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Update: No gifts, please estranged in-laws!

pixielady's picture

An update to this:

FIL (in-laws live out of state) sent DH a text last week asking what DS and SS want for Christmas. AGAIN, DH was clear: please, no gifts. FIL responded that he didn't think that getting Christmas gifts from a grandfather they don't see too often will corrupt them. DH responded that it's more his and MIL and SIL's lack of boundaries with BM and their undermining his parenting SS, rather than any "corruption." That they don't respect our marriage or are loyal to him by being cozy with BM after telling them multiple times that it makes him uncomfortable, that he prefer they maintain contact with SS through him.

Lo and behold, what shows up yesterday? Gifts from both PILs and SIL for DS! To say DH and I are pissed is an understatement. And they sent them through Amazon, so if we were to return them, we would get a credit on OUR Amazon acct, which is not what we want.

Do they not realize that by not respecting our wishes regarding our family that they keep pushing us away? That if they would have taken our feelings into consideration instead of blocking their ears and doing what they want that we would be much closer and they would see all of their grandkids much more often? Where is the logic here?

Not sure if this is just a vent or needing advice. I got a lot of good advice on the last blog post about this. And if you are not a stepparent, please do not comment as I will delete your comment.


ESMOD's picture

Donate them to your local "Christmas Mother".. send them the donation receipt.  (or similar charity)

Jcksjj's picture

Yeah I was thinking this before I even finished reading the whole blog. Might as well do the one positive thing you can with it. 1As far as the rest...boundaries are boundaries. Breaking boundaries in a "nice" manner isn't really nice. We ran into this with BM sending a gift for our BS this week (but she didnt send one for my other son of course). We dont want her involved in our other kids lives or ours more than necessary even if shes being fake nice about it. She thinks if she goes about it that way we cant call her out. It's still breaking a boundary.

pixielady's picture

If BM sent ANYTHING to our DS, I would flip. It's so inappropriate! And yes, they think they are just being nice and we're being big ole meanies keeping gifts away from the kids. Gimme a break.

Jcksjj's picture

I'm glad I'm not the only one. She wrote that it was from SD, but when I asked SD about it she didnt even know what store it was from. If we want the kids to buy each other gifts we will have them ourselves. And we would make sure that they got gifts for BOTH of the other kids. BM is such a weirdo.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

What? I would first be baffled, then I would be disgusted and outraged! 

Jcksjj's picture

That is exactly how I felt, pretty much in that order. Just why?? Why does she have the constant need to insert her presence in everyone's lives?

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Grrrr! Boundary stomping cake-eating inlaws are the worst!  

Postage be damned. Send the gifts to MIL & FIL. Have DH include a letter outling his boundaries and reminding them that HE is the parent and that due to their disloyalty and disrespect, all comms. need to go through him.

pixielady's picture

I don't think sending a letter will do any good! Multiple emails/texts have been exchanged between DH and his family regarding these two issues. They do not want to get it. They claim they "don't understand" what the big deal is for either their relationship with BM or their treating SS in ways DH objects. Then MIL turns on the waterworks. It's a mess.

twoviewpoints's picture

Right? If OP and her DH are serious about this, the items need to be sent to the in-laws home. 

Any other ditch of the items is meaningless in the message you're trying to get across to the FIL. 

Step-girlfriend's picture

You could set up a bank account for SS that could be used for college, or perhaps a car when he gets older (although he's spoiled, so maybe he should have to work for the car). You could tell your In-laws that instead of gifts, they may contribute to that account, and provide them with the info. to the account, but that material gifts are not wanted. This is better than some crappy toy that SS will lose interest in anyway. Return the Amazon gifts and use the money to kick off the new account.

pixielady's picture

They send SS's gifts to BM and toddler DS's here. They spend more on SS than on DS, maybe because of the ages, maybe because I don't kiss their asses, maybe because they favor SS (this is most likely). I doubt they would want to contribute to an account. Gift giving is a selfish act for them - it's to make them feel good and like they checked it off their list, therefore they are "good" grandparents.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I would donate them to a supervised visitation center through CPS (they always need nice, new toys) or some other charity and not acknowledge it with your ILs. They want the attention, so don't give it to them. If they ask later, just very matter-of-factly tell them where they went.

My MIL is similar to yours - she cares more about seeing her grandkids than she does standing by her children, and she'll railroad DH (even by cozying up to BM) to see them. Unfortunately, since BM in my case is CP, MIL doing that means she gets to see the boys more than DH does. Then she wonders why DH won't answer her phone calls. *eyeroll*

AshMar654's picture

Everyone around buys stuff for SS. I just kinda let it happen and DH and I barely get him anything. It works for us because we save money. G-Parents are going to do what they are going to do. We told them not to buy SS a switch last year and guess what they did anyway. We have control over when he plays it.

This year for x-mas people kept asking me what to get SS. I told people he does not really want anything. Truth is he doesnt, he wanted a new tablet ok sure his was cheap one and does not stay charged and we didn't buy. I literally told everyone to get him gift cards to places. Like the bounce place, this one arcade place, and an indoor skydiving place an hour away from us. We like to do stuff with SS but usually do not have ton extra so I tell people to get him stuff like that.

My brother and SIL do the same thing for their kids. They take a video of the kids doing the activity and thanking the person who got them the gift and sends it to the person. It is really great way to do family fun stuff together without going broke. This is a battle you will not win and should just roll with it.

pixielady's picture

They send stuff for SS9 to BMs and for toddler DS to us. They do not care when DH says please no gifts for either child. Not all grandparents are like this. My parents actually listen to me when I ask them not to spend too much or not get multiple gifts for DS. They respect me and treat DH like a king. His family wants to do what they want to do even if it's to the detriment of their relationship with my DH and results in less time with their grandkids. Can't argue or reason with stupid, is the conclusion I'm coming to. No other way to explain it.

AshMar654's picture

I have in-laws like this trust me they do not listen to me or DH at all. They moved to FL and I have just accepted it and move on with it. It causes me way less of a headache.

Some people know how to respect boundaries and requests and some do not. That does not make them bad people. Their heart is in the right place. From their view they are doing this out of love and since they do not see grand kids all the time this is how they show it and let the g-kids know they are thinking of them. It is not to be mean to you the adults. My mom lives several states away from my brother's kids. She sends down little gifts all the time. Sometimes giftcard for ice cream or a doll or something small. Yes she video chats all the time with them. She wants her grandkids to know she is there for them and loves them to the moon and back. When people live far apart sometimes that is the only way to let them know you are thinking of them and you care. Let's face a kid does not stay on phone calls or read long letters.

Just my opinion is all. It might just not be worth the battle is all.

Aniki's picture

Do you have their home addresses? If so, then bypass Amazon and mail the packages directly to them. Maybe that will get the message across...

pixielady's picture

Playing happy family with BM, spoiling SS9 rotten with cash/gifts, undermining DHs parenting thereby making DH out to be the bad guy when he’s just implementing age-appropriate limits, sharing info about us/DS/our household with BM when we ask them not to and on and on. We’ve had enough and are not comfortable accepting gifts from people who make it so clear they do not want to respect our marriage or boundaries.

somethingwicked's picture

So that FIL must sign .

Write that you are donating his gifts to  a local charity.

They will not be opened . Any future gifts also will  be given away to  local charities or maybe even a stranger on the street .

End of correspondence .


fakemommy's picture

Honestly, when they ask what to get the kids, DH just needs to give them suggestions you guys can live with. You are really being stubborn about this, and while I understand your reasoning and your feelings being hurt, I would let it go. The ILs want a relationship with your kids (even if it just through the language of gifts), and you should let them. It would be different if it were because they were rotten to your kids, but it isn't and the relationships are separate. Start giving them suggestions of experience gifts, school supplies (when they are older), or make an on-going amazon wish list of things you use regularly and need for them and send that to them. You could also ask for things their school  might like, if they are in daycare, or start a tradition of adopting a child for christmas and ask for things on that kid's wish list. You can make it a thing you do with the kids as they get older.