You can’t come home again! // A teenager resents her married siblings’ Yom Tov homecomings

Moderated by Rechy Frankfurter

Dear Ami:

My husband and I are at odds as to how to handle our 14-year-old daughter’s request, which is that we not invite our married daughters for Sukkos. We decided to each write to you the way we see it. Perhaps you can tell us what to do.
This daughter is our fourth child. We also have two married daughters, two sons, 19 and 12, and a nine-year-old daughter.
Our married daughters live out of town, so in order for us to spend Yom Tov together they move into our home. Our 14-year-old is extremely resentful and makes no effort to hide that resentment. She says that having her sisters move in spoils her Yom Tov as they and their kids create a lot of noise and mess. She feels that her sisters take advantage by acting as guests who are to be catered to. I try to explain to her that she should understand what it means for them to be back home and feel like they can have a bit of a break as they work hard, keeping down jobs plus taking care of their children. They each have three children, the oldest of all of them is five years old, and it is not so terrible if a sister asks my 14-year-old to babysit (I’m not saying she should agree to do this every day) so she can nap, and that it is difficult for them to help as they are bogged down with their kids.
It’s not as if I don’t understand where she is coming from. I myself was resentful when my married sister would move into our home. Mostly, I was upset that my sister did not clean up after herself and our house did become messy. However, I would never have even thought of making such a demand to my parents. I remember thinking that when I’ll get married I wouldn’t treat my parents’ home as a hotel, and for the most part I believe I didn’t. And now I look back with nostalgia at those Yomim Tovim and we all have beautiful memories.

To read more, subscribe to Ami