Gransnet forums

Christmas

Conflict of opinions ...

(14 Posts)
Nansnet Mon 17-Dec-18 10:56:50

We have a very good relationship with our son and DIL, and also her parents (until now), and we have recently become grandparents. Both sets of parents have spent past Christmases taking it in turns to host Christmas day and this year it wasn't our turn to host, so we were very much looking forward to being able to relax on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and spending time with our grandchild (my husband has a very stressful job and works long hours, with not much time off over Xmas ... DILs parents no longer work, so have plenty of time to relax and enjoy their new grandchild). Our son and DIL live a long way from us all, and will base themselves at her parents home over the holiday period. Her mother contacted me a few weeks ago to say that, even though it was her 'turn' to host, she'd decided that it absolutely wouldn't be possible for her to do it this year, due to lack of space because of all the extra baby equipment in the house, and asked if I would host it again this year (son says there's not actually that much equipment in the way, a baby bouncer chair, maybe). If I wasn't happy with that, she said that one of the options would be for us to have separate Christmases, which no one would really want. However, she was adamant that there was no way she was going to do it. My husband and I were quite annoyed and thought it a little selfish of her, but not wanting to spoil Christmas for everyone, we agreed to go ahead and do it, and were even looking forward to having our grandchild's first Christmas in our home. Fast forward to this week, by which time I have spent planning the day/menu, bought/ordered the turkey, ham, sausage meat for stuffing, chipolatas, xmas pudding, crackers (pretty much everything apart from the fresh veg) ... I've now had a visit from her to say that after discussing with my DIL, she actually could manage to do it afterall!! And because she feels it would be easier/more relaxing for my DIL to have it at her house (DIL has had a bit of bad back recently). She also said that her daughter is the only one she cares about, and that this xmas is all about her apparently ... no mention of my son for whom this is his first xmas as a daddy, or our shared grandchild. Frankly, I became rather upset and then angry, as I feel I've been a little manipulated to suit someone else's preferences. I'm generally a very easy going, laid back and caring person, and my DILs mother does have a tendency to be bossy (by her own admission), and doesn't like it when she doesn't get her own way. My son had words with his wife, and he told her she should have discussed this with him, and it's not fair on us. They have decided between them that Xmas day will remain at our place, and he also told his MIL that I'm upset because I feel I'm being messed around, and he doesn't agree with it either. My DIL apologized to me, and said she would still love to come to us for Xmas day, and she's sorry for any upset. Incidentally, we live very close to her parents and my son & DIL are also spending some time with us, and we too have a house full of baby equipment. They also have a bedroom here, and a cot for baby too, so things are not particularly difficult. And I certainly would never have considered not hosting at our house if they were based here. However, it seems that DILs mother is very angry/upset with me (I may also have said one or two things she didn't like, but not without reason), and she hasn't spoken to me since. She didn't even acknowledge me when I had to stop my car for her to pass! This is going to cause a very awkward/uncomfortable atmosphere for xmas day, which I really don't want, but I have no idea how to rectify the problem. I don't get angry very often, and I've even begun to doubt myself, and think perhaps I've over reacted ...? What do others think? Any suggestions that might help this awful situation, which should be a very happy time for us all!

EllanVannin Mon 17-Dec-18 11:33:01

Am I glad I'll be on my own !

Much as you have my sympathy for the situation you find yourself in, though you're not to blame, it's not going to be the nicest atmosphere if you all manage to get together.

This should be the happiest time with a baby's first Christmas, but there's going to be a certain amount of tension which isn't good.

Are you the type who can approach as though nothing has gone on ? If so an onwards and upwards approach would be the answer. Should things prove too difficult, though I can't imagine they should/would then quietly take your DiL's mother to one side and iron out your differences.

BlueBelle Mon 17-Dec-18 11:53:13

Gosh after reading that I can only agree with Ellen Thankfully nothing like this has ever happened in my life It’s always been fairly loose Never been any big deals over who goes to who sometimes due to work situations I ve always been happy to visit before or after if needed and never felt the need to be at any particular place on THE DAY
I guess I must be unusual

MissAdventure Mon 17-Dec-18 11:58:23

Could you contact your daughter in laws mum, and stress how much you've enjoyed the fact that you've all got along fine up until now?
Say that you obviously want to keep things happy, particularly with your new grandchild here now, and try and sort it out?

oldbatty Mon 17-Dec-18 12:10:49

Blimey baby's first Christmas.Happy Days.

silverlining48 Mon 17-Dec-18 12:13:07

MissAs advice sounds good to me, then hopefully the air can be cleared before Christmas Day and you can all enjoy your first grandchild together.
This in law / other grandparents thing is a minefield. Tread carefully and Congratulations.

Buffybee Mon 17-Dec-18 12:19:33

It seems to me that the Mil got herself into a bit of a tizz at the thought of baby and family staying at hers and organizing Christmas Day as well.
I do understand your frustration with her tooing and froing and in hindsight you could have just said that you'd ordered the turkey and bought everything else for the meal already. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it.
The best thing to do now, in my opinion, would be to buy a little plant, or flowers and as they don't live far, call round with them and a little car d, telling her that you're sorry that you flew off the handle a bit, that you're very sorry and really didn't mean it and hope you can remain good friends.
You can say all this if they are in when you call, otherwise, write the same in the card and post and leave the plant on the doorstep.
Clear the air and you'll feel better, I think!

Buffybee Mon 17-Dec-18 12:21:09

Just seen MissAdventure's post on the same lines! 😉

sodapop Mon 17-Dec-18 12:23:56

Although you were right to be angry about the arrangements being changed, it does seem your family agrees and supports you. You need to be the bigger person now, Miss A's suggestion fits the bill well and hopefully you can all have a tension free Christmas.
Good luck.

janeainsworth Mon 17-Dec-18 12:23:58

I would have been annoyed too nansnet if, having done all the preparation and ordered all the food, I’d had my generous gesture thrown back in my face, which is what your co-granny appears to have done.

The important thing though is that your DS and DiL see things from your point of view.

You don’t say what you actually said to co-granny.
But if it’s something that you’re perhaps now a little ashamed of, maybe an apology would be in order.
Least said soonest mended. Don’t let this escalate.

M0nica Mon 17-Dec-18 17:05:57

Sorry, not clear what the problem is here. You have a delightful DiL who has agreed that her parents messed it up. She will insist on coming to you as you had everything planned and ordered.

You should be on your knees thanking God (or whatever) for such a wonderful DiL, just shrugging your shoulders about her parent's behaviour.

Many a GN poster would give their right arm to have a DiL like yours.

mcem Mon 17-Dec-18 17:22:43

Wouldn't do anything like a grovelling apology but what about a coffee together and don't put it any more strongly than being a bit taken aback because you'd ordered anything. Add that you're glad it's all sorted and that you're all back on track.

Davidhs Mon 17-Dec-18 20:47:32

It sounds like your son had a few words and sorted them out, now you do need to extend the hand of friendship to complete the whole reconciliation, don't grovel just say sorry.

I've had a few of these fallouts between women, the remedy is easy, tear a strip off both of them, they then both turn on me, and forget about the original argument. Easy because I don't care I'm happy to be a target if it keeps the peace.

Grammaretto Mon 17-Dec-18 21:17:52

I wondered for a moment if you were my SiL's mum!
We get situations a bit like this.
The other gran is obviously stressed too and feels her house is small etc.
It's the great unknown. This first exciting Christmas.
If I were you, I would keep calm and carry on.
Open the champagne a little early. Give her a call and make peace.
She's probably having mother/daughter problems which I know about only too well.
You sound like the capable one here.