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Daughter’s birthday, should I send her a birthday card ?

(383 Posts)
Dibbydod Mon 13-Jul-20 10:36:07

I really need to have some constructive opinions on this .My long term partner of 22 years ( we never lived together) passed away last October, and I was so consumed up with grief that I hit rock bottom over the next few months . During this awful time , my daughter decided she had enough of me ( I know I was very difficult to deal with , but couldn’t pull myself out of the hole I was in ) , then one morning, bit out of the blue , she sent me a hurtful text , saying a host of awful things to me , adding that if and when she decides to talk to me again it will be on her terms . I’d messaged her back pleading not to be like this ,that I was sorry that I’d been such a pain to deal with , that my doctor has put me on antidepressants, and to say that I love her and are very proud of her. She read it , but never replied .
She ignored Mother’s Day , not contacted me once over lockdown to see if I’m ok or want something ( I am registered disabled but I have car and try to be independent as much as possible ) , and worse still , my 68 th birthday was last week and was totally ignored by her .
I have mixed feelings about all this , because I have couple friends who’s daughters have done the same to them , also read many posts on here of similar situations. I feel I cannot go through rest of my life feeling so hurt and upset , wishing and hoping she will contact me , and , if and when she does , I know I’ll be walking on eggshells as be worrying if she will do this to me again. I’ve not been brought up to be doing any of this sort thing to my parents , if we have an issue , we talk it through , to resolve things , never to cut them out of ones life , and be so hurtful and disrespectful. My Mum would be mortified by this behaviour, so would my beloved partner . I didn’t raise my daughter to be so heartless. My son is very hurt also , saying that his family are falling apart .
With all this emotions going on, it’s her birthday coming up in couple weeks time , and I’m at a loss as to wether to send her a card , part of me says yes , I should, ( but feel she will rip it up ) but then I feel that I don’t want to , so maybe that way she will hopefully feel some hurt to know how it feels .
I’m in state of limbo , and would appreciate thoughts on this one. Oh , and I’d like to add, that I love my daughter dearly , have always been proud of her , and miss her terribly.

Septimia Mon 13-Jul-20 11:07:42

I say send one. Pick one with a very simple greeting (Happy Birthday) and just put 'Love from Mum' or similar. Don't put anything else, especially any comments about the situation. It doesn't matter what she does with it, you'll have made the effort.

Caramac Mon 13-Jul-20 11:17:24

I agree with @Septimia, send her a simple card with a simple Happy Birthday, Love Mum xx

Feelingmyage55 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:17:39

I’d send flowers and a card. Sign simply “with love”.

Oopsminty Mon 13-Jul-20 11:17:40


I say send one. Pick one with a very simple greeting (Happy Birthday) and just put 'Love from Mum' or similar. Don't put anything else, especially any comments about the situation. It doesn't matter what she does with it, you'll have made the effort.

I agree

Smileless2012 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:24:59

Hello Dibbydod. You really have been through a very difficult time which is ongoing in respect of your relationship with your D; I'm so sorryflowers.

I cannot understand why any AC would be unable to accept an apology from their parent who was heartbroken and struggled to come to terms with the loss of their much loved partner.

Even if you'd never been particularly close, and please believe me when I say I am not suggesting that is the case, how could someone be so heartless!

The first birthday following estrangement is the hardest I think. That is when you have a huge decision to make; to send or not send a card. You need to be sure why you take whatever decision you decide upon.

There may understandably be a part of you that hopes she'll contact you if she gets a card from her mum. Even if you tell yourself you expect nothing, if you don't hear from her you're going to be hurt. How will that affect you? Will you be able to deal with this additional pain?

As it's your D whose decided to go no contact with you, is it likely that she'll be upset if she doesn't get a card? She may be more upset if one arrives in the post.

Of course you love and miss your D, estrangement has to be experienced before the depth of pain it brings can be understood.

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for 7.5 years now and I can only speak from our personal experience when I say that with time, although the hurt and upset never goes away, it does diminish and the desire to be contacted by him, for me more than for Mr. S. has all but disappeared. We have never sent him a card for his birthday since he estranged us.

As you've posted, there would always I think be the fear that he would estrange us again and that would a constant cloud over any future relationship we could have. Then there's the prospect of constantly walking on eggshells for fear of saying or doing the 'wrong' thing.

If you do decide to send her a card be prepared to have it ignored. IMO you need to do what is right for you, whatever is going to help you get through this first birthday.

My advice would be to avoid a sentimental 'loving' card and to keep your own message short and sweet.

Take care of yourself.

25Avalon Mon 13-Jul-20 11:27:05

Yes I agree with previous posts. Do send with simple message. If she doesn’t reply you will have tried your best and you will have told her you love her.

Orangerose Mon 13-Jul-20 11:27:14

Agree with all comments. Nice card signed with love. Hope it works out for you. ?

Kate1949 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:31:07

I would send a card. A few years ago I was going through a horrible time and I was difficult and quite unkind to my daughter, my only child. She was upset and hurt and I wouldn't have blamed her if she cut me off. Fortunately she didn't. I am grateful that she didn't. Hopefully your daughter will come around.

FindingNemo15 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:39:46

I am in the same position. Last week it was our DDs birthday and we sent a card, but heard nothing. As a previous poster has already said in time the situation eases and to be honest I can do without the stress and constantly treading on eggshells. Sorry for your loss and hurt. x

CassieJ Mon 13-Jul-20 12:08:47

I send cards to my son and his family who I am estranged from. I just sign, love mum
I don't get any cards for my birthday or mothers day -- but I will continue to send cards to them.

Nortsat Mon 13-Jul-20 12:17:20

Dibby this is very sad. You have had terrible loss to deal with.
My view, for what it’s worth, is yes send a card with a loving, simple message.
Try not to expect anything in return.
Remember to look after yourself. ?

quizqueen Mon 13-Jul-20 12:30:24

I'm sorry but I wouldn't tolerate this sort of hurtful behaviour from either of my adult children. I'd send her one last card saying this would be my final contact with her with a copy of my new will included inside, leaving her 1p and the rest to my other child/grandchildren or a charity of my choice so that she fully understood the consequences of her actions.

I know money isn't everything but I would not be willing for someone who has behaved like this little madam to benefit from me in the future,

Namsnanny Mon 13-Jul-20 12:48:39

I understand why you would say what you have quizqueen,
but dont you think boxing someone in in that fashion only leaves them one way out?

TwiceAsNice Mon 13-Jul-20 12:54:29

I would send a card and some flowers. You have nothing to lose and it might help. Yes be prepared for it to be ignored but you will have done a lovely thing and reinforced your original apology.

I’m very sorry you have had all this distress and wish you well.

Rhinestone Mon 13-Jul-20 13:21:42

DibbydodYou have suffered enough grief and this estrangement is not helping. I am so sorry.
The first year I sent my son a card I got a thank you text. The next year nothing.
I would send a card as you are being the role model. But don’t get your hopes up for any communication back. Just know YOU are doing the right thing.

sodapop Mon 13-Jul-20 13:30:13

I agree with Rhinestone you are the bigger person, send the card with love, the door is open for her then.
I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time Dibbydod.

Namsnanny Mon 13-Jul-20 13:37:37

Agree with other posters, just try not to get your Hope's up.
So sorry for your loss.

25Avalon Mon 13-Jul-20 13:43:05

The problem is Quizqueen do you want them to be nice to you just for your money? Either that or they will be so outraged they will remain estranged.

Starblaze Mon 13-Jul-20 13:50:32

I'm going to take a different stance and say no, don't send your daughter a card.

If your daughter doesn't want to speak to you currently, a card on her birthday will just upset her or worse make her angry. This will not help generate any good feeling towards you.

By not sending a card you are respecting her adult decision even if you don't like or agree with it.

If you feel you need one more contact, then do it on a different day and do it with no guilt trips or expectations. Just a simple message about how important the relationship is to you, any apologies if you owe them, what you are willing to do with your daughter to help you move forward (counselling or mediation etc) and a clear statement saying you will not reach out again but are there when she is ready.

I think that's what would give you the best possible chance of coming back together again.

agnurse Mon 13-Jul-20 13:57:11

If she's told you she doesn't want contact, sending a card tells her that you don't respect her wishes. It's likely to make things worse rather than better.

janeainsworth Mon 13-Jul-20 14:03:50

Quizqueen Do you get up in the mornings determined to cause trouble on threads like this?

janeainsworth Mon 13-Jul-20 14:07:21

Agnurse the OP hasn’t said her DD has told her not to contact her.

She said her DD said that if she(DD) spoke to her (OP)again, it would be on her(DD’s) terms.

Not the same thing.

Elegran Mon 13-Jul-20 14:34:58

The best I can suggest is that you don't do anything that will make the situation worse. You say you might not send it, so that " she will hopefully feel some hurt to know how it feels" Why "punish" her? Would it really improve things? Would it even make you feel better? I doubt it.

If you do send the card, make sure that it doesn't say anything that reproaches her, but just sends her good wishes for an enjoyable day. That shows that you still wish her well, but without putting emotional blackmail on her to be nice to you

I may sound very unhelpful here, but I have to ask - How do you suppose we will know better than you whether you should send your estranged daughter a birthday card? We have never met either of you, and however much you post about the details of your estrangement, and your relationship with her, we cannot possibly make your decision for you.

boodymum67 Mon 13-Jul-20 14:40:22

Hi, what a very sad story. I wouldn't hesitate to send her a card. If she does rip it up, at least you have tried. I would also text her and if she replies then`ve made the first move.

Life is too short to lose family like this.

I`m sure she will regret it if she doesn't make amends with you asap.