Author Topic: Nephew's birthday Update #99  (Read 14707 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 810
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #90 on: May 13, 2013, 09:47:02 PM »
I fully agree that it is a bit much to expect someone to drive 7 hours to your child's birthday party.
The problem I see, however, is that us NOT the reason the OP gave to her brother for not attending. At least according to the conversation as related. She said it was because of the vacation.  So, as far as her brother knows that is the reason.
It just seems to me that it would make sense to remove what seems to be - at most - a secondary reason and address the real one with her brother. Then there would be no need to deal with any hurt feeling arising from the whole "choosing friends/vacation over nephew" issue.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Lynda_34

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1126
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #91 on: May 13, 2013, 11:45:34 PM »
I am going to read the whole thread, I promise.  :)

However for some reason my children's birthdays always occurred on a Saturday or Sunday ;) always, until they could read calendars themselves. :( When they could read calendars the birthday still occurred on a weekend but I let them choose before or after.  Family came to a separate party and everyone got along just fine.

Auntie is locked into a vacation week that she really likes,and cannot reschedule so she needs to tell her brother pick another weekend and we will be there,or keep the same weekend and we will send best wishes.

Sometimes there is less stress to a casual event than an actual event.
I also  have a friend whose son was born on Christmas day.  I told her (she didn't take my advice) that she should have a half birthday for him in July.
Kids don't care what day there birthday is as long as it is celebrated.

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3732
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #92 on: May 13, 2013, 11:54:25 PM »
Here's a different question: 

If your brother and his family lived in the same city as you, would that make ANY difference as to whether you missed your vacation with friends to attend nephew's birthday party?

I'd suggest not.  And that's fine that you choose to prioritise your vacation over attending a child's party.  But I also understand the hurt.

This is neither here or there.  My own brother, in 17 years has only made only 2 or 3 of either of my DD's events.  He lives 20 minutes from us, but he also works different shifts.  Should I, and my kids, be hurt that he is not making an effort to re arrange his schedule?  Or do we understand and save him a plate of food and a piece of cake for when he can stop over?  Should we be bothered that my parents, who live 10 minutes away and have some health issues haven't come to any parties that started being more friends than family because they aren't comfortable?  Should I tell them their feelings are not as important as my kids, or do I tell my kids that Grandparents are not comfortable in that setting, we will see them another day?  Just because you (general) think that your child's birthday is the most important day on the calendar and all family should come to the party, not everyone feels the same way and to be hurt over any reason someone has for not coming is SS to me.

I don't know.  It depends on how easy it would be for his to rearrange his shifts at work.  To be honest, if he rearranged them all the time to suit his own plans to attend things, and therefore I knew it was easy for him to do so, then yes, I might be hurt if he NEVER chose to do so to attend a party.  But I'd be very understanding if I knew that it was really difficult and he got a hard time when he tried to he saved it for only the most important events.

My hypothetical came from a place of thinking that if they lived nearby, you'd likely see more of them generally, and you'd also haveamore oppportunity to do something for their birthday separate to the party if you so chose. 

I honestly can't understand the self-centeredness it would take to make me think my child's birthday party should take priority over someone's hard-earned out-of-town vacation.

You know, it's not the 'party'.  Its the idea that your child isn't important enough to that person for them to skip a year.

You know, this is not my position.  I personally think little of small children's parties and think the only people who should have to go are their friends, who probably enjoy doing so.  And I think the mindset of the uncared-about child is completely wrong.  But this is my observation from some.

The other point I make generally is that if the OP's attendance was THAT important to the brother, they could easily schedule the party a week later one year and pay for her flights.  Most people don't get their party on their exact birthdate anyway.

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3732
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #93 on: May 13, 2013, 11:56:42 PM »
Also - my family all lived in my city within 30 minutes of my home.  I don't recall my aunts/uncles/counsins ever coming over to celebrate my birthday unless it happened to coincide with another event that was combined.  I'm fine.  We're all still close.

CakeEater

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2529
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #94 on: May 14, 2013, 07:41:11 AM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

It's not an easy leap for people who don't believe their kids are the center of the universe.

I'm a bit surprised at how many people are saying that they would drive to attend birthday parties of nieces and nephews. Maybe it's living fairly remotely, but in my family it's really normal to drive pretty long distances to attend family events.

I would be fine with changing the date of a party to a non-holiday week, if I were the OP's brother, but I would actually be pretty hurt if my close family member basically said that they would never come to a birthday celebration for my kids. And I don't consider my kids to be the center of the universe.

I do consider them to be an important part of my and DH's extended families, and I would expect those families to make an effort to attend events like these at times, when they were able to. If they never did, that would indicate to me that my family wasn't high on their list of priorities and it would affect our relationship.

How are relationships formed, after all, if not by having these sorts of experiences together?

I don't think the OP is being rude by not attending this one party. I think that over many years, never attending the party is giong to affect their relationship.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #95 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:26 AM »
To me, a good family relationship does not include putting undue burdens on anyone to travel for a long distance for a child's birthday party.  I knew my family loved me because they remembered my birthday with cards and phone calls and we spent time together over the summer.  IMO, the only relatives who need to be at the child's birthday party are the parents and siblings and to be hurt that someone who is not an actual household member is not coming, especially long distance, looks like strings are attached to the relationship (if you loved us, you would change your life around for the birthday party).  I would much rather my family not come to the parties and get together another time where it is more family focused without the distractions.

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #96 on: May 14, 2013, 10:52:43 AM »
To me, a good family relationship does not include putting undue burdens on anyone to travel for a long distance for a child's birthday party.  I knew my family loved me because they remembered my birthday with cards and phone calls and we spent time together over the summer.  IMO, the only relatives who need to be at the child's birthday party are the parents and siblings and to be hurt that someone who is not an actual household member is not coming, especially long distance, looks like strings are attached to the relationship (if you loved us, you would change your life around for the birthday party).  I would much rather my family not come to the parties and get together another time where it is more family focused without the distractions.
I think it's really all dependent upon the cultural norms of one's family and it's futile to try and impose our norms on someone else.

In my dh's family, all family within driving distance attends all family events. This sort of attendance is their normal. My family is different. I don't try and impose my family's attitude on his and vice versa.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6265
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #97 on: May 14, 2013, 12:37:18 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

It's not an easy leap for people who don't believe their kids are the center of the universe.

I'm a bit surprised at how many people are saying that they would drive to attend birthday parties of nieces and nephews. Maybe it's living fairly remotely, but in my family it's really normal to drive pretty long distances to attend family events.

I would be fine with changing the date of a party to a non-holiday week, if I were the OP's brother, but I would actually be pretty hurt if my close family member basically said that they would never come to a birthday celebration for my kids. And I don't consider my kids to be the center of the universe.

I do consider them to be an important part of my and DH's extended families, and I would expect those families to make an effort to attend events like these at times, when they were able to. If they never did, that would indicate to me that my family wasn't high on their list of priorities and it would affect our relationship.

How are relationships formed, after all, if not by having these sorts of experiences together?

I don't think the OP is being rude by not attending this one party. I think that over many years, never attending the party is giong to affect their relationship.

If the brother also extended the same level of committment to attending important events for the OP's family I would agree with you. But he wouldn't even attend her DH's 60th bday party and regularly bypasses stopping by for a visit when he is near them.

Families bond by spending time together. But the time spent together doesn't need to be at the childs bday party. The OP already makes significant effort to visit her brother and his family a few times a year. Choosing to not make one of those times when her brother and his family is going to be focused hosting a large party is very reasonable to me. The aunt will be able to spend more quality time with her nephew when there is not a large crowd around.


ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6890
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #98 on: May 14, 2013, 12:52:14 PM »
My sister and her DH have a few weeks a year with a couple they are friends with set aside. They will tell anyone who tries to make plans these dates so they can work around them if possible. That changed the week of our family vacation in September, but that worked out well for everyone.

My family is not the type to travel for much besides milestone events, and even then, they have to be pretty major. My graduation in two years will be enough for oldest sister and her DH to come, but not for my younger sister or parents.

NutellaNut

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 399
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #99 on: May 16, 2013, 04:04:28 PM »
OP here with a nice update!

I finally was able to talk with my brother.  We chatted about several things, and then I said, "DB, I wanted to talk to you about Nephew's birthday.  I really want you to know that my not being able to come up for that weekend doesn't say anything about how much I want to see both of you.  I love you and definitely want to see you."

DB (quiet):  I know.  I definitely know that.
Me:  So, I know both our schedules are crazy this summer and fall, but I'm really hoping we can find a time that works for everyone so I can come up for several days and have a really good visit with you guys.  It might be a *good* thing to have more time with just a few of us --
DB (interrupting): Or maybe Nephew and I should just take a road trip down to see you!
Me:  I would love that!  That would be awesome.  DH and I would love to have you!

We chatted some more in that same general vein and I am much relieved.  I think he was upset because he wants his family to be better represented at the birthday party, and it's hard when his sort-of-ex-partner is treating him poorly and will have numerous family and friends at this party.  It also turns out that she may be more of the reason why they haven't traveled down to us so much.  But he does know logically why a weekend trip is hard for me, and that logistics of matching schedules are difficult.  Our parents and hopefully a few cousins will be at this party and I of course will make sure to send a nice card and present from Auntie NutellaNut.

Thank you all for your advice - I appreciate it!

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #100 on: May 16, 2013, 04:07:15 PM »
What a great update. I'm glad for you.

And, if you think you've gotten a good peg on the "my family isn't represented and I feel sort of alone" idea, you could find ways to help him with that.

Like, arrange for flowers or a big bouquet of balloons to be delivered to the party, right in the middle of it. Even if nephew doesn't really focus on it, all the other grownups in the room (mostly brother, but others too) will be reminded that yes, he DOES have a family.

I understand the "I'm outnumbered," feeling, and if the people doing the outnumbering are sort of enemies, it's even worse.

Or, you can suggest to him that if he and the boy's mom are split, it might be time to have separate celebrations. And he doesn't need to worry about the other side's being bigger; he can find ways that his celebration is pretty special.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 04:10:32 PM by TootsNYC »

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6265
Re: Nephew's birthday Update #99
« Reply #101 on: May 16, 2013, 04:21:09 PM »
That's a great update. And if Ex was the reason your brother seldom visited, I admire him that he kept that information to himself. 

I hope you guys have a great visit.

Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 810
Re: Nephew's birthday Update #99
« Reply #102 on: May 16, 2013, 04:53:44 PM »
What a fabulous update! I hope they really do come out and visit you!!
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4840
Re: Nephew's birthday Update #99
« Reply #103 on: May 16, 2013, 05:42:09 PM »
That is a great update, and I think TootsNYC's suggestions are good too. That particular motivation did not even occur to me.
~Lynn2000