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Let's keep those family issues going - birthdays

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by MamaBelle4, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    I'm the youngest of 5. One brother is our of the equation (LONG story there), but the rest of us are relatively tight knit.

    For the second year in a row, my brother is not coming to my one daughter's birthday. Last year the excuse was "If we are up early enough we will come." It was at 1 pm, and they have a son who was 3.

    This year, supposedly her niece's party is at the same time and they already said they'd go. Well, when I texted my brother last week about DH welding something for him, he said "Either day next weekend is fine, just let me know." I responded, "Well, we are having DD5 birthday on Saturday, so let's plan for Sunday." He said nothing and he knew he was invited.

    They come to about half of my kids' birthdays and bring presents for some of them. I don't care if they do or don't, but wish they'd be consistent. And it hurts that for the second year it will be my family, my sister and my parents and that's it for her. (We are doing 2 parties this year - one for my side and one for DH's because of timing). My other brother had to work so he and his son are hanging out with her on Friday.

    I would never skip out on my nephew's (and niece now too) birthdays. It just seems like DD5 gets the short end of the stick being born right after Christmas and he can't ever take the time to come to her parties but comes to some of her sisters'. I just wish he would be consistent. Either come or don't. DD5 is going to eventually notice.
     
  2. wenrob

    wenrob DIS Veteran

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    My entire family blew off my younger kids birthday this year. No card, no phone call, not even a text. It’s like the older kids are grown/just about grown and the youngest just get forgotten. It used to make me furious on there behalf but the weird thing is, they barely seem to notice. I’ve stopped throwing parties and have turned their birthday into a personal day. I let them skip school this year. We went to the movies and out to dinner then had cake and presents at home. I’ve stopped trying to make up for my family and I don’t make excuses for them. I have low expectations these days and my kids thankfully have none.

    I know that’s not really advice but just don’t mention this uncle being invited. If you’re upset, she’ll be upset. If you act like it’s not a big deal, she’ll follow your lead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  4. Mizzoufan

    Mizzoufan DIS Veteran

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    maybe its better that there not if there attitude is like that.
     
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  5. morgan98

    morgan98 DIS Veteran

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    OP, while I get what you are saying, I think demanding consistency in having aunts and uncles attend every niece's and nephew's party is unrealistic. In a way, it sounds like he is consistently inconsistent.

    I would go about it a bit differently and tell your kids that their aunts and uncles come to as many parties as they can and to be happy when they do attend.

    You are analyzing and taking why he is not coming personally. I know it is easier said that done, but try to shake it off and move on. No need to let your kids know that your brother may not really have other plans.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  6. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    How far away? We are low key on birthdays, when they were little, just the grandparents or maybe a little pizza/cake with playgroup friends. Once they got to school, they had a friends party, and could pick their favorite dinner. My twins had a birthday yesterday, got takeout (their choice), an ice crream cake, and the kids went to a movie.
     
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  7. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

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    Everybody does birthdays differently and places different levels of importance on them.

    I invite my siblings/families to my kids birthdays. If they want to come great, if they can't or don't want to come, that's fine too.

    OP, attending family birthdays are a high priority to you, but don't take it personally or let it be a big deal when others don't prioritize the same way.
     
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  8. aprilgail

    aprilgail DIS Veteran

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    My daughter always had a party with preschool kids, school kids etc- we did have a "family" party for her up to her 3rd birthday- most of my family is the same. I honestly would hate to have to go to 4 or 5 birthday parties every year for nieces/nephews.
     
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  9. lancermom

    lancermom Mouseketeer

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    Here's the deal. You say you will never skip out on your nephew or niece's birthdays. Well, in the scenario above, it's your SIL's niece's birthday. They committed to that. Why should they miss her niece's birthday to attend his niece's birthday?

    I guess it's because our family doesn't make such a big deal about birthdays outside of our immediate family. Parties really consisted of friends when they were little. My son's 16th birthday is on Monday and I am pretty sure my SIL who lives near us isn't even aware of that. Your daughter is having 2 parties - that's pretty darn nice. Does it really matter if your brother is not there?
     
  10. mi*vida*loca

    mi*vida*loca Collect memories, not things

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    We go to all nieces/nephews birthday parties. My SO has cousins with kids and in their culture they don't do second cousins, they just consider the older cousin aunt/uncle. We go to all of those too.

    My social calendar is usually full with some kind of party every single weekend. Sometimes Friday and Saturday. But to us family is important and we attend most everything we are invited to. Now if we find certain people don't attend our stuff over and over then we stop making such a big effort to attend their event next time.

    In the past few years my mother's family has gotten really religious. They have a lot of church functions or things to do with their church people. Those events come first and they will not make any adjustments. They have started missing a lot of my kids parties if it's on a day that they are in church or have a get together with their church friends. Oh well. At first it upset me but I've let it go and moved on. I just don't make the extra effort for their events. If I'm free than maybe I'll attend if I feel like going. If not I'll stay home or do something else.
     
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  11. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    Oh I had no intention of telling her, but she will notice eventually that he fails to show up.

    45 minutes.

    The thing is, they are a high priority to him too. He threw a mini temper tantrum because our sister in law was going to bring her son to his son's party in October, and she called to let him know her DS was ill and he threw a hissy fit because he didn't believe her.

    If there is a family function, I am there. He used to be like that too. You could always depend on me, him and our sister for any function. He's started withdrawing more and more and more.

    Like Christmas. He showed up and immediately asked my mom when lunch was (his wife and baby had elected not to come) and demanded we start opening gifts.

    I said "Brother isn't here yet." "Well he should be." I had to argue with him that it was their first Christmas as a family so they're probably trying to start new traditions (they adopted their son this year), and his response was, "Brother is always late."

    It just seems, more and more, all that matters to him is how something personally affects him, regardless of anyone else involved.
     
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  12. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    We try to make the birthday parties but we miss some. That is life, especially when there are 2 sides to a family. Sometimes your side is the priority, sometimes the other one is. Also, our kids have activities and stuff on weekends, so yes we miss things because of that too.

    As far as your brother not saying anything, if he is anything like my dh, he probably had no clue what "his" plans were. I'm the one agreeing to family parties and stuff, he just goes along :)
     
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  13. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    Because I'm fairly certain he isn't being truthful. He was available for my husband to weld a piece of his car this Saturday and I mentioned DD5's party.

    Suddenly, he isn't. Frankly I suspect his wife doesn't want to go. Which would be fine.

    First, let me be clear, a birthday party for us is our families getting together, us serving lunch and cake. That's it. It's pretty much lunch with Grandma, no decorations or party favors, sometimes the only present is what we get. It is more so a family get together than anything

    Exactly, us too. And that used to be my brother as well.
     
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  14. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    I would say that was what it was, but he tends to ask his wife "permission" before making any plans.
     
  15. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    That is how it is here, I get the "are we doing anything this weekend?" before he makes any plans for himself. If it is somebody's party I will remind him and it is like he is hearing it for the first time LOL
     
  16. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, my DH has no clue either. His family doesn't even call/text him plans anymore, they just come right to me.
     
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  17. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

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    I don't like it when people refer to these situations and comment that they always make every effort to attend all of these events because they value family. The fact of the matter is most people value family quite a lot. The reality is our society today is at a much higher pace than it was even 25, 30 years ago.

    Another thing to remember is, an invitation isn't a command to appear -- or it shouldn't be. If people make an effort to show up when it works for them, that's a lot to be grateful for. Simply because they used to show up more and it's less frequent now isn't a reason to dog their commitment to family or question their reasons for the change. Maybe their own children are getting involved in more activities, maybe some seasons are busier than others. Sometimes we're not privy to all of the day to day changes in schedule happening even with people we know well.

    Incidentally, a 45-minute, one-way drive means an hour and a half of travel in addition to the festivities. Sometimes people are just tired.
     
  18. RangerPooh

    RangerPooh DIS Veteran

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    My FIL only remembers my kids birthdays half the time, but remembers the birthdays of my SIL kids and grand kids. Why her kids and not DHs? Basically it comes down to SIL had kids when SIL and DHs mom was still alive, and they watched her kids. DH is younger and had children a decade after she past away. Our kids are regularly forgotten. Heck we were told that they are not allowed at FIL and stepMIL house, yet SIL grand kids who are just as rambunctious as mine are :sad2:.

    Oh, the grandkids and great grand kids of stepMIL are remembered.
     
  19. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Y kant Donald fly?

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    That's why everybody should have a shared family online calendar. We use Google calendar. I might not remember I'm supposed to be be somewhere on Saturday, but I can check my phone ;)
     
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  20. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

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    Your SIL kids are a decade older and as rambunctious as their much younger cousins?

    As far as the grandkids of StepMIL, presumably she's also alive to be the likely driving force there.
     
  21. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    Of course it isn't. My one brother can't make it. That's fine, I get it. I don't know if you saw my response to PP, but besides thinking he is lying (which I do) he threw a total crap fit when our one SIL couldn't make it to his son's party because her son (with diabetes) was ill. Because it affected him. If he just didn't want to come for whatever reason a simple, "Sorry, MamaBelle, we can't make it." No need to give me an excuse or a lie.

    Yes, that may be true in some cases. But his oldest is 4. The only thing he does is daycare.

    Probably true in most areas. But we are talking about an area of the country where the nearest grocery store is 15 minutes away. You have to drive to go anywhere. And I'm having the party at our parents' house specifically because it is more central to everyone than mine. I live 1 1/2 hours away from my brother (yet I still drove to his house for his son's party).

    And I understand that I've not relayed everything that tells me he is withdrawing from our family. I could, but the post would be several pages long. I'm just sad that my DD5 barely gets to see him and barely even knows him.
     

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