Do you have a relative who continually gives your child AWFUL gifts?
My MIL and SIL have the worst taste I have ever heard of and continually give gifts that no one will ever use.
I can deal with repeatedly receiving flamboyant hot pink sequined dresses that only Malibu Barbie should wear, because as an adult, I don’t invest as many emotions in a gift as a child would. But when my kids get old enough to really look forward to gifts, I’m worried that they will be continually disappointed by these horrible gifts. I don’t have room here to write a novel but I can give two examples of their many horrible gifts:
When asked for gift ideas for our son, my husband and I suggested only toys, because that is the only thing that he will enjoy right now. We recommended no clothing gifts because we already have SO many clothes, and because our son would not enjoy clothes anyway. So my MIL sends a big package a couple of weeks later filled with GIRL clothes—no really, I’m serious. They were all legging and cardigan sets, with girly details. I don’t know what she was thinking, but it was so frustrating to know that she spent her money on this when #1 we didn’t have any use for extra clothes and #2 my husband would NEVER dress his son in those clothes. I felt guilty and annoyed at the same time.
My SIL just bought my son a piece of rather gaudy room decor for my son’s birthday present that doesn’t match the theme of his room in any way (his room has a very easy and popular baby theme to follow, and she is aware of how it is decorated). But I’m not as upset about it not matching his room as I am frustrated that this is a gift that my son has no use for.
All my son enjoys right now is toys! Wouldn’t you think that relatives who want so badly for a grandson/nephew to like them would want to spoil him with toys? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I just found out last week that I will be having a baby girl next, and they have already talked about buying her all kinds of clothes. I am cringing at this thought because they honestly have the most horrible taste in clothes. Picture two women that really need to be on the show “What not to wear.” What THEY wear is none of my business, but I don’t want them dressing my child, and with a girl I’m fearing that there is a lot more room to be tacky clothing-wise than with boys. Is this going to get worse?
I know that I can’t do anything to change their personal taste, but I’m still baffled by their tendency to get gifts that are nowhere near what a child would ENJOY. My MIL has major empty-nest syndrome, and my SIL has been trying to conceive with no success yet. Could they possibly be living vicariously through me and my husband’s parenting experience by getting gifts that THEY enjoy giving rather than what my son would enjoy getting?
This whole thing makes me feel terrible because after all, a gift is a GIFT, something that is not mandatory and that is out of kindness. But it makes me feel bad that we never use anything that they give!
Please share any similar stories and how you handled this.
Oh my husband DID tell his mother that the clothes were GIRL clothes! She’s the type that always gets offended and cries very easily. Unfortunately, you can never give her honest or constructive criticism. If you’re not kissing her ass and trying to be her best friend she assumes that you hate her. Needless to say, she assumes that I hate her, and she cried at our last family event—totally unprovoked—because she said I wasn’t talking to her enough! She never listens to suggestions and always takes things too personally, yet she always crosses the line somehow, like with the clothes! Maybe she WANTS to be a victim.
Gallop—great idea. I wish me or my husband had siblings with children so we could have that in common and get help in the matter! But so far our son (and daughter-to-be) are the only grandchildren on both sides! Lucky us!
Sparky—I wish all the time that my SIL will get pregnant. I’ve wondered if the weird gift thing reflects her struggles at the moment.
Yeah I’ve definitely taken advantage of consignment shops! I have no choice—there are too many things that I don’t use! Funny thing is, even the consignment shops wouldn’t take many of the BRAND NEW clothes that they purchased! That’s pretty bad!
When it comes to clothes, I’ve never put him in things that he won’t actually wear for pictures. I thought that would probably just encourage them to continue buying clothes that will only be given away.