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

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
8483 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

pontihatesperiods :  holidays are easy for us because we’re a blended Christian/Jewish family. My in-laws don’t celebrate Christmas! Once we had our daughter we started hosting Christmas Day at our house so it was easier for us and I could make our own traditions. A special meal, a family walk, a special movie, whatever is planned by me. 

Post # 19
2125 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to spend a few holidays on your own with your husband and baby. Have you broached this with your husband and he has refused, or are you just anticipating that he will insist on every single holiday with his parents? And on that subject, I think your expectation that the magic and excitement around the holidays should be provided by his parents is misplaced. What do you expect to happen besides opening gifts, eating, and visiting? If you want to start your own family traditions, I don’t see any barrier to doing so and it doesn’t have to be a rejection of your husband’s family. You can have both. Also, you don’t need to have a baby to do this or to be a family. My husband and I are a family and have family traditions of our own. Not having children doesn’t make my Mother-In-Law or my mother the head of our household. That’s ridiculous. We’re the head of our household and the ones who make autonomous decisions about our lives and how and where we spend them. You can too regardless of whether you have kids or not.

Post # 20
5857 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

pontihatesperiods :  Look I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to spend time just as a 3, but I wouldn’t tell your husband it is more special for the kid. It won’t be any less about the kid at grandma’s vs home. If anything a young kid will love more people giving them presents and fawning all over him.

The issue is you’re pitting it as home being better and more special than MIL’s and I don’t know if your husband will respond well to that, from your posts. There is nothing wrong with suggesting you do every other year at home or only going to MIL’s on christmas evening but I think to say you’re doing it so it is more special for your kid is disingenuous. 

Post # 22
666 posts
Busy bee

pontihatesperiods :  You just need to have a point blank discussion with him about it rather than hinting around. Maybe he will respond better once you lay it all out for him in clear words?

Post # 25
2125 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“There is nothing wrong with suggesting you do every other year at home or only going to MIL’s on christmas evening but I think to say you’re doing it so it is more special for your kid is disingenuous.”

Yes. This is what I’m trying to get at. You can opt out of a few holidays with the inlaws just because you want to and it’s right for your family of two, three, four, five, whatever. You were a family before you had kids. You’re a bigger family now and that may change things logistically, but it is a bit disingenuous to take the attitude of “now that we have a baby, we’re an exclusive family unit and you are lower status in our lives, so we’re downgrading the amount of time we spend with you.” I think the bigger issue is that your husband doesn’t seem to want to compromise about holiday time and that’s not right.

Post # 27
6861 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Why can’t your husband spend more time with his family? Surely he can visit them on his own. If you invite them for a BBQ and they decline what does he say?

A baby won’t notice much but don’t assume a toddler or child will have more fun celebrating Christmas at home with just his/her parents, the child is likely to have more fun with a crowd of people who are excited to see and entertain him/her, this is about you. That said, a compromise is in order. Could you open presents at home in the morning as a family unit and then travel to family for dinner? 

There is bound to be some shift when the baby arrives–won’t they travel to you to visit their new grandchild? And to attend their grandchild’s 1st birthday, etc.? Be careful what you wish for, you’ll be posting about how they visit too often. 

Post # 28
9638 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Why is compromising not a possibility? Why is it all or nothing?

We spend christmas morning with just us 3. I want to roll out of bed in my pajamas and watch my kid open presents with my cup of coffee. No one else is invited. But later that afternoon? Sure I can go somewhere for a few hours. And hell yes I’d rather go to someone else’s house than worry about hosting 20 people. UGH.

I don’t really get what extra special traditions you want for christmas. People get together and eat, relax and enjoy each other’s company on christmas, that’s pretty typical. If you want to do something fun, bring some board games, a special movie etc.

Your Mother-In-Law is 100% your BEC.

Post # 29
1013 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

pontihatesperiods :  i totally get what you are saying. I think you need to sit down with your husband and work on boundaries right now. First of all, even though you don’t see MiL that much now, when a baby comes sometimes that ramps up the in laws wanting to see you guys more often. The advice I hear on this topic is, however often you were seeing them before baby is the same amount after baby. They don’t get to suddenly want more time with you because of the baby. That’s actually pretty insulting if you think about it. You and husband aren’t good enough for them to want to see more often but baby is? Hell no. the second part is who visits who. You are going to have the baby and won’t be the one traveling to see them as much. Completely how I would do that too. If his parents ask to see the baby? Tell them they are welcome to let you know a time and day and they are welcome to come by. If they invite you over and you don’t want to go? Just say “that doesn’t work for us” you don’t have to explain why. But basically you need to start working with your husband on your boundaries and expectations now. If you hit a hard roadblock with him on Christmas than maybe get some counseling the two of you. Because your mom experience comes before MIL’s grandmother experience. You didn’t have a child so MiL could play with it. Your feelings and wants as the mom come first. And your husband needs to understand that. He needs to understand that when Mother-In-Law is upset that she doesn’t get to see her grandchild on Christmas that as the mother YOUR Christmas experience with your child comes first. Being a grandparent is a privilege not a right. 

Post # 30
7045 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’m not sure where pps are getting that you’re trying to separate the baby from his family, it sounds like you’d be happy hosting at your own house? 

You also haven’t answered the questions about what you’d do differently though. I am on your side that once you have a kid, it makes sense to start your own traditions and whatnot. But…what are they? I would put some thought into what your ideal xmas looks like (at home), and then get feedback from your husband on how you can involve his family in that. I think for the first xmas it would be absolutely fine to say “No, we aren’t travelling with baby. We are hosting lunch at 2pm, let us know if you can make it”. Then see how it goes. Maybe everyone will join and you’ll absolutely hate being the hostess and new mom. Maybe someone will suggest doing it at cousins house next year. Maybe no one will show up and you’ll end up going to MILs on boxing day and that is your new tradition. 

Anyways, I think it’s fine to want your own traditions but you need to be a bit flexible, and I think using babys first xmas to stay home (inviting others) is a great compromise. 

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