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Old 07-26-2011, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 31,635,036 times
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I've been in FL 21 years, I've gone home to MO for Christmas twice, too cold!!!!!
I go home and visit in the summer.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:07 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 16,127,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Glad to see I am not alone in this thread, although I was probably a bit too harsh on the OP originally. In that regard, I thank the OP for accepting my comments with such good grace. Our basic underlying attitudes and assumptions about family ties differ greatly. Some of us really resent relatives trying to control us and manipulate us with guilt trips and by other means. (As anyone can see from reading my posts, I am part of this group). Others accept being joined at the hip with extended family as the norm and do not experience any dissonance with everything that implies.

It is hard for the two groups to have a conversation because the unspoken and deep-seated feelings are so different. Nonetheless we are having that conversation in this thread, and we've had it in other theads. I have a female cousin whom I like a lot personally. She and her kids and grandkids are all joined at the hip; they live close to one another (a 45-minute drive max) and none of them would remotely consider having it any other way. As long as everybody is happy, fine. However, it is so sad when somebody with a bit more autonomy wants to break out of the mold, be it for reasons of career, adventure, or whatever else, and that person gets the third degree from other family who feel their unity somehow threatened. I think we ought to raise our children to become autonomous, self-directed adults.

While I stand by my original ideas in my response to the OP, I do recognize that the way I expressed them was an over-reaction rooted (probably) in the controlling nature of my own mother, now deceased, which I found profoundly irritating. To the OP, I say, "Peace"! It sounds like you are holding to your own plans and will make it through just fine. We have different attitudes, and that's just fine too.
I think when one deals with family dysfunction it can be hard to understand someone having the need to be by family or stressing over holiday commitments. In a way I would love to have that close bond that some have with their families. Unfortunately for me and my husband we both have families that are trying. Moving away was the best thing for us and we are so happy with the distance that we actually stress over the couple of visits we do make every year. Makes us wonder how we survived years ago with close proximity. In fact, we are heading home in a couple of weeks and I feel tense about it. Its a crap shoot. It could be a good visit or a horrid one. Flip of the coin. Yippie.

The ONLY reason we even go back at all is because our child wants to see everyone. This will be my 3rd visit since May. My mother had emergency surgery a month ago and I went home. My sister invited me out to lunch and after a few cocktails she started rehashing crap from when we kids. Apparently she still holds resentment that when I was 10 yrs old I got better treatment than her. It's like really? You are 48 yrs old and you are still pissed off about something from when we were kids? To boot its in her own mind. I will never go home for Christmas. In fact, I am just now starting to kind of like Christmas. Always hated it before.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 7,223,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
Don't set a precedent about going back all the time. We moved from Iowa to Montana in 1991 and because we set a precedent about always going to Iowa for vacation, our family has come to visit maybe twice in 20 years. Since I moved to Wyoming I can almost guarantee nobody will come here. I visit Iowa every other year now. The way I see it they know where I live and last time I checked Interstate 80 travels east and west.
Just another point of view... You feel that if you'd never set the precedent that you'd come back each year, then maybe your family might have come to visit you more often in your new home - but I can honestly say, that for me, that wouldn't necessarily be the case.

Some of my family moved out of state two years ago, and then later more family moved to another state, and now they're all after me to come visit them - and frankly, I love to travel, but I have other places I'd rather go, if it's my vacation.

My feeling is that they're the ones who moved out of state, and if they want to see me, then they can hop on a plane and come back here! I'm still here! And so are all their other relatives. But instead they want to stay in their new state, and have me come to them - and I'll definitely do that at some point soon - but it will be when I'm ready. And I may decide to go on a vacation to someplace else before I come to visit them!

If you move, and if you want to see your relatives, then you probably need to plan to make the trip "home" occasionally. In most families, no matter how close, it's just not realistic to expect them to come to you very often...

And just for the record, I come from a very close family - five generations on both sides, all living within an hour of each other for my entire life - until the economy drove some members to seek out better opportunities in other states. So it's not that we're not close, or we don't care, or that we're use to being apart at Christmas - it's actually just the opposite! But things have changed recently - and I know we're not the only family in that situation right now!

Last edited by bouncethelight; 07-26-2011 at 11:55 PM..
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 7,223,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
To the OP, I say, "Peace"! It sounds like you are holding to your own plans and will make it through just fine. We have different attitudes, and that's just fine too.
Beautiful post!
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:30 AM
 
5,002 posts, read 4,226,817 times
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We have never been home with our children. Normally we are watching the cost of flights because they all live in Ireland and we live in NY. So I usually take the kids during spring break when it is cheaper. Now we are going this year, but leaving the day after Christmas.
They have visited us a few times ; in the 26years of living here, one brother has never been here and has no intention of coming. The rest, even my 87 year old mother has been here a few times.
We dont have to worry about Thansgiving as they dont celebrate it.

But we also feel that it is not a vacation when we go home so we would rather go somewhere else and actually have a restful vacation. Next week we leave for france.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:07 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
29,715 posts, read 16,469,939 times
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FallingWater, I'm in your boat. We've been in our new state for a year and have been back five times: Thanksgiving; Christmas; part of Spring Break; a relative's 90th birthday; and just recently.

My mother is dead and my father moved with us - SO - we stay in a hotel, etc. It's not exactly like going 'home'.

My extended family - who I thought was so close - has apparently written me off. Even though my cousin came up here all the time to shop (before I moved here) - she has not come up once since we have been here. My moving away caused a lot of resentment. I guess it's hard to be the Queen Bee (my cousin) when your minion is no longer around to lord it over. Plus, my job moved here - it's not like I just up and moved for no reason. But I do like it here.

I hate going home and feel my own resentment. BUT, my son has two good friends there; they keep in touch; and he will spend the entire time with them. My family begs us to come home for the holidays but then expects us to stay in a hotel. I could care less if I go home or not. But I do want my son to be happy.

He's already told me he will want to go home for Thanksgiving because it's depressing to spend holidays with just me and his Grandad.

What to do? Keep going home for every holiday when I really don't have much to go home to?
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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My family is in Minnesota. I simply state that why should I go to where its below zero, when its 60F here in Houston. I may go back every few years.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,661,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo1 View Post
I hate going home and feel my own resentment. BUT, my son has two good friends there; they keep in touch; and he will spend the entire time with them. My family begs us to come home for the holidays but then expects us to stay in a hotel. I could care less if I go home or not. But I do want my son to be happy.

He's already told me he will want to go home for Thanksgiving because it's depressing to spend holidays with just me and his Grandad.

What to do? Keep going home for every holiday when I really don't have much to go home to?
If you can afford it financially and you're not totally miserable personally, why not provide your son with the experiences that he enjoys on most, if not all, holidays? You can certainly explain to him that you are not committing to going five times a year just because you went five times during the first year. Your son does not need to get his way every time, especially since you are doing the travel thing for him from time to time.

Ah, families! Not always bundles of lightness and joy, are they? Some people are just not happy if they cannot control others, and your "Queen Bee" of a cousin seems to be one of those.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,011 posts, read 4,976,901 times
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One set of parents in NJ, another in MI, husband and I in the middle (PA)~we'd fly between the two during Christmas break, spending a few days with one and then a few days with the other. They would also travel to our house (one Christmas Day one set of parents left and I was doing laundry in preparation for the others who were arriving that afternoon) Did that for routine for 20 years. Found that Christmas Day was actually a great flying day.

Now they are all deceased and we can do what we want for holidays. We knocked ourselves out to get together/be together for Christmas/New Year's, took vacation time and personal days to make it work. The rest of the year/dates/holidays/birthdays were at our discretion and on our terms and time frames. They would visit, we would drive or fly to visit for long weekends or a week at at time.

When they became too old to travel, we made sure we still made the trip. We also made it once a month (me for mine, he for his) during their last several years of life. Stressful~you bet, but I live with no guilt or regrets. It's tough, you have to find the balance and do what is best for you.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,661,889 times
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Default Once a month?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachbeach View Post
One set of parents in NJ, another in MI, husband and I in the middle (PA)~we'd fly between the two during Christmas break, spending a few days with one and then a few days with the other. They would also travel to our house (one Christmas Day one set of parents left and I was doing laundry in preparation for the others who were arriving that afternoon) Did that for routine for 20 years. Found that Christmas Day was actually a great flying day.

Now they are all deceased and we can do what we want for holidays. We knocked ourselves out to get together/be together for Christmas/New Year's, took vacation time and personal days to make it work. The rest of the year/dates/holidays/birthdays were at our discretion and on our terms and time frames. They would visit, we would drive or fly to visit for long weekends or a week at at time.

When they became too old to travel, we made sure we still made the trip. We also made it once a month (me for mine, he for his) during their last several years of life. Stressful~you bet, but I live with no guilt or regrets. It's tough, you have to find the balance and do what is best for you.
While I agree with that last sentence which I placed in bold, and while I'm glad you made choices which worked for you and with which you remain satisfied after the fact, I must say that the idea of adults traveling substantial distances to visit their parents once a month is totally beyond my comprehension. It just seems so extreme to me, and I wonder why anyone would want to do it. This is a good illustration of the gulf of incomprehension which separates us whenever we try to talk about family connections and family relationships. Note that I am not saying you are wrong and I am right; I don't think there is any wrong or right to this, except when guilt trips are being passed out.

For many years I maintained the pattern of visiting my mother in Louisiana every other year (I am in Los Angeles). This wasn't a rigid pattern; in some years it could have been once a year, and she flew west to visit me a couple of times. Towards the end of her life, I did make it every year, and was glad I visited a couple of months before her death. My father was closer (New Mexico) and the frequency of visits, although irregular, was also greater; I suppose I may have seen him on average once a year or perhaps more.

So you are at one extreme and I am in the middle. Here is the opposite extreme: complete estrangement. I have a cousin who hated his father (my uncle) so much that he didn't see him at all for the last 10 or more years of his father's life, even though they lived in the same state. The cousin also refused to attend his father's memorial service. Needless to say, that was a dysfunctional family.
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