Post # 1
I’m at such a loss with how to handle this. Background- my hubs and his sister did not talk for just over two years, and have only been on speaking terms again for about the last 18 months. She (admittedly) caused that dispute between them and took ownership, and it was a matter between only them (other family did not get involved). We got married four months ago and she didn’t acknowledge our wedding at all or even send a text saying “hey, welcome to the family!” (Destination wedding so being pregnant she obviously couldn’t attend and we understood.) later she said she “forgot”… that was hurtful to hear, for both of us.
fast forward to now. Her baby shower is Saturday. I was invited by my MIL and although I have absolutely no relationship, good or bad, with my SIL, I know it’s the right thing to support my new family and go, be pleasant, etc etc. she’s my sister in law but despite my attempts over the last 8 years to form a friendship with her, she hasn’t reciprocated (yet tells her brother/my husband she likes me… she’s interesting and difficult).
All of that aside, I can truly appreciate the fact that my husband wants to be the best Uncle he can be and get his unborn nephew/niece a great gift. He’s a great person for being able to put aside any other feelings about his sister to want to support his niece or nephew so much. I’m being as supportive as I can as well.
BUT. This is where I am having a really hard time. My hubs wants to buy his sister a thousand dollar running stroller. My jaw just about hit the floor. We have a decent income and are equal earners but I still consider $1,000 to be a LOT of money. Now if he had said he wanted to start a college fund or buy a bond for $1,000, I would have been much more understanding! My heartburn over this is bc there are running strollers that cost less than $1,000. The “fancy” stroller is benefiting his sister, not our future niece/nephew. A college fund or bond would benefit the child directly. I would still be hesitant if we should spend that much given our current financial picture but it would be easier to swallow if it were 100% be for the child.
for perspective, I was imaging spending up to about $250, and I would consider that “really nice” at that dollar amount. For close friends of ours, we generally spend $100-$150 on baby shower gifts.
Am I being crazy (and should i not object to him spending this much), or should I have a talk with my hubs about how I feel about giving his sister such an expensive gift that I don’t think really benefits the child?
Post # 2
I think that’s pretty ridiculous- FI & I make decent money too but we would never spend that on a shower gift.
Sounds like your DH wants to “buy” sil’s affection. If she’s aggressive and unpredictable, I can kind of understand that. Conflict is hard for some ppl, especially family.
Voice your opinion.
Post # 3
1000$ is insane! Sometimes people try to warm up their relationships with family by buying them OTT presents. Its sounds like thats what your DH is doing- trying to make a grand gesture. Theres nothing inherently wrong with it… but I would push back on the budget. A 250 or $500 baby shower gift would still be really really generous! I typically spend 50, $100 if I reallllly love you.
Because typically… after the grand gesture is made, the SIL will continue behaving in the exact same manner and the only difference will be that you are out 1000 bucks. I also dont like rewarding/bribing bad behavoir… so you could try that angle with your DH.
Post # 4
$1,000 is way over the top!!! In my area, $250 would be over the top, and only the Grandmas would give something that large. Most people spend between $30-$70….
I agree with PP that say he sounds like he’s trying to buy his way back onto her good side, which probably won’t work. I would push back on this one. There is no way I would spend that much.
Post # 5
lar31017 : that is an insane amount of money on a stroller! Making good money doesn’t mean you waste it on ridiculous stuff lol. You can’t buy someone’s affection so I would personally drop the shower gift budget. And if he’s set on that amount then I would only agree to it if it was the seed money for a college fund.
Post # 6
That sounds like an insane amount of money to spend on a baby shower gift and/or on a stroller. I’d speak up.
Post # 7
Yeah nah that shit wouldn’t fly with me. Even putting aside the fact that she hasn’t been kind, that’s too much. And honestly I think strollers are something parents should buy themselves. $250 is generous, even if you guys were close and she was lovely, that’s still a lot of money. $1000 is insane.
Post # 8
Definitely tell your DH exactly your feelings on the price range of the gift. Sounds like he wants to show everyone that he is the bigger person and suck up to his sister. He doesn’t need to prove how forgiving he is with a $1000 stroller. Your price range is the way to go.
SIL is like the guy someone dates who breaks up with you just before Christmas so he doesnt have to give you any gifts, then wants to get back together after New Years, so he can also party on NYE.
Post # 9
I like the bond idea. How about a college savings plan?
Post # 10
A $1000 stroller is absurd, even if she is family. Sounds like DH is trying to buy her affection like PP’s have mentioned. Your ideas to buy a bond or start a college fund seem reasonable and certainly benefit the child more than some status symbol stroller!
Post # 11
That’s WAY too much money (especially for someone you’re not extremely close with)! I would push back on it.
Maybe a compromise would be to do $250 for a stroller (which is really generous in and of itself) and put the rest towards the bond or savings plan for the child?
Post # 12
Did you suggest buying a bond to him? I agree with you. The stroller will benefit the mom more than the baby. Can you buy another “big ticket” item that you are more comfortable with such as a crib?
I think $1K on a baby shower gift is crazy. Especially on something like a luxury stroller. Just put your foot down.
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for the quick replies! Hubs and I have had a rough patch recently, we’re both extremely stressed at work at the moment and it’s been hard to connect, so I didn’t want to continue disagreeing with something if it wasn’t truly warranted, as this is going to drive a wedge between us until we move past it one way or another.
He has a history of thinking big gifts are acceptable. But I mean more like $200-300 type of things, nothing ever to this scale. Usually it’s bc he knows the person really wants something so he gets it, even if it’s a bit extravagant.
I think someone nailed it on the head with the emotion I couldn’t put my finger on before – It seems like he’s buying her attention and care. And that’s what makes me the most upset. She’s been really crappy in recent years and I truly feel like she doesn’t deserve such a good brother. However I don’t have siblings so I know he doesn’t understand why I’d think that.
Also, DanaWeddingGuest.. you really made me laugh! This is SO like that guy who breaks up with you to skip the holidays. I don’t even want a wedding gift from her, but a simple card would have meant the world!
Post # 14
everythingpink : I wasn’t sure I wanted to even offer an alternative gift (like the savings plan or bond) until I got a reality check on if I was being crazy or not. Now that I know there’s heavy support that a $1k stroller is ridiculous, and my sanity check is done, I’ll definitely need to discuss the savings plan/bond. Not sure if I’ll even see the hubs tonight (work schedules are hectic right now) so hopefully we have time to discuss it soon.
Post # 15
lar31017 : Holy Toledo, that is expensive for such a short-lived item. I agree with you. I have a feeling that your husband is trying to show his love through an outlay of money, and he needs to learn that money does not equal love. He can outreach in other ways (offer to help construct the crib, do small fixes around the house, etc.) Warning: hubs prob won’t admit that this is his goal in being overly generous. Also keep in mind that spending $1,000 upfront is a dangerous precedent to set. Your “interesting and difficult” SIL will expect similar or comparable gifts for the next 30 years (through Nephew’s wedding day, I suspect.) Plus subsequent offspring she is bound to have. It’s a money trap. Set the tone for REASONABLE gifts now, and show overtures / olive branches in other ways. My only criticism of you, OP, is that it’s a tad petty that your main focus is that such a large sum of cash don’t go to benefit SIL directly, that doesn’t really matter though I agree the longevity of the gift makes it not worth 4 figures.
I’ll conclude by just reminding you that you’re not dating anymore, you are married and an expense like this is something that absolutely must be cleared by you. The two of you must reach a compromise on what is reasonable here. Another solution if he really wants sis to have her dream stroller is to go in with other sibs, cousins or friends.