As the parent of an infant, it can be awkward to navigate accepting gifts from family that you don’t actually like.
You appreciate the gesture of the relative to give something nice to your new child, but that’s not enough for you to embrace something you really don’t admire.
One Redditor was recently forced to navigate those waters, and it ended with some drama. She explained it all in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Kate_ae on the site, made the ins and outs of the conflict pretty clear with her title for the post.
“AITA For giving away clothes my MIL has given my son because they’re too girly?”
She first outlined the dynamics of the key relationship.
“My infant son is my [mother-in-law’s (MIL)] only grandchild.”
“She delights in buying him things he does not need. Eg. coat hangers when she knows we have nowhere to hang his clothes, they’re all folded in drawers. She also loves to give him clothes.”
“The problem is, the clothes she gifts are all really girly.”
She rattled off some examples.
“Some of the clothes she has bought him include:”
- “A pink shirt with a crown and the words ‘beauty queen’ “
- “A pale pink onesie with ‘girl power’ spelled out in flowers”
- “A white onesie with ‘Nanna’s girl’ embroidered on in pink.”
- “A pink tutu.”
And then some counter-examples.
“The only things she has ever given him that aren’t pink were:”
- “A frilly romper with red and blue flowers which he hasn’t grown into yet.”
- “A frilly romper out of a (very cute) beehive fabric which I can’t use as it’s so badly made it’s unsafe (strangulation risk)”
- “A white and green onesie size newborn (after she had spoken to me about clothing sizes and I’d confirmed he was two sizes larger than newborn.”
OP did offer a caveat after sharing those complaints.
“Now, I’m not terrified of my son wearing pink.”
“He has plain pink clothes. He has clothes with pink apples on.”
“He has clothes with purple, pink and blue stripes. He has clothes with yellow love hearts.”
“He has a purple and grey cardigan.”
“But the clothes my MIL buys are something else. I always just say ‘thank you for the thought but he has plenty of clothes’ and if she asks for ideas I suggest ‘what about a toy or a book?’ “
“Mostly she just says anything we don’t need to pass onto a friend who can use it, which I do.”
But the issue came up directly at a recent gathering.
“Everything was fine until MIL asked over Easter why my son never wears anything she gives us…”
“…and I explained it’s all a little bit girly, but I have a friend who has a girl and we swap clothes (her girl is the first after a long line of boys and so she gets nothing very girly in her hand-me-downs).”
“MIL huffed that ‘she didn’t think people worried about that these days.’ Which I get.”
“I buy him dolls and trucks. 95% of my sons clothes are (what I consider) gender neutral.”
OP clarified the distinction.