To think if I say "I really don't want to dress the children the same - they're individuals" it should be respected?

(136 Posts)
MiaowTheCat Sun 28-Jul-13 21:12:56

They're not quite twins - 11 months between them. I've said from the start that I didn't want to fall into the dressing them the same thing, that I wanted to be careful that they didn't get lumped together as "the girls" and that they were free to have their own personalities and identities... the same sort of battle twin parents have. Although there are lots of hand-me-downs and clothes re-use going on - I've always made sure that there were a few unique outfits for DD2 so she doesn't get a childhood set of photos of her looking identical to DD1.

Said this to MIL in response to a direct question from her "Are you going to want them to wear the same thing ever?" Well yes, when they get to school they're going to be stuck wearing the same variations on school uniform for five days a week - but nope - I won't.

Last time MIL came to visit she bought them both outfits - big fuss about "oh I really struggled to find somewhere I could buy them the same thing"... gritted teeth, smiled politely, and I've made sure that when they've worn the clothes it's been on different days (so she's seen the kids in the outfits she's bought etc etc etc), and days when they've been on Skype to her so it's been gently obvious that I'm NOT going to do the Me and Mini-Me routine. Hoped it was a one-off.

Apparently it's not going to be. She seems to be determined that she's going to buy them identical outfits constantly and (as usual) hasn't listened to a word that me AND DH (for he feels the same as me) have said. It's not the identical outfits so much that's annoying me - but the totally ignoring our wishes and I have a horrid feeling she's going to try to do this with identical Christmas presents and the like too.

DH gets frequently frustrated that she'll smile whenever you tell her she's done something that has upset and then just continue repeatedly doing it anyway - so it's not just me on that point.

AIBU to be starting to get annoyed about it? AIBU to not want siblings to be dressed identically? I just think with the close age gap we DO need to be really careful DD2 doesn't get left in the shadow of her older sister anyway.

ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 17:12:18

My mum and aunt were invariably dressed alike as youngsters (18 months between them but aunt on the small side).

My gran would be asked how old her twins were and reply that one was four and the other six!

emuloc Tue 30-Jul-13 12:57:27

Give what you do not want to the charity shop. It really should not be a big deal.

Ochanticleer Tue 30-Jul-13 12:52:25

Do you also describe them as 'not quite twins' to your MIL, too? Perhaps because of this, in some harmless but misguided way, she thinks you might want to dress them the same.

anna891 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:48:16

I doubt wearing the same outfit occasionally will damage their individual personalities, its no big deal. It does look cute.
Your MIL should respect your wishes though, as you feel strongly about it.

ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 12:00:53

It's one way for DD2 to get new clothes rather than hand me downs.

Put the larger outfit away then produce it for DD2 when she has outgrown the smaller one.

ComposHat Tue 30-Jul-13 11:43:40

I'd heard the Irish Twin thing too.

To prevent Irish twins you could try Irish birth control. (the thong of which we talk on Friday evenings)

SarahAndFuck Tue 30-Jul-13 11:20:34

I see. I thought before that she was saying it was difficult to find anything that was different.

But she's actually saying how hard she has to work to find identical things for them?

Can you be absolutely honest with her. We appreciate you buying the girls new things but please don't buy them identical clothes, especially as it's so much trouble for you to find them. We want them to have their own identity so we don't dress them in the same clothes on the same day anyway.

MiaowTheCat Tue 30-Jul-13 09:11:39

When they are old enough to be dictating their wardrobe and if they choose to do so - fine I'll back them all the way (within the limits of our bank balance and public decency)... but for it to be dictated TO them, against what we try to do, and especially after our views were asked and have just been ignored - that's what really is bugging me. She's actually made a big thing of how hard it is to find something that's the same for both of them!

I couldn't shred them or chuck them - they're decent clothes - but it does grate that she's determined to jump through hoops to ignore us! (She lives in a very isolated area, limited retailers deliver there so it's making her life HARDER to try to do this - that's what I really don't get!)

DeWe Tue 30-Jul-13 09:02:18

My dds have 3 years between them, and until recently, they would sometimes decide together that they were dressing the same. They've done this since dd2 was old enough to have an opinion, and they loved it. They haven't done it in the last year, I think now dd1 is 12yo she's grown out of it.
It was their choice, never mine.

num3onway Mon 29-Jul-13 23:31:54

I find my eldest two having the same clothes or shoes an issue as at 4&5 they don't check sizes and can end up with one of each Shoe on

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 23:31:44

practical reasons even ^ ^

AnnabelleLee Mon 29-Jul-13 23:29:03

Has anyone pointed out yet that at 4 months and 15 months they haven't the faintest clue what they are wearing?

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 23:27:34

op there are practical reask s for dressing them differently as i told my xmil. if they are running away from you dressed the same you cannot tell which one it is to call them back.
However, i just give both outfits to inequality child or wear them on different days. plus mine picked themes. one has ladybirds the other butterflies. then you let people know oh dt1 loves butterflies, owls and the colour turquoise dt2 loves orange etc.

i now have pirate ladybird and a princess butterfly.

2rebecca Mon 29-Jul-13 22:24:08

When my sister and I were small we didn't care but as we got older as big sister I was a bit peeved at not having more "grown up" clothes than my "little" sister, and she disliked the everlasting hand me down aspect of it.
Other relatives would often buy us the same thing "so they don't fight". Considering there was 3 years between us and we had very different interests and personalities it's unlikely we'd fight over anything except chocolates, and identical boxes of those would have been fine.

BrilloFad Mon 29-Jul-13 19:57:43

I have a similar gap to the OP, 13 months between my DDs. Sometimes they match, sometimes they co-ordinate in similar outfits or similar colours and sometimes they look totally different or clash.

On any given day they choose to, and are happy to, be matching, clashing or co-ordinating.

No one ever comments on them co-ordinating or in totally different clothes, but I'm constantly amazed about how many comments I get if they are matching.

They range from 'its child abuse to not let them have their own identity' <yes, someone really did tell me that> to 'OMG they are so cute matching'.

I just don't see it as an issue, they are just clothes FFS and I can tell you that matching or not my girls have a TOTALLY different personalities and identities. There is no hope of my DD2 being in the shadow of DD1, she is a livewire!

I have identical twin boys. Sometimes they dress the same, sometimes they don't. It doesn't make them more or less individuals hmm

When they were tiny they wore whatever was clean. Quite often, that was a babygro each. Now they are bigger (four and a half) they pick their own clothes (mostly) and sometimes they want to wear the same. Same as my sister sometimes wanted to wear the same as me.

Use them or not, make them wear the outfits on different days if you must - but really, don't get so riled about it, it's really not that important. I'm sure you are able to foster a sense of sibling independence when they very occasionally as small children (I say that in the assumption that as they get older they will tell Granny they don't want the same) wear the same thing?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Mon 29-Jul-13 19:49:58

I have an FB 'friend' who has 2 DDs 11 months apart. Mostly they're dressed in their own clothese, but sometimes they're dressed identically. They're 3 and 4. They always seem happy as Larry, and like they really get on.

The one thing I certainly never get the impression of is that the younger one is growing up in the older's shadow.

There's 18 months between my two - again, it would never occur to me to think the younger might be over-shadowed by the older.

The more of a big deal you make of things, and stress about them, the more of a big deal they become. Don't get me wrong, I understand fullly why your MIL is riling you. But nothing bad isn't going to happen if your DDs are occassionally dressed the same, and if you vehemently oppose it, your DDs might grow up thinking that was equally as weird as always dressing them the same.

There's a lot to be said for going with the flow, and picking your battles. And not being at war with your MIL. As annoying as she might be.

StuntGirl Mon 29-Jul-13 12:41:53

x post with the excellently named SarahAndFuck!

StuntGirl Mon 29-Jul-13 12:36:33

Not quite twins? Good observation, since they're you know, not twins at all.

Same gap between me and my sibling. We were occasionally dressed in matching outfits as very small babies, at my mother's choice. Wouldn't have been impressed myself had this carried on to when we were older.

Weirdly though, we sometimes turn up to events dressed virtually the same. Last week we both turned up to a gig in band t-shirts from the same band, black jeans and red and black Vans. No co-ordination intended, it sometimes just happens!

SarahAndFuck Mon 29-Jul-13 12:34:27

It's not hard for her to find different outfits if she really wants to buy them clothes.

Shops don't sell just the one outfit. Even if she has just the one shop or supermarket available to her, they have a choice.

You and your DH have given her your reasons and they should be respected.

Can you just give one set away or do you know someone else with a child of a similar age to one of your DDs that you could do a swap with? Then tell her that you swapped one set for something a little different as that's how you want to raise the girls.

I wouldn't let this go really, as it's the sort of thing she will carry on through their lives. It would annoy me as in a small way it smacks of her playing dollies with your girls.

If your DH has siblings close in age, did she dress any of them the same?

I have a cousin born six weeks after me and a lot of our baby and toddler things were the same. We have lots of photo's of us dressed identically, or with the difference being colour. She wore a red outfit and mine was identical but yellow etc.

When she moved away that mostly stopped, although our grandmother still would give us identical clothes, often home-made ones.

And weirdly now, we often find that when we meet up we are wearing the same thing, or the exact same colours. Just recently when we met, unexpectedly, I was wearing orange trousers and a white top and she had on white trousers and an orange top. Exact same shade. We were carrying identical bags as well. We live about a hundreds miles apart and had both gone to the same place on pretty much a whim for a day out. And we looked almost identical when we got there and bumped into each other.

diddl Mon 29-Jul-13 12:33:15

4months old & 15months old?

Can't imagine anything suitable for a baby & a toddler looking nice on either!

It's annoying that she's not listening, obviously.

But I agree with others-it's clothes.

Use them or not!

Is this the only thing that she insists upon doing that you would rather she didn't?

If so-lucky you!

Also, does she make a fuss about them not both wearing the outfits at the same time?

Quangle Mon 29-Jul-13 12:28:18

Mollie it was really nice of you to recognise how much pleasure MIL got out of seeing your girls dressed like that even though it wasn't really your thing. It's hard to step back from things that are winding you up and see that the underlying battle doesn't really matter - especially when the other person is really not giving up the fight! Would be good if OP could see it like this.

Iwaswatchingthat Mon 29-Jul-13 12:20:38

17 months between my dds and every single time we go out I get asked if they are twins regardless of what they are wearing. I don't think they look that alike, but they are more or less exactly the same size so 'handing on' does not happen anymore.

They have lots of clothes the same and they love it.

Some are because they like to match on special occasions e.g. Have the same dress for a wedding.

Other times it is because once you have found a decent warm coat or something similar or something in a sale which is a total bargain then why not make your life easier and get two?

Sometimes I do it because if we go somewhere with loads of people and the chance of getting lost it makes them easy to spot/describe what they are wearing - paranoid I know!!!

They love having matching stuff, but when they don't anymore they will let me know.

OP just dress your children how they want or how you want if they don't object. It really is not worth worrying - your children, your choice. The more you make a stand about it the more your MIL will feel its a battle she wants to win.

MrsDeVere Mon 29-Jul-13 12:16:37

I used to buy clothes for my nieces.
The sort that would make MN explode, all glitter and nylon and logos.
They loved them.
And my brother and sister had the good grace to grit their teeth and let me be Cool Auntie grin

You don't have to put the clothes on your children at the same time.
You don't have to use them at all .

2rebecca Mon 29-Jul-13 12:12:22

I wouldn't take a photo of them wearing them at the same time as that will encourage her, I'd continue to show them wearing different things as that is what you prefer.

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