I am but I am turning into a seething ball of resentment and just need to RANT(56 Posts)
Apologies this is mega long and anecdotal but I really need to let it all out because I am starting to stew and am getting to the point where every little thing is pissing me off and really dont want it to affect Christmas. You dont have to read it all, just writing it down will help!
1.In October I asked my mum what their xmas plans were, she said she didnt know yet but they might be going away. A couple of weeks later my sister was over (she lives abroad) and asked us all how we were spending Christmas. Mum replied I dont know yet I am waiting for festive to tell us whether or not she wants to come to us
Anyway we discussed it properly and agreed that the dc and I would go and spend Christmas - NY with my parents. Mum asked what date dd finished school and said they would come and get us that day. I said no we have various events on the week after school breaks up (pantomime, trip to see santa, 2 x playdates for dd) and a friend coming to stay so the earliest we could go was the day before Christmas eve, but I would prefer to go Christmas eve itself because there is a toddler carol service that morning that we are supposed to be going to. She threw a big strop and said there was no point in us going if the dc werent going to be there in the build up to Christmas. Told her not to be silly and that we would be there xmas eve and she would get to see the dc open their stockings etc and have them the whole of xmas day. After a couple of days sulking she seemed to be ok with that.
2.A couple of years ago I started the xmas eve tradition of new pjs and a dvd, and said to mum I would want to do this again this year (we were there last year too and mum made a huge fuss about having to put on her pjs before she was going to bed) and she said she didnt want to. I said ok she didnt have to but would want the dc and I to so she could either skip the pj part and just watch the dvd with us or the dc and I could watch the dvd upstairs. She then complained that it wasnt in the spirit of Christmas for us to closet ourselves away and why did we have to do it anyway, its hardly a tradition after 3 years and is silly anyway. Its something I have started for my dc and I, the dc love it and its not interfering with any existing traditions they have because theyve never had any for xmas eve.
3.Boxing Day my auntie always has a big family party, and had emailed to ask for a rough idea of numbers. I always enjoy this party, the dc have other children to play with, lots of food and drink, get to see family I dont see often etc. But when I phoned my mum to see whether she wanted to go (as we are staying with them) she said well I would have quite liked to but Ive phoned dsis and told her I dont think well be able to because I think it might be too much for you and the dc ESPECIALLY AS YOU ARE ONLY COMING ON XMAS EVE and I dont know if youll be up for it. Such a shame. WTF?? Fair enough if she doesnt want to go but dont make out its down to me!
4.I had a child free day at the beginning of November and went out and got their presents and everything for their stockings. I didnt go crazy but there was plenty there and Id put quite a bit of thought into ensuring that the stocking fillers werent just bits of crap but things theyd actually play with and appreciate. Once we had arranged to go to my parents I took all the stuff for the dc there so it was there ready and little spies wouldnt find it in the meantime. Yesterday I was speaking to my mum and she told me she was going to sort through the stocking stuff and decide what to take out asked her what she meant and she said there was far too much there so she needed to sort through it. I said there wasnt that much and she said she had been adding to it because some of the things Id got werent suitable for stockings. Asked her which things and she said a couple of things were more main presents and things like toothbrushes and bubble bath were just boring and shouldnt be presents so shed bought more stocking things like crayons and little plastic bits. I know I am being ungrateful but those are exactly the things I wanted to avoid-we have thousands of crayons and plastic shit is plastic shit and all ends up in the bin after a few days.
5.She then went on to say that because of the weather if there was a good driving day they would come and get us and I might have to miss my precious carol concert etc. Fair enough to make the most of any good weather/clear roads etc but she is completely belittling our plans. When I pointed out my friend and dd would be staying here (weather permitting) she said well youll just have to leave them there.
I just feel as though she is being very controlling and isnt acknowledging that the dc and I are a family in our own right with our own life, our own home, and our own way of doing things
Why on earth did you agree to go to here for Christmas
Surely she's always been like this, it's not new behaviour so you knew in advance how awkward she'd be? (and i speak as the daughter of a mad cow controlling woman)
YANBU - but
I am not sure when our parents see us as adults in our right - I am still waiting and I am almost - cough, cough, cough, cough, cough years old .
Grit (or grind) your teeth and smile..
You will probably be doing the same to your dc's in 20 years
Another here who has a similar mother. Take a big deep breath. Just ride the storm out. The children will have a wonderful time, you'll just have to grit your teeth (AND VOW NOT TO DO THE SAME TO YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY'RE ADULTS!!) That's what I keep telling myself anyway x
Next year start a new tradition of staying at home.
She sounds a nightmare - good luck!
She doesn't realize how annoying she is being.
Can you send her an email, write down as dispassionately as you can, what's happening. Eg.
We are so happy to be coming to you for Christmas and the children are really looking forward to it. I do appreciate all the trouble you've gone to. However, you've mentioned us missing the carol concert and I need to clarify that that won't happen. The children and I planned it some time ago, and we can't change our plans just like that. It'll be great to see you, and please don't feel we have to miss Auntie's party. I would have been very happy to go, but it will be just as nice to spend the time at yours.
Thanks for the extra stocking bits! We'll go through them together, as I don't want to give them anything they already have!
Would something like that be at all possible? The way it sounds, your mum is pushing and pushing (probably not realizing she's treating you like a child), so you need to choose one thing to be firm about - eg., the carol concert - and smile through gritted teeth about most of the rest.
Crikey, sorry, my version sounds fairly passive-aggressive, but I think if it were me I'd still send it ... otherwise your mum's going to keep on the same way until you're agreeing to everything she says!
next christmas i would just stay at home.
YANBU, I would go mental at anyone who went through MY presents and decided to take things out, like you I put a lot of effort into the stocking fillers so that we don't end up with a house full of plastic..., has she wrapped the presents or are you going to do that on Christmas eve after the DC are asleep... If you going to do it I would wrap everythin you bought and then get her to wrap her own with a label from Granny. I agree with traceybath - new family tradition of staying at home next year.
YANBU she sounds hormornal is she going through the change/? (perhaps a load of vitamins for christmas )
I wouldn't bother going, tbh.
I'd have christmas at home, with my family.
I don't know why people put themselves in situations that stress them out and ruin their day, rather than say "you know what, it's not worth it."
YANBU much of it I would put down to generally being difficult/wanting things her own way (and you are guests at hers) but I think it's appalling to mess with the Christmas Stockings - I'd be furious!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Your mum sounds lovely
She is quite controlling - getting so worked up over pyjamas?!
I think you need to take a deep breath and grin and bear it this year. Don't let her take out the stocking presents - that is really unfair. She can give them a stocking too if she wants - one from Father Christmas at Grandma's house and the one that he would have left at your house? Would your Mum / kids go for that?
Also, if the carol service is important to you then stick to your guns.
I am so glad we started a new Christmas tradition when our DS1 (7yo) was born - we spend the day at home by ourselves!! Bliss!! I think that might be the way forward for you from next year!
Thank you all for bothering to read through it all and reply.
The reason I want to go is that as a lone parent I often find weekends etc very lonely as all my friends are with their partner/family and didn't want to spend xmas feeling that way.
Also my dc are still young and it can be bloody hard work always being the one responsible for everything. By going there I get help with the dc, share the cooking etc and get adult company.
Hmm... then you need to have it out with her.
Please dont take this the wrong way, but if you dont want to do xmas on your own, you could well be going there for years...
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
She sounds a controlling pita.
I'm not the best person to give advice as I would probably have exploded in a rage well before now.
Tbh I am not sure why you haven't said anything.
I think you need to go more than you want to stay iyswim, therefore you're probably going to have to grit your teeth through some of it and mentally count to 10. Other bits, such as the PJ tradition, you will have to be assertive and say this is what you are doing in a firm voice. If she chooses to get the hump for a bit then that is her fault not yours. You aren't responsible for her feelings.
I guess it's compromise on some things that don't really matter (you will just have to bin the plastic crap after a few days) and be firm on things that matter to you.
She sounds like a nightmare. And a lot like my mum. You end up expending so much energy appeasing them when what they really want it the attention and control of you trying to appease them rather than being appease.
My mum is exactly like this.
And she gets worse the older I get. It is like she is trying to keep hold of her authority somehow.
So, my suggestion is just TO STEP OUT OF THE GAME. I know it is hard but don't let her get to you. Nod and wave but still do your own thing. If she doesn't want to wear pajamas say fine. If she is annoyed that you are watching a DVD then that is her problem. If she cancels on you for the boxing day party call your aunt and explain the mistake.
Going through your presents and rejecting some is OUTRAGEOUS.
It sounds like you both battle to create the christmas you wnat - it's hard when you are in her house, and I can see she might well feel out out by being asked to put on her nightie and watch a children's dvd, taking up all evening.
She shouldn't have declined the invitation - have you been in direct contact with your Auntie and accepted? If not, so so!
Go, but be calm and direct about what you want - but be prepared to compromise too.
Take her out for coffee without the children, get her talking about her parents, their Christmas traditions and things she does/did differently to them at Christmas; Did she find it hard to create her own traditions? How did her Mum react when she did? Isn't it odd when suddenly you're the Mum having to create a 'family' christmas for your children? How lovely to have the support of parents in raising your children, how lucky you are that you have a Mum who isn't too controlling and is willing to help you create new traditions for your children, blah blah blah - just open the discussion with her, and maybe by relating it to her past experiences as a young Mum she might begin to see the light & support you instead of controlling you.
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