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Backroads

Family dinners

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My family lives a few blocks from my parents. This has generally been nice. My mom likes to host Sunday dinners every Sunday and all the kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc always have a standing invitation (note: there have only been two recorded instances where all of the aforementioned have been there at once.)

My brothers tend to go every other Sunday while alternating dinner with their in laws. However, since my in-laws live hours away, we really don't have any reason not to be there each Sunday. 

These Sunday dinners are very nice.

However, my own little family enjoys our weekends together. It's nice to just be Husband, Wife, and girlies. We are considering taking one Sunday a month to do our own little dinner.

Questions:

If you, hosting a weekly dinner, had a very close proximity family with no other familial obligations who chose to not come once a month, would you be offended or see it as avoidance?

How does the immediate family dinner compare to the extended family dinner in importance?

 

 

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Since it's a "Standing Invitation" Sunday dinner, I would think this would apply either way. Come if you can and if you can't come that's fine too. I'm sure your mom remembers what it's like having a young family and would understand that every Sunday is just not possible all the time.

M.

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When my husband and I were first married, all the married children would often gather at my in laws for Sunday dinner.  It was much like your family where it was not required, but a standing invitation. Over the years as families got larger it seemed to gradually occur less often. I think that is natural.

Some families moved further away, and as some of the grandchildren became teenagers they had other interests. I believe, Backroads, that as your family changes and grows, that includes your siblings too, your weekly dinners at your parents will gradually diminish.

It is okay to decide to not attend every week. There shouldn't be any offense taken. It's not like you're completely cutting yourself off from your family--just one Sunday a month for now. In the future that could change to two Sundays, and then eventually, perhaps, only occasionally during the year. That is the natural progression of family dynamics. 

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A few thoughts:

~ Once you're married/have a growing family of your own, you need to start your own traditions and decide what is best for your family regardless of proximity.

~ Absence makes the heart grow fonder (and appreciation increase).

~ You can always just try it out for a few months to see how it goes and then go from there.

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9 hours ago, Backroads said:

My family lives a few blocks from my parents. This has generally been nice. My mom likes to host Sunday dinners every Sunday and all the kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc always have a standing invitation (note: there have only been two recorded instances where all of the aforementioned have been there at once.)

My brothers tend to go every other Sunday while alternating dinner with their in laws. However, since my in-laws live hours away, we really don't have any reason not to be there each Sunday. 

These Sunday dinners are very nice.

However, my own little family enjoys our weekends together. It's nice to just be Husband, Wife, and girlies. We are considering taking one Sunday a month to do our own little dinner.

Questions:

If you, hosting a weekly dinner, had a very close proximity family with no other familial obligations who chose to not come once a month, would you be offended or see it as avoidance?

How does the immediate family dinner compare to the extended family dinner in importance?

 

 

This is from a Filipino family who have almost a century's tradition of family reunions every weekend... it's harder for my family now (my parents and siblings) because we're spread out into 2 continents, let alone the rest of the extended family that is spread out to every corner of the earth.  In the old days, most of the clan lived in one town so you can have your cousin 4x removed living next door!

Immediate family dinner is a daily thing - a normal thing.  Extended family dinner is a special occasion thing.  Both, of course, are important.  In my family, we bring our family dinner to the patriarch on Sunday after church service.  So, we still prepare our family's dinner like we do everyday, we just eat it with the rest of the extended family.  We don't always show up to the family shindig even when we just live downstairs from the patriarch.  Sometimes we want to do something else.  It's family.  There's no such thing as "I'm offended that you did something else...".  That's just for people who are not close to you - you have to pretend you want to be there even when you would rather be somewhere else just to be nice.  Such silliness should not exist in families.  Families is where you can laugh at your sister who fell off her bike because you found it funny.  But, generally, we go to the shindig because we want to spend time with the family.  Sometimes it's the only time the young'uns get to play with all the cousins - these relationships need to be cultivated.  Anyway, currently, there's only my brother, a cousin, and I in my town.  My cousin is in the military so we rarely see his family.  My brother and I usually spend Sundays together after church but sometimes we would go months without seeing each other when our lives take us in different directions.

Anyway, I don't understand why immediate family dinner one Sunday a month is necessary when you got family dinners 6 days out of every week already plus the special family home evening thing going on on Mondays.  Unless the kids are grown and out of the house so you want to gather them to your roost apart from the rest of the extended family.  I thought your kids were still young'uns...

But yeah, that's just my 2 cents worth.

Edited by anatess2

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Do what works for you.  When I was young all my dads family would gather a his parents on Sunday after dinner for desert and so the grand kids could play.  Then we got older and things changed.  When I was first married my parents gave us a standing invite to Sunday dinner with them.  Then people moved and the distance was to great so nothing happened..  Then things changed again and now my father's local family gets together once a month.

Unless one of your parents are overly dramatic they should understand your desires to have so quality family time of your own

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Just be warned: You are about to become the villain in your extended family!!

I had a similar situation where Mom invites all local family to come over for Sunday dinners each week. It was nice at first, but I'm a grown man with my own household. So I tell my mom that I appreciate what she's doing, and I love the family, but I'd like to start having Sunday dinners at my own house.

At first she was all on board. Whenever we talked during the week she was pleasant. But then she started acting all bewildered and confused when I arrived at her doorstep. Niceties turned to nastiness as I'm piling the goodies onto my plate. Even my brothers are getting in on it by the time I'm grabbing dessert. I try to reassure them. "Guys, I still love you, but I'm doing my own thing today," I say as I take another roll for the road.

Every week it's the same. I still haven't been able to fully enjoy a Sunday meal by myself because my family makes the experience so awful! My family normally is not the drama type, but this is getting unbearable.

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3 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Just be warned: You are about to become the villain in your extended family!!

I had a similar situation where Mom invites all local family to come over for Sunday dinners each week. It was nice at first, but I'm a grown man with my own household. So I tell my mom that I appreciate what she's doing, and I love the family, but I'd like to start having Sunday dinners at my own house.

At first she was all on board. Whenever we talked during the week she was pleasant. But then she started acting all bewildered and confused when I arrived at her doorstep. Niceties turned to nastiness as I'm piling the goodies onto my plate. Even my brothers are getting in on it by the time I'm grabbing dessert. I try to reassure them. "Guys, I still love you, but I'm doing my own thing today," I say as I take another roll for the road.

Every week it's the same. I still haven't been able to fully enjoy a Sunday meal by myself because my family makes the experience so awful! My family normally is not the drama type, but this is getting unbearable.

This is confusing. You mean you are grabbing a plate of food at your Mom's house and then taking it home to eat it ? 

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2 hours ago, eddified said:

This is confusing. You mean you are grabbing a plate of food at your Mom's house and then taking it home to eat it ? 

Yes, nothing confusing about that. I want to eat Sunday dinner in my own home. There's a perfectly good meal waiting at Mom's house, so I see no need to dirty up dishes just to cook something different. But I show up and then get an earful on "this is pitiful!"

2 hours ago, eddified said:

@mordorbund The socially acceptable thing to do is if you show up for dinner, stay for dinner. If you don't want to eat there, then don't take the food at all. That's the socially acceptable way to behave regarding dinner food. 

Mom??

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14 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Just be warned: You are about to become the villain in your extended family!!

I had a similar situation where Mom invites all local family to come over for Sunday dinners each week. It was nice at first, but I'm a grown man with my own household. So I tell my mom that I appreciate what she's doing, and I love the family, but I'd like to start having Sunday dinners at my own house.

At first she was all on board. Whenever we talked during the week she was pleasant. But then she started acting all bewildered and confused when I arrived at her doorstep. Niceties turned to nastiness as I'm piling the goodies onto my plate. Even my brothers are getting in on it by the time I'm grabbing dessert. I try to reassure them. "Guys, I still love you, but I'm doing my own thing today," I say as I take another roll for the road.

Every week it's the same. I still haven't been able to fully enjoy a Sunday meal by myself because my family makes the experience so awful! My family normally is not the drama type, but this is getting unbearable.

Wait a second, did I just understand what you wrote!?

1. You tell your Mother that you'd like to eat Sunday dinners at your own house from now on (though she does not realize you mean HER Sunday dinners at your house).

2. She expects that you'll make your own dinner at your house and eat it, not show up at her house and take the dinner home.

3. You show up at her house, she's kind of confused at what you are doing there.

4.  You proceed to start taking things off the table and piling it onto the plate, telling them you love them, but you are not going to eat here with them, even though you are taking the food with you.  You are taking all that home so you can eat it there.

5.  You then grab dessert as well, and your brothers are like...what??? You're already here, why not stay!?

6.  You then leave with the meal in tow and go back home.

Is this what happened?  I'm not sure whether to laugh or not.  Did you really do this?  You do this every week!? 

Are you pulling our legs or is this for real!  I know if my kids did this, I would love them to death, but I'd be confused as heck.  I'd be utterly perplexed at this.  I think over time I'd get used to them doing this, and love them tremendously.  There are times they come over and I hope it's for a visit, but then they do their laundry and leave.  I suppose it's sort of like that, but never had one that came to take dinner and then leave without eating it with me.  Interesting story.

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15 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Just be warned: You are about to become the villain in your extended family!!

I had a similar situation where Mom invites all local family to come over for Sunday dinners each week. It was nice at first, but I'm a grown man with my own household. So I tell my mom that I appreciate what she's doing, and I love the family, but I'd like to start having Sunday dinners at my own house.

At first she was all on board. Whenever we talked during the week she was pleasant. But then she started acting all bewildered and confused when I arrived at her doorstep. Niceties turned to nastiness as I'm piling the goodies onto my plate. Even my brothers are getting in on it by the time I'm grabbing dessert. I try to reassure them. "Guys, I still love you, but I'm doing my own thing today," I say as I take another roll for the road.

Every week it's the same. I still haven't been able to fully enjoy a Sunday meal by myself because my family makes the experience so awful! My family normally is not the drama type, but this is getting unbearable.

Are you trying to stir up trouble here? :)

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18 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Just be warned: You are about to become the villain in your extended family!!

I had a similar situation where Mom invites all local family to come over for Sunday dinners each week. It was nice at first, but I'm a grown man with my own household. So I tell my mom that I appreciate what she's doing, and I love the family, but I'd like to start having Sunday dinners at my own house.

At first she was all on board. Whenever we talked during the week she was pleasant. But then she started acting all bewildered and confused when I arrived at her doorstep. Niceties turned to nastiness as I'm piling the goodies onto my plate. Even my brothers are getting in on it by the time I'm grabbing dessert. I try to reassure them. "Guys, I still love you, but I'm doing my own thing today," I say as I take another roll for the road.

Every week it's the same. I still haven't been able to fully enjoy a Sunday meal by myself because my family makes the experience so awful! My family normally is not the drama type, but this is getting unbearable.

I miss the laugh button.

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On March 30, 2017 at 6:53 PM, Backroads said:

My family lives a few blocks from my parents. This has generally been nice. My mom likes to host Sunday dinners every Sunday and all the kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc always have a standing invitation (note: there have only been two recorded instances where all of the aforementioned have been there at once.)

My brothers tend to go every other Sunday while alternating dinner with their in laws. However, since my in-laws live hours away, we really don't have any reason not to be there each Sunday. 

These Sunday dinners are very nice.

However, my own little family enjoys our weekends together. It's nice to just be Husband, Wife, and girlies. We are considering taking one Sunday a month to do our own little dinner.

Questions:

If you, hosting a weekly dinner, had a very close proximity family with no other familial obligations who chose to not come once a month, would you be offended or see it as avoidance?

How does the immediate family dinner compare to the extended family dinner in importance?

 

 

Each week, Nanny and Papa (my wife and I do the same) and usually all my children and spouses come, along with all our grandchildren. But we have no issues when they go elsewhere or when they just wish to stay home. It is "never" a bad idea to want to be alone with just the wife and kids, or the husband and kids; never. 

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