Advanced search

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!

gotthemoononastick Sat 12-Apr-14 17:18:42

Laughing myself silly here at cigarettes!!Stories pleeeeze..dying to hear.I am a Mil myself and want to learn about the minefield of rules!

springydaffs Sat 12-Apr-14 17:55:12

She very probably does think about what she buys, just not in the way you, or your DM, think about it. Or are there rules about thinking. It seems so.

You talk about her as though she is a complete idiot - it is dispiriting to read. She sounds as expansive as you are clenched. I bet she finds you difficult OP but does she make that clear?

LoonvanBoon Sat 12-Apr-14 18:14:11

springdaffs, nothing that the OP has written here is as dispiriting or rude as your constant nastiness towards her. She has described her MIL's behaviour without saying a single negative thing about her character, whereas you have accused the OP of just about every character flaw going.

OP has not talked about her MIL as if she is an idiot. But actually, buying someone a swing designed for outdoors when you know they haven't got a garden, does sound quite an idiotic thing to do.

It is not intrinsically rude, ungrateful or unkind to explain nicely to someone that you simply don't have space in your home for certain items; & it's not draconian or "clenched" to set sensible limits on the things your children eat & drink.

I remember reading a similar thread on MN where the giver of the excessive gifts / household items was the OP's mum, not MIL - it really doesn't make a difference who it is, & I don't think polarn is coming across as MIL-bashing at all.

Someone on that thread described this kind of behaviour as "hoarding by proxy" & it stuck in my mind as I think it hits the nail on the head. Some people do love spending, stock-piling, constantly picking up "bargains" - but it's just not reasonable to say that they have carte blanche to fill other people's homes with all this stuff, in the name of gratitude.

springydaffs Sat 12-Apr-14 19:03:02

<checks we are in AIBU> - it's the territory Loon. To say it as it is, to cut to the chase, to open up debate. It's not known for treading carefully as in eg relationships. If OP had posted in relationships she would have had a very different reception, at least from me.

OP's resistance to her MIL has been very clear, the implication that her MIL is an idiot equally clear. MIL may be a hoarder, may be this or that, but I have addressed not only OP's attitude in the round (not the MIL's, as the MIL isn't posting but the DIL is) but that her attitude appears, from the many posts supporting her (using words like 'allow'), to represent the general consensus that OP is perfectly entitled careful word choice to lay down the law and nit-pick about the tiniest thing, without recognising how lucky she is/they are to have expansive and loving ILs and GPs in their lives, faults and all.

I don't, no, have patience with 'she buys us the wrong brand of beans' (and wailing that she resents spending a fortune on food when her cupboards are chock full of food supplied by MIL). And the Baileys incident, well <lost for words> particularly located where OP is coming from. If OP wants to stick her head above the parapet and not expect to get it shot off, she needs to post in a more tame part of the board.

MissDuke Sat 12-Apr-14 19:08:04

Op, if you are fedup 'spending a fortune on food' would you not consider actually trying the food? Most people I know have compromised on brands as things are just too expensive now. Otherwise, as many of suggested, the food bank would be very grateful for the things. I think you are extremely ungrateful and feel sad for the mil. Mine regularly gives us out of date food but I would never be so rude as to be annoyed by her gifts.

LoonvanBoon Sat 12-Apr-14 19:30:53

I'm perfectly aware which part of MN we're in, thanks, daffs. If you'd like to tell yourself that you're just taking part in the cut & thrust of debate, fine - but I think you're deluding yourself.

The fact is that plenty of posters have agreed with you in the view that the OP is being unreasonable. You're the only one who has constantly projected attitudes & characteristics on to her which aren't even consistent with her posts, in which she makes it clear that she likes & has a good relationship with her MIL.

You HAVE talked about the MIL's attitude, too, in contradiction to your claim above that you've concerned yourself only with what the OP says. You've repeatedly said how kind, generous & loving MIL is & contrasted her personality - about which (like the rest of us) you know fuck all - with that of the OP; & done so in the most childishly polarised, black & white way.

You've gone even further than this, in your most ridiculous post, by saying that the OP is spoiling her children & that it's only their grandparents' loving attitudes that provide a glimmer of hope for the poor kids.

So I'm not accusing you of being too "tough" by telling it like it is, daffs, I'm saying that your posts are simplistic, patronising, projection-filled bollocks.

Purpleroxy Sat 12-Apr-14 19:37:27

Homeless/shelter/food bank etc love tinned stuff as it doesn't go off. Some take household stuff as well like your bio stuff you don't want. Find yourself one of these locally and donate the stuff you don't use. New clothes to eBay or charity shop or return.

thebody Sat 12-Apr-14 19:46:15

I swear when I am a mil I will refer every decision regarding my dils/sils/gcs to mumsnet jury.

Just in case. grin

fluffyraggies Sat 12-Apr-14 19:48:43

I wouldn't call it 'expansive' to buy a garden swing for a family without a garden hmm i'd call it bloody stupid.

springydaffs Sat 12-Apr-14 20:00:46

Well ok then, not the most coherent debate points there but you've made yourself clear and said your piece.

TheNewSchmoo Sat 12-Apr-14 20:17:56

Given that Baileys is a once a year treat for you, but that costs £10 (I am aware how condescending i am sounding writing that but I've had a glass of wine and my diplomatic filter has gone for a Burton), i really think she's buying food and clothing as she thinks you could do with help with them, financially.

Although I see you've since agreed you're being a bit unreasonable so I'll shut up now!

kinkytoes Sat 12-Apr-14 21:00:15

Mil or not, she's blatantly ignoring the OP's wishes and imo THAT is unreasonable.

Hoarding by proxy is an interesting theory. My mil regularly buys things just because they're reduced or on special offer.

Sure there are worse things in life. But I've seen a lot more trivial stuff on this board too.

patienceisvirtuous Sun 13-Apr-14 14:40:31

That Bailey's issue is so unreasonable, poor Mil.

Maybe you should issue a memo to friends and family re which gifts are special and only to be purchased by DH.

LookHowTheyShineForYou Sun 13-Apr-14 15:01:59

I think they spend too much time with you.

I can understand why you don't want the children to eat crap. And because they see you so often it cannot be shrugged off as a one off.

But I think it has got a bit out hand. The Baileys shows she DOES pay attention to what you want.
I would tell her about why you don't like Morrison's and also tell her what else you really like.
She probably means well and won't stop buying stuff, so guide her.

I had an issue with really rubbish sweets and stuff my mum sent (from abroad, costing a fortune). Problem was solved by my teenager who told her the little sister was sick after eating the sweets because they probably had more E numbers than anything she had eaten in her life.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now