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Hardly considered at Christmas

(19 Posts)
JantyK Wed 21-Nov-18 13:57:55

I don't know if I am overreacting but my eldest daughter always puts me at the bottom of the list when it comes to visiting at Christmas. She'll always make sure she sees her Dad, and her partner's family - and even my mother gets priority and I'm supposed to accept the 'dregs' of what she has to offer. This year she can't see myself and my partner over the actual holiday and has said she'll visit my mum the following week - and I can go there. I wouldn't mind if it was the only time she has done this but it seems to have become a habit to dismiss my needs. If I bring this up with her she 'gaslights' me by telling me I am being over sensitive and that she has other priorities, etc. She got married a while back and her father paid for nothing (he can afford it) but took over the proceedings. I contributed a fair amount (probably a third of the cost) and hardly got a mention in the speeches or even on the day. I did eventually get a thank you card but very little was said on the day and although my daughter was polite, hardly made any effort to talk to me. I'm stuck as to what to do as I feel if I express how hurt I am she will just call me 'pathetic' - which is what has happened before. So I try to 'suck it up' and try and remember she has her own life and makes her own decisions. Should I just wait until she has her own children and realises how hurtful she is being or say something and risk a back-lash as whatever I do seems to be wrong. I am normally a very strong and independent person but this situation makes me feel very sad as I think and hope I have done everything I can for her, having struggled as a single parent to make sure both my children got a good life and followed their dreams. My other daughter is fine although is often swayed by her sister into thinking I am some kind of demon while their father is the best thing since sliced bread, even though he has done nothing for them unless it suits him.
Sorry to ramble, but I'm a bit overwhelmed as there's been nothing specific to incite this behaviour.
Has anyone else gone through similar and have any advice?

EllanVannin Wed 21-Nov-18 14:14:29

I think I'd say nothing and just go along with things as they are. This way you'll avoid any outbursts.
Least said soonest mended.
I do sincerely hope that things come together soon for you.

oldbatty Wed 21-Nov-18 14:36:48

I would suggest you try to shift the focus from Christmas, which can be a strange and emotional time of year. Put that to one side.

What is really going on here?

Some point scoring and storing up of resentment which is not healthy for anybody. How about meeting on neutral territory and saying how you feel. Just open up the dialogue.

luluaugust Wed 21-Nov-18 14:52:42

Sounds as if your daughter has a father and daughters thing going on, does she blame you for the split and what has he said? She probably can't get out of seeing her OH family and maybe feels your mother needs a visit. You are obviously seen as able to cope without a visit. When were you planning to see your mother otherwise, just take it as it comes for the time being and perhaps try and see her on her own sometime for a chat.

stella1949 Wed 21-Nov-18 16:51:06

I agree with the PP - this really isn't about Christmas, is it. Try not to focus on that aspect - Christmas is just one day of the year .

It sounds as if there is something else going on here. You mention having a partner - is that an issue with your daughter ? Does she blame you for the breakup with your ex husband ? Our adult children sometimes have very different memories of the past than we do - perhaps she sees you as the villain and your ex as being misunderstood .
Maybe she thinks that since you have a partner, you don't "need" a visit.

Since you all appear to live within visiting distance, maybe you could suggest something different next year. I have a similar situation and I suggest that we all meet for dinner during the week before or after Christmas, thus removing any pressure for them to be with me on that one particular day. This year we are all ( including ex and his partner) meeting for a casual dinner on Christmas Eve.

Flexibility is the key - learn to work around the situation .

MissAdventure Wed 21-Nov-18 17:02:13

I was just going to say that whilst you would like a visit during the actual Christmas period, you don't actually need one.

Baggs Wed 21-Nov-18 17:04:59

Are you what you call 'considered' at other times of the year?

lemongrove Wed 21-Nov-18 18:55:09

Good question from Baggs...and if the answer is no, then however sad it is,I would step back a bit from this particular daughter and get on with enjoying your life.
She is an adult now with her own partner.If you consider that you have been a good Mother considering there has been a marriage break up and you have done what you can over the years ( and she is pretty rude to you it sounds) then
Stop trying for a good reaction from her, although it may come in time if you stop appearing needy for her good opinion.

KatyK Wed 21-Nov-18 19:17:40

I complained to a friend once that we were last on the list. She said 'on the list are you? We're not even on it'.

morethan2 Wed 21-Nov-18 19:24:44

It’s rotten isn’t it. It may be any of the above but I’ve often been treated the same and I’ve come to the conclusion that my daughter does it to me because she 💯 sure no matter what I’ll always be there. Thing improved between us when her childhood friends mother who was the same age as me died. I think the realisation of what life without me would be like.
I’ve just left my terminally DiL mother in tears because she says she can’t do anything right for her daughter. She’s a wonderful mother but she really gets the brunt of it, yet my DiL is wonderful to me. My own MiL was a tyrant to her own children but mostly nice to me because she knew her children wouldn’t turn their backs on her.
It’s not because they don’t love us I just think we are often taken for granted. I never said anything but what I did manage to do was take a bit of a back seat so I waited for her to contact me and I even manage to say “oh sorry I can’t manage/do/ that/meet there” that worked a treat. flowers

sodapop Wed 21-Nov-18 21:12:58

I agree with your comments morethan2 it's assumed we will always be there no matter what. We usually are of course but maybe just sometimes as you say we should take a back seat so we are not taken for granted.
Try not to be resentful JantyK and get on with enjoying your life with your partner.

Anja Thu 22-Nov-18 08:38:00

Concentrate on the daughter you do have a relationship with JantyK and on others in your life who do value you. As for being told where you can go if you want to see her, I hope you don’t. Let her seek you out or, if she doesn’t, then rejoice as, personally, I’d be avoiding her rather than seeking her meagre attentions.

I hope you visit your own mother over Christmas or better still ask her round for Christmas dinner with you.

harrigran Thu 22-Nov-18 09:56:00

It appears to me that DD blames you for the split with her father and is punishing you. I think she may resent/dislike your partner and using that against you too. Having said that the younger generation are a law unto themselves.

Tillywilly Sun 25-Nov-18 21:43:57

I sympathise. My youngest daughter is the same. She usually spends alternat Christmas's with me and then the next Christmas with her dad. Last year when it was his turn to have her he went on holiday and didn't even tell her. Me and my husband had booked a table out but we managed to get her and her daughter booked in with us. My husband paid. This year should have been my year as my other daughter is coming I wanted us all together but she said she doesn't know if she's coming because she's waiting for an invite from her dad. It's the end of November and he still hasn't asked. Her dad does nothing for her where I've taken on extra work to help her out. Help clean her house and baby sitting. It really seems the more you do for certain people the worse they treat you

PECS Sun 25-Nov-18 22:17:42

These supposed 'family' times are often a stressful time for everyone trying to fit everything in, starting your own 'family' traditions & pleasing everyone.
I have to 'share' my DD1 with her extended family but DD2 has no in-laws so less complex. We will all see each other together at some point over the festive season.

In the end Christmas is a few days... 360 others at least to fill! I have some friends who always have a big family get together in February half term because it takes the pressure off their 3 AC juggling in-laws etc. When their DGC were younger they loved it.. more presents 6 weeks on from Christmas!
Janty does your DD feel you were responsible for the break up from her dad? Even if that is just her mistaken perception, it might explain her attitude. In the end our children owe us nothing. If they choose to do things they way they prefer we have to accept that.

bluebirdwsm Sun 25-Nov-18 22:55:11

I am also bottom of the list with both my sons as both DiL's families are priority. I've adjusted to it as it hasn't happened suddenly, so I st see Christmas Day as just another day and the other days of the holiday don't bother me.

I'm sure I will pop over to one and the other will call in for a brief visit at some point...I know they take me for granted, but haven't the energy to worry about it. I have done my grieving. I live on my own but fortunately they do not know what that is like...and I hope they never do.

Shizam Mon 26-Nov-18 23:41:17

Christmas is such a trickily invested time, I personally dread it. My mother died when I was a child shortly before it, so it always gives me ghosts. Me, I’d happily ignore it. For now, adult sons turn up, sleep til 2, then eat something I’ve got together. Always happier once it’s over. Then it’s new year. Always used to work on that night to escape it...
So, maybe decide to do something else that you fancy. Trip to the seaside? Mooch around nearby city then lunch at home, or out? Put yourself first and decide what makes you happy, be it a full-on day out, or just pjs and telly. Hope it goes well for you.

Pythagorus Tue 27-Nov-18 04:13:15

Oh boy, OP .... this is so familiar! Firstly you are not alone. There are many mothers in your situation. I can relate to all of what you say. I have one son. Everything was hunky dory until he married. I then had ten years of being ignored at Christmas and most of the other time. She was a controller. They divorced and I had four wonderful years seeing my son and grandchildren more, sharing their birthday parties and family Christmasse. Fast forward, new partner moves in ..... and it’s back to being ignored. Another controller! So I go back to what I used to do. Jet off to the Caribbean for. Christmas, go on a cruise, or if I stay at home, round up others who are on their own and create our own jolly time! You can’t change what your children do, how they think and behave. But you can change how you decide to react to it. I laughed when you mentioned the gaslighting ..... my son has an honours degree in it!
My ex husband does get better treatment because he wouldn’t put up with it. I have been more forgiving and perhaps too soft. If you allow people to treat you badly they often will. Over the years, I have dropped three friends. I finally realised I was doing all the giving and they were not giving anything back. So I stopped calling them and noticed they didn’t call me. I now concentrate on the friends who do have time for me and want to be with me.
Perhaps we need to pulling back from adult children who don’t seem to want our company rather than trying to get them to treat us differently. They don’t want to be guilt tripped, it doesn’t make them love us more! Take comfort in the fact that it’s not just you who feels like this. But as my mother used to say,,Nothing is good or bad, it’s how we decide to think about it. Or spas Nelson Mandela said, Two men look through prison bars, one sees mud, the other sees stars!

DancesWithOtters Tue 27-Nov-18 09:59:00

What kind of relationship do you have with her? Is there a back story regarding your relationship?