Why does MIL do this?

(54 Posts)
cheesypastaplease Thu 26-Dec-13 10:55:46

I love MIL, she is very lovely and would do anything for us and dc but she seems to have a problem.

Yesterday she brought gifts over, she gave 5 year old dd pyjamas aged 7-8, and 2 year old ds pyjamas aged 4-5 years. She also brought dd a dressing up outfit aged 7-8 and ds a dressing gown for 3-4 years. Now my dc are about average height so these things won't fit them for a while - in fact pjs aged 2-3 drown ds as it is!

When questioned she replied they would grow into them! I know her hearts in the right place but it seems like a waste of money!

Finola1step Thu 26-Dec-13 10:58:09

It's not a waste of money. The children will grow into the clothing. Just put them away for a while.

BohemianGirl Thu 26-Dec-13 11:00:19

I'd rather have too big than too small.

treaclesoda Thu 26-Dec-13 11:00:22

it's not really a waste of money if you put them away for a few months or a year and still get the use out of them at a later date though.

I was just chatting to some friends earlier and we were commenting on how our MILs insist on buying clothes that are too small. My DD is 7 and very tall for her age, so she easily wears age 8 clothes. My MIL buys things in age 5-6 because she is thinks clothes sizes are far too big and that she should be able to fit into a smaller size - MIL is very petite herself , very short, and has always found that clothes swamp her, so she assumes that everyone else is the same. Its very frustrating and it really is a waste of money. When DD was 5, she gave her a pair of trousers that were age 2 to 3! confused

cheesypastaplease Thu 26-Dec-13 11:03:16

Yes I know that I can keep them, but ds is really needing pjs now. Plus as there is so long to go till they will fit, I know that I will put them away and forget about them! She always does this so really should have specified.

formerbabe Thu 26-Dec-13 11:03:16

I'd prefer that. My son (5) got given clothes for his age group and they don't fit at all! I think its better as at least they can grow into them. YABU, she probably just thinks they will get more wear out of them.

Far better to buy a bit big imho. And PJs can be worn for ages - put a few stitches in the waistband now and roll up the bottoms, let out later and then cut into shorts when the bottoms are too short. Our dds wore the same pairs of PJs for years!

DontmindifIdo Thu 26-Dec-13 11:11:23

Actually, that does seem irritating, there's something really dull about getting a gift you can't use for several years. Esp if you asked her to get pjs as you need htem, so you now still need PJs but have to store something for several years not using. (I don't have much storage, being given stuff I have to store for 3 years before they will be used taking up space I could be using for storing stuff I need in the next few months would annoy me.)

It's also hard for DCs to get the concept of something that's a gift they can't actually use for several years, to most children, that's not a gift, they haven't had a thing they can use/play with.

Mind you, if she has form of this, is there stuff you've squirralled away from previous years you need to go find? grin

In the future, say the age sizes they need, say you need them to fit now (not in several years time)

DontmindifIdo Thu 26-Dec-13 11:12:30

oh could you ask for the recipts and change them for ones that will fit now if you need them now?

cheesypastaplease Thu 26-Dec-13 11:15:13

No couldn't exchange them, MIL is a super saver and probably bought the pjs last January!!

Seriously I am very grateful for anything, if they had been for a year old I could see her logic but they won't even fit next Christmas!

MPB Thu 26-Dec-13 11:18:24


My kids are slim to average size and already have to have a size below what they should be in. To buy them several sizes bigger is ridiculous IMO.

Not sure what you can do though.

CaptainTripps Thu 26-Dec-13 11:23:44

I am surprised at the number of folks who don't think this is an issue / not a waste. I would find it a bit bizarre to receive unwearable clothing.

Urgghh who the fuck wants to put stitches into too large pjs? Was it Remus who suggested this and to roll up the bottoms?

Storing clothes for an indeterminate point in the future is a pita - personally I wouldn't have the room.

I would tell her and ask for an exchange. Totally useless.

Nanny0gg Thu 26-Dec-13 11:23:55

It's also hard for DCs to get the concept of something that's a gift they can't actually use for several years, to most children, that's not a gift, they haven't had a thing they can use/play with.


Your DCs won't appreciate the presents at all which is a real shame for them. If she must do 'practical' couldn't she buy a little something for them to play with as well?

To my mind, it's the easy option with not much thought that she's taken.

MrsKoala Thu 26-Dec-13 11:25:05

Personally i dislike this and find it annoying because we have no storage space at all. We live in a small flat, which everyone knows, and operate a 'just in time' policy to DS's stuff/clothes. He has 3 drawers for all his clothes. There is no where else for them to go, so this space needs to be used for clothes he can actually wear, rather than having stuff hanging around unused for years.

Erm - I am no domestic goddess but it takes only a minute or two. And as a parent of tall, skinny dds that was pretty much what I always had to do tbh.

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 11:25:36

When I was a child, clothes were proportionately very expensive.

£ for £ school uniform cost as much as it does now and wages were way, way less.

My DM would never have bought any thing that just fitted. Trousers were bought too long and turned up, my Y7 school jumper was way too big. Skirts always started too long and were worn until you could almost see your knickers.

I always laugh at threads talking about sexualising little girls. Our summer dresses and shorts were often very short as mothers tried to get one more year out of them.

We weren't especially poor, like a lot of 70's households the dad's income just covered everything, plus bikes for Christmas. You didn't eat out much and there weren't computers, huge TVs or holidays abroad.

I suspect this is your MIL's world too.

friday16 Thu 26-Dec-13 11:29:25

I always buy six year olds copies of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (in one of the longer editions) to help them learn to read. I mean, they won't get much use out of it now, but they'll grow into it, and that's much better than buying them a book that they're too old for, isn't it?

MrsSteptoe Thu 26-Dec-13 11:30:53

No, I think you're entirely reasonable if it's a persistent thing to buy them too big. All this "oh, they'll grow into it, just cobble it together with tailors tacks if they're a trip hazard" is no attitude to take towards a gift to a child.
Actually, I try to limit the extent to which DS gets clothes anyway - he is fairly indifferent to what he wears, so it feels like a bit of a cheat to buy them as gifts. Obviously, if the child in question likes clothes, it's a bit different, but under those circumstances then they're going to be disappointed at getting something they can't wear. And I also realise that if you're on a limited budget, then you might need to kill two birds with one stone by giving clothes as a gift.
I'm not sure you can do much about it except maybe give your MIL some precise instructions as to sizing and a clear message that "she needs these now, so it would be very useful if they were in the right size" for Xmas/birthdays...

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 11:34:54

The only thing I can think of is telling DMIL that modern DCs clothes are made very big for age, because of all the DCs who live on burgers (which is sometimes true) and that the clothes really won't fit her nice healthy GCs for so long into the future you are likely to forget you've got them.

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 11:37:05

Also I am guilty of this as I did send DN a Christmas jumper that I hope will fit next year (as she goes to a non uniform school and I hope she'll get to use it far more next Dec. than this).

DontmindifIdo Thu 26-Dec-13 11:40:44

No, don't try to sew them to fit, because all you'll do is spoil them, so rather than having PJs that look good they can use in 3 years time when they actually fit, they'll have PJs that look shit now, and then are binned before they get to the stage of fitting.

If the label says where they are from, try to return/exchange them. annoying that she's given you an extra job to do, but at least it'll save you having to go buy PJs for now anyway.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 11:45:01

This is another example of what I am starting to realise is a whole branch of logic - Nana Logic

Something bought which cant be used now is an economy - fact.

There are many, many more examples of Nana Logic. All are infuriating!

Bahhhhhumbug Thu 26-Dec-13 11:45:40

I think it's a generational thing personally from a time when parents bought clothes such as school uniforms to last through as many years as possible. I remember wearing turned up skirt hems and even jumper sleeves and a coat that swamped me to school in the first year and they were gradually let out or let down as I 'grew into them'. In those days childrens clothes and uniforms in particular were comparatively expensive and money was tight for many so it was a case of 'getting your moneys worth' my mother just took it to extremes and made me a laughing stock and I am still bitter grin

Bahhhhhumbug Thu 26-Dec-13 11:48:51

Meant to add that was before the days of mass produced cheaper clothing such as 'Primarni' which isn't designed to last as long as in days gone by but rather to be throwaway and replace every year.

IShallCallYouSquishy Thu 26-Dec-13 11:49:37

I'd rather my DD got clothes that were too big than too small. Unless she did it completely on purpose to be spiteful of course.

My DD is 19 months so people would assume that's 18-24 in clothes. She got a lovely dress in 2-3 as the giver obviously thought "get next size up so she gets some use out of it"

DD currently wears 9-12 months. She will probably wear 2-3 at about 3 years old! I didn't even think twice about it just thought it was a lovely dress and put it in the box of too big clothes in her wardrobe ready for when it will fit at some point.

trinitybleu Thu 26-Dec-13 11:50:52

PJ's are nicer baggy anyway. My DD(6) is v tall and skinny, and currently wearing an age 11-12 onesie!

This year I sent MIL and future SIL (who I knew would be doing the shopping) an email saying if they were thinking of getting clothes, here we're their sizes, and specifically that DD2 would be in 12-18 mo until the end of the winter. Worked a treat.

CranberrySaucyJack Thu 26-Dec-13 11:53:48

I'd have thought it was fairly normal to buy the next up for gifting- unless you were fully aware that the child needed/wanted to wear said item right now?

No point buying a dressing gown (for ex) to fit right now if the child already has one. That is a waste of space and money IMO.

GoingGoingGoth Thu 26-Dec-13 11:55:45

My MIL always does this, she buys large and DD is small, so we can often be waiting 4 years for clothes to fit.

If I like the clothes we keep them, but I sometimes donate to a charity shop if they are a bit meh.

raisah Thu 26-Dec-13 12:02:00

Mine do this all the time and it means I have a continuous cycle of clothes to use through the year. It is not a waste of money, she is saving you money in the long run.

DontmindifIdo Thu 26-Dec-13 12:09:52

Well, again, there's something to be said for getting a bit bigger, say something DCs will fit into within the next 6 months, but clothes they realsitically won't wear for 3 years? That's a gift for in 3 years time, not this year. A Christmas gift surely should be somehting that can be used before next Christmas?

And yes, she might be saving the OP money in the long run, but that doesn't save her money now if she's still got to get PJs for them, and then find somewhere to put these ones.

(I hate clutter and have limited storage, so someone else filling up my house is very irritating)

Pigsmummy Thu 26-Dec-13 12:13:19

I have same situation but with baby clothes. We have been given a load of lovely winter clothes that will fit in the summer. I can't change them as they are not from shops that we have in the UK. My mil even asked what size then bought the bigger sizes and told extended family to do the same.

AHardDaysWrite Thu 26-Dec-13 12:21:19

I'd prefer it. My mil buys the dcs gorgeous clothes, but she gets them ages in advance and never thinks ahead to what size the children will actually be wearing at Christmas - this year, dd got a beautiful dress from monsoon, size 3-6 months. Dd is 8 months! She's quite little so it just fits now but she'll be out of it in a month - and mil hasn't got the receipt and the dress will be in the sale now so no point trying to return it. She has lovely taste, I just wish she'd buy bigger sizes (and yes, I have told her - I specifically said this year to buy at least 9-12m, but never mind).

CleverClod Thu 26-Dec-13 13:21:21

Pyjamas don't 'need' to fit.

They can be worn too big or too small.

It doesn't matter smile

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 13:46:48

No, they dont need to fit but surely since they have been given as a gift some effort should be made to ensure that they do fit.

CeQueLEnfer Thu 26-Dec-13 13:50:24

It's also hard for DCs to get the concept of something that's a gift they can't actually use for several years, to most children, that's not a gift, they haven't had a thing they can use/play with.

I also totally agree with this. What is the point of buying something for the future? Why not buy something for now? People who are tight tend to do this. But why? It doesn't save money, it's just stupid.

clary Thu 26-Dec-13 13:51:17

The alternative for DD is size 5-6... which she would already be in! She might have some as far as MIL knows?

Ditto for DS. Dress up stuff often comes small IME. Sounds OK to me.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 13:57:24

But why? It doesn't save money, it's just stupid.

It is Nana Logic - my own DM is a great believer in false economies

clary Thu 26-Dec-13 13:59:31

Why do people say they won't wear the clothes for 3 years? My DS2 isn't very big but at age 5 he wore 5-6yrs; by 6.5 he was in 7-8 IIRC.

That could be 9mo away for OP's DC. Or are young kids' clothes a lot bigger now?

ChoudeBruxelles Thu 26-Dec-13 14:00:49

Can't you just change them for the right size?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 26-Dec-13 14:16:58

Are some of your children having huge failure to thrive issues?

purplebaubles Thu 26-Dec-13 14:20:18

MIL got DD a vtech computer thing...aged 4-5.

She's 12 months old.

I feel your pain!

and keeps asking how is DD getting on with it, is it her favourite toy

mousmous Thu 26-Dec-13 14:27:45

wouldn't be an issue for me.
my dc are tall and the sizings are sooo different from shop to shop. so maybe she is unsure about sizing as well.
pj's are better a bit bigger anyway, esp in winter, imo.

Chottie Thu 26-Dec-13 14:33:09

In the big scheme of things, it's not really important. Be gracious, say thank you and exchange them for one's that fit.

Your MiL means well, so please cut her some slack....

Floggingmolly Thu 26-Dec-13 14:34:09

My kids have never worn the "correct" size clothes; always been at least 2 / 3 years ahead, so if I'm giving clothes as a gift to anyone else I automatically go a couple of years up.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 14:47:13

OP did post that exchanging wouldnt be possible.

My kids have never worn the "correct" size clothes; always been at least 2 / 3 years ahead, so if I'm giving clothes as a gift to anyone else I automatically go a couple of years up.

err dont you think you should be buying for the recipients' sizes rather than your own DCs'? I can understand that your hand might stray to the larger sizes but surely you then correct yourself?

cheesypastaplease Thu 26-Dec-13 15:17:00

squishy there is no way MIL was being spiteful, she is one of the nicest people you could ever meet - she just has a strange logic!

chottie I'm not sure where I posted that I wasn't grateful for the gift or appreciative of MIL. We have a great relationship and she is included in everything we do.

PoppySeed2014 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:22:33

Yanbu. Those pj's were just that bit too big !
My sil gave dd a jumper that was 18-24 months. For her second birthday. I returned it but by then it was in the sale and worth all of £3. It's because sil is tiny (literally size 0) whereas my dd is absolutely average and generally fits age appropriate clothes. Was weird and annoying but never mind!

cheesypastaplease Thu 26-Dec-13 15:22:52

purplebaubles that sounds familiar!

socks actually dd has in the past and will always have ongoing health issues so I found your comment quite distasteful actually.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Thu 26-Dec-13 16:03:55

My grandmother used to do this. She took me shoppingwhen i was 14 for new jeans. I was adult size 8 and she insisted on buying size16 for growing room!

Cookie08 Thu 26-Dec-13 16:20:41

Your first line says it all, about her and about you. Both nice people. Could it be nana's showing first signs of difficulty. It happens. It's sad. Be kind. What does it matter if her gift isn't perfect? She still wants to give. Isn't this what Christmas is about? There is no commandment that " thy gift shall be appropriate and exactly what I think you should give my children" Happy New Year Cheesy Pasta Person.

CantaSlaus Thu 26-Dec-13 16:49:51

I've just spent £75 on clothes for dd who is 9 months old. I've bought 12-18 and 18-24 sizes. She has loads of 9-12 and I'd rather I spent and other people spent their money on something that wil for eventually rather than something that is too small.

RhondaJean Thu 26-Dec-13 17:09:14

I don't understand this being a problem. I used to buy several years ahead for my girls in the sales and vacuum bag them away because we didn't have much room when they were little. I used to love having the clothes laid away for them to wear and I preferred people buying at least one or two sizes up as they invariably had plenty if clothes that fit or were just slightly too big

Op are your children short of pjs that fit right now?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 26-Dec-13 17:25:08

Why's it distasteful to ask?

If the answer is yes it would be a valid reason to get a little wound up by clothes that are to big.it would also mean that any close relatives should be aware of it as an issue.

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