family vacation: an oxymoron - follow up

in the weeks after i sent out lqb2weekly #191 (which included my post on family vacation as an oxymoron), i got a significant amount of feedback pointing to the reality that it really resonated with some folks! i heard it got shared to at least one listserv, one big group text thread, discussed in a few households, and i got a few emails about it.

i wanted to share one anonymized email because it felt like such a good illuminating of the details of the complexity of the whole situation. here is what the person shared:

response part 1

Read your family vacation post and it really resonated. Even more so since having my kid. All of my family and my partner’s family wants us to visit all of the time and it is SO unbalancing. Takes me weeks to recover from it every time and then it’s time to visit another family member (between the two of us we have 10 siblings and 6 parents and 2 grandparents who all live in different places. Really need to figure out how to set boundaries/limits but it’s so hard because it’s actually not traumatizing for my kid. She loves it. And some of the best memories from my childhood were vacations with my extended family, which I obviously want to give her, so 🤯🤯🤯.

response part 2

I had a big realization that keeps becoming more and more clear. I thought healing generational trauma was all about becoming a better mother to my child. That if I could somehow be the exact kind of mother my daughter needs then I could break the pattern of disconnection and have the kind of close relationship with my daughter I wish I could have with my mother. But since becoming a parent I’ve realized there is absolutely no way I can be the exact person my child needs. I’m going to be tired, and do something or say something that will have a negative effect on her, and no matter how wonderful the majority of our days are those little moments will stick out and be the things she needs to work through when she’s older.

And if that is inevitable, then the only way I can have a close relationship with my daughter is by modeling forgiveness to my mother when she doesn’t show up the way I want her to. Then maybe my daughter will show me the same grace when we’re older. And that work is SOOOO much harder than just attempting to be perfect! Like, really I have to continually forgive this person that regularly retraumatizes me??? I still don’t know how to do it, but that’s what we’re working on. And my kid loves my mom and she has such a great relationship with her.

It’s rough!

such beautiful reflections!!! i want to add some commentary to this but for now, i’m going to just leave it here. :)

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