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Our Mother not willing to attend grandson's first b'day


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So here is the situation. It is my nephew's first birthday (sister's son) and my sister wants to keep it closed-family type celebration. Unfortunately our parents don't live in the same city but her husband's do. She of course wants our parents to go to their house for the birthday but it seems our mother is not willing to go. More importantly, she is not citing a CLEAR reason (the journey is like 8 hours by bus - no flights available). Her reasons are all over the place or she is not telling the true reason she has in her mind. By the way, this is not something new. Discussing anything with her is beyond reason and patience and always has been. It was very frustrating while we were growing up and add to that the fact that my parents don't speak to each other (for last 20 odd years) but live under the same roof. So coming back to the situation, how should my sister go about it? Just let it go and ask my dad to visit alone? Or argue for our mother to come? Again, it is the first birthday so sort of a big deal. And she also thinks our mother not being there won't look good in front of her husband's parents (which I sort of get).

And this is part of a bigger question which is - how much should we really discuss things with our mother given the fact that not discussing makes me/my sis feel guilty but she is just impossible to discuss with and gives no logical reasons for things.

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8 hours is a long ride. Also, parents think the sun rises and sets on the birthday of their child so they celebrate 1st birthdays, second birthdays etc with parties. But really, in the grand scheme of life birthday parties for a one year old is not that important. Has she invited her mother prior to this birthday party? The mother is missing out on the child's life period, so being there for a simple birthday party that the child won't remember anyway is not that big a deal. What is most important is that communication and closeness be set up accross the miles, not just at birthday parties. If the relationship between the daughter and the mother is strained anyway, attending the birthday party will not change the dynamics. Birthdays come and go...it is what happens in between that really counts.

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