Author Topic: Expectations  (Read 7238 times)

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willingtohelp

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Expectations
« on: April 15, 2010, 07:19:47 PM »
So many topics I want to reply to, but I have a teething baby so my time is limited right now.  Therefore, I'll post this as a seperate thread, but it was what I kept thinking as I read a number of things. 

I think one thing that can cause conflict between a MIL and DIL is not having their expectations met.  If DIL expects to be able to send out the email to the family and the MIL does it, she's hurt.  If MIL expects to be able to go to the movies with the GC and doesn't get to, then she's hurt.  And it's not like the other did something wrong in theory...there's nothing offensive about sending an email to family or taking someone to a movie...but it becomes offensive when it takes away a dream (a little dramatic maybe, but I'm lacking a better word) of someone else.  I also think the problem is magnified because we expect the other person to just know our expectations without telling them what they are. 

What expectations do you have for your relationships with your Son/husband, DIL/MIL,  children/grandchildren?  Have you ever asked the other person (or the parents/GPs in the case of children) what there expectations are?   What expectations do you think you can assume someone else would know and which ones do you think need to be told to someone for them to realize you want it?  And when expectations are in conflict (say both the mother and grandmother expect to be the first to give the baby strained peas), whose expectations should come first?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 07:21:30 PM by clover »

Offline Pen

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 07:36:12 PM »
Wow, good question. I think my expectations were that we'd all be adults and behave with kindness and civility toward each other. I expected to be thanked for helping them out in major ways when asked. I expected to be able to work out issues like holidays by communicating and compromising. I also expected tolerance of the qualities that make us different from DIL's family. I guess I didn't think I needed to spelll it out since these are pretty basic "golden rule" or Miss Manners lessons I thought most parents made sure to teach their children.

Good luck with the teething, little one (and mom.)

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

willingtohelp

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 08:26:40 PM »
Pen, I'm going to get even more nitpicky though.   How do you define a compromise about the holidays?  Say you said they should alternate.  What if they think that always going to her family for Christmas and yours for Easter (I'm assuming by golden rule you're Christian, forgive me if you're not) is a compromise?  What if they feel the compromise is inviting everyone to their house for the holidays and let whoever wants to come, come? 

I read a lot of what you've written and even it can be open to interpretation....how do you want them to behave like adults?  Adults make decisions for themselves and then carry them out.  Is this what you mean?  Or do you mean not getting angry about something (and do adults really not get angry?)?   How do you want to be thanked?  A formal note, or does your family do more of the "verbal thanks is enough" thing?  I want to break it down to actions....For example, I would say I expected my MIL and FIL to come to the hospital and be grateful for me being with their son instead of telling me to leave.  Being told to leave hurt my feelings.  Looking at this expectation, while I don't think I have the right to expect someone to say thank you or be grateful, I do think I had the right to expect not to be told to leave since my DH wanted me there.

What actions have happened....what did you expect to have happen....and why do you think you should be able to expect it?

willingtohelp

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 08:39:31 PM »
In a different train of thought....I have always wondered about the use of Miss Manners and the golden rule.  Miss Manners would say that you should be polite and cordial to anyone you encounter, and, if you feel uncomfortable around the person or can't say anything nice, you should politely excuse yourself.  She's never said that one must accept an invitation or are required to go somewhere for the holidays, only that you must inform the person inviting promptly and if you decline one invitation you must decline all subsequent invitations.  Also, you cannot accept an invitation and then decline it if you get a better one.   But Miss Manners would always send a thank you note!

The golden rule says "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  So if I want someone to be nice to me, I should be nice to them.  I get that one.  And if I want them to leave me alone, I should leave them alone.  And if I want to work my crossword puzzle in peace, I should let them work their crossword puzzle in peace.  And I want to host my own holiday party, I should let them host their own holiday party.  I do these turn arounds to show that at some point, the do unto others as you would have them do unto you breaks down if you really don't want the "other" to be involved with you. 

The other one that gets me (on a totally unrelated note) is "Love your neighbor as yourself".  Notice it doesn't say more than, it says to love them as you love yourself.  I feel really bad for my neighbor, because with the way we all beat ourselves up (with the you're so fat's and the you're so ugly's and the lose 20 pounds), if I loved my neighbor like I love myself, sometimes I'd hate my neighbor something awful. 

Anyway, this is more food for thought than anything else because these expressions have always been interesting to me.  They're so often used to say that people should spend time together and be friends when really, to me, they only seem to say be cordial.  I'd love to know other people's take on them. 


1Glitterati

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 08:49:37 PM »
Quote
I also think the problem is magnified because we expect the other person to just know our expectations without telling them what they are. 

I can give an expectation of my inlaws that I figured out a couple of years ago.  They figured that when they retired that during the summers they'd get to take the kids all over the place on their vacations.   Vacations as in being gone for nearly 3 weeks and traveling thousands of miles away.

That will NOT happen until the children are in their teens, if then.  They have great memories of traveling all over the country on huge road trips when dh was a kid.  (Dh's memories of it are NOT great.  He hated it.)  So...they assume they will get to do the same with the gk's.

Dh is hesitant 1)...because he HATED those types of trips, and 2)  We (yes, WE not just me) don't really trust his parents to watch them close enough on a huge road trip like that given the kids ages and the way we've seen them supervise Dh's niece and nephew at large crowd events and traveling.  Sil may be fine w/it...we aren't.

We haven't yet told them absolutely not until the kids hit the teens.  We've been cowards.  They've only asked once, and were hurt when Dh said no (I didn't receive it well that they only asked dh--didn't even consider asking us together)---but I know they have some trips planned for the future and will ask again.

So...to the mil's...when this comes up again is it best just to focus on the age of the kids as an issue and totally leave out that we don't think they'd supervise them to our standards?  Or just tell the whole dirty truth with no sugar coating?

Offline Pen

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 10:28:55 PM »
I'd accept cordial. I think being polite and considerate is wonderful. I don't need a formal thank you note from a family member, although I love to use beautiful stationary myself. Clover, I hope you don't mean to say that my DIL has no clue about this stuff. After we helped them move one hot summer day, I don't think she thought, "Gosh, I'd love to thank the ILs for all their help, but I just don't know if I should tell them verbally or send a formal note? Oh, well, I guess I'll do nothing since I can't decide." She knows about being polite, considerate and cordial. She chooses to treat us otherwise because she hates us and doesn't want to encourage our relationship with DS. We know it & she knows it.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Birdy

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 05:31:37 AM »
Funny expectations is one of the biggest problems I have with my MIL.

DH was married before.  He is catholic, his ex-wife was Jewish.  The only holidays they spent with her parents was Thanksgiving.  Christmas eve, Christmas day & Easter were always spent with his parents.

When I came into the picture although not catholic yet (I converted) I also celebrated those holidays.

I have been with my DH for over 10 years and have only had 2 christmas celebrations in my house.  One being that when I was pregnant with DD I felll on Christmas eve and the doctor said no traveling - rest and the other being a couple years later when I delivered my twin boys in the middle of december.

My MIL expectations are that Christmas is her holiday.  She expects us to travel to see them christmas morning.  It is much much harder now that I have 3 children under 3.  They live over 3 hours away from us.

She also had expectations that Easter was her holiday - but because both my DH & were heavy involved in our church and helped out with the RCIA process at the Easter Vigil that wasn't going to happen.   We are no longer invovled because of the children and now her expectations are again we should be there for Easter.

Her expectations are that this is how it was with ex-wife so this is how it was going to be with us.  She also seems to forget that I also have a family.   

This is one of our biggest issues of conflict.

We have tried to offer different solutions and game plans and we are always meet with resitance. 

It is not the fact that we don't want to see them or celebrate with them, but Christmas is about the kids and I don't feel like it is fair to wake them up at 5 am to rush them through their presents from Santa and then throw them in a car for a 3 hour trip to Grandma's. 

Some of my issues I know are with my DH as I feel like he should just step up to his mom and tell her that he wants to stay home and celebrate with his family and that we can see them later in the week or such.  But he doesn't even though he wants to.  He doesn't want to tell them how he feels because he is afraid of upsetting her.

I have already figured out how I am going to handle it when my kids get married and have families.  My expectations will be to have NONE and to simply to ask my children how they want to plan it and work around their schedules.

cremebrulee

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 06:32:14 AM »
Funny expectations is one of the biggest problems I have with my MIL.

DH was married before.  He is catholic, his ex-wife was Jewish.  The only holidays they spent with her parents was Thanksgiving.  Christmas eve, Christmas day & Easter were always spent with his parents.

When I came into the picture although not catholic yet (I converted) I also celebrated those holidays.

I have been with my DH for over 10 years and have only had 2 christmas celebrations in my house.  One being that when I was pregnant with DD I felll on Christmas eve and the doctor said no traveling - rest and the other being a couple years later when I delivered my twin boys in the middle of december.

My MIL expectations are that Christmas is her holiday.  She expects us to travel to see them christmas morning.  It is much much harder now that I have 3 children under 3.  They live over 3 hours away from us.

She also had expectations that Easter was her holiday - but because both my DH & were heavy involved in our church and helped out with the RCIA process at the Easter Vigil that wasn't going to happen.   We are no longer invovled because of the children and now her expectations are again we should be there for Easter.

Her expectations are that this is how it was with ex-wife so this is how it was going to be with us.  She also seems to forget that I also have a family.   

This is one of our biggest issues of conflict.

We have tried to offer different solutions and game plans and we are always meet with resitance. 

It is not the fact that we don't want to see them or celebrate with them, but Christmas is about the kids and I don't feel like it is fair to wake them up at 5 am to rush them through their presents from Santa and then throw them in a car for a 3 hour trip to Grandma's. 

Some of my issues I know are with my DH as I feel like he should just step up to his mom and tell her that he wants to stay home and celebrate with his family and that we can see them later in the week or such.  But he doesn't even though he wants to.  He doesn't want to tell them how he feels because he is afraid of upsetting her.

I have already figured out how I am going to handle it when my kids get married and have families.  My expectations will be to have NONE and to simply to ask my children how they want to plan it and work around their schedules.

Birdy...Hello, and welcome....

as a DIL, I hated holidays...hated waking my son up early, rush thru his gift opening, and resented, not being able to stay in our own home for the holidays ( I literally resented the holidays)...no, instead, we were EXPECTED to be at my mom's and then my MIL's home...and I always had to work the next day...we had a 45 minute drive, and all I wanted to do was spend Christmas at home with my family...small as it was...however, it would have hurt both parents to say no, so, we didn't...however, holidays should not be dreaded, they should be enjoyed.

My neighbor has 3 sons....every Christmas day they were all arguing about wanting to stay home on Christmas Day instead of running around....she told me, she didn't blame them and then said to all of them..."OK, how bout this idea...how bout the Sat. before every Christmas, we spend here and that will be our Christmas celebration together". 

Just an idea...I think things like these can always be worked out, with patience, compromise and understanding the other persons point of view...

Just my thoughts

Birdy

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 06:56:37 AM »
Hi Cremebrulee:

Thank you for the welcome - it is appreciated.  I know I kind of walk a fine line with the ladies here because I am a DIL, but I have  3 children, 2 of which are boys and one day I will be a MIL too!

I used to love the holidays - I went all out and this was before we have kids and like you mentioned now - I dread them - just dread them.  I don't want to be that person because of my kids.

We brought your idea up at one point about a Saturday before or after and were told very firmly that Christmas was only Christmas on Christmas Day.  This is not something I believe - but both his parents told us this.  We have also tried to come up with other options - all of which are shot down.

In addition they added that if we weren't at their house on Christmas we wouldn't get any gifts.  Personally I could care less about gifts as this is not what Christmas is to me.   

I actually asked my DH one time when would it be our turn to have Christmas at our home and he told me when I became a GP and could make these demands of my children.

I don't know but I would like to think that I wouldn't make those demands on my children.  I would instead do what you have suggested and say you all pick a saturday that works for you guys and we will get together as a family.

For now, I make my displeasure know to my DH and give in because I don't want to cause issues.  This is very difficult for me because I am not that type of person.  I tend to be very open person and tell you how I am feeling.  My DH calls me blunt:)

I guess the worst part is his parents just assume that this is how it should be done and this is how every family works, because that is how they always did it. 

Growing up my parents held firm on the fact that Christmas was at our home.  If family wanted to see us Christmas morning they knew where we lived and were more then welcome to come on by and see us.

Thankfully Christmas only comes 1 time a year!

Laila9

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 07:02:50 AM »

Birdy...Hello, and welcome....

as a DIL, I hated holidays...hated waking my son up early, rush thru his gift opening, and resented, not being able to stay in our own home for the holidays ( I literally resented the holidays)...no, instead, we were EXPECTED to be at my mom's and then my MIL's home...and I always had to work the next day...we had a 45 minute drive, and all I wanted to do was spend Christmas at home with my family...small as it was...however, it would have hurt both parents to say no, so, we didn't...however, holidays should not be dreaded, they should be enjoyed.

My neighbor has 3 sons....every Christmas day they were all arguing about wanting to stay home on Christmas Day instead of running around....she told me, she didn't blame them and then said to all of them..."OK, how bout this idea...how bout the Sat. before every Christmas, we spend here and that will be our Christmas celebration together". 

Just an idea...I think things like these can always be worked out, with patience, compromise and understanding the other persons point of view...

Just my thoughts

I agree anything can be worked out with patience and compromise.

However I would take a different approach and arrange an alternative day with mom and MIL - separate days too so that there was less rushing and have the holidays with my little family - then we can enjoy it as a family.

I would put the happiness of my kids - especially if they were complaining about not liking having to go - above that of either set of parents.  They're only young once and should be able to enjoy xmas the way they want while the magic if still there. 

And I think the DIL and sons parents should both understand that - when they had their young children they made their own choices - and if that choice was to rush and visit each set of parents then that was their decision.  But that doesn't then give an obligation for their children to do the same when they have families of their own.

It may be selfish but I would put mine and my childrens wants at the holidays above everyone elses because they had their life and their young family and now its our turn.  I wouldn't want to regret not having christmas at home when my kids are older.

**Editted to add: if either side declined and said "christmas is only on christmas and no presents if you don't come to us that day" then I would tell them that's fine.  It's their choice but I'm an adult and the parent of the children concerned and I won't give in to demands or power plays (which the gift comment obviously is).
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 07:04:23 AM by Laila9 »

cremebrulee

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2010, 07:09:11 AM »
I'd like to add something else to this post if I may....which I think is applicable to both DIL's and MIL's.

What none of us want to realize or face...is...when our son's marry, there is a drastic change.  We mother's were they're best friends at one time...they depended on us, needed us, and relyed on us for they're safety and well being, as well as advice and comfort.

However, when our son's grow up, they do just that...and sometimes, I believe, that is the most difficult thing for a mother to do, is to let them go...to actually push them out of the nest....after all, those boys, now full grown men, were our whole purpose for a long long time...we gave up so much for them, which is normal for a mother to do...we put our dreams aside, and our children become our purpose...then all of a sudden, they grow up and it's difficult to let them go....they are and do consider themselves mature adults...they cannot wait to make they're own decissions...make they're own mistakes, choose they're own friends, have they're own place and develop they're own traditions....however, in our lives that is one of the hugest changes we are ever going to have to swallow.  It's the same for parents whose kids go off to college...it's a very difficult transition...for some, not all, but I've seen grown men, really worry and actually cry, b/c they're little girls are leaving home and going off to college.

All of a sudden, it's like the rug is torn out from under you and there you sit, feeling alone, and the house if very very quiet...no more, mom this, or mom, can you do that...and do you remember dropping everything you were doing to answer that Mom, can you do this or that request...?  I can.  So, now what do we do with our lives...for all those years, we put our sons first...loving them dearly with all our hearts....we were used to not only them coming to us for love, advice and yes, even discipline...but also they're friends...now, there we sit, all alone, and it's all gone and over with...what a shock to the system.

Now, our son's take a wife...this is a whole other person who comes into the picture, with a whole different way of doing things...she is young, and yes, I remember being so immature, impatient and surely didn't want to be told what to do or how to do it, or I had to be there, or here at such and such a time...why, my MIL even told me, how much we had to give in our cards for family birthday presents or christenings, etc.  Sheeesh....

So, my point is, you have two women who love the same man...who are fighting for they're place in this man's heart.

Then, one thing happens...perhaps the MIL says something our of habbit, b/c she's always done it that way, and expects that, that is the way DIL and Son will view it, or visa versa, DIL announces, we are going here or there this Christmas....and all of a sudden, MIL, feels her heart in her throat...silently screaming...."WHAT???" Your not spending Christmas with us?????
I can understand the hurt, the pain of realizing, your only son is not going to be here for Christmas...

To be perfectly honest with all of you, I do believe that is why my son and his wife moved away....they didn't only have my expectations to meet with, but his father's and her mothers, each of us owning our own family...and that is spreading it pretty darn thin...therefore, to solve the problem, they moved away....and frankly, I can't blame them...

We as human's want, what we want, when we want it...and unfortunately, when our son's marry, they are so eager to start they're new lives with the love of they're lives...they don't love us any less, however, they love they're wives in a whole new way, they've never known before....and in a way, they could never experience before.  They're wives now become theyr'e best friends, and confidents...and that is the way it should be...that is life, that is how we all went thru the steps...we got married and clung to our husbands....some of us went home, but our husbands and families became priority...

So, now we have two women who just locked horns...over where Chistmas this year is going to be...both of them are hurt...very hurt, b/c they're expectations were not meant...so, now, we as woman turn that hurt into anger, and start to analyze, and view the whole situation as a rejection...when, in fact, it isn't at all, it's simply what they, our son's and DIL's want to do...

I suppose this has always been a little bit easier for me to grasp because, when my son was growing up, I vowed..that I wouldn't play tug of war with him, as I'd seen so many other couples who were divorced do with they're children.  So, I'd always ask him, where would you like to go for Christmas, or for Easter, or for Thanksgiving...and really really allowed him to feel that it was ok to choose his father's home and I wouldn't be hurt...I never let on that I was hurt...it was more important to me that he be happy and comfortable, so, I guess, that is why I can see this a little easier then some...

Ladies...from my heart, I wish I could solve all of your problems, both MIL's and DIL's...I really do...I know the horrible pain I went thru...how awful it was...for 12 years...however, when I started to change my thoughts and ideas, and expectations on things, that is when it all started changing for me...

I know there are exceptions and some MIL's are down right unreasonable and have to have ti there way all the time, and I know there are some DIL's out there who are the same, very self imposed and unreasonable...but, there are also some DIL's out there that want the same thing we want, but like us, do not know what to do, are afraid, and have been hurt...by expectations and then analizing the situation, to the point that we convince ourselves, they must hate us, when they don't.  All they want is some privacy and space to start they're own lives together, make they're own decissions, and yes, even allow the grand children to go where they say they should be...it's nothing against anyone...perhaps the DIL had some really scary experience when she was a child, and that is why she doesn't want to allow her children with you as much as you would like?  Perhaps she is over protective...while they are our grand children, we all have to understand, those children are they're children...and while I think it's really important for a child to have as many role models in they're lives while growing up...unfortunately, some mother's don't feel that way, and they have they're reasons, be them fair or not, they are the mothers.

I know how awful hurt I was, b/c my DIL said, "No potty training".  yet, girls my DIL's age at work said, "sheesh, I'd be happy if someone started potty training my child"....everyone feels differently and both side of us, someone have to come together and say...ok, maybe I don't do things that way, however, she is not doing this to hurt me, it's how she feels...

Yes, indeed, letting go of expectations is very difficult...I can remember the shock of it all when this all started with me...however, it was in fact a miscommunication, which escalated, and got worse and worse, until we were both ready to listen to each other...really listen, and be able to let go and give...forgive, and not bring up anything else in the past that happened, but actually move foreward together....me taking a huge step back, and allowing my son, his love of his life...and I realized, to do and be otherwise, is literally asking him to choose....

Time changes things, time moves on...sometimes, it doesn't always seem fair...and sometimes, it's extremely un nerving and heartbreaking...however, there is a new life that blooms each and every spring...all we have to do, is feed it...and it smiles glorisously...we have to find something else to fill our lives...and allow our son's to be...to make they're own decissions and love they're wives, making they're own rules and traditions up...we can't always have our own ways, when another person is involved....

and it's the hardest most difficult thing to do...you feel so alone at times, but when I feel that way, I take heart, that my son is very very happy and very much in love....and that most of the problem was, that I disapproved, which broke his heart....because maybe he didn't realize it, he only wanted my approval...me to love his wife as he did...and everytime I fought it, it was like saying to him..."You made a mistake, your wife is not for you, and it berated her everytime I tried to plead my side of the story with him...and rightfully so, I can understand his postion...he didn't see me as trying to prove my side of the story, he only heard negative words against his wife...his love of his life...and we, would do the same, we would take offense, back off from whomever didn't approve of our husbands, and be very very hurt.

So, while this post of mine, may not apply to anyone else here, but me....you all know your own situation...I had to share my thoughts...and how it was for me...

I hope, I've now given my son, GD and DIL a great gift..peace and happiness together, and when they have time for me, they will come, and when they together feel that I need some time alone with GD or with Son, they will allocate to me that time...after all, they live out of state, and they're time is limited...and they have two whole other families to share with...

and so, I hope I've grown some, and do right by them....all I really want for my son, is his happiness....

and he is...and very very relieved now...

and yanno, I wonder, now, if that poor girl who is my DIL understands, that I really did think, she was taking my son away from me...b/c things quickly changed so drastically...like a ton of bricks...allof a sudden, my son was gone, and a great deal of my purpose went with him...and she now became the lady of the house...and our cultures clashed, and we acted out against each other, and each time something happened, it made it worse, now we're both walking on egg shells and every time something happened, it was "AHHHH HAAAA"  see another strike against her....and another and another...until it got so way out of hand and so God awful hateful...I don't believe I hurt another human being, Like I hurt my son and DIL...that, is very difficult to swallow...all b/c I didn't understand, what in the world was going on...?  I can't help but wonder now, if maybe I depended on him to much...for my own happiness and purpose? 

again, please know, I'm thinking outloud and only sharing my thoughts, not anyone else's here...b/c all of your situations are different...not one is alike...the other....

thank you for allowing me this time to vent...

Love to you all
Creme
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 07:14:34 AM by cremebrulee »

cremebrulee

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2010, 08:10:21 AM »
Expectations.  Good subject.  I guess I expected to be a part of my son, dils, & gc'c lives, I expected to be able to take my gc out.  You know, like to a movie, overnight visits, shopping trips, to the zoo, to the park, mini putt etc... now & then.  I don't mean every weekend.  I mean like once or twice a month.  We live close so it is do-able.  I expected that my son & dil would not show hostility towards us.  I expected a thank-you when we helped them out.  But most of all I expected love & understanding, give & take, compromise, promises kept, & respect for each other as human beings, with all of our faults to boot.  I am not perfect.  I will make mistakes & stumble along the way, as will my son & dil.  I can forgive them their mistakes.  I expect forgiveness, especially since we have never done anything major to upset them.  I am not an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a criminal.  I am a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a mil, a daughter, a dil, a sister, a sil, an aunt, & a friend. I am the full time care-giver for my gc.   I have many different roles.  Most of all I am human.  Can you forgive me for being human & making mistakes.

I don't think your expectations are out of the ordinary....however, Anna, do you know, I had my GD every weekend, but she was never ever allowed to stay overnight?  That hurt me to...and I always had to ask if I could take her here or there...I didn't understand it then, but can understand it now...I don't have to like it...and I don't like it...but can at least understand it....I have friends that have they're grand kids all the time, who take them to Great Adventure, and all over the place, but they're DIL's are not mine...

have you ever tried to sit down with DIL and ask her why, without getting offended, but to honestly listen to her reasoning....like I said, you may not like what she has to say, and she might be wrong...however, perhaps by discussing the issue, it may help both of you understand each other more.  Maybe if her parents were bad parents, she is apprehensive, not that she doesn't trust you, but we are products of our experiences?  Meaning, maybe she was terribly scarred by something that happened when she was a child...and even your son doesn't know about it....doesn't mean she doesn't trust you, but her way of thinking is..."Anything could happen, all it takes is a blink of an eye and something really bad could happen?"  Doesn't make it right...but maybe, that is the way she thinks...and whatever way she thinks, your son is going to have to go along with it...b/c she is his wife...and he respects that...and her feelings...and it's not b/c he doesn't respect yours...he might even be feeling very guilty and badly about all this, b/c no matter what decission he makes, he knows, he's being disloyal to someone...so, it's putting him in a position where he has to choose.  If you and she could just talk....and work things out...and believe me, I dont' think your being unreasonable....is there a chance you could?

I've decided I'm going to love my DIL for who she is...and respect her decissions....I've been alone a long time, but I'm not lonely...my DIL has reasons for doing things, and I may not like them, but I no longer have expectations...true, this is certainly not what I had dreamed but, my dreams are not hers...and if I can put my dreams aside for my son, I can also do that for my DIL...she needs to be the head of her household, and maybe in time, she will learn to trust me and love me...for me....it's going to take a long time...we don't even know each other...and I know there is so much she can teach me...however, I must not have any expectations of how she should react to me or situations, b/c she is not me....

I'm writing to only to me, to re-establish this in my own mind...to reinforce it, and chew on it...writing helps me live it...

and while I'm writing this, it might be a very good time to say...when I write, a lot of times, I'm speaking to myself...sort of like, reaffirming it in my own mind.  For many years, when I was upset about things, I would write poetry...not in anger, but to try and understand by looking at the whole bigger picture, it was my theropy and a way of trying to look at things from other points of view....and I hope you all understand, I'm not dictating to anyone how to think and feel, simply sharing my thoughts and what worked for me...which isn't going to work for everyone...

Hugs...
Creme

« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 08:21:46 AM by cremebrulee »

Laila9

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2010, 08:23:02 AM »
I just wanted to mention that it seems that a lot of you ladies (and I'm not saying wrongly I'm just suggesting an alternative) see the problem with not being able to take the kids anywhere as DILs problem and that maybe she's scared of something that happened to her.

But perhaps its not her - perhaps its your son that doesn't want the kids to go to say 'Adventure Playground' because of a bad experience he hasn't ever told you about. 

I understand that as a mother you know your sons but we don't always necessarily know everything about our own family even if we're super close.  My example is:

I don't drive which means I can't visit my parents without my DH as we live too far away.  My mom saw it as DHs fault that I didn't drive because he was controlling me and wanted to keep me home and not let me see them. 

The truth is - and I still haven't admitted it to her - that I'm afraid of driving and have been for a very long time due to a bad experience.  DH knows this and would never say to my mom even though he's the one being blamed.

So just maybe in some cases its not DILs issue but a secret issue of your sons thats she's trying to protect him from having to face again.

Although to be fair in Anna's case her DIL is clearly just unreasonable! and Anna's expectations were not too high at all.  *hugs for Anna* because you seem like a lovely MIL and grandmother.

Birdy

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Re: Expectations
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2010, 08:24:40 AM »
Cremebrulee:

I am sorry that you had to go through all that.  It seems that you may have hit the nail on the head about your DIL insecurities and being immature.

It also seems like this have given you a great insite to help other people with their family issues - MIL or DIL.

I got married later in life and had my first child at the ripe old age of 36 and then my last 2 at 38 almost 39.  So I think my age is one of the reasons that I handle my MIL differently they say a wife of 20 or 21. 

I love my MIL, I really do and she is a great women.  I have told her that several times.   She isn't perfect and either am I.   Do we have problems - ya betcha.  But you know what I have problems with my DH, my parents , my sister etc....   Everyone does.    There have been times when she has been down right mean or rude, but then again - I am sure so have I.  But I also will get over it and move on.  In addition I just don't let a lot of things get to me.  That is just the way I am. 

I have none of that possessiveness of my children and welcome any help.  I am not insecure in my position where I stand with them.  I am their mother and that can never be taken away from me - period.

Has she tried to give me advice on stuff, yes - and it is just that advice.  I take it with a grain of salt and move on.  Like when she tried to give me breastfeeding advice and yet had never done it herself:)  My father tried to give me advice also - but well I didn't follow that either.

I am going to speak for myself on this one, but sometimes I am really not sure if I have a MIL problem every single time, I think I have more of a DH problem.  I have no issue telling my parents this is how it is or we are going to do this or that.  I take what they throw at me.  DH on the other hand is afraid to by a problem child, to rock the boat and to upset his parents.   

I also know that a couple of time DH & I have come up with a plan as a united front and have excuted our choice/decision as soon as he hears some back lash from his parents, he will cave and  he will start to say well Birdy thought this would work or Birdy though that.  Ummm - no we came up with together and not apart.

A prime example of this would be our last blow out with them which happened at my baby shower.  MIL bought our DD bedroom set, or should I said she was going to either buy pieces of it of the whole set - we weren't sure and either was she.  She said we would know when we got the money.  We had ordered our set back in November and it was arrived in January.  I thanked her every single time that we had seen her, even though we had yet to get a check from her.  Which was fine as we bought what we could afford. 

So baby shower is coming soon and DH informs me that he feels like his mom will put the check in the card for the shower.  I say no because well that is just tacky.  Understand I didn't expect any other gift from them.   DH insists this is her way and she will do this.  So I ask him how should I handle it.  He asks me what do I think and I said well in our family whenever we got money or gift card, we didn't acknowledge the money we just thanked the person and moved on.  He said okay that will work and he said that after the gift opening he would make annoucement that the nursery was set up and if people wanted to come back to the house they could to see it.

Well, I get to MIL card and open it up.  She had put the check in a different envelope and then sealed it.  So I would have had to open the envelope to see what the amount of the check which I wasn't going to do.  I found his mom in the crowd and said thank you.   I then moved on.   By the time the shower was over and we were wrapping up I kept waiting for DH to come in and make his annoucement.  It never came.  I found out later that his mom left in tears and went up to him and told him that I had embrassed her and that I made a fool of her because I didn't acknowledge the check or inform the guest that they had bought the babies furniture.   He told me this on the way home in the car and he was still backing me. 

That soon changed when we got home and got a call from his father saying how hurt and upset his mother was and he started pulling up past issues that they had with me.  I heard my DH go from saying that this was a decision that we had made together to saying that I had to handle this the best way I felt possible and did what I felt was right at the time of the shower.

My shower happened about 36 weeks pregnant and my DD came around 38 weeks.  So it was 2 weeks of stress that I didn't need as I will dealing with issues with regards to blood pressure and other risks for me & the baby.

I informed DH that he must tell his parents that we would not talk about this until I was back to my normal self.  After my DD was born I was still have blood pressure issues and the doctor's specifically told us both that I must avoid anything that would upset me.  His parents were aware of this as he told them this. 

They came to visit a week after DD was home, an hour into the visit his mother says she wants to talk about the shower incident.  DH did nothing.  He just sat there as I looked at him waiting to say, "Not now Mom."  He didn't, so I sat there for maybe 5 minutes and then used the excuse that DD needed to eat and took her upstairs until I could hear them finish talking. 

Some how I became the bad guy.  DH never really stood up for me other to say well I was going to make an annoucement but you left so quickly.

This seems to be a repeat over and over with us.  DH knows how I feel about it and has gotten better when dealing with his mom & dad that we come up as a united front.

I have to wonder and think that I can't be the only DIL in this type of situation. 

Could our DH actually be causing some of our issues with our MIL???

Hopefully I didn't take the original post completely off track, just some additional food for thought!

MLW07

  • Guest
Re: Expectations
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2010, 08:26:25 AM »
Funny expectations is one of the biggest problems I have with my MIL.

DH was married before.  He is catholic, his ex-wife was Jewish.  The only holidays they spent with her parents was Thanksgiving.  Christmas eve, Christmas day & Easter were always spent with his parents.

When I came into the picture although not catholic yet (I converted) I also celebrated those holidays.

I have been with my DH for over 10 years and have only had 2 christmas celebrations in my house.  One being that when I was pregnant with DD I felll on Christmas eve and the doctor said no traveling - rest and the other being a couple years later when I delivered my twin boys in the middle of december.

My MIL expectations are that Christmas is her holiday.  She expects us to travel to see them christmas morning.  It is much much harder now that I have 3 children under 3.  They live over 3 hours away from us.

She also had expectations that Easter was her holiday - but because both my DH & were heavy involved in our church and helped out with the RCIA process at the Easter Vigil that wasn't going to happen.   We are no longer invovled because of the children and now her expectations are again we should be there for Easter.

Her expectations are that this is how it was with ex-wife so this is how it was going to be with us.  She also seems to forget that I also have a family.   

This is one of our biggest issues of conflict.

We have tried to offer different solutions and game plans and we are always meet with resitance. 

It is not the fact that we don't want to see them or celebrate with them, but Christmas is about the kids and I don't feel like it is fair to wake them up at 5 am to rush them through their presents from Santa and then throw them in a car for a 3 hour trip to Grandma's. 

Some of my issues I know are with my DH as I feel like he should just step up to his mom and tell her that he wants to stay home and celebrate with his family and that we can see them later in the week or such.  But he doesn't even though he wants to.  He doesn't want to tell them how he feels because he is afraid of upsetting her.

I have already figured out how I am going to handle it when my kids get married and have families.  My expectations will be to have NONE and to simply to ask my children how they want to plan it and work around their schedules.


I always got the response "it is tradition that we have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our house and that is the way it is going to be."  I asked about compromising and was told "it is tradition."  My DH  informed her that traditions change and that the traditions of his childhood changed when he got married and if she will not compromise we won't be there.  She each of our family live and hour away from us in opposite directions and then from my parents to his is 1 hour and 45 minutes.  He demand was just after I had said I will let bygones be bygones and let the past stay in the past...it didn't take her long to start controlling and demanding again.  This is when my MIL told my DH that he needed to choose.  It was her and her family or me.  I was no longer welcome.  I can't tell you how my DH felt.  It has been 1 1/2 since we last saw or talked to them and her communication since then has been not nice.  She has called me that person you live with and tried to tell my DH that I was sending her nasty messages and I wasn'ty.