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3 times I’ve asked my son if I can visit him in Canada and 3 times he’s just put up problems

(147 Posts)
ganmaj Sun 08-Sep-19 16:02:26

It’s a long flight and 20 years ago I had a brain injury. So although I walk and talk normally enough, thankfully, my stamina is very low. Like a lot of brain injury survivors I havez Diverticulosis, so my diet is minimal and simple.
My daughter in law doesn’t work I just want to get to know my 10 year old granddaughter a bit. They’ve been away 11 years.
My son who I brought up alone, says things like it won’t be what you imagine’ were a very busy gamily’
You’ll have jet lag’ I have travelled all over the world with my work, would have taken out hefty health cover, and don’t expect to do anything other than what I do at home: sew, read, go for a walk have an afternoon rest. I am 74 and my 20 year relationship has come to an end, as I think my partner who has become abusives and aggressive, has dementia.
I’m sad about the ending of course, but I nursed him for 5 months with COPD to the detriment of my own health, and just had to on my doc’s advice look after myself first.
This hoped for holiday was to be my treat of a lifetime to myself.
I get on alright with my d-in-law
Any advice as to what’s really going on here it’s being presented to me as all there concern is my health and welfare.
Please be gentle with your replies. I’m very sensitive at the moment. Thank you

Summerlove Sun 08-Sep-19 16:09:33

Unfortunately it sounds like they don’t want you to visit.
You can ask them, but they might not tell you if they are trying to spare your feelings.

Could they be afraid you’d want to move in with them?

Would you stay with them? Is it possible that they don’t do well with guests staying? It could be very daunting for DIL to think of having to entertain you alone while her husband is at work and her child at school.

I think though the best thing you can do is ask, and then accept the answer they give you

Fiachna50 Sun 08-Sep-19 16:09:55

If your own health is not good is it wise to go? Perhaps your son is worried that such a long journey would make you take ill?

Tedber Sun 08-Sep-19 16:44:34

ganmaj Hard to know what your son's reasoning is. As you say you get on well with DIL...could you contact her and tell her you are coming over?

From my perspective, you have two the flights and go! Tell them to expect you at such and such time/date/place. OR do nothing other than sit and wonder why he is so against you going over to meet them.

Could it be they have no room? Or their life isn't quite as your son portrayed it? If so, look up accommodation nearby as a fall back plan. (obviously don't know how you are fixed financially)

I think it IS possible your son thinks the journey would be too much but if you present it as a signed, sealed, delivered deal he may just relent? I do hope so.

Good luck and yes...I would just go!

Luckygirl Sun 08-Sep-19 16:53:48

Invite them over here?

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:00:27

I dont know that its necessarily that he doesnt want you

When people emigrate there can be this idea from their friends back home that they are "living the dream" which often makes visits fraught.

Maybe they have had negative experiences in the past when friends have gone out expecting the holiday of a lifetime to find that its an ordinary suburb and its not all mountain passes and wilderness IYKWIM

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:03:36

Also when people make a big "dream move" it can be extra hard to admit that things arent rosy, even to themselves.

Having visitors might make the reality of their "dream life in Canada" too real IYKWIM if he's struggling and not ready himself to admit to hard times?

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:06:15

When he says, 'it's not like what you imagine' I'm wondering if he thinks that you'll be disappointed at either their surroundings or accommodation. Have you Googled his address to get an image?

Alternatively could you stay at a hotel nearby so that you are not in each other's pockets?

There's a reason for his reluctance and unless he can discuss this it might be better not to visit in case it all goes wrong.

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:07:39

Could you find a saga type assisted tour to go on tagging on a stay with them at the bwginning and end so the pressure is off him to make it your "big holiday" IYKWIM?

SirChenjin Sun 08-Sep-19 17:08:28

It could be any number of reasons - perhaps they’re not getting on well at the moment, perhaps they don’t have the money to host you ‘properly’, perhaps your DIL fears that she’ll be expected to entertain you for the majority of the time you’re there if your DS is working (I imagine you’re not just going for a couple of days?). As others have said, perhaps the best thing to do might be book accommodation elsewhere and to have other things lined up while you’re there so you’re not with them for the full time you’re there? I hope you get it sorted, I can fully understand why you’re feeling a bit fragile

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:09:25

Another suggestion might be to hire holiday accomodation for you all during the school holidays in a resort nearish them so that they dont have to host you in their home?

Although it does sound like they may struggle to get time off work?

ninathenana Sun 08-Sep-19 17:11:12

* love beige* Glad I'm not the only one who is wondering if they think you would be disappointed with how they live.

Auntieflo Sun 08-Sep-19 17:14:57

It's a tough one for sure.
I know that ganmaj wants to get to know her granddaughter, but to book a flight and just tell her son and DiL that she is going to arrive, would be a horrid thing to do. I know I would hate it.
Luckygirl has the better idea, in inviting them to visit you here.
Also notanan's idea sounds good.

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:16:53

This hoped for holiday was to be my treat of a lifetime to myself.

But if they dont get much holiday allowance at work, live in a bland commuter suburb, and dont have much space or money, that's a lot of pressure IYKWIM.

A friend of mine moved to canada and went from a 3 bed detatched house in a beautiful location here to a TINY apartment in a high rise. Their career did not translate as well as they hoped either so were working several jobs. They werent really set up to host anyone so would advise friends who wanted to visit to go holiday in the mountains (he couldnt join he had several jobs) then see him for a few days if they wanted but he couldnt really give people a "holiday". And his apartment was miniscule! Its what I would have imagined from a place like japan or hong kong not Canada!

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:23:47

I wonder if the DIL not working isnt a stay at home mum choice? The child is 10 afterall. Maybe theres unemployment or illness that she doesnt want people knowing about?

petra Sun 08-Sep-19 17:24:28

When you say you get on all right with your daughter in law
How long have you spent together in the past 11 years?
Or was that before they moved to Canada?

Magpie1959 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:33:54

My son and (now ex) DIL) moved to Saskachewan in Canada 5 years ago. They live in a small town in the middle of the farming 'flatlands'. We've visited a few times but its the most dire place on the planet!
There are no decent shops, just a couple of local supermarkets. There is nothing whatsoever to do and no places of interest to visit. The local radio stations are either religious programs or hours and hours of statistics about farming yields & prices. Occasionally they play some music - only country & western music of course LOL.
The town centre is just one street, there are nine churches and two bar/restaurants, a petrol station, a bakery and a thrift store - which says it all really!
All activities revolve around the churches and schools.
The cost of living is very high, food prices are extortionate.
They have to work long hours and travel long distances to get to and from work.
Some of the farmers have never even left their own land, most of the 'locals' have never travelled further than the nearest city of Regina and I never met anyone who travelled abroad for holidays.

OP, maybe that's what its like where your son is living. Could be that he genuinely doesn't think you'd like it and will be bored as they will be out at work all the time.

Tedber Sun 08-Sep-19 17:34:33

Auntieflo It is what I WOULD do. Not saying OP should do it but I would book a flight, be prepared for whatever, book alternative accommodation just in case, and hope for the best! Then at least I would know for sure.... But that is just me! I never like to be left wondering.. OK she may have to prepare herself for disappointment but is that worse than sitting and wondering at home? I would make sure I had a bloomin good holiday lined up in Canada regardless.

Obviously all this depends on finances and I don't think booking them all in a holiday home is the answer. Two reasons: Cost and The uncertainty they would go.

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:41:39

If they have stuff going on that they dont want to talk about then an overseas visitor added to the mix is an extra stress and could make a stressful time double stressful. I would never just arrive. But I would offer "no hosting required" ideas and be flexible with dates

stella1949 Sun 08-Sep-19 17:56:39

If this is your "treat of a lifetime" I wouldn't go at the moment since your son has made it very clear that he doesn't want you to go. Turning up as a surprise could cause problems.

As others have said, they could be having marital problems, or they could be living in a very bad area. Either way they may feel that your presence would be unwelcome so I'd consider some alternatives.

Since your granddaughter is 10 and you want to get to know her, could she come over for a visit alone ? You could offer to pay for her to come for a holiday, perhaps. Or if finances allow, you could pay for all three to come over.

wildswan16 Sun 08-Sep-19 18:35:12

The fact that you are calling this "a treat of a lifetime" is key. They will think you expect to have a wonderful time seeing all sorts of new places and experiences. The reality from their point of view will be very different - there may be nothing remotely interesting in the vicinity, their home may be quite basic, etc etc. They then have to "entertain" you and have no idea how that will turn out.

Or, forgive me for saying it, maybe they just don't want the bother of a guest. Not everybody does.

Summerlove Sun 08-Sep-19 18:50:58

Please don’t just buy a ticket and turn up.
They’ve told you not now in a round about way (I do wish people would be more clear). Showing up is an aggressive move that is far more likely to backfire than help. It’s akin to claiming territory.

SpanielNanny Sun 08-Sep-19 19:18:57

When he says ‘ it won’t be like you imagine’, I suspect he is referring to you saying the ‘holiday was to be my treat of a lifetime to myself’.

My niece emigrated to America some years ago. My sister saved to go and visit, planned 3 weeks to spend with the family. She was incredibly excited, had a lot of high hopes for her holiday. Although she enjoyed seeing them all, she admitted to being incredibly disappointed when she returned home.

She’d imagined spending lots of time with them all. The reality was her daughter and SIL had jobs they had to go to. Some nights they worked late, the children were already booked into extracurricular activities which they didn’t want to miss, so she spent a lot of time alone. On weekends the children played sports etc, and they wanted to spend time with their friends. The town, although nice enough, had very little to actually do, she spent hours by herself in their home.

Perhaps it’s not that your son doesn’t want you there, just that he fears the reality won’t match your expectations.

Hetty58 Sun 08-Sep-19 20:07:29

It could perhaps be that they're really struggling financially. Your son might be embarrassed about how they live at the moment and won't want you to witness or worry about their circumstances. We do tend to hide the truth from our mothers!

Bridgeit Sun 08-Sep-19 20:54:37

Well they are being very considerate in trying to spare your feelings by not telling you outright not to come over.
They are presenting you with reasons that it may not be a good idea at the moment, hoping that you will read between the lines & decide not to go.
It may be disappointing for you, but for now I think you should shelve your plans & ask them if they can let you know when it would suit them perhaps early next year. Best wishes