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