MILs 80th B-day in Europe?
Hi All, since vacations are coming up, I'd love to get your feedback on this one. I'm married to a European ex-pat. His mother is turning 80 this year. When she turned 75 she threw herself a birthday party in Amsterdam and our whole family went. We paid our own way but since we wanted to go to Amsterdam we felt it was okay. It seemed like a special event.
Now my MIL is turning 80. She has decided it is ALSO a special event and wants to have a birthday dinner at a hotel in a resort town in Switzerland. At first, she said she was going to pay for everyone's trip ( the rest of her children are in Europe) and then when she added up the total expenses said she wouldn't be paying.
To be honest, I was NOT in favor of going to this event even WHEN she was paying because I'm not interested in going to Switzerland. Also, DH has very limited vacation time and I feel like we're always using it to go there and not having our own family vacations.
One of DH's siblings is giving him a hard time now because we've waffled on going/not going. The sibling is demanding "we're all family, you have to go, your mother's turning 80." That may be true, but she wouldn't consider moving dates to make this trip fit into our schedule and our kids schedules. She wouldn't consider moving the location to a place where we can actually have our kids and their cousins spend a few days together. This is a one night dinner, no time for family visiting.
Also, it's expensive. Airfare alone is close to $4500. That's before hotels, food, activities, etc. We have one daughter in college, another child on the way to college, I'm in grad school, and the cost of the trip would be around $12k.
Here's the kicker. At the last minute, DHs company said they needed him to be in Germany for a business meeting, and he could schedule it around his mother's dinner so part of the cost of the trip would be reduced to cover his flight and expenses on the days he's doing business. It's still going to cost a bundle, even with him being able to write some part off.
The birthday party is literally a dinner. In a hotel. My children will see their cousins for only that 1 night (they only see their cousins when we go to THEM of course, and we can only afford to go to Europe once every few years). DH is saying we should go, the trip to the birthday party is incidental, we should just make a quick stopover, see his MIL and go have our own vacation.
But I am SO upset about what I see as everyone's utter insensitivity to our situation, the expense (and they don't pay much for college in Europe so no one there is really dealing with crippling tuition payments like we are). They also don't understand the whole US two weeks of vacation (and we've given up many such vacations to see them instead of going new places that WE want to go). They get months of vacation and are very happy to "spend" ours for us.
How can I deal with this, even maybe go to this event, enjoy a vacation, and not want to wring everyone's necks on sight?