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If someone offered you money for non-essential maintenance?

(11 Posts)
Jojobump1986 Sun 17-Mar-13 17:00:57

My PILs visited yesterday & were asking about our plans for our garden. DH took up a lot of the weeds turf back in the autumn with a view to seeding a new lawn this spring. He's booked a week off to complete this in April but at some point we really also need to level our patio, put in a proper retaining wall rather than relying on end-on patio slabs, put a step down from the slightly higher patio onto the lawn & add a fence to stop DS falling off! It's feasible that DH could do these things but it is a lot of work for him to do by himself, he's aiming to get his professional qualification this year & we have DS2 due in June! We don't use the garden at the moment because it's not really child-friendly but we do have green spaces within walking distance that I could take DS1 to so we could manage without the garden, although it would be more convenient if it was usable.

My PILs have offered to pay for basically all the work we'd like to do on the basis that they can afford to do so & it seems silly for them to sit on their money until it comes to us as inheritance in hopefully 40 odd years.

I want us to be able to stand on our own & not need to rely on our parents for things like this. We can't afford to have it done professionally without help but it's nothing that DH wouldn't be able to do to an adequate standard. There's a huge part of me that would rather they gave that money to a charity to help people who need it, rather than using it for something that isn't a desperate need, even if it would make life a little easier/more comfortable for us.

DH is inclined to let them pay for it but wouldn't if I really wasn't comfortable with the idea. He loves DIY things & would enjoy doing it, it's just finding sufficient time to do it that's tricky for him. I'm not capable of doing it myself because of the pregnancy & because I'm just generally not that great when it comes to DIY type things!

DH suggested that we could allow them to pay for it & make a charity donation ourselves of about the equivalent to what we would've spent on the materials if DH had done the work.

I don't like the idea of taking money from anyone & PILs bought DH a flat before we met so we wouldn't even have the house if it weren't for them! Someone tell me I'm just being proud/stubborn & I shouldn't let my own issues stop them from doing something nice for our family! blush

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 17-Mar-13 17:04:35

I like your husband's compromise, let them pay and make the charitable donation yourselves. You will really appreciate the garden when you have a baby and an older one.

Jojobump1986 Sun 17-Mar-13 17:04:43

I should add, the amount of money we need would be pocket money for PILs & really wouldn't come with any strings. In fact, they'd be more likely to ask us fewer questions than if we were doing it ourselves just to avoid any possibility of us feeling like they were interfering!

tribpot Sun 17-Mar-13 17:07:35

I think it's a shame not to be using the garden and I don't think the odds are that high on your DH getting through all the necessary work on his own. I appreciate he wants to do it but equally you have to be pragmatic when your free time is very sparse; there would be plenty still to be done after the basics have been completed the make the garden usable.

It's not a question of reliance - you could manage it yourself. But why not let them help? Is there any history of them being a bit overly controlling when they've donated money for something?

gobbin Sat 23-Mar-13 12:51:40

Accepting help in any form gracefully is an art I have learned over 45 years. Sometimes it is just easier to say thank you and be warmed by the glow that there are people out there who love and care for you all and just want to help out. I'd accept and maybe take them for a lovely meal out once it's all done to thank them.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sat 23-Mar-13 12:56:03

Say thankyou, accept with grace and donate your money to charity, they obviously want to do this for you now so that their grandchildren can have a great garden to play with.

Ragwort Sat 23-Mar-13 12:56:59

Totally agree with gobbin - I too have learned to accept gracefully; my DPs are very generous and really want to 'off-load' their cash so that they do not leave massive inheritance tax bills - personally I think that paying tax is what you do if you have a lot of money but that is a separate argument.

My parents enjoy giving us money now and seeing us have the opportunity to enjoy it so if I were you I would try to accept it but I appreciate it is hard, my DH really, really feels uncomfortable about accepting gifts so I squirrel quite a lot away privately grin.

OrangeLily Sat 23-Mar-13 13:14:45

Be graciously thankful and do something nice for them to say thank-you. Big thank-you card homemade by DS and a nice home cooked family meal? BBQ with them once garden is complete?

KateDillington Sat 23-Mar-13 13:19:34

I would feel the same. I can't accept help like this. I feel like a child.

I might do it though as long as I knew that they wouldn't ever mention it. If I had to hear "Ooh I'm so glad WE BOUGHT YOU THIS GARDEN" at any point, then I wouldn't be able to handle it...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 23-Mar-13 13:26:33

Yes, I would accept this.

In a few years' time, maybe DH will fix some things around their house in return.

NeverBeenToMe Sat 23-Mar-13 14:09:02

Just me who thought some bloke had given you twenty quid and told you to get a bikini wax? grin

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