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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My MIL and I have a strained relationship to say the least. I have many many complaints about her that I could say but that would take several posts! LOL
But my biggest gripe is that she goes to the Goodwill and buys my kids a bunch of crap that they dont need. Dont get me wrong I think the Goodwill is great if you needs something and you can get it cheaper through there. But I am a person who HATES clutter! I wouldnt even let my kids have toys at all if I could get by with it (Of coures I am not really going to take all thier toys away) I also dont like the "values" it sets my kids up for. Fro example one day they broke a toy and my daughter said "its ok we'll just get another one" I really got onto her about that but the sad thing is that is what she has been taught by grandma!
So I am really mad about 2 things 1) what it teaches my kids about "value" and respect for the things you have 2) clutter, clutter, and more clutter!
I have discussed it with her several times. But whenever she comes over she has something else for the kids! Plus, she is always buying expensive "toys" for me and my dh that we dont want. One day I came home from work to a new flatscreen TV in my living room. Didnt ask us if we wanted the thing. Just went and bought it! I get frustrated with that also.
I think this is also a "boundary" issue because they are MY house and kids!! Any suggestions?
 

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We have also been bombarded with a ton of useless junk from MIL. I think I would be thrilled with a big screen TV though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She was at my house watching my kids while I was at work, is how the TV got here. My husband didnt approve it or he would be in trouble! LOL
I like the idea of one toy in one toy out but I really dont want it to come into my house PERIOD! I just want her to quit bringing it in the first place. I am a working mother and I am very busy so when she brings this stuff then I have to deal with it (does that make sense?) I have to decide what goes in or out and then I have to take things to the thrift store. I feel like"why waste the $ I am just going to take it back to the Goodwill plus now you have cost me gas $ and time (which is very precious to me) to do it!"
I am sorry to have such a bad additude :( I have dealt with this woman trying to inflict things on me that I dont want for 10 years now and I think I have just reached the snapping point :furious::furious:
Should I talk to my dh and have him talk to her?
 

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Sorry but to quote Rosanne Barr- "The problem is,there is no problem. She is showing her love thru things. Some people can't do it any other way. They don't know how. Simply hook up w/ a good resale shop and rotate the stuff getting clothes and such that they need. Been there,done that. I know it gets frustrating but its his mother. You can't poof her out of the picture. Really,I tried. It could be worse. DH used to come home w/ decrepid needle work from the seventies,glass Franklin mint "collectibles",dusty gold framed photos of "I think its your great uncle,well we just called him your uncle" and moldy books of genre we don't read. Seeing she never really came over it usually stayed in the van until I could run by Salvation for a dump. Didn't take long to realize she was a packrat and we were the garbage dump.
When we bought our first house as newly weds she brought 100 boxes of crap to store in our bsmt. I naively let her. She got furious when I asked when she would come sort thru them. She said,w/ all seriousness,you can go thru it when I die. AND then the fight began. 25 years later... Well DH goes over w/o me for xmas.lol. (ps-the reason we took the CRAP in was she gave us $10,000 for the house. Reality-it was DH's share from a lawsuit where he testified.)

As one who has been there
-it won't change
-it isn't worth anger-try and see it as funny
-use it as a lesson for the kids.
And as far as the tv goes-those are returnable?
 

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~You have a generous MIL!
Some people just show their love and connection by giving stuff. You can't change the way other people express themselves as you know from trying.
I agree with Nichole, it's time to start a one in one out policy. And I think by immediately addressing any comments about replacing this or that, you'll reinforce your values. You're the one they're going to be most like in the end.
I doubt it's all grandma's influence. The world screams its throwaway message everywhere you turn from commercials, to peers, to signage, fast food and in stores.
I'm teaching my kids the Macgyver method. When things break they know to get the tape! :crackup:~
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all :) Its not what I want to hear but I know your right :shrug2: I will say however it is not about generosity from her. It is control. My own FIL says "she tries to buy love" and that pretty much sums it up. I have tried to tell her that we love her and that I want her to give the kids her time and not her $ but it goes in one ear and out the other because I am sure you are right. It totally blows her mind to think that I am happy with very little. She just cant wrap her mind around it. But I am a very simple person, and she is not. All these years I have just been wishing she would let me be myself but I guess I missed the point of letting her be herself. I agree its not worth the anger and frustration if only for my only sanity!
So, I will have a donation box ready from now on :) It will be in my basement. She never goes down there.
Ok so how do I deal with the "big things" she gives ME that I dont want?
 

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You are going to have to separate yourself from irritation with your MIL to the actual item. For instance, why does it irritate you that she gave you the big t.v.? Is it because it was from? Because you didn't ask for it or want it? Then ask yourself, do the family benefit from it? Is it useful?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It is honestly not because its from her. My own parents have given me stuff and I dont want it eigther. My additude is that once you are an adult you need to do things for yourself. I am fiercly independant! I am like a 3 year old "I do it! I do it!" LOL It also wouldnt probably bother me as much if between his mother and mine it didnt happen all the time! I cant win! I jsut get frustrated because its MY home and I feel I should have some say over what comes in and out of it. It is a control issue I know. Its because I am the woman of the house and I am tired of others having "power" here. :( I know this all sounds very immature but its just the way I feel. I dont think most women would like people buying things for your house when the #1 thing I like to do is decorate. I think it would also be different if they let me have a choice over the things they buy me. But they dont. My own mother and stepdad were buying me food. But they wouldnt ask what we would like. they just sent my kids home with donughts and sugar cereal and candy which I dont want them to have :(
 

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I keep a donation box for those unwanted/not needed items. I have a strained relationship with my MIL as well... 8 years later & she wants to "get to know me" yet goes right back to step 1 the very next visit! It all has to do with MIL's religion and only the 1st wife counting. I'm her baby boy's 2nd wife so don't mean diddly squat to that woman! :sigh:
 

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Have you actually sat down and had a serious conversation with both sets of parents to discuss how this makes you feel? Yes, I'm sure it is about control, but it also sounds like they make you feel inadequate as a parent, as if you can't provide for your own children. I would spell things out in a very calm but assertive manner with them, explaining that you feel like they are undermining what you are teaching your children and it can't be allowed to continue. That you don't want them to waste their money buying things for your family without consulting with you first (outside birthdays and christmas of course).

Now, that said, I do think grandparents will always spoil grandchildren and that's a losing battle to kill yourself over. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I totally understand madjen. Mine also tries to tell me where to send my kids to school, how to arrange my furniture, she told my 5 year old daughter the other day that her school uniforms are "nazi clothes" the list goes on and on. Her "helpfulness" is going to get her kicked my door one day! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
MsMarie,
I totally had that exact conversation with my mother and things with her are a bit better :) I think you hit one of the big issues right on the head! Her helpful "suggestions" make me feel as if Im not doing it right. Her buying things makes me feel like the clothes and toys I give them are not "good enough" When she buys things for my house I feel like she just cant accept me and my way. I feel so many times like "you had your chance, you have your own house to decorate,you raised 4 kids (not very well since my dh is the only one who is financially independant of her) its my turn and its my kids and its my house. Butt out!" Plus, she isnt even happy anyway. So her way is obviously not the right way. No problem, until she learns her lessons then I wont try to correct it. But I am a very happy person. I love my house :) I have awsome kids :) my dh and I have been together for 10 years and though we fight we grow closer all the time. I have everything she doesnt. But I got all that by having my priorities in line. Plus the other factor is that if I did everything she wanted I would have to change my whole life every six months because thats what she does. That would definitly NOT make me happy because I dont like change LOL
 

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She sounds a lot like my ex-MIL. The woman had zero respect for my wishes and ultimately ruined my marriage. There were of course other issues, but I believe we could've worked those out.

You need to be direct and stand your ground. If she still brings unnecessary junk into your life, redonate it.

I wish I'd been stronger and stood up to my bully, but I was young, easily intimidated and ended up resenting my ex for not putting me first.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank You Muse! Bully is the best word to use. She just totally disregards everything I say and just does whatever she wants. She runs over people. I think it was from being single most her life and never having to learn to compromise and she also felt like she had to be a fighter to get what she needed out of life. But I am much more peaceful and I try to not fight with her. I try to say everything to her with kindness and respect but I am not sure if that is working anymore :(
 

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My MIL gives me crap too. I just wait a while and get rid of it. She has never asked about a thing.

A friend of the family will buy me anything I say I like. Just because I liked it doesn't mean I wanted it. I ended up with a dinning set I didn't want. I learned to pretend I hate everything.

I can certainly see why it gets on your nerves but it's best to put up with it and slip things out the back door. If it bothers her maybe she will stop giving you things.
 

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My MIL gives me crap too. I just wait a while and get rid of it. She has never asked about a thing.

A friend of the family will buy me anything I say I like. Just because I liked it doesn't mean I wanted it. I ended up with a dinning set I didn't want. I learned to pretend I hate everything.

I can certainly see why it gets on your nerves but it's best to put up with it and slip things out the back door. If it bothers her maybe she will stop giving you things.
Maybe I missed something along the way? Why is it better to put up with it and have to constantly get rid of stuff secretly?
 
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