Birthday party ettiquette...do I have to invite them? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-24-2013, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister in law has NEVER invited us to her son's bday party. Never ever.
My husband just shows up with the kids on the day of the party (motherinlaw blathers on about it...btw she never comes either)...until they moved the moved the party away from the house. I refuse to go...I think it's tacky to just show up at someone's house uninvited. I also have better things to do than to be snubbed and have it rubbed in my face all afternoon.

We live 30 minutes apart and she never wants to spend time with us (I think because we don't have as much money and she doesn't like me...oh and I have a daughter and she doesn't...lame).

We are having a birthday party this year. (Usually we do events with one or two friends in lieu of a party.) I have invited them in the past but they may or may not come...they refuse to RSVP...they may or may not give notice about coming or not coming...and since she refuses to reply to an email or return a call (no joke...not once in three years) I have no way of knowing the day of the party.

I am uncomfortable in her presence. I think she is very tacky and I don't know why she is so distant with us (I have asked directly...the answer was about how she needed new flip flops)

Do I HAVE to invite them?
It seems rude not to...
I am torn. My #1 pet peeve is hypocrisy and avoid it at all times...but I just want to have fun and be comfortable at my kids party...

When I ask my kids to list off people to invite (I have asked several times) my nephew is never on the list.

What should I do?
What is proper?
What is the least hypocritical thing to do?

Thank you.

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#2 of 16 Old 03-24-2013, 11:00 PM
 
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Dont invite het. And it is rude for your husband to go uninvited
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#3 of 16 Old 03-24-2013, 11:28 PM
 
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I would invite them. For the cousins' sake. IMO it's important for them to have a chance at a relationship even if their parents are rude.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 05:45 AM
 
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Why does it seem rude to not invite them if they don't invite you? I agree with you that the only rude thing is showing up at their party uninvited. 

 

I would not invite them and not worry too much. It sounds like they've made it clear they don't want to have your kids and their kids go to each other's parties. Cousins don't have to go to each other's birthday parties, especially as they get older and have their own friends.

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#5 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 06:15 AM
 
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It's nice when cousins get along, but parents can't force it. I agree with those saying don't invite them.

If it were me, I ask my husband why he goes when he's not invited. And maybe give him something else to do the day of the party. He may be longing for a feeling of belonging that doesn't exist. Show him that he belongs with the family he has created -- you and your child.
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#6 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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My mom tried really hard to include us with family that did not want anything to do with us. It just created for huge falling outs drama and sadness for her and us kids. Best to distance now before its gets out of hand and causes more hurt.
 

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#7 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LLQ1011 View Post

My mom tried really hard to include us with family that did not want anything to do with us. It just created for huge falling outs drama and sadness for her and us kids. Best to distance now before its gets out of hand and causes more hurt.

 

I had similar experience as a child though it wasn't mom but dad - he really wanted to be close to his twin sister who (along with her hubby) always looked down on him and our whole family. Once my dad passed away, I still felt obligated to invite them to my wedding -BIG mistake. They nearly ruined the reception with their childishness and mom and I haven't talked to them in 5.5 years. It was a lifetime of needless rejection. I'd simply invite people whom your kids love and will have a wonderful time with. No need to ruin their parties with the tension.
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#8 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 01:00 PM
 
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I had similar experience as a child though it wasn't mom but dad - he really wanted to be close to his twin sister who (along with her hubby) always looked down on him and our whole family. Once my dad passed away, I still felt obligated to invite them to my wedding -BIG mistake. They nearly ruined the reception with their childishness and mom and I haven't talked to them in 5.5 years. It was a lifetime of needless rejection. I'd simply invite people whom your kids love and will have a wonderful time with. No need to ruin their parties with the tension.

Yeah that's a lot like us.
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#9 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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I think if you have a random guest list -- a few family members, a few friends, some schoolmates -- then it wouldn't be rude to not invite her. However, if every other member of the family is on the guest list, then yes, you should invite her too.

And I agree that it is rude to show up at a party uninvited!

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#10 of 16 Old 03-25-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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Surround yourself and your children with people you love.

 

It seems unanimous your effort has not paid off in the past, so why keep torturing yourself and everyone involved?  

 

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#11 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband showing up at the house uninvited is nebulous terriority and very skillfully executed in sneaky, passive aggressive behavior.

Although EVERYONE get invitations in the mail (including family) except for us, my mil prattles on and on about it before hand talking...especially when it comes to her seeing our kids and how she is looking forward to seeing my husband (not me...she even sites the dog but not me ^_^) but when my husband asks where it is, she never seems to know and my sister in law won't reply to any email or phone conversations (when we run into her on the street she says to email or call).

Last year after the fact my husband got reamed out for not going by my mil. When we asked my sisterinlaw, she claimed to have invited him verbally when we coincidentally ran into each other at a thing the week before...in case you are curious she did not. I asked her out right about the party and she said it was still up in the air.

So it is clear, he is suppose to go...but we aren't invited nor are we told when or where.

I guess it feels more hypocritical than rude as it really hurts to be shunned in this way and watch him struggle with such a clear message.

It should also be noted that while my mother in law has driven in inclimate weather to go to that birthday party, she always plans a trip to Italy around the three week period of their birthdays. And should the party be before she goes to Italy, she says she can't go because she has an opera this or has to buy that or has to pack before her trip.

So...while I don't think he should go (drive to the house and leave the gifts on the door), he is expected to put in the effort.

However, Proper behavior is not and should not be reactionary to their distasteful behavior.

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#12 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 12:53 PM
 
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Mamaprovides, you have no idea how close your predicament hits home for my in-laws and our issues with them.  You're NOT alone...I'm betting others can identify, too.  Hang in there and remember that, as a responsible mother, you know best what your family needs.  :)  And I agree with you; "Proper behavior is not and should not be reactionary to their distasteful behavior."  Good for you for not compromising your behavior because of theirs.      

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#13 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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Your SIL is nutso. Who expects someone to show up at a party but won't tell them when or where it is? That's a whole 'nother level of crazy...

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#14 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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She is crazy.

 

But you know what? For the children's sake, you might want to just shoot them an invite once a year. If they show up, great. If they don't, great. Try not to over-analyze whether they're coming or not.

 

As for whether to go to their party, stay out of it. Let your husband decide how to deal with his crazy sister. If he finds out about the party and wants to take the kids over for an awkward afternoon, he can. Just stay home and enjoy the day off! He can say you were busy, but you send your best wishes. Don't worry about trying to find out the location of the party, etc. If you end up not going as a family, and MIL asks you why you didn't go, just say, "Oh, was there a party? Drat, we somehow missed that one. Was it fun?" and then let her talk about it.

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#15 of 16 Old 03-26-2013, 11:44 PM
 
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Your SIL is nutso. Who expects someone to show up at a party but won't tell them when or where it is? That's a whole 'nother level of crazy...

Who does that? My husband's family.
We were invited to his cousin's place, to see her new house, but directions were vague, as well as the time. It was supposed to be for a meal, and we were supposed to figure out if it was lunch or dinner. We arrived in between, only to find all the food had been eaten, and we were expected to sit and talk while hungry. It was weird!

Whatever you decide, make sure your husband is ok with it, otherwise he may resent you for driving his family away from him.
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#16 of 16 Old 04-05-2013, 02:18 PM
 
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i don't think it's rude for your DH to go to his sister's house un-invited, ... party or not party. It's his sister after all.

what i find rude is the SIL and MIL for expecting your DH to attend ... without you. I think they are very rude to him.

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