Author Topic: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10  (Read 13966 times)

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penelope2017

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2012, 07:02:50 PM »
I can see why it seems like you are giving her a lot of slack but quite frankly she has had a lot of extenuating circumstances. Death and severe illness of children are extremely difficult on there own let alone piled into a few years together. Being asked to reschedule or relocate a holiday dinner might be irritating but I seriously doubt she is using these tough experiences as an excuse to control anyone. In fact I am sure she, more than you, wishes the last few years had gone differently for everyone and that no one had a reason to accommodate her.

snowdragon

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2012, 07:57:05 PM »
Personally, If I had any worry about taking anything into that household I would be declining, myself. ButI think folks here are being overly harsh to the OP, too.

Winterlight

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2012, 08:58:45 PM »
Holy Guacamole!  This poor woman has a baby die at 4 days old and then another one in the hospital for weeks as a newborn (all within 2 years) and anyone is criticizing her for being too protective/controlling? OP she may truly be a horrible controlling  difficult person in normal circumstances, but you have to give her a lot of slack in these circumstances.  Next year when she has a healthy little one toddling around feel free to shut her down, 

In the present circumstances you need to let her host and just bring whatever you want (if anything).  If you balk you will just look like an unfeeling unkind person.

I don't think there's any need to shout that.  Yes, I know that her first child died at 4 days old (3 years ago to be precise), and she was given a LOT of slack for that holiday season, and the next one (when she had a newborn and we all hoped that every day nothing would happen).  Then we had to give her slack last year, when her daughter was a year old, because it's hard for parents of young ones to get around and do things.  Now I need to cut her some slack this year.  Can you see where I'm getting to the point where it's hard to keep doing that?

I can see how this would feel like "here we go again" after a while, even if it isn't stuff she could control. It could still feel like she's running your schedule.

I think your response was fine, and I'd leave it at that. Bring a dish if you're asked, otherwise, let it go.

I'd also make alternate plans for next Christmas. In the Seychelles. *g*
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Poppea

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2012, 10:24:13 PM »
Holy Guacamole!  This poor woman has a baby die at 4 days old and then another one in the hospital for weeks as a newborn (all within 2 years) and anyone is criticizing her for being too protective/controlling? OP she may truly be a horrible controlling  difficult person in normal circumstances, but you have to give her a lot of slack in these circumstances.  Next year when she has a healthy little one toddling around feel free to shut her down, 

In the present circumstances you need to let her host and just bring whatever you want (if anything).  If you balk you will just look like an unfeeling unkind person.

I don't think there's any need to shout that.  Yes, I know that her first child died at 4 days old (3 years ago to be precise), and she was given a LOT of slack for that holiday season, and the next one (when she had a newborn and we all hoped that every day nothing would happen).  Then we had to give her slack last year, when her daughter was a year old, because it's hard for parents of young ones to get around and do things.  Now I need to cut her some slack this year.  Can you see where I'm getting to the point where it's hard to keep doing that?

Also, I said in my update that I emailed her back and told her if she'd like to host she certainly can.  I have not told her she can't host, I have not told her that she's ridiculous, nothing like that.  My email said I could understand her reservations, and if she wanted to host, she was welcome to do so.
1.  Bolding is not shouting.  All caps is shouting.

2.  I'm sure you're tired of giving her slack, but the truth is that she's been in a hormonal and emotional maelstrom for the past 3 years. 
Christmas 2009 - Dead baby
Christmas 2010 - Brand new baby - worried it too may die
Christmas 2011 - Toddler and anniversary of baby's death
Christmas 2012- Toddler and new baby hospitalized for 4 weeks.

This isn't even Christmas.  You and your partner spent Christmas exactly how you wanted.  This is a post holiday get together for you DH's family.  The sick baby is the main focus for the majority of this family (6/8 members).

3.  I wasn't reacting to your email so much as some of the other poster's comments about yoor SIL.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 12:13:56 AM by Anthera »

CuriousParty

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2012, 11:24:59 PM »
So here's my question - who is the driving force behind the get together?

I ask because, Lady Snowden, in the "hill to die on" thread you mentioned that your mother in law originally wanted to "cancel Christmas" because the baby was sick, and you objected to that - understandable, but I'm wondering if this date switching/location switching stems in part from a misunderstanding.

Is it possible that the family with the sick baby is in the "To heck with Christmas this year" mindset, and said that, but then the MIL or other SIL objected "Lady/Lord Snowden would be so upset if we didn't do Christmas" and this is the resulting, misguided attempt at a compromise?

I have sympathy for you, as I have difficult in-laws and it sounds like there's backstory.  However, I also have sympathy for your sister-in-law.  I was hesitant to bring my babies to largish gatherings before they had their vaccinations around two months old (which I think this baby is) and there wasn't the issue of a staph infection in the bone to further compromise their immune system, or an anniversary of a loss, or a recent hospitalization.  Add into that the normal new-mom stuff and adjusting a toddler to a new sibling..I'd be cancelling/going WAY low key for Christmas.  Heck, I might not be getting out of bed.

I hope it all works out better than it seems.

kudeebee

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2012, 11:48:13 PM »
OP, I can understand why you're feeling rather annoyed at yet another 'give SIL some slack!' season.  Unfortunately, even if she has a history of being controlling and manipulative, there's no way you can say anything due to the circumstances.  I think your email back to her was fine.  I hope the dinner goes well.

I am surprised that your SIL would rather have the hassle of preparing dinner for all those people though.  With two very young children to look after, especially one who's so very delicate at the moment, I would have thought hosting a dinner party would be too much hassle.  Maybe your BIL will be doing the cooking or they'll buy a catered meal.

Re the bolded, SIL was not planning to host the event, she was only going to supply the house.  She expected OP and her dh to bring in all the food and prepare it at SIL's house.  I'm sure SIL would expect them to clean up as well, but leave her the leftovers.

OP--let her host and just bring a side/salad--something easy to do.  If she changes the date and it doesn't work for you, reply back that "we are so sorry we won't be able to attend, but we have made other plans for that date that can't be changed."

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2012, 08:12:18 AM »
Re the bolded, SIL was not planning to host the event, she was only going to supply the house.  She expected OP and her dh to bring in all the food and prepare it at SIL's house.  I'm sure SIL would expect them to clean up as well, but leave her the leftovers.

Yeah, I know.  That was my suspicion too. :)

But now that the OP has declined that opportunity, I'm sure SIL or BIL will be happy to prepare a hosted dinner for 8, as that's what they want.  Right?

penelope2017

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2012, 10:38:23 AM »
Re the bolded, SIL was not planning to host the event, she was only going to supply the house.  She expected OP and her dh to bring in all the food and prepare it at SIL's house.  I'm sure SIL would expect them to clean up as well, but leave her the leftovers.

Yeah, I know.  That was my suspicion too. :)


But now that the OP has declined that opportunity, I'm sure SIL or BIL will be happy to prepare a hosted dinner for 8, as that's what they want.  Right?

Where are you guys getting this impression? I haven't seen any entitlement from this SIL other than being overprotective of the child. And when the OP said she'd rather not cook, the SIL said she had offered that initially as a courtesy because she knew the OP had been preparing the event and didn't want to take that aspect away from her. I thought that was actually considerate of the SIL rather than demanding.

I know when I plan an event I plan the menu out and part of the enjoyment is the food plan and preparation, so my impression was the SIL wanted to still allow the OP that enjoyment at first but was fine with taking over once the OP opted not to do it.

I am not understanding all the negative attributes to this SIL given the events she's gone through over the last few years as put into clearest terms by Anthera. She's been accused of using the death and illness of her babies and children as an excuse to go on a power trip? She's been accused of now additionally plotting to have the OP make dinner, predicted to not only demand the OP and her DH clean up but also steal the leftovers?

Once again, I understand the OP's frustration but the additional character slams are mind-boggling to me. I can't imagine a parent dealing with what this SIL has had to go through and still is going through having the time or desire to come up with all these Dr. Evil schemes and plots for a free holiday dinner or leftovers. Wouldn't it be easier and less aggravating for her to call and order a pizza?

It is very possible the SIL is self-centered right now and focused on her child and that can be frustrating for others — I totally understand that on the OP's part. I totally understand it seems like its been going on for years, but as Anthera pointed out, so have her traumatic experiences with her children. I think there also needs to be some level of understanding for her as well. I don't think considerations for extenuating circumstances mean anyone else is less important.


Venus193

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2012, 11:16:56 AM »
I can't speak for the OP, but many people aren't comfortable "hosting" in someone else's home.  The kitchen isn't familiar, the stove may not behave the same way, there may not be the same utensils or appliances available.

Or the "hosts" have to bring their own cooking equipment as well as the food?  This came to the point of it being an imposition because they will also need to clean it all up to take it back home.

As to the rest, I'm waiting for 2013's story.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2012, 11:49:47 AM »
So here's my question - who is the driving force behind the get together?

I ask because, Lady Snowden, in the "hill to die on" thread you mentioned that your mother in law originally wanted to "cancel Christmas" because the baby was sick, and you objected to that - understandable, but I'm wondering if this date switching/location switching stems in part from a misunderstanding.

Is it possible that the family with the sick baby is in the "To heck with Christmas this year" mindset, and said that, but then the MIL or other SIL objected "Lady/Lord Snowden would be so upset if we didn't do Christmas" and this is the resulting, misguided attempt at a compromise?

I have sympathy for you, as I have difficult in-laws and it sounds like there's backstory.  However, I also have sympathy for your sister-in-law.  I was hesitant to bring my babies to largish gatherings before they had their vaccinations around two months old (which I think this baby is) and there wasn't the issue of a staph infection in the bone to further compromise their immune system, or an anniversary of a loss, or a recent hospitalization.  Add into that the normal new-mom stuff and adjusting a toddler to a new sibling..I'd be cancelling/going WAY low key for Christmas.  Heck, I might not be getting out of bed.

I hope it all works out better than it seems.

I hope it works out better than I'm thinking too!  I had actually never said anything to anyone besides my DH of Christmas being "my hill to die on".  Apparently everyone in the family got completely different messages from what MIL was saying - one sister in law thought we were just going to do everything low key, DH thought she wanted to cancel everything, and an aunt thought we were doing everything just like normal!  So I don't think there'd be "oh Lord and Lady Snowdon will be upset if we cancel" thoughts going on; in the normal scheme of things, my MIL is more than happy to cancel plans on us, if she thinks someone else can't make it.  It's happened multiple times before. 

In semi related news, I actually found out that everyone spent Christmas Day with sister in law at their house anyway.  It almost makes me feel a little better about this whole get-together...it wouldn't have been hosting a late Christmas, it's just having all of us over for dinner and to do a late gift exchange between a few of us. 

Phoebe

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2012, 01:48:50 PM »
Re the bolded, SIL was not planning to host the event, she was only going to supply the house.  She expected OP and her dh to bring in all the food and prepare it at SIL's house.  I'm sure SIL would expect them to clean up as well, but leave her the leftovers.

Yeah, I know.  That was my suspicion too. :)


But now that the OP has declined that opportunity, I'm sure SIL or BIL will be happy to prepare a hosted dinner for 8, as that's what they want.  Right?

Where are you guys getting this impression? I haven't seen any entitlement from this SIL other than being overprotective of the child. And when the OP said she'd rather not cook, the SIL said she had offered that initially as a courtesy because she knew the OP had been preparing the event and didn't want to take that aspect away from her. I thought that was actually considerate of the SIL rather than demanding.

I know when I plan an event I plan the menu out and part of the enjoyment is the food plan and preparation, so my impression was the SIL wanted to still allow the OP that enjoyment at first but was fine with taking over once the OP opted not to do it.

I am not understanding all the negative attributes to this SIL given the events she's gone through over the last few years as put into clearest terms by Anthera. She's been accused of using the death and illness of her babies and children as an excuse to go on a power trip? She's been accused of now additionally plotting to have the OP make dinner, predicted to not only demand the OP and her DH clean up but also steal the leftovers?

Once again, I understand the OP's frustration but the additional character slams are mind-boggling to me. I can't imagine a parent dealing with what this SIL has had to go through and still is going through having the time or desire to come up with all these Dr. Evil schemes and plots for a free holiday dinner or leftovers. Wouldn't it be easier and less aggravating for her to call and order a pizza?

It is very possible the SIL is self-centered right now and focused on her child and that can be frustrating for others — I totally understand that on the OP's part. I totally understand it seems like its been going on for years, but as Anthera pointed out, so have her traumatic experiences with her children. I think there also needs to be some level of understanding for her as well. I don't think considerations for extenuating circumstances mean anyone else is less important.

Everything penelope said.  Considering what the SIL has been through over the last four holiday seasons, some posters here are being very harsh and judgmental.

Lady Snowdon, I hope it all goes smoothly and uneventfully.  And that next Christmas is peaceful for your whole family  :)

miranova

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2012, 03:45:42 PM »
I am not trying to be mean, but the post about getting tired of dealing with your SIL really rubbed me the wrong way.  At most, you have been inconvenienced.  Several years in a row, yes, but that sure beats what she and her husband have gone through.  Honestly, it sounds like you just don't like her and would be annoyed no matter what.  Because if I try to picture someone I adore going through the death of a baby and then another baby critically ill, I'd be doing whatever was easiest for THEM that year, no questions asked.  I don't think you were wrong for making other plans on the other two weekends, as your life shouldn't stop for them, but then again I think I'd personally make allowances for them since the whole point of the get together is to have Christmas WITH them and other family.  It's not like you were planning a random dinner party where they were just a few of the invited guests.  The whole point was to exchange gifts with them so it makes sense to do it on a date where everyone can attend.  I'd definitely cut some slack to a couple who didn't quite know when their baby would be healthy enough to attend.  I'm sure if they had the choice they would choose to have two healthy babies and no reason to inconvenience anyone.

And I could definitely understand her comment about the food.  The fact that she immediately was ok hosting after you declined doesn't scream "I expect you to provide the food!" to me, it says that she was, perhaps awkwardly, trying not to change your plans as much.  Like she knew the change of venue was already inconvenient so she was trying to not make you change your plans for the food as well.  The fact that she is perfectly willing to host means that she knows it's her responsibility at her home and is not trying to push that on you. 

I am either missing a ton of backstory that makes this woman more evil than she appears or I'm just odd, because I don't see anything in this story that would really irritate me (and my husband tells me that I'm easily irritated all the time, lol).  I see a slightly overprotective parent rethinking her initial choice to bring a sick baby out in the cold.  I really can't blame her with the history of a dead baby.  If that's the worst thing she ever does, it's not a big deal.  Go and enjoy their hospitality.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 03:47:39 PM by miranova »

Surianne

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2012, 07:05:14 PM »
I agree completely, Miranova.

cheyne

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2012, 02:30:16 PM »
I don't think the OP has stated that SIL is evil incarnate.  I don't think the OP is mean or evil in thinking that the family has been dancing to SIL's tune for 4 years now.

Yes SIL has had some tough times, but it's kind of like The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  Drama and catastrophe can happen to anyone at anytime and most of us are willing to help in any way to lessen the pain and problems for those involved.  However, it is exhausting to have every celebration, get together or family event hijacked by the same people even when there isn't a current problem.  I think it tends to make the rest of the family less prone to be empathetic when there is a true catastrophe.



« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 02:55:15 PM by cheyne »

miranova

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Re: Let's just reserve the whole month of January, shall we? Update post 10
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2012, 03:01:41 PM »
There isn't a current problem?  Wasn't there a baby in the hospital, in a somewhat critical state until just recently?  Who just got home to recover?  I don't know what your definition of current problem is, but this qualifies for me.