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Need perspective please!(11 Posts)
Have been NC with my dad for 5 years. We fell out and he then stopped sending birthday/Christmas cards/gifts to the DC (who were newborn and 2 at the time). He hasn't asked to see them either (we are a 45min flight away.)
Last year he decided to start sending Christmas presents to the DC (fine). I then sent a photo of them on Christmas Day opening the presents.
This year he has sent a few more bits and bobs. However for DC1s & DC2s bday he sent boxes from Amazon and sent me an email saying "Hi, I have sent DCs birthday present could you wrap for me please and let me know when it arrives."
He has now done this with their Christmas presents and DC3s birthday (for next week).
For context we still haven't seen eachother/spoken on the phone....for almost 6 years now. I obviously blame him for us falling out and I am quite sure he blames me.
AIBU to think he shouldn't ask me to wrap the presents?
I just feel really busy and worn out with working/3 DC/high maintenance pets/unwell MAIL and he is one man with a 9-5, no other DC and one dog. I also think it shows a bit of "willing" on his part?
I guess it feels like him taking me completely for granted again and thinking that I am just there for his every whim. Which is a big part of why we fell out.
No contact actually suited me really well and I wish he had never got in contact again but I feel sorry for the DC who have no interested grandparents
I can see why the history between you is driving how you feel. But maybe just look at it in practical terms? Parcel postage is expensive and it doesn't make much sense to pay the postage to have the presents sent to him so he can wrap them and then pay for more postage to send the wrapped presents on to you.
But, if you don't think you gain anything from the relationship (and, ultimately, do your DC even have a relationship with their grandparent if he never visits or phones and just sends presents?) then returning to NC is something to consider for the new year.
I agree with pp him might be making it easier on himself by not paying postage first. But that being said if he was really making an effort he would suck up the extra cost. Is he sending you wrapping paper aswell or expecting you to use your own?
Another thing about his relationship with your children is that they will notice that grandad only sends presents but doesn't have any other contact with them. If that is never going to change then it might be easier for them to not have him at all.
I hope you know what I'm trying to say as I'm finding it hard to get the right words out but didn't want to read and run
I think for a lot of items on amazon these days you can select that it's a gift and it arrives wrapped. But I might be wrong.
He still could have had it delivered to himself, wrapped it and posted it to you. Bit lazy of him, but don't think he is being deliberately cruel. Just doing as little as possible.
re your comment:-
"I guess it feels like him taking me completely for granted again and thinking that I am just there for his every whim. Which is a big part of why we fell out. No contact actually suited me really well and I wish he had never got in contact again but I feel sorry for the DC who have no interested grandparents"
Children need healthy role models for grandparents, not those who do not bother with their mother in any way and use gifts and such like to try and regain some power and control over you and in turn them. Your dad after all was not a good parent to you, a mistake that many people make here with such dysfunctional parents is that they hope and against their own experience to the contrary they will behave better with the next generation. He is not making any sort of efforts here.
I would block him now and not acknowledge the "gifts" he sends them via you in any way. Give anything he sends them now to the charity shop, they should not receive such items as they are really unwanted. He is I feel using your children to manipulate them and make you feel again awkward about the recipient which is really low behaviour on his part. He probably hasn't changed an iota since your own childhood. Such selfish parents as well more often than not make out for being crap as grandparents also.
Agreed, he could have gotten them giftwrapped by Amazon, but I think it costs extra (I used to work for Amazon doing giftwrapping when I was in uni). It maybe shows a bit of a lack of effort on his part, but I also don't really think it's a big deal. We have family (who we are close to, no issues at all) who send our dd gifts from Amazon from time to time that aren't wrapped. We don't bother wrapping them. We just let her open the box. It's still exciting. She's 4 and really doesn't care. I'm assuming yours must be older than that by now and they probably don't care either. It sounds like maybe he's a bit weak on effort, but maybe he's at least trying. We are NC with family and they are definitely not even trying! So if you're otherwise happy with them receiving gifts from him, I'd just go with it, but probably wouldn't waste my time wrapping them myself.
No, he hasn't sent any wrapping paper. So I have to pay for it and wrap the extra presents...thought he has saved enough money by sending nothing for four years.
I agree he isn't being cruel...just self absorbed
nothing changed there then
I need to rethink the NC as pp have said
I do agree though with the pp though that you should think about if this is what you really want. We are NC with my MIL/step-FIL. We have specifically made a point though that they are never to send gifts or cards or anything to our children. The reason being is that I don't think receiving gifts in the absence of a real relationship is good for kids. We also don't have any other close grandparents (my family is lovely, but they live far away and can only visit a couple times a year, though they have a good relationship otherwise). But I put a stop to gifts/cards from my husband's family because it sends the message, 'you mean enough to send a crappy gift, but not enough to actually sort out the things we've done that are preventing us from having a real relationship with you.' For us, it's all or nothing. They are selfish and delusional and want no part in fixing what they've done to cause the NC, so it's fully NC. I don't want my kids thinking they're only good enough for presents, but not good enough for them to actually want to have in their lives. I know that's not what you're asking about, but if the whole gift thing is already stressful enough, maybe it might be worth just nipping it in the bud now if it's bothering you.
He being self absorbed is bad news for you and in turn your children who are being subjected to this nonsense from him. He is using gifts to manipulate them and make you feel awkward. Put a stop to this and block him on all channels. You will thank yourself for doing that.
Reading "Children of the Self Absorbed" by Nina W Brown may help you as well.
Thanks Atilla I will check that out.
It's hard as it didn't start out as NC, it was an argument that turned in to NC so I hadn't thought about 'ground rules'.
I was so hurt that he had cut my children off because of an argument with me and I guess part of me was just happy that he "cared" about them.
I'm such a mug at times. I think I also have a real problem with being seen as a bad person by other people...for example I would hate for him to tell our family "Sally has stopped me sending presents to my precious grandchildren" and they would all believe him and think I'm an cruel person. Don't know if that makes me shallow or self absorbed
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