Dilemma: ‘My mother-in-law gives my child far fewer gifts than her other grandchild, should I say something about it?’

Do you have a pressing issue and would you like to hear someone else’s opinion? Subway shares a reader’s dilemma each week. This week: Nour (29), who finds it annoying that her son receives fewer gifts from her mother-in-law than his niece, the other grandchild of her mother-in-law.

Nour: “I have a treasure of a mother-in-law, I would like to say that first. She is very sweet to my 6 year old son Ryo, babysits regularly and we can always count on her when we are up. But my mother-in-law has another grandchild, a girl, Giulia. She and Ryo are only a month apart, so a few years ago she suddenly gained two grandchildren. She was overjoyed of course, and she also goes through fire for her granddaughter. Just a little too much, I think.

Deep daughter wish

Ever since Giulia was born, I notice that my mother-in-law is more attracted to her. I know that she would have liked to have a daughter herself, she once told me. Something that was not going to happen after the birth of her three sons. Of course she loves her children dearly, but she also had a deep daughter wish, so it is still a loss somewhere. In Giulia she now has a granddaughter. A very sweet child, also really a girl-girl who loves tutten, doll clothes, bags and jewelry. My mother-in-law thinks that’s wonderful: they can be sweet together for hours on end. On the other hand, my mother-in-law is just as enthusiastic about kicking a ball with Ryo, or making dragons and dinosaurs with him – because Ryo is really a boy-boy again.

More gifts for granddaughter

So far nothing wrong, but I’ve also noticed lately that my mother-in-law buys presents for her granddaughter more often. Usually she gives it when Ryo isn’t around – but I find out later because Giulia makes a grand announcement that she got a necklace/hairband/glittery stuff from grandma. Recently Ryo and I paid an unannounced visit to my mother-in-law and Giulia was there too. Had she gotten a brand new princess dress from her grandmother. Ryo saw that and brought it up when we got back home. “Why does Giulia get presents from grandma and I don’t?” he asked. Yes, then of course I was speechless. I don’t remember exactly what I said, I think it was a belated birthday present, but his question pierced my soul. The fact that it strikes me is one thing, but now my child also notices something and I find that annoying. Because yes, why is that the case? Purely because my mother-in-law is so happy with a granddaughter, a girl, or is there more at play?

Dilemma: discuss or not?

I am now very much in doubt: should I say something about it or not? Even my husband has no idea about this situation, I think he honestly doesn’t notice – and cares less about it, maybe. On the other hand, I don’t want to stir things up in the family or point the finger. Again, my mother-in-law is a treasure of a grandmother to her grandson. And I really don’t care about the gifts themselves. Ryo gets enough and honestly I don’t want all that junk in the house either. But gifts are of vital importance to children and then it is quite sad to see that your niece gets more than you. I find it a difficult dilemma, so I am very curious what others would do.”

What do you think Nour should do? Comment on our Facebook page! The responses will then be published next week.

Last week

Gave last week Subwayreader’s advice to Ciska (43), who was quite annoyed by the fact that a divorced boyfriend of her husband keeps texting and calling her.

Monja says: “Just in Dutch, say that you don’t feel comfortable with it. Asking why he texts you so much and why he should talk to your husband better.”

Marian thinks: “I would tell your husband and let them read the apps – and say that it makes you very uncomfortable. This way your man knows that you will remain honest with him and he can talk to his friend about it. Who knows it might help. Good luck.”

Lindsey concludes: “You give him some hope. If you want him to stop, you need to be clearer. In short: just apply Dutch directness.”

“I was pretty done with all this divorce stuff, but now that he apparently only texts and calls me, I feel very uncomfortable with this.”

Posted by Metro Holland on Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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Dilemma: ‘My mother-in-law gives my child far fewer gifts than her other grandchild, should I say something about it?’