What Do You Do When........

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    your child is overly generous??

    I know, I know. This is normally not really a bad thing. But I'm sort of stuck in a predicament and don't quite know which way to jump.

    It has been my life dream to go to Disney World since I was a little girl. Even as an adult I'm a huge Disney cartoon fan, and still pay money at the movies to go see them.

    easy child and sister in law have decided to take Darrin to Disney World in June. This has actually been in the planning stages for awhile, although I didn't get wind of it until recently.

    For years easy child has said if she ever went to Disney World she wouldn't go without me. And I'd just laugh it off knowing I'd never have the money to go.

    So, she tells me I'm going. When I tell her I can't afford it, which she already knew, she says she'll pay for it. While this is exceptionally sweet of her, it makes me uncomfortable. A week stay in Disney World, plus the airfair is no chump change. But easy child plans to do it up right and has taken the expensive package, which includes Darrin eating breakfast with characters.

    easy child is always doing this sort of thing. It's the movies, dinner, shopping, the zoo, museums, ect. And it makes me uncomfortable. I enjoy spending time with them, and watching Darrin having a good time, but I'm just not comfortable with her spending so much of her money on me all of the time. To the point where the last several months I've declined more dinner invitations and such than I've accepted. (which upsets her)

    I really appreciate that she does these things. And it does a Mom's heart good to be appreciated so much. But I just can't shed the uncomfortable part. I dunno, maybe it's because I was brought up dirt poor. Or that my mother drummed it in my head that it isn't right to accept so many gifts....

    Plus easy child knows that this is something I really really want for the upcoming silver wedding anniversary. husband has known since he met me this is the one thing I wanted more than anything. (I'd take wife over a diamond ring anyday)

    She also knows that her Dad hasn't bought me a gift for our anniversary, or my birthday, in all those years. So a part of me wonders if I'm being invited as a way to give me that dream. Which makes me feel bad because that was something he was supposed to do. And aw heck, I dont want to be a thrid wheel in their family fun together.

    Yeah. Okay. I'm weird. Most people would probably be tickled pink and just accept the gift and go enjoy themselves. But not me, I have to get my dream handed to me and feel guilty and uncomfortable. *sigh*

    So? How would you guys feel? Would you just accept the offer or try to find a way to decline without hurting her feelings and disappointing your grandson?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Lisa -

    You have a daughter that loves, values and appreciates you. Not only does she want you to have this experience, she wants to share it with you.

    Let her.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know that when we visited amusement parks in Florida when I was a child my grandparents usually took us. Part of the reason they came was so that my mom and dad could have some "date" time.

    Maybe if you look at it as helping take care of Darrin you won't feel so bad about it? It is a really big experience. And there will be a lot of things geared to adults that they will want to do. with-o another adult to help with Darrin, they won't be able to.

    I am so sorry you are feeling bad about this. I know that it can be hard when relationships are unbalanced finanacially.


  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You accept, but say, "What can I do to make it up to you? I feel bad accepting such a valuable gift, is there anything I can contribute?"

    You don't have to contribute money. If you contribute babysitting, or cooking meals, I'm sure your daughter would be happy. Or maybe you could scrapbook the photos of the trip for her, as a special gift afterwards.

    There is something about sharing your baby's pleasures with his grandmother, that just can't be beat. Seeing your child enjoy something special is wonderful - seeing a grandparent enjoying it too gives you a real kick.

    I remember when easy child was a baby, we were visiting my parents. After dinner my mother had taken easy child out into the garden in the stroller, while she watered the garden in the cool twilight. I chased my father outside too, to "Go enjoy your grandchild." My father was grumpy because it was part of his routine to always wash up, but I knew the time was not enough and the light would be fading, he would miss the chance if he did the wash-up first.
    So he whinged his way outside. husband & I washed up (two of us getting it done much faster) then we crept outside to see if Dad had cheered up a bit.

    We found my mother sitting on the garden bench, my father standing watching, while my mother flicked the hose water across easy child's fingers. easy child was leaning out of the stroller towards the running water and laughing every time her Grandma wet her. She was soaked - absolutely drenched. The stroller was soaked. My mother was totally unrepentant. I had never realised just how much water one disposable nappy could hold. Both my parents were laughing at the baby's chuckles, laughing fit to burst.

    Two naughty grandparents and one mischievous baby.

    husband managed to get a photo of it - I treasure it.

    Do not underestimate the pleasure your daughter can get, from seeing you enjoy your grandson having a very special treat.

  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    My mother is like you. She deprived me of many chances to give back some of the love she showed me when I was little. It hurt.

    Your daughter and son-in-law don't have to do this. THEY WANT TO. In the long run, money comes and goes. The memories of seeing your mother and son have fun on a special trip is truly priceless. (MasterCard does have a point in their commercials.) It is a gift that cannot be replaced.

    I truly doubt she is trying to make up for a trip that might not happen with your husband. I think she's trying to say thank you for being her mother, to give herself and her son a special memory, to just be together. For you to say no because of your pride is wrong, in my opinion. If the reason is because you really want to go with your husband and nothing else will do, that's different and a valid reason (but it is the "nothing else will do" that makes it valid), then say no and say why. If it is because you can't afford to and feel they are wasting their money, shame on you for not accepting such a beautiful, loving gift.

    (Sorry, you really did hit a sore point on this one. By not accepting my offers, my mother frequently made me feel that my gifts weren't good enough for her and either she didn't deserve them though I know she did or I wasn't good enough -- didn't know how to manage my money, was being wasteful, didn't have my priorities straight ....)
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Enjoy yourself, maybe we'll be there at the same time! Don't rob your easy child of the joy of giving this to you. And Susie is right, you can give them an evening or two off to play child free. There are more ways to pay your way than with cash. Like helping your daughter through college. And watching her child while she's in college and working swing shift. :)
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Daisy, Meowbunny makes a very good point.
    I know you feel uncomfortable about accepting such a big gift, but clearly your easy child wants to take you and I agree that she might feel hurt and confused if you don't accept.

    I think that Marg and Susie also make good suggestions. If you're in a position to look after Darrin and let your daughter and her husband have some time alone, then you all benefit.

    Please do accept this gift in the spirit it's offered. You do deserve it and you don't want to deprive your daughter of the opportunity to give it to you.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Your daughter sounds like a sweet and caring person who loves to give gifts. She gets a lot of pleasure (I'm sure) from seeing your pleasure. It can be hard to learn to accept, especially when you are the one always giving. Still working on Hubby with this one.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Daisy, if you know that easy child and her hubby are not spending irresponsibly and can afford to do this for their family(you included) enjoy it and go. It gives her pleasure to make you happy and to give you a taste of the things you haven't had a chance to experience. I'm a huge wife fan, as is easy child. I know the good feelings that come with a positive experience.

    Offer to take grand baby so easy child and hubby can have down time without Darrin.
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Excellent responses.

    I get how you feel. Completely.

    Quick story, my mom has had MS since I was 11 or 12. I have always helped her out, either shopping, cleaning the house, occasionally with money as she is on a fixed income, and yeah, I should. She raised me and she helped me raise my daughter. I never batted an eye if she needed help.

    Last year when I got sick, my mom turned around and helped me. It was SO awkward. It felt wrong. But that's what loved ones do.

    I know this is not the same scenario, but you get the jist. Let her do this. Watch your grandson one or two evenings on the trip so that easy child and sister in law can have an adults night out. make a fun scrapbook afterwards.

    You deserve this trip. Why don't you?

    Have yourself a good time, and make sure you get Cinderella's autograph ;)
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    To take something is so hard... even if it is done out of Love and for all of the right reasons... we were taught not to take. Especially those of us who were raised... on welfare, or dirtpoor. And to give, it feels OH SO GOOD!!!
    So you have to leave those feeling aside.
    We all know you are not a greedy person!!! As does she I am sure!!!
    I have had to struggle with this one with my mother in law for years now.
    They have a lot of money... and I feel they should be doing better things with it, than buying the girls, frilly dresses that will send send them into sensory overload and cost, umm way too much. And during the winter here in Idaho!!! What, to go look at Moose poop...?
    But husband and I have gotten into it... and he says, but it makes them feel good. I would say, but they could be giving to the poor or helping research... I would go into a tizzy... about the wrongs and the rights of it all!!!
    This went on for years... Silly me!

    I am better now. You know what, it is their money and it does make them feel good, and it is harmless.
    Much like in your case... My In-laws love us and this is how they show they love us... they love us.
    She is giving you something she knows means a lot to you, at least she has put a LOT of thought into it!!!
    She means well.
    I had to s-uck it up and just take the gifts now, and you know what? We donate them... because my in-laws would never know... it is the act of giving that makes them feel good!!! We have been donating the stuff for years and they never have a clue.... Quick picture and gone!!! THe girls love it also!!!
    I hope you go and I hope you have a WONDERFUL time!!!!
  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    You accept & say thank you. There are too few people in the world willing to give of themselves; willing to share with the most important people in their worlds.

    And saying that, your easy child knows just how much your family has been though - the medical bills & such. As Fran said, if easy child isn't being irresponsible & putting herself in difficult fiscal situation - let her & enjoy your time together. There will be times you can help her out; maybe not monetarily but with grandma sitting time or to lend an ear.

  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Lisa, it's a silver wedding anniversary. That's a big deal that doesn't happen every day. Go for it!
    I agree with-Meowbunny. This is how she shows her love. Accept it.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I never looked at it like that, and knowing easy child that is probably just how she looks at it. Your post made me cry.

    And it also reminded me of my own grandmother. She grew up horribly poor. (immigrant family) And spent the rest of her life that way. When the 7 kids she raised alone grew up and did very well, they would lavish her with beautiful gifts. Although they'd learned early it they had to also be practical or she wouldn't accept them.

    I remember being about 10 or 12 and at a family reunion for her birthday. Aunts and uncles were compaining about how hard grandma was to buy for because she obviously didn't like any of their gifts. Then added that she was always wearing and bragging about a pair of costome earrings I'd bought her that I paid for with a few dollars I'd earned helping my stepdad.

    I remember thinking they were crazy. But at 10 or 12 I knew something they didn't. From as far back as I can recall, about once a month grandma would open her family's old steamer trunk. (the one they used in coming here to Americal) She'd carefully take out everything and tell me all about it. Everything from baby shoes, old photographs, to every single gift her kids had bought her.

    When grandma passed away when I was 16, my aunts and uncles opened the old steamer trunk and got the shock of their lives. Neatly stored in tissue paper was all those years worth of beautiful and practical gifts.

    They couldn't figure out why on earth she'd tucked them away like treasures and hadn't used them.

    I explained that she had told me it was because they were the nicest things she'd ever owned. They were her "treasures".

    Darrin called me this morning. He asked me if I would "Go to Mickey Mouse"s house with him."

    I swallowed my Pride and my Guilt and I said Yes, I'll go see Mickey with you."

    I adore my grandmother and have lived my life trying to be just like her. But I remember thinking after she'd passed what a waste it had been that she'd tucked her "treasures" away in the steamer trunk instead of enjoying and using the gifts. I understood the why of it, but it was still a waste. It had hurt her kids, and she'd never meant to.

    So I won't make the same mistake. Darrin and I'll have a blast with easy child and sister in law during the day, and at night easy child and sister in law can hit the park alone while I watch Darrin. (I'll be exhausted anyway lol)

    TM I'm not sure what dates easy child reserved. So maybe we'll see each other there.

    Thanks for your responses.

  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Go, go, go...and enjoy. She wouldn't have offered if she didn't want you there.

    I have the same guilt trip from my mother in law. Twice a year we fly her out here to Vegas. She complains, says tons of sorrys, etc. We simply want to see her. The money doesn't matter. She works at a conveniece store and I know does not have the money to do it herself. I don't care. We want her to be part of the family. The best part is she always has a great time.

    GO GO GO

  16. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    You'll ruin her trip if you don't go. She'll feel guilty being there without you. Everything she does she'll be thinking of how much you'd love it. You have to go for her sake!
  17. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I didn't mean to make you cry but I'm soooo glad you said yes. I know you'll have a wonderful time and the trip will be all the more special because grandma was there to play with Darrin. (by the way -- I had tears in my eyes at your grandmother's story. How sad she deprived herself and her children of some joy.)
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    How sweet of Darrin to ask you to go to Mickey Mouse's house with him!

    Yes is exactly the right answer. It is a gift you are giving to your daughter and sister in law.

    Enjoy every minute, take lots of pictures and have a blast.


  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so glad you decided to go. Enjoy!