MIL Demands New Parents Pay Her Back for Lavish Surprise Baby 'Gifts' With Their Tax Refund


baby shower presents

Do you need to be rich to have children? One grandmother seems to think so because despite her son and daughter-in-law's insistence that they had things covered for their soon-to-be born baby, she was determined to buy them pricey "gifts." But now she's demanding that they fork over their tax refund to pay her back. "How entitled do you have to be to believe that you have that right to somebody else’s tax return, for unneeded gifts that you insisted on buying?" her DIL fumed.

  • Fact number one: The Original Poster's (OP) mother-in-law hates her.

    That's the first thing she wants people to know in her post on Reddit

    "We (my husband and I) have no idea why," she wrote. 

    The couple recently got married and now BOOM, she's pregnant. But because they're young, they don't have too much money to splash out on baby gear.

    "Despite this, I am a master budget planner and deal finder, so we made it work," she explained.

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  • Although they don't have a ton of money, the OP was determined to make it work without any problems.

    Sure, they couldn't afford name-brand baby goods, but using sales, coupons, and thrift stores, the OP was able to get everything they needed.

    "We were proud of our accomplishments and eager for the chosen day to arrive!" 

    Her MIL, on the other hand, didn't think too much of their scrimping.

    "She instead took it upon herself to buy the most expensive and unnecessary items imaginable, even going so far as to insist on purchasing a full sized dining table and high chair so that we'd have some place 'proper' to eat our meals," the OP continued.

  • When they told her MIL that, no, they didn't need her fancy gifts, she was "extremely offended."

    They didn't even have room for a new table and the OP thought there was no shame in using their coffee table to eat their meals if that's what they could afford. 

    "We eventually caved a little and accepted a closet full of gifts so that she could feel like a 'responsible, loving grandmother,'" she continued.

    "Among those gifts were some picture taking outfits, some 'special' blankets, baby safe toys for tummy time, a TON of different diapers and wipes, baby safe laundry supplies, and a few other things. Basically, things we didn't really need, but would eventually use," she wrote. 

    "Happy middle ground, we thought."

  • Eventually the baby was born and everyone was thrilled.

    But then tax season rolled around and they had a few household repairs that they had earmarked their refund money to take care of.

    "Eventually, MIL enters the picture, with her hand out," the mom wrote. "She expected, no, DEMANDED that we hand over our entire refund to her, to pay her back for all of the money she spent in 'providing' for our child up until that point, because we couldn’t 'afford to do a good job of it....'"

    The mom had proof (i.e. texts) that they'd agreed she would buy certain things for them and what they both agreed those items would be.

    "[E]ven the off time when we couldn't make it to a store for something before they closed and asked if she could maybe pick it up instead, we had IN WRITING, her refusal for us to pay her back with a few bucks extra for gas because of the inconvenience, with her insisting it was a 'gift' instead," she explained. "All of this is besides the point though."

  • Now her MIL was repeatedly asking that they pay her back for her "gifts" with their tax returns.

    Every time they explained that they never needed her money -- she had promised that the goods were gifts.

    "That wasn't good enough of course and she was convinced we owed her," the OP continued.

  • Now the two parties are in a stand-off; her MIL thinks that they are entitled for taking the gifts, but the OP and her husband think she's completely wrong.

    "She never did get that money and we made it very clear that we are not obligated to pay her back for ANYTHING she chooses to buy for HER grandchildren," the mom wrote.

    "We also made it very clear that we don't need or want anything from her in the future. Gifts should be given out of the goodness of your heart, and not as a means to financially manipulate and control your so called loved ones."

  • Most people agreed -- her MIL was trying to control her with her money.

    "Sounds like love bombing/loan sharking to me," one person commented. "My mom does this to everyone in the family, even extends to friends and acquaintances. And the things she buys are way over her budget! She'll randomly give gifts (unwanted, no occasion, etc.) and use it as leverage to get her way. Be wary of small gifts, even favors. Seek no help or guidance from this woman."

    "If she ever sends anything in the future, send it back saying 'Thanks, but we weren't thinking of buying this right now,'" someone else advised.

    "What the actual F?" a third commenter chimed in. "I would not accept gifts from her ever again. Not even birthday or Christmas gifts. Apparently gifts come with strings attached. Maybe even returning the remainder of the gifts. If she drops off gifts or send them to you, return them to her."

    For now, the mom says she's willing to allow her MIL to be a pain in the butt because her husband isn't ready to cut off the relationship completely. 

    "He still loves her and feels the kids at least deserve a chance to have a relationship with her," she later wrote.