Author Topic: Need help for this MIL  (Read 19034 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mama Tani

  • Guest
Need help for this MIL
« on: February 24, 2011, 05:33:23 PM »
This is my first time writing or responding.  I too pray and hope that my relationship with my DIL gets better.  It has been a slippery slope, yet there are times that I see light at the end of the tunnel.  I have never understood why she (DIL) responds to me the way she does.  I walk on eggshells and watch my every word.  It is exhausting.  My son has basically given up and gives in to her.  This is sad.  I believe that she is a great Mom and wife, except when it comes to us.  Could it be she feels threatened?  We visit every 3 months to see my son's family...yet, I go excited and come back drained.  To not be yourself....it wears you out!  To be myself...may result in more stress or alienation on her part.  How do we handle this?  I want to do more than DEAL with it!!!  Thank you for reading and what a blessing your advice is for the struggling MILs! :-X

Offline pam1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2321
    • View Profile
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2011, 06:11:17 PM »
Welcome!  I have a few quick questions to sort of flesh it out for me.  How many days are you there when you visit?  And do they come to see you?  Do they have kids?
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2011, 06:19:44 PM »
Hello Mama Tani and welcome

With my own dil, for a while I thought ok, I'll attempt this fake attitude and then all will be ok.  It wasn't, the more I left my real self outside the door the more I alienated myself not from my dil but from my own family.  They were looking at me like who is this person and I'm sure they were secretly discussing the signing of commitment papers. 

I want to like my dil, and I want for her to like  me as well.... we'll settle for mutual respect at this point.. but we are going to do it with each of us being the person who we really are.  I figure that we'll either come to terms or we won't but while I can change some of the things that I do, or would say.. I can't change who I am.

Are you the only person that your dil seems to be having issues with or does she appear to have an issue with his entire family of origin?

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8932
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 06:56:04 PM »
You can't change it/her...therefore you have to deal with it. Sad but true. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Mama Tani

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 07:01:41 PM »
Thank you ladies for your advice and questions.  I'm not sure if we can reply to each individually or not; so I am responding to all comments.  Thank you for sharing your decision of how to deal with DIL - to remain polite and respectful but being yourself.  I think I am at that point.  I just told my husband that I was going to start being myself and being as polite as possible to DIL.  I do have a beautiful granddaughter who will be 2 years this May.  I long to have a fun time with her...but things are limited with her and DS.  No, I am not the only one who has issues with DIL...but I think I am the one who is determined to make it work!  The others feel they will be nice, but they just deal with it and go on.  I usually stay 3-4 days every 3-4 months (They live in a different state).  They have not come to see us, except for my mother's funeral, for a few years.  I would love them to.  I even bought a crib when my grandbaby was born.  Never used.  I think things would be different on a different playing field.  But for now...her field is where the game is....

catchingup

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 08:31:40 PM »

Mama Tani. "I bought a crib"
I had major MIL problems and I always put myself in the position of "What would I have felt like if my MIL.....
Did you let your DIL know you bought a crib? She may have seen this as a threat."Does she think I will leave the baby with her overnight"?
I think MIL's always have to let DIL know they are in charge of their households and every decision they make is theirs.
I think MIL cant even show a hint of interferring with some DIL's but I am not saying you are interferring though she may see it that way.

AnonymousDIL

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 05:42:48 AM »

Mama Tani. "I bought a crib"
I had major MIL problems and I always put myself in the position of "What would I have felt like if my MIL.....
Did you let your DIL know you bought a crib? She may have seen this as a threat."Does she think I will leave the baby with her overnight"?
I think MIL's always have to let DIL know they are in charge of their households and every decision they make is theirs.
I think MIL cant even show a hint of interferring with some DIL's but I am not saying you are interferring though she may see it that way.

Catchingup is on to something here. I do not have kids yet. When the time comes, if MIL were to buy a crib, well, it would kinda turn me off. If I am going to come visit for a few days, my baby can sleep in a pack and play.

What does she do to give you the impression that she doesn't like you? (hide in the kitchen when you visit, leave town when you visit, give the look of death?)  I'm sure she has picked up on your "walking on egg shells" attitude concerning her and it probably irritates her. Being yourself might make all the difference. :-)

Offline Scoop

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 666
    • View Profile
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 06:07:24 AM »
Mama Tani, unfortunately you pressed one of my hot buttons.  You say you can't "be yourself" with her and I have to call "baloney" on that.  Do you really always act the same way ALL the time, whether you're at home or at work, at church, at a restaurant, with friends, family, acquaintances, strangers?

I don't think so.

I think you're likely more polite and more restrained in more formal situations, and more laid back at home.  I think the problem is that you want to be more laid back when you're visiting your DS & DIL.  Unfortunately, that's not how it works, you have to gauge the reactions of your audience and act accordingly.

I do applaud the fact that you're "trying" with your DIL.  It does mean something, and it's likely the reason your relationship is working as well as it is.  My Mom has to "try" with my SisIL (she is quite the pill).  But we've all benefited from it, because we "play nice", we get to have a relationship with my DB and the DN's.  My Dad and I even thought of it as a game, because we knew that SisIL didn't like us as much as we didn't like her, so we would be civil and give her no reason to cut us off, and thus we got to inflict ourselves on HER.  It worked for us.

Offline pam1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2321
    • View Profile
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 06:20:26 AM »
ITA with Scoop, I need some kind of stamp I can just follow her around with!

But also, Mama T, I personally think every 3 months is a bit much.  Perhaps if you scale back your efforts in traveling to see them, they will come to you.  The whole less is more idea. 

I do think the crib could bother some mothers too.  It's one of those things you've got to feel out before getting someone.  When it's said like that, "I even bought them a crib too!" (not exact quotes of anyone, just what I'm getting across) it comes across to me as if since you bought something, you have an expectation for it.  And a big one. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

overwhelmed123

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 06:48:56 AM »
  When it's said like that, "I even bought them a crib too!" (not exact quotes of anyone, just what I'm getting across) it comes across to me as if since you bought something, you have an expectation for it.  And a big one.

I agree with this, Pam.  It's how I would feel, too.  Like now I'm supposed to feel obligated to let my baby sleep over at MIL's house because she bought a crib without consulting me and we wouldn't want her money to go to waste.  I would be completely turned off if MIL did that, especially without talking to me about it first.  And I would probably make a point to not spend the night over there much (and bring the pack n play when I do) to show her without confrontation that anything else like that would be a waste.   And when I say she should "talk to me about it first,"  I don't mean asking me for permission, because obviously that's something she doesn't need.  But I think it does show respect towards the mother of the child and respect towards how she prefers to handle her baby to ask her how she would feel about that.  Then she could have just told you, 'no I'm not comfortable with that because I don't think the baby will be spending much time over here without us.  When she's with us, we will bring her pack and play.  I really think it would be a waste of money because it wouldn't be used."  I would feel like my MIL was pulling an "underhanded" type of move if she went out and bought a crib for her own house when I was pregnant.  However, this is also based on the way my MIL is and how obsessed she was about having grandchildren and foaming at the bit to have one so she could take over.  You're the one who made the decision to buy a crib, you really can't be mad at your DIL that it goes unused, you know?  That can't be a factor. 

Being in a different state, I think seeing them for the amount of time you do as often as you do is a lot.  Consider this for a moment when you talk about how they never come to your house- you already see them every 3 months and you're traveling between state lines.  When would they have the time in between those 3 months you're already seeing them to pack up their stuff and put baby in the car to make the drive to your house when they're already seeing you every 3 months?  I hope you don't feel like it is a slight toward you that they don't come to your house when you're seeing them as often as you do. 

I would also like to hear more about what she says and does that makes you feel like you have to walk on eggshells?

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2011, 07:05:08 AM »
When my kids were little, I did not let them do grandma sleep-overs for grandma's benefit.  I can remember 2 times when it was a necessity but short of that I don't understand why a grandparent would assume that this is a right.  As a dil, I would have been taken back by my mother or mil announcing that she had purchased a crib and she was now ready for the babies visit.  Just thinking and had to inject that lol.. ok now the thought as passed.

holliberri

  • Guest
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 07:18:32 AM »
My GPs bought themselves a carseat for DD. To date, it hasn't been used. I don't intend on them taking her anywhere nor do I use them on the rare occasions I need a babysitter. I was tweaked about it.

Nothing personal, they've been in my life almost 30 years and I love them dearly. I'm just not comfortable leaving my child with them. They could've saved themselves the $100 bucks and the space in their car had they just asked. I would've been honest about it. Although, I think they knew what my answer would be, so they bought the darn thing anyway.

Offline Pooh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
    • View Profile
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2011, 07:30:35 AM »
I think it is going to boil down to how you feel about the relationship you have with your MIL or Mother.  My Mother and Ex-MIL were both aware that I would not mind having my children stay with them on over-nights, and my Mother is a thrifty shopper.  So she called when I was pregnant and said, "Oh you will not believe what I got today!  The Church had a yard sale and one of the ladies had a very nice crib and I got it for $20.  I figured I would get it, so IF the GC stayed over, they would have somewhere to sleep."  And it wasn't just me, she fully expected to have more GC later.  Now, I also already knew my Mother was buying me an entire new nursery set for a baby shower present.  She asked and let me pick it.  So her buying the crib, didn't bother me one bit and I never took it as her taking over, just her being ready.  My Ex-MIL bought one too, and it was an expensive one! But that is just how my Ex-MIL is about everything.  But again, they knew I didn't have an issue with my future kids staying with them some and it wasn't personally about just me, but all the possible future GC.

But I can see that if you make your intentions known that you don't plan on letting your children do over-nights (with not just them, but probably anyone), or you haven't been asked, where this would seem very intrusive and presumptious.

I guess I kind of think of it like my guest room.  I have one, just in case someone comes to stay, but I didn't put it together to demand over-night guests or because I have it, expect people to come stay.  I know that's like comparing apples to oranges, but I think it does have the same mentality....expectations, respect, asking?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Rose799

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
    • View Profile
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2011, 07:34:09 AM »
  When it's said like that, "I even bought them a crib too!" (not exact quotes of anyone, just what I'm getting across) it comes across to me as if since you bought something, you have an expectation for it.  And a big one.

I agree with this, Pam.  It's how I would feel, too.  Like now I'm supposed to feel obligated to let my baby sleep over at MIL's house because she bought a crib without consulting me and we wouldn't want her money to go to waste.  I would be completely turned off if MIL did that, especially without talking to me about it first.  And I would probably make a point to not spend the night over there much (and bring the pack n play when I do) to show her without confrontation that anything else like that would be a waste.   

I would also like to hear more about what she says and does that makes you feel like you have to walk on eggshells?

Maybe people do things differently now, but back in the day, I was taught it was a good thing to accommodate guests, whether they lived nearby or 3 hours away.  My db & sil lived next door to dm for years, and weren’t the least bit offended that she had a crib, high chair, etc.   They were used for all the gc when family came “home” to visit.  My gc didn’t sleep well in the pack ‘n play.  It wasn’t familiar like his crib.  I raced at any hint of noise as he all but climbed out of it numerous times.  I bought a crib, too, knowing that I would be keeping gc when dd went back to work.  DD was offended, so I sold it.  Dd & sil said it was their place to provide for ds.  Then, after gs outgrew the pack n’ play, he slept on a mat on the floor for over a year.  Gs stayed at my home & my sore back had no bearing.  Does that qualify as walking on eggshells? 

Offline pam1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2321
    • View Profile
Re: Need help for this MIL
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2011, 07:37:38 AM »
Yeah, it just occured to me too that you bought the crib b/c they live so far away.  In case they visit, I get that.  But there's also pack n plays that parents get nowadays so I can still see a new mother getting a little antsy about it. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift