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Generous to a fault
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Dear Alma,
My wife and I are about to have our first child. We're incredibly excited and feel lucky that my family wants to be there for us. They are excited to become grandparents, and they're eager to buy us things that they think we need. Unfortunately, their generosity often misses the mark. We put a lot of time and effort into researching the items on our registry, and my family seems to be buying us everything we don't need. And it's not like we can return what they're getting for us. They have a habit of cutting off tags and ordering custom-made things that can never be exchanged. How do I tell them to stop buying us stuff that we don't want without cutting off their generosity and coming off as spoiled?


Got a problem? Need advice? Alma is here to help. Her advice column is published each Friday on Qcitymetro.com. Email questions to askalma@qcitymetro.com. All names will be kept in strict confidence.

Yea, you do sound ungrateful and spoiled. You said it, and I agree. There’s no other way to turn that biscuit into cornbread. Common sense can be a powerful thing. I suggest you use it.

Congratulations on the baby. I’m sure this is exciting for all in your family. I, too, am expecting my first grandchild, and it’s an awesome feeling. My son described it best when he said, “You know what, Mom. I can’t wait to meet her.”

He’s right; we all can’t wait to meet her. And I’m sure your parents feel the same way.

Your question took me back to my own days of pre-motherhood. I remember reading as many books as I could and compiling list after list, because I wanted to be extra ready for the big day.

News flash: You’ll be ready but never completely prepared.

New life brings with it new choices, reactions and consequences. Instantly, you’ll become interested in safe neighborhoods and schools, job security, life insurance and healthcare. Petty things will fall by the wayside, like receiving unusable gifts from family members.

Accept and appreciate what your parents give. If later you realize you have no use for them, donate them to Goodwill or a thrift store. Lighten up on your family and let this go. The fish you’re about to fry is so enormous you’ll think back on this situation one day and wish it were your only problem.

Here’s the best advice I can give: Love, encouragement and support are a few of the best advantages you can offer your baby. Welcome to the world of parenthood.

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October 9, 2015
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