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my mother is spoiling my son's christening

(34 Posts)
february1970 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:14:50

Long story cut short - my parents DREADFULLY acrimonious divorce 15 years ago, both remarried now.

Mother still won't stop going on about my father's adultery and how he has ruined her life. Would like to invite both to son's christening, father is going on hols and christening falls when he is away. Mother will not come if he is there so decided not to say anything to him and have son's christening without him. He would probably change holiday dates.

Mother says if I do invite him she will not come as she will not play happy families and it is too painful for her to bear. We are not married as I have never felt that I could have a (peaceful) wedding due to their divorce and I would really like my son to have a "normal" day. Otherwise Mother has been a great grandmother and a great help to us with baby. What would you do? My mother is lovely but very very unreasonable. Help!

Oakmaiden Fri 09-Sep-11 19:18:43

How is your relationship with your father? Which Grandparent do you think would be likely to have the most significant relationship with your baby? The easy(ier) option would be to invite the member of the family who you think will be most likely to be involved with your baby as he grows up.

Or you could explain to your dad what the situation is, and ask what he thinks you should do.

Or you could invite your Dad for the Christening, but not the gathering afterwards.

A lot depends on how reasonable your Dad is....

BluddyMoFo Fri 09-Sep-11 19:20:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

troisgarcons Fri 09-Sep-11 19:21:39

TBH I'd be telling her it's your sons day and if she can't grow up and put her juvenile behaviour behind her for his sake then she's not fit to go.

Talker2010 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:21:59

As in all such situations ... I would invite both and if one did not want to attend I would accept that ... their decision

TidyDancer Fri 09-Sep-11 19:25:26

I think your mother is behaving like a child and you need to put your foot down with her. How dare she dictate this to you?!

dickiedavisthunderthighs Fri 09-Sep-11 19:28:48

How awful for you!
Invite both, and tell your mum that's what you've done, so your son and you can have both grandparents there on the day. Your mum will then have to do some serious soul-searching about whether she's prepared to put her own wants over what is important to you i.e. is she going to be selfish or put her daughter first?
I think it's bloody awful that you haven't got married because of your mum's feelings about a marriage that broke down 15 years ago.
She needs to seriously get over herself and you need to tell her.

mumblechum1 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:31:15

I think you should invite them both, too. It's ridiculous that your mum is still going on about his adultery 15 years later.

Gastonladybird Fri 09-Sep-11 19:32:15

Sympathy here (I went to Vegas to get married to avoid this and haven't had any kind of christening). But agree with others- your mother needs to put her feelings aside for sake of her child/grandchild. If she truly can't (ESP after 15 years) then it is her issue.

sayithowitis Fri 09-Sep-11 19:33:34

How sad that your mother's bitterness is such that she would effectively blackmail you over your son's christening. And that it is so strong that you have chosen not to marry because of it. It is one thing to be hurt, even bitter, when it only affects oneself, but to allow it to spill over and affect others, IMO, is plain selfish.

How will your Dad feel when he finds out what you are planning? Or are you hoping he never does find out? If he would be prepared to change his holiday dates, it sounds as though he would like to be there and would be hurt that you are excluding him. So you will be risking your relationship with him if you bow to your mother's demands.

I do understand what it must be like for you, I am also the product of a bitter divorce. One that threatened to spoil my wedding until my own mother was told very plainly, that the wedding would go ahead, as my (now) DH and I had planned, whether she was there or not. It was also made clear that she did not need to speak to my Dad or have anything to do with him, she just needed to be in the same room. They were both told that if they really felt they could not put their differences aside for one day, we would rather they did not coma at all, but that our wedding was going ahead. They both came. They both behaved. It was actually the beginning of a (slow) thaw in their relationship.

I wish you luck, but personally, I would not allow my mother to have this much power over my life.

FredBare Fri 09-Sep-11 19:36:16

id say mother dear, this one day isnt about you

dad is coming, like it or lump it

she will come

turkeyboots Fri 09-Sep-11 19:38:49

Much sympathy. Had the samething from my parents AND the pil at my wedding. Took the stance suggested above, invite all of them and when they pulled the ' I won't go if he's there' said, fine your loss.

Made for a tense day all round though and in retrospect I wouldn't do it again. Not much help I know, but don't think there is an easy answer to this one.

Newbabynewmum Fri 09-Sep-11 19:39:44

I had this problem just the other week. What happened to me was my dad refused to come because I asked him to come alone (not with new gf) so it would be less awkward. He said "we come as part of a package".

If I were you if invite both. Carefully explain how much it means to you and your DS for them to be their. If they say no its their loss.

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Fri 09-Sep-11 19:40:04

Argh, it's awful. I have an almost identical situation to you but in the end dh persuaded me to go ahead and do the whole wedding thing.
I invited both parents and was really tough on my mum and told her I would never forgive her if she didn't come or made any sort of scene. We didn't invite my step mother (the OW) so dad wasn't happy either so that seemed to make it fair...
Mum came round in the end (after much sulking) and the day went smoothly (although there were a few tense moments).
Since dd was born I've been really firm about not letting mum slag off dad in front of her EVER. I feel mean being like this but whatever's happened it is not dd's fault and she shouldn't suffer (it's especially tough because my father is/was a bit of a git tbh).

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 09-Sep-11 19:40:05

That will be really hurtful for your dad if you don't even tell him . . . all because that's what your mum has told you to do!

What sort of a hold does she have over you?!?!?!?! I find it alarming that you would do something so hurtful to your dad all to stop your mum having a hissy fit.

It sounds like she is trying to get you to cut your dad off. I understand that it must have been awful for her at the time but she is behaving like a very bitter woman and using you as a pawn.

I would tell your dad what the problem is and see what he says.

LelliKelli Fri 09-Sep-11 19:40:55

I think we may be long lost siblings! DM is exactly the same OP. I actually got married abroad to avoid the confrontation. My reasoning was neutral ground, chilled out holiday atmosphere etc... would create a more relaxed feeling for all on the day (my brother & sister were worried too). This worked well for us and has set the tone for future family events. (although she did manage to lay the guilt trip about DF walking me down the aisle - apparently he gave up this right when he "left for another woman").
No real advice to offer except that over the last couple of years I've stopped pandering to my DM's emotional pressure & demands. It's not about her it's your new family's day and DS's special day. Good luck and I hope it works out!

lydiamama Fri 09-Sep-11 19:41:42

I am sorry for you OP, but agree that your mother must put her feelings to rest, it has been a long time now, and she is remarried, so she has redone her life, and she should not be interfering in yours. I would invite both, and ask them to behave as expected. I think you mum needs a bit of a push to get over her divorce, 15 years is long enough, and it is in her own interest to forgive and carry on with her life, be strong and let her know you even not married because of that, she will have to seriously think about it.........

february1970 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:42:19

My father is very reasonable on the whole - my mother constantly reminds us that he caused this situation and therefore he must pay (my mother's words). My mother is far more involved with and interested in my son and family than my father. My father will be angry with me though for not standing up for him with my mother and saddened. I am just caught in the middle.

Gluttondressedaslamb Fri 09-Sep-11 19:43:18

A very tricky one. Basically, I think it all hinges on your father - is he reasonable enough to understand that you are in a difficult position and it would be easier for everyone if he stayed away?

Tell him how much you are suffering from this situation, and that as your mother is being unreasonable you are hoping that he will be reasonable for your sake, and so that your DS`s day won`t be marred by unpleasantness as you don`t trust your mother to behave herself.

As he is going to be away on holiday he has a face-saving excuse for not being there.

But don`t, whatever you do, go ahead with the christening without telling him - he would be terribly hurt and it would seriously affect your relationship with him long-term.

I hope things work out well for you, good luck!

TidyDancer Fri 09-Sep-11 19:45:21

You are only in the middle if you allow yourself to be. Your mother is being truly vile to you over this. You need to put her in her place. She can't dictate your life unless you let her. You need to stop letting her.

Invite your dad to the Christening. If your mother decides to be a child and throw a paddy, let her do it. She needs to learn her feelings do not rule all.

jugglingwiththreeshoes Fri 09-Sep-11 19:46:11

Can't you use the fact that your Father has a holiday booked for the date you're thinking of to help keep the peace here ?
Tell your Dad "I would have loved you to come Daddy, but as you're going to be away ..."
Tell your Mum "It's a shame Daddy is away on hols because it would have been nice if he could be there too, but I suppose it might make things more comfortable for you"
Tell everyone at the Christening that your Father would have liked to be there but is away ...
Problem solved ?
< humbly declines award of Nobel Peace prize >

DogsBestFriend Fri 09-Sep-11 19:48:54

Sounds familiar, only in my case the event was my wedding, not a christening.

I solved the problem very easily by getting married without telling either parent.

I have no regrets about marrying on the quiet at all just about my choice of husband and if I had another big event where I was placed in the same position I'd do the same again. I figured that mother would try to blackmail me into not inviting father by saying that she wouldn't be there if he would, she and my stepfather would create an atmosphere if they did attend and my father, who has my evil sense of humour, would delight in taking the piss out of them and subtly winding them up. It really wasn't worth the hassle.

LelliKelli Fri 09-Sep-11 19:53:57

Just to add, my DM and DF had been divorced for over 15 years at the time and had both been re married and divorced again since! My DM is lovely and an amazing Grandmother to my DD's but sometimes she displays some real PD traits. I found some useful coping strategies using tips looking at threads on the Relationships board. One thread recommended a website called 'out of the fog'. I found it really useful.

chummymummy Fri 09-Sep-11 19:56:21

Dont let your mum guilt trip you...
Let her know that she is ruining your son AND HER GRANDSON'S christening, and flip the guilt back to her. I know its harsh, but it might open her eyes.
Make it clear that you will cancel the whole thing, and that it will be her fault if you do. (Hand her cherubic child to seal the deal) and she will soon snap out of it.

samandi Fri 09-Sep-11 19:57:31

Personally if he cheated on her then I think she's entitled to feel how she does - it may seem daft to some, but splitting up a family is a serious thing. Just going on the information provided here I would invite my mother and explain to my father why he can't come.

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