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Birthday gift for DSD

(10 Posts)
NotaDisneyMum Mon 01-Aug-11 12:04:53

DSD is 14 soon - she hasnt seen/ spoken to DP for months (after she issued him an ultimatum regarding me).

DP will send her a gift/card for her birthday; our dilemma is whether or not to include my name in the card, too?

On the one hand, sending DSD a gift from both of us reinforces that we are a team and I am a permanent fixture in DPs life, but on the other hand, would it been seen as deliberately disrespecting her wishes by thrusting me into her relationship (no matter how limited) with her dad?

chelen Mon 01-Aug-11 14:33:52

Hi NADM, I can see both sides but IMO its better to be honest in dealings with DSD, which means card from your family unit.

I know it is hard that she can't deal with the fact you're in her dad's life but isn't that the reality of her life?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 01-Aug-11 14:48:20

I am leaning that way, chelen, but I do worry that if it is from both of us, she will reject the gift, when she might accept it and even thank her Dad if it from him alone hmm After nearly two years, should we still be giving DSD time to get used to "us"? Because DSD has refused to spend time with us for a lot of that time, it probably doesn't seem as long to her; is she is still reacting as if our relationship is new, not established and stable?

I had also thought about insisting that my DD(10) write DSD a birthday card - they've not seen each other since before Xmas, and my DD is adamant that she doesn't want anything to do with DSD because of the way she let my DD down and upset her by being BFF one day and rejecting her the next.

<I refer to her as DSD as it's easy to type - I do not actually consider her to be a step-daughter and have no relationship with her at all. I refer to her as DP's daughter in conversation with others>

ladydeedy Mon 01-Aug-11 15:33:12

i would send it from you both. it is from you both and you are a team. So whether she likes it or not, that's the truth. If she rejects it then that is her decision and one that you have no control over.

harassedandherbug Mon 01-Aug-11 15:40:01

Oh send it from both of you!

I can't see a 14yr old turning down a present either....

brdgrl Mon 01-Aug-11 16:18:16

I think her dad should give her the gift and card only from himself. You might send a small token gift or just a card, signed with your name, in the same package. Especially given that you have also said that you don't consider her a SD, and don't have much of a relationship with her.

DH and I have been together for three years, the stepkids are 13 and 16. I have always maintained that birthday and Christmas gifts and cards should come separately from DH and I. It feels more genuine to me this way - I like the kids to see that I chose something for them myself, and that the sentiment on the card is my own. Which leaves DH free to give a gift and a card that better expresses his own relationship with the child. I guess because the kids are older, too, it feels right to me. Sometimes DH gives things which are so clearly nothing to do with me - DSD and DH are fans of the same football team, while I don't care for football at all - so he might give her something related to that, and I'll choose a book I loved at her age.

When I was first with DH, DSD was turning 14 and didn't want me around at all. Putting my name on dad's card would have been provocative, and would have felt forced to both of us. I understand your point about wanting to show that you are a team, but in the end - you are still individuals, too, and will always have some separate relationships and that is ok. Doesn't mean you shoudl ever feel pushed out - but stepping back sometimes and letting them share something private (all in balance!) can feel good too.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 01-Aug-11 16:47:43

If DP sends a gift from himself, then tbh, I dont think I should send anything - not even a card.

It is really important to me that DP and DSD rebuild their relationship before I try and build an independent relationship with her - but we've had conflicting advise as to whether we should accommodate her demands for my exclusion, or whether this will increase her sense of entitlement in the long-term sad

brdgrl Mon 01-Aug-11 17:04:25

Yeah. I can see how it would be even tougher to set those boundaries when you don't see her. In my case, I guess I could be OK with separate cards and 'staying out' sometimes, because I also had/have plenty of opportunities to assert my position; DSD is always around. (So I can - for example - not sign my name to a card, but then be damn sure that I'm included at the birthday dinner.)
When you only get a few chances to set the boundaries, it must be much harder, because each example takes on more weight.

Another possibility - you could both sign the card, but make sure DH writes a little something from himself. Like, instead of writing at the bottom of the card "Dad and NotaDisneyMum", sign it the way people do when giving a card in the office - write your name on the left side, and then DP writes a sentence or two and signs "love Dad" (or whatever) on the right side.

Small difference, maybe, but avoids her just looking at it and seeing that block of "Dad and NotaDisneyMum" which might get her defenses up immediately, and means you aren't professing "love" or anything else which you might both not feel is genuine.

I don't think you are backing down or giving way or anything, no matter what you decide to do.

stabiliser15 Tue 02-Aug-11 09:19:56

I like brdgrl's suggestion about how to sign the card. Or let DH send card and present, and you and your DD send a card.

MissKittyEliza Tue 23-Aug-11 18:59:38

I don't agree. I think you need to sign the card. You are together, that's how it is. You need to behave like the adult cause that is what you are and needs to see that you two are together.

If don't set a precedent now and instead just slink around, like you don't really exist you'll set yourself up for a future of her throwing a hussy fit each time you're included. Tink long term, graduation, wedding, christenings..... Do you really want to have to "pretend" you're not really a team, just to make her happy?

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