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Question
Posted by: Lynne | 2012/10/25

Grandchildren''s birthdays

Dear Cyber Shrink
Is it unnatural / abnormal for me to feel extremely hurt and depressed about the fact that my husband and I are pursposely not invited to our grandchildren''s (ages 6 and 9) birthday parties.

We are invited to the " family"  party on a different day to the " friends"  party and which is usually just meal. No cake or candles or fun to wach!! I don''t know why the parents do this. No-one has really explained the reason and in fact my son and his wife seem to purposely avoid even mentioning to us when the party is taking place.

What hurts even more is the fact that their other granny does go to the party but the reason given is that her help is needed. But I am also capable of helping!! My grandchildren love me to bits and THEY keep asking if I''m coming to their party and then I have to say no.............?? I can''t discuss this with the parents as they say this is their way of living their lives.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Neither unnatural nor abnormal to feel hurt ; maybe not accurate in assuming that hurt was intended. From what you say, it sounds as though, for whatever reasons, the parents decided to have 2 events, one presumably mainly a children's party, and one for adults ? Some adults love the children, but don't enjoy a kids party with larger numbers of other people's kids running around scraming. Many pleasant families I know, have only a children's party, to which they don't usually invite grandparents, and maybe just a simple family get together with grandparents and other adult relatives separately.
I understand that the other granny is onvolved, but, especially if she lives nearby, or maybe just because the's the mother's mom and they think alike about catering and arrangements, its quite believable that she is involved as a worker rather than someone celebrated in her own right.
If this is how that family chooses to handle kids birthdays, that is indeed their prerogative - and maybe they don't tell you about the dates because they think this is more likely to upset you ?
I hope you do go to the "adult" party and spend enjoyable time with your grandchildren. Maybe ask the parents if there can be another small cake and candles for you all to enjoy at this second party ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2012/10/26

You could always take a cake and candles along to the family get together.

A 6 year old might still be ok with having grandparents at their party, a 9 year old would be mortified.

A mothers own mother is likely in the kitchen and running around working at hte party and not out with the guests whereas a mother in law is usually someone who needs sto be entertained.

Of course you feel hurt, however, its unlikely this is meant to hurt you and if you did attend, you would probably spend the time sitting in a chair on your own with children running around and nobody interacting with you as those adults there are busy with party arrangements.

You could always invite your daughter out for a coffee and ask her if there is any particular practical help you could give at the party as you would love to be there and help her and her mom in a way that they need helping.

I know I''ve never quite forgiven my mother in law for arriving at my children''s party with a box of chicken nuggets and a bag of tomato flavoured chips. Did she think I''d forgotten to cater for the party? I''d done fruit platters and so I just popped the nuggest in the freezer. I put hte chips out but as I suspected, tomato flavoured chips are not exactly toddler favourites. They were just bitten and thrown all over the lawn in a soggy mess.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Anon | 2012/10/25

I have to wonder from your last sentence, isn''t it possible that you or your husband perhaps do something (not intentionally ofcourse) that irritates or peeves the parents? Perhaps making suggestions about the food or when the cake should be sliced or stepping in to do things they would rather do themselves, something small but that really bothers them and that they don''t want to deal with at that time?
Or maybe they just want to have you there seperately so that you can actually spend time with the kids instead of just having to gawk at them while they play with their friends or new gifts?
I would not take it to personally, perhaps ask if it would be ok for you to bring your own cake (with candles) for the family party and ofcourse you own gifts and you can watch the kids do their thing then, you''ll most likely see the exact same response they had at their ''friends'' party.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/10/25

Neither unnatural nor abnormal to feel hurt ; maybe not accurate in assuming that hurt was intended. From what you say, it sounds as though, for whatever reasons, the parents decided to have 2 events, one presumably mainly a children's party, and one for adults ? Some adults love the children, but don't enjoy a kids party with larger numbers of other people's kids running around scraming. Many pleasant families I know, have only a children's party, to which they don't usually invite grandparents, and maybe just a simple family get together with grandparents and other adult relatives separately.
I understand that the other granny is onvolved, but, especially if she lives nearby, or maybe just because the's the mother's mom and they think alike about catering and arrangements, its quite believable that she is involved as a worker rather than someone celebrated in her own right.
If this is how that family chooses to handle kids birthdays, that is indeed their prerogative - and maybe they don't tell you about the dates because they think this is more likely to upset you ?
I hope you do go to the "adult" party and spend enjoyable time with your grandchildren. Maybe ask the parents if there can be another small cake and candles for you all to enjoy at this second party ?

Reply to cybershrink

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