Advanced search

Do I buy best friend's children's presents again?

(26 Posts)
Fuddymunster Thu 28-Jul-11 08:59:33

I feel awful asking this because I know that you shouldn't buy someone a present because you'll receive one back but ...

My best friend has 4 children and I have 2. We live 50 miles apart but speak on the phone everyday. She is almost like the sister I never had, we talk to each other about absolutely anything. We have so much in common. She is godmother to my youngest and I'm godmother to her youngest.

We've always made the effort for the children to go to each other's birthday parties, although not quite so much the last couple of years as it's more difficult when having more than 1 child.

I always buy her children birthday presents and cards and even if we don't go to their parties, always send one. I spend £10/15. She always comments on how organised I am to get their presents on time. However she doesn't always bother to buy a present back for mine or even send them a card. I will make more of an effort to go to her children's parties - just because I'm not fussed about driving there, whereas she doesn't like driving so often won't come to my children's parties. She'll often say 'sorry sorry I'm so useless, I'm so unorganised!' I know the friendship sounds very one-sided but apart from this it's not, she has been an amazing friend in other ways.All their birthdays are between September and December, so birthdays are coming up soon this year. Would you only buy a present if you go to their party?

cricketballs Thu 28-Jul-11 09:03:46

she has 4 dc whose birthdays are within 3 months of each other so she has double the amount of organising for her own than you do (plus double the money)

I think you should give her a break

marriedinwhite Thu 28-Jul-11 09:05:42

I think it's self-explanatory, she has four children, you have two. Two are tough enough. Can you not try to spend a day in her shoes and imagine how much less time she must have for organising this sort of stuff. I think I would send the godchild a £15 present on his/her birthday and at Christmas I would send a small gift for each child, say, a £5 voucher or an art set for them all to use. That's what I do anyway because after a while, once everyone had children, the birthdays just got overwhelming.

levantine Thu 28-Jul-11 09:07:54

tbh I would drop the presents unless you really want to give them. I would doubt that she would be upset, so unless you get pleasure from buying them I wouldn't bother. Different people prioritise different things and it sounds as if they are not a priority for her. You would BU if you were feeling aggrieved that she didn't buy your dcs presents but it doesn't sound as if that is the case.

Obviously if you go to their birthday party that's a different matter

Changing2011 Thu 28-Jul-11 09:08:20

Yes. Only if parties are attended from now on. She will learn you have to return pleasantries where children are involved.

greycircles Thu 28-Jul-11 09:08:28

If you can afford it, I would continue to send the presents. I would just cut her some slack - I think I would be on my knees looking after 4.

Shanghaidiva Thu 28-Jul-11 09:08:47

I would still buy a present if not attending the party and would not be bothered if my children did not recieve a present back. I send presents to my friend's daughter and sometimes she sends to my kids. I continue to send to her daughter as she is a lovely girl and I know she loves to receive a parcel in the post. Her mum is a great lady - just not as organised as me :P

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 28-Jul-11 09:09:32

"she has been an amazing friend in other ways"

Because you wrote that, I would advise you just let it go. Spend what you can afford, do what you can do, accept that you get gifts and she doesn't get round to it but she doesn't think any less of you all.

melika Thu 28-Jul-11 09:10:54

My SIL always complains that no one remembers her childrens birthdays, but she always forgets mine. Similiar situation, she has 4, me 2. Her two older ones have reached 18, so have stopped but I think she has took it as a sign that it has all finished. Mine get nowt. Fed up with it really.

It's just a piss take. Maybe the rule should be if you actually go to the party, they get a card and pressie.Don't know what other solution there could be.

My other SIL never has a party for hers and I am always passing cards with money for them.

It really is shit isn't it?

fedupofnamechanging Thu 28-Jul-11 09:15:42

I think that if she is a lovely friend in all other respects, then don't make a big deal over this. Yes, she should reciprocate, but possibly money is an issue or maybe she really is just not well organised.

I think I would reduce the money I was spending - try to limit it to £5 each. You can get books from book clubs and toys from the supermarket quite cheaply, that are still nice presents. You might feel better about it if it doesn't cost you so much.

exoticfruits Thu 28-Jul-11 09:34:41

I have a friend like that and we each have 3 DCs and are godmother to one of each others. We just buy the godchild something and make them special. Why not suggest that you do that?

Insomnia11 Thu 28-Jul-11 10:04:16

Friends and I don't bother with presents for one anothers' children. It just gets too much, it's not like the kids will miss out. Just have an honest chat and say "Shall we not bother with getting presents for the kids anymore?" Obviously we give presents if DDs are going to a party, that's different. But increasingly they will just have parties with school friends and not have friends from 50 miles away there.

I did that with friends re Christmas presents last year and everyone agreed it was a sensible idea.

2rebecca Thu 28-Jul-11 10:07:54

I'm amazed at the way people are talking about someone having 4 children as though it's a punishment from "god" and that the number of children you have is completely random and not for most people a personal choice.
The friend has chosen to have 4 children. This should not excuse her from getting cards for her friends' kids.
If she is generally a good friend then I'd get a small present and card as it doesn't sound as though she deliberately doesn't send them.
I don't get the "poor her" for choosing to have 4 kids though. The world is overpopulated, people having lots of kids aren't doing a public service or something.

cricketballs Thu 28-Jul-11 10:10:25

I never said "poor her" 2rebecca but just pointed out that she has 4 children whose birthdays fall within 3 months of each other and therefore has twice the organisation and cost for her own children than the op and this needs to be taken into consideration!

I think that you are hmm to bring in world population on a thread about presents!

MumblingRagDoll Thu 28-Jul-11 10:14:35

I would start sending a card with a fiver in....then you're not stopping the thought but it will be easier.

Insomnia11 Thu 28-Jul-11 10:15:41

I don't even know exact dates of old friends' childrens' birthdays any more, though I have an idea what time of year or month they were born. I know all the birthdays of the kids in DD1's class though as it's on the contact list. Since I had DD2 I decided it's too much to bother to remember.

Panzee Thu 28-Jul-11 10:17:59

You never know, she may be relieved if you stop.

Or is this just me? grin

2rebecca Thu 28-Jul-11 10:19:54

If you choose to have 4 kids though you surely anticipate this? About 4 posters on here seemed to think it was OK for her not to return the present buying favour just because she had chosen to have 4 kids.
The OP buys presents for all 4 of her kids, she only has 2 presents to buy for the OP's kids.
Talking to her and suggesting not bothering might be sensible as she doesn't bother anyway.

ENormaSnob Thu 28-Jul-11 10:34:33

I would just send them cards.

IMO she has been unfair not even sending yours a card.

Her having 4 kids is irrelevant.

utah Thu 28-Jul-11 10:36:48

I am another one that my friends are my friends and we make an effort for each others birthday but we agree not to do childrens birthdays or christmas intead we make an effort for a family day out/meet up every now and again.

cece Thu 28-Jul-11 10:39:27

Talk to her - did a similar thing with my friend and we agreed to stop all presents and just send cards.

brass Thu 28-Jul-11 10:51:52

I think some people are just more bothered about birthdays than others.

melika Thu 28-Jul-11 11:08:39

It doesn't stop the not bothered about birthdays accepting the pressies though, does it?

brass Thu 28-Jul-11 11:17:33

what should they do when friend turns up with them?

Shove them back? or accept and say thankyou hmm

HorridCold Thu 28-Jul-11 11:25:29

I think it depends if you also buy each other presents and cards? It really mounts up, especially when it comes to Xmas etc.

I have many siblings who all have DC, so now we say that we will only buy at Xmas for the DCs and for the adults a tin of choccies and a bottle of wine per couple.

In your case, I would maybe call your friend and say something like "As the DCs get so much at Xmas and Birthdays now, how about we start just sending cards and then agree to meet up for a day out now and again, instead of giving presents"? and see what she says.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: