Not spending the same amount on DCs for Christmas.

(65 Posts)
LegoWalker Tue 15-Nov-16 19:33:16

I am having to do Christmas on a budget this year and it's going to be pretty tight. I have £200 left for most of the presents and any Christmas food.
So I have planned to only spend around £10 (hopefully less) on DS2 this year as he will be 11 months old so he won't notice at all.
I do however plan to spend more on my 3 older DCs as they are 7,5 and 12.
I do have things to wrap for DS2 as a friend was giving away a couple of old baby toys and kindly gave them to me so I plan to wrap them as his christmas present and then get him some christmas pj's and a bag of chocolate coins.

Ex-MIL called today to tell me what she was planning to do for the DCs Christmas presents. She also asked what I was doing so I told her. She was very upset with me. She told me I was an awful mother as I was treating the DCs so unfairly. I tried to explain but she wouldn't listen to me. She just kept telling me that when DS2 get older he will realise that I favoured the other DCs and I'm not trying hard enough and should have saved more or tried to work more to afford enough presents for everyone.

I feel so guilty anyway as none of the DCs are going to have many presents this year. But I really can't afford much more and this seemed like the solution but she is right its really unfair on DS2.

I have no idea what the solution is now, AIBU to not spend equal amounts on all the DCs?

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 15-Nov-16 19:38:43

Your ex-mil sounds like a nasty piece of work. Ignore her. You are perfectly reasonable and living to your means.

My parents got me a cheap second hand bike for Xmas aged 9 and my Dad spray painted it my favourite shade of purple. I loved that bike. Second hand is not a bad thing and spending different sums is perfectly normal. IMO you are not being unfair to your kids. At all.

HardcoreLadyType Tue 15-Nov-16 19:39:06

I often spend different amounts.

Sometimes someone needs or wants a big ticket item, that they wouldn't get every year. It will be someone else's turn another year.

Equal and fair are not the same thing - fair means everyone having what they need, whereas equal means having exactly the same.

Your little one won't notice they have less, and sometimes little ones can be overwhelmed by too much stuff. They'll probably enjoy scrunching the paper just as much as playing with the gifts, anyway.

CozyAutumn Tue 15-Nov-16 19:39:19

Ds2 is only 11 months old so I don't think Yabu. I think he will be happy with what you're giving him. And remember, at that age he will love the wrapping paper anyway! smile

If he was a year older I think it would be different.

OlennasWimple Tue 15-Nov-16 19:40:36

Ignore her! If DS2 was 11, and therefore acutely aware what the others were getting she might have a point, but he will seriously never know any disparity - and at 11 months he'll probably prefer the wrapping paper to the present anyway

Inthepalemoonlight Tue 15-Nov-16 19:40:55

Yanbu! I wouldn't spend the same on a baby whether I had all the money in the world or little to go round. I would just wrap the presents your friend had given you and split the money between the other 3. I would probably spend slightly more on the 12 year old. Why spend money on a baby who presumably already has a load of toys from when the other 3 were small, is getting more from your friend so will be unwrapping plenty and won't know it is Christmas anyway. I think you would be wasting money on the baby when you could use it to get one of the other 3 something they will love. Your MIL sounds a right battle-axe by the way.

passingthrough1 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:43:33

Oh that is ridiculous of her! He's a baby, you could wrap up anything...!
I won't be spending much of my baby not because of money issues just because he's a baby so if I want to get him something I don't see the point of waiting for a day that he can't comprehend at all.
Important to have something to unwrap just for photos (first Christmas) / the benefit of your older DC / the fun watching him have fun with wrapping paper. But what is wrapped up is surely irrelevant.

KayTee87 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:47:09

She's ridiculous, don't give her this level of information in the future. My baby will be 5 months at Christmas and I'm not planning to get him anything as 1. He has everything he needs and more and 2. He won't have a clue. I'm obviously a terrible mother grin

whatsthebigdeal Tue 15-Nov-16 19:50:50

At 11 months he will never know and will never remember, there's nothing wrong with wrapping the second hand toys for him
I would spend the money on the older children as they will be more appreciative as they are at an age to understand and remember Christmas
My son was 4 weeks old for his first Christmas, I spent about £10 on him, he was a new born it's not like he wanted anything, spent about £50 on my daughter as she was 2 years old, didn't do him any harm!!

Jojobythesea Tue 15-Nov-16 19:50:58

I always made the most of it when my dc's were too young to know. They liked the boxes and wrapping paper best anyway!! It's about love and family, not all the material stuff. Miserable MiL I would say and not actually any of her business. Hope you have a lovely Christmas flowers winesmile

BackforGood Tue 15-Nov-16 19:54:55

You are being very sensible and she is being ridiculous.
She seems to be confusing being fair with 'doing everything exactly the same' which are very different.
She also seems to be forgetting that the youngest "inherits" all kinds of toys and playthings from older siblings as well as their own presents, as older ones grow up, so the eldest will have had - say - a scooter for a Christmas present, the younger ones get to play on the scooter the older one has outgrown and get their own present at Christmas.

Loosechange1 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:55:28

Bollox. Ex Miles can get over herself.
I can afford to spend the same amount on the baby as the others, but I'm not as it would be utterly pointless and he won't care.

Agree with the above posters, capitalize on that he doesn't need or want anything and if you are feeling evil you could always tell ex Miles that your youngest won't need to count how much has been spent on him at Xmas to know that he is considered and valued as an equal member of the family.

attheendoftheday Tue 15-Nov-16 19:58:17

You are being sensible. He is a baby and will not mind!

mikeyssister Tue 15-Nov-16 19:59:37

We've never spent the same amount on any of our children as they want different things. And our youngest is 12.

lalalalyra Tue 15-Nov-16 20:01:23

She's being ridiculous.

I never spend the same amount on them. I often spend similar, but when one is a tiny (DD3 will be under 6 months at Christmas - she'll have less spent on her than the others) I spend less as they don't need as much.

With the bigger kids aged 3+ I always do the same number of parcels because of the way the kids open their presents on Christmas morning. That means DS1 (almost 18), who is getting a big ticket item, will have some socks and diary to open as well as his main thing.

YokoWakarimasen Tue 15-Nov-16 20:03:48

yanbu.

have you looked at book people? there are some great sets for not much, and it can seem like you are getting lots more with a big set.

good luck, and don't listen to the ex-mil.

Callipygian Tue 15-Nov-16 20:19:34

I'm not really on a budget but I'm spending very different amounts on DS and DD. DD is 3 1/2 and DS will be 9 months - he really wont know the difference and doesn't really need anything. No guilt here.

Waiting4cakes Tue 15-Nov-16 20:20:14

YANBU
Don't listen to ex MIL I have never spent much on the DCs went they are babies.
It's really difficult on a budget will the DCs have other presents to open on the day for other friends or family members?

Leeds2 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:46:42

Your 11 month old really will not know the difference. Don't worry about it.

LegoWalker Tue 15-Nov-16 20:52:13

Thank you for your replies.
I should know better than to tell ex mil things to be honest I was feeling kind of pleased with myself because I thought I had figured out a way to make Christmas work. This is the first Christmas with just me and the DCs so I am still working things out by myself.

The DCs won't really have much else to open. Exh won't be getting them anything.
They will have a gift from my brother and a couple of gifts from my godmother. Possibly something from my uncle. Ex mil is apparently putting the money she would have spent on presents into a bank account for the DCs for when they are older. She is sending them a card instead.

Thank you I will check out the book people.

JustHappy3 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:53:39

How ridiculous.
I don't know if this helps - but I have enough money to spend the same amount on both DCs but i won't cos DS is 7 and DD is 1. She hasn't a clue what xmas is, will only want to rag the paper about. It would be pointless and an obscene waste of money.
When she's 7, ds will be 13 and they will both still have very different needs. But i hope i will be matching what i got DS at 7 iyswim. That's being fair.
I didn't spend much on DS at 1 so to match what he'll get this year would be very unfair.
She's a judgmental loon who's got it in for you. Ignore.

JustMarriedBecca Tue 15-Nov-16 20:57:52

We have a high disposable income. My DS will be three months. He's getting a silver foil blanket for 49p and a bouncy light up ball which I think was about 99p. He maybe needs a few new clothes which I might wrap up but no way would I spend the same as on DD who will be two.

MrsJayy Tue 15-Nov-16 20:58:34

he is a baby he has presents he will be more interested in the paper though, your ex mil was being horrible of course your son wont grow up resenting his siblings tell her nothing then she cant say stupid things to upset you.

43percentburnt Tue 15-Nov-16 20:59:30

Maybe her first port of call regarding money being spent should be her son. Why won't he be getting them anything? Does he pay at least the cms level of maintenance for the children?

No problem spending less on the baby, he no doubt far more toys than your eldest as he has the older kids toys too!

43percentburnt Tue 15-Nov-16 21:02:26

Btw Ex mil - will require the kids birth certificates or passports to open a savings account in her and their name.

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