Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.


DS's Birthday - No presents from In-Laws ???

17 replies

crystaltips · 12/05/2003 14:29

It's DS's birthday today and when he came downstairs he could not understand why there were so few presents for him.
The trouble is that none of DH's family have sent him anything. There has been a long standing disagreement ( between the adults ) and obviously they have decided to take it out on DS.
SO far - we have kept this quarrell away from the kids and I hope that they are oblivious to it.
BUT for them ( the inlaws ) to react in this way - it's so childish - and DS is the only one who really suffers.
As I dropped him off at school - he said "I cannot wait until the post comes - the presents might come then."
The short answer is that they didn't.... They just live up the road so they could have dropped them off ( if they had forgotten )
Question - what do I do ?
Explain to him why I think this has happened and tell him the truth ?
Buy him more to compensate for their meaness ???
I'm cracking up here and I don't know how to make it better for him.

OP posts:

beetroot · 12/05/2003 14:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

crystaltips · 12/05/2003 14:36

I'm not currently speaking to them - but I suppose DH could be put into bat .... ?

OP posts:

meanmum · 12/05/2003 14:38

How terrible for your in-laws to take it out on your children. We agreed in our family that we (brother's, sisters etc) don't need presents but we always buy for the kids. I can't remember how old your ds is but my action would have been to buy more to compensate. That doesn't actually fix the problem or help if they do decide to give some later but it would break my heart to see his little face disappointed and I wouldn't be able to help myself.

I hope someone else gives you good advice as mine isn't great. Would he understand if you explained the situation to him. He may not be able to relate and really how do you explain that someone is making him suffer for something he had nothing to do with. You wouldn't want him to do that to others so it's not really a good example is it and ultimately they are family to him.

Sorry, I won't say more as that doesn't help you at all but what rotten bloody stinkers they are.


judetheobscure · 12/05/2003 14:39

They've got to be asked. Then you'll be able to decide what to do for your ds.

Unbelievably self-centred on the part of your in-laws if you ask me.


crystaltips · 12/05/2003 14:43

DS is 10 - so he is old enough to understand rhyme and reason. In the past I have been trying to protect him ( and dd ) from realising what sh*ts they are - but if they behave like this - why should I cover up?
Am I over-reacting ? After all it's very materialistic. I just think that at the grand old age of 10 - birthdays ARE materialistic!!

OP posts:

boogs · 12/05/2003 14:59

Maybe it would be a good time to bridge the gap. I don't know how serious the disagreement is but how about trying to talk to them, create some communication to resolve it. Otherwise you'll have to tell your son the real reason he didn't get anything.
Time flys and it would be a shame if it went on for ages, both ds and inlaws are missing out.
Would it be unthinkable to go round and talk to them?


GeorginaA · 12/05/2003 17:30

That's awful - what a petty way of your in-laws to deal with the dispute! I think I would be in the camp to buy more presents to compensate although I'm not sure if it's the "correct" thing to do.

I think if he's 10 you should be able to explain why it has happened at least on a basic level - I think if the in-laws have by their own actions moved the battle lines to include the kids then you at least have to explain what's going on (while still giving him permission to remain neutral in the dispute!)

I too think that birthdays when you're young are materialistic. My uncle was really useless at remembering my birthday and he would always be 2 or 3 weeks late with a present and I always felt hurt and thought that he didn't care about me that much if he couldn't be bothered to get even a small present to me on time. Even a token would have been better.

Set DH on them :P I think that was a really mean act on their part and I don't think you are overreacting.


doormat · 12/05/2003 18:11

Crystaltips I understand how you feel, hurts doesnt it. My 4 children from previous marriage get zilch off their grandparents. There was no argument and I have tried my best to keep in touch with them but they do not really bother very much. They send nothing. Only a phonecall every 1-2yrs.

I have also been in the position you are now with dp parents. We had a big fall out a number of years ago and they never sent our ds nothing for his birthday. In fact I held a street party for ds and invited his family along to try and make some peace. Instead they decided to walk up and down the top of the cul de sac to see what was going on.Cheeky or what? It has all been forgotten about now but I still remember and it still hurts.

I am a great believer of telling children the truth no matter how much it hurts. I would tell him what has actually gone on. Water it down a bit if you feel he couldnt handle the whole lot but give him basic facts. When he does ask his grandparents the ball will be in their court to explain WHY ? Let them look the s*s that they are.
Wish him a happy birthday for me.


Clarinet60 · 12/05/2003 19:04

crystaltips, does ds usually phone them? If he does, then tonight might be a good night for a phone call from him. 'Hi Granny, it's my birthday today! Guess what I got, I got .........'
That ought to do the trick. Surely then they would tell him his special present was ordered but hadn't quite arrived yet. Surely? Grandparents couldn't be so cruel once they'd 'faced' him, so to speak?


crystaltips · 12/05/2003 21:12

I know that it sounds childish - but prior to the "big bust-up" DH and I always gave his lot the benefit of the doubt - always extending the olive branch - only ( yet again ) to have it shoved in our face, Finally we have said enough is enough - so this action is the "ace in their sleeve".
I sat the kids down and ( as doormat so aptly put it ) gave them the watered down version.
We had tears .... I tried to explain that I had bought an extra present for them to compensate ( DDs birthday at the end of the week ) the response being from both of them .... "we don't want the presents but how could they be so horrid to Daddy?"
It warmed my heart to know that we are bringing up 2 such decent kids despite the circumstances.

OP posts:

meanmum · 12/05/2003 22:46

You have raised beautifully caring kids and you should be proud. Serves the monster-in-laws right for missing out on such treasure and ultimately it is them that suffers.

I can just see them spoiling your husband rotten now as they feel more sorry for him than they do for themselves. Good on you for being honest. I really admire that.


WedgiesMum · 12/05/2003 22:57

Crystaltips - what wonderful children! Admire your bravery in facing up to this, and even more your parenting skills on having raised such thoughful and farsighted young people able to think of others before themselves. If my two grow up like this I will be EXTREMELY proud.


sobernow · 12/05/2003 22:59

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Holly02 · 13/05/2003 02:24

I would get your dh to phone them and ask what happened??? It's your grandson's birthday - don't you even want to acknowledge it?? And let them know about your ds' disappointment about not receiving anything.

It's a bit childish (of your in-laws) to let the children be affected by adult spats. If they had a relationship with their grandson before, there's no reason why they can't continue it now.


Ghosty · 13/05/2003 02:40

Crystaltips ... your children sound so lovely ... well done you!!!
FWIW ... my In-laws are pretty c* too. For DS' birthday all my family sent presents over from the UK and my MIL who lives in the same country sent nothing and FIL who lives in the same city gave him zilch too. My DS is too young to care but I was really hurt and took it out on DH and told him that I hated his parents and waxed lyrical on how wonderful my family is ... didn't go down too well but he did see my point eventually ...
I am not a confrontational person as a rule and neither is DH so we have decided to let it lie for the moment. Can't say what we will do when DS gets older though...
All my sympathy ... love Ghosty ...


doormat · 13/05/2003 07:59

crystaltips you have lovely kids
Children have a great resilience. I am glad you told them the truth.


Clarinet60 · 14/05/2003 14:22

Echo re your great job done, crystaltips.
It was my DS2's first birthday today and one set of grandparents forgot it. Luckily, he's too young to be hurt.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?