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To be annoyed about too many toys given to my kids

(23 Posts)
Moomoomango Fri 18-Nov-16 19:32:53

My mother in law is mostly great, she will have kids about once a week - would probably have them more if I needed to. She is a very devoted grandma and dotes on them. She is recently widowed (within last 2 years) and had a largeish insurance payout.

I would say every other week she is taking my 5yo to Asda or toys r us to buy a toy.

I don't believe in spoiling children too much, we have far too many toys to cope with and I'm constantly having to purge toys to keep up.

I've asked my oh to ask for no more toy shopping until at least after xmas. Today he comes back with a toy, she claims it's only a cheepy as if that makes a difference but it's a large toy not a little nick back.

We've asked in the past to stop buying toys so frequently but it seems she feels she has spoiling rights.

I don't want to rock the boat - she is mostly great - the excessive toy buying and not listening to my wishes is grating on me.

Aibu to be really pissed off?

anniroc Fri 18-Nov-16 19:34:48

Your OH needs to be firm with her. Perhaps suggest large toys be kept at hers?

DrQuinzel Fri 18-Nov-16 19:35:08

YABU. Ask her to keep them at her house as you have no room or make alternative childcare arrangements?

gamerchick Fri 18-Nov-16 19:36:21

No that would be irritating.

Maybe hand them too her and ask her to keep them at her house or drop them in quite soon after she buys them?

gamerchick Fri 18-Nov-16 19:36:41


MrsA2015 Fri 18-Nov-16 19:37:39

Perhaps suggest putting that money into savings that they'd appreciate when they're older? Let them paint a piggy bank or something together and she can add to it at the end of every visit for "being good". Just a thoughtgrin

Patriciathestripper1 Fri 18-Nov-16 19:43:23

I don't see the problem really, fancy a nana wanting to spoil her grandkids!!
Shd probably enjoys the distraction now she's on her own and gets joy in giving.
Why not suggest if she wants to buy a toy then take it to hers so they have things to play with at nanas house as yours is getting a bit full. That way you all win.

goddessofsmallthings Fri 18-Nov-16 19:45:12

Imo all doting grandparents have 'spoiling rights' and YABU to be annoyed at your MIL's generosity as it's not as if she's trying to take over your dc or attempting to buy their loyalty.

As has been suggested by gamerchick, ask her to keep the toys she buys at her home for the dc to play with and be grateful that she's willing to help you out by providing babysitting/daycare services.

dybil Fri 18-Nov-16 19:51:34

I don't thinker YABU, although 'really pissed off' might be a tad strong.

Maybe suggest that if she likes spoiling the kids (which is understandable), she takes them to do activities, rather than buying more toys?

LadyVampire Fri 18-Nov-16 19:55:12

YANBU. With my DD I want to teach her to be sensible with money, she'll earn her pocket money and use that to buy things she likes. To have someone else buy the things outright removes incentive to learn to work for what you have.

AlanThicke Fri 18-Nov-16 19:58:07

YANBU, strictly speaking, but I would think long and hard about making an issue of this. A lovely, helpful MIL is like a unicorn and I personally wouldn't rock the boat over toy buying. I also don't think too many toys is really what makes kids spoiled. I agree it's very irritating in other ways but if I were you I wouldn't pick this hill to die on. Complaining about things like this is what leads to the kind of misunderstandings that ruin family relationships, especially with in-laws, which is always a bit complicated.

Bottom line -- suck it up and count your blessings.

MrsMook Fri 18-Nov-16 20:04:33


Excessive buying becomes routine to the child rather than a treat, is an excessive use of resources and space, and undermines the value of special gifts and saving.

Can you encourage her to treat them in alternative ways? Trips to the park/ library/ cafe/ attraction? Her sentiment is kind and could be expressed in forms other than cluttering colourful plastic.

beccabanana Fri 18-Nov-16 20:24:00

I've had this with parents and in laws and like others said, anything loud or big, I've said to keep at their house which worked well. Or perhaps ask if there's something else she might prefer to contribute to instead of toys if she wants to spoil them in some way - something like Karate or horse riding lessons - whatever they might be into. At least she feels she's giving them something they might not already have but they're not being spoiled with endless toys?

lola111 Fri 18-Nov-16 20:28:41

Another MILs place is in the wrong type thread!
I don't think one new toy a fortnight is that much! As somebody else said why don't you suggest she keep them at her house to have somethimg to amuse them, and any future grandchildren when they visit.

BaldricksTrousers Fri 18-Nov-16 20:46:15

YABU. Your 5yo will only be 5 once. Let them be spoiled and enjoy the plethora of toys.
I understand wanting to keep clutter at bay but there are many kids without loving relatives or without grandparents that have the means to spoil them. Try to lighten up about it.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 18-Nov-16 20:52:15

I'm sure I'll probably get criticised for saying this but;

I wish my DM was still alive to spoil my 5 year old DD.

DD only has MIL left, and she is unfortunately too frail to take her anywhere.

Grandparents do have spoiling rights IMO. But maybe that's because I'm seeing things from a different viewpoint.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 18-Nov-16 20:53:27

Sorry that should have said DM, DF or FIL. All gone.

Moomoomango Fri 18-Nov-16 21:05:05

Thank you for responses it has made me realise I should count my blessings !

redexpat Fri 18-Nov-16 21:08:03

Well you could maybe ask her to pay for an activity that she could do with her GC?

BaldricksTrousers Fri 18-Nov-16 21:12:35

That isn't to say it wouldn't be a good idea to suggest experiences instead of items.....lessons, trips, meals out, all cost money and would be "spoiling" but make memories instead of making mess. Just talk about it. If she continues with all the toys then so be it shrug

junebirthdaygirl Fri 18-Nov-16 21:15:47

I'm a grandma and l think yanbu. It's your decision what way you want your dc brought up and if you don't want her to have endless stuff that is your choice. Also it takes away from you wanting to surprise your dc at special times. I think encouraging your Mil to fund an extra activity or savings is better. I get very annoyed at this grandma spoil the dc stuff. I had a fantastic relationship with my gd. My gm was dead. All my memories are of time spent with him. I wandered everywhere behind him and he always had time for me. Make sure your Mil knows your dc love spending times with her. If anyone had done that to me when my dc were growing up l would have hated it so l would never do it to my gds parents now. Birthdays Christmas sure but not too much in between.

maninawomansworld01 Sat 19-Nov-16 23:38:03

If she won't listen then next time you visit her load up the car (absolutely cram it) with the largest most garish, noisy and irritating toys.

Unload at hers and say 'oh we thought you wouldn't mind us keeping these here for when the kids visit. We have got so many that we can't store them and we seem to just be getting more and more.'

Perhaps when her nice neat house starts to fill with plastic crap she will get the message.

Could you ask her to keep some of the toys at your house, becausenyou don't have enough space at your house? Or ask her to buy books/craft stuff/ crayons etc? I don't think you can ever have too many books, and the craft stuff/crayons/pens are all consumables, so will get used up.

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