To ask how you think you'll feel at Xmas when your children have families of their own?(128 Posts)
Had a lovely Xmas Eve and Xmas Day with DH and DD. We've now embarked on a round of duty visits to (divorced) in-laws and I'm just smiling, gritting my teeth and looking forward to being home. It got me thinking how I will feel if I become the one DD and her family visit before going back to their own unit.
How do you think you'll feel at Christmas when your kids have moved out?
I will refuse to be a burden and pray God not a duty visit .
Judging by a few posts I have seen on MN this Christmas, there's a fair number of people who could do with considering this question.
I'll go back to the very satisfying life I had before I had my son, which often involved travel at Christmas, renting somewhere remote for walking, or going to a Buddhist retreat centre for a silent retreat. I certainly won't be sitting about waiting for a duty visit. (In fact, as an older mother, it's very possible I won't live to see him partnered or married, anyway, and if he's anything like me, he's unlikely to live in this country as an adult.)
I was thinking about this a few days ago. Can't predict it. Maybe they'll still come here (I still "went home" for 3-4 days when I was in my late twenties) or maybe one of them will host us all!
Or, none of the above. They may have jobs that require them to work, or spouses who want/need to spend it with their parents. In that case DH and I would go away to a nice, olde-worlde hotel, maybe in the Cotswolds or Pembrokeshire. I wouldn't feel miserable about it at all- times change.
My two moved away when still teens, forging their own future and having great experiences along the way. I am happy to watch from a distance and take a back seat, always here should they need support. When they do settle with their own families I expect them to put their family first. I will be happy to see them before or after, whenever it suits.
My role is to prepare them for adulthood not to keep them close at my convenience. I would be horrified if they felt it was a chore to see me at Christmas .
They are currently with us, visiting relatives for a few days, very happily too .
Well regarding families of their own, I'll be chuffed to bits if they find love and manage to have children, neither of which is a given for anyone. As for occupying myself at Christmas, by that time I'll have 20 years' worth of Xbox to catch up on, and hopefully enough in the retirement fund to supply some nice wine... to quote My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a massively underrated film IMO), I gave them life so they could live. Not to keep me company in my old age.
I'd just hate to think they were here under sufferance but I'd also hate not to see them . Worse - she might emigrate!
All of my lot come back for Christmas Day every other year.
This year was the first with none of them and I was dreading it, I must admit. Could not really see the point of Christmas dinner for two
It was actually really nice! We had PiL's for a couple of hours, we picked them up, fed them and ferried them home. Popped into DS1S and DiL's (invited)! to have a newborn hug, then home for chocolates and booze.
DS1 and his partner came for 3 days in the run up to Christmas, so we did lots of lovely things with them.
Next year, there will be a house full again. I am looking forward to it, because I bloody love the near terror of feeding and watering loads of people, but hAve to admit, this year was not TOO bad
I always said I would go away for Christmas when it was just the two of us........might get around to that one day!
Probably what goes around comes around and if you grit your teeth and see it as a duty your DD will too. I loved seeing my parents and in-laws at Christmas - preferably all at the same time at my house-adult DCs now seem to have a similar view.
I hope I'll do what my parents do - enjoy my children and grandchildren when they visit, go to theirs if they're happier with that, host if it makes life easier for them, and, if they want to do their own thing, I'll enjoy some time with DH and eat all the chocolate I can lay my hands on!
DH and I have plans We have boys and acknowledge the fact that most families seem to spend more Christmases with the maternal gps. I would hate to think that we would be the cause of any tension between ours dcs and their spouses/in-laws
Harder if one of us is left on our own though. Even so, I hope I'm kind enough and easy going enough that I could fit into whatever their plans are, but if necessary, I wouldn't be devastated to spend the Day on my own.
If they decide to spend the day with just their kids, or good friends, or with someone they love, or time with nice inlaws, I will think that in some respects I did a good enough job as a parent. I will take the opportunity to go away and pay someone to cook the food and make good economical use of my annual leave by combining with public holidays.
I've had one of those years when it's sunk in again that it's just a day.
I took the decision not to work for the last few months but most years we're exhausted by Christmas Eve. The only days that we've both not worked for the last few years is Christmas and Boxing Day (yes, I know we're luckier than many) and those days have been filled with travelling, cooking, visiting.
Hopefully ours will want to see us if she lives near enough/has the inclination. Hopefully we will be fairly easy going, sociable (albeit elderly) parents who wont make Christmas a chore. Unlike our respective parents
I'm intending to go abroad somewhere hot every year and hope to avoid most of the fuss.
Genuine question: how would you know if your children were coming through duty, though? I don't expect all those people who feel obliged to visit family whenever actually put this feeling into words...
Vintage, mine are boys too. Not so bad with DS1, he has a husband and they have absolutely no intention of catering for themselves over Christmas, so we get them every other year for Christmas time, and either before or after the alternate year.
DS1 is now married with newborn. Both I and DiL's mum encouraged them to start their own Christmas day traditions, now, so we went to them on Boxing Day, S did her family (we all cracked and had a baby cuddle on Christmas Day though)!
Last yer, mindful of her parents, we had our Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve, and it was the best Christmas ever! We started at around 6pm and we're still around the table at midnight, eating, drinking, playing dot games. It was lovely. It also left DiL's and DH free to go to her parents for Christmas day celebrations, so everyone was happy
Mind you, having read all of the in law posts on here recently, perhaps I am kidding myself
I've been telling mine for YEARS that I can't wait to visit them at Christmas. I will of course he lovely, bring lots of food and presents, help to cook if needed, and play with the grandchildren.
I just hope they're content and settled as adults, and if that involves keeping their PILs sweet and seeing DH and I after Christmas, I'll accept it.
I want them to come to me every Christmas, be too noisy, eat all the food and create mayhem. Then they can leave, having created beautiful memories.
If they chose to come spend Christmas with us, wonderful, they know the house is always ready for them.
If they prefer to be with the in-laws, or just between then, fine. I will miss them so much, but will then go back to my pre-children life. You will find me on an all inclusive holiday in the Carribean or similar, sun, a white sandy beach and a cocktail. I will not be sitting in an empty house, feeling sorry for myself at Christmas!
I do hope we can alternate Christmas, but it won't be up to me, will it!
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