Do you live near or away from family?

Jade - posted on 02/13/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Can you all PLEASE give me some input and advice?? I am a stay at home mom of a two year old and live near both of my families (my parents are divorced) and my in-laws (not to mention my mother-in-law can be VERY pushy). I also have a brother my age, and a younger half sister and brother. I AM GOING CRAZY WITH THE FAMILY DEMANDS AND OBLIGATIONS! I don't want to wish my family away and I truly do appreciate being able to be near them (VERY near them), but my husband and I have been fighting and I am starting to feel depressed from my constant attempt to please people. I wake up with anxiety every morning wondering "who will call first", "who will stop by today", "who will I let down today". I just can't do it anymore and I cry as I write this. My husband and I wait for the weekends because we only see each other for the weeknight scurry of dinner, bath, bedtime and want to just ENJOY the weekends. We make every attempt with great sincerity to see everyone and enjoy our time with them. But, now it's to the point where I am resenting everyone and every invitation we get. Nothing is EVER good enough, his Mom comments how we see my family more, my Dad says "no one ever comes to see me", my mom says "well, I guess we'll just have to wait till next weekend when you're not soooo busy." I am going crazy and want to move away but my husband just secured a VERY good job in our hometown. I cannot live with this anxiety, I just can't. Any advice???? Is is really difficult for all of you who live away from family? Am I a terrible person for feeling this way? I just feel I will never grow as a person, as our own family, if I don't leave someday. :(

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I have a question for you: do you ever call them and invite them for lunch, go shopping, etc.? Drop in just to say hi on your way home or to somewhere? Or do they feel that they always have to do the asking? Next time someone calls, don't just make excuses why now isn't a good time but suggest another time. Or call them first and invite them or ask to go to their house. That way you get more control over visits and they will eventually not feel like they are being shoved out of their son's/your/grandchild's life. And make ground rules. Never play favorites and never fall into the trap of making things "even". They will never be even.

Caylynne - posted on 02/16/2012

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I'd suggest maybe staying within travel distance of your husbands work, but the oppisite side of town.



Since my daughter was 10 (She's 21 months today) months old I've lived far away from both mine and his family. We use to live 40 miles away, which was hard cause we lived on the other side of a bridge that no one would cross. So we saw our families maybe once or twice a month. It was nice, but kinda sucked. We had our time, and were able to see the families when we wanted. Both our families live in WA and we now live in TX. Which makes things even harder. The only communication I get with Family is facebook and phone. Which doesn't make it easy for my daughter to know her Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. So I'd say you don't want to move far away. Just far enough so that way you can be a family, do your own thing, but still close enough to know they are there.

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My parents are my neighbors. They are very respectful of family time, but it can still be stressful. If my husband comes home early and they pass the house I get asked " How are you going to make ends meet if he is home?" The rest of my family lives 2 hours away and my MIL...well we go once a week every Thursday until the kids bedtime (I feed them before we go and they snack there) I would simply take a break. Try to get a hotel for a night or two and get away. Go camping, do something just as your little family. You need to put you and your relationship first before there is perm damage done. As much as you dont want to you may need to just be honest with your families and tell them what is going on. Good luck. None of it is easy but God never gives us more then we can handle so you will make it :)

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Rose - posted on 01/17/2013

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I totally get it. I think you have to get over pleasing everyone else. Get some therapy. Find out what is best for you and then tell your husband. If he wants you to be happy he will go along with it. Whether it is a move or whatever. and then just see how things go from there. You might be able to tweek things ab it to give yourself space. Dont answer the phone, dont talk to people who stress you out and get involved in something you like to do so if they ask just say you are busy.

Kari - posted on 02/16/2012

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I live about 5 hours from my family and 3 hours from my husbands family. I see my family maybe once a year. We hardly ever see his. But I'm content with the way things are. I'm not too overwhelmed by seeing too many people all the time. My hubby and I get our alone time when we want to. But we can see the family anytime we want.



Your hubby has a really good job in town? Is there a place for you to move to close to his job but not as close to the family? Maybe the next town over? If thats not possible then tell the family (both sides) that you will have to set up scheduled times each week or how often you feel comfy with. Because your days are becoming too hectic. If they can't understand that then have your hubby talk to them. Let them know you dont have time to spend with him.

Karen - posted on 02/16/2012

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I lived in Florida, near my family for most of my life. Last year we moved 1,000 miles away from mine, to try being closer to his.

Its not working out very well.



I suffer from anxiety, and sometimes it takes over a good part of my day. I also feel the need to please them. I think I have almost crossed over into I don't give a fudge-dom though.

First, I shut down my facebook so that I became almost unreachable. None of his family bothers to call my phone, so I am safe there. Weekends are finally MINE.



If they are pulling you every which way, disappear for a while. Not forever, but long enough to feel in control of your life. Maybe even long enough to get bored and miss them.



If they expect too much of you, that needs to change. People who complain about not getting enough of your time, are usually getting plenty, and just want to be greedy about it. They should appreciate what they do get because your time belongs to you.

Michelle - posted on 02/16/2012

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I would set aside a day for just you , hubby and kids and let them all know that it is YOUR family day. Go out for a picnic or lunch somewhere so no one can just pop in. They will soon get the hint that at least 1 day a week is for you guys and no one else.



I would love to have more family around. My Mum lives an hour away and my Dad and In-Laws are on the other side of the world!!!!! I've never even met my FIL. My Mum is usually too busy with her life to bother about mine.

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2012

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I didnt read everything because I am about to head out but from the jist that I got you need to set boundaries dont please anyone but yourself and your husband (and your kids where need be) that is your main family to everyone else tell them to deal with it or shut up. they will get the point mine and my partners family did.

Jade - posted on 02/15/2012

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Thank you all so much for you input! It helps to hear from someone other than people who are involved. My hubby does agree with me and this is why it has been so hard for us....I think we both tend to really feel bad whenever we say "no" just because no one ever seems to just understand and say "oh, okay, see you another day then." It's always analyzed. And my husbands parents are retired and have no other family around....ie: we are here to entertain them. My Dad just broke up with his girlfriend of 10 years so I am his counselor (which lots of time I don't mind). And my Mom has two small children of her own...so I am often her babysitter and their cheerleader at sporting events (which I usually love, but don't want to be hassled if I can't make it!!!) ...And where is the time for us?? Why can no one see it?? We have been made out to be basically home-bodies who never want people around, when really we ALWAYS have family at our home. I make attempts to have my in-laws over for dinner, but they are so pushy that after seeing them twice already in one week, I don't want them here for dinner! Am I to blame??

Carol, you are so right! Limits need to be set (and they have been, but I must stick to them!), and I have to get over feeling bad if people don't understand. I just worry that family will feel I am constantly pushing them away, and I know I need them and will need them, and don't want them to resent me for putting my family first. Sometimes I feel I am exaggerating, but I feel like I trapped in a tiny little box with no air!!!!!!

Carol - posted on 02/14/2012

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Say no. Your family ( you, your kids and your husband) are more important than they are. You don't have to talk to them everyday, or please them or anything. If they want to visit, make it a priority that they call and let you know they will be coming over. If they show up at your door unannounced, say ' oh im sorry we are really busy and can't have guest. Please call next time' you may sound like a bitch, but its your house, not theirs. Set limits and be firm. Let your husband know, so his mom and dad don't talk bad about you to him and make sure he is willing to go with it and even ask him how he feels about both your family and his intruding in your life. He may just feel the same way and make it clear, you love them all but you love him and your kids more and you feel suffocated and think you guys need to set limits. He may get offended, but hopefully he will come around. Limits are good, you seem to be having trouble with inlaws. Also you shouldn't always have to come to them. They can call and see if you are busy that night or have made plans, or can even call for a later night so they can come and visit for a short period of time. Husbands and wives need alone time - your inlaws and parents should be more than willing to help you out, let them watch the kids for an hour or 2 ( i couldnt leave my son with my inlaws for 29 minutes, hubby wasn't happy, but sorry. I had just met them and really idndt know them that well and most likely never will). My mom on the other hand, would never stop harrasing me about my husband. He needs to get a job, he needs to pay me to watch my grand son yadda yadda. Lets just say, for those reason and many others i haven't talked to her for a year and a half and i live on the other side of the country from her, when we first got together, she would call every day, and it got to the point i would let it go to voice mail then deleate the message. I dont think any person wants that relationship with their parents or inlaws. Limits are key and some people just dont understand them.

Brittney - posted on 02/13/2012

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I am basically in the same boat. I live about 4 miles from both my husband's parents and my parents. I have my reasons for not going over there and not inviting them to my house. At first it wasn't so bad, but then they started to come over unannounced just 'dropping by'. They would call me every 15 minutes to know when they can see Ruby (my daughter). I would stop answering my phone, just un-plug it or turn it off. When they ask why I don't answer I tell them I'm just busy. My sister and brother live in different states and I really wish I could see them more, we don't even talk, haven't for about 7 years.



You need to make yourself not so available. Go to the library for a few hours, go to the park, set up play dates, be outside more, set up specific days and times where you can go to visit them, such as birthdays, holidays you celebrate, or every other Thursday for lunch or something...The busier you make yourself, the less they will bother you and it allows you time to yourself. Another thing you could do is start a diary or a blog, to let all your feelings out. It isn't good to repress your emotions. Best of luck to you!

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