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AIBU to want to cancel Chrsitmas?

(16 Posts)
Eliza22 Thu 08-Nov-12 09:44:13

Fuck's sake. Every year it's something.....

I'd like to hibernate around about 22nd Dec and be gently roused just before Jan 2013. Situation is this:

Last year had lovely eldest step daughter and my mum to us, with my dh (my son from previous marriage, who lives with us) having had youngest step daughter refuse to come. She refused to come as she dislikes me. Having tried for 5 years to get on/welcome her/form some tentative relationship with her..... I now give up. She proceeded to inform others that I'd prevented her coming over the doorstep (this, after weeks of "is there anything you'd particularly like for Xmas?/we hope you'll come visit on Christmas Day with your sister. We'd like that very much") confused

My dad dad died in 2006. Since then, every year we go through a "you do whatever you'd like, don't worry about me" from MY mum who then either comes for a few hours on the day or, despite lots of invites, says "I don't think I'll bother" and doesn't show. She is very lonely and I try to travel the 160 mile round trip to see her, even just for lunch, as often as I can.

This year, my sister has invited us all to hers (lives a 4 hr drive away). I'd love to go and said me and DH would take MY mum with us so, logistically, quite a bit of toing and froing for me and DH but, IT IS CHRISTMAS. Spoke to my mum last night after emailing her my plan. She won't go (she dislikes my sister's partner) and said "I've had lots of happy Christmas's, I don't mind being alone, you go without me..... I'll be fine here with my dogs". This, from a woman who I worry constantly about, because she's so lonely and has no friends near her. I speak with her daily. Anything from 15 mins to an hour +. Same for my sister. My mum is 72. I am 50.

I feel like just cancelling the whole thing. My son, will go to his dad's for Xmas as it's "dad's turn" to have him. Difficult this, as son would rather not. He's 11 and has aspergers and OCD so, preparing him to leave the comfort and safety of home, is always a trial for him.... And me.

If I just pretend its not happening.... Will it all go away?

Aaahhhgg! ( pulls hair out)

Paiviaso Thu 08-Nov-12 10:01:31

I think you making yourself much more stressed then you need to be.

Your son is going to his dad's. Done.

Your mom doesn't want to go to your sister's for Christmas. Her choice. Done.

McChristmasPants2012 Thu 08-Nov-12 10:06:34

Go to your sisters and have a lovely day, if your mum doesn't want to go it is up to her.

Every year we invite fil but he prefers to spend Christmas alone, as much as he loves his grandchildren he can not put up with the noise for too long and he is not very sociable. He is lovely but that's just his personality

ByTheWay1 Thu 08-Nov-12 10:08:48

I agree with Paiviaso - don't fall into the trap of making everybody else's happiness your responsibility - they have made their own choices - go to your sister's and ENJOY Christmas....

Eliza22 Thu 08-Nov-12 10:10:36

Yes.... You'd think it'd be that easy, wouldn't you? But, DH said 'we should see what your mum wants to do, so she's not on her own'.

Am thinking of booking a cheap flight to somewhere.....

BeaWheesht Thu 08-Nov-12 10:10:50

You need to stop trying to control what other people are doing.

Go to yor sisters. Leave your mum to do what she wants and let your ex deal with ds. Doesn't he go to his dads regularly?

ImperialFireworksInMyKnickers Thu 08-Nov-12 10:13:43

Your mum is choosing to be a Burning Martyr. (I've got one that does it too, I know all the signs). If she doesn't want to come, leave her to stew.

Your youngest step is a baggage. Ignore her.

I'm sorry your son finds changing homes temporarily distressing, but it's the price that has to be paid when parents share custody. Is he usually ok once he gets there?

freddiefrog Thu 08-Nov-12 10:20:29

We have this with my grandmother every year - lots of 'oh, don't worry about me, you go and have a good time without me'

This year we're having a nightmare. We usually go to my parents for a few days, but we have a Foster Child this year, whose parents won't let her travel (they don't bother to turn up for contact, but still pull our strings), so my family were going to come to us. Except my grandmother has decided she won't travel but also giving everyone a massive guilt trip about how we shouldnt worry about her, she's used to being alone, etc, etc. So we're now in a situation where none of us will see each other over Christmas. I've had enough of the whole bloody thing.

squeakytoy Thu 08-Nov-12 10:26:15

What would she do with her dogs if she did go?

BreeVanDerTramp Thu 08-Nov-12 10:31:40

I would leave the children to their own decisions. Your mum is being a martyr but that doesn't make it any easier on you.

DGran did this since DGrandfather died 6 years ago but she always came around come Christmas Day, it's just the worry in the run up to it. She died unexpectedly in July and I would love her yo be playing the martyr now sad

As an aside if she is very lonely would she consider moving closer to you?

PurplePidjin Thu 08-Nov-12 10:31:50

You don't mention any health issues, maybe your mum really would prefer to be on her own? I had a fab time one year at uni when my folks buggered off to Spain (i chose not to go). Not everyone enjoys a big fuss...

I would go to your sister's and concentrate on helping your ds prepare for time at his dad's - hard but an important independence skill. How is he with reward charts, social stories, written routines etc?

Remove the anxiety - all the people you mention are old enough to know their own mind, so are therefore not your problem wink

PurplePidjin Thu 08-Nov-12 10:35:15

Oh grandmothers are an evil unto themselves for this. Every year mine pulls the "it might be my last" card. She's 91 and been doing it for nigh on 20 years!

nokidshere Thu 08-Nov-12 10:41:12

If your mum is saying she doesn't want to go then you have to respect that. My MIL lives next door to us but never comes into our house. She finds it too noisy and busy for her. She comes in on Christmas morning to open presents, comes back for a short lunch and then goes home again.

It took me a while to stop trying to persuade her to stay for the day - she simply prefers the peace and quiet of her own home.

Eliza22 Thu 08-Nov-12 13:29:21

Thanks all, for the replies.

BeaWheesht... I'm not trying to be controlling, I don't think. You see, all year round, I have her in various states of distress BECAUSE SHE IS ON HER OWN. As I say, I do my utmost to visit and DH and I pick her up and take her to lunch/dinner/stay over with her, when we can. Her 3 dogs are old and she always says "I can't do this or that because of the dogs". The bottom line is, mum would like us all to go to her but this year, it isn't possible. As I say, two years ago, we booked a lovely Christmas Day meal to include her and even on the morning, I was trying to encourage her into coming with us. Days later, she was tearful because "Christmas isn't what it used to be". I know, without a doubt, that come New Year, she will be upset about having spent it alone.

Squeekytoy... We've said, we will take her dogs too. But now, they're not well enough to travel. She talked about having them rehomed this year as she felt she couldn't cope with them anymore. I organised a rehoming person to visit her to discuss but she backed out, at the last minute.

Imperialfireworks... Thank you. For the wise advice.

Breevandertramp... Her house is on the market. Second time around. But, she sold it a few years ago and SHE backed out, at the last moment. Last year, she told me she couldn't cope with living there alone, any longer so, I've supported her in this, as much as I can. When she was unwell earlier on in the year, I was doing the journey every week and it nearly killed me with everything else I had on.

Freddifrog... You are me. And it's shite, isn't it?

As for my son... Yes, he's generally ok, once with dad but, we have very different parenting styles and ds finds it hard because dad wants him to be like him (he's a triathlete) but ds is a skinny little boy with lots of anxiety and issues. Also, dad won't accept ds has autism despite the consultant psychiatrist having a 'firm' word with him. Dad wasn't giving him his medication etc and ds was a mess.

Oh, happy days!

DontmindifIdo Thu 08-Nov-12 13:42:06

OP - in the nicest possible way, you need to stop thinking of your mother as a child. Your mother has been invited to spend Christmas day with both her DDs, if she as a fully grown up adult decides she doesn't want to do that, than it will be her choice. You don't have to make her spend time with you, but if she's lonely then she'll have made the decision to do that. If your mum has no mental health issues then to a certain extent you have to let her get on with her own life, and make her own mistakes. Digging her heels in in the hope you will all change your plans to one she likes will only work if you let it.

I think you need to tell your mum you are going to your DSis's for Christmas, you will give her a lift if she wants to go too, it's up to her. Don't give into any emotional blackmail about "I've had happy Christmases in the past" or other such self indulgent nonesense, if she is lonely it'll be because she's actively decided that's what she wants. If she's upset at New Year you need to be a cracked record of "well you were invited, it was your choice."

It does sound to me that you feel you are responsible for everyone else's bad decisions and rather than have other people deal with the fall out from their own choices (including your youngest Step DD) you feel you have to try to "fix" problems other people have made. Take a step back and stop thinking that everything is your responsibility. It's not.

DontmindifIdo Thu 08-Nov-12 13:45:38

In fact, looking at your list, your DS is the only real problem that's your responsibilty to deal with, your life would be much more pleasant if with everyone else you just shrugged and said "OK, your choice." It probably would take the wind out of their sails as well, they are used to causing a problem and you running around trying to sort it, talk them into doing the right thing, trying to fix it and generally giving a big reaction.

Focus on your DS, ignore everything else.

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