Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Week Ahead

I've decided just to forget completely about last week's week in review--I can't really remember much about that week except that I was lethargic while getting over the virus and I'm glad I'd already bought all the things we needed for the first day of school.

And now I don't want to write a numbered list about this past week. I would hate to abandon this weekly project, since I wanted to make it into a scrapbook, but here's why I am not feeling like writing much about the last two weeks. I'd rather panic about the week ahead.

Justin's family lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Because of Hurricane Gustav, they are all (my MIL, her sister, my SIL and BIL and their two kids, plus two horses and three dogs) coming here. They are not staying with us, because we literally don't have room even if everyone slept on the floor (not even counting the horses, just so you are clear on that) but in effect they are staying with us, if you know what I mean. They will be over here a lot. They will need to be fed. They do not demand that I cook for them; they eat out most meals when they're home, but I really don't want to do that. We are trying to stick to our budget so that means we don't need to take them out every night. They are not the type to say, "Oh, we'll just take care of ourselves; y'all go ahead and do what you normally do." (For example: when we visit them, no one cooks for us--I do the cooking so we don't have to spend too much, and they just expect me to cook--and buy the groceries--for all of them.) I stress out when I cook for a lot of people. Their kids are picky. Did I mention they're going to be over here the whole time? And that their kids have no bedtime and my kids HAVE to go to bed early for school and they have never understood that? Okay, breathe, Ali.

I can't explain the weirdness between us--it would take too long and I don't think I could do it justice, anyway. The last few times I have been around my MIL, it has been fine, but my SIL barely speaks to me (for no reason, I SWEAR). Usually we just pay attention to the kids and the puppies and it works out; I'm sure it will this time too. I do wish there was a set time frame instead of this open-ended "whenever the hurricane is over" deal.

I know part of the problem is that I don't do well with unexpected change. Instead of doing something useful, like straighten the house or go to the grocery store, I'm on the internet trying to distract myself and then whining about something that is certainly not my IL's fault and that they would much rather not have to do. I get that, and I clearly need to be more sensitive to their feelings. After all, three years ago my MIL's house was severely damaged by Hurricane Rita, and it is JUST NOW (almost) finished. She has to be scared it will happen again. I have GOT to be less ME ME ME and more, "What can I do to help them get through this?" That's what family is for, even if you just married into the family, and didn't know what issues you were getting into at the time.

Oh, and Mr. Blue has a fever. Low-grade, but still. It just adds up.

Going to make my grocery list. Wish me luck.



  1. I'm a big fan of picky people bringing their own food. :-P

  2. I'm so sorry. I feel you on the IL issues but I can't really write about mine (they know about the blog).

    Good luck.

  3. This is more than just unexpected change, this is an invasion of sorts into your personal space by people you seem to be less than "super close" with. I can understand how your world feels turned upside down. I'd ask them to help grocery shop and cook, that is a huge stress for any budget to accommodate feeding that many extra people (open ended). Good luck and hopefully this hurricane moves through quickly so your life can get back in order soon. HUGS

  4. Ah family, can't beat it eh? For you it's your in laws for others it's their actual blood relations!
    At least you're trying and recognising that you need to make an effort, some people don't even bother and just think everyone should fit in with them full stop.