Holidays, In-Laws and Beer, oh my!

I can’t believe October is almost over!  Didn’t it just start.  I celebrated my birthday the beginning of this week.  Another year older, and another year that I am more grateful for my life than I was last year.  This week I was blessed with an awesome day traveling and sight-seeing with my husband and children, a little bling, and a terrific meal of my favorite shrimp sandwiches (a family secret recipe) with my parents.

Speaking of family get togethers….the holidays are right around the corner.  And you know what that means – lots of food, gifts, receiving, thoughtfulness, new beginning and a lot of time with your in-laws!   

The first fights couples have around this time of year is – whose family gets which holiday.  I can remember many fights my husband and I had about this, especially after we had kids.  There is a lot of guilt associated to spending time without your family on holidays, and sometimes a lot of stress associated with spending time with your in-laws family (or vice versa). 

In any case, it’s important that you and your spouse get on the same page.

Tip 1 – Just talk about it.  It’s easy to get defensive when talking about family – so make sure to leave out comments that attack individuals (Such as, “You’re mom and dad don’t make good food like my family does for thanksgiving” or “You’re brother is just plain crazy and always drinks too many ‘holiday spirits’”).  If you feel yourself getting defensive take a step back and see what it’s all about.

Tip 2 – It won’t always balance out.  You probably will not see each family the exact same amount of time – and that’s okay.  You can make up for it before or after the holidays.  For example, when I know we will be spending Christmas with my husband’s family, I always make sure to include my parents in activities like shopping, seeing lights or getting a Christmas tree beforehand.  Do the best you can without driving each other crazy perfectly balancing the holiday family time.   

Tip 3 – Remember you and your spouse are a team.  Don’t feel guilty, and don’t let your families make you feel guilty about decisions you have made together as a couple.  Stick to your guns, set boundaries and try to be accommodating.

 I hope this helps you get your holiday planning on the way.  Start early and try to be clear with one another and your families.  If you need help working through in-law issues, I’m here for you.  Click here to schedule your 30-minute complimentary coaching call to see how I can help.     

 Next week, I’ll share a little more on how to set clear boundaries with your in-laws, so don’t miss it!