Mom of friend bought dd a bunch of stuff

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mom of friend bought dd a bunch of stuff
5
Sun, 05-04-2003 - 1:22pm
that I know they cannot afford. DD spent the night w/friend and the mom took the girls to Walmart. This family is barely getting by on 1 income, 4 kids, etc. The mom & I talked on the phone and she told me that dd didn't ask for this stuff and she bought the same things for her dd. I told her "you shouldn't have" etc. When dd came home and I saw how much stuff she got I feel bad knowing that they barely get by. Why would she do this? She said it was to make up for not getting her birthday or Christmas gifts (but she did get her gifts, maybe she forgot?) The Mom said she had extra money and wanted to do it but now I feel like the next time I take the girls I should reciprocate and that is not my style. I might buy a lipgloss or something but not as much as she got. How should I handle this and why do you think the mom did this in the first place? TIA for your replies.
Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 10:14am
I agree with the others that you have to respond in a way that's comfortable for you. I've learned that other families may treat in ways I don't tend to, and I don't worry about things being "even" anymore. I just reciprocate in a way that I feel fits in with what I'm comfortable with.

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 10:12am
Welcome! Glad you found our board and jumped in. -Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 6:34am
I hope you didn't take offense to my comment about the working-mother-guilt thing ... I, too, work outside the home, and find myself buying things for my kids that I probably wouldn't (or couldn't) if I didn't have that extra income. In the case of my friend, she flat out tells me she does this. When I said "oh, you shouldn't have" when she bought stuff for my DD, her response was something like 'I love buying the kids stuff when I'm in town ... makes me feel less guilty when I'm traveling so much ... and one more kid to shop for is no big deal.' Lots of working moms do 'buy' more for their kids because they can ... so there was no offense intended.

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 8:42am
Julee has some excellent ideas. I have done the 'extra lasagna' thing myself.

As a side note --- I work outside of the home and buy things for my son not out of guilt but because I can. :-)

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 6:43am
I have a friend like this, who loves to spend money on her DD's, and will take Kelli (my 7 y.o.) shopping and indulge her as well. The difference is that this woman DOES have money, and she spends it (I think) on her kids to relieve that working-mother-guilt thing because she works (and travels) a lot. But, it still makes me uncomfortable when Kelli will come home with a new shirt and a craft and a toy ... because I'm not one to do that with my own kids, let alone their friends. And, like you, I feel a need to reciprocate, but it's not my style. What I did in this case is took her (2) kids to the zoo the next time they were with me ... I have annual passes, so it didn't even cost me anything, but it was a fun and different day for them.

Now, back to your friend ... some people simply have no control when it comes to money matters. It doesn't matter how broke they are, how hard they struggle, when they have any extra money in their pocket, the only thing they can think to do with it is SPEND. The fact that she spent it on your DD was very nice, albeit foolish ... but whether or not you reciprocate isn't the issue really ... she has a bit of a problem. Depending on the closeness of your relationship, you may or may want to talk to her about that. But, that is HER problem. Right now, you are feeling a need to reciprocate, but the style isnt your's ... so figure out what is. They are having trouble getting by ... they have 4 kids ... are any smaller than your own. Can you do some Spring Cleaning in your kids' closets and find some hand-me-downs in good condition to pass onto her/them? Or how about having them all over for dinner or a barbeque or something? Or, send dinner over to them ... you just happened to make an extra lasagna and thought they might enjoy it.

I understand the uncomfortable feeling you're experiencing, but don't think that you should go take the girls shopping ... because if it isn't your style, then you are still going to feel uncomfortable, probably doubly so. Take it for what it is ... a generous gift that she couldn't afford but for her own reasons, wanted to ... and then if you want to reciprocate, do something that YOU are comfortable with.

Nancy

Nancy 

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