Birthday Party Disaster

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DaisyC1234, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. DaisyC1234

    DaisyC1234 Member

    My granddaughter's 3rd Birthday party

    Well, it was a disaster, but not in a way that I thought. Looks like my husband and I won't be speaking to my mother any longer.

    So the party at the pizza place starts at 6:30 pm, my daughter doesn't get to my house until around 5:15, still needing to get herself and the baby ready. She asks if I had time to get balloons filled, I said no, you had all day to do that, as my granddaughter was with her dad most of the day.

    I still had to get the cake so that's why I was leaving early. So we got to the pizza place around 6:10 pm. Waited for a little bit for them to get our table ready. People started showing up, and it's now 6:45 pm. People are asking where is she and the baby. It's now 7:00 pm. Baby's other grandma is like what's going on, I said they were getting balloons filled. It's now 7:10 and my husband is fuming and upset because it's just rude and inconsiderate, as she should have been the first one there. He sees her pull up in the parking lot goes outside and says you should have been the first one here. Her snarky response is "Well I'm here aren't I" followed by "The baby is ready because of me", which doesn't make any sense. So my husband get the baby and as they are walking in she keeps making comments to him about calming down. So she was pushing his buttons. She walks by me and says "Oh hi mom", I gave her a look of "really", then her snarky comment is "oh your feeling that vibe too"

    He comes back in and say's she out of the house tonight!! He was visibly upset and make some comments at the table where my mom and dad were sitting. So my mom goes and speaking to my daughter who is crying of course, then my mom and my husband go outside where she proceeds to cuss him out. Then she proceeds to tell him to not tell me about what she did.

    My mom totally crossed the line. I don't think my husband was wrong for scolding my daughter at all. My mom was way wrong for talking to my husband like he was a piece of dirt. Completely unacceptable.

    Were we wrong??
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    In the long run, you have to decide if you want to win, or if you want to continue to see and have some type of relationship with these people. I don't know your back story, but everyone has the rights to their own boundaries. Ksm
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    This is how I see it. It is truly only my opinion.

    I would have preferred, if it were my husband, that he had not said anything around the grand child and had vented about Daughter's lack of consideration after the party, when you were both at home. I am guessing that this is likely typical rude behavior for your daughter and not a big surprise. So why act surprised?

    I expect my daughter to be inconsiderate and, when we used to plan events with her, we expected her not to behave well. When it finally became too much for us,we stopped attending and had our own private celebrations with our grandson. This was before we were told that we could no longer see him.

    On the other hand, I could never take kindly to my husband being cussed out by my mother. I can't imagine it, really. I would expect adults to act better than that. I would have been appalled and would have tried to talk to both parties individually. I don't like conflict, BUT sometimes even I have to take sides. I hate it!

    Personally, I would have been upset with the behaviors of your husband, your daughter and your mother. For the baby's sake, I think it is better to hold things together and not bicker and shoot comments at one another in the presence of the grandchild. I assume she heard the bickering. It was her birthday and not her fault.

    All of this is not how YOU should feel. Just my own way of dealing with discord. There is no right way or wrong way to deal with crazy conflict. Follow your gut.

    God bless.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  4. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    There is a lot here, isn't there? Lots of crossed boundaries, expectations, resentments.

    Why mention that your daughter "had all day to get balloons filled?". A simple "no" to her question leaves the responsibility where it belongs - with her. Nothing needs to be said.

    Acceptance can go a long way in protecting our serenity. Why be upset she was late? Why "should she be the first one there?" . And why confront her with that when she gets there obviously frustrated and obviously trying to do the right thing about the balloons? And that is reason to kick her out? I see a lot of hostility and anger.

    What about enjoying the moment no matter what happens, tending to the guests who were there already, trying to see where I could be of service, how I could reflect God's love and forgiveness back to others including your daughter ?
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Daisy

    I'm sorry to pile on but I agree with the others. This whole day sounds like it was permeated with hostility and frustration and blame. And this was an accident waiting to happen and everybody acted out their piece. There were choice points all along for everybody. Your daughter is not the only guilty party, although I would have been annoyed with her too.

    But this sounds like the way your family operates. It's like everybody ambushes and jumps on everybody, just waiting for an error.

    Of course she could have arranged the balloons earlier. But you could have helped her out or kept quiet. Why confront and judge her? How does this help? You knew there was the party, that she would be stressed and so would you. To compound things by jumping on her, how did this help?

    Of course it would have been better had she arrived on time to the pizza place. But why vent? There were other guests there. Would it not have been more gracious to socialize and to mingle, without the anger? That could have diffused everybody's anxiety, and put it behind you. Instead, it was compounded.

    It sounds like you and your husband were the ones to basically act out in front of the party and to inflict your anger and impatience with your daughter onto the rest. And then your mother reacted to all of it by behaving inappropriately. But there was already so much tension and anger in the air, I think it would have taken a saint to have remained calm.

    I know in my family something similar happens. There is so much grievance built up that it takes somebody breathing deep to make me lose it. But if I think about it, I bear responsibility. My boundaries are not firm and clear enough. I keep giving more than I have to give. That's not my son's responsibility. It's my own.
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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  6. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    None of you were in the right. period. Looking for someone to blame? You can all look in the mirror. I feel badly for the 3 year old being shown these examples of adults.
    On the way to the party I would have stopped at the store and gotten the balloons and cake.
    I don't know why people have to make extra stress. I also don't understand your husband scolding her. Seriously? He couldn't be a good grandpa and go help get the little girl and carry her in to her party with a big smile on his face? Sure he could have and he would have set a MUCH better tone for the party.
    I hope all of you can do a better job in the future of realizing what is important.
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  7. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I used to react like this too. This is exactly something my daughter would have done in the past. A lot of my anger came from me feeling embarrassed in situations like this because I worried about what other people thought. Then I figured out the only person I can control is me. My daughter's behavior is a reflection of the person she is, not me or my parenting or anything else, just her. My daughter is extremely self-centered, very thoughtless of others. She's better than she used to be, but still somewhat that way. When my parents used to ask me why she did this or that or why she was behaving in a certain way I would say, "I don't know. You'll have to ask her. I can't control her." They got it after awhile and stopped asking me to explain her behavior.

    I don't know who all was at the party, but after about 20 minutes if it was family I would have just said something like, "I don't know what's going on but feel free to leave, as I am going to." And then I would have left. My daughter did crap like this all the time when my granddaughter was younger. She wouldn't show up for holidays, etc. So I started planning my own celebrations with my granddaughter for a time when I had her. That way I knew I would get special time with her to celebrate and wouldn't be at the mercy of my daughter, which used to cause me great frustration and anger. I would reiterate the key here is realizing you can't control your daughter and you are not responsible for her behavior. Figure out ways to do the things you want to do with your grandchild that don't rely on your daughter. That will avoid a lot of anger, frustration and hurt feelings. I'm the party didn't go well.
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  8. DaisyC1234

    DaisyC1234 Member

    Grand daughter was not at the table during this time and a big scene was not made, just some comments my husband happened to make. My mom made her way over to the game area where she questioned my daughter about what happened when my husband went outside. Then my mom and husband went outside the pizza place.

    The other guests were venting also and kept asking where is she, where's the baby. We were mingling but having to fend off questions about where she was and them saying how rude. I was dealing with ordering pizzas and giving out tokens, and setting up the cake.

    I didn't actually say she should have gotten them done earlier, I thought that, but when she asked I told her no, because I had to get the cake, so I was helping her out. I think somebody needed to tell her something about her being late and it was unacceptable and rude.

    This was her child's birthday and she had the child and family/guests were asking questions and how rude. She had to be out by the end of September anyway, but the lack of respect and tone she took with my husband is what did it, not her being late. Her smart :censored2: remark to my husband and continuing to push his buttons on walk into the pizza place is what did it. We don't need to put up with that.

    All-in-all the baby had a great time and didn't realize anything was wrong. She had a ton of fun and got lots of presents.

    We are not perfect I am sure there are things we did wrong or could have done differently, but it is what it is now. I guess we should look at it from "we are not parenting her anymore". We grew up with that type of parenting around us. If you did something wrong you were told, didn't matter how old you were.
  9. DaisyC1234

    DaisyC1234 Member

    You are correct. It was mostly family that was there. If I ever get to see my grand daughter again, I think I'll have to do this. The party went great for my grand daughter and the other kids.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Was all of this worth this? What about the baby?

    Your daughter was irresponsible and thoughtless.

    There are grandmothers who deal with far, far worse to keep contact with their grandchild.

    Is the price the baby is paying, your daughter will pay, you will pay, your mother will pay--is it worth it?

    It sounds like you were embarrassed. I understand embarrassment. But we're talking here about love. And responsibility. And commitment.

    Does the way we were raised have to forever be the right way? Can we decide to change? Is there something more important than doing it the way we've always done it? Or not?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Daisy. I see your point. Of course your Mom was out of line. But wasn't she acting from the family playbook?
    Your mom apparently thinks and acts as if she can punish you and your husband for misbehaving even though you are grandparents:
    This sounds like it is the family system. This is how it is done in your family and many others. You can see how it is working. This way of acting always requires a scapegoat. A guilty party. In this party there were two scapegoats, your daughter and your husband. You recognize that it was wrong that your husband be scapegoated by your mother. Can you see that your daughter was scapegoated too? By you and her father?

    I recognize that there is pent up frustration from how your daughter acts. But that kind of accumulated tension is ON US. Not just in us. It's on us because we keep doing the same thing, even though it's not working. By that I mean, in my case, living near my son puts impossible pressure on me. And because I have a hard time insisting he be homeless, I keep putting myself in a situation that I can't bear. That's on me.

    I am not saying that your daughter was right today. She made a couple of errors. She didn't handle the balloons, and then in order to fix that mistake she was late to the party. But the question is this. Is the impossible stress all stemming from today or is it cumulative?

    It sounds like your choice point is like Eliza wrote. If your daughter is congenitally irresponsible and late, why would you have a party where you depend upon her to do anything? Either don't have this kind of get together, or support her to do things in time by helping her. If you know she is this way, isn't it a setup to let her and you and everybody else fall into the trap so that everybody ends up mad and hurt, talking about never talking to each other ever again?

    Or maybe the choice point is having her move out entirely. Maybe this was what was supposed to happen some time ago. I don't know. It's hard. I know. I live it too.

    I have my own family disasters. That are equally intense and overwhelming. But they don't have to be, if I recognize that things are the way they are. Accepting reality. If my son (or I) can't or won't do something...why would I have the expectation that we will? Things don't change that way.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I think the whole issue is about not parenting our adult kids. It does not work or serve the adult child. Or us. If they look bad, they do. I would never have chided her in public. If others did then that was on them. I suppose it is hard in an outspoken family. My family and my husband's are calm and don't make scenes.

    I would not have helped Daughter with the balloons. No way. Not my responsibility. If she wanted them blown up, stores will fill them for a dime. I have stopped parenting any of my adult kids. Yes, it is hard. But I feel it is best for all.

    I think it is up to you and your husband whether your daughter lives with you or not. My daughter can never live with us again.

    Your daughter is not responsible and won't work. That is a bad sign for later. If she is also rude that in my opinion is reason to make her leave. But I do not feel that your husband acted appropriately. I mean no offense, but I can't approve of his behavior. He started the negative vibe that in my opinion he should have overlooked. I am guessing he is not her father. I would have been appalled at how he behaved but also at how your mother behaved and daughter. Your mother sounds controlling.

    You can choose to break the cycle of the family way. Just refuse to buy into it. You do not have to be a part of it or respond to bad behavior. You may need distance.

    I personally would not give up my soul to be beholden to an abusive child in order to see my grand. Theme grand can be removed from you by erratic adult kids even if you kiss their feet to have access to the baby. Some may do will not. This is up to you. In the end, it will be always up to your daughter.

    No heroes at that party.

    I do practice acceptance now, like Wise. I think her advice was the best. Accept the moment and enjoy what is.

    A book "The Gift of Acceptance" by Daniel A. Miller plus Al Anon changed my life for the better. Maybe give it a read. The library should have it. I love it so much that I carry it with me in my purse.

    This is going to die down. Nothing is so bad that it can't get better. I would sit on this for 48 hours before acting. But I do understand very clearly that your adult daughter may be best off not living with you.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My response was based upon the daughter's conduct today. I don't recall that this daughter is abusive. From the signature she is irresponsible, with alcohol problems and possibly mental illness.

    I think that we as parents have some responsibility to mentally ill adult children and to their children. Of course, abuse is another story.

    The thing is this: adult children can always withdraw the grandchildren. They can always use the children as pawns. There is no indication at least in this post that this young mother is doing this.

    What do we do as grandparents? Do we NOT love and engage with our grandchildren for fear that they will be withdrawn? Do we not help our vulnerable children...who may someday become abusive to us? For me, I would not want to be afraid to love, to guard against possible pain.

    I don't think I will ever be a grandmother. Or I fear that I won't. My son has never been in a serious relationship and says he will never have children or marry. I have to take him at his word. It's not looking good for me.

    I would have loved to have been a grandmother. It would be the fulfillment of my wildest dreams. I would love to be in Daisy's position. I would count my lucky stars. Her daughter sounds like a version of what my son is like. I would adore having the problems she's facing. Really. I would be afraid. But I would still want a grandchild to love.
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    You don't know if the grandchild your son would have had would have been in your life. Our kids tend to not marry stable partners too. And they disappear. And CPS comes calling. And we are sometimes too old and sick to step in. Or we simply are too tired to raise another child at 64. And that is okay in my opinion.

    At any rate, it is my choice not to fall all over Kay and do what she wants to see my grandchild. It was physically killing us both. The contact we had was sparadic and controlled, not like with Amy's kids. We had to pay to see Jaden and it was on her terms. We can't bear it anymore.

    This adult seems to me to be passive aggressive abusive. She doesn't do what is expected of her in the family home always dependent on Mom in every way. I think the parents have every right to tell her to leave. This is my opinion. They can buy her somewhere to live if they don't want her homeless but we are sorry we did that for Kay. But it is an option if you can afford it. Or you can pay rent.

    I learned that nobody knows how he or she will feel about any situation, including myself, until we are living it. I thought I would die for Kay and Jaden. I find myself in a very different frame of mind now. This poster's adult daughter is pregnant again. I can't know how the poster feels or what is best for her. I am not her. I can only share and let her decide and support her decision.

    Copa, you are a brilliant, compassionate woman and I am very worn out and maybe my heart has shut down a bit. I am sorry for all of us who have to make these horrible decisions. God bless all of us who live this nightmare.
  15. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Something I heard at AlAnon:

    Expectations are just premeditated disappointments.

    And one friend has a Tshirt that says "I gave up all hope and I'm feeling much better now."

    The less we hope for or expect certain results...the less disappointed we are. I've pretty much given up on any Hallmark Movie moments. But there are a few surprising moments of "that wasn't half bad!" Or, "no f bombs! WIN!"

    Maybe some one could have called or texted your daughter and then inform the guests of the delay. While balloons are a nice touch, I doubt that anyone would have cared or remembered if there were no balloons.

    Hope you have a better week.

  16. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Daisy,

    Yes, your hubby overreacted.

    But, I believe that the two of you are overstressed and at the end of your rope, caught between your difficult pregnant adult daughter and your mom who is trying to exert her control over your household (I base this on your previous posts).

    We have all been there, to one extent or the other.

    Let this go.
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  17. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    My mantra... "It is what it is..." Ksm
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  18. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    As your husband attempted to parent your grown daughter , your Mother attempted to parent your husband . I agree that both of these incidents added to the disagreement.

    I don't know that I would stop speaking to my Mother . I realize now with some recovery under my belt that my Mom and Dad did the best they could do with the tools they had at the time. And so did I when I raised my children. I made plenty of mistakes but if I had known better I would have done better. It is important to me today to show myself forgiveness and love and to treat others how I want to be treated.

    When my Mom acts in ways that are unacceptable to me today, I let her know how I feel, what I need, and what I would like. I say what I mean, mean what I say, but don't say it meanly. By stopping to talk to her , nothing gets resolved , I harbor a big resentment which isn't good for me , it denies an improvement in the relationship, and it denies her the chance to learn about me and to change her behavior towards me if she so choses. It is an opportunity to show better tools and to teach (and practice) boundaries.
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  19. DaisyC1234

    DaisyC1234 Member

    My husband realizes what he did was wrong and made a mistake, my daughter just really pissed him off (not making excuses) by not shutting up and continuing with snarky remarks like "calm down", so that's why the comments to a select few at the table, which my mom overheard. All-in-all everyone was wrong. I was done parenting a while ago. Once in a while I catch myself parenting, but nothing serious, most of the time it's telling her to clean up after herself and the baby, put the dishes away, fold your laundry and wash the baby clothes.

    I am writing an email to my mom, so I can gather my thoughts. I'm not calling her because she has a tendency to talk over me, at least this way she can't do that. My mom keeps pointing out what my husband did wrong, but no mention of her or my daughter also being wrong.... she keeps texting me with childish remarks. I have noticed over the last few years that she has a tendency to want to control others and outcomes with the get in your face attitude.

    My sister-in-law tried to have a heart to heart talk with my daughter and she said it seemed as though she was "souless" and it's like she doesn't feel anything.

    Even if we do make amends it's going to be uncomfortable during the holidays and get togethers.

    I appreciate all the comments, stings a little, but that's ok.
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm just so sorry that you all had to endure the ripple effects of your daughter. It's easy to over react when dealing with our difficult adult children. There are no easy answers as to whether your husband was right or wrong when emotions are involved. We can always look back at a situation with 20/20 and say we should have done this differently but we can do is to learn from it.

    There is nothing that will test relationships more than a difficult adult child. They can be quite good at manipulating others to see things "their way" and it's my guess that she has done this to your mother.
    The manipulation only works for so long and the true nature of a person will eventually be seen.

    The only thing I can really offer is this, going forward, do your best to not put yourself in a situation where your daughter can create chaos.
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