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Disappointed with family

(42 Posts)
Mumzy02 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:19:50

Name changed

So , DH and I always make an effort on family birthdays ... our siblings get cards but DH Mum, Dad and our nieces and nephews all get presents, Easter eggs , Christmas presents , presents for new baby etc. ( can I add we are not well off by any means , average jobs , no huge savings account ... we live payday to payday like many other people )
When we see our nieces we sometimes take then a sweet / take them to the shop for an ice cream etc .... all our choice but make the effort .
Anyway yet again it’s my sons birthday and nothing ! From no one !! Grandparents, aunties, uncles NOTHING !!!
I don’t expect him to be bombarded with presents at all , we are his parents.... but a card A BIRTHDAY CARD THAT SHOWS HES BEEN REMEMBERED!!!!

This happens with all 3 of my kids every birthday and I’ve just about had enough , they are good kids who always play nice with their cousins , they are polite and friendly, one of them ( teen ) regularly babysits for free , as do me a DH .

Constanstly told ... sorry didn’t have time to get a card or I have no money for a card ( you can get one for as little as 50p) when they constantly have take seats and are always in town near shops !!

Aibu to think I should do exactly the same from now on and not turn up with treats either !!

Mumzy02 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:21:37

Sorry * constantly have take aways.

Also SIL always gets a card for nieces and nephew on her side

Widowodiw Sun 21-Apr-19 11:23:27

People just don’t tend to do cards now in days if social media. My kids only ever get a very few cards. If I was you I’d just stop making the effort. We decides ylyears ago with all the cousins- there’s loads - that rather than spending the time buying for others we should each just buy for our own. Less hassle and means that they don’t get gifts there not going to play with.

Easterbunnynearlyhere Sun 21-Apr-19 11:24:04

Please withdraw your kindness op. Save the cash for your own dc. Ignorant fuckers if they can't even send a card imo. A dgs! Shocking and inexcusable.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Sun 21-Apr-19 11:24:48

I'd stop the teen doing free babysitting regardless of the card situation. Would be ok if they were paying her but to use her as free childcare imo is wrong.

Do the same then if you can live with the child missing out and just do cards.

MrsKrabbapple Sun 21-Apr-19 11:26:31

From both sides of the family or just one side?

If just your dh’s side, maybe it’s just not something they do. My dh’s family are like this. They just don’t send cards or presents for anything. Nor do they expect any. It took me a few years to get used to it but my dc are teenagers now and they have never mentioned it.

pudcat Sun 21-Apr-19 11:28:14

Don't do it any more. I have cut down on presents for folk who can't be bothered to say thank you these days. I do not consider a fb thank you to everyone sufficient.

Chocmallows Sun 21-Apr-19 11:30:26

You have my sympathy OP. For me it's just my sister who forgets my DC all the time. I have considered stopping buying for her children's birthdays as I'm sick of her forgetting and telling me how busy she is. My DD is 13, so I have had 13 years of "oops, just me forgetting again", then sometimes a late card with plastic bracelet or a panic voucher online and too late for a card.

Watching as I am currently ignoring my sister as a birthday has just been missed and I would like to see suggestions.

Stayawayfromitsmouth Sun 21-Apr-19 11:31:41

Have you or dh actually called them out on this?
It's not normal and it's not nice.
Stop being so accessible and nice to them. Free babysitting? I bet your teen hates that! They are showing you they don't care for any of you, so treat them the same.

Piffle11 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:31:43

Just stop buying. I was in a similar position and knocked it on the head - ironically the person who appeared most put out was MIL (who didn't even give one of our DC a gift this Christmas). In your case it sounds very one-sided, and as someone else said, I'd be getting your teen to stop the free babysitting: I think they are being taken advantage of. When you keep doing the stuff you're doing - the treats, the cards and gifts - it starts to be expected, and then it's as though this is your 'thing'. They won't suddenly start buying for your DC so end it now.

Mumzy02 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:32:03

Both sides ! My DM always made an effort but sadly no longer here .

It’s just so annoying that no effort to even give him a card is made ! He’s a kid FFS

Also no Social media so can’t get messages that way so everyone just ignores it , he might get a card from his nan in 2 weeks or so if we go round to pick it up ! Even though they love down the road and never bother to come round

BarbarianMum Sun 21-Apr-19 11:33:42

You've tried treating them the way you'd like to be treated, now treat them the same way they treat you. Do less for them, much, much less.

QueenAnneBoleyn Sun 21-Apr-19 11:34:23

I’m not surprised you’re upset.
You and the teen need to stop all babysitting. Stop buying gifts for any of the adults concerned (maybe even no birthday cards for them?).
However in your position I would still buy for nieces and nephews as they are
innocent in all of this.

Happygolucky009 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:34:44

I have this with my family, it saddens me that they think so little my children and can't be arsed. It frustrates me and infuriates me that the one year I forgot to send an adult birthday card on time and got a shitty text......

But I have worked out that my children don't get upset but neither do they bother of appreciate said family members and ultimately my kids are lovely and my family are kidding out by their lack of effort!

BottleOfJameson Sun 21-Apr-19 11:36:31

I don't think birthdays a big deal in all families but in this case YANBU. Your teenager babysits for free and they can't even recognise his birthday? I do think it's quite lazy!

Nanny0gg Sun 21-Apr-19 11:37:34

Even "grandparents?*

I'd be very very hurt. In fact it's unthinkable to me.

Have you spoken about it? If not, why not?

MissMogwai Sun 21-Apr-19 11:38:27

Tight sods. I can't imagine not buying my niece or nephew and definitely not my grandchild, a present or card on their birthday.

Like pp have said, stop buying for them. Obviously we shouldn't give to receive but they are taking the piss!

Thebookswereherfriends Sun 21-Apr-19 11:50:39

Unfortunately it’s not the kids fault that the adults are useless. I certainly wouldn’t make particularly special efforts, send a cheap card and token presents to the children. Don’t bother doing anything for the adults.

Mumzy02 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:56:48

Yes my nieces and nephews are innocent in all of this ... but so is my child / children and they don’t give a toss about him so why should I still carry on the way I have been ?
I don’t give gifts to receive them but a card is hardly a big ask.

We have called grandparents out before , even gone NC over various things ...
sometimes they get the kids a card but leave it at their house till we go over as they don’t come to us ! Unless invited for a big meal / family get together which I won’t be doing anymore either ... but they do visit other grandchild who lives over an hour away and her bday is never forgotten!!

Cherrysoup Sun 21-Apr-19 11:58:33

So stop getting them anything. It’s really shit of them to never reciprocate. Don’t waste anymore of your money.

Millie2018 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:58:38

Unfortunately they are taking your kindness for granted. Slowly withdraw treats, Easter eggs etc if not reciprocated. You will only end up feeling resentful and bitter otherwise. I am constantly left feeling disappointed by my family for similar reasons. The more I withdraw the better I feel. Otherwise it becomes all consuming. But please, if they ask why, tell them. Otherwise you run the risk of appearing the bad guy.

SunshineCake Sun 21-Apr-19 12:02:06

You'll get people spouting bollocks about social media, texts, better for the environment etc for reasons to not send cards but it's not everyone that has SM etc. A card is a lovely thing to receive. I have one family member and he sends me a card for my birthday but not my children. My dh has a huge family and his cousins never send birthday cards to any of us and some never send a thank you text never mind card when we send gifts when a new baby comes along.

I got fed up of the lack of manners more than the lack of a card etc and I no longer send gifts for babies or wedding anniversary cards. It clearly means so little that when one relative moved without telling us that they didn't even question why they received no birthday and new baby things that I thought why bother.

ImNotHappyaboutitPauline Sun 21-Apr-19 12:07:52

It's pretty shit that nobody in their extended family can be bothered but seriously why on earth have you carried on making a production for every one of their events? If they make zero effort with your dc then it's pretty clear they're just not interested. Not nice but nothing you can do. STOP spending your time, money and energy on people who aren't bothered about you and yours!

FifisLovelyApron Sun 21-Apr-19 12:08:32

Just send cards for future birthdays. If anyone gets snarky with you, "Oh, but you never give my kids a present so I thought you were hinting not to buy gifts anymore?"

wellhelloyou Sun 21-Apr-19 12:15:54

I used to do this, but then after years when no-one bothered to do a thing in return (not even a text) I stopped. I felt bad for quite a while for the kids mainly. Looking back I never received one thank you (not that I was looking for this but wasn't even told if the present had arrived or not) so instead of hoping they would do the same as I did, I gave up.

I would love to do this again as it's not about giving and receiving, simply showing those close to you they mean something - but it does hurt year after year when you and your family are forgotten about. I have lowered my expectations to zero and that helps.

I would just stop if I was you and move on. Don't expect anything.

SunshineCake Sun 21-Apr-19 12:23:05

Maybe the children who are never forgotten have parents who demand things and pull them up on bad behaviour. Or they know where the bodies are buried.

Fundays12 Sun 21-Apr-19 12:26:19

Stop buying things for there kids. At the end of the day the money you spend on families kids could be spent on your own. As harsh as that sounds your children are your priority and as you said your not well off. It’s obviously not your families kids faults at all but if there parents can’t even be bothered to send a card I would just stop it. We do birthdays only for kids and a max of £10 per child. If any family don’t recripocate I don’t buy again.

NoSauce Sun 21-Apr-19 12:29:33

That’s rubbish Op. Stop buying for them, they don’t deserve your gifts.

Weezol Sun 21-Apr-19 12:30:20

Why did you go NC in the past amd wjat prompted the return to contacy? From what you've said you appear to make all the running with zero reciprocation - they are all take.

Put a stop to the all the gifts and especially the free babysitting. It might be interesting to roughly estimate how much you're spending on cards, presents and sweets in a year. I think you'll be surprised at the total and what you could do with that money for your own family.

My lovely friend did this and realised that she and her kids could have a five day seaside break on the total. They hadn't had a holiday for a few years prior, so it was quite a change!

Mumzy02 Sun 21-Apr-19 12:32:01

Thanks everyone , I thought I was going to get flamed for expecting ! But it’s only a card that I feel should be sent , or at least a phone call from grandparents!!

I am going to stop now , the reason I havn’t before is because we are nice people that care about others, like to do nice things etc... but that’s it now , I’m done with all of it , no more cards or presents, it’s never really appreciated anyway

Moomoomoomoomoo Sun 21-Apr-19 12:33:15

Just stop OP.

Save the money and spend it on your child.

AnnaMagnani Sun 21-Apr-19 12:34:52

Why have you carried on for so long?

It isn't meaningful for them to give gifts/cards to extended family members when they are on a budget.

Up until now, it has been for you. But then you have to be giving not to receive and after a while that becomes a pretty lonely place.

I am sure their children are not suffering a shortage of ice creams or Easter eggs in their lives, so you stopping buying them is not going to be a huge hardship for them. Just enjoy seeing them and having the relationships without the stuff and also enjoy saving the money

PatchworkElmer Sun 21-Apr-19 12:40:06

I’d be tempted to stop tbh- I generally think that children shouldn’t be ‘punished’ for the rudeness of their parents. BUT in this instance, sod it.

Jetstream Sun 21-Apr-19 12:51:19

Our family are like this and it’s a constant thorn in our mother’s side. No excuses are accepted and usually it’s me that gets the ranting. We now send text reminders well beforehand and it has helped a bit.

Springwalk Sun 21-Apr-19 13:11:34

Op I have had exactly this and I remember the boiling rage of yet another missed birthday and Christmas.
Stop now both birthday cards and presents. Send a text to each if you have time or can be bothered. You are investing love, time and effort into them and they could not care less and continue to accept your generosity.

I saved the money for my own children and bought them each an extra gift or two for each occasion. I never ever drew attention to the fact their family are in fact totally selfish. Only that the extra gifts were theirs for being so special to all of us.
My dc have grown up not expecting anything from anyone (so it’s absolutely fine and does not upset them) if your dc are raised thinking they should be given something, use the money saved from all the stopped presents for a ‘family’ gift for your children.

Your children should not be losing out.

No more babysitting, no more treats. Zero. Be nice but be firm. Every penny goes into your own family now.

You will almost certainly receive enquires from the selfish buggers that they haven’t a gift for their children. I would politely say that you assumed that we weren’t ‘doing presents’ anymore as your children haven’t received Christmas or birthday gifts for x amount of years, so now seems like a good time to stop.

I brought my dc extra gift each for their birthdays, and we saved up and booked a memorable family weekend away. When we got there I sat outside with the birds singing with a glass of wine and savoured the money saved and the lovely weekend it offered us. There was poetic justice as my SIL was hanging her piles removed 😂 Stop pouring money away on people that do not care for you. Stop now. Invest in your children from now on.

Springwalk Sun 21-Apr-19 13:13:16

Having not hanging!

Springwalk Sun 21-Apr-19 13:16:05

Btw you are still a nice person just one that has removed the word doormat branded on her forehead.

PrincessTiggerlily Sun 21-Apr-19 13:26:04

I would stop it all. I have DBs and they never bought a card for anyone except my DM, and probably had to be reminded about that. They just never gave to any of my DCs, unless they had a nice partner, like you, who did it all for them.

Part of the problem imv is that DCs have sooooo much, Toys are relatively cheap, so it's nothing special to receive a card or an ice cream. So perhaps your DCs dont' mind not getting one, and you won't feel so annoyed if you've stopped giving to them - what age are they.

I feel a little guilty but only give to my DCs and my GDCs.

EngagedAgain Sun 21-Apr-19 13:42:43

Another one who thinks you shouldn't do it anymore. I was in this situation years ago, whereby I got even my friends children a card at least, cannot remember about presents. I thought they obviously don't care, because I only had one daughter, and yet I was doing for their bigger families.

HDG1234 Sun 21-Apr-19 13:43:21

It’s so kind of you OP to be getting all those cards and presents but honestly I don’t want all my family members to get stuff for my children. It would just end up being too much. At Christmas I give to all my nieces and nephews though. Maybe the others in your family just don’t want presents? I do think it’s mean of them, though, when it’s clearly important to you

Streamside Sun 21-Apr-19 14:54:22

I don't do much of this anymore but have replaced it with collecting throughout the year for shoebox appeals and providing nice gifts to Christmas appeals.It's a nice thing for children to do and encourages them to give to those less fortunate than themselves.

Mumzy02 Sun 21-Apr-19 15:07:46


I always ask what child would like / need . This can be anything parents say they need like clothes etc or money for savings or an accessory to go with a toy they already have , and I always get what they request ( within reason)

And it’s not the present that I’m interested in for my children . I always make sure they have what they need and then for birthdays and Christmas they get an item that has been requested. It’s just the thought of a card from members of the family that always make sure that their request has been put in ! It’s not hard to get your 9 yr old nephew / grandson a card just to wish him a happy birthday

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