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Feeling guilty

(55 Posts)
Thoro Fri 27-Nov-20 20:48:17

I am part of a childcare bubble with my nurse son and heavily pregnant with twins DiL and their two year old.
My husband (we were both widowed and remarried 20 years ago - he is 75 with health conditions) has a daughter with husband and 9 and 12 year old living about 70 miles away. They usually come over at Christmas but this year we felt it would not be a good idea so they are not coming but my son, DiL and GS will be coming as they are local and already part of our bubble. My other two adult children will also not be coming.
I still feel guilty that I can see my family but he can’t see his - even though I know it’s being sensible.

M0nica Sat 28-Nov-20 10:55:44

Tanama Coming from 2 generations of army members over a period that ranges from the Boer War to the Cold War. I actually disagree with your plea for those who work at Christmas and the charge of selfishness for those who don't.

During my childhood, overseas postings, distant UK postings, during wartime all postings, without accompanying family. Plus, as he was an officer, my father spending a good part of Christmas day serving Christmas lunch to the squaddies, was not particularly heart wrenching. That is what life was like for us and we knew nothing else. Our families also knew what the job entailed (especially as my grandfather had also been a career soldier) so didn't waste their time on pointless regrets.

It was part of our lives and we just accepted it as normal.

The same applies to those who work Christmas shifts. Employers do everything to keep the number called in to a minimum, and any shift is only part of the day, so the rest of the Christmas period is free. DD had a job like this, so we have experience of it.

What is so difficult this year, is that everyone's plans and expectations are being suddenly disrupted and that is actually so difficult, when so many are having to make critical decisions about who to see and when to see them and how to deal with those to dear to them, who have to be excluded.

No, my sympathy is all with those whose lifes are innturmoil this Christmas. For those who work at Christmas or live along way from hom. It will probably just a perfectly normal Christmas.

Caro57 Sat 28-Nov-20 10:56:21

The only person that makes you feel guilty is yourself.
It's sensible - you don't want potential Covid spread around

Kim19 Sat 28-Nov-20 11:11:53

I actually think it's more frustration than guilt you are feeling. Aren't we all!! However - and I don't know the strength of your relationship with H family - I feel a lengthy telephone conversation outlining this and putting your heads together for a soon as possible get together of celebratory style might at least give you all something to compensate/look forward to. I've done this with one of my sons and we've a plan in mind with all the important details already decided. It has given us both a boost and it's not until March. Please don't feel guilty. You're being responsible. Bravo.

Lynda152 Sat 28-Nov-20 11:20:11

Myself, plus close and extended family members and friends were/are part of the emergency services. We all usually had to work varied hours and days over Xmas and New Year each year. No complaints or drama over it from anyone just an acceptance of hard and long working hours. We all accepted that we would never all be off to get together on any particular day. We focused on making sure we all saw each other, often on different days, around Xmas (ish). The bonus was our celebrations often got us happily through January. Try and focus on the health of the people you care about and, as we are doing, plan a fabulous get together in the Summer next year instead.

Tweedle24 Sat 28-Nov-20 11:24:37

I come from a service family too and missed many Christmases with Dad, then joined the RAF myself so, more Christmases apart. Later, as a ward sister, I always worked Christmas Day. Those Christmases apart from family were expected and planned.

As Monica says, it is the disruption of long held traditions and plans that is causing the upset.

auntiejantie Sat 28-Nov-20 12:27:54

I think you are right Granof412 - certainly in Scotland, that is. A single person can form a bubble with one family. Childcare for other families is strictly childcare with no contact with the adults. That is my situation anyway and the Christmas 'permissions' have only led to confusion.

Dottynan Sat 28-Nov-20 12:36:19

We have abandoned plans for meeting with family over Christmas and have agreed if its allowed to meet at Easter with turkey, tinsel and Christmas pudding oh and maybe some presents for the little ones

Aepgirl Sat 28-Nov-20 12:37:58

These are exceptional times and nobody should expect Christmas gatherings to be the same as before. Just think positively - if we all do our bit and take extra care we will be able to celebrate Christmas in style next year.

Thoro Sat 28-Nov-20 12:41:59

Thank you all for your comments- yes we will be face timing with them over Christmas and certainly making sure the children get sent some lovely presents.
I do feel bad for my OH as although he’s lovely with my grandson he doesn’t really get on with my son (no one’s fault - just very different people) so won’t enjoy the family get together. Roll on the vaccine so we can all meet again without worry!

hapgran Sat 28-Nov-20 12:56:22

Granof412- you can have a childcare bubble.

GrannyRose15 Sat 28-Nov-20 13:55:21

Who has made the decision and was he party to it? You should only feel guilty if YOU have imposed your will on HIM. If he has been consulted and it is a mutual decision then what is the problem? Enjoy the time you have with the people you have chosen to see.

GrannyRose15 Sat 28-Nov-20 13:57:44


These are exceptional times and nobody should expect Christmas gatherings to be the same as before. Just think positively - if we all do our bit and take extra care we will be able to celebrate Christmas in style next year.

Are you sure? Because I'm not.

GrannyRose15 Sat 28-Nov-20 14:07:58


I had no idea there was a ‘care bubble’.
I live alone and thought the bubble idea was for people like me.

A childcare bubble is to enable grandparents and other unpaid relatives to provide childcare so that parents can go out to work. Just the same as we always have. Our right to provide such care was suspended during the first lockdown but the government realised their mistake (yes really) when they discovered people could not go back to work as requested because their childcare networks had been dismantled. Silly them hadn't realised the value unpaid childcare adds to the economy.
The bubble is supposed to be exclusive so you can't have all your grandchildren in a bubble only those from one family.-what a choice to have to make.

Thoro Sat 28-Nov-20 14:55:36

GrannyRose15, yes my OH is in full agreement- he has quite a few health conditions and realises how vulnerable he is.
Agree re the childcare bubble being difficult if you look after more than one family’s children - I’ve just got the one grandson (apart from his twin brothers due in January)

GrauntyHelen Sat 28-Nov-20 15:44:03

It makes me sad that after 20 years it's still his family and my family that OP refers to DH and I have been married for a much shorter time but we only have one family everyone is OUR family

Harmonypuss Sat 28-Nov-20 15:48:52

Personally, I would be looking at spending Xmas with the members of the family that I'd not been able to see all year, not those i see all the time, surely, they should be able to understand you wanting to see the rest of the family, they can have you back by me year anyway.

Harmonypuss Sat 28-Nov-20 15:49:49

New year, not me year obviously

GreyKnitter Sat 28-Nov-20 16:14:59

It’s hard when there are two sets of family isn’t it. We are in a similar situation. We usually celebrate my children before Christmas and my step children over Christmas but this year is going to be different. I won’t see my family as they’re too far away for a quick trip and probably won’t see my stepchildren except for a walk together. We’re both keen to stay away from all possibilities of infection except for essential contact for medical stuff etc. Haven’t been to the shops etc since March! 🙈🙈

GrannyFirstLight Sat 28-Nov-20 16:27:28

Lynda152....beautifully put. As the wife of soldier and mother of a fireman, a paramedic, and a respiratory therapist, I couldn't have said it any better (and I probably would have added a few swear words too!) Let's take care of each other and get through this, People!

Hydra Sat 28-Nov-20 18:20:14

It is the same for everyone and the right thing to do
Tell your family outside your bubble how you feel and hopefully in the summer you can get them over. Ivv B feel sure they understand

DotMH1901 Sat 28-Nov-20 19:03:01

We are in a very unusual situation this Christmas, many families are having to decide who they can have around or not. Why not set up a plan to celebrate around Easter instead? Would be something for your DH to look forward to and think of the fun your DGC can have looking for Easter Eggs in the garden.

Thoro Sat 28-Nov-20 19:21:06

I agree it would be lovely if they all got on but they were young adults when my beloved first husband died and just never got on. (they all tried at the start)

Thoro Sat 28-Nov-20 19:26:43


Personally, I would be looking at spending Xmas with the members of the family that I'd not been able to see all year, not those i see all the time, surely, they should be able to understand you wanting to see the rest of the family, they can have you back by me year anyway.

We could see both families but his family present a greater risk as I know that the 12 year old and 9 year old have been mixing with their friends and my husband is very vulnerable.

NannyDaft Sun 29-Nov-20 08:47:25

I agree with NanNan2 ! It is sheer bloody madness as we are so near getting the vaccine. Stop making us all feel so fearful get on with vaccine programme and fast and perhaps we can start to look forward to something positive !

NannyDaft Sun 29-Nov-20 08:55:10

Make the country hopeful rather than fearful ! Mental health is suffering very badly .