Life Question on Extended Family

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Backroads, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,286
    Likes Received:
    1,638

    Oct 29, 2019

    Asking for your considerations to me a lady you know on a teacher's forum.

    My husband and I live very close to my parents. So do most of my siblings. My mother, therefore, wants to have family get-togethers every week and I would be lying if I said it wasn't exhausting. If you don't attend, you get the classic guilt trip.

    Any tips on navigating that?
     
  2.  
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,491
    Likes Received:
    1,399

    Oct 29, 2019

    Personally, I think once a month would be fine for me to get together with family. Perhaps you can slowly work up to that by planning special activities that don't involve the extended family once per month. If it works out, then you can expand to twice per month. They may be upset for a while that the status quo is being upset but eventually a new status quo will be set.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,700
    Likes Received:
    2,403

    Oct 29, 2019

    At least it is your parents, which may make it easier to reason and maybe even bargain a little with them over the frequency. For me, it was my in-laws, and hubby never wanted to be the bearer of bad tidings to his folks, so I was told we had a commitment. That ended when our son was in HS and I was teaching virtually every day. Too much going on, but I smiled and told hubby to give our regards, but son and I were not available for the short notice. Hubby went a few times alone until they got the message that their totally open schedule was nothing like our totally booked schedules, and I followed up by trying to schedule something with them when the time was right, and it became a much more manageable/flexible kind of schedule, with consideration for simply being too tired to go back out, whatever the reason. It is nice to be loved and appreciated, but overwhelming to have to try and fit your busy lives into their schedule. I think that my in-laws came to appreciate that on the new system, we had time to truly "be THERE" when we arrived, instead of looking at every watch and clock once we walked in the door.
     
    Backroads and bella84 like this.
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    450

    Oct 29, 2019

    No real advice, but I empathize with you. My in-laws are local, and my mother-in-law is also the queen of guilt trips if we are busy. I try to focus on the positive, such as the amazing bond they have with my kids. Here lately, I’ve just tried to block the guilt when I say no, and reschedule for a better time.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,014
    Likes Received:
    305

    Oct 30, 2019

    If you have kids, it is time to make your "own" family time -- but honestly until then, weekly isn't so bad. I know, I coming from a different point of view. Having lost both of my parents, what I wouldn't give for those days again! Sometimes we forget that while we are busy growing up, and then establishing our own lives, they are growing older. The time comes too soon when they are no longer with us.
     
    Tired Teacher, bella84 and Backroads like this.
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,353
    Likes Received:
    991

    Oct 30, 2019

    Tell them that starting (insert date, maybe after the new year begins) you will only be able to make it once a month. Things are busy with work/school/activities and your family needs some down time. I'd probably suck it up and take the guilt trip and eventually it will become the new normal.
     
  8. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    139

    Oct 30, 2019

    This is one of the many reasons I am glad I live 500 miles from my closest family.
     
    txmomteacher2 likes this.
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    444

    Oct 30, 2019

    I agree with this. Set the boundary, and ignore the guilt trip. If you do get a guilt trip, you can always say something like, "I know it's hard to hear, but this is how often we're available for family get-togethers."
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,353
    Likes Received:
    991

    Oct 30, 2019

    A guilt trip is only what you're allowing to make yourself feel guilty. They can't guilt you into anything without your permission. Be strong!
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,471
    Likes Received:
    1,448

    Oct 30, 2019

    This is a good reminder.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,353
    Likes Received:
    991

    Oct 31, 2019

    I agree with all of the above sentiments but if people want their children, grandchildren, etc. to want to be around them, they can't guilt them into it. That only breeds resentment and will push them further away in some cases. There has to be understanding on both sides. Give a little, get a little.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  13. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    266

    Nov 2, 2019

    I have 1 child who moved back to the vicinity where I live. We had established a weekly get together ( dinner) for a few years that I loved w/ other family members. He remarried a few yrs ago and his wife is not really into it which is OK.
    Plus, he is busier and needs more time w/his wife now. I'd love to see them weekly, but I know how busy life is and try not to put that stress on them. I always invite them and am happy when they can come. ( Sometimes it is every other week, sometimes 1x a month.) Sometimes he comes by himself. I am not a guilt tripper though. :)
    Maybe if you explained to your mom the stresses and time constraints, she'd understand. Maybe if you called her during the week for a chat and came for a dinner 1x a month, she'd be OK w/ that. I'd love to see my son daily, but know it is not realistic...lol Both of us work long hours over an hr away.. I count myself blessed just to have the time I do with him. I hope your mom understands. The weekly phone calls help fill in the visit gaps. Best wishes!
     
    Backroads likes this.
  14. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    266

    Nov 3, 2019

    That is so true ! I have 1 living parent. I moved faraway for many years, but ended up back here in time to spend some quality years with both. I think you have a really good point, Rain. He is my priority after work. I am in a weird place. I could retire, but started working young enough that I'll have to pay a huge sum for insurance to pay per month if I retire before age 62.
    A lot of factors are involved . Many need to make a living and have a spouse/kids. Life during that time is so busy. ( I had mine really young.) I remember at times feeling like I was running all the time. 1 more thing added to my list of things to do weekly added more to the rush. ( I know...I should have slown down, but we don't get "do overs.") It wasn't always like that, but I had years like that.
    I think adult parents usually do not want to add to stress IF they can help it. I could tell that there were times my son was stretching time to get here weekly. There is about an hours distance between us. He had things scheduled before and after. Plus, he works so hard during the week. ( 60 hrs.) I'd rather have him well rested coming once a month than tired weekly. :)
    I took care of my mom for awhile and I know she was thankful for things. I know too that she never wanted to be a burden either. ( She wasn't. I wanted to be there and could.) I was thankful for every last minute I could spend w/ her too.
    My kids were grown though by that time. I was in a position that I could drop everything. I am so thankful I was able to do that too. Not everyone has that opportunity.
    In an ideal world , my kids would come weekly for dinners. Realistically though, they are in a point of their lives that their time is limited too. I think if explained correctly, most moms would understand. It maybe harder for a mom to understand that if they were a stay at home mom the whole time.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,353
    Likes Received:
    991

    Nov 4, 2019

    Due to some poor choices made by my mother after my father passed away, I refuse to go to her house to visit unless she is alone (a pushy relative invited himself to move in). It was ultimately her choice who she let live in her house and she knows that her choices affect who visits her. If she wants to meet somewhere for lunch or dinner or other relatives' houses for holidays then I'm fine with that. I will not go to her house and she knows why. It's not only the children who need to make an effort with parents.
     
    Backroads likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. greendream,
  3. Obadiah,
  4. TeacherNY,
  5. Pi-R-Squared
Total: 388 (members: 6, guests: 364, robots: 18)
test