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So this was our Christmas.

(20 Posts)
PlumpingUpPartridge Thu 01-Jan-15 19:50:51

Dh, DC (3.5 and 2.5yo) and I packed up ourselves, our presents and 2 cats into a modestly sized car and drove for 4 hours to stay in my parent's family home for Christmas, arriving on Dec 22nd and leaving tomorrow.

It's been hard work. DF lives overseas and comes here especially to see us, but spends the majority of his time shouting down the phone in his language to people he works with/manages (owns his own business). Consequently, we see him at mealtimes and that's about it. Mum passed away in March 2014 and so isn't here to mediate.

Dsis comes down here to see her friends/us in that order, stopping in for meals and an occasional wash.

Extended relatives are about but do have their own lives, understandably. I didn't ever live here and so know no one other than relatives.

DF, while generous with cash, does expect us to clean his home (to a better standard than it was when we arrived) and also to cook and generally maintain the house. Dsis will cook but doesn't clean much and makes it clear that she resents DF's 'women's work' attitude.

Given all this, WIBU to tell DF that we are doing Christmas at our own house next year and that he's welcome to come to us?! Something in my soul recoils at playing host in a house where I'm a guest....

Oh and we also had to put up the Christmas decorations and do all the planning for the day as he couldn't be expected to take an interest in that sort of thing confused

greeneggsandjam Thu 01-Jan-15 19:53:25

I think that would be entirely reasonable!

tinyshinyanddon Thu 01-Jan-15 19:54:42

Sounds a bit barmy...YANBU to stay home next time and suggest DF comes to stay.

inneedofsomeclarity Thu 01-Jan-15 19:55:44

Bless you, Christmas is fraught with family stress but you would not be u to want to do it at home in future. When I had my dds (6&3) I put my foot down about doing it at home because I want their memories to be of Christmas at home, not on the motorway or having to fit in to someone else's way of doing things.

HeraldAngelSinging Thu 01-Jan-15 20:03:22

Hmm. Made me think of what your mother's life must have been like. Why should you travel all that way with entourage and be expected to clean bathrooms, sitting rooms, dining rooms, halls, landing, stairs, kitchens bedrooms, cook, wash up, laundry, DIY where necessary as well as look after your own family? Who looks after the house while he's abroad?

The best thing to do is as you hope to do - have Christmas in your own home and he can be a guest.

ThreeFrazzledFandangos Thu 01-Jan-15 20:03:33

After the second paragraph I thought "this sounds like a lot of shit for no benefit. Why the fuck don't they stay at home and offer to have people there."

YANBU, trot out the old "unfair to kids, want to be at home and play with their toys and enjoy christmas at home next year.

ilovesooty Thu 01-Jan-15 20:07:52

Why did you go in the first place? It sounds horrible.

GooodMythicalMorning Thu 01-Jan-15 20:08:23

Yanbu sounds fair to me. He sounds hardwork

Floggingmolly Thu 01-Jan-15 20:17:20

Why do you do it? Your family don't even live there confused. If you want to see your Dad at Christmas there are easier ways to do it...

PlumpingUpPartridge Thu 01-Jan-15 20:17:50

Oh, Mum did everything else. Tbf, she hated cleaning and did the bare minimum grin she did cater and provide ad-hoc childcare though, which was noted and missed (as well as missing her for herself obv).

We had to be here, as DF wanted to make sure the extended family didn't feel left out - after all, they lost her too (her rellies). We were also required to be present for The Scattering (a sad yet rather comical affair where DM ended up spread over rocks, the sea and her sister's coat).

It's been a bit emotional....

Moanranger Thu 01-Jan-15 20:23:15

I think it is time now for you to establish your own Christmas rituals at your own house. There comes a time when this needs to be done, almost irrespective of family dysfunction. 2015 is that year. Good luck!

esiotrot2015 Thu 01-Jan-15 20:25:15

Tbh it sounds like he might be relieved if you don't turn up next year

PlumpingUpPartridge Thu 01-Jan-15 20:35:24

Why do you say that esiotrot? We're only here because he wanted us to be, and also there would be no point in him coming all the way over down here if we weren't present 'cos he'd be alone (Dsis would avoid like the plague without us here to dilute).

clam Thu 01-Jan-15 20:39:22

Well, maybe this year was a one-off, as it was the first year you've been without your mum sad but next year is your time to make changes. There are enough people on MN tying themselves in knots trying to please their immediate family, so I don't think you should let aunts, uncles and cousins guide your thinking next year.

Good luck. flowers

clam Thu 01-Jan-15 20:40:39

Do you think your dad wouldn't return to the UK if you didn't go to the family home then? Wouldn't he want to see you and your dcs?

MaryWestmacott Thu 01-Jan-15 20:45:49

Invite him to you next year (and your dsis, although she might not come, or only turn up for actual Christmas Day, which would probably be better).

Do you get to see your DHs family at all?

thecatfromjapan Thu 01-Jan-15 20:46:58

I suspect he spends a lot of time on the 'phone because he finds emotional/relations stuff too difficult.

It sounds very sad.

Is your home large enough to have your dad for a week and your rellies for a day? That wod be more sensible - I think you're right. You could put it positively as wanting to start a new chapter of family Christmases, with your father welcomed into this young, growing part of the family.

You all sound as though you miss your mother.

ZenNudist Thu 01-Jan-15 20:47:31

Yanbu. Sounds awful. Time to start fresh traditions!

PlumpingUpPartridge Thu 01-Jan-15 21:00:30

We did see DH's family for a couple of days, but had to insist to DH that we did so - he loves them but grumbles about needing to travel back and fore.

DF has been like this ever since I can remember - work is always the priority. He does get uncomfortable with emotion and has said before that daughters are the responsibility of their mother to take care of, while the father's role is to provide. So in that context it all makes sense, but it does make me sad sometimes. I'm 33 and still wanting some attention sad

He does miss her, a lot. If we didn't come to this part of the country then he probably wouldn't either. He might come to us if he decides that work will permit. He'd be very welcome, he knows this (we've stated it clearly).

helensburgh Thu 01-Jan-15 21:03:34


Sounds like a time to make changes.

I think you will all benefit from it.

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