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SIL and Dogs!

(528 Posts)
DillyDingDillyDong Mon 14-Mar-16 11:17:43

NC for this. Not sure if this is more of a WWYD or possibly just a rant!

It's DS's birthday on Friday and we're having a little party in our house on Saturday. There will be about 20 adults and ten children from 1-8.

SIL doesn't have any children, quite often makes a point of saying she doesn't want any, but has two dogs. She text DH last night to see if we needed her to bring anything and DH asked if she could pick a cake up from Costco on the way to save us doing it on Friday. She replied saying that she wouldn't have room in the car for the cake with the dogs being in there.

DH replied asking why the dogs would be in the car and she replied saying that she wouldn't be able to leave them at home for the few hours she is out at the party.

DH ended up calling her up and telling her that the dogs wouldn't be able to come, she then went on to say how the weekend is her time with the dogs and she doesn't want to leave them. She also knows that we've recently had our garden done and so said it would be really nice for them to be able to play outside. He just repeated that the dogs weren't able to come as we are possibly getting a bouncy castle on the day(our friend owns one and can give it to us last minute) if the weather is ok. She accused him of making this up and that he should have made it clear the invite wasn't for the whole family before saying that if her dogs went welcome then she wouldn't be comings do then hung up. DH was just in shock and we couldn't think of anything else to say to her. If she wants to miss her nephews first birthday because she can't leave the dogs for four hours at the most despite leaving them from half seven to half seven every day at work then it's up to her.

She text me earlier to ask if DH had told me what she had said. I replied and said he had and that it was a shame for her to miss the party but the dogs can't come and we had assumed that she would have known that. She replied saying it was a shame that we didn't recognise that the dogs are part of her family. I said that I know she cares about her dogs but this is a child's party and we don't want them here for it. She has just replied with this text

"I feel like you don't realise how important they are to me. They are my family, my babies. I would never not invite DS to my house or say he wasn't welcome or suggest you leave him at home or with a sitter. I'm not going to come on Saturday. I haven't seen DSsince Christmas and was looking forward to it but it's unfair to ask me to give up time with the boys when I get to spend so little time with them as it is."

I am sat here just in disbelief. I don't even know what to say to her.

I know I'm not being unreasonable not inviting the dogs to my house. I just have no idea where to go with this now. DH is in a meeting until one so I can't even call him to tell him what's been said. My jaw is aching from my face just being like this shock for the last ten minutes! She's always been very precious about the dogs and didn't come to a Christmas Eve thing at our old flat because we didn't have space for the dogs and all the presents were out under the tree etc. But I thought she would be a bit more reasonable about leaving them for a few hours to see DS.

Does anyone have any advice please?!

Oysterbabe Mon 14-Mar-16 11:20:54

Don't see what else you can do. Tell her it's a shame she can't come and hope she'll be able to visit soon.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 14-Mar-16 11:22:00

I'm a dog person with dogs and I'd never impose them on anyone else.

I don't know how you reason with her, she sounds like you won't be able to!

MiniCooperLover Mon 14-Mar-16 11:22:31

Say to her that you appreciate how she loves the dogs but you will have a house full of children and there won't be space for the dogs inside or out and isn't she worried the dogs will be scared etc? Lay it on thick ... Or equally respond with 'well it's a shame, hope to see you soon'. I think this is when the phrase bat shit crazy is appropriate ...

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Mon 14-Mar-16 11:24:44

Honestly I would say she is 100% unreasonable. However it sounds to me as if she can't have children and uses her dogs as substitutes which is quite sad. But again you're not at all unreasonable and she's behaving ridiculously.

escapedfrommordor Mon 14-Mar-16 11:24:56

She sounds a bit batshit crazy! I can't stand this furbabies thing. They're bloody dogs.
Let her crack on and spend the time with her "boys". I wouldn't bother trying to reason with her at all.

Ifailed Mon 14-Mar-16 11:25:49

She's made herself very clear, the dogs are more important to her than your DS. Just accept it and move on.

jimijack Mon 14-Mar-16 11:27:46

Oh for the love of all things sensible.

If it were me, I would leave it entirely now.
You and dh have made your point, she doesn't get it, leave her to it.

Your priority is your boys birthday and to ensure he has a fab birthday, not to pander to a pouting spoiled and unreasonable adult.

Sorry, harsh as it sounds, fuck her. Just carry on with your plans.
Job done.

Bunbaker Mon 14-Mar-16 11:28:34

I wouldn't respond at all. She is being extremely rude and unreasonable to assume that her dogs would be welcome at a children's party. How do you think the parents of the other small children would feel if there were two dogs roaming around? The children will be excited and the dogs will be excitable. This is really not a good idea.

This party is about your son's birthday, not your SIL's feelings about her dogs.

If she wants to prioritise seeing her dogs over seeing her nephew at his first birthday party it says a lot about her.

TooOldForGlitter Mon 14-Mar-16 11:29:09

You don't get to call someone "batshit crazy" just because you don't like dogs escaped.

There's nothing you can do OP. If she feels that way about her dogs then that's up to her, if it means she misses out on this party then it's her choice. You don't need to do anything.

Gymboree567 Mon 14-Mar-16 11:29:24

They are dogs not children, she is being unreasonable, I'm sure the dogs would be ok on their own for a few hours while she attended the party
It's your house and your party so it's up to you if you want the dogs there or not, it sounds like you have quite a full house anyway and there may be children (and adults) that dont like dogs so you are within your rights to say no to them
I would just respond with, I'm sorry you can't make it hope to see you soon x

Bunbaker Mon 14-Mar-16 11:30:04

I'm glad that your husband has stood up to her as well.

BarbarianMum Mon 14-Mar-16 11:31:04

Treating your dogs as human, not being able to leave them and insisting that they are included in invitations seems to be becoming a thing judging by threads on here. Smile and ignore. Fine to her to prefer her dogs over her human family, madness for her to expect others to host them.

SleepyBoBo Mon 14-Mar-16 11:31:15

I love dogs, but would not even dream of doing something like this. Either she comes without the dogs, or not at all (obviously). Is she ok? Is there something else making her behave like this? Sounds like she has some issues she needs to deal with.

SmallBee Mon 14-Mar-16 11:31:56

It sounds like she doesn't see a difference between her bond with the dogs and a parents bond with their child.
I don't really know where you can go with this as regardless of the fact that YANBU for saying no dogs, she obviously feels that you are and I don't think anyone will convince her otherwise.

Can you compromise and suggest she comes for an hour or two? Or that you all meet her in the park the next day with the dogs for special family time?

A friend of my parents who came to our wedding didn't want to leave their dogs so brought them with them and they stayed in their (large) car boot, then when it was the canapés bit they took them our for a walk and again after the dinner. Could she do that?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 14-Mar-16 11:31:56

Mind you, if I left my dogs for 12 hours on 5 consecutive days week in week out (I wouldn't), I wouldn't leave them at the weekend either. But she should realise that is her decision and lifestyle choice, and not guilt trip you about it.

MrsBethel Mon 14-Mar-16 11:32:36

I wouldn't worry about it.

It's perfectly reasonable to not want dogs at a small kids party.
It's perfectly reasonable for her to choose not to come.

Maybe smooth things over by asking her round another time instead?

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Mon 14-Mar-16 11:32:54

i'd point out she leaves them for 12 hours a day and ponder why, in that case, a four hour stretch on a saturday is simple impossible.

she is a loon.

nattyknitter Mon 14-Mar-16 11:33:38

She really needs to get a grip.

I have a dog and wouldn't dream of taking it visiting unless it was invited. Only exception being my Mum who looks after her when I am out/ at work. The dog used to live with her so open invite.

I used to know someone who wouldn't leave the dog at all and would pay someone to babysit so it wasn't ever alone, even just for a few hours. It cost her a fortune. Madness.

I also know a lot of people who have a pet in lieu of kids, but not of them are that hung up on them.

You won't change her mind, so she will just have to sulk about it.

SirChenjin Mon 14-Mar-16 11:34:40

YANBU shock

I don't think there's anything more that you can do tbh. You've been perfectly reasonable and polite - now it's up to her to set out her priorities. Do you think that she can't have children and genuinely sees her dogs as her babies? Or is she just barking? (see what I did there? grin)

Pootles2010 Mon 14-Mar-16 11:36:26

I love dogs. She's still batshit. They are not babies, they are dogs. Treat them as a dog, not a baby.

She clearly does not love them if she leaves them along as much as that.

And I know this is unrelated really, but her saying she would never not invite your child - really? She would invite a baby to a hen party? A night on the tiles? Thought not.

BigbyWolf Mon 14-Mar-16 11:37:01

She sounds utterly bonkers!

I would reply with 'Oh, okay, sorry you won't be here. Hope to see you soon.' And then just forget about it.

HotNatured Mon 14-Mar-16 11:39:53


"However it sounds to me as if she can't have children and uses her dogs as substitutes which is quite sad".

This is just idle supposition, and actually v insulting. I have dogs and don't want children, and I am able to have them I just prefer dogs to babies. Not every woman is desperate to procreate you know !

AnUtterIdiot Mon 14-Mar-16 11:40:16

I'm a bit torn really. On the one hand, I do check if my dog's welcome at events and I leave him behind or send apologies depending on what I can arrange and how long I'd have to be away. On the other hand, if you're usually happy to have her over with the dogs and they are reasonably well behaved then I'm not sure, in her position, that I would have guessed that you didn't want them there - I'd have expected you to say so, especially if you know how attached she is to them.

Also, I dislike this "mad SIL and her inadequate child substitutes" theme that's emerging here. They're her animals, she loves them, she's responsible for them, she works long hours during the week, she wants to spend her weekends with them. It's not about her being a barmy menopausal lady who can't tell the difference between dogs and children. They're just very important to her, and that's not objectively mad or weird in itself. What's unreasonable is her trying to guilt trip you into changing your mind about having the dogs there.

PinotEgregio Mon 14-Mar-16 11:40:34

However it sounds to me as if she can't have children and uses her dogs as substitutes

Agree with this. I wonder if attending her DN's first birthday might be quite a painful experience for her. Maybe the dogs would have been a helpful comfort that enabled her to get through it, maybe they are functioning as an excuse for her not to attend, I don't know. I can attest that dealing with family gatherings that are all about babies is very hard when you are wrestling with your own baby-related issues.

I know you said she doesn't want children. I always say I don't want to have children when people ask me about it, because I really, really don't want to explain the true details of the situation. (See my thread if you're curious!) Maybe your SiL has done the same thing?

Her behaviour does appear batshit but please work on the assumption that this is because she is unhappy, and be reasonably kind to her about it.

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