12.08.2008

The DysFUNctional Part of the Family

I don't usually post twice in one day, but I am so stressed and I have to get this out.
My mom is mad at me. She tends to stay mad at me about half of the time, maybe even 3/4. It's usually because I don't call often enough, and I don't always answer the phone when she calls, usually because I'M SLEEPING.
Quick recap for my newer readers: I have four kids. Three live here full time, my oldest son lives with his dad and spends 4 days here every other week, at a minimum. Two of these kids are teenagers, which has taught me why many animals eat their young. Another one has ADHD, just been quite literally abandoned by his natural "mother", and can be a handful - who wouldn't be in that situation? Oh, and that job thing! I work at least 40 hours per week. My husband does as well. We have responsibilities. We have lives.
We are busy.
But my mother doesn't get that, and when she calls and I do answer, I'm trapped on the phone for eternities while she asks me about every detail of my life.
So, when I texted her this weekend and she ignored me, I figured she was mad because I hadn't called recently. Then she called me today and was very short with me, and between that and her all-too-familiar tone, I knew she was mad.
I asked my niece if she'd talked to her and knew why she was mad, and she sort of vaguely hinted that it may be due to our plans for Christmas.
Which we don't actually have any yet.
But, we spent all of Thanksgiving with my family. We literally didn't see J's family at all. So obviously, we'll be spending some time with them for Christmas. And, call us crazy, selfish, or whatever, but since the kids are with their Dad this year for Christmas, we'd like to spend some time A.L.O.N.E. Just the two of us. We would still spend time with my parents at some point around the holiday...just not Christmas Day.
But the thing is, every single year, it's drama. First of all, every other Thanksgiving, the kids are with their Dad. You'd think by now, five years after my ex and I split, my parents would've accepted that. But no, every other year, I hear crap about it because my family wants them there. Too bad! This is how divorce works. Every year I hear "Can't they just come for a little while one day? Can't you do this, that, whatever?" And every year the answer is "NO. It's their Dad's year. Period." And still, they complain.
Then, even though we always go to my parents' house for Christmas Eve, as is our tradition, and exchange gifts, they expect us to come back Christmas Day for dinner. I have in-laws, people! We have to split our time. And I would like to do my OWN family thing, and have our own family traditions. Not just going to my parents' or his parents' or whoever's house every single year!
And I won't even get into what generally happens when we do spend time with my parents; the yelling at the kids, the offensive things my dad says......
Please don't misunderstand me, I love my parents. I know there are some of you out there who have lost your parents and would love to be able to call them, or have just one more holiday to spend with them. I truly get that. But there is only one of me, I'm being pulled apart and it happens every single year. I am ready to start the tradition of not going over there at all! I don't understand why it has to be such an issue every year. I'm tired of walking on eggshells wondering if my mother is mad at me this week. I don't get why she expects so much of me, knowing what all I have on my plate!
If you've read this far, thanks for reading my whining. And please send me a ticket to China for this Christmas!

40 comments:

Mrs4444 said...

Yeah, that doesn't sound like fun to me, either. On the bright side, I've read a couple of posts lately about some grandparents who don't give a care about their grandkids, so I guess you have that going for you. My problem is that several years ago, we did stop going to my brother's on Christmas Eve in lieu of starting some of our own traditions. Most of my siblings understand, but one in particular does not and bitches about me every single dang year when it gets closer. Sheesh! Get over it already; it has nothing to do with you, brother! We see everyone the next day, so what's the big whoop?! Thanks for the vent stage ( I can't write this on my own blog.)

Tammie said...

im sorry i cannot afford to send you to china.

i feel for you...i have issues with my folks as well(mostly my dad) and it can be stressful. please hang in there. there is only one of you, you cant be everywhere and you NEED some quiet and alone time---don't feel guilty about this.

you should spend time with your friends and family because you want to, not because you are guilted into it.

Hang in there.

melissa said...

i'll go with you to china!! sounds like we have similar stuff going on, no?
xo

Wep said...

Oh hang in there hon. I lost my dad, but my mom is still around and driving me bonkers. Tonight she called to tell me that her microwave works too slow and is ANCIENT. I love her, but sometimes I too just want my own time. I feel that because we now get married so late in life, by the time we do we can't enjoy it because we become the caretakers to our parents. sigh.

HUGS

Wep

Kori said...

I hope things get better. This right here is exactly why we stay here for Christmas. And if my in-laws want they stop in say Hi see what the kids got from Santa and they leave. We celebrate Christmas with them the Saturday before Christmas. And it is best for everyone.

Kel said...

Sorry...I know how you feel.
*hugs*
~K

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

I have the most wonderful parents as far as this stuff goes, and so does Gomez. I am so thankful for that when I hear the drama some people have to put up with. I always thought that mature people, you know, got mature. I guess not. :-P

Swirl Girl said...

You could invite everyone (both sides) to your house for one big event!

nahhh....what am I saying?

Tara R. said...

I so get this. My folks live 12-14 hours away - east, my in-laws another 12-14 hours away - west. And everyone wants us to pack up our car and DRIVE there. Not have a holiday at home with just our family. No we have to spend more than half our time off in a car traveling to just sit and watch the paint peel. I so get this!

Come to our house, we'll have a blast!

Honeybell said...

Oh boy. I have lost both my parents, but I completely get you. We have to divide our time between his parents and his ex-wife's parents.

Oddly enough, I prefer hanging with the ex's family.

mommaof4wife2r said...

seriously, you poor thing! paige has time with her dad and i alwyas have to hear about it too! i think ur doing great...keep remembering that!

blueviolet said...

Feel free to whine any time. That's what we bloggy friends are here for! My parents always have asked us for every holiday what our plans are too and they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were doing the same thing we've always done. I don't know why they do that. Are we going to do this to our kids? I should just tell them now that they have my permission to hang up on me if I do it.

Hang in there and you DESERVE the alone time.

Chel said...

Oh, sweetie. So sorry. We were so fortunate - and this is going to sound ugly!! - that when we first were married and had kids, we lived several hours away from both of our families.

We told them they were welcome to come join us for Christmas but that we were doing Christmas at home. We've been able to establish our own traditions, which is wonderful.

Now, on the flip side, my folks come to visit for Thanksgiving, and they drive me crazy because they don't much want to participate in our traditions.

You hang in there.

Queen of Feisty said...

I finally after 10 years, got my IL's to go to Thanksgiving at my parents house! Amen! One holiday down where I don't have to drive half the day.

I have managed to get Christmas down pat though. My IL's get a random day of the week proir to Christmas Day, to be with us and the kids. Then Christmas Eve is my husbands whole family. And Christmas morning is just us 4 here at home. Then to my parents Christmas afternoon.

I wish you luck, oh and how about somewhere like Australia? That sounds fun!

Ness said...

Your kids are only going to be with you so long before they start their own lives and traditions.

My solution? Have a Christmas Day open house starting at 3 p.m. Have a few nibbles out on the table and whoever wants to and can should drop by. That way you get Christmas morning to yourself and you don't have to do the running on Christmas. Until 2 years ago, 4 of my husband's granddaughter had NEVER had Christmas in Chicago at home because their mother packed them off to Buffalo every year to be with their family. The kids are so thrilled to be able to Christmas at home now and then perhaps see relatives later on or on another holiday. I put my foot down from Day 1 and kept Christmas at home with an open house on Christmas Eve. You're not whining, you're venting and you have every right to. Please think long and hard about this before next Christmas. As for your mother, I had a dad who could have been her twin. It got to the point I moved out of state to escape him and his moods and control issues. Do what is right for you and yours and don't let your mom dictate your life. Been there, done that.

Tonjia said...

you know what I would do? (I know its easy for me to say, but)...

make hotel reservations go, rest, spend some A.L.O.N.E. time, sit in the hot tub, eat some great food and dont have Christmas with anyone. Maybe you can invite J's family to meet you for dessert or something.

I have never understood why some people want to make other peoples holiday season so miserable. Sorry this is happening to you!

Jennifer said...

so sorry to read this. hope things get better for you.

Mama Wheaton said...

You are not alone or going crazy. Parents and in-laws seem to forget what it was like to have to divide yourself between multiple families. And divorce brings along its own set of rules, which for some reason some parents refuse to acknowledge. Take a deep breathe and then do as you please.

Far From Perfect said...

It's not a Norman Rockwell here either.

anymommy said...

Sounds pretty familiar. Wish I had some great words or awesome solutions, but I just wanted to say hugs, sorry. There's nothing worse than parents who want to act like children, I know a little about this and it's ridiculous and frustrating. But, you have to love them!

Rhonda said...

Minus the divorce part and the ADHD part, you are talking about my Christmas. I can't figure out why they call these things "holidays" because they most certainly aren't THAT!! I hate it. Every year I hate it more. It is all about obligation, and keeping our parents happy and NEVER about what we want. I have started to rebel a little and my in-laws dislike me, right along with the other out-laws in the family. And my poor husband is always in trouble because he just can never keep them happy!

Oh, now see? Look what you've started. I'm pissed off at my own situation all over again.... lol

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Thank you all SO much just for reading and validating my feelings. You all are truly awesome!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

aww - that is a shame that this needs to be going on during the holidays . . . we have the same crap from my MIL - it has to be HER way - she must have the CONTROL - sounds like your mom - sorry girlie!! Stick with your own traditions!!

Casey's trio said...

The holidays are hard with blended/extended families. So sorry to hear you are dealing with the stress already. Makes that decision to spend that a.l.o.n.e. time so much more inviting huh?

Solei said...

I'm on cheaptickets.com as we speak looking for tickets for you asap!!!

=0D

hang in there girly! Hopefully things will get better without you having to rush off to China ('cause the tickets are pretty expensive, lol)

Debbie Y. said...

I wonder why they say that Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Happy Holidays, my big fat toe! I do miss my parents, but we still have drama with my siblings, so I don't think it ever ends. Just hang in there and make your own rules. Maybe your mom will cave, just so long as you don't! LOL

Frogs in my formula said...

Wow, that is a full plate. I don't even live your life and I feel wiped. I don't have any helpful suggestions (I am still learning how to manage my mom and her emotional needs...sigh) but I agree with Debbie: make your own rules. Good luck!

WheresMyAngels said...

Oh poor you, I would hate that. My family knows that we usually won't be celebrating on the holidays because normally I have to work, although this year my staff have wanted to work them.

I don't think I would want to spend Christmas that way at all.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Ditto this here minus me being divorced. By my parents ARE which means 2 houses to visit PLUS inlaws (plus John found his birth mom but we see her after xmas - thank god!)

Hallie

Jennifer said...

that sucks. :( but hopefully she will get over it soon.

my mom is completely understanding about sharing us for the holidays with others and also us just maybe wanting to stay home as a family. i'm very lucky. but she is only that way b/c others have been like your mom is to you to her.

i can't afford a ticket to china for you... shit i can't afford a ticket to any where... probably not even a movie... pathetic... but a whole other story... but my door is always open... literally and you are welcome!! I live in NY and I have three crazy kids and a grumpy stressed out husband. but we are fun.:) come on over!!

xoxoxo lots of luck and hugs!!

Aubrey said...

Ah crap. That stinks, especially during the holidays. I get to go to my in-laws on Christmas Eve (as usual) and get to spend the day with a SIL that thinks she can change ALL the traditions our husbands have grown up with. It's always something!
Hang in there!

Rhea said...

Your mother sounds a little bit immature if she can't understand how busy you are. I would be frustrated with my mom too if that's what was going on. Sheesh.

jsprik said...

i so totally know what you are talking about here, my mother is the same exact way. she always complains cause we never come to them. i'm like, listen...if it's THAT important that you see us so often...you know where we live!! she keeps track of who goes where when and complains that they seem to come to us all the time...SO?? we are busy people, we have a lot going on, just like everyone else. it's so frustrating!! just remember, you have to do what is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. bag the rest ;) hugs and prayers....

Momisodes said...

Oh hun, I am so sorry. As if the holidays aren't stressful enough :( I have no idea how you manage to balance it all. I hope your family will empathize a bit more. You certainly deserve some time alone...and to simply just enjoy the holidays. *hugs*

Kimmylyn said...

I hate to be repeatitive but really.. how do you stay sane?? How do you do all you do?

I have nothing but big hugs for you..and if I win mega millions on Friday I will send you a plane ticket.. :)

BoufMom9 said...

UGH! So sorry about your relationship with your mom. It sucks to always be at wits' end.
Sending (((HUGS))) your way!

Nicki said...

We're going through a similar thing in my family... Because on Thanksgiving Diana let Jimmy take the baby to HIS family's Thanksgiving, and we took the big kids to Diana's mom's Thanksgiving celebration. Mostly because both celebrations were happening at the same, time, and Diana's mom was insistent we come to hers, and Jimmy's family rarely gets to see the baby because his parents are older and can't drive out from the city so much. So now Diana's whole family is pissed off and not speaking to Diana because they wanted the baby to spend Thanksgiving... AND Christmas... with THEM!
WHat is it about holidays that makes people demand to see the children?

The Girl Next Door said...

OOOOH I feel you. First the teenagers? Selling mine into slavery as we speak..if only someone would buy them. And the every-other-year thanksgiving thing? WHY DON'T THEY GET THAT?! IT's not hard people. One, two. one Two. Everyone count with me....sigh.

JEN said...

Like I always say at my house, if it's not one thing it's your mother.

I truly understand what you are going through and I think we have the same mother. Glad to hear that at least she is now being pleasant to you. Good luck.

disa said...

感情,第三者,婚外情,一夜情,小老婆,外遇,商標,市場調查,公平交易法,抓姦,債務,債務協商,應收帳款,詐欺,離婚,監護權,法律諮詢,法律常識,離婚諮詢,錄音,找人,追蹤器,GPS,徵信,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信社,徵信,徵信社,尋人,偵探,偵探社,徵才,私家偵探,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,抓猴,出軌,背叛,婚姻,劈腿,感情,第三者,婚外情,一夜情,小老婆,外遇,商標,市場調查,公平交易法,抓姦,債務,債務協商,應收帳款,詐欺,離婚,監護權,法律諮詢,法律常識,離婚諮詢,錄音,找人,追蹤器,GPS,徵信,徵信公司,尋人