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Monday, 10 October 2011 11:29

Thanksgiving

Brian and I are blessed with having almost all of our Grandparents still living, with the exception of only one - Brian's maternal Grandpa, who passed away only a couple of years ago.

I want to preface this by saying that I love the fact that our daughter has so many people to adore her, as I had a wonderful relationship with my Great Grandmother as a child, and I love that she will also have relationships with hers. 

However... being the oldest in our families with so many (relatively) young Grandparents has its frustrations when it comes to the holidays.  First, I'll outline what our family looks like... Brian's paternal Grandparents had three sons, of whom only one had children - Brian and his younger brother.  His maternal Grandma has a large family who rarely are able to get together for gatherings due to their number and how spread out they are.  My family is slightly more complicated... when I was a baby, my biological parents split up, and I was left with my Dad whose parents had a large hand in raising me until he remarried when I was 8.  So I have three sets of Grandparents - my bio-mother's parents, my step-mom's (who I will always refer to as 'Mom') parents, and my paternal Grandparents who are probably closer to me than Grandparents often are due to the fact that they were so much like parents to me when I was a child.

It has always been our tradition as I was growing up, to spend a half-day at home with my parents and younger brother, then juggle the other three Grandparent gatherings into the 24th, 25th and 26th of December.  Brian's family had a similar tradition. Needless to say, trying to juggle all five Grandparents plus two parents gatherings into three days is a bit of a challenge for us.

In three of these families, Celia is the first Great Grandchild.  Luckily for us, all of our maternal Grandparent families (coincidentally) are larger and have already become accustomed to the concept of spreading out the gathering or moving it to a less busy time in order to accommodate everyone.  That leaves us with two sets of Grandparents, each of our parents as well as spending our own time at home with Celia.    The most difficult part of this for me, is that one of these Brian's paternal Grandparents are completely unwilling to negotiate on the day and time of their gathering, and are offended when we can't attend whatever they have planned.  My paternal Grandparents on the other hand, are completely understanding of our difficulty and are far from offended if we are unable to attend their gathering.  This is difficult for me, since theirs is the one Grandparent gathering I would like to never miss, considering my close relationship to them - although it seems unfair to prioritize them since it isn't Brian's Grandparents fault that my mother chose to leave me (which is why our relationship is so close - my paternal Grandmother being the only mother I knew until I was 7).

Aaargh!

Anyway, I would love to bring up our daughter to enjoy holidays and the busyness of family gatherings, but I fear that our stress of trying to accommodate and appease everyone will be too evident.  Brian particularly hates these times of year - especially now that he gets to fend off all of the 'have you found a job yet?' inquiries. 

I guess it comes to down to us defining our own priorities and whether they are correct or not - or make anyone else happy or not - do what we can to make these times enjoyable for us and for our children. 

 

Read 1773 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 22:19

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