...to be annoyed that my Mum just invites herself and then ruins Christmas?

(113 Posts)
justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 20:36:43

Long Post-sorry. I am in my 40's and have a very strained relationship with my mum. My siblings have nothing to do with her because of her attitude, she has narcissistic tendencies. I would quite happily cut off all contact with her, but feel guilty because I'm the last of her children who tolerates her. She has brothers and sisters whom she has alienated too, but doesn't see her behaviour as a problem. She presumes that she is coming to spend Christmas with DP and I, but this will be the 12th year she's just invited herself and I just can't face it again. She is overpowering, selfish and sooo ungrateful. She knows I only invite her because no-one else will put up with her. You'd think she would behave in a more reasonable manner, but she aways dictates how the day runs, what we eat, when we eat, stops us meeting up with friends later in the day etc. My DP's son will be home from the forces at Christmas, so we can't run away abroad for Christmas to avoid her! I'm generally a strong minded woman, but my Mum is such a bully that railroads people into doing what she wants. I know you only get 1 mum, don't be uncharitable, it's the season of goodwill etc!!!! Don't judge me, you haven't spent Christmas Day with my mother, what should I do?

SoggySummer Tue 04-Dec-12 09:24:20

Either invite her for lunch and book a taxi for after and bundle her in as the rest of you gather your coast to go to XXXXX - and just let her see you walk off (when in fact you walk around the block).

Or go out for lunch (wetherspoons is the cheapest I have seen - if money is an issue) and dont tell her.

Next year book a cottage and go away without telling her.

What ever you do - if she is not there switch off your mobile phone so she cant ruin your day that way.

shewhowines Tue 04-Dec-12 09:24:32

You've had it for 12 years. If you don't stand up to her now and set your boundaries, you'll be putting up with her for another 12 plus years!

BerthaTheBogBurglar Tue 04-Dec-12 09:35:41

Altinkum, in what way, precisely, did you think that your post about your own completely different mum, would be helpful to the op? You could equally well have posted "I'm going to the zoo to see the elephants tomorrow" - just as relevant to the op, really. Except that your post was guilt-inducing.

Selim Tue 04-Dec-12 09:49:36

I think it might be easier to not let her in at all than to let her in and the try and eject her after a couple of hours. Phone her and tell her she is not welcome of Christmas day. You could arrange to meet her on a different day, preferably not in your home. Unplug the phone and lock your doors and ignore her. Its not your fault that no one else will put up with her. Its not your fault that she has nowhere else to go. She has siblings and other children that she could go to and you aren't under a greater obligation than they are, in fact you are under less obligation as it really isn't your turn.

BerthaTheBogBurglar Tue 04-Dec-12 09:51:00

I think you should tell her she isn't coming at all this year.

And when she turns up anyway, don't answer the door, because that just gives her the opportunity to force her way in (either physically or through emotional blackmail). Bolt the side-gate if you have one, ignore the front door, shut the curtains at the front and turn the phone ringer off - batten down the hatches! As PomBear says, this year will be a bit stressful but it is the only way she'll learn.

Talk to your DP. I'd bet anything he isn't judging you because of your crap relationship with your mum. He can clearly see who causes that crap relationship, and it isn't you. He can see it better than you can, because he had a normal upbringing and a normal mum. It is really really hard to see things straight when you've had your emotional outlook skewed by a mum like yours. If anything, he is sitting waiting for you to finally see the light and stand up to her ...

And to those who think they couldn't "let her be alone" - the OP isn't doing that. She is not forcing her Mum to spend Christmas alone, she is merely saying that this year, for the first time in 12 years, she won't be spending Christmas with her. Her mum has several other children, and brothers and sisters and friends to spend the day with, a whole wealth of family that she could be showing goodwill to this Christmas, blessing them with her company, showering love and joy around ... Oh. Wait. None of them want to see her. I guess there is a reason for that.

Fakebook Tue 04-Dec-12 10:00:12

I love the house swap idea. Could you get a friend around or a neighbour and ask them to open the door and they can tell her you don't live there anymore?

Letting her in at all would be a mistake, you will not get rid of her!

OP you have my sympathies. I've done the same - 10 years on the trot I've had my mum round and she gets worse and worse every Christmas, always spoiling it. My siblings are wise enough to never invite her round. As I'm reasonable this makes me feel sorry for her but last year was the icing on the cake. She invited herself, turned up late on xmas eve (so i had 3 hours of DS nattering for nana) stayed for TWO days, brought food round but kept it in her overnight bag, and bought me a teatowel and washing up brush for xmas!

This year I text her. "My and DS are celebrating Christmas day just the two of us this year. If you like we could meet up for a carvery on Boxing Day."

I got a matryred response back of having a quiet couple of days at home. She won't do the carvery - has spat her dummy out. She's now started the guilt trip on another sibling!

Take a stand OP and say no. If she'll turn up then just unplug house phone, keep the doors locked and the curtains closed and don't answer the door! You could put a sign in window "Gone out for the day to visit friends."

I think the first time will be the worst as you're breaking a long running habit and people like this just become expectant and entitled but hopefully you and I can change things and have some nicer xmas days from now on.

SirBoobAlot Tue 04-Dec-12 10:02:38

Tell her she is not coming. You don't have to lie, just say that you're spending the day quietly. If she turns up, don't answer. Lock the doors if you have to.

You deserve a nice Christmas.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 04-Dec-12 10:07:09

OP, your mother is very lucky to have you. You sound incredibly kind and tolerant despite how tough to get on with and anti social your mother seems to be. I get the impression that whilst you want to get her off your back, you might end up feeling guilty about it too because you're a sweetie, putting up with her for all these years when no one else will. Maybe the compromise as others have suggested is let her have lunch with you, ignoring all her "suggestions" eg "good idea" mum but don't follow through and then firmly stand your ground about when she has to leave -literally hand her coat over to her and say you're going out yourself too and put her in a cab if that's an option.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 04-Dec-12 10:11:41

I know it sounds like the hardest thing in the world to do, but tell her she's not invited.

Then when she turns up anyway - either on Christmas day, or on the very day that you tell her she's not invited, as she will want to re-assert her dominance over you asap - don't open the door.

You haven't set any boundaries with this woman, so she tramples all over you. She is never going to "get" it and leave you alone or treat you nicely. You are just going to have to be firm with her, even though it goes against many many years of conditioning.

The good news is that it gets easier, once you take the plunge.

And do join us on the Stately Homes thread.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 04-Dec-12 10:19:46

Don't let her come, don't let her ruin Christmas for you your DP and his son, it's not fair on any of you

Yes Christmas is the time for goodwill but why does it all have to be one way? Why does ones persons wishes trump those of the three of you? You deserve a nice christmas too

I would never leave my mum alone at Christmas but my mum isn't a toxic nightmare so it's entirely different

Just because you're the last one left in contact with her doesn't mean you have to put up with any nasty behaviour, it proves you have tried, it proves you are a lovely person but don't be afraid to say enough is enough

Just a couple of ideas that I don't think anyone has mentioned:

- get a chain for the door and use it once your visitors are inside - just warn them to ignore the banging from outside

- go to see your mother on Christmas morning ebfore she can come to you - hello, just dropped in wit hthe presents and some mince pies for an hour. Must be off now, have booked a meal at X restaurant for lunch etc.... You could even take her a plate of Christmas dinner with you.

what would you do if you went on the offensive and landed on her doorstep, rather than waiting for her to turn up?

Sorry, what would she do if you went on the offensive...

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 04-Dec-12 10:31:30

Email/text/write to her. 'It's lovely you have taken up my invitation to stay with us at Xmas. To keep you up to speed, DH and I have made the following plans for Xmas - list all Xmas day food, detail the meetings with friends, add walk times, gift opening times etc .. Please can you choose some puddings and I will buy them.

Katisha Tue 04-Dec-12 10:35:33

I would say ideally you don't want to be sitting inside ignoring banging, ringing, peering, rattling whatever. That will be very stressful and guilt inducing.

If you make it crystal clear you are having CHristmas with just DP and his son will she still come anyway? In which case I suppose you are going to have to batten down the hatches or go elsewhere.

Altinkum - have you got a poisonous mother who has fallen out with everyone she knows and ruins your Christmas every year too? So you think she should continue to suffer just because she is her mother? Bloody ridiculous. She is an Adult. She sounds like she's been a bloody good daughter.

OP - stand up to her. Do your best to be assertive.Tell her you've made your own plans or can you not say you are going to your partner's family/long lost relative's etc? If you think she is going to show up on the doorstep on the day don't answer it. I think 12 years in a row is good going. Time for a break for your family.

DontmindifIdo Tue 04-Dec-12 10:39:02

I agree you can't invite her for part the day and trust she will leave, so the only option is to not invite her at all on Christmas day. You are allowed to say you want it to just be you and your DP and his DS this Christmas day, you'll see her boxing day and you'll go to her (therefore allowing you to decide the end time of this visit)

If she doesn't like it, tough. There's a reason no one else will talk to her. If she turns up anyway, refuse to let her in.

You might have to cut her out too. There's a reason you're the last man standing.

mamamibbo Tue 04-Dec-12 10:39:14

you should come to my house, im hiding from my mum aswell grin

Tell her you are going to a restaurant for Xmas lunch this year because you don't feel like cooking. Give her the address and time.

then

go to a different place and turn your phone off...
wink

javotte Tue 04-Dec-12 10:46:02

I was going to start a thread about how I'm sure my mother will find a away to ruin Christmas again, but your mother is so much worse! Thanks for cheering me up a little OP. wink

Abrico Tue 04-Dec-12 10:47:16

Can you go to her house for Xmas lunch? That way you get to decide when to leave. You see her, and don't feel guilty that she is alone at Xmas, but have a bit more control over arrival and departure times.

Abrico if she's anything like my mum she won't want to put herself out by cooking, hosting, and being out of pocket. She will want waiting on, spending on, oh and being bossy and complaining!

Normal rules just don't apply with toxic parents. sad

starfishmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 10:57:12

Go away for christmas. In the new year move house and don't tell her the address.

JuliaScurr Tue 04-Dec-12 10:59:58

have you and/or your siblings ever told your mum what you've told us?
not necessarily going to help, but it might

like the houseswap idea

hope you all have a lovely Christmas smile

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Tue 04-Dec-12 11:47:35

Yes I do have a equally poisionus mum, who have alienated herself from all her brothers and sisters and even her own other daughter.

My mum has serious MH issues and has accused half the men in her family of abusing her, has physically fought them and has caused my grandmother no end of trauma.

She is however still my mum and I'd personally hate for her to be on her own as I would do any person being on their own at Christmas.

For me personally its one day, in 365 days, you could have another Christmas or alternatively put your foot down and say no this is what's happening, as I do my mother, and she can sulk and huff like a pertulant child if she chooses to, but I won't budge, but still very much include her in OUR plans.

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