Last edited by LoveOurBabies; 02-13-2016 at 08:24 AM.
This is not generosity. It's not something to be grateful for. I'd say that it's your mother is using you and your home to allow her to do excessive shopping without any consequences to her home. Instead, she transfers the consequences to your home. It's sort of as if she gets to eat a lot of cupcakes, but you get fat, or she drinks a lot of cocktails and enjoys the happy woozy stage, and you get the hangover.
I don't know how you can bring yourself to get rid of the stuff, but I can say that it would be the right thing to do, and not the least bit ungrateful, because this is a situation where gratitude is not applicable.
Not as easily done as said I know, but if you have told her you do not want something and she still insisted on you taking it, then I think you have zero obligation to keep it. If it is a family heirloom I think maybe just take it back and leave it there if you can. Otherwise, all those old clothes and stuff I wouldn't say another word to her about them, just haul them to goodwill.
I have no idea about the gifting... it is frustrating because I see it from both sides of the family, no money, racking up credit on lots of cheap junk that is broken or torn up within a month and we don't need or have the room for any of it. And the everyone has to have an equal amount of stuff too. Grr. I'd much rather my kids were given one small, nice thing that is going to last or even spending a fun day together, but no amount of suggestions change anything.
So...I can't change them, only myself, so trying again this year to choose to NOT feel guilty about passing along gifts we don't need.
If you and your family don't want it / need it, ect, get rid of it. Donate it; pass it on to a friend, ect. If she refuses to take her clothes back, tell her you will be donating those as well. It is YOUR home and you are not a storage space! As for feeling guilty, don't. She's not being generous if you don't want it!
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I'm a head-covering witchy mama to DS ('06) and DD ('10) with DH, Stormie, a Heathen breadwinning daddy.
The dresses in a vacuum I wouldn't worry about, but with all this other stuff going on, yeah it's manipulative even if she's not consciously doing it. The rest of the stuff is annoying to rage making and I can definitely understand why you are upset.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
Thank you so much for being the voices of reason! I need to let go of my guilt but it's hard because it's now a default setting for me. She spent motherhood guilt tripping us into being good abiding little girls and probably has high hopes that it will continue to work into adulthood. I even heard her once say to my DD that "grammy was going home because she wasn't listening to her and being a good girl". Good grief. I had to intervene and said "Grammy doesn't mean that, of course she won't go, but can you please listen to what she's asking of you?". That was not the last time I heard her using that "threat". Ugh. She did that to me several times growing up as well. I still have anxiety issues with love withdrawal well into adulthood.
I digress. I think I will get rid of the clothes after all. Even looking at it is causing resentment and I should not have to feel that way in my own home. It's meant to be a refuge from this sort of stuff and it's not.
Crayfish, I've said it before and I'll say it again - You are amazing. Your insights are almost always spot on in every thread you've contributed to here on D, O & S. You are absolutely right - She is reaping the benefits/thrill of shopping and I'm suffering the consequences of her "high". She at times has even invited people to my home on my behalf (without me knowing until the day) simply because she did not want to host them at her house (she told me so herself). This is when she stays over. She doesn't invite people that I dislike or are of questionable character, but it's still my home and DH's home! I don't even know how he feels about any of this.
wolfcat, I'm sorry you are going through similar circumstances, but you seem to have a grip on the issue. As you said, slow lessons.
starsmagick, you are absolutely right! I shall start with the clothes and do just that.
fruitfulmomma, so sorry that you are also going through this! I totally agree on having one well thought out gift rather than several mediocre gifts. To be fair, my mom always asks me what the kids want so that she can source exactly that, but she buys little gifts in between and of course everyone has to have the same gift even if it's not their birthday. It borders on ridiculous. However, those gifts do not bug me nearly as much as the hand me downs that I did not ask for nor do I want to keep (bed, clothing, fruit bowl etc). And then the absolute expectation that I must keep them because they're handy/valuable.
I'm so glad that you are moving forward from feeling guilty. I hope I can be there soon, too.
Give yourself permission to smile, get your mother her coat, and say cheerfully "Sorry you have to cut short your visit! See you next time!" In other words, there are civil ways to boot her out of the house for trying to manipulate your children. Or, more appropriately, allow her to leave when she says she's about to do that.
Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989) and DS2 (1992). Caregiver to my mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
Also a good site.
DH, me, DD '11 and a new born at home April '14!
The articles are great on that site, but stay AWAY from the forums. I've documented numerous incidents of them banning people out of nowhere (myself included).
Wow, I could have written so much of your post. Except my mother has now taken to sneaking into my house to leave things I don't need after telling her several times I don't need anything. And she gets mad if I give it away. It frustrates me that she says that she doesn't have the room for these things...her house is the same size as mine and there is only 1 person living there and 4 here. Also, her tastes are way different from mine as she thinks mine is inferior. Wish I could offer you advice, but I can relate to what you have to deal with. It's hard when she is so helpful with the kids to get mad at her.
MIL also gives us a lot of junk, but most of it is awful dollar store stuff that goes straight in to my donation bag. She also lives far enough away where we don't see her too often
It has helped a lot and I've actually inspired her to declutter too. Granted, she never had her own agenda, she was simply trying to help. Having a conversation like this couldn't hurt though
Ha! She has a key as she looks after my kids a lot, which is nice. But I'll open cupboards and I'll know some of her dishes have made it over. 3 very large pots that are taking a lot of space are now in drawers I keep tupperwear in. And once I opened DS#1's closet to see a large pile of blankets and bedsheets(that won't fit any bed in our house) on the floor.
I am sorry your mom is dumping so much stuff at your house.
Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages? Maybe her love language is gifts?
If it is and she is showing her love for you by giving you stuff, maybe you can get her to give you usable stuff ( food items, nice soaps, annual garden plants or flowers, etc.) things that get used up and don't take up space in your house forever and ever.
That way she can give you things that will get used up, so she feels like she is showing her love. You can use those items up and they are gone.
If she insists on giving you things you don't want, tell her that you are going to donate anything she brings over that you do not want, then do that. She was told, so when you follow through and donate the unwanted items, she can't say you didn't tell her exactly what your were going to do with those unwanted things.
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