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No birthday present from MIL again

50 replies

Saddaughterinlawagain · 29/09/2018 02:57

Namechanged as I don't want this linked to previous posts. I know I'll get slammed for this as on mumsnet as the overwhelming reaction seems to be that adults don't get gifts, however they are very much expected by my MIL and other adults in the family get them and expect them, including my two SILs.

I know I'm probably being petty but my birthday has been forgotten again. I have been with my DH for over 18 years and I don't think I have ever had a gift on time or at all for my birthday from my MIL.

I do not expect or want a grand gesture or expensive gift, but a token gift, an acknowledgment would be much appreciated. I try not to, but I do see giving gifts as a way of showing you care for someone and every year in the build up to my birthday I start to get anxious that I'll be forgotten again, and I have been.

I think we get on well and have a good relationship and maybe she just doesn't see it as important (although other adults receive gifts and she always lets us know what she wants).

Money is not an issue.

I don't know what I'm looking for by posting but guess I'm just sad it has happened again.

OP posts:
Saddaughterinlawagain · 29/09/2018 03:00

So as not to dripfeed, we do not have any children so it's not like we just get the children gifts.

OP posts:
Seniorschoolmum · 29/09/2018 03:03

Next year, tell her you are going out for lunch as a treat for your birthday on xx date. Don’t invite her specifically, wait for her to ask if she can come along. If she then doesn’t acknowledge your birthday in some way, she’s doing it on purpose.

My family always do adult birthdays - just a card, maybe some flowers. My SIL moans constantly that this is ridiculous and can we stop. Which is basically her saying she can’t be arsed.
So we don’t include her but still send cards to each other - almost guiltily. Smile

moredoll · 29/09/2018 03:08

Does your DH know how you feel?

Either way ask him to remind her, and keep on reminding her until it becomes a habit.

Topseyt · 29/09/2018 03:10

I don't think you are unreasonable to be sad here. Acknowledgement would be nice. Even just a voucher or some money to go out and treat yourself with would be better than ignoring it.

I might be tempted to stop getting her gifts, and when she asks why then explain that this is how you feel when your birthday is ignored.

Aquamarine1029 · 29/09/2018 03:17

Why hasn't your husband said something to her? It doesn't bother him that his wife is completely overlooked and ignored? Honestly, at this point after so many years, I would be more upset with him than with her.

Losingthewill1 · 29/09/2018 03:20

How aweful OP -hugs-

Tell your partner how you feel and if he says she’s not doing it on purpose please remind him of the last 18 years.

Stop giving her gifts in return :) don’t sign the card if DH gets her one etc.

What an arse

Andylion · 29/09/2018 03:28

OP, are your two SiLs your DH's sisters or his SiLs?

Do you buy the present for your MiL or does your DH? If you do, stop. If he does, make sure he doesn't sign your name,

KC225 · 29/09/2018 05:06

Does your MIL buy gifts for your DH? If so you really have to stop buying the gifts. Leave it to your DH. If he forgets, he forgets. It is hurtful when people forget your birthday. Take back the control then you won't be disappointed. Take the money you spend on gifts for MIL and SILs and buy yourself a lovely gift for your birthday.

Haahhpy · 29/09/2018 05:54

People feel and express love differently. You feel loved by being given gifts but maybe they think spending quality time with you is the best way to show their affection for you. All people are different like that. Try not to overthink it so much. A late or forgotten gift doesn't mean they don't care about you.

Fatted · 29/09/2018 06:01

Does your DP know how you feel? Have they not given MIL a little reminder?

My MIL forgot mine this year. But she is disabled. And my son's is the day before so I don't really expect anything anyway. And DH and SIL who usually have to remind her with everything didn't!

flumpybear · 29/09/2018 06:05

What a cow!
Your SIL, are they her actual children? Just wondered if anyone else married into the family is treated the same way?

InfiniteSheldon · 29/09/2018 06:08

I struggle to remember my dil's bday and despite years of asking my ds never reminds me when it is coming up. She reminds you when hers is she always lets us know what she wants do the same next year if she ignores you again it's deliberate if she gets you a present it was mistake not malice.

Havaina · 29/09/2018 06:21

I struggle to remember my dil's bday and despite years of asking my ds never reminds me when it is coming up.

Surely it's easier to add a recurring reminder to your phone?

The iPhone even tells you the age of the birthday person.

Saying ds doesn't remibd you is not an excuse, especially if dil remembers your birthday.

Saddaughterinlawagain · 29/09/2018 06:37

Thank you everyone for your replies, they have given me some things to think about. To answer some questions:

SILs are her own children, so it is different as they are not in laws. I do not know if she has got their partners gifts or not.

DH reminds her every year and has spoken to her about it (once falling out when a milestone birthday was forgotten (?ignored).

I don't mind getting presents late, but it's now been over a month and not been mentioned. She's been to our flat twice since my birthday and my cards have been out.

I have decided that I'll have nothing to do with her gifts from now on. I'll leave it to my DH and if he gets something shit I'll not intervene or interfere. I'd usually help and contribute ideas, but I'm finished. I'm also going to try and not be upset over it, I've not created this, she has. I'll not fall out over it, but I'm not going out of my way to help her with anything. It is sad, but I actually feel a bit better that I've decided this is the way forward.

OP posts:
InfiniteSheldon · 29/09/2018 06:44

I don't have an iPhone lol and I did have reminders set but the calendar app deleted for some reason. My family dynamic is that we all remind each other not only of our own bdays but if spouses/dc etc. All except ds obviously. I know my dil birthday is early October but even after ten years I don't remember the date tbf I have to check with my own dc their actual bdays as I tend to get them mixed up. I can remember my ex husband from thirty years ago but have to check with dh when his is. Memory is a funny thing so I say once again don't attribute to malice what is probably mistake.

InfiniteSheldon · 29/09/2018 06:46

Well that puts a different spin on it she obviously doesn't think your bday is her 'job's i would not acknowledge her birthday again Flowers

M0nstermunch · 29/09/2018 06:52

Happy birthday!

Don't mean to sound harsh but if you don't expect anything you won't be disappointed.

I feel like this with my dad who after I turned 18 said there won't be anymore presents now you're an adult, still when it's a milestone birthday 30/40 etc I think oh maybe some flowers or something but nothing. Just the way some families are I guess!

liquidrevolution · 29/09/2018 06:56

I completely understand OP.

This year I did get a card from MIL but no cards from either SILs. MILs card had the usual IOU in it Hmm which I find just lazy and I never actually get a present after this. I would have preferred no iou but just a card tbh. And I don't expect presents, cards are fine.

DH had words and a bundle of books from my Amazon gift list magically appeared from all 3.

Good job I don't buy their Christmas presents or they would all be receiving charity goats this year.

safetyfreak · 29/09/2018 06:59

Some people are just rubbish with presents or don't see the importance.

For example, me and my siblings do not bother giving each other birthday presents or cards. We do make an effort at Christmas though.

CheeseOnToast123 · 29/09/2018 06:59

In 18 years FIL has never acknowledged my birthday. That includes my 18th, 21st & 30th. It’s not like he hasn’t been aware etc as he’s came round while there’s still been cards on mantle piece & people have mentioned it on fbook (which he’s on regularly). It used to get me down but now I let it wash over me, I only mentioned it to DH at my 30th and he had never even noticed his dad had never said happy birthday, ever 🤔.

I was his only in law for years so presumably he doesn’t say happy birthday to the ‘newer’ ones - but I’ve never asked.

sophisticatedsarcasm · 29/09/2018 07:03

Just don’t give her anything, tell Dh to put it from him only. If she asks why say ‘ I thought that was what we were doing as I haven’t received any acknowdgement from you in 18 years’ that’ll get her back up. My dad is shit at dates. He almost forgot my daughters birthday. He knows mine and my brothers off by heart but forgets my younger brothers and sister aswell.

AdoreTheBeach · 29/09/2018 07:06


Out of curiosity, when your DH spike to MIL about it in the past, especially the milestone, what was her defence or excuse?

Will you also be doing the same with SIL?

I was going to make some suggestions, prior to reading your reply, particularly as MIL has visited and saw your cards.

Just to let you know, my husband spoke with his mother weekly. He used to tell her about the birthday dinner reservations he made for my birthday (we go just us, some where that’s a big treat). MIL would send a card and cheque. MIL also sent all cards for her children and grandchildren (and cheques). After MIL died, I chatted with FIL about various things I could do to help him, one was a calendar with everyone’s birthdays on it. He does send cards and cheques.
We always acknowledged their birthdays too. Never expected our gifts had to be extravagant, particularly when we were much younger and struggling.
I was going to suggest as her next birthday gift, a calendar, with pockets, mark everyone’s birthday and include cards. For you, a happy birthday daughter in law Cardin the picket for your month. Even mark on the calendar a date to post the card.
However, the backing off will more likely help your sense of well being much, much more.
I’m so sorry to hear about this and can imagine how hurtful it is to be forgotten over and over.


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MistressDeeCee · 29/09/2018 07:28

Your SILS are her daughters, your H is her son. Are you sure she's not just simply doing the presents thing with her children?

it doesn't sound as if she expects a present from you every year. More so that she and her son exchange presents - so the present is expected as it were from him, not from you

You say your DH reminds her of your birthday every year. Perhaps she feels she doesn't want to be railroaded into buying you a present - you know how people dig their heels in the more you tell them that you want them to do something.

If you don't like it don't sign the card don't be involved in present buying. She's her own childrens' birthdays in mind and I can't really see how you could force her to change. Probably best to just leave it at that, you can have a nice birthday without her input

The only adult birthdays I do are my siblings, and 1 very close friend. Card & meet up for a drink. That's it. Outside of that I don't tend to keep in mind or even remember adult birthdays, and I don't expect a fuss or gifts on mine.

Maybe I'm biased tho as the adult birthday thing is no big deal to me

bimbobaggins · 29/09/2018 07:30

I can imagine how hurtful this would feel but surely after the first couple of times you wouldnt expect anything therefore shouldn’t be disappointed. Leave your dh to deal with his own mothers gifts.
Some people’s just don’t see birthdays as that important.
One of my mottos in life is don’t expect anything from anyone and then you can never be disappointed.
Don’t be sad about it

DancingForTheDog · 29/09/2018 07:35

Does she send you a card?

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