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to not be the cheeriest of elves at having to spend Xmas day with hoarding inlaws

(26 Posts)
lauralaughs Wed 12-Dec-12 04:34:00

I had made plans to finally spend Xmas with my parents, not having done so for 3 years, with our 2 young dds, the youngest being 18 months old. And otherwise they would be spending it alone.

We never usually spend more than a few hours at mil's house (she shares it with her mother, who, being a stroke victim, needs round the clock care) as she is a compulsive hoarder, as well as being rather controlling and manipulative. She blames this mess on being too old and busy to tidy it by herself (she's 64!) Mil has managed to keep nan's room on the ground floor of the small 2-up 2-down relatively tidy, but, as an illustration on our last visit there was a chest of drawers interestingly positioned in the room with the drawers taken out and left on the floor with books and papers shoved into the gaps where drawers should be, and we had to squeeze past this in order to sit down to eat our dinner. Also, in order for mil to enter her room, she has to clamber over a pile of random objects left in front of her door.

It turns out that dh's brother and his wife who live near mil are expecting a baby, by cs as there have been slight complications, on Christmas Eve. So mil is planning on being around to allegedly 'help out' with household chores etc at their house and to look after their first son (aged 4) when they go into hospital. Therefore, dh will need to look after his grandmother - including assisting her with lavatory duties etc.

I have now agreed to take the kids over to mil's on Christmas Eve, and we will now leave to go to my parents on 27th. As we do not currently own a car, we will be at the mercy of the public transport system so will be stuck there for 2 whole days. I have told myself that poor nan may not be around for much longer, so at least we are doing our best to spend as much time at Christmas with her, although a lot of what she says is repeating the same phrases again and again, as she does not remember what we mentioned from one minute to the next.

The kitchen seems to me to be rather a health hazard, as there is always food left out on the counter. One time I visited before, there was a humungous pile of detritus and cans etc piled up on the floor near the bin needing attention. On my last visit, this had improved. Another question is, once there, should I leave well alone or, as I feel like doing, should I get stuck in and attempt to clear it all up for Christmas day. Especially as mil may be elsewhere?

Even more amusingly, in the heat of an argument, dh says he would never spend Christmas with my family (beautiful house in the country) as he does not get on with my father (a compulsively tidy workaholic!grin) and he would call the police if I attempted to take the kids there for Christmas! I am damn well going to spend Xmas next year with my parents! So, as a matter of interest, how far could he legally go to stop me? Things are already fraught between us, he is a stay-at-home dad while I work full-time in a rather stressful job.

Any survival tips welcome! I want Christmas to be lovely and magical for the kids, so will be putting my bravest face on. My concern is where they will be able to move around! We'll have to go out to the park. And it will only be for 2 (whole) days, after all!

lauralaughs Mon 07-Jan-13 06:21:22

and boc, you are just plain wrong about so many things, including residency, shock of course I have residency - I live with my kids, and just because I go to work each day whilst my husband stays at home, through his choice as he is attempting to run his business from home at the same time, I would relish the chance to spend more time with them. I am their mother, after all and also still bfeeding dd2, who is now 18months old. I feel you have rather an axe to grind which has nothing to do with my situation.

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