Selecting Dates for "Family Events" - How Do You Decide?

Updated on December 01, 2010
M.O. asks from Barrington, IL
15 answers

OK, let me start this off by saying that I never had a "close" extended family. In fact, my own immediate family wasn't/isn't totally warm and fuzzy. So when I "grew up" I decide that I wanted MY FAMILY to be my priority.

We have a church event coming up this Spring, and the possible dates are Sats and Suns in late April and early May. Well, one of the "dates" is May 8th - Mother's Day 2011. So my husband and I were having a debate - to pick this date or not?

MY logic is, this date and time works best for US (me, him and the kids).

His logic is, this date is POTENTIALLY bad for our extended family - as in our siblings may/will likely have plans for Mother's Day.

Now I GET that it's Mother's Day and that other dates are available. However, the other dates and times honestly aren't our FIRST choice because more people are attending those services or the time slot is very early in the morning. For us (yes, both of us) Mother's Day is just a day. We still "celebrate" Mother's Day, just not necessarily on that DATE due to the difficulties getting into restaurants, and general "chaos" of a holiday. We are perfectly happy doing something special as a family on a different date.

That said, we know his mother is a bit of a stickler for "Mother's Date" (the date). However as long as she's with family, I really don't see this being a "conflict". As for the sisters/sister in laws, honestly, I realize another date is probably preferable for them, but I don't know that they won't come.

So my question to you is, how do you plan events for your family where you're going to be having a party/gathering of family? Do you pick YOUR first choice or do you try to pick what you think would be the best date for EVERYONE?

And, am I being a STINKER to all the other families since I prioritize MY family above THE family (meaning grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc)?

In my mind, it's OUR family's event, so we should pick our first choice date and let other people decide for themselves if they want to/can attend.

What would YOU do?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the honest input.

For the record, I did respect my husband's request, since it seemed important to him to not to have our daughter's event on Mother's Day. It's not that it was important to me to have the event on Mother's Day, I just can't believe that he was digging his heels in on this issue without ever calling anyone to see if Mother's Day would be an inconvenience.

I agree that for some people Mother's Day, the date, is a sacred day and it is probably best to not pick the date if the people we want to come may not be able to attend or will have to change their plans on their "special day".

Thank you to all for giving your honest opinion.

Featured Answers



answers from Seattle on

If I didn't care (or didn't want others there) I'd pick the day best for us.

If I cared if others came, I'd pick a date that was good for most.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

Your husband is right.

Usually when hosting family events, we try and accommodate the vast majority of who is coming, as well as our own family. You can't please everyone, but deciding on a date that generally works for all is good. Really, what is the point of hosting a family gathering if it is going to make most of the people unable to attend or wishing they were doing something with their own immediate families?

Unless you are hosting a Mother's Day brunch or something, then choose another day... it sounds like you are making a mountain out of a molehill here to get your way and prove some kind of a point.

Your misuse and overuse of "apostrophes" on words such as "family", "conflict", "celebrate" and "chaos" and caps on MY make it seem like you are throwing some kind of a tantrum anyways. If you don't want to be a kind a gracious host, then spare the drama and don't have a party. (Unless they are a drama type family anyways and you are fed up, I can see the issue, but if not, then let it go...)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Stockton on

I guess it depends on how many people you want to show up. I personally would not plan something on Mothers Day unless it was a meal for my Mother and/or MIL! In my opinion it is somewhat disrespectful to them that you have no regard for their celebration of Mothers Day just because your family chooses to celebrate it on a different day to avoid the crowds. You haven't really stated what you are planning. A church event is all you have stated, is it something that your whole congregation attends after service or during service?? I am just a little bit confused, I would think that people from your church would also be unable to attend if it is outside of the normal service because they would have plans to do something for mothers day as well. I think that it is always nice to take into consideration other people when planning, ultimately sometimes you just can't accomodate everyone, but knowing that is a day set aside by MOST people, I would avoid it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Is this really a win-or-lose situation? Meaning, if YOU give in and pick a date that is not your “#1 choice,” you've lost some sort of battle and cannot be happy? Of course I pick a date that is great for us, but flexibility is always required because (1) I want as many family members to attend the event as possible and (2) I want my guests to enjoy themselves. May is a tough month for us of my sons’ birthday, my Goddaughter's birthday, a cousin's birthday and Mother's Day. But none of us would schedule our own event on Mother's Day. You know how tough it is to be a Mom -- why would you want to take away this one day to be thanked or pampered from the other Moms in the family? (Yes, some Moms really only get this one day. Sounds like you are a lucky lady.)

There’s nothing wrong with putting you and your family’s own needs first. But it will have an impact on how your family views you -- especially it has a negative impact to them. Since your hubby has a definite opinion on this issue, I would take his word and assume that this decision may cause a negative light to be shed on you and the event. You’ll need to decide which is more important to you: holding your ground on an issue that you’ve admitted other dates can work or being flexible for the sake of family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It depends on what the event is. If it's a baby dedication, then maybe Mother's Day is the best date for it.

You're only being a "stinker" if you plan it for Mother's Day, then get upset if nobody shows. People do generally have plans that day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Well I guess the only way to find out for sure is to make some phone calls and feel people out about it - if you want the family to attend your event, I would think that you would try to choose a date that works best for most of them, even if it is not your first choice. If you really don't care either way if they come, then pick the date you want and let the chips fall where they may.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It's Mother's Day. You're a mom - you have the absolute right to decide what to do on that date.
My daughter is 4. I have yet to have a Mother's Day where is doesn't revolve around other family members. Do what you want to do!

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answers from Dover on

I look at what works best for me, hubby, son, and daughter. If all else is equal and one day is better than another for everyone else (and either works for us) I will then go w/ what works for everyone. In the event that it is really something for everyone, I would go with the best date for us of those available that works for everyone.

Not sure what your event is so it is hard to say for sure in this case.

Whatever it is, would attending your event prevent them from doing whatever else they may want to do before or after?

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answers from Chicago on

I would try and avoid Mother's day as the date if at all possible, I think it is just courteous. If you absolutely cannot, then go ahead with your plans, but don't take it personally if others have reserved that date to do something else. There are only a couple days a year that I wouldn't plan an event for and mother's day is one of them, father's day and major holidays like Xmas and Easter would be the others.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

YOUR family comes first. I wish more people would do this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I pick what works best for us. I had my son baptized on Father's Day and it was great. It's O. year. Do what you want to do!

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answers from Chicago on

If it is a birthday party, we plan what works best for us and hope everyone else can come. If it is Grab Bag (our pre-Christmas gift exchange) or some other event, we work with everyone else's schedule. Honestly though, we probably would not pick Mother's Day or anything like that for an event that was unrelated. We did, however, have our son's baptism on December 28 (a few days after huge x-mas eve and x-mas day gatherings) because it would be easier for my family to come in from out of town -- and we did NOT consult anyone except the out of town family (mine) as they would be traveling 12+ hours by car.

Good luck! Though big family is great sometimes, it is also a pain others!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would avoid the hassle and stink by planning on a different day. If you want them to come, you should consider them in the planning. If it is just for your family, then do it on that day and just let everyone know now that you have something different planned for mothers day this year. Don't wait to tell!

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answers from Myrtle Beach on

I planned our daughter's christening Mother's Day weekend, That way my husband's family could travel for this, and his mother was able to spend her mother's day with her first grandchild! I say go with it!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Think about it honestly, does everyone on the planet consider your feelings when they schedule things. We have gotten to the point where we do what we need to around our schedule (mostly b/c my husband works 7 days a week). It's great to try to be accomodating, but enough is enough.

Do what is right for you and whoever attends attends, and as for those who don't.........too bad so sad. Not trying to sound like a major biotch, but really. Can we really ever please everyone at the same time! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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