Vent here safely

I'm putting up two posts for December 24 and 25. There's one for funny stories under this. This one is for people who need to vent anything that's happening, whether it's loneliness, or anger at relatives, or frustration at food that came out wrong, or despair at people who don't treat you correctly, or annoyance at your children's behavior, or whatever's negative that you need to get out.

No misery poker, and there's enough sympathy to go around. If you want to post anonymously, put a fake email address in the email box and a fake URL in the URL box (we like fake@fake.com and www.fake.com).

81 thoughts on “Vent here safely”

  1. my son is with his dad until tomorrow eve, my family is typically MIA and out of touch, and my friends are for the most part with their families.i love xmas, and it’s hard to be alone now, even if i will have my son back for the holiday. i have everything ready, and being so ready makes me feel a bit sad, too.
    i know that next year he will spend it with his dad, and this makes the prospect of future xmases even harder to consider.
    this is the first year of having to share him with someone who will not communicate with me, and i hope that this will get easier over time, and that his dad will find something other than me to hate.

  2. Although I am an introvert (as is my husband), in many ways, I feel more cut off at Christmas than I would like. It’s a way I have “given in” and sometimes I am mad at myself about this.

  3. I had my first child in October and people keep talking to me about the magic of “baby’s first Christmas”. The reality is he obviously doesn’t care, and I have no time for the things I usually like about the holidays, namely making handmade gifts and cooking. Plus I never realized how much I enjoyed the “on holiday” part of the holidays, as in time off from work. Since I’m on mat leave I have no regular job to be on holiday from, and the daily infant care job I DO have, never stops. Basically I am adjusting badly to the new version of the holidays and I have no Christmas spirit and now feel like a scroogey ingrate.

  4. Thank you – I was going to come here and post under a random topic. I can’t vent on Facebook because my family reads it. Anyway – arrrrrrgghh. My daughter (the one that appears to be practically perfect in every way) is pissing me off. All I want to know is WHEN THEY ARE COMING over on Christmas day. Is that really too much to ask – on the 23rd?

  5. Thanks Magda,I’m having a hard time with all the grief this Christmas. Newtown is very close and real to me….I know people there and I don’t want to “move on” from the horror to enjoy the holiday.
    Add to that my Uncle died 5 days ago and being in the holiday spirit is hard this year.
    And the holidays make it even harder to deal with the fact that I have no family of my own, no husband, no kids, just my aging parents and my sister.
    Selfishly I want some sympathy, this is a sucky Christmas and its not fair.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

  6. Sending love to all of you who are hurting. Anon, please know that many people, not just (but definitely them) your kids would be so terribly sad to lose you. Here’s a hotline number: 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Lots of people have had those feelings and gotten help – and reaching out to get help through them is difficult but so very worth it. <3

  7. My husband has zero sense of timing. He sat around watching football all day and now is scrambling to wash clothes, pack, get Drano for an issue we knew about all afternoon, etc. Our kids are finally asleep and I want to crash but can’t because he will have to pack in our room. And he’s complaining about the six hour drive. To HIS parents’ house, where his mother will wait on him hand and foot and undo the last years’ worth of husband training I’ve managed to do.

  8. Anon, don’t go. Please, please don’t go. Your family of origin and your husband can rot, but your kids need you and they know you’re worth it. And you’ll find other people who know you’re worth it if you can just stay.

  9. Anon… I second (third) the comments here by Leah and Moxie!! You are needed and wanted. I hope you find some help and healing! Tina, hugs and sympathy to you!

  10. J., I totally know that feeling! It can be so hard to feel excited and upbeat about holidays as a new mom — it usually just means more work that won’t get done, and other people get a break from normal, while Mama, of course, gets none. I’ll send good thoughts your way. Hang on for a few more years, and he will care, and it will be fun! ::hug::

  11. I can’t let go of all that I dreamed the holidays would be like with my children, and just enjoy what there IS, instead. My grandma died the month after my son’s first Christmas, so my mother refuses to go back “home” to our extended family for Christmas because we don’t have any place to stay out there. All the traditions that made up Christmas for me for the first 31 years of my life are now off limits for not just me, but for my kids, too.My husband’s job is also really wearing on me. It’s close to the end of six months of him working every Saturday and at least every other Sunday, and I am flat-out sick of it. I didn’t sign up to be a single mom and I am not a very good mom by myself. I hope and pray that this year he will get a new job and we can start a more normal schedule together, where neither of us has to take a vacation day in order to be together.
    Oh, and Barb – Snotpocalypse here, too, and while it’s stuck to the kids thus far, I fully expect DH to be stricken by it on Tuesday and act like a big fat baby the whole day.

  12. I have no legitimate reason to be anything but happy, but I have the worst case of PMS ever– I’m bloated and grumpy and short-tempered and I don’t WANT to feel like this, but I can’t help it! I’m hosting Christmas dinner on Tuesday and I’m considering doing it in my pajamas. Anybody who disapproves can go home and cook their own goddamned dinner.

  13. Wow, I needed this thread. While I give my husband credit for *doing* holiday stuff, like helping my daughter & I have our first Xmas cookie decorating experience together today, he hates all things Christmas. And I know the entire time he is doing anything like decorating a tree or going to church, he would rather be playing video games online with his friends. It is just super depressing to me, but I don’t feel justified in getting mad because he only plays after kiddo goes to bed. Actually, I feel this way all the time, but it’s definitely worse at the holidays.

  14. J., I totally feel you sister. I think it is very very hard (for some people, including me) to adjust to the new way of life post-kiddo. I am still adjusting and my daughter is almost two. All I can say is that it will get better as your baby becomes more interactive, and your body starts to adjust to new life. Don’t judge yourself – it is TOTALLY NORMAL to feel a little sad and/or resentful and/or wistful about your pre-baby life, no matter how awesome and adorable your kid is.

  15. I am home to see my family for the holidays. However, as always my father and brother drink excessively. My brother went out Friday and is still not home Monday. I am sure he is sleeping it all off at this stage somewhere but I still worry. He is a grown man but I cannot help it. Plus, I am annoyed – he has spent no time with me and my daughter but already the whole weekend with some drunks. At this stage, his phone is probably lost – a regular occurrence and he also drinks and drives which makes me beyond furious. I do not live in this country if I did I hope I would get the nerve to talk to him. It is so socially acceptable to get drunk here (we live in Europe) but the lined between having a laugh and a serious problem are blurrred. I also pity my mother who lives with them bit I do not know what I can do. It just puts such a damper on everything and the feeling of uncertainty about where he is is always in the back of your mind till he gets home. I wish I could switch off my feelings.

  16. One other quick thing. I do all the cooking and baking because my mother is I’ll and neither my Dad or my sister can do anything fancy. Which is fine…..but would it be too much to ask that they clean the dishes after? Loading the dishwasher is not that hard, and I clean as I go so the dishes aren’t terribly bad.Thanks again Magda!

  17. J, solidarity. This is our first Christmas with a baby, too. Ours in 9 months old, and it’s starting to get a lot more fun. At 2-3 months, though, you’re right–they have no idea what’s going on, and you have no time or energy to tackle everything! I hope you can cut yourself some slack on not being as on top of things for the holidays. If you are visiting with family, take advantage of all those extra baby-loving hands and take a tiny bit of time for you.My complaint this year is that we are all sick. We kept our plans to a minimum, but we’ll probably cancel the plans we do have. We’re just kind of slogging through the days in slomo here. I hope we feel well enough to have some happy memories from this Christmas.
    Hang in there, everyone.

  18. Someone took my son’s main gift from Santa off the porch when it was delivered. Hopefully the replacement will be here today.But mostly, I miss my parents. My adorable, smart, awesome kid is a wonderful distraction. But combine the gaping hole that my parents used to fill along with the mom-driven Christmas machine and I must admit that I’m just looking forward to the 26th. I mean, I’m not even doing a lot of what my mom did because I refuse to go insane during Christmas time. No cards, no baking, celebrating at others homes, so no big meal. Then feel guilty I because I’m not going all out like my mom did, although my son doesn’t seem to know what he’s missing.
    But listen up moms, here is the new tradition at my house we started last year: Christmas night after the celebrating is done, momma gets a glass of wine and takes a hot bath. I get a little time to myself and space to have my own thoughts. I cannot tell you how much this has helped me face all the holiday to-dos this year.

  19. My mother called me a bitch in front of my children yesterday when we got into a huge fight over Christmas. My siblings and I arranged to get together with her on the 26th a YEAR ago, and she called me on the 20th with a million b.s. reasons why that won’t work. They’re all stupid made up reasons. She’s just trying to manipulate me into going to her house (90 minutes away) on the 25th. The problem is that if I’m there, with my three young kids and my husband, my dad (her ex-husband) and my mother in law are TOTALLY ALONE on Christmas. Since they actually make the effort the other 364 days a year, I’m not willing to do that to them. So I’m a bitch.We do this every year. I thought we had it all worked out so that the 26th would be “our thing” and we’d never have to have this fight again. My brother and sister in law have families in the area, too, and other obligations on the 24th, and I believe that my kids need to be home on the 25th. Of course Mom and siblings are welcome at my house (neutral turf) on the 25th – I don’t want them to be alone either – but that’s just not good enough. She won’t be happy unless she gets her way, which is for everyone to be at her house on the 25th. I wonder if she doesn’t want my dad to be alone, to continue to punish him for crap that he did over two decades ago, and she’s mad that I won’t get on board with her punishment of him??
    There’s so much more – she hung up on me the other day on the phone… There’s 36 years of backstory, but I can’t type that fast. I’m just really hurting right now, and I’m hoping that we get a blizzard on Christmas so that I can say, “Well, too bad so sad, we can’t get up there. See you next year. On the 26th.”
    The doctor gave me a prescription for Xanax. It’s helping. I hate it that I have to take pills to deal with my mother.
    There’s enough detail here that if someone happens to find it, they’ll know it’s me. I’ll just sign my real name.

  20. J., I was exactly there last year. (Baby born in October, maternity leave, everything.) I’ts OK to just take a pass this year–accept that things are going to be different, Christmas won’t be as “magical,” some traditions will just have to take the year off. And you don’t have to be responsible for everyone else’s Christmas spirit–so if you’re feeling down, just feel it and don’t feel guilty. But try to find something that brings a little bit of that magic feeling if you can–for me, it was seeing how many people loved our new baby and showed it by sending gifts for him. He didn’t care of course, but unwrapping cute baby clothes always makes me feel good.Things are much, much better this year, although not exactly “normal.” But I feel more in control and like I’m laying a foundation for future Christmases with my kid(s).

  21. It’s not a big vent, but it’s a vent all the same: My 9 month old is solo over stimulated from all the holiday stuff that he won’t sleep. It took 2.5 extra hours to get him down for his first nap today. He was up for 1.5 hours in the middle of the night. He missed an entire nap yesterday. And last night, after I cooked the turkey, my in laws sat around in turkey comas while I bounced the whiny baby for an hour before his bedtime.

  22. My dad passed away this past June – he had Parkinson’s disease. We managed to go home for the past 2 Christmases because dad was doing poorly – and I admit, they were not very relaxing but I think they were incredibly important. This year my mom went to visit extended family for the holidays (I’m very happy for her) but we’re here alone and I’m scared that I’m going to be sad tomorrow – this will piss off my husband because he will feel that it is a reflection on him not being enough for me. I guess my goal is to be happy for most of the day tomorrow – including the start and end.

  23. Much sympathy to everyone whose friends, family, and relatives really are getting on their nerves.On THAT note, my in-laws also really annoy me. It’s like dealing with impulse-control-deficient toddlers. And you know what? I’m still pissed off they didn’t come see their second grandchild (of two!) until he was one. Because it ‘might snow’. In October. And then because they had a ‘doctor’s appointment.’ And then it was ‘so hard to leave the house’ (to come here, though not to WV, GA, or AL). Yep. So they’re lying, disrespectful, impulse-control-challenged three-year-olds. Except they’re 65.
    BUT! The part that annoys me even MORE is how my spouse, every year, laments how we’re not going there for Christmas, to be tortured with annoying TV, food I can’t eat, inappropriate gifts, and our yearly marital argument! The rational part of my brain knows he misses the warm-cuddly-family part. The less rational part of my brain knows that I !@$%ing hate it there. BAH HUMBUG. (Also I’m Jewish and they keep expecting us to celebrate Christmas in our own house which NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOO.)

  24. J – I feel like I can tackle yours the easiest. I totally get where you are coming from and yesterday I realized this was the first Xmas in awhile where I felt a bit more in control and organized and then I realized,because of the ages of my kids, it was the first time in six years where I wasn’t diaper changing or breast feeding someone while trying to get things done. I’ve managed to sneak some video games playing in and it is feeling more like a holiday. Hang in there and ignore the magic of baby’s first Xmas stuff being thrown at you. My kid’s first Xmas was spent with her parents violently ill with a stomach flu, and her only being brought to me for the occasional nursing session I could muster if I had enough Gatorade in me. FEEL THE MAGIC!!

  25. We have been trying for baby #2 for quite awhile now and just found out that hubs has low testosterone and lh counts which prob mean he has like no viable swimmers. Since its “his” thing I seem pushy if I ask questions and he doesn’t seem to want answers as much as I do. Also not allowed to tell anyone. Feel so alone, with no one up vent to! Feeling like all this grief I’ve felt trying forever to make baby #1 is going to be nothing compared to baby #2, and wondering if its worth it. Maybe my son should just be an only child??

  26. Hugs and warm thoughts to those of you having a tough Christmas (and some of your situations are REALLY tough!). So sorry.Only thing I know that might make things better is carving out time for kindness. It might be 3 seconds for a kind word to a stressed relative or half an hour for kindness for yourself (a solo walk perhaps? I like the ‘hot bath and glass of wine for mama’ idea that someone else had).
    Such hard situations all ’round. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

  27. J, I totally hear you on not getting into the Christmas spirit or “magic of baby’s first Christmas” – as you say, they are too young to understand and you are just way to overwhelmed and exhausted with being a new mom to have the energy or mental headspace to deal with it.My son is now 2, and I felt exactly the same way for his first Christmas. Cut yourself some slack and do whatever YOU want to do for Christmas.
    Like so many things when you have a newborn, it feels like life as you know it is being put on hold FOREVER….but the period of intense newborn parenting does end.
    Now that my son is 2, I am actually looking forward to Christmas next year and beyond when he’ll be old enough to understand a bit more – it will be fun to create some new family traditions.
    And…as a side note….it bugs me when parents go crazy overboard with “baby’s first everything”….like buying a ton of presents or things like that when baby has no friggin idea what is going on…..

  28. Squirmy turns one on Xmas day and to date no one in my husbands family has even sent a card but they all ask when were driving 10hours with baby to come see them all! Yeah right! I will try to enjoy the specialness of having a Christmas baby but that part really sucks and I wish the in laws would just leave us the f&$@ alone

  29. *Sigh* Christmas has always been a lonely time for me. Growing up, my mom was an alcoholic, so mostly I just felt lonely at Christmas time.My husband’s parents have passed away. He has a brother and sister in law nearby, by the sister in law is crazy and overly controlling, so it’s no fun at all to spend time with her.
    My family lives overseas, and I no longer have a relationship with my mom.
    My friends are generally spending Christmas with their families.
    I do have pangs of feeling sad that my son does not get to experience a “big happy family Christmas time” and I’m concerned that as he grows up and realizes his friends DO have this kind of Christmas he will feel really left out.
    My son is 2, so I’ve decided that from next year on, we’ll institute a tradition of having a Christmas party a few days before Christmas and invite all his friends. Then we can make our own tradition on Christmas Day like having brunch, opening presents and going into Manhattan to see the Christmas tree and store displays.

  30. J!! I could have written that post!! I also had my first in October and feel so irritated/bad/confused when people tell me how excited I must be about baby’s first Christmas. I keep thinking I’ve missed something, like is there some secret thing where Santa actually DOES come on “baby’s first Christmas” but he brings booze and a babysitter? Could THAT be what people are referring to???I feel you.

  31. My brother-in-law is passive aggressive and very self-centered. He’s a classic narcissist. Usually this manifests at Christmas as not having the time of day for us (which is fine with me), but this year my in-laws are here to stay with us. I love them and love having them, so that part is great. BIL is so jealous that they’ll be here that he’s spent the past 2 weeks trying to sabotage every plan we’ve made. I’m exhausted from standing up to him.Also, my 3-year-old has had 2 late nights (one of them because we went to BIL’s house and dinner was inexplicably late despite a huge show beforehand about “making it convenient for the kids’ bedtimes”), too much chocolate, and I’m sure she senses the tension in the air. She is in positively foul humor today and I am exhausted just thinking about getting through Christmas Eve Mass and bedtime.
    However, BIL is too busy to see us tomorrow (Christmas Miracle!), and I am hopeful that a huge afternoon nap will make life easier to handle for my kiddo, so there is hope.
    Hugs to all of you stuck in unpleasant or awful situations.

  32. FFS. This is a whine more than a vent. Generally I live my MIL (where we arrived late last night after moving houses Saturday. But she’s always been a bit of a space cadet about providing things like breakfast for guests. So I planned to get up today and go pick up bagels for everyone. Got up this morning late – Mouse had a run of 8 performances and the end if school this week plus we moved so we were all glad to sleep in. It was 9:45. I got dressed, verified there wasn’t any breakfast food in the house, and got my keys…only to discover WE’RE LOCKED IN. All her doors have key locks on the inside and I can’t find the keys. It’s almost 10:45 and she and her husband are still sleeping and will be pissed if we wake them. At least I have a hungry 8-year-old, not a hungry 3-year-old or something, but I left all our road snacks in, you guessed it, the CAR. OUTSIDE. OMG. Thank you for listening.

  33. My wife and I drove two days to Wisconsin to see her family for Christmas and show off the baby (from October). I’m lucky that they are good people, but there is a lot of emotional volatility. Her mom had a breakdown in January and is still trecovering. I get tired of having to be hyper sensitive to her issues, when we are exhausted from taking car of the baby. On top of that, they put us in a room that is 60 degrees – not kidding – and then there was a fight when we wanted to seal up the drafty windows. All of ts makes me miss my own family even though they don’t actually like the holidays. At least I understand them better. (Thanks for listening. It seems like there are mainly moms on this site, but I want to shout out the any other dads out there.)

  34. My FIL was arrested awhile back for sexually assaulting my MIL, and last week he admitted himself to the psych ward at the hospital because he was suicidal. We didn’t get the messages he left on one of our cellphones until Friday morning so that was rough. My husband is dealing but it’s been very very difficult. He went to talk with his dad and the counselor, it went OK, but it is still awful. I am struggling with feeling happy about the holidays, because I do feel happy, but I feel awful for what my husband is going through.

  35. My 5 year old daughter had her eye and face mauled at a family party yesterday by a dog so I spent the whole trip in the hospital with a sad, anxious, hurting kid. 2 hour drive there and back w an ADHD 8 year old boy and 5yo girly.The sedation meds made her puke and we didn’t leave until 1am. Almost got robbed getting gas on the way home (pain/puking screams actually helped).
    Now the Wii U we just cracked out of the box to help the kids get their mind off of the trauma is defective and won’t be replaced until after our break. As working parents, this is the biggest chunk of time we would have had to play together for fun.
    And my in laws still expect us to come over on the one day of the year my brother in law “allow us” to visit him when he comes home.

  36. My 3.5 year old is sick with the crud and has been waking up multiple times a night to scream. SCA-REAM. This, combined with the other 3.5 yo nonsense is pushing me and my husband over the edge. My husband completely lost his shit yesterday and had to take himself outside for a walk and cooling off period. The night before that, I lost it and had to lay in bed with my ears covered as my husband dealt with the screaming child by threatening to take away his nightlight if he didn’t shut his pie hole already.

  37. I’m heading into divorce in the New Year, so this is our last Christmas (barely) together. My husband was cheating, we tried to work things out, it turned out that he didn’t really want to work things out, and now it’s over. I’m completely devastated. I’m trying to make a good Christmas for our kids (ages 5 and 3), but I pretty much just want to cry 100% of the time. I’m a SAHM, and I don’t know what I’m going to do in the coming year. 🙁 I don’t want to have to start my whole life over. I don’t want to have had a husband who I really loved who didn’t give a shit about me or our kids. And I need to be cheerful for tomorrow, and I don’t know how I’ll manage that. Our kids still don’t know about the divorce, and I don’t know how to tell them that Daddy won’t live with us anymore. I feel like a horrible parent.Worst Christmas Ever.

  38. I am sending so much love to all of you, I’m glad you have space to vent but I wish I could help more. I’m going to use my (so far) uneventful Christmas to send love and peace to all of you. Fruity hippie, perhaps, but I hope it helps to know someone is out here thinking of you.All of you with babies – mine are now 6, 3, and 2 and while I still have trouble with my lack of organizational skills around Christmas, it’s SO much better now and I’m really starting to get the feeling of loving Christmas because you see it through your kids’ eyes. It gets better.
    Ken – my husband could tell lots of stories about how uncomfortable it is to be in the middle of your wife’s family issues. It’s no good at all.
    Kelly – we had a family member attempt suicide last November. It’s awful. All my sympathies.
    Fake Fake – I’m so sorry. I have 2 dogs and that has always been one of my worst fears. I’m keeping you guys in my thoughts and prayers.

  39. I’m so tired of my husband being mad about everything. He’s a thoughtful, wonderful, involved father with our toddler daughter, but it’s like fatherhood takes all the positive energy out of him. And all that’s left is either total passivity (sleeping or playing online games when she’s asleep) or anger about…whatever…sort of directed at me. I am so afraid of becoming my parents where they both showed lots of love towards me but almost none towards each other. If anything needs to get done around the house, or in life, that is at all outside of his very limited self-defined set of responsibilities, I have to do it. And I’m not allowed to respond if he gets mad because then he says I’m just taking it personally when it’s not about me. I love my kid so much but everything seems so dreadful especially at Christmas when we’re supposed to be extra merry. It’s hard to feel like I won’t always be miserable, and then I just feel enormously guilty for not being a happy mom around my lovely, sweet, funny kiddo.

  40. I’m less stressed than I expected to be about Christmas this year, but I still hate having to provide every minute of festivity for my daughter by myself. It’s lonely not having anyone to talk to about her presents, or to help make a meal, or put up the tree, or even just appreciate it. My daughter has figured out what she’s getting, which I guess is ok, she seems happy about it, but I’m disappointed there won’t be a surprise reveal.Also, in my family stockings are a big thing, even for grownups. It was always my favorite part of Christmas, and when I am alone with DD, I don’t get one because there’s no one to fill it for me. It’s a minor thing, but it makes me feel extra lonely.
    I am cooking dinner (duck!) tomorrow for the two of us plus my brother and nephew. My SIL bailed a day or two ago, as she almost always does. Then my bro told me to day that she has quit drinking. I never knew if she had a problem, and he didn’t tell me why she quit, so it could be for other reasons, but the way he said it made it sound like it was a problem, so I guess I’m oblivious. Either way I guess I’m a little hurt and insulted that she can’t be bothered to show up for my dinner.
    Mostly I’m nervous about the cooking and cleaning for tomorrow, and trying to find the balance between perfectionism and making it special and nice. Oh, and total PMS, bloating, irritability, fatigue, etc.

  41. So need this. I got here to my in-laws’ with a cold, and now my dog allergies have gone haywire (forgot I had them because our dog died in April so I be been living dander-free for 8 months)… And nothing here is festive. No merrymaking, no joy. And I feel like crap. Humbug. ( and then I feel guilty).

  42. We just went to visit my entire family in a weekend. My daughters, the older two grandkids weren’t able to spend time with their grandmother (my MIL) who set the bar YEARS ago with the spoilage…. because she was taking care of my SIL’s baby. All weekend. With the parents there and doing nothing. They always do this- my husband and I joke that MIL had another baby at 65. They eat her food, “borrow” toilet paper, demand that she cook, etc. Pushover won’t do anything about it and it fills me with rage. GROW UP PEOPLE YOU HAVE A KID. And I see that it does said child absolutely no good. And that it isn’t any of my business. Blah.Husband’s grammy reminded me that I am fat. I quit smoking, total win- gained 30 pounds, total fail. Still, I am proud of myself for the smoking, so old lady can jump in the lake, right?
    My gran’s favorite sister died Friday. They had the funeral/wake today. I had to miss it. I loved that lady, she could always be counted on to crack a joke, even when everything was awful.
    My other gran told me I talk too much. Yay. I almost want to shut up out of spite, then I realized, I really can’t. I do talk too much.
    That’s what I have for today. It really isn’t bad, so far, thank the heavens!

  43. I’ve been on antidepressants for over a year now, and I still struggle with bad stretches fairly regularly. The anxiety has settled comfortably on me again this weekend, and I spent a while today feeling like crap, but trying to ignore the voice in my head that says that it’s pathetic I can’t get it together for Christmas.I know it will pass, it always does, but I miss feeling normal so, so much.

  44. Vomiting kid on Christmas Eve is No. Fun. Keep your fingers crossed for me that she improves overnight, and that no one else starts up. Maybe your toes, too, since as I read what I typed, it seems absurdly hopeful.

  45. MICE!!! All organised on Xmas eve, all we had to do was fill the 3 children’s stockings. I got the box with all the stocking stuff in, and we discovered something had been nibbling the chocolate coins. We’d seen no evidence of mice anywhere in the house but it can’t be anything else. We had to disinfect all the stocking stuff (kids age 5, 3.75 and 2) as shops shut and kids would be devastated with no stockings. Shops shut so can’t buy traps or anything to kill the little *****’s until the 27th. House full of food, so trying to cram as much as possible into the fridge etc. 3 storey house, with no signs of mice on ground or top floor, so how the hell did it get in?? My parents arrive on Saturday to sleep in the mouse room (what a welcome!) and I’m due to give birth on jan 1st. Freaking out entirely with the thought of mice in the house with a newborn. Barely slept last night listening for any sign.However, otherwise all is well, and I send huge sympathy to all who are going through far worse, like the readers with poorly children and fake fake. May this Christmas season bring some joy to us all

  46. A year and a half ago I had the audacity to try to breastfeed my 3 month old daughter at my SIL’s house. She asked me to go in the basement, and I left instead. She hasn’t spoken to me since. I ambushed her at her house last December to apologize, and she sent word via our husbands that while she understood my apology was sincere, she didn’t accept it. I’ve tried to make nice, but she won’t answer my calls. They live 5 miles from us. They used to see my kids on a weekly basis. Now it’s been more than a year, and not only can they not be bothered to come to Christmas dinner with the family, but they didn’t even have the good grace to decline my invitation. I mean, I called and asked my BIL if they would be able to stop by for dessert, he said he’d “talk to” his wife, and then he didn’t bother calling me back. Boo!

  47. J – we had baby #2 in October so we’re back at square one, and I HEAR YOU about the nonstop work and no “holiday”.I’ve minimized the “Christmas magic” for the baby – she has one thing in her stocking and maybe 2 other small presents from us because she got a bunch from her grandparents. Because honestly, all she wants is milk 😛
    Be kind to yourself and don’t worry about holidays just yet – you’ll have more fun next year, and even more the following, when you’ll probably WANT to do stuff with your excited toddler because you won’t be so tired of the day-to-day. I promise it gets better.
    And @Tricia – wth? You are certainly a bigger person than I am, to actually think about apologizing *and* trying multiple times. Yuck.

  48. @Ralph, I’ve been there. My daughter threw up every Christmas Eve for the first three years. The second year landed us in the ER because it was so intractable and I was nervous. She’s 9 now and this year we joked about what a terrible tradition she tried to start as a baby.As for us, now, she’s still wide, WIDE awake at ten to midnight waiting for El Claus. I know this is normal, and even a little charming for a girl who usually tries to be too sophisticated for her own good, but our house is so tiny and unmanageably laid out that I can’t do anything about filling her stocking or finishing the wrapping I have to do until she is asleep. The dam finally burst on my uterus this morning and there is a veritable tsunami going on down there. Also I somehow feel horribly bloated and completely famished at the same time. Fun times.

  49. My husband bought me a vintage hair comb and I am incredibly sad about it. I do not like vintage things, I have really thick hair and can’t wear anything in it, and we’ve been together for 18 years. It makes me feel invisible to get a gift that while quite beautiful is absolutely 100 percent wrong for me. And I feel like such an asshole for feeling this way. It’s the thought that count…but I guess that’s the thing – he definitely wasn’t thinking of me. I am trying to bite my tongue because I don’t want to hurt his feelings and I don’t want to put a strain on Christmas. But I am really, really sad about it.

  50. I grew up the youngest by many years in my close and extended family. All of my cousins are getting near retirement age and have grandchildren. Both my sisters are empty nesters. I am the only person in my family who still has young children. I have not seen my cousins in years due to my insane mother who cut off everyone who is related to her. My father is dead, he died 2 years ago at 84. I now live in another state.Both my kids have some special needs the last two holidays we spent out of the house my developmentally disabled son wound up in the hospital because he got overwhelmed and being a sensory seeker he hurt himself. The third time out of the house my food allergic kid wound up in the hospital after suffering from anaplaxis just touching one of his allergens.
    So today my empty nester sister is in Europe with two of her kids. The only person to come today will be the “black sheep” nephew who my sister does not get along with. He came from 13 hours away to be with us.
    My in-laws invited us but they are the type of people who go out of their way not to have food for my food allergic kid and this is his holiday too. He should have an amazing meal he can eat safely so we turned down the invite.
    So it’s just us. The meal is ALL made except for the smoked turkey that has to be popped in the over later. I can go back to bed if I wanted but I really miss the excitement of the Christmas’ of my youth and I really miss my Dad who was ALL about Christmas. I hope I am making decent memories for my kids.

  51. I am feeling sad and ungrateful because I am too fat to wear the beautiful shirts my husband got me for Christmas (horizontal stripes in light colors is NOT happening eight weeks postpartum!) I know this will change…eventually…but I wish I could feel beautiful and comfortable NOW, instead of having my rubber-banded together jeans cutting into my muffin top. Sigh.

  52. Every year I try to rise above it and not feel like Charlie brown who gets the football taken away, but even though I’m 37, it still sucks to not get any presents on Christmas. All I asked for this year from my husband was tickets to see the Les Mis movie…and what am I doing on Christmas day at 11am? Buying tickets for myself on Fandango, because his reasoning–“I didn’t know what time you wanted to go.”Also, my competitive MIL. She offered to play a board game with DD, but she refuses to play the board game that I bought (even though that’s the one DD wants to play). She will only play the game she bought, which is 2 years too young for DD’s age.

  53. My heartfelt sympathy to all who are coping with way too much. I am grateful for having so much, and try to remind myself every day that so many people have heart-breakingly tough situations to deal with.My challenges right now are manageable but looming… feeling incredibly sad for my seriously depressed best friend who checked herself into hospital last week. Thank god she’s a smart gal who knew she needed help and I pray she gets what she needs. I know it’s silly to feel guilty over that, but I keep feeling/wishing I could have done something to help. Couple that with Newtown, and having a boy almost the same age as the innocent children who were taken, I lost my mind and went into a quiet internal rage when the news showed photos of the children being buried. Lastly, not knowing if my husband will be on the lucky or unlucky side of the 50/50 chance he has at carrying a debilitating genetic disease. Which could start showing up any time based on our age. And if he has it, the chance that my son also has that 50/50 chance… I can’t go there much.
    Heartfelt thanks, Moxie, for always seeming to just know what we need. I’ve been grateful for this space since my son was 4 days old.

  54. @Melissa (whose husband made her feel invisible with his gift that she can’t use but some other woman might absolutely love) should totally swap husbands with @J (whose husband didn’t get her anything despite J’s simple movie ticket request that he could have accomplished online in 2 minutes). Gah, this is the time of year when I reflect on the fact that so many of us just did not marry the right people for us. Bah humbug. I filed divorce papers two weeks ago, correct decision for me and my kids long term I know. But in the short term, I’m totally hurting my kids who keep begging me to take their dad back.

  55. @Tricia – I hope ARC’s comment did not make you feel foolish for even considering the idea of apologizing to your SIL and then actually having the courage to do it in person. I actually cringed at ARC’s initial response to you (but her apology was fine – I’m relieved she was able to see the need for it immediately. See, aren’t apologies lovely?).You sound very brave indeed, and showing up at her door was a truly amazing thing to do to try to mend your relationship. That’s something I wish I were brave enough to do. Maybe you’ll inspire me to make a resolution… Anyway, now the ball is in your SIL’s court. Try to accept that she feels very offended and hurt and stuck in a place of negativity towards you. Accept this and do try to move on. Perhaps she’ll eventually come around. Perhaps not. Life is long so who knows? You did the right thing. Please don’t ever be afraid to take those kinds of risks in life. Don’t ever be afraid to be vulnerable when it comes to the people who matter in your life.

  56. Feel foolish for thinking we could have an idyllic happy Christmas. Introverted hubby should have just stayed home and played video games while I went to my parents’ with the kids. I don’t yet have the guts to un-invite him next year. But I’m tired of being disappointed and pissed off every year because I do all the preparing and caring and he dis-engages. I don’t want to try to include him if he really does not want to be included. Has anyone successfully un invited a stick-in-the-mud spouse out of family fun?

  57. I know this is so minor compared to what some of you are going through…We are “postponing” most of our Christmas festivities for a few days, as my family is coming to visit on the 28th and staying until after New Year’s. We are far away from all our relatives, and my parents especially have not had the time with my 1yo that I know they wish they had. So I have been so excited about their visit. BUT. My husband has come down with a terrible cold today, I feel my throat getting sore, and I am just praying that the baby doesn’t get sick (or that we all get better fast!). I will be so sad if we have to spend their entire visit lying on the couch, doped up on cold medicine.
    P.S. I may or may not have accused my poor sick husband of “ruining Christmas.” I was mostly joking…

  58. I survived Christmas! I know that probably sounds terrible, but because of the divorce I was really dreading Christmas. The day before Christmas was actually far more stressful because of the anticipation. Christmas day went as well as could be expected.I took the boys to see my parents in the afternoon and I really got a fright when I saw my mom. I hadn’t seen her for about a month and in that month she has lost so much weight and looks gaunt and fragile. I feel so guilty because I know that a huge contributing factor to this, is the stress she is experiencing because of my divorce. Ugh, I wish I knew how to make this all more bearable for her.

  59. My husband got me a cd. On christmas eve, I happen to know. His job is in question (big lay offs) but really? A cd? I’m completely questioning our relationship (this isn’t the only thing) because it feels like we’re just roommates. A five and three year old…will this get better?

  60. Can’t sleep. Sad and tired mostly. 10 mo. old in full sleep regression/nursing marathon while I try to recover from 6 weeks of being so sick that I was bedridden three times. Debilitating headache still strikes at any time like I’m a power station with rolling blackouts. Husband had a crazy work deadline and hasn’t been available much, doesn’t understand how depleted I am physically, emotionally, spiritually. We are now at in-laws where baby won’t sleep, he drinks too much, we argue, he turns into a big baby. I feel neglected by him in many ways. He makes time for others, but not for me and I am resentful. So I worry about our marriage and holidays bring out all the stressors.Two more family Christmas events to go…
    On the bright side, I am slowly getting better, our 4 year-old is having the time of his life with cousins, and the in-laws’ house didn’t burn down despite a fire in the basement today. Still smells like campfire though.

  61. The 4.5 year old, E, was in a HORRIBLE mood while my folks visited. Complete with spitting and him yelling “Can everyone talk quieter?!”. Part of me wanted to MAKE him behave, but part of me wanted everyone to show a little respect and turn down the volume (my family talk loudly!).Then XMas day, E became overwhelmed with the day, the teasing from uncles and the pushy 2.5 yo cousin. While taking a break and watching a movie alone, little cousin and uncle tried to visit. E said “Get away, I don’t want her near me.” (valid on his point, but he could have been a bit more polite). Uncle, thinking no one was around to overhear, proceeds to say “No one’s going to come save you”. I heard, was in shock, and am beating myself up for not stepping in and putting uncle in his place.

  62. My husband was arrested for his second DUI on Friday night 12/21 after crashing his car into a metal fence. No one was physically injured, thankfully. Dealing with the aftermath (logistical and emotional) while trying to maintain the Christmas spirit and a facade of peace and love for our children (almost 4 and almost 2) has been challenging. I can’t even begin to think of anything past today. He is getting professional treatment but he long-term impact of this on our marriage, our kids, and our finances is totally overwhelming me.

  63. So much sympathy for everyone. This time of year is hard for so many reasons. For me, our 5yo has been sick since Saturday with a sinus infection, as have I. And his first set of antibiotics didn’t work, so we had to call in for a new one, as he was not improved as of today. I haven’t had decent sleep in nearly a week and now DH is hacking. 3.5yo is fine, but starved for attention, so demanding mommy do everything for him.Kids haven’t been out of the house since Sunday. DH and I haven’t been anywhere but doctor’s office and pharmacy since Monday.
    Oh, and 5yo has sensory issues, making giving him meds a special kind of hell. Screaming, tears, gagging to near vomiting, and physically fighting 3-5 times a day. On no sleep. With my rampant vomit phobia going full tilt, as it will all winter long.
    May have to postpone extended family gathering (which I don’t really want to go to, never mind prolong) if we don’t feel better. On the plus side, the kids loved everything about Christmas day, between medicine doses.

  64. All I will say here (I’ve already posted once with a different name) is that Magda, you are a wonder because you give us all a space to say what we wish we could say somewhere else. Yesterday sucked pretty much and I don’t get why this day is such a huge deal to so many. I guess I’ve lost it. Hugs to you for your support and space.

  65. I guess it’s a good thing that my first thought was, “Oh, hey, I don’t really have anything to vent about.” But then I remembered how we spent the night before Christmas Eve in the emergency room because I (15 weeks pregnant) and my daughter (2 years old) were vomiting so violently and frequently we couldn’t even keep down water and I couldn’t stop shaking uncontrollably. Felt like death the next day (but still managed to have a nice time with the family) and am still having a lot of stomach problems three days later. And I am alternating between (clearly) trying to forget it ever happened and being terrified that what was most likely food poisoning is something that’s going to have really detrimental effects on the fetus. And then feeling guilty for being terrified at the thought of our childing being born blind or sick or having other problems that, as my mother won’t stop reminding me, I will have to just “deal with” if they happen.

  66. I’m tired of being broke. I did not get a damn master’s degree to live paycheck to paycheck and dodge bill collectors’ phone calls. And yet, here I am. I love my husband but sometimes wish I had married someone with better income (he works in construction). Between the cost of preschool and day care we could have a second house. Wouldn’t trade my kids for anything but dear lord I will be glad when they’re both in regular school, which is FREE!

  67. I’m so sorry for everyone who’s having a hard time. And Moxie, thanks for providing a space to let our grouchy hair down for a minute.My vent is totally ridiculous and I hate that I am having it. (HATE IT.) I… I do not get along fabulously with my MIL. Isn’t that stupid? I HATE THAT I HAVE THIS PROBLEM. It’s such a cliche and it’s so dumb. She is a nice person who loves her son/my husband and who works hard to get along with me. And I think I can understand (in the vague way of someone whose child is still very young) that it must be challenging to raise a person to adulthood and then “hand him off” to another woman to form a new family with.
    But I still have this thing where I just, I find her so hard to get along with. I really try pretty hard, but I keep failing. And she invited herself to come stay with us for several weeks (!!!) in advance of the rest of the family arriving (!!!). And this is a very small house. And I just don’t need this much togetherness, and it’s so challenging… I really want to not get into mental and emotional knots about it this time, but you guys… I am already having a hard time, and we’re only on day four.
    AHHHHHHHHH.

  68. @me: I’m tired of being broke, too. We’re not quite halfway through my husband’s professional grad school, which is the thing that will allegedly rescue us from the never-quite-middle-class cycle of mild, crappy poverty. Sometimes I feel like, yes! This is going to work! He is smart and competitive and in the top 5% of his class! And other times I feel like I am taking this huge, ridiculous gamble on someone else’s career while neglecting my own. What if this doesn’t work? What if we just end up in debt we can never get out of, and no closer to stability?(We are in our mid-late 30s. Modern American life is… insanity, you know?)

  69. I am eight weeks pregnant for the second time. I am sick and miserable. Managed to get through Christmas Day without puking, but every day since, man. And I feel nauseated any time I’m vertical and I’m dreading going back to work on Monday.

  70. Thanks for the space to let it all out.I’m at my wits end for a number of reasons. I want out of my marriage.
    My husband is a lovely man but does nothing but criticise and correct me – even in front of the kids. He doesn’t think it’s criticism though, he’s just trying to ‘help me’ and only wants me to be happy. He’s hurt when I tell him my interpretation of that conversation (whatever it might have been) and saddened that id think so little of him and thinks I’m just being negative.
    If I’m trying to discipline my children, DS in particular, he tells me I’m all wrong. I’m not disputing that I might be but a) I’d like him to stop telling me I’m wrong in front of the kids and b) he’s at work 11 hours a day, five days a week, and only on weekends and holidays does he release his parenting expertise. Keeping in mind that, ‘all five year olds act up. You can’t stop it so why fight it, he’s going to do it anyway.’ I’m trying different ways to interact with DS so we can change the behaviours and DH turns on the TV as a way to stop said problem behaviours. I feel as though I’m beating my head against a brick wall constantly…
    Ad to that, we are, at least 24 hours flying time away from all my friends and family (12 from his) so there’s no support whatsoever. I want to leave but feel as though I’ve got nothing to offer anymore. I’ve been out of the job market for close to six years while we’ve constantly moved from country to country so that would be a start from scratch. The educational opportunities where we are are great, whilst only mediocre at home – and I just don’t feel right taking my children away from thier father but, if we separate, I have to leave the country and I’m not leaving without my kids. Mind you, they worship ther dad so I’d also be resented for a very, very long time. So I can stay, suck it up, and continue to let the children see me being overridden constantly.
    Lastly, we’ve had 21 guests over the past three months (12 of them in-laws), with only two days to ourselves in the midst of it. The last six are leaving in two days, thankfully. It’s the first time I’ve met this branch of DHs family and frankly, while lovely, it’s just been too much for too long.
    Yes, it’s a it of a pity party for one but I am truly at a loss…

  71. @horrible DiL — I feel the same way, and my MIL came to live with us a month ago. I am at my wit’s end. I am miserable. I am so sorry. I would just end this misery if it weren’t for lovely 5 year old, whom I am disturbing at the moment because the only place for our computer is in the hallway right outside the door of her room. I am a one-person pity party also. My husband is chronically depressed, and my reserves for dealing with this are gone, gone, gone in the suckiness of dealing with his mother in my house. I am so sorry that I am not stronger. I must be stronger. I am. I hate typing all this about me, me, me. But I need help and I haven’t developed the friendships I need to turn to.

  72. Went to the dermatologist the day after Christmas for what my primary care guy said was eczema. Note: it is never a good thing when doctors get excited and then ask you if they can take a picture of your rashy hands with their cell phone. I came out with two skin biopsies and a tentative diagnosis of one of two systemic autoimmune diseases. Totally blindsided. Waiting for final results in a week or so. It’s really thrown me for a loop emotionally. I researched both possible diseases and started feeling like the rest of my possibly-shortened life was flashing before my eyes as a bullet-point list of symptoms. I jokingly told my husband I was having an existential crisis. But I think I really am. Like, what if this is the beginning of the end and I’m 42 and haven’t done anything meaningful yet??

  73. I don’t know if any of the previous posters will be coming back to check, but Magda asked those of us with good thoughts to give to send them in, and I wanted to do that. To those of you with marriages that feel hard and lonely and families that disappoint and hurt, I’m sending my sincerest thoughts and hopes that things will ease.I saw so much of myself in the posts – the stress over “baby’s 1st Christmas”; the disappointment in a husband who doesn’t engage in the holidays, who regresses around his family, who criticizes while doing relatively little; the boundless frustration at inlays; the wishing for a differently sized and shaped body; the desire to offer to our children something magical and wonderful and impossibly perfect with our own flawed, exhausted, worn-out hands. It’s hard. It’s really hard.
    Please, please let us all be kind to ourselves. Treat ourselves the way we would a good friend who was hurting. You all have been such a good community to me – so much good advice I’ve gotten here, so much comfort and support and collective wisdom. Thank you for that. Thanks for existing, fellow parents, for trying and caring and loving and sharing the painful beautiful things that we do. I wish I could DO something for the pain out there, and I can’t. So I guess I’ll just say thank you for being part of this community that has sustained me, and to everyone who wrote in on this page: I read every word, and I sent you my deepest support, however intangible it is. And please, please, be kind to your hardworking, hard-caring, selves.

  74. A funny-ish vent here…We had 14 house guests for Christmas, eight of them for three whole weeks, six of whom were children. Of the six, there were four little boys under 10 and two girls aged 12 and two.
    Needless to say, the toilet seats and surrounds were absolutely disgusting and I couldn’t keep up with the mess, there was wee everywhere! When I mentioned, out loud, that you could certainly tell there were lots of boys in the house, my MIL suggested that the mess was due to the two-year old girl weeing on the toilet (because she sits backwards) and not the boys’ bad aim… Really?!?!?!

  75. The Guarnerius reproduction we sell has a well flamed back, sides and scroll, evenly grained seasoned top, dark amber color, ebony trimmings, pegs and tailpiece with Parisian eye. Outstanding master workmanship made in Germany by the famous violin makers, Ernst Heinrich Roth.

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