after she turned 13, my husband is an only child and, yes, she travels a lot and lives in the same country) but why not piggy back the whole thing, if you don't mind them?
You could 'meet' in Florida after you've had a week, or you could stay an extra week after they leave.
We used to camp, when the kids were little, but otherwise we *never* had a 'family vacation' the way people think of them. I certainly don't feel guilty about it.
We were taken to Disneyland by my parents when the kids were 11 and 9, and it was FANTASTIC! We had no 'agenda' apart from hanging out at the hotel pool and Disneyland for the whole 7 days we were there... it was relaxing, fun and with 5 adults (my sister came, too, before she had her daughter), both the kids got to do what they wanted, whenever they wanted because someone was always willing to go with them: shopping, on another ride, on the same ride again, to get something to eat, to the washroom, or whatever.
I don't think you *should* do anything, but I wonder about your comment about 'competing' for your son's attention... it's a strange objection. You'r his mom. She's his grandma. I think he is probably capable of seeing the difference between the two of you --he's unlikely to accidentally call her 'mom' right? So, he gets a vacation being doted on by 4 people who love him... how is that a competition between you and anyone?
I think you should go on the extended family vacation and be gracious about it. You can take your son on an immediate family only vacation next time. Really, you've waited this long, you can wait another year.
As some others have said, make sure you carve out some private family time during the vacation. Shouldn't be a problem at all. Just make sure you get separate hotel rooms.
So yes, I think you are being a little silly. If you had taken a vacation last year or the year before, this wouldn't be an issue. His parents aren't going to be around or this generous forever. Might as well take advantage.
I understand you have your heart set on a private family vacation.
But, your son is 9. What if something happens, God forbid, and you still haven't taken a vacation with him when he's 13?
It just sounds to me like you're more worried about who gets to do what first. It's a little disconcerting that you are worried about competing with your MIL and FIL for your son's attention.
It's a vacation, not a competition.
As for quality time with your child, getting to see how much fun he has IS quality time. Surely there will be opportunities to go on rides with him and do things Gran and Gramps don't want to do. I doubt you'd all stay in the same hotel room so you'd have evenings to walk or spend in the pool with your son.
If someone offered a vacation like that for me, I'd already be packing.
I do totally understand the importance you place on wanting your first vacation to be just the three of you, but think of it from you son's perspective.
Ten years from now, your son isn't going to be pining away about how he can't believe his first vacation wasn't with his mom and dad alone, he's going to remember the awesome time he got to go to Disney World with mom, dad, and his grandparents. He's a kid. He would enjoy it and remember it for the rest of his life on those kid terms.
It's my hope that ten years from now, you wouldn't be pining away about it either. You'd be glad he got to experience it.
I think you should graciously accept the offer. Talk about brownie points! Your son will be so thrilled!
If someone offered something like this for me and my kids and I said no, I'm afraid I'd have a mutiny on my hands.
Be prepared for your son's reaction if you tell him you thinks it's best for Disney World to wait.
In his life, vacations get talked about. They don't happen. (No offense).
Try to look at this not as a means for your MIL to get her way, but for your son to experience something most kids can only dream about.
Your son clearly loves his grandparents and he won't have them around forever.
I just hope you consider your decision very carefully.
I like MMM's answer - you are overreacting a bit, but it's from disappointment with all the past problems. I know you want your first family vacation to be private - but technically, this is your very first EXTENDED family vacation. When just the 3 of you go, it will still be YOUR first family vacation. Relax, enjoy, and take another vacation after this one.
Man if someone was offering me a FREE vacation to Disney, you bet I'd take it! You can always schedule some alone time w/ your husband while on the vacation. Take advantage of the in laws w/ you...maybe they can do some babysitting for you. Also, look at it from her point of view. She's getting older, and probably really wants to spend some fun time w/ her whole family. I really don't see the big deal in this. Maybe you can continue to save even more money, and go on a really awesome vacation next year, while enjoying a free vacation this year! Go and have fun!!!!!!!
You are overreacting albeit I DO understand. You had your heart set on something and now plans change AGAIN. And, now you will have to share your vacation time, but it will be fun as long you allow it to be. Shoot, if she's paying - I would already be packing :) You have your little ones all of the time, as a family, you have cherished moments on a daily, weekly basis. The first family vacation with or without extended family - the kids will not care - they just want to have fun. I agree with Laurie A. What's wrong with two vacations?
In the end it's up to your family. I personally do not like going on extended family vacations, there always seems to be a problem making everyone happy, especially when we did this in Disney as well. But it's hard to turn down a free vacation and if your son loves being with them I think it's great because one day they won't be there anymore and this could be a great memory for him.
But you need to do what you think is best. But just remember, the offer from the MIL may not be on the table next year... So choose wisely.
J. in Macomb, MI
I had to laugh a little as my husband is an only child and my MIL is very passive-aggressive also! Honestly, the only way I would ever agree to go on a vacation with my MIL would be if she was paying for everything. So I say go and do your own vacation next year.
I did not read the other responses so forgive me if I repeat anything. It seems that giving your son a great vacation with you and your husband is the main concern here, however, I'm sure your son won't care who the first family vacation is taken with, he'll just want to have fun and he'll love being with the family no matter who it is. I do understand that you want to have something special with just your family, but in the end, does it really matter in what order it happens? If your MIL wants to give you a vaca, I say go for it and instead of just having one vacation, now you'll have two; whole family this year, just you guys next year. I know how you feel because there are a lot of times when I want to do things first, but I've come to realize that if your lucky enough to have family that loves you and wants to do things for you, just embrace it and have fun. You would think everyone would have a loving family, but I have too many friends that have pretty terrible families or are not really involved with the kids. Also, you made sure that this year nothing would get in the way of the vacation, so do that again next year. Make sure nothing gets in the way, put the money aside or better yet, book now for next year so you can't get out of it. Please don't think I'm taking your MIL side because I'm not, I definitely see where you are coming from, but I just had my 50 year old step-mother pass away from cancer, my father had a stroke and just a month ago my own mother tried to commit suicide because she was so depressed. Stuff like that really puts things in perspective and makes you see what's important. I hope it works out for you and have fun.
I think it is awesome that your MIL and FIL want to treat you to a vacation. I think you are looking at this all wrong. Your feelings are not invalid but a little one sided. I think you should sit down with you MIL and talk about a family vacation. Make up an itenerary where you have a couple days to do things just as a family. I'm sure your MIL would understand that. I'm sure your MIL and FIL could find something to do that they would enjoy as well. Maybe meet up for dinner one night and talk about your seperate adventures. What a neat opportunity for your son to get to go on vacation with his mom, dad grandma and grandpa. Maybe since you do have some money saved you could also talk about renting two cars while your there to make it easier to do seperate things. Don't forget to go on a date with your hubby, grandma and grandpa are there to watch your son for an evening! Dont be so stuck in your ways. It's hard to compromise but always turns out great in the end.
I can relate to your post. We have never had a just our family vacation in the 5 years since we have had kids. Every year though, we spend at least a full week with my husbands family at their lake cabin. Every year we talk about doing our own thing, even just for a weekend, but it has yet to happen. Life gets in the way. That said, we always have a great time at the cabin, and the kids LOVE it.
I say, you are not over-reacting, but I think you should accept her offer. It's something your son will enjoy, and you can relax a little with your husband too. Make sure that while you are at Disney you take your in-laws up on babysitting for at least an evening! Make time for just you and your hubby.
Instead of trying to plan a second week long vacation, try a long weekend with just you and your son/husband instead. Go to a hotel with a water park, or find a destination close by you can visit for an overnight ... I see you are in VA, maybe a weekend in D.C.? Or a weekend visiting historic sites in your area (Colonial Williamsburg - isn't there an amusement park there now too?).
I hear what you are saying and understand (somewhat) your level of frustration about wanting to plan your own family vacation...just once!!!
However...I would not pass up a free trip to Disney World....and I would definitely NOT deprive my son of going to Disney World (how fun! and he is the perfect age)...and I would never try to "dictate" to the paying party when we should go.
If I were you I would explain my frustration of having all my family vacations fall thru (and chalk this one up to that as well) and graciously accept my MIL's offer of a family vacation! I would also explain to any and all listeners that next year's vacation was mine and mine alone to plan-Thank you very much!
Don't worry woman...there will be lots of time for family vacations...just think: You could just go on 2 this year? OR save this years $ and combine it with next years $ and do something extra lavish? Do you have a safe in your house? If so lock up your vacation $ now and pretend you do not even have it...that way you will not spend it on other things that always, inevitably come up. ~This is what we have to do for our vacations or we would never go either! I have in-laws who plan a family vacation every year...for the last 12 years...this summer will be the very first time my DH and I and our lil' family will be vacationing alone...so I hear you!
I would vote for overreacting. I never got along with my MIL very well (I'm divorced now) but we did a couple family vacations with them and they were wonderful. Let her treat your family to Disney. Your son will love it, and he will see that family is so important. Your making an issue of this could upset the whole family. Just not worth it in my opinion. Life's too short.
Your "what happened" doesn't change my mind at all. But it doesn't seem like we're changing yours. About your #4: You are going to be at Disney World, not some relaxing resort with tons of one-on-one time. You are all going to hang out together. Ride rides, see sights, eat, enjoy the water, ride boats, play, etc. I have two kids far apart in age so they're like onlies. They would much rather have extra people on vacation to hang with, laugh with, laugh at and enjoy than just two parents. It's more fun when there are more people around. Of course kids love to spend time with their grandparents -- if they have nice grandparents. Some kids don't have that. You should be thankful for that and go have fun with your family.
While I understand your issue with feeling like you're getting backed into a corner, I don't think you should decline the offer of a free vacation! You just said you never get to take them, with money issues being he reason, and now someone wants to pay for one for you! Take it and try to enjoy it with your son - who probably would love to go to Disney, right?
I say go on the extended family vacation with your in-laws. I understand that you cannot have two vacations this year, but what if you say no, your plans fall through, and next year you are back at square one? Going with them will still be fun for everyone (trust me, we always go to Disney with extended family and I NEVER feel like I am missing out on time with my child). Plus, you could maybe ask your MIL if every day you, your husband, and your son could have an hour or two alone to do the parks as a "family". Be grateful that they want to take you (we tried very hard to get my inlaws to go and they refuse because they don't like it), and agree to go on a vacation with them this year. Save your money for next year, and maybe you will be able to go on an even better family vacation! In the end, all three of you will be there and that is really what matters! :)
I would say you are over reacting. Your son will love going to Disneyland and you could even use your MIL as a babysitter and you and your husband might get some alone time!
I would let her pay for Disneyland and take a seperate trip with just you and your husband and son!!
I support the other posters who say you should go - for a number of reasons. You can maybe think of it as a gift that you give your inlaws.
Secondly, "private" family vacations can be a lot of work. No friends around for your son, little stressors for you and your husband, much more "together" time than you are used to, etc. I'm not saying that family vacations aren't fun, because they are, but it's not quite the relaxed bliss of your honeymoon : ) For your first trip it might actually be easier to have a couple extra adults around.
Finally, think of the memories that this will create for your son (especially if you can make it a positive experience). A big trip with lots of people he loves to a super fun kid-friendly place. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. I know it's not what you had envisioned, but it might really be perfect for him, and presumably that's one of the motivating factors for your vacation trip in the first place.
I'm not totally dismissing your feelings - I'm a "planner" too, so I know the disappointment that comes along with giving up some idea that I am pretty wedded to. I just think that this is a situation that you could turn into a real "win" for everyone, if you can come around to the idea.
It's totally your choice. However if & when you do go on the disney vacation with the inlaws, make sure you have one day on the trip set aside for just you, your husband & child, without the inlaws. That is a perfectly reasonable request...
My MIL drives me nuts. We have done the family vacation thing with them and it was very hard for me because I felt pressured to go in the first place, and then we couldn't get a moment's peace the entire time. I, too, felt that since we never got to go anywhere alone, having his parents around was just not what I wanted. My problem is not losing my children to their grandparents, in fact his mom is mostly uninterested in them other than a few minutes here and there. She certainly doesn't want to be a caregiver in any capacity. Our problem is that I lose my husband to his dad. Because my MIL is so overbearing, my husband and his dad have never really been able to spend time alone together so I'm left to entertain her while they bond.
All of this being said, I will tell you that a few years ago we did go to Disneyland with my family. Believe me, my folks are no picnic, but it was an opportunity to take the girls on a trip we couldn't take them on ourselves and to this day it is the best trip we've taken. I lost my dad last summer and it was unexpected and that trip is a shining memory for all of us. I have to recommend you take the trip, because you don't ever know that you will have next year, and for your son, Disneyworld is probably such a dream come true. Having learned that lesson, we are taking a trip with my in-laws this summer. It's so hard to decide how to spend our precious time off, but watching the joy on your son's face will be so sweet, even if you have to share it with a pushy MIL.
I don't really see the issue here. Go to disney with the family but make it clear that a few of the days you will be doing your own thing. Go outside disney and do some of the other things offered of which there are many. just becuase you are all in the same city / state doesn't mean you have to spend every waking minute. I would think it would be great if someone else wanted to foot the bill for my family to go to disney. and like you said your son is 9. you will have many many more years for family vacations and your mother in law won't.
Another thought. How about your son go with his grandparents to Disney and then You and your husband take him somewhere else for your own vacation when he gets back?. It will give you and your husband some alone time while your son is away. And you will have your family vacation without the inlaws..
You are over reacting.
You are living my life.
The same thing happened to us all through our child's childhood. We just never seemed to get a break. We would save and plan and then disaster or unforeseen emergency.
If she is paying, go on your vacatation to Disney with her.
Then go on your own family vacation. There is nothing wrong with 2 vacations, what difference does it make if it is with her first and then just the 3 of you?
My husband and I have been married almost 9 years with 7 yo and almost 3 yo boys. Last summer was the first time since our honeymoon that my husband and I went on a vacation without my mother. Up until recently, we struggled financially, so my mom (who is single and makes 3 x what my husband and I did combined) footed the majority of the bill for vacations. Don't get me wrong, it was nothing extravagant. A trip to Chicago, one to Mackinac Island, another to the Football Hall of Fame in Ohio, etc. These vacations were always fantastic and my boys loved every minute. Usually, there would be one night in there that my mom would be tired and go to bed early, so my husband and I would go out on the town by ourselves. You could make this work. I agree that you should go on this vacation with your in-laws. It may not be the best vacation you've ever had, but it will be one your son will never forget. Save your money for an awesome vacation next year, just the three of you. We are saving to go to Disney next year (and hoping to get enough to pay for my mom too, as a thank you) and if someone came and told me they were paying for my $3000 vacation, I'd say yes in a heartbeat!!!
Since you haven’t been on vacation for 15 years, why can’t you take two this year or compromise?
You nine year old will love Disney World. Where were you planning to go? Could the three of you go someplace on your own the first week and then meet up with the rest of the family?
As a side note, have you considered having your boy join the Boy Scouts? They go on a camping trip every single year and the kids really enjoy that time. It’s not very expensive and a very good experience for a child.
I completely understand what you are saying. We have almost the same dynamic here with me and my MIL. I don't think you are over reacting. It would piss me off to no end to have MIL do an end run around me like that. Every time my MIL does this, my husband pipes up with the "well, they won't be here forever" thing that makes me feel like a complete jerk.
That being said, I think you are just gonna have to suck it up and do it. If your 9 year old finds out he could have gone to Disney but "mom" said no, well, I know my kids would be pretty upset. I don't think anyone would purposely say that, but you know it would come off that way.
The only thing I can say is that there are some adult things to do at Disney and if you are staying on site you can get away with going off on your own, or claiming a "Mom, Dad, Kid" day for only you guys.
I'm sorry this happened. I'm with you.
Also- A "free" vacation is never really free. You still will need to pay for some meals, junk toys, extra entertainment. And Disney is EXPENSIVE. No way we could afford that even if the IL's were paying for hotel and transport.
I think that you are being selfish.
You seem to have a big wonderful family that wants to spend time with you. Many people would love to have In-laws that they could spend time with and get along with.
I think that you should say YES, and go and hug your MIL & FIL and say thank you and smile and have a wonderful time together.
I hope that I haven't upset you, this s just my 2 cents.
I do not see why you can't do two family vacations. If you have a wonderful mother in law that is willing to foot the bill why not. Extended family vacations can create wonderful memories. Plan a winter vacation with your family or do two summer vacations. I do not look at all as a control thing I think your mother in law just wanted to surprise the family and has spent a long time saving for this wonderful adventure. Why deprive her of giving this to her family. You and your husband will have many years to have family vacations, this may be a once in a life time deal. I wonder if this were your mother would you be so upset? Sorry but I loved my mother in law like a mother ,and respected her because she was my husbands mother. Didn't always agree with her views but as I said that is my husband mother (who is no longer with us). I do think you are overreacting and it is surely hurting her feelings. Sorry but you asked.
We have NEVER gone on a family vacation alone. We have 5 children. How boring is that to go with just us? We have so much fun vacationing with friends and family. We all live together all the time so we love going places with other people.
It's not the end of the world to never go on a vacation. And, it wouldn't be the end of the world to wait wait one more year to do an "alone" vacation. It sounds like a blast to go to Disney World. Why should it matter if your mother in law wants take you all as a family?
This really all just sounds silly. Fast foward to your son being married and you wanting to spend a vacation with him and his family and his wife is saying no.
Save one more year for your own "private" family vacation and you can do something even better next year.
Give your mother in law this one. It's not that big of a deal whether or not your first vacation is just your immediate family or not. Your son is going to learn graciousness and giving from this experience that he will be able to carry on to his next family.
ADDED: The so what happened doesn't change your arguement or my opinion. It seems like a last ditch effort to get others to see it your way. You are making a mountain out of a molehill, and probably driving your husband nuts while you're at it. For the sake of not putting him between his wife and mother, give in. He will love and respect you more for it.
It was not my intention to be rude, and hope I didn't come off that way.
I completely understand the desire to have your own family vacation, I want the same thing but can't afford it. We go to Maine every summer with my in-laws who pay for the whole thing. While I understand your point, I think you should consider going to Disney with your in-laws. Your own vacation has already been on hold for 9 years, what's one more year? On the other hand, with older adults next year could bring health problems and then everyone may regret not going to Disney together. My husband's grandmother had a heart attack last year and we are going to continue the extended family vacation as long as possible because she enjoys it so much and we may not have many more with her, even though I'm quite sick of Maine and need a mental health vacation after that long week.
I completely understand. I dont understand the urgency for it to be this year. I would love a free trip to Disney...but if it were important to me to have a family vacation (not including inlaws)...then that's what should be done and your MIL should respect that.
Don't get backed in to a corner or feel like you have to compete. If she feels like she has to sit you both down...let her. Cut her off at the beginning and state once again that your minds are made up, this is what you want to do, and that you will gladly go to Disney NEXT year.
I understand that you feel "highjacked" in your plans. That is very frustrating.
It looks like our plan to have time at the lake (just the 5 of us before we head to where my in laws live) has changed, since my husband's family and friends are now deciding to come to the same place, same time. We have had the same vacation for several years and quite frankly, I would like to go somewhere different instead, just us.
I would give her the chance to state her peace and not say anything - no arguments or reiterating the reasons you already gave. She probably has honorable motives (like wanting to surprise all of you, perhaps), so I would give the benefit of the doubt long enough to hear her out graciously. Let her know you will take her views into consideration. That doesn't mean you have to change your mind or your feelings.
Then you and your husband can discuss it again. Be calm and clear - there is nothing wrong with wanting time for your nuclear family. Perhaps you can also state your peace (to your husband and then later your MIL) - that having time for just the 3 of you is very important to you. You have wanted it for 15 (or 9) years. You can let her know that you realize that the Disney trip is important to her and you think it is a good idea, and that extended family is important as well. You don't want to take anything away from her, but you also want something for you and you want to do both, but not in the same year. You need to nail down your plans so that your vacation does NOT fall through.
Having a MIL, I can definitely say that I have been their with you. Sometimes I feel very ganged up on and pressured.
I understand you wanting a family vacation and I think that your thoughts on it are very true. So let me get to the point on what I think you should do.
You need to be honest with your MIL and tell her that you feel she is stepping on your toes a bit. Let her know that you are touched that she has been planning this but let her know that you have been planning your vacation for such a long time and that you really need a get away with just your husband and child. Tell her it would mean the world if she could postpone it just for one more year . The more "vulnerable and emotional" you act versus being angry , she will give in.
Try and explain to your husband why you want just you guys vacation first. I understand the anger you have and the emotions you feel for the way your MIL treats your husband but emotional helps. Trust me. If he can tell you are irritable he will feel like you are making him do it, but if you shed a tear or two and tell him how you feel from the heart, he will listen and understand.
If everthing fails, try and consider to wait for your family vacation. But keep that money saved up. I know it is hard but if you have the will , you will find a way, I promise. Good Luck!
Stick to your original plan and go to Disney next year. MIL should not have any problem with that unless she is trying to trump you. It is your family and it is important to spend time with your immediate family. We always spend all of our vacation going back to our home town and we finally put our foot down and started doing our own thing. It is important to do this. Your kids are only young once.
I can see both sides. The only way I would NOT take the family vacation is if firm plans had already been made for you, your husband and your son. That being said, if this is really important to you, buy the tickets and make plans for your own family vacation now and do the extended fam one next year. Either way, you would be having a vacation.
Your MIL means well, but no should have been no to her. That was disrespectful of her to bring it up again.
The one post that really got to me was the one that said you were "probably driving your husband nuts". Let me tell you this......your husband should not have to choose between you and his mom because he ALREADY chose you when he married you. YOU are where his loyalties should lie. Don't give in just because you don't want to upset hubby and MIL's applecart....they are grow up and can handle it.
Either way......enjoy yourself and enjoy your son! Whatever you decide is best for your family and no one here can force their opinions on you!
just wanted to say I understand how you feel!! Only been married 7 years- and we have a 6 and 4 year old. I am soo looking forward to the day we get to take a family vacation - hopefully to Disneyland- but anywhere together would be great. - That said, we both work full time and do not have the financial means yet either- so I could totally see us having to wait another few years. Also- I LOVE my parents- but I can see this same situation happening- and my mother is pretty pushy and would not understand if we tried to say "no" like you are- (I'm sure it would somehow be blamed on my husband lol.)- and yep- if given the choice- my kids would so pick g-ma and g-pa, and I totally understand your statement about "competing for attention"- it's not such a negative thing: it's just what happens! I don't have an "answer" for you- just wanted to let you know there is someone out there who completely UNDERSTANDS. Hope you get your family vacation- or if you choose to go to Disney- then hope you have tons of fun!!!!
When you're married to an only child who sounds a bit like a mama's boy (he should NEVER allow her to coddle to or cater to him [grown men don't want their mamas doing that], nor should he EVER allow her to alienate your son from you) - good luck.
Even if you don't go your MIL is going to tell your son about the proposed Disney trip and give the impression that YOU are the only obstacle to an otherwise wonderful opportunity (especially if she's a passive-aggressive type).
If I were you - I would go on the family vacation with everybody, MIL, FIL - the whole clan (smiling the whole time). Then, take the money you saved and go on an all-expenses paid, super splurge solo trip by yourself (even if it's just a long weekend). And enjoy the heck out of it.
I didn't read the other responses but those are just my thoughts
PS: I feel like my post came across harshly - sorry for that. I just think your husband should understand where you are coming from - my husband would never ask me to do that (then again, he would never go that long without a family vacation either). And I dearly love my MIL. One reason we have such a good relationship is because my husband keeps the proper boundaries and always considers my feelings on these types of issues. Whatever you decide good luck.
I dont feel that you are over-reacting at all, I understand wanting to take an immediate family vacation and having that bonding time together before going on a trip with the inlaws.
Our first Disney World trip was My Husband, Son, Daughter and I, we had so much fun together and it was such a special experience to share with them, I would not have wanted to share that time with my inlaws or my parents for that matter. As busy as we are everyday it was great to have a week to spend just the four of us.
I would also be very upset that after your husband discussed with her that your family would be declining their offer until after your own trip she still feels the need to "speak her peace" as if she has a say in your decision.
I have to disagree. I don't really think you are overreacting. I'm sure there are other issues and this was the breaking point. If I had a vacation sprung on me like that from my in-laws (whom I adore), I wouldn't appreciate it either. Let your MIL "state her peace” then tell her you are still going to have a family vacation this year first and if she really wants to do this she will wait a year. If you go this route and don't make the family vacation this year, you will probably still have to go on the extended family vacation since you suggested she wait a year. I wouldn't expect her to put this on hold indefinately until you have your own family vacation because, like you said, things come up and you might miss it again this year.