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to think this is not ok, or am I being oversensitive?

(92 Posts)
ShiftyLookingBadger Wed 03-Aug-16 10:58:04

So, my daughters first birthday is coming up on Friday. We're a pretty chilled, low key family so are just going to have a day out with her somewhere nice (weather permitting!)

My brother in law and his wife have 2 little girls, both of which I have ensured both received gifts at birth, birthdays, Christmases etc and we always attended their birthday parties. We were childless at each of them and so faced hoards of screaming kids for several hours at a party that was over an hour away everytime. Not my cup of tea but we did it for their girls.

Said brother in law and wife did not get my DD anything at birth, apart from some second hand cast offs of theirs - some soiled and stained - which we were genuinely grateful for. Although compared to the £100 playpen they specifically requested on the birth of their first daughter and another expensive gift for their second daughter this narked me somewhat.

Anyway to the point - I know that they won't get my DD anything for her first birthday, I have asked them what they want for our niece whose birthday is a few days after DD's and they quickly sent me a list of items, with no mention of my DD's birthday. Would I be an unreasonable, nasty, spiteful, petty cow to withhold said niece's gift if they ignore my DD's first birthday?! They know it's her birthday as we just all had a holiday together a week ago where it was mentioned several times infront of them.

I know it's not the kids fault although she is massively a spoilt brat so would only feel a little guilty


ShiftyLookingBadger Wed 03-Aug-16 11:01:24

I might also add that DP is indifferent to the whole thing and said 'if they get her something then great, if not, who cares...' To me it's the principle, if they gave her a drawing their niece made or something that would at least show they care, that doesn't cost anything!

ShiftyLookingBadger Wed 03-Aug-16 11:03:18

Oh yes and actually their kids got double birth presents as sister in law also had baby showers confused

I'm aware I'm sounded very bitter right about now grin

Ratbagcatbag Wed 03-Aug-16 11:07:08

No not at all. I know you don't buy to receive and for adults that's fine. But when young children are involved, no way would I be doing that. If they don't get your dd anything I'd still send a card and if they ask why I'd say "I assumed as you didn't get dd a gift we were doing cards only" and forever more carry on with cards.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 03-Aug-16 11:07:26

I think if they don't get your DD a present, it's fair enough you don't buy for theirs.

Amongst our family and friends we have individual arrangements - some families we mutually exchange gifts with, some we don't.

Ratbagcatbag Wed 03-Aug-16 11:08:47

I'd have a card ready and keep the present to one side (hidden upstairs) so if they don't give anything you can just hand over a card as they walk out.

AGruffaloCrumble Wed 03-Aug-16 11:09:43

Just send a card. Although I wouldn't have bothered asking them about presents beforehand as now they will be expecting something.

SquidgyRedBall Wed 03-Aug-16 11:09:52

If you can't let it go then just suggest that you ''stop'' buying gifts now you both have children and just spend the money on your own child/children.

If like your OH you can let it go over your head then do what you wish but don't expect anything in return. Do you earn more money than them?

This would wind me up too.

lastqueenofscotland Wed 03-Aug-16 11:10:39

Yanbu and if they mention it just say "as you'd not got babyshifty anything I assumed we weren't doing presents for the children" grin

hooliodancer Wed 03-Aug-16 11:10:50

I'm not surprised you sound bitter, I think that's awful of them!

I know it's hard, but could you ask them why they do this, in a very straightforward emotionless way? It seems so unfair that they expect a lot of you but don't think your child should be given anything, but unless you discuss it you will only ever be able to guess the reasons.

tiggerkid Wed 03-Aug-16 11:11:21

I often found myself in a very similar situation. We bought many nice gifts for DH's brother before he got married and since. One year, he bought my husband a bottle of beer for his birthday because apparently he didn't really know what to buy him. I know birthdays are not all about presents, it's the thought that counts and all that but, to be honest, we are all human and I couldn't really stop myself from feeling a bit hacked off.

On many occasions, we bought presents for DH's family and extended family. Sometimes present recipients weren't around when we were, so we left their gifts with their parents. No thanks received. No gifts, cards or phone calls in return.

After nearly 20 years of marriage, I learnt one thing: this situation will not change. These people are not the same as you and will never see things your way. So, I found a very simple way to resolve this within myself: last year, I bought only a nominal gift for BIL's kids rather than ask them what their children wanted. DS didn't even get a text from them on his birthday, so this year, I am frankly following in their footsteps and they aren't getting anything. I also stopped buying gifts for all extended family that never says thank you for anything and never does anything for my son. My last struggle is the ungrateful MIL. I am having difficulties stopping her gifts as that's DH's mother although am tempted to follow the advice I got on my MIL's thread and stop that too.

Going back to your situation, seeing as you asked what the kids wanted this year, it would be a bit funny if you then went and bought something else. However, I understand the total lack of desire on your side to buy exactly what they want when you never get anything for your daughter. So, I would go with a gift voucher contribution towards the gift rather than the gift itself. That would allow you to control how much you spend. Next time, don't ask them what they want and do what is affordable to you and what you are comfortable with. Ultimately, the best thing with this people is to do to them exactly as they do to you. Easier said than done but leopard doesn't change his spots.

M0nstersinthecl0set Wed 03-Aug-16 11:11:36

Why not leave that present to your H? as it's his side of the family (I think) he's obviously fairly laid back on the presents. Then maybe it wont get done!

ShiftyLookingBadger Wed 03-Aug-16 11:11:38

Squidgy We definitely don't earn more money, brother in law is a consultant doctor hmm

DurhamDurham Wed 03-Aug-16 11:12:25

Just send a friendly text saying thanks do list of suggestions for presents for your niece and give them a few suggestions of what they could get for your daughter.

My husband would be the same as your husband, I'd be feeling like you and however much people tell you otherwise it does hurt when family don't bother with your children when you do with theirs.
It's not about the money either, it's the thought or lack of.

UnexpectedBaggage Wed 03-Aug-16 11:12:42

Why on earth buy for them when they don't buy for you?

JudgeLionelNutmeg Wed 03-Aug-16 11:17:17

I know you don't give to receive and all that but YANBU - this would piss me off too. I'd just stop being polite and present them with a gift list for your DDs birthday - they can hardly complain about that, can they!

kurlique Wed 03-Aug-16 11:21:44

Hmmm... Giving is more important than receiving but... But but but... They are taking the piss. I think on balance I would take the moral high ground and still buy DNiece a gift BUT nothing big or from their list. I would buy something small and intensely irritating... Like a toy which makes a really loud irritating noise...😈 And of course if they commented I would say "oh I thought you didn't want to do pressies for the kids but I couldn't resist getting her little something"😋

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Wed 03-Aug-16 11:26:29

I like the line 'cast-offs - some soiled and stained - which we were genuinely grateful for'. I'm with you, OP, but that bit did make me smile.

randomer Wed 03-Aug-16 11:28:22

sickening....there are people with nothing.

TheHuntingOfTheSarky Wed 03-Aug-16 11:28:34

YANBU. My brother's children are 8 yrs older than mine and for those 8 years I was expected to buy expensive gifts for them as they were the first of their generation in the family. I was also expected to visit regularly. If I was so much as a day late with birthday cards or presents I got snotty emails or calls.

When my DDs arrived they were bought nothing and have seen my brother's family less than half a dozen times over the last 8 years. They got birthday/Christmas presents for a year or two and then my brother made the decision that as it was so difficult to know which toys they already had, wouldn't it just be easier to not bother getting each other's children presents in future. Conveniently forgetting the hundreds of quid I'd already spent on his children before I had mine.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Wed 03-Aug-16 11:29:28

Yes, thank them for their list and apologise for the delay in sending yours.

MrsJayy Wed 03-Aug-16 11:29:44

Breezy text i have a few things dd would be delighted with for her Birthday i wouldnt want you buying duplicate anything job done

FeelingSmurfy Wed 03-Aug-16 11:31:39

I agree with your comment that I know it's not the kids fault

I would give to the kids, although I would be getting a token gift you think they would like, not something from an expensive list. I wouldn't bother with the adults birthday though, not even a card if they don't send your daughter one.

I don't give to receive at all, but I'm sick of people taking me for a mug, and cards cost pennies now so there is no excuse for not getting a card. There are some people I buy for that don't buy for me and i couldn't care less, I like giving gifts and these people are there for me all year round, and they will send a card. There are others who wouldn't give me a second thought unless they want something and can't even be bothered sending a card, I've had enough of these people

mandi73 Wed 03-Aug-16 11:35:15

DH has a HUGE family, think nieces/nephews same age as him, so loads of older and younger siblings, rule is when the reach teens presents stop.
However after making the effort for 3/4 years to get presents for birthdays and Christmas when we had DD2 nothing appeared, no Christmas gifts, no thank you for ones we gave so I stopped.
Never said anything just stopped, if the DC are invited to a birthday party then we buy a present otherwise I don't.
And it's not about the gift I'd have been happy for the DC to just get a card.
If i was you i'd stop or buy a small token gift and card.

trafalgargal Wed 03-Aug-16 11:35:28

I'd not give the present if they turn up empty handed on your daughters birthday (and keep the receipt).

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