...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?

scuzy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:44:06

can you limit the time? dinner only? make pretend plans and ship her out. tell her well in advance and then keep saying "well we are visiting so and so at 4pm sharp" kinda thing. so at least you have done your bit AND save some of the day to so your own thing.

You can tell her she's not welcome, either in a roundabout way, an outright lie "we're going away mother, sorry" or just outright say "oh fuck off you old bat, we don't want you"
Or you can refuse to be dictated to and bullied by her in your own home, so do it your way, every time she opens her mouth either hand her a sherry, shove a mince pie in, or laugh like a drain, and ignore, ignore ignore whatever she says, and just do your own thing. This one needs the whole family, whoever else is there on board, but she can only bully you if you let her
What's the worst she can do? Scream and shout? laugh and say "good grief mother, how old are you? three?" Prepare an answer for anything she might say and just don't let her get away with it. Worst case scenario, she storms out and never speaks to you again - what have you lost? fuck all gained? peace and quiet
Just because you are the only one of her children that still cares for/is able to be bullied by/puts up with her, doesn't mean you have to, or that you're somehow obliged - respect and love and Goodwill to All Men and everything else, all go both ways.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 20:50:10

We've done that, told her before she came and during the day that we're going out with friends after dinner. We've had our showers, got dressed and told her we're going out now. She just ignores us. Literally. She totally ignores what we're saying. So unless we physically lob her out the front door, she'll stay til SHE decides she's going home.

Kewcumber Mon 03-Dec-12 20:51:00

Say you're going out to see your friends Xmas day with DP's son but that she's welcome to come over boxing day/the day after/never instead.

Kewcumber Mon 03-Dec-12 20:52:30

Or go out to friends and leave her at home alone.

apostropheuse Mon 03-Dec-12 20:53:27

Tell her you won't be at home on Christmas Day, that you're going out to friends.

LemonBreeland Mon 03-Dec-12 20:53:32

Maybe you do just need to physically lob her out of the door then.

Yor major issue though is to get over the guilt thing. Do your siblings feel guilty? Do they hell, thay are getting on with their lives and not suffering. You need to do the same.

Athendof Mon 03-Dec-12 20:53:34

You have all my sympathy. I know you can't go abroad, but what about a small short holiday with just the family? I'm sure that if you don't invite her and stay at home you are not going to enjoy it either.

StinkyWicket Mon 03-Dec-12 20:54:17

I'd lie. Tell her you are going abroad anyway.

Anything for an easy life.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 20:57:47

We told her a few years ago that we were going to friends for Christmas dinner, she came round to check, I'm not joking, she chapped the door after peering throught the window. I've tried everything, Saying we're going out, having friends over. She will barge in when we have guests, coat off, sit down and dictate the rest of the day. I feel such a spineless eejit, I'd tell anyone else who treated me like that to do one, but why can't I do it with her?

bootsycollins Mon 03-Dec-12 21:01:14

Book a few days away in a nice cottage and turn your phones off tee hee!

Caerlaverock Mon 03-Dec-12 21:03:13

Your Dh is a saint

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 21:04:14

A few days peace and quiet in a cottage sounds like bliss. Am trying not to get wound up about Christmas, but it's hanging over me like a big, black cloud. My siblings don't help, they think it's hilarious. I know there are more important things to worry about, but 12 bloody years!!!

Caerlaverock Mon 03-Dec-12 21:05:45

Tell her you are going to siblings

squeakytoy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:07:21

Would you let any other adult come in and order you around? If not then yes you have to deal with her as you would any other rude person who was on your property. If she doesnt like it, then tough.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 21:09:56

My DP is a saint, but his mum died a few years ago and he loved the bones of the woman, so I feel a wee bit judged by him too, when I say I hate my mum, coz I know he had such a great relationship with his mum. I think I'm going to have to just tell her that she'll have to make other plans because we are having a quiet Christmas on our own. It's easy to be brave now, sitting here in my jammies, but if she comes round on Christmas Day, I'm just not going to let her in. Have just over 3 weeks to grow some backbone!

Tailtwister Mon 03-Dec-12 21:12:57

You have my sympathy op. my mother is the same and I know how hard it is not to bow to the pressure. We tried to limit her visits to 3 days by telling her we were going away. When she arrived she announced she had booked her travel to stay for 7 days and was going to use our house when we were away! Was a very awkward situation. I don't know what to suggest, but will be following with interest.

Even if you end up quivering behind the sofa slurping Bailey's through a straw while she hammers on the door, once you've done it this first time, it will be easier afterwards.
It will be hard, it sounds like you're working yourself into a bit of a state sad but try not to let her ruin another Christmas - try and see the funny side of it all, such as there is, picture it like a scene from a soap or something, and be firm, and think of the future. You don't have anything to feel guilty about, or to be ashamed of, and if any of your siblings don't like it, let them have her round! If any of them say anything, just threaten to tell mum she's been invited to their house wink
If you make up your mind, and sit down and explain to DH how you feel, and how it's different from his relationship with his much loved late mother, and get him onside, it will be ok. Even if this year is a bit fraught, it will set the scene for the future and help you reset boundaries on your relationship with your mother.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 21:23:35

Thanx Tailtwister, seems you understand too. Friends who have good relationships with their mum just don't get what a weird relationship we have. She has no contact with any family except me. She has no friends as such, just aquaintances who barely tollerate her. She is oblivious to what anyone else wants, I've honestly never met anyone that's such hard work to put up with. Not only do I know her, I'm related to her. Oh lucky, lucky me!confused

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 21:28:08

Thanx everyone. I joined this forum, just to get some advice on this. When she starts her nonsense I will imagine you all standing behind me, egging me on. A mumsnet posse helping me be brave enough to say what's been needed to be said for a long time. Thank you all for taking the time to give me the strength to finally stand up to her.thanks

Yayyy - just picture us all cheering you wildly on just and no matter what happens, you can come back and keep us posted and we will be here to sympathise and laugh and pour you a wine or a brew and hold your hand and call her names for you wink grin

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 21:31:15

Pombear, that really gave me a big, belly laugh.

bootsycollins Mon 03-Dec-12 21:47:14

You can do it! get it out of the way sooner rather than later, write down what points you need to make so you don't get sidetracked and stand firm, suggest she makes up with her other kids and visits them instead, you really don't have to suffer another Christmas on her terms. Good luck!

theboutiquemummy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:54:00

if it gets really bad just imagine us going round her house christmas day

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 21:55:49

Brother and sister have both told her to bugger off go away when she's turned up at the door. She'll just smile and say she'll come back later. They always put the phone down on her whenever she phones, but she keeps phoning them. She has the thickest skin out there and is oblivious to the bluntest comment. Will let you all know how it goes.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 22:00:03

Boutiquemummy, she'd see you as her new best friend and maybe invite herself to yours next year. Be afraid, be very afraid!grin

lovebunny Mon 03-Dec-12 22:48:43

do it! though i'd hate my adult daughter to do it to me. but i work on being 'biddable' and 'useful' and 'supportive' and hope for the best. and i love her so much that if her day would be better without me, i'd stay at home.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 22:58:20

Lovebunny, I'd be delighted if she was biddable, useful and supportive, but these words aren't in my mum's dictionary. If my mum had even 1 of these traits, she'd be a more than welcome visitor. Your daughter's lucky to have you.

TheSecondComing Mon 03-Dec-12 23:03:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 23:07:57

If I just went out and left her alone in my house, she'd rummage through drawers and cupboards. Look through envelopes at letters and generally stick her nose in where it's not wanted. She's opened unopened mail to nose in it before now. She really has no shame. My neighbour has my spare key in case of emergencies, but I'd never give my mum a key.

TheSecondComing Mon 03-Dec-12 23:09:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 23:11:59

Sounds like a plan, Secondcoming. Hubby just home from work, so going to pass on all tonights advice. wink

TheSecondComing Mon 03-Dec-12 23:15:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-12 23:25:13

Her mantra is 'what have I ever done to you, him, her, (insert as appropriate), 'I don't remember that, not that I can remember',etc. etc. Surely all of her family and friends can't be wrong. But her attitude is that we are and she's right. Can't win.confused

TheSecondComing Mon 03-Dec-12 23:31:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Mon 03-Dec-12 23:41:51

We have a relative like this in our family, the situation is v similiar - only one sibling will now tolerate her and thus also bears the guilt trip burden of 'I'm all she's got'. It absolutely ruins things for the other 8 or 9 people ready to have a lovely time.

And you know the real irony in our family? And I BET this is the same for your Mum if she really is a narcissist? However hard you work, and whatever you put up with, it still won't make her happy. So actually there is little point in martyring yourself to it. Because she still won't be happy, content and gracious.

Tell her that this Christmas belongs to your DP and his son, after 12 years she is simply not invited, needs to visit her other children for one year, and that's that. And then as you say, don't answer the door. Or go away to a cottage, don't give her the address and turn off your phone.

kiwigirl42 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:52:24

You need to come visit on the dysfunctional families thread lots of good advice and UNUDERSTANDING best of all. We know how you feel about your Mum!

For whats its worth my Mum pitched up for 6 wks last yr. was horrendous.

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Tue 04-Dec-12 02:00:51

If you don't have her OP will she then be on her own? I'd hate for my mother to be on her own at Christmas, no matter how bd her behaviour made me feel, it's only one day after all.

If you don't think you can be strong enough to not let her in, could you go out to a restaurant for xmas dinner? Some pubs etc do xmas lunch...

sleeplessinsuburbia Tue 04-Dec-12 02:50:19

You're actually a bit lucky, she is soo thick skinned you have no need to be polite or rational.

As fluffy suggested, ring her and say: we're not having Xmas with you this year, we are visiting dps son. If you want to catch up sometime we could meet you for dinner at x restaurant on Xmas eve. See you then.

Repeat as necessary.

If she rocks up on the day, at the door say, we're celebrating today with dps son. Good bye. She won't be offended!!

Shut up, Altinkum.
The mother in this case has brought it upon herself. She could have lots of people to go to if she hadn't alienated them all.
OP, we're in the same bother with MIL. This year we're off to FIL and SMIL's and telling nobody. Last year we went to a pub for pub lunch, were dim enough to tell her and she bloody turned up.

sashh Tue 04-Dec-12 06:12:46

A couple of things you can do.

Do you want to houseswap with me for a few days? I can open the door and say no, I don't know who you are talking about I've lived here for 10 years.

When she won't go, call the police. Things can be a bit quiet even for the police of Xmas so they will come round and if she refuses to leave they will arrest her.

Do Christmas on Christmas eve, presents, turky etc. Then on Xmas day serve beans on toast.

Develop something contagious, maybe swine flu, where you have to be kept in quarantine. Actually Dp's son may have been exposed to something that he didn't know about until the 23rd. It's a mutation of anthrax so you all have to be quarantined. You could even put tape over doors and windows


AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Tue 04-Dec-12 08:00:01

Did I just warp back to 1990's, To the school play ground?!?

OP asked my opinion, I have neither said if she is being UR or not, for me as *I said* I couldn't leave *my mother* alone on Christmas Day,

So leave your shut up comments back in numpty lands where it belongs!!!

Dawndonna Tue 04-Dec-12 08:19:06

My mother will be spending Christmas with her one and only friend this year. Not one of us will have her. She's rude, nasty, spiteful and arrogant. As was suggested take a look at the stately homes thread.

Gigondas Tue 04-Dec-12 08:31:34

So why post on aibu altinkum? I wouldn't leave my mother alone at Xmas either but I am not op. in circumstances, I think she is perfectly entitled to say no (best course) or make an excuse if she feels it is easier to do that.

And op ,given your mums habit of snooping, outstaying her welcome etc, I would not have her at all (go out, fib about it whatever etc) as she will either end up staying anyway or spoil your day by making a scene.

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Tue 04-Dec-12 08:43:15

Because I asked the OP a question first and then after she has asswered the question, i will then give my full explanation.

TheSecondComing Tue 04-Dec-12 09:05:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ENormaSnob Tue 04-Dec-12 09:16:24

I wouldn't let her come.

Tough shit, it's all her own doing.

What does your partner say? It's totally unfair to him imo.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 04-Dec-12 09:23:32

I don't have any advice to add, but will join the cheer leading team! Good luck! And stick to your guns. smile

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.


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

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.

If you can afford to go away for a few days in the UK that might be a good idea as you will get to totally relax and DP will get quality time while his son is home on leave. smile

ImperialSantaKnickers Tue 04-Dec-12 11:57:30

You may be able to get a good last minute deal on a holiday let for Christmas. Preferably one with no mobile signal coverage grin

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 12:12:35

I would rather be on my own at Christmas than have to spend any time with my mother. Whatever the opposite of happiness is, but that's what she wants for Christmas, and for everyone else. A kind of festive combo of misery, guilt and fear.

YuleBritannia Tue 04-Dec-12 12:47:40

Oh dear. I feel a bit guilty now asking my DD if I can spend a few days over Christmas with them in Oz.

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 12:51:25

Yule, Don't. Your motives are to have fun and help. Not to suck all the love out of the room. smile You go and have some laughs.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 12:59:22

Rent a nice house somewhere pretty in the UK (big enough for DP's son as well as whoever else you're spending the hols with), don't tell her, and switch your phones off.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 04-Dec-12 14:06:38

As its just one day then I'm sure ops mother will be fine on her own,or does the 'one day' 'season of goodwill' stuff only work one way in the favour of the nastiest or pushiest person?

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 16:04:51

All of your texts have really cheered me up. She will be on her own if she doesn't come here, that what makes me feel so guilty. She expects everything to be done for her, so even if I cooked Christmas dinner and took it round to her, it wouldn't be good enough. The heating might have to be on, the lights etc and why should she be responsible for keeping us warm, after all she's a very poor pensioner who still has her first ha'penny, a lottery win, 2 widows pensions, and more money than a coo could shit. (And no, her money isn't an issue in all of this, she's told everyone that she's leaving it to the church .) In her mind, our childhood was idylic and now it's payback time. She is too old and frail to cook a big meal, even though she walks the beach for miles every day, goes to tai chi and even tried zumba!!! She's like an old fashioned matriach, without any good points.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 16:15:45

'more money than a coo could shit.' grin

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 16:15:53

Oops, posts not texts.

Lavenderhoney Tue 04-Dec-12 16:18:46

Do any of your family who don't see her feel guilty? Or are they happy to know the onus is on you and they can relax? It's not fair for your dp or his son, spending his precious leave with you. He must want to relax, have a smoke in the garden if he wants, watch crap tv and eat and chat to his dad.

She seems to assume she is entitled to christmas at yours, I am assuming she e doesn't behave like this all year round?

The only real option is to go out or stay in a hotel? Can you afford that? Or why don't you ask a family member if you can come there instead? And tell your dm that's where you will be.

Otherwise brace yourself. Do a lovely dinner, don't let her moan or butt in, allow dp to control the remote and announce after lunch it's time for a walk and she can go home as you will be walking that way. You sound so nice, and it's a shame Christmas seems to be so difficult for you.

What about getting a karaoke machine for Christmas and all having to do a session over and over? That might worksmile she might leave in a panic or nek so much sherry she passes out..

theboutiquemummy Tue 04-Dec-12 16:30:21

Sorry lovely I'm running for the hills aaaaaaaaaaaagh grin actually tell her now then it's done n by the time Xmas comes round is tough titty x good luck may the force be with you wink

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 16:37:51

My mother once invited herself to mine for Christmas in August, so's I wouldn't have time to come up with an excuse.

Everything from August onwards hinged on her Royal Visit.

She came every other bloody year as well. Until I stopped it. And yes, it did involve siblings and a doorway.

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 16:41:13

Lavenderhoney, the rest of the family feel no guilt, they find it funny that I'm lumped with her. And yes unfortunately mum's like this all the year round, but somehow Christmas day seems to be worse than any other. She knows how I feel about her, but plays the martyr card. I moved across the country, she moved across too and lives just 2 mins from me. If she comes round and I'm not in she'll phone demanding to know where I am. Or if DP and I are having a lazy Sunday morning wink she'll bang on the window to be let in. We have to monitor her sherry intake at Christmas coz she starts rambling on about the fantastic upbringing we had even though I think she's getting muddled up between our life and an episode of the Waltons. Karaoke sounds fun, but mum might miss Songs of Praise, an Aled Jones documentry or Daniel O'Donnell in concert! We are of course lucky to be graced with her company and the out of date Christmas pudding that she brings every year, Am sure it's been the same 1 for about the last 5 years, she insists on taking it home still unopened, so she dictates what's on TV. I can feel myself getting wound up when she starts her nonsense, so arguing over the remote could just be the difference between an argument and matricide. No kidding! blush

BlissfullyIgnorant Tue 04-Dec-12 16:49:30

DH needs to understand you don't have anything like the DM he had. I had similar when DD was born - she practically moved in on the pretence of helping with housework, then she sat around cuddling DCs all day long, doing bugger all and I heard her telling my DSis "they buy all the food and pay the bills, so I buy the sweets for us all." I warned my DH but he flatly refused to believe me - he thought nobody could actually be that bad! Foolish person! Have you reminded him of Christmases past? Have you asked why he thinks nobody else talks to her?
Looks like your choices are;
Have a nice relaxing Christmas dinner in a lovely hotel/restaurant
Hire a short stay holiday cottage and go there
Hide behind the sofa
Put up with her ruining another Christmas
Swap your bedroom with your dining/sitting room for a few days so you don't have to hide behind the sofa, you'll be hiding upstairs instead
Lock all the doors and leave a sign on the door that says "yes, we are here, but we're not answering the door and you can't come in"

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 16:57:41

Yes Blissfully, DP used to say 'oh that'll be your mum', now it's 'oh FFS here's yer mother!' I think auld Cruella has worked her magic on him now too! [big grin]

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Tue 04-Dec-12 17:09:57

We have a similar situation with DP's sister. There's no way on earth I'm cooking for her or entertaining her Xmas day after last year and all the get togethers since.

I've put my foot down, DD is going to her dads for Xmas dinner, we are going out to a pub for Xmas lunch. That put her nose out of joint grin

Book a meal out OP. Fine if she invites herself. Stay for your Xmas lunch, then quietly fuck off and leave her in the pub.

justmuddlingalong, I get why you find it difficult to deal with your mother. But is it the same for your DP and his son? Could your DP just phone her up and tell her she's not welcome any more, and when if she turns up at the door his strapping big son could block the door and tell her to bugger off?

I realise that you will feel guilty about her being on her own, but you really have no reason to. Could you try and usurp it with guilt about ruining DP and his son's Christmas instead? grin

Icanhasnickname Tue 04-Dec-12 17:46:45

OP.....you are dreading it because deep down you have not really decided not to let it happen. Once you have an agreed, watertight action-plan then your stress will go. As it is, your mind is already preparing for the onslaught of this awfull woman as it has no real alternative. Yet!

Lavenderhoney Tue 04-Dec-12 17:50:14

Moved across to be near you? Are you serious? Your dh must be a saintsmile

Just muddling, do you have a kitchen with a big table you can sit at? I strongly suggest you make it as comfy as possible with a tv, then there are 2 places to go.

What are you going to do? does dps son know she is coming? Has he got a girlfriend he can bring as well? Or is there a black sheep of the family to invite she doesn't like who is a bit of a laugh? Unplug the telly, say its broken...

Or invite the whole family to reconcile and meet at yours?

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 17:51:50

DP and DSS are just too damn nice for me to hide behind them, and she'd twist things blaming them for ruining her Christmas. Among her many issues, she's also a MH, so it would be right up her alley to try and use that as a way of causing bother between DP and me. She really is a poisonous old trout. I'm going to have to just bite the bullet and tell her that she'll have to spend Christmas and inflight her particular brand of Christmas misery with someone else this year. She's not going to ruin another Christmas for us. I'VE DECIDED!

Katisha Tue 04-Dec-12 17:53:58

Right. When are you telling her?

" she's also a MH"
What's an MH?

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 18:10:07

I'm going to tell her that we are having a quiet time, that I'll nip round on Christmas morning to deliver her parcels and have a cuppa. I'll tell her that we've never had a Christmas doing just what we want and that I'm sure she understands that. I'll tell her that I'm sure she has other places she could goconfused to enjoy herself. I will remain calm, I will ask her to not interrupt while I am saying these things and I will make sure she's got the message as she talks over the top of me, lays on the guilt thick and chants her 'what have I ever done to you?' mantra. When she pouts and does her wee pathetic cough, I'll offer to drop Christmas dinner off for her, I'll ignore her comments that she'll just have a sandwhich or something. I'll imagine all the days she's ruined and know that this year'll be just as bad unless I stand up to her. And I'll think about my siblings having a great time at Christmas, guilt free and I'll think that that's the kind of day I want.

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:05

MH, man hater, and this from the woman married twice and currently walking out with a gentleman ( and no she can't spend Christmas with him, coz he's lovely and is spending it with his family, who can't stick her either).

Gigondas Tue 04-Dec-12 18:52:50

Unless she really is very local, I would give her presents on Xmas eve/another day and ring her on Xmas day. And don't bring her lunch as it will be an excuse to shoehorn herself into your day/moan etc :

You are perfectly entitled to spend all of Xmas day with dp and dss.

I know it is hard - mil is giving dh the full martyr routine (she wa invited to Xmas but turned us down as difnt want to stay and we are not prepared to do 8 hours driving on Xmas day to collect and drop mil back )

Jux Tue 04-Dec-12 18:53:05

Does she turn up at a particular time? Can you disable the doorbell?

You could ensure you are all out on a nice long walk/pub over the time she appears, and simply not be there. Or all be in the front room with nice loud Xmas music playing so you can't hear her banging on the window.

You could employ a doorman for the day, who simply refuses entry to mad old bats who don't have the gilt-edged invitation. Oh, OK, that's a bit far-fetched.

I'd move house, tbh!

justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Dec-12 18:59:41

I did move house, but she follwed me. Oh joy!

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 04-Dec-12 19:01:51

I think you're doing the right thing

<waves Pom poms at justmuddling>

Jux Tue 04-Dec-12 19:22:07

I know you did. I meant move again. Just don't tell her where you've moved to. You can salve your conscience by phoning her once a week from your mobile, which will remind you why you haven't told her your new address. grin

lol Jux.

I dream about emigrating sometimes. grin

justmuddling if she says she will just have a sandwich say "okay then". Don't pander to her at all. I'd drop presents off xmas eve so you have a full day of not having to grit your teeth.

Just tell her and then batten down the hatches. Curtains shut, doors locked, phones on silent, etc.

Have you read the book "Toxic Parents"? May be helpful if you haven't.

Good luck with telling her!

I feel sorry for your family having to put up with all that every Christmas. Not very nice for everyone else to find it amusing that you have to always entertain her though, but i can't say i blame them.

Think you need to put yourself and others before her for once.

dawntigga Wed 05-Dec-12 10:04:02

OP no is a complete sentence, under the circumstances you don't actually have to be civil to her but I understand if you want to be.

Remember the good MN sentences:


Did you mean to be rude?

Fuck the fuck off and when you get there fuck of some more.


jemjelly Wed 05-Dec-12 13:41:24

I feel for you, my mother-in-law is exactly the same, we live 6 miles away from her and she is a nightmare.

As an example of the madness I have to put up with my DH has to ring her twice a day (once in the morning to let her know he did not die in the night and again at 11pm before we go to bed). If he doesn't do this she will just turn up at the house at 11pm and bang on the door waking everyone up until we let her in). Last week we went out for the day, my DH had told her we would be out all day but she forgot, rang our house constantly all day (there were 30 messages on our answer machine) then when she filled up the tape on the answer machine she found the phone number for my next door neighbours and rang them angry. She just turns up at our house whenever she feels like it, its like having our very own stalker.

I have told her exactly how I feel about her but like your mother she is thick skinned and after her initial tears, screams, acusations and badmouthing us to everyone who will listen she then acts like the conversation never happend and carries on as before (sigh).

My DH would never admit it but I know he is scared of her, unfortuatley he is an only child so there are no other siblling to help share the misery. Needless to say my mother-in-law has never had any friends and alienated the rest of her family years ago.

I hope you manage to be strong and keep Christmas Day stress and mother free, I only wish I could do the same.

justmuddlingalong Thu 27-Dec-12 01:32:29

Just thought I'd update you all and say thanks for your advice and funny comments. I took DMs presents round about a week before Christmas and joy of joys, she announced that she was going to spend Christmas day with a couple she knows! I don't know if she invited herself or they invited her. So DP and I had the most chilled, relaxed, peaceful and stress free Christmas Day than we've had for a looooong time. So next year won't be such a big issue. Thanks for all the advice thanks

Isityouorme Thu 27-Dec-12 08:15:24

Great news .... Thanks for the update!

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 27-Dec-12 08:38:50

That's great to hear but you really need to stand up to her bullish behaviour and be more like your siblings. She sounds vile.

Iheartpasties Thu 27-Dec-12 11:02:53

im glad you had a good christmas

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now