To kick myself for allowing myself to be drawn in to SIL competitive parenting ?

(56 Posts)
Inseywinseyupthespout Sun 31-Mar-13 19:31:17

I'm raging with myself .

SIL is a very confident , outgoing scary woman ; she knows when she is right and doesn't give a crap what anyone thinks . She also doesn't give a crap what she says to other people even if its offensive or hurtful .

SIL is a competitive parent - she loves to make you feel like her way is right / best .

My DD2 and her DD1 are the same age - everything from pushchairs to baby milk was discussed during our pregnancies hmm

Apparently her pushchair was better because it parent faced, her choice of milk was better because it was more expensive and "more like breastmilk ..." Any decision I made, she always had a reason why she chose something "better". It irritates the fuck out of me and no matter how hard I try to ignore it , I find myself feeling inadequate and influenced in to "copying" her blush

I'm kicking myself today , as we were talking about saving for our kids etc - she said "my dd is going to be loaded as she will have her savings and will inherit our house ..."

DH and I don't own our own home and never will . I said that our DDs will have their savings , she replied "hopefully you will have enough saved to give them a deposit on their first house . My dd won't need to as she can just sell our house ..."

And I , I shit you not , replied "oh maybe I should look in to buying a house , because my DDs might not have that much .... " WTF blush

Why didn't I just say - "yeah hopefully you won't lose your job and your house ... Fuck off you condescending fuck ...."

WIBU to kick myself ?!

ThreadWorms Tue 02-Apr-13 20:33:51

Op, my SIL sounds very similar to yours in that she is competitive in the extreme. I have never had a conversation with her that wasn't centred around how great she/her DP (my BIL)/her DCs are and how cramp we are in comparison. My youngest/her eldest are very close in age so that doesn't help.

Like you, I find myself being drawn into her games and become defensive in her presence. I have posted about her before and the advice I often received was that she was jealous if me, pure and simple. I never believed them because if her life is as great as she makes out then why would she be jealous if me?

Turns out they were right. A recent family argument occurred abs age admitted to another family member that she feels inferior to me. I still don't know why though confused.

I don't have the answer though as I still find it difficult to deal with her but just wanted you to know you have my sympathies wink.

EldritchCleavage Tue 02-Apr-13 20:21:11

Hang on, there are seriously, actually apparently sane adult women out there who ask other adult women to list what chocolate their children got for Easter? Honestly?

I'm genuinely astonished. Who the hecky peck gives a stuff what other people's children (or even their own, come to that) get given for Easter?

Op, when she asks you stuff like this I think you should just giggle until she gives up.

Blimey.

Mother2many Tue 02-Apr-13 15:48:22

I'm glad my sister never blantly threw in how much better she is to me, but MAN do I HATE when she whines about stuff, that I could only imagine.... however, her son is learning that only the best is for him... and she is raising him to be a selfish inconsiderate jerk.... he LOVE to throw in your face and everyone elses how he is so much better.

love your responses to the emails

disengaging is the way to go

all these horrid stories, I am so sorry

(My SIL is bonkers, but not unkind. Mostly she lies and makes up stuff, which is a different facet of being less-than-confident, no one gets hurt but she looks like a tit because she forgets what she's told whom, iyswim.)

whois Mon 01-Apr-13 13:10:14

"Oh SIL, I do hope my DD can buy a house BEFORE I die! Gosh how horrible to be waiting for an inheritance like that"

DorcasDelIcatessen Mon 01-Apr-13 12:59:14

I find a well timed "YAY!" while punching the air victoriously helps. It works because my SIL sometimes forgets herself and thinks that I do care about her DD solving the conundrum on Countdown at the age of 8 and a bit. She looks at me like a kicked puppy when I do it.

RivalSibling Mon 01-Apr-13 12:02:53

Re the Easter eggs - tell her your children got exactly the right number of eggs.

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Mon 01-Apr-13 11:09:57

She sounds like hard work!

All the value of your SIL's house may go into paying for her care home fees in years to come, your situation may improve dramatically. Unless you are very
wealthy these days I would say there are no guarantees that children will inherit their parent's houses/savings.

sherazade Mon 01-Apr-13 09:31:57

or what oldbagwnatsnewbag said. Smile and nod, and say something meaningless like 'that's nice'. If you adopt this mantra she'll soon see that you're not impressed and unwlling to engage in this pathetic banter.

sherazade Mon 01-Apr-13 09:30:26

If you find it dificult to be assertive around her, whenever she tries to get all competitive and whenever you anticipate that she is going to put you in a corner where you will have start justifying yourself or saying things you are not comfortable with, just smile blankly and nod, smile and nod, smile and nod, and change the subject. This is failsafe. She'll soon learn not to try.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sun 31-Mar-13 22:16:36

Do I win? Have I got the most competitive sil? I can't wait to tell her...oh bugger.

I agree with people who say you have to be a bit sad inside to behave this way. It's like being related to a dementor.

fuzzypicklehead Sun 31-Mar-13 21:46:28

I also enjoy, "Oh, you know us! We'd hate to be too showy/OTT!"

OP - "So... She took it upon herself to tell me what she had bought .. So I replied saying "that's nice ..."

Ha ha! grin

Roseformeplease Sun 31-Mar-13 21:34:33

My husband has the answer to this (wily Scot) and he competes, but to demean himself. If someone asks him about his new car, he says, "Oh, it's an old banger, yours is a proper car". If asked about Christmas presents he replies, "Usual socks and rubbish, I am sure you got something much, much nicer".

He would reply to your SiL, by saying, "Not much really, I am sure your DD had a far more exciting Easter.

It wrong foots them every time. They suspect sarcasm but, outwardly, you are agreeing that they are better than you. They can only reply by DEFENDING your choices and that really, really hurts.

Give it a go! Works like a charm.

Inseywinseyupthespout Sun 31-Mar-13 21:24:35

Some of these responses are great ! grin

I responded to the email just saying "enough chocolate to rot their teeth " and didn't ask about her dd ....

So... She took it upon herself to tell me what she had bought hmm .. So I replied saying "that's nice ..." grin

HumphreyCobbler Sun 31-Mar-13 21:21:27

bloody hell doyouwantfrieswiththat - what a cow!

Fudgemallowdelight Sun 31-Mar-13 21:18:40

"hopefully you will have enough saved to give them a deposit on their first house . My dd won't need to as she can just sell our house ..."

"Oh do you think she will wait until you are dead before she buys a house then?"

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sun 31-Mar-13 20:45:39

I'm not competitive about competitive sils grin but after I miscarried at 12wks mine said 'well I tried everything but this one wanted to stick' shock

I would give her the benefit of the doubt but she's always saying stuff like that.

Now thanks to ratspeaker I can say 'that's nice' while thinking 'fuck off'.

It's a shame because my dcs really like their cousins but I find her hard work.

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 31-Mar-13 20:31:32

I think ScentedNappyHag has the best solution. grin

Also you both don't know what life will throw at you and your DD's. At the very least it's quite possible that the assets of her home will be spent at some point either as business collateral or to pay for care in her or partner's old age.
Can you widen your circle of friends so that her influence in your life becomes naturally less, and you have other more genuine friends to share the joys of parenthood with ?

whosiwhatsit Sun 31-Mar-13 20:26:39

You could be really horrible and show her lots of fake sympathy, make her cups of tea and tell her you'll always be there for her if she needs someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. When she asks why just say you think she must be feeling unwell as she has been talking a lot lately about her daughter inheriting from her, tell her you can also tell she's under a lot of stress as she seems to be second guessing and worrying about her parenting decisions. Then whenever she mentions something braggy you can just respond with oh, don't worry, I'm,sure everything will turn out fine with a smile full of fake sympathy. It's evil and not a nice way to behave but it's guaranteed to drive her round the bend as the last thing people like this want is to be an object of pity!

LaQueen Sun 31-Mar-13 20:23:24

Yep, agree with Old. It's very, very important that you just repeat the exact same stock phrases...That's nice...That's lovely...That's nice...That's lovely...That's nice...etc, when you smile and nod.

Because, eventually she'll slowly realise that you're just repeating yourself, because you clearly aren't interested...and (even better) that you actually can't even be arsed to feign interest in her, and are just fobbing her off with a totally bland/disinterested That's nice...That's lovely...

But, because you aren't saying anything remotely rude/offensive, and you're smiling and nodding whilst saying it... she can't really call you on it, else she'll just look like a nit-picking, paranoid twunt - which of course she is.

It'll drive her up the wall, I promise smile

Re her email - It's Easter. What does she think your DDs got?

Do you really need to go into specifics when you reply? Just say "Enough chocolate to rot their teeth!" and don't ask her what her DD got!

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Sun 31-Mar-13 20:20:39

I often wonder the mentality behind people like your SIL, and the woman that I know. All I can think is that they must have very low self esteem and just be willing to say/do anything to make themselves feel superior. I wonder too how they make/keep friends, as I would never be close friends with anyone like that, yet some people seem totally in awe of that type of person.hmm

ratspeaker Sun 31-Mar-13 20:19:44

I agree with humphrey

but when saying thats nice keep this clip in mind

there a wee swearie in there so you've been warned
youtube link to bbc series
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JddNDtC-Yrs

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