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Dilema over ex-MIL's birthday

(11 Posts)
whatdayisit Wed 27-Aug-08 22:07:44

A friend has just called to ask advice as it's her MIL's birthday tomorrow. I said I don't know, but I'll find out grin

Friend's H left out of the blue after Christmas, leaving her with DD's 15 & 17 and DS 9. The 2 girls have had nothing to do with their dad since and the boy, having been disappointed a number of times when Dad did't turn up for visits, has been in counselling (through school) for a while.

My friend was a mess for a while, but has got herself together, taken a 2nd job and is getting there. During this time her MIL has been very much on friend's side and has maintained regular contact with her GC. Normally they would have done something special for the MIL's birthday as she has been a lot of help to them over the years, but this year friend is not sure what to do.

She's thinking of dropping round with a card and flowers, but is worried that this will be seen as too much by H or not enough by MIL. What do you think?

AvenaLife Wed 27-Aug-08 22:09:10

What about a locket with her grandchildrens pictures inside?

IAteDavinaForDinner Wed 27-Aug-08 22:09:51

[nominates thread for "titles I never thought I'd see" prize]

I think she should forget about whatever H thinks and make a point of thanking her MIL for the valued support through a very difficult time. Flowers and a card would be lovely, perhaps make a cake or something nice from the kids?

whatdayisit Wed 27-Aug-08 22:32:03

I'm with you IAte, but she doesn't want to alienate H more than necessary, as she does ultimately want him to be a father to her DS and the boy badly needs him.

H has made some very strange (for him) choices (tattoos, piercings, motors bikes , not collecting DS because the lads wanted him to go away for the weekend) over the last 9 months, but before that had been a pretty good husband and father and she's hoping that when he gets whatever this is out of his system, they can work out a way for him to be a father to his son.

edam Wed 27-Aug-08 22:37:59

I think hurting someone who clearly cares for the kids in order to protect someone who is shitting all over them would be a very, very bad move.

TillyScoutsmum Wed 27-Aug-08 22:42:34

If she gets presents from the dc's then surely her ex H wouldn't have an issue with it ?

edam Wed 27-Aug-08 22:48:30

IMO (and I'm the daughter of divorced parents) she should stop trying to second-guess and placate someone who is being, at best, a grade 1 selfish git. And concentrate on looking after herself, the kids and anyone who is supporting them. Either sonny Jim will eventually wise up and start acting like an adult or he won't - hurting his mother will not make him magically turn into a good dad.

whatdayisit Wed 27-Aug-08 22:59:47

Yep you're all right, so does she do the flowers and card, or does she book restaurant and theatre tickets like they would have done last year?

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 27-Aug-08 23:04:06

Do what she would normally do - and make it a present from her GCs, not from her - that's perfectly normal.

macdoodle Wed 27-Aug-08 23:10:40

Actually this is harder than it looks at first glance - I am in the friends position - H the twat and I seperated 18 months or so - MIl has been a star continues to help with DD's and babysits and supportive......but never forget HE is her son - we just don't talk about him we skirt around the issue and focus on the DC ....
Birthdays ARE awkward - even though when we were together I organised all the presents/cards etc ...now we are apart I DO find it awkward to make the same fuss we would have done as a family...and tend to do the flowers/chocs/card from kids (and me).....hard not easy....

whatdayisit Wed 27-Aug-08 23:12:44

but isn't he responsible for presents from his kids to his mother?

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