Mom takes the Merry out of Christmas....

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2003
Mom takes the Merry out of Christmas....
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 11:15am
Hopefully, I'm not the only person who's ever experienced this and someone here can give me some good advice.

How can you deal with a mother who is determined to be miserable every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Every year, no matter how good things are for the family, she's moaning and groaning. She's on medication for depression and it works fine until the holidays. Then all of a sudden she's the most miserable person on the planet. After the holidays she's fine. All of the family is living and healthy. We're are all financially comfortable. She's married to a man she loves, who worships her. She has grandkids that are healthy and happy. All the family gets together at the holidays. Everyone pitches in so she's not doing it all herself (cooking, decorating, shopping, etc). There is absolutely no reason for her to feel so down, but she always does from the day prior to Thanksgiving right on till Jan. 2. Her Psychiatrist suggested that it may be a way for her to get attention when the family is all gathered together at one time. He hasn't been any help at all in figuring out how to stop it. He simply suggests humoring her and suffering through it, since it doesn't last long. UGH!

This morning I called to ask her if she needed any help or anything picked up from the store since I live nearby. She just moaned about the rain we're having and how it might snow on Christmas Eve as if it were the end of the world. I told her that my 2 year old daughter (her youngest grandbaby) woke up singing jingle bells this morning and how happy that made me. She just sighed and said, "Well, babies don't have any worries. If they did, they'd never make it to adulthood." I wanted to scream when she said that!

A few days ago my 9 year old told me he didn't want to stop by his grandma's with me because she's so sad that she makes him feel sad too. I didn't know what to say to that because I am beginning to feel the same way. My mom has been like this as long as I can remember, but it is just now starting to wear on me. Maybe its because of the way it affects my kids.

Anyway, if any of you have advice on how I can make it through the next few weeks with my "holiday spirit" intact I would really appreciate it.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 4:36pm
My grandma, bless her soul, was like that. It got to a point that I was trying to counter all her arguments. She was unhappy with where she lived, I tried to find her a new place...but she never wanted to look at them. All she really wanted to do was to complain. It seemed that complaining made her happy.

It ended with me telling her that if she will not do any of my suggestions, then she had no right to complain. I hope that helps a little.

I am concerned about what your son said. I might just tell her if I were you what he said. Explain that you understand that she had "problems" during the holidays but that you don't want your son to remember his grandma as sad. Tell her that if she cannot hold her complaining until your son was out of the house, that you will not be able to visit her.

In my opinion, a child is more important than any other family member. As a parent, it is your responsibilty to make sure that your child is taken care of before anyone else. I would rather not see my mom then have my son remember this.

Ejkdmom Come visit my store:
Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 4:56pm

Happy holidays to You!!

I suggest surrounding yourself with happy people during this holiday.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 6:09pm
There's really not much we can do. They're just born moaners and whiners. Mom's like that and she's 86. Her mom's like that. I'm beginning to be like that. I'm not even on medications. Just plug up the ears and ignore her. It's not attention she needs. She's born with it. Glad she's OK after the holidays. So, there's not much more time left, it'll be over soon!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 11:24pm

Boy, do I agree with the other posters. To keep your holiday spirit intact, then keep that spirit separated from your mom's draining attitude. Surround yourself, as much as you can, with happy people, music, family events, and doing what you enjoy to make the holidays fun. I also agree with telling Mom the truth: that her constant sadness, when there is NO good reason to be sad, is making it difficult to spend time with her and even more difficult for the children.

I'd even go so far as to


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2003
Wed, 12-24-2003 - 3:47pm
I'm just wondering if she doesn't have seasonal depression. People tend to get depress alittle more durning the holidays, I know I do--it's due to the lack of sunlight. Might be something to have her Dr check into.