Family Trouble

Shauna - posted on 12/04/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Hello. I have a problem with my husband and mine's families and I wanted advice on what other people would do 'cause our marriage is starting to suffer.



First off, my husband and I live in the same town as my parents and his parents so for all holidays it seems like we have to go to both places. This seemed okay for a while until we had our son. He is 13.5 months now and still on two naps a day so Thanksgiving was hard. We went to his parents, put him down for his first nap, ate there, and then went to my parents, ate there, then put him down for his 2nd nap. Exhausting...



Anyway, this Christmas we decided to not go anywhere, even though both our sisters, who live in MA and AZ are coming home, along with his sister's husband and 2 yr old. We told his mom and she got upset, saying the family hasn't been together at home in 7 years, bla, bla, bla. And my mom wants to know since I'm making everyone come to us if I'm cooking for everyone. It seems to have created this huge drama. Are we wrong to take a stand and want to just relax on Christmas day? What is wrong about making everyone come to us since we always have to go to them? Or should we just deal and go to both places to appease everyone since it is Christmas? Feeling stressed. Any advice or support would be great.

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Brianna - posted on 12/10/2011

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i would do that family thing i mean its just once a year. my parents and inlaws live in the same town as my also and well its very busy at xmas. xmas eve we go to my grandmas house for supper, then at 9pm we go to my inlaws house to open presents (they go to church first) so we end up getting home at like 12am, then xmas morning we have to be at my moms for 7:30 to open presents, then we have to go to my hubbys grandmas for xmas supper, then on boxing day we having my hubbys other grandmas house! soo its soo crazy busy and well thats the way it always is every year and my daughter was born nov 2009 so the first year was so hard because she was a new born now she just turned 2 years old but its still hard but we gotta do it cuz its important to our familys

Tracie - posted on 12/07/2011

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We try to alternate - one year Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine, the next year we reverse it, Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his. We just sort of put our foot down about it. Everyone knows me well enough to know there's no sense in arguing with me. :-)

Good luck!

Lyssa - posted on 12/07/2011

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I had to take that same stand a few years ago, since I was the only one on my side of the family with children, and my husbands extended family is big! My side of the family was ok with it, but his got upset and couldn't seem to understand. I say stand your ground, if they can't understand that until your son is a little older and doesn't need such a set schedule, then tell them they can stay home. As for the food part, I would ask everyone that's coming to bring one type of dish, make it a pot luck type day, which will be more relaxing, and you can all enjoy each others company. That's how I've done it the past couple of years, some family comes, some still are pretty stubborn about it. But my immediate family, my children and their comfort is more important, at least until they are a little older :) hope this helps!

Laura - posted on 12/07/2011

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my parents did the same thing my whole life christmas was one big rush to get through each place and by the times I went to college I was to the point of pretty much dreading the holidays and not wanting to go home for christmas break just to avoid the made dash to go to five christmases in one day. For the first 7 years of my oldest childs life my husband & I found ourselves in the same situation ... Last year we put our foot down and ended up a mad house at our home was great that everyone came to us kids could enjoy the day not in the car BUT my husband and I spent whole day cooking and waiting on people as one side of family showed up for breakfast we no more thank picked up from them got last person out door and other side was here for an early lunch and so on til 8pm that night :( this year we sat down and explained our situation one is now the sunday before christmas with one great great grandparent and extended families, one parent christmas eve, one grandparent christmas day night , and other parents day after christmas. So looking forward to the holidays now cant wait to actually enjoy the day kids area excited to have many "christmas" days. Good luck!

Stifler's - posted on 12/06/2011

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Tell everyone that you're staying home for Christmas and they know where you live. People can fukoff with their demands when you're the one with little kids and they aren't. not sure why Christmas visits are such a deal.

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Jacque - posted on 12/21/2011

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if you are having people over for the hoilday you need to feed them . i would just do it at your house but you will not be relaxing you will be cooking ect it is a lot easier to go to there house

Kayla - posted on 12/11/2011

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You might suggest having both Christmas' on a day other than Christmas that way nobody feels like second best, or since its both of your families have them meet together at your house for Christmas and have a joined Christmas. For the meal make up a plan about what everyone should bring. This is all in consideration as to how big your house and family is of course. But if possible this would be a good idea. Your son would only have to eat once and when it was over he could go lay down in his own bed and relax. Your families should beable to understand that you have a young child and unable to do so much all in one day.

MaryLou - posted on 12/10/2011

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I know you want to relax on Christmas. I understand that. Why not spend time with them on Christmas Eve? Then you have Christmas to your self, and you still visit?

Kelina - posted on 12/07/2011

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we've done the same thing this year! Luckily the family we eat christmas dinner with isn't big. We told everyone we're not going anywhere this christmas with a one year old and a two year old. So naturally, they're coming here. For the morning anyways. My in laws are staying the night. My SIL has decided not to bother coming for breakfast so I'm not sure whether to be annoyed or thankful lol. we were originally going to got o my dads for christmas dinner I was so excited for this because it meant a christmas dinner like the ones I grew up with and not my in laws sad imitation(i love my MIL dearly but she cannot cook) but then his wife decided they were going to stay in victoria for a few days(she just had her first biological grandbaby) so now we're stuck doing dinner with my Inlaws. Which still means the half hour trip into Nanaimo, and the half hour trip home. Since bedtime is at 8, this means leaving right after dinner which generally is not well received. and if we eat at my SIL it means getting sick 3 days later. We always catch a cold when we go over there, it's annoying. Last year, we did breakfast at my SIL, then presents, then presents at my in laws, then dinner and I think we came home sometime during the day for naptime as I had a 1 year old and a newborn. then the next day went to dinner at my dads and it was still way too much. Too much running around, too many people, and way too much drama. So this year we're only going in for dinner. I'd love to do dinner here but unfortunately it's only fair to do some part of christmas at my inlaws.

Cory - posted on 12/07/2011

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You'd be surprised at how many people you can fit into a small house. When I was first married we lived in a tiny tiny 2 bdrm. house w/ 1 bathroom.. It was my turn to prepare Easter dinner- I had 1 son & I was pregnant w/ my #2.. Unfort. that holiday we had a death/wake/funeral etc so there were lots of family from out of town. Normally, for Easter it's just my husbands family but, I invited my family as well. I think instead of the usual 10ppl. I had about 15ppl. It was actually quite fun for a holiday get together ! So, make the most of it it's ONE day.. !

Shelley - posted on 12/06/2011

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You could have everyone come there, either Xmas eve or Xmas evening and do a dinner and have everyone bring something. That way it's not all on you but you can still stay home and rest! I come from two families and we trade off every other year!

Elizabeth - posted on 12/06/2011

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My family and I are very close even though we don't live close. My husband and I live with his parents so we decided that we would switch families every year. Well last year I spent the holidays away from my family for the first and last time, it was terrible and I was absolutely miserable. So we go to my family for all holidays every year and see his family whenever (his family doesn't make a big deal out of holidays.) My advice to you is do what makes you and your husband happy, it is also your holiday and you deserve to enjoy it. Your family will get over any hard feelings.

Jessica - posted on 12/06/2011

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We rotate our holidays....my inlaws are 4hrs away and my mom is in the same town so this is what we do...
One thanksgiving I cook and have my mom over, next year we go to the inlaws.
one Christmas we go to inlaws, the next they come to us.
We work it so we travel one holiday and they do the other....it works out for everyone and allows us to be flexible if we need to. Also just because they come to you doesn't mean you have to do all the cooking yourself...have a potluck ask them to bring something and lighten your load...you also can take a holiday break from fam since you are seeing them the day before/after and spend the day with just the three of you...make the holiday your own. Try to be courteous of everyone hut remember too that you can't always please everyone and you deserve just as peaceful of a holiday as the.rest. Hope some of this helps.

Cory - posted on 12/06/2011

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Well, you've definetly put yourself in a bit of a pickle w/ the families. I would say since you have family in from out-of-town that it would be in poor taste to not see them & even though you haven't "officially" asked everyone to come to you- that's the impression you are making to everyone else. *If you want to see us we're at home- isn't exactly an open invitation. So, while doing your own thing isn't bad it may seem a bit standoffish to some. Maybe, invite friends & family over for light appetizers I'm sure that they will understand & maybe make the visit less uncomfortable for everyone involved. *In the future maybe split the days up Christmas doens't have to happen on Christmas- it can be BEFORE or AFTER to suit family needs. Be a bit flexible w/ your needs I have two children & I work retail so holidays often become a bickering ground when it comes to seeing family. *You can make nice inexpensive finger foods & have everyone over to visit w/ your family. Maybe next year make it an annual thing at your house... Good Luck

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I could see how it would be very important for your husband's mom to have everyone together at home, I would try to go.

One thing that has helped us over the years is to schedule the family dinners on different days. Perhaps a good compromise would be to ask one family if they could do dinner Christmas Eve and the other have Dinner on Christmas Day. You can sell it to them by emphasizing the fact that this would allow you more time at each dinner and you would not have to rush so much.

If you ask everyone to come to you, then, yes, you should cook the dinner for them.

Traditionally, we do dinner with my family the weekend before Christmas--This stretches Christmas out a bit and keeps the actual holiday much less stressful. Christmas Dinner with my husband's family on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day, we are free to chill at home and let J play with his new things. Our parents do generally stop in to let him show them what St. Nicholas brought, and I cook them brunch. Usually something simple like an omlette.

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