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What would you do

(41 Posts)
jefm Tue 19-Dec-17 11:00:09

Dear gransnetters I have mentioned before a not too easy relationship with my DIL. I have 2 grandchildren 12and 9 who I don't see as often as I would like but I have a lovely long distance (north v south) relationship with them. I saw my son this weekend for about half a day with the kids my DIL did not come. That was our Christmas visit. For the second year running they have not left me with any presents. So nothing from my son but much more importantly nothing to put around the tree no matter how small to grandma from the kids. I can't help feeling really hurt and apart from the difficulty with my DIL can't understand why it's happened. Maybe too emotionally I feel sad that my son hasn't thought of me ( I know as a mum we don't expect much but I did lend them 20k for a deposit on a house a year ago) The worst thing was that my son brought presents for his brother and his girlfriend for them and a present from the kids and gave them to him in front of me! I want to say something to my son if nothing else but to understand why? Is that ridiculous knowing that they have obviously made a conscious decision not to buy me anything! Would I achieve anything other than sounding rather childish myself. Any thoughts would be so welcome it's stupidly on my mind as Christmas approaches with the thought of many christmases to come and never a little something from the kids! Thanks

Luckygirl Tue 19-Dec-17 11:05:23

How sad for you. It must feel hurtful.

But TBH I have a problem when anyone asks me what I would like for a present, as I feel that at my age I have everything I want or need - maybe they think that you probably have everything you need. I know that after we moved home a year ago we became less interested in "things" - just more clutter!

I think I would stop lending them money frankly! These situations are so difficult, and there is often little to be done without risking making things worse. Are you able to have a good Christmas with your other son? - I do hope so. flowers

J52 Tue 19-Dec-17 11:15:10

I don’t think there is anything you can do to make things better. Talking to your son might make things worse, although I would do that. You’ve not got much to lose and they might need you before you need them (financially).
Sending you virtual hugs. Enjoy Christmas with your other son, if you can. flowers

MissAdventure Tue 19-Dec-17 11:18:39

Oh, I would be very hurt. How can they have decided to not only visit empty handed, but not to even discuss it?
I'm not sure what the right response should be, but I do hope you can feel less hurt. flowers

NannyTee Tue 19-Dec-17 11:21:56

You have every right to feel hurt. I would feel the same. The mind boggles it really does. flowers

Jalima1108 Tue 19-Dec-17 11:55:40

I would be hurt too. Children are usually so eager to do their 'Christmas shopping' and buy small presents for family members and it is nice to encourage them to do that and think of others.

Jalima1108 Tue 19-Dec-17 11:56:14

cupcake wine and flowers
or brew if you don't drink wine

silverlining48 Tue 19-Dec-17 12:30:33

I think we can all understand you feel hurt, and would feel the same as you. I hope you have a better relationship with your other son and could perhaps mention how disappointed you are to him. He may be able to throw some light on this.

cornergran Tue 19-Dec-17 12:39:05

I can also understand the hurt and am as confused as you probably are that gifts were given to other family members. If you think you could speak calmly and in an interested rather than cross way to your son once Christmas is over and done with it might be worth a try, but you may just be told a decision has been made not to give you a gift which would hurt again. Is it just Christmas or are birthday gifts not suggested either? It does sound odd but please try not to let it spoil your memoryof their visit and a relaxing Christmas time.

PamelaJ1 Tue 19-Dec-17 12:51:03

Lucky girl we can all do with nice things for the bath etc.
What an insensitive pair your DS & DIL are.
Like the other posters I don’t know what the right response should be that won’t stir up trouble. I know that when I’ve said things in the past I have wished that I hadn’t.
I presume your other son will be buying a present for you.
I don’t know what sort of relationship you have with him but if it’s good then perhaps you could mention it?
Hope things get better and you have a lovely Christmas.

Squiffy Tue 19-Dec-17 12:55:28

Could it be because, at some time in the past, you have commented in general conversation that you don't need things and your DS has taken this literally? I'm clutching at straws, I know, but it could explain it. If the present-giving only stopped a couple of years ago, it would seem that something must have prompted it, however inadvertently.

KatyK Tue 19-Dec-17 13:19:03

It's hurtful, insensitive and thoughtless. They could have gone to a shop and bought you a Christmas cake or something if they are too busy to look for presents.

jollyg Tue 19-Dec-17 13:32:24

Please accept the kindness that your son did bother to come and visit you with the kids.

You gave money willingly to help them, and the kids.

Please do not go over past grievances, life is too short.

In my mind it was only yesterday my gran kids were born, and I hope to see them occasionally as their hectic life

Enjoy Christmas with a phone call to all.

The gift of a call surely would suffice

jefm Tue 19-Dec-17 15:25:05

Thank you for your kind messages. Yes I have a wonderful relationship with my younger son and his girlfriend. He was outraged as he expressed it! But he has intervened in the past to try to make things better with my DIL but nothing seems to help. I have a reasonable relationship with my older son given the situation which is why it hurts so much. I am too sentimental to say I don't need anything as to me it's about the thought and the giving so anything wrapped in a little parcel would do! I think the majority of you suggest it's probably not worth bringing up. Thanks everyone for the flowers ?And the wine!

margoescargo Wed 20-Dec-17 11:28:28

This is very hurtful I would be inclined to make a tongue in cheek remark next presents are handed over for others ' and nothing for Grand-ma?' Or something along those lines.

lemongrove Wed 20-Dec-17 11:35:20

jefm you are being treated horribly IMHO by this son.
How could he hand over presents for others and not for you?
Has he always done this, or just the last year?
I would not be buying a present for him in future, but of course, yes for the DGC.
Time for all Grandparents and Parents to make a stand about being treated as doormats!

Christinefrance Wed 20-Dec-17 16:40:41

Your son is so thoughtless jefm and its very hurtful, I would have to mention something even in a light manner. Our adult children should not assume we are there only to support them, we need to feel cared for too. As always its not the cost of the gift just the thought.

loopyloo Wed 20-Dec-17 16:48:53

Were they miffed that you lent them the money rather than giving it to them? I wonder whats behind all this?

BlueBelle Wed 20-Dec-17 17:00:21

I feel for you too, even a bottle of wine or some flowers with the visit if they can’t think of what to get as in presents but they visited which shows they care but empty handed is a puzzle as they bought for others in front of you Did you give them their presents on that visit ?
Could it be that there is something like interflora flowers on the way
My youngest is pretty ad hoc with presents and one year I was ready to think umm nothing for me then when a basket of flowers turned up through international delivery I m so glad I hadn’t said anything
I think I would make a remark after Christmas but as someone else said think it through as I ve sometimes said things that I wish I hadn’t

janeainsworth Wed 20-Dec-17 17:56:27

I would light-heartedly say ‘So, what happened to my present, then?’ If it bothered me, that is. Actually, it wouldn’t, as long as the DC kept in reasonable touch throughout the year and were thoughtful in other ways.
It’s only 20th December.
He still has time to order something for you.
Did you give him and DiL a present?

harrigran Wed 20-Dec-17 18:50:16

I don't see this as a problem as I would much rather give than receive. If your family visit you they clearly care.

NemosMum Wed 20-Dec-17 19:15:02

It is thoughtless, but possibly not more than that. So many men (in all generations) rely on their womenfolk to sort all gifts, so if your DIL doesn't get you anything, it doesn't happen. It is sad, and I don't blame you for being hurt, but if you decide to say anything, I would keep it light, as others have suggested. I think perhaps the moment would have been when he was passing gifts to others in front of you.

mollie Wed 20-Dec-17 19:41:18

Perhaps it’s just a misunderstanding and he thinks you said no presents at some point in the past. Why not ask in a casual way during the coming year. You must be able to find a suitable opening when you can ask ‘did we say presents for the grandkids only? I can’t remember’ If he says yes you’ve got an answer and the opening for a bigger conversation. Or maybe your other son could ask his brother what he bought you and see what he says?

jefm Wed 20-Dec-17 21:01:16

Thanks again to everyone. It is really helpful to hear diverse views. to give a clearer view they didn't visit me they rarely do? We made the usual trip to London where my son and the kids came to my younger sons then we went out for an early meal. The no gifts happened for the first time last year but as they moved into the new home before Xmas I assumed they didn't have time. Yes birthday and Xmas cards are often late or don't turn up at all. Yes I guess the presents for my younger son were bought by my DIL. Yes they had wanted the deposit as a gift but I couldn't possibly afford that., I had lent my younger son the same amount 10 years earlier which he had mostly repaid. Yes it's probably to do with me and my DIL not having a great relationship. My son doesn't have Xmas with me and we have only had 2 Christmas days in 12 years with the GC. I have always been there for him no matter what and I guess the good thing is that although I have only seen the GC 4 times this year it's better than many grans have. My gut feel is at some stage to mention the present absence gently and lightly maybe it will shed some light on what he is feeling? Do you think?

bugsy555 Wed 20-Dec-17 21:27:20

Don't mention it Jefm. Sounds as though you have a very delicate relationship with him any way and I'm sure you wouldn't want to risk it. If you can maintain eve a small amount of contact then the gc may reach an age where they themselves will want to get you something small. Your best hope though is to try to reach out to your DIL to fix the relationship with her then I'm sure you'll have much more contact with your son and gc. Is that possible?