Dear Snarky – Still Stuck at the Kiddie Table for Thanksgiving

Dear Snarky,10384343_1569011313310456_5708472324052755564_n

I’m going with my fiancé to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving. We have been dating for three years and for the past two years his mother has made me sit at the kids’ table. Hello, I’m 26 years old! This Thanksgiving I’m sure she is going to pull this stunt again. Should I stand up for myself and refuse to eat at the kiddie table (that is not even in the dining room BTW) or do I suck it up and not cause a scene?

Signed, Turkey Trouble

Dear Turkey,

 First off, I feel the need to offer you some premarital advice. Are you sure you want to a marry a man who can’t pull on his big boy britches and tell his mother that his soon to be wife will be dining at the same table as the rest of the adults? Also, your future mother-in-law sounds like a handful so be sure, very, very, sure you’re ready to marry into that kind of drama.

 As for the kids’ table – I would happily sit there and own it! Bring some cute crafts for your fellow diners and have a blast while counting your blessings that you’re not stuck eating with the adults who no doubt are either grousing about the country going to hell in a hand basket or Aunt Shirley’s and Uncle Stewart’s recent couple’s colonoscopies.

 Your bliss (faux or real) at eating with the kids will also show your future MIL not to mess with you because whatever shade she throws your way you’re going to turn it into a rainbow. 

 If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

19 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – Still Stuck at the Kiddie Table for Thanksgiving

  1. Maggie Pritchard says:

    I love your advice and this one is greatness! It shows the future MIL that you are not to be messed with and you are right the kids table probably is more fun.

  2. freezin in MO says:

    I would definitely rethink the boyfriend! If he is not big enough to say something to his mother, then he should at least sit with you at the kids table just to make it double fun. He needs to stand by you no matter where you sit!

  3. Susie Uppman says:

    We call it the “kids table” but it’s really everybody’s choice where they sit. We like to mix up kids and adults at both tables. Two years ago I was at the kids table, along with my sister, brother-in-law, and a few kids. My BIL suggested we start laughing loudly, so we did. Everyone at the big table was asking what was so funny. The giggles became uncontrollable. And when I answered that we were laughing at “nothing” (literally!!) that got everyone going!! It was such fun. I think I’ll always stick with the kids table!

  4. amy says:

    Because of space limitations, we’ve sometimes had a kids table, but when it was my turn to host we had a couple of adults at the kids table, otherwise it’s like forcing someone to babysit 4 or 5 kids alone, and that’s not fair. Even the state doesn’t allow so many children per caregiver in daycares. If she’s going to treat you like a babysitter, she should put your husband or another relative there to keep you company. Otherwise she’s just rude, and yes, if your husband is aware of the apparent “message” and your feelings about it: that you don’t fit in to the family proper, then he’s a big mamma’s boy for not standing up for you and placing her wishes above yours. On the otherhand, next major holiday, have everyone over and put MIL by herself at the kids’ table. If boyfriend can’t handle that, I’d give him the big boot.

  5. Julie Mulhern says:

    Things to do at the potential MIL’s kid table – mashed potato sculptures, gravy boat races, who can sing ‘Over the River’ the loudest?, olives on the tips of all fingers, biscuit toss, and inciting an epic argument over the wishbone.

  6. jtamburini says:

    Nothing is more offensive than to be relegated to the kids’ table at a special occasion as an adult. I agree, if her fiancé hasn’t managed to notice this blatant insult and correct it with the future mother-in-law, Turkey Trouble needs to move on and have a fun holiday where she is appreciated!

  7. mamalion3 says:

    So does your boyfriend sit with you at the kiddie table? Take Snarky’s advice about the future of this relationship. Right now everyone’s in love and you think you can conquer any obstacle, but believe me it gets a lot harder! If he’s expecting you to bow to the wishes of future MIL now, it will be 10x ‘s worse after you’re married and even harder once kids are involved. What you may also not see at this point is that your family may not be given the same royal treatment.

  8. Mary Clevenger says:

    I have 5 brothers and 4 sisters, and 6 children and 13 grands, 3 of my brothers have 11 kids between them and one brother has 10 grands, another has 9. When we get together it is usually at my up married sisters’ home. They have a large yard and when they built the house made sure it had an extra large dining area. Still when you get that many people together and some of the grands want to bring boy friends along it can get pretty crowded especially with all the lefties in the group. I have one sister who demands that she be allowed to sit with the Kids. My brother, used to pick the teens table. After that names were put in a bowl and drawn . In that manner seating varied from one holiday to another . The kids got to know their cousins aunts and uncles, the adults got to know the young ones. Now some of us are gone and we can’t get together as often. The kids have moved away and airfare is not always in the budget. We miss the days when we fought over sitting at the Kids table. The crafts etc ideas were some we used. The kids always made placemats to decorate the tables and we had mementos of wonderful meals shared.

  9. amy says:

    Seriously, Meghan Tells It is right. I wish that’s just what I’d said, too. Forget revenge tactics, no matter how amusing in the short term, and consider what this means about how he treats you. Spouses put each other first in a marriage or else it’s not a marriage. This mama’s boy doesn’t get it and isn’t even ready to leave the womb. Run away.

  10. maureensk says:

    OMG! Too funny! I wish your column was around when I first got married. I really needed help setting boundaries with my in-laws. To the OP, standing up to your MIL and setting appropriate boundaries only gets harder if you don’t do it in the beginning, because then you have to retrain them.

  11. Jessica says:

    Maybe you haven’t needed boundaries before. You sure need them now. Pay no attention to what he says. Many guys would sit on a bucket, if necessary, next to GF (once) then make alternate holiday plans until Mom gets the hint. You’re responsible to yourself here and should peacefully walk away from this…drama. (Makes me tired to think about it.) If she’s trying to run you off, LET HER. If he doesn’t fight for you, then you will have escaped!! If he comes after you (and he’s worth it) read up on narcissists, and a book on boundaries-BF needs one, too. He must prove repeatedly that he expects basic respect for HIMSELF and for you. (same thing, btw) No demands, just watch to see who he picks. Mom will provide lots of opportunities for him display any newly acquired skills. A ring won’t change her. You won’t change him. You change you. He will change himself if you’re worth it and she will change her behavior if he’s worth it. And, if it all gets settled, both of you should eat with the kids, be fun like Snarky suggested and provide a solid example because it sounds like they’re in short supply.

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