Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
Every year we drag my family over to my husband’s brother’s house for Thanksgiving. He is an okay guy, but his wife is not my favorite person. She is very self-centered, brags about everything, and talks non-stop about herself. I hate going over there also because I have four young children, and they have a lot of breakables. If I hear my sister-in-law’s high pitched voice one more time of “do not touch!” I may scream! Would it be rude to tell me husband that we are not going over there this year? I know he hates it too, but feels an obligation to his family. HELP!
Stressed Wife and Mom
Dear Stressed Wife and Mom,
It is sad to say, but a lot of Americans get stressed out and do not like going to their family’s houses for the holidays. We all feel obligated for so many reasons. I think that life is too short to spend time with people who you do not want to, but I have a spouse who has better manners than I do when it comes to family obligations. Have you tried inviting them to go to your house for Thanksgiving? You have four children and getting them out the door is tough, so asking them to come to you is very reasonable. If that is not an option, when I am in a situation where I do not like talking to the people I am forced to be with, I focus on my children the whole time. Your “excuse” is that they have items in the house that cannot be touched, and you are playing with your kids to ensure nothing gets damaged. You will get to dodge unpleasant conversations, (hopefully dodge cleaning the dishes), and you will have fun spending time with your children. It will make the time go by faster, and make it less dreadful and confrontational.