To feel disappointed that my Mum considering going away when i'm having my 40th party.

(65 Posts)
Rollergirl1 Sun 22-Sep-13 21:00:59

I have spent the last few months trying to organise my 40th party. I have been talking to my Mum about it the entire time. DH's family will be travelling 250 miles to come to it and various friends quite a long distance too. As an aside I have been getting paranoid that I won't get the numbers and have been confiding to my Mum about this. Then the other day I asked her where she was planning to stay the night of the party. I offered for her to stay at ours or to book a room for her at the hotel that everyone else will be staying at. She said that they might not even be here as they are hoping to go away sometime in the month that my birthday is.

I was a bit upset about this and said that I was a bit disappointed that they were thinking of going away and missing it. She got really narky with me and reminded me that it is her partner's 65th that month also and that is as important to them as my 40th is for me. I could understand that if he was planning to have some kind of a do but he's not. They are retired and can go away whenever they want.

I would just really like my Mum to be there and hoped that she would make an effort to be there. Is that really selfish of me?

ChilliJo Sun 22-Sep-13 21:05:32

Either you're having a surprise party or she's going to surprise you by turning up at the one you organise after telling you she won't be there. Surely? She wouldn't miss it otherwise would she, unless she has form for this kind of selfish behaviour?

Ifcatshadthumbs Sun 22-Sep-13 21:05:36

Erm I can see why your upset but tbh I don't think 40th's or parties are a big deal so I can also see your mum's point of view. I also don't think having a "do" trumps other types of celebrations such as ongoing away but that's because I would take going away over a party for myself any day!

I'm not saying you are unreasonable to be upset but not everyone feels parties are a big deal.

Rollergirl1 Sun 22-Sep-13 21:15:59

ChilliJo: No surprise party as DH and I have been organising it together. I think this is my Mum's way of telling me not to expect her to be there.

Ifcats: I get that parties aren't everyone's thing thing and I also get that that they want to celebrate her partners 65th. But I am having a party and it is on a certain date and it is a big deal for me and they can go away any time ensuring that they are around for the date. Yet they are considering choosing not to. I just find that a bit disappointing.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 23-Sep-13 07:46:30

Yanbu I would be disappointed too especially since you have been confiding in her. Surely she can plan to go before away or after your birthday.

I don't understand when people say birthdays aren't a big thing.its not as if you expect a big celebration but it is special to you and should be to those close to you regardless of how old you are. And yes 40 is something to celebrate about, have a fabulous party. smile

Tavv Mon 23-Sep-13 09:05:33

Did your mum definitely know she was going to be invited or could there have been a misunderstanding?

Dancergirl Mon 23-Sep-13 09:09:43


I would be very hurt if this was my mum, especially as your dh's family are travelling such a long way to be with you. Can you talk to her again and explain how much it means to you to have her there?

beanandspud Mon 23-Sep-13 09:12:05

YANBU for being disappointed but YABU for expecting your mum to change her plans for your party. 40th birthdays aren't a big deal for everyone. Yes, it's something to celebrate and it's special to you but your mum obviously has her own reasons for considering going away at the same time.

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 09:12:15

YANBU it is a birthday party her dds 40th I would be hurt too she can go away after or before, on my 40th i just went for a meal my mum didnt come said came out and said oh I can't come because i am going to the club with your dad and so n so and his wife I was fuming and really upset,

jacks365 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:13:38

Roller you sound very dismissive of your mums partners birthday that its not as important as yours because you are havibg a 'do' but it is and it sounds like your attitude may have annoyed your mum.

diddl Mon 23-Sep-13 09:14:48

But they can't go away when ever they want if it's for his bday, can they?

TBH-it's a party-you invite people & they say yes or no!

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 09:16:23

I dont think op dismissed the 65th at all she understood they wanted to celebrate it by going away her mum knows about the party the mum knows when her birthday is, just because the OP is a grown up doesn't mean she doesn't want to spend some time with her mother on her 40th birthday and it is a party,

LeGavrOrf Mon 23-Sep-13 09:16:52

I don't blame you for being upset.

What mother wouldn't want to be there for their daughter's 40th birthday party. I can't imagine you have a party every year so I don't think it is about the party per se. You have a lot of people coming from far and wide and of course you would expect your mother to be there. 'Where's your mother?' 'Oh she is in Fuengirola'

She is selfish. Is she usually like this? Does she normally have to have everything about her and not like that you are having some attention?

LessMissAbs Mon 23-Sep-13 09:17:42

Surely by the age of 40, you invite mostly friends to parties anyway?

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 09:19:50

really you wouldn't invite family to a 40hth birthday lessmiss

RandomCitizen Mon 23-Sep-13 09:20:32

Oh that is a shame OP. I get why you're fed up.

Without knowing your wider relationship with her it's hard to see if this is out of character, or what the reasons might be iyswim - how do you normally get on?

Fwiw I just had my 40th birthday and didn't do anything - I didn't even tell my children - but that's because I prefer it that way.

and get to stay 39 for ever

I know a lot of people who made a big fuss though and they have every right to as do you.

I hope it goes well whatever happens.

deepfriedsage Mon 23-Sep-13 09:22:48

This will not be a lone incident. I think you need to back away from your Mother, let her put her Man first, tell her you wish her well in her old age and put your energy into people who deserve it.

jacks365 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:24:51

She got really narky with me and reminded me that it is her partner's 65th that month also and that is as important to them as my 40th is for me. I could understand that if he was planning to have some kind of a do but he's not.

This is dismissive as it states the op could understand "if" he was having a do. Well they are celebrating by going away but the op wants it on her terms to put her birthday as a priority over his.

Dancergirl Mon 23-Sep-13 09:29:39

I really can't believe some of the responses on here! Are you not close to your mothers or think being with them at special times doesn't matter when you're grown up?

It's true that a 40th isn't a big deal for some people but it is FOR THE OP and she wants her mum to celebrate with her! Her mum has known about it for ages.

As a mum, I just can't imagine not being at a 40th birthday of one of my children especially if they really want me there.

ExcuseTypos Mon 23-Sep-13 09:30:14


Although I would ask, did she realise all along she was invited, or did she only realise when you asked her where she was staying? If the latter, then I think you can't really do much about it.

You have told her you are disappointed, so maybe she'll make sure she books her holiday, not around your party.

Is it customary in your family to make such a big deal of birthdays?

I have never before heard of people travelling to stay in hotels for a birthday. Weddings yes, but birthday parties?

DontmindifIdo Mon 23-Sep-13 09:36:33

YANBU to feel disappointed, however, that's your mums choice. My mum does stuff like this, but I realised a long long time ago that if something isn't important to her directly, she is incapable of realising it might be important to other people or that even if she doesn't care about the event that it might be 'the done thing' for her to attend. Unfortunately, my Dad will just go along with what she wants.

My dad made a comment 2 days before my wedding that he didn't know many of the guest list. I had little sympathy, the bulk of the guests from my side were old friends, people I'd shared houses with, been on holiday with, who'd come to my birthday parties, BBQs and other events my parents had been invited too but had been elsewhere (my 21st was the last of my birthdays that my parents were in the country for, since they retired they now go away around then).

Invite lots of friends, people you know care. If your mum doesn't want to prioritise it, that's ok. But don't go out of your way for her next significant birthday. You are either a family who "do" big birthdays or you're not. Looks like you are not.

pianodoodle Mon 23-Sep-13 09:37:37

This will not be a lone incident. I think you need to back away from your Mother, let her put her Man first, tell her you wish her well in her old age and put your energy into people who deserve it

This seems way too harsh a reaction just for missing a birthday party?!

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 09:38:02

I went and stayed in a hotel for my friends sons 18th birthday party they moved a few years previous the boy asked us to come we went and stayed over night <shrug>

fluffyraggies Mon 23-Sep-13 09:39:55

Is this out of character for her OP?

I get that you are upset.

However what are the details? - for eg. - if i organised a big party with a band/DJ with teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s going and just my mum and maybe one other being an 'oldie' she'd HATE it and probably ask to be excused.

She hates loud music, she cant hear too well, she cant sit in a hard chair too long, doesn't like making small talk, has been tee-total all her life and she cant stay awake past 8pm these days without nodding off every ten mins. Also she doesn't drive so would need taking to the do and from it early, by someone prepared not to drink, as she wouldn't fork out for a cab.

Perhaps your party is not her kind of thing in one of the above ways?

MamaPingu Mon 23-Sep-13 09:42:29

I think a daughters 40th is more important than a partners 65th!
Should always put your kids first regardless of age, I hope she realises how selfish she is being.

For my mums birthday we went for a meal (me, mum, dad and my brother) and her parents refused to come because my mums brother has depression and would feel left out apparently. She was heart broken they couldn't just have one evening for her birthday sad

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 23-Sep-13 09:42:45

How close is her dp's birthday to your party? Ie how easy would it be for her to go away for her dp's bday and be back for yours?

Presumably the holiday is what her dp wants to do so if the two dates are very close together then she may be a bit torn.

If there is more than a week then she should be able to do both.

Ps If you live near me, are having the party during the day and don't mind really annoying small children I'm totally up for making the numbers up! We can invent a story as to how we met that makes us both sound really really cool! grin

kali110 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:52:51

Yanbu to feel upset but its also her dp birthday,its not ike shes just saying no i cant be arsed.
Really ott saying step away from your mum?really, just because her mum cant come to her birthday?shes an adult not a child! Feel sorry for your mum she cant win.

Dancergirl Mon 23-Sep-13 10:01:36

Should always put your kids first regardless of age, I hope she realises how selfish she is being

Totally agree. Yes her partner's 65th is important too but it sounds like they can be a bit flexible with the dates and she's choosing not to. The mum has known about the party for months, it's not as if it's just been sprung on her!

diddl Mon 23-Sep-13 11:36:53

"Should always put your kids first regardless of age, I hope she realises how selfish she is being"


Bloody hell.

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 11:43:57

well I dont agree with always putting adult children first and foremost that is a bit dramatic imo but on the party/birthday thing then I do think the OP mum is being selfish and thoughtless she gave birth to the op she knows when she is 40 , but tbh my mum would well was the same it is hurtful

peppersquint Mon 23-Sep-13 11:44:47

If she's not got form for this sort of think do you think this is an excuse and there is something she is not telling you

eg: she has something wrong with her, has to go to hospital/specialist or something and it falls on this date - she's not telling you because she doesn't want to worry you or ruin your big day?

I say this as something similar happened to a friend

diddl Mon 23-Sep-13 11:51:41

Back to the OP-I think that YANBU to be disappointed-but I'm sure your party won't be spoiled.

Do people really think that the mother is selfish for putting her partner above her adult daughter?

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 11:54:56

Do people really think that the mother is selfish for putting her partner above her adult daughter?

for her 40th birthday party yes I do think she is being a bit selfish she didn't even think to say oh yes your party well we will keep that date free it is one night the mother hasn't booked her holiday yet so she could book for 2 days after if she wanted but she is unsure and obviously needs to decide with her partner when to go, if it was me I would booka day or so later so i could go to my daughters party

diddl Mon 23-Sep-13 11:58:53

Well of course the mother may yet do both things.

But if I wanted to go away in a particular month & the only dates would mean that I couldn't go to my daughter's 40th, I really don't know if that would stop me from booking tbh.

Do you & your Mum see each other very often, OP?

I'm amazed at the number of people saying YABU. Families are meant to support each other and even to want to be there for each other and of course YANBU to hope your mother would move heaven and earth to celebrate her DD's 40th birthday. It's also a celebration for her too of being your mother for 40 years.

But if she's like this about something that matters so much to you, I bet she lets you down in other ways. This will just be a reflection of your wider relationship. You are not selfish to want a relationship with your mother which is mutually supportive and kind and caring, but you may just have to accept that, for whatever reason, you dont have that relationship. There are all these responses to you clutching at straws and propposing possible reasons why she might not be able to be there and its probably as simple as she is a bit of a crap mother. YANBU to wish her to be different but YABU not to accept that for whatever reason she is just a bit crap. Maybe she resents you, or hates parties, whatever, she is indeed letting you down. Accept it, and move on.

So, for your party, focus on what you have and enjoy and appreciate those people who clearly do care for you and are travelling long distances to be there. You will have a wonderful celebration with the people who love and care for you and if your mother isnt part of that its her choice, and perhaps her loss.

PS Bet you once she's kept you on tenterhooks she will come, and will continue to let you down and make it all about her. You will just need to ignore it as you will be having a wonderful time with your less complicated and needy family and friends.

diddl Mon 23-Sep-13 12:29:49

But maybe it's the mother's partner wanting to celebrate within certain dates of his own birthday, as I'm sure the OP is trying to get her party on or as close to her actual birthday?

LessMissAbs Mon 23-Sep-13 12:38:18

mrsjay really you wouldn't invite family to a 40hth birthday lessmiss

Actually no. I'd invite my friends. I went to someone's 40th recently and I can't say I spotted their parents there either.

Same here. No parents. Just friends.

Tavv Mon 23-Sep-13 14:08:22

I'd probably invite mostly family, and a few friends.

I don't think YABU, my DH was really upset that his mum didnt come to his 30th, and it did taint it for him sad

HearMyRoar Mon 23-Sep-13 15:01:14

Actually I disagree with you and think you are being rather childish. I think that it is her partner and though you don't say how long they have been together he is her family as well. A 65th is a big birthday particularly if it comes associated with retirement, bus passes, etc so I can absolutely see why it is important for them to do something together. Personally I've never understood why 40 is such a big deal.

I also don't see why a party trumps a holiday. They are both celebrations of one kind or another. Just because she has said she might go on a holiday for his birthday rather then your party is no reason for people to accuse her of being selfish. There may be many reasons why they can't go on dates that would allow her to attend the and suggesting that they should go on a date not including his birthday is mean spirited.

My dd's birthday is the day before my dp's and, though she is only 18 months at the moment, I can say right now that at some point in her adult life we will being going away for his birthday and missing whatever celebration she may be having. She will be a grown up and I hope quite capable of wishing us a nice time and celebrating without us.

MillicentTendancies Mon 23-Sep-13 17:06:48

Yanbu to be upset.

She just sounds like she can't be arsed with it tbh and I would extend the same courtesy to her DP's 65th, a 29p cardzone job would be my effort there.

Hope you have a nice party - I wouldn't make too much of a fuss as is it possible this could be some sort of ill judged surprise? I was on a wedding forum where someone's mum said they couldn't make the wedding abroad broke the girls heart and then turned up on the day.

mrsjay Mon 23-Sep-13 17:32:21

Actually no. I'd invite my friends. I went to someone's 40th recently and I can't say I spotted their parents there either.

Fair enough i suppose sayng that I invited my mum to my meal and she didnt want to come maybe we are expecting to much from parents

Dancergirl Mon 23-Sep-13 18:42:48

But just because it isn't important to others not to have their parents there doesn't make it ok! There is a big difference between saying to your parents 'I'm having a party but it's mostly friends' and saying 'mum it would really mean a lot to me to have you there to celebrate'. To spurn your daughter who is saying the latter is incredibly hurtful IMO.

Expecting too much mrsjay??! By attending a special birthday party of their own child. It's a one-off not a regular thing.

This thread makes me very sad, what has happened to family values?

kali110 Tue 24-Sep-13 00:56:25

Op is 40 not 4! Yes she can be miffed that her mum may be away but we don't know the reasons why her mum&dp don't know the exact date they're going away.
So the mum will be selfish for missing op's birthday, will she be selfish to then put her dd party ahead of her dp?op isnt a child. When is it ok for her mom to be selfish?why cant she and her dp celebrate his birthday?if my dm says she cant make my birthday but will see me before or after thats fine. I think shes earnt the right to put herself first for a change.

Eastpoint Tue 24-Sep-13 04:19:02


I think your mother saying she will be away is mean as she hasn't actually booked her trip yet.

I wonder whether she doesn't want to be reminded of her own age, is she older than her partner & sensitive about this? Does she usually want to be the centre of attention? We invited family to my 40th as it was intended to be a big fun inclusive party.

comingalongnicely Tue 24-Sep-13 07:35:10

The fact that they might be going away means the mum hasn't even made other plans yet.

For the rest, I'm not a birthday person, but I've been to lots of 40th - most had family as well as friends. It's an excuse to bring people in from the far flung corners of the UK if you haven't seen each other for a while.

YANBU, I'd be disappointed, but all you can do is make the most of the day you're going to have. Leave her to whatever she's got planned, she'll be the one that misses out on seeing the rest of the family & won't be in the photo's etc.

bleedingheart Tue 24-Sep-13 07:42:34


I think it is very unlikely she can't get a holiday at any other time than on your birthday which you have been planning for a long time and that you have confided in.
I would be deeply hurt too.
I know lots of people on MN always minimise birthdays and question adults who celebrate but in my family most of the women haven't made it past fifty so if I get to forty, damn right I'll celebrate and my mum will be first on the dancefloor!

bleedingheart Tue 24-Sep-13 07:44:13

...confided in her about

kali110 Tue 24-Sep-13 10:50:57

What if the mum or dp cant get time off together except then, or maybe its cheaper then.
Just think that the mom deserves to put herself first now that op is an adult.we dont actually know why the mom has to go away at that time.

coralanne Tue 24-Sep-13 10:56:18

OP said they are retired

coralanne Tue 24-Sep-13 11:01:37

I went to my DH's niece's 40th birthday on Saturday.

It was wonderful. She had all the significant people in her life there.

Her beautiful sister and Mum did all the organizing and most of the cooking.

Next door neighbours of 40 years standing were there and school friends who were also neighbours growing up were there.

Her DD also turned 5 and several of her little friends were there.

It was truly a magical night.

kali110 Tue 24-Sep-13 12:41:16

Yes but we dont know why they have to go at that time. I just think everyones being hard on the mum.i mean things like distance yourself from the mom! We dont know mum anout ops mum, whether shes been there for all of ops life, whether anything is wrong with the dp etc.i think at the mims age she should be allowed to be a bit selfish.

SirChenjin Tue 24-Sep-13 12:43:19

She can be selfish 364 other days of the year.


mrsjay Tue 24-Sep-13 12:49:45

I wonder if all the people saying oh the mum and partner is fine to do what they like would have a holiday or go away on their adults child significant birthday party that you knew was happening or any family occasion at what age would it be ok for to be dismissive of your childs feelngs for a holiday

FunnyRunner Tue 24-Sep-13 12:54:36


Inertia Tue 24-Sep-13 13:33:33

If her partner's birthday is that month I don't get why they have to celebrate the 65th on OP's birthday. Does his birthday cover the entire month?

WingDefence Tue 24-Sep-13 13:38:20


Mojavewonderer Tue 24-Sep-13 18:24:52

Aww that's really nasty of your mother to even consider going away over your birthday sad
Every year my family get together for a meal to celebrate everyone's birthday (that's about 11 birthdays for immediate family) I have 2 siblings and on each of their 40th's we've had a big do and no one would of dreamed of missing it. Mine is awhile away yet but I am looking forward to my big 'do'!

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 24-Sep-13 19:16:52

the fact they might be away means they havnt booked it yet, so can book the weekend before/after - unless you are having your party on mums partners 65th iyswim

I think it's weird for adults to make a big song and dance about their birthdays, and particularly to expect everyone else to do the same. YABU,

Talkinpeace Tue 24-Sep-13 21:05:32

I go to my Mum's big birthday parties.
She does not come to mine.
Ever, ever, ever.
I has 2 21sts : one with family, one with friends. I have never mixed them.

thistlelicker Tue 24-Sep-13 21:07:40

My mums planning on going in holiday at the same time
I'm due my
Baby! Crap!!! I get where u coming
From op

Mydelilah Tue 24-Sep-13 21:39:38

When I saw the title I thought you were my DSis! She's on MN somewhere (we've never told each other our nns). Anyway she was going through something similar with our DM who likes to go away at the time of year DSis is planning her 40th party, I think it's been resolved now as DM's holiday won't overlap.

As Coralanne said, DSis wants everyone important to her to be there, is agonising over every detail, has been planning for months and me and her friends are all chipping in, in our own ways, to the evening and DSis would have been very hurt if DPs didn't come so YANBU.

Suggest you talk to your DM about how much this means to you, possibly she doesn't realise that it's for family as well as friends? - can't she work her holiday plans around it?

Hope you have a fab party

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