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My SIL thinks I'm a bummer


Forum: October 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
May 7th, 2013, 08:00 AM
soul_donut's Avatar Melissa
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,110
We just have different philosophies. So SIL loves to shop. Her kids have a play room literally bursting with toys and games and they are involved in every sport/activity in town. She loves shopping on her ipad on zulily and rue la la and gilt and every mommy thing out there. She always wants to go out to shops when we're on vacation. Me? I shop online when something is necessary, and on a boring site like Amazon. My kid philosophy is less is more - not planning on busying my child's life until they are really asking for it (like if they're good at soccer, for example). Swim classes out of necessity because we have a pool. Mostly our time will be spent playing games, going to the park, reading, being with family. I'm really old fashioned like this. On vacation SIL wants to shop, I stay back and read and relax by water/pool/wherever is most comfy.

She has been sending me information about different online sales, things for baby - everything she sends is just out of my price range (bugaboo strollers, etc). We can afford these things but we don't spend money like that on material stuff - we go on experiences/vacations, spend it to improve our house and equity (we have a lovely garden and pool), not on things. She also gets upset when I defer her offers for designer diaper bags and things like that, saying that "I have to start liking SOMETHING cute". I don't think baby stuff is cute! It truly is not my style. And I don't see the sense in spending money on a designer diaper bag with a cutesy pattern that I wouldn't wear in my life, and my DH would feel stupid carrying - I want a utilitarian navy small messenger style bag with detachable straps, so that I can put it in a larger tote, or DH can carry it on his own. She is very annoyed with me because I'm always saying No thanks. I suggested she get the baby books, which was met with silence. All I want for this child is a happy home and an active curious mind - I don't want designer burp cloths, i want rags. I don't want money wasted on things that have little life value - if she wants to shop I so wish she'd shop for a women's charity in her area. I'm an unappreciative little **** and I just want my family to be happy to meet the little one and be supportive of us emotionally, not with expensive gifts. I grew up with parents that had 1-2 jobs at a time, and didn't have a lot of "stuff", but my family spent time with me, took me places with them, taught me how to read early, taught me how to draw and use my imagination. I don't want to spoil our child - I want them to find value in our family time that includes my SIL and not because she buys them trendy toys, but because she loves them.

It's hard to communicate this without sounding like I condemn her lifestyle (her children are happy and that's what matters) or am just being a picky b----. Maybe I am! Maybe once we know the gender I can just say, how about baby clothes? Since I'm not planning on shopping for anything besides basic stuff (and a halloween costume yessssss) she could have a field day buying stuff and I'm sure the kid will look cute in it. I cringe to think of the cost, but that's her business. Thanks for listening to my vent! I am not trying to be a b but I think I might be, but I'm trying to come from a good place.
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  #2  
May 7th, 2013, 08:12 AM
soul_donut's Avatar Melissa
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,110
I reread this and it's a very spoiled rant, I'm sorry. But I'm trying NOT to spoil! I swear I'm trying to do the right thing!
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  #3  
May 7th, 2013, 08:16 AM
fludderbye's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PA
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I understand completely-

My Mom & I have COMPLETELY different tastes/styles

i had to sit her down and just tell her just because i dont like something doesnt mean you wouldnt look good in it- its just not my style- so now i tell her I think it would look good on you or something to that nature

she also goes overboard sometimes on things not needed . I tell her in those cases i appreciate what you are trying to do but we could really use this instead of that


I know you have prolly talked to her a gazillion times but I think she loves you and just wants to be a part ??

I would try to find something she can get for the baby- because it doesnt sound like she will stop LOL
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  #4  
May 7th, 2013, 08:18 AM
jamieshalon2's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't think it's a spoiled rant at all. You have what you like and your SIL has what she likes. My SIL's and I are all very different in our styles and the way we do things. I have one SIL that loves character shirts (on herself) and dresses in nothing but tee shirts and jeans with sneakers all the time. That's great for her, but not my style at all, lol. I am more of a cute tank, capri's and adorable sandals to top it off.

I think she will eventually get the gist of how you are going to be after a while. I am sure she is just really excited right now and just automatically thinks that you think like her. I am sure she will come around. Until then just try to grin and bear it on the little things while letting her down gently and remind her that some of the stuff she is sending just "isn't your thing"
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  #5  
May 7th, 2013, 08:26 AM
soul_donut's Avatar Melissa
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Florida
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I just don't want to open the floodgates for baby things from SIL or MIL. They shop a lot - designer and then thrift. My MIL ends up bringing car loads of stuff down that I end up taking to charity. I don't want that to start for baby, designer OR thrift, because I don't want baby to be full of STUFF. Books and games are the only things I think are acceptable to have a lot of because they promote togetherness and can get a lot of use and be passed to the next child. But even those things have their limits.. Taste-wise we are so different but that's a different can of worms.

I put items in the trash bin yesterday and DH came home and started taking items OUT even though he hadn't seen or used them in 6 years. They have packrat tendencies - which is why I am cleaning out the garage for the second time this year. NO MORE!

And no more procrastinating, BOOOOO. OFF TO THE GARAGE I GO. AHHH
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  #6  
May 7th, 2013, 08:41 AM
Laurenj915's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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This is me and my SIL! She is a big consumer and I am not. The truth is that our priorities are different. We pay 650 a month for two college funds. She tells her son he better get a scholarship but he always has the best gap clothes. Not saying what I am doing is the right thing either. We can't afford to take vacations because I stay home. Maybe I am not giving my son everything I could. But whatever, everyone chooses how to parent. I just want to be with him every day.

I don't know what you should say to your SIL. With mine sometimes
I just nod, smile, and act interested in a fancy stroller and sometimes I explain to her why I don't want a toy that lights up or makes noise.
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  #7  
May 7th, 2013, 08:46 AM
Laurenj915's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soul_donut View Post
I just don't want to open the floodgates for baby things from SIL or MIL. They shop a lot - designer and then thrift. My MIL ends up bringing car loads of stuff down that I end up taking to charity. I don't want that to start for baby, designer OR thrift, because I don't want baby to be full of STUFF. Books and games are the only things I think are acceptable to have a lot of because they promote togetherness and can get a lot of use and be passed to the next child. But even those things have their limits.. Taste-wise we are so different but that's a different can of worms.

I put items in the trash bin yesterday and DH came home and started taking items OUT even though he hadn't seen or used them in 6 years. They have packrat tendencies - which is why I am cleaning out the garage for the second time this year. NO MORE!

And no more procrastinating, BOOOOO. OFF TO THE GARAGE I GO. AHHH

I cannot prevent my MIL and SIL from buying me stuff even though I am always telling them I am a minimalist. They give me clothes and I goodwill them. They give me plastic toys and I save them for the gift drive at christmas. They don't seem to notice.
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  #8  
May 7th, 2013, 09:03 AM
Wren's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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It is hard when people won't take "no" for an answer. Just do your best to turn things down gracefully, like "Oh thanks for thinking of me again, but I already have my heart set on a different bag." Or, "that could be cool, but I think I am going to wait until the baby is here to see what I think we will really need. Thanks for the advice though." I have a problem with my mom just having really different taste from me, so about half her gifts of clothing or jewelry I think are the most hideous things ever. I normally pretend to love them, wear them once, and then give them to the thrift store.
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  #9  
May 7th, 2013, 09:26 AM
anothermother's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I understand the different tastes, although with me and MIL out situation like yours is flopped. Not that I insider myself materialistic, I don't plan to spend a lot of money on things but there are certain things I would like new and not thrift shopped (here in Missouri our thrift shops aren't that great. The stuff is VERY used and stained with a high price tag, ridiculous). So MIL would have these outfits that are kinda stained and faded and just not pretty in general... Or completely not my taste. I mean once in a great while she might have a good find but our shopping styles are different so I can see where it would get frustrating and hard when you feel like your answer is always no.
Perhaps when you find out what baby is you'll start finding things that you would like, but if not that's ok too. There is nothing wrong with the less is more mentality. We do a lot with our girls too... Walks, parks, games, forts, etc. I wouldn't trade that for any designer bag.
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  #10  
May 7th, 2013, 09:35 AM
jennyrae03's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurenj915 View Post
I cannot prevent my MIL and SIL from buying me stuff even though I am always telling them I am a minimalist. They give me clothes and I goodwill them. They give me plastic toys and I save them for the gift drive at christmas. They don't seem to notice.

I think Lauren has a really good idea here - if you can't stop them from giving you things (not that you shouldn't try to get them to stop!), take the toys to a charity drive at Christmas time, and take the other items to Goodwill or something similar. Trust me, there are a lot of children/parents who like that kind of stuff and/or can't afford to buy it themselves. Obviously if your in-laws are okay with spending money on things you already said you don't want, they won't miss the stuff if it is given away for a good cause.


I don't think that you sound spoiled at all - I think you're doing the right thing for your family, and as stated before, everybody has different parenting styles. I butt heads with my SIL because she buys her toddlers iPods. Why? Well because they "need" to listen to their special music at night, of course. And they "need" to facetime their grandma. I think it's a bunch of crap and if she buys my kid an iPod, I'm keeping the darn thing for myself, because my child won't need one until they're in high school! lol

Keep on doing what you're doing - hopefully one of these days they will understand your style. Until then, just smile, nod, and cart their crap to Goodwill.
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  #11  
May 7th, 2013, 10:13 AM
Lemon's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think you are super wise! I started out with so much STUFF with kid #1. And now I'm trying to give away most of it and just buying quality basics!
I hate those shopping sites/clubs. You don't save money, you just shop more often.

I hope you can give her a task to shop for soon, if she insists. Clothes sound like a good plan.
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  #12  
May 7th, 2013, 02:52 PM
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I think you should keep this to yourself. There's no way of telling her without hurting feelings and it sounds like you have an awesome situation if you take vacations together.

All you can do is be truthful about the items- no I don't like that diaper bag, sorry! It sounds like she's living vicariously through you lol
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  #13  
May 7th, 2013, 07:05 PM
"Shay-see"
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As someone whose parents/family accidentally gave her the "stuff=love" complex, I totally support your resistance to such nonsense. It's a really easy association to make, and it's very VERY difficult to break.

I have been actively and consciously trying to break mine for years and years. Yet, if a birthday comes and goes and someone close to me doesn't give me a gift, I have to ACTUALLY SIT THERE AND HAVE A TALK WITH MYSELF. It's so insane and stupid, and yet - every time.... (and mind you I'm not that materialistic!! It's like I want the act of receiving a gift, and I have some emotional attachment to a few random objects that people have given me, but if I had to start over from scratch, I'd at most be rather annoyed).

Stick with your convictions. This is your child and your bid on the next generation and the future of our species. You aren't required to do it someone else's way to make *them* feel better. They can have their own kids if they want to make these sorts of impressions on someone, yanno?

...and I think you should stick up for yourself boldly but without being rude. Obviously you don't want to start any melodrama you're just going to have to deal with later, but a passive approach (as brilliant as the quietly shuffling stuff off to Goodwill idea is) is just going to permit the flow of Stuff You Don't Want to come unabated, and if she gives stuff directly to your child when they're older, you're going to have a really hard time explaining to your kid why that awesome new toy/whatever has to go away now. ... you know?

Just be gentle, firm, and honest. Who cares if she thinks you're boring. She's not going to be filling out your report card.
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Last edited by Seasaidh; May 7th, 2013 at 07:08 PM.
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  #14  
May 7th, 2013, 08:06 PM
soul_donut's Avatar Melissa
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,110
Thanks ladies! I think a mix of goodwill and drafting a polite but firm response to the stuff issue ahead of time (and reciting it as needed) will work. I am not totally anti-gift or anti-stuff I'm just thinking we need to have our heads on our shoulders and try and be deliberate about things we feel strongly about.

Tonight I didn't get a "gift" but I had such a wonderful birthday date of dinner and a movie. Money was spent but the conversation and togetherness (and the naan, ohhh the garlic naan) was what I really wanted.

Also I think I should involve my SIL more not in picking things out but keeping her posted on things.. Like I sent her the little collage I made with nursery items. She was trying to show me pictures of a pottery barn theme but I wanted her to see my ikea/thrift combo and how that worked for us, and hopefully what our aesthetic is.
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