Post # 1
I’m PMSing and having a bad week, so bear with me for being overly sensitive. For many years, my grandmother on my dad’s side has favored one female cousin. She has two other female grandchildren (myself and my sister) and two male grandchildren. This grandmother called me to let me know favored female cousin just had her second baby. This has been somewhat a source of tension because this cousin quit her job to be a full time mom, but they do not have extra money and now is relying on our government for health care, food stamps, etc. Her husband had a decent job for a while but decided he ‘didn’t like it’ and quit to become a truck driver. They’re great parents i’m sure, but part of being a parent is also being able to provide for your family. The rest of her grandchildren work very hard and earn their own keep and act responsiby,but still in grandmother’s eyes this cousin is Gods gift to the world.
Anyways, I learned this news a few days ago through Facebook, but could tell grandmother was excited so I talked wtih her about the new baby for several minutes. After a while, it got to the point in the conversation where there wasn’t much to say on it anymore, so I let her know we got our wedding invitations mailed and we were really excited to start getting back RSVPs.
Grandmother then changes the subject back to favored cousin and said that she doubts she’ll be able to come with two little ones as the flights would be very expensive. I told her I understood and that it would be a long trip for a newborn. Grandmother then adds that if she did come she would *have* to bring the baby. I kindly reminded grandmother that we are not able to have children at the wedding as that would add a lot of extra guests and that since it is late in the evening and people will be drinking, live music, etc its not really a children friendly event. Grandmother then proceeds to rudely tell me that a mother can’t leave a nursing baby with a baby sitter so even if cousin could afford it she wouldn’t be able to come anyway because she won’t leave the baby (uhm, have they not heard of bottles?) Anyways, at this point I was starting to get really mad so I shut my mouth before I said something I regretted.
Seeing as I wasn’t going to give in to her pressure about allowing the baby at the wedding, grandmother then starts complaining how awful loud music is and how its going to be such a horrible night if she has to be anywhere near the band and she’d rather sit outside. Then she starts saying that there wasn’t enough things on my registry left and so she bought me something else for my shower and if I don’t like it tough (like accussing me of not liking it before I even see it as my shower is still a couple weeks away). At this point I’m fuming so I made up some reason that I had to get off the phone.
Maybe I’m being selfish and I know no one cares about the wedding as much as me, but this was such a blatant disregard I was extremely offended. Its fine to have a favorite, but she has other grandchildren and they should matter too. Yes, having a child is a big deal, but its her second child and she can’t afford it, so IMO it was pretty unwise of her to do this. At this point, I don’ t even want to talk to grandmother anymore, and will sit her in the back corner with the videographer. I’ve been debating calling her back now that I’ve cooled down some and telling her that I know its exciting to have a new great grandchild, but she has other grandchildren that have other things going on and it would be nice for her to take any interest in the rest of us. But I feel like that would just make things worse as I know my father has talked to her before about comments she’s made to us/playing favorites. Though I am the type that I will stand up for myself and what I believe, and am having a hard time letting this roll off my back. What do you feel I should do?
Post # 3
This must be super frustrating. Sorry you have to deal with this.
My grandmother does this too, and we’ve found the best practice is just to ignore her. She gets the satisfaction of believing that she’s been heard/people actually care what she has to say, and we just laugh about it amongst ourselves. It’s annoying to listen to, but if you stop taking her seriously, you really take away the power of her words.
Best advice I can give is to ignore it. Easier said than done, I know (and I do agree, it sounds like your cousin made a poor decision that your grandmother is over-defending). But any rebuttle you give her will make her do it more often, seeing as she’s trying to get you to react.
Post # 4
I’d just seat her RIGHT NEXT TO THE DJ lmao.
Post # 5
I think I would calmly explain to her that it made you feel bad that she said rather nasty things about your wedding. Remind her that this is a once in a lifetime event for you and that you want to be surrounded by loving family. Basically just gush about how important the wedding is to you. Calmly….
A bit passive agressive but it’s really the truth, and it doesn’t directly attack her.
Post # 6
Is the favored cousin, the oldest cousin?
Post # 7
I would sit her far away from you and the “loud music”. 🙂
Post # 8
Ughhh I would be so annoyed too! Luckily I’m the one who was the favourite when my grandma was alive but I can see how annoying this can be. I know that if she were alive today I would not be the favourite anymore because I’m marrying out of the Catholic religion. Old people just have there ways and ideas and you just need to ignore them.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Honestly, Grandma is out of line– but there’s not much you can do about it… and she is right on a few points.
For starters, even if the other constraints weren’t there, a mother will rarely leave a newborn for that long, this is because newborns eat every 2-3 hours (sometimes more frequently) and bottles aren’t always an option for a variety of reasons. So on this point, she was right… But that’s really about it.
As for complaints about your wedding, personally, I wont have told her she doesn’t need to come if she’s not comfortable (which I have had to say to someone about my wedding because they didn’t feel BBQ was an “appropriate” meal to serve). But that’s just me, and I have little tolerence for rude and selfish comments from anyone. I wouldn’t bother calling her back though– she’s well aware of her comments and the effects they have, and she obviously doesn’t care. It sucks, but I wouldn’t let her bait you into investing more time and energy being upset about it.
As for your feelings about your cousin’s life choices, you need to let it go. It’s her life, and she and her husband will make the decisions they want to– it’s not your place to judge them, and you’ll only create grief for yourself if you feed into those emotions.
I know it’s hard, but I recommend you don’t let her get to you– She knows her comments are hurtful, her son has already tried to talk to her about it– but she’s not interested in changing so it’s not worth giving her the satisfaction of rising to the bait.
Post # 10
Seat her far away from you. She clearly knew what she was doing…she wanted to make you shift everything to accomodate 1 person, a person who could not come anyway.
My grandmother also used to play favorites, it’s incredibly unpleasant. I let it roll off my back because I realized that my NOT caring about her favoritism seemed to annoy her lol. I think she wanted to send a message with her favoritism to my mother (her daughter). But honestly, I have no interest in being around someone who behaves like that.
It’s possible your grandmother feels the need to favor or ‘protect’ your cousin simply because her life IS less together than yours…however, that doesn’t give her the right to treat you like that. If this is ongoing and something your father already talked to her about, then really it seems like all you can do is control your reaction and decide how much she needs to be part of your life (and your kids–I’m sure she’ll favor cousin’s kids over yours)
Post # 11
Thanks guys! Surprisingly the favored cousin is not the oldest, my sister is. But anyways, I agree that she’s just looking to start drama, and I’m not going to give in to it. The joke will be on her when I sit her in a corner with other crabby patties and the vendors.
Post # 12
I understand how you feel and it sucks when one family member is blatantly favored over others but I think you just need to brush it off and get over it.
Also, I didn’t think your comment about “never heard of bottles” is called for. I would never give my newborn baby a bottle just to go to a wedding so you shouldn’t assume your cousin should. It is her baby and I dont see how a newborn baby would add to your guest list (they don’t count). Also, as for how your cousin lives her life, it is not your concern. So what if she gets government assistance. Does not make her less than you just because you have a job and earn your “own keep”. Just be thankful you don’t need help to aford your lifestyle and leave it at that. As for grandma, it’s her that favors the cousin and it’s not the cousin’s fault. Don’t take it out on the cousin. You can either talk to grandman about it or get over it. As for the wedding and the gift, i think your grandma is in the wrong though.
Post # 13
I constantly have to remind my mother that my grandparets are old. Their mental filters have degraded, and… they are old. They can say some really hurtful things and never mean it. I know my Grandma always means the best, but the things she blurts out sometimes just makes you want to jump across a table!
So… take a moment to calm down. Call your own mother or sister and rant about it. Maybe one of them (Does someone else have a good relationship with Grandma?) can call her and say “Hey, you know, she was a little upset by some of the stuff you said. I know you’re excited about the new baby, but she’s only going to get married once and we’d love for it to be a happy time for everyone. Maybe you could tone it down a little?” There’s always the ‘crazy bride took it the wrong way… she’s stressed… just leave her alone…’ too. 😉
If Grandma is still a big meanie, seat her in a quiet spot, thank her sincerely for coming, and sell her gift on Criagslist. 🙂 Deal with the cousin separately. It’s not her fault Grandma is gaga for her. Even if it is, you’re both adults. Call and explain that you know leaving her infant would be hard, and so would travelling with a baby. Explain you’d totally understand if she couldn’t make it, but you’d love to see her and if she does want to come you’ll be glad to help her find a sitter that can stay close to the reception.
Post # 14
@almostmrsj: I made the comment because grandmother was being insistent that cousin attend with the baby, so I was trying to offer an alternative of having a baby sitter if she really wanted cousin to come so badly. I understand some newborns can’t be away from mom for more than a couple of hours if breast feeding and the parent does not select to use any other method. But there are other methods and if the parent selects not to do them, that is their choice and not coming is the result of that choice, just as we have made our choice not to have children at the wedding and that certain people not being able to come is the consequence of that choice.
But I have to think….why would the parents think it’s appropriate to bring them to a wedding to begin with? At least a certain type of wedding when it is in a fancy venue in the evening. I would never bring a baby in to a bar. How is a wedding any different?
People at weddings are usually drinking and can get a bit rowdy, having a cigar, there will be a live band and dancing, it doesn’t even start till 7 pm, dinner won’t be until after 8:30. IMO its just not appropriate. That’s one of the sacrifices I think you make when you choose to become a parent, its no longer about you, you have to do what is best for the baby. And to be considerate of those around you. Usually I oogle at babies and I love children and plan to have a few of my own one day, but there is a time and a place. If the B&G say no children, you respect their wishes. While the baby might not cost a dinner, chances are high that the baby will cry or that the parent would have to leave half way through dinner to put the child to bed which is inconsiderate to the B&G who don’t want their special moment ruined by a screaming child or who paid good money for your plate that you didn’t eat. We made a decision, and we have a local company parents can call if they do select to receive child care. We have to stick to it, and would hope people could be respectful of our wishes, just as we are respectful and understand if cousin can’t travel because of the baby.
Post # 15
@candykiss: Everyone parents differently. One of our best friends is still breast-feeding and left her child at home with her mother. She brought her pump along in the limo when we went to the afterparty (she pumps and dumps when she drinks, don’t worry)!
Some parents might go to a reception if they know they could have access to their child – like they were in the hotel *right* next door or in a room upstairs. Some parents are just too attached. I know people who wouldn’t leave their children with anyone else for a year. I have to respect their choices.
If you haven’t actually talked to your cousin you don’t even know what she’s thinking. They might want to come but not know where/how to find a sitter. Or they might feel like an infant doesn’t count, of course *their* child won’t cry, and were going to bring him/her. I agree a party isn’t the place for a baby, but again, some people think they’ll just stick around for dinner, sneak off to the bathroom to feed the baby, watch you cut the cake, then jet. In their mind, it’s no bother. And it might not be. Or the baby might scream all night. 🙂