How to arrange family vacation with adult siblings but without parents?
January 26, 2013 11:15 AM Subscribe
My sister (married, one child) and I (married, no kids) want to plan a joint family vacation. We do not want our parents (divorced, both remarried) to come. Our mom is extremely sensitive/dramatic, and we are hoping to avoid a major meltdown from her. Help?
posted by anonymous to human relations (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My sister and I get along wonderfully, our husbands get along wonderfully, and all four of us love their kid to pieces. We live about 2000 miles apart and get together a couple of times a year, usually at one of our homes or our parents' homes (Dad is within driving distance of sister, but Mom is a plane ride from either of us). This year, my sister and I would like to plan a joint family vacation to meet up somewhere in the U.S. that's new to all of us. For a number of reasons, we would like for this trip to not include either of our parents.
Dad will probably take the news fine ("Oh, you're going on vacation together? That'll be fun."). Mom will almost certainly react with anger, tears, and sadness that we'll have to deal with for many, many difficult conversations ("Why didn't you invite me? Didn't you want me there? I know you guys don't like me very much. It is because _____?" etc., etc.). She somewhat regularly complains that we don't tell her enough and must be trying to keep her out of our lives (we aren't). In previous, similar situations, she has kept up her pouting long enough and annoyingly enough that we just give in to what she wants--but then I regret it and feel like I just continue to let her manipulate me, which I hate.
I would rather be up front with Mom about this than wait to tell her about the trip until it's too late for her to join in. Past experience tells me that waiting longer doesn't really help anyway--then I also get in trouble for not telling her sooner. And either way I'm going to be in trouble for not wanting her there.
I know I can't change Mom. But has anyone figured out a mature way to handle this might minimize the agonizing dramatic fallout? How do you tell a member of your family that you don't want them to come on your family vacation?