How much time do you spend with family/in laws

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2013
How much time do you spend with family/in laws
6
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 8:02pm

Hello everyone,

This is my first time here, so I am really hoping to hear some opinions on my situation.  I have been married for two years and a half now. Both my family and my husband's family live in the same town, all about 10 minutes from each other.  My mother has always been controlling and overbearing but ever since I got married there is this guilt I carry because I don't spend all my time with her.  My dad works outside the state currently and my mother stays mostly here (my brother and his wife live in their house). When my mother or both my parents are here I visit them at least once a week, and I am with them for hours.  Many times I go straight after work and stay until 10 or 10:30 at night.  But even though I visit my mother once a week, she is always asking for me to visit more.  She makes comments such as you don;t see me enough, and always asks, are you coming over again this week? can you stop by again I have something I want to show you or give you.   My husband's family is pretty cool and never pressure us to visit, thank God.  But I feel like no matter how often I go, my mother always wants more, it;s never enough. For example this past week,on Thursday I spent hours with her and my bro and sister in law at the mall (leaving my husband home), then later the same day I saw her later for the 4th of July fireworks. On Saturday my husband and I went out to dinner with her and my bro and sister in law.  When I was leaving she asks me when am I coming over again this week.  Keep in mind that next weekend I am spending the whole weekend with her because we are both driving to another city to meet some of our family members.  I feel this guilt, like I am not a good daughter, that maybe I should see her more often, but between work, and taking care of our house and my own time with my husband I just can;t see her every day.  I think once or twice a week is enough.

Sorry for how much I wrote, but I was trying to paint the picture here so you all would understand.  Please, tell me how often do you visit your families? including your in laws? Am I not spending enough time with my family?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 11:37pm

  I can't answer your question, but it certainly sounds like you are making plenty of time for your family. 

 I just wanted to say that you are very lucky to have both families in town.  I am 53 years old and never lived around family and now my older 2 DDs live on opposite coasts and me in the midwest.  I have friends, but I still would have loved to have family close by.  My now dh has no family here either (although they are only 2 1/2 hours away).  I would trade places with you in a heartbeat to have so many people around who loved me and wanted to spend time with me as hard as it is sometimes.  I know living TOO close can cause problems (I've read enough of that on this board), but coming from the opposite side, it just sounds nice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 1:08pm

I think your mom is not used to the fact that you are married & have your own life and also she is probably bored, but it's her job to find things to occupy her time.  I think 1-2 times a week is certainly enough to visit her.  She really can't make you feel guilty -- it's you.  I think you know you aren't doing anything wrong.  A married adult should not feel they have to spend every spare moment with their parent(s)--you should be spending your spare time with your DH.  So just go over when you can.  Maybe you can just call her once a day.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2013
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 8:44pm

Thank you for your repply. I understand that it must be hard for you to live so far from your family.  My grandparents actually live outside the country and I miss them so much since I cannot visit as often as I can.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2013
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 8:47pm
You are spot on. My mom doesn't actually work, she never had to work outside the home. I think that now that both my brother and I got married she just feels bored with nothing to do all day long. The problem is that my dad works outside of our state and she barely spends any time with him. She always finds excuses to stay here where my brother and I live. It know that I should actually not feel guilty, but it really hurts when she makes the comments. I need to work on my guilt on my own, try to tell myself that I am a good daughter and that I do spend enough time with her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-09-2013 - 11:11am

Maybe you could suggest some activities to your mom and go to the first one with her so she won't be alone, or maybe she could do some volunteer work, but it sounds to me like she's one of those people who would rather complain than do something to change her life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Sun, 08-11-2013 - 12:16am

Once or twice a week, I think it is being a good daughter.

Why don´t you encourage your mother to find some activities and interests that make her happy. She must have a hobby or might be interested in painting or learning new things. Tell her it is a time that her job as a mother is not as important as it was before, but that gives her the opportunity to explore new paths that can give her more satisfaction than she can imagine. 

It is a hard time for all woman when you receive your retirement as a mother, we sometimes feel not loved or that we might be a niusance in our kids life. It is not easy. You will be there in some years.

But don´t feel guilty, I think you are doing well. Try to help her a little, to join a group where she can be with woman of her age and there she will feel comfortable an would be healthy for her to share with them the concers that woman at that age have.

Good luck!