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Yeah, that's pretty much what my MIL told me yesterday. I am hurt, heartbroken really, and angry and I need to vent so you ladies get to listen to it. I've got no one else to talk to about this (because I won't talk to DH's family and my own family..... well, the have issues all of their own) and I don't really have any close friends IRL besides DH and his family.
Every year since I have been out here DH's Grandma M. has said she didn't have the room to host Christmas anymore. Her house is small and we outgrew it when they added the three of us to the family. Since then BIL has married and they have had three more kids, so it's really time to do it somewhere else. MIL has said repeatedly that having that many people in her house would stress her out. She even hosted Thanksgiving last year and said she would never to it again because it was too hectic. A few weeks ago Matt called and told her that if she really didn't want to do it, we could. He also called Grandma and told her that we could host if she preferred. She was thrilled. A few days ago MIL was talking about how great it was for me. She pointed out that I could even incorporate some of my family traditions since I am so far from home. Everyone seemed fine. Fast forward to yesterday.
I cooked more than half of the food. MIL and Grandma (MIL's mom) both brought a few things too, to help with the cooking. It was an awesome spread. We had plenty of room, set up a few folding tables and chairs. Everyone was really enjoying themselves (17 people in all). I even put up baby gates so that my BIL's kids (A 2.5 year old and twin 1.5 year olds) could have free run of three rooms. We had dinner, and after some light cleanup, we did our gift exchange. We started with Grandpa (a minister) reading the Christmas story, and one of the cousins singing Silent Night. After that the entire family sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. I was very careful not to change up much of anything. In fact, we even added some small touches that Grandma's mom did for Christmas when Grandma was growing up.
After the gifts were all opened Grandpa said what a great day it had been and asked that everyone give Matt and I a hand for hosting such a beautiful holiday celebration. Then he said that he and grandma really felt that if we were willing, we should host again next year and every year after. We told them all that we loved doing it and had no problem continuing to do so.
Shortly after everyone started to leave. Once everyone was gone except for us and Matt's parents, MIL said "Well, this was beautiful, but next year we will have it at my house. This feels like the one year we skipped Christmas. Besides, the song is 'To grandmothers house we go'. You aren't a grandmother and the little kids would be more comfortable at my house where they have toys."
I was hurt but was going to let it go. Matt pointed out that the little kids could have had toys here and that the big kids had really enjoyed being able to go upstairs and hang out away from the grown up and little kids. She said something about that everyone should help with the babies, and then Matt made a comment about everyone but the babies' parents did help. Next thing I know MIL is storming out of the house screaming that she isn't going to let two brothers try to drag her in the middle of 'jealous and petty thoughts'.
I followed her outside and told her that no one was jealous, but that she had to realize that Matt and I are both kind of hurt by some of her actions. She has refused on multiple occasions to babysit my kids for even a few hours because she is in pain from fibromyalgia. That would be fine except she watches BIL's three babies (who are ten times more work) six days a week for them.
She then tells me that she can't help it if I am jealous of the babies, and that it's no reason for Matt and I to ruin Christmas. She comes slamming back in the house telling me and Matt that we are acting like spoiled children and that Christmas is officially ruined because of us and that we can NEVER host the family Christmas again. My kids are in tears by this point, I am in tears, she is crying, Matt keeps trying to calm her down. I said repeatedly that everyone needed to stop. At one point she said "I never got to have my say. no one will let me speak." I pointed out that no one else got to say what they wanted either because she stormed out of the house and locked herself in the van." Before all was said and done I said "This is over! WE are not fighting like this. If we have ruined Christmas, as you have said we did, then there really is no reason to stay here, so you need to leave."
Now, while I was typing this up, Grandma has called to tell us again how much she enjoyed yesterday and that she really hopes I will do this again next year. I started crying because I know she doesn't know about the whole fight and I know there is no way MIL will agree to having it here. Matt told Grandma "I guess we'll have to see what happens closer to Christmas."
Ugh! MIL really never wanted to host this thing. She and I have always gotten along really well. I've said over and over that I love my in-laws more than I do my own family, but after some of the things she said yesterday I really want nothing more to do with her. Matt pointed out to her that everyone wants it here again next year, but that if she wants to do it that's fine. He then told her "If you do go against what EVERYONE else wants though, we won't be there." Now I know she is going to blame this on me. I saw a side of her yesterday that I have heard stories about, but never believed. The didn't come to church today either and I know that she will somehow turn that around and blame it on Matt and I as well.
If you made it this far you deserve a cookie or a dollar or something. I know I probably rambled alot and this probably made no sense, but typing it all out did help get a little off my chest.
The distant relative thing could be entirely possible! :shrug:
I don't know. I guess it hurts so much because she has been right there with us through this entire journey. She has seen the pain that we have gone through with each loss. She knows that we aren't jealous. She knows that it hurts us to see people who take their children for granted.
It just sucks that someone who supposedly loves us both would be the one to say something so hurtful. After she left on Christmas day, Matt said that he wasn't going to talk to her for a while. I really figured that Sunday morning at church he would forget all about that. She didn't show up for either service though (and she knew that Matt was preaching on Sunday night, so I know that had to hurt him). She did try to call today. He refused to answer the phone and wouldn't let anyone else answer either. I think that he was just as hurt by her comments as I was, even if he didn't let me realize it at the time.
You're right Donna. I know this whole thing probably sounds petty to some. If she wants to host it, just let her.
IF she really did want to host it, I would have no problem at all with her doing so. We actually tried to talk her into doing it for the past two or three years. She even said several times "When something happens to Grandma and it's my turn to host the holidays one of you girls (my SIL or I) will have to do it. I want nothing to do with it. TOO MUCH STRESS!" Grandma doesn't want to wait until something happens to her though. She wants to be done now. And MIL doesn't really want to host, she just was jealous that someone else did it without being a jumble of nerves (I actually quite enjoyed hosting) and so now she 'wants' to do it so that she can be the center of attention. Not even that....... more so she can play the victim.
She is definitely one of THOSE people. She loves to be a victim.