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MIL Ignores Expecting Mom's Request To Buy Gender-Neutral Baby Clothes

Some parents decide early on that they don't want to push their child in any specific direction in terms of gender and sexuality. These parents prefer to have gender-neutral items in their home so that their child can grow up to be their true, authentic self.

Some parents feel strongly about straying away from the typical "blue for boys, pink for girls" stereotype.

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

As anyone can see, many baby brands and stores push the blue, rugged look for boys and the pink, frilly look for girls — especially from a very early age. Some parents just don't want to conform to that kind of style.

Recently, one soon-to-be mom wrote on Reddit about a situation she was having with her mother-in-law.

Unsplash | Mel Elías

The mom, who is seven months pregnant, has had a really "strange" pregnancy, as she's been pregnant through the coronavirus pandemic. She said it's made it impossible for her to do pregnancy things most women do — like classes, maternity photoshoots, and other fun things.

The mom also said she's very eco-friendly and plant-based.

Unsplash | Mike Von

She tries to opt for a diet and lifestyle that is environmentally friendly and uses less plastic. To get their home ready for the baby, they've been requesting specific things.

One thing she said she has been clear about is "gender-neutral clothing."

Unsplash | W

The mom said she was never very "feminine" and she didn't like the whole "pink, frilly" look for young babies — especially now that's she's pregnant with a girl.

She then said her MIL tends to be quite the opposite of her.

Unsplash | Jacek Dylag

"She's constantly online or in stores or travelling across the border to buy things and although it's kind, she often buys us lots of things we don't need even if we tell her not to," she said.

Due to the MIL's urge to shop, she wanted to know the baby's sex ASAP.

Unsplash | Edward Cisneros

"When I refused, she would regularly text me or my husband to see when my appointments were, and would repeatedly ask that I ask the ultrasound technician if they could tell gender yet," she said.

After finding out they were having a girl, her MIL went to town with shopping.

Unsplash | Lucrezia Carnelos

"She shows up with, I kid you not, 15 gift bags all labeled by month, and each and every one is stuffed to the brim with baby girl clothes. We did the actual opening of the gifts on Skype and I faked my reaction to virtually every one," she said.

This disappointed the soon-to-be mom greatly.

Unsplash | Nilay Sozbir

The mom said on the Reddit post that she was "looking forward" to thrift shopping for her future daughter, and getting some secondhand clothing the eco-friendly way.

She said she was "bummed out" that her MIL went so all out and feels like she's "having her grandchild" instead of her own daughter.

Unsplash | Gabriel Tovar

Many Reddit users said they've been in her position, but offered some advice.

"I would go through and sort out what you want and donate the rest. It's not your fault she spent that money when you expressed not to. Donate it all and move on like it never happened. You can tell her you donated it, too. You expressly told her not to do that, and she did it anyway. I get being excited, but she crossed the line. No one is forcing you to keep them," one person said.

There were some people who "understood" where the grandmother was coming from.

Unsplash | Ekaterina Shakharova

"Grandparents get excited and want to experience that "buying baby items" [thrill] again. It's fair. My family and my husband's have bought outfits for the girls that I didn't particularly like but I used anyway (usually to send a pic or when they visited). Indulging this to a degree is reasonable," one person said.

Others said the MIL needs to be told clearly.

Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

"Your MIL needs to be told, nicely the first time, that you prefer not to have new clothes and that while you appreciate all the time and effort she went to, that it's just too much.

"If I'm reading your post correctly, so far no one has told her how you/DH feel about shopping, gender roles, etc.

"She can't fix (or ignore, depending on the MIL) what she doesn't know," one person said.

Others said there's nothing wrong with passing them along if they don't like them.

Unsplash | Bonnie Kittle

"I've got a MIL just like you do. We're also one and done. I just politely say thank you and then we don't use whatever she bought. We wind up either passing them on to someone in our families or someone we hear is in need. If she's unwilling to listen and spend her money, that's on her," another added.

One Reddit user had a genius plan.

Unsplash | Adam Winger

"Return them to the store, sell the gift cards for cash and use that money towards thrift shopping, a 529 or something you feel is useful for your child. I did this [knowing] that even though my MIL spent over 400 dollars on clothing, I got about 200 dollars back. I sold the cards for 180 bucks," they wrote.

Another Reddit user said that there are those who could 100% use the items.

Unsplash | Metal Pandu

"Reach out to shelter homes during this time, I'm not sure what restrictions are like in your country and if their willing to take donations but I'd say with the quarantine [babies] being just born I'd say many people would benefit from donations There might be online charity shops as well," they said.

What do you think, did this MIL go too far?

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