Was this a faux pas? And can I be angry about it?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
8518 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

I’d be pretty upset (mostly annoyed) as well. What did your husband think about it?

Post # 3
24457 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Oh man, I would be so upset as well.  Where does she get off seating her son’s wife and grandson outside like second class citizens!  Honestly, I think you FI needs to bring up to her how uncomfortable it made him that his family wasn’t allowed to sit inside with him.

Post # 4
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

Honestly the whole set up sounds rude to me. If all of the adults (at the very least) couldn’t sit together, she should have had a smaller party. You don’t sit a few people out in a completely separate room. That’s just not okay. I also think your DH should have insisted on switching with one of the adults at the 4-top so that he could sit with you.

Post # 5
42182 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think your (and her) first mistake was  thinking it would be appropriate to take an 18 mo old to a dinner party if she wanted something reatively formal. Given that you decided to take him, obviously one of you had to care for your child.

I think she should have clued you in about her plans for the children’s table, but you’ll know better and ask next time.

You and your husband could have talked and agreed to share child minding so that each of you could sit with the grownups for part of dinner. Surely DH could have spoken to his Mom, and told her that despite her seating plan, he didn’t think it was fair to leave you at the children’s table for the whole evening.  

Post # 6
3389 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Wow! That was shitty of your MIL and your husband IMO. I don’t know what you can do about now but I’d have a convo with your husband and let him know if that scenario ever happens again you’re going to take it out on him. maybe he’ll step up next time and say something to his mom. 

Post # 7
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think couples should always be sat together at family parties like that. At first I was going to say OF COURSE you were seated outside next to the kid table–so you can watch your kid! But then I realized your husband was inside. I think she should have sat all parents of kids outside next to the kid table. I mean, it would be weird to be inside if your toddler is “seated” outside anyway.

I think she’s a total jerk for separating you and giving you the dirty looks. If you have prior issues with your MIL, this could be another not so subtle way of her showing she doesn’tl like you. If y’all have a great relationship, maybe she’s just an airhead. Either way, I would complain to my husband and have him talk to his mother.

Post # 8
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Gross, it sounds less like a faux pas and more like a deliberate slighting of you. Why didn’t you just do your usual thing and let your husband take over the babysitting duties when your son went to him, looks from your MIL be damned? You said yourself you felt it was unfair and awkward that YOU had to do everything for the child, so how would it have also been unfair or awkward to do the opposite? By sharing the duties with your husband, you would have shown your MIL that no matter where she seats you, she can’t just decide to turn you into the babysitter while her son gets to kick back. But by taking over the babysitting duties 100%, you basically showed her that she CAN turn you into the babysitter! So you can pretty much expect the same to happen at the next party. My advice is, explain the situation to your husband hitting a few key points – you thought it was weird that you got seated apart and didn’t appreciate all the glares from her whenever your son came over to him, because it made you feel like she invited you only to take care of your child while she expected you to allow him to have a good time. Get him to agree that next party, if you are again seated separately from him with your son, HE will tell his mom, “you know, last party Wifey sat outside with Sonny, so this time it’s my turn to do babysitting duty” and have him switch seats with you. And thereafter you should share the childcare duties as you have been used to.

Post # 9
1216 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

BothCoasts:  I would be really put off it my FMIL had a party and seated me and SO apart. That is just really rude. Families should be seated together. End of story.

Post # 12
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012


what’s your relationship generally like with your MIL?

Post # 14
2892 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

BothCoasts: that’s horrible. I’ve been the de facto babysitter before and it’s lame. Your MIL should have made sure all her guests were comfortable and seating you with the singles AND expecting you to babysit is rude. What does DH think of what happened? Maybe next time MIL can seat you guys both outside or you can mention the unworkable seating chart before anyone sits down. Or switch with the uncle or someone who’s open to switching. I can’t believe she’d give you side eye – what did she expect would happen if she sat DS away from, but where he can see DH?

my story, for context: 

I was the only adult at a kid’s –all cousins, 9 of ’em– table when I was 21 and had 0 interest in kids. I asked my uncle about it and he said it was a win-win: I got to spend more time with my cousins AND keep an eye on them. Wtf. I promptly got drunk on the self-serve table wine and told my cousins to take their spats to their mothers or sthu. They spent the evening going back and forth to their parents, complaining about not getting fed, the food, being bored, etc. I got some side eye but (shrug) I didn’t travel across the country to babysit 9 kids, even if they are my cousins. 

Post # 15
6985 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Crappy of your MIL and even crappier of your husband IMO. Why didn’t he say something to his mother? There’s no way I would have gone along with that.

IMO people should not have formal dinner parties if they can’t seat everyone together. In the past I was stuck at the “B” table with the kids because I was the next youngest (at 19!), and I was seriously offended even then.

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors