I am very blessed and live in a spacious home with a beautiful, built-in pool in the backyard. My husband comes from a large family and every summer we entertain various members of his family on weekends and those who arrive from out of town for longer. Although I love spending time with our relatives, I’m exhausted going to work each day after cleaning, shopping, washing sheets, towels, etc. Even though everyone pitches in, I’m still planning menus, making sure everyone has what they need and keeping the kids busy. I just want a summer without so much activity, and the calls are already coming in to make plans. What should I do? I feel selfish saying don’t come, but I’d just like a summer to ourselves.
Swimming to Exhaustion
Dear Swimming to Exhaustion,
Your description is the exact reason why I’ve never put a pool in my backyard. Seriously, it must be challenging to want to invite people you love to visit and enjoy your beautiful home, and still feel you are enjoying yourself given the demands that guests bring. There is nothing wrong with taking a summer “off” and your husband should understand. He is always welcome to come up with alternative plans or go visit his family himself. When the subject comes up say, “Given my current schedule (they don’t need to know what your schedule looks like), we’ve decided not to entertain this summer, and I hope you understand. If you choose to stay elsewhere, let us know and we’ll figure out a way to connect.” Tell the local relatives, “If you choose to host something at your home, I’d be more than happy to help. Let me know what I could bring.” Then zip it. Say nothing more. Now go enjoy a weekend by your pool in some solitude!