Follow
Share

And do we inform the host of our time limitations? This week is Christmas and for our family that means lots of social engagements. This year it's three in a row - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday - and I'm exhausted just thinking about it because hubby and I will take my inlaws to and from all of them. Two of the parties involve an hour of driving each way. How long is enough to stay at these family gatherings so as to not insult the hosts? And do I inform the hosts in advance or upon arrival of our time limitations?


Some relevant info is that MIL is in a wheelchair, needs help feeding herself, and cannot be toileted at someone else's home because of the amount of time it takes. She will be wearing Depends. Last year I know MIL had an accident in the car on the way home because I could smell it.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
NYDIL, brush up your collection of white lies. You have done one party tomorrow take MIL's temp and tell her it is over 99 and she should not go out. On top of that she looks rather tired this morning. #3 I"ll leave that up to you but I am sure you can come up with something creative. Just be thankful MIL still wants to attend these things.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Just got out of the party that was longest drive away! I'm as shocked as all of you must be having read that. There is a Santa Claus! Hubby was honest with his parents that he thought it was too tiring for them. MIL didn't like being told that but FIL loved it because he didn't want to go to all three anyway. Hubby only wanted to go to two of them. I would have been fine with 27 minutes at one.

One house has a big bathroom in the master, which is on the ground floor. And I do recall the hostess offering it to my inlaws for their use so I think it's more than having access to a big bathroom. I think MIL and FIL are afraid/resistant to toilet MIL outside their home.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

How long to spend with family at Christmas? Well let's see......Eat, find vodka I hid the last time, knock back a stiff one with cousin in garage, obligatory hugs, greetings etc........About 27 minutes.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

NYDaughterinlaw, If you were not taking your MIL and FIL, would you and your husband be going to all three of those gatherings?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with Babalou. Time for Mohammed to start going to the mountain.

But that doesn't help this year; so another question: whose houses are these that you're going to gatherings at? Because what struck me was the lack of bathroom facilities suitable for use by your MIL. Your hosts have invited her. Your hosts should ensure that she can be made welcome and comfortable. Why not have a discreet word and see what they can do to help - maybe there's an en suite somewhere on the premises that she could be helped to, or something? Failing that, to be honest, if she turns out not to be having a good day on any of the three, I don't think you should have any qualms about cancelling if necessary. Three long or longish trips and hail-fellow-well-met on successive days is an awful lot to ask of their stamina, let alone yours.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

MIL has significantly declined since last Christmas and everyone knows she was in ICU this summer. Each of the parties is a big dinner and MIL wants to attend them all. MIL greatly overestimates her capabilities and underestimates the amount of stress. That there is stress on everyone else around her does not enter into her equations. She doesn't get it.

I was on the same page, Babalou, in early November when I suggested to MIL that they book a Christmas party in the private party room at their building and everyone would come to them. MIL gave it lip service and I never brought it up again.

Discreet went out the window years ago. There's nothing discreet about men carrying MIL in her wheelchair down the front steps of the house to get in the car to go home. It's like a goodbye parade and I have one last drink before heading to the driveway to watch family members who see my inlaws once or twice a year all try help MIL get in the car.

MIL will deny that she needs even one day to recover let alone more than one. FIL is actually very encouraging of MIL getting the rest she needs. I'm pretty sure FIL is freaking out about all these parties.

I told my husband about these concerns swimming around my head. He will talk to his dad about what is realistic. Thank you, all, for asking the right questions and your good answers. I appreciate it! - NYDIL
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Babalou,

You rock!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

NYDaughterinLaw, I like a "French Good Bye" that's when you smile and discreetly leave early out the back door so as not to put a damper on the fun. Maybe casually mention before the party that you may leave a little bit early. Go and enjoy. You deserve a little fun too!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Do each of these involve meals?

Are these events all a night? If so, I would take into consideration your MIL's usual bedtime.

I would spend about an hour at each of these.

I assume that the hosts of these social engagements know of you MIL's health? If so, I think they would understand your not being able to stay more than an hour.

Do ya'll absolutely have to attend all three? How hard is this going to be on your MIL? Three parties in three days plus having to drive to two of them is a lot!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Oh, if you decide to go to all 3 gatherings, I would just tell the host that you can't stay long due to the obvious issues you are dealing with. I would think that would be fine and not rude in the least bit. I would tell the hosts in advance, so if they are planning on serving food or taking pictures, they will know what time to plan for it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I'm going to make a suggestion for next year. Have a gathering before or after the holiday for al these relatives to come and visit the elders.

What we've done the past several years, at the NH, and before that at MOM'S house, we'd all bring food and do all the set up and cleaning. Mom gets to come out for an hour and go back to her room when she's tired.

I'm not at all how I'd handle taking an incontinent parent out somewhere that required an hour's drive each way if they couldn't be toileted on site.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

How much have your in-laws declined since you last took them to family gatherings,especially your FIL, whom you describe in more detail in your profile? It sounds like he may be difficult to control. Is he social when you take him to gatherings or into the public?

Do the people you are going to visit know what to expect with his behavior as well as your mom's condition?

Do your in-laws want to attend these gatherings?

In your judgment, is it appropriate and in their best interest? Is the benefit worth the toll.

Do their doctors have an opinion about the traveling that much?

I would consider those things and more and not worry too much about how long you should stay. I think that their health and comfort level is the first priority. Plus, your peace of mind. It sure sounds like a lot of stress for you and your husband.

I think I would make other arrangements, like one gathering each year. I'd rotate and that would be it. I can't imagine taking people with physical and mental disabilities those distances over the holidays, but that's me.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.