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Aibu to not want a present from in-laws

(155 Posts)
Clarion Sun 06-Nov-16 12:21:10

Sorry this is really long.... And it's more of a WWYD than an AIBU.

A bit of background: we have had a lot of problems with MIL, and these problems got worse after we had children. Sadly we are now 'low contact' with them (our choice) and we stopped letting them having unsupervised contact with our DC a about 3 years ago as a result of her behaviour.

FIL usually just for along with MIL for a quiet life.

I've always tried to be cordial for DH's sake.

My birthday is coming up and MIL has form for using gifts in a manipulative ways, with strings attached. The year I was expecting her first DGC (4 years ago) they gave me a very expensive gift which cost way more than they would usually spend. They were clearly trying to 'buy' a good relationship with me before the baby arrived so she could have lots of baby time.
2 years ago they gave me a posh meal out with DH, and 30 second after I opened it, MIL quickly offered to babysit hmm We didn't let them.
Last year things came to a head (not gift related) and we put some boundaries in place and started calling her out more frequently on her bad behaviour, which she didn't like. My birthday present was deliberately late (I eventually received something bland and inexpensive) with no expansion or apology, then she made a big song and dance about celebrating her other DIL's birthday a few weeks later.

Now she is asking what I would like. The answer is I don't want anything from them. I'm tired of these 'gifts' and having to be grateful even though I know there are strings attached or it's a snub. What do I do?

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Sun 06-Nov-16 12:23:10

Just ask for something edible, like a fabulous cake, or side of salmon, or champagne - say your decluttering!

Bluntness100 Sun 06-Nov-16 12:24:19

What other bad behaviour is there? Buying you an expensive gift, buying uou dinner and offering to babysit doesn't really sound that bad to be honest.and upset uour present was late sounds maybe a little petty.

So I guess there is a wider context here in terms of why you have low contact and don't want them with uour child?

MoreGilmoreGirls Sun 06-Nov-16 12:26:54

I have similar issues with my MIL around gifts, upon the birth of our first child I was presented with a v ott present of jewellery not to my taste at all (never worn it) which actually made me a bit uncomfortable. She was then upset as apparently my thanks was not gushing enough hmm.
I now just ask for a gift card for a favourite store which she's not happy about but then she asked me what I want and that's what I want.

chickenowner Sun 06-Nov-16 12:27:19

Book token smile

Farmmummy Sun 06-Nov-16 12:31:35

Amazon voucher?

Penfold007 Sun 06-Nov-16 12:37:07

Be honest, tell them you don't want any gifts. Don't give them gifts either.

Bubblegum18 Sun 06-Nov-16 12:40:40

I agree with bluntness I don't think what they've done is too bad I think you would need to explain their behaviours further

JaniceBattersby Sun 06-Nov-16 12:41:24

I'd just ask for something very specific that you need for the house so that at least it's useful. We have v similar probs with my MIL so every single birthday and Christmas I ask for whatever we're running low on of a very specific type of crockery (the ones we had for our wedding presents).

She can passively-aggressively buy them as seconds from the factory shop (fine by me) and we never run out of crockery. It matters less to me when they get smashed too, as I've not paid for them.

PotteringAlong Sun 06-Nov-16 12:44:17

She gave you an expensive meal out with your DH AND offered to babysit? What a bitch...

Unless some massive drop feeding is about to occur you are being horribly unfair to your MiL here.

ForgotStuff Sun 06-Nov-16 12:51:09

A new grandmother giving an OTT gift for a new grandchild is completely normal and offering to babysit after giving a present of a meal out is normal too.
I guess there is a huge back story.
If I were you I'd just accept the gift and say thank you and not spend ages before and after agnst'ing about it and trying to dissect the meaning. It's pointless.

GrumpyOldBag Sun 06-Nov-16 12:54:46

I don't see what's wrong with the gifs they've given you?

Something expensive when you were pregnant - sounds thoughtful.

Voucher for dinner out and an offer of babysitting from the grandmother - also sounds like a lovely present.

I think you sound very ungrateful, actually. And a bit of a control freak yourself.

diddl Sun 06-Nov-16 12:56:34

Tell her that you want nothing.

Why would you?

Herschellmum Sun 06-Nov-16 12:58:22

I am guessing there is more to the story, but from what you have said it sounds more like they haven't done anything and to be honest it sounds more like your reading for too much into things. But like I say I suspect there is more, but we can only comment on what has been said.

YouJustWouldntLetItLieWouldYa Sun 06-Nov-16 13:00:08

I'm hoping there's a massive dripfeed coming ?? If not you sound like a bit of an arse !!

LilQueenie Sun 06-Nov-16 13:00:36

I would just say you don't want anything either.

ItShouldHaveBeenJess Sun 06-Nov-16 13:00:52

I'd befurious with someone who bought me an expensive gift, took me out for a nice meal and offered to babysit! How DARE they! Completely thoughtless.

Lovefromhull Sun 06-Nov-16 13:04:54

She is fed up of getting you things that you don't like, so is being generous is asking. I feel a bit sorry for her.

AddToBasket Sun 06-Nov-16 13:09:15

Er, OP, is this a reverse? Are you really complaining about being given dinner and babysitting?

You sound very controlling. You might need to explain more.

crazywriter Sun 06-Nov-16 13:09:53

I'm with others. There's obviously so much more to this that you're not telling. On the face of your OP YABU but there must be a bigger reason for being low contact.

autumnintheair Sun 06-Nov-16 13:10:28

Op I understand where your coming from, gifts with strings attached are not proper gifts are they!

Its manipulative and I also know where I am in mils good book depending on what she gets me, she makes a very strong point with the gifts she gives. Just sound casual - thanks mil = at the moment a new bowl etc, bland, boring cheap?

Gottagetmoving Sun 06-Nov-16 13:13:41

She bought you and dh a meal so she could babysit? It's sad she has to buy anything in order to babysit!
Shouldn't a grandparent get to see their grandchildren?
Unless her behaviours in the past were causing distress or danger to your children I don't think it's ok to stop her having unsupervised contact.

Floralnomad Sun 06-Nov-16 13:16:54

I'm NC with my Inlaws, have been for about 19/20 yrs ( only MIL now) , it's mutual they started it , my DH still has contact and my DC have made their own choices . My MIL still sends a gift voucher for my birthday / Christmas and likewise they still get gifts from us , I'd rather get nothing but in the great scheme of things I don't cause extra aggro because DH still sees her . I don't send a thank you and I've no idea what DH says to her .

Roussette Sun 06-Nov-16 13:17:04

Unless you say what she's actually done wrong, YABU. On the face of what you say, she sounds lovely.

autumnintheair Sun 06-Nov-16 13:17:29

Its sad that perhaps such things have come to pass to make this behaviour her only option.

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