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Parents and DDs birthday

(27 Posts)
Notahufflepuff Fri 01-Jul-16 11:49:21

Trying to keep this fairly brief otherwise I'd write an entire essay! Dd has just turned one. We have had a very difficult year in many ways but Dd has been fab throughout. She is a brilliant little thing. Decided we were going to have a little party for her with a few friends from playgroup and our families.

Parents show up with faces like slapped arses. This is not unusual but they seem to cheer up a bit. They give us a card with 30 quid in it for Dd (not a criticism, relevant later). A good time is had, most people leave and I invite all grandparents to stay for tea. Pils can't so it's just us and parents. I thought we had a lovely time opening DDs presents and catching up. Later that night (so still DDs birthday!) I receive an email from them saying:
-DD wasnt grateful enough for her present (she's one! Money has no meaning!)
-Pils are showing off by buying her fancy stuff (an heirloom dolls house, plus bits and pieces)
-first birthdays should be just family
-i should remember that they are old and might be dead soon, and prioritise their feelings
-my house is not tidy enough (my house is clean and tidy, honest! , but not to my mothers ten hours a day cleaning standards)
-it was not fair how much time they got with dd

I don't know, this probably sounds not that bad but it is in the context of them always making every single event about themselves. And I feel like I'll look back and instead of remembering DDs birthday nicely, it'll be the day when they sent me a nasty email. I haven't responded because I'm worried I'll send back something horrible. I don't know what to do.

mouldycheesefan Fri 01-Jul-16 11:52:28

IGNORE. Do not engage. You do not have to justify yourself. Leave the ball with them.
My NC mother does this sort of thing, which is why she hasn't seen dcs for 5 years. Not advising that for you but do not reward their behaviour with a reply, explanation or justification.
Your party sounds lovely.

FaFoutis Fri 01-Jul-16 11:54:40

I agree, they don't deserve a reply.

RosieCockle Fri 01-Jul-16 12:05:30

Totally unacceptable of them. There are probably many points you'd like to put in a reply, but they'd twist it and you'd still end up looking/feeling bad and it would drag on. Don't reply, and try and block it from spoiling the lovely day you had. Laugh at the idea of a one-year-old not being grateful enough - lol! flowers

PixieMiss Fri 01-Jul-16 12:09:01

It looks like they were in a bad mood to start with and you bore the brunt after the party.

LondonStill83 Fri 01-Jul-16 12:12:19

Wow! Op, I have watched my poor mom deal with the fall out from her parents who sound similar to yours. I am now 33 and the games continue.

Stop engaging now so that by the time your gorgeous DD is 33, you will no longer be emotionally linked to their behavior and can choose / control both the frequency and nature of contact.

Don't reply- as I often say to my mom, there is no reasoning with crazy!!

AnnaMarlowe Fri 01-Jul-16 12:21:12

I'm so sorry, how awful. The issues though are all their own and nothing to do with you.

Personally Although I'd want to send back a ranting email in response, I suspect it would annoy them most to just not reply at all. It also lets you keep the moral high ground as you haven't been mean back.

MatildaTheCat Fri 01-Jul-16 12:25:52


Out of interest are they actually old? Odd way to describe yourself.

Toofondofcake Fri 01-Jul-16 12:26:40

Eugh this sounds exactly like the crap my mam pulls all the time.

It came to a head not long ago and I told her that if you don't like my house and my husband and aren't prepared to be supportive of us she could just not come back. Sounds harsh but it was the result of a lot of build up.

respond calmly saying something along the lines of : it's a shame you feel that way and can't just enjoy a happy day with DD. If you have that much of a problem feel free to visit less. Grow up.

Sometimes parents feel that you owe them so much that they need to be stars of the show and get everything their way with GPs.

Totally sympathise but know that this is standard parent crap and let's all just pray we don't end up like them. smile

Notahufflepuff Fri 01-Jul-16 12:44:33

Thanks all. Yes, they are elderly- significantly older than most of my friends parents, and my PILs. The thing is, I know that its probably a bad idea to respond but then the worry starts about if they do get ill or are hospitalised or something. Then it will be my fault.

Toofondofcake Fri 01-Jul-16 13:20:30

It wouldn't be your fault. Obviously we all want to have good relationships with our parents but sometimes the only way to do that is to tell them plainly that they are the ones being unreasonable and damaging the relationship. They may be old but they aren't idiots.

PhoenixReisling Fri 01-Jul-16 13:31:10

Don't respond to the email.

They may well be elderly but they are behaving like children and somewhat batshit who the hell would expect a one year old to be grateful

Can I ask, is this normal behaviour from them? Do they use guilt and emotional blackmail to get you to tow the line? Also, what does your DH think?

purplefox Fri 01-Jul-16 14:12:14

Don't respond.

How often do they pull the "I'll be dead soon so I should be your priority" card?

figginz Fri 01-Jul-16 14:17:03

I think you should reply. If you don't, you will get another email or a call saying "why haven't you replied?". But don't go into the ins and outs, just acknowledge the email. If you feel up to it, suggest a chat.

I hate email. I'm always misinterpreted! So I prefer to talk even though it's harder.

flowers for you. The party sounds lovely.

mouldycheesefan Fri 01-Jul-16 14:20:36

It's not your fault if they are hospitalised.
There is no such illness as 'I didn't like a one year olds party'.
Do not give in to FOG (fear, obligation, guilt).
If they email asking if you got their original email then do not reply to that either. Do not engage in their nonsense. Leave them to it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Jul-16 14:23:07


Its not you, its them.

Do not respond to that missive from your parents; no good will come of it. What disordered people like your parents want is contact from you; this to them is the reward so they can then bother you more. They are not interested in your own family unit or your feelings. They are trying to buy your DDs affections.

People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; what role did these people give you. You may find "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward a good read.

My guess too is that they have always been like this. I would seriously consider now blocking their e-mail address or at least forward any future communiques/passive aggressive demands to your spam folder

AnnaMarlowe Fri 01-Jul-16 14:41:44

Not responding doesn't mean going no contact. It just means ignoring this particularly awful message.

Take some time to calm down and then perhaps arrange to meet them in neutral ground eg the park or swimming with your wee girl.

You are an adult though, you don't have to listen to them be horrible to you. You can just say politely "this isn't an acceptable way to behave" and excuse yourself.

Good luck.

Notahufflepuff Fri 01-Jul-16 15:01:15

Can I ask, is this normal behaviour from them? Do they use guilt and emotional blackmail to get you to tow the line? Also, what does your DH think?

They do, often. They (for example) were "devastated" that we didn't announce DDs birth until the next morning - she was born at 2am and I went straight into surgery!

DH is very supportive of me and knows how much I wanted to have a lovely day for dd. He wants to do what's best for me and dd.

"How often do they pull the "I'll be dead soon so I should be your priority" card?"

Often. Funny thing is my grandma used to come out with it all the time and I know my mum hated it! Talk about history repeating itself!

Notahufflepuff Fri 01-Jul-16 15:03:41

And the funny thing is I have read a lot of relationships threads on mumsnet for years and never thought they were as bad as that! I think it's the protective mum in me coming out!

Notahufflepuff Fri 01-Jul-16 15:10:16

Also I missed this on first read:
"It came to a head not long ago and I told her that if you don't like my house and my husband and aren't prepared to be supportive of us she could just not come back. Sounds harsh but it was the result of a lot of build up."

Spot on. Mum doesn't like dh and makes very little secret of it-although she is polite to his face. She hates my house because it's "full of crap" aka books.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Fri 01-Jul-16 15:23:26

Can I just say, well done on not simply replying with "oh, do grow up" grin

What happens when you ignore the strops? is this likely to escalate?

NeckguardUnbespoke Fri 01-Jul-16 15:25:15

She hates my house because it's "full of crap" aka books.

All the more reason for her not to visit, really.

Kungfupandaworksout16 Fri 01-Jul-16 15:35:17

One question.
Did your DD enjoy her day?
That's all that matters.

PhoenixReisling Fri 01-Jul-16 16:02:12

It doesn't come as a surprise that they always behave like this....

You do realise that their behaviour is dysfunctional don't you? Maybe you have known it but have been in the FOG. Now that you have your own DC maybe you are starting to realise how batshit it is. Do you have siblings? I ask as often in dysfunctional families, everyone has a role.

My mother was like this....I'm virtually NC now and it came to a head when I had my DC. I thought f**k it, I'm not allowing her behaviour impact on my children. I was also the scapegoat.

Like I said previously I wouldn't respond to the email. If they send you another or phone you/turn up, then say that yes you have read.....and say no more/change the subject.

chipmonkey Fri 01-Jul-16 17:16:08

Do you have a book on etiquette in your vast library. If so, give it to your dd and point her to the chapter on expressing gratitude for presents. Get her to write a thank you note. I assume you have taught her to write in cursive script?

😁 OR delete the email and pour yourself a giant glass of wine! Your parents are batshit!

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