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To just tell DM not to bother with birthdays any more, and not bother with hers either?

(93 Posts)
Halftermdog Thu 16-Mar-17 09:50:33

NC as potentially outing.

For background, DM is in Australia on holiday. It's my birthday on Sunday (I'm a twin) and hers a week later. My sisters and I have spent lots of time recently trying to plan something for her birthday (either a lovely surprise for while she was away or something for when she gets back).

She never remembers anyone's birthday (or any key date), generally I'd get a phone call on the day to say happy birthday (probably because Facebook would remind her), and a present next time I saw her (she lives a few hours away), or she'd order something online to be delivered that would arrive late (it's not unusual that for DDs birthday she'd order something online which I'd then have to wrap etc.).

My twin sister and I got the following email this morning:

"Ok guys, you have a few hours to add something I want to buy for you from amazon onto your wish lists or else wait until we get home and I can think straight!! We are having too good a time to think much about others and a cuddly kangaroo toy is probably not very high on your lists.
I am also more than happy to put my birthday off for a couple of weeks (or years)!

Love you both loads and hope everything is ok at home.

I think she genuinely doesn't give a shit about her own birthday which is why she's so crap at remembering anyone else's. She can be very generous so isn't mean with money, I think that birthdays are just very very low on her radar. For instance, DHs birthday is the beginning of December and it wouldn't be unusual for her to get him something fairly big off his Amazon list but he's get it at Christmas (when we'd be seeing her), rather than her bothering to sort it for his birthday.

So, I'm upset about it but also it's so depressingly predictable. I wonder whether my sisters and I need to just say to her to not bother with anyone's birthday in the future and we won't bother with hers (she's completely impossible to buy for so probably doesn't appreciate anything we take the time to get her, and I have no idea if she appreciates the time and effort, not to mention money, involved).

But then it makes me sad to say to her that it's ok to not give enough of a shit about your family to be organised enough to even send a card? How bloody hard is it?

MadMags Thu 16-Mar-17 09:53:04

I think you're being a bit precious. Assuming you're an adult!

She's told you to add something, so add it.

She's not ignoring your birthday, just not prioritising it. Does a couple of weeks really make that much of a difference?

Halftermdog Thu 16-Mar-17 09:57:23

But the stipulation to add something "she wants to buy"??! It's not like I could put something there I actually want, it also needs to be something that fulfills her criteria (and I have no idea what that is?!)

It' just so fucking predictable. She knew she was going to be away and could have given it 5 minutes thought before she went. She doesn't work - my sisters and I have managed to find the time to discuss something for her, with a view to gettgin something to her on her actual birthday?

She's just buggered off without a thought, now has realised it's our birthday in 3 days and she's not done anything about it. Every year...

toastedpeanuts Thu 16-Mar-17 09:58:23

This isn't helpful but for my 30th I got a tin of coffee that was taken out of a Christmas hamper that I got my mum. I don't even like coffee and she knows it. My most recent birthday wasn't even acknowledged. I've just stopped getting my mum birthday presents now. At least then we are equal. My husbands has never been acknowledged!
Your situation however seems reasonable. I find it so time consuming finding and buying presents. Your mum has got two of you to find a present and probably easier to ask you to add something rather than search for a bad present!

Billybonkers76 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:01:36

It's just the wording, she's on holiday so give her a break. Add something you want and let her buy it for you. I'd agree with you if she was totally ignoring your Birthday but she's not, she's just not doing it the way you want her to. Different people have different views about things.

ZacharyQuack Thu 16-Mar-17 10:03:02

Could you suggest that instead of presents, you, your sister and her should all have a fabulous meal to celebrate all your birthdays together?

I'm probably a bit like your Mum (though not to my children). I don't really care about my own birthday so I find it hard to make a fuss about anyone else's.

sparklefarts Thu 16-Mar-17 10:04:01

I don't get it? She's remembered and she'd rather buy you something you want than some toot from her holiday?

Yeah she could be better prepared and word it a bit differently, but some people are a bit pants. How is your relationship with her otherwise? If you have a good relationship I'd just assume she's. But unorganised and nit think twice about it

IamFriedSpam Thu 16-Mar-17 10:05:24

I do think you sound unusually invested in your birthday, your DM's attitude sounds far more usual to be honest. I can understand wanting your family who you live with to make a little fuss but if your parents live miles away a phone call and a pressie a little bit later sounds fine to me. My DM would just ask me what I want (if she remembers) and maybe send a card.

SleepFreeZone Thu 16-Mar-17 10:11:04

You sure that wasnt a typo? - adding something to the list that she wants to buy for you. I'm sure she meant something that you would like her to buy for you. Anyway she sounds charmingly scatty and I like that. I would just concentrate on my family and friends and let your mum get in with it. If she's usually generous just crap at remembering then I'd cut her some slack

user1489179512 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:13:11

This sounds like a pain, OP. This way of dealing with other people's birthdays is cavalier. YANBU.

Annesmyth123 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:15:04

I don't get it? I'm a grown up. My kids get me a card and we go for dinner sometime around my birthday. I get them a card and pop some money in it. And give it to them sometime around their birthday.

I stopped doing a big fuss for birthdays once they turned 18.

Halftermdog Thu 16-Mar-17 10:15:43

Really interesting that you all think AIBU! I suppose it's just because it's so very very predictable, and also the "something I want to buy you" comment is putting the onus on me to do all the thinking (because if I put something I actually want but she doesn't want to buy it somehow it's my fault?)

I'm just a bit tired of it all and wonder if we were to change the expectation to absolutely nothing she'd be happier

MadMags Thu 16-Mar-17 10:17:31

I just think your mum is more a common type of birthday doer than you or your sister!

You see it as a huge deal, she doesn't. Neither is wrong, just different.

Halftermdog Thu 16-Mar-17 10:18:15

sleepfree no typo, it's something she's said before.

Annesmyth if she had ever once actually sent something to anyone that showed she had thought "it's _'s birthday in 2 weeks, I'll get a card and post it so it's there before the day" that would be fine.

Sisinisawa Thu 16-Mar-17 10:18:15

I think yanbu.
Birthdays are special in our house and I'd be very hurt by that email.

Annesmyth123 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:19:04

I don't post cards to my kids. I give it to them when I see them.

I wouldn't be annoyed (and am not) if a card comes on the day or is a bit late.

user1489179512 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:20:13

People should make a proper, thoughtful efforts for family birthdays. Birthdays don't stop at 18, either. Saying that they do shows that some will use any excuse not to bother.

charlestonchaplin Thu 16-Mar-17 10:20:55

I think this sort of thing usually only bothers people if they see it as another sign that they aren't cared for. If it is a blip in an otherwise good relationship I would let it go. I think I last received a birthday present from my mother when I was nine but I know I'm loved and cared for so it bothers me not one jot. I do always receive an acknowledgement, though if we aren't in the same country it will be a text early on and a call later. And she is certainly generous at other times so a lack of birthday presents is pretty immaterial to me.

user1489179512 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:21:35


Annesmyth123 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:22:56

I did t say birthdays stop at 18! I said the fuss stops. The party. The balloons. My kids know I care, just with DS working and DD at uni sometimes we don't see each other on the day and swap cards next or closest opportunity.

That does not in any way mean I don't care about them.

Halftermdog Thu 16-Mar-17 10:23:09

Thanks all, I've not seen her for a couple of months and won't be seeing her until maybe July so it's not like she lives round the corner and I'll pop and see her when she's back from holiday?

Wouldn't care at all if it's just a card but it would be nice to think she gave a shit enough to think ahead.

ohdoadoodoo Thu 16-Mar-17 10:23:31

I don't think that YABU. I think saying "We are having too much of a good time to think about others", to your own daughters, about their birthdays, is incredibly selfish and rude!

I wouldn't say that to anyone, let alone my children.

AshesandDust Thu 16-Mar-17 10:26:19

Why not just accept what she's like instead of expecting her
to conform to how you do birthdays? (I mean that kindly)
Otherwise you're bound to be disappointed every year.

I know it can grate when you make a fuss of someone's birthday
and when it comes to yours the other person is meh. But you're
on a hiding to nothing if you think they'll change.

user1484578224 Thu 16-Mar-17 10:28:07

adult birthdays are weird arent they?

1AnnoyingOrange Thu 16-Mar-17 10:30:00

Birthdays are about other people. If you enjoy thinking about your DM present and wrapping and delivering it to her in time, then that is lovely, you don't do it just so you get one back?

I think you are being OTT about adult birthdays, in my experience children dont mind an extra present from grandparent, arriving after their birthday either.

I think the email is fine.

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