It is impossible to make some people happy..an IL vent( sorry got kinda long)(update in OP)

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Posted 12/17/2013 by Inkin One in NSBR Board
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Inkin One
PeaNut

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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:31:50 AM
BLAH..
So this year my parents are coming to our house for Christmas. My oldest will turn 18 on the 21st so they are getting here on Friday this week and will stay until the 27th. It is a 6-7 hour drive for them to come. This is the first Christmas that we have gotten to spend with MY family in 6 years.
So in order to keep peace and try to make my IL's happy, we are leaving MY family here at our house, and driving the 4 hour drive to my IL's the day before Christmas Eve, spending the night, doing our thing there and coming back home Christmas Eve.
My Il's are having a COW. My mil has droned on and on for a week now about how she doesn't understand why her children don't want to spend the holidays with her...
my sil is upset because she feels like her kids and her little family aren't as important as us( they live about 20 mins from the IL's)..
So yesterday my fil told my husband that if we were "just going to come for a day and a half, then why bother" WTH??
( oh yeah..my husband works up where they live right now d/t a transfer to set up a site and comes home on the weekend so he sees the daily)

anyway..my husband is getting ready to say..OK then we just won't come.

BLAHH I hate and LOATHE drama..especially family drams..

Wheww.thanks if you made it this far..just needed to vent a little.

Oh I wanted to add..that my parents are quite a bit older than my IL's and that our ILs have come to our house ( we live at the beach) for ONE NIGHT BEFORE to see " their kids" ..so I don't know what they can't understand about this...

UPDATE:::::::::

First, we weren't trying to be rude to anyone.Just trying to keep the peace honestly.

SO my husband told his father that we would not in fact be up there this year for Christmas, BUT, we could come for New Years if they wanted to do that, as our kids will still be on break. We were informed that wouldn't work for them as they have plans. They NEVER do anything with anyone really, but I guess it is possible.

I am not going to participate in any head games with either of his parents..we have both decided that we aren't going to play games or listen to the condescending, manipulative tactics they will start. I just can't...I have dealt with this for almost 8 years now, and it stops this year. NO more.
Thanks to everyone that agreed with our decision to just stay home LOL

Woobster
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:35:16 AM

anyway..my husband is getting ready to say..OK then we just won't come.

This is exactly what I would do.

Relax and enjoy the holidays with your family this year. Make plans to see your inlaws another time during the year.

GrinningCat
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:35:19 AM
You have company alreay. Tell them you're not coming. If they whine about it, that's on them. You were leaving your company to placate them but that's not good enough. Eff 'em and spend it with family that actually seems to want to see you.

MerryMom937
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:46:15 AM

anyway..my husband is getting ready to say..OK then we just won't come.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THAT ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You aren't going to please these people either way, so I would skip. Especially since your husband is okay with it.

How much more complaining can they do?

--------------------------------------------------------

If you really feel obligated to say something, a mere "You do know that this is the first Christmas with my parents in 6 years."

or

"Are you saying that I should deny my parents the first Christmas in 6 years?"

not2peased
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:47:26 AM
I would be ticked too-you are going above and beyond for them and they are behaving like jerks


-Kerry


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miominmio
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:49:30 AM
The grown-up thing is probably to reply like Merrymom suggests......but when they behave like spoilt teenagers, I would really like to say something a lot snarkier

Inkin One
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:56:18 AM
Thanks!
My husband has said "this is our 1st Christmas with her parents in years" PLUS its our sons 18th bir4thday!!!
They don't care. He said to them last night, which I didn't know when I made the OP, that he wasn't going to be quilted. HIs moms response? You have to have a conscience to feel guilt. !!
That's it..I'm done. We are NOT going and I am NOT planning a get together period with them. I have had it.She is always manipulative but this is just too much.




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Scrapn Nana
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:07:59 AM
It is always hard to juggle family and holidays.

We live a 23 hour drive from our second son and his family. We have visited them at Christmas twice. Both times, my DDIL's mother seemed to really resent our interfering with their usual tradition of having their whole family together. DDIL's parents live near them and have for years.

My DS and DDIL have tried to keep everyone happy by having her family join us for presents and dinner, BUT the last time we visited, we took turns, with each side of the family having a private present opening while the family who was waiting for their turn was asked to be in a different room. I am pretty sure it was the other mom's idea. It blew my mind that we would be separated instead of all being together. We did get to open presents first, but it was very uncomfortable. I felt like we were banished to the other room.

Then the other mom asked if they could come for family pictures for just a couple of hours, which then turned into a party at Chuck E. Cheese after, and they were gone for hours. We were "invited" but DH was going to have to miss it, and we didn't want to leave him there alone.

In ten years we have been there twice, and both times the other MIL obviously resented our being there.

Sometimes families just need to take turns. That is the reality. For either in-laws to expect to monopolize the married children is ridiculous.

Our DD just got married. She lives near her in-laws, so they have them for every holiday and family event. She and DSIL were originally going to come out here for Christmas (we live 2,000 miles away), and according to DD, the moaning and groaning by the other MIL was unreal. Well, DD's work went out of business, so she had to get a new job, and ended up with no vacation to come for Christmas. So they are coming for next Christmas, and she is going to spend the year preparing her MIL to get used to the idea.

I personally think your DH has the right idea. You shouldn't leave your parents for a day and night when it has been so many years since you have been able to spend Christmas with your family.

Perhaps invite your DH's parents/family to come for Christmas dinner, or tell them you will come there for a visit for New Year's if it is AFTER your parents leave.

Your parents should be your first consideration since this is your first Christmas with them in 6 years. Stay with them the entire time they are visiting. You said they are older than your in-laws, so chances are they will be gone before your in-laws.

Your in-laws need to grow up and stop being so selfish. Other family members need consideration, too.

Just my two cents based on the OP. Haven't read any further.


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jeremysgirl
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:09:28 AM
That is just plain ridiculous. I wouldn't have even made the concession you did. I would have simply said that you were spending Christmas with your family this year since you haven't seen them in six years. She was lucky you were even planning to come for a day and leave your houseguests behind. I would definitely feel no guilt about this.

schizo319
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:10:54 AM
Good for you! Enjoy your time with your son and your parents. Screw the in-laws, some people can never be satisfied.



amom23
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:18:21 AM
We alternate holidays between my family and DH's. Thanksgiving was with my side and Christmas will be with DH's. Next year it switches. We've always done it this way and it works and is fair.

There is no way I'd put up with some of the family crap a lot of the peas do.


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CreativeEngineer
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:27:37 AM
And this kinda crap is precisely why as soon as I got married, I decided that we would be spending Christmas AT HOME. Every year. And I tell my grown kids the same. Spend time with us during the holiday season (everyone is decending on us en masse on Saturday to bake cookies). But on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day, stay home with your kids and spouse.

I really don't like to travel, so jaunting all over the world, driving hours on end for the holidays is about the worst thing I can imagine.

Good luck, OP. Hope your DH sticks with the decision.





PEAcefulmind
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:29:25 AM
The IL's are already upset and combining and will likely do so up until then and then again why you are there.

Why not just stay home because they are going to feel that way EITHER way!!!

ENJOY CHRISTMAS!!
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Oliquig
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:32:39 AM
Its stories like this that make me so glad my family has an open door policy on holidays. Come and leave when you want and bring whomever you wish.

I think your husband has the right idea, enjoy your Christmas with your parents.


-Rachel

I just don't see why people think I'm too patronizing (that means I treat them as if they were stupid.)






fredfreddy
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:32:59 AM
Why is it so hard for parents to understand that children grow up, marry into other families, and have children of their own. It boggles the mind.


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AKathy
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:35:32 AM
Ugh! I'd tell my in laws what I planned to do and then refuse to discuss it again. "I'm sorry, that's what we've decided." And repeat as many times as it takes.


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Luvnlifelady
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:36:16 AM
Definitely stay home. I'm at the age now where I wouldn't put up with MIL's BS.

There's a Pea that has young kids and I think she visits 3 or 4 houses each on the holidays to satisfy parents/step-parents. No way, no how would I do that. Anyone is welcome to come to me, but we stay home on Christmas even with teens.

My favorite tradition is going to a park in the afternoon to play with new toys. Simple and easy.

I hope you get to enjoy your holiday.



cmpeter
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:36:28 AM

That is just plain ridiculous. I wouldn't have even made the concession you did. I would have simply said that you were spending Christmas with your family this year since you haven't seen them in six years. She was lucky you were even planning to come for a day and leave your houseguests behind. I would definitely feel no guilt about this.


This! I am sorry your in-laws are being so selfish.


My DS and DDIL have tried to keep everyone happy by having her family join us for presents and dinner, BUT we took turns, with each side of the family having a private present opening while the family who was waiting for their turn was asked to be in a different room. I am pretty sure it was the other mom's idea. It blew my mind that we would be separated instead of all being together.



How bizarre and uncomfortable.


Cindi

MerryMom937
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:42:41 AM
You cannot reason with unreasonable, self-centered, and unempathetic people.


Enjoy your holiday!!

Inkin One
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:46:31 AM
Thanks for the PVM LOL

He is going to tell them tonight that we aren't going to be there. He said he is very close to saying ..we will no longer travel for holidays. We don't see my parents in the winter as the weather is very ..iffy up there and we are always afraid of getting snowed in.

My mil will lose her mind. I am sure the phone calls will start tomorrow and continue until after Christmas.

I think the part that makes the maddest, is that in all of these years my father has NEVER complained NOR guilted one single time about getting the short end of the stick at holidays. He understand the reason behind it..the weather is one reason he doesn't come here much in the winter. And if he knew how childish they were being..and how unimportant they are making him to our family, he would be very hurt. That pisses me off almost more than anything in this silly drama.




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Kerri W
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:50:17 AM
I feel for you. My MIL being unreasonable about holiday expectations and never being happy no matter what lengths we went to is what made us finally say that we will go NOWHERE on Christmas. All of the grandparents are welcome to come here, but we are staying home. My parents have taken us up on the offer some years but never MIL. Apparently she would prefer to stay at home by herself and pout.


My DS and DDIL have tried to keep everyone happy by having her family join us for presents and dinner, BUT we took turns, with each side of the family having a private present opening while the family who was waiting for their turn was asked to be in a different room. I am pretty sure it was the other mom's idea. It blew my mind that we would be separated instead of all being together.


That is just...odd. Kudos to your DIL for trying.

Mallie
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:00:07 AM
Sounds like my ILs. One of the many lessons my ILs taught me was that if you can't please someone, then please yourself without guilt.

Burning Feather
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:04:39 AM
I don't blame you one bit for changing your plans and not going.

One thing that always drove me crazy about my SIL is that certain holidays ALWAYS had to be spent with her family. That meant that no matter how accommodating our family was, the whole family could never be together on the actual day.

Early in our marriage, we alternated holidays and everything was just fine, but once DD reached 2, we stayed home and opened our house (for several years until the Santa phase was over). If someone chose not to come, it was on them, not on us.

Now, between DH's work schedule, DD's "other" family, etc. we are very loose about the holidays. I'm not going to get into a fit about it. It's easier to be flexible than it is to be rigid and have to deal with any fallout.

My guess is that even if you changed all your plans and were there for Christmas, you couldn't win because she would be pouting about how you "almost weren't there." It's a lose-lose situation, so you might as well stack the cards in your favor and stay at home so you don't have to deal with it.


Carla




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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:07:00 AM
I personally think it would be rude for you to leave your GUESTS and go to a different "party". Very rude. So for that reason alone, I wouldn't go. I don't get why it's so hard for everyone to accomodate everyone else.


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nicolequinn
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:18:46 AM
I can't believe what a brat your MIL is being.
I would never have offered to leave my parents when they were visiting after not seeing them at the holidays for SIX years!!!

She can suck it up, be nasty... whatever.
The guilty conscious belongs to her, not your dh.

I sure hope you don't leave and go visit them!!



needmysanity
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:27:04 AM
I wouldn't be going to the in laws. You haven't spent Christmas with your parents for 6 years. They are coming to visit and I would be staying home with them. The in laws just need to get over it! How inconsiderate of them to complain that you want to spend time with your family.


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RockyMtnPea
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:32:58 AM
I would of never agreed to leave my guests in order to go to another house. I would however have invited the IL's to come to my house and celebrate with us all there.

What I don't understand and it seems common on this board is that the two family sides do not mix. When I see people posting that the IL's will not celebrate with the opposite side of the family I just think "Why not?" Can someone explain this? It just seems so odd. Why are there rules that the sides must remain seperate?

In our house all are welcome. Doesn't matter if you are the in laws, cousin, sister inlaw from the twice divorced brother...everyone gets together.

And the opening of the gifts in private...WHAT??? Lame.

MizIndependent
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:36:51 AM
Yes, it is impossible to make some people happy. Those people would be the ones who look for their happiness in you or another person directly instead of trying to figure it out for themselves.

No one person can make any other person happy and it is actually unfair to expect that of anyone.



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Maryland
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:38:50 AM
So you have made the trip to your inlaws for 6 yrs. and this year you decided to spend it with your family for the first time in 6 yrs. AND you still want to see inlaws for Christmas just a couple days early.

And they are mad about that? That is crazy. It sounds like you are a great dil, spending Christmas with them for 6 yrs. and not with your family. They are so wrong. (And I usually take the inlaws side because it seems like most women do their best to make it all about their family and never the inlaws. But you are not like that at all. You are a great dil and they should realize how nice they have it!).


canadianscrappergirl
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:39:40 AM
It is impossible to make some people happy and that is why I don't bother with people like that! My mom did that to us one Christmas, we had 2 small boys 4 and 3 and I was pregnant with my 3rd and we said we would come down in the afternoon to my brother's who was hosting dinner, she was pissed because we wouldn't come down earlier and haul all our gifts so she could watch the boys open their gifts, WTH!!! She doesn't drive and we weren't about to have her at our house because she is the type of person that sucks the fun out of the room if you kwim. When we got to my brother's she and my sister didn't speak to us unless they had to for the entire day. That was the last year we went anywhere for Christmas.

Good for you for taking a stand most people seem to cave just to try and keep peace and then we have to hear about it on boards or if they are your friends hear them bitch about it for several weeks lol. Life is too short to put up with crap from IL's or even your own family. It is a type of emotional blackmail when they pull crap like that.

I don't understand families that insist they need to get together when there is bullshit going on thru out the year or when then don't normally get together because of tension. I gave up doing that kind of stuff and now my hubby and I focus on our own family, his family is full of b.s and tension too.

Susie_Homemaker
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:43:16 AM

My mil will lose her mind. I am sure the phone calls will start tomorrow and continue until after Christmas.


This is why caller i.d. is a good thing. Don't answer!!




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kimberly38
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:43:35 AM
Well, next time in laws go on a rant, if I were your dh, I think I might reply and turn it around on mom,

"Wow, mom. You are so right. I understand how you must feel. I get it now. I can only imagine how op's parents have felt the last six years that we spent the holidays with you and not with them. I did not realize it until you brought it to my attention. You are so right. So, as Dad suggested, we won't bother coming to your home at all for the holidays this year and we will make up time with op's parents this year".

Bet that day won't look so bad to them now.

Maryland
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:46:34 AM
Forgot to add above.

This is how we do it. We live 5 hrs. from husbands grandma, 4 hrs. from his parents, 5 hrs. from my parents.

His familys big holiday is Thanksgiving. So we go to his grandmas every Thankgsiving and stay for the whole 5 days. The whole family is there and we all stay in a hotel and spend the days at grandmas. The weekend before Christmas we go to inlaws for early Christmas with them. Then the day before Christmas we go to my parents. It works out between the families because their big thing is Thanksgiving. I always believed that no matter what I felt about my husbands family and no matter what he felt about mine, they are our parents and deserve equal treatment and equal time with us. I can't imagine us or our parents demanding all the time with one set.

Of course Chrismtas season is extremely busy for us! Along with all the stuff everyone else does, we have three big trips to do during the season (laundry, packing, cleaning up, getting car ready, drive, unpacking and do it all again). And we never have the holidays at home. But we do keep both families very happy by doing this!


KikiNichole

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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:49:06 AM
Is it possible to just give your mother in law a call and be completely honest with her.

Tell her that you love the holidays you've spent with them but that you haven't spent them with your family in six years. Tell her that you hate that she's upset about it and that you'd love to be able to be in two places at one time, but since you can't, this is the best you can do and you hope that she'll understand.

She should understand all of this without having to be told, but sometimes we get so set in our tradition, anything different can cause us to react badly (I'm going through some of this, myself, right now)...but since she isn't getting it on her own, maybe a gentle explanation will help soothe.


~Kristen~

pheestand
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:53:18 AM
I can't count how many Christmas Days we spend eating dinner at some random fast food place on the highway while we were running from one house to the next to try and please everyone and be every where at once.

It was almost OK when we were young and didn't have kids, but once the kids came, things changed. We make our best to match up schedules, but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. We've learned that the day before, or two days after, or the following week is just as good as the magical 25th marked on the calender. The holiday "magic" happens when you make it happen, not because the calender says so.

Hope she gets over herself quick; if not, do whatever it takes to make YOU happy first. (sounds like staying home will find you the most peace)


Peppermintpatty
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Posted: 12/17/2013 10:03:23 AM
Irregardless of the fact that you shouldn't have to put up with that childish behavior, no way would I leave my house guests to go to their house. In my opinion that is extremely rude to your parents. The IL need to get over themselves and grow up. I would simply tell them you are not coming.

I never would have made the concession you did.

This is why I like the fact that our families are in the area, we come one day and then leave!





eebud
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Posted: 12/17/2013 10:10:31 AM
I never would have said I would leave my parents and go to their house to begin with. If I have guests, I am not going to leave them for that long. I also do not let anyone, relatives included, guilt me into what I should or shouldn't do. From the beginning, I would has set up an alternate time/date to visit them, whether at their house or at mine.

If the phone calls are going to start, then use caller-id. Not every phone call has to be answered. Let it go to voice mail/answering machine. At this point, I would leave it to DH to deal with his family.





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CountryHam
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Posted: 12/17/2013 10:16:32 AM
The only thing I am wondering is if you had previously made plans with your husband's parents then canceled or amended them once you realized your parents could be there for Christmas?



Inkin One
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Posted: 12/17/2013 10:54:34 AM
Country ham..the Christmas plans were made at Halloween. We didn't make plans with the IL's first at all.




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BrinaG
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Posted: 12/17/2013 11:00:09 AM
When DH and I were engaged we easy spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter with our own families (separate states) and during that year we explained to them all that starting after our wedding we were going to alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas - the first year we would do TG with my family and Christmas with his and the then switch the order each year. Easter would depend on work schedules, and that there would be no discussion or arguing about it. Now, I don't know if MIL gives DH a hard time when I am not around, but she has kept quiet about her disappointment when around me.

tamhugh
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Posted: 12/17/2013 11:13:07 AM
I really hope that I handle the holidays well when I am the MIL. I can't believe that yours is being so selfish when you never get to see your family for Christmas.

When DH and I got engaged, we agreed to flip flop Thanksgiving and Easter every year. Our parents lived a few hours in different directions from us. The first 3 years we were married, we would drive to one set of parents after working on Christmas Eve, have dinner, go to midnight service, sleep for a few hours, get up early and open gifts, drive to the other parents, open gifts, eat dinner, drive home, and then open our own gifts. It was 7 hours of driving in less than 24 hours and we always had to work the day after Christmas as well. Once DS was a toddler, we agreed we weren't doing it anymore. We offered to alternate Christmas Eves but we were going to be home on Christmas Day, and they were invited to join us at any point. MIL didn't speak to us for a few months. My mom was also angry and tried the guilt trips. They both told us not to bother with Christmas Eve. Eventually they got over it and my mom has since admitted that we did the right thing for our kids. MIL never has. My parents have visited twice on Christmas and his parents never have. (It's been 22 years since we stopped traveling) I swear I won't do that to my kids.

llnutswife
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Posted: 12/17/2013 11:25:03 AM
I am another who thinks you should stay home. Your in laws need to grow up. If my dil said her parents were visiting but we are going to leave them at home and come spend a day with you she would be told no your not.

You can not leave your parents because then it appears that your controlling mil is more important than them and right. If it were me I would invite the in laws to join you but would not be going there.

Also they join all of you no special private gift opening. That's just stupid.


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mdoc
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Posted: 12/17/2013 11:56:25 AM

anyway..my husband is getting ready to say..OK then we just won't come.


This is exactly what we would do. We generally spend holidays with my ILs because they live within a reasonable drive whereas my parents live 12 hours away. On the very rare occasions when my family has come for a holiday, we invited the ILs to visit us. If they didn't want to come, then they didn't see us that holiday, or we would stop in just for a brief period (WITH my parents in tow). I would not leave guests in my home alone while I went to visit someone else - I consider that to be rude and it would not happen, even if the guests were OK with it.

JenB72
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Posted: 12/17/2013 12:09:10 PM
This is childish, manipulative, narcissistic behavior your MIL is displaying. Your DH is being a bigger adult than his mother is. Good on him.

It's not your job to please them. The holiday isn't theirs by right. I'm glad your DH is putting his foot down so you can have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday with your family.



LemonaideLinda
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Posted: 12/17/2013 12:15:44 PM
I'm sorry the family dynamics are out of whack and making this holiday stressful for you and your family.

Something that helps me make a decision in situations like this is to create a mental picture of how things would be if I do xyz. For example, if you make the decision to leave your parents, drive to the inlaws, spend Xmas eve with them, how will it really be? More than likely, mil will still be angry and make passive/aggressive remarks, you and your dh will be tired, angry and frustrated cause you tried and it wasn't *good enough*. Your parents will be sitting in an empty house by themselves. And, God forbid, what if something happened and it turned out this Christmas was your last year with your parents. Do you want to remember this holiday with bitterness and anger or with love?

Onekwa
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Posted: 12/17/2013 12:19:11 PM
Ewww gads! I'm sorry Christmas is not as jolly this year for you. This kind of ties in with the other thread about inconsiderate people. They don't give a thought about anyone else except themselves. But I am glad that your DH stands up to his mother. Most of the time you hear that they don't. So kudos to him!




Georgiapea
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Posted: 12/17/2013 12:20:40 PM
Your own parents are coming for the first time in 6 years and you want to leave them alone at your place to go spend overnight with your inlaws? That's really not fair. Just tell them it's your parents turn this year and you will be with them (the inlaws) next year. Seriously, your MIL is acting like she is more important in your lives than your parents.

Boymum
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Posted: 12/17/2013 1:06:18 PM
I'd never leave my visiting parents at my house alone! They're coming to spend Christmas holidays with YOU. Your mil sees your husband frequently. That's totally ridic!


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AlyssaM
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Posted: 12/17/2013 1:38:53 PM
I'm sorry, OP. That really stinks.

In my family, and dh's family, we only have one rule. We all celebrate together, even if it's Jan 3, or Dec. 17... I love that. We get to attend both sides and don't have to stress about splitting time or missing one side. We just set dates when everyone on each side can come.

Now, I wish they'd plan things before Dec 10 so we could plan our travel, but that's another story.

I hope you enjoy your time with your family, and that its a special holiday for you!




Peabay
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Posted: 12/17/2013 1:48:16 PM

My DS and DDIL have tried to keep everyone happy by having her family join us for presents and dinner, BUT the last time we visited, we took turns, with each side of the family having a private present opening while the family who was waiting for their turn was asked to be in a different room. I am pretty sure it was the other mom's idea. It blew my mind that we would be separated instead of all being together. We did get to open presents first, but it was very uncomfortable. I felt like we were banished to the other room.



Holy crap! That's insane!!!

I'm sorry, OP. I have some Christmas drama brewing and I'm trying to be grown up and drama-free but it's not easy when you're dragged into it.


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