Author Topic: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75  (Read 37200 times)

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MacadamiaNut

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I seriously don't understand MIL's obsession over cake!  Was she some sort of cake expert in her past?  Is she the "cake boss"?  LOL. ;D
Paperweights, for instance - has anyone ever established what, when, and why
paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

greencat

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I don't even have kids and the whole idea that the in-laws threw a birthday party for your child and included your husband but deliberately excluded you absolutely makes my blood boil.  Usually when parents-in-law act in that kind of exclusionary manner it's meant to try and separate the couple - since the anger of the excluded one typically gets turned on the partner for letting his/her parents do that.  It also appears that your MIL is trying to poison BBF against you already.  I POD the other posters who said to avoid leaving your daughter alone in MIL's company.

gramma dishes

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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 on several occasions 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.

I totally agree with MacadamiaNut.

wyliefool

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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.

Plus there was a whole birthday thing w/ the whole family except Mom! Oh NO they DIDN'T!!  >:(

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

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  :)

Great, now *I'm* obsessed over the cake too!  Just call me MIL ;).  OP, I think your justification for the non-invite doesn't convince me.  It's not the same thing as an impromptu lunch.  It was a premeditated birthday party for BBF.  You said as much yourself.  Not trying to argue with you.  Just wanted to show you from another set of eyes.

And the fact that MIL is all about the cake (harping about it beforehand, last year's hullabaloo, etc.) makes her even *more* guilty about not telling you of BBF's desire for an ice-cream cake.  She'd be less guilty if she wasn't so into birthday cakes, but she clearly is.  Just not birthday cakes where *you* look good.  Only in situations that make *her* look good.

I don't know other things about MIL, but in the future, I would definitely watch my back with her when it comes to cakes.
Paperweights, for instance - has anyone ever established what, when, and why
paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

WillyNilly

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I think you should ask your DD about the cake.  Ask her why she didn't tell you about getting sung to the other day with the cake.  Tel her your feelings are hurt they had a party without you (not to guilt her, but as a parent teaching empathy).  I think an age appropriate discussion about not keeping secrets from Mommy is in order.

AustenFan

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Usually when parents-in-law act in that kind of exclusionary manner it's meant to try and separate the couple - since the anger of the excluded one typically gets turned on the partner for letting his/her parents do that. 

That is a really good point. It may not be applicable to Slarti's situation, but it's a subtle way to come come between a couple.

I think you should ask your DD about the cake.  Ask her why she didn't tell you about getting sung to the other day with the cake.  Tel her your feelings are hurt they had a party without you (not to guilt her, but as a parent teaching empathy).  I think an age appropriate discussion about not keeping secrets from Mommy is in order.

That's a good point, too. Was DD coached to lie about the follow up party? To be honest, I can't see an entire store singing happy birthday to a kid being something they keep quiet about naturally.

Slartibartfast

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I think you should ask your DD about the cake.  Ask her why she didn't tell you about getting sung to the other day with the cake.  Tel her your feelings are hurt they had a party without you (not to guilt her, but as a parent teaching empathy).  I think an age appropriate discussion about not keeping secrets from Mommy is in order.

That's a good point, too. Was DD coached to lie about the follow up party? To be honest, I can't see an entire store singing happy birthday to a kid being something they keep quiet about naturally.

If I remember correctly, DH ended up carrying Babybartfast in from the car and putting her in her bed for her nap because she was already asleep  :)

gramma dishes

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There are several things wrong here:

1.  MIL repeatedly took BBF to the ice cream store and repeatedly looked a birthday cakes with her, discussing what BBF would like on her cake, but NONE of this information was conveyed to the child's mother!

2.  MIL played DH and Slarti against each other with the second cake issue.  Deliberately I think. 

3.  I don't think Slartibartfast would have really objected to ice cream and a slice of cake or even a whole small cake on BBF's "real" birthday if she had been informed about it as long as it wasn't a reward for BBF's not appreciating the cake she actually had at her party.  But that information was kept from her.

4.  MIL deliberately let SBF know that she had been misled about prior events by letting her know that she was just now finishing up the second cake.  (Na na, na na na, your husband sided with ME, his MOTHER, over you, his WIFE!)

5.  I absolutely agree with WillyNilly that it is not normal for a child not to mention anything about that second party.  Any kid would certainly mention how much fun she had with Grandma and Daddy at the ice cream store and the beautiful cake and how all the other people sang to her, even if she was asleep when she got home.  She'd have mentioned it the next day unless she was specifically told NOT to mention it to Mommy.  No, no and NO!  You do NOT keep secrets from Mommy!!!

Dindrane

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Slartibartfast, I think this is just yet more of a reason that you and your DH should both train yourself to refuse to give your MIL an answer, to anything, until you have talked to each other.

Seriously, get so that it's automatic to say, "I need to discuss that with [Slarti/DH] -- I'll get back to you [today/soon/next week/whatever]."  Even if it's something small.  Even if it seems like total overkill to check in with each other.

Your MIL has shown that she can't be trusted to share the whole story when the whole story doesn't get her what she wants.  You and your DH have shown each other that you have very different priorities at times, and that it can backfire in a huge way to not be on the same page when your MIL is involved.

From experiences with my own husband, there is a limit to what I can expect him to remember or extrapolate about what my priorities and expectations are.  If we have a situation like yours, where I'm not okay with another cake and he doesn't really care or think it's a big deal, I can talk to him after the fact and get him to admit that yes, he should have talked to me.  But if I ask him to use the cake situation as a lesson on my priorities for anything except cake situations in the future, he's not going to be able to do it.  Even if he says he will, he's not me, and he can't read my mind.

I think you may find the same thing with your DH.  It's really hard to step out of your own head and see someone else's point of view, and it's even harder when the conflict is that your DH doesn't think something is a big deal and you do.  When it's not a big deal to him, he's less likely to make the mental connection that he should talk to you about it.

So I think that, in the end, a better solution will be to just collectively withhold permission for anything from your MIL until you have a chance to talk to each other.  Unless it's an emergency, she shouldn't be getting any answers that are not coming from a joint decision, and explicitly stated as a joint decision.  It will save you having to remember to talk to each other when she goes to both of you for answers, and it will save both of you from having to backtrack (or look like you are backtracking).


buvezdevin

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Dindrane's suggestion seems soooooooooo very good for handling SBF's MIL.  Not least because MIL cannot grasp that anyone would not agree with her, and this approach would underscore that in all things, big or small, the parent's decide, not the grandmother.  Plus, if both SBF and her DH consistently express the need to check with the other, it lessens any appearance to MIL that SBF is calling all the shots, or that there is anything to be gained by going to either first or second.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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Xandraea

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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.

Throwing in my POD to Fleur.  This is NOT about the cake.  It's about the MIL's complete disregard for the parents' right to raise their own child, and the DH's failure to stand up to his mother, to stand by his wife, and a four-year-old learning that if she doesn't get what she wants, she cries to grandma, if mommy says no, ask daddy, and if she keeps secrets from mommy, she gets away with doing things mommy doesn't approve of.  What we have here is a failure to communicate.  Parents need to be a united front, discuss parenting decisions together, compromise when necessary and be honest. This going behind Slarti's back and hiding the do-over party from her is not about the cake, it's about dishonesty and disrespect.  I also totally agree with gramma dishes:


There are several things wrong here:

1.  MIL repeatedly took BBF to the ice cream store and repeatedly looked a birthday cakes with her, discussing what BBF would like on her cake, but NONE of this information was conveyed to the child's mother!

2.  MIL played DH and Slarti against each other with the second cake issue.  Deliberately I think. 

3.  I don't think Slartibartfast would have really objected to ice cream and a slice of cake or even a whole small cake on BBF's "real" birthday if she had been informed about it as long as it wasn't a reward for BBF's not appreciating the cake she actually had at her party.  But that information was kept from her.

4.  MIL deliberately let SBF know that she had been misled about prior events by letting her know that she was just now finishing up the second cake.  (Na na, na na na, your husband sided with ME, his MOTHER, over you, his WIFE!)

5.  I absolutely agree with WillyNilly that it is not normal for a child not to mention anything about that second party.  Any kid would certainly mention how much fun she had with Grandma and Daddy at the ice cream store and the beautiful cake and how all the other people sang to her, even if she was asleep when she got home.  She'd have mentioned it the next day unless she was specifically told NOT to mention it to Mommy.  No, no and NO!  You do NOT keep secrets from Mommy!!!

BabyMama

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POD to everyone. I am really upset for the OP--her MIL really undermined her and made herself look like the hero. "Oh, so sorry, BBF, your mommy didn't get you the cake I knew you wanted...but look! Gramma has your real cake right here! Yay me!" Even without the bulldozing of Slartibartfast's parenting decisions, MIL's not coming out in a good light.

Sophia

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I can totally see myself actually writing down anything she seems to agree to unwillingly, and then making her sign it.  Her claiming afterward that she didn't hear what was said would drive me absolutely batty.
After the last update, I wouldn't be upset at OP's DH any longer.  That sounds like a normal misunderstanding on his part. 

Lorelei_Evil

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POD to everyone. I am really upset for the OP--her MIL really undermined her and made herself look like the hero. "Oh, so sorry, BBF, your mommy didn't get you the cake I knew you wanted...but look! Gramma has your real cake right here! Yay me!" Even without the bulldozing of Slartibartfast's parenting decisions, MIL's not coming out in a good light.

Yeah, MIL set this whole thing up to take the specialness of BBF's birthday for her own credit.  Got the child all wound up about an ice cream cake, and then swooped in with her sneaky superhero cape and made it all about herself. 

It sounds so familiar.  My parents stole every first from my sister with her kids.  First birthday party, first haircut, first bike and rubbed sis's nose in it every time. 

(((hugs)))