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AIBU

Tricky situation with nephew & birthdays

(39 Posts)
rizlett Sun 26-Apr-20 20:31:37

I think its true to say my DB was not interested in developing relationships with my children. My other DB & I have a more similar outlook & I have always bought his DD (age 10) birthday & Christmas presents even though they didn't give presents for my children who are grown up now. I enjoy buying for my niece.

My younger DB was very forgetful, took advantage of our DM, never stayed in touch and lived his own life which was fine. That's what he wanted. It doesn't matter that I didn't like the way he lived because he was happy.

He died in 2019 aged 46. He got married the year before to someone who was 22 years younger & their baby was born 2 months after he died. I'm not really interested in maintaining contact with her. I find her very irritating. My DM pays her rent - even though she gets benefits & is currently in the process of buying her a house. I'm envious. We don't have any communication although I did send Christmas presents.

It will soon be first birthday time. I'm not sure if I would send presents if my brother was still alive so am not sure why I feel guilty about the idea of not sending anything now. Am I being really mean? After all we are talking about a baby and all the other stuff is just my stuff to deal with.

notanan2 Sun 26-Apr-20 20:40:39

I dont see the point.

In fact I resent gifts sent by people who dont actually want to spend time with my kids

I feel they just do it to maintain some sort of moral high ground and not out of any interest in the children. If they were interested they would phone/visit

And as they make no effort to know my kids their gifts massively miss the mark anyway. And just serve to highlight their lack of interest (e.g. ballet themed stuff to my tom boy)

vampirequeen Sun 26-Apr-20 20:42:14

If you decide to send a gift why not buy a few premium bonds for the baby? The mam won't be able to touch them so won't benefit from your gift.

quizqueen Sun 26-Apr-20 21:01:33

Premium Bonds are controlled by the parent(s) until the child is 12 so could be cashed in at any time up that age.

notanan2 Sun 26-Apr-20 21:04:55

If you dont know a childs parents it is massively overstepping a mark to be opening bank accounts in the childs name.

Most children have savings accounts already. Either ring the parents to ask for the details, or send cash. Or dont bother if you want it dangling there unused (so not enjoyed by the child either) just to make a point about your feelings towards the parent!

rizlett Sun 26-Apr-20 21:09:09

Well I'm preferring the view of notanan2. I agree it is a bit disingenuous to buy presents for people you don't see or know.

The only other people I buy for are DM, my 3 adult DC (but perhaps that should stop too now they are adults) 4 grandchildren & my niece.

rizlett Sun 26-Apr-20 21:11:53

I especially don't want to make a point about my feelings towards the parent.

I might be full of childish rage about the situation at times but I wouldn't be wanting to act on that in any way.

SueDonim Sun 26-Apr-20 21:16:07

My brother has taken no interest in any of his nieces and nephews, in fact half the time we don’t know whether he’s alive or dead as he can be out of contact for years. hmm He has no partner or children and is unlikely to in his mid-60’s but I can’t imagine I’d be interested in striking up a relationship even if he did.

I’d be very cross, though, if my mum was spending her hard-sought money on his partner. That of course depends on whether money is a problem for your mother.

notanan2 Sun 26-Apr-20 21:20:21

Well I'm preferring the view of notanan2. I agree it is a bit disingenuous to buy presents for people you don't see or know

Uh huh.
A good present is something you see that makes you think "oh thats perfect for X"
If you dont know them you cant buy with them in mind!

Tangerine Sun 26-Apr-20 21:26:00

I can understand your feelings.

The only thing I would say is the baby could grow up to be a very nice person. None of this situation is the baby's fault.

Also, the baby has lost his father already. Perhaps it would be nice to try to keep in touch and see how it goes.

How tragic that the baby's father never saw him.

Tangerine Sun 26-Apr-20 21:27:04

Or perhaps it is "How tragic that the baby's father never saw her".

Hetty58 Sun 26-Apr-20 21:31:15

We have a large family anyway so all stick to buying for our own children and grandchildren. It's simpler that way.

I'd always make sure, though, that they have all your updated contact details. One day, they may need your help (or vice versa), or want to discuss a family situation or tell you news.

Grammaretto Sun 26-Apr-20 21:56:33

Did you give the baby anything when he was born? If so I think is probably enough unless you have a relationship with the mother, which you don't.

My in-laws, who are in their 90s, send a book to each DGC and DGGC for their birthdays - Classics that all children should read until they are about 10 or 12 and then a £10 note tucked inside a card. Our DC used to always shake their cards!!
I do presents for our own family only now apart from new babies.

rizlett Sun 26-Apr-20 22:18:15

I guess another issue is the disparity with which my mother treated us all - my little brother always came first. We knew this & that was ok - but for a complete outsider to come first - that's harder to swallow.

That's getting away from the issue. The baby could turn out to be a wonderful person, true - or they could turn out to be a horror. I'm just not all that interested to be honest. I do feel slightly horrified by myself too - but it's important to be truthful to my feelings.

I kind of had enough of her saying she knew my brother better than we did, of her keeping us apart from him when he was dying (if we managed to call when he could pick up the phone it was no problem to go but if she did then he didn't want to see us.) I've had enough of her drama queenish ways, of her changing what she said my brother liked if it didn't fit in with what she wanted. It was all a bit much.

I just want a quiet life. She's not it.

My mother doesn't have plenty of money to spend although perhaps buying a house for them to live in would have happened anyway if my brother was still here - and perhaps just a house will mean she pays out less over the years.

I did buy the baby a present & plenty of things whilst my brother was alive which is not my normal behaviour.

It is very sad. My mother said she'd die without him. That made me cross too but then death often brings all the demons out.

Chardy Sun 26-Apr-20 22:18:29

I'm not so sure. My granddaughter, an only child, is close to her cousins, and sees her 2nd cousins occasionally. Maybe at sometime in the future, someone will want to see this distant cousin or she'll want to know something about her dad's family, especially as she never knew him.
Perhaps, having had estrangement in my family in the past, I'm keen on keeping the door open.

Grammaretto Sun 26-Apr-20 23:29:46

If it means there is a connection to your DB through his child then continue the link. It doesn't have be a birthday gift though that is the obvious thing. Do your DC have feelings about this?
The mother of the child is young and will move on with her life. You can be a friend to this child and be able to talk about his dad when he's older.

mumofmadboys Sun 26-Apr-20 23:47:34

I would buy a present and stop agonising over it. The situation will become clearer over the next year or two. Feelings after siblings die stir up a lot of emotions. With time these feelings will settle a bit and any resentment you feel will be felt less acutely.

NotSpaghetti Mon 27-Apr-20 10:07:13

Having not known my cousins, as an adult I find this to be a loss. I’d send a simple card with a small book token in. I would be inclined to keep on doing it each year. I know I’d have been pleased, later in life, to have someone making a small gesture like that and it just keeps the door ajar for others in the family, or much later on.
Good look.

Nannan2 Mon 27-Apr-20 10:12:50

Not being rude rizlett,but (if the DC is 'darling children' - though why you all here on gransnet or mumsnet have to put "darling" in front of everything is beyond me!)But,why would you stop buying your own children a gift just because theyve grown up?I have a big family,but always still buy my Adult children a present for christmas and birthdays, you love them,so why wouldnt you show that,by buying a gift you know they'll love?doesnt matter how old they are,theyre still your child,just older! Same goes for grandchildren.hmm

Canklekitten Mon 27-Apr-20 10:15:52

I dont see what the problem is. You clearly have issues with your brother and his wife so move on. I only buy gifts for people I genuinely care about and they know it's been bought with love. Why bother buying a present for someone when you have negative underlying feelings towards them?? If you care about the child send it a gift, if not dont bother. Simple!

Nannan2 Mon 27-Apr-20 10:16:29

And yes,as Not spaghetti says,send a nice book with a token in,then the mum can either get a childrens book to read to child when older,or a 'classic book' to save.With a cover note to wish them 'all the best' for the future.with maybe similar at christmas?smile

Jillybird Mon 27-Apr-20 10:33:55

I'd go for the card option. If you don't want to spend money on the baby, don't. A gift has to be given willingly, not out of 'duty' or expectation or whatever. That way you are leaving the door open for the baby who is blameless in all this. As he gets older he may be grateful. If not you can cease the practice. See how things develop.

Riggie Mon 27-Apr-20 10:50:33

vampirequeen you cant buy "a few" premium bonds these days. The minimum is £25. (Which js more than a few in my books!!)

fluttERBY123 Mon 27-Apr-20 11:02:25

Your mother will be doing things for her grandchild, not her dil.

kwest Mon 27-Apr-20 11:17:37

You answered your own question. Yes it would be mean.
Live by your own standards so that you can 'look yourself in the eye'. Just because other people have low standards and can be mean-spirited, you don't have to drop to their levels.