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AIBU?

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:
Abcdefgh1234 · 21/03/2023 14:26

Is your DH asian? Or indian? Not white?. Because maybe its cultural. I’m asian and in asia its very normal for kids to take care of their parents. My family too if we go out with my MIL we pay for everything. I dont mind as we have budget for that. My husband will do the same if my mother come to visit. He even pay for my parents ticket to come to england. They are living abroad.

AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 14:29

PousseyNotMoira · 21/03/2023 13:16

Worst countries

  • Estonia - 2.11
  • South Korea - 2.36
  • Lithuania - 2.46
  • Latvia - 2.75
  • Mexico - 3.39
  • Poland - 3.54
  • Chile - 3.57
  • Japan - 3.93
  • United Kingdom - 4.07
  • Belgium - 4.14

    Best countries
  • Iceland - 8.11
  • Luxembourg - 7.96
  • Norway - 6.86
  • Austria - 6.64
  • Sweden - 6.64
  • Spain - 6.54
  • Switzerland - 6.54
  • Finland - 6.5
  • Netherlands - 6.43
  • France - 6.39

    Based on factors including pensioners’ income, old age income poverty, life expectancy, quality of support network, cultural attitudes and overall happiness index.

Yup! The UK has the worst state pension in the developed world- in 2016 it was only worth 29% of average income. It is striking how much less that is than other countries: the EU average is 70.5%, meaning that UK pensions receive more than two times less than comparable countries.

The only country to receive less is South Africa, where state pension equals 17.1% of average incomes. Considering that South Africa has the highest rates of inequality in the world and more than half the population is living in poverty, it is hardly a nation to benchmark against.

Source is the OECD, for anyone who wants to look into it further.

Highdaysandholidays1 · 21/03/2023 14:29

@AlmostaMamma I agree, in my husband's culture, money is family money to a large extent, and buying people property, treating them to meals, looking after parents is more common. I do think it is here in some families, my family is extremely generous (one part of it anyway) and so are those of my friends- lots of giving gifts, childcare, I don't recognise the experiences on many threads on mumsnet if I'm honest.

Lovelyveg82 · 21/03/2023 14:34

It’s the mercer report

I downloaded

overall conclusion on the following countries is a B grading

Sweden Singapore UK Switzerland Uruguay Canada Ireland New Zealand ChileBelgium Germany

and the overall judgment on the above is

A system that has a sound structure, with many good features, but has some areas for improvement that differentiates it from an A-grade system

always worth digging in to the detail

MIL wants to do lovely days out but wants us to pay for everything
falsepromises · 21/03/2023 14:34

My DM has never ever offered to pay for me/DH/DC, despite being wealthy. However I would not expect her too. She always pays for herself and will make a point of saying "lets all just pay for ourselves" at venues/restaurants etc. PIL are not wealthy but offer to pay for us all constantly, which we decline. We have a routine where we will pay entry and accommodation and they usually get lunch. So it works out about even. They would never accept those things and not buy something back. But on the same token I would not accept lunch and not pay it back in someway.

Lovelyveg82 · 21/03/2023 14:36

As evident on the photo I posted which is the actual report. Uk is the 10Th BEST country overall

AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 14:39

Highdaysandholidays1 · 21/03/2023 14:29

@AlmostaMamma I agree, in my husband's culture, money is family money to a large extent, and buying people property, treating them to meals, looking after parents is more common. I do think it is here in some families, my family is extremely generous (one part of it anyway) and so are those of my friends- lots of giving gifts, childcare, I don't recognise the experiences on many threads on mumsnet if I'm honest.

Totally agree with all that. My husband’s (British) family sounds like yours, as well. Which is why I was keen to state that not everyone in the U.K. thinks or behaves like this. However, judging by these threads, a lot of people do. ☹️

Blossomtoes · 21/03/2023 14:41

Lovelyveg82 · 21/03/2023 14:36

As evident on the photo I posted which is the actual report. Uk is the 10Th BEST country overall

Not great when it’s the sixth richest.

Lovelyveg82 · 21/03/2023 14:44

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Lovelyveg82 · 21/03/2023 14:44

Blossomtoes · 21/03/2023 14:41

Not great when it’s the sixth richest.

But the markers went beyond purely financial

AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 15:12

@Lovelyveg82 I was quoting the OECD (as stated) and @PousseyNotMoira wasn’t talking about pensions apart from as a factor in overall quality of life for older people. So, nobody was quoting the Mercer report, which appears to be something produced by an HR company?

All of which would be evident if you actually read what you were responding to, which is what I suggested initially and you have repeatedly failed to do.

You tagged me and the comment appears to have been deleted. If you’ve reached the stage where you are now having your comments deleted, because you’d rather be offensive than face the fact that U.K. societal attitudes are less than ideal in this regard, I suppose that’s your choice. Not sure there’s much point to engaging with you further, tbh.

Curiosity101 · 21/03/2023 15:14

@BadgerSetGo to be clear I'm not commenting on or criticising your choices. And I don't think you should necessarily be funding her requests for days out.

I'm just saying your MIL may well have a very similar opinion to you "DIL and DS must be loaded, look how much they spend on a <x>, <y> and <z>" and you're going "If she didn't spend so much on all these other things she'd have plenty to spend on days out"

Obviously it's not quite the same in the sense that she's acting entitled to this 'wealth' she thinks you have availai. You're not demanding anything of her. So I'm totally with you, just trying to show you that people often have this thought when they see outward markers of wealth.

Another example - people who own horses. People who own horses (in my experience) more often than not have very little spare cash. Horses are fantastic at swallowing up every spare ££. But outwardly people assume someone with a horse must have ££. They might... If they didn't have the horse.

So I find it's better not to dwell on people's financials cause we all like to spend our money differently. I'd try to let the pleading poverty bits wash over you as much as you can. Just decide with your DH what would make you all happier as a family. If you want to spend more time with MIL and don't feel comfortable paying, suggests lots of free/cheap options. Or using the Sunday lunch idea, someone else suggested go and collect her from her house or maybe you could pay for an Uber or something 🤷.

ODFOx · 21/03/2023 15:25

A lovely day at the beach with a picnic, a country park, a trip to the swings are all lovely things to do with grandchildren.
She'll spend more time with them if they aren't overstimulated by theme parks and the theatre.
Invite her on some of the cheap/free outings and she will be able to tell her friends all about it.

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:27

It was about the fact that Nigeria has a truly horrific approach to child rearing. Particularly girls. It made for a very disturbing read

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:30

@AlmostaMamma
the OECD is a purely financially focussed report. Whereas I thought your stance was about children providing financial, practical and overall support to their parents?

AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 15:40

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:30

@AlmostaMamma
the OECD is a purely financially focussed report. Whereas I thought your stance was about children providing financial, practical and overall support to their parents?

The OECD was my source re pensions specifically (in one of my comments upthread).

My overall point is very much about children providing overarching support for their parents, you’re entirely correct.

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:45

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AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 15:47

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:27

It was about the fact that Nigeria has a truly horrific approach to child rearing. Particularly girls. It made for a very disturbing read

I can’t respond to it, as I didn’t see it, but it seems unlikely it had much to do with ‘fact’. Particularly if it was deleted.

And I’m not seeing how that could be a response to anything I’ve said, tbh. ‘The U.K. is awful to older people, but your country is worse because XXX’? Really?

AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 15:48

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I’m sorry, but what?

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:49

The PP said you were from Nigeria? 😐

ÉireannachÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ · 21/03/2023 15:52

Lovelyveg82 · 21/03/2023 14:18

I recall you from the ivf thread and you insistence that you think ivf should be banned. For everyone.
I imagine you must offend people quite regularly! 😂

Many people are easily offended. All rather pathetic imo. This comment of yours is quite revealing of you. I suspect my opinion on ivf have touched a nerve. I'll try and care.... hold on....nope, sorry cannot seem to muster any.

AlmostaMamma · 21/03/2023 15:54

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:49

The PP said you were from Nigeria? 😐

That’s not what I’m questioning, @Porridgelover82. Or, should I say @Lovelyveg82 ?

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:55

I just saw the post! And it was a horrible indictment of Nigeria’s approach to child rearing. So perhaps better attitude towards elders?

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:55

ÉireannachÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ · 21/03/2023 15:52

Many people are easily offended. All rather pathetic imo. This comment of yours is quite revealing of you. I suspect my opinion on ivf have touched a nerve. I'll try and care.... hold on....nope, sorry cannot seem to muster any.

To be fair

i suspect your view on ivf would have touched the nerve on many many many people!

ÉireannachÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ · 21/03/2023 16:03

Porridgelover82 · 21/03/2023 15:55

To be fair

i suspect your view on ivf would have touched the nerve on many many many people!

Tbf you are probably right. My unswerving convictions are rarely held by the majority BUT, and i cannot stress this enough...I am more than comfortable with this. I would even go as far as saying I could not care less.

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