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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.

Saxgran Mon 07-Dec-20 14:13:06

Thankyou welbeck. I drove up the next day(3hours with London traffic), took her curtains for the new house and took down some shelves and packed boxes, ate humble pie. . She had her SIL there to help her cope (just recovered from Covid). I’m immune suppressed btw but that never seems a consideration for her. Anyway, I tried. We talked about realistic expectations and I think I’m being written off as “uninvolved”. She’d put me down as emergency contact for my grandson’s new nursery when I’m miles away! Honestly.
I will continue to work it through. Two of her siblings are helping with the move. I’d say she’s well supported.

welbeck Sat 05-Dec-20 03:45:54

Saxgran, if she's got a great career, could she not get some paid help with the children, a nanny or au pair ?
i agree you should certainly not give up your career, she chose to have those children, their upbringing is her and husband's responsibility, not yours.
her comments are unreasonable. don't let her muddled thinking affect you. she's being childish.

Saxgran Fri 04-Dec-20 23:44:07

I’ve never posted before so may be repeating an old old story. Forgive me if I am. I had 5 kids and gave up a great career as a doctor in my mid forties to be their full time mum. I retrained in my 50s and love my current life. I’m divorced from my adulterous husband. My eldest daughter now has 2 children and is very disappointed in me as an uninvolved grandparent. I see her as a bit of a princess. She has a fabulous well paid career, a great modern, faithful husband who took 6 months paternity leave but she’s always knackered and saying how tough life is with two little children.
I don’t want to look after young children anymore. I want to live my life. I wish she was a bit more robust and energetic. She knows this and it causes us both pain. I think she will eventually do what I had to do -give up her lucrative job to focus on her family. I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to sacrifice my career again so that she can have hers. I am a feminist and it sucks that women have to make these choices. But I can’t be the solution to her problem.
I feel like a rotten mother and grandmother and she certainly implies I am one. She thinks that other grandparents are doing much more for their grandchildren than I am. And some are! But I’m burnt out from a lifetime of caring for other people and I want to care for myself now.
It sucks. She’s just got off the phone all teary-eyed and said she won’t come for Xmas to punish me for not helping her out next week. To be fair, she’s moving house. But I live 2 hours away and she’s got a husband and 4 siblings if she can’t cope.

endre123 Sun 29-Nov-20 14:41:04

If some families do meet up( even if it is a picnic in the rain or snow as it will be insanity to be indoors) we will all be paying the price of the few who have spread the virus to over 60s. Most families are having an online Christmas or giving it a miss this year to try and ensure no loved ones are in hospital in the new year, no family visits and maybe for many weeks.
The virus is mostly asymptomatic in children meaning most schools in my area are now infected and spreading it into families. It can be airborne for hours why we must have windowns open if someone out of bubble visits.
We need to protect those who live in our homes this year. And protect those elderly who want to continue shielding but find family pressure becoming unbearable.
My extended family are having Christmas by themselves this year but we will be sharing everything on line as we have for months. We lost a loved one to covid early on and we never want to go through that again. We know how the virus spreads, we know it can kill the elderly and if our hospitals become overwhelmed, we will see many dying in cars outside hospitals, like Italy a couple of weeks ago.

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

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

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 !

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.

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)

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.

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

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!

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! 🙈🙈

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

New year, not me year obviously

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.

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

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)

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.

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 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.

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

Granof412- you can have a childcare bubble.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.