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Not to want sister and family for Christmas

(56 Posts)
Breastbeaten Thu 03-Nov-16 23:38:51

I feel awful to say this but I don't want my sister, bro in law and 1 yo nephew to come for Christmas. They want to stay for 4 nights but:

Baby is a terrible crier - it's pretty much constant. He doesn't interact with anyone and I am worried too much attention would be focused on trying to stop him walking in to things, knocking things over and generally being a danger to himself, my daughter and dogs.

But more delicate issue probably..... my sis and bro in law are awful to each other. They snipe, bitch and outfight argue and insult each other in front of all of us, including our 7yo.

We like a calm environment and don't argue in front of kids.

So what do I say? How do I say it? Can it be done without huge hurt?

Domino20 Thu 03-Nov-16 23:40:54

Did you invite them? Or did they invite themselves?

PurpleDaisies Thu 03-Nov-16 23:41:51

Did you invite them or have they invited themselves? Do you live close enough that they could come for the day or part of it?

Antifrank Thu 03-Nov-16 23:42:06

Feign death. Or emigrate

Pallisers Thu 03-Nov-16 23:43:19

you say "we are planning a quiet family christmas with no visitors".

If she pushes (and who pushes for an invitation), I think you might want to say that you don't enjoy the dynamic between sis and her husband and find their fights and sniping stressful and unpleasant - it might be a wake up call for them. But it will definitely cause upset.

So ask yourself are you willing to trade your family's nice christmas for a crap christmas just to avoid telling the truth to your sister? Do you children have to sacrifice their holiday because she can't be hurt in any way?

Don't mention the baby. The truth is if your sister and her husband were lovely people, you'd probably enjoy the baby, crying and all.

Why do they want to come to you?

IMissGrannyW Thu 03-Nov-16 23:44:02

what is the proposed plan/your family's understanding of what is going to happen at Christmas this year?

peppatax Thu 03-Nov-16 23:45:15

Oh god just say no. Life's too short. She probably wants to come to dilute the bickering but that's not your responsibility at Christmas with DC

BadKnee Thu 03-Nov-16 23:48:45

I wouldn't tell sister that I don't like the way she and her husband talk to each other. How would you feel if she said that to you? If someone judged my relationship with my spouse in that way and refused to invite me on that basis I would be very hurt indeed.

By all means say that you are busy/ what ever but don't criticize their relationship, (unless you want to lose a sister)

llangennith Thu 03-Nov-16 23:51:12

I wouldn't want them over at Christmas either. Sorry, no solutions, but I don't blame you for feeling this way.

Breastbeaten Thu 03-Nov-16 23:53:58

Thanks for the fast replies.
The plan, that they suggested, is for them to come Christmas Eve and stay til 28th. They only live 30 mins down the road but the baby doesn't cope well with car journeys. He has issues and I feel horrible even thinking about him being a chore - I love him, you're right.
It IS the constant tense atmosphere with the sister that I (and my husband and kids) hate.
She wants to come to us because
1. I can cook and have enough money to make sure all the food and drink is lovely whereas they are hard up.
2. My mum from the North will be staying for 6 nights and sis wants to see her. She's taken for granted that everyone staying is not a problem because we have a reasonably large house - we can accommodate everyone. I'm just worried there'll be no let up in the behaviour and I will end up feeling like it's been a wasted Christmas - maybe my lo's last as a believer? Is it ok for me to say they can come over on Christmas Eve, have Christmas lunch and come Boxing Day when we always have a little party, but that's it, and no staying past baby's bed time unless they're prepared to deal with him crying in a calm manner, in a room away from us all so we don't hear them arguing!
Thanks for the help.

Trojanhorsebox Fri 04-Nov-16 00:00:11

If they only love 30 min away there is absolutely no need for you to host them overnight unless you want to - as for 4 nights, they are pushing their luck.

Let them come in the day time on specific days you choose for specific meals and have a clear end point to the visits - ie come for lunch and leave before supper or come later in the day for supper and go home for the night. They can see your Mum at those times and if they want to see her more they can come and pick her up and take her out for lunch etc, or if she has a car she can go to them.

Staying with you for 4 days when they live 30 min away - love it - plenty of people do a much longer daily commute to work or school than that !

PurpleDaisies Fri 04-Nov-16 00:05:14

I agree with trojan. Can't they do the journey at the baby's sleep times?

I wouldn't raise the arguing-do you really think you'll get anywhere?

QueenLizIII Fri 04-Nov-16 00:06:55

30 mins away? WTF

I would tell her straight you cant stand them arguing and you dont want them spoiling christmas. She is old enough to be told the truth.

Trojanhorsebox Fri 04-Nov-16 00:08:36

She's taken for granted that everyone staying is not a problem because we have a reasonably large house - we can accommodate everyone

Just because you can accommodate everyone it doesn't mean you have to. The size of your house is irrelevant - it's not space that's the issue, it's their behaviour, though you may not want to say it quite like that. Your husband and kids don't like it either, don't ruin their Christmas as well as your own, set some boundaries with your sister.

Is she likely to pull your Mum into it to petition on her behalf if you do say no to her? If so, be ready for that too. No doubt your Mum will want to see her daughter and grandson, but you're not stopping her from doing that, just declining to host them for 4 nights at your house. As I said in my earlier post, 30 minutes away is plenty close enough for your Mum to spend lots of time with them.

AlwaysInTheMiddle Fri 04-Nov-16 00:11:17

Just say no

blowmybarnacles Fri 04-Nov-16 00:20:03

4 day holiday in your house when they live 30 mins away? Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

Put your children first. What will give them a happy chilled xmas?

A crying baby and arguing family is not on anybody's list.

EverySongbirdSays Fri 04-Nov-16 00:22:55

This is difficult - criticising the way someone takes care of their baby is a big no, unless it's your DM, and even then not well received.

Is she the kind of sister you can "get real" with over the state of her marriage? I'm dreading Chrsitmas myself, probable flair ups.

Again, saying no to an overnight if you've got a big house is also hard. As it means they can't both drink.

Can your Mum not have a word?

blowmybarnacles Fri 04-Nov-16 00:25:33

Let them stay over xmas night only.

Pallisers Fri 04-Nov-16 00:30:06

I wouldn't tell sister that I don't like the way she and her husband talk to each other. How would you feel if she said that to you? If someone judged my relationship with my spouse in that way and refused to invite me on that basis I would be very hurt indeed.

yes of course you would be hurt. But what if you also were opened to the idea that the way the two of you relate it actually quite toxic and many people don't want to be near you as a result?

Might it make you change your behaviour or maybe think about your relationship.

If everyone goes along with every toxic relationship for fear of hurting the people in them, how will they ever know that this is not normal? How will their children ever know that this is not normal?

AcrossthePond55 Fri 04-Nov-16 00:37:34

What do you think your mum's feelings are about this? Does she feel that Sis and BiL are, um, not restful to be around? Would she take your part in this?

I vote say NO. And I don't think there's anything wrong with telling your Sis that you don't enjoy the sniping and arguing. But be prepared for her to either argue about it ('no we don't' or 'it's not that bad') or say 'We'll be careful and not do that' (they will).

Breastbeaten Fri 04-Nov-16 00:40:46

Pallisers that is a great summary of the conflict in my head. I need to be brave and say no deal on the long stay and when they are here, they need to respect other people's space.
I will comment on their relationship because by making arguments a constant bloody feature of every weekend at my house, they've effectively tabled it for discussion. I'm going to ask her how it's going and advise gently at first that they need to start listening to and respecting each other and possibly even Relate. They are lovely people but I am sad when I think of them coming for more than a few hours and the fact my 7yo asked me two weeks ago "do they have to come today? I hate the bickering".

I will find a good way of dealing,not avoiding.
Thanks guys

Bogeyface Fri 04-Nov-16 01:13:52

Someone needs to bring up the arguing, if only for the sake of the poor child.

girlywhirly Fri 04-Nov-16 08:48:30

OP, yanbu to want an argument free Christmas. I agree that DSIS and her family could visit without staying the nights at your home.

I also agree that they need to know how their behaviour impacts much more on people than they think. I think they would be shocked to know that their own young niece is so upset by it she would rather they didn't come. In fact, their own baby must be picking up on the atmosphere and is irritable and cries a lot, regardless of special needs. Is this the reason why they argue so much, and do they get support to cope from the health visitor and any other services, if not why not.

It's not nice, but better to have it out now before they alienate their family. DSIS minimising the sniping as not that bad means that subconsciously it really is.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Fri 04-Nov-16 08:55:22

He has issues and I feel horrible even thinking about him being a chore

So your DSis has a child who has SN and that is your opinion shock

Of course you don't have to have them there, bit as for thinking of a baby as 'a chore' how would you feel if your sister felt that way about you.

BarbarianMum Fri 04-Nov-16 09:02:48

I think if you tell your sister how you feel about her child that will probably sort the problem. I realise that they are a difficult couple but reading that made me feel slightly sick, sorry.

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