Gift-Buying for the Ex Who Bore Your Child Is HARD

gift shopEver since my daughter’s mother and I split, gift-giving holidays have been tricky. For one, how do you buy a gift for somebody that you’re no longer romantically linked with that shows that you do indeed care but haven’t spent TOO much time invested in seeking it out?

It’s the most ridiculous dance ever. It’s like the Dougie on steroids.

While that analogy makes no sense whatsoever, it doesn’t change the fact that there are at least three times a year when I have to buy my ex a gift “from our daughter.” To be fair, I’m sure she goes through a similar thought process.


Now the cool thing about Mother’s Day is that it seems like every outlet caters to gifts for mothers from their children. And as a man, I can just send flowers and say thank you for bearing my child. You’re the greatest. But birthdays and Christmas are where the difficulty lies.

See, I’m a good gift giver. I don’t quibble about the money when I see something that I think you’ll like. The problem is, we’re not together so I can’t go to the Tier 1 gift idea section, which rules out jewelry and things that sparkle when the sun shines. Which is a problem since women love jewelry and there’s so much of it out there. And since I know my ex loves jewelry so much, when we were together, that was a no-brainer.

But now what?


In the oddest twist of fate ever, I’m forced to spend beaucoup time searching out gifts that seem like I didn’t spend forever trying to find them. Dear Alanis Morissette, THAT is ironic. Do you know how many hours I’ve spent in multiple malls trying to find at least one item that sends no sort of mixed message or seems like I just spent a mortgage payment? A lot.


Plus, you don’t want there to be any pressure to one-up each other. Thankfully we don’t have that problem. Being non-rich helps keep the pride in check. Amazing, I know. But I always struggle with what to get. I seek high and low. I go in stores I’d never go in. Like, why is it Williams-Sonoma? Couldn’t one of them just taken the loss on the name? Which brings up another point. I didn’t buy clothes when we were together so I definitely can’t now. Not that I would anyway, but the fact that it’s altogether not an option is insulting.


To recap: clothes and jewelry are off the market. Throw in the purses because they cost too much and that’s effectively the entire chick “gifts I love” list shot to pieces.


Woe is me. And really, the things that they sell in greeting card stores are NOT what’s hot in these streets.


Which leaves two choices: figurines of sentimental value or hand crafted/handpicked gifts by the kid.


Thank God for the 2-year-old decision making process.


Help me.


How do you deal with ex gifts?

Image via Rob & Lisa Meehan/Flickr

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