Yeah, I Said It: I Hate Visiting My Family


I quickly remember why I hate coming here just as soon as I zip up three-persons packing for the weekend. Not only is it a four-hour drive with two littles but it’s so much more damn work for me when we visit my folks. I so despise the obligation nagging at me to celebrate Lao New Year, which befalls in mid April, with my family. It starts out where I’m excited to expose my kids to my family’s culture, eat Lao food, and support the Buddhist community and ends up in me regretting thinking I could ever get Hum to nap or arrive at a ceremony on time. I hate visiting my parents because:

It’s a house full of Asians With little to no information (or belief) in modern birth control, usually Laotian families are large. I am the oldest of four and being the only child to not be living at home. If you are familiar with stereotypes, Laotians are not a quiet group of people. We use high pitches and some yell-talking to properly convey a single point. Sprinkle in a couple of drop-in relatives and you’ve got a hot recipe for stimulation overload for kids.

No Nap Toddler Speaking of which, Humnoy is off his already scattered schedule. I soon realize that I am a fucking badass schedule guru when we’re at home compared to this crazy circus of a nap coming down from a sugar high at 4:30 pm. I just give up and lay down with Lanoy and whatever other family member is up can supervise her crazy big brother until he zonks out from exhaustion.

I get no help You’d think in a place with four, sometimes five, adults that you can get some help with supervising or at least entertaining a rambunctious toddler. Well, boo fuckity hoo am I wrong on that. Combined with the first two bullet points and a toddler seeking attention from somebody, I’m super irritated and frazzled in this house.

I’m usually solo parenting This is just an extension from previous thought. Every chance we get to come visit my family, it seems like my husband is also trying to get away. He likes to go and run off to go play bikes with his friends in the town over about two hours away. So, essentially, when he says he wants to go visit my family, I can smell his ulterior motives out from under the guise of just wanting to be around my family a house full of crazy Asians (see bullet point 1).

We have different discipline methods I thought it was difficult enough struggling with discipline differences with GH at home but it’s definitely more annoying when it’s with your immediate family. My parents are old-school discipliners and definitely try it with my kids but I think they know better than to follow through with their giddy threats of a slap on the behind for getting into the water cooler. I either bite my tongue and redirect their comment/threat, as playful as it is, so Humnoy can move onto a desired behavior or activity.

At least when we’re home, I can control the environment and work the resources from the familiar surroundings. Here, it’s a lost cause and a disaster. The only thing that keeps me sane is all the Lao food I get to inhale without a dietary care in the world. If it weren’t for that, my family wouldn’t get to see my kids nor would the kids get to be a part of the Lao community in my hometown because I hate coming here. Alas, here I am struggling with a fussy infant and No Nap Toddler just for a cultural experience. It’s usually worth it but right now, I’m just really tired.

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How often do your kid(s) see your family?

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22 thoughts on “Yeah, I Said It: I Hate Visiting My Family

  1. Aww dude I’m sorry. Family can be the worst and I completely understand the need and want to avoid. It seems like once you have kids, you start to feel a real disconnect with your family. At least I know I have. You do things one way and they do things another way. Just breath, steal away when you can & inhale as much food as possible!

  2. I hate taking my kid to my parent’s house because they are Fox-News watching fundies who make racist and homophobi statements and fight over the most annoying things ever. I like having them come here because then I feel like I can tell them how I feel, whereas at their house I feel like I’m walking on eggshells and have to live by their rules. Boo!

  3. Theek, it is so hard going home. You want your kids to be perfect, but they are just living their lives, surviving in a new environment. We only go home about twice a year for this same reason. Sleep is our main issue. It is so hard to sleep away from our peaceful homes.

  4. I can totally relate especially with the whole “discipline” thing. I hate hate hate that in my familys home all I hear is ” no no no no ,pau pau” (pau pau)is a threatening sound for a spanking. I try and bite my tongue but good lord I find it extremely hard to do that especially knowing they never treated my little brother that way at my sons age. that’s probably why my brother is so rude and does whatever he wants at the age of 10. okay okay I’m ranting. but yeah you totally have a right to hate going to your family’s. I know I do. lol

      • youre telling me I used to get spanked for all kinds of dumb shit. my brother talks back and somehow he ends up crying and being the victim. the only thing that makes me feel better about being raised differently is that I was a tough kid at his age lol I didn’t cry over dumb stuff. I kinda feel bad for him cause hes such a poone. I think its probably because my parents are much older now than they were when they had me. a decade is a big gap.

      • I do have hard feelings about my upbringing because I struggle with it in my marriage. I have a hard time opening up and being honest when I’m upset and it makes matters worse. I hope my kids know that emotions shouldn’t be shameful and can help with whatever situation got them to that emotion.

  5. I am Romanian and by the time I was middle school aged my parents split up and my family was very scattered. My grandparents passed away and with the money left most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins bought properties down south. The rest went back to Romania My dad started a new family with an American woman.. and then they split up too. So the older I got the less connected to my culture I felt and I really resented and hated it. I missed the huge gatherings, speaking in native tongue, all the food, Orthodox holidays, etc. Now all these years later I’m married Greek and I have all that for Niko ….and hateit and want nonothing to do with it. Its exhausting and over whelming. And I fucking hate being told how to parent by people who haven’t been parents in over 20 fucking years. I get frustrated with myself though bc I know I want Niko exposed to it.. Just not myself sometimes. They’re just so old school old world old country mentality… Like that’s their excuse for being so close minded. Being a mom has really made me defensive and closed off, I feel. But I keep trying to remind myself of how fond I was of this kind of upbringing at one point in my life

    • Lindsay, those are such great points! I feel the same way, as a new mom who believes in gentle parenting and ‘natural’ parenting like how my grandmothers did in Laos, there’s plenty of things I don’t agree with. They hit their children, I do not. Much like AP, it’s not an all-or-nothing philosophy so I’m okay with that.

  6. I broke out in a cold sweat reading this. I couldn’t imagine keeping my sanity while solo-parenting in an over-stimulation zone. Good on you for taking a deep breath and working it out : )

  7. I found my self so appalled by the actions and words of my family when my daughter was born that some of them have been CUT! The hand washing issue was SO hard for some family members to deal with that I stopped going to functions they would be at. Also unwanted touching of my newborn / toddler. DO NOT KISS MY KID ON THE FUCKING MOUTH!!!!!! I just don’t get it. If I were close with these people I wouldn’t mind some of it so much. Then again, if we were close I wouldn’t have to explain myself or even ask.

    • So true. I think in large communities, babies are seen as such little mini marvels. For example, at Temple service on Sunday, Lanoy was being passed around like a hot potato. I felt a little uneasy but then I remembered that this is the same community that helped raise me. I just try to remember that and just let my guard down a bit.

  8. OMG yes! Lol. Man, I live with my mom and step dad then both grandparents from both parents live within 10 to 15 minutes away. Plus, my niece and younger sister are here. It gets ridiculous around here. All you ever here is loud noise (via my son and niece) or my mom ‘yelling’ in Lao or the few English words she decides to speak whether it’s endearment or the kids are climbing on the tables or jumping off the couches. It’s a madhouse. I completely understand. BUT at least my son likes Thai/lLao TV and he’s learning more Lao than he would from me. Lol! She also only helps out if I’m at work or school, when I’m home she walks away. And then the food. Especially when she makes all the food that taste better homemade than packaged from the store. ^.^

    P.S. My mom and I fought constantly when I was pregnant. We still fight at least once a week or every 2 weeks. Smh.

    • See, the thing about Lao families is that no matter how crazy it gets, I know I can count on them to be there. It’s so nice you’re supported through school/work; it would be the same exact for me if I lived at home.

      I”d love to be near my family all the time but GH would *hate* it. Kone kow!

  9. I can relate. I like visiting my folks but there is a few reasons I live a 2 day drive away. I agree with Lexi, as soon as I had my baby, I felt a disconnect with my family when I visit. Not sure if it was because they are so far away. It is way better when they come visit and my babe is in her own environment not surrounded by loud older boy cousins running around. I am leaving on Sat for a week “vacation” visiting them and am so nervous. Not only to fly with a 1 year old, but to make everyone happy and still make my own family happy is not possible. I am going to have to piss some people off this trip because 1 year olds have different schedules than 9 and 6 year old cousins. My sister lives across the street with her 3 boys which makes for getting time with just my parents damn near impossible. If I try and it makes her mad that she has been left out, she either pouts or cries. Then I always cave to make everyone except me and my husband happy. I just hope this time I have enough stones to put my foot down because I am tired of it.

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