Just received an email from my new sil who is organising my mother's 70th birthday party asking if I would make a speech at the party. As a bit of backstory, I have a fairly fraught relationship with my mother. She is very self centred, largely unsupportive, critical, very uninterested in my life (always has been) but does seem to want to have a better relationship with me though only on her terms.
She had a family lunch a few months ago for her actual birthday which we (me, dh and 3dc) went to - travelling 400 miles, whereas my brothers and their families live 1 hour away. I was considering not going to the party but had a change of heart as I thought that I was cutting off my nose to spite my face - I do like to see my brothers and nephews and other family members (including my mother, in small doses)! So I decided to make a holiday out of it for me and the kids (dh does not want to come - fair enough).
But, I do not want to make a speech, nor do I want to tell my new sil why (I think she wants us all to be happy families) as I am afraid I will sound bitter and twisted over my mother's lack of affection, love and support and her apparent need to sweep all that under the carpet with false speeches (which I am!).
What can I say to sil that will not cause a rift or give them any cause to think that I have all these negative thoughts towards my mother? I think she's jolly lucky I am going to the party at all.
Thanks all - I like squeaky's suggestion and may just use it verbatim. Unfortunately Zigzag if I was making an honest speech, those sentiments would be at the core of it. I don't think that's the sort of speech she had in mind