Author Topic: I don't want to take your mom shopping  (Read 7011 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2013, 10:38:08 PM »
If it's just you and the mom, then you suggest that she wander around some sort of store by herself while you go somewhere else.


guihong

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2013, 10:49:17 PM »
If it's just you and the mom, then you suggest that she wander around some sort of store by herself while you go somewhere else.

I wouldn't do that unless MIL speaks English and won't leave the store (to wander around a mall, for example).  Getting lost or feeling left could be very frightening.



veronaz

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2013, 10:53:19 PM »
Quote
Do you mean now while his mother is visiting, or just in general?

It applies to whatever you meant when you said your DH “knows the importance of keeping you happy” (which, btw, sounds kind of ominous).




Slartibartfast

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2013, 10:59:08 PM »
I think you're overdue for a good talk with your DH:

"DH, we need to work out a bit more of a schedule while your mother is here.  I'm happy spending some time with her, but honestly, I'm already "all peopled out" most of the time anyway because I'm always carting the kid around.  I need to get some alone time to relax and unwind, and I can't do that if I'm expected to be hosting your mom whenever I'm not at work and not sleeping.  I'm happy to take her along shopping sometimes, but not every time - can I count on you to come up with some ways she can fill her time that won't involve me?  Take her to the library and get some books or something.  And during the times we're both home, I'd really like you to take a bit more initiative to get her and the kid out of the house on occasion, even without me - go to a park or the museum or something, but just go out and let her spend time with her grandchild while you're there with them."

Then make sure he sticks to it - even a non-planner should be able to come up with some things to amuse his mother for a while so you can have a few minutes to yourself!

shygirl

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2013, 11:50:10 PM »
MIL definitely needed help picking out underwear.  I definitely could NOT just let her wander around by herself.

Quote
Do you mean now while his mother is visiting, or just in general?

It applies to whatever you meant when you said your DH “knows the importance of keeping you happy” (which, btw, sounds kind of ominous).

It's not ominous, but he "agreed" to the compromise I offered.  I didn't want to take her shopping at all, but said "okay fine, we can all go".  Then he didn't want to come at all, instead get "fresh air" while I wrangle the toddler and help MIL find underwear.  So...he wanted to relax in private after spending the day with his mom, and he wanted me to take her shopping after I had been working all day.  That's just not fair, and I don't want to set this precedent where I run around like a crazy person because my husband's family are crappy planners.

*inviteseller

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2013, 12:12:08 AM »
OP, may I ask if your child has any issues that make it difficult to take the child out or to allow your MIL to watch him?  You have mentioned a few times that it is difficult to wrangle the toddler and that she can't watch him yet, so if there is issues and this visit is a stressor on those issues, you need to have a talk with husband about it.  Otherwise, yes, it is your husbands mother, but think of how you would want to be treated when you become a MIL..the poor woman is going to pick up real quick that you both are finding her to be a burden. 

shygirl

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2013, 07:40:54 AM »
OP, may I ask if your child has any issues that make it difficult to take the child out or to allow your MIL to watch him?  You have mentioned a few times that it is difficult to wrangle the toddler and that she can't watch him yet, so if there is issues and this visit is a stressor on those issues, you need to have a talk with husband about it.  Otherwise, yes, it is your husbands mother, but think of how you would want to be treated when you become a MIL..the poor woman is going to pick up real quick that you both are finding her to be a burden.

It's just difficult to go shopping with my son.  You have to know what you want, where it is, and can't spend any time browsing.  It would have been impossible to keep an eye on him to make sure he's not wreaking havoc somewhere while helping MIL pick out what she wants.  Later in the shopping trip, we were all together picking out shoes for MIL, and my son was being difficult then too.  You just really CAN'T browse the stores with him.

CakeEater

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2013, 08:22:37 AM »
I don't think the OP meant that MIL is like a toddler - but having someone else with you always complicates shopping trips. Everything takes longer, because you need to walk at the pace of the other person. If they see something they want to look at, you might have to stop and look for a few minutes when you'd really like to be getting home. It's harder to just change your mind and double back because you forgot something three aisles ago, because you have to explain to the other person why you're doing that.
 
And you have to keep up some semblance of conversation, which makes remembering all the things you need to buy more difficult.

It's just all extra work, and as a fellow introvert, and mother of a child who also makes shopping trips difficult, that would be hard work to do for weeks/months.

OP, definitely have a talk about the whole situation with DH. I liked the idea about asking him to take her out somewhere at a particular time while you have a break - have him take DS as well and have a real break!

TootsNYC

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2013, 08:35:03 AM »
OP, may I ask if your child has any issues that make it difficult to take the child out or to allow your MIL to watch him?  You have mentioned a few times that it is difficult to wrangle the toddler and that she can't watch him yet, so if there is issues and this visit is a stressor on those issues, you need to have a talk with husband about it.  Otherwise, yes, it is your husbands mother, but think of how you would want to be treated when you become a MIL..the poor woman is going to pick up real quick that you both are finding her to be a burden.

Yeah, I'm feeling stressed already, and I'm not even the MIL.

I can't imagine any experience more lonely or aimless than visiting my grown children in a completely other town for days on end, when they're both at work during the day and wanting to not have me around at night. I'd feel like I was in the way, and I'd feel useless.

I'd probably end up cleaning their entire house just for something to DO, and pissing off my DIL because she thought I was making a judgment, or upsetting her because she thinks I'm a guest or something.

And if I were someone who truly couldn't be trusted to wander around the mall by myself, it would be even worse--I'd feel totally helpless and at their mercy. I'd feel trapped.

And if it were strangers I were visiting, it might actually be easier--they'd probably go MORE out of their way to help me enjoy the time, and there wouldn't be as many landmines. And I wouldn't have that sense of "not belonging" while in the company of my own child! And my grandkids, and my DIL, who is now my family too.

I'm never visiting my grown children for longer than 2 days!

*inviteseller

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2013, 09:07:48 AM »
POD Toots!!!!  I would never want to be the burden or take a step out of line. 

lowspark

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2013, 09:20:31 AM »
I'm never visiting my grown children for longer than 2 days!

You know, herein lies the whole problem. I agree that if shygirl and her husband feel like the visiting MIL is a burden, that will shine through. But really, it sounds like the husband agreed to host his mother without really including shygirl in the plans or taking her schedule or availability into account. On top of that, she's staying for an extended period of time.

If the husband feels like she's a burden, he shouldn't have agree to host her for so long. I don't think this is shygirl's fault but she is beiing made to deal with it.

So, ok, yeah, try to have a good attitude. But I think if I were in this sitution, I'd:
a) call the sister and discuss with her how long MIL is going to be with me and how long with her.
b) sit had have a talk with DH to discuss expectations for both him and me
c) make some kind of schedule/plan for the remainder of her stay

TootsNYC

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2013, 09:26:48 AM »
Actually, I'm w/ DH--I wouldn't want to have to create a schedule/plan for her whole visit!

It's just life. OK, sometimes we should have some specific things to do. but the rest of the time, i want to lvie with a vague philosophy or intent. And then just let life work itself out.

But of course, there is *some* level of a plan behind that--the rough idea that on Friday, when you're out a little early, you'll do something mildly interesting with your mom; on Thursday when I go grocery shopping, I'll take her along.

The thing that often happens with people who "don't like to plan" is that they feel pressured to be highly specific when they know that they can't be, or they feel that once a plan is made it's a failure to not stick to it. So when you say "plan," they think "rigid schedule, etc." instead of "a general philosophy of how we'll handle some of our time.

lowspark

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2013, 09:46:34 AM »
Oh, I agree!! I'm not suggesting a detailed itinereary for every minute of her stay. Not at all. That's why I said,
Quote
make some kind of schedule/plan for the remainder of her stay

Just like you're suggesting. A rough idea of the kind of thing you'll be doing (running errands or doing something fun/touristy or taking toddler to the playground or sitting around the house watching movies, etc.); and who will be doing it (shygirl & mil  or dh & Mil & toddler or all four or whatever).

This not only helps shygirl to figure out how this is all going to play out, it also gives MIL at least an idea of what's coming up. If I were her, I'd at least want to have some input in addition to not wanting to go to bed each night not having the slightest idea of what the next day was going to be about.

Cricket

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2013, 09:56:38 AM »
Shygirl, I get the impression that you are stressed and tired, even without this visit from MIL.

What do you mean when you say you and DH work opposite shifts? Is it like, you work 9am-5pm, and he works 6pm-2am type thing? So you get up, go to work, come home, send hubby off to work, feed and bathe toddler and wrestle him into bed, do some chores around the house, go to bed exhausted and then get up and do it all over again the next day? Hubby is home during the day looking after toddler, works all evening, gets home in the wee hours of the morning, grabs a few hours sleep before he gets up and does it all over again? If so, I can understand your frustration and lack of enthusiasm for having a long term houseguest.

Do you have a friend who could watch your son for a few hours so you could go shopping/run errands alone once a week? Is there some reason why MIL can't watch your son while you do the groceries. or even take him to the park for a picnic lunch and play so you could have some quiet time on the weekend to get errands done or just relax for an hour or so?

Have either of you asked MIL what she would like to do during her stay? Is there anything special she'd like to do or see while she's with you? I'm in Australia and if I were visiting the USA there's so much I'd like to see and do, and you guys have the cheapest, prettiest quiltig fabrics around. I'd be wanting to hit the stores, too, but wouldn't necessarily want you to accompany me - just point me in the general direction and let me loose! So, maybe ask MIL what her plans are. You don't have to plan every minute of her stay with you. Some initiative has to come from DH and MIL, too.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: I don't want to take your mom shopping
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2013, 10:10:49 AM »
I don't think you're being mean or unreasonable.  I can totally relate to how you feel because I also feel pretty much the same when my in laws visit. We don't speak each other's language very well so I end up exhausted every time we have a conversation.  Both of my parents in law are quite high maintenance and aren't easy going, independent guests.  Like your DH, they aren't planners, and if I try to make plans they will often change things as they go without taking into consideration my preferences or even informing me sometimes.  So I might suggest we go to an antiques show and then notice we're heading in the wrong direction: 'Oh well mum said she wanted to go to the nursery and then have lunch at that cafe.'  Then at the cafe they'll suddenly remember an urgent prescription to fill.  And then at the chemist they'll see a park they want to visit, or a friend who lives in the area, and the day I'd planned in my head will go completely out the window.  It's really very stressful!

What I would suggest is to find out what your MIL likes to do and look for some activities in the area that will accommodate that.  For instance, if she enjoys playing games then maybe there's a board game group at your local library she can join and you can duck out and do the shopping in the meantime.  Or maybe if she enjoys gardening you can check your local nursery to see if there are classes running.  Basically look around for stuff your MIL can do while you take care of your own stuff.  You shouldn't have to spend your every free moment with a guest, especially not one that's staying for an extended visit. 

ETA does your MIL speak the local language?  If not that's going to make things much more complicated for you, but then maybe there's an expat group in the area that organises activities in her native language.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 10:13:05 AM by Miss Unleaded »