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Old 01-22-2013, 09:01 AM   #16
purpledisneyprncess
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We went on vacation with my husband's family several years ago- it was a nightmare in the sole fact alone that "Everyone's idea of vacation is something different". In theory it's a great idea to go on vacay with fam or friends but often times it becomes a nightmare. We never set boundaries with my DH's family and when we didn't want to go to the beach at their designated time, they got pissy. We liked to do things on our time.

I think being blunt to your friend might make you two get into a fight. How about you start off the conversation by breaking the ice and saying something nice like "I'm soo excited to take your son on some rides, etc, can't wait! But I did want to mention DH wants to take me to a romantic dinner, just the 2 of us. So we will meet back up after that" You can use that excuse for dinner, lunch, breakfast. Just let her know ahead of time you guys might split up for a bit. Are the other friends that are going on this trip friends with her too? What do they think or have you not told them about all of this yet with the childcare?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:13 AM   #17
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It seems to me that you have two different issues going on. One is that you and she have different ideas of what traveling together means. When I invite someone to travel with me, I assume that we will end up doing most things together. When I make dining reservations and plan out our activities, I choose things that everyone will enjoy and take everyone's preferences into account. We might not spend every moment together, because of course everyone is free to decide they don't feel like doing whatever everyone else is doing, but the assumption is that everyone will be welcome to participate in everything. Your style of vacationing together seems more like what my family does when we just happen to be there at the same time as someone else that we know. We might make plans to meet up and spend a little time together, but no one assumes we will be doing everything together. It sounds to me like your friend is more used to my idea of traveling together, and if so then subtlety is not likely to work. She might think you are just letting her know she does not need to feel obligated to do everything you plan to do if she doesn't want to, rather than realizing you really mean you don't want to include her in everything.

Neither idea is wrong, but they are very different and it can cause confusion - and resentment - if everyone isn't on the same page about what kind of trip it's going to be. This is probably something that should have been addressed when you first started planning the trip, but you each probably just assumed that the other felt the same way about how traveling together would work. Now that you know she expects something different, don't beat around the bush. Just tell her what your expectations are.

The other issue is that she expects you to watch her child. That isn't acceptable, obviously. Again, though, I think the best thing is for you to be very clear with her about what you expect. If you are willing to do a child swap with her so she can ride the rides then tell her that. If that's the only time you are willing to watch her child, make sure she knows that. And then stick to it, since she sounds like she might be planning to try to foist the child off on you more that you want her to.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledisneyprncess
We went on vacation with my husband's family several years ago- it was a nightmare in the sole fact alone that "Everyone's idea of vacation is something different". In theory it's a great idea to go on vacay with fam or friends but often times it becomes a nightmare. We never set boundaries with my DH's family and when we didn't want to go to the beach at their designated time, they got pissy. We liked to do things on our time.

I think being blunt to your friend might make you two get into a fight. How about you start off the conversation by breaking the ice and saying something nice like "I'm soo excited to take your son on some rides, etc, can't wait! But I did want to mention DH wants to take me to a romantic dinner, just the 2 of us. So we will meet back up after that" You can use that excuse for dinner, lunch, breakfast. Just let her know ahead of time you guys might split up for a bit. Are the other friends that are going on this trip friends with her too? What do they think or have you not told them about all of this yet with the childcare?
I like this plan. I see nothing but hurt feelings from most of the other advice.

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Old 01-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #19
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I'm not sure what you can do at this point. You invited her and her child along, and that changed the dynamics of the trip right there. Touring Disney with kids is a whole different ball game than going with just your DH. They're going to be hungry, tired, bored, overwhelmed, etc. at times that aren't convenient. And no matter how well behaved a kid is IRL, Disney tends to bring out their dark side (my 2yo's one and only toddler tantrum took place at EPCOT). Is this the only child going? If so, I think the group needs to adjust their expectations.

I've toured WDW twice with a friend where I brought along my child. I assumed primary responsibility, and TBH, there were times I was totally overwhelmed not having DH there to give me a break. Her child is older (mine were toddlers), so it may not be as much of an issue. But mom still will need a break if you want her to be happy.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:19 AM   #20
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Maybe what you view as demanding she is just trying to get reassurance? Traveling without her husband with a child who is described as a handful is stressful. WDW is a lot of money to spend and not enjoy the vacation.

My family vacations differently, when we go as a family or friends, we do plan to spend the entire time together (with maybe splitting up into different groups based on interest level, but then coming back together afterwards). If someone gets tired, it is okay for them go back to the room. Or if someone really wants to do something no one else wants to, it's okay for them to break way. But overall we do not ever feel that someone being there is a burden.

If you really want her to come, then you should be willing to lend a hand knowing she will need a bit of a stress break. It sounds like you plan to lend a hand regardless and she wants confirmation. She hasn't stated for you to take her son while she goes off and does different activities has she? (other than maybe parent swap rides.)

She is being honest and up-front but it seems you are not. If you plan on going most of the day not being around her, then she needs to know so she can plan activities age appropriate for her son during that time. I am not one to hide my plans. I would give full disclosure that you are doing XX activity that may not be age appropriate for her son so perhaps she may like to plan something special for him during that time frame. If you are doing something that is age appropriate, then there should be no issue with them also being there.

I think maybe all the moms getting together for coffee and a WDW itinerary discussion and comparison. Announce it in advance that everyone should bring a copy of their itinerary as that will be the topic. In a group she may see that other families have separate a itinerary and get a clue for her to do her own planning with meeting up with everyone at certain times and locations. If she doesn't like the idea, maybe she will back out. The pretense of the coffee meeting will just be to plan the meet-up times, locations, and have a fun conversation about the trip.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:22 PM   #21
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Personally, I think that you set yourself up for this. You invited someone who tends to ask her friends to "help" with childcare of her 5-year old child to a WDW trip with Deluxe Dining. That was a mistake. I think it's terribly rude for you to now exclude her and her son from your plans.
ITA! Honestly, I'm not sure why you invited her in the first place...did you think that she wasn't going to bring her son? Did you think that her DH was going to come with her? I guess I'm just confused. I don't know why you would invite her to what sounds like a "couple's" vacation plans for you guys. It sounds like she's the only one bringing a child? And, the only one not bring her DH? I'm assuming everyone else is coming as a couple? If this is the case, then the whole situation is just going to be odd. I mean it sounds like the couples are going to want their own alone time, which is fine, except for the fact that what did you expect to happen when you invited someone that wasn't bringing their SO?

I think to tell her that she and her son can't dine with the rest of you is really rude, tacky and just weird. Of course she would want to dine with everyone else...why would she want to be the only adult not included??? The whole situation is just weird, and I'd think more and look at situations more closely in the future before inviting ppl. places.


The her expecting you to take care of her son thing...yes you need to just be blunt and let her know that you have no intention on being a caretaker for her son or babysitting him on your vacation. Again, I feel like you've set yourself up on this one and that your comments to her and lack of comments to her has lead her to believe this whole vacation is something that you don't want it to be. You need to speak with her now before you go and be blunt. Honestly, she probably will be a little hurt or upset with you, because it sounds like you've let her believe that you were fine with things being one way, when you're really not. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's any reason that you should ever be expected to take care of someone elses kid etc., and your friend does sound a little needy when it comes to taking care of her kid, but you seem to have known this, invited her anyways and then still didn't tell her your honest opinion when she bluntly said something to you about it specifically regarding the trip.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #22
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I feel like I am missing something... I truly don't mean any disrespect towards anyone either.. but what big stress is there with one kid!? an infant I would understand, but a child who is 5 handful or not, she is only dealing with one.. she doesn't have any other kids there distracting her attention away from him.

if she is concerend about adult dinners or something, then you all are in the same boat with childcare yes? and if she is worried about being able to ride rides, that he can't or won't that doesnt' seem like a big deal to watch him while she does that etc..

just not getting the big stress for her and her demand for you to watch her child? If she is use to always having her husband around , I could see alittle stress there with traveling etc. but maybe she should be thinking about how much FUN she will have with just her and her son being able to do anything they want TOGETHER

Did I miss that she is the only one bringing a child?? then that does change the entire dynamics of the group and trip... I thought everyone involved had children going?
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #23
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I feel like I am missing something... I truly don't mean any disrespect towards anyone either.. but what big stress is there with one kid!? an infant I would understand, but a child who is 5 handful or not, she is only dealing with one.. she doesn't have any other kids there distracting her attention away from him.

if she is concerend about adult dinners or something, then you all are in the same boat with childcare yes? and if she is worried about being able to ride rides, that he can't or won't that doesnt' seem like a big deal to watch him while she does that etc..

just not getting the big stress for her and her demand for you to watch her child? If she is use to always having her husband around , I could see alittle stress there with traveling etc. but maybe she should be thinking about how much FUN she will have with just her and her son being able to do anything they want TOGETHER

Did I miss that she is the only one bringing a child?? then that does change the entire dynamics of the group and trip... I thought everyone involved had children going?
Every kid is different. I know a couple kids I would rather have 8 kids to watch than that one. It sounds as if he is a high-needs kid that perhaps has to be watched like a hawk or demands constant attention. Some kids are easier than others.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:05 PM   #24
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You say that your husband along with some other people are dreading the trip because "they know her"...in my opinion, this statement here shows that this trip is already doomed. Obviously there is tension in the group already, so I really don't understand how you expect for everyone to go on this trip and be fine with everything. You know your friend better than we do. You state that she's a great mom but her ds is a handful and you along with a few others are concerned about traveling with them. To me, this sounds as if there is going to be some exclusion going on simply because not everyone is comfortable with the situation and to me, that isn't fair and it is a bit rude.

I think that when you invited your friend along, she just assumed that it was a group trip and that you would be spending most of your time together. People travel together differently. Some expect their own personal space and time while other people tend to do things mostly together. There is nothing wrong with either, but when people aren't on the same page, that is when you run into problems. It sounds as if everyone that is going on the trip will have their own little family dynamic, so that makes splitting up for them easier. Since your friends dh isn't coming, I'm assuming that this is why she would rather do things mostly with you. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way implying that you should be a "babysitter", I just think that for the most part, she just wants to feel like a part of a group.

I'm not sure if you mentioned whether or not there would be other children along for the trip or not, but if some of the others are bringing children, why not suggest that she do some character meals with them as a group? If there are other couples with kids in the dynamic, then obviously they will be doing similar "kid things", so I don't see why they can't meet up a bit so that it doesn't seem as if she's alone with her ds when she's not with the whole group. However, if there isn't other children going, then I think like the other's here have stated that you did set yourself up for this.

I like time on a vacation with my little family if we travel in a group and I do think that time alone together is important. However, to me it sounds like your friend is going to be excluded more than she is going to be included, so there really is no way to go about this without hurting some feelings.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #25
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I had to chuckle a little while reading this thread. I love the idea of a group vacation. But, I am the type of person who would like to spend the majority of time on my own and only meet up a small percentage of the trip. I am married with two kids and thinking of that type of trip without my hubbie would make me not go! Not choosing which one, the idea of me and one of the boys sounds kind of exciting. We could do whatever we want and not worry about making everyone happy...I would maybe like a small break at some point but by no means would pass my kid (either of them) off on anyone else.

I agree that you need to address this before the trip. Since subtle hints don't work, you will need to be more direct. I like the idea of everyone getting together for coffee and trip talk. That kind of sounds less threatening than just blurting things out.
Again, our family likes to do our own thing, on our own time. Our idea of a family trip might be one meal together each day and maybe an hour or two of togetherness if everyones schedules matched.

Good luck and let us know what happens1
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:58 PM   #26
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I agree that a deluxe plan is too much for her and the 5 year old. Tell her " we are doing A B and C on Tuesday, which meal would you like to come to?"
Keep in mind, at buffets, she will need help. If she wants to ride T of T, she will need your help.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #27
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It seems your friend only said "Your going to help me with childcare, right?". What exactly does that mean, what it means to you, may not be what it means to her. Meaning you may think she actually expects you to watch her kid the entire time, when it really may mean, can you wait here with him or do child swap, so I can ride the ride.

Get what her expectations are, then tell her yours. I have 5 kids, all boys, I have 1 that I would never leave to anyone to watch, he is just into everything, can not turn your back for a second on him (he is 6). But, I have also travel to theme parks (Six Flags) with all 5 of mine, alone, just me, many time during the summer months. She should not need any help with childcare, other then switching off for a ride.

This is your vacation, as well as her vacation, I would think she would want some one on one time with her only child, what a priceless thing, she should take of advantage of it!

Good luck, I hope you are able to clarify everyone's expectations.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:40 PM   #28
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Hello OP here.

Thank you all for your feedback. I think I am feeling a little better about addressing the situation. I love the idea of having coffee (or Tea!) to talk itineraries or or getting together to set some rules for how we hope the trip will work out. I also think instead of bluntly saying something I might be better off just stating what I am willing to do like another poster said in conversation when it comes up in conversation, like I know we will have fun baby swaping so we all get to ride everything or something to that effect. If it still seems that she is demanding from me I will address that issue right away. When she said it before I was taken aback and stumbled on what to say. I know the words seem innocent enough but the tone and attitude they were presented with are really what raised issues.

There seems to be some confusions so I thought I would clarify a few things. First when we started planning the trip a few years ago we didn't realize the issues so she was invited before we knew them. We know them now but I wouldn't uninvite her and I am sure we are going to have fun I just wanted some advice on how to handle things now so on the trip we could focus on the good stuff.

There is for sure one other child coming, and possibly 4 more so he will not be the only one. It is not a couples trip at all. Most the people going have kids. We are aware that the pacing will be different and that is fine. My husband and I are staying a few days longer then our friends so we can get our couple time in then.

The little boy is a handful but he is a cute kid and we love him, I don't want to paint the picture that he is a complete monster. He is mostly just all boy all the time and can have listening and boundary issues sometimes. I think she gets overwhelmed with him easy and perhaps that is why she is looking for childcare where the others are not? Like I said we planned on offering a hand while we are there with ride swaps, or potty breaks and helping keep an eye out for him (and the other kids) in a busy place. But as long as these task are happening with his mother and not in place of her. I don't think it should be demanded of us that we help her with childcare and I think I need a better definition of her terms on that.

We do plan on doing most things together. I figured we would end spending 90% of our time with each other. I am looking forward to making plans of things for us all to do together. The concern is that I want to make sure we can separate if needed for a little while, an hour here or there. I don't want to feel we have to wait for them in the morning cause they like to sleep in and we like rope drop. Or that we have to head back to the hotel when they are tired, or that they feel like they have to keep going instead of going back. I figured we might separate for a bit if we wanted to do different things, or even if we just need a little space. I am talking an hour or so apart a day or maybe a dinner one or two nights.

I have not intention of hiding my plans from her cause I think that is mean and I don't want to exclude her. I was just concerned the deluxe plan would be too much for a 5 yr old, well this 5 yr old anyhow. I am happy to have her along on the signatures and him too, however I don't think we should have to cancel if he just can't make it. That is a place where I think the ability to separate is important they can do something else and we can continue to dinner.

Do you think it would be helpful to sit down and go over our dining plan? We can talk about the meals that would be great to do together like O'hana, Crystal Palace etc and then maybe suggest that she tuck him in the one of the kids play places so she can join us for a grown up dinner the nights we are doing signatures? Or make some suggestions of meals they may enjoy together like Chef Mickey that are not on our list?

So we do plan on spending most of our time together, we just want to be able to separate for a bit if needed here and there. And the issues that popping started becoming apparent after we asked her along. I hope this clears things up a little.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:55 PM   #29
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So I have a 5 year old and he can also be a handful sometimes but when we were at disney last year he was totally great. Did everything I asked of him and really had no issues...it was also great having the dining plan cause when he wanted a mickey bar or cupcake I had no problems saying yes. But I really dont think I would ever do Delexue dining if I was just going with him. But if I did have it then I would surely be doing every charachter meal that there is...and I am assuming that you and hubby probably wont be doing that and that you are probably doing a number of sig. meals...now I wont mind taking my son to one or 2 sig. places but pretty certain we wont do more then 2...but I would do BOG and the castle meal ..,.

Have you guys picked your dining yet...I would show her your list but then make suggestions for other options...are the other familes doing deleuxe too?
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:16 PM   #30
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I would be very up front with her and tell her to remember that your time will be divided between your husband and the others in the group. This will will limit how much help you can give to her and that she needs to consider that. I would offer her the information on kids clubs etc and just tell her that due to his age, there will definitely be activities that will not interest him and that she can plan to go to something else during those times.

I would definitely plan the sit down meals separately. Its a good time to just relax on your own.

Just because she is being demanding and willing to shuffle her kid off to others, doesnt mean you have to do it. I think its wrong of her to expect it. I understand helping so she could go on a ride that a 5 yr old cant, but I would not be stepping in for the 'Im too tired to deal with him' type of situation.

Best of luck to you! Good boundries, right from the start, should make for a good trip.
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