October 25, 2020, 01:22:41 am


"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."

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Messages - Scoop

EJ - I hope that you use this new knowledge to make things better with your DIL.  What if you said "Oh, I didn't know it would bother you for me to clean your house, I was only trying to help, I'll stop now." and "I don't mean to be rude when speaking my language in front of you, it's my first language and it's just easier for me.  From now on, I'll try harder to speak your language, and if I'm having troubles, we'll just have DS translate for you!"

Because it doesn't seem like this is a deal-breaker situation.  As long as you stop cleaning her house and start making an effort to speak her language (I'm sure she'll appreciate any effort, especially if you instruct your DS to translate for her), you should be GOLDEN.

And really, if you're old enough to have teenage grandkids, you deserve a break!  Let the teenagers learn how to clean up! 

That being said, it *IS* rude to speak another language in front of someone who doesn't understand.  We grew up bi-lingual and it was DRUMMED into us, how rude it was to my Dad.  But he was understanding, if we were in a French-language situation, my Mother or one of us kids would translate for him.  If my Aunt or Gpa *had* to tell a story in French, they would apologize to my Dad first, explaining that it didn't make sense in English.  It wasn't that HE insisted that we only speak English around him, it was that we were polite about it, and considerate of him.  Maybe if you make an effort with your DIL, she will appreciate it.

Good luck.
Stilllearning - I'm a DIL who is struggling with my relationship with my MIL.  One of *my* mantras is that I don't want it to be *MY* fault.  That it's not  ME putting the nails in the coffin of our relationship.  So I say, go see the baby.  Bring a box of muffins from the coffee shop for everyone and a little 'something' for the baby.

I'm glad you accepted her friend request.  And I hope that motherhood changes her a little bit and if so, that you get to know your grandchild, and if not, it won't be because of something YOU did, or did not do.

Also, I was reading a speech given at a graduation, and he said that his greatest advice would be to "err on the side of kindness".  I'm working with that in MY life right now, and so far, it's pretty nice.  Even if things don't work out, at least I "erred on the side of kindness".

Good luck - it IS a minefield.  Remember that your DS has the map though!
StillTrying - were you specifically invited to be at the hospital?

If YES - then feel free to free to bring it up in conversation.  You can start with feelers like "you know, you and DIL can always change your mind about who waits at the hospital, sometimes having a crowd in the waiting room can feel like too much pressure" and then move on to "I've been talking to some other new Moms and apparently some of them really don't want their MILs at the hospital when they give birth.  I COMPLETELY understand and I would HATE to jeopardize my relationship with DIL over this, it's just not worth it."

If NO - then don't bring it up.  Assume you were NOT invited.  If they bring it up say something like "I'd love to be there, but I don't want to intrude on your first moments as a new family." or "Really?  Are you sure that DIL wants her MIL there?  I've had babies and it's hard work, and you want your Mom, not your MIL."
Nikncon - I have to agree with Luise that this was about a clash of expectations.  He was expecting a relaxing weekend and you were expecting him to help out around the house.

The idea of "working weekends" has been a hot button between DH and I and our parents.  I know that DH and I value our 'down time' on the weekends, such that we don't even do much work around our OWN house.  Also, neither of our parents are living in our childhood homes, and as such, we don't feel any 'ownership' over them, and thus, no obligation to make improvements.

Since my Dad passed, my Mom is VERY diplomatic in asking for help and very appreciative when we do help.  And so, it's easy to say yes to her.

The IL's used to ask DH for computer help, but they would wait until we were almost out the door ready to leave, so it was seen as a stalling tactic.  Otherwise, he has no problems helping set up any and all electronics, that's fun for him.

Is your DH infirm or injured?  Was it a hardship for him to put the carpet cleaner in your car?  Was the carpet cleaner something you could have figured out?  Because I can see that it wasn't 'interesting' to your DS to figure out.  If you had a sound system, or a PC or a tablet, he might have been all over it, but a carpet cleaner?  No way.  (I know that you could eat off my Mom's floors already, so a carpet cleaner would make us laugh and say "is that to clean up after us AFTER we eat off your floors?")

Are you retired Nik?  Because that was a big problem for us and my parents.  Once they retired, every day was the same for them, the weekends had no 'special value', like it did for us.   We didn't mind doing 'special projects' that either needed extra manpower, but we didn't especially want to do things that our parents COULD do themselves.

Anyways, this is just another perspective for you to think about.
Whitney - talk to an OBJECTIVE lawyer!  Your DS is too close to this.  If you talk to a lawyer, and the lawyer says that "If you go to the wedding, and your Ex is there, HE can't be arrested for breaking the RO" - then you can go to the wedding with no worries.  However, if your EX follows you to your room, or otherwise aggresses you, you still have the protection of the RO and he CAN go to jail.   This is your ace in the hole.

And I repeat, it's not lying to your DS if you say "Oh, I took care of that" in regards to the RO, because you did.  You ensured that your EX will not be sent to jail, just for attending your DS's wedding (which is fair), however if your EX makes a bad choice and decides to be aggressive, you do have some protection.

Good luck.

I think it's worth talking to a lawyer to see what your options are.   I don't know much about ROs, but I think it would be worth looking into.

Because, I thought that a restraining order was 'invalid' if YOU put yourself in his company.  So you don't need to get it dismissed in order to attend the actual wedding BUT it's still in effect if your xDh hunts you down beforehand or afterwards.  If DS asks, just say "I spoke with my lawyer, I took care of it, don't worry."

Also, I think you should point out to DS when he says things like "there will be violence" - don't be afraid to say "Do you HEAR yourself?"  and follow it up with "Can you see ME instigating any violence or even drama, no matter WHO shows up at your wedding? Then why are you asking ME to compromise?"

Is the wedding far from your home?  Would your DH come with you, just as moral support during any 'down time'?  That way you don't have to be afraid to sleep by yourself in a hotel room.  Tell him you'll buy him some pay-per-view sports event and a case of beer.  (Isn't that the equivalent to a spa day for women?)
I would go with the hope of having a nice conversation and a good time, but I would have a back-up plan in case things go sour.

If you think this might be an ambush, an "airing-of-nikncon's-various-faults-and-how-she-has-screwed-everything-up-since-he-was-a-teenager" type thing, then have an exit strategy.  Make sure you have cash to cover your share of the bill and that you're prepared to put it down, calmly say "I thought we were here to have a nice dinner, I'm not prepared to be berated by you.  Good night." and WALK OUT.

I would hope that your DH would be understanding of you wanting to have a meal with your son.

Good luck!
Pgri1 - the thing you have to remember is that you don't know EVERYTHING that is going on in their lives.  It's something you have to keep in mind whether it's your friend or your DS venting about their spouses, you may hear about the transgressions, but you RARELY hear about the apology and what was done to make amends.

He's obviously negotiated his relationship with her and it works for him.  SInce you can't know all of the details, you're going to have to trust his judgement.

One more thing, by rejecting her, you might be pushing him right into her arms.  If he feels like he has 'no one else' to turn to, then SHE becomes the most important and ONLY person in his life.
I think you should go.  Go and be yourself.  Be nice to the people you know and like, and be civil to the rest.  Treat them like co-workers from a place you worked 3 years ago, that you hated.  Sure, you hated it and it was awful, but you're not there anymore and if they want to maintain old grudges, oh well, it's their energy.

Pick a nice gift for DGD and congratulate her and tell her how proud you are.

Seriously, what's the worst that can happen?  DIL will hate you ... more?  You already know that she hates you, so what?  As long as you don't cause a scene, she, her M and her A can nit-pick all they want, and really, they will anyway.  Luise says that it's none of our business what other people think of us and that is TRUE.  You didn't make them think the worst of you, you can't make them think the best of you.

The *real* worst that can happen is that your DS and DGD are hurt, because you rejected what DS might consider as an olive branch.  I don't know, I couldn't risk it.

And if you go, please wear a bracelet in honour of WWU, so that you know that we're with you, cheering you on.

Good luck.  Let us know.
Quote from: Keys Girl on April 02, 2013, 01:59:16 pm
Scoop, good for you for not expecting anyone to pick up the tab for anything.  I'm sure half the parents in this generation wish they had adult children with that independent attitude.


Keys Girl - it always SHOCKS me to hear about adults mooching off their parents!  Okay, to be fair, my parents did put me through school, because education was considered super-important.  However, since then, I've been on my own.  When we were young and struggling, my parents would take us out for dinner and we appreciated it.  Now that my Mom is on a fixed income, we take HER out for dinner!  But sometimes, it's hard for her to accept for us to pay.  I have to confess that sometimes we trick her and lie to her, like the time we got her 4 new tires, but only gave her the bill for 2.

I don't understand how a grown person could accept having their parents pay their bills, or rent, or whatever.  Where is their personal pride?
TMB - I think that it's probably not healthy for you to have those 2 things (money / visits) linked together in your head.  It can go 2 ways, you're a nice person, so you will likely end up feeling badly for 'withholding' the cash.  And if you DO give it to him, you'll expect more visits and be doubly disappointed with the status quo.

I'm sure you can put that money to good use for yourself, because YOU are your #1 priority now.  Take a trip, make an investment.  And don't feel a lick of guilt over HIM paying HIS OWN student loans.  As a grown person, I don't expect anyone else to pay off the debts that I incur, neither should anyone else.  Sure, his life might be a bit 'easier', but that's not YOUR responsibility.  Studies have shown that more money doesn't mean more happiness.

As for him visiting, well, be sure to be having such a good time, or even such a relaxing time that he's ENVIOUS of you!
Hmmm ST - I think I need more information. What are the sleeping arrangements?  How old are the kids?  You said "they" would come, who is "they"?  Are you staying right IN WDW?

1 - You can ask FB to remove unauthorized pictures of your kids.  Sure, go ahead and ask MIL to NOT post pics of your kids, but you have no control over that.  Well, FB will help you out.

2 - Luise is the one who turned me onto this saying (paraphrased) "It's none of your business what other people think of you."  And it's true.  It doesn't matter what MIL's FB friends say about YOUR trip to WDW.  They're not you and they don't know your kids.  They don't know your bank account information, so they can spout whatever 'opinions' they have.  Opinions are like bums, we all have one and we all think that ours doesn't stink!

What helps me when I feel "out of control" is to plan or schedule as much as I *do* have control over. 

If you're staying in the resort, then you really have a lot more flexibility.  You can plan mornings at the park, afternoons in the pool and evenings back at the parks. 

Make your reservations for your character dining ASAP and then plan your days according to what park you need to be in for which reservation.

You can check out the rides and see which ones are 'appropriate' for your kid's ages.  Although, I can't recommend the Toy Story ride at Universal Studios ENOUGH (for ALL ages) - go super early, get a fast pass and then stand in line so that you can go twice.  You'll want to go twice!  All of the fast passes are gone by 11 - that's how popular of a ride it is.

Don't worry, she won't be able to ruin your vacation, because you won't let her.  It's the happiest place on Earth after all!
Monroe - your friend has nothing to gain by turning this into a slight.  The way I see it, right now, she has the option of CHOOSING how she's going to perceive this situation.

There's an internet meme out there about "What Men Wish Women Knew" and one of them is "If I say something to you and it can be taken 2 ways, and one of those ways makes you cry, then I meant the OTHER way."  And really, it's a good way to live your life, giving other people the benefit of the doubt.

For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic, I always tell myself that "Oh, he must be rushing to the hospital to see his baby being born!".  Because if I get all MAD about it, then it ruins MY day, it raises MY blood pressure and maybe causes me to cut off someone else, and why? because one guy was a jerk.  Nah, so not worth it.  And really, in the end, even if the guy decided to cut me off ON PURPOSE, it is better for ME, if instead of getting angry about it, I just go with the idea of "guy rushing to see his baby being born".  Then I can wish him "godspeed" and happily go along with my day.

So tell your friend that this is the very beginning of what is hopefully a long term relationship with this DIL and that she should not be 'manufacturing' slights, she should be manifesting good will and wishing DIL and her "girls" the best time.

Monroe - can you look at it as a long-time acquaintance stepping up a level into the 'friendship' category?  Or maybe you can think of your DS as having a 'new' wife, one you might like to get to know.

I agree that you don't have to be best friends this late in the game, but acknowledging her renewed efforts with a matched level of effort is what's required here.

What is she doing to cozy up to you?

I'm just now getting back in the swing here.

We did try the frozen treat maker with other fruit and it was not as tasty as it could be.  The secret is that the 'almost rotten' bananas add a LOT of sweetness and creaminess.  Ah well, we'll keep it and use it 2 or 3 times a year.  DH has thanked his parents for it, but hasn't "admitted" to using it.  (The IL's like for us to "rave" over their gifts.)

They also got us a bunch of other gifts that made us tilt our heads and say "what?"  A kids make-up set for DD.  A Christmas dress for DD.  A purse for me.  A nose-hair trimmer for DH.  (There actually wasn't much for DH.)  These are not "safe" gifts.