Christmas Day plan vent.(27 Posts)
I need to rant and my DH isn't here so I'm using you guys.
Every year my (adult) siblings and I have always spent Christmas with my Dad otherwise he would be alone. For the last 10 years I have hosted. This year I am due my second child in the week leading up so we have decided we will stay at home just the three of us (DH, DS and me) as we will either be with a newborn, or waiting for baby to arrive. Plus I live 100 miles from my siblings and dad.
Both my siblings have taken this to mean they don't have to see dad on the day either so will just leave him alone. I have suggested they see him in the am and for lunch at least but they have both made excuses.
I'm a bit pissed off about this and feel it is unfair. Dad is an alcoholic which is hard to be around but he has always looked after us and been as good a dad as he can be given the circumstances.
I now feel like once again it is up to me to try and accommodate dad in some way but we don't have room here and it makes me feel q bit stressed out given the circumstances.
I genuinely feel my siblings are being selfish but I can't say anything as I have said I can't be around this time.
Ok this hasn't made me feel better but more angry.
Your siblings are adults, they are probably relieved that the trend has stopped this year.
Don't any of them have in laws etc they might want to see, or even just want to have a Christmas day in their own homes?
You don't have to now change your plans either, your father is a grown up.
You have enough to think about this year with your own situation. I think you need to get your head round the fact that your children only have one mother [you!] but your father has two other children.
I think it's a bit shabby of your siblings not to at least pop in and see your dad even if it's just to stop you from worrying about him.That is entirely up to them of course and it is only one day but even so I do understand why you feel so upset. I don't think there's a solution as your siblings clearly don't feel responsible for your dad's Christmas.
I understand it must be hard but as others have said you are not responsible for your siblings choices.
Does your dad know your plans yet? I would explain exactly what you have said here, that due to you situation you will be spending the day at home with DH and DS which is a perfectly reasonable decision to make and one you shouldn't feel guilty for. But do not mention your siblings or their plans. If he asks say you don't know, he'll have to check with them direct then let them explain to him their plans for the day.
As it was my siblings I'd just say 'no you numpties I meant I'm not hosting but can you guys help make his Christmas a family Christmas as I'm possibly going to be pushing out a baby son might be a bit too busy to baste the turkey ... or such
Saying that my parents were alcoholics and Christmas was dreadful as a child and I used to shy away as an adult ... they're dead now but I don't feel guilty, they had their chances when we were adults and both totally fucked up, many times over, so one of my dads final years he was in his own ... not great but I'm adamant that i did the right thing firmly family and my health
Thank you all. Dad knows I won't be around this year and completely understands. I'm just sad my siblings are using it as an excuse to not see him either. Even for just a couple of hours at least when they both live down the road. My sister even says she feels guilty about it, but is still standing by that decision.
I think they are being really selfish. We had a similar situation with a relative - the one time in 9 years we weren't able to host said relative was left on their own. it's a shame that you will not have the reassurance of knowing dad is being looked after so that you can Immerse yourself in your immediate family for once.
Have they got family commitments though, maybe they don't want to spend it with your dad every year ?
They have no children. One is engaged and wants to go to friends. The other wants to spend it with girlfriends family. I still don't see why they can't give up a few hours in the morning. I am seeing my dad and sister tomorrow so will talk to them both about it then. I'm glad I'm not being unreasonable about this.
I wouldn't try to force my siblings to do anything on Christmas.
Maybe they don't want to spend Christmas with their alcoholic father. Maybe they're relieved that there is no big family Christmas this year. Maybe they'd like a Christmas where they don't have to worry about what'll happen with their alcoholic father. Maybe they have other people to see. Maybe it's a mixture of the above.
You live 100 miles away and they're local, so presumably the more day-to-day crap that comes with an alcoholic parent falls to them. It's perfectly fine to decide not to host Christmas, but don't try to guilt your siblings into looking after your father.
10 years they've spent with him on Christmas day though.
Why shouldn't they do what they please this year?
I agree with you OP.
It wouldn't hurt one of them to spend a few hours with him so he won't totally alone for the whole of Christmas Day. They're being very selfish.
I honestly struggle to see what is selfish about adults indulging in Christmas day plans that suit them for the first time in 10 years.
Let's hope when you are elderly and left sad and all alone on Christmas Day you don't consider your children who could easily pop in and make sure you're ok and have a cup of tea with you, as selfish Armful
Why don't you leave it to your dad to decide what he wants to do?
Maybe he's not bothered either.
I do agree that it's a bit off that your siblings aren't the ones asking your father what he would rather do. But that's outwith your control and I think given your circumstances you should just leave well alone.
But I might tell my siblings how
shitty immature they're being.
At least you're seeing your dad and sis, so maybe you've vented/helped a plan amongst them.
Christmas Day over the last ten years might have seemed like very hard work for them, especially given that they probably see more of him than you do generally so are at the sharp end of his alcoholism. Maybe this is the year where the routine is broken, to everyone's benefit. That said, if they're nearby anyway it doesn't seem too much of a hardship to call in for an hour, one of them in the morning and the other in the evening. It's up to them, though.
Well, maybe because their own father will be on his own on Christmas Day?
That's a bit selfish in my books.
I'd not be able to enjoy myself properly.
Having said all that, maybe dad is looking forward to it?
There's always a chance he is secretly relieved ...
I would consider it selfish on my part if I expected my adult children to ALWAYS spend Christmas day with me.
The man is an alcoholic, who knows what he has put his family through over the years.
I have an alcoholic sibling, so I have some experience of just how horrific that is, but I cannot even begin to imagine how much worse it would be if it were my parent.
Will your children be required to spend every Christmas with you through?
Even if they are married, dc of their own, in laws to see, or close friends they have plans with?
I like to think that at least one of my children would see me on christmas day if I'm honest, yes Armful.
I wouldn't be able to leave a close relative on their own, anyway.
There isn't a thing on earth that would convince me to leave my father alone on Christmas Day if I lived just up the road. Or on the other side of the country even. Crikey.
Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then.
I would hate for my dc to feel obligated to see me on the day every year, or for them to feel obligated to see their in-laws every year on the day.
A get together over the festive period would be lovely, but the expectation that they visit on the 25th of December forevermore just isn't there for me.
My children have been able to wake up in their own beds on CD, laze around eating chocolate in pyjamas, have a huge roast, watch whatever on the tv, play with presents, go to bed late.
I wasn't put in a car on CD to go and visit people, neither have they been, nor would I expect any grandchildren to be to visit me unless it is what my DC want.
Not feel obligated to do.
And that's without the added factor of alcoholism, which op has mentioned but not really explained.
It could be can't go a day without a drink and is drunk by lunch.
Could be can go weeks without but can't stop once drinking starts.
Could involve verbal or physical abuse.
Could involve a childhood filled with fear.
Could be a recent addiction.
Is spending Christmas day with dad a way of controlling his drinking that day?
What a day that would be for his dc, policing dad all day.
How many childhood Christmases have been blighted by him being an alcoholic?
How many adult ones should be controlled by it?
I think Armful that you are seeing the alcoholic as the main focus, where as I'm seeing an old man on his own at a time of year when loneliness is probably felt more acutely.
I don't think you are wrong in your view, and do agree that Christmas shouldn't be about obligation and routine.
But what should it be about?
Why should the goodwill be one way?
If op had said she had never spent a Christmas at home with her dh and DC because she felt obligated to spend every year 100 miles away with an alcoholic parent, nobody would tell her she should continue this forever.
Or if one of her siblings posted to say they were being guilt tripped to spend every Christmas with a parent (alcoholic or otherwise), they would be told to please themselves.
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