I recently moved out of Mami’s New York City apartment and into an apartment of my very own in Los Angeles. Do you know what that means? I am free!
Free of Mami’s disorganized and utterly boggling kitchen. Free of her rearranging my things. Free of her nagging me to wear a coat, take the umbrella, eat healthier, sleep more but not too much more or “te vas a poner vieja…”
Do you now understand why I ran away crosscountry like a 16-year-old with a backpack? So, here I am—allowed to decorate my space as I please and eat when and what I want. And I get a call from my sister telling me that she, my mom, and beautiful two-year-old niece are paying me a visit. Nooooo!
Um, I mean, welcome relatives!
They arrived in mid-March, and despite my initial fears, for the most part, the trip was successful. This can also be your fate! Here are three ways to ensure you don’t want to kill your relatives when they come to visit.
HAVE A LOOSE ITINERARY
Creating a loose itinerary gives you and your family something to do other than glaring at each other from across the kitchen table. It doesn’t mean there won’t be conflict. Your sister wants to go to Beverly Hills while your mother wants to go to Marshalls (true story) and your niece is screaming, “Beach!” What to do? Take all their desires into consideration. Focus on one outing of choice per day. But don’t go OCD on your familia. Realize that plans change when dealing with various personalities. Not to mention a screaming baby that just pooped in her diaper but still wants to go to the, “Beach!”
Read Related: 5 Topics to Avoid for a Drama-Free Family Gathering
COUNT THE DAYS UNTIL YOU’RE FEE AGAIN
Can’t bear to sit one more minute listening to your prima? Visualize the day when she will leave on a jetplane. She’ll be back to visit again but not for another few months or so. When stressed with your visiting relatives, lock yourself in the bathroom to have a moment by yourself, breathe and just remember—they will go. You will regain your personal space, as well as your schedule, soon enough.
REMEMBER WHY YOU LOVE THEM
I used this tactic when my sister drove me close to screaming bloody murder. I took a step back and noted all the great things about her. What doesn’t drive me crazy about you, sister? She’s generous, family oriented, hard working, and protective. Ah, that’s better. No need to go to jail. I backed up and let whatever argument we were having go. I suggest you do the same before you end up in cuffs.
When relatives come to visit just accept that your time is no longer yours. Your space will be inconvenienced and you may not get what you want for days. It isn’t easy; if it were, they wouldn’t be family. Remember why you love them. Accept them. Enjoy them while they are here, even when they annoy you to tears. ‘Cause you can’t run away from family. Or rather, you can, but they will catch a plane to visit you! So be prepared!