I read a post this morning, that got me to thinking. This blogger, My Perfect Breakdown, touches me in so many ways. She is thoughtful and insightful and filled with much love. Her most recent post reminds me so much of our family struggles and lives.
Family holidays, the times when you wish to see family, friends, cousins from afar. The times when you want that sense of security and love. They are not always so.
My DH and I both come from large families. His much larger than mine. We have siblings and many cousins. Many of which are as close as a sibling. We each grew up very close to our grandparents. We are blessed with these memories and occasions.
Then we married. My parents separated when I was 4 years old. I have lived my entire life with a split family. This has been a note of tension with my in-laws since day one. They do not understand or respect the parameters which I must navigate through each holiday. To ensure that each and every parent and grandparent has been checked off the list.
Christmas looks much like this.
- Work until noon Christmas Eve
- Last minute stops at the stores on way home
- Prepare super for parents, in-laws etc for 4 pm (I began this tradition thinking it would help the checklist…)
- Clean up supper
- We head to church for 6:30 pm. We switch between his parents and mine each year.
- After church we head to DH’s Aunt and Uncles for Christmas Eve to see his cousins and spend time together. (Usually getting home by 1 or 2 am)
- Christmas morning can be any number of things. Breakfast at my in-laws, followed by dinner at my parents and supper is always at my Grandmother’s at 5:30 pm. At my grandmother’s I will see my father.
- Boxing day we go to my parents to see their gifts and usually boxing day shopping followed by supper at my In-laws.
It is a constant schedule change and mix up to ensure we have been everywhere, and at the times they dictate we be there. Within all of this we go to our son’s grave to light a candle and spend time with him as well.
Easter and Thanksgiving are much the same. As I have aged, I feel there is no quality time anymore as we are rushed between them all. I try to hint at some to change schedules to different days. So that we all do not feel rushed and can take time to spend with all but that never happens.
DH has grown to dislike all holidays. This weekend will be no different. Often, Tuesday morning heading to work is a relief. Things are back to normal.
I never wanted to be in this state for myself. I strive to calm holidays down for my DH’s sake and so that we can enjoy. I just struggle to find the balance.
Sending you all warm wishes for this holiday weekend. May you be surrounded by love and good memories.