Dealing with Family During the Holidays

SO HOW’S SCHOOL GOING?

Are you dating anyone?

What’s your major?

When will you graduate?

What are your goals this year?

What are you going to do with your life?

Have you found a job yet?

It is enough. To drive you. INSANE.

Sound familiar? This is an extreme case of what going home or being around family for the holidays is like. I wish I could say that as you get older it goes away, but… it doesn’t. You may as well learn how to deal with it now rather than spend every year dreading seeing all of your family.

Here’s the thing. As the years go on, the questions will change into

“when are you buying a house?”

“when will you have a baby?”

“when are you having another baby?”

My advice to you is this: don’t let these questions overwhelm you. If you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, that is completely normal. Don’t get me wrong, there comes a time in your 20s when you do need to sit down and figure out a plan for yourself to be successful, but you don’t owe those answers to anyone. And you know what? Your plans might change. Your plans WILL change. So for now, take a deep breath, and slap on the best smile you’ve got because your family is just that: FAMILY. Whether or not you believe so, they genuinely care about what you’re doing with your life. They want the best for you. It’s their job to make sure you know they care and that they’re here for you when you need it.

Let’s take it one step further:

Blending families during the holidays. Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have parents that have divorced, remarried, had more kids, etc? I do. And if you think it’s stressful right now, just wait until you get older. Wait until you’re married and you’ve had kids. It’s a game changer.

As a kid, I LOVED having several holiday gatherings to go to because it meant I got more presents. What kid wouldn’t?!

But as I got older, I found it harder and harder to choose which parent I wanted to spend it with and I never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings. Now that I have a child, the pressure is on even more so. I do have to say, that I have been blessed with a very communicative family who tries to make things work for everyone. That is the key. If you don’t have all parties willing to communicate, you may as well declare Christmas is at your home and no one elses, and see them at other times during the year. I’m in my thirties now, and I am just so done with people pleasing. The holidays are you and your families, and you should spend them how you want to. Not how they want you to. Is there a parent you’d rather spend the holiday with? Go with your gut. These are your memories too and it isn’t your fault that your parents are divorced, to be honest. But, through all of this… remember, they’r your parents. Be respectful and nice. Don’t be a jerk. Be grateful and pleasant. These are all things I struggled with as a kid (being grateful and pleasant for sure! haha)!

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