The big problem here is your husband, not the children. He is refusing to parent. If I were you, I'd insist on parenting classes (go together) for him. His children are acting up because they want attention and he isn't giving them that. Children need limits and boundaries - it makes them feel secure.
Really, your husband needs to do something about this NOW while there is still time. In a few short years it will be too late to help them. It's not the lack of opportunities to spend time with them that is the root problem here it is your husband's refusal to take any kind of responsibility nor be an active parent. He needs to wake up to what he is doing to his children - by being passive he is not helping them, he is actually handicapping them. How will they ever survive in the outside world if nobody teaches them how to behave?
I would also be worried about the safety of a toddler with these children around ...View Thread
Take her back to the ENT. My daughter had tubes 3 times (came out once) and had infection after infection. This needs to be treated because the eardrum can be damaged if it isn't. The ENT thought he'd never see the back of us (lol).View Thread
I live in France. Pre-school is free but not obligatory. Nearly 100% of all children go from 3 to 6 years old. I very much approve. Children learn to respect each other, work together, eat together, look after themselves and become pretty autonomous. It also prepares them for school.View Thread
There is nothing you can do to change your relatives but you CAN change how you react to them. I'd suggest therapy for you and your wife to learn how to process and deal with this rejection in order to liberate yourselves from it. It's their loss, not yours.
As for your children not suffering from not having family to interact with ... tell yourself that TONS of children are in the same boat (my family lives in another country at the other end of the continent) but don't "suffer" because of it. they grow up with different ideas, that's all. It's often the parents who sow the seeds of this kind of suffering (by putting the right ideas into their heads) so please beware of this and try to avoid it. Learn to make the most of the holidays as a family unit and enjoy your friends.