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AIBU to expect my BIL and SIL to join us for Christmas?

(64 Posts)
Helliecopter Sat 12-Nov-16 10:00:43

My MIL had breast cancer and was treated a few years ago. This weekend we found out it had returned. Prognosis not known as yet but we presume treatment will start asap.

It was our turn to go to them for Christmas, with our two DDs. Obviously she will be in no shape to host the family this year so I immediately said we would have them to us.

Every year my BIL and SIL, with their teenage daughter, go to SIL's mum's on Christmas Day. Every single year, without fail. My inlaws say that it's not really a problem, but DH and I know that it's a sore point.

So, what with MIL having cancer and everything, I suggested they come to us for Christmas lunch. It would mean so much to MIL to have both sons and all three grandchildren together for Christmas. I've had a text this morning saying "we won't be coming for christmas because I have my granddad to look after".

She has her mother, two sisters and their families…her grandad is elderly, yes, and I understand that. My own grandmother is 94 and very frail. This may be her last Christmas. I've spoken to my mum about it and we have come to an arrangement. However, I think that for her to turn down lunch with us using the excuse of her grandad is extremely unfair on DH's mum.

They could come here for lunch and leave about 3pm (they're about 40 mins away from us) and still be back at home or her mother's by 4pm. Plenty of time left to be with her family.

I've told DH that he and his brother need to have a discussion about it. I'm not going to get into a text argument with her about it. I am doing this for MIL not any other reason. Being brutally honest, she's nice enough but she and the surly teenager are not easy company.

I don't want to create a family row over this, and that's the last think MIL and FIL would want, but I think her attitude stinks, and BIL also needs to assert himself in this situation and stand up to her.

So, AIBU‽ Thanks

EllaHen Sat 12-Nov-16 10:08:16

Yes, I think you are BU.

Leave it. Don't start a row. Not your battle. In fact, there is no battle at the moment - not unless you create one.

5moreminutes Sat 12-Nov-16 10:09:12


Christmas is just one day.

Is this idea all coming from you trying to do a nice thing (which is sweet of you of course)?

If MIL had asked it might be heartless to decline, but perhaps SIL just sees this as your Christmas project and is under pressure from her own family regarding granddad's theoretical last Christmas ever needing to be an "all the family" thing...

Christmas should be banned exactly because it creates this ridiculous pressure over one meal a year and tears families up with all the emotional blackmail and divided loyalties.

Hopefully DH's brother and kids will still be spending lots of time with MIL.

BarbarianMum Sat 12-Nov-16 10:09:44

Her attitude may stink (although why hers not his?) but YABU to stir up trouble over this. I expect if it were important to your BiL to spend Christmas Day with his mum he'd be there.

ilovesooty Sat 12-Nov-16 10:11:17

Sorry. I think you need to let them make their own decisions. You've extended the invitation and that's all you should do.

Penfold007 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:12:59

YABU, you and your H have decided to rearrange Christmas and they've declined your invitation.

JustCallMeKate Sat 12-Nov-16 10:14:59

YABU. You invited them, they declined. Leave it at that. If anyone tried to force myself or DH into spending Christmas somewhere we didn't wish to be they'd be told in no uncertain terms where to go. There's nothing worse then being guilt tripped into spending Christmas at somewhere you don't want to be.

Coconutty Sat 12-Nov-16 10:15:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Helliecopter Sat 12-Nov-16 10:16:03

Yeah, I don't intend to stir up trouble…that's not me at all. But I know my DH is cross about it.

Ha, yeah BarbarianMum - it's BILs as much as SILs!

My usual response would just be to leave it, and that's probably what I'll do this time too, but I think it's the cancer situation and not knowing what the future is for his mum.

AchingBack Sat 12-Nov-16 10:16:21

Yabu, it's an invitation not a summons. If bil wanted to spend Christmas with your mil he would do. Not sure why your putting the blame on sil, it's down to bil to manage his relationships with his family and assert himself if he isn't wanting to spend Christmas with the in-laws, presumably in absence of him doing this it would be fair to say he's happy with his families plans.

DoItTooJulia Sat 12-Nov-16 10:19:09

I think that Christmas can be fraught at the best of times. Don't add to the stress. They don't want to come, and if they did come it would be under duress, which doesn't make for a nice day.

Just make it really lovely for thode if you that are going to be there and let them get on with their plans. and don't hold a grudge

Penfold007 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:20:09

Just a thought, couldn't you and H do the cooking at his parents house? If MIL's treatment has started she may prefer to be in her own home.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 12-Nov-16 10:20:52

It's unfair of you to compare your situations really, you're happy to host, happy to let other people make arrangements for other members of your family, she doesn't want to do that (I'm assuming her dh has a say too).

It would have been nice, but it's not going to happen, so maybe try and arrange something for you all to do together in early January instead.

Helliecopter Sat 12-Nov-16 10:21:37

It's because I'm communicating with SiL about it - our Hs never do any organising at all. And it's because it's her family that seems to take precedence over his every year. BiL is very much 'anything for a quiet life' kind of person.

And you're right, I wouldn't ever attempt to force them to spend Christmas with us!

Blu Sat 12-Nov-16 10:23:15

It would be nice if BIL wanted to spend Christmas dinner with his Mum, yes, but it is nothing to do with you. If ILs would like that, it is for them to say. If your DH is cross with his brother, it is for him to sort.

I may be wrong but it sounds as if you have put yourself in hero mode and want everyone to fall in with your plan.

Enjoy your plans to host a nice Christmas with your MIL and back off from everything and everyone else.

DonkeyOaty Sat 12-Nov-16 10:23:30


Didiusfalco Sat 12-Nov-16 10:24:03

Good as I'm sure your intention are, the best policy with in laws is to leave your DP to sort them out and maintain a neutral but supportive position.

Blu Sat 12-Nov-16 10:24:44

Stop the female-only comms.
If your DH wants to talk about this with his brother, stop being his go between.

crje Sat 12-Nov-16 10:25:20


I'm sure a row would upset mil more than them not coming to dinner.
You could make a stressful situation worse.
Don't get into a competition,who's the best, I'm sure mil loves her sons equally

DonkeyOaty Sat 12-Nov-16 10:25:23

Oh. Your last post. You and SIL have to perform the "wifework". Your husbands need their heads wobbled.

Ragwort Sat 12-Nov-16 10:35:55

Agree with everyone else, don't get involved, you have invited them, they have declined. End of. Actually I think it would look a bit mawkish if SIL & family suddenly changed their plans, that they have done every year how boring just because it might be MILs' last Christmas.

Just concentrate on having a lovely day with your immediate family and ILs.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 12-Nov-16 10:36:51

Why aren't all the children of MIL making Christmas for her in her home? Surely that would be the nicer thing for MIL rather than traipsing elsewhere. She could still host in her own home - just other people putting in the cooking effort for once.

ecuse Sat 12-Nov-16 10:48:26

You're right to conclude there no point making an issue of it but, if it helps, YANBU to be hmm

diddl Sat 12-Nov-16 10:48:48

So SIL & BIL have never spent Christmas Day with MIL?

Why did you think that that would change?

We used to take turns, but in all honesty, if I'd wanted to be with my parents on CD every year my husband would have gone along with it as he wasn't bothered whether or not he saw them on CD.

So when will SIL & BIL see MIL?

YonicProbe Sat 12-Nov-16 10:52:39

I was going to ask why your DH hadn't texted his DBro about their mother, but I see they both CBA to do the sorting out.

But she's the one you are cross with?

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