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Birthday gift for estranged mother?????


My mother has been estranged from me since May 2014 and my grandmother (my mom's mom) wants me to still get her something for her upcoming birthday even though she missed mine.  I was going to get her a spa package because I (& my grandmother) wanted to give her something that only she can use (not her boyfriend & not his granddaughter), but supposedly her BF already gave her a trip to the spa as an early birthday present.  BTW - I don't think he actually did given his track record with her past birthdays.  So now I don't want to give her the spa package gift because she'll think I'm copying him or something like that......... what do I get her now?  

My last resort is sending her flowers.

Re: Birthday gift for estranged mother?????

  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Is the enstrangement YOUR choice? If so, sending a gift seems to kind of go against it. Especially a nice gift like a spa GC?
  • No.  The estrangement was her choice.  Every time I tried to talk to her in May, she refused to speak to me & distanced herself further from me.  I saw her once in July at my granny's 80th birthday party & she refused to work things out then as well & again didn't speak to me.  We haven't seen or spoken since.

  • Just send her flowers. While the spa gift seems nice,  there is a chance her boyfriend is giving her that, flowers seem like a safe bet.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    EFenlon7 said:
    No.  The estrangement was her choice.  Every time I tried to talk to her in May, she refused to speak to me & distanced herself further from me.  I saw her once in July at my granny's 80th birthday party & she refused to work things out then as well & again didn't speak to me.  We haven't seen or spoken since.

    I'll say this, then.  If you want a chance at working things out with her, my advice is to give her space.  Send a card, perhaps.  But past that, I'd back off and respect her wishes and give her space.  you might find that by doing that, it gets her to come around.  maybe not, who knows.  But if you keep pressing the issue - trying to talk to her, sending her presents, etc. - it may just make her dig her heels in more.

    Back off and stop all forms of contact.  Even when you see her.  Let her approach you. 
  • My reply is based on the answers to the following questions. 

    1) why did your mother pull back?  Be honest.  

    2) do you WANT to reconcile with her?  Be honest. 

  • EFenlon7EFenlon7 member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited October 2014
    Thank y'all!!!

    Ilumine - 1) I noticed the change in her during the wedding planning which is when me & my dad became closer in our relationship.  Over the years her actions towards me got worse - she would make plans with me & then break them the day before (she told my husband that she did this because she never intended to follow through & was only making plans with me at the time to make me happy).  Then she would get upset if someone else or my dad would take her spot in those plans (example - I had surgery back in March, I knew she would cancel on me at the last minute so I asked my dad & step mom if they would come down & stay with me if she cancelled which they did & of course my mom got mad that they were there for me.)  

    Anyway, I told her about my concerns and that she's been acting this way for a few years now towards me & each year it get worse.  I told her that I wanted to fix things before it got to where we are now, but all that did was speed up the process.  I expressed this verbally over the phone (we live an hour apart) and she completely shut down, changed the subject, & got off the phone. I decided to send her an email to see if that would help her communicate with me about why all these (& other) things are happening, but that didn't work either so I let it go & stopped communicating.  This made matters even worse - she started trying to turn family members against me (her 3 brothers & sister - it worked on 1 of the brothers) & called my husband to tell him how I ruined her life.  

    2)  I would LOVE to have my mother, but since she's been out of the picture I've noticed there's no drama, negativity, or stress.

    July 26th is the last time I saw her & my granny tried to get her to talk to me, but she refused. 

    According to my granny (my mom's mom) & other family & friends, my mom is jealous of how good my life turned out compared to her own & that me & my dad have a good relationship.  My granny said that my mom never wanted me to have a relationship with him & that's why she's been acting out towards me the past few years. 
  • I would give her exactly what she appears to want. Peace & quiet.  Leave her alone entirely and if she wants to make an effort to reconnect, then I would re-evaluate at that time.

    It's not worth it for you to spend your time and/or money on someone that behaves in such a manner.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Geez.  I'm sorry she's acting like that towards you.

    Knowing all that, though, my advice stands.  Give her the space she wants.  It might lead to there really being NO relationship.  OR, over time, when you're really not there, when you really don't try - she might realize that she's missing out. 

    While it sounds like you aren't constantly reaching out or trying, even the few times you have might make her feel chased just enough to give her some level of satisfaction. 

    And really, all that aside, as you know - you can't force a relationship with someone who doesn't want one. 

    Good luck, though. 
  • Thank you all!  Definitely following y'alls advice. 
  • Honestly, I would do nothing. 

    Your Granny is poking at the bear because it's family....but where was she (granny) when your mother was being so hurtful to you?  

    Family means being compassionate, empathetic, respectful, etc, It does not mean being trodden on.  We are supposed protect and care for one another.  Your mother is not doing that for you.  

    So why should YOU be the one to continually put yourself out when she is the one in the wrong?

    You tried your best, now let it go.  I would suspect that as soon as your mother realizes that you are no longer chasing her, she will come crawling back.  
  • If you want to send something, flowers or a card would probably be nice. Just something little to let her know that you are thinking of her. Honestly, if it were me I would probably just send a card.

    I agree with the other posters that the situation seems to be her fault. If sending her something stresses you out, don't give it another thought.
     Do what makes you happy.
    Don't act out of spite. 
    Do what you think is right.  

    "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" 

    I feel this proverb is relevant, but having been in a similar situation with my mom I understand the pain that you feel. Likely your mom is probably having some tough feelings too (not trying to justify her actions here though). At the end of the day you are her daughter. 

    Good Luck
  • I think all I would do it a card, nothing more. She sounds spiteful & might just throw the flowers away. Why wasn't your money on something she is going to trash. She may trash the card too, but at least it's not as much money.


  • EFenlon7EFenlon7 member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited October 2014
    UPDATE - Yesterday was my mom's birthday & I chose not to call, text, email, Facebook, or send anything.  It didn't feel right doing any of those things given the circumstances.  
  • I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're in this situation.

    I've been estranged from my mother since July, and it's a tough situation to be in.  Her birthday was at the end of September, and I did not send a gift or a card.  I called to wish her a Happy Birthday, and it did not go well.  I figure at least I have the peace of mind of knowing I TRIED to do the decent thing.  For the upcoming holidays, I'll probably send a card and nothing else.
  • I realize this is an old post....I was google "Gift for estranged mother" when this came up.  My mothers birthday is on mothers day.  Grrrr. The woman is impossible.  She has mental illness and chooses to deny it.  Every time a doctor would have the discussion with her, she wouldn't go again.  Eventually she just quit seeing doctors all together.
    ANYWHO!  I was wondering what your end result was.  Personally I would have given her a calender with your birthday marked in it.  LOL  Just kidding.
    I think your safe bet is flowers.  My mother has her hands in a lot of self employment jobs, so she gets all of her wholesale.  She is an artist so she prefers to make and create her won things.  She even made a kitchen sink out of a big beautiful pot.  She sealed it all of course.  Anyway, what do you get for that person?  Gifts cards, she just uses to buy other people gifts on  their birthdays so she doesn't have to spend her own money.  She has some kind of stomach illness so she cant eat processed meat etc.  She wont go to the movies with her husband, let alone go on any trips with him.....Im at a loss here.   
  • If it was MY estranged mother's birthday and I was being pressured to send a gift I would send:
    • dead flowers
    • a knife sharpener (hers must be getting dull from all those spines she's stabbed)
    • mirror polish 
    • The book Marley and Me, and then inscribe the first page with THE DOG DIES
    • Hiking boots (to support her ankles while walking over people)

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
  • I think flowers are always nice.  However, since your Mom chose the estrangement, and you're understandably stung by it, I don't think a costly gift is necessary.  I would just send a nice card and write a personal note saying something positive, a nice memory, how you appreciate how she raised you, etc., and let her know you hope someday your relationship will be mended.  For example, "I know things are strained between us now, Mom, but I hope we can make peace in the near future.  I appreciate all you did for me as a child, yada, yada, and I hope your special day is great."
  • @ PepperDawn.... Sorry I don't log into here that often.

    I tried one last time at talking with her to find out why she's acting the way she is, but she denied having done / said anything & everything.

    She keeps trying to text but I won't respond to them.  She now calls & I do answer some of the calls, but all she wants to talk about is the weather, herself, or complain about someone or something.  Our calls last about 5 mins if not less because there's no point to them - I find a reason to get off the call.  She never ask about me, my husband, our dogs, anything about our life.... basically anything that would require her to be a mother she avoids.  It's like talking to an acquaintance, but worse.

    I'm pretty much over it & if she comes around great, but I'm not going to hold my breathe over it.

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