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To be upset that my university friends ignored my son's birthday?

(38 Posts)
kinchyclare Thu 18-May-17 22:53:16

I'm the last one of my university friends to have kids. For five years, I've sent cards and presents on their kids' birthdays. My son has just turned two, and not one of them sent a card or gift. Granted, we're the kind of friends that are no longer regularly in touch, but I'm upset that I've been sending presents for so long, trying to be a loyal friend, but they couldn't be bothered to remember. Also, I posted on Facebook when it was his birthday so they all could have sent a card the next day or whatever. I know this is pretty pointless as there's not much I can do apart from stop sending stuff to their kids, but I'm angry and want to know if I am being totally unreasonable?!

indigox Thu 18-May-17 22:56:38

I would stop sending their kids presents/cards.

user1491572121 Thu 18-May-17 22:57:01

YABU in the nicest possible way. They may not be able to afford extra gifts.

I can't. I went to Uni but I'm still poor.

nosyupnorth Thu 18-May-17 23:03:09

To be honest my first thought was that this was quite odd thing for you to expect as it would never have occurred to me to send a card/gift to a friend's child - that's something I do for my friends and relatives but not my friends' relatives.

That said, if you've established a pattern of doing this I can see why you might be surprised, but unless they all sent gifts to each others' children in the past and missed yours out I think you have to accept that while what you've been doing is generous it isn't the done thing and you shouldn't expected them to return it.

YANBU to stop sending gifts - especially since it seems there's no expectation of that.

YABU to be angry that distant friends aren't sending your son gifts. Just because you have doesn't change the fact that doing that for all old friends who've had kids would be totally impractical for most people.

susanboozan Thu 18-May-17 23:04:51

Go to bed. Now.

It is not a problem for anyone but you, and your child will not have a clue.

You are kind and thoughtful, but lives move off in different directions.

Enjoy your child's birthday and delete Facebook. Seems to me FB is the catalyst for so much angst these days. Live in the real world.

Happy Birthday to your son. I am sure s/he will have a blast without the FB folk.

Guessing you are youngish? If so, it will get easier over time.

PurpleDaisies Thu 18-May-17 23:08:38

Once there are a lot of children in your social circle it gets unmanageable to send them all cards/presents. If you're not regularly in touch, I think you're being a big unrealistic to expect a present for your child.

DorisMcSweeney Thu 18-May-17 23:17:31

I have enough problems remembering my own birthday, let alone the children of some people I used to get drunk with whilst pretending to intellectually better myself

susanboozan Thu 18-May-17 23:19:56

@Doris, lol.

SuperBeagle Thu 18-May-17 23:21:03

Why on earth are you sending cards and presents to kids of people you don't have much/anything to do with anymore?

You've set up an expectation here which is unreasonable in itself.

KeepServingTheDrinks Thu 18-May-17 23:28:59

Ouch. These are quite harsh. Not wrong, but harsh.

OP, no not unreasonable. I would be hurt too. But their lives have moved on and yours should too. If it helps, they'll probably miss your cards and gifts and feel bad about it. Heigh ho... Enjoy your 2yr old.

NoSquirrels Thu 18-May-17 23:29:17

I do think the key here is that you have 1 DC and are the last of your circle to do it - when 1 or 2 of my uni friends had had their first DC I was OK at remembering birthdays to 2 or 3 years old, then I had my own DC, and they had more, and the life admin went crazy. Just no time or brain space. To be perfectly honest, if I remember my actual friends' birthdays, and approximate name/age/sex of their offspring without looking it up, I'm doing well.

I have implemented an unspoken rule of Welcome birth cards, then 1st Birthday cards, then Feck All thereafter (unless invited to a party)!

Namechangedforthisobviously Thu 18-May-17 23:48:26

Yabu. Be less demanding, seriously.

Colacolaaddict Thu 18-May-17 23:49:56

I totally get why you are hurt and upset.

However it does all get a bit much when you have children going to parties all year on top of friends' children, nieces and nephews. Just this month I've bought 4 party gifts, 2 nephews and teacher leaving gift, alongside my job and untold piles of school permission slips, extra curricular stuff admin, school info evenings etc etc. I highly doubt it's at all personal. Sometimes what's unavoidable has to get prioritised over what we would ideally manage.

Fortifiedwithvitaminsandiron Thu 18-May-17 23:53:53

Honestly? Yes, YABVU. It feels massively PFB (sorry!).

Like a PP, we generally do a 'welcome to the world' card/gift upon birth and then anything from there on in is only if we're invited to someone's DCs party. Aside from the first few 'first birthday' bashes that hasn't happened in 8 years of uni friends having kids (there are 11 between us now), and we sound closer than the group you describe. To be honest, remembering their names is success enough.... try not to take it personally as it's not the case that no-one has 'bothered to remember.' I have two DCs of my own and I barely remember anything at all beyond what I need to do to make it through the next 30 minutes without them fighting. Times change, life moves on.

Hope your DC had a lovely birthday xxx

susanboozan Fri 19-May-17 00:00:35

Parent worries.

Children generally don't give a dam really.

I blame Facebook. So there.

Fruitcorner123 Fri 19-May-17 00:00:58

YANBU to be upset.I had a similar experience when my DC were younger but honestly now am glad i don't have to remembered all their DCs birthdays every year. It gets very expensive Try not to let it impact on your friendships just save yourself some money and don't buy for theirs anymore. A card would have been nice but now you know they won't be doing that you can relax and not worry about it for their DCs. Doesn't mean they don't care just that they are V busy. We have so many family birthdays on our calendar and I often forget to send cards even for them.

susanboozan Fri 19-May-17 00:05:42


There is so much more to life than this. Really, there is.

YesMilk Fri 19-May-17 00:10:57

No way would I be drawn into some never ending gift exchange with people I went to university with.

They didn't reciprocate because they want you to stop.

Your 2yo won't give a shite.

llangennith Fri 19-May-17 00:13:28

OP take the hint. They want you to stop. Find friends you actually see on a day to day basis.

TinselTwins Fri 19-May-17 00:21:18

Oh my goodness I could not send cards and gifts to all of my friends kids!

I bring gifts and cards if I am invited to their birthday parties. Otherwise just mention "oh how was x's birthday" next time we have coffee maybe

I think you've missread normal etiquette, generally, unless you're BEST friends. You send cards/gifts when the baby is born, then just do it if invited to their party

It's well awkward if someone you don't exchange gifts with KEEPS sending them!

They're probably desperate for you to stop!

NotISaidTheWalrus Fri 19-May-17 00:22:06

yabu. The weird thing is not that they didnt send anything to your kid, but that you sent things to theirs. Do you know their children at all? You chose, for some odd reason, to send gifts for multiple children for multiple years that have no clue who you are. You can't be angry at people who don't do it, thats nuts.
You're not even regularly in touch. Are they actually friends, or are they people you went to university with? Thats not the same thing.

user1andonly Fri 19-May-17 00:28:13

I confess I'd also be a bit grumpy about my efforts not being reciprocated BUT take the hint, stop buying for their children and, believe me, you'll be glad of it as they all get older and you don't have to wrack your brain thinking about what 10, 12, 16 year olds want or at what point you can stop buying - it has to stop somewhere.

TinselTwins Fri 19-May-17 00:30:37

also, if they were friends they would have been reciprocating to you and not waiting until you had a kid yourself to be in touch.

I have friends who don't have kids, I send them birthday cards and little things that remind me of them at other times.

You're the one who has behaved oddly, they've done nothing wrong.

BorisTrumpsHair Fri 19-May-17 00:51:51


Give it all up.

AlpacaLypse Fri 19-May-17 00:58:59

Ignore the last half dozen replies on this. Yabu but nicely. Honestly we just get swamped by everything.

Now that all the babies are teens and several are at university we're finally finding time to reconnect and it's great. Hope that happens for you and your old mates, but don't expect anything for at least a decade and more likely fifteen years.

Our big catalyst has been the rash of fiftieth birthday parties. Although there have also been several sixtieth parties... my own fault for choosing a life partner seven years older than myself.

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