Originally Posted by BlissfullyLoving
Is there anything you can do to steer her towards the goods you actually want? Like, "MIL I know how much you love buying things for the little ones, and since we already have dd we will not need the same type of goods as last time. Here is a list of some of the things we would like." Then if she deviates from the list too much (just enough not to leave you stuck with tons of garbage) ask her to return the stuff. Be very appreciative, but remind her that you have from dd or that you just will not need those goods. When you ask her to return stuff give her alternatives to buy instead. Like, we do not need this, but we could really use a snowsuit or something instead.
In my experience (dh has an uncle that has a shopping problem) when you have them returning enough stuff they start to ask what you want before buying garbage. You really have to have them return the stuff themselves though. Do not make it your problem (which I guess means you will have to send it back to her).
That sounds like good advice, and maybe I _should_ send things back to her, but...
First of all, most of the stuff she sends is not worth the postage that it would take to send it back. And I don't have money to waste. Second of all, the stuff we like is expensive--we don't buy a lot, but we do buy quality (when we buy at all). So I would hate to ask her for that kind of stuff. Third, we already have everything we need for the next, oh, 2 or 3 years. I shop ahead when I can find a good sale, and MIL shops ahead because she is aware that we already have more clothes in DD's size than we can fit in DD's dresser. And more toys than a daycare center. Fourth, it would make her cry. And I _hate_ making people cry.
Also, to the extent that she does try to buy the kinds of things we actually want (e.g., cloth diapers), she almost always gets it wrong. So if I were to give her a list, it would have to be _very_ explicit. And then I'd have to come up with a dollar amount I wouldn't mind her spending, which I can't do because I don't want her spending _anything_, and no matter what dollar amount I came up with she would invariably go over it.
DH has had 3-4 talks with MIL in which he told her in no uncertain terms that we do not want her shopping for us, that we do not want the things she buys, that it makes us feel bad when she shops for us, and that if she buys us any more things we will just throw them away. She cried every time (as you can imagine) and was shopping for us again within the month. And DH is able to be mean to her because she is his mom, but I just can't be. So she sneaks things to me and says, "I know I'm not supposed to be shopping for you, but this was so (insert adjective) and it was only (insert price)...please don't tell DH I bought it." UGH. I try to say things like, "Yes, that is (adjective) and (price) sounds like a good deal, but we really do not need it, so please do not buy anything else." But she does not respond to anything that is not totally explicit.
Okay, I have hijacked my own thread. Maybe we should start a crazy in-laws thread.
I will keep you posted on what happens when she finds out I'm pregnant.