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NWMR but need some perspective

I am seriously irritated that FIL and step-MIL refuse to come to DD's birthday parties because they don't like that I throw big parties with lots of kids...for my KID's birthday.  Last year they wanted to do something separate for DD. This year we are heading in the same direction....they asked if we were throwing another big party and seemed very unexcited when I said yes.  So I suspect the "I've made cupcakes for DD"s birthday, when would be a good time to celebrate with her?" question is coming soon.  Frankly I'm NOT on board with their offer. 

I put a LOT of effort in to parties I throw and even more so for DD's birthdays.   I don't want to invest my family's time in two bday parties.  I don't think DD needs two bday parties. 

Sure I could not attend their celebration for my DD, but DD is my one and only and I simply don't want to miss any of her celebrations.  Letting them have her to throw what they deem a suitable bday party while I'm doing other things than spending time with my child is really not OK with me.

Step-MIL claims that "even though your DH is my stepson all of my kids and DH's kids are "our kids' and "our grandkids'".  *I* don't expect her to feel about her step-grandbaby (mine) they same she would feel about her biological grandbaby.  But it seems a bit odd to me then that MIL goes to every one of her daughter's DOG's b-day parties.  Every.Single One.  Yet they couldn't even make an appearance at DD's first b-day party!  I'm quite sure that MIL won't be missing her biological grandson's first bday party later this year.

I know they don't have to come to DD's bday party.  I am grateful for all they DO do.  But don't tell me to my face how DD is just as important but sorry-cant'-make-her-first-day party while you consistently attend your daughter's DOG's bday party.

Should I just let them have their separate party?  I don't think I am capable of putting on a happy face when inside I feel like calling "bullsh!t!".

I really want to just be honest and tell them that I think it is crap that they'll attend a dog's bday party but not their own granddaughter's because they don't approve of the guest list.  I feel like they have made they choice NOT to celebrate DD"s party yet they think they get to choose how to celebrate with her separately and I find myself feeling really irritated and unwilling to go along. Are my feeling valid or should I just get over it and go along with their plans?



Re: NWMR but need some perspective

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    You should get over it. It isn't as if they are refusing to acknowledge her bday, they just don't want to take part in the circus. They probably feel uncomfortable. I'm really not sure how an acknowledgment of her bday with her Grandparents with some cupcakes is a big deal. Will you never send cupcakes into school, because that might be 2 bday parties?

    I think you are seriously overreacting.

    DD Nov 2010 ~ DS June 2012
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    I agree that the dog thing is weird, but to each their own I guess. 

    I agree with PP's about the big parties.  My own parents don't care for giant parties.  DH's parents come but I don't think they're very comfortable either (for different reasons, MIL has some mental health issues and its hard for her to in large groups).  And I get it.  I tried to include all of our family for DS's first bday, but it was just so weird. Big parties can be awkward and it feels like you're lost in a sea of people. The only thing that would bother me is that they go to the other parties.  Are those parties big parties too or are they mostly family?  

    Usually for DS's birthday, we do a small celebration on the day of his birthday and both sets of grandparents are invited.  One year we did dinner and one year it was just cake.  Could something like this work?  That way you're not missing out on anything and they can celebrate her birthday.
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    Thanks for all the feedback.  I don't get the dog thing either.  It is nice to hear that I'm not the only one who feels that way. 

    I do refer to StepMIL as DD's grandmother but was using the references here for clarity.  I do like them, and appreciate them.  I've been hurt, to be honest, that they skipped DD's first birthday celebration but MIL recently went again to her daughter's dog's bday party...I almost said something to MIL then but I bit my tongue.

    I will get over it and accept that we'll celebrate with them separately.  Maybe they'll cook dinner too ;)


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    ss265ss265 member

    Just to give you another perspective - my SIL throws this huge birthday bash for her daughter every single year. She spends a shit load of money on it and makes it a huge deal. Everyone HAS to attend, cannot leave early etc. She puts so much pressure on everyone in the family to attend that I resent having to go to this event.

    When I was pregnant, my due date was 3 days after the date she had scheduled the event - it's local so I was still planning to go but there was a chance that I needed to have a C-section in which case I would miss the birthday party She actually called me to find out if I needed to have a C-section, just to make sure I could be there. I ended up going into labor on the day of her birthday party and missed the entire thing - DH is convinced that I planned this somehow :)

    My point is that while this is a big event for you, it may not be a big event for everyone else. That doesn't mean that they don't care or love your daughter, it could just be that birthday parties are not their thing. At least they are offering to celebrate with her in some way.

     

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    I am actually opposite here.  It's your child and your child's party.  If they don't want to attend, fine.  I wouldn't cater to their comfort level or  their demands.  

    If they would like to stop by on the actual day or the weekend before to visit, awesome.  I would say no to 2 birthday parties if you don't want 2 birthday parties.

    I get the vibe that they have boundary issues and this is merely one example.  If that is the case- nip it now.  
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    VORVOR member

     

    K3am said:
     
    They want to do something special with their grandkid, and chances are, at a "big" party, they're going to fall to the wayside and not really get to see her. Is it really that hard for you to devote ONE afternoon and a couple of hours for her to have cupcakes with her grandparents? Honestly, it just sounds like you don't like them.

     

    This is where I fall.  And it's also my personal experience.  DS is 5.  Both his 4th and 5th birthdays included a LOT of friends.  Both sets of grandparents came.  It was kind of silly, to be honest.  DS was SO focused on his friends that is kind of seemed pointless for the grandparents to be there.  And really- to a degree (at least w/ my ILs), they added a level of stress.  I felt BAD that DS didn't care that they were there! 

    Next year- we're having a small friends party and then we'll have a small family party. 


     

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    I totally view kid parties & family parties as different types of events. If we lived near the grandparents we'd invite them to the kid party if they wanted to come but we'd have a small family celebration regardless.
    I agree that she probably just wants to actually spend time w/ her granddaughter for her bday rather than sitting back & watching her play w/ all her friends & barely even saying hi. Plus if she brings her a gift she might like seeing her open it or play w/ it or whatever which is not going to happen at a big party. She just wants to do something special for her granddaughter's bday.


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    shannmshannm member
    Didn't read the responses but it sounds like there is underlying issues here. Cause honestly? Who cares if they want to come over with some cupcakes for dinner on a different day?
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    My DS is 8. At some point, we stopped inviting family to his friends party and just have two celebrations. His friends party is usually a sports thing or swimming or a sleepover and frankly all he wants to do is run around with the other boys. If the grandparents were there they would not get a whole lot in of attention anyway. We also don't open gifts at the friends parties and I know my parents like to see DS open his gifts from them so a separate celebration allows us to do that too.

    So I can see why your MIL wants to do something outside of the friends party and honestly this is not something I would fight. It doesn't sound like she is pushing you to do the work of planning and throwing something for her so I would just let her make cupcakes and do a special celebration with your LO.

     

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    I think it's nice that they would want to acknowledge a birthday separately if they couldn't/wouldn't come to the big party.  It shows that they DO care about the birthday, but obviously have reasons for not wanting to be a part of the big party. 

    I'd say whatever, if that's how they want it to be, then that also goes both ways... you can get out of going to things that they arrange sometime in the future and it should be no big deal. They are the ones missing out on something cool and that's their loss if they don't come to future parties. You shouldn't have to go too far out of your way though to be accommodating to them if they choose to miss the party.  If they are willing to do all the work of coming to visit you, then I don't see that being a big deal.

    As far as your need to distinguish bio children from other children in the family, I think that needs to go.  It doesn't matter if the children are bio or not, if they are a part of the family that's all there is to it!  My Stepdad is very much more a Grandpa to my DS than my dad will ever be.  It doesn't matter one little bit that DS isn't biologically connected. Your MIL may just play "favorites" with grandkids and I think all grandmas do that at some point.
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    I can actually see why you would attend a dog's bday party - since presumably you'd just socialize with the other adults there. Whereas at a kid's bday party, the birthday child and the parents are busy playing/socializing with their friends, so the grandparents wouldn't get to spend much time with the birthday child or you.

    We are throwing a joint bday party for DS and a few of our friends' kids who have birthdays around the same time. I invited my ILs and they said no. I wasn't upset at all but was a little sad that they didn't offer to do something else just with DS. But then again, my ILs have never even bought DS a present for his birthday, Christmas, or anything, so I'm not overly surprised. That is all just a long way to say that I think your ILs are actually being quite reasonable and things could be a lot worst. :)
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    Pips09Pips09 member
    Honestly, i would be hurt that they didn't want to attend the birthday party, but it's up to them, and I'm not going to beg or guilt them to get them to come. I would say no to 2 parties, but if their "party" is just them coming over with some cupcakes, then I don't see any problem with that.
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    SoMoNYSoMoNY member
    We had 1 party for age 1 &2, after that we moved to having one small gathering at our place for family and another for their classmates and friends.

    Adults don't want to be at a kids party and kids don't want to be at a party full of adults
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    Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.  It has really helped me put things in to perspective.

    I think the underlying issue is 1) that I feel like my party isn't "acceptable" to them and their judgment is hurtful and 2) it IS a big deal to ask us to put another party on our calendar because our calendars are swamped with activities.  I'm running on empty ALL the time and while DH and I choose to live a full life and be involved in lots of activities, at the end of the day making time for bday party #2 is low priority for me.

    As for them wanting to spend time with DD and watch her open their present, good points all around.  True, DD won't be opening gifts at her party.   They do enjoy watching her open gifts.  They see her weekly which is another reason I don't feel compelled to make time for them when we are trying to get ready for a party.

    BTW, SIL is married and has an infant.  Why she still wants to throw her dog a party is beyond me. Interestingly my family wasn't invited to this last one.  Which is funny because I dragged myself to the same party nearly two years ago when DD was 3 weeks old. I was recovering from a C-section and a sleep deprived new mom. But I went to that damn party so SIL didn't feel less important (than what?  I don't know.  My mom guilted me in to going after I told her there was no way I would attend).  But I digress...

    So I think I'll just be honest with FIL and MIL and tell them that I'm super swamped planning DD"s party and all but sure, if they want to spend a couple hours with her they can babysit at the same time and that'll free DH and I up to go to shopping for food or whatever.  Otherwise we won't have time to entertain them before her party.  Hopefully that is a reasonable approach.

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    VORVOR member
    If they see her weekly, then easy- they can celebrate her b-day then.
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    Why can't they have cupcakes at their weekly visit?
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    VORVOR member
    I actually want to know where you get "judgment" from them. Their not liking a big party where they'll get no time w/ their granddaughter isn't the same thing as "judging" the party.
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    ss265ss265 member
    VOR said:
    I actually want to know where you get "judgment" from them. Their not liking a big party where they'll get no time w/ their granddaughter isn't the same thing as "judging" the party.
    This! You're over-reacting. Let them skip the party and then have cupcakes with their weekly visit. Problem solved.

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