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If you buy for one buy for ALL ugh! - Page 3

post #41 of 53
Okay, lemme get this straight.

Bil, lets call him Bill, has 2 boys that live with their mother. Bill is remarried and now stepdad to 2 kids (boy and girl) which I assume he lives with, right?

If I'm right, this is my take on it. First, any gifts to the brothers children should be given to brother to give to them, (b/c he's the tie that binds so to speak)
And I would say yes, giving gifts to the new sneice and snephew should happen as well. They are now part of the family, whether you know them well or not. I think it would be a very nice gesture, and a great way to reach out to the new members of your family. If you dont want to start the whole bil/sil gift giving, just let them know that. We made that decision with dh brothers/wives. Cards only for each other at bdays/xmas but kids get gifts.
Hope that helps!
post #42 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Okay, lemme get this straight.

Bil, lets call him Bill, has 2 boys that live with their mother. Bill is remarried and now stepdad to 2 kids (boy and girl) which I assume he lives with, right?

If I'm right, this is my take on it. First, any gifts to the brothers children should be given to brother to give to them, (b/c he's the tie that binds so to speak)
And I would say yes, giving gifts to the new sneice and snephew should happen as well. They are now part of the family, whether you know them well or not. I think it would be a very nice gesture, and a great way to reach out to the new members of your family. If you dont want to start the whole bil/sil gift giving, just let them know that. We made that decision with dh brothers/wives. Cards only for each other at bdays/xmas but kids get gifts.
Hope that helps!
You got the first part (paragraph) right. But, we don't send actual wrapped gifts. We send a small gift of cash in a card to the boys at the home where they live with their mother, the BIL's ex-wife. (And, he's only recently remarried.)

I do think it would be a nice gesture, but since I posted earlier I asked DH and he says he's not even sure he ever met them before this summer. It's like we're not even related. Let me add that when we sent flowers for my in-laws 50th anniversary (then went at the end of the summer to Arizona, as did some other family, to celebrate) and sent MIL a combo gift of a box of chocolates and a coursage for Mother's Day (just a small gesture, which no one else in the family does) she said to DH, "Well, I hope she doesn't expect this from me!" I never thought about her sending me a gift, but, now that I think about it, a card might have been nice. Really, he should have never told me that, but I thought, "What a b----!" No wonder no one else sends her anything! So, my point is that the whole family is kind of weird about the gift giving anyway.

Oh, I just re-read the part about the tie that bind that you wrote. I suppose it's because he's pretty unreliable in general (at the moment his oldest son won't even go to his house) and my DH was just sending cards with cash anyway. Unless the ex-wife was preventing the boys from a gift of any kind I don't see why it couldn't be sent to that home. But, just from all that we've just written, see how "complicated" it can get?
post #43 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Okay, lemme get this straight.

Bil, lets call him Bill, has 2 boys that live with their mother. Bill is remarried and now stepdad to 2 kids (boy and girl) which I assume he lives with, right?

If I'm right, this is my take on it. First, any gifts to the brothers children should be given to brother to give to them, (b/c he's the tie that binds so to speak)
And I would say yes, giving gifts to the new sneice and snephew should happen as well. They are now part of the family, whether you know them well or not. I think it would be a very nice gesture, and a great way to reach out to the new members of your family. If you dont want to start the whole bil/sil gift giving, just let them know that. We made that decision with dh brothers/wives. Cards only for each other at bdays/xmas but kids get gifts.
Hope that helps!
Yeah That. Its important to make the kids feel apart of the family... I would say if its not possible to send a gift to everyone or make everyone feel included then just send a birthday card to each or everyone gets the same... kwim?
post #44 of 53
Oh yeah, I see how complicated it can be.

If sending the gift directly to the boys(I know its cash, but its still a gift) works for you and dh, then more power to ya! I just remember a family member sending gifts for dh kids (before they moved in) to their moms and he felt slighted. Like, he didnt matter anymore.

Thats strange about the gift thing. However, I admit my bil wife gets a little freaked out like that. "well, what do I do now, does she expect something? what should I do?". Man, its a cup of coffee! (jk)

Anyhow, you dont feel related yet - but you are. I just see it as these are his kids now, and if you give to his other kids, then you should give to all of his kids. I dont think the relationship entirely matters at this point. I have a nephew I've seen maybe 2x in his life (he's almost 4) and honestly dont feel any bond at all with him, but he's still my nephew, yk?

But hey, its just my opinion.
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Oh yeah, I see how complicated it can be.

If sending the gift directly to the boys(I know its cash, but its still a gift) works for you and dh, then more power to ya! I just remember a family member sending gifts for dh kids (before they moved in) to their moms and he felt slighted. Like, he didnt matter anymore.

Thats strange about the gift thing. However, I admit my bil wife gets a little freaked out like that. "well, what do I do now, does she expect something? what should I do?". Man, its a cup of coffee! (jk)

Anyhow, you dont feel related yet - but you are. I just see it as these are his kids now, and if you give to his other kids, then you should give to all of his kids. I dont think the relationship entirely matters at this point. I have a nephew I've seen maybe 2x in his life (he's almost 4) and honestly dont feel any bond at all with him, but he's still my nephew, yk?

But hey, its just my opinion.

I think it really does get complicated with divorce/remarriage because there are so many feelings that can be hurt and for so many different reasons. So, about not starting anything... if you don't count their marriages to each other more than once, between my father, mother and current step-mother they have at least 9 marriages! So, I've become a little apathetic toward some marriages (said BIL and SIL have 4). People have really come and gone in my life, and I'm just tired of it all.

Oh, I started another thread about the Mother's Day incident. Just wondering what other's experiences are with gift expectations for that holiday.

DH and I will discuss step-niece/nephew again.
post #46 of 53
: : OMG, this is so my life! I have two kids; DH has one kid; we have one kid together. DH's son (SS) is the light of my IL's lives. They seriously, absolutely do not get it that we are a family, all of us together, with four children. (We have shared custody of all three older kids.) They think they can just dote on SS, kind of notice our "together" son, and basically ignore my two. Ummm, no! We've been through all of that: outrageous gifts for SS, and nothing (or junk) for the others; IL's wanting to fly SS to visit them a coupla times a year, but never coming to see the rest of the kids, etc.

Just to vent, DH and I don't allow video games. The kids play some on the computer, but we don't want a playstation or gameboys or any of those things. It just doesn't fit with our lifestyle, and a couple of the kids tend to get obsessed. IL's got it in their heads that SS HAD to have a gameboy (this, after we fought for months over a PS2 that they sent and we didn't want). I mean, it was crazy. FIL accused me of being neglectful because all 3 of our older kids didn't have one and at least he could "save" SS from that. We refused. DH was great, just said no, we don't want it, you'll have to think of something else. So the IL's sent it to SS's mom's house. Poor DH! He had to practically threaten total estrangement to get them to understand how fundamentally wrong that was!

Ummm...geez. Sorry to hijack with my own vent! Just know you're totally not alone, and you're so right to stick up for yourselves and ALL of your kids. Kudos to you and to your DH. Egad, since I became part of a blended family, I dread the holidays in a whole new way, ya' know? Too many agendas. Ever just wish you could take your DH and your kiddos (all of them) and run away to live life anonymously? No ex's, no ILs, none of it? Of course, that would be bad, because we need our families and our kids need their other parents, but it's so exhausting sometimes.
post #47 of 53
You are swesome for sticking up for your family, and so is your DH!

When I was younger I went through the same thing with my step-dad's mother. We would get together with my step-dad's children from a previous marriage on Christmas day every year and hid mother would come in with LOADS of presents for his other 3 kids and barely anything (dollar store crap) at all for my sister and I. My step-dad and my mom talked to her about it many times and she still continued to do it so we stopped going to see her. It was pretty hurtful and I'm glad my parents stuck up for me.
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptownzoo;6731628 Egad, since I became part of a blended family, I dread the holidays in a whole new way, ya' know? Too many agendas. Ever just wish you could take your DH and your kiddos (all of them) and run away to live life anonymously? No ex's, no ILs, none of it? Of course, that would be bad, because we need our families and our kids need their other parents, but it's so [I
exhausting[/I] sometimes.
yes. I too dred the holidays now. I have told DH that I want to just dissappear for the entire holiday season to a little cabin on a beach. spend the holiday season walking along the cold, windswept beach, collecting shells, blissfully unaware of the whole holiday/blended family agenda.

Still trying to talk him into it.
post #49 of 53
I really admit to having mixed feelings about some of this. My parents do gifts for DSS and even for the ex's new baby with her husband, but they don't really do them because of their relationship with DSS (bc they don't really have a grandparenting style relationship with him) -- they do it to be kind and, quite frankly, to make my life easier.

But the idea that what they do for my DS must "match" what they do for DSS is one I have some issue with. My parents have started to set aside money at birthday and christmas for DS for college -- they aren't doing that for DSS and I don't think they should be expected to. They've spend about $30 on the ex's new baby, $60 on DSS and $250 (plus college $) for DS. The way christmas-time is divided up, my parents will be able to give DS his gifts without flaunting them in front of DSS, which I really think is a key problem. My parents have also been updating their will (my dad unfortunately is ill) and have been very clear that they don't want their estate (or family things -- grandpa's violin, grt-grt grandpa's civil war saber, etc.) to go anywhere other than me and DS -- I think that's fair too.
post #50 of 53
Quote:
they don't want their estate (or family things -- grandpa's violin, grt-grt grandpa's civil war saber, etc.) to go anywhere other than me and DS -- I think that's fair too.
I am not sure I do feel that is ok....special stuff (a music instument) should, of course, be left to who will love it most....but other than that -- family is family.

Evey family has to say what is best for them with step -kids --espcailly considering who other family the child has -- but if anyone marries a person with a child, they marry that child too -- all equal.

JMO

A
post #51 of 53
My mil gave my ds (not her bio grandchild) her mothers rosary. I cant tell you how much it melted my heart. Not to mention the look on his face when she told him who it belonged to and that she was waiting to give it to one of her grandchildren. He was the perfect family member to get it, I'm glad she didnt let lack of blood stand in the way.
post #52 of 53
"-- but if anyone marries a person with a child, they marry that child too -- all equal."

I am not DSS' mother. There are a number of choices, decisions and courses of action that my DH and his ex reach together about DSS because they are his parents. I am supportive of those, and try only to step in where the issue will negatively impact either me or my DS. However, I do not have all the rights of being DSS' mother, and therefore I don't feel I have all the responsibilities either.

DSS has his own maternal grandparents, his own maternal family history & stories, his own maternal family heirlooms. My step-grandmother raised my mom from the age of three, but when she died, the pre-civil war sharpshooting medals and diary of life on a frontier fort, family bible, antique photo album (resembling none of us), and the stories my mom knew about them were given back by my mom to the cousins whose family name was in the bible, who resembled the pictures in the photo album -- no matter how fascinating the items were and no matter how well we would have taken care of them.
post #53 of 53

Uh... back to the original topic?

Obviously this is a touchy topic that we all relate to!

In regards to the OP - I think it sounds like the nasty MIL probably did think you would divide the gifts up equally (more or less) between all of your boys. So she figured it was okay to put what SHE wanted to on the card and let you "make it right." That way she could be nasty to you, but still allow you to divide the gifts the way you want.

I think that's probably why she sent a gift card this time. But for some reason couldn't quite bring herself to be nice and address it to all the kids.

Not that that makes it any better. It sounds like your MIL is so stubborn she can't back down. I imagine you are both still angry after last year. Maybe you could try speaking with her instead of sending things in the mail? It's a lot harder to stay angry when you are talking to a real person.

I'm not saying that she is right... just that I think more of an effort should be made to resolve this without escalating the argument. Could your husband have called MIL and said "Mom, I notice you only addressed the gift card to two kids... I'm assuming that was a mistake? Would you like us to use it to buy gifts for all the kids, or send it back to you?"

I dunno, maybe I'm being too nice... but where family and friends are concerned, I always try to assume the best of intentions, even when things seem very very bad. A spoonful of sugar and all that.
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