I thought I would share something that I "almost" did. I'm sharing this because I've never claimed to be without faults and I've made plenty of mistakes in my life. It was one of those things that I innocently did, and I truly never even thought about it. I wanted to show how easy it is sometimes for us as MILs to do something, with no ulterior motive in sight, only to figure out that we did something we shouldn't have.
It's always been "my job" at Christmas to fill the stockings for everyone. I say job, but it's something I love to do for everyone. I still get up in the middle of the night, and sneak down and placed small, wrapped gifts in everyone's stockings from Santa. Even last year, I filled DH's, YS's and DIL's. (DH will fill mine). It literally is just tradition.
So I'm wrapping stocking things last night, while no one was home, knowing YS/DIL and GS will be here next week, so I needed to get them done and hid. I wrap DH's, then YS's, then DIL's and then I start to wrap GS's.....uh oh. It hit me while I was wrapping the 3rd one....oooh....you shouldn't have done that. I bet Mommy will want to fill his stocking this year, his first real Christmas! ARRRRGGGGGG. Ooooh....Mommy may even want to do YS's, and YS may want to do Mommys!
So, I finished wrapping GS's stuff and then I put all of them up. I realized that just because I have always done it, doesn't mean I should have. When I bought the stuff, it was purely out of habit and I never even thought about that DIL probably wanted to do that for her Son. I'll get with YS next week and make sure he is going to take care of DIL's and I'm sure he'll know about GS's (they do things together). Seriously, YS is generous with DIL, but many times, he doesn't think of these things as far as something like DIL's stocking, so I'll double-check with him just to make sure he is going to do it. I'm hoping that DIL brings up GS's and YS's stocking because I don't want to ask her and make her feel like I didn't think she was going to.
I just wanted to share this because it served as a reminder to me, that as MILs, DILs, GPs, Parents, Brothers, Sisters, whatever the title....we do things without thinking sometimes and really don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings.
Pooh, I am curious, why do you think this is a boo-boo? Your tradition is exactly the same as ours as far as stockings go. Even before DS married, I had a stocking for future DIL at our house. As GC arrived, each got a stocking. What they do at their house is up to them, but this is my(and our FOO's). Both my mother and my MIL did the same for our children. That is each had stockings at their homes for everyone. We did our stockings at home as well. I have simply carried it on.
I ask because this is the first year that no one will be coming to our house. We will be travelling and meeting at DD house. I have the stockings hung here, but plan to take them with us filled. I have been wondering about this, thinking maybe I should change tradition, but decided to go ahead.
I see it as a boo-boo, in my case, because YS/DIL will be traveling here for Christmas. They will not have the opportunity to have "Santa" leave goodies for GS at their house and will be celebrating Christmas morning at ours. I guess when I thought about it, part of my joy of being a Mother was getting to be Santa for my children and probably even more so for their "firsts". I wouldn't have worried about it if they were doing "Santa" and I was just bringing a stocking from MiMi and Pappy, or they opened their "Santa" one at home and came to my house and had one from MiMi and Pappy.
It could be that DIL may not care if I did it and since she knows that I always do it for everyone, was expecting me to. I don't know, but I see it as a boo-boo on my part by not checking with DIL to see what she had planned first. I put myself in her place and thought how I would have felt if my MIL or anyone decided they were doing my Son's stocking from Santa.
Does that make sense?
Makes perfect sense. In my case, they will have opportunity to do whatever they wish at their home. My stockings will just be more presents presented in a different type of box ;D I wish you a Merry Christmas, and enjoy your visit.
wish I could edit--"our"=your, although I did enjoy our visit(exchange) here ;D
Fixed it, G.
And Pooh, I see exactly where habit was taking you and what stopped you. I think you may be right and it is time for a mom/gramma conference. Good for you! :D :D
Wow,thanks, I never would have thought of not filling the stockings for my ds, dil, and granddaughter. It is baby's first Xmas and they are traveling to my part of the country, so they will not be at their home for Xmas. You may have saved me from a faux pas here. I will be checking with my dil on this.
Pooh, thanks for sharing that story. You're a good mom, MIL, and GM.
I hope your DIL knows how blessed she is to have a MIL who considers her feelings. When our 1st child turned 1 MIL traveled to our area. She announced she would be making her cake because " she always makes the kids birthday cakes" umm... I didn't let her as it was my desire as her.mommy to make the cake. But I allowed myself to feel guilty about it since I didn't let MIL do it. Like you said, it wasn't my intent to take something away from her but to do something myself. Neither is wrong but communication is key. I envy your DIL.
ST - Good for you for immediately setting boundaries and opting for your own traditions when MIL told you instead of asking. No easy, I know. Hugs...
I haven't posted in a long time, but still frequently read/lurk. This post caught my eye, because my own MIL stepping in to have the 'firsts' when ODS was a baby caused some issues. She didn't have bad intentions, I just truly believe she didn't think that they were things I might want to do. It would've done a lot for our relationship if she had asked first, so I could've gently explained I would like the chance to do those things for my baby. And her feelings wouldn't have gotten hurt that the things she just sprung on me out of nowhere didn't get used.
Pooh, your DS and DIL are lucky to have you in their life! Open communication is so important.
Thank you all. It really struck me when I realized what I almost did, how easy it was to do something, just out of habit. If I hadn't thought about it and just went through with it, I can see where I could have hurt DIL's feelings (and possibly DS's) without even realizing it. The hope would be that they would be understanding and not think it was done to take anything away from them, but they would have just shrugged it off and thought, "She's so used to doing it, she didn't even think about it." That to me is what people do that want to get along.
One of many things I have learned from this forum is to try and stop and think about what I am doing, even innocently because I'm a creature of habit at times.
Elise, yours nor mine may not mind. My DIL may have even thought, "I don't have to worry about buying stocking stuff cause MiMi will have that covered." I know they are on a tight budget, so it might even be helpful for me to do it for them. I wrapped them and put them in all a bag, so if she wants to do it, then I'll just stick them under the tree and they will have extra, small goodies to open. If she hasn't budgeted for it, thinking I would do it, then I have them.
Now I have to figure out how to word it where she doesn't think that I thought she wasn't going to do it. I think I'll just catch her and ask. Something like, "I know this is kind of GS's first Christmas where he old enough to figure out how to open stuff. I'm going to fill DH's stocking like I always do. Are you wanting to do YS's and GS's this year, or would it be helpful to you if I did it?"
This thread is so much about learning to not be so self-absorbed and/or unconscious. Thoughtfulness is a learned skill. New babies don't think of others first before they yell or coo. It's cute then but if it's a lifetime trait, not so much. Sometimes it's not even what we say but the tone of our voice. Sometimes the opinions and reactions of others are set in concrete before we meet. A new DIL could be steeped in tradition or not have a clue. The terrain in life can be rough and we didn't start out All Terrain Vehicles. (Neither did anyone else.) My hat is off to you, P, for pausing and thinking...right behind that was respect and consideration. How about..."Have you had time to think about stockings? Got any ideas? Want any help?" Hugs...
Quote from: luise.volta on December 16, 2013, 07:33:11 am
"Have you had time to think about stockings? Got any ideas? Want any help?"
I love both your responses Pooh and Louise. Will use a variant of both myself regarding the stockings. Nudges to help me remain more aware and observant are so helpful.
As a new grandma I have wanted to buy a lot of clothes for my almost 1 year old granddaughter, who lives far away. I have worked it out so that I go shopping seasonally for baby at a time convenient for my dil to respond on the iphone. I take pics of things I think dil will like or she has told me baby needs, zip them out to her, she then looks at them and makes the final pick, texts me back which ones she likes and I ship them out. She told me last time she loves getting those boxes because it is like Christmas opening them. It has been hard to develop a connection with her sometimes and this has helped a lot - fun for me, a win for her and I get pics of baby wearing the cute little things. My ds loves that this is working and saves them lots of money to boot.
Great idea, Elise. Technology is so helpful! Most of the time...
DS is the one keeping the stocking tradition going at our house. He insists on it every year! But, we all (even DDD - dear disabled daughter) contribute to everyone's stockings which makes it fun. You hear the pitter-patter of feet late at night when someone is sneaking in to play Santa. You never know what funny little gifts you'll find.
I hope we can do something similar if/when GC arrive - everyone popping little presents in the kids stockings, too.
As a young mom many years ago it wouldn't have bothered me one bit to have the help of a loving GP or other family member. I didn't have a need to be "first & only" with a cake, stocking, special outing, special outfit or whatever. I figured the more love the merrier, and that there would be enough special cakes, stockings, outfits and outings to go around. I understand some P's desire to be the "one and only" but it just wasn't my style.
I love that idea Elise. I think I'll adopt that one too.
HI, I know this is after the fact but might work for next year. We also do the stocking tradition and as the kids got older, we also ran into the do we or don't we. What I have done for the last few years, is to pick up a bunch of little gifts that are wrapped and which I put into a basket. I am usually the first up so just in case someone's stocking doesn't get filled or is a little short, I sneak a few of these generic gifts in there. The kids all think Santa just dropped a few secret gifts off and it prevents anyone from being short.
That's a great idea too.
Here's how it played out. I decided to just tell her the truth. A couple of days before Christmas, I simply told her what I had done and followed that with, "I didn't even think about it until I was wrapping stuff, and then it hit me that you probably wanted to do GS's and YS's stocking. So I hid all the stuff I had bought to put under the tree instead in case you wanted to do theirs."
She just laughed and said, "I wasn't going to do theirs here. I know you do them so I bought stuff for ours when we get home from Santa. The only thing I ask is that you don't have stuff here from Santa because I want him to grow up thinking Santa visits at home."
So it ended up being a good thing that I had bought the stuff! And no, I didn't have anything from Santa. To me, that is the parents job! Lol....I did my years.
What a great outcome...based on mutual kindness and consideration. And a very valuable lesson in unconscious assumptions and where they might lead. Thanks, P!
I'm late to the party, but I do give stocking stuffers and never really say who they're from Stockings are hung, but the gifts are in gift bags. When we have our big family (husband's side) I do little stockings for all the kids (mostly older boys now) with a little piece of money in it and my GC's are included. These are gifts "Santa" left at our house for each of them. No bigger from the parent's at all. My 3 year old GD was so excited to have "real" money in her stocking. My GS who is 10 was ho hum about it.