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Can’t get my mum to commit to Christmas plans

16 replies

dalmationdotty · 27/11/2019 13:38

I’ll keep this short but I’ve invited my mum and brother over for Christmas Day with me my kids and my partner and his kids. Since my dad died over 5 years ago my mum has never spent Christmas with me. At first I got it. Too many memories. She chose instead to go on holiday with my brother (single with no kids) every year. This year she can’t go away. She was diagnosed with very early breast cancer which is awful and stressful but it’s not spread and she is on medication tablets only. So I asked her over but said no pressure you just do what you feel comfortable with. I’d already invited my partner over before I knew her diagnosis. I offered to cancel him but she said no don’t change your plans but she says she can’t come to me because she is too sad about my dad. I was feeling bad for her up till then. I feel it’s just an excuse now? She only has my kids as grandkids and hasn’t spent a Christmas with them for ages. Missed all their carol concerts and nativities. I’ve been ok about it tho felt sad for them. They don’t seem to notice anymore.
She lives over an hour from me so I can just pop in to see her sadly. I’ve offered to pick her up and drive her to mine but she won’t commit she just says it’s too much for her. She’ll happily drive to my brothers in London and has been on loads of holidays this year,some long haul. But she hasn’t been to my house for over a year now despite invites as she says it’s too far to drive and she can’t ask my brother as he works so hard! AIBU??? Happy to be told to stop being an idiot. Just feeling a little annoyed at her right now.

OP posts:

GettingABitDesperateNow · 27/11/2019 13:49

It does sound like there is something else going on. Why is she more sad about your dad at your house rather than your brothers? Because it reminds her of family Christmases? I guess if this is the case she cant help how she feels but it's not going to get better unless she does something about it. Has she had counselling or therapy? Could you offer for her to visit for short time periods without the kids there and then build up to longer visits where they are there?

I'd be upset about some of the excuses eg it's too far to drive, when she drives similar lengths and flies long haul.

I think I'd probably have a chat with her and say you think the relationship with the kids is suffering and you feel a bit hurt with the excuses that dont stack up. That youd like her to be frank with you and if she actually is comfortable with a low level of contact, you will accept and respect that and stop asking so much. But if she does want a closer relationship and she is worried about how she'll cope with reminders of being part of a family again for example, you will try your best to work with her to overcome this and support her.

And then I think you just need to stop trying to invite her to yours, for your own sanity as it cant be nice feeling rejected all the time


dalmationdotty · 27/11/2019 14:47

Yes I’m trying not to overthink it and give her space and time and not be too bothered by it. Just was hoping she’d want to spend Christmas with us

OP posts:

dalmationdotty · 27/11/2019 15:07

And I go visit without the children sometimes too. My brother keeps hassling me to take her away for a weekend break to spend time with her but I’m work full time and am a single mum! Money is tight and time is too. I feel if she wanted to see me then come stay but she refuses saying I’m too busy. Even tho I’ve said I’d take time off but it’s just easier for kids if she came to us. Plus we have a dog and she won’t let me bring the dog to her house as it’ll get hair everywhere so I’d have to get dog care. Sorry I’m grumbling on but just needed to vent in a safe space.

OP posts:

Dacquoise · 27/11/2019 15:19

I am wondering if she has a problem with the set up at yours at Christmas, perhaps she's not keen on your partner, his children, multiple children on the day, the dog. Could be anything really. Unless she tells you, you won't know and it'll keep eating away at you.

Can you not have an honest conversation? Doesn't have to be confronting. If she won't tell you, then all you can do is accept the situation and step back. Like Getting said, constant rejection isn't great for you.


Dacquoise · 27/11/2019 15:23

Just to add, it's not being unreasonable to be feeling peeved about it. Excuses instead of honesty is very frustrating to be on the receiving end of.


Josette77 · 27/11/2019 15:35

Did you all spend Christmas together before or is your partner new?


Elieza · 27/11/2019 15:42

I think there is a backstory to this which your brother may know?

There is clearly something wrong.

Perhaps you alone could pop over and see her on Christmas Eve or something if it turns out she dislikes your partner. Or perhaps she’s just exhausted on the tablets this year and doing anything is too much? Doesn’t explain the other years though.


BlueJava · 27/11/2019 15:48

There would seem to be something else wrong. But do you have to know if they are coming much in advance? Can't you just add on 2 for the dinner etc when you know nearer the time?


Cauliflowerpower · 27/11/2019 15:49

meh, my brother is hosting his son (only little) his ex and her parents at my mums house so she's staying there and we haven't been invited (not unhappy about as such but would have been a nicety).

Not going to get upset about it (OK although I'm a teensy bit peeved), and we're cracking on with doing whatever we want! Xmas dinner coming from M&S and we may just stay in our PJ'S all day!


Sistercharlie · 27/11/2019 16:02

The thing is, with bereavement, peop!e expect you to be over it in five years, but some people may not be. Everyone grieves differently.

Is she depressed perhaps and finds the DC a bit too full on? Bereavement+ breast cancer can't be easy.

Or maybe (hope not) her illness is more serious then she is letting on so as not to worry you?

Or some people just really don't like dogs. We have two and one family member is a bit wary.

You'll only know if you sit down for a non confrontational chat along the lines of Gettingabitdesperatenow has suggested.

I live abroad (a hop over the channel) and my late mother never visited me but did go on holiday to southern Europe with my aunt and sister and it hurt a lot, so I do understand how you are feeling.

I hope you can get an honest answer from her at least. Flowers


BoomBoomsCousin · 27/11/2019 16:13

When your brother suggested you take her away for a weekend did he mean just you and her? I wonder if she might be avoiding your kids rather than you. Some parents, especially mums, seem to be relieved when their children become adults and really don’t want to be pulled back into family life with youngsters again.


flouncyfanny · 27/11/2019 16:27

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beebumble2 · 27/11/2019 16:30

My MIL and FIL always came to us for Christmas, until FIL died. She then always went to my BIL and SIL.
I think that it’s really about not doing something that brings back memories, which can trigger strong emotions.


bluebeck · 27/11/2019 16:42

Yeah I thought the same as some PP.

I love my adult DC but I would hate the idea of spending Christmas at theirs with their DPs DC and a big houseful. How does your mum get on with DP and his DC generally? Does she usually like big family gatherings?


SendCoffeeASAP · 27/11/2019 17:41

This may seem a strange question, but do you or your DC look a lot like your Dad? My cousin looked very much like her father and when he passed my auntie couldn't bare to look at her for months..


dalmationdotty · 27/11/2019 17:53

We always spent Christmas together before at her house or my house or my previous PiL house. it’s only since my father died she doesn’t? I will ask her but in the past she avoids it. She loves my kids and loves seeing them so I don’t really get it? She hasn’t met my new partner tho we’ve been together a while now over a year. I’ve suggested it but she again says it’s too stressful for her to meet him?!? Odd because she meets new people all the time thru her rambling group she’s just joined? Oh well
I’ll have a chat and see if she will tell me. Yes parents can be odd!

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