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The situation you are describing sounds very hurtful for the left out family, even with the knowledge of how much you have already cared for their family, especially knowing how much your family was cared for by family while you were handling the health issues of your child.  I think there is a tactful way to invite them but make it clear that 1. it isn't really appropriate for a baby and 2.  you are unable to be responsible to the older boys so if they are interested in coming maybe only one parent come and the other stay back with baby. Or something along those lines where you aren't not inviting them but you are setting up the boundary that their kids are their responsibility on the trip

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2 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

Sorry. I think I misunderstood the dynamic. I thought the mom with the baby was unwilling or unable to care for her own kids and that if anyone else was around she left it to them.  Ignore me. 

Oh well, that's the feeling I got too.  That the 3 older kids would just default to the other families responsibility and the assumption would be that would be all fine and good with everyone.

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7 minutes ago, happi duck said:

I do think there'd be hurt feelings if all the sibs but one are invited.

I hated when my siblings made decisions for me.  One of my late sisters was especially bad about that.  "I would've asked you but I figured you wouldn't want to".

Why couldn't the baby dad come along with his other kids who are the right age?  Parent and baby stay back at the hotel, campsite etc?

You wouldn't have to end up watching their older kids if you said no and established it from the beginning.

Just my two cents.

 

Yes to this!  Even if you think I'll say "no", please let me make my own decisions.

I would be hurt in the situation in the OP.  Maybe I'm a snowflake, but I would be hurt.

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25 minutes ago, kbutton said:

This sounds like 'splaining to the family why they don't want to go on a trip they very well might want to go on. Could backfire; will almost definitely cause hard feelings if they do want to go and realize this conversation is an attempt to talk to them about it without talking to them about it. They will feel "managed" as if they are the ones causing the problem. BTDT

It is possible to do exactly this, and still be the person that ends up being constantly excluded. You can be the person that always gets the short straw at everyone else's expense, and over time, it hurts.

It's totally an option to avoid babysitting on vacation and still not leave out only the family with the baby. You can just go on vacation with a smaller subset of family.

Yeh, that makes sense. I really don’t have a lot of experience with large sibling groups, or, well, any siblings to speak of, really.  So the nuances are new to me. I would never have thought a conversation would make someone feel managed, just that I’d be letting them know the realities of the trip (no babysitter) and letting them know we could plan an alternative trip for later if this one isn’t their thing. Days like this, I’m kind of happy not to have to deal with siblings! 🤣

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If you've been taking care of siblings kids and love them it's not easy to say that you are going off for the day without them, too bad so sad. She knows the parents are not going to make this easier on anyone. However it gets sorted it sounds like she needs a break from all the childcare.

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3 minutes ago, kbutton said:

It's very frustrating, and when long distances are involved, it has a different dynamic as well. It's really hard to have good boundaries while being generous and pro-active. And people really don't listen. They just don't. We have a difficult dynamic with distance plus odd work schedules, and it's NEVER taken into account except to assume that we can be somehow MORE flexible rather than less. So, for instance, people will take in the information that we often can't do the real holiday, but they seem to think that means we don't want to get together at all. Um, no, someone is working because, you know, hospitals are open on holidays too, but we'd like to run into you on purpose some other time! Or, they will gather that sometimes we're free on weekdays (weird work plus homeschooling), so they think that means we're always free during the week if they want to summon us to something (and I try oh so hard not to pressure people into taking time off if they can't afford to do so for us). Or, they tell us they need to take time off before they lose it, so tell us to come use up their vacation time, okay?, between this date and this date, okay?, near the end of the year when that entire time is spiked with birthdays (which we try to avoid because if we show up on a birthday, then we're expected to show up for all of them), anniversaries (ditto the expectations), holiday events, etc. to dodge, AND one of our kids is in part-time school this year, so we can no longer do weekdays. Mind you, we've told everyone for something like two years now that we'd be beholden to a school schedule at some point, but they couldn't grasp this before now. 

So, yeah, it often sucks. A lot. And we're disappointing people like bosses all the time.

Meanwhile, we bent over backwards to visit all.of.these.people prior to having kids, weird schedules, etc., and they NEVER reciprocated. And they don't remember that they never reciprocated, so now we're the difficult people that need to be managed. It's unreal.

Wow.  That sounds very difficult and frustrating. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Danae said:

Who said they would complain?  The OP asked if feelings would be hurt and people are answering with how they would feel.  It’s perfectly possible to feel hurt by someone’s actions and deal with that yourself without making a big deal about it.  
 

Yes this.  There would be hurt feelings that would be dealt with and not shared.  Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt.

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47 minutes ago, kbutton said:

All of these things might be true, but it's not all in the original post and only sort of in the thread, so it's hard for me to piece it all together. I do have some idea of the backstory, but I don't follow every post. 

Yes to this. I also have a vague idea of the backstory but not enough to really know what's going on. I assumed the OP did not include all the backstory because it wasn't relevant to this post, not sure why others brought it in.  

So, OP is an in-law to the family that might be excluded?  Let the actual siblings sort it out. I firmly believe that in-laws should stay out of these kinds of discussions. That "policy" has served me well with my own in-laws for 25+ years now! 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, marbel said:

Yes to this. I also have a vague idea of the backstory but not enough to really know what's going on. I assumed the OP did not include all the backstory because it wasn't relevant to this post, not sure why others brought it in.  

So, OP is an in-law to the family that might be excluded?  Let the actual siblings sort it out. I firmly believe that in-laws should stay out of these kinds of discussions. That "policy" has served me well with my own in-laws for 25+ years now! 

 

 

See and in my family, when in-laws choose to stay out of conversations like that it always ends worse because it ends with their spouse speaking for them and things getting lost in translation.

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Me, personally, I would be relieved to not be invited because big extended family trips with my babies are not my thing. 

But if you don't think she'd feel like that, I wouldn't do it as described. I may invite the 4th sibling and say it's a no kids event and if they want to make childcare arrangements, then they're welcome to come. 

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I think the backstory is important because it speaks volumes about how the family dynamics are right now.  I have always gotten the impression that the OP's family is incredibly close with the in-laws and they all seemingly do a lot together and for each other.  So, if that impression is true then it would be incredibly hurtful from my perspective for them to not invited the other family. 

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I don't have siblings, but my husband's two sisters have kids who are 6-10 years older than our older son and 12-16 years older than the younger one.  We had the opposite problem in that the family would plan things that really weren't going to work for our family and then were offended when we declined.

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11 minutes ago, marbel said:

Yes to this. I also have a vague idea of the backstory but not enough to really know what's going on. I assumed the OP did not include all the backstory because it wasn't relevant to this post, not sure why others brought it in.  

So, OP is an in-law to the family that might be excluded?  Let the actual siblings sort it out. I firmly believe that in-laws should stay out of these kinds of discussions. That "policy" has served me well with my own in-laws for 25+ years now! 

 

 

Sorry if putting some additional history in if it was not welcome.  I am happy to edit my posts if OP requests that.  I have a hard time not responding in context of people's posting history unless they specifically request that.  And I think this OP is so sweet and sensitive and inclusive her feelings could be the last to be considered and I did wonder if trip planning SIL sees she needs this and is taking charge and telling baby family what's what.  

But even so, in the context of the OP, I have been that not included family, and no not always being included is not a problem for me in the context of being in an otherwise inclusive and loving family with reasonably healthy dynamics.  

I 100% agree this should fall to the the actual siblings though.  I get the comment about things getting lost in translation, I am sure one of my SILs has probably been irritated with me because my DH isn't always good with details.  But that's her choice.  She can always contact or ask me if she wants.  

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2 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I did wonder if trip planning SIL sees she needs this and is taking charge and telling baby family what's what. 

I think that’s the best idea.  There might still be hurt feelings, but this seems like the best possible approach.  

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With the added info I would absolutely invite the other brother and his wife but I'd also have a serious conversation with the uninvited family.  Either invite them with STRICT boundaries that they have 3 adults go on the trip so mom can tend to baby and dad and other non you and other travelling family can watch their older kids.  Also make it clear that they are required to do ALL the cooking for their kids. You are on vacation and are only willing to tend to your own kids.  I would go so far as to invite them but tell them they need to rent their own house.

or be very honest about why all families involved need this trip without their family.  Then there are hurt feelings, which is ok people are aloud to feel hurt, but there isn't secrecy about it or them filling in the reasons for themselves.

Edited by hjffkj
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Omg. I would definitely make sure the family didn’t come. You need this and they are takers. If they are capable of accepting the level of help they’ve enjoyed, I’m not sure they have the wherewithal to see the situation clearly. (I’m assuming mom and baby were healthy.) They will feel left out and they will complain and that’s OK. Expect it, put it in a box, and enjoy a ski trip with people who ski. 

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1 hour ago, hjffkj said:

The situation you are describing sounds very hurtful for the left out family, even with the knowledge of how much you have already cared for their family, especially knowing how much your family was cared for by family while you were handling the health issues of your child.  I think there is a tactful way to invite them but make it clear that 1. it isn't really appropriate for a baby and 2.  you are unable to be responsible to the older boys so if they are interested in coming maybe only one parent come and the other stay back with baby. Or something along those lines where you aren't not inviting them but you are setting up the boundary that their kids are their responsibility on the trip

I agree. Just be blunt. You are taking a break from all childcare duties, and are not planning a child friendly trip. You and other invitees will not be providing childcare assistance. It has been a very rough year so this is a decompress trip, many activities not being baby friendly. But by all means if they can work out their childcare issues separately and want to come without the little ones, then you would love to have them.

We did a no kids family camping trip this summer. Beginner, whitewater rafting and lots of  kayaking, late nights up with booze though no drunkenness, really very adult food like smoked fish dinners, crab spread, expensive stuff one does not provide to a large group, and some brewery and winery visits. We were blunt but not unkind when discussing this with DD and son in law. They didn't even suggest that they wanted to come with our grandsons. Someday I will take my grandboys camping and kayaking, but right now Marmee needs a little empty nest time. I went from children to eldercare with no break, and am mentally beat. So when opportunities to not be in caregiver mode pop up, I need to take advantage of them.

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OK, so…with the additional info I’d say—We are doing an adults/big kids trip.

We don’t want you to feel like we are excluding you, but this is a very specific kind of vacation involving just high skills skiing.  If you want to come, you’re going to have to make your own arrangements for housing and for your kids and meals and such—ski school maybe, or intensive adult help.  They just aren’t at the level yet to be able to participate with the rest of us.  We always enjoy your company so here are the dates if you want to start thinking about arrangements.  If not, we completely understand and look forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving.

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40 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

skiing with younger newer kids is just a different experience, than skiing with older skilled kids.  

Yes, 100%!  I totally get why this trip would be dramatically different if the family with young kids were to come. 

41 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

my older sister in law booked a house and invited us to go with her, her husband and their 21 year old. 

So, this didn’t start as “let’s have a family vacation.”  It started as a chance for my kids to get a break and do something they love after years of trauma.  

Anyway, my older sister in law thinks we should invite my younger brother in law and his wife.

So older SIL booked the house and she wants to invite her other brother (do i have that right?) but not her sister with the young kids.  I think it's totally fine.  I personally would NOT be offended if I was the one "left out" in this scenario.  I definitely think the SIL should be the one to handle the invite to her brother and the explanation to the sister.  I love this wording: 

9 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

We are doing an adults/big kids trip.

We don’t want you to feel like we are excluding you, but this is a very specific kind of vacation involving just high skills skiing.  

I would also add, "It will be so great one day when we all the kids are old enough and we can do a big trip like this together!" 

 

I hope you have a great time, guilt free and with no hard feelings from the sister.  

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49 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

, my older sister in law booked a house and invited us to go with her, her husband and their 21 year old. 

 

SIL planned a vacation and booked a house, SIL can invite whoever she wants.  Good news, OP, this is Not Your Problem.  Relax and let it go.

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13 minutes ago, Danae said:

SIL planned a vacation and booked a house, SIL can invite whoever she wants.  Good news, OP, this is Not Your Problem.  Relax and let it go.

This.  I would let your SIL handle the whole thing.

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1 minute ago, kbutton said:

 

Yeah, I was picturing this originally. Not so much now. 

 

It seems like they are close just that one family is more of a taker than helper.  This is when clear boundaries and open communicationis so important, especially in really close families. Without honest communication and boundaries big family dynamics can shift quickly, ask me how I know.  In my case I still hope for things to go back to normal some day but with the other party not capable of effectively communicating I can only assume they don't wish for that.

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23 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

We aren't talking about constantly in this situation.

No, but you were talking about setting up an expectation, and those kind of expectations unfold over time. 

 

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You need a break. You are being given the opportunity for a break. Take a break.

The SIL who is the needy/taker in this situation may feel hurt. But, her feelings are not your responsibility. One would hope that she would say:

"Yeah, Bball&Hockey really needs this after the year she has had. I hope you guys have a great time and we'll see you when you get back." But, her emotional intelligence and capacity for empathy is not your responsibility, either.

I hope you go and have a great time.

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I agree with the open invite but being blunt that this is a big kids/adult trip and that you are taking a vacation from babysitting, cleaning, and cooking, and if they want to come it will be up to them to hire a nanny or otherwise figure out how to take care of their kids and keep them safe. You & your kids plan to ski advanced hills the entire trip and will not be helping manage littles with ski school. 

There’d a 95% chance they’ll decide it isn’t for them on their own, with no hurt feelings for you making the decision for them. 

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In the context of the additional info, OP's SIL is giving a gift.  She's giving you the gift of a wonderful trip and some time reconnecting with your boys in a setting away from home.  She's giving you the gift of absolution from any guilt of accepting this gift.  And she is gifting other BIL too which if the dynamics are good for your family, I don't see any reason why she shouldn't do that if she rented this house and there is space.  Assuming relationships are good, maybe she'd take the girls to American Girl and go to a show next year and you'd be fine with that right?  It honestly doesn't make sense to take younger kids who have not been skiing at all to a big ski resort.  You need a little time at those local baby hills sitting on your butt and be a little older with the ability to be on the hill all day before that makes sense.   Thinking abut the ages of the kids, it's like your youngest is JUST at that point.  So fun, you all will have a blast!  They have 3 of 4 kids younger than that. 

As a highly empathetic person, I totally get playing these conversations out in your mind.  Especially if baby mom is not shy with her feelings typically.  So it may be a good idea to come up with a pass the cheese dip response when/if this comes up with her, "Yes, I am so grateful SIL is giving us this gift.  Our family really needs some time to heal and reconnect.  I'm really looking forward to it.  The baby has grown so much and looks so much like you, so adorable, need more coffee?"  As you go into fall, it might be a good time to be reasserting some healthy family boundaries if necessary.   There is just no way this family has any reason not to feel loved and treasured.  

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6 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

It's more like older SIL booked a house as a gift to me and my kids, and offered to come along if we wanted, and asked "is there anyone else you want to invite, what about . . . ?"   The trip is exactly the trip that I had planned out in my mind, back when I assumed we'd be back to two incomes and two functional parents, except with the addition of some extra adults.

Obviously, we'll talk to my younger SIL.  We won't just disappear the day after Christmas and leave her wondering why we aren't around for playdates while the kids are out of school.  

I just want the messaging to be "We planned this trip.  We're hoping to ski the difficult slopes all day and then fall into bed exhausted, so it's not really a little kid trip.  We love you, see you when we get back!"  Because honestly, while there are absolutely boundary issues, even if there weren't, having waited years to ski a decent sized mountain with my boys, I don't want little kids on this trip. 

I think that you can say exactly this! I don't think it needs to be couched in other terms. It really is okay for you to state it as a matter of simple fact, and then follow with a pleasant phrase like, "We can get together some time when I get back. I will call when I am ready."

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1 minute ago, BaseballandHockey said:

So, here's the thing, even if they brought a nanny and developed great boundaries, I still don't want any little kids on the trip.  We're going to be there on the anniversary of my kid's death.  I don't want someone's nanny at the dinner table when we sing him happy birthday.  I don't want to try and hide my tears so I don't scare my 7 year old niece.  I'm desperately hoping that the combination of sun and exercise will make me so tired that I can sleep more than a few hours without waking up frantically searching for my child, I don't need a baby who isn't sleeping through the night in the room next door.  I just don't want anyone with little kids to come on the trip.  

So, I'm not going to say "we'd love to have you" or "if you solve these problems . . . " because the solution to the problem is for me to go on vacation without them.  I also don't want to say "this is because you use me too much for childcare" because that's irrelevant.  I don't want ANY little kids on this trip.  And so my question is, if your sister said to you "We've planned this trip.  It's not a little kid trip so have fun till we get back.  We love you!  See you soon!" would you be hurt, and if so, would it make a difference if 2/3 of your siblings were going vs. all 3 of them?

 

 

 

If you came to me and said what you just said above, you planned this trip, you hope it helps with grieving, you don’t want to have to tiptoe around little kids because you’re sure you will be openly grieving, and adults & oldest are welcome but the little ones are not, I’f be totally supportive of that.  If no one told me why we were excluded I’d be very hurt and it might permanently damage the relationship.  I mean I think I personally wouldn’t, but throw in postpartum hormones & a husband who is a poor parent and I might be a wreck. 

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This trip is a much bigger deal than the first post seemed.  This trip gets to be whatever you need and want.  Really truly.

Since it's right after Christmas it's perfect for "head's up, we won't be around over Christmas break.". Hopefully knowing sooner than later helps.

(hugs)

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3 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

So, here's the thing, even if they brought a nanny and developed great boundaries, I still don't want any little kids on the trip.  We're going to be there on the anniversary of my kid's death.  I don't want someone's nanny at the dinner table when we sing him happy birthday.  I don't want to try and hide my tears so I don't scare my 7 year old niece.  I'm desperately hoping that the combination of sun and exercise will make me so tired that I can sleep more than a few hours without waking up frantically searching for my child, I don't need a baby who isn't sleeping through the night in the room next door.  I just don't want anyone with little kids to come on the trip.  

So, I'm not going to say "we'd love to have you" or "if you solve these problems . . . " because the solution to the problem is for me to go on vacation without them.  I also don't want to say "this is because you use me too much for childcare" because that's irrelevant.  I don't want ANY little kids on this trip.  And so my question is, if your sister said to you "We've planned this trip.  It's not a little kid trip so have fun till we get back.  We love you!  See you soon!" would you be hurt, and if so, would it make a difference if 2/3 of your siblings were going vs. all 3 of them?

 

 

 

Well, takers with boundary issues will have their feelings hurt simple because they only consider their own feelings and not anyone else's. That is just how it is. I mean, when my brother hints that he and his snowflake wife want to go camping with us I don't say, "Hell no because you to are lazy asses who think Mark and I were put on earth to cater to your every whim, cook and clean for you and your kids all day, while you do absolutely nothing." But I do say, "No. We are not compatible camping families, and this is my family's special outing." And his feelings get hurt, but he learns to live with it.

So I think you are up front. This is a no kids under age yada yada trip. We will see you when we get home.

You don't actually owe her more than that. Yes, her feelings will be hurt but that is HER choice. You are not being cruel. And many times, we care takers burn ourselves to the ground not taking care of ourselves. I am 100% guilty of that. I am learning that I have to change that. 

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I seriously doubt feelings will be hurt if you point out that you’re planning this trip around this date. But I think you need to let her know & not just let her find out.  Maybe not you personally.  Maybe have one of the SIL’s that are going tell her. 

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7 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I want to figure out if we're asking DH's brother, get that sorted, and then tell her.  Whether it's me or her sister, doesn't really matter to me.  We're together every weekend at least one day, so it's not hard for us to talk together. 

If, for example, I ask my youngest BIL, and he can't get the dates off work, then there's no reason for her to know he was invited and she wasn't. So, I want that sorted first.  

 

Or just text invite all adults with the clear understanding that the date was chosen with DS’s anniversary in mind, and with the skiing that you used to do before DS in mind, so no children 10 or under (or whatever) are welcome so you as a family are free to grieve however you need. And then make it clear there is no obligation for anyone to come, you understand with Covid and work obligations and finding a babysitter it won’t work for everyone. 

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29 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

And so my question is, if your sister said to you "We've planned this trip.  It's not a little kid trip so have fun till we get back.  We love you!  See you soon!" would you be hurt

Well I can tell you this.  I have a sister and a brother who are each married and we all get along super great.  We are at different places in life with when we all started having kids.  My sister has been having this epic Halloween party every year for many years and she started having it when my kids were very little.  It is *not* a kid party.  When she first started having it, she invited my brother and his wife but not us.  Which was fine.  Also, my brother got married in Mexico when my kids were toddlers and we opted not to go.  Because, Mexico and toddlers.  We were invited, but felt like it would be a really, really hard trip.  My sister's 40th is coming up in October and she is going to combine her epic party with her big 40th and again it is NO KIDS.  It's ok, we can go and leave the kids home now or not go and do a family thing with her another time, no hard feelings. So, I don't know.  Maybe the dynamics in my family are different, but we have a mutual understanding that some things are for kids and some things are not and not everything is going to work for all of us all the time.  I say, accept the gift from your SIL with no guilt and have a fabulous time, and let SIL invite the other brother if it would add joy to your trip.  

 

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8 minutes ago, Katy said:

Or just text invite all adults with the clear understanding that the date was chosen with DS’s anniversary in mind, and with the skiing that you used to do before DS in mind, so no children 10 or under (or whatever) are welcome so you as a family are free to grieve however you need. And then make it clear there is no obligation for anyone to come, you understand with Covid and work obligations and finding a babysitter it won’t work for everyone. 

I like this idea IF you wouldn't mind having all the adults.  

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5 hours ago, kbutton said:

No, but you were talking about setting up an expectation, and those kind of expectations unfold over time. 

You often post advice that is about setting expectations or boundaries, and they seem to always go well for you from what you say. That's not always the case for others. I feel like a caveat is needed that these things can still be fraught even with good boundaries or communicated expectations. People here what they want and discard the information that is inconvenient for them (often leading to strange conclusions).

It's probably a good place to note that not everyone has neurotypical family either, and their neurotypical family members are often choosy about what parts of their atypical behavior they want to acknowledge or work on or plan around or give a hoot about while painting those burned by this as being difficult. Fun stuff. 

No, I'm not talking about setting up an expectation that unfolds over time based on this particular event-quite the opposite. Creating an expectation that all guest lists to all events will always be the same (as in everyone will always get an invitation to everything or if someone is excluded this time then they'll always be excluded) is exactly the problematic thinking I expect adults to avoid. That thinking is fantastical, not based on reality. It needs to stop immediately.  Each guest list is determined by each individual event and guest list criteria changes based on each individual event.  This event isn't little kid-friendly, so it would totally bizarre to invite people with little kids to it. It's that simple. Next time there's an event that is kid-friendly they'll get an invitation.

Setting boundaries always assumes there's a real possibility others will react badly to it.  I've dealt with more than my fair share of those.  That hasn't deterred me from setting and enforcing boundaries. I'm not a frail delicate flower wilting under disapproval, or even screaming (which I've had directed at me at full volume in response to enforcing a boundary.) Actually, when setting a boundary you shouldn't set it until you have prepared for the worst by already deciding what action you will take to enforce the boundary when someone doesn't respect it.  That doesn't negate the importance of setting the boundary anyway-that's evidence enforcing the boundary is absolutely critical. Sometimes we have to do hard things in life even though their incredibly uncomfortable.

If someone chooses not to listen carefully or they lack the emotional maturity to hear what was said in spite of whatever emotions may come up in their minds, that's never the problem of the person who set the boundary-ever.  People are responsible for their own listening skills, managing their own emotions, and generally dealing with whatever life throws at them. I'm not anyone else's emotional babysitter or emotional guardian or emotional proxy. 

I didn't see anywhere in the OP where an atypical person was involved.  I don't see how having atypical family members (I have a few)  means someone shouldn't enforce any reasonable boundaries or that they become responsible for the aytpical person's feelings and behaviors. 

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1 minute ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:


I didn't see anywhere in the OP where an atypical person was involved.  I don't see how having atypical family members (I have a few)  means someone shouldn't enforce any reasonable boundaries or that they become responsible for the aytpical person's feelings and behaviors. 

Whether or not there are people with long term issues, this is a relationship that was created and negotiated at a point in life my where DH and my grief and stress level were so profound that we weren't functioning like typical people.  

Yes, my boundaries in this situation have been crap.  

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3 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Whether or not there are people with long term issues, this is a relationship that was created and negotiated at a point in life my where DH and my grief and stress level were so profound that we weren't functioning like typical people.  

Yes, my boundaries in this situation have been crap.  

I assumed in the context of that exchange we were talking about the uninvited family member being atypical and the poster being unwilling to set the boundary of not inviting the atypical person.  Or expecting an atypical person to not enforce reasonable boundaries.

I make all kinds of room and allowances for those grieving and under severe stress. All the more reason to support you in not inviting people with littles to a not-little-kid-friendly event with your extended family. Hopefully another extended family member who is going will field any current or future negativity from the uninvited on your family units' behalf.

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1 minute ago, kbutton said:

I think you're missing my whole point. I disagree strongly that an expectation of not all things require all people to be invited is an event by event expectation. The very fact that they are invited to some and not all is something that unfolds over time. People see that yes, they were not invited to this event (or you can't make it to that kind of event), but they see that you care and that invitations will be extended/accepted at other times, and then they trust that you aren't being exclusive. 

The atypical thing was just another caveat because it does come into play. 

Lots of people do plenty of hard things in life with boundaries that don't frame them or execute them the way that you do. 

It's also still possible for someone to end up on the butt end of everything for reasons that overlap with boundaries or complicate boundaries. The not listening is not about getting in a snit. It's about constantly redefining the situation. It's one thing for someone to be mad at me because I set a boundary and another that someone made up science fiction about something I said (but aren't being manipulative). That happens a LOT. For instance, I have a lot of foods I can't eat. This has led to some crazy behavior/disinformation/weird responses on the part of other people that is not necessary or helpful, and it has nothing to do with boundaries. But these things end up overlapping with or complicating boundaries and people get legit confused. 

Yes, in life sometimes people get confused, invent alternate realities to suit themselves,  and pass on faulty information in boundary setting scenarios.  That's not anything like the situation with the OP.  I don't know what your point is in relation to the context of this thread. 

If in your situation wrong information about you is sent out or inaccurate paraphrases are stated or weird responses happen,  then you can correct it directly as soon as you're aware. When people show signs of confusion you can clarify as explicitly and directly as possible. If someone starts story crafting mythology you can tell them that's not what happened and don't wait for them to agree with you.  If it's ongoing and draining to you can decide how much further contact, if any, you'll have and if you can choose to continue contact decide how you'll react to their crazy pants behavior with no illusions whatsoever about how bad that behavior will be. Of course some situations are inherently more complicated than others.  No one ever suggested otherwise and the types of things you describe has been, in some form, included in boundary discussions on this board. 

What exactly are you arguing about? I never said it would be easy. I never said there was only one way of setting boundaries in any situation discussed here.  I never said every situation would simple. Discussing general principles of boundary setting on an online forum based a one party's few paragraphs about a situation is different than all the complexities and nuances of applying them in each different situation group dynamic.  That's the difference between a general discussion and a detailed discussion about a very specific situation where we knows all the dynamics with every individual involved.  We can only do one of those things here and it isn't the latter.

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