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MIL Christmas saga

(64 Posts)
Judemahmoodid Tue 15-Oct-19 23:37:34

Can anyone give me some advice. I’ve name changed for this in case SIL uses mumsnet.

My SIL and I are married to two brothers. Our MIL is on her own and is a bit difficult. I have a better relationship with her than my SIL has with her but I don’t adore her at the best of times either. We don’t see much of my BIL or SIL either, we are all busy with our own lives and don’t have a huge amount in common.

For the past few years it’s been an unspoken rule that we have spend every alternate year with the MIL. So for example last year we spent Xmas with my MIL which BIL\SIL went abroad. This year DH and I are spending Xmas with my family who live in a different country; theoretically they should be spending Christmas with her.

My husband spoke to my MIL earlier today who told him that the BIL/SIL plan on visiting her on Boxing Day. So she will be alone on Christmas Day. I’m a bit shocked at this. I think my husband should have a word with his brother but he said he won’t as “he knows what his brother is like”. I’m tempted to speak to my SIL (we have a cordial/civil relationship) but DH told me to stay out of it and I do get where he is coming from.
I feel shocked that they would be happy to leave my MIL alone at Christmas. But equally I don’t see my family often, we have booked our flights back to my home country so I’m not going to give that up.

So as not to drip feed, my DH and his brother also have a cordial, slightly formal relationship. There isn’t any great warmth between them and it’s always slightly awkward when we see them but no bad blood either. They have 3 teenage kids, we have two primary aged DC.
MIL has one sister but their relationship isn’t great either. No other family alive.

Should I just stay out of it because it really isn’t my problem? I do feel bad for my MIL though.

yawnhedehihi Tue 15-Oct-19 23:43:10

Definitely stay out of it.

frazzledasarock Tue 15-Oct-19 23:48:18

Unless you want to cancel your flight to your parents. Keep out of it.

The two brothers, the direct blood relatives of mil can sort it out amongst themselves.

Pretty much guarantee if you say anything, it will cause an argument and you will be the bad guy.

BatshitBertha Tue 15-Oct-19 23:57:22

You do realise from now on out you will be having MIL every Christmas, unless you escape abroad...BIL & SIL have dumped her.

Chloemol Tue 15-Oct-19 23:58:45

Stay out of it. It’s down to your husband to take it up with his brother. You have made plans for this year so you can’t have her, just go and see your family and have a good time

Whoops75 Wed 16-Oct-19 00:01:53

Stay out if it OP

Her sons are her next of kin and will have to figure this and the future out soon enough.

Pandaintheporridge Wed 16-Oct-19 00:12:43

You see her for christmas every other year. That has not changed, don't complicate things.

ZacharyQuack Wed 16-Oct-19 00:13:44

Stay out of it.

Bluerussian Wed 16-Oct-19 00:16:29

I agree with the others who say you should stay out of it. You cannot cancel your flights, that would be unfair to you and to your parents. It's a shame that your mother in law will be on her own at Christmas but she will be OK (& I do think your bro and sis in law are unfair). She can be cosy, eat lots of nice things and watch whatever she likes on the telly., there are worse ways to spend Christmas.

You sound like a caring person flowers.

Floralnomad Wed 16-Oct-19 00:17:32

You do nothing and MYOB , it’s not your turn and she’s not your problem .

CoolCarrie Wed 16-Oct-19 00:26:45

Stay out of it , it’s only one day and they are visiting her on Boxing Day, so they haven’t abandoned her.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 16-Oct-19 00:32:12

Definitely, definitely stay out of it. This is between MIL and BIL. Enjoy your trip and don't worry!

dontdoitop Wed 16-Oct-19 00:46:43

What does your DH want? Does he want his mum on her own? Don't change your plans but can she come with you maybe? We used to alternate but now we stay at home and everyone is welcome if they want to. Most take us up on it and that's fine.

I'm not best mates with my mil but I couldn't let her spend Christmas alone if she didn't want to

ineedaholidaynow Wed 16-Oct-19 00:48:36

Has your DH spoken to your MIL about this? I assume he won’t suddenly say he can’t go to your parents for Christmas, nearer the time.

Would MIL be happy on her own, knowing that BIL will be there on Boxing Day? Some people like Christmas Day by themselves without fuss, is MIL one of them?

dontdoitop Wed 16-Oct-19 00:49:14

Oh, and don't speak to your SIL. It will end up becoming your problem. But if you feel bad for mil and can take her with you then I would do.

helacells Wed 16-Oct-19 01:13:09

I think you should get your DH to put pressure on his brother. They are being selfish and ridiculous it's one day of the year for gods sakes!

BlueBirdGreenFence Wed 16-Oct-19 01:29:44

Oooh I'd stay out of it. I'd go spare if my SIL stuck her oar in about this. She can be as nice and as much as a martyr as she wants but she ain't going to bully or guilt us into it.

dreichsky Wed 16-Oct-19 01:33:44

Stay well out of this, this is between MIL and BIL.

kateandme Wed 16-Oct-19 01:59:10

when are you going to your family? could you go/invite her round to yours just before for a meal?
dont change your plans.
bitch to eachother but i cant see stiring the pot would help.not if your not close anyway.
if you are to say anything then keep it light and facual.
"is mum coming to yours?will she be ok on her own." you know how you talk to them so only you will know how to word it.
but this is on them.
just make sure someone ha helped MIL gt some food and special thigns in if she cant manage herself.

HaileySherman Wed 16-Oct-19 02:45:56

Whether she's lovely or not, she should not be alone on Christmas. That could be absolutely devastating to an elderly person's mental health, really needling exactly what most of them fear (being all alone, no longer matter, etc). I think something should be said to BIL and/or SIL

Soon2BeMumof3 Wed 16-Oct-19 03:11:29

BIL and SIL would be aware that their decision leaves MIL alone on Christmas Day. You won't be telling them anything they don't already know and have already decided is ok by them.

All you will do is stir the pot, and create resentment if you raise it.

It is sad that someone will be alone on Christmas Day, but if you're not in a position to host her (and you shouldn't feel obligated to change your plans) then you need to stay out of it.

And I agree with PPs. It seems BIL and SIL have decided not to stick with your arrangement anymore, so maybe you and DH need to talk to each other about whether you feel obligated to step up to having her every year (whether that's fair or not) or stick to the current year on/year off arrangement which you currently have.

NonUrinatInVentum Wed 16-Oct-19 03:22:07

I'm shocked at the amount of you saying to stay out of it. This is everything that's wrong in modern society. Do we not care about anyone other than ourselves and our nuclear family?! sad

OP your poor MIL. It's a difficult one but her being left alone on Christmas day is horrible. Would she be able to come with you and DH to your parents? I would have to say something either to DH or BIL/SIL. So what if they don't like it, they're being selfish.

CharityConundrum Wed 16-Oct-19 03:45:41

This is everything that's wrong in modern society. Do we not care about anyone other than ourselves and our nuclear family?!

It's not about not caring - it's about not interfering in a situation where your involvement is likely to be unwelcome and unproductive. In this case, it sounds like it could damage an already fairly fragile relationship between the brothers completely unnecessarily and it's really not the OP's place to tell her husbands' brother to spend time with his own mum. How could that possibly go well?

dreichsky Wed 16-Oct-19 04:03:40

OP is flying to see her family so is not in a position to host MIL this year.
As pp have said BIL is going to realize that his mother will be alone at Xmas and has made the choice to see her on Boxing Day instead. That is his choice to make. We have no real idea what kind of relationship BIL and SIL have with MIL. All we do know is that MIL isn't an easy person.
If MIL doesn't have a good relationship with SIL maybe SIL has just had enough.
Regardless it is nothing to do with OP and I cannot think anyone will thank her for pointing out the obvious in an effort to guilt trip people in behaving in ways they don't want to.

Judemahmoodid Wed 16-Oct-19 08:38:06

I think it’s almost unanimous that I should stay out of it. She wouldn’t come with us as she doesn’t like flying.

I might put low pressure on DH to have a word with his brother, being cognisant that if I start interfering, it could create tension between he and I.

It’s just a sad situation and she will hate being alone at Christmas, she’s one of those people who won’t see any upside, not least because she is on her own all the time anyway. We live about 2 hours away and between work and weekend activities, we don’t see that much of her.

My SIL and MIL barely tolerate each other and I imagine that my SIL feels like her lack of enjoyment of Christmas (or anytime) in my MIL’s presence outweighs any guilt of leaving her alone and my BIL is going along with it.
I have lost some respect for them both.

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