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July 28, 2005, 7:21 am CDT

MIL trying to control son's 1st birthday

My Mil thinks that it's ok to serve alcohol at my son's 1st birthday party and I don't. When she asked me why I didn't think it was ok, I told her that it was because it was my son's party. She rolled her eyes and scoffed! I was so mad!  My husband and I also planned on serving only hamburgers & hotdogs at the party, and MIL thinks that we need to have pork chops as well! She thinks that the "adults" will want "something else." and that "hjamburgers & hotdogs are fine for the kids" Who does she think she is?? When did it become her party anyways? What I'm wondering is if I should put my foot down on this and tell her that there is not to be any alcohol served and that all we are cooking is hamburgers & hotdogs and thats it or should I just let it go?

 
July 29, 2005, 9:01 am CDT

Thanks for the advice

Quote From: shawbehan

I agree with other posters who tell you that it's your party not MIL's.  However, it might be best if you handle it carefully, otherwise your child's Grandma may not even come to the party.  I am not kidding, some of these control freaks will go to any lengths to get their own way.

 

You don't want to start some major family rift over some food and drinks at a party.  What I would do is just sort of smile and say "That's a good idea," and then do exactly what you want anyway.  If MIL questions you about it the day of, just say "Oh, yea, we were supposed to get some pork chops, weren't we?"  Or you could say that one of your son's friends at the party is Jewish and can't eat pork, so who can really argue with that one??  If she asks about alcohol, just tell her there was a small budget problem or something.  Surely even she can understand that one coming from a young couple like yourselves with a new family?

 

After you handle things this way on one or two more occasions, MIL may just take the hint and figure out that her so-called "suggestions" are not wanted.

 

If you wanted to be really cheeky, you could always make the burgers and dogs for everyone else at the party, but to your MIL serve one perfectly grilled pork chop and a glass of wine.  Just do this when she is in the kitchen and no one else notices.  She will get the idea pretty damn quick!  A wicked idea that would have Miss Manners scolding, perhaps, but honestly these folks can be just like so many overgrown kids!  It is infuriating!

 

Whatever you decide to do, just don't let this difficult woman spoil your memory of your boy's very first birthday.  It is so special.  I know what this is like, because my daughter's baptism day turned into a nightmare from hell because of my Monster In Law and to this day, I can't think about it without being upset.  Nothing is worth that.

 

Good luck,

SB

 Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention in my last post that we are having the party at my MIL's house. So eventhough I really don't want the alcohol (she does because she's Portugese, and it's "normal" for them to have alcohol at everything) I almost feel that I have to allow it because it's her house.  True, that does make me angry, because I am just really against the alcohol. If I could change the location of the party now, I would. (his birthday is this sunday the 31) I feel that I should have had the party somewhere else just so that there wouldn't be any alcohol, but too late now. So I guess what I'm getting at is, should I just allow it because it's her house or what?
 
August 2, 2005, 9:34 am CDT

Son's 1st Birthday

Quote From: shawbehan

Well, since it's at MIL's home it will be harder to have control over whether the liquor comes out or not.  Let's just hope that most of those attending have more prudence than to "tie one on" at a child's birthday party.

 

It kinda puts a different spin on the food issue, too, because if MIL wants extra food and she is willing to supply it, IMHO, let her knock herself out.  If she winds up eating leftovers for two weeks, there is no one else to blame, right?

 

For future celebrations, why not have it at your home or a neutral location like an indoor playground so you are not subject to MIL's control?  The third party location is the best because you can blame it on not wanting a bunch of kids tearing apart your house or wanting to avoid a huge clean up afterwards and hopefully not offend anyone, MIL included.

 

You mention that your inlaws are Portugese and this adds another dimension because different cultures have different customs and I'm sure you don't want to offend someone by rejecting that culture.  However, I was once at a wedding where one partner was Armenian and the other was Irish, but only the Armenian culture was represented at the wedding and I felt that was a shame, so I hope MIL recognizes/appreciates what customs/expectations you bring to the table from your own cultural orgins too.

 

But the bottom line is, this is your child's first birthday and it's coming up on Sunday.  I hope you can make peace with all this that's going on so you can focus on your little one and enjoy this milestone in his life.  Take lots of pictures and if MIL does stuff- even deliberately- to tick you off, try to look the other way and just enjoy the day.  I think that some of these controllers actually get off on causing problems and trying to make others squirm, so don't give her that satisfaction.  Often times members of families who have controlling members like this have long ago learned to shrug off or even ignore their annoying behaviours. 

 

Next year just make sure you plan for another venue.

 

Good luck Sunday.  Let us know how it went, okay?

 

Sincerely,

 

SB

Well the party went ok. My MIL did delibertly try to make me angry, but I just ignored her. I had a talk with my husband in the morning after I fed our son breakfast. You see, my MIL had gotten up early to "clean" (thats what she said the night before) but she ended up cooking some chicken, pork chops, and corn on the cob, as well as some salads. (I'd like to know where that all came from, as far as I knew she was only going to have the pork chops) So as you can see, she started first thing in the morning. So I was a little annoyed, and when my husband and I were alone, I said to him "I want the hamburgers & hotdogs, so can you either say something to your mom, or make sure they get cooked." and he was like "honey, don't worry, I'm going to cook them. Just try to relax and enjoy the party" So I stopped worrying about it because I knew he'd do what he said. So they were cooked and people ate them. But of course after that MIL decides to bring out what she had made (not even half-an-hour later) and people nibbled on it, but I think it was only because they felt that they had to. But she made a comment, she actually said "Now I'm going to bring out the real food" I just about lost it at that point because I know that was a direct attack at me. I knew she was trying to get a rise out of me, so I just let it go. But then she kept saying it, whenever I was within earshot, which was about 4 or 5 times. (that I counted) I mean, can you believe that?? She even said "I told Danny (my husband) not to cook those." (meaning the hamburgers and hotdogs), but thankfully he said something to her when he heard that. My mom also said to her that it was what my husband & I wanted because it was our son's party. Then after a bit, we decided to have the cake and presents. The cake thing went fine. My son got it all over his face and hands, it was really cute. But the presents, well that's another story. Things were ok for a bit, but then my son started fussing because he was tired and a little hungry, and my husband and I were opening the presents for him, because well you know how 1 year olds are...they get distracted easily. So anyways MIL takes my son into the kitchen (we opened the gifts inside) and gives him a bannana. I didn't mind the fact that she gave him something to eat, but why did she have to take him into the kitchen when we were opening his gifts?? So anyways, besides all that, things went well. My husband, mom, sister, and myself didn't eat any of the "real food" as my MIL called it. I guess we were kind of protesting it in a way, but oh well. I don't know if she has any leftovers, and frankly I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, it's her problem. I said to my husband that I'm not going through this next year, so even if I have to have the party somewhere else, I will because I'm not letting my MIL "take over" again. Do you think I handled things well?
 
August 2, 2005, 5:30 pm CDT

Its up to the parents, not the schools

Quote From: jettav

well, if the schools are going to pass out condoms then they better take the responsibility and contact the parents for there are parents who care enough to talk and teach their children and they better be teaching that there is a better choice. to say NO is not a sin and though it might not be politically correct, it is possible and it is the best decission one can make for themselves and they better be teaching that condoms is not 100% protection and they can get pregnant and they can get dieseases. Yes, some kids are gonna do it but some kids will not and though the pressure may be there for some, some kids can out smart that pressure, so if the schools are going to take on the responsibility to pass them out then they need to step up to the plate and take on everything else that comes along with it. I believe in teaching absentence right along wioth everything else and presenting the whole truth and encourageing the positive..........
 In my opinion it's up to the parents to talk to their kids about sex, not the school's, because honestly, if the schools hand out condoms, that's where it stops. I know this from personal experience. In my school, condoms were avaliable, but our school still had the highest teen pregnancy rate (in Ontario) so what does that tell you? Parents should also talk to their kids about the options of an unwanted pregnancy, and I don't mean that they should only tell their kids about abortion, I mean that they should tell them about all 3 of the options. Keeping & raising the child, (which isn't always in the best interest of their son/daughter), having an abortion (which my family is against) or placing the baby for adoption (the most loving thing a teen mother can do for her baby). I have personal experience with the third option, as I placed a child for adoption 7 years ago now and I still think it was the best decision I ever made. I know that I couldn't have raised my daughter on my own at 19, now at 26, I'm married and have a 1 year old, whom I adore and it's hard even though I have my husband to help me out. True I miss my daughter sometimes, but I know that she is with a loving family and that she has more then I could have given her. Again, this is only my opinion, and I know that most people probably won't agree with me, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents.
 
August 14, 2005, 9:55 am CDT

I totally agree

Quote From: jettav

Nursing mothers have absolutely every right to nurse their babies in public. As long as they are not exposing themselves, who cares!!! There are approapiate ways of doing it and being dignified about it. I did it anytime/where ever needed, and I was never ashamed nor was I embarrassed. I personally have never received any negative remarks but it was sort of funny watching the reactions. I remember once going to a Joyce Meyer conference and it was crowded, I went out in the lobby and sat in a corner where there wasn't hardly any one around, I would watch people as they did go by, Most women just kind of looked and smiled, the children stared as they were walking by, I guess trying to figure out what was going on (yes, I was covered), and the men, well, for the most part, they just looked away, not sure what they were thinking, but no one said anything other then a kind lady bringing me a chair, which I was appreciative of but was content where I was. :). And besides, It can't be as bad as watching young couples practically making out in public!!! Now, that is disgusting. People just need to get a grip on life, nursing babies is a wonderful experience and our littel ones deserve to eat regardless of where it is, if some one doesn't like it, then they can turn their heads and go on their merry little way.
 I totally agree with you. I nursed my son as well, and if we were out and he got hungry, I just found a quite spot, sat down, covered myself and fed him. Now my MIL tried to get me not to do it, but there was no way I was going to be switching between the breast & the bottle, especially when he was really little. My MIL didn't even want me to breastfeed him at all, trying to tell me that formula was better and that breastfeeding was hard, and that he might not even take the breast, (and this is my first child). But needless to say, I didn't listen to her, and breastfed him anyways. So ya, I totally agree that there is nothing wrong with mothers breastfeeding their babies in public as long as they are discreet about it. I think it is a very wonderful thing to see and do for your baby. Besides, I've been out and seen mothers nursing, but to be honest, I don't really notice it right away, sometimes I only see it if I look again. I was eating in a mall one day, and there was this mother sitting 2 tables away, nursing her baby, and I didn't notice until she went to burp the baby because she was covered. I thought the baby was in the stroller! So I have no problem with it at all.
 

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