being diplomatic w/parents re: holidays

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2009
being diplomatic w/parents re: holidays
6
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 1:36pm

hey, everyone - i have this issue that comes up constantly, and i can't figure out how to resolve it.


DH and i live 1000 miles from my parents, who are divorced and live in separate states. (DH's parents live in our town, thankfully.) my mom always tries to get us to visit her for thanksgiving or xmas, but she doesn't reciprocate by visiting us.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2008
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 2:02pm

When was the last time you saw your mom? Maybe she feels that you should spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with her, since you get to see your dad so often, since he is able to visit you a few times a year? Maybe you could try to alternate holidays, where you spend Thanksgiving with your dad and Christmas with your mom (or vice-versa) and the following year with your in-laws?

I know this is a frustrating situation. We were in a similar situation and what really helped my husband and I was alternating holidays. It has really helped out with all the family politics and cut down on the drama, because everyone knows our plans ahead of time. When they know your plans ahead of time, rather than a month or so before the holiday, they can't really complain because they've been notified of exactly what you plan on doing. What you could do is tell your mom, "This year, we're spending (insert holiday) with Dad, but we'll see you for (insert holiday)." And have a talk with her explaining that you guys can't always afford to fly to her, and that it's nothing personal, it's just a matter of finances.

As far as her not going to see you guys, would she drive or fly? If she drove, would you guys be open to allowing her to bring her dog(s) with her? That way it makes it easier for her and that's one more excuse she couldn't use.

Family politics are always a sticky situation. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2008
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 5:57pm

I wouldn't bring it up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2009
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 9:17am

thanks for the replies, guys. @anon: the last time we went to my mom's was in may, for a relative's funeral (although that's not exactly a holiday). the last time she came here was in '08, for our wedding (and caused a lot of unnecessary drama, i might add, because she wanted to be sequestered from my

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2006
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 1:29pm

It sounds like you're doing all the giving and she's just taking. The only way to deal with people like that, is to let them know they can't manipulate you. Your stance should be, "we're visiting Dad this year and that's that". If she wants to give you the silent treatment, let her. She'll come around. There's no way to get around feeling guilty, but to say to yourself that you are entitled to spend your holidays any way you want to. They're your holidays too.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2009
Thu, 08-26-2010 - 9:10am

thanks - that's exactly what i told her, we're going to dad's, and i wasn't mean about it or anything. i think the way to get around the guilt is to realize that i'm not obligated to spend my holidays w/anyone (except for maybe DH), i don't owe my mom anything, and i'm not responsible for how she reacts to information. thank you for your response!


ps - do you have a dog like the one in your signature (terrier)? we have one and he is just awesome :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2006
Thu, 08-26-2010 - 12:55pm
I did, when I lived at home, but she died. I don't have any dogs now, because I work some crazy hours in my field and I lived alone most of my adult life. I am partial to terriers, schnauzers and scottie dogs. They are soooo cute!

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