Is it awful to stop buying presents for DNs?

(108 Posts)
PressieFatigue Tue 05-Oct-21 23:53:52

Name change for obvious reasons. Very controversial issue but I'd appreciate some advice.

SIL has 4 DC and is expecting her 5th. For the last decade she has had a baby every couple of years like clockwork. It feels like the gift giving parade never ceases; it's always someone's birthday or it's Christmas. They're very well spread out!

I used to pitch in with sorting cards and gifts but had to step away as we have been struggling to conceive for years and it's all just very upsetting for me.

DP is disorganised. He's like a headless chicken with these presents and cards. He doesn't want to give the eldest ones cash in a card because he wants to make an effort. Which is one of the things I love about him, but he always leaves things to the last minute and it's usually fine - but his luck has run out.

He just had a bit of a falling out with SIL because he missed one child's birthday. She has accused him of being selfish and not caring about her DC, etc.

We stopped doing adult presents a couple of years ago because it was just token gifts being exchanged. I was wondering if it would be awful to stop sending presents to the nieces and nephews too? The DC never go without, BIL and SIL spoil them rotten at every opportunity and of course the grandparents do too.

I'm probably being unreasonable, but just wanted to run this past the MN panel before broaching the issue with DP. I'm so sick of the stress and the aggro.

TIA x

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Sat 09-Oct-21 21:47:50

I think you need to scale back how much you spend.

Christmas you buy a family gift such a board game.

For their birthdays they get a gift of £10-£20. Clothing with receipt can be an ok choice?

Have a cut off for when you stop such as 16.

I can imagine it's very painful with all the new baby gifts and pre-schooler gifts when you are TTC thanks

Asj0405 Sat 09-Oct-21 21:46:33

I have 3 dc, my dh sis has none but she does have 7 other nieces and nephews it was costing her a fortune and it really didn't seem fair. I asked if she would rather call and take them to the park for an ice cream/hot choc on their birthdays, they love spending the time with her it's become a bit of a tradition. I appreciate you live further away and may not be an option for you but I think sometimes adults place a lot more importance on gifts than children do. I suppose they may feel differently if they have a small family and don't receive any other gifts but for us it works, once you get past a couple if children, the house seems to be full of toys with no where to put them as they all get passed down. If you can get there at some point and take them all out for the day to a park etc I'm sure they would love it, if not send a book or similar straight from amazon (if you have prime won't cost on delivey) and either mum can wrap it if needed but mine love receiving something from delivery company in their name doesn't even have to be wrapped they will rip the box open wondering who has sent them a personal delivery. Again not every child is the same but please do not feel any pressure to spend £50 a child every occasion no one I know would expect that!

WhereIsMumHiding3 Sat 09-Oct-21 21:45:28

PressieFatigue

Thanks everyone, I've decided to butt out and not say anything. I think i was just in a very bad place when I posted this.


Yeah. Your DH sorts it out. If he keeps leaving it late and causing you strsss. Suggest the Amazing gift voucher/card way forward. Teens prefer this and tbh she's on baby 5 now! Most people would have gone up gift cards by baby3!

I'd suggest a budget to him though, as it's getting v expensive and you may need your money for other things..

Klac30 Sat 09-Oct-21 21:19:01

Klac30

Do you have children? I assume not because no mention. Definitely still send cards but keep money spent minimal, if any. 5 presents is a lot! Or buy them some kind of shared gift - which may suck, I don't know but I can totally understand! Or maybe even just some colouring books and pens (unsure on ages) but can be cheap!

I just read the part of your op and out Ttc - I missed that part, apologies for being insensitive and asking if you had children. My
original point still stands. It doesn't sound like your Nieces and nephews need the gifts!

Klac30 Sat 09-Oct-21 21:17:16

Do you have children? I assume not because no mention. Definitely still send cards but keep money spent minimal, if any. 5 presents is a lot! Or buy them some kind of shared gift - which may suck, I don't know but I can totally understand! Or maybe even just some colouring books and pens (unsure on ages) but can be cheap!

dutchessmom Sat 09-Oct-21 20:59:41

I am sorry you're struggling ttc as well. It can be difficult and painful to have to be involved with children, nieces etc, I understand that.

In your position, I would leave your partner to deal with the gifts if you're not comfortable, but I wouldn't stop the gifts if its not a financial issue.

Advertisement

PressieFatigue Sat 09-Oct-21 10:39:17

Thanks everyone, I've decided to butt out and not say anything. I think i was just in a very bad place when I posted this.

OP’s posts: |
LittleOwl153 Wed 06-Oct-21 16:25:58

You can set up Amazon gift cards to send up to a year in advance. I appreciate he doesn't think that's personal but if he wants the kids to continue getting a present then maybe that's the answer you can find similar services such as "postable" for cards.

But I definitely think the budget can be reigned in...

woodhill Wed 06-Oct-21 13:31:10

We stop at 18 in our family, maybe then a token at 21

waterwaterwine Wed 06-Oct-21 13:28:36

I am planning on buying my 3 nieces until they are 21 after that I feel they will be making their own money. Mind you I don't even buy anything I send money in a card and they can buy whatever they like as they are teenagers now.

Clovacloud Wed 06-Oct-21 13:26:46

My SIL has a similar number of children, and we stopped when she insisted we buy presents for her children, their boyfriends/girlfriends and then their children as well. Strangely I didn’t want to buy Christmas and Birthday presents for 15 people we never saw and never once thanked us or reciprocated. I don’t blame you for ending thing now at all. Send a card and have done.

Eralos Wed 06-Oct-21 13:21:01

Yabu

Pythonista Wed 06-Oct-21 13:15:28

And if you do presents for children only then Those without children are left forking out for everyone else's kids and they get Jack shit!

WhereIsMumHiding3 Wed 06-Oct-21 13:11:34

I couldn't be doing with all this faff as you don't live near snd don't see your nieces and nephews much. I'd take a present if I was seeing them near their birthdays or a big birthday but otherwise , I'd do minimal fuss presents for birthdays to acknowledge them until they were 18. (And then a one off special 21st pressie)

Get your DH to put all their birthdays into his outlook calendar in his mobile and set up yearly reminders for the week before,

then he sends each child an Amazon gift card / voucher via SILs email address of £5 or £10 that says Dear Childsname Happy birthday love from Uncle and Auntie PressieFatigue

Voila = budget cut
Voila = no niece or nephew is forgotten
Voila = SIL can choose with the child what they'd like to use their gift voucher for

IME once DCs are 10, they always have their eye on something and prefer to buy their own or put it towards a bigger item.

If what they want isn't on Amazon, SIL can use it herself and give them the cash that she would have spent. But you can get pretty much everything on Amazon even sweeties boxes and chocolates.

Mary46 Wed 06-Oct-21 12:42:04

Hi op I have 8 nieces nephews. Kinda constant and sick of it. Nov has 5 birthdays. But I agree with posts bit mean to stop them. My son is 19 and working I told his aunts he doesnt expect anything but sure it keeps going!! Where does it end though..

takingmytimeonmyride Wed 06-Oct-21 10:17:50

Dancingonmoonlight

*cynical me suspects a similar outcome here. I can't imagine they'll be allocating much of a budget for us when they have so many of their own to buy for. Assuming that we ever do actually have a child*

I forgot to mention that after I had children (who were completely ignored), the family in question, moved to my childfree sister and started inviting her to their children’s big events! Both of us live 2-3 hours away from the family with kids. They couldn’t have been more obvious if they had tried!


My ILs also excluded my kids from family events too. Once their kids were over 18 the family meals out became for over 18s only. Once my oldest was 18 it was over 21s (except for BILs son who's a year younger than my oldest)

They'd have birthday and Christmas family get togethers, without us.

They wanted to do a family get together this summer but only 2 of my 5 wanted to go. Covid stopped it happening but I won't be making them if it happens next year (although most of them are adults now so I couldn't make them if I wanted to!)

Dancingonmoonlight Wed 06-Oct-21 10:07:49

cynical me suspects a similar outcome here. I can't imagine they'll be allocating much of a budget for us when they have so many of their own to buy for. Assuming that we ever do actually have a child

I forgot to mention that after I had children (who were completely ignored), the family in question, moved to my childfree sister and started inviting her to their children’s big events! Both of us live 2-3 hours away from the family with kids. They couldn’t have been more obvious if they had tried!

aSofaNearYou Wed 06-Oct-21 09:49:12

Just to add though, definitely fine and sensible to spend less on them now there's lots of them, something small is fine.

Cadent Wed 06-Oct-21 09:45:18

blushmint

Stop it.

Me and my dh were spending £50 on each child on his sisters kids birthday (5 of them) then 2 more came after we got married.. so another £100 spent.. then every time we visit/they visit. It's cultural to buy gifts.

Then I had my first child.
Suddenly SIL decided she didn't want to celebrate birthdays anymore, and started using religion excuses. Baring in mind after her, the only other sibling to have a child was my dh and me!

I was pissed off for a while because she secretly celebrates the other siblings birthdays but will ignore my dh.

Arseholes lot of them!

Guaranteed this will happen to OP.

People who complain about lack of presents aren’t forthcoming with presents themselves.

aSofaNearYou Wed 06-Oct-21 09:42:39

Why do you need to officially stop it? Can't you just continue to let your DH (however dubiosly) sort it? Nothing wrong with that...

Wilkolampshade Wed 06-Oct-21 09:39:18

This all makes me a bit sad, OP, you've been amazing to sort it out so far but a card and a tenner is fine, honestly.
FWIW, DH's extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY wealthy brother (even by MN standards) with whom he apparently has a normal relationship, sent birthday and Xmas cards rarely and presents even less often. One year my kids were so excited to get a parcel.. it contained two crappy bobble hats, one of which was too small. My kids noticed. It mattered. They don't think of him with any warmth now.
And it wasn't the lack of £££ spent. It was the lack of effort.

blushmint Wed 06-Oct-21 09:34:28

Stop it.

Me and my dh were spending £50 on each child on his sisters kids birthday (5 of them) then 2 more came after we got married.. so another £100 spent.. then every time we visit/they visit. It's cultural to buy gifts.

Then I had my first child.
Suddenly SIL decided she didn't want to celebrate birthdays anymore, and started using religion excuses. Baring in mind after her, the only other sibling to have a child was my dh and me!

I was pissed off for a while because she secretly celebrates the other siblings birthdays but will ignore my dh.

Arseholes lot of them!

Viviennemary Wed 06-Oct-21 09:32:19

After her tantrum I would certainly stop presents. I think its better to stop presents altogether than to give tat.

VestaTilley Wed 06-Oct-21 09:29:56

Your SIL sounds grabby and demanding - but I think this would be mean to the children.

Unless the children don’t say thank you or are rude and ungrateful then I wouldn’t stop giving a gift, but make sure it’s not expensive if you can’t afford it, and leave it all to your DH - they’re his family, you don’t need to worry about it.

Cadent Wed 06-Oct-21 09:28:47

Yeah there’s no way you’re getting presents when you have kids. 🤣

Just do selection boxes or equivalent at the most with a card.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in