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to feel hurt that my Dparents don't want to see my DCS (or me!) at Christmas.

(58 Posts)
SeeYouNT Wed 06-Nov-13 09:50:26

since dbro and i were tiny, my parents have stayed at my aunt and uncles house in the cotswolds for the whole festive period (ie 23rd dec to 2nd january). they live 120 miles away from our (and my parents) home town. we always went with them as children of course and before dcs i would drive up on my own for 2 or 3 days so as to still see my family.

however since having DCs christmas has become difficult. we have other family we need to see, such as my ILs, and also my elder DC is from another relationship so he needs to see his dad and his dads family etc. plus DH doesn't get a massive amount of time off work.

so the last few years, JUST to see my parents and so they can see my DCS, we have driven up to the cotswolds boxing day morning, and stayed at a hotel (as no room at aunts house for us all), then come back on the 27th. it costs a couple of hundred quid ie petrol, the hotel, and also they all like to go for a meal. we are not poor but we can;t afford this extra expense really. we went last year but was very tiring for us and the DCs as well as expensive and we decided we probably couldn't carry on doing it

so earlier this year my parents mentioned they would maybe stay at home until boxing day so they can see us and the DCs then going to the cotwolds for the rest of the christmas period

well the other day we had the "christmas conversation" with dparents. and we said we are definitely not coming, for the reasons above plus i will be 21 weeks pg by then. and lo and behold, DM announced that they would be going away from the 23rd dec to 2nd january as per sad

obvs its up to them what they do, they are adults and so am i, but it makes me sad that they just seem completely not arsed about seeing not just me, but their OWN GRANDCHILDREN at christmas sad and next year they will have 3 DGC they will be missing out on.

sorry its long but AIBU? or are my dparents?

Viviennemary Thu 07-Nov-13 17:53:00

I agree with all these expectations causing trouble. I don't think your parents sound unreasonable. Much worse is arguments about who sees who Christmas day and Boxing day and so on and how many hours spent with each. This causes endless trouble for people trying to please everyone. And then alternate years we do this that or the other. It's an endless fuss about nothing. IMHO.

Mim78 Thu 07-Nov-13 17:45:48

I'm afraid I'm in the opposite problem camp!

Can you look at it a different way and think it's nice that you are free to do what you want with DH and children, plus meeting the needs of DC from earlier relationship, without having to worry about the needs/wants of your parents?

If they get to see the children at other times, it doesn't really matter if they are seeing them at Christmas.

Just think about what you would like to do and put your mind to enjoying that.

HolgerDanske Thu 07-Nov-13 17:40:39

I love having Christmas at home with just me and my partner and my girls. It's lovely and cosy and everything just happens when it happens, there's no pressure to be here there or everywhere on someone else's schedule. I honestly think you would love it. Yes, it'll be different, and maybe the first year it'll feel weird, but as the years go by you start to find your own traditions and little cosy things. It's actually really lovely to just be able to chill and relax.

My grandparents didn't drive and as they had several grandchildren living in several towns it was impossible for them to see us Christmas day. Until I was eight we had New Years celebrations with them. We'd go to the pantomime, we'd exchange a couple of presents for each person, have the turkey dinner, the crackers, the pudding and sauce, eat the chocolate decs from the tree. Then we'd sleepover and wake to stockings the next morning. It was brilliant!

I have wonderful, wonderful memories of this extended Christmas. I know that my gps weren't with us Christmas day, but we'd phone them and chat, all the time knowing that a great treat was still to come.

My dc don't see their gps on Christmas day as it just isn't practicable, but we set aside a special day to spend with each of them over the Christmas period, each with their own traditions, and the dc and the gps look forward to it.

YANBU to feel hurt, but this way you get to do your Christmas your way and begin your own traditions. Let your parents have a little holiday and make plans to celebrate when they get back.

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 07-Nov-13 11:31:11

I think it's nice that your parents step back from your family Christmas, and don't dictate what you should be doing around their needs and wishes.

Why can't you conceive of having a private family Christmas with just your DH and DC's op? You are heads of your own household now, not your parents or 'ILs.

Time to start setting up your own traditions. Lots of ideas for this on the Christmas threads.

I used to have Christmas in the Cotwolds pre-DH and DS. It was bliss.

2rebecca Thu 07-Nov-13 11:15:25

You could invite people to drop in during the day, or go for a walk, cook the xmas meal of your choice, spend an enjoyable day playing with the kids and drinking wine of your choice. My favourite xmases as a child were spent at home. You could invite the neighbours round for midmorning drinks if you're worried you'll get lonely.

girlywhirly Thu 07-Nov-13 10:23:48

SeeYouNT, why not say to DH, we will not be going to either set of parents on Christmas day? Start your own traditions. Why should you have to fit in with anyone's parents? I was at a Christmas party where a woman confided that she had never in her life cooked a Christmas lunch. She was 50! I was really shocked, I've cooked them since I was 28 (although not every year.)

One day when your parents are too infirm/unable to drive/Aunt and Uncle no longer able to host they will be hoping you will entertain them. But they will then have to fit in with your family's traditions and preferences, and the tables will be turned.

Phone them on the day if you're missing them, but don't let this spoil Christmas for the DC. I admit if you've always spent Christmas with others it may seem strange, but it isn't essential to make a good day. Many mumsnetters have found the day on their own a revelation, and wondered why on earth they hadn't done it sooner.

SeeYouNT Thu 07-Nov-13 09:42:13

yes we did diddl

and when they said it, we were talking about all going for a christmas day meal, but seems it has all been forgotten about my my parents

yes we could all stay at home (ie me dh and dcs) but i think it might be weird, as never done it before ever, think i would rather visit MIL than be stuck in all day lol confused

i wish we had some spare cash to just book a holiday in the sun and forget its even christmas sad

diddl Thu 07-Nov-13 09:12:31

When your parents said about not going away until BD-did you suggest seeing them CD?

Can't you stay at home-just you, husband & kids?

awaynboilyurheid Thu 07-Nov-13 08:34:20

Tried to do all of this too , driving 100 miles to let GP see children they always stayed at my Aunts house over Christmas new Year it was their tradition , but the year my second was born had to rush older daughter opening presents she just wanted to play with her toys but had to get them into car two hour journey got there everyone there fed up with us as they felt we were late arriving , my own daughters baby grumpy eldest fed up as she just wanted her toys realised we had left bag of presents behind for relatives we looked at each other and said enough! So next year we just stayed put and although we didnt see parents it was so relaxing for us all, no rush opening gifts ,dinner when we were ready etc. Parents were a bit sad, and I was too, but they loved going to see my Aunt in countryside so they continued with their tradition which they enjoyed but they always saw the girls a lot the rest of the year so yes in a perfect world it seems a great idea but the reality as you know is very different so just let your parents have their christmas and you have yours , what about a meal after a kind of mini christmas dinner when there is no rush and you can enjoy seeing your mum and dad without all the rest.

SeeYouNT Thu 07-Nov-13 08:12:18

i guess some of it as well is me feeling sad that christmas as i always knew it has changed. and i know thats normal and natural as i am an adult now but my family all carry on without me as normal doing exactly what they have always done, and are not bothered i am not around sad

i miss seeing MY mum and dad at christmas ffs there i have admitted it !!

we will probably end up going to the dreaded MIL's . its ok for DH he gets to see his kids, me AND his parents

i don't like christmas. esp this year as i cant even get pissed ffs

Holdthepage Wed 06-Nov-13 17:38:17

I have been having my DM & DF for Christmas Day for 28 years, yes 28 years! DM is on her own now & doesn't drive so needs picking up & taking home which means one of us can't even have a glass of wine with the meal. I would love it if just once we could spend the whole day in our own home with no other family commitments.

Just to add that I am not an only child but my DB never ever offers to have her.

Just be grateful OP that your parents are not dependant on you & make their own arrangements, which they are obviously happy with.

LtEveDallas Wed 06-Nov-13 17:03:09

I would be overjoyed if DPILs and DPs said they were doing something else over Xmas. It would mean I got to have a nice quiet Christmas at home and not so quiet NY away without feeling guilty.

Instead we have to travel 250 miles on 22nd, with a boot full of presents and a shed load of clothes. Stay there till Boxing Day then travel 220 miles on 27th with a boot full of presents, shed load of clothes and bin liner of dirty clothes. Stay there till 30th then travel 70 miles with more dirty clothes....Finally have a good time with just the 3 of us and no expectations... Then travel 150 miles home on 1st and I have to go back to work on 3rd.

It's bloody exhausting and makes me wish for a good old fashioned snowy winter so we can say 'sorry, snowed in, can't travel' without feeling guilty.

LillianGish Wed 06-Nov-13 16:57:43

Christmas in the Cotswolds sounds lovely - and that is their Christmas tradition. Be grateful they are not expecting you to trail up there (that would be unreasonable) and make your own Christmas traditions with your dcs instead. Presumably you see them at other times so don't feel hurt - be glad that they are putting you in charge of your own Christmas arrangements, something many mumsnetters would kill for!

Ragwort Wed 06-Nov-13 16:42:52

But why do you have to trail up to the Cotswolds just to see them. different if you hardly ever see them but you said yourself that they live near you and you visit regularly confused.

Anyone else now dreaming of a child free Christmas in the Cotswolds? grin

DixonBainbridge Wed 06-Nov-13 16:36:46

I'd take advantage of it if I were you! Chocolate for breakfast & sitting around in PJs until midday on both days, no exhausting drive!

You may find your DC's will remember the Crimbos the spent with Mum & Dad more than the ones with all the faff!!

caramelwaffle Wed 06-Nov-13 16:17:08

Yabu.

SunshineMMum Wed 06-Nov-13 16:11:23

I can see both sides of the argument. Perhaps you could have a family get together before Christmas.

SeeYouNT Wed 06-Nov-13 15:59:10

Christmas. Days spend on the motorway trying to fit in seeing everyone. Nights spent uncomfortably on put up beds & sharing rooms with children. Family bickering & feeling resentful over who has had to put in the most work for it. Bloody nightmare. Bah humbug

LOL wimblehorse grin yep thats been my christmas's since having dcs

also re the confusion as to who is going where - earlier in the year, we told my dparents we probably wouldn't be able to come up to the cotswolds this time due to expense, lots of travel etc. so my parents then said that this year they would maybe go to the cotswolds later on so they could see us and dcs at christmas (they said it, we didnt suggest it) they have back tracked on it (which i have to say annoys me a bit)

but thanks everyone for posts so far all feedback appreciated ;)

wimblehorse Wed 06-Nov-13 14:04:23

Yes, maybe they were hoping from an invitation from you for Christmas Day? Then they would get to see you all on Christmas Day & go to the cotswolds on Boxing Day. Maybe they don't want to spend Christmas Day alone & so have decided rather than that, to do the "usual" thing.

Christmas. Days spend on the motorway trying to fit in seeing everyone. Nights spent uncomfortably on put up beds & sharing rooms with children. Family bickering & feeling resentful over who has had to put in the most work for it. Bloody nightmare. Bah humbug.

oscarwilde Wed 06-Nov-13 13:03:23

I don't get it as they live locally to you - I'd be thrilled in your shoes especially if I were 21 weeks pregnant. No pressure whatsoever to trail up there behind them and have your usual Christmas. See them the weekend before Christmas or the weekend after New years. You may well find that they miss you all this year and next year they change their minds on timetable.

See if you can wangle a trip to the farm in the summer for your DC with your grandparents and leave you with a few days peace and quiet with your newborn smile

Yardarm Wed 06-Nov-13 13:02:11

Christmas can be rather full on with DCs around. I wouldn't be surprised if my parents wanted to spend it quietly and see the DCs another time instead. I can imagine it would me more relaxing for everybody (including you). Can you see them the weekend before they go away instead?

diddl Wed 06-Nov-13 12:56:41

Yes I wasn't sure who wasn't going wheregrin

So parents were going to stay at home until BD & have now decided not to.

Perhaps they were hoping for an invitation from OP or that OP would offer to go to them?

CocktailQueen Wed 06-Nov-13 12:53:11

Can't you ask them to change their routine this year if it's important to you, and ask them to yours for Xmas? Then they can go to Cotswolds after that?

Pennyacrossthehall Wed 06-Nov-13 12:51:34

Christmas is just a day - pick another day/weekend that you can spend with your parents.

If your parents don't want to see you/your DCs at all, that is V unreasonable of them. If they see them regularly, what does it matter that they are visiting their friends ( = living their life) on one particular day?

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