To ask if I should say something or keep quiet?

(67 Posts)
crapholes Sun 05-Jan-14 19:07:27

(it's a bit long, feel free to skip it!)

Mil has made me cross this afternoon. She has become increasingly irritating over the years anyway and I'm still wound up over her behaviour whilst here to stay over New Year (they went home Wednesday, was the longest 50 hours of my life), but today she has really pissed me off.

Background. Dh is a teacher. Subject lead in a science subject. They had a new head this year who is keen to prove himself and last term was particularly stressful. He works long hours and bloody hard but he enjoys the teaching and he's good at it. He has totally managed to relax over the holidays and is looking human again smile He's back to it tomorrow.

This afternoon, firstly she sent him a blank text, so he replied to tell her so. She sent another, saying her message was too long and was it convenient to chat? Dh didn't have time to reply before she rang anyway hmm so wtf was the point of the question?! It wasn't convenient, but she just talked over dh when he tried to tell her so (as usual).

But now the crux. Mil has chosen today to ring him and talk to him about how crappy and stressful his career choice is, how it puts his health at risk and is no good for him and that it's incompatible with family life (her main problem I suspect is that during term time we refuse to schlep 5 hours + up the motorway to see them because there simply isn't time). AIBU to think that at the very least that is fucking unsupportive?! Dh has now lost his last holiday evening of feeling carefree because she felt the need to stick her oar in and now his stress levels are back up.

I hope I am never so mean to my own children.

WIBU to email her and let her know what I think? Can't call her, suspect there'd be no coming back from any 'conversation' that may occur. Also suspect she's pissed yet again so wouldn't remember anyway.

lougle Sun 05-Jan-14 19:09:39

Keep quiet. The only thing that will come of a discussion will be the stress rising in your DH.

There will be other times to discuss it.

Dollydishus Sun 05-Jan-14 19:11:22

Stay out of it. You're on hiding to nothing there.

If your DH is upset, he can say so.

Snoopytwist Sun 05-Jan-14 19:12:30

Hmm - playing devils advocate, but do you think she had seen him over Christmas, recognised his stress and was concerned - so she goes back home, stews about it and then phones to talk to him about it because she is worried? She couldn't have really had the conversation by text, so really, her only fault was bad, thoughtless timing...? When you're worrying about your children, grown up or not, it's hard to wait a week or two to talk it through...

Phineyj Sun 05-Jan-14 19:16:46

Use caller ID rigorously to screen her calls/suggest DH does weekly call at fixed time on least stressful evening.

My MIL is nice but despite my frequent explanations cannot process or remember that teachers (I am one) can't chat on a school night - by which I mean Sun to Thur.

While telling your adult DC your unvarnished views on their career choice is rarely a good idea imo, I don't think your getting involved will help.

Bodypopper Sun 05-Jan-14 19:17:14

Well if one of my grown up kids seemed very stressed I would ring up for a chat to be honest and offer support.

That's what families do isn't it? You don't stop caring about it worrying about your kids because they are grown up.

Are you cross because she didn't address it face to face or just that she addressed it at all.

JollySantersSelectionBox Sun 05-Jan-14 19:19:55

Stay out of the conversation and put your energy into your last evening with DH?

Does he fancy a takeaway, glass of wine and a comedy?

Something to take both your minds off it!

LoonvanBoon Sun 05-Jan-14 19:20:47

You're not being unreasonable to think this is unsupportive & selfish behaviour. But I agree you're best staying out of it.

If your MIL ever says something along similar lines when you're actually with her it would be a different matter. I would point out then that teaching is your DH's career choice & that's really all there is to it - though even that would probably be better coming from him.

I do know where you're coming from. DH also has a management position in a big & busy school, & near the end of last term he got an email from FIL during the school day demanding that he 'phone MIL during his lunch break to discuss something she was upset about! DH let his dad know in no uncertain terms that it would have to wait until the evening, but I still felt pissed off on his behalf that they could be so lacking in awareness of the nature of his working day. MIL only wanted to talk about an issue that had been rumbling on since October anyway - it wasn't anything urgent.

WilsonFrickett Sun 05-Jan-14 19:23:40

I don't know whether she was U or not tbh, perhaps as a pp has said, she has spent some time with him over the holidays and noticed that he does seem stressed, etc. And this is her cack-handed way of trying to support him.

What would be extremely U however would be for you to get involved in it - it will not help your DH. Just give him a hug, agree with him that her timing is off and do something nice for the rest of the evening. Don't feed the fire.

thecatfromjapan Sun 05-Jan-14 19:26:46

Stay out of it.

I've rolled this around in my head and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why it has even crossed your mind to get involved.

If you want, you can get your dh a cup of tea and offer a neck rub. But even that is a little patronising.

She sounds a bit crap, but very similar to my mother, to be honest, who has the emotional IQ of planktum. Her idea of being positive is to 'phone me, after I've told her my h says he wants a divorce, and tell me a. I am fat b. I have failed in my life c. stories of children who have killed themselves/other/got tattoos after their parents divorced.

If she's drinking ... well, I guess there's a whole story there. But again, a reason not to jump in with your wellies on.

She's not going to change. She's not going to say thank you. There will be bad feeling - which your dh will have to negotiate. How will it improve things? <curious> Because it'll create a bit of drama and you don't like "Sherlock"?

Wevet Sun 05-Jan-14 19:27:00

Keep out of it.

What does/did your MiL do for a living? I find that neither my parents/ILs (all left school at 13, manual jobs, now retired for some time) have any grasp at all on what a'normal level of stress and working hours per week is for people in professional jobs, and they are frequently aghast at us working late into the night or at weekends - their own working experience was of clocking in and clocking out, and not working outside 9 to 5 ish hours, and they think in terms of wages per hours worked. They frequently get upset and stressed by proxy if one of is dealing with a bog deadline.

Fairylea Sun 05-Jan-14 19:28:54

Stay out of it. You'll only make it worse and cause more stress for dh (I know because I am the one in my relationship with a mother like his).

Spend time with your dh and do something fun together..take his mind off her.

thecatfromjapan Sun 05-Jan-14 19:29:35

*killed other people.

(This is true. She really has said all this. And tattoos really are weighed at the same moral value as causing the death of others.)

Seriously, I think it's sweet you care. But destroying your husband's self-esteem with regard to his career choice is, frankly, NVQ level 1 stuff.

You need to pace yourself, and wait until she starts undermining him about his/your children's lives.

Bodypopper Sun 05-Jan-14 19:30:17

I do think when some people retire they do forget how busy working life can be Loonvanboon I know my parents do.

I am a bit disturbed by the concept of a mother daring to discuss life and jobs with her adult son although obviously the op has major other issues with her mil re drinking etc.

I can see the timing isn't great but I hope to god when my sons get married we as in they and me can chat still.

I would be livid if any son in law of mine objected to me chatting to my dds.

Very controlling behaviour.

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Sun 05-Jan-14 19:32:38

She wasn't to know he'd managed to get in a good place today, maybe she has been worried and couldn't take it any longer.

Showy Sun 05-Jan-14 19:36:03

It sounds exactly like something my MIL would do. Except my MIL is a kind, loving woman who just worries about her children. She has a similar problem with dh's job. She sees how stressed he can be, how much it interferes with family life (he's a copper, not a teacher btw) and she will occasionally stress this to him. I see it not as her trying to upset him, but her seeing what a life of an uncompromising job can do to somebody. FIL worked in a similar way to DH and I think looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, he wishes he'd had the strength to prioritise his family more. Of course in the midst of it, it's rarely that easy.

I suppose this event in isolation isn't indicative of anything really. It could be a Mum worried about her son, no more no less. Only you know everything else that surrounds it. In my family, it would just be a sign that MIL cares and worries.

Tailtwister Sun 05-Jan-14 19:39:17

My DM has no idea what it takes to work in a professional job and the huge stress it takes just to get through the week. I think teaching in particular has changed beyond all recognition (my DM was a primary teacher for about 2 years before my DB was born).

I wouldn't interfere though OP. Your MIL's conversation was ill timed to be sure, but she sounds worried about her son. He's still her son and she has every right to speak to him without your interference. I can completely understand where you're coming from though.

cjel Sun 05-Jan-14 19:44:04

I think that she has recognised his stress, You said yourself that he works very hard! and was just thinking about him having to go back to it and wanted to share her concern,

It isn't that bad and you do sound a bit over upset by it.

Lilacroses Sun 05-Jan-14 19:45:08

Yanbu. Whatever her reasons for saying it she is not being supportive. Lucky that your dh has you on his side.

Beautifulbabyboy Sun 05-Jan-14 19:46:39

You are being unreasonable. She is his mother. Look at your children and think about how much you worry about them. Then apparently one day according to you, you should magically not. And talking about shleping up a motorway...I hope your children don't move away. I love my mother in law, and I never forget that one day I will be one.

Beautifulbabyboy Sun 05-Jan-14 19:48:02

Also, all jobs are stressful, especially when there have been changes. Teaching is not special in that way.

pictish Sun 05-Jan-14 19:50:10

I sympathise to a certain degree, but overall I think his mum can call him if she likes, and express her opinion. If he doesn't like her timing or subject matter, then he can tell her so.
I don't think it's your place to interefere.

sittingbythefairylights Sun 05-Jan-14 19:54:42

Deep breath, good moan on here, and then take a huge step back.

Support your Dh, but don't get involved.

Adeleh Sun 05-Jan-14 19:59:40

Like everyone else I'd say, don't get involved. No point in talking things over with someone unless they listen. By the sound of it she's unlikely to, and will simply have another emotional burden to offload on your husband. Pour 2 glasses of wine and take the phone off the hook.

BabyMummy29 Sun 05-Jan-14 20:07:38

I would have to say something, but that's how I am with things like this.

We have had similar problems - why can't people allow others to live their own lives without interfering? It's your DH's life and career, not hers - she chose how to live her life.

Some people would say to let it go as it will just cause you more stress but if it was me I would just fester and fester.

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