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Mom Reimburses Boyfriend’s Mother To Shut Her Up About ‘Expensive’ Gifts She Bought Grandkids

Woman pulling hundred dollar bills out of wallet.
Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

Naturally, the first thought that comes to mind when we’ve purchased a gift for someone is that we hope they’ll like it.

So it’s understandable that we might find ourselves a tad disappointed if their reaction is anything less than elated when they finally open it.

Particularly if the gift in question cost you a pretty penny.

The in-laws of Redditor gowithmyson recently paid a visit during which they gave the original poster (OP)’s twins, their grandchildren, gifts.

The price of which they made abundantly clear throughout their visit.

Not wanting to be reminded of the price anymore, the OP felt there was an easy solution to get them to stop.

While her solution worked, it was met with anger and displeasure from her husband and in-laws.

Wondering if she did anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for paying the in-laws back for gifts given to my kids.”

The OP explained how the presents her in-laws brought her children ended up causing unexpected tension, largely owing to the price.

“Today, my boyfriend’s family came to see our twins.”

“They do not visit often (usually four times a year) even though they live close by.”

“They do not support us financially in any way.”

“Recently, they went on vacation and wanted to come by because they had gifts for the children.”

“I’ve never stopped them from visiting, so was happy to set a time today.”

“They came today, and my twins, who are two, did like their gifts which were two teddy bears.”

“They were uncomfortable because they don’t know their grandparents.”

“They were pushing themselves on the kids and forcing hugs etc.”

“Nana mentioned over and over that the toys were $15.00 each.”

“As if she felt they were unthankful or something?”

“I am sure these toys will be played with, and I said so several times.”

“I said thank you repeatedly.”

“My kids are behind in language, so we’re unable to say thank you but I think they liked them.”

“She continued to go on and on about the gifts that were not asked for.”

“It got really uncomfortable for me, so I got up and took $30 from my purse and paid for the toys.”

“She took the money and didn’t mention the cost again.”

“She said the cost at least ten times in two hours.”

“While I think I shouldn’t have to pay for anything I didn’t ask to be bought, I could not listen to it any longer.”

“My boyfriend is mad now that they have gone home, saying I embarrassed them.”

“Did it make me an a**hole for paying them back implying that they are too poor to buy an inexpensive gift?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for reimbursing her in-laws.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s in-laws had every right to be embarrassed, but not remotely owing to the OP, who was only being polite for reimbursing her in-laws after they made the cost of their presents so vehemently known.


“They were embarrassing themselves, and you got them to shut up.”- namesaremptynoise


“That’s really weird to mention the cost continually, and maybe it will teach her a lesson.”

“It’s not the amount spent but the intent.”

“Also, I can’t stand when family members try to force affection from kids, especially when they don’t know them well.”- MaybePristine

“That’s not what happened here.”

“Your MIL thought $30 would buy her a ticket across your kids’ boundaries and got flabbergasted when she found out it didn’t.”

“So you refunded her money.”

“That’s just good customer service.”

“NTA.”- Libba_Loo


“Your actions spoke louder than any words she could have said.”

“You’re right in thinking that she saw her so-called gifts as something that put you in debt.”-Individual_Ad_9213

“Not the AH.”

“Sh*tty grandparents who think $30 worth of teddy bears makes them good grandparents whom the kids don’t even recognize.”- btsterrie


“They mentioned the money, and if they didn’t want it, they wouldn’t have taken it.”- Selmo20


“She went on and on about the cost until you paid her the cost, then she stopped talking about it.”

“Seems like she was expecting that payment.”

“She doesn’t seem like she was embarrassed.”

“Your bf needs to understand that she was mollified with the money, so that was what she wanted.”

“She never tried to refuse it – therefore, you read the room correctly and did what she expected of you.”

“You are fine.”- Foggy_Radish


“I think it was an appropriate response.”

“You don’t tell people the cost of the gift.”

“That’s inappropriate.”- Wandering_aimlessly9


“30 whole bucks they spent on the kids and were expecting what in return?”

“Your kids to play happy families with them for pics?”

“Nope, that was too high a price to pay, and you did the right thing.”

“They seem truly weird.”- Peanutsandcheese2021


“If they didn’t want the money, they would have refused and said they were a gift.”

“That they didn’t say that suggests that those weren’t gifts from the grandparents, they were just delivery drivers.”- LowAdvisor9274


“Why did she take the money?”

“She could have refused.”

“Seems like she got exactly wanted she wanted: the money.”

“Your boyfriend is an a-hole to you here.”- Dry-Lake4777

“So they mentioned the price multiple times.”

“It’s either they wanted money/wanted to make themselves seem superior to you/call you poor.”

“You did great by giving them money.”

“So now it’s not like you owe them or anything.”

“I know why your boyfriend is upset, but that’s a red flag.”

“Good luck OP!”

“NTA btw.”- Gaiagaang


“They don’t interact much with your children, so naturally, the children won’t be the typical ‘super happy to see grandma & grandpa!'”

“for a 2-year-old, not seeing someone for months at a time is a very long time.”

“These people are like strangers to them.”

“Is your MIL materialistic by chance?”

“Maybe she’s thinking the price of the gifts should mean the children appreciate it & her more.”

“But they’re 2 & totally not going to understand that concept.”- AbbyBirb


“If she didn’t want to be reimbursed, why did she bring it up?”

“My only question is, why you allow them to force hugs on your children?”

“My child is a hugger by nature, but if someone ever forced a hug on him if he didn’t want it, I would intervene immediately.”- lmchatterbox

“NTA She took the money with no hesitation and shut up.”

“Therefore, they weren’t gifts.”- PsychologicalBit5422

“Ask your boyfriend why they took the money if it wasn’t about the money.”- InsideSufficient5886

“Omg NTA.”

“My FIL married a woman who was nuts like that.”

“They came over (before I got off work) & ordered a pizza.”

“When I got there a few mins later, my husband called & ordered two subs for us (he wasn’t sure what plans I made for dinner).”

“So later that evening, when she got me alone, she was demanding I pay for half the pizza even tho my FIL bought their pizza & we had subs (my fil had $).”

“She even wanted the 12 cents.”

“FIL got our daughter a Johnny jumper. She literally stole it off my doorframe (at 1, it was her fav toy-mine too).”

“It wasn’t much. It was the point (her son was expecting & she didn’t want to wait, even tho they have to be older to use).”

“My FIL made her turn around after she drove an hour & half home & bring it back with an apology.”

“Ppl like this don’t get better either.”

“If you try to bite your tongue for peace, they see pushover.”

“Next, they will expect you to buy the Christmas presents.”

“$15 isn’t much for a teddy bear or for any gift (esp for grandkids), so the fact that she keeps bringing up the price is insane.”

“What else are you supposed to think- that she thinks you want one for yourself?!?!”- misskelly08


“They embarrassed themselves by constantly bringing up the cost.”- kiwimuz


“I subscribe to this reaction so much.”

“She was trying to manipulate and guilt you and your kids.”

“She’s the one who should be embarrassed, and your bf needs to grow a backbone.”

“His mother was being a jerk.”- QuailPuzzled1286


“I have family that behaves similarly.”

“if your in-laws are talking so much about the exact price of the thing they bought, I would’ve taken the hint that they expect money back.”

“And then if they don’t expect money back, they’ll say ‘oh no, don’t worry about that, my treat’ or something of the like.”

“This whole situation is uncomfortable, and you handled it well IMO.”- hereforhelpandmemes

It’s hard to imagine what the OP’s in-laws were hoping to accomplish by constantly bringing up the price of the teddy bears if they didn’t want to be reimbursed.

As the OP was by all means gracious in thanking them, two-year-olds are still on a learning curve when it comes to saying thank you and appreciation.

One can only hope that the OP’s in-laws learned to avoid any future embarrassments and not mention the price of any further gifts.

That, or they now know an easy way to earn a few extra dollars here and there…

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.