My birthday is this weekend. I turn 40 which means I think a lot about my dad and miss him. My birth story was all about him really. He was an older first time dad for his generation. His coworkers and friends teased him mercilessly about how he was going to get nervous when my mother went into labor. So, he was very, very, very calm about it. He watched cartoons with my older (half) sister. They ate marshmallows and grapes. My mother cleaned house. They didn't get to the hospital until about an hour before I was born. Then my father apparently became the proudest father to ever come home with a baby and grinned like he had invented babies for weeks.
But, my birthday also means my mother wants to get and give me a gift. A couple of weeks ago it was that she wanted to get my daughter a gift for her birthday. My mom is on a super limited income. Most goes to pay her medical bills and my sister's bills. Neither my very overindulged child nor I really needs a gift. But my mom feels like she should give them. I know that this fall with all of its birthdays will bring more gift angst, followed by Christmas.
How do you work out teaching someone that we would rather she spend time with us and share herself, her memories, before she can't than have some disposable something we don't need? Or am I wrong to tell her no, don't go shopping and spending a lot of money on things we don't want or need?
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