Asking family to make a two hour journey for a party

(70 Posts)
ShabbyChic8 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:42:34

All my family: parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents live within a few miles of each other. Me, my husband and my daughter live a two hour drive away. AIBU to think that they might travel that distance to come to my daughters first birthday party?

I genuinely don't know if it's a big ask. I do the journey all the time because if I didn't I wouldn't have seen any of them in years so for me it's nothing now but I wonder if it's too much to ask or expect.

DontmindifIdo Mon 20-Jan-14 22:13:22

YANBU to ask. Also, YANBU to want to hold a 1st birthday party at your home/near your home, but YABU if you get upset that they don't want to go.

Arrange the party, invite them and other people who are more local.

Do your parents and siblings never come to your house then? That's quite sad if they never make an effort to come to see you. It's going to be harder to maintain a good grandparent relationship if they won't make the effort to ever come to you.

WhenWhyWhere Mon 20-Jan-14 22:13:39

Mmm, I think it is a big ask. I think first birthdays are cute but they are more for the parents than the kid. You could always ask them and make it clear that you don't mind if they don't come. confused

We didn't do much for any of our kids first birthdays.

We travelled that distance to be with family for Dss first birthday. I will not do it again. If they want to see ds on his birthday they know where we are. He will be three in April, and we are having a party for him and his friends, if family want to come they are more than welcome.

Same goes for Christmas, we were expected to go to them. I said we were having Christmas at home, next thing I knew the whole lot of them were descending on us!!

MoreLifeInATrampsVest Mon 20-Jan-14 22:36:37

It's a tough one. We always travel about the same distance to see MIL and SIL (very small family only those two and DH, Dc is only child in the family and is likely to remain an only) in South Wales (we now live in England) and think nothing of it, DC is happy enough with the journey too. But they seem to have the notion that the Severn bridge only goes one way even though we always manage to get across on the way back hmm

They have never seen where we live or DC anywhere but their home.

I'm genuinely boggled at people whining that a two hour journey is a 'big ask' for (presumably, as no one's said otherwise) healthy, able-bodied adults.

Is it somehow related to mundane car-dependency ie anything other than round the block to school/Sainsburys is a dire challenge to your Chelsea tractor? Is it fear of the unknown ie going somewhere more than two miles from the street you were born in will expose you to People You Don't Know and Foreign Food?

MrsGarlic Mon 20-Jan-14 22:42:26

I think you can ask, but not be upset if they say no.

My family are the type to travel, and we would travel too (or we would have before we had a child who screams his head off in the car). But if people don't want to make the journey that's absolutely fine. We invited our grandparents for our son's first birthday party, travelling a similar distance, and made it clear that we'd be delighted if they wanted to attend but equally they were under no obligation as we know it's quite an undertaking for them (they are in their 70s and 80s). They didn't come and that's absolutely fine, a few of our aunts and uncles made trips down and that was lovely.

manicinsomniac Mon 20-Jan-14 22:44:43

huh? 2 hours?! That's hardly even an ask let alone a big one.

I travel 2 hours to meet friends for lunch/dinner, go to the theatre, see a sports event or even meet someone for coffee.

For a family occasion I wouldn't expect someone to even blink at 2 hours.

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Mon 20-Jan-14 22:52:44

Of course it's not a big ask. My lovely pil travel 7 hours (each way) every 5 weeks to see dbil's kids and have done for 16 years!

SinglePringle Mon 20-Jan-14 23:16:21

I'm with the 'it not a big ask' crew.

I frequently travel that to see friends. No biggie.

I think 4 hours worth of driving in one day is a lot confused It would be easier if you could stay over.

123caughtaflea Mon 20-Jan-14 23:22:13

Well, we do that regularly to see family and they travel to us too. Occasionally someone says 'no thank you' to something and that's fine too.

So for us as a family, we invite and if people can't make it, no offence taken.

If invitations were not issued, now THAT would go down like a lead balloon.

But that's our family. You know yours best.

Viviennemary Mon 20-Jan-14 23:28:14

Why can't you go to them if you really want a get together for everyone. But I can't see the point for a first birthday.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 23:36:05

I wouldn't do it for a 1-2 hour visit for a baby's party. I'd do it for an all day visit, or if incorporating an overnight stay and maybe family brunch out the next day.

CheerfulYank Mon 20-Jan-14 23:38:19

I think it's fine but am American and two hours is relatively "close" by our standards.

HappyTalking Mon 20-Jan-14 23:54:52

I travelled that far to see my nephew on his first birthday and every birthday since.

We are similar to you in that we and the rest of the family live in one city and DB etc live almost 2 hours away.

I enjoy visiting on his birthday so don't see it as a chore.

itispersonal Tue 21-Jan-14 09:30:08

Dont get people sayin it's too far for relatives to travel but it's not too far for a 1 yo to travel just to see relatives on their birthday!

Chocotrekkie Tue 21-Jan-14 09:34:22

Question really is how is the journey - do they all have cars or would it be a 3 trains then 2 buses type thing.

For people with cars on an straight forward journey no problem.

Grennie Tue 21-Jan-14 09:37:04

I travelled 7 hours one way for nephew's 1st birthday party - pfb. I didn't want to travel all that way for a party for a baby, but you do things to make those you love happy.

mercibucket Tue 21-Jan-14 09:37:08

i wouldnt ask and would just do the party next time i was over. its numbers - the smaller number travel to be with the bigger number. i would do it as an overnight thing though, 4 hours in a car seat is a lot

1st birthday is really your party for having survived the first year. get some friends over and get pissed

Scholes34 Tue 21-Jan-14 09:40:52

Bit pointless asking a question like this. Some people will do it and not bat an eyelid, others will not give the idea the time of day. It all depends on your family and their own attitude to travelling.

When the kids were younger, I would only have travelled for two hours if I was staying over, because it was the easiest thing to do. Now the children are older, I travel that distance and come back the same day because it's now the easiest thing to do.

zipzap Tue 21-Jan-14 10:04:09

I would ask them - but be prepared to put some of them up overnight or have cheap b&b lists to hand so those who don't want to do the trip in a day have got options.

I would go ahead and have it at home so that in the future if they moan at you for not wanting to go there for an event or complain they always do Christmas or whatever - you can remind them that you nearly always go to them. And if they didn't come (due to travel rather than previous commitment) or moan about the journey then it won't do any harm to be able to remind them that there's an expectation you do the journey lots!

Kamer Tue 21-Jan-14 11:00:32

I think as its your DSs birthday you should host and invite people to yours. If they don't want to come and fuss about the journey, that's up to them but they won't be in a position to complain next time you don't find it convenient to attend once of their get togethers.

NynaevesSister Tue 21-Jan-14 11:10:49

I would only really care about giving grandparents/great grandparents the chance to be there. So if there are health issues I would hire a little room near them and have a wee tea party with cake.

If no health problems then have at yours but invite them so they can make the choice themselves. Really the first birthday is for you so I would go with that, and who ever makes it for cake is a bonus.

randomAXEofkindness Tue 21-Jan-14 11:11:47

Posters keep pointing out that a 1st birthday party is more for the parents than the child. What of it? I'd go and make a fuss of a first birthday for the sake of the adults I care about, their feelings are important too, aren't they?

EverythingInMjiniature Tue 21-Jan-14 11:22:49

Some people commute 2 hours to work daily! I have. It's hardly a massive ask at a weekend.

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