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Had To Vent!! (india Trip)

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by randomvalue, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. randomvalue

    randomvalue New IL'ite

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    Last week, after a lot of searching, we booked our trip during the upcoming Christmas break. My 13-year old son has to take a few days off at school and we are taking 30+ hour journeys all so that we can visit our parents. It is a 3-week trip and that is pretty much what we can do considering both me and my husband work.

    So what's the problem?

    When I called up my parents and in-laws to tell them about the trip, both had flat responses when we said it was a 3-week trip. I think they expected us to stay longer. I am a bit miffed because we are literally jumping through hoops to be there (e.g. driving 3 hours, taking 4 flights etc because it is a peak time and it is hard to find tickets). I expected more enthusiasm from their side instead of an "Uh ok". I know they love us a lot and want us to stay more but hate it when they are not realistic.

    I am very upset and curious to know if you face similar situations when you plan India trips. How would (or do) you handle this?
     
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  2. Sandycandy

    Sandycandy IL Hall of Fame

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    I assume your parents and inlaws are getting old or already senior citizens like mine. At this point India trips are not about “me” anymore, it’s about spending time with “them” and taking care of things to make their life comfortable.
     
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  3. Dishaa

    Dishaa Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Op,

    Don't feel bad about your ageing parents (both sides). Enjoy your journey and spend some quality time with them. Let go off these small things.
     
    zeppelingirl likes this.
  4. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    randomvalue, perhaps next time you could involve them in the dates before you plan, book tickets etc? I mean, you didnt even give them any notice, you just picked up the phone and "told" them the dates. Maybe they already had plans during that time?

    I get the disappointment though, dont get me wrong. Its just possible that they were miffed to be simply told about your plans without making sure they are ok with it.
     
  5. MNR

    MNR Gold IL'ite

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    Are you travelling on their insistence or for your vacation ?You are counting your travel hours even when you are exited (as if your sacrificing) to visit India. Imagine they have to host you for 3 weeks . Their excitement depends on the work load you give to them during the stay.

    for me any guests more than a week is a burden , if they do not like to share a work load. So I always give this "ah ok" reaction to these NRIs.
     
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  6. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    After having lived abroad for more than 20 years I have realized that everyone has long moved on and is occupied with their own lives. My brother is busy with his own young family, my parents are retired and have a hectic social life and this is all as it should be. No one drops whatever they are doing to anxiously wait at the airport like they did when I was a college student returning for vacations LOL! And I always ask before planning travel dates. My parents also have less energy to physically run around like we used to in the younger days, and I am mindful that it is more work and a disruption in routine for everyone.
    Just focus on enjoying your time with your family once you get there. Don't get hung up on their reactions.
     
  7. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    India trips take so much effort, cost, prep time and vacation days that it can be natural to expect or want that all go well, including reactions from people in India. We agonize over the details, check and double check passport, visas, make and remake shopping lists, start visualizing the suitcases and the packing (for some of us at least), we think about the airport, the landing at the house .. too much anticipation, expectation ...

    It is hard to do so, but attempt to keep it casual. Focus on the essentials: you have the ability, money, time to travel. You have family in India to meet. That is priceless. Savor and value every moment and bit of it while it lasts. There will be moments like your phone call when you get an "oh ok.." reaction, but, shrug that off. Just go, meet them, spend time. Your 13 year old spending time with your families in India -- forget everything else, the 30 hours, the 4 flights, the days he takes off from school.. forget everything, simply behold and enjoy that scene.

    On a more nitty-gritty and less 'pravachana' sermon note: when NRI's visit, it does create quite a bit of work for the folks in India. After all that, if you are going to stay only few days, at their age, they do feel what they feel and simply say it on the phone. They want to spend more time, they know it will be rush rush, and they express their upcoming disappointment in advance. Let it be.

    How did I handle it? We also always went for 3 weeks, travel time included, and minimum of 3 far apart cities to visit in India, and for a few years, cities with no international flights. In the weeks leading to the vacation, each family or relative used to say, "you should definitely spend a weekend/Sunday with us." We sometimes had 2 Sundays in India.. : ) I learnt to say "ok... wish we could... " accompanied with genuine regret and avoided mentioning the obvious things like travel time, school vacations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  8. maddysweet

    maddysweet Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Op,

    Be happy and enjoy your trip. Not specific to you but i think
    First of all , why we only plan to go 3 weeks once in a year or 2 yrs or some people dont go India for 4-5 etc years. who created the concept of visiting just 2-3 weeks to India. Based on vacation but american companies kept that keeping in mind their lifestyle. For people like us we need definitely 6 weeks per year vacation. The Indian people settled prior to us in USA have created this and rest of us are following.
    If you are someone who came US recently struggling with consulting jobs etc then thats fine. Its been just couple of years you left India. so parents understand, jobs settlement and they are not that longing to spend time.

    But for people who has been abroad for more than 6-7 yrs / decade, have greencard or citizenship, a good job 3 weeks is so less. last time you visited may be 2 yrs ago same 3 weeks rush rush.
    Imagine over the years the things you have missed. The elders have become more old, the kids of our cousins are grown up. Things change a lot. But we just go rush rush, hello bye and come back.

    Practically, It will take at least 2-3 days with Jetlag to go. and you need to get things or arrange your room etc 1 week to settle down.
    Prior to coming you have to do packing etc. so hardly 10 days. if you get any sick or anything how will you handle.

    Coming to your question
    yes i have seen my parents many times complained of we coming for short visits and i completely agree they are right. It was so rush rush that i cant visit anyone place, i recollect my previous trips when my dad was alive, i hardly spent any time with him in that 2-3 weeks in the rush rush. I feel so bad for not going frequently to India. My dad did came, but spending time with parents in our house doing their regular activities, seeing their life is diff.

    I have also seen many of my uncles aunts telling their kids dont come for 2-3 weeks. come India if it is for atleast 1 month.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  9. randomvalue

    randomvalue New IL'ite

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    Thank you to everyone who gave me advice here!

    One thing to note is that our parents force us all the time to visit them (in fact, they even say things like you guys should stop taking vacations, save up all your leave and come to India) so the "Uh ok" reaction is not due to a fear of extra work etc. It is more like - You can only spend 3 weeks? Then you might as well not come. Anyway, like you all said, I have to come to peace with that. Can't change it.

    Now I have a new issue......

    As you all know, India trips bring up the much dreaded "How many days in your house vs mine" conversation. My husband always wants me to split time equally between both homes. His logic is that my son needs equal time with both grandparents. Which is fine. But it does seem a bit unfair since my husband gets to stay many more days in his home (he only stays for 2-3 days in mine). I have come to terms with that too.

    Then what is the issue?

    He is now making us count hours vs. days!!!! He thinks the time should be split in a very precise manner otherwise I will manipulate things to try and stay extra in my parents' home. My head is spinning even thinking about this level of obsession with this. Also, my logic is - When I get only 9 days with my parents and you get 16 then what if I spend an extra evening in my parents' home?

    All very immature stuff, I know! But I am going into depression because of the unfairness of it all. I almost feel like we are unlucky to be women and my parents are unlucky to have a daughter.

    Anything you all can say to make me feel better will be helpful!!! I am really banking on you all supporting me through this phase. How do you all deal with this situation?
     
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  10. ashneys

    ashneys Platinum IL'ite

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    Have read many stories from our Indus ladies itself saying that the husband's demands to stay for more time at his parents house n jus a few days at theirs. So your hubby insisting on equal time is a fair thing.

    If your problem is about 'him' staying for more days in his house than 'you' in yours, then you can do the same thing and stay for more days.

    Meeting mid way: tell your hubby to not put the timeline on 'you' as it doesn't apply for 'him' either. But it can apply for the kids, agree on a date n time n send your son on the half time mark. And you go after a few extra days. Since the demand is about the grandparents-grandkids time, splitting it 50-50 is the right way.

    He may also be under pressure from his parents n relatives, the obsession could come from that. Also when one is on a schedule they may get specific about the timeline. N knowing you may extend an extra day, is just making him put even more pressure. His side may start demanding n complain about them losing time with their grandkids, so an extra evening may get him an earful. There's always two sides to a story, right ? So trying for a mid way solution can help both the sides and save you both from all the stress.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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