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to not go to my brother's birthday/early Christmas meal out (mumsnet jury needed)

(44 Posts)
DontGrumbleGiveAWhistle Fri 12-Oct-12 22:09:28

I'm 36, DB 31. Only 5 years between us but I'm married with 3 children, 4, 3 and 1 and DB is free and single.
We have a small circle of babysitters: my mum, MIL and an older lady who does some housekeeping for us. However given the children's ages (very young) and given the ages of the babysitters (68, 71 and 72) we always try (unless unavoidable for weddings etc) to have the children in bed as it's a full on job putting medicating cream on DC3, doing baths, stories and settling etc and we don't think it's fair on them.

DB has never and will never try to understand that my life is very different from his. Examples
- his 30th birthday party I had an EBF 3 month old (along with a 3 and 2 year old) and he insisted that everyone was at his party at 7.30 (NO exceptions) even though the meal wasn't going to be served till 8.30.
- I asked him to babysit once, DC1 was 20 months and DC2 was 6 weeks. MIL put DC1 to bed and DB was to sit in the house from 8 pm until we arrived back from a wedding - we had brought DC2 with us (EBF) (estimated time of arrival home 9.30). As meal and speeches didn't end as expected we didn't arrive home till 10.15. DB complains about it still. I have never again asked him to babysit.
- I put a save the date in his diary for DC2's birthday for either the Sat or Sun of DC2's birthday weekend. As I never confirmed with him closer to the time he told our mum that as he wasn't specifically invited he wouldn't go (didn't bother picking up the phone to me to clarify the date).

The issue:
DB is leaving in Dec for a holiday to Oz for 6 weeks. He has decided to invite a small number of people to what he has called a birthday/Christmas meal - 6 people. Mum, DB, myself, DH and 2 others.
DH already has tickets to an event at 5pm that evening and will be free by 8.00. I let DB know this. He proposed 8.30 in a very specific restaurant that he wants to go to. No problem - I can get the children to bed and asleep by that time and the babysitter can come to watch over them.

DB comes back to say booked for 6.30. I reply saying that DH can't make it and that I need to look into babysitters (as my mum will be at the meal we will have to rely on MIL as housekeeper doesn't put children to bed, so we are now down to one option.) DB: "Forgot about DHs tickets - no other time available in restaurant. Let me know if you can come".

So (eventually getting to the point)...
If this is DB's celebratory Christmas/birthday dinner with family AIBU in expecting him to be a bit flexible in booking the meal in another restaurant on the same night but at a time that suits? We live in a large city with multiple options for fine dining (which this restaurant falls into).

I'm seriously thinking about not even bothering to ask MIL to babysit and telling DB that we don't have a sitter.

Softlysoftly Fri 12-Oct-12 22:12:07

He's only going on an extended hiday, I wouldn't bother going tbh

Softlysoftly Fri 12-Oct-12 22:12:28

Hiday? hmm

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 22:14:38

Just tell him you won't be able to make those arrangements and the initial ones suited. Be very clear about it, if he can't an flexible you can't go.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 22:15:53

"sorry, we can't be there for that time so if there's no flexiblity. We can do dinner after 8pm on X, Y or Z nights (dates between now and him going away). Let me know if you want to do something with us on one of those nights instead."

amistillsexy Fri 12-Oct-12 22:16:09

He wants to go to that restaurant for his 'do', and your DH wants to go to his event. Your DH's event was booked first, so you can't go.

I don't think you need to lie that you don't have a sitter, just say 'That's a shame, as DH has his event, which has been arranged for ages.' and don't go. How he chooses to feel about that is his own problem. <<hard nosed emoticon>>

Justhadenough Fri 12-Oct-12 22:16:39

I don't think YABU.
I would just tell him the truth, that the time doesn't suit you and your DH already had plans (which he knew about anyway) so you can't come.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 12-Oct-12 22:17:15

If you tell him you can't go if its at that time, do you think he will offer to change the restaurant?

If you would have to ask him to go somewhere else, then he would rather have this particular restaurant than have you and DH there. I wouldn't ask him, just tell him you won't be able to go anymore.

Valdeeves Fri 12-Oct-12 22:17:34

Don't go - he's selfish

amistillsexy Fri 12-Oct-12 22:17:41

<<arf>> at Softly's 'hiday'.

Have you never heard of hidays and holidays, Softly? grin

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 22:18:36

Also remember, if someone isn't prepared to be flexible with you (for not real reason other than they don't want to be), then there's not reason for you to be accomodating to them.

If your DB wants to have dinner with you, he'll find a date that suits you.

(you also might want to try to line up some other babysitters, if any of your friends are working ask if their nannies would want extra babysitting in the evenings or if their DCs key workers at nursery do babysitting)

AgentZigzag Fri 12-Oct-12 22:19:06

He's putting a lot of emphasis on you being there at certain times, are you often late turning up to stuff?

Usually you'd give someone a time and let them turn up on their own, no need to tell them they should be there prompt or not at all.

It's difficult because you might say something to a sibling you'd never dream of saying to non-family.

I probably wouldn't bother going, he's not enabling you at all to get there, unless he thinks he's so special it'll be tough for you to stand not going to spend time with him?

Sparklyblue Fri 12-Oct-12 22:19:53

He sounds like a spoilt brat, I would not go.

RandomMess Fri 12-Oct-12 22:20:55

Blimey just tell him you can't make it.

UltraBOF Fri 12-Oct-12 22:22:31

I wouldn't go. You can't make it, and that's that really.

pregnantpause Fri 12-Oct-12 22:25:32

I'm not sure why you need to ask tbh. It's not convenient and its sounds Luke you don't want to go. He's not leaving for years right? 6 weeks? Don't bother, he doesn't seem to mind if you don't go else he'd be more accommodating.

cerealqueen Fri 12-Oct-12 22:28:03

YANBU. Just don't go, you have a prior engagement. Why even worry about it? He can't even do you a favour without throwing it back at you.

Its not an xmas meal - its all about him and what he wants to do.

pregnantpause Fri 12-Oct-12 22:28:30


princelypurpleparrot Fri 12-Oct-12 22:28:42

He knows your situation, he's ignored the issues, so just don't go. I've had similar issues with DH's family when we've explained that due to getting the DC's to bed etc we can only do certain times. They've said fine, changed it at the last moment then got huffy that we didn't go. Their problem, not ours.

kinkyfuckery Fri 12-Oct-12 22:29:42

If I were you, I wouldn't bother, moreso because what would be the point when you really don't seem to like him very much?!

olgaga Fri 12-Oct-12 22:29:45 can't go. Hmm. I've got an idea. Why not tell him you can't go.


DontGrumbleGiveAWhistle Fri 12-Oct-12 22:31:54

To those who said my DB would find a date to suit if he wanted us there rather than the emphasis on the restaurant - That's my thoughts exactly!

DH is worried that I'll upset my mum which might be true as DB will complain to her that I'm being "unaccomodating and inflexible" - as I said above he doesn't try to understand the situation with the children. Mum has had a family meeting with the two of us before trying to get the point across

AgentZigzag He is a stickler for timekeeping and never understands how anyone can be late - his 30th was for 30 people and EVERYONE had to be there are 7.30 for the meal at 8.30. Again no exceptions. I asked him would it be ok if I left the restaurant at 10.30 as DC3 would need a feed but was told that wasn't really acceptable (in fact we had to introduce a bottle of BM and I HATE expressing for this party just in case)

DontGrumbleGiveAWhistle Fri 12-Oct-12 22:34:10

kinkiyfuckery he has some good points but he is extremely selfish.

HipHopOpotomus Fri 12-Oct-12 22:36:54

It's sounds like he might not really want you there or is trying to make things difficult for you.

YANBU to not go to dinner at 6. I couldn't/wouldn't make that time. i have young kids. So tell him you can't do that time.

If he wants you there more than he wants to go to that specific restaurant he will find another restaurant that can book for 8ish.

MrsToddsShortcut Fri 12-Oct-12 22:38:41

It looks like you have two choices really:-

1) Apologise and say that as the time has changed you won't be able to make it

2) Apologise and say that while you would love to come, as he is already aware, you won't be free till after 8. You will call him at 8 to check where they are and you will join them then for a drink etc (obviously having eaten first!)

Every family has it's own dynamic and unspoken 'rules' about how you deal with this stuff. Does everyone usually 'jump to' when he wants to do something? Would it make life difficult for you if you just cancelled? Would it matter much to him/your parents if you weren't there?

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