Post # 1
So here’s the background. I have MANY nieces and nephews. They all do not get a party every year. DH has four nieces and nephews. They get a party EVERY year. Not only do they get a party, but if the actual birthday falls on a weekday, we are expected over for dinner and cake. (which to me, is a b-day party).
Anyway, I get that in DH’s family, the kids are small and it is all still new to them. Whereas, my nieces/nephews range from 13 to 2 years old. Kind of a been there done that deal.
Well, we so happened to miss one of his nephews b-day parties 2 years in a row. However, last year we did make it to the dinner/cake actual birthday.
I knew his sister would be kind of upset, but what I didn’t expect was her looking straight at Darling Husband and straight up telling him that he MUST make it next year to the party and demanding to know where said nephew’s present was!
I was stunned. I didn’t say anything because 1) she wasn’t directly addressing me, 2), I don’t like to step into sibling relationship dynamics.
I mean, was that out of line? Straight up demanding we go next year and wondering where the present was? I mean, yes, she was upset, and maybe rightfully so. But I just found that rude, demanding and presumptuous.
I flat out told them that I stopped giving gifts because there is WAY to many to give to every child every year. I’m kind of pissed because who are they to tell me that I must attend every b-day party til the end of time. I mean, we do have a life. We do have MY family obligations.
Ugh, I find myself wanting to not go next year because I feel like we are doing “as we’re told”
Post # 3
SIL was out of line, I get her being upset but to demand a year in advance for a present and to be present at a child’s birthday party is a little shall we say controlling and present grabby
Post # 4
“It’s at the store… where I didn’t go buy it because your child is not my responsibility and we can’t afford to buy presents for every child we know.”
That was out of line. Gifts are… a choice. I give my brother crap about not giving me Christmas and birthday gifts, but only because he’s always saying it’s in the mail. I stopped giving him anything when he had a baby. She gets presents now.
If you like the kids but not the parents, suck it up. Or at least send a card addressed to them with $10 in it. If you don’t have a relationship wtih the kids, don’t bother. Me personally, I go to little kids’ parties when it’s someone I really like, but I don’t like them. I’m not 1 or 2, so it’s not a lot of fun for me.
Post # 5
@Cougar09: Being demanding and asking about the present was pretty darn rude of her. Totally out of line. However, if I missed my nephew’s party two years in a row, I’d totally expect my sister to be mad. I mean, she’s my sister! Not going to her child’s party would just not happen. My SO doesn’t go to his nephew’s parties, though, so I guess it just depends on the relationship you have with your siblings.
Post # 6
@Cougar09: Your SIL was extremely rude and gift-grabby. I’ve been seeing this entitled behavior on the Bee quite frequently lately, and it’s scary. Personally, I think you should talk to the Darling Husband about this situation so that you are both on the same page, then he can address the issue with your SIL. If you decide not to attend going forward, you may just want to drop a card in the mail with a gift card (nothing fancy! maybe Coldstone Creamery or movie tix) or small cash amount. Just my 0.02.
Post # 7
I don’t think you did anything wrong. I have a large extended family and nearly all of my first cousins have children under the age of 10. I made a blanket rule that I was no longer going to attend birthday parties for any of their children.
For one thing, I am 38w with my first child, so it’s not like I have similarly aged kids to take to the parties, so honestly, they are pretty boring for me. (Especially once they get past the 1st birthday or so and start inviting other kids instead of just adults.)
I also got tired of feeling guilty for being able to go to one but not another one. I’m a teacher, so yeah, I probably have time to go to a June or July birthday party….but one in August right after school starts up? No way!
So, I just made a policy that I was going to quit going….I send gifts to the ones that I see and I refuse to feel guilty about it. One of my cousins has 2 children that I have seen maybe 3x in their whole lives. I wouldn’t expect someone who didn’t actually know my child to send a gift.
Post # 8
We try to attend our nieces and nephews birthday parties when we’re in town, and usually send a small gift and card when we can’t drive in for it. However, there are 8 of them! There have been some instances (especially with the older ones) that I’ve only sent a card.
The sister getting confrontational about a gift is definitely over the line, however. Gifts are totally optional, and should not be demanded or even expected.
She sounds like a real peach.
Post # 9
Wow she was WAY out of line and gift grabby. So you are expected to go to a party on the actual birthday then another party they have like on a weekend? F-That. Also giving a gift is a CHOICE not required so she needs to back off.
Post # 10
She was way out of line. You dont have to attend & you dont have to give a gift (although i think its rude not to). I get super annoyed with fi sisters bc they never come to anything for dd & I go out of my way to make sure to attend things for their kids & give beautiful expensive gifts. She gets nothing, it’s very frustrating but we buy her whatever she needs & wants. Personally I would never not give a gift even if I can’t make it I drop a gift off or send it with someone.
Post # 11
Thank you!!! I thought I was the only one who thought that the two get togethers were execessive. And yes, “F-That” is what I say in my head every time I think about it :).
While I get that it is rude not to give a gift, I feel like if I do for one, I’d have to do for all. And in the same vein that tnbellebee said above about just plain not going to parties, my family has an unspoken agreement where only the godparents give gifts to their respective godchild. I mentioned this at the time, and they kind of gave me a look I can’t decipher…lol.
I mean, we have 14 neices and nephews between us. With just their 4 children, that’s 8 parties!
For now, I’m just venting to my husband and biting my tongue to the in-laws. He has the attitude of…”well, we can’t please everybody”. I love him :)!
Post # 12
She was out of line. However, I don’t care how many neices and nephews you have, you have to give them each a birthday present. I’ve got two nieces local, and 6 more across the country, and I have to mail them presents for their birthdays. I think it’s rude not to.
Post # 13
@Cougar09: Thats not cool. She was totally out of line. This is filed under parents who think their genetic spawn are the center of the universe. They are of YOURS but not everyone else.
Post # 14
You are not obligated to buy a gift, however, a card with $5 in it, the child will be just as happy with that, trust me, my kids are happy with $5!!! But ALSO, as an aunt to the child, you should feel obligated to attend the child’s birthday. Family is family, child or adult, they will be there until the end of time.
Post # 15
@MrsTVLover: You may THINK it’s rude not to buy nieces and nephews a birthday present, but that does not mean it IS rude.
Many families do not exchange gifts in the same manner that you do. When we were kids we got gifts from our parents and grandparents -period! My parents both came from large families, who all had large families. My parents would have had to buy for 37 nieces and nephews!
If the children have a small party with their friends, and gifts from only immediate family, they will have more than enough. The average middle class child has more toys than they know what to do with. In our household when a new toy comes into the house, the children choose which of their old ones they want to donate to a shelter. They do not consider themselves hard done by.
@Cougar09: We do not attend nieces and nephews birthday parties. We have a family birthday dinner with our children on their birthday and they have a party with their friends. Our siblings do the same thing with their children.
Post # 16
@julies1949: exactly. That’s why I said that I THINK IT IS RUDE and didn’t say IT IS RUDE. I gave my opinion. That’s what this website is for. I THINK that a young child’s birthday should be acknowledged in some way.
ETA: I am willing to bet the child in question is under 4 years old, and think the birthday should be acknowledged. I’m not saying you have to give each kid a gift every year until they are 18, but I am willing to bet OP is talking about toddlers.