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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!

Bananapickle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:06:59

I think you all sound like hard work.
If you all make a fuss of everyone's birthdays (which it sounds like they do...3 holidays for one birthday, thats crazy!) then I guess YANBU to expect a bit of effort from them.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 18:07:01

teach your daughter to be grateful for what she does receive and not to expect from everyone. show her how to respond to texts politely and to show her appreciation that the person thought to text. show her the world on a map and point out her location on the map (this wont be the centre of the world wink) tell her that many people will care for her throughout her life and that material goods are not a representation of how much she is loved. most importantly, encourage her to know when it is appropriate to purchase a grip.

Pandemoniaa Thu 06-Dec-12 18:07:02

It's always nice to get cards on the day but actually, it's not worth making such a fearsome pain in the arse of yourself over. Your FIL does sound rather hard work but I'd have been buggered if I'd been prepared to accept an interrogation of the type you describe before I was allowed to wish my gc a happy birthday. Please don't be surprised if they don't bother to send anything next year.

HazelnutinCaramel Thu 06-Dec-12 18:07:16

How old is your DD?

I don't think there's much excuse for a capable adult to not send a grandchild a card in time for their birthday. It's not like its sprung on you is it?! However, you were unreasonable to say anything - you've made yourself look petty and grabby. Dignified silence would have been better.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, it does around like there's a lot IOC back story here which is making you blow it out of proportion.

TheLightPassenger Thu 06-Dec-12 18:07:58

I agree with Blueberry, I think that the GPs could have made more effort, but you were massively rude to reply to the text and phone call in this manner, particularly as you made it clear they weren't welcome to visit on the birthday itself.

mrscogon34thstreet Thu 06-Dec-12 18:08:05

FFS! YABVVU! Do you really need to ask?! Are you this high maintenance over every aspect of life?

This will make you itch - my Mum's birthday is just after Christmas, I don't buy her a present until Spring/Summer when there is actually something she wants seeing as she's just had loads of Christmas presents. Hope that keeps you awake at night!

MerylStrop Thu 06-Dec-12 18:09:16

You seriously need to wind it in.

Your inlaws are maybe a bit crap about birthdays.

In the scheme of things, it's not a big deal, unless you choose to make it an issue.

If you do make it a big issue, your daugher will end up feeling disappointed in her grandparents because of YOUR expectations. Not nice or fair.

Also you seem to have made it clear to your ILs they weren't welcome to visit on her birthday. Just their gifts. Yuck

Mulledandmerry Thu 06-Dec-12 18:10:30

Cards and gifts are not a 'right' not even for kids and i have taught mine right from the start that its the thought that counts, even if that thought is just a pleasant message. It is a very good lesson to remember. Try to be less outraged and a bit nicer

ErikNorseman Thu 06-Dec-12 18:10:44

YABO (outrageous)
Get an actual grip.

whattodoo Thu 06-Dec-12 18:11:06

I can understand your disappointment, particularly for lack of at least a card.

But I think you sound very domineering and confrontational.

There doesn't seem to be any warmth in the relationship with your ILs, which is a shame but I presume there is history.

How old is DD? What does your OH think?

fivefoottwowitheyesofblue Thu 06-Dec-12 18:12:32

I am completely with you OP. It pisses me off when this happens - and it happens with both DC every year so I should be chuffin used to it by now.

I fail to see what you have done wrong! You asked why they hadn't sent cards to their GD on her birthday.

KittyFane1 Thu 06-Dec-12 18:13:48

YANBU to arrange B'days as you wish but YABVU to demand your way or no way.
You sound very rude OP. What did you want? Your PIL on the doorstep with presents at 9 am? They could have posted them? No to both. If you wanted gifts hmm you should have invited them for the day. They live 70 miles away.
You sound rude and very hard work.

MrsBungleBear Thu 06-Dec-12 18:14:36

I think your DD's grandparents WBU not to send a card in time for her birthday, however, I think you are really BU to respond in the way you did. I think your response was really confrontational and unnecessary.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 06-Dec-12 18:14:40

Birthday cards are pointless shit. You are being ridiculous! I can't believe your an adult.

alarkthatcouldpray Thu 06-Dec-12 18:15:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stifnstav Thu 06-Dec-12 18:15:57

You need to get other points of view before visiting at Christmas?!

Christ on a bike, are you going to still be weird about it at Christmas?! Shall I lend you a grip?

TwitchyTail Thu 06-Dec-12 18:18:57

What, are grandparents and aunts supposed to send birthday cards?

<Frantically tries to remember when niece was born>

Surely a phone call with good wishes does just as well as a piece of overpriced folded card? I can't believe you reprimanded your in-laws about something like this. I would apologise to them.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Thu 06-Dec-12 18:20:53

My mother used to be like you until my brother spent about $10 (I'm American) sending her a card overnight.

She got a grip after that.

DontmindifIdo Thu 06-Dec-12 18:20:56

I think if your in laws are the sorts to want a big deal made of their birthdays, then they should also make at least an equal fuss of a child's birthday. If they want "low effort" birthdays, then fine, but that goes for them too. Cards arriving on actual birthdays are more important to me than expensive gifts the week after.

Stop making an effort with them, let your DH do it, and tell him you don't want large sums spend if they can't be bothered doing the same back.

monsterchild Thu 06-Dec-12 18:22:17

YABU I get that you prioritize birthday acknowledgment over other expressions of affection, but really, you're creating a pretty poisonous atmosphere. I'm not surprised FIL got defensive, you're making him responsible for her happiness.

So why is a card better than a text for the birthday? Didn't they give her birthday wishes on her birthday by text? Most kids don't have a strong preference either way, and social media is as welcome to them as hard copy.

I do think you're OTT by intercepting the call and you don't say that you let him actually give his intended birthday wishes because they didn't come the way YOU wanted them to come. Personal contact is not as important to you as a gift?

Also, your DD will mimic your actions and priorities, so imagine her watching you holler at FIL for not sending what you (and she by default) feel is appropriate birthdayness. I feel bad that your DD (and you, really) believes that her GPs don't really love her, because love is only shown through material things.

BlameItOnTheBogey Thu 06-Dec-12 18:23:25

YAB totally nuts. YOu can not dictate to other people in this way. YOur daughter won't care when she gets a card/ present and you run a very real risk of damaging your relationship with your in laws over nothing.

TidyDancer Thu 06-Dec-12 18:23:37

You sound really high maintenance and you are being unreasonable.


Convict224 Thu 06-Dec-12 18:23:50

I think little actions speak volumes.
Sending a birthday card on time is clearly unimportant to your ILs . Now you need to work out whether this indicates a lack of affection for your daughter or just that they lack organisation.
i think you are NBU .

mrscogon34thstreet Thu 06-Dec-12 18:25:51

You are setting a TERRIBLE example to your child about gratefulness and love.

Get a grip - there are people starving in the world with no clean water and you are picking fights with family over a piece of card.

In fact I don't think I've ever seen a AIBU which as pissed me off as much as yours!

BlueberryHill Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:53

Is there some background that we are missing?

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