Author Topic: When you were the DIL  (Read 2792 times)

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Aisling

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When you were the DIL
« on: December 08, 2009, 05:21:22 AM »
I'd like some advice from you ladies who have been on both sides of the fence, so to speak.  How did you handle your ILs when you were the dreaded DIL?

Specifically, how did you handle:
1. Competing demands on your time
2. Blending holiday traditions
3. Balancing "fair" with "convenient" and "helpful"*
4. Overwhelming expectations of time/help/money
5. Jealousy
6. Family traditions/expectations for naming children
7. Babysitting duties
(Feel free to skip any you didn't have to deal with specifically.)

And, now that you're the MIL, what would you do differently?

Thanks so much!

*ETA: So sorry if I was unclear here.  By "fair", I mean doing what's fair to both FOOs.  By "convenient", I mean one set of grandparents/FOO being closer travel-wise than the other.  By "helpful", I mean one set of grandparents/FOO having more time/money/ability to help by babysitting or what-have-you.  For instance: growing up, I had one set of GPs about a half-hour away; the other set was about 3 hours away.  The nearby set, living very close to where my parents worked, babysat my sister and I for years.  They got to see more of us than the other set, who saw us once or twice a month for a weekend.  For my parents, convenient and helpful outweighed "fair" (having an equal amount of time and involvement).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 06:56:52 AM by Aisling »

2chickiebaby

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 06:21:52 AM »
I'll be honest, Aisling, I didn't think about anyone competing for my time.  We went to visit both sides of the family every weekend. It was about 45 min. away. 

We went to both houses for Christmas...one for Christmas Eve and the other for Christmas Day.  The one for his parent's on Christmas Day was hard because we took the kids from their Santa gifts out there for a lunch meal.  That meant we had to go 45 min. away for two days. 

I guess I don't know what "fair, convenient and helpful" means?

Neither one of the parents babysat for us.  His Mother was working and mine family was elderly.

I was never jealous....just grateful that someone loved our kids.  Neither parents acted like they were jealous either of the other ones.

No one ever tried to name our kids.  I had my feelings hurt when my Grandmother said something about what I named our second child.  It's a beautiful name, though.

Now that I'm an MIL I would expect much less and not help out as much as I have. I was desperately trying to fit in and have a family.  People are different today and don't go all out for their families like we did. They might be busier than we were, though. Kids are in so many outside activities today.  I was bizeeeeeeee too. 

Family was totally different than today. 

No one ever asked us for money......I would have done anything to help either one of them if asked, including taking them in. 

Aisling

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 06:53:33 AM »
Wow, chickie, you sure lucked out!

Visiting every weekend though?  Ouch!  Didn't your kids ever resent not being able to visit friends/go to parties/do sports or activities?  Or did the visits taper off when your kids started having their own social lives?

Kinzey

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 06:54:27 AM »
As a DIL right now this is what we are doing
-We are rotating years with holidays. We arranged it with my siblings so we will always have our Christmas with our family together on the same year and the other year will be with our in-laws. The same with Thanksgiving. If we have Christmas with our family then Thanksgiving was with the in-laws and vice versa.
-Both of our families live out of town so we have to visit both and they have to visit us. My parents tend to come to our place more often because they have business in the city where we live but we tend to visit his family more often.  Well let me rephrase, my husband visits his family more often. My job is very demanding of my time and so I don't make it to visit with him.
-Instead of blending holiday traditions we are creating our own. Both of our families are very different and have thier own ways of doing things so we are making our own instead of combining.
-When we were first married both sets of our parents were very aggresive in giving their "help" to us and we were overwhelmed. We told both sets of parents that we don't want financial help unless we ask for it and we do not want advice because we felt they were making it difficult for us to make our own choices without everyones opinion being in the back of our heads. When my husband started to look for jobs after college he decided to go the opposite of what his parents suggested and they called him literally crying because they felt he didn't respect them to take their advice and it became too much for my husband so we said that we do NOT want anyone's advice unless it is asked for.
-We are still working through the jealousy thing because him mother has admitted she is having a hard time with the fact her baby boy is married and she doesn't know how to handle it. She calls him all the time and is always giving him money to the point where he was becoming too dependent on her and not on me.
-We are trying to get pregnant and when we do, we will decide on what to name our kids and nobody else will have a say but us.
-Because both families live away from us we aren't really worried about babysitting, but until his family can learn to not cuss all the time around us they will not be left alone with our kids when they are older because we are very religous and do not want our kids learning that language from their grandparents.


Aisling

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 07:03:20 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Kinzey.

Making your own traditions sounds like fun!

Re: too much "help".  Remember, "no" is a complete sentence.  "No, thank you" has the added bonus of sounding polite. ;)

I do my share of cussing (being a happy heathen and all, it's not a problem ecumenically), but I do manage to filter myself around kids and old people. ;) I hope your relations learn to do the same.

Aisling

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 08:56:41 AM »
...we can always count on family.  :)

I wish that were so true for everyone.

I would imagine that only seeing people on holidays and special occasions would make it more of a treat than a chore. ;)

Aisling

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2009, 09:12:04 AM »
You're fortunate to be an extrovert.

2chickiebaby

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 09:25:16 AM »
They never said anything about it....they knew they didn't have a choice, I guess.  It just was what it was.  We went out there and that was that.

Then, as they got older, unfortunately the Grandparents and DH's parents all died, one by one.  I'm glad we made that sacrifice, if you call it that. 

Aisling

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 09:34:12 AM »
That hardly means they didn't resent it, chickie.  It might help explain some of the differences in parenting they've made.

2chickiebaby

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 09:50:06 AM »
Their wives make all  the decisions, totally.  That's what I'm so puzzled about...why did they marry such contolling women?
 
They have never talked about going to see both sets of Grandparents every week in any other way but being a "fond memory" one.  I promise. 


just2baccepted

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 12:02:03 PM »
You're fortunate to be an extrovert.

Oh, that makes such sense to me!!!!  I'm so glad you brought that up.  Maybe for those that's it so painful to miss out on certain times with family are most likely extroverts and need more human interaction than someone who more of an intotrovert.

I personally think that I am a shy extrovert.  DH wants to insist that I'm an introvert like him.  And oh my goodness I've never met anyone who is more introverted than DH.  Sometimes its just not healthy.  But I totally enjoy spending time with people who are nice to me and don't have a hidden agenda.  I think maybe I'm more in the middle.  But I wish both of our families could just be there for each other and not have hidden agenda's.   I do like my alone time but I love to get together with nice people.  So basically everyone has different needs and we all need to respect each others needs and learn how to appease ourselves and our need as well on our own.  I know that's easier said than done, but its a start.

cremebrulee

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2009, 12:08:56 PM »
1. Competing demands on your time
I did resent spending a lot of my free time with his family, I was a working mom and he didn't do much...but, I kept my mouth shut...his sister used to tell me, I'd have to learn to say no...but I didn't want to hurt her feelings.


2. Blending holiday traditions
we would try to visit everyone over the holidays, and to this day, I hate holidays....you always have to live up to everyone else's expectations.....More then anything else, I love to take off on the holidays and go to some beach and have....but my sister gets so darned hurt when we do go away...we meaning my other sister and I...so I don't go, which is really dumb.  But I hate holidays, b/c people can't see beyond themselves and that stupid tradition....

3. Balancing "fair" with "convenient" and "helpful"*
I always felt that I was being impossed upon but, we always gave in to his mother....she interferred way to much.

4. Overwhelming expectations of time/help/money
Same, she tell us how much we had to give for family gifts, she'd ask how much did everyone give to us...she interferred so much.  It was smothering at times...

5. Jealousy

I believe sometimes she was jealous of me...not b/c of her son, but b/c I was so independent.  She had to raise her brothers b/c her parents died early, so she was used to making decissions.  I also think it bothered her/hurt her, that I didn't call her mom.

6. Family traditions/expectations for naming children
No problem there....

7. Babysitting duties
No problem there, I never asked her to watch my son.

When I found out I was going to be a MIL I was thrilled...and the first thing I said to myself, is...don't ever be like your MIL...and since we lived far away from each other I really didn't think it would be a problem.  But, I'm dealing with an out of the norm DIL who is not only manipulative but one hell of an actress...she is narcissistic and has learned from an early age, how to gain attention back to herself, even if it is negative....she acts out b/c she needs an overwhelming amount of attention, and it must be at all times..and I believe that is why she hates me.  My son and his friends, well, we all got along just fine...we were very happy, and had such a good rapore.  I believe her and her sister conjured up this plan to drive a wedge between my son and herself.

Once on my first visit to see them...we all went out together...I asked her if she wanted to dance, and she snapped, NO!  She was really rude...the next thing, I see her and my son at the end of the bar fighting....and I'm shocked, and asked her sister, what the heck are they arguing about....and without any remorse or embarrassement, she replies...."Ohhhhhh he's just all pissed off, because she and I had a bet,  which one of us was going to pick up a guy first"??  Need I say more?  Needless to say, they thought nothing of doing that in front of me?  Talk about dysfunctional, or purposly staged?  They were both very mean to me the whole trip, but in front of my son, sweet as can be....I've seen my DIL in action, and how she plays upon my son's heart with her feelings being hurt...and I tell you true...that is a place, I dont' want to be.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 12:13:26 PM by cremebrulee »

Offline Pen

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 12:36:32 PM »
   None of these points were ever issues in either of my 2 marriages because we lived far apart. I would have loved to have had second MIL involved in our lives; our children adored her and she was very sweet and helpful. First MIL didn't like me for being unacceptable in her social class, and after a couple of years of being treated very rudely I left the marriage. She was too rich, too powerful and too cruel and I caved. Second MIL also could have had reasons to not accept me (different religion, other beliefs) but never treated me poorly. As far as I know she loved me because I loved her DS and was the mother of his children.
   The rude rude, hurtful treatment we get from DIL is such a shock. I cannot understand it at all. It could be a hilarious screenplay, but I miss my DS too much to laugh about it right now.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

2chickiebaby

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2009, 12:48:23 PM »
Penstamen, I don't understand how someone, anyone could think of you as 'not of their social class'.  You speak the King's English superbly and write like a pro.  How can you not be the right social class for anyone?

Offline Pen

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Re: When you were the DIL
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 12:53:39 PM »
Shucks, thank ya kindly, ma'am :)  They were VEEERRRY wealthy, big-time country club status. My family has roots in that sort of society, years & years ago, but we don't roll that way now (grandpa was a rebel.)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb