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I don't think clothing is an item you can complain too much about as a gift. Maybe a casual "It's hard finding options other than pink for girls and we're starting to have so much of it." Something that doesn't point the finger at your MIL. People tend to buy the clothing they think is cute. Even if you tell someone what you like, it's hard to ask anyone to change their own style. (Like if someone asked me to buy their DD frilly pink cartoon themed dresses, I'd probably have a hard time picking something out.) And like others have said, I'd just make it a point to dress her in those clothes only when you know you'll be seeing MIL.

I have a much harder time with items that will literally never get used. My ex MIL bought DD TONS of bottles when she was a baby. Even though she knew we were exclusively breastfeeding and had requested no bottles. She even got bottle dryers and bottle cleaners and extra nipples and blah blah blah. She also bought us a portable crib.
The annoying part is that she actually would ask what I needed and I would tell her. "Well, we're co-sleeping so we don't need a crib, but I have been thinking about getting a bumbo seat. I'm sure that would be very useful." A week later she would show up at my door with a crib. WTH? All you can really do is smile and say thank you and then donate or exchange the item.
 

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Because DD was her first grandchild, MIL signed up for everything under the sun. Then she started saving all the formula, formula coupons, wipes and diaper coupons she got and giving them to me, even though she KNEW we were EBF and cloth diapering. She also forwards me the monthly emails from Gerber, Similac, etc., along the lines of, "FYI! Just thought you should know what Lucy should be doing developmentally right now!"

Um.....

Formula and formula coupons get tossed. I take the diaper coupons to the store and leave them near the dipes- I've seen (on more then one occassion) someone get super excited to "find" a coupon for $3-4 dollars off. Someone might as well benefit from her "generosity."
 

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I just have learned to make lists of what we need/want and give them to people who want to give gifts. If I get things that make me want to barf, or simply won't work for whatever reason, I donate them. I just say thanks and tuck it away for donation. Unless it's a family heirloom she gives you, you shouldn't feel obligated to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I took a second look at the items, and most are really not so bad. She even included a very cool swaddling sleep sack and some cute booties. She lives 2,000 miles away, but I will be visiting this summer and will make a point to shop at least once with her. She is very sensitive so I'm thinking a not so subtle hint from DH is a good plan too.

I was initially hesitant to do a registry because I feel weird asking people to buy me things, but perhaps a short list of some economical essentials would be helpful.

It put things into perspective for me to hear your stories. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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I'm sorry but I personally can't stand when people complain about gifts.


In my book, it really is the thought that counts regardless of whether the gift was for my wedding, or my baby, or whatever. I see a lot of posts about baby clothing and toy gifts and really moms, just deal with it!

My ILs buy clothes for DD all the time and some of them are not really my taste but I make a point in putting DD in it at least when they come and visit because I really appreciate that they thought of her and spent time shopping for her, etc. The only thing I always mention to them is DD's size, like "she's already wearing size 2T" so they feel upto date. Also surprisingly some of the pieces I'm so so about, DD actually LOVES (like that clearly boy's truck PJ & pink leopard furry vest), so it must be genetics or something. But really for me it is how I let my ILs be a small part of DD's life, doesn't anybody else feel that way?
 

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Relationships can be so tricky...you probably know what's best for her feelings.

Personally, we get a lot of gifts that get donated. Clothes, and toys...we donate a lot of tag-on items during the holiday season!


For someone who gives a lot of clothes that aren't quite our style, AND if they'll be seeing our child at some point...we usually save at least one outfit, and try to make a point of having our child wear that outfit when the person is visiting.

I love the thoughtfulness of people.
I want to show them I appreciate it. I just don't always want to keep everything that's given.


In my experience, though, people get better about giving gifts as they see what you dress your child in. Be patient. We got a lot of stuff that wasn't at all our style when our children were tiny babies...by now everyone kinda "gets" what we're about, and we tend to get stuff that we like. Also...with a new baby, people often get really happy/excited to buy clothes they'd dream of using. I think that's sweet, and I try to keep at least a few things so they can see their vision of babyhood on our child.
 

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39 w 6 d

Best gift so far: ViaCord
Worst: onesies out the wazooooo!!!!!!!
 

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My man is very anti-pink... he hates it, has gone thru my daughters drawers and threw away every pink thing she owned (I fished it all out and donated it.. most of it) but after the ultrasound where we discovered she was a she, he sent an email to the families...

IT'S A GIRL. NO PINK.

And that's it. And sure enough, we still got a ton of pink. I love pink so I was cool with it, but now that my daughter is here, she looks terrible in pink. I've mentioned that to my MIL and she has bought nothing but purple, green, orange, etc since. Of course I get a lot of "*sigh* my only granddaughter dresses like a goth fairy princess...*sigh*" but oh well. Hehehehe.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaPhD View Post
I'm sorry but I personally can't stand when people complain about gifts.


In my book, it really is the thought that counts regardless of whether the gift was for my wedding, or my baby, or whatever. I see a lot of posts about baby clothing and toy gifts and really moms, just deal with it!

My ILs buy clothes for DD all the time and some of them are not really my taste but I make a point in putting DD in it at least when they come and visit because I really appreciate that they thought of her and spent time shopping for her, etc. The only thing I always mention to them is DD's size, like "she's already wearing size 2T" so they feel upto date. Also surprisingly some of the pieces I'm so so about, DD actually LOVES (like that clearly boy's truck PJ & pink leopard furry vest), so it must be genetics or something. But really for me it is how I let my ILs be a small part of DD's life, doesn't anybody else feel that way?
I do!


I know people (IRL and online) who get constant streams of clothing, gifts, baby gear, etc. They complain that it isn't their style or what they wanted... I say be thankful for anything you can use, and pass on the rest that may bless someone else.

We get zero from anyone. Aside from my parents, who are on very a ver tight budget (and their gifts are gifts of time with the kids more than items) we don't "get gifts" much. Even back for the first children we didn't. I am SO thankful when we get a gift, even if it wasn't something I'd have chosen myself. It's the same with birthday and Christmas. Besides, I want my children to understand the importance of being thankful for what you have, and caring for it, regardless if it's "the best". It starts with me then.

This is our 6th baby, and although I'm not real into tons of baby gear, and don't need much, the idea that someone would appreciate and love our child enough to purchase something for them, is really cool.

I take my children with me to purchase gifts for others. They buy gifts for their siblings at Christmas and birthdays, and they participate in picking things out for F day and M day, arrival of a baby, etc., because I want them to put thought into it, see how much it costs to do so, and to learn how the process works. I can't guarantee we're going to be mind-readers when we buy an outfit and blanket for your baby, (or a type of sling, or a toy for a b-day)but if you are that picky on what they should have (where it seems to eliminate an entire group of usual go-to's) then you should probably specify, or state no gifts, and plan on buying things yourself.

This must just be another way I'm old fashioned, in that the thought that counts really goes far with me. I'd rather have a gift that isn't my "favorite" type item, and know they spent time at it, than a gift card where I can go shopping for what we like...because that's a measure of "have to" to me.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaPhD View Post
In my book, it really is the thought that counts regardless of whether the gift was for my wedding, or my baby, or whatever. I see a lot of posts about baby clothing and toy gifts and really moms, just deal with it!

My ILs buy clothes for DD all the time and some of them are not really my taste but I make a point in putting DD in it at least when they come and visit because I really appreciate that they thought of her and spent time shopping for her, etc. The only thing I always mention to them is DD's size, like "she's already wearing size 2T" so they feel upto date. Also surprisingly some of the pieces I'm so so about, DD actually LOVES (like that clearly boy's truck PJ & pink leopard furry vest), so it must be genetics or something. But really for me it is how I let my ILs be a small part of DD's life, doesn't anybody else feel that way?
Yup, I agree completely. In addition to it being the thought that counts, people get a lot of pleasure shopping for what they think is just right for the LO. I think they're entitled to that pleasure. Doesn't matter that it's not just right for me - it's their gift and their thought after all. My DH's family is VERY materialistic and is absolutely delighted with the excuse to shop that our kid and baby on the way have given them. I might not share their values, and I used to judge them very harshly for it, but it's their business and that's all there is to it. I believe that they are very, very important in my DSs lives and while I am their only mother, I can let MIL and SIL pick their clothes from time to time as a simple way of including them in a special part of my boys' lives.

Of course it is a shame when a lot of things go to waste but I think there are always ways to be gracious and recycle at the same time.
 

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I think it depends on who it's from and the relationship you have with them. Great Aunt Ethel can and should buy whatever she wants... but, in OUR case (I can only speak to our situation) my MIL and my mom buy our kids clothes on a weekly basis, seems like. It's not really a "gift" at that point, is it?

For the one time shower gift from random people, yes - take what they give and feel blessed that they spent time and money thinking about and loving your child. But it sounds like the OP's MIL is planning on buying tons for the new bebe and that's awesome - and I'm sure she'd want these day-to-day staple items to be things that bebe'll actually wear.

Maybe send her a link to a cool baby clothes website "I just found this site, isn't everything SO CUTE??" I send my MIL links to shirts on babyhe** all the time, mostly to get her riled up LOL but for my b-day she sent me a giftcard there! MILs can be trained! heheh
 

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clothes. i almost neve like them, they are usually not the right size for the season. my sil gve me a snow suit knowing full well i dont do coats in carseats. not to mention it was stained and smelled like cigarettes.

bottle stff, yeah i bf, so dont need a bottle warmer, thanks
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I sorta skimmed the whole post- so forgive me if this has been mentioned- could your husband talk to his mom? My MIL used to give us all these clothes she found on clearance at the department store with Hanna Montana, high school musical, the dark knight, etc. for my then 3 and 5 year olds!
My husband finally just told her: "Laura doesn't like TV or movie characters on the kids' clothes." And it worked! Now the clothes she gets are super cute and actually wearable.

But I do hate (ahem..."not prefer") a lot of baby gifts that are given- I'm more a bright colored person and everything seems pastel and frilly...even the boy stuff.
 

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I don't usually have a problem with my MIL about this because she rarely buys my kiddos stuff without asking us first. She also lives 8 hrs away in a small town and so stuff has to get sent to us and we can't return stuff because its usually bought at small boutiques that we don't have here.

My mom on the other hand has a serious problem with buying stuff. She'll buy stuff just because "Its cute and I couldn't resist". The problem is that she'll buy things that are discounted and its obvious that the item was once part of a set. For example, there will be a shirt and pants set but she'll either get the shirt or the pants, not both. Hence, the thing she bought will not match *anything* that the kiddos already have. (Yes, my kiddos will wear it anyways because I don't like waste, but they do look kinda funny most days).

The gifts that really irk me are the "souvenier" gifts, yk, the engraved pewter or silver baby cup with the plastic sippy cup top that gets chewed over and is impossible to replace without buying a whole new cup. Or the "New Baby" photo frames that only hold a dozen photos or so. Arrrgh!
 

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I'm the same way! And you can't really blame (entirely) the gift-givers! It's really hard to find clothes that aren't pink or baby blue or pale yellow. Especially at "major retailers". My son is 5 and I still have a hard time finding stuff that I feel is appropriate - I don't mind the characters, as long as they're characters he likes (Optimus Prime) but I don't need him wearing a shirt that says "i'm busy" with a video game controller on it. Really? That's not cool.

I love halloween because lots of purple, orange and black stuff comes out! We're big University of Texas fans and it's pretty easy to find burnt orange stuff for both kids... woohoo
 

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My MIL does the same thing, and we're on our second daughter, so she should be clued in by now that we've NEVER dressed our 1st DD in any of the fragile, frilly things she has bought, except for at picture time, and that has been a bit of a blessing. However, we get way more than we need for pictures. I was really unnerved by the waste at first, but now that I see that she simply can't help herself -- this is her fantasy of how we would dress our girls -- I am relaxed about it. I have donated a lot, regifted a bit, sold a bit, and kept a bit of what we got with our first DD. I'm sure I'll do much of the same with this little one. As she has seen how we prefer to dress DD, she has also given us plenty of useful things.

But I swear, if we get one more boo-boo bunny (little plush bunnies with a removable ice pack for bruises), I'm going to scream. We have like 11 of them. The woman has the memory of a goldfish. Bless her heart.
 

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I got the most hideous pink ABOMINATION for my daughter at my shower from my MIL's creepy best friend - think Toddlers in Tiaras, baby edition - and i took it to a resale shop and got enough in credit to get a bouncy seat! Probably way less than she paid at baby-hookers-r-us but I NEEDED the bouncy seat. So I got a useful gift and she got to shop for something that fulfilled a need in her.

Oh and "it never quite fit right" explained why she never wore it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaPhD View Post
I'm sorry but I personally can't stand when people complain about gifts.


In my book, it really is the thought that counts regardless of whether the gift was for my wedding, or my baby, or whatever. I see a lot of posts about baby clothing and toy gifts and really moms, just deal with it!

My ILs buy clothes for DD all the time and some of them are not really my taste but I make a point in putting DD in it at least when they come and visit because I really appreciate that they thought of her and spent time shopping for her, etc. The only thing I always mention to them is DD's size, like "she's already wearing size 2T" so they feel upto date. Also surprisingly some of the pieces I'm so so about, DD actually LOVES (like that clearly boy's truck PJ & pink leopard furry vest), so it must be genetics or something. But really for me it is how I let my ILs be a small part of DD's life, doesn't anybody else feel that way?

I get what you're saying. I felt conflicted when I wrote the post, because I knew the "right" thing to do would be to appreciate whatever I was given. At the same time, I had gotten excited imagining what my little girl would be like and how she would look when she went to school or playdates. I visualized this artsy little creative free-thinker in non-conventional outfits. These were the first gifts I received and for some silly reason, I didn't expect other people would have a different vision of the baby.

On a practical side, I also thought it might be irresponsible to dress a late Fall/Winter baby in sleeveless/short-sleeved items. Really, I could just layer a turtleneck and tights with leg warmers under the summer dress.

I'm re-thinking my vision and fully believe my little girl can be a creative, free-thinker in conventional outfits. And as you pointed out, it is definitely more important to model to my daughter how to value the thoughtfulness of others rather than raise a fashionista.

Thanks for your perspective.
 

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I agree that one-time gift givers are different from grandmas who buy a LOT of stuff. One is a gift that should be accepted graciously (and then do what you like! When DD was a baby, I'd pass those along, but now she's a bit older if the poly content is low and she likes the dress, we'll take some pics at least to show the gift-giver). But MIL would buy stuff every time she came over (she lives very locally) like 100% poly pink frilly uncomfy dresses for 1yo DD and talk about how excited she was to see her in it for Easter. Well, they came over on Easter and DD was in the perfectly fine very springy 100% cotton dress someone gave her at xmas. I eventually sold that poly dress at a garage sale. I figure she's free to give gifts and we're free to dress our baby as we desire (for me, I wouldnt' compromise on poly for a baby/toddler who falls asleep in her clothes all the time and gets HOT and I still won't compromise on things like annoying statements and characters and other things DH and I find offensive).

I am VERY grateful for any gift, but I do feel a little let-down when it's sort of useless, just because we try to live simply and it's a bit of a waste.
 

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I love the resale shops, I take a ton of stuff there and the frilly pink never-worn fancy stuff gets a lot of credit there. However - some stuff goes in the trash. I know that's awful but I have issues with anything that encourages "diva" behavior - shirts that say "spoiled" or "diva" or any other misogynistic BS gets thrown out.

We like funny, smart-alecky shirts - my daughter has a shirt that says "I <3 Daddy (even if he's an a$$hole)" but any of that "oh, how cute is it when little girls are set up to be airheaded flakes interested only in how pretty they are" ... GARBAGE.

Best gift we got was a turquoise T-shirt that says in pink glitter "smart cookie" with a chocolate chip cookie on it. Simple, but perfect for my daughter.
 
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