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Being told what I can or can’t buy our niece

(198 Posts)
Litsy Sun 25-Oct-20 07:12:24

My brother and his girlfriend split up about a year ago, they have a DD who’s 4.

This has gone on for some time before they split, but his girlfriend tells people they can’t do things with DD as she wants to do them first.

I completely get that if she was planning to do these things with her, but then she waits and waits and waits.... and they don’t seem to happen.

For context, DD spends 2 days a week with her mum, 2 days with my mum and dad, a day with her dad and the other 2 days with grandparents (seperately)

Examples to name a few:

My mum and dad wanting to take her swimming. Told no. She ended up going almost 6 months later, once.

Flipped out my mum and dad went pumpkin picking and to the circus with her, but has never shown an interest in either of these things.

Wanted to take her on holiday, we were told no. She’s still not gone on holiday.

I wanted to buy her a dolls house for Christmas, no as her mum wants to buy her first (but hasn’t bought her one yet and won’t be buying her one for Christmas)

I would 100% get it if she was planning to do these things with her, but it feels like DD is suffering going without because her mums a bit controlling.

I’ve already bought her a dolls house for Christmas and I was intending for it to stay at my mum and dads (she has 2 of everything as her mums family lives half an hour away). She’s got wind of it through my brother and basically said take it back.

AIBU thinking I don’t want my niece to go without?

OP’s posts: |
RedHelenB Sun 25-Oct-20 07:15:20

Shes not going without, shes got a lot of love in her life judging by all the people involved in her care. Let your brother as Dad make the decisions or just buy the things to stay at your mum and dads without talking about it first.

PolarBearStrength Sun 25-Oct-20 07:15:36

YANBU it sounds a bit shit for your niece. I don’t really understand why parents are so desperate to be the first for everything! I’m just pleased if DS is having a nice time, and if I don’t have to pay it’s a massive bonus. I do think it’s partially related to social media/Instagram culture that some parents want to be able to have these ‘experiences’ so they can ‘document’ them. It’s not about their relationship with the child at all.

JoJoSM2 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:15:40

YABU for saying your niece is ‘going without’.

YANBU that the mum sounds controlling.

flaviaritt Sun 25-Oct-20 07:19:20

The poor kid, sounds like she is shipped from pillar to post. When she was with my parents or my brother I would follow their guidance.

Flaunch Sun 25-Oct-20 07:20:38

For context, DD spends 2 days a week with her mum, 2 days with my mum and dad, a day with her dad and the other 2 days with grandparents (seperately)

Sorry if I’ve misunderstood this but is this the childcare arrangement or the living arrangement?

Northofsomewhere Sun 25-Oct-20 07:23:50

I think there's a big difference between buying a doll's House and taking her on holiday. The mother (or father) is right to say they want to take her for her first holiday and other special things usually shared with immediate family (mother/father/other children) like shoe fitting, hair cut, concert, Santa's grotto etc. As for the doll's House I would just keep it at your parents as you suggest, she'll only use it twice a week anyway.

I think you need to communicate better about the events you and your family are taking her to and invite her along for the bigger/more sensitive ones if she's available. I think the events are more important than things and would be sad to miss out on some of them if I was in that situation. It's also sounds like she's the primary parent, she should have more control over what her child does and doesn't do.

Ilikewinter Sun 25-Oct-20 07:24:22

Also, why does she spend 4 days with respective grand parents but only one day with her dad?.
Poor kid is being passed around like a parcel.

Hahaha88 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:28:18

I can understand her wanting to experience certain things first with her daughter, such as swimming or holiday. But unless there's some back story to the dolls house like it being an important part of her childhood her mom got her one or something I really don't think Yabu about the gift especially as it's not even going to be at her mom's house

Beautiful3 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:32:32

Why does she spend 7 days with different people? So 1 day with her dad and just evenings with her mum?

piscis Sun 25-Oct-20 07:33:28

Some things I understand, for example the holidays.
But the presents...surely the mum cannot control what you buy or not buy for her if those toys stay in your brother's house or your parents? She is not in charge of that. Maybe just stop asking/informing her.

I also don't understand the arrangements, are they are childcare arrangements for just a few hours or living arrangements. If living arrangements, poor kid! I agree she is being passed around like a parcel.

Litsy Sun 25-Oct-20 07:33:58

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Sorry I’ve probably worded it quite strongly saying going without.

I’m meaning she wouldn’t be able to play with the dolls house or experience things for half of the week if there’s a restriction on what can be done while with her dads side of the family.

The living situation is completely not normal. Her dad works full time (shifts), her mum works part time. Her grandparents work full time (dads side) and part time (mums side).

My parents have her all weekend, every weekend. Her dads normally working so has her on the Friday or Monday while she’s in this area. She then gets moved back to where her mum lives, half an hour away, goes to nursery 4 days a week and goes to her grandparents around her mum working. She sleeps in each of these houses and I agree it’s so bad for routine etc, she’s never settling down and playing with other kids other than nursery either which probably adds to me feeling like we should take her places and have toys here for her to play with too.

By the way I don’t have the mum on Instagram or anything since they split up, so no chance of her seeing any posts.

OP’s posts: |
Flaunch Sun 25-Oct-20 07:34:52

That sounds bloody awful for her.

RishiMcRichface Sun 25-Oct-20 07:35:46

It sounds like a difficult situation and not ideal for the little girl. As a pp asked is this her living arrangement or childcare arrangement, how is the parental responsibility shared?

nosswith Sun 25-Oct-20 07:36:34

I could understand not wanting to do certain things, or agreeing who does what, but always wanting to be first is unreasonable.

LadyWithLapdog Sun 25-Oct-20 07:36:50

That poor kid. I don’t think it should matter who provides the first “experience”. She won’t remember anyway or won’t attach this kind of paramount importance to it. I feel sorry for her living in an atmosphere of what sounds like bickering adults.

OlympicProcrastinator Sun 25-Oct-20 07:39:11

Poor kid. YANBU and I think PolarBearStrength nailed it.

LIZS Sun 25-Oct-20 07:42:16

That "arrangement" is hardly going to be sustainable when dn starts school. Does db ex struggle to keep on top of things and he sounds pretty uninvolved, managing only one day a week, does he supoort her financially and practically? Dn is no going to suffer from a lack of a doll's house though. Maybe her mother feels you are interfering and criticising how she manages.

KarlKennedysDurianFruit Sun 25-Oct-20 07:42:32

Oh that poor little girl being shunted around pillar to post, so she only spends 3 nights a week with her actual parents? I came in this thread expecting to say YABU they probably don't have space for a six foot teddy bear/giant table come train set..... This is really about a little girl being used as a pawn by parents who hardly see her

JamminDoughnuts Sun 25-Oct-20 07:44:20

i think it would be lovely for her to have a dolls house at your parents, her dm is far too controlling.
and of course to go swimming.
can you ask her what she would allow?

arethereanyleftatall Sun 25-Oct-20 07:44:50

So, she has 5 different beds to sleep in per week?

PopsicleHustler Sun 25-Oct-20 07:46:02

The living arrangements are so bizarre, to say the least

Ohdoleavemealone Sun 25-Oct-20 07:46:31

Doean't sound like she is ever at home with her mum to be able to do any of these things so I would just do it anyway.

Poor child gets passed around to everyone. Sounds like she doesn't ever spend time with her mum. Kid will grow up with much bigger issues than who was the first person to buy her a dolls house sad

ShinyGreenElephant Sun 25-Oct-20 07:48:25

Yanbu, that is shit. My dsds mum is similar - wont let us take her abroad so she can first (still waiting, 6 years since dh first asked now), doesnt want us getting anything fun for her, wants dh to give her the money so she can get it and get the credit, every time we take her to the pictures were accused of ruining the following weekend when she apparently had plans to see it with her. When she knew we had bought her a phone for her 10th bday she gave her her old one a couple of days before just to take the shine off it. Ours was a brand new iPhone but she didn't want it then in case it upset her mum, so she kept the 4 year old cracked one (until it gave up on her a few months later). We just ignore her for the most part now and do what we're doing although the holiday situation is annoying.

Themostwonderfultimeoftheyear Sun 25-Oct-20 07:48:58

Mum and dad need to change their working arrangements so they can actually care for her full time with just occasional nights at grandparents.

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