My mom refuses to have get togethers with my in laws: Advice?

I have a question about my mom and planning family & holiday events, and our mother is making things difficult for everyone. My brother and I both live in a different town than our mom, but both of us see her regularly, and both have a fine relationship with her. Our issues are with family get-togethers (birthdays/holidays/etc.). My brother and I both have large families with our in-laws, and our parents are divorced. Dad is remarried to a wonderful woman, but my mother is still bitter about the divorce almost 25 years ago & remained single. As it is, all of us (my husband, myself, my brother, and SIL, plus all our parents) all work jobs where we are required to work weekends and holidays. So planning multiple get-togethers for Thanksgiving, Christmas, kids’ birthdays are often hard. We (my brother and I) try to plan one get-together with family, but my mother refuses to attend unless the party does not include our other families. She only wants to get together with my brother, and I’s immediate family. She gets upset if we suggest having holidays together with our in-laws and her as she says, “they are not my family” or “they don’t talk to me.” Neither of which is true, as my family (to me) IS her family, and she is antisocial— she’s been that way for years, and it was a contributing factor in her divorce.

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I know you may feel as if she’s bitter but she may have anxiety and gets overwhelmed. She’s probably overthinking everything and always thinking the worst. I honestly think if you showed her some love and understanding it would help you both a lot. Maybe seeing a psychologist would help her or checking in with a doctor, maybe some anxiety medication could help if that’s the case.
Don’t force her in to an uncomfortable situation, it’s not fair on her or her health.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My mom refuses to have get togethers with my in laws: Advice?

That’s on her. Your life isn’t about her and just her, she needs to understand that. She needs to give a little.

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Well, honestly, I’d still make the get togethers, and if she doesn’t show up… That is on her. She needs to let the past go, and move on. She needs to understand you have other family that would like to attend, and everything doesn’t revolve around her.

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Look, we both have large families along with friends who are family. Plan your event and tell her it is up to her to put her big girl panties on and show up. If she doesn’t it is her own fault for being selfish and missing out on the events with you and your children.

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She don’t wanna go she don’t have to go that’s a her problem not a you problem.

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If she wants to be bitter and nasty to the rest of your family, then she simply gets left out. You and your brother tried to include her, but the rest is on her. If she ever wants to complain, then sit her down and explain that you’re not going to exclude the rest of your family just because she wants to be mean. They mean a lot to you. You shouldn’t have to baby her because she doesn’t want to accept your family.

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I have a family member like this and you just have to do whats best for you and your family. She will either come around or she won’t its on her.

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Just plan the parties! She can not attend, that’s on her. You plan and have fun, let her attitude only affect her.

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Make your plans, invite her and if she refuses to go, then that’s on her. She is being selfish and in turn is making it hard for you and your brother. I know it can’t be easy to just leave her out, but she is CHOOSING to exclude herself.

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i’m going to probably be the one to side with your mom. they’re not her family and i would never ask my mom to sit through an uncomfortable situation just to make planning events easier on myself. we plan several different events for each holiday etc just so we can avoid any type of uncomfortable situations.

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It isn’t up to all of you to adjust to her druthers. That said… Maybe once in awhile make arrangements for celebration on a day close to the holidays of just your mom’s immediate family as well? Family usually can find ways to comprimise. Our parent’s aren’t around forever with all of the flaws … people will be missed eventually

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Do you. She can go or not.

Then invite her and if she doesn’t come that is on her and she can’t blame you. Well she can, but it’s her own fault. Holidays are stressful enough. If she can’t compromise for 2 days a year then she’s the selfish one

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Plan your parties and when she’s ready to see everyone she can make plans and arrangements to come see you

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Have your family over it’s her loss

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If she wants something separate then she can plan her stuff

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Have get-together without her if that’s her choice you say you and your brother see her often she just needs to suck it up her choice

Don’t force her to do something she doesn’t wanna do, stop guilty tripping her, let her heal in peace healing is a process, it’s okay for her not to go . life is too short to force issues like you want her to feel depressed and lonely when she is around them??? Let her be.

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She may have social anxiety.
I don’t like being around ppl I don’t know for gatherings and such. It’s not personal.
All you can do is make plans and if she doesn’t come, it’s on her.

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Stop catering to her! She is a grown ass adult. And it’s time she acts like one. Tell her you guys love her as well as the rest of the family. That you can not continue to cater to only her requests, as that it’s fair to everyone else. Let her know where you all will be gathering and that you sure hope she will attend. When she starts her childish behavior and excuses, let her know that your sorry she can’t make it and you are sure she will be missed. If she starts with the “ I guess you no longer love me or want me around”, tell her point blank that it is on her as she has the option to join in with the rest the family and that SHE is the one choosing not to, non of you are. It’s time she act her age and stops holding you all hostage. It’s called boundaries and as a person you are allowed to have them! Good luck and stick to ur guns.

Shes just being a brat to.get her way
Start doing things without her

It’s all depend on how you feel about it. If you want a big party with all your extend families do so but let her choose whether she wants to attend or not. Also don’t resent her for choosing not to attend. My dad never attend any party that I organized with the extended family, even my children’s birthday. And we live together. I personally hate big party but I do it for the kids. I would never force him or my mom to attend because I understand exactly how they feel. Given the choice I prefer smaller parties that I can spend quality time with people that matter to me.

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Make ur plans. Invite her and it is her choice to attend or not. She is still trying to control ur lives because she lost control of hers. Dont let it happen. One person should not make the decisions for the whole family. Its time for some tough love. I’ve known people Ike her and she will remain the same bitter person until the day she dies. But it her life. Her choice.

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Her choice darling not yours- keep planning- keep inviting and live and love u life without the stress- she may change her attitude if u not upset she doesn’t come.

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I’m kinda in a similar situation. My mom kept my dad from me for 18 years. Now him and I and his wife’s family and her have an amazing relationship, like they’ve seriously treated us like their own since day 1. My mom didn’t even come to my wedding, and has missed her first grandchild’s baby shower due to her being bitter about the relationship we have with them. In my opinion, if she wants to miss out, let her! There’s no sense in stressing out over 1 person when everyone else is fine with the arrangements.

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Plan the parties and if she doesn’t come then that’s on her… you can’t please everyone and you need to do what works for you.

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it will be her loss, but i think she needs counseling, but that is another story. Plan your events, and then if she doesnt come perhaps you can spend some time with her, meet for lunch etc. Show her you still love her, but you have to arrange things for the WHOLE family…

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I’m gonna go against the grain here… Because I plan events for all the family, but Christmas is not the same. We have 4 Christmases because that can sometimes be an awkward social situation with different economic classes or even just different beliefs. If she doesn’t want to do holiday with everyone, then do holidays with everyone but her and extend an invitation to dinner for just her to visit with your families. It’s easy to accomadte one person.

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Being antisocial was a contributing factor in her divorce? Sheesh. Tough crowd.

What if it was something totally out of her control. Like social anxiety or agoraphobia.
If she isn’t upset shes not invited to stuff I would just let her be. You said your brother and youreself see her on the regular basis, and have a good relationship with her.
It could be unbearable for her to be in a situation like that.
I do know that you’re coming from a good place and just wanting youre mom to be at events to create memories and things and mingle as one big family. Its totally understandable. Just try and look at things from her perspective.

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She has a right to cut people out of her life. If she doesn’t want to come, you can’t make her. You also don’t have to accommodate her, though.

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Tell her to get out of her head and contribute to your family, which includes your inlaws, or don’t come. At some point the adults have to be adults.

Everyone is invited to my house. You don’t come…that’s on you :woman_shrugging:t2:

Always invite. Knowing she wont come. But also make times just for her too. X

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I’ll give an alternate opinion here: it’s your mom. Think about how many years left she has, that’s how many Christmas’ you’ve got left with her, if you’re lucky. It shouldn’t stop you from having a big giant party, but if she’s asking for something more intimate with her grandkids because she doesn’t feel confortable around her X and his new chick, good grief, give her a few hours of your time.

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She sounds like drama. Plan your holidays the way you want and invite her. If she doesn’t come it’s her loss. If she insists on having exclusive holidays with you and your brother then she needs to plan and host them.

Her problem, not yours.

Your mother sounds like a controlling person. I would tell her point blank that your husband’s family are family and If she cannot get over her objections then she will be excluded. I admire you and your brother for trying to be reasonable. Your mother does not seem to realize the hurt she is causing with her attitude. I feel so sorry for you. Mom needs to realize this and maybe she will see erase.

Have your parties, mail her pictures.

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TBH make your plans and stay outta their issue. Your mom has to heal on her time. It maybe 25 years to you, but depending on the offense, it could be like yesterday to her. Hugs.

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Well, you kind of get what you give (talking about mama). Y’alls worlds have expanded. She can choose to join & be a happy part of the gathering or miss out. Life waits for no one & it’s too damn short to play silly games. Sometimes the truth hurts, but no one likes being around a sourpuss.

Make your plans and invite her. It’s on her to show up or not. She’s a big girl. Try not to let it bother you.

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Im kinda with your mom on this one she probably dont feel comfortable being around the man that broke her heart i know i would not . it dont matter how long they been split some people take more time to heal their is no wrong or right way to heal from things so i say let it be dont force her into a uncomfortable situation she may still love your dad who knows

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Invite her anyways. If she don’t show at least you can say you tried

Then make your plans and invite her, if she doesn’t come- SO WHAT?! She is being immature and unreasonable, so why continue to pacify her?

Set firm boundaries and Haley her know if she CHOOSES to live a miserable, lonely life… that’s on her. Tell her the rest of you will be making the most of life in the interim…

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I wouldn’t let it bother u she does not class these people as family so leave her out and do separate day with her and if u cant do two say well ur welcome to come leave it up to her x

I dont know u dont seem very sympathetic towards her. Maybe shes better off not attending ur crap

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Your home should be a neutral place and she should respect that
.

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Always invite her, but it’s on her if she comes or not. I understand some people are anti social and that’s okay. But never stop inviting her.

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That is her problem not yours have your get-togethers with your in-laws and if she don’t want to go don’t worry about it it’s her loss

The fact she is antisocial should be respected. It sucks she is being singled out because she chooses to live her life to her own standards which you have a problem with. You cannot force yourselves on her nor does she deserve that. Always invite out of respect.

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I would just plan the big get togethers. We plan big get together with my parents (whom had a nasty divorce) and my mom at time is still bitter or awkward if my dad even speaks to her—considering they couldn’t talk to each other except thru certified letters as a kid. She comes and deal and then some times she doesn’t stay as late. But she will come earlier when it’s just us. And it works best for us.

You plan your party’s and invite her. She’s always welcome to host her own and invite you

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Have your parties, if she dosent attend that’s on her.
She needs to grow up and realize it’s not just about her.

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I had the same problem with my husbands ex. If we were there she would not attend. Needless to say she missed alot of fun family get togethers. Only one time did she and us end up at the same function. She was not told we were attending. She had a melt down, everyone saw how she was acting and that she caused the problem. It never happened again as everyone stopped inviting her. It was really a sad thing that she could not let go of the past

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I would give her the less important holidays.

You know, people still say I am bitter. I was abused by him AND his family helped him do a lot of it! I wouldn’t want to be around my ex and in-laws either.

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You are not responsible for her happiness. Only she can make herself happy or miserable, and right now it sounds like she’s choosing miserable.

Maybe find other stuff to do as a tradition, like just you guys & mom playing mini-golf, going to a movie, taking a day trip, enjoying a fun class together, heck, even going on a cruise if you can swing it—whatever she may be up for. That way she gets to spend time and make memories without being annoying to everyone else. You can invite people she likes to both events if you want if she misses bigger gatherings and “her” family would come to two events.

Alternate dates so she gets to celebrate on the birthday one year and the big party is on another weekend and the next year the big party is close to the date and her “party” is whenever you can swing it.

Also see if you can convince her to get some therapy/counseling so she can get past her bitterness and learn how to feel and be more pleasant. Sounds like it’s been a couple of years and she’s gotten stuck.

Give her gifts for her birthday and holidays to get her out of her head where she can make friends and learn to like herself better. Maybe a painting class, a walking group, water aerobics, a session at an iFLY place, cooking classes for a type of cuisine she likes, a hot air balloon ride. If you can afford it, travel French classes and two train, bus, or plane tickets to Montreal, depending where you live. Or transportation or lodging for a night or two at some more nearby fun location. Have her take a friend, not you.

Or do a spa day and get her hair, nails & makeup done (and/or get her a new sexy outfit &/or accessories) & take her out where she’s likely to meet single men her age so she can show off her new look. She feels like she’s second best, she got replaced, she’s aging poorly, and she has nothing to offer, so this might boost her self-esteem. You want to give her hope for the future so she won’t constantly dwell on the past.

The more people she meets, the more chances of making friends or at least acquaintances. The more interesting stuff she does, the more she’ll have to talk about vs. why she feels she got screwed in the divorce.

Good luck. Focus on your own health and happiness.

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At least you could say you invited her. And if she didn’t show up for the fact she just doesn’t wanna be around that one person. So what it was her choice. Your choice was to include her in the invite. I went with my bf to his sons party. And even tho his baby mama and I aren’t friends. I didn’t stop him from going to his son birthday. We went no matter what.

Tell her shes causing her own problems, if she doesnt want to attend dont force her but remind her that SHE is the one missing out on the fun with EVERYONE not you

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Maybe a holiday breakfast/brunch with Mom? You don’t have to do it big…But a nice fruit tray can still be used for all day. Same with crackers. Eggs, pancakes sausage & bacon are quick to whip up?

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I’ve been going through the same exact thing for years! My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage over 12 years ago. And we have to have 3-4 different functions for every holiday and birthday because my parents can’t be invited to the same event due to my mother’s issue with my step mom. It’s exhausting and sad. She also doesn’t normally come to events my mother in law plans either. Like my oldest sons 12th birthday party at my mother in laws house. It leads to us not getting together or either of my parents attending my children’s birthdays more often than not.

I mean I’m sure it’s definitely uncomfortable for her so I’m trying to understand. At the same time it’s been long enough… it’s time to get over it and be civil for kids.

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Have the events anyways and if she don’t come oh well🤷‍♀️

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I am with your mom. I do not like large gathering with all kinds of extended family I have no connection to really. I am not a fan of crowds.

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She doesnt want to mingle, and YOU are the one with the problem.

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Plan the huge get togethers with you and your brothers extended families…extend Mom an open invitation.
Plan maybe the following day for both immediate families to do lunch with mom.
Shut down any argument over 'preferance ’ by reminding her she is welcome both places!

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Sounds like there may be some mental health issues going on if this was an issue during the marriage. You are not responsible for her happiness and all you can do is continue to include her but you can’t make her.
On another note, she may be overwhelmed and maybe suffer from anxiety with these large family get together. It may be more relaxing for everyone involved to have a smaller get together with her.

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Get together with just her and brother for at least 1 holiday each year. Compromise… Social anxiety is very real. And very scary for some.

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She needs a lesson on family, I would still plan it and still invite her. If she shows or doesn’t is up to her, you made the effort to include her and that’s really all that you can do. It’s not you or your brothers responsibility to make her act like an adult.

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plan what works for you if she chooses not to attend that is on her

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I would say it’s your loss…

Its not an easy thing to get over. If the divorce was because of another woman it’s even worse. I know it’s complicated for the family, but put yourself in her shoes. I personally would rather get a root canal than spend time with my ex and his new wife.

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I would make plans with your brother & hubby. Invite who you want. If your mother wants to be there to enjoy her kids, she will come!!! Stop catering to her! You & your hubby & brother , shouldn’t have to over extend yourself because of your mother. You make the best life throws you. Invite her & then, it is up to her. I wouldn’t make a second dinner or holiday just for her, you all deserve your time off in peace.

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Put your foot down and tell her this is the plan, and everyone will be there. If she chooses to not come and be part of the family that is her choice.

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Invite her. If she comes she comes if she doesn’t then that’s on her 🤷🏽

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As someone who is anti social at time’s. I do not wiah to be this way. I’m guessing your mom doesn’t either And neither did My Mom. I accomadated My Mom as MUCH as I could. AND Now that she’s gone I Am glad that I did. If I could do anything different… I would gladly accomodate her even More. Love conguers All. BUT I don’t think it’s possible to get Your Mom to change I don’t THINK she can. ONLY going by My experience

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Have them without her. It’s ridiculous. She needs to let go of the past. Of course they’re not going to talk to her she’s not putting forth any effort at all

Didn’t read the entire post because I don’t think the details are relevant. Your mom can choose which events to attend. You carry on with what’s best for your family. The resentment, grudges and the like are not your burdens to carry.

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You plan the event and when she doesn’t come it’s on her. If she doesn’t want to be included in the family event then don’t let it be skin off your back. My BF can’t stand my mom but he damn well shuts his mouth and treats her like family when it’s an event. She can either suck it up and come be apart of it or she can not. HER CHOICE AND HER LOSS if she doesn’t come. Especially when it’s only her pulling that crap.

Keep inviting her and letting her say no. It’s her loss. That’s so childish to make it anyone else’s problem but her own.

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My mom would never attend a gathering with my dad there… He is remarried she isn’t… but I wouldn’t ever do that to them either, us kids are adults and they should be able to move on from each other… I would get together with her separate.

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My mother is very similar. If she does not take a liking to one person she refuses to attend at all so all her grandchildren miss out on seeing her and ask where she is not understanding her reasons behind not coming.
She has missed Christmas and birthdays simply because she does not like one person coming or the food at the choice of venue because she isn’t paying for food she doesn’t like (there is always options for her but it’s her excuse)
She will wait until Christmas morning and send presents with my brother to my home with a verbal message of ‘I’m not coming, merry Christmas’. I used to call her and ask why and now I just don’t bother. It’s not my fault she is stubborn and if she wants to miss out on family time then that’s on her not me. My eldest daughter (20) actually stated that if I’m anything like her nana she will disown me, it affects the younger ones for sure and as they grow they understand how ridiculous the so called adult is acting.
Your extended family most likely don’t like your mum because they can see how she is behaving and it’s quite childish, I wouldn’t entertain that sort of behaviour from anyone.

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Even though she may have social anxiety, she can get through the event even if its not a real happy thing for her. Plan what works for you and then try to have patience for her if she agrees to at least come over. My personal feeling is that she’s probably a little jealous of the relationship you have with the other family. Relationships aren’t easy, but you sound like a caring daughter. Be kind to yourself too.

You need to except her boundries. She is fighting her own battles let her be. Respect her wishes and juwt work around it but dont stress.

I don’t understand the question
If she doesn’t want to be included don’t include her…:woman_shrugging:

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Dont even worry plan without her, less stressful for you and the family. She sounds toxic and no disrespect youl probably have a better time if she wasn’t there by the sounds if it

I would just not invite her. She can either get on board or get left at the station

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My whole family goes to my sister in law’s parent’s house for holidays. My mom, dad, his ex wife and her husband and their daughter, my dad’s kids with her and their children, I’m talking my WHOLE FAMILY. I’m sorry it’s hard on y’all. My dad’s ex wife cheated with her now husband and left my dad for him. It took a couple of years but they all get along great and I love them both. My dad had custody of their kids but when they went to her house on the weekends I got to go too. Her and her hubby attended all of my games and taekwondo events even when I competed in the US finals out of state. There’s always room for more people to love you. I’m so sorry your mom is like that. I couldn’t imagine.

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I don’t make plans to please others, I make plans to fit into my schedule.
My family is my family whether they are blood, by marriage, or by choice. This is the time ,the date ,be there or don’t , Just understand that’s on you.

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Just tell her that if she doesn’t want to be at your get together then she will have to work around your schedule and not hers

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My sister in law doesn’t count her husband’s family as her family. She always says that’s HIS family… If she doesn’t want to see you she doesn’t have to go. Life is way too short to put up with that. I wish I could have told myself this 33 years ago!

Maybe just do your thing and put the pressure on her to plan her ultimate get together… that next weekend.

Social anxiety is a horrible thing and my heart breaks for your mother. Please don’t take it personal or lose your patience with her, if that is the root of the problem. If it were my mother, I’d continue trying to encourage her to be a part of the rest of the family. Continue with your plans as usual and invite her every time. If she refuses, try to be understanding and maybe allow her to come by another time when it’s just your family. Even if just to order pizza. If she wants to plan and host an event that works around your schedule, that could work too. She should know though, that you cannot and will not host separate and extravagant events for one person who chooses not to attend with everyone else. Best of luck to you both. :heart:

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You need to understand your mum and compromise, arrange come together just for you her your brother and immediate family… l have social anxiety too at first my partner and his family didn’t understand but am grateful they have now accepted me as l am and understand when l decline invitations. I do socialize as long it it’s with people am very close too.

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Why don’t you and your brother make plans with your mother by yourselves the 3 of you go out for dinner and make it a plan for every 2 months you and your brother pick her up… as a mother I would rather do that just have my kids take me out so we can talk laugh and catch up on each other’s life’s…

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Some people just don’t want to mix socially and rather be by themselves. Don’t push something on her that she doesn’t want. Respect her wishes

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Yikes. Leave her be. Tough titty🤷

Don’t sweat it. She is missing out on alot of things by being the way she is. Just try and make the best you can. But don’t push the issue. You could cause her to push away. I know it’s hard.

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