To be annoyed with this(25 Posts)
My mother recently developed a very annoying habit of telling our relatives that the presents I buy them are from me and my sister. My sister doesn't bother with them. I do. I spend my own money on their presents, which my sister makes no contribution to. When my mother tells them these things, my sister never bothers denying anything or offers to contribue to any future gifts seeing all my presents consistently being presented as our gifts. In fact, she seems quite happy for it to continue.
I understand that my mother wants to make my sister look good but I am not particularly happy about her behaviour. Am I being petty?
No. Challenge your mother whenever she says that. She's lying and not to your advantage.
I don't think it's petty. Speak to your mother and tell her you aren't happy. And/or tell your sister since the gifts are from you both she owes you X amount of money.
No idea how to stop it apart from putting a gift tag clearly saying its from you no mention of her.
And telling the people involved.
So far I've tried giving both of them some hints that I wasn't too pleased about the situation but they are both quite thick skinned and just don't get it. My mother generally always thinks she is right even though I am sure she wouldn't be happy if put in this exact situation.
Unfortunately I don't really post gifts to our relatives as usually they are given for various occasions which we attend together as a family, so it's hard to avoid this scenario because my mother always opens her mouth before I have a chance to say anything making it too awkward to deny later.
How old are you?
I think I'd tackle my mother about it - ask whether she knows that your sister does not contribute, and therefore can she not tell people that they are from her as well.
Talk to your sister as well - ask her if she wants to contribute, and tell her that if you don't get the money up front you won't be putting her name on the parcel
Narp old enough unfortunately but I have a challenging relationship with my mother and whenever possible I try to avoid yet another confrontation with her. I guess that puts me in a difficult position of having to put up with a lot of things.
She knows my sister doesn't contribute because my sister openly tells her she's not bought anything.
Start sending gifts directly to relative before the get together, claiming you ordered it online and it was easier than carrying it all the way, etc.
Give just a card at the party (which your mother will chime in is from you both)
Sorry - I did not mean that to sound snarky, just wondered how much involvement you have, whether you live at home IYSWIM. This is really tricky.
I think the only thing you can is confront it directly, or maintain the status quo. Speak to your sitter first and leave your mum out of it for now?
I was going to suggest the same as Horton
When you mother tells them this are you there?
If you are then a response of 'I hardly think so. If that is the case then you owe me loads of money sis'
sounds like your mother is embarrassed about your sister because she feels it shows her up in front of the relatives.
I would tell her to stop it because you will tell the relatives the truth and then she will look foolish.
If she's embarrassed by your sister's tightness, then she should feel free to buy a present on her behalf.
Thanks for the suggestions, ladies. And Narp I didn't think you sounded snarky. In fact, I think I am the one who probably behaves like a child when I should be able to handle the situation like an adult.
I am certainly going to take your ideas onboard and be more firm next time as I was really unhappy last time when I bought my dad's best friend a nice bottle of whisky for his 50th birthday and my mother told him it was from both me and my sister. On that occasion, unfortunately, neither of us was there. We were visiting my mother and dad's friend was out of town, so I left my gift with my mother and asked her to pass it on. I left the card too but she later told me she gave it to him from both me and my sister. I am assuming she either added her name to the card or just left the card out altogether.
I know we shouldn't be petty but when I buy something nice for special occasions and my mother does that, I always feel as if this behaviour somehow diminishes my gift. Not necessarily in monetary value but because I put a lot of thought into what each person might like and spend time shopping for them whereas my sister does nothing. When these gifts are presented from both of us, it's as if she also spent the same effort and I find it upsetting because I see it as her taking credit for something she didn't do.
However please don't think I give gifts because I want some sort of credit. It's not really that but more how it makes me feel. It also makes me resent my sister for her selfishness and what I see as shameless behaviour.
I am glad I am not the only one who doesn't think it's unreasonable though and I think I feel more confident in confronting the situation next time. Thank you as always.
but they are both quite thick skinned and just don't get it.
no they aren't. They are pretending they don't get it.
Personally I would say in front of them 'actually this is just from me'.
Your sister is rude as is your mum. It's only awkward because they make it that way.
If you mum is taking gifts for you stick the tag to the present and then wrap it up.
And don't hint.
Sat directly, while they are both there
'Mum why do you keep saying they are from me and sister? They aren't unless sister fancies going halves'
I agree that you should correct your Mother when she says this. Or, when relatives open her presents to them, you could pipe up with, "That's from DM and DSis." See how she likes it. I wonder, though, if anyone suspects the truth?
I would definitely call her out if she does it in front of you, all it will take is a confused look in your mum's direction and a friendly 'no not this one mum' then turn back to the gift receiver and finish 'I knew as soon as I saw it I had to get you it'. Big smile, no awkwardness from you, doubt your mum or sister will say anything in front of them either so cleared up as quick as anything and when your mum pulls you up on it afterwards you just say 'I choose and pay for the gifts myself, its really rude of you to pass off my gifts to people as being from sister too do it with your own if your that bothered
Ahhh strike through fail! (The underlined bit)
I'd wrap the gift tag - written from you - inside the wrapping paper.
I do this sometimes for parties etc anyway in case it falls off.
It's really interesting that you thought we'd be critical of you. I don't think many people think you are unreasonable at all. This is what's holding you back and I think it's because there's a long history of your mum making you feel like you in the wrong and therefore it being hard to assert yourself.
It's interesting that your mum wants to make your sister look good and either doesn't see or care that that is unfair on you. All you can do is point it out to her.
But as I say, I'd speak to your sister first - she is the one who you have an issue with about the gift and money. Don't allow your mum to get in the middle by talking to her first.
A really good book I've found is A Woman in Your Own Right. It's about assertiveness and may help you anticipate and deal with your mum's reaction when you tackle her
"Iwonder, though, if anyone suspects the truth"
I think you might be right. People aren't stupid. They'll pick up on the fact that OPs mum does this
Narp, I just wanted to thank you for the book suggestion. Got it, reading it and already finding it very useful! I recognise some behaviour patterns so well. The author seems very pragmatic and I am planning to stick with reading it. Thanks again.
Op did you speak to your mum and sister yet?
Op did you speak to your mum and sister yet? - haven't faced the situation again yet but one is coming up in March. I am hoping to say what I think well ahead of the occasion. I can't believe how much I feel like a 5-year old!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.