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Should we send a birthday present

(12 Posts)
Batwoman16 Wed 26-Oct-16 17:55:09

So this could be a long story! Basically because of various issues we; DH, myself and our DD1 and DD2 have not spoken to my SIL for over 4 years. When I say we, it was actually her that stopped talking to us just after our DD2 turned 1. Contact completely stopped and our children have not seen each other since this point. We have during this time sent cards to her 3 children for birthdays/Christmas etc and our children have never received anything in return. When her DD1 turned 16 (I thought it was appropriate to wait until she was this age) I wrote to her saying how much we missed her, how that none of this situation was her fault and that we wished her all the best in her gcse's etc and this resulted in a visit between us all (suggested and arranged by me - transport for SIL's DD1 facilitated by SIL and DH's mother). This apparently went well, however we have had no contact since and no recognition of our children has taken place. We took this as sad but a sign that we should move on and have not attempted to arrange anything further either although we did send a birthday card. So, in two weeks it is our niece's 18th birthday and I want to know if we should send her something or not? We were so close to this child from birth until she was 13/14 and it breaks my heart that things are the way they are. My DH probably hasn't even remembered it's her birthday and I know that anything we do will not be acknowledged - we also don't actually have her address as they moved without telling us so we will need to send it to her grandmothers. Will I be making things worse for her? Does she even care as an 18 year old?! Should I get her something or is it time to let things go?

Pallisers Wed 26-Oct-16 18:00:03

I'd get her something. You don't have a fight with the 18 year old, she is open to seeing you, and you were close to her until she was 13/14. Send something with a nice note to her grandmothers and tell her you'd love to hear from her some time - give your cell and email and then leave it.

Hotwaterbottle1 Wed 26-Oct-16 18:07:16

I agree with previous poster

228agreenend Wed 26-Oct-16 18:12:32

I would send a card as well, enclosed with a letter as previous poster has suggested.

Present could be awkward - do you send a token present or something more substantial?

Batwoman16 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:00:41

So we hand delivered a present and a card to her grandmothers and were assured she'd get in on her birthday - it's been two weeks now and hasn't been acknowledged. I'm loathed to ask her grandmother if she did actually give it to her as they are very hurtful and untruthful so this whole lack of acknowledgement could potentially be for that reason. I half expect it to be returned when said grandmother next sees our children. Incredibly sad and once again we are left feeling the idiots but glad we did the 'right thing' and acknowledged her special day.

wannabestressfree Sat 12-Nov-16 08:05:22

Can't you text/ Facebook the niece as she is 18 and ask....

GeorgeTheThird Sat 12-Nov-16 08:07:45

You did do the right thing. Definitely.

Sassypants82 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:12:00

It was the right thing to do. When she can get a bit of perspective of her own, I think she'll get in touch. Right now, at the tender age of 18, she may feel 'disloyal' to her mother if she contacts you. Hope it works out but until then, you've really done all you can. Sorry OP. You sound lovely.

Cricrichan Sat 12-Nov-16 08:25:36

What sassypants said.

Batwoman16 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:23:05

Thank you. We don't have her number or her Facebook because of issues with her mother in the past and I understand we might have put her if a difficult position (I dread to think what she's been told about us). I can just about remember being 18 so I do get that thanking us might not be a priority for her right now. I guess I'm mostly disappointed at the other adults that are around her haven't prompting her maybe/ or even her grandmother for not letting us know she'd given it to her. It's nothing new - I'm just sad and I know my husband is heartbroken. I suppose we have always lived in hope that things would change, be different the next time - I guess it feels like it's really the end of everything we ever had with her and them .... which is never the outcome we wanted. Thank you all though - I'm glad she (hopefully) will have that gift from us and will be able to know we thought of her.

RedMapleLeaf Sat 12-Nov-16 09:30:39

Why do you feel like an idiot?

I'm also wondering why you stopped contact with your niece in terms of cards in the first place.

Diamogs Sat 12-Nov-16 09:36:08

You did the right thing. You've kept the channels if communication open- at 18 she has her own life to lead but knows that she can make contact if she wants to.

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