Monday, June 12, 2006

Balancing Act

When does my family (myself, hubby and soon to arrive home baby) become first? Not in the day to day business of living--that one is easy. But as father's day approaches, we face yet again, family obligation vs. what we would do. I love my family and I have a commitment to them, but I also love my hubby and have a commitment to him. I also have a divorced family and my father has a new girlfriend--well not new they have been together 8 years. They aren't married, but that is because my dad doesn't want to really do the whole marriage thing again. He did it once and it wasn't all roses. But now that there is a baby on the way and the gf is going to be a grandma, her family is now becoming part of my family. I was very content when her family was hers. Hubby does not think of her family as a relation to our child--but here in the midwest things are different than they are in California where he is from. This has been something we have talked about adnauseum. My hubby wants our family to come first and not be ruled by what the other members of the family want to do. I have a really hard time with that.

Father's day example. My dad called yesterday to tell us that Father's day would be at his house on Saturday and that the gf's family would be there too. Well, hubby had wanted to have a party for the US's game that day against Italy. But to me celebrating Father's day with my dad is really important. My dad and I are really close. My hubby thinks these things should be celebrated on our terms not anyone elses. Well, in all honesty that is not how it works in my family. We have always celebrated Mother's and Father's day as a family at grandparents houses--but since my grandpa has passed away we don't go to my grandparent's anymore. We have not spent father's day with my dad as he is usually with his gf's family. Now this year we are all going to celebrate together. My hubby is resentful that we are celebrating when gf wants to celebrate. I want to do this for my dad. I don't want him to be pulled as he would like to celebrate father's day with his kids and gf of course wants to see her father as well. It is quite a quandry. Hubby of course wants to have his celebration too, when he wants to have it.

How does one balance it all. How do we meld my strong bonds with my family with a hubby who only sees his dad maybe once a year when he comes to visit us. He only talks to his father once a month if that. He talks to his mom a little more and his brother every 5 months are so. He comes from Los Angeles--the land of leaving the nest and never returning. His family has become secondary to me--I hail from the midwest, where so many of us live within 15 miles of our parents. I grew up spending Sundays at grandmas with the entire family. Our backgrounds and attitudes toward family is so different. I think it will be so hard. I know that Christmas will be easy, as we have already lain the foundation for that. We will not leave the house on Christmas day. This is so hard. I do like the idea of celebrating as a whole family on the Saturday and then just us on the acutal day. It is so hard. I can't change how I feel about spending time with my family, no more than my hubby can change how he feels about spending time with family.

Cultural differences.

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