To feel really bad about myself for being a sourpuss ungenerous host (long, dull and trivial)(72 Posts)
DH and I and 3 DC are lucky enough to love in a biggish 5 bed house with plenty of living space and to have a bit of disposable income. So we have always hosted Christmas and this year had DB, DF, DMIL, DBIL, pregDSIL and DN (18m) to stay. I invited everyone for Christmas eve and Christmas night and then my DB to stay another night because he lives 5 hours away and has another party up here tomorrow with friends. Despite this, DBIL and SIL arrived on 23rd and only left after lunch today and D MIL is still here!
I am a bit of an introvert and I know my limits but usually I do quite well with Christmas and have a nice time but this year it just feels like I have hit a wall and I have hated every minute of it and been resentful and withdrawn and crap company. I have managed the cups of tea and meals and bought presents for everyone and all that stuff but have just not really had my heart in it. I had been kind of dreading it and it was every bit as bad as I feared, maybe worse.
Oldest DC has major surgery in November which was quite draining although has recovered well, so I knew it was going to be a bit more tricky and asked everyone to bring their own towels, linen etc but even with that I have found the upheaval of having DCS in our room, endless meals, dishwasher loading and unpacking etc just soul destroying and boring and thankless. Family are very sweet and SIL in particular offers to help, but she never actually finishes anything because she is keeping an eye on DN. They are a teeny bit PFB about him, although I am sure I was as bad with DC1, I am just finding it hard to be tolerant and relaxed and laugh it all off. Was not, for example, impressed with toddler weeing on carpet and them both sat there laughing and saying "thank god this wasn't at granny's" while I cleared it up. I have noticed nobody says thank you, or leaves me any pudding, or lets me join in with the game when I come down from putting DC to bed. Just very trivial stuff that normally wouldn't bother me but this year I am just thinking Fuck Off the Lot of You! I want my house back! And not hiding it at all well, which is probably obvious and not very nice for anyone, including me.
Really unimpressed with myself TBH. Either I have been a sad pushover the last few years and just not realised or I have just become more of a cow. Feel like I am really failing to do all the stuff I teach the children (be polite, think of others, share, be genrous, speak up calmly if you are not being treated fairly etc etc"). Uuurgh. Not sure what I am asking really, just having a rant. Sorry for the length.
You should be pleased that they said it was lucky it wasn't at granny's , it shows you make them feel relaxed so you are obviously a good host.
Perhaps you are just needing a bit of time off this year, I feel like this sometimes but I am pleased I hide it because I do enjoy it all in the main and would have cut off my nose to spite my face if I had let everyone know
Perhaps share the load next year? Well done for not showing how you feel, it's not always for the best
Well, sometimes stressful situations can have the biggest effect afterwards. So you might actually be struggling now because of your DS's op.
Try not to be too hard on yourself. Think about how kind and generous you were to try and host and that this year, maybe you weren't quite up to it.
Plus they overstayed - which is massively stressful at the best of times ...
Oh God your poor family! Don't do it all again next year. It is just miserable being hosted by someone who doesn't want you there.
I think you should be kinder to yourself - sounds like you have been a generous host.
Have felt the same even though we only had 6 people here (in a tiny terrace, mind) - I have hated every second of it. DH spent all day in bed after my parents left so I have been on sole parenting duty and tomorrow he is in work and so it is more of the same. I KNOW I should be happy I am not in work but I feel resentful and cross. DH doesn't want to see his side of the family and I feel bad for them and yet how can I sort it? Sat here sobbing listening to George Michael songs.
Anyway, enough of my woes. Fuck it. can you just wallow for a bit and feel better?
Yep, bibbitybob, think you are right. I have just had enough. Time for a rethink of Christmas.
I can't believe they didn't apologise profusely and clean up their toddler's wee!
Albert, you may be right about the op. One of my biggest (not very well) internalised grumbles was that not one single bloody one of them asked how the op had gone and how was DC1 doing?
And Cat, sympathies. It's very hard when your partner is resting for work and then working; you do hardly feel you can object, even though it's really no fun. Although I am working a long day tomorrow and actually feel like it might be quite a nice break!
Totally agree with OOAML. They should have insisted on cleaning it all up themselves.
And not leaving you any pudding or making you feel included during the board games? Sorry, but they don't sound all that nice.
Maybe take a year off and let them see how much work it all is when they have to do it all alone?
Thats quite a big group to host for. I had 8 this year just for Xmas day in my house and found it quite stressful and I had hubby and my 2 kids who are older to help. When we have had a bigger group in previous years with my family and the inlaws we go out to a local restaurant and it works well as it means no one is left with all the cooking clearing up. Maybe try that next year - even just for the meal? It might give you a break from the food shopping, cooking and clearing up and then you might get to enjoy the time with your family more. xxxx
They should have cleaned up after their kid and none of this staying longer than the offered amount of time business. You had, in your mind, a time by which you'd have your house back and it hasn't worked out.
I love to see family and I love to stay with them but I need my space and only do short visits.
And as for not leaving you any pudding or including you when you've gone to so much trouble! They sound very selfish. Tell them you won't be hosting next year.
Disgusting to not clean up their own child's wee. What filthy pigs.
It sounds like youdo all the Christmas wifework on your own
Where is your dh in this?
You can't all sit back and let kne person do Chtistmas!
Also, surely they can (and do?!) all make tea/coffee?
I could not deal with overnight guests who could not work a kettle!
I would never ever ever (except nursery/childminder) expect someone else to clear up my toddler's wee! YANBU.
Hosting is only fun and easy when and if you are in the mood. If and when you are not it is a tears inducing hell.
I am a great host most of the times but there have been years when I was shit and hated it. It could have been because sil was a bitch, because I had troubles or bereavente in my life, maybe short of cash, etc.
I have now learned to read myself (and others) and say not this time.
I have also learned that because when you are a good host you are pretty relaxed some people take the piss and so boundaries may need to be re-established.
In your case I feel you needed some tlc this year and to be hosted and made to feel ok. Not running around other people needs. You can only do that when you are at your best self. And this wasn't the year.
Maybe take a break for a while and think of a different plan for next year.
for the operation.
Your family don't sound very caring OP. Can't believe they haven't asked about your DC's operation.
Yes, where's DH? Saying that the majority of visitors are 'his' side I hope he's been doing his share?
Seems like they see you as a convenient festive hotel where you don't have to include the staff in games or pudding etc.
Gosh, how rude of them to stay longer than invited
Two nights is about my limit so I am not surprised you are stressed, especially as you seem to have become the default host for the whole family.
The wee on the floor - you should have said "Oh dear, never mind" and handed one of the parents a cloth and bucket!
I remember one Christmas, walking into my living room after clearing up from yet another meal and seeing everyone smiling at me from the sofas - with no space for me to sit down! I turned round and walked upstairs and sat hyperventilating on my bed for some time!
Start mentioning that you are planning on a quiet one/doing something different next year so they can all start planning alternatives for themselves - don't let yourself be the default hostess for the next 30 years!
Get someone else to organise Christmas next year and see how they like it. Stand firm and tell them you need a year off and don't let them bully you on the grounds that you have the biggest house.
The idea of having visitors who don't go away once fed makes me whimper. If they <shudder> stayed the night and then STILL didn't leave, I might get a bit... stabby.
You are being treated like the hired help. I've been there and hated it, but gritted my teeth and carried on until it got too much and I refused to do it any more.
Have you asked when your MIL will be leaving? I'd probably have called a taxi by now! And yes, do make it really clear now that this will not be happening again.
S1lent, I can totally rate to the hyperventilating scene. Have been in one today and plenty of other xmases when sil was involved.
Once my mil also overstayed... I could have killed her.
I am very open but I need time alone to balance it all off.
I've said this on another thread but I'd be on holiday next Christmas
Also just because you have a big house you don't have to have all these invaders in. Id hate it.
I wouldn't worry about it, everyone gets stressed out & needs their own space. I'm sure even if your family have noticed, they will understand why. Most people (or at lease me) will get stressed having guests over for an evening, let alone staying for days.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.