September 23, 2019, 03:00:42 am

News:

"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."


Need the Wisdom

Started by stilltryen, April 20, 2011, 09:08:53 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

pam1

Ohhh, I know exactly what you're talking about ST.  My SIL does that too and the deer in the headlights when you catch her.  For the first year I met her she kept up with the comments to me that she was allergic to my perfume (I don't wear any) so I changed my deodorant.  Then it was my shampoo.  I just gave up.  Xmas time someone gave her lavendar soap/lotion set and she started rubbing on her and raving how beautiful the smell....So I asked I thought you were allergic to lavendar?  Oh no, not this kind of lavendar.  Ugh whatever, I think she just didn't want me to smell like a lady
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Tara

 8) 8)  I love this forum. 

overwhelmed123

ST,

I'm sorry your DIL is being difficult.  She does sound very controlling, though I have to admit I cannot even pretend to understand what it is like to have your first baby and have to leave him/her with someone else while I go to work.  I might have problems "letting go" when the time comes as well- but I know I will be going the daycare route just so there aren't any problems and I always feel like doing business with a legit business creates more accountability on all sides, so it makes me more comfortable.  I will know they have experience and if I tell them I want things done a certain way, I will know that they won't get their feelings hurt because there will always be another mom that will be worse than me. :)

For what it's worth, I completely understand your frustration with them feeling like they're doing you a favor- but I think I understand where that came into play for you.  I think when DS told you their plan, you "criticized" it, calling it silly and suggesting an unsolicited idea of a "better" way of doing it.  Of course you did add the caveat that they can do what they want- but you made it clear what you thought of it regardless.  I think your DIL, rightly or wrongly, probably took that to mean you would prefer it be a different way.  But I mean...at least she made the effort to please you, you know?  If it was my MIL, I wouldn't have completely changed my plans with MY child just because she thought it was "silly," so I think that's at least saying something.  But anyway, I think that's where the "doing you a favor" came into play.  You may have come off as criticizing them or belittling their idea and they figured ok, if you want to watch GK so much, we'll let you- but you have to play by our rules since we are accommodating you.  (some of the rules do sound a bit overboard, but I'm just trying to be general here)

Sorry you're dealing with this, I can imagine the frustration.


Rose799

ST,

For what it's worth, during the course of the 2 yrs I kept gs, he & we (dh & I) bonded.  I don't believe anything dd does will ever break that bond.  Gs' memory of his time here is solid as a rock.  Our gs made up for all the misery dd dished.  Keep in mind that it's your gd who will truly benefit from the experience.   In time, hopefully, dil will relax & not be so controlling.  When my dd faced issues as a new mom, people came out of the woodwork offering advice.  I didn't, unless asked for it.  I reassured her that no one knows a baby more than its' mother.  It's true...  She knew I was a good mom; but it also made her more insecure, as though gs might love me more.  I didn't do anything wrong to deserve the distance she's put between us & gc.   At 18 mos, ygs doesn't know we're his gp's.  We're just people who get together for a meal every couple of months, if that.  But ogs jumps for joy each time he sees us.  You almost have to peel him off the ceiling.  : )  When I get the opportunity to speak with him on the phone, he puts me on speaker phone & takes me all over the house.  Sometimes I ride in the back of his wagon, I wait on the counter while he goes potty, & sometimes he "reads" me stories.   Pray that you & dil grow closer, and yes, be thankful they're doing you the "favor" of allowing you to babysit.  As far as being a doormat, I'd die for my gc, so doormat I was...  Whenever dd was being completely irrational; she'd threaten to take gs elsewhere.  I would calmly tell her, "He's your child, so it's your prerogative."  She never did follow through on her threats.  I got cut off when she became a SAHM.  It hurts greatly, but I carry gs in my heart, knowing that nothing will break that bond.  Since gs couldn't sit in front of the TV, I sat him in front of the computer & we'd watch videos with dc's songs, like "10 little monkeys," "rain, rain, go away," etc.  I used to sing them to him as he went to sleep.  I put them on to CD's so he could listen to them in the car.  For his last b-day, we gave him an MP-3 player with those songs included, among others.  Reinforce your gd's memory of her time with you, she won't forget it... 

stilltryen

overwhelmed123, yeah, I can see where someone might think that - but you don't know my DIL.  If she decides on a course of action and is determined to do it, a hurricane could come through and she'd still do it.  I think the reason she changed her mind about the daycare is that DS convinced her that they could do a couple of other things with the money.  I also know that her mom was thrilled about me watching the baby to save them the money as well.  I think the $$$$ logic won her over more so than anything else.

As for my perceived "criticism," trust me, nothing - and I do mean NOTHING - that I could ever say or do would faze her.  It's all about her, she's very, very, very self-centered and narcissistic.  I scrapbook and one day she came over and I happened to be working on pages for the baby.  Now, me, if anyone has a picture of my children, I'm going to nab them and look at them because, of course, my children are fabulous and wonderful.  (Okay, humor me.)  I told her I was working on the baby's book while she walked right by the table and didn't even glance down.  She never bothered to look at the wedding scrapbook I did for them either.  Why?  Because she's not into scrapbooking, therefore it's irrelevant to her. 

On the other hand, she knits.  She knit this (bleep, bleep, bleep) ugly thing she calls a blanket for the baby.  I was very kind and said, "Oh, that's very nice.  You do really good work."  (Yes, I gagged, but my momma taught me manners and I'm going to use them.)  She won't even do that.  I gave her baby blankets that DH's mom made for DS when he was born.  She's never once used them for the baby.  Baby just always has that hideous knitted thing wrapped around her.  Now DH's mom passed away a year after DS was born, so they mean a LOT to me, but she just stashed them in the closet.  Now if this were me, and my MIL had given me baby blankets and I didn't really like them, I would wrap the baby in the baby blanket when I would go over to my MIL's house to make her happy, but never use them anywhere else.  She has no regard for anyone's feelings, so she's not going to do that.  (Note, those blankets were beautiful.  They were hand-sewn and exquisite.)

Good perspective, just not it for this gal. 

AnonymousDIL

Quote from: stilltryen on April 21, 2011, 08:47:07 am
On the other hand, she knits.  She knit this (bleep, bleep, bleep) ugly thing she calls a blanket for the baby.  I was very kind and said, "Oh, that's very nice.  You do really good work."  (Yes, I gagged, but my momma taught me manners and I'm going to use them.)  She won't even do that.  I gave her baby blankets that DH's mom made for DS when he was born.  She's never once used them for the baby.  Baby just always has that hideous knitted thing wrapped around her.  Now DH's mom passed away a year after DS was born, so they mean a LOT to me, but she just stashed them in the closet.  Now if this were me, and my MIL had given me baby blankets and I didn't really like them, I would wrap the baby in the baby blanket when I would go over to my MIL's house to make her happy, but never use them anywhere else.  She has no regard for anyone's feelings, so she's not going to do that.  (Note, those blankets were beautiful.  They were hand-sewn and exquisite.)


I can understand her wanting to use the blanket that she made for her child. It is a special thing. With your MIL's blankets, she might be afraid they will get damaged since they obviously have a lot of sentimental value. Or she just might want "new" things for her "new" baby?

If they meant so much to you, why did you give them to her?

stilltryen

Rose, she's mandated that I can't have the baby watch tv or even have it on as background.  What's truly ironic is that when the boys were growing up, we were the ONLY family who didn't have cable.  We moved into a new house in a new neighborhood and called the cable company.  They told us that they weren't going to be in our neighborhood for at least a year.  So we paid $$$ and put up an antenna.  A month later, the cable company came by.  DH was livid and said, "Nope, don't want you now."  Thus our children grew up with no Beavis and Butthead or South Park or any of the "cool" shows.  They basically got ABC, NBC and CBS, and a couple of other channels.  To this day neither of them watch tv, except for a football game or a special show.  If I didn't raise my own children, over whom I had complete control of, in front of the television set - why would she think that I'd ever park my grandchild, whom I don't get to see that often, in front of it? 

They don't think things through, I guess.  I'm not opposed to the rule about not letting her watch tv, but no way I'm shutting it off if I'm in another part of the house and hubby is watching it.  I'm just not telling her that.   :P

Scoop

ST - One of my favourite sayings is "If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."  And I think in this case, you have to change the way you think about DIL's 'different' ideas.  Because you come across to me (and likely to her too) that you think her way is WRONG, when really it's just different.

She's not wrong to like her (bleep, bleep, bleep) ugly blanket, she made it, she's proud of it, she knows how much love went into it.  She doesn't have the same connection to the GMIL blankets.  And, she has different taste than you.  It's just different, not wrong.

She doesn't know how you raised DS.  She wasn't there.  And even DS, who WAS there, wasn't there in the capacity of "parent", so his memory of it can only be seen through the eyes of a child.

I also wish that you would cut DS and DIL some slack in terms of their parenting choices, let them find their own way.  They're new at this.  And, like teenagers who are first learning independence they're taking a stand on their decisions.

It's just that I can see this situation going down the wrong path so easily and I don't want that for you.

holliberri

Quote from: stilltryen on April 21, 2011, 08:47:07 am
As for my perceived "criticism," trust me, nothing - and I do mean NOTHING - that I could ever say or do would faze her.  It's all about her, she's very, very, very self-centered and narcissistic. 


My MIL has said things probably rather nonchalantly that I perceive as criticism. Money and daycare were two good examples of that. I think you've mentioned several times on here that you don't thing daycare is a good idea and it's a lot of money. This was something she initially wanted to do with her child...are you sure she didn't pick up on your opinion of her plans somehow?

With MIL, I dug my heels in further, and was dismissive of her opinion. She said it several times, and each time I became more attached to the idea of daycare, and "doing things my way."

Her criticism/opinion still fazed me...it always fazes me. It made me more obstinate than I normally would be. Just b/c I didn't cry or try to argue with her or persuade her to my view doen't mean I wasn't fazed.  I realize that it is my reaction to the action that needs working on, but my MIL bases her opinion of me on these reactions...and has at times called me self-centered and narcisstic.

stilltryen

"I can understand her wanting to use the blanket that she made for her child. It is a special thing."
I can understand that as well, I have no issue with her using that blanket.  All I'm suggesting is that she think of someone else for a change with her attitude.  When someone gave me an outfit for my baby that I thought was horrid, I put it on my child, I took a photo, and sent the photo of the baby wearing it with a thank you card.  It's called "manners."  Then I would put it away somewhere never to be seen again until the new garage sale.

"With your MIL's blankets, she might be afraid they will get damaged since they obviously have a lot of sentimental value. Or she just might want "new" things for her "new" baby?"
Sure, that's why she has things on the baby from when SHE was a child.  Evidently the things from her childhood have no sentimental value and she's fine using them, but things from DS's childhood are too fragile?  Hahaha, nope.  Once again, with this one, DS and family are irrelevant.  Since DS was a boy, I couldn't very well give her boy clothes for my granddaughter to wear.  Thus the blankets were the ONLY things I could pass on.  I'm not asking that she have the baby in the blankets ALL the time, but seriously, you think it's too much to ask that she put the baby in at least ONE of the blankets when she brings the baby over here?  Really?  Once?  Maybe you're right, but consideration of others' feelings is totally ingrained in me.  I would never, ever have been that rude to my MIL. 

"If they meant so much to you, why did you give them to her?"
My MIL made them for DS.  Two of them are yellow and white.  Because we didn't know what we were having, and she knew we wanted a girl, she also made one pink with flowers.  The pink one (because we had two boys) was put away new and was never used.  Hubby's mom passed away when DS was 3.  I passed them on to DS and DIL because it was part of the family.  It was the only thing DS had from his other grandmother, as he grew up without paternal grandparents.  Had I known she was going to stash them in the closet, I'm sure I would have reconsidered.  I (regrettably) thought that motherhood would change her and perhaps steer her to be a bit more thoughful towards others.  My mistake.

holliberri

If the handmade blankets are exquisite, perhaps she'd prefer to keep them that way and save them. I saved my blankets that I received from my mother not for DD, but for DD's children, if the time comes. I appreciated them more as heirlooms and story telling purposes, not so my baby could puke and drool over them.

AnonymousDIL

I think you would be wise to let go of the anger associated with the blankets. Your DIL probably doesn't know that it is offending you in this way. I know I wouldn't think of it as offensive.

holliberri

Quote from: stilltryen on April 21, 2011, 09:13:24 amI (regrettably) thought that motherhood would change her and perhaps steer her to be a bit more thoughful towards others.  My mistake.


Motherhood doesn't change everyone. You also mentioned you hope she changes when she goes back to work. Since motherhood didn't change her, do you think work will? She has demonstrated on several occasions that she is not the person you would like her to be, despite life-altering events. I think you need to accept her for her: crazy rules, ugly blankets and all. It would be easier for you to do that, than it would to just expect that events are going to change her.

holliberri

And, I didn't mean to write "easier FOR you"...I meant "easier ON you."

stilltryen

Quote from: Scoop on April 21, 2011, 09:06:21 am
ST - One of my favourite sayings is "If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."  And I think in this case, you have to change the way you think about DIL's 'different' ideas.  Because you come across to me (and likely to her too) that you think her way is WRONG, when really it's just different.

She's not wrong to like her (bleep, bleep, bleep) ugly blanket, she made it, she's proud of it, she knows how much love went into it.  She doesn't have the same connection to the GMIL blankets.  And, she has different taste than you.  It's just different, not wrong.

She doesn't know how you raised DS.  She wasn't there.  And even DS, who WAS there, wasn't there in the capacity of "parent", so his memory of it can only be seen through the eyes of a child.

I also wish that you would cut DS and DIL some slack in terms of their parenting choices, let them find their own way.  They're new at this.  And, like teenagers who are first learning independence they're taking a stand on their decisions.

It's just that I can see this situation going down the wrong path so easily and I don't want that for you.


I understand about the blanket.  You missed the context in which I brought it up.  I didn't like it, but I wasn't rude to ignore it or pretend that she wasn't putting in the knitting work.  I told her it was nice and she did good work.  That was the point to that.  And of course, she has an idea of how I raised DS, she married him.  Now if he parked himself in front of the television set every night, that might be an indication of how he was brought up.  If he hit her, or drank, or washed his hair ten times a day, or couldn't keep a job, or anything - that might (or might not) be an indication of his background.  Her inability to see outside her own little self-centered world is a clear indication (to me, anyway) of how SHE was raised.

Last, but not least, I rant here.  I don't rant to my son and I certainly say absolutely nothing to her.  Actually I've learned to stay with the weather or some other totally benign subject with her.  If you saw another post, you'll have read that one of the "rules" she had when she got pregnant was that we were not allowed to purchase anything for the baby unless we cleared it through her first.  Some of that made sense.  She was going to research which car seat was the best, etc.  One day I asked her if we could get some cotton sheets for the baby's crib.  This totally innocent question provoked a nasty retort.  Never brought up the subject of the baby or items for the baby again.  Two months later she's complaining that I never say anything about the baby.  Sigh.......

So yeah, when I post my complaints here - it's to get it off my chest.  It's so that I won't say a word to them.  As for parenting choices, we don't see them that often.  Remember her parents are relevant, we're not.  Even if I were to totally lose my head and make a suggestion to her, she would tell me it was stupid.  Baby was born a week before Christmas.  We were chatting about how so many children born near Christmas say they got "birthday gipped" by Christmas.  I did lose my head that day and made a suggestion about possibly having a birthday party in July to ease the pressure around Christmas.  She glared at me and told me that she was having a birthday party every year.  Okay, fine.  It's your baby, your decision, your party -whatever.  Two months later, DS & DIL are having dinner at her parents' home.  Same subject came up, her mom made the same suggestion.  This time DIL thought it was an absolutely fabulous idea.  DS wryly made the comment, "That's what my mom suggested a couple of months ago."