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Question
Posted by: ohdear | 2011/11/02

Christmas and family

Our family is al follows: we have 3 kids, which are the only grandkids to my mom (widow) and my in laws all of whom live in other provinces. I have a brother and sister, but my husband is an only child. My husband doesn''t get along with my sister at all, and we had a terrible family fight last Christmas when all (both sets of grandparents and my sister) were together and staying on our house. My brother works over Christmas and is therefore never with us. We have terrible stress whenever the family stays with us because our house is small, and some of the family (my mother-in-law) doesn''t do much to help (sits and watches soapies in dinner preparation and kids bath time) which annoys me and makes me edgy (my father in law always helps with dishes etc). My mom always cooks and baths the kids and puts them to bed. My husband doesn''t do well at all with any ''space invaders'' even his own parent, so he goes into a foul mood 3 days before anyone arrives. At the same time he insists that the family stays with us. As things are at the moment, my husband and I are not talking, and we need to make arrangements for Christmas. Already we had a problem with my mother in law a few weeks ago when they visited, as she was angry because we couldn''t afford her a lot of attention because my husband was doing consulting work and had to work until late nights, and one of our kids had pneumonia. She then already said she should have cancelled their visit when heard the one child was sick. Despite that difficult time we were having she did nothing to help, until I spelled out for her do this or that now. She didn''t even spend time with the grandkids until I told her that she had to. And she never says thank you for a meal, and even says I won''t eat that if it sounds like a dish she isn''t familiar with. So, this is what is ahead for Christmas. I want to run away! My inlaws want to stay in guest accommodation, but my husband won''t let them. How can I sway his conviction?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Your husband has a duty to intervene with his family, to make sure they understand, for instance, that yours is a small home and their visits make it crowded, and that his mom ought to pull her weight to help when visiting. Maybe you need to find a way to have your TV out of order when she visits.
She sounds bad mannered, maybe out of her depth with a more modern household like yours ? If she helped with the cooking, she could have useful input as to what she does and doesn't like, and could also see what nice ingredients went into something she isn't familiar with, so she might dare to try it.
If your inloaws want to stay in gues accomodation that is wise of them, and really foolish of your husband to refuse. Suggest to him that they can move in while YOU will move out and stay in guest accomodation! It doesn't sound as though HE pulls his weight in household chopres, either. Maybe this way he'd learn !
What do others think ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: IX | 2011/11/03

simple solution, don''t be a host.

Reply to IX
Posted by: Ohdear | 2011/11/02

My husband takes after his father - he is very involved and does more that his share, so I cannot complain at all. Its just his insistence that his parents stay with us, even though they don''t want to. He says its a ''disgrace'' to have you family stay in guest accommodation...

Reply to Ohdear
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/11/02

Your husband has a duty to intervene with his family, to make sure they understand, for instance, that yours is a small home and their visits make it crowded, and that his mom ought to pull her weight to help when visiting. Maybe you need to find a way to have your TV out of order when she visits.
She sounds bad mannered, maybe out of her depth with a more modern household like yours ? If she helped with the cooking, she could have useful input as to what she does and doesn't like, and could also see what nice ingredients went into something she isn't familiar with, so she might dare to try it.
If your inloaws want to stay in gues accomodation that is wise of them, and really foolish of your husband to refuse. Suggest to him that they can move in while YOU will move out and stay in guest accomodation! It doesn't sound as though HE pulls his weight in household chopres, either. Maybe this way he'd learn !
What do others think ?

Reply to cybershrink

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