As you may have gathered so far, the big deal with Thanksgivings in my family isn’t the turkey so much as the family gathering. Now that I’m married, that includes my husband’s family. This is my second Thanksgiving trying to balance the two families. I have come to one major conclusion after this Thanksgiving: I don’t particularly like my in-laws.
I suppose I’ve also come to appreciate just how awesome my parents are. They have met my in-laws and understand the pressure they put on us to spend time with them, so my parents are determined to be the exact opposite. As a result, we end up spending much more time with my parents. I’d much rather have a relaxing, no-pressure holiday than one riddled with family “obligations” and manipulative in-laws.
The worst part is that PJ is a pawn in all of this drama. M’s parents want to see PJ, not us really. We got a call from the MIL early this morning; she was bawling because it was so lonely without us around. Never mind that she was surrounded by family and that we were planning to go out of our way to spend the afternoon and evening with her. It was all a ploy to get us to leave my parents and the huge feast they had prepared to spend time with her instead.
The MIL is bad about sharing her time with anybody else as well. As soon as we got over to where she was staying with all the relatives this afternoon, she all but kidnapped PJ. She made us feel guilty if we tried to take him away to comfort him while he was crying, or if he voluntarily crawled to one of us. He hasn’t seen her in over a month; it will take some time for him to remember her. Instead she lays the guilt trip on us that she hasn’t seen him more recently for him to remember her.
I really want to speak my mind to her, but the relationship is still so new and so fragile that I don’t want to ruin what we have. I also know the type of woman she is. She will assume if I try to lay down the law that I hate her and manipulate me into apologizing to her for her being the kind of woman she is. Yeah, I know it doesn’t make any sense.
Man, would it feel good to say that stuff, though. “You know, the road goes both ways. Why don’t you take a long weekend to visit us instead of making us feel guilty for not spending every free second with you?” Or “When we ask you not to give him sugar or caffeine, that’s what we mean. Give PJ back if you can’t follow our simple rules.”
It really worries me that the general rule is that men marry women just like their mothers. I should just shoot myself if I start turning into his mother. I never want to put my son through what she has put M through, or PJ’s future wife through the frustration I’ve experienced over the last two years.
I guess this confession has turned into more of a rant, but I have finally said what was on my mind when I started this blog so many months ago. M is the only person who understands my feelings about this, so I suppose it is a confession of sorts. If this post, or large parts of it, disappear in the next few days, then I chickened out again, afraid that somebody else from real life will discover it. Obviously I am so worried about this fragile relationship with my MIL that I will destroy evidence of my true feelings to spare hers. That’s a good sign at least, right?