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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dealing with the In-laws

The holidays are over and, if you're like me, you spent them with a bunch of family.  To make things a little smoother among my side's currently 25-person roster, it was decided to rotate the holidays between spouse families.  This year - Thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve with my side of the family and Christmas day with my husband's side.  Next year, we flip the order. However, this formula always gets a little bit more complicated than the set plan.  Something always happens where it ends up being half days with each side of the family all week.

Maybe splitting holiday commitments sounds familiar to you?  It's hard to please all family, especially when the families are not very far from one another.  In our case, both my side of the family and my husband's live within 30 minutes of each other.  Now, add in whatever drama that is unique to your family (and we have some too), and suddenly it feels like someone put you on top of a spinner. 

Don't get me wrong, I love both sides of my families and even like them :).  But it is hard not to be biased toward my biological side.  Especially considering the fact that you have had however many more years of holidays and experiences (good and bad) than what you married into.  So how do you make sure that both sides feel you don't hate/ aren't avoiding them?  You can't! Fully at least. 
What has worked from my experience...
1. Make trip plans known and clear
2. Spend quality time with both sides if quantity isn't an option
3. Do not put it all on you if it doesn't work out.  It happens, spending quality time with every single person is like getting a straight flush in poker.  And some people would rather sit around in quantity time anyway!

Also, don't forgot Genesis 2:24 - "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."  Being married and having a family of our own eliminates the "ok, you can go back to doing your own thang when we are doing this or that."  Gatherings will become complicated as the family grows, but you still have to take care of your own family.  David and I make sure that even in all of the hustle and bustle of spending time with family because it allows us to make sure our relationship and family is healthy - which provides us with the opportunity to truly enjoy our time with family. 

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