Holiday Problems Already

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Christmas is coming, and many of us know how hard the holiday season is on difficult child kids. Two years ago my sister in law decided that the family needed to go out for dinner on Christmas Eve, which is something that we had never done before. Trying to be flexible and make her happy, we agreed to go, but I asked that we eat on the early side. The reservations needed to be no later than 5:00 pm and I was not going to wait a long time to be seated. A five or ten minute wait is one thing, but I could not wait for 20 or 30 minutes for a table for 12 people with difficult child. At first she balked and made the reservations for 6:30, but after I told her that she had to change them, sister in law did. If anyone has ever gone out for dinner on Christmas Eve you can guess how it went. Service was V E R Y S L O W and difficult child had a mini meltdown at the table.

    Last year sister in law and brother in law again said that we needed to go out for dinner on Christmas Eve. I had a long heart to heart with my in-laws and they agreed with me that going out was not a good idea. sister in law/brother in law were angry about it because "the decision [not to go out for dinner] was made without them." Really, what they were angry about was that we weren't doing what they wanted, because had we chosen to go out they would have been fine with it. Sadly, sister in law, who I was fairly close with before this, made the choice not to really speak to me after that. If we have a family get together she's nice and chatty to me, but she doesn't talk to me outside of that. If she needs to get in touch with us she has brother in law (husband's brother) call us. She doesn't come to any of the kids activities anymore and refused to come to difficult child's confirmation last year. Whatever.

    I was talking to mother in law this afternoon and I asked if anybody had thought about Christmas Eve. She got quiet. I asked her what was wrong (although I already knew the answer) and she said that brother in law had actually brought up Christmas Eve to her said that he "can't understand what [my] problem is because it was so nice to everyone when we went out for dinner." Apparently, I ruined their holiday last year because I didn't want to go out for dinner that night.

    Honestly, I don't know what to do. I told her that I would talk to husband about it. I think she wants to do what sister in law/brother in law want to do to keep the peace. In all honestly, I wouldn't mind going out, but brother in law/sister in law refuse to understand that difficult child has limitations that a kid like easy child just doesn't have. They just think I'm a bad mother and am giving in.
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    How bout having them go to dinner with husband, have husband order for you and difficult child, and then text or call you when the order has been placed. You and difficult child can show up for dinner. That way you're there for dinner, but you minimize the down time for difficult child?

    It's a shame brother in law can't understand what a challenge it is for you guys. But.... yeah, families can be challenging.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can't you let them go and catch up to them later or just have a quiet Christmas Eve at home? Having a difficult child changes things and we can't always accommodate family and friends and, if they get angry about it, then it in my opinion is their problem, not yours. It is hard to never get somebody in the family ticked off at some time :)
  4. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    I can relate to the changing relationship with your sister in law thing. That has happened to me as well, partly because of difficult child, and partly because sister in law herself is a piece of work. It's not fun to see someone's true colors sometimes...
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I really agree with you and difficult child showing up "when the soups on". If you don't live with a difficult child it is impossible for you to really get it. Looking back over the decades I think I either arrived late or left early in order to keep the chaos to a minimum. We parents tagteamed as an alternative. Good luck. DDD
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Kind of makes you wonder what the meaning of Christmas is, doesn't it? I don't think it is supposed to be something that stresses everyone out--just to go out to dinner on Christmas Eve? If I knew it was going to be hard for a relative I hope I would remember what the season is all about and try to relieve their stress, not add to it!
  7. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Does brother in law not remember the mini meltdown your difficult child had?

    Also maybe you could have husband explain to brother in law that sitting there trying to keep the meltdown from happening and then having to deal with the meltdown is NOT pleasant for you or your family. While others may be relaxed and enjoying their meal you all are gritting your teeth and praying nothing happens to set off difficult child. If they can't understand that then I would say just say I'm sorry but we can't eat out because of difficult child.

    I get that your mother in law wants to give them what they want but this is a holiday for family it should be about what is best for the family not just sister in law and brother in law.
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I think slsh has a brilliant idea. Can you get menus ahead of time, decide what you would like to order, then show up when the food arrives? I think that is a great solution and will make everybody happy. I'm sorry your family isn't more understanding. I hope you find something that works for everybody.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Thanks for the replies. I think what I'm going to do is suggest to my in-laws that if they want to go out with brother in law/sister in law they can go. I'll cook dinner here for my family and then everyone can meet back here at our house for dessert and presents.

    brother in law/sister in law have no kids. No one knows if that is by choice at this point, or if they are trying for a baby and having problems conceiving. They don't confide in anyone, so we don't know what the story is. The girl who was her maid of honor just announced she's expecting, so if they are having infertility issues she is bound to be upset by that. They have no idea what it's like to be a parent, let alone the parent of a difficult child child!