Family Matters
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holiday stress

How do I handle being fair on holidays?  My birthday is two days before Easter and my Mom wants us to come tho their house all day to celebrate my birthday.  She is mad at my IL's b/c they hoarded us for this past Christmas.  I hate splitting the day!  Maybe we can celebrate the day before at my IL's. 



Re: holiday stress

  • its your day--go where you want- we didnt do my b-day at IL;s until 2wks later, b/c busy, work and went to my sis concert on my b-day, and out to winery w/family that weekend,
  • 1.  You do what you want to do.  You don't have to follow orders from any family members.

    2. Fair doesn't mean equal.

    3. It doesn't take "all day" to celebrate Easter and a birthday.  Brunch/lunch/dinner plus cake.  Good to go.

    4. Why does your Mother think the ILs "hoarded" you at Christmas?  It sounds like there is a lot more to this story that you are not sharing, including how your family and his family deal with you around the holidays, whether or not you and your DH have set a plan for holidays and stuck with it no matter what your families have said, and how much you see your families other than at holidays.

  • You and DH need to sit down and look at all the big holidays you celebrate throughout the year, then figure out what works for the TWO OF YOU, mixed in w/ trying to be fair to each family (and ditto- fair does NOT mean equal!!). 

    Don't worry about what you did at Christmas. Just move forward.  For 2009, figure out a plan.  Then from that, figure out how that will play into future years.  Like, if your parents get Easter, will his get Thanksgiving, then your parents get X-mas, then next year it flips? 

    Or - do you want to try and split between both families for each holiday?  What works for the TWO OF YOU w/ all of this?

    Then let your families konw what you're going to do and if anyone starts in on the "but they get more time", you say "We're focusing on the quality, not the quantity.  And where one family may see us more this year, next year it's going to swap.  We're not going to nit-pick over the specific amount of hours each year....  that's notthe point to the holidays".

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Thank you for your response.   My Mom was upset b/c we saw his family the majority of Christmas eve and the next day.  Unfortuntately we live like 10 minutes from both.  My MIL has not invited us to anything Easter yet.  I hardly ever see my family and I would love to celebrate more my birthday and the holiday with my fam.  Being that it is Easter, my fam goes to church his doesn't.  I am probably making a bigger deal than it is.  I honestly think since we just got married in August, neither of our Moms know how to let go. 
  • AH- you just got married.  Yup- this is often one of the first hurdles new couples have to deal with.  But like I said- figure out what works for the two of you. Yes, you'll get pressure from both sides, but you need to stay true to what works for you.  The two of you are now you're ownfamily!

    If his family doesn't really do Easter, then that's easy- you can spend it w/ your family each year.  And it doesn't really have to be factored into the holiday split - the holiday split needs to focus on those holidays that BOTH famlies want you w/ them. 

    And I'll also add- as both families are so close, there are a few other options:

    1- try to work w/ the idea that the holiday doesn't HAVE to be celebrated on that exact date.  If you spend x-mas w/ one family, always plan on another date shortly after to celebrate w/ the other side.


    2- get your famlies together!  Thanksgiving is probably better for this, but could you all host both families at your home?  We do this and it is just SO much easier every year!  (Of course, both our families are very small)

    And just be firm w/ each of your families.  Acknowledge that yes, it will suck to not be able to see one another the way you always used too, but now that you and DH are married- you two are a family and you have to consider EVERYONE's feelings while also doing what works for the two of you.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • My sister spent several years shuttling between my parents and her ILS for every holiday (also 10 minutes away from each other) ... eating 2 meals, and getting crap for arriving too late and leaving too early.  Neither side ever let-up or appreciated the lengths they went to - it was always 'the other family gets more'. And forget about either family caring what THEY wanted.  It was always 'we want OUR time with you'.

    So don't expect anyone to give you permission to arrange the holidays the way you would like.  If you are not spending 100% of your time with "them" (either side) then they are not going to be supportive.

    Learn to cope with disappointing people.  You'll be a lot hapier.  Do your best to balance your time and involvment and then look your mother in the eye and tell her the plan.  DH is to do the same.

    And avoid judging how people spend the holiday as a reason to not see them.  If you want to go to mass, go to mass.  Your mom doesn't 'deserve' it more because she is more religious. That can get ugly and back-fire really fast. 

    Also, don't cave becuase someone complains - that is a really bad precident to set "Mom, I'm sorry you didn't like how things turned out for Christmas.  We really enjoyed our time with you and I am surprised you're scored-keeping with who was where for such&such hours.  It really makes it seems like we didn't share a lovely holiday together. And we did." 

    Decide together what you'd like to do. And then make some calls to see if it works with the families.  If it doesn't adjust to accomodate their wishes or say "Sorry, it doesn't seem to work-out this year. We'll miss you."

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • I Agree with PP.  Do what works for you.  If you live 10 minutes from both why is it so important to celebrate it that day??  Moms can be understanding.  Talk to her, does she see your grandma every easter and Christmas or did she go back and forth with your dads family.  Sometime parents have there schedual so set that they forget to think about how you are trying to adjust.

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  • First of all, Happy early birthday!!!  (I'm guessing you are an April 10 birthday... I'm April 11 so I know all about having an Easter birthday!). 

     If you live close to your family and IL's, then you could consider spending Thanksgiving with one, then celebrating the next day with the other... then vice versa on Christmas.  Birthdays can be hard because both sides want to celebrate... my dh and I live about 10 mins from my family and his family, and to make things worse my dh and my mother have the same birthday, and my sil and I have the same birthday.  Talk about fun!

     I think you and dh need to sit down and discuss the plans for the holidays for now through the end of the year.  Do this at the beginning of each year and decide what will and will not be fair, and then try and switch it up for the next year.  

  • image sobe41580:
    Thank you for your response.?? My Mom was upset b/c we saw his family the majority of Christmas eve and the next day.? Unfortuntately we live like 10 minutes from both.? My MIL has not invited us to anything Easter yet.? I hardly ever see my family and I would love to celebrate more my birthday and the holiday with my fam.? Being that it is Easter, my fam goes to church his doesn't.? I am probably making a bigger deal than it is.? I honestly think since we just got married in August, neither of our Moms know how to let go.?

    This line answers it for me.? If his family is not religious, then why are you worried about an Easter celebration at their house.? Easter, hands down, is a religious celebration.?

    We also live 10 from my parents and IL's.? MIL has nobody to "work around" and she is always the PITA about times and stuff.? She is divorced so we have THREE families to try to see (that all live within 10 min). My family is larger and most of us are married with IL's to try to see- but my parents are not offended or even bothered at all if some of us cannot get together, and my mom does what she can accomodate our IL's. (she has even tried to invite my IL's to her home for holiday meals)

    DH recognized this and, quite frankly, was pissed with his mother for being so inconsiderate.? DH and I are the only people in her family with other people to see.? BIL and SIL basically live at home and have no other obligations.? DH was also upset because it is not his fault that his parents are divorced and his mother makes it nearly impossible for her kids to see their dad on holidays.

    Sooooo we don't see MIL on holidays anymore (actually, we don't see her at all right now).? We got tired of going to three places- and the person that was not grateful for our efforts is the first to get left out of our schedule.? We set something else up on another day if we feel like it.? DH and I are a family now and we do what is best for us.

    PP's are totally right.? Sit down with your husband and decide how you want to spend your holidays.? And let each family know what your decide.? MIL or Mom may not be happy with it- but that is their problem.? They could be accommodating, but they have chosen not to be.

    ETA- I did not mean for you to mention to anyone (not even DH) that Easter is a religious holiday... spend it with my family not yours. ?DO NOT say anything like that to your ILs! That is a terrible idea!! ?I brought it up for you to take into consideration when you and your DH are deciding where to spend holidays. ?Like if you decide to spend Easter AM at church with your family and chose that holiday as one that you'd like to get together with IL's on Saturday?? ?But keeping in mind that you should make the same deal with another holiday regarding your family.

  • I agree with the other posters about reaching an agreement with your DH and sticking to it.  But I would caution you on going down the "X is a religious holiday so we spend it with the religious relatives" route.   This could be asking for trouble.  I have seen several posts on here about "My family is not religious so DH thinks we should spent Christmas/Easter/Passover/etc with his family only."   You and your DH know which holidays you celebrated with your families when you were growing up.  Even if your ILs are not religious, it may not mean that they don't celebrate Easter at all.       
  • If I were being pulled from both sides (fortuanately I am not. We live in the same town as my parents and my MIL lives 600 miles away)

    I would celebrate at MY house. I would invite everyone and who ever wanted to come would. Those who didnt....oh well..........


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