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WIBU to 'remind' my sibling that my dd's birthday is approaching?

102 replies

Toffeebanoffee · 27/09/2018 19:21

For the last few years my brother has occasionally 'forgotten' to acknowledge my dd's birthdays (young teenagers) and I haven't said anything to him.
Firstly, I don't expect presents for them (neither do my dd's), but a card would be appreciative! .... I feel annoyed for my dd's (although I don't let on to them) when yet again 'Uncle Tom' hasn't sent them birthday wishes, as I know they feel as if he's not bothered and as if it's a case of out of sight out of mind. (He lives a distance away from us, so we don't see each other often)

What really annoys me is the fact that he has three young dd's with his wife, and I always make sure I send my niece's cards and presents without fail.
My friend suggested I don't send anything to his dc's, and treat his children the same, but I wouldn't dream of leaving his girls out and I continue to make an effort for them.

It's my dd's birthday in a fortnight and I'm considering 'reminding' my db and his wife that it's their niece's birthday and that she'd appreciate a card.
I just don't want him to 'forget' again and make dd feel let down by her Uncle. Should I leave it and say nothing or let him know?

OP posts:

Toffeebanoffee · 28/09/2018 08:02

Cheeee I know no body is 'obliged' to send a card, but when that same person happily accepts cards/gifts from someone else for their dc's, don't you think its bad manners to not reciprocate with at least a card? Or at the very least a bloody phone call? ... I do.
Snuggy, dd's aren't upset as such but they have been disappointed in the sense that they feel as if their Aunt and Uncle aren't interested in them.
My db's children's birthdays are only within a few weeks before each of mine, so it's hard not to wonder why they find it easy to 'forget' my dd's.

OP posts:

headinhands · 28/09/2018 08:06

As odd as it sounds it's not compulsory to send cards on a birthday. It seems like he has a different view. You're making it bigger than it needs to be and in doing so setting your own dc up to be hurt by the simple act of not sending a folded piece of card on a certain day of the year.

He's told you by he's actions that he's not a card giver. Reminding him would be rude. You're reminding him that you think he should do things how you do them.


headinhands · 28/09/2018 08:09

I want my niece's to feel that I care about them.

You're assuming they have the same mindset about it as you. They may be more like your brother and not view it as an issue.


headinhands · 28/09/2018 08:10

On threads like this, people always use 'well, stop sending them presents then' as if it's some kind of threat. Whereas the likelihood is the recipient will actually be glad, because then the pressure is off them then.



headinhands · 28/09/2018 08:11

YADNBU. Hate stuff like this. It shows that you don't care in my opinion

But that's how you view it. Not everyone is the same. You acknowledge that don't you?


NameChangedAgain18 · 28/09/2018 08:11

I don’t see how Arethereanyleftatall was being rude. Some of us are not interested in the whole cards and presents thing and don’t see why we should be obliged to participate in it just because someone else has decided we must.


BookMeOnTheSudExpress · 28/09/2018 08:14


You shouldn't be sending people cards if you're going to go cosmic because you don't get one back.

I have no idea when one of my sister's children's birthdays are. They are also teenagers now- when the kids were babies and toddlers, we all made more fuss and sent cards and gifts. Now, nope. She'll put a happy birthday to X thing on FB and I'll say "oh, say HB from all of us"

You would look frightful and very grabby if you sent them a reminder.


HumptyNumptyNooNoo · 28/09/2018 08:17

Turn it into the expected. Ie yay Uncle Tom forgot again! That's what we have done with our kids. I think they'd be quite upset now if a card actually arrived from our forgetful family member now !

He's just not that interested in cards, doesn't mean he won't be there if you or your kids need him ( I would imagine from your posts)


woollyheart · 28/09/2018 08:18

Are your dds really upset if he doesn't send one?

Or do they only notice it when you mention it?

If you mention their birthday to him and he isn't bothered about cards and only does it to keep you quiet, you will have to do it every year. It will become a family joke to him. (We used to have this with mil reminding us about her and fil's birthdays without fail even though we never forgot them).

You could ask if he prefers cards not to be sent to each other's children. However, it sounds like he would agree not to bother with cards. If sending cards is an important aspect of your relationship with your nieces and nephews, then you will lose out.

I would try not to notice that he hasn't sent a card in front of your children.


NoSquirrels · 28/09/2018 08:33

happily accepts cards/gifts from someone else for their dc's

There isn’t really an option NOT to ‘happily accept’ though, is there? If someone gives you a gift, you politely accept it. That’s the proper thing to do.

I don’t know, I just can’t get wound up about it. My DC get presents from us, from their GPs, from extended family. They more often than not have a party and get presents from friends. They don’t need more. So if a gift turns up late or not at all, it doesn’t matter. I’ve taught them to appreciate what they’re given but not look for more. And when we’re with the extended family they know they’re lived and cared for because it shows in actions. Birthday cards are a nice gesture but they’re not important.

But you place a higher value on gifts and gestures, I guess, which is why this attitude seems wrong to you and rude. So go ahead and remind them if you want to - only you know how that will go down with your DB.


Cheeeeislifenow · 28/09/2018 08:47

same person happily accepts cards/gifts from someone else for their dc's,

Yes.. but should your Dn's refuse things you choose to send. Nobody is forcing you to send them. If you think it's important to send them, then carry on but your brother doesn't agree. Cards are not important to him and he has made that clear.
Lower your expectations op.


greenlynx · 28/09/2018 08:52

I can see where you coming from. I always send birthday wishes to my nephew, I love him very much and remember the day he was born. He would think something awful happened if he had not got a message from me on his birthday. My sister is the same about my child. But we are very close and it’s also how we do things in our family. My DH doesn’t do this to his nephews and nieces but this is how they do things in the their family. One of his siblings sends birthday wishes to our child but not the other.

I would mention this to your brother. Tell them that your children would love to get a card from them but be ready to hear that he might see it differently just because some people less bother about birthdays. it also depends on his wife views. How is your set up on Christmas? He might think that Christmas is enough.
I would also consider sending smaller presents to his children, as it feels like you resent unfairness a little bit.
It might be true that your brother doesn’t bother about your children, it happens. He might even prefer you not bothering about his. It’s difficult to say just from birthday situation.


MarthasGinYard · 28/09/2018 08:57

My DB is exactly the same

Dd is only 8 aswell

I won't remind him, dd knows he's a little flakey with this kind of thing.

I wouldn't dream of not sending his teen dd a card/gift though.


macaronip1e · 28/09/2018 08:58

I would be totally honest with him. Your DD has been disappointed to not hear from him at her birthday in previous years, so you want to remind him of the date so he has time to send a card or set a reminder to txt/call on the day.


Attilathehunny · 28/09/2018 08:58

Arg god I can’t belive people actually care about this stuff! I have no idea when my nieces & nephews birthdays are. I don’t send birthday or Xmas cards ( live in another country) I don’t expect them for my children and I certainly don’t think it expresses how much love is there. It’s utterly ridiculous that a crappy card signifies so much! You are b v v unreasonable


MarthaHanson · 28/09/2018 08:59

We are really hopeless at remembering DH’s nephew’s birthday, made worse because DSIL is amazingly organised and always sends presents etc in advance for our DC. I always feel sick when I realise we’ve missed it, and actually would love a reminder.

This thread has made me look up her bd and put it in my calendar! So YANBU OP!


macaronip1e · 28/09/2018 09:02

Though I’d add I’d only do this if your DD is genuinely disappointed. If really it’s you that’s disappointed because of a lack of reciprocation then I think you need to make a decision as to whether you are happy to continue giving presents in the knowledge they don’t do the same for your children.


picklepost · 28/09/2018 09:02

Women do remembering, cards and presents, men do nought. Didn't you know?


Toffeebanoffee · 28/09/2018 09:06

Ok, I won't message him to remind him and his wife. Besides, when I really think about it there's no point as I'd rather him remember off his own back iyswim and not be 'forced' into acknowledging my dd's.
Also, to 're iterate, I don't make an issue of it in front of my dd's. In fact I don't mention it to them and just use an excuse to them when he's forgotten yet again.
I also know that my db and sis in law are 'bound to happily accept presents' I send, but they can easily say "don't worry about birthdays Toffee for our girls". Yet they don't, and have even offered suggestions as to what I can buy for their girls, and I always buy what they've asked for!

OP posts:

indianwoman · 28/09/2018 09:09

When they do this then it's the perfect opportunity for you to tell them what your dd would like! Why don't you do that? I would.


MarthasGinYard · 28/09/2018 09:09

Had he always sent your dc cards in the past. Is it last couple of years he's forgotten or always??


Piffle11 · 28/09/2018 09:11

I'd remind him, directly. Something like 'just to remind you that DD's birthday is on X, in case you were thinking of sending a card'. Then you know he got a clear message and if it's ignored, well …


GaraMedouar · 28/09/2018 09:17

Toffee - my DB was exactly the same (married too and i always sent my niece something). I used to get annoyed. But now i have switched off. We don't have an issue between us, but I've realised we have nothing in common apart from being siblings and he just doesn't care really. I used to make an effort to keep in contact but don't now. He only speaks to my Mum because she phones him all the time, not the other way around. I think you'll just have to accept that your DB is just like that, you can't make him care. Have no expectations then you can't be disappointed!


PlatypusPie · 28/09/2018 09:20

My DDs have got used to my DBs erratic birthday acknowledgments - sometimes nothing, sometimes a card, sometimes a thoughtfully chosen and occasionally expensive present. He has been a marvellous uncle in other ways, though, with encouragement and appreciation of their achievements, career advice and practical help with the sports interest one of the girls.

I have always known he is like this, though - it doesn’t worry me at all and I think it is not a bad lesson in life that just because people don’t follow particular social conventions, it doesn’t mean they are bad or uncaring.


NoSquirrels · 28/09/2018 09:24

In fact I don't mention it to them and just use an excuse to them when he's forgotten yet again.

Do they ask you, then?

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