Am I being petty???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mog, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. mog

    mog Member

    My husband is out of town playing driver for my brother as you may recall he got a dwi. His wife and son and my other nephew (little sisters son) are all living with me including their dog (Lab) He is a big baby and so clumsy poor guy. He knocks stuff down with his tail and both my dogs close their eyes just waiting to get smacked in the face. Anyway, that is all fine -just small ups and downs--did not realize how much I had become accustomed to it being just me and husband. So got that going on--easy child bio daughters car broke down again so she took the family van off the college--she was NOT happy (maybe now she will appreciate her car and stop driving it into the ground) don't know when we will have the money to fix it- she might be using her bike a lot this coming semester. Well the thing that is kinda bugging me is that I am not going to be able to put up my Christmas town-first time in 15 years. I was not going to put it up the one year that my kids were being jerks but went to work and when I got home THEY had put it up. I told easy child that I wasn't going to be able to and she asked why so I told her that since dad is gone I do not have any help. She turned to her boyfriend and said he can help he is unemployed to which he replied I have my own house to do. (He just moved) then she said -you have to teenage boys living here why cant they help to which my sister in law said they have school and acts to take. She looked at her and said yeah -so did I and I was working but it still got done. My sister in law then said that they had to work on the other house so my easy child rolled her eyes and walked off. FYI -my sister in law gives those boys jobs to do at the other house but until she yells at them or I make them go do it--all they do is sit around here and play games. I am now frustrated and don't even want their help!!!It's hard too because they know my financial situation but my sister in law talks about expensive gifts that she is getting for her kids--fine--but they will be living here all the while I can not afford anything for my kids. easy child will be the only one home again this year and is getting her boots re heeled for school, paying her phone bill, insurance and her car registration. That is it!! My sister in law knows that every year I give my kids stuff in their stocking for 12 days before Christmas but this year I can't and she commented that she is going to have to buy her family new stockings to do that since theirs are all packed. I love them to death and offered my home while they get the house ready but I feel kinda cheated since the one thing that I was looking forward to(putting up my town) I will not be able to do.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I would feel a bit cheated also, but since you made the choice to open your home to them, you will have to make some compromises. Can you put up part of the town, but not the entire town? Is there a windowsill or tabletop that can accomodate part of the town, say, the church or green? Maybe you can find a space in your bedroom so you can enjoy it in there - just for you!

    In regards to the dogs, can you buy one of those inexpensive ($10 at walmart) folding gates to keep the dogs contained to certain areas of the house during certain times of the day/night? That would cut down on some of that chaos you're feeling.

    Have you gone over chores with everyone and does everyone have a specific task to perform daily?

    Are your guests contributing in any way financially to help defray some of the extra costs associated with their living in your home?

    IMVHO, I think you need to think about these things. After all, it is YOUR home and you are entitled to enjoy your home and personal space even while you open it up to those in need. And those in need should feel an obligation to be the best houseguests ever but should also be able to feel comfortable in their own space - Know what I mean?? That means everyone compromises, gives a little, takes a little, is considerate of one another and tries not to get on each other's nerves. The offering of money helps, heh heh heh. I understand your sister in law's desire to provide a nice Christmas for her kiddos, but she should realize that it's not about the gifts this year. This year, it's about family being together and helping each other out.

    Big Hugs~
  3. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    No, you're not being petty BUT considering your situation, it is what it is. I don't know your religious orientation and it is none of my business but if I were feeling that way about the Christmas holiday approaching, I think I'd go to church and soak up the reason for the season and let the expensive presents and Christmas town and all of the other stuff be secondary.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I don't think you are being petty. I think the ideas suggested are good ones. I think whatever it takes to feel good again about your offer to have houseguests, needs to be done. I think its time for a healthy, air clearing, honest heart to heart with your houseguests. Something like: I was and still am happy to offer to give you all a place to stay while your house is in the works. What I didn't realize was the big adjustment it would require since I'm used to it being just husband and I. I'm sure you all can understand that (Insert big smile!). I think we need to set some stuff into motion to make it a enjoyable experience for all of us and to help me adapt to sharing my home, especially during a holiday period that means a lot to me, with another large group and the extra dog. Here's how things would work best as far as I see and after I explain what I think would help this go smoothly, I'm open to anything any of you can suggest to make this all go smoothly.
    1) I'm going to implement a chore system/chart that outlines expectations of everyone. This will include regular routine upkeep, meals, and additional tasks that concern the household such as decorating the household for the holidays, etc.
    2) I'm going to ask you to pick up a inexpensive baby gate so we can use it at times when things are hectic, to limit the roaming space for the dog, especially in areas where some very important decorations will be placed etc
    3) I'm asking that you all appreciate the fact that while we've asked nothing in return for your staying here, we are struggling already and unable to do our normal basic traditions this holiday with our kids for many reasons, and we also anticipate a increased billing period for utilities with a larger household for the next while. Out of respect for our inability to follow through on certain gifting traditions etc, I'm asking that if you choose to exchange lavish gifts, stockings etc, that you enjoy that together elsewhere. You are welcome for all other festivities, but given our inability to do for our kids the things we'd usually do, it seems unfair for them to come visit at home and watch others having a more lavish experience of gifting. Instead, when we are together as a group we can keep our focus this holiday on enjoying some good food, each others company, and the ability to spend time with one another.
  5. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Mattsmom, I like your ideas very much! And I don't think you are being petty, Mog.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Mog -

    Hey girl - WOW you sure are having a lot going on right now. And you are really being a great sport about it, and so humble too. For that? You gets a cookie. Maybe two. Good on ya - because lesser women would have already blown a gasket. Especially when labby the wonder tail had my kids squinting. UGH. You can't help but love a labs generous spirit - but our friends have a lab that has literally bloodied her tail with the perpetual wag and had to have surgery and a bandage of sorts. Looked like helter-skelter in their house. Awful. I suggested one of those pipe-insulator foam things - (it was not taken seriously, but not a bad suggestion).

    I think everyone here gave you awesome suggestions - and the thought of expensive gifts being given vs. your having to give either no gifts or limited gifts when you are used to starting today and giving for 12 days is hard. Traditions that can't be kept after so many years? Yeah - that's hard. And your village? Well with labby the happy tail? I would think hearts had the great idea - one special piece in the bedroom to remind you of how wonderful Christmas is and how AWESOME you are in spirit for sharing your house - that is really a lovely gesture. Like Mutt said - it is what it is. I think guests like fish stink after about 3 days. Ya gotta know though that this isn't easy for her either - they're missplaced too - and they also have traditions so - maybe a 50/50 vision on this even though she seems like she's being rude and extravagant - think this - if she was in her house? She'd do the same thing - she's not going to stop what she's used to just because she's in your home. Sad but true - she is who she is - and sadly - she's unable to consider your feelings. The fact that YOU WOULD - were the tables turned should make you happy that at least you have the ability to empathise, and sympathize in a situation - the fact that she doesn't? Well to me? Makes you a bit of a better person. Sad that she can't see that - and will go through life without those abilities you have. You are two very different people. You don't have to tell her that, you can't explain it to her - it is - what it is. She has gifts - you have gifts - your's is insight into human feelings. I'm glad you have that ability. Feel pity for her. Move on and continue to hold your head high.

    Now as far as the gift giving? MAKE THIS FUN. The poorest year we ever had with just me and my son? Was one of the most fun. We got magazines - and cut out the things that we would get each other - just the paper pictures and wrapped them - I know - sounds lame huh? But it was fun. We had NOTHING. We had lost our home, I nearly lost my life - and my mind. I mean we were picking things up on the street corner to furnish our home - and if it hadn't been for the Marines? I wouldn't have even had a toy for Dude - the people that turned us in that year - God Bless whomever they were (still makes me cry - excuse me) even managed to get us a tree and trimmings delivered to our door - and left it sit this day I have (crusty - crying now) idea. We had food in a basket...someone donated for our little dinner and when my son woke up? He had gifts under that tree and all I could do was cry - he handed me the pictures wrapped up with the little paper he colored in crayons of the things he would get me if we were rich. What I realized at that moment - we were the richest people in the world.....and I haven't forgotten it. We had each other, we had a place to live, we had electricity, food - and love. The rest were trimmings.

    So despite all the other things that you WANT - and all the other things that you think you NEED to make your Christmas? Remember this - YOU HAVE everything already that you would WISH for if you didn't already have it. Then hand out magazines and tell everyone to get creative - and cut out 12 things that they would give each other - and each day - in the order they would GIVE them - sit and hand them out. Let Ms. fancy spendy money - top that love. She won't come close. The laughter you will share - the memories you will create - and the scrap books you can come up with ? Priceless. And besides - if you ever did hit the lotto? MAN - will your family have some things to live up to. (wink)

    Merry Christmas mog -
    Love and Hugs -
  7. mog

    mog Member

    Thanks to all. I am catholic and I do run off to the church and regroup or go to my room and let them have the living room. I don't let the dogs in all the time and do feel sorry of this poor dog that never gets any attention. I am feeling very worthless this season that I have no money-no job. In the past, putting up my town was one of the holiday things that really brought the family together. It's just hard knowing that this year it won't happen. I had earlier in the year told some of my friends that I would like to have a night when everyone came over to look at the town and bring their favorite cookies and whatever they wanted to drink. I thought it would be a neat way to get together and share without spending money on everyone. I know that the season is not about gifts but it still hurts that I can't give my family anything. They are grown and I am sure will be understanding. I think too that things won't be so ugh! after husband comes back. WE have never been apart this long.