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Is it OK for close relatives to forget birthdays?

(44 Posts)
islawhiter Tue 30-Aug-11 17:53:57

My son had his 21st bday last month, it was my husband's bday two weeks ago and my other sons 18th bday yesterday.

None of them received a card from my sister in law, whom we are close to and only saw at a big family party at the beginning of August.

Im a bit miffed that we didnt get any bday cards at all!

She has two children of her own, who we always send cards to (with cash inside lol).

Their two bdays are coming up in Sept and Oct.

If I say anything to her she will say she forgot all about it and I dont want it to develop into a family fight .


I cant help thinking theres more to this than meets the eye.

How can someone forget all three effing birthdays ???????

Diamondsareagirls Tue 30-Aug-11 17:56:32

Yanbu especially with important birthdays like those. I know people have different opinions about birthdays but it doesn't take much effort to have them on a calendar and pop a card in the post.

TheyCallMeKipper Tue 30-Aug-11 17:58:05

If you are otherwise close then I would assume that maybe she has something going on you don't know about, and has a lot on her mind. I would phone and see how she is.

Alternatively she has some issue with you that you are unaware of (like your card didn't arrive and she thinks you forgot a birthday etc) and this is a passive aggressive way of dealing with it, if it is usual that she wouldn't forget.

So perhaps ask if you are otherwise close?

TheMonster Tue 30-Aug-11 17:58:10

Has she ever forgotten them before?
YANBU. I wonder if it is deliberate.

ZillionChocolate Tue 30-Aug-11 17:59:50

Maybe next time you speak to her, or ideally about a week before her September child's birthday, say "what do you have planned for X's birthday? I'm assuming we've given up on birthdays, relief not to have to bother frankly". Not sure what she can reasonably say in reply!

islawhiter Tue 30-Aug-11 18:01:03

No, i dont think she has forgotten before and thats why its upset me she has forgotten the big 21st and 18th birthdays.

Groovee Tue 30-Aug-11 18:08:26

We have family members who often get family birthday's wrong.... but if you forget theirs the fuss they cause is unbelievable.

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Tue 30-Aug-11 18:13:18

YANBU. DS has never had so much as a card off DSis or older DB (younger DB can't do enough for him). Yet, I'm constantly getting "reminded" by DM that it's DB's birthday, DSis's birthday or any of their DC's birthdays. hmm

BooBooGlass Tue 30-Aug-11 18:16:28

It's horrible when someone forgets your birthday. My parents forgot mine last year and it did upset me. But what I didn't know was that they were going through a horrible time healthwise and had far bigger fish to fry. You're not th emost important thing going on in other peoples lives, no matter how hurtful that may seem. And you say she's your SIL. Why are you not blaming your Brother/inlaw? WHy's it her fault?

Cereal Tue 30-Aug-11 18:18:20

YANBU. How hard is it to write all close family birthdays in the diary?

LynetteScavo Tue 30-Aug-11 18:20:20

I dunno....My siblings hardly ever remember mine or my DC's birthdays. Or DH's. I always send them a card at least. If I let it bother me...well, it would be stupid. We all live in four corners of the country, so meeting up is hard enough, so we don't often see each other. I just let it wash over me.

islawhiter Tue 30-Aug-11 18:22:31

Bil in law ran off with her best friend , but thats another story

Finallygotaroundtoit Tue 30-Aug-11 18:27:07

Before your last post I would have suggested that if the blood relationship is on her DHs side - she may have decided to leave it up to him (perhaps after doing it for years)

electra Tue 30-Aug-11 18:28:27

My parents never bother with my birthday - apparently the reason is that they've spent enough money on me when I was a child. I didn't get anything for my 30th. I don't really care though - I tend to do my own treats.

But no, yanbu

M0naLisa Tue 30-Aug-11 18:30:46

Do what i do and 'forget' her/their birthday.

If she asks where her card is, ask her where your kids cards are?

M0naLisa Tue 30-Aug-11 18:31:27

It was the same for my weddingf anniversary, i was asked by my auntie 'oh dont for get XXX wedding anniversary on XX date' i replied with 'when i get a wedding anniversary card, then she'll get one, but until then no.

M0naLisa Tue 30-Aug-11 18:31:49

BTW i sent her one for her 1st and 2nd year anniversaries adn never got one in return so i stopped.

islawhiter Tue 30-Aug-11 18:38:24

Thanks every one i was just getting neurotic and thinking i was 'thinking too much into it' but im not, summats def up and i will tread carefully from now on.

Oakmaiden Tue 30-Aug-11 19:25:15

My Mum forgot my birthday this year. I even phoned her on the day (she was out, but didn't phone me back til a few days later).

I know she still loves me though. grin

Sometimes people just forget stuff.

gahhteenagers Tue 30-Aug-11 19:30:31

My friends Mil gave her a calender as a xmas present one year and had written all the birthdays for her side of the family on it.

marriedinwhite Tue 30-Aug-11 19:34:49

Unacceptable. My SIL doesn't remember either, and apart from a pair of revolting thomas the tank shorts when he was 2 has never sent a card or a present to my children and then MIL was on the phone daily "are they here yet, are they fab, have you written to say thank you" and they were cheap and nasty and utterly horrid.. I tried hard when her eldest was born - until MIL passed on a message "SIL would prefer it if you only send 100% cotton things in future". Since then I have sent nothing - absolutely nothing at all.

Squitten Tue 30-Aug-11 19:44:12

My BIL & SIL (DH's brother) are awful about this kind of stuff. We sent invites out for DS1's 2nd birthday last Sept (just a little family party) and they didn't reply, didn't turn up and eventually gave us his gift in Nov - they never saw him or spoke to him at all. I was really fuming but what can you do?

They're expecting their first now and I'm determined to be Super Aunt and shame them smile

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 30-Aug-11 19:47:29

BIL sends nothing. His birthday is about a month after husbands', this year I told husband not to send him a present, as he clearly doesn't bother.

With children it's more difficult - I will send a (small) present to small nephew despite the fact that his parents send nothing on my boys' birthdays, because he's only 4 and it's not his fault.

SandStorm Tue 30-Aug-11 19:51:58

I forgot my niece's birthday and my best friend's 40th birthday. My MIL forgot DH's birthday even when he was on the phone to her asking her what day it was.
If it's the first time she's done it I would suspect there is something going on in her life that's taking priority and maybe you should give her a call to check she's okay.

mumeeee Tue 30-Aug-11 19:53:50

YABU. My SIL often forgets birthdays. She gives all the birthday presents out at Christmas or some other family gathering. My brother could sort the presents out but he is even worse then she is. It's a standing joke in now.

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