Unwanted competition with SIL

(25 Posts)
FeetUpUntilChristmas Fri 18-Oct-13 08:17:53

OP I think it's normal behaviour.

My DSis and me had DC all of about the same age now older children we were close and never cared how much time our parents spent with each child, our DDad doesn't do babies either but is great with older children.

Whereas my in laws are completely different, absolutely fine when my DC were little as they were they only grandchildren, although they were still working they would help out whenever they can and I can't fault their help or love for the DC. Fast forward to now and my DH sister and brother both have young families, His sister lives close to his parents and has a demanding long hours shift job and so her parents do lots of the child are including overnights, they are very good. His brother lives about an hour away and both his wife and him work regular 9-5 M-F jobs, they wanted the PIL to do the same amount of childcare for them and were very upset that there DC got to spend less time with GP. They continue to push for babysitting for days so they can go away for the weekend etc. as they are owed it. My PIL do help out as much as they can but they are not young.

They constant bragging also happens their DS is 18 months younger than DN and has done everything early and every (and I mean every) achievement is posted on FBook.

Oh and then there is the annual calendar competition, produce one with your DC on and see which one your MIL uses smile

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 18-Oct-13 07:33:41

To be fair to your SIL the photo thing does sound like a joke as does the we're owed a babysitting session comment. I also think discussing when a baby rolled is pretty normal, especially to a first time mum. It doesn't follow that it's a competition. I think you need to react less to the whole thing and enjoy both your DS and DN smile

TiredDog Fri 18-Oct-13 07:14:48

Ignore. Don't get sucked into behaving differently around her. Slippery slope where you both end up doing little passive aggressive things.

DeckSwabber Fri 18-Oct-13 07:10:01

She does sound a bit insecure.

wrt your father I think you may need to say something as you don't want him feeling like he's upsetting anyone. You might remind her that he has only just started doing a bit of babysitting for you, that you are grateful because you know he worries.

digerd Fri 18-Oct-13 07:05:17

Wait until your are elderly, then comes the "My health problems are worse than yours" competitionconfused.

She's probably just joking about the photo thing, OP.

My SIL is very irritating, so I can sympathise. But you need to put her out of your head.

AveryJessup Fri 18-Oct-13 01:15:13

Seems to me you have the upper hand here since your DC is older. Can't you turn it around and just patronize her completely e.g. 'Gosh it's so long ago for me, I can 't even remember when DS did xyz' or ' oh don't be in a rush with her, you don't want them too mobile too soon! Honestly you won't have a minute to yourself once she's walking!!' while smiling sweetly. Offer lots of unwanted advice and say things like 'are you struggling with the xyz stage? Just let me know of you need any help - I'm an old pro at this stage!'

That way you get to sound nice while patronizing her completely. It's very annoying. My SIL does this to me and it really gets up my nose. She's the same age as me but had her DCs much younger so it really grates as it feels like she's talking down to me.

Donkeyok Fri 18-Oct-13 00:14:10

smelliest shit grin

seriously though stop admiring her with your supportive comments when she's bragging.
When the attentions removed she'll have to come up with another way to get it.

puntasticusername Thu 17-Oct-13 22:20:12

No, it's not normal, well I mean it's not unusual for parents to go a bit overboard with pride/anxiety, especially with their first DC, but it's not NORMAL IYSWIM smile

Your dad has a lovely turn of phrase, doesn't he? grin

welshnat Thu 17-Oct-13 22:15:31

I'm glad nobody thinks it's a normal reaction. I was starting to think I was just being sensitive. My dad has noticed the remarks and has actually joked about it with me because he finds it so laughable. He even said himself why would anyone care who rolled over first....or as he said who can do the smelliest shit :P

puntasticusername Thu 17-Oct-13 22:15:22

Sympathy - it's rough if you feel you can't be a normal proud mum because of this sad

Be as pleasant as you can bear to be, say what you want about your DC - thus role-modeling healthier behaviour - just refuse to engage with the competitiveness on her level. It's her issue, not yours, and you can be sympathetic and thoughtful but you can't solve it for her.

As others have said, it's very likely that the root cause of this is underlying insecurity on her part. She might get happier in time.

gamerchick Thu 17-Oct-13 22:11:53

People like this are to be pitied really. How horrible it must be to live in their heads.

You need to change the way you process these insecurities and not let it get to you.

Maybe do the head tilt and ask if she's alright each time she makes one of these comments.

Whatever it is.. This is her issue.. don't make it yours.

thegreylady Thu 17-Oct-13 22:07:16

She is worried because it seems that a parent often feels closer to a dd's dc than to a son's and she wants to push her baby forward. Are her own parents around? You will inevitably understand your dad in a way that she never can and he will comfortable with you because you are his dd. in addition your ds will always be dgc1 and she can't change that. Let her be unless your dad mentions it.

Custardo Thu 17-Oct-13 22:06:00

IME people who make your life miserable should be avoided at all costs

minimize visits

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Thu 17-Oct-13 22:05:41

I think its insecurity or twatishness that makes people do that.

My own sil just slags me off and criticises my choices all the time. Perhaps if i remind myself that its her that has the problem then it will stop bothering me?

welshnat Thu 17-Oct-13 22:02:33

I feel like I can't brag about DS in the normal way because she will take it as competition. I don't even mention him in front of her anymore. I think she is more jealous of the fact that DF is more involved with DS than DN, but like I said he was exactly the same with DS until about 2/3 months ago.

EthethethethChrisWaddle Thu 17-Oct-13 22:00:00

My SIL was a bit like this. It was bizarre as her DS is 10 years older than my DS!

So whenever I mentioned to MIL any milestones my baby DS had made she'd butt in with "Oh DS did was walking when he was 6 months old" and even things like "DS didn't like Cubs, so your DS won't" Er, he's a different person so why would you think that?

I ignored her, she seemed to think her DS was some wonderful genius, when obviously it's my DS who is! wink

You should do the same, be secure in the knowledge that your DS is doing just fine, and doesn't need comparing with her DS.

welshnat Thu 17-Oct-13 21:56:49

Well that's how I've been dealing with it so far is just saying "wow that's great! Can't believe she's doing that already! etc.." It just seems to antagonize her more.

Donkey That's my main concern, I don't want there to be competition between the kids when they grow up. I had the same thing with my cousin, where everything she did had to be bigger and better than me (because of her parents not her).

C0ffeeN0biscuit Thu 17-Oct-13 21:56:39

Ps different circs but my mum made me laugh recently telling me about her lunch with her friends. One by one they all moaned about their hip or their diabetes or the side effects of their various medications. When it got to my mum's turn to speak she said "i feel great, nothing to complain about". She said there was a three second silence, 3 pairs of eyes on her, then they got straight back to the main agenda... swollen ankles, heart burn, back ache......

zippey Thu 17-Oct-13 21:55:39

No great advice except to stop putting so much importance in what she says or does. You know what's important. Let it was over you.

C0ffeeN0biscuit Thu 17-Oct-13 21:52:10

The only way to deal with people like this is to be so UNcompetitive that they get no satisfaction at all out of bragging.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 17-Oct-13 21:50:46

She is being a twit ignore her

Donkeyok Thu 17-Oct-13 21:50:39

She is probably feeling insecure which is why she needs to qualify everything to gage her competency. I think you should tell her next time she makes a comparative statement that it is not a competition a race or else yours would have won coz they were born first. I expect she will gradually back off when novelty or lack of sleep catch up and her dc is no longer first/biggest/best at something. Remembering her insecurity is what is making these comments should help you get through. Personally if I'd pointed it out to her and she still persisted Id walk away. She needs to realize that these children need to friends and not under pressure to outdo each other.

puntasticusername Thu 17-Oct-13 21:47:46

YANBU but I'm not sure there's much you can do, some people just are that way.

If you feel like it you can try and be supportive and figure out ways to show her that none of this stuff actually matters. Depends how much effort you want to put in really. Definitely don't engage in the competitive, one-upmanship behaviour, no matter how tempting it is - you'll never win and it will only make her worse.

welshnat Thu 17-Oct-13 21:38:42

Hi all, I am looking for some advice. My SIL is the polar opposite to me, personality wise, and in my opinion there is a huge clash of personalities. I make sure that I never show this, and am always civil to her.

Anyway my problem is that since she had my lovely niece 6 months ago everything seems to be a competition and I don't know how to handle it. She says things that she tries to pass off as laugh, but when I give her the obligatory laugh, she seems to turn it around and say that I am jealous.

It is starting to make me feel like I can no longer go out with my DF and DB as she is always there and making snide comments. Some things she's done are:

Have a photo of DN printed bigger than DS's and bought an expensive frame, and actually making a point of saying that it will obviously be nicer so should take pride of place on the mantelpiece.

Constantly comparing how much time DF spends with each child. When I made a passing comment that my DF had sat downstairs while DS slept so I could go for a meal with friends (so no actual babysitting.) She made sure to say that they were owed a babysitting session. The thing is that DF is very uncomfortable around young babies and has only recently started taking DS for a few hours to the park and he's almost 2.

Asking when DS had passed certain milestones and obviously DN had passed them sooner. I really don't care about this, as I believe that all kids are different and that rolling over earlier is no sign of a genius, which she apparently believes.

I guess my question is AIBU to be getting very fed up with this, or is it just normal for someone with a brand new baby? The thing is my friend had a baby a month before me and I can't ever remember either of us acting like this.

Any advice on how to deal with the bragging and snide remarks would be greatly appreciated.

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