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Just a vent...

Okay so a few months ago I posted how my MIL and FIL can't plan their way out of a paper bag. (It was her birthday; they asked us to  commit to plans of "We're going somewhere at sometime tomorrow, everyone else will be there- can you make it?"  We ended up not going.)

So now we get an email "It's Bob's birthday.  We are going to celebrate on Oct. 2nd.  I guess we will be going to a restaurant.  I will let you know the place and time later.  Can you come?"

Okay so I am trying to focus on the postive.  I really do appreciate the fact that they are trying to plan ahead.  BUT is it really that hard to have a location, time, and date all picked out in advance?  How do you think we can commit one way or the other with that little information?  We have one car and a baby so it is a logistical thing. 

ARG!!  I appreciate the effort, but c'mon!!  Okay, it's just a small vent- hopefully now I can get over it.

Re: Just a vent...

  • No its not that hard.  IMO it actually makes things much easier. 

    Can you prompt her at all?  We'd love to celebrate Bob's bday, but with the baby we have to be careful about time.  Do you have a time in mind? If its local, we can keep October 2nd clear for lunch between 11 and 1 pm or an early dinner between 5 and 6:30.  If that works for you guys and Bob then we' can make it.  If not, don't hold-up any plans on our account.

    Plus, its a bit weird she's planning this for a weekday.

    I remember your post from last time.  What did they end-up doing for her birthday?  Did it work-out for anyone?

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • baby steps!! At least they have a date now. Maybe next year, they'll have a date AND time.
  • You have a date. It's a weekday, so I think you can assume it's an evening activity. I think that's enough information to see if your available.


    image Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
  • I see both sides to this.

    To their end - this is how they are and you know it. It's frustrating - trust me, I understand.  But....  you aren't going to get them to change anytime soon. 

    And ditto the pp - as it's a weekday, you pretty much know it will be an evening/dinner activity.  Look at the other times they've done stuff- do they tend to do dinner about the same time every day?  If so... you probably have an idea of what time they'll be going out.

    I don't think this invitation is 100% impossible to respond to.

    However, that being said, I like what livinitup wrote.  I think you can ABSOLUTELY go back and say (assuming you can) "We are free on the 2nd. However, due to the baby's schedule, we would need to do dinner earlier - around 5.  If you are doing dinner then, we'll be glad to join you. However, if you plan it for later, we won't be able to join you.  Just let us know what you end up deciding!". 

    You have every right to be honest, to not go if the final plans end up being too late, but at the same time - you do have a date and a general time frame. Not totally impossible to say if you can or can't go.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Yes I agree- a day is better than nothing and I do recognize that this is a definite effort.  I am sure it will be a dinner time activity.    We shall have to see what the final plans turn out to be be.

    Liv, on Mother's Day we responded with "We'd love to come, but we would need to stay close to home on a weekday."  They finally suggested dinner 30 minutes away (but an hour with traffic at that time) from our house at 7 pm.  We worked out that my DH would have had to leave work at 4:30 to come home, pick up a fast gift, and get to the restaurant on time.  So we declined.  Of course, the world didn't end.  So I think that has a lot to do with this email being sent in advance.  Baby steps. 

  • Nothing your inlaws do is ever going to make you happy.

    In every post you use the line, We have one car and a baby so and I'm trying to focus on the postive..

     Get over it, nobody is perfect NOT even you.


    You couldn't even give in for mothers day, what kind of person are you. It's 1/2 hour away but you knew there would be 1/2 hour worth of traffic and you wouldn't drive the xtra 1/2 hour.

    Hubby would have to stop and buy the gift??? You are his wife and don't work so why couldn't you get the gift.

    Do you pull this crap on YOUR parents and family.

  • IMO, you are being pretty unreasonable.  They have told you a date, and as others have said, you can pretty much assume it will be dinner.  What does having one car and a baby have to do with anything?  If you DH can't make it home before a certain time, then just tell them that! "Sounds great, Patrick doesn't get home until 5 but we'd love to do dinner sometime after that".  Honestly, this seems to be turning into you nitpicking every little thing they do, and I would imagine at some point your husband is going to start getting angry with you for getting mad at them regardless of if they try to tell you ahead of time about plans.  You are just expecting them to make plans exactly the way you would like them to.  It's still almost a week away!  What difference does it make if you know a time now or know a time on Tuesday or Wednesday?  Just don't make plans for Thursday night and roll with whatever time they come up with.
  • I disagree with the harshness in some of the posts. You DO have special circumstances given the baby and car.  So while you can say yes to dinner plans at 6 pm at a local italian place to celebrate Bob's birthday .... you have to say no to dinner plans at 8 pm at the place across town.  It's a different invitation!  And it is only fair to know what you are saying yes or no to.

    I also remember the Mother's bday thing and there was a lot more chaos involved.  And I think you were better off not going under the circumstances.  The only point I remember agreeing to was that a gift was not entirely necessary - especially if it was the straw that broke your plans.  A very fast pick-up of fresh cut flowers would have fit the occassion, too.  But I digress ...

    I also get the impresion that if you say "Yes, we can make Thursday and would love to join you" ... that the group would not necessarily take your need for early plans into consideration .. and then take offense if you drop-out of 8 pm dinner plans.  So it feels a bit like a project.  You don't want to dictate when and where they go ... but you do need to know in order to accept or decline.

    I think you just have to bite the bullet and say "Yes, if ...." and see where the cards fall.

    It is good that they are including you and that you got some notice. GL with it. 


    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Tell your dh what would work for you "Oct. 2nd is fine, but we need to be back by 8:30 or the baby will be off her schedule."  Let him talk to his boss and see if he can leave early, or tell his parents no.

    For Mother's Day, I can understand not wanting to leave dinner, etc.  It was your day,too.  However, for someone else's birthday, I don't know why you and dh can't take turns "keeping" the baby - you tell dh what you want to have for dinner (many restaurants have online menus so you can choose before you go there), and if the baby acts up, you can step outside with her.  He can take over baby duty after a few minutes so you can eat.  I used to do this with dh.  Granted, it's not ideal, but that's what you do with a baby.  Also, if the baby sleeps, she's not going to care if its in a restaurant or in the car.

    And tell DH to get shopping for Bob's gift.  You don't want to run off last minute. 

  • Okay, this was a small vent.  I do understand that we will work around it.  I understand that they are giving me more information than before.

    A note about gifts: I used to think of, purchase, wrap, get cards, write cards and give all gifts, both sides, every occasion.  For his father's birthday in January one week before I was due, I bought a gift for his dad.  DH didn't like it.  He was a jerk about it.  So as of then, I do not have anything to do with gifts for his family.  I do however let him know when things are coming up so he will have time to think of something and either order or buy it.  (I keep better track of dates).

    To the poster who said what about my family; my family are planners.  We have a date, location, and times agreed upon and confirmed at least a week in advance.  The next time we will see my family is on Sunday, Oct. 5th at my mother's house 1pm.  I am bringing chips and salsa.  My two brothers are each bringing a certain type of drink.  My mother is making sub sandwiches.

    I have let DH know that he needs to be thinking of something for his brother.  I also gave him a few suggestions of things that would be nice.  I said that he would need to confer with his mother about times and locations, but that Georgia and I could be ready to go at 5:30 and that we would need to be home by 8:15 (bath time).  These were the suggestions last time (and this time too), so this is what I am doing. 

    The rest is just venting.  Not having a specifc time and date annoys me.  While I am dealing with it, I am still annoyed by it.

  • I agree that at least they are getting closer!  They gave you a date with almost a week to plan.  :)

    I would also tell them that you'll be able to make dinner (assuming an evening) as long as it starts before xxx time as you need to be home for baby by xxx time. 

    Also let her know how excited you are to go!  No, may not be the truth but you have to adjust to their planning when you have events with them that you don't plan.

    Good luck!

  • image susiederkins:

    You have a date. It's a weekday, so I think you can assume it's an evening activity. I think that's enough information to see if your available.


    I agree with this.  I remember your previous posts, I understand some of your frustrations but it also seems like you look for things to be pissed about.  JMO.

    Oh, and as for this:

    To the poster who said what about my family; my family are planners.  We have a date, location, and times agreed upon and confirmed at least a week in advance.  The next time we will see my family is on Sunday, Oct. 5th at my mother's house 1pm.  I am bringing chips and salsa.  My two brothers are each bringing a certain type of drink.  My mother is making sub sandwiches.

    Your husband's family is not your family. You are never going to turn them into the planners that you want them to be.  Make your peace with this or you will be frustrated for the rest of your life, and your husband (and children, when they get awareness) will be similarly unhappy with how every single get-together turns into a battle of control.

    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
    DS1 born June 2008 | m/c at 9w March 2011 | DS2 born April 2012
  • I agree with livinitup and ECB.  I totally understand your frustration with needing to plan.  If you are a single car family, your dh works, and you have a baby's schedule to be conscious of, you do need more information.  I don't know how you get your in-laws to be conscious of these considerations.  Do they realize the challenges?  I know that when some of my first friends started having kids, I was less conscious of the routines.  Now, I know a little more about babies and am always conscious to ask - what works best for you and the baby?  E.g., getting together with one of my girlfriends who just had her second baby.  It works best for her to pop out after the baby is down - so sometimes we'll go for a walk at the park at 8:30 at night.

    As livinitup and ECB recommended, I would just tell them you'd love to come, but given dh's work schedule, the car situation, and the baby's routine, you can make it if it is after 6:00 and you'd need to be home by 8:30, e.g.  Is your dh comfortable telling his parents and brother this?  You've said that he cares a lot about not making his parents unhappy.  But hopefully he can do this?  If not, that's the real challenge.

    As for a gift, I totally understand where you are coming from with dh picking out gifts for his own side of the family.  I always used to buy cards/gifts.  Until dh asked me to buy a "get well" card for one of his relatives.  He told me not to get something too serious.  Then, he was not happy with the card I picked out, so I had to buy a different card.  After that, I told him that gifts/cards for his family need to be his responsibility.  As you do, I make suggestions, but it's his job to buy for his family.  You and dh both have busy lives and he can pick out a card/gift during his weekend or lunch hour.

    I do think having a date and knowing it will be an evening event is progress.  But I understand your frustration with needing to plan.  Just tell them, "we'd love to come and can make it if ________" and see where the cards fall.  If it turns out you can't make it because of dh's work schedule, the car situation and the baby routine, then be sure to politely let them know why - "we're so sorry to miss out.  Because of dh's work schedule and the baby's routine, we just couldn't make it at that time."

  • Hey guys,

    I wanted to update you all- On Monday we got a date, time, and location- so we are all set!!  I am absolutely thrilled- We will be able to go and get home in time and DH has promised to pick up a gift. 

    Thanks to all the replies.  This one worked out well. 

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