Author Topic: tired of the status quo  (Read 3840 times)

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Offline raindrops_on_my_soul

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tired of the status quo
« on: December 26, 2015, 08:18:10 AM »
Hi everyone,

 I am really glad christmas is over again. I wind up going through the same emotions every single time. Each and every year I give my son and his family money for christmas so they can buy what they need to help have a good holiday. I have been doing this for years now. They live far away so I do not get to see them. My son always thanks me but his wife and my grandkids never do, not once have they ever. They never give gifts to me either, which I dont expect but just found out that they do give gifts to her family. This realization has made me feel really overlooked and left out. Why would they think I am any less deserving? I am ok with not exchanging gifts, but dont feel that I should be expected to do give gifts, with no gratitude ever expressed toward me from his family. I also dont think that is sending their kids a good message, kids should be taught to be grateful. A simple thank you really does go a long way toward creating good will. I feel like this has become expected of me rather than appreciated, and it isnt sitting well with me. I am thinking about not sending these gifts anymore, just sick of the one way street and status quo.

Offline Green Thumb

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 10:19:20 AM »
I am sorry they do not send you a gift, this is really lopsided. My guess is that the wife expects her husband to take care of his mother and she takes care of her family. I do understand your situation, I get it totally. My former brother in law used to call us to thank us for gifts to his children and his kids never got on the phone or wrote thank you notes, nor did my sister in law ever call or write thank you notes. My kids were made to write them thank you notes to this same Uncle and his family, so it was very lopsided in my mind. My former MIL even mentioned once that she never got thank you notes from these children of her other son and how she appreciated the notes from my kids. Like you, we thought it was weird and uncomfortable for us. At the time of our divorce, we were sending one big family gift, like a board game, but then we got divorced and it was not my problem any longer!

My suggestion is to accept how it is and stop looking for praise or lovel for sending the gift. Cause that is the root of this, we want love back for the love we put into sending the gift and when we don't get that love back, we feel resentful.

If you want to send a gift because it makes you feel good about yourself, then consider sending one family gift. Like a board game, or a real wreathe for their front door, or 1-800 flowers.

If you feel better not sending anything, then do that. Whatever you decide to do, it will help you to change how you perceive the gift giving and accept the situation for how it is and the way it is, and do what makes you feel best.

At least your son calls you -- I have to say at this is more than I get most years. How about asking to speak to the grand kids during the call and talk to them, say merry christmas, etc. to them. Take the bull by the horns and stop waiting for them to read your mind. Men often think people automatically ask for what they need, what fills their needs, while women often expect others to fill our needs by osmosis, wishful thinking. So men think if we don't ask for whatever, we don't need it or want it. We have to speak up for what we need and want most of the time.

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2015, 11:41:53 AM »
Wow, Green Thumb, I believe your advice was spot-on, and I especially liked the gift-giving options you provided. Also insightful was your suggestion to let your son know what you want regarding communication with GC.  Asking for what we want is so simple, while we agonize over what others should know and do without our having to ask.  The bugaboo still remains in not holding expectations once we've asked for what we want.  It is in their court, and we just make ourselves miserable when we expect them to march to our beat.

Offline raindrops_on_my_soul

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 01:22:29 PM »
Thank you ladies for your responses. I have expressed my desire for phone calls, etc many times but it has fallen on deaf ears. Thats why I said I am tired of the status quo. They expect me to to send money for birthdays and christmas. The one time I forgot a birthday I was confronted angrily by his wife via text message. I dont feel it is fair of them to expect anything of me at all, I owe them nothing. Its one of those things where it has become expected rather than appreciated and it does not sit well with me.

Offline kate123

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 01:29:13 PM »
Here is what I do for all occasions. I give a gift if I see them, and if I don't, I give a U.S. Savings Bond in their name (had my son set up an account online). I feel that kids, especially younger ones, get so much that gifts are not noticed or remembered. It is not a great deal of money, but better than more junk that ends up in a pile.

Offline Green Thumb

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 06:14:05 PM »
Raindrops, sounds like you know what is going on. To get an angry text message that you did not send a gift on a grandchild's birthday, wow, that is really bad manners on DILs part and rude.  Sounds a bit like you are held hostage over gift giving. We do not have to respond or defend ourselves when we get text messages or phone calls with accusations like this. Ignore it. Don't justify, argue, defend or explain.

Personally, I have stopped giving cash and started sending gifts like flowers, magazine subscriptions, etc. Although I have sent a store gift card recently.

DIL sounds pretty narcissistic. You do not have to answer the phone or answer text messages from these people if they are not nice ones. You can chose to protect yourself and set boundaries. If she's a narcissist, in her mind, she is always right and the other person is always wrong. Nothing you can change.

Offline Pen

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 09:21:51 PM »
Wow, Rain, that has got to hurt. You deserve better treatment than that. Is there a humorous way to say "no more $$$ until I get either a thank you note or a reciprocal gift" ??? Of course you don't want to ruin your relationship with DS :(

All the ideas given are good ones, and here are a couple more:

Kiva.com - you can loan money (a tiny amount goes a long way!) to people who are starting/expanding small businesses in impoverished countries. When they pay you back you can reinvest in another venture (or keep it.)

heifer.org- donate gifts of farm animals to needy people internationally

gofundme.com - choose your cause

DonorsChoose.org - donate to specific school projects

Nice to give to anyone, but when you give these "gifts" to narcissistic people you get the added bonus of maybe helping them become less self-centered, lol. A win-win!


Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Eggshells

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2015, 05:50:16 PM »
I LOVE Pen's suggestion - these organizations do so much good for people who deserve and appreciate the help.  And - it gave ME a great idea too as I do not get acknowledgement (or gift) from a son/dil and decided just this week that I'm DONE with giving them gifts.  However, I WILL make a donation as you suggested.  In fact, my "boss" did that in my name for Christmas and I was truly touched.

Offline Pen

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2016, 11:00:41 AM »
 ;D  ;D  ;D

I think my DDD might be ready for a non-materialistic gift, too...she has more stuff than she needs and it would be empowering for her to feel like she can do good in the world even though she has limitations. I'm thinking Kiva so she can see what/who her donation is going to specifically & let her choose a business that interests her.

Happy new year!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Eggshells

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2016, 11:17:29 AM »
Pen - I too love kiva.  It's amazing how far a small donation goes and the rate of return is phenomenal.  I'm on the same track as you are and will be doing the same thing next year.

Offline Pooh

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2016, 06:54:51 AM »
I will tell you something I did this year...and not to an AC but to my Brother.  I have an older Brother, whom I just kind of have a casual relationship with.  He's my Brother, I love him but there are 10 years between us, so we never created that sibling bond.  He and I are also total opposites.  I'm very down to earth but money makes his world go round.  He married a very "high maintainence" younger women a few years ago.  Again, I'm civil to her but we have nothing in common.  They live about 12 hours away, so we really only see them a couple of times a year.

So a couple of years ago, I suggested to them that we stop buying gifts for each other and just buy for the grandbabies.  Frankly, it's a pain to buy for them because I don't spend a ton of money on gifts and both him and my SIL like the "finer" things in life.  So mostly, we just give them a gift card to a restaurant, bookstore, etc.  Not once, in all these years has either said thank you.  And I mean, with us sitting right in front of them!  They will open it, kind of looking like it's just obligatory to open it and just look at each other then put it away.  In the meantime, everyone else in the family is very considerate, grateful and full of thanks.  They were mortified that I would suggest such a thing.

So this year...I decided that if I was going to feel obligated to buy them something, I would do something that would do some good!  We have a small zoo here...like tiny.  I adopted a monkey in their name!  It was a $50 donation to adopt one.  You got a certificate, a picture and a stuffed animal that looked like it!  Oh...if you could have seen their faces when they opened the box!  They both looked at it, back at me, back at each other and SIL says, "I'm not sure I understand."  I just said, "You just helped feed and upkeep an adorable little monkey for the next year!  I know you guys don't really need anything, so I thought you might appreciate something that was giving back."  They both just kind of stared at me and said, "Oh..."

Ha ha!  I figure if they are not going to be appreciative and think my gifts are beneath them...then at least I would do some good with it and I would feel good about giving it!  :)  Yes, I'm getting more sarcastic in my older years!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 08:52:59 AM »
Pooh, you totally "won" Christmas this year, lol!! Love it!!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pooh

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 10:39:26 AM »
Lol.  I think I've gone to the dark side.  I'm finding that as I get older and have decided there is more important things in life than the petty drama, I'm getting more....ummm....lax with my "don't give a darn what they think!" 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Eggshells

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 05:29:11 PM »
Ohmigosh - that is brilliant.  We have a lemur center where I work and can adopt them also.  Boy, did you get me thinking!!Z,

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: tired of the status quo
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2016, 08:40:18 PM »
Pooh, just think of all the smiles that little monkey will bring to so many faces  :)  That is the gift that keeps on giving.  Your gift money really went to good use this year.  And maybe next year your bro and SIL will tell you they've decided not to exchange gifts.  Maybe your gift was doubly brilliant! 

A young immigrant couple we are close to went back to their country for a visit recently and bought each of their impoverished families a cow, which will provide milk and other products for them.  I know how valuable these donation organizations like Heifer Int'l can be.  Great reminder, Pen.  And I hadn't heard of Kiva, but I like the concept. One Acre Fund is an organization we support.