I have an extended family that is very spread out, making holidays and visits a challenge.
Once a year I make the obligatory trip to my mom with my husband and children. I feel bad calling it obligatory, but it is for me. I take this trip for my kids to know my mom and to acknowledge her role in my life. It's not always easy or pleasant, but it feels like the right thing to do.
My dad and stepmom live a couple hours away and we see them several times a year, trading off who drives to see whom.
My brother moved away from the west coast and lives in Ohio. He came out last year to visit while dad was battling cancer. He is divorced with a 3-year-old daughter whom my mom has never met.
We talked about doing a shared trip to visit my mom and it has become a shared trip with dad, stepmom, then mom. It's become so much more than I initially imagined and it is being proposed for right before Christmas, one of the busiest and most intimate times of the year.
I'm finding myself trying to manage a family reunion among family that doesn't even seem to want to meet halfway. I'm losing myself in what is right and trying to meet other people's needs.