AIBU or are my inlaws? VV long - sorry!(120 Posts)
Will try to make this as quick as possible because if I went into every thing my inlaws have done to piss me off, you would still be reading this time next year!
It was my daughters birthday last week. All birthdays are special to me and I have always been very particular that cards and presents are opened on the day. After all, it is a birthDAY, not birthWEEK, birthMONTH etc. I know not everyone feels like this but I honestly do and I have asked them many times over the past decades to respect this. Anyway to get to the point, when her day arrived, she had no cards or presents from her nanny, grandad, both her aunties and one of her uncles (they all live near each other but about 70 miles away from us). She did get a gift from another Uncle (these relatives are all my in-laws btw) which she was very happy about as it meant she wasn't entirely forgotten by her extended family.
My mil sent a text at around dinnertime wishing my daughter a happy birthday. I replied that I would pass on her good wishes but she was wondering why she hadn't even had a card to open from her. 5 minutes later my fil telephoned. He asked to speak to my daughter and I agreed but I said I wanted to talk to him first. I asked why no-one had bothered to send any cards etc. First of all he said he was going to bring them down that day but he wasn't well. Then he said he couldn't send them because he had been away on holiday. Finally he said my sil would have brought them down but she isn't well either. I pointed out that:
1) There was never any question of him coming down that day. 2 weeks previously I had spoken to my mil to say that we were busy on the day (school, afterschool clubs, dinner with schoolfriend etc). She asked if she should post her stuff and I happily said yes. I also agreed to gift wrap should she like me to.
2) Yes, he had been away for the preceeding week. However, this had been planned for ages and he could have posted her stuff early.
3) My sil hadn't arranged to visit. At no time did she mail me, text me or call me. If she had, perhaps something could have been done but this wasn't the case.
It appears to me that basically, my daughters birthday wasn't important enough to any of them to bother going to the post office, buying a stamp and sending a card. My fil huffed and puffed and kept telling me I was "taking this all the wrong way".
My question is, is there a right way for your childrens grandparents (their only gp's as both my parents are dead) to not bother marking a birthday? For a bit of background, everyone always makes a big fuss over the family birthdays and I was told in no uncertain terms that for my fil's birthday this year, he was expecting to be taken away on holiday (he got a weekend away from us, a trip to Rome from one daughter and a trip to see the Northen lights from another of his sons).
For the record, I always make sure presents and cards I send are sent promptly!
Thanks for reading and for any replies. I feel I need to get some other points of view before I even think about visiting at Christmas!
The OP's ILs are probably just being normal, in handing over birthday cards and presents when they see the birthday child. It's not their fault the OP is anally retentive.
The rudest part is that you made it clear to MIL that she was not welcome to visit on the actual day. Why? An after school club could easily be missed to see grandparents on a birthday. Why was dinner with a schoolfriend more important that seeing family?
I always invite MIL (as well as my parents) over in the early evening of a DC's birthday and then we can all have a meal together and sing Happy Birthday when we have a cake. This in addition to the party that the child will have with friends. The children love having a special family meal.
If I said to my family or in-laws "We are too busy for DD to see you on the actual day" but then expected them to post presents, I would feel unreasonable and ashamed of myself. If having presents on the day is that important then you make the time to let relatives visit DD. For them to give up their time to visit is worth a lot more than a material present/card anyway.
Well you did ask.
God, I don't know why so many people are giving the OP a hard time. I think it's unbelievably shitty to not bother to make sure a child gets cards on her actual birthday.
Both you and FiL sound a little like hard work.
Him expecting to be taken away on holiday as you say he is is incredibly entitled.
Is this worth a falling out which means you'll stay away for Christmas?
Yes, surprised at some of the responses on here. Nice response Eleanorgiftbasket.
It is always difficult when inlaws don't meet your expectations, particularly when you perceive it as aimed at your child.
I don't think the OP is being materialistic, she simply expected the paternal grandparents to put in the same effort she has for her child and feels they have fallen short, rightly or wrongly.
I had all this with my inlaws many years ago. It wasn't that they forgot, they just used the childrens' birthdays to let me know whether I was in or out of favour which is childish, hurtful behaviour. The problem with this high risk strategy for family relationships is that - in my case - I gave up caring what the hell they did.
Please say this is a reverse?!
If into you are being ridiculous OP... And Rude.
It's at moments like this I would like a button that you could just click to say 'unreasonable'. Can't be bothered engaging with such a controlling and entitled op, but would like to add some weight to the 'yes you are being massively and unpleasantly unreasonable' pile just to help forestall the inevitable picking out of two or three posts that try to see her point of view as evidence that she was right all along.
Oh right so birthdays are SOOOOO important, but you won't let them visit:
1) There was never any question of him coming down that day. 2 weeks previously I had spoken to my mil to say that we were busy on the day (school, afterschool clubs, dinner with schoolfriend etc)
so basically you chucked their wish to be all inclusively and lovely back in their face, but you want them to jump through hoops to please you. Right. OK.
I think you're causing some of the problem really. Spin it their way and you're a proper diva pain in the ass. Sorry YABVU
::passes a grip to op cos you need one::
I thought you sounded grabby and cheeky until I got further down your post to the point where your fil was expecting to be taken on holiday for his birthday from you! Wtf! He is an adult and expecting an expensive present and not only that telling you what to get him in what sounds more like a demand!
I can now understand your attitude and annoyance even if I don't agree with it or the example set for your dd. I do think for kids cards and presents should be given on the day, cards at least.
Your dd's birthday incident makes you look bad for what you said but as an overall your inlaws are expecting one standard for them but providing a kuch lower one for your dd.
Overall I don't think yabu but you would be the better person to rise above it and in future gift them what you decide not what they demand unless it's reasonable.
You sound completely mad. It's a good job
thank god you aren't related to me, I would tell you to get a grip.
it is absoloutely fine for you to express your expectations for protocol on your DD's birthday. family members however are not obliged to conform. they can opt in or opt out. your family seem to have opted out of your particularly controlling set of rules for the day and are going to deliver the gifts they bought with their money how they see fit.
I do believe we've scared her off...
I think that's horrible
A horrible view of life, family, importance of material goods and how to treat extended family to be passed on to your poor child.
I find your entire post depressing and almost unbelievable in its crassness and view of life.
YABVVU. You should relax a bit
Your child's birthday is nowhere near as important to other peope as it is to you.
interrogating people about cards that weren't sent in time is very bad form.
So, to answer question, you are v. unreasonable.
They ABU and YABU. You are too rigid with routine and demands. They are grabby and materialistic.
Oh me, they aren't allowed to come down but they have to pander to your rules of you DD only having a birthDAY and only opening presents on that day.
They are expected to fork out for presents they aren't allowed to watch her open?
FFS materialistic much.
I think you are B kind of U too. I know you say it is important to you, but you would do better to let go of this as an issue, because it is a tiny one, in the grand scheme of things, and not worth the angst, really. It sounds like they love your daughter, ring her to pass on their love on her birthday, that's what is important.
YABU, you all sound like hard work tbh.
YANBU I can see OPs point and think its not as narrow as missing out on material things - its the lack of thought that hurts. A message is being given. I wouldnt have said anything and think she was rather aggressive in her response but I would also be a little hurt if none of DPs family acknowledged a childs birthday whilst expecting a big fuss to be made of theirs.
Get a grip. You sound like hard work, OP!
My mind boggles at being told in no uncertain terms that FIL expected to be taken away on his birthday. I'd have bought him a pair of socks.
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