Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: TootsNYC on December 26, 2011, 08:55:48 PM

Title: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: TootsNYC on December 26, 2011, 08:55:48 PM
My son didn't get me a Christmas present. I'm kinda bummed!

This has been a funny Christmas for me, emotionally. I'm a good place after last year's really bad place. And I realized this morning, just before present-opening (we do "nuclear family Boxing Day"), that I was feeling a bit like a kid--"how many presents for me?" "what will I get for Christmas?"

Of course, I also knew that I would have far fewer presents than the kids, bcs I buy lots of presents. Often silly stuff (like cereal, or their favorite candy), but lots to open.

So I reminded myself not to be immature and went to sit down and open presents. And in about two sentences, it became clear that my 14yo son hadn't chosen or purchased a present for me. And his dad, who took him on his 2nd shopping trip (I took him on the first one), could or should have known that this was his only opportunity to get a present for me.

So now I'm disappointed for real.

How rude was he? How rude was Dad?

And what sort of guilt trip am I justified in laying on DS? on DH?
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Vilandra on December 26, 2011, 09:00:34 PM
My son didn't get me a Christmas present. I'm kinda bummed!

This has been a funny Christmas for me, emotionally. I'm a good place after last year's really bad place. And I realized this morning, just before present-opening (we do "nuclear family Boxing Day"), that I was feeling a bit like a kid--"how many presents for me?" "what will I get for Christmas?"

Of course, I also knew that I would have far fewer presents than the kids, bcs I buy lots of presents. Often silly stuff (like cereal, or their favorite candy), but lots to open.

So I reminded myself not to be immature and went to sit down and open presents. And in about two sentences, it became clear that my 14yo son hadn't chosen or purchased a present for me. And his dad, who took him on his 2nd shopping trip (I took him on the first one), could or should have known that this was his only opportunity to get a present for me.

So now I'm disappointed for real.

How rude was he? How rude was Dad?

And what sort of guilt trip am I justified in laying on DS? on DH?

Does your DS have a source of income (job, allowance, etc...) and a form of transportation to get a gift?  That plays a big part in my opinion.  If he doesn't have his own money and/or a way to purchase a gift, he's in a rough spot.  Otherwise, I think you're completely justified.  I wouldn't be PA about it (not suggesting you would be), but let him know that you were hurt that he didn't have a gift for you, and in your family the expectation is that you exchange gifts.  I think having that talk is part of your job as a parent.

But your DH?  Ooooh boy, I'd be ticked off at him if I were you.  It is also part of *his* job as a parent to ensure that the kids get gifts, if that is your family's custom (totally normal, my parents did that for us).
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: NyaChan on December 26, 2011, 09:02:44 PM
Did DH get a present from DS?  Do you usually receive a gift from DS?

I don't know that laying a guilt trip is going to be effective - you didn't want a material thing, you wanted the thought and sentiment behind your son picking out a gift for you and that won't come if he only does it to make the guilt trip stop.  I think you might ask DH privately if a gift for you ever came up or express some surprise at receiving no gift if you typically do receive one just to get an idea of what happened.  If you really want to talk to your son about it, I think a general comment that "You know, it kind of hurt my feelings that you didn't exchange a gift with me this past Christmas.  It'd be nice you include your father and I on your Christmas shopping list."

As for DH - if he is typically responsible for making sure that DS gets you a gift, I'd remind him of that and ask why he neglected to do so this year.  I would include that it hurt your feelings, but again, I don't think a guilt trip is a good idea.

ETA:  If you are the only one in the family who ends up with a small number of gifts or no gifts while everyone else has a bunch, I'd have a quick family discussion and point out that Mom may do a lot of the shopping, but she also deserves that her family be considerate of her as well. 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: TootsNYC on December 26, 2011, 09:04:42 PM
good questions!

DS has money. He doesn't have hardly any free time, however, and he's not that savvy in terms of going places on his own.

The expectation has been, through this year, that we fund his shopping AND we take him on the expedition.

There was the family plan from the beginning of the shopping season that I'd take him to buy a bunch of presents, including Dad's, and Dad would take him out to get the stragglers and mine.

(and yeah, the guilt trip isn't going to be that effective. DS reacts badly to them. It was mostly a quip on my part)
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: kareng57 on December 26, 2011, 09:05:03 PM
I wouldn't say anything to either your son or your husband.

I always taught my kids that gifts should never be expected.  If your son and Dh realize after-the-fact that they didn't get you anything, even when they meant to (perhaps they forgot) then I'm sure that you would graciously accept a gift even after the 25th.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Shoo on December 26, 2011, 09:08:44 PM
I don't know.  I sort of think your son needs to learn a lesson from this.  Namely, that (in)actions can have hurtful consequences.  And your husband needs to learn the same thing.  I don't think I could let this go.  Something needs to be said, and I think it's to both of them, separately.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: baglady on December 26, 2011, 09:37:35 PM
When you took him shopping, did he show or tell you what he bought? Did you ask him, either "So what did you get for Dad/This One/That One/Other One," or "Did you get something for Dad/et al?"

Not saying you *should* have done this, just wondering how closely you and DH are monitoring his shopping. If you aren't, then it's easy for something to slip through the cracks (yes, even a gift for Mom).

I remember being that age, wanting to be grown-up and choose and buy my own gifts but having limited funds and having to rely on adults for transportation. I would have resented the "what did you get for Whozis" and "did you remember Whozis" questions, because even if I had to be driven to the mall like a kid, I wanted to be treated like an adult when it came to the actual shopping, and not grilled on what I bought/whom I bought for.

Maybe he forgot and was hoping you wouldn't notice. Maybe he changed his mind about his choice and was planning to get you something else. Maybe he was going to make you something and ran out of time. I would give him a few more days and see what happens. Then maybe say something to DH, but not DS, because it *is* rude to demand a gift, but it's not rude to vent one's disappointment to a loved one.


Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: felix on December 26, 2011, 09:38:34 PM
I'm not sure I would say anything to your son.  I would mention something to your husband. 

This year I decided I had enough of having only one [or none] present to open so "Santa" brought mommy a few extra ones.  It turned out nice and I loved everything I got  ;)
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Sophia on December 26, 2011, 09:51:47 PM
I don't think it would be possible for me to NOT say something.  Son is old enough.  I would tell him how I felt.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Bijou on December 26, 2011, 09:56:20 PM
I would say nothing to DS, but would let his dad know that he dropped the ball.  Didn't they have a list of people to buy for?  I would be missing people right and left if I didn't keep one.  There is just so much going on during this season that to trust to your memory is risky, at best.  It would break my heart to miss someone.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: AlwaysQuizzical on December 26, 2011, 10:05:24 PM
I think you should tell your son that what he did hurt your feelings. You thought of him for Christmas, but he did not think of you. If he isn't told, he may not know that it matters to you that he shows he cares for you.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: AlwaysQuizzical on December 26, 2011, 10:12:51 PM
Also, it depends on how you tell him, but telling someone that your feelings were hurt isn't necessarily a guilt trip. If you aren't trying to force an apology or present from him, but simply stating how you feel. I'll leave it to others, or you, to come up with the exact wording, but just know you can.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Winterlight on December 26, 2011, 11:41:12 PM
Dad dropped the ball, and so did son. And yeah, that would sting.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: NyaChan on December 27, 2011, 12:03:23 AM
With the update, I'd say you should definitely have a chat with DH.  You both took him out shopping with the understanding that DS would use the opportunity to buy the other a gift.  You held up your end and DH didn't.  It wouldn't have been a big deal for a father to look at the shopping cart and ask, "hey what are you getting for your mom? you probably won't get another chance to shop without her you know."  DH should have intervened during that trip just as I figure you probably would have if you noted that DS hadn't picked out anything for DH when you took him shopping.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: sevenday on December 27, 2011, 12:51:17 AM
If your son at 14 didn't remember to get you a present, and didn't notice at gift-opening time that he'd forgotten you - go to the DH and tell him how hurt you're feeling.  It's not your DH's direct fault that  your son didn't get anything, but he can take the opportunity to take DS back out and find an apology gift for you.

I know what it feels like to give thoughtful things and get nothing.  For several years I've given my older brother some pretty cool things, including a handmade chess set - and haven't gotten anything.  He has an endless list of excuses for why he couldn't afford to buy any presents at all.  I try not to resent it, but -- in the end you kind of do, when everyone else is opening things and you have one small thing in your hands the whole day.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Adelaide on December 27, 2011, 01:45:37 AM
I don't have any advice as to whom or how you should mention it, but it DEFINITELY needs to be addressed. This reminds me way too much of my younger brother, who is now 17 and continues to do things like scratch out the word "birthday" and write "mother's day" on "happy mother's day" cards that he hands our mom. I don't think anyone's ever mentioned how forgetting a gift/sloppily doing a gift is very hurtful and he shows no signs of improvement. I'm sure that once your or your husband communicates this issue with your son he'll understand, but until someone brings it up he probably won't.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: MariaE on December 27, 2011, 02:05:21 AM
14 is much, much too old for this not to be addressed. He's old enough to know better.

I'd mention it to DH as well.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: hannahmollysmom on December 27, 2011, 02:27:24 AM
{{{hugs}}} I know how you feel and my daughter is an adult. I won't go into my story, but just know, I feel for you!
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: cicero on December 27, 2011, 02:34:00 AM
i would talk to both son and DH.

remember - someday your son is going to date, and maybe get married and have children(if that is what he wants). he has to be taught how to do these things.

and hugs
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Iris on December 27, 2011, 03:03:56 AM
14 is much, much too old for this not to be addressed. He's old enough to know better.

I'd mention it to DH as well.

POD. 14 year olds are often absent minded but that doesn't mean they aren't old enough to learn that if you forget to buy someone a present then that someone will feel hurt.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Traveler2 on December 27, 2011, 04:10:23 AM
If I were in your situation, I'd have separate talks with DH and with DS.

With DH, it would be more of a "what the heck" type talk (but that's how I am with my DH).  And just address what you mentioned in your first post - "You knew/should have known that this was his only chance to buy me a present. Did you discuss it at all?" And figure out why/why not together, to get expectations on the same page.  You also mentioned that you and your DH fund your sons gift shopping - so was there a money issue involved? Did someone else get a bigger present/more presents?

With DS, as others have mentioned, you are in a teaching role. And 14 is old enough to have an honest discussion. I'd start with "Did you want _US_ to stop exchanging presents with _EACH OTHER_?"  Not in a P/A way, but as a teaching opportunity that things like favors and presents are usually exchanged on a somewhat equal level.  (and e-hell is filled with stories of inequality and the hurt feelings that come out of that.)  Teach him that gift exchanges can be stopped, but in general should not be one way. And that if they are being stopped, they should be stopped with notice.

Toots, you always speak very eloquently about gifts and their symbolism of the relationship between gifter/giftee, and I think that's really relevent here, and should be part of your discussion with your son.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: lkdrymom on December 27, 2011, 05:43:44 AM
I would be terribly hurt. As soon as my kids were school age they knew they needed to pick out and get presents for others on Christmas. And they earned their own money to do so. The only thing that annoyed me was that my ex would not take them out to shop so I had to do it...I made sure they got their dad and his parents gifts (why that was MY job I will never know). Finally their step dad stepped up and took them out to shop for me. He is 14! I can't believe he totally forgot you.  I know kids that age are forgetful....my son is 16 and asked me 5 times what I wanted..and he got the same answer each time (latest Pirates DVD). My DD15 spent quite a bit of time researching a gift for me on the internet. If he had no time to go out he could have ordered somethin goff the internet with his dad's card and paid him back (mine do this all the time). There was no excuse that that.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: thunderroad on December 27, 2011, 06:10:07 AM
Toots --

I am sorry that this happened, and I am sorry that your feelings are hurt.  And I completely understand those hurt feelings -- you were looking forward to that moment when you open something, however small, from your son, knowing that he thought of you.

I agree with the PPs who say that this should be a teachable moment for your son.  It's our job as parents to ingrain and model those habits of thoughtfulness and kindness that we want our children to have as adults.  You've done a great job of modeling those habilts, and now, you and your DH need to explain to your son the reaction in others when one fails to show consideration and respect.

And I also agree that you need to get your DH on board, and ask him what happened.  Good luck with this. 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: EnoughAlready22 on December 27, 2011, 09:21:52 AM
I am crying while reading this and sending you HUGE hugs.  Everything my son made at school this year ended up as a present to his dad, my ex.  But he did get his dad to buy something that he could give me for Christmas.  I understand he sees me more, and you don't want to feel hurt, but it does. 

I hope you do talk to your DH and your son about it.  They need to realize how this makes you feel.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Searcher on December 27, 2011, 09:25:57 AM
Wow, that is hurtful.  I'm sorry.

While I agree that presents are supposed to be optional, giving them in a situation that makes clear that someone is left out isn't thoughtful or kind, and I think it would be reasonable for you to address that with your son and husband.

But, it may be seen by both as a "guilt-trip" and you've mentioned that your son doesn't respond well when he thinks that's what's happening, so I don't know if it would do any good.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 27, 2011, 09:29:17 AM
Toots... I'd ask your DH about it first.  In our family, the norm has always been that the kids pick a present for each of us, with the opposite parent assisting with the logistics of purchasing.  This is the first year I couldn't et my 15 yr old son involved in the decision/selecting process.  So though there were presents under the tree from him to me, my DH, and my DD, we all knew he hadn't really engaged at all in the process except for the wrapping for his sister's and his Dad's gift which I insisted that he did.  I told him next year that if he doesn't want to engaged in the gift giving process, that would be his choice.  We'd stil give him presents but wouldn't expect to open anything from him as it just seemed so silly to be opening a present with his name that we all knew he hadn't been involved in purchasing. 

Did you have a hard time getting him to select something for your DH? 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Cami on December 27, 2011, 09:42:21 AM
I firmly believe that one reason so many women complain about their husbands' failures at Christmas and birthdays is because they were never taught when they were children that they have a responsibility toward others. They grow up in environments in which Mommy is 100% responsible for all holiday activities, including gift-giving.  So they never learn how to behave.

This is your opportunity to teach him that lesson. Your future DIL will thank you.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 27, 2011, 10:05:42 AM
I firmly believe that one reason so many women complain about their husbands' failures at Christmas and birthdays is because they were never taught when they were children that they have a responsibility toward others. They grow up in environments in which Mommy is 100% responsible for all holiday activities, including gift-giving.  So they never learn how to behave.

This is your opportunity to teach him that lesson. Your future DIL will thank you.

Big ol' pod to this. My MIL seemed to do a good job of teaching DH about giving presents because he's a really good gift giver since he bothers to listen to what people like and/or need.  I don't have to buy gifts for his family because he does a real good job of it.  I didn't have enough to do it this year but in past years I took the boys to Five Below, gave them some money and let them pick out things to give each other and us.  Or they make things at school.  This year Pirateboy1 gave his brother cookie mix in a jar for Christmas. 

And when we have to buy presents for birthday parties I ask them to think of what that person would like.  Or look at their toys to get an idea for what sort of things they like to play with. Legos? Barbies? My Little Pony?
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: WillyNilly on December 27, 2011, 10:08:36 AM
Big (((HUGS))).  Christmas gifts are always described as one of those "its the thought that counts" things.  To get no gift ends up feeling like no thought is spent on you, and that hurts.  Straight up, its not the stuff aspect, its the emotional aspect.  I only know you as a screen name but I can assure you, you have value and worth and are deserving of more thought and effort then no gifts!

All that said, 14 is a very selfish age.  And one of things about teenage selfishness is it ranges from sometimes being very ego-centric selfish but sometimes very self depreciating ("no one will notice me"), so it really probably is more about your son then about you. 

But I do think both your son and your DH should be spoken to.  If it were me, I'd speak to DH and have him speak to DS.  But something should be said because if its not mentioned as a problem, it might not be noticed as a problem, and it is a problem.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: TootsNYC on December 27, 2011, 10:20:23 AM
UPDATE FROM THE ORIGINAL POSTER


Toots... I'd ask your DH about it first.  In our family, the norm has always been that the kids pick a present for each of us, with the opposite parent assisting with the logistics of purchasing.  This is the first year I couldn't get my 15 yr old son involved in the decision/selecting process.  So though there were presents under the tree from him to me, my DH, and my DD, we all knew he hadn't really engaged at all in the process except for the wrapping for his sister's and his Dad's gift which I insisted that he did.  I told him next year that if he doesn't want to engaged in the gift giving process, that would be his choice.  We'd stil give him presents but wouldn't expect to open anything from him as it just seemed so silly to be opening a present with his name that we all knew he hadn't been involved in purchasing. 

Did you have a hard time getting him to select something for your DH?

This is very relevant. This is what DS was like this year--detached. His mind on something else. He had no ideas, or very few. He just seemed to be acting as though he was only being "toted along" on the whole gift-giving process.

Then, now and then, while the two of us were out, he came up with some. Or saw a wine-bottle stopper and said, "Oh, for Grandpa" (who makes his own wine, and drinks a lot of wine, so a very very good present).

I think we've been doing things for him way too much, and this is another problem, I think.


The "you didn't get a gift for your MOM!?!?" came up right at the moment, and he hung his head. And last night he came to sit by me w/ his Nintendo DS, sort of "parallel play"--I think he was seeking reassurance that he was still loved.

So I quietly asked him if he understood how I feel. And he was actually right on the money and it seemed like he got the idea pretty well, actually. He even said, "you feel like I don't listen to you." Bingo!

And I also pointed out that he himself had been very focused on "what am I getting?" and "what did you get me?" And that when he then didn't get anything for me, and didn't get anything for his grandmother or great aunt, who always remember him, and when I had to pry ideas out of him or push him into being enthusiastic about it, it doesn't make him look good. It makes him look sort of selfish and greedy.

He did say a couple of times, "I'm lazy." And I said, "sweetie, you can control that. It's up to you."

But I also pointed out that he needs to find a place to write gift ideas down, and to start listening with an eye toward gift ideas.

And then I let it drop--lectures don't work.

We did point out that there will be another gift-exchanging session later, because one of his sister's gifts didn't arrive. So he'll have a second chance.



RE: the question of big gifts:
I did get a big gift, so that is part of the reason why I didn't get very many gifts--my husband bought me my yearly piece of jewelry, so there weren't littler gifts from him.

(Oh, I also pointed out this year, "it's a sad thing when you have to fill your own stocking." And I said, "When i was a kid, we put stuff in my parents' stockings.")
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Isisnin on December 27, 2011, 10:27:22 AM
{{{HUGS}}}

Kick DH's derriere to make him kick DS's derriere.  At least the derriere kicking will be a bit of a present for you!

Stepping back to be dispassionate, agree with the others that this is an important lesson for DS.  Gift giving is an important part of society.  If DS does not follow the etiquette of gift giving, it'll adversely impact his personal and professional lives.

It could be an age thing too.  My mother announced one year that our Dad could not help us in anyway with our gift giving to her for her birthday.  For my older sister and I (abt 18 and 19), that was no change, we had been doing it ourselves for years.  But for my abt 14 yr old sister, she was on her own for the first time.  After all the presents were opened and none were from her, the whole family turned and looked at her.  she at least looked uncomfortable. 

Now back to the passionate derriere kicking! 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: NyaChan on December 27, 2011, 12:35:43 PM
Nice Update :)  sounds like you got the opportunity to get across to DS how it can hurt people to be left out and also how it makes him look to care only about receiving.  You sound like a really fair & reasonable mom (coming from someone who has been on the receiving end of many a loud lecture hehe).  Fingers crossed for you!
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Searcher on December 27, 2011, 12:57:56 PM
Sounds like a good update.  It seems to have penetrated that his omission was hurtful and that being "lazy" doesn't work and it's something he has to work on.

Good luck for the future!
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 28, 2011, 08:04:04 PM
Toots, I'm glad your son and you had a chance to discuss.  I think my DS is still a little embarrassed about how selfish he'd been this year.  But last night he was a lot more engaged in family acitivities than he'd been in the last 2 weeks. 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: TootsNYC on December 28, 2011, 08:17:50 PM
Pame, I liked your point that you made to your DS: "You decide whether to participate."

But I have to say, if my kid decided not to participate, I'd probably dial WAY back on the gifts. He'd get one, maybe, instead of 5 or 6.

(these gifts tend to be things I'd probably have to buy him anyway, like a book to read for school, since the library doesn't work well, or clothes, or shampoo.)

But I think that would be a sensible way to show the consequences of it.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Bijou on December 28, 2011, 08:43:38 PM
I'm confused by Toots update post.  I don't see anything about anyone saying anything to the son about not getting his mom a gift.  Is there a missing post?
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 28, 2011, 09:27:11 PM
Pame, I liked your point that you made to your DS: "You decide whether to participate."

But I have to say, if my kid decided not to participate, I'd probably dial WAY back on the gifts. He'd get one, maybe, instead of 5 or 6.

(these gifts tend to be things I'd probably have to buy him anyway, like a book to read for school, since the library doesn't work well, or clothes, or shampoo.)

But I think that would be a sensible way to show the consequences of it.

Toots, that was my initial thought too.  But part of me would rather that he feel the consequence of being left out when we are telling each other how much we liked what the other family members had given us and we have nothing to say to him.  But maybe I'm being a little naive that he'd even notice.  I'm keeping my finger's crossed that he'll be out of this funk next year.  Birthday's aren't a test because we have a tradition that the kids "do" something for the parent's birthday versus buy us something. 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: TootsNYC on December 29, 2011, 10:39:37 AM
I'm confused by Toots update post.  I don't see anything about anyone saying anything to the son about not getting his mom a gift.  Is there a missing post?


The "you didn't get a gift for your MOM!?!?" came up right at the moment, and he hung his head.

. . .

So I quietly asked him if he understood how I feel. And he was actually right on the money and it seemed like he got the idea pretty well, actually. He even said, "you feel like I don't listen to you." Bingo!

And I also pointed out that he himself had been very focused on "what am I getting?" and "what did you get me?" And that when he then didn't get anything for me, and didn't get anything for his grandmother or great aunt, who always remember him, and when I had to pry ideas out of him or push him into being enthusiastic about it, it doesn't make him look good. It makes him look sort of selfish and greedy.


I thought this seemed pretty clear.

Were you looking for an update that said I scolded him, or that his dad landed on him?

Sorry, that's not going to happen. Because:

Quote

And then I let it drop--lectures don't work.


Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: frogonmytoe on December 29, 2011, 11:01:58 AM
I think it was confusing because you just say "came up right at the moment" - doesn't explain who said "you didn't get a gift for your MOM!?!?" or how the topic came up.

Quote
I firmly believe that one reason so many women complain about their husbands' failures at Christmas and birthdays is because they were never taught when they were children that they have a responsibility toward others. They grow up in environments in which Mommy is 100% responsible for all holiday activities, including gift-giving.  So they never learn how to behave.

Totally agree. My grandmother passed away, and for the past three years my own father has forgotten my birthday. It's not even the presents that matter of course, but no phone call or acknowledgement at all. I stopped getting him gifts (which he won't even say thank you for) and just calling on his birthday.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy!
Post by: Bijou on December 30, 2011, 07:24:35 AM
I'm confused by Toots update post.  I don't see anything about anyone saying anything to the son about not getting his mom a gift.  Is there a missing post?


The "you didn't get a gift for your MOM!?!?" came up right at the moment, and he hung his head.

. . .

So I quietly asked him if he understood how I feel. And he was actually right on the money and it seemed like he got the idea pretty well, actually. He even said, "you feel like I don't listen to you." Bingo!

And I also pointed out that he himself had been very focused on "what am I getting?" and "what did you get me?" And that when he then didn't get anything for me, and didn't get anything for his grandmother or great aunt, who always remember him, and when I had to pry ideas out of him or push him into being enthusiastic about it, it doesn't make him look good. It makes him look sort of selfish and greedy.


I thought this seemed pretty clear.

Were you looking for an update that said I scolded him, or that his dad landed on him?

Sorry, that's not going to happen. Because:

Quote

And then I let it drop--lectures don't work.
It wasn't clear, which is why I asked.  Like the other posters on this forum, I was just trying to follow a thread and thought I had missed something that had been posted. 
We often ask whether we have missed something if things begin to confuse us. 
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on December 30, 2011, 07:34:52 AM
As a side comment, I agree it's a sad day when you have to fill your own stocking (I always helped Dad with Mom's) - but I wouldn't put that on Son, I'd put that squarely on DH.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: TootsNYC on December 30, 2011, 10:59:31 AM
yeah, I wouldn't put the stocking on Son. But next year, it's on Son and Daughter!

When I was a kid, my parents didn't hang stocking. Until we got old enough to start insisting that they do so, and then we put something in them.

I pointed this out to them.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: bopper on January 01, 2012, 07:22:25 PM
I am glad you talked to son...but Dad should have at least allocated a present to be "from son" if son didn't pick anything out...unless he was trying to teach son a lesson.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: TootsNYC on January 01, 2012, 07:49:28 PM
Nope. He just forgot.

AND . . . the two of them went on a "field trip" into the city to have lunch w/ me on Wednesday, and neither one of them, apparently, thought about making a side trip to get a "make up" gift.

Because on NYEve, when we sat down to open the late-arriving presents, there still wasn't one from my son.
My husband said to me the next day, "we'll make it up to you."

Yeah, right.

So, I'm mad. And given that I've said something to my son already, I don't think there's anything else to be said right now.

I was talking to my aunt on the phone and told her about the no-gift thing, and my son in the next room overheard. And said, "I love you, Mom." So, I have that, even if I don't have a present.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Sophia on January 01, 2012, 10:18:42 PM
That's great, but it wouldn't get me over the grumpiness.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Texas Mom on January 01, 2012, 10:40:19 PM
AND . . . the two of them went on a "field trip" into the city to have lunch w/ me on Wednesday, and neither one of them, apparently, thought about making a side trip to get a "make up" gift.

((hugs))

Your son is 14 and sounds like a typical teenager.

It's DH's responsibility to make sure that DS got you something.   There's a reason children were issued two parents.  Epic fail for dad.



B/G When I was growing up, each parent took us shopping to get a gift for the other parent until we were able to drive.  DH and I did the same with DD.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: kckgirl on January 02, 2012, 06:21:18 AM
Your DH has seriously dropped the ball, especially for missing the late arrival gift-giving time. He shouldn't have let that happen! I hope he's smart enough to know it.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Lynda_34 on January 02, 2012, 09:14:41 AM
I did get gifts from my children.  We didn't exchange any this year.  They are both adults.

However, I used to "complain" that it didn't seem fair that I still had to buy the ex three gifts a year and he didn't have to give me any. (I didn't ask for alimony so that wasn't in the equation)

When I divorced the kids were 5 and 9.  So until they could buy gifts on their own their father got a Christmas, Birthday and Father's Day gift from them.  It was more important for me to teach them gift giving then not acknowledge their father's special days.

Yes they usually give me something or do something for me.

I also buy fresh flowers for myself.  I like them.  When I had very little money I used to tell the kids "Someone who loves me very much bought them for me."  Took them a while to figure that one out.  But I also explained to my daughter who asked if we were so poor why was I spending money on flowers.  I told her that the occasional five dollars was money well spent since it made me smile.  Occasionally she would also bring me flowers.

I'd have a serious talk with both Dad and son.  Next year, or with  your birthday, make your expectations known early on.  Also buy a few things you want for yourself and put them under the tree.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Think about it, you must buy things for yourself all the time.  From Thanksgiving to Christmas, whatever you buy simply wrap it and put it under  the tree.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: wyliefool on January 03, 2012, 07:31:37 AM
Maybe DH needs an object lesson in being forgotten on his next gift-giving occasion.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: TootsNYC on January 03, 2012, 10:12:52 AM
I don't think it would make a difference to him.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: wyliefool on January 03, 2012, 10:49:18 AM
Hmm, then he needs a scolding. So he knows he screwed up. He shd certainly know by now how you feel about gifts (I know, after all, and we've never met...).
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: Searcher on January 03, 2012, 12:31:44 PM
I don't think it would make a difference to him.

I think you need to sit him and your son down and have a come-to-Deity talk with them.  I'd tell them that the one-way gift exchange has to come to an end, because it's very hurtful, and if they want gifts from you, they need to give consideration to your feelings and not neglect you.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: alegria on January 03, 2012, 05:25:14 PM
Honestly?  I'd be picking out a very nice item for myself (and one a little higher budget than I typically get), purchasing it, and bringing it home to show off at dinner.   >:D  Something can be your Christmas gift even if you bought it yourself, after all!  I'd still be quite upset at DH and DS, but I would do this to try and avoid remembering only unhappiness for this Christmas.
Title: Re: No presents for Mommy! (update, p. 3)
Post by: *new*mommyagain36 on January 06, 2012, 11:04:44 AM
Just wanted to add my 2 cents.  My son is 16 and has not given me so much as a card for any occasion since he was about 7 years old and my mother would help him.  His father could not have possibly cared less if son bought or gave gifts.  My husband now (step father to my son) does not make any effort to ensure cards or gifts are purchased.  Son has income, summer work, and he saves money up to use throughout the year.  I don't really worry much about gifts but a card would be very thoughful.  I also agree that it is on the other parent to make sure children give gifts to their mom.