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So, I want DD (6) to open her stocking with me and DH, not DGranny

(80 Posts)
KatyS36 Tue 01-Dec-15 14:53:24

Hello all,

I'm wanting a bit of a sounding board and some advice on how to handle this.

DD is 6. She is the best thing I have ever done. Due to secondary infertility (and age, mine) she will be my only child.

My DM (DD's DGranny) lives at the other end of the country, so for DD seeing granny is always very exciting. DM is brilliant at playing with DD, but not very good at looking after her (we get her back the moment she is tired, hungry, cross etc etc).

My relationship with my mum is ok but not great. I've struggled ever since having DD as we have such different approaches to parenting. Whilst my mum would never mean to upset anyone, she is very low on emotional intelligence. This is how it is and I've accepted this. I feel that I've done everything I reasonably can to give DD a good relationship with her Granny.

DD opening her Christmas stocking is to me one of the highlights of Christmas, and of parenting, and something that to me is our treat as her parents. This year we will be staying with my mum again for Christmas (flights already booked). When we last stayed two years ago (we rotate between my mum and DH parents) on Christmas morning my mum went 'look DD, your stocking' and opened it all with her. I felt ignored, shut out and very very upset. DM was totally oblivious of this.

So, this year I want to talk to my mum about this prior to Christmas. can anyone suggest how to approach this, or maybe, very gently, a little AIBU?

I have no problem my mum doing nice things with DD over Christmas, I just feel her stocking is our treat as her parents. DM had this with me when I was little, and now its our turn with DD.

Any advice?



Optimist1 Tue 01-Dec-15 15:00:08

Any reason why you can't give your DD instructions that when she wakes she should bring her stocking into your room so she can hop into your bed to explore the contents? You could invite your DM to come in to witness the unwrapping, too (from the end of the bed)?

momb Tue 01-Dec-15 15:03:39

Let your DD wake to find her stocking on the foot of her bed. Tell her that if this happens she should bring it in to you so you can see her open it.

In reality this means getting up before dawn, and having a cup of tea on your bedside table so when DD comes in you can sit up, drink tea, enjoy....

dementedpixie Tue 01-Dec-15 15:04:52

My two always brought them through to our bedroom to open before going downstairs for the other presents

KatyS36 Tue 01-Dec-15 15:11:25

The thing is, DD could quite likely say 'but I want to open it with Granny', so I want to be primed for this.

Normally when we are with Granny DD gets to do things with whoever she pleases, and this is fine(ish!) with us. The reality is DD does all the fun stuff with Granny, and then we pick up the pieces. Because we only see Granny for a couple of weeks a year this is sustainable.

Its just the stocking thing really upset me, as I feel this is mine and DHs to enjoy. Its unfortunately not something I feel we can share with DM.

MIL is the opposite, an absolute gem. DD adores her too, but MIL is far better at looking after her and and at just understanding. Not only would MIL not take over, she would probably tell DD that she should open it with mummy and daddy and she would play with her later.

waterrat Tue 01-Dec-15 18:33:10 have a few choices. It might help if your write them down so you feel in control.

You can try to engineer a situation where you don't let your mum wake up to see it in time.

You could tell your mum honestly yhat it's a really precious moment to you.

Or you could decide that as it's not every year uou will let your mum be part of it and you get to see your daughter happy.

All.options are fine and I do understand...but I think it's probably more about feelings towards your mum than the actual stocking?

Optimist1 Tue 01-Dec-15 19:22:38

Of course Granny shouldn't be the only one to wtiness the opening of the stocking, but I can't understand how you, OP and waterrat could deny her the opportunity to watch it with you. It doesn't diminish your enjoyment of the moment, surely? Bearing in mind you alternate Christmas between your DM and ILs, and your DD's age, this could be the last opportunity your DM gets to be part of a little grandchild's Christmas morning excitement. (By which I mean that by the time she's 8 your DD might not believe in FC any longer and although you'll doubtless still be doing the stocking thing it's not quite as wonderful as when they think he's been.)

PatriciaHolm Tue 01-Dec-15 19:25:04

Why can't you do it all together? I don't think it's feasible to shut her out if you are staying with her.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 01-Dec-15 19:29:48

I'd get up early and do it all together.

Are you worried you can't trust yourself to stop her taking over and pushing you out if you do it together?

Do her a little stocking, and prime your dd to insist that Grandma opens her stocking at the same time as did opens hers.

"Father Christmas doesn't come to grown ups, dd, but we thought it might be fun to do a stocking for Grandma, so she can open it while you see what FC has brought you - it would be a lovely surprise for her".

Penfold007 Tue 01-Dec-15 19:41:34

Katy what does your DD want to do? It's what she wants not want you or DM want.

KatyS36 Tue 01-Dec-15 21:20:57

I just want a bit of time just us as a little family, and the stocking for me is just the perfect thing for this.

I massively resent the way last time my mum just totally took over this part of the day - I was a complete outsider. (By the way dh and me put the stocking together).

When we were little she got to enjoy this with us, I would like her to give that to me.

If we didn't live so far away and could travel for the day this would be a non issue, family time at home then go and see dm. But if dd is to see dm at Christmas then we have to go and stay.

Part of the problem is probably that dd is an only grandchild on that side of the family. But as my only child I want a bit of her to myself at Christmas. Ideally I'd like my mum to be sensitive to this, but she isn't and probably will never be, she has an amazing ability to inadvertently bulldoze others feelings.

I have no problem with her having special time with dd over Christmas I just want some as well.

ZenNudist Tue 01-Dec-15 23:30:55

I think you need to share. Why can't you both witness stocking unwrapping? Next year plan to spend time without either dm or dpils if it's such a burden to you.

When your dd grows up and learns from your example that shutting out your own mother is what you do, how will you feel?

Just make sure your dm knows to include you in the unwrapping.

Also you get dd all year round, your dn presumably doesn't. Learn to share. It's not like she's overwhelmingly present in your lives usually.

Also lose the 'she's my only child' hang up. Are these moments less precious having 2,3,4 etc children? No. Grow up and stop using it as an excuse for over anxious prima donna behaviour.

ouryve Tue 01-Dec-15 23:34:23

Stocking just small presents - nothing of significance, but enough to be fun and entertain DD until you're all properly awake.

Santa's left some more presents in your room. Silly santa must have got lost, but it must be so confusing with so many different houses and people to visit...

Floggingmolly Tue 01-Dec-15 23:41:29

How were you a complete outsider? You were in the room... confused.
I can't quite picture how all three of you were in the same room, but your mum opened the stocking with your dd while you were "ignored"?
It sounds like you excluded yourself in a petulant sulk, tbh.

sooperdooper Tue 01-Dec-15 23:44:40

In the nicest possible way, I think you shouldn't try to control Christmas to this extent - you're staying with your mum and you should have a shared festive time all together. I think you're overthing this one thing and you should just enjoy your time together however it happens rather than getting upset now about this, can't you all open the presents together?

TheGullibleGull Tue 01-Dec-15 23:50:33

Your mother doesn't seem to be the only one low on emotional intelligence.

TinselSparkle Tue 01-Dec-15 23:58:07

My kids have had three stockings each year so that we could do one and so could each set of grandparents. You could suggest that your DM makes up a separate stocking for boxing day and a tell your daughter that Granny needs a lie in on Xmas morning so she should come to your room with her stocking then?

Farahilda Wed 02-Dec-15 00:11:14

It does sound as if you've got things a bit out of proportion, if the opening of the stocking is a highlight of parenting. Though yes, it's a nice moment, among many nice moments during childhood.

Are you actually saying that as a child, your DM took you to your DGM's at Christmas and actively banned your DGM from some things? And you have ingrained this so much that you want to repeat the ban?

I think this is the time to break the cycle of control.

You say your DD would like her DGM to join in. Putting your DC's wishes first is a good thing.

Canyouforgiveher Wed 02-Dec-15 00:13:00

I'm trying to understand the dynamics here.

So Santa/stocking arrives on the end of your dd's bed. She wakes up. Your mother hears her, and goes in and enjoys her excitement opening the stocking without ever saying "hang on mum and dad would love to see you open this".

That is horrible. Who would do that? If my husband watched the kids open santa without waking me I would have been so annoyed with him.

We had a rule in our house that once someone woke up, they had to wake everyone and we all went down together to see what santa brought (santa stockings in living room in our house). We would wake up bachelor uncles and friends and grannies etc to come down with us because who would want to miss the excitement of a small child seeing what santa brought? Experiencing that by yourself without involving the other adults who love the child (and who "did" santa for her) is so unempathetic/self centered.

If your mother thinks it is ok to do this I doubt she will get your point in conversation but you could try.

Or else tell your dd that santa is leaving his presents at the end of your bed this year because he is confused with the traveling. She will then come into your room as soon as she wakes. You may or may not wake your mother depending on how generous you feel

If you don't feel generous, you can tell her not to get upset now and check her emotional intelligence like other posters have suggested to you.

Floggingmolly Wed 02-Dec-15 00:16:16

Op doesn't say the stocking was on the dd's bed. I had taken it that op was actually right there sulking when the stocking was being opened, but I could have misinterpreted the original post.

Alibabsandthe40Musketeers Wed 02-Dec-15 00:24:12

I can't understand what the issue is here.

I love seeing my children sharing lovely moments with their grandparents. I don't feel excluded, I feel a huge sense of joy at them having more family than just DH and I to share their happy times.

My children are no more precious or whatever for being two, than your child is for being one - I agree with the poster upthread that you are being a prima donna with using that as a reason to get het up about things.

BaronessEllaSaturday Wed 02-Dec-15 00:27:41

I always thought stockings were to distract the dc for a while and give me a lie in? I've never seen mine open theirs and the eldest are now in their 20's.

Op how do you organise the stocking, is it just little treats or does it include big presents, where does Santa leave it? Everyone varies so much on how they do it that we could give rubbish advice that just doesn't work for how you do stockings.

Bragadocia Wed 02-Dec-15 00:31:58

I can see why, when you at someone else's house for several days over Christmas, and are subject to their rules and traditions, having an intimate ritual for just you, DH and DD would be a really nice thing to have.

However, I can see why your mother would want to share the enjoyment too. Objecting to her involvement might cause a ruckus, and from what you've said about her, she's possibly not going to try to see your point of view.

Could you make a different little occasion for just the three of you - both you and DH put DD to bed together on Christmas Eve, and read her The Night Before Christmas or something.

Canyouforgiveher Wed 02-Dec-15 00:32:24

Op doesn't say the stocking was on the dd's bed. I had taken it that op was actually right there sulking when the stocking was being opened, but I could have misinterpreted the original post.

Well if that is the case she is being unreasonable - all adults who care are entitled to watch the santa thing. But I thought it was that the mother had it done and dusted before they even got a look in.

Also am I missing something with the stocking thing? isn't the stocking like the santa bit of the proceedings? In our house everyone gets a stocking even adults (and even after we have no more believers). when kids were small the big santa presents also appeared under the stocking. If a stocking is just a stop-gap before the main santa event when did this happen? Santa leaves presents in 2 places? bewildered here - how much santa does the average child get these days???

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