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DH's family :(

(29 Posts)
DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 01:12:15

So DH is one of several brothers. DD (age 4) is the eldest of 6 cousins on that side (none on my side). The others all live at the other end of the country. To say they don't bother with us is an understatement. We go up there whenever we can (5-6 times a year on average) but nobody makes any effort to contact or visit us. That's usually not much of a problem. DH was up there the whole of last week. Not one of the sets of aunts, uncles and cousins has sent a card or gift for DD, or even text or messaged to wish her a happy xmas.

Luckily she isn't really bothered with xmas, so hadn't asked, but I think she may in future. Facebook is full of pics of the present mountains her aunts and uncles have bought for their kids. I'm swaying between gutted for DD and absolutely furious. I don't feel inclined to do anything for any of them in future. I feel like screaming.

WWYD in this situation?

AcrossthePond55 Fri 26-Dec-14 02:59:18

Are these 'present mountains' gifts that the aunts & uncles have bought for their own children only or that they've bought their nieces and nephews? If they buy for their nieces and nephews but not your DD, that's a real shame. But I don't think there's much you can do. You certainly can't contact DH's family and tell them to buy your DD gifts. But I certainly wouldn't buy for their children in the future (if you have been, that is). Do you think it would be different if you and your family lived nearby?

AcrossthePond55 Fri 26-Dec-14 03:00:22

Forgot; What does your DH say?

MsAspreyDiamonds Fri 26-Dec-14 05:11:04

Take the next year as an opportunity to change things that suit your family better. Reduce the visits from six to four times a year and then reduce it further the following year. You are still seeing them but not as much iyswim and you will have freed up more time for your family.

Again downgrade the time & rffort that you invest in your inlaws. So if you send gifts & cards twice yearly, send it just once for a birthday or Christmas only. Buy for thr children only and dont spend a fortune, save duplicate gifts for this purpose. It sounds mean but it will save you emotional stress and will allow you to develop some distance. If you didnt spend any money on their kids so it shouldnt matter if they dont reciprocate.

MsAspreyDiamonds Fri 26-Dec-14 05:16:24

Postrd too early..change your fb settings and hide your posts from your inlaws. If you dont see the posts then it shouldnt bother you & dont believe eberything that you see either. The mountain that you saw could have been a combination of gifts from lots of different people.

rollonthesummer Fri 26-Dec-14 11:20:36

Mountains of gifts? Could they be to their own children?

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 11:38:58

Yes, the mountains of gifts were to their own children. What's your point? They obviously had chance to go shopping, and the cash to do it. They didn't even need to think about postage costs as DH had planned to be up there last week months previous.

I have an agreement with one aunt and uncle that we don't buy for each other's kids at xmas. That was after 2 xmases of DD getting nothing despite her aunt being with her granny while she was buying gifts. So again no issues with money or opportunity, just deliberately leaving DD out. When I told DH he called them on it and the deal was struck. DD is still without her birthday present from them 3 months after the event.

I sent gifts for the other children. I won't get a thank you - I never do. I can live with that (although I find it incredibly rude) but DD constantly being forgotten/deliberately missed out just because we don't live up there us something I can't forgive.

DH will make excuses for them but it doesn't wash with me.

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 11:40:40

I can quote easily stop making any effort whatsoever, but it's important to DH that DD has a relationship with her aunts, uncles and cousins.

(The gifts shown on FB were just what they'd bought "from Santa", not other gifts.)

Bowlersarm Fri 26-Dec-14 11:41:25

I don't understand your problem with them buying presents for their own children.

Just accept next year they buy for their own children, and don't worry about sending presents up to them.

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 12:02:58

I've no issue with it at all. But it shows that they had the money and time/opportunity to buy gifts. They've not been stuck underground somewhere and unable to buy, so to me that means they either didn't want to or they forgot. That's pretty hurtful. I'm betting the cousins on the other sides of their families weren't forgotten.

WipsGlitter Fri 26-Dec-14 12:07:40

I think you need to accept the distance means they don't know you or your child and don't feel close enough to you to buy you presents. I'd also stop sending them presents.

HoHonutty Fri 26-Dec-14 12:10:18

Just stop buying for their kids then. Problem solved.

Bowlersarm Fri 26-Dec-14 12:11:49

No well, clearly they don't want to or they would have.

Some families buy for all family members, some don't. Your DH's family belong to the latter.

I don't get the issue personally, but if it's making you this cross then why don't you contact them and suggest swapping presents for all the children in the family next Christmas. Then you will have it in black and white about their wishes/expectations, and can adapt accordingly whether you still buy for them, or not.

SunnaClausIsComingToTown Fri 26-Dec-14 12:13:16

Maybe they don't like you. You sound very mercenary and rude.

Bowlersarm Fri 26-Dec-14 12:17:02

Did her grandparents send her a present?

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 13:00:42

I'm far from mercenary. It's possinly quite hard to explain it in writing. I'm more than happy not to receive gifts from them, but it would be nice to know that in advance! Her first xmas they bought her gifts, her 2nd all but 1 did, 3rd all but 1 did, 4th all but 2 did (1 agreed, 1 went through a relationship breakup but said in advance they wouldn't be able to give anything) and now 5th nobody has (except her grandparents). I'd just like to know why.

We already have an agreement not to buy for adults. We don't go overboard buying for DD either. It's not about presents or cost. It's about all the effort being one way.

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 13:01:12

Yes, her grandparents sent a small gift which was lovely. It may even fit her in a year or 2!

AcrossthePond55 Fri 26-Dec-14 13:27:57

So, if I'm understanding you right these aunts and uncles apparently don't buy gifts for each other's children but you expect them to buy for yours?And the upshot of your DH taking one of his siblings to task for not buying your child a present was that there would be no presents exchanged in future. Doesn't that tell you something? That they would prefer it that way?

Keeping a close relationship with with relatives has nothing to do with buying gifts. I was, and still am, extremely close to my relatives and we don't exchange gifts. But we do visit and exchange emails.

I'm still a little fhmm at actually calling someone out on not buying a gift. I would just quietly take them off my list, figuring that they were trying to tell me to do just that.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 26-Dec-14 13:31:47

xpost. So there has been some gifting in the past, but it looks like they're tapering off. Maybe next autumn you can just contact them and have a conversation about it. I wouldn't do it now. And I wouldn't ask 'why'. I'd simply ask if they wanted to exchange gifts for the children or not.

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 14:00:37

No. In the past gifts have been given to all of the cousins except DD by one family. DH mentioned it to his brother, who said that his wife must have "forgotten or been too busy". But she'd bought gifts for the other cousins. That was sorted out by asking in the autumn what they'd prefer to do, which was no presents between us and them, which was agreed and stuck to. They still buy for the others though.

I'm not entirely sure who has been bought for by whom this year - it's not exactly something I can ask - but the other aunts and uncles have said nothing to us about not doing presents, hence I thought we were buying for them. Does that make it a bit clearer?

AcrossthePond55 Fri 26-Dec-14 15:26:41

Perhaps the rest heard that DH's brother and wife weren't buying (as agreed upon) and thought 'well, if he isn't then we won't either'? Granted, it should have been communicated, but sometimes that sort of thing just happens.

Probably best just to move on from it & pick it up next Autumn unless an earlier occasion to discuss it pops up.

We didn't exchange gifts with every cousin, but then there were 15 of us. That would have been a bit spendy! We did 'draw names' at Thanksgiving and bought for the cousin we selected so we each had a gift at our family Christmas party.

Happy36 Fri 26-Dec-14 15:29:24

It's very upsetting. Personally I would stop sending gifts for the other children but keep visiting when you can as it is nice for your daughter to know her cousins, even if her aunts and uncles behave a bit rudely sometimes.

DisappointedOne Fri 26-Dec-14 15:43:40

Thank you. It is upsetting. Luckily we don't make a big deal of xmas so DD hasn't asked any awkward questions! This time, at least!

Not sure how I feel about the trips, to be honest. Each one costs us upwards of £300, which is be more inclined to spend if they skyped occasionally - you know, do the things that keep DD's relationship with her cousins alive.

Pico2 Fri 26-Dec-14 16:08:07

Part of your problem seems to be that your DH has brothers and you are apparently relying on their wives to buy the presents. I don't see why this is "wifework", but I have found my own brother to be a bit flaky on this (and he only has 1 DN and a cupboard full of spare presents that only need wrapping).

I resolved that by saying "are we doing presents for the DC at Christmas" in about October.

The other issue is that being one of several brothers, the number of nieces and nephews will end up being massive and buying for all of them may end up being a tedious chore.

TheRealMaryMillington Fri 26-Dec-14 16:11:05

Isn't this more to do with DH's relationship with his siblings than anything else?

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