What to do about Christmas eve.....December 21 2011 at 12:53 AM
|Pink Dandelion (Login Pinkdandelion)|
We are invited to my husbands former inlaws for Christmas eve. He has been going for years. It is a 3 hour dinner, followed by 2 hours of gift mania, then dessert. It starts at 3 pm and will be done around 11. I have gone in the past, but have not enjoyed it as much as he has. And I especially dont want to go this year, for a multitude of reasons.
It is a 1.5 to 2 hour trip each way, in the midwest on country (potentially very icy, and always dark) roads with two little kids in the back. They will undoubtedly fall asleep for the entire ride home and not be able to sleep all of Christmas eve night (Wont they have fun on Christmas day, sleep deprived and ill-behaved!!)
I want my kids to enjoy Christmas eve at our house, with dinner at our home, and start developing our own traditions, and get a good nights sleep ( or as well as one gets with Santa coming that night!)
My mom is elderly and not doing all that well, and she doesnt like going to these peoples home either because she is totally ignored. So if I go to their house, she will be left alone at her home on Christmas eve. I cant stomach the thought of that!! What if this were her last Christmas eve? I would never forgive myself!
One of the boys that will be there is the one that told my son about Santa last year. I posted about this recently, that the mother refuses to speak to the boy about it since she still believes that he believes, despite what I heard and informed her of. Whatever about her. I dont want Santa ruined for my two little guys, they are just too young.
The least of it is I dont feel bonded to these people in the least. I never see them or hear from them throughout the year, and I see no reason to spend my treasured Christmas eve there (not to mention buying gifts for 15 more people whom I never see or hear from otherwise!)
I told my husband tonight that I dont want to go. He had kittens!! Accused me of making excuses when I mentioned the above. I still dont want to go, and have offered that he could go on his own.
I know many would say just go for an hour and leave That wont work with these people. They get mad if you dont stay for dessert after the gift fest! I have already tried this approach. Plus its still a lengthy drive in potentially really bad weather.
I feel like sticking to my guns on not going, but it is going to be ugly with my husband. We have had a very difficult time in this marriage, and I know this wont help, but I really, really dont want to go.
What would you do?
(Premier Login goldiescholar)
They're not related to your boys, right?
|December 21 2011, 8:43 AM |
Heck no, I wouldn't go. Frankly, unless your dh's older children are there, I don't understand why he wants to go, either. You're his family, now. Even if his older children are there, he needs to make Christmas and Christmas eve about his little ones. But if he won't see it that way, I guess he could go without you. It would be better for him to establish new traditions. These ppl are more like friends, now, and if it were me, I'd probably have moved on and created a new tradition like a special lunch or another day near Christmas, not Christmas Eve. (I can't remember if he's divorced or if dw#1 died. I know that can make a difference, but it doesn't change the fact that he moved on, started a new family, and needs to honor the new family, first.)
However, you won't win this battle with logic. I'd use your dm as your reason not to go. Tell him just what you said -- what if it's your last Christmas with her? This is an emotional time of year. She's physically frail. Try not to show your anger or other conflicting feelings. Make it all about your empathy for your dm and the boys' comfort and well-being, and don't make this about any resentment or unhappiness with the former IL's.
Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 51, dh 52
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg
Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc
ttc since 1998
Technically they are related
|December 21 2011, 11:24 AM |
because they are related to my husbands adult children, but not people that we see or spend time with during the year. Sometimes his DD and GKs show up there, but we typically go to their house on Christmas day afternoon for a visit and exchange of gifts.
Thank you for your thoughts, DH isnt speaking to me this morning, but this is to be expected. Glad I didnt wait until Christmas eve day to express my views!!
Agree 100% with KM....no way in heck would I go, and
|December 21 2011, 9:40 AM |
...I would use dm as an excuse if you must. You shouldn't have to make an excuse, though, or even a case for why you'd rather stay at home. I'm unclear why your DH thinks it's the right thing to drive 2 hours away to his former in-laws and impact your boys in this way (agree totally with the long drive, other kids, etc., and that is a LOOOOONG event to expect them to endure). Christmas Eve and Christmas is such a magic time for children, especially the little guys, and those years (and opportunities) will slip away all too soon.
You should all be forging bonds with each other on the holiday -- and if anything, with the grandparents of your boys
. What is he thinking??? Do his former ILs treat your boys as grandchildren? (If they fill the grandparent role, that's one thing). It seems he is asking his second family to take second place, and that's hurtful and wrong.
I completely agree with you on every point and, given all of that, I'm really surprised your DH insists on going...to me this seems incredibly selfish and insensitive. I mean, great that he's on good terms with his former ILs...but really? Not to think of how important it is to start new traditions with his new (present, primary) family??? Not to worry that you might find it objectionable in some way to spend Christmas Eve with his first wife's family???? I can tell you, if someone told our DD about Santa and then expected us to spend Christmas Eve with them again, my DH wouldn't even give a second thought to doing so, and he wouldn't be shy about saying why. He's a great papa bear.
This sounds really hard -- but only because your husband is being completely unreasonable. He shouldn't be insisting on this, in my opinion. (For what it's worth, we had a similar situation in our family for years, and fortunately DH saw the light).
I can't tell you how to approach this or how you might win him to your point of view, because (can I be frank?) I think he's being a jerk about this, and it sounds as though he is unwilling to budge. Hopefully he'll come around and prove me wrong -- I'll be happy to eat my words! But if I were in your shoes, I would put both of them down firmly, refuse to go, and prepare for a scene, because based on what you're telling me, I think that's what you are going to get.
To me, your boys come first -- and whatever is best for them is what you should do.
I really feel for you on this one,
Thank you Kat
|December 21 2011, 11:26 AM |
I also feel that my boys, and my mom, come first.....not these folks.
You are right, this is going to be ugly. He is not speaking to me this morning. Im glad hell still have a few days to hopefully cool off and get used to the idea of going on his own.
Thank you for your support.
|December 21 2011, 10:17 AM |
Yikes. I can't really add anything to what KM has said, but what a nuisance and no, I definitely wouldn't go. Just wanted to add my voice to those supporting your perspective.
|December 22 2011, 1:42 AM |
I appreciate that women on this board are always truthful with their feelings. This situation has put a damper on my Christmas spirit.
You shouldn't feel obligated
|December 21 2011, 1:27 PM |
and I wouldn't go either if it doesn't give you pleasure, especially if DH sees his older kids the next day. I'm sorry this causes friction between you and DH, but I totally see your point!
|December 22 2011, 1:41 AM |
Im the type of person who hates to disappoint anyone, but in this case my kids and mom come first.
Merry Christmas to you and your family
Home is where the heart is...
|December 21 2011, 3:58 PM |
I would write a "Dear Sweetheart..." letter and have him choose where his heart is this Christmas....and I'd stay put!!!
Definitely time to get your own traditions going!
dx'd high fsh at age 30
ttc 6 years
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2 failed IVF cycles
#3 IVF/ICSI worked out fine
FET 2 years later didn't work out
Proud mom of an amazing miracle boy.
|December 22 2011, 1:40 AM |
Thanks for the laugh out loud!! And maybe writing a letter to DH isnt such a bad idea.....
crikey, I wouldn't want to go...
|December 21 2011, 5:42 PM |
how you deal with a DH who is stubborn about this I don't know - reasons, tears, begging???
|December 22 2011, 1:39 AM |
Reasoning doesnt work (calls it making excuses) Tears dont move him. Begging is beneath me.
Guess hell just be going on his own. Dont know how ill explain to my boys when they ask wheres daddy.
|December 21 2011, 9:22 PM |
You are writing my story. Not much time to chime in but don't go. Stay with your mom and your boys and enjoy yourself. If your dh can't understand that then there are some serious issues that he needs to work through.
My experience is that either you feel bad or they feel bad and if you don't stick up for what YOU want (because your dh won't) then you have to be the iron lady about it. Have a beautiful time with your mom and your boys and treasure those memories because at the end of life your boys will cherish those memories, your mom will and you certainly will.
If you go where you don't want to, you will only feel resentment and anger.
OMG I wish I could share stories with you. Been there done that. It gets easier every christmas. I promise. Stick to your guns.
|December 22 2011, 1:33 AM |
Either Ill end up feeling angry/resentful that I went against my better judgment, or my DH will be angry that I didnt go.
I think I choose DH to be angry!!
Ugh, ugh, ugh
here's the pickle....
|December 21 2011, 9:42 PM |
did dh believe you were confirmed before yesterday? Did he tell them you were coming? If he has committed to them you have 2 problems---dh being disappointed about not going and dh being embarrassed for a last minute regret.
Is this a big old Christmas Eve traditional party? I get how "big" these things are and the pressure to maintain them. We used to have those in our family and when it was good, it was good. Now it is a burden of trying to re-do what is long gone... as well as putting the "tradition" ahead of the people celebrating the holiday. Traditions are very important to me, but they have to be altered to serve each generation... and you are now the next generation.
Although I can imagine that your dh seems to very bonded to this festivity, I would never be doing this thing...especially at the cost of leaving my Mom alone at home. I'm sure they probably offer a place to stay, etc., but again, a selfish request. In fact, I'm confused about how you got roped into just the 4 hours in a car with 2 little boys on Christmas Eve. If I were the host, I would feel embarrassed about having sending little boys on a long car ride home on Christmas Eve no matter how much I wanted them there.
Good Luck whatever happens!
|December 22 2011, 1:38 AM |
I never confirmed. I didnt go last year either, but arranged a get together at our home for the following weekend, and the invited parties all cancelled. FWIW, the hosts never had children so Im not sure the really get tired kids traveling long distances on Christmas.
And no, they dont offer a place to stay or anything else. Just alot of grief if you dare leave early:)
Chiming in late here
|December 22 2011, 2:30 AM |
Well, shoot! I would not want to go either. It seems to me that sometimes men just don't get the needs of young children. My DH always thinks I'm putting the kabbosh on fun things because I bring up the reality of traveling or doing certain activities with 3 children under the age of 5! And then, every single time, we are paying for it for days afterwards. Sometimes I give in and we all suffer the consequences, but sometimes I stand my ground. Do you know what specifically your DH gets out of this? Is he wanting to do it because it's fun for HIM, because he's afraid of what others will think, or because he actually thinks that this is in the best interest of your children? Maybe getting to the root of it will help you problem-solve. Some people are so dang selfish it's unbelievable. Sorry you're in this position!
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