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AIBU no Happy birthday phone call from parents?

11 replies

Middersweekly · 26/10/2018 10:21

So yesterday it was my birthday 🎂 and my kids and DH made it a nice day for me all round but...Neither my mum or my dad (they are long divorced) phoned me to wish me a happy birthday.

Just for context I always call them on their birthdays, in addition to sending cards and usually flowers etc for my mum. Neither of them work, both retired.
My mum did send a card and a WA message so she did do something nice, but...she was too busy for a 2 minute phone call as she had a waste of space bloke over who she sees on and off. I have no problem with her having a life but her track record for men is quite frankly abysmal. She’s also recently divorced (he was an abusive, financially inept narcissist) and is now going through financial proceedings which I hear about almost daily with lengthy phone calls. It is emotionally draining for me but I listen and sympathise with her so that she feels better.

My Dad on the other hand didn’t send a card, didn’t text or call me at all! In fact I heard nothing from him whatsoever!

We live in a different country and I have hosted both of them this year already for 3 weeks at a time and my Dad is coming back over at Xmas for another 2 weeks! They rarely put their hand in their pockets when they are here and I cook, clean and make all their meals for them etc.

AIBU to feel a bit narked that they couldn’t even be bothered to call me on my birthday or am I over reacting? Should I just let it slide?

OP posts:
Unicornandbows · 26/10/2018 10:24


My family forget my birthday all the time doesn't bother me kind of grown out of celebrating birthdays unless it's a big birthday like 21 30 40 etc

AnneLovesGilbert · 26/10/2018 10:26

YABU about your mum. She sent a card she a message! She’s got loads of crap going on and remembered to send a card in time, that shows thought.

YANBU about your dad who’s been rubbish when it sounds like you’re quite close normally.

Aprilislonggone · 26/10/2018 10:27

I am nc with both dps but in your shoes I would be cancelling hosting Christmas . You need to be as thoughtful (less) as them imo.
You know where you figure now. ..
Let them know too.

Happygummibear · 26/10/2018 10:30

My dad knows the month of mine but not the date.... in fact he is rubbish at remembering any dates so I wouldn't be bothered.... I remind him lol.

Your mum sent a card but perhaps she thinks you are old enough to not want any more...

The whole staying at yours and not helping etc that's a different matter.... have you stayed with them and if so do they pay etc?

florafawna · 26/10/2018 10:33

Sounds like role reversal - you are parenting them!

DelphiniumBlue · 26/10/2018 10:35

Yanbu, although I suppose it depends on your own family customs. How have they behaved about birthdays in the past?
Your mum has at least been in contact, but your dad has not bothered/ forgotten. Hate to say it but some guys are like that, they don't really consider their thing, it's for the women to deal sign-up is your dad one of them?

It does sound like Neither of them see themselves as parents, and actually allow you to parent them; they sound like self- involved teenagers, allowing you to pay for them all the time, thinking it's ok not to bother with your birthday etc. That's not how grown ups should behave.

I know its not what you originally posted about, but have you asked them to pay their way when they're with you? It's very selfish of them to expect you to foot the bill for such long visits, can you actually afford it? Is there a reason why they expect you to subsidize them?

DelphiniumBlue · 26/10/2018 10:37

Sorry predictive text has made that senseless!
Just read my last 2 paragraphs!

SnowyMountains · 26/10/2018 10:39

My mum once rang me at 11pm on my birthday because she forgot Grin The other time she rang me wishing me a happy birthday when in fact it was my brother's (in her defence we are born a week apart) Grin

I think you are being a bit unreasonable in regards to your mum but it would have been nice to receive a phone call.

But YADNBU with your regards to your dad, that sounds a bit slack

Aprilislonggone · 26/10/2018 10:44

My dps divorced when I was young, tried to get along when I had dd for my/her sake - really trying to outdo each other on the dgp front, dm paid deposit for me a biggish 21 St present. Week before df said he couldn't afford his share.
He had had 21 years to save up!! Never paid any maintenance or bought me anything over the years!!
Accepted the are both diabolical dps and nc now for many years.
Tell your df you have had a better offer for Christmas, frankly home alone would be better imo -

Middersweekly · 26/10/2018 11:07

I appreciate those who have said I was BU about my mum. It is sort of a tradition to phone people for their birthdays or at least send a message. Most people in my family including myself are notoriously bad at sending cards and I certainly don’t expect them of anybody. So the 2 minute obligatory phone call is usually the way forward.

I guess I was narked about my mum because I felt like she prioritised time with the waste of space bloke over calling me. I also speak to her almost daily and she’s quite the self obsessed drama lama. I accept her the way she is and because I don’t want her to do anything overtly silly I put up with the emotional drain on myself. I guess you could say I put myself out a lot for her emotionally.

My dad is pretty much flakey and acts completely helpless and hopeless in most regards. Yet he’s always out at various activities and is often difficult to get hold of. He will likely cobble together a poor excuse. I guess I just feel a bit used and abused all round. Like a few of you have pointed out, it feels like I parent them to some degree!

OP posts:
Feb2018mumma · 26/10/2018 11:12

My dad hasn't sent me a card or called me since I was 7!!! My mum didn't call me this year either! I didn't even realise til your post, she just messaged me! If it upsets you alot you should tell them though? They are your parents so you should be able to text them and say I wish you called to say happy birthday?

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