Join Date: Feb 2006
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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.