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ANy advice from mothers of grown & married children?


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My first child got married recently and I find that *I* am really struggling with the transition much more than I thought I would. It's not that I feel "empty nest" since I still have little ones at home and since she lived out on her own for over a year before marrying. And it's not because I'm jealous of her in-laws since my heart has always wanted my children to have good relationships with their in-laws. But it's that nothing feels....I don't know what word to use...."equal" anymore.

They spend whatever free time they have doing whatever his family wants them to do. They eat out with them every Sunday after church, they are considering going to his family's church (the church her dh grew up in, but left to not be under their nose). He never lived out on his own and he is very young/immature. Though we love him dearly and am so happy they are together.

So recently she called and just informed me that they are having Thanksgiving Dinner with his family at 1pm and do we "want to move ours to the day before or the day after or just have something later that night". I don't want to wait until that night since first off, they won't even be hungry by that time. And why should we change all of our plans to accommodate them? I am all for accommodating and working with others, and I am not trying to be difficult. But my thought is that our family has also had traditions. We weren't consulted about how we can all work together, but just this is the way it is. Which they are free to make whatever decisions they want.

Then she told me that they will also be spending all day Christmas Eve with his family.....never mind that we also have a family tradition on C. Eve with dh's side of the family. So now we will have to move that as well. I was expecting changes in traditions,etc. I guess I just thought it would be more of a mutual working together on these things. She says her dh gets pouty and is used to being with his family all the time.

And his family does everything with their church family.....family vacations, camping trips, even shopping for groceries....they always have lots of people with them. She is not like that and I know this overwhelms her. But I also think she needs to talk to her dh and them work together on these situations, and not just it always be his family.

I guess I am worried since I saw my dad alienate my mother from her side of the family by doing some of the same stuff.

I would love to hear from other moms of adult/married children who can sympathize and tell me things will get better??

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I not as experienced as you are as a mom, but I will give my opinion on the holiday traditions. She has left your family and is now cleaving to her husband. (He doesn't seem to have done the same and it may be an issue for them in their marriage at some time but they will have to work that out on their own.) You have your own traditions. I don't see anything wrong with saying, "Oh, honey, I'm sorry you can't join us for when we are having our dinner." They can decide to change their plans to include yours or to make a point to come at another time just for dessert or something of that sort.

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My first child got married recently and I find that *I* am really struggling with the transition much more than I thought I would. It's not that I feel "empty nest" since I still have little ones at home and since she lived out on her own for over a year before marrying. And it's not because I'm jealous of her in-laws since my heart has always wanted my children to have good relationships with their in-laws. But it's that nothing feels....I don't know what word to use...."equal" anymore.

They spend whatever free time they have doing whatever his family wants them to do. They eat out with them every Sunday after church, they are considering going to his family's church (the church her dh grew up in, but left to not be under their nose). He never lived out on his own and he is very young/immature. Though we love him dearly and am so happy they are together.

 

:grouphug:

 

So recently she called and just informed me that they are having Thanksgiving Dinner with his family at 1pm and do we "want to move ours to the day before or the day after or just have something later that night". I don't want to wait until that night since first off, they won't even be hungry by that time. And why should we change all of our plans to accommodate them? I am all for accommodating and working with others, and I am not trying to be difficult. But my thought is that our family has also had traditions. We weren't consulted about how we can all work together, but just this is the way it is. Which they are free to make whatever decisions they want.

 

Don't change your plans. You could have dessert later in the day, and they can choose to come over for that, or not. Say this very regretfully but don't say anything negative about his family.

 

 

Then she told me that they will also be spending all day Christmas Eve with his family.....never mind that we also have a family tradition on C. Eve with dh's side of the family. So now we will have to move that as well. I was expecting changes in traditions,etc.

Do your things with your dh's side of the family. Invite your dd and her dh to come over on Christmas day.

 

I guess I just thought it would be more of a mutual working together on these things.

Some people do, some don't. It is what it is...sad, is what it is, but you can either go with it and make the best of it or beat yourself up. Beating yourself up is a bad choice. Always invite her and your dsil over for things, be a *little* flexible, but don't change everything. As you say, you still have other dc at home.

 

She says her dh gets pouty and is used to being with his family all the time.

Maybe in time she can help him learn to spend time with *her* family, but it will take time.

 

And his family does everything with their church family.....family vacations, camping trips, even shopping for groceries....they always have lots of people with them. She is not like that and I know this overwhelms her. But I also think she needs to talk to her dh and them work together on these situations, and not just it always be his family.

 

Well, it's up to your dd.

 

I guess I am worried since I saw my dad alienate my mother from her side of the family by doing some of the same stuff.

 

That sucks; I wonder how much your mother worked to make some changes?

 

I would love to hear from other moms of adult/married children who can sympathize and tell me things will get better??

 

It will get better...or it won't. Sorry. You can only manage your own attitudes and behaviors, and try to make the best of the situation. If you don't, things will *seem* much worse than they are.

 

FTR, both of my dds are married. Some of your situations will not happen with us as I live in Texas and they live in San Jose and Seattle. Their in-laws also live on the west coast, although not very close (at this time; next year, younger dd and dsil will be moving to the same town as his parents), so I am not going to have to deal with changing our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. However, if we lived in town I would hope that we could alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, but I have told dds that I would be just as happy to have them with me on their birthdays, which are in May; that way they don't have to travel in bad weather with thousands of other motorists to get home, and they don't have to try to choose between parents, KWIM?

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I don't have married children, but my mom has been through this with 6 kids with varying degrees of in-law involvement, distance lived from home, etc. My advice is to continue your traditions, but maybe make some new ones that involve your married dd and her dh. For ex, for Thanksgiving, you could either do dessert in the evening or a casual brunch on Friday. For Christmas, maybe they can spend part of Christmas Day at your house. But I absolutely wouldn't change what you do with the extended family, because that's not fair to everyone else.

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I was that dd that did everything with dh's family, because he could not leave his family at first. It caused alot of tension, so be there for your dd if she gets fed up with it and comes crying to you.

 

As far as the holidays I agree with inviting them for dessert later in the day. Don't change your plans to accommodate her. Sometimes we can make it and other times we can't like anything else. Get a jump on Christmas though and call today to invite them before they make other plans, and talking with your dd about your feelings may help her understand your point of view (face to face for coffee or something would be even better than a call). We do Thanksgiving day at one home and Christmas day at the other and then alternate years so everyone sees us on the actual holiday every other year.

 

Maybe ask your dd if they can come after church for lunch every other week also, so you can see them more often or start a Sat. night tradition or something. My ILs live 1.5 hours away and my parents are only 15 mins. away now, so the tables have turned a bit, but we still try to spend time with everyone when we can.

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Guest Virginia Dawn

I agree that you should keep your own family traditions the way you always have and invite your daughter and her dh over when they are available.

 

However, sneaky as I am, on Thanksgiving night or Christmas afternoon, when we are all sitting around relaxing with coffee and pie or left over turkey sandwiches, I would look my son-in-law straight in the eye and say, "So, can we expect you and dd for Thanksgiving dinner (or appropriate event) next year?"

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Well, Our 2nd child/2nd son was married in May. He was "far" away at college and they got married a few weeks after graduating. They now live at least 5/6 hours away and I miss him alot. I asked him about Thanksgiving and he said probably not. (everyone has off). I'm thinking Christmas is out also. They have lived w/ her parents since August and this week should be in an apartment. (Thank You!! ;)) It is very hard but I'm living with it. I know they are now a new family and must do the best for themselves. (Even though I think some things are influenced by others :tongue_smilie:). I'm believing we are not very liked (I thought we were...our 2 dc were dating for 6 years!!...they definitely like our ds, though!) by some event that happened. Don't change your plans. Do what you have to do for your family that is home.

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I don't have married children, but my mom has been through this with 6 kids with varying degrees of in-law involvement, distance lived from home, etc. My advice is to continue your traditions, but maybe make some new ones that involve your married dd and her dh. For ex, for Thanksgiving, you could either do dessert in the evening or a casual brunch on Friday. For Christmas, maybe they can spend part of Christmas Day at your house. But I absolutely wouldn't change what you do with the extended family, because that's not fair to everyone else.

 

Yeah, that. I obviously don't have married children, but my sister's husband has family close to where my parents live, and they always invite my parents to join them. We do Thanksgiving at my sisters house (in KY) and then they all are in Florida for Christmas. Every year, my mom complains that she doesn't get to do a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving or Christmas and enjoy the leftovers (turkey pot pie, etc.).

 

Your traditions are important too. Especially since you still have children at home. They will all have to split their time between families once they are all married. Do try to do something special with them, but don't make the rest of your family miss out just because of them.

 

We live in NE and I haven't seen my family at Christmas for at least ten years. Travel is too expensive and hectic around that time of year. I can assure you that all of us have survived not seeing each other at Christmas without any ill effects. You don't know how many threads I see online every year with parents with young children complaining that they spend four hours or more on the road Christmas Day making the rounds to everyone who insists they need to see them THAT DAY.

 

Yes, it does sound like they're spending more time with his family than yours, but that is your dd's problem, not yours.

 

Hugs!

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I do not have married children, but I did marry a man whose parents tried to "own" holidays.

 

Growing up, my parents took us kids to visit both sets of grandparents on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We would do dinner at one and desert at the other for Thanksgiving, and reverse it for Christmas. The following year we'd switch.

 

I thought that was a perfect tradition to follow, but my mil constantly pressured us to stay longer and complained to dh that we still hadn't stayed long enough. And my large extended family would be ready to wrap up their visit by the tmie we'd get there.

 

After years of misery, we stopped traveling on holidays and had peaceful celebrations at home.

 

So my advice is to offer desert or an "I hope you can come next year" and leave it at that. Forcing kids to choose makes us dread the holidays!

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My oldest is an adult, but not married. However, I am going to weigh in because I was in your daughter's position as a new wife.

 

Please don't make the situation any more miserable for her! My husband's family was overwhelming and planned every thing and then told me. His mother pouted and got mad whenever I tried to spend time with my family. His mother even planned my kids Christening and birthday parties. My husband did not know how to stand up to his family, still doesn't, actually. I did not know how to stand up to my mother-in-law as a young woman. My family resented me for accomodating my husband (which as a Christian wife there is a lot of pressure to do) and this created a permanent stress in my relationship with them. The pressure they applied trying to get me to stand up to my husband and mother-in-law just made a bad situation worse. My husband and I resolved our family problems by moving several thousand miles away from all of them and "never can afford to travel" at the holidays. ;) We are blissfully happy alone with our children on the holidays. And the funny thing is, we have an open door policy, anybody from either side is always welcome to join us for the holidays, but they won't. (They spend thousands of dollars on trips to Europe, so money is not an issue). They want us to do things their way.

 

Now there did come a time, when my husband was ready to make a break and would have been willing to spend more time with my family. But by that time I was fed up with all the nagging and pressure from my family.

 

So you can say to your daughter, "I'm sorry that won't work for us" to changing your plans to accomodate them and make both your family and her miserable or you can be the mature adult and help her through this difficult transition. Who cares if she is hungry at 6:00 when you have dinner on Thanksgiving, isn't it her presence that is important? And did you stop to think that she might save room, for her favorite comfort food that her mother makes?

 

Just my 2 cents...

Edited by Kanga
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been working myself out of a job for years as well. And like I said, she lived on her own for almost 2 years. I'm not squeezing the life out of her. I haven't put any pressure on her. I know what it's like to be drug all over creation on the holidays since my parents were divorced and remarried. I watched my brother drag his 4 little ones all over to four different houses each holiday (his wife's parents were also both divorced and remarried). It's hard, I know. And I never wanted to do that with our children.

I am not so much dealing with what to do as I am with what I feel. I will do the right thing towards her. That has always been my goal. But it is different when they live on their own as when they are married....as far as what feelings and emotions some of us moms go through. I am just in the transition stage as well. I appreciate all of the advice. I really do. I am just feeling really down today and needed some moms to sympathize with my emotions and tell me it's going to be okay. And I don't mean okay in the sense that they will do what I want them to do. But okay in the sense that there is light at the end and life will go on fresh and new....

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I think the best thing they COULD do is to move off on their own. Personally, I don't think they even have enough time for just the two of them.

Thanks for your thoughts, Alea, but your last paragraph stung a little. Again, yes, I have thought of all those things as I have been in that same situation myself growing up....not so much with my dh's parents, but between MY two parents and spouses.

Thank you, Jean, for the hugs. :001_smile:

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:grouphug: Then it really doesn't matter whether she's hungry or not, does it? She's leaving the door open. Whether she comes to your house for the meal or not, invite her over to your house. Simply let her know what time, whether it is turkey time or pumpkin pie time, and don't let this become a polarized thing -- you're both on the same side here, right?

 

Julie

P.S. Ooops, just committed a WTM board sin. I'm not the mother of a grown & married child! (never mind...........)

 

been working myself out of a job for years as well. And like I said, she lived on her own for almost 2 years. I'm not squeezing the life out of her. I haven't put any pressure on her. I know what it's like to be drug all over creation on the holidays since my parents were divorced and remarried. I watched my brother drag his 4 little ones all over to four different houses each holiday (his wife's parents were also both divorced and remarried). It's hard, I know. And I never wanted to do that with our children.

I am not so much dealing with what to do as I am with what I feel. I will do the right thing towards her. That has always been my goal. But it is different when they live on their own as when they are married....as far as what feelings and emotions some of us moms go through. I am just in the transition stage as well. I appreciate all of the advice. I really do. I am just feeling really down today and needed some moms to sympathize with my emotions and tell me it's going to be okay. And I don't mean okay in the sense that they will do what I want them to do. But okay in the sense that there is light at the end and life will go on fresh and new....

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I think the best thing they COULD do is to move off on their own. Personally, I don't think they even have enough time for just the two of them.

 

This would worry me more than the holidays. When the first blush of romance starts to fade, it is too easy for the spouse who has a foot in each house to head back to Mama. Ask me how I know. :sad:

 

If your daughter seeks your advice, I'd start with doing her groceries on her own.

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Please remember this is not about love. I'm sure she loves you very much,. And while I don't know your relationship to your son-in-law, I'm sure he loves or will come to love you too. Just repeat that to yourself a lot - "It's not about love". And it will be ok. You will be forging a new kind of relationship with them - one of friendship more than of parenting. And that relationship will have its own joys.

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{{many hugs}}

 

New stages of parenting are always difficult the first time.

 

It seems to me that you have 2 main problems, not "one".

 

1) How to handle holidays now that you have an adult married child. (for which you've already gotten the advice I'd give)

 

2) How to best be a parent/mom to this child at this stage. That's where issues such as knowing she's overwhelmed by the family pressures and knowledge of her situationally "pouty" husband come in. As far as this issue goes, it might be worth considering your role. Do you want to know these details, knowing your influence and power are limited? If so, how does she need you to best support and "be there" for her as a mom right now? If she were posting for advice over holidays and pouty DH, I'd give her advice in a different manner than I'd give YOU as her mom.

 

You sound like a terrific mom and person. :001_smile:

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that may be what has truly bothered me the most. It isn't about what meal they eat with us or when.....I think it's that she just called and informed us of what his family is doing (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and they will be joining them. I know she does not like this (the way her dh always caters to them), she has told me. But it bothered me that we weren't even considered in the equation (not that we had to be, but if one family was, I would think they both would be). I'm just being honest here, though I have never allowed her to know how I feel....but it has felt a little like rejection. And my concern was that if they begin doing it on Year 1, will this be the way it will always be? I know I can't do anything about it, as many have said. But I can still have my own emotions about it.........

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his wife is the one who is from the same kind of family your dil is. We didn't have to deal with it on a daily basis as we had always lived a thousand miles away but yes, it does hurt to get a lot of the family news secondhand and to feel like we are the second choice to spend the holidays with. (The dil's family is also quite far away). But I think time does heal and I'm getting used to it. I know that our son loves us very much so we don't put pressure on him. He appreciates that and I think it helps us with our relationship with the wife too with whom we are quite happy with. As for the holidays, I've learned to hold them lightly but to keep the basic traditions about the same for the sake of our five remaining children.

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I can easily see that happening to my oldest dd and her fiancee. His family is already trying to control everything and Cole has not learned to stand up to them, primarily his mom. They are aware of the problem and have already talked about it in their premarital counseling. I don't know how I will react when the time comes, but I do understand how you are feeling. Hopefully, I will be able to support my dd. We do think it would be best if they move away for a few years to separate them from his parents and learn to stand on their own 2 feet. I will be praying for you.

God bless,

Vicki

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Forcing kids to choose makes us dread the holidays!

 

 

THANK YOU CARRIE! UGH Please MIL's DON't hint about the next holiday or next year! My MIL does things like sigh (LOUD ENOUGH FOR EVERONE TO HEAR) at Christmastime and say "I don't need gifts, or anything, all I want is my WHOLE FAMILY, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS" Well, sorry my parents live 4.5 hours away and she lives 20 mins from here. We have to switch sometimes. PLEASE do not hint, it is hard enough for some of us to figure out where to go to keep the peace. If we are at one home, the other one is making us feel bad. We've tried staying home and we get constant calls anyway, so we end up going over. Makes me just want to fly to Hawaii for Christmas or something. :D Tho, I'm looking for any excuse to go to Hawaii!;)

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:grouphug: I'm sorry. As you can see, my children are still little so this isn't a situation I will be in for some time, but I've been the married daughter. I don't have advice for you, just hugs. We used to switch, Thanksgiving with his family meant Christmas with mine and then we'd do the opposite the following year. After the kids were a few years old I didn't want to travel for Christmas anymore.

 

We (my mom, sister, family) started a new tradition by having Thanksgiving together at Mom's every year (3 hours away) & then Black Friday shopping the next day.

 

Christmas afternoon we spend with dh's family, who all live here. We travel usually the day after Christmas to hang with my family. I don't recall my Mom ever saying anything about how we spend holidays, but I remember the first Thanksgiving after we married I cried because I'd never been away from my family. Nice. :)

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:grouphug: Sorry you are dealing with this. Here's my story. We have 2 married out of our 12 so I too do not feel empty nested yet by any means. Our married daughter lives in Texas, our married son in AZ and us in Wisconsin. Our daughter's husband came from really close family too. He is the oldest of 16 kids and Juli, our daughter obviously the oldest of 12. So you have 2 families who are very close. This is how they work it. So far it has been perfect. They spend every other year for Christmas with us. For Thanksgiving they do whatever is convenient. Since Christmas is our favorite no one travels for Thanksgiving. And, since she lives in TX and her in laws in AZ they do get to see them a bit more because they live closer. However, it is not Juli going to them so much as his family comes to visit. Our son too, lives closer to his inlaws than to us. He in AZ and them in Utah. We only get to see them about once a year. I just realized after writing all this that it really doesn't help you since your daughter lives closer. Have you tried just plain out asking her about it and telling her how it upsets you a bit that these choices are being made in this way. That is something I believe I would have to do.

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that may be what has truly bothered me the most. It isn't about what meal they eat with us or when.....I think it's that she just called and informed us of what his family is doing (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and they will be joining them. I know she does not like this (the way her dh always caters to them), she has told me. But it bothered me that we weren't even considered in the equation (not that we had to be, but if one family was, I would think they both would be). I'm just being honest here, though I have never allowed her to know how I feel....but it has felt a little like rejection. And my concern was that if they begin doing it on Year 1, will this be the way it will always be? I know I can't do anything about it, as many have said. But I can still have my own emotions about it.........

 

To me, the red flag isn't that she is choosing to cleave to her husband or spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws, but that she and your SIL seem to expect you all to work around their plans as well. Maybe you are bending over too far to avoid showing your hurt? If it were me...and in no way am I saying this is the right or only way to handle it...but if I were in your position, my instinct would be honesty. I would tell my daughter something very like what you wrote above. You can lovingly and with a smile say something like, "Daughter, I understand how difficult this has been for you. It's tough to figure out where loyalties lie as you try to create a new family, isn't it? I respect any decision you make regarding the holidays, but I'm honestly feeling a little hurt and rejected by the way you chose to share your decision. I don't want you to feel I'll dig in and force you to choose between your families, because I won't ask you to. But I'd like to think you aren't taking us for granted either."

 

She may be following the path of least resistance to avoid conflict. The inlaws will complain; you will not. But you are allowed to have feelings here. Sharing them to drive a wedge between her and her in-laws would be wrong, but sharing your feelings in order to clear the air and pull her closer is good, IMO. The end result would likely be the same (her spending Thanksgiving with the in-laws), but the germ of resentment would no longer be there to take root. As long as the decision is made kindly and with sensitivity to all parties, it shouldn't matter as much what the end result is.

 

Barb

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I not as experienced as you are as a mom, but I will give my opinion on the holiday traditions. She has left your family and is now cleaving to her husband. (He doesn't seem to have done the same and it may be an issue for them in their marriage at some time but they will have to work that out on their own.) You have your own traditions. I don't see anything wrong with saying, "Oh, honey, I'm sorry you can't join us for when we are having our dinner." They can decide to change their plans to include yours or to make a point to come at another time just for dessert or something of that sort.

 

:iagree:

And I also think that it is important for your family (your nuclear family) to continue your own traditions, for the sake of the other children. But most of all, as she adjusts to her marriage and learns the best way to find her voice within it, I think it will comfort her to know that there is consistency that she can count on in the way her (birth?) family does things. I'd bet there will come a time when she insists on spending some holiday time in the traditions she begins to miss after a few years.

 

You may not get them all the holidays, but you can make great extended family memories for 300+ other days of each year. Sometimes it's actually nicer to spend time together without a packed holiday agenda. If you do not make an issue over holidays, she will grow to realize that she can count on your calm counsel on other issues in the years to come.

 

Find a nice way to let her know they'll be missed without making her feel guilty for cleaving to her husband.

 

Just my 2 cents. Not speaking based on my experience as a parent, but on my experience as a new bride in similar shoes as your daughter's.

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for your thoughts and advice, and especially for your shoulder to whine on! I once was a child complaining of the feeling pulled part about holidays. Now that I have a child who is grown and married, I can understand how my mother felt! Transition is always hard and sometimes painful and it's always helpful to be able to just blow off some steam or sit in your pity for a bit before dusting yourself off and getting back to business. :001_smile:

Thanks again!

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I have a married dd that has been married for about 4 1/2 years now. I also have a 14 year old at home and an unmarried 21 year old son.

Each year we have done the holidays just a little different because some years my son-in-laws parents have gone out of town and some years they stay home. My married daugher and sil have ended up coming to our home and my daughters in laws on Thanksgiving but we have tried to spread it out more at Christmas by seeing if they want to come to our house on Christmas Eve or Christmas day and go to the other parents the other day.

 

Two years ago my daughter had her first baby on Dec 16 by c-section and I knew she would be exhausted on Christmas if she had to take the baby out to two households to celebrate Christmas. I told her that I thought it would be best if they put off coming to our house until New Years and we would celebrate Christmas with them then. She said she still wanted to come to our house on Christmas for a short stay but when the time came she realized she was too exhausted and they went home.

I do try to be flexible about the holidays because I know when you have more than one household to visit it can be exhausting and people are trying to pull you in all directions.

When our children marry and leave home, they will begin to have some activities during the holidays that won't always include us and we cannot include them all of the time in everything we do. Just do the best you can and try not to stress too much about it. Let her know you would love to have her and her husband over as much as possible but you are going to try to continue as many traditions as much as possible, sometimes even when they can't come.

 

I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season this year and all of these changes aren't too overwhelming. Try to have fun. :001_smile:

 

P.S. I wanted to add, I started asking my daughter to decide to come to our house either on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, but not to go to both parents on the same day because they would end up coming to our house at a very late hour when they were coming from sil's parents. For example, one year they didn't get to our house until 9:00 p.m. because they couldn't pull themselves away from the other house. We were all very tired by the time they finally got to our house and I didn't think it was fair to make all of us wait so late. So now we all figure out which day works best for which parents and they stick with one parent's home a day instead of trying to go to both on the same day for Christmas. It works much better this way.

Edited by Miss Sherry
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been working myself out of a job for years as well. And like I said, she lived on her own for almost 2 years. I'm not squeezing the life out of her. I haven't put any pressure on her. I know what it's like to be drug all over creation on the holidays since my parents were divorced and remarried. I watched my brother drag his 4 little ones all over to four different houses each holiday (his wife's parents were also both divorced and remarried). It's hard, I know. And I never wanted to do that with our children.

I am not so much dealing with what to do as I am with what I feel. I will do the right thing towards her. That has always been my goal. But it is different when they live on their own as when they are married....as far as what feelings and emotions some of us moms go through. I am just in the transition stage as well. I appreciate all of the advice. I really do. I am just feeling really down today and needed some moms to sympathize with my emotions and tell me it's going to be okay. And I don't mean okay in the sense that they will do what I want them to do. But okay in the sense that there is light at the end and life will go on fresh and new....

 

None of my big kids are married yet but a few years ago I realized they were growing up, moving away, one daughter moved out for a year, son is gone for two years, kids are busy with friends more than family and I realized the job that I had devoted half of my life to was almost over and I was going to have to make a new life and set new goals. I went through about a year of mourning - really as if someone had died. I was kind of at loose ends.

 

If you want to hear that things will work out, I will tell you that they do. I had to change the way I view my kids - more as adult friends and less as me responsible for them. I had to find some new goals and hobbies and friends. I don't know if you are religious but I prayed a lot! I still have a youngster to school so that and the other kids I tutor keeps me busy but in a few years I will be done with him too and will have to start another phase. But for now I am really fine, happy, moving forward and have a different life than before, but still just as good :001_smile:

 

I think I mourned for all of them and all of the changes all at once because I really am OK now and not feeling badly about my son being gone or my daughters potential upcoming wedding - no worries. The bottom line is let yourself mourn, but at the same time, get focused on this new phase. It does get better - just takes a little time.

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I'm sorry you are having this happen -- it isn't fun, and I've been through it as I have two married dds - 30 and 29.

I have had to learn to be incredibly understanding and flexible with my daughters b/c even though my heart sinks and I am disappointed that perhaps they won't be joining us, I want to set a good example for them. And on some holidays, even with three still at home under foot, I want to cry, but I do understand that new traditions have to be made.

One of my closest friends from high school has spent 40 years arguing with her husband every year at the holidays b/c her parents essentially demanded that she and her husband spend the holidays with them -- and she was one of six children so the crowd was going to be large with or without her.

So, think of your daughter and what will ease her heart most -- cause you know that's what we moms do - and I do hope your holidays are lovely, joyous, and you are surrounded by loved ones!:001_smile:

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My kids aren't there yet either but I've been in her shoes!!! My husband's family ran by his grandmother's decisions. She only had 2 kids and little extended family to worry with. She told everyone the when and where and we required to show up. Her son even packed up the entire family and Santa and brought every year. They never in their whole life spent Christmas at home. Before we had kids, I just went with the flow and shook my head. When Baby 1 came along, I told my hubby that from this point forward Christmas Eve at 5:00 till Christmas day until 12:00 was now our time and our time only. No guest, no family, no parents, no anybody. Best decision I ever made. His dad now does Christmas day lunch (1:00) with us, my mom comes over for Christmas eve lunch most times or plans a separate time with us (my family is huge!!!!) and his mom... well she's still a pain in the behind about it. 12 years later! If she doesn't get to spend Christmas morning breakfast with us, Christmas eve lunch and Christmas dinner as well as Thanksgiving then her holidays are just the worst and the saddest of all humanity. We've tried and tired to get her come over Christmas dinner (her ex is long gone by then) but she won't bend. :001_huh:

 

Your daughter will eventually work this out. It's all new and he's new and they're new and she will find her footing. I finally had to just point out the unfairness of it all to my hubby and how torn our children would be. Of course God did settle it by giving us a first baby that thought the car seat was a torture device and screamed from the moment he was in it until he was hoarse and couldn't make sounds anymore. That helped hubby decide we would stay home and everyone could come to us. :D But you sound like a wonderful mom and she will have the light bulb moment come on and work out the way her new little family is going to run. It may just take a little while. And learning a way to deal with a pouty spouse and how to negotiate that in her marriage.

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Can you encourage them to make their own traditions? The first years dh and I were married we ran ourselves silly trying to be at every family function - some 2000 miles away. My grandparents, aunts, uncles... It was nuts. Not to mention someone was always unhappy that we didn't make it to 'their' special day. Someone was always kindly saying, "Gee, I wish you could come over more." as they hugged me. Ugh! The guilt trips!

 

Now we are smarter. We do rotate between families, and yes it hurt feelings. Setting boundaries and becoming a couple is difficult. Now on the actual holiday we stay at home, by ourselves and our kids. Mostly because that is often theonly real day off dh has and he really wants time with just us. We do spend Thanksgiving day with my parents but we do vacation together that week. We then spend the first weekend of Dec with my grandmas and extended family. If they can't see us then, I apologize and send a new family photo in the card and try to see them the next time.

 

My mom and I live in the same town now and arrange one day a month for just the 2 of us. We may do heavy shopping, a movie, or just go out to eat at Wendy's. But it our day. Maybe you could do something with your daughter that way. You may want to change some of your traditions. Your other children will be growing up and getting married and you may need to change again later. While it may be difficult, remember Thanksgiving and Christmas are about family - not about that date on the calendar. I remember as a child my grandma's deciding to work together to make it less stressful on my parents. One did Thanksgiving Day, the other did Saturday (so we could all go shopping together on Friday). Same foods, same activities, same wonderful family time.

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But it bothered me that we weren't even considered in the equation (not that we had to be, but if one family was, I would think they both would be). I'm just being honest here, though I have never allowed her to know how I feel....but it has felt a little like rejection.

 

They actually can and will consult one set of parents and simply inform the other - and that will happen increasingly over the years. They have to figure out what they really want. But they don't have to treat all parents equally.

 

Right now, he wants to be with his parents, and she wants to please him and/or avoid conflict more than she wants to really push being with you. That may be a permanent pattern or it may change over time, though likely over time they will form their own traditions, especially if they have children. Then if they really are mature and strong, they will inform everyone of what they plan to do and let the chips fall where they may.

 

I've already lost an unmarried adult son to Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and it was really hard to get used to. It was harder for his siblings, actually. They really really missed him. I haven't even asked his plans for this year - I am waiting for him to just inform me, and I am resolved to not make it difficult for him to do what he actually wants rather than what he "should" do. I want my "traditions" to feel like a blessing rather than a burden. I know my parents and DH's parents were both really flexible and understanding about holidays. Now, I actually invite his mother to my parents' for a lot of holidays, and that's a lovely new tradition that everyone seems to like (or is too tactful to complain about).

 

(((((((McMom)))))))) It IS going to be okay. Your TG in 15 years will probably look very different from the ones you have always had, but that's okay. I'm sure your daughter will be grateful for your understanding.

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I think it's that she just called and informed us of what his family is doing (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and they will be joining them.
You know your dd better than we do, but is it possible that she just accepted the first definite "invitation" that she and her dh received for the occasions? Perhaps that just seemed logical or fair to her? Might she have reacted the same way had you been the first to announce firm plans and invited them to attend first? Perhaps you can all work together better in the future if you see this kind of thing coming next time and discuss things before her inlaws announce the plans and your daughter feels obliged to go along with them because her own family hasn't proposed anything firm themselves.

 

I also heartily agree with the poster who says who cares how hungry your dd is on Thanksgiving eve. It isn't really about the meal. It's about being together.

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