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Hi,

I feel a little guilty for not being more appreciative, but Dear MIL just gave me a box of baby gifts I'm not too fond of. Everything is light pink, frilly and spring themed even though I'm having a late Fall/Winter baby.

I want to convey to her how much I appreciate her thoughtfulness and generosity, but I also wish there was a gracious way of saying I could use long sleeved onsies and t-shirts instead of short sleeves and I like purple instead of pink. It sounds greedy somehow but I'd like to dress my daughter a little more funky. I'm nervous because Dear MIL, bless her heart, is very generous and I foresee a slew of pink rosebud decorated gifts in the near future. I was hoping more for orange polka dots and black-and-white stripes.

Now that I think about it, I bet a lot of the gifts I receive in the future will be frilly and pink. Maybe I just need to get over myself.

Thoughts?
 

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Luckily I dont have that problem with MIL, she has a lot of the same tastes as me... but with DD I DID have to tell my step mom that I prefer purple. Thats really all I had to say, and to this day she still buys me things for DD (who is now 5 and LOVES pink) in purple. But DD doesnt mind, she likes purple too!

It wasnt ... oh I hate pink... but rather, you know... pinks such a nice color but I really think DD looks better in purple! Shes so pale the pink makes her look sick
(sorta a lie, my DD is tan lol)
 

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Is there any way to go shopping WITH her? Just once, so you can say things like...'oh I LOVE this purple shirt better than the pink one' or 'I wish these things didnt have as much frilly stuff on them'.

I did that with my MIL when it came to plastic toys (we prefer wooden) and it worked!

Or create a registry? We did ours on Amazon.com (they have EVERYTHING) and that way they can see what you like? My aunt is a garage sale maniac but also has no idea what my tastes are- so I told her to take a look at my registry so she can find that stuff at garage sales instead.
 

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What kind of relationship do you have with her? My mom and aunt were big on "I bought tons of stuff i thought you'd like, I have the receipts in case you want to return it/you want me to return them." It's the way we've shopped for each other (pg or not, for kids or not) for years.

If you think your MIL will be offended if you complain about the styles, then focus on "This is adorable, but I think it might be too cold for short sleeves. What I'd really love are some long sleeved onesies!" There may or may not be a tactful way to share your preferred sense of style, but it's certainly appropriate to talk about seasonably appropriate clothing. And there's no way to completely avoid the frilly clothes you hate (or whatever style the grandparents want that the parents don't like, even if mom n dad want frilly and Grandma buys the Harly Davidson t-shirts.)

After the fact, you can probably exchange many of those clothes, using the "the clothes fit in the wrong season" excuse if MIL notices. I was able to exchange a lot of baby gifts after DS was born- he started out at 9 lbs and many gifts were too small.
 

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MIL gives DD frilly little girly clothes. So she can't play because she has dresses and capri sets I have to wash in cold water
I mean I don't change her clothes that often and DD is a tomboy, so the frilly stuff is so pointless to me.

I would just tell MIL that you are having a fall/winter baby and the spring clothes might be too cold for her.

Also hold on to them and ask for reciepts, because I got tons of clothes for a smaller pound baby, and DD was 8 pounds. Even the bigger clothes she totally skipped over because she got so big so fast. She was a huge baby and I kept getting clothes her exact age - she was in 9 month clothes at 4 months I think, and I was getting 6 month clothes for her so she could grow into them HA!
 

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I don't think I'd say anything to my mil about her gifts. I might bring up in conversation something about finding some nice warm fall/winter clothes on sale or something like that though.

I return what I can and hang on to the rest to give as baby gifts myself. Yes, I'm a re-gifter
 

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The clothes wouldn't bother me because they don't get worn for very long anyway.

The gifts I don't like are the knick knack type things, photo albums (all our photos are online), stuffed animals etc. They sit around collecting dust until we do a declutter and then they get shipped off to the thrift store.
 

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I love the idea of creating a registry showing her all your preferred choices. You could also tell her you've "gotten a ton of pink clothes and could use different colors so that her clothes stand out".
It's not easy and you can always return, regift, or recycle.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by limette View Post
The clothes wouldn't bother me because they don't get worn for very long anyway.

The gifts I don't like are the knick knack type things, photo albums (all our photos are online), stuffed animals etc. They sit around collecting dust until we do a declutter and then they get shipped off to the thrift store.
This exactly how I feel. My MIL has given me some of the ugliest picture frames known to mankind and enough stuffed animals to open my own store. And DD doesn't even like stuffed animals. But the clothes are worn for such a short period of time, I'd probably just say "thank you" and keep them. Hopefully at some point in the future your MIL will start asking what you need, and then you can tell her your preferences.
 

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A lot of stuff gets donated from our house.


I've tried making my wishes known and my own mother tries to keep up but even says it's impossible (my preferences IRT clothes, toys, media, etc). My mother in law is oblivious despite my suggestions.

If they don't take well to suggestions just smile, say thank you, maybe snap a pic of them in it, then donate or return it. It still feels wasteful to me but it's better than straining a relationship over material things.
 

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In this situation I just return everything and use the money/credit to buy stuff we need. Occasionally, if I keep something I am sure to put it on our kids when we visit whoever gave it to them.
 

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when my mil does this, i return a lot of it because she buys everything from walmart and tis easy to do.. :p but i also try to tell her, when appropriate, that we have tons of pink , i think i'm going to have to look for some brighter colors or i'll get bored, or something like that.. or i love shopping for girl clothes but i'm getting overloaded with pink flowers, i need to start looking for more purple/green etc..etc...
 
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I've dealt with this a lot with my MIL -- we aren't really close, but have a good relationship. The best way has been to go shopping WITH her and ooh and awww over things I like (and take her to the stores I prefer...), and a registry with the things I would like for my kids.

Her thing is cartoon clothes, which I really don't care for, and unpractical things (like jean skirts for my cloth diapered babies -- ouch!)

Oh, and it's taken some time! My oldest DD is now 5, and MIL has just caught on...
 

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If she is anything like my MIL it is a loosing battle. I finally gave up on trying to gently suggest wooden over plastic toys, or other colors besides blue (for Ds - and her favorite color), or other types of clothing besides sports themed (we don't watch or play sports at all), or Burt's Bees instead of Johnson and Johnson. What I finally did was just thank MIL and make a mental note of which clothes she bought Ds. When we would see her I would dress him in the outfits she bought for him. I did that with everyone actually, I always to tried to dress him in outfits that people bought for him on the day we got together with them. Some outfits he never wore except when we saw her. And one day when my mom had a garage sale, I gathered up about 20 bottles (no I'm not exaggerating - she literally brought one every time she visited) of Johnson and Johnson products, mostly baby lotion, and sold them for about 50 cents each. You're probably going to get a lot of stuff that you wouldn't have chosen yourself. I've found that it is impossible to choose the gifts that others give you, even a general type, color, or brand.
 

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For me it's not my MIL (speaking technically, since we're not married), but my mother. She's horrible. She doesn't listen to a thing I say and continues to just give me the most inappropriate things. I'm running out of ways to tell her "thanks, but no thanks."
 

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Yeah, I guess I lucked out because I thought for sure I was going to have to have this converstaion with both my mom and my MIL. I despise pink. Luckily, DD is redheaded and has olive skin and looks pretty sickly in it. Even the two of them can tell.

Really, I would keep the clothes until you have your baby. You never know which sizes they will fit in and when. We had a few things I thought DD would never grow into by the time the season came for them, and she ended up wearing them anyway. If you're not sure how she'll take it, just say thank you and donate them.
 

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I worry about this if we have a girl (after 3 boys) and someone gives us a baby shower (which has been suggested). I'm okay with a little pink, but it's NOT my favorite color, and my tastes are so far off the main-stream (well, as far as wanting organics or at least natural fibers, hating "princess" stuff, etc., etc.) that I know most well-meaning people wouldn't guess it without some thinking or digging.

I like the suggestions for gentle ways to suggest what you *really* like or need. I hope you can return/exchange some of what you've gotten, let her wear the stuff that's not TOO bad, and help your MIL understand your tastes!
 

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I'd have your DH say something. I did not want a ton of pink stuff (a little, fine, a pink closet, no) and DH mentioned to his mom that we were trying to stay away from pink and frilly in case we had a boy next. Apparently that was all she needed b/c she's been awesome about balancing stuff. If it's frilly and lacy, it's not pink, if it's functional (like a blanket or burp rag) it's usually part of a set and one will be pink. Most of the stuff she makes/buys DD though is pretty gender neutral so I'm ok with the occasional girly girl item or pink blanket.
 

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My MIL is really sweet and brings a lot of stuff for DS whenever she comes to visit. Most of it is stuff that she buys second hand. I have no problem with this at all, but it means I can't return anything. She buys a lot of sports-themed clothes (especially football), which I don't love, and a lot of polyester, which I'm not ok with. She really means well, so I've not felt comfortable saying anything in the past. Now that DS is a little older, though, I just blame it on him
He really does prefer all cotton, plain clothing and won't wear anything that feels slippery (football jerseys) or anything with large appliques. I've started dropping hints that since DS didn't like certain things, perhaps we should just decide to only dress the new baby in plain cotton. We'll see if it gets through.
 

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If you don't feel like you can say anything now, I'd just accept the gifts graciously and dress DD in them from time to time when MIL is visiting. Let yourself enjoy the pleasure it gives her when her granddaughter is wearing those frilly outfits. Just once in a while, it won't kill you.

I went through the same thing with DS (yes, the same can happen with boys - think white sailor suit complete with cap!) and I found it got much easier as time went on - aside from the few times I'd dress him in the goofy outfits MIL had sent just so that she would have her moment of fun taking pictures and all that, I dressed him in more casual, hip clothes. When she'd say things like, "my goodness, I've never seen a baby wearing jeans before!" DH and I would just say something along the lines of, "I know, aren't they cute! Now that we are getting to know his personality, clothes like this seem to suit him best. Doesn't he look adorable?" Subtle, but the message did sink in.
 
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