MIL will not stop buying for DS - WWYD? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 02-16-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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Your mother/MIL's shopping problem cannot become your problem. Feel NO GUILT about packing it right up and taking it to goodwill/sa or simply trashing it. Even if she wasn't buying you junk and wasting money on it, she'd be buying other stuff and wasting money. You are wasting your breath telling them NO because in their minds they have no comphrension of what you really mean. They CANNOT phanthom why anyone wouldn't want all that stuff. Shopping is an addiction same as drinking or smoking. It is a high in itself.

Let go of every ounce of guilt about getting rid of stuff you didn't want, need, ask for or have room for. It is not your job to make your parents "feel good" at your own family's expense. You can simply tell them...you may buy what you want but I am only keeping what I want.
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#32 of 41 Old 02-16-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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In my spare room I have the standard boxes--give away, regift, etc... But now I have another--it's the "some wingnut just gave my kid yet another piece of useless whatever and when this box is full I will redistribute it". Despite the fact that I explicitly said "no stuffies. no plush. no dust-allergan-mucous-collecting goo ball furry items that the dog will disembowel", there are at least 8 of them in there. jeeeeeeeez. I told the family about our winter holiday plans for dd's childhood--one gift to each family member, homemade or used only. With all the special little holidays we celebrate throughout december, there is absolutely no need for an American Christmas at our house. But grandma? She's devastated over the idea. I told her she could get one and only one thing for the babe next year, but spread the rest over the year, right? She's spreading already......I take photos. Then all gone. But to her credit she did get dd a totally fabulous ride-on toy. It's beautiful....
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#33 of 41 Old 02-17-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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My MIL is very comfortable financially, yet she is addicted to shopping *cheap* and passing on lots of crap to my kids. She buys things off the clearance racks at Walmart (regular Walmart prices are too high ) and the like. She has never acted on my hints about one nice gift each child would appreciate, like some American Girl thing for my daughter, for example. Instead, it's cheap or inappropriate stuff (like a preschool puzzle for an 11 year old) that gets donated. I bet my kids cannot even remember any of their gifts--too numerous and junky for memory. The last 3 Christmases she has been adding to a "collection" (that she started) of made-in-China nutcrackers. The kids are not interested--she has just decided to do this because she buys them for a couple dollars after Xmas, and saves them for the following Xmas. This year, I suggested that we are running out of room for the nutcrackers and maybe the kids didn't need any more. (They are BIG, too!). I didn't say anything for the first 4 years...

I know giving gifts makes her happy. But honestly, it doesn't seem to be out of love for the kids exactly. More like that she has multiple things to give them and it doesn't matter to her if the gift fits the child. At all. (There are lots of other issues with my MIL--she is not a good person and so this also influences my thinking).

Sorry to go on! I have never figured out a solution. Meanwhile, I feel as though I am implicated in adding to landfills (though I donate everything, I'm sure some of it ends up as trash). Sigh.
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#34 of 41 Old 02-17-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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Can you ask for more consumable things - like crayons, paint, play doh etc?
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#35 of 41 Old 02-18-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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think of every natural or organic thing you would like Ds and future babe to have so you can give this woman "something" to buy since she is not gonna take no for an answer, you might as well have a list.

Does she catalog shop? If so order her every catalog that you think you would like toys from- Magic cabin and Heathsong, Rosie Hippo and stuff like that.... botyh coming to you and here. When you get your copy- go thru and circle what would be nice for DS then when she asks- you can tell her. Also think *up* a size in clothing (like the next size up) . This took some fineggeling but I was able to convince my mom (like that) to get my kids nice fleece LL Bean jackets with cute pictures ont hem and the same with rain coats and boots. my mom won't go for the clothing unless it has something CUTE on it- like lizzards for DS or flowers or something that I tell her my kids would really like... Now my mom is into getting DD the Hanna Anderson play dress sets each Christmas. That works for me.... but think UP a size if you already have enough stuff in the current sizing. I have also asked mom to get kids shoes but again, it has to be something she thinks is "cute" and "special" like Robeeze with cute things on them... she won't just buy plain solid colored turtlenecks... : ( but she will buy swim suits (Easter) and sleep wear for them if she thinks it is something they are into...

But if she is gonna do this any way, don't let it fill your home with crap, let it fill your home with good things you will enjoy seeing your children in and playing with... that when they are done with them at least you stand a chance of having something worth passing on or reselling- like the HA play dresses...

Does she do any crafts? If so tap into that too. Look for patterns in her chosen craft of things you would like for the kids- cute wool sweaters, mittens :, longies- or sewn things like quilts.... Keep telling her that you are trying to teach the kids "giving from the heart"....


Good luck, I know this is frustrating. My oldest is 12, thankfully he LOVES books so now mom takes him to the book store.... Keep working at it tho, it is worth it and realize she is probably not gonna stop it, so you might as well steer her to what is useful...

Oh one last thought- ask her for Christmas, or what ever major holiday you celebrate, for something like a family membership to something that you can take her with you (once or twice) and she can see the kids having fun- take a pic of them there and send it to her as a thank you and really, really stress how much you enjoy that!
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#36 of 41 Old 02-18-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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Is there anyway she might buy a membership to the zoo or a musuem instead and could take your kids there so she is still getting enjoyment from the gift? My parents gave us a zoo membership and we all love it. It's the gift that truely keeps on giving.
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#37 of 41 Old 02-20-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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I have this problem, too. We return or donate, but I'm beginning to resent telling my nearly 4yo why she can't have stuff.

It's definitely like some of you. My mom is convinced that we're denying dd of so many wonderful crap toys.

So what do you tell the kids? I feel really mean telling her she can't have things that she is excited about, and I feel sneaky getting rid of them without telling her (though that's what we've been doing).

Thoughts?

Kristen, happy wife to Jeremy; Mama to dd (2/04) and ds (8/07) and two miscarried babies (9/05 & 5/06). And beginning to believe a baby may really be coming this summer.
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#38 of 41 Old 02-20-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I hear you! My husband's mother, his grandmother, his brother, my sister and my own mother ALL do this!!

Sometimes their gifts are slightly appropriate, mostly not. In our case, we have a situation of competing values -- in addition to valuing conservation, fair trade, moderation, etc., we want to teach our children to respect and honor parents (by showing that we honoring our own), and to have compassion (by recognizing that different people have different issues and then loving them anyway), etc. So, we try to give suggestions about types of gifts (and non physical gifts -- like taking them to the park, etc.), and that we'd prefer not to have certain items in our home. We regift, donate, recycle as appropriate.

We also try not to offend the family. One of the most important gifts *we* can give our kids is a strong healthy relationship with their family -- not just Mom and Dad, but the whole gang.

So, in large part, out solution is to wait, patiently, for our little kids to get older, since the family no longer drowns the older kids in silly stuff, we're pretty sure they (the grandparents, etc.) will "outgrow" this habit as our little kids get older.
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#39 of 41 Old 03-05-2008, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
My MIL really means well, but she is something of a shop-aholic. She has no money, very unsteady employment, and chronic health problems. She feels like she needs to buy our two year old DS something every time she sees him, which is quite often.

Most of the time, it's junk, a duplicate of something he already has, clothes that don't fit him, or just really odd things, like a decorative pillow from Pier One, that I guess he is supposed to keep on his bed?? She refuses to buy anything "practical" that we suggest, like if he needs more bibs or sippy cups, because she wants to see him play with her gift.

Tonight she called to ask what he's "into" so she could get him something for Valentine's Day. DH told her that he needs nothing, that we are trying to simplify and declutter before the new baby arrives, and to please not buy him anything. She brushed him off and said she would look around for some small token thing to give him, so she clearly missed the point. He re-emphasized, please, do not get him anything, and she replied "I'm the grandma, I can do whatever I want."

It's frustrating for me because I hate to be wasteful. If she gives us something we don't like or can't use, we donate it to charity, but she just keeps it coming. She is also the type of person who likes to tell you what you should do with the gift she gave you, like where you should put it, or how it should be displayed, which is really irritating.

How would you handle this situation? Knowing that she is my husband's mother and that she lives close by requires us to keep the relationship intact, but I don't know how much more of this I can stand.

OMG!! You described our situation exactly! EXACTLY...even up to the age of the boy, and the job health conditions etc!! Ok.. on to read the responses.
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#40 of 41 Old 03-05-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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Here's a spin on the piggy bank idea. What about if you suggest to her that she could start a savings account for your ds? I mean, she could have her name on it and everything. She could take him to the bank to make deposits (my kids love to do that). Some banks (Wells Fargo) give the kids the little bank bucks that they can save. When they get to, I think, a hundred they can get a savings bond. She can help him save up for big things like a bike or maybe he's too young for that, but you can help him find something that he wants to save up for.
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#41 of 41 Old 03-06-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Here's what we did for V Day. We sent DS (2) out to dinner with my in-laws (while we went out) and he took money and paid for my MIL's mother (who is a widdow). They were thrilled with their date! And so were we. My IL's are big on gift giving too but the experience seemed to be enough for them for this time at least!
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