One week, one small home, two families. Help an irritable introvert cope?
July 9, 2012 6:58 PM Subscribe
Husband's family is coming to town, yay! They're asking if we can put them up for a week, eek! Small home, two bedrooms, four adults, three children. I'm an introvert and homebody in the extreme; have anxiety and, lately, irritability issues; and I don't know if or how I can cope with this. Help me make this possible.
posted by Eolienne to human relations (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I adore these people. As two couples, we lived together with them pre-children for a year or so, and while I did feel the need for more personal space, we were very comfortable overall.
The problem mainly lies with the kids, I guess. We have a 6-year-old, and it's a daily stretch to cope with the constant demand on my time and attention, particularly during the summer break. While I love my girl to pieces, I don't enjoy being around other people's kids. I am especially uncomfortable being responsible for anybody else's child in any way. They have two children: one preschooler, and one about our little girl's age.
I've been struggling with anxiety and irritability. I've only recently gotten to the point where I feel like I'm acting like a decent human. I still have to walk away on a regular basis to give myself some breathing room to calm down. I take an hour each afternoon for "alone time." It feels like a midday lifeline.
Having so many people, and particularly young children, in such a cramped space would wear on me far more than everyday mothering. I don't feel like I'll have the option to take my hour of alone time (which honestly, I doubt would make a dent in this circumstance), because it will mean leaving my girl in their supervision (she normally is by herself doing her own thing), and I'm not okay placing that burden on them, as I would not like to feel obliged to reciprocate with child care. I feel like this is unreasonable on my part.
They're very active, and I'll feel obligated to hitch my wagon to that. I expect they'll be out doing things and visiting the beach daily, and it would be absolutely unfair to say to my daughter, "No, you have to stay home/go grocery shopping/read with me today instead of going out and doing great things at the beach/funplace with your new friends." We have regular activities scheduled throughout our days, but for me that's very different from direct socializing.
I feel like an utter princess about this whole thing, and it's compounded by the fact that I'm not going with my husband and our daughter to his family's reunion just before this. (It's over 700 miles away, I'd be in pain and minimally functional the entire time, and far more a burden than a help. Husband and I both felt like it would be the easiest option for both of us, but I feel tremendous shame over it.)
They don't have much money, and we live in a location where hotels are expensive. I don't feel like I can say no. Please help. What are my options? What can I do to cope?
(Please don't get me wrong. I'm very excited to have them here, and I look forward to spending time with them. I'm just worried I'm going to have a meltdown when faced with the scale of it over several days.)