Aunts and Uncles — Do you attend all of your nieces/nephews birthdays?

posted 2 years ago in Holidays
  • poll: Do you attend all of your nieces/nephews birthdays?
    Yes : (15 votes)
    27 %
    I try to : (20 votes)
    36 %
    Only the important ones (milestones) : (4 votes)
    7 %
    Nope : (16 votes)
    29 %
  • Post # 16
    9691 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    Growing up my aunts and uncles never came to my birthday. I had one aunt/uncle who lived in the same town but everyone else was all over the country. It would have been insane to expect them to come to my birthdays.

    I don’t have any nieces and nephews but none of mine or my husband’s siblings live closer than 5 hours away so I really can’t see us going to all future nieces/nephews birthdays. If we lived in the same town or within an hour or so I’m sure we’d go to most of them but I still don’t think it would be necessary to go to every single one.

    Post # 17
    7425 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    All my aunts and uncles attended my birthday parties as a kid, however, they all lived within 45 minutes. We live seven hours from our nieces and nephews so we occasionally make it back if we have some extra vacation or another event but it’s not exactly a priority when we have a fourteen hour round trip and 7 nieces and nephews.

    If you were a bit closer I would suggest you go but I think it’s ridiculous to be expected to go to EVERY party when you’re 4.5 hours away and even more ridiculous when it conflicts with your DH’s work schedule. 

    If you are close to your niece perhaps you could plan a special weekend sometime in the near future when your schedule allows for it?

    Post # 18
    6659 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Your SIL is out of line. Let your Darling Husband deal with her. Does she plan to pack up her family and drive 4.5 hours each way whenever one of your future children has a birthday? 

    All of our nieces and nephews all live in other states, 5-6 hours away. Sometimes we get to join in the celebrations, sometimes we don’t. I always send a card and gifts. At times we get the whole family together in a central location that’s only a 3ish hour drive and celebrate several months’ worth of birthdays and other milestones together. How often does SIL make the trip to visit you now? 

    Post # 19
    4260 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2009

    We try to.  But we live quite far, 14 hours by car or a 1.5hr flight.  And we have 3 kids of our own, so flying is quite costly.  But we definitely do try to make an effort, or facetime etc and try to let the kids know we care.  Your sister in laws reaction seems over the top to me though.  

    Post # 20
    419 posts
    Helper bee

    I only remember having my aunt on my mom’s side at my birthday dinner twice, and then only because my cousin’s birthday was two days after mine so we combined! In my family, the kids birthdays were spent with siblings, parents, and often grandparents. We got a party with friends every few years. My aunts and uncles never sent cards or gifts, and I never missed them!
    Now I have two nephews and a niece on my husband’s side. We haven’t gone to parties yet. This year I plan to mail cards if they don’t have family parties, or bring a small gift if they do.

    Since I wasn’t raised with over the top parties and friends over every birthday, I have yet to understand why some families put SO MUCH emphasis on EVERYONE coming to their kids’ parties. (especially little kids. They. Don’t. Care.) I’d say send the card/gift, offer to Facetime, and leave it at that. 

    Post # 21
    1371 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I only have 1 niece so for the first 11 birthdays yes I was there. I won’t be from now on though cause she’s moving to Alaska. 😩

    Post # 22
    787 posts
    Busy bee

    We wouldn’t miss our niece or nephews birthdays. But we are super close with both our families, we don’t have our own children, & we live within 10 minutes of them all. We typically not only go to their birthday parties but take them somewhere special as well (arcade, movie, etc) 

    Post # 23
    328 posts
    Helper bee

    Your SIL is acting ridiculous. I understand feeling disappointed but things happen and she needs to let it go.

    We definitely try and attend all events for our nieces and nephews because it’s important to me to have our son attend these events and spend time with his cousins. Also, I make the effort because I hope that when I plan events for my son that people will do the same.

    I do have a niece and nephew that I’ve seen a handful of times because they live in Japan and I think it’s a bit sad that we don’t really have a relationship with them.

    Post # 24
    75 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: December 2017

    All my aunts and uncles made an effort to celebrate my birthday as a kid, but I think a good amount of it was because my birthday is the day after a big big holiday so they were always trying to make me feel special since friends usually couldn’t celebrate.

    Me and SO have a niece (5) and nephew(1), they live about 6 hours away and we drive or fly to see them whenever we can (usually a few times of year because we don’t mind driving and love those nuggets) For birthdays we go when we can but sometimes life gets in the way so we celebrate at different times if we miss it. Honestly I feel like 10 and under if its a mixed friends and family party the kids are going to be so overwhelmed with people its not a big deal, I would rather go at a different time when special memories and quality time can be had. I think your SIL has unrealistic expectations especially given your recent life events, adulting, and kids ages.

    Post # 25
    7905 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    The SIL seems a little fanatical. Most of one side of my extended family lives in the same metro area, so there are frequent birthday parties, and most everyone attends everytime. Not everyone would be thrilled for that, but that’s how they are. However, a 4 hour drive to attend such a party is a pretty big imposition. 

    Post # 26
    9044 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    We try to make it to milestone birthdays for our nieces/nephews that live across country but either send a gift or let them know we will do something next time we visit (we prefer to gift experiences than physical gifts). This works especially well for our nephew whose parents are divorced. His mother is a nightmare for my Brother-In-Law to deal with and will never alter visitation so often he doesn’t even get to see his son on his birthday.

    For local nieces/nephews it really depends. For my siblings that are divorced it depends entirely on custody arrangements and it also depends on the activity if the child is having a party (if it is in one of those activity centres full of happy screaming kids then I probably won’t go). Also the older kids certainly don’t want us oldies coming to their parties!

    But your SIL OP is being ridiculous. Life happens, people have to work, people have financial restraints which makes the expense of travel out of the question and a million other reasons valid to the individual on why they can’t make it to a birthday party.

    Post # 27
    105 posts
    Blushing bee

    underblueskies1016 :  I have 5 nieces and 1 nephew… bdays in Sept, March, May (28th & 31st), June, July… they were born from when I was 16 to 22….  no, there’s no way I could attend all of them (many years bc of college or living long distance) & My family understands. However if I am in town I do try to stop by and drop off a gift in person. If I can’t bc of travel or work, I mail it. No one gets upset. I don’t get people who think other peoples lives revolve around their kids. Smh. 

    Post # 28
    4535 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    underblueskies1016 :  I’ve attendee all my nieces and nephews birthdays bar one because we were on holiday in another state. They all love close though. I think your SIL is being crazy expecting you to drive 9hours for a birthday when the kid won’t even care if you are there.. I’d think a kid would be more disappointed about the jumping castle being MIA than you being MIA! 😉

    We don’t have kids but my husbands family live 4 hours away by plane. I would never expect anyone to fly for birthdays nor would they expect the same of us. That’s unreasonable to do that to someone. I would just ignore SIL….  

    Post # 29
    751 posts
    Busy bee

    underblueskies1016 :  Your sister in law is being a bitch (taking into account your other posts too!).

    I have one nephew. He lives 4.5 hours drive away. 

    We went to his first birthday party because that was a big deal to my sister. Everyone went. My other sister flew in from another continent. 

    The following birthdays, and future ones…. No. Definitely not in the circumstances you describe. Probably not even if we had nothing to do that day. It’s a long way to go. 

    You’ve mailed presents, you’ve shown you care. 

    Post # 30
    1900 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    underblueskies1016 :  I am a brand new Auntie (my nephew is 2 months old) and I plan on attending all birthdays, and giving gifts for birthdays, holidays, etc. The only time that may change is when my Fiance and I move away. We have been planning to move several states away to live more in the country for years. That would pose an issue for this in the future.

    My FI’s family is extremely close. They all celebrate all birthdays and holidays together. My family is quite small, and is spread out over the country, so I never had an aunt or uncle at my birthdays growing up. My Dad’s family didnt care much, and my mothers only brother died when he was young. I would have loved to have a family like my FI’s.

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