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to wish we'd get invited to someone else's house for once?

(34 Posts)
joshandjamie Fri 08-Jul-11 18:24:51

I have a circle of school mum friends. We all live close to one another. One of the 5 of them does invite me in for a cup of tea after school if it's just me and her with our respective kids.

The rest almost NEVER invite me to their house. They are more than happy to come to me - and do virtually every week (which means me making tea, getting drinks/snacks for kids) for 6 adults and 12 kids - as inviting one tends to end up being an inviting them all thing. And while I do genuinely enjoy having company, it gets pretty exhausting always being the one to be the host, particularly as it means a monstrous mess after they leave, which I have to clear up.

Now admittedly we have the biggest garden, but they all have gardens of a pretty reasonable size. I get the impression that none of them want the hassle of cleaning up or catering (by that I mean making tea and providing some biscuits/cake) so they just don't bother to offer.

Similarly, we have regularly (several times a month in summer) have them all around to ours for impromptu BBQs or break up day parties or dinner or get togethers after village events. Beside being invited to a Christmas drinks party at one of their houses once, we've never been invited to any of their houses for anything similar. In fact I've only ever been to their houses for the occasional playdate and our girly get together nights.

I think they genuinely all enjoy the get togethers. But I find it seriously rude/upsetting that none of them ever think of returning the favour.

If I just stopped inviting them, I do wonder whether any of them would step up and offer but I doubt it. We'd just not see them. Which would be a shame, so I keep doing it. But am getting fairly annoyed now.

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Jul-11 18:26:23

are they inviting each other but not you?

Nobdie Fri 08-Jul-11 18:26:58

Have you tried dropping any hints?

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 08-Jul-11 18:28:16

I think your suspicions are correct - if you stop inviting them then no, they won't invite you instead, you would just not see them as much.

You have to decide whether you really resent doing it, in which case stop - or whether you don't mind but would like them to make a contribution. If it's the latter, then ask them to bring food and drink contributions and if they try to leave whilst there's still a mess, ask for help clearing up!

joshandjamie Fri 08-Jul-11 18:32:59

ZZZenAgain - no, they don't invite each other. Although the lady closest to me has invited one of the other mums to lunch once (someone she doesn't get on with very well) and she told me she felt she had to as they'd invited them round to lunch once. I was a little: WTF?? So you realise that it's polite to invite other people back but not when I do it?

Nobdie - yes I have. In fact I've asked point blank to one of them and she said: I know, we're really bad, I really must get you round. And another has mentioned: I'm just to lazy to have people around.

Notsuchasmugmarriednow - I have now got to the point with BBQs where I invite them but tell them that it's a bring a dish and what you want to BBQ affair as I can't feed that many people that regularly! They're happy to bring stuff. They're just not happy to host

trixymalixy Fri 08-Jul-11 18:33:15

YANBU, myself and another friend are the only ones in our group of friends who have people round. The rest never bother, one just doesn't like entertaining people, the other's house is always a tip so it's a massive effort to get it tidied up to have folk round, another lives the furthest away and another has the smallest house.

It doesn't bother me that much ad I'm happy to do the entertaining, but it would be nice for the others to make the effort every so often.

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Jul-11 18:36:47

they probably just find you a great host and feel so comfortable and relaxed in your home that they don't feel they can do a similar job of it

It is probably a compliment but I can understand that it gets you down

joshandjamie Fri 08-Jul-11 18:45:41

trixymalixy - I think there might be some of that going on. 'oh my house is a tip' or 'I'm just not organised enough' or 'my house isn't big enough'. And I agree, I am happy to entertain, but I do find it seriously annoying that none of them ever return the favour.

ZZZ - possibly a compliment, but I'd like to feel relaxed and comfortable in their homes too smile

Bluebell99 Fri 08-Jul-11 19:28:12

We had a friend who hosted alot, but I feel intimidated about having her round to mine. She is a perfectionist, and very critical of herself and others, and i just would feel unable to live up to her standards. Also when her children did come round they behaved badly, one slammed the door so hard the door handle dented the wall, and the other threw a music box at the feet of dancing children. So we don't see them much anymore. Also have a cluttered house blush . Also this friend spends her whole life doing housework, and feels guilty about doing anything else, so makes me feel worse about my mess!

cat64 Fri 08-Jul-11 19:34:57

Message withdrawn

Catsu Fri 08-Jul-11 19:46:48

Why not say something like 'we've got work being done at home next week, shall we all meet up at someone elses house instead?' at the end of the get together one week and then wait till someone jumps in with an offer.
Or say dh is working at home and needs quiet or something if you don't want to lie about work being done.

Wishiwasarestaurantcritic Fri 08-Jul-11 19:51:52

You know, I'm one of those who rarely invites people round..and I really could do with the company! I worry that my house is too messy and my cooking isn't up to scratch. stupid really because I don't judge others by the tidyness of their house or the fudginess of their brownies!! Reading your post, I might just bite the bullet and give it a try..if they run away shouting 'unclean' ..well...I'll probably agree!

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Jul-11 19:52:52

if they ran away shouting , you could always get in some target practice withthe brownies

Wishiwasarestaurantcritic Fri 08-Jul-11 19:54:39

And be known as the mad grubby mother with the inedible flying cakes? grin

joshandjamie Fri 08-Jul-11 20:06:29

Our house is the third one on the walk home from school - we pass two others on the way to ours, so I don't think it's geography. And most of my get togethers are impromptu drop in affairs rather than pre-arranged. But it's like everyone hangs around after school waiting for someone to say: hey, come to my house. Except no-one ever does except me. And wishiwasarestaurantcritic - our house tends to be tidy (as husband has slight OCD issues) but often as not I'm rushing around like a loon putting things away just before they walk in the door. I don't care how perfect or otherwise their houses are, whether their biscuits are home made or store bought - I just want to not always have to be the host.

And bluebell - their kids are often utter nightmares when they come to us - they destroy the toys and drop food all over the sofas, help themselves to whatever they want and I end up being the child marshall as well as host.

purplepidjin Fri 08-Jul-11 20:14:29

Stop giving in to the pressure! Let someone else fill the silence grin

They know you'll crack first - stop letting them wink

Bluebell99 Fri 08-Jul-11 20:16:00

Ah yes, fair play to you for putting up with them! I just find the whole thing really stressful. Looking out the window and seeing my friend's dd swinging round on the washing line! Children rummaging through all your possessions. ETc. Several of my friends have really lovely big houses, kitchens and gardens which lend themselves better to hosting than my modern detached house.
But what we do sometimes is arrange to meet in a local wood and have a bbq and everyone bring some food, or meet in a local park and everyone bring a picnic which takes the emphasis of one person hosting.

Butterflybows Fri 08-Jul-11 20:16:45

joshandjamie, I imagine is must be hard not to feel taken for granted (stating the obvious) but I must admit I find it difficult having people round because I feel my home is not clean/tidy/stylish enough. I admit to laziness because I could clean and tidy, but also 'performance anxiety' re entertainment especially where food is concerned. I'd never dare have a BBQ and wouldn't have the confidence to cook a meal for others because my cooking skills are very basic. It may seem like I'm making excuses, but I genuinely find it stressful blush

nanar Fri 08-Jul-11 20:25:01

I think you're seen as the hostess-type! Everyone probably thinks you love it - you are probably very jolly about it and appear incredibly capable.

I went through a bit of a phase like this (not that I am particularly jolly or capable), but in the end just stopped inviting those who never returned the favour. We now have a much quieter social life and I bloody love it!

joshandjamie Fri 08-Jul-11 20:36:13

the other thing is that my kids really want to play at someone else's house. Going to someone else's house is fun, novel, new toys to look at, a different garden to run around in. They are just as sick of always have people at ours and having their toys trashed.

They regularly ask if they can go play at someone's house but I always say that we can't invite ourselves, that we must be asked. Yet the other kids brazenly walk up to me almost daily and say: can we come play at your house? Often I come up with an excuse but sometimes I genuinely have something on and know my kids would like to have someone to play with - but it would be so much nicer if their parents said: 'now son, we can't invite ourselves. Why don't we ask your friends to play at our house instead?' But it NEVER happens.

I completely get why other people might not host - it can be stressful, hard work, costly - but I still don't think it means they should be think it's ok to never return the favour. It's good old fashioned manners.

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Jul-11 20:37:48

you have already spoken to two of the families and nothing eventuated. You've tried waiting till someone else jumps in and invites everyone around, nothing eventuated.

You could try speaking individually to the other parents.

LemonDifficult Fri 08-Jul-11 20:51:09

I was going to post saying not to bother making waves but then I read about your DCs toys being trashed and I think - yeah, actually YANBU at all. I reckon you're main problem is that you're good at hosting and have set the bar quite high.

I know it's a little underhand but... what about your DCs suggesting it to their friends? i.e. your dcs ask 'can we play at someone else's house?' and you say 'well, I wouldn't mind but you'll need to ask X child and his mother'.

joshandjamie Fri 08-Jul-11 21:06:06

think I might have to lemondifficult. Either that or just suck it up.

Butterflybows Fri 08-Jul-11 21:08:46

Don't 'suck it up' or you'll get really resentful

LemonDifficult Fri 08-Jul-11 21:14:42

I think that the first thing you might need to do is stop inviting them so often - if it's as frequent as it sounds they'll have to find somewhere else to go or something else to do in the meantime. (Probably only applies in term time)

It's tough. I now have a good sized house with a big garden and I've really encouraged my friends to come over as much as possible because I enjoy entertaining and because that way I don't feel as though my whole day goes on travelling around (we live in the countryside). I can see it's a lot easier for me to host than them. But previously when we lived in a small second floor flat in town I used to dread my turn and probably did avoid it whenever I could.

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