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Feel dreadful after really upsetting my parents but don't think IABU?

(608 Posts)
Fieryfighter Sun 08-Nov-15 09:10:34

Warning... It's a Christmas post. I've spent every Christmas of my life at my parents, pre and post having children, when I was married I always went to them as ExH didn't celebrate Christmas. I usually go to theirs on Christmas eve and leave the morning after boxing day. My kids have often mentioned wanting to have a Christmas at home as they never get to be at their houhouse and I also would like to spend some time at my house, and I only live about 25 mins from them.

I was at my folks with ds2 yesterday and whilst talking about Christmas I mentioned that the boys had said they wanted to have a Christmas at home, and that the boys had mentioned this a few times over the years so I was thinking maybe we could have Christmas morning at home then go over to my folks later that morning. I want for a minute suggesting we don't go to them at all, just that we'd go over later Christmas morning.

Basically they got really really upset, sobbing and everything, dad saying that there was no point putting up a tree if we're not going to be there (I said every year I decorate my house and never get to spend Christmas there), that they might as well just go away for Christmas etc etc. My sister and her son will be there Xmas eve and Christmas day so they won't be along I couldn't placate then at all and ds2 (9) got upset and was crying. They said they were really stressed about their nightmare neighbours and the house not selling (neighbours are really vile) and they hate being in their house and just don't want to be at home and the only thing they look forward to is us coming over (we visit every week).

Anyway, horrible atmosphere cotinued, I popped upstairs for 5 mins thinking if I left the room they'd make an effort with ds2 but they just sat on sofa mum quietly sobbing taking between themselves, ds2 said in car on way home it was really awkward (wish I hadn't gone upstairs now but I really thought they'd buck up and play with him or something)

Anyway, when I came down they said it would need better if we left as it was no good for ds2 so we did. I did tell them very gently I really didn't mean to upset them but I thought they were overreacting then dad got angry again so we left.

They are very good at making me feel guilty and I usually do what they want tbh. My sister is a complete PITA and behaves dreadfully towards them with no repercussions so I'm there 'good' one who's always there for them.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 08-Nov-15 09:13:30

That is an incredible overreaction on their part.

I suspect if having Christmas with my mum ever became the done thing, she would behave similarly if I then tried to change those plans.

I hope they calm down and accept your choice. It's fine to want to want to spend Christmas at your own home!

Fieryfighter Sun 08-Nov-15 09:14:38

Oops posted too soon by mistake. Anyway, they won't be alone, my sister and her son will be there Xmas eve and day.

I feel absolutely awful today and have barely slept as I hate arguing and keep picturing my mum sobbing.

I'm also pissed off they behaved that way in front of ds2, I've never been that upset in front of my kids. I don't know why it couldn't have been an adult discussion instead of such upset. I said in the end yesterday that we'd come as usual fort Christmas to try and make things better but I really think now I should stock to my guns and not let them guilt me into it?

tibbawyrots Sun 08-Nov-15 09:15:27

emotional blackmail. Which you've recognised so can deal with it. Not fair to upset your DS too though.

Christmas should be what you want - your children want to be at home, why shouldn't they be able to do that?

bittapitta Sun 08-Nov-15 09:15:52

Wtaf you sound very reasonable and rational and their response was completely inappropriate - especially in front of their grandchildren! Do as planned, Christmas at yours then visit them later. Up to them if they want to decorate etc. Urgh.

PrimalLass Sun 08-Nov-15 09:16:03

Remember: they chose to behave that way. It is not your fault.

tibbawyrots Sun 08-Nov-15 09:16:14

I didn't mean that you were upsetting your DS - I meant that your parents were not being fair to upset him. Sorry...

BarbarianMum Sun 08-Nov-15 09:17:00

Well, with my harsh hat on, now you've upset them you may as well reap the benefit and have Christmas at home. They are being ridiculous and I am not surprised to hear that you "usually do what they want" if that's the level of emotional blackmail they use. Time to reset the relationship.

BoboChic Sun 08-Nov-15 09:17:39

Clearly your parents' reaction was way over and above anything you had anticipated and it is also way over and above "normal".

They are clearly quite unhappy in a general sort of way. Maybe, when they have had time to take a deep breath, you need to help them work on the underlying issues that have led them to have such an extreme reaction. Christmas is a symptom, not a cause, of their unhappiness.

fitzbilly Sun 08-Nov-15 09:18:08

What an over reaction on their part!! Could you invite them to yours for Christmas?

NickiFury Sun 08-Nov-15 09:18:20

I absolutely would NOT be going for Christmas, especially after all that. I understand it's not that easy when it's you're own parents guilting you wouldn't bother me though!

Do you think maybe because it's so close to Christmas so they're a bit shocked?

Narp Sun 08-Nov-15 09:18:23

Unless there's something you don't know about (an illness they've not told you about), this is a complete failure on their part to be rational and to deal in an adult way with their feeling of disappointment. I don't know what else you could have done.

patienceisvirtuous Sun 08-Nov-15 09:18:58

They're being very unreasonable and manipulative.

I would stick to your guns. Say you have thought about it and will be spending Christmas at home this year, for a change.

ouryve Sun 08-Nov-15 09:18:59

Good grief, do they make a habit of turning on the waterworks like this?

Agree that it was a ridiculous way to go on, especially in front of a child.

trapdooragain Sun 08-Nov-15 09:19:09

blimey yanbu! i would be tempted to say unless you can pull yourselves together i won't be going at all you can't have that kind of emotional blackmail going on wtf were they thinking they are not children!

all your children are asking for is one morning in their own home

Narp Sun 08-Nov-15 09:19:22

X post with Bobo, who had a similar idea

corgiology Sun 08-Nov-15 09:19:37

Have Christmas at yours and have them stay over Xmas eve-boxing day? Gives them a break from their neighbours too.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sun 08-Nov-15 09:19:43

I perhaps would have softened the blow by suggesting a change and inviting them to Christmas dinner at yours

As has been said though, you've upset them now so meh enjoy Christmas at home

Fieryfighter Sun 08-Nov-15 09:19:46

I know they're very stressed at the moment about the neighbour situation but that's not my fault and I can't do anything about that. I do what I can for them, and always support them they're not old or infirm anyway although I do do all the cooking for Christmas and still will.

My sister just announces what they're doing for Christmas and mum and dad just go along with it and don't say a word, she's been abroad twice at Xmas and they didn't say a thing

RaspberryOverload Sun 08-Nov-15 09:19:59

I said in the end yesterday that we'd come as usual fort Christmas to try and make things better but I really think now I should stock to my guns and not let them guilt me into it?

That's what the overreaction was all about. It's manipulated you into doing what they want.

LittleBearPad Sun 08-Nov-15 09:20:44

Stay at home OP. Invite them to yours if you want to.

Shakey15000 Sun 08-Nov-15 09:20:47

Ye Gads. What a bizarre OTT reaction. Stick to your guns and have Christmas at home.

DarkRoots Sun 08-Nov-15 09:21:10

Oh dear - poor you. I think you know YANBU, but it is horrible that your parents are upset as you obviously feel it very deeply.

However: they most definitely ARE being unreasonable. They got to do christmas their way with their DCs, now is the time to do this for yourself. The fact that it is actually what your DC would prefer makes it even more reasonable!

I think a change of tack is necessary. The decision is made so now to just be happy and breezy about it. It's a massive over reaction from them as this is a conversation being had up and down the country as it gets to a stage where most people (as their DC get older) want to establish their own tradition of being in the DC's home on Christmas morning. Reasonable GPs recognise this and adapt (has already happened in our family: no tears!). Don't fuel the fire of their victimhood. Show them how to be by smiling, looking forward to Christmas, etc. you are also showing your DC how to react when compromise has to be reached, and also that in the face of emotional manipulation, their feelings matter, too.

Good luck. You sound very considerate. Don't let it be your downfall flowers

Savagebeauty Sun 08-Nov-15 09:21:11

I'm with Barbarian.what a ridiculous overreaction.
Carry on as you planned and enjoy time at home. They have 6 weeks to get used to it.

confusedandemployed Sun 08-Nov-15 09:21:12

Oh my God. I think you did incredibly well not to just tell them to grow the fuck up. That sort of behaviour would just be grist to my mill and I'd have dug my heels in even further and perhaps suggested not going at all but I'm a cow

I agree with BarbarianMum - you need to stick to your guns now and follow through.

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