To dislike big parties and not want to help Dh celebrate his 40th ?

(60 Posts)
MuchBrighterNow Tue 22-Jan-13 11:23:29

Dh wants to arrange a big party for his 40th birthday, It will involve inviting lots of old friends and their families to come and stay for 3 or 4 days as we live far away from them. ( up to 50 or more people staying , a lot with young children, and then at least the same number locally )

He says that he will arrange it all, though I am not sure where they will all stay etc. It seems most of them will be squashed into our house. No one has any money to hire cars and we live in the middle of nowhere.

They will take flights to get here which mean that they probably wont be able to bring much luggage/ bedding etc.

I have had a very stressful time lately with my Ds teen . I have 2 other Dc , I work and Dh goes away a lot. I am already feeling pretty overwelmed just keeping up with day to day life. I feel very low in energy and do not feel at all like being the hostess with the mostess!

This party seems to be a big deal for DH....all I can see is the upheaval, energy etc. it's going to require. I don't even like big party's .I can see my negativity is really upsetting Dh.

I can't help think of all the practical, logistical details and they are blocking me as I just can't be bothered. Dh says he will do it all , but to be honest It's me who keeps our day to day life ticking over, and I can't see it.

AIBU to not be very happy with the prospect? Should I support him as it's his 40th ?

YouOldSlag Tue 22-Jan-13 12:03:41

How big is your house and garden?

When you have sat down and done a list he might scale things back or come up with more practical solutions. He sounds over excited but needs to calm down and think it through in order to make it happen.

TanteRose Tue 22-Jan-13 12:04:11

Hi MuchBrighter

I've seen you on the Teen boards and know that you really have had a hard time recently {hugs}

When I turned 40, I wanted a bit of a celebration, but DH, like you, really doesn't like big gatherings/parties

I did the whole thing (on a much smaller scale than your DH) and was glad that DH participated and tried to enjoy himself. It meant a lot to me.

So I would absolutely let him do it all, and try and enjoy the day itself smile

newgirl Tue 22-Jan-13 12:06:34

you definitely need to start looking at solutions here - find the nearest travellodge for people etc - def dont have anyone in the home. Or hold it in nearest pub in the nearest reasonable town so they do all the clearing up. Pay for something like chilli for everyone and a few drinks. You just need to turn up.

MuchBrighterNow Tue 22-Jan-13 12:09:24

No we unfortunately don't have a stately home. We have a fairly big house but half of it is a building site and we have just 2 bathrooms .... We can get food in for the party itself but it's all the other meals if people are staying a few days. Everyone can chip in to a kitty I suppose as we definitely can't afford to feed everyone the whole time.

I like the comment about the refugee camp.... One of Dh's plans is to put tents up inside the rooms which are half built !

I think you will probably enjoy the day more than you think in the end! However, my DH can also be a bit like this- grand plans etc, very well meaning but works very long hours and doesn't always see what the domestic impact will be of his ideas.
However, a couple of years ago he wanted all his family here for Christmas for a number of reasons and I wanted mine too and initially I just couldn't see how it would all work, but we did it by:
making a list of who would come
what we would offer
what we needed to budget for to buy
how we would plan all the food etc
We found we had some friends locally who were away for the whole of Christmas who were quite glad of having someone to house sit- meant they could leave their little pets/fish etc at home so some of them lived there. A couple stayed in our local B&B who initially said they were closed for Christmas,but when we said people didn't even want any food- cut their rates dramatically and so a group stayed there.
And other friends we know said they would have put guests up for us at other times of year.
Local friends chipped in by bringing some dishes to a party we had.
Got some cheap extra plates etc from charity shop/Ikea.
So it is doable you just need a big list of everything that needs doing and have regular review of who is doing what and how it is going.

penelopepissstop Tue 22-Jan-13 12:12:59

YANBU. You don't like big parties, the logistics are hell.
Thing is, it's going to cost a lot for people to attend in the first place. Suggest a few nearest and dearest in a hired cottage or something similar if he insists on an ego fest. I've never understood the need to drag everyone from the far corners of the world for a 40th birthday. It's a bit much to expect people to shell out on air/train fares when it's not a wedding...
Good luck, just get him to scale it down to a bit more of a manageable event...

You need to think practically here - currently, you're just seeing all the hassle (understandably, esp as you are nervous dh will actually leave you to do the work) & your dh is seeing all the fun (equally understandable). What you need to do is come up with a solution that works for both of you - imagine a fabulous evening with your best mates, to celebrate your and dh's happiness - come on, what's not to like?

So, think about what would make it easier for you:
- guesthouses locally where some of your guests could stay - 2 bathrooms for 50 people is simply not practical imo. It's going to make everything uncomfy (imagine everyone trying to show ready for the party for eg. Send as many people as poss to sleep elsewhere, as it also takes onus off you in terms of providing meals. Sell it to your dh as more comfy for everyone and means that you can make the house really ready for a big shindig for the evening. You can still have a few people (who are tighter on cash/you know are likely to be helpful!) staying over, just not everyone.
- Make it mostly about the sat night, but organise an activity on the sat and/or sunday with a pub lunch included. You can skip that bit if you need to be prepping the house/want some space.
- manage expectations: tell people what you will and won't be providing (eg. you can do breakfasts (cereal & toast) for people staying with you on sunday morning, send them details of local places to eat for the other times. Catering for a weekend for 50 people is just too big a job imo - you want to be able to enjoy the party too!
- source loads of local support: local students to help out with setting house up on Friday - laying beds, doing advance food prep etc ; and to help with tidying up on Monday! Get caterers to do food for sat party, get bar staff/waitresses to help out on sat eve.
- what would help you enjoy the party too?

Sit dh down, and do some list making.

LemonBreeland Tue 22-Jan-13 12:29:38

How long do people realistically have to stay with you? Can they stay only 1 night?

Is there any way your dh could get the building work hurried up and finished before? Even if he celebrated a little bit late, it would be nice to have it finished before a huge gathering.

PaellaUmbrella Tue 22-Jan-13 12:35:26

YANBU to not want 50 people staying in your home. That's ridiculous.

YANBU to not like parties - not everybody does...

YABU to not support him in the principle of a party though, it's a special, one off occasion. Try and see how it can be done more practically.

ajandjjmum Tue 22-Jan-13 12:38:09

I am mid planning a 21st for DS, and we will have loads of people arriving from different parts of the country.

The only people who are staying with us are elderly family members. I'm booking loads of rooms (around £30 each) for uni friends, school friends etc., and will arrange a minibus and driver who will be available throughout the evening as a 'shuttle' service. It will cost more, but will stop me becoming a massive stressball, so that I might even enjoy the party!

I enjoy the planning, strangely enough, less so the event - I shall be too worried about everyone having a good time.

I feel quite sad for your husband - although I remember my Dad organising a surprise 70th birthday party for himself! grin He did delegate the work though!

alarkaspree Tue 22-Jan-13 12:42:16

I think it would be really nice if you could try to be supportive. I agree 50 people staying in your house with 2 bathrooms is unworkable, but your guests will also see that, and when you offer them a choice of a tent in an unbuilt room with 24 people in line ahead of them for the loo or a local guesthouse they will choose the latter. They also won't all come - if people are going to have to fly to get to you, with their kids, many of them will decided it's not worth it for a 40th birthday party.

So I think it won't be as bad as you think.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 22-Jan-13 12:46:03

YANBU - I wouldn't want 50 people saying in my home and if my DH insisted I would be very angry. Are most of the friends and family all in one general area? If so I'd be tempted to suggest DH organise his party in a venue near to where most people live and you guys travel to them. I don't think it matters how unique your home is, if don't want it filled to the brim with visitors that's fair enough.

YANBU - But I'd let him get on with it, but be very firm that you are only happy for X amount of people to stay at the house, and if staying for more than one night your DH must sort out bedding, he must sort out/shop for/cook meals, etc.

Tbh if you really do live in the middle of nowhere, and you've said nobody has money to hire cars and they have to shell out for a flight to get there in the first place, to be greeted on arrival with a tent in the middle of a building site, then I doubt very many people will actually accept the invitation. I know I wouldn't.

YouOldSlag Tue 22-Jan-13 13:04:31

I didn't think he was serious about having 50 people to stay but it sounds like he was!

Catering for 50 people even for a few days is unrealistic and will be massively over stretching you.

Offer him alternatives and say you are very willing to help out but you won't be doing domestic duty for 50 people single handed. Even a hotel would need lots of staff to cope with that many people.

You only have two toilets- that will not be enough for 50 people. They will not want to travel on planes to stay in tents on a building site and share two toilets with 50 other people. I don't love anybody enough to do that! smile

I would send out an info sheet with the invites- Local YHA, telephone numbers, routes, maps, timetables and leave it to the guests. Where are you having the actual party? I think you will need to hire a hall and caterers. Your DH is not wrong to want to celebrate a milestone, but he is being very unrealistic and unfair on you if he thinks you are going to be running a one woman hotel for families in tents.

tarantula Tue 22-Jan-13 13:04:51

If he is prepared to do the work to organise the party then that is fine IMO and I'd let him get on with it and help out as and when.
BUT and it is a big BUT it seems to me that he has gradiose plans and is not looking at all the actually work and fine detail that needs to be done. From what you say in your post he is busy at work and generally leaves the organisation to you so I'm guessing that he will try to do the same in this case.
I loathe organising things like parties to the point where I get so stressed I feel ill so I don't do it and would be very pissed off if dp were to try and force something like that on me tbh.

ShephardsDelight Tue 22-Jan-13 13:07:23

Take a deep breath and do it for his sake, your reasons do sound a bit selfish even though I understand it can be stressful.

I wouldn't forgive myself if my DH went without a 40th because I was being mardy.

YouOldSlag Tue 22-Jan-13 13:09:29

I agree that although he says he will do all the work, he will not be able to if he works long hours so you will end up having to do it.

You can pull this off, but not in the way he imagines it. He needs to calm down a bit!

TeeBee Tue 22-Jan-13 14:12:50

Could you hire a few caravans locally? Then people could sort their own meals out, you wouldn't have to worry too much about the weather, and they can all shower in the caravans. I would sit down with him and go through all the scenarios and what it will involve, and see if he thinks he can take it all on. Then go and buy yourself a new dress and let him get on with it.

MusicalEndorphins Tue 22-Jan-13 15:19:57

up to 50 or more people staying , a lot with young children, and then at least the same number locally
I was going to suggest caravans too.
Can you call around all the 50 or so local friends invited and beg them to take as many as they can fit home to sleep at their places? It may work out great that way.

MusicalEndorphins Tue 22-Jan-13 15:24:18

Thank god my husband is sane enough to rent a venue if he decided to do something like this.
Compromise? Rent a venue, in a large hotel with room for everyone, then in the summer when the renovations are done, he can have a party with tents outside for sleeping.

BuiltForComfort Tue 22-Jan-13 15:37:30

How on earth could you fit 50 people into your house, plus cater to them?? This is the sticking point. Tents in half built rooms doesn't cut it (and do the guests know what the score is?).

Either get your DH to outline the exact plan - ALL of it - how much food, how many tents, methods of putting tents up in rooms, bathroom arrangements, party plans, entertainment, wet weather plan, minibus bus hire, airport collections, details to go in invitations etc, so that you can offer to assist with making it happen, OR if he insists on being vague, you take his offer to sort it all out himself and face value and leave every bit of it to him. Every bit. And when 50 people call from the airport asking for lifts and your DH finds himself having to queue for 30 mins to use his own bathroom you can comfort yourself with the biggest I told you so smugfest ever.

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Tue 22-Jan-13 15:41:45

Tell him he has to draw up a plan of where they would all stay and what they would do and eat for the duration. Must be exact, not vague. It isn't unfair to do this, someone will have to and if he refuses or gets sniffy you can point out that this is what he's pushing on to you and you just don't have it in you to get it done and run the whole thing. And if he's going to coordinate all this he'll be running round like a blue arsed fly the whole time and not see anyone... Oh wait, you'll be doing that, won't you? And he'll enjoy himself as the birthday boy.

Sounds like an unreasonable ego trip to me. Don't rely on people not coming. I thought we'd have 30 max for or DD's christening at home. We had to hire a hall and a caterer, my mum worked all day, I worked all day, we only just managed it and that was only a few hours. It was a lovely day, but more for guests who could relax, I think.

Tell him three families and you'll organise it. More and you'll come but that's it. Your posts have the feel of a woman who is feeling worn out, so don't let quiet resentment and his unthinking enthusiasm push you into a meltdown situation.

Yfronts Tue 22-Jan-13 16:16:15

you really do need to look at the YHA's - escape to. Would make everything much easier and it's cheap.

lubeybooby Tue 22-Jan-13 16:25:01

I'd support him sort of if I felt like you... I'd make him a list of everything that needs to be done and ask him to pick one or two things from it for you to do, that you are offering to do as a bit of a birthday present. Then make it clear he has to do the rest.

I really like parties though so I personally would be offering to do at least half.

Things like

Complete clean of entire house

Arranging party budget

Sorting out a list of cheap places to stay for people, or perhaps paying for somewhere for them depending on budget

Sorting out who can stay overnight

Buying/digging out enough bedding and airbeds etc for guests

Doing all party food or ordering and picking up from m&s or a caterer

Hiring a venue and decorating it

Getting or making a cake

Shopping for party food and drinks

Sorting out invites

Chasing up rspv's

Making sure there's enough seating

Arranging DJ/Band/Playlist

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