A Mom-to-Be Wanted a $230 Baby Gift. Her Family Said Nah. Lots of Drama Followed.

baby girl 5 months lying down covered with us dollar bills falling from above
Blog Asks: How Much Is Too Much For A Baby Gift?Justin Case - Getty Images
  • Knowing what to get as a baby shower gift can be tough.

  • But one U.K. couple was given no choice, as they were told to purchase a pricey baby monitor.

  • The couple declined, causing issue with their family, but internet commenters say they were in the right.

When it comes to gifting, there's a well-known adage: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes internet drama over how much to pay for baby gifts after your partner's mom spent over $1,000 on a baby carriage.

Today's spot of "internet gifting spat" asks the question, "How much is too much to ask people to pay for a baby gift?" And to properly answer that, we're going to fire up our currency converters, because this story comes to us from across the pond in the U.K.

So let's brush up on our gifting etiquette, and the present value of the Pound Sterling relative to U.S. currency! Though, it could be argued that the Pound Sterling lost all value after they removed Charles Darwin from the £10 note, meaning they could no longer be referred to as "Darwin Dollars," much to the chagrin of beleaguered Tesco employees tired of an American tourist's nonsense. Hypothetically, that is.

old and new ten pound note released 2017
In 2017, Charles Darwin was replaced on the £10 note by Jane Austen, crushing any hope that the nickname "Darwin Dollars" would ever catch on.Alphotographic - Getty Images

You may be familiar with the popular series of Reddit posts called AITA, an abbreviation of "Am I The A**hole," where posters ask forum users if they are the one at fault in a given situation. But this particular post comes from the U.K. parenting forum Mumnet, so it instead frames its quandary in perhaps the most British way possible: AIBU, or "Am I Being Unreasonable."

Inquiring if they were the ones being a wee bit unreasonable amidst this sticky wicket was user Jeffsmama, who relayed that their domestic partner's brother was expecting a baby. Unfortunately, that brother, and the brother's partner, were also expecting Jeffsmama and their s/o to shell out £190 ($233.30, as of this writing) for a baby monitor. According to Jeffsmama, the request for this costly gift came, not from the brother, but from Jeffsmama's mother-in-law, who had herself gifted the expecting duo "...a pushchair > £1k" (more than $1227 here).

Jeffsmama and their domestic partner did what perhaps many of us would in this scenario. "We declined," they wrote, "...and firmly said we would happily purchase a gift of our choosing in our price range." This apparently left the mother-in-law seeming "quite put out."

Commenters overwhelmingly agreed that Jeffsmama was not being unreasonable in declining to purchase the requested costly item, especially since the post noted, "We were not sent the Amazon baby gift wish list to choose a gift/ gifts."

We're inclined to agree with the commenters, that this request on the part of the mother-in-law, as portrayed in the post, is a departure from typical gift decorum. But of course, we're only getting the poster's POV. And in any of these AITA/AIBU posts, you've also got to try and ascertain the poster's personality, and read between the lines, to really get a proper vibe.

Or in this case, maybe just read their second paragraph, which arguably undoes a bit of the goodwill they earned in the first. And since this is a U.K. post, we recommend imagining this being read in, like, a Dame Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey kind of accent:

We can afford to buy the baby monitor but don’t feel it’s our obligation to buy something on the more expensive side for the baby/ parents - they have chosen to have a baby and we don’t feel it’s our responsibility to meet their expectations of gifting.

So, in conclusion, if AIBU stands for "Am I Being Unreasonable," the answer is almost certainly "no." If it stands for "Am I Being Unsympathetic," well, that depends on just how that second paragraph comes off to you.

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