I am delighted with your incredibly astute observations.
A couple of quotes that hit home....I was talking with a co-worker about this thread at work yesterday. She said she sends her son "just because" monetary gifts. She says she feels like her son earns the money for his family while his wife is a SAHM. She said she feels like even when her DiL gives a gift to her son, it is "really his earnings paying for it" and the "only way he ever gets a true gift is from his parents."
andThis might just be me being all paranoid and suspicious, but it struck me as the husband being quite manipulative. He talks about a specific tool he's saving money for then just "happens to mention" some expensive boots he saw that he'd like to get. And boom - mom and dad send money for those things his heart desires most.
and It could very well be that no one means this maliciously at all, they're just oblivious and are truckin' along like they've always done, since no one has (I assume) complained or even commented.
And here is what I have learned from this wonderful thread:
1) I think my DH family is passive aggressive. DH too. I think (subconsciously or consciously) that DH KNEW that if he dropped these hints, that his parents would pick up on it....and give it to him.
2) I think MIL resents that I dont work. And her attitude is precisely that of the story above. Now, if we came running to them every time we needed money...I could understand this. However, we have never, ever, asked them for help
3) And....giving every benefit of the doubt....perhaps they are just "trucking along", not realizing that this was making me feel like "not part of the family".
As a side note....some OP's have suggested that I should be happy for DH - and whatever benefits him - benefits us all. And for years when they sent him "love packages"...I was truly, truly happy for him.
When they would send me a birthday gift...and added something (of equal or more value) for him....I was happy for him. When they sent HIM a birthday gift...with nothing for me...I was happy for him.
It is just after YEARS of making excuses, shrugging my shoulders, giving them the benefit of the doubt....I am starting to get annoyed.
(if you like, see my post of Inquitable gifts to get my vibe)
NOW TO THE NEW QUESTION:
DH just mentioned that they are planning on coming for the 4th of July. Lovely.
In addition to the list of housework I am planning on giving him....
what other pro-active measures can I take to:
a) not feel overworked/underappreciated
b) not be annoyed when they show up with "little gifts" for DH and DS..and nothing for me. (which is something they did...but I forgot to mention)
c) still genuinely feel gracious and accomodating.
d) not take a hammer to my husbands head when they send/buy him something that is specifically, only for him - after they leave.
Thanks! Looking forward to the replies!