I know that I am not alone in this… Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner and sadly the thought of spending the time with some of my family members is very stressful for me. For the first time I am considering not joining them for the traditional “family dinner.” I know that God requires forgiveness and I am usually tolerant, but I don’t think that I can subject myself to one more dysfunctional get-together. Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Please be kind. I am very tired from commuting to work two hours per day, working approximately 50 hours per week, on call 24/7 and taking care of my husband with alzheimer’s on top of that. I am just exhausted.
I don’t think it is any coincidence some of the funniest, saddest and most poignant movies and tv shows revolve around family holiday get togethers, I think your feelings have a universal element.
For many years we resolved at least some of this as DH took the kids to his parents for Christmas, I took them to my family for New Years. In our case it was more in-law problems. I can take my family in small doses, but don’t expect him to endure the insanity. Oddly the kids don’t have any problems with either side they just take what comes.
I confess however there have been years I or the kids have developed mysterious virus symptoms when it was time to drive, and had to stay home so as not to spread the contagion. After a while, we decided to have our own family holiday traditions and home, and visit the families at other times, which worked well for over 40 years. W/O the holiday stress (90% self-imposed by those who obsess about holidays) these visits went much better. I had a job that made a perfect excuse because I worked weekends and holidays. Either your job, your health, or the health of someone you care for make the best excuses. You don’t have to tell them it is your mental health you are protecting.
I will just add a note if you are already stressed out and working to hard, you do need a holiday, just not one that makes you crazy. Can you board out your dog in a reliable place and invent a mandatory “business trip” for a few days so you don’t go nuts yourself?
Thank you for that; it made me smile. I am not alone!
Usually I enjoy holidays with my family, whether it is with extended family or only immediate family. Due to some last minute happenings I ended up spending Thanksgiving completely by myself since my ex took my kids for the whole day, and I ended up turning down 3 offers to spend it elsewhere. I had been completely exhausted at that point by other family drama and a busy work schedule.
What I ended up doing that day: stayed in my pj’s all day long and didn’t even cook. I had leftover fried rice for dinner. In an odd way, it was exactly the Thanksgiving I needed.
I guess my only suggestion is don’t feel pressured to do more than you are up to. You can have a quiet meal with immediate family if that’s what you want to do, and t will still be enjoyable.
Being forgiving doesn’t require you to subject yourself to unneccessary stress and negativity. We don’t choose our family and often times that results in forced relationships with people we wouldn’t otherwise choose to associate. Perhaps you could contribute a dessert for the meal but let them know that you won’t be attending this year because your exhausted from work and caring for your dh and would prefer a quiet holiday. GL!
If I were in your shoes, I think I’d stay home and rest.
You are not alone! I would love to just have our immediate family here for holidays, but my in-laws insist on having everyone get together. I’m glad that they include us, but I always feel so out of place. My husband and I are the only members of his family that are faithfully Catholic and they make fun of us for this. They just don’t “get” why we should want to go to church on Christmas day or Easter… you would think they would at least go at that time, eh? sigh
It is really hard.
You are not alone…some people in my extended family drive me nuts!..I would love not to do anything but everyone would be insulted
Sat in a retreat this weekend with a wonderful holy deacon, he told us that it is our job to be “holiness out for a walk” - that we should never let anything come between us and any other person who is created in the image and likeness of God. Be that holy person and love your family.
I would walk on bare rocks to be able to spend the holidays with my family. We are each working 2 part time jobs, there are no more full time jobs here - we cannot pay for basics in our life, let alone gas money to go see our families over the holidays. It breaks my heart that we will not be there, I am in tears now.
You have your family and the means to see them, please go see them!
I am so sorry that you miss your family. I pray that you will find a way to be together because it means so much to you! Our circumstances are very different. I thank you for responding to my post and so appreciate the heartfelt and consoling words that have come from everyone who has encouraged and prayed for my husband and myself. May God bless you all!
No wonder you are tired and feel you need a break and on top of that you see not a holiday break(s) but more stress and demands.
We all have our limits and sometimes staying away from an event which would usually be a challenge we could meet is not only best for us but also for the others involved. Parties where it is clear that some people are not happy being there or are are stressed can be unpleasant especially for those who do not know the reason.
When you are thinking about what you should do - it might help to think about what advice you would give to a good friend of yours in the same situation. If you wouldn’t follow this advice, why’s that?
Please be as kind to yourself as you would be to others.
I’m in the same boat with you. I dread the holiday get-togethers
Disfunctional, anti-catholic on both sides of our family.
I just don’t remember these kinds of of conflicts with families when I was growing up. Of course, there was always a black sheep, but everyone was at least a little ashamed for that family member. He(or she) was tolerated at family gatherings.
I think people have completely lost repect others and themselves. They are willing to flaunt their bad manners and bad behavior and you had better accept the drama, broken homes, drug use, fornication, abortions and whatever else they want to shove at you or *you *are the bad judgmental one.
In the past, I have attended holidays for the nieces and nephews but I think this year I will just try to make a date with them - ice skating, a luncheon anything but another disfunctional holiday get-together.