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Going Away for Christmas Leaving Mother at Home

110 replies

red989 · 15/10/2018 11:35

My Mum has been on her own for 10 years she is 72 and very fit and healthy, we have been taking her away on holiday with us usually once a year but it's always stressful with a demanding husband and teenage Son it's difficult to keep everyone happy.

We recently bought a holiday home and decided to go away this Spring just my Mum and Son but may husband decided he wanted to join us half way through. This caused huge problems as he wanted to us to do our own thing during the day and just get together with my Mum in the evenings. It is difficult as she doesn''t enjoy sitting around or going to the beach, doesn't swim etc.

She was very angry and we spent the rest of the time arguing about my selfishness and her being neglected. When we got home she told everyone and they said my behaviour was disgusting.

We now want to go at Christmas - my Mum refuses to come to our house at Christmas as she says we make her feel uncomfortable so if we stay at home we wouldn't see her on Christmas day anyway. Feeling guilty I asked her to come with us at Christmas but this caused a big argument as she believes I have only asked her out of guilt and we don't want her there.

Am I being really selfish to think she could go off for walks and do her own thing in the day time and we all go out for meals and drinks in the evenings. My husband doesn't want to spend a week hanging around with my Mum and I feel tied trying to keep them both happy.

I have tried to explain this to my Mum but she says I just feel sorry for myself and being a victim.

She says we make her feel uncomfortable all the time and that she doesn't want to come anywhere when my husband is around which makes spending time together at weekends difficult. He works away during the week so any time together is precious.

Is it unreasonable to just book the flight and leave her at home. I feel as though I have to choose between what I think is right or having a relaxing holiday with my husband and son.

OP posts:
Feellikeimthemaid · 15/10/2018 11:41

OP it sounds as though your DH and your DM don't have a good relationship. Has that always been the case? Has there been a specific thing that has caused the hostility? Also, are you an only child? I'm wondering if you have a sibling she could stay with at Christmas, or a close friend perhaps?

Godimsounimaginative · 15/10/2018 11:43

Tbh i think it was very unkind to invite your no on holiday with you and your son then at the last minute for your husband to decide to come and take over the holiday and push her out.
She was probably really looking forward to you all spending time together then at the last minute she was pushed out.
If you invite her away with you I think it's only fair to spend the time with her.
We take my PIL on holiday and may go out as a couple on one night but usually we spend most of the day together because we went together

buscaution · 15/10/2018 11:48

72 and alone at Christmas.

I couldn't do it

ChalkDoodler · 15/10/2018 11:56

On the relationships board a man would be told to put his wife first before his mother. How is this any different?

You are not your father, you cannot take his place and to be honest I am not reading this thinking you have a great relationship with your Mum.

Your Mum is not your priority your husband and son are, then your Mum. Their needs come above hers.

I loved my Mum just in case it seems like I didn't, and I have holidayed with both my parents and my PIL with Dh and our children.

Both my Mum and my MIL have died and both my Dad and FIL have made lives for themselves, made friends, have lives, do things. Your Mum sounds like she relies on you solely to provide friendship and holidays. My Grandad was in his late 80's and still pottering off on trains to far flung places. She needs to understand she needs to make a life for herself.

Peridot1 · 15/10/2018 11:58

Your mum might be difficult but so is your husband. You invited her away with you and your DS, husband decides to come but wants you to leave your mum on her own all day? That’s just rude.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 15/10/2018 12:00

It sounds like there are quite a few complicated issues going on here.

she says we make her feel uncomfortable so if we stay at home - why? What is it you do that makes her feel uncomfortable?

Does she expect to be invited to all your family holidays or does she respect that sometimes you and your DH 9AND DS) might just want to be together as a family.

she doesn''t enjoy sitting around or going to the beach, doesn't swim etc

So what does she actually enjoy doing when on holiday?

She says we make her feel uncomfortable all the time and that she doesn't want to come anywhere when my husband is around

So she has a problem with your husband. Again, why?

She seems to be relying on you a lot for company etc. Does she have friends her own age? Does she socialise?

buscaution · 15/10/2018 12:01

Your Mum is not your priority your husband and son are, then your Mum. Their needs come above hers.

That's so sad Sad

Feellikeimthemaid · 15/10/2018 12:02

I do agree with @godimsounimaginative. If the spring holiday was just you, DM and DS, then to have DH join half way through and expect your DM to be on her own all day every day was very bad. I too would have been angry. Was your DH deliberately trying to disrupt the holiday? I get the feeling there's more to the DH/MIL relationship (or lack of) than we're being told.

ny20005 · 15/10/2018 12:04

My Dm hijacked our holiday last year & our relationship hasn't recovered.

My dm & dh have never got on but tolerated each other. Dm lied & hijacked our holiday last year. Made sarky comments & didn't want to do what everyone else did

She lies & is manipulative & denies it when caught out

I've seen her once in the last 18 months & find it increasingly difficult to have any relationship with her

Put your dh & ds needs first. Has she friends she could spend Christmas with ?

finn1020 · 15/10/2018 12:06

Your mum needs to take responsibility for her own happiness in life, and not expect you to be her crutch. It’s manipulative of her to play the poor old lady lonely at Christmas card. She certainly seems to expect you should prioritise her wants and needs over your own and over that of your husband and son, to the detriment of your relationships with your husband and son. As long as you don’t feel manipulated by your husband and actually would prefer to do as he’s suggested (and abiding by your Mum’s wishes are more about feeling guilty and obligated) then I’d expect someone in your position to prioritise her husband and son. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a relationship with your mum but she should have realised long ago you are now an adult, and your world does not orbit around her any more. It doesn’t sound like you’ll ever please her anyway.

MrsStrowman · 15/10/2018 12:10

If she doesn't want to come to your home for Christmas why would she want to come to your holiday home? I know what people are saying, she is elderly, alone etc. My grandmother was horrible to my mum, even though my mum took her out every week had her round every Sunday for lunch (using up her only two days off work) sorted everything out for her in terms of paperwork, insurance, bills, medical appointments, cleaned her house etc. One year my mum said about her coming for Christmas again and I just pointed out that gran had made her cry the prior three Christmases in a row by being mean and critical and putting her down and that she was under no obligation. My mum felt too guilty not to invite her and her brothers were happy for my mum to bear the burden, one was NC with GM since early adulthood, one was only in contact with her the last couple of years of her life and the third frankly is a waste of space. Gran would complain to neighbours she hadn't seen DM for 'ages' - 3 days max.
Just because people are older doesn't make them sweet little old ladies. Your mum doesn't like spending time with your husband, and doesn't seem to like doing a lot of typical holiday things, it's Christmas your husband will be there. Arrange to see her before or after the holiday.

2isabella2 · 15/10/2018 12:16

If you are on holiday together it is very selfish to leave someone out during the days unless they want some time alone.

I don't think you need to invite her on every holiday, but, if you do, she should be included and welcome. We go on holiday with our parents a lot - but we do all get on.

lalalalyra · 15/10/2018 12:20

Your DH completely changed your spring holiday to the detriment of your DM. No wonder she was pissed off - her holiday with her DD and DGS turned into her being an inconvenience who you tolerate in the evening.

Why do your DM and DH not get on?

Bluelady · 15/10/2018 12:23

So your husband hijacked and spoilt your holiday with your mum, I'm not surprised she's angry.

I don't think you have a dilemma here really. You've made your Christmas arrangements and your mum has said she wants no part of them. Job done.

If my husband had behaved this way towards my parents he'd have been shown the door. Thankfully he knew from the off that their place in my life was non negotiable.

ZeroFuchsGiven · 15/10/2018 12:25

I think it was terrible behaviour on your part to just ditch your Mum when your husband arrived. Really rude and I'm not surprised shes upset.

WhatAboutTheWeather · 15/10/2018 12:25

Sounds to me like your DH was being really unreasonable on the summer holiday - you can't go away with your mum and expect her to spend her days by herself. If you invite her, you have to accept she is coming as part of the family and should be included. When people don't enjoy the same activities, everybody has to take turns doing stuff they don't like.
What your DH did was really rude and I'm not surprised she now feels unwelcome around him.
I'm not saying you have to invite her on holiday, but - if you do - you have to make her feel welcome.

LemonBreeland · 15/10/2018 12:26

Your DH was completely out of order on the holiday thing. You had planned the holiday with your Mum, why should she then spend it on her own? If you wanted to be fair you could have offered a couple of days doing your own thing to your husband.

I'm not surprised your Mum is upset, just go away at Christmas and do your thing, it won't be a pleasant Christmas if you spend it with your Mum anyway.

MatildaTheCat · 15/10/2018 12:31

Ask you mother what she does want? If she’s adamant she won’t come even if invited then she’s chosen to stay home alone.

In these situations there has to be compromise. Some days doing things you as a family enjoy (she’s welcome but you will be doing x activities) and sometimes doing something she enjoys.

Agree though that your dh and she clearly don’t get on so you are stuck between a rock and a ahard place.

SilverLining10 · 15/10/2018 12:31

So he joined halfway through which means your mother had half the holiday for herself and you and ds? I think she sounds quite difficult and ungrateful.
You also take her away once a year on holiday, so she should be much more appreciative. Sounds like she wants everyone to dote upon her.
And now shes being difficult about Christmas. Let her suit herself . If she doesnt want to join you all then tough luck. All those people that told you your behavior was disgusting, they can have her over.

Snowymountainsalways · 15/10/2018 12:34

Your dh shouldn't have gate crashed your holiday, tbh he does sound as if he has a great deal of respect for your Mum. I am not surprised she isn't keen on a repeat.

I would stay for christmas with your Mum and go away on Boxing day for NY. I couldn't leave her on her own at 72.

Snowymountainsalways · 15/10/2018 12:35


amicissimma · 15/10/2018 12:35

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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HRTpatch · 15/10/2018 12:39

I would carry on with my plans and go away.
But then I think some people deserve to be on their own at Xmas.

SilverLining10 · 15/10/2018 12:43

ami are you serious? The mother doesnt want to come over to ops house because of her husband? Should she then spend the day solely with her mother ? And what about her son? Should he then choose which parent to spend Christmas with? Ridiculous.
The DM is manipulating and guilt tripping the op, so if she spends it alone then it's her own doing.

Bluelady · 15/10/2018 12:45

She's simply being open about her feelings about OP's husband. That isn't manipulation or guilt tripping. It's honesty.

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