Return to the Stepfamily Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Posted by lovehadley (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 30, 10 at 19:21

Ok, so tomorrow is DH's birthday. ( We don't have SS this weekend but per the plan, DH will get him at 9 AM tomorrow and he will be with us until school Monday morning.) We are going to my grandparent's house for a bday celebration. My grandma told DH to pick any favorite meal and let her know. She asked me (a week ago) to make/bring the cake. So DH told me he wanted a coconut cake, I got all the ingredients yesterday, etc.

Every year on DH's birthday, BM and her mom would bake this bread pudding/cake. (It's somewhere in between the two!) Have to admit--it's yummy! BUT---it always kind of annoyed me to have his ex and her mother drop off a bday cake for him. Anyway, they would usually just do it before/after his bday, so it never interfered w/me baking something on the actual day.

Well, today, DH informs me that SS made the cake with his mom and grandma today and wants to bring it to my grandma's tomorrow. DH said he is very excited that the three of them made it for DH.

UGHHHH. Am I totally wrong for being irritated? I told DH that I feel kind of side-stepped here, and much like a BM would feel when a SM goes out of her way to do something mom-like. IE--I make it a point to NOT sign up to be room mom for SS or be team mom for soccer, or bring treats for birthdays at school etc, just b/c I feel like those things are kind of a mommy's perogative. I kind of feel like this is the same thing!

And the fact that we are celebrating with my family, I just feel kind of weird having SS announce that he and his mom and grandma made DH's bday cake! :(

I know it's probably a petty thing to be bothered by, but it just annoys me. I WANT TO MAKE MY HUBBY'S BIRTHDAY CAKE. Or rather---I wouldn't care if the kids helped me make it--I guess I should rephrase: I DON'T WANT BM INVOLVED IN THE BAKING OF MY HUBBY'S BDAY CAKE!

I don't want to hurt SS's feelings, either. I kinda mentioned to DH that it was "weird" that BM was making his cake and he said he was going to suggest to SS that we leave that cake at home and he and DD can help make one at our house tomorrow to take to my grandma's.

UGH. I just wish BM would have ASKED DH (haha, yeah right) before getting SS all hyped.

Am I CRAZY?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Tough spot. It's great that SS wants to please dad with a cake made by him. Also great that DD and SS and you are making a cake together. You might make the second cake with just DD so both kids have their every own cake to present at dad's birthday celebration. Except for the fact you all will be on cake overload, I'd do my best to take and serve both--give diners a choice or a small sample of each--it's dad's special day and the kids are contributing. It will give the kids a kick to see dad savoring bites of each.

Forget about who helped SS make his cake for dad. I get why it bugs you and it's likely to delight BM if she learns it did annoy you and it may disappoint the SS if dad's cake is left at home. BM should have asked first but she did not and now you have to be extra careful not to show any rejection of said cake--he's 7, he cant bake all by himself, just like DD can't make one for daddy by herself. You can maybe freeze parts of one or the other cakes and enjoy it again another evening too.

Do it for the kids, the day is fast approaching that they'll be grown and gone and while dad will still get a call and card if the kids aren't close by, dad will always have the memories of the birthday party with two cakes from his two very special kids made with love in their hearts.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Would it annoy me?

Oooooh Yeah! Boundaries Girl!
As one of my dearest friends always says "You gotta pee on your trees!" -- meaning you have to stake out your territory.
I works really well for her -- But then, she's not at all reluctant to confront, and the folks she's confronting know well enough to Back Off! You're dealing with a nut case...

How about going all Southern? And telling SS how delicious that cake is, and how you'd like to make that exact same cake for some other special occasion that's coming up real soon, and would he please ask his Mama for the recipe?

For your Hubby's birthday, I'd go all "Look what SS made!" with pride, and totally ignore the contributions of the 'assistant bakers.'


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

I love sweeby's suggestion: "I'd go all "Look what SS made!" with pride, and totally ignore the contributions of the 'assistant bakers.'"

Unless you are devastated by not being able to make the cake, I would take SS's cake and save your ingredients for another time. I would not let her get ANY hint that you were annoyed or upset by it. That would be like sending her an engraved invitation to do it again.. I might even add "oh how wonderful, now I can go get my nails done instead of spending the afternoon in a hot kitchen baking."

Sure, it's annoying to have her step on your toes when you are so careful to avoid hers. I think it's wonderful that your DH is taking your side & feelings into consideration, but I would urge him to nevermind, we can take SS's cake because his feelings are more important. Then you get to be the bigger person (AGAIN!) and maybe next time there's a party or event where you need to bring something but don't feel like baking, you can call her and place your order...


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

"maybe next time there's a party or event where you need to bring something but don't feel like baking, you can call her and place your order"

LOL. Thanks ladies! You all made me feel better. I feel less "petty" b/c you all agreed that it's annoying, but it helps put it in perspective.

And NO, I would NEVER let BM have any inkling that it bothered me in the least. As far as she is concerned, I want her to think she doesn't even cross my mind b/c she is NOBODY to me.

DD & I are making the coconut cake this morning and DH agreed it would be a good idea to bring both cakes and serve a small slice of each. Then we do plan on freezing some and DH will probably take some to work, as well.

I DO think I will call BM's mom next year ahead of time and ASK for the recipe! I'll just say "oh, SS really wants to make that cake for his daddy, would you mind giving me the recipe?" GOOD IDEA SWEEBY!


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Yes, it would annoy me. She will likely gloat when SS goes home and tells her how everyone raved over the cake. I would "not get mad but get even". Find out when her H's b'day is and return the favor by helping SS make him a cake. I'll bet he would enjoy it, especially knowing that she made one for your DH. And it would be so kind of you.


 o
I don't think it is petty at all

So how did it go, Lovehadley? Was BM successfully "inserted" into the event? I can really identify. My DH's ex-wife has always had the need to be a part of his special days. She still sees him as family. Even now when the SDs are young adults in college, her fingerprints are all over their holiday and birthday gifts to DH. For the first maybe ten years we were married I tried to suggest that SDs join my BKs in shopping for DH. SDs said "Oh, no, we want to pick Dad's presents ourselves." Ah, that's nice, very thoughtful. Except that the it was very obvious that they themselves had either not done the selecting or had totally taken BM's suggestions. The gifts were often personal and often in some way made reference to DH and BM's life together.

I could just live with this and roll my eyes to myself while smiling sweetly, but it was really annoying when we were at my family's home for the celebration and DH would open his presents, ooh and ahh and thank SDs, who would invariably in the next breath mention BM. Such as: "Mom remembered how much you enjoyed these preserved plums during your mission year in Czechoslovakia." (Who was he on mission with? You guessed it.) Or: "Mom thought this tie would go with your blue sweater." (Which SHE bought him while they were married and had gone to Value Village eons before.)

For some reason, this gave me a sense of shame in front of my family. I think because it made me feel ashamed of my DH, as if he were being disloyal. I know that is irrational, but I also know that it was the cause of one of my siblings (whom I only see during the holidays, she lives out of the country) being rather distant with DH for the first few years we were married and at one point asking me point blank if I thought DH was still in love with BM.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

from what i gathered from this website many DHs do not have any boundaries with their exwives.

Exwives clearly enjoy it and I wonder if DHs enjoy it as well: who doesn't like two birthday cakes, one from each wife, who doesn't feel a bit flattered when ex calls and cries that he didn't come over for Christmas.

i will be the first one to insist on exes getting along but this is ridiculous. You ladies put up with weird somewhat polygamous arrangements.

I get along with ex great and I have no RO against me LOL but I have no interest in baking cakes for his birthday or sit at holiday tables, he has his wife, his mother and his children for that.

Love, you have a lot of patience. I would directly tell him (nicely) that i do not want to eat ex's cake at MY or my family house.


 o
add

I don't agree with others that maybe it is better to pretend it doesn't bother you.

frankly this pretend never worked with anyone who shares similar stories here.

One ex continues baking cakes, the other insists on holidays together or thoughtful gifts, how inappropriate, then whatever some other exes have been doing.

maybe you being nice and pretending it doesn't bother just isn't working. I don't like arguing or fighting but this is the case when i think you need to be direct, that it crosses boundaries and is not conducive to your marriage.

No need to put up with this, they are exes for a reason. they aren't their wives anymore.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Finedreams, I'm not sure what you are suggesting. No one here advised Love to 'pretend' when it comes to dealing with her DH. Love's discussed the situation with her DH. The only one not knowing two cakes were 'inappropriate' is the children and the guest at the party.

What exactly would you advise Love to do? Toss the unexpected cake on the ground when BM arrives to drop off SS? Call BM and read her the riot act? Neither of those reactions would benefit Love's relationship with her stepson.

Maybe you think Ulrike1 should have grabbed the 'inappropriate' presents out of DH hand as he opened them and made a scene? Maybe you think it would cease if what? Ulrike1 tell DH to phone BM and demand BM stop letting the girls buy and bring presents for him?

Making a scene over cakes and stupid presents would do nothing but hurt the kids who are nothing but innocent in the situation. While both ladies I'm sure have quietly and in private discussed their feelings/thoughts to their immediate spouse, both also have taken the high road in putting it into perspective and realizing how a hissy fit would affect the kids, hurt the kids feelings and give the kids the idea that the stepmoms were rejecting the children and trying to deny them of their fathers and their bonds with him.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

"While both ladies I'm sure have quietly and in private discussed their feelings/thoughts to their immediate spouse, both also have taken the high road in putting it into perspective and realizing how a hissy fit would affect the kids, hurt the kids feelings and give the kids the idea that the stepmoms were rejecting the children and trying to deny them of their fathers and their bonds with him. "

I agree.

I am NOT of the mindset though that the kids' feelings ALWAYS come first. It depends on the situation at hand.

IE--my stepson was really disappointed/upset when he really wanted his BM to come into our home to see his bedroom. DH had to tell him no, that because of BM's violent actions towards me, she was never going to be able to come inside our home.

Was SS upset? YES. But in that situation, it was better for my feelings to be acknowledged and my boundary to be protected.

In a situation like this, with the bday cake, or a situation with ulrike and the bday presents, I agree that it's better to not "make a scene." I never suggested making a scene! I didn't really pretend it didn't bother me, FD. I let DH know exactly how I felt about it.

I did NOT show those feelings to SS, however, because a) what good would that do? and b) it would cause much more emotional damage to HIM to do so. In THAT situation, it was better for me to smile and not say a word.

Now--I will say---that I believe if DH had set better boundaries ALL ALONG, this situation probably would not be what it is today.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Personally, I don't think it's Love's problem to tell DH's ex to stop baking him cakes. If my DH's ex baked him a cake (ok, made myself laugh with that one) but if she did and it bothered me and I told him it bothered me, he would probably tell her to stop baking him cakes. I would not have to demand for him to tell her and I would not have to tell her myself... he would not want her interfering in OUR relationship and it IS interfering. It is using the child to interject herself into your new life together. Just because she did it when they were together, does not mean she gets to continue now that they are not.... I'm sure they did lots of things when together that they no longer do because they are not together! I'm sure kids get upset that they are not together.... doesn't mean they have to do stuff together because it will make kids happy... Kids will understand better if there are boundaries and it's not the new wife's place to create the boundaries, it's the DH & his ex... it just gets placed on the new wife when they fail to create those boundaries.

Love, I think your DH handled it fine THIS TIME. I think he should give her a call & tell her that while he appreciates the thought, etc. that he would like her to stop baking for him, buying him gifts, etc. The husband should be the one to tell his ex that his wife is capable of taking his child to buy his gifts or baking his cake, etc. And dad can also tell older kids that he would like his kids to shop for him with his current wife, not his ex. If the cake & gifts are about pleasing dad... kids won't care about who they shop/bake with. If doing those things are about maintaining a connection between mom & dad, then it might upset them to be told. But, at the very least, DAD should be telling everyone what HE wants...

I'm all for sparing kids emotional pain when you can, but I am also a believer that they know when mom hates SM and when they see parents avoiding the pink elephant, they aren't going to trust anyone. I see nothing wrong with Dad telling his son "That cake was awesome, but you know what would make it more awesome? If you bake me a cake with Love on my next birthday!" and if he says "but my mom.." he can tell him that his mom's cakes are delicious but she has her new husband and his family that she can bake cakes for...

I kinda wonder how the new husband feels when his wife is baking a cake for her ex??? I can't imagine telling my DH that I am baking my ex a cake. Maybe kids should be taught about EVERYONE's feelings matter....


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

" I see nothing wrong with Dad telling his son "That cake was awesome, but you know what would make it more awesome? If you bake me a cake with Love on my next birthday!" and if he says "but my mom.." he can tell him that his mom's cakes are delicious but she has her new husband and his family that she can bake cakes for..."

That is a good suggestion, Ima.

I definitely want to halt this tradition. It used to be that BM and her mom would make the cake together. This year was the first year that SS wanted to help, probably just because he sees this as a tradition his BM and grandma do for DH. Which is totally WEIRD in and of itself!

Dh told me when he went out there to pick up SS, BM's MOM was there and her sister to wish him a happy bday! How CRAZY is that? DH defends it in that "they're all crazy, anyway, so what do you expect?" Some of this is true. BM's mom is even kookier than BM herself! She is the NOSIEST person I have ever met and she tries to make EVERYTHING her business. DH has set REALLY good boundaries with her, thankfully; she used to call HIM once or twice a week and about 2 yrs ago, DH just quit taking her calls. She and her husband have asked him a couple times here and there to help them sell a car (my DH is in the car business) and he's told them no.

I mean...when DH and I became engaged, GRANDMA found out first from SS. She immediately called DH and went on and on about how upset BM was going to be, and was he sure it was the right time and wasn't there any way they could possibly work things out ( BM was PREGNANT with her second child at the time, mind you!)...yada yada...CASE IN POINT.

It's so strange to me, though. I mean, DH and BM were NEVER married. They lived together for less than 2 years. They were EXTREMELY off and on throughout their relationship; the relationship lasted from the time they were about 19-20 until about 25-26. They have been SPLIT UP for 7 YEARS now. DH and I have been together for 6! So you'd think that BM's wacky family would have kind of accepted things and moved on....birthday cakes and greeting him on his birthday is just WEIRD to me.


 o
The challenge of boundaries

With a boundary-challenged BM, it's always been quite a balancing act to honor our marriage versus the needs of SDs, that's for sure! As I think back, there was one element of the dynamic that made it bearable. DH never, never liked the intrusion of BM. It was distressing to him. But, he didn't want to make the SDs feel bad. So often, once the event was over, he and I could bond over our mutual discomfort, ha! And maybe those post-mortem evaluations made us stronger; many couples never get to really, openly talk about what's OK and not OK as regards other people trying to make a romantic/emotional connection. They never have to think it through until something happens that is very damaging.

He and I did disagree about what should be done. In the earlier days, he was all for telling BM to knock it off. Me, I wasn't so sure. And this is why. First, she would have been sure to let the girls know and to blame me. And also, in the earliest days of their divorce, BM conveyed plenty of negative messages to the SDs about DH. Then later, the messages included me. To me, anything that would indicate "the high road" was a plus. So, if BM took the girls shopping for ski underwear for DH (yes! yes she did!), at least that wasn't a negative message. And, if I was there when he opened the underwear in question and smiled sweetly and said "DH, you can really use those. Girls, what a great idea!" then it was an opportunity to model to them that everything was OK between their two homes.

In private between DH and I though--ha! Different story.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

If I baked my Ex a cake ...
...well, let's just say that he'd better not eat it! ;-)


 o
Buying him underwear?!

Buying him underwear?!
Wow -- That takes the cake! (pun intended...)


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

I don't suggest Love does anything particular with this cake it is too late already, I suggest she lets her DH know that BM's involvement in their marriage is crossing the boundaries and then let DH do something about it. If I went crazy and start baking cakes for ex, lol I would understand if he lest me know that he already has a wife who bakes a cake.

as about needs of the children...My child needs her parents to get along and do not engage in unhealthy interactions, but her needs do not include mommy and daddy pretending they are still a family and she never needed me to bake for her dad or pretend we are still together or insert myself in his family, she needs none of that. she is not crazy.

and yes justmetoo people think she needs to pretend it doesn't bother her and continue smiling. i just do not see what it accomplishes, creates more trouble. she pretends she is OK with the cake so next year comes around Bm is there with the cake. I think saying that she is unhappy with it is OK.


 o
justmetoo

building boundaries and creating new meaningful relationships between exes does not happen in one day, it takes years to build. No need for throwing fits, just building boundaries. clearly some people have difficulty building those boundaries with their exes and now here are the consequences, but it can be done slowly and carefully but it can be done.

and the reasons kids get upset over cakes or gifts is because parents never taught them boundaries or the concept that mommy and day although are forever their parents aren't a couple anymore. No need to throw gifts out but gently separating from exes is needed. And children need it too, they don't benefit from this emotional fusion. They think mommy and daddy supposed to have holidays together and buy each other gifts, they learn what we teach them. But in too many cases this fusion between exspouses is confusing for children. they grow up, go to college and still expect mom and dad act like they are married! why, who benefits form it?

I understand they shared it with their DHs, but DHs did nothing about their crazy exes, so the issue continues. It doesn't have to hurt children though. I get along with ex yet don't dream of inserting myself in his birthday party, but my DD is not upset about it. why would she?


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

FD~ There are some people in the world that have no life... they live to make others as miserable as they are. Maybe you have nobody in your life like that, but they DO exist. If BM is doing things to purposefully interfere in their life/marriage/family, then it is like feeding the fire to let her know that what she is doing bothers the new wife. That may be her goal... and what a better reward than to know she accomplished it by having the wife call her up and tell her what she can do with her cake or even politely tell her that it's not appreciated or needed.... then the ex can innocently proclaim she was only trying to be nice... she just wants her son to bake a cake for daddy... everyone in the family just LOVES her cakes... and then try to make it out to be the WIFE that is the problem. BM becomes the victim... SM becomes the bad guy.

Now with normal people, you might be able to say "Hey, I'm not okay with what you are doing." but then again, with normal people.. they don't force their cake down your throat. They go bake their current husband a cake... and leave the ex to his life.


 o
SDs love those things, though

This has been so hard for me; I adore my SDs so much and I know they have thrived despite being from divorce situation in part because they feel like we all are to an extent a big happy family. I think it makes them feel good that Mom thinks enough of Dad to want to hand-select his gift. Even though it makes me feel invaded and frustrated and has in the past caused distance between me and DH.

For example, the underwear! An important moment in our marital growth. I'll never forget when we were discussing it at the counselor and DH and I got into a semantic tug of war--I said "My husband's ex bought him underwear" and DH said "My children bought me ski garb." Eventually the counselor rolled his eyes and said to DH, "Are you going to get into the details of the brand and fabric content, or are you going to hear how your wife feels about this?" He was a good 'un!


 o
how to stop crazies

of course I know people who have no life and just make others miserable, what i am trying to say that they need to be told to stop. normal people don't need to be told to stop: they don't do it to begin with. i understand consequences of telling crazy people to stop something, but I still think it needs to be done.

yes they might resist and yes they might blame you and yes they might even tell the kids but it still needs to be done. Kids could be taught and explained and eventually they will understand. If my ex would buy me underwear i would tell him it makes me uncomfortable and i want him to stop. If he would speak poorly of me to DD it would be awful but I don't think people need to put up with crap out of fear that exes would speak poorly to the kids.

I could maybe see it with young children but like ulrike's steps are grown, suppose to understand. and although love's SS is young, if he doesn't learn boundaries now it is only going to get harder over time.

well SM becomes a bad guy, but so what. I don't think it is BM/SM issue, it is marriage/relationship issue, she is the current wife and she doesn't like exwife to cross boundaries, if it makes her bad guy oh well. This is not the issue of children either. exwife bakes a cake for exhusband that he is supposed to eat with his new wife's family or buys underwear and then SM is a bad guy. well let her be a bad guy then.


 o
imamommy

I never suggested that new wife should be the one to call and tell what to do with cakes or gifts. It is something for DH to do. She is his exwife and he is the one to build a new relationship with her, built on boundaries. Because husbands refuse to do it (fear?) new wives suffer but I think it is unfair.

Ulrike, plenty of children from divorced families are striving without parents still being attached to each other years after divorce. It is an illusion...confusing at best...it might feel happy for confused children but it is a lie...I think maybe they are striving despite unhealthy patterns in parental interactions not because.

My very wise grandma used to say that rule number one in relationships (any relationships, families, parents, kids no matter, BFs) is having proper boundaries. whenever boundaries are blurred, troubles start. overly involved parents, emotionally attached exes, children never leaving the house, lovers attached to the hip, overly jealous spouses etc-lack of boundaries.


 o
I don't just want them to strive....

Not just be striving all the time, but to thrive! I hate to think of them feeling like it is such an effort to balance their two homes, feeling like they are torn, like they have to be two different people and keep their mouths shut, etc. (That is life, of course, but home should be where we feel safe.)

I always laugh when I read those prim, simplistic books and articles about establishing "boundaries," because it is seldom as simple as the authors portray it. And especially in a stepfamily! How simple to tell an ex-girlfriend that you want her out of your life forever. How impossible to tell the mother of your children the same thing, even though you dearly wish it. (That would be my husband's most fervent wish.) And so, the constant battle to separate out what is best for the kids from what is best for their mother--if you can even do that.

I think I was helpful to a co-worker who was a new SM. She got her feelings hurt all the time by how often BM was the topic in her new home. I told her to think about how she feels about her own mother, and that her SKs don't love or focus on their own mother any less--and the less the kids get the idea that this is a problem for her, the more they can love and bond to her. BUT, that if her husband wants to preserve their own marital bond, he needs to be aware of how hard it is to have an ex-lover brought up all the time.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

why telling your exspouses that you want them out of your life forever? unless they are abusive why such extreme, why does it have to be either shut them off completely or be overly attached. why not finding some balance? why telling them to get out of your life, just ask not to do certain things.

if it doesn't cause any bad feelings and everyone is fine then well let's bake cakes and buy underwear but clearly it is not OK, it causes hurt feelings so why not do something about it. what could exes possibly do? especially if children are grown and cannot be brainwashed.

heck if we say nothing we just encourage more craziness. But just my opinion. I believe children can grow to be good and successful people without divorced mom and dad still playing house. But that's just my opinion and personal experience.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

--"if it doesn't cause any bad feelings and everyone is fine then well let's bake cakes and buy underwear but clearly it is not OK, it causes hurt feelings so why not do something about it. what could exes possibly do?"--

Get drunk and attack you?

While I understand what finedreams is trying to stress about limitations/boundaries, and it sounds dandy on a general generic level across the overall, what one must also remember is individual person/s are not all equal in the ability department.

In the original posting here, Love ended up doing what she and her DH felt was best this time in this case. Will her BM try and bake another next year? Who knows, but hopefully DH will be able to communicate with BM that Love will plan birthday menus for their home just like BM plans the menu at her own home. I doubt he gets far, BM's whole family seems nuts and BM has proven herself to be capable of being violent--for pete's sake, they lined up the whole bunch of them to surprise DH at pick up time--these are not normal people, one can't expect to deal with them in a normal or generic suggested manner. Educating 'stupid' might work, but face it, ya can't fix batsh%t crazy and you can't deal with them in a normal method.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

I've been reading here and trying to figure out how I would act and exactly why this situation bothers me.

X's birthday was last month. DS was going to see him the night before, but he wouldn't be seeing him until a week after his birthday. He wanted to let his dad know he remembered his birthday, but didn't know what to do (seeing as I will not spend a lot of money on X for his b-day and DS is only 11 and doesn't make any money for himself unless he looses a tooth or does a chore). So I stopped by Wal-Mart on the way home and got a $.48 birthday card for DS to sign, and he put it with one of those chocolate oranges someone had given me and hadn't been opened yet (X is a sweet-freak). DS gave it to X when he saw him that night, and X was grateful. Sure, I did the leg work, but it was at DS's request and I DID NOT TAKE ANY CREDIT FOR IT.

That's where I think this story bothers me. If DS were to come to me and say "Mom, I want to bake a cake for dad's birthday", I would surely buy the ingredients and help out. When DS gives the cake to X, it would be understood that I helped (DS is 11), but the cake would not be from "BM and DS". It would only be from DS. And DS would get all the praise and thank-you's, just as he did for the card and chocolate.

So why does BM still need "credit" for the birthday cake? Why does it have to be SS wanting to help BM and GM with the cake instead of BM and GM helping SS with the cake? I know it's a lot of symantics, but that's where you find the where heart of a person is...in the wording they use.

BTW, I would NEVER bake X a cake without it being DS's idea. My DH would be totally ticked off, X's GF would be totally ticked off, and X wouldn't eat it for fear it was poisioned. LOL! Just kidding about that last part.

On the other hand, the first Christmas DH and I were dating (less than 4 months into our relationship), BM dropped SD off and I just happened to be at their house. BM said to me "can you arrange getting DH's gift from SD this year? I've been doing it all this time". I was shocked because DH and I were a very new couple. I wasn't expecting that. Plus, what the he** is she complaining about? She had only been divorced from DH for 2 years. That's 2 Christmas' that she had to buy a gift for *gasp* the father of her child.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

I agree with you Ashley. I help, but it's not *from* me.

OP... yes, this would annoy me. I'd go with Sweeby's suggestion. And maybe figure out a way to make it *better*. And then help DS make the cake for EVERY occasion for BM's mother, father, husband, etc. making sure everyone knows it's BM's recipe but since they've tasted her cake they'll know yours is somehow *better*. But I'm petty like that.

Speaking of which, *I* forgot my Ex's birthday and now *I* have to take DD shopping so that *she* can buy a gift for him. OOPS!!!!!!! Not to hijack, but what is the protocol here? Is this my responsibility? I recall him telling her his birthday was coming up... reminded myself... and then promptly forgot. Do you think a birthday gift should be EX-initiated, or 7yr old initiated?

crap.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

"Do you think a birthday gift should be EX-initiated, or 7yr old initiated?"

DH (we) make sure SS has a gift for his mom on Christmas and her birthday. For this past Christmas, I took both kids to paint pottery ornaments (they made a bunch for my mom, my dad, my grandparents, DH, etc.) and SS included one for his mom. We also got a nice picture frame and put a great pic of SS in it to give to his mom. That is typical of what we make sure he has to give---picture frames with a good pic of SS are our old standby!

Likewise, BM helps SS to get a gift for his dad---last year it was a Christmas ornanment, for his bday this year it was the cake and a handpainted piggy bank (not sure on that one, except I think SSS picked it out:)

So I guess that is how we do things...not sure what the typical protocol should be, but it's how BM/DH have always done things.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Totally agree.... BUT this is birthday, not Christmas. I feel guilty for forgetting I guess, but should it be MY responsibility to remember his birthday and remind her and go get an appropriate gift and mail it... or is it up to her to say, MOM, can you help me, I want to get a gift for dad.

Of course, now that I remembered, it's off to the mall for Silver today!


 o
RE: Yes, it would.

Totally agree.... BUT this is birthday, not Christmas. I feel guilty for forgetting I guess, but should it be MY responsibility to remember his birthday and remind her and go get an appropriate gift and mail it... or is it up to her to say, MOM, can you help me, I want to get a gift for dad.

Of course, now that I remembered, it's off to the mall for Silver today!


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Silver - does X have a wife or long-term GF?

I've never worried about gifts for X, unless DS specifically asks me. Gifts for X are up to X's GF to arrange with DS.

What I used to do with SD and DS for gifts for DH are I would pick out 3 or 4 items in MY price range. I would ask them if they had thought about what to get him and give them the options. They would usually pick one of those each and we'd be good. I have also gone with the "group gift" method. One year we all gave him an XBox and one year we all gave him a new BBQ grill (which we all enjoy).


 o
X gift ideas

Love - I love the picture and ornament ideas. Good and just personal enough, but not too personal.

I also like the hand-painted things. You can get them at the craft store for like $1. Picture frames, birdhouses, garden what-nots. Who doesn't love those?


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Ashley, yes, he does. But they live over 1000 miles away... kinda hard for GF to pick something out *from* DD when she's here.

I don't have a problem getting him gifts, just remembering!!


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Silver, at 7 I would probably not expect your DD to remember dad's birthday of her own accord.

Maybe around 12 yrs of age should she start being expected to remember on her own...but a reminder from you will probably always be good. :)


 o
girlfriends

I don't believe girlfriends have to arrange gifts giving from the children to BF. why? unless we are talking about live-in together for 10 years, other than that why girlfriends? why? it is too much to expect


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

Quite frankly, I don't think it's ANYONE's responsibility to buy gifts for anyone... kids make stuff. My kids always made me stuff in school for Mother's Day & Christmas... they made me card or picked me flowers on my birthday. Or they just gave me a hug and said I love you mom... and that's pretty much all I ever needed.

It's nice if parents get along well enough to take kids to buy something and if they want to... no problem. If it's an issue where you want nothing to do with ex and kids ask to buy something, I'd say "why don't you make something?"

I'm probably alone here, but my opinion is that the world is too darn commercialized and everyone has to buy a card for this or that or send flowers or buy a present. Thank you to Hallmark! We see aisles of gifts for Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving.. sometimes before Halloween. We see gifts for Halloween... who gives a gift to their teacher on Halloween? WHY? It's a holiday to trick or treat, not give a card or gift. I just think it's silly and really should be a non issue. From the time my kids were 7 or 8, maybe I would give them a little cash & let them buy each other a Christmas present at a dollar store or Target... just a little something. (not always, but a few times & my daughter always bought me a scented candle at dollar tree... I loved it because it was from her, but a hug would have been enough too) I don't get why it is such a big deal nowadays. After my parents divorced, neither of my parents took us shopping for the other... I would have thought "why is he/she doing that?" since I was well aware that they are divorced. (and yes, I was witness to my mom doing some of the things SM's complain about BM's doing for the DH's... and yes, her motive was to piss off my SM and hoping my dad would want her back.. so although I know all BM's don't do it for that reason, I will admit that I am biased as that goes.)

As a child of divorce, it was very uncomfortable for me when my mom would say or do things to interject herself in dad's life because I knew dad didn't want her to but he also didn't want to be mean to my mother... because she was my mother. So, I get why these DH's do put up with a lot, but I also wish my dad had stood up for himself more than he did. If he had put her in her place, my life would have been less uncomfortable.


 o
RE: Would this annoy you? My feelings are kind of hurt

In essence, I agree Ima. But my EX and I, whoever has my dd, will "help" her buy a gift for the other parent when appropriate holidays/milestones come around.

I don't mind shopping for him, or his new GF. I'm just irritated that I forgot, really. And that my DD didn't say, Mom, it's dad's b-day and I'd like to get him something.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Stepfamily Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here