Summer Vacation Drama

Updated on June 02, 2014
E.M. asks from Phoenix, AZ
21 answers

Sorry for the novel...

Every year, I take a vacation to go see family on the East Coast. I have to book it months in advance, because everyone likes to get out of AZ in the summer and I have to fit the timing with my co-workers' vacations. We visit 3 separate areas- my best friend in one state, my mom in another state, and my dad in another. We worked out dates with all 3 parties in November. My friend and dad are unavailable for part of the time period, so I made sure to check if my mom could host us then. She said yes, no problem. So a month ago I sent out emails to get all of the logistics set up. Friend and dad respond, radio silence from mom. Mom's time period is in the middle of the two weeks, so both other parties need some clarity- they need to know exactly which days to take off work, for example. I send a reminder to mom, 9 days after first request. Then again 5 days later. Then again 5 days after that. Finally I send a text saying I NEED info from her, or I will have to look at alternate plans.

She finally sends back this super pissy email saying that she needed to know the dates in January and it just wasn't going to work. ARGH. So I sent her the response she sent me in November, so she could see that I was not dumping this on her at the last minute. Then I started looking at alternatives, and another friend of mine kindly offered to host us in DC. Great, the kids haven't seen DC, this will be awesome! So we get those plans rolling. Then I get this long email from my mom apologizing for the confusion and asking us to come stay with her. I gave it a lot of thought and let her know that we had already planned an alternate adventure, but would be happy to have her visit us in the fall or when she had some time. silence again from mom.

I should say, a contributing factor to stick with the alternate plans is some pretty intense tension between my sister and I, which would be worse due to mom taking time off from their joint business for our visit. Heading to DC will just be much less drama all around. So here is my question- would you suck up the drama and go see mom, or stick with the alternative and have mom visit later? I thought I found a good solution, but my husband thinks I am being mean to my mother and should visit her and (his words) "make nice."

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

Too many people involved in one trip. Tell them dates and book hotel rooms, this way you can see who you want when. If they are available great, if not so be it.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Your mom said no. You made alternate plans. I think you should stick with what you have now, because you would be doing to your friend kind of what your mom did to you if you changed it. You made a valid choice. Own it.

In my family, there are peacemakers. I don't always follow them. She is your mom, but you are a mom now, too. Make the best choice for your family on this trip. Your "make nice" was offering to see her in the fall.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Sounds like you only communicated with Mom electronically. I suggest that if you'd called your Mom may have been less pissy. The written word is impersonal and can be viewed differently than what was intended. Just a suggestion for the future.

I would keep my plans with DC friends. Consistency makes life less difficult.
When we try to alter plans already made life gets more difficult as you've experienced with your Mom.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Since you made plans with your friend that offered to let you stay, I wouldn't back out of those plans.

You're not being "mean" to your mother. She put you in a position where you had other parties to consider and who needed to know what to plan for regarding their own vacation time for work. You put it off for as long as possible. You've been making good faith attempts to contact her, as I'm assuming you didn't just try e-mail but also text and phone calls. If all attempts at all types of contact failed then you did what you could.

That means that it was appropriate to move ahead with alternative plans. That means that it's appropriate to KEEP those alternative plans. If you break them, then there are repercussions for that ... on your relationship with that friend ... and in her own life (since she had to set up her own plans).

The fact that your mother called you contritely and apologized, willing to make amends and adjust her plans (oh how gracious of her ... read sarcastically) doesn't mean you owe it to her to change your new plans. You're an adult. You don't need her permission.

That, and you offered her a valid and great solution... come visit you later on when it's more convenient for her to take time off.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Your mother's rudeness and self-centeredness aside, why would you cancel plans with your friend who so generously offered to host you? Just because your mom NOW wants you to visit? And that would make everything go back to your original plan of how this vacation was going to go? If I were your friend and you cancelled to go to your mom's now that she wants you, I would feel like "second best" and think YOU were being rude!

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Stop crossing oceans for people who won't jump over puddles for you.

I'm all for honoring your parents - they deserve respect. They do NOT deserve the right to run rough shod over your family and your life. This situation should not have required this level of drama and stress.

I would be sweet and friendly. But I would NOT wreck my other plans to appease her.

Good luck.

ETA: Just read another "moms die, sisters die - won't you regret it" type response. Yes, that sentiment runs two ways. I'm not going to be more invested in people than they are in my kids and me and I don't care how much their DNA matches mine. And I also believe that PARENTS have the obligation to bend over backwards for their kids - not the other way around. I would do just about anything for my sons but I certainly don't expect them to kiss my butt or go out of their way to accommodate me.

Not everyone as the ideal parent-adult child situation.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My opinion is you gave her more than enough chances to plan your visit and she couldn't be bothered. So you now have plans in place and its her loss. There are always consequences to our decisions and now she has to live with hers. Hopefully next time she has the opportunity to see you she will make it a priority. Tough lesson learned. Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Keep your alternate plan. Mom can come out in the fall to visit you. Perhaps it is time to change up where you go to and for vacation. Family is nice but sometimes it needs to change.

Mom will get over it and this may be what is needed to cool the tension between you and sis.

Have a great holiday and enjoy DC with your friend.

Life is too short for all the extra drama.

the other S.

PS You are all adult women and can make your own choices.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The most telling and worrying sentence in the whole post is the last one, and it's not about your mom or your sister:

"My husband thinks I am being mean to my mother and should visit her and (his words) make nice."

So he doesn't have your back. Is that normal between you two? Or is he just a very non-confrontational person so he always tends toward "I don't want anyone mad with us/mad with me so make nice" in most aspects of life?

Unless you have been railing and ranting about your mom -- maybe you have, but a spouse should be ready to hear some venting, right? -- he is choosing "making nice" (and the drama it will bring) over having a family vacation that is mercifully drama-free. Why? Were you yelling at your mom on the phone, or writing the e-mails nastily? I don't see where "mean" comes into it unless you were doing those things. Does he also realize that the friend hosting you in D.C. may then be upset or angry if you cancel and then he will be wanting to "make nice" with that person too?

Talk to him. Explain that you will offend BOTH mom (who sounds like she's difficult anyway, frankly) and your friend if you mess around with the plans again. Ensure that the kids are telling dad how much they just can't wait to see D.C. And tell him you can make even nicer with mom in your own space, later. You're also considering the fact that it's not "nice" to increase tensions with your sister by going to your mom's.

But it would all be easier if he just had your back here. You deal with your own family, let him deal with his, and each of you should back up the other whenever needed.

I should add, I do agree with other posters that you should have communicated other than electronically, and I think you could have communicated more with your mom -- communicating in November and then not again (about this topic) until, what, April? -- isn't enough. I know members of the older generation in our family might assume if they didn't hear any more in those months, that we might have changed plans.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Go with your alt. plans. Go o DC. The road runs both ways. She can come see you now that she missed her opportunity. You snooze, you lose.

I always got slack from my sis about not coming to her house after my mom died. I reminded her she hadn't been to my house in 5 yrs and the road ran both ways. She got down off her high horse.

You've made all the plans and took all the road ware and expense, and carted kids around, for Pete's sake. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Enjoy the heck out of DC. And tell H, he can go visit your mom!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would go to DC . You gave your mom enough time , reminders etc. You already committed to your friend in DC so I wouldnt want to let her down since she so kindly offered and made plans with you . Your mom needs to see that she has to make the effort . I wouldn't want to see her after she didn't jump at the chance . Have a great trip ! Your kids and hubby come first now :)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

You gave your mom plenty of notice. No reason to stoop to her level and bail on your friend.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I get stuck in these scenarios all the time with my family. I too work at eliminating the guilt in my life, but sometimes the daughter has to be the one to take the role for setting up the parameters in relationships, and since we are the daughters, that makes us feel awkward. If you go to your mom's instead, you will resent the visit and it would likely result in an argument. In my family, I'm continually trying to guess motivations and the desires of others because I won't hear it directly, but I get guff if I guess incorrectly. It ruins my relationship with my parents. Perhaps you can finalize the plans for your mom's visit in the fall as a way to resolve the guilty feelings about the summer visit.

Have fun in DC!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i think you're both right. i'd stick with the DC adventure (sounds like you're pretty excited about it) AND i'd 'make nice' with mom.
i too hate the silent punishment game, but then again, she's your mom. you don't want to play into it by just punishing her back. call her (get texting and email out of the way, too much misunderstanding has already happened) and apologize to her for the confusion. you don't have to abase yourself or wail mea culpas, but she's apologized, and so can you, which is appropriate because i'll bet it if it WERE parsed all the way down, everyone has a little share of blame.
but don't parse it.
just say something like 'gee, mom, i thought it was all decided but it sure unraveled, didn't it? i'm awfully sorry our wires got crossed. next time i'll call you AND email you to make sure we're on the same page. but as for this year, we've got all our plans laid out and the kids and i are all excited about DC. i'm so sorry it won't work out to visit you this summer, but we'll plan better for next year. in the meantime, would october work for you to come here? the heat of summer will be past, and the kids would love for you to help with halloween.'
be firm and loving, and this too shall pass.
enjoy DC! it's spectacular right now!
:) khairete

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I would have tried to talk to her in person before making alternate plans. Now that it's all said and done I would keep your arrangements with your friend but maybe you could suggest to meet your mom halfway for like a day outing or something. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

The one question I have is why didn't you call your mother after she didn't respond? I think if you did, you would have a better understanding if there was a problem with the timing. At this point, you think this may be due to some tension from your sister. It is not too late, call her and explain that you have already made your plans and don't want to keep changing them and let her know you love her. Maybe this is their season within the business and she didn't know how to say no.

There are some messages that just don't relay well via text.

If completely necessary, you can tell your mother that you would have to look into changing the plans back and make a decision.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Moms die. Sisters die. How would you feel if you never see your mom alive again? I'd stop in to see her for a whole day at the very least. She's your mom....

If I could have even one more day with my mother in law I'd go for it and do whatever needed to be done to get there. I miss her every day.

I'd make sure I went to her house for at least 1 day/night.

BTW, don't you talk to your mom on the phone? Ever? I'd have been on the phone and confirming as soon as she didn't answer the email.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

If it were me I would have called my mom and spoken to her in person before looking at an alternative plan. I would not have done this over text and email. If visiting her was not going to work out, I would figure out a date she could come visit us. It sounds like you and your mom do not talk enough if you mention it once in an email in November and then are just now talking about this again. I would probably not remember something someone said in an email way back in November. Anyway - I'd call her and talk it out. Maybe she would be interested in going to DC with you. My mom would be all over that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm with your mother on this one. Some people are generally not great at emails, and it's quite likely that something planned in November for nine months' time would be quite forgotten by me - especially if it was in email, with no communication about it since! Well, you 'proved' you were right with your mom, and she sucked it up, obviously made big changes to her schedule for you and apologised very nicely. Isn't that what you were hoping for? Or did you just want to show her how right you were, without giving her the opportunity to remedy the situation?

I say go to your mom's. Rejecting her now will make your mom feel terrible, and I'm sure you're not in the habit of punishing her are you?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I agree with hubby on this one. Is your mom anywhere where your best friend and dad are? Could you even go for a night or two? I wouldn't go back to your original plans and not see DC, but I think you should make time for mom. Why do families have to be so difficult?!?!?!?!? I feel your pain!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I think you know what is best. I'm sure your husband would rather be in DC than at MIL, but even he is suggestion 'make nice.' This is a tough call. Your mom does not see you or your grandkids everyday if you live across the country. Is there a reason for her attitude? She said no, until she saw your proof of discussing it with her in Nov. Sounds like her original 'no' was really, "You waited to make arrangements and I am not on your beck in call." The way you described this was very rude of her. She is your mother and she is playing games trying to teach you a lesson. You also have to be careful of always being right (I am mainly thinking of myself always doing this). If you do go to see her, act happy. We all know you are right :)

If she truly is so busy that she originally said no, then consider DC and wait until the Fall.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions