By Natalie Jarvie
I am a new mom, trying to figure out what to do for the holidays for the first time with my daughter, because each side of the family wants us at their house. This presents a problem considering I can’t be in two places at once.
My family does not want to spend as much time with my husband as I would like. Which just makes everything harder. On Halloween my family didn’t care; that holiday was easy. We were at his parents house and all was well.
Thanksgiving is coming up and I am dreading it. I have no idea what to do.
What’s my plan? Fake it.
When you have a little one it is important to always make sure they are comfortable first. If you have to travel a lot make sure they are comfortable, and if you think they won’t be comfortable then it is OK not to go to that location this year as there is always next year or a different day.
I know that saying that to a family member might be hard to do, but when it comes to this kind of stuff it is always better to put your child first. Sometimes you might need to spread out visits over a couple weekends. Also talk with your partner if you have one, make sure you two are on the same page as far as not being able to please everyone.
“It’s OK to say no, or to invite people to come see you if you can do that,” said Whitney Lee, an adviser, and fellow new mom, at the WCC counseling center.
Here’s how I would like to have Thanksgiving: at my in-laws house. My parents will not go there, no matter what. Scratch that idea, now I am trying and trying to figure something out. Then my mom calls, and guess what? She made up a holiday; “Thanksgiving eve” where my husband, daughter and I are now going to her house on this Thanksgiving eve thing.
Two holidays down, one left.
Christmas, oh Christmas. This one will be the worst. My mom loves this holiday, however I want to be at my in-laws house for the week before Christmas (which is from my birthday to Christmas). That way we can make cookies, set up the tree and just enjoy each other’s company.
But guess what? I was too scared to tell my mom, so now we are going over to her house on Christmas eve for a few hours. Which I really did not want to do because it was not a part of my original plan. But if I really did not want to do this I should have spoken up, right? Yes I should have, but sometimes it’s not that easy; you can’t just say to your mom, “I don’t want to do that,” and sometimes you are just worried about their reactions.
I am trying really hard to learn to speak and stand up for myself. I’m doing pretty well at it except when it comes to my mom. That one is more difficult than the rest. I’m not really sure why, either. But I do know that if we don’t figure something out soon, these holidays are only going to get more difficult.
I am going to come up with a plan for next year. I am going to set up a location and time for holidays and events and invite everyone. Then whoever comes, will. The people that don’t, won’t. Everyone who is there will be happy and spend time with each other. We will not fight or cause problems and if you do cause a problem then you can leave.
This time of year is for family to enjoy each other’s company and to be grateful we have family to enjoy, people that love us so much that they want to see us. We want holidays to be fun and full of happy memories, not stressful ones.