Author Topic: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57  (Read 20223 times)

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SPuck

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #60 on: July 31, 2013, 02:20:09 PM »
And then DH goes away thinking absolutely nothing happened, while MIL goes away hearing "I now have permission to buy pink paint and new bedroom furniture for Babybartfast because my son said it's okay!"  And then I end up being "the bad guy" (and have to expend the emotional energy to intervene) when she shows up with buckets of paint because DH doesn't care enough about the color of Babybartfast's room to stand up one way or the other.  He's going to work on making sure she doesn't come away from any conversation with the belief that she's okay to go through with whatever thing she just randomly decided.

Did this part actually happen/is happening?

Slartibartfast

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2013, 03:19:35 PM »
And then DH goes away thinking absolutely nothing happened, while MIL goes away hearing "I now have permission to buy pink paint and new bedroom furniture for Babybartfast because my son said it's okay!"  And then I end up being "the bad guy" (and have to expend the emotional energy to intervene) when she shows up with buckets of paint because DH doesn't care enough about the color of Babybartfast's room to stand up one way or the other.  He's going to work on making sure she doesn't come away from any conversation with the belief that she's okay to go through with whatever thing she just randomly decided.

Did this part actually happen/is happening?

No, the paint was a dramatization of the type of thing MIL seems to think is perfectly okay  ::)  She did buy Babybartfast a backpack for her birthday, though, right after a) I told her my parents were already getting her a backpack, and b) she SAW the backpack (not yet wrapped) over the weekend.  But since she had already bought one (she conveniently forgot my previous conversation with her, apparently) she decided she just had to give it to Babybartfast anyway, because it was sparklier than the one my mom bought.

So now we either have a duplicate or I have to go through finding out where my mom bought the other one and returning it.  And of course Babybartfast does indeed love the sparkly pink one, so putting my foot down about something this trivial (and I do realize it's trivial if you just look at this specific incident) would just make my daughter upset on her birthday  :-\  To make it more complicated, my parents are out of the country and out of email/phone contact for the next week or two, which takes us up to around when school starts . . .

kherbert05

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #62 on: July 31, 2013, 03:55:53 PM »
And then DH goes away thinking absolutely nothing happened, while MIL goes away hearing "I now have permission to buy pink paint and new bedroom furniture for Babybartfast because my son said it's okay!"  And then I end up being "the bad guy" (and have to expend the emotional energy to intervene) when she shows up with buckets of paint because DH doesn't care enough about the color of Babybartfast's room to stand up one way or the other.  He's going to work on making sure she doesn't come away from any conversation with the belief that she's okay to go through with whatever thing she just randomly decided.

Did this part actually happen/is happening?

No, the paint was a dramatization of the type of thing MIL seems to think is perfectly okay  ::)  She did buy Babybartfast a backpack for her birthday, though, right after a) I told her my parents were already getting her a backpack, and b) she SAW the backpack (not yet wrapped) over the weekend.  But since she had already bought one (she conveniently forgot my previous conversation with her, apparently) she decided she just had to give it to Babybartfast anyway, because it was sparklier than the one my mom bought.

So now we either have a duplicate or I have to go through finding out where my mom bought the other one and returning it.  And of course Babybartfast does indeed love the sparkly pink one, so putting my foot down about something this trivial (and I do realize it's trivial if you just look at this specific incident) would just make my daughter upset on her birthday  :-\  To make it more complicated, my parents are out of the country and out of email/phone contact for the next week or two, which takes us up to around when school starts . . .
Keep the 2nd backpack - By Winter Break the other one will be dingy and torn up. Give her the other backpack at the beginning of 2nd term - you can't find them then. She will love having a clean new backpack. I can't figure out how my students wear their backpacks out so fast when all they have to take to and from school is a homework folder, and 2 library books. We don't sent text books and such home.
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SPuck

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #63 on: July 31, 2013, 04:20:39 PM »
(and I do realize it's trivial if you just look at this specific incident)

It isn't trivial if it is part of a larger pattern.

weeblewobble

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #64 on: July 31, 2013, 04:30:02 PM »
DH is taking the path of least resistance in every way except for when it comes to you.  It's easier for him to let his mother care for the kids and do whatever she wants in your house because 1) he doesn't have to take care of the kids and 2) he doesn't have to argue with his mother.  But he is more than comfortable with upsetting you, because he thinks that you HAVE to forgive him and compromise.  Yes, you DO have a say in how the weekend went while you were away because they are your children too.

This is the conversation you need to have with your DH.  He is being emotionally, physically and parentally lazy.

rosiegirl

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #65 on: July 31, 2013, 06:05:02 PM »
And then DH goes away thinking absolutely nothing happened, while MIL goes away hearing "I now have permission to buy pink paint and new bedroom furniture for Babybartfast because my son said it's okay!"  And then I end up being "the bad guy" (and have to expend the emotional energy to intervene) when she shows up with buckets of paint because DH doesn't care enough about the color of Babybartfast's room to stand up one way or the other.  He's going to work on making sure she doesn't come away from any conversation with the belief that she's okay to go through with whatever thing she just randomly decided.

Did this part actually happen/is happening?

No, the paint was a dramatization of the type of thing MIL seems to think is perfectly okay  ::)  She did buy Babybartfast a backpack for her birthday, though, right after a) I told her my parents were already getting her a backpack, and b) she SAW the backpack (not yet wrapped) over the weekend.  But since she had already bought one (she conveniently forgot my previous conversation with her, apparently) she decided she just had to give it to Babybartfast anyway, because it was sparklier than the one my mom bought.

So now we either have a duplicate or I have to go through finding out where my mom bought the other one and returning it.  And of course Babybartfast does indeed love the sparkly pink one, so putting my foot down about something this trivial (and I do realize it's trivial if you just look at this specific incident) would just make my daughter upset on her birthday  :-\  To make it more complicated, my parents are out of the country and out of email/phone contact for the next week or two, which takes us up to around when school starts . . .
Keep the 2nd backpack - By Winter Break the other one will be dingy and torn up. Give her the other backpack at the beginning of 2nd term - you can't find them then. She will love having a clean new backpack. I can't figure out how my students wear their backpacks out so fast when all they have to take to and from school is a homework folder, and 2 library books. We don't sent text books and such home.
Totally this.  Keep the backpack.  It will be used either when the other falls apart, or she can use it as a special bag for when she gets invited to sleepovers with friends. There are never too many backpacks!

Cami

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2013, 06:32:51 PM »
DH is taking the path of least resistance in every way except for when it comes to you.  It's easier for him to let his mother care for the kids and do whatever she wants in your house because 1) he doesn't have to take care of the kids and 2) he doesn't have to argue with his mother.  But he is more than comfortable with upsetting you, because he thinks that you HAVE to forgive him and compromise.  Yes, you DO have a say in how the weekend went while you were away because they are your children too.

This is the conversation you need to have with your DH.  He is being emotionally, physically and parentally lazy.
I agree. I hate to say this, but you need to adjust your expectations about your dh and accordingly adjust how you handle these situations.  Given his propensity to choose the path of least resistance, you need to make sure your path is NOT the least resistant. You need to make it more difficult to ignore your needs and wishes than it is to stand up to his mother.

jedikaiti

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2013, 06:38:20 PM »
He didn't realize how much MIL criticizes me behind his back, and he promised to be more aware of situations like that in the future.

Have you considered discreetly recording some of those conversations for his education?
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LeveeWoman

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #68 on: July 31, 2013, 06:58:37 PM »
(and I do realize it's trivial if you just look at this specific incident)

It isn't trivial if it is part of a larger pattern.

And, from what has been posted now and on previous occasions, it is part of a pattern.

Jaelle

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #69 on: July 31, 2013, 07:13:58 PM »
Oh my. If my DH had any brothers, I'd think you were my sister-in-law. Right down to the DH "not getting in the middle thing" and the tendency to tune things out and have MIL go away thinking she'd gotten her way.

Things have gotten better, though. I've been trying to think about why and how so I can share. It was in part because DH started pointing out to MIL that he was an adult and she was really criticizing him too when she criticized our home and child-rearing, because he was a full partner in them. (She doesn't like it -- in her world, that's completely the wife's job while the man is the "provider" -- and I don't think she completely believes I'm not secretly behind it, but she did stop. At least in my hearing.)

Like her insisting she had to be at your house to watch the kids ... she's really calling him incompetent. How does he feel about that? It really got on my DH's nerves eventually and led to the above.

He still doesn't understand everything about the boundaries that bothers me (like MIL having a second birthday party for DS one year because we didn't quite do the first one by her traditional standards ... to him, it was "the more birthday parties the better!"). But we're working on it.

Good luck.
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Marbles

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #70 on: July 31, 2013, 07:16:37 PM »
Your MIL sounds like my Grandma with the harping on things. I have found that Grandma does respond to direct language about Subjects We Do Not Speak About (my weight, the weight of anyone else in the family, my rel@tionship with my father). She has tried the "I know I'm not supposed to bring this up..." tactic, but I shut it down with a "Then why did you bring it up?" which changes the nature of the conversation from the forbidden subject to why she thinks the rules have changed.

We used to pay a local friend to babysit our kids, but I found that getting home to a litany of complaints about how hard it was got to be too much. Especially when the kids were doing normal baby/toddler things. It was much better for our friendship to not have her watch the kids. So, you might consider giving MIL a long break before letting her watch the kids again. Or, be more direct with her.
"I guess I'll have to come watch the kids."
"MIL, you complain every time you watch the kids. I don't want to hear bad things about my kids over and over. So, no, I don't want you to watch the kids while I am gone. DH will do just fine. Maybe once the kids are older we can try again."

Midnight Kitty

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #71 on: July 31, 2013, 07:25:18 PM »
Slartibartfast,

I'm going to accept that your MIL has some other great qualities or you wouldn't describe her as a "kind and wonderful woman." I also accept that your husband must have some great qualities because you love him.  But ... the situation you describe, the things she says to him behind your back, and his laziness in dealing with her would have me screaming, climbing the walls, and probably committed to the nut house with the rest of the squirrels.

When you say "he tends to brush off any complaints I have about his mother as a "my wife versus her MIL and I'm staying out of it" thing," I see red flags.  He should be putting you and your family first and setting his mother straight as to exactly who decides what goes on in your house (specifically not her).  I don't think I would let her in my house after this: "So MIL was kind enough to inform me that since she and Grandma will be spending the bulk of Monday and Tuesday at my house, could I please have the whole house cleaned and tidied, including the master bedroom and closets and such, because the closets were messy too?" There is absolutely no reason for her to go into your master bedroom, let alone your closets.  Your husband, her son, should be the one drawing clear boundaries because she is his mother.  He should be protecting you from her backstabbing because he is your husband.

You are much more patient and forgiving than I am.  I give your props for that, but I don't think you should continue to be patient and forgiving.  If your husband won't stand up for you, stand up for yourself.  You deserve to be treated better than this, especially in your own home.

Supportively,
Midnight Kitty
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JoyinVirginia

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #72 on: July 31, 2013, 07:33:09 PM »
Just want to post agreement that you will need the second backpack at some point. Either the  first will break or get really dirty or she will get tired of it.
And good for you for your mil moratorium, good planning!

doodlemor

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #73 on: July 31, 2013, 07:41:19 PM »
Slartibartfast,

I'm going to accept that your MIL has some other great qualities or you wouldn't describe her as a "kind and wonderful woman." I also accept that your husband must have some great qualities because you love him.  But ... the situation you describe, the things she says to him behind your back, and his laziness in dealing with her would have me screaming, climbing the walls, and probably committed to the nut house with the rest of the squirrels.

When you say "he tends to brush off any complaints I have about his mother as a "my wife versus her MIL and I'm staying out of it" thing," I see red flags.  He should be putting you and your family first and setting his mother straight as to exactly who decides what goes on in your house (specifically not her).  I don't think I would let her in my house after this: "So MIL was kind enough to inform me that since she and Grandma will be spending the bulk of Monday and Tuesday at my house, could I please have the whole house cleaned and tidied, including the master bedroom and closets and such, because the closets were messy too?" There is absolutely no reason for her to go into your master bedroom, let alone your closets.  Your husband, her son, should be the one drawing clear boundaries because she is his mother.  He should be protecting you from her backstabbing because he is your husband.

You are much more patient and forgiving than I am.  I give your props for that, but I don't think you should continue to be patient and forgiving.  If your husband won't stand up for you, stand up for yourself.  You deserve to be treated better than this, especially in your own home.

Supportively,
Midnight Kitty

POD

Slarti, I always greatly admire the advice that you give to others.  You need to step back and pretend that this thread isn't about you and your family, and think what advice you would give to the OP.

Someone recently said that her XMIL had said and done many things to alienate her from her DD.  I couldn't find the thread to quote.  When I read it I felt chilled, immediately thinking of your MIL and the shenanigans that she pulled last year about your child's birthday.  Your nasty, dreadful MIL is doing everything in her power to supplant you in your own family.  You need to recognize her for what she is, and deal.

sparksals

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #74 on: July 31, 2013, 07:43:19 PM »
DH is taking the path of least resistance in every way except for when it comes to you.  It's easier for him to let his mother care for the kids and do whatever she wants in your house because 1) he doesn't have to take care of the kids and 2) he doesn't have to argue with his mother.  But he is more than comfortable with upsetting you, because he thinks that you HAVE to forgive him and compromise.  Yes, you DO have a say in how the weekend went while you were away because they are your children too.

This is the conversation you need to have with your DH.  He is being emotionally, physically and parentally lazy.


I have to agree with all of this.