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"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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Topics - justanoldgrandma

I already know the answer to this but had to ask if others feel the same way.  When dh and I stay w ds, dil, and gc, the gc cling to their mother and somewhat to their father (mom is a sahm.)  So dh and I are there when they go out or on errands and it always takes a while for them to get used to us again.  We are the go-to adults when the p's aren't around; not the most loved, of course.

But sometimes we get to have the gc at our house or theirs like the last few days and had the constant care (they are 4 and 9 months.)  Although we are exhausted after the visit, when they leave, I miss the hugs and giggles and stories and play all so much it takes a while for me to get used to their being gone. It's almost like they are our own children for that brief time (of course the older one, esp.,  miss their p's and we have them talk on the phone, etc.....not trying to replace the p's!)   DH loves them dearly but isn't such a sentimental fool and can go on w life more easily when they are gone.)

I know when we raised our kids I loved them dearly but had to work outside the house at the same time.  Of course, when they left for college, I cried after they left but did adjust of course.  (Yes, very sentimental!) With the gc, we just put everything on hold and concentrate on them.  I was going to go exercise class this evening after they left, but took such a long nap and missed the class.....

I know I need to get out more and get more friends and activities so that the gc aren't the loves of my life to such an extent.....anyone else miss the gc so much when they are gone? (My dil is difficult at times but loves it when she can do things w/o the children and ds appreciates the time off also.....so I know we are blessed.)

So....any other too attached gmas out there?  (We don't call them or their parents often, Skype, drop in on them, email, shower w gifts, any of the "too much" things; just see them once or twice a month when they ask; live 2 hrs. away so don't do the over-gp thing.)

Okay, about over the cry spell now.....I do know I need to plan some fun or busy activity to do when they leave so that my world isn't consumed w them (I'm retired and do need more activities and am fortunate to have a dh.) 

Any other sentimental gp's out there?!
If the gentleman who wrote his post and then locked it is still on the forum, I hope he comes back...... I was so glad to read his perspective bc he said so many things that I would love to hear from my ds; it explains why ds gives in as he does, that he is hurt by not getting to spend holidays with us...... in his case, it's bc he loves his wife, can't fight a huge IL family and his wife's insisting/sulking/tantrums.....bc he loves his dd and will preserve his family; he was raised to put his nuclear family first but his dw puts her FOO first most of the time; whenever the FOO wants something, it happens w/o ds being consulted.....

DS never saw me be the controller in our family, sulking, bossing; he certainly didn't marry a woman like his dear old dad married, as the song goes...... somehow he didn't know there were selfish and bossy girls out there; he was naive when he met his "sweet" wife (she can still be sweet when she wants to); he married too fast, not seeing what he was getting into; "love is blind";.... he is a sensitive and kind guy.

DS is getting the drift w/o our interference; he no longer is going along w/o realizing what is happening...... gradually some bitterness is creeping into some of his comments; I wish controlling ladies would realize winning doesn't always equal their dhs loving and respecting them as much as being kind.

August, I won't go into your post point by point but I can tell you were hurt by your dh and his family; thus your opinions are based on your life's experiences........

Yes, a son can sometimes fight his wife, go visit his FOO and let her go to her FOO; but she will undoubtedly take the children with her.  DSs realize that and I, for one, don't want my ds and dil being split up so I give in (although not asked!) and don't complain to them although we are left alone.  I would love the entire family to want to see us, dil included, and gd, too....... with dil wanting to see us; but that won't happen bc her FOO rules.  So ds is torn, gradually realizing he is missing his own FOO in order to please his dw.

Yes, I was raised to let the dhs be the deciders although I always worked while raising the children.  Gradually I have become more assertive and dh has adjusted to my "feistier" attitude; we make decisions together.  We raised our son to be kind, respectful to his dw and her FOO; dil was taught that the woman rules and we see that in her FOO; the men's opinions don't count; it's a woman's world in that FOO.

BTW, if both FOOs are kind and giving, there is no reason they can't be friends with each other or why the dh or dw can't be friends with the other FOO; mutual respect and consideration can result in friendship.

I hate to see the Guy lock his post bc we clearly need a man's perspective.  Will look up Luise's site of men's perspectives that she posted that was designed by Kirk.

Hope the Guy wasn't made to feel unwelcome by any of us.
Okay, I know this issue has been tossed around some.  And dils are different, some just reserved w their dh's FOO, others so close to their FOO there is no time/love for us, others jealous, maybe of the ds's and later the gc's attachment to us?  Some with issues deep-seated with their own FOO that make them distrustful of us?

Our dil had to have been slowed in growth by an early divorce and insecurity of moving, having to help Mom, nearly role reversal.  Then constant compliments of being beautiful, as though that's all that counts.  Constant visits/traditions with her FOO, leftovers for us.  The female family members are so close the spouses come in second.  Outsiders are not welcomed with open arms.

Some say don't try to analyze the behavior, but the Jekyl/Hyde behavior is so confounding to me..... she gives until I feel like she likes and appreciates me, but the next minute is snappy (she admits she has a temper (duh!)  It's like the minute we do something she appreciates is over and she has thanked us, it's forgotten, we are forgotten, her life goes on..... no one counts but her, truly; her FOO counts but it's more a security blanket....

Ah, maybe I've answered my own question about my dil; her FOO is her security blanket.... they give her what she needs; even her children and her dh can't give it to her....

Survey, anyone?
We don't have any relatives, friends, places to serve dinner or our dss and families w us on Christmas or Eve or even close to it.  No one...... but am fortunate to have dh I get along with well!  Eve and Day are very, very lonely..... I hate to leave dh to go to church by myself (he won't go....); otherwise I'd be there.

Begonia, you are starting a thread on what to do when alone on Christmas?  If so, I'll quit this one!

In the meantime, anyone else have no one (maybe a dh) but no other relative, friend, etc., for Christmas?  What do you do to celebrate the day?
Ok, a bit early, but need to make plans.  We do get to have one sibling and family at our house for Thanksgiving!  yay!

We will celebrate Christmas later at a relative's house and everyone will be there.  I have grateful for that.  But since the boys got engaged/married dh and I always spend Eve and Day by ourselves and it will never change...... the girls always wins, I'm told, and will always be with their own families (too far to see both families) and we aren't invited to attend theirs, esp. w the distance factor so I've just accepted it; I mentioned it once and was told I was throwing pity party...... so I don't have a daughter so.....

We'll still do a tree and gifts and all, for ourselves. 

I have had lots of suggestions of serving dinners at Sal. Army, churches (these dinners in our area are always held a few days before so we plan to do that but Eve/Day are still vacant ) and also to invite single people over or friends; we just don't have any that don't have family/friends to be with. 

So... am going to get dh to plan an Eve and Day out...... away from home bc knowing myself, i feel alone and neglected and think too much of the past and missing the kids/gkids, etc.  DH and I are fine in our relationship but he, too, gets lonely for the family.   Don't feel much like fixing big dinner for the two of us.  Or running to town for a buffet dinner and going home.....

I think the gift I'm asking for will be to stay at some resort for a night; see a show/eat out, enjoy the decorations; not sitting by the phone waiting for phone calls from family....... never tried this but don't want to be the Poor Me any more....
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Controlling dil
November 10, 2011, 07:06:17 am
I've posted about this before but haven't been on lately.  My dil can be charming, thank us for everything we do, good with pictures, cards, gifts for us but....

is so darned spoiled (her whole family is so "whatever" and just lets rude behavior slip by anyone....just lets it go.  The extended family is very large and very close; there is less financial responsibility and a lot more impulsivity in the family than in ours; however, they are polite to us although dh doesn't feel included, but it's ok w me what attention we get. 

Dil was in control of her immediate family to an extent (more responsible than mother) so she grew up spoiled yet controlling. 
So....she has a sudden temper, questions nearly everything, "Why are the eggs still out"; "why did you dress gs that way" ; "why did you wash that load with the wrong soap"......... now that's to dh and me.  With our son, her husband, it's "why are you so late from work? ((he really wasn't))", "why are you going on that trip for work?", "why didn't you feed the dog?"  etc. etc. etc.

I am a people pleaser.....so I get my feelings hurt.  Any hints on comebacks?  It does make me feel better just not to answer sometimes and walk out of the room or to say something silly back.

I am very disappointed in ds who rarely retorts back, works like a dog at work and home (dil is sahm and he does help a lot), does everything to please...... I want to say, "Hey man up!" because his daughter is already spoiled (he is too easy on her, too.....); he is assertive at work and wasn't raised to be a wimp.....

I know I can't change him or say anything to him about his wife.   Disastrous!  I do think when she says these sometimes cruel, snappy things to him that I shouldn't look away like I do; that I should at least give him a look, like, "really?"  But I know better than to interfere.

DS is just too sweet; well, I'm a people pleaser and am submissive to a point w dh so guess ds comes by it naturally.....

Ok, how do I maintain some self-respect while being "bossed around" by dil?  I know Dr. Phil says we teach others how to treat us.  I don't want to lose the family.  Oh, btw, dil is bossy w her own family and even friends (though she is careful around them.)  DH isn't around dil as much as I am but just accepts that she is what she is.  I keep waiting for him to blow (a few words) bc he can have a temper, though he is quite controlled around the family.

I know I've posted about this before..... I need a refresher course!  thanks!
I know there are countless considerate, wonderful dils out there who are unselfish, giving, loving to family of their dh; who aren't controlling and demanding.   My sil for one was wonderful to my parents and called my mother "Mother"; made sure my brother's family was treated fairly and lovingly.  And I know that today there are great wives/dils so please don't think I am condemning all dils bc I am one myself!

However, it seems in reading posts there are many complaints about controlling "princesses" who cut out their ILs and discourage their husbands from seeing their FOO (us!)  My son was raised in our home where my dh, a proud and good man, would never take commands, bad treatment, rudeness, or neglect of his family. 

Son himself is intelligent and kind; yet as soon as he became serious with his now wife he completely bought into the "the girl always wins" meaning his future wife.  She fortunately has not done the "cut off" with us yet son gives her free rein to set all visits and holidays w her family; I know some of this is only natural but her mercurial nature, sulking, and downright sometimes rudeness to ds, her family, and to us is so NOT understandable!  (although she was raised as a princess.) 

The puzzle is why ds takes the sometimes demands, snappiness, total control of their social/family time...... he doesn't criticize her behavior, justifies it or ignores it..... seems to think it's the way it should be.  I am trying at a late date to be less sensitive to her remarks and sharpness but it's not fun being around a changeable, narcissistic dil who holds the keys to gc!  (DH and I do not complain to ds bc it would simply turn him away from us and we do have visits and want to keep seeing them.

Any ideas on why there seems to be so many complaints from us MILs about WHY our sons are so subservient to the controlling, self-centered princesses  that they have married?!
Grandchildren / "spoiled" grandchildren"!
August 18, 2011, 06:09:08 am
In rereading the post on "spoiled" gc, I've noticed our gc, nearly 3, increasingly holding all the cards in the family dynamics.  Asked what do you want to eat (offering up alternatives when some food is refused until mealtime takes forever), "sassing", cajoled by parents and ILs who tend to be more "spoiling" than we are, just difficult to handle.  In the end, parents have to simply pick him up and do the forcing thing bc all that "letting the child" decide leads to a lot of frustration and lets the child know he has waaay too much power.  In daycare, the teacher notices lack of sharing bc he gets his way at home.

DH and I love to babysit when other gma isn't there (she is afraid to anger the child and lets him have totally his own way and of course gets frustrated herself anyway)....... when he is with us alone he is so much more cooperative bc we just assume he will mind.  When we are all together w ILs we just step aside bc we don't want any arguments or drama and gs knows who to go to in order to get his way! 

Of course that's sad for us but we just wait till we can get him alone or even parents are more "strict" than the other gma (we like her; she just spoils too much!) 

More restaurants and airplanes and even movie theaters are refusing to allow chldren under 6 to enter bc of their tantrums...... it isn't the kids, it's the spoiling!  I know one young aunt whose niece hits her and is plain nasty to her bc she tries to make her mind..... the mother is much more lenient......

OP of "don't want to be w 4 year old gc", I always want to be w gc, but definitely prefer having him w/o other relatives around bc he is definitely a manipulator!   He tends to ignore dh and me when ILs are around bc he gets his way by going to them; even the parents get upset when gc comes back from a visit w ILs totally spoiled.......

Thank goodness the parents of our gc do the time out which means sitting till cooperating or no one would ever get anywhere!

Edit:  Nothing wrong with your post, but the bold slanting writing was very difficult to read, so I changed the font back to normal.  Pooh.
Being a newbie, I was anxious to try out the quote function but since the topic "Where do I start.... my dil" was exhausted and locked, I don't think I can quote themuffin and Scoop so will cut and paste what they said, which I thought was so profound and yet so simple and I love it so want it to not go unnnoticed.  Moderator, if it's not ok for me to quote what they said in another thread, it can be removed.

There was some disagreement as to whether dils and mils can understand each other.  Suddenly Muffin said:

"Muffin:  OMG!!!   Tryingmybest!!!  OMG!!! I just realized I'm a DIL   

No, but serious...I truly just realized that.

My MIL and I didn't get along in the beginning.  In fact I was not allowed in her home for an entire year.  I was 17 and her DS had opened his first bank account and she named herself beneficiary on it.  I had also opened a bank account and named him.  When he told MIL he wanted to change it so it named me she became very upset.  It was very ugly.  I wasn't allowed back into her home until the day we told them we eloped and I was pregnant.  From that day forward it was as if the ugliness had never happened. It took time for us to warm up to each other.  We were cordial but I wasn't very fond of her.  Now all these years later she is second to my own mother.  I adore and love her. 

I guess I just wanted to put it out there that there is hope for all of us.


Then from Scoop: 

"Muffin - I had a similar thought this morning.

The people on this board who are MIL's have also (usually) been DIL's.  So they can usually see both sides of any story.

However, the ones who identify as DIL's haven't been MIL's yet, so we can't completely understand that side.  Oh, we can sympathize, sure, but we can't *know* what it's like.

Also, I for one, really try and play devil's advocate and intentionally try to give a DIL's perspective.  (Except for Pen's DIL - I can't get on her side at all!)"

Muffin and Scoop, I am a MIL who was once a dil and still have ILs.  Many times I resented them as many dils resent their ILs; like, an IL said to dh, we don't see you much anymore!  Well, no bc we married and moved a distance away!  I can recall listening to stories of my dh's former g.f.s, humorous stories to them, but hurtful to me.  So many little things.  An IL wanting to move in w us when first married (widowed) to help us out financially and of course, so he wouldn't be lonely.  Horrors!  I liked him but didn't want to live w anyone but dh, esp. after newly married!  So dh, who would have agreed, had to stay silent, resentful of me for hurting his surrogate father, bc he knew I'm a private person and wanted dh to myself!  Several times he had to take the brunt of such suggestions to pacify me and there was resentment on his part and probably on IL's part but they stayed silent and didn't insist.

Many things, thankfully not so major as to cause estrangement, but I try to remember how it felt to be a dil and feel not as good as dh's FOO in so many ways as I was still learning.  I like privacy, they were one happy family; very hard to adjust to!  But they were kind to me in so many ways.

However, it is easy as a MIL to forget my days as a young dil when problems arise.  Especially since I shut up and took whatever & my dils today are much more likely to do the spouting off, although I am sure they bite their tongues at things I say!

Off topic, I got.  I want to thank Muffin and Scoop for saying, hey, we don't have your experience as being both dils and mils and we suddenly get it why you mils feel that we don't always "get you."  They are saying they don't mean to patronize or put us down.  They sometimes don't get what we are saying just like we forget what it feels like or felt like to be a dil. 

If we can keep this in mind and try to put ourselves in the opposite role, it can really help keep us from too much criticism or seeming to side w one dil or mil....... and hopefully we can continue to sympathize and kindly help "the other side" meaning mils can help dils by sympathizing and not being critical and vice versa.  It almost would be good if we didn't know if the poster was a mil or dil but then the advice wouldn't be worth much bc the poster couldn't say, "well, as a mil (or dil) I have had such and such experience."

I also have to remember I was born and raised and had my young married years in a vastly different era as dils of today and therefore I need to listen to "the way it is today, not 25 years ago!"  Things have changed!

Thank you, Muffin and Scoop, for the aha moment that I think we all have had! Your statements were smart and wise and generous to us MILs and I think we all can benefit from trying to walk in the other person's shoes!

Removed by request of poster:  I am going to rephrase the story, so the responses make sense, simply as:   The poster doesn't get to spend holidays with her DIL and DS because they spend all their holidays with DILs FOO.

So..... our local churches don't need help on holidays.  What are some suggestions on ways to celebrate holidays so as not to be lonely and to enjoy the days w/o feeling lonely and alone and neglected?