Post # 1
So here’s the deal: My parents live, literally, on the other side of the world. My dad’s career was in the Air Force and when he retired, they liked it so much where they were, that they stayed! I’ve lived in the mainland U.S. for the last 6 years (moved back for college) and while they are physically a great distance away, I am still extremely close to my parents. My dilemna is my in-laws and the upcoming holiday season… and the fact that I’m having a baby this fall. Yup.
Because of job opportunities, my husband and I live in the same town as his parents. They see us ALL the time. With the baby due this fall, my parents are planning on being here and it just so happens that their plans include them being here over the Thanksgiving holiday. You can imagine my joy at the thought of a Thanksgiving with my folks for the first time in 6 years. I brough this up to my husband today and said that I would LOVE it if we could spend Thanksgiving with my family, since this is going to be the first of few and far between holidays that we will get with them. His response? "It might hurt my mom’s feelings if we’ve just had a baby and we don’t want to spend baby’s first holiday with them." Ummm.
I’m not gonna lie, I got upset at this. I mean, really? WE LIVE IN THE SAME TOWN AS THEY DO! I’m not kidding when I say that they see us 5 out of 7 days in a week. I mean, they’ll get an unlimited amount of future Christmases (including this year’s), birthdays, holidays, milestones, whatever. I totally get that they want to be there for baby’s first holiday and all, but hello, this opportunity to celebrate a holiday with my husband, son, and MY parents is a rare opportunity. Personally, I think his mom can just get over it but my husband thinks I’m not being sensitive to a first-time grandma’s wishes. Sigh.
Do I stick to my guns on this or just let my Mother-In-Law plan a huge all out holiday celebration for my family and his? Personally, I don’t know how up to it I’ll feel about exerting a ton of energy after just having birthed a child and the thought of actually being with my parents again for a holiday is such a lovely one, but I’m also thinking that my wishes aren’t the only ones that need to be considered here. Those of you with more experience with dealing with MsIL and hurt feelings, give a girl a hand!
Post # 3
Maybe you could have a special Thanksgiving dinner with your family and then join his family for dessert. That way, you could have your special time and his mom would still get to be part of the festivities. You might approach her and see how she feels about it or if she has a more creative solution. Just explain to her that since you get to see you family so rarely, that you would love someone one on one time with them so they can get to know your new family member.
Post # 4
Gosh I feel for you. I would say think about it a little more before you make a decision. You definitely make a good point that you might not be able to make a whole Thanksgiving dinner yourself with a few week old newborn but if your mom was up to cooking in your kitchen you could do the small intimate dinner with your family and then invite his over for dessert. If you really feel its going to be hard to pull off and your mom doesn’t want to cook then maybe take your Mother-In-Law up on her offer.
I am in a different boat than you. My mom is EXTREMELY territorial. I am not sure if its because I never brought home guys before my future husband or because our family is so small but the holidays completely stress me out because we live in driving distance from both. His parent are about 10 miles from us while my parents are about 50 miles. His mom is so easy going with whatever we do which helps a lot but my future husband really believes in equal time and we usually just do both to keep the peace. Last year we didn’t and even some of my uncles had something to say to me like we always did both but in the same realm I believe you need to make your own traditions especially when you have a new baby and now you are your own family. Eventually everyone will understand I think and hope!
Post # 5
If I were you I’d be more worried about the days other than Thanksgiving. I think it’s fine to spend that day with both families as long as his family gives you space for the duration of your parents visit.
If your parents are coming for an extended time (a couple weeks) and his family gives you space for alone time, then you probably won’t feel it necessary to spend the actual T-day alone with them.
However, if his family is going to constantly be at your house (or insisting you come to theirs) then I can see why you’d want T day to yourselves.
In my relationship, I’m the one whose parents are close and we see all the time. Technically it’s his parents ‘turn’ to have us for T-giving (we alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas). However, since they live far away and we’ll have used up lots of $ and vacation time on our wedding in September, we can’t travel to see them. The alternative is to meet them halfway and spend T-giving at a hotel or have them come up to see us. If we are going to be near my family I don’t see the problem spending the holiday all together. I don’t feel like my family should be denied seeing us just because they live closer- they’d still miss us on such a big holiday.
So just keep in mind- now that you’re married, both sides are your side! If you can, I say just spend it as one, huge, extended family. You’ll have all the other days of your parents visit to have them to yourself!
Good luck and congrats on the impending arrival!
Post # 6
Why don’t you host a Thanksgiving dinner at your house and have both grandparents there? You can ask for them to come over early, and watch football and/or help with the cooking.
Post # 7
Grace – maybe I’m too cavalier about your MIL’s feelings, but I would not want her at your Thanksgiving since she lives so close to you and you hardly ever get alone time with your family. I’m sure if your Mother-In-Law was in the opposition situation (she living far from you and your husband and your parents living close by), she would not want to have to share her only holiday with her son and his new family.
That’s just my two cents. I am sensitive to your issue b/c I will have to deal with the same problem next year, and I’m adamant that parents who will be far away will not feel slighted by having to share holidays with my fiance’s parents who live in the same town as us.
Post # 8
Your husband is forgetting that your mother is also a grandma and is being hypocritical by saying you are not being sensitive to his mother’s wishes. What about your mother’s wishes?
But more to the point, if you are all going to be in the same town, why can’t you all spend the holiday together?
Post # 9
Thanks for your honesty in opinions ladies! I really appreciate it!
I’m fortunate that my relationship with my in-laws is generally a good one and that there haven’t been any huge issues or hang ups when it comes to them and my marriage to their son. Of course I enjoy spending holidays and sharing our daily lives with them. However, because of the frequency that they get to see us and how involved we strive to keep them in the loop with our lives, I’m hoping that when instances like this come up that they (well, okay, my MIL) will be sensitive to the fact that she isn’t the only mom/grandma that we have. I know this seems a little early to be trying to figure things out for the holidays, but since we’ve only got 11 weeks until D-day, I’d like to have plans as "planned" as they can be so that once the babe is here, we won’t have to exert more energy than necessary over details that will be trivial in light of our new arrival.
To answer some of your questions, specifically the ones about just having both families over at the same time, I would actually prefer to not have to do that. Not because I’m wanting to shut my in-laws out, but because I want to play the selfish card for my parents’ sake and give them a holiday with their first grandson that they won’t have to share with other doting and over-attentive relatives. No one is unfamiliar with the "pass the baby" game that gets played at family gatherings. Gamaleas pretty much summed it up much better than I could have. I have no desire to "shut my Mother-In-Law out" of my son’s life, but I would love it if she would remember that she will get to witness the vast majority of future events and milestones.
Again, thanks for the feedback! 🙂
Post # 10
Grace–I’m in your exact same position with a baby due in a few weeks. I agree with most of what is posted in that having the inlaws over for Thanksgiving dinner or dessert would satisify your Mother-In-Law (aka new grandma). And to be honest, at my house the women are cooking and cleaning and the men are watching TV or napping. The event is not long lived and everyone should be encouraged to respect that your new addition will tire you out.
The bonus to you is that you have a new baby which means you can excuse yourself to nurse or cuddle or relax if it gets to be too overwhemling. Your mother and hopefully his will take this as hint and cut the party short.
My question to you is since this is a new baby and a holiday, will you be expected to "introduce" the baby to everyone in your husband’s family (ie grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins)? Or can you wait until Christmas? The family introduction is my problem to which I’m tempted to use the "hasn’t had shots yet" or "too much to travel with" defense. Good luck and remember that the arrival of your bundle of joy is much bigger than who is sitting at the dinner table.
One thing you might want to consider for when the baby comes is stating you and your husbands wishes. Have a game plan ready so that everyone knows when they will be able to visit. For example in my situation–husband is stay home with me and baby week 1; my mom gets week 2; and MIL gets week 3. With your family visiting for a few weeks, you might want to say weekends are fine for a short visit for the inlaws or Tuesday/Thursday afternoonns. So they feel welcome to visit the baby in the first few weeks. Then offer Mother-In-Law a week after your parents leave by which time you’ll have your footing and hopefully baby will have a schedule. Good luck and feel feel to message me if you want to talk pregnancy!!
Post # 11
Honey, I feel for you! I am in a really similar situation in that I took a job a 2-hour plane ride (16 hour car ride) away from my family, and that’s the town where I met my fiance. His parents live in the same town as us and we see them all the time. We rarely see my family in comparison and that’s really hard!
You have every right to your own Thanksgiving with your family. Your husband and Mother-In-Law are being ridiculous. First, you rarely see your parents and haven’t spent a Thanksgiving with them in 6 years. Second, the baby will only be a few months old anyway. Spending time with the baby on Thanksgiving is not going to be any different than spending time with her/him any other day–the baby will be asleep most of the time. It sounds to me like your Mother-In-Law is being incredibly selfish and making a big deal out of nothing. You will actually be awake and aware of being with your parents and can truly interact with them for the first time on Thanksgiving in six years. Your baby will not be awake and aware on Thanksgiving of very much at all. Don’t get sucked into her guilt trip. Do what’s best for you–she’ll get plenty of Christmases and Thanksgivings in the years ahead. You matter, too.
Post # 12
Why not have two celebrations? We do that all the time. We live in the same town as my parents; his live almost three hours away. And my sister lives halfway across the country. We generally spend holidays with his family – because, we spend time every week with my family. And because my parents go for a lot of holidays to visit my sister – because they hardly ever see her. I suppose I could get bent out of shape about my parents leaving the state for every holiday, but the way I look at it, we can have dinner with my parents any time!! So we don’t really need to spend holidays with them. However, my mom actually feels a little guilty about it – so we sometimes double up. For instance, last year we had Thanksgiving at his mom’s house on Thanksgiving – and cooked a turkey the following weekend to have a big dinner with my parents. At Christmas we opened presents at my folks house and had a nice dinner a week before Christmas – then put them on the plane, and had his family over for the actual day. My sister’s baby had two first birthday celebrations – one in North Carolina a month before her birthday with BIL’s family, and one on her birthday here with all of us.
The point is, you have two families to spend time with. You can do that all kinds of ways – and for your Mother-In-Law or your husband (or you, or your parents) to get all hung up over the day is not that reasonable. The baby certainly won’t know what’s going on – and when kids are old enough to understand, they just think it’s cool to have two birthdays or two Christmases – they’re not thinking "I spend my REAL birthday with Nana." Having Thanksgiving at your house with your family is totally reasonable – as long as you also spend some time over the holiday weekend with his parents. However, if its going to cause some kind of huge fight, then I would spend a couple of hours (baby good excuse to show up an hour before dinner and leave soon after, rather than spending the whole day) at his mom’s house on Thanksgiving, and cook a nice turkey at home with your mom on Friday or Saturday afternoon. That way you get your own leftovers too!!
Post # 13
I would wait until you have the actual babe and see how you feel then. All my ideas changed once our daughter was born. I should have smacked myself for how I sounded! Trust me when I say that if your darling child still isn’t sleeping in November you won’t know a turkey from a tv and whoever is close will be your best friend! 🙂 Remember, holidays with new families are such joyous occasions and you’re likely to change your mind and want a bunch of people around, so don’t burn your bridges now. My suggestion would be to wait until late October and then make your plans. Also, have you asked your parents how they feel about "sharing" for the holidays? Maybe they don’t mind and would like to spend time together as a large extended family. Moms know best…
Post # 14
It seems like it should be possible to have a quiet celebration with just you, your husband, and each of your parents. Or are you required to invite all of your husband’s family (aunts, uncles, cousins), too? If you have a good relationship with your in-laws, why not try having a frank talk with your Mother-In-Law and say exactly what you want.
Post # 15
Could your hubby ask his folks if you can all join them for Thanksgiving? Or perhaps people could cook at your place and everyone could come over? That way you can be around everyone!