Extreme gift giving parents/family- thoughts? — The Bump
December 2013 Moms

Extreme gift giving parents/family- thoughts?

How do you guys feel about family who gift and spend like crazy on you/baby?
I've never dealt with this before, yes I've had family that helped with small items but with both of my boys the bulk of everything was purchased by my ex and myself and that was fine by us. The largest thing we ever received was a $200 check for help towards a crib with DS2 and we were very thankful and grateful for it. I have always been the type to budget, save and bargain shop to get the things I want or need and have always done things mostly on my own without help because I didn't have one of those families that insisted on helping (that started when I was 16 and wanted a car and has never changed since).
Now... this is the very first grandbaby for SO's family, a very long awaited grandbaby for his mother. She was absolutely convinced at the rate things were going she would never be a grandmother (even had this conversation with her sister the day we broke the news at 11 weeks, apparently lol). She had accepted that she would basically be getting an instant family in a box (my kids) she was going to have to share with their real grandparents and never have any of her own, which she was mostly OK with. Well, here we are and she's getting her grandbaby and man oh man is this woman over the frikkin moon. So over the moon she. just. can't. stop. shopping. Part of me feels really awkward about the amount of things she has bought and how much money she has spent. SO just says to let her be because this is how she shares her love. By buying me lots of maternity clothes to make sure I always have something to wear and making sure that the baby has two of everything. I watched her drop over $300 on baby clothes one day. That's just ONE day! I am not at ALL trying to sound ungrateful. AT ALL. I am so beyond appreciative that she is showering her grandbaby in items and making my life that much less stressful. She bought our crib yesterday and I fully expected to buy the crib mattress, well she called today asking my opinion on which one to get. I've never been given so much and accepting gifts has always been difficult for me because I don't want anyone to ever think I take advantage of their generosity. Giving gifts just wasn't how my family showed they loved me.
What is everyones opinion? We know some people around here just love have 100 person baby showers and accepting insane amounts of gifts, but are there those that feel slightly uncomfortable with it? I do. I am trying so hard to just smile and say thank you a million times over, because I am so extremely thankful for all the help because it has been a tremendous amount of help and I know she is loving every minute of it. Any advice on how to feel better about receiving the gifts or to broach the topic to her that we still love her even without all the extras?
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Lilypie - (zHjr)

Re: Extreme gift giving parents/family- thoughts?

  • I like the writing her a thank you note idea.  That'll definitely show her you appreciate the gifts, but that they're not expected.  It's pretty sweet she is so excited.  Do your other children feel left out by all the new stuff for the baby?  I always worry my daughter will feel this way.  My in-laws have been really wonderful about this (since she's not their biological granddaughter).  Hope she's being sensitive to that, too!  :D

    Jacob & Audra - married since 05.28.11
    Emma Kate - born 10.16.03 @ 29 weeks, weighed 1lb 13oz and 13.5" long.
    Ozzy Joseph - born 11.01.13 @ 31 weeks, weighed 3lbs 7oz and 16" long.
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  • My MIL bought our crib and mattress. She gives me multiple outfits for LO everytime I see her. This makes her happy. LO will be her third grandchild too. She is also throwing me a rather large shower for DH's family. Just say thank you. She doesn't expect anything more.
  • She is just showing how happy she is! Definitely let her know you appreciate her and that she is very generous. I come from a gift giving family and its definitely a way to show love. I love giving and picking out the perfect gift for someone. My mom is the same way and has already started spoiling this Grandchild :) I just smile because there is no stopping her.
  • My family was never like that either, but DHs family give ridiculous presents. We are super thankful, but it does make me feel weird sometimes. I always express my thanks! They just like giving gifts. Very small family on his side. Babies are fun to buy for!
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    Lilypie - (Xzno)
    Lilypie - (WIG0)
  • My wonderful mother can't stop shopping for baby girl. She goes on a business trip and goes to every target, belk, or wherever she can go and just buys tons of clothes. I appreciate it, and am not asking for any of it. But for me, if somebody is willing to give you something because they are excited, I say smile and say thank you ;)
  • I'm in the exact same situation. My boyfriend's mom has been SO generous, but I think she's taking it a bit too far. She just gave us a 5,000 dollar check for whatever we need for the baby. Every time I see her she gives me at least 2 bags full of baby clothes ranging from newborn to 2T. That's not even counting all of the other things she has bought us. I am very grateful for her generosity, but I just feel bad she's spending so much money. My boyfriend talked to her the other day about toning down the shopping and gift giving a bit, so we'll see if she listens!


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  • I think that giving her a thank you note and doing something nice for her is a great idea. I am pretty sure I will be the way she is if I ever have grandchildren.

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  • My family gives way too generously to the point where it feels like a burden to try to keep up.  It's not specifically for a baby, because our kids weren't first grandbabies on either side, but in general for all holidays.  I don't see any problem at all approaching your MIL and letting her know that it's not your family culture to receive so many gifts, and you find it a bit overwhelming.  Let her know that you get stressed at how much she must be spending, and that she has this baby's entire life to spoil it!  I think you can still be thankful and appreciative, while still asking to reign in the spending/over the topness of it all.  Saying things like, "you've just bought the crib and done so much already... let us handle the mattress," shouldn't come off as too offensive.
  • I would gratefully accept and send lots of thank you cards.  If she is willing and wants to do this, then let her.  It may be more of an issue if you say something, but who knows.  

    I understand your position though, my mom is always buying things for DS and sometimes I just have to tell her to slow down.  We have a small house and don't have room for lots of things.  But if it's stuff you actually need, that is awesome. 
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  • Just be grateful :) and accept that some people love gifting!
  • My mom and grandparents are the same way, even with me and my brother. There is no stopping them. Just smile and say thank you :-) the note, wine, and pedi sound good too :-) I'm sure she'll love it!
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