Mil and christmas traditions(99 Posts)
I'm sure I'm going to sound totally unreasonable and ungrateful but there's a ridiculous amount of back story that would take days to explain.
Basically mil has told us she's not buying dd any presents, she's just giving us money as she's too busy and she doesn't know what dd has already got. Fair enough, sad for her not to have pleasure of choosing her presents but her choice.
I've been talking for ages about getting dd a special advent calendar with drawers, she will be 19 months this christmas so wanted to start it this year. I told her this and also made a joke about getting dd christmas knickers because I get new ones every year! Anyway, mil texts me yesterday to see what we had been up to, I told her I was looking online for the calendar I wanted and that me and dp were deciding which one to get.
She replies telling me oh I've already got little lady one and it's got pockets, I'm posting it next week.
Aibu to be mightily pissed off? Not only had I already said I was doing it but she's had her turn to make her christmas traditions with her children and she didn't bother. She never bothers with us or dd. she never asks how she is and I just feel she's done this to upset me. Also got raging pregnancy hormones so bit more sensitive.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
From your posts I would bet she hasn't actually got the calendar yet.
I say this because of the idea that she's going to post it next week. It's so similar to someone I know who tells her adult kids "I've already got you that" when told about an item that the wife/husband/partner of the adult DC is planning on buying for their partner. It's about nicking an idea and gaining some oneupmanship from it., when in reality you don't bother normally.
You say your MIL doesn't really bother but from your posts she's quick to jump in and say she's bought an item you plan to buy.
I agree with just not telling her stuff.
Or use it in reverse - tell her you're getting dd something (when you aren't but use it as an idea for Christmas). That way she buys something and feels like she has one over on you but she hasn't.
So why not turn this around? For example you know DH needs/ wants X and Y for Xmas. You plan to buy Y, so tell MIL you plan to buy X. She buys X, you buy Y, the job is a good one! Apply the same for DD.
My MIL hates shopping. She sends us money every year and I buy her presents for the DC. This is absolutely no problem at all. DC get the presents they want, MIL doesn't have to shop and I can easily sort it with the aid of amazon.
My DM has also made my DC their own advent calendars, without checking with me first, and they now use them every year. Again absolutely no problem with this.
I think there is definitely more to this as from the OP it does not sound unreasonable at all.
I like the thinking! I agree, I don't think she's already bought it.
The text to see what we were up to was because I had asked her how her building work was going so majority of text was all about her, the end said what were we up to, no how are we, how's dd? How's morning sickness. I will definitely not be telling her again but I would like to involve her in dds Christmas so it's hard. I'm always in two minds about her. We won't see her at christmas unless we travel to her.
Also she loves shopping,which is why I cannot understand not shopping for dds christmas presents.
Maybe she is getting things you mention as she does not know what to get (hence the money) but is trying to be a bit involved.
You mentioned pregnancy hormones, could you accept her advent calendar gift and keep it for your second child? If you hardly see her she will never know! That's what I would do personally and my MIL also has form for similar things but I try not to sweat the small stuff.
Enjoy your advent calendar! I have also bought one for DS (2 years old) for the first time this year and looking forward to opening it with him each day, particularly as I will have a newborn too so it will be nice to do this 'special' thing with him.
Anyone remember the thread last year at xmas about the MIL who, upon hearing that the OP was going to buy a dolls house for their DD, went out and bought the biggest one money could buy (bigger and grander than the OP could afford) to have at their house? I mean - why?
I do know I'm being unreasonable but not as unreasonable as it seems. She's quite a nasty and manipulative woman who has caused an awful lot of grief and upset but it really would take too long to go through it all. Just wanted to vent my frustration really!
Oh fluffyraggies, I could see that happening here! I will be keeping my mouth shut! I never dictate about birthday and christmas presents I really do think grandparents should have the pleasure of choosing themselves if they wish. She makes comments like she's missin out on so much of dds life and development but she has had so many opportunities to visit and be a part of her life but she chooses not to.
YABU, your daughter is too young to remember anyway this year. Just take it and then if it's crap get the one you wanted for her next year.
MIL's are a pain in the arse though so I do sympathise. With my daughter MIL asked what she could get for us and OH told her the Moses basket we were going to get, so she said she'd get it.
Then she rocks up with some cheap minging frilly thing because she said she just wasn't prepared to spend that money. Raging, she could just have got something else! But obviously I couldn't send it back so we were stuck with it. Will be buying our own this time round, although I doubt she'll even bother to visit to notice considering she hasn't seen our daughter in 2 years!
DD loves the tradition that she has 2 advent calendars every year. One from us and one from Gran.
Can I ask about those advent calendars with drawers/pockets? I like the idea of them but what stops the DC just looking in all the drawers/ pockets i day 1?
On a practical note, bear in mind:
your dd is really little, so will not have a clue what is special and what isn't
you still get to buy her whatever you want to and make it special
your MIL is unlikely to ever know if the calendar gets seen once then put in the back of some cupboard somewhere
Grandparents all do this. The trick is to minimise what you don't like and introduce what you do. You can do this even when they are older.
(My mum has hideous taste, she means well, but I have practised the above quite a lot!)
If you want see her unless you visit then see if the calendar is any good and don't use it or mention it if it's not.
If MIL asks you can sill talk about what DD got. If pressed say you felt a bit awkward as had already ordered the wooden one but didn't want to offend so thought you would keep it for spare/dc2 etc?
And if I was in your situation I definitely wouldn't be sharing my plans in advance I'd be keeping them a secret.
Would she take well to suggestions? As much as the task frustrates me I do lists for each child and let grandparents look at it
and yes looking at you PIL who should have waited a week rather than spend all your money on something unsuitable because you deem the end of October too late for me to send the list for a five year old who changes his mind three times a day
Yes - more than one advent calendar is fine - when the DCs are old enough they can take it in turns to open each one and will still get to have an advent calendar goodie every day. (not useful for teaching sharing admittedly)
We now have four advent calendars - a fabric christmas-tree shaped one with pockets containing a decoration for the (advent) Christmas tree that I splurged out on when DD was tiny, a wooden one with drawers bought by their GM, (as it gets nearer and nearer to Christmas the gifts get more and more rubbish usually, eg 27p in coppers,) a cardboard one made up of tiny books which the DCs hang in unsuitable places such as f door handles and an educational cardboard one with windows revealing the word 'hello' in different languages - usually this one remains closed as the DC can't be bothered!
We now have our family tradition of setting up the nativity - which consists of the baby Jesus in his manger made by DS when he was 2, a
hideous scabby angel made by DD when she was 5 (which we laugh at), a cow and a pig made by both DC when they were little, a Christmas tree decoration wise-man, and no Mary or Joseph! Every year someone jokes about the baby Jesus being child-minded!
I hope you have lots and lots of happy Christmases with your family Dylan
MIL's are a pain in the arse though so I do sympathise.
Perhaps she thought you were hinting at what to buy your DD for Christmas?
I wouldn't say anything until next year, just a little comment like "but don't get DD so&so present I just mentioned, as I definitely want to get her that this year, & remember last year when you stole my idea with the advent calendar ha dee ha" (make it sound like you're joking whilst swearing under your breath)
Does DD have a doll she likes? Maybe let the doll have the spare advent calendar?
I know where you're coming from op, my mil wouldn't see us for months and she turned up one year in November with advent calendars for the kids. It might seem like a small thing but I'd already bought them and didn't want them having two so just didn't use them....then felt bad about not using them but I would never buy advent calendars for kids unless I knew the parents hadnt already. Long back story with our mil too and we don't see her anymore which is sad but it was just hassle everytime she came round and got us all down. She just doesn't bother anymore and my poor dh has had enough. Luckily my dp are great with the kids but still wish they had more than that.
My kids get about 6 advent calendars every year. I buy a lego one and another, my Dad buys them 2 chocolate ones and my MIL buys 2. My children are obviously very spoilt. Do I give a FF, no I don't.
Seriously, as far as MIL issues go, this is a non issue.
I also want to say that my MIL can be a pain in the butt with me, but I must give her one credit, she is absolutely brilliant with my children.
OP: Contact works both ways.
Do you or DH ever ring her to ask how she is?
Please remember that you will all be MIL in the future.
Treat yours how you would like to be treated.
Two advent calenders sounds fine to me.
If you don't like it or prefer to use your own then either pop it away or regift- there is no law that says you must use it surely ?
Tell her stuff that you want but can't afford...not stuff you are actually wanting to get yourself.
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