When planning your ideal vacation, most people usually envision something fun and/or relaxing. A time to get away and destress for a bit.
But when a vacation you’ve been planning for a while suddenly turns into something decidedly less fun or relaxing, is it wrong to back out?
Redditor clxnn2214 recently found herself in this exact situation, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong, asking:
“AITA for backing out of a vacation because kids are going?”
The OP (original poster) explained how she was initially excited for an upcoming trip with her boyfriend’s family.
“So my bf and I (20s) were discussing maybe taking a trip with his parents and sister early this summer ([pandemic] regs relaxed enough and we’re vaxed) and we were under the impression that this was an adult-only trip.”
“His sister has two small children, but is no longer with the father so she doesn’t have her kids every other weekend and this was only going to be a weekend trip.”
But her assumption about the trip turned out to be incorrect.
“We learned later that she now wants to bring her two kids and her bf along with his kid. So that’s 3 kids under the age of 5 in a car for 5 hours.”
“The bf’s son has some sensory issues as well, and the place we’re going is not very sensitive to that so I’m concerned with him even being able to handle it.”
And the OP has a major issue with it.
“We already agreed that we will have our own room, but my issue is his sister tends to ignore her kids entirely when there is literally any other adult present, so when out in public they run around like crazy and don’t listen to anyone.”
“Everyone ignores this, but it drives me crazy. I don’t like to judge moms because I am not a mom yet and I don’t know how hard parenting really is, but I do come from a big family with lots of young children and none of them act this way.”
“I never acted this way. It’s not something I’m used to and frankly it’s embarrassing.”
“The kids also love me (and I love them too, I’ve known them all their life and they’re sweet, just Ill mannered) so I already know the babysitting responsibility will fall to me.”
So now she’s considering backing out of the trip altogether.
“I just can’t rationalize in my head why I should use my only 3 vacation days from work to go on a trip that I’m not going to enjoy.”
“I just feel bad because we were an active part of the planning when the discussion started, but now I have no interest in this disaster of a vacation. I’m also sure it’s going to cause some problems if we say that we aren’t going because of her kids.”
“I briefly mentioned this to bf’s dad, but we haven’t told his mom or sister yet and I just want to know if I’m TA before bringing it up.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They agreed that the OP should be able to back out, regardless of her reasoning.
“If they’re changing the plans, you’re fine to back off.”—EffableFornent
“It reads to me like OP just assumed that kids weren’t involved, and has now found out they were mistaken.”
“I think it’s still NTA on balance, because of the history of roping OP in to babysit (if only by inaction). Still, it makes things more socially awkward for OP.”
“I hope they can disentangle themselves from this vacation without recriminations.”—My_Dramatic_Persona
“Even without the babysitting, ‘3 kids in a car for 5 hours’ would be enough to make me nope right out.”
“The only way my parents were ever able to do any sort of long drive was by getting us hooked early on audiobooks and even then anything over an hour was a pretty big excursion.”
“And none of us had sensory processing issues. If even one of the kids dislikes long drives everyone will be miserable very quickly.”—Stormdanc3
“NTA but I would be prepared for them to think you are.”—hello_detour
“Yes, this. If she wants to do a fun family weekend with her kids and bf and his son, that should be them doing it and all the work to keep the kids in line and entertained.”
“If she ignores her kids when other adults are there, she’s absolutely going to do this and you and your bf being so young will most likely be the ‘obvious’ babysitters. Don’t do it to yourself. NTA.”—2n1spook
“It was planned as kid-free. SHE changed the plans without consulting the rest of the people going. Tell them if it is not kids-free you are not going.”—MinsAino
The OP agreed with that assessment.
“I thought the same thing! I think she is using this as a way to get a free trip…”
“We don’t accept money from his parents and we’re buying our own hotel room, meals, entry to whatever we do etc. but I am 98% sure that this was going to be a free trip for her, and now that she’s bringing her kids and bf it’s going to be an all expense paid full family trip and I just want no part of it.”
As to who should be the one to tell the family, Redditors were a bit more divided.
“NTA for backing out of the trip, but I don’t think you should be the one to say anything and I don’t think your boyfriend should put it on you.”
“That’s absolutely not the dynamic you need to create in relation to his family. I pretty firmly believe each partner should deal with their own side of the family in situations like this.”—Babssbun23
“This. Until you are married, I 100% agree. And even after marriage but to a lesser degree.”—InternetTowers
“I second this. Quite honestly, it sounds like it would be the vacation from hell. NTA!”—40Taurus80
“Idk if this is the right way honestly. OP is NTA, but leaving it to her boyfriend to solve her issue just because it’s his parents opens up avenues of him misinterpreting what she said, the parents misinterpreting what she’s saying, etc.”
“If anything, I think they should both approach his parents about the issue together and her bf should have her back while she explains why she doesn’t want to go.”—Kinoshilol
“Agreed, leaving it to him very much makes it possible for the situation where it’s all her fault. Which can lead to resentment between her and her in-laws.”
“The correct way without be both of them communicating together as a united front.”—Iocabus
As for what to say, one Redditor had some advice.
“You’re an adult who can make their own choices and then also change their mind.”
“You didn’t sign up for this and the plans have changed. It doesn’t make you TA (NTA) to prioritize your well-being and save your leave days.”
“I’d recommend being tactful and not saying it’s because the kids are coming and you’re embarrassed by their behavior. That will definitely not be received well and can hurt people’s feelings.”
“I don’t have kids either so always try to be mindful of the pressure on parents, especially moms.”
“You really don’t know what’s going on for them internally that could be contributing to the poor behavior/management of the kids, so not your place to judge (don’t think from what you said that you’re doing this, more anonymously sharing how you feel).”
“The kids are your sister-in-law’s responsibility, not yours. Your happiness is your responsibility so don’t feel obligated to go.”
“You can say something innocuous that’s close to the truth so you’re not outright lying, but try to be ambivalent.”
“Eg: you need to save your leave days for something else, you’re exhausted and misunderstood that kids would be coming – you love them but aren’t in the mindset for that kind of holiday, you have something else on, you’re sick, work can’t spare you at the moment, etc.”
“Or, just say you’re not able to come anymore and the reason is private 🙂 you don’t actually owe an explanation either.”
“Boundaries with family are excellent ideas… but I do find them a challenge haha so this last option would be difficult for me.”—OpenMindGrow
The OP later updated her post to thank everyone for their feedback.
“Thank you everyone for the input…I feel slightly better about the situation but I’m not very confident that my decision will go over well with them.”
“I think my bf and I will be planning a different trip for late summer, so hopefully we have something else to look forward to! Wish us luck with the backlash to come!”
Hopefully the backlash created by backing out of the vacation won’t cause too much drama.
But if it does, at least the OP and her boyfriend will have a trip of their own to look forward to so they can decompress.