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AIBU or are my inlaws? VV long - sorry!

(120 Posts)
dimebardolly Thu 06-Dec-12 17:49:15

Will try to make this as quick as possible because if I went into every thing my inlaws have done to piss me off, you would still be reading this time next year!

It was my daughters birthday last week. All birthdays are special to me and I have always been very particular that cards and presents are opened on the day. After all, it is a birthDAY, not birthWEEK, birthMONTH etc. I know not everyone feels like this but I honestly do and I have asked them many times over the past decades to respect this. Anyway to get to the point, when her day arrived, she had no cards or presents from her nanny, grandad, both her aunties and one of her uncles (they all live near each other but about 70 miles away from us). She did get a gift from another Uncle (these relatives are all my in-laws btw) which she was very happy about as it meant she wasn't entirely forgotten by her extended family.

My mil sent a text at around dinnertime wishing my daughter a happy birthday. I replied that I would pass on her good wishes but she was wondering why she hadn't even had a card to open from her. 5 minutes later my fil telephoned. He asked to speak to my daughter and I agreed but I said I wanted to talk to him first. I asked why no-one had bothered to send any cards etc. First of all he said he was going to bring them down that day but he wasn't well. Then he said he couldn't send them because he had been away on holiday. Finally he said my sil would have brought them down but she isn't well either. I pointed out that:
1) There was never any question of him coming down that day. 2 weeks previously I had spoken to my mil to say that we were busy on the day (school, afterschool clubs, dinner with schoolfriend etc). She asked if she should post her stuff and I happily said yes. I also agreed to gift wrap should she like me to.
2) Yes, he had been away for the preceeding week. However, this had been planned for ages and he could have posted her stuff early.
3) My sil hadn't arranged to visit. At no time did she mail me, text me or call me. If she had, perhaps something could have been done but this wasn't the case.

It appears to me that basically, my daughters birthday wasn't important enough to any of them to bother going to the post office, buying a stamp and sending a card. My fil huffed and puffed and kept telling me I was "taking this all the wrong way".

My question is, is there a right way for your childrens grandparents (their only gp's as both my parents are dead) to not bother marking a birthday? For a bit of background, everyone always makes a big fuss over the family birthdays and I was told in no uncertain terms that for my fil's birthday this year, he was expecting to be taken away on holiday (he got a weekend away from us, a trip to Rome from one daughter and a trip to see the Northen lights from another of his sons).

For the record, I always make sure presents and cards I send are sent promptly!

Thanks for reading and for any replies. I feel I need to get some other points of view before I even think about visiting at Christmas!

BunnyLebowski Thu 06-Dec-12 17:52:52

YABVU. And you sound like bloody hard work.

Words and hugs matter infinitely more than cards.

I know a few people who, like you, are precious and anal about cards and believe me it is not an endearing quality hmm

hobnobsaremyfave Thu 06-Dec-12 17:53:20

Really?? U r being way OTT.

ENormaSnob Thu 06-Dec-12 17:55:34

I think you are being pretty ott tbh.

Although I wouldn't be going out on a limb with expensive gifts in future as they are obviously not that into birthdays.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 06-Dec-12 17:56:37

Some of my birthday cards/presents when I was little were always over a month late as the same relatives always forget. Didn't bother me never been that into presents but it bothered my mum a lot

Not a very helpful reply though blush

HappyJustToBe Thu 06-Dec-12 17:57:14

I think YABU. Sorry.

WipsGlitter Thu 06-Dec-12 17:57:14

It's important to you. Not them. You can try to make it important to them, but it won't work. Get a grip.

StripyMagicDragon Thu 06-Dec-12 17:57:33

my inlaws don't mark big events at all, and no birthday cards or presents from them ever.
however, they love my daughter and take an interest in her life. they fuss over her and always listen to her and praise her for achievements. I would rather that than a card she wouldnt bother about anyway.
if your inlaws are otherwise engaged in your child, yabu.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 06-Dec-12 17:57:52

Oh, the same relatives also forget DSs birthday - Again I'm not too fussed

DoingTheBestICan Thu 06-Dec-12 17:58:44

You sound a bit wound up about this,I can understand you wanting your dd to have her bday cards on her bday,but it's not like she never had anything to open on the day is it?
What did your dd say about it?

EleanorGiftbasket Thu 06-Dec-12 17:59:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whois Thu 06-Dec-12 17:59:25

OMG are you for real?

YABVU and a massive p.i.t.a

sue52 Thu 06-Dec-12 17:59:27

You seem to be making a fuss about nothing. Your FIL sounds like hard work too. I wouldn't want to pass on such a moany atitude to my children. It's how you treat people al year round tha really matters.

Sabriel Thu 06-Dec-12 17:59:38

I disagree with the other posters. I think it is quite important for children to get cards on their actual birthday. Not so much presents, if distance is a problem but how much effort does it take to stick a card in the post a couple of days before the birthday?

I would also ignore FILs upcoming birthday. Just send him a text grin

WelshMaenad Thu 06-Dec-12 18:00:20


Birthdays are important in our house too, and I have gotten pissed off with DH's family not acknowledging the kids (not so much us adults, couldn't give a monkeys, but birthdays are important when you're small).

Also, words and hugs are great, but they're not around to give hugs, and a text to the birthday girl's mum, then only a phone all when it's evident the lack of acknowledgement has been noted, doesn't exactly smack of warmth and caring, so that argument doesn't really hold water.

I hope your dd wasn't upset.

LemonBreeland Thu 06-Dec-12 18:00:47

I think it is sad if your ILs can't be bothered to send cards to your dd for her birthday.

However for you to make such a fuss is really ott.

littlewhitebag Thu 06-Dec-12 18:02:46

Blimey - get a grip! - some people are less obsessed by birthdays! I am the worlds worst for forgetting birthdays - i never remember the dates. Doesn't mean i love my friends and relations any less.

Letsmakecookies Thu 06-Dec-12 18:03:10

Kinda brought this one on yourself I think. If you hadn't been so precious and controlling, they would be much happier to send cards to your DD.

DorsetKnobwithJingleBellsOn Thu 06-Dec-12 18:03:34

Get a grip woman. They hadn't forgotten. Jeez.

elfycat Thu 06-Dec-12 18:03:44

I'm one of the late birthday gifters and I never do cards.

I prefer for birthday/Xmas gifts to be given over several days and my DDs will have Xmas gifts from the 23rd through to past boxing day (there is a reason for the early ones)

But each to their own.

YANBU to have your preference.
YABU to expect everyone else to be dictated by the above.

HoratiaLovesBabyJesus Thu 06-Dec-12 18:04:18

It sounds like they did let other things get in the way of sending things in the way...

... because perhaps they didn't realise you were going to be a bit psychotic about it. Perhaps they think it better manners to hand over cards and gifts in person, so since you had very explicitly said they weren't welcome on the day itself they carefully made arrangements to speak to DD on the day and get her presents to her when they could actually be there to share them properly.

They are a bit U to disregard what you said about the timing of presents given how particular they are about birthday presents more generally, but they are NBU compared to family in general.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 06-Dec-12 18:04:34


YANBU to want your daughter's birthday to be acknowledged by her father's family in some fashion, but YABU to place such emphasis on a material gesture such a cards and gifts. They did call to speak to her and wish her a happy birthday! When I was little, I enjoyed visits or phone calls with family much more than cards.

LaCiccolina Thu 06-Dec-12 18:05:23

Hmmm. Reading ur post I see completely why u r upset. I'm a little surprised at other responses...

What does dh/oh say? Presume there's an opinion there? I am not necessarily hot on cards but I admit I always notice who didn't send one. I also would like to b better at it but I'm 36 now so kind of given up. I don't send enough I'm sure but do get immediate family right. Considering fil is so hot on his I'm astounded he's not on dg.

I actually think u r right to comment but stop putting it from u and put the comment from dd, dd wondered where nannas present was and is upset at nothing on the day and no idea when/if she will see her or if ones expected?!

I think they screwed up and should have owned up but didn't. Wimps!

BlueberryHill Thu 06-Dec-12 18:05:32

Do your ILs insist on having birthday cards on their birthdays? If so, they should put in the same effort for their GCs. If not, you were over the top, I don't think it is fair to interrogate your FIL like that, very disrespectful.

FWIW my ILs always make sure that they send cards to their GC and presents when they see them.

LaCiccolina Thu 06-Dec-12 18:06:39

When I was little calls were great but forgotten. I'm not sure I sense materialism so much as double standards. They expect a hoo ha but stuff all others?

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