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<p>We live in VT, Dh's only sister lives in FL.  She is maried and has 3 kids ages 10, 11, and 15.  They are very distant and we only hear from them a few times a year, and we never ever see them.  The other day they called up and said they are coming for 10 days to stay with us around christmas.  Dh is thrilled to see gis family, but I am dredding it.</p>
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<p>We are broke and we can't afford to feed them for 10 days, and we eat more expensive foods since we have tons of food allergies and can't have most outside prepared foods.  So I cook every meal from scratch.  We just can't afford to feed everyone.  And sometimes we just want  leftovers and don't always have 3 real meals, and we may just snack.  What if they are waiting around wondering where lunch is when I don't feel like cooking. </p>
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<p>Our house is super tiny, and only has 2 bedrooms, one bath.  And it is not like they can go outside much as it is super cold and slowy.  And we don't have TV except movies, and get no cell coverage, and only have dial up.  We are hours away from any big city and have <strong>nothing</strong> to do except play in the snow.  I just don't know what to do with them for 10 days and we are not that close.  I think I will go crazy after 1 day.   I like my space.</p>
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<p>Dh thinks I am being mean and overreacting.  He doesn't see that I do all the cooking and cleaning, and wont pick up any slacjk for the 10 days.  He just says he will make a turkey dinner for christmas.  One meal out or 30.</p>
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<p>And the really big issue is I had many tramatic childhood holidays growing up and I don't like holidays now that I have my own family.  I have a small tree for the kids and dh, but I really have many emotional breakdowns during holidays even birthdays.  I really hate holidays.  And his family want the realy christams snowy experience.  I am about to fall apart just thinking about it.</p>
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<p>Anyway, please help me to see this clearly and how to get through this.  Help!</p>
 

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<p>Wait, they called and told you they were coming? They didn't ask?</p>
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<p>If that's the case, whoa. That takes balls. And that would be my clue that some healthy boundaries need to be set asap about how things are going to go on this visit.</p>
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<p>It might also help to talk with your dh about the logistics, really break it down step by step and get him thinking about it. Mine tends to do the same kind of sweeping thinking -- I'll make a big holiday dinner, there's snow, we'll have fun. When I sit him down and ask him to help me budget everything out and plan for things like sleeping areas for each person and the increased workload (because that does NOT have to fall 100% on you), it helps him focus in on the actual details.</p>
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<p>I believe in being a good host(ess), but at the same time, I don't believe in sacrificing my family's financial stability for the purpose of fronting as having more money than we do, or even just for the sake of hosting. It's ok to ask people to bring pillows, air mattresses, and sleeping bags rather than buying them yourself just for this visit. It's also ok to ask them to work with you on the food. You've got two littles to take care of. As guests in a small house with two small children, they are going to need to be self-sufficient to some degree. I would focus on easy, low-key types of entertainment to offer. Maybe an "old-fashioned Christmas" theme, where you all decorate your house with paper snowflakes, string popcorn and cranberries, try to remember every Christmas carol you've ever heard, make a snowman, etc.</p>
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<p>And if it's the case that they just invited themselves up, I would take a note and rehearse a key phrase with my dh for the next time: "I need to check the calendar, let me get back to you in a few days." Buy time so you get a chance to talk about it and make the decision yourselves.</p>
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<p>Good luck!!!</p>
 

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<p>Um, yeah, that takes huge balls.  :lol</p>
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<p>You can say no.   You can suggest local hotels and give them the contact information.  You can say ok, it will be $xxx to help with the extra food and utilities.</p>
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<p>Boundaries.</p>
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<p>For the record, I would be PISSED OFF and LIVID if someone told me they were coming to stay for 10 days.  Especially with 4 people when I already have 4 in a 2 bedroom house.  Who thinks that is ok?  Where do they think they are going to sleep?  Kinda hard to pack sleeping bags and pillows for a flight.</p>
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<p>Or, book a hotel for yourself, abandon ship with your children and let DH deal with it.  ;)</p>
 

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<p>I guess they asked dh, and he agreed.  I think he knew I would have issues with it, and made plans without me.  I really wish I could afford a hotel for 10 days, but no.  Dh just doesn't agree how bad holidays make me feel.   I almost had a nervous breakdown on my birthday when he surprised me and invited my parents and some siblings to visit for the day.  He just doesn't get it.  he thinks I am being unfair about him wanting to see his family.  He said that asking them to stay at a hotel is rediculous since we have perfectly good warm house.</p>
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<p>But maybe I am being too negative?  Some people love big family gatherings.  Although it isn't like they can bring in outside food because of the allergies.  We have a very limited diet, and I don't se how the cousins are going to go with that as I hear they only like processed food. </p>
 

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I agree w the pp - you need to sit down w your DH and plan out details. Sleeping arrangements, shower schedule, ground rules (quiet time, kids bedtimes, food rules, etc), grocery budget, meal plan, etc. Include a few day trips to whatever is closest that will get you all out of the house and the extra gas. Do you have a vehicle that can seat 8 or are they renting a car? IMO, those are the only 2 options. I wouldnt be uninstalling car seats to accomodate them.<br><br>
Once you've broken down all the details, i would type up a detailed letter to your SIL spelling it all out. Including the fact that if her kids arent willing to eat what is in the house, they will have to go out to eat, because they cannot bring allergens into the house. And i'd be extremely forthcoming about the fact that she will need to help both with the purchasing and preparation of food (and her kids are old enough to help too). Make it clear up front that this is not a hotel.<br><br>
I would also let her know that the holidays are a very stressful time for you, and that there are liable to be times when you're feeling very antisocial. Dont get into details w her, but do let her know that normally your family has a very low key holiday season.<br><br>
If after all that, she still wants to come, i would let her, and go about your business as best you can. And i would do my damnedest to get into counseling w a DH who doesnt respect your feelings. Just because he feels differently is no excuse for him to railroad you.<br><br>
 
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<p>Wait, he wants you to host 5 additional people in your 2 bedroom 1 bath for 10 days? Is he nuts or just have no cojones ? Are they driving so at least they will have their own car to get out and do stuff ?</p>
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<p>I would guess they are planning on coming up and spending a lot of time out of your house skiing or snowboarding or snowshoeing or something.  That would be the number one reason why I would think a family from FL would want to spend 10 days in VT. over Christmas with family they aren't close to.  Do you live close to any skiing areas. It's possible they may just want a place to sleep at night and will spend a little time with you, but spend most of the time skiing and snowboarding and doing stuff like that.</p>
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<p>Before you get all worried about food and meals and them being in your space, I would find out why they are coming and what plans they have.   They may actually not be planning on spending much time at your house after all.</p>
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<p>I had people stay with me for 5 days and I thought I was going to go nuts.  And we have a 4 bdrm, 2 bath home.  And it was during the summer when we could go outside, and there were no kids.</p>
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<p>No way I would allow that many people stay with me for 10 days.  I agree that you need to have a long heart to heart with your dh.  Even if it ends with him saying "I don't get it", he needs to respect that you DO feel that way.</p>
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<p>Five extra people in a tiny house over Christmas??? So on Christmas morning when you're wanting to open stocking and gifts in the living room you'll be having to maneuver over FIVE sleeping bags and whatnot? That sounds like a total nightmare -- I can't believe that your husband can't see that the logistics of this are crazy. I hope you find a way to make it through. <img alt="greensad.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/greensad.gif"></p>
 

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<p>I had 7 of dh's relatives stay with us for 2 weeks one summer. The only things that helped were they took over all cooking, and they were out almost daily shopping. Dh never *got it* that having so many people was stressful,but I smiled as much as a could and got through it. We bought air beds for them to sleep on.Bunch of cheap pillows.We got extra blankets from my mom. The meal times was the big thing.Dh took to driving them back and forth to the stores.He actually bought a van that seated 8 at an auction,so that was a godsend.</p>
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<p>Let your dh know he will be responsible for the needs of the family,and you will only  handle the small stuff. I know when I needed a break I went to my room and locked the door. Don't let your dh make you feel bad or mean.You are not a bad or mean person just because you know YOUR LIMITATIONS. I think as adults we come to understand what we are comfortable with,and what we are not comfortable with. I recall being told I wouldn't be shy if I forced myself to talk to others or do public speaking-what a joke.Forcing a person to do something they do not want to is not very nice.</p>
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<p>I am guessing the trip is set,but one can hope for something to come up. Do your best.Smile.Take breaks.Cook easy foods and/or offer the kitchen to them.Maybe a lot of pizza,lol. You will get through this. Just don't let dh sit on his butt while you do everything. This visit was his idea,so he is really the one who needs to make sure it all goes smoothly. Just don't let  things turn into a fight. "You take care of it honey, because I can't." was my favorite line as I removed myself for certain  situations without getting into an argument.</p>
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<p>Best wishes for a peaceful holiday.</p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ChristyMarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283596/am-i-overeacting-about-relatives-coming-for-10-days#post_16094171"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>You can say ok, it will be $xxx to help with the extra food and utilities.</p>
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I like this... Say something like you are happy to accommodate them (even though you're not!) but seeing how this is a hard time for everyone economically, you will need them to chip in $X to cover the added expenses. Tell them that breakfast & lunch are 'fend for yourself' style so you only have to deal with dinner. Also let them know your dietary restrictions & what foods cannot be brought into the house at all. Find out what they will be doing during the day, do they already have an itinerary in mind or do they need some suggestions of local attractions? (This will subtly bring up that you are expecting them to be out of the house during the day). Make sure they have their own transportation as your car will only fit 1 extra person.</p>
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<p>I can't imagine my DH agreeing to something like that without consulting me & I can't imagine ever hosting that many people in a small space, but I've never been one to host overnight guests... This would completely overwhelm me. But if it's already a done deal & you can't back out, hashing things out ahead of time should ease some of your anxiety. I would also make some plans yourself (whether it's a daily trip to the library or a regular walk) so you can get a break from the chaos. Do you have an attic or basement or even a closet where you could create a temporary 'safe place' for you to escape to with a book or something when you get too overwhelmed?</p>
 
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