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
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.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.