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Missing out on my family Christmas again

217 replies

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 15:40

I've name changed as this could be quite outing. This is first married Christmas with DH, obviously not our first Christmas, we've been together for six years. We live in The Midlands and the whole of my family live in Scotland, about seven hours drive. DH has two adult children (18 and 20) and I don't have children. Every year I've visited my family either between Christmas and New Year or in January as I understand how important it is for a father to see his children at Christmas. As we're around for Christmas we do see the rest of his family on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, making the whole of Christmas a DH family event, while I don't get to see my family until after the event. I'll be honest, its not ideal but it's one of the perks of being a childfree stepmum. This year, his children have their own plans, girlfriends/friends but we still can't change the plans, we still have to be around for all of his family events, while I don't get to see my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews until after all the lovely Christmas feeling is over.

AIBU? Please please don't say I chose this life when I met him. Six years ago when I met him I wouldn't have expected to have to give up seeing my own family at Christmas forever. It simply wasn't the choice I made.

OP posts:
bridgetreilly · 25/11/2019 18:21

I think this year you have to go along with it. Next year, however, make a plan with his DC for when you are going to 'do Christmas' with them, and when you are going to see his family, and make sure that leaves you at least a week, over Christmas Day itself, to go up and visit your folks. What if you went on Dec 20th, say, and came back on 26th? There'd still be plenty of time to see his family and children.

SheWoreBlueVelvet · 25/11/2019 18:22

Why do you not want to go in your own?

My mum comes down from Scotland by herself, on the coach and then had the train from London Victoria station. She’s mid 70’s

Just gomon your own. Let DH be on his own if that’s what he wants.

Considermesometimes · 25/11/2019 18:26

Also you have been together for six long years, what difference does it make just because you happen to be married now? If the whole first married christmas thing means a lot to you, then why doesn't it matter to him? There seems to be a lack of balance in your relationship, with you doing all the giving, and he is doing a great job in being a taker.

If it worries you that much is it possible to have christmas eve with dh and presents and then drive to your parents for a late christmas lunch and boxing day?

I do think you need to consider why your marriage is so off centre. I can't imagine christmas is the only time he is like this.

compulsiveliar2019 · 25/11/2019 18:28

I'd be tempted to stop waiting for them to come to you with plans but rather say we're doing dinner and Xmas presents on x day and them I/we are going to Scotland for x days. Then let the kids decide if they want to come and your husband decide if he is going with you to Scotland with you. But take control of it rather than letting them dictate everything.

Mummyoflittledragon · 25/11/2019 18:31

I think you should just go to your parents house alone if necessary. It’s very rude of the your husband to think he and his children should continue to be put first every year, especially with your parent’s advancing age.

Hepsibar · 25/11/2019 18:33

His adult children will prob be more than happy for you both to go to Scotland and I would suggest a little discussion with them informally, along the lines of how much you'd love to see your parents and nieces and nephews this Christmas now they are both older, but dad worried about going even though you said you have other plans ... ... not telling any untruths are you. If then when they understand and he still refuses to go, you should go and enjoy yourself. Try not to make him choose otherwise it will spoil a bit it for you going if you have to go on your own, but you will still have a fab time. Good luck.

Its13oclock · 25/11/2019 18:34

Could you get a early Boxing Day flight to Scotland? His kids then have Christmas Eve/Day to see him. He needs to be prepared to compromise.

If not I’d go on my own.

Honeyroar · 25/11/2019 18:34

I’d suggest a compromise- you have a meal together on the 28th and you all FaceTime on Xmas day and open presents together. If he won’t consider it just go - let him work out the hard way that Xmas with his wife is special too. Your parents are elderly, you should be making the most of Xmas with them at least every other year.

I’m a step mum, I’ve compromised a lot at Xmas over the years, but it’s relaxed a lot now my stepson is in his early 20s.

BumbleBeee69 · 25/11/2019 18:34

Your parents are in their 80s? Then I think you should definitely be spending Christmas with them.

Jesus Christ OP... I agree.. your Parents are in they're 80's.. how many more Christmases are you likely to have with them...

Your husband is a selfish Prick but you enable this ... more fool you..

BackforGood · 25/11/2019 18:35

Genuinely can't believe that there are Mumsnet posters who think an 18 year old is a grown adult who doesn't need to see their parents at Christmas.

Mine are that age. They understand that it is perfectly acceptable - indeed, just 'normal', to get diaries out and find the best day they can, near to Christmas, to have the 'whole family get together'. Even without having to negotiate the minefield of having divorced parents, mine can see that sometimes we have the 'one extended family get together' on Boxing Day, sometime not until the 29th or 30th. The fact they grasp the concept of their parents being divorced and them splitting their time between them, should make it even easier for them to grasp.
It is your dh who needs to understand that, even though you are an adult, you also need to share in your parents family Christmasses sometimes - and that it hasn't happened for at least 6 years. That you would like to be part of those Christmases sometimes whilst you still have your parents alive and well enough to know who you are. Also that your nieces and nephews are a big part of your life, and to want to spend the first Christmas there in 6 or 7 years is important to you.

Honeyroar · 25/11/2019 18:45

I don’t think it’s too late this year at all to decide. It’s a month away..

MsPavlichenko · 25/11/2019 18:46

Your parents are not young. Next year things may have changed. You've not left it too late this year at all. But you might if you "compromise" this year again.

By the way "compromise" usually suggests coming to a mutual agreement with both parties giving/gaining something. You haven't compromised. You've done exactly what your DH wanted every Christmas ( or have you gone back home yourself since you got together?).

Pluckedpencil · 25/11/2019 18:52

I'd take the bull by the horns and phone stepsons to say you like to go and see your mum and dad for Christmas and given they're not sure in their plans yet, invite them and their girlfriends for an early Christmas weekend with a big family meal with them, present swapping etc, so he can go away guilt free.

Pluckedpencil · 25/11/2019 18:54

If you offer to pay for a big party style lunch which includes girlfriends, I reckon they will actually be happy to not have to make these choices either and get a free meal to boot.

TowelNumber42 · 25/11/2019 19:07

The children are being rude. Tell them you need to fix a date because you want to see both them and your elderly parents. Offer them two or three potential dates. Guilt them into setting firm plans.

BumbleBeee69 · 25/11/2019 19:25

Missing out on my family Christmas again

I also believe your Thread title to be misleading.... You're choosing not to come to Scotland OP.

MadameButterface · 25/11/2019 19:26

Instead letting the kids set a vague agenda, How about you invite DSS’s and their girlfriends over for brunch on Christmas Eve, do pressie swap etc and then you and DH hit the road up to your parents. That way you get something firm in the diary so the kids know it’s that or nowt. If DH wants to go home on Boxing Day he can do, you stay for a few more days and travel back on your own.

Absolutely this. I’m a bit against people being precious about the main three days of christmas, and i’ve grown up being flexible because my dad was a firefighter so we would always work around his shifts, then when my dc were babies their dad worked shifts so again we just kind of went with the flow. As long as you get round everyone and celebrate at some point it’s all good imo, in fact it feels a bit like being a tudor or something, with days and days of feasting and revels.

But it’s different for you in your case and you are long overdue a prolonged festive time with your own parents. They must miss you too. It’s time to take a stand. I hope you get your way op you absolutely deserve to.

Cuteypye · 25/11/2019 20:02

If your parents are in their 80’s go and spend Christmas with them, end of story. You don’t know how much longer you are going to have them (not being maudlin), but as every year passes it becomes less likely you will still have them both. Think how guilty you will feel if you don’t do this, whilst you still have the time to do so! You will also probably end up resenting your dh, for his part in stopping you being with your family, if you don’t go.

DH will have many more years to see his dc’s at Christmas. He should remember this when dictating where it is spent..

OctoberLovers · 25/11/2019 20:13

Your parents on in their 80's.

Your husband is selfish

Go to Scotland. Ffs

AnneLovesGilbert · 25/11/2019 20:36

I’m a stepmum. Not once before we had a child together did my husband EVER say I didn’t understand something because I wasn’t a parent. It’s pissed me right of that he’s bashing you with that, it’s pathetic and nasty especially when his “children” are adults. It’s lovely they have a close relationship but they’re clearly more excited about their own plans this year and he shouldn’t have married you if he was going to carry on living his life only doing what he wants. It’s incredibly selfish, reflects poorly on him and doesn’t show you as the team you’re supposed to be. How disappointing for you.

kateandme · 25/11/2019 20:50

dont wait until next year.tht is the oment sentence of all bad omens.sorry but they are in their 80s the time is bloody now.
shit happens please dont regret it.
and ok maybe chrismtas day is mute point for your both.buuuut ask him what day would be best.before or just after leading to new years.if he doesnt come back you will pick a day and go to your parent whther he joins or not.
tell him you understand his point of view and the children guilt.but you no matter your age are still the child of someone and you still want to be with your own and they need you too.
adult or teen or toddler you are a child of someone no matter the age and family is really really important.
you dont need to be confrontational or agressive just state the facts and emotions that you need to see your family this love him and your family together but you love all the people back home too and need some time wtih them.
please dont do this to yourself.

SleepwalkingThroughLife · 25/11/2019 20:54

You said your parents are in their 80s.

On this basis alone, you want to go so go. The only question is how and when e.g. train? Drive?
23rd? 22nd?

It would be nice to spend Christmas with your husband but you're going to sit around all day not seeing his kids, so go to your parents.

LovePoppy · 25/11/2019 20:54


If they were so bothered about seeing their Dad they would have made firm plans by now. This is more about him as a Dad rather than them as children wanting to see their Dad.

This struck a cord with me.

My MIL refuses to set her Christmas plan until the first-second week of December each year.

Then she fusses that we haven’t waited for her to set plans with my (divorced) parents.

It’s a power struggle and wanting us to chase her.

I wonder if there is a similar element here

Palavah · 25/11/2019 21:14

Go to Scotland. It's been years! Your nephews and nieces won't be going forever, your parents won't be able to enjoy the date with you forever. You know now that you can make the drive! Sorry to be morbid but you don't know what will happen in the next year.

Also, unless all the 3 stepchildren come back with a consensus for either Christmas Eve or Boxing day please don't commit yourself to racing back down. If you're going up, make the most of it and allow for a safe journey.

CoupeCourte · 25/11/2019 21:28

If you wait until next year one (or both) of them will have likely broken up with their girlfriends and will want to be with their father again. And then you're back being guilted into not having Christmas with your family.

Go to Scotland for sure. Put yourself and your parents first like he's putting himself and his children first - and that order is intentional because it doesn't sound like his children are actually that fussed about seeing him, it's more about him having Christmas the way he wants.

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