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AIBU To NOT want to accept things from my MIL graciously?

(114 Posts)
Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 18:33:00

Okay, okay, I know! I should be grateful that I have a nice MIL! But.....

She doesn't half buy us lots when she visits! I always just accept them and say thank you, but then moan to my OH about it later! He has told her in the past to stop but she doesn't listen, which is why I've eneded up just accepting. But it's driving me nuts! She comes maybe once a couple of months and the things she brings:

Food stuff for our cupboards, which is lovely but it''s usually the brands we don't buy like different teabags/beans etc... (Sounds really petty but I like my homecomforts and the brand I use are part of this. Plus I then begrudge buying what I like as I know I have 12 tins of Morrison's own beans in the cupboard!..... She also buys us bio detergent but I only use non-bio and feel a bit petty asking her to buy the other stuff when she's just being generous!

She buys us ALOT of crap! As in chocolates/biscuits/sweets for kids/fizzy drinks in 12can packs/fruit shoots for kids etc.... We don't generally have stuff like this in our house. We'll buy the odd cake or pack of biscuits as a one off treat but we don't buy it all the time as then we won't be tempted!..... I don't want to throw away the stuff she buys so I end up giving it away to people. It's either that or I eat the lot! I'm sure I put on a stone the last time they were here!

The last one bugs me the most. I should just be happy that she is spoiling the kids like GPs do. But every visit involves presents for DCs to open (clothes & toys).... They don't need any of it and her taste in clothing is completely different to mine!.... It's turning my DC in to expectant spoilt brats when they arrive!

I have tried asking not to in the past but it falls on deaf ears, so I now begrudgingly accept graciously!

Please tell my that IABU but also that I am not the only one out there that feels like this!

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 11-Apr-14 19:56:03

She peed me off this time as I was happily telling them how my OH and DCs had bought me some Baileys for mothers day smile They next day we went round to the caravan and I noticed a bottle of Baileys on the counter. I just said, oh you've brought some with you! (in a kind of "what a coincidence" sort of way) And she said, no I picked this up this morning for you just incase you wanted a drink here!.... Again, is she being thoughful and I should be grateful? Why would she buy ANOTHER bottle randomly (it's flippin expensive), like it's nothing. When she knew we had a bottle at home for a special occasion!

Eh? now THAT is ungrateful OP! she bought you booze just incase you fancied it. I want her as MY MIL! all joking aside I think that's nice of her. My inlaws buy me my tacky alcohol pop of choice when we visit them sometimes. they're being hospitable. MIL and I get suitably hammered together and she tells me gossip about the family she never would when she's sober. its great. seriously unclench.

winkywinkola Fri 11-Apr-14 19:58:32

So let the dcs associate her with presents. That's her look out.

You've asked her to stop and she won't. It will bite her on the bum one day.

Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 19:59:07

Yeah I'm pretty good with clearouts! I keep hinting to MIL that I don't like clutter and that I do a toy cull every few months. My ds is 4 so he is starting to understand the meaning of giving away things he doesn't use/need/want. I'll get him in on the food bank too smile.... My dd is too young atm.

I also keep telling her that ds like to choose his own clothes, but this isn't really working.

I do accept graciously as I don't want her to feel bad but my OH thinks that we should just hand stuff back and say no. But she doesn't get it, and I feel rude sad

Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 20:02:56

desperatelysekking yes, but it was a big deal for my OH and dc to buy that gift for me, for a special occasion.... it was their special thing to me. No one else should be getitng in on that. We only have it at christmas usually. But then she just buys it, not thinking of how this would make my OH feels. It'd be different if it was a bottle of wine or someting, to enjoy with her there, but it was exactly the same thing! It's not just some cheap alcopops.

riskit4abiskit Fri 11-Apr-14 20:06:05

What's with all the lovely mil bashing on here today? They all sound ace. Bet theres thousands of posters out there jealous that you have a loving relative.

MuddlingMackem Fri 11-Apr-14 20:09:35

I think you really need to get across to her how the children are going to start wanting to see them just for the presents and not for their presence. sad My mam used to have something for DC1 every Saturday when we visited and as he got older he started asking what Nana would have for him. I felt really bad telling her that she needed to knock it on the head as she was disabled and was compensating for not being able to do things with him by buying stuff. She understood and took on board what I was saying.

However, she did still get to buy them stuff until she got too poorly, but she would do it randomly and buy them clothes or toys which we wouldn't have got for them, so they appreciated the treats more as they were infrequent.

If your in-laws are up to taking the kids out I would try your best to explain this to her, but as they are fit and well could she channel it into special trips out that the DC wouldn't get to do with just you and their dad, or maybe trips to McDonald's and the like. Maybe not what you would choose, but a special treat or activity they can associate with their grandparents.

Mrs3chins Fri 11-Apr-14 20:14:46

She sounds exactly like my mil!! She has never worked and spends her time wandering the shops picking up what she considers to be bargains. We get given endless amounts of tat for us and DS but I'd hate for her feelings to be hurt so I have to display the ornaments/wear the clothes etc. although I've started to put my foot down because I realised a while back our house was full of stuff I didn't like and nothing was ours. I know I sound really ungrateful and horrible but to be honest it's quite draining!

Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 20:18:04

thanks muddling.... It does worry me that the dc are starting to associate PIL with presents. OH has mentioned it, but it doesn't go in. MIL is very good at having selective hearing!.... I've sort of come to accept this and leave them to it. As pp says, more fool them.

They are able to take them out and do stuff but they'd rather just hang about their caravan as it's less tiring.

I'm not bashing them, I am grateful and they are lovely I am just wondering whether I should just be accepting something which is effectively annoying to me and wasting them money!

Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 20:22:00

Do we have the same MIL mrs3chins?

I think that's it. She best shows her love through money. Which is fine, I am VERY rateful when people buy me and family gifts, even if I'm not keen on the gift (I'm sure I buy gifts for people that they're not keen on).... But this is a constant, it's not a one off. Which is why it annoys me and wonder whether we are both better off in the long run if I stop accepting the gifts/food.

fuckoffbeaker Fri 11-Apr-14 20:22:19

I was petulant and childish to my inlaws too when I was younger, then my lovely dad died and it really made me reflect on my childishness, and I grew up

Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 20:25:23

I'm not petulant & childish! How am I in anyway like that towards them?.... I never bring up my grevances with them. Plus I lost my dad when I was a child! Was I to then grow up?

MuddlingMackem Fri 11-Apr-14 20:27:52

Do you know, quite honestly, in that case spending days with their grandparents at the caravan is something which the children would probably gain the fondest memories of, especially if they get to do it without you and their dad there. grin

It's true that our kids love spending time with their grandparents without us, we've learnt not be offended. wink

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 11-Apr-14 20:28:17

But does MIL know that's how you feel? I mean its yucky Baileys not a Rolex. she wasn't to know its a big deal to you. most people I know including me would think "woohoo! bonus booze lets get ratted! bottoms up!" Rather than whinging that someone has "gotten in" on a present their OH and kids got them.

I'm trying to see it from your point of view OP really but sorry I just don't confused

BornFreeButinChains Fri 11-Apr-14 20:29:32

Tricky situation, I know what its like being loaded down with stuff you do not want, then have to find out what to do with it, but also think your MIL is really trying here to please you, the Baileys was so sweet and thoughtful.

My IN laws would never be so thoughtful with me, you drink what they serve....

Its a shame as you all do get on you cant just try and talk to her about it in a really diplomatic nice way..such a shame and such a waste of money etc..

Polarn Fri 11-Apr-14 20:40:44

Maybe she doesn't desperatelyseeking.... I was so happy when OH bought it. It is the equivalent to buying me flowers. I'd be peed if I'd got flowers, tld MIL about it and then she went out and bought me flowers too. Same thing.

I do need to chat to her, but, like I've said in the thread. I don't want to sound ungrateful. I've been brought up to accept gifts etc graciously, and I do. But it's getting out of hand and just wondered that if I did bring it up, would I be ungrateful..... Or maybe petulent & childish!

My DC love spending time with GPs at their caravan, yes they're away from us during this time. I really like that they love going and that they have a great relationship with GPs. I am worried though that as they get older the playtime will lose it's appeal but the expecting of gifts will still be there.

They are here next week (twice in one month!) I will try to chat to her then. OH is away, so it may be easier to do it without him around as he isn't very diplomtic with his mum!... She has driven him crazy since being a teen.

pianodoodle Fri 11-Apr-14 21:07:04

It shouldn't be too tricky as they sound like nice people.

My mum suggested when my PIL bring presents I could say "that's fantastic but as she has so much maybe we/you could put it away for xmas/birthday?"

Maybe that would help?

Unfortunately this wouldn't work with mine as they do seem to like the whole show of being the ones to give the presents etc...

They called over one day but I was out with DD and only DH was at home. They didn't leave whatever they had brought for her instead they waited 'til next time so they could present it themselves.

It's all a bit odd to me. My nan would have bits and pieces for us now and again, or have knitted something but not all gift wrapped presents every time we saw her, so I'm just not used to that and worry about spoiling.

TheOneWithTheHair Fri 11-Apr-14 21:34:14

Actually Polarn, the more I read, the more you are winding me up. Can you really not see how ungrateful you sound.

Your MIL showed she included and thought about you as one of her family and deserving of a present too when they bought that Balieys. Its not to undermine her own son ffs!

As a pp said, it's MIL's look out if the dcs only associate her with presents.

And it's her own money to spend as she sees fit, whether you approve or not! The only reason it is a waste now is because of how ungrateful you are. Luckily for her, she doesn't know that yet.

Nocomet Fri 11-Apr-14 21:41:42

Somehow, somewhere along the line my DM, managed to swap clothes we'd never wear into £2 a month pocket money, which 35 years ago was very much appreciated.

I don't know if you an do something similar.

My parents and DSIS tend to stick to Christmas and birthdays and ask what DDs would like. (And sadly I don't have any ILS)

Bedsheets4knickers Fri 11-Apr-14 21:43:59

Ha ha, my mil has bought me a Thorntons Easter egg. I don't like posh chocolate she knows this . I like cadburys . I'm well pissed off.

Famzilla Fri 11-Apr-14 21:47:48

You sound incredibly ungrateful and snobby. How dare she go and buy your favourite drink? The audacity!

Honestly, get a grip. Give the food you refuse to eat to a food bank. Give the clothes you don't like to charity. If she asks, tell her the truth. If you have already told her to stop and she hasn't, that's her prerogative. What you do with the stuff afterwards is yours.

trashcanjunkie Fri 11-Apr-14 21:49:27

Thorntons ain't posh once you've tried Hotel Chocolate I'm afraid


ENormaSnob Fri 11-Apr-14 22:08:00

Yabu and petty.

The baileys incident? Make you sound a right cock.

zipzap Fri 11-Apr-14 22:08:18

I think if you're on the end of this so repeatedly and it continued, despite being asked to stop, then it does sound pretty controlling behaviour from your mil.

Could you just leave all the stuff she brings you in the cupboard so that the next time she arrives laden down you can say oh crikey look we still haven't used the last lot - I was going to give it to you to use in the caravan'. and then (assuming use by dates are ok but if tins of beans etc then they should be) do it for 2 or 3 visits and see if they get the message! although a few well chosen comments from dc about why does granny only ever chose horrible clothes and food might helP to reinforce your feelings!

You could also suggest about instead of showering you with their favourite things, they could set up a regular savings account - £5-10 a month could build into something good for when they are older - much better to have provided the bulk of savings towards their first car rather than yet another bag of sweets or the gazillionth toy car!

Oh and leave a few toy presents at the caravan too due to overcrowding at your house,,,

theeternalstudent Fri 11-Apr-14 22:22:49

Your poor MIL. She is just being nice. I really don't understand why you would want to speak to her about it and upset her, for doing kind things.

A child's good relationship with their grandparents is invaluable. Honestly, your MIL buying them gifts won't spoil them. It's just her way of showing her love for them. As your kids get older (they are still very young now) they will develop their own relationship outside of yours with your MIL. Please don't try to control that too.

Really, I think your priorities are a bit confused. Your placing too much value on the gifts and not enough of a value on the relationship. Shame

kinkytoes Fri 11-Apr-14 22:37:39

I get this too (on a slightly smaller scale admittedly) but I feel exactly the same. It's suffocating. The generosity is outweighed by the extra hassle in my life sorting out what do with all the crap things we're given. As if I'm not busy enough!

Totally understand the Baileys thing too. She wasn't to know it was so special to you, and you can't really say anything, but I would have felt infuriated.

theeternalstudent I would counter that it's mil who's placing too much value on gifts, not OP.

Put your purse away mil!

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