The internet has slammed a mom who expected her family members to get her December child a double gift, as she worried about setting a precedent for ignoring the child’s birthday.
In a post shared on Mumsnet earlier in December, under the username Frostysnowlady, the mom explained that because her baby’s birthday month coincides with Christmas, this year her relatives only bought the child a Christmas present and no separate gift for their first birthday.
She added that her other child, who was born mid-year always received a present for Christmas and for their birthday, and she thinks it’s not the cost, but the gesture: “A kid’s book can be £1 ($1.20), it’s the gesture that they mean something to [the] family that’s important [in my opinion].”
A study from Not On The High Street found that December babies receive about 160 fewer gifts in their lifetimes when compared to others. The average number of presents received on a birthday is six, while most December babies just receive four.
The poster said: “I strongly believe if you can’t afford an extra gift this year just communicate that, no problem. To say nothing and give nothing is disappointing and upsetting and I won’t allow my child to feel this way too.”
Smriti Joshi, chief psychologist at Wysa, an AI-guided mental health platform, told Newsweek that everyone can have their own expectations with regard to how their family can make them feel loved or wanted and these expectations need not be based on any rules or facts.
She said: “It seems this person felt that her family did not give her daughter a certain number of gifts as expected by her to make her and her child feel loved and wanted.
“This can be seen as an overreaction based on her own set beliefs about what makes one feel loved or worthy and can set unhelpful beliefs for her child, who can start to feel less loved or less worthy as a growing individual if she doesn’t receive a certain kind or number of gifts. It’s a very materialistic way to assess her self-worth and could be very self-sabotaging, impacting future relationships.”
‘Expensive Time of Year’
Most of the users who left comments in the thread agreed it wasn’t much of a big deal. One user, TheLightSideOfTheMoon, commented: “It’s an expensive time of year and there’s a cost of living crisis. Maybe they just couldn’t stretch to two presents?”
And Greensleevevssnotnose said: “My brother’s bday is Jan 2nd and [they] never got presents as a child I always thought that was mean. My friend has 25 Dec birthday and until he had kids the day was his until 2 pm then Christmas began, he has no birthday now.”
Another user, AnnaTortoiseshell, wrote: “I think for a one-year-old, especially a second child, I’d be glad not to have even more stuff in the house! Does your [child] really need anything more?
“I do understand not wanting them to feel that they are missing out, but they are too small to feel that way at the moment. I think if things didn’t change when they got a little older I would not ask for an extra present for [your December child] but I would ask them not to buy a birthday present for [your other child] since they don’t buy for [your December child].”
Newsweek wasn’t able to verify the details of the case.
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