Author Topic: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner  (Read 3541 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2360
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 09:33:42 AM »
I've got to the point where I refuse to have anything to do with planning visits with the ILs.  I busted a gut the last few years to organise us getting to see them and after the last visit I turned to DH and told him "I am done with this, you're responsible for your family from now on".  We probably wouldn't see my parents as often as we do if they didn't invite us over.

JaneJensen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 171
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 11:58:24 AM »
  There is PLENTY a family can do. Coming from the position of daughter-in-law I can say that the best thing families can do is be flexible and agreeable.  Whether the child or the in-law is the organizer and planner in the relationship is besides the point. I agree it's nice to CC both parties on the e-mail or put both names on the invite, but as a general rule parents should contact their own kids. but whoever is contacted shouldn't feel as if they are being summoned.

Agreeable : We're having Christmas dinner on Saturday at 2pm. We hope you can be there!
Reply:         I'm sorry we can't we're going to be .....working, at church, vegging out on our couch, ect.
Agreeable:  We're sorry to hear that. I hope we can get together some other time that week. Maybe for lunch. Let us know okay?

NOT agreeable:    Christmas dinner is at 2pm on Saturday.
Reply:                I'm sorry we can't we're going to be ( working, at church, vegging out on our couch, ect.)
NOT agreeable:  You aren't coming for CHRISTMAS? HOW COULD YOU? - long diatribe complete with guilt trip and hard feelings

  The thing that most families don't understand is Christmas is a SEASON. You can get together any time during the month. It doesn't have to be EXACTLY on the day for it to be special. Yes it would be nice for everyone to be together on the same day and time, but in reality, it's just not possible without a lot of hard feelings and stress.  If you want to see that person bad enough around the holidays, you ask nicely and be flexible and harmonious. - and then grateful they can come sometime, even if it's not the exact time. Families who don't do this, are going to be very lonely in future holidays because no one wants to be TOLD to come.

Reasonable notice is key as well. It's annoying as heck to hear from the inlaws in July trying to pin us down for Thanksgiving. Yes I realize some folks may need to save for plane tickets but we live down the road! In their case, they are just trying to "get us first" before the other inlaws can invite us. 

POD to pretty much everything else  other posters have said. The reality is, if the child wanted to see the parent bad enough around the holidays they would make it happen. People who WANT to spend time with their families don't ignore phone calls and forget invites.   If that's happening to parents..well that might be a hint right there something else is going on rather than flakiness. There's usually a good reason adult kids don't come around.

Tea Drinker

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1308
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 12:46:31 PM »
Sometimes it's not, or not just, the son or daughter who is a bad planner. It might be the parents.

My husband is a stay-at-home type. So are his parents. Also, I'm not prepared to play social secretary there--if a friend or relative calls, I will pass information along or hand him the phone. If someone invites us both, I will talk to him and then get back to them with a yes, no, or sometimes "I'd love to but he's not available" (if he's interested and I'm not, he'll be the one to reply). But it's not my job to pick up the phone and call his parents.

Meanwhile, my mother and I are both more willing to travel. The result of this is that we see his parents, who live in the same state as we do, less often than we see my mother, who lives on the other side of the Atlantic. Most often, that's while my mother is visiting our home city.

Fortunately, nobody seems upset about this; but if his parents did call me and say "Hey, we never see you" I would have my husband call them back.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10812
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 01:05:37 PM »
I think the old saying of "A daughter's a daughter all your life, a son's a son until he finds him a wife" is true in a lot of cases.  As the other half of a non-planner (who comes from a non-planning family) it gets exhausting always being the one who is aware that certain things are coming up and having to think about them.  I strongly believe that if parents feel they aren't seeing their child enough they need to reach out and not sit at home grumbling.

I know of a couple where the guy would try to make plans with us but then come a day or two before it was "Oh we can't come, we had something planned already".  Made me think "Why didn't you just check with the wife BEFORE you suggested we get together?" But since the wife didn't like talking on the phone, when I'd call to set up plans, he'd be the one calling me. 

DH and I are both planners, but we're not always perfect at merging our schedules.  Thankfully when MIL calls him to make plans she also calls me. Especially if it's a day she's coming up to see me while he's working, as sometimes he forgets to tell me.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 01:19:06 PM »
I was thinking and I think another thing parents can do to facilitate visits is to make an effort to 'speak the same language' as their adult kids, as it were.

When I first moved out my dad thought I didn't call enough. He still laments I don't check Flickr enough. But those are things I just don't do, with anyone. Once my dad started texting & emailing, BOOM communication between us increased dramaticly. And that's why he's on Flickr - because my brother is very active on Flickr posting hundreds of photos a week, and responds to comments and messages on Flickr. By taking the initative to master email, get a text plan (he has an iPhone anyway, so not a big burden), getting on Facebook, getting on Flickr, my dad really made staying in contact easy and pleasurable, plus it opens up more topics of conversation when we get together.

DF's dad - who works fo IBM so not unable to master technology - doesn't text, or use Facebook, or even email much. He's a great guy... but the reality is contact with him is less, because his modes of communication are limited to the phone, snail mail and in-person (which is tough as he lives out of state). 

mj

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 571
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2012, 02:37:29 PM »
Sometimes it's not, or not just, the son or daughter who is a bad planner. It might be the parents

Good point.  We usually can't make it to get togethers that MIL has deemed must attend.  Why?  Because we were told last minute.  Despite years of telling her that we really need more notice, the pattern of inviting last minute has stayed the same.  Hard feelings and irreparable rifts have occurred because of the guilt trips and inability to accept no for an answer.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10812
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 02:58:52 PM »
My parents are like that at times.  Last year my mother let me know the day beforehand that my brother's girlfriend was having a surprise party for him.  This was by email, and my folks live an hour away from us and it just wasn't a good idea on many levels. Not to mention it didn't give us much time to get him anything.

And it used to be for a few years after my grandparents passed, no one could decide where Thanksgiving would be until a week beforehand.  So if you had a job that was open Black Friday and they expected you to be there, you really couldn't give any kind of decent advance notice if you wanted the day off, and by the time you found out where the fam was doing Thanksgiving, it was too late. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

rigs32

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 505
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 04:15:34 PM »
Occasionally, we have a 'command performance' - as in, 'you must attend' - the in-laws 60th anniversary party comes to mind.  I am upfront with my son about which events are 'required', and which are not.

But even with mandatory events, you need to make sure that all attendees CAN attend.  My dad planned a family getaway for late January when I was working at a college.  The trip was during the week the students returned for spring semester.  That's a time I could not take vacation.  Heck, I had a tough time arranging to attend my ex-DH's grandfather's funeral during that time. 

My SO's family reunion was scheduled for the same weekend we go out of town.  We plan a year in advance for this weekend.  It is set in stone.  We were not commanded to be there, but I know some were a bit miffed we wouldn't skip it.  Sorry, but if you plan without consulting everyone, it's the risk you take.

JaneJensen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 171
Re: s/o Inviting the Live-In Girlfriend - When Your Son/Daughter Is a Bad Planner
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2012, 05:37:42 PM »
I was thinking and I think another thing parents can do to facilitate visits is to make an effort to 'speak the same language' as their adult kids, as it were.

When I first moved out my dad thought I didn't call enough. He still laments I don't check Flickr enough. But those are things I just don't do, with anyone. Once my dad started texting & emailing, BOOM communication between us increased dramaticly. And that's why he's on Flickr - because my brother is very active on Flickr posting hundreds of photos a week, and responds to comments and messages on Flickr. By taking the initative to master email, get a text plan (he has an iPhone anyway, so not a big burden), getting on Facebook, getting on Flickr, my dad really made staying in contact easy and pleasurable, plus it opens up more topics of conversation when we get together.

DF's dad - who works fo IBM so not unable to master technology - doesn't text, or use Facebook, or even email much. He's a great guy... but the reality is contact with him is less, because his modes of communication are limited to the phone, snail mail and in-person (which is tough as he lives out of state).

This is a really excellent point!!!  DMIL whines and complains and laments that no one ever calls her and she never gets news or pictures like the rest of the family and feels left out. Well, that's because you don't have a computer, e-mail or a cell phone lady.  The entire family has offered to BUY her a computer with e-mail and pay for internet as well as buy her a phone and add her to family cell plans and she refuses. Several people all the way down to a 12 year old great granddaughter offered to show GMIL how to use a computer. She refused.

I don't particularly care for facebook, twitter drives me bonkers and Instagram is annoying, but I use all three because where my family communicates. Yes I suppose we could all call and send snail mail GMIL but I think majority rules. If every family member but one is on Facebook making plans, you better get on there, or be left out.