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    • Hugh_Cumber
    • By Hugh_Cumber 4th Dec 17, 12:06 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 23Thanks
    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
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    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 5th Dec 17, 11:15 PM
    • 3,349 Posts
    • 3,580 Thanks
    I doubt he will need an extension for that slow cooker
    Originally posted by ska lover
    It has to go somewhere in the kitchen, I have a small kitchen, it has to be stored somewhere when not in use. Myself I don't have the space.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 5th Dec 17, 11:16 PM
    • 3,349 Posts
    • 3,580 Thanks
    Its once a year for goodness sake .... Unless the mum is spending thousands upon thousands of pounds that she cant afford this really is a non-issue and the OP should just embrace it, show appreciation and thank his mum.
    Originally posted by svain
    Then get rid of the stuff to charity
    • phillw
    • By phillw 5th Dec 17, 11:39 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 816 Thanks
    It is, it's the OP's business, if it's him she's wasting it on.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    Maybe she wouldn't consider it a waste? If he doesn't like it then there is nothing she can do, but maybe she got what she wanted by buying it?

    He needs to suggest things he DOES want, even if it's a charity donation.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    Or tickets to go and see something with his mum.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 6th Dec 17, 8:22 AM
    • 2,680 Posts
    • 4,368 Thanks
    Again, I think people are missing the point. Or rather, are only seeing half of the problem.

    The thread title talks about 'overbearing, overspending' parent.

    Let's concentrate on the 'overbearing' bit - this woman sounds like a pain. I'm guessing she was very controlling when you were growing up. Now that you're an adult and not under her thumb any more, this 'overspending' mularky is one of the few ways she has of keeping some sort of control.

    Most parents know when it's time to back off out of their grown-up kids' lives - others, I'm afraid, have to have it spelled out to them. Your Mum falls into this category.
    • MandM90
    • By MandM90 6th Dec 17, 10:23 AM
    • 1,372 Posts
    • 7,064 Thanks
    I can sympathise, OP. We have similar issues (but not nearly to the same extent).

    We live in a small Victorian 2 bed cottage with our daughter and two cats. We have made a conscious choice to be minimalists because it's cheaper (avoidance of consumerism), easier (far less tidying, packing/moving is quick) and we enjoy the aesthetics of a clear space.

    Every birthday and Christmas we try and ask people to do Secret Santa, or homemade gifts, or skip it altogether and are met with eyerolls or complaints that we're weird.

    I don't really 'get' gifts, other than for kids. Love spending time with friends and family but rather than us all spend - say - £100 on each other and get something someone guessed we would like, we could all just treat ourselves (or overpay the mortgage!) and just enjoy the food and company that special occasions bring.

    I then feel obligation to return the favour. Granted, not so much of a problem now but when we were swimming in debt it was a strain on the budget and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I also feel slighty guilty when I feel compelled to buy something that is bad for the planet, probably won't enrich the recipients life and spends money we would much rather put towards retirement. I would love to be able to give and receive gifts as simple as a second hand, well thought out, book...but when someone buys you a fancy gadget it feels wrong.

    I then feel awkward about the gift itself. About 80% of gifts we receive end up donated, sold or recycled. If we kept everything everyone gave us it wouldn't fit in the storage we have in our home, and I refuse to buy more storage to accommodate things we don't want. Don't get me wrong, I've had some lovely gifts (plants for the garden, books I've wanted to read, wine) but it's the bigger more cumbersome ones like paintings or the InstantPot that do me in. Can't get rid of them because I'll offend the giver, so they have to sit in my house irritating me forever just to appease the gift giver. It just seems silly.

    Ooof that turned into a massive rant. Anyway, I can see how it's annoying, but I think your mother sounds like she will continue so to preserve your relationship I would either:

    1) Try and get more clever with your lists. If she can afford it, and it makes her happy then make a list of experiences or things you would value. Why not ask for one of those monthly wine deliveries, for someone to come and do your garden/clean your house, a restaurant voucher, or vouchers for holidays?
    2) Chill out, let her get on with it and regularly declutter stuff. Donate it, money goes to a good cause, you don't have to fill your house with it and I suspect at the rate she sounds like she buys things she probably won't remember what she got you last year. If she does, just matter of factly explain you had a clear out and you weren't using X item so you donated it. It sounds like you're her 'little prince' so I can't imagine she'll be more than irritated
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    • svain
    • By svain 6th Dec 17, 10:37 AM
    • 353 Posts
    • 624 Thanks
    Then get rid of the stuff to charity
    Originally posted by cjdavies

    Yep (im sure someone would be very grateful) ... or sell it
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 6th Dec 17, 3:19 PM
    • 2,752 Posts
    • 6,696 Thanks
    ska lover
    It has to go somewhere in the kitchen, I have a small kitchen, it has to be stored somewhere when not in use. Myself I don't have the space.
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    Point taken. I have a slow cooker. I love having it for the 'once in a blue moon' times i use it.

    I like to kid myself that i'm super organised 'Hey I have a slow cooker'

    In reality it sees light of day a couple of times a year. Rest of the time it is taking up space, and coming from a house with little kitchen storage previously I can understand that.

    Like the OP if it was boxed up, never used, i prob would re-gift or donate, as its gathering dust.

    Going back, so not directed at the slow cooker thing - I have had some misguided presents from my dear old well meaning mother

    Currently on top of my wardrobe, and have been for a five years, still in boxed untouched, is a ELECTRICAL BOOTIE, for cold feet. plug it in and warm up your tootsies. I am sure this is someones idea of heaven, but not mine - however I know my mum meant well when she brought it for me as I do get cold feet. I really should get this to a charity shop, keep forgetting

    Interesting thread, although people have had very far reaching POV it has been an eye opener as to how others think - and what is great is no daft arguments have broken out even though there have been some completely opposite end of spectrum thinking going on
    The opposite of what you also true
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