I found out today that my sister-in-law, who does the night-time care routine for my DIL and usually entertains my MIL and DIL at Christmas time, is going to stay with her husband's sister over Christmas this year. That in itself is not an issue - in fact, I would encourage her to have a complete break over Christmas and be pampered for once. What hurts me is the manner in which I found out about this. I received an e-mail from a brother-in-law, inviting me and my husband, AND the MIL and DIL, to his home for Christmas day. A lovely invitation, I am grateful that they have thought about us. Apart from the fact that they live an hour's drive away from MIL and DIL. DIL will need to be got out of bed and put back again at the end of the day. By me. Both MIL and DIL have dementia of varying degrees, and are not good at having their routines disturbed. DIL has incontinence issues which are difficult enough to manage in his own home, never mind someone else's. I'll have to deal with all of this. I'll probably be expected to do all the driving too (so hubby can have a drink or three) AND the caring at both ends of the day. Hm. Some Christmas. It's the throw-away comment at the end of the e-mail that really hurts though. "By the way, D....and N... are spending Christmas with N...'s sister". Now, I speak regularly with my SIL. Why didn't she tell me of her plans herself? I would have understood and supported her. I would have helped to work out some alternative plans, perhaps a respite home. Instead it feels like I've been dumped on. Another SIL who lives close by (who I don't particularly get on with) has pointedly told everyone she is going to her parents for Christmas, so would not be inviting MIL and DIL either. I feel like I'm being punished for something - what? Caring too much?? By way of background, I spend quite a lot of time with MIL and DIL, taking them to appointments, doing their shopping, and bringing them meals at least every other day. I've organised a rota so that their other children bring meals to them on the days I'm not there. I sort out some of their admin for them. I justifiably claim carers' allowance as all of this takes well over 35 hours a week of my time. The SIL who I don't get on with has made pointed comments about my 'over-caring', so I do think she bears a grudge somehow. By the way, I haven't accepted the invitation yet. I told my BIL I would need to think about the logistics. Advice, sympathy, and a shoulder to cry on would be most welcome. Oh, and how do I respond in such a way as to keep my dignity? Any thought most welcome!