For the last 5 years, we've hosted a mother's day brunch at my apartment for my inlaws. This was my idea of a way to contribute something to the family, as MIL hosts all other events. The time is advertised as being 2 hours duration, 10:30 to 12:30. The personnel include:
Me and my husband
My husband's parents
Sometimes, my husband's single brother
My husband's sister, her 2 kids (now ages 4 and
, and her husband who usually can't attend this holiday due to work
Without my 2 BILs that list would comprise a total of 2 children and 5 adults - typically a manageable ratio.
It's become clear over the years that my inlaws have no plan for supervision of children (man-on-man, or take shifts?) and all the family events end up with kids running wild, whether at our home or our inlaws' home(s). This has become unmanageable for me and I feel like it may be a situation where they just "don't get it". Some folks are comfortable with running in the house while others are not. My husband and I are in the latter category - plus we are childless and don't have a childproofed home.
What I would need for this event to continue is not an arbitrary set of rules like no running in the house, but simply a mandate that there is an adult with each child at all times so they don't end up in my office or our bedroom or closets or high-rise balcony. I don't care who is assigned to whom, just that there is a plan. I would leave judgement calls to the adult in charge. My feeling and experience now is that the concept of supervision will not happen in this particular family.
In the past I've tried to enforce a no running rule, but these children don't respond to me and aren't held to this rule in any other home since they mostly just play at their own home or their grandparents'. My husband has also taken the older kid outside to play when needed, but this doesn't solve the overall problem that we don't have a meeting of the minds between us and his other family members regarding supervisory expectations.
There have been other violations of common sense such as shoed feet on furniture, etc., but I'm focusing on the big picture and not a laundry list of behavioral rules. My sister-in-law will turn a blind eye to any such violations or simply deem them unimportant. I didn't object when I saw the kid(s) putting feet on furniture, which is why I call it a common sense issue and not one of my "specific rules". It simply happens and nobody says a word either way.
My question is: should we tell them the truth or should we just attribute the brunch cancellation to some MacGuffin such as a change in my health, a change in my work schedule, etc.?? (Invites this year haven't gone out yet, so by cancellation I mean the tradition being discontinued.)
I'm planning to ask my husband if he thinks there is any room for tactful negotiation with his family, and depending on the responses here, how to handle whichever decision we make. Thanks for reading!