Gransnet forums


AIBU to expect a birthday card

(106 Posts)
Abbeygran Sat 13-Oct-18 20:48:48

Last year my son forgot my birthday. His marriage had just broken up so I let it go. This year, he’s forgotten again. To make matters worse, my daughter has also forgotten. She’s away at the moment for her job, and I’m looking after my DGS. I help both my AC with my dgs and dgd. I help pay for clothes, trips, have helped pay for holidays etc and ask for nothing in return. To be forgotten on my birthday has upset me very much. Am I being over sensitive?

muffinthemoo Wed 17-Oct-18 11:31:56

I bet they have a bloody good memory for when they expct you to be running about looking after their kids for them, though.

Happy birthday, I hope you had a nice day flowers cupcake

NudeJude Tue 16-Oct-18 19:52:56

On the first birthday that I shared with my husband, because he had to go to work before I woke up, he left me a pile of gifts on a chair in the living room, only thing was, he hadn't wrapped any of them. I duly thanked him for the gifts, but it really bothered me that he hadn't taken the trouble to wrap them, so in the end, late that night when he was asleep and it was still niggling away, I went downstairs and wrote him a note telling him how disappointed I was. He said that he hadn't realised it was important to me and has never done it again. So maybe you haven't made it clear to your kids that you like to receive cards from close family, and while you shouldn't have to, perhaps a remark near your birthday next year, saying something along the lines of 'I hope you won't forget my birthday card this year', will be the gentle reminder that they need. If that doesn't work, I'd cease bothering with their birthdays, and definitely don't be so available to help them out, as your efforts obviously aren't as appreciated as they should be.

You are definitely NOT being unreasonable, and I'm sick of all these excuses about the younger generation being so busy, they know the date of your birthday, and have all year to prepare for it and buy, and post the necessary card that means so much.

Speldnan Tue 16-Oct-18 17:33:13

Ps never get mother’s day acknowledgement from him either but then it’s a different day in NZ. I know my son loves me though and would fly over in an instant if I needed him. This is so much more important than a card!

Speldnan Tue 16-Oct-18 17:29:12

My son is 37 and I can count on one hand the cards I’ve had from him over the years. He lives in NZ now so I never even get a phone call. However I don’t take it personally, he never sends cards to anyone and wouldn’t care if he didn’t get any himself. He says Happy Birthday on Facebook but that’s because it reminds him! It’s no big deal.

moggie57 Tue 16-Oct-18 12:46:10

when you next contact your d .say oh by the way you forgot my birthday. dont be shy. say maybe next year we you can send a voucher as well as a card so i can go out and celebrate it even if you are not here. but younger generation seem to think it doesnt matter if they forget ,they dont realise you get upset. or maybe you could forget to send her a birthday card. then send a belated one saying like you forgot mine. dont be shy ,tell her..

EllanVannin Tue 16-Oct-18 11:57:05

Just in time to say Good Morning All. {smile]

I've followed " nearly " every post for a while now and thought I'd like to join in. I also noted all the trials and tribulations that enter everyone's lives----uninvited in many cases and because these are shared it makes life more bearable.

MaudLillian Tue 16-Oct-18 10:27:15

I usually remind my sons about my birthday by telling them what I'd like to do to celebrate and what I'd like for a gift from them. I feel that they might forget otherwise, it not being one of their most important considerations. I don't expect it to be, really.

I don't think you are being unreasonable - you can't help your feelings - but I doubt forgetting the date of your birthday is any sign of diminishing affection for you. My own mother was quite often forgotten by my youngest brother - on a couple of occasions he even missed Mother's Day. She never said a thing, and if she was hurt, never let on. I scolded my brother on a few occasions for his lack of consideration for her, knowing that he meant nothing by it, he was just too absorbed in his own activities and work, but I felt it was a poor excuse. Mum put up with a lot, without complaining.

I make sure my sons keep in touch and remember my birthday and Mother's Day. Ideally I would not have to, but I'm not going to sit patiently and wait in silence for some attention, like my Mum did! I love my sons, but I know I was not always the kindest and most loving to them that I should have been when they were small - I regret every moment I wasted being cross - and so I feel grateful and glad that they are still in my life and we see each other often and I get to hug them all and let them know that I love them. I don't really need cards, I need my boys in my life.

ditzyme Tue 16-Oct-18 09:19:31

No you are not being insensitive, and why the heck should you have to remind your own children when it's your birthday? Then you'd never know if the card/gift was sent out of a sense of duty, or because they truly wanted to celebrate your birthday.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 16-Oct-18 09:05:32

I'd feel tempted to put a birthday card on the mantelpiece with 'Happy Birthday to me' on it.
If/when you're visited by the forgetful, they notice and they say, 'sorry, I forgot' just say 'so you did' not that it's ok, then change the subject.

Lilyflower Tue 16-Oct-18 07:07:10

I sympathise with the OP very much. To care for others and be ignored yourself is atrocious. My DS ‘forgot’ my birthday once so I ‘forgot’ hers when it came around and this seemed to make her realise how hurtful it was as it never happened again.

I suggest some heavy hints before the event might not go amiss and then, if the point isn’t taken, ‘forget’ their birthdays and stop doing favours.

Lyndiloo Tue 16-Oct-18 04:07:07

I would be devastated if my daughters forgot my birthday!
And I wouldn't keep quiet about it, either.
But I suppose all families are different. Our family makes a big thing of birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Considering all you do for them, Abbeygran I think the very least you can expect is a bloody card!
Happy Birthday, from me.

Nanagem Mon 15-Oct-18 22:44:40

Happy belated birthday, do you’re not being unreasonable I would be very upset try not to take it personally they might surprise you yet

Phoebes Mon 15-Oct-18 22:30:01

My husband always reminds our daughter in the USA well before my birthday or Mother’s Day and I do the same for his birthday/ Father’s Day.It seems to work! She is very busy and has a high-powered job, so she is glad we do it!

justwokeup Mon 15-Oct-18 21:26:36

Happy belated birthday Abbeygran. I hope you found something celebratory to do with your DGS and I'm glad your DD at least phoned you. Hopefully she's planning to bring something home with her for you. Perhaps DS used to get a timely reminder from his ex-OH? Anyway, I think the idea of buying a cake, and inviting them to share it, is a great idea and will gently make the point. Plus, there's cake for you too! Birthdays are one of those things that people get worked up about - they either need it to be remembered or they don't care about it at all and wonder why other people fuss about it. I don't care at all but, at the same time, I know I'm so fortunate to usually get b'day cards from my AC. One of them usually forgets so I'm impressed if I get one from each. But, as others have said, it was YOUR birthday and, if it's important to you, your family ought to know that, and YANBU to expect a card. I hope you had acknowledgements from other family and friends, and on GN you have many good wishes at least. flowers

4allweknow Mon 15-Oct-18 21:23:15

You certainly seem to be very heavily involved with your DGC. Maybe just a bit too much. Thi k if I did all that I would be very upset at not receiving some sort of acknowledgement for my birthday. Presuming both DD and DS has a mobile surely the could programme in a reminder on the calendar app. Try not to let your feelings change your love of your DGC, it's their parents who need a bit more of a "stand offish" approach. Happy Birthday Wishes.

Nana49 Mon 15-Oct-18 21:05:35

How upsetting for you, are you a birthday person and make a big fuss at family members birthdays? I only ask because there are lots of families who don't bother as much as some other ones do, if yours doesn't it gives them a bit of a reason, but if you do all celebrate birthdays, I think its a bit off and would expect something, drop hints next year!
My DS forgot mothers day a couple of years ago, I was gutted and so upset, he didn't forget last year!

Abbeygran Mon 15-Oct-18 20:56:17

Thank you all Gransnetters, what a great bunch you are. Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful suggestions xx

HillyN Mon 15-Oct-18 20:26:29

Many happy returns for yesterday! I would be very upset if my kids forgot my birthday and I would have to let them know somehow. Maybe buy them a 2019 calendar for Christmas with the date clearly marked 'Mum's birthday' and maybe the week before 'Buy Mum a card' or something similar.
If the younger generation prefer to send birthday messages via social media that's fine for them, but not for your mother who probably wouldn't even see it!

tickingbird Mon 15-Oct-18 20:18:37

I think you have every right to feel upset. I have 3 sons and they mostly forget my birthday and one Mother’s Day i didn’t get one card. I always sent cards to my mum and think it’s a mark if respect as well as love. Just making excuses for this lack of consideration isn’t right in my book. Happy Birthday.

MagicWriter2016 Mon 15-Oct-18 20:09:46

No, you are not being unreasonable. I remember my youngest daughter forgot mine once and tried to make an excuse about not knowing what day/date it was. I said the same date it’s been all my life!! It’s never happened again. I always say, I don’t mind not getting a present as things are not cheap nowadays, but I do like a nice card. Shows they have at least thought about you.

Shizam Mon 15-Oct-18 19:49:02

Happy birthday to you!
This is one time when Facebook is useful as it sends reminder of people’s birthdays, so I can at least send a message. I love getting cards, but happy with just a phone call of something. Used to love the homemade ones my son did when he was young. He was so creative.

M0nica Mon 15-Oct-18 19:48:49

Whatever the reason, when you do so much for them, it was selfish and careless of your children to forget about your birthday and not send a card. I assume they did not ring you or send an email either.

DH is a non-card sender and DS seems to always send them late, but they never forget my birthday completely. I get a phone call or an email.

No, if there was no contact at all from them. I would haul them over the coals and tell them in no uncertain terms how you felt.

Although if you constantly do so much to support them, and presumably always have, do they just see your role as that of a personal concierge and faciltator, without any thought or consideration for you and your need.

Perhaps you should be a little less at their beck and call, so that they begin to appreciate how much you do, for them when you say no to a request for help.

annep Mon 15-Oct-18 19:21:37

I don't like being forgotten but it happens regularly. My three children aren't reliable. I would just say you forgot my birthday, not worth getting worked up.
My daughter in law remembers EVERY date - birthdays anniversaries Mothers Day. I hope I never forget hers! She doesn't think much of people forgetting.

ajanela Mon 15-Oct-18 19:04:25

I must have upset so many people as I find it very difficult to remember people's birthdays. I have enrolled on to one of those electronic card sites which reminds me a week before when some one has a birthday. I immediately set it up that they receive an electronic card.

Some people don't like those cards but at least it shows I care. Also saving the planet, what use are those paper cards, after being on the mantle piece, they end up in a draw or the dustbin.

Wetnosewheatie Mon 15-Oct-18 18:49:48

I don’t think you are being unreasonable. One year all mine forgot. I was upset. It’s not much to ask for a small amount of recognition to say thanks for all you do and a birthday provides that opportunity. Belated birthday wishes x