Ever go through that torturous “should we or shouldn’t we?” situation? My wife and I have been lately! About a month ago we found out that my wife’s mother is having some real health problems that got very serious. She was having an enlargement of the heart, increased blindness from her diabetes, swelling in the legs, chest pain, and she was generally in a horrible state physically.
My wife is from the Philippines. Her entire family lives there, including her mother whom I just mentioned. The last time we were in the Philippines to visit her family was Christmas 2003/New Years 2004. Because we’ve had three children since (aged 4, 3, and 21 months respectively) and my wife quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom (something that means A LOT to us!) we’ve been very tight financially living off my income. I am a sixth grade teacher in public school.
So we haven’t been home in years to see her family. We got into panic mode and got on all the travel sites, Expedia, Cheaptickets, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. The airfare was outrageous! The cheapest we got at the time was Philippine Airlines. The airfare totaled $7,400 for all five of us! And that was discounted airfare! The hotels in Manila and my wife’s hometown will total around $1800 for the amount of time we’ll stay, and food, taxis, and miscellaneous will be around $1,000. So we’re looking at $10,000 to $11,000 for this trip.
After we booked all this my wife’s mom began recovering somewhat and she is walking around now. Her blindness is still present, still feels lousy, but her blood pressure and numbers are improved thanks to medication and rest.
My wife really misses her family and mom. I miss them, too. And my children have NEVER met their grandma in the Philippines or their aunts, uncles, cousins, and they know nothing of their filipino side. It saddens me. I want them to know that part of their family, culture, and identity.
Yet the cost of the trip is insane! My wife and I have been thinking about cancelling the trip. Four months ago we paid off over $7,000 in credit cards finally and were debt-free. My wife and I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Now my wife has about three and a half years until she becomes a registered nurse. She just finished her RN program pre-requisites and is on her way toward a great career. But we don’t want to do the daycare or preschool thing too much with our kids. We’re trying to take care of them at home ourselves and build/nurture that relationship bond between mom, dad and the kids. So it’ll be a few years until we have a dual income again.
We really have three options: we go as a family and take on new debt, just my wife goes alone to the Philippines, or we cancel it and just pay a $1,000 cancellation fee and be debt free in about four months.
I’d like to hear your opinions about this as we’re prayerfully trying to discern what we should do? We’re SO stressed out and tired of this situation. HELP everybody! Your opinions are encouraged and welcome…be kind, please!