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Needytoo

Holiday question

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Hello everyone, it seems awhile since I have posted hope everyone is doing well. I need some peoples advice. 

 

My late husband was very unsocial and we didn't do anything for the holidays. No parties or going to other family members for Christmas.  Deep down I hated it, I was always jealous of the people that actually did things with their whole family.  I have been dating a great guy for a year and half and his family have made me feel part of the family.  My sons very slowly (and I mean very slowly) accepting new guy.  Last Christmas I waited till 1:00 pm for my sons to get out of bed. My oldest son didn't buy anyone any gifts and the gifts he got he left most of them in the living room.  They ate supper and took off to their rooms.  This is how my holidays have been for years.  This year New Guy's sister and her wife have invited my sons and I over for Christmas.  I told my sons they aren't very impressed.  I told them I realize this is different and a bit awkward but to be open to it.  So what is the correct thing to do in this situation?  Make an early supper for my sons then go to new guys sister's place or do the same old thing feed my sons clean up and sit in the living room alone.  My sons are 21 and 25 years old.  

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1 hour ago, Needytoo said:

So what is the correct thing to do in this situation?  Make an early supper for my sons then go to new guys sister's place or do the same old thing feed my sons clean up and sit in the living room alone.  My sons are 21 and 25 years old.  

I'd go with the former. Your sons are adults, and don't seem very interested in the holiday. You are. So, for yourself, I would make a meal to have with them, then go enjoy yourself with NG's family. 

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Goodness, with all due respect, if they are going to be like that, I wouldn't even make anything for them, and sure as heck wouldn't be 'cleaning up' especially at 21 and 25! I understand you may have a different view/tradition. As Abitlost said, they are adults well and truly, and obviously not interested in Christmas (fair enough), so I'd just leave them to it and go have a lovely  time with you new fella. Don't let them dictate your holiday, they are not wee kids that have to be fed by you.

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Needytoo, you're kidding right?

 

Tell them the bus is leaving at xx:xx o'clock and they are welcome to join you all. Then leave at the designated time and enjoy yourself.

 

DO NOT cook a dinner for them. Well, I wouldn't. Each of my sons have acted like an ass at one time or another. If you enable it, and that's what an early supper by you would be, then you are rewarding their behavior. 

 

Good luck!

 

 

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I know its hard for children to accept new partners in their parents lives (and accept new family members)  - but your boys are indeed well into adulthood and should be more respectful of what makes you happy. And you deserve to have some fun in your life! If they want to spend Xmas with you and create a better aura in the house, they should get up earlier and spend time with you - and accompany you to your Xmas outing. But it seems they don't want to go with you (even though kindly invited) so I echo other comments on here - go out and enjoy a festive Xmas! You deserve that ! They can stay home and do nothing - and let them order in or cook for themselves.

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"So what is the correct thing to do in this situation?  Make an early supper for my sons then go to new guys sister's place or do the same old thing feed my sons clean up and sit in the living room alone."  

 

Needy   Great responses here,  probably just me but I'd make a simple dinner for them and ask them to clean up, certainly enjoy yourself at new guy's house without your sons.  It would be a chore to try and manage with them there.  Sounds like their acceptance of your new relationship is going slowly, the holidays can complicate the dynamics of new relationships.  

 

Your sons have been patterned into a tradition of not celebrating holidays, expectations on having them begin to act differently now is unrealistic.  As you enjoy celebrating, let them know this and perhaps invite them to join you in small ways in beginning new traditions.  Are you putting up a Xmas tree?  As for help in placing the star/angel/ornament at the top.  Invite them to help you in baking cookies, hanging a wreath on the door, wrapping a present.  Scale back on gifts if it doesn't seem important to them - perhaps hang empty stockings, filled Xmas morning with small gifts. Ask them to join you at breakfast at XX:00 to open their stockings.  Baby steps, maybe they'll join you, maybe not - no pressure.  There can be so much festivity during the Christmas season, your kids need a little direction on how to begin to make new traditions.  Maybe if you show them in small ways how to start, they can grow to enjoy new traditions too?

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I can't help feeling it might be a bit late for 21 and 25 year old blokes starting to bake Christmas cookies...Yes it will be hard for your sons with you having a new partner, but pandering to them by cooking and waiting around for them to call the shots on your Christmas Day also won't help them, or any future partners they may have, who likely will expect grownup behaviour.

These guys are adults and can do their own thing.

Whatever you decide, have a lovely day.

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My conversation would go something like this " I'm very sorry that you did not grow up with warm family traditions during the holidays because of your father's preferences.  This is something I have missed in my life and I would love to start some new traditions with you if you are interested.  If you don't feel comfortable joining me at NGs family holiday I understand.  Let's do a lovely Christmas brunch together at 10:00 am and exchange small gifts."

you deserve a warm holiday and I hope they come around but if they choose to continue to not embrace holidays it shouldn't stop you.

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As I was reading your post I thought if they're old enough to stay home let them cook their own meal.  Then reading 21 and 25, let them take care of themselves. And the kitchen better be clean when you get home LOL. It's time for you to start to enjoy your holidays and let them be lumps if that's their choice.

 

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You guys are the best!! I remember in the "early" recovery days thinking of new ways to celebrate the holidays. The second year after DH passing we went to Punta Cana and had a blast.  

 

My kids have been very challenging, they have bullied me etc but my youngest is so much better now his brother somewhat better but he has some kind of social oddity. His father did and there is other relatives on that side that have the same thing.  I can't change that.  

 

I think I will make my big supper Christmas Eve and have NG join us and spend the day with NG's family. My kids need to let me know this weekend if they are coming. I hope my kids will be open to this.  I certainly wish our past was different and they got to enjoy Christmas' like so many other people do but we didn't and I can't change that, I just can encourage the change today.

 

On a side note, I am not planning on doing too much baking this year.  My baking is being done by a single mom who does it so she can afford Christmas for her kids.    

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I wish you the best this holiday season, Needy.  I'm like a kid at Christmas, love to decorate, cook, celebrate ..... about baking - my Uncle Harry,  tough ex-Marine,, was the family Christmas cookie baker.   He made the best Norwegian Christmas cookies of anybody in the family.   RIP Uncle Harry, the recipes carry on but nobody baked cookies like he did. 

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Parts of me really wish I could go all out Martha Stewart style but I don't have time. I know excuses excuses.  There are a few things I would like to try this year. Two things my Mom use to make Thimble Cookies and Scotch Eggs.  Both I have failed at before unfortunately my Mother's cookbooks have been thrown out years ago by my Step Thing. NG's Mom gave me her recipe for Thimble Cookies if anyone has one for Scotch Eggs I am willing to try it. 

 

My youngest son has agreed to come to NG sister's for Christmas oldest son hasn't given me a response.  I am so happy my youngest son is willing to try!! 

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Love Scotch eggs!! Hmm - unf I don't have a recipe but the Food Network has some on their website. Happy your youngest is joining in the festivities !

 

 

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I am going to try Jamie Oliver's recipe. Hope it works. 

 

I am very proud of my youngest son, I hope my oldest joins as well but I can't force him. 

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So happy your youngest is joining you!  I hope this is the beginning of warm and wonderful holidays for you!

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Meh, I was an adolescent in another life, and family things weren't of great appeal. I also went through an agnostic/atheist period and felt like kind of a fraud going to family Christmas things.  I do enjoy my family, they're all really nice, warm folks. The Christmas feeling eluded me, and I just tried to portray someone who was a believer.  I really, really was having a hard time with it.  

 

 By 21, I was living in an apartment with a couple other women: preparing my own meals and cleaning up was not a new concept. 

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Christmas eve, NG is over and oldest son refused to come for dinner. I am so tired of pain, and I know you guys understand. I can't stop crying but this time I have someone holding me. Hope tomorrow is better. 

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I have no advice but know you are not alone. My girlfriends adult daughter has met me three times in the last 6 months and has decided her mom has not spent enough time alone after her divorce. Her second son, also an adult, spent an evening with me and my adult children and then decided not to spend Christmas with his own extended family because I was invited.  It is causing her great sorrow. 

 

Thankfully my girlfriends extended family all live in town. Her parents, siblings, adult nephews and nieces all really like me.  And my large extended family and my late wife’s extended family and my adult sons all really like her.

 

So our hope is over time her kids will see that she and I are committed to each other. They will see we have a strong healthy relationship, and marriage. And that they will come around. 

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Oh Needy, sorry to hear that your eldest didn't join you.  Sometimes there are issues going on that have nothing to do with us but it hurts nonetheless.   LF  I relate to adult children not being receptive to their parent's new relationship.  It's been a very slow process for NG's two adult daughters to accept me -  2 years together and this Xmas things are slowly changing for the better.  I hope with time her kids will come around too.  At first I took it personally, and then realized that it had little to do with me.  

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 There are 2 things that this post brought up in my mind, Young adult independance and acceptance of a new mate.

 

Needy i too deal with both of these.. My sons are 21 and 23 and are both living with me. And yes many their age are out living independently and many are mature and have a good handle on life.  Many are responsible and get the adult view on life of give and take. BUT many are still immature, self centered and really just confused with what they want and what is expected of them.

In both categories their can be good eggs and bad eggs. The mature ones can still be cold and non loving and the confused ones may have trouble doing the right thing but have a good heart. I feel mine fall in the second category.

I think their attitude are a combination of personality and circumstance .  I look at my parenting and think maybe, I'm too soft on them and that has an effect. But then I look and and both are working their way through university and haven't screwed up on any thing major. They respect  and let me know they care for me. But then their rooms are a disgrace and they have to be nagged into cleaning up the kitchen.

 

As far as NG , My older one is easygoing and although doesn't really relish family events or hanging out with me and NG , he will if required. My younger one struggles, he knows he should be welcoming  but for him to sit through a dinner with us takes an immense amount of emotional energy on his part .He honestly hates it. He also dislikes NG being at our house , it makes him edgy . This is where I struggle a bit, I think what's the big deal but for him it  wears on him . Part of me wants to say tough, it's my house and I'll do what I want. But then their is the mother instinct that kicks in and says I don't want my child suffering and he already struggles with depression and anxiety I don't need to be adding to that 

It's a tricky balancing act.

 

Bottom line Needy, I understand but also know every kid is different and one kid being out and independant and accepting doesn't mean it's going to be that way for everyone.

 

 

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Needytoo I hope Christmas Day was better.  It's heartbreaking to feel so torn and I'm sorry your son is not able to be accepting of your relationship.  You may remember my kids had a very hard time initially, the older two were late teens when my chapter 2 relationship started.  My middle son was the last to come around but we are finally there.  It was so painful to not have his support, to put up with the tension and to feel guilty that I was causing him pain too.  I can't tell you to not be hurt, I know it hurts.  I hope it gets better soon.  

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Leadfeather, my brother and sister also think NG is great, his family feels the same about me, it is only my sons that are having the issue.  Maybe you are right trying2breathe, it is just going to take a longer time.  Kilm our sons do have some similar traits, that is for sure. 

Trying, Christmas was good and bad.  To make a long story short, both my boys didn't come to NG's sister's place for supper.  It hurt, but I still had a great time with all of them. 

Ng and I brought his sons to my place to meet my kids.  My youngest was ok with it, my oldest hid in the basement. 

I can't take my oldest son, in a few weeks I am telling him to move out. I want him out for so many reasons, not just the way he treats NG.  I have talked to so many other parents and they all tell me I am not doing him any favors letting him sponge off me. I want him to be happy and live his life and he isn't doing that in the basement. He is becoming his father, sitting down in the basement pig and drinking.  I am going back to Al-anon because I am enabling this and it needs to stop.  

One thing I have learned is NG is so supportive and encourages me to talk about things, this is good for me to find a partner that will do that.  

Happy New Year everyone. 

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Needytoo,

 

I'm so sorry for the struggles with your eldest. I don't have any experience with drug or alcohol abuse, but friends who have walked that road have come to the same conclusion as your friends -- nothing good will happen while they are enabled. I know it's a tough course, and I'm glad you have a solid partner to support you.

 

abl  

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