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Who was unreasonable? A return of borrowed baby things...

(147 Posts)
Cleanmywindows Sun 03-Mar-19 23:13:46

A and B are sisters. A has 4 dc aged 7-1. B has 2 dc aged 2 and 7m.

When B had her first dc, A was very supportive and provided a lot of the stuff A needed. When A subsequently had her 4th dc, B sent back various items she was no longer using, along with some items which were new for B. Some of these A then returned to her for use with B's second dc. Overall, A has spent far more money on the items that have been used by both sisters than B.

Recently, A asked B to return a specific toy that A's youngest dc is now at the appropriate stage to use. B said that her oldest dc was still using the toy - would a new replacement of the item be acceptable to A? B said no - for good reasons, she wanted the originally lent item back. B agreed to return the toy.

However, the conversation caused some bad feeling between A and B. B says A did not ever use the words 'lend' or 'borrow' when providing the items to B but feels that, as sisters, this should not need to be explicated. B feels the reverse, claims that she never requested help from A and stated that if there are other items that A has 'lent' to B, then A should say what they are because B did not understand that these items were on loan. B said she would not be able to give back loaned items if she did not know what they were! B feels angry that A was not clear about wanting certain items back. She said she would not have accepted children's toys 'on loan'. A feels angry that B has taken her assistance for granted and has not acknowledged the financial value of the items.

A responded with a list of items - two higher value items and a few more specific toys, and requested that these be returned today. A said that she is struggling financially, and can either make use of the items herself (and therefore not be out of pocket for similar items) or resell them and bring in much needed funds. B is coming to the end of mat. leave, with not much to spare herself, but is not struggling as much as A who is a SAHM and has recently had her tax credits cut. B said that she will need to replace some of the items, some of which are necessities (breastpump) others of which will be missed by her toddler, who doesn't understand why her toys have been taken away. A told B that she cannot afford to be out of pocket on account of things she's already paid for once. B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem. A told B that she is done with the sharing of items and that the future of the whole relationship was in question. B cut A off, and ended the call, saying to A that she was coming close to saying things she would come to regret. B returned the items (via a third party) and so far no further messages have been exchanged.

Obviously I am one of these people. If my sister is reading, she'll certainly recognise herself as I've been pretty specific! I've tried to be neutral, although obviously that's hard. Who was being unreasonable?

TBDO Mon 04-Mar-19 17:11:26

Your comment about being out of pocket is insensitive. You’re effectively saying that it’s fine for your DSis to be out of pocket twice compared to you being out of pocket once?

I get that money is tight for you, but your sister is obviously in need. She helped you out by lending stuff. You come across as petty for not being appreciative and not handing stuff back to her at her point of need, without making a drama of it.

It doesn’t really matter if she said it was a loan or not - she cared enough about you to pass things to you (getting herself out of pocket once), you should reciprocate by caring enough about her by passing her own things back (instead of expecting her to be out of pocket twice so you can not be out of pocket even once).

Pinkprincess1978 Mon 04-Mar-19 17:15:24

I think as soon as she got pregnant at the same time as you op (I assume by dates you were pregnant at the same time it at least pregnant when your 2nd dc was very young) she should have said 'I know I gave you those things back after I had dc 3 but x, y & z we will need at over lapping time so just to let you know before you start using them can I have them back now?'

I do think it's very unfair to take toys away from a gold that they are used to playing with.

Although i would never ask for them I think I would expect someone who had been given/leant something I had bought and they still had it AND was not using it to automatically give it back even if they planned on using it again the nice and fair thing to do would be to give those things back.

Rachand23 Tue 05-Mar-19 18:16:29

Material things! These will NEVER be a replacement for your sisterly bond. Grow up both of you, life is so short. A few weeks ago near here a young girl got knocked down and killed by a bus, things happen in an instant! Hearts get broken, but over material things?

jade19 Tue 05-Mar-19 18:17:12

This sounds like something children would agree about! Agree to let her buy the new toy and then everyone is happy including both the kids.
I also wouldn't be lending, borrowing or sharing anything anymore

Sarahrellyboo1987 Tue 05-Mar-19 18:36:53

I can’t imagine B’s children will really miss the toys that much. I’m sure they have others that they love. It’s really no big deal - just give the stuff back.
That said - maybe A could have just been upfront and said she wanted them back for the money.
Making snarky comments along the SAHM lines are out of order.

Blarblarblar Tue 05-Mar-19 18:43:00

B you behaved badly. She asked for her truck back, regardless of if your tot was still using it, it wasn’t yours and she wants it back. You created this silly drama.
You also sounded very judgmental of her choice to be a SAHM but seriously with 4 kids how the fuck would you manage the stress and afford the childcare. It’s understandable surely? She’s probably getting judged a lot and that was very very unkind but you are refusing to acknowledge that.

Mumofaprinny Tue 05-Mar-19 19:00:31

Why couldn’t you just put in made up names?😒😕

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Tue 05-Mar-19 19:13:18


the “I need this particular truck walker” is weird

but you are no way out of pocket...she has no doubt saved you a tonne of cash in aggregate and from what you write it sounds like she is in a desperate spot.

If you think about it, It actually makes little sense to spend £30/£50/ whatever on a new breast pump which she will then sell because she needs cash, given the relationship was fairly normal, my read on this is she is very desperate so acting out a bit.

I’d try and have some compassion

GregoryPeckingDuck Tue 05-Mar-19 19:15:59

Items need to go back to original purchaser and you need to get over it.

Witchtower Tue 05-Mar-19 19:23:31

I don’t accept borrowed toys for this reason. I will only accept if it’s a gift. That includes clothes.
I don’t mind handing any of this stuff back but it will be me gifting it back to you. This is all because things will inevitably get ruined by LO and rather not have that responsibility.

holey Tue 05-Mar-19 19:59:35

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was given a beautiful dress by a colleague- not a maternity dress, but she'd lost weight and didn't want to chuck it and I loved it. Another couple of colleagues (husband and wife) gave me all their baby blankets and sheets. They said that they'd be useful as spares in cases of accidents at night etc and it meant I didn't have to buy so many sets in the first place. A third colleague offered to "lend" me her car seat as I didn't have a car so would only use it occasionally. I said no, thanks and we bought a new one. If the lady who'd given me the dress or the couple who gave me the bedding had subsequently asked for the items back and said they were just a loan I'd have been mortified. I never would have taken something under those conditions. I'm with you, B.

BusySnipingOnCallOfDuty Tue 05-Mar-19 20:14:09

With my first pregnancy, I was naive and received a lot of bags of clothes and equipment from different people.

Most of the baby vests and sleepsuits looked the same to me.

One lady wanted some of the stuff back when we were done with it. But after DD was born she needed tiny baby clothes, which a neighbour lent us. Definitely lent.

And subsequently went through the wash with something dark ( confused ) so I never used the stuff from the woman who wanted her bag of stuff back eventually, because I have form for damaging white and light clothes.

I don't even know if I gave her the right bags back after, either.

The whole thing felt horrid.

But I suffer with bad guilt complexes.

I've also had a lot of people pass on, or sell items I've lent them. I learnt to let it go. The few thousand pounds worth of reusable nappies, babyslings and buggies and breastpumps and cool outfits and shoes and other equipment.... I'm an idiot.

From the outside, I'm pissed off that A didn't specify 'lend' and that certain items may need returning at a certain point.

B should replace the toy which is wanted back, giving her own child the new one.

If A is that desperate for the money, B could offer to buy the expensive items at second hand price.

Tessabelle74 Tue 05-Mar-19 20:35:27

I got bored halfway through! Why are you falling out over a toy? You're more childish than your kids imo

chillpizza Tue 05-Mar-19 20:36:11

The more B posts the worse she sounds.
A saved you a ton of money and your getting your ass out over a couple of items suck it up you would of had to buy them with your first if she hadn’t of let your use them.

Yabbers Tue 05-Mar-19 20:51:56

B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem
That’s a really shitty thing to say to your sister.

Forget all the shit with the toys, apologise to her.

Thewarrenerswife Tue 05-Mar-19 21:14:13

The 5/5 rule definitely applies here. If it won’t matter in 5 years don’t spend more than 5 minutes on it. Be grateful you have a sister. Be grateful your kids were able to
use the same clothes and toys. Look at the time you’ve wasted just writing that post.... it’s irrational!

NiceNewShiny Tue 05-Mar-19 21:23:40

I think A sounds the worst but B doesn’t sound great either. So both A and B are BU.

Saltystraw Tue 05-Mar-19 21:23:50

I think it’s unreasonable to give or loan things and expect them while the other person is still using them.. (within reason of course) if you plan on having another child then you shouldnt give away your stuff.
However because the sister was so generous on giving or lending in the first place then the other sister should definitely do her best to help her out.. give back what you no longer have a need for and help replace the other items. A toy should not have to be taken from a child.. that is unreasonable.

Catsinthecupboard Tue 05-Mar-19 21:58:58

I'm sorry about this situation.

I think being asked for a toy that's being used is wrong. My sil DEMANDED i give back a cradle that my df had made so HER SISTER could use it. (No relation to df)

This was almost reasonable but i was using it and she wanted it when her ds was only 3mos along. She wouldn't wait until my dd outgrew it, which was before her sis needed it.

You need to apologize for being mean about sahm and just give things back. Children at that age are placated more easily than parental feelings.

Why didn't you automatically think that you should pass things back when you found out your sis was pregnant?

I've been in your place but as I'm much older, i'll tell you that having a sister that is your friend is a gift. You'll have holidays, dc and parents to share. A few things aren't worth losing a human connection.

Show your dc a good example of what's important: family.

PolarBearkshire Wed 06-Mar-19 00:25:46

A is at fault and ridiculous. I wouldnt speak to her for a while after dumping all her crap on her door step. Pathetic

strawberrisc Wed 06-Mar-19 05:47:45

I hate algebra.

suzy2b Wed 06-Mar-19 11:57:04

If A is short of money she shouldn't have had so many children most people these days can't afford more than 2 unless you are well off

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