Help--Overeager MIL

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from sarahbth. Show sarahbth's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    [Quote]I don't think the OP's post was mean-spirited, but I do  think she is over reacting a bit.  So what that they bought your son his first bike?  I remember getting my first 10 speed from my grandparents for Christmas one year.  Since this issue is just coming up, I am guessing that you son is very small and you are talking a trike or a teeny bike w/ training wheels.  Honestly, the boy is not going to remember who gave him the bike when he was 3!  I would  be glad that your ILs are so generous.  Why can't your coordinate w/ your ILs re the gift - give your son a helmet, handlebar tassles, a horn, or other accoutrements to go w/ the bike.  I'm guessing that you and your DH are going to be the ones to teach him to ride the bike - that to me is really the parents' fun part, not the purchase of the bike.   Heck, I'd be so glad someone else put the bike together for me!! :-0  Although I do get that you feel that they are stealing your thunder by getting your son the 'cool' gift that is going to make him squeal and jump up and down w/ joy [such a cute reaction!]. 

    My grandparents [only had 1 set that I remember] went WAY overboard w/ gifts for my sisters and me.  We were literally showered w/ gifts for birthdays, Christmas, random Tuesdays....  We always got 2 Easter baskets - one from our parents and one from Grammy and Grampy.  Let your ILs spoil the grandkids - they are only going to be around for so long.  And I really don't think there is any nice way to say, Hey, MIL, thanks for giving our son gifts, but you need to clear the gift w/ me first.  I can't see any way that is going to play well, quite honestly. It's going to take all the fun out of shopping for the boy, who I'm guessing is her first grandchild.  Good luck![/Quote]

         Maybe mean spirited was too strong a wording.  But with all of the possibilities,  from talking with MIL further in advance ,  or coordinating gifts (as you say, the helmet and tassles and most fun of teaching bike riding go to parents)  or choosing separate "big gifts" appropriate at the same time,  the poster's request was " Any suggestions on how to take back these fun parent perks ."

    Cars and a prom outfit are a ways down the road.  At an age where a swingset or bike or kiddie pool or 20 other things are possibilities,  I think it rather controlling to talk of a parent reserving all the fun things and shutting grandma out.  An endless, overindulgent relative who gives 28 presents for Christmas  may need some limits, but this is a lot less mature.   I want all the good things and she can have what is left, is how it sounds to me,  jealous anyone else will get that bit of joy.  Many people may love a child, and there are so many possibilities.  Parents need to be open to the idea that there is room for a lot of love and loving relationships,  without jealousy.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jag27. Show jag27's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    We don't have children yet, but I have a feeling my MIL will be the same way as we would be having their first grandchild when the time comes.

    I would let your MIL know that though you appreciate the the nice gifts she is giving your son for holidays and birthdays, but that she should check with your first.  I would even be straight up about it with her and that you and your husband would prefer to give your son his first bike.  I think you if have a nice cordial conversation with her, she would understand, but also make sure that your husband backs you up on this too.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    [Quote]     Maybe mean spirited was too strong a wording.  But with all of the possibilities,  from talking with MIL further in advance ,  or coordinating gifts (as you say, the helmet and tassles and most fun of teaching bike riding go to parents)  or choosing separate "big gifts" appropriate at the same time,  the poster's request was " Any suggestions on how to take back these fun parent perks ."

    Cars and a prom outfit are a ways down the road.  At an age where a swingset or bike or kiddie pool or 20 other things are possibilities,  I think it rather controlling to talk of a parent reserving all the fun things and shutting grandma out.  An endless, overindulgent relative who gives 28 presents for Christmas  may need some limits, but this is a lot less mature.   I want all the good things and she can have what is left, is how it sounds to me,  jealous anyone else will get that bit of joy.  Many people may love a child, and there are so many possibilities.  Parents need to be open to the idea that there is room for a lot of love and loving relationships,  without jealousy.[/Quote]

    Sarabth, I  totally agree.  I think the OP can works this out w/ her MIL in such a way that they can both have fun getting the child gifts.  I don't see how anyone has 'dibs' on a particular gift; the focus should be on making the child happy, not on who gets him what.  As long as it's a reasonable, age appropriate gift or not one that the parents are opposed to [like those horrible motorized trucks and cars.  There are kids who can't be more than 7 in our neighborhood who have a motorized ATV- what are the parents thinking!!!], I think the adults can works this out like adults. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from sarahbth. Show sarahbth's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

         What a mean spirited post , OP.  Grandparents too should be able to indulge their grandchildren.  You have the little ones every day , often GP mostly have special occasions.  First  bike from Grandma?  Fine.  1st baby carriage or skateboard or cross country skis from parents.   
         We had holiday baskets and stockings from parents and grandparents,  never hurt to have more than one.
         If you think about it well in advance, ask MIL about plans, not with an eye to saying no to her, but to think of other possibilities.  My first $69 Brother sewing machine from my grandmother ,  my first bike  from my other grand parents,  and a double Erector set with motors from my parents all came one Christmas.  Logged many miles on my bike in good weather,  but probably far more hours for far more years on the other two, not weather dependent.
         At Easter my Grandparents were seriously into chocolate and jelly beans and small toys,  and early on my parents started giving us a trip to the Children's Museum (  and great gift shop)  or similar place for the school vacation near the same time.  My grandparents were not up for ski areas or balloon rides,  or taking us canoing or to hike nearby mountains. Or amusement parks.   Parents had that field to themselves.
         There are plenty of things to go around.  Seemingly unlimited funds (about $80)  from Scholastic paperback books 15 years ago was as valuable a gift as a bike,  likewise a trip with just my Dad to the New England book fair and with Mom to crafts places with demonstrations,  Bethel pottery  and a furniture place one year,  artisans  at Strawberry Banke  another.
         Be a little more open minded, and not so greedy of your child's time and affections.
         Grandma may not be around all that long.  Then again, if one or both of you should die young,  MIL  may be the person to pick up the slack, as my grandparents did when my Mom died in my teens.  So  find a way to each give grand things,  not cut her out in your favor.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    [Quote]     What a mean spirited post , OP.  Grandparents too should be able to indulge their grandchildren.  You have the little ones every day , often GP mostly have special occasions.  First  bike from Grandma?  Fine.  1st baby carriage or skateboard or cross country skis from parents.    
              Grandma may not be around all that long.  Then again, if one or both of you should die young,  MIL  may be the person to pick up the slack, as my grandparents did when my Mom died in my teens.  So  find a way to each give grand things,  not cut her out in your favor.[/Quote]

    I don't think the OP's post was mean-spirited, but I do  think she is over reacting a bit.  So what that they bought your son his first bike?  I remember getting my first 10 speed from my grandparents for Christmas one year.  Since this issue is just coming up, I am guessing that you son is very small and you are talking a trike or a teeny bike w/ training wheels.  Honestly, the boy is not going to remember who gave him the bike when he was 3!  I would  be glad that your ILs are so generous.  Why can't your coordinate w/ your ILs re the gift - give your son a helmet, handlebar tassles, a horn, or other accoutrements to go w/ the bike.  I'm guessing that you and your DH are going to be the ones to teach him to ride the bike - that to me is really the parents' fun part, not the purchase of the bike.   Heck, I'd be so glad someone else put the bike together for me!! :-0  Although I do get that you feel that they are stealing your thunder by getting your son the 'cool' gift that is going to make him squeal and jump up and down w/ joy [such a cute reaction!]. 

    My grandparents [only had 1 set that I remember] went WAY overboard w/ gifts for my sisters and me.  We were literally showered w/ gifts for birthdays, Christmas, random Tuesdays....  We always got 2 Easter baskets - one from our parents and one from Grammy and Grampy.  Let your ILs spoil the grandkids - they are only going to be around for so long.  And I really don't think there is any nice way to say, Hey, MIL, thanks for giving our son gifts, but you need to clear the gift w/ me first.  I can't see any way that is going to play well, quite honestly. It's going to take all the fun out of shopping for the boy, who I'm guessing is her first grandchild.  Good luck!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bricky. Show Bricky's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    My MIL is crazy about my son however when it comes to birthdays or holidays she pre-empts me when it comes to what I assume are typical fun parent responsibiilties.  For example, for Easter she made him a huge Easter basket filled with candy, toys, etc. and for his birthday she went out and bought him his first bike. As a first-time parent, these were things I was looking forward to doing.  She also does them so far in advance (2-3 months ahead of time) it's hard to keep ahead of her. Holidays and birthdays are becoming a source of stress and resentment for me.  Any suggestions on how to take back these fun parent perks without damaging the relationship with her?

    I realize that this is no a bad problem to have but it's been keeping me up at night so I thought I'd post.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Red1977. Show Red1977's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    [Quote]     What a mean spirited post , OP.  Grandparents too should be able to indulge their grandchildren.  You have the little ones every day , often GP mostly have special occasions.  First  bike from Grandma?  Fine.  1st baby carriage or skateboard or cross country skis from parents.   
         We had holiday baskets and stockings from parents and grandparents,  never hurt to have more than one.
         If you think about it well in advance, ask MIL about plans, not with an eye to saying no to her, but to think of other possibilities.  My first $69 Brother sewing machine from my grandmother ,  my first bike  from my other grand parents,  and a double Erector set with motors from my parents all came one Christmas.  Logged many miles on my bike in good weather,  but probably far more hours for far more years on the other two, not weather dependent.
         At Easter my Grandparents were seriously into chocolate and jelly beans and small toys,  and early on my parents started giving us a trip to the Children's Museum (  and great gift shop)  or similar place for the school vacation near the same time.  My grandparents were not up for ski areas or balloon rides,  or taking us canoing or to hike nearby mountains. Or amusement parks.   Parents had that field to themselves.
         There are plenty of things to go around.  Seemingly unlimited funds (about $80)  from Scholastic paperback books 15 years ago was as valuable a gift as a bike,  likewise a trip with just my Dad to the New England book fair and with Mom to crafts places with demonstrations,  Bethel pottery  and a furniture place one year,  artisans  at Strawberry Banke  another.
         Be a little more open minded, and not so greedy of your child's time and affections.
         Grandma may not be around all that long.  Then again, if one or both of you should die young,  MIL  may be the person to pick up the slack, as my grandparents did when my Mom died in my teens.  So  find a way to each give grand things,  not cut her out in your favor.[/Quote]

    I dunno, sarahbth, I didn't think the OP's post was mean-spirited.  In fact, I thought she showed restraint in describing her feelings.  While I agree with you that grandparents should also have the privilege of spoiling their grandchildren, there is a line there somewhere.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure where the line is - it probably varies from family to family.  I'm thinking like buying my (future) daughter her prom dress, or taking her on a college tour in high school.  These are things I look forward to doing and I would be upset if my mom or my husband's mom got to it first.

    A bike is a pretty big-ticket item.  If it were me, I might be a bit miffed if the grandparents bought the bike without telling me first.  If they asked me about it first, I probably wouldn't mind as much.  I would probably let them do it and not give it another thought.  On the other hand, I would also be weary about having that conversation with my in-laws.  If my husband was equally upset about it, I'd let him handle it.  Otherwise, I might propose that she let me know in advance "so we don't duplicate" gifts.  And if it comes up again, say "you know, we were thinking of getting that too.  Want to get it together as a joint gift from all of us?"

    Hope that helps.  I think the OP's feelings are somewhat justified . . . there are certain boundaries.  I also see the point about there being plenty to go around (although maybe not the case in all families - not all families can afford vacations, etc).  I think you just need to work to strike the right balance.  But no one should tell you that you are wrong for feeling that way.  It's about what action you take given your feelings.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrsrcs. Show mrsrcs's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    Hi - I am posting more to let you know that you aren't alone in this experience and to thank you for sharing your thoughts. We have a new baby and very enthusiastic families on both sides. It's been tough to always be thrilled with gifts given by the grandparents or aunts/uncles or thrilled with the things that are "firsts" that they want to do with our child, but I have come to the conclusion that approaching them with my feelings will only hurt their feelings. Instead I am trying to learn to "let go" and just be grateful to them because ultimately we're so lucky to come from a family that has so much love for our child. It's not an easy thing, but I am trying. We all have pictures in our heads of what we want to do as parents for our children - can you share with your MIL that while you appreciate all she does for your son, but there are some things as parents that you'd like to make special? Like the bike or something of the same significance? My sister did this when she had her son and my mum began to give him everything under the sun.. my mum was able to take a step back and see my sister's point of view. They reached a nice compromise.  Our own experiences have taught me to be more aware of the things I do for nieces and nephews - I now always ask their parents' "Ok" before purchasing something for them instead of letting my enthusiasm for them get ahead of me. Good luck!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bricky. Show Bricky's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    Everyone, thanks for the great responses! Very, very helpful.  My OP was not intended to be mean spririted in the very least.  Wendy98 is right that I should have clarified that it's not that I want to soley be the one giving gifts to my child. That is not it at all.

    I was very lucky to wonderful generous grandparents growing up and it is great that my son will have the same situation. We are very fortunate to have Gram around and to have her share the same level of enthusiasm for my son as we do.  I will try to take a deep breath in the future when these occassions arise and try to find a way to compromise (this, of course, is unless he receives an ATV. LOL.)   
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    [Quote]ALF....Maybe it wasn't the parents - but the grandparents who purchased the motorized ATV!!![/Quote]

    LOL!  Good point! I always cringe when I see them using it - that thing must go 20 mph and they are careening up and down hills in their yard [which also has a pond - a recipe for disaster!].
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from wendy98. Show wendy98's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    [Quote]     Maybe mean spirited was too strong a wording.  But with all of the possibilities,  from talking with MIL further in advance ,  or coordinating gifts (as you say, the helmet and tassles and most fun of teaching bike riding go to parents)  or choosing separate "big gifts" appropriate at the same time,  the poster's request was " Any suggestions on how to take back these fun parent perks ."

    Cars and a prom outfit are a ways down the road.  At an age where a swingset or bike or kiddie pool or 20 other things are possibilities,  I think it rather controlling to talk of a parent reserving all the fun things and shutting grandma out.  An endless, overindulgent relative who gives 28 presents for Christmas  may need some limits, but this is a lot less mature.   I want all the good things and she can have what is left, is how it sounds to me,  jealous anyone else will get that bit of joy.  Many people may love a child, and there are so many possibilities.  Parents need to be open to the idea that there is room for a lot of love and loving relationships,  without jealousy.[/Quote]

    I think the OP is justified, she is allowed feelings and we are in no position to tell her she is wrong.  However she is intelligent enough not to act out on those feelings until she gets some opinions and options and potentially to cool down abit.  I am glad your bundles of joy haven't taken your ability to think the worst of a person out of you.

    To the OP I think a compromise between you and the MIL is in order and I think it can be done.  Your MIL is going to want to spoil your child and you appear to be grateful for that which is good. But I don't see this as an all or nothing issue.  In your post you do ask how to "take bake these fun parent perks", it could be interpreted as you wanting to take all the gift giving occasions for you.  Perhaps you could mention to your MIL on various occasions that you want to do something special for your child. 

    You used the bike as an example so I will use it as well to try to illustrate my point.  She got him his first bike, I have to assume this either has training wheels or is a trike.  Perhaps mention to her that you are looking forward to giving him his next bike that doesn't have training wheels when he get too tall and needs an additional bike.  If a mile stone is coming up let her know what you are planning and you can ask what she is planning, discuss it so you both get to do these fun perks.

    As for the candy, eh let it go.  You can give it and she can give it and then you can ration it out for your child. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    The approach I'm trying to take with DH is that we need to decide what we want for our child and when we want it-communicate big things from a united front. Once we decide that we will share with the grandparents to coordinate (my ILs are overseas, my parents are divorced, so there will be lots of coordination taking place to ensure everyone is happy and things aren't duplicated). 

    I would probably be a bit miffed if any of the GPs bought a bike without asking me first, I'd be miffed with things regarding safety especially. 

    and ALF-my ILs bought my nephew, then 2 the ATV motorized car thingies...the kid was too young to really use it, and I'm not sure if he's forgotten about it, I just hope they don't buy my son something like that!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

             It is much harder  when gifts are routinely innappropriate  developmentally,  or totally against your values.

             This past Christmas hubby's family got a little nuts with parent and kids wish lists, what a minefield. 
         When all the smoke settled,  it really came down to the fact that the family had a post Sunday dinner meeting every fall, and 2 siblings had violated the family agreements-  that parents can each do what they want for their own kids, but no one - grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents -  give from a list of things  (or send on a wish list to relatives saying my son wants...)  the majority of family thought objectionable.  For some reason, this year, 2 couples felt the need to give
    1. a hunting rifle ( illegal where they live) to a 13 year old nephew,
    2. a Monster truck type vehicle - 2 cycle motorized huge tires
        ATV in greater NYC, 
    3. cell phones to 5 to  9 year old nieces and nephews as well
          as their own kids
    4.   TV's to 3 and 6 or 7 year olds to have in their bedrooms.

    These same parents reviewed their kids Santa wish lists and had very expensive items over agreement, and things the family agreed only your own parents could buy, on them.  War when cousin Susie at 5 asks for some $250 make-up kit for the kiddie pageant circuit (Mom's help here)  while little Carrie 5 is only allowed to ask for a play makeup kit with 20 dollars or less of drug store make up, and old prom and bridesmaid dresses for her make believe box.

          Watching a few weeks of sorting things out, it was clear  most of the family was neither greedy for their own kids  nor particularly wanting to push their values on other parents. 
          But when it came to appropriate gifts, most of the parents, family wide, identified one gift from parents only for every child-  the much ballyhooed bicycle or camera or camping tent-  whatever, and no grandparent or aunt, uncle would give that child that item.  Big families, this can be tough.
         The kids all made out like bandits in the end, though - because once the one "off limits except from parents"  gift was identified, the grandparents especially  had no trouble picking something else, equally grand but not the parents own first choice.

    Bricky 2 - I thought the "taking back parental perks" came out a lot like "clamp down on grandma  sharing the big fun."   But identifying the several fairly big items in a single child's possible wish list months before each birthday, christmas, or big holiday if not Christmas  >> with 1 reserved for parents choice, 1 for grandparents choice, and the rest fair game >> seems reasonable.    
          Let the Halloween and Easter and holiday stockings go.  So they get 2, so enjoy the bounty.  Maybe when sonny boy is 25 he will start taking his grandmother shopping and clean her gutters and such, and keep up bonds from childhood -  and let you off the hook with parents generation responsibilities..
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from culhasa. Show culhasa's posts

    Help--Overeager MIL

    ALF....Maybe it wasn't the parents - but the grandparents who purchased the motorized ATV!!!
     
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