- 6 months ago
Regular bee going anon.
My husband and I live far from our families. I really like my in-laws – they are genuinely good, kindhearted, warm people – but the way their family interacts is very different from mine. My husband’s family likes to be very involved in each other’s lives and decisions: they want to know the minutiae of each other’s daily lives, they give each other a lot of feedback and advice and they are very emotionally open with each other. My family interactions are fairly different: we are close and communicate regularly (for example exchanging messages almost daily, whether it is random stuff from the internet or personal updates) but I am more likely to tell them about an important decision after I have made it, than to get the whole family involved to make it together. There is nothing wrong with either dynamic and I see good and bad in both but I will admit I sometimes feel a bit suffocated by their involvement (they have fully taken me into their fold) and I suspect my husband thinks my family is a bit too offhand with each other.
We recently had our first child – the first grandchild on both sides – and in line with our general dynamics, while my family wants daily pictures/videos/news and suggests constant opportunities to see each other, they also continue to be engaged in their own lives. For his family though, my daughter has pretty much become their sole focus: all their conversations and plans revolve around her.
When my daugther was born, my mom came 2 weeks after she was born and stayed a total of 7 weeks: the first 5 weeks of her visit it was just the 4 of us (Mom, my husband, baby and I) although my husband was working crazy hours for a project deadline (like, 10AM-2AM crazy) so it was really just my mom, the baby and I. The last 2 weeks of her visit, both sides of the family came and after my family left, his parents stayed an extra week, making their visit a total of 3 weeks. They then came to visit a couple months later and stayed 6 weeks. We visited both families during the summer, although my visit was under tragic circumstances as my father passed away and my mom came to stay for 3 weeks shortly after his passing. We are now planning for the rest of the year/the holiday season: his parents want to come visit again and my husband is asking my input on dates: his current suggestion is Thanksgiving to early Jan – so ~1.5 months.
To reiterate, I like my ILs, I really do. But the thought of another 1.5 months with them is driving me batty because when they come to visit, they really move in. Everything they do is technically great – they cook, fix stuff around the house, do laundry etc but to be honest, I start to feel like a guest in my own home when they are around. The laundry thing is a perfect example: they do our laundry unasked and that is thoughtful and wonderful ….but it also feels a bit invasive to have someone folding my underwear, entering my bedroom regularly (and making our bed if we left it unmade). But like, how churlish and ungrateful would I be to ask my Mother-In-Law (directly or via my husband) to stop making my bed when she enters my room to drop off my freshly laundered clothing??? It makes sense that they leave a few items at our place since they come for longish visits (and with the baby, will be visiting more regularly) but it also (pettily) irks me to come across clothing, shoes, toiletries they have left in our guest room and guest bathroom because those are common spaces for all our guests, not just them: I want them to feel comfortable in our home, in their son’s home, but I don’t want to feel like they have moved in either.
I’m sure my husband has many valid complaints about my family’s visits – while his family acts like residents, my family really acts like guests, barely lifting a finger to do anything – so its not like I have a leg to stand on when complaining about slightly uncomfortable visits. And my mom just left, so again, its not like I can claim we haven’t seen much of my family this year. But seriously the thought of another 6 weeks – for a total of 3 months worth of visits this year! 1 quarter of 2018! – with his parents, dealing with their gentle nagging, loving meddling, kind but nosy probing….uuuuugh. And knowing that this is the beginning:
Someone please tell me how to graciously swallow this pettiness so that we can host our (very helpful!) visitors who want to shower my daughter with love. Please help me identify what the root of my irritation with this situation is, so I can address it and stop feeling so negative at the prosect of their visit. Or….give me a way to argue that their visit doesn’t need to be that long. Tell me that I can somehow use this visit as my justification for curtailing the number of visits we have to have next year. Or remind me that I’m lucky to have inlaws that love my husband, love me, LOVE my daughter and just want to be around her as much as they can because life is short. I, of all people, should know that because my dad only got to spend 2 weeks with his first/only grandchild before he passed.
I don’t know what I want Bees, but I have to let my husband know what I think of his suggested dates soon – otherwise I fear they’ll just book on their own and will show up with one way tickets!!