Why should I have to sort his effing father's day/ birthday stuff out?

(53 Posts)
RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 19:04:10

Split with ExH a couple of months ago, he has basically told me that we will still be buying/helping DD to make our birthday presents and mothers/fathers day presents.

I don't want to. When we were together, I always made loads of effort to come up with gift ideas that he would like and want to hold on to.
He always made half arsed efforts on the morning of the day and I'd end up with a straw sellotaped to a bog roll*. It's not really a tradition I want to keep up now that I don't have to.

I'd much rather on mothers day/ my birthday spend it together with DD and help her make me something or maybe asking my mum/sister/close friend to help her and I don't really want to sit there and help DD make him something meaningful when I know he won't bother reciprocating the time and effort I would put in.

I'm not exactly his biggest fan atm anyway, he was already shacked up with a new girlfriend a few weeks into the breakdown of our marriage and he's been putting his social life ahead of DD, planning nights out when he's supposed to have her overnight and turning up 3 hours late, hungover to pick her up. I'll have to tell him, I can't really send her round on his birthday without warning him that she won't have anything for him can I? Any tips on broaching the subject whilst avoiding murdering him confrontation?

*I know it's the thought that counts and of course I appreciate anything from DD.

corlan Tue 14-May-13 19:17:17

Send him a turd in a box (but put a really nice bow on it).

exoticfruits Tue 14-May-13 19:21:05

Just smile, nod and ignore.

PurplePidjin Tue 14-May-13 19:22:42

Fold piece of paper in half. Let dd loose with a crayon. Pack at the bottom of her bag under her shoes and books.

Or, buy the cheapest card you can and write just her name in it.

GreenLeafTea Tue 14-May-13 19:27:01

Surely the plus side to sitting up is not putting up with his bullshit any longer.

Lay ground rules for visits.

I love the folded piece of paper and a crayon idea. Sounds perfect!

GreenLeafTea Tue 14-May-13 19:27:39

Sitting up = splitting up

RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 19:36:06

<searches for really nice bow>

Green you would think so wouldn't you! He's still playing his mind games. Should I just not bother telling him then? I'm not going to do a half arsed card effort, because I don't really want anything off him on mother's day/ my birthday.

It's quite hard to tell when I'm being reasonable and when I'm not, I wasn't sure if I was being mean not wanting to sort anything out. Guessing not though, from the responses!

chickensaladagain Tue 14-May-13 19:41:12

I know it grates but I've continued to help the dcs get their dad a present -either homemade or bought

It's important to me that they learn to give

Moral high ground and all that

RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 19:54:20

She would be giving, he'd ask his mum or something to do it after bitching about what a cow I am for not doing it

RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 19:54:39

woops, someone

PurplePidjin Tue 14-May-13 20:12:16

I'm not going to do a half arsed card effort, because I don't really want anything off him on mother's day/ my birthday.

It's not from him. It's from your dd, with hopefully his support as she's too young.

Sucks though that he gets to go first sad can you ask a friend to take her shopping?

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 14-May-13 20:13:25

See now I'm the opposite. I think its my 'job' for want of a better word to buy ex presents from the dc. He doesn't.
So ay Christmas I bought a (cheap) picture frame, dc painted it, and I put their school photos in it. They also chose a couple of cheap things for him.
I handed it over to him, and he said "well you shouldn't have bothered, my new gf bought me something from them"
Obviously he didn't get me anything. I don't have a bf, as Im too busy looking after our dc to have a relationship, which means I miss out.

I'm aware I sound really grabby, when I'm not actually. But sometimes a bit of consideration wouldn't go amiss!

freemanbatch Tue 14-May-13 20:14:13

this is one of those things that you have to follow your daughter's lead on I think. If she asks for your help to do something then help her do what she wants to do but if she doesn't mention it leave it.

I spent ages making a cake for ex's birthday and helping the kids make him breakfast for when he picked them up on his birthday because the kids asked me too but I never brought the subject up and my auntie helped the kids do things for me on my birthday because I didn't want him involved.

SofiaAmes Tue 14-May-13 20:16:43

Doesn't it make your dd feel good to be able to give her parents presents? I know that my dc's (particularly my dd) love giving presents and I make a point of helping them do that even for people I would prefer not to give presents to or make an effort for.

RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 20:20:33

Yes, if she asked for help getting/making him something of course I would. But that would be for her sake, not his. She's only 2 so just wouldn't be aware unless someone else brought it up.

I know what you mean YoniNickname but there wouldn't be any consideration if he helped her make something, he'd still do a really half arsed effort.

If I helped her make something for me I'd get to help her make something she was proud of AND get to keep and display it, rather than let him get to keep the beautiful thing she's put a lot of time and effort into and me end up with the last minute unrecognisable object he'd shoved together last minute. Best of both worlds, plus I suspect it would be much more enjoyable for both of us if I actually wanted to be involved in the makin process.

RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 20:21:56

Sofia I think he would ask someone else to help her make something if i wasn't going to, so she'd still be able to give him something.

Tommy Tue 14-May-13 20:22:56

how old is your DD? If she is too young for nursery or school, she won't know and by the time she's old enough to know, they will do something at school anyway

RiotsNotDiets Tue 14-May-13 20:25:44

Tommy she's 2 and goes to nursery 2 days a week

HerrenaHarridan Tue 14-May-13 21:59:34

Tell the nursery it's her dads birthday, I bet they send her home with a card.

I with you op, my mum thinks I should be sending "pictures" my dd has made to contact with her dad. I do not, she is 16 mo they would be from me not her.

I will not 'help' her make cards for his birthday/ Father's Day.
I do not want him to 'help' her make things for me

At least until she is old enough to ask, then I will, with a fucking smile as everything!

I do 'help' her make cards for her granny/grandad other assorted dads side relatives. I see this as my duty to help her foster ongoing relations with her family and they didn't smash my ficking house up!

PurpleThing Tue 14-May-13 22:24:19

My ex is also a twat and my ds is also two. So lots in common.

Ds wouldn't ask for help as he is not aware of special events but he did LOVE wrapping and giving his dad presents/card he had made. He was also very pleased to give me supermarket tat for mothers day that he got with ex (first mothers day thing I've ever had!)

I feel it is important as ds needs to learn about giving and being thoughtful to other people. Plus he is proud to give something he made. And it shows him that I am supporting his relationship with his dad as long as he wants one despite my own feelings about the man.

I felt that was right for us but that is not to say everyone else should be doing the same.

SofiaAmes Tue 14-May-13 22:39:22

If she's only 2, then I wouldn't waste my time helping her buy/make something. She won't know the difference or remember that she didn't give him a present. My dc's are 10 and 12.....

GreenLeafTea Wed 15-May-13 07:23:33

If you don't want to do it, then don't do it. It's your choice. He doesn't have the right to tell you what to do.

Enjoy making something really nice on your birthday.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 15-May-13 07:26:00

Oh, goodness, just don't do it. She's two! She doesn't know or care. And you don't care what he thinks, right?

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 15-May-13 07:40:59

Now I an one who does help though my DD is 9 so much aware of it all. Partly to be the bigger person and partly so when she is older she will look back and realise I put my feelings aside to help her whilst he just continued in his selfish way. We are getting a card and making fudge for Father's Day.

RooneyMara Wed 15-May-13 07:45:14

Don't give it a second thought until she is old enough to mention that she WANTS to.

my children are 9, 5 and tiny and none of them bothers with my birthday or mothers day. I am FINE with that. I just don't mention it. I'm a grown up and I think presents for grown ups from children have to be either wanted to be given, by the child, I mean the child initiates it, or else just not bothered with.

I think birthdays are mainly for children tbh, till they are old enough to say, Ooh it's my mum's birthday I'll send her something because I want to.

I never tell anyone else it's my birthday either.
So you could say something like that to him, once you have figured out where you stand on the whole subject.

The only times I'veencouraged ds1 to get something for his father, he left it here and didn't remember to take it home for a few months till I forced it on him...same with letters/cards. So we don't bother any more.

I know that ex has a family who will get pissed with him and that's what he cares about...

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 15-May-13 08:28:41

Ah see, now I know she's only 2, I'm not sure I'd bother either. Like others have said, unless she asks then she obviously doesnt know/care.

That's the difference, in my situation, dc are 8 and 6, they asked ex if they could go and buy me something, his response was 'why should I, its not my job to buy her presents' ds1 was really upset sad

lostdad Wed 15-May-13 09:00:42

Mothers/Fathers day is for the child and not the parent. My son gets very excited choosing a gift and making a card for his Mum and it's something I encourage. It makes him happy.

Of course if he wants to buy her a mahoosive box of chocolates to make her arse even fatter I'll happy pay for it.

GreenLeafTea Wed 15-May-13 09:04:32

On my first Mother's Day my husband made no effort at all so I took the baby out for afternoon tea and it was lovely.

There is no reason her ex can't organize something for himself.

RooneyMara Wed 15-May-13 09:05:15

Oh that's lovely, Lostdad...hmm

keelyboo Wed 15-May-13 10:30:52

I buy cards, he made it clear its my bf's job to help girls get my presents and didnt even get a card for them to sign, mothers day he had said nothing and did nothing

its his birthday tomorrow ive done cards, as his gf "forgot" but i know how much it means to them to do something so i did it, he said shes buyin presents as much as it would grate when he cant be bothered id buy presents for them to give if needed as its them whos important here not me and they love him and want to spoil him for his birthday. until such times as they can buy themselves i do it or his gf i just find out well in advance

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 10:32:37

Thanks for the replies. I've decided not to get him anything. If she wants help when she's older then I will, but I'm not doing it for his sake.
Greenleaf that's what I need to keep reminding myself, he can't tell me what to do.

starlight1234 Wed 15-May-13 14:52:54

I did with FIL when son was this age scribble a card so it looked like son as he didn't see my son but his wife did and he shared my birthday that way no hassle caused but no emotions given..i couldn't find a granddad card that didn't say how wonderful you were...

As he got older I did involve him..last year son saw Dad he said a small bar of chocolate as gift ..nice..let my son eay it

PleaseLetsGoToSleep Wed 15-May-13 21:21:14

I got a folded piece of paper with 'happy mothers day' scribbled on it from my exp, so he can shove fathers day up his backside if he thinks he's getting anything from me (ds is 18 months). Worst of it is that he some how thinks this was something nice, he recalled in a conversation how 'they'd done something nice for mummy that wkend'............I mean wtaf!
Good for you op, don't send him anything.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 15-May-13 22:21:03

surely the dc's can make something for their dad's birthday... how bout you go the extra millimeter mile and make a desk tidy with 3 loo rolls and straw.

personally, it would depend on the attitude of ex/what the children want/state of finances.

Smudging Wed 15-May-13 22:32:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 15-May-13 22:38:58

I'd be happy with a scribbled on piece of paper (or an older child equivalent) but ex wouldnt even let them do that!

Luckily as a card maker myself, I let them loose on my stash, but shouldn't have to imo!

Thingymajigs Wed 15-May-13 22:48:08

My exH only sees the children 4-5 times a year and two of those occasions always lands on his birthday and fathers day. I get something for the boys to give to their dad for both events but I've never received anything in return. My mum always bought mothers day gifts for the boys to give to me before I met DP. I think its important for the kids to send gifts even if I'm seething inside.

SodaStreamy Wed 15-May-13 22:57:26

How much contact does your EX have with your daughter? Is it 50/50 or do you have the larger amount of time with her?

perhaps he still wants a fathers day present, just let her do it herself and don't help.

Reading your posts it sounds like you are in a position where you understandable still hate him.

If she is in playgroup/nursery they will help the children make 'presents' for fathers day' ..just give him that

It does get easier with time, really it does

HerrenaHarridan Wed 15-May-13 23:14:28

I have followed my own good advice and requested a support worker involved with us do arseface a card with dd for Father's Day.

(Why isn't there a pat on the back emoticon?)

It won't have my writing, influence, help etc I will carry to their contact session and that's it. He will scrumple it up in his pocket and lose it like he did with all the fantastic handmade card I used to make him.

Op you are right don't bother, I love you nn by the way smile

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 23:21:56

I don't hate him, we are civil, I just think he's a knob and I don't appreciate him telling me what to do.

To be honest, I think if I knew the level of effort and thought I put into all his gifts from her would be reciprocated I wouldn't have such an issue with it. But I always helped DD make him things that you would actually want to keep and display and that she was proud to give him, but he'd leave it till the very last minute and then just put in the bare minimum and hand me something that breaks the second you breathe near it and DD has no interest in because even she had no idea what it was supposed to be.

Of course in that situation I always made a big deal of thanking DD and saying how lovely it was, but it's hurtful when your partner doesn't put the same effort into making you happy as you do for them and it's not something I want to have to be reminded of.

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Wed 15-May-13 23:28:26

Just smile and nod, then totally ignore. He has no say in what you do/don't do anymore.

PleaseLetsGoToSleep Thu 16-May-13 10:53:36

It was exp who wrote on the piece of paper I got btw, not my 18 mth Old

comingintomyown Thu 16-May-13 14:09:59

At 2yo I wouldnt bother apart from the fact it sets a precedent and as she gets older she will enjoy giving him something

CremeEggThief Thu 16-May-13 15:29:31

You don't have to. It's not your responsibility any more.

ladydeedy Thu 16-May-13 22:14:44

Gosh I am shocked by some of the replies on here. It is not about you, it is about your child and trying to facilitate a good relationship with their other parent. You are setting yourself and your child up for a difficult time ahead if you can't get over something as small as this when you and ex have only been split up a short time. You will have many more, bigger issues to deal with over time.

ZenGardener Sat 18-May-13 01:42:07

I disagree. Her ex obviously feels he can tell her what to do. If he had suggested doing birthday presents for each other or asked what the OP though about it then fair enough but he didn't. He told her! That needs nipping in the bud.

OP just text him and say you've decided as you've split up that its inappropriate to buy gifts for each other and that you're sure either his mother or girl friend would be able to handle it instead.

Don't let him play mind games on you. You've done nothing wrong!

emstats Sat 18-May-13 02:14:00

When I split with DD's dad we made him gifts for fathers day, and a cake for his birthday... But that was purely for the girls benefit! (And it made his new gf squirm because my mum took down the cake with the girls and they all then sat there with a piece of cake and a cuppa!!! Lol added bonus!) Anyway, my point is I did it for the girls, I never wanted them to to think 'I want to get daddy something for his birthday but I can't ask mum for help, she'll get mad/sad/bad'.
I think you should do it, and do it well, cos actually your only playing the part for your child.

2anddone Sat 18-May-13 18:49:15

This will be first year without h living here. I will do the same this year as every year
Its my birthday 12 days later if he doesn't sort anything from dc I wont do it again but until then I will continue

DotCottonsHairnet Sat 18-May-13 19:53:53

Mine did nothing towards Mothers Day - teens did it themselves for the first time ever and actually it was the best day - they really thought about it. Did the same with my birthday a while later too.

For Fathers Day I will leave it to them - same with his birthday.

Btw his effort levels for birthdays etc have always been poor - boys know its always been down to me.

SnoopyLovesYou Sun 19-May-13 11:51:07

PurplePidgin- can we hang out? ;-)

SnoopyLovesYou Sun 19-May-13 11:53:50

I need a yoninickname-

I am shocked at your ex saying that. 'You shouldn't have bothered etc.' Shockingly hurtful behaviour!!!!!

IneedAyoniNickname Sun 19-May-13 18:25:35

Snoopy its one of the any reasons he's an ex! But yea it was hurtful and I was shocked that his new gf (who he'd been with about 2 months at the point) sees it as her job!

sparkleshine Mon 20-May-13 22:59:26

I think it depends on the relationship you have which obviously isn't a very good one and there is still bitterness between you.

Me and EXP dont get along all that well and he still pisses me off most of the time but we agreed when we split 2 yrs ago that we would both buy each other presents from DS. He's only 3 but he's always scribbled in the card and helped wrap up the presents. We dont spend a lot of money £15 ish. Obviously when DS is older he can do what he wants but at the moment this works for us despite that he has a fiancé now and I'm single.

Also at nursery they do a card for us and for other members of our families for celebrations. Don't know if that is something they would do at yours.

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