My MIL is mad I told her not to send anything for Christmas...AITA

My husband has a job very far from his family and we havent seen his or my family in years…his mom texted and asked what our kids wanted for christmas and i told him to tell her nothing…i am to the point where i am tried of people not contacting my kids at all unless they wanna send them a gift and they still dont contact them…its just sending a card in the mail for a holiday or a birthday…i feel like if they dont make an effort (my kids are more than old enough for phone calls) then whats the point? i am tired of people half loving my kids and feel its unfair to them…was I wrong to tell her not to send anything? shes all in her feelings now but i feel like she did this to herself


I’ve always had the mindset the more people who love my kids the better. Since you live far away, how many times have you guys made the trip to see them? Do your kids pick up the phone and call their grandparents? Do you encourage your kids to have a relationship with them or do the kids hear you being upset with her or about her? How will your children feel when they normally receive a gift from them and don’t get one this year……will you tell them it’s because you said don’t bother? Sometimes being a parent is putting your personal feelings aside.


This is called looking a gift horse in the mouth. Y’all live far away so neither can physically be around. Are you seriously gonna turn down a nice gesture for what it is ? Just that a nice gesture.


His family is VERY far from where you are, at least they are trying??? Quit being a snob, you can just as easy take the kids to them too. You can schedule video calls, they likely don’t feel comfortable asking your schedule and maybe don’t know other ways around it to talk to the kids… at least they are doing something.


You are the ahole. Let your child experience those family members, not everyone loves the same and it’s really dang nice that they participate at all…not all kids get that and I am speaking from experience when I say this. My ex’s family stopped talking to my son the minute we moved out of state :pleading_face:


Do you help your kids call them?

Edit- as a parent one should teach the child how to reach out and make contact. It pays off in many ways long term.


If your children are old enough to receive a call they’re old enough call them n thank them for gifts. Quit being bitter


They didn’t just send whatever they asked what they wanted and that’s nice in its own. They’re at least thinking of them for the holidays.


Why don’t you ask her to come for a visit as the gift?


You’re wrong. How is half-loving worse, than nothing at all? If they want to send a gift and that’s the way they love you are being the A by not allowing them to send something.

You could have just said, “They might like to hear from you, so you can ask them when you talk to them”. Only a bitter, petty person says “nothing” when offered a gift.


Well you said you live very far from family so what else do you expect? Life is too short…we are not promised tomorrow…set the negativity aside and accept the gifts for your kids. If you live so far than I would not expect them to travel to see us if I would not do the same for them.


Why aren’t you arranging calls from your kids to their grandma? That’s your job not hers.
And why would you not let your kids get presents from her? That’s horrible


Coming from a GiGi who seldom sees or talks to the grandchildren, I think you are wrong. I’m sure I have 1 daughter that feels like you do, so yes I understand the point. My response is that the reaching out has to be both ways. I have 1 night a year that I get all my grands and I enjoy it but usually they get bored and are ready to leave next morning. I can’t entertain them long lol. Phone calls…my grands aren’t going to WANT to talk to me more than a few seconds. I understand they don’t have time for an old lady but sometimes it’s hard to reach out knowing it’s going to add another Crack to the heart.
I said that to say, try seeing other side of the coin.


You’re wrong. It’s your family that lives far away. You’re lucky they even send anything. What you need to do is apologize. The ones being hurt by your actions are the kids and parents who did nothing wrong.


My family all lives scattered across the USA. We might talk every few months, every few years, or see each other the same. I don’t get mad if they don’t send me or my son anything, but if they do at any time it’s a pleasant surprise and thoughtful gesture. I wouldn’t condemn any of my family for having a life outside of their nephew or grandson so I think you’re a bit of the AH here, personally.


I think your wrong- I don’t think it’s a parents job to limit the love of grandparents in their children’s life- your actually blocking it


You sound very cynical. I can’t help but think there is a bigger issue that has nothing to do with your kids. Grandparents are a blessing and I’d love for my 14 year old to have all of his grandparents left. He has one living grandparent and he makes the effort to call her.


Wouldn’t it have been much simpler to say “I’m not sure, why don’t you call him/her and ask?” Phone lines go both directions and if you’re not calling them and allowing your children to have a relationship with distant family, then you are 1/4 and your spouse is the other 1/4 of the problem. I don’t know what you consider “old enough”, but if the two of you have put limited to no effort into seeing and being in contact with family, then you are at least 1/2 of the problem.:woman_shrugging:


You seem a little ungrateful. I don’t understand what the problem is if family wants to send your kids a gift. If they live out of town or far away from you, then you can’t expect them to call and see the kids everyday but they’re making an effort and you should be grateful for that.


It goes both ways tho. I get where you’re coming from, as I feel that people should make an effort if they want to be present in my child’s life. It shouldn’t be completely up to us to make sure people are a part of their life. However, being that you and your husband moved “far” away, you guys should make the effort to include your family in your lives. You could call first and extend the olive branch to welcome them to call anytime they’d like to speak to the kids. It could be as simple as they don’t know they are welcome to do more than what they have been doing.
All in all, sometimes as a parent we have to put aside our own hang-ups about the issue at hand and ask ourselves if it would benefit the kids if you to cut ties with people that love them.


I don’t think you’re in the wrong. I had a similar situation happen where my MIL asked what my child wanted for her birthday. The conversation turned left (she asked why should she send her something when her other granddaughter didn’t get a gift from my significant other), and I told her not to send anything bc I was tired of her being a holiday grandparent. Literally only checks on the kids for holidays, and lives an hour and 15 mins away tops. I haven’t spoken to her since. If my child wants a relationship that’s her choice. But I’m not going to keep making her try to have one. She’s old enough to decide.


Tell her to send you a whole list of expensive toys or new clothes and then donate it to a less fortunate child. :woman_shrugging:t2: but to answer your question. No. Youre not wrong. That will only teach your children that someone can buy them something and it doesn’t matter how they are treated they should still love that person when in reality that’s not how it works.


Since your children are “more than old enough for calls”…. Have you encouraged THEM to call/FaceTime the Grandparents?!?!
It’s a two-way bridge to communication and bonding!!!
When my adult children were young, their Fraternal side of their family lived on the East Coast and we live on the West. Complete opposite ends of the country… but I made sure to send them videos and pictures of my children, almost monthly… so they could see them grow up. I occasionally received photos included in Christmas and birthday cards, of their little cousins, etc.

Nowadays there’s FaceTime, Skype, Duo, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. plenty of video chat Apps that your children can utilize to be in contact with and “get to know” that side of their family! IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO HAVE THAT BOND! Your children didn’t choose to have daddy take a job far away from their family! And daddy’s family didn’t choose that either!! And neither did your family.
You and your husband made that choice for everyone else.

And not allowing gifts is extremely selfish and borderline narcissistic on your part!!!:face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
Atleast if she sends them toys, every time they play with it, they’ll think of Grandma. Soooo selfish!!!

And what about YOUR family!!! You said you guys haven’t seen either of your families in years! How do you feel about your side? Do they get phone calls and gifts???


Hurt much?!! What are you doing to make sure their is a relationship other than talking ish?? She asked y’all what to get them, she cares enough to do that. If I was her I’d buy a bunch of stuff just to “p” you off. You’re that mad you should make an effort to see them and talk to them… oh I forgot y’all are far away :roll_eyes:


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My MIL is mad I told her not to send anything for Christmas...AITA

You said his job is very far away from his family. So, I can see both sides. The only thing I don’t agree with is them not making any attempts for phone calls.

I completely cut my sons fathers family out of the picture. He’s 3 and they only try to be materialistic on special occasions but they live an hour away.

Sounds like you’re bitter, let her and the family send gifts. Be happy they wanna be involved at all. I feel like you’d more than likely be angry either way. It’s not their fault you live so far away. Take it as a win that your children are loved.


I feel the same way! It’s not my job to make sure my children know family. If they want to be in their lives they’ll show it.


My door is family don’t even bother to send her gifts on her birthday in fact they purposely don’t show up for her birthday parties I wrote them all I’m over this

You are being rediculous


My situation different … however I agree with u … mine is the family shows no incentive to visit or call … they live close
I gave up trying to include them… kids deserve someone that wants to be there


Pick your battles and let the kids get the gifts… imagine denying your children of free shit :thinking:

Yes u are wrong! PERIOD


Tell her they want a phone call! :heart:


Yes, I’d say you’re wrong.
“Don’t contact my kids unless you contact my kids” …
Some people communicate differently. Gift giving can be important to them even if it’s not to you.


No you are not wrong at all I deal with the same thing with my mother-in-law. She does not make an effort to see my kids at all I’ve been married to her son for 14 years and she’s never met me or her grandchildren and has never made the effort. She sends cards and gifts but I have recently started to tell her no. My kids are teenagers now and don’t want nothing to do with it because she hasn’t been in their lives why push it when they know that she’s not going to. I’m very sorry that this is happening to you but you’re not wrong for telling her no I think you did the right thing.


How old are said kids? Takes two to make a relationship work… yous could pick up phone to try too. Shouldn’t be down to them to do all the running :confused:
And sorry but your spiting your kids not allowing them to receive gifts of family members


I think you are selfish!!! Ask the kids! Of course they want presents! Dahhh


Let the family send gifts…Jesus lady.


Isn’t sending cards and gifts including them ???


I think you are wrong but that is my opinion

Nope. I’m over half time ppl in my life and especially my child’s life. Life is better with Boundaries.


If your kids are old enough for phone calls then aren’t the old enough to decide if they want the gifts. It’s not your choice. It’s theirs…


I’d tell her they’d all love a hug and recent photo with their grandma…or something like this year for Christmas the kids would love the gift of time spent with family. Maybe they’re unaware how missed they are and that you’d prefer their presence over their presents?

Works both ways you said Husband has a job far away from family so have you been to see them ?


Your not the ah…they do it too their selfs. If they won’t message or whatever I don’t blame you.

This Women Needs Serious Counseling

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I feel you’re wrong. It’s childish and petty honestly. If your kids are old enough then they can call them too.


I doubt my MIL knows my sons birthday :partying_face:

Her reaching out is an effort. Why deny your kids Christmas presents from them? It may not be the effort you want but it’s not your relationship to dictate.


I live hours away from my grandbabies but i beg to talk to them every chance go home every Birthday holiday i am able and would do anything for them ! They are my happiness id love to be there with them forever

You’re not wrong! This is coming from someone who’s father thought this was ok to not contact me year around but send gifts for bdays and Christmas :santa: . That doesn’t mean anything to me. I would much rather have had his love and attention then any gift.


How about the kids call you. The phone rings both ways!

No you not wrong however maybe put how you feel in writing and sent it to them all so they know so they can try to make a effort

The phone works both ways. Are you making an effort?

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I cut my mother in law off at the knees when my son was 10 he’s almost 37 now so you do what you feel is best for your kids not to make you feel better but genuinely better for your kids…

Phone works BOTH ways. Guess a card is better than no contact…IMO

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Do your kids ever call her or send her a card? My grands live far away. I never hear from them unless I initiate the contact. I make sure they hear from me for birthdays and holidays. It is important to me. I hope to them as well. Have you ever talked to her about how you feel and why you feel that way? You should❤️

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May I ask if you guys also make an effort to call her? Do you guys ever communicate with her taking a trip to see you or vice versa? All I know is my grandparents did the same thing growing up but when I became a teenager I started to actively seek to speak with them on my own. Once I did that they called me all the time and we would go out to lunch frequently. I think there is just a miscommunication somewhere. I don’t think it’s a reason to cut her off completely.

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<3 <3 <3 <3 This might be an unpopular opinion but have you ever considered talking to them about this? You live far away! Some people have a hard time communicating over the phone especially the older generation. I feel like a lot of people fall short of our expectations. The fact that they want to send a gift just means they love them but are having a difficult time loving them from afar. You can decide to alienate your children from their family or you can make a conscience decision to open communication and let their family know that they’d appreciate calls. Most of the time I find that the kids are unbothered by this stuff its the parents who make a big deal of the situation when they could just communicate a little. People will say it isn’t your job to build relationships but it is!! You don’t matter in this situation and the in laws don’t matter, the kids do! So don’t divide your family because you can’t all be adults and communicate. While I do understand your point of view I don’t agree with it. I find it very disheartening that people don’t communicate and are quick to cut people off.


As a kid I called my grandmother all the time…you sound bitter.


I would send a small list and remind her a visit and spending time is more important than any gift. You are very much welcome for a visit.

I feel where you’re coming from but I think you should let them receive the gifts. At least they know they’re being thought about on the special holidays. Also maybe if you have the kids reach out a couple times, they will reciprocate? I know it’s not your obligation but if you do care about them having a family relationship, maybe you could see if that would instigate more contact. If they still don’t reach out, then leave it be and live your life w/o feeling bad.
But also I know that I live kinda far from my sister (& niece and nephew) and while I talk to my sister, I don’t really talk to the kids unless I’m visiting or happen to see them on FaceTime. I’m awkward and I just don’t have much to talk about with a 4yr old and a tween. :confused: I much prefer visiting in person and interacting and playing with them than just talking over the phone.

I would absolutely ask my children what they wanted and tell her! If they dont get to be close im distance and are also lacking the relationship you hoped for I would allow the kids to atleast benefit from the effort put forth though it may not be as great, i feel like the MIL is still making some sort of effort in letting them know i am thinking of you on this special day. Especially if the latter is causing others to be unnecessarily hurt or upset.


Maybe just let her try to maintain a connection? It is not up to us the types of connections people are comfortable with. Why do you need to decide what is good enough? As long as no one gets hurt and the children are fine with it I don’t see the issue. When they get older and want to call the people who have been sending them gifts give them the phone and let that connection happen.

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You could have handled this differently. You could have said your house is overflowing with stuff and if they felt the need to give a gift, they could open a savings account or got them certificates of deposit. Also, if you are not helping make an effort to call them as well, you are equally guilty in causing the “half love” relationship. Many older people can’t afford the long distance calls if the don’t have a cell phone. My family lives half a continent away from me and when they want to call, I have them call me and hang up so I can call them right back on my cell so they don’t get outrageous long distance charges. At the end of the day, that is still those kids grandmother, they may grow up and have a relationship with her and them wonder why you never helped them make contact.

I know for me personally gift giving IS my love language. I don’t call my family (i moved really far) but we exchange photos of kids and send gift back and forth. Just because someone doesnt want to call and talk on the phone to a child doesn’t mean they don’t love that child. You having that mind set is what is going to cause issues and distance in the relationships when your kids are teens. I have to ask do you call them for your kids to speak to them? Video calls? Anything? Cuz If you don’t then you have no room to talk. Phone calls go both ways.

Girl just say you got beef with his momma :laughing::woman_facepalming:t4:

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Wouldn’t it be your kids choice if they want presents from them or not, then? Just sounds like you’re being bitter just because. People have lives. People are busy. At least they’re making some type of effort to show some love maybe that’s their way of showing it :woman_shrugging: idk just seems… petty to me.

I have family like this. They wonder why/how my 6yr old is so.close with my dad who we see maybe once a year. Umm…because my dad makes an effort? Calls him the morning of his first day of school to say he loves him, he’s proud of him and to have a great day at school. Then calls after school to.see how it went. calls him.on his birthday. My dad hasn’t ‘bought’ a gift for my kid in years (I get something, dad what he got him and dads name on it so he doesn’t habe to mail.anything…lol) but he calls. My kid loves those calls more than the presents.


Tell her the reason why. A lot of the times we assume ppl think the same way as us. Sometimes they don’t consciously realize what they are doing. So they may think everything is ok while you are fuming on the inside.

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I ended up calling my mother grammazon grandma+amazon . It’s the only time she called. I can amazon by myself with no drama, thhhhaaaaannnkkkss


Yes the grandparents should make more of an effort for sure but the phone and traveling goes both ways. Both of you should be trying for the kids.

What a great daughter in law you are :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

I show no incentive do you show incentive by asking me how my health is you have no idea how sick I have been but that’s okay

When people get older they’re not gonna go miles away away to go see y’all like atleast Try and meet halfway and send them tickets to come see y’all if y’all live so far away

Does your husband reach out to her as well? Phones work both ways

You should appreciate any amount of effort smh.

I don’t think you are wrong for asking for no gifts but I think your intentions and reasoning behind it is wrong. Why does it matter how or when they spend their money on their grandkids. Sure a call would be nice but sometimes that can be more painful or difficult.
I told family to stop sending gifts cause the kids don’t play with anything after 3 days and it’s just clutter and collecting dust. I’m sick of stuff around my house not getting used and taking up space. :woman_shrugging:t2:


No you’re not wrong, but at the same time, i think you are the ahole. If you don’t live near them, then it isnt their fault your kids dont get to see them. You could make the effort too, as could your kids to facetime/call, etc. Why would you take this kind gesture away from your kids? Yeah, come to think of it, you are the ahole.

That’s more effort then most!!!

Not wrong at all, I tell family members all the time they would much prefer a phone call or a visit. When your kids are older they’ll know who has made the effort for them and they’ll cherish the ones that have

Just cause they don’t make contact doesn’t mean they don’t think of ur children if u have a sour relationship with family don’t make it ur children’s issue let the family send gifts to them

I’ve grown weary from that too, so we’ve said “ hey we are doing presence instead of presents from now on” so this can be a dinner with the whole family, an experience today like a game of bowling, a trip to the zoo, a family movie night, camping, a vacation, no unneeded clutter and crap but valuable time that is priceless.


You literally have to do nothing except MAYBE answer what ur kids want or could use?? It’s ur husbands parents… why would u be so selfish?

I think you being nit picky. Yes they could call but you do you call or your kids to reach out? The phone works both ways , visits work both ways. It might be hard to communicate over the phone when they haven’t built a in person relationship it’s hard to know what to talk about. I think it’s nice they even think about them at all.


Well do your kids call them?

I would allow them to send gifts if that’s what they want to do. Why take that away from them just because they don’t get to see them. You’re not just punishing your inlaws you’re punishing your children.


I can kinda see your point. However, my kids don’t have grandparents, they died before my kids were born so I would kind of love to have your issue.

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You said you haven’t seen your family in years either. Do they call and send gifts?

I do think you’re wrong… Grandmas should be allowed to send their grand kids gifts… Especially if they live far away!!  They still love them and it’s Christmas… Geez mom chill out!!!


Yet you guys made no effort to go visit family either? This is not a one side scenario. They probably are feeling the same way your are. I agree with the gifts though. They’re atleast thinking of them though. This is there way of saying they still care.

How old are they? Can they afford to travel to your place? Are they even healthy enough to travel to your place? Also… why haven’t you visited their place? I’m assuming you could afford to. I feel like you both could make more efforts if you both really wanted too. Traveling & phone calls go both ways. However if they just refuse then I can understand your frustrations. How old are the kids?? If they’re old enough to decide for themselves whether they want gifts from grandma or not let them decide. That’s not up to you if they’re old enough kids. You don’t want anything understandable, but if the kids still want their gifts from grandma, god let them.

Nope not wrong. Good for you. My sister is the same way. Don’t talk to my kids who are 10 and 12 but gets them birthday and Christmas gifts

the paternal grandparents to my children live 20 minutes down the road from us & don’t make an effort. For this reason we went no contact for 6 months. You are absolutely not wrong. And all these people saying you are bitter, so what if you are? I was. Bitter that they couldn’t make the effort to come see them. It is not your responsibility as a parent to make sure they have a relationship with them, it is solely on them. And if your kids don’t want to talk to them then do not make them.

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Petty much!! Wow, do y’all make any kind of effort to check in on your family back home? Phone works both ways. I’ll keep it simple to answering your question. Yes, you are a total a-hole for denying your children gifts from their family.

It depends: What effort have you made to have them call their grandparents particularly the one you obviously dislike? Howl old are they, have you visited them? Have you invited them to visit you. How is their finances and health. You may or may not have made the effort you should have, only you can answer that, but for your children’s growth and future well being think about ant stumbling block you may be causing because at some point in their future they are going to wonder about their grandparents and great grandparents. You and your children will know if you tried and that’s what will count!

They should put more effort but i wouldnt stop the gifts i mean atleast she thinks about em.

Wow ur a c u Next Tuesday

If your kids are old enough for phone calls have they reached out to the grandparents? It works both ways. Yes, you are TA for creating drama over a kind gesture. Let the kids decide whether or not they want their gifts.

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