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Help me undo a "tradition"


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Warning: This is another MIL thread!

 

I'm not here to bash, I'm really not. My in-laws are some of the most generous people whom I really believe have good intentions. I just want out of one of their "traditions."

 

DH and I have been happily married for 16 years. His parents live 700 miles away, and his only sibling lives about 1 hour from us. We have lived here, and in the mid-west (1200 miles from in-laws), and every year for Christmas, they come and stay with us. For. Seventeen. Days. For the Last. Sixteen. Years. Actually, I take that back: for the last 3 years, they have stayed with SIL, and then drive to our house to spend the day with us and then back to her place to sleep. SIL e-mailed DH this week saying that because she has taken her turn for the last 3 years, it's our turn. A huge part of the reason we haven't had them lately is that it was really damaging my relationship with them - I am just not a houseguest kind of person - and because we would have to displace two of our children to an air mattress on the floor for them to stay with us for 2.5 weeks. SIL has a dedicated guest room with a queen bed, a 4 bdr house with one child.

 

The in-laws are the type that sweep in, take over, dominate ALL of my children's time, and I feel like I don't have any time to do the fun stuff with my kids, because I am cleaning up their messes, preparing everyone's food, etc. I have really tried to assert myself more, saying we aren't available on certain days, we already have plans for this day but you are welcome to join us, etc.

 

DH and I really want our own Christmas with just our children. We love our extended families, but really just want to start our own traditions. I know it's not possible to ask them not to come, because they only have two children, and both of them live here with all of their grandchildren, but what are some ideas to have a little more core family time, and less grandparent-dominated holidays? We did go out of town two years ago and it was awesome. However, it's not really in the budget to make that a regular thing.

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Can you offer Thanksgiving instead? "We're planning to have a quiet Christmas at home this year, with just us and the kids. But we'd love to have you come and stay with us for a few days at Thanksgiving."

 

That's a great idea but can you imagine how shocked the in-laws would be to hear they can't come at christmas after doing it for the last 17 years?

 

This is quite a pickle honestly. I do think you need to be assertive and clear - we aren't available these days XTZ, you can come and join us for things at these times ABC, etc. But it's not like you can easily tell them - go away - we want time alone LOL.

 

I think you need to talk to the sister and have them split their time half at her house, half at your house.

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visit. 17 days is an awful long visit, especially when you don't have extra quite space like guestrooms. Can you talk to your dh about cutting it back to 7 or 10 days? Perhaps your dh can explain to your IL's that the extended stay is interfering with schooling? Also, can you split the sleepover time with your SIL, half the nights at your house, half at hers?

 

:grouphug:

 

Many people, including me, would have a tough time with a 2.5 week visit. Just too much of a good thing.

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...I think you need to talk to the sister and have them split their time half at her house, half at your house.

:iagree:It sounds like both houses feel the additional strong presence of the grandparents. If you both split the time, both of you will have some time, but not quite as long of a time.

I know this would be a hard discussion to have, both with a sibling and with a parent, so I wish you good luck!

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What about splitting the time between the two houses? They can spend certain days with you and certain days with you bil and sil. Between you and sil, you can decide who will be doing Christmas Eve and who will be doing Christmas Day so that it's not on one person the entire time and you all get family time in the meantime.

 

Another thing, I would have your dh deal with this with his family so that you aren't in the middle of it! Sometimes it's easier for my dh to deal with his family and me to deal with mine when the subject is a tad touchy.

 

Good luck!;)

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:iagree:It sounds like both houses feel the additional strong presence of the grandparents. If you both split the time, both of you will have some time, but not quite as long of a time.

I know this would be a hard discussion to have, both with a sibling and with a parent, so I wish you good luck!

 

 

 

Great minds!:001_smile:

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I can't even imagine. And I can imagine a lot of things :lol: 17 hours would be an enormous stretch for me to be able to handle my inlaws. I can't even fathom that length of time. And at Christmas? whoo-boy. You have been an incredible wife for 16 years. Wowsers. A talk is definitely in order.

 

How old are your kids? Since they've grown up with this tradition, are they ok with stopping it?

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Run away?

 

Can you go on vacation to the beach, Disneyland, the middle of po-dunk nowhere and hide?

 

What about your family? Do you get any time with them?

 

I really would expect my hubby to man-up and tell his parents that 17 days is too long. I'd give him lots of encouragement and be his cheerleader in the background but I'd want it done.

 

I'm thanking God right now that my MIL really does believe that fish and company stink after 3 days (course they stay for more like 5 but it's a thousand mile drive) and I'm still very ready for them to leave when the time comes.

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I find it hard to have my dad- whom I love to pieces- here from the west coast for 10 days.....17 would put us all over the edge.

One of the reason it's hard to change it now is because the 'tradition' has last so long...... but you can say what works for you and hold firm.

Have you read the Boundaries books? Excellent for these kinds of issues.

http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256678226&sr=1-1

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Talk to the sister, and arrange to present your in-laws with a list of MOTELS in the area. Just say "the kids are getting bigger and having house guests for more than one or two nights will not work anymore." It is either that or your sil and you agree to split the time - a week at each house, tops, then bye-bye grandfolks.

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I really would expect my hubby to man-up and tell his parents that 17 days is too long. I'd give him lots of encouragement and be his cheerleader in the background but I'd want it done.

 

 

 

This would be my take and has been. We dealt with family wanting to come for the weekend (I can't imagine seventeen days, yikes), but they always seemed to pick the weekend it was least convenient. I had dh get on the phone and intervene. It came down to our sanity or their feelings, and our sanity (especially mine) won.

 

I would sit down with your dh first and discuss what you both would like to see happen for the holidays. Then, from there discuss things with the sil. Somewhere a compromise should be worked out. I would definitely let your dh deal with his family, but at some point, someone needs to take your feelings and the desire for some of your own family time into consideration. Maybe a small compromise this year and a bit more next. You've been more than generous for the last sixteen years.

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I think that if so, it's reasonable to accommodate them. It is nice of them not to insist that you do the travelling, and to come all that way to visit you.

 

I certainly understand wanting to do things your own way, but I would suggest thinking about applying that to a different holiday. For instance, can you enhance your Easter customs instead of keeping the IL's out of your Christmas ones? Can you have your immediate family celebration on St. Nicholas Day in early December, or on Epiphany in early January? That way instead of taking something special away from your IL's and children, you're giving your children something extra and special.

 

They have established a family tradition that your children will remember forever. It has some special aspects, I am sure. They won't be around forever.

 

I would say, though, that if you have schooling to do you should make that clear upfront. "Our children are getting too old to take 2 1/2 weeks off from homeschooling when you visit. They are going to have assignments to complete while you are here, although they will not need to work on them every single day. It is very important to us that they have peace and quiet to complete these assignments. We are going to need to work together to provide that for them. I know that I can count on you--after all, you're the ones who encouraged your son to get the great education that he has!"

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Maybe it's just me, but I'd be honest with them. If I were your in-laws, I think I would want to know if I was just being a burden and not especially welcome. If they want to come, maybe have them come for a week after Christmas or something, but come up with something that works for both of you. Also, it's not the end of the world if they spend Christmas together alone. I think that if your in-laws are reasonable people, then honesty is the best policy.

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Can you offer Thanksgiving instead? "We're planning to have a quiet Christmas at home this year, with just us and the kids. But we'd love to have you come and stay with us for a few days at Thanksgiving."

 

I agree with this advice, although I believe it really should come from the husband to his parents, not you. Are your kids in any activities? Mine has a musical in November, so I would tailor it around that as in... "we've loved having you the last 17 years but we're going to break tradition and do our own thing this Christmas. And it works out perfectly because little Johnny is performing in a play on Nov. XX and it would mean so much to him if you could be here then. Could you come then and stay for a few days so we can get in some quality time and exchange presents with you then?"

 

who knows, maybe they will be relieved to take a break?? Either way, try to keep the drama to a minimum and just be cheerful and polite but firm.

 

Or if you just have to avoid it... you/dh and SIL/BIL could chip in to give them a cruise that just happens to leave the day after Christmas.

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Evading out of it is going to hurt them, and it's important to own that.

 

It might be worth it or it might not, but either way, it's going to hurt.

 

From their perspective, all these years they have gone out of their way to visit, given up their own Christmas at home, and done their best to pull the family together. Now that is suddenly not valued. It's going to be rough on them.

 

I think you're within your rights to change this, but I also think that it's important to put yourself in their place to some extent and figure out how to mitigate this. What are they going to do for Christmas if the tradition is cancelled this year?

 

I think it's great that you're figuring this out so far in advance. I encourage you to give them plenty of notice if you're going to change things, so that they have a chance to adjust with dignity and still have a nice holiday.

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We often get together with family out of the area around Christmas, but we rarely see them ON Christmas Day. Instead, we have Christmas to ourselves and travel on the 26th or 27th. We have some time together around the holidays, often stay through New Years (which can have some fun traditions of its own), then we get back to school. It puts a pretty firm end-limit on the vacation, which might help in your case.

 

Good luck with however this plays out. You are fortunate to have family who loves you and makes the effort to spend time with you.

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I have something to share with you.

 

My in laws have never, in all my 15 years of marriage, EVER spent a Christmas with us, choosing their daughter over their son.

 

I would bend heaven and earth to have a Christmas with my in laws before they pass. My children have no holiday memories of them.

 

So, from my seat, I see you as incredibly blessed.

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I really would expect my hubby to man-up and tell his parents that 17 days is too long. I'd give him lots of encouragement and be his cheerleader in the background but I'd want it done..

 

Yeah, but when it comes to dealing with his parents, I never seem to get the desired effect out of it!

 

My suggestion is to look for a way to cut back first, instead of totally breaking it off. I've absolutely HATED Mother's Day for most of the time I've been a mom. I'm not a big holiday type anyway, but I married into a family whose tradition is for the moms to spend a bunch of time cooking, then travel to one extended family member's house where the moms serve the meal and then they clean up. For me with an infant (and soon 3 kids under 5 years) this usually meant that after a night with little sleep I got up early to finish up food preparations, then I got kids ready for church, then I packed them up for traveling, and then we did the family thing. It was more work for me than a regular day and I really resented it, as did SIL, but the older moms seemed to like the martyr aspect. :D We couldn't break from it and leave grandma without a MD, and our husbands had no success. The first dent came when a big part of the family broke off because they were going in so many directions but even then MIL refused to entertain alternatives. Finally after a few years I told SIL I'd cooked my last meal on Mother's Day and so was she so I picked up fruit and veggie trays and deli the first year and last year I planned where to order out from.

 

Beyond outright refusing to come to the extended gathering--which we wouldn't do--I don't think there was anything we could have done to budge the tradition. But by taking advantage of a break we've been gradually able to get it into something we can live with.

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I would suck it up, and host them.

 

I have the only grandchildren in my family which means that I clean for, pay for, and cook for every holiday, every year.

 

I make sure to do what I want with my husband and children when it is not a holiday.

 

I figure I'm setting a good example for my children about how to sacrifice for other people. It's worth so much that the children have a close relationship with extended family.

 

When I am a MIL, I am determined to not be intrusive, and allow my children to celebrate holidays where and with whom they choose.

 

Part of the reason I'm having 5 children instead of 2, is the hope that at least one of them will be willing to put up with me when I'm a grandmother.

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I agree that splitting the time is the most fair. Where does the 17 days tradition come in? Could they just come the week of Christmas (it's a Friday this year), staying half at your house and half at your sil's? Or in a motel? (the motel is the most sane, but I understand it's hard to suggest that. I've got both sides of the family coming in June, and only one side gets to stay with us--the other side has to get a hotel)

Maybe they could come Monday, and stay with you, and leave Christmas Eve for your sil's, and stay Christmas thru the next Monday with your sil. You could have Christmas morning at your house, just you guys. You could do a dinner the night before.

Saying you would like to start new traditions while still preserving some of the old ones is a good compromise.

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Save up and send them on a cruise!

 

Or take one yourselves!!

 

Or suggest a family vacation with them for just after Christmas instead since it'll be cheaper to avoid the pricey holiday season.

 

I think if you can shake things up by doing something different (but in no way suggestive that you don't want to be with them) you might have luck easing the transition to new plans for years to come.

 

I sure wouldn't want to hurt their feelings if I could help it. My in-laws have made me a little crazy over the years and my fil passed away last summer. Now, I miss him, and I'd be happy to hear his story about his brother Tom fifteen million more times since I've only heard it 10 million times so far....

 

Teaching your kids by example to honor their grandparents/parents is a good value for *your* own sake.

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I guess I would talk to the SIL a bit more and see if she just feels like since she did 3 years in a row that you would like a turn. It may just be a stepping on toes kind of thing. Since she is the one who can accomidate them easier (own room, ect) I would just mention that it would be ok with you for them to stay with her since you are sure they are more comfortable there. If that doesnt work then I would consider booking a hotel room for them while they stay. That way you can say something aboutthe kids getting bigger and wantign their own space.

At this point all these years later I doubt that you can just stop the visits or even shorten them. Unless of course for christmas you give them tickets to a vacation for next christmas. THen maybe that would work without hurt feelings.

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Actually, I take that back: for the last 3 years, they have stayed with SIL, and then drive to our house to spend the day with us and then back to her place to sleep. SIL e-mailed DH this week saying that because she has taken her turn for the last 3 years, it's our turn.

 

Okay, the parents can sleep at your house but spend ALL DAY at the other child's house, and only come back to sleep. What could your SIL protest about? If she wants to flip the role, flip the role.

 

I'd let them come, but I'd have their child tell them the situation has changed. Telling them not to come will cause a rift. I can't imagine otherwise.

Best of luck. :grouphug:

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First, I would admit that if your in-laws have been with your SIL for three years, it really is your "turn" to host them. I think hosting once in a while is important unless they are truly abusive, and it doesn't sound like they are.

 

It's okay that you don't really enjoy it. I understand that. I can be sort of a reluctant hostess even to people I genuinely like. But after three years, it's your turn. I don't care if your SIL has more space and fewer kids. You have the life you built, and you have to fit your in-laws into it from time to time.

 

That said, 17 days is too long. Absolutely totally too long. DH need to tell them so. He needs to tell them that school ends on (for example) December 20th and resumes January 3rd and that they are welcome within that period of time. The end.

 

I also would make sure that I savor a lot of family time before the visitors come. Fill your "Family time" cup up really full. Have a special dinner together, spend some Sunday afternoons taking walks. Get that "bonding" time in really fully so that you will resent it less when your in-laws are in bonding and you feel like you are the maid.

 

But I also would stop being the maid. Whatever children are over 5 years old can pitch in with cleaning, can tidy up, and can pick up after themselves. You can put away some casseroles, plan some easy meals, and make a plan with your DH. But let it be known that several times during the holidays you will be out and about. Buy tickets to take a child to a show. Take each child on a special shopping day to pick out presents for the others. Leave the remaining kids to enjoy the grandparents. Make plans to meet a friend for coffee. Get it on the schedule. Make a "date night" with DH while your in-laws are around. Don't be a martyr to the visit.

 

I would have a heart to heart with DH before hand. Maybe you could agree on a little weekend vacation in January or a date night or that he will pitch in. Maybe he will agree to take off time from work so that he can take his parents somewhere, or maybe he will agree not to so that you can use vacation days later. But talk about how to make it work for you.

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Question: Why did they start staying at the other house three years ago? Could it be that they felt a little close at your place just like you did, and the additional room at the other house made the trip more manageable for them? If so, they may not even want to go back to staying at your place. I think it can be hard for older people not to have a quiet place to retreat to.

 

It sounds like all three families need to have an honest discussion about the whole scenario. Figure out how you can preserve the special relationship they have worked hard to develop with your kids in spite of the miles, but make everyone more comfortable during the holidays.

 

Also, if they do end up staying with you, you really have to have a game plan before they get there. Make up a calendar and post it clearly for everyone to see what is planned - school, special Christmas projects, baking days, etc. Ask them ahead of time if there is anything special they would like to do and include it on the calendar. Then stick with it.

 

Good luck!

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Thank you so much for everyone's speedy and supportive responses. I keep going back and forth between thinking I am making too big of a deal between this and wanting to pull my hair out!

 

DH and I sat down and talked about this extensively, and this is what we came up with: they can stay with us for one week, 24/7 do everything with just us, and then stay with SIL for the other week, staying just with her. They will probably arrive in town on Dec. 20, so be with her the first week and come to our house on the 27th until they leave Jan 2. This truly is the very best I can do.

 

A few replies to others' questions:

It's a 17-day visit because both in-laws teach school, and they come for their entire winter vacation.

 

Yes, SIL has had them for the last 3 years, but we had them every year prior to that since 1993.

 

About half of my family, (my mom and 1 sis) live relatively close by and we have never done anything with just my family at Christmas. We see them on either Christmas Eve, when we host all of them along with the in-laws, SIL and fam, and DH's aunt, uncle, other aunt, and even the other's aunt's sister - last year it was 21 people in all - a big family reunion for DH's side of the family. Or, we see them on Christmas Day, when we go to my sis' for dinner and the in-laws come with us. We have tried to go to this just by ourselves, but MIL always says, "Oh, I would love to see [sister], I haven't seen her in so long!" and they invite themselves. We have the big DH family reunion for every other major holiday. 25+ for Easter last year, Christmas Eve every year for the last ??? etc. SIL has never hosted a holiday get-together. Ever. (I will cut her a few years of slack - she was in school before but has been married for 4 years). This year we have decided that we will do a breakfast on Christmas Eve Day and have the masses. We'll have quiche, sweet rolls, etc., and then send them all home by noon. For 24 glorious hours, we will huddle together and make gingerbread, frolic in the snow, and then come in for the traditional fish dinner that I grew up with and is important for me to pass on to my children.

 

The in-laws can't come for Thanksgiving due to it being near the end of the semester and they are busy with finals for their classes etc. It would be the ideal, because DH and I had originally planned on his family at Thanksgiving / mine at Christmas, alternating each year. They can't ever come for Thanksgiving so this has never worked.

 

This is far from being the only time we see them. In 2009, they have come to visit 4 other times, each for 4-5 days. This is pretty typical, maybe on the low side. I did keep track one year when they came every 6 weeks for 4-5 days. That was the year I had my nervous breakdown regarding this situation and said I will not have houseguests ever again. I think that is why I am getting stressed over the idea of them staying with us at all. I closed that door and don't want to start creeping down the slippery slope again.

 

 

I don't want to sound like a whiny self-centered person who needs her holidays to be all about ME, but I would like to establish some of our own family traditions. It's extremely important to me that my children have a good relationship with their grandparents, so I let a lot of other stuff slide with that goal in mind. I just want to feel like DH and I are consciously deciding the emphasis we want to establish regarding the celebration of our Savior's birth in our children's lives, rather than just the supporting role of Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas get-them-whatever-they-want-gift-a-palooza.

 

I think I'll just breathe and try not to get too worked up over this!

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Thank you so much for everyone's speedy and supportive responses. I keep going back and forth between thinking I am making too big of a deal between this and wanting to pull my hair out!

 

DH and I sat down and talked about this extensively, and this is what we came up with: they can stay with us for one week, 24/7 do everything with just us, and then stay with SIL for the other week, staying just with her. They will probably arrive in town on Dec. 20, so be with her the first week and come to our house on the 27th until they leave Jan 2. This truly is the very best I can do.

 

A few replies to others' questions:

It's a 17-day visit because both in-laws teach school, and they come for their entire winter vacation. ...

 

Now their long visit makes perfect sense to me.

I think your plan sounds wonderful - preserving their treasured visit, but providing some relief to both you and SIL.

I did like an idea from a PP, which I might have to implement next week when my parents are here (and their visit keeps getting additional days tacked on). I am going to have my folks take each child, individually, out for some special time. Will give me a break from having them under foot (although I love them dearly, we are not used to the close proximity), as well as provide some time the kids can get some individual grandparent attention, which is rare.

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Thinking out loud here...

 

Can you get them in on the action of figuring out how to honor all the traditions you want to pass down? When they're here can you have a conversation with MIL and say something like, "This year I've been thinking about all the traditions I'd like to pass on to my kids. Some are from your side of the family and some are from mine. Here's a list of the traditions. How can I pass them both on?" Then she can help you decide what days to focus on your family's traditions and what days to focus on her family's traditions. If it's done very gently and without a hint of sarcasm or resentment, it could work out really well. Since you've said they're sweet people, she should see the benefit of passing on multiple traditions.

 

Perhaps you could show her two lists of things to pass down like: (I'm totally making up this list.)

 

My Family traditions

Ice fishing with my dad.

Baking cookies with my mom.

 

DH's family traditions

Looking at Christmas lights with his dad.

Shopping with his mom

 

Then, when she's looked at the list, ask her how to fit those things in. If she says, "Oh, we could all go fishing together on Tuesday!" that's when you step in and say, "But my dad really enjoys that time alone with the g-kids and me. So, what day would be good for us to do the ice fishing, but still have time to do the shopping with you?"

 

It depends on your MIL's personality and yours as to whether you can have an honest conversation like that.

 

I also agree with the poster about setting rules about school. Since your inlaws are teachers, they might expect that your kids take off from school the same days that their schools do, but you'll have to let them know you're on a different schedule this year and the kids can't meet their academic goals without some school days during their visit. Let them know the exact hours that schooling will begin and end. If you have enough moxie, you could give a suggestion for something else for the in-laws to do during that time. (If you can come up with something.) Like, "During school today, you guys might want to try out this new restaurant that opened up this summer. Their lunches are great."

 

As far as the cooking and cleaning, just flat out ask your MIL if she could be responsible for x number of dinners. You'll buy the food she tells you do, if she does the cooking. Just ask up front, "MIL, can you cook 5 dinners for us? I'll buy the food, but I need help with the cooking."

 

And for cleaning--do it like normal--meaning, I'm guessing that you have the kids help. At a lull in between grandparent time, loudly announce that "it's clean up time!" and give the kids some jobs to do (loudly-so that everyone knows that it's clean up time.)

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I don't have a tremendous amount of practical advice - - well, I do have a bit, which is to stop cooking and cleaning! imo, take-out was invented for family visits (an attitude which horrifies my very southern parents, who cook every meal for every visitor, but keeps me sane).

 

Mostly, I wanted to offer emotional support. It's perfectly normal and NOT SELFISH to want certain things for your family holidays (which are going to be your family memories). I've had to tell some very wonderful and loving family members that yes, I actually do want to do some of the fun stuff with my kids, and yes, sometimes I want to do it without extra company. The first time's the hardest, :tongue_smilie:.

 

The idea of them taking the kids one on one, or even in small groups, is wonderful, and lets you do the same. I would proactively present the idea in a very positive manner: "I'm going to be doing thus and so with Thing 1 and Thing 2 on Tuesday, so could you be in charge of the Little Things that day?" etc.

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I don't want to sound like a whiny self-centered person who needs her holidays to be all about ME, but I would like to establish some of our own family traditions. It's extremely important to me that my children have a good relationship with their grandparents, so I let a lot of other stuff slide with that goal in mind.

 

I can honestly say that I so do not see you as being remotely selfish with this predicament! It sounds as though you are seriously and legitimately torn between parents and current immediate family. It's what Christmas is all about :D. (just kidding...sort of)

Dividing the time evenly between the 2 kids is very generous, IMO.

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I'm thanking God right now that my MIL really does believe that fish and company stink after 3 days (course they stay for more like 5 but it's a thousand mile drive) and I'm still very ready for them to leave when the time comes.

 

:lol: No way! My MIL has that same quote! We travel 900+ miles to spend a week with them for Christmas.

 

I think it is wonderful your in-laws WANT to do activities with your kids. My in-laws do not interact with their only grandchild -- they watch sports or news. I'd love to have one day with a grandparent like yours! We love them -- but after 4-5 days, we're ready to go home. HAAAAAAAAAAA

 

Another thought is that soon -- your time with your grandchildren will come. You can establish the traditions. MIL rules the roost with us. At her age of 73, I know it will be not too long before my turn comes when my son gets hitched. (Only I pray I will not be intrusive or overbearing... let them enjoy whatever they want to do. Heck, I may go to Fiji for a Christmas holiday when I'm 65. Hehehee)

Edited by tex-mex
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These posts just make me SO sad! I can't imagine wanting to be with family, and not being able to... and I can't imagine wanting to be with my g-kids for 2.5 weeks and it being too long. Not that you all are wrong... just that I look so forward to being a "Nana" and can't imagine having my kids feel like I'm in the way. Maybe I should be the one who moves to someplace far away.... and volunteer at an orphanage....

 

Bummer...

Carrie

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These posts just make me SO sad! I can't imagine wanting to be with family, and not being able to... and I can't imagine wanting to be with my g-kids for 2.5 weeks and it being too long. Not that you all are wrong... just that I look so forward to being a "Nana" and can't imagine having my kids feel like I'm in the way. Maybe I should be the one who moves to someplace far away.... and volunteer at an orphanage....

 

Bummer...

Carrie

 

:iagree:

 

I think a bit of it is cultural. We fully expect that at some point either my mother or my in-laws will move in with us...permanently. As it is now, when they come to visit, they come for a while. My mom will be with us for 2 months over Christmas. I appreciate that my DH is fine with thise (apart from the wisecracks!) We would never, ever consider saying no or objecting. It is simply what you do when you have parents who now need to rely on you instead of raising you. Granted, if you come from abusive or highly disfunctional families that would be a reason not to support your parents in their old age.

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My fil came to visit unannounced and stayed for 14 days. I am thankful that the kids have atleast 1 grandparent that visits them a couple times a year. He's not a bother except that he seems to always break something and not tell us or spills something and leaves it for us to discover. The splitting of time sounds like a perfect solution.

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Not that you all are wrong... just that I look so forward to being a "Nana" and can't imagine having my kids feel like I'm in the way. Maybe I should be the one who moves to someplace far away.... and volunteer at an orphanage....

 

 

Perhaps, if it seems neither DIL (or perhaps the SIL here is a daughter) are thrilled, these people need to be more gracious guests. I help in the kitchen when I stay. I would not leave big messes after having fun with the grandkids. When my folks visited, my dad was the fix-it king. If they want "vacation", let them go to a resort. If they want to be "family", let them be family.

 

I'm betting you would be a better guest, wouldn't dream of being waited on, and therefore you "can't imagine" that some guests can be real burrs under the saddle. My favourite are the people who agree with all your plans, and then stay up very late after you go to bed and sleep in til noon or later while everyone who lives there is dressed and fed and ready and breakfast gets hard on the table, and polite "it's 9, we'll be late soon" is greeted by "be there in a minute" and they roll over and go back to sleep. This is where I need a "choking thy neighbor" icon.

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