Ali

Holidays got me down

My husband always works on the holidays as does his sister and her husband. His family lives about an hour and a half away from us. We always try to see his side of the family for Christmas. My in-laws won’t plan something if his sister can’t be there, but his sister has the attitude of "if I work, I work, if I don’t I don’t." Do other people have this issue? To make matters worse, my in-laws don’t want to get together this year because they are watching my sister-in-law’s kids on Christmas so she can work. It seems really unfair to me that my kids’ grandparents can’t see my kids on Christmas because they are too busy with their other grandkids. This is just the example for this year but there is a similar story every year. It feels like the grandparents and his sister don’t give a hoot about our family or their other son’s family. It really upsets me and makes me mad!

  • Yarlin
    Nov 30

    I kind of have a similar situation, with the grandparents being too busy for my kid, i feel like they rather look for and spend time with the other grankids from my in laws than my kid. And it upsets me i just try to leave it like that unless they want to be smart with me than I’ll just have to say something.

  • Katia
    Nov 30

    Count your blessings. Enjoy the people who actually want to be apart of your life instead of dwelling on those that don’t. Have no room for them since clearly there’s none for you.

  • Amanda
    Nov 30

    It’s unfortunate your in laws have taken that stance. I think it’s good that you want your kids to bond with them. Maybe plan a day where it can just be about your kids and their grandparents. It doesn’t need to be a holiday. That way your kids get undivided attention and it’s not overwhelming like it can be on Christmas.

  • Lindsay
    Dec 01

    I admire you for trying and that’s all you can do. In the end, your child will know you did what you could. I would never want to be the reason (or thought to be the reason) my son and my in-laws don’t have a relationship. Just explain that they wish they could be there but have to help the cousins today. I would also say something to them. Even if it’s just, well my child would love to be able to see you at some point. Hopefully you have plans to make that happen.

  • TiredMama
    Dec 02

    Growing up we lived in a different state than one set of grandparents. All the other grandkids lived in the same state. Then one uncle and family moved to Australia and guess who moved there too? My grandparents. Then they went to Singapore with them. Growing up there was definitely a feeling of not being loved the same and my uncles kids being the favorites. Lindsay is right, your kids will see that you tried for time with their grandparents and that they just aren’t a priority with them. It is hard when you are making such an effort to be loved by your in-laws and they could care less. :/

  • Sandy
    Dec 04

    Some good advice here. Do what you can but don’t dwell on it or talk bad about them in front of your kids. My sister in law skipped Thanksgiving and told me only the night before that they weren’t coming (I was hosting). My parents in law still came thankfully, especially since her kids get way more time with them and live only a few houses down vs an hour away like us. And now my in laws are planning a Christmas gathering around THEIR schedule. Last year we had Christmas with them and my son had just turned one...he missed the gift opening because they did it way after his bedtime. Her kids don’t have a bedtime. So unfair.

  • Katia
    Dec 04

    I totally understand being sad or even hurt by their actions but just brewing over it and dwelling isn’t going to change how they act or even feel about you and your children in their lives. It’s just not a priority to them and you can’t make it be one. You can’t make people love you or even like you. Just be nice and carry on with life. It’s okay. I promise your kids will grow up knowing their worth and not spending their lives dwelling on those not acknowledging it. They will be well adjusted and understand that it’s not a loss for themselves.

  • Jennifer
    Dec 04

    I am in a very similar situation. I have 2 children, my biological brother has 2 children, my two step-siblings have three children between them. My parents (biological father and step-mother) do not go 48 hours without seeing or speaking with the three boys and they all spend the night multiple times a month. However, my biological brother’s children only see them on occasions such as birthday parties and holidays (and not always). For almost 4 years and even as a newborn, my son may have seen them every few months and spent the night three times dispute living 15 minutes away. I just had a little girl, the first in the family, and they suddenly want to see her often. I am very bitter and want to scream at them! I want to show them how much they are missing out on an amazing little boy! Why should I allow them to want my little girl when they obviously don’t want my little boy?!?! But... I’m going to check my emotions at the door and be grateful that, even if it is just because I had a baby girl, Jude now gets a little more time with his grandparents because he really loves his pawpaw and nana! My one piece of advice that I learned from my childhood: be careful what you say. Try not to sway your child’s emotions in either direction. My biological mother’s family constantly bad mouthed my stepmother. My father never once said anything bad about my mother. I was able to see my mother for who she was. I still have to force myself to see my stepmom for who she really is.

  • Ali
    Dec 04

    Luckily my mom loves all her grandkids equally and puts family as #1. Not saying she is perfect but she is great in this regard. Unfortunately my in laws remind me of my grandma who definitely had favorites and uneven treatment was common. Maybe this is why my mom is so great with this issue and I am sensitive about it. I don’t want my kids to feel how my siblings and I did growing up. I am a big believer in traditions especially at the holidays. I wish the in laws wanted to be a part of those traditions but maybe we need to start some of our own and let them make the effort to be a part of it.

  • Jessica
    Thursday

    Everyone has such great advice on here. Your heart is so in the right place and I think I’d feel the same way you do. My in laws are alcoholics and only care to play with my kids (their only grandchildren) in between a few cocktails, and we even live in a different state than them. Try, try, try not to take it personally. Maybe start a new family tradition just you and your husband and kids. (Bike ride to the park for a picnic? Watch a Christmas movie while eating your favorite sweets?) that might distract you from your feelings towards what your in-laws are doing. You’re doing great Mom!