To feel rebellious for hosting Christmas every single year?(41 Posts)
So, DH and I have been hosting Christmas at ours since, well, forever! Pre kids we had, I think, one Christmas on our own. Once kids came along we invited his parents to come so that they could enjoy watching the kids open gifts etc. They're not at all bothered about Christmas as it's not really part of their culture but of course, they like spending time with us and the grandchildren.
My parents were out of the equation as I was estranged from my dad for several years before his death 3yrs ago. Since he died my mum has been a much bigger part of our lives and so has also come to us for Christmas. Despite living about 5 mins walk away she comes on Christmas morning and stays all day and overnight, going back to hers on Boxing Day morning. We then go out for a long walk to the beach for the day and go to hers for Boxing Day tea.
I'm starting to really hate this set up! It's all so predictable! I know exactly what time my in laws will arrive. They're not very chatty but my mum hates silence so she just chats on and on. They leave, usually around 3.00 by which time it's too late to go out for a nice post lunch walk so we all end up playing games / watching telly and I try to stop my mum getting on DH's nerves too much
The kids are getting older now so watching them doing the whole opening presents "thing" isn't as special as it used to be but I have visions of every Christmas being like this for eternity and it makes me want to scream
I think in laws would be ok if we said to them we weren't going to host as they'd probably go to sil who lives near them. It's my mum who's the "problem" as we have no other family at all who she could go to. There is just me. No siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins - nothing. She still finds Christmas without my dad difficult anyway so I think she'd go nuts if we said we wanted to go away or do something different. I just want to do something that's just about me, DH and the kids and not have to think about anyone else.
AIBU? Is there anything I can do about any of this? I don't want to dread Christmas as in general, I love it! I just want to focus on me, my DH and kids and no other bugger
It's probably too late for this Christmas but tell them all that next year you won't be hosting.
Can you just say to your mum "we're going to church/having a walk/visiting friends on Christmas morning, so come over to ours for X o'clock just before lunch is served. We're going out for a walk/visiting friends/going to the pub afterwards, so we'll see you home on our way out".
You've done 3 Christmases the same, this is the year to change things, probably your last chance really, before it becomes ingrained and expected and the usual routine.
My one and only piece of Christmas advice is to not get stuck in a system or rota or routine that you may later come to regret or even resent. Mix it up a bit and then no one expects or assumes anything.
It may be too late for this year, but at least you can prepare family this year for changes next. Whatever you do don't wait until next Christmas or it may be too late again.
I think it would be awful to leave your dm alone at Xmas. Why don't you try and mix it up a bit instead?
It would be very cruel to leave your mum on her own on Christmas day.
So you are trying to work out how to spend Christmas with just your husband and children so you can leave your mother alone - how lovely.
Maybe you could go to a hotel next year and take your mother.
You will be that age and will also irritate your children and in laws
I agree with inviting your mum over later and making it clear you're doing something else earlier. Alternately do something after lunch and arrange for your mum to go earlier.
Otherwise you could make different arrangements for boxing day.
Could you maybe have a word with your mum and ask her to maybe talk a bit less? hard to break this but people who talk all the time often don't realise how irritating this is for quieter people and it may mean she is more aware of talking for the sake of talking and not jumping in on any silence.
You could stop inviting the inlaws over Christmas sometimes if they aren't bothered and have other places to go.
Have some music on low in the background, so there won't be silence if she doesn't chat?
I agree with incorporating a walk into your day, whether you have family round or not. They might come along and enjoy it or be grateful for a quiet doze whilst you're out for an hour.
I agree with others, don't leave your mum alone if she has no-one else. Just mix up your day! Do things you want to do and invite her along, if she doesn't want to do certain things then it's her choice. She might want to stay in after dinner but you guys could go for a walk. You can have the day you want!
I actually don't think it's cruel to consider leaving the mum out on Christmas Day if that's what the OP wants. We don't know the reasons she was estranged from her dad (which presumably has affected the relationship with her mum).
I have a family member who was estranged from her parents as her dad was an abusive twat, and her mum chose supporting her husband over the wellbeing of her own children, and now he's dead the mum is all "boo hoo my kids don't want to know me". You reap what you sow.
So let's not be too quick to judge her if she doesn't want to put her mum first now.
Just go for a walk or whatever. If she isn't up for it she can "have a rest"
or do the washing up
If you give everyone an indication of what the plan is in advance, they can choose how to fall in with it.
DrGoogle- I agree if the mum was awful, narcissistic or abusive etc then she shouldn't feel bad about leaving her alone. She would deserve to be alone! But it sounds like OP gets on with her mum, could be wrong though.
Thanks for all the replies. I do agree that it feels very cruel to do something for the day that does not include my mum - that's why I'm so stuck as to a solution!
The trouble is, whatever I suggest we'd like to do, she'll be happy to join in with - so we still won't get any time that's just the four of us! Think I may have to get DH and kids on board with a decent morning walk and delay them all arriving till more like 11.00 so that we have some breathing space before it all starts
DrGoogle - I've always got on well with my mum, despite the issues with my dad, though contact was much, much less through those years. I try very hard to not feel resentful over the fact that she was of no help or support when the kids were young and I was struggling and has appeared at a time in our lives when they're older and much easier and therefore she doesn't really have to put herself out to be a "helpful granny"! But that's a whole other thread
Would it be cheeky to ask her to wonder out loud if she could host for once?
I think she thinks she's being a great hostess by having us for tea on Boxing Day which really makes me laugh as a) it's always cold meat (supplied by us of course - leftover from Christmas lunch) and salads so not a lot of work really and b) she's already told me that she's been saving all her Morrisons vouchers to cover the cost (and she's far wealthier than DH and I!)
Tbh, not sure that'd work either. Having us over for dinner is pretty much an annual event (despite us having her here for Sunday tea at least once a month). And she boils vegetables into oblivion. DH would cry!!
Sorry, meant to say "cheeky to wonder out loud if she could host for once*
Personally I would say
'Can you come later, we want I have a walk...just us on Christmas morning'
But my mum is pretty awesome and would totally appreciate that we want time on our own.
We go to her on Boxing Day. This year we aren't going all day. I want the kids to be able to get up and chill with their toys and gift and have a more relaxed day instead a of being out by 10z
Her response was 'yeah that's fine'
Or if you want her to host, just say ask her.
I do think it's a bit late for this year though
My mum is on her own and I've fretted about this, all for naught!
My was here for new year- we went out with her and the children to some places for drinks with various fiends, came home, had a lovely meal, then my mum told us to head back out she wanted to sleep! It was 10pm and we got to bring in the new year with our mates.
I would mi the day up- include her but also give her an out-"we are calling in on so and so for a couple of drinks after Christmas lunch, would you like to come?"
Good friends will be delighted to see your mum and happy to ease the hosting burden. We always try and see other people so we don't go mad with my mum!
oh yes, definitely too late for this year, but might want to sow the seeds for next year soon after this year!
Actually, popping in to see friends (with her in tow if she wants) might be a nice idea. I'll see who's around and what DH thinks!
Book a holiday next year Break up the routine!
Dotty you have all year for just the 4 of you, I dont know why people fixate on having this special nuclear family time on one day of the year.
Mind, this is only on Mumsnet, I have yet to find someone who does this in real life
DH is really keen on a holiday, but that would mean leaving her alone for way more than just the one day so really can't see that happening.....
I need to find her a new man
merry, you're right in one sense but the rest of the year is also busy with the kids' various sporting clubs and other activities / work / homework / friends etc. There's something very appealing about switching on the Christmas lights, staying in our pjs all day and digging in and just enjoying each other's company without worrying about who's annoying who and whether everyone else is happy and ok.
I feel your pain over wanting some breathing space on Christmas day. It is a busy day for me with entertaining my sister-in-law and an old freind of my Mum-in-law who come christmas eve (sister-in-law stays) We drive my sister-in-law home on christmas day, and then drive 45mins over to my Mum's for christmas dinner with my siblings and their families.
Christmas is so different for each member of the family. Your Mum really treasures that time with you and the family, and your in-laws appreciate being included but haven't the same need as your Mum. I'm sure you treasure each Christmas with your Mum and parents-in-law but just need a little breathing space to enjoy what Christmas means to you- watching your kids fast growing up, and reflecting over the year,as well as time with Mum and extended family. You sound like you need time and space to treasure moments with your children who are fast growing up Sounds like mixing it up so that your relatives arrive later on xmas day so that you can have a special breakfast/morning tea/walk/visiting friends will be just what you need . Hope its a good one ;)
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