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AIBU or are my inlaws? VV long - sorry!

(120 Posts)
dimebardolly Thu 06-Dec-12 17:49:15

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!

ll31 Thu 06-Dec-12 21:17:15

Yabu. .. plus I always think its nice to get cards and presents after your birthday. I'd wonder what message you're giving your children when you greet a birthday phone call with such an attitude

Narked Thu 06-Dec-12 21:30:14

I understand why you're upset. It's not asking much for someone to post a card or drop it and any presents round before the child's birthday. At 10 she will notice that her grandparents couldn't be bothered.

Your reaction to it was rather extreme, but you have your reasons.

MollyMurphy Thu 06-Dec-12 21:43:13

You don't expect cards/gifts and outline how and when they are given - they are gifts FFS. If you get one at all you should be grateful. Obviously they didn't forget and were calling to say happy birthday to her. It was massively rude for you to launch into an attack about it.

Its your daughters b-day and if you want to make a big deal about it you should go right ahead...but don't expect everyone else to climb on board. Sorry, YABU OP.

DontmindifIdo Thu 06-Dec-12 21:52:12

What I'm interested in, is why you would never hear the end of it if a card doesn't go to your DH's side of the family. I think you've made a rod for your own back by doing it. So I'd tell them that from now on, cards and gifts for his side is DH's responsibility, then stand back - if he wants to do it, then he can get them cards etc.

I do'nt think it's unfair to expect your DD to be treated the same as everyone else, if birthdays weren't a big deal in your DH's family, then it would be understandable, but adults can't expect a fuss to be made over their 'big day' but think it's ok for them not to make a fuss of a child.

Take a step back, it will reduce their ability to hurt you and your DD. If they aren't 'important' then their lack of attention will be less noticable. And your FIL has had his last big gift, if he can't be arsed to make an effort for his DGD there's no way he should be getting such valuable gifts from you.

KittyFane1 Thu 06-Dec-12 21:52:59

At the end of the day, I will let it go, visit at Christmas as usual, with a smile and try not to take it personally. I can't change the way I feel but I guess I need to change my reactions.
smile

Cahoootz Thu 06-Dec-12 22:16:59

YABU very, very, very unreasonable.

You are putting all your issues onto everyone else. You sound very uptight about this and have blown it out of all proportion. You will be the one that makes your DD feel bad about this, is that what you want? Do you want her to feel that her GP's don't care for her and that she should be dissapointed.
My DC's were never dissapointed or judgey when they didn't get cards or presents from relatives.

TBH your PIL don't sound very nice either.

Does your DH have an opinion on this?

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 06-Dec-12 22:33:34

YANBU I'm quite surprised at some of the responses you've had. But then I'm one of those people who is anal about cards grin.

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 06-Dec-12 22:33:47

I think you are being treated quite harshly here op. yes your feelings sound a bit ott but you obviously have good reasons for this if they treat other birthdays with more importance. Treat them like they treat you and concentrate on your own little family and don't waste your energy on them x

NannyEggn0gg Thu 06-Dec-12 22:52:45

But she's not imposing 'her' feelings!
Her inlaws think birthdays are important too - just for everyone but the OP's family by the sound of it!

I think your DH needs to speak to them.

MumOfAPickle Thu 06-Dec-12 23:16:10

YANBU and I thought that from the start. MN can be a bit weird about this stuff IMO. You pretty much aren't allowed to expect anything from anyone (especially gp's) without being grabby, entitled, controlling, spoilt etc. All terms levelled at the OP here. But in RL I don't know anyone who wouldn't expect a card for their dc's from the grandparents on or before their birthdays. Lack of one would almost certainly be commented on as pretty slack IME. Not sure how many people would confront it the way you did OP but fuck it, why should you seethe in silence when il's are obviously not backwards in coming forwards grin

YABU

My ils sent ds £40, guess what dd got, NOTHING. This is the worst in a long list of shitty behaviour from them but my dcs having Grandparents in their lives are more important so I bite my tongue and suck it up like a big girl.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 06-Dec-12 23:47:58

I think it really doesn't matter whether the gift/card is given two weeks before or after.

drcrab Fri 07-Dec-12 00:10:23

Sorry but YABU. My sil is like that. The family are 'scared' of her reactions now. This year my FIL forgot my birthday and happened to ring on the day (he'd been ill) and we got joking about it. I then told my dh to remind them to send a card to my sil whose birthday was the following week. They didn't make it on time because the sil and bil were going away and had taken the cards away. Omg there was all round 'panic'.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 07-Dec-12 00:11:55

They should have got their acts together and sent a card in time. But your reaction is very extreme OP.

timeforachangebaby Fri 07-Dec-12 00:26:36

you are awful, you want everything on the actual birthday, but she was too busy to see them, thats downright rude in itself.

andapartridgeinaRowantree Fri 07-Dec-12 00:44:58

Don't think its unreasonable at all to expect a card from the grandparents of a ten year old on her birthday.

Do think its unreasonable to be so confrontational with FIL about it. Not you place. Not your parents.

OTTMummA Fri 07-Dec-12 10:39:54

I don't think yabu, not if they make a fuss over their own birthdays. That is quite hypocritical and nasty, especially if your DD grows up seeing the vast difference in how they celebrate FIL and MIL's special day. Who demands a holiday for their birthday?! That alone would be enough to piss me off. Just because he is your FIL doesn't mean his poor etiquette should be excused hmm

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 13:53:47

I agree with OTT. Even so, I think your reaction esp to FIL on the Phone was unfortunate.

Please do leave all the card and present-giving for DH's family to DH. And play down expectations of them, fro your DD's sake. If they are hypocritical and a bit crap, better to underplay it all than have your DD upset by the disparity in treatment.

diddl Fri 07-Dec-12 14:04:47

Does she usually get a card on time?

If it´s just this year that caught them on the hop then let it go!

That said, I don´t think it´s asking a lot for GPs to send a card in time to be opened on the day.

Who told you that FIL was expecting a holiday for his birthday?

And why didn´t you laugh and ignore?

lisianthus Fri 07-Dec-12 20:54:59

YANBU; you made it clear that your ILs were never intending to visit and that you would have cleared your DD’s birthday schedule so they could visit if they wanted to.

Everyone else in the family expects a huge fuss made over them- your FIL has demanded that each person pay for him to go on HOLIDAY?! shock then they turn around and don't even care enough to put a stamp on an envelope for your DD. I really hope you won't be doing this. Send him a card instead.

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