The Holidays Are Becoming An Issue (Already)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Usually, I cook at my house for Christmas Eve. Last year things changed. I was cooking for Christmas Day and I said that I would not do both Eve and Day. mother in law said she would cook for Christmas Eve, but sister in law jumped in and suggested (more like insisted) that we go out for dinner instead. I was reluctant, because I know how difficult child can be, but I was the only one who saw a problem, so I shut my mouth and agreed to go. difficult child had a mini meltdown at the restaurant and I had to practically sit on him to prevent him from running out screaming profanity all along the way. After he got his food he was fine, but until then I really thought it was going to be a disaster.

    This year I had a heart to heart with mother in law/father in law and told her that going out was way to stressful for me to deal with. I can't trust difficult child and his behavior. mother in law said that she would cook for Christmas Eve to make things easier for me.

    Then today I get a text from sister in law suggesting that we go out for Christmas Eve again. I told her that mother in law had mentioned to me about cooking, but that I would speak to mother in law when they get back (they are visiting husband's other brother and are due home sometime today). sister in law says to me, "Well, I talked to them about this last week and they mentioned nothing about staying home to me, so I don't know why they would say that to you." She insists that going out it "so relaxing" for everyone and she can't understand why I don't want to go. I told her that what is relaxing to one person is another person's nightmare. That my son had a meltdown at the table and I was not going to put myself through that again. She has no idea what I go through on a daily basis to parent this kid. I didn't want to go last year, but I was trying to make everyone happy, so I did what was against my better judgment and I was not going to do it again. I did what everyone else wanted for all of the holidays last year and this year it was my turn to get what I need.

    We'll see how it goes, but I REALLY do not want to go out.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    you should be able to have some input into the holiday plans. If going out is insisted upon, can you allow difficult child to bring a small hand-held game like a ds or something with him and a little appetizer (crackers/fruit slices, etc.) to keep him occupied. I used to do that with my difficult child. I would rather he attended the family stuff and be preoccupied but present, than not to participate at all.....Maybe your difficult child, being a year older, would be more responsible this year?

    It's tough making others understand our daily challenges.

  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I would decline the invite. You have made it clear to everyone that going out is not in your son's best interest and very stressful. You tried last year and everyone will be together the next day also.

    I would hope that after you make it clear that you are not taking difficult child out your mother in law will stick to her plans of cooking at her house.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If you do decide to try this again can you have someone order for you and then arrive closer to when the meal is served since he was more settled once the food came?

    i remember my difficult child could not handle the lights of a resturaunt. He was also unable to deal with the sounds and distractions. It was not relaxing for him.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Maybe you should stay home and have a quiet Christmas Eve just with your family. I like those types of holidays the most and bet difficult child would too! It's not his fault he can't handle the excitement of going out and it's not your fault either and neither of you need to be stressed out that way.
  6. TheBoyHasArrived

    TheBoyHasArrived New Member

    The wait between order and food arrival is killer. We try to show up late and skip much of the wait time, which does the trick for DS.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Personally? I'd stay home.

    If you decide to go, call the restaurant ahead of time and pre-order the appetizers. Explain that for medical reasons, one of the people in this group will need food as soon as you arrive. I learned this trick from some diabetic friends. They would always make the reservation... and always do this pre-order of appetizers... and then they would have their insulin just before walking into the restaurant. If THEY can do it... so can difficult child. It's a different medical need, but... he NEEDS food, fast. You said that once the food came, he was fine...
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We go out to restaurants all the time, so I know it's not the fact that we gout "out". The funny thing about it was that he was patient while waiting for drinks and appetizers, which he ate, so it was not like he was hungry. There was food on the table for him to eat. For some reason he just got it in his head that he had been waiting way too long for his dinner and he was not going to wait anymore. He was going to leave. Honestly, I think it was the anticipation of Christmas Eve that was the problem.

    I spoke to mother in law last night and she didn't seem happy because she told mother in law that the plan was to have dinner at her house. mother in law gets it (after many years of saying it was my fault, she has finally seen the light!) and she will do what I need. sister in law/brother in law have no kids, and consequently, no idea what I go though as the mom of a difficult child.

    Thanks for the support. I was supposed to talk to husband about this last night, but I feel asleep on the couch. Guess I'll deal with it sometime tonight.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good for mother in law! Maybe you could start a new tradition with the kids on Xmas eve after the evening meal so you can get out quicker. We always went out looking at the lights on Xmas eve and then came home for hot cocoa.

    Well actually in my family because we were just the two of us and then the boys, we just went out to see the lights and came home for oyster stew and hot cocoa and then put the boys in new pj's then to bed. Then Tony and I got very busy putting toys
  10. Thank goodness your mother in law understands and was willing to cook for Christmas Eve. It is so important to have the support of family.

    I'm glad that worked out for you. Guess sister in law will just have to deal with it - not that it changes anything for her - she's still not cooking - just showing up somewhere else to eat.

  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    It's wonderful that you have a mother in law who "gets it!" I always loved the holidays until I had difficult children. There were many years I just couldn't wait for them to be over with. No one on either side of our family "got it." My difficult children were always at their difficult child "best" as they just couldn't handle all the excitement, etc... Talk about sensory overload to the max!!

    I always tried to keep the peace by going along with whatever plans were made. If I had to do it all over again, I would do things totally differently. I would explain to family why we couldn't participate in certain activities, go out to dinner, etc... If they didn't understand, too bad!!

    I wouldn't worry about your sister in law. As welcometowitsend said, your sister in law still isn't doing the cooking, just going somewhere else to eat. Just my two cents... SFR
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad to hear that your mother in law gets it. That can be a huge help.

    My difficult child really escalates during any large gathering, making his behaviour darn-near unmanageable. I suppose I'm GFG_ish enough not to let the plans of others ride roughshod over my sanity. I've never been much for keeping the peace at the expense of my difficult child's well-being, and if the family plans didn't work for us for some reason, we would bow out and do something else.

    I agree with the others not to worry about your sister in law.
  13. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks, everyone.

    mother in law told brother in law/sister in law that if we do not go out we will be eating at her house. I actually still haven't talked to husband about it.

    I think that one of the reasons that sister in law wants to go out is because she doesn't like what we cook that night. We're Italian and it's fish fish fish all night long. Not that she doesn't like seafood. I just don't think it's what she wants. Plus, she does not have the relationship with my in-laws that I have, but that's her choice. I think that she is uncomfortable going to things with brother in law's side of the family and would rather be on neutral ground, or even better for her, her own ground if you know what I mean. She grew up the only child of a single mother is used to having things her own way. Well, she married into a family of three boys, all of whom are married. The other wives (me, included) try to keep the peace, but I'm not going along to get along this time. From what I've been told, she's not happy about it, either.
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If the food is the issue for her, can something be added that she does like? Ask what her family traditions where and try to include those? Maybe if she sees you are all trying to include her in the food choices the evening will go better?

    Maybe a round of memories at the table will put her at ease. As each person describes a holiday memory, she won't feel that she is being left out and won't have to think about what to talk about. You all then might pick up on a conversation starter later to get more info if you want.
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Bunny, I think you've pegged it. If your sister in law is accustomed to always getting her way and never having to share decisions with other family members, then she's in the "rude awakening" phase of joining a larger family. If everyone's accommodated her until now, then her rude awakening will be that much bigger. If you're the first family member to push back, then no doubt she thinks this is a case of you being unreasonable, rather than doing what's best for your child and your family.

    Andy's suggestions about figuring out a way to help her fit into the larger group better are great. Very glad to hear that your mother in law is on your side. I wouldn't be surprised if your other sister in law is also relieved.

    Hope everything turns out wonderfully.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm relieved for you that things look like they'll work out. For us any destination is a risk but at least at a house there is not the general public to worry about. Our family tried the dice game for the kids to get gift certificates etc. It was so hard for q but actually two other kids ended up crying over it. When it was suggested again I kind of said ...maybe not...and it was the big kids who all said no way! That caused too much stress for everyone (we made sure everyone got equal packages and it was fair but wow! ) so grateful when family backs me up....and it was cool the big kids were the most supportive. One nephew even sits by me and distracts q when he seems stressed or mad at me. It's like a lightbulb went off and he realized q is actually disabled not only a pita!
    Holidays are hard enough. I'm thrilled to hear your mother in law is starting to get it!