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AIBU?

Christmas

18 replies

Shield1990 · 20/09/2022 11:40

So I am wondering if I am perhaps being unreasonable and am fully prepared to be told I am.

I have two children (aged 5 and 3) and since having them, we have had Christmases at our house with my family and our in-laws being invited. Usually, it has just been my DH, my 2 DC and myself, and my PIL, my family came once but I found it quite stressful and cramped - my mother can be quite jealous and i felt very torn trying to speak to them as well as everyone else and said afterward privately to my DH that I didn't really enjoy it.

Since then the usual thing has been we do Xmas day with my in-laws at our house (they live close by) and boxing day with my family.

Every year since, my mother has been putting pressure to spend Christmas day at theirs and gets very upset and frustrated when I said I would rather be at home but she is welcome to come, I would rather the kids be able to play with all their presents, etc, As well as this my mum has a young, very excitable large dog (Nice natured but a bit mad at the moment due to age) Whenever we come to visit, we have to be mindful not to be too excited or to run round, etc so the dog doesn't go mad which understandably makes it quite boring for the kids.

My mum has a crate for the dog but I feel sorry for her being locked away for any period of time as it isn't the dog's fault - we are new, noisy people and lots of new smells, etc.

My mum's house isn't a very kid-friendly house, and so I know it's hard for them to have much fun there. The dog goes mad barking at every little thing which scares/excites them etc and I don't feel it's fair to expect such young kids to sit there quietly - especially on Christmas day.

Also my mum doesn't make any effort really when the kids do come to see her, so I am loathe to let my in-laws down (who to be fair are amazingly involved and hands-on - which I know not to expect but deeply appreciate) as they wouldn't be invited to my mums (leaving the two of them on their own as they are a one-child family) and I know they'd miss the girls.

Even in telephone conversations, my mum will go for half an hour or so talking about her various problems (health-related) before asking how the girls/we are.

Am i unreasonable to stand my ground when the inevitable topic comes up this year and say she is welcome to come but we will be having it at home so the kids have their toys to hand, we don't have to worry about stressing the poor dog out, etc? I know she will get nasty and upset and make comments about how we do everything with his family?

I deep down would much rather be with my in-laws at home and feel very disloyal as a daughter for thinking that!

Sorry for the waffle! and Thanks for the read x

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

78 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
9%
You are NOT being unreasonable
91%
Icanstillrecallourlastsummer · 20/09/2022 11:42

well, I can see why your mum is disappointed never to get to spend christmas with you. Wouldn't you be?

That said, if she does nothing to accomodate you (either at hers or coming to yours), I am not sure what she can expect.

Crucible · 20/09/2022 11:45

Don't have a miserable day. Stick with what you're doing is my vote.

5foot5 · 20/09/2022 11:46

YA totally NBU.

Young children will have a much better time at home at Christmas and the dog situation sounds like a nightmare. Actually I would think you can use the dog as a reasonable excuse not to go there.

I would say invite your Mum to join you but do not give in to going to hers

MereDintofPandiculation · 20/09/2022 11:47

You’re entitled to do what you want. But I’m not sure “playing with all their presents” sounds a convincing argument (you could take all the presents to open there, it’s what my parents did). Your mother will be getting the message that you just don’t want to be with her.

User6447482684755 · 20/09/2022 11:49

YANBU. Very similar here in a lot of ways. I now like Christmas at home with dc, so much so we now usually say no to any visits on Christmas Day to not offend anyone but truthfully I'd happily spend Christmas Day with my in laws, my family are a total nightmare.

for years we did spend plenty of Christmas days travelling around visiting or having people here. I never found Christmas enjoyable as it was always so rushed tbh but as above I can tolerate in laws more than my family.

since we've been spending Christmas Day at home for the last few years, my dc now aged 12&8 have enjoyed Christmas a lot more (in their own words), it's been less stress, less rush etc. I wish I spent more christassmes at gome when they were younger! So enjoy I whilst they are young op.

YANBU for wanting to stay home, it's not fair if little kids to be traipsed around everywhere.

tell your mum she can visit on Christmas Day (I think she's lucky you've offered that tbh) or you will see her on Boxing Day.

for the last 3 years we've met up with family on the 23rd or 22nd around everyone's work patterns! So it leaves Boxing Day day free too! 😅

Countingdowntodecember · 20/09/2022 11:50

Your mum is only disappointed because she refuses to come to yours. She could spend the day with you if she chose to… I wouldn’t back down or feel guilty about it.

Retrievemysanity · 20/09/2022 11:51

Who does your mum spend it with? You talk about how one year your family came to you so I assume there’s a few others that she spends it with in which case, stick to what you do. If she was on her own then I’d be inclined to say include her in your plans. I think you just have to be firm and say the children like to have Christmas Day at home but thanks for the offer.

User6447482684755 · 20/09/2022 11:52

MereDintofPandiculation · 20/09/2022 11:47

You’re entitled to do what you want. But I’m not sure “playing with all their presents” sounds a convincing argument (you could take all the presents to open there, it’s what my parents did). Your mother will be getting the message that you just don’t want to be with her.

Sorry I disagree, playing with presents is a huge factor in our decision to stay home at Christmas.

in previous years we've got up, opened gifts, gone to see family and then came home again in the evening, myself and the kids are knackered. Nothings been looked at. Then Christmas Day would all be over in the bling of an eye. Then family expected us around on Boxing Day too.

Since we've spent Christmas at home, it's been amazing to not rush, play with their toys at their own pace!

there's literally not enough hours during Christmas Day to do it all for many families.

Ponoka7 · 20/09/2022 12:00

Does your mum live alone? Does she have other people visiting her on Christmas Day?

PersonaNonGarter · 20/09/2022 12:01

Yeah, just stand your ground. You aren’t making a decision for yourself ‘as a daughter’. You and your DH and DDs all need to be taken into consideration. And it sounds as though you are doing the right thing.

If you get pressure from her you need to be very clear about how much time you are prepared to give the discussion - very very little time.

REP22 · 20/09/2022 12:02

No, stand your ground. Have Christmas at your house. It's not as if you are telling your mum that she's not welcome - you have invited her. She is making choices which are making things tense and awkward for you and your family and you don't have to put up with that.

Have the happy stress-free Christmases that you deserve.

You also don't have to put up with the repeated complaints and judgements on you from her either. You can be free to end the conversations if they are negative and hurtful. Any lengthy monologue of inconsequential woe can be dealt with "I'm sorry to hear that mum. I've got to go, someone's at the door, bye!" or similar.

This might sound cruel and harsh to some, but it's hard for people without relatives who enjoy doling out regular criticism and oppressive treatment to understand. You might find some of the advice on these threads helpful: www.mumsnet.com/talk/relationships/4531618-April-2022-well-we-took-you-to-Stately-Homes?page=1 or www.mumsnet.com/talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/4610023-to-ask-for-your-quotes-from-narcissistic-mothers?page=1. Apologies if I have misread, or these aren't helpful at all. But I do think that you are right to create Christmas memories that are happy for your children and stress/anguish-free for you.

Best wishes to you. x

TheKeatingFive · 20/09/2022 12:06

Stick to your guns. She's welcome to come to yours. It doesn't sound like she's making a huge effort so why would you uproot everyone else for her?

Floralnomad · 20/09/2022 12:09

Definitely stand your ground , particularly as she has an invite to yours on Christmas Day , it’s not your problem if she doesn’t take up your offer .

billy1966 · 20/09/2022 12:18

Absolutely stand your ground.

She has an invitation to yours.

The choice is hers.

Don't feel guilty for wanting to be with those you enjoy most.

The number of Christmases that the children have the joy of Santa at home are fleeting.

Hang up on any nastiness from her.

Imthedamnfoolwhoshothim · 20/09/2022 12:29

MereDintofPandiculation · 20/09/2022 11:47

You’re entitled to do what you want. But I’m not sure “playing with all their presents” sounds a convincing argument (you could take all the presents to open there, it’s what my parents did). Your mother will be getting the message that you just don’t want to be with her.

Then maybe she should change and make it so OP does want to be with her.

mam0918 · 20/09/2022 12:51

Shy of a distater like the house burning down then I am NOT leaving my house on xmas day. Me an DH firmly believe in not dragging our children around on the whims of adults.

I can see why they are jealous if the IL get to see you and they don't however if they are choosing not to come its on them.

Personally I would invite neither side.

mam0918 · 20/09/2022 12:57

MereDintofPandiculation · 20/09/2022 11:47

You’re entitled to do what you want. But I’m not sure “playing with all their presents” sounds a convincing argument (you could take all the presents to open there, it’s what my parents did). Your mother will be getting the message that you just don’t want to be with her.

Well this is just ignorant to the different ways people do xmas.

We could not just 'transport' all the gifts (My younger DS is getting a wooden shop this year its bigger than my bloody car when built).

We also dont wrap most of them so not an 'opening' thing, As per tradition in many northern housholds gifts are built ready and set out on view on the sofa etc...

There more to xmas that just your traditions.

Im sure plenty of people are happy with a few small wrapped presents and going from pillar to post placating grumpy entitled relatives but frankly it sounds like my idea of hell and I have zero shame in putting my kids first and outright saying 'we dont want too'.

Mari9999 · 10/12/2022 20:31

Sorry for the pain that you are feeling. In fairness to your son, please don't try to equate the ending of your marriage with his father's love for him. It will be difficult for father and son to work through this, but no longer loving your spouse says nothing about the love that you have for your children.

Let your son go to his grandparents. As much as possible (even if it hurts) try to let your son see this as an issue between his parents and not a situation in which he should feel compelled to take sides.

It would be better for you not to know or care what the dad is doing in his new relationship. It won't make you feel better and knowing won't move the dial on your situation in any way that is positive.

Do something different on Xmas day. Go to a movie or cook all of your favorite comfort foods and stay in your pjs all day. Indulge yourself as the beginning of your new traditions. You can spend your whole day thinking about him, but I can say with a high degree of certainty he will not devote his day to thinking about you

Now is the time to think about redesigning your life around you and your interests. You no longer have to think " we always do" now you can thunk " I want to do."

On the other side of all of the pain lies an enormous amount of liberation. You will be closing one chapter of your life (not ending your life) and beginning what can be a new and better chapter.

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