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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I actually tipped on this subject on the thread - 'what do YOU want to do on mother's day'.

Because of the good advice always given here, I am once again turning to you for advice.

Because it was asked/expected, I organized EVERY occasion for my parents in law for 30 years until 2 years ago when it was their 55th wedding anniversary and I was called by the rest of the family asking when I was going to start to organize something for my parents in law. Because of previous experience with SIL/BIL and their families I had decided (together with DH) that it was time for someone else to take over.
I very politely said to them that some of the grandkids were almost 30 and maybe this would be a great chance for them to arrange something.
I also said that I would be more than willing to help if they needed me but I was taking a back seat. This was one of the most difficult things I have ever done but I don't regret it.

Things were organized and done well by the rest. They were distant towards me for a while but that passed.

Before then, every single mother's day, father's day, birthday, anniversary - well you name it - I organized it because the rest of the family never did/couldn't/wouldn't but did expect it.

The health of my parents in law is failing rapidly and this will probably be the last time they are able to celebrate mother's day with the entire family together. My parents in law absolutely love it when the entire family is together - this is always the biggest gift that anyone can give them.

I have already asked my parents in law for brunch, so together with my own kids, their SO's and my parents in law, we will have a group of 13. If I invite the rest of the family, then there will be 24.
We are the only ones in the family with a house/yard big enough to accomodate the entire family.
(BTW the rest of the family hasn't gotten wind of this brunch - yet.)

From long experience I know that if I organize it and ask them to pitch in and also bring something, they will say of course, and then one of them will bring, for example, 10 bread rolls, the other a half pound of coffee and the rest will be up to me (has happened too often before).
They also think that because they have brought something that their 'pitching in' has been done.
About 7 or 8 years ago it was decided to hold a family brunch (of course at our house) and we would all split the cost. It took me months of almost begging to get the money back. The discussions that happened because they thought that some things were too expensive, well let's not get into that. (The assignment had been - if you organize it, the costs are fine with us. Believe me I didn't go overboard.)
In fact since then DH has forbidden me to pay up front for his family for anything because of the problems of getting it back (just for completeness' sake - if we ever had to pay up front for something for his parents, they paid it back right away).

When you take into account that BIL (DH's only brother) will come with psycho wife and uncontrollable 4 year old to this brunch, the stress level will be very high because we are not the only people in the family who can't get along with psycho and kid. In fact the only person who can get along with her is my extremely sweet mother in law.
(Don't get me started on the last time BIL, psycho and kid were here around Christmas. Because of their really terrible anti-social behaviour, even my quiet, hard to anger DH said - SHE AND THAT CHILD WILL NEVER BE IN MY HOME AGAIN! -I think that I posted about this at some point.)

(This child is spoiled rotten, is uncontrollable and doesn't react to the words 'no, it's not allowed' except to scream. His parents never correct him.)

As I already said my parents in law absolutely LOVE it when the entire family gets together so I do feel pressured.
I even thought about doing a picnic but the physical condition of my father in law doesn't allow this.
This weekend we will be making the decision about whether or not to invite the entire family. I am torn in this so some good advice is welcome.
Should I organize the brunch for ALL of the family and just suck it up or leave things the way they are - just our kids and my parents in law?

Thanks for taking the time to read this!
 

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If your finances allow for you to have a party with the whole family I would do it. Especially if this may be one of the last occassions the inlaws could spend time with the whole family together. If you want the other family members to bring something I would specifically tell them what to bring, including the quantity that is needed. As for the 4 year old and any other small children I would have a bag of color crayons, paper and some other simple toy items that they can entertain themselves with.
 

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Hiya Dutchie --

I happened to be talking to a friend who lives about 25 mins from Rotterdam while I was reading your post...

If you want to have the 'family brunch' without having all the problems of having it at home (and having people dance around paying you back)...

The van der Valk hotels have a brunch available to non-guests. Maybe you can call them and have them reserve you a set of tables and send an 'informational note' (like an invitation, but lets them know the kibble isn't free :lol: )

The "Dutchie" Family will be gathering for a celebratory brunch at the "fancy smancy place" on "whatever day I tell you to show up" at "whatever time I tell ya".

Brunch will be "a zillion dollars if I don't like you and a more reasonable amount if I like you" for adults and "you better hope your parents pay for you or you will starve" for kids.

Please contact Dutchie by "the date" to reserve your seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hiya Dutchie --

I happened to be talking to a friend who lives about 25 mins from Rotterdam while I was reading your post...

If you want to have the 'family brunch' without having all the problems of having it at home (and having people dance around paying you back)...

The van der Valk hotels have a brunch available to non-guests. Maybe you can call them and have them reserve you a set of tables and send an 'informational note' (like an invitation, but lets them know the kibble isn't free :lol: )

The "Dutchie" Family will be gathering for a celebratory brunch at the "fancy smancy place" on "whatever day I tell you to show up" at "whatever time I tell ya".

Brunch will be "a zillion dollars if I don't like you and a more reasonable amount if I like you" for adults and "you better hope your parents pay for you or you will starve" for kids.

Please contact Dutchie by "the date" to reserve your seat.
This is definitely worth looking into - I'll have a look right away - thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If your finances allow for you to have a party with the whole family I would do it. Especially if this may be one of the last occassions the inlaws could spend time with the whole family together. If you want the other family members to bring something I would specifically tell them what to bring, including the quantity that is needed. As for the 4 year old and any other small children I would have a bag of color crayons, paper and some other simple toy items that they can entertain themselves with.
Thanks for the ideas.
Regarding the four year old, he is the youngest one by far. The next oldest is 18 - my daughter. BIL has two older sons (12 anad 15) by his 1st wife but they will be with their mother.
IF we do the brunch for everyone then I will pray for good weather so that we can have the brunch outside and we have the chance of keeping him playing in our yard since putting a crayon in his hand (or within reach) is very dangerous for our furniture/walls etc. I would make sure that he has toys to play with outside.
Thanks once again!
 

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I love Lady V's suggestion! Then back to the house for a little bit more celebration and they all go home! No cleanup for you! Otherwise I would send a note telling people your expectations and I would have the party since you believe it's one of the last get togethers you'll have. (((Dutchie)))
 

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i think having it out is very smart then you say. we are havving it here it will cost $x.xx i need to know by this sunday so i can make the reservations no exceptions the venue needs to be paid in advance for a group so i need $x.xx by may 5 or whatever.

it will work itself out and you can put all the blame on the venue instead of you
 
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