Author Topic: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree  (Read 5181 times)

Carlin

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Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« on: February 06, 2017, 01:25:22 PM »
Four months ago DH and I moved far from home, and my parents are coming to visit us in March.  We moved to an urban area (at least to us), and my parents are extremely unfamiliar with this sort of environment.  My parents do NOT have a lot of money, and are from an extremely rural area; but my mom in particular views every time she finds herself in a relatively populated location as an opportunity to "go shopping."
When I ask her what she would like to do or see when she comes to visit, all she insists on is that she wants to "go shopping."  I am trying very hard to not spend frivolous money and save, but I know that if I do not participate my mother will feel guilty, and then make me feel guilty, and try to spend money on me that she doesn't have, and it will generally ruin the trip.  I cannot get her to see the benefits of doing something else, like the zoo, museums, hiking, exploring the actual city rather than the strip malls around it...etc.
My mom and I have a very rocky relationship that has been getting steadily better.  Is it worth pushing the envelope and possibly regressing our progress?  Should I just save for and eat the expense for the occasion in the name of bonding with her?  Shopping just for the sake of it does not appeal to me any longer.  I don't even want anything.  Help...

SKL-HOU

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 01:29:57 PM »
Can you try on things and just not buy? You can act like you cannot make up your mind and you will be back later.

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 01:32:24 PM »
Can you try on things and just not buy? You can act like you cannot make up your mind and you will be back later.

I've played that game with her before....she gets really self conscious about what she's spending, and knows what I'm doing because I have talked about mustachianism with her.  She thinks that because I'm 23, and her and dad worked so hard to make me better off at 23 than they were, I should be "enjoying it."  She WILL end up having a tantrum before the end of the day.

MayDay

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 01:33:26 PM »
Be upfront that you are happy to take her shopping and have a fun day together, and that you'll enjoy window shopping, but that you don't have plans to purchase because it's not in your budget at this time.

If you think you might be able to redirect her, you could take her to some secondhand or consignment stores.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 01:35:34 PM »
My mom is usually pretty game about doing thrift stores instead. Sometimes, if I don't feel like butting heads about stuff, I'll just try on a bunch, whittle it down to one item, and then return it when she leaves town. =\

Direct communication and boundaries are best, but sometimes exhaustion+exit plan can be a viable alternative.

Oh! I thought of another. If I have a friend I know she'll like, who likes to shop, I'll go with both of them. Friend's purchases seem to count toward the 'fun' in my mom's eyes, and gives me a pass.

Good luck.

swick

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 01:36:54 PM »
There is a lot tied up in the word *shopping* isn't there?

Could you head it off by treating your mom to a special "City day" just the two of you? Get a manicure together, go out for lunch (both using Groupons) and maybe do a wine and art night, visit a fancy chocolate shop, or something that is decadent but you can get small doses of?  This can be your gift to her.

Yeah it is still spendy, but if ou plan you can do it for a bunch cheaper and probably more fun for you then a strip mall shopping excursion that would leave you both frustrated.

You could let her know that you are not up for a regular mall shopping day, and you don't need anything, but you want to spend the time with her and this is your alternative. Let her know if she still wants to shop you have a vehicle she can borrow and can make some suggestions. 

I totally understand the "go to city must go shopping" mentality. It is alive and well in our family, partially as an excuse to spend time together, partially because being "at home" with the family we are going to see can be uncomfortable and it is a good "reason" for a break. What is your mom's deeper motivation?

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 01:37:22 PM »
My mom is usually pretty game about doing thrift stores instead. Sometimes, if I don't feel like butting heads about stuff, I'll just try on a bunch, whittle it down to one item, and then return it when she leaves town. =\

Direct communication and boundaries are best, but sometimes exhaustion+exit plan can be a viable alternative.

Oh! I thought of another. If I have a friend I know she'll like, who likes to shop, I'll go with both of them. Friend's purchases seem to count toward the 'fun' in my mom's eyes, and gives me a pass.

Good luck.

Oh my gosh...buying things and then returning them.  That is brilliant. You're a genius! I could kiss you!

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 01:38:47 PM »
There is a lot tied up in the word *shopping* isn't there?

Could you head it off by treating your mom to a special "City day" just the two of you? Get a manicure together, go out for lunch (both using Groupons) and maybe do a wine and art night, visit a fancy chocolate shop, or something that is decadent but you can get small doses of?  This can be your gift to her.

Yeah it is still spendy, but if ou plan you can do it for a bunch cheaper and probably more fun for you then a strip mall shopping excursion that would leave you both frustrated.

You could let her know that you are not up for a regular mall shopping day, and you don't need anything, but you want to spend the time with her and this is your alternative. Let her know if she still wants to shop you have a vehicle she can borrow and can make some suggestions. 

I totally understand the "go to city must go shopping" mentality. It is alive and well in our family, partially as an excuse to spend time together, partially because being "at home" with the family we are going to see can be uncomfortable and it is a good "reason" for a break. What is your mom's deeper motivation?

This is a really good idea, I would be totally okay with spending money on those sorts of experiences with her.  It's just getting her to go along with it.  I think she feels like if she doesn't get something to "bring home" the money wasn't worth it.  I would love to just relax and bond with her like that.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 01:45:14 PM »
There is a lot tied up in the word *shopping* isn't there?

Could you head it off by treating your mom to a special "City day" just the two of you? Get a manicure together, go out for lunch (both using Groupons) and maybe do a wine and art night, visit a fancy chocolate shop, or something that is decadent but you can get small doses of?  This can be your gift to her.

Yeah it is still spendy, but if ou plan you can do it for a bunch cheaper and probably more fun for you then a strip mall shopping excursion that would leave you both frustrated.

You could let her know that you are not up for a regular mall shopping day, and you don't need anything, but you want to spend the time with her and this is your alternative. Let her know if she still wants to shop you have a vehicle she can borrow and can make some suggestions. 

I totally understand the "go to city must go shopping" mentality. It is alive and well in our family, partially as an excuse to spend time together, partially because being "at home" with the family we are going to see can be uncomfortable and it is a good "reason" for a break. What is your mom's deeper motivation?

This is a really good idea, I would be totally okay with spending money on those sorts of experiences with her.  It's just getting her to go along with it.  I think she feels like if she doesn't get something to "bring home" the money wasn't worth it.  I would love to just relax and bond with her like that.

That could be a good option- nails and places like that tend to be in malls. So at least you could kill a chunk of the time with non-shopping things, like Swick mentioned =)

SKL-HOU

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 01:56:44 PM »
I was just about to suggest buy them and return but I am too late :)

Frankies Girl

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 02:08:56 PM »
Have you really sat down with her and told her that you just want to spend time with her, and that she doesn't need to spend money on you to make you feel good? Figuring out how to have an adult relationship with your mom is not easy if you avoid these types of conversations. You are completely within your rights to tell her you don't enjoy shopping and don't want to shop for things, but because she enjoys it, you are happy to go with to spend TIME with her.

It sounds like your mom is very unimaginative and shopping is a hobby for her, and maybe love=money in her mindset a little bit. If this is something that she can't get over, it might be worth going shopping once or twice during the trip WITH her, but making sure you tell her that this is shopping for things for her, not you, because you don't need anything and make sure to remind her if she tries to get you to buy things. I mean, it's fine to go and try on things for fun, or window shop - I do it all the time and it can be fun if you do a few hours and then go get a nice lunch after. You don't have to spend money to enjoy looking at pretty things, or trying on a few pairs of shoes or a dress or two, and doing lots of people watching. If she gets angry about this, that's on her, and I would gently, and as kindly as possible explain that you just enjoy spending time with her and really don't want or need any of the things you're looking at - remind her as often as need that you're having a nice time but no, you don't need "X" or whatever. I would not let her goad you into doing things you don't want to do (spend your money or her money on things you don't want/need). And remind yourself - you are allowed to say no - even to your mother - because you are also an adult. It doesn't have to become a fight, or cause hurt feelings, just stay upbeat and pleasant.

I would NOT suggest buying things and then returning them. It is dishonest and wastes your time and money and doesn't solve the problem of you being an adult who does not like to shop and being forced into it so you don't have to have a difficult conversation with your mother about how you're a grown ass woman who is allowed to do things she wants. Don't be that person. Especially if you ever want a truly honest, open relationship with your mother.


And when you say you should just eat the expense... do you mean you are buying HER things? If that's the case, then yes, I would tell her that money is tight and you can't afford any shopping sprees.


If the past trips involve you buying things for yourself and she buys things for herself, then if it was me, I'd likely not buy anything and not criticize her purchases, because she's a grown woman and you already said this is not a normal outing for her. Go with her, enjoy her company and let her shop. She can't make you buy anything for yourself and just keep in mind the idea of: "I don't need anything and I'm not seeing anything I really want either, but I am glad to help you pick out a few things and I love spending time with you."

But I would also make sure that the shopping trip is one outing to the big city with a lunch and maybe a manicure - sort of a girl's day out thing, and then fill the rest of the trip with pleasant activities you can do at home, a few outings to fun things around your area, and just chatting, playing games and whatever group activities you enjoy and want to share with your parents. So the shopping is one very minor blip on this trip and confined to one morning or afternoon.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 02:11:48 PM by Frankies Girl »

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 02:31:42 PM »
Have you really sat down with her and told her that you just want to spend time with her, and that she doesn't need to spend money on you to make you feel good? Figuring out how to have an adult relationship with your mom is not easy if you avoid these types of conversations. You are completely within your rights to tell her you don't enjoy shopping and don't want to shop for things, but because she enjoys it, you are happy to go with to spend TIME with her.

It sounds like your mom is very unimaginative and shopping is a hobby for her, and maybe love=money in her mindset a little bit. If this is something that she can't get over, it might be worth going shopping once or twice during the trip WITH her, but making sure you tell her that this is shopping for things for her, not you, because you don't need anything and make sure to remind her if she tries to get you to buy things. I mean, it's fine to go and try on things for fun, or window shop - I do it all the time and it can be fun if you do a few hours and then go get a nice lunch after. You don't have to spend money to enjoy looking at pretty things, or trying on a few pairs of shoes or a dress or two, and doing lots of people watching. If she gets angry about this, that's on her, and I would gently, and as kindly as possible explain that you just enjoy spending time with her and really don't want or need any of the things you're looking at - remind her as often as need that you're having a nice time but no, you don't need "X" or whatever. I would not let her goad you into doing things you don't want to do (spend your money or her money on things you don't want/need). And remind yourself - you are allowed to say no - even to your mother - because you are also an adult. It doesn't have to become a fight, or cause hurt feelings, just stay upbeat and pleasant.

I would NOT suggest buying things and then returning them. It is dishonest and wastes your time and money and doesn't solve the problem of you being an adult who does not like to shop and being forced into it so you don't have to have a difficult conversation with your mother about how you're a grown ass woman who is allowed to do things she wants. Don't be that person. Especially if you ever want a truly honest, open relationship with your mother.


And when you say you should just eat the expense... do you mean you are buying HER things? If that's the case, then yes, I would tell her that money is tight and you can't afford any shopping sprees.


If the past trips involve you buying things for yourself and she buys things for herself, then if it was me, I'd likely not buy anything and not criticize her purchases, because she's a grown woman and you already said this is not a normal outing for her. Go with her, enjoy her company and let her shop. She can't make you buy anything for yourself and just keep in mind the idea of: "I don't need anything and I'm not seeing anything I really want either, but I am glad to help you pick out a few things and I love spending time with you."

But I would also make sure that the shopping trip is one outing to the big city with a lunch and maybe a manicure - sort of a girl's day out thing, and then fill the rest of the trip with pleasant activities you can do at home, a few outings to fun things around your area, and just chatting, playing games and whatever group activities you enjoy and want to share with your parents. So the shopping is one very minor blip on this trip and confined to one morning or afternoon.

Thank you for this thoughtful response! My mom would never expect me to buy anything for her, though lately she does let me treat lunch or whatever now that I'm an adult, which I totally don't mind at all.  What I mean is, is if I don't participate in the "shopping" to her liking, she starts to feel guilty and self conscious and it turns into a fight. The whole thing is really a mental hurdle.  She will either respond with "You think you're better than me," or "You're 23, you should be enjoying yourself," or some other variation of calling me a stick in the mud.

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 01:39:36 AM »
Rebuilding a relationship with your parents (especially an adult-to-adult relationship, not child-to-parent relationship) is a process.  Part of that process is establishing whether previous behaviours meant to influence you (insulting you, pressuring you, having a tantrum, etc.) are still effective.  If you are cowed by these behaviours your mother will continue to use them because they work.  And she'll use them in other contexts, too, not just regarding shopping sprees.  Imagine how fun that'll be when you have children!

Set your boundary.  "If your chosen activity is to go shopping I will come along to spend time with you.  The only money I have budgeted for this weekend is for lunch/outings/etc. so we are only shopping for things for you."  Calmly stick to it.  Make clear that your decision is not up for debate.  Be prepared for the tantrum and the ruined trip.  At the end of the trip, tell your parents you love them, then take however long you need to recover before the next visit.  Repeat.  Your mother may learn more mature forms of behaviour if tantruming ceases to work, or may choose to get her shopping fix elsewhere.  But this will make for a much better relationship than "faking it" (and, guessing from your age, I'd say your mom still has decades of life left.  That's a long time to pretend for the sake of someone else, especially when pretending may encourage more of the unwanted activity.)

Villanelle

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 02:02:43 AM »
I think the key is to set the boundary ahead of time.  You've suggested other things.  Find a few more, and if/when she rejects those, let her know that you are happy to go shopping with her and help her pick out things, but since it has been an issue in the past, you want her to know up front that you absolutely will not be buying anything because you don't need anything. Tell her that doesn't mean you won't enjoy yourself, because you love helping her find things and you love spending time with her.   If she pulls the "you should enjoy yourself card", tell her that what you enjoy is spending time with her, and you don't need to buy anything to do that, and that you don't enjoy shopping.  It's just not your hobby like it is hers, and there's no value judgement in that.  (Save that for if/when she accuses you of judging her.) Then reiterate that if she wants to shop, this is her trip and you get to spend time with her while doing that, so you are happy to do it, but if she'd prefer another activity, you can keep looking. 

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2017, 04:12:47 AM »
Thank you everyone, all very helpful advice! It's a scary proposition to go head to head with my mother...in a way, it's like "parenting your parents."  I hope we can just have a nice time.

Cranky

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2017, 05:30:05 AM »
I think saying "I really don't need or want anything, but I'm happy to go along with you," is more effective than saying, "It's not in my budget," when you're with someone who really enjoys shopping.

I'm not much for recreational shopping, but I admit that when I'm in a bigger area, with different stores than we have here, I enjoy wandering through them and at least checking out the clearance rack.

KBecks

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2017, 05:50:26 AM »
See if there is anything you really could use, like new socks or undies or anything that is worn out and could be replaced.  Then tell your Mom that you need x y or z, and you can add on by buying something and return it.   I like the idea of slowing down a shopping day by taking a long sit down lunch where you can connect by talking about your life and hobbies, etc.

Then maybe you could go see a movie or do something that is a different activity.  It sounds like going to a mall is a special experience for her so you can go with that once in a while.  I would wait on some of your purchases if you know she has a planned visit so you can get stuff when she is there.

Good luck! You get to make your own decisions and she should not be having temper tantrums.  If things break down, just go home. 
Think of alternative things you can do so it's not an 8 hour shopping day, it's like a 3 hour power shop and that's it.

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2017, 05:53:52 AM »
See if there is anything you really could use, like new socks or undies or anything that is worn out and could be replaced.  Then tell your Mom that you need x y or z, and you can add on by buying something and return it.   I like the idea of slowing down a shopping day by taking a long sit down lunch where you can connect by talking about your life and hobbies, etc.

Then maybe you could go see a movie or do something that is a different activity.  It sounds like going to a mall is a special experience for her so you can go with that once in a while.  I would wait on some of your purchases if you know she has a planned visit so you can get stuff when she is there.

Good luck! You get to make your own decisions and she should not be having temper tantrums.  If things break down, just go home. 
Think of alternative things you can do so it's not an 8 hour shopping day, it's like a 3 hour power shop and that's it.

Thank you, you are right that I should be a little less selfish.  She lives no where near civilization, and the mall is an exciting thing for her.  Just because I have other hobbies doesn't mean I shouldn't make time for hers.  I am sure I can think of a few things that I "need."  It's just frustrating that this city has so much to offer, but she wants to spend her time in a TJ Maxx.

Mezzie

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2017, 06:03:34 AM »
Rebuilding a relationship with your parents (especially an adult-to-adult relationship, not child-to-parent relationship) is a process.  Part of that process is establishing whether previous behaviours meant to influence you (insulting you, pressuring you, having a tantrum, etc.) are still effective.  If you are cowed by these behaviours your mother will continue to use them because they work.  And she'll use them in other contexts, too, not just regarding shopping sprees.  Imagine how fun that'll be when you have children!

Set your boundary.  "If your chosen activity is to go shopping I will come along to spend time with you.  The only money I have budgeted for this weekend is for lunch/outings/etc. so we are only shopping for things for you."  Calmly stick to it.  Make clear that your decision is not up for debate.  Be prepared for the tantrum and the ruined trip.  At the end of the trip, tell your parents you love them, then take however long you need to recover before the next visit.  Repeat.  Your mother may learn more mature forms of behaviour if tantruming ceases to work, or may choose to get her shopping fix elsewhere.  But this will make for a much better relationship than "faking it" (and, guessing from your age, I'd say your mom still has decades of life left.  That's a long time to pretend for the sake of someone else, especially when pretending may encourage more of the unwanted activity.)

I think this is the best advice. If you cave, you're setting yourself up for repeats of this stress forever.

You might add that you really enjoy the time with her and it doesn't matter what you're doing -- you're just glad she's here.

Ynari

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2017, 09:23:02 PM »
Not sure this'll help, but my tactic/coping mechanism with my family (from a minimalist standpoint, rather than finances, though) is to bring up 1 object I've been questing for (it'll take me months to find most things I've decided I want). I've gone home empty-handed after a number of shopping trips looking for the "perfect boots" or "a cardigan that drapes well and is in X color".

This makes shopping more of a shared activity, and if I go home empty-handed, it's because the stores don't sell quality stuff in my style! Hah. You can also frame it as a desire to have a functional/minimalistic/timeless/quality/blahblah wardrobe, if you want to direct the talk away from finances.

TLDR with my family at least, they just want to share an activity, so mentally framing it in a way that works for you can help make it more enjoyable.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2017, 05:34:51 AM »
How often do they visit? It sounded like it is not very often. Do you really want to make such a big deal out of something that happens once or twice a year? (If it is more often, sure stick to your ground). If it is not very often, it is probably worth it to just buy and return to keep the peace considering what you said about going head to head with your mom. Not everything has to be a battle to prove yourself and they are your parents, not some stranger. It is better to suck it up for these rare occasions than to turn it into a huge deal.

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2017, 05:56:12 AM »
Not sure this'll help, but my tactic/coping mechanism with my family (from a minimalist standpoint, rather than finances, though) is to bring up 1 object I've been questing for (it'll take me months to find most things I've decided I want). I've gone home empty-handed after a number of shopping trips looking for the "perfect boots" or "a cardigan that drapes well and is in X color".

This makes shopping more of a shared activity, and if I go home empty-handed, it's because the stores don't sell quality stuff in my style! Hah. You can also frame it as a desire to have a functional/minimalistic/timeless/quality/blahblah wardrobe, if you want to direct the talk away from finances.

TLDR with my family at least, they just want to share an activity, so mentally framing it in a way that works for you can help make it more enjoyable.

Thanks, this is great! I also am a minimalist, which also annoys my mother....

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2017, 07:23:24 AM »
Not sure this'll help, but my tactic/coping mechanism with my family (from a minimalist standpoint, rather than finances, though) is to bring up 1 object I've been questing for (it'll take me months to find most things I've decided I want). I've gone home empty-handed after a number of shopping trips looking for the "perfect boots" or "a cardigan that drapes well and is in X color".

This makes shopping more of a shared activity, and if I go home empty-handed, it's because the stores don't sell quality stuff in my style! Hah. You can also frame it as a desire to have a functional/minimalistic/timeless/quality/blahblah wardrobe, if you want to direct the talk away from finances.

TLDR with my family at least, they just want to share an activity, so mentally framing it in a way that works for you can help make it more enjoyable.

Thanks, this is great! I also am a minimalist, which also annoys my mother....


 Just be careful, because if you describe the elusive perfect item and then happen to run across something that meets that description for an exorbitant price, you're in a bit of a trap. You can say it's too expensive for you, of course, but you mentioned worrying about your mother spending money she doesn't have on you.

AMandM

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2017, 08:13:12 AM »
I'm going to go against the tide here.  I do not think you should dig in your heels on this and make a big stand against your mother's recreational shopping. I say this as someone who hates shopping and hates aimless shopping even more, so I'm totally with you on the merits of the event itself.

But look at it this way: You want to spend time with your mother, and you don't mind spending money itself since you'd be okay with a manicure and movie and lunch.  To her ears you're saying, in effect, that spending on some things (yours) is okay but on others (hers) is not, which makes it reasonable for her to respond with

She will either respond with "You think you're better than me," or "You're 23, you should be enjoying yourself," or some other variation of calling me a stick in the mud.

Any variation on "I don't want to spend money the way you do" can't help but come across as a criticism of her, especially since you say your relationship with her is rocky.  Trying to improve her won't help.

Since she doesn't visit often, I would prioritize having a pleasant time with her, on her terms, and not try to make her do things all my way.  I'd make lunch/movie/manicure part of the day if she'd like that, but I'd also do my best to be enthusiastic about the things we look at in the shopping trip, and I'd buy a few things that I can use or save to give as gifts.

Good luck!

Livingthedream55

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2017, 08:51:48 AM »
I've lived this scenario with my mom for over 30 years. She retired to the country of her birth 30 years ago and every annual return trip back to the U.S used to be one never ending shopping spree. She would make a list of everything she needed (clothes for herself, gifts for others in home country)  - okay, fine, we'd go out and buy everything on the list. By the next day, there'd be a new list! And her visits lasted 6 - 8 weeks!

One year she was here for her birthday and received a total of 18 turtleneck sweaters (which she loves) as gifts. She still wanted to buy more turtlenecks! I said: "You have 18, how many can you wear in a month?" - she bit my head off, saying, "Don't tell me how to spend my money!"

In my mom's case there was such an adrenaline rush for her - a high almost - in her emotions when she shopped and bought items - it was truly an addiction. She eventually spent her entire retirement nest egg and now has only Soc. Security and a small pension to live from.

She would try to push me to buy but I guess I just wore her down over time. My lines were "Shopping really isn't my thing" and "let's go see what's at the thrift store" (I could buy a few items for my children for under $10 that way)  and I have two sisters who would take a turn taking her out so we just gritted our teeth and did the best we could to manage it.

I guess my best advice is to try to not get "hooked" emotionally. Practice a few lines that you can comfortably say without a lot of drama.  Be yourself, it may take many years but you want to be true to who you are. You may end up accompanying your mom shopping but you don't have to buy what you don't want or need. Yes she may take a hissy fit. If (when) that happens, you can sooth but you don't have to cave. We teach people how to treat us.

MayDay

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2017, 08:58:06 AM »
Another option might be to start saving up a list of stuff you do actually need. Yes, she wants to go to the mall. But if you have stuff you need at Target, is she going to turn that down? Then you are indeed buying things- it just happens to be underwear, detergent, and dog food.

Or think of the next big holiday you give gifts for. Buy all your husband's birthday gifts or your neice or nephew a little something you could send in the mail.

I agree with a few others who mentioned that it depends how often this happens. If she comes once a year, employ diversionary shopping tactics.  If this happens every few months, be honest.

Goldielocks

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2017, 08:01:27 PM »
What about asking her for a ideas for a few specific things that SHE wants to look for / shop for? (other than clothes)

If they drive, a costco trip...   I am thinking of things like a piece of furniture, (lamp), tools, a small appliance, something for their home maintenance or renovation... heck, maybe she always wanted to find the items for making their own cheese or home brew?

Ask a couple of weeks early, and say that you want to scout out the best places to go ahead of time, then plan a day around THAT..

I find that I enjoy shopping with my sister for her home decor, or with my dad for a new faucet, but never feel obliged to buy myself.

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2017, 08:12:50 PM »
What about asking her for a ideas for a few specific things that SHE wants to look for / shop for? (other than clothes)

If they drive, a costco trip...   I am thinking of things like a piece of furniture, (lamp), tools, a small appliance, something for their home maintenance or renovation... heck, maybe she always wanted to find the items for making their own cheese or home brew?

Ask a couple of weeks early, and say that you want to scout out the best places to go ahead of time, then plan a day around THAT..

I find that I enjoy shopping with my sister for her home decor, or with my dad for a new faucet, but never feel obliged to buy myself.

This would be a great idea, except my mother has one singular focus: clothes.  She had me in her teens, and viewed me as a human babydoll meant to be dressed up....sooo, she also has a sub focus: clothes for me. haha

Carlin

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2017, 08:14:41 PM »
Another option might be to start saving up a list of stuff you do actually need. Yes, she wants to go to the mall. But if you have stuff you need at Target, is she going to turn that down? Then you are indeed buying things- it just happens to be underwear, detergent, and dog food.

Or think of the next big holiday you give gifts for. Buy all your husband's birthday gifts or your neice or nephew a little something you could send in the mail.

I agree with a few others who mentioned that it depends how often this happens. If she comes once a year, employ diversionary shopping tactics.  If this happens every few months, be honest.

I think this is the approach I will likely take.  I can come up with a few things I need.  I don't yet know how often she will probably visit, as this is the first visit since we moved.  We did live an hour away from her for 2 years though, and she came to visit maybe 3 times...so I'm sure the visits will fizzle out.  I just wish that my wants were important to her too.  I kind of wish she cared enough about me to jump through some of the hoops I jump through for her.  Maybe I'm just being a brat...I don't know

pbkmaine

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2017, 08:23:46 PM »
My mother loved to shop, and so I would ask for an impossible-to-find item. Once I found a perfect pair of Ferragamo shoes at a thrift shop. They fit me perfectly, and were suede in a color somewhere between purple and magenta. I wanted a top in exactly that color. It probably took us a year to find it, and my mother had a marvelous time hunting.

AMandM

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Re: Mom Wants to Go on a Shopping Spree
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2017, 08:27:14 PM »
I just wish that my wants were important to her too.  I kind of wish she cared enough about me to jump through some of the hoops I jump through for her.  Maybe I'm just being a brat...I don't know

Oh, Carlin, my heart goes out to you. You're not being a brat. Of course you want your relationship with your mother to be reciprocal!  I hope that your generosity to her will pay off over time in a better mother-daughter bond, and that she will be able to listen to and appreciate you.