DEAR DEIDRE: CHRISTMAS is looming and Mum will expect an invite but none of us wants to have her in their home for Christmas dinner.
I am 46 now and throughout my life my mother, now nearly 70, put my dad down. She used to do this behind his back to me, my older sister and my younger brother.
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When Dad died, my mother found a new circle of friends and they have a busy social life together.
She bad-mouths me and my siblings and never invites any of us to her lunch parties, so why should we invite her for Christmas? She could easily invite us to her place, instead.
She hasn’t cooked Christmas dinner for any of us in years.
If we could afford to go away, we would. As it is, my husband and I plan to have a quiet time by ourselves.
The trouble is I don’t know how to tell my mother without causing a row.
DEIDRE SAYS: There are times when it is easiest just to tell someone what you want to do and what your plans are – and then change the subject.
Tell her quietly that you and your husband are planning Christmas by yourselves. Do it soon so she has plenty of time to make her own arrangements.
You don’t have to justify yourself so don’t sound apologetic, just firm. My e-leaflet Standing Up For Yourself will help you be assertive.
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