Family visits. 3 days or more, abroad. How not to be exhausted.


Today is the last day of a 3 day visit of my mother in law and my brother in law. Since we live abroad, ‘in the middle of nowhere’, guests always stay for at least 3 days. In the past I was always exhausted after such visits. We pick them up at the airport (there’s no public transport, so renting a car is the only alternative). I felt obliged to have a program for them, from breakfast til dinner. Sightseeing, meals etc etc. Being constantly together, talking a lot. Some guests ask at breakfast: “What are we going to do today?” This time I decided to join in when I wanted to, and take care of the meals they wanted to spend at home. And to not organise all kind of excursions, and not go with them wherever they wanted to go. And it went so well.

I always felt guilty when not joining in 100% of the time. Now I’ve been very clear what I have to offer, and do that with love and attention. And still… I feel my mother in law is not all that happy, she would like me to sit with her full time. Instead, I’m at this very moment in our bedroom and she’s in the garden enjoying the lovely weather.

It feels like I’m almost there… I feel a bit more tired than normally, but can’t compare with this kind of visits before. I’m learning.

unintentional model
C. Visit family, mother in law&brother in law
T. I have to entertain them these 3 days
F. Resentment
A. Make a program, join in 100%
R. Did entertain them from obligation, exhausted

intentional model
C. Family visit
T. I’m welcoming and be clear on what I’m happy to offer, and what my plans are during these 3 days
F. Empowered
A. I combine my plans (normal activities) with what I want to offer them and follow through
R. The visit went as I planned, busier than in a regular week, but exactly as I wanted and communicated with them.

It feels true. But… this is about my mother in law and brother in law, close but not too close. My own mother is something else. It feels almost like I become someone else in her presence, if I don’t take very good care of my thinking, feeling and actions. How can I become even better in these kind of visits we have regularly. I’m getting there:-)

Thank you