Author Topic: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57  (Read 20196 times)

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sparksals

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #75 on: July 31, 2013, 07:45:04 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


Podding this one too.

StarFaerie

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #76 on: July 31, 2013, 11:06:46 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.

I agree with this. Remember a snowflake is small, trivial and doesn't hurt anyone, but lots of snowflakes cause an avalanche and they kill.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #77 on: July 31, 2013, 11:32:35 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.

I agree with this. Remember a snowflake is small, trivial and doesn't hurt anyone, but lots of snowflakes cause an avalanche and they kill.

I agree - Slarti, I recall your other posts about your MIL, and admire your patience! I would have been driven crazy a long time ago.

One thing jumps out at me. Every time your MIL rushes over to babysit your kids while you're away, she's really sending a message to your DH that he's incapable of looking after his own children. How can this not bother your DH?

Perhaps when you next speak to your DH, you can pitch it to him like this. He IS capable of being a capable parent and making the right decisions for his children. He doesn't have to palm them off to his mum all the time, or concede decision-making to her (when it comes to his own children). He shouldn't let her insinuate that - as a father - he's not a competent parent.

Iris

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #78 on: August 01, 2013, 03:08:01 AM »
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.

I agree as well. I don't think anything will change unless you make disagreeing with you the HARD option.
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Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Gyburc

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week...
« Reply #79 on: August 01, 2013, 06:37:42 AM »
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 . . .

Slarti, I don't think this is trivial at all. I'm sure you've realised this already, but this is a repeat of the birthday cake issue. MIL decides to 'one-up' the special thing being arranged for Babybartfast's birthday, counting on the fact that you don't want to upset your little girl and so you won't protest. This time, though, it isn't just your feelings that might be hurt, but your parents' feelings as well. I'd be really mad if my MIL did this to me and to my Dad.

For this specific issue, can you make the pink sparkly backpack the 'good' one to be used on special occasions, and your parents' one the one she will use for school? But there are several bigger issues, aren't there, and I agree with the PPs - I think you need a whole new strategy to deal with your MIL, and it may well involve you being the 'scary' DIL.

(((Hugs)))
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Cherry91

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #80 on: August 01, 2013, 06:48:45 AM »
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?

Apologies for being late to the party, but this section bugged me so much I had to comment.

The above could be a post entirely on its own - does your MIL not realise that she's basically copping to not only snooping through your cupboards but intending to do it again?!

Personally, if keeping her out of the house altogether isn't an option, I would look into installing a lock on your bedroom door.

bopper

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #81 on: August 01, 2013, 10:27:42 AM »

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!

OT: We got the kids Lands End backpacks in 1st grade and they lasted half way through high school (even then they were still good...they just wanted something new!)

You could use the second backpack for sleepovers/travel or something.

cheyne

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #82 on: August 01, 2013, 02:26:21 PM »
Your MIL is a master at manipulation!  She intentionally bought the "Sparkly Pink Backpack (SPB)" and gave it to Babybartfast so that BBF would prefer it to the backpack your parents bought.  MIL knew that BBF would prefer a SPB and that you would not "deny" BBF her preference so MIL gets her way again.  Your MIL is not above using BBF against you, and that is a real problem.  A nice (sane) person would not use a 5 year old girl to "get back" at her mother!

I would not let BBF use the "SPB" for school, period.  Put it away and use it when BBF (eventually) goes to MIL's house for an afternoon or overnight.  You can tell BBF that MIL's backpack is for trips to grandma's house.   

 

jedikaiti

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #83 on: August 01, 2013, 02:27:51 PM »
That is a brilliant idea.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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asb8

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #84 on: August 01, 2013, 02:32:28 PM »
I agree, I would not let BBF use the sparkly backpack.  At all. Give it back to MIL with a blunt 'you know my parent's are giving her one, don't ruin their gift.' Otherwise you will just teach MIL that she can go around you directly to BBF and that you won't stand your ground because you (rightfully!) don't want to upset your daughter, who has nothing to do with any of this. She'll just keep giving the inappropriate treats/presents/privileges directly to BFF to circumvent you, knowing you will let her keep them now that she's seen them.

Give the backpack back and every time she tries to go around you, stand your ground. Grandma says you can miss the nap? Too bad Mommy outranks her. Grandma gave you ice cream? No sugar in the afternoon (generic example here) and into the freeze for dessert it goes.  BBF will learn pretty quick who's rules take precedence.

Of course, this only works if your DH is also onboard and backs you up.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 02:37:07 PM by asb8 »

Slartibartfast

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #85 on: August 01, 2013, 02:47:21 PM »
I agree, I would not let BBF use the sparkly backpack.  At all. Give it back to MIL with a blunt 'you know my parent's are giving her one, don't ruin their gift.' Otherwise you will just teach MIL that she can go around you directly to BBF and that you won't stand your ground because you (rightfully!) don't want to upset your daughter, who has nothing to do with any of this. She'll just keep giving the inappropriate treats/presents/privileges directly to BFF to circumvent you, knowing you will let her keep them now that she's seen them.

Give the backpack back and every time she tries to go around you, stand your ground. Grandma says you can miss the nap? Too bad Mommy outranks her. Grandma gave you ice cream? No sugar in the afternoon (generic example here) and into the freeze for dessert it goes.  BBF will learn pretty quick who's rules take precedence.

Of course, this only works if your DH is also onboard and backs you up.

It only works if she does it in front of me.  When DH or I are there, she's very good about following our rules (or asking us first, if it's something she's not sure we'd say yes to).  So she'd never suggest missing a nap or getting surprise ice cream without checking with us discreetly first.  It's just when she's the one watching Babybartfast and she's using her own judgement that she tends to stretch the limits  ::)  If we said "Babybartfast must have a 60-minute nap, staying on the bed, with no toys, alone in the room with the lights off," she'd have no problem doing it.  Same with "no sugar ever."  But those are two rules we're context-sensitive about - Babybartfast needs a nap for 1-2 hours, except it doesn't always have to be at exactly the same time and she doesn't *have* to sleep and she's allowed some types of toys (books, mostly) but not others (iPad) and if we have something else scheduled she misses a nap occasionally and if she's in the right sort of mood, it's fine.  I just can't trust MIL to come to the same conclusions about where on the scale things fall as I do.

I will say, at the restaurant the other night, Babybartfast opened each present, then enthusiastically ran to the person who gave it to her and gave them a big hug and told them thank you.  That was all MIL's influence - I certainly would have encouraged the same behavior, of course, but apparently MIL had given her a little talk earlier in the day about appropriate birthday behavior and it stuck.  So she's not all bad, just manipulative and lacking in common sense  ::)

Midnight Kitty

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #86 on: August 01, 2013, 02:57:00 PM »
apparently MIL had given her a little talk earlier in the day about appropriate birthday behavior and it stuck.  So she's not all bad, just manipulative and lacking in common sense  ::)
I don't have children, so I might be reading this wrong, but my impression is that your MIL is, once again, assuming the parental role.  Did MIL think that you and your DH have not taught BBF manners, so she needed to remind her to behave appropriately?
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asb8

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #87 on: August 01, 2013, 03:23:11 PM »
I agree, I would not let BBF use the sparkly backpack.  At all. Give it back to MIL with a blunt 'you know my parent's are giving her one, don't ruin their gift.' Otherwise you will just teach MIL that she can go around you directly to BBF and that you won't stand your ground because you (rightfully!) don't want to upset your daughter, who has nothing to do with any of this. She'll just keep giving the inappropriate treats/presents/privileges directly to BFF to circumvent you, knowing you will let her keep them now that she's seen them.

Give the backpack back and every time she tries to go around you, stand your ground. Grandma says you can miss the nap? Too bad Mommy outranks her. Grandma gave you ice cream? No sugar in the afternoon (generic example here) and into the freeze for dessert it goes.  BBF will learn pretty quick who's rules take precedence.

Of course, this only works if your DH is also onboard and backs you up.

It only works if she does it in front of me.   When DH or I are there, she's very good about following our rules (or asking us first, if it's something she's not sure we'd say yes to).  So she'd never suggest missing a nap or getting surprise ice cream without checking with us discreetly first.  It's just when she's the one watching Babybartfast and she's using her own judgement that she tends to stretch the limits  ::)  If we said "Babybartfast must have a 60-minute nap, staying on the bed, with no toys, alone in the room with the lights off," she'd have no problem doing it.  Same with "no sugar ever."  But those are two rules we're context-sensitive about - Babybartfast needs a nap for 1-2 hours, except it doesn't always have to be at exactly the same time and she doesn't *have* to sleep and she's allowed some types of toys (books, mostly) but not others (iPad) and if we have something else scheduled she misses a nap occasionally and if she's in the right sort of mood, it's fine.  I just can't trust MIL to come to the same conclusions about where on the scale things fall as I do.

I will say, at the restaurant the other night, Babybartfast opened each present, then enthusiastically ran to the person who gave it to her and gave them a big hug and told them thank you.  That was all MIL's influence - I certainly would have encouraged the same behavior, of course, but apparently MIL had given her a little talk earlier in the day about appropriate birthday behavior and it stuck.  So she's not all bad, just manipulative and lacking in common sense  ::)

I hate to say it but it sounds like the scenarios when you or DH aren't present need to be few and far between.  It sounds more and more like she is trying to undermine your (you and DH) roles as parents.  Between treat giving and behavior modification, she's covering all bases.

girlmusic

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #88 on: August 01, 2013, 03:56:29 PM »
It only works if she does it in front of me.  When DH or I are there, she's very good about following our rules (or asking us first, if it's something she's not sure we'd say yes to).  So she'd never suggest missing a nap or getting surprise ice cream without checking with us discreetly first.  It's just when she's the one watching Babybartfast and she's using her own judgement that she tends to stretch the limits  ::)  If we said "Babybartfast must have a 60-minute nap, staying on the bed, with no toys, alone in the room with the lights off," she'd have no problem doing it.  Same with "no sugar ever."  But those are two rules we're context-sensitive about - Babybartfast needs a nap for 1-2 hours, except it doesn't always have to be at exactly the same time and she doesn't *have* to sleep and she's allowed some types of toys (books, mostly) but not others (iPad) and if we have something else scheduled she misses a nap occasionally and if she's in the right sort of mood, it's fine.  I just can't trust MIL to come to the same conclusions about where on the scale things fall as I do.

I will say, at the restaurant the other night, Babybartfast opened each present, then enthusiastically ran to the person who gave it to her and gave them a big hug and told them thank you.  That was all MIL's influence - I certainly would have encouraged the same behavior, of course, but apparently MIL had given her a little talk earlier in the day about appropriate birthday behavior and it stuck.  So she's not all bad, just manipulative and lacking in common sense  ::)

I suggest very clear and consistent directions would go a long way here. So what if you two decide to do things differently when you are in charge? As the parents you can make adjustments and exceptions where you see fit, but GMIL should follow a clear set of steps/procedures each time. Your child won't be hurt by the consistency - and you still have the opportunity to say "GMIL, the baby was up really early this morning so please try to get her to nap for 2 hours instead of 1 today."

For instance, my mom watches our son once a week and she knows to take him to the potty once per hour, feed him dinner and give him a bath. Do we always do that each night? No, it depends on the circumstance but we are the parents so we determine what and when those circumstances are.


SPuck

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Re: My MIL is driving me crazy! Preparing for next week... UPDATE #57
« Reply #89 on: August 01, 2013, 04:49:24 PM »
Slartibartfast, I'm confused on where you stance is with your MIL. You posted several legitimate concerns about your MIL, but in most of your later posts you are making excused for her behavior. It doesn't matter how nice or sweet a relative appears, if they are trying to undermine your parental authority there is a problem.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 06:46:08 PM by SPuck »