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Ah, family

After the fun and excitement that was Christmas, I have a question that maybe y'all can help me with...

Eric and I are running into issues with the relatives, with regards to the holidays. Y'see, his mom is the type to welcome everyone in the world into her family with open arms. His family is much closer (geographically) and bigger than mine is - my mom is the only one who lives in the same time zone as I, anymore. We ended up spending both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with his family (we spent the weekend before Christmas with my mom), and the entire time, all I heard was how his mom's "only regret" was that my mom couldn't "be here with us this year." She invited Mom for Thanksgiving, too, and was turned down then, too.

Mom and Eric's parents have met maybe three or four times, including the wedding. It's not that my mom doesn't like his family, it's that she's done with the big family events thing and she just doesn't feel comfortable with it. No matter what Mom tells his mom directly, his mom always bugs me about it, laying on the guilt.

So, my question is, how do I deal with my mother-in-law when she brings this up again? (And she will...she always does...) Is there a polite way to tell her that my mom doesn't WANT to be a part of the family, thanks all the same?

(x-posted to thequestionclub)



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Dec. 27th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Not that she doesn't want to be part of the "family". There is no way to politely say that.

But to say "My mother isn't comfortable in large groups for Holidays" should be. If, after that, she won't drop it (and you know I love Eric and his fam too), you need to say to her "Please, this is causing stress between us, I've told you how my mother feels. Please drop this, so we can have a less stressful holiday time. That's what I look forward to with you."

Hopefully, that helps. (Trust me, I have hindsight aplenty).
Dec. 27th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
I've known Eric's mom for more years than I want to think about, and frankly, there's no real chance. She believes that the world works the way she thinks it works, not how it really does, and she will hold on to that viewpoint until she dies. In her head, no one can possibly be all right not spending Xmas with a huge group of family, whether it's theirs or not. So frankly, there's no polite way to tell her otherwise. She will not take a hint.

Dec. 28th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Completely off topic: "Hey! This is your friendly nano_year co-mod, here to drop you a little reminder about next year's big event. There'll be way bunches of stuff flying around in the new year, so just thought I'd let you know. :) We're still happy to answer any questions you have, just go post 'em on the community. Good luck!"
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