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Birthday congratulations(22 Posts)
My DSD recently turned 13. We all usually make a big deal out of her birthday. I make a cake (she doesn't like commercial cakes), take time to chose a gift she would like, we do an activity. She reminds me of her birthday weeks in advance (she sees me every other weekend) and sometimes even asks for a specific gift. She even writes "happy birthday to me" in her school agenda. This is how important it is to her.
This year, not only we celebrated her birthday the same day, but I organised a "spa experience" for her 2 weeks later to teach her how to use body products her father got her, which she enjoyed. Last year, I made sushi with her in addition to other activities and gifts...
When it's her father's birthday, she always makes at least a card. Few months earlier, it was our toddler's birthday and she really insisted in coming to be with him and went with her mother to buy a gift. She also cares about her older brother's birthday's and even my daugther's (her step sister). When it's my birthday (3 weeks after hers), I only get a dry "happy birthday". She once made a card for me, it was when she was 8 (!).
This year, I got a ring from my teenage step-sons who are both busy working, studying and girlfriends. DSD doesn't have direct contact with me, but my DH who makes a big deal out of my birthday didn't tell me anything. Only the next evening when I told him that I was touched by his son's congratulations, he casually mentionned that DSD also did it, but she said that she forgot (he reminded them all the day before). I guess she said it in a way that was easy to forget too as we spent the day together.
She's with us this weekend and at some point during the evening, she removed her earphone and said: "by the way, happy birthday, how old are you now?". Then replaced the earphones.
I feel hurt and I wonder if I should continue making a big deal out of her birthday if clearly mine doesn't matter and is so easy to forget. Honestly, her older brothers don't have any reason to care more, but they take a moment to do it.
Sorry I am a bit confused at not having direct contact with her?
You re an adult
She s a child and a teen
If you want to do nice things for her do them. If you dont dont. But she is the child in this relationship. Your dh could remind her to show gratitude but teens are not always going to show appreciation "correctly" .
She sounds like a typical teenage girl.
If it's any consolation my sister hasn't remembered my birthday in 20+ years despite me giving her a present and card every year.
An adult s birthday isnt so important to a teen
I assume her dad is there when you are doing all the celebrating of her birthday (other than the spa I guess). Maybe she thinks it's her dad behind it all. She cares about your child so that's important. I don't recall my stepsons (who lived with us) ever doing much or anything for my birthday and their dad was lucky if he got a bar of chocolate when they were teens - didn't meant they didn't care just that they were self absorbed kids.
Kids often feel their birthdays are more important than an adults. Nothing unusual about that.
I think this is evident in the way she insisted on spending time with your little one....and it doesn't sound like she's a bad kid.
Thank you all.
Except that her brothers are also self absorbed teenagers and my DH reminded them all at the same time. So it's hard not to take it seriously, especially when you see a lot of fretting over certain birthdays. I even gave her an idea of making a card for a new friend the weekend before my birthday. And I know that she congratulates her mother's boyfriend whom she knows and spends less time than with me with Father's day (doesn't congratulate me). She sees her mother fretting over my DH's birthday (congratulations and a gift) and I'm sure the same thing for her boyfriend.
How does one continue doing nice things for a "child" who doesn't show much care about you? Yet demands things.
I feel hurt and I wonder if I should continue making a big deal out of her birthday if clearly mine doesn't matter and is so easy to forget.
She is a child. You are an adult. Of course you should continue to make a big deal out of her birthday.
Why do you feel hurt? You are bringing yourself down to her level. Crack on and stop feeling sorry for yourself. You don't make a big fuss over a kid's birthday because you want something back
She is a young teen. She is self absorbed that's how it is for a while.
Really not a big deal at all.
She's a young teen- it's what many are like.
I have a 13yo who only gets me a card and gift because 16yo will take him to the shops. I have another child who's older and he was crap at that age but got better again at 16. I understand it's easier for me to overlook this behaviour as I'm their mum. Has your h had a word with her about Xmas pressies?
You're reading too much into this. She's a kid...even after being reminded she could still forget.
I sometimes remind my brother to send a card on mothers day and sometimes he still forgets.
It doesn't mean he loves DM any less.
The problem is that some step parents take these things to heart.
My DC are 4 and 7 years older than your DSD, I wouldn't be thinking of not making a fuss if they forgot my birthday.
By all means stop making a fuss if you don't want to anymore.
Stop being so silly you're and adult and shes a child.
I get this with my DSD; I think it’s just that at that age and under they’re quite self involved and don’t really see adult birthdays as important. For me it’s DHs job to make sure she acknowledges my birthday in some way.
That’s what they do, they’re teenagers learning about life. And she’s your DSD when she’s older the care & attention will pay off and be seen in her relationship with others.
Thank you for the replies.
I get the self-absorbed teenage thing, however we, as adults, have feelings and the attitude on this board that because we are adults (who probably didn't get a lot of love as children) should just suck up and be called silly if we don't, is wrong.
I'm sure that those who judge me and others with similar feelings also have "silly" feelings in other situations.
I understand this as I put loads of effort into my step kids birthdays and I'm lucky if one sends me a text on mine. However myself and partner (and moving on our son now too) always go away for a long weekend at my birthday on our own so its never bothered me too much because it's just routine and I like making a fuss on them on their days but I also enjoy the time away we get on our own ok me birthday. FYI we never change kids weekends to go away before I get shot
This is an example of when stepping back is needed. I agree that although it is typical teenage behaviour it doesnt mean it doesnt hurt and you are not being silly to feel it.
I always remind my DC to wish his SD a happy birthday and often I have to do that more than once.
Just beacuase it is typical of a teenager to be self absorbed doesnt mean we shouldnt teach/encourage them not to be - ultimatley life and relationships are 2 way and they have to learn this.
In furture, wish her happy birthday and be the adult BUT dont feel obliged to put in as much effort (like making her a cake)- this can be done by her DF instead.
Hi @Myfairlady2 - I don't think you're being silly or over sensitive at all. From what I can gather is that generally in your extended/blended family birthdays are acknowledged and celebrated - not all families do this but yours do - so in that context your dsd not properly acknowledging your birthday is rude. If you're a family who make an effort for birthdays then the effort should be made for everyone, by everyone.
That being said it's your dh who should be pointing this out to her. Yes she's a teen but I too agree that the "oh they're just self absorbed teens" attitude let's bad behaviour off the hook.
Thank you ladies.
That's the thing, when someone in general doesn't acknoledge others' birthdays, it's one thing, I woud understand and not take it personally, but when it's only or mostly yours, then it's another.
I'm very surprised how uncaring teenage behaviour is excused on this board all the time.
I honestly don't know how to keep the motivation when there's no return. I've been struggling with it for a while.
This is really typical behaviour for a teenager and I have had worse from DSC, and I have found it incredibly hard not to feel annoyed by it. I can't help but be amazed when I put effort into making things nice for kids who are not my own with never a word of gratitude from anyone. I've told my husband that when his kids are rude or ungrateful to me, it is not so much that it is a problem for me, but actually it will be a problem for them. If he and their mother do not attempt to explain the right way of doing things, they will miss out on some important lessons in how life works, and they will have a very hard adult life ahead. My attitude now is I continue to do nice things for them, and if I get attitude back and it is unchallenged by both their parents, that is no skin off my nose. I can control my own behaviour but no-one else's, and that now makes me feel happy that I behave well, full stop.