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To not want my parents to 'surprise' me for my 40th?

(15 Posts)
themachinist Sat 24-Oct-09 16:37:49

And to want my DP to somehow tell them to really really not do it!

Am 40 in a couple of weeks. Am going away with some very much loved girl friends for a few days for a well needed break as my main 'do'. The idea of a party freaks me out, am not into surprises generally (especially people coming to stay unannounced, probably control freakery).

My family live a couple of hours away, and have arranged to go to see them for the day a couple of days before my birthday (they are having DS for the night while me and DP have a night away). I want to see my parents and grandparents, have a lovely meal, quiet celebration etc.

I suspect my mother won't be able to control her urge to put banners up, invite random people i can hardly remember, put it in local paper etc. She loves this sort of stuff, and i really really hate it. It makes me feel stressed and uncomfortable, cant say why, i think it probably has to do with her overthetopness when i was younger.

She does it with the best intentions, and I sound ungrateful and antisocial, but I also think that by now they should know that its not the sort of thing i like; have also tried to drop hints, mentioned i dont want much fuss, but the nervous laugh on the phone makes me think it is probably too late. Now i actually feel very stressed.

On top of this, they have secretly told my DP that they are going to drive up early on my 40th to surprise me. I really really wanted my actual birthday to be just me, DP and DS - a nice family day out. If they turn up I feel it will ruin my day. I dont have a great relationship with them, never have done; it ticks along, a lot of unresolved stuff on my side from childhood i suspect.

Anyway, DP told them we had plans, but he still thinks they intend to 'surprise' me on the day. I want him to ring and tell them that its not a good idea - i will get stressed by it, am a control freak, we are spending whole day naked, anything to put them off.

Oh God, is my panic at my lack of control on this milestone normal(ish) or am i being ridiculous?

Jeez, sorry so long.

Katisha Sat 24-Oct-09 16:47:24

Why won't DP just tell them straight?

TheArmadillo Sat 24-Oct-09 16:50:44

YANBU - she arranges them because she likes them. Conpletely disregarding what you like and so completely disregarding your feelings on the subject.

It is not a nice thing to do. And the amount of stress this is putting you under shows that.

Its like a teetotaler being given a box of wine. It's inappropriate and done without any consideration of the person on the receiving end.

helpYOUiWILL Sat 24-Oct-09 16:54:33

totally understand and agree with u the whole way. Yr DP needs to tell them straight that you want to be alone on your special day. My sister is just like you and my parents do a massive surprise for her 30th which she hated and cried all the way through. My parents were mortified at her "ungratefulness" but she had TOLD them several times she DID NOT WANT anything. I on the other hand LOVE the fuss!!.

I would be inclined to tell them again that you do not want the fuss (it is afterall YOUR day and so it should be about you - they are trying to make it about them), and if there is a fuss you will go home.

themachinist Sat 24-Oct-09 17:00:19

My DP has told them we have plans, am not sure they listen.

They dont come up very often - twice a year - I prefer to go to them so I can be in control. We do see them every few weeks.

Whenever they come up for a night (sometimes two), they always, ALWAYS, ask if they can stay another night. It is so awkward, i end up babbling that we need to get up early, have people round later; its like they always put me in this pathetic position where I have to make excuses and then feel guilty for 'getting rid' of them.

They love DS and are brilliant grandparents so I appreciate they want to see him, but they just seem to not get that I loke my own space and time, and you can overstay your welcome. Our relationship is best in small chunks - more than 24 hours and am climbing walls.

themachinist Sat 24-Oct-09 17:02:46

I digress. Stress. See what they are doing to me!

2rebecca Sat 24-Oct-09 17:03:17

Agree your birthday should be how you want it. Your mum can ask your dad to do her a party for her birthday if she likes that sort of thing. I would get your husband to phone them and tell them that you don't want them to come over for the day on your birthday as are having a quiet day which is WHAT YOU WANT and that you are looking forward to seeing them but really don't want alot of fuss.
I think if he is clear to them that you don't want them there on your birthday they won't travel up.

Katisha Sat 24-Oct-09 17:06:50

Well DP hasnt been at all clear by the sound of it if they have "secretly told him" they intend to come up and he still thinks they might.
He, or you , will have to spell it out.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 24-Oct-09 17:17:37

Message withdrawn

helpYOUiWILL Sat 24-Oct-09 17:46:29

hee hee hee - i like that idea!!

themachinist Sun 25-Oct-09 14:39:21

Hmm, we are already away booked to go away next weekend, and are skint, otherwise excellent ploy SGMum I think people are right, we need to be firmer, and DP needs to tell them outright i/we want the day alone.

Fingers crossed they will get the message, or God help the expression I will have when I open the door to them!

Thanks for telling me I am perfectly reasonable...

zipzap Sun 25-Oct-09 21:58:51

Even if you are staying at home, could you tell them that you are going away? So that they won't come...

And for your visit to them when you are supposed to just see your parents and grandparents - can you speak to your grandparents and say you are worried? Would they be able to step in on your behalf? Or do you have any old friends up there that are likely to have been invited if you she was doing something like that for you and that you could get it out of, so you could then talk to your mum and say that you know she has arranged it, you are happy for her to have a party but that you won't be there as she knows you hate parties.

Do you think know when/where you are likely to be ambushed? Could you have some sort of back up plan so that you can tell your mum that you are going out to xxx afterwards?

Or just tell her on the phone every time you speak to her that you are so glad that you are going to have a quiet celebration with just her and your gps and that she is not going to ruin your day with a nasty surprise party... even write her a letter but make sure you stick it in those terms so that you have made it explicit, she can't pretend that she didn't get any hints. and get her to agree when talking to her on the phone - ask her directly - 'mum, you do understand don't you that I hate surprise parties? you do understand that the WORST thing you could do for me is a surprise party?' and make sure you say it in several different ways so she has to agree with you. And then get your husband to go through it all with her again - sounds like she speaks to him sometimes if she was talking to him about the surprise visit.

good luck and hope that it really is a happy nd unsurprising 40th - and let us know what she does in the end!

mazzystartled Sun 25-Oct-09 22:05:38


DP needs to tell them in no uncertain terms what your plans are and how you want it to me.

if the message just doesn't get through, just change the day you are going up at last minute - go a day earlier.

however, i think it is a little bit sad for them that you don't want to include them on your actual birthday (although I totally understand your pov and think you should do what you want). it's sweet that they want to be involved. is there no way you could invite them to meet you for lunch or for supper?

mazzystartled Sun 25-Oct-09 22:09:15

sorry just reread the op re your relationship being a bit fragile, scrap the idea about inviting them along - sorry! can still empathise a little though - I expect I shall be sentimental beyond words if I make it to my dc's 40th

MonstrousMerryHenry Sun 25-Oct-09 22:11:03

YANBU. I love surprises, and love giving them - but would never impose a surprise on someone if I knew it would upset them. Just tell your mother yourself - why does your DP have to do it? If she'd like to throw a party, make it clear to her how much a big party would freak you out, and make it clear that what you think she's planning is something that she would love but something that will make you very stressed and unable to enjoy it. Tell her you'd love to enjoy a celebration together with her, and then see whether you can plan something together that will allow her to celebrate and yet do it in a way that respects your preferences.

I think it is unreasonable to expect your parents to have no involvement in your celebrations but it doesn't sound like that's what you want.

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