To wish my mum wouldn't obsess over who buys what!(21 Posts)
My mother is now having her latest sulk because my inlaws are buying dd a bike for Christmas when she wanted to buy it. In actual fact it was me and dh who were planning to buy her it and my mum offered to help with the cost if needed but that's all she said. Then out of the blue my inlaws announced they were getting dd a bike so we had to change our plans. My mum has reacted badly - not speaking to me for a couple of days even though it's not my fault and now she's saying she's not going to tell anyone what she's now buying for Christmas in case "someone copies her". It's silly and infantile - my inlaws didn't copy her, they just didn't know she had offered to help us if we were struggling to afford it. She always sulks when my inlaws but something and then buys the same thing herself anyway so dd has two of the same thing all the time!!! It's getting annoying and embarrassing and takes all the pleasure out of giving and receiving!
call her up and ask her what her actual problem is, and suggest she gets out more and does something useful with her life rather than cause drama.
You say your mum and your inlaws - would I be right in thinking your dad is either not around or he has passed away?
I ask because we are in that situation (my dad died in 2010, 2 years before my kids were born) and my mum is a bit sensitive about who buys what etc. I think she feels the loss in that my inlaws can theoretically look after the kids for us but she can't, not alone [pause for 40000 people to weigh in and ask why a 70 year old with sciatica can't deal with 2.5 yo twins alone) so presents are really her "thing". TBH we just give in on this and tell her what the kids want most, so she gets to have the biggest part in Christmas. Mine are little though and I don't know how we will manage this in future - maybe ask her if she is happy to be Santa (i.e. the kids wouldn't know the presents were from her). I wonder if she will still want to be front and centre when they start asking for ipads and stuff
Thanks too much and I'm sorry for your loss and sounds like you are quite right to be so wonderfully gracious towards your mother.
I wish I could understand what was at the root of all this so I could deal with it better. My dad is alive although she is very much in charge so that's probably why I neglected to mention him. She does look after dd now and then too so it's not as though presents are the only way she can make an impact!
She just seems to feel threatened by my inlaws!
She sounds quite hard work and a trade melodramatic tbh. I'd leave her to sulk and let her get on with it
TBH I can see her POV a little big re the bike. Why didn't you say to your ILs: thanks but my mum has offered to get the bike, she'll pay for 50%, etc?
I can kind of see her point actually. She knew what she was getting your DD for Xmas and then your ILs decided they were getting her that and then plans had to be changed.
Just curious why you didn't tell your ILs that you were getting her the bike so that they'd have to get her something else?
Why do you have to change your plans because your PILs announce something out of the blue?
Stop telling her what the in-laws are getting DD. If she gets upset, just remind her Christmas isn't about the gifts.
From now on it's "I don't know, I haven't asked them" or "I guess we'll find out on Christmas!"
I was wondering why you didn't tell your in-laws that you and your Mum were getting her a bike ?
I can understand her being a bit miffed, tbh, if it was all agreed, and then you quite happily accept it's OK for the in-laws to trample over what's already been agreed.
I didn't speak to my inlaws - it was dh who did and to be fair I can't remember if I told him that my parents had offered to help. I honestly didn't think his parents would offer - they normally just buy dd some clothes! He just turned round to me one day and told me his parents were getting the bike and I was surprised and a little disappointed. I didn't really feel that a formal arrangement had been made with my mum but obviously in my mum's head it had. I guess in this instance it's a case of miscommunication but I think because I felt her response was a bit childish and because she's behaved this way before it's really annoyed me.
Unfortunately dh will not tell them they can't buy it now - he says they are entitled to buy what they like for dd. I guess he should have told them we were buying it but he didn't. They do tend to dominate to be fair - dh insists we go on holiday with them each year and they decide when and where and I always have a crap time!
This is not really entirely your mum's fault.
"Unfortunately dh will not tell them they can't buy it now - he says they are entitled to buy what they like for dd. I guess he should have told them we were buying it but he didn't. They do tend to dominate to be fair - dh insists we go on holiday with them each year and they decide when and where and I always have a crap time!"
Maybe your mum can sense this, too?
Dh should have told them but didn't
Dh will not tell them now
They tend to dominate
Each year I have a crap time
For me this situation would be a bigger problem than any hissy fit your DM throws about who buys what presents.
I would try to have a really open and friendly conversation with your mum, and also to let her know exactly how you feel about your inlaws (what you said above). Your mum does sound like she is being childish and jealous, but she might behave better if she is not feeling threatened. Sometimes an honest conversation can really clear the air and give people a sense of perspective.
''dh insists we go on holiday with them each year and they decide when and where and I always have a crap time!"
I think you need a different thread OP!
I don't think your mum is being unreasonable tbh. Your inlaws are for weighing in on your gift.
We are also buying bikes for our dc this Christmas. But with 4 obviously it soon adds up. So we've chosen the bikes and put a payment plan in place. Anyone who wishes to contribute will pop into the shop and put some money in. It works quite nicely as the dc get a really good bike which several people have helped pay for, they don't get overwhelmed with too many toys and everyone gets to see the enjoyment 'their' gift has brought. Win Win.
Thank you Clara. Yes she probably feels like they dominate and she wouldn't be wrong - it's the sulky behaviour I struggle with! I wish she would talk to me openly!
It's not just an issue with my inlaws though - when I casually mentioned I was getting dd some gorgeous new boots from a supermarket and described them - she decided to go and buy them herself but couldn't find the size. We happened to go in there a week later and found her size and got the boots. When I told mum she snapped "I wanted to get them!" and didn't speak to me for days!!!
It's like presents take on far too much significance and I don't tell her anymore what I'm getting for dd!
The sulking would drive me mad too, but why not pick your battles? You know your mum places a lot of emphasis on presents, could you not have told her about the boots and asked if she wanted to get them? Or bought them for her, then she could have given them to your daughter?
I know it's a lot of faffing about but it would save a lot of aggravation.
My mother is a sulker too and passes comments all too often.
My parents spent years buying large gifts for DS and DD1 for Christmas... ie, TV/DVD, clothes, shoes, pj's, toys and that would be just one year.
Now they have five grandchildren they have set a (generous) limit of £60 a child in the form of £30 cash, pj's and small toy.
This is not the issue in the slightest, the problem is she thinks PIL (who only have our 3DC's) should do the same. PIL paid
for the DC's winter coats the other month as part of their Christmas but have also got the DC's large gifts, clothes, money/vouchers etc. My DM keeps commenting, 'but she paid for their coats', 'that's a lot from them' etc.
Our DC don't need a thing and would be happy with a blooming annual. However the point remains that what PIL spend on the DC has nothing to do with my mother.
I hate the minefield that is family relations!
I can understand her being annoyed, but sulking and making a big deal of it is a bit childish, and not really fair on you.
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