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to be frustrated with my MIL?

(52 Posts)
MrsH1989 Thu 17-Dec-15 18:29:01

Last year my MIL bought DS nothing for his 2nd birthday. At his party she claimed she didn't know what to get him and would see what others got him before going out to buy something. At xmas (still no birthday present) she claimed the same giving him a giant gingerbread man and saying she would get him something in the new year. In february she said she would get him a tablet because he was always playing on her Ipad but she wanted us to find it and buy it so she could just give us the money back. It turned out to be a great present but I was still a little frustrated with the lack of effort on her part. This year she started again saying shall I just leave it until the summer because I don't know what to get. DH just says yes thats fine because it doesnt bother him but I dont want to encourage this pattern as it wont be long before he is aware of who is giving him presents as xmas and who isnt! Anyway I stepped in and suggested she gets him a batman costume as he loves them and she said "okay, if you find one buy it and I will give you the money". GRRR...So i found one and told her where to get it and she rings me saying they are out of stock. I went online, clicked her nearest store and reserved it sending her the reservation number. She has now been to collect it after I have done all the work again. Am I right to be annoyed with the lack of effort put into her oly grandchilds presents or is this a common thing?

DisappointedOne Thu 17-Dec-15 18:32:42

DD is 5 and PILs' eldest grandchild.

This year she got a colouring book from them for her birthday, and not so much as a card from any of her 3 sets of aunts and uncles that side (or any of her 5 younger cousins).

She hasn't had an Xmas present from them for 3 years (this will be the 4th). We don't make a fuss about it, so neither does DD.

Let your husband deal with it.

VenusRising Thu 17-Dec-15 18:33:41

Book tokens are your friend.

aprilanne Thu 17-Dec-15 18:38:37

i think its a bit mean not to get him a gift but i always bought my sons presents from my mum .she would give me x amount each i picked them then she wrapped it. it let them get the gifts they wanted .

theycallmemellojello Thu 17-Dec-15 18:39:41

How is she otherwise? If she has a good relationship with your DS otherwise I wouldn't worry. A 2 year old is not going to miss presents, and she might not see the point. If she's still like this in a couple of years I'd get your DH to have a word.

MrsH1989 Thu 17-Dec-15 18:49:01

DH is no help. He thinks it is fine to give presents months after the event- When DS kicks off about it next xmas (he will be 4 then) I will let him deal with it and then he might change his mind. Other than that they have a decent relationship but it is built on her just feeding him whatever crap he wants rather than them doing fun stuff together.

DisappointedOne Thu 17-Dec-15 18:50:02

When DS kicks off about it next xmas (he will be 4 then) I will let him deal with it and then he might change his mind.

No need for that to happen (although it sounds like you would like it to).

Narp Thu 17-Dec-15 18:53:45

I don't think that this need be an issue for your son if you don't make it one. On the other hand, it does seem to reflect her general lack of effort and that would annoy me.

AnnieNoMouse Thu 17-Dec-15 18:56:02

If he "kicks off" next year then it'll be because you have given him expectations that your MIL wOnt live up to. Will you be telling him that she pays fir the presents and you have to buy them? Will he care?
You have to live with a MIL who just isn't that bothered - YABU to pass your upset on to your son.

Suzy4321 Thu 17-Dec-15 18:56:45

presents months after the event

Then do the same to him. Birthday and Christmas give presents months after. See how it feels

ollieplimsoles Thu 17-Dec-15 18:58:24

I would be at the point now where I would say not to bother. If she can't be arsed to ask what he wants and then just buy it then forget it, sounds like its stressing you both out.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 17-Dec-15 19:00:02

If my child kicked off about not getting a present from his grandmother, I'd deal with it myself - but I suspect not in the same way you would OP.

Teach your child to be gracious about gifts - or lack of gifts. Your MIL is what she is - you just have to live with it as someone said.

VagueIdeas Thu 17-Dec-15 19:01:57

She actually said she'll leave buying his Christmas present "until the summer"? Why wait six months? It's totally bizarre.

Asking you to buy the thing and she'll reimburse you suggests she's just really, really lazy. Does that sound like her?

NellysKnickers Thu 17-Dec-15 19:02:56

Sorry if I've missed it, but when is ds's birthday? Ds2 turned 5 this year, this week in fact and to be honest, a summer gift would be nice as it's just too overwhelming this time of year. Chill out about it, ds won't have a clue

LeaLeander Thu 17-Dec-15 19:04:37

I agree with CanYouForgiveHer.

Honestly as a child it never would have occurred to me to question "Why didn't granny give me a gift?!" at birthday or Christmas, nor have I ever seen another child analyze such a thing. I'd nip that in the bud if it did arise, quickly.

Don't plant the seed in his head, OP. As other commenters have said, don't try to change your MIL. She doesn't owe you or the child any particular level of gifting and you certainly don't want to prime your son to expect he is owed anything. Gifts are pleasant surprises when received and the absence of them is not a negative thing.

kaitlinktm Thu 17-Dec-15 19:08:44

My MiL used to ask for ideas - great! Then would ask us to buy them and she would pay us back - and sometimes she did. wink

freespiritsbadattitude Thu 17-Dec-15 19:09:01

It does sound bizarre, but as others have said don't raise his expectations and it'll be fine.

My dd is almost 5 and I guarantee she won't be tallying up presents - who gave, who didn't.

SanityClause Thu 17-Dec-15 19:12:04

Surely it doesn't matter that much?

I understand it's annoying to do all the running, so perhaps you could make that DH's problem. But, your DS could just grow up thinking his presents from Gran come at odd times. It will be normal for him, and he'll just accept it.

A few years ago, my PIL started sending a cheque a few days before Christmas, for me to buy presents with, so, just when I'd finished my shopping, I had to do theirs. Grrr! After the first couple of times, I was ready for it, so I bought the stuff, and waited for the cheque to refund me. It works well, because I know the DC will like the presents they are given, so my PIL money isn't wasted on things the DC don't like.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 17-Dec-15 19:13:20

If DH is fine with presents months after the event, is MIL? If she isn't then I'd just treat her as she's treating DS. And don't just give her it late, talk about it endlessly for at least six meetings before handing it over.

laurierf Thu 17-Dec-15 19:22:45

If DS kicks off about it…? My grannies (neither of them particularly hard up I now realise) only ever game me some cheap chocolate at Christmas and a card with a small cheque/ a five pound note for my birthday… never once occurred to me to think that was out of order - either as a toddler or as a grown up confused

PegsPigs Thu 17-Dec-15 19:23:22

My MIL is like this. Can't be arsed to think of something herself and will leave it till after the event to tell me she hasn't bothered.

With DD1 this year she was getting the second half of the present her sister bought back in November. One not much use without the other. I asked her about it a week or so ago and she'd totally forgotten! So DD1 would have got half a present from her great aunt and zip from her GM. She finally went to Argos last week (yes I had to tell her where to buy it) and she spent ages bitching about the process in there. Bearing in mind she just ended up asking a staff member who did it all for her hmm

DD2 6 months is getting nothing from her either cos I can't be arsed to bail her out with ideas all the time.

gutzgutz Thu 17-Dec-15 19:27:47

Why not just ask for money and open a savings account for him? My dad has never bought pressies for my 2 beyond the odd token thing but is generous with cheques. When they are 18 they will both have a healthy sum to do something decent with. Better than toys which they grow out of.

Thetruthfairy Thu 17-Dec-15 19:32:46

I just think that some people are just totally clueless when it comes to kids toys. Maybe she has made a mistake buying a child a present before and now she is a bit cautious.
Ask her to give money every year and then take your ds to toys r us to spend granny's gift. I am sure he will love it.

Katarzyna79 Thu 17-Dec-15 19:34:02

I'm sure I will seem odd but growing up we were quite poor and presents were not something any of us received (7 kids). but we never thought about it we always have good home cooked food on the table, and we sat together spent lots of time together. Surely that is more important? I think we are too materialistic. Why does it matter?

whilst it's nice to receive a gift, its better to give them, and there shouldn't be a reason to give a gift, I think you should relate that to your child rather than teach him to expect gifts come every special event. I think gifts can be given any time of the year. Putting a date on things can make it hard on others. I'm sure your mil loves your child and expresses that by spending time with him. It sounds like she hates shopping, finds it stressful or doesn't know what to buy. buying presents can be tricky especially for small children like yours. I always give money, unless the child or adult has mentioned something or I know they have a particular interest or passion for something.

I don't do birthdays but why not have the mil come over bake a cake together, have a nice meal with decorations. A 2 year old wont even care, I think its the adults who care more and instil it into their kids.

Same with xmas people struggle financially emotionally the stress of it all, whats wrong with just having a nice home made meal together and going for the church service?

I personally don't care for the gifts, if I receive any its a bonus. if I have spare cash I will buy for nearest and dearest first then others. if money is tight I wont buy anything but have a good meal together, that is costly in itself. My cousins and friends are the same so no one bats an eyelid.

SanityClause Thu 17-Dec-15 19:34:12

DD2 6 months is getting nothing from her either cos I can't be arsed to bail her out with ideas all the time.

I used to think like this, a bit, but have come to realise that if I do all the thinking, the DC get a present they really like. MIL is programmed to spend as little as possible on any one item (although she has a decent budget per child) so, if I left it to her, they'd each get a loooooad of tat, instead of one decent item. Sometimes you just have to look at the bigger picture.

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