Was I unreasonable r.e dd's birthday present?(100 Posts)
It was my little girl's first birthday on Wednesday. Apart from the presents from dp and I, my brother and dd's parents, she didn't even get a card from anyone else.
So dp's parents phoned dd's great grandad to remind him and he
reluctantly sent a card. He also visited dp's parents on the Tuesday and was dragged round to ours to say happy birthday. He stayed for all of about 5 mins and was miserable, ignored dd etc. So he left and I let it slip as he's a misery anyway!
Dp's parents visited dd's great nanny yesterday and asked if she'd sent a card or called us to pop over to hers for a bit (she lives a five min walk down the road) and she screamed at them that she's has 'no time to' (I'd just like to add here that she had just been into town to go shopping for gifts and cards for a grand daughter's christening, also that she's not very old- early 60s before there's any accusations of granny bashing and having a go at an old woman, she is a very spring chicken!) Anyway!.... She then proceeded to snatch up a blank card from a drawer and scribble happy birthday on it and grabbed something she'd knitted and shoved it into a bag.
So when dp's parents came over and explained and went to hand me the bag, I just lost it and burst into tears. I don't have any contact with any of my family and haven't done for a long time due to them 'siding' with my abusive ex when we broke up, but I still talk to my brother as he has always been supportive. So I have been completely gutted by the fact that dp's family, who all live very close, just will not give dd their time of day. She's the only great grandchild on their side and dp's parents are absolutely fuming too.
So I sent the card and 'gift' back via dp's parents and given them a message to pass on to everyone who's not bothered with dd that if it's too much hassle to acknowledge her, then don't bother!
Was I unreasonable? Or am I being PFB? I don't want people to be held under duress with regards to contact etc, so would I also be unreasonable to cut what little contact is there with the extended family?
Sorry, 2nd line should say dp's parents
Sorry but I think over the birthday card/present issue you are being quite PFB, your dd with neither remember nor care about her 1st birthday and I think to guilt people onto sending cards and presents is shocking.
Yanbu imo but I have a shocking history of losing my rag with friends and family over stuff like this. 7 years down the line my mate is still waiting for her mil to congratulate the birth of her ds!
Ignore them on.the basis they will.need u before u need them xxx
It's their loss. Move on.
As a lady I no longer have any contact with once said to me, "just because she's the centre of your universe doesn't mean everyone else's world revolves around her"
I'm not bothered about the cards and gifts which is why I sent them back, I'm more annoyed they they don't message or call or pop over or ask us to go to theirs just so they can see her or even ask how she is.
So you feel your dd is not getting enough attention - and the solutions is..... to cut contact You sound like hard work.
Wow, I think you're being totally unreasonable. It's fine to be angry, expected even, but to return a present and kick up a fuss? Not good. Could you not have just shrugged it off as their loss? Because you've probably just made the relationship much worse.
But even when they did acknowledge her it wasn't enough. You had a visit, but its not good enough because he was dragged there and wasn't all chirpy, then you get a card and present but it wasn't good enough because it was grabbed from a drawer and quickly written. What do you want?
Oh dear. . Unfortunately I think you have handled this badly. I understand that it is upsetting that your DPs family are not giving your DD lots of attention but I think your behaviour will make them even less inclined to do anything.
It really doesn't matter to your DD whether or not she recieved lots of gifts and cards.
If you want a less stressful life I would try to accept that your DPs relatives are not that caring and not worry about it too much. The only thing that really matters is that you and your DP love and care for your DP.
So, whilst your frustration is very understandable, YABU (and PFB)
Ignore them and don't make any effort if they wont, concentrate on the people who show an interest in your dd without being forced and forget about the rest. She will thank you in years to come for keeping the toxic people out of her life.
First birthday is huge - for baby's parents. Possibly siblings and grandparents. No one else is likely to remember or be very excited, though nice people will show a polite interest.
I think the grandparents were foolish to convey the great grandmother's reaction to being prompted for a gift; of course it would upset you.
Everyone needs to calm down a bit.
Next time just invite whoever it is you want to share the celebration with for tea & cake. People always perk up around cake and it's nice to have others admire your baby.
I'd feel disappointed too but you can't make people be more involved than they want as it just makes them resentful as evidenced here. Did they remember? Did you remind them before the birthday?
I think you have to accept that this is their decision. cards and presents and involvement are not an entitlement in either direction.
You say DP's parents were annoyed too. They know them better. Can they shed light on any of it? Do you get on with them generally? What about your DP? Does he have a view?
Wow. You sent the stuff back? I have to wonder if there's more to this. You already have no contact with your side. The reason you give sounds more than understandable, but that's just your side if the story. You burst into tears and send presents/cards back? It sounds like you're a drama queen. And then you'll wonder why nobody bothers again.
Yes, I think YAB PFB (Big time).
But then again, I am from a family where people just wouldnt send cards etc to grandkids and wouldnt see it as a big deal.
She's 1 she has no idea what a birthday is.
I think your being harsh they are great gp's not parents or gp's
Good grief. DS got presents from me, his aunt and one friend of mine for his first birthday. I never expected distant relatives or even friends, workmates or anyone else to remember it. Oh and a few facebook messages after I put some photos of him up eating cake. It's a first birthday. It honestly drives me crazy when people think that they need to throw a street parade for a first birthday that the child will never remember.
I would be a bit annoyed that relatives had ignored or forgotten my child's birthday but your reaction is completely OTT. In fact you sound like a spoiled child so maybe now you are a mother, you need to grow up.
If I was a relative of yours, you cutting me off would be a big relief.
Also Im a bit confused with all these great grand parents.
YABVU, she was one and wont even be aware it was her birthday. Sound like her parents, uncle and grandparents acknowledged it and thats plenty. When shes at school she will celebrate with het friends,
Returning a gift is simply rude just because it didnt meet your expectations. Luckily your dd is too young yet to pick up on those manners.
OTOH If I didn't like my grandson's partner (no idea whether they do or not) I would still get the DC a card and present if I could afford it.
I think you've been very rude and silly.
I do think you have overreacted but I can see where you are coming from . In effect this is all the family you have after obviously feeling let down in the past by your own family and now they have also let you down . If I were you I'd ring the great nan and apologise for overreacting ,then I'd move on .
Is it the heat or am I thick? I don't understand how your dd has a 'great' grandmother who is early 60's. Is that even possible? I suppose it is if you all had children at 15 but really??
I think that your issues with your own family may have, understandably, made you more sensitive to this.
Not all extended families send cards or presents or make a big deal of birthdays. It's not a measure of their love/care for your baby. It's more likely that they'll buy presents and come to parties when she's old enough to understand that it's her birthday.
It must have been hard for you to have her first birthday when estranged from your family. Events like that have a way of underlining absence. Given your reasons for cutting contact with your relations, it must bring up a lot of anger and sadness.
I can see why you are upset buy you are being unreasonable and very rude to send back the gift. I would apologise.
Oh good grief. Pls reign in this kind of behaviour as your child grows up. You sound like hard work. I fear that you may likely turn out to be one of those mothers that expect so much from their daughters and they become the subject of mumsnet threads.
You can't go around returning gifts!
My nan sent all but one of my children cards and presents on their birthdays. I was a bit pissed off obviously but she said she forgot so <shrugs>. I let it go. I have too much other stuff going on.
At least it was your DD's first birthday so she's not really going to know any different. Hopefully great-gran will remember next year? If not, you could always visit weeks in advance and drop subtle hints?
How do you know the card from the great grandad was reluctant????
My ds 1st birthday was a big event but that's because me and dp families are very 'party' people. Me and dp invited lots of family and close friends and we cooked lots of food and put on drinks etc.
Some family turned up with presents, some cards and some empty handed... It really didnt matter to us.
Do you generally get on with these people and do you make an effort with them and spend time with them regularly?
21 year old has baby, becomes mother.
21 year old has baby becomes mother, 42 year old becomes grandmother.
21 year old has baby, 42 year old becomes grandmother, 63 year old becomes great grandmother.
One year on for baby's birthday, mother is 22, grandmother is 43, greatgrandmother is 64.
Yes, you're being thick and rude.
It also sounds like your ILs are stirring a bit, why tell you all that about screaming and snatching cards and that she had been shopping for gifts for her grandchild? In their shoes I would have just said that she remembered and bought a card and knitted something without the additional
I think you've totally over reacted and I don't think dp's parents stirring has helped (there was no need to tell you about the manner in which the card and knitted gift was given) If it mattered to you so much you should have invited them all round for tea and cake on her birthday.
YABU and it's probably going to mean your dd's family is even smaller.
Did you make a birthday party and invite them? And they snubbed you? If so you are right to be miffed.
But if you did not make a party, but expected the world to rally around with presents and cards, for a ONE YEAR OLD, yab totally and utterly U. You have behaved badly here, and I think you really ought to apologize.
YANBU I'd be offended by the sending of such a card and gift - sent only under duress - and with such a lack of affection and thought. If they can't be bothered then they really shouldn't bother at all.
I would have done the same as you. But - you do now need to lower your expectations of having a loving involved extended family. Focus on your nearest and dearest.
I think it was wrong of you to send the card and gift back. You only have IL's version of events anyway. What they describe as grabbing, scribbling and snatching might be described by someone else as fetching a card, writing in it and then picking up a gift. The great grandparents might show more interest when she's a little older. Babies aren't as interesting to a lot of people as children that can talk.
Most children won't have great grandparents and their oldest relatives will be their grandparents. Your dd seems to have quite a lot of involved family. Is it really such a big deal if the great grandparents aren't interested?
"I'm not bothered about the cards and gifts which is why I sent them back," Have you been brought up in a cave? How is it possible to come to motherhood and have NO manners?
Yes, YABU, sorry. If you wanted a family get together, you should have organised one, but all this chasing around for cards is a bit silly.
well you have now blown it really with your attitude.. your daughter has many more birthdays to come, with extended family who will remember the way you have behaved over this birthday..
YABU and painful. Fucking hell, I would never "send back" a present and card. How rude and entitled.
So you were actually walking door to door to family, putting them on the spot, asking for cards and presents?
This thread beggars belief, the more I think about it, the more unreasonable it gets!
speechless. really. weird, entitled, bizarre. the only, and I emphasise only, reason for doing this is PND.
I hope you get help and are able to apologise graciously when you are better.
If its not PND, then wow, who made you queen of the world?
Blimey, you sound incredibly rude and entitled.
And imagine being dragged around to visit a baby on its Birthday when that baby will have no clue anyway.
Really you need to calm down or you'll make an enemy of all of them.
I think you were being unreasonable to return the gift
I totally understand why you are upset and yanbu to be so. I have a similar situation so I understand the disappointment when you want your child to have a big, loving family and no matter how hard you bend over backwards, people just don't care. It is even more the case when you come from a disfunctional family and you want different for your own children - but family members don't comply.
We have issues like this on both sides and whilst we have little contact with in-laws now over a major disagreement, we also have issues on my side. I won't cut off contact but I have stopped chasing them to spend time with their grandson and care about him. They're too self absorbed and you know what - they are the ones who miss out because you are young, have your own life and family in front of you. Soon all those people that don't care will depend on you and your son for entertainment and comfort and will you be there for them like they weren't for you? If you are like me, then you won't be and then maybe they will realise what they threw way (or maybe not - ignorant people never see outside their own little bubble). Your kids won't even know any different and will have loving parents, and you will be their example.
Yabu, no one cares about your child's birthday as much as you and in reality very few people care at all.
A lot of fuss about a day very few people care about, including the child.
Yabvvu I am afraid, a gift is that, a gift freely given with no expectation. It was wrong of your dp parents to ask for gifts, that is rude! It's their loss, forget about them!
If you had invited people round for a bit of cake they would have brought cards and presents. You can't expect great grandparents to remember birthdays, buy cards and presents and come round with them spontaneously. It's lovely if they do, but they have done parenting and grandparenting. They are maybe tired, fed up and with health issues that you might know nothing about. You need to adjust your expectations of what is realistic. Good news is I doubt they will be troubling you much in the future.
I know my ds' family love him. and my family love him. Nobody really bothers about presents or cards. Being loving family day to day is good enough. And for older rellies, even more kind.
You really need to get over yourself. Your child might well be the reincarnation of the daiai lama. for everyone else, they are a nice new baby in the family. nothing more, nothing less.
Wait. So you not only demanded gifts and cards, but then threw a strop and sent them back when they were not to your liking. And you still think you're the victim here?
Seriously, how can you even think you're anywhere near reasonable?
I suggest you pull yourself together, apologise to those you have offended, and carry on.
YABU and absurdly rude. You will have no family left at all if you continue to behave like that.
So the episode with the card in the drawer and something knitted (knitted for your DD?) is hearsay?
The great grandad did come round.
You do sound difficult, but your ILs do sound like stirrers too. Are they deliberately trying to wind you up with the story about the great nanny? You sound easily wound up - so maybe they are.
Building families for your child involves a lot of compromise, biting of tongues, and gratitude for their care, however it is expressed.
Obviously this does not apply to abusive stuff, but otherwise....
Why are your DP's parents trying to stir up trouble in the family by describing their parents'/ILs' behaviour in such negative ways?
Are the parents stirrers, or is this OPs projection and assumption.. I am going for the latter.
Yes you're being thick, and your last comment was snidey.
My grandad had my mum when he was 19
My mum had me when she was 22
I had my daughter when I was 23
....great grandad at 64 (although actually he became a great grandad to my niece at 62)
It is easy to blame your own family siding with your ex during the split, but do you think your own behaviour has alienated your own family?
If this is how you behave with your dps family, I dread to think how you have treated your own.... No wonder, if this is how you treat others, that your family has taken a step back.
Sometimes if you gave a party you get more attention and gifts etc. My dcs have nothing to do with their great gran. She's not interested and never asks my mum how they are but it doesn't keep me awake at night. Move on. You will get nowhere by throwing a strop. Accept that you have two sets of caring grandparents and a good brother who is interested. Some of us haven't even got that.
You do not know the ins and outs of your PILs relationship with GGM. Maybe they are horrid to her on a daily basis, so the apparent oddness and coldness of her response was anger and exasperation at their bullying tactics. She is old, quite possibly forgot...maybe they went round and were nasty and bullying to her...
the fact they relished relaying all that to you suggests they rather like "controlling" family situations. I would go round to GGM and apologise and say thank you. who knows what her life is like with such ghastly child and iLs? build your own relationship with her, don't allow others to get in the middle.
Excellent. Thick AND rude. That's a MN jackpot isn't it?
You forgot snidey Malcolm you are a triple threat
OP, now your attitude seems spoilt. I don't know how old you are, but I am guessing rather young, and rather indulged. And a rather princessy attitude to your 'rights'.
You will learn that you earn privileges in this world. By your own behaviour.
You cant just sit on your sofa and get vicious when things don't fall into line with your sense of entitlement.
Babies are ten a bleeding penny. Especially for older members of a family. They made an effort. Try for a bit of dignity and graciousness.
God forbid you continue like this with you dd. Babies become toddlers, become children, and amazingly, won't automatically fall into line with your view of the world.
malcolm my gran had my mum at 18, my mum had me at 17 and then my sister had her son at 22, so my gran was a great-grandmother at 57.
Not all mothers are 35 and in possession of a naice 4x4 and house in Surrey.
You've got a few more numbers left on the bingo card yet Malcolm
well, I am almost fifty, and I can tell you right now I frequently forget peoples birthdays...even PFBs.
Shoot me now.
But I don't get your point. Only 35 year old mothers with naice houses in surry and a 4X4 are capable of good manners and emotional maturity?
My MIL became a GG at 63. she had her son at 18, he had his son at 24 and his son had a daughter when he was 21.
but GGparents did have a 4 x 4 and live in Surrey
Fuck. Really? All mothers don't have a 4 x 4? Or a Surrey mansion? Well WTF are they doing having babies then?
And you're calling ME thick?
You are unbelievably rude. I'd imagine theyll be quite happy if you cut contact. Possibly they dont drop over too often because of you if you're actually like your post suggests.
I'd suggest you try and develop a sense of proportion tbh.
Go worra - tenner for every missing insult - £50 for a full house!
I realised quite recently that I had failed my DS because we did not live in Surrey. Or have a 4x4. I suggested to him that we went for adoption. He patted me on the head and said few people wanted a smelly 13 year old, and I was kinda stuck with him.
You are being very unreasonable, very PFB, and extremely entitled. If you expect gifts and cards on time for a first birthday (particularly from extended not immediate family) then you should have invited them over for party food and marked the occasion yourself. Your dp's parents sound awful too. What kind of adults would describe the reluctance of a gift they were passing on anyway? Totally weird.
Just to answer a few qns:
The great grandad is MIL's dad
The great grandma is FIL's mum.
Great grandma had FIL at 18, FIL and MIL had dp at 20, dp and I had dd last year at 21, she's definitely in her 60s.
I do realise that it seems selfish and rude of me to send the present back, but I didn't throw a fit and throw it at them! I just politely said to MIL and FIL 'could you take it with you as I don't want to feel like it's a forced effort'. MIL and FIL do know her better and have told me that she has been very wrapped up with one of her grand children who was born a few months after our daughter.
I think I'm quite sensitive as none of my family have bothered with me since I broke up from my ex a few years ago and even now I have a daughter, they still don't want to know but I'm not too worried about that as they live miles away so I'm of the feeling 'out of sight, out of mind' with regards to my family. I'm just upset that dp's family are all within a 10min driving radius and just don't seem to want to know. I'm unsure why as I've always got on with them and I do like them, just once the novelty wore off of dd being a little baby it's like she no longer exists!
You can't force your baby or yourself onto people, that's just not how it works.
People should visit you because they want to visit you. If they don't, then perhaps it's time to ask yourself why?
Just because you didn't throw the gift at them, does not make you sound any less hissy and petulant.
Your PILS sound like total shit stirrers, especially to tell you she's been wrapped up in her other grand child.
You've lost one side of your family, don't lose the other by behaving in this way.
But if anything your a tions will dive them away more! If you want people to be close with dd then treat them nicer
So you were only a teen when your own parents sided with your ex? Maybe you are wanting in laws to fill the gaps left by your own family. Do you think now you have a child it's time to build bridges? That way your dd will have more people in her life and you won't need to appear to be so demanding.
I think you need to apologise to GGM because you have behaved really badly otherwise you may need to consider that another relative not in your dd's life.
Babybearsmummy, they can still be involved and interested in your dd, just not necessarily remembering her 1st birthday or showing a lot of interest in her when she's a baby. Plus, these are her great grandparents who aren't showing much interest. She has grandparents who appear to be involved and interested so is it such a big deal if the great grandparents are a bit grumpy and disinterested?
Jan (I must be a complete failure as I can't drive, have never lived in Surrey and didn't have any great grandparents still living when I was born).
The thing is with babies, is that they are pretty boring to everyone else. Its only thier parents that find them fascinating and worthy of every accolade possible. What counts is their ongoing relationship with family.
I adore my niece and nephew. Certainly didn't adore them when they were newborn, just thought they were cute and squishy!
But now I know them as little people, I love them for themselves. I can only build that relationship with them because my sister has always welcomed interest in them, and been prepared to allow our relationships to develop over the years.
You need to take a long term view of this.
And just for a light-hearted pedantry moment, Jan, it is uninterested, rather that disinterested. Uninterested means you well, aren't interested, disinterested means you are impartial.
when ds was born, he had three GGPs. We made the effort, took ds to see the maternal GPs, and it was lovely. Can't actually remember if they did cards or not. I think not. Wasn't the point. They lived on the other side of london and we would schlep on public transport on a Sunday to visit. it was lovely. Sadly they both died several years ago.
Other GGP lived, with paternal GPs, over the pond. We took ds to visit when he was six months. Lovely. Though hard for us. Ex-P has taken ds for several summers to visit them. GGP over the pond is still alive, though with alzheimers. I am always grateful that DS has had that opportunity to have relationships with them. My own parents are not in our lives, very sadly, and I feel so grateful ExPs parents and family have been as involved in DSs life as they can. And love him for himself.
how do you know great grandad `reluctantly` sent a card or if great nan `snatched`up a card and `shoved` something in a bag, seems like you are using these words to add drama , cutting contact is a bit extreme.
MadameDefarge, I disagree. Disinterested has 2 meanings. I've looked it up in OED and Collins and they both give 2 meanings, that is, impartial or just having no interest in something.
I can understand why you are upset.
How about next year, inviting them all round for a birthday tea party for dd? If they come they will bring a card etc. If they can't be arsed then just don't bother about them. It's not worth you getting upset.
well, yes, but the essence of the meaning is to have no interest either way. Interest in this sense means some kind of investment.
'Wrapped up in her grandchild' generally people will be more 'wrapped up' in their grandchildren than their great grandchildren though. I'm sure your ILs won't be as doting when your child has a baby as they are now with your dd.
You need to stand back, take a long hard look at the situation and realise you are putting your issues onto your in laws. You can't expect them to dote on your dd more because you have no contact with your family. They can't be there to make up for your families lack of interest.
If you were in touch with your family I guarantee this wouldn't have bothered you one tiny bit,
You all sound a bit highly strung.
Your DP parents may have been shit stirring playing up the reaction of GGP. It all sounds very overdramatic and returning the gift was rude.
Party next year sounds like a plan and if they don't come they are missing out.
I agree with booster, however I think if you left contact until an invitation next year, you are on a hiding to nothing. Who would want to turn up to a party under those circumstances
Be the bigger person, if that's how you view it. Swallow your pride and make friends again. Put it down to a misunderstanding and get on with your life.
Yabu and pfb
She's one. She doesn't know or care.
Your little one has a mum and dad, uncle and grandparents who love her. That's more than most. Value what you have.
Oooohhh dear - cutting contact over non appearance of birthday cards for a one year old who can't even read them....
Someone needs or two in
Sorry - someone needs a lesson or two...
So, OP, what do you reckon now?
OP, you nerd to grow a thicker skin before the arrival of your next child because, trust me, they get nothing like the fuss enjoyed by the first. When I had dd 1 I gas to dispose of bags of toys and clothes we couldnt possibly use up. When I adopted dd 2 I dont think se got one card. Fortunately I was by then too knackered to care.
Incidentally my nan was a mum at 17, a gran at 38 and a Gg at 57. I have 20 aunts and uncles on my maternal side - we rain kids in my family. Which night be why they are sometimes ignored.
YABU, PFB and grabby. You can't try to force people to do the present/card giving and then complain when they don't do it with good grace.
You are being ridiculous.
It's not your DPs family's fault that your family aren't involved, and I find it strange that you think people should be queuing up to spend time with your baby. Delightful as I'm sure she is, she just won't hold the same attraction for other people that she does for you.
Even if she did, grandparents and great grandparents can't do anything right as if they show too much interest they become demanding and controlling, and if they don't show enough interest then people like you still have a problem with it.
Your dd has loving parents, grandparents and an uncle. She is a lucky little girl.
You should apologise for sending the present back, and ask your DPs parents why they told you about the way it was given. That's just unnecessary shit stirring.
I got as far as the bit where your dh went round making sure that all sorts of other relations sent birthday cards to his daughter. And then my brain switched off. Grabby and rude. The rest wasn't much better though.
It doesn't matter what has gone in your past: you have a duty to to your baby to help her grow into the kind of person that people will want to be with because she is charming and caring and easygoing. You can only do this by modelling such behaviour and showing her what good manners look like. You have a duty to teach her to be resilient and gracious in the face of disappointment- because nobody likes somebody who can't muster a modicum of graciousness. And if you don't, then that will let her down far more than anyone not sending her a birthday card.
The birthday cards will all be binned long before her 18th birthday. The manners you showed her and the attitude you taught her will be with her for life.
So she was remembered by her parents, uncle & GPs?
That sounds fine!
Don't push GGPs away because they forgot her bday!
I forgot to give my own son a birthday card last year. I don't even remember whether I remembered to give him one the year before
I did remember his birthday this year, but he was away on holiday, so he missed out on a card again. Fortunately he realises that I have a memory like a sieve and am totally disorganised, but loves me anyway (or is good at faking it).
Total at the mere idea of touring all relatives to ensure they sent cards and presents! No wonder people weren't very gracious about it. A gift extorted is not a gift at all. A levy perhaps? A baby tax?
OP, do you send birthday cards to these people on their birthdays? Do you give cards/presents to other children in the extended family?
I think you have over reacted but then I know it must also hurt.
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