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To know not if my Mum IBU about my Grandad at Christmas

(73 Posts)
unfairrornot Sun 16-Nov-14 16:53:15

She has asked me for advice and I am unsure.

Background. My Nana died in 1995 and my Grandad has spent Christmas at my parents every year since then. My DP and I go to my parents or his for Christmas. My Grandad cannot come here because he cannot manage the stairs in my house and we don't have a downstairs toilet for him to use so we do not host Christmas, although if he could, we would.

We all live a couple of hours away from each other so having him just for the day is not practical.

My Grandad is very difficult and rude. He has always been a rude man. He can be quite toxic, always has something negative to say, never says thank you or please. Regularly tells me how fat and useless I am. He is also 93 and so this could be his last Christmas (although he is in good health.)

My Mum wants to ask her brother to have him for Christmas. My Grandad has an ok relationship with him, my uncle has checked out emotionally due to my Grandad's rudeness although he does his duty on birthdays etc. It would not occur to him to have him for Christmas so my Mum will have to ask. He lives nearby so can have him just for the day.

Part of me thinks my Mum INBU because he is so difficult and he casts a real downer on Christmas. But part of me thinks that he is so old and he does love us very much, even if he doesn't show it very well, he is very lonely and I think going to my parents for Christmas is the highlight of his year.

My Mum has asked me what I think and I am unsure. I have offered to have us all for Christmas but like I say above it is not practical for him to come here.

MelanieCheeks Sun 16-Nov-14 16:58:54

I think it's fair enough to ask your uncle, it's reasonable for families to take turns at Christmas time. But he may say no.

OhTheDrama Sun 16-Nov-14 17:02:10

I don't think your mum ibu to want a break this Christmas as she's been putting up with his rude behaviour for almost 20 yrs. Does she have him at other times too? Your mum sounds under great strain tbh.

Spadequeen Sun 16-Nov-14 17:06:49

I think your uncle should step up, it doesn't sound like much of a fun Christmas for your mum and when does she get to relax

Clawdy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:09:00

Fairly good chance it will be his last Christmas. Personally if it was my dad I would just bite the bullet and have him there regardless. Better than feeling sad and guilty after his death...believe me,I've been there and it's not worth it just for one day.

fluffyraggies Sun 16-Nov-14 17:09:59

Why wouldn't going to his son's for xmas be the highlight of your grandads year? (instead of his daughters) Genuine Q.

I think your mum deserves a break.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 16-Nov-14 17:12:26

I think you should support your mum to spread the load. As you say, you would take on more if you could but you can't so your mum has been.

It's time to give your mum a break. It's all very well to feel someone should do more when it's not you that has to do it.

Your poor, poor mum sad

fluffyraggies Sun 16-Nov-14 17:12:43

The trouble with thinking 'this could be XYZs last xmas' is that it could go on for years.

From a persons early 80s really.

This man might go on till he's 100. That's another 7 years of strained xmas' for OPs mum.

addictedtobass Sun 16-Nov-14 17:12:43

I think your mum is being very reasonable, you can all go and visit him another day over Christmas but she deserves a nice day herself.

partialderivative Sun 16-Nov-14 17:15:40

At 93, he is unlikely to be around much longer, I think it would be kinder to let him continue with the annual routine he has become familiar with. He is your mum's dad! (pointing out the bleedin' obvious), she may have a lot of different thoughts about him than you do. She will remember him from when she was a child.

Has he always been rude? My Ddad passed away earlier last year. He could be very cantankerous at times, but he is remembered for his wit and humour as a younger man. I also remember him as my dad when I was small child.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 16-Nov-14 17:17:21

Also this "last Christmas" business is pretty trite really. After 60 years of Christmasses and the last 20 years not doing this one, even if it is his last, doesn't really matter in the great scheme of things. In fact it's a bit martyr-y IMHO to think it does.

hamptoncourt Sun 16-Nov-14 17:17:24

I agree, even if it is Grandads last Christmas, why shouldn't he spend it with his own son? Your mum isn't suggesting sending him to the local soup kitchen is she?

It might make a lovely change for him and he might prefer being so much closer to home. Please don't make your mum feel guilty about this.

ILovePud Sun 16-Nov-14 17:17:45

If I was in your position I'd support your Mum in needing a break, though maybe your uncle or your uncle's partner if he has one will refuse to have him over. People are different in what they will tolerate and only you know what the positives of your and your mum's relationships with your grandfather are but personally I wouldn't want to spend Christmas with someone who told me I was fat and useless whatever age they were.

unfairrornot Sun 16-Nov-14 17:20:05

Yes it is difficult for my Mum. We do our best try and do stuff with him and take him out when we are there but his mobility is limited because of his age and with everything being so busy at Christmas time it is not easy. He won't play games or anything so he is difficult to entertain. He likes to watch Westerns on loud and whinge loudly when anyone else wants something. I don't want people to think we sit back and don't help, we really do, but it is not possible for us to have him for Christmas. We went to my DP's parents last Christmas and my Mum said the day with just him and without us was miserable sad

Going to my parent's is his highlight because honestly he prefers my Mum to my Uncle (my Uncle was very much my Nana's favourite).

My Grandad doesn't do much all year which is not for want of trying on all our parts. He won't go to any groups or clubs or have a befriender or really do anything to improve his quality of life. We visit pretty regularly as do my parents. My Uncle is a bit useless tbh and doesn't do nearly enough for someone living nearby but like I say, he is not invested emotionally after the way my Grandad has treated him.

I just don't want my Mum to regret her decision if he does die next year.

Thank you for your thoughts, I will of course support my Mum whatever she decides.

drudgetrudy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:20:46

Can your Mum get a break at some other time?
If she asks her brother and he says "No" will she feel very resentful?

Agree that it could be his last Christmas but it may very well not be.
Some very old people go on in terrible health for years.
If Mum does have Grandad are there any ways the rest of you can support her and make the day a bit easier?
Does she need more support from her brother all round? How do you think he would respond to a request for more help?

Iggi999 Sun 16-Nov-14 17:21:14

I'm still thinking about him going to the OP's house. There are ways round not having a downstairs loo - commode, camping type toilet.

Rebecca2014 Sun 16-Nov-14 17:23:12

Why should your mother feel bad asking her brother to have his father over for Christmas, for one bloody year?

unfairrornot Sun 16-Nov-14 17:23:30

He has always been difficult and rude. He loves his family very much but can be controlling. My Mum's childhood was quite mixed I think, he cared for her very much and was a good provider but I think she feels he restricted their family quite a bit by being so stuck in his ways from a very young age.

drudgetrudy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:24:52

Sorry cross-posted -he sounds difficult -is there more than one TV in the house where he could watch his noisy westerns?

fluffyraggies Sun 16-Nov-14 17:26:56

So every other year your mum is alone with her cantakerous old dad all day? Those years when you are at your partners parents OP.

Why cant your uncle come over to your mums for the day on those years at least?

unfairrornot Sun 16-Nov-14 17:27:40

&Iggi* he won't do it, I have suggested it and he is having none of it, he won't use a commode at all. When he has been here he has refused all offers to even help him upstairs to the toilet and demands we take him to a supermarket to their disabled toilet. He really can be very awkward.

I think IBU - he should go to my Uncle's and give my Mum a year off.

fluffyraggies Sun 16-Nov-14 17:28:28

come over And help entertain his dad, i meant to say.

Kundry Sun 16-Nov-14 17:29:29

I don't buy into this 'last Christmas' thing either. If he had wanted to guarantee your mum would have him for Christmas, he could have been nicer for the last 20 of them. It's not as if he didn't have the opportunity.

Although he is 93, if he has no serious health conditions he could well have 5+ more Christmas to go - and be a pain in the arse at.

Your mum can't live under a 'will I regret it if he dies' cloud for the next however many years, she has to live her life.

It seems entirely reasonable to swap to your uncle's house this Christmas. Doesn't sound as if your uncle has regrets about not having him, does it?

unfairrornot Sun 16-Nov-14 17:30:07

fluffyraggies we go to my parent's most years for Christmas due to not wanting my parents to have my Grandad alone, we went to my DP's parents last year for the first time in five years. My Mum is still married to my Dad who is very supportive and will also try to entertain my Grandad, so she is not alone with him.

My Uncle cannot come to ours or my parents for the day, it is too far.

drudgetrudy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:31:13

If OP has children and would have to work around using a commode etc I think it is unreasonable to expect her to have her Grandad there. Her Mum would probably rather do it herself than expect that.

I think OPs Mum deserves a big treat just after Christmas-a little holiday or something if she can afford it.

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