Setting Boundaries With Family

I love this time of year. I love putting out holiday decorations in my home and all of the little traditions that come along with celebrating the holidays. My granddaughter Evie is old enough to help me out in the kitchen now and it is so fun to share this time with her and Chapman, making treats and special holiday food. Our family situation, with Kelsey and her children living with us right now, may be a bit different this year than most of yours. Many of you are probably traveling over the next month to see family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s why I wanted to remind you that no matter what your plans are for the holidays over the next several weeks - make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page! Once you get married, your primary relationship becomes one another, and that should take precedence over your relationship with your own parents or with your spouse’s. If you need to have a difficult or unpleasant conversation, I always tell moms, ‘blood deals with blood’. That means that you should speak with your family about hard things, like the fact that you don’t want your child to have the ipad they want to buy them for their birthday, and your spouse should speak to his family about anything that might ruffle their feathers, like your new tradition of staying at your home on Christmas morning. Parents tend to take “bad” news more gently from their own child. Taking this approach helps protect the relationship that your parents have with your spouse and vice versa.

Don’t feel guilty about the boundaries you establish with your spouse for your family. Your parents will adapt to your decisions and your marriage will benefit from the protection of this boundary. Regardless of how long you have been married, or what your living situation is, you and your spouse need to present a united front when it comes to extended family.