Babies: 3 - 6 Months
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How much is too much? (Long)

Hi girls.  Im new here and have been lurking for a few days.  I have a 3.5 mo. old son and I just started back to work a few weeks ago.

So here is my predicament.  My inlaws are absolutely overwhelming (in general and) when it comes to the baby.  Specifically, my issue is with gifts.  They are CONSTANTLY bringing/buying him things.  For example, one day my MIL showed up with FIVE pairs of kakhi pants in different sizes.  He got 7 Halloween presents from them.  Another day it was a pair of baby Nikes.  When I told her the Nikes were a little small on him, she ran upstairs to her closet and brought down a bigger size and promptly told me she has a closet full of stuff for him.  In September, she told me she was already shopping for him for Christmas (without even bothering to ask what he needs, what we're getting him, etc.). 

The issue is 1) our house is tiny and we don't have room; and 2) more importantly, I feel like I am unable to do stuff I would like to do for our baby because MIL/SILs is/are always doing it first.  I don't really know how to handle this and am worried especially in light of the holidays.  My DH has says he has talked to her, but I dont really know that he strongly conveyed the message.  (DH guesses MIL has 4-5 presents for him for Christmas.)  Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this, or how I can deal with it internally?

Thanks!

Re: How much is too much? (Long)

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    I'm sorry, I don't understand the issue. Is it that they are buying LO things that you would prefer to buy him yourself, or do you feel like they're just going overboard and you don't want to support it? 

    My mom loves to bring Aubrey stuff when she comes to town, and I just figure it's less stuff for us to buy. 

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    I guess its both.  First, we don't have an "out of town" situation -- they live 15 minutes from us so we are getting tons of stuff every week when we see them, so its def overboard.  Second, its definitely a major space issue -- our house is the size of a postage stamp.  Third, its definitely gotten to the point where I feel like I can't do things fast enough for him.  For example, we bought him a $5 toy thing for Halloween we were really excited about getting him.  When they came down the day before Halloween to give him his Halloween gifts, they had already gotten it for him.  Same thing has happened on several occasions with special outfits, Xmas ornaments, etc.  And, not only that, but its stuff he doesn't need -- like 5 pairs of kahki pants -- I don't even like kahkis and now I have five pairs.

    Im not trying to be ungracious, but I honestly just think its too much.  I don't know how to deal with it.

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    We have the same situation with the space limitations in the house and EXTREMELY generous grandparents.  I mentioned to both sides that we are VERY limited on space and gave ideas of things we need instead of having them go all out on their own for the holidays.  They buy DS something every time we see them, but for the most part they are not too extravagant and things we need (although I don't NEED 12 sleepers, but they do get used if you know what I mean).

    Anyway, my advice is just keep hitting home that you are really limited on space and maybe give ideas of what you need.  Just emphasize that you really appreciate the gifts and generosity, but you literally don't have places to keep everything...hopefully they understand and will start to tone it down a bit! 

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    I have the same issue with my mom.  It's not that I don't appreciate her wanting to buy gifts for DD, it's just that there are things that I specifically want to buy/do for her myself.  For example, she bought a huge picture for DD's nursery, some wall letters spelling her name, etc.  When I was pregnant she asked if she could decorate the nursery and I told her that something I wanted to do.  So I feel like she just took it upon herself to do it anyway. 

    As for Xmas, I think my H and I are going to put a limit on the number of gifts the grandparents can give.  And we've made it clear that any large gifts will be staying at their house as our place is too small.

    You could always donate some of her gifts to needy families in your area.  Then you don't have to worry about space issues and you'll feel good helping someone else out.  Big Smile

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    Thanks Beebee!  I totally tried to reiterate the point last weekend that we are so short on space, but Im not sure they really hear me.  I also told them if they were looking for ideas for him for Xmas that he has enough clothes for the winter months, but he would really need clothes for when he was 12-18 months old.  I was told those clothes don't come out until after Xmas.  :::::hits head off of desk:::::  Okay, but that still doesn't mean he needs anymore winter stuff!
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    My MIL also loves to buy things for her grandchildren, so far it's been more for our nephews than our DD, but I'm okay with that!  MIL keeps a lot of clothes and toys at her place for when our nephews go and stay over there.  Maybe suggest that she keep some of it there as a "special" toy that he only gets to play with at grandma's house. 

    I would also explain that even though you are so appreciative of her generosity, you really don't have the space for it and he isn't even able to wear all the clothing items before growing out of them and you feel bad that she is wasting money on them.  

    I would also try suggesting something they can contribute to instead of buying tons of gifts.  When my parents come up my Mom decided that my Dad has to empty out all his change and put it in her piggy bank.  So they give her something each time they see her, but it's not excessive and will be a good little start to a useful savings for her. 

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    You can pack that stuff up and ship it to my house if you want! Maybe you could find out where she buys the clothes from, and return them/exchange them. She probably wouldn't even notice that he wears only 1 pair of those 5 khaki pants. Or like the PP's said, suggest she keep some things at her house because you don't have room to store all the generosity and/or ask you first what he needs if they are compelled to buy gifts. 

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    I have had to flat out tell my mom that some things we want to pick out for DS ourselves.  Like Halloween costumes, christening outfits, etc.  I am lucky that she did ask what we would like them to get DS for Christmas...she said they had a few toys but wondered if there was anything we really needed or wanted.  I told her that we would really like a contribution towards his convertible carseat, as we will need to purchase two of them.  So now I think she is going to buy one of them, which I am so appreciative of. 

    Do you think you could offer a practical suggestion like that?  Perhaps you could start a 529 plan and get your husband to suggest that if they want to do somethign for LO, they could contribute to that.  I know my parents just want to do everything they can, but I am also concerned about the amount of stuff that might end up in our house.  Also, as DS gets older and begins to understand, I don't want him to expect that he is going to get something everytime he sees his grandparents.  Kids shouldn't get everything they want all the time!


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