My dad passed away when I was almost 6. My mom was pregnant with #5. She did very well for about 5 years for us. She married my step dad (who has since passed) and became a raging alcoholic for the remaining time I lived at home. My younger brother and I knew nothing but the horrendous episodes. She quit drinking for a few years. She started again w/out us knowing. She was living in a city away from all of us and was aging so my husband and I bought her a small apartment and all of my siblings get moved her here. It wasn't long before I found out she was back to being a drunk. Many sickening and sad stories later, we moved her to a nursing home 1 hour away. I live the closest and see her twice a month. My youngest brother can hardly stand her, although he does make an effort. She was at my home for Thanksgiving as was my sister, who helped a lot but lives far away. I don't want her here for Christmas. I want to spend it my immediate family who make me feel appreciated and loved. Should I cave and get her? She is incontinent but won't wear depends, deaf but won't wear the hearing aid we bought her. She has never apologized to my younger brother or myself. Our older siblings have many years of memories and were out of the house before she started drinking. I feel badly that I feel this way. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

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I agree. Go to the NH party. They allow family to eat with them. Have your nice Christmas with family.

I really feel for you.

The question is, what might you regret if you don't invite your mother to your home for Christmas? Answer: that you have "failed" her, and will feel guilt.

Whereas, what might you regret if you DO invite her? And there seems to be a high risk that there will be a terrible mess, a ruined holiday for everybody else in your family, and yet another page in your existing album of heart-breaking memories.

Which are two crappy choices, neither of them of your creation. But if you go for option a, and don't invite her, at least you will have happy faces and a normal family celebration to offset the downside. With option b, everybody's day is ruined.

And popping in briefly to see her (delegate that job, why not?) is a lovely idea.

Enjoy your Christmas with your family. You may very well regret it if you include your mom. Make an environment pleasant and enjoyable for your immediate family. Not doing so may create stressful and unpleasant memories for them.

Have the Christmas you want — and deserve — with immediate family who make you feel appreciated and loved. No second thoughts.

Nothing ruins Christmas like an alcoholic parent. I’ll bet Mom ruined many a Christmas in your past. 

Even if Mom is no longer drinking, the baggage is still there. And her refusal to wear hearing aids and Depends makes her a taxing houseguest. 

The way I see it: two options for Christmas.

1.) One of Mom’s 4 other adult children can save the day. The denial that your older sibs have perfected will come in handy when Mom pees in their car, poops on their couch and doesn’t hear a d*mn word anyone says all blessed day.
2.) Mom spends Christmas at the NH. It’s where she gets the care that she needs. And she won’t be alone! In turn, you can pay her a Christmas visit on the 24th, 25th or 26th. Whichever day works best for YOU — as you create the holiday celebration that you deserve.

Google “F.O.G.”, in the context of Fear, Obligation and Guilt. You will find resources that address the tired dynamic and provide the tools to set boundaries.

You’ll need to work at this....because Mom sure as heck isn’t going to change! It will be difficult at times, but you’re worth it. 🙂

fourth - I am with mincemeat. Enjoy your day with your immediate family with no guilt. Your mum will be fine at the NH. Have some contact with her during the holiday season -what works for you. Personally I would not take her anywhere if she is incontinent and will not wear depends. I would make that a condition for any outing. Goodness!!!

Most nursing homes have a Christmas party a few days before Christmas. They also serve great Christmas dinners. Go see her at her nursing home Christmas party, give her a nice call on the day....and enjoy your day your way on Christmas with your own family. It is ok for you to be happy now. She has lived her life her way...don't let the guilt rule your life. Maybe with 5 of you, you can draw straws for each holiday.

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