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I give up!

(37 Posts)
Whatutalkinboutwillis Sat 01-Nov-14 18:48:30

Aghhhhhh! So my ds had his birthday today. Yet again my dm has went way ott on gifts. I feel like crap as the gifts we got look like nothing next to what she got him.

Have spoke to her a million times about it and she promises every time to cut back. I appreciate what she gives but it's just the sheer volume. Last weekend we visited them and ahe had bought a PS3 for them. There must have been about 40 presents for my 4 year old ds and none of them small gifts. Then she moans all the time she is skint.

Also just found £20 in ds1 pocket that she gave him today too when I asked her not to as she just bought the PS3 and a ton of games. Then moans when they sit and play it at hers.

Sorry for ranting I just can't get across the scale of how bad this is. It's embarrassing. I re gift a lot and ebay a fair amount and put the money into the kids banks. It's just a pressure on us as it feels like our gifts look like nothing compared to hers. It's just too much and she will not stop.

She sat tonight as my mil gave him her gifts them commented it wasn't very much. It was a complete normal amount of gifts. How the heck do I make her stop wasting all this money?

saintsandpoets Sat 01-Nov-14 18:49:33

I don't think you can. Its her money to spend.

saintsandpoets Sat 01-Nov-14 18:50:05

You can stamp out the rudeness about your MIL's offering though.

Whatutalkinboutwillis Sat 01-Nov-14 18:50:20

And before anyone says it yes I know I'm lucky they have a grandmother who loves them and spoils them it's just the sheer volume of what they get

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Sat 01-Nov-14 18:52:36

Refuse to take the children over at birthday time - have her deliver the gifts to you and then you sort out a reasonable amount to actually present as from Grandma.
I certainly wouldn't have her around if she is rude to others about what they give.

Nohootingchickenssleeping Sat 01-Nov-14 18:53:55

I think YABU. My Grandparents had almost nothing but what they had, they shared with us. Let her spoil her Grandkids, she won't be around forever.

VileStatistyx Sat 01-Nov-14 18:56:01

She obviously doesn't feel it is a waste of money. You want her to see things your way and she doesn't. That's why it's so tricky, isn't it?

May I ask what things were like when you were a child? Did you get tonnes of money spent on you? Or were things different? I am just wondering if maybe she's always been like this, or if maybe things were tight when you were a kid and she's doing now for him what she couldn't do for you?

But whatever it is, if she isn't respecting your wishes then that's a problem.

How you handle it is something you'll have to think long and hard about and decide what you feel is best. Part of that will I suppose be whether you feel a gift to your son is his property or yours.

You could just accept the gifts and not bother about it, see your embarrassment as something for you to deal with
You could refuse to allow your son to accept the gifts
You could have a zero tolerance on her moaning, pointing out that she chose to buy it so you don't want to hear her complain about it being used or her being skint
You could put them away and let him have them at different times
carry on ebaying and regifting
You could think about whether she has a shopping compulsion that you could perhaps help her with
etc etc

Did I read right that she commented to your mother in law that it wasn't very much? If she did that, then you should read her the riot act because that is disgusting behaviour.

DurhamDurham Sat 01-Nov-14 18:57:15

Why cause bad feeling, just carry on doing what you are doing and sell what you don't want in the house on ebay. It must be your mum's way of demonstrating how much she loves your children. Maybe she didn't have the money to buy you loads when you were little or perhaps she didn't get presents when she was a child. It's quite harmless really, so long as she's not getting herself into debt.

TheBatteriesHaveRunOut Sat 01-Nov-14 18:57:55


She's had her turn at being a mother, these are your children and this is about respect, not love. She should respect your parenting decisions and find a better way of declaring her love for her grandchild.

FastWindow Sat 01-Nov-14 19:00:37

I have a friend like this. Puts me to shame.

Jumblebee Sat 01-Nov-14 19:01:12

No useful advice but my DM is exactly the same! Last year was DD's first Christmas and we counted over 80 presents just from her, including 26 Beatrix potter ornaments (we have 3 of these out, the rest are still in their boxes!!)

For this Christmas she has bought DD a kitchen, a big pink plastic kitchen and EVERY accessory possible we have no room left!!

I'm grateful for the gifts but honestly over 80 Christmas gifts for a 5 mobth old?!?

riverboat1 Sat 01-Nov-14 19:04:50

YANBU at all, there is spoiling your grandchild and then there is giving 40 gifts to a 4 year old! Despite having been asked not to, being skint, and the fact that it makes your daughter feel bad.

Don't know what the solution is though.

PacificWerewolf Sat 01-Nov-14 19:06:00

It's a grandparents god-damn duty to totally spoil their grandchildren grin

Sorry to be flippant.
This is clearly grating on you a lot, but I don't see how you can influence what your MiL does wrt presents. It's not a competition and children do understand that different people behave differently.

I got far more money from my grandparents than I ever got 'regular' pocket money from my parents <shrug>.

I also think that generally gift giving at birthdays and Christmas has totally gone over the top and I really don't like that, but I don't think that your MiL is at all unique in that respect.

unlucky83 Sat 01-Nov-14 19:20:38

When I said something to my mum about something similar - spending a lot of money on my DDs - she said I can afford it, I can't take it with me so they will get it when I'm dead anyway but I would prefer to see them enjoy it'
Which apparently is what her mother used to say to her when we were children.
My biggest gripe now is they (DM and DF) buy big - as in bulky - things I have to dust them and trip over them for about 1yr before they go away...then after another year or so I get rid (they only visit a couple of times a year otherwise I'd do it sooner - and so far they have never asked me where things have gone!).

Tryharder Sat 01-Nov-14 19:22:03

You eBay and give away your own son's presents?


They are not yours to give away - they are his!

Why would you resent your DC having nice things? Would you prefer he has nothing just so you can feel better about yourself?

It's not about you!

Tryharder Sat 01-Nov-14 19:23:15

My parents give my DCs expensive e presents at Xmas etc and I am very , very grateful because frankly I cannot afford to do the same.

PacificWerewolf Sat 01-Nov-14 19:24:39

Oh, I have given presents my kids got away - usually put them aside on their birthday or at Christmas. If they have not asked for them after a few weeks or months, I make them disappear…

They get toy overload IME.

oldgrandmama Sat 01-Nov-14 19:27:12

Oh blush I probably spoil my five grandkids. But so do the other 'grands'. I think OP just has to endure it ... better surely than the sort of grandparent who doesn't give a toss. BUT - for OP's mother to be dismissive about the other grandmother's presents - that's just not on and I hope OP pulled her up on it.

Viviennemary Sat 01-Nov-14 19:27:59

They are giving your child far far too much. Over 40 presents is way beyond ridiculous. But I don't think you should be putting them on ebay. That isn't right. Why not suggest that your child keeps a four or five items and he can keep the rest at her house. I wouldn't imagine she'd be keen to do that.

turningworm Sat 01-Nov-14 19:28:48

The gift thing is clearly disproportionate plus I would want control over stuff like a DS3 for a 4 year old. You are quite right to sell them and put the money in the bank. You are not wanting him to have nothing, just a normal amount that doesn't upset the balance between wanting new stuff and appreciation of what you have.

It's ridiculous to say, it's not about you - you are the parent and you need to exercise reasonable control over your DC view of the world.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sat 01-Nov-14 19:30:56

Tryharder I don't think the OP is at all out of line to give away some of her DC's FORTY birthday presents. That is a ridiculous number - he can't possibly appreciate or keep track of them all and IMO having that much stuff is potentially harmful for kids so I don't think the OP is making it all about herself either.

Less convinced personally about ebaying them though.

Phineyj Sat 01-Nov-14 19:32:20

YANBU. It is a mad way to carry on and you are sensible to convert some of it into cash - my friend's PILs do this (they can't afford it either) and last time we visited, when we'd given them our (quite reasonable IMO) presents, the 6 year old said 'is that all' shock this kind of aggressive materialism does have an effect on DC.

redexpat Sat 01-Nov-14 19:32:27

Is it her love language? Does she show affection for others by giving gifts?

fairylightsintheloft Sat 01-Nov-14 19:39:38

if not ebay then what? We have 3 sets of grandparents and have to be very very clear about what we'd like them to get or they would all go way over the top, and its not just about "spoiling" your grandkids a bit, its genuine practical issues about space and about their ability at a young age to be able to process the stuff they have or figure out how to play with it. There can also be an issue when they are a bit older if the "best" presents come from the GPs. Depends a lot on the family dynamics but it can be a way of some GP exerting their financial muscle to "buy" their GCs affection and that can cause all sorts of problems. If GPs really feel that spending ££ is the way to go, then maybe they could pay for a day at a theme park or a season ticket to a farm or zoo or something. Less obvious but almost certainly more likely to go down well with the parents, if done in consultation especially.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sat 01-Nov-14 19:43:02

MrsMR what's wrong with putting them on ebay?

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