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To not want to accept everything that is offered to me?!

(77 Posts)
mamacien Tue 31-May-16 13:25:45

Long story short. I've been a student in a horrible student house, I've had a cramped rented flat with DP and DD, now we have bought a lovely first house. We aren't well off at all but live an enjoyable simple lifestyle.
Now my DM has never had money troubles but has always made out she's extremely hard done by. Her house is a mish mash of odd furniture and clutter (which is absolutely fine it's her house) because she accepts ANYTHING people give her. When me and DS were growing up and had a sort out she would go through the bags for anything she could keep for herself (also absolutely fine) etc etc, this is the way she has always been!
My flat was a bit of a mish mash because we weren't interested in spending any money on a rented place when we knew we were going to buy a house. Now that I've moved a number of people have very kindly offered me furniture, accessories, baby things (another due in July) but I have turned everything down. I quite simply don't want other people things, I want to buy my own things, I just want exactly what I want in my house. It would be a waste of both the gifts and effort to accept these things when I know I don't want or need them! Now DM has made me feel really guilty and rude for not wanting others old furniture "I must have more money than sense" "very ungrateful and insulting" "she never imagined I would be a snob". Surely there's nothing wrong with having different priorities to her? I don't have more money than sense, I just enjoy spending the money I do have on making MY home what's I see as beautiful, rather than what somebody else liked. Should I actually be accepting these gifts to spare people's feeling? I didn't even see it as an issue until the numerous comments about how wrong I am :/

EveryoneElsie Tue 31-May-16 13:28:49

Many people think if you are in a tight spot you should be grateful for whatever you are given. No matter how unsuitable it is.
Dont accept gifts you dont want, if you do it stops them being offered to someone else who wants and needs them.

janethegirl2 Tue 31-May-16 13:31:14

I think I'd be like you mamacien. Why should you accept things you don't want in your house? However it'd be best to be tactful and thank them for their kind offer, but no you don't want/ need whatever it is.

AliceInHinterland Tue 31-May-16 13:31:15

Why on earth should you take on other people's things just to please them? It's very kind of them to offer, but only if it's an offer without any pressure. Your mum sounds difficult - it's really none of her business.

MrsJoeyMaynard Tue 31-May-16 13:31:33


I have accepted such things in the past, but only if they're something that we actually need and want.

There's no point accepting other people's old stuff if you either don't want it or don't need it. I wouldn't expect most people to be offended at having their offer refused.

Although my sister did get a bit huffy when I declined her second hand dining table and chairs, until I pointed out that the only way we'd have room for them would be if we threw out the perfectly good dining table and chairs we already had.

hollie11 Tue 31-May-16 13:31:45

No! It's your house and your money and if you want your own stuff and are paying for it with your own money, it's nobody's business. How cheeky of your mum! Enjoy your new home!

BillSykesDog Tue 31-May-16 13:32:22

Absolutely fine as long as you are turning them down graciously rather than making them feel like you are doing it because you look down on their taste or possessions.

So if you're saying 'thanks very much, but we don't need one of them' - fine. If you're actually telling them that you only want beautiful things in your home and what's offered doesn't cut it then YABU.

Bear in mind though, if you do this you can't really complain if you're skint and can't afford something you need down the line.

mamacien Tue 31-May-16 13:38:46

I always make sure I turn things down graciously
"Awh, thank you very much for the offer but I don't need one / seen one I would like already / don't have the space for it..."
Honestly didn't think there was anything wrong with it until she heard me on the phone!

mamacien Tue 31-May-16 13:39:57

I would never tell anyone I don't want their things because I don't like their taste in curtains grin

JapaneseSlipper Tue 31-May-16 13:50:30

You know what? You are totally right, and I understand that on a rational level. But somehow, at the same time, I can understand what your mum is saying.

I wouldn't accept other people's cast-off furniture, but if I liked what they were offering for a baby then I'd take it. You need SO much stuff for the first year of a baby's life - and then you never use it again. If you've not had a baby before it can be difficult to understand just how quickly they grow. Baby baths, blankets, muslins, bouncers, rockers, jumperoos, babygros, moses baskets, bumbos, carry cots, door bouncers, cribs - these are all things that are really useful to have but are totally obsolete by the time your baby is a year old.

It sounds from your post that you would turn down anything, even if there's a chance it could be useful to you - is that the case? That could be where the "snob" comment is coming from - the idea that other people's stuff is not good enough for you, even though it's perfectly usable?

(YANBU btw)

gleam Tue 31-May-16 13:57:31

I think your mum's miffed because you're effectively saying you're not like her and don't want to live like her.

BillSykesDog Tue 31-May-16 13:59:58

I have to say. My mother has had a recent moth infestation which has meant all the soft furnishings and linens she's been trying to offload on me for the past two decades have had to finally go in the bin where they belong.

I wonder if it's possible to release some moths at your DMs. grin

Iknownuffink Tue 31-May-16 14:00:19

My daughter is exactly the same, she wants what she wants in her home. I no longer ask "would you like ( insert random object)?"

You have every right to furnish your home as you see fit.

mamacien Tue 31-May-16 14:01:03

No japaneseslipper I wouldn't turn something down if it was suitable. I'm very thrifty, I buy many things second hand and if somebody offered me what I was looking for I would graciously accept. I should have said in the OP but was trying to keep it relatively short (failed)! My only issue having things in my house that I don't really want to please other people! I have a 2yo already and kept all of her furniture and accessories so am in need of pretty much nothing smile and still have the trauma of the amount a newborn needs fresh in my mind!

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 31-May-16 14:03:42

I agree with Japanese, be careful you are not turning down everything on principle. Some furniture can be repainted, or parts of it used and baby items can be useful especially if you have storage space.

I get where you're coming from. My mum used to always make me wear hand me down clothes from my sisters or second hand clothes. As an adult, I have to have new clothes and lots of them.

TheVeryThing Tue 31-May-16 14:03:59

When we bought our house nearly ten years ago, we were given lots of second hand furniture (my parents were downsizing and SIL was changing some furniture).
While much of it was useful (and we haven't been in a position to replace it) we did accept a lot of stuff that we ended up getting rid of.
I wouldn't rule out second hand but be very selective about what you take, and enjoy choosing the rest to your own taste.

<lives in hope of being able to walk into an actual furniture shop and buy something>

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 31-May-16 14:06:37

Sorry missed your update. Well that's fair enough, stick to your guns otherwise you won't be able to move for second hand furniture you've accepted out of politeness grin

Onlyicanclean10 Tue 31-May-16 14:06:38

No you are quite right and your mother is a poke nose.

joey Maynard with your beautiful homes at Plas Gwyn and Freudeshime of course you don't need cast offs. You have enough flowering plants in stands already. grin

LilyandGinger Tue 31-May-16 14:06:38

You are quite right. I accepted a piece of furniture out of politeness when we were starting out.

I don't like it. 20 years on, we still have it and I still don't like it.

But now we can't throw it out "because it belonged to Granny".

Learn from my mistakes.

Mummytodaisyandbradley Tue 31-May-16 14:06:49

It's kind of people to offer things but if you don't want them I see nothing wrong with saying a polite "no thank you"
When me and dp brought our first flat we made the mistake of accepting everything and a lot of it we didn't use/need and got rid of it, we did however get a bloody brilliant sofa of grandma as she was downsizing we still have it now

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 31-May-16 14:10:30

I'm half and half with this one. I don't think you should accept anything and everything you're offered, but if you're offered a decent secondhand item that you will actually need, then I think it's worth considering rather than deciding you "only want new".
But that's because I almost never spend more than I absolutely need to on anything - so will happily take decent secondhand items if they're something I need and don't totally hate.

I remember a client of mine telling me that his DD, who was pg at the same time as I was, insisted on everything new and it was costing her a fortune - whereas I was taking castoffs/secondhand stuff left right and centre (apart from new cot mattress and bedding) and so it cost me almost nothing!

dowhatnow Tue 31-May-16 14:11:49


HubbaHubbaHoob Tue 31-May-16 14:11:56

Agree with Gleam.

And this…

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
― William Morris

We all have different ideas of what's useful or beautiful, but that's the whole point - your home your ideas. Don't let your mum browbeat you OP.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 31-May-16 14:12:12

Ah xposted. Having seen your latest post, then I agree with you.

mamacien Tue 31-May-16 14:13:01

Just to say:
Second hand + what I want = Fine
Second hand + not what I want = Not fine

Also we don't actually need any furniture "just for now". We brought everything useful from the flat with us, it would just be replacing something I don't want with something else I don't really want.

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