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Rant: Sabotaging arrangements for stress-free family get togethers

(17 Posts)
paranoidpammywhammy2 Fri 10-Nov-17 22:31:48

Sorry for the length.

I really feel a relative is deliberately sabotaging arrangements for family gatherings. It happens every year.

The date decided needed to fit in with everyone's plans. I let her know early on in the year what this years available dates were and gave regular reminders. She decided on a date when I don't have my daughter and expected me to get the Ex's family to change their bookings as everyone wanted to see my daughter (according to her anyway). I told her I wasn't going to alter the pre-existing plans that she was fully aware of.

We needed to meet up at a convenient location; their place isn't suitable as some people couldn't travel early enough due to other commitments. They are unable to cater for that many people and don't have the stamina. She get very stressed and has ended up in hospital before. No one could get to their place early enough to help set up because of work and other commitments - she chose a date when she knew no one was available to help.

We arranged to meet up near us as it's the most convenient location for just about everyone and means my daughter could be there for part of it. We arranged free accommodation as they didn't want all the travelling on one day. Then they decided they don't want to stay overnight; they don't want to drive. We arranged a lift there and back.

They aren't ready when the lift arrives to pick them up. They are late for the meal. They criticise the overcooked food (their fault).

A few relatives were unable to attend due to the date chosen. She's now arranged another get together which we are expected to attend at short notice. Yet again it's when my daughter is with her father and there is limited help available - we are just all supposed to drop everything and obey their commands.

Why? What's going on here? We all explain when we are really busy, when we are free and available. What's the purpose of deliberately making things stressful for everyone?

pallasathena Fri 10-Nov-17 23:03:04

I have a relative just like yours OP. Its all about control and creating drama I've decided...sad but it is what it is.
Best thing to do is not to get upset about it. Best thing I did was going non contact with the family member or rather, very low contact which means I don't respond to their communications but do respond to other family members and so occasionally, we all do actually meet up.
Its beginning to send the right signal.... but its a ridiculous way of going about things....

paranoidpammywhammy2 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:26:48

It is just so stressful and it doesn't need to be.

They are retired so are more able to fit in with other people's plans - yet they do the exact opposite. They arrange things then let me know at the last minute what I am doing - even though no one has asked/told me.

They need help if they are hosting so need to find out who is available or pay for some help before they arrange anything.

Children go to school, adults have jobs or child care responsibilities. Parents have split up with partners and have scheduled shared care arrangements.

I think I'm just going to say 'No, I can't do that - I've already told you when I'm unavailable'.

HouseworkIsAPain Fri 10-Nov-17 23:43:25

Is this your parents?

I’d say ‘I’m juggling quite a lot with work and DD. Sorry I can’t make the date you have suggested - here are the dates I can do’.

paranoidpammywhammy2 Fri 10-Nov-17 23:58:01

It's my mum mostly. I repeatedly tell them both when I'm unavailable. And then they arrange something on the one day in two weeks that I'm unavailable.

I rearrange things to fit with their plans, then they cancel at the last minute. The day they then decide on is the day I used to cover the cancelled visit.

They like being in control to the detriment of everything else.

Pollydonia Sat 11-Nov-17 07:13:50

Njudt tell them no - they sound exhausting tbh !

Thebookswereherfriends Sat 11-Nov-17 07:23:09

You need to stop rearranging once you've told her what your availability is. If you have said you are available on x date and then y date is given just repeat that you can't do that date.

WipsGlitter Sat 11-Nov-17 07:31:42

Stop engaging and just stick to your guns!

Walkacrossthesand Sat 11-Nov-17 07:42:34

What PPs said - 'no' is your friend here. You know from experience that they don't stick to plans, so you never change your plans to accommodate them.

That doesn't make you unreasonable or inflexible btw, although if they are manipulative as well as controlling, they may try to play that card. It just means you've been messed about once too often by them and you're not doing it any more.

Fishface77 Sat 11-Nov-17 09:18:35

Just organise stuff and if they can't make it tell them tough.
If they choose a date when your daughter can't make it tell them no that doesn't suit. If they want a lift say no make your own way (assuming they're not too frail). If they want to stay overnight they make their own arrangements as no you can't do it.
I'm not like a lot on MN I don't believe no is a complete sentence. I add a flippant sorry and a shrug to complete it.
No is your best friend here.

RidingWindhorses Sat 11-Nov-17 09:43:18

If I tell my parents I'm unavailable on x date and they arrange something, I don't go. It's as simple as that. All the pps are right you need to stop rearranging and stick to your guns.

Aussiebean Sat 11-Nov-17 13:10:53

I think you need to drop the rope. They are trying to pull you in a certain direction. You let it go and say sorry, as you know, we can’t accommodate your request.

Don’t try and compromise, or rearrange. They know what you can do so stick to that.

I would also talk to the others to arrange a mutually beneficial time and then when it’s agreed, tell them about it. If they can’t come, oh well. Maybe next time.

Zaphodsotherhead Sat 11-Nov-17 13:48:54

Surely, if they arrange something and your DD is unavailable, they just have to suck up not seeing her, rather than you trying to rearrange things? Or you just don't go? Your time is as valuable as theirs (more so if they are retired and you are working), so they will just have to learn to deal with the 'No' word.

Inertia Sat 11-Nov-17 16:14:49

Just tell them no and stop trying to pander to them.

paranoidpammywhammy2 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:00:23

Thanks, you are all saying pretty much the same thing. It is hard to not be pressurised into rearranging.

Mum wants to be in control of everything and doesn't like others saying No.

If she really wanted the get together at their home she would have planned a date when our help was available. So she planned a date when we weren't available and then wanted to force us to come - we were unable to do this so had to change the location. She then tried to sabotage by being late.

It seems to be also trying to fuck up the Ex In-laws plans. She is annoyed the pre-booked activity with them went ahead.

She's testing us to see how much we love her by how much we are willing to tie ourselves in knots to rearrange things and piss off in-laws, work etc?

I'm really in the right place to start saying NO. I WON'T!

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 11-Nov-17 22:27:28

Start saying no. Gird your loins for the almighty tantrum that will follow. You must not buckle.

SabineUndine Sat 11-Nov-17 22:52:31

My mother spend the first 30 years of my life effectively saying ‘if you loved me you would’. In the end I stopped doing ANYTHING she wanted. It’s very liberating.

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