Author Topic: Update p3, 4, 5 Planning? That's for later  (Read 19458 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 02:33:05 PM »
You've already got a lot of great advice, but I just want to reiterate that you shouldn't give in any time, at all.  If you do it once, they'll expect it each time, and if you don't readily give in, they'll keep badgering you and you'll just wind of feeling worse in the end.

Even with Gradnma's b-day, something you don't want to miss, don't give in.  Call Grandma, apologize that you just found out and can't make it, then arrange to take lunch to her some day.  Hire a translator or see if one of the aunt's can go that day, too.  Do what you have to but don't give in to the last minute requests.

I also like what BeagleMommy has to say.  Let them know why you can't make it.  "Well, you only told us about it six hours before it is to happen.  If we had more advance notice, like two weeks, we could have scheduled it in, but this last minute business doesn't work for us."  You can also say, "How do you expect us to show up when we don't know about it?" for the times they ask, "Where were/are you?"  Make them think about what they're asking of you.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

doodlemor

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 03:24:02 PM »
Several months ago one of the ehell posters came up with a good phrase for your situation......

"When you make plans without us, you have made plans *without* us."

It sounds like you and DH are doing the right thing - it's just going to take awhile for this to stick.  Perhaps the teaching would be reinforced if DH was just a bit politely agitated when he gets those calls, as in "What do you mean that the party is in 3 hours, why didn't you tell us in time that we could plan to come?"

When we were first married my husband's family had the bad habit of switching plans a number of times before the final event.  I finally told DMIL to please not tell me anything until the plans were etched in stone.  That worked for me, if your IL's become switchers.


ClaireC79

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 03:49:29 PM »
Grandma's birthday - you knew it was coming up so if you'd have rung them and asked them what the plans were for grandma's birthday could you have got advance notice that way - a 'not sure, we'll probably do lunch on the day/weekend afterwards' could mean you could put some input into the plans.  You shouldn't have to do it, but it may help

Eden

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 03:53:26 PM »
I may be in the minority here, but this isn't something I'd address preemptively. I would not have a policy (spoken or unspoken) of automatically declining events for which I was given no notice. Instead, as each event came up, I'd go IF I didn't already have an obligation IF I wanted. If I declined and was given the guilt trip, that's when I'd say, "We had other plans. If we'd had more notice, maybe we would not have made those plans." And leave it at that. They may or may not change their habits, but it also doesn't require the work and sacrifice required by you when you lay down a policy or ultimatum.

My husband has one brother who is married and lives across the country from the city where we and my in-laws live. When BIL & SIL come to town, it is usually planned weeks or months in advance. Inevitably my MIL waits until they are already in town to decide she wants us girls to go get our nails done or go to lunch or something. The invitation usually comes my way the day of the proposed event. I repeatedly have had to decline due to other plans. On the plus side, MIL does not seem to be upset that I decline. On the other hand, she still hasn't changed this habit. Oh well.

SoCalVal

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 03:56:34 PM »
I'm a planner, too, while DF doesn't mind at all changing HIS schedule to accommodate last-minute notification.  This is how we've made it work with last-minute notification:

  • If we are available and want to participate, we participate.
  • If we are available and do not want to participate, we decline.
  • If we are not available, whether or not we want to participate, we decline
  • If we are available and only one of us wants to participate, that person participates and the other person does what she wants ("she" because it's almost always me that won't change gears last minute as I prefer to stay home anyway).  Exercising this option helps DF gets his social fix while keeping me from feeling like the OP because of the last-minute notification.  If I don't want to go, I just don't.

DF has, historically, pre-me, changed to accommodate others and since he much prefers socializing to almost anything else, he never minds the last-minute notification.  The only reason he declines now is because I refuse to fall mercy to someone else's whim when the other person can't/won't let us know enough in advance when something is scheduled.  DF will feel remorse if we miss something important (like his cousin's son's baptism) but it can't be helped if we have a previous commitment (I, OTOH, don't worry about it).



Mental Magpie

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 03:58:54 PM »
I may be in the minority here, but this isn't something I'd address preemptively. I would not have a policy (spoken or unspoken) of automatically declining events for which I was given no notice. Instead, as each event came up, I'd go IF I didn't already have an obligation IF I wanted. If I declined and was given the guilt trip, that's when I'd say, "We had other plans. If we'd had more notice, maybe we would not have made those plans." And leave it at that. They may or may not change their habits, but it also doesn't require the work and sacrifice required by you when you lay down a policy or ultimatum.

My husband has one brother who is married and lives across the country from the city where we and my in-laws live. When BIL & SIL come to town, it is usually planned weeks or months in advance. Inevitably my MIL waits until they are already in town to decide she wants us girls to go get our nails done or go to lunch or something. The invitation usually comes my way the day of the proposed event. I repeatedly have had to decline due to other plans. On the plus side, MIL does not seem to be upset that I decline. On the other hand, she still hasn't changed this habit. Oh well.

I thought I implied that, but I see that I did not.  I would go if I could and wanted to, but otherwise, big fat, "NO!", no rearranging schedules, no scrambling, just no.  If I could and wanted to, I would.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

AnnaJ

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 04:17:19 PM »
I noticed something interesting in this thread, that most (all?) of the family being discussed here are in-laws, specifically families of the the husband/SO.  I'm wondering if women just keep in closer touch with their families and are more aware of upcoming family events? 

I know a couple of people here have said their husbands try to be proactive, but I'm curious if anyone else thinks that more women stay plugged in to the family communication center?

Coley

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 04:25:49 PM »
Several months ago one of the ehell posters came up with a good phrase for your situation......

"When you make plans without us, you have made plans *without* us."

It sounds like you and DH are doing the right thing - it's just going to take awhile for this to stick.  Perhaps the teaching would be reinforced if DH was just a bit politely agitated when he gets those calls, as in "What do you mean that the party is in 3 hours, why didn't you tell us in time that we could plan to come?"

When we were first married my husband's family had the bad habit of switching plans a number of times before the final event.  I finally told DMIL to please not tell me anything until the plans were etched in stone.  That worked for me, if your IL's become switchers.

The bolded was an eHellion's wise response to one of my posts about my mother. She makes plans with my brother for holidays and other occasions and doesn't tell me until the event is looming. Then she expects that DH and I can drop everything to accommodate their plans. For far too long I bent myself into a pretzel to accommodate them. All I got out of it was resentfulness.

I first used the bolded line after last Easter when not one but two Easter get-together were planned without input from DH and me. My mother completely ignored that response from me. Enter Thanksgiving with the same scenario: plans made without our input. We declined to attend. It just was not possible.

Christmas arrived. My mother actually emailed me in advance with some tentative plans. I told her what DH and I could manage. A plan was created that worked for all of us. Remarkable!

I agree completely with PPs who say that you may have to miss some of these last-minute events in order to retrain this behavior. My attitude about this is that our lives deserve consideration. If we're not considered in the planning, then the planners assume the risk that we won't be able to attend. I no longer feel guilt when it doesn't work out for us to be there.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 04:33:59 PM »
I noticed something interesting in this thread, that most (all?) of the family being discussed here are in-laws, specifically families of the the husband/SO.  I'm wondering if women just keep in closer touch with their families and are more aware of upcoming family events? 

I know a couple of people here have said their husbands try to be proactive, but I'm curious if anyone else thinks that more women stay plugged in to the family communication center?

I think that is a lot of it.  In my experience sons are more likely to just go along with the plans that the parents make.  I know with my teens, my DD gets engaged in planning family events but my DS says "just tell me where to be an what to wear".  He assumes that his Dad or I are aware of any committments he has with school or activities that would impact our plans and he's not going to spend much brain cells discussing if we should have a family get together for grandmother on Saturday dinner or Sunday brunch.  Where my DD has had an opinion about such matters since she understood the difference between the two.  So as parent's I think we are more likely to engage with our adult daughters about making plans versus our sons because we've been told for so long they don't want to be enaged in the planning. 

With my DH's family, his sister is now cheif organizer and communicator and between the two of us, we can usually get events and holidays scheduled well in advance. 

Winter

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 04:43:35 PM »
I noticed something interesting in this thread, that most (all?) of the family being discussed here are in-laws, specifically families of the the husband/SO.  I'm wondering if women just keep in closer touch with their families and are more aware of upcoming family events? 

I know a couple of people here have said their husbands try to be proactive, but I'm curious if anyone else thinks that more women stay plugged in to the family communication center?

Hmm, I wonder - but I think in my case my parents just have a different attitude towards events and planning. Eg, my parents booked us for lunch 2-3 weeks in advance cause my brother was going to be in town by 1) checking on our general availability 2)Consulting with the brother 3)Calling us back with a confirmed time & location. Madness, I tell you.  ::)

Whereas he has an extremely large family, and events are very last minute, informal, pretty much universally a 5 hour window of come-and-go. (side note - that made it interesting during the wedding events, when all my family was there on time or early for the shower, and my two SIL's came in 1.5 hours late - they just didn't realize for my family 'starts at X-o'clock' means we're actually starting at X o'clock)

mj

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 04:55:38 PM »
I noticed something interesting in this thread, that most (all?) of the family being discussed here are in-laws, specifically families of the the husband/SO.  I'm wondering if women just keep in closer touch with their families and are more aware of upcoming family events? 

I know a couple of people here have said their husbands try to be proactive, but I'm curious if anyone else thinks that more women stay plugged in to the family communication center?

I think there is something to this.  My ILs and DH developed a pretty bad habit of last minute invites to events.  It seems to have stemmed from MIL and SIL making the plans to suit themselves, and then informing others as they saw them.  Before me, it wasn't hard for DH to attend as he didn't have as many commitments.

The problems started when we married and we naturally had more commitments on hand.  Instead of realizing it as a natural course of life, MIL and SIL dug their heels in about the way things had always been and it was their hill to die on.  Despite being unhappy with our attendance rate.

When SIL finally talked to me about her concerns, I did tell her that we do have other obligations and commitments.  She said "Yeah, I guess it's different for us because we do know several weeks in advance." 

That's when the lightbulb clicked for me.  Even though a mother and daughter may be socially closer than a son and mother, or MIL and DIL; it didn't mean that manners and etiquette went out the window.  The closeness in relationships didn't actually matter, manners are important despite who is closer to who.

AnnaJ

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 09:13:00 PM »
I noticed something interesting in this thread, that most (all?) of the family being discussed here are in-laws, specifically families of the the husband/SO.  I'm wondering if women just keep in closer touch with their families and are more aware of upcoming family events? 

I know a couple of people here have said their husbands try to be proactive, but I'm curious if anyone else thinks that more women stay plugged in to the family communication center?

I think there is something to this.  My ILs and DH developed a pretty bad habit of last minute invites to events.  It seems to have stemmed from MIL and SIL making the plans to suit themselves, and then informing others as they saw them.  Before me, it wasn't hard for DH to attend as he didn't have as many commitments.

The problems started when we married and we naturally had more commitments on hand.  Instead of realizing it as a natural course of life, MIL and SIL dug their heels in about the way things had always been and it was their hill to die on.  Despite being unhappy with our attendance rate.

When SIL finally talked to me about her concerns, I did tell her that we do have other obligations and commitments.  She said "Yeah, I guess it's different for us because we do know several weeks in advance." 

That's when the lightbulb clicked for me.  Even though a mother and daughter may be socially closer than a son and mother, or MIL and DIL; it didn't mean that manners and etiquette went out the window.  The closeness in relationships didn't actually matter, manners are important despite who is closer to who.

This is what I was trying to say, mj, thanks for laying it out so well.

And to the OP, I think you may have to pick and choose for now - like the situation with grandmother - but maybe try something like mj said to her SIL.

TootsNYC

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2013, 10:14:43 PM »
I think the only thing that needs to happen is for your DH to stop fuming, even if it's quietly.

There are facts. You have plans, or you don't. You're free, or you're not.


blarg314

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2013, 08:51:50 AM »

I think you have two approaches, which have been mentioned by other posters.

1) You can decline any and all invitations that don't come with sufficient warning, whether or not you have other plans. Be blunt about it - the invite comes for something three hours away, you respond "Oh.  It's too bad you didn't give us more notice - we'd love to come, but we already have plans."  The get the same if they complain about you not showing up after the fact.

or

2) You can detach yourself from their behaviour. Go if you don't have plans and want to, other wise turn it down, saying you already have plans.

I can see the grandmother being the exception - if you don't share a common language with someone, it's hard to arrange a separate birthday meeting with them.
 

TootsNYC

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Re: Planning? That's for later
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 09:57:09 AM »
Also, it's time to go on a campaign w/ cousins and aunts to say, "We don't always get info that is sent to us through the parents--they forget which of us they have or haven't told. So you need to ask us directly, with our own invitation or phone call. Do you have all our contact info? Here's our phone number, our email, are you on Facebook?"

And then if you ever miss an event because word was sent through parents, you proactively call the host and say, "Oh, it's too bad, we can't come, we have other plans already--you should have contacted us directly, because DParents are really bad at passing on the info to us. You just can't count on them. Do you have all our contact info? Here's our phone number, our email, are you Facebook?"

If you guys (esp. your DH) can detach from the chastisement ("where are you? Your mother wants you here" may be a scolding but your DH doesn't have to buy into it. He can decide "Fffft! Sorry, Dad, I'm not going to feel guilty--sorry, we're busy. You didn't speak for our time soon enough." You guys can decide: "They don't have the right--or the power--to scold us for not showing up in this circumstance."

It's very powerful! You can't change them. You can only change how you react to them. So turn the "guilt" off.

I'm wondering if the brothers are just physically around more, and are more tightly tied to their parents, and that's why they know about these things when you don't. And that's why the parents forget that they have to speak sooner with you guys.