Author Topic: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75  (Read 38862 times)

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Onyx_TKD

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Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  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?

One parent was OK with the kid getting a second cake. The other parent (the OP) was not OK with the second cake. Once this disagreement came to light, the OP offered a compromise: a one-serving treat instead of an entire 2nd cake. If the OP's husband wasn't satisfied with this compromise, then the right thing to do was to say so and either counteroffer a different compromise or explain why he was in favor of the 2nd cake. Then they could discuss until they came to an agreement. Agreeing to the compromise and then blithely proceeding to do what he originally intended (or green-lighting the MIL to do so) is incredibly deceptive and childish. Not even bothering to tell the OP that he unilaterally decided to ignore their agreement to avoid fallout just compounds the deception and childishness.

That's an even worse lesson for a 4-year-old than the lesson that whining gets you a new cake--"If mommy says we can't do something, but daddy says we can, then we can just tell mommy "Ok, we won't," do it anyway, and not tell her." If she learns that daddy or daddy and grandma together can pull that, then why shouldn't she and grandma do something that mommy and daddy said no to? Or why shouldn't she do something she wants to just because mommy and daddy said no? As long as they don't find out, it's ok to overrule them, right?

Mental Magpie

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Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  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?

One parent was OK with the kid getting a second cake. The other parent (the OP) was not OK with the second cake. Once this disagreement came to light, the OP offered a compromise: a one-serving treat instead of an entire 2nd cake. If the OP's husband wasn't satisfied with this compromise, then the right thing to do was to say so and either counteroffer a different compromise or explain why he was in favor of the 2nd cake. Then they could discuss until they came to an agreement. Agreeing to the compromise and then blithely proceeding to do what he originally intended (or green-lighting the MIL to do so) is incredibly deceptive and childish. Not even bothering to tell the OP that he unilaterally decided to ignore their agreement to avoid fallout just compounds the deception and childishness.

That's an even worse lesson for a 4-year-old than the lesson that whining gets you a new cake--"If mommy says we can't do something, but daddy says we can, then we can just tell mommy "Ok, we won't," do it anyway, and not tell her." If she learns that daddy or daddy and grandma together can pull that, then why shouldn't she and grandma do something that mommy and daddy said no to? Or why shouldn't she do something she wants to just because mommy and daddy said no? As long as they don't find out, it's ok to overrule them, right?

Pod to Onyx_TKD.

DH did something he knew was expressly against the OP's wishes.  Instead of talking it out with her and coming to a compromise, he went against what he had already compromised.  That's not Slartibartfast only getting to make the decisions, that's DH ignoring her opinions.
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JoyinVirginia

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I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok for a four year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma.  edited to add: in the grand scheme of things, this is so not worth worrying about. The more posts here I read about how horrible the mil is, the more I want to defend her. The more I want to stand up and shout Its a CAKE, its a BIRTHDAY, why is this becoming such a power struggle? Grandmothers are supposed to bring cake! two cakes are BETTER than one cake!
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things here! And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 01:22:59 PM by JoyinVirginia »

Mental Magpie

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I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry to hear about the health of your mother.  However, I have to disagree with you completely.  Just because my dad was awesome and he is now gone, I can't tell anyone else that they can't be annoyed with their fathers because he'll be gone someday.  That's just not fair and minimizes the problems through which that other person is going.

OP is lucky that her MIL loves her children, but that doesn't automatically give MIL the right to behave however she wants without regards to the feelings of her grandchildrens' parents, especially the parent that is not biologically hers.  OP is rightfully annoyed with this behavior, especially with her DH expressly going against her wishes.  Yes, OP should eventually let it go, but not without having a stern talking to with her husband first.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

WillyNilly

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I think to me it just sounds like you MIL is too involved.  Cut the apron strings a bit and don't have her as part of every day life - there's a reason people move out and start their own lives.  Seriously a mother in law/grandma should be on a once a week schedule at most I think.  Especially when you live nearby.  Its tempting to utilize the help, but independence is better.  Cut back on MIL/grandma time and take control over your lives as independent and separate from hers.  Work on your own nest so it strong and well established for when you need it most.

I grew up just a few miles from my grandparents.  And they were super involved - came to see me in the parades, we spent every holiday with them, grandpa did handiwork at our house, if I or my brother was sick and my mom had work, we'd go there.  We had toothbrushes at their house - that's how involved we were.  I think we called every night to say goodnight.  It was close.

But day to day life was my parents.  Grandma and grandpa were there for anything remotely big, or in any bind, but they weren't in the foreground most of the time.  And really, I think it worked out well.  I grew up to be very close to my grandparents. And I have a very warm and healthy relationship with my parents.  And they are totally different sets of people in my mind.

SBF - who do you want to think raised your kid?  Like years from now, when your MIL passes, at her wake do you want to overhear your daughter say "she was like a second mom to me, she practically raised me, I always remember her being there" or would you rather hear "she was such a good grandma, whenever I had something important she was there rooting me on, and all my holidays, she was always happy to see me..."

You get to define the perimeters people have in your child's life, its part of your job as a parent.  And sometimes, less is more.  Less seeing grandma in everyday life, and make more of a big deal for special occasions.

Fleur

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I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry, but I really couldn't disagree with this more. As Slartibartfast said, normally their 'rule' is that the parent who feels more strongly prevails, so it was wrong to allow his mother to undermine his wife. It was very disrespectful, on both their parts. And while it is certainly good that grandma loves her grandchild, that doesn't mean that she gets to undermine her DIL's parenting decisions. I don't believe in this 'count your blessings' approach to a breach of trust, which is what this situation boils down to. And I think trivializing it as 'just a cake' minimizes the real issue, which is that grandma feels ok about undermining her DIL's decisions and co-opting her son to do so as well. That is never ok.

Mental Magpie

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I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry, but I really couldn't disagree with this more. As Slartibartfast said, normally their 'rule' is that the parent who feels more strongly prevails, so it was wrong to allow his mother to undermine his wife. It was very disrespectful, on both their parts. And while it is certainly good that grandma loves her grandchild, that doesn't mean that she gets to undermine her DIL's parenting decisions. I don't believe in this 'count your blessings' approach to a breach of trust, which is what this situation boils down to. And I think trivializing it as 'just a cake' minimizes the real issue, which is that grandma feels ok about undermining her DIL's decisions and co-opting her son to do so as well. That is never ok.

I fully agree with Fleur.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Iris

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Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  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?

One parent was OK with the kid getting a second cake. The other parent (the OP) was not OK with the second cake. Once this disagreement came to light, the OP offered a compromise: a one-serving treat instead of an entire 2nd cake. If the OP's husband wasn't satisfied with this compromise, then the right thing to do was to say so and either counteroffer a different compromise or explain why he was in favor of the 2nd cake. Then they could discuss until they came to an agreement. Agreeing to the compromise and then blithely proceeding to do what he originally intended (or green-lighting the MIL to do so) is incredibly deceptive and childish. Not even bothering to tell the OP that he unilaterally decided to ignore their agreement to avoid fallout just compounds the deception and childishness.

That's an even worse lesson for a 4-year-old than the lesson that whining gets you a new cake--"If mommy says we can't do something, but daddy says we can, then we can just tell mommy "Ok, we won't," do it anyway, and not tell her." If she learns that daddy or daddy and grandma together can pull that, then why shouldn't she and grandma do something that mommy and daddy said no to? Or why shouldn't she do something she wants to just because mommy and daddy said no? As long as they don't find out, it's ok to overrule them, right?

This. In all honesty, the tradition in my family is that even if you have a party on another day, you get something a little special on the actual day - whether it is your favourite dinner or a one-slice (or small) cake or Mum and Dad singing Happy Birthday. So on the original issue I am probably more on DH's side. However, after he expressed a wish for this to happen Slarti came up with a reasonable compromise which he then totally ignored.

I am also very very suspicious that BBF didn't come home talking 19 to the dozen about her cake and people singing Happy Birthday and Daddy being there. It's the kind of thing a 4 yo shares with their mother, so I'm wondering if she was told not to tell mummy. Maybe that's just my nasty cynical side showing but if that was the case I would be sooooooooo angry. Sooooooooo angry.
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Slartibartfast

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Thanks, everyone.  I did talk to DH a bit after Babybartfast went to bed tonight.  He was honestly surprised I was upset, because he interpreted our compromise completely differently.  He thought I was okay with the cake as long as it wasn't presented explicitly as a replacement, and as long as it was the smallest one in the store.  (I do understand that - I assumed they had single-serving cakelike treats, but this may have been the smallest option there.  So this may have been me expecting a compromise which didn't exist.)  I can't tell whether DH felt more strongly about Babybartfast celebrating on her actual birthday than I realized or whether he was just feeling a bit defensive (we've all been a bit sick and grumpy here recently), so if he really wanted her to have recognition on her birthday and he thought this WAS the compromise, I understand why he did what he did.  Apparently he did stop MIL from going even more overboard (she was going to bring balloons and party hats to the store???).

It was actually a good jumping-off point for us to discuss another whole mess his parents have dragged us into  ::) and he did concede that his mother has a pattern of saying she acknowledges our decision, then stomping all over it and saying "Oh, I didn't know you MEANT that!"  We aren't going to be forbidding her from seeing Babybartfast or anything, but DH now knows to check with me on things like this in the future because he can't always tell when I'll disagree with MIL's way of doing things.

wonderfullyanonymous

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This is just over the top. I'm so angry for you, Slartibartfast. I realize you and your DH talked, but I would be furious if my MIL had done something like that.

Party or no party, my kids had one birthday cake, and if my MIL had pulled a stunt like that, there would have been no outing alone for a while.

Thankfully, she was and still is a wonderful grandmother to them. She once said to me that if they were in trouble at home and were grounded from something when she took them, to let her know, and she would carry on with whatever punishment. I love that lady.

JoyinVirginia

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OP, thanks for the update. As long a you and the dh agree, that is the most important thing.
This its one of those stories you will be telling at future birthdays! And laughing about.
And yes, everyone should have cake on their actual birthday if at all possible.

JenJay

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Everyone gathered around BB and sang Happy Birthday to her, well everyone except her uninvited Mother! How was that not a replacement Birthday Cake?

Thinking back to some of your other posts, I think your MIL likes to pit you and DH against each other so she can sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing him choose her, and I think he's either completely blind or feigning ignorance because he lets her.

MacadamiaNut

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I think I'd be more upset with MIL in this situation.  It sounds like she had a whole cake conspiracy going on!  Seriously.  She perused birthday cakes with BBF and *knew* BBF wanted ice-cream cake and didn't bother to tell you.  She kept this little secret in her back pocket and never mentioned it to you, even after BBF's cake tantrum at her birthday party.  She used that to get close to BBF.  She then manipulated DH into participating in the conspiracy.  She didn't bother to invite you to your child's second birthday party. :o

Basically, she used her secret knowledge of BBF's desire for an ice-cream cake to her advantage in every way possible, and in the process, she undermined you, DH and your parenting decisions. 

From the story, your DH sounds a little more innocent in all of it.  Not fully innocent, and the reasons have already been listed by you and others here so I won't go into them.  But MIL?  Yeah, I wouldn't be letting her off the hook so easy.  What she did sounds very underhanded.  I think her intentions were more hurtful than DH's intentions.  MIL was the mastermind in all this.  DH was just a pawn in her cake conspiracy, IMO.  He was simply the easier one for MIL to manipulate.
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Slartibartfast

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I think I'd be more upset with MIL in this situation.  It sounds like she had a whole cake conspiracy going on!  Seriously.  She perused birthday cakes with BBF and *knew* BBF wanted ice-cream cake and didn't bother to tell you.  She kept this little secret in her back pocket and never mentioned it to you, even after BBF's cake tantrum at her birthday party.  She used that to get close to BBF.  She then manipulated DH into participating in the conspiracy.  She didn't bother to invite you to your child's second birthday party. :o

Oh, she was harping on me for weeks before the party about the cake - she offered to buy one, and I told her thanks but a friend was making it and the cake was already spoken for.  Then she kept reminding me that the cake last year didn't work out - the same friend made a (I'm told) fabulous cake for Babybartfast but she had to slam on the brakes on the way over to my house and the cake ended up smeared all over her backseat  :'(  I don't see how that's in any way her fault, but MIL commented on it at least a dozen times (including several times at the party before my friend got there).  Annoying but really the expected behavior from my MIL  ::)  She did mention going to get ice cream with Babybartfast and looking at cakes, but I assumed it was a one-time thing.

As for not being invited, it's a weird dynamic but it's not really like that either :)  DH, MIL, and I will frequently call each other when we find we'll be eating lunch out of the house, just in case the others are interested in coming along.  In this case, I was home with Bittybartfast (less than two months old) and the plan was for MIL to pick up Babybartfast from school and "go out on a little adventure" before dropping her off at home.  She called DH while they were out and asked if he wanted to join them.  Usually they would have called me, too, but I was desperately trying to catch up on sleep while Babybartfast was out  :)

wolfie

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If I were you I would seriously reconsider MIL and BBF alone time. Or MIL, BBF and DH alone time - since it seems like he can't stand up to his mom. From now on I would make sure I was there anytime MIL is with any of the children - so I know what is going on and could put a stop to things that I don't agree with.