Post # 1
Our family has no idea how to go about the holidays now that Dear Daughter is born. My Mother-In-Law and I don’t really have that good of a relationship and she wants us to fly to where she lives for Christmas (and DD’s birthday which is right around the same time). By the way, she is obsessed with Christmas. She has never worked in her whole life and this is probably the only day out of 365 days that she looks forward to.
My parents who live overseas are also visiting for the holidays. One idea we tossed around was to fly to MIL’s and spend Christmas/DD’s bday there then have another birthday party for Dear Daughter when we return home. Another was to have my parents fly with us, but this idea is basically off the table because 1) parents are already flying roughly 18 hours to visit us in the US, 2) flying to MIL’s in an additional cost which isn’t cheap, 3) it’s really too much flying for my already senior citizen parents.
The last idea is for us to just stay where we are, then everyone (in-laws and my family) will spend Christmas/DD birthday at our home. While this sounds like a good idea, I’d really like for Dear Daughter to spend Christmas and her next birthday overseas, where my parents live. It’s also where I grew up so it’s important to me. So spending Christmas here in the US this year kinda gives us a reason to not be here next year. But then again, I also don’t like the thought of Mother-In-Law getting dibs on Christmas. If she were nice and wasn’t totally disrespectful of me during pregnancy and postpartum, then I wouldn’t have any problem with her. It’s also not fair for my senior parents to keep flying to the US while Mother-In-Law hesitates to fly a 5-hour flight because it’s too much for her. She’s also still in her mid-50s.
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
In your situation, I would probably fly out to Mother-In-Law, but come home for your daughter’s birthday with your parents. I also wouldn’t feel bad about flying out to your parents next year regardless of what you choose this year. I think both sets of parents should recognize that there will be sacrifices since they are both a plane ride away which isn’t easy, especially with a child!
Post # 3
If your parents have already bought plane tickets to see you then I think you should plan a joint Christmas with both in laws at your house. I don’t know why you would agree to your parents to come over this Christmas and now still be toying with the idea of going to MILs.
She can come to yours and you can still fly to your parents next year. Mil will still have seen you, her son and her granddaughter this year, it doesn’t have to be in her house to count.
Post # 4
If you visit your Mother-In-Law without your parents, will you be leaving them alone in a foreign country over Christmas? If so, I’d stay put this year, visit your country next year and then go to Mother-In-Law the following year.
Post # 5
Since your parents already booked their tickets, I would just host Christmas at your home if you can and invite your in-laws for it too. If your in laws can’t come, I would count this as a year with your parents, and next year spend the holidays with your in laws, and then alternate every other year. This is what my parents did when I was growing up and both sets of grandparents lived far away from us and from each other. It was really the only fair solution.
Post # 6
I personally would stay home, and tell Mother-In-Law she can come to you for Christmas and join your family. The following year I’d continue with your plans to go overseas. This is your life/family, make the decisions that make you guys the happiest.
Here’s the way I see it….our parents all had their time to make the decisions they felt was best for their family. Now it’s their turn to sit back and go with the flow.
Darling Husband and I have been together 17 years, married 5. For the past 12+ years (basically since we started living and celebrating holidays together) we’ve pretty much ALWAYS spent Christmas with his family. I’ve always just caved because Christmas is important to Mother-In-Law and to Darling Husband being with them….plus there’s not as much hoopla with my parents for Christmas (where as Mother-In-Law goes all out). That being said, it’s started to really get to me the past few years. We tried to implement that we’d start alternating holidays but each time Mother-In-Law would back out of coming. Last year I stayed home and Darling Husband went by himself a couple days before, driving home on Christmas Day and getting here in time for dinner.
We are currently expecting and due in April. I have already laid down the law, the ILs are going to have to start coming to us if they want to spend the holidays together. For 12+ years I’d caved and we’ve catered to them. Now it’s about our family and traditions.
Post # 7
Thanks everyone. That’s correct, I shouldn’t feel guilty regardless of where we spend the holidays this year.
What’s your opinion on DD’s birthday? My mom, being the understanding mom/grandma that she is, says they are okay if Dear Daughter were to spend her birthday at MIL’s since we are planning on throwing her a party the next weekend after her birthday anyway. DD’s birthday falls on New Year’s Day so I’m sure our friends and their kids will have their own plans. The following weekend would work better since everyone is likely available. My mom also thinks that Mother-In-Law is lonely and she always feels bad for her.
I guess considering my relationship with Mother-In-Law, I just don’t like the idea that she thinks gets dibs on Christmas – now she gets dibs on my DD’s birthday too? She never even asked what our plans for Christmas was. She immediately assumed we were flying to see them.
Post # 8
zanyapple : agree with what other PPs said. Darling Husband doesn’t have a close family so all holidays are spent with my family. However, the past 2 years we’ve both worked the holidays and didn’t see our family until later days when we were off. I did date a guy whose parents had a long term set up for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was always the mom’s side of the family and Christmas is always the dad’s side. They host each year at their house because its a central point for all parties involved. This may not be completely ideal or it could be but be alternated each year. Darling Husband and I are okay with it just being us sometimes for the holidays since we work, but if we have a LO we will be hosting at home for our child to enjoy at home with us.
Post # 9
If your parents have already bought tickets – I would tell Mother-In-Law to come to you. It’s easier for both you and your parents.
My in-laws are VERY into Christmas, so we have always spent it with them (we have no kids of our own yet though). My family doesn’t get too upset about that, and we usually spend Thanksgiving and Easter with my family. I think once we have kids, things will have to be adjusted because it’s unfair to one side to never see the grandkids on a big holiday like that.
Post # 10
zanyapple : Can you clarify when your parents plane tickets are scheduled for? If they’re coming in for Christmas there is no way I’d leave and fly to see Mother-In-Law.
Post # 11
abouttodoit17 : sensoda : tiffanybruiser : babykae : llevinso : My parents actually haven’t purchased their tickets yet, sorry for the confusion!
They do plan on getting here before Christmas and since our family doesn’t go all out on Christmas, we are okay to spend it at MIL’s. I do, however, want to spend my DD’s birthday at home. We plan on having a party the weekend after her birthday to accommodate guests that won’t be able to make it on New Year’s day (her birthday). But even though we won’t be celebrating her bday on the actual day (we will however still have a small get-together), I would still want our family to be home. I also want to spend time with my parents, especially my dad, who is already in his 70s. They only ever get to see Dear Daughter once or twice a year (max) since they live overseas. Mother-In-Law was already here like 4 times this year plus we will be there on Christmas. She will even be here this November weeks before we fly out there.
ETA: Mother-In-Law had a falling out with her in-laws so Darling Husband and her sister were never really close to their paternal grandparents. Mother-In-Law and her family always got dibs. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, etc were always spent with DH’s maternal grandparents. They’ve mostly patched things up now, but you can still sense that there’s a gap between them. So I get the vibe that Mother-In-Law is trying to replicate that same relationship/life events. Unfortunately, she now has to “share” this with other people (my parents) and she’s having a hard time accepting that.
I also dislike how she didn’t even ask where my parents were spending Christmas or if we had other plans. She just assumed she’s calling the shots. When Darling Husband told them my parents were coming, she was surprised saying, “Oh they’re coming back?” My mom was here a couple months ago, however, the last time my dad was here was when my daughter was born.
Post # 12
zanyapple : “I also dislike how she didn’t even ask where my parents were spending Christmas or if we had other plans. She just assumed she’s calling the shots.”
This is my problem with then agreeing to go there for Christmas. You’re letting her call the shots. Unless you set it up NOW that you’re going to be doing what’s best for your family, she’s going to keep assuming she gets to impose her own ideas and plans on you and then, going forward, it’s going to be even more difficult to change.
Post # 13
zanyapple : In the situation described, I’d invite Mother-In-Law to visit you for the holiday and then leave the ball in her court. Your family will already be there, it’s beyond ridiculous to expect you to cut that visit short or to have your family go out of their way to travel even further. If she declines, that’s her problem and you can always facetime her on Christmas day.
Regarding what we do, in our first two years of marriage we continued going our seperate ways as we have always done (9 years total). We just had a baby and so obviously the rules are changing. First we decided we’d just do Christmas on our own at our house – no way in hell are we flying with a newborn and it seemed unfair to go to the inlaws for both Thanksgiving and Christmas just because they’re sort of in driving distance. So then I invited my family out to us (just 3 of them) and that seemed good until it occurred to me that if they’re flying 2/3 of the way across the country, they might as well go the rest of the way and we could all meet where the inlaws live (it’s probably cheaper, in fact). I doubt we’ll do it this way more than once, but I think we’re going to have a really good time this holiday and everyone will get to see their awesome grandson/nephew (lol).
Post # 14
I would definitely plan to be back home by your daughter’s birthday so you can celebrate it as you want.
For Christmas I’m still in favour of celebrating at home this year and inviting both sets of grandparents, as going to MIL”s risks making her think you’ll do that every year. But I can understand if you want to go there this year to keep her happy. Just expect to face problems next year when you want to go away!
Post # 15
I’m a little confused – are you saying that you want to spend NEXT Christmas overseas with your parents, and therefore don’t think you can spend this upcoming Christmas at home or your Mother-In-Law will be upset? I’m not sure I follow your reasoning. If you stay where you are, both sets of family will be able to spend both Christmas and your DD’s birthday with you, right? So why can’t you then go overseas next Christmas? I certainly wouldn’t leave your parents at your place while you spend Christmas with your in-laws somewhere else – regardless of whether they’re not that into Christmas, they still do celebrate it, and it seems like it would be an odd/kind of rude thing to do.