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Actually a WWYD - presents for DCs

(16 Posts)
hannahZ Thu 28-Jul-11 10:34:46

My DD and DSS are the same age and their birthdays aren't far apart either. My problem is that friends of mine and extended family eg cousins have always sent DD birthday presents, but it doesn't seem to occur to them to send one for DSS, now I am married to his dad.

Because DSS lives some distance from us and his mum is awkward about contact, very few of my friends and family have met him more than once or twice. He also has very little opportunity to play with any toys etc at our house. He is never with us on his birthday, gets vast amounts of presents at his mum's and loads for his birthday from us, grandparents and all aunts and uncles (including steps) so he's certainly not aware of 'missing out'. However, he is a child of our family and I feel hugely awkward about my friends and relatives not including him.

WWYD? Sometimes I have gone out and bought a present for DSS 'from' people that have sent a present for DD and I have also mentioned the issue to a couple of friends, but I feel unbelievably rude 'asking' for a present for a child they don't know (and that will barely be registered by DSS and possibly never used).

Next year, I will probably contact the usual suspects well in advance and ask them not to send presents to any of the kids, with an explanation as to why it is awkward. They can then decide whether to get for all or none.
Am I over-thinking this though? I hate the idea of telling people what to do about presents for my DC. It sounds like I have a terrible sense of expectation and entitlement, but I don't. I just can't work out whether I'm trying too hard for things to be equal, when they really can't be where the DC have different living arrangements/family etc.

Bit long for a simple quesion, sorry blush

ragged Thu 28-Jul-11 10:38:13

My gut feeling is...
They can't be equal, they really can't. You and your DP can try to be "fair" but won't work with your relatives and the DSS. Do the DSS's mum and her relatives send presents for your DD? (I thought not). I wouldn't make an issue of whether people send gifts for your DSS unless your DSS was likely to actually notice.

BigHairyGruffalo Thu 28-Jul-11 10:42:08

Totally agree with ragged. Very unfair to stop your DD getting presents because your DSS who isn't there and wouldn't play with them doesn't also get them. I assume DSS gets presents from his Mum's social circle and I'm assuming that these people do not send them to your DD to.

Fair isn't always completely equal, although it is lovely that you're giving so much thought to his inclusion in the family smile

AKMD Thu 28-Jul-11 10:44:18

YABU. Totally agree with posters ^^ - your DSS isn't there, doesn't notice and is spoiled to death by his mum's family and friends. Why take things away from your DD and make your friends feel awkward?

cookcleanerchaufferetc Thu 28-Jul-11 10:48:53

Add me to agreeing with posters ... there is a difference between your DD and DSS, whether you like it or not. You are wrong to force people to treat them the same.

utah Thu 28-Jul-11 10:49:34

I would only agree if your dss actually lived with you as he doesn't then you cannot expect presents from others for him, he has a seperate family from your dd and she does from him. As long as you and DH are fair that is all the matters.

hannahZ Thu 28-Jul-11 10:53:57

I'm quite surprised at these responses - thought the general view was to ensure all DCs treated the same and if friends and family don't see that, then they haven't accepted the DSC as properly part of the family? I probably need to have a talk to DH about it too. He has previously been very prickly about this sort of thing, so I've probably got oversensitive.

Just a couple of points - not sure if it makes a difference. DD is also spoiled to death generally (keep trying to tell people not to buy her stuff, but not very successfully) so she wouldn't miss out if she had less presents either.
Also, I think ragged's comparison re DSS's mum isn't quite right - it would be if DH's friends and extended family sent DSS gifts but not to DD (who is DH's step-daughter). But they don't do presents for any kids, so the issue doesn't arise.

fedupofnamechanging Thu 28-Jul-11 10:55:22

Your DSS is a virtual stranger to your family and friends. I think you are mad to expect them to include him when they buy presents for your DD and if you try to engineer it, you may end up alienating your friends, who will opt out altogether.

If he lived with you (or even spent half his time with you), that would be entirely different because then your friends and family would know him.

The important thing is that he feels loved and wanted by you when he visits. These other people mean nothing to him, but you do.

ragged Thu 28-Jul-11 10:56:46

Well said, KarmaB.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Thu 28-Jul-11 10:59:14

It would be if DH's friends and extended family sent DSS gifts but not to DD ... but they don't do presents for any kids, so the issue doesn't arise.

It would seem very harsh to your DD and to your friends and extended family to stop presents because your DH's family don't bother. Your DSS will get lots of presents from his mother's friends and extended family

He is never with us on his birthday, gets vast amounts of presents at his mum's and loads for his birthday from us, grandparents and all aunts and uncles (including steps) so he's certainly not aware of 'missing out'

legalalien Thu 28-Jul-11 11:16:38

Interesting - was about to post on this from the other perspective: we're going to visit family in Oz at Xmas, including DS's two cousins (who he has met three times before for about a week each time and for whom we will definitely buy gifts). DH's other sister is getting married at Xmas (we have not met the guy before), and her fiance has a son (whose name I know but not age, am guessing about the same age as DS). I was planning to buy a gift for the fiance's son,but am not sure if this would seem odd or not....

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Thu 28-Jul-11 11:22:08

In that situation I would buy a gift for him, because there is a good chance that you'll all be together on Christmas day when you're giving the gifts.

ragged Thu 28-Jul-11 11:24:17

I think it'd be nice of you to give a gift to the fiance's gift this time, Legal, because you do expect the boy to be around during your Xmas visit, is that right? The Q mark is whether you should be expected to give a gift for every occasion where you might also send a gift to your cousin's child, especially if fiance has little involvement in his son's life.

Fwiw, OP, I nicely asked banned most of DH's extended family from sending gifts to DC, it was overkill & DC didn't appreciate at all.

DoMeDon Thu 28-Jul-11 11:30:09

YABU - yes you should treat the DC equally but you can't expect people who have never met him to extend that courtesy. My Aunt and good freinds who know DSD always send her gifts. I certainly wouldn't expect everyone to do this, it is their choice. I also wouldn't take away the pleasure some get from buying DD gifts just because they don't know/want to buy them for other DC.

biddysmama Thu 28-Jul-11 12:22:46

i share a birthday with my half brother, 'his family' go to my mums house and give him presents on his birthday but dont even give me a card, its not nice but you learn to live with it sad

DeWe Thu 28-Jul-11 12:28:46

I think this is similar to what we have with Godparents. All the children have Godparents that send them presents. Some of them send just to their Godchild, some send a big one to their Godchild and a "token" present to the other children, and some send an equal present to all, and some don't send presents every time.
If I was asked I'd probably say just to give the present to the Godchild. But I decided when it first became obvious that this was going to happen I had to think whether to say anything, and I decided that it was their choice, they don't "owe" a present, it's nice when they do, but it's up to them how they give it.

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