Gransnet forums


to hate being asked the same question repeatedly?

(19 Posts)
chester21 Tue 06-Dec-11 16:38:32

i am constantly being asked by my mil and my own parents the same questions over and over again, and having to repeat the same answers.

i have now been asked 5 times by mil what are our plans for xmas day? which i reply that we will be staying at home and celebrating xmas with our son as a family. i ignored the second and third time as she had just forgotten or something but i am now starting to think that it might be something to do with not saying what she want to hear ie we are comeing to you.

i have to admit that up until last year that i have worked on xmas day due to my job (hotels) so my oh went to spend xmas with them. Last year they decided that they wanted to go out for xmas which was completley fine but due to me being quite ill during my pregnancy we decided we would spend it at home as we thought spending £100 on a meal for us both and me not really able to eat anything on the menu was a waste of money.

my oh admitted he loved being able to cook what he wanted on xmas day and eat when he wanted. which i can see exactly how he feels due to how my xmas days where spent. As a child we had to spend our xmas day at my grandparents every year but i always remembered that all i wanted to do was stay at home and play with my new toys, and not select a couple to take with us to grandmas.

we have comprimised by saying we will pop round for a couple of hours on boxing day after the boys get back from the footie. personally i would rather them come to us as its goign to be near baby's bedtime when he get really fractious but we dont have the space in our house for 6 extra people.

what would you all do? any ideas as i am just giving one example here there are many more times that we have repeatedly been asked over and over again the same thing but not necessarally giving them the answer they want to hear

Nsube Tue 06-Dec-11 16:47:34

Not being funny, but is this the only question they repeat? If it isn't maybe it's a symptom of old age forgetfulness.

If that's not the case, ask them sweetly if they had forgotten what you said and tell them how much you are looking forward to Boxing Day.

chester21 Tue 06-Dec-11 16:56:57

this is the only question over the last couple of weeks but it ranges from why havent you started to wean hime when he was 8 weeks old to why isnt he in his own room when we bought him home to all sorts of stuff.

although mil and fil are in their late 70 my mum is a bit the same and she is only in her 50s!!!!!lol

it may be that i am over sensitive but i feel like a parrot in repeating myself and seeing the look when its the same answer does lead me to think that i am not givibng them the answer they want

JessM Tue 06-Dec-11 17:54:41

It is a symptom of not listening to the answers I am afraid. Or not liking the first one they get.
"Why aren't you weaning...." is not a real question, it's a rhetorical question that means "You should..."

Carol Tue 06-Dec-11 18:02:34

Christmas for children can be such a drag when they are being ferried to other people's houses after opening their presents and settling down to play. I always offer to go to the houses where the children are and bring a cooked turkey and trimmings, or some other course. I remember vividly my own four children not enjoying visiting their much-loved grandparents when there was so much going on and they were expected to follow other people's traditions that meant little to bored children. It usually ended in tears and us leaving early to get them back home - why not go to where the children live this year? Six extra people will be a squeeze but I know families who have managed to crowd more in and have a happy time. They can always leave early themselves!

absentgrana Tue 06-Dec-11 18:11:39

Could it be that there is a slight element of jealous suspicion that one lot of grandparents might be with you on Christmas Day while the others are excluded?

gracesmum Tue 06-Dec-11 18:23:28

It sounds to me as if they are asking the questions over and over again until they get the "right" answer!
Be firm but kind - I tried very hard to be "brave" when DD hinted we might not see them at Christmas and as she has a new baby I did understand, but wasn't necessarily happy about it! Boxing Day sounds like a good compromise, but babies' bedtimes can be tricky so is there no way they could come to you?As a Gran, sharing your GC's Christmas is very special - probably much more so than to the GC so be patient with them and by fixing something for Boxing Day you will give them something to look forward to.

Stansgran Tue 06-Dec-11 18:24:36

Tell them you are spending time at home because working means you want to see the inside of your own house occasionally. Say do drop in in the afternoon when the meals over(give a time) add theat bedtime won't be an awful lot different from normal and hope people wont mind sitting on the floor. and buy yourself some earplugs or skin thickening cream-you child your rules

Carol Tue 06-Dec-11 18:38:12

Stansgran smile

petallus Tue 06-Dec-11 19:04:05

I think I'd probably probe a bit to find out how they feel about Christmas and those other issues you keep on getting asked about over and over (as they come up, not all at once). It might help to get things out in the open. My opinion is that you are entitled to spend Christmas as you see fit but, as someone else has said, try to be kind. Christmas can be a difficult time for families (as everyone knows).

chester21 Tue 06-Dec-11 21:38:40

Carol beleive it or not i was one of those children that had to go to my grandparent for xmas lunch and i hated it and have only recently admitted it to my mum.

as this is their first grandchild we have kindly named it first grandchild syndrome (and i really do mean that in the nicest way) from talking to other mums at baby group we have set up i am not the only one who has found this xmas subject under scrutiny by the grannys.

i do agree that having mil, fil and uncle and aunts come to us on boxing day i can push his bedtime back by and hour or so but not by much else as we have found that it then has a knock on affect on him for a few days after where he goes from sleeping 10-12 hours to waking up at 2am and being a right grump during the day. i will suggest this to oh and see what he says.

Carol Tue 06-Dec-11 22:00:26

Good for you chester21. When it comes down to it, you're the parent and they have to accept you will do what is best for your family.

Another thing that really used to piss me off (while we're on the subject) was in-laws keeping back Christmas presents so they could watch the children open them at their house on Christmas Day afternoon. When the children believed in Father Christmas, they could not fathom how come he left their presents at the 'wrong' (their word) house. I have always got my backside out of bed on Christmas morning and gone round to watch the children opening their presents - inconvenient and all that, but my job as a grandparent is to fit in, not dictate the terms. There we are....rant over!

Annobel Tue 06-Dec-11 22:09:04

I never thought that children needed to believe that all presents came from Santa, just the ones they received in their stockings on Christmas morning. That avoided the need for tortuous explanations when we drove to my sister-in-law's or they came to us.

chester21 Tue 06-Dec-11 22:16:03

carol you do make me laugh are you sure we arent related in any way we so do think along the same lines lol.

i understand there is no rule book and comprimises are going to have to be made but i do beleive that does go both ways.

my little boy is a very unique person he doesnt like people in his space unless they are invited by him which is quite hard for people to understand that so it can be quite stressful as his mum to keep that balance of keeping little one happy and confident and keeping every one else happy.

Carol Wed 07-Dec-11 08:25:58

Yes Chester21, it does go both ways and each household could respect the arrangements and try not to clash, putting the children first on Christmas Day. Annobel I would have no problem with a standing family arrangement that has long ago established that the story children will be given is good enough explanation about their Christmas presents, but but not one that causes confusion and upset simply because the in-laws are thinking about their own enjoyment and not the children's. Without me saying anything in front of them, my own children have laid clear boundaries about how their children will be allowed to enjoy Christmas Day, and I gladly fit in with them.

shysal Wed 07-Dec-11 11:11:21

Would it seem too cheeky if you wrote details of your plans in their Christmas card? You could also add thanks for being considerate as regards time alone, bedtime etc.
I can understand the in-laws' desire to see you all, but your Boxing Day suggestion should placate them.
Although I do not think it is a memory thing in your case, it reminds me that the 70ish lady I see for a walk every week tells me and asks me the same things every time! Sometimes I say 'yes, I remember you telling me----' other times I just repeat my answer.Think it is an age thing with her.

Good luckchester21 have a great time, children are a joy at Christmas and I agree it is best for your son to be in his own home otherwise it may be too overwhelming. thanks

jogginggirl Wed 07-Dec-11 11:45:11

Just a thought Chester21......maybe they are looking forward to having Christmas Day on their own.......? Too afraid to tell you.......?
We always spent the day at home when the kids were young sometimes inviting parents/in-laws. My m-i-l was never happy! Now I am a g/m and, because of separation and divorce both of my g/d's will be spending "the day" with their other g/p's. It's just a day - we are planning several alternative 'Christmas' days - then everyone is happy hmm
Mind you my m-i-l (who is spending Christmas with one of her other children) has taken it upon herself to 'feel sorry for me' because I won't see the whole family - I think she's still projecting her own thoughts and feelings on me.........
There's enough stress surrounding Christmas without making more
I hope you have a lovely day whatever you do smile

Joan Wed 07-Dec-11 11:50:18

I could not have imagined taking my children away to relatives on Christmas day. They just loved being at home with their presents, But of course it was easy for us as we live at the other side of the world.

I will remember this thread and when grandchildren finally arrive, I'll leave Christmas plans entirely up to my sons and their own families. After all, there's always the rest of the holiday.

As it stands, I invite sons and DiLs for Christmas dinner, but insist that it is entirely up to them, and if they have to go elsewhere it is fine.

petallus Wed 07-Dec-11 13:37:47

jogginggirl could be right. Do we know for sure that what is behind it all is the wish of the inlaws/parents to be invited along on Christmas day? That is why I suggested earlier that getting it out in the open might help. Hope it all gets sorted. One thought - what does hubby think about it all. Could he help with his parents?