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Brother and his ILs over Xmas season what to do?

(30 Posts)
MissDD1971 Sun 22-Sep-13 17:59:32

There are 2 of us, me and my brother. At Christmas I tend to go to my mums (both of us in London area) and my brother goes to his ILs house who are in SW England.

Both my brother and his wife don't see ILs much partly because his wife works 3 weekends out of 4. She hasn't always done this.

Brother comes to us for Xmas eve but then is in bath all Xmas week. Sometimes my aunt and uncle come over but unless I see friends I feel obliged to stay at mum and dads. My brother has now stayed with them approx 5 years running. God knows what they'll do when kids come along. My mum is a bit hurt he can't spend Xmas with or without wife and ILs but she rarely makes a fuss. She'd like brother round a bit more though she's told me.

AIBU to think my brother at least should spend more of Xmas with us or am I being selfish?

I did suggest we could stay SW England as ILs can only really put up 3 people and their spare double is too small for my parents....

MissDD1971 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:33:38

actually - look sorry Peppi for having a go - this just gets me riled up. and upset. smile

My brother knows this upsets my mum but my mum's learned to live with this and I should butt out.

doesn't help that we're a close family otherwise.

i do feel very obliged to be with my mum over Xmas.

I just wish we could split things more as a family but am going to leave it and IABU.

MissDD1971 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:29:40

Peppi - I choose to ignore you now and in future. No need to tell me and others how far in advance to organise Christmas.

Oh I get it - obviously you're like Pippa Middleton re planning and advice - Peppi Pippa. LOL grin

MissDD1971 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:27:39

DeWe - there is one reason - well sort of - brother's FIL is in wheelchair after a stroke (but he can stay with brother in London and my mum has offered to put him up at their house in London. My mum's downstairs toilet even has a handrail for him and is fairly easy access for him.

But that isn't the main reason. The MIL is quite a force and always wants her way - her daughter doesn't dare disagree with her or wants to make waves.

I just would like my brother around too a bit more over Xmas. I wouldn't mind if he weren't gone the entire Xmas week including Xmas day. I am going to book myself a nice Xmas holiday abroad and leave them to it. smile

It's not just Xmas either it's Easter etc too - always with them. But my mum will just have to put up and shut up. I do hope they aren't deprived of grandchildren though. And yes, sorry but I do feel sorry for my mum, at home without her son on Xmas Day - they could easily swap years - do alternate ones.

PeppiNephrine Mon 23-Sep-13 13:24:56

I don't think I will, actually.
Don't post in aibu if you don't want different answers. Seriously, leave your brother to sort out his own affairs, its only your business if you make it be. Beak out, angst over.

MissDD1971 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:22:24

Ghoul - no space for Brother to host us all, well in theory yes, but we normally eat out as they have a tiny flat.

DeWe Mon 23-Sep-13 10:53:30

There may be a reason you are not party to why they always go there.
We always went to one side (except 2 years) because we were the only ones that could go (other siblings were in the army and posted). The other side had all the siblings used to go.
That's an obvious one, but a less obvious one was I know someone else who always used to go to the ILs because on Christmas day their first child had died in an accident and they didn't want their parents to be along. They didn't tell people that (the ILs didn't want people to know) but it was a deliberate decision.

BarbarianMum Mon 23-Sep-13 10:10:19

It is not your business to manage your brother's relationship with your mother. Yes it might make your life easier if he spent 1 Christmas in 2 with her but it's fair to make him responsible for your feelings of guilt/responsibility/whatever.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 23-Sep-13 10:01:09

It's NOT as though, sorry.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 23-Sep-13 10:00:28

To be honest as your mum will be with her husband I really don't think you need to worry about them. It's as though she'll be sitting on her own on Xmas day if you want to go away. You've been with them the last 5 years, just say you want to do something different this year.

Your mum could always invite your brother to stay. Or your brother and SIL could host both sets of parents. It sounds like there are lots of options here.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 09:50:16

If your brother stays Christmas Eve, he is making the effort to spend time with his family, even now that he's married.

I think he's doing enough tbh. As long as he sees you at some point, Christmas Eve/Day or Boxing Day, I think that's fine.

MissDD1971 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:45:10

Holdmecloser - my real dad died a few years back when him and my mum were divorced.

My stepdad is around though he's not at all sociable. Whereas my mum really is very sociable.

I know this is overthinking stuff in the future but I'm worried when they have kids that my mum will rarely see her grandchildren at Easter/Xmas simply because SIL's parents will take over. However, brother's MIL wants to do childcare for them and move nearer her DD when grandchildren are born, hopefully nearer London/Home Counties so hopefully this won't be so much a problem.

My parents ALWAYS invite Brother and SIL but they have to go to SW England.

and yes, Brother and SIL live in London but when SIL wasn't working almost every weekend she went home to SW England a lot so it wasn't like she saw my parents any less than her parents.

MissDD1971 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:40:25

oh Peppi - GO AWAY.

It is my business because if I ALSO have people over for dinner for Xmas etc then I have to factor things in. e.g. who is coming etc. This included the year before last my brother's ILs for Xmas drinks/buffet. but this was in days before Xmas e.g. Xmas week. brother's MIL works as teacher so she gets that time off.

In my family we are ALREADY planning what to do for Xmas and it was talked about recently. My parents are away in their holiday home for a month next month so brother's ILs want to make plans.

Another aside which got on my tits - after a week with ILs the MIL stormed out of the house one day and went to nearest town, she'd had enough of things! It was on the day I was going home. And SIL and brother were squabbling and teary.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sun 22-Sep-13 19:18:37

Sorry, I don't mean to sound insensitive but is your dad still alive? So it's you, him, and your mum every Christmas?

Have your parents actually invited DB and DSIL? Or do they just wait to see what they decide?

Honestly it's up to him where he goes, your mum might feel a bit sad but I wouldn't blow anything out of proportion.

Do they live in London too? Perhaps they feel they see you all more throughout the year.

PeppiNephrine Sun 22-Sep-13 19:05:35

It is helpful though. Stressing, in September, about what OTHER PEOPLE are going to do for a day in 3 months time, when its not actually your business, is utterly pointless.
How is it unhelpful to point that out? confused

ilovesooty Sun 22-Sep-13 18:51:46

Spot on Louise
My sister has made a mug of me and the OP needs for that not to happen to her.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 22-Sep-13 18:51:29

I got together with DH whose family was 100s of miles away, we did alternate Christmas with my parents and New Year with his for years and managed a few when DCs came along. When years passed and we lived halfway between the two and we both lost our dads it was harder still.

If both sides live a distance apart someone will get disappointed eventually. You're trying to mediate over the Yuletide issue but who knows what pressure SIL is under and DB seems content to go along to his PILs every Christmas. If they do start their own family there'll be an added dimension.

All you can do is show your mum sympathy, keep in touch with DB & SIL and consider how you fancy spending the festive season this year.

LouiseAderyn Sun 22-Sep-13 18:45:20

I think it is unfair for your brother to always go to his ils and never to his own mum! It's all very well in theory ti say that you should do as you please snd not feel obliged to go to your mum's, but the reality is tgat you will feel obliged because he has ducked out of being fair and alternating visits.

So yanbu from me. I would talk to him snd tell him that you would like him the to visit a bit more ovrr the period.

I dont think you should feel tgat you have to be with your mum every day though. She should understand that the you might want to spend some days doing your own thing

MimiSunshine Sun 22-Sep-13 18:34:54

Why don't you talk to your brother, not to tell him what to do but just to find out why he always goes to his ILs? It may be too late to change plans now if he's committed to the ILs but just let him know that your mum would love to host him and SIL next year.

Or just leave it and if your mum mentions it, suggest she invites them over herself, can't tell for your OP if she ever has done or just asked what they're doing.

Then make your own plans for next year no matter what. It's ok to choose your own happiness sometimes

ilovesooty Sun 22-Sep-13 18:34:42

I disagree with Trifle
My sister did what your brother did as soon as she was married. My dad died soon after and she has expected me to be responsible for my mum at Christmas for the past 30 odd years.

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Sun 22-Sep-13 18:31:03

Peppi that is so not helpful. Lots of families set this stuff in stone very early on. Ours for instance has been sorted for ages!

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Sun 22-Sep-13 18:30:22

It could be nice to have everyone together over Xmas if your family is this small. Can you parents put our brothers inlaws up?

PeppiNephrine Sun 22-Sep-13 18:28:24

You could wait until mid november at least to start worrying about this, for a start.
Or not worry about it at all and let people sort their own lives out.

PolterGoose Sun 22-Sep-13 18:26:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissDD1971 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:16:11

So basically IABU?! That was all I wanted to l know and will butt out in future.

MissDD1971 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:14:52

How would it make things easier for me?!

I just feel sorry for my mum, not long ago her parents were alive and came over (even though divorced).

I'd like to go away for Xmas but feel bad about not going to my mums.

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