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MIL asking for gift back

193 replies

hattiez · 04/10/2022 13:44

My MIL knitted / crocheted some cardigans / jumpers/ outfits and a couple of blankets for my son when he was born. They where given to us in a gift bag / wrapped in tissue paper and with a card with the usual congratulations on. One of the blankets had his name on and the other in colours/ design to match the nursery we planned.
A distant member of my husbands family related by marriage is due a baby shortly, my MIL has asked for the items she made for my son to be returned so she can give them to the family member.
My son is a young toddler and we hope to have another child shortly so we haven't passed on any of the baby things yet as hope to be able to use them again.
I'm not a hoarder and will happily pass things on once no longer needed and I appreciate that perhaps my MIL just wants to see the things she made in use again or that it may have been poorly worded and will of course return the items she made and gifted but AIBU unreasonable to be a bit upset / shocked that she's asked for them back to regift particularly as one has his name on and were quite personalised?
The cardigans and outfits obviously no longer fit so have been stored with his other clothes hopefully for a sibling and the blanket is on the chair in his room.
I appreciate families / friends hand things down / pass things on and we benefitted from friends giving us things however I would have kept the hand kitted things regardless in appreciation of the love and work gone into them.
I will return the items I think as it would seem she wants them back and I respect that she made them but it makes me feel a bit upset and weird that she has asked for what I thought was a gift back to pass on and wary of accepting future "gifts" in case they are also removed but perhaps its just me being unreasonable

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1828 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Buzzer3555 · 04/10/2022 13:49

Its definitely strange of her but all you can do is return them with good grace.

IsAinmDummm · 04/10/2022 13:51

Can't you just say to her that your hoping to need them again for no.2 DC?

PurpleDaisy5 · 04/10/2022 13:52

It is a strange request. I would keep personalised stuff and give back the rest.

Mountainpika · 04/10/2022 13:53

A gift is a gift and the giver shoujld never ask for it back.

TheGoodFighter · 04/10/2022 13:53

Buzzer3555 · 04/10/2022 13:49

Its definitely strange of her but all you can do is return them with good grace.

Rubbish. You can also say "MIL, when you give people gifts, you can't have them back at any random time in the future. That's not how gifts works. Obviously I'm not going to give my sons personalised blanket to you to give to someone else!"

PeekabooAtTheZoo · 04/10/2022 13:53

Can you not ask her to clarify if she means the things that were personalised for your child as well as the other stuff? Just to check? Because she might not mean all of it maybe? If she does mean all of it, I think you need to talk to her about how you won't be able to trust in the future that she won't do this with other presents. They're not hers to offer/give to other people once she's given them to you and you've accepted in good faith. I'd also be asking where your child's actual gifts are then if these were loans.

NoseyNellie · 04/10/2022 13:53

Split the difference - give her back one blanket and a couple of cardigans and tell her you assume she didn’t want the name blanket back (seems logical) and say you want to keep a couple of pieces of clothing for a hoped for further child

Harpydragon · 04/10/2022 13:54

Well there are a couple of options here

  1. Ask her if she wants the named thing back as you had thought that was special.
  2. Tell her you were saving these things for your next child and will be happy to pass on after that.
  3. Have a Frank conversation and tell her that you thought she had made these specially for your baby (s) and that you are upset she is asking for them back.
  4. Get your dh to ask what the hell is she playing at
  5. Say nothing, hand then back and resent it forever😉

Is she gives things in the future, ask if she is going to want it back at any stage. You can then decide at that point whether you want to accept it or not.
Hymnulop · 04/10/2022 13:56

I find people so odd. Just say no, thank you, we're keeping them for dc2. End of.

cooolio · 04/10/2022 13:57

Is he going to tell her that you still use the blanket and wanted to keep the cardigans?

honeylulu · 04/10/2022 13:57

Yes it is a bit strange and I would not return the blanket as your son still uses it and is used to having it in his room with him. (And it has his bloody name on!)

As for the other items, if you want to keep them you can say you are going to keep them for another baby or say you aren't sure where they are, depending how strongly you feel and what you feel comfortable saying.

It is odd though that she wants to give the items as a new baby gift when they were clearly made for and used by another baby. I've no objection to using second hand stuff but it's strange to see it given as a present!

ChiefWiggumsBoy · 04/10/2022 13:59

Why don’t you have a conversation with her instead of mumsnet? Ask her what she wanted back and express disappointment because you wanted to keep the lovely things she made for your son and hopefully pass them on to your next baby.

or get her son to talk to her.

MarmiteCoriander · 04/10/2022 14:00

odd, yes, but are there other issues going on? Does she now have arthritis and can no longer crochet for the other baby? Eye sight issues? Maybe she is trying to save herself time in starting again?

FurAndFeathers · 04/10/2022 14:00

IsAinmDummm · 04/10/2022 13:51

Can't you just say to her that your hoping to need them again for no.2 DC?


have you tried having an actual conversation?
I know that’s a radical suggestion

MyneighbourisTotoro · 04/10/2022 14:07

Have you not just said you’d like to keep them for the next baby?

2bazookas · 04/10/2022 14:08

I'd pack and parcel them very nicely ( go the whole hog with a box, tissue papers and ribbon) and return by post with a card that says "Thank you so much for all these lovely gifts which deserve to be family heirlooms. I hope you won't mind DS wanted to keep his comfort- blanket, the one with his name on."

Icy enough to freeze her tits off.

MumChats · 04/10/2022 14:09

She knows that you have a load of knitted stuff that you don't need and that would fit another baby in the family? Just to add another persepctive, she's maybe not taking back a gift so much as suggesting that your ILs can use them too. In my family baby stuff comes and goes, everyone shares so maybe she's coming from that perspective. i would keep the personalised blanket and if she asks say something like "oh i thought that was special for us as it has dc name on" and see what her response is.

Aggypanthus · 04/10/2022 14:10

Ah go on OP. I bet you have already given them away and panicking. Tell her they were gifts and you are going to re-use them End of.

Arenanewbie · 04/10/2022 14:11

I wouldn’t give anything back, it’s a gift, how weird that she’s asked. I would feel upset as well. It’s like your son was good enough to make something for him previously and now he doesn’t matter because a new grandchild is coming. I know it’s illogical and things are small for him anyway but it’s how I see it.
If you want to share something with this relative you might share but it’s up for you to decide what and when.
And it’s something grandma did for your child and it would be nice for him to keep them for his own children.

pigsDOfly · 04/10/2022 14:11

I'm really surprised by some of the responses on here.

Surely these things were supposed to be a gift for your new baby. How or when is it ever appropriate to ask for a gift back.

I'm not surprised you find this upsetting OP. It's a very odd thing for you MIL to do.

I would just tell her that you had no idea she's be taking them back again and you've put them aside to use for your next baby.

I'm just wondering if, in the future, she gives your child something for his birthday is she going to want it back when someone else in the family wants one.

She seems to have a very odd idea of what giving a gift involves.

inappropriateraspberry · 04/10/2022 14:11

"I'm sorry, we're keeping the gifts and h
Will use them with our next child. Thank you for making them, the personalisation was a lovely touch."

Odd to ask for them back, especially when they were made for your son in particular. It would be different if you offered them to the distant relative.

pigsDOfly · 04/10/2022 14:14

MarmiteCoriander · 04/10/2022 14:00

odd, yes, but are there other issues going on? Does she now have arthritis and can no longer crochet for the other baby? Eye sight issues? Maybe she is trying to save herself time in starting again?

If this is the case and she can no longer make such things, then she can buy something else for the other baby.

She can't just take back what she's given to OP for her baby whatever the circumstances.

Shelby2010 · 04/10/2022 14:15

Keep the blankets as they are personalised for DS - also still in use. If nothing else it’s nice for them to have one for the car or in the pushchair.

Give her the clothes but ask her to tell relative that you will need them back when next child arrives. Babies grow out of their clothes so quickly that it’s a waste not to swap them round.

cunningartificer · 04/10/2022 14:16

I would guess she may not be thinking of the personalised blanket! The other things, well when I think of the number of people on here who talk about how to pass on unwanted hand made gifts... perhaps she has no idea you treasure them so much. Have a conversation. Find out why she's asking and if it's because she'd find it difficult to knit again. Perhaps offer a couple of the outfits to the new baby rather than keeping them all in the loft for a future baby who may not need them (if wrong season etc). I've made the mistake of keeping stuff for next child and finding some never fits at the right time of year!

forrestgreen · 04/10/2022 14:17

Hi mil. We still use the blanket and obviously have kept the personalised things. I'll get the other bits back to you.

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