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how do i sound nice and not ungrateful?(19 Posts)
Mil has bought lots of stuff for ds, which is of course lovely and appreciated. However, shes literally bought everything, cot, bouncy chair, high chair, bedding etc (some of just aquired as second hand stuff) which is a lovely gesture...but i want to choose some stuff! This is my only child, im not having any more and i feel like im not getting to choose anything, as she buys what she wants. For example the bedding me and dh wanted, mil said oh no we will buy that for him, but the one we wanted was too expensive so they were going to get a dif one. I said well we want to buy it as we have money and thats the one we want..but she just goes out and buys the one she wants!
Im not ungrateful, but just feel sad as ive hardly bought anything for my own son. The one thing i did get, a custom made memory boy with his name on, mol found out and insisted she 'bought it' for his xmas. I know i sound rediculus feeling ungrateful for money, but that was something i designed myself for my son and she just had to be in on it.
So how do i politely say let me choose stuff for my own son without hurting her feelings?
"You have these at your house ready for when he/we visit, he'll love having so many baby things at yours"
Tell her less! He'll need more than one set of bedding so buy that yourself. Try not to get too het up about it, you won't mind or remember long term.
Accept graciously then take back/re-gift/donate to charity and buy whatever you want. If she asks where it is say broke /grown out of/in a drawer somewhere. Never tell her what you've bought/are planning to buy. I have family members like this and at first felt guilty about the amount of money they were wasting on duplicate stuff that would never get used. They would also get v upset if we bought things because 'we should have let them buy it'. I keep them at arm's length now as negotiating with them was getting me nowhere.
Just thanks her politely then get your own stuff. There isn't an effective way of stopping someone like this in their tracks because they will immediately make it about you being precious and ungracious rather than about them being an overbearing thunder stealer.
If anything, get your OH to speak to his mum and say thanks, but we'd really like to choose our own baby stuff. It's his mum, so he should be the one to approach her and ask her to back off a bit.
I had a bit of a situation with my own mother whereby she procured a second hand buggy for our first baby and I wasn't over the moon with the ugly, scabby thing. I had the sheer audacity to want to choose our own.
She was all offended and angry about it, but frankly I saw that as being her problem.
Other people do not get to choose your belongings for you, even if it is well intentioned.
Two high chairs is useful. I have one in the kitchen and one in the lounge. It could be said that two cots is useful too. One in the corner of your bedroom long-term, for sleeps in your room when older baby/toddler wakes in the night. While also having a cot in baby's room. Or second cot could live at grandmas house for naps when at hers. Likewise bouncy chair.
So double up if buying stuff is that important to you. Honestly, it really isn't though.
Regarding the present, that just needs you to speak up - "Thank you but I want that to be a gift from me. Why don't you buy X, Y or Z?"
While you are (understandably) excited about you firstborn remember this is also special for your Mum too. It is the first time her daughter had a baby. You could try being specific about thing you would like her to buy.
Or, much more pleasant, would be requests for things that don't cost:
- "I'd be really grateful if you could make me a weeks worth of hot meals."
- "It would really help me if you would do the ironing"
- "Please could you take baby for a walk for an hour so I can have a bubble bath"
Is it possible to keep some of the items at her place? That way she sees her grandson enjoy it when he's round there.
I can imagine it's almost as if you are elbowed out of the way even when you know she means well. If he is her only grandchild then she is probably determined to make the most of it. It may be she was unable to indulge her own child(ren) back in the day. The only thing I can think of is
(1) never let slip what you have in mind to buy for DS
(2) if your parents are still on the scene you could ask DH to put it to his mum very nicely that they are also keen to chip in (whether true or not) so could she resist jumping to buy stuff.
Thanks all very useful. Thing is i cant really say thanks and put it away as they live very very close and we see them pretty much every day ( a whole other problem for another thread!). Mil also likes to know every little detail of everything so if i say thanks but we are getting x y z shes like a toddler (" why?" "Ok...but why?") Bloody nightmare!
Oh and they have loads at their place as they have a spare room which they are decorating and making into a nursery.... Complete with cot, huge
ugly broken seccond hand pram and other various things. I did say to her yesterday in a joking way that she needs to stop buying everything as i wont have anything left to get him myself after her saying she was getting x y z for xmas. Plus its not fair on my mum, who lives further away, as shes left not being able to get anything
Just tell her what you've told us - I appreciate your kindness but I'd like to buy some things for my only child.
She'll get over it.
Extra bedding will always come in handy - when the baby had a nappy poo-splosion or throws up all over the bed, so buy the one you want, enjoy using it, and you'll have plenty spare from what your MiL has bought.
I know, i will try. I just find it very hard speaking up as im a very quiet person and shes quite domineering, and im worried she will take it badly as she doesnt have much else going on ( doesnt work or have any friends or hobbies) and i dont want to be nasty!
If you don't nip her behaviour in the bud you will be going onto Mumsnet for years to come complaining as she dominates you and take over your children. Please look into how to use assertion techniques with her. I have a feeling your dh won't stand up to her either?
It's not being 'nasty' to decline politely as has been suggested here.
If she gets upset, or angry, or huffed....that's HER problem.
I think her behaviour is intolerable. She is using 'generosity' to control and overwhelm, and it's making you uncomfortable. Tell her - not that she is trying to control things, but that you are uncomfortable.
If this is too difficult to say and you are your OH are scared to say it, then this speaks volumes, don't you think?
You're both adults. Time to act like it!
Yeah you are right i will try and be more assertive!
My dh does stick up to her for the most part but she can be abit like a broken record. Like if she says something you dont agree with she just repeats it over and over as though she will grind you down into agreeing.
But yes i think i will just get what i want and try to be more assertive, thanks for all the advice
Its slightly different but my mother is a compulsive shopper. To the point it is a mental health issue. Fortunately she's a frugal shopper. She doesn't do this to just me, i have a sibling near by and she has numerous sibblings with iff spring she buys lots for too.
She brings three or four bags of stuff to my house each week. She lives very close by too and can pop in at any moment without notice.
I've tried various methods to put a stop to this over the years before we moved near by. Many years of politeness, ignoring, leaving items at her house, returning items to her house, teasing her about it being an issue, being out right rude and demanding she stop out of frustration (not a proud hour). Shes quite emotional and crys if confronted or if I'm ungrateful (for the damn things i've specifically asked her not to get).
After a tearful, on my part, conversation with my dad I now accept all, say thank you, make sure a reasonable percentage of things get used once, as buying giving and seeing used gives her a significant amount of pleasure, and we have a weekly trip to an out of area charity shop after some donated items made a second visit. I do ebay a percentage of excess stuff and feed the money back to my dad.
DS1 is autistic. He's not keen on jeans because they're stiff. This week my mum has purchased him not one but two pairs of jeans that are one too big and one too small for him.
DS2's other grandparents proudly brought him a shinny red ride on tractor so my mum saw he liked it and brought him a yellow one - every house needs a fleet of tractors after all!
I'm not in control of the situation but i have a happy medium that means everyone is happy for now and i can cope with the half hour a week of bagging up excess stuff and popping it in the boot of the car (actually DH usually does the charity drop because he's a tax payer, works out of area and so they can gift aid his donations).
Having you thought of knitting for your baby? How much more personal that would be than just buying things.
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