Holidays with the In-laws.....its a catch 22........it's never a win-win situation for me.
I can pack up myself and my children's things and make a 7 and half hour car ride to the In-laws in Kentucky, and for those that don't know me, a car ride with my kids can somewhat effect my sunny disposition! lol or I can overwork and over stress myself by getting my house ready for my MIL's white glove inspection if I invite them here! How is this occasion supposed to conjure up warm fuzzy feelings over spending the holidays with my husbands family???
With me going there, I spend the days before the trip doing laundry making sure my kids white clothes are white enough, and the colored clothes are bright enough, I have to make arrangements for the pets, the mail and the newspapers and the house, I have to make a huge list so that everything thing that goes down to KY makes it back up here, I have to threaten my kids at every mile marker that if they say one more word or touch one more sibling that they will have will be having road kill for their thanksgiving dinner while they sit on the side of the road waiting for our return trip back north!
I have to go over what they can say and can't say in front of the In-laws (old fashioned way of thinking when it comes to kids) I have to make sure the girls haven't packed any belly shirts or low cut tops and that my son doesn't wear his pants that bag down to his knee caps. Then I get to spend 4 days held against my will in a very small town where everybody knows everybody's business and when that is all discussed the talk turns to the weather, then everybody's ailments......arggggggg! Only to have to get back into the truck with the kids for a repeat return trip back home with me contemplating when to jump out of the moving vehicle. No wonder I lock myself in my room for 24 hours upon returning home.
And if I invite them up here, I spend at least a week stressing myself out getting the house clean enough for the MIL, while doing these marathon cleaning attacks against the dust bunnies and smudges and finger printed wall in my house it has to be done with bleach, if she doesn't smell bleach, then the house isn't clean enough and cook a fabulous meals without the benefit of using spices...especially garlic (Both the inlaws hate it) You might be wondering why I go through all that just to please her, I don't do it for her, I do it for her Son, the man who I love and married. I do it so he doesn't have to watch two women that he loves very much gripe about each other behind each other's back where he is stuck in the middle listening to it all! lol
I bite my tongue most of the time, sometimes so hard that I draw blood, but there are a few things we have learned not to do around each other.....it took years of trial and error and years of practice! I don't bring up the fact that she doesn't know how old she is exactly (something about being from a large family born in the south in their house and no birth certificates) so she doesn't know if she was born in 1920 or 1927 (yeah right!) and She won't go around telling my children what they can and can't do....that's my job and it irks me to no end when someone tries to parent my children when I'm standing right there, If Rachel wants to wear her bangs in her eyes so be it!, If Amanda wants to wear all black so be it, If Jimmy wants to grow his hair long so be it, If Melissa wants to be gone most of the time so be it, ect.
And as far as my father in law is concerened.....I love him to death but he refuses to wear his hearing aid, so everything has to be repeated 3 times at the top of your lungs, The only thing that get me through it is they love my children almost as much as I do and I love them for that! Ahhhh yes.........I just love the holidays with the In-laws!