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to ask how you cope with Christmas at the in-laws?

(143 Posts)
wanderingcloud Wed 10-Dec-14 21:41:59

It's our "turn" to spend Christmas with the in-laws. I'm dreading it. The last few times I've been there it's just been totally miserable (for me, DH loves it!) They are generally lovely people but they just do Christmas in a totally different way to my family. They don't bother with breakfast or dinner, preferring to just have a massive traditional Christmas lunch (I'm not really a fan of roast dinners of any sort). Plus, inlaws don't have much space with all the family staying. We always have to sleep on the blow up mattress in the living room which means you can't go to bed until the last person turns in for the night and you have to get up when the first person wakes in the morning. Every year spent there my overriding memory is of being totally knackered and hungry. This year I'm also 30 weeks pregnant so my prior plan of coping by getting a bit tipsy is out! grin DH will disappear for hours on end playing computer games with his brother and I'll end up offering to wash up to avoid sitting with great aunt Doris and old uncle Albert watching crap TV. How can I make it more bearable?

soverylucky Wed 10-Dec-14 21:44:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glentherednosedbattleostrich Wed 10-Dec-14 21:45:18

Book a hotel. At 30 weeks pregnant you need a comfortable bed and somewhere quiet you can rest. Or at least that can be your excuse!

Pack snacks, baby needs to eat regularly fgrin

HesterShaw Wed 10-Dec-14 21:46:05

Can you pull the "I'm pregnant so need a bed in a bedroom" card? And also say something about having to constantly snack to keep your blood sugar up. Take your own snacks if need be.

That does sound shit. We always end up on the mattress in the living room because we're infertile child-free.

bigbluestars Wed 10-Dec-14 21:50:13

I wouldn;t do it. How far away do they live? I would just go for the meal without staying over or do as other suggest and book a hotel.

purpleroses Wed 10-Dec-14 21:50:15

Take a good book or two to read?

Or is it feasible to suggest that you need a bed this year as you're pregnant - even if you have to share with your DCs, or put some other adults in the living room. Not having a room to escape to when visiting people who aren't really your own family is really hard. Or could you change the dates you go a bit so you don't overlap with the rest of the family for so long? When me and my DSis both take our families to visit our parents at Christmas we try to only overlap by a day or two as there's not really enough space for all of us.

And pack some snacks - or bake or buy some goodies to take with you to share to fill the gaps they don't bother with - eg something special for Christmas day breakfast, or some nice cheeses for snacking on in the evening. No reason not to introduce a few of your own traditions where you can.

beanandspud Wed 10-Dec-14 21:50:30

My coping strategy would be:

- Arrive with boxes of cereal, snacks etc. "I'm really sorry, I wouldn't normally turn up with food but this pregnancy is making me really hungry and I find it much easier to have lots of smaller meals/snacks during the day"

- Try to get a nap during the day. "Sorry I nodded off on the sofa, I just seem to be permanently tired at the moment"

- Write it off as 2/3 days out of a year. It might not be your preferred way to spend the holiday but sometimes you just have to do it for the greater good.

MsVestibule Wed 10-Dec-14 21:51:18

At 30 weeks pregnant, why are you not getting a bedroom? Also, your DH knows you only go because he wants to, so why does he leave you for hours on end?

Bunbaker Wed 10-Dec-14 21:51:59

I'd second staying at a hotel/B & B nearby, or even self catering accommodation.

We have booked a holiday cottage a mile from MIL's this year, but in our case it is because MIL has alzheimers and hates disruption.

NanaNina Wed 10-Dec-14 21:53:04

Agree you shouldn't sleep on an air bed at 30 weeks pregnant, but it's only for a day or two - I think most people have a big Christmas lunch and then not bother with much else to eat - maybe a sandwich at night or something. If you don't like roast dinners you need to take something that you like that can easily be cooked (without taking too much oven room) or microwaved. Take snacks so you aren't hungry. And can't you be glad for your DH as he enjoys being with his family- sorry but you sound a teeny bit selfish - what is that your family do that suits you better as far as food goes. A lot of houses are busy at Christmas - but yes book in a Travel Lodge this year as you're pregnant and put on a big smile!

wanderingcloud Wed 10-Dec-14 21:55:29

A hotel sounds divine. Dh would have a fit over the cost I expect.

Sorry to hear you're also relegated to the air bed Hester I had hoped pregnancy might bag us a real bed but,alas, it seems not. It's DH's fault for being the youngest sibling.

MoJangled Wed 10-Dec-14 21:55:57

Oh dear. Staying in houses where there's no room to actually stay = misery. Use being pregnant as your chance to break the pattern by not staying over / staying at a relative's house with a spare room / in a hotel. Plus the whole being a prisoner in front of crap TV thing - can you break out by arranging a walk or something to put a feature in the day?

I'm finding that meekly going along with what everyone else wants can leave you in a bad place, but calmly arranging things in a way that works for you, without making it anyone else's problem, can be fantastic. Good luck!

holeinmyheart Wed 10-Dec-14 21:56:02

Well it is all about give and take. You love your family and he loves his. He will be uncomfortable next year with your family. That is life. We marry into families that are different from ours and we have to be fair.

That is what I normally would say BUT you are 30 weeks pregnant and are going to have to sleep on a blowup bed. No ! I think it is time for you to either stay in a Travel Lodge or not go this year and plead that you cannot in your condition sleep on a blow up mattress.
Someone must give up their bed for you or are there any of his relatives near by with a decent bed?
Being bored by your DHs family and relatives is normal and no reason for not spending Christmas at his Parents house. However being pregnant and being made physically uncomfortable, resulting in lack of sleep is totally unreasonable and a legitimate reason not to go.
So AIBU? no you are not.
Xx best of luck.

cricketballs Wed 10-Dec-14 21:56:25

Op, have you ever thought that your DH might hate Xmas how your family celebrate? Marriage is all about compromise, especially when it comes to families. Rather than seeing it as a chore, view it as something different and roll with it! You might find you enjoy it

FrancesNiadova Wed 10-Dec-14 21:57:09

Oh WANDERINGCLOUD, you are so lovely not wanting to, "Put your in-laws out," with your pregnancy sickness, rashes, pains etc.
How kind to book yourself into a local hotel & take a range of snacks with you to help you combat your nausea & make Christmas enjoyable for everyone. fgrin
Play your cards right & you'll have them thanking you for it fwink

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 10-Dec-14 21:58:05

I drink

soverylucky Wed 10-Dec-14 21:59:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glentherednosedbattleostrich Wed 10-Dec-14 22:06:53

Well when your DH can grow his very own mini human then he can complain about the cost of a hotel.

We usually stay in premier inns when visiting relatives. They are basic but comfortable and the staff are usually great. I think we've paid about £60 for 2 nights from boxing day this year.

ItsaboatJack Wed 10-Dec-14 22:07:26

Just because they don't do breakfast and dinner, can you not just go in the kitchen and make something for yourself? What would happen if you just knocked yourself up some scrambled egg on toast?

As for the blow up mattress though, that's ridiculous. How many guests are staying? You say your dh is the youngest sibling, are there other siblings then that always get the beds? Fuck that. I'd be putting my foot down over that one.

LittleRedRidingHoodie Wed 10-Dec-14 22:10:32

I am horrified they'd put you on an air bed! How the hell are you meant to manage that, I'm 33 weeks and I'd really struggle to stand up from that low down all the times I need a wee in the night.

Please spend out on a B&b so you can get a proper breakfast and a decent nights sleep.

Our inlaws live four hours drive away and I said right from the start of my pregnancy that we wouldn't be going there for Christmas as I couldn't do the drive and, like you, can't do my usual thing of just getting drunk to cope.

I really feel for you. How can your dh be allowing this?!

aquashiv Wed 10-Dec-14 22:12:09

Jesus no I needed a good firm mattress. Can't you stay at home and have it just you and your partner? Plus you don't want that old bollocks when you have children.

wanderingcloud Wed 10-Dec-14 22:12:34

The irony is DH is totally won around by my families sometimes odd way of doing Christmas. I don't think anyone could resist my Dad, he's the sort of generous to a fault guy who buys the whole pub a round on Christmas eve. Falls over himself to make DH as comfortable as possible. Buys in a crate of the beers DH likes especially for him, will get the sausages DH likes to make him a sausage sandwich in the morning. But then my family is only small nowadays so Dad makes the most of having us there to spoil. I digress though! I should push the pregnancy card a bit harder. or just book the Travelodge myself

Mehitabel6 Wed 10-Dec-14 22:13:05

A good time to break the pattern and stay at home.

wanderingcloud Wed 10-Dec-14 22:15:22

I'm going to google some hotel prices I think! And take cereal! Top plans grin

Aeroflotgirl Wed 10-Dec-14 22:15:44

Op I would not, you need to be really firm to your DH, either hotel or stay at home. I would not have that!

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