Not Welcome


     This May, my older son will be making his First Communion.  It is a very important rite of passage and we plan on hosting a celebration to honor him on his special day.  As with any special event, there are a lot of preparations that have to take place in order to guarantee that the day will go off without a hitch.  Unfortunately, that includes devising a guestlist of people that we would like to have with us as we celebrate this momentous occasion.  Normally, it would be very easy for me to come up with the names of the people that I would want to attend, however, I am finding that there are quite a few people that I just want to exclude and not even be bothered with.

    Let’s begin with some of my extended family members…It seems that lately there have been quite a few of them who have been “lost in the sauce” so to speak.  Believe me when I tell you that I most certainly am not that family member who needs a weekly phone call and needs attention all the time.  I fully understand that people have their own lives and that we are all busy with our respective responsibilities.  Is it too much to ask, though, to expect a phone call or even a visit on such holidays as Christmas or Thanksgiving?  One family member has taken to texting us to deliver well wishes on those special days.  I find this so offensive that I commented to said family member last Christmas, via text, that family doesn’t text each other on the holidays.  Forgive me if I don’t want this person there on my son’s special day.

    Another family member of mine doesn’t get in contact with me all year or even call to see how my children are doing.  She does, however, remember to call me a couple of weeks before Christmas every year to give me a detailed list of the presents that her children will be wanting to receive.  If that is not having a lot of nerve, I don’t know what is.  It just seems that certain family members and friends who rarely interact with us throughout the year always seem to come out of the woodwork when it comes to being part of celebrations that include free food and drinks.  We were raised to share whatever we had with our loved ones but it is hard to overlook when they are blatantly offensive and inconsiderate and then expect to stroll in and out of the family at their convenience.

    Unfortunately, there are a few friends whom I feel this way about also.  As I get older, I am realizing that some friendships are not forever and, just like in every relationship romantic or otherwise, sometimes people grow apart.  I’m stuck between how things used to be around these people and the fact that we don’t have a lot in common anymore.  This definitely causes me inner conflict because I feel like I should make decisions that make me happy at this point and if not being around certain people makes me happy well, I’m not going to make any excuses for it.  Nobody else seems to be making excuses for their poor behavior so why should I be held to a higher standard?

    I think a lot of this reflection has to do with the fact that my inner filters are decreasing with age.  No longer do I feel the need to explain myself as in previous years or to hold the feelings and happiness of others above my own.  I’m finding myself to be a lot more selective about the people that I surround myself with whether they be family or friends.  Long gone are the days of tolerating nonsense in order to not offend someone while at the same time offending myself.  Additionally, I feel like I don’t want any hypocrites around my children who really don’t demonstrate any interest in how they are doing the rest of the time. 

    So, with a guilt free conscience I will be trimming down the guestlist for my son’s Communion.  Making that decision and actually posting about it here has been very cathartic.  I’m sure some people will be very upset that they do not receive an invitation but I don’t care.  At the end of the day, it has everything to do with maintaining positive energy around myself and my children and nothing to do with worrying about how my decisions will be perceived by others.  After all, what is the worst thing that could happen, I won’t get that yearly text message every year wishing me a Merry Christmas?

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. I totally understand. I have a friend who I haven’t seen or spoken to for over a year. Then out of the blue I get an email asking me to host a tupperware party. Lol.

  2. I found you through BFF blog hop. I was appalled by the family member you mentioned that never calls except to give you a list of things their children wants! How rude! Just invite the people that contribute to the joy of the day and forget the rest. Easier said than done when it comes to family, I know, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

  3. Good for you! Stick to your guns! At the time of my youngest son’s First Communion there was a lot of tension in my husband’s family, and I let everyone know that if they attended I wanted it to be because they wanted to celebrate this special day with John. My father-in-law brought his mistress (wife in nursing home with Alzheimer’s), who insisted on hugs from all the grandchildren, most of whom were teenagers and were totally disgusted. One brother-in-law spent the entire party on the phone with the girlfriend he was in the process of leaving his wife and children for while his daughters cried in the other room. Another pulled a chair up to the buffet and pulled all the ham off each and every ham biscuit and ate it. When I asked him what he was doing he said, “I’m on Adkins!” I don’t host family gatherings any more.

    • Oh my goodness, Angie! It sounds like you have the same in-law problems that I do. The only difference, in my case, is that it’s my husband’s mother that drives me crazy and I actually love my father in-law. They are not together and I can certainly understand why. Lol

  4. We FINALLY trimmed the fat off of our family get-togethers and I’m SO happy we did.

  5. Hi! I’m a new blogger and follower. Check out my blog and follow me too. Love the colors on your page.

  6. I totally get where you are coming from. For my wedding I wanted a small affair, but then I was guilted into inviting people that I never talked to because my mom thought it would be rude not to invite. Some of them even RSVP’d but didn’t show after all!

    • I just really don’t see the sense in constantly including those family and members and friends that continue to disappoint me time after time just due to a sense of obligation. I would have gone for the smaller affair too.

  7. Oh family, don’t even get me started either!!!!!!!

    Now following from Hop Along Friday! I would love it if you’d stop by my blog and follow too! 🙂

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  8. Well said! I couldn’t agree more, and small gatherings are more fun than huge parties anyway 🙂 New follower from Hop Along Friday 🙂

  9. @Lady Estrogen Love how you put that! We did the same thing and love it!

    You are exactly right Maria! Keeping that positive energy around you and your family will make the party and other family gatherings so much better. I hate the “holiday greeting” text messages too, so impersonal.

    • OMG, Amanda, I love texting but there is a time and a place for everything. I deeply resent it when family members who are supposed to be close to me insult me and my children by texting me on the holidays. It demonstrates just how little I matter to them that they can’t even take time out of their busy schedules to pick up the phone and wish me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. Desiree Torres says


    I HAD to post because I’m going through something similar and I feel like maybe it will be cathartic as well for me to vent to you.

    My mom died this past summer. It broke my heart into a million pieces, you can’t begin to feel the emptiness until you lose the most special person in your life. I had an accident that injured my back and has kept me from being able to teach. My dad has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and has had two surgery procedures. My husband and I have been so tight with the bills that we had to give up our car.

    And…last week I was invited to my aunt’s birthday party (in Florida, no less). I told my cousins that I could not afford it and they were upset. Without a car we could not make it upstate for Christmas either. And, to be perfectly honest, all three of them didn’t bother to show up at my mom’s funeral in NY or FL. My aunt DID go and spoke about HERSELF during my mom’s service; i.e. how much younger she was than my mom, how her mother nursed MY mother (a dirty stepchild) to health from tuberculosis and last but not least, my aunt took the wooden bracelet off my hand which was the only thing I had left of my mom because she claimed it was hers and said my mom wanted to be buried with it (even though my dad cremated her, so there was no way of this happening).

    I have been in a depression over all that has happened that I barely leave the house, have not spoken to friends or family often and avoid outings whenever possible because I feel so saddened by it all and don’t want to spread the gloominess.

    My point for writing is to let you know that sometimes it is not about someone not wanting to be there or rather, sometimes people are lost and going through something tragic that only that person knows about. No one really knows what is going on, that I have had to start taking meds just to make it through the day from the sadness of so much loss and stress.

    And, I am guilty of texting these people for the past two holidays: I needed time to heal. Some people ARE really selfish like that person who asks for a list of gifts! How tacky and nasty! But, some people may be doing their best just to make it another day. Those that fade away…it’s sad. But, it has happened to all of us and the only thing that makes me feel better is thinking that they must have served a purpose in my life for a specific period of time or to teach us something about ourselves. Sometimes it’s how we react to such treatment that teaches us something invaluable. I do hope that your real friends and family surround you for all your days making it that much richer. For those that don’t, for whatever reason, keep them in your prayers as maybe with the love you direct, albeit from afar will touch their lives and help heal any wounds that may be present.

    Much love Maria! This post really helped me, especially today. Thank you sister 🙂


    • Desiree, your response really tugged at my heart’s strings. I cannot even begin to tell you how sorry I am about you losing your Mom and all of the other unfortunate events that have taken place. I’m sure that it has been extremely difficult for you to deal with having so many tough things happen to you all at once. This is the reason why I always try to put myself in the shoes of others before I rush to any rash conclusions.

      I must tell you that it took a lot of soul searching and many times of feeling fed up before I came to some of the conclusions that I discussed in this blog post. You see, I know that sometimes others are going through things that cause them to retreat or withdraw from their loved ones. Unfortunately, this is something that I have experienced in my own life and know all too well. My first impulse is always to give others the benefit of the doubt and to try to understand that there may be extenuating circumstances for their behavior. In my case, I have given these people chance after chance to redeem themselves and to demonstrate to me that they actually care about my children and I. This process has taken years and, sadly, the same behaviors continue to be repeated on their part over and over. I love all of these people despite the fact that they have disappointed me but I have realized that I have to separate myself from constantly being let down by their absence and lack of concern.

      In your case, I completely understand that it is going to take some time for you to recover and to heal from all of the traumatic events that have taken place in your life recently. By the same token, I know you well enough to know that you are not the kind of person who, like some of my loved ones, will use this as a crutch to behave badly indefinitely. I hope that time and the support of your husband will bring you some of the peace that you are seeking, my dear friend. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. If you need to get together and just talk over a cup of coffee, you know how to get in contact with me. Big hugs.

  11. I totally get that. As I’ve gotten older, my own personal inner circle has been pared down to the people who really matter. At the same time is funny that I have opened up and widened my online circle. Good luck with your son’s First Communion, I am sure it will be a very special day!

    • Lanae, you are so right, I have met so many wonderful and genuine people online. We can’t forget the friends that we have made through blogging. Thank you so much for the well wishes, I will be sure to write a post all about it. 🙂

  12. Isn’t family grand? I get “Facebooked” from my family for holidays. So impersonal! New follower from the hop- follow back at

  13. I totally agree! The older I get the less inclined I am to waste time on people who don’t want to be active in my life.

    And actually I think it is a great lesson for your children. Surrounding yourself with friends and families who truly enjoy you and you enjoy them. Friendship and family is not simply in name alone.

    Good luck on your celebration and the snarky comments that will ensue once you announce your guest list.

    Found you on Blog Frog

  14. I found you on the Hoppin Weekend. I am your newest GFC follower. If you could check out my blog and follow me back I would appreciate it. Thanks Amber

  15. Thanks for the tweet invite! Wow, our families sound alike. That’s why I am undertaking the locating of 2nd and 3rd cousins. Much more satisfying.
    Stop by my site sometime.

  16. Newbie follower here! 🙂

  17. Newbie follower here! 🙂

  18. BalancingMama (Julie) says

    Well said. You go, mama, I am all about limiting the bad energy from people who don’t really matter to me or my sweet girl.

  19. I am your newest GFC follower.

  20. I love the new look!

  21. Touche’ and Amen! I chose this as my post to comment on but for the first time ever, I read a post that so accurately describes my own extended family situation that I find myself reading it, head nodding with whispered “Yes, that’s right”. It has been the cause of some controversy as when my parent in laws passed on, it seemed that the entirety of that side of our family did as well, or might as well have. My side on the other hand is so very close and so welcome that I find myself in a quarrel wheneven my lovely spouse mentions some petty thing he doesn’t like about someone in my family,,,,, Ggggggrrrrrrrr,,,,,,, I become the Tigress! Spouting “Who cares if koolaid was spilled on the carpet,, at least they were HERE to spill it! “No, it’s not disrespectful for them to help themselves to fridge leftovers, that’s the way I was raised”! “You’re right, your perfect family would never dream of doing that because they would never dream of even stopping by!”
    I really try to be a nice, kind and generous woman but I’m not going to let my son be disappointed year after year with a ‘maybe’ so n so is coming only to have his heart broken when his cool cousin doesn’t come by. I do get sick of it and in wanting to look out for my ‘baby’ I want to tell him, “No, the cool cousin won’t come by because they have decided to live the lifestyle of “Us 4 and no more” which is just fine by me.. God forgive me if I’m drinking bitter dregs……


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