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Mother's Day

(89 Posts)
Olympia Wed 08-Mar-17 19:56:16

We have three adult sons. Elder and younger sons had a major falling out ten plus years ago. I do not know the gory details - don't want to know, neither has confined in me so I maintain a neutral position over the situation although it goes without saying it has broken my heart. I do not see any future reconciliation and have accepted this. My husband feels the same. All sons are old enough to be grandfathers (one will soon be) so that is not as though I can "bang their heads together" (though I would like to!). This has resulted over the years in hosting every family event i.e. birthday parties, Christmas etc etc TWICE to accommodate both factions. This has proved stressful, expensive and heartbreaking in equal measures. I am not prepared to do this any longer as I feel it is pandering to and enabling this dreadful family rift. Yesterday my son sent a text message asking me what I was planning to do for Mother's Day (Moi??!) and had I made any arrangements with "the other family". I did not respond immediately and anyway the answer is "no" but haven't said that yet. All of a sudden I realise I do not want to go on this way ever again, pretending my husband and I do not find this rift horribly sad and painful.. As it happens it is our middle son's birthday the day before Mother's Day so three quarters of the family will get together (minus eldest son's wife and son) then. No doubt arrangements will be made to meet up with elder son's family to "celebrate" - so again potential of two separate "celebrations" for one event. As I will see x2 sons the day before I have decided to say that I have planned to go out for the day to an exhibition therefore I won't be available on MD. Neither warring sons have been told how upsetting their behaviour is. In the past I said nothing as I did not want to "blackmail"/force them into speaking to each other on our behalf. We respect they have their own opinions and they are old enough to live as they want to. It is my husband's 70th birthday this year and this rift will again cause a problem in a family celebration. Neither my husband nor I want to have two birthday parties and have decided to have a weekend away to"celebrate" on our own. I do not really feel unreasonable in not wanting to always host family occasions twice over and really would like other GN'ers opinions.

phoenix Wed 08-Mar-17 20:11:17

I would say do what you and your DH want to, and stop running yourself ragged doing 2 lots of "celebrations" (not to mention the expense) to pander to their childish behaviour!

You've done your bit, it's now your turn to suit yourselves, sod the lot of them if they can't see that!

mumofmadboys Wed 08-Mar-17 20:15:58

Men can be stubborn!Could you say that what you would like most for a mothers' day present is for the two of them to put their disagreement to one side and make up? Let them know that it is the biggest unhappiness in yours and your DH's life and you would give anything for it to be repaired. Ask them what will happen for your funeral if they don't sort it as you don't want two services!! Good luck! I have sons. I know what they can be like!x

Elegran Wed 08-Mar-17 20:21:41

You could even break silence and tell them so - that you and your husband would rather do something on your own than keep on holding separate events for the two halves of your warring family, that you have gone along with them up until now but you think it is time they acted like adults and made it up with each other so that you can entertain a united family from now on.

Elegran Wed 08-Mar-17 20:23:09

I like that, MOMB - tell them you don't want two funerals, and they can start practicing getting along while you are still alive!

Karanlouise Wed 08-Mar-17 20:36:31

I agree with MOMB tell them that this would be the best mother's day present they can give you. Even if they can just be civil and respectful of each other. If not you and DH should do your own thing. I hope the situation improves for you Olympia.

SueDonim Wed 08-Mar-17 20:44:00

I agree that Mother's Day should the day on which people do things that make you happy and not what makes them happy.

Christinefrance Wed 08-Mar-17 20:55:31

Yes you have done enough to accomodate your family over the years, time for you enjoy things your way.
Don't feel guilty about it, explain to your sons how you feel and enjoy yourselves.

theresacoo Thu 09-Mar-17 09:31:35

Write to them both with what you've said. Seems fair. Silly to have two events each time. Go away and have fun

ajanela Thu 09-Mar-17 09:34:31

I agree tell them how you feel and love the bit about the funeral. Have you thought that they both think you support their behavior as you have never said anything and hold these separate celebrations. So they both think you think they are in the right. Also by continueing to hold separate celebrations you an enabling them not to face up to the situation. As now you are going to do your own thing, you have nothing to loose by telling them how you feel.

jefm Thu 09-Mar-17 09:35:56

Dear Olympia, you sound so very unhappy. We are worth more. I have two sons also, they don't war and we do get together but there is always an unease. Its just not as you would wish, so even if they did agree to get together for your sake what would the atmosphere be like? It is your time, you have been so patient and so accommodating - I must admit I don't and wouldn't do the double celebration bit - unless THEY are hosting! I agree with others that it is appropriate to coolly and calmly speak out and say what you really feel but if they wish to carry on their feud there is little you can do. We cannot control our children's or our in-laws behaviour ..and as much as we think we know our children- especially boys...we really don't. Enjoy your life with your husband as much as you can- it really is time to think of yourselves and what else you can do together that will make you happy. Best Wishes

Angela1961 Thu 09-Mar-17 09:35:57

I would make the announcement that for your husbands birthday you will be booking a table at your favourite restaurant as 'the' celebration and need numbers, if they cannot see it's about your husband and not them then they are still being the little boys their actions are telling you. As regard to Mother's day - do your own thing.

Jaycee5 Thu 09-Mar-17 09:37:09

My sister and I don't get along and the only way to avoid her bullying and criticism is to have nothing to do with her.
My cousin last year said that she was going to have a party and would I want to go if my sister did. I said no and she asked me to stay with them the week before. She ended up going to Australia to visit relatives there and having a dinner with a few people before she went.
I am probably the age of your sons and I don't care if my parents are upset that we don't get on. They should have stopped her criticism when she started doing it as a child. She is only behaving the way her father did.
Why should your sons spend time with each other when they don't want to? You are making it about you. How hard is it to see people separately? Do you not enjoy their company unless it is a big family group? I think you should respect their choice. They didn't choose to be brothers. They have now chosen not to be friends.

IngeJones Thu 09-Mar-17 09:37:44

[quote]that you and your husband would rather do something on your own than keep on holding separate events for the two halves of your warring family[/quote]

Elegran, could be dangerous. If both sons took offence at this, they could be doing things on their own a lot more than they wanted to!

justrolljanet Thu 09-Mar-17 09:38:57

I would copy your post and email it to them, enough is enough, x x

Maimeo Thu 09-Mar-17 09:39:01

Wot mumofmadboys said! Tell them that's the only present or celebration you want, that they take a step towards mending their differences to bring joy to you. Even to just be able to be civil to each other around a table during family occasions. Good luckflowers

radicalnan Thu 09-Mar-17 09:42:45


They expect their parents to put up with their chldish behaviours which they would never inflict upon their friends.

Suit yourself for MD and for yur husband's birthday don't invite them, have fun with your friends.

If they can't pay you the respect and common courtesy of behaving themselves now and then just to pease you sod them, both of them.

rosesarered Thu 09-Mar-17 09:43:13

What Jaycee says is the truth of it.
We have to accept that some of our adult DC do not get on and possibly never will.
It's not about us, it's them, and just the way things are and is quite common.
Olympia arrange a lovely weekend away for your husbands birthday, you will both enjoy it much more.💐

Craftycat Thu 09-Mar-17 09:47:38

I agree that your response could be- I want to see you all together or not at all & let them see how their behaviour is effecting you. It won't kill them to be civil to each other for a few hours.

It's just plain courtesy & they owe you that!

Harris27 Thu 09-Mar-17 09:48:07

Isn't life so sad the more I read the less I feel encouraged to make an effort with family I too have three sons who are speaking but lead very different lives one of the partners always causes trouble and I agonise over what will happen next . But this year I have decided the most important people in my life is my husband and me and we will celebrate our ruby wedding away and enjoy it without the friction or tenseness if a party . Good luck to you and whatever you decide but don't make yourself I'll over this there not worth it!!!

Tennisnan Thu 09-Mar-17 09:48:49

Yep MOMB and Angela1961 have solved it. A mention of a funeral shld shock them into realising they haven't got you forever (sorry) and to sort it now. I'd love to know if this warring between sons (who don't hv sisters usually as they'd sort it) is a British thing?

radicalnan Thu 09-Mar-17 09:49:29

apologies for typos custard cream in the keyboard

margrete Thu 09-Mar-17 09:52:46

For a start, it's not Mother's Day. It's Mothering Sunday and it occurs on the 4th Sunday in Lent, which is a little way off yet - last Sunday was the first in Lent.

So your grown-up sons don't get on with each other. At the risk of giving offence, I don't see why it has to 'go with out saying' that it has broken your heart.

They are grown up, you did your best in bringing them up but once they're grown up, it's entirely up to them what they do. There are numerous instances of adult children not only not getting on, but being at daggers drawn. I've had this within my own family. I've had my heart broken in the past, but no more. I'll never again allow anyone else, descendants or not, to break my heart.

Actually, about this particular festival, it's my understanding that the children do something for the mother - bring her flowers etc - or plan a surprise, not ask her what she is doing on that day.

Bebe47 Thu 09-Mar-17 09:53:37

Why try to play Happy Families? it's never going to work is it? Give up thinking about it now. What does a joint family celebration matter anyway as long as they want to see You is the important thing. I don't know if my 4 sons always see eye to eye with each other but they always try to come to family and extended family does - but sometimes it's not possible because they all live so far apart and one family lives abroad. Just be thankful that they still want to see you, even if it is separately. Get on with the rest of your lives and enjoy your own company, I would. No hosting family parties anymore either. I am nearly 70 and my husband is 76 - we cant do that anymore. It's their time to treat us now - separately or together it doesn't matter.

rosesarered Thu 09-Mar-17 09:54:27

Actually, I don't agree with 'blackmailing' them in order to get them into the same room for Mothers Day or any other celebration.What kind of atmosphere would that produce? All done so that we could revel in Mothers Day with them all present at the same time? See them at different times of day or the day before or after: they still love us, and we love them, they just don't like their brother or sister!