Is there a way to make it stop? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 04-06-2006, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom is going insane! I had a rough night last night and was sound asleep at 9:00 this morning when dh comes in and tells me that UPS dropped off a box from my mom. So I go open it so that he could be there and what is it? 3 dresses (all the same) 12 gowns (in matching sets of 3) 3 teething rings (identical) and 3 wrist rattles (yep, the same). I have told her that I'm not doing mathcing things and only for special events are they getting coordinating outfits, and I really don't mind a few, but this is crazy. She also got us 3 matching moses baskets and made 2 quilts for each that are almost the same. Plus she wants to come up and go shopping with me! Ahhhhh!!!! And it isn't like these are the first grandbabies or even granddaughters. These are babies 7-10 and granddaughters 3-6. And she was/is a little wacko with the others, but nothing like this. The only thing I can think of is that I'm her 1st born and these are my 1st born plus the whole triplet thing.

I mean, I really appreciate it espcially since we have had a rocky relationship in the past, but this is getting out of hand. She is even talking about their 1st birthday party and where we can rent a place to have it. My latest niece just had hers at home with 10 guests--all family.

Do I just let it go on and figure it will slow down or stop by the time the babes become aware of all the stuff? I'm planning on telling her that I have enough clothing and just need the changing table and car so she can get those (ha!), but that I don't really need anything else. I'm also thinking of mentioning that I like the handmade gifts more than the bought things, but I really don't want to hurt her. Any ideas how to phrase it?

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#2 of 22 Old 04-06-2006, 11:06 PM
 
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That is a tough situation, because like you said, it's really nice that she's thinking of you and trying to help but it also sounds like she is really going overboard. Obviously she's excited so maybe you can plan something fun to do with her. If she wants to go shopping, you could say something along the lines of, "I already have everything I need besides a changing table and a car but I would like to spend time with you...why don't we spend the day at a spa?" I mean if she's obviously willing to spend a lot of money on these babies I'm sure she wouldn't mind paying for at least her own spa treatment, ya know? That would also be a good time to mention the handmade things..."I have everything I need but I would love one of your handmade blankets/pillows/curtains/whatever she makes"

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#3 of 22 Old 04-06-2006, 11:57 PM
 
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I think being a grandma is something that we can't really fathom and we just have to go with the mania. My mom and her friends all fawn over Clara, because she's the first grandchild in their circle of friends. It really was bizarre to watch. I can imagine that having triplets brings the joy to a whole other level for her.

Also, she may be worried about you, and the babies. This may be her way of dealing with that worry. She can't do much about her worries, so maybe she shops?

Honestly, if it were me, I would just thank her and if she asks, tell her what you still need. If you're too tired to go shopping, ask her to just go to lunch.

Just remember this: having extra or matching binkies or dresses or whatever--you won't even remember that you had them in a year. And there may be a day when all the clothes are covered in poop and spit up and you'll be grateful for those silly dresses. It's all just stuff and she's getting a lot out of giving it to you.

Hang in there!

Kat - mama to Clara (9/29/03): & Iris (5/30/06)
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#4 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 02:05 AM
 
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My mom has kind of gone a bit nuts, too... she got me 4 dozen kissaluvs (!) which was frustrating at first, since the sizes were not quite what I wanted, but I ended up returning 2 dozen of them for credit for the diapers I DO want, so it ended up being a real bonus in the end - I have a nice diaper stash that I didn't have to pay much for!

Anyhow, I agree that we can't understand or know what it's like to be a grandma yet, and we should expect them to go a little crazy. Mine's not the first grandchild either (though he is the second, and the first boy - and I'm her first born having a first born as well, so I guess that's all pretty exciting for her). I bet triplets are probably pretty exciting for your mom, and she might be assuming that these will be your only children unless you've mentioned otherwise to her.

Is there any chance you could exchange the dresses for something you really want? Or would that offend her?

I think you could thank her especially for the quilts and maybe mention how you are afraid that if you have too many things that are similar that the triplets might feel like they aren't individuals, so you want to be able to let their individual personalities shine? Good luck with that!

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#5 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 02:05 AM
 
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Let her be. This is what grandmother's do. If she asks what you need tell her, but don't offend her.
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#6 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 02:26 AM
 
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i know it's really hard when you don't feel heard, but if i were you i would just think of these gifts as like 3 clean outfits rather than 3 matching outfits. pretty soon the laundry with 3 little ones is going toblow your mind - what a blessing to have all these clothes. you don't have to put them all in the same thing on the same day. you can dress them each differently but just have more clothes to have on hand. if possible, i would just see it all as a blessing.
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#7 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 03:42 AM
 
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Hugs to you and I have to say, your post made me laugh, too. My mother has totally gone nuts over this baby-- it's her 1st grandchild and I'm her oldest, so....

I agree, though, I think you should just be really positive about the gifts and think of them as extra clothes. And I think the ideas about communicating in a loving way your real needs are good, too, and trying to steer her away from buying more clothes. But speaking from personal experience, it probably won't work, and you'll probably end up with LOTS of matching clothes from grandmother.

And really, that's ok, you'll dress them in other things and as people have mentioned, they don't all have to wear the same item at the same time just beacause you have them!

Good luck, I know that your frustration probably stems at least partly from the fact that you feel that you aren't being listened to, but try to take all these gifts as an expression of love. Oh, and about the 1 year birthday party, remember, you have a year to worry about it! And a year to let your mom know that you'd prefer to keep things simple.
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#8 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 08:51 AM
 
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my mom has done a lot for this baby-and its my 3rd. I have gotten three boxes of clothes and she made a quilt. I have gotten enough clothes that I won't havet o buy any thi first year.

I am sure that part of your mom's excitement is that you are having three plus you tried a long time to have a family. She is probably about busting at the seams wating for them to get here
buying some things for the babies is probably helping her wait out these last few weeks before they arrive. Heck, I can't wait to see your three-to me that is amazing three little girls wow! You know we will ALL want to see a few pictures.

mother, wife, sister, friend--step mom to one grown man and mommy to 3 boys-ages 19, 10 and 4
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#9 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 09:24 AM
 
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Aww hugs! It's hard because I know you don't want to sound ungrateful but it's annoying when you've specified that you don't want certain things and people buy them anyway.

I know I sound ungrateful, but I was getting tired of those matching onesie/bottle sets people were giving us last time- ugh! I don't really bother with onesies myself and I didn't need bottles. And my MIL goes nuts too and buys little computerized battery operated toys... and TBH we don't have the money or desire to buy batteries for all those toys so I nicely hinted for more batteries instead of toys... now she doesn't buy them anything! :

Some people have to gift things on their terms I guess... I suppose not only being a grandma but being a triplet grandma all at once it going to her head and she's excited. Do have room for all this stuff? Fancy dresses require hanging space and rarely get worn, at least in my world!
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#10 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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Oh mimi! I'm so sorry, I know that this is really frustrating. I agree with the pp who said that it's really about not being listened to. I've been mad lately because we're having a shower and I registered for stuff we NEED and noboby bought anything off of the registry. The last thing we need is more clothes or cute stuffed animals. At least I don't know the people coming (yeah, only MIL's friends, but that's another thread!) so I can return everything, but that's not the point! Why don't people listen!

Sorry, hormonal rant.
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#11 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 11:56 AM
 
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We have a strict policy that any gift that our parents buy us HAS to have a reciept attached so it can be returned if it doesn't work out/ fit/ suit us. Luckily, no one in the family has a problem with that -- we almost always give gift reciepts anyway, for adult items. (MY MIL is especially good at that, b/c she likes to buy clothes, but she sometimes guesstimates at the sizes and she knows she's not the best guesstimator!)

So, I would ask her very nicely if she could please include a gift reciept in any of the gifts she buys for the babies. (This obviously does not include handmade quilts -- nor does it include hand-me-down items.)

I really don't understand where the impetus to dress multiples in matching clothes comes from, but maybe that's just me... all my twin friends (never had triplet friends) were very different from one another -- even the identical twins, you could tell immediately which twin was which, and not just b/c of clothing or hair style. They just had different personalities!
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#12 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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I'm so sorry! I understand where you're coming from. What I would probably do is once the babies are born and can fit into those dresses/whatever, dress them all alike, take a picture, then hang the dresses back in the closet. Give the picture to Mom. Kind of gives her a little bit, but you don't have to do it again, does that make sense? She's probably extremely excited about triplets (wow, that's such a blessing!!) and has ideas of three little girls all dressed identical. I also think the suggestion of just not dressing all three in the dresses at the same time is a good idea. I mean, really, babies sometimes need clean clothes every time they need a diaper change, so it doesn't make sense to try and keep them in the same outfits anyway!

I understand your vent, though, completely. It's something I guess I feel very lucky about-my family is pretty good at listening to my wants and gifting me accordingly. I never understood why someone would deliberately buy someone a gift that the person specifically said they didn't want...If you want to be gentle, really make a big deal out of those things you get that you truly appreciate, maybe she'll get the hint?
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#13 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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Oh, that sucks!

On one hand, be kind of grateful if one of your babes gets really, really attached to one of those blankets that grandma gave you. Why? If you have 3, you can have 1 in the wash, one being dragged around and one ready to go. DS became really attached to one type of blanket his Grandma crocheted but luckily he had 2 that matched, so one was always in the wash while the other was on his bed.

Other than that, people just go crazy with multiples. Who knows why. If she keeps giving you matching stuff, don't stress about it, but do find yourself a good consignment store to turn all of those matching, teeny dresses in for credit when you need larger clothes.
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#14 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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As someone in the same boat (only expecting one, not three!), I would say just let it go. My dh and I gave our parents a little spiel upfront about how we don't want a ton of stuff (one-bedroom apartment, uncomfortable with consumerism and waste, etc.), but that was it. Now they ARE going crazy (which I expected, although perhaps somewhat less crazy than they would have otherwise) and we're just being as gracious about it as we can. I honestly don't think these are the things worth picking fights about--stuff you don't use you can donate, sell, or regift. As for the matching things: there's no reason why you need all three girls to wear the same outfit at the same time; if baby 1 is wearing one of grandma's outfits and spits up all over it--just put her in a clean version of the same thing!

My mom LOVES getting stuff for her grandbabies, and I don't want to take away the joy she gets from doing it by resisting all the time. And she helps us out in so many other important ways (she's helping to finance our move and some new furniture, for instance) that it seems very ungracious somehow to say, "Well, we'll let you buy us a rug and a glider, but that outfit from Saks is just too over the top!" And while I find it personally wasteful to spend crazy amounts of money on baby clothes, I also don't really think it's my place to tell others how they should spend the money that they've earned.
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#15 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshields
The last thing we need is more clothes or cute stuffed animals. At least I don't know the people coming (yeah, only MIL's friends, but that's another thread!) so I can return everything, but that's not the point! Why don't people listen!

Sorry, hormonal rant.
OMG- stuffed animals drive me up the wall! Soooo many people have bought various stuffed animals for the kids- they DO NOT play with them. And you know what is worse? Nobody else wants them either!
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#16 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I think what brought my little pout on was that I've been washing and putting everything away and just seeing all the baskets I could find around the house packed full of clothing freaked me out. We shelved half of the closet for folded stuff and then have a double rod for hanging stuff so I'm pretty much maxed on space. What really makes me laugh is that my mom had the same complaint when my youngest sis was born. She got all these cute NB-3 month dresses and had no plans on using them and felt they were a waste. Then she buys the same kind of things for me! Apparently you forget after 17 years.

Luckily we haven't been hit by stuffed animals unless you count Pooh. I made the mistake of telling my aunt that I was going to get a couple Pooh accessories for the room and she made the most incredible basket of Pooh stuff!

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#17 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busybusymomma
OMG- stuffed animals drive me up the wall! Soooo many people have bought various stuffed animals for the kids- they DO NOT play with them. And you know what is worse? Nobody else wants them either!
You know what you can do with them, though? Cut a slit in their back, pull out all the stuffing, and sew a hem around the slit. Voila, a puppet. It has much more play value that way!

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#18 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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That's a good idea. We don't have but a couple of nicer stuffed animals packed away somewhere... I went on a rampage awhile back and just set all that sort of stuff out on the alley for the garbagemen after I tried FreeCycle.
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#19 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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I imagine if I were in your situation I would feel the same way! But I think it's so sweet.
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#20 of 22 Old 04-07-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimid
Thanks everyone! I think what brought my little pout on was that I've been washing and putting everything away and just seeing all the baskets I could find around the house packed full of clothing freaked me out.
Oh, don't wash them! Unwashed with tags, you can often get 2x as much $$ at the consignment store. I mean, obviously if you will use it, wash it. If you aren't sure, don't wash it yet. it's not like you won't be doing a gazillion loads of laundry per week anyways. You can always toss a cute dress or 3 in with another load.

And look on the bright side. I am only having a singleton, but the poor thing only has a 3' closet in her room. Thanks to overexcited grandmas, she is already out of space. You *could* have my closets *grumble*
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#21 of 22 Old 04-08-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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It's really hard to avoid hurting someone's feelings about gifts. If it were me, I'd try to just express my gratitude. If she specifically asks if there's anything you need, you could tell her. You can always give the stuff away or store it, right?

I'd have a hard time not saying something myself, but I know I'd regret it later. Actually, I've learned this the hard way.
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#22 of 22 Old 04-08-2006, 08:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimid
What really makes me laugh is that my mom had the same complaint when my youngest sis was born. She got all these cute NB-3 month dresses and had no plans on using them and felt they were a waste. Then she buys the same kind of things for me! Apparently you forget after 17 years.


Looks like you've gotten all kinds of great suggestions! I dunno, I guess people just loooove themselves some babies! Many just seem to get really wacky on that baby high the little ones emit, even from the womb!

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