We are so blessed to have LO's grandparents babysitting him in our house during the day. They play with him, feed him, take care of vacuuming / dishes / kid & cloth diaper laundry, take him on outings almost daily, etc. They are always willing to do some extra time if need be. We pay them a small amount (about half the cost of an in-home daycare), given our financial situation and their family dynamic.
That being said, I am getting really bothered by how much they buy for LO. About 50% of his "stuff" was bought by them, almost all unnecessary. They buy toys, books, clothes, supplies (bibs, spoons, sippies), etc. They never check with us or ask us what he needs. At *least* monthly we tell them directly to not buy any more toys. They've gotten better about the toys but for example, this is what they've bought in just the past 2 weeks:
- A big musical book
- A set of toy animals (for "school")
- A set of letter magnets (for "school")
- A toothbrush (he has 3 now)
- Cheap plastic plates & bowls
..... I know they are just trying to be generous and caring and loving. But honestly I feel a little subverted as the parent. Shouldn't I get to pick out my child's plates and toothbrushes? Shouldn't I get a say in the sheer amount of *stuff* my house has? If they notice a need, is it too much to ask them to run it by us? Is it too much to ask them to confine gift giving to traditional occasions? Sometimes I feel like a visitor in my own house or the backup parent. I look around my house and it's not my stuff, it's theirs... for LO.
In terms of finances, I don't really know how to compare our situations. We are two teachers in a very low-paying state. They are a semi-retired couple who is trying to sell an older home that's depreciated & move into a resort retirement complex.
I know this might seem really dumb and maybe I should just shut up this part of my brain and be thankful. If you were in my shoes, how would you feel and act and think?