Visiting Family

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Meagen Image, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    My husband and I live in Edinburgh. My Mum and Granny live in Poland, two hour's plane flight away. His parents (New Mum and New Dad) live in a small Scottish town four hours' drive away. His sister, who is Best Sis-in-Law, is currently staying with us.

    I like both our families and I don't mind spending time with them, but any visit requires an allotment of spoons for travel, travel preparations, social interaction, and general routine-disruption.

    I have made plans and purchased tickets to go to Poland for the last week of April. And now Best Sis-in-Law has informed us that she is going down to their parents' and it is strongly suggested that my husband and I come down "for a few days" to help out with stuff in the house and office (New Dad runs a webhosting/design business and the family pitches in as they can).

    In between those times, New Mum is coming up to Edinburgh with one of her friends (who apparently does not get along well with my husband) and they'll be staying in our flat for a couple days. And if we want to avoid the social interactions, we can always go down to the parents' again and help out more during that time.

    That adds up to more or less a whole month spent on Family/recovering from Family. I'm not sure if I can do it. But New Dad really does need the help (the business is not doing well). And New Mum is the sweetest person ever and not in the best of health (heart troubles) and I want to help her if I can. And of course my Mum wants to see me more often if possible and what little remains of Granny is always so happy to see me because it might be the last time.

    Advice or reassurances would be appreciated.
  2. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    That sounds like Either fun but really draining or totally hellish, depending. If you do all that, you have totally earned a month to do fuck all in your free time. And also recommend making lots of time for soothing whenever you can steal it. Like, new dad is compiling something? Dont small talk, go somewhere quiet for those five minutes and do something soothing, whether you really /need/ it yet or not. Stay ahead of the game i guess, as much as possible?

    Good luck!
    • Like x 1
  3. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    I think you have a couple of options here. One is just to say that you can't go to your husband's parents at this time. "Sorry, I feel bad about this but with work/school/the-cats/whatever-it-is-you-do-in-Edinburgh and our trip to Poland late April we just can't afford any more time away this month". And, if someone queries, don't try to explain the details, (because then they can argue about them), just say "Sorry, it's just not possible right now." Repeat as per a broken record until the questioner gives up if need be.

    A second option is if there's anything your in-laws can do for you that would make up for the spoons you'd lose in going to help them out, you can negotiate. The order is to say "If you do [x] then I can visit and help with the business." The order is important. Obviously x should be something that really helps you, and ideally something that's low cost for them to do.

    On the New Mum friend's staying, when you say this friend "apparently does not get along well with my husband", do you mean that this is rumour, or has the friend said or done something that makes it evident that they dislike your husband? Because if it's the latter, you'd be within your rights to refuse to have this friend to stay (you're allowed to refuse any guests anyway for any reason, but rudeness to your host is a very good reason to not be offered overnight hospitality).
    • Like x 1
  4. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm back from the in-laws' place. New Mum shared some throat virus and now I'm feeling sickish. I think I will celebrate in the spirit of the current holiday by being dead to the world until Sunday.

    All I know about the friend is that my husband said she is welcome to visit but she is never getting to stay a night in his house again. But Favourite Sis-in-Law is trying to push for Mum and Friend to stay here because then she can use that as a reason to send us back to the parents. (Favourite Sis-in-Law is generally a cool person but can sometimes get pushy. I have had to explain to her that even if my husband and I do spend too much time at the computer, she cannot establish a curfew because we are adults and this is our house, and she has no authority over us.)
    • Like x 1
  5. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    If you don't want to do something then don't JADE - justify, argue, defend, excuse. Just broken record. Or if you're feeling lazy, just total silence. It's awfully empowering.

    And if your husband doesn't want anyone in your guys house, then no way. Ditto for you.
  6. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    Oh, absolutely, in most cases I'd do that. Only Favourite Sis-in-Law babysits pre-schoolers so I didn't want to give her grounds to treat me like a "stubborn child". Hence, "you have fundamentally misunderstood the power dynamic in play between us, and frankly you're being patronizing as hell, stop that." *Then* the silence on the topic. :)

    I have little trouble disagreeing if I genuinely don't want to do something. The main trouble in the situation is that I want to help. Even if I know helping will drain a huge chunk of my spoons, I feel bad about not helping.
  7. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    This is why people take up alcoholism as an all-consuming hobby.
  8. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    So is there something they can do for you which would save you spoons?
  9. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    I'm getting money from my parents! Money helps relieve lack-of-money-related stress, thus saving on spoons. :)
    • Like x 1
  10. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    Update: It is currently 1:30 AM here, and it will be time to leave for the airport for my flight to Poland in just about three hours! I have not slept since I woke up at 8 AM last morning.

    As always, the travel-related anxiety and the "wheee go places see things shiny new things" of ADHD are giving me just enough energy to successfully navigate the airport rigamarole. It is always the same rigamarole each time too, so that gets a small circumstance bonus for being routine in its own way. I am a seasoned air traveller, I know every step of this dance and I have taken every possible shortcut. They're not going to catch me unawares.

    (But if something does change at the last minute and I miss it then I'll ruin everything and waste a lot of money and everyone will be disappointed, it'll be horrible and I'll have to do it all over again until I get it right. No pressure.)

    I have my passport, I've got my boarding pass, I got meds, I got money. I've packed a small amount of clothes - I keep a stockpile of clothes and toiletries at my mum's place in Poland, and if I need anything we can just buy it.

    Probably best not to think about the stay itself for now. Just get through the trip and then play it from there.
    • Like x 1
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