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To tell mother in law she can't buy cake for Ds's party

(126 Posts)
Mooey89 Mon 04-Apr-16 12:59:02

(Ex) MIl has history for being really overbearing with the children (she was the swimsuit stealer under my old username of Fairy13 if any of you remember!)
It's DS birthday party soon, and she has 'offered' to buy him a handmade birthday cake. This is really, genuinely very kind, but I have plans to make one myself. He's only 3, and I have planned it and been quite excited about doing it, and don't want her spending £40 + on a posh handmade one.
I thanked her for her kindness and suggested that what would really be helpful is if she could help me put together party bags and other organisational things instead.
I was really VERY polite about it but she says I'm denying her the treat of doing this and that I'm being deliberately difficult because I don't want her involved with DS (she sees him weekly which I organise - exH doesn't take him to see her on his weekends at all).

Maybe I am being a bit picky, it's only a cake, but I really have had my heart set on making one for him and have planned what it will be... I am trying to involve her in the planning of stuff and even suggested that I would appreciate her help with the actual baking as Nigella I am most definitely not!


Thereshegoesagain Mon 04-Apr-16 13:02:53

Tell her that if she insists on making it she's denying YOU the treat of doing it.

middlings Mon 04-Apr-16 13:02:55

Nope. YANBU.

When my mother with great ceremony announced that she wanted to be the one to buy her granddaughter's first pair of shoes, which was the latest in a long list of her taking ownership of firsts, I told her that, while it was very kind, I'd like to do it thanks.

Be firm.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 04-Apr-16 13:02:57

Why are you so determined to bake a cake if you're not confident about your baking?

I think you might be setting yourself up for a lot of stress (from the way you've worded your OP about wanting help with the actual baking), so for that reason I'm going with YABU. It's only a cake!

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 13:04:43

Of course not.
Keep repeating that you will be making the cake but thanks very much for the offer.
Why are you doing all the contact with her.
I'd back away a bit.
Your ExH doesn't see his mum for good reasons I assume.
Stop pandering to her. She is not your responsibility. It's up to your ExH if he wants his mum involved with his DC.
Tell her to tow the line or she won't be involved at all.

WetLettuce123 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:05:11

I can see both sides on this one. YANBU to be excited about making your DS a birthday cake, but she is NBU to want to treat him to a nice handmade one. Can't you have both? Im sure it will get eaten or you can freeze what's left over.

squoosh Mon 04-Apr-16 13:05:28


You're denying her the treat of supplying the cake? Nah, she's trying to deny you the treat of making one. You shouldn't have to tie yourself in knots explaining yourself to her. You were polite and suggested she might want to help in another area of the party.

WellErrr Mon 04-Apr-16 13:08:39


She had her chance to 'do' birthdays with her own children. She can sod off with her passive aggressive cake.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 13:10:02

There are no - both sides - here.
OP wants to make her own DS his own birthday cake for his 3rd birthday.
MIL does not get to decide here. It's not like she is baking it herself anyway.
She just wants to throw money at it instead. Not OK!

MoreGilmoreGirls Mon 04-Apr-16 13:10:47

YANBU. Just tell her you are making the cake.
Middlings - what is it about firsts? My mil is the same, she would just turn up with his "first" piggy bank er he already has one thanks, first pair of shoes, yes already got those too. Don't know why she thinks she owns my ds's firsts but it's bloody annoying.

MyKingdomForBrie Mon 04-Apr-16 13:12:26

God no YANBU! Just tell her it's important to you to bake his cake rather than have a bought one.

MartinaJ Mon 04-Apr-16 13:13:14

Why are you so determined to bake a cake if you're not confident about your baking?

Probably because she is his mother, wants to surprise him and do something nice for him?

spanky2 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:13:21

Why doesn't mil buy fun decorated cupcakes for bday tea/lunch/party and you make the bday cake?

HeyMacWey Mon 04-Apr-16 13:14:43

Yanbu - she had her chance to provide birthday cakes for her own children.

And what mykingdom said.

puglife15 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:17:38

My SIL made DS' first birthday cake without asking or discussing it with me - she thought she was doing me a favour.

I'd planned to make own so did it anyway and we used that one for the whole happy birthday bit and photos - mine looked great but didn't taste v good so we fed it to the kids and all ate SIL's

Could you do something similar eg have two cakes? Or would it put her nose out even more to see her cake come "second" to yours?

Bringiton2016 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:17:58

YANBU. It's not about the cake though, is it? It's about her not listening to you and respecting you. I think you've been very kind to try and involve her in a different way, she would've been all over that if she had just wanted to join in and do something nice.

Be polite and firm, and just say no thank you. Don't question yourself. Do what you want to do. She's going to ruin your relationship if she doesn't start listening. You might have to tell her this if she keeps on.

MadameDePompom Mon 04-Apr-16 13:21:17

Is your ex not on speaking terms with his mother or is he just not bothered about bringing his kids to see her? Seems unusual that you're the one doing all the organising.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 04-Apr-16 13:22:37

I remember the swimsuit saga.

You are a Saint because of this she says I'm denying her the treat of doing this and that I'm being deliberately difficult because I don't want her involved with DS (she sees him weekly which I organise - exH doesn't take him to see her on his weekends at all).

You might have to stop being so polite.

Mooey89 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:23:17

Ex H is an abusive arse who uses the children as weapons and if his elderly parents aren't running accross the county to babysit for him he isn't interested.
That said, MIL is undoubtably challenging in herself but I try to remain on as good terms as possible because I know how difficult thing are between her and ex.

MattDillonsPants Mon 04-Apr-16 13:24:32

YANBU. My MIL began making my DD1 her cakes without even asking so I had to take the task back from her.....which resulted in a shocked face and "Oh but I've ALWAYS done her cakes!"

Start as you mean to go on! It's your job if you want it.

MadameDePompom Mon 04-Apr-16 13:26:20

You sound like a lovely person OP. I'm not sure I'd be as patient with the 'challenging' parent of an abusive ex. I hope (in her reflective and non annoying moments) that your (ex) MIL appreciates you and the efforts you make to keep the relationship between her and her grandkids going!

But stay firm on the cake issue! smile

Cocochoco Mon 04-Apr-16 13:27:49

My mum made my dd's third birthday cake (I asked her to), and then lit the candles and carried it into the party of children with great ceremony while everyone sang happy birthday and I watched. My friend asked me if I minded being on the periphery. I did - hugely - but thought I was being silly. I realised that those little rituals are precious and have always made the cake myself since then.

Much better to have a homemade-with-love cake than a fancy one for a three year old.

foodiefil Mon 04-Apr-16 13:28:17

I'd be irritated about the ownership thing but if you aren't a confident baker and you think you'll be able to manage because 'it can't be that hard' I'd seriously reconsider this. You'll be giving yourself a lot of stress and the chance it might look like a pile of shite and you'll have spent a lot of money on it, not to mention time. Why not practice for next year? Depends what you want to do obviously but anything tiered, rainbow, sugar crafty etc isn't really for beginners...

Unless you're just being coy!

Be honest. And politely point out YOU are the one who ensures she has a relationship with her grandchild and not her own son. Bet she thinks the sun shines out of his backside as well.

Enjoy the party wine

floellabenjaminsearrings Mon 04-Apr-16 13:33:17

YANBU. I love baking but don't have reason to do it very often, so I look forward to making my DDs birthday cakes.

MeridianB Mon 04-Apr-16 13:34:27

YANBU. I bake my little boy's cakes and I love it. They may not look like Jane Ashers but that doesn't matter to him or me.

As others have said, stay firm. I'm sure there are a million other things she can do/make/help with/buy.

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