Jump to content

Upstaged by Grandparents


  • Please log in to reply
125 replies to this topic

#1 mm1981

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

I will preface this by saying I am really happy that my children have loving and involved grandparents. I know that no malice was involved in this but I still feel a little sad.... Should I say something or will it just come accross as petty and ungrateful?
We celebrated Christmas today with the in laws as we will be away Christmas Day. It was a wonderful day, lovely lunch, good laughs. And they are really lovely people.
But the amount of presents the boys received was crazy.  We arrived and sat down at the tree. I could see the tree was filled to the brim with presents. They each had two MASSIVE Santa sacks full of presents. These were as big as garbage bags and probably had at least 15 individual presents. MIL told the boys they were from Santa.
Then there was the presents from them. A bike, helmet, a massive car garage and toy cars. But the most upsetting was the 3 Lego sets. Yep 3 Lego sets.
I guess I am a little sad because it felt wrong that all the "Santa" gifts were purchased by someone else and there was so many. I have a little Santa stocking for each boy, but it has a few little toys and lollies in it, nothing to the extreme that was given today.  
But most sad, because the 'big' present I had bought for the boys was 2 Lego sets. Although they are not the same as the ones PILs bought, they are smaller ones and plus they have been playing with them all day already. I just feel like Christmas morning they will be totally underwhelmed by the little sets they recieve from us.
Although we are not poor, we recently have had a few cash flow problems so we are not able to buy the kids Big presents, although all the things I picked for them I thought they would really like and thankfully enough they are not old enough to care about price.
So WDYT? Am I just been petty or should I say something? This happens every year, but just this year as my oldest son is getting older it really bothered me. I don't want to sound like the ungrateful DIL and I know we are lucky we have such involved grandparents.

#2 Duck-o-lah

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:46 PM

This happened to us the year before last. Mum and my SIL went absolutely bonkers with the gifts for DS! I know they had an absolute ball buying him all the gifts so couldn't bare to rain on their parade.

Approaching the next Christmas I casually mentioned that DH and I would not be overdoing it this year, as last year DS was so bombarded with gifts he seemed a bit over it and uninterested in some of the gifts I was excited about giving him. They got the hint and toned it down original.gif


#3 Tooties

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:46 PM

I'd talk to your DH and get him to say something.

I think it sounds like, while your in laws are being involved and generous, they're a bit oblivious to what they are doing.

DH had to talk to his parents about this kind of thing a few years ago.  When SS was hitting 'milestone' birthdays they were wanting to be the ones to give him significant gifts such as a watch, a bike or a golf set.  DH pointed out to them that they had their opportunity to do all that when they were the parents and now they were the grandparents they had to respect that it was his turn to give those things, be the significant gift giver in his son's life.  He pointed out that they were taking experiences away from DH as a father, despite how generous they were trying to be.

#4 MrsLexiK

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

sad.gif come Christmas morning they would have forgotten what they received today. I wouldn't stress too much, one set of grandparents used to go all out and this was followed by a family function where a bunch of presents was bought for us. I still remember being so excited the next day on Christmas morning.

#5 Soontobegran

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

I told my children what I was getting for their children for Christmas so that we didn't double up so next year perhaps you should have a chat beforehand.
Do you have a chance to go and swap the Lego for something else before Tuesday? I know it is a nuisance but at least you will feel as though they are getting something at their home which will be memorable to them.
You could also ask your in laws to ease up a bit for next year but TBH I have probably indulged my grandchildren this year too because I can and because it gives us great pleasure. The children are not spoilt and over indulged throughout the year by either us or their parents so it feels ok to do this once a year.
We've bought nothing hugely expensive but a few things that I know they 'need' or want but if by chance one of my children told me to spend less next year then I would respect their wishes.
Don't let it spoil the day OP. Just make a plan to change things for next year.


#6 intd242

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

wow, that sounds like *a lot* of toys!!

If this has happened for a few years, I'd say something. Could consider approaching it from a few angles, ie running out of room, too many toys, not all being played with etc. (could consider rationing the toys out across the year?)

You could ask that they put some money into the kids bank accounts for schooling, 18th present etc instead of buying lots of toys ... or just ask that they cut back.

#7 TenYears

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

You will get a lot of replies telling you to suck it up and be glad they're interested, but I always disagree with those.  It's not like there can't be a happy medium between completely uninterested and unloading most of a toy store on your doorstep.

I actually think overgifting is a form of selfishness.  The giver is thinking about how they'll feel watching the child open the present and hasn't put a moment of thought into how it feels to be a kid who has never actually yearned for anything because all they have to do is glance at something and grandma buys it for them.    Or who never feel that genuine excitement and anticipation because they're always opening something.  Another day, another gift, even if they are well brought up enough to say a genuine thank you.

It's such a waste for kids to have more toys than they have free time to play with or appreciate.  And yeah - when you know the grandparents gift like that you have to keep things to a minimum because there's no point adding to the overkill.

I've said something to them.  I'm not worried about being upstaged.  Absolutely not!  But I am worried about my kids associating grandparents with stuff rather than with the pleasure of their company.  I don't care if they give the most super, coolest gift every Christmas, as long as they don't give the 15 coolest gifts every Christmas.

My grandparents loved me and I loved them and the $10 we got in a card each Christmas was cool.  I didn't need to unwrap 15 things every Christmas for their interest and care to be a palpable thing.

ETA:  My inlaws have given my kids most of their 'milestone' presents so far - first bike, first amazing doll, first scooter etc.  I don't mind this at all.  They are elderly and won't be here for all of the childrens' Christmases and I love that they will have these milestone memories of their inlaws.  But a bike is an amazing gift and doesn't need to be accompanied by so many other things as well.

Edited by Eight.years, 22 December 2012 - 08:52 PM.


#8 laridae

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:54 PM

I would be very annoyed - for one, how can they be santa presents when santa doesn't come for a few days?  Not sure how old your kids are, but surely they will question that at some point.


Your DH or you need to let them know that if they want to give 'santa' presents - then they'll need to give them to you to put out on xmas eve.  Or let them know that they've had their turn to play santa, its now yours, so to not do it.

#9 FiveAus

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:01 PM

I've got one granddaughter, her parents have separated in the last few months, and yes I have indulged her this Christmas. She's only 15 months old and will be spending Christmas Day with us (my eldest son is her dad), and because I don't get to see her very often, I've gone a wee bit overboard....but it's not mass produced department store toys, it's a handmade doll, some really nice clothes and some gorgeous baby swimwear. And a pretty, girly sippy cup that I just couldn't resist.

I wish my kids had been made to feel a bit "special" by their grandparents but they were four of many and they just got a small inexpensive gift each year, and now they're grown up they get nothing.

#10 erindiv

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

That's a ludicrous amount of presents.

I'm sure the grandparents mean well, but I can see where you're coming from.

#11 Roobear

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

I would find it weird if my parents or the IL did santa presents... in my circles that is the parent's domain.
I would feel annoyed if either grandparents did that especially with the lego. My mum asked me what DD would like so they are buying her a water table and my IL will get her something like a fischer price toy. I have bought the kids all their santa presents and a few from us.

Edited by Roobear, 22 December 2012 - 09:04 PM.


#12 Kay1

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE
I actually think overgifting is a form of selfishness. The giver is thinking about how they'll feel watching the child open the present and hasn't put a moment of thought into how it feels to be a kid who has never actually yearned for anything because all they have to do is glance at something and grandma buys it for them. Or who never feel that genuine excitement and anticipation because they're always opening something. Another day, another gift, even if they are well brought up enough to say a genuine thank you.


Very well said!
QUOTE
Your DH or you need to let them know that if they want to give 'santa' presents - then they'll need to give them to you to put out on xmas eve. Or let them know that they've had their turn to play santa, its now yours, so to not do it.


And absolutely this too. I adore doing Santa and the other presents for my kids. I would be really upset if my inlaws did what yours did. I would ask my DH to sit down and have a chat with them and explain where you are coming from. Its way too overwhelming for little kids to get so many presents and it takes away from your enjoyment of seeing them excited about the gifts you have chosen for them.

#13 ~mummydear~

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

My mum does this sort of thing, for birthdays and Xmas. It drives me insane every year. And every year I tell her not to go overboard, that last year was way too much stuff etc, but she still does it. This year I almost thought I had it sorted, she has bought a trampoline for DS and commented that she won't get much else to go with it. Great I said, please don't buy anything else, that is more than enough. The next day when I spoke to her, she listed off a bunch of other things she's also bought for him and then this morning when I spoke to her, another toy again :s I hate it and the worst thing is that every year the load of stuff seems to increase.

#14 strawberry blondes

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

My parents over spend every single year. We are having cash flow problems this year and can't afford to buy the girls many things so I am really grateful to my parents for making the girls christmas extra special.

I wouldn't say anything OP, sounds like they adore their grandsons and couldn't resist each purchase. You  also sound like you have a lovely relationship, it's not worth spoiling over presents.

#15 Riotproof

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

Not sure where you stand on santa, but for us, Santa only brings little things in the stocking. I think it's reasonable to ask that they don't give santa presents.


#16 Julie3Girls

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

I think your DH needs to talk to them.

I would object to the huge amount of supposed "santa" gifts.  Santa comes on Christmas eve. And it sounds like the sheer amount of gifts is just ridiculous.
I could understand them getting carried away. Having bought gifts for the kids and ending up with a few too many - maybe including an extra "santa" gift ("Oh, Santa left this one here by mistake"). But a whole santa sack, let alone two?????

They had their turn. They need to leave the santa stuff to you, the parents.
So I think that would be your first step - it sounds like doing that, you would cut out a huge amount of gifts.

You might also find that the number of gifts might cut down naturally as well - as they simply run out of ideas of what to buy them!

#17 seepi

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

I would say the kids were asking a few questions about when santa comes, so next year could they not do santas gifts as it is confusing.

It is hard to ask them to just get less - they may struggle. could you channel them towards more expensive stuff you wouldn't buy like leather football boots or branded disney stuff or something. Or maybe expensive swimming lessons.

#18 mm1981

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

Thanks for the replies. I knew I was been petty I just needed some perspective.

I guess the other problem is we have a really small (2 bedrooms, although only really one bedroom as we used the second as a study) so I have no idea where this stuff is going to fit. It is still in the back of the car for now! I guess we may need to do a toy cull tomorrow!

Still a little sad but I guess I will suck it up!


#19 Chardonnay Buffay

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

I would be annoyed that the gifts came from 'santa'. For us Santa comes on Christmas Eve. But I would be stoked that the grandparents cared enough to give anything at all.

It's much more hurtful when the grandparents don't even bother to call the children. Let alone send them a gift.

#20 Madnesscraves

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

That's insane. I am sorry they did this. You need to speak to them and tell them that that was going overboard. As PPs said, they've had their chance to be parents,now it's yours. Scale down the gifts.


#21 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:23 PM

Take the line that 1- you don't have the storage, 2 - with so many things they do not use everything, pieces get lost and it's hard to manage., 3 - santa comes once.

I'd get your husband to say something first, but also follow it up yourself.  Next year in November you could ask her what her plans are.

FWIW, I was going to give myself the signature "they don't play with their toys because they want to play with you" as a reminder to myself about what the kids really want.  The have heaps more fun playing with a box with me than with any toy they have.

Keeping toys together takes a lot of work, it takes away from other things you could be doing.

#22 Magenta Ambrosia

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

If it makes you feel better - there can never be too much Lego from a kids perspective.

#23 Starrydawn

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

It wouldn't bother me at all. Sometimes  we go overboard in our family and other times we don't. It all works out in the end.

#24 iwanttosleepin

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

I would be firm.

Santa presents come on Christmas Day and are bought by the parents.  Grandparents do not do stockings.

The joy of Santa presents is giving without any thanks.  And it's a joy for the parents.  Grandparents have already had their turn.

#25 roses99

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

It will depend on your relationship with them, but I wonder if it would be worth making a suggestion to the GP's for next year. Rather than risking criticising what they bought, you could just let them know that storage will be an issue soon and maybe they would like to consider an 'experience' gift in place of some of the toys. Most kids would love to be taken to Seaworld/Dreamworld/Ice-Skating/Movies or whatever, by their grandparents and it would give them special time with the kids. They could still buy toys (and I wouldn't stop them from buying the toys, as it gives them a lot of pleasure) but it might encourage them to tone it down.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Is your family's car part of the world's biggest safety recall?

More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

Mother-in-law faceplants during proposal

He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.

A preschooler suddenly goes mute - and it's not just shyness

When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.

The mums who ask for a 'wife bonus'

They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.

Woman shares photo of dimple on breast to warn others of cancer risk

A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

It's official: we must better protect our kids from toxic lead exposure

New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills

Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Helping your first-born welcome a sibling

We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.

Farewell, daytime nap

I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.

The identical triplets who are one in 50 million

The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Welcome to Winter

Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.