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(24 Posts)
Andsoitbegins88 Wed 09-Mar-16 10:25:22

Is it generally accepted that the SM won't go to birthday parties?

I'm not actually a SM as I'm not married to my DP but we've been together for 2 years and living together just shy of 6 months - all quite new - but I get on well with DPs children so far!

The youngest is turning 11 next month and his birthday party has been arranged by his mum, all invites gone out etc. It seems to be just accepted that I won't be going and I wondered how 'normal' that was.

I know the most important thing is the child having a good day and I wouldn't want to make DP's ex feel uncomfortable if I was there but at the moment I feel like the only child at school not invited to the party when everyone else is talking about it grin

lunar1 Wed 09-Mar-16 10:37:10

If you all have a good relationship it could be the other way round. It might just be presumed you will be there? I'd ask your dp.

Nafnaf Wed 09-Mar-16 10:38:30

I would say every family is different and there isn't a "normal" for these situations.

What is your relationship with dc mum like? If you get on, I would have thought an invite would have been extended.

Has your dsc expressed his opinion? If he has made it clear he wants you to be there, I would think a conversation between your dp and his ex needs to happen.

Like you say the most important thing is for your dsc to have a good party. If you don't go, it might be nice if you do something special just the two of you? Can you turn the negative (not going to the party) into a positive (letting dsc choosing where to go for a special meal)?

I know it feels crap being left out- it's just another suck it up step parent moment I'm afraid

jamtartandcustard Wed 09-Mar-16 10:57:25

I've been to a couple of sdd's. The first both sides of the family pretty much reminded seperate. The last one I remember everyone sitting around the table (local play centre) and sdd's dm offering everyone round the table a drink - except me. I said I'd rather stick pins in my eyes then go to another. Dh is welcome to attend along with all our kids but he's decided not to and that we'd just do our own thing on our weekends. It also stops our children feeling jealous and resentful that sdd has a birthday party with friends every year whereas ours only get them every 3 years. It's very hard merging 2 families

FeelingFine89 Wed 09-Mar-16 11:10:15

I think it's worse when it's expected that you'll be there Tbh.

Andsoitbegins88 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:05:02

Thanks everyone!

nafnaf the relationship isn't great between my DP and his ex, they've been separated for over 6 years but going through an acrimonious divorce. I've met her once and she was pleasant but I know she sees her children spending any time with me as a betrayal, which is obviously very difficult. Nothing has been said by DSS, apart from excitedly talking about the party!DP asked me what I would be doing that day blush which is why I say it's assumed I won't attend.

jam that's just mean offering everyone a drink but you! We've all been in tough situations but come on!

feeling ha! True story

FeelingFine89 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:22:55

I'd just see how it goes OP. It's not the end of the world if you don't go. You can always do something together another day as a family.
Like I said she could be going on saying how she expects you to be there, and if you don't show she then has a cats bum face.
You can have a bit of peace for a few hours and can do as you please smile

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:05:51

You've got a lot of years ahead so check with your DP, say you are happy to go but happy to stand back too.

I've had a lot of these in the past. Initially I hung back, all were organised in Ex's house and none of DPs relations went. I went to a few after a while but it was like walking into a trap! 20 members of Ex's family glaring at me like I had two heads. It never got easier so I stopped going (which I think was the idea). However, I've organised a few brithday parties for DSCs myself, I got asked by them, and always had a special lunch or dinner whatever.

DP always goes but I don't think he likes them either, as they are dominated by Ex's family and not really about the kids.

Bluelilies Wed 09-Mar-16 13:49:29

I've never gone to parties arranged by DH's ex, but then neither has he. I think that's the simplest way, unless his ex feels she needs his help with managing it. 11 year olds tend to want to party with their friends not a load of grown ups so I don't think you'd have much fun there.

Why not suggest you have a little family celebration whether you see DSS? We always do a cake and celebrate together, even if the DSC get another celebration with their mum.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 09-Mar-16 14:33:40

Agree with PPs OP, have a chat with your DP and make sure you know what he's thinking.

Maybe bring up him asking what your plans are that day and say you were thinking of x, y or z, seeing a friend, shopping, whatever, but that you don't have anything confirmed so wanted to check he'd prefer to go the party alone. Whether he wants you to come or not he's probably feeling very awkward about it - won't want to impose on you, or to exclude you and make you feel bad - so keep it light and breezy.

We do completely separate birthdays, DSC have one celebration with their DM, usually involving school friends, and one smaller thing with us. They're young and very happy with more fuss and two lots of cake!

swingofthings Wed 09-Mar-16 18:49:59

That day is about your SS and what he wants is probably both his parents, and them not feeling uncomfortable with the situation and able to give him all their attention. That's probably why you've been excluded. Don't worry much about it, it is not a rejection of you, just probably what he is used to and the only time he gets to share his time with both his parents.

SoupDragon Wed 09-Mar-16 18:53:19

Why on earth would you want to go to an 11 yr old's birthday party when you don't have to? I would leap at the chance not to go to a childs party and I'm the mother grin

CalicoBlue Wed 09-Mar-16 19:22:52

I do not think there is a normal. Just trying not to make it awkward is important for the child.

When DSS was small his mother was a bit flaky. DH I organised the parties for him when he was 4, 5 and 6. She turned up to one I think. So I was there. When she decided to be more involved in DSS's life, I stepped back and let DH and her do the parties, bowling etc.

At 11 they usually want sleepover parties etc.

Mine liked sleepover parties from about 7+ so their father did not come to them. When DSS had parties at our house his DM did not come either.

WeeTinyMe Wed 09-Mar-16 23:12:34

Again I dont think there is a "normal". I get on with my DCs step mum so she gets an invite to all my family things (even to things for my new child as my youngest is sister to my kids yet ex's partner is also a big part of their lives. But i accept i may be unusual in that area).
I do agree with pp who said you should be happy not to go to a child's bday party - theyre usually very boring imo!

MeridianB Thu 10-Mar-16 08:50:22

I'd just mention it to your DP. He should facilitate it.

The first few I went to I made sure I helped out a lot, getting hands dirty, but not getting involved in the big things like cake presentation etc. And I helped clear away.

Luckily the big parties have now given way to small groups and so it doesn't come up. smile

Good luck OP - let us know how it goes.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 10-Mar-16 12:19:38

It's also a question of time. At first it might be a little weird to go to the parties. Especially if they are kids parties.

But when you've been around for a while more, it might be just as odd for the kids if all the family is there except the SM. I used to have a birthday lunch with my DS and me and his father. I thought that was nice for him to have just us sometimes. But as time has gone on, it's just too far from the reality, which is that we both have partners and my Ex became a pain anyway!

DisneyMillie Thu 10-Mar-16 17:07:58

My dd is 6 and the last 2 parties we've all gone - me, DP, exH and his fiancé. In fact they've been at our local village hall and we've all done the setting up and clearing up together. But then it's strangely amicable.

Matilda2013 Thu 10-Mar-16 17:21:57

I've been to dsds last two parties. First one was awkward as dp and his ex were arguing hmm not in front of dsd but in front of me. Second was fine and more of dps family were there and actually we all get along quite well and all sat talking about how hungry we were. Me dp and dsds mum also took her out on her actual birthday this year for a day out and food smile weird for some but I guess it depends!

lateforeverything Sun 20-Mar-16 16:22:38

An interesting thread as the shoe was on the other foot for me... I'm the SM of a now 12yo dss but I've always organised birthday parties for dss since he turned 3 as bio mum has had a very on/off presence in dss' life.

My ideal model in my head was that bio mum would join us and everyone would get on but in reality she wasn't bothered and once popped along to his 7th birthday for about 15-30 minutes and that was it. It was very civilised but her dh didn't want to attend and she felt bad being there for her son whilst leaving dh behind so she left... And no, to those who might be wondering, she most definitely was not organising her own separate parties (!)

I'd be interested to know what the OP decided to do. Tbh I think I'd have found it a tad insensitive if my dh/dp asked what I'd be doing that day, having had no prior conversation about it... hmm

Andsoitbegins88 Sun 20-Mar-16 19:08:38

So, this weekend was the elephant in the room birthday party! I decided to go away to see my parents; thought removing myself from the equation would be less stressful all round.

I did speak to DP who said he'd 'ask' if I could come but I know that wouldn't go down well and, tbh, would just be awkward for everyone. It would be great if we could all be together to celebrate birthdays but I can't see that happening any time soon so next year we'll do something separate!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 20-Mar-16 19:25:18

Yes glad you didn't take it to heart. I started off not being anything to do with the kids parties but now they are older they've either invited me or not themselves, we've done separate celebrations, or last year I did the youngest parties myself! Their mum just left them to me. So things often change.

lateforeverything Sun 20-Mar-16 19:53:44

Yes fair enough, best to trust your instincts in these cases. Bananas is right, things can and do change.

All the best andso!

Bakerandspice Mon 11-Apr-16 23:14:11

We tend the give the DSC a second birthday celebration with DP's family as they mostly don't like the DSC' DM..works well for us.

Heavens2Betsy Sat 16-Apr-16 11:13:21

Your DP should t be excluding you like this.
You should either both go or neither of you
Go.
We have always had separate parties for the dc one with each parent.
On the rare occasion both parents go the step parents are part of the deal.

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