Grandparents Always Forgets Our Kids Bdays

Updated on August 01, 2017
M.T. asks from Boynton Beach, FL
23 answers

Grandparents always forget our kids bdays yet my husband always calls for their birthdays, mothers, fathers day. He won't tell them either as you can't tell his mother anything or she takes it personal. Wwud?

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K.G.

answers from Fort Myers on

They are old, give it a rest. My mom is 57 and has sucked at remembering everyones birthdays for as long as I can remember. Stop making a big deal out of it. Its only going to cause you stress. She probably takes it personal because shes embarrassed.

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5 moms found this helpful

J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Odd, grandparents never forget my kids birthdays, I mean you invite them to dinner to celebrate, hard to forget.

My dad love my kids probably more than he loves me, kind of as it should be, yet if I didn't have parties he would forget. So invite them over, have the kid call them, but acting like it is all their fault seems petty.

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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

My inlaws have never once done anything for my kids bday, Christmas etc. I do not think it is a reflection of how they feel about them (mother in law passed 15 years ago). Quite to the contrary. They were/are crazy about my kids.

I equate this somewhat with valentines. It is NOT important to me that my husband makes a big deal about it. What IS important is how he treats me consistently.

My daughter was floored when my parents bought her a new iPhone for graduation. Her response was, wait, you're giving me a gift because I am graduating? I didn't know I would get gifts for graduation. She was so grateful but didn't expect anything and was very blown away by the outpouring of gifts and sentiments people gave. My mom was brought to tears because she was so unassuming.

So much of our disappointment is because we have a preset expectation of others and when they don't live up to it we are hurt.

Keeping score is a miserable way to live. You husband remembers his parents because he wants to. It should not be done with an expectation of receiving the same.

And just so you know, her grandfather that has never bought her a single thing in 18 years is one of her favorite people. And he loves her dearly. I would've never dreamed of mentioning one thing to him (or my mother by love) about it.

My parents remember every bday, special occasion and make their own special occasions with my kids. They are active in their lives. It's very much my mom's personality to be generous to everyone not just her family. It's part of her DNA.

Difference in how people are. Not a reflection of whether they are loved. Just my thoughts.

Also, we make our kid's day special. If someone adds to it, wonderful. Whether that's a card, phone call, email or whatever.

4 moms found this helpful
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H.W.

answers from Portland on

I'd let it go. We have one set of grandparents which sort of ignore Kiddo's birthday. I don't sweat it. Hopefully, your life has plenty more to offer your son; I wouldn't even point it out to him. Appreciate the good things you have, let go of that expectation and move on.

3 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Do YOU wish them a happy birthday? Father's Day? Mother's Day!

I personally don't get so bent out of shape if someone forgets my birthday..... it's not a day I expect the world to stop revolving and focus on me.

There are much bigger things to deal with in life.

That said... how much do YOU contribute to building of the grandparent relationship with your children other than worrying about birthdays?

3 moms found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

Some people (some due to culture, some due to family custom) think that parents are supposed to do their own kids' birthdays and that's it. Did they celebrate your husband's birthday when he was young? Do they observe it now?

Others think that, once they become grandparents, their job of child-caring is done. Or maybe they are selfish. I don't know. You say his mother is quite rigid in her viewpoint and doesn't take well to "suggestions" of any kind.

But the point is, your husband knows his parents and knows they aren't going to do anything to change. So why are you beating your head against the wall? If birthdays are important to you, then observe them. Have your kids have a few friends over for cake and ice cream on their birthdays, and be done with it.

Let your husband be in charge of his own parents, calling them on their special days. If you want to be the bigger person here, have the kids draw a picture or decorate a card with stickers and crayons, and smile and put it in an envelope for Grandma and Grandpa. But adjust your own expectations about what grandparents are "supposed" to do, and what you feel you want to pass on to your kids. Don't make birthdays about how many gifts they get, but about celebrating the day they were born. Show them pictures of their infancy, show pics at different birthdays, etc. But don't go overboard to compensate - don't hire a bounce house and a magician and a petting zoo just because Grandma & Grandpa aren't birthday people. Invite your parents if they are nearby and into this sort of thing, and make sure your kids learn that there are plenty of ways to show love besides doing it on a specific day of the year.

3 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

What can you do? You can't make people care about something that isn't important to them. My own mom never called or sent so much as a card let alone a gift for any of my kids' birthdays (or Christmas!)
Sure, at first I was hurt but I learned early on that these were MY children and I focused on providing for them and surrounding them with friends and family who actually wanted to be a part of their lives. If grandparents choose not to participate that's THEIR loss, not yours or your kids.
As Elsa would say, let it go...

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

My mother in law only vaguely remembers the approximate birthday of one of our kids because it is close to my husband's birthdate. She doesn't seem to know the month of the other. She has never been the type to send cards or attend parties. My father-in-law (they are long divorced) is barely present in his own son's live, let along grandkids. He doesn't remember his only son's birthday.

This is who they are. It is not in my power to change that, so acceptance is the only reasonable thing to do. My kids have never been upset or felt slighted by it because I have never taught them that it should be an issue. I remember birthdays and holidays, and always send cards. This is who I am. This is what I can control - my own thoughts and actions.

So what would I do? Get over it and move on. Anything else you say or do would be self-created drama for you and your kids. If you don't teach your kids to be bothered by a perceived slight, they won't be. You and your husband do what you do, and nevermind what his parents do or don't do.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

It's his family so it's on him to handle it.
You handle yours. Any marriage/family counsellor will give you that advice.
My in-laws are funny. They either go all out, or not at all. It's totally not consistent. Other times, they'd give more at Christmas than Santa and the rest of us combined. Confused the kids somewhat, but we just said (other years when they skimped out) that's Grandma and Grandpa for you!
What I personally find is the best solution is to do your own thing and act like they won't remember - take them out of the equation. That way if they do remember - then it's bonus. Say it's nothing personal - they are just forgetful.
I know - it's not great, but that way you focus on the kids, leave the negative out of it. Some grandparents just are not into that stuff or do forget. If your husband wants to, he could call to remind them (if they would like that). If your MIL would take that personally - then I would, if it were me, let it go.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

How can a person "take it personal" if you remind them about a birthday?

Husband says: "Mom, tomorrow is Billy's birthday...M. and I are taking him out for ice cream."

Grandma says: "It is so rude of you to tell me that"...???

I bet it will be fine for you OR your husband to mention the birthday dates in the future.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

You can't change people. You can only change how you deal with them. I sometimes forget my close friends BDs. A few times I have forgotten my grandson's but I do call him as soon as I remember.

I don't live in the same town as my grandson and don't have the relationship I wished to have had. (Husband long story.) We do have a special bond and we keep it together the best we can.

Live your life the best way possible. Have other friends fill in for the grandparents that forget. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

the other S.

Updated

You can't change people. You can only change how you deal with them. I sometimes forget my close friends BDs. A few times I have forgotten my grandson's but I do call him as soon as I remember.

I don't live in the same town as my grandson and don't have the relationship I wished to have had. (Husband long story.) We do have a special bond and we keep it together the best we can.

Live your life the best way possible. Have other friends fill in for the grandparents that forget. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

the other S.

2 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Do they forget most family member's birthdays? Some people just don't make a big deal out of birthdays. And that's ok! If they live near you invite them over for a birthday dinner for your kids each year. If they don't live near you, do you have a friendly, chatty relationship with them? You could send out a newsy email on a regular basis telling them how you all are doing and what the kids are up to and then casually mention how little Susie is getting excited for her upcoming birthday. But if they still do nothing and seem to forget I would drop it. It's not that important. I remember celebrating my birthdays with my parents and friends each year as a kid. My grandparents lived in a different state. I don't even remember if they sent a card or anything. It's really not a big deal. Now, if they send cards and gifts to their other grandkids but do not do the same to your kids, then I would have a different answer for you!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

There are days when I have trouble remembering my own birthday.
Just let this go.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I'm not sure there is anything you can do other than call them the day before, remind them of the birthday and nicely ask them to call your child and wish him/her a happy birthday.

I'm assuming that they know when the birthdays are and that you aren't concerned that they have Alzheimers or dementia or some other neurological condition. Maybe they're just not that into celebrating birthdays. You can't make them do this. The only thing you can really do is try to be happy for the times when they do something nice or remember something special. Rather than having expectations, celebrate the good things.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

People don't always pay attention to those kinds of things, especially if they are retired, half the time I don't even know what day it is. I make it easy on my mom and remind her a few days before each kids birthday, she appreciates this a lot.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You know, my mom sometimes doesn't remember to call me on MY birthday, much less remember my kids. Sometimes she remembers one or the other of them.

By contrast, my MIL remembers to send cards for EVERYONE's birthday, Valentine's Day, Easter, anniversaries.. That's just how she is.

I am kinda wondering what it is that you want them to do. Give a gift, send a card, call, visit...?

Regardless, though, you can't *make* them recognize or do something for your kids' birthdays, nor can your husband. It's great that he calls on their birthdays. But it's not tit for tat.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

What do your kids say? Does it bother them? If not, let it go.

Birthdays are a big deal in our family. I go all out for my kids and husband. That is how I was raised. Its the one special day a year each person has that is for them. I think that is important and I make it important to my family members. I really didn't have this issue with my IL's. Kids always got cards with a check.

I would remind them nicely. After that, let it go.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Here is my answer from a similar question just a week or so ago... It is about nieces/nephews instead of grandparents, but I still stand by it - just substitute grandparents for SIL in the response. If they show that they love your kids in other ways, let this go.

Birthdays just aren't on some people's radar. I'm one of them. I adore my nieces and nephews. Do I always remember their birthdays? No. But I take them with me to the children's museum, I play tag with them in the yard instead of sitting with the adults at family reunions, I message them just to say hi sometimes. Thank goodness everyone in my family appreciates me for who I am and they understand that I show my love in other ways. I suggest that you show your SIL the same grace and understanding that my family gives me. It will make everyone - including you - happier.

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N.G.

answers from Boston on

Hey Fumbles, you think 57 is old? Hmmmm. I know some 57 year olds who look better and are in better shape than some 37 year olds....

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❤.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Make one of those personalized calendars for everyone in your family. The kind w/photos of your family. You can add every single person's birthday on the calendar from your kids, to your sister-in-law's to your parents etc. Then send one out to everyone as a Christmas gift for the next year. That way it will be right there on their wall on the calendar so it will be easier to remember everyone's birthday. See if that helps?

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N.Z.

answers from Los Angeles on

What would I do? Nothing, if the grandmother has not shown an interest in wanting to celebrate the kids' birthdays.

With my family, I know that both sets of grandparents like to celebrate our kids' birthdays so if I think they are forgetting that a birthday is coming up, I remind them. They're the type of grandparents who don't want to look "bad" for forgetting their grandchildren's birthdays so they appreciate that.

T.D.

answers from Springfield on

do you have a party or invite them specifically to the birthday celebration? if not then they are just probably age related forgetfulness or since you have not invited them to party they may fell that there is no need for them to go out of their way to celebrate. i always have cake and ice cream for my kids on their b-day, and i always invite the grandparents to come have some too.

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D..

answers from Miami on

What's her excuse when she forgets their birthdays? Does she fuss because no one told her? But fusses if her son tells her?

Some people...

I'd just leave her message the week before reminding her that her grandchild's birthday is coming up next Tuesday, and ignore if she doesn't like it. I think your husband is in the wrong to step back from this just because he doesn't like being fussed at. His children are actually more important than his mother. So you should do it if he won't. Ignore her getting mad.

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