I'm asking this on behalf of my mum as she's asked me what to do and I don't know what to tell her. Any advice would be appreciated. Apologies in advance as its a long one.
We have a family dinner once a week at my parents place. This is just my parents and sibling and siblings family.
Earlier this year my mum invited one of our cousins and his wife to one of these family dinners. It was meant to be a one off. They made a comment that they loved being invited to mums place as the food is so good and my mum being a people pleaser said something to the effect of 'you're welcome anytime'. Well they've taken her at her word and have shown up every week since.
Mum doesn't now know what to do. It's not that she doesn't like the cousin but she's missing having just her children and grandchildren over for dinner. It's the only time we all see each other together and she feels like instead of just relaxing and playing with the kids she has to 'host'. Also having two extra adults means not enough space at the dinner table so she has to set up a separate kids table. Basically it turns into more of a dinner party.
Also my cousin has very specific dietary requirements (many allergies) so cooking is not as easy as it would usually be for just us.
Now obviously this is her fault as she shouldn't have extended the open invite in the first place if she didn't mean it and then she should've put a stop to it earlier if it wasn't working for her; but as I said mum is a people pleaser and doesn't know how to say no. But now it's getting to her and she's made snippy comments to me about when will she be able to just have a simple family dinner again. I don't know what to tell her. She can't exactly uninvite them now can she? Wwyd?
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23-12-2015 15:27 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
What should my mum do?
Last edited by Mama Mirabelle; 23-12-2015 at 15:30.
23-12-2015 15:33 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Brisbane North
Get her to start moaning about a mystery fatigue/illness and she can say sorry but its getting a bit much for me now.. Or she can invent a night job?
23-12-2015 15:35 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2014
Tricky situation! How long have the cousins been coming along for now? If it's only a few could she just cancel a couple of dinners and then get back together with just the family in a few weeks? Sorry that suggestion may be a cop out but other than saying to them sorry but it is too much too many ppl etc it may be an option to consider?
23-12-2015 15:36 #4
Your poor mum!
She should tell them it's getting too much for her and make it a monthly or bimonthly catch up with them.
23-12-2015 16:09 #5
Your poor mum! The victim of her own kindness!
There really isn't a polite way to rescind an invitation.
Do they call before coming each week? If they do, I think your mum needs to be honest. "I've loved having you however it's a special time for me with my kids. I'll certainly invite you next time I'm extending beyond the kids."
Or "it's getting a bit much for me, I'll have you around another time."
I don't think making anything up is helpful. Your poor mum will get found out and then it will be worse.
If your mum doesn't feel like she can say something, can one of you give your cousins the heads up? Explain that your mum loves having them but was being polite and now doesn't feel comfortable taking back the invitation ?
Either way it's going to be awkward. But honesty is probably best.
Or maybe your mum can say something to her sibling that is the parent of these cousins?
But that would be my last resort I think.
23-12-2015 16:15 #6
I think she should tell the cousin that family dinners will be fortnightly from now on, but continue to host them weekly.
She could also 'cancel' due to 'illness' every now and again just to break the cycle.
I think once they miss a week here and there it'll become an occasional catch up more than an expected weekly event.
23-12-2015 16:22 #7
I would be honest. Say that while she loves to see them, she's finding she doesn't get to just relax and catch up with her kids and grandkids as its that bit much extra work, lack of space, special menu needed etc. That while she meant they were welcome anytime, she didn't mean each and every week, but they were welcome to join you once and month or whatever timeframe she thinks OK.
Other option is to cancel them for a month/6 weeks (or move them to your/siblings house for that timeframe) and then start again on a different night and not tell the cousins.
23-12-2015 16:33 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
23-12-2015 16:53 #9
Can you have the conversation with the cousin instead of your mum? Mention your mum wants to have a bit of a break from weekly dinner parties?
Maybe the cousins can host sometime?
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