AIBU to expect my inlaws to

(57 Posts)
mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:18:43

bring a present for the kids to unwrap on Xmas day?
The send a card with £5 each child in a few days before. They came for lunch but brought nothing, not even a mars bar. They are not broke. They didn't even ask if they could bring anything for the table. But what really hurt was they brought nothing at all for the children. I think this is just rude. The kids were quite hurt that we gave them their pressies, some just from the kids, but they didn't bring anything for them. It didn't have to be anything expensive but something they choose for the kids themselves, they are their only grandchildren. AIBU? or is it me being sensitive?

usualsuspect3 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:21:25

I wouldn't get worked up about it.The kids will enjoy spending their fivers.

DragonMamma Mon 31-Dec-12 13:21:50


A selection box costs a couple of quid max.

My PIL's live abroad but send a card and transferred money for us to get some things. Even my DGM (so my kids great gran) gave them £50 each and bought them some clothes and a small toy each to open on Xmas day!

You are being sensitive, they got money. If your kids are hurt because they got money but nothing to unwrap then I think you need to have a word with them about gratitude too. (I also think you would have complained at your children getting a wrapped up mars bar on christmas day)

Pancakeflipper Mon 31-Dec-12 13:23:24

Taking this from what you have said ( that they are able, are not struggling etc) then yes it seems sad that the kids didn't get something to open on the actual day. They could have saved the cards ( and saved money on the stamps) with the £5's and given them on the day.

Do they struggle to know what to give people as presents? Just very poor present buyers?

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:24:46

it was the lack of caring and being bothered to choose something for them. not how much it cost but the caring it represents

HappyNewBleurgh Mon 31-Dec-12 13:24:56


You say they didn't bring anything for the table either. They came for lunch and didn't even bring a bottle of wine? Blimeyhmm

usualsuspect3 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:25:27

maybe save the cards for them to open on Xmas day next year?

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:26:56

and their dog gets at least four or five presents.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:27:44

the money was in a group xmas card, not even seperate named ones. i just thought it was a xmas card

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:28:40

£5 note means nothing to our youngest
a mars bar would have been like a gold bar!

usualsuspect3 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:30:10

You don't like them much do you?

HappyNewBleurgh Mon 31-Dec-12 13:30:29

What does dh think? Have they always been the same?

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:30:43

they always buy their son a nice present and i get £5 boots voucher

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:31:54

nope i don't
they left the hospital without seeing their youngest very sick grandchild when they were told it was touch and go.
and the reason?
to get back to the dog

Why didn't you nip out beforehand and buy something with the money they sent? My brother always sends money because he doesn't know what I have and haven't bought and I choose something from him.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:32:54

dh thinks they are just mis guided
if she had died they would have never seen her, her birth was very touch and go

FredFredGeorge Mon 31-Dec-12 13:33:47

YABVU if you've brought up your children to expect presents to the extent that they are hurt if they don't receive them.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:33:49

i assumed that they would bring something, i never occured to me that they wouldn't. silly really by past form. i should have realised

HappyNewBleurgh Mon 31-Dec-12 13:33:53

Maybe give them a miss next year.

They can spend Christmas with the dog.

PhoebeGreen Mon 31-Dec-12 13:34:24

I stopped trying to figure out my in-laws years ago.

They favour my SILs children over mine to such an extent that when I mention their actions to my friends, they think I'm making it up.

It used to upset me. Then it made me angry. Then sad. Then resigned. Now I just laugh.

I just present a positive image of my in-laws to my children, and I smooth over as many of the irritating wrinkles my in-laws create as I can, and accept that we are never going to be on the same wavelength - thank god!

The only way for me to stay sane is to view them as dotty sitcom characters who occasionally collide with me in real life.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:34:45

i think expecting presents from your grandparents on xmas day is not being ureasonable

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:35:57

maybe i need to do that too. it just hurts me to see my youngest hurt

usualsuspect3 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:36:39

TBF to them they did send them some money.

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Mon 31-Dec-12 13:36:41

were the £5 notes each not the presents?

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:37:31

older two see them for what they are but the youngest was hurt

PhoebeGreen Mon 31-Dec-12 13:38:09

I know. It's horrible.
I just breezed over all the slights.
I'd do Christmas Day without the in-laws next year, and buy a gift for each child to open with the money they send.
It's nasty to have to deal with such a basic lack of grandparental affection though.

HappyNewBleurgh Mon 31-Dec-12 13:38:50

Lol it is on mn mum38grin

Heinous crime no 34563 according to mn. 'Thou shalt not expect a present'wink.

(I don't think yabu at all though.)

Some people find it very hard in that situation, when my daughter was very ill my brother got helicoptered off his ship to come and be with me but he never met my daughter, he was there supporting me but he didn't want to get attached to her, he would have found it much harder to deal with had he met her. I know that hurt you at the time but not everyone deals with situations in the same way.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:39:59

i think they should have brought something

YANBU. XMIL sent me money to buy and wrap a present for DS, even though he was spending Christmas morning with her! confused. So much of the enjoyment for me is in choosing and wrapping presents, I really don't get it. Feels very cold to just give money.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:41:18

it was because she was the 3rd girl. when we told them it was a girl on the scan she said oh no

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:41:54

i agree it shows caring that you choose their pressie

It doesn't, I absolutely adore my nephew but I send him money on christmas and birthdays because I don't know what else he has got from other people.

TheoxenandDonkeyskneltdown Mon 31-Dec-12 13:54:15

2nd thread today I've seen on MN regarding people's funny attitudes to more than 2 DCs of the same gender. Quite apart from the effort regarding Christmas gifts which I realise is OP's main concern, it does seem feeble on their part to turn up to a meal empty handed.

Either it's a case of "it's just family" in which case they don't go mad with bringing food or drink over (which some MNers find insulting anyway), but make an effort choosing presents and be generally more affectionate and caring, OR they prefer to be more formal and less effusive, fair enough but in which case it's definitely bad manners not to bring something along to the meal.

In future just tone down what you give them (eg miss out the dog?) and don't raise your DCs' expectations, (not a bad life lesson to give for the sake of giving without expecting much in return). You can't shake PILs' feelings about you not producing a grandson but I certainly wouldn't apologise for it or treat them with kid gloves like DH disappointed them by not fathering sons.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Mon 31-Dec-12 14:00:37

My PIL ask what my DS's want, we tell them they go ahhh well can you get them something then, then they send us a cheque to cover the cost. we wrap up said presents and hand them to PIL to hand to DS's. it used to piss me off but now its a family joke. Ds2 recalls MIL going in his room and saying to him 'oh whats that?' at the toy he was playing with, 'its what you bought me for xmas' he says, oh says MIL... no shame or remorse at all about not knowing, they just take no interest really. the boys know we buy it all now. easier now they are older as they just get a (generous) cheque.

FredFredGeorge Mon 31-Dec-12 14:23:18

Even if it is expected for GP's to bring gifts (which I don't really accept) teaching children that it is HURTFUL if those gifts are not given is unreasonable, and I think a very bad idea. Tieing gift giving to love (which is the only reason you'd be hurt that I can see) is not a helpful character trait to have in life - it means you will accept abuse off someone if they give you gifts and you will be hurt when someone doesn't however much they love you.

2rebecca Mon 31-Dec-12 15:33:45

I would have saved the fivers until Christmas day if I opened the card and found them there then. Santa brings our presents so when the kids were young i'd have preferred any visitors to give me presents in advance not bring them (but wouldn't throw a strop if they were keen to bring them). Next year ensure you give them their xmas money on xmas day, problem solved, although no wine seems mean but means you don't have to hunt out wine when visiting them..

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Mon 31-Dec-12 15:36:35

I agree with saving the money until christmas day. My 2 got gift cards and money sent from family and we saved them for opening on christmas day with the rest of the presents.

ilovesooty Mon 31-Dec-12 16:49:57

Since you seem to have so many reasons for disliking them I'm surprised you invited them at all.

elizaregina Mon 31-Dec-12 16:57:47

"The only way for me to stay sane is to view them as dotty sitcom characters who occasionally collide with me in real life. "

LOVE IT if all of us with nightmare in laws could get our heads round them and put them in this box, life would be much easier!

peaceandlovebunny Mon 31-Dec-12 17:46:03

are they JW?
don't fret re presents - just don't buy anything for them next year. send a card with £5 each.

lucindapie Mon 31-Dec-12 18:06:11

I wasn't sure if this was unreasonable or not, but then i read that the dog gets 5 presents!! YANBU

Bunbaker Mon 31-Dec-12 18:16:28

"I agree it shows caring that you choose their pressie"

I don't agree. My cousin's wife buys presents for my sister and her family and she puts no thought at all into what she buys - she bought sweets for my diabetic sister and a cookery book with meat and nut recipes for my vegetarian, nut allergy niece.

My auntie always buys something totally unsuitable that DD dislikes for birthday and Christmas. She wastes her money on things that end up in a charity shop. If you don't know what to buy children it is far better to give money than waste it on something inappropriate. My MIL always gives DD money these days as well. It is very welcome. If you get the money before Christmas just do as others have suggested and use it to buy the children something. It makes sense.

Loquace Mon 31-Dec-12 18:16:33

Are you sure it is the presents (or lack there of ) that is getting under your skin ?

Is it possible that they have again failed to show real thought, interest and involvement with their grandchildren in a fairly minor way, and that has triggered memories of what it felt like when their son, his wife and their grandchild were in a very bad place, and they just...left?

I'm not sure that degree of "you and yours are not all that important to me" is all that easy to get over. Not quickly at any rate if it's half hidden and tucked away as something most of the time, where you don't face head on, because it hurts too much to think about it.

That must have been incredibly painful for you. I am so sorry.

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 23:52:23

yes i think that is just how i feel loquace

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 23:54:34

we once went around their house at xmas and there was a huge pile of pressies and i though they were for the kids. no for the dog! all said love from mummy and daddy!

mum382013 Mon 31-Dec-12 23:55:26

yes the dog got 5 presents (she brought the dog on xmas day)

Loquace Tue 01-Jan-13 00:15:33

I think having your face rubbed in the fact that you and your children come a poor second to a dog, especially since it reminds you of their evident priorities even when one of the children was potentially going to die, is like being constantly slapped...but in the heart area rather than your face.

It's like being told your worst pain ever doesn't matter, again and again and again.

How much time do you have to spend with them ? Because I don't think they are going to change, and I don't think it does you any good to be constantly dragged back to the emotional state you were in at the hospital. If every time you see them and their actions trigger you back into the horror and fear of losing your child...god that has to be hard to cope with.

I'm not sure trauma like that always heals without the right kind of knowledegable support. Perhaps in the relief that the worst didn't happen, what did happen (awful trauma) got overlooked in the gratitude that the little one recovered ?

I really feel for you love, if that is the case.

mum382013 Tue 01-Jan-13 00:22:27

i think you are right. i need to not see them at all. it hurts

poppycock6 Tue 01-Jan-13 00:30:08

That does seem a bit mean. Esp not contributing something for the meal either. Yanbu.

louisianablue2000 Tue 01-Jan-13 00:57:26

YANBU. I am really surprised that people are saying that it is Ok for grandparents to not give a gift to their grandchildren. Yes it's right to teach children to not demand a present but as adults can any of us imagine not wanting to give a gift to our putative grandchildren? If you were skint surely you'd make something if you couldn't afford to buy something. But honestly, how much does a paperback cost from Amazon?

ellee Tue 01-Jan-13 01:34:07

Jeez my in laws are a bit like this, there for xmas day wit 3yo and 20mo and what did they get? Dd nothing, ds..... A torch :/ very very odd in my book. It's christmas! I know they've "loads" and "don't need any more toys" but




Ffs go buy something small, the kids don't care it's just part of the fun and exitement.

Anyway, thewy're great in lots of ways so I keep my trap shut...

yousmell Tue 01-Jan-13 08:07:52

we are often given money and we are told to buy something for the kids and give it xmas day.

it does seem rather odd though and tight.

also bringing nothing yet expect a full day of Xmas food is a real no no.

yousmell Tue 01-Jan-13 08:08:45

Can you go to theirs for the meal next time? But open the gifts at home.

Nishky Tue 01-Jan-13 08:13:16

why not save the £5 and give it to them on Christmas day? as stated earlier that is what we do- envelopes with money and vouschers are shoved on the pile of presents

or buy something with the £5, wrap it and tell your inlaws to hand parcel to children when they come.

My bil works abroad, so he sent money, we bought and wrapped. ds is amaxed that a club penguin game was available in Florida grin

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 01-Jan-13 08:17:37

I would have been happy with a fiver, my son recived f all from either godparent which is pretty bad considering he is only one of two offspring on either side.

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