Dear Amy: When my parents divorced a few decades ago, they naturally stopped hosting family beach vacations.
As soon as I started making some money (in my twenties), I stepped in and started planning the vacations. I also paid the bill for my siblings and our children.
It was important to me that we all meet at the shore once a year, and I continued to do so for about 30 years, paying between $2,500 and $10,000 a summer – without asking for help.
This summer, my two children are in university and my budget priority is tuition. This spring, I let people know that I wasn’t going to be able to handle a family beach vacation.
When asked, I shared rental catalogs and budgets with family members so they could handle the details if they wished.
There will be no beach vacation this year because nobody intervened.
Although I’m sad that I don’t have time in the sand, I have exactly no guilt about it.
The problem is that there seems to be some resentment that I couldn’t do the planning and that it was out of my budget to even split the expenses this year.
What do you think I can tell my family – other than I have other priorities at the moment, and if they want to organize a beach holiday, they have to do it themselves?
– Vacation Buzzkill
Dear Buzzkill: Sincere congratulations on providing shoreline summers for your family for 30 awesome years.
Congratulations also on your “zero guilt” position. The absence of guilt over your choice is the surest sign that you have been doing the right thing (for yourself and others) over the years, and that you are doing the right thing now.
Groups of siblings are like ocean liners – changing direction extremely slowly and sometimes causing a bit of nausea when someone shakes the boat.
Of course, there is some residual resentment when you take away that annual gift! The resentment comes from the fact that they do not want to take on this annual financial and organizational burden. They also don’t like this “guilt-free” trade. How dare you?!
It is likely that after a gap year, one of your siblings will take over next year. Or maybe a member of the younger generation will choose to do as you did all those years ago. (Wouldn’t that be awesome?!)
You say the right things. You might also add, “I was so happy to be able to do this for so long. My pleasure. I hope someone else chooses to step in. Otherwise, we had a good run. »
Dear Amy: I attended a memorial for a relative and was surprised to see an elderly gentleman wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants.
I spoke with the man, and he made it clear he knew about the service ahead of time, so it wasn’t like he just found out and showed up at the last minute.
He just decided that’s what he was going to wear to a memorial service?
What’s your opinion of someone attending a wake dressed like that?
Dear Anonymous: I agree with you that sweatpants and t-shirts are not “appropriate” for a memorial service.
My opinion is that this elderly person might not have managed to dress more appropriately for this event. Some people can’t handle buttons and zippers.
Some people don’t have formal clothes.
The kindest reaction is to look beyond what this man was wearing and appreciate the fact that he showed up.
Dear Amy: “Expecting in AZ” didn’t know how to respond to requests from her in-laws to be present for the birth of her first child.
I agree 100% with your answer.
As a retired obstetrics labor and delivery nurse who has also taught childbirth classes, I cannot stress enough how important it is for the new family to bond with each other.
The expectant mother has the right to determine who she wants with her for childbirth.
As I pointed out in my classes, 20 people weren’t there when the baby was made and therefore they don’t need to be there when the birth takes place.
Give new parents time and space until they are ready to introduce their new little one.
– Was there
Dear summer there: It can be extremely difficult for expectant parents to advocate for themselves.
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