Missed Birthday Blues

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear Wifey:

My father-in-law’s birthday was last week and we missed it. My husband totally forgot about it. I really don’t think my father-in-law minded, but my mother-in-law clearly did. I can’t believe my husband didn’t remember and what’s worse is his mother implied that I was the one who forgot. I feel guilty, but had no idea it was his birthday. My husband told her it was his fault, but I still get the feeling that all eyes are on me. Should I say something to her to clear the air?

- Mrs. Missed Birthday Blues

Dear Mrs. Missed Birthday Blues:

Missing family birthdays suck, but, at least it wasn’t your mother-in-law’s – I’m sure the wrath would have been much worse.

Of course all eyes are on you. You’re the wife now, and unless you and your husband have a specific understanding, most birthday responsibilities automatically fall on you. It might sound sexist, but it’s true. If this is something that you just can’t handle, speak up now so that you and your husband can find an alternate plan, otherwise, call your mother-in-law, let her know that you never want to miss anyone’s birthday again and then ask her to open up her date book.

Once she agrees, grab your own notebook (you should have one to keep all new family information that you think you’ll remember but won’t like birthdays, phone numbers, how people are related, who stops by for unexpected visits, etc.) and write down everyone’s birthday – even if you don’t plan on sending them a card. Power is in knowledge. Put the key family members into your organizer and make a note for those who need a special fuss.

It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. You’ll eventually remember them without prompting, but until you do, avoid the guilt and the blame; and simply write them down.

Winks & Smiles,

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Are you the date keeper in your house? Ever miss a birthday or anniversary? How do you keep track? Wondering wives want to know…

The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.


Unknown March 11, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

I am the date keeper. And most years I do fine. But I also don't rake myself over the coals when I miss one. So what if I miss the in-laws birthday...they've missed a more than a few of mine. I figure they probably don't care either.

Anonymous,  March 11, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

I calendared all the family birthdays in Outlook and sent invitations to my hubby - with alerts! He STILL forgets to call! At least with the electronic reminder - my husband can call and say "Candace reminded me like 10x and i just ran out of time to call!" It really does help when the ball is dropped with his family.

Unknown March 11, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

KC Mom - it's nice when everyone is relaxed about it. No coal raking necessary - smiles!

Candace - great idea! ... and he still dropped the ball. Sounds like my husband. Wink, wink.

3 Bay B Chicks March 12, 2009 at 12:54 AM  

Isn't that the truth? In my house, it is my responsibility to remember not only birthdays and anniversaries, but also ensure that cards and gifts accompany each celebration.

I would be willing to be that you have a similar situation at Christmas?



MrsM March 12, 2009 at 3:37 AM  

My husband knows exactly 4 dates-his birthday, Monkey's birthday, Baby Bugs birthday, and Christmas. If it's not one of those occasions, forget it. (He can't even remember his step dad's birthday...which is the same day as Baby Bug's.)

I don't mind keeping track of everyone's special days. My parents have never remembered any occasion, ever-including the birthdays of their children and grandchild-and it always rubbed me the wrong way, so it just kind of became important to me to show people I care by remembering these things.

Lisa March 12, 2009 at 10:48 AM  

I never forget my mother-in-law's bday....not because I am perfect though, or because I just love her so much!! (I didn't say I didn't love her at all!) Her bday is the same as my oldest's, and she NEVER fails to exclaim how wonderful that is, in mid-July or so! HINT HINT. :)

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