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to be sick of MiL buying dd stuff everytime she looks after her! Rant alert

(73 Posts)
minxofmancunia Wed 15-Jul-09 11:02:59

Dd 2.10 has 3 yes 3 HUGE baskets of cuddly toys, only 1 toy ever bought by me as a Christmas pressie, the rest have been well-meaning gifts.

We live in a 2up 2 down terrace, very lovely but very small, the soft toy contingent is taking over! We are hopefully moving in a month,(to a bigger house) I'll be 8 months pg and want to pare down all the c**p rather than add to it. Dh had a word with satan MiL a while ago to tell her not to get dd anymore soft toys or branded stuff (last week she bought her a high school musical base ball cap horrid horrid) as it was taking over the house.

Yesterday came back from yoga at 7.30 to kiss dd goodnight and found her in bed with a huge scarecrow (nearly as big as her) and a penguin. Didn't say anything in front of dd but went mad at MiL to dh,(she'd, luckily for her left at this point) he said he'd had serious words. The point is SHE'S BEEN TOLD NO. MORE. STUFF.

He said rather than apologising she did her usual petulant childsih things and pulled a face saying "Grandmas in trouble again is she" and "well it's only 2 toys you can take them with you" (re the move) when asked why she'd bought them despite our specific instructions she said "well she wanted them so I had to get them"

What!!!! The issues for me are 1. The clutter, 2.the disobediance 3. the fact that IMO dd is getting a bit spoilt and is beginning to believe she can have what she wants, when she wants and 4. in light of this when we're with her we get the most almighty tantrums everytime we say "no".

For information yes of course we're lucky that gps look after dd once a week (alternating between MiL Dm and my dad) but it was something particularly with MiL that she asked for, so we reduced her days at nursery accordingly thinking it would help.

I'm starting mat leave in 2 weeks for a year so we're stopping it apart from a visit once a month for a few hours (again at MiLs request not us being mean), has caused lots of problems.

Take note: Gps looking after dcs isn't always a handy solution.

Am still fuming!!!!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 15-Jul-09 11:09:20

I think you are being mean tbh.

Your MIL loves her GD and this is how she shows her love.

I can't be against her as I would love my Nana to be here to even talk to my kids, never mind buy them stuff.

And if she is only seeing your child once a month in the future that will be one present won't it?

jumpingbeans Wed 15-Jul-09 11:15:54

Are you for real!! Disobediance? i would lmfao if my dd or my ddil called me disobediant.

MrsMellowdrummer Wed 15-Jul-09 11:17:30

Maybe you could agree a new rule with your daughter (and mil) - something along the lines of every time she gets a lovely new cuddly toy, she chooses one of her old ones to give to the charity shop? Clutter problem solved.

SparkleandShine Wed 15-Jul-09 11:19:52

we have this with my mum - it's simple, new toys have to be kept at HER house...QED fewer new toys grin.

Morloth Wed 15-Jul-09 11:20:33

My PILs buy useless junk and then mail it to us from Australia (usually costing about 3 times the value of the actual junk).

They do it because they love DS. It is a bit of a PITA but to be honest I just wait for him to get bored of it and then off to the charity shop it goes. Saves me having to buy him stuff.

piscesmoon Wed 15-Jul-09 11:24:17

I would agree with your whole post-except for the disobedience-there is no reason that your MIL has to obey you!
Grandparents should spoil-it doesn't mean that you have to.
If she won't listen I would just have a rule with your DD, one comes in, one goes out. Put it in the loft and if she doesn't ask for it in the next month give it to a charity shop. If she does ask for it give it back, but insist that she puts a different one in the bag.
If you don't like that idea then circulate them-one basket out and 2 put away and swap once in a while.

ladyofshallots Wed 15-Jul-09 11:25:12

My grandmother does this and it is all second hand tat from charity shops. It was causing me too much stress to argue as she wouldn't listen, so I quietly send most of it off to the charity shop. The worst thing is when she buys big stuff, like a child's table and chairs (very worn and scratched) but I just keep what we'll use and get rid of the rest.

That way she gets the pleasure of giving the gift, but it doesn't clutter the house.

wilkos Wed 15-Jul-09 11:27:15

when the op said disobedience she meant her dd!

pooter Wed 15-Jul-09 11:27:33

I am totally with you minx. you are not being mean!! My DS gets all sorts of crap foisted on him, where is it all meant to go???? AAAgggghhh - we have STUFF spilling out of every room. Too much stuff too much stuff - i have tried telling my PILs that i cant stand having so much stuff int he house and it actually makes me feel sick , but mil says that it makes her happy. well thats ok then. last time they came (one week ago) they bought DS (hes 2) a FORT. It is the size of half the living room. A FORT for a 2 yr old - complete with chokeable items. I dont really want him to have weapon toys either, but thats a different thread.

STOP BUYING MY SON STUFF! she also came with 6 outfits for him. which i dont like. but at least they live a long way away. I mean 6!!! thats overkill.

you've struck a nerve chez pooter, minx.

Fruitysunshine Wed 15-Jul-09 11:29:07

I think your dd's emotional security is more important than your decluttering schedule. Seriously, my DS had 3 big buckets full of teddy's. My dd1 has 4 black bags and my dd2 is only 22mths and barely has any yet.

So WHAT if they take up space? What I do is regularly declutter with my kids, explaining to them that they have outgrown some toys and once a year we get rid of lots! That frees up space in itself. As for the soft toys, that is a different issue, they get comfort and security from their cuddlies and sometimes take 3 or 4 with them to bed! They will go through the bags and change them out when they feel like it! Even my DS17 still has a cuddly of a huge scooby doo in his room! He swears he does not use it of course!

It sounds like your MIL can't probably do too much right in your eyes. Your general tone shows a disdane for her and your insistence that your hubby tells your mil off comes across that you don't have much of a relationship with her yourself and I think that comes across in your post.

Why can't kids get everything they want? If they are taught to work for what they want whether it is through good behaviour or a committed attitude, why should they not get it?

Maybe I am being niave (sp?) but I think if she did not do enough you would criticise her and because she shows her love in this way you still criticise her.

My kids only have one grandma they see regularly and a set of grandparents they see maybe once or twice a year. They don't get regular pressies but I wish somebody would spoil them from time to time.

Maybe that is why I do it!! ;)

Pyrocanthus Wed 15-Jul-09 11:32:43

I think your telling word is 'disobedience' - you want to be able to control her behaviour, but she's not your employee. I don't say this in a judgmental way - if my MIL was providing childcare for me I suspect I'd have been carried away in a straitjacket long ago, but as you say, using relatives in that role isn't always easy.

If you really can't sit down and talk this through (and I know that requires the will on both sides), then for future reference if you're going to get back into the same childcare pattern:

Don't worry too much about her spoiling your DD - I think she will understand that things are a bit difference in grandma's house as she's with you most of the time and your values will prevail.

Suggest that grandma keeps the toys at her own house for when DD is over there. That might be an eye opener for her when they start to take over her house.

Operate a system of one cuddly in, one out to deal with the clutter in your house. Your DD probably won't notice if you take one from the bottom of the pile.

FabBakerGirl: I do think GPs should be allowed to indulge in a bit of spoiling, but it is difficult if it's very frequent, and the parents' wishes should be listened to. Nobody needs to express their love through masses of gifts and it does smack a bit of competition.

AxisofEvil Wed 15-Jul-09 11:33:25

Well I can perfectly well understand where you're coming from and why you are so annoyed. Aside from the clutter you're quite right that it sends the wrong message to your DD. I'd be furious if I were undermined in this fashion.

HensMum Wed 15-Jul-09 11:36:39

Can't the toys be kept at MIL's? My mum buys a lot of toys and books for DS but they are mostly to be kept at her house. Which is great all round, she gets to spoil DS, we don't have more clutter and DS has new and novel things to play with when he visits her.

readyfornumber2and3 Wed 15-Jul-09 11:49:37

I feel your pain minx my MIL just cant seem to understand that we live in a small house and havent got space for it all!!

I wouldnt mind so much but she buys big stuff that DS (3yo) has NO interest in, when he turned 1 she bought him a rocking horse (off bid tv and cheap and tacky) that he has used maybe twice but takes up half his bedroom.

We also live in a 2 up 2 down and have twins due in august so need as much space as possible so when DS turned 3 at the start of july we begged her not to buy him anything big as we just dont have the room.
For once she did actually listen and instead of buying him a big present she bought him 2 MASSIVE gift bags full of crap angry shock I honestly dont know which is worse!
The best part is that MIL is a nursey nurse and works with 2-3s and yet doesnt seem to understand what that age group likes playing with!! mind you I think alot of it is her bid tv obsession as that is where most of his presents come from!!

My Mum likes to spoil him too but knows that I havent got the space so she knows if she buys him loads of stuff it stays at hers lol
We do toy exchanges every few weeks so that he gets to play with everything and it works great.

MamaLazarou Wed 15-Jul-09 11:51:58

Mrs Mellowdrummer's suggestion of 'one in, one out' is very wise.

"Yesterday came back from yoga at 7.30 to kiss dd goodnight and found her in bed with a huge scarecrow (nearly as big as her) and a penguin."

This did make me laugh! grin

piscesmoon Wed 15-Jul-09 11:59:18

'when the op said disobedience she meant her dd!

She can't have done. A 2 yr old can't possibly be expected to curb an over enthusiastic granny!
The huge scarecrow and penguin made me laugh, too.

muffle Wed 15-Jul-09 11:59:48

I think "disobedience" in an unfortunate-sounding word but I know what you mean - you have asked her not to and she ignored you which is rude and frustrating.

I HATE it when rellies do this and we don't have half as bad a problem with it as some of you do, but it still fecks me off. Broken stuff from charity shops, annoyingly large items that don't get a lot of use but take up space, things that are age-inappropriate or fragile and get broken causing upset - why do they do it!!? My sister is a really bad offender and I told her we're not keen as we don't want DS to get spoiled and we don't want tat everywhere - now what she does is buy it then "consult" me before giving it to DS - but she has already bought it and brought it so it's really hard to look her in the face and say "no take it away" angry

I wouldn't mind so much if they gave some thought to what would be appreciated, eg art stuff that gets used up and you need more. But I really think this is usually about the emotional needs of the giver, not the child.

minxofmancunia Wed 15-Jul-09 12:03:59

fruitysunshine "whay can't kids get everything they want" because IMO that's not real life! And it leads to spoiling and narcissism. Of course when she's older she can work towards/earn what she wants but not when she's a toddler!

The ocassional treat is fine, but showing love in this way isn't I'm afraid, whoever said it was competition they're right. MiL constantly undermines me, e.g. at meal times when dd is playing up she'll say "I would let you but Mummy won't let me" to dd. Good cop bad cop all the time. She's S**t at behavioural management tbh, too much effort and can't bebothered and the condition was that if she really wants to look after dd regularly instead of nursery then she does things our way within reason.

She IS disobedient and the reason I refer to her like this is because she's like a naughty, petulant, spoilt child, with everything, NEVER apologisis, NEVER listens to reason and NEVER takes responsibility for anything, has huge dependency issues with dh which cause huge arguments as it's only recently he's started putting his foot down with her, and giving advice over the phone instead of hot footing it across the penniens all the time to do the things she, as an adult should be able to sort out for herself.

The other issue are said toys are always froma charity shop and make me feel physically sick, God knows what bodily fluids they contain, yes they're washable but still horrible IMO.

Thanks for v helpful suggestions re decluttering, one in one out etc. As for dds emotional well-being the reason we find this a struggle is because she gets so attached to everything it's hard to convince her to give them up. Also will bag up gifts from MiL for her to take back to her tiny flat next time for when dd stays over there, then she might begin to see my point of view!!

YES her emotional well-being is paramount to me, but hey so is mine!! Too much clutter in the house makes me feel sick, anxious and out of control and it's not just dds house, it's ours too and we have to live in it comfortably.

Decluttering commences this weekend!

Sunshinemummy Wed 15-Jul-09 12:07:37

We have exactly the same issue with MIL. Everytime she comes to visit (usually for the weekend) she comes with a huge case on wheels, most of which is full of toys and clothes for DS and DD.

I hate to be ungrateful but most of it is inappropriate or not to our taste (lots of lace and teddy pics on DD's clothes and lots of cartoon characters on DS's).

We've asked her asked her not to buy this stuff. We already have a playroom and bedrooms full but she doesn't listen. She spends time between visits buying stuff to fill up the case. This is despite the fact that she clearly can't afford it - we send her money every month to help with her bills and often have to bail her out when she's overspent. It honestly drives me to distraction.

Pyrocanthus Wed 15-Jul-09 12:09:48

If she's really saying 'Mummy won't let me..', then that's far worse than buying her too many toys. That's really undermining. She needs to work through her insecurities before you involve her in childcare again.

Spidermama Wed 15-Jul-09 12:10:51

My MIL does this. It drives me mad. We are drowning in stuff and I really hate the message it sends. I try have an ethos of only buying what is actually needed and trying to make sure anything new which comes into the house, something old has to go to make space.

I feel my efforts are thwarted and I'm having to put broken crap into landfill because of other people's 'generosity'.


Spidermama Wed 15-Jul-09 12:16:09

I've just taken a break from de-fleaing the entire house and I have a massive pile of cuddly toys to de flea which are, as far as I'm concerned, horrible dust traps which rarely, if ever, get played with.

Some people clearly value new stuff just for the momentary thrill it gives, over space to move and a decluttered environment.

We're drowning in clutter in this house and useless possessions which were bought for the sake of it or because they were cheap. They seriously blight my life and I think it's really bad for my kids who are all scatty and untidy.

We all need to start buying less. We need to stop the rot and start changing our wasteful ways.

muffle Wed 15-Jul-09 12:38:18

I think there is a competition element as well - eg my sister knew what we were getting DS for his birthday one time and got him a different, bigger version of the same thing. It just so happens that she's also emotionally very brittle and reacts extremely badly to criticism and is upset that she is childless. So I feel I have to appear grateful and prop up her ego or there would be really bad feeling. It is nothing to do with what DS wants at all, though obviously he is excited to get a present but if he didn't he wouldn't notice.

I don't like it when people respond to this by saying "you should be grateful, don't be mean" - it isn't generosity, it's a form of power play and neediness on the part of the giver and it's a PITA.

ginnny Wed 15-Jul-09 12:51:09

All I can say is that I hope my dss don't marry women like you. DISOBEDIENT??? Your MIL doesn't have to obey you - she is your DH's mother not an employee shock. Your dd is her gd and she obviously loves her, just because she shows it by buying her tat presents doesn't make her evil. Take the toys to the charity shop or sell them on Ebay if you don't want them. This is what I used to do when my Dad used to buy my dss unwanted stuff. I would never have told him to stop buying things for them.
I bet you'd be on here complaining if your MIL ignored your dd or refused to look after her.

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