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Me and my big mouth

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

I talk to my mom usually every other day on the phone during the week. Yesterday, I was catching up with my mom and she was asking about SD. I told my mom that we were sending SD a couple Christmas gifts this year since it is the first year we are not going to see SD for Christmas break or a couple weeks before or after. Next thing you know my mom was like, OH! We want to send SD something for Christmas too! So I told her that she could, but to send it to our house and we will send it with what we are sending. My mom was like okay, I will do that by tomorrow so it makes it there in time to send!

I feel bad I told my mom she could because I did not have the heart to tell her no. So I talked to DH last night and told him I had no intentions of bombarding BM's home with Christmas gifts especially ones that are from people other than us. DH and I agreed that we will keep what my mom sends at our house for SD to open at our house over spring break and will send it back with SD. My mom already bought and sent me what she will be sending SD which luckily isn't large so is totally doable. So my mom and dad's feelings are not hurt, SD will be receiving the gift and have it at BMs, but we aren't doing what we wouldn't want BM doing.

I was kicking myself because I have purposefully not being telling my mom that we have been sending holiday cards to SD because I already knew she would want to do it too. I can't blame them and am so appreciative that they treat SD as if she was their bio grandchild, but ugh they can make it so hard sometimes.


Mominit's picture

Won't she wonder why her grandchild didn't have enough good manners to call her grandparents and thank them for the gift? Or at the very least won't she ask you what SD thought of her gift?  Then you'll be stuck lying (and getting caught when SD truly receives it at spring break).

 Unless the gift is deliberately trying to get under BM's skin (like a drum set or glitter art), I would send it along with what you're sending.  It seems unfair to say that you and DH can send a gift to BMs house, but the addition of one more gift is intrusive.  You know the dynamics better than we do, but I'd include the gift from your Mom, or I'd let SD know that ALL of her gifts will be waiting for her at spring break.  

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

SD and anyone on mine/DH's side on BM's time at this time. I wouldn't expect BM to allow SD to call anyone that is not part of BM's family on her time just like we wouldn't appreciate if she asked us to allow SD to call someone from BM's family on our time. When SD gets older and actually has a phone, etc. we will see how that goes, but for right now it is kept totally secret.

I do not really want to lie to my parents about it, but I know they won't understand and be upset if I told them no that they could not send anything.

I think there is a big difference of SD's father sending Christmas gifts versus SD's step grandparents. I don't think it is unfair at all since DH is SD's biological father and it would hurt SD's feelings at her age now to not receive anything from us for Christmas. DH and I are trying to not do or ask for anything that we would not appreciate or think appropriate if BM were to ask or do the same thing on our time. 

I should also mention my parents live on the opposite coast from us and won't be seeing SD for spring break and they live no where near BM either. Even if SD got it for Christmas at BM's, we would still have SD thank my parents on the phone for the gift on spring break since she won't be talking to them on Christmas day or before she comes to us for spring break. I don't really like lying, but in this case, no one will know the difference and it isn't hurting anyone.

Dogmom1321's picture

Kind of similar situation over here with my parents. My mom used to go WAY over board with gifts for SD12 when she was younger. She was just trying to be nice. I finally broke the news to her that BM was taking the North Face jackets from SD and selling them on facebook marketplace. More recently, my mom has cut back on the gifts, but SD12 is so entirely ungrateful. My mom bought her a ring with a red stone in it (birthstone color). SD complained that it didn't fit. DH suggested that she could put it on a chain and wear like a necklace. Well, SD had a snide comment and thought it was ridiculous. My mom heard that SD went to a youth group at a local church a few weeks ago with a new friend. So my mom sent her a devotional for teens in the mail. SD had a terribly mean comment again about "Geez, I only went once and she wants me to read this???" Nothing is apprecaited. When SD was younger I would have her make a phone call to thank. Well SD12 has her own phone. If SD doesn't say thank you, then that's on her. 

Idk if your SK is bratty, but SD12 woudn't be appreciative either way. I would just hold the gifts at your house until she visits again. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

So SD is only 6 and right now she is not bratty. I mean at BM's it sounds like she can be bratty, but BM lets the kids manipulate her and walk all over her. SD can have a few bratty moments, but then she remembers that bratty behavior doesn't fly here and she is totally fine after that.

Right now we are really working on having SD feel like a part of the family even when she is not here with us. My mom did mention that my grandparents aka SD's step great grandparents will want to send something too and I told her that we aren't trying to go crazy sending stuff to BM's house so if they want to send something for her to open during spring break they are more than welcome to send whatever they want. My family is very involved and love to send SD things which is fine now, but I do worry when SD gets older that she will get bratty about it because every visit she comes, she basically has gifts since Christmas break, spring break (easter), and then her birthday is in the summer.

Ispofacto's picture

Gift giving is  Reciprocity is an unrealistic expectation.  Only give what you want to give without resentment.


NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

wanting to avoid more drama then there already is with BM and trying to not hurt anyones feelings either. BM has mentioned before about her sister being jealous and we aren't trying to send a bunch of gifts over there that SD gets and the other child doesn't or have BM irritated feeling like she has to spend more money to make up for the extra gifts SD gets either.

Cover1W's picture

My mother stopped sending gifts to the SDs after she complained she got no thank yous. I told her that I had no control over them doing this and that if she saw fit to stop the gifts that I was 100% ok with that.

Told my sister the same thing.

Only my aunt keeps giving at least YSD something (a donation in her name per my recommendation last year).

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

I think the other part of it that I did not put in my blog, but mentioned in a comment above is we are not trying to cause jealousy between SD and her sister. We don't want SD to have issues with the sister she shares a room with because SD got extra gifts or BM cause drama because she buys extra gifts for her daughter to try and even it out with SD. Doesn't mean we shouldn't give to SD because that is not our fault or our problem, it is BM's, but also not trying to make anything harder on SD either.