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All of the Gory Details

Started by holliberri, March 27, 2011, 07:07:30 pm

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Hi Everyone,
Well, the absolute worst part of this weekend was DD had a case of pink eye. I caught it early, and while she was miserable yesterday, she was quite happy today. The problem that came up was when I said I didn't think we should be going, DH said that I was doing it all on purpose. The truth is, I didn't want young kids/elderly to be affected by pink eye as well. Anyhow, we went, and I suppose if anyone gets pink eye, that's their problem, not mine. They were fairly warned.
Between a swap meet, a nap and a short dinner yesterday, everything was fine. I really wasn't with the ILs for most of the day. Then came today...we were going to DH's g-ma's house, where we sat and chatted. Ambivalent, I suppose is my mood.
I brought daycare photos for MIL to have, she started showing everyone and then started offering people wallets and 4x5s. I said, "I don't mind if you give them the photos I gave you, but I really don't have extras to give out to great Aunts and Uncles and cousins. I'll gladly order more for everyone if they'd like to pay me." Photos were put back...MIL sulked in a corner and bit back tears. I started a conversation with an Uncle.

The birthday party weekend, has now turned into a birthday party week. 7 days of non stop fun at my house. I will be hosting...FIL and DH will be tearing apart rooms, and I'll be taking leave to entertain MIL. I have a problem with this: I wasn't asked about it, I'm not sure if we can afford the renovations that were talked about and I really don't think the week of DD's party is not the week to do it, since we'll be entertaining at the end of that week. DH is also taking 1 week of our 2 weeks of vacation to do this. I asked him about it, and he seemed confident his changes would be at least presentable for entertainment. I'll have to play that one by ear.

Thanksgiving came up. Yes, it's March. They put aside 5 days in Disneyworld at a timeshare for exactly 5 people "b/c DH and I both get two days off, then." I said, "DH and DD can go, but I cannot. I only got two days off last year b/c it was an executive order , and that's never happened before; plus that Saturday is my class reunion, which I'm planning." MIL said, "Oh, I forgot, can't you change it? Family trumps class reunions." What about my family? I suppose this is where I went into my blank faced stupor where I stared at a plate or something.  No word on whether DH plans on spending Thanksgiving without me, but MIL cried.

Now...we are already planning on spending Christmas with them. That was already arranged on December 26, 2010...for an entire week. That is the 2nd week of our vacation. ALL of our vacation will be spent with family. What more can I do? Why aren't weekends every six weeks, a few major holidays and ALL of our vacation enough?

I was told my DD was being dressed like a boy b/c I don't deck her out in shoes, skirts and dresses. I didn't care...I actually mustered up a shrug. There were gifts: 3 bunny rabbit stuffed animals, 2 wind up chicks and 2 laser light things that are for ages 5 and up, along with an outfit with a bonnet for Easter, and her birthday party outfit. What? I'd take a photo of this outfit and put it on here, but it's one of a kind and I think it would be proof that I am who I say I am...but imagine: sequins, tulle, frills, bows...every piece of bling you can imagine for a baby all on one dress.  Is it typical for GPs to pick out the outfit for EVERY holiday? She's had Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Easter, and now 1st Birthday. I'm only a mom once; I'll gladly dress my kid in that stuff on another occasion, but I would love to just go to a store and pick out things for DD to wear on the big occasions. I'm tired of having to dress my kid to someone else's liking for the big one else has even suggested that they pick out the outfits let alone buy them and give them to me.

DD naturally got tired from the activity (she wears herself out fast in new environments) and MIL would not stay out of her face. The more she screamed, the more MIL  got in her face with toys, noise, singing, dancing.  DH finally picked up DD who was a total basket case, put her in the carseat and said, "We'll be back." I've begged, I've pleaded, and I've even fought about this: the fastest way to get DD to sleep is leave her alone. Even when I step in and takeover, MIL will reach behind my shoulder with toys and stuff and cram them into DD's face. DH told me from now on, when DD needs to sleep, we'll just leave. How am I supposed to leave this baby with my MIL one day if she can't respect DD's needs? I'd LOVE to sing and dance her to sleep, but it's torture for DD. How hard is it to respect someone when they say, "Please don't do that." I know she was a parent before, and she did an excellent job, but aren't parents supposed to make the rules? She has been with my DD for all of 5 seconds, and it's like what I say is total junk and I don't know what I'm talking about, even though I've only been doing all of the legwork for the past 9 months. This happens everytime I see her, and I still haven't come up with a solution. I suppose when it's naptime at my OWN house, I'll be leaving then too to get DD some restful sleep. DH has even asked her to lay off when the baby is a little overstimulated, but she swears that you need to keep stimulating a baby to put him or her  to sleep.

I figured something out this weekend: so many of you say you're not yourself around your DILs. I'm not myself around my MIL. I'm a statue. It wasn't a problem before, but I'm failing my daughter when I'm around her.  I don't talk to DD the way I should, I don't step in when she needs me, and I'm not nearly as affectionate and playful with her as I am either alone or around other people.

I did manage to let of the passive aggressive comments slide off my back, but I think I've got a few other things to work on. Err, sorry I'm griping...I should wait until I cool down, but I'm going through WWU withdraw. I know it's small stuff, but between the jabs at my parenting and the inability on my part to just not care what they think and only worry thta I  do right by my daughter, I feel like a failure as a parent everytime I come back from a visit with them.


I am so sorry, it sounds awful.  :-[

holliberri might not be that bad after a glass of wine tonight.  ;) Thanks for listening.


Honey, if I were you I'd have several, and think about MIL getting a walloping case of pink- eye!  :o


I thought I had posted earlier, but it must be out in cyberspace.  Sounds like poor torture you are having to go thru.  I cannot imagine being a MIL or Mother in that way.  My kids would have me committed it I tried to plan every vacation, holiday, etc.  Mine know pretty much when we're celebrating what and pretty much when.  If they can make it fine, it not, there's always the next time.

I am guilty (with a big G) of buying stuff for my new GD.  Her mama & daddy buy for her, I buy way too much, her birth mother sends her stuff every now and then.  DD just takes pictures of her in whatever we've given, then dresses her like she wants too.  I want the frilly look too.  At a recent birthday party, she was dressed like she was going out for basketball or something.  But everyone like her tennis shoes!!!

You probably just need to go ahead and drink the whole bottle.  Have your DH take care of the baby tonight.   Hope the pink eye is gone soon. 


O.k.  I don't know if you meant some of the post as funny (and I know when it all happened it wasn't funny at all to you)...but I was kind of starting to laugh at your description of the "busy" outfit they bought her! And the MIL starting to tear up all the time. :D   Like, if you would have known what it was going to be like with the IL's would you still have said "I do"?  ahahah.  Just joking.  ;)

Sounds like you are expected to spend a lot of time with in-laws.  Well, I guess it's better than them NOT caring at all about your DD.  That's not good if you are going home feeling bad after visiting with them though, and you made a comment about feeling like you fail your DD around them.

I think you just need to stand up for yourself when you are there.  Of course when you are at their house you should be respectful.  But just be yourself and if they do something to your DD that you don't like, speak up.  It sounds like you were already doing that.  You may have to really tell the MIL firmly (when she is getting in your DD's face and making her cry more) that you know she means well but that getting in the DD's face when she is already crying is making it worse.  If she says anything you feel is a snide remark back to you just tell her it's your DD and you know her best.  And you can say all of that firmly while still being nice and respectful.

And as far as the dressing your DD, this is just my opinion but if you are upset and feeling "cornered" into dressing your DD in certain clothes just to appease the IL's and you really don't want to,  I think you should thank them very generously if they buy her an outfit but I don't see anything wrong with saying "Oh I LOVE this thank you so much, but I already have her b'day outfit (or whatever occasion) that she is going to wear."  Then you could also add to be nice "I will take a picture of her in this cute outfit you bought her and be sure and send it to you".  Say it VERY sweetly but also firmly again.  Good luck!

Nana made me laugh...I imagined your mil all over your daughter's face.  Poor baby....

The good thing that everything comes to an end, and now back again to normal life huh?
Enjoy the relief...when this is over.   

It was indeed awful...

Good luck

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


You know I feel claustrophobic reading Holli's post. Putting myself in the middle of that group even as a fairly experienced woman just shy of 60, I think I would have grabbed my daughter and run for the hills. Yikes, I think her MIL sounds awful, and when you're a young Mom being in the middle of a group of people judging you can just freeze you on the spot. I've been there and just too overwhelmed to open my mouth, then feeling awful because I couldn't. Wine did help as I recall.  8)


Hey Holli,

I'm sorry to say this, but after the week I've had with dm, your post made me lol.  I remember dd going through the same feelings.  Somewhere around 9 mos,, she found her voice with mil.  I bet your mil gets super excited about seeing the baby & all sense goes right out the window.  Did she have a dd?   I offered to help dd as they had just moved into their new home.  I offered, because she had just given birth to gs #2.  Gs #1 was only 2.  Her answer, "Awe, it's my first home; I was looking forward to doing it myself."  It was a good enough answer for me.  I just reminded her where to find me if she changed her mind.  You can do likewise when it comes to what outfit dd wears for her 1st b-day, or any other, for that matter.  Tell her in a nice way, that you don't want to miss a thing with dd, including all the little perks like picking out b-day outfits.  She might cry, as she went to all that trouble, but most women would "get it."  As for pictures, maybe you could scan a couple so they can forward to aunts & uncles.  My ydd was like yours, she wouldn't let even me rock her to sleep.  She preferred to be put in her crib & left alone.  Go figure?~  Tell mil she's over-tired & over-stimulated, so you need alone time with her to calm her down.  If mil is in your home, tell her to wait in the other room.  Your mil is like a back seat driver.  Gently remind her that you are in the driver's seat.  You might also need to remind her that you've managed thus far.  Maybe you need to explain in the language she knows best.  Couldn't you muster up a tear or two, & explain that she hurt your feelings?  Maybe you could ask for her advice when you're at your home & she at hers.   She'll feel good about contributing, while you can let it go in one ear & out the other...  As for pink eye, my ds had it once.  I thought the pink was pretty with her blue eyes, so I stuck my finger in her eye & then mine, so I could have it too.  It didn't work~  You're doing great, Holli!

p.s.  Dm's all tucked in for the night...  : )


This is why I've never been upset when it became clear that my mother did not really want to have a lot of input with my children.... My life was so much easier... My in-laws for the most part were great.. seldom acted as if they knew better then I when it came to my kids.. my kids adored the in-law grandparents and everyone worked together to not step on toes.. oh yes if only Holli's would learn that, Holli would not have to become an alcoholic to handle her visits with MIL.  Until then.. I have a bottle of sangria in the fridge.. if you toss fruit in it, it becomes a healthy drink :)


Good Morning Everyone,

I don't mind you laughing about this at all...I'm the first one to find the humor in the stories I read on here, even though I know they are hurtful. I see the humor in this myself. Besides, I'd rather be laughing than crying. In a few days I'm sure I'll think this is hysterical, but it is in the throes of it where I have a hard time.

I don't mind new stuff being bought for DD, although I do think my ILs go overboard since this happens everytime we see them. I am one of those awful DILs that gives *some* things to Goodwill. Only one bunny will be kept in the house, the wind up chicks are not a toy for babies, and the laser light things will be kept in a cabinet unless supervised. I really do mind that someone else assumes that  they should be putting DD in outfits for the special occasions. That just rubs me the wrong way, whether I'm right or wrong.

L, I'm definitely going to take photos of DD in those outfits, but I'm not putting her in them for her birthday. That's a very good idea. I'll be practicing that statement until the  next time I see them. I'm sure I'll have 4th of July outfit #2 to contend with.

Rose, I meant to leave a message on your post and I didn't. I'm glad your DM is doing better. I heard somewhere...that when you need one knee replaced, you need to get them both done at the same time b/c it is so painful you'll never go back for the second. You've been a champion DD these last few weeks. I hope your DM keeps letting you on here so you can update us. I am thinking about you. Caretaking is tough.


Oh Holliberri - I feel so badly for you.

Have you seen my suggestion for the book "The Dance of Anger", because I think you could use it.  This book teaches that under-reacting to your feelings of anger is just as bad as over-reacting.  That when you under-react, you end up with lingering feelings of resentment, that just build and build, and then you end up over-reacting to something small.  THEN you have to eat crow, because you've over-reacted and that just starts the anger cycle again.  But if you react appropriately, you have NO guilt for over-reacting, and no resentment.  It's a wonderful feeling.

I can see that for the pictures, you really reacted appropriately with what you said to MIL.  She's responsible for her reactions.  She had no business handing out pictures that were not hers, and you were gentle in your words to her.

Could you leave the room when DD is overstimulated?  Go into a quiet room and close the door.  I know that the MIL's here are all about the fact that their DS is the DAD!  But you're the Mom, and you're the main caregiver, you know her best, you have the final say.

Please don't start a renovation the week before your DD's birthday party!  It will go over budget and it will go over-time.  Guaranteed.  As you go along, you will find more and more stuff that needs to be fixed at the same time.  If they are REALLY gung-ho for this project, why can't they start it the week AFTER DD's birthday?  I would veto this.  Seriously, we learned the hard way not to start a renovation during a stressful time.  We almost didn't make it to our 10th anniversary because of it.  If DH insists, then you make him promise you ON HIS WEDDING RING, that he will get it done and cleaned up in time (tell him exactly when you'll need the house to be presentable) for the party.  That he promises to work day and night if he has to, without being grumpy or taking it out on you.

Good luck.


Oh Holli, I'm sorry but you made me laugh. I went through something similar myself with my first born. She was the only baby in the family in a long time so she was the center of attention, everytime the ILs saw her they hovered all over her and made her cry, she was so scared of them, they also fed her junk food, etc., I didn't like it but I never said anything I knew they had good intentions and it was one day, once in a while, so to me it wasn't worth having a comfrontation over it, they also bought clothes for her sometimes that I didn't particularly liked but I still put them on her, now when we talk about it we laugh our heads off.

As far as the holidays are concerned, we wouldn't think of spending them with anyone but family, we don't have that much family around anymore and it makes us sad, a lot of it has to do with culture, but they need to understand that you have family also, you could alternate between the two FOOs.

If any of this bothers you that much you should speak up, there's nothing wrong with that as long as you do it with respect.

And I think Scoop is right about the renovation, once you start you'll find so many other things that need to be fixed...


Oh and the clothes!  Don't get me started on the clothes!

My MIL tells stories on how she used to sew EXTRA ruffles and frills on SIL's clothes!   I don't know if things were different 'back then', but I never understood some of the outfits MIL would buy for DD.  Like dresses for a crawler?  They end up not being able to move because their knees are on the dress!  Or overalls / snapped-onesies for a toilet trainer?  Time is of the essence!  Christmas dresses with no sleeves?  IT'S COLD!

Please pick your own outfits for your DD's special days.  You will be sorry if you don't.  You'll look back on the pictures, and you will feel resentment.  That being said, put the dress on DD for a bit, and take a picture - that would be kind.  You can also put your dress on DD for the party, but let her wear MIL's dress for a bit on her actual birthday (if you're feeling generous).

And, be honest here, will MIL actually say something if DD is not wearing "her" dress on her birthday?  My MIL wouldn't.  She would buy the "birthday dress" but she actually would not INSIST on DD wearing it - THAT part was all in my head.  Once I released that, it became easier.



I do hope we can laugh together about  this someday, but DH said he pinpointed a source for the problems between my MIL and I. He told me I have a certain sense of humor that she doesn't share. He said he's seen my family in action and we give each other a hard time, poke fun, argue heatedly one second and then giggle the next. He said if I ever tried that with his mom, there'd be no coming back from it.

We tried laughing about the "Christmas DH nearly died" incident and she took offense. She couldn't believe we would make a joke of it (after 3 years). DH was like, "Yeah, mom, like that time you were trying to get me to give you all the information at the hospital so you could fill out the paperwork? I couldn't even talk. Ha ha ha." She started saying, "I'm the what if I was filling out paperwork at the hospital and asked him his SSN when he couldn't talk?" He said, "DW knows my SSN by heart, along with all the other could've just given it to her. You kept asking me the questions and DW kept answering them for me." She said, "BUT....I'M the mom, that is my place, not hers." Then the waterworks started. DH said he'd never bring up a serious subject in a light fashion again. I suppose I have to follow.


I really will put her in those dresses and take a photo. I'm not willing to dress her in outfits for those special occasions. I figure, by the time she's 4, she'll probably have a mind of her own. I only get a few precious times to dress her as I see fit. Plus, I know MIL never had DDs, but she did dress her DSs as she liked.

And yes, MIL made mention that I didn't have DD in the dress she bought her for the school photos. She said, "But I bought you a dress, why didn't you use that one?" I blushed, sputtered and mumbled my response that the dress didn't really fit or something silly. I should have just been honest.