Author Topic: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10  (Read 13041 times)

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Lady Snowdon

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Some BG: DH and I had originally volunteered to host a family Christmas dinner on Dec. 15th, since we were going to be out of state on Christmas Day itself.  Around Thanskgiving, our niece unexpectedly had to go to the hospital with a bone infection, and was projected to be there for six weeks, or until January 6th. 

We rescheduled the family Christmas day to be January 13th, although one of my sisters in law kept saying we should reserve January 20th as well, "just in case".  DH and I will still be hosting it, and I thought everything was set.

Found out this week that our niece only needed four weeks of treatment, and so was discharged last Friday.  This is wonderful news!  She gets to spend her first Christmas at home with her parents and big sister!  Everybody was pretty excited about that, especially since we were told from the beginning it was always going to be six weeks.

Anyway, I got an email from my other sister in law yesterday, asking if we could move the family Christmas date again, to January 6th.  So now we've agreed on the 13th, but one sister in law wants to "save" January 20th, and another wants to move everything to January 6th.  ::)  I know my social life is a bit dead, but I can't really reserve the entire month of January weekends!  DH and I both have friends who would like to see us in January, and we've already told them any weekend except the 13-14th will work.  In addition, DH might have to go in and do inventory at his work on the 6th.  He's not totally sure though; it could be the weekend before instead.  And, well, I'd like to have a bit more time to clean our house!

Flat out saying "I'm sorry, we can't switch the dates, we have other plans" will unleash a storm of guilt trippiness, from both sisters in law, plus my mother in law.  Guilt trips are surprisingly effective on me, so I'd like to avoid that.  Telling them that DH may have to work that day will be met with "oh, that's okay, we can come over later in the day for dinner then!".  What are some nice, polite ways to say "No, we're having this on the 13th, like we already planned!". 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 08:01:57 AM by Lady Snowdon »

Venus193

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 07:59:02 AM »
Your house, your event, your budget, your schedule, your rules. 

"Since the first date change we have made other plans for the other weekends.  We cannot make further changes as they impact on other people.  It will be on the 13th."

Then refuse to listen to any guilt-inducing reactions.  Bean dip.

peaches

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 08:14:17 AM »
Flat out saying "I'm sorry, we can't switch the dates, we have other plans" will unleash a storm of guilt trippiness, from both sisters in law, plus my mother in law.  Guilt trips are surprisingly effective on me, so I'd like to avoid that.  Telling them that DH may have to work that day will be met with "oh, that's okay, we can come over later in the day for dinner then!".  What are some nice, polite ways to say "No, we're having this on the 13th, like we already planned!".

You've already suggested the polite way to express this: "I'm so sorry, we can't switch the dates, as we have other plans. We hope to see you on the 13th. But if you can't make it, we'll understand."

Don't go into detail about the "other plans". That's where people get into trouble; it only leads to endless negotiation.

When someone is kind and generous enough to host a party, it's up to the guests to fit into the host's plans or politely decine the invite. This goes for families, too.

Deetee

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 09:57:39 AM »
Sorry, we are busy on the other weekends. If someone else wants to host we might be able to come by but no promises.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Jan 13th and are so happy to hear that niece is out of hospital.

Edit: I meant to write the 13th there not the 20th. Sorry about that.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 10:45:38 AM by Deetee »

buvezdevin

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 10:16:09 AM »
Sorry, we are busy on the other weekends. If someone else wants to host we might be able to come by but no promises.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Jan 20th and are so happy to hear that niece is out of hospital.

The bolded is perfect for underscoring that this is an effort you are graciously extending to your family *as well as* a date commitment.  So, it is not only worth stating, but may help limit guilt trips if combined with "so, on (whatever date someone pushes) are you going to host?"
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JenJay

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 10:41:06 AM »
What ^ they said. A combo of "So sorry, we've made plans with friends on the other weekends" and "If someone else wants to take over and have it another time we'll do our best to be there."

Emmy

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 07:06:21 AM »
I would just say that you had planned on the 13th for quite a while and you and DH have plans the other weekends so it won't be possible.  I think people don't always think about other people's schedules when making such requests.  Moving it up would not only change your weekend plans, but others may have already planned their schedule around the family dinner on the 13th.

Winterlight

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 08:52:12 AM »
I think DH should deal with them!
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MrTango

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 10:33:34 AM »
I'd just tell them that you'll be hosting on the 13th and if they can't make it, you'll miss them.

If they try to send guilt-trip emails, just hit the delete button as soon as you realize that's their intent.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 08:45:41 PM »
This is a perfect time to practice "I'm sorry, but that won't be possible."

Isn't this the kid that your family wanted to cancel all of the holidays for?

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 08:01:43 AM »
Update:

So no more has been heard regarding changing the date.  DH and I had tentatively began to plan what we were going to serve, and how much time we'd need to put into cleaning up, did we have enough chairs, etc.  Then I got an email last night.  Sister in law "doesn't feel comfortable" bringing her child anywhere for the month of January, so it should be at her house.  But - we can still bring food over, and cook it at their house, and still host everything!   >:( 

I understand that she might be a little anxious about bringing the baby somewhere crowded or with a bunch of potentially sick adults around, or whatever, but this was going to be a gathering of eight people tops (and that's including their family)!  Still, it's a valid reason to bring up, and if she wants to have it at their house, fine, go ahead.  I am NOT, however, going to bust my butt preparing and serving dinner at their house.  If they want to host, they can host.  I won't do part of it for them. 

I emailed her back, and said, sure, we can move it to your house if you want to host, DH and I can bring a side or salad if necessary.  She wrote me back and told me that was fine, she had just offered to let us host because she "felt bad" about moving it to their house.  So apparently letting us "host" the party at their house was supposed to be some sort of sop thrown to us to make up for yanking this away from us.  Instead, it feels like a slap in the face.  Sort of a "your home isn't good enough to set foot in, but we want you to cook for us because we like your food". 

It's a good thing this is still two weeks away.  Maybe by then I'll have conquered the impulse to confront her and ask why our house isn't good enough for her children...

Kaypeep

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 08:12:54 AM »
Lady Snowden, I'm sorry you're upset but I have to say that I think you're letting your frustration with all the recent plan changes color the situation.  The baby was in the hospital for quite a while with a bone infection.  I don't know where you live but I think it's very reasonable for the parents to not want to travel outdoors with her in January and just stay inside.  I don't see this as some kind of "your home isn't good enough" statement at all.  I see it as a very overprotective parent situation.  I think it was a bit inconsiderate to assume you and your DH would simply supply all the food and cart it over there, especially since they have been jerking you around with suggesting various date changes already.  But I think with a sick baby in the hospital and another little one at home, their train of thought and priorities lie elsewhere right now.  I feel for you with all this nonsense, but I think I would give them a pass on this one and not take it so personally.

JenJay

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 10:44:09 AM »
If germs are still a big risk to the baby she should just cancel and let everyone else continue as planned. If this is important to you I think you should call her back and say "SIL I've already purchased some of the food and begun preparing the house. I was really looking forward to throwing this dinner and I'm going to go ahead. I can assure you my home is clean and there will be no risk to the baby, but DH and I will understand if you still don't want to come. Discuss it with BIL and let us know."

Imagine if someone posted "My SIL has planned a family dinner for my husband's side. My child has been in the hospital recently and I'm concerned about taking her out of the house so soon. I asked SIL to postpone the dinner but she said that wasn't possible. Is it okay if I insist everyone come to my house instead?" I think the consensus would be "No, you can't do that. You need to let your SIL know that your family won't be able to make it, due to the baby's recent illness. If it bothers you to miss out on the family dinner you can offer to host another one when it's safer for your child to have everyone around."

Surianne

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2012, 11:53:57 AM »
Lady Snowden, I'm sorry you're upset but I have to say that I think you're letting your frustration with all the recent plan changes color the situation.  The baby was in the hospital for quite a while with a bone infection.  I don't know where you live but I think it's very reasonable for the parents to not want to travel outdoors with her in January and just stay inside.  I don't see this as some kind of "your home isn't good enough" statement at all.  I see it as a very overprotective parent situation.  I think it was a bit inconsiderate to assume you and your DH would simply supply all the food and cart it over there, especially since they have been jerking you around with suggesting various date changes already.  But I think with a sick baby in the hospital and another little one at home, their train of thought and priorities lie elsewhere right now.  I feel for you with all this nonsense, but I think I would give them a pass on this one and not take it so personally.

I agree.  The baby was very ill, and she's scared of taking her outside.  She still wants to get together with you and the family, so suggesting that it be moved to her place seems reasonable. 

I can also see how she might think you were excited about cooking and had dishes planned, so you might enjoy the cooking as much at her place as you would have at yours.  That makes more sense to me than jumping straight to the conclusion of her trying to take advantage of you. 

I don't see any deliberate slap in the face or insult here.  It sounds like a frustrating situation, but I'd try to cut her some slack here and believe her about her motivations. 

peaches

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2012, 01:39:54 PM »
The thing that I noticed is that SIL's story has changed. At first, she wanted to control the date, and now she wants to control the location. I can see why OP is frustrated. Entertaining is a lot of work, and it's even harder when the target keeps changing.

While I'm sympathetic with SIL wanting to protect her child who was recently ill, I don't see how moving the party to her house helps a lot. There will still be people coming in, carrying whatever germs and viruses are going around. If I were that concerned, I'd just say "we can't participate this year".

Anyway, OP has handled it well. If SIL wants to host, she can host, with all that that entails.