Distance Issue(22 Posts)
I'm new here, and it's nice to see lots of women talking together.
Anyway, my problem is, I'm pregnant at the moment, and my little one is due just before Xmas. The thing is, my husband and I live quite some distance away from both our families. I've just got details of my maternity pay through, and it's going to cripple us. As if that weren't a worry enough, our families expect lots of visits from us. I think that we won't be able to afford it (the petrol, I mean), and worry this is going to cause arguments. I really feel they're being unreasonable as, money is literally the only reason why I won't be able to visit as much as I'd like, but it's creating extra pressure and making me feel really tearful.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do?
Plus as well, when I get back to work, we will have a small disposable income that we could use for trips away - I think that our families will expect that we use it to do things with them when frankly, I'd like to spend time alone with my husband and our child. Does that sound like I'm being strange?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
Your family can come to visit you, cant they?
When my DD was born we were in the middle east, so no quick trips home to show her off to family.
Can you talk to your families regarding the cold hard reality of cash? IME, most people will be reasonable about things like this.
Why not tell them exactly how it is? My parents expected me and DH to be able to provide for our DS like they did for us, but just before he was born I sat them down and explained in EXACT terms that we did not have the income that they did and actually it was crippling us to buy things to their standard (Mum is a "The more you spend the better you get" which I just don't believe)
We also had a very frank conversation with SIL on DHs side, she very crassly commented that she "Had barely seen DS at all, such a shame he wont know who we are" - I told her "You have a car, no kids and 3 days off a week - You are more than welcome at any time", she still hasn't been to our house and we've lived together for 4 years!
Perhaps if your family know the situation they may be willing to come to you or come and get you or sort something out, the problem (we found) was that they just didn't realise that we cannot afford it
Maybe when you do get the money spend a day or two with them and then spend the rest of it on your time alone with hub and DC?
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Thanks for your responses.
Monkey mummy, it sounds like we have similar families... Because, mine say things like that, how, our children won't know each other, which again, adds to the situation. As if I don't want to see my family?
But our families almost make me feel as if its my fault that I'm in this situation. And what hurts all the more, is that, if the situation were reversed I would do what I could to help them out, I know I would. That's what families do, isn't it?
You see, around a year ago I got made redundant, and took a job for a lesser income to keep my head above water. I got pregnant whilst at this new job, and so I can't do much about this situation.
Because our families have better financial situations, and honestly think when I've tried to explain things to them that it computes with them.
I just think I might have to toughen up, it's just that, I do have some challenging family members and it's actually been the most stressful part of my pregnacy (touch wood, so far), my families response to it.
So, Fillibear, did you find that they travelled more than you throught they might?
Hello StrandedBear, you're right. I think I should just try to be more assertive. You see though, when I do, I get emotional blackmail from them, or, that's how I perceive it. We won't see the child, blah, blah blah. So I suppose it's dealing with the emotional upset it causes me as well. I just don't understand why a family member would behave that way to another?
Another thing is... and this may sound a bit crazy, but, while I think family is very important, I want to teach my child that friends are important too, as well as indepenence. Sometimes family aren't always there, and I want my little one to feel able to operate and function without always having people around.
Does that sound mad?
Also, can anyone tell me what all this DS, DH stuff means? x
Click on Acronyms for a fuller explaination. D= dear/darling, then S=son, D=daughter, H=husband, P=partner etc.
We live in The Netherlands with our family in Scotland and Wales. We don't make as many trips as they would like - and of course are not conveniently close to each other to mean one trip = two families. We are starting to get very pissed off that we're expected to spend our holidays traipsing around the UK "visiting".
Tbh, they tend to refund us travelling - but nobody can give me back a week of my time.
Goodness, AlpinePony, that seems difficult. So do they know how you feel? Do they come to you? What would be an ideal solution for you?
Families are meant to care about you. Families are meant to want to help. Families who care and want to help shouldn't make demands that are going to put you into a financial mess if you try and meet them. If your family insist that its your responsibility to do all the travel and your responsibility to make sure that your DC has a relationship with them and won't accept that this will be incredibly hard for you to achieve, I'd be tempted to try and take a step back and consider whether these were people that I wanted my DC to have a strong relationship with.
That makes it sound trivial and I know its anything but - family are family, warts and all - but how will it benefit your DC to learn that its a good idea to impoverish yourself to try and meet a 3rd party's unreasonable demands?
Even if you were less financially constrained, why on earth should you be the one doing all the traveling with a newborn baby? Current advice is that you should avoid keeping an infant in a car seat for more than about 1.5 hrs at a time as, whilst the position is safe from a crash perspective, they are at risk of oxygen desaturation. Plus you'll have all the kit and caboodle to transport with them. From a practical perspective it will be much easier for others to do the traveling for a while.
If they're not very good at listening during a conversation (or go for the melodrama "oh but how will we cope...") I think I'd be inclined to write them all a letter stating that due to whatever reasons you care to bring in you are not anticipating being able to travel as much as you have been to visit, but that you'd love your DC to know your respective families and as such you look forward to welcoming them into your home once you've had a chance to get settled as a new family.
Try and make it pretty unequivocal and you put yourself in a position where by you can feel justified in not discussing it as you've said everything there is to say ("No. We won't be able to come and visit and I've explained why. I'm not prepared to discuss it anymore.")
I think you need to be honest and explain what the situation is. My parents live around 250 miles from me and a trip there costs a fortune in petrol.
It depends on the relationship you have with your family, but I just told my Dad we'd like to come more but find the cost of doing so difficult to manage. My Dad appreciates a direct approach, so I now I just say we'd like to come and visit to see you, any chance of helping with the petrol costs to make it happen?
I always make it clear they are welcome here too, and they're very good about making the journey themselves.
But if you cannot afford it, and they cant/wont help with the costs, dont go. But I would extend the invitation for them to visit you.
LadyPunk It is difficult because whilst they'll refund flights/ferry tickets they have no concept of 200 a week for the dogs to go in to kennels type thing - and it's a 4 hour drive to Calais - which obviously is a fair whack of petrol!
They do visit us - but there's so much "obligation" to spend time with family when we've got time off work that it's really wearing me down. I want to go to Greece and sit on a beach drinking cocktails - not sit in "Aunty Margaret's" living room reminiscing about a party in 1982.
One of the big changes with kids arriving is starting to put their interests first, and the biggest thing that makes them happy is a happy mother. I think every new family goes throughthisinone way or another if they move more than a day trip away.
Its a good time to change behaviours that have become set in stone fromwhen you were childless and had more freedom, eg:
- it is easier for GP to visit you now that there is a little one
- we are going on holiday to X with the kids because we need the break
Will some family members whinge - heck yes. But once you have the kids, you are the new family unit and have to assert that. It is easier once the baby arrives I think, as your maternal instincts kick in you will be less vulnerable to emotional blackmail
Thank you, you give really good advice. What you say, about families wanting to support people, really hits home. I think the thing is, is that I suspect they're not too supportive, and it's quite a hard thing to admit to myself. I feel like I could explain it in more depth (as I've tried), but in some ways I feel like they're not equipt to listen to me... this is because their circumstances are so far detached from mine, that they can't understand the predicament I'm in. So I suppose, it's best to explain to them once, and then say what you said, about not being prepared to discuss it anymore.
Eugh. It's so hard.
Often it´s easier for people to visit you rather than travelling with all the kit that can be necessary.
Is the drive easy for them?
And they can expect all they want-you don´t have to do it!
If you can´t afford it you can´t-they come to you or wait until you can!
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