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Parties and much younger family members

(14 Posts)
manchestermummy Sun 09-Aug-15 13:20:55

Probably not the best place to post but I need some sort of sanity check.

My ILs operate on a "we're family we'll do everything together at all times" basis. We got a lot of grief last year about not inviting baby dn to dd1's birthday party, which was an activity said baby wouldn't be able to join in with, and where it wasn't really possible to just observe iykwim. We stood firm.

Both dds have been invited to dn's upcoming birthday party. It's at a play centre for very young children and dd1 won't be able to join in. She's nearly 8. DD2 will be able to do some things but at nearly 5 I am not looking forward to stopping her. Of course, we'll never hear the end of it if we don't bring them.

And so to dd1's party. She desperately wants to do a particular activity that has a minimum age and again, it's not really something that a now very active toddler can simply observe. I'm not about to refuse dd's choice because of dn, but I know if we don't invite her we'll get stick.

We were bullied into inviting dn to Dd2's party too, which was at least something dn could do.

How do I deal with this?

manchestermummy Sun 09-Aug-15 13:24:23

One other thing: I don't want to have to do separate "family gatherings"! Humongous back story and simple lack of unlimited finance.

Ineedacleaningfairy Sun 09-Aug-15 13:36:52

I think the only solution is a seperate family birthday tea, this is what we do, it doesn't cost much to make a simple cake and buy some juice and offer teas and coffees. It wouldn't cost that much.

manchestermummy Sun 09-Aug-15 13:40:56

You're right, of course, but my PIL are divorced and don't really get on, my parents don't like my PIL, I dislike FIL sufficiently that I don't really want him in my home, my parents can't stand my SIL.

I break into a cold sweat thinking about it.

squizita Sun 09-Aug-15 13:44:45

Sorry but imo it isn't on to invite some nieces/nephews and not others. It's none or all.

I had an uncle who did this when we were kids. It's mentioned to this day by my siblings/cousins in that "things I won't do as a parent" way. To him im sure it was all logic and common sense ... but no sense of the sadness and unfairness a child feels when some siblings or cousins can go but not others. No sense of the awkward conversation "why is uncle squiz taking sister and cousin to Thorpe Park but not me?" wonder the parents want to dodge that one!

It's actually better to invite none than some.

TBH it sounds like a day out thing you have planned which could quite easily be called a birthday treat for immediate family leaving all others out? Rather than a party?

holidaysarenice Sun 09-Aug-15 13:46:59

You're having a picnic at x park at y time. There will be cake. Everyone is welcome to come along and bring their sandwiches.
Invite the lot and let them decide whether they can/can't stand someone enough to come.

Then have the age related party for dd And friends when you want.

squizita Sun 09-Aug-15 13:47:23

X post!
Oh dear trip out + small gathering sounds stressful.

Hmm... what about a pub lunch somewhere family/cheap like a Harvester or Carvery?

manchestermummy Sun 09-Aug-15 13:48:31

I only have one dn so it's definitely all or none!

It's the age difference that's the issue really. I can't bring myself to tell dd she can't have the party she'd like (for her friends) because of dn.

Bellebella Sun 09-Aug-15 13:50:56

To honest I think it's a little unfair to invite some cousins and not others. I would be pretty peeved if my ds did not get invited to his cousin's birthday while everyone else in the family is. All family members are at all the parties in my family. Small family tea and party for your child's friends?

Lindy2 Sun 09-Aug-15 13:55:09

How about the party DD1 wants with her friends and then an afternoon tea type thing at home for the smaller kids either on another day or later that day. If the adult family members can't get on just have the kids. If you need some other adults there just the children's parents. It seems from your post it is the grandparent generation that don't get on.
When we did bigger soft play parties we tended to invite everyone. DD1 just did an activity with 8 class mates this year. Other relatives, including cousins weren't invited. They were fine with it. We did do a family tea a couple of weeks later though.

manchestermummy Sun 09-Aug-15 13:55:17

I wouldn't actually invite any family at all to dd's party - my parents are antisocial and dislike children en masse and MIL fusses too much to the point there is no pleasure. As to the rest of the ILs: we don't get invited to their many family gatherings so I'm not sure why we need to reciprocate really.

WorkingBling Sun 09-Aug-15 14:01:43

Invite dn. but it is up to dn's parents to manage her and make sure she is ok during a party that's not age appropriate. I honestly don't see the issue. You invite, they manage their own children.

grabaspoon Sun 09-Aug-15 14:10:30


There is a big difference between a 3 year old coming to a swimming party and a 1 year old going to an archery/horse riding/quad biking party.

Invite your inlaws but state that; it is not age appropriate, that they will have to keep him amused/safe etc hopefully the parents will see its going to be a PITA and decide not to come along.

Karoleann Sun 09-Aug-15 14:12:23

Stand your ground. Just take DD2 to your niece's party and don't invite your niece to DD1s. If anyone questions it explain that you're not going to invite or take a child to something where they can't join in. Then walk away.

My children's age span 5 years, so DS frequently has had parties where DD didn't go as she was too small. Last year he did go carting and both younger children were below the minimum age, so neither went..Neither DS went to DDs last party as it was on a Friday and they were at school.

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