to be upset with my mum(68 Posts)
I am a lurker and this is my 1st post so here goes..
I saw my mum earlier, and she asked me what i got the DC for xmas, so I showed her the list and she turned round at said well at least you have time to get them some more things! I was shocked by this i hadn't planned on getting them anything else.
I am a single mum to 2 on benefits and before you flame me it wasn't my choice my EX of 7 years has swanned of with a 17yo. I have spent £100 on them each, she thinks i should get my DD who's 6 a laptop because her best friend is getting one and now she keeps going on about how my DD is going to be so disappoingted, her best friend is getting one but her mother is up to her eye balls in debt, has just been found to have no tv license and is being taken to court over her electric bill. Now I refuse to get into debt for xmas, what does a 6yo need a laptop for anyway?
The other problem is I have a 3yo sister and i know my mum has got her LOADS for xmas, were meant to be going round there for xmas dinner how am i meant to explain why she got so much from santa and they didn't, I don't even want to go round for the dinner anymore.
We have spent all day making salt dough decorations, candle holders and candles to give to people ie my mum and now i feel like she's just going to turn her nose up. I just can't afford to spend a fortune on everyone this year but to me making these things, spending time with the family and having fun is what xmas is about and not who can get the most!
Maybe i'm just ranting but i've come home and cried my eyes out i feel like i'm letting them down now, my other child is 5
It sounds like you have spent a lot on your dcs. There is no way everyone can keep up with each other when it comes to Christmas. We all have our own budgets and have to stick to them. End of story!
As for your Mum turning up her nose at a gift lovingly made by her granddaughter, if she did, then she would have missed the point entirely.
Stick to your plans and your budget - your children will benefit from that lesson far more than a huge pile of toys on Christmas day.
You sound like a fabulous Mum and are doing exactly all the right things for and with your children. Yor Mum, on the other hand, sounds totally unsympathetic and seems to think you need to buy a child's love. You are right - a six year old most definitely does not need a laptop.
Please ignore her and concentate on having a happy Christmas with your two lucky children.
you are not leting anyone down-your mother is insane
a laptop for a 6 year old? wtf?
there is absolutely NO need for any more money to be spent
you are absolutely right-spending time with the family IS whjat christmas is all about
you are completely in the right on this one
Please, have faith in yourself. We aim to spend about what you do on girls of 10 & 13 and DH and I are both in work,though not well off. A laptop for a 6 year-old is completely pointless - neither of our children has one to herself, and neither cares.
You are spending enough money, and doing far more important things with her like spending time making decorations. Your children will grow up with lots of attention and love, and are likely to be less materialistic than children who are spoiled by people who are insecure enough to think that love needs to be expressed in material goods.
(Little rant of my own there)
BTW - you're spent more on your DC than we have on our DD and she is getting no more.
YANBU - your mum sounds like a materialistic bloody loon! A laptop for a 6 year old????
Don't you dare beat yourself up - you've spent plenty enough on them already and I'm sure they'll appreciate that. The homemade presents you've described sound lovely, and if she turns her nose up then that says a whole lot about her - none of it nice!
Have a very Merry Christmas, and ignore your loony mum.
Yanbu.. you know you are doing the right thing by spending within your limits, I think you have done some great budgeting to spend £200 on presents.
Ask your mum if your sister can open her presents before your kids arrive on Xmas morning..,.. that way the difference in present pile won't be so obvious.
You sound like a great mum.. in 5 years time they are more likely to look back on this Xmas and remember the day you spent making presents with them, then the presents they didnt get.
YABU to be upset - you're mum's acting like an idiot - stop crying and smile - safe in the knowledge you have your priorities right [un-mn hug]
YANBU ... your mother is being a total fud!
I cant even afford £100 per child and they will be delighted with any presents.
A 6 year old with a laptop ... next yr a Wiii ... where will it stop. Its only one day
Dont put ypurself into debt for that. If your mum wants to show off then let her
£100 each is more than enough. And it sounds like you and your DC have had a lovely day making gifts. Have a hug from me and and try to ignore your materialistic mother and enjoy Christmas with your DC - they are lucky children.
weboth work and we will DEFINITELYnot buying laptops and the like
jesus where do people get this idea that money equals love? it's mental
YANBU. I think that £100 each is actually quite a lot to spend on cildren that age. You have obviously put a lot of thought into how you can find the money and should be pleased with yourself. Far better to spend less than to go into debt. I bet your DCs loved making the candle holders etc as well.
On Christmas Day, will your DCs be opening their presents at your house or your mums? If you do it at your house before you go round hopefully you can avoid too much comparing of what they had compared to your sister.
x-posted with LittleRedWG - we both think your children are lucky
Your mum sounds like a loon.
In a few years time you will probably find that your children appreciate everything they are given and your little sister regards each lovingly picked gift with disdain before chucking it over her shoulder and moving on to the next one <don't mind my ranting, have spoilt nieces emoticon>
Have a word and tell her how difficult things are for you and make sure she feels bloody bad for being such a nasty mama
Thanks, my mum is a loon (at times) my sister even has her own tv in the lounge! Yes they have 2 so she can watch what she wants(!)
She will not be having a laptop i know that for sure, if she needs to use a computer she can use mine! I have been saving all year and buy things when i see them and was quite proud of what i had got them
The thing is though my DD is more excited about going to christingle on xmas eve and doing her xmas play and when i ask my DS what he wants he just says I don't know..
We will have a happy christmas, i'm determined of that one, I just don't want them feeling embarresed when they go back to schiil
It's VERY unlikely that your DD will wonder or compare her gifts with her Aunties....(I mean the three year old) My DD doesn't get loads but her cousins do...my DD is never less than thriled with her pressies...she doesn't ask why her couins got more. She is also 6 like yours.
IF she DID say anyhing you can say it's because she has a sister..and children with no young ssters living with them get more to make up for having no sibling!
It's the EXPERIENCES they remember...the making of crafts and decorating things...not the presents.
Your children sound lovely. Christmas should be all about the experience not the presents- you are obviously doing a great job.
YANBU, your mother is a loon.
children of that age aren't aware of the cost of things, a few cheaper items will seem like more than one big thing like a laptop to them.
I can only remember a handful of the presents I was given as a child, what I remember is cooking with my mum and making christingles and everyone laughing at the rubbish cracker jokes...
School even!! Should really turn the light on..
My mum is in debt and always has been, i can remember having to lie to the collectors when we were younger and i will not put my children through that, i think she thinks it's normal [hmmm]
They honestly won't be embarrassed, Breezy. We live in a very affluent area where Father Christmas seems to be much more generous to some of our DC's friends, but it's never been an issue. Carry on doing what you're doing, and to hell with keeping up with the Joneses.
OP my mum was a single parent and could barely affford presents for us, but you know what, when my siblings and i talk about our childhood we only remember the fun we have.
As adults, we are fortunate to be financially secure, however we will not be spending up to £100 on our own children
OP, you are doing a fantastic job, please ignore your mother.
It sounds like you've had a lovely time making those gifts, and your children will have got far more out of that than, for example, looking through the Argos catalogue or traipsing round town wondering what tat to buy people for Christmas!!
Do not allow your mum to devalue what you have done for others from them, or what you have decided to get them for Christmas either. Remind her that it is YOUR money and they are YOUR children, she is being extremely unfair to put this sort of pressure on you.
At their age, even if your children received NO other Christmas gifts (which is UNLIKELY), they would be thrilled to get anything that you have bought providing it is given with love - and I see no evidence from your post that there is a shortage of that in your family.
Have a Happy Christmas with your family, and ignore the negative views of people around you!!
How come you are so sensible and your mother is so barking?
I'd tell your children that you have to pay Santa a bit for the presents, hence other children getting more.
Why does a 6 year old need a laptop? Your mum is ridiculous. Little kids don't care how much money you've spent. And if they have piles and piles of presents surely they just get overwhelmed by it all? Much better to have a few things and a lot of lovely memories than the entire Argos catalogue.
You are being very wise not spending more than you can afford - that way you will have a future without debts - which really would impact on the DC. I agree with RobynLou that little children have NO idea what is worth what - they are usually more excited by the large packet of cheap sweets than the expensive toy. I also agree that no 6yo needs a laptop, and reckon that £100 per child is plenty!!
One thought; I used to give my DC things at Xmas that I would have given them anyway (like new socks, or pjs, or a school pencil case, or (when older) a memory stick, or small book) but make them seem special by wrapping them nicely and putting them into their stockings. And I agree with the others that it is the experience of the day that they will really remember and not the presents - can you find time to play with them some special game they both like?
Stick to your guns and don't feel like you have done less than a brilliant job! Salt dough trinkets made by grandchildren sound lovely and your DM would be a fool not to appreciate them.
I wonder if you misunderstood your DM when she looked at your presents?
OMG yor mum is DBU but you sound great and by making things are teaching your kids a valuable lesson that it doesnt have to cost a fortune to be good.
Both my and DH work earn ok wages but I wont spend more than £50 inc stockings on each DC (we have 4) as they just dont need it.
My oldest is 6 and she asked for some material to make her barbies clothes plus when we go to charity shops she loves it and say's "no one else will be wearing this will they"
I start shopping for bargains early (charity shops, ebay and car boot sales).
As a child I was very spoilt, we had everything we could want, latest toys 3 foreign holidays a year, mum and dad fought (physically) a lot. When they got divorced and mum remarried we had no money (I mean none) and they were the happiest memories and I thank my mum and step dad for giving me that.
Have a lovely xmas with your 2 little ones.
I have told them that the stocking ;0comes from santa which has bits they need in them to, pj's, books, selection box, nice pens, a new outfit for xmas day ect and they will get a special present from me.
They will open there presents at home, and we won't go round till dinnertime my mum lives opposite me otherwise i'd have found an excuse i think... I do love my mum to bits and she has just got the all clear from breast cancer which i think has made her worse with having to buy things, its made me learn the opposite it's isn't about the money. It's about having a loving family and spending special time together
2 TVs in one room . WTF? Do they sit there wearing headphones, or are both sets blaring at the same time?
YANBU, your mother is insane. Sounds like she is spoiling her 3 year old DD as a grandma might do a grand daughter. She is not doing herself any favours.
You on the other hand sound like a great role model for your DC. Have a lovely Christmas and ignore any sneery looks, maybe they are based in insecurity (if that's a word?).
Insecurity is the word. I sympathise with her if she's just come through a cancer scare with a 3 year-old child, but the main thing is that you are doing fine.
They have them both blasting out!! I do not understand why they need 2 as you can't watch either when their both on the go.
She will have it hard when she's older, my sister is a spoilt brat - harsh but true and she knows exactly how to get what she wants at 3!!
I feel for my mum but she's making a rod for her own back, I asked her once to watch my DS for 30 minutes while i nipped to the shop but apparently he's to naughty
I think your Mum is jealous of you.
If she has a 3yo now she must have been v young when she had you. I dont really like making assumptions but since you've already said she had debt collectors at the door when you were young, I take it she was pretty broke. She 'solved' this by 'buying' love and getting into debt. You have chosen a different path and she may well see this as an implicit criticism of her parenting.
I'm feeling very sorry for a child here, and it's not either of your children!
I might be tempted to skip Christmas day at your mum's. It sounds like it's not going to be that great for you.
She was 20 when she had me and my twin, then had my little sister at 42.
She's always been bad with money, and she owes my nan thousands to I can remember walking round asda when i was small and she was always worried she wouldn't have enough money to pay, I remember all the little things like that and i hope to never put my children through the same. I know some people have no choice, i'm skint myself but it helps not having to pay debts out of the money I get.
I cannot remember what i got for xmas if i'm honest..
We live opposite my mum, so will not be easy to skip it. I know my DC would hate to not go We live to close together which is a problem, was great when she was really poorly as i had my little sister everyday but not so great now! lol
YANBU - when I was little my mum was also on a tight budget and me and my sister also used to make salt dough decorations, paper chains, homemade cards etc and visit relatives and friends and family with our homemade gifts. We were brought up as you are bringing your children up...to enjoy Christmas as a time for family and friends and not just to concentrate on how much money has been splashed around. I'm really grateful to my mum for everything she did for us as children, as I'm sure your children will be too, because I still focus on Christmas for the right reasons. We never felt like we had less than anyone else because she gave us things that money couldn't buy (and I've still got a few of my salt dough figures- although they are a bit manky now!)
YANBU, and your mum sounds mad.
We both work in well paid jobs and to me £100 per child sounds a lot although if some of its clothes maybe ok.
DD asked for a laptop for her birthday, she is 7. We said no, too much for a 7 year old but I did get a netbook for my birthday and I sometimes let her use it.
DD is 7 - I bought her:
princess and frog DVD £10
hot water bottle £15
big tube smarties £1
IMO thats enough for 7YO.
Breezy, you sound lovely and absolutely a wonderful mother. Trust me, your DCs will not care they aren't getting a laptop, but they will certainly have a childhood richer for not having to hide from debt collectors and the like.
You are, without a doubt, doing the right thing for them.
Hope you have a lovely Christmas. x
Yanbu and you are doing a BRILLIANT job, children who get too much appreciate nothing, it's all easy come easy go.
I was single with my older DSs and they really appreciated what they got and still do.
We are more comfortable with money now but I don't spend any more on my little DSs because more is not better.
Well done and enjoy a fab christmas with your lovely happy children. x
I can't wait till my grandson is old enough to make me something for Christmas!
You've done a really good job with saving as much as you have to spend - don't worry. And no 6 year-old needs a laptop!
Reminds me of my stepsister's kids - they had the contents of Hamleys every year. Luckily it never bothered our children at all.
I'd LOVE to receive presents made by your children and I'm not even related to them. Your mother should be thrilled. Tell her that she can buy them a laptop if she wants to! Long-term, the greatest gift you can give your children is financial stability, and by insisting on not getting into debt, that is what you are doing.
YADNBU. You seem very level headed and I think you are doing the best for your children by not getting into debt.
Both DH and I have very well paid professional jobs and still we wouldn't necessarily spend more than £100 in DS's xmas presents. There's no point at this age. As for the laptop, providing you DD can use yours every now and then to play a few games, so that she's not unfamiliar with technology, that's all she needs. Having her own laptop is totally unnecessary at this age!
Just wanted to say thank you to you all, you have made me feel so much better and aslong as we've got each other we will have a great day, money or no money.
I think I must live in some parallel universe. No-one I know has a laptop for a 6 year old (or a 10 year old for that matter)
Nanny - Everything in Hamleys is a third more expensive than anywhere else. And it's a bit of a dump. And it's sexist - all the art stuff is on the "Girls" floor
You have done really well to have such a sensible attitude to money given how you were brought up. You've spent within your means and I bet your DCs will have a fab Xmas because you are so aware it's about time together, not STUFF. and no a 6yo doesn't need a laptop!
YANBU. My DD is 1 a week after Christmas, but because we have got her a few toys throughout the year, we have only spent £15 on her for Christmas, and £15 for her birthday the following week, because she doesn't need that much spending on her at the moment, plus she'll get presents from my parents. I'm currently pregnant with DC2 and think it will probably be the same next year as well, as we just can't afford to spend a great deal at the moment.
A friend I have has bought her 8yo a laptop, (not even for b'day or Xmas) and she got an Ipod touch for her birthday. My DC won't be getting these at that age!
My parents never went crazy either, I remember loving the presents I got, but I remember the day more, being with family.
we have spent 25 quid on dd,she's 2 and imo that is quite enough.
your mother is barking.
so is mine.
it will be fine,your kids wont care,they will be far happier in the long term with a mother who is on top of her expences than a load of xmas gifts they wont remember in two months time.
yanbu your attitude is really good and im sure you and dcs will have a great xmas, your mum's ideas are just silly why on earth would it be a good idea to get into deabt to buy things for your dc @ xmas that they dont even need. you can get plenty for 100 anyway especially if you shop for bargains, and it teaches them a better message to spend time together and do fun things than just chuck money @ them
Your mother is bonkers - how did you turn out so normal?
You are not letting them down, £100 is more than enough per child for Christmas. We have decided on a laptop on the birthday before dc get to secondary school and not before - they don't need it and can share ours.
Sorry but your Mum does sound a bit of a fruit loop and you seem like a great Mum, just have a bit more confidence in yourself.
I spent 25 on gifts from us plus 10 pounds for the santa sack. Xmas isn't about how much you can spend, its about spending time with people you love to celebrate. All your home made things sounds lovely and much more meaningful.
My partner and I are both fortunate enough to be in well-paid jobs. We have spent less that you on our two - and I feel bad that I haven't done all the lovely craft activities that you have. Your kids will have fantastic memories. You sound lovely and I hope you have a very happy Christmas
You are indeed a sensible person and your mother is barking.
Don't worry too much about Christmas with little-sister-who-gets-everything. We've been spending every Christmas since dcs were born with my extended family; their cousin always gets three times as many presents as they do and they've never been scarred by this in any way: indeed as he gets older it's becoming a bit of an embarrassment to him. But basically, they've all learnt to cope with the thought that families are all different, not a bad lesson to learn.
Most 6yos do not get laptops. We only bought one for our 10yo because he is disabled and struggles to hold a pen; otherwise, I would have thought secondary school was quite soon enough.
Nanny - Everything in Hamleys is a third more expensive than anywhere else. And it's a bit of a dump. And it's sexist - all the art stuff is on the "Girls" floor
I know - That's why my stepsister bought her sons' stuff there - Swank!
Just one more voice to add to the chorus of YANBU. I think what you are doing with your children sounds really nice. I wish my mum (who is lovely, anyway) had done stuff like salt dough decorations with me when I was little.
I think with children, particularly small children, presents are more about the 'bang' than the 'buck'- novelty seems more important than cash.
So you could spend a fortune on a laptop, but whilst it is amazingly expensive, it doesn't actually do anything particularly exciting. Whereas a large basket full of glitter, glue, pens, paper, curly ribbon, pipe cleaners and squeaky things catches attention in all sorts of ways: looks interesting, full of suprises as you delve into it, makes interesting noises, and promises a few happy afternoons of crafty messing about.
YANBU, your mom is nuts and quite rude to say that to you.
You are a great mum doing the best you can and that's all anyone can ask. And a laptop for a 6yo? That's absolutely insane!
I'm a SAHM and hubs works and we're okay for money (saved a crapload before we moved here, which we're not touching) but we're not going crazy for the kids (4 and 3) we'll have a small fairly inexpensive Christmas, which is just fine with me.
YANBU, we spend about that on our DC's and they always have a great christmas. Making things with your DC's is what they will remember when they're older, not what they got.
I can understand your worrying about them wondering why your sister got loads though - DSD's mum go way over the top at christmas and end up in huge debt for it. This may make me sound mean but she is a spoilt brat for it and thinks just coz she wants something she will get it, she 8 and they'll have problems in a few years.It's a far better thing IMO to only spend what you can afford and not be worrying how you're going to pay for it.
don't worry about them being embarassed at school - when I was little we went to state school, but in a very wealthy area and one year the teacher had the great idea () that we should all write our letters to Santa and put them on the wall. A lot of the other kids had put down that they wanted a bike AND a computer (in the 1980s!) AND a TV, etc, etc.
I just thought they were greedy loons - it didn't make me feel embarassed or poor at all that I'd be getting a Barbie and some books.
And by the time they get back to school, most of them have forgotten what they got for Christmas already .
I think it says alot that you cant remember what you got for Xmas but you remember lying to debt collectors, and your mum worrying you about money for food shopping.
You children will remember the craft activities and fun with mummy. And feeling safe and secure. Thats worth more than all the laptops in the world
You are being sensible.
Save your money whilst you can-they will be teenagers soon enough & you´ll be getting through money hand over fist
Don´t fall into the trap of thinking that love=money, especially at this young age.
You are very sensible.
My DCs are getting £30 (ish) each spent on their actual present, plus a bit more on stockings. A laptop for a 6yo is madness.
YANBU your mother sounds mad.
We are pretty wealthy and there is no way we have even gotten close to spending £100 (or equivalent Aussie dollar) on DS1 (who is 6).
Madness for a 6 year old to have their own laptop and we are gadget freaks.
you are not letting your children down. the friends mumis by not being responsible. you sound very responsible and all that lovely quality time you are spending with your dcs making things. when the childen hand over their home made gifts, make a ppoint of emphasising that they have chosen to give these to your relis themselves and that they are really proud of their efforts. i hope that will stop anyone turning up their nose, and if they do they should be ashamed of themselves.
sorry for the typing bf and feedee trying to help type.
I think she's going to do the overspending thing on them now, She bought up the laptop issue again infront of my stepdad and he even turned round and said they'll end up spoilt brats and she turned round and said but they are not getting much at all
They are getting plenty imo, they don't need anything, they both got DS's last year and i can't even remember the last time they played on them, DD got a wii for her birthday in July, the last time she went on that her birthday. My mum bought the DS's bbtw and the EX bought the wii, it just goes to show they don't need or want these things. They seem happier and spend more time messing about with paint, glue and glitter and making a mess
I'm sure i'll be spending more then enough when they are older
Your mum is quite, quite wrong
From your post she seems to equate how much you spend on someone with how much you love them/how special Christmas will be
I don't mean to be impolite, but that's seriously fucked up
You seem lovely, take a deep breathe, re-read your post, try to see what sort of message you're sending your kids if you follow your mum's (shit) advice - YOU are being reasonable, it is totally wrong for your mum to say to you what she has. I'm outraged on your behalf
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