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#1 of 21 Old 07-19-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have one toddler and another on the way, and come from a relatively small family...  A few weeks ago I found out that my cousin (and I only have 4 cousins) is having his DDs first birthday party this weekend at a restaurant or hall of some sort.  This is his first child, making it kind of a big deal, and we weren't invited.

 

So, needless to say, I'm feeling really left out.  My only sister lives out of state and my parents are attending the party.  It's difficult to think that our kids are very close in age, and they don't care to include us.  We've never had a falling out, and when I saw them a month ago they acted perfectly fine, friendly, and asked us to join them at a festival in another couple of weeks.  I honestly just don't know what to do.  Do I email or call his wife to ask what's up (he doesn't have email that I know of)?  

 

Please, I really need advice on how to handle this one!

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#2 of 21 Old 07-19-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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Are any other cousins invited?

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#3 of 21 Old 07-19-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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It sounds like you're close enough you could just ask, very casually, something like "My mom and Dad mentioned they were going to your little one's birthday party.  Did you have room for us or would it be better for us to celebrate with you a different time?"  Depends on how close you are, and if you feel comfortable being that blunt.  I just think that being forthright can clear up a lot of confusion.


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#4 of 21 Old 07-19-2011, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All of his other cousins (including my sister) are out of state, so not that I know of.  I assume his 2 sister's will be there.  I only know that his best friend and my parents are going, probably his 3 nieces/nephews too.  I don't know about his wife's family; she also has a couple of sisters and nieces/nephews (maybe 3 or 4 kids) that she is close to...  

 

To give a little more context - this is the part of our family that we have spent every holiday with growing up, every birthday, we all went to the same grade, middle and high schools.  I've been to all the christenings and bday party's of his sister's kids, and we spend at least 2 major holidays with that side of the family every year (between Thanksgiving, Xmas, and Easter).  They didn't invite any extended family to the baptism, and I assumed they just wanted to keep it small.  Now, I'm starting to think there is more to it, but then why the invite to the festival?  

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#5 of 21 Old 07-19-2011, 07:43 PM
 
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I wouldn't ask why I wasn't invited, but I would call up and have just a regular convo. maybe bring up the festival in a few weeks and discuss the kids and such. What's going on with everybody, etc.

That gives them an opportunity to invite you if they forgot. If nothing is said, then it's obvious that they don't want to extend an invite and I would leave it at that.


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#6 of 21 Old 07-19-2011, 11:12 PM
 
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I think if you are uncertain about where your relationship is or why you were excluded, you should give them a call. Just be friendly but honest. It could be something as simple as not having your address and being in a crunch to get the invites out. Maybe there were assumptions made that were not accurate, a  miscommunication of sorts. Or maybe there is a deeper reason for it. Whatever it is, I would not let it fester or eat at you. You need some clarification.

 

My aunt was deeply offended that she wasn't invited to my DD's baptism, but she never talked to me about it. Instead, she talked to every one else. When I found out from another family member about her hurt, I called her to talk to her, to see where she was coming from and have an opportunity to offer my perspective. I only invited our siblings and parents--- no extended family because there were just too many of them. It was nothing personal, yet she took it personal and let it fester. Needless to say the conversation didn't go well because she came to our conversation with her own assumptions that she's repeated in her head for weeks on end. I would've appreciated her calling me when the hurt first happened instead of trying to "be the bigger person" and "let it go". There is no such thing as moving on when the hurt is real and unresolved, it just eats at you and becomes a bigger hurt. :)


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#7 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 12:29 AM
 
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How big is the other side of the family? It could be that to keep things relatively sane, they had to 'limit' the guest list. My dh has 3 cousins. I've got 33 (or is it 35?). Needless to say, we can't invite all my cousins to anything other than major events (weddings). But it gets a little awkward when some cousins can be invited and others can't (due to numbers), and sometimes we just don't invite cousins, but we do invite aunts and uncles.  If they're having it at a restaurant, it may also be a cost issue.

 

Whatever the reason, given that they've talked about the festival, it sounds like whatever the reason is, it's not about YOU personally. Call or don't call, depending on how you're feeling. But don't take it personally.


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#8 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 03:57 AM
 
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Maybe it was a space issue? Or cost? What I would do is call and say "hey I've got a gift here for so-in-so, when would be a handy time to drop it off?"  and see what happens from there.

Also, are you 100% positive you're NOT invited? I know I've gotten upset before thinking my kids have been excluded from parties only to find invitations in the bottom of schoolbags, buried in junk mail or email invites in my junk file. : )

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#9 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

How big is the other side of the family? It could be that to keep things relatively sane, they had to 'limit' the guest list. My dh has 3 cousins. I've got 33 (or is it 35?). Needless to say, we can't invite all my cousins to anything other than major events (weddings). But it gets a little awkward when some cousins can be invited and others can't (due to numbers), and sometimes we just don't invite cousins, but we do invite aunts and uncles.  If they're having it at a restaurant, it may also be a cost issue.

 

Whatever the reason, given that they've talked about the festival, it sounds like whatever the reason is, it's not about YOU personally. Call or don't call, depending on how you're feeling. But don't take it personally.

 

This is our family. We go through the same thing. We find it easier to manage invitation lists according to generations, just for ease. It's not Emily Post, but it works for us and avoids the hard feelings for the most part. 

 

Since it's at a restaurant, I also think it's probably a space and/or cost issue. I wouldn't take it personally, unless there's some other indication that they suddenly want some separation from your company. It doesn't sound like it. 
 

 

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#10 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can only assume that since they are having it at a venue, they would probably need a headcount from the rsvp.  If we were invited, I imagine she would email me to find out our response...  I'm certain we're simply not invited.  

 

I'm really tempted to email her, but don't know what to say to keep it non-confrontational.  I certainly don't want to invite myself someplace I'm not wanted, but really want to clear the air a bit - this is making me feel really hurt and resentful!  They don't have a lot of money, so it could be that there isn't room in the budget - but why not say that?  Clearly people (ie. my parents and other family) are asking me if we're going...

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#11 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabin View Post

I can only assume that since they are having it at a venue, they would probably need a headcount from the rsvp.  If we were invited, I imagine she would email me to find out our response...  I'm certain we're simply not invited.  

 

I'm really tempted to email her, but don't know what to say to keep it non-confrontational.  I certainly don't want to invite myself someplace I'm not wanted, but really want to clear the air a bit - this is making me feel really hurt and resentful!  They don't have a lot of money, so it could be that there isn't room in the budget - but why not say that?  Clearly people (ie. my parents and other family) are asking me if we're going...


What did they say when you told them you weren't invited?

 

I don't have any advice but I know how you feel.  Our DS was excluded from an event recently and it was so surprising to me, I assumed it was a mistake and surely someone would notice and issue an invite.  I held me tongue for a long time and then it came up in conversation.  I was not offered an explaination.  I didn't ask for one but I did explain why I was surprised he wasn't included.  In my mind, I have run through every reasonable explaination but continue to draw a blank.  I am trying to let it go.....
 

 


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#12 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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I would call instead of email, but either way, I would just simply state your thoughts and feelings and ask for their point of view. Maybe say something like, "This is a little awkward for me to talk about because I value our relationship and I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but I have been wondering why we weren't invited to the party. Can you talk to me a little bit about that."  Be friendly, be clear, be honest. Frame it with "I think" and "I feel".  The door will be open for your cousin to present their side and clear the air. I would try to have these conversation as soon as possible before resentment builds further. 


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#13 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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Why don't you call your aunt, explain that you are assuming cousin wants to keep the party small since you didn't receive an invitation but that you'd hate for them to think you didn't care enough to come if they did invite you but it got lost in the mail.  You can go on to say you didn't want to put your cousin in an awkward spot by asking directly but thought she might know if your assumption that they had to keep the guest list limited is true.  You can explain that you are only asking because everyone (your mother etc) keeps asking you if you are going which has been a bit awkward since you would of course go if you were invited.


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#14 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

Why don't you call your aunt, explain that you are assuming cousin wants to keep the party small since you didn't receive an invitation but that you'd hate for them to think you didn't care enough to come if they did invite you but it got lost in the mail.  You can go on to say you didn't want to put your cousin in an awkward spot by asking directly but thought she might know if your assumption that they had to keep the guest list limited is true.  You can explain that you are only asking because everyone (your mother etc) keeps asking you if you are going which has been a bit awkward since you would of course go if you were invited.


I second this recommendation.  This is what I would do.  If you feel like you can count on your parent to communicate your feelings appropriately, you may even want her/him to do it (depending on which parent's family it is).  A similar thing happened with one of my cousins, and I called my mom and asked if she would call her sister and find out what the story was with the party.  As it turned out, they had just invited aunts/uncles but not cousins, b/c of space issues.  No offense meant, so none taken on my part.  One less birthday gift to buy, IMO!  I still love my cousin; it's totally OK with me if she can't invite me to her kids' birthdays, KWIM? 

 

One other thought -- if you have kids too, it could be that the venue where they're holding the party has a limit on kids, and your cousin's child is inviting some of her/his friends.  If that's the case, then it might be that there wasn't room for any more children at the party. 


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#15 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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It could well be that since none of the other cousins are invited, you aren't either. We had to do that with our wedding. We were limited on space and my mom has over 50 cousins (with spouses). I am close to a few of them since they lived near us and we spent lots of holidays together. I wanted them there. But I couldn't invite 2 out of 4 sibs and I couldn't stop at "these cousins but not the rest" so none were invited. In fact, none of our friends were invited for the same reason; by the time we were done with family, there was no room for friends. I felt terrible, but most understood.

 

If you are growing resentful, either pull back and realize that there are tons of reasons why you didn't receive an invite (anywhere from no cousins, nothing personal, to the invite got lost in the mail) and move on with your great relationship with them, or ask (nicely) why you were excluded and offer up the gift anyway. Think hard about outcomes here -- be prepared whatever you decide so that it doesn't blow up into something that derails your relationship.

 

I would call instead of email, since the tone doesn't come through in writing all that well, and you don't want to be accused of being snarky. Contact whichever one of them you are more comfortable with, and ask about the party. Tell him/her that you have a gift for the LO that you were planning to bring to the party, but since you weren't invited you'd like to bring it by whenever is a good time for them. Or say something like since you won't be at the party to help celebrate, you'd like to have a "family" party with your family to celebrate the birthday. Have them over for a barbecue or something. Then if they still don't explain, and you REALLY want a reason why, just ask and say that you're curious as to why and you hope it's not b/c of any upset on their part with you.

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#16 of 21 Old 07-20-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lunabin View Post

All of his other cousins (including my sister) are out of state, so not that I know of.  I assume his 2 sister's will be there.  I only know that his best friend and my parents are going, probably his 3 nieces/nephews too.  I don't know about his wife's family; she also has a couple of sisters and nieces/nephews (maybe 3 or 4 kids) that she is close to...  

 

To give a little more context - this is the part of our family that we have spent every holiday with growing up, every birthday, we all went to the same grade, middle and high schools.  I've been to all the christenings and bday party's of his sister's kids, and we spend at least 2 major holidays with that side of the family every year (between Thanksgiving, Xmas, and Easter).  They didn't invite any extended family to the baptism, and I assumed they just wanted to keep it small.  Now, I'm starting to think there is more to it, but then why the invite to the festival?  

 

 

It's not nice to feel excluded but remember that what your family did for every occasion doesn't really apply to everyone. Your cousin has formed a new family with a person who has their own ideas and family traditions/issues. It can be hard to mesh everyone's ideas and expectations together. The spouse may have a large family or may not understand how things were always done in your family because your cousin didn't say anything. Maybe they can only afford so many people and chose to not invite cousins. How much does it matter that you are not at that party?

I would just send a nice card, ask if you can get together with them or drop off a gift another time. Just acknowledge your cousin's child and let it go. I'm sure they don't hate you at all but had a reason for not inviting the whole extended family.

 

 

 


 

 


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#17 of 21 Old 07-21-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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Maybe it was a space issue? Or cost? What I would do is call and say "hey I've got a gift here for so-in-so, when would be a handy time to drop it off?"  and see what happens from there.

 


I think this is GREAT advice! I wouldn't take it personally. For our DS's first b-day I wanted to keep it small too. And we weren't even having it at a restaurant! There were some family members we didn't invite. It was nothing personal, I just didn't want to feel overwhelmed trying to entertain everyone and wanted to keep it small enough I could focus on my DS. If you follow childsplay's advice about mentioning you'd like to drop a gift off maybe they'll invite you, or invite you to come over at another time and have a smaller get together. Especially since everything has been going fine and friendly I wouldn't think not inviting your family had anything to do with not specifically wanting you there... I'm sure its just a space/size/cost issue.

 

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#18 of 21 Old 07-21-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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It sounds to me like they just want to have a smaller party.  I am pretty sure some of my DH's family felt sort of left out for my kids' birthdays at first, but we weren't meaning to hurt them or "leave them out".  We just didn't want to do big parties.  So we invited immediate family and then the grandparents.  Since the other cousins aren't getting invited, I'd guess that's what is going on.

 

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#19 of 21 Old 07-21-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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It sounds to me like they just want to have a smaller party.  I am pretty sure some of my DH's family felt sort of left out for my kids' birthdays at first, but we weren't meaning to hurt them or "leave them out".  We just didn't want to do big parties.  So we invited immediate family and then the grandparents.  Since the other cousins aren't getting invited, I'd guess that's what is going on.

 

Tjej



I can totally relate to this!  My family always had things very low-key, whereas my DH's family likes to have big shindigs for everything.  I find it pretty overwhelming, to tell you the truth... My SIL (DH's brother's wife) always plans for these really huge parties for their children, and I went to a couple of them when I first joined the family, until I realized that it really wasn't about the kids having fun as much as it was a chance to eat, drink and be merry for the adults-- and photo ops, and lavish gift-giving that everybody can witness (and compare, I'm sure)... Anyhow, I digress... When our DS turns 1 in a couple of weeks, we are just doing something with the grandparents... I'm sure my SIL and BIL will feel put out, but really-- their kids are 9, 10 and 16 years old, so quite a bit of spacing between them and our little guy anyway, and besides my DH and I being really low-key about everything we think our DS will enjoy the smaller gathering.  I really think the comments here regarding it likely being a space/size/cost issue are bang-on.

 


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#20 of 21 Old 07-21-2011, 11:48 PM
 
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I would not ask or hint anything, neither by phone nor email. You were not invited for whatever reason (and PPs gave various scenarios) and since you are still socializing with them on other occasions, then I would just let it go. Why make a big deal out of something that really is not that big of deal in the grand scheme of things? Such is life - you can't expect to be invited to each and every family-related event. And you risk making your relationship with them even more awkward. Let it go.


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#21 of 21 Old 07-22-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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I wouldn't ask about it, or even feel "excluded" really. It sounds like they don't have a specific problem with you, since you guys see each other regularly, so I'd assume that they're just having a smaller party for whatever reason. The fact that they didn't invite extended family to the baptism might be an indication that they just do things differently, and IMO that's fine. Since they act nice and normal when you do see them, and invited you to the festival in a couple of weeks, I don't see any reason to assume there's something wrong. 


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