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About to Crack: Family Christmas Pressure

(15 Posts)
MummyMoving Fri 18-Dec-15 21:20:56

I'd really appreciate any words of advice.

Our DCs are first/only grandchildren on both sides and we are under massive pressure from both families to have lots of time with them over the holidays. We have always alternated and effectively done two Christmases. As it stands we've got a 5 hour drive to my massive extended family, staying 5 nights with them all, then off to DH's family (3 hr drive) for 3 nights, then home (2 hrs away).

DH hardly gets any holiday, and I really wish we were able to spend this time together rather than driving around the place. I've not been feeling great this year (currently on sertraline for depression), and resent the way my family don't remotely check if the plans work for me and my children.

The other side of the coin is that my Dad is ill. Everything ok at the moment, but we never know when things might get worse.

AAAAH I guess I ought to just suck it up and go, but I feel so drained and angry. Help! x

Plumm Fri 18-Dec-15 21:24:01

Stay at home - you don't have to go anywhere you don't want to, especially for such a long time.

Gazelda Fri 18-Dec-15 21:24:27

to be fair, I don't think you can reasonably be angry if you haven't told them how difficult this is for you. (apologies if you have told them).
I think it's going to be quite tricky to change things this year, but you can lay the seeds for having a different arrangement next year.
Maybe shorten the stays and have a few days at home before the madness of work and school re-starts?
Or travel to one family then return home and the second family come to yours?

MidnightVelvetthe4th Fri 18-Dec-15 21:26:00

No of course you don't have to suck it up! Particularly if you are not well!

Have the Christmas you want & arrange to stay with both families at another time or maybe they can come to you for a night or two? Or maybe visit one at Easter & the other in the summer.

You are not obliged to do what anyone wants this Christmas, do what you want to do smile wine

Gazelda Fri 18-Dec-15 21:26:19

or maybe say that the children need their home comforts and not to spend so much time in the car. Suggest Christmas with one family, Easter with the other?
You have every right to relax and have the style of holiday you want. There needs to be compromise on all sides to ensure everyone feels they've enoyed time with the people they love.

MummyMoving Fri 18-Dec-15 21:33:46

Thank you so much Plumm, Gazelda and Midnight flowers

I'm going to have a go at drafting an email explaining my feelings and shortening the visits, and if I can't pluck up the courage to send it - sow the seeds for next year.

mintoil Fri 18-Dec-15 21:39:31

I wouldn't shorten the visit I would just say you haven't been well, are exhausted, and are spending Christmas at home.

Let them make a fuss - you have to put your own needs first sometimes.

Squishyeyeballs Fri 18-Dec-15 21:54:54

I stopped travelling for xmas once I had kids. Too much hassle. Plus, christmas is about the kids in the first place. But as pp have said, you can't really be angry if you haven't pointed out how hard it is for you.

Topseyt Fri 18-Dec-15 21:58:13

You are spending Christmas at home. If they wish to visit then they are welcome.

Honestly, the Christmas you are currently planning would be my idea of hell on earth. No. Just absolutely no.

luckyrabbit Fri 18-Dec-15 22:00:58

Time to plant your feet and become a family matriarch.

When i had kids the travelling stopped. our family and home became the focus of christmas.
Everyone was made welcome, we were happy to fit into their schedule and do visits ourselves later in the week, but never on christmas day.

Christmas is about the children, and kids are happiest on christmas day when they are at home playing with their new toys, not stuck in a car for hours on end.

MummyMoving Sat 19-Dec-15 00:44:37

Thank you so much for your replies.

I've just sent an email to my parents saying that I am not up to the Christmas travels this year, and asking if we can meet up with them on Sunday instead (when they will be nearby for another thing).

They are going to hit the roof, but we need a restful Christmas hols, which we've never had before.

I'm glad I've been honest with them. Now to learn how to do it earlier on, rather than just when I am about to explode with resentment and exhaustion!

Squishyeyeballs Sat 19-Dec-15 00:50:52

Good on you mummy you've done the hard part now. And what's better is that you've done it in a calm, rational way and because it's by email, you weren't drawn straight into a heated argument. Hopefully your parents will be able to see it from your point of view. I think sometimes that people find it difficult to cross the bridge between being a parent of an adult to being a parent of another parent iyswim.

Chottie Sat 19-Dec-15 02:32:21

Well done for sending that email. You need to do what suits you and your family over Christmas and I'm speaking as a DGM and MiL

All that driving, packing, unpacking sounds exhausting. Please look after yourself and your health. Your mother might hit the roof, but she'll get over it. You've offered another meet up date, which sounds a really good solution. Other people can be so demanding. flowers

Thattimeofyearagain Sat 19-Dec-15 07:55:45

I had this the winter with the awful snow, pil were fab, don't worry get to us when you can, just stick the kids on the phone.
My mum was ok, but my dad rang to tell me that I'd ruined his Christmas. I was gutted and livid at the se time, but calmly told him that there was no way I was putting my children in a car and navigating ungritted icy roads.
Once he saw it from my point of view he backed right off. Fingers crossed yours will too.

PunkrockerGirl Sat 19-Dec-15 08:04:24

Well done OP. You've not been well and need to be kind to yourself. I always refused to travel over Christmas when dc were small. People were welcome to come to us ( within reason of course) but we were staying put!
Enjoy a peaceful Christmas at home,

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