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

posted 4 months ago in Relationships
Post # 65
1062 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

This was my thought too, she talks about wanting her own traditions but then goes on to say she wants something different each year. It’s fundamentally incompatible with his family’s traditions MollyCatherine :  

Post # 66
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

So long as you spend time with the family throughout the year, why don’t you just do a one-on, one-off christmas?

One year with them, one year with your “little nuclear family”?

Honestly, family is never going to do things exactly the way you want. You compromise because barring some kind of abuse or neglect, family is family. I don’t hate many people, but I honest to God have hatred for my SIL who is just a shit, “bitch with a capital C” person. Yet every two years I share a table with her when hubby and I fly to his hometown for alternate christmases.

If you want to cut them out, cut them out, but face the fallout if you do. You think your Mother-In-Law doesn’t like you now? Well wait for the minute you say “soz you don’t get to see your son at Christmas”.

Then you’ll really see a bitter Mother-In-Law, lol.

Post # 67
45 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

I know how isolating sitting around doing nothing can feel if you don’t feel welcomed into the family. 

Once you have your baby, the dynamics with your in laws will probably change and hopefully for the better. If they didn’t feel they had anything to talk to you about (and hence didn’t really talk to you) now there’s the baby to talk about. You may even appreciate going to their place for Christmas and not doing the cooking and having other people around to help look after the baby. This definitely happened to me. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t enjoy Christmas or family time with my in laws, it just felt so established that I was simply slotted in. 

Things and people change after a baby including yourself. See how it goes and then decide if you still need to make adjustments. 

Good luck!


Post # 68
7099 posts
Busy Beekeeper

pontihatesperiods :  husband and i cooked an elaborate meal with some non-traditional aspects and they hated it and only ate the ham they brought even though the food was planned ahead of time

was it vegan or something??? Why such a fuss over thanksgiving.

Post # 69
591 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

OP, unlike what many here have unfairly implied, you don’t have to actually know what these new traditions will be right now. I think many family traditions come to be organically–you try something new one year and it sticks. The rest of the family realizes they really enjoyed that thing we did last year, and they want to do it again. Please don’t feel pressured to give everyone here a precise rundown of what you plan to do with your baby; it’s not as though your baby will be able to say yay or nay for a while anyhow. You will develop Christmas traditions with your child, and others can join if they like–but you needn’t feel obligated to forgo your own traditions for an event that you feel is less special to you AND your husband. 

I am very much of the “leave and cleave” mindset, so while I recognize the importance of extended family making the effort to see one another during the holidays (and I enjoy it myself), I also argue that one’s nuclear family comes first. 

All that being said, I have a sneaking suspicion that none of this would be an issue if you just liked your mother-in-law more. I’m willing to bet that the sitting around, chatting, and eating would be far more palatable to you if you were sitting, chatting, and eating with awesome people with whom you relish spending time. Consider that maybe your desires to begin your own nuclear family traditions (desires which are legit no matter what) are in part the product of your dislike of your in-laws. If this is true, then it isn’t really about their “boring” way of spending the holidays; it’s about your relationship with them. And that might make a difference. 

Post # 70
1512 posts
Bumble bee

What you are complaining about is exactly what marriage is. 

Now, you have to make time and space for your new family. You don’t have to love or like them, but you have to be respectful  and cordial. 

Accept that on important times of the year, they will be part of your life. It’s not their job to entertain you, simply spending time together is all they ask, and it’s not too much. 

Yes, make your family traditions. But don’t cut them out, maybe see them boxing day, whatever. Host them sometimes. Be kind to your husband”s family. 

Post # 71
98 posts
Worker bee

I don’t think this has much to do with traditions at all. Based on that Thanksgiving update, I suspect your DH’s family has time and again made you feel like you’re not totally welcome, and this is just the manifestation of that dynamic. Compromise, yes, but also stop working so hard for them. If you want to do Thanksgiving, you can issue invites and leave it at that. No need to share menus and over-plan, because they won’t appreciate it and in fact will find ways to minimize what you’ve done. Do you, do it with a smile, and when your baby comes you will have a built in buddy for the time you do have to spend at their house.

Post # 72
2016 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

i dont see a problem with starting your own christmas tradition with a new baby at your own home. Even if its similar to what you do at the in laws place. Maybe do christmas eve with the inlaws and then christmas morning at your house, or vise versa. 

i too am not a fan of the way my D.H. family do christmas, and for many years we put aside our differences and managed. But once i gave birth i was very insistent to EVERYONE including my in laws that i really wanted my sons first christmas to be christmas morning opening gifts around the tree. Frankly i just put my foot down and and made a firm stance as to thats what we are doing, if my D.H. family want to join then great, if not oh well. 

Post # 73
720 posts
Busy bee

Just want to say that I strongly disagree with pp who say your relationship with your in laws will automatically get better when your baby is born. I would in fact expect the exact opposite, that any issues you have now with them will be put under the magnifying glass with a baby in the picture. It’s great that you’re thinking ahead and talking through these issues with your husband now. Really encouraging that he was receptive to your recent convo about it.

Post # 74
66 posts
Worker bee

Growing up we always had Christmas morning with just our family (mom, dad, kids). Around lunch time we’d drive to my grandparents in another city where whole family would have dinner and open family gifts. It never felt like we didn’t have our own family Christmas. When we were older, and so were they, we’d still do this going to their nursing home. 

I’m not sure how a few hours and a meal make it less your own family holiday. Christmas is about being with family if you’re fortunate enough to have them. Grandparents homes often become the central meeting place for families so I don’t see it as unusual. 

Post # 75
1 posts

I am curious where your family is in all of this, OP?  Even if you don’t want to or can’t visit your family for holidays, but that in itself is a hoop most couples have to jump through, and it’s unreasonable if neither your husband or in-laws ever considered that their plans or traditions would have to change when people with their own birth families marry into the family.

I think compromise is a lovely goal, but it shouldn’t have to be all yours.  You get 18 Christmases with your kids, more or less.  You have no control if they can or will show up for Xmas after that.  They will also have spouses to make new plans with.  Your parents and your in-laws already got their time to choose how they wanted to do Christmas with their kids.  This is yours.  That doesn’t mean everything has to be 100% your way, but it’s not selfish to “demand” that you’re not just going to do what’s always been done.

Post # 76
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Go on over to DWIL. I think you will find posters there who are far more receptive to the idea of celebrating with your nuclear family rather than your husband’s extended family. And a lot of other excellent advice, if you want it.

Post # 77
1537 posts
Bumble bee

pontihatesperiods :  some of my very best memories as a child are from Christmas with my grandparents.  We woudl drive, yes DRIVE, 1500 miles over two days each way,a nd then spend time at my mom’s mom or my dad’s parents, and his grandfather.  And, the others would come to which ever house we were staying at that year.  Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents.  

My dad’s grand father died in 1976.  Dad’s mother and dad died in 1986.  One aunt fell off of the face of the earth in 1987.  One aunt died in 1997.  Mom died in 2009.  And my mom’s mom died this year.  

Those memories are magical now.

Post # 78
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Your feelings are justified. You aren’t keeping your husband or baby from the in-laws for wanting to start your own traditions. When baby gets there you can visit his family to say hello after you guys are done. This will then in turn lessen the time you’re at your in-laws house. Instead of 5-6 hours there it will be something like 2, maybe even 3 if you feel up to it. Baby could become entertainment in some way. But you guys should make your own traditions and then catch up with them after. If your in-laws parents are alive why aren’t they over there with THEIR parents? Oh because they made their own family. Just like you and your husband are. So don’t even sweat how you’re feeling, you’re in the right. 

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