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Family Events - do you go out of duty?

(13 Posts)
FestiveFrumper Mon 04-Jan-16 08:37:57

It's my step sisters daughter's 2nd birthday this weekend .

For a bit of background , I barely know my two nieces due to family issues which have resulted in no contact for some time with step sister .

I have three DC of my own and my step sister doesn't know my DC either .

We don't get along for various reasons and she often blanks me when we are in a room together - but is happy to text / Facebook me with no issues .

We are mainly civil for the sake of the DC but they still rarely see each other - work and other commitments play a big part in this .

So I woke up to a text this morning with the annual request for a family meal - we are invited out of duty - all sides of the family are asked . Step sister is very close to her family and they will all go .

Her family do not like me due to the poison she has told them - but they don't actually know me .

These meals result in our very small side of the family being ignored whilst there . It is so awkward and uncomfortable.

Step sisters children play with her side of the family (naturally as they are close - we don't know them at all) and my three DC are not really involved .

I really really don't want to go . And the selfish part of me is fed up of keeping others happy out of duty when I get no thanks in return .

WIBU to not go and arrange some time for her DC and my DC to spend some time together without all the other children there?

Or will it be rude ?

rookiemere Mon 04-Jan-16 08:43:57

I think a certain amount of sucking it up for family events is required, but not if there is an excessive number of them and not if people are rude to you.
Your judgement on this is good, if anyone pulls you up on it then ask them how happy they'd be to spend time and money at an event where your presence is barely tolerated.

LordBrightside Mon 04-Jan-16 08:44:59

Never go out of duty. Feck that.

Dragonsdaughter Mon 04-Jan-16 08:59:56

Cant think why you think its rude to not go to a party where you are obviously not welcome? I would go to funerals 60/70/80 etc birthday meals of elderly but perhaps hard eork relations out of family duty - but very little else smile

Topseyt Mon 04-Jan-16 09:01:54

Just decline the invitation.

I also wouldn't bother arranging for the children to spend time together when they obviously aren't even close. Why bother with that?

BarbarianMum Mon 04-Jan-16 09:07:40

To a certain extent I do think duty does come into it but there should be some pleasure too. I wouldn't go to an event where I was ignored and made to feel unwelcome.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 04-Jan-16 09:10:18

Good God, no don't go!

It sounds like the family get togetherl from hell, why put yourself and your dc's through that, sod that for a game of soldiers.


StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 04-Jan-16 09:10:32


FestiveFrumper Mon 04-Jan-16 09:13:07

topsey - because my mother and father bang on about how the past issues have affected the DC relationships .

They have to a point - but not fully so . We both kind of gave up encouraging it when life got busier with work and more DC.

Step sister has a huge extended family so it's not as important to her for our DC to have a relationship.

I at least try to do my part in encouraging the DC to see each other . I'm worried when they are older they will ask why they don't know their step cousins .

Tbh though - my own extended family barely know each other either confused

LarrytheCucumber Mon 04-Jan-16 09:15:36

My sister organises family gatherings. Basically it is for her family, the Grapes, my parents who are honorary Grapes and then we are invited as add-ons. Basically, as Cucumbers, we feel like spare parts, rather than part of the extended Grape family. So after two of three of these we declined the invitations. We just said we were unable to make it and hoped they all had a lovely time. Eventually DSis stopped asking us.
Can't see any problem with doing this in your case OP.

confusedandemployed Mon 04-Jan-16 09:15:53

I think it depends on the individual family dynamic. DH's family are forever having family lunches, sometimes for no particular reason. I feel duty bound to go to every bloody one and boy, the shit I get if I don't go for any reason. In between these lunches DH and his DSis rarely speak and our kids never see each other.
My family have far fewer get togethers. But I am in far closer contact on a day to day basis and will happily decline an invite if it doesn't work for us with no bad blood on either side. I think we are far closer in real terms.

Collaborate Mon 04-Jan-16 09:29:44

Go along, but don't stay for long. Perhaps do the mail plus half an hour.

Collaborate Mon 04-Jan-16 09:36:15

mail? Meal.

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