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Is it disrespectful to stay at a hotel when visiting parents?

oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,172 Senior Member
edited November 2010 in Parent Cafe
I lived in the same town with my parents for 15+ years. Whenever my siblings came home with their family for the holidays, they always stayed with my parents (not with me). We have recently moved outside of the country, and we will be going back for Christmas, and so will my siblings. My parents have a large house, but it would be 15 of us in the house, all of our kids are young adults now. I would much prefer to stay at a nearby hotel, so I could have some privacy (bathroom). My parents are not happy about us not staying with them (5 days).

How would you feel if your grown children with their family prefer to stay at a hotel when visiting you?
Post edited by oldfort on

Replies to: Is it disrespectful to stay at a hotel when visiting parents?

  • fendergirlfendergirl Registered User Posts: 4,694 Senior Member
    oldfort, My best friend and her hubby and 2 kids and dog stay at my house when they come to visit her parents. Her parents live about 30 minutes from me and have one small spare room (my friends room when she was a kid). They don't always see eye to eye on things, and she feels more comfortable with her family of 5 including the dog sleeping over at my house then shoving them all into one small guest room at her parents. We usually put her 2 year old in with me or in the living room and her and her hubby and baby take my guest room. She said they also seem to get along better when they visit for short periods rather then spending every waking hour there. i have never asked her mom how she feels about this but she seems to be okay with it. Usually her mom invites me to dinner with the family when they visit, so i dont think she holds any ill feelings. That she's vocalized to me anyway. Actually that reminds me, my friend and her kids are supposedly spending the night tomorrow. I better call her to make sure they are still coming, haha!
  • canamercanamer Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    I personally would have no problem with it. The first time we proposed it with my in-laws, my MIL was upset at the thought, however, after the fact, I think she was really quite happy with the arrangement. She saw the kids as much as she would have if we had stayed with her (the boys knew the best food was at her house and they were pretty much ruled by their stomachs), but it gave everyone a little more room to breathe and reduced the stress level overall. After the first time, it just became the routine.
  • PackMomPackMom Registered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    If all four of us go to MIL's house for Christmas, staying in a hotel has become routine. MIL protested the first yr. but doesn't anymore. Her house is very small w/ two tiny spare bedrooms.
    Since our S's are now almost 21 and 24 years old, they can hardly be expected to share a small double bed. Last yr. DH and I stayed at her house (because we had to bring the dog along) and our S's went to the hotel for the night.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Registered User Posts: 13,330 Senior Member
    My MIL was truly hurt when any of her 5 boys' families stayed elsewhere. Four of them traveled from out-of-town, for decades.
    She was the ultimate matriarch.

    After a while, we learned that she really wanted unobstructed sleepover time with her school-aged and young adult grandchildren, not us. She loved their tousled heads in the mornings.

    The acceptable compromise was to leave the grandkids in her house, and stay as a couple at a motel. But we only got away with that when there were so many other brothers in town that we couldn't all cram in together.

    If we were the only brother-family visiting, no way could we stay in a hotel. Nope. We slept on the 50-year-old single beds whose springs were last sprung when all were adolescents. Everyone woke up holding their back...

    But when several brothers' families came in all at the same time, some of us did go to motels (just the parent couple). Grandma had a ball with the grandkids, and some of us parent types got a romantic night off. We all showed up for every meal at "the big house," or she would have been bereft. And once in the week, we'd take her out to dinner, which was not her fancy except on these special occasions.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,711 Senior Member
    We got to where we would stay at a hotel the last few years of visiting my in laws. mainly because I would get very stressed with various things (like arriving after a 6 hour drive and having no bed to sleep on because they were all covered in junk, and 2 unhouse trained dogs than pooped an peed all over the place). I'm not sure they were too happy with it at first, but I was certainly a lot less b*tchy when I could get some sleep and get away from the doggy doodoo smells for a while.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,114 Senior Member
    DH's family has six kids, all married, most with at least two kids...some with dogs. We stopped staying with them about 15 years ago. It was too many people and too much chaos...and really no privacy. DH is the eldest of his siblings and we made the decision to stay at the nearby Holiday Inn. Boy did we ever draw flack!! BUT son of a gun...two of the sibs and their families followed us there! We've never looked back. Yes, the inlaws were a little miffed, but really, we got up, showered (without having to wait for 20 others to get out of the bathrooms), had a cup of coffee and were at their house before breakfast. We stayed until everyone was getting ready to go to bed...and then went back to our hotel where we lounged in the lobby with cookies (prepared by the hotel), and then relaxed in our nice quiet room (oh...with the heat set at a temperature WE liked).

    It's hard to make this break but once you do it the first time, it will be fine for the future.

    P.S. I would not have left my kids at my inlaws...it was stressful for the kids too...inlaws lacked the patience to deal with that many young children...or teens.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Registered User Posts: 13,330 Senior Member
    ^yes, it could be stressful for kids and teens unless the matriarch is, by personality, ridiculously relaxed and accepting, which she was. I can surely see how a rigid or difficult grandparent could spoil a kid's vacation. We were just lucky. OK, she did make one huge negative comment to us, per child per visit, just so we'd know she was watching, but we learned to discount it and go our merry way. And she didn't lay it on the children themselves. She was a gem.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,445 Senior Member
    It seems to make sense to use a hotel expansion to decrease stress and increase privacy. Sometime problems arise when that is the right solution, but budgets prevent it. It's too bad there are situations where pride/control is the issue.
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate Registered User Posts: 5,888 Senior Member
    How would you feel if your grown children with their family prefer to stay at a hotel when visiting you?

    I hope they will stay with us but I understand if they want more privacy than that will allow. Why make someone uncomfortable during their vacation? It doesn't make sense to me.

    I wish we'd thought of the "leave grandson at grandparents, get hotel for parents" idea! A mini-vacation within a family vacation sounds very nice.
  • frazzled1frazzled1 Registered User Posts: 5,582 Senior Member
    How would you feel if your grown children with their family prefer to stay at a hotel when visiting you?
    I wouldn't want it any other way. Well, that's easy for me to say right now, since there are no grandchildren yet and all of my kids still stay comfortably in the house they grew up in - and we can even fit in a boyfriend or two. But I fully expect that's how we'll wind up, and I've made my peace with it early. We struggled too long and too unhappily with squeezing everyone under one roof to please Grandma, and I'll never never never do that to my kids.

    I actually put a thread up about this 3 years ago and I got so much help and support that I held firm when my MIL was very unpleasant about the idea of a hotel. She was MAD for a year (and few people do mad as well as she does) but has finally accepted it. The result is that I'm a good deal less reluctant to visit them, or have them visit here, now that I know I'll have privacy, quiet, and time away from the family drama when I need it.

    I say go for it, oldfort! No apologies, explanations, or guilt necessary, imho. I shudder to think about the days when I tried to make everyone else happy at the expense of being completely miserable myself - things are so much better now. :)
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,172 Senior Member
    I don't really mind my parents, and I just visited them recently. It's my siblings that drive me crazy. When we are under the same roof, even though all of us are close to 50, we act like we are 10 again.

    I just reserved 2 rooms(one for our kids and one for us) at a hotel 5 miles away. They are not fancy, but clean with private bathrooms and TVs.
  • IzzieIzzie Registered User Posts: 426 Member
    The best thing about living four blocks away from my in-laws (besides all the free babysitting they used to do) is that they never stay with us and we never stay with them! My mother who lives four hours away from us would never stand for us staying in a hotel so we only go for two nights maximum. No idea how I'd feel about my kids doing that, they're not there yet. I'd love it if they ended up back here to live, then we'd get a smaller house and have holidays at their house :)
  • notrichenoughnotrichenough Registered User Posts: 8,136 Senior Member
    We are at the point where sleeping on anything smaller than a queen size bed for the two of us is just an uncomfortable experience, and doesn't give us a good night's sleep. Too many years on the king-size at home, I guess.

    Those 30 year old worn out mattresses with sagging springs? Right out. And that nasty sleeper sofa with the metal bar across the middle? Even more out. It's a hotel for us.
  • NovelistoNovelisto Registered User Posts: 2,955 Senior Member
    Hotel all the way....after the last time we visited a relative. They gave us their now-married daughter's childhood bed...which was a full, the only half-decent thing about it. The 'dip' in the middle was so deep we called it the 'valley of death' and we tried to sleep clinging like a mountaineer to the edge. The pillows were about a quarter-inch thick when doubled. The heat was either blowing a simoon or utterly off, letting the drafts in from window and doors. Honestly, a hundred bucks for a hotel room would have been cheaper just from a mental health standpoint, esp. as we had a six hour drive the next day.

    And we never stay with grandma. Her mattresses still have the rattlely plastic on them from when she bought them decades ago and I honestly don't think she changes the sheets between visitors as they smell musty and 'human'. With a hotel, you can change rooms, complain, or enjoy a short stint on the toilet without six people rattling the doorknob to find out if 'you are done yet'.

    My problem is getting people to go to the hotel...I even offer to pay. It was all right when we had a little guest house in back but now...I really hate talking in the morning until I've read the paper and sipped a tea but everyone I know seems to turn into Chatty Cathy at first light. I try to be cheerful and social but after a couple of days, it's really kind of agony. This is one of the unmentioned hazards when you move to the beach.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,618 Senior Member
    Good for you oldfort! There is no disrespect issue at all. Sounds good for your H to have a place to decompress from being with his inlaws as well. The tradeoff in not being there for every small moment is in not disturbing others with being the one watching late night TV, taking showers...

    I like the thought of grandparents "babysitting " the grandkids overnight while the parents get a reprieve. I remember plenty of day visits to relatives as a kid that were boring- now when we stay at inlaws people bring books et al and do their own thing more than half the time. Extended family time is overrated. When our college son comes home he does not try to spend his waking hours with us, why would we choose to spend them with siblings we don't share many interests with? I know I do a lot better talking to my father on the phone than in person- most of the time we make the hometown/collegetown trip without stopping to see him.

    If you wanted to continue to live with each other none of you would have left home.

    It is actually a lot less work for the host to not have all of the bedding and towels to deal with- making/unmaking beds, doing the laundry... Consider that your treat and if your mother objects tell her you would rather spend the time socially than feeling guilty about the added unneeded work- you can't be expected to travel so far and also do the housework as well, btw. I'm sure the decreased stress levels will be noticed- I'll bet others may find a way to hotel it in the future (unless you're the "odd man out", in which case the separation will be welcomed by all parties).
This discussion has been closed.