If you’ve suddenly found yourself on this page reading this post, chances are you have at least one family member who you dread seeing or dealing with during the holidays. Or maybe your family just radiates toxic vibes but you feel obligated to handle them at this time of the year. Whatever it is, I’ve been there. And although this article isn’t exactly dog mom-centric, you may find it helpful when showing up for festivities on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Dealing With Family During the Holidays
Most of us are grateful for our families…or at least many of our family members. It’s just the honest truth. Immediate and extended family can be entirely difficult to deal with. They aren’t afraid to loudly pass judgement or bring up old shit at the dinner table. Am I right?! A delicious holiday feast can quickly turn into an anxiety-filled eight course meal that makes you want to fling turkey across the table and slam doors on your way out. Sound familiar?
I get it.
Today’s societal expectations tell us that we need to “suck it up” for a several hour long interrogation by family members for the sake of mainstream holidays. But over the last few years I’ve realize that I don’t have to do anything or partake in any of these events if I don’t feel comfortable. Setting boundaries and knowing what’s best for your mental health has done wonders for my enjoyment of the holidays.
The thing is, your life is your own. You don’t have to answer questions. You don’t have to spill details about your personal life, especially to people who only see you a few times a year. There are no laws and regulations about how much information you need to give up at the dinner table.
Remember that it’s always okay to say “no.” It’s always okay to leave your family’s house as soon as you’ve become overwhelmed. It’s okay to not go to Aunt Karen’s house because you know she’s going to constantly bombard you with, “When are you gonna get married, have kids and take over the world?” questions.
It’s also okay to have quiet holidays. What makes you happiest? Staying home with your dog and watching movies while you eat a bowl of cereal and play video games? Do it. It’s acceptable. We are humans. We have choices. And you can literally do whatever you want to do. If your family feels a certain way, who cares? It’s literally not your problem.
I love my family, but there are certain members that I just won’t be around because they cause me undue stress and anxiety. The toxicity and negativity they radiate is much too overwhelming. And want to know the best part? I don’t have to deal with it because I choose not to.
To be honest, my friends have become more of my family over the years. I enjoy being around them more so because I know that they CHOSE me. They don’t judge me, ask ridiculous questions or lay out expectations. And that’s how family really should be…
So what’s the point of this post? To remind you of the following:
- It’s okay to cut your family visits short.
- It’s okay to say no.
- You don’t have to share your personal life with your family.
- You need to spend your holidays how you’re most comfortable.
- If your family has a problem with you, that’s not your issue.
- Don’t take what your family says personally. If they pass judgement, that’s their problem, not yours.
- And ladies: your reproductive organs are none of anyone’s damn business.
This year, like every year, I will be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with those who appreciate and accept me for who I really am. I won’t be showing up anywhere with a fake smile and phony facade. Forget it. If I had to do that, I’d stay home.
So bust out your dog’s fancy sweater and put on your dog mom t-shirt. It’s time to start making the holidays happier for yourself.