To not want an annual "Family Day"

(366 Posts)
FamiliesShareGerms Mon 27-May-13 05:18:15

I probably am...

MiL likes getting all her children and grandchildren together at her house for the day. I like it too, it's always good to catch up with the extended family and for the cousins to play together. But - and I know this is irrational - I can't abide the fact that she insists on calling them a Family Day. With capital letters. Grrrr.

I could live with this (just about) because I know it's my problem to deal with. But I am really struggling with the fact that she is trying to make it an annual fixture on the same weekend every year - and not linked to eg her birthday. A couple of years ago I (very politely) said that we have lots of other things going on, and didn't want to commit to an annual fixture, and I thought she had taken this on board. But the email summoning the clan has just come out, confirming that "the Family Day will be on X, as usual".

How do I respond? I don't want to say we aren't going, because our DC would miss out on seeing their family. But if we just go, then we are by default signing up to an annual Family Day. Which I really really don't want to do. I also don't want to cause a rift with a MiL I get along with really well.

DH would be quite happy not to go, BTW, and I talk to MiL far more than him.

Help me navigate this one, oh wise MNers!

PS is a Family Day a thing other families do, or something MiL has created?

CrackleMauve Mon 27-May-13 05:23:24

I don't get the problem. If it's the same day every year it is easy to plan round. If there is something you really can't miss just don't go. Surely it would be more likely to interfere with your other plans if the date kept changing? If you like the chance to catch up with everyone, just pretend your MIL is the Queen and has two birthdays. Job done.

wankerchief Mon 27-May-13 05:30:14

Really don't get the problem.
One day a year when everyone gets together, no different firm an birthday, anniversary- its a party everyones invited too. Sounds rather nice

Shes nit asked you shall to come along, pick three kids to ho in a ring to fight to the death for her entertainment once a year

wankerchief Mon 27-May-13 05:30:57

All not shall thank you phone hmm

scaevola Mon 27-May-13 05:35:31

I think it's a lovely idea.

I wish we had one.

I don;t see the issue either.
One day family party no gifts needed. I'd go eat, and drink all the wine and let the kids run riot.

VixZenFenchell Mon 27-May-13 05:40:38

I also don't see the problem.

One day, same every year. You can either work your other commitments around it or give it a miss if something more important happens one year.

And it's a day where the entire family gets together to catch up, not just because of a birthday, wedding or funeral. Family Day would seem to be the exact thing to call it.

You said you enjoy going, you like the chance to catch up - I think you're being unreasonable to object to it being called exactly what it is.

I wish we had one too - I might start the tradition!

Sudden thought - are you just irritated because you don't really see your inlaws as real family?

I can't see the problem.

The fixed date works in your favour, you can plan in advance and don't have to change plans last minute.

I really can't see the problem.

I have a large extended family, we have random get togethers a few times a year. Half the time several people don't make it as it's not convenient. The only date we all manage to make is the pre Christmas gathering which is the first weekend in Dec every year - we a keep the weekend free.

Calling it a Family Day is a bit cheesy but harmless.

SageMist Mon 27-May-13 05:46:44

My Mum does something similar. Every year between Xmas and New Year she organises a Family Meal ( yes with capitals).

I think that I feel the same way you do, enjoy it while it happening, but hate the way it's become an 'Event' in Mum's mind.

I don't have any answers I'm afraid, as I'm beginning to hate the idea of the Family Meal too. I think it's because its become an obligation, rather than a spontaneous(ish) gathering.

SageMist Mon 27-May-13 05:54:24

Oh btw, mum doesn't have a fixed day for our Family Meal. She spends ages ringing round the family trying to work out the best day. She gets very very stressed about it all.

This year she went into my DS's work place to try and get him to agree to a particular day and cried when he couldn't commit (he works shifts and doesn't know more than a week ahead which days he'll be working).

So I've got to the stage when I think that Family Meal is becoming a burden. But I don't know how to stop it.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 27-May-13 05:57:33

Thanks all. SageMist, I think you might have put your finger on it re it being an obligation.

Vix - I make more of an effort with DH's family than he does! Because he's not close to most of them we don't see them as often as we see my family, and I don't feel his siblings are like my siblings, but I definitely feel the nieces and nephews on his side are as important to our DC as the nieces and nephews on my side. And I do genuinely get on with my MiL.

Maybe it would be easier if we had more random events too, rather than just the set piece Day.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 27-May-13 05:59:22

If you find out, SageMist, let me know grin

While I think the day is a lovely idea, and having it on the same day each year gives everyone the most notice, therefore increasing the chances everyone can make it. I would be trying hard not to snigger at giving it a name with capitals. I'd make the most of it though, perhaps start calling it something a bit more OTT, "The Great Family Get Together of 2013" grin

alpinemeadow Mon 27-May-13 06:27:21

I'm getting ya fsg - by making it a fixed day you do create a bit of an obligation to be available, and with growing dc that can be surpisingly constraining. The Name of the Day is just one of those things - but i admit i find that usage annoying in other contexts - eg 'family house'! 'family changing room' is ok i suppose, but i'm going off at an irrational tangent here. Anyway, it does sound a lovely day. Could you reply something like 'great, we can make it this year' - just to make it clear it wasn't a foregone conclusion?
In fact, maybe she has taken your point on board - it's on the same date, but mil doesn't asume amd expect you'll be available?
Sagemist yes that has definitely become a problem - very difficult for you and your brother.

ThisWayForCrazy Mon 27-May-13 06:33:33

I don't get the issue. Even if it becomes an obligation, I still don't get the issue. It's 1 day out of 365 and as you say you get on with them, so it's not an awful full of hassle day, is it? And so what if its the same day each year? I don't see that it's more of an obligation as a set date than not. You'll still be expected to go.

FarBetterNow Mon 27-May-13 06:42:19

Maybe fast forward your life 30 years or thereabouts and think how lovely it would be to have all your children and grandchildren round to visit on the same day, so you can watch the little ones playing and the siblings can catch up with each other.

Please don't be a misery - just go to it.
Sorry - don't mean to be harsh.

Chottie Mon 27-May-13 06:48:50

It sounds lovely to me too. My DM used to do the same when I was a child, it gave me so many happy memories. Please go for your DC sake, your MiL does it from love and wanting to just enjoy seeing all her family together for one day........ I don't think she is asking for much....

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 27-May-13 06:50:19

Yes I think YABU and a bit of a misery too. What's the harm in your mil (who you like and get on with) wanting to get all of her family together? Plus the fact that it's the same day each year surely makes things easier for you... Just don't plan something else on that day!

I love big family gatherings at my inlaws.

I think it sounds lovely too smile And agree that having it the same date is more helpful as you can plan around it more than a year in advance!

kelda Mon 27-May-13 06:53:12

YABU. We have a family day on the same day every year. It makes things very easy. And enjoyable as well as we don't have to organise anything.

That is until this year that is, the date has been changed twice and caused no end of trouble.

saggybaps Mon 27-May-13 06:55:50

I really don't understand your problem. Great idea, good to have it on the same day every year as it helps you to plan. If you have something else important to go to, don't go. What's the problem with Capitals?

I think the problem is with you, not your MIL.

oh here, have a grip. I wish I had your in law 'problems'.
hmm

cat Mon 27-May-13 07:01:08

You sound very mean.

So MIL wants to get her family all together for 1 day of the year. 1 day. And you don't want to commit to that?

Crikey. I dread ending up with DILs like you.

Think yourself lucky, my MIL does this, the only difference being she invites everyone to a family day at MY house. This is because I have 'more room' hmm. I'd happily go to one at her place. Hosting it? Not so keen...

exoticfruits Mon 27-May-13 07:02:06

It sounds a great idea to me and the same weekend makes it simple. I wish we had one.

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