I was sitting in a restaurant when, for the first time I heard my child say to me… I don’t think we can spend all day with you on Thanksgiving. As I started to tear up, I remember thinking this day would come; yet somehow I was not prepared. Is anyone ready for that? Family dynamics are changing and I needed to figure out how to get through the holidays with adult children, without the emotional breakdown.
I pulled my self together and managed to get through dinner. I wish I could say I was better when I got home, but I wasnt. Days passed and I unable to move past the emotion, taking the advice of the Disney movie Inside out got in touch with my sadness; because that’s what I do when I’m sad, watch movies. I read books, talked with other parents and finally came up with a solution that worked for our family.
How to get through the holiday
I knew if I wanted to spend time with our adult children this holiday season some flexibility is needed. Keep the traditions that are important to everyone, and create new ones. This year’s new tradition will be Pinterest Success or fail.
Remember the first time you met your in-laws, ok, maybe out-laws? It’s hard coming into a new family, so make them feel as confortable as possible. Yes, even if you don’t like them. Pull it together.
What to look out for
Both children are out of the house now, however last year a bit of a challenge. Don’t forget about the child still at home. Among my friends at least one child is still looking forward to family traditions. We had our usual traditions, Thanksgiving breakfast and Christmas boxes on Christmas Eve. While plans were made, something arose and we were left to decide if we wait for the other child or keep tradition for our daughter. This is not easy for anyone.
In my case, the kids didn’t want to participate in activities without the other, not gonna lie, this was frustrating a time or two as we waited for one to arrive. I wanted it to be a relaxing event and it wasn’t always the case. Sometimes we had to rush through it without really experiencing it and one event was canceled all together. It takes time to prepare for some activities and can be frustrating when we rush through.
This year will be a little different, my approach will be to make a tentative plan, explain which events are important and why. I am creating the Christmas Eve boxes; only this year we are opening them up the day before. I want to enjoy the evening and see the reaction of them opening the personalized box. Can’t wait!
What I learned so far
We may not connect with everyone our children bring home, but they are guest in our home and we want them to feel important too. Trust me, if you are not happy with whom they brought home, the other person is not happy with you either. #truthbomb, they know! For generations we moms think we are hiding it, we are not. So be genuine in your approach, no judgments.
Being flexible is the key, does holiday dinner need to be on the holiday? For example this year, our future son in law has to work and will not be able to attend our family tradition of going to the movies on Thanksgiving. On his suggestion, we will spend the day together on Saturday: food, decorate the tree and family movie. So far he’s a keeper, but just so you know, I’m team Ashley!
Perhaps this is the year your children take over some of the traditions, with will be a wonderful bonding experience, they always call mom for help. I love it.
Good luck ladies, holidays should be fun, don’t forget to take time for yourself. The more relaxed and happy you are the happier your family is too. There is always peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate.
I will be adding the Pinterest Success or Fail on my instagram stories if you want to check it out.