My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to not support BIL's family at the expense of my own?

124 replies

LittleMissLady · 17/08/2015 13:05

Dp's family live in another country. Things - children's clothes - are expensive there and wages are low (aren't they everywhere?)

We have 2 children. Dd(3) and DS(1ish).

Do's brother has 3 children. 2 Dd's (4 &2) DS (6).

I operate a cash flow system with our child stuff, all nursery bits and clothes, toys etc.
everything is bought (usually second hand) and then sold to free up money for next stage stuff.
My kids have nice stuff and this is the only way we can realistically afford it.

MIL recently requested that we send all of Dd's clothes she has grown out of over to BIL as he is really struggling to support his family. DP has basically said he can't say no to this request and told me at the very least to only sell the 'good' stuff and pass all the rest to them.
At no cost. They won't be paying for it,and further more if they attempt to pay for it DP will flatly refuse to take the money.

I want a third child. We have rowed endlessly about having a third child. The long and short of or situation is thy we can't afford another child. ( I know this and am being purely emotional about having another. It would be unfair on us all if we did and actually I'm happy with 2!).
So we are unable to have more kids as we can't afford them but somehow we now have to afford to send all the baby stuff overseas at our own expense to support BIL's family.

AIBU to be saying no this and to be mightily pissed of at DP saying I'm selfish and only care about my family and not his??

For purposes of not drip feeding:

My SIL (my brothers wife) has 2 boys slightly older then my DS and I BUY the clothes and things she is selling as I would never expect her to just give it all away as they also operate a cash flow system this way.

OP posts:
eurochick · 17/08/2015 13:40

They already have an older daughter so I'm not sure how much help your hand me downs would be anyway. Or have I misread?

FenellaFellorick · 17/08/2015 13:40

shrugging it off is not acceptable.

You need to ask him why he is not giving you an answer.

Don't let him get away with that "somehow" crap.

He wants to do it. He is calling you names. The very least he should do is show you how it is affordable.

He is making it your problem to sort out. That is not acceptable. He doesn't get to give the order and leave it to you to make it all ok.

tell him when he shows you how he will afford £X for the children's clothes on Y date if you send these over, and how he will afford the £X for postage, where it will come from, you will happily bundle up some clothes and he can take them to the post office to send them off.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 13:45

tbh having 'endless rows' about this seems a bit unreasonable,
fgs it is just a few baby clothes. Your 'cash flow' system and family members selling each other stuff just sounds a bit...cold and mean tbh.
On the other hand your DH shouldn't be giving you a hard time over it.

DinosaursRoar · 17/08/2015 13:49

No, you can't do this. Point it all out to your DP, of course he wants to help, but you can't afford this, these arent spare clothes. Or you can, but only if you are able to use the money he sends to MiL in order to buy new clothes at the next stage. There is already a budget for helping out his family, if you can't afford any more, you can't afford any more.

I understand what you mean about the DC3, sounds like you stopped at 2 as that's all you can afford, and so resent the fact that BiL has 3DCs that he can't afford but expects you to help fund them, and perhaps if he'd made the same choice as you (of only having the DCs he could afford) then he wouldnt need to ask for help from extended family... (Harsh, but is the reality of the situation).

Am I right in thinking they want you to give your 3year old's clothes for their youngest DD, the 1 year old? where has their 4 year old DD's clothes gone? Can't they give those hand me downs? Does your BIL even need any more clothes, or would this just be a 'nice to have' not a 'needed' thing that MiL has thought up for you to do?

shiteforbrains · 17/08/2015 13:50

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sapat · 17/08/2015 13:51

Check out the cost of postage, you might be horrified (or pleasantly surprised if it helps your case).

Clothes are so cheap second hand, it seems unlikely that the cost of postage is worthwhile. My parents live abroad, they actually buy my kids clothes in car boot sales as it is cheaper than for me to pay for a suitcase on a plane. Mad. I sent my niece and nephew 2 tshirts (cost a fiver) for their birthday, 200g in Europe: £7. Bonkers.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 13:51

" I can't think of a country where ordinary children's things are so expensive that it would justify the cost of shipping them internationally from a relative "


diddl · 17/08/2015 13:51

"The very least he should do is show you how it is affordable."

Exactly that.

Let him sort it out!

"Your 'cash flow' system and family members selling each other stuff just sounds a bit...cold and mean tbh."

Why? If you can't afford to give stuff away then you can't-even family!

wiltingfast · 17/08/2015 13:53

God how much money are you making selling the clothes??? It can't fund much surely?

And surely, once the clothes have been through 2/3 children they are totally finished or at the very least very diminished in value?

Or are you saying you recoup the cost fully?! Seriously? There's no way I could fund all my children's clothes this way. But then my kids seem to be quite hard on them. I'm beggared trying to keep ds in jeans and he's only 6.

And do they not come back to the country occasionally or do people not visit them? How far away are we talking anyway?

Plus you know, this could be entirely an MIL suggestion she's come up with without thinking it through. At the very least some inquiry should be made with the actual family as to whether this would be any help or not. If there is already an older DD then quite possibly, it's fairly pointless and you are working yourself up for nothing.

Do you know if the request originates with the family or just your MIL?

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 13:53

" cant afford " to pass on a few old clothes? really?

GizzyTiedToATree · 17/08/2015 13:55

If the country is Algeria (terrorist presence), don't bother to send anything - it will be stolen before reaching destination.

DinosaursRoar · 17/08/2015 13:55

Coffee - unfair, some people really are in tight financial situations and can only afford basics by having very tight budgets and not diviating from them. Many people can only afford to dress their dcs if they buy second hand and sell on anything not ruined once it's outgrown. Everyone just handing things on is great if you are halfway down the 'chain' of family members, but if you are the one with the eldest child (like the OP's DB) then you are the only one who has to pay out and gets nothing back in return, if the OP's DB is in a similar financial situation, he and his DW aren't being 'cold' to want to sell the items rather than gift them.

chocomochi · 17/08/2015 13:56

What dinosaur said. What happens to BILs 4 years old clothes? Shouldn't they be handed down to his DD? Wouldn't your 3 years old clothes be too small for the 4 year old anyway?

diddl · 17/08/2015 13:56

"" cant afford " to pass on a few old clothes? really?"

No, especially when it costs money to do so.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 13:58

dinosaur I do not belive that someone is such a tight financial position that they cannot afford to pass on some old clothes.
I haven't had much money either - trust me dressing little ones is the smallest worry compared to other stuff.

TaliZorahVasNormandy · 17/08/2015 14:01

If they have 2 DD's then surely the 4 year olds clothes would go to the 2 year old?

Agreeing with the PP's.

Binit · 17/08/2015 14:02

It seems to be a stupid idea given the ages of the dc. Unless your dd is gigantic, then by the time she properly outgrows the clothing, their youngest dd will almost have outgrown it as well. Especially when the dc get slightly older - my kids (7&9) will wear an item of clothing for 3 years now without it being outgrown. Because I buy it big and they wear it until they can't get into it anymore.

MidniteScribbler · 17/08/2015 14:02

If your DH's relatives live in a genuinely difficult third world situation, and passing on the clothing/items will make a real difference to them, then yes, I think you should be willing to share either the children's clothing, or at least send them something.

BerniceBroadside · 17/08/2015 14:04

It's not just passing on a few things though, is it? It's also the cost of getting them there (or, worse, them not getting there due to crap international postage). I've posted small items of clothing to Europe (sold on eBay) and it's bloody expensive. The postage often outstripped the value of the item.

4seasons · 17/08/2015 14:06

Since it is your DH who wants to do this I would tell him that he is responsible for doing it . Let him find out the costs for himself but be ready to point out how it affects your budget for your own family.
I also picked up the bit about " your " family and " my " family. I'd be reminding him that you and the children are " his " family too!

merrymouse · 17/08/2015 14:08

The only child you can pass things on to is the 2 year old and you may find that she is a similar size to your DD so by the time you pass them on they are too small.

I don't think they have really thought this through.

MarchLikeAnAnt · 17/08/2015 14:09

cant afford " to pass on a few old clothes? really?

It would cost me about £130 in postage to send just a few t-shirts and trousers to my in-laws. So no, some people can't afford it.

OVienna · 17/08/2015 14:10

I was about to say what gizzi said too. From the way you've described the country it doesn't sound in the EU. They could well be facing customs charges on the items too - again, if it even gets to them - which could be nearly the value of all the clothes put together. They could be looking at a sizeable bill on delivery.

If your DH wants to help, from time to time could he not increase whatever it is he sends to his mum and earmark it for them?

It would be interesting to see if your MIL continued with these requests when it was being funded by 'her' allowance.

There are obviously wider issues here than used clothes. I can see why your DH wants to help/probably feels obliged to. But also I can see why you would be worried there is no limit to the potential requests.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 14:11

well as we don't know where this country is, whether it would cost '£130 to post a few tshirts' is not really debatable is it?

Minionoftruth · 17/08/2015 14:11

it costs a fortune to post things these days too. I was posting a small bundle of clothes to a friend and it was almost £7 and that was within UK for a handful of stuff.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.