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To return these gifts

(32 Posts)
StripySocks1 Mon 15-May-17 09:48:42

I know that this will sound ungrateful but it really is a bit overwhelming.

I get on with my mil but she an 'over-gifter' she always asks what my parents have given us for Christmas and birthdays and makes sure she gives more both in quantity of gifts and that she's spent more.
The thing is that my parents usually buy thoughtful gifts whereas hers are usually piles of tat.
I have spoken to her in the past about not buying so much but she always says she wants to spend her money on us now so she can see us enjoy it.
Recently she's been giving us loads of clothes and 2nd hand toys for our newborn, the toys are all obviously well played with and I don't want to give them to my baby, especially as she has so many other new ones from other friends and family and the clothes are really really not to my taste but I feel awful that they'll never get worn. If it was just one or two things I'd smile and put the baby in them when she's around but it's two or three new outfits a week and some are hand made.
My DH thinks we should just give them to a charity shop but I think we should give them back to her and say something along the lines of thank you for these, but we'd prefer to have fewer new toys than lots of 2nd hand and the clothes aren't the sort of thing we like but we can tell you which shops we like baby clothes from if you want to buy outfits.
I should point out that we aren't grabby, we don't want or expect her to buy us anything but we know that she isn't going to stop buying us things because it makes her so happy, on the other hand she won't take gifts from us and doesn't like receiving gifts herself (we still buy her gifts though)

wizzywig Mon 15-May-17 09:50:13

Go with yr husbands suggestion. She will probably be really offended.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 15-May-17 09:51:56

Definitely don't give them back that would be very hurtful

mando12345 Mon 15-May-17 09:52:19

Second hand toys for newborn, straight to the charity shop.

The clothes I would just wear occasionally when she sees the baby.

I wouldn't say anything to be honest, it will upset her and is not worth it.

OfficiallyUnofficial Mon 15-May-17 09:52:49

Jesus don't give them back like that unless you want a horrifically bad relationship for ever 😮

You DH is right, keep and visibly use a couple of things and charity shop the rest (one far away from her!).

But do get your DH to tell her you are short on space and limit the gifts. OR be canny and if she won't stop buying them get her to get stuff you actually need e.g "oh we've needed a new potty for ever but Stripys parents never get useful things...".

NavyandWhite Mon 15-May-17 09:53:36

Don't give them back as it will offend her. You could say " thanks for all the gifts but we are running out of space " type thing.

Is it her first GC?

sonjadog Mon 15-May-17 09:54:06

Don't give them back and tell her what you'd like instead. That would be really rude and hurtful. Just give them to a charity like your DH suggested.

Fruitcorner123 Mon 15-May-17 09:57:01

Giving them back is harsh and seems ungrateful. I agree with other posters give most to charity and keep a couple of items for baby to wear when MIL around. Also get DH to speak to her and say that you have enough now so please don't buy anymore. If she continues then it might be worth one of you telling her that you are having to give some to charity as you have no more space.

glitterglitters Mon 15-May-17 10:02:43

Have we got the same mil? 😂 We get a lot of second hand stuff she's found on eBay/gumtree etc. It's usually ok but she's bought our dd's first bike, first doll, first teddy etc this way which got my nose out of joint a bit.

She regularly turns up with crates of stuff for dd.

Dh had said no more but it just kept coming. In the end I literally rejected the boxes at the door. I said as much as I appreciate the gesture, we have a four bed house and it was full, some of the stuff has been broken and she inappropriate (only discovered when things nearly ended up in dd's mouth) but we couldn't even pick out birthday presents for our daughter because she'd already bought everything we were going to get.

I then took a helluva lot of stuff to a charity shop. She hasn't bought anything round since. We do have a good relationship though and she is trying to make up for a number of things I think, her heart was in the right place.

Best thing to do is be polite, but frank, and if she continues to ignore then just get rid. If questioned where things are just say "they got damaged/broken/gone missing". You'll have given enough notice enough was enough.

glitterglitters Mon 15-May-17 10:04:13

I wouldn't give back anything already accepted. Also handmade clothes have a tendency to shrink in the wash wink

Fragglez Mon 15-May-17 10:05:16

Can you ask her to do a shopping trip with you?

You get new stuff you actually like and she gets to feel important.

Can you also tell her you are running out of space for toys? Put teddies through the washing machine with dettol laundry cleanser and soak hard toys in milton. Any that survive that ask her to keep at her house for when you come over?

glitterglitters Mon 15-May-17 10:05:47

My sil lives the other side of the country and we get given bags of stuff to take to dn.

We get there and she says "ah at least it's already in a bin bag" and plonks them out with the bins 🙊

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 15-May-17 10:06:19

Don't give them back. That would be so hurtful. I know you want to hurt her, but that's a really unnecessary way of making your point.

BackforGood Mon 15-May-17 10:06:49

Recently she's been giving us loads of clothes and 2nd hand toys for our newborn, the toys are all obviously well played with and I don't want to give them to my baby

YABU with this.
2nd hand toys and clothes rock. You will waste SO much money over their lifetime if you stick with this.

However, you need to steer her a bit rather than giving things back - that is just incredibly rude and ungracious. Is there a farm park or something nearby you could ask her to get you a season ticket for..... saying how she's got far too many toys / clothes but it would be lovely to be able to go there every so often......#or
show her a baby swing / climbing frame or something for the garden saying how much never ending joy she'd get over the next 5 years and wondered if she might put a couple of quid by each week rather than getting her clothes now, so that, in a years time she could get her that, or something? You'd have to be tactful, but it does seem daft getting new things each week which then go to charity shop. Might it also be better coming from your dh?
"I don't mean to be cheeky Mum, but, I was wondering if, rather than buying a new outfit each week which she'll just never wear, if you'd ....." type thing from her ds is better than "Stop buying her crap" from her DiL ???

SleepFreeZone Mon 15-May-17 10:11:41

My MIL buys the kids tons of toys and we are starting to get duplicates and some are starting to get put aside from the charity shop but she absolutely loves doing it so I would never say no or hurt her feelings. She also has great taste in clothes so I'm delighted when she buys the kids outfits.

AliceByTheMoon Mon 15-May-17 10:15:06

If you think she genuinely wants to spend her money on you now so you can enjoy it then I would inquire if she would be willing to give you the cash to put into your (or DCs) bank accounts- either to save up for something rally meaningful or to fritter at will. Because it seems a shame she is spending good money on things you don't need or want.

ParadiseLaundry Mon 15-May-17 10:18:15

I feel your pain OP, my MIL is exactly the same. She literally never turns up to see DS without something for him, the charity shop toys I don't mind personally, it's the bloody clothes. DS is 17mo and since he was born she's been giving us clothes for him up to age 5. Non of which are to our tastes. We have never put them on him, I started giving them straight to the charity shop. It doesn't stop her though, they still keep coming. She does it with us too, I'm clearing out kitchen cupboards ATM as we're getting a new kitchen and I've realised how much stuff she's dumped on us over the years.

I wish I had better advice for you OP, but I agree with PP, don't give them back to her, just take the ones you don't want straight to the charity shop and hopefully she will get the message. If she asks where stuff is just be honest 'I had to take it to the charity shop, we have far too many clothes and toys!'

Maudlinmaud Mon 15-May-17 10:24:42

You would be surprised what children get attatched too. Sometimes they favour things that are old and tatty.
But, I would go with the not enough space reason and only buy one item please.
Is she insecure about the others gps?

Badbadbunny Mon 15-May-17 10:34:32

Tell them exactly what you DO want. We had this with my mother. She had always been very "possession orientated" and when I lived at home, birthdays and christmas was all about who'd spent most and who's piles of presents were biggest. It was fine when you're a child, but as an adult, it was shockingly ridiculous.

I nipped it in the bud when we got married. Didn't wait for the first christmas or birthday, but I got the message sent out long beforehand that it was time to stop and that we should just buy each-other token or personal gifts. I made the first move by asking my mother what she wanted and told her it was basically going to be one "main" gift and then I'd make it up with something else such as a toiletry set or box of chocolates. Thankfully, she got the message and we got into a habit of telling eachother what we wanted.

So when our son was born, the seed had already been set. Beforehand, she wanted to know what to buy (amazing as a few years earlier sh'ed have just gone out to buy a load of stuff). We had a conversation and the outcome was that she would buy the cot. To prevent any mistakes, we made a day of it, and bought it together, at the same time, we bought the pram, and a load of other stuff. That open dialogue thankfully continued and we could openly discuss what our son needed and what mother would like to buy. Of course, she still bought "surprises" but they were a lot smaller and cheaper, things like small clothing items and small toys/books, etc. But she felt better having been part of the buying of the big stuff.

I think you've missed the boat if it's already happening. You should have nipped it in the bud long ago. But it's still a conversation worth trying. You don't have to be nasty, or make a big deal out of it, but how about at the next birthday or christmas, you politely suggest that they buy something substantial instead of lots of tat. But, handing something back isn't acceptable I'm afraid, it's bolting the stable door after the horse had bolted. You need to smile and be grateful short term and come up with a plan to stop it being repeated.

CMOTDibbler Mon 15-May-17 10:36:25

My dad is an obsessive bargain hunter, and buys loads of stuff for his GC. He has been terribly hurt by my brother telling him he doesn't want the toys that he's bought. I accept them, tell him how much ds has liked them, and cycle them rapidly to the charity shop. Small white lies, but it makes dad very happy and I see no reason to hurt him.

mistermagpie Mon 15-May-17 11:03:37

My MIL is like this, she works (volunteers) in a charity shop so has unlimited access to tat. We get absolutely tonnes of it given to us as gifts or just in general. It bugs me because she will give us clothes that might well be a bargain, but are far too small for either of our children, or will give us crap ornaments and things for our house which I wouldn't want anyway, but with two small children and pets, are just more stuff to get broken.

A lot of the toys and things are also dirty and I have enough cleaning to do as it is.

It's annoying but we just bag them up and take them to the charity shop (not the one she works in obviously!) and she's none the wiser. I wouldn't give her stuff back or refuse it because I know she would be hurt or offended. I figure that by giving it away at least somebody will benefit from it.

TheClaws Mon 15-May-17 11:07:26

What's wrong with hand made clothes?

Pinkheart5917 Mon 15-May-17 11:07:48

Take them to the charity shop, that way someone gets some use out of them and they raise money for a good cause and you don't rudely shove gifts back at mil

glitterglitters Mon 15-May-17 11:11:12

@TheClaws nothing. I make clothes myself. But a bright pink woolen crochet sun dress hmm because it was "adorable" is not going to be the most a) practical or b) nice to look at.

Plus we've been given bits that had loose buttons, frilly bits that could be chewed, swallowed etc.

glitterglitters Mon 15-May-17 11:13:27

And by handmade clothes I mean purchased ones from charity shops not ones that mil has made herself. Those would be kept, tucked away

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