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bah. humbug.

(5 Posts)
NettleTea Sun 27-Dec-15 17:49:43

Im feeling bah humbug that my parents always give me a cheque for Christmas (this isnt the AIBU bit - I am very pleased with a cheque, and is what I asked for) but that it only just about covers what I have to pay out to go for a birthday lunch for my mother in the week following Christmas where she always chooses a pretty expensive place, whilst I am struggling to pay the milkman.....

The meal is always M&D, DSis and BIL and their daughter, an aunt and uncle, and me plus 2 kids. Everyone drinks apart from me and like a 'good' wine or 2 (bottles), my DS barely eats either. The bill gets split 4 ways. If I attempt to arrange things any other way it is greeted with great disapproval and much interrogation. Last year I got my own bill, but I dont think I will get away with this again as it went down like a lead balloon with alot of lemon sucking. M&D are well off, BIL/Sis both work ft and earn well, they get the best deal because they get 2 x adults meals plus a child, plus alcohol for 1/4 of the total. I work but dont earn alot - my work is erratic as I have 2 kids, 1 with fairly demanding SEN and a disability, and have had to find and pay out over £4K in private diagnosis fees this year to try to get DD some help - she has been out of school for 2 years now and it has impacted on my ability to earn.

If I tell them that I cant afford it I will get the 9th degree.

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 27-Dec-15 17:54:34

Bow out of the dinner, just say "I can't make it", and get your mother a present that you think is nice and is in your budget.

TeapotDictator Sun 27-Dec-15 17:58:00

"If I tell them that I cant afford it I will get the 9th degree."

And then......? It sounds like you might be more afraid than is natural of the fallout from asserting yourself. I think you have two reasonable options - either go and hold no resentment, or don't go and simply tell them you can't afford it. There's no need for all the detail about who drinks and who doesn't; kids meals of adult meals. The bottom line is that you can't afford it and there's nothing wrong with that!

I also am very conflict-averse so it's easier for me to see this clearly when I'm not involved! wink

NettleTea Sun 27-Dec-15 18:17:36

Oh, I am probably a Stately homer by stealth, so yes, the 9th degree business is pretty traumatising for me. My DP wont go, and hasnt gone for maybe 6 or more years.

Im fairly low contact, I keep my own space, I dont divulge much to avoid the disapproval.

I already have the present.

I am very conflict adverse. Not going would be, well I cant even think about what would happen. When DP wont go I ended up getting sniped at when I made excuses, and when I finally said that he found social situations very uncomfortable then I was harranged at the meal and the heavy guilt trip, how it was upsetting, how they had made every effort to include him, to WELCOME him into the family, and how she took it as a personal insult that he wouldnt go because she wanted him to - that sometimes we have to do what we dont want to do in order to make other people happy, it was selfish, etc.

so if I didnt go the impact would be felt far far into the future.

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 27-Dec-15 20:43:37

Not going would be, well I cant even think about what would happen.

Try. And then examine whether any of those things would really be so catastrophic. Earning their disapproval? Well, it sounds like you have that already. Might as well do what works best for you, and earn their disapproval, rather than do what works best for them, and still have their general disapproval.

The effects can only be felt if you feel them.

If you decide that their sniping is their problem and not yours, then those effects are far less.

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