Raising a Blended Family

Three French Hens

on December 16, 2011

Topic: Traveling

I am sooooooo happy to report that this year, for our festivities, we are STAYING PUT.  Phew.  We did the whole traveling thing last year- packed ourselves, our kid, and alllllll our presents and flew all the way across the country to my parent’s house in California.  It was a very nice holiday, and necessary for us to travel there because not only was it Christmas, it was also the first and last time we were in California before our July wedding this past summer.  Thus, last year’s holiday was filled with a strange mix of holiday celebrating and running around to do cake tastings, caterer interviews, etc for our wedding.  Crazy I tell you!!! We got home from our vacation feeling like we needed another vacation to recover from our vacation.  It was, however, ultimately a fun and happy trip.

This year, my parents and sister are coming here!  I will gladly take up the chores of cleaning the house (and OH does it need to be cleaned) and organizing our tiny space in order to fit three more people into it, if it means I do not have to drag myself, my wife, our kids, and all the presents across country again!  As an aside, the supposed deal we have with my parents is that we will alternate Christmases between Indiana and California until Shorty and I can get outselves permanently moved out to California [long term goal]- but I am here to tell you that if we have an itty bitty baby by this time next year, there is no way in hell we will be going anywhere and my parents will be coming here again. And probably the year after that.  Shhh, don’t tell them yet (we’ll cross this bridge when it comes to it).

Anyways, so my parents and sister arrive a week from today- as in, this time next week they will be here!!! I am so excited to see them but Shorty is more stressed than excited.  She has her reasons- our house really is quite small, with only two small bedrooms downstairs and then ours upstairs.  We will be moving the kids’ beds into the same room and then having my parents sleep in the other…. my sister will probably end up crashing on the couch in the family room/common space.  Add to that the fact that my mother takes after me is really quite loud and sometime overwhelming to be around, and, well… Shorty has her reasons for the stress.  Also add in a really messy house (we’re not the most organized family, although we’re working on it and a bigger space would certainly go a long way towards that in terms of letting us have somewhere to put stuff) and Shorty’s generalized anxiety of crowds and, well… okay yeah she has her reasons.  However, having grown up with my mother’s quirks and lacking the generalized anxiety of crowds, I am trying my best to reassure her that all will be ready by the time everyone arrives, and that she can always retreat to our room for a little bit of space and alone time during the week they’re here, but, well… I’m pretty sure I’m failing to convince anyone.  It doesn’t help that I just so happen to be scheduled to work this weekend (no, I can’t get out of it) and thus am unavailable during daylight hours to help ready the house (and am also leaving Shorty alone with the two kids all weekend).  Shorty is also partly convinced I will be mad at her if she disappears while we have company (no, we’ve never had that fight, why do you ask? Albeit, under different circumstances (short term, dinner-length company vs. extended family visit).  I’ve tried telling her I won’t mind and will be understanding, but it’s not really working.  So in spite of my excitement to see my family, there is also a generalized air of stress with a side of worry hanging over Shorty and thus, over me.  So we’ll see.  In the end, I’m really hoping she can enjoy herself and not be too stressed out about it, since for me the excitement I feel over family visiting and holiday funness far outweighs any stress.  I understand, however, that the same is not true for her and that she has a right to her feelings. Sigh.


As a side note- in general, Shorty gets along really well with my mom, minus the times she gets overwhelmed.  And Shorty and my dad get along great.    Two peas in a pod, those two are.  Shorty and my sister… well, not always, but that’s more because my sister has a tendency to act exactly like what she is- a 13 year old little sister.  Also, I think we may both still be holding a little grudge against her that she woke up first last Christmas at FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING and then proceeded to wake our five year old up, after which the entire household was forced to get up because who tells a five year old to go back to sleep on Christmas morning?  Not us.  I swear if she pulls that crap again this year I will throw her into a mud puddle or something… but I digress.  The issue here is not that we don’t all get along… it’s that too little space will strain even the best familial relationships.


***Also as another side note, it feels worth mentioning that the original plan was for my parents to stay in a nearby hotel, except for on Christmas Eve.  I miss this plan….. I liked this plan.  However, once the plane tickets were bought and we began to talk, my mother seemingly forgot this plan ever existed.  Sigh.


Final side note: I’m sorry. This post was not meant to be so whiney.  I guess I started typing and realized how stressful it is for family to come and visit.  Sorry guys- happier posts later.


One response to “Three French Hens

  1. I hope everything goes well with your family’s visit.

    Would you consider calling in a house cleaner to help Shorty prepare?

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