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MIL arranges birthday party for husband but no communication with wife and child

(85 Posts)
tinyizzy Mon 01-Aug-11 08:30:43

I have just found out from my husband's cousin that my MIL has invited all his family to her house to celebrate my husband's birthday. Great you may think, however, on asking my husband it transpires that we (wife and child inc) are going (without my knowledge). But ironically us (wife and child) have arranged a surprise weekend away for us 3 as a special treat for the same time party is to be held. Am I being unreasonable to expect to be consulted by MIL beforehand, and am I being unreasonable not to cancel said weekend away?

DuelingFanjo Mon 01-Aug-11 08:34:53

oh! have you told him about the surprise weekend.

Could you pluck up the courage to ring her and just say 'Oh no, what a shame you didn't tell me about this! We're all going away this weekend and it's not something I can cancel so you'll have to change the party to another day'?

Sirzy Mon 01-Aug-11 08:34:53

If you phoned your mil would she rearrange the party to fit in with your plans?

Yes it would have made sense for her to check, but she probably just thought she was being nice

fedupofnamechanging Mon 01-Aug-11 08:35:33

YANBU. She ought to have checked with you first, if only to see if you had other plans. Go on your weekend away and it will send a clear message that next time she should check with you first. If you cancel your plans, she will continue to think that you will rearrange your lives to suit her.

UpsyDozy Mon 01-Aug-11 08:37:54

That's a bit strange, she planned a whole party, told everyone in the family including your DH and didn't tell you?? Nice gesture in itself but definitely overstepping the mark, she should have consulted you.

How is your relationship with your MIL? This sounds like dangerous ground, on the one hand I totally understand your frustration and not wanting to cancel your weekend. On the other hand, are you going to come out of this looking like the bad guy if you force MIL to cancel the party?

fedupofnamechanging Mon 01-Aug-11 08:38:01

Actually, this would make me really cross. By not even telling you, she is saying that you are not important enough to consult. Unless she told your DH and he has failed to mention it, in which case I'd be pretty cross with him.

I have a real dislike of people making plans for me without clearing it with me first.

ViolaTricolor Mon 01-Aug-11 08:40:48

If her party isn't a surprise one, was she assuming your DH would have talked to you about it?

DuelingFanjo Mon 01-Aug-11 08:41:06

is it a 'significant' birthday and what is your relationship with mil like usually?

HarrietJones Mon 01-Aug-11 08:46:02

Husband didn't tell you either hmm

Animation Mon 01-Aug-11 08:48:20

You sound a bit afraid of your MIL.

Is that right?

IDontDoIroning Mon 01-Aug-11 08:55:58

Ok Im in 2 minds either she is very nice but totally bonkers and didn't even think you ( his dw) would have organised something for his birthday OR she is control freak mil who thinks mother trumps wife in the hierarchy of birthday organisation planning and didnt even care that you might have planned something. Either case big mistake on her part for not checking.
It also appears your dh knows all about her plans didn't he think to check with you that you had nothing else in mind?
I suppose it's really all down to your dh and what he wants to do. Tell about the weekend away and give him the choice. If he wants to go away make him tell his dm.
If he prefers not to upset his dm and then I guess you either cancel or go away on your own.

birdofthenorth Mon 01-Aug-11 09:01:14

Yanbu!! Surely mothers don't organise their son's bday parties into adulthood?! And certainly not without consulting his wife!!

I think your best bet now is to tell DH about your weekend away & see what how heaping prefer you handle it. If you ask MIL to move the party his "surprise" will get ruined anyway.

FWIW I'd be fuming in your shoes!

diddl Mon 01-Aug-11 09:01:45

Perhaps the strangest thing is that husband didn´t think to tell wife?

I would tell MIL that you three can´t make it as you have arranged a w/end away.

bubblesincoffee Mon 01-Aug-11 09:03:09

From your OP, it sounds like she has told your dh that she was planning the party, is that right?

I think you have to tell dh and let him decide. I would be really cross at this too, even more so if dh chose the party, but it's his birthday after all.

Is there any chance you could talk to mil yourself and get her to change the day? I suppose that depends on if she would be selfish and say no, or if she would want her son to enjoy a weekend away with his wife and child.

PrincessJenga Mon 01-Aug-11 09:04:31

I don't think you or mil are being unreasonable. In fact, you both sound lovely to be arranging something nice for DH. I think you need to call her & explain then see if she can move her plans. It could actially help your 'surprise' if DH thinks he's going to a party.

FWIW, here DP arranges things with his family & let's me know or asks if we're doing anything that weekend and I arrange stuff with mine so i don't think it's strange for her to have planned something with him rather than you. After a few disastrous double bookings we also have a calendar in the kitchen and anything written down takes priority (if you haven't written it down, tough!) If one of us arranges a surprise then we just write 'busy', 'surprise' or 'paintballing' (whatever!) to book the weekend so nothing else is planned.

tinyizzy Mon 01-Aug-11 09:05:53

Thanks for all your comments, very very useful!! Being a first time MSnet forum user am thankful for your advise.

Am quite cross with MIL at this (and DH too!) but agree with UpsyDozy that it could be dangerous ground.

Said to DH that I had made plans and he was upset, feels he's caught in the middle trying to appease both his mother (who had phoned him several weeks ago and told him that she had arranged dinner at her house for his birthday and he just forgot to relay the message!) and his wife (& child). Basically just doesn't want any fuss on his birthday. I could phone her and tell her about the weekend, but she's not the type to say ok I'll cancel it (family are coming from some miles as a sort of family get together too and his birthday apparently being the excuse)! MIL is a bit too thick skinned to have even considered asking my opinion, hence the dilemma!

Sirzy Mon 01-Aug-11 09:08:19

Could the meal not be moved to the Sunday evening so you come back from the weekend and straight to your mils? Not ideal i know but should keep everyone happy.

PrincessJenga Mon 01-Aug-11 09:11:58

Sorry then, but we know who's being/been unreasonable and it's not you or your MIL...

OhHelpOhNo Mon 01-Aug-11 09:18:54

Agree PrincessJ..... put it this way, in the reverse situation if one our Mums wanted to organise a birthday meal for us would she check with us and, separately, with our DPs?? No, she would expect us to consult our DPs and write ut in family diary, then if there was any surprise planned DP could take it up direct with our Mum....the fault is all your DH's here, not you MIL.

Boys2mam Mon 01-Aug-11 09:18:59

It seems to me the issue is with DH not relaying the message than your MIL not consulting you.

Familyguyfan Mon 01-Aug-11 09:24:20

Sorry, but I think your MIL is being a bit unreasonable. There comes a point when you are too old for your parents to assume they will be organising your birthday parties. That doesn't mean they can't, but that before doing it they should check with child AND their partner that nothing else is planned for that date.

Wives and husbands plan surprise events all the time (or so I'm told). It seems that your MIL expected to organise this in order to invite the family around and didn't want to talk to anyone who might have an alternative view I.e. You!

I know your rather forgetful husband is stuck in the middle but he's going to have to pick a side. Try to be firm but amicable with him but stick to your guns. His mum will simply have to change the date of HER party, and let's face it, it is HER party! Why should the plans you and his child have organised and will be participating in be cancelled?

I'm afraid this sounds a little bit like a territorial war! Sorry.

qwepoi Mon 01-Aug-11 09:24:30

Phone your MIL and tell her that cousin has told you 'something about a get-together' on (not for) dhs birthday and your dh had forgotten (which you are cross about) very kind of her to think of your husband.Take a deep breath and tell her it's a shame she didn't tell you herself as you you have booked weekend away. Ask if she can move date as you have paid for break. Keep it all light and friendly but from the start act as if you are assuming she will change / cancel - you are the wife. If she says no you will have to decide (or ask in advance) which your dh would prefer and if you'll lose money from cancellation. My guess is dh might prefer to see his family though.

All this is true and a perfectly sane way to sort it out. You just need to do it!

I don't think either of you are being very u but MIL does need to be told clearly but politely to check things with you in advance.

qwepoi Mon 01-Aug-11 09:26:05

I'd start convo in a light hearted 'argh, bit of mix up' way!

qwepoi Mon 01-Aug-11 09:27:09

Ohhelp - if either my mother or my MIL were arranging parties they would both consult with me!

SJisontheway Mon 01-Aug-11 09:28:59

I can't say I blame your mil at all if she spoke to your husband. It is not unreasonable for her to assume he would discuss the plans with you. It seems she's gone to quite a lot of trouble and I imagine digging your heels in could cause quite a rift. I would be cross, but with dh , not mil.

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