Hi Achokis. My husband and I have children. One of them is married and has given us three grandchildren aged five years, three years and eight months, whom we love dearly. Christmas is fast approaching and I have noticed that I am beginning to have anxiety issues. It is a mixed feeling of having family around, but I also know that I will have to break my back because of hosting. Every Christmas, we go to the village and host our children, their spouses and grand children from the evening of December 23, then invite our son’s parents in-law on 27th to 29th December. It is a tradition that we began, but I’m now finding it hard to keep up with. I normally don’t have help at that time and I get so exhausted, yet I am expected to go back to work on January 2. I am even embarrassed to write about this, but I need help. I love all my people, but I don’t know what to do.
Hi Sylvia.Thank you for boldly seeking help. We must commend you because most women suffer in silence. Christmas holidays are meant to be enjoyed not to be endured. Many people take this time to visit the village and connect with family and relatives. Some choose to go away or travel to different destinations.
Let’s start by saying that it is a noble thing to host your family and your son’s parents in-law over the Christmas holidays. They must be grateful that you can take some time to host them. But this can also be a daunting task. Hosting that many people and, especially in-laws can be very tricky. They deserve some special treatment and so you are under pressure to impress them with your hospitality.
Women suffer in silence
A lot of women suffer in silence, but do not voice out what they are going through because of societal expectations that a woman should be able to handle it and be quiet, otherwise she is not ‘wife material’. While everyone shuts down over Christmas to rest, she picks up momentum on her side and switches gears. Many women have succumbed to this pressure and ended up with health issues. You may have been doing it all these years, but remember that you are not getting any younger, you definitely need help and it can be available if you ask for it.
Ask for help
Talk to your husband about it because he might be oblivious of this. Ask your grown up children to help. You might be surprised that they might even decide to have a neutral place and begin to save at the beginning of every year, or have alternate Christmas at your son in law’s parents’ place. You can also hire people to help and you contribute to pay them. That way, you will be free to only supervise as you enjoy hosting your family members. Never fear to ask for help even from your own children. You are family. Enjoy your Christmas!
The writers are marriage and relationship coaches