The holiday season is here again. With that, some of us will probably be spending time with family and friends. During this time we have to deal with people we may not want to deal with and hold expectations of how things should be or turn out. For me, this is especially true when it comes to my in-laws.
My mom is one of six and we are all very close. Since I was a little girl my mom’s brothers and sisters would (still do) meet every afternoon at my grandma’s house for coffee, cookies and conversation. Every Sunday my grandma would make breakfast and lunch for everyone so we would all gather again and spend time together. My dad is one of five and though they aren’t as close as my mom’s family, they still get together for the holidays and birthdays. Because I’ve grown up around family togetherness, that is the type of expectation I want for and from my husband’s family.
My in-laws think my family is weird because they love one another and enjoy spending time with each other. I’m not saying my in-laws don’t love their family members but they can’t spend as much time together without getting tired and annoyed with one another, or at least that is what was said one evening. My in-laws see family togetherness and conversation as a once in a while/need to know basis, anything more than that is unnecssary. I take offense to that because I want them to be involved in our lives and call us and be in contact with us but I feel it is always our job to call and iniate contact.
During the holidays it is especially hard because I just don’t feel comfortable since I’m used to so much family togetherness. So, with that, I get stressed out and dread the holidays… especially when we go back home. Last Sunday at church I was discussing my feelings and situation with other members of the church and I was reminded of keeping my expectations in check.
We all come from different walks of life, different families and different traditions and when two DIFFERENT people join in marriage, two different familes become one. I was reminded that I can’t change the way my husband’s family is or what they do, the only thing I can do is understand the difference and accept their differences. Although this is hard for me I know it is the only thing I can do. I can’t expect things from other people, I can only accept things from them.
So, for those of you who might find yourselves in the same situation, remember that we can’t expect others to change or do what we expect them to do to make us comfortable, we can only accept the differences and move on. I’m not saying this will be easy because it will be difficult for me to do this holiday season, but to keep peace during an already stressful time… just try and go with the flow.