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to not want to spend baby's first Christmas in Norway with OH's family

(36 Posts)
FamilarSting Sun 19-Jul-09 20:29:57

My OH is Norwegian, and so his family all live in Norway. He annouced today that we have now been officially invited to spend christmas at his sister's.
We discussed christmas some months ago, and decided that we would not be spending it in Norway, (mainly due to the hassle of having a young baby, plane, pram, it being really cold at christmas etc) but would go over around spring 2010.

I told him straight away that we would not be going. It is our first christmas as a family, I want to be at home. His family are all nice enough, but whenever we've been in Norway, after a few days I start to feel really alienated and isolated and kind of abandoned by him (he's not the most supportive or thoughtful of men). There is a language barrier; my Norwegian is ok, as in I have a good idea what the conversation is about, but I'm not confident enough to have a proper conversion, so tend to just sit there smiling - understanding more than I let on, but feeling like a berk.. eventually I switch off and long for the day to end. I must seem really anti-social to them, but I'm not great in the company of people I don't know well, even when we're all fluent in the same language.

This time I'm gonna have an 11 month old to worry about too. She's not exactly an easy baby ie naptimes are often a nightmare and she's a grump if she's tired, and she still wakes up several times a night (and I'll be sleeping in a really small uncomfortable bed with LO who is a loud snorer, which won't help). She's getting better, and like OH said, come christmas she could be a little angel. But I really don't want to take myself out of my comfort zone, surrender all control to OH's family, and potentially become overwhelmed with his interfering relatives whom I don't know well enough to tell to back off. He says I'm worrying about things that havent happened yet, and I know I am; it's what I do.
Despite my possibly irrational concerns, I still don't want to spend my baby's first Christmas in Norway, away from my own family. My parents were planning on going on holiday over christmas, but my Mum convinced my Dad not to as she wanted to spend christmas with her first grandchild.

But then I feel that I'm being a bit selfish, my DD is 6 months old and OH's family haven't even met her yet (they're coming to visit for the first time in September). His mother is 80 and so she may not have many christmases left (I know that sounds awful, she is a pretty spritely lady, though) and I know it would mean a lot to spend christmas with her grandchild.. she has 3 others and 6 great grand children, though.

Anyhow, I told OH "no way" but now I'm wondering if I'm being unreasonable and selfish
I appreciate honest opinions, really don't know if I'm being unreasonable or not now...

PrincessToadstool Sun 19-Jul-09 20:33:11

Do you need to decide now?

belgo Sun 19-Jul-09 20:34:59

I actually think you should go. I live in a different country to my family, and if my dh refused to go to my home for Christmas I would be very upset. It's his country, his family and he sees little of them because he lives with you.

Next spring is a long time to wait for your dd's norwegian grandmother to meet her for the first time.

Dineysor Sun 19-Jul-09 20:36:20

oh go fgs
1, you wont pay for her on the flight
2, she wont remember it
3. you can sit and get pissed and not cook

belgo Sun 19-Jul-09 20:39:08

grin or go for Dineysor's reasons.

I can't believe I've just posted on a Christmas thread. In July!

Dineysor Sun 19-Jul-09 20:40:28

ANd also next year you might be pg and it will be way more hassle.
I made a big deal out of ds1s first xmas and tbh it was an utter waste of tiem

bigchris Sun 19-Jul-09 20:42:03

agree with dineysor
you'll have to go at some point so it may as well be xmas

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Jul-09 20:42:24

Why don't you go, but have a long talk with your OH beforehand about making sure he does not abandon you, but looks after you instead.

Also remember that next christmas your dd will be nearly two and it will mean a lot more to her then. You can stay at home for that one.

Btw, you have laid out your case and your oh's case with remarkable fairness and evenhandedness for an AIBU thread!

tattycoram Sun 19-Jul-09 20:42:34

Honestly, the Christmas when she is two will be much more fun, let your parents have that one - at least she will enjoy opening presents and begin to get the whole thing then

Dineysor Sun 19-Jul-09 20:42:36

and you wil be UBER DIL

and join in the convos! take and englsih board game too

cat64 Sun 19-Jul-09 20:43:00

Message withdrawn

oodlesofpoodles Sun 19-Jul-09 20:44:28

If you are goimg to go for a Christmas within the next few years then it would be easier to do it now rather than when she has asked for a dollshouse/castle/swing/bike etc.

You will have to put up with interfering relatives and a snoring child and an uncomfortable bed whenever you go whether its Christmas or not.

On the other hand, my Norwegian friend tells me they have boiled mutton for Christmas dinner.

ZZZenAgain Sun 19-Jul-09 20:44:35

If you don't fancy Norway in winter, don't do it. Go in spring, as you planned (then you can escape outdoors now and again when it's too much for you).

If the grandparents are coming to visit you anyway in Sept and your own dp cancelled their trip to be with you at Christmas, I think you should have Christmas with your own dp and whether you are in Norway at Christmas or in spring isn't a huge difference really.

MrsBadger Sun 19-Jul-09 20:46:48


go before she is bigger and harder to travel with

tbh I'd have gone this summer or even earlier - a tiny baby is much more portable than a toddler

madameDefarge Sun 19-Jul-09 20:46:57

I took ds aged 6 months to Canada for xmas, with ils. It was fine fine fine. (apart from hideous flight changes in Chicago) Sure, it wasn't my ideal xmas, (they are all rather odd and, ahem, dull, and speak norwegian!) but it was wonderful for them, and for ds' greatgrandma.

But if you had already agreed you would not go, why does he want to go now?

you need to talk to him.

Dineysor Sun 19-Jul-09 20:47:43

I htink you are being unkind to his relatives.

ZZZenAgain Sun 19-Jul-09 20:48:55

They couldn't come to you for Christmas I suppose instead of coming in Sept?

(Thinking boiled mutton here)

JackBauer Sun 19-Jul-09 20:53:56

TBH I would go and then you can spend her first christmas where she will actually know what is happening at home as it will be your parents turn.
But for unselfish reasons cat64 has a good point, if they don't get to se her often, and christmas is probably the only time of year when the whole extended family will be together, then you should go so she can meet all her cousins etc.
Feeling awkward at someone else's house at christmas is crap, we did it last year after DH's grandma died as his mum was dreading christmas without her mum and I did nothing. I was fairly merry by lunchtime as there was no shortage of babysitters, I had a kip after lunch and scoffed all the snacks whiel mooching on my laptop and reading a new book. Was ace! And I was uber DIL as I had let MIL see DD's at christmas!

skidoodle Sun 19-Jul-09 20:59:44

I agree that you should go and are being unfair on oh and his family. Part of your job as her mum is making sure she has a good relationship with her family, and that can only come with some kind if familiarity.

ChunkyChick Sun 19-Jul-09 21:01:12

If you already discussed Christmas and decided that you would not go to Norway then no, YANBU to want to stay in the UK. Christmas is special, and I think you are fully entitled to want to spend your first as a family over here where you feel comfortable. But at some point you are going to have to go to Norway and stay with your dh's family.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 19-Jul-09 21:02:06


FamilarSting Sun 19-Jul-09 21:30:30

wow, thanks for the quick responces
LMAO at the Boiled mutton comments. I couldn't explain to OH why I was laughing, but it cracked me up. I hear that half a sheep's head is a delicacy too.. and a lovely fermented rubbery fish type thing too.. Though all the food I've had there has been decent enough.

I guess they could come here for christmas but it'd be more of a hassle for them at that time of year, though something to discuss I think.
Anywho, I think your comments have swayed me. I wasn't really thinking about what it's like for them. And I suppose christmasses won't necessarily be any less tough when she's older, and it'd have to be christmas 2010 as next year his sister has a full house. I'm just scared, on top of the awkwardness, of a hellish week, especially night times, and then having our routine shot to hell when we return, but I guess that could happen anyway.
Also I'm gonna feel mean that my parents could have gone on holiday but they didn't plan anything because of me..
I don't have to decide yet, just long enough to book flights, I suppose.

His mother will meet her in September, they have constantly been putting off visiting since May, due to his brother's work (or something?!) I do feel really sorry for his mother especially as she can't just get on a plane whenever and come to visit.

Thanks HumphreyCobbler, I think I will have to try to talk to him properly, and make sure he does more than roll his eyes in responce to my worries; make sure he's on board with all my irrational concerns and not let them take over and make me feel like a useless mother and blah di blah. DD second christmas will probably mean a lot more to her. My mum is gonna be so upset though, don't know how to tell her, but yeah, she can see her whenever.

It is important to me that DD experience Norwegian culture, and it is a really lovely place, I should be grateful really.

Dineysor - I might be pregnant next year? Eeep!

MamaHobgoblin Sun 19-Jul-09 21:41:42

God, I've wanted to spend Christmas in a Scandinavian country forever! grin

I'm rather precious about where I spend christmas, myself, so I see where you're coming from, but I do think you should go. As others have said, you then get to spend her second one at home or in the UK at any rate - and it'll be a lot more fun. Plus, if there are a houseful of relatives, you get lots of adoring helpers and can sit back and neck the Glogg. envy (Ok, that's Swedish, isn't it?)

I mean, look!. You'll have so much fun. Do you like rice pudding? grin

angel1976 Sun 19-Jul-09 22:33:13

YABU though I completely get where you come from. Also, I think the others can't be too harsh on you as when my DS was six months old, I wasn't out of the 'haze' yet so you might not be and can be excused for being unreasonable! grin

My DS is a sucker for routine, from young. Maybe I made him that way, maybe I didn't but who cares? The thing is it works for us. He is happy as larry on a routine, when he is not, it's pure hell sometimes. When we go to the inlaws, in general, he gets overexcited (he's 17 months old now) and doesn't take a nap so you can imagine how the night that follows is. At home, he takes 2-3 hour afternoon nap and sleeps through 7-7 without a peep.

Last Christmas (he was 10 months old then), we spent it with the inlaws. I didn't have the heart to say no and how bad can it be right? And they obviously went mad and bought loads of presents for him. We were made to sleep in the smallest bedroom (with a single bed and one that pulls up with DS in a travel cot) while SIL gets a bigger room with a double bed by herself. None of us got very much sleep for the 4 days we were there. DS and I got a bug from the ILs and DH had a bust-up with his mum just as we were about to leave. I'm expecting a second in November and there was NO WAY IN HELL I would think of spending this christmas with the inlaws. But guess what? It might happen again.

Why? It's only a few days. It means a great deal to the inlaws. DS loves his grandparents and aunt. He will get spoilt. I don't have to do anything. They are being more considerate this time round with the sleeping arrangements so they are trying... I'm just too nice! grin So I think you should go... My parents live overseas and we fly longhaul to see them, it's hell but hey, it's all about families!

Shitemum Sun 19-Jul-09 22:37:10

Go for a few days at New Year instead.

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