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Frustrated with family


Forum: September 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
July 21st, 2013, 06:52 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near the land of cream cheese
Posts: 5,336
Not really baby-related, so I suppose this is a little OT, but I'm feeling particularly upset about it tonight.

I moved to the US in 2011. Depending on where we've lived, we've been between 14 and 8 hours from my family (and 30 minutes to 12 hours from dh's family). We've visited my family several times since I moved - two of those visits were for sick relatives (one was days away from passing away and the other passed away the day before we left), but mainly they've been visits for the holidays or just to visit. In the past two years, we've made the drive to Ontario 5 times. My family has come to visit us... 0 times. In my mom's defense, she and my stepdad thought that he couldn't cross the border (he was denied once and the border guard at the time told him he couldn't come back without a pardon for a bar fight he had gotten in in the US something like 20 years prior) until earlier this year when they learned that while the border guard could deny him, he didn't need a formal pardon for the bar fight incidence. Then my mom's dad became ill, and she needed a couple of minor surgeries and it just became easier to wait until the baby was born for her to come visit. My dad and stepmom have never visited us, even when they vacationed in Myrtle Beach, SC while we were in NC. My il's never visited us when we were 4 hours away in NC, either, and have not said anything about visiting us here now that we're 8ish hours away, even though they're both retired now (although my fil does do contract work and still has a good income) and have billions of air miles accumulated.

So we've done ALL of the driving to ensure that we visit with everyone. Don't get me wrong - we like seeing everyone. We really do. It's just that... these drives are long. They're hard on our bodies. They're expensive. They eat up vacation days. We tend to stay with my mom when we visit because the layout of their house accommodates us a little better, and my brother is usually at my dad's house taking up the guest bedroom (sometimes with his on/off girlfriend and their toddler). My dad has a ton of hobbies and goes to the gym and is generally overloaded with crap to do (voluntarily) - so we would see him less being at his house, anyway, and we already have to dance around his schedule just to have dinner or lunch when we're up. Not only that - he lives 40 minutes from my mom's house and whenever we're talking about ideas for restaurants, he always wants us to drive to his city (even though we've already driven 8+ hours to get up there). I could be better about saying, "How about you come here? We've done our share of driving. " but it seems like something that should be obvious, KWIM? It has only happened once or twice (usually because we cave and say yes) but he's also gotten a little hurt that we've chosen not to come stay the night once or twice while we're up. It's a huge ordeal to pack up all of our things and move them down the road 40 minutes, then go back again, then pack up to go home. My il's have actually laughed at the idea of making the trip to come visit us just because.

I know everyone loves us and wants to see us and believe that a lot of the annoyances are people being oblivious, not malicious, but I'm tired. Dh is tired. It's been two years, and I've only gotten a real commitment that anyone is even going to come spend time with us even after the baby is here from my mom. Obviously, once Evie is here, our ability to up and drive 8+ hours at a time is going to be limited so everyone will HAVE to get used to putting in more effort if they want to see us.

This summer has been particularly insane. Dh has had a big work deal that's taken him about 4 hours away, sometimes for days at a time. I've gone with him most of the time to keep him company and it isn't a big deal for me to tag along. We drove to GA to pick up my dsc on less than 24 hours' notice and brought them back two weeks later because their mom refused to agree to anything longer than that and we didn't have time to go before a judge before they need to go back to school. We then drove up to northern Ontario, further than usual, to spend some time at the cottage because it was a vacation we had already planned, and then came back a week later. Dh has to leave tomorrow for a week for a training thing out in California (why they scheduled this in the middle of summer, I don't know) and almost immediately after he comes back, he needs to go up to that customer site again for several days to meet a deadline that no one knew the customer was promised until last week.

Almost immediately after that, we need to go back to Ontario for the baby shower. I messaged my dad to ask about Friday or Saturday, and he's working those days (late Friday, but only until 3:30 on Saturday - plenty of time for us to hang out in the evening). He has Sunday (which is the day of the shower) and Monday, but we were planning to head home Monday because a) we're freaking exhausted b) Tuesday is both my birthday and my 36 week appointment and c) we have a lot to do around the house before the baby is here. I said I'd see about Monday, but honestly, I'm not sure how much effort I want to put towards making that work. I don't feel like it's fair. I don't like being squeezed in between volleyball and baseball and the gym and work when we've already put tons of time and energy and money into coming to Ontario. I put my foot down when we came up to the cottage because it's 4ish hours from my dad's house and I didn't want to sign up for 8 hours of extra driving on our one week of supposed vacation. I'm sure he and my stepmom are semi-upset that we didn't see them that week, though. The other time we came up this year was for my papa's funeral, so we understandably spent most of that time with my mom (and had to go back home early for work reasons for my dh - he can do a lot remotely but a whiny sales rep and management who had mentally checked out left him in a tough place).

I'm just tired. I want to enjoy a holiday without having to drive up and down the continent. I want to have a vacation that actually feels like a vacation. I'm more stressed than excited about our baby shower at this point because it means MORE driving and I'm amazed that I'm getting resistance on when we can visit my dad. We're both at the point where we never want to leave the house again just because we're SO freaking tired. Did I mention we also moved this summer? I'm not even sure I'm supposed to be traveling that far from home this close to the end of pregnancy. I won't cancel the shower now (my mom has worked hard on it and the craziness isn't her fault, and we are excited to celebrate with everyone) but I feel like our summer has been a stressful whirlwind, and then we're going to have a newborn, which will be insanely happy but also draining, I'm sure.

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  #2  
July 21st, 2013, 07:14 PM
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Ugh! I feel your pain! We moved twoish years ago from NS to BC and we have had zero family members visit us. Everyone wants us to fly home to see them, but it costs more than $2000 on a good day for DH and I to fly home, and it takes 10+ hours to get there. Plus we have to take time off work, so we don't have any time to explore the west coast, which of course they all tell us we should do - definitely talking out of both sides of their mouths.
I cant believe our dad isn't being the least bit flexible! That would make me want to dig my heels in and resist any suggestions. When is your shower? It seems like your MW would want you to stay put later on in pregnancy...
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  #3  
July 21st, 2013, 07:28 PM
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hugs! im sorry your family members dont seem to make half the effort you do in keeping in contact. my mom's side of the family, for the most part, is the same way. they will see you when yoi go yheir way, but dont really care to come our way. one way ive personally handled it- i have two holidays i annually host, and i freely invite relatives from all sides, the more the merrier. most of the time, my moms side still doesnt come...but i dont feel guilty about it because i invited them.

that said, you are right about the child changing things. since getting dd home, three of these relatives have offered to drive our way to meet her, without us saying anything. so maybe things will get better for you too.

p.s. this was posted from my phone, so please excuse the lack of caps and any errors
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  #4  
July 21st, 2013, 08:59 PM
ValyntineG's Avatar Based on a True Story
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Texas and stuff
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That would bother me. Like, a lot. And even though it's on a much smaller scale, my family can be kind of like that too. They NEVER come to my house. Not ever. If we want to see them, we have to pack up the family and go visit. Their reasoning is that their houses are both much bigger and much nicer than our apartment... and they're right. However, it's annoying to be the ones to always drive.

I do think you should say something. In a nice way, obviously. But just point out that it's a strain on you guys physically and financially. I think sometimes people (especially old people) just don't think about that stuff.
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  #5  
July 22nd, 2013, 06:28 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near the land of cream cheese
Posts: 5,336
I'm glad that, at least, it isn't just us, although I'm sorry that y'all have dealt with similar crap.

I may just hold firm on Saturday for our time with my dad. He finishes at 3:30 and works literally down the street from the house - you can walk there in about 10-15 minutes - and he works for the bank. It isn't something that requires a huge amount of physical exertion that would leave him exhausted and sweaty by the end of the work day. He hasn't said, "No" but he sounded like he'd rather not do that day the first time I talked to him and hasn't responded to the email I sent him last night asking if there was any way to make Saturday night work.

I just feel like we're at a point where I need to start making plans based on what works for us. I don't expect the rest of the world to bend to our needs and schedule at all times, but I would hope that our family members would willingly work with us once in awhile. Every parent has gone on vacation at least once in the last two years. They're all more established in their careers than dh is and have more vacation days to spare - most of those days get used to hang out at home, which I get - but sometimes we'd like to be able to have dh use his vacation days for days at home over Christmas or something too.

The shower is August 4th, so I'll be just shy of 36 weeks. I probably shouldn't be traveling that far along, just in case, but my MW gave me a copy of my prenatal care records the last time we traveled just to be safe so I still have that. It wouldn't be as stressful if it weren't for all of the work travel in the next two weeks right before it, which we can't do a **** thing about. I guess we'll roll with things this time, but it does feel like I'm going to have to have a conversation with at least some of our family members about future visits in the next little while.
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  #6  
July 22nd, 2013, 09:04 AM
Dolly Lama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,767
Quote:
I just feel like we're at a point where I need to start making plans based on what works for us. I don't expect the rest of the world to bend to our needs and schedule at all times, but I would hope that our family members would willingly work with us once in awhile.
There ya go...I hope life calms down for you soon.
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