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So hurt for my daughter - do I say something?

(289 Posts)
SquarePeggyLeggy Sat 27-Feb-21 06:27:46

I am really upset and want to check it’s reasonable to say anything and if so what and when.
I don’t think my sister in law likes us all that much, but it’s always civil and not unpleasant, she just doesn’t pursue any relationship with me or closeness for the cousins really, but does always take me up on invitations. I feel kept at arms length by my brother too, but again, always comes anywhere they’re invited and stays in touch at least once a week. I tried to push a closer relationship, but it’s clear they don’t want that, so for the last several years, I just backed right off and am here if they need, rather than trying to be friends per se. The exception to this has always been my daughter and niece, they are 6 months apart. They are close and get on well, and we have my niece for sleepovers etc sometimes, they’ve got their own relationship going. We are always invited to their parties etc.
They are 8.
This year my brother told me his daughter didn’t want a party. She was going to catch up with “a couple of friends” one day, us the next, and then the grandparents the following weekend. I said: “we can drop daughter off to one of those other things, we don’t all have to come”. He insisted that she’d asked to spend the day just with us, and “didn’t want a party”. It all felt weird, and like we were being ring fenced, I don’t know but convinced myself I was paranoid.
Cue today: SIL posts a bunch of pictures on Instagram, they’ve had a full on, pony ride party with a bunch of kids, has to be 30. Its a mix of their friends kids and school friends so it’s not just a school party, and anyway, they said there was no party?
It’s allowed here, btw.
We are supposed to have our catch up tomorrow and I just feel sick to my stomach. I felt they were leaving us out and this was our consolation to make us feel better, and I was right! For some reason they need to segregate us away from their friends and family. I have no idea what’s happened, and my daughter is 8! The girls haven’t had words, nothing like that, I’m so confused!
Do I say something? I just feel crushed for my daughter who thinks they’re besties. I don’t know how to act tomorrow! I want to cancel, but it’s not my niece’s fault! What do I do?

OP’s posts: |
FortunesFave Sat 27-Feb-21 06:32:03

That does seem hard but is it possible that your DD and theirs don't actually get on that well?

BeeGeeTee Sat 27-Feb-21 06:39:32

OP, you’re waaay over-involved here in whether or not a child is invited to a party, and it sounds as if your apparent desire to be friends with your less interested SIL is getting mixed up in the situation — notice you keep saying “leaving US out’, ‘segregating US away’. Children’s friendships fluctuate, too, but obviously don’t upset your DD if you think she’d be sad to have missed a party.

Choccorocco Sat 27-Feb-21 06:39:38

Maybe they are such good friends that if your daughter came, your niece would ignore the other guests, or at least her attention would be diluted?
If I I was dropping that much on a party and I was hoping to solidify a daughter’s friendships then I might think twice about inviting a niece too, not to be mean but because I’d be wanting the occasion to deliver better friendships and I wouldn’t want the focus off that.

Bit odd to not explain it and pretend there was no party but might be worth considering?

SnuggyBuggy Sat 27-Feb-21 06:43:02

I think you need to take a step back, this is hurting you and you can't make a relationship into something it isn't. Are the DC honestly as close as you wish they were?

Sarahandco Sat 27-Feb-21 06:56:40

I agree that they think that the cousin's relationship would perhaps create a situation where your niece may not fully engage with her school friends at the party. If the parents want her to strengthen her friendships at school, then I can see that that might be the reason. Cousins will always be there and is a special relationship, but friendships outside the family have to be developed.

OverTheRubicon Sat 27-Feb-21 07:11:43

Sarahandco

I agree that they think that the cousin's relationship would perhaps create a situation where your niece may not fully engage with her school friends at the party. If the parents want her to strengthen her friendships at school, then I can see that that might be the reason. Cousins will always be there and is a special relationship, but friendships outside the family have to be developed.

Agree on this - we have the same situation with one of my nephews, my ds1 is really close to him, but we've not had him at parties because he wouldn't know anyone else.

There's a bit of an element too that his home expectations are very different - they play a lot of games and watch movies aimed at much older kids (he's only 8) and while he is a very nice child as a person, spending much time together leads a lot of behaviours I don't love, like days of begging to be allowed Fortnite or spend more money on Roblox, and swearing and violence-themed play, so i want to balance encouraging their lovely friendship with time with other friends (out of lockdown, obvs!).

You say you and your sil don't see eye to eye, do you have different attitudes to parenting?

Like others said, no matter what, don't put too much focus on it.

SquarePeggyLeggy Sat 27-Feb-21 07:16:02

They could leave others out, I’m aware of that, it’s a huge part of the reason I didn’t send my daughter to the same school - to not put pressure on their relationship and let them develop other relationships. This is fine - just say if it’s that! Don’t say “no party”.
I say “us” because they’ve asked our family to the lunch tomorrow. Just us. At the party were a mix of school friends, dancing friends, and SIL family... so it was just “us” excluded.

OP’s posts: |
SquarePeggyLeggy Sat 27-Feb-21 07:16:29

We’ve also always been invited to parties, this is the first time it’s happened.

OP’s posts: |
GiveMeNovocain Sat 27-Feb-21 07:18:10

Just leave it and let them have a lovely day together. Do you really want to bully them into inviting you to things? Enjoy and value the time you spend together.

IrishCharm Sat 27-Feb-21 07:18:29

I think you should nip this in the bud and speak to your brother as it was he you had the full on conversation with regarding your nieces birthday.
How can you not? He has in effect lied to your face and that’s not on!
Don’t mention anything about being hurt/left out just ask him why he felt the need to lie to you ?
Your daughter is getting to the age where she would be hurt seeing her cousin have this party without inviting her, but equally as girls grow they change friends and feelings change so you do have to accept maybe your niece didn’t want your daughter there. That’s not the issue though, the issue is your brother lied so ask him why!

MsTSwift Sat 27-Feb-21 07:19:54

I am normally quite 🙄 about parents getting het up about kids parties but I think op has a point here and it’s hurtful.

Dd2 is great friends with her same age cousin and it’s a lovely thing if cousins are genuine friends. As for what to do I really don’t know sorry.

GiveMeNovocain Sat 27-Feb-21 07:20:40

IrishCharm

I think you should nip this in the bud and speak to your brother as it was he you had the full on conversation with regarding your nieces birthday.
How can you not? He has in effect lied to your face and that’s not on!
Don’t mention anything about being hurt/left out just ask him why he felt the need to lie to you ?
Your daughter is getting to the age where she would be hurt seeing her cousin have this party without inviting her, but equally as girls grow they change friends and feelings change so you do have to accept maybe your niece didn’t want your daughter there. That’s not the issue though, the issue is your brother lied so ask him why!

Why do this? It's obvious why. They didn't want to invite them but they also didn't want a difficult conversation where op would be upset.

Goslowlysideways Sat 27-Feb-21 07:22:31

Just see them when you've arranged and then back off. Protect yourself and your daughter.
I'm sorry they're being like this but given that they are, why do you want to keep putting yourself through this?
They seem to just make you feel bad.

Sleepingdogs12 Sat 27-Feb-21 07:23:08

Like the above poster I wondered if she didn't go as she doesn't know anyone else? It does seem a bit odd if she'd usually go to parties for the cousin though. Are there any issues with your daughters behaviour they wanted to avoid? As regards to closeness you catch up with your brother weekly, and they attend anything you invite them to and the cousins usually get together. That seems pretty close to me, maybe you won't be best buddies with your SIL but that's OK. Lots of people dont want to live in each others pockets. I would just relax about it and take it for what it is.

newlabelwriter Sat 27-Feb-21 07:23:30

It could be that if your DD only knows her cousin and not any of her other friends the dynamics just work better for her to do something separately with her cousin. We started to do something similar with one of DDs oldest friends who she’d known since before school. We found that DD felt she needed to spend time with her older friend at parties because she was worried she’d be on her own and wasn’t able to enjoy the party as much. We just did two things and everyone was happy. It’s hard, especially when they’re young, to feel your child is being left out but sometimes the reasons are pretty logical.

MsTSwift Sat 27-Feb-21 07:24:03

Also in a few years short years what with phones the girls can be friends without parental involvement. We went on a big multi family meet up with dh university friends dd2 aged 12 really palled up with one of the daughters of a family we rarely see the girls still very much in touch despite living miles away.

diddl Sat 27-Feb-21 07:24:50

Well I suppose it depended on what your niece wanted, although I think that they could have told the truth.

You do seem to be the driver behind this though.

I was never really close to my cousins although there was one set I remember viiting when young as my mum got on well with that particular SIL.

As I got older though I made my own friends from nearby/school & grew away from the cousins.

We get on when we see each other but there's no great desire to do so, although we keep in touch.

NearlyTheHolidays2 Sat 27-Feb-21 07:25:25

Wow. They accept all invitations, stay in touch at least once a week yet you've still tried to push a closer relationship?! Do you not see how pushy you're being, offering to drop your daughter off to parties she's not invited to? I'd be keeping you at arms length too as you sound a bit much tbh. It's healthy for the family to have other friends. I'd be worried that you'll destroy the great relationship your daughter has with her cousin if you don't back off now.

newlabelwriter Sat 27-Feb-21 07:25:30

Ha, echoing what lots of others have said. I really need so start reading more replies 😉

LoudestCat14 Sat 27-Feb-21 07:26:04

I did wonder if your SIL and brother are trying to create friendships for themselves as well that are separate from family, but then you said her family was at the party too. The bottom line is, they don't want that kind of close relationship with you and they want their daughter to nurture friendships with school friends. It's sad, but it is what it is and perhaps you should focus on the same? You seem very invested in the relationship and maybe that's why your brother felt he had to lie about the party, because he knew it would blow up into a Thing?

As for your meeting with them today, the best thing to do is just plaster on the biggest smile, ask DN if she had a nice time and don't let them see it's bothered you. Or you could confront your brother and know it's probably not going to end well. Your call.

SnuggyBuggy Sat 27-Feb-21 07:26:17

I do also get being a bit reluctant to invite someone who only knows the host.

pictish Sat 27-Feb-21 07:27:59

See I would be aggravated by being lied to so I’d simply come out with it. I thought you said you weren’t having a party but you did?
There may be an explanation. I’d want to hear it,

I don’t expect my children to be included in everything but if I am lied to about it, I want to know why.

Foghead Sat 27-Feb-21 07:30:51

Lots of people do this. One party for friends, one for family.
I wouldn’t confront them about anything but you know how it’s going to be now so just so just do the same and back off a little. The girls will develop their own relationship as they get older if they carry on seeing each regularly.

DavidsSchitt Sat 27-Feb-21 07:31:03

"it’s a huge part of the reason I didn’t send my daughter to the same school - to not put pressure on their relationship and let them develop other relationships"

You sound really quite intense about what is essentially a couple of little kids playing. They were how old when you decided being at the same school would be "pressure".

Your brother is in touch weekly! What do you want from him?

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