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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:
Hygge · 17/08/2015 14:12

It's not just "passing on clothes" that means the OP can't afford it, it's also paying to post the clothes abroad, and that cost will add up. Postage isn't cheap.

Especially as they are already also sending money over on a regular basis to support another family member.

GarminGirl · 17/08/2015 14:13

Let your do sort the clothes to send, package them and take them to the post office.... It will only happen once

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 14:14

yes it could be disproportionately expensive.
We did it for Polish SIL and she was an un grateful biatch anyway so I wished we hadn't bothered.
OP are your relatives Polish? They sound it.

Chickychickyparmparm · 17/08/2015 14:16

"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."

I can - I live in a country like this. We wait till we go home to stock up. Taxes on imports are sky high and there is not much of an industry here

OP I would compromise and send the odd bit. I am guessing your DH comes from a culture where family supports each other financially, often at the cost to themselves. I see it all the time here. Hope you can come to a compromise.

budgiegirl · 17/08/2015 14:17

Assuming that the postage is not prohibitive, why don't you suggest that they send some clothes from their eldest DS for your DS, I know he's a few years older, but you could hang on to them or sell them. Then you would be supporting each other. I

MarchLikeAnAnt · 17/08/2015 14:18

It would make more sense to just send them more money if the postage fees are high.

MythicalKings · 17/08/2015 14:18

YWBVU to say no. And very mean-spirited. They must be really struggling for your MiL to ask. Have some compassion.

redexpat · 17/08/2015 14:20

I think if you could afford it of course you would.

I think your ILs have an idea that the streets are paved with gold in the UK. Yes it is one of the richer countries in the world, but relative poverty still exists. I think they think you are loaded, and piling on the guilt without seeing the full picture.

As others have said, absolutely make it your DHs problem.

I'm sure if you could afford it you would send them without a second thought. Perhaps research the cheapest carrier to show exacly how much it would cost?

GarminGirl · 17/08/2015 14:21

If it's a country as you said, with a terrorist presence.... Then what's the postal system like? Can you actually send parcels in via normal post?

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 14:22

" I think your ILs have an idea that the streets are paved with gold in the UK. "

a lot of people DO think that, and if they have a relative in the UK, then that is their golden ticket to a shower of freebies.

LIZS · 17/08/2015 14:30

Given the close ages it isn't going to be a sustainable arrangement for long anyway. Select a few basic items and weigh them up, tell him how much the package will cost ( might there be duty to pay the other end) and the resale value of the items (not much 2nd hand ime). Are you/he likely to visit any time as saving a batch to take might work out better. Maybe you could take some supermarket multi packs for each child. Fwiw I do think you are projecting some of your frustration re dc3 onto this.

GarminGirl · 17/08/2015 14:30

mythical did you miss the bit where op says that they will then also struggle if they send stuff??

diddl · 17/08/2015 14:30

The problem with sending more money is that children's clothes are expensive there.

So it might work out better to post over stuff that you wouldn't sell on.

It is odd of you to be astounded at the thought of passing on clothes for nothing though imo.

nancy75 · 17/08/2015 14:32

£130 to send t shirts, really? I sent 4 very big very heavy photo albums ( the weight of a lot of clothes) to Australia by airmail for £80

scarlets · 17/08/2015 14:33

I suspect that the postage cost will be prohibitive, and that the likelihood of the items reaching the recipient is probably 50:50.

I also think that if you agree to this, there will be expectations of you in future. You will set a precedent.

Your OH needs to explain to his mum that you won't be sending anything.

Want2bSupermum · 17/08/2015 14:33

I've been told children's clothes are expensive in Lebanon too. I've also heard the same about Poland.

If the clothing is that expensive get online and buy that way. Otherwise I'd be tempted to tell the MIL that you are taking the cost of postage from her allowance. Watch how quick she turns around.

People in poorer countries are quick to assume everyone in the UK is wealthy. I've seen it with the Lebanese side of my sisters extended family. They pay $50 a month in rent for a flat twice the size of ours and then expect a monthly allowance of $2500 because everything is so expensive. It normally falls to the eldest too. The Lebanese guys had the nerve to look down at me gifting my sisters kids second hand outfits that had cost me over $90 each. The outfits had only been worn once! When I raised with my sister that my mother needs help the Lebanese H told me that they couldn't afford to help! I was furious because I see his family vacationing in Europe on my sisters hard work while my mother goes without medical care in Canada because she can't afford the copay. They don't understand that my mother lives on far less than $2500 a month.

Hell no to that. Instead we help both sides of the family equally. If my in laws get a plane ticket paid for then the same money gets sent to my mother.

Starbrite00 · 17/08/2015 14:40

Now you have described where they are living then I think you should send some clothes, they are living far worse off.
At least if you desperately need led clothes or food you would have access to a food bank and government provide clothes banks too.
The country your BIL loves in would have neither of these so their country you truley are poor.
The UK you can have support

You are being mean

Bahhhhhumbug · 17/08/2015 14:40

I have a shopping 'system' where I save up my part time wages (not very well paid job) so that I can buy in bulk and save a bit of money by for example stocking up on loo rolls,tea bags, coffee, sugar (insert whatever , non perishable items/basics mainly) when the items are on a bogof or half price offer. it was working quite well and I was saving us about twenty pound a month on our grocery shop as never having to pay full price for a large chunk of it. That was until my adult stepkids picked up on my little system and noticed the stashes of loo rolls/tea bags or whatever in the cupboards and started announcing 'Oh I'm out of sugar/teabags/loo rolls , you've got loads so I'll have a pack if you dont mind.' This has caused similiar problems between me and DH as you're having OP and I have been called tight and so on and been told 'FFS it's a few toilet rolls/teabags/whatever'. But then I think what is the point of me going to this trouble only to have it increasingly cancelled out by people helping themselves? DH just doesnt see my pov. I think I am going to have start hiding stuff in garage or something ! Feel your pain OP. My DH comes from a family where everything is communal practically and it can be a pita. Just send a few things that you cant shift when you are selling a load (you generally are left with a few things after a car boot or whatever) as others have said but I wouldnt pay the postage aswell unless it was only a couple of quid and I could afford it.

BathtimeFunkster · 17/08/2015 14:43

the pennies I'd possibly make selling those things on eBay is nothing to the joy on their faces when they get a Thomas railway station or pretty dress.

Well lucky you that you don't need to watch your pennies.

AuntyMag10 · 17/08/2015 14:43

Fully agree with you starbrite

BathtimeFunkster · 17/08/2015 14:46

At least if you desperately need led clothes or food you would have access to a food bank and government provide clothes banks too.


Are you for fucking real?

You think the OP should leave her children destitute and go looking for charity so she can support people she has never met?


Bahhhhhumbug · 17/08/2015 14:47

disclaimer - my adult stepkids and their families arent poor and have plenty enough money to buy food etc , it is more of a convenience thing , they see stuff and think 'Oh that will save me going to the shop later ' or whatever. I wouldnt begrudge them a box of teabags or whatever if they were in need.

OVienna · 17/08/2015 14:51

I am wondering how many people saying the OP IBU are in the situation where there are similar expectations on them. If they are - fair enough. But having observed cross cultural marriages where one of the parties has this expectation to deal with, it can really put a strain on the relationship. And I agree that people outside of the UK make a whole load of assumptions about what people living here can afford.

Coffeemarkone · 17/08/2015 14:55

would agree with that - hell of a strain on a marriage.

MarchLikeAnAnt · 17/08/2015 14:57

nancy75 yes, really. I sent over a stole a couple of months ago, cost me £40 in postage!

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