Dysfunctional Family and the Holidays

[deleted account] ( no moms have responded yet )

Hi ladies. I need serious advice on how to deal with my current family situation. I am a loving mom with a loving husband and loving children (not yet teens). We are fine amongst ourselves in our immediate family. BUT I can't stand my in-laws. I can't stand visiting them even for 2x a year. One for Christmas and one for Summer vacation. Both visits last for 7 days and myself and my children and husband have to live in my in-laws house bec. it is lower cost that way. :-( It is my husband who wishes to see his family each time. We have to drive 8 hours each way. My problem with Mom in Law is that MIL is a nasty, domineering, condescending, calculating, lying, heartless person who is also a bully who likes to take anything valuable (whether tangible or intangible) from anyone she can get away doing it with- including kids. My Sis in law #3 is her daughter and she was prohibited from getting married so that her Mom will have someone to care for her till she dies.. MIL got pregnant at 16, did not finish education, also took many things from others at the expense of many others to rise from rags to riches. Months after I found about her many shenanigans, I confronted her on the error of her ways, bec. what she took also involved what belonged to my husband. She reacted so badly so we (my husb.& I) hadn't spoken to her for many years. Geographically, it is a blessing that my family have always been so far away from MIL, however, the disadvantage is that both Sis in Laws only hear from MIL side of the lie :-(. After some years, she tried to extend olive branches but never apologized for anything and so now we are seeing each other again. My Sis in Law #1 and Sis in Law #2 are nice to me mostly. However, I did not like that Sis in Law #1's and Sis in Law #2's families thought it nothing of bringing gifts and exchanging gifts for each other's teenage children and for each other in front of me, my husband and my children, but they Did Not have any gifts for us, not even a Christmas card. But we were the "visitors" from far away land. Remember, we had to go to their area each holiday and had to drive 8 hours each way... for this treatment? How cruel is that? I felt horrible and cried in the guest room. I am just the kind of person that I am nice and expect niceness from others, since I see them so rarely, but I am always shocked when I witness cruel behavior being exhibited in front of me and my innocent kids. Admittedly, my husb. and I aren't filthy rich, and we can't afford to give exorbitant gifts to each relative and their kid but we do spend the time to travel, the effort to pack and unpack and alot of gas money to go the distance to see these people, doesn't that count for something? One time, when we newly reunited with MIL and her family, we gave both sis in law's families small deli boxes with a Christmas card. Not one word of thanks nor acknowledgment from either of them, not even a wink. Both my sis in law's teenage kids are all self centered as well. Just like their parents, they are interested in no one but themselves. More complaints re. MIL. She shows favoritism toward the teen kids and younger kids of my sis in laws and is always unfair to my kids, not giving them praise nor affirmations. MIL will praise others' kids in front of my kids and post 12 photo frames of their kids and only 1 of mine, if any. Sometimes, when she didn't get her way, and we visited, there was not one photo of my kids anywhere in the house we had to stay in :-(. One summer, we visited, there was A/C in MIL and her big daughter's room but not one in "our guest room" even when I had an infant in tow. Each time we visit, it is un natural and awkward. Sometimes I feel torn between visiting or not. Bec. my husb. feels that all of us should have "some semblance" of belongingness to a family and that all kids and adults "should" belong to a family. In addtition, I also have a soon-to-be sis in law #4 who seem to think she can snicker, snort, roll eyes at my kids just bec. they're acting like normal healthy kids. I think it is immature but also very nasty of her to do these. But then again, Bro in law #3 and Sis in law#3 both adults that came out of MIL's womb exemplify the same behavior on certain times, so it is not odd for them doing these things. I feel very unfaired upon, my kids victimized, targetted unjustly, bec. they're the youngest in the batch. Sometimes, I feel that we are persecuted bec. we are the only people that are trying to be good in my husband's family. No one else is. If it were me, I'd rather not see them all the time.. but I was also thinking, if I can't stand these people that much, why should I entrust my "precious children" to their care. So, what should I do to make these visits more "bearable" and "productive" for me and my children? Help.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms