I had a good laugh on Monday night when I turned on Lifetime and saw this movie was on :  On Strike for Christmas.  I fell asleep during the movie, but what I saw depicted exactly how I felt.

 Holidays are never what I expect them to be, especially now that the 2 oldest boys are in college.  I always thought that when they reached this age, we would do more things together during the holidays.  Can anyone say "Dream World"?  Definitely not my reality.  I was really hoping that we would have one night together.  Playing a game, watching a movie, or watching a football game.
Wed. night we went out for dinner, then the 2 oldest were off to visit friends.  Even Thanksgiving night they went to friends' houses.  My initial hope was that we could all go for a hike together, as a family.  But, CH wanted to go for a motorcycle ride, MS & YS didn't want to go, and OS slept late.  By the time he got up, I was headed out to the Yankee Candle Shop to see what they had.  So, he & a friend went hiking instead.
I don't think the boys realize how hard I work to make the holidays special for them, so they'll have memories and traditions to pass down to their kids.  Maybe, being boys, they just don't care and/or it just isn't important to them.  I guess we'll see this year, because I'm going on strike.  I had plans to put up the Christmas decorations over the weekend, but because of the attitudes, I rethought that.  In fact, I'm not going to go out of my way to do anything.  If they want it done, they can do it themselves.
I've threatened that in the past, but didn't follow through because I didn't think it was fair to YS, but, now that he's 17, I think he can handle it.
I shed some tears this weekend in the privacy of my bedroom, and I'm just tired of feeling this way.  Maybe my family has always been this way and I just hoped that it would change as the boys got older.  I told the boys last year that all they had to do was tell us what they wanted to do as a family and we would do it.  Did I hear any suggestions?  Nope; not a one.  We are a family of 5 who have 5 different interests.  Guess I should just get over it and realize that this is how we are.

I'm not looking for sympathy; I just wanted to get this off of my chest and feel better about everything.  It won't be too much longer and they'll have families of their own and won't be spending any holidays with us. you have the "dream family" and spend a lot of time together during the holidays, or does everybody do their own thing?


  1. I'm sorry, Mary. I think being the only woman in a house full of men must be very difficult at times. Women and men think so differently and are so emotionally wired differently.

    Why not put up decorations for you, for the happy spirit that resides in you? Make your list of wishes to do for Mary. I am afraid if you go on strike (which you have every right to) it may only make you feel worse. You may not receive the response that is needed.

    Create your own list of movies you want to see...invite a friend, go to your parents, etc. Make a list of cookies you want to bake and take them to school to share with friends there, or to the parish office. Pick a name off of the tree at church or come up with another plan of charity and take pride in your work of love.

    Put up your tree, but do it on your time when you want to. Heck, splurge and create a that YOU like or have always wanted to decorate with!

    Hang in there. Chin up! Don't let them keep you down. If you go on strike, really make it your strike.

  2. Aww Mary, I do think its partly because they are boys. Not saying all boys are like this but many are or there are some girls in the mix to drag them along with the program.

    Will not having any decorations up make you happy or sad? And more importantly-do they read your blog : ) Maybe they need this emailed to them. Being boys of a certain age they truly may not realize how hurt you are.

    And, as the mother I do think you can insist on one night of family togetherness (or an afternoon or whatever) friends, just the five of you. I don't think that is asking too much.

    I hope they surprise you in some thoughtful meaningful way during this Christmas season!

  3. It's hard when the kids start getting older and want to branch out on their own. But have faith, it does get better and eventually they realize how important family is.

  4. Ugh, Blogger ate my first comment, let's try this again...

    1. I wouldn't necessarily hide the tears. I think it's important for your boys to know how important this is to you. I'm sure you think they must know, but they are male and they definitely could be clueless. I would talk to each of them, preferably together and talk about what activities you'd really like to do as a family, what they might want to do, and a few dates they can commit to spending together.

    2. Don't automatically assume that once they have families of their own they won't spend the holidays with you. We are truly thrilled that our oldest and his family always spend holidays with us, this year his wife's mom also joined us for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is when my daughter-in-law mentioned that she realized she thinks of our family's traditions as hers now, she craves certain dishes I make as being part of her Thanksgiving memories, etc. I was really happy that spending time with us has become an important part of her tradition.

    Good luck, I completely understand and think your feelings are very valid. Hopefully the men in your life will respond accordingly if you can make it clear to them how important it is to you.

  5. I know! We can run away together and hide from Christmas!! I am absolutely dreading the question 'so, what's new?' this year...we can share our tears and then have some good wine.

    A girl can dream, right?

  6. Oh, Mary! We are living parallel lives! I often chalk it up to only having sons....I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have shed my fair share of tears over this same topic. I wish I knew the answer or what the solution is, but sadly I don't. I really appreciate you sharing this. It helps to know we are not alone!

  7. Oh, Mary, I feel for you. I agree with so much other commenters said. But you might be sorry later if you go on strike and discover that the boys consider what they're doing as part of their holiday dreams and you're the foundation that makes it all happen. It's always surprised me how boys say little at home about intangible stuff then brag to others about their parents. Having said that, my personal philosophy is that the United States is a democracy. This house, where I live, is a monarchy. I am the queen. If I want an occasional family night, that's the way it is. (Operative word is 'occasional'.) You've earned the right to wear your crown. Dust it off and announce what you want to do (after you've organized it to a point where no one can say no) and go for it. Good luck!

  8. I don't think it is a "boy" thing at all. I think it is a "college" thing. The same thing seemed to happen when my daughter and then my son went off to college. They seemed to want to spend more time with their friends who were also home from college.

    Once they graduated, they came home to visit US and to spend time with US. It was a wonderful and welcome change.

    I suspect that might happen to your boys as well.

  9. I think it is a mom thing; we want to do things with our family; we want to spend time with them and they often don't express the same interest we do. Deep down they do love you and would do anything for you, except maybe spend the time with you that you would want them to. It is hard when they grow and start leaving the nest or get their own group of friends etc. It does hurt and it can be lonely. So what's the answer? Still trying to figure that out myself. Maybe that's why I spend a lot of time online.


  10. It is definitely hard when they grow up. I even remember a time when my son was still in HS. He asked me to go see his friend in a play and there I sat all alone because he went off with his friends. This will pass as they get a little older. Our son and his best girl did a Thanksgiving dinner last year on Friday after the day. They now appreciate the work involved in putting that dinner together. One thing I have told myself over the years is if they are happy I am happy. Now that they are 32 & 30 we spend a lot of time together, they are our best friends.

  11. It seems we have less 'together' time as I would like, but we still get a little in here and there.
    perhaps you need to DEMAND one day and NO ONE can make other plans??? You know you rule the just gotta put your foot down. :)
    Good luck!!


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