I (33f) hosted Thanksgiving this year; every year it rotates between me, my sister and my brother’s homes. It’s a pretty big gathering that normally involves my siblings, their partners, my sister’s kids and our parents.
This year, my brother James (35m) and his wife Becky (31f) are having their first child. The baby is due in spring.
We have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, watch the parade, play games as a family, couple drinks together in the evening, the usual stuff. Same kind of thing every year.
This year a couple weeks back, I get what is basically a list of demands from Becky in our family group chat. She wants to come, but her pregnancy means some things “need to be adjusted”.
Her rules were no poultry as the smell makes her sick, no alcohol as the smell makes her sick and she can’t join in, the food needs to be served early as she needs to nap during the time it’s normally served, and she doesn’t want to play the games as she tires easily so can we just listen to music/talk in the evening instead.
I was really upset by this. Firstly none of us are vegetarian and so I don’t really know how to prepare a turkey alternative but secondly I’d already ordered the turkey and it seems like a waste. And to not be able to drink, eat when we want to or even play our games in the evening just feels so unreasonable when 9 of us won’t get to celebrate in the way we’d like to.
In the family chat I replied and said while I would make her a non-poultry meal and would make sure people don’t drink at the table, I wouldn’t ban poultry or alcohol from the house and I certainly wouldn’t be not playing our games. Particularly as my niece and nephew are now old enough to join in and really loved it last year.
Both James and Becky said I was being unreasonable and that she’s pregnant so I need to be more understanding. My mom joined in and said it’s not hard to accommodate but I was really annoyed by this point. I told Becky she was uninvited if she can’t accept any compromise whatsoever.
James called me separately to say I’m excluding her and ruining their Thanksgiving and she can’t help how she feels during pregnancy. I said I wasn’t excluding her and she’s welcome if she can accept that Thanksgiving has to work for everyone else too.
In the end neither Becky or James came over. It was a weird day without them and I’m sad they weren’t there but I feel like I wasn’t unreasonable. I do want to make amends but AITA?
From the comments:
NTA, as a heavily pregnant person I can’t even begin with this audacity! Their choices to procreate don’t dictate the lives of everybody else.
Eh, a little ESH. Not poultry doesn’t mean vegetarian, you could have done a roast beef or ham. Yes you’d already ordered the turkey so understand that would have been a waste, could you have used it for Friendsgiving or something?
NTA. Been pregnant before with food aversions, I still wouldn’t ever ask for these types of accommodations. If it’s so bad that I can’t survive a few hours, I’d either leave early or plain not go. Go take a nap yourself if you so desire, it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to eat dinner at noon.
OH HELL NO this is completely unreasonable. She wants to come, but she doesn't want it to be thanksgiving. You have offered a compromise, it wasn't good enough, she is welcome to stay away and return next year when she's no longer pregnant
I would be *slightly* more understanding of Becky's requests if she had asked well in advance to avoid forcing major changes in plans/wastes of money on food already purchased.