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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 7:40 pm
I have a very good friend (married with a few kids) who lives about a 4 hour drive from where we live. I haven’t seen her in awhile (over 5 years) and she’s been trying to get me to come for a Shabbos with my family (DH and 2 kids). My husband and I already figured out taking off from work on a specific Friday so that we can go for that Shabbos. My husband has been trying to persuade my otherwise... he’s telling me it’s going to be very difficult with the kids in the car and “do I know what I’m in for” and “you are not thinking of how cranky the kids will be in the car for those hours since all you are thinking about is going to see your friend.” Another issue is that my 5 year old does not like being around other kids that he doesn’t know. Even if he knows them, he needs to be comfortable with them, which he definitely won’t be since he never met these kids before. My DH is telling me that because I’m only think about seeing my friend and the excitement of going, I’m not thinking about how hard the whole trip would be. It’s not that DH doesn’t want me to go and see my friend but more like he wants me to understand how difficult it’ll be, esp with my 5 year old. Do I go or stay home??? Besides for our immediate family (parents/ in laws), we don’t really go to other people homes for Shabbos so it’s not like I do this often!
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 7:44 pm
I suspect that dh has some personal reasons for feeling apprehensive about this trip. Can you try to figure out what they are? Plenty of people make 4-hour drives with their kids. You prepare for it and it's not the biggest deal. Your five year old will need to be prepared beforehand, and come up with a plan together to make him comfortable. But what's really bothering dh about this? Why is he so desperate for you to realize it will be challenging?
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 7:52 pm
I can see why your dh is apprehensive. I imagine you've never traveled this long with the kids. Reassure him that you'll prepare for it: take along things for DC to do in the car, plenty snacks and plan to stop for a picnic on the way. Until Shabbos tell DC what wonderful kids he'll get to meet and how much you're looking forward to going. Maybe take him shopping for a special gift that he can give the other kids. I think once your dh sees ds is okay he'll be much more for it.
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:00 pm
I think you should go. Don't you want to? Tell DH it's important to you and the both of you make it work.
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Rubber Ducky


Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:05 pm
Well, the trip really could be difficult. You can minimize the risk by being proactive. Buy a few travel games, music CDs (do people use CDs anymore? Smile ), songs for the road, lots of snacks... and enjoy every moment! On the way, maybe you can find an activity to break up the long drive.
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:18 pm
I think you should go. It can end up
Being really nice. Prepare your son well
Before the trip. Stock up
On entertainment for the car ride...

Last edited by flowerpower on Wed, May 08 2019, 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:19 pm
Try it. It won’t be easy.
In worst case you won’t do it again.
Best case you’ll love it Smile
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:35 pm
Op here. Thank you all for the suggestions! Will definitely take entertainment for the car ride and hoping the car ride back would be at a time the kids are sleeping. DH is not against me going per say; he definitely wants me to go and see my friend but I think these kinds of trips make him apprehensive so he’s just been throwing out there why it would be stressful.
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:45 pm
As far as your child not knowing the other children, try to do video chats beforehand so the kids can "get to know each other".
You can also try to go first on a Sunday, rather than shabbos when you can leave after a few hours in case of trouble (rather than being stuck for 25 hours no matter what).
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:48 pm
forget about the kids but your husband doesnt sound all that interested to shlep out and drive for this. but if its impt for u then he should and u make it up to him in some other way
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 8:51 pm
I think it is a difficult trip. But the difficulty is worthwhile to see friends once in a while. If it ends up being too hard, you can just wait another 5 years before doing it again. Smile
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 10:14 pm
Plan a nice stopping point midway through the trip. Let the kids get out and expend some energy so they won't be pent up fr 4 hours straight.
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Post Wed, May 08 2019, 11:20 pm
We used to travel 3-4 hours to visit cousins. We stopped at every single rest area for a snack, restroom and to run around.
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Post Thu, May 09 2019, 1:01 am
I don't know, but I don't think you are taking your Dh enough into consideration . Skip his worry about the long road trip (which you got a lot of good ideas for) what is he going to do all of Friday and Shabbos when you shmooz non-stop? Does he know her husband? Is it going to be comfortable for him?
And what about that 5 yr. old, how are you going to enjoy yourself if he's going to cling to your all Shabbos? (or sit on Dh's lap all day - 2 lonely souls...)
4 hours isn't so far - why don't you have DH make it up to you by watching the kids one Sunday or legal holiday, etc. and you can drive over and spend the WHOLE day with your friend? or maybe meet half way and only have to drive 2 hours each? I think that's a much better idea. Win- Win you'll enjoy yourself calmly without any of DH's concerns being sidelined. I think marriage should always be a priority, it will make YOU happy.
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Post Thu, May 09 2019, 3:38 am
Below assumes a basically healthy marriage. If there are larger issues, please disregard.

In general, the way things work in a marriage is, if there's added stress, each partner takes one side of an issue. The greater the stress and the greater the underlying issues, the more firmly each side can get entrenched. So, it probably wouldn't help if a DH says, "the kids are going to be difficult, and everyone's going to be uncomfortable except you", to respond with"no they won't, stop being so negative" or to ignore.

A good way to change the dynamic is to acknowledge the other person's point of view, so they feel heard, and then ask them to acknowledge yours.

In this case, it might sound like: "I really hear you about your concerns about the long car ride and the kids, both on the drive and over Shabbos. This is an experiment, and if it doesn't go well, I won't be inclined to repeat it so quickly. Can we brainstorm potential problems and ideas of what we can do about them?"

Include in the brainstorming a scale of 1-5. How bad is each challenge? If the kids whine in the car? If DS is shy or bored? Etc. Make sure DH gives suggestions, give him credit for those ideas even if you already thought of them, so he feels included and important. Also, since DH doesn't plan to get much joy out of this, what has he been wanting, that you might be willing to stretch a little and do for him, in return for his support here?

Once DH feels his concerns have been validated and addressed, you can ask him to validate your position, that new adventures can be wonderful, that your friend will make everyone feel welcome, etc.

Have fun!
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Post Thu, May 09 2019, 5:07 am
I recently did a seven hour car ride with my three little kids. In addition to all the regular stuff to keep them busy, I brought along scooters, toddlers bike and I stopped a rest stop and ate breakfast, davened, and let them ride their riding toys for an hour. It made a world of a difference.
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Post Thu, May 09 2019, 7:54 am
Another idea for the car ride (I know that its not the only issue) is what my parents did when we had to drive long distances as a kid: they made up little baggies in advance that they would give out to each kid at regular intervals, say every 50 miles: that had in them some sort of game or toy [does not have to be expensive...we had stickers one time, a huge crayon another time, dollar store travel game like snakes and ladders/ magnetic checkers, etc. fun keychain, etc)]

To this day We still have great memories of this car ride, and enjoyed watching out the window for mile markers that would show us how soon we were getting our next baggie! It was such a fun surprise each time! And made the long car ride more bearable.
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