Holiday MIL issues

Morgan - posted on 12/14/2015 ( 4 moms have responded )




I need some unbiased advice. I am having some issues with my in-laws and it's driving me crazy and I am not sure how to best handle it.

The gist of the story is that this will be our 5th Christmas my husband and I have spent as a family with kids. My family lives across the country and his parents are 10 minutes away. So we have done our best with an every other year rotation on Thanksgivings and Christmases. We even attempted a joint Christmas with both sides at our house for Christmas one year, but later I found out that his family had issue with having to share that Christmas.

Basically at this point I feel like his family always has some sort of issue, no matter what we try to do. I am tired of it and it is putting a cloud over the holiday and making me feel resentful towards them. Ultimately, I feel like it puts my husband in a bad position between his wife and his Mom and I don't want to do that to him.

The issue this year is that she would like us to come over for Christmas Eve night and have dinner and spend the evening with all of my husband's extended family. I am happy to do this. But then she wants us to turn around and come over to their house for breakfast on Christmas morning along with my BIL and SIL and their two kids. Well she asked my husband the other day what time we could make it for breakfast and in the spirit of trying to be flexible, I told him 10-10:30ish. Her response was we need to be there earlier because my BIL and SIL can only stay so long because then they go to her side of the family's house.

I kindly got on the phone with my MIL and explained to her that I would do my best to be there earlier but I was trying to give her an honest and realistic time. Truly I actually feel like 10:30 is early. I have three kids, 4, 2, and 5 months. I explained that I wanted to have some time Christmas morning as a family and let them open Santa presents and not feel too rushed. I could tell that she did not like my response and she told me, "we just really want everyone here at the same time and to be able to enjoy the morning here because it is our year for Christmas."

I am just baffled. I tried to be nice and honest and give her a reasonable time. It's not like I said we are not coming at all. I don't feel like I should have to rush my kids or our morning to make a specific time frame work because that's what my BIL and SIL need to make their other side of the family.

I talked to my husband about it and he completely agrees with me. But he also tries to avoid confrontation with his family at all cost, which is why he had me talk to her. After our talk I could tell she was upset so I sent her an email and just tried again to explain where I was coming from. Its been 5 days I have received no response. I was at my in-laws house briefly this weekend less than 15 min and she and my FIL were very cold and short with me. I can tell they have read the email and are upset.

I am at a loss on what to do know. I don't even want to be around them. I feel like my husband should defend me and he says if they try to come to him about it then he will but he doesn't need to initiate a confrontation. At this point I kind of want to call her and try to talk like adults, because I feel like it is so childish for her to ignore me and then give me the cold shoulder.

Wondering how others would or have handled a similar situation. I want to let it go and I know my husband is probably tired of hearing me talk about it. But I am so frustrated.

The truth is I really would rather stay at my own house with my kids on Christmas day and I was trying to be flexible by going over there at all, especially in the morning.

Advice wanted and needed.



Raye - posted on 12/14/2015




I would maybe suffer through it this year, but then set your boundaries for following years and let everyone know what the deal is early. Let them know that you will try to be flexible where you can, and you don't mean any offense to them, but you can't please everyone 100% of the time, so you're going to do what you feel is best for your household.

I feel your pain with the MIL. This Thanksgiving, I was with my in-laws for 9 hours on Thursday and 12 hours on Friday. I was not feeling well to start with, and completely exhausted by the whole ordeal. Then I had 3 hours with my family on Saturday. It's hard when you have to try to accommodate different sides of the family and try to please people, but the only ones you really have to please are you, your husband, and your kids. The rest should be adults about it and suck it up.

Dove - posted on 12/14/2015




I wouldn't even bother going over at all on Christmas day if they want to act like spoiled little brats over your choices for YOUR family. Tell them that you are more than happy to be there on Christmas Eve, but Christmas day is now going to be just for your own little family. They are welcome to come by for a little bit in the afternoon if they want (and you are OK w/ that), but that you will be staying home during the day.


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Morgan - posted on 12/14/2015




@Dove...Oh believe me there is a big part of me that wants to do that. But I do think my kids will have nice time over there with their cousins for a bit. I just wish there didn't have to be this time agenda and that is was a come on over when everyone is ready mentality. But yes her behavior now is making it even more difficult!

I really feel like I will suck it up this year and go over there. But it will be at whatever time we get out the door without causing mass chaos and making anyone feel rushed. However, I do think after this year I will tell them that if they want to do a breakfast it will have to be Christmas Eve or the day after because we will be staying home Christmas day. Of course they are always welcome to come to us in the morning if they choose. But with three kids the years we are in town I really just want to enjoy the day at home and not run around.

I think some of these issues come from jealousy or the thought that my family has us on Christmas morning every other year. But I guess that's one of the upsides to living far away...when we are there we are just there and it doesn't require any hassle or movement the day of Christmas. But the downside is we see my family maybe three times a!

@ Sarah, I am sorry to hear that your parents have passed. I am trying to keep this in mind and be happy that we have my in-laws close by because ultimately they are good grandparents.

Sarah - posted on 12/14/2015




My parents are gone now, so one piece of advice is love while you have them. That said, i used to run myself ragged between going to MIL, my parents, back to MIL etc. I was even up at midnight washing Christmas outfits for the nest day! Crazy!
Start a new tradition, visit Christmas Eve and stay home Christmas morning and day. We have a special breakfast and the kids love not having to go anywhere that day. It is very pleasant and relaxed

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