our first holiday as a married couple and familial growing pains

Before reading, remember:

I have four grown (18+) children,

Imran and I are blind and have no transportation (some blind people buy their own car and look for drivers)

And imran is not a big fan of dogs. 

My family does not make plans until the last minute. I guess, I have inherited some of it because I am a procrastinator. But, they did not make plans for
Christmas until a few days before the day. Imran continued to ask about my family’s plans. It was not that he was overly excited about the day, but he
wanted to have a plan in case we needed transportation. His sister was also suppose to come down, but she is blind too, and could not find anyone to drive
her from Rockford to Chicago so that she could take the bus to Indy.

Anyway, my daughter wants to stay three or four days, but I am not sure this is such a good idea.

She does not have a car, either. So, my father drives the 60miles on a Thursday, the 23rd to pick her up. She stays until late on the 25th, but told me
that she wanted to stay until the 26th. She asked if I wanted to go.

I want to see my family.

But, I don’t want to spend that length of time with them.

list of 6 items
1. Imran is not too impressed with my father’s dogs. Yes, there is more than one and no, they are not very well behaved. He lets them up on the kitchen
table (when there is no food on it) and on the chairs. Imran is just not comfortable with this. And, YES, I feel that I should take his comfort level into
account. After all, even on short visits, they will not keep the dogs away from him and it seems that I have to vigilantly be prepared to run interference.
Now, they say that the dogs are like their family and it feels cruel to tie them up or shut them in a room.   But, these dogs do sometimes bark and growl
and jump up on the furniture. My father tries to make them mind, but it is clear that they run the household and even my father admits it with a little
laugh. They think that if they make Imran touch the dog that he will instantly change his mind and love the creatures, just as they do. I had this problem
with Jackie (A BF) when she was afraid of dogs and came to stay at my house and/or accompanied me when I went to visit my father. I have tried explaining
it, but it is no use.
2. There was not much room to sleep. Now, I have not been to my fathers for a night trip since I have been married. And, honestly, imran and I would probably
sleep co-ed style….. … just for the comfort level. But, there was not  many places to sleep. Three out of my four children were at my father’s house. Dj
could not be there because he was in Japan – (I did not say “is” because he is now taking a small trip to Australia with military friends). So, laTroi
from Bloomington, Kyler and my daughter. LaTroi slept in the recliner. Maybe there was a blow-up mattress. I don’t know. What I do know is that I was a
bit hesitant to approach the issue.
3. My father’s girlfriend (live in) and Kyler both smoke. It smells horrible and gets into my clothes. I try not to say much about it. It is their house,
not mine. But, it bothers me. And, it does not bother Imran as much. I have never let people smoke in my house. And, even most people at work are not real
big smokers – at least, you can’t smell it on them, like you can my family.
4. My eating habits change when I am at my father’s. I do watch more TV and eat too many snacks and lots of food. There probably would be lots of pork served:
not that we could not get around it, with some more accommodating on their part and after accommodating about the dogs (if they had done so) they would
not want to accommodate with this pork thing.
5. I would miss being in my own home; cooking our own food; and if I admit it, getting on the computer to check emails and things.
6. Sometimes I feel like my family still wants to treat me as a child. Even, if my father does not do this as much as he use to; there is still a hierarchy
and it seems that my daughter is above me in such a hierarchy. That makes me feel odd. I also know that imran must feel as if he is truly at the bottom
of that hierarchy, if he analyzes it at all.
list end

We just (my family and I) live differently.  Yes, I miss them and continue to miss them, sometimes.

Imran suggested that I go alone. I stood firm. “NO.” I don’t want to go to visit without him, especially since it would mean that I would be staying overnight
through the holidays and be without him.

We offered to pay (Actually imran offered without me knowing until it was done) for the gas, if my father would come back up to Indy and get us the day
of Christmas, or even the 24th. The only  catch was that we come home the same day. My father has a very old truck. Gas is expensive, I do admit that.
But, we offered to pay for the gas. Yet, my father would not come.

And, my father brought my daughter back to Indy on the evening of the 25th. But, no one stopped at my house. 

So, visiting family is strenuous, but I am not making things difficult for them, they are making things a bit more difficult for all.

Imran is sympathetic and does not like conflict. But, I am more firm on this point.  


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5 Responses to “our first holiday as a married couple and familial growing pains”

  1. Sara Says:

    Wow. This seems really, really hard to deal with…somehow the hierarchy struck me as particularly difficult. I get the smoke thing — we don’t stay at my dad’s overnight because A can’t deal with it, and he supposedly doesn’t smoke in the house even! And A tolerates dogs well, but I don’t think either of us could deal with dogs like you described! What kinds of things did you and Imran do together for the holiday?

    I feel like, even when A’s family makes an effort, I’ve been “giving up” on Christmas the last few years. It’s never felt “right” since Mom died, and I realized this year that it probably won’t feel “right” until we have kids and start creating the holiday for them. However, something about this year did feel good. Also, we got home yesterday and really enjoyed settling back into our apartment in time for the new year. We’re thinking of making a tradition that we’re in our home in time for new year’s.

  2. Ajnabi Says:

    Glad you are back to the blogworld. I missed reading your posts.

  3. Jamily5 Says:

    Hi Sara,
    We really did not do much.
    I was pretty emotional with my family, but tried to avoid a big blow up.
    DJ is in Japan.
    No one really seemed to *want* to make that extra effort.
    Imran spent some of the day trying to cajole family members to come and get us for the day.
    It just kind of was *flat.
    But, we did play some games together and talk lots and just relax.
    And, we both promised to make better plans and find *something* for tradition next year.
    The thing is that *he* is just not big on traditions, etc.
    I mean, it seems that I have to plan everything: which feels like I am taking control:
    We will do this
    and we will do that.
    Then, he resents me for being so controling.
    It is a vitious circle and I have not figured out how to get out of it:
    accept for not planning anything, then, I go without any tradition or activity.

    The new Year:
    Well, I just could not wake him up when I knew that he was so sleepy after work.
    I really did want to go to that Indian Center; but not at his expense.
    I was a little annoyed when he finally did wake up and spent more time on the phone than trying to celebrate the New Year (or what was left of it) with me.
    But, sometimes, I just have to let the little things go.

    Thanks for your comment Ajnabi, You have made my day.

    • Sara Says:

      I feel that way with A sometimes, like I’m doing ALL the planning for holidays. It’s not so bad with Christmas and New Year’s, but it felt that way for Diwali, too! So far he hasn’t gotten angry about me taking charge (at least that he’s told me), except when I was buying Christmas gifts without discussing it with him (but I think that’s normal first-year married stuff — both getting used to not being the sole decision-maker).
      I think women are just the tradition-keepers. Men don’t often value it enough beforehand to plan it out and put the effort in, although A really values it afterward when I make a birthday or holiday special. What happens when you present him with this contradiction — he doesn’t participate in planning, then sees you as taking control?

      • jamily5 Says:

        Hi, I sometimes get: “I didn’t know what to do,” and “You just left me out of it,” But, when I try to say that I asked him and he had no response, he would say that he was not sure, so we should have done nothing and waited until we agreed. But, then, it would be too late. And, actually, I am bad about that remembering that I am not the one to make the decisions. I try to remember and have not bought a significant thing without telling him or something. But, many times I just assume that he would want the same things. That is one of my weaknesses. It comes from making my own decisions for so long. And, something that I think he would certainly not care about, he does!

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