My daughter has four sets of grandparents, as each of my husband’s and my parents has been divorced and re-married at least once. Two of these four families live a three-hour’ drive in opposite directions from our home. And guess what? My daughter is the only grand-daughter, and everyone wants to see her. It’s stressful, to say the least, but we have found some ways to make it easier.
How do we juggle visiting four families and not completely lose our marbles? Here are some tips:
- Plan ahead. Stay ahead of the game and communicate with family members months before the holiday season. Let them know your plans, and ask them to communicate theirs so that compromises can be made in plenty of time.
- Remind each family that you have three other families to visit. It’s not fun to leave anyone out, but sometimes a person just can’t be in two places at the same time.
- Stagger holidays. A fourth of our family does this wonderful thing where they switch each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year is “Thanksgiving,” so we’ll be traveling and celebrating the holiday season with his father’s side of the family just once. This makes it so much easier. We’re trying to slowly implement the opposite holiday idea with my sides of the family, so we can limit our travel time a bit more.
- “Ya gotta keep ‘em separated.” When we’re hosting get-togethers, it’s actually easier to have two: one for one side, and one for the other. People just don’t show up when both sides are invited, and when they do, you could cut the tension with a knife. Lesson learned.
Are you living in a blended family, or the adult child of divorcees? How do you cope with the holiday confusion of visiting everyone?