Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Going Away for Christmas Leaving Mother at Home

109 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:

RoomOfRequirement · 15/10/2018 12:49

Your husband sounds awful for taking over your holiday with your mum and son - then expecting her to spend all day on her own?!

If you want to go on holiday just husband and son, you absolutely should. But what made him think his behaviour was ok, and why did you go along with it?!


Piffle11 · 15/10/2018 12:50

I think your DH joining your spring holiday half way through, and then expecting your DM to go off on her own for the remainder was out of order. When she agreed to the holiday she was expecting it to be you, her and her DGC for the whole time: maybe if she had known your DH was joining half way through she would not have agreed to go. That said, I think she sounds rather manipulative. My DH and DParents don't get on brilliantly, but they can manage to be pleasant for a day or two for the sake of the family! I cannot bear MIL's DH (not my DH's DF) but I tolerate his company for the sake of MIL and our DC. By saying that she doesn't want to be around your DH, your DM is putting you in a very difficult position, and I think the bit about being sorry for yourself and playing the victim is just mean. I think the guilt you feel is what she is playing on. I never understand people who say 'oh I couldn't leave my 70 year old DM home alone at Christmas' - everyone's situation is slightly different. I don't see why you should have to try to make everyone happy: we all have to make an effort, and it sounds as though your DM is deliberately trying to make you choose between her and your DH, and going out of her way to upset you and guilt you in the process. You have invited her: it's up to her to either accept, knowing that your DH will be present and she's going to have to suck it up and try and enjoy herself, or decline and be alone on Christmas Day. It's not up to you to try and come up with an alternative. And there's a difference between being honest about how you feel, and being deliberately manipulative and mean.


KC225 · 15/10/2018 12:53

These situations are difficult. I given the relationship you have described between you DM and DH I think you are between a rock and hard place.

I agree with the others about your DH joining the holiday and changing the dynamic, but now you know. How big is your holiday place would it accommodate another person. Perhaps your mother could bring a friend and she would feel less like a spare wheel. Perhaps she could come out for just two or three days not the whole break.

Have you asked her specific reasons why she feels uncomfortable, things that could be changed. My MIL once complained we think more of the cat than we do her, she told my SIL she has to sit on a hard kitchen chair whilst the cat slept on the best chair. But the truth was we never use the 'good chair'. The cat loves a throw that is folded on that chair, and she refused to sit on the sofas because they are too soft. She asked for a cushion and wooden kitchen chair and never once mentioned the chair the cat was asleep on. Never mentioned it to is but moaned a plenty to SIL. It was something that could have been sorted in 10 seconds but in her head she built it up as if was a full personal attack.


poglets · 15/10/2018 12:55

Your DH did change his mind, you can't really leave your DM out completely just because your DH decides he will come along.

There was room though for you to have been clear and firm and managed the situation so that on one of the days you did something just by yourselves (you, DH & DC). It sounds a bit like you're letting people walk all over you. My DH doesn't get to choose which bits of holidays he will and will not join. My DM doesn't dictate where we spend our Xmas it's either at the place we choose or she doesn't come. We decide for our family and primarily around the needs of the DC.

My DM is not willing to do activities and likes to sit around in a chair when she comes to visit. It's awful. So I now make plans around this. Take it or leave it.

Also, does your mother join you for every holiday? I couldn't handle this. Maybe this is also too much for your DH.


Hissy · 15/10/2018 13:00

What was your DM going to do this christmas if you had decided to stay at home?

She's said she isn't coming to yours, so what were her plans?


MaintainTheMolehill · 15/10/2018 13:07

Your oh is unfair for expecting to dump your DM during the day and you were being unfair by going along with it.

If my DH acted like this and made my DM feel like this then I couldn't forgive him.

You need to talk to him and all focus on quality time with your mum even if that's seeing her less. Your oh needs to grow up.

Perhaps if you both understood why she's so hurt then your mum wouldn't feel so uncomfortable.

No one should be prioritised but no one should be hurt like that. I always think my dh's feelings are important but my mum don't be here forever and there will be plenty of years of holidays ahead where you won't have her.


EmmaJR1 · 15/10/2018 13:09

I don't think you are unreasonable to go on holiday alone, I do think you're unreasonable to invite someone and expect them to spend the majority of time alone!

My DH wouldn't expect my mum to occupy herself if we invited her on holiday because he's not an arse...


chillpizza · 15/10/2018 13:10

I don’t think the dh did to much wrong holiday wise tbh. He went to his holiday home. If it was his main home people would not be saying he was mean to stop sat working away early and come home.

I also think any holiday involving people you don’t live with should involve time away from being a group.

I’ve holidayed with my parents and Mum in laws and never where be doing every thing together.


Puzzledandpissedoff · 15/10/2018 13:19

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

I'm not sure; it seems to me we need to know more - is there a genuine reason she dislikes DH or is it a fit of pique caused by the spring holiday, self absorption or something else?

Saying in effect that she doesn't want to do something if DH is there is a pretty big step to take; understandable if he really has been hateful to her of course, but could she be painting herself into a corner of her own making here?


BrisaOtonal · 15/10/2018 13:20

A lot of men have nothing to say about their wives family and go along with anything but a small minority take massive offence at a MIL or FIL overstepping the mark. My DB is like this. He is a perfectly nice person but he is at loggerheads with my SIL's mum. He has been known to open the door and tell her it isn't convenient when she drops in all hours and has told her to mind her own business quite a few times too. She hates him!

Who is the real problem because I cannot work out whether it is your DM or your DH? Does your DH resent the emotional blackmail she drops on you?

Finally, your DH works away during the week and you and your DS don't see much of him. I take it he also contributes quite a lot towards the holiday home? Perhaps he looks forward to the quality time and doesn't want anyone else there. I'd be pretty mad if I worked away and couldn't use MY home whenever I felt like it. He doesn't need permission to go there.


Bluelady · 15/10/2018 13:22

Presumably if OP's mum had known her son in law was going to parachute in and change the dynamic of the holiday she wouldn't have gone.

To be honest, OP, I think you're just going to have to see your mum when your husband's not around. And I think he sounds selfish and thoughtless at best.


BrisaOtonal · 15/10/2018 13:23

OP, I would have a chat with your DH and tell him that you are going to take your DM for one week a year to your holiday place without him. Do it when you know he won't be there for certain. Let her have her holiday fix with you and DGC and do things she likes. That way you can holiday with DH/ DS knowing you have done your bit.


NWQM · 15/10/2018 13:23

What do you want - is your ideal that some how you all spend Christmas together?

Is it that go away with DH and son without feeling guilty?

You've not really actually said how you feel spending time with your Mum.

Whatever you do at Christmas it'll be awkward now so maybe lay out what you'd like best.


Puzzledandpissedoff · 15/10/2018 13:26

Stupidly, I didn't notice that it's not just the holiday home she won't come to but your own as well - because she claims you "make her feel uncomfortable"

So what does she want at Christmas? (And please don't say it's to take DS to hers and leave your DH behind Hmm)


XiCi · 15/10/2018 13:40

Your DH behaviour, hijacking your holiday and isolating your mum was disgusting. How did you not pull him up on this at the time? No wonder your mum was upset. I think anyone would be hurt and angry in this situation.
The Xmas issue. She has already said that she wants no part of your plans so I guess you are free to do as you please. I'm interested though in why she feels so uncomfortable in your home that she feels unable to have Xmas Dinner with you. Is this your DH doing as well? It's a real shame for your DS and Id also worry what effect seeing his dad treating his GM like shit would have on him
I agree with previous posters that I would leave any man that treated my mum like this. It says alot about a person and is not the sort of man I would want in my life.


Cornishclio · 15/10/2018 13:48

I would not put up with this either from my DM or DH. I think they are both being difficult and putting you in the middle. I would find it difficult though to leave my DM alone at Xmas. However if you all want to go to this holiday home and have asked her and she refused not much you can do about it. Personally though I would stay at home and have her over for Xmas day and go on holiday afterwards. Surely your DH can be civil and welcoming for one or two days? If not you have a bigger problem. He sounds a bit selfish but your DM sounds a bit self centred too. They both need to compromise and as it is your DM you need to enable it.


AJPTaylor · 15/10/2018 13:49

Sod that for a game of soldiers.
If you are going to get it in the neck regardless, do what you want to!


poglets · 15/10/2018 13:55

Who cares what you want to do OP? Has anyone asked you?


lindyhopy · 15/10/2018 13:56

I don't think it's unreasonable to go away at xmas without her. However I do think it's unreasonable when you are away together to leave her alone all day and just meet up in the evenings, this would be fine some days but not all.


SuperSuperSuper · 15/10/2018 14:00

The pair of them sound a bit of a nightmare. Do what's best for you and your son, whatever that may be.


BrisaOtonal · 15/10/2018 14:03

OP needs to give us a bit more background and history.


Lydiaatthebarre · 15/10/2018 14:29

Your husband behaved quite disgracefully, arriving in the middle of the holiday and then trying to sideline your mother. I don't really blame her for being annoyed or for feeling not wanted around you. There is no way I'd ask anyone to come on holidays and then expect them to mooch around on their own all day and just join us for dinner. Fine if it was another couple, but an elderly widowed mother?

I don't know what the solution is for Christmas, but your husband is being incredibly selfish and has created a difficult situation for you, and for your mum.


butterfly56 · 15/10/2018 14:52

Just go one your holiday!
Your DM may be relieved she does not have to spend Christmas with a SIL who treats her like she doesn't exist anyway.

My worst nightmare is having to spend Christmas Day with my SIL as I never know what mood he's in when I get will either be silent treatment, sarcastic comments, or full on swearing at me....No matter how civilised I am towards him.

So these past 3 Christmases I have stayed at home on my own and absolutely loved the peace and quiet. I have absolutely no intention of changing this arrangement any time soon. Grin


JellyBears · 15/10/2018 14:57

I would never leave my mum alone at Xmas! And I’m not surprised she feels uncomfortable you took her away on holiday and then ditched her when your husband suddenly turns up and now she suddenly she’s goen from holiday with daughter etc to having to meet up later she. It suits your husband.


Lydiaatthebarre · 15/10/2018 15:00

I think you should stay at home on Christmas Day, yourself and your son should call over to your mum for a couple of hours, leaving your DH behind. And then you and your son and husband can go away on Boxing Day.

Does your mum have any relatives she could have Christmas Dinner with?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?