half MIL rant, half need advice about starting new family traditions for baby

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
5575 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

pontihatesperiods :  so you’re going to separate your baby from the cousins?

What are your expectations for Christmas? Isn’t it you go, you open presents, you visit (sit around) and eat?

I have a horribly strained relationship with my bil, he can’t think about anyone but himself, he’s just incapable of thinking about others. He’s horrible to be around.

But I put my irritation aside because our kids love seeing each other. My daughter is four and she includes her one and a half year old cousin in her family pictures. It’s always mommy, daddy, my daughter, and her baby cousin.

There is no reason for this. There’s no reason to create this family rift. They aren’t emotionally abusive, they aren’t toxic, you just don’t agree with how they do Christmas or whatever.

Maybe they notice your attitude and try and stear clear

Post # 3
Member
5575 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

Your pregnancy hormones could be magnifying the issues into something they are not. This is not to write you off, this is just to say that pregnancy hormones wreak havoc on your emotions

Why are things strained?

Post # 4
Member
715 posts
Busy bee

I think your feelings are justified, but I also think you need to approach this discussion with your husband a little more gently and with more willingness to compromise. I don’t think it’s fair for you to unilaterally declare “we will never go to MIL’s for christmas again.” Likewise I don’t think it’s fair for your husband to say “we will always go there for christmas!” Like there needs to be a compromise, and there are about 9000 ways you could do that, whether you go to your in laws’ house the day after xmas, you alternate years where you go there vs. stay at home, or any other number of things.

You and your husband need to sit down and try to have a matter of fact discussion about it, where you come to a solution that’s fair to both of you.

One word of advice: I wouldn’t frame this discussion around your disdain for the way they celebrate the holidays. Honestly the way they celebrate Christmas sounds perfectly normal to me…that is basically what my family does too. Everyone just sits around and eats, that’s it. And I love it, but I love my family so that’s probably why lol. I just think if you start off the discussion by bashing your husband’s tradition that isn’t going to help matters. 

Post # 6
Member
5865 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

What exactly are you expecting from a Christmas day with family? You complain that it isn’t special or exciting enough for you and all they do is sit around catching up, opening presents with the children and eating christmas dinner … isn’t that just a typical christmas? What would need to happen for you to not view it negatively?

I don’t think you’re wrong for wanting to spend time as a 3 on christmas, but this is a decision between you and your husband. You “deciding” you’re going to stay home and “flat out refusing” to go doesn’t sound like the best way to deal with this.  Could you go every other year/ stay at home every other year?

I just think since you are expecting a push back so you are going in with a combative attitude which just creates a self fulfilling prophecy and then you definitely will have pushback, then you can pat yourself on the back for being right and you feel validated. 

Post # 9
Member
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I would still go to Christmas at her house. It’s just one day. You can have your own traditions for Christmas Eve and do something special at your house before you leave. Then spend the day at his parents, and come home. You can still build your own Christmas traditions leading up to the holiday and after you get home. 

Post # 10
Member
715 posts
Busy bee

pontihatesperiods :  Nothing wrong with ranting! Just trying to help you strategize a bit so when you do have the discussion, you’re setting yourself up for success. Going in guns blazing with a rant about how his tradition of sitting around eating food is lame as hell isn’t likely to produce the best results lol. Not that you would frame it exactly that way of course…I just think if you go into it with a more positive approach, i.e., making it about wanting to start your own traditions as a family of 3, and seeing if he’s open to changing things up a bit, you’re more likely to get the outcome you want.

Post # 11
Member
10083 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Okay, what would you do differently if you were hosting?

Post # 13
Member
5865 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

pontihatesperiods :  I would just be careful of being abrupt or negative prematurely with your husband and therefore making this an issue before it actually is one.  Just come at it from a more balanced perspective with him. 

Frankly we don’t know if you are the type to go up to him and tell him you point bank refuse to go to MIL’s on Christmas ever again once the baby comes so you can’t really fault people for picking up on it.  

Look I get it, it can be annoying when you visit the inlaws more than they do. I was just laughing this morning that Mother-In-Law has only stayed with us for one single night in the past 4 years, and we live 3 hours away.  But at the same time I do think older people are set in their ways and they just like their grown up kids to come and see them.  It is more tiring for them to make the journey to you than vice versa and I don’t think it is out of the ordinary for it to work this way. 

What are you going to go do that is new and fun on christmas day though? I do think you are being a bit bitch eating crackers right now and I’m just trying to point this out so you realize it before speaking to your husband. 

All I can think about is 

 

All they do is open presents, drink mulled wine, chat to each other and eat turkey!!!

Post # 14
Member
1421 posts
Bumble bee

I think there is room for compromise here. 

Issue: Boring holidays.

Compromise: Bring board games, yard games, or activities for the children. Easter Eggs to hunt on Easter, stockings on Christmas, bocce ball or cornhole for barbecues. 

For one, separating your child from a perfectly good family (you acknowledged that they’re good people) for the sake of not wanting boring holidays sounds a little over the top. For another, if the holidays are fine for everyone else, but boring for you, why not create new traditions that are fun and keep everyone engaged?

Issue: Always traveling to them.

Compromise: Talk to your Mother-In-Law and let her know that as a new family, with a baby, you would love to start the tradition of hosting at least one holiday and/or one family gathering per year at your home. Get in touch with the rest of the family and see which would be best for them. It’s okay to tell them, “We have an infant and need more time at home.”

Yes, you should compromise more. Hopefully they will compromise as well. 

I think the only issue you shouldn’t compromise on here is your husband supporting your family unit over his mother’s wishes. If you are otherwise compromising as much as you feel comfortable, he should take “no” as an answer and support you unconditionally. His mother should never come first in your relationship. If you feel it’s important to make a family decision that his mother may not agree with, your wishes should take precedent. 

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