Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holiday Navigation

I thought we had this all worked out, the holidays I mean. But I feel like I was completely blindsided today and now I feel completely awful and out of sorts. (you can't tell, but there was a LOOOONG pause here in writing this post) I did just talk to my mom about it and feel a little bit better, but I'm just out of it. It probably doesn't help that I'm hormonal, so while my feelings are valid, I'm not dealing with them as well as I usually would.

The bf told me at work today that his mom got upset with him last night about holiday stuff and that we should split them, one there one here because it's not fair. This came out of nowhere for me, because we had multiple discussions regarding holidays. Our plans were to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas up with my family, and we were going to celebrate those holidays with the bf's parents on a different day, either before or after. This decision was made after the bf and I had a long discussion in which I was told that his family didn't do big stuff for holidays and as long as they got to celebrate the day didn't really matter. This was ALSO emphasized by his parents in at least two different conversations. So I took this assurance from everyone that things were fine...only now apparently they aren't.

Holidays are big in my family, we go all out, and they're the handful of times a year that my extended family gets together. They're really important to me. Our plans for Thanksgiving were to drive up to my parents' house Thursday morning, and then come back here Saturday evening. I was going to get my parents' house decorated like I always do, and I wanted to help my Papa with his indoor decorations, since he's decided not to do the outdoor lights this year (which also makes me sad). Saturday I was going to bake cookies with my Grama. It's our little tradition to bake Christmas cookies together, we have since I was little. There have only been a few years that we've missed it. Evidently the Barbershop Quartet thing is Saturday afternoon. Which I may have known, but definitely do not have written down...and clearly the bf was not consciously aware of it either when we finalized our Thanksgiving plans to come back Saturday evening. The plan was to go with his parents on Sunday to buy their Christmas tree. Now we're going Thursday and coming back either Friday night or Saturday morning. I am hoping that I can do cookies with my Grama Friday AND get all of at least my parents' decorations up.

The bf said earlier that we just need to be aware of how many days we're going up for each thing. Have I mentioned that I hate the words balanced and equal and fair? Because most things in this world, simply are not. He mentioned that he thought they just didn't realize how many days we'd be gone each time. We just barely finalized yesterday that we were taking off the 23rd and would head up to my parents' the evening of the 22nd. The plan was to come back maybe the evening of the 26th or sometime the 27th. Now I don't know what the plans are. In terms of "fair" and "equal", you do have to consider that I hardly ever get to see my family. They live 3+ (depending on traffic) hours away. I'm going to get to see them on Thanksgiving, and then I'm not going to get to see them again until Christmas. Because of various plans I don't have a free weekend until the weekend just before Christmas, which doesn't really make sense to drive up and then come back for maybe 2 days and go back up. And now I don't even have that weekend because the bf's parents anniversary is the 23rd and the light parade (in the harbor) is that Sunday and that's their anniversary celebration thing.

I know that eventually there has to be compromise and figuring all this stuff out as you get older, but I wasn't supposed to have to do it this year. I'm not ready to do it this year. Honestly the thought of not being with my family both holidays makes me want to throw up. I feel like a selfish bitch saying any of that. And really, there are things on the weekends all throughout December with the bf's parents. I see them WAY more often than I see my own family. We are always there, the bf lives with them. (long story about that one...basics is they moved and he moved back into the house, and then they came back...) So when you start throwing out words like equal and fair, if you really want to consider it, I barely see my family. And I'm REALLY close to my family, especially my parents and my grandparents. What got me the most upset is that now I'm not sure that I'm going to get to bake cookies with my Grama. Because it's not fair. Also, as my mom pointed out, we are ONLY DATING!!! Yes, he's the one and I'm pretty darn sure I'm going to be marrying him. So that just makes it more complicated.

I mostly just feel really crappy right now. And I do realize that I would probably be handling this better if hormones weren't also a factor. I'm not mad at his parents, I understand actually, I just feel blindsided, this feels like it came out of nowhere...which is partly why I'm upset and out of it...I usually see things coming and am at least slightly prepared. I feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me.

I know most of you who read my blog are married and probably have experience with stuff like this, with the navigation of the holidays. How do you "split the days" to "make it fair and even"? What do you do? And how did you make that transition and those decisions?


Petunia said...

Well, it doesn't seem fair of them to drop this bomb on you at the last minute, but if you are going to marry him then you might as well work a system out now.

Everyone in my family spends one holiday with our parents and the other with their inlaws. Because they all live in the same city--they can spend the evening of the holiday that they missed back with my parents.
Because I live in another state, I only get to see my family for either Thanksgiving or Christmas each year because I cannot take off of work for both holiday weeks. Yep--it stinks. I haven't spent both Thanksgiving AND Christmas with my parents (and I have a huge family) in probably 15 years.

EatPlayLove said...

Welcome to the world of INLAWS. I wish I could say it gets better, but I am a little worried this is happening on your first holiday season!

My hubby and I no longer travel on the holidays (our families both live in NY) because of all the hassles of where to go when, how many hours here, how many hours there! Grrr!

You'll make a compromise! Hopefully it won't be giving up precious time with your bf!

Gramma Ann said...

I have no comment about the post today, since I don't celebrate any holidays. BUT, I will say this, if marriage to the bf is what you are considering, I will throw in my little words of wisdom! And you can throw them out the window, I don't care one way or the other.

Boyfriends are always on their best behavior when dating. So if it is a problem now, it will only be a bigger problem after marriage. So either you will see less of your family, and have to deal with it, which will cause much resentment on your part. OR, you will begin to hate (meaning dislike his family less) oh yes, you will still love them, but you will feel a bit peeved because he gets to see his family often, but when you want to go visit your family, it may not always be in his best interest, because he has other plans. So to visit your family as often as you may want to, you may have to do it alone or not at all. I am not trying to be negative, just food for thought.

After you say "I do!" your life as you live it now is never going to be the same. How so? NOW you make a decision on what Jaina wants. After marriage it is no longer that way. THEN any decision made has to include husband and his decisions, which may not be in line with what you feel is fair and balanced. Some one has to give in and it isn't always going to be him!

After marriage you become a new family an extension of two families coming together, but still a new family with 'yes' new house rules. Maybe some of the new rules will be like your parents or his parents, but with a little different twist, making you and husband "a new family!"

So if this is a problem NOW think seriously about how to resolve it. There are no magic words that I can say to make it disappear! BUT it sounds like it could develop into a big problem in the future.

I hope I haven't turned you off on the idea of marriage. But, when two lives intertwine, there are compromises that need to be made on both sides. If either of you are not ready to compromise in some areas of your life, you are not ready for marriage. Marriage takes a lot of work and two good forgivers. And loving the other one more than yourself...and falling in love many times over and over again, but always with the same person.

Gramma Ann said...

P.S. Sorry I got so long winded. You may enjoy looking at my "Moody Blues" blog, just to prove that marriage can be successful and happy.

Milo said...

Hi! I'm blog hopping and came by your blog. Hope you don't mind someone new checking it out.

My wife and I used to run around so crazily around the holidays. We would be EXHAUSTED by the time new years came. We'd be driving to her brother's 4 hours away, to her grandmother's an hour away, to my parents an hour away, to my extended family over and hour away. It wasn't that we were driving that far, just so often. We didn't have any time to enjoy the holidays on our own - with our kids.

So now, we do still do some running around, but we don't try to make EVERYONE happy. And on Christmas day, we stay home. If anyone wants to come visit us, fine, but we're not moving.

Good luck in finding that balance! And if you blog hop, check out mine at some point!

Erin said...

I really feel for you! This is a tough one. Before we married, I spent all holidays with my family and he with his. Our families lived 15 hours apart so we couldn't see both durling the holidays and I certainly missed him but I was also glad to be with my family for one more year.

If you are thinking of marriage your time with your family will become less, and it should because you have a new family that should come first in your life.

Now that we are married we switch every year, his for Thanksgiving mine for Christmas and vice versa the next year. I HATE the years we spend (especially) Christmas away from my family (they often have to spend one holiday alone-which makes me sad). When my kid(s) are older, we will stay put and families can come to us.

It's tough but a marriage is a compromise. And like your mom said, maybe this year since you are dating you can spend it all with your family.

I hope this works out for you and keep us posted as to how it goes.

Kellan said...

I'm sorry you are going through this and YES I have been there more times than I care to remember. And, will likely be encountering some of it this year as well. It's never easy and it really never works itself out where everyone is happy - at least that is what I have found. I hope you figure out something that makes everyone happy - hope you are happy!

Take care - Kellan

Kellan said...

I'm sorry you are going through this and YES I have been there more times than I care to remember. And, will likely be encountering some of it this year as well. It's never easy and it really never works itself out where everyone is happy - at least that is what I have found. I hope you figure out something that makes everyone happy - hope you are happy!

Take care - Kellan

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Let me say this to you once: IN-LAWS CAN SUCKETH ROYALLY.

I so feel ya girl. After awhile, you're learn to let things go. At least that's what I try to do. :O

Jaina said...

Petunia - That's the part that's bothering me most I think. I don't appreciate feeling blindsided. And I know it's still a few weeks to Thanksgiving, but it still just seems so close.

EatPlayLove - The thing is, I LIKE them. I've never had a problem with either of them, they're both super nice to me. Like my mom said, we're still ONLY dating. And she has a point. Sure, I'd miss him if he didn't come, but that was HIS decision. He was adamant that we had to be together. But it's not fair to tell me that spending 3 days with my family is unfair, when I spend multiple days a week with his. (yes, I'm even more hormonal today, so I'm just grrrr)

Gramma Ann - Thanks for your words of wisdom. (and don't worry, you didn't turn me off to marriage) He and I aren't fighting or anything, he's a little annoyed with this whole thing too. It's not a huge problem, it's one we'll deal with and figure out, etc. etc. I realize that I'm being partly irrational because I am incredibly hormonal at the moment. What's got me upset is that it was SO out of the blue for me.

Milo - Thank you so much for stopping by and for the comment. That may be the way to go someday for me. We'll have to see. Part of the problem is I'm stubborn and I'm loathe to give up holidays with my family yet. Period.

Erin - I remember how tough it was on us kids when my cousin's family would do that. (because I wanted my cousin there to play!!!) And see? I would miss him if we were apart, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. But he's very intent on being together. (which is sweet too, when I'm not out of it)

Kellan - I wish there was an easy way to figure it out.

MamaGeek - The thing is I like these people, I just don't like the complete 180 on what was said, especially so close to things. I feel completed blindsided...I spent most of yesterday feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me and wouldn't come back.

Renie Burghardt said...


Well, tell your boy friend how you feel. Explain to him that this will be a big adjustment for you and ask him to be understanding and patient. He will probably listen, and you can work this out better.

My daughter and family are coming for a week at Thanksgiving. They do every year. But they live 700 miles away, and will spend Christmas at home with their girls. And that's perfectly fine. We will be together in spirit and by telephone. My sons will be here for Christmas, but not Thanksgving, and my best friend will be with us for both holidays. Sometimes, compromises have to be made, even if we don't like them.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Do come back again soon!

Take care!


Anonymous said...

I think it is important that you spend time with your family this year. It is such an important time for you and you and your family are so very close. I don't think you would be happy not being home.
This was very short notice, so I would stick to the original plan....your house.
It is important to do what your intuition tells you to do. I believe yours is saying, be with your mom and the rest of the family. It is crucial you listen to that inner voice.
I hope this works out for you.

Jaina said...

Renie - You're absolutely right, and he and I did talk. He understands. I think he understood all along...his mom took us both by surprise actually. But she also admitted that she was having a really bad night. So it was a little more dramatic than it actually was. I think we've got it all settled.

Cheryl - You're right, much as I love his parents, I would be miserable if I weren't home. And the plans aren't changing, we're just coming back Saturday morning rather than Saturday evening. The biggest thing is my Grama and I are going to bake cookies Friday instead of Saturday, so I'm relieved. Thank you so much :)