Author Topic: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75  (Read 38479 times)

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Slartibartfast

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BeeGee, our normal M.O. so far has been to default to whichever parent feels the strongest about something.  Usually this ends up being the more restrictive parent, although to be honest we really don't disagree on much.  In this case, though, MIL has a history of trampling on our parenting decisions and DH has a history of choosing to avoid conflict unless he feels very strongly about whatever it is.  My guess is it went like this:

DH to MIL: Sure, whatever, cake is good!
Me to MIL: Dude, not okay!  No backup cakes!
MIL to DH: Your wife is such a whiner!  She said no!  Can you believe it?
DH to me: What's up?  Why do you disagree?
Me to DH: blah blah blah reasons
DH to me: She was just talking about a one-serving cake.
Me to DH: I guess that would be okay.
DH to MIL: She said a one-serving cake would be okay.
MIL to DH: Cool!  Want to join us for lunch and cake?
DH to MIL: Sure.
*MIL buys the cake*
*DH sees this, realizes MIL didn't mean a one-serving cake at all, knows I didn't want her to, knows he doesn't care one way or the other, but sees it's making Babybartfast happy and doesn't want to confront his mother*
DH: Whatever.

(Significantly shortened and with a healthy dose of snark and assumption, but . . .)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 09:31:01 PM by Slartibartfast »

Dindrane

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I can totally understand why you don't really blame your MIL anymore -- she was 110% out of line, but talk about futile battles.

I would be EXTREMELY angry with your DH, if I were in your shoes, though.  That is just not okay between spouses.  You had clearly communicated what you were not okay with, and it never occurred to him that maybe "thing Slartibartfast is not okay with" happening maybe deserved a mention.

I can believe he might have done it unintentionally and with no actual intent to deceive you, but man, what an oversight.  It's big enough that it really doesn't matter what his intentions were.

I really don't know what the answer is here, though.  It seems that, through your DH failing to keep you looped in and everyone ignoring your expressly stated wishes, your daughter got exactly the opposite lesson in manners and birthdays that you wanted her to have.  I think I'd be having a come-to-deity meeting with my DH right about now, about all the many reasons why that is not acceptable and is his fault.  Although it might be more productive to at least start the conversation by asking what you could have done differently to make your views on this subject clear.

And I definitely think my previous advice still stands -- no matter what she asks you about, both you and your DH need to get into the habit of asking MIL if she's talked to the other one of you.  At least you can start the process of getting (and staying!) on the same page before all the damage has been done that way.


BeeGee01

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Well, he does sound like he gets caught in the middle of the situation, and doesn't know how to stand up to either one of you.  I bet he was mad at MIL for telling you, because he was just hoping to get away with it.  But I know from your original post he said he was okay with it and didn't put it together that it was sending a message to your DD.  I figured he was still on board with it, but just didn't want to tell you because he knew you didn't want it.  So he figured he would just deal with it by avoiding the whole situation - wonder if he told his mom that you were okay with it after all?  I wonder if he was trying to tell each of you what you wanted to hear just so that neither of you got mad at him.

I was just trying to throw another point of view into the mix.

buvezdevin

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.
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AustenFan

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snippage
I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

I think the parent responsible for planning the party gets this decision. If DH felt so strongly about it he should have been planning with Slarti (SBF), not helping his mother undermine Slarti after the party happened.

The issues for me are:
1) MIL set Babybartfast (BBF) up for disappointment with the cake by not mentioning to Slarti that she had been showing BBF cakes at Baskin Robbins beforehand. It wouldn't have mattered what kind of cake SBF produced, it wasn't what BBF was rightfully expecting, so SBF was set up for failure at her own kids birthday party. I think that's just cruel.

2) MIL did an end run around the primary care parent when she got an answer she didn't like from SBF. After SBF compromised in an attempt to keep the peace (she was ok with a single serving style thing) MIL went ahead with her original plan, which she knew SBF was not ok with.

3) Your DH aided and abetted her.

I think you have every right to be hella angry, and MIL should not be allowed to spend time alone with BBF until she can be trusted not to undermine you with your own child. All it would have taken was MIL saying "BBF saw some cakes as Baskin Robbins she really liked, I said maybe we could get one for her birthday. Is it OK if I get one?" and then SBF could have put her own (awesome) topper on it. Or she could have said no and been prepared for BBF not liking her cake.

DH should be shot. What was he thinking??? Probably nothing, as men so frequently do when their mothers are involved...

Slartibartfast

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

PastryGoddess

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

Gosh bless you for putting up with this nonsense.  Virtual cupcake/brownies for you

scansons

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

The problem with that IME is that what you really have to do to end it is put the fear of her dear and fluffy lord in her.  Which is hard to do, if her son isn't on board.  Much easier to deal with it if she was doing a victory lap.  Yeessh.

Slartibartfast

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

The problem with that IME is that what you really have to do to end it is put the fear of her dear and fluffy lord in her.  Which is hard to do, if her son isn't on board.  Much easier to deal with it if she was doing a victory lap.  Yeessh.

Yeah, and I can't really say anything now either.  Since it's already done with, and the only one who cares is apparently me, if I make a big deal after the fact both DH and MIL would (metaphorically) look at me with their heads cocked to one side like I was a tantrumming toddler and would just shrug it off.  I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.

BeeGee01

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

Gosh bless you for putting up with this nonsense.  Virtual cupcake/brownies for you

I think MIL KNEW when she told you the last piece of cake that she was opening that can of worms.  Do you think she knew your DH was not going to tell you what all happened at BAskin Robbins?  I agree that it sounds like your MIL wanted to make certain you knew, it was her "nana nana boo boo.....I did what I wanted!" moment. 

I have to ask, what was the look on your DH's face when you told him his own mother ratted him out?

SPuck

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Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

The problem with that IME is that what you really have to do to end it is put the fear of her dear and fluffy lord in her.  Which is hard to do, if her son isn't on board.  Much easier to deal with it if she was doing a victory lap.  Yeessh.

Yeah, and I can't really say anything now either.  Since it's already done with, and the only one who cares is apparently me, if I make a big deal after the fact both DH and MIL would (metaphorically) look at me with their heads cocked to one side like I was a tantrumming toddler and would just shrug it off.  I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.

Slartibartfast, I can appreciate that you want to let this go but you have the right to be angry. Your mother-in-law undermined your parenting decisions and your child's birthday and your husband is as the worse ignorant and at the best an accomplice. She's not a confused, overly loving old woman, she's manipulative and other words I can't use in polite conversations.

kudeebee

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Your mil went against your wishes and bought a whole cake instead of the single serving that she said she would.  Your dh knew you did not want another cake for BBF but instead of standing up for you, his wife, he gave in to his mother.  So, why wouldn't she do what she wants to do?  DH won't stand up for you and there are no consequences.

You and dh need to have a long talk about this and come to an agreement, especially concerning MIL.  For the near future, I would not have mil pick up BBF and take her anywhere but directly to your home and there would be no unsupervised time with BBF.  After the time period you agree upon--say a month--she gets to try taking BBF somewhere again, but if she pulls another stunt, that is it.  If you don't nip this in the bud now and you/dh become a team all of the time, you could have serious problems when BBF gets older and mil pulls her stunts.

Sophia

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... I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.

I see this as a HUGE mistake.  He knew that you REALLY cared about no do-over cake.  But, he went along with his mother to avoid conflict.  I think you really need to let him know completely and totally how it makes you feel.  Choosing his mother's feelings over yours needs to be the more painful choice for him

scansons

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Talked a little to my DH, he's good at these things.  He suggests maybe you need to spreadsheet it for him.  Say five instances when this sort of thing has happened with MIL.  Headings: Situation, What we decided to do, What MIL wanted to do, What ended up happening.  See if you can get an agreement on the facts.  Just the facts.   Then point out to him  that it's not good for your marriage, or your daughter, that MIL is reversing your collective parenting when  she feels like it, and that it needs to stop. 

My DH says if   you can do  it without being mad, and while stressing that you are not keeping score, it could help to get threw to  him.  But he needs to see it as a pattern you two are establishing that is going to be trouble later,  rather than an attack on  him, or his mother. 

Cause if your DD was 16 and the cake was car, you have a whole other world of hurt happening. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 10:50:09 PM by scansons »

scansons

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Although to be honest, if it had been me in your shoes, MIL would have heard about it on the phone, then DH would have, and DD would be taking a long break from outings with grandma.  But that's just me.