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Old 07-12-2012, 06:34 AM   #31
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

If I were you, I would address it, but in a way that may help you all achieve what you want - MIL to feel important & you and your DH to not feel aggravated. Since you don't feel you can address it head on... Plan events and activities that include her. When she visits, establish some regular activities (zoo, park, play class, home art projects, baking cookies with grandma) you can enjoy together. When you visit, do the same. Whether it is a day at the park, letting her watch the little ones for an hour, pick them up from school with you, etc. You may do this already, but adding "The kids would love if when you visit that you (name an activity)." or "I'm planning when your here next to make some wonderful memories." If she goes home with a painting or drawing, or homemade jewelry, etc., she might think more of the time she does spend with your family. Have her do things the kids like to do; some of the activities will change over the years, but the special grandma time will be a lasting memory. If she's happy when she leaves, you'll be happier that next time will be easier, and you being building a different relationship.


This is a good idea. I'll have to be creative. When we go do things outside the house, DH and I have to pay for all of us, including the inlaws. DH feels obligated, because they struggle with money, and while I don't mind helping out, we used to send money every month and now we can't afford it either--and I get anxious about money--so I get a bit stressed...


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Old 07-12-2012, 06:39 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Hitchkids
We decided early on that for the holidays, we will stay home. Folks are welcome to visit us but we won't travel. We'd rather establish our own family traditions, keep the kids in their own home for Christmas. Plus my husband's birthday is the day after Christmas and growing up he never was able to spend it at home. It was always spent at various relatives homes dealing with the fighting between the two sides of the family over who gets more time with them than the other. He refuses to put our kids in that situation because he learned to always hate his birthday because it always had to do with the relatives fighting. So we don't deal with it. We say where we will be and that if they want to see us, they are welcome to visit and just leave it at that. It's so much easier/nicer.
Yep, this is what we do! We did the in-laws shuffle for quite a few years but with 3 little ones, we put our foot down this year. I sent out an invitation stating that we will have lots of goodies, a Ham dinner and drinks and everyone who wants to come over is welcome. Christmas was MUCH more enjoyable last year and we will be doing it every year now!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:53 AM   #33
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We are in the same boat. My parents live about an hour away & SO's mom is 9 hours away.

Last year, up until the baby was born, she said she was taking a week off of work to come & help us. I didn't plan on having anyone else here & my mom had shoulder surgery just before the baby because she thought I'd have my MIL's help. At the last minute age decided not to come.

She missed DD1 & DD2's (DD1 is w/ my ex) 1st bdays here so I had 2nd parties for them in KC (only a 6 hr drive for us!!), but she was able to make it to SO's cousin's little boy's 1st bday & she lives 9 hrs away too.

She can drive to my SIL's or BIL's (both 4 hrs away) every other weekend but only comes here about twice a year. In fact she hasn't been here since October. She keeps saying she's planning a trip but doesn't. My kids get upset so I meet her places, etc. I even went to the bday party & it was 3 1/2 hrs away. SO was so mad that he refused to go so I went alone!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:54 AM   #34
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We have done a mix of staying home and traveling through the years. As a kid, I wanted to see family but no one ever traveled so we always made the trek to see family when we wanted to see them. It has always annoyed me a little that it had been so one sided, so we try to find a balance.

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:18 AM   #35
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

She sounds very much like my MIL. Mine cries to get her own way, argues with my children if they say they love me , and has threated suicide. We are going to be moving 2000 miles away soon, to be near my family, and I am so excited. DH has agreed to a few ground rules with her...setting limits on visits, etc. , but we will see how that works out!
I did tell mine that she is emotionally manipulative once (we weren't fighting, she was just telling me how passive she was and I was explaining how she was wrong) and she actually took it very well. DH cracked up when he heard.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:37 AM   #36
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We're blessed with levelheaded families. Dh and I are in the first few hours in day one of our two full day drive from his dad's house in central IL to our home in San Antonio. We were visiting for his maternal grandparent's 60th anniversary. Dh's grandparents (both sides) and dad/stepmom live in his hometown. His mom is about 3 hours away in Indianapolis. It's 24 hours of travel including all stops except the overnight for us. To my parents in Alabama from TX is 15 hours (sometimes we stop, sometimes not). This trip to IL was our first driving trip with DD (3 months).

Usually we flip flop Christmases. We started that because it's what my brother and SIL do so we hopped onto their schedule so we could see them every other year when we go to my parents. Right now we stay home for Thanksgiving because the base has a program where you can adopt a pair of basic trainees for the day. We've done it for the past 3 years (since we moved to TX) and we plan to do it one more time this year anticipating orders to move next summer. If we can afford it we'll go visit whoever we're not visiting for Christmas, but it will depend on where we move (travel costs). I don't know if we'll be able to afford two trips that close. All other travel is based on events (like this trip) and cost. Both of our families are/were military so they understand the issues we sometimes face with money and leave. They both also have small farms and understand the issues we face with what to do with our pets when we travel (we have more pets than the average family). We're also lucky that our families also don't feel left out or jealous if we travel somewhere other than to visit them so long as we take a lot of photos to send them. DH and I have it pretty easy. I imagine as out two legged family grows though there will be more visits to our house verses visits to theirs. My parents are already planning to visit this fall...hopefully for Thanksgiving. Since we did this trip to IL we will probably not go back for Christmas even though it is DH's year to go. We'll see.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #37
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We do each grandparent every other year. This year is my mom's turn (she lives 8 hours away) but I'm gonna be super pregnant so we invited her here.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #38
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We visit the inlaws at least every other year for about 2weeks if they would like to come down to see us in the in between year that is totally up to them. This year they are actually going to come and see us for a few days since DH and I are having our first child, DD will be here sometime before aug 2nd and they will be here early October.

My parents live 20min away and we see them all the time, they are super involved in our lives and will be in our DDs life as well. I feel bad for my DH sometimes but his family is in VA while we are in TX and they only time they have ever made the effort to come see us was for our wedding and his dad complained about having to go to that so honestly they have put themselves in this position.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #39
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

My MIL lives 7 hours away. DH has two kids from a previous relationship, and prior to LO being born, we were always expected to find a house/dogsitter, pack the kids up in my 2-door hatchback (DH is 6'4), and drive the 7 hours to visit several times a year. We could never afford a hotel nearby (they live in a very expensive beach town), and they only have one guest bedroom. DH has two other siblings, so if it was a holiday visit, we were never even sure we would have a real bed versus the air mattress. Couple all of that irritation with the girls' psycho mother who liked to interfere with all of our plans anyway, and it was just a miserable time everytime we travelled.

We drove LO to visit them 2 weeks ago. She was 6 weeks old at the time, and it took a solid week for her to get back to some kind of routine with eating and napping. I told DH that I'm not driving down there again for awhile. They can come visit us.

Incidentally, MIL did come to our town last weekend. We assumed that she would want to come visit when she got to town, but she wanted to hang out with her friends instead. She stopped by to see LO for exactly 2 hours before she headed back the next day. So I'm not going to be swayed again by any whining about not getting to spend time with her granddaughter as the reason I need to make this hellacious trip to visit anytime in the near future. The first 5 years DH and I were together, MIL came to our town TWICE, and it was never to see her grandkids. It was always for some friend-related function, and she just made a few hours to see the kids since she was already coming.

So I know how you feel... dealing with in-laws is very frustrating.

Last edited by magdalynaa; 07-12-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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