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Friday, May 3, 2013

Dancing with the family skeleton


My children and grandchildren are everything to me.
There is nothing I wouldn't do for them.
When we were young parents we had all these wonderful dreams.
We would raise our children with so much love that love will be the thing that comes naturally for them.
We would always be close and do a lot together.
We thought that the bond that we nurtured between our children would be unbreakable.
Forever friends...that is what they would be.

Then one day you have to face the reality that it didn't work as planned.  Your children grew up and married.  You are faced with the fact that the girls don't get along.  In actual fact they can't stand each other.  When you invite them and they know that the other is coming they will find an excuse not to come.

For a while you will dance around the issue, not wanting to confront.
Then you confront and you become the enemy.
You are accused of taking sides...of expecting too much.
You have to listen to accusations against the other party.
You are expected to understand how they feel.
...and you don't.

I have tried and failed to get my whole family around the same dining room table.  We tried debating the issue.  We tried to force the issue.  It just left us frustrated and hurt.

I remember as a child how my mother used to get us to do things we didn't really want to by saying:  "Just do it...do it for me."  Just thinking about it brings back bad memories, feelings of resentment and being used... and that would be the main reason why I would never expect the children to "become friends" for our sake.

So a few weeks back we were forced to make peace with this thing that we cannot change.  We decided to enjoy the time we spend with them separately.  Having dinner dates, braais and even weekends away.  We often have all our grandchildren at our home and then the cousins play...the way only cousins can.

Tomorrow evening we have a Benefit Dinner and art auction for the Mission.  We have invited all our children and they will ALL be sitting at the table we are hosting.  I am a wee bit nervous but then again...maybe I would like to see them squirm ;-)

What do you do when your children don't want to socialize?

xx

26 comments:

  1. make them squirm :)

    I would be a tad nervous too BUT they know how important this is to their parents, right?>

    Is it a personality thing or was something done/ said that resulted in the not talking?

    I'll never be best friends with either of my siblings - we are too different - but we are friends. Well, except for my skeleton - my brother hasn't spoken to me for 4 months now. I should blog! Becuase it's so silly!!!

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    1. Marcia, things happened between them a long time ago. They just don't want to let go. Nobody want to be the least...they all expect any apology. Unfortunately I can't apologize on their behalf...or I would have. It is so silly.

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  2. It must be very difficult! Sorry to hear!

    Hope it works!

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  3. Being an only child these things just are so totally wierd to me. I have this unrealistic expectations that brothers and sisters have to at least like each other, if not be friends.

    I do hope it will all work out my friend,

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    1. Cat, I am one of six children...and we don't always get along either...but at least we are civil with one another and get together whenever it is possible.

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  4. Oh this is such a hard situation. So far I am not faced with it and I hope I never am. You are right that it is something that we cannot change. There are two aunties in our family who were both faced with your situation. With one, the kids finally made up at her funeral and now they get along. :( The other auntie too has passed and two of her daughters still won't be together. Even at her funeral they sat at opposite sides of the church. So sad. But... hee hee to watching them squirm. Good for you! :) P.S Congrats on using up all of your MME! I have been noticing that so many of your beautiful creations have been with the past lines. I bet you enjoyed them just as much as if it was this year's new stuff out. And hey, next year you can buy this year's stuff on sale!! :)

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    1. I still have some really old MME left...but a lot of other paper companies too. Next year I will want the new stuff again ;-)

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  5. So sorry you are going through this ... I hope someday they see the light :)

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  6. It is really difficult to go through things like this with your kids ... we are four sisters (with a half sister from my Dad's second marriage) and there have been times when there is a lot of tension. We have fortunately grown out of it and enjoy a monthly sisters dinner.

    As Cat says when you are an only child you do not understand these family vibes ... my child will also unfortunately not experience any of these sibling issues being an only child and I feel sad for him that that is the case but it is our doing.

    I wish you all the joy for tonight and hopefully they will surprise you!!!!

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  7. Oh dear I do pray they can all put their big pants on and get along for your benefit and then see that they really can get along after all.. so far I am blessed that my 4 children all love to get together.. but my kids are still single.. I don't have any inlaws yet but I do hope I can love them and make them welcome too.. However I am in the middle of a 'thing' with my sister and her daughter. sadly their relationship is very strained and my niece tries not to go anywhere if my sister is going.. makes it hard for family get to gathers.. but I am still praying for reconciliation for them.. so I do know a bit how you feel.. It is sad that these things happen.. not sure what you can do except pray God will soften each ones heart before it is too late... take care..

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    1. That is just the thing Lizzy...I have been "in the middle of things" for too long. I don't want to be in that position. I just want to enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren without having side issues.

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  8. My siblings and I are not great friends but we do make an effort for the sake of our parents. I think we'll probably become estranged when my parents die. As far as I'm concerned, that is the least they can do. At least try to be civil for the sake of their parents. Btw...my parents know this about us as well but refuse to get involved. I think it makes it easier somehow - they can never be accused of taking sides and they have never put themselves in a position that forces them to somehow be in the middle. I think that you and K have done thing to accept it and let it be. Personally, I would just let them squirm...
    Such a heartbreaking situation. I'm sorry that you have to go through this. xx

    ps...all the best for the benefit. Am sure you guys will have a fantastic, successful event. x

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    1. Julia, my sons are big friends. The thing is that they love their wives and will stand by them no matter what...and that is what I expect from them. So the problem isn't so much between the siblings.

      LOL! I am sure tonight will be a huge success...and I am going to enjoy it no matter what.

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  9. Ha! There has been plenty 'kak in die land' between various of my siblings/partners etc over the years. And we have to suck it up for family events and we do. Its been really hard at times - REALLY HARD - but out of respect for our folks we have done it and will do it again if necessary.

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  10. I also think that as much as your sons love their wives and stand by them....so their WIVES should honour them and do what is NECESSARY to get along at group occasions. We are grown-ups after all...sjoe.

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    1. LOL! I also thought that they were all grown up...but sometimes they don't really act very grown up :-P Hence my comment that I am going to enjoy their discomfort and seeing them squirm.

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  11. Lynette, coming from someone who don't socialize with her own sister because her hubby and her sister's fiance don't sit around the same table - our parents made peace with this. We socialize with our parents on different occasions. Never together. That's just how it is. I will visit my sister and her son with my kids on my own. But we will never get together as a family due to our partners being so different. Because of what happened in the past. Because of a lot of factors. I know this is hard for my parents and can imagine how hard it must be for you. A parent would love it if their children can socialize together on one occasion with their parents but reality is, sometimes it just can't.

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    1. Marleen, I know that this is probably what happens in most families. Sometimes I just wish that we could live according to God's word...and that is in love and peace with all.

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  12. I don't know a family that doesn't have it's problems. Both sides of ours would make for great soup opera material. 29 years on I've lost all interest in having anything to do with both my sister in laws & my brother in law & my sister & I haven't spoken in over a decade. I've tried to make peace with all concerned & failed. Sometimes it's out of your hands & there is nothing you can do. We have a psychotic brother in law that stirs up trouble for everyone. When siblings make a wrong marriage choice that brings in an unsolvable problem. Best you do what you do & enjoy what you can :)

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  13. I don't know what to say here, my siblings and I are close, I know my brother and sister would do anything for me if I ever asked, and I would be the same too. But I do have family issue, problem with my dad, he had been difficult with my son during his growing years, even now I have forgiven him but we really never sit down and talk over the issue, I don't know what to say since we haven't seen each other for almost 6 years now, my sister is trying to make peace now, hopefully I will get to see him the next time I am home. All the best for your situation!!!!!

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    1. Kirsty, I hope and pray that peace will come between you and your brother. Life is too short to live in strife.

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  14. Families... Goodness who doesn't have some kind of family issue be it large or small.. I would think though since it is a benefit they can come together and focus upon that and nothing else!
    Praying for you dear friend!
    e.

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  15. I'm not very good at giving advice, but I do hope that everything will work out. I know you will make the most of any family time that you can get.

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  16. I am so sorry that some of your immediate family cannot make amends. As grownups, I cant understand why some still act like children. I get along with all of my siblings and their marital partners. On the other hand, My brother in laws wife (his second) is someone that I force myself get along with and tolerate. But she irritates EVERYONE in the family and don't understand why my brother in law puts up with her crap. Blind love I guess. But, we sit around the table at holidays because The rest of us love each other and wont let 1 bad apple spoil the whole bunch. I dont go out of my way to include them on outings. I dont make it a point to invite them to dinner like I do my husbands other brother. And maybe that is wrong and unChristian like. But that is the only way to keep peace and peace of mind for me. I hope your family learns tolerance when ALL together. Whatever their reasons for not getting along can be put aside for 1 night. They may actually learn to get along. Hugs to you and your husband for loving them ALL unconditionally. I pray they learn to do that as well. xoxo

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    1. If there is one thing that I do realize...it is that there appear to be relationship problems in most families. I am relieved that I am not alone ♥

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  17. Lynette, I'm so sorry for this issue your having. I know how much you love FAMILY and being with ALL OF THEM. How hard this must be for you and your heart to hurt like this. Even though my kids are young it hurts to see how my one child treats the other, Renee can't stand Sam. They are 5 years apart and she wants nothing to do with him, rarely are they getting along. He knows this and is sadden she doesn't love like the other two. All my life I've wanted a brother and tell her how lucky she is to have one. BIG MISTAKE, that made it worse. So I've decided to let it go and hope that one day as adults they will get along better.
    I hope the dinner went well and they had to squirm a little. Do your best to enjoy them separately and maybe one day they will come to terms with each other. Pushing it will make it worse, and I don't like seeing you in the middle. Hang in there dear friend.
    HUGS AND LOVE!!

    p.s. LOVE the picture in your blog header and WOW the layout below is awesome!

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