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Mum won't come fir Christmas

(66 Posts)
Susiewakie Fri 09-Dec-22 15:14:54

Help my DM is 87 and very independent she has announced after receiving a letter from her 8 Yr old GGD that she's not coming for Christmas. I live about 98 miles away and my DB lives on the south coast .Usually I collect her just before Christmas and bring her back whenever she wants to go .She has refused to travel all year but thought she'd want to see DGD and DGGD's for a few days .Not practi8to stay with her as we with all fit in her house suggested we all bring food and go for day but not interested Any advice ?

Forsythia Fri 09-Dec-22 15:21:54

Maybe the cold weather is affecting her willingness to travel. Has the letter got any bearing on her reluctance?

M0nica Fri 09-Dec-22 15:23:43

Your mother has told you clearly how she wants to apend Christmas. As she is an independent adult, respect her wishes. make sure she is adequately supplied with all she needs over this period and then leave her to enjoy herself as she has clearly stated she wants to.

I think your worry is more about the discomfort you feel about her decision, than anything else.

Grammaretto Fri 09-Dec-22 15:25:40

Not sure what the letter has to do with it.
Can you bring her after Christmas?
Speak to her and ask her. I guess you have been communicating by text?
Hope you have a lovely time whatever you decide.

Allsorts Fri 09-Dec-22 15:34:12

I would respect her wishes, perhaps she just feels too tired for the upheaval. I would speak with her and tell her how much you’re looking forward to seeing her but don’t want to make things difficult if she really want to be on her own. I don’t think a lot of people realise that as people age, some just want their own routine, yet many don’t, the older I get the more I want my family but not everyone feels like that.

wildswan16 Fri 09-Dec-22 15:34:52

I would just let her spend Christmas how she wants. Sometimes as we get older it is just all too much trouble to go away somewhere.

Don't try to insist - it doesn't mean she is lonely or neglected. Just doing here own thing.

Gardenersdelight Fri 09-Dec-22 15:44:59

Though slightly different my 81 years old mum refused to come to my daughters wedding this year as we live 250 miles away
Despite trying to persuade she was adamant and stayed home
I had to accept it was her decision and not about me.
Assuming she won't be attending DD no2 wedding next year!!

Hithere Fri 09-Dec-22 15:51:36


Her decision, you need to respect it

Norah Fri 09-Dec-22 16:07:14

Given we won't leave our home for Christmas, I surely expect others in our family to react as they wish, even if opposite to prior years.

Your mum has said her preference, leave her to it.

lixy Fri 09-Dec-22 16:16:30

Susiewakie I could have written that post.
My mum has chosen to have Christmas by herself for the last few years, mostly to do with growing deafness and needing to get up in the night, but also she naps through the day too.

We go to see her over the Christmas period - just for a few hours - and adult G'chn also take their families to see her on different days. It does mean three separate journeys - a round trip of 300 miles - rather than just the one if she came here, but there we are! Her choice so we work round it.

She gets three visits spread over a few weeks rather than a hectic few days. I've schooled myself to get over the guilt!

Allsorts Fri 09-Dec-22 16:20:26

Lixy, what a loving understanding daughter you are, mom is happy and she gets to see you all.

Forsythia Fri 09-Dec-22 16:22:17

My mum,who lived until she was 84, often would say she’d come for Christmas but on the day she’d say ‘I can’t be bothered’ and shed stay home. It used to sadden me but we accepted this was what she wanted.

DaisyAlice Fri 09-Dec-22 16:31:12

I also had this with my mum in her later years. She preferred to be in her own home. She was concerned at disturbing us with night time loo visits. She wasn't a fan of television. No appetite for Christmas fayre. I made sure that she had supplies over Christmas and she enjoyed short family visits. My guilt came when her neighbour told me how sorry she felt for my mum and had given her a Christmas lunch. Mum had told them that there wasn't room for her to stay with me! She didn't want to tell them that she wanted to be on her own! Bless Her.

winterwhite Fri 09-Dec-22 16:31:15

I thought the OP was worried that her mother had announced her intention while in a huff about something, or having had cold feet about travelling, would regret it later and have a miserable Christmas on her own.
I think it understandable to want to test that out.
For instance the 8-yr-old might easily have said something tactless. The letter must be relevant in some way.
The OP could try to make sure there were no misunderstandings or hidden concerns, and if not accept her mother's decision gracefully.

Witzend Fri 09-Dec-22 18:28:19

My mother once decided at the last minute that she didn’t want to come for us for Christmas after all - preferred to stay quietly at home. I was going the 60 miles anyway, to pick up Dsis and niece, visiting from the US, so took her presents and some nice food.

Later the same evening (24th Dec) when everyone else was out, she phoned me, absolutely furious. What was she doing all on her own on Christmas Eve? I was a terrible daughter! - she was cutting me out of her will etc.

I offered to go and fetch her if she’d changed her mind - no she didn’t want that either. Bang.
I was in tears for ages.
In the morning I phoned her - she’d forgotten the whole thing!

That’s dementia for you.

ElaineI Fri 09-Dec-22 22:17:09

My DM is also 87 and registered blind with short term memory loss. She too has refused to come to spend Christmas with the family. She worries about me driving and I think gets overwhelmed with too many people. My DS and his partner are spending Christmas Day with her and have done this before. I provide the meals as they would normally be with us. Giving them to DS this time as last year he had salmon and DM looked at it on Christmas Eve and thought "I'm not eating this" and threw it in the bin!!! She was having turkey. He managed to fish it out the bin 😂 It is hard to accept but at that age it is an upheaval for some people to be out of their homes surrounded by family but not following conversations and with children being excited. Mum also worries about toilet issues and me driving her home while everyone else is still there. Susiwakie she will probably be happier at home. As long as you make sure she has food in and you can call her then enjoy your Christmas.

Gin Fri 09-Dec-22 22:32:25

At that age I am sure her own bed is best and being in company is tiring after an hour or so. If you are far away you cannot just pop in so frequent phone calls will have to do if no one is able to stay with her. My Dad lived very near to me but would only come for Christmas lunch and then was happy to go home and snooze in front of the TV.

V3ra Fri 09-Dec-22 22:34:34

We're having our family Christmas get-together at our house this weekend: ourselves, three adult children, two partners, two grandchildren.
I asked my Dad (91) today if he'd like to join us for the day and was pleasantly surprised when he said yes, he would.

He made a comment recently about us taking him to places where he has to sit in a room with other people and it's quite boring for him.
I don't know where in particular he meant, but thought it might be the "lots of people" in general, conversations he can't follow, noise.
He lives 15 minutes from us and my husband will pick him up and take him home (after the football though!) so travelling isn't an issue.

I think as we get older we just get to a point where we like our home comforts 😊

Sallywally1 Sat 10-Dec-22 07:27:41

My own mother, who has now died, decided around the age of 89 that she could not face Christmas with lots of people, including noisy teenagers at the time and would rather stay at home. We visited for an hour or so in the morning in her very small flat and she was happy with this. I would respect your mothers wishes which she has made clear and go along with them.

Respect your

Calendargirl Sat 10-Dec-22 07:36:37

My elderly mum spent Christmas Day with either me or my sister. By about 6 o’ clock would start to say “Well, it’s been really nice, but whenever you want to take me home (she lived a few minutes drive away), then I’m ready to go and you can ‘get settled’.

What she meant was she had enjoyed it all, but was ready to get back to her own little flat, watch what she wanted on the tv, and ‘get settled’.

Not as old as my mum, but find myself saying to DS when we spend the day with them, after tea, “Well, it’s been lovely but think we will soon head off home” (we can still walk home!)

He says, “You sound like Grandma!”

BlueBelle Sat 10-Dec-22 08:13:40

Honour what your mum has politely told you don’t take it personally she wants to enjoy her day in her own safe, familiar, quiet environment
In my opinion the great grand daughter should not have been brought into the equation to invite your mum That’s unfair for them both as the grandaughter might take it personally

Take the children for a day in the new year or springtime or birthday or something 100 miles isn’t a huge journey especially if there’s two drivers one there one back or get a family railcard
Your mum has been wise and decisive

Cabbie21 Sat 10-Dec-22 10:42:28

I agree. Very sensible.
My MIL used to insist on coming to us for Christmas. She was fine when she was younger and able to travel by train, but eventually she could not cope with that and DH had to drive to fetch her, a five hour journey each way, meaning an over night stay for him each time. On the return he would stay a couple of days to do some jobs for her, so she actually had more hours of his company than the rest of the family did over the holiday period.

Witzend Sat 10-Dec-22 10:52:54

Calendargirl, I still remember my long-gone, very jolly DF saying to my DM after a visit to us, ‘Well, I don’t think we’re going to get anything else to eat or drink, so we might as well bugger off home.’ 😂

TerriT Sat 10-Dec-22 10:59:30

I think that when the writer of this thread is 87 years old and has to leave her home and her own bed for a journey of 200 miles round trip to be in a noisy atmosphere then she will understand exactly how her mum feels. I remember my mother saying things when at the age I am now and thinking what a misery!! Guess what, a misery is writing this post!

Susiewakie Sat 10-Dec-22 11:15:57

Thanks for the advice it seems like I'll have to respect her wishes going this Sunday and Monday. T hen will go again weather permitting 22nd and 23rd stock her up with what she needs and leave her to it .The DGGD wrote the letter as she loves her GGM and wants to see her so will take her at some point in the school holidays .I realise her toilet trips in the night and her ( very) early tv watching she worries will disturb us .