Raising three cubs on a shoe string budget is rough, esp. when you lose support you never realized you had. I knew my mother spoiled my kids, but I didn't realize how little I actually had to buy them until I put my foot down and made her stop entirely. I hated buying clothes for my kids because I knew they had a whole wardrobe at home and it seemed like a waste. I hated the styles, all licensed commercialized products. I hated the colors, all ultra-modern and overwhelming. It did not reflect or even remotely support the values of simplicity and frugality that I was trying to instil in my children. Instead they begged for every little Disney product that matched their favorite coats or sneakers. Gak. That is behavior that had to stop.
So I cut Nana off. Period.
Now, I buy all their clothes and toys, and they have never been HAPPIER! They are happier in simple cuts and natural colors, and happier with old fashioned basic toys that exercise their imagination and don't need batteries or have a thousand lights and sounds. They build with blocks, play cowboys and Indians, boardgames, and GASP, they read! They are wearing flannel and jeans and solid colors, and little horse prints. My house is slowly sending all things Disney to Goodwill, with no regrets. And my budget is not struggling, because I am buying all of their new things from my favorite thrift stores. My advice is to always have a good thrift store, and I have found my perfect one. I go in at the beginning of every month and spend $20 and get clothing for my kids, gifts to the holidays, items for my house, canning jars, and all sorts of extras. Usually I spend less than $10 and come home with three bags full of quality season-appropriate clothing for all three of my kids.
And I know my mother is not going bankrupt because she could not stop buying for my kids. Two birds with one stone, indeed! I feel like my family is healthier for the choices, and that is the best reward I could have asked for.