Author Topic: Nephew's birthday Update #99  (Read 15524 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2013, 12:47:04 AM »
I think at 3 it doesn't matter, no.  I think at 23 you can look back and notice that aunt/uncle/grandparent never chose family over friends.  And while the birthday party is that specicif weekend, it sounds like they would be there for the weekend of the party, not just the party if they chose to go.  The party would be the biggest organized event of the weekend but they go on other weekends for no party according to OP so it doesn't seem like "just a party" is a reason not to go.

inviteseller, I don't know, I might feel put out, I might not.  OP says she doesn't mind.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2013, 06:40:01 AM »
Here's the thing - you always go with frends that weekend becuase that is when friends need/want you.  But it sounds like you schedule when you see Brother and family based on when you want to see them.  So for friends - their needs and schedule are a driving factor.  For family - your needs and schedule are the driving factor.  And while that isn't exactly "wrong" it could certainly be hurtful.
I don't agree that they are prioritizing their friends need over family.  They are prioritizing their own desires.

The friends are the ones with a lake house that is available to them one specific week a year. The friends can go to the lake house whether OP goes or not.

OP is choosing their long standing opportunity to vacation with friends versus going to a large bday party that takes them 7 hrs to get to.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2013, 08:25:40 AM »
<snip>

The OP said she knows he has a lot going on in his life so she makes the effort to go to him, but he is angry she has something going on in her life.  It is a 2 way street and I would begin to feel a bit put out if I was making the concessions and going to his house because of his busy life, but he won't take into consideration that I might have a life too .

I totally POD what inviteseller wrote. There was something about what the OP described that bothered me but I couldn't put my finger on it. Another poster pointed out that being the one to always being expected to make the drive and doing traveling, but when the visitee is invited to something at the traveller's house, the drive is sooo long. Yeah, the no reciprocity would get old.

If the brother really truly wants his sister to be at the child's party, move the party to another weekend once in awhile! If he insists that the party has(!) to be during the time the OP takes her vacation on this long-standing, specific date, he is in effect telling  her his events are more important that hers.

zyrs

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2013, 10:51:51 AM »
I think at 3 it doesn't matter, no.  I think at 23 you can look back and notice that aunt/uncle/grandparent never chose family over friends. 

Quote from: NutellaNut
I have typically visited (with and without my DH) my brother's state twice a year or more.  I'm OK with this; DB leads a busy life, traveling for work and I know it's hard to make time and energy to do family visits sometimes.  This is even more true now that DB has a child, Nephew, who is darling but a lot of work!

Honestly, going to see brother and his family twice a year while visiting with friends once a year does not strike me as choosing friends over family.

edited to fix quote tree(hopefully)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 12:53:16 AM by zyrs »

delabela

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2013, 11:55:26 AM »
I don't think your brother is being unreasonable in wanting you there.  Perhaps he reacted badly, but maybe you can look past that.  I also don't think you're unreasonable for not going. 

A thought I had was that maybe he just wants to know that your nephew is special to you.  If you wanted to, you could send a balloon arrangement for the party, so that you are there in spirit. 

LadyR

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2013, 12:28:23 PM »
My DH's family is very close. We live two hours away and we try to attend most birthday parties, but his family would understand if we couldn't.


NutellaNut

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2013, 01:06:58 PM »
OP here!  Thanks for all the thoughts - I appreciate getting other perspectives.

To answer some of the questions raised:

1.  As children we only had one set of Aunt/Uncle, who lived 12 hours away.  They never attended any birthday parties and our family never attended any of my five cousins' birthday parties.  I'm glad someone raised that question, because it does make me go "Hmmm!" now I realize consciously that this expectation is out of the norm for our family.

2.  I am OK with the fact that DB and family don't travel down to us, because I do understand Busy Life, and because it's healthier for me not to resent it.  However, there have been numerous times my DB was driving home from a convention (he's a vendor of specialty wares) and passed within 1/2 hour of my house, but didn't try to stay over, stop in, or even call to be met for dinner along his route.  I know that sometimes he is probably just weary and wants to get home, but sometimes he's breaking his journey at a motel only an hour further down the road.   I have found it hurtful but try to move past it. 

2A.  Ironically, 10-15 years ago, when our parents lived 6 hours from me, and 1 hour from my brother, I actually visited our parents more frequently.  This is not true any more, as DB visits them at least twice a month to give them time with my nephew, and my health has cut my visits down. 

3.  We have invited DB and family for holidays and special occasions, but mostly stopped extending those invitations because they were never accepted.  Last year we held a huge party for my husband's 60th birthday, and I made sure to invite DB, but they didn't come.   I had no problem with that - it's a long way for a birthday party!

4.  I think one thing that bothers me about this is, my brother knows that long-distance travel is difficult for me, with my health problems.  If it's only going to be for a weekend, then my husband definitely has to come, to do the driving, and his schedule is often filled with work.  If I'm driving myself, then I need to take several days, so there's at least a day of down time after the trip each way.   So I wish my brother would understand it isn't easy to find the right time for a trip out to him.

Writing all of this out, I feel like I am making DB sound like a selfish jerk who expects all the flexibility and effort to come from me.  I don't want you folks to think that!  I love my DB and our relationship is pretty good.  He does tend to let others do more of the work unless prodded, so I'm thinking this is an extension of that, with maybe some extra stress added in. 

I know he is really busy this weekend, so I cannot call him until next week.  But I will, and I hope we can talk about it.  I want him to know that my not being able to come out is not a reflection of how much I love him or my nephew.  I've resisted getting Skype (which he has suggested) but I now plan to get it so we can do video calls with my nephew.  Schedules this summer are super difficult (both of us have many weekends claimed by work and hobbies) but hopefully we can figure out a date for me to come out and have a decent visit, even if it's this fall.

theresa

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2013, 06:04:22 PM »
If the brother wants them there so bad, why not have the party the weekend before or after. When the birthday falls mid week, there is a choice about when to celebrate it.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 06:09:46 PM by theresa »

bonyk

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2013, 06:57:57 PM »
I think what your brother was hearing was, "I will never, ever be attending nephew's birthday party."  IMO, it's fine to make that choice, but I can see how it would come across as hurtful on the receiving end.

kudeebee

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2013, 07:15:25 PM »
Well, I guess we are a bad aunt and uncle as we never attended a birthday party for a niece/nephew; but then aunt/uncle never attended one for our kids either.  We never expected each other too and it would have been a long drive for each of us to do so.  All of our kids have made it to adulthood fine and do not think poorly of us adults for not being at their parties.  It was never expected that we (both sides) be at the parties, so nothing was made of it, so kids made nothing of it.  Probably the only way OP's nephew will even make something of it will be if bil (his dad) makes a big deal of it.

OP, enjoy your vacation with your friends and don't worry about missing the party.  Even if it wasn't vacation week, it sounds like you wouldn't drive 7 hours one way for a 2/3 hour party, so don't let bil try to guilt you in any way, shape, or form.  Especially with the additional information that he can be close to your house, but does not make the time and effort to stop and see you.  He can't have it both ways.

Mrs. Tilney

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2013, 06:40:50 PM »
I live about 7 hours from my sister's family and have made it out for my niece and nephew's birthdays a few times (they're 5 and 2). I went to my niece's 3rd birthday party, and then when I saw her 2 months later, she denied I was there. (Photo proof didn't help. You just can't argue with a 3-year-old.)

Twik

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2013, 06:50:25 PM »
I think at 3 it doesn't matter, no.  I think at 23 you can look back and notice that aunt/uncle/grandparent never chose family over friends. t not.  OP says she doesn't mind.

My aunt and uncle moved away from my home town when I was about 6. They were about 5 hours away.

Honestly, I never looked back and thought, "Hmm, they never travelled a 10-hour round trip for my birthday party. They must not love me as much as they do their friends in their new home!" I thought, "It's a bummer they don't live closer, but that's life. People aren't going to give up their own lives just for the pleasure of living near me."
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*inviteseller

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2013, 07:25:56 PM »
I think at 3 it doesn't matter, no.  I think at 23 you can look back and notice that aunt/uncle/grandparent never chose family over friends.  And while the birthday party is that specicif weekend, it sounds like they would be there for the weekend of the party, not just the party if they chose to go.  The party would be the biggest organized event of the weekend but they go on other weekends for no party according to OP so it doesn't seem like "just a party" is a reason not to go.

inviteseller, I don't know, I might feel put out, I might not.  OP says she doesn't mind.

It is not that they are choosing friends over family, they are choosing not to make the drive.  If they party was an hour away and they said "Nope, going with friends" I would agree with that, but we are talking a 7 hour drive.  My relatives, for the most part live in Western NY, I am in PA, 4 hour drive.  I didn't think they were horrible relatives because they didn't come for my birthday, they didn't think we were horrible for not coming for theirs.  If the kid grows up to resent OP for not coming to his birthday parties when he was a child, he will have learned that OP won't come because she is on vacation, instead of it is a long drive and it is hard for Auntie to make that drive (what my kids know from far flung relatives including a set of grandparents).  It is kinda SS for Brother to pout and say things about the vacation, when, even without, it would be a long drive and they have other obligations also (work, hobbies).  Brother needs to lower his expectations and wants and start thinking about his sister and how difficult a drive would be (based on update).

Lindee

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2013, 07:57:36 PM »
Quote
Last year we held a huge party for my husband's 60th birthday, and I made sure to invite DB, but they didn't come.   I had no problem with that - it's a long way for a birthday party!

So your husband's 60th is too far to come to but he is going to sulk if you don't make the trip for a 3 year old's birthday?  Time to point out the road works both ways. The excuse that his is so busy but that you apparently lay about eating grapes all day ( apart from choosing to go away with friends on the all important weekend your presence is demanded) doesn't wash either.  I don't suppose you have that many "free days" either to travel but you seem to make time.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2013, 08:57:27 PM »
My siblings live a couple hours' drive away.  I don't expect them to come to my daughter's birthday parties, and except for one sibling who visits all the time, I'm not even sure I'm inviting them to her birthday party.

In fact, I'd rather have them visit some other time -- they can spend more quality time with my daughter when she's not busy concentrating on her friends and party activities and whatever.