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Guilt over traveling without husband or kids, WWYD?


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My oldest sister would like us to make a sibling trip, 18 hr drive away, to see our grandmother. Our parents are all dead and Grandma is turning 95 yrs old. My siblings and I have all been vaccinated. My brother is married to someone who socializes a lot and has kids and grandkids who all go to public school and daycare and constantly come and go from their house. My children, on the other hand, have nothing going on right now. Our activities have ended and do not start up again until June. My husband, who works from home and interacts with no one would really like to go. We have not been on any sort of vacation in eight years. My younger children were either not born yet or just babies last time we went. If I go with just my siblings, I will be gone 5 full days. My brother already asked if he could bring his wife and some of her grandkids (they are his step grandchildren but he loves them like his own). Like I said, none of them are vaccinated and they are constantly out and about and Grandma is quite elderly. Plus, to make matters worse, he and his wife are not getting along and getting in to some huge all out screaming fights, including in public and around us. As a result, my sister says we need to make this just a sibling thing. 

I feel like if I say yes, this will be the last time I will get to do something big with my siblings like this. The last time I did anything like this was before I had children. And once our parents' estate is done, I doubt we will ever go again. 

Meanwhile, I feel so anxious over driving across country, away from my children. And taking the same exact trip that my husband has wanted us to do with the kids for years. 

I am so torn! Please give some words of wisdom. Thank you!

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Why do you feel guilty? There is nothing wrong with a mom going away, even when it involves travel, without her husband and children. Go and enjoy the time with your siblings. And don't let anyone make you feel guilty. You wouldn't be doing anything wrong.

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Go !

My husband and I have set up our lives such that one of us goes to India in case both sets of parents need us. We have siblings there and our parents are independent as well. However, we both go, one at a time and it is mostly me. DH takes care of home, kids and full time job. 

DH and I both feel anxious about the home and kids  when we go not because we do not think the other will not take care, but because we share the load and it is on one person plus the kids miss us and do not like us leaving them. 

But we do it much for our parents as for us.

My advice, go alone with your siblings. You will feel anxious about your home, but that is part of it if you ask me. You can never turn that off, well I cannot so if you are like me, expect it. But that does not mean you cannot go.

Also there is the added side benefit of reconnecting with your siblings in a way you can without your kids or DH. When my kids come with me, I am always mom first. But when I go alone I get to be more daughter and sister which is I need. 

Go.

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If you do this I'd insist that it be siblings only.  Others could visit, if safe, at another time.  

Could you go first with your siblings and then your dh and kids drive there to meet you at the end of the sibling trip and then you have a family visit and travel home with them?

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Why not plan the sibling trip, enjoy those 5 days without kids and dh, and then plan for your dh and kids to join you after the sibling trip is over?  That way you get to enjoy sibling time and also the trip your dh has wanted to do with the kids for years.  Or just do that trip later on.  

 

You should not feel guilty for spending time with people that are not your children and dh.

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Posted (edited)

Agreeing that Siblings Only makes the visit to your grandma extra special.

Would you consider a plane trip to shorten the time away?
I'm doing this in mid-June, to lose the extra day of travel each way.  😉

(In your case, 36 hours in the car?!?)

ETA:  I can't even imagine choosing 36 hrs in the car with lots of kids.
Consider Face-timing with the family while you're with Granny, & taking lots of photos.

Edited by Beth S
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Your sister, who initiated the idea, says this is a siblings-only visit, right? Then, that's the plan for the trip, Your choice is to go without your family, or not go at all, right?  So, go. Your family can make that trip another time. 

I've had 2 siblings-only trips during my marriage. I can't say they were great trips, but they were much better than they would have been if I'd had my husband and kids along.  

If the purpose of the trip is to see Granny, having kids along who need to be entertained is going to take the focus off Granny and put it on finding fun things to do. Go spend time with your siblings and family of origin. Your husband and kids will be OK.

(If part of the problem is driving a long way alone, can you fly?)

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Can you fly?  That would save a lot of time.  

I am totally fine with mom getting away alone.  On fact I am running away on Mother's day and spending the night at a friend's cottage on the lake.

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I have no problem with you going alone as part of a sibling-only trip, but will this impact the rest of your family? If your solo trip will mean that your dh and kids will get no vacation this year, I think that’s an important consideration. Also, will your kids be ok without you? It’s easy to say to just go and they will be fine, but if they aren’t fine, you might not enjoy your trip, anyway.

I know this probably won’t be a popular opinion, but I think this is a family decision.

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I don't think there is anything to feel guilty about regarding taking a trip with your siblings, especially to visit an elderly grandparent.  Not only could it be a good experience for you, it could be a good experience for the rest of the family.  Dad and kids are able to interact in ways that they do not normally interact.  

If resources are such that you can either do the trip with siblings or do a family trip, that is a different consideration, IMO.  Is there a possibility of doing this trip with the siblings and still doing something with your husband?  Can you ride with your siblings, spend a few days and then have your husband meet you and you come back with him?  Or, can you and your husband go, but then you spend a couple of days while there as simply "sibling time" while your husband has some free time?  

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It's much safer for your grandmother for only vaccinated people to visit her, so I agree with your sister, who decided it should be siblings only. I understand your feelings about going without your husband and kids, but think about it as a visit to your grandmother, not as a vacation. Then plan a vacation with your family, if you all feel ready to travel. You could go back to the same area again or choose somewhere else.

Tell your family you are doing it for your grandmother and will call them when you are with her, so that they can visit over Facetime.

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As old as Granny is, I think you should prioritize going with your siblings now and worrying about family/spouse vacation later.  A siblings trip is a special thing and taking it to see Granny is wonderful for everyone involved and the smaller group (siblings only) will give you a more intimate, relaxing, Granny focused time. Sometimes it's just me and my bio-brother with Dad. You only get that kind of opportunity for so long and then the elder is gone forever.

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2 hours ago, Bootsie said:

I don't think there is anything to feel guilty about regarding taking a trip with your siblings, especially to visit an elderly grandparent.  Not only could it be a good experience for you, it could be a good experience for the rest of the family.  Dad and kids are able to interact in ways that they do not normally interact.  

If resources are such that you can either do the trip with siblings or do a family trip, that is a different consideration, IMO.  Is there a possibility of doing this trip with the siblings and still doing something with your husband?  Can you ride with your siblings, spend a few days and then have your husband meet you and you come back with him?  Or, can you and your husband go, but then you spend a couple of days while there as simply "sibling time" while your husband has some free time?  

I suggested we go together, leaving Thursday or very early Friday. Then my husband comes up, arriving Monday. Our plan was to head home Tuesday so that would leave me with my husband and children up there to finish the week. She did not like that idea. My impression is, she would have been okay with my husband and children coming as they are all vaccinated and/quarantining anyway. But my brother has a very complicated life. My sister, I think, is afraid that my brother will be really hurt if she says no to his wife and her grandkids but then yes to my husband and kids.

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1 minute ago, Janeway said:

I suggested we go together, leaving Thursday or very early Friday. Then my husband comes up, arriving Monday. Our plan was to head home Tuesday so that would leave me with my husband and children up there to finish the week. She did not like that idea. My impression is, she would have been okay with my husband and children coming as they are all vaccinated and/quarantining anyway. But my brother has a very complicated life. My sister, I think, is afraid that my brother will be really hurt if she says no to his wife and her grandkids but then yes to my husband and kids.

I guess I am not understanding the situation.  If you were asking if your husband and children could ride in your sister's car or stay at her house, I can see your sister saying yes or no.  But, if your husband and children are planning to arrive in the same city that your sister is in on a Monday (especially when your sister will leave the following day), I am not seeing how that is something that she is in a position to say yes or no to.  That could be done without impacting your sister at all.  

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7 minutes ago, Janeway said:

I suggested we go together, leaving Thursday or very early Friday. Then my husband comes up, arriving Monday. Our plan was to head home Tuesday so that would leave me with my husband and children up there to finish the week. She did not like that idea. My impression is, she would have been okay with my husband and children coming as they are all vaccinated and/quarantining anyway. But my brother has a very complicated life. My sister, I think, is afraid that my brother will be really hurt if she says no to his wife and her grandkids but then yes to my husband and kids.

She’s not saying yes to your family. You’re going w your siblings and then instead of coming home, you’re going to stay in the area with your family for a family vacation.  

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7 minutes ago, Janeway said:

I suggested we go together, leaving Thursday or very early Friday. Then my husband comes up, arriving Monday. Our plan was to head home Tuesday so that would leave me with my husband and children up there to finish the week. She did not like that idea. My impression is, she would have been okay with my husband and children coming as they are all vaccinated and/quarantining anyway. But my brother has a very complicated life. My sister, I think, is afraid that my brother will be really hurt if she says no to his wife and her grandkids but then yes to my husband and kids.

Does your grandmother live with your sister?  Why would she have a say at all in when your family visits your grandmother.  Just don't overlap the sibling visit with your families visit.    

If sibling visit is 5 days then have your dh and kids join you on day 6 and you guys visit grandmother separately than with the siblings.

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4 hours ago, Janeway said:

My brother is married to someone who socializes a lot and has kids and grandkids who all go to public school and daycare and constantly come and go from their house. My children, on the other hand, have nothing going on right now. Our activities have ended and do not start up again until June. My husband, who works from home and interacts with no one

 

18 minutes ago, Janeway said:

My sister, I think, is afraid that my brother will be really hurt if she says no to his wife and her grandkids but then yes to my husband and kids.

It sounds like your sister is afraid your brother's family will expose Grandma to Covid because they are out and about but that your family is unlikely to since you mostly all stay home. However, she doesn't want to offend your brother, hence suggesting just the two of you go. I say take her up on the offer and enjoy your time away. Nobody seems to expect men to feel guilty for occasional business trips, so why do we homeschool moms let ourselves feel guilty for not seeing our kids, whom we are around nearly all the time, for a few days?

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Posted (edited)

I agree that there is nothing wrong with you taking a trip without them. I won’t try to tell you no feel guilty, because you are likely to anyway, but it isn’t like you are leaving them to go to Disney World. (Even that would be ok in my book)


if you grandmother lives in any sort of group setting such as a nursing home or assisted living, visitors are probably still quite restricted. 

Edited by City Mouse
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Depends.  If you can’t afford two sets of holidays I totally understand the guilt and your sis should understand that.  But if you can I’d go and encourage you to have a separate vacation with the family.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Katy said:

Why don’t you go once with your sister and once with your family?

That's what I would do.  There's no reason I can think of not to plan to go twice if it is financially feasible.  Your grandmother will enjoy both visits.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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What's to stop you from  planning two trips?  While adult sibling relationships tend to take a back seat to your immediate family, there is no reason to NEVER do something with your siblings that doesn't include your husband and children.  Does your DH want to visit your grandmother and siblings or does he really want a family vacation along that route? It's not selfish to put a little time into your sibling relationships or to spend some focused time with your grandmother where you're not constantly thinking about your children's needs.  If your household doesn't like this, they need to take a step back and see you as a person and not a service that is provided to them.  Especially after so much pandemic togetherness, it is FINE to be apart for a few days.  

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33 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

That's what I would do.  There's no reason I can think of not to plan to go twice if it is financially feasible.  Your grandmother will enjoy both visits.  

Totally off-topic, but you're back!  I missed you!

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9 hours ago, Janeway said:

My oldest sister would like us to make a sibling trip, 18 hr drive away, to see our grandmother. Our parents are all dead and Grandma is turning 95 yrs old. My siblings and I have all been vaccinated. My brother is married to someone who socializes a lot and has kids and grandkids who all go to public school and daycare and constantly come and go from their house. My children, on the other hand, have nothing going on right now. Our activities have ended and do not start up again until June. My husband, who works from home and interacts with no one would really like to go. We have not been on any sort of vacation in eight years. My younger children were either not born yet or just babies last time we went. If I go with just my siblings, I will be gone 5 full days. My brother already asked if he could bring his wife and some of her grandkids (they are his step grandchildren but he loves them like his own). Like I said, none of them are vaccinated and they are constantly out and about and Grandma is quite elderly. Plus, to make matters worse, he and his wife are not getting along and getting in to some huge all out screaming fights, including in public and around us. As a result, my sister says we need to make this just a sibling thing. 

I feel like if I say yes, this will be the last time I will get to do something big with my siblings like this. The last time I did anything like this was before I had children. And once our parents' estate is done, I doubt we will ever go again. 

Meanwhile, I feel so anxious over driving across country, away from my children. And taking the same exact trip that my husband has wanted us to do with the kids for years. 

I am so torn! Please give some words of wisdom. Thank you!

I don't think I'm following the geography.  Do all three siblings live near where you live, and the idea is not merely an all-together visit with your grandmother (which I'm sure she would cherish)... but also a sibling roadtrip, where the 18-hour drive is itself meant to be part of the "fun"?  (....)

Also, is your grandmother, herself vaccinated?

 

Particularly if your grandmother is not vaccinated, I can see your sister's concern that only fully-vaccinated adults visit her.

I think if it were me, I would center the *visit with grandmother* as the goal of the undertaking, and NOT partake in any kind of sibling roadtrip. I can count on my fingers the people on this planet I can tolerate an 18 hour drive with... and other folks' kids, even  dearly loved nieces and nephews, don't make the cut. (And I'm sure that sentiment runs vice versa, LOL)  My brother MAYBE; in-laws mostly not.

If your own family has the time/resources, I'd consider making a family trip out of the drive, stopping at parks or monuments or roadside attractions along the way. Then meet up with siblings, have a nice leisurely visit with your grandmother one afternoon while the kids romp in the pool or whatever, then resume your vacation with your family.

Good luck sorting it all out.

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Janeway, I know that sibling situations can be very tricky, especially when there are in-laws involved. Especially when your husband feels excluded. I’m going through something very similar to this right now, and I know that the answers are not simple. 
 

It also sounds like if you haven’t had a family vacation in 8 years, that the suggestion to “just go on TWO trips!” might not be realistic. 
 

Just to clarify, will you be staying at your grandmother’s or a hotel? How many and how old are your kids? Is your dh ok with driving that far with the kids? Is there a specific bday event that dh wants to attend on Monday, or could he arrive on Tuesday instead?

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10 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

Go !

My husband and I have set up our lives such that one of us goes to India in case both sets of parents need us. We have siblings there and our parents are independent as well. However, we both go, one at a time and it is mostly me. DH takes care of home, kids and full time job. 

DH and I both feel anxious about the home and kids  when we go not because we do not think the other will not take care, but because we share the load and it is on one person plus the kids miss us and do not like us leaving them. 

But we do it much for our parents as for us.

My advice, go alone with your siblings. You will feel anxious about your home, but that is part of it if you ask me. You can never turn that off, well I cannot so if you are like me, expect it. But that does not mean you cannot go.

Also there is the added side benefit of reconnecting with your siblings in a way you can without your kids or DH. When my kids come with me, I am always mom first. But when I go alone I get to be more daughter and sister which is I need. 

Go.

I really appreciate these thoughts.

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11 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

I don't think I'm following the geography.  Do all three siblings live near where you live, and the idea is not merely an all-together visit with your grandmother (which I'm sure she would cherish)... but also a sibling roadtrip, where the 18-hour drive is itself meant to be part of the "fun"?  (....)

Also, is your grandmother, herself vaccinated?

 

Particularly if your grandmother is not vaccinated, I can see your sister's concern that only fully-vaccinated adults visit her.

I think if it were me, I would center the *visit with grandmother* as the goal of the undertaking, and NOT partake in any kind of sibling roadtrip. I can count on my fingers the people on this planet I can tolerate an 18 hour drive with... and other folks' kids, even  dearly loved nieces and nephews, don't make the cut. (And I'm sure that sentiment runs vice versa, LOL)  My brother MAYBE; in-laws mostly not.

If your own family has the time/resources, I'd consider making a family trip out of the drive, stopping at parks or monuments or roadside attractions along the way. Then meet up with siblings, have a nice leisurely visit with your grandmother one afternoon while the kids romp in the pool or whatever, then resume your vacation with your family.

Good luck sorting it all out.

Actually, the geography is more complicated than this. My older sister does not live near me, she lives on the other side of the country, but still several hours from Grandma. My brother lives 30 minutes north of me. My older sister lives maybe 18 hrs north, slightly east of me. My grandma lives 18 hours north, to the west of me. Grandma and oldest sister live almost nine hours apart. Well, the point of this explanation is, once all this is over..meaning, settling the estate for Mom and Dad, fixing up the house (it was ruined in the electrical outages in February) and selling and distributing everything, my oldest sister will presumably return to Minneapolis. 

 

I think I am going to try to appease my bad feelings by setting up little presents and activities for each day I am gone. I think by planning the week, things will go better so I can feel better about being gone. So any ideas for this would be great! I am thinking maybe letting the kids make a menu and also setting up activities and crafts and very small presents to be distributed by the day will work. And then I can bring each child back a little gift. Any suggestions on activities would be great. I still have time to order things maybe too.

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12 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

 

I think if it were me, I would center the *visit with grandmother* as the goal of the undertaking, and NOT partake in any kind of sibling roadtrip. I can count on my fingers the people on this planet I can tolerate an 18 hour drive with... and other folks' kids, even  dearly loved nieces and nephews, don't make the cut. (And I'm sure that sentiment runs vice versa, LOL)  My brother MAYBE; in-laws mostly not.

This is a very good point.  I can only do long road trips with my husband and kids.  I'm quite certain that if I road tripped with either of my brothers, I would leave them on the side of the road somewhere around day 2.  We have a family wedding this December (rescheduled due to Covid) and my father wants to drive.  Besides the obvious reasons for not driving to Denver in winter, I'm not willing to tack 4 days onto the trip (because I refuse to drive straight through, I would insist on a hotel reservation at least 1 night coming and going).  He said he won't get on a plane, I told him that he will if he wants to go because no one is driving him, he can't drive himself and no one else hates planes enough to chaperone him on the train or bus (his dementia is such that simply putting him on a train alone is NOT an option.)  I let his talk me into driving 3 years ago but that was July and I tacked TWO hotel nights on to each way of the trip to have a leisurely pace of sightseeing with my son. 

 

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@LucyStonerI tried to quote but could not. But I wanted to say...ha ha ha about your brother (you gave me a giggle). Because my older sister told my brother that if he were to bring his wife and the two of them started fighting, she does not care if we are in the middle of Nebraska with nothing in sight, she is leaving them both on the side of the road. So no wife. 

Anyway, I think part of the reason for the road trip goes beyond Grandma's birthday. We are taking things from Mom and Dad's estate up there for Grandma and such.

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1 hour ago, Janeway said:

Actually, the geography is more complicated than this. My older sister does not live near me, she lives on the other side of the country, but still several hours from Grandma. My brother lives 30 minutes north of me. My older sister lives maybe 18 hrs north, slightly east of me. My grandma lives 18 hours north, to the west of me. Grandma and oldest sister live almost nine hours apart. Well, the point of this explanation is, once all this is over..meaning, settling the estate for Mom and Dad, fixing up the house (it was ruined in the electrical outages in February) and selling and distributing everything, my oldest sister will presumably return to Minneapolis. 

 

I think I am going to try to appease my bad feelings by setting up little presents and activities for each day I am gone. I think by planning the week, things will go better so I can feel better about being gone. So any ideas for this would be great! I am thinking maybe letting the kids make a menu and also setting up activities and crafts and very small presents to be distributed by the day will work. And then I can bring each child back a little gift. Any suggestions on activities would be great. I still have time to order things maybe too.

Awwwww.... I love your idea about setting up the special little presents and activities for while you are gone. That’s so sweet of you!!!!!

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2 hours ago, Janeway said:

Actually, the geography is more complicated than this. My older sister does not live near me, she lives on the other side of the country, but still several hours from Grandma. My brother lives 30 minutes north of me. My older sister lives maybe 18 hrs north, slightly east of me. My grandma lives 18 hours north, to the west of me. Grandma and oldest sister live almost nine hours apart. Well, the point of this explanation is, once all this is over..meaning, settling the estate for Mom and Dad, fixing up the house (it was ruined in the electrical outages in February) and selling and distributing everything, my oldest sister will presumably return to Minneapolis. 

 

I think I am going to try to appease my bad feelings by setting up little presents and activities for each day I am gone. I think by planning the week, things will go better so I can feel better about being gone. So any ideas for this would be great! I am thinking maybe letting the kids make a menu and also setting up activities and crafts and very small presents to be distributed by the day will work. And then I can bring each child back a little gift. Any suggestions on activities would be great. I still have time to order things maybe too.

 

1 hour ago, Catwoman said:

Awwwww.... I love your idea about setting up the special little presents and activities for while you are gone. That’s so sweet of you!!!!!

I agree! It is a great idea

Janeway, maybe start another thread dedicated getting ideas for your gifts and activities.

there may be people who have great ideas but won’t see the request within THIS thread.

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Its hard to not feel guilty when we leave our kids and husband, especially when it comes at the expense of the things we wanted to do with them.  I think you should stop looking at this as a "vacation" and instead look at it as a visit- more like an obligation instead of a fun, frivolous thing.  

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I am glad you have come up with a plan to make it work for you!  As far as feeling guilty about leaving the kids at home, you mihgt find out that they enjoy the week; it is a bit of a change in pace and routine for them and gives them a chance to develop skills and relationships in a way that doesn't always happen when mom's around.  

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5 hours ago, Janeway said:

I think I am going to try to appease my bad feelings by setting up little presents and activities for each day I am gone. I think by planning the week, things will go better so I can feel better about being gone. So any ideas for this would be great! I am thinking maybe letting the kids make a menu and also setting up activities and crafts and very small presents to be distributed by the day will work. And then I can bring each child back a little gift. Any suggestions on activities would be great. I still have time to order things maybe too.

 

That's an awesome idea! 

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3 hours ago, Bootsie said:

I am glad you have come up with a plan to make it work for you!  As far as feeling guilty about leaving the kids at home, you mihgt find out that they enjoy the week; it is a bit of a change in pace and routine for them and gives them a chance to develop skills and relationships in a way that doesn't always happen when mom's around.  

I agree; in retrospect, I wish I had left my kids/husband at home alone for more than a few hours at a time, more often than I did.  I think it would have been healthy for all of us. 

One thing - I love your ideas of treats and such for the kids, but things may not end up going the way you expect. Your husband and kids may come up with ideas of their own.  On one of my rare trips, I had laid out all sort of homeschool and fun activities. It was all abandoned by the second day. Now it's true that the main reason was a freak spring snowstorm, so they spent their time outside. But I have a feeling things would have changed even if that hadn't happened. And really that would have been good too. 

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8 hours ago, Janeway said:

I think I am going to try to appease my bad feelings by setting up little presents and activities for each day I am gone. I think by planning the week, things will go better so I can feel better about being gone. So any ideas for this would be great! I am thinking maybe letting the kids make a menu and also setting up activities and crafts and very small presents to be distributed by the day will work. And then I can bring each child back a little gift.

Don't over plan. 

My kids and DH miss my food, so I cook and freeze things which they take out on some days, others they cook or go out.

My husband can take care, cook and clean. Anything like activities or crafts will stress him. so I try not to make extra work for him by planning. He is the planner. They watch movies, play games, cook. 

DH and I record ourselves reading a book. My kids love getting mail, so I write letters which DH hands on some days.

I make snacks I don't usually make. 

We call twice a day minimum. Video calls mostly.

We use whatsapp or some app like that so you can send them video periodically. 

When the movie theaters were open, we would go for movies on a weekday. Ours had food too, so we would order and watch. 

Go for drives and get ice cream or soda, rare treats. 

Your kids will be ok. DH will be ok. You will be anxious. But you will get through.

Glad you are going.

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9 hours ago, Janeway said:

Actually, the geography is more complicated than this. My older sister does not live near me, she lives on the other side of the country, but still several hours from Grandma. My brother lives 30 minutes north of me. My older sister lives maybe 18 hrs north, slightly east of me. My grandma lives 18 hours north, to the west of me. Grandma and oldest sister live almost nine hours apart. Well, the point of this explanation is, once all this is over..meaning, settling the estate for Mom and Dad, fixing up the house (it was ruined in the electrical outages in February) and selling and distributing everything, my oldest sister will presumably return to Minneapolis. 

 

I think I am going to try to appease my bad feelings by setting up little presents and activities for each day I am gone. I think by planning the week, things will go better so I can feel better about being gone. So any ideas for this would be great! I am thinking maybe letting the kids make a menu and also setting up activities and crafts and very small presents to be distributed by the day will work. And then I can bring each child back a little gift. Any suggestions on activities would be great. I still have time to order things maybe too.

You are not describing a vacation. This is more like traveling for work except you don’t get paid. I don’t think you should have ANY guilt about attending to family business and you certainly don’t have to make up for it. 
 

Try to imagine your dh had to travel to clean up a deceased loved one’s house. Would you expect him to schedule activities for you while he’s away? Would you feel he’s vacationing without you? This is no spa trip with your sister. I don’t get the guilt at ALL. I also don’t get tying it in to not having a vacation for 8 years. These things aren’t remotely connected. 

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14 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

You are not describing a vacation. This is more like traveling for work except you don’t get paid. I don’t think you should have ANY guilt about attending to family business and you certainly don’t have to make up for it. 
 

Try to imagine your dh had to travel to clean up a deceased loved one’s house. Would you expect him to schedule activities for you while he’s away? Would you feel he’s vacationing without you? This is no spa trip with your sister. I don’t get the guilt at ALL. I also don’t get tying it in to not having a vacation for 8 years. These things aren’t remotely connected. 

This is true. This is not a vacation at all. I am not looking forward to it at all. I will not do any of the things I used to love to do when I would go back there. I think about how I will be driving so far and be right there, where my husband and I and the kids had a list of things we look forward to doing and have not wanted to make the trip or the drive. Now I am going up there without any of my children or husband, making this long miserable drive with siblings I never spend more than a couple hours with at a time, who four years ago, I was not even speaking to. And staying with relatives, who while I once adored, I have not even seen in a long time. 

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9 minutes ago, Janeway said:

This is true. This is not a vacation at all. I am not looking forward to it at all. I will not do any of the things I used to love to do when I would go back there. I think about how I will be driving so far and be right there, where my husband and I and the kids had a list of things we look forward to doing and have not wanted to make the trip or the drive. Now I am going up there without any of my children or husband, making this long miserable drive with siblings I never spend more than a couple hours with at a time, who four years ago, I was not even speaking to. And staying with relatives, who while I once adored, I have not even seen in a long time. 

If this is how I felt about an impending trip I simply wouldn't go. A sibling trip doesn't sound like it is important to you at all so why even go?  The idea of a sibling trip for me sounds like so much fun, but I LOVE hanging out with my siblings and get along with all of them for long periods of time. That is not what you have though so just skip that trip.

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:29 AM, Janeway said:

I feel like if I say yes, this will be the last time I will get to do something big with my siblings like this. The last time I did anything like this was before I had children. And once our parents' estate is done, I doubt we will ever go again. 

 

11 hours ago, Janeway said:

, making this long miserable drive with siblings I never spend more than a couple hours with at a time, who four years ago, I was not even speaking to.

So I feel like these two things you are saying are very contradictory. In your first post, it sounded as if it was something you wanted to do. In the second bit, it sounds like you are dreading it, and won't have a good time at all.

What do you want to do?  If you don't want to spend time with your siblings or any of the people you will be seeing (except your grandmother, I guess?), then why not go separately, at a later time, with your husband and kids?  Is there a purpose to the trip besides getting all the siblings together to see your grandmother?  If you don't like your siblings, why go?  I'm very confused. 

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On 5/6/2021 at 8:29 PM, marbel said:

 

So I feel like these two things you are saying are very contradictory. In your first post, it sounded as if it was something you wanted to do. In the second bit, it sounds like you are dreading it, and won't have a good time at all.

What do you want to do?  If you don't want to spend time with your siblings or any of the people you will be seeing (except your grandmother, I guess?), then why not go separately, at a later time, with your husband and kids?  Is there a purpose to the trip besides getting all the siblings together to see your grandmother?  If you don't like your siblings, why go?  I'm very confused. 

It is not so much that I do not like them but rather that I am guarded with them and not much like them. Plus, I do not feel like they are people who would have my back if anything in life happened or I needed their support. In fact, they have proven in the past not to be. To top it off, I feel like the excluding of my husband and children from the trip is wrong. He has offered to come up separate from us and they said no. Then when I spoke to my grandmother, she said no too. My older sister has spent a ton of time with my cousins and their children while blowing off my children.  And my cousins' children will be there for at least part of the time. Although my understanding is that the majority of the time will be just adults.  When my husband and I go, we bring ear plugs so that one of us can sleep half the time and the other can sleep the other half. My brother has already said he expects us to all stay awake the entire time and my oldest sister seems to indicate we will stop frequently to stretch our legs as we need to at this age. I feel like I do not even have the stamina for this. Back to my cousins, I adore my cousins, my oldest sister does too. But if my children do anything, she finds a way to say whatever it was had nefarious intent. If my cousins' children do anything, no matter how little it was, she tells me about it and how it is the cutest thing ever. Honestly, I think my only reason for going is I am likely still chasing that dream of being loved and accepted and embraced by them. I dread the drive. And when I see them in town or if I am on a trip anyway and with my own family, I spend a few hours with people and then can be gone. If I am driving 18+ hours each way in one car, I cannot just get away or retreat to my own space. I am looking forward to finally seeing my relatives after all these years, but I really wanted this kind of trip to be with my own children so that they can meet my children and my children can spend time with their cousins that they do not know. My children are a part of me and none of my relatives even know them.

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Aw, I'm sorry these relationships are so hard. Given that information, if it were me, I'd probably bow out of the family trip and go separately with my husband and kids. I hope you are able to work something out. 

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Can you travel with your family there and back and have DH stay with the kids while you do the adult only family stuff?

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Your first post made it sound like you wanted to spend the time with your siblings and that you were looking forward to the trip, and that your only hesitation was leaving your kids.

Holy cow, things have changed since then!  😉

Given your updated information, I have no idea why you would even consider going on the trip. If you want to see your grandmother, make it a family trip with your dh and kids, and let your siblings visit her on their own. 

 

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OP, I have had my parents and inlaws stay with us for 6 months at a time every other year and often back to back. I will not pretend there are no issues and everything is smooth. But it works because all of us want it and we are there for each other. 

18 hours ago, Janeway said:

Plus, I do not feel like they are people who would have my back if anything in life happened or I needed their support. In fact, they have proven in the past not to be.

My parents and inlaws have our backs. When our children were born, when I was on bed rest. They stepped up when we could not parent or take care of the house. Time and time again. My mom and mil have cooked and fed me, a grown adult woman when I was so distraught and grieving over my baby who died. DH and I go back because we want to do at least a portion of what they did for us. 

We have friends who we have this relationship with us. Have our backs.

Family or friend, I will not subject myself to sharing a car or house with someone who I do not feel comfortable with. Blood does not mean we are comfortable together as people and we should be obliged to do things with them we would not otherwise. 

Why would you even consider doing this given the way you feel ?

I understand going to see your grandmother. I think that is different and you should do that. But alone, fly and come. To see your grandmother, does not mean you should take a sibling road trip feeling the way you do.

I am really close with my brother, DH is really close with his. But we have nurtured it for close to 20 years even if we hardly see each other in person. We make time, travel together, call each other. Otherwise, it would feel like strangers and who wants that ? 

Family relationships can be close even if we do not live in the same country, but both should want it.  In this case, I do not see it. So why subject yourself ? 

 

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I am a bit confused about the plan of who is driving from where together. It sounds as if your sister does not live near you (but lives closer to your grandmother.)  Will she be near you and drive to grandmothers and then back near your home? 

I am sorry this is such a difficult situation.  I do not see how it is your sister's place to say "no" to your husband driving someplace if it is not in her car and he is not planning to stay at her house.  Personally, I would just ignore that.  If grandmother wants to limit seeing people because of COVID, or any other reason, are there other relatives in the area that your husband and children would have the opportunit to visit?

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