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(62 Posts)
diamondsgirl Sat 08-Apr-17 11:43:43

My DH died four years ago after a two year fight. It is still painful and more so now the holiday period is approaching. We used to have a holiday home in Spain for many, many years and spent some wonderful times there with great memories, and we vowed we would semi-retire there. Sadly this was not to be and we sold it when my husband was diagnosed, as we could not afford the upkeep.

Two years ago to celebrate the important milestone birthday my daughter, we all went back and it was just fine, a bit emotional but wonderful to be back in our second home.

Last year I went with my younger daughter and her family for two weeks - in peak season, I did find it very hot and sticky as the apartment was very small, but I thought we had muddled along very well.

I have just found out that DD is going again this year, but I discovered it, I was not told, and I am feeling very upset. Primarily that my DD felt she had to hide it from me, and normally I would encourage all my DC to holiday with their partners and children, but this time I felt completely left out.

I went to a 3 city touring holiday last year with a singles holiday company, which was a lovely experience, but holidaying with strangers is very difficult for me, plus I look after my DD's two boys all year round, so any holidays I take impacts on her childcare considerably, and makes it awkward for me to do so when they are away, which is always peak time.

Am I wrong to feel so left out? Is this what it will be like in future now that I have no one to go on holiday with me, particularly to our favourite family place? or am I being dog in the manger? I know I am feeling very resentful that my daughter could not just tell me she was going, as I also know she and her husband maxed out on their credit cards to have their house done from top to bottom, so until I gave all of my DC some money recently, they would have been taking a holiday they can ill afford.

I feel I am being unfair to have these feelings of a mixture between resentment and loss at not being able to go to our place this year, also realising that holidays in future will have to be with total strangers, which I do not find easy.

This is one down side to being widowed I had not considered before, and it has taken me by surprise. What do you all think please? sad

Starlady Sat 08-Apr-17 11:59:40

So deeply sorry for your loss, diamondsgirl.

I don't think you're being "unfair" at all. It does seem odd that dd planned this vacation in one of your favorite places without mentioning it to you, particularly since you're the reason she and sil can afford it.

But maybe those are the reasons she didn't tell you. She and sil may really want to go there this time with just there own family and were worried you would want to join them or feel left out. Also, she might feel a little guilty about the financial part.

Also, if they had any idea that you thought you all "muddled along," whether "very well" or not, that might not be their idea of how a vacation should be. Iows, they might not have felt you really enjoyed it.

Or could it be that they didn't think it went so well? Is that what you're thinking underneath it all? 2 weeks is a long time to share a hot, crowded apartment. Maybe dd or sil wasn't so happy?

If that's the case, maybe you've dodged a bullet. A repeat performance may not have ended so well.

Starlady Sat 08-Apr-17 12:02:41

Oh, meant to say, I think being widowed definitely has a "downside" that people don't often anticipate at first. Same with divorce, actually. I haven't experienced either, so far, fortunately for me, but Iv seen this with some of my friends and relatives.

Starlady Sat 08-Apr-17 12:03:14

(((Hugs))) (Oh for an edit button, so I could have added that above!)

Ana Sat 08-Apr-17 12:13:29

It does seem strange that your DD hasn't told you about the holiday - especially as she's going to have to at some point!

Yes, it is onw of the downsides of widowhood you don't think about at first, and it's so easy to lose one's confidence in so many ways...perhaps you could mention you're thinking of going with the singles group again and see what your DD says?

janeainsworth Sat 08-Apr-17 12:28:42

Are you sure your DD intentionally hid her holiday plans from you diamondgirl? Perhaps she just hadn't got round to telling you?

NanaandGrampy Sat 08-Apr-17 12:35:52

I'm so sorry you're feeling like this .

I truly think that possibly your DD didn't tell you because she wanted to holiday this time with just her family and she knows this is a special place for you . Maybe they just didn't want to have to actually say no you're not invited, especially in the light of your recent financial generosity.

I think you also have to get used to not being invited every time . Is there any reason you couldn't go alone? Travelling with strangers can be stressful but if this is a place you know , love and are comfortable in - why not go alone? I don't mind solo travelling , you can pick and choose when you want to be sociable.

As for looking after the boys and impacting their child care, if they can afford to holiday they can afford to sort out alternative childcare if you want to go away. You're not the nanny, you Do have a life of your own and whilst helping out is fabulous you need to put yourself a little nearer the front of the queue!

I hope you book a wonderful holiday and enjoy it with your many precious memories.

Rigby46 Sat 08-Apr-17 12:49:57

I understand why you are feeling like this - it's a pity that your daughter didn't tell you. As for your only being free to go on holiday to suit her child care needs, you really must sit down and talk to her about this. It is simply not on. Does the regular child care impact on other things you would like to do throughout the year? Again, have a talk with her. You are now putting together the rest of your life- it shouldn't be circumscribed by child care unless you want it to be.

Starlady Sat 08-Apr-17 13:25:51

I didn't mean to suggest that you can never go on holiday with dd and family again. Just perhaps make it for a shorter time period, like an extended weekend.

As for the child care thing, yes, I agree you should talk to dd. Perhaps map out some regular times when you'll be on "vacation" from childminding. Then she has ample time to arrange other child care. During those specified times, you could do whatever you wanted, whether it involved traveling or just staying home and relazing.

nina1959 Sat 08-Apr-17 15:03:10

I think your daughter probably feels guilty that they've booked a holiday and not told you. Not yet anyway.
But you did say that the last time you went it was a case of muddling through so although you're stoical about it, they may not feel quite so robust about doing it all again as one big happy family.

I've found that when life presents us with these little blots on the landscape, all that's really happening is that we're getting an incline or a gentle shove, that it's time to start heading off in a new direction. It's like life is saying time to get back out there and try something different and this could be the start of something really good.
The issue with the ongoing childminding sounds as though it's a different matter and not directly related to the holiday, rather it's a responsibility placed on you all year round.

So perhaps, although you're feeling justifiably peeved, I'd wait until you're feeling less peeved before you say anything to your daughter and in the meantime, I'd start thinking about new horizons and a different way of having a holiday to make you a bit more independent.

diamondsgirl Sat 08-Apr-17 16:52:23

Thanks all, you have all put into print my feelings, I do feel rejected and ashamed that I do have this over me.

Childcare is a problem all the time, as my DD's in-laws are divorced, with MIL moving a great distance away and FIL not being able to drive (apart from being an odious person, a feeling shared by my late husband and my DD, but obviously as sil's father, she has to get along with him).

DD has made it clear that it is very inconvenient for me to take up hospital appointments, weekends away, hair appointmemts if it impacts on childcare, and I have to admit I feel dreadfully guilty if I let her down in this way. Holidays are the worst as I have to go to dd's house as she doesn't like waking the children early on their holidays to come to my house!

But all this is an undercurrent to the main problem..holidays. I am sorry I could not go on holiday on my own nanaandgrampy, it makes me feel ill just thinking about it, so that is not an option. I would not mind going on another singles trip, at some time, but my heart is in our special place and it would be wonderful to pass on some of the memories made there.

That is obviously not going to happen now, so have to generate my alternatives.

Thanks so much for listening, I know I am hurt, I know I am cross that this was concealed from me, and I know I am envious that her family time is at the expense of my peace of mind..and I wonder if it was her dad and not me to go away with, whether this situation would ever have arisen....silly thoughts keep jumping into my head....

nina1959 Sat 08-Apr-17 17:24:03

I think you've just cured all my fears about being estranged Diamondsgirl.

Your hospital appointments and your own life need to take precedence. There's no way you should be at the beck and call of your daughter.

I truly hope things improve for you soon. Have you got friends around you? Might be an idea to talk to them and see what insights they might offer. x

NanaandGrampy Sat 08-Apr-17 18:21:00

That's a shame that you don't feel you could go alone Diamond . Do you have a friend maybe in a similar situation ? Or what about trying a short break closer to home where you can come home if you hate it ?

I agree with Nina , I'm sorry your daughter uses your services for childcare but treats you with such a Cavalier attitude. Forgive me for being blunt, but she chose to have her children, you've done your bit. Can you have a proper, calm chat with her?

Don't feel guilty, your life is not supposed to be spent waiting to start .

mumofmadboys Sat 08-Apr-17 22:02:06

Could you consider a HF holiday? Lots of singles go on those. There are various activities eg walking or craft or bridge. Would any of those suit you?

hondagirl Sun 09-Apr-17 07:58:32

You say 'we' used to have a holiday home. By this I assume you mean yourself and your husband? If so, when your husband passed away I may be wrong but am assuming the house was left to you? In which case, this is your house and as such should your family not ask your permission first before going on holiday there? I know they probably all regard it as a family holiday home, but the fact is it is not their house and it would be common courtesy for them to ask you if they can use it, rather than just assume. I would be most upset if this happened to me. Also, considering their attitude to childminding, it seems they are taking you and your holiday home somewhat forgranted.

mcem Sun 09-Apr-17 08:12:26

You sold the house so when you returned was it a 'holiday let' ?
Since you undertake all the childcare do you really want to spend your holidays with them too?
Agree thhat it must have been hurtful just to find out without DD telling you but hope she just hadn't got round to it as sooner or later you'd know.

Maggiemaybe Sun 09-Apr-17 08:13:31

hondagirl, the OP states that the holiday home was sold several years ago.

IngeJones Sun 09-Apr-17 10:26:17

I think your feelings are perfectly natural, so don't feel wrong to feel like that. However I don't suppose this decision was taken specifically to hurt you. More like they didn't tell you because they didn't want to hurt you. But sometimes a family wants to spend quality time as just a family - holidays can be an important bonding time for a busy family. The misfortune was that you found out, it would have been better for all if you had not.

I doubt if they realised how particularly poignant their choice of destination was for you, after all Spain is Spain and a very generic sort of holiday destination to most people. Could you look into going on some of those singles or saga holidays so you at least don't feel you're missing out?

gettingonabit Sun 09-Apr-17 10:26:20

So sorry this has happened.

Like others here, I think you're being taken advantage of by your daughter. It's sad that you are without a partner now, but you need to develop a new life, which may mean not being at your daughter's beck and call quite so much.

This may be the spur you need to invent that new life!

Perhaps you need some help to find out why you find holidaying alone so difficult?

IngeJones Sun 09-Apr-17 10:28:21

Oh and reading your later post, I think you will maybe get the opportunity to take your grandchildren back there with you when they are older - maybe young adults - and show them your memories! smile

AsarahG Sun 09-Apr-17 10:32:06

diamondsgirl - First I think you have to admit to your DD that holidaying alone, even in a singles group, is lonely. You need to get her to understand that if you go out of season there are lots of people the same age, groups of single women etc. who you could chat with. (You do not need to say in so many words, that if you can't go with her, then you will have to go when she needs you at home.) We go out of season and apart from the cost, we enjoy chatting with people of our own age group. I do think she needs to give a little, and find someone as emergency child care. What if you were to become ill? Can you suggest all this in a loving way?

tiredoldwoman Sun 09-Apr-17 10:33:43

I feel upset for you, Diamondsgirl . It's rotten when people do things together but leave you out , but in this situation it's really upsetting . Maybe they're going to surprise you at the last minute , how did you find out ?
I think we've all had a taste of this, no matter what age . It actually reminds me of painful childhood rejections . sad

Collgirl1 Sun 09-Apr-17 10:35:09

I feel there is more to your problems than the ones you mention. You seem to need a lot of reassurance you are doing the right thing - it seems to me to be obvious you should not be at the beck and call of your daughter, but you seem to need someone else to tell you this.

Also over the single holidays it seems to be you are nervous about taking the big step, deciding and booking and going on a holiday by yourself. That's a great shame and I feel you need help to get over this fear.

Regarding the way you are used by your children, finding it really hard when they don't include you in their plans. That, as I know from my own experience, can be really hurtful - but you just have to grin and bear it as that is the way when one grows older.l One just has to find something else to do at that hurtful time.

I feel perhaps you need more than our reassurance. Is there some sort of counselling you could get to raise your self esteem? Or can someone help you? I am neither divorced nor widowed, but wonder if you are still suffering from grief and then your family doesn't seem to understand this.

Please don't take this as criticism in any way, but perhaps a forum is not enough.

tiredoldwoman Sun 09-Apr-17 10:35:24

You're tired , hurt and emotional . x
Have a good sob , shake yourself down and see if anyone from here might like to go with you ?

Everthankful Sun 09-Apr-17 10:43:01

I think I would be grateful to have time away from childminding and being at DD's beck and call. That alone would seem like a holiday to me! I look after my DGD as her mum works part time and my son in law works away, but although we get on very well and she doesn't begrudge me 'time off', I still have to check shift patterns before I make any plans.

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