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Old 07-11-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

Seems to me the bigger issue is your husbands guilt and his Mom's emotional manipulation. I understand the suicide issue makes it harder for him. My younger brother often threatens to kill himself so my parents are constantly living their life around his threats. Frankly, I refuse to because I see it more as a tool he's found to use to get his way. My mom does the same thing with stomping off when she visits and throwing fits. The end result is I have some children who hide the entire time she is here, some children who have near nervous breakdowns in their attempts to keep Grandma happy, and my youngest children usually are just scared out of their minds of her because her temper is so hard to predict. So we've just started ignoring her fits. She has packed up her bags and left and gone to hotel because I would not cater to her. Fine by me. We no longer allow my parents to stay here overnight and we no longer stay in their home at all. We limit all visits to day trips or a few hours or neutral territory. In the end, the emotional stress her fits were causing my children (and myself) were just not worth it. We'd rather not see her than allow our kids to see a grown adult throwing temper tantrums all the time. I grew up with an Aunt who always did that and watched everyone always walk on tiptoes around here and constantly change plans to keep her happy. She made everyone else look like a fool and ruined many, many family gatherings with her fits. I refuse to make my kids deal with it.

However, if your husband is truly mostly concerned about the suicide related issue, that is a bigger problem. Can he talk to a trusted counselor or someone about it? Because until he's willing to not let that issue control his decisions, I think you are always going to kind of miserable with regard to her visits.

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #12
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

We have taken to just planning what we want to do and if someone starts whining about us coming to visit we tell them they are more than welcome to come to/with us. DH's family thinks we should hang with them when we travel because he is military and hasn't lived near them since 1998. We don't think that we should not get to do what we want to do because someone else doesn't like it. When we went to Disneyland a few years back they whined because we had come to visit them for a few days then went on to Disneyland. They said well you could visit us longer. We just said we are taking our kids to Disneyland and if you want to come we will be there on such and such dates.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:04 AM   #13
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

I use to dread having to deal with holiday drama....it was the one thing DH use to fight about. We have finally got it all worked out and do what works for us. So we don't go visit my family at all for holidays they are in Canada we are in Colorado its too far and too expensive. So we only have to deal with his family. They wanted us to be at there house for every holiday. But I love Christmas its my favourite time of year and I have no intention of being anywhere but at home on Christmas day (we do Santa here and I want the kids to wake up Christmas morning to presents etc and be able to enjoy the day stress free) So we stay home Christmas day people are invited to come to our house (my FIL has come for the last 2 and two of our close friends who we consider family came last year...my MIL/stepfather didn't want to) after our day is over around 5-6 pm we will go to my inlaws house and say hi exchange gifts etc. This may change this year since it will be the first year where my husband will have more days off then just Christmas day. For Easter we spend the morning at our house (big breakfast, egg hunt, baskets from easter bunny) and then we go to my inlaws. Thanksgiving is at my inlaws. Other holidays are at my inlaws. Although now that we have a family we are starting to want to do more of our own traditions.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #14
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

Children should not have jobs. Neither DH nor your DS should be responsible for her happiness. That is on her. You guys need to do what is best for your family and she can choose to be happy about it or have a crying fit and try to manipulate. She can't make you do anything or make you feel bad about it. You guys allow her that power. Stop giving it to her.

We no longer travel for Christmas. I don't want to do it, DH doesn't want to do it and the kids want to wake up in their own beds on Christmas. So we don't do it. We also don't open up for negotiations or give any attention to the passive aggressive attempts to make us feel bad about it. We get it from my family and his. It was hard the first time but it is SO nice to not be manipulated and do what we want that I am not even tempted to give in. Plan a nice afternoon/dinner or something for the day after or New Years and call it good.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

We generally travel to Missouri every other year to visit my family, alternating Christmas and Thanksgiving. However, last year we decided that our family travel will no longer include Christmas. Our children are now older and we like the feeling of waking up to the kids squeals about the presents, etc.

My MIL tends to play the guilt trip on us too but my husband always handles it. We don't give in to her. She has older kids so she travels much easier than we do, not to mention, her house is not kid proof so visiting her is always hel*. We usually invite them over the week of or after Christmas for a dinner and to open presents with them.

I think you should say no and let it go.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #16
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

We just don't go home around the holidays. We are military and live far away, and when we have visited in the past, the issue was always that we were so burnt out by the time we got home that it felt nothing like a relaxing visit. We were on the go constantly visiting family, and got no time to take a breather or hang out with friends. So we just stopped. We still visit, just not during a holiday, and it is much more relaxed. Now that we have DD we are thinking about making it our own family tradition to go on a trip every year, since our kids won't have the family traditions that DH and I grew up with.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #17
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

We try not to travel on the holidays. The house is 'first come, first serve' so whichever set says they're coming gets to come. If multiple ones wanted to, we'd accomodate, but DH's parents don't like eachother so much.

We just had DH's parents set Dad and Stepmom here and it went as it always does. Which means I was so stressed and aggravated that I broke out with blisters on my nose and apparantly even more stressed than normal because I got them around my eye as well, which hasn't happened in like 20 yrs. They're fine. They just... well.. they wake up at like 5am, but we don't see them until right before naptime or after naptime. And it's not like I'm upset about that, except that I can't plan anything because who knows when they'll actually shower and get ready to socialize. and his dad treats me like I'm a child.. because I think he actually thinks DH and I are still children.

Same with DH's mom and stepdad. They usually sleep here, but they still aren't ready to leave the house and do anything until naptime.

I usually just get irritated and try to pretend everything's lovely.

I feel bad when we want to go to visit other people during holidays or whatever like people are going to think we should choose family. but, we're military and seeing anyone we like requires a trip.. which means that sometimes it's not going to be blood-relations.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #18
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

I REFUSE to travel during the holidays. I'm not going to do it! MIL/FIL travel every holiday. Thanksgiving at a resort somewhere, Christmas in the mountains of Colorado for a ski trip, Spring Break in New Orleans, etc DH was raised this way. He was disappointed at first that I didn't want this for my family. He totally enjoys staying home now! Like a previous poster said, we have our own family traditions.

Traveling is too much stress, too much money, and kids deserve the attention on holidays... not the adults. Also if people want to visit... I tell them about the local hotels in our area.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:41 PM   #19
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

We stay home mostly and celebrate with families/friends also living in town. Our extended family members come out to visit with us several times a year. It would take us a good two days of driving with our LOs to visit the grandparents, aunts and uncles. DH will not splurge for plane tickets and a rental so all of our trips are road trips (we try to keep them within a 4-8 hour radius).
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #20
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Re: Semi vent. How do you juggle your visits to inlaws? esp. holidays?

You have a crazy MIL. I do too. It totally stinks. I'm so sorry.
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