Author Topic: Feeling like our events are less important than others....  (Read 20783 times)

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tinkytinky

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2014, 01:01:12 PM »
Were the anniversary couples invited to DD birthday? just curious, as I believe that would be fairly rude to plan a party on the same date/at the same time if they had already RSVP'd to DD birthday. If it was only the in-laws (MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL, kids, etc.) that had already RSVP'd and came as a group, then left as a group, then, yes that's rude. It is rude to create a situation that changes the timeline and agenda that has been planned for 4 months.

I don't buy the whole, "aww she's a teen, why would she want to spend time with older relatives anyway?" My teen kids had a great relationship with my mother and still do with my FIL. MIL was a different story, she would mail their birthday cards even though she lived next door. They always felt that she never thought that they were good enough to warrant a visit, phone call, or even personal acknowledgment on thier birthdays.

There is nothing wrong with not having "family" parties either. The kids are old enough to decide, so that should be your answer to inlaws. "no, we let the kids decide what they would like to do for their birthday. Usually it is with their friends doing x or y".

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learningtofly

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2014, 01:18:09 PM »
I find your ILs rude.  They committed to lunch, an afternoon of activities, and cake.  Even if you had had a heads up you could have broken the news of an early departure to your daughter.  Leaving her their without the family she thought she was spending the day with was mean.

That said, I'm putting an end to family parties as well.  Originally we had to have the family at the kid party and then host the family party right afterwards.  (DH insists that's how these things are done.)  This year only my parents came to the kids party.  Others had better things to do including resting for the family party.  (The uncle who was sick got a huge thank you for not sharing his germs)  The family party-The one I was too tired to socialize at.  The one it turned out I was getting sick at, but still got flack for taking a few minutes to get myself together. I was tired at this party and DH's relatives took offense.

So next year I am planning a kids party.  If the family wants to have time with DD they can come over on a different day.  Come over after the kid party and I'll be napping.  Have the weekend you son wants and if grandma wants to come by give her a list of activities to join in on.

gen xer

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2014, 02:02:59 PM »
 I think it was kind of rude considering the nature of the activities and planning that went into it.  If it was a come and go tea kind of event ( which I only ever see for older people but whatever ) then maybe it would be different.

I have no problem with doing more than one event in a day as long as you can give it the proper attention.  If you can't...then sorry, you decline.  You accepted an invitation and you need to honour it....and honour it nicely which doesn't mean a hasty, hurried "hey nice to see, gotta go....by the way can I take some cake to go" kind of drop in.  To me that smacks of "well we'll quickly grace them with our presence,  they will be grateful for whatever little scraps we give them...oh we are just so in demand!!!"

GrammarNerd

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2014, 03:50:46 PM »
To me, it almost sounds like the equivalent of the sweet girl who plans a quaint little party for some friends.  Then the mean girl who is jealous of her plans a much more elaborate party later, for the same day, and tries to upstage the sweet girl.  And of course, the mean girl's party would be THE place to go that even sweet girl's friends don't want to miss it.  So they ditch sweet girl's party.

Was there a movie about this b/c it sounds really familiar?

Of course, OP is the sweet girl and the aunt is the mean girl.  Now, I'm not saying at all that there was any malice intended by the aunt, but the result was the same.  And aunt knew about the birthday party and went along with her plans, and she had to know it would upstage the birthday party.  I suppose people thought it was nice that they came to the birthday party, but really, their actions seemed like a snub when the OP had to change the schedule of the party around them to accommodate their sudden departure, they didn't get to participate in everything, and they left en masse after RSVPing that they would come (and presumably stay for the whole party).

And OP?  I totally think you should tell MIL that that experience turned you off from hosting any more big family parties for your kids.  I like the suggested wording from other posters. 

darkprincess

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2014, 03:56:58 PM »
I have something similar happen, except the family in question came very late instead of leaving early. However other family members do overbook themselves and leave after a short period of time. But my child likes parties so we keep throwning them. To keep my sanity I do not rush activities or change the order of the events. If someone misses lunch because they are not there for that part of it, oh well. If they show up and the train ride that we are taking has already started, they can wait until we get back. If they cannot stay for cake, well we are not doing cake early because you have other plans. When they get here, there are not redos. I don't get lunch out after I have cleaned it up because it takes my attention away the party at hand. I dont' give them tickets to the train ride that they missed because the train ride was a group party activitiy. Because I know this is likely to happen I verbally tell the family in question that the party starts at X time, around Y time we are all heading out on the boat/train/petting farm/group activity, and we will eat when we get back around Z time. They are welcome to join us whenever they want. I don't count on their attendance and I don't worry about them missing something that they can't show up for.

What is weird is that when they throw a birthday party they say it starts at X but some people are going to group activity before if you want to join, and the party will end at Z. What actually happens is that if you show up to group activity (swimming, zoo, movie) they arrive late or not at all. Then you go to their house at X but they are not ready, one time they weren't even home yet. You end up helping them decorate, wrap presents, cook, whatever while one of them goes to the store, does laundry, etc. At quarter til Z they get the party started which eventually ends 3 hours after Z. Once I figured this out I decided that I would make a plan that we would go to activitiy if it sounded fun doing, even if they weren't there. We would eat a snack in the car between activity and X, and then we would make a plan when we would leave. The plan might be after cake no matter how long it took, once the birthday cake was served at 8pm for a 3yr bday party that was supposed to start at 2 and end at 6pm. We might also plan to leave at the time the party was announced to end, no matter what was going on.


despedina

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2014, 08:10:08 PM »
Well, despedina, I've got to say you're a heck of a lot nicer person than I am.

After reading your message, my first thought was:

>So this year MIL asks if we're planning a party for DS who will be 10...

MY answer would have been, "No...2 years ago I invited you to DD's 14th birthday party 3 months in advance; you accepted, and yet you cut out after an hour to go to a different party you'd been invited to 3 weeks earlier.  DD was hurt, and I'm not interested in putting DS through that."

Yeah, I've got to say that this would be my response too.

I think aunt was very rude to plan a party with basically the same guest list as OP's when she knew well in advance that she, and other family members, were already committed for that date. She knew when her own anniversary was. She had a chance back in April to say she might not be able to make it as they were thinking of doing something for their anniversary, or better yet, holding her own party on a different day.

If I got an invite to Cousin A's birthday party 3 months in advance and then Cousin Z comes along months later and invited me to her anniversary (or other) party on the same date I'd be declining the second invite (or only popping into her party for an hour if there was time after the first party) and asking Cousin Z if she'd forgotten that the family had already been invited to Cousin A's party on that day.

ETA: The other party goers were rude too, to basically back out of the original invitation.

This is my issue exactly. Oh and for the record, my kids are now 16, 10, and 6, so while my DD is over parties, my 2 boys are not.
And this aunt is NOTORIOUS for pulling stunts just like this. In fact, she sent the invite to my MIL only and noted that MIL should tell all of us we were invited also. She was ticked that we did not RSVP. But that is another matter.
 So for 7 people (out of about 12 who could come) to up and all leave really before we did anything, really put a kink in the plans. I know we knew earlier that week what the IL's plans were as far as leaving but we were kind of stuck with the pavilion rental at that point otherwise we would have switched the party to that Sunday.   

I will just continue to have my kids plan their own BD weekends from here on out to avoid anything like this.

despedina

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2014, 08:40:19 PM »
Oh and to answer a couple of questions:

No I would not rather have had my IL's not come, I would have liked them to "pop in" at DH's aunt's house on the way instead of doing it the other way around.

Yes my DD does enjoy "older relatives" company.

No, DH's aunt was not invited to our party. 


And finally, I've just decided, as I've said, that we are going to let the kids plan, and tell MIL she is invited if she wants to tag along (to movie theater, restaurant or whatever).

immadz

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2014, 10:43:43 PM »
I like this plan OP.

Whether you like it or not, your actions are seen as reflections of your priorities. If you duck out of your grand daughter's 5 hour party in an hour, because a better invitation came along, she is going to see it as a reflection of your esteem for her. She is not going to be pleased. If this is a trend, your relationship with her will be adjusted accordingly. You don't get to then whine about it. Bed. made. lie.


Pumpkin Spice

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2014, 12:32:27 AM »
To me, it almost sounds like the equivalent of the sweet girl who plans a quaint little party for some friends.  Then the mean girl who is jealous of her plans a much more elaborate party later, for the same day, and tries to upstage the sweet girl.  And of course, the mean girl's party would be THE place to go that even sweet girl's friends don't want to miss it.  So they ditch sweet girl's party.

Was there a movie about this b/c it sounds really familiar?

Of course, OP is the sweet girl and the aunt is the mean girl.  Now, I'm not saying at all that there was any malice intended by the aunt, but the result was the same.  And aunt knew about the birthday party and went along with her plans, and she had to know it would upstage the birthday party.  I suppose people thought it was nice that they came to the birthday party, but really, their actions seemed like a snub when the OP had to change the schedule of the party around them to accommodate their sudden departure, they didn't get to participate in everything, and they left en masse after RSVPing that they would come (and presumably stay for the whole party).

And OP?  I totally think you should tell MIL that that experience turned you off from hosting any more big family parties for your kids.  I like the suggested wording from other posters.

ITA.    IL's and especially Aunt were rude.

Wintergreen

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2014, 05:41:10 AM »
I am shocked that a 14 year old girl would be "disappointed" that old relatives didn't swim and boat with her and her friends.

I was 14 once.  At that age, I tried to pretend that my parents didn't exist.  If I had to acknowledge them, I certainly wasn't going to pay any attention to some old aunt or grandma - especially when my friends were around. IMO, kid parties should be for kids.

I think the 14 year old was disappointed because her cousins had to leave with the "old people", so she couldn't swim and boat with family members her age.

Well not all kids are like that. I've never felt need to pretend my parents didn't exist. And I've always liked my grandparents and aunts, spending time with them was not chore. In our family it has been quite common to have a "family party" and then the "school friends party" if needed, though.

sammycat

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2014, 06:01:43 AM »
Well not all kids are like that. I've never felt need to pretend my parents didn't exist. And I've always liked my grandparents and aunts, spending time with them was not chore. In our family it has been quite common to have a "family party" and then the "school friends party" if needed, though.

Ditto. I have very happy memories of spending time with my extended family at all stages of my life, including the teen years.

Runningstar

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2014, 06:12:41 AM »
Oh and to answer a couple of questions:

No I would not rather have had my IL's not come, I would have liked them to "pop in" at DH's aunt's house on the way instead of doing it the other way around.

Yes my DD does enjoy "older relatives" company.

No, DH's aunt was not invited to our party. 


And finally, I've just decided, as I've said, that we are going to let the kids plan, and tell MIL she is invited if she wants to tag along (to movie theater, restaurant or whatever).
I'm confused, DH's aunt, uncle and cousin were not invited?  If not, it changes the dynamics for me.  If that is the case, the ones who came to the party and then left, could they have been trying to support the uninvited aunt/uncle/cousin?  I would still be upset to have taken time to plan a party, and then see them leave.  Do what is best for you.

Magnet

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2014, 10:00:57 AM »

Well not all kids are like that. I've never felt need to pretend my parents didn't exist. And I've always liked my grandparents and aunts, spending time with them was not chore. In our family it has been quite common to have a "family party" and then the "school friends party" if needed, though.
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I love my family too, I did even as a kid.  But I did not expect grandma to swim and boat with me at a party with friends my age.  There is a time and place for everything, and to expect grandma to play chicken in the lake with a bunch of 14 year olds seems bizarre to me.  Kids parties should be for kids, IMO.

TurtleDove

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2014, 10:07:51 AM »
I love my family too, I did even as a kid.  But I did not expect grandma to swim and boat with me at a party with friends my age.  There is a time and place for everything, and to expect grandma to play chicken in the lake with a bunch of 14 year olds seems bizarre to me.  Kids parties should be for kids, IMO.

This is how I viewed it too. Maybe I misunderstand the nature of the activities that were planned, but unless grandma and the older relatives are quite active I have a hard time envisioning them participating in waterskiing or tubing or water/sand volleyball or general splashing about.  To me, they participated in the portion of the party that would be expected (by me anyway) given the nature of the party, and it would have been weird for Grandma to take her turn on the tube behind the boat when there were lots of kids present.

As a caveat, my mother who is 69 years old will go tubing and even waterskiing (!!!!! my mom rocks!!!!), but this is when it is just our family and I don't think it would occur to her to take her turn behind the boat at a party for any of her grandkids.

tinkytinky

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Re: Feeling like our events are less important than others....
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2014, 10:17:57 AM »
I disagree. It sounds like this was a family type party as opposed to a kids party that family happened to be going. If it were a kids party with DD's friends there, and inlaws come for a while, that's different. But I envisioned it as "hey we have a really cool place to have DD's birthday this year! lets have grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and have barbeque and go out in the boat. the kids can swim while the adults visit. It'll be a great time!"

More than half of the guests changed the dynamics by rushing things and leaving early. I am sure that isn't how DD wanted to remeber her birthday party. At that point, DD was not Guest of Honor, more like Guest of Obligation. and that hurts.

OP I think the way you have planned to handle this going forward is fine. 


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