My feed

to access all these features


MIL wants to do lovely days out but wants us to pay for everything

271 replies

BadgerSetGo · 20/03/2023 12:44

Background is MIL claims to not have a lot but has paid off her mortgage, works part time and lives what I think of as a very nice lifestyle. Lots of restaurants, nails done, gym memberships etc. she does claim to struggle but she spends a lot of luxuries. She is on her own.

She wants to meet us for various days out which she suggests- fancy things like kids theatre days or theme parks but thinks it's categorically wrong for her to pay anything towards this. I'm talking about paying her own way not paying for us or DC. She won't even pay for a drink when out with us, she acts like another child who doesn't have access to any money.

There is a huge backstory to this and her believing DH should provide for her. She says all her friends have lovely sons who book all kinds of activities for them to do with their grandchildren and she always makes sure to tell us that the grandparents are never expected to pay a penny!

My parents are the opposite and want to treat us all the time. How do we navigate all these treat days MIL wants to do without burning bridges and being rude or coming across as mean? Or is it normal to pay for a grandparent every time for things like this?

OP posts:
Roselilly36 · 20/03/2023 13:26

Just say you can no longer afford expensive days on a regular basis. She sounds a little cheeky to suggest visiting attractions and not to help out with the cost. I wonder if she tells all her friends where she has “taken” her GC too 😂

cartagenagina · 20/03/2023 13:27

“That sounds lovely MIL but we can’t afford it.”

Puckthemagicdragon · 20/03/2023 13:27

She wants to feel special by being treated by her son, like her friends do. I think you need to flip the narrative to how amazing/empowering/delightful it is when grandparents treat the family to days out. Find other ways to show your thankfulness/gratitude for her as a grandmother that she can use to brag about to her friends.

Sapphire387 · 20/03/2023 13:29

She ought to be ashamed of herself, living what sounds like a nice comfortable lifestyle while expecting her son (and you) to shell out for her while you have young kids.

Kennykenkencat · 20/03/2023 13:29

5128gap · 20/03/2023 13:20

If she owns a house outright and is still working, I'm sure your husband stands to gain more in inheritance than he's shelling out now, to be fair.
However, if he doesn't want to pay for her, he needs to tell her straight, as clearly there is a lack of shared expectations here. It needs to come from him though not you, or you'll be getting the blame.


It is laughable to think that the Dh is in for some big payday if he spends money on his mum now,

Neither Dh or I were left anything in parents wills. I knew I wasn’t getting anything from being a child. Everything was going to be divided between my cousins.

DH was told he was getting 40% of his parents 7 figure estate. His single brother no children was getting 40% and 10% was to be divided between dc

Fil died and mil inherited everything. Then mil died and he found out he got £0. His brother was sole heir.

WhereYouLeftIt · 20/03/2023 13:30

"How do we navigate all these treat days MIL wants to do without burning bridges and being rude or coming across as mean? Or is it normal to pay for a grandparent every time for things like this?"

Personally, I think it is very rude to moan to people that they won't let you spend THEIR money - so I wouldn't have a problem being rude in return. I'd start by laughing in her face, asking who she's trying to show off to, and telling her if she wants to do this she can pay for it ALL.

TaunterOfWomenInGeneralSaysSayonarastu · 20/03/2023 13:30

How do we navigate all these treat days MIL wants to do without burning bridges and being rude or coming across as mean?

"We can't afford to do that. Why not come here for sunday lunch instead?"

amiold · 20/03/2023 13:31

"Sounds lovely but we can't afford it, you can take the kids sometime if you like though"

Sleepless1096 · 20/03/2023 13:31

PenelopeTitsDrop3121 · 20/03/2023 12:52

Whenever she suggests days out just keep repeating that you can't afford it. I've never known grandparents getting treated like this. Its always the grandparents wanting to treat the family. She sounds very selfish.

This. "Sorry, we can't afford it. Would you like to come round for a coffee and a trip to the park instead?"

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 20/03/2023 13:32

Well, obviously your DH needs to tell her to stop taking the piss.

drpet49 · 20/03/2023 13:32

Sapphire387 · 20/03/2023 13:29

She ought to be ashamed of herself, living what sounds like a nice comfortable lifestyle while expecting her son (and you) to shell out for her while you have young kids.


gamerchick · 20/03/2023 13:32

Why haven't you just said soz we're skint. Maybe another time. Rinse and repeat?

LadyKenya · 20/03/2023 13:33

ÉireannachÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ · 20/03/2023 13:23

Is your mother in law white British? I ask because then that would make her a cf. But if not, which I suspect not, it is a cultural thing. There are plenty of cultures where this is normal.

I was wondering the same thing. Is this correct OP?

Aftjbtibg · 20/03/2023 13:34

We don’t pay for my parents or parents in law; if anyone treats anyone then it’s often them buying us things as they have more available money than we do. I think your DH just needs to be honest that you can’t afford it so any days out need to be on the more reasonable side

Supersimkin2 · 20/03/2023 13:34

Granny’s a CF.

SerafinasGoose · 20/03/2023 13:34

Lovelyveg82 · 20/03/2023 13:07

2 grown assed adults
Simperingly following MIL’s suggestions for days out irrespective of what they and their children want to do
Paying for her but hating doing so

I can’t get my head around this

Woman / Adult / Parent the heck up!

Me neither. But there have been one heck of a lot of spoof MiL threads just at present - two deleted that I know of in the past week.

TaunterOfWomenInGeneralSaysSayonarastu · 20/03/2023 13:34

fruitbrewhaha · 20/03/2023 13:24

I find the opposite to be true, my parents and PIL happily pay for us the kids.

Next time say "No, we are busy that day, my parents are taking us to x", or "We've been there recently, my parents treated us"

Conversely, & I know this is shocking to much of mumsnet - stop with the convoluted inventions & just tell the fucking truth?

"No, we can't afford it."

BadgerSetGo · 20/03/2023 13:36

She is white British.

She won't come to our house for lunch or to play with DC, she only wants to meet for days out. There's an open invitation for her to come for Sunday lunch and she hasn't been at all yet this year. She says she can't afford the petrol!

OP posts:
Quitelikeit · 20/03/2023 13:37

Have you ever tried to say no? How often is she doing this?

lunch and drink can be quite expensive these days especially if there’s 5 of you!!

MoltenLasagne · 20/03/2023 13:38

Thing is, if you're doing something already paying for an extra pensioner usually isn't a massive uplift. So if we were going to our local farm, for example, it'd be £25 for 4 of us or £30 for MIL to come along.

But the problem is, if you're not doing thar activity anyway MIL is costing you £30 BUT she still only thinks she's costing you £5.

TheNoodlesIncident · 20/03/2023 13:38

I've never actually come across a grown person who does this, all the people we take on trips/days out always try to pay for more than their fair share, not less! If I had a relative who did try to dodge it, I simply wouldn't include them on any future outings, the miserable chiseller.

If DH isn't keen to let her know her parsimonious ways aren't appreciated, she'll notice she's not getting to come with you any more, and probably mention it.

BadgerSetGo · 20/03/2023 13:39

She is a bit jealous I think because DH has done fairly well. She doesn't see the details though, so we have bought a nice enough house but have a very big mortgage. DC is at private school but it's a stretch. So she sees the image and thinks we have loads and she wants a piece of that but the truth is we have a lot of outgoings and have to make sacrifices. She doesn't believe us though if we say that. There's a whole lot of strange undercurrents and jealousy attached to her demands.

OP posts:
TravellingJack · 20/03/2023 13:40

I'd book tickets for her and the kids, meet her outside whatever venue and wave the kids off whilst accelerating out of the car park

If she complains, just say that you can't afford that much on tickets so if she wants to go, she'll have to take the kids solo. You could even give the kids some spending money to 'treat Gran to a coffee'. Win win, a bit of childfree time!

Highdaysandholidays1 · 20/03/2023 13:40

Just get your husband to tell her 'we've had to cut back on days out with the kids due to the cost of living crisis, delighted if you come here/want to come to the park' and stick to it. Or do one day out every two months or whatever you can afford.

Just do what you can afford, and ignore all comments. I'm not quite getting why you are going on these days out unless it suits you, practically and financially.

BadgerSetGo · 20/03/2023 13:40

She also tells DH constantly that she's terribly worried about money so makes the narrative that she's a poor pensioner on her own which makes it jarring for him to ask her to pay her way, as only a few minutes earlier she would have been pleading poverty, but her lifestyle is evidence to the contrary.

OP posts:
Please create an account

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