Post # 1
So my brother had a little one and after 3 years of dragging her to 4 different home in 2 days he has said enough is enough and i spending Xmas eve and day at his house. Its an open house and anyone can come at anytime but he is not leaving. My niece was so exhausted last christmas it was not fun for anyone.
FI and I are going to TTC in the new year and we are going to do the same thing but start the year the baby is born where Xmas we have an open house but we are not leaving.
Back to my brother, my parents and my sister in laws parents are mad over this. When I mentioned the situation to my in-laws they said they agree with my parents and my sister in laws parents. They all agree that they dragged their children all over the place to their grandparents homes for the holidays and they expected us to drag our children as well and said it was selfish to not do that.
When I pointed out grandparents would be more then welcome in the home and both sets of grandparents could spend Xmas with the grandkid instead of splitting the time, all the older generation still agreed that they did it and now we have to…even though they all admit how stressful and tiring it was!
So bees…does this make any freaking sense? Keeping grandparents (keep in mind these folks are in their 50’s not elderly) and making their kids and grandkids travel from house to house is not selfish but the kids and grandkids having a Christmas open house and not leaving their house is selfish?
What are you doing for the holidays?
Post # 3
@missjewels: my parents did the same as your brother. the minute they had children they said our kids are spending christmas in their own home. if you want to see them you can come see them. and it worked well, although we have a small family. right now we are travelling all over the province in like three days… but i have said the same thing. the minute we have kids, we are gonna be at home, end of story. so i totally agree with your brother!!! the grandparents are in the wrong in my opinion.
Post # 4
I get where your brother is coming from. Traveling with a small child under the age 3 is hard to do. I HATE going to my In Laws because it is a 4 hour drive and my son who is 2 has a hard time sitting that long in his car seat. I rather people come here than drive to them.
Post # 5
OK – I am a MOB and Nana of 6. Both of my girls with children institued this rule after a few years of dragging their kids between 3 sets of grandparents. Each set lives one hour away from the other 2 sets, making a perfect triangle. It takes 4 hours of road time just to make it to everyone’s home!
I absolutely support their decision and I think you should dig your heels in and stick to your decision.
My question for your brother (from you) is this: If this is good for your child after 3 years, why isn’t it good for my future children from day one? Do I have to earn the right to stay home?”
I learned as a very young bride married to a prison guard that you can celebrate a holiday whenever you want to, not just when the calendar or Hallmark says you have to. If the grandparents want to see your kids they can schedule celebrations for the weekend before, weekend after, etc. JUST.LIKE.I.DO.
Stick to your guns and tell them a Nana in Michigan thinks they are being a bit selish themselves!! (BTW – we are celebrating on the 26th this year since our DD from Utah will be flying home for the holidays! when she is home that is another family’s schedule we also have to work around! Stick to your guns.
Post # 6
@hermom: I just love you, you’re a great nana. I started reading your thread and assumed you would side with the grandparents! i’m glad to see you are a reasonable person. Trying to balance all the family expectations is HARD so it’s nice when in laws understand how difficult it can be and are willing to be flexible. Love this. Thanks 🙂
Post # 7
I agree with you 100%. DH and I alternate holidays. Thanksgiving we go to my parent’s and his mother usually tags along. Christmas we go to his mother’s and she usually invites my parents. (Thank God for his small family that we combine!) And every other Christmas we go to NC with his extended family. But the min we have kids Christmas Eve and morning are off limits. Those are for our immediate family, grandparents can come over later in the day, but I am not dragging our kids all over hell and creation.
Post # 8
I think at least with my parents and me and my brother it was different than it would be for my grandparents. My mom’s parents had 5 kids. My Dad’s parents had 9. Could you imagine travling to see all of those kids and grandkids?
This makes great sense if your parents have up to three kids that live close. Any more than that, yeah, I’m going to side with grandma and grandpa. It might be tough on mom and dad to drag them to a centeral location, but all the travling that will need to be done by everyone else…
The only reason that this isn’t on my radar is that I think I will want my kids to have all the memories of playing with their cousin’s that I have. But we will (hopefully) divide our time wisely and have the mandatory nap (thank goodness for hour and a half car rides). The biggest problem I see with FSIL and FBIL’s kids is that they let family one get the kids horrendously off schedule (one more beer, hug nana and papa, okay, 15 more minutes talking, we were planning to leave at 2: and were out the door at 3:30) and then us (family two on their schedule) gets the cranky kids.
Post # 9
@missjewels: I was told by my asshole FIL, after voicing my opinion for how stupid it was that we always have to come to them, that “when you have kids, the grandparents will come to you. Before that happens, you need to come to us.”
So I am holding him to that because that is the most helpful thing he’s even said 🙂
I am undecided whether or not next Christmas I will be hauling our child 3 1/2 hours so his great grandparents can see him. Granted they are old and not going to be here much longer, but I run a huge risk by driving that far with an infant in the snow on gravel roads and ice. We can all meet up somewhere closer some other time.
I absolutely support your reasoning and decision is the point I was trying to make it my lengthy reply 🙂
Post # 10
DH and I live over an hour from both sets of parents (who live in different parts of our state, about 2 hours apart). I said as of this year we are NOT travelling on Christmas Day to make two events. So either we’ll start switching off if they want to celebrate Christmas on the same day, or they’ll have to take turns who “gets” the day and the other family will have to plan on a different day to celebreate if they want us there. We were really, really nice about it. explaining that it is so hard to travel with unpredictable weather and in the past we have spent 2+ hours in the car during prime hours on xmas day, and they seemed pretty understanding. This year we’re due with our first on NYE, so we’re not travelling at all, but hoping next year they’ll still be on board. If they’re not, then we’re just going to have to go with our plan of switching off who we’ll spend xmas eve and day with and then visit the other family either the weekend before or after. I think you need to do what’s best for you and your family and just ignore their comments/frustration until they get over it. Good luck!!
Post # 11
Right now my DH and I go all over the place dividing our time between both families. Once we have a baby thats it. We’re staying home. I dont really care what my ancestors did before me, our decision is to stay home.
Post # 12
I am having this same issue. kinda…
Between my Dh and I, Christmas has become more of a hassle and an obligation than fun. My parents are divorced, so we hvae to somehow find time to have some sort of Christmas with all of them, then my relatives do Christmas eve (no biggie, we rae close by) and his family drives themselves THREE HOURS away on christmas day to see his grandma. I have only had to do this twice and I am ALREADY over it. Nexgt year we will have a little one and I’m pretty much ready to implement the “we aren’t leaving the house” rule. I like to sit around and open presents and relax on Christmas, not pack up my family and drive myself 3 hours, to spend the night in someone’s basement. It’s about damn time his grandma came HERE for christmas. Why can’t we go there for thanksgiving instead? AT least then I’m not juggling 10 million families.
Post # 13
@mu_t: Well, gee, thanks!
i will just offer this up: It is CRAZY HARD to adapt the idea that the children who have woken up in your home every Christmas morning for their entire lives will no longer happen. They get married, they have SO’s, they share holidays, or they decide they are planting themselves in their homes instead of yours on Christmas day.
Did I mention that this a crazy hard thing for some people to come to terms with? For those of you with your new children, take a moment and imagine Christmas mornning/Christmas Day without them. It will happen one day, it is the logical, expected, and normal circle of life. The problem is that you never give it a thought when you are starting a family and you are young parents.
Sooo, when the parents throw their hissy fits and dramatic gut-wrenching, sobbing tantrums about you not being there (especially those first few years), remember that this is new and usually unwanted territory for us. Yeah, we were young parents once, yeah we drug our kids around the countryside til they were sick and exhausted, but Dang it! That’s what you do!!!
Just understand that it takes awhile for us to get used to it. I think we have an obligation to accept it and to respect your boundaries, but it is tough.
OP – stick to those boundaries and understand where the protests really come from. They will accept it and deal with it…….eventually. Good luck!
Post # 14
DH and I talked about this and mentioned it casually well before we ever had kids. Because we didn’t have kids at the time, it didn’t bother anyone, and they all agreed that they wouldn’t want to travel with little ones, either. When we had children and actually DID stay home, they tried to change their tune, but they had already said in the past that it made sense.
So ever since our first son was born, we’ve had Christmas day at our own home so the kids can open gifts while still wearing their new pajamas and so they can actually spend the day playing with their new toys. We do Christmas eve at the IL’s and we do the Saturday after Christmas at my folk’s house. So we still see everyone, just not on the day.
Honestly, you need to do what is best for your family and your kids. IMO, that is not dragging them from place to place on a day that is supposed to be fun. Heck, we don’t even want them to open some toys when we are at other people’s homes because we know pieces will be lost before we ever get it home. That’s no fun for a kid! Kids should be able to be comfortable in their own homes and have traditions with their immediate family.
Post # 15
There is no perfect solution to Christmas. However, in the situation you described, now your parents will need to travel on Christmas day between yours and your brothers house if they want to see all grandchildren. And you will not see your brother and your kids would not see their cousins on Christmas. To me, this doesn’t sound like an ideal solution.
Post # 16
@missjewels: well first it doesn’t make sense to argue about this when you don’t even have a kid yet. But other than that, I do think it is selfish in the sense that you are only looking out for your own interest. Sure, YOU don’t have to leave and figure out how to see everyone in one day, but if you and your brother are both doing this, your parents are going to have to split time between the two of you. Meanwhile your hypothetical kid isn’t going to spend the holidays with his cousins. And if your husband has siblings who ARE taking the kids to see their grandparents, are your FILs supposed to cut that short to come see your kid? It makes no sense for anyone but you, which, yes, is by definition selfish.