Today marked the beginning of my annual mother’s day headache. Mind you, I get these headaches near most holidays for reasons to be explained. So, here’s the deal, every year my dh’s family does a Mother’s Day gathering. The men are to serve the women and typically it is picnic fare food that is usually made by a few of my SIL’s except for the grill items that are cooked the day of…it is a nice time to gather everyone together and celebrate Mother’s Day. My dh comes from a big family (1 sister and 7 brothers (1 deceased)) so when you also factor in nieces/nephews and their spouses and children, the event can get quite large. I come from a small family as my parents had 2 children and 1 is deceased. My mom lives about 1 hour from me and we see each other at least 1x a week.

So, my dh will be late for the gathering as he has to deliver the message at the monthly nursing home ministry – the event starts at 3 and he will not be able to arrive until 4 at the earliest. My parents have participated in the event in the past and they do other things with the family as the family has an event for the following holidays (Easter, Mother’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) and it is pretty much like mandatory attendance or shunning will follow. My parents didn’t want to be there without me/the kids so they were not going to go plus my dad is sensitive and my BIL was rude to him last year plus they often feel like outsiders being they are the only in-laws to attend. My parents are the only in-laws to go to my in-laws house in NC but we are a close family and they have taken to my dh has their son.

So, in my finite mind, I thought that I would make everyone happy (not me because no one has asked me what I want to do for Mother’s day) by going to lunch with the kids and my parents and then meeting my dh at my SIL for the annual family gathering. Well, dh feels left out of that plan and feels that I should just meet my parents at 3 and then he arrives when he can and that settles it for everyone.

(whining ahead)
In my perfect world, I would like to go eat some good food (I love good food) and relax with my dh and kids maybe near the water. Heck, I wouldn’t mind getting our boat out and getting some good food from a restaurant and just sitting out on the Chesapeake. However, because of this longstanding tradition, I do not have such options and I really thought that I had found a nice compromise even though it means on Mother’s day, I will be up early with the kids for church commitments (be at a church that is 20 minutes away by 8 a.m. with 2 dc that are 4.5 and 3 and then go to our church for a 10 a.m. service that should end by 11:30 a.m.) and then drive to meet my parents (45+ minutes), and then drive to meet my dh (45+ minutes) and then drive home (40 minutes).

I often think because I did not come from a large family that I am thus unable to process all of these events, but sometimes I feel as if it is a cow herd mentality in that everyone does it and there is little or no regard for any of your own family traditions that you may want to start or for your family that you are still a part of even though you are now married. All I know is that I have a headache trying to please everyone else and do what everyone else wants for me to do for Mother’s day.

Am I being selfish? Is my compromise not really a compromise?

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