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Does it bother you if family members forget your kids birthdays?

(45 Posts)
Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 10:33:09

Dd is 3 today. My sister has forgotten her birthday. My dc are the only children in the family.

There are a lot of difficult family dynamics going on here. Firstly my sister is unable to have children and since I have had had mine seems to be quite angry with me and the attention that my dc get from other family members. Gradually since my children have been born she has stopped contacting me and rarely responds to my texts or calls. However she gets very quite angry if she doesn't get the attention on her birthday and at Christmas etc that she thinks she deserves.

Would you say anything to her and would it bother you if your child's birthday was forgotten? I feel sad about things more than anything.

rubyslippers Sun 06-Sep-09 10:36:17

your DD won't notice

this sounds like a much bigger issue than a forgetten birthday

she sounds like she is struggling with her childlessness and she is angry

would i say anything - not really ...

leoleosuperstar Sun 06-Sep-09 10:40:14

This is very difficult.
I would be very sad if my sister forgot my DC's birthday. I always make sure I remind people of important events so this doesn't happen.
I understand her being so emotional but it is not your DC's fault and I am sure she would feel better if she tried to be closer to your DC's.
One of my sisters cannot have children and is very close to my DS - I make sure she is close to him and make an effort such as getting DS to tell her he loves her and special cards etc. Also we tend to treat my sisters birthday the same way you would a childs to make up for the effort she puts in for our children.
As for what to do I would maybe text or call asking her what time she wanted to come over and see your DD because she is very excited to see her Auntie or something along those lines and ignore the fact she has 'forgotten' and drag her into the celebrations.

alypaly Sun 06-Sep-09 10:40:46

My childrens god parents have forgotten all their birthdays since DS1 and DS2 were about eight. DS1 18th and 21st were missed aswell. I got the impression that being a godparent was an honour, and something i would take quite eriously. I am really disappointed in all 4 of them. Just hope thay remember to send a card for DS1 forthcoming graduation next year.( ever the optimist..i know he willl pass).

does anyone take this role seriously anymore

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sun 06-Sep-09 10:44:02

No. I forget my nieces and nephews birthdays all the time, or am at least very late if I do remember! So I cannot mind if they forget too! My family dynamics are odd too, we all live such different lives, spread out across the world, but i know that they love me and my children, and vice versa, that is the most important thing.

leoleosuperstar Sun 06-Sep-09 10:45:49

If I would be upset by someone forgetting and I think that they might then I would remind them for my own sake IYKWIM.

PuppyMonkey Sun 06-Sep-09 10:46:27

I am rubbish at remembering birthdays. She could be just rubbish at remembering birthdays too.

I have three sisters, two brothers and about 400 close cousins - and all of them have kids. I forget everyone's birthday. And I don't buy them Xmas presents either as I would go bankrupt.

Maybe she has other things going on in her life right now... why don't you RING her. Not text. RING and find out.

Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 10:47:32

leoleosuperstar I do feel upset that she ignores my children and it is partly because I feel that they could be such a comfort to her.

Another irritating thing to me though is that she has nephews on her husbands side and she does not seem to have any issues with them and is very close to them though this may be because the relationship is driven by her dh and not her. She seems very angry with me since I had children and if I am honest all though we have always claimed to "love" each other, she has never really acted towards me as though she did, though I do love her and have always tried to help her out financially (that is all she has usually wanted from me tbh). Before she was ill and became unable to have children, she regularly said she didn't want any but I know it is different from not wanting and not being able to have kids. She lives a couple of hours away so wouldn't be able to text or phone her to pop in.

Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 10:48:28

I do ring her, she never answers me though.

EyeballsintheSky Sun 06-Sep-09 10:49:02

Hmm, my SIL (DH's sister) didn't get DD a card for her 1st birthday last year. She turned up with a notelet in which she had written happy 1st birthday. But the notelet was dark brown with a very grown up picture on it. I was livid, because it showed no effort whatsoever. It is no hassle to shove a kid's card in your trolley round Sainsburys. It wasn't even as if she had forgotten her birthday, she just didn't bother.

Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 10:50:34

I do realise that the official MN party line is that we are not supposed to be bothered by these things, but I just am <<stamps feet>>!

WidowWadman Sun 06-Sep-09 10:52:03

I'm horrible at remembering birthdays, including my own.

leoleosuperstar Sun 06-Sep-09 10:52:27

It is very sad.

Maybe just let it go and enjoy the day - much easier said than done I know. There is no point saying anything people tend to feel hard done by anyway and then if you say anything they feel that it just proves their point.

Do you have any other siblings?
What have you got planed today?

leoleosuperstar Sun 06-Sep-09 10:53:24


I would feel exactly the same.

Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 10:55:57

Well all dd's aunties on exh side (he has three sisters) are coming over, they make loads of effort, I think that is what makes me even sadder, I want my own sister to make the effort and love my children too. I miss her and feel gutted by the fact that she doesn't want to be involved with me or my dc.

diddl Sun 06-Sep-09 10:56:59

Wouldn´t your children be a reminder of what she can´t have, rather than a comfort?

Perhaps she finds it too upsetting to look for cards for young children?

I would be upset if I thought it was deliberately forgotten, though.

Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 11:02:27

Possibly Diddl, I do understand that, but will this go on forever? My dc will have grown up and she will have missed it all sad.

I do feel it is more about anger towards me though. One of my children is disabled so it is not as though everything is perfect in Sunfleurs world.

FimbleHobbs Sun 06-Sep-09 11:04:24

Disclaimer before I start: I don't have sisters, only brothers, and it seems like sister-sister relationships are much more complex than brother-sister ones. I think sisters expect more of each other, but thats just an observation...

My brothers don't have any DC, I have two. They never send cards or anything for their birthdays, although one of my brothers came a long way to DS1's first birthday party, which I really appreciated. They never seem to remember anyone's birthdays though so I just don't see it as a big deal.

Its a bit like 'do you need to go to church to be a Christian?' - 'do you need to send cards on one specific day to show you care about someone or can you do it over the year?'

One of my relations makes a massive passive aggressive fuss about forgotten/late birthday gifts; its so tiresome and I think she is incredibly rude.

I would cut your sister a bit of slack and focus on making sure your DD enjoys her birthday.

Sunfleurs Sun 06-Sep-09 11:06:35

"One of my relations makes a massive passive aggressive fuss about forgotten/late birthday gifts; its so tiresome and I think she is incredibly rude."

Yes, I really don't want to be that person, so I will bite my tongue and say nothing. It doesn't matter really does it? At the end of it all my sister is the one missing out and you can't make someone care can you?

vjg13 Sun 06-Sep-09 11:17:31

My brother lives abroad and never remembers my kids' birthdays. Every 2/3 years or so he does send them a big present. I always send things for my nieces around the time of their birthdays but it really doen't bother me.

I think you need to cut your sister a bit of slack and she may surprise you in the future. I wouldn't stop sending her cards/presents etc.

diddl Sun 06-Sep-09 11:19:51

It is a sad situation, because the other way of looking at it is the fact that you have children unfortunately has no bearing on her inability to.
You haven´t done it to hurt her, and she couldn´t realistically expect you not to have any because she can´t.

Perhaps as your children get older she might find it easier to accept?
But I guess she´s got to deal with it in her own way.

But it sounds as if your daughter is getting lots of fuss, so I´m sure she won´t care.
Doesn´t stop us hurting for them, though.

FimbleHobbs Sun 06-Sep-09 11:22:58

Sunfleurs, sorry, I didn't mean to suggest you would be like my relation (FILs girlfriend). She really does take it to the extreme (eg her last birthday, we were both v busy at work, but sent lovely bouquet a day late. Because it was a day late she refused to contact us to say thanks. Also if you don't send a card to her grown-up-left-home-adult-DCs she will not speak to you until you apologise. We never see these DCs and I'm sure they couldn't care less about cards)

You're right, your sister is the one missing out. I imagine it could be so hard, when sisters grow up together maybe playing with dolls and expecting to have babies at the same time when they're older. That sort of secret locked away daydream that then never really happens. Of course that means you're missing out too so I can see how it hurts you too.

But I hope your DD has a lovely birthday!

pucca Sun 06-Sep-09 11:27:47

It does annoy me yes, but then i guess i sometimes expect everyone to be like me grin i personally think birthdays are important and never forget.

My brother always forgets my birthday and my dc birthdays....but i always get him something, just one of those things i guess!

hermykne Sun 06-Sep-09 11:27:51

sunfleurs, it use to, but it doesn't, some people just dont care or are even aware of caring. but on the other hand some people dont care that they are missing out thats just personalities for you. you're different.
you LO will have lots of friends in her life who will be far more important than the family members who forget.
and who would she rather play with on her birthdays? she will have a lovely day & so will you!

juuule Sun 06-Sep-09 11:30:41


It used to. But I've forgotten my nephew/niece birthdays over the years (much to my shame).
We all understand that there is a lot going on in each families lives and that we all do love each other and would be there like a shot if needed.

It sounds as though your sister is upset and maybe distressed about not having children of her own.

Be generous towards her. I would mention that it was your dds birthday but not in a recriminating way.

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