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  • FIRST POST
    • Hugh_Cumber
    • By Hugh_Cumber 4th Dec 17, 12:06 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 23Thanks
    Hugh_Cumber
    Overbearing overspending parent
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:06 AM
    Overbearing overspending parent 4th Dec 17 at 12:06 AM
    Hi all
    First post, hope it’s in the right place.

    I’m posting to ask for peoples opinion on how to deal with an overbearing, Christmas spending obsessed mother.

    Firstly I obviously love my mum and I’m aware this is a very ‘first world’ problem to have, I feel like a !!!! just putting it in to words, but it’s driving me crazy and it only seems to get worse year after year.

    It starts the same way every year, I’m asked what I want for Christmas and I usually just ask for the few books I usually have in my amazon basket and maybe the latest video game, which is always answered with “what else ?”

    Then for the weeks leading up to Christmas I’m bombarded with with pics of random things in shops and messages asking “what about this ?” To which I reply no thank you, please stop.
    This year I’ve been asked would I like a gun and a membership to a gun club ! Because I like those “shooting computer games”. A REAL GUN !!

    So she just buys random things to fill a spending quota.

    I’m always being made out to be the bad guy and that I’m ‘ungrateful’ and a grinch. I’ve told her how much she spends doesn’t equate to how much she loves me but she just won’t stop. My house is filling up with crap I don’t want, need or use and I feel guilty selling it or she sometimes asks “how’s that slow cooker” (it’s fine it’s still in the box).
    I’m thinking of threatening not to come round this Christmas if she doesn’t stop.

    Like I said I feel awful writing this down but it’s how I feel an it’s really getting to me.
    Any ideas or similar experiences ?
    Sorry for rambling on
Page 1
    • Batman2017
    • By Batman2017 4th Dec 17, 1:55 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Batman2017
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 1:55 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 1:55 AM
    I think if your mum can afford it then let her carry on, she probably gets loads of enjoyment out of buying you these gifts. If your mum bought you a slow cooker then whats stopping you using it? They are good for cooking meals you know. Get some use out of it.

    For my birthday my mum bought me a fabric wallet along with some other items. I didn't like it that much but i pretended i did and so i replaced my premium leather wallet with a cheaper looking fabric one. Why? Because it was a gift from my parents and therefore it felt wrong not to use it. I've even had derogatory remarks from my friends about my wallet but didn't they feel bad when I told them why i was using it.
    • warby68
    • By warby68 4th Dec 17, 4:56 AM
    • 875 Posts
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    warby68
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 4:56 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 4:56 AM
    Fair enough not to be keen on spending for spending sake or overt materialism.

    But she's your mum - why can't you actually think of something you do want and make her happy? You're a very lucky person if you have absolutely everything you can make use of already.

    She loves you, wants to spoil you -different if there are money issues but you haven't said that.

    You do sound a bit churlish tbh. A bit of effort on your part to accommodate her and happy mum/no tat. Gifts don't have to be things - do you want some event tickets or travel money for example, membership to anything, an investment for your future and so on.
    • bagpussbear
    • By bagpussbear 4th Dec 17, 6:48 AM
    • 780 Posts
    • 2,606 Thanks
    bagpussbear
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:48 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:48 AM
    It's your mum's way of spoiling you and showing you she loves you.

    Why take that away from her?

    I lost my mum and dad a long time ago, my goodness what I would give to have them back for another Christmas!

    You just need to manage this a little better. When she asks for what you want, don't just give her the books and game ideas - give her a long list of things you would like, or could use - actual things you can use, whether cheap or practical or useful. That way you won't end up with a house full of stuff you'll never use.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 4th Dec 17, 6:58 AM
    • 11,061 Posts
    • 6,280 Thanks
    DUTR
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:58 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:58 AM
    It's your mum's way of spoiling you and showing you she loves you.

    Why take that away from her?

    I lost my mum and dad a long time ago, my goodness what I would give to have them back for another Christmas!

    You just need to manage this a little better. When she asks for what you want, don't just give her the books and game ideas - give her a long list of things you would like, or could use - actual things you can use, whether cheap or practical or useful. That way you won't end up with a house full of stuff you'll never use.
    Originally posted by bagpussbear
    I just tell that I'd like her to be around for the following Christmas, everything we (my siblings) want we can buy ourselves.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 4th Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    • 7,188 Posts
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    DigForVictory
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    Take a leaf from her book - find a show you think she'd enjoy & that you could tolerate squiring her to, & send her the link "what about this?"

    She'll either be delighted to find something you're both in agreement on, or have to figure a polite "not quite my thing" in her turn - but do please try to figure something you could meet up & do together & enjoy.
    It'll give her bragging rights & happy memories for months if not years & aren't those the best gifts, anyway?

    You may not currently have a use for that slow cooker, but if you both had a few cookery lessons together? You both might learn new things & have fun & come home with something to eat & enjoy.

    The joint things you could both get some thing from may not be easy to find, but if health permits, grab an unusual opportunity - a riding lesson, a basic introduction to diving, an advanced driving lesson - something Different but that might be useful & will certainly be memorable?

    She'll not be here forever, so spend time with her doing something that'll amuse you both. Even if in hindsight. Me, I'm taking my mum around a new John Lewis in her wheelchair as the rest of the family are too busy to indulge her curiosity. I strongly doubt we'll emerge with a new cooker & set of bath towels, (there being limits on what I can push) but I think the lights, the variety, the amazing things people will buy (& at what prices!)? She's looking forward to it!

    I hope your mum is more mobile, but even if that's all you can agree on - a joint putter around a shopping mall you'd otherwise avoid - take her, carry for her & cosset her a bit. If she absolutely insists on buying you that merino sweater then (a) it really ought to fit, (b) you'll have had a chance to try it on, have a say in the colour etc & (c) if all else fails, you can try to pocket the receipt.

    Find one thing you could do together, assure her that's what you really want - to have a splendid day with her, & lay up good memories.
    • Timpu
    • By Timpu 4th Dec 17, 8:08 AM
    • 244 Posts
    • 298 Thanks
    Timpu
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:08 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:08 AM
    Donation to charity? If it's about buying, perhaps goods to a local food bank?
    • vulpix
    • By vulpix 4th Dec 17, 8:26 AM
    • 813 Posts
    • 15,281 Thanks
    vulpix
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:26 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:26 AM
    If she insists, ask for things you actually use,your brand of body wash,after shave,cotton buds,TP,washing powder,coffee,socks,shoes,tickets to an event,holiday etc.

    I am with you on the not being materialistic,but
    I understand your Mum,I am a Mum of adults.I want to spoil people but if they want something they just buy it.She could of course just give a token chocolate gift and money as my Mum does these days.

    Merry Christmas Vx
    • Enterprise 1701C
    • By Enterprise 1701C 4th Dec 17, 8:30 AM
    • 18,343 Posts
    • 199,863 Thanks
    Enterprise 1701C
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:30 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:30 AM
    How about suggesting things you actually use? I tend to fill the stockings of my adult kids and their partners with things like shower gel. After things like after shave/male fragrance can be expensive, how about a few new tools, that sort of thing.

    I like buying throughout the year, but it tends to be small things for the stockings.

    Edit - great minds think alike lol
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
    • dlmcr
    • By dlmcr 4th Dec 17, 8:39 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    dlmcr
    I disagree with some of the other comments on here especially the bit about OP's mother loving him by buying him all of this stuff. To be honest this behaviour comes across as compensatory behaviour for something that is missing in the relationship and I would be asking more fundamental questions about what that something is. The fact that his mother is doing something that he is uncomfortable with despite being asked to stop is concerning, if this was a partner to partner relationship this would be a red flag. I don't agree that OP should find a use for the things that have been bought, if it was one or two items then yes of course, but this seems like a huge number of things that almost becomes a change in lifestyle choice to integrate into his life so why should he have to do this? I would also question that OPs mother is displaying love by doing this, again it come across as a misplaced gesture of love but something that needs discussing as it is not received in the manner in which it is intended. If I am being frank it comes across quite smothering / controlling behaviour. Are there other issues in the relationship?
    I think the OP should try and sit down with mother and have a frank and open conversation about how this behaviour makes him feel and see whether there is a way to a solution that would work for both, eg instead of buying him "stuff" maybe the money can be used for a holiday somewhere instead?
    • andydownes123
    • By andydownes123 4th Dec 17, 9:19 AM
    • 120 Posts
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    andydownes123
    You're lucky, I get pictures of things already bought and are cluttering up their house asking if I'd like it...no!...I already have a brand new bag and you bought me one last year so please I don't want another.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 4th Dec 17, 9:28 AM
    • 2,552 Posts
    • 6,225 Thanks
    ska lover
    I’m thinking of threatening not to come round this Christmas if she doesn’t stop.
    Originally posted by Hugh_Cumber


    Total brattish behavior - Behave how I want, or I will completely ruin Christmas


    Ask her to donate to charity instead of giving gifts - if she keeps buying you stuff you do not want, donate it to charity. Tell her you have everything you want, and any further gifts will be donated. Then if she continues you have no reason to feel any way about it, its her choice


    Get a grip, tis the season to be jolly, not hold people over a bloomin barrel - she clearly enjoys doing this and you are using it as a ''reason to be offended'


    The title to this thread ''overbearing overspending parent'' really is pretty insulting and you talk about your mother like you don't even like her.
    Blah blah blah.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 4th Dec 17, 9:43 AM
    • 28,647 Posts
    • 72,975 Thanks
    Mojisola
    I’m posting to ask for peoples opinion on how to deal with an overbearing, Christmas spending obsessed mother.

    Then for the weeks leading up to Christmas I’m bombarded with with pics of random things in shops and messages asking “what about this ?” To which I reply no thank you, please stop.

    So she just buys random things to fill a spending quota.

    I’m always being made out to be the bad guy and that I’m ‘ungrateful’ and a grinch.
    Originally posted by Hugh_Cumber
    Total brattish behavior - Behave how I want, or I will completely ruin Christmas
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Isn't it the mother who is doing this - accept all my presents (even though I know you don't want them) or you're being ungrateful?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 4th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • 28,647 Posts
    • 72,975 Thanks
    Mojisola
    My house is filling up with crap I don’t want, need or use and I feel guilty selling it or she sometimes asks “how’s that slow cooker” (it’s fine it’s still in the box).
    Originally posted by Hugh_Cumber
    Would she go for one big 'experience' gift or does it have to be quantity over quality?

    If it has to be quantity, make a list in the run-up to Christmas of things you would buy yourself anyway and let her get those for you.

    Then be very firm about selling on or regifting or donating unwanted things to charity. You don't have to tell her.

    She's drowning you in unwanted gifts and it's controlling behaviour. If you don't start managing it, it could ruin your relationship with your Mum.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 4th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • 3,634 Posts
    • 7,995 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    Total brattish behavior - Behave how I want, or I will completely ruin Christmas
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Hold on, it's the mother that's running the child down for not wanting to be showered with unwelcome gifts and deliberately refusing to accept and understand their choices. Calling them a grinch, really? How is that in any way acceptable behaviour? That's the very definition of overbearing.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 4th Dec 17, 10:17 AM
    • 18,571 Posts
    • 47,816 Thanks
    Pollycat
    OP
    Are you an only child?

    Does your Mum have a busy life (work, lots of friends)?

    Can she afford all this stuff you see as rubbish?

    It seems a shame that she's spending money on things that you don't want/don't appreciate.
    You say that you keep saying 'no thank you' but have you really sat down with her and talked this through?
    If she's clearly determined to spend money on you, can you channel that into something that you do really want instead of things that you don't want? a holiday maybe? An expensive camera?
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 4th Dec 17, 11:56 AM
    • 2,552 Posts
    • 6,225 Thanks
    ska lover
    Isn't it the mother who is doing this - accept all my presents (even though I know you don't want them) or you're being ungrateful?
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    Point taken. It is a hard one, they are both kind of stuck in a vicious circle


    However she does seem to be asking him 'would you like such and such' - she's obviously putting a lot of time and thought into attempting to make him happy. Her intention seems good to me. I am sure she would be horrified if she realized he was thinking of ''thinking of threatening not to come round this Christmas if she doesn’t stop''


    I don't understand where all the unwelcome presents come from if she is asking him. Clearly some of her ideas are way off the mark, but he is acting like it is a big inconvenience to even bother to respond to her messages


    Isn't it what we teach small children to graciously accept presents, whatever is given?
    Last edited by ska lover; 04-12-2017 at 12:13 PM.
    Blah blah blah.
    • LMG1305
    • By LMG1305 4th Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • 115 Posts
    • 846 Thanks
    LMG1305
    I feel your pain. I know it is definitely something we shouldn't complain about, but I have a similar issue except I don't even get asked if there is anything I would like. My stepmum just buys random 'stuff'. I have clothes bought for me that are 2 sizes too big, beauty products that I can't use because I have quite sensitive skin, household items that never get used and the list goes on.

    As you are in the position where your mum does ask you for ideas, why don't you suggest something like a weekend away or one of those experiences like the track days etc or theatre/concert tickets? Maybe even ask if instead of buying you gifts, why don't you suggest the both of you go somewhere for dinner & the theatre or something similar. These may be more to the budget that she has in mind, so she will then hopefully spend less money on random stuff.
    Last edited by LMG1305; 04-12-2017 at 12:02 PM.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 4th Dec 17, 12:04 PM
    • 2,552 Posts
    • 6,225 Thanks
    ska lover
    Hold on, it's the mother that's running the child down for not wanting to be showered with unwelcome gifts and deliberately refusing to accept and understand their choices. Calling them a grinch, really? How is that in any way acceptable behaviour? That's the very definition of overbearing.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99






    According to the OP's posts, his mother hadn't called him a Grinch - just that he feels he was ''made out'' to be one - maybe that is a self imposed feeling. - Could you clarify OP, has your mother actually called you names? (or am I getting the wrong end of the stick)


    To be honest, I don't see that being called a Grinch is really an insult, but obviously it is to other people.
    Last edited by ska lover; 04-12-2017 at 12:08 PM.
    Blah blah blah.
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 4th Dec 17, 12:09 PM
    • 8,757 Posts
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    Ms Chocaholic
    Can you suggest she buys things for you to do together, a meal out at a nice restaurant, a city break?
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
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