Post # 1
We live 5 hours away from my parents and grandma. We live 30 minutes away from his grandparents, aunts, uncles, sister, her family, his mom, etc. You get the drift. How do you balance it? We have yet to find the perfect solution. Expecting my parents to drive or fly up every major holiday is unreasonable. And I know he’ll feel like he’s letting down his family if we aren’t there for, say, Christmas, but he knows it’s a two-way street. This year is his first year home (first thanksgiving in over 2 years, too) so both holidays will be with his side, but on the 26th i’m pretty sure we’re going on vacation with mine.
Anyone in a similiar situation? How do you handle it while making everyone feel like they’re getting your attention? I know this will be a huuuge issue when we have kids b/c our kids will be my parents ONLY grandbabies. They will want to see them but ti’s not fair to expect parents in their 60’s to always come up. With him, it’s literally every single holiday with his family and I don’t want my parents to feel left out, but I also don’t want to feel so obligated to attend everything simply b/c his family is more convenient.
It’s a two-way street in my book, so I’m just curious how some of you make this work!
Post # 3
i am in this situation as well. we live about 10-15 minutes from his parents, and 900 miles from my parents! this year is crazy because he has a test to study for directly after christmas so i made the decision to stay here. i probably won’t be home for a holiday until NEXT christmas 🙁 i am struggling with this and i know my parents are too.
i guess i can’t really offer any advice but i can commiserate!!
Post # 4
I can’t say I am in a similar boat but I know this is a big subject for many couples and their families…we’re far away from everyone! Us = FL, his family = Iowa, my family = Japan. Haha, so it’s relative.
I think the best thing, in any situation though, is to have a plan: compromises must be made, and like you said, it totally is a two-way street. =)
Post # 5
His parents live a hour and a half away (and will normally see us on weekends) and my family live eightteen hours away.
It is usually Thanksgiving at his; Christmas at mine. Than the next year Thanksgiving at mine; Christmas at his. Though last Thanksgiving we spent Thanksgiving day at his parents and flew home the next day to have Thanksgiving with my parents two days later. My parents just held off on the dinner and stuff till we got up there. Since, his parents don’t really do holidays, I get really homesick around these times because my family is always together, celebrating. While his family are there for the food and out. So I don’t get to play card games or anything with family…so it makes a good argument over who to visit during the holidays because my fiance loves going to my house and getting involved. lol. We also switch it up with where too because I live in Florida so my parents like to come down here every once in a holiday for it cuz it’s nice without snow though they don’t want to do it every year. So last year was down here…so their next christmas, we’ll fly up to IL.
Christmas is easier because opening presents can be done any day…I remember we had two weeks off for christmas (we’re college students..usually get kicked out of our dorms that holiday so gotta tell work that! Have to have a place to live…geez) so we spent one week at his parents and one week at mine.
I think as long as you make an effort, your parents won’t feel too left out. Now if you keep telling your parents that you will come and don’t…than there might be issues…but both of our parents get satisfied with the amount that they see us. Actually my parents see me more than they did before we got together. Opps 🙁 (too independent and hated living “under their roof.”
Post # 6
oh the mess up was cuz we got engaged and everyone wanted to see us…
If not; I was going to stuck to the plan. Thanksgiving at his; Christmas at mine..etc!
Post # 7
Living closer doesn’t necessarily solve this problem. My parents are divorced and his are together. All three sets of parents live within .5 hour of us. I hate the holiday season because we can never please everyone. Last christmas we spent the 23rd at my Dad’s girlfriends family christmas, the 24th early morning opened presents with dad, early afternoon at moms, night at his extended family get together, and christmas morning with his immediate family (my extended family get togethers were like 2 days before and after that mess, so yes I went to 7 events in one week). They live in opposite directions of each other so we spent a lot of time in the car (especially with weather). Each of them feels like we don’t spend enough time with them and everybody wants us around on christmas eve AND christmas. All I can think is WHAT are we going to do when we have kids??? I have four to five thanksgiving dinners also. BLAH….since we are close everyone assumes we can go to everything. Its a non stop guilt trip! AND it always seems like his family gets christmas morning which just peeves my family off, but I think it would be worse if one of my parents got it because they would fight BIG time about which one should get it.
I think its difficult no matter what.
Post # 8
That’s a very good point, Bamboo. It could always be the other way around!
My parents don’t make a huuuge deal about holidays. They just want to see us. But I am their only child now, so some of that’s me feeling obligated. Whereas holidays are these huuuuge events with his family! Bbq’s, presents, drinks, lots of food, the whole nine yards. So DH surely would feel like he’s “missing out” on festivities if we traded one eventful holiday for a snoozy one. I also don’t want to take advantage of the fact that my parents are so understanding that they get all the “bad” holidays =] I’ll probably propose we do holidays this year with his, next year with mine, then start figuring out who gets thanksgiving and christmas. Driving 4 hours on Christmas morning is not a pleasant idea. I know he thinks his family get togethers are “better” so we should go to those.
Post # 9
@ejs–we’re in almost the same situation as you. My mom lives 25 minutes away and his parents are about 4.5 hours away. Honestly, we haven’t figured out a situation in terms of holidays yet. Before we were engaged, we split up on holidays–I went with my family and he went with his. Last year (when we were engaged), we went to his family Thanksgiving. Then for Christmas, we spent Christmas Eve separately, then he drove down to my family Christmas party. Honestly, I kind of hate the idea of having to drive on Christmas morning (especially with snow being an issue), but I don’t want to give one family the entire holiday. I’m so close to my family, so I just couldn’t do that.
At this point, our solution so far is to do Christmas Eve with his parents and then drive down here to my mom’s house on Christmas morning. I don’t know WHAT we’re going to do for Thanksgiving–I keep suggesting we go on vacation to avoid it! Either way, I want to make it clear to his parents (since they’re the ones who push more on this stuff), that once we have a house/children, we’re staying here. I want our kids to have holidays in their own house, without having to drive every single year.
Post # 10
I used to be in that situation, but we fixed it by moving. His parents now live 12 hours away (actually his dad is overseas) and my parents are 8 hours away. Before we moved, we lived 10 minutes from his folks and an undrivable disatance.
It’s really hard. Have you tried explaining your dilemma to your in-laws? They should be reasonable to understand that you need to see your folks at home, and sometimes they’ll come up to visit, and other times you’ll only see his family. Our families have, thankfully, been very understanding about our needs to split our time. At least from what you’ve said, your parents are understanding, but that’s no reason that you only see them outside of holidays.
Post # 11
FI and I don’t live really close to any of our parents, but we are closer to mine because they’re in the same country at least — but still a 4.5-5 hour drive, depending on traffic. We’ve been alternating holidays since we got engaged and will continue to do so…however, FI always has to work the day after Thanksgiving, so once we have a house (with guestrooms…sigh) we hope to do T-day here most of the time, and I will go to my parents’ maybe 1 out of each 3 years. FI gets a couple weeks at the winter holidays, though, so we will probably alternate going to my parents’ one year and travelling internationally to see his family the next, and doing a summer vacation with his family on the years they don’t “get” us for New Years. It does suck that we can’t make everyone happy, but we have to do what is best for our family (especially once we have kids) and dividing things as equally as we can is the best we can do.
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2010 - Kindred Oaks, Georgetown
I’m in a crappy situation. None of my family lives here. Or anywhere close. I’m in Texas and they’re in Idaho and NJ. His family all lives in our area for the most part. I also work a job where I can’t take off holidays. So unless my family comes to me for holidays we just spend them with his. Fine by me as long as I get to celebrate with someone!
Post # 13
his parents live in the house behind us… yes, behind us and the rest of his siblings live up the road from us. my entire family live in the next suburb, less than 10miles away
we avoid both sides and plan on holiday in the south pacific every chrismtas so they both get to ***** about us not spending time with them 🙂
Post # 14
the in-laws are all very udnerstanding. It’s just that DH hasn’t been home for so long that I feel like I’m “stealing him away” from them all. He’s open to the idea, to an extent. He’s not keen on missing big holidays like Christmas for my family’s low-key Christmas, but he knows it comes w/ the territory. I’m the only “outsider” spouse not from the stl area. All the other spouses have family IN st louis, so, for instance, they spend the mornings with one family, then the afternoons with this family. I that makes any sense. They may not like that he won’t spend every Christmas with them, but they will get over it. =]
My parents really are understanding, but now that my brother has died, im the only child left, so some of that is obligation to go see my lonely parents (who literally have no one near theM) on some of the hardest times of the year, whereas we can literally see my DH’s family any time we want. It’s easier to travel 5 hours away when i have a few days off of work.
Post # 15
My bf’s parents are an hour away and mine are an 8hour PLANE ride away… His mom is very into Christmas so I don’t see us ever being with my parents for Christmas. But the other holidays are up for grabs!
Post # 16
My family is all within 10 miles of us which is great. My FI’s family is a 7 hour drive…we rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas Day (although we always go spend the week after Christmas and the New Year with his family) and we usually spend Easter with his family and 3-day weekends (like Memorial Day) with his family as well! It’s hard to balance but it works out well. The only annoying part is when his mom and her boyfriend whine that they don’t see us that often and it’s not really that far of a drive…They, however, can drive 14 hours to see my FSIL in Missouri but have only been here for a cumulative total of 2 days in the last 2 years!!