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Christmas dilemma: Do I visit hubby’s family or my sick dad?

Hi Achokis. I have been married for 15 years and have three children. As Christmas approaches, I’m afraid of stirring up a conflict with my husband.

His parents have called the whole family, his siblings and their spouses for a goat eating party over Christmas. But my concern is that I really feel that I need to be with my parents this time round.

My parents live in Mombasa and dad has been quite ill. He is old and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to be with him. How do I bring up this issue in a way that my hubby will understand? Please advise!


The holiday season, though meant to be a time of joy and happiness can also be a trying time for families. The pressure of finances, where to go on holiday and extended family involvement can complicate the season.

Your reason for wanting to spend Christmas with your parents is legit, especially if you feel this could just be the last time this is happening. It is, therefore, important for you to clearly communicate this to your hubby in a way he understands and can feel you. How do you do this? Look for a good time to share your concern.

Look for a time when he is in a good mood and you are in good talking terms with him. It is also important to understand and acknowledge where your husband is coming from and the expectations from his parents. Share with him what you think about the issue.

Begin by appreciating his parents invite and how you would have wanted to be there for the function. Let him know how much you realise that it is important for you as a family to be there, but with your dad’s condition it might not be possible. Share with him how you feel about this.

You can say something like “I really love seeing my parents, especially at the holidays. I would feel a lot of remorse if we didn’t make this trip this year.” Finally, share with him what you need from him at this time.

You need his support, his understanding and sacrifice to be with you and your parents. Hopefully, he will empathise with you and sacrifice to be with you. What if your husband talks to his parents to either postpone the function or skip it and come after Christmas, so that you don’t miss spending Christmas with your parents.

That way, you may kill two birds with one stone. But if that is not possible and he insists on going then release him and ask him to also excuse you from the function. Worst case scenario, if he insists you go with him just honour him and go, praying that you will spend with your dad some other time.

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