I have to admit, when we first were engaged, I had a hard time with this. Heck, I still have a hard time with this. Part of me wants to be selfish and say "but I wanna see MY family!" (Picture me stomping my foot on the ground and throwing Oscar-worthy tantrum.) But...that's not what marriage is about. Marriage is about compromise. My family lives an hour away from where we live. We see them quite often. T's family, on the other hand, lives over five hours north of us, and we see them only a handful of times during the year. Quite the difference. So we've worked on a compromise - rotating the years of when we spend Thanksgiving with T's parents and my parent's, spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family (for now) and then the week after Christmas with T's family. This year, his family has to travel to us, since I've been given strict "no traveling" instructions from both specialists, so it's worked out quite well.
The arrangement seemed good enough. But that arrangement only involved just the two of us. It didn't take into consideration the fact that soon we would have a third person to consider, someone who may want to spend Christmas at her own home. After all, Santa comes to her house, right?
T and I have had this discussion several times about what we would do and how things would change once Half-pint arrives. Part of me has been somewhat resistant. That part of me is the people pleasing part. I am petrified of rocking the boat with my family. I don't want to cause arguments or disappoint anyone. So I tend to do that thing that we people pleasers do best and put other's needs ahead of my own. But this isn't just "other's" needs. This is my own child's needs. So we made a decision yesterday. Starting next year, we will spend Christmas Eve with my family, go to mass, eat dinner and exchange presents, and then we'll head home at the end of the night so that we can tuck Half-pint in and get things ready for Santa's arrival. And we'll spend Christmas Day together as a family, just the three of us.
Because that really is what we're becoming. A family. Our family. I know we are already a family and have been one since September 18, 2010, or arguably before that. But it's time for me to make that step and truly put what our family needs first. Sure, next Christmas Half-pint will only be around 9 or 10 months old, and she won't really know for certain what is going on or who this Santa guy is. But next year, it really isn't just for her. It will be her first Christmas, and it will mean something to T and myself that we celebrate it in her own home, thus starting a tradition we would like to see carried out throughout her childhood.
Am I nervous that this decision will hurt feelings next year? Dear Lord, yes. I don't look forward to this conversation by any means. But...it's something I want. And it's something T wants. And in a way, it feels like a big step in the world of adulthood.
So I put this out to all of my blogging friends with experience in this area...how did you face these sorts of difficult decisions? Any words of wisdom? (Or words of warning?)