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with these unwanted gifts?

(31 Posts)
StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 21:33:34

A month or so ago I mentioned to my mum we were thinking about getting a new kettle and toaster - the kettle switches off before fully boiled and the toaster drops crumbs everywhere. Didn't think any more of it.
Talked to DH since and we'd decided we want a 4-slice toaster, and I'd said I wasn't keen on the stainless steel as I can't be -bothered to clean it think it never looks clean.
So today we went to see my parents who had just for back from their holidays, and from their 'holidays' they had brought us a new kettle and toaster - both stainless steel, toaster a two slice one. No idea about the crumb dropping - I planned to research it before I bought anything.
I am actually annoyed with her, and I know that makes me an ungrateful bitch. She does this a lot - a while ago I mentioned I wanted to get DS an etch-a-sketch, so she went on the great etch-a-sketch hunt. I know the solution is to keep my mouth shut from now on, but what do I do with this toaster and kettle?? Just to throw one more thing into the pot, she has it firmly in her head that DH and I (both work full time, professional jobs) struggle for money, and so she is doing us a huge favour by buying us expensive stuff. I find that attitude in itself incredibly patronising, but again, am being an ungrateful little bitch. I should just use it and be grateful, shouldn't I?

rubyslippers Sat 06-Jun-09 21:35:39

use them and be grateful wink

she probably feels she is helping - i was shock how £££ a 4 slice toaster was TBH

lisad123 Sat 06-Jun-09 21:38:51

take it and be grateful that you have a mum that wants to help. Its a toaster fgs, does not need to be be all singing and dancing. And if your worried about crumbs, put it on a tray

ILoveDolly Sat 06-Jun-09 21:39:11

Or buy yourself the one you wanted, put the other one away and keep it in case of toaster emergencies. You didn't ask her to buy you a toaster, it wasn't a birthday present, you don't have to use it. She's your mum, but you are an adult. You have to either - find a way of breaking it to her that she doesn't need to buy you stuff OR have this kind of thing happen on a regular basis and continue to moan about it behind her back.

BlueKangerooWonders Sat 06-Jun-09 21:39:17

I'd use them - toasters always go wrong really fast in this house, so you'll need a new one soon anyway!

FWIW our toaster lives in a drawer! I keep a space in a deep drawer under the work surface as it is only used once a day or sometimes not even.

ILoveDolly Sat 06-Jun-09 21:40:09

I am obviously an ungrateful bitch grin

cookielove Sat 06-Jun-09 21:42:08

if you really don't want them, i'll take them we have neither, my dp says we don't realy need them so we never got any sad. However i would keep them, it's nice that she bought them for you

plimple Sat 06-Jun-09 21:44:26

Be honest and ask if she's still got the receipt. If she hasn't say never mind, thanks so much it's very kind of you and joke about the only reason you being unsure is you're too lazy to keep it clean.
Some people can't help buying things, not being patronising, just generous and not thinking. Honesty is the best policy, she doesn't want to upset you.
That said I paid £135 to change the colour of a buggy my MIL bought us and lied about paying for it as I didn't want her to pay for it - we're not well off, but neither is she. Was a silly elaborate lie and she found out and was hurt I'd had to lie!
Just reread and it's your Mum, not MIL. Definitely be honest, if you can't be honest with your Mum who can you be honest with?

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 21:46:14

I know I know
ruby - it isn't a 4 slice one
Am just annoyed that as usual my choice is taken away by a 'nice' gesture so I feel bad for being annoyed
ILoveDolly - I do try to say something every time but it obviously doesn't register.
Would the assumption of poverty really not bother anyone else?

cookielove Sat 06-Jun-09 21:49:32

no but i'm fully aware that we are poor, and my parents are alot more blessed in the money department, i work full time in a nursery and my dp is a full time student, we are broke broke broke

Portofino Sat 06-Jun-09 21:50:58

Well our toaster packed up last week and I had to go buy a new one today. We're on holiday in a few weeks and cashflow is tight. If anyone had bought ME a new toaster i would have been made up. I certainly would not have been complaining about it on MN.

Uriel Sat 06-Jun-09 21:52:20

Ask her for the receipt so you can change them. She's your mum, surely she'll understand?

Pil bought us a clock as an engagement present and dh hated it and called it 'that hideous clock'. He told pil and they changed it for another one. I don't think it caused any ructions. hmm

But, y'know, if you've got to look at it or use it in your house, it needs to be something you like.

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 21:53:58

Fair enough. Willing to go with the majority
I just wanted the next toaster and kettle we got to be the ones we wanted and since we were buying them ourselves I didn't think that was too much to ask!

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 21:55:00

DO I get let off slightly if I use the pregnant and hormonal excuse? wink

benfmsmum Sat 06-Jun-09 21:56:23

I'd love a new toaster as ours it a teeny one that you have to toast the bread once and then turn it upsidedown and toast the other half as the bread is too big to do it in one go!!! But money isn't free flowing atm so we are making do. I bet your mum was just trying to help her daughter. She probably didn't want to buy you any old tat from her holiday but instead got something she knew you wanted.

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 21:58:11

But she didn't know we wanted it - she assumed what we wanted and actually she was wrong. And it isn't like an ornament we can hide away - we have to use these. And we'd already talked about what we were going to buy, which was completely different!
<<Turns dead horse round to flog the other side>>

Takver Sat 06-Jun-09 21:59:28

Polarbear are you sure that she truly thinks you are badly off and that its not just a parent - child dynamic. We are definitely better off than M/FiL (not necc higher earnings, but we have low outgoings so more disposable cash) - but we can't for example do things like paying for a meal in a cafe when out as it just doesn't work for them & MiL gets all stressed.
Its not a concious thing on their part, I'm really certain, just that they somehow need to be providing for their children, and it doesn't at all work the other way round. Its a PITA when we go out places as we can't stop for tea & cake when out & things are getting frazzled, but what can you do . . .

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 22:00:37

I'm sorry. I know I come across as spoiled (spoilt?) and no doubt I am. Money is tight for us in the sense that we don't have cash to spend on nights out and holidays - can't even afford a weekend away atm as I'll be on ML soon - but compared to most we are doing absolutely fine. I am grateful for what we have (and we work hard for it too) and so the attitude of my mum that we are somehow on the breadline irritates the hell out of me. If I say anything about that she will sulk and not talk to me for a month.

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Jun-09 22:02:43

Not sure Takver, there's a bit of that, and that's definitely how my dad sees it. My mum talks about family birthdays and tries to tell me how much I 'should' spend, or if I tell her what I'm buying someone she'll say "that's a lot for you to spend". She'll also refuse to accept money for stuff I've asked her to pick up for me when shopping, saying things like "we have lots of money and you don't have much money so let me do this".

Theochris Sat 06-Jun-09 22:51:21

I've been away a while but this thread has tempted me back

My family is very similar and I think you just have to bite your tongue and use them or else find a polite way to ask for the receipt. Mine also won't accept cash for bits of shopping and are always buying the kids tat. However when I was going to jokingly moan about how I never get to choose stuff (like you they often step in) I remembered that my friend had not long ago lost her mum and would give anything to have my "problems".

It's partly the child parent dynamic and they do it to be kind. I'm afraid you should just step back and moan to your partner - quietly and infrequently oh and never mention that you are looking for a particular item!

plimple Sat 06-Jun-09 23:15:42

Maybe you should try to get on with your Mum as an adult, or enjoy being treated as a child? My MIL treats me and DP as children as she loves the motherly role, so I keep her happy by playing the grateful child. My Mum brought us up to be independent and is herself an ungrateful so and so and she knows it. She would never be afraid to tell me she didn't like something as I am her child and would understand. She's wise enough to only give money to her children as presents now.
"we have lots of money and you don't have much money so let me do this"
What can you possibly say to that but thanks? She's asking you to allow her that kindness, you'd be unkind not to allow it or begrudge it.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Jun-09 09:23:32

I think the lesson learnt is to bite my tongue and continue allowing her to treat me as an incompetent child. Not chat to her about things I'm planning to buy in advance.
plimple, are you seriously telling me someone else assuming you were hard up when you weren't and playing Lady Bountiful wouldn't irritate you?
Must just be me, makes me want to cry. I spend my time with her feeling useless and incompetent and now I'm meant to be grateful for it! I can go as far as shutting up but it's still going to irritate the hell out of me.

Buda Sun 07-Jun-09 09:34:00

What was money like with your parents when you were a child? I just wonder if your mum remembers that things were a bit tight for them so wants to help you out a bit? And she is your Mum and Mums always want to do things for their children - it makes them still feel like Mums I suspect.

My Mum had a fraught relationship with her Mum but I remember her Mum coming to our house regularly when I was a child and doing the ironing, bathing us, buying us things like vests etc coming into the winter. My Mum resented it but her Mum did talk to her about it one day after a huge row and she said that no-one did that for her and she wanted to help my mother where she could.

Flamesparrow Sun 07-Jun-09 10:40:26

Pregnant and hormonal does put a whole different slant on it.

ime I feel a lot more useless little girl'd by my mum when I am pregnant.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Jun-09 11:18:27

Well I've had a telling off here and by DH so I know it's me.
Am just sick of being treated like a 10yo and having decisions taken out of my hands - I know how lucky I am to have my mum but that doesn't stop me complaining when she annoys me - same as most of the threads in Parenting.
I also have a kettle and toaster for the foreseeable future that are ones we specifically wouldn't have chosen, but feel ungrateful for even thinking that.
Aaargh someone kick me

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