They can be incredibly fun times that provide wonderful memories. Or they can be the 7th level of Hell.
Knowing her family vacation would be the latter, a woman and her husband declined the invitation. After his family’s angry reaction, she’s wondering if they did the right thing.
So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some clarity.
Redditor dionneandcher asked:
“AITA for not wanting to go on a ‘family’ vacation to Disney and ‘ruining’ everyone else’s plans?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My husband and I live a happy, quiet life in the mountains. No kids, a few pets, lots of friends and adventures to go on.
My in-laws are nice people. They got the vacation planning bug and have decided that the big ‘family vacation’ this fall is going to be going to Disney. I said their plans sound great, and I can’t wait to see pictures!
Mother-in-law (MIL) said that we’d be joining them, it’s a family vacation. Theme parks, especially overly crowded, hot, expensive ones with screaming and crying kids, and a week with his family?”
“My idea of a fun vacation is camping for a week and hiking or backpacking, quiet solitude in the trees.
“We said we aren’t interested, but that we’re happy they get to go. MIL argued that we ‘have’ to go because it’s a family vacation.”
“I explained that from my perspective, that’s a lot of time to spend with everyone, that’s a lot of time to spend with the kids who will be overstimulated, overtired, cranky from travel, etc… and that it doesn’t sound like leisure, it sounds like work.”
“MIL looked shocked and hurt, and said ‘I didn’t realize you looked at your nieces and nephews that way’.”
“Husband said that we love them, just in small doses, and that we honestly wouldn’t enjoy being around everyone else for the whole time either, and that quite honestly we’re just not ‘theme park’ people.
“MIL looked so disappointed and made a quick excuse to get off the call. We discussed it again after and were both in firm agreement.”
“A few days later, his brother called and yelled at him for ruining everyone else’s vacation. I guess because we aren’t going, it’ll cost more for everyone, and the parents won’t get a break because they can’t take a day off and send the kids with ‘auntie’ and uncle for a few hours.”
“Husband said ‘Oh so the whole reason you guys wanted us to come in the first place is so you had babysitters?’”
Brother-in-law (BIL) got super offended by that and made a comment that ‘spending time with your nephews isn’t babysitting’ and went off on how we don’t know how to be part of a family, we just go off on our own and do our own thing without caring how anyone else is doing.”
“It’s caused this big rift and part of me wonders if we’re just supposed to suck it up and endure a week at some overpriced, gaudy theme park just so everyone else in the family gets theirs?”
The OP added:
“I just wanted to redirect some of the child hate going on in the comments. We don’t dislike the kids in the family.”
“We spend time with them! We see them every three or so months and visit over holidays.”
“The kids are perfectly good kids, but spending more than a day or two with them AND the rest of the family is a bit much. It has nothing to do with the kids being brats or anything like that.”
“They’re just kids.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“You didn’t ruin a family vacation. You declined to go on a trip where you were expected to subsidize something you had zero interest in and babysit to boot.”
“If the family wants everyone to go on a family trip, they need to start by involving everyone in the planning. That way, they can plan trips that hold at least some interest for everybody going.” ~ milee30
“Yes, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have included everyone in the planning for something so specific like a theme park. Or more understanding of close family members’ personalities and tastes??”
“My dad is claustrophobic and hates big crowds, my mom doesn’t mind as much but has a lot of back and neck issues so she can’t do a lot of theme park rides.”
“We did a family vacation to Orlando years ago when my dad had a work conference there, so mom and I went to Universal Studios one day while my dad worked and mostly walked around together enjoying the character actors and ambiance (we did a few of the gentler rides together and I did a big roller coaster by myself).”
“Next day the three of us went to Epcot together because we knew it would be a little more chill than some of the other Disney parks and so my dad was willing to try it. And then we did other stuff together in Orlando that had nothing to do with theme parks and that we knew everyone would enjoy.”
“But even as someone who does enjoy theme parks, they are so freaking expensive and can be really emotionally exhausting because of all the people, its messed up to pressure someone into spending that much money on something they already know they absolutely will not enjoy.”
“NTA and sounds like in-laws may have genuinely had good intentions, but were making far too many assumptions and not actually taking everyone into consideration.”
“If they were actually considering OP and their spouse they would have made more flexible plans so that OP and spouse could go do their own thing during the day and meet up with the family for dinner outside of the parks in the evenings.” ~ bisexual_pinecone
“I don’t think they had good intentions.”
“The brother even talks about how OP and spouse are always off alone, so clearly everyone is aware that that is the kind of people they are. They could not have possibly been under the impression that OP and spouse would appreciate that vacation setting.”
“The plans were made for the kids and the the parents of the kids, not OP and spouse. They assumed that if they came to OP and spouse with the plans laid out already, that OP would feel obligated to attend given all the trouble they’d already gone through, and the hassle it would be to change plans.”
“They also planned on OP and spouse being free babysitters, again because they thought they could use guilt to ensure it. And that’s not even a guess here, they are already throwing out the guilt ‘don’t you love them?'”
“If they had good intentions, then they wouldn’t be flinging guilt around. They would be apologizing for making a poor choice, and trying to brainstorm options or they would be understanding that OP turned it down and probably apologizing again.”
“These are not people behaving as though they had good intentions and made a mistake. They are acting like entitled jerks who are doubling down because they got caught in their plan to use OP for a discount and free babysitting.” ~ supergamernerd
The OP returned with an update.
“Thanks for the perspectives, all. We’re definitely not going to go on this vacation, or to Florida at all (No offense, Floridians, but I’d rather not meet Florida Man).”
“We are going to make sure to let everyone know that if they want to see us more often, they’re going to have to put in some effort to at least meet us half way, and come see us instead of us always coming down to see them.”
“And of course let MIL know we’re sorry for the way we put the rejection, but reiterate that we’re not interested in a big trip for a week long, and we’ll consider popping in a day or two if they do a vacation to somewhere more our speed!”