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Old 11-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
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I could use some advice...

I always get good advice on DS, so I was hoping you mamas could help me. My sister never acknowledges any of my childrens' birthdays unless I have a formal party where she is invited. As in no phone call, card, gift...nothing. It's not that I expect her to go out and buy a gift for each of my children, but some acknowledgment would be nice. My oldest girls are at the age where they notice now, and it's hurtful. My sister has one dd, and she is able to throw elaborate parties for her each year, and each year we go and I bring what I feel is a very thoughtful gift. I don't give her a gift because I expect them in return for my children, but I give one because I want her to have something special on her birthday.
Money is definitely not an issue for her. So, my question is should I bring it up with her? Or should I leave it alone and keep getting her dd birthday gifts as I always have? I almost feel selfish and rude for even thinking about this, but I just don't get her sometimes. No flames please!
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: I could use some advice...

Yea I wonder if she would notice u not getting a gift one year & if she does if she would say something......how close are you to your sis? If close then maybe I would otherwise no.....
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Re: I could use some advice...

I've thought about that. This year she had so many gifts (that they didn't even open during the party) I wonder how long it would have taken her to figure out if I didn't get her one, but I just couldn't do it.
We are pretty close...that's why I don't understand it. I have another sister who thinks I should confront her.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: I could use some advice...

If you are close I would just chat about it in a pre-planned non-judgy way. Maybe she thinks since you are not having a part that you don't want a bunch of gifts or acknowledgement for birthdays and that you just handle them differently. Maybe if you don't have a part she has a hard time keeping track of when the birthdays are. I had a talk with my brother a couple years ago about how we would handle kids birthdays and I really think it's a good idea because now we are on the same page and know where the other one's POV is coming from. I think so long as you handle it delicately she will be understanding and you can clear up any issues. Keep in mind that you don't have to change her mind on anything...if she doesn't want to acknowledge the birthdays then you can't make her. But at least you will be able to talk with you DDs about what's going on after you figure it out.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: I could use some advice...

I would ask her if there was a reason she didn't acknowledge your children's birthdays. She needs to know if she's hurting your feelings, because its causing you to be upset. I would if its because she doesn't want to exchange gifts, etc. Also let her know that your children notice that she doesn't call on their birthday. There may be a logical explanation. Does she acknowledge the birthdays of other children in the family?
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Re: I could use some advice...

DH and I would often forget our nieces' and nephews' birthdays - we'd keep meaning to get something for them, and then forget... A couple of years ago, DH's brother said, hey, the kids would really love it if you called them on your birthday; shall I call and remind you a few days before?

We felt awful about it, but really grateful he said something. And now we at least send them something off their amazon gift lists and give them a phone call
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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Re: I could use some advice...

I'm going to be real honest...

I am a busy person. It is not that I don't care it was your child's birthday. But honestly, unless there is a party, I often don't remember. I don't intentionally miss my nieces and nephew's birthdays. But I also don't call to acknowledge them either, because between work, my kids, and the million other things going on in my life, most of the time, I don't remember that it is your kid's birthday.

Sounds harsh, but that is the truth, at least for me. No party generally will mean no acknowledgement. I don't remember any of my aunts calling me for mine, and I have 5 aunts. The only people that ever call are my parents and sometimes my grandparents.

I'm going to bet that nothing intentional is meant by it, but you could talk to them about it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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Re: I could use some advice...

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Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
I'm going to be real honest...

I am a busy person. It is not that I don't care it was your child's birthday. But honestly, unless there is a party, I often don't remember. I don't intentionally miss my nieces and nephew's birthdays. But I also don't call to acknowledge them either, because between work, my kids, and the million other things going on in my life, most of the time, I don't remember that it is your kid's birthday.

Sounds harsh, but that is the truth, at least for me. No party generally will mean no acknowledgement.
This. I have 6 siblings, only 2 of them regularly acknowledge my children's birthdays if there is no party. I am completely unbothered by it. I only remember one of my nieces birthdays and that is because it is on a holiday.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:02 AM   #9
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Re: I could use some advice...

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Originally Posted by s@hmommy View Post
This. I have 6 siblings, only 2 of them regularly acknowledge my children's birthdays if there is no party. I am completely unbothered by it. I only remember one of my nieces birthdays and that is because it is on a holiday.
I have 6 siblings as well and dh has 3... I would be hurt if they didn't call to tell my kids Happy Birthday!!! I call all 11 of my nieces and nephews on their birthdays and send them gifts even with no party. That's the joy of being an Auntie and having an Auntie!!! My mom was one of 7 and my dad one of 4 and the married ones always sent gifts for bdays and Christmas or at least took us out to do some activity (which was even better since it meant individual attention). It's the same way for us now.

I have 4 kids and am busy too, but I, personally, feel it's part of being a family (taking time out to relate and talk to one another). One of my sisters conjoins bday gifts with Christmas gifts and I'm fine with that, but she still calls on the day of to sing happy birthday to the kids. We just write it on our calendars to remember. We don't spend much on each other's kids' gifts... maybe $5-10 dollars at most, but it's the thought and even kids love a dollar store coloring book and crayons or a gift card for a free Kid's Meal or a ticket to a movie theater. A lot of times the birthday gifts are late in the mail, but that just stretches out the fun and surprise.
We do a combined birthday party for all my kids because 4 parties a year is just too expensive. It doesn't mean the day of is not important by any means.

To the OP; I would ask when your kiddo's birthday is coming up, "Hey, Sis, can you call to sing her 'happy birthday' on her big day? It'd mean the world to her." It takes 4 minutes out of one's day (and I can totally see how an older kid would be hurt if no one calls them on their big day). As far as gifts, I wouldn't bring it up.

I do have one sister-in-law who has not even acknowledged 2 out of my 4 kids' existence, doesn't do gifts for any of them, doesn't even really talk to me (she has issues, but that is a whole other can of worms... I wish her jealousy wouldn't get in the way of how she doesn't relate to my kids ). Anyway, I still send her children gifts and talk to them. It's not their fault their mother is psycho and hurtful to my children (yes, I think it's hurtful behavior with the ignoring). Sigh...

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Old 11-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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Re: I could use some advice...

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Originally Posted by raisingcropsandbabies View Post
I have 6 siblings as well and dh has 3... I would be hurt if they didn't call to tell my kids Happy Birthday!!! I call all 11 of my nieces and nephews on their birthdays and send them gifts even with no party. That's the joy of being an Auntie and having an Auntie!!! My mom was one of 7 and my dad one of 4 and the married ones always sent gifts for bdays and Christmas or at least took us out to do some activity (which was even better since it meant individual attention). It's the same way for us now.

I have 4 kids and am busy too, but I, personally, feel it's part of being a family (taking time out to relate and talk to one another). One of my sisters conjoins bday gifts with Christmas gifts and I'm fine with that, but she still calls on the day of to sing happy birthday to the kids. We just write it on our calendars to remember. We don't spend much on each other's kids' gifts... maybe $5-10 dollars at most, but it's the thought and even kids love a dollar store coloring book and crayons or a gift card for a free Kid's Meal or a ticket to a movie theater. A lot of times the birthday gifts are late in the mail, but that just stretches out the fun and surprise.
We do a combined birthday party for all my kids because 4 parties a year is just too expensive. It doesn't mean the day of is not important by any means.

To the OP; I would ask when your kiddo's birthday is coming up, "Hey, Sis, can you call to sing her 'happy birthday' on her big day? It'd mean the world to her." It takes 4 minutes out of one's day (and I can totally see how an older kid would be hurt if no one calls them on their big day). As far as gifts, I wouldn't bring it up.

I do have one sister-in-law who has not even acknowledged 2 out of my 4 kids' existence, doesn't do gifts for any of them, doesn't even really talk to me (she has issues, but that is a whole other can of worms... I wish her jealousy wouldn't get in the way of how she doesn't relate to my kids ). Anyway, I still send her children gifts and talk to them. It's not their fault their mother is psycho and hurtful to my children (yes, I think it's hurtful behavior with the ignoring). Sigh...
I have 18 nieces and nephews and several of them are my age and ttc. There is simply no way myself or my siblings can keep up with that many birthdays nor afford that many gifts, so we mutually decided many years ago birthdays aren't a big deal. We are all still very close and love each other no less. The same was true for my mothers family (she is one of 15 children), and they too are all very close. Buying each other stuff isn't what makes a family. It's a nice thought if that's what you want to do, I just don't think it is something worth getting upset over.
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