To be so frustrated with my sister in law?

(54 Posts)
ilovecolinfirth Wed 20-Feb-13 21:32:41

Ok, so my lovely...but very intense sister in law really winds me up. I feel that I cannot say anything to her, as anyone who upsets her feels the wrath of MIL. She completely interferes when it comes to my children. She buys gifts for her parents from MY children, eg she makes calendars every year with their photos on and gives them the titles "Nanny's calendar" and "grandad's calendar".

When it was Mother's Day last year she had a photo of my son printed and put in a frame which said "nanny" on it....I think it looked a bit tacky. I refuse to give presents for Mother's Day and Father's Day from my children to their grandparents as they are not the ones who sit up with them all night when they are ill, or do anything else on a daily basis. My children's names go on the same card that our names are on, therefore the gift comes from all of us. It feels though that SIL is stepping on our toes as any personal gift like that should come from us ... If we choose to.

TheSecondComing Thu 21-Feb-13 00:10:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpicyPear Thu 21-Feb-13 00:12:48

YANBU. That is really weird.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 21-Feb-13 00:18:35

You don't want your DCs to give their grandparents presents. Fair enough if you have to pay for them. But if my SiL made cute personalized craft gifts that made her folks happy, I'd think she was lovely, maybe a little barking, but lovely.

YABU.

KatieMiddleton Thu 21-Feb-13 00:21:41

It's a bit strange but really, really doesn't matter.

Sometimes my DSis and her dh (my BIL) do odd things - that you would probably find completely normal of grandparents - without asking. I know they mean well and it does no harm but dh and I are often just a bit baffled by it all. I also have no issue saying when something is really far across the line like inventing Christmas traditions for my dc that don't fit the agreed narrative (not because I'm precious but because ds has got his own ideas about Christmas and I need to be on the ball and in the know so I he doesn't get confused and I don't end up having to recreate these elaborate fictions at great time and expense later).

ilovecolinfirth Thu 21-Feb-13 05:49:47

Wow Thesecondcoming, I didn't consider myself highly strung just because I'm frustrated by her. Maybe I am....

It's difficult to talk to her because she gets very upset over small things and it turns into a 'situation' which MIL gets involved in. We accidentally found out she had invited a load of friends to our wedding a few years ago...not the evening do, the whole thing. My husband asked her about it (not creating a fuss). She flew off the handle and MIL refused to speak to my husband for a week. Many other similar stories of this happening.
Dionethediabolist, I'm not saying I don't want to give grandparents gifts from children. I choose to at other times of the year. It's just because its a decision WE have made not to do it for Mother's Day or Father's Day.

TheSecondComing Thu 21-Feb-13 08:44:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thegreylady Thu 21-Feb-13 08:49:06

Let it's be. She likes doing it, no doubt your mother in law likes the presents. It hurts no one. It is a little OTT but it doesn't matter at all. Your mil will know who has sent the things. I bet she would love a card made by the dc even more :-)

DeepRedBetty Thu 21-Feb-13 08:51:32

What happened in the end with the surprise wedding guests?

diddl Thu 21-Feb-13 08:52:36

So she´s giving them as presents to her own Mum?

Things that she knows her mum will like/want?

The bitch!

rollmeover Thu 21-Feb-13 08:57:49

It sounds like there is a lot more to this than the cards from the kids. She is a bit bonkers (especially the wedding stuff - who does that???)
I would think that you are going to have bigger things to fight about with her as time goes on, so I would pick your battles and have it out with her on the stuff that really and ignore her on the smaller stuff.

DIYapprentice Thu 21-Feb-13 09:02:02

So you've decided not to give Mother's day presents to your MIL from your DC. I'm guessing your MIL is sad/upset about that and so your SIL is doing it to make her DM happy. I'm sensing that you're more upset about the fact that your SIL is subverting your decision to not give a present just from your DC rather than the fact that she is doing the present at all. So for that YABU.

If my SIL did (or didn't do) something that hurt my DM then I would do something that made up for it.

Not to say that she's not as mad as a box of frogs for the other things she's done. But you also sound a way too precious over 'your decisions'.

diddl Thu 21-Feb-13 09:02:37

But if she knows that you won´t be giving pics of your children & that that is what her parents would like, I can´t see a problem.

If you want to give pics of your kids & she prevents you, however...

TheSecondComing Thu 21-Feb-13 10:26:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

So it's not just the SIL who's 'intense' but also her mother? Not speaking to her son for a week because he asked his sister about guests she'd secretly invited to his wedding is BEYOND WEIRD.

5Foot5 Thu 21-Feb-13 13:17:09

Yes the mother's day gifts sound like the least weird thing going on here

Jelly15 Thu 21-Feb-13 14:15:30

A child free SIL can be more of a PITA than interferring MIL. My SIL was a lot older than me and DH,and we were rather young starting a family, but we were perfectly capable. As soon as she finished work she would spend all her time at our home and didn't even leave if my family or friends came over. She would take the children off my relatives and out of the room.

It all came to ahead when DH came home from work, having been told by a mutual aquantance that we were lucky to have SIL as she was practicaly bringing up out DSs, that is what she was telling everyone and that we couldn't cope. I was changing the baby's nappy and DH walked quitely into the lounge to here her telling DS1 nasty mummy come and live with Aunty and Nana. He went mental and banned her from the house. After a few weeks he agreed to her visiting once a week.

She is still a PITA 17 years later and told DS1 when he went to uni if he had any problems to ring her and not to bother me as I didn't understand him like she did. DS laughed and told her that there is nothing he can't talk to me or his father about thank you.

All I am saying is that you have to be careful, some times it starts off as little annoying things and can snowball until relationships break down.

Kamer Thu 21-Feb-13 14:41:21

Well, your SIL does sound generally a PITA but with specific regard to giving gifts "from" your DC to her parents, that will fizzle out as they get older. My junior school aged DC would find it weird if their aunty gave presents "from" them to grandparents and would question it I think.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 21-Feb-13 14:47:26

Mother's Day is when the mothers actual children do stuff.

If my mother was upset about grandchildren not getting her a Mother's Day gift I would remind her that its Mother's Day not grandmothers day.

plantsitter Thu 21-Feb-13 15:08:47

Either she really wants her own kids, or she is a bit jealous of your PIL's relationship with your kids and is trying to get attention by using the thing guaranteed to get it - their grandchildren. Either way she is to be pitied, and either way this is the nicest possible way these jealous feelings could come out so I would just leave it.

The wedding stuff is weird, yes. If you like her there is not point pushing the point though. Doesn't sound like the type to take it on board.

drjohnsonscat Thu 21-Feb-13 15:10:51

I once took an amazing photo of my DN and had it made up into a picture for my Dad for his birthday. It was a really fantastic photo. My sister would never dream of being put out about that - she can barely be bothered to sort anything out for birthdays so she was pleased. Also pleased that I love my DNs.

Is that the same?

Feminine Thu 21-Feb-13 15:16:16

I can't see the problem at all.

Its much worse when your SIL makes sure that her Mother's view of your children is tainted. making sure she spends all her money and energy on SIL's kids

Oh nevermind about the silly photos... I want to hear more about the wedding!

Did the extra guests loiter outside with SIL chucking the odd sausage roll out to them or did they just not come in the end?

ilovecolinfirth Thu 21-Feb-13 15:34:45

Lol! FIL took husband out for a drink and asked him if she could invite friends. As a compromise he agreed to evening only - without asking me! smile MIL started talking to him immediately after.

She and two of the friends stayed 2 nights at the venue and the morning after the wedding left without paying the bill (not completely sure how she managed that!). Husband paid their bill and called sister to ask what happened. Apparently she thought we were paying for her accommodation. Phone call was unconfrontational as husband knows better. 5 mins after he spoke to her, MIL called to tell him he had upset sister! Eeeek!

She now doesn't speak to any of those friends! (Rolls eyes!)

Jelly15, you sound like you've had v tough time. I'm so sorry to hear it.

DoJo Thu 21-Feb-13 15:38:52

I have to admit, when I read 'I refuse to give presents for Mother's Day and Father's Day from my children to their grandparents as they are not the ones who sit up with them all night when they are ill, or do anything else on a daily basis.' in your OP, I thought it sounded a little churlish as though you resent the fact that anyone might think they deserve a gift when they aren't doing the hard work, whereas actually the fact that they are not your DC's parents should be a good enough reason not to give them presents on days designated for parents. Apologies if that is down to my misinterpretation - it just sounded a bit strangely militant to me when I read it. If that is the case though, and it is a matter of principle not to give them gifts, then I can kind of see why SIL might be inclined to - she probably feels that the relationship between her parents and your children lends itself to gift giving somewhat more than hers does, so gets them things she thinks they would want even if it is a little tangential to her relationship with them.

Having said that, my mum bought my husband something for father's day last year (his first as a father) which I thought was completely bizarre, but I just let it ride, gently mocked her for thinking he was her father and did a lot of hmm faces.

ilovecolinfirth Thu 21-Feb-13 15:49:16

Oh dear, the last thing I want to seem is churlish. I guess I'm trying to say what sockreturningpixie said... It's not grandparents day. However, I believe there is a (completely commercial) grandparents day later in the year, and in way of "compensation" I do send them a gift and card made by my son and daughter. I also send pictures throughout the year myself, so its not like she gets nothing. I do realise the gift thing sounds petty, I guess it's just a case of boundaries.

It seems people have very varied views on this, but I whole heatedly agree with the general thought that its not worth making a fuss over.

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