I'm trying to decide between two options for my ILs upcoming weekend visit.
First a little background: My MIL consistently makes me feel uncomfortable with rude, intrusive, competitive behavior. DH and I have summed it up this way: To her, there can only be one "mother" (even to MY children) and that is her, therefore she must break me down or get rid of me in order to stay in her role. Unfortunately for her, there is no contest when it comes to my DH and DS, and that makes her more resentful and uglier toward me. Her guilt trips and rude comments are common but pretty subtle in a group setting, but when she gets me alone she lets is all out. Most recently, she attacked me over the holidays over several things including my parenting and my FOO. This is all in another post, but it ended with her having a sobbing fit begging me not to be mad at her or shut her out when it appeared I wasn't going to sit there and take it (I asked her to stop and got up to leave the room) She made no apology or explanation, rather acted like a four year old who thinks they can tantrum their way out of a timeout. She has since called me several times, and I haven't returned her calls. I know from experience (and her messages) she doesn't want to make amends, but she wants to continue the way things have always been. Truly, I have never been anything but patient with this woman in the past, and have always tried to come from a place of love and be reasonable. She does not respond to reason.
MIL and FIL are coming for a visit next weekend. DH and I have decided that I will never be alone with her again (easier said than done, she has attacked me before at a restaurant when everyone else got up to go wash their hands, she's pretty ruthless in just 5 minutes) but that is the plan, and DH said he will field all intrusive questions, guilt trips and criticisms. (In the past, he has just tuned her out, leaving me to answer to her, since she directs them at me anyway)
We have a million reasons why we don't want her to babysit, but I won't get into it. I will say that no one else babysits either, so it's not like there is a double standard.
Anyway, this will be one of the last times for a while that I will have to option of opting out, staying in my room when they are over, staying home when they go out. Previously, my son was too young for me to want to be away from him all day or night (I don't work so we just aren't used to that; I was nursing on demand; there were holidays and I thought it unfair that I be separated from my baby just because MIL bullied me into staying away) I'm giving birth again next month, so the cycle will start over - I won't be separated from my newborn on MIL's demand, and I'm not so low as to keep him from her altogether, so I have to suck it up and be in the same room with her when she comes to see him.
So, my poll question is this - do I save myself the grief of dealing with her this one time, or do we go with DH's plan to have him stay on guard for me? Does it matter? - She'll be here again next month and I'll be forced to deal with her. I'm conflicted because in a way she gets rewarded for her bad behavior, this is all she wants after all, for me to disappear so that she can be the only Mom in the room. It may send a message that I really won't subject myself to her nastiness, or she could just feel like she finally got her way.