Husband HAS to spend Christmas morning with his mommy


#1

My husband and I have been married for 9 years now. Sometime after the first year or so of marriage, we decided with our families that we would spend Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas with his. So it has been throughout the years. We live far enough away from both that this requires overnight trips. We usually stay through the Thanksgiving weekend at my family’s and at Christmas, we stay anywhere from one week to two weeks with his family. His mom goes crazy at Christmas–tons of gifts for everyone. We have 3 children now-- 5, 2, and 1, and I’m pregnant with #4. After we had children, I have started wanting to start our own Christmas traditions. Have our kids wake up in their own house, open gifts, have a leisurely breakfast, etc. As the kids get older, I want this more and more, but each year, I make my suggestion, then get in the car and start driving! This year I suggested that we stay here the weekend of Christmas, then drive to his family’s house Christmas day or the day after and stay the whole next week, through New Years. (It is about a 8 hour drive.) He says he understands how I feel, but he cannot “bear the thought” of being away from his family on Christmas morning. I’m hurt because I feel that WE are his family now! On his family’s end–his mom is just as nutty. Wants all her children and grandchildren there ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. Should I let this go AGAIN this year?


#2

Your husband sounds sincere to your request, that is something to be thankful for. He also sounds like the sentimental type who may not feel like it’s Christmas without his family being there. I can understand how both of you feel. Have you thought about asking your husband’s family to alternate houses? Like this year, you can bite the bullet and go, but next year they can come to your house…? I think that would be a fair compromise.

To help your MIL, tell her you could help wrap presents, ship items, comfy place to stay. Make it enticing for her. Maybe if you ask her yourself she would be more inclined to say yes. She was once a mother too and plea that side of your story to her. I’m sure she would understand that carting around 4 kids is no easy feat!


#3

Frankly, I think you dh needs to grow up. Read him the verse that says: “Therefore a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife.” It’s all very well to visit, but two weeks and Christmas day, too, every year? He needs to cut the apron strings to his mommy all right. :rolleyes:


#4

We have been married for 15 years, four children and we had to sort this out shortly after our first child. My wife was most agreeable but her parents still don’t understand. Especially since my sister-in-law always makes the effort to have Christmas at her house with her four kids, then drive 4 hours so she can have Christmas at “home”. Grandparents are doing their children and grandchildren a disservice by expecting them to be there on the holiday. Families need to have their own holidays at home. I would agree your husband needs to mature a bit. Sometimes these things just take time.


#5

[quote=liv3ordie]We have been married for 15 years, four children and we had to sort this out shortly after our first child. My wife was most agreeable but her parents still don’t understand. Especially since my sister-in-law always makes the effort to have Christmas at her house with her four kids, then drive 4 hours so she can have Christmas at “home”. Grandparents are doing their children and grandchildren a disservice by expecting them to be there on the holiday. Families need to have their own holidays at home. I would agree your husband needs to mature a bit. Sometimes these things just take time.
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Thanks. It helps to have a male perspective…


#6

[quote=StratusRose]Your husband sounds sincere to your request, that is something to be thankful for. He also sounds like the sentimental type who may not feel like it’s Christmas without his family being there. I can understand how both of you feel. Have you thought about asking your husband’s family to alternate houses? Like this year, you can bite the bullet and go, but next year they can come to your house…? I think that would be a fair compromise.

To help your MIL, tell her you could help wrap presents, ship items, comfy place to stay. Make it enticing for her. Maybe if you ask her yourself she would be more inclined to say yes. She was once a mother too and plea that side of your story to her. I’m sure she would understand that carting around 4 kids is no easy feat!
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Wellllll, she really doesn’t understand about having 4 children. She had 3, all spread out with about 9 years between them. She had 3 only children, and raised them that way. We have talked about having them come here. Then I realized she was talking about coming HERE for a week or more, and I decided I would rather go there than to have company here for that long. 2 Parents, sister and husband and teenage son and probably a dog too. Not a relaxing time. I don’t really mind making the trip there. I’m willing to do that, just AFTER we have Christmas at OUR home. :slight_smile:

I just feel like I have “bitten the bullet” for too many years and now I want to be heard. I don’t want to be selfish, but I don’t want to be resentful after my kids are grown and I never got Christmas at home with them alone without extended family.

Another thing is the gift thing. Some years we have taken our “Santa” presents there, but MIL buys more than we do, and I feel that our gifts get overshadowed with hers. Really, they just all run together and the kids don’t know what is from who. (We don’t really do Santa… I like for them to know the gifts come from mom and dad). Then last year, we had our Christmas early, and left most of their presents here until our 2 week trip to the grandparents. This leaves me feeling cheated as well–we have to have our Christmas early in order for dh and mil to have their dream Christmas morning…?


#7

You are truly blessed to be able to give the children time with their grand parents. I never knew mine and with I had had at least one Christmas with them. I now live far away from my parents but we try to make it over when we can, which is at twice a year. My wife’s parents live out of the country and the children only get to see them for 1 week every two years (when they visit).

There will always be time to start your own traditions, let the Grandparents enjoy the kids.


#8

You are not being unreasonable in the least. 9 years of marriage and you’ve spent every single Christmas morning at mil’s??

I’d gently remind DH that your mother’s daughter has given up Christmas morning with you for the past 8 years. DH and MIL need to get over it.

I would even say you’re being pretty generous to agree to make the trip after Christmas. It’s not fair to anyone to expect you and your family to be there every Christmas morning.


#9

Hello!

I was just wondering about when you guys decided to have Christmas at his family’s and Thanksgiving at your family’s. Was it like a permanent thing, or was it a more casual, trial-like decision? Although I agree it is not ideal because of all the reasons you have stated, maybe you could do like someone else suggested and go there this year but let him know that you believe next year you should to stay home, that way he has a whole year to deal with it. If it really was a formal agreement I would understand why he would be upset (if he was counting on you always honoring that agreement). If it was just an idea to see how it goes type of agreement, then you can let him know it is not going that well. Remind him, like you said, that you are his family now. Acknowledge that there was an agreement (if there was) and that it is not that you don’t want to honor the agreement, but that you find that it would be in the best interest for your family at the present to do something different, and this was something you were not aware of those first years of marriage when the agreement took place.


#10

[quote=dhgray]You are truly blessed to be able to give the children time with their grand parents. I never knew mine and with I had had at least one Christmas with them. I now live far away from my parents but we try to make it over when we can, which is at twice a year. My wife’s parents live out of the country and the children only get to see them for 1 week every two years (when they visit).

There will always be time to start your own traditions, let the Grandparents enjoy the kids.
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TRULY. I am glad to be able to have them spend time together. I’m not trying to keep them away. They are aweseome grandparents and I want to see them and have the kids see them as much as possible. It just doesn’t have to be on Christmas morning!!

When will there be time to start our own traditions? When the kids are grown? These are the precious years! They will only be young once!


#11

Years ago I was a…
See Virginia Stefano

about this. I still am. All holidays are in my home with my children. Any one is welcome. Time goes by quickly…make memories for your children in your own loving homes…keep holidays pure and simple yet beautiful and special…if there is love in your home you have it all.


#12

We were blessed with families who insisted we stay home for the holidays to establish our own traditions. However, we also had the type of jobs which required us to be back at work within couple of days of any holiday so just reading that you have the blessing to spend a week or two with extended family over a holiday seems wonderful to me.

Because of our jobs and our geographical locations we no longer get to spend any holidays with either set of relatives. So since my youngest was in first grade they have not had the pleasure to share holidays with their grandparents and cousins. Until then, however, we spent every opportunity we could to share such memories (hubby and I knew his job would lead us away from our home state). It’s been rather sad not having that connection over the years. We’ve had to try to make up for it with summer vacations, but it’s just not the same as Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Nothing is as precious as those memories with extended family.

My advise to you would be to not look at this from your perspective at all. You already know what that is. You already know your husband’s perspective.

What is the perspective of your children?
Are they complaining about the travelling?
Are they complaining about not being home for the holidays alone with you?
Are they complaining about not being home to spend the time off from school with their friends?
Are they complaining about having to live in someone else’s home for the holidays?
Are they complaining about haivng to share their gifts with their cousins?

It may seem life forever to you, but the grandparents will not always be here. When they go, so will the traditions.

Yes, by then it will be too late to set up your own for your kids, perhaps, but if your children are learning about loving extended family members, including grandparents in their married lives, and they seem to be embracing that concept - think about what that means for you when your children have married.

Granted, when it comes to your turn at being the ‘in-law’ you will probably insist your children establish traditions at home, and hopefully will plan to travel to wherever they are so that you can share their traditions with them. You’ll probably have to rotate which Christmas is spent with which child that way though…

Still, ask yourself if any harm is being brought on your children by continuing this way. If there is more good than harm, then recognize that your wishes to have them at home for your own traditions may be self centered, and may require you sacrifice that for what your children, husband and in-laws, cousins prefer.

A disappointment, certainly, I know all too well what a pain in the royal behind packing the little ones’ stuff as well as our own - and gifts to boot (let alone saving room in the car or bringing an extra piece of luggage to bring home the stuff they got during the visit!) is. And being pregnant with #4 on top of that?! WOW!

But if you can travel to visit your family, I don’t see how you can beg off from traveling to visit his.


#13

Wow YinYangMom! You sure are thorough.
I believe the physical burden of carrying the family all over the place for holidays should be a secondary consideration.

All husbands/wives & fathers/mothers should first consider where their hearts want to be. Does your heart want to be home for the holidays or ‘up and moving around’?
What does your heart want to do?


#14

[quote=YinYangMom]But if you can travel to visit your family, I don’t see how you can beg off from traveling to visit his.
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She didn’t beg off from visiting, just from being there Christmas morning. She has already noted the discrepancy in time spent with her parents vs. his. New Year’s Eve and Day is as much a holiday as Thanksgiving.


#15

I was just thinking about this, and I know your children are still very young, but what are their thoughts (at least the older 2)? Not that you have to base your decision on them, but I was just wondering if they had voiced any opinions. What would be more beneficial for them, for your family in general: your husband, you, and 4 kids? (the baby in the belly plays a big part in this too :), we must take him/her into consideration)
Maybe you could discuss that with your husband. I understand that he would like to be with his family too for Christmas, but what worries me is that he cannot “bear the thought” of not being with his mom on Christmas. Would he be capable of spending Christmas with your side of the family one year (not that you have to plan to do that, but would he be capable of doing it?) He needs to be willing to give up being with his side of the family every X-mas.
I think the issue may be just that.


#16

Here comes that Leslie with her Jesus Box again…

First of all, no I don’t think you are being unreasonable to ask for at least an alternating time…one Christmas with them, one at home. And I don’t think you would be out of line to start doing that with Thanksgiving either - it is time you learned how to put together an entire Thanksgiving dinner without relying upon your Mommy to do it for you.

I would do the Jesus Box thing first…write out your resentments about this and give it to God. Put it in the box and walk away, praying for guidance about it for a set period of time, say one week or ten days. (someone also suggested that you not put your written resentments in a box if there is any chance your DH would find and read it…and I think that is a good idea. If you have to, burn the writings after you do the prayer).

Then ask your DH to approach your MIL together, with you - as a team. Tell her that you will be there for Christmas, after you have had your family celebration. BUT, and I mean this, if this is something that is going to tear things apart with your husband and you then you may need a mediator to talk things out…maybe your priest or deacon.

The prayer I use is something like this (after I write down everything I am feeling that is causing me pain, grief, anger, resentment or just giving me a headache):
Lord, here it is…all of it…please take it and me. I offer myself to you, all of me, good and bad. Remove from me every single defect of character that is standing in the way of my usefulness to you. I offer myself to you, to build with me and to do with me as you will. Relief me, Lord, of the bondage of self so that I may better do Thy Will. Take away all these difficulties so that victory over them may bear witness to those I serve of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of Life. Amen.

Good luck, sweetie. Gee, holidays are fun -


#17

[quote=aterrell]Wellllll, she really doesn’t understand about having 4 children. She had 3, all spread out with about 9 years between them. She had 3 only children, and raised them that way. We have talked about having them come here. Then I realized she was talking about coming HERE for a week or more, and I decided I would rather go there than to have company here for that long. 2 Parents, sister and husband and teenage son and probably a dog too. Not a relaxing time. I don’t really mind making the trip there. I’m willing to do that, just AFTER we have Christmas at OUR home. :slight_smile:

I just feel like I have “bitten the bullet” for too many years and now I want to be heard. I don’t want to be selfish, but I don’t want to be resentful after my kids are grown and I never got Christmas at home with them alone without extended family.

Another thing is the gift thing. Some years we have taken our “Santa” presents there, but MIL buys more than we do, and I feel that our gifts get overshadowed with hers. Really, they just all run together and the kids don’t know what is from who. (We don’t really do Santa… I like for them to know the gifts come from mom and dad). Then last year, we had our Christmas early, and left most of their presents here until our 2 week trip to the grandparents. This leaves me feeling cheated as well–we have to have our Christmas early in order for dh and mil to have their dream Christmas morning…?
[/quote]

I hear ya…well…maybe you can ask your husband to just try it this year at home and see if he likes it. Then go to your MIL’s to spend time with them after Christmas.


#18

[quote=aterrell]When will there be time to start our own traditions? When the kids are grown? These are the precious years! They will only be young once!
[/quote]

My wife and I had a similar problem, but it was her that had to spend Christmas with her family (we don’t have kids though). We live in a different state than her family so had a day to drive there and another to drive back.

About our third Christmas, we stayed in our city where my family lives. She still says that was the hardest Christmas she ever had. What did help was incorporating some of her family traditions in our celebration. Every Christmas her family has an egg casserole for breakfast (its easy because it can be prepared the night before). She made it that Christmas and had my family come over early (like 7:00 am) to open presents (another way her family does it).

Since then we have generally alternated where we spend Christmas. She doesn’t have a problem of spending Christmas in Denver now.

Second story,

My sister-in-law has a husband who feels the same as yours, but worse. Every holiday must be spent with his family - a 14 hour drive away. He grudgingly would spend Thanksgiving with her family in the town they lived in. .

They spent their son’s first Christmas with his family. That year, she made it very clear to him and his family that since they were starting their own family, it was time to make their own traditions and they would be spending future Christmas mornings at their house (and not even with her parents).

You are right in that your kids are growing up. This is the time to celebrate with your kids. These are the memories they will have forever.

Also, what does your current situation say about how to spend holidays - Christmas can only be celebrated in one way? How will they spend it when they grow up. With only their spouses families?

It sounds like you need to discuss it with your husband. I can see why you would see it insulting that he needs to go “home” with “his family”.

  1. That is no longer his home.
  2. Your parents are also his family (even if you don’t spend Christmas morning with them)

#19

What if I was you would be to alternate - one christmas at home, one christmas with your parents, one christmas at home, one christmas with his… (or even one home, one at your’s one at his, and then repeat - which doesn’t give you as many Christmases at home, but might be more appealing to your husband since it gets him “home” slightly more often)

I just don’t think its very fair that he’s complaining about not having Christmas with his family, when you have never had Christmas with your family since getting married… (But then I’m not married, so I’m no expert - I just wanted to share the one idea of alternating that I had incase it just MIGHT be something that might work for ya’ll)


#20

Oh, I’ve often wondered how my husband and I will handle the holidays when we have kids. Who knows. We have enough trouble with just the two of us :rolleyes: .

In your situation I would definetly say you’re due a home Christmas or at least one with your family. Your husband needs to compromise - it seems like you’re doing all the compromising. I would say, Christmas day at your house and then pack up and go to the grandparents for a ‘second Christmas’ and a few days there is a fair plan. Talk it over with your kids and see how they feel about it too.


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