I hate Thanksgiving. I always have. I love my extended family. Well, more accurately, I love most of my extended family most of the time, but Thanksgiving makes even the best relationships a challenge. And, honestly, it's a hundred times harder once you start a family of your own. So yeah, I'll say it; Thanksgiving is the worst when you have kids. Seriously the worst.
In an effort to live up to our culture's ideals about what the holidays are supposed to be like, we put ourselves and our kids in impossibly difficult situations. Long car rides, breaks in routine, large family meals full of new foods and new people, expecting kids to keep themselves clean and to act like tiny adults under the gaze of people they don't know. Add cranky relatives to the mix — the ones demanding that children act a certain way, clean their plates, or give them unwanted kisses — and our poor little ones really don’t have a chance.
Not to mention the fact that you, yourself, are probably also stressed, tired, hungry, and expected to perform impossible feats of motherhood. You're also acutely aware that time with extended family members means subjecting yourself to the following questions:
"Have you gained weight?"
"Are you planning to breastfeed?"
"When are you going to have another baby?"
"When are you going to cut your son's hair?"
"Did you hear what your daughter just said?"
"Are those yoga pants you're wearing?"
Under that kind of pressure, anyone is bound to crack or hide in the bathroom with a bottle of wine. So, yeah, Thanksgiving is the worst when you have kids and, um, is it December yet?