To manage my time as I see fit and not report to MIL every five minutes??

(52 Posts)
DifferentDay Thu 16-Jun-16 15:21:22

Try to keep this brief. I am a researcher/ analysis type professional. I work from home three days a week and that time is spent analysing data and writing up research - very sedentary, but very intense. Mil has dcs either side of school these days, picks them, takes them to school and then picks them up and brings them home again. I don't work holidays and DH and I juggle the remaining school days.
Doing my job, plus having two kids and not making the wisest of choices, I have ballooned in weight. I therefore decided to do something about it and took up running at lunchtime the days I work from home, so three days a week I pop out at lunch (I've always taken a lunch break btw!) and go running (all in all with changing it probably takes 45min - 1 hour. Mil thinks this is out of order and moans that she doesn't look after my kids so I can 'swan about'. I've lost over two stone and she also seems to believe this is somehow because I am unhappy with DH (this is a ridiculous argument and DH and I very happy, regardless of my weight!)
I kind of get the argument if I took that time at either end of the day I could pick up or drop kids off but I don't believe working straight through with what I do is possible either, I just can't do it, my head would implode - and I've never done that! Regardless what I do with it, I need a break in the day. My other sore point in this is that I've argued with mil over kids, I wanted a childminder friend to do drop off and pick up for us, and us pay her, to keep it professional - to avoid exactly these types of problems. Mil was utterly against this and wanted to do it. To be fair to her she often takes kids to park after school etc and they love this time with her, and she is brilliant with them, but every day now she questions me on what I've done with my day, have I been running and I'm finding it a bit annoying. I do see her point but think my time is to manage as I see fit... AIBU

DartmoorDoughnut Thu 16-Jun-16 15:23:57

Yanbu, let MIL know that whilst you appreciate all she does your time is your own and that you're happy to use a childminder instead if she feels it is an unfair imposition on her time.

WellErrr Thu 16-Jun-16 15:25:17

Get a childminder.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 16-Jun-16 15:25:21

Of course she has no right to question you on what you do.

Get your DH to talk to her and tell her to wind her neck in. If she's so keen to look after the kids then she can do it without criticising you or you'll have to go with the childminder.

CheeseAndSprinkleys Thu 16-Jun-16 15:28:30

You're doing nothing wrong, get your DH to have a word with her if she won't listen to you, and if she carries on get a child minder.

MariaSklodowska Thu 16-Jun-16 15:28:34

what the others have said,
either she stops that or you get a childminder.

suno1 Thu 16-Jun-16 15:32:58

I would go with the child minder tbh. I had this situation with my mother, many years ago, and it's very draining. Put your foot down while you can.......I wish I had

WhatchaMaCalllit Thu 16-Jun-16 15:36:18

If you were working in an office and not from home, you would still be entitled to take a lunch hour which could include the time it takes to change, go for a run, come back from the run, change again and resume your work while eating a sandwich/salad at your desk.

I would (if your MIL raises the issue again) respond 100% without hesitating using the text from Dartmoor above.

As for her "swan about" comment - reply with "No, MIL, I'm getting myself fit so that I can be a good example to my kids of what a healthy parent is and does. I'd also like to be around when they have kids so this is my preparation work for that!" (or words to that effect) and walk away, head held high! smile

DifferentDay Thu 16-Jun-16 15:36:32

Thanks all, MIL has had a hard time recently and I wouldn't want to take away the time with children unnecessarily. Her argument for having them was that they are the one thing she looks forward to each week and keeps her going. It just seems to be a long line of things with regards to me she doesn't like. She is against me working full stop (ignoring the fact we couldn't afford for me not too!) and I wonder if this is just a way of her verbalizing that as well. I love her and don't want to be harsh on her but equally I'm not going to be bullied either.

shiveringhiccup Thu 16-Jun-16 15:36:34

Agree with PP that she either stops questioning you or get a CM.

Are you close enough to talk to her about it? Or could DH?

Or just don't answer - when she asks what you've done that day just reply 'working' and ask what she did. Don't give her the ammo.

MollyRedskirts Thu 16-Jun-16 15:36:43

Absolutely what everyone else has said. Tell her that you're very grateful for her help, but that doesn't give her the right to stipulate what you do in your working time. If she isn't happy - childminder!

WhatchaMaCalllit Thu 16-Jun-16 15:37:11

Also, congratulations on the 2 stone weight loss. That's terrific!!! star

HopeClearwater Thu 16-Jun-16 15:40:27

You don't need to tell her what you are doing with your day. Lie if necessary, or dodge the question. How controlling is she?! Be prepared for her to find something else to pick you up on in the future, too.

Trojanhorsebox Thu 16-Jun-16 15:40:54

Yep - childminder. Keep it professional.

MIL "wanted" to mind your kids when you were ready to get a childminder before ? No, it sounds like she wants to mind your kids but on her terms and to allow you to do things she sanctions, but she doesn't want to do it if you use the time to do things she doesn't agree with - ie she feels she has some control over what you are and are not allowed to do. She thinks she's doing you a favour and you should be grateful and thus you owe it to her to submit to her rules.......no, no, no. You're working, you are willing to pay for a professional service so do that, MIL can babysit at other times if that works for everyone.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 16-Jun-16 15:45:59

So she's emotionally blackmailed you into agreeing that she cares for your kids and now she is giving you grief about getting fit?

Perhaps point out to her that financially you HAVE to work and that her continuous snide comments are not helpful. They imply that it is a choice to your kids, and to your DH that he is not doing a good enough job as a breadwinner. [this is bollocks obviously but meet oldfashioned sexism with oldfashioned claptrap I say]

Then simply say that the kids really enjoy their time with her, and it all appears to be working out well but if she has issues with you taking a lunchbreak and getting some exercise, then you should both really reconsider whether she continues.

I think in the interests of some sort of familial harmony you need to make sure that you don't create a dynamic where she feels that you will hold a childminder over her head every time you disagree BUT, you do need to draw a line in the sand.

Well done on losing the weight - I wish I could find the will power !

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 16-Jun-16 15:49:03

If you want to keep the children with her then lie about the running, or at least don't tell her "oh, just boring work today"

You really should get a childminder though. Maybe not every day, leave her with a day or two for a while.

JessieMcJessie Thu 16-Jun-16 15:50:57

Just don't tell her you've been running. Lie if asked and avoid all discussions about what you do with your working day.

She's a right old cow isn't she? Wants to have the kids for her own pleasure but doesn't want you to work or do as you choose when they are not with you. What exactly does she think you SHOULD be doing when they are with her?

FireTruckOhFireTruck Thu 16-Jun-16 15:53:19

That would really frustrate me, I agree with the childminder suggestion, for your own sanity!

LilacInn Thu 16-Jun-16 15:54:26

1) How does she know you go for a run?
2) If someone said to me they don't do the minding so I could "swan about" I would be on the phone to a professional, paid minder before the words were fully out of her mouth. Life is too short to put up with that nonsense from anyone.

It's too bad if her life is empty but if she expects you to make allowances to fill it for her, she needs to keep her opinions about how you spend your day to yourself.

powershowerforanhour Thu 16-Jun-16 15:56:45

She reckons she doesn't look after your kids so you can swan about. Does your DH have a lunchbreak? Does she mind looking after her son's children while he "swans about" taking the break to which he is legally entitled?

BalloonSlayer Thu 16-Jun-16 16:05:44

"MIL. I go to work so I can work an x hour day with a lunch-break. That's why I was going to get a childminder, OK? You asked to look after the kids and that's great. But I will not be told what to do with my lunch-break. A break from working is The Law. Shall we just pack this arrangement in because it isn't working and I will go back to the childminder plan?"

whois Thu 16-Jun-16 16:07:47

anbu, let MIL know that whilst you appreciate all she does your time is your own and that you're happy to use a childminder instead if she feels it is an unfair imposition on her time.

This exactly.

She may feel its got a it too much for her now and is regretting it a bit? Might be worth opening up a convo about using a CM.

Fairylea Thu 16-Jun-16 16:09:26

How does she know you run? Just don't tell her. Tell her the work loads increased and you don't have time for a break anymore so you run at the weekend / got a treadmill and run when kids are asleep or whatever other lie works. You shouldn't have to lie but sometimes it's just easier.

If she didn't want you to get a childminder to do drop offs etc then she has no right to moan.

monkeymamma Thu 16-Jun-16 16:12:15

Obviously yanbu, she is being hugely u. But if you don't want to upset her how about you get a childminder but agree tea and park with mil once a week as a treat for everyone. Then fgs you can do whatever you want with your lunch breaks!

DifferentDay Thu 16-Jun-16 16:15:52

Thanks all, she knows I run because at first I was telling her as I thought she'd be please I was getting in shape etc. However I think she has some warped idea women only get in shape to try and attract other men - and this may be part of the issue for her, I'm not sure really. Now she asks me and I feel I can't lie. also we don't live very far apart and it is a relatively small village, if I did lie and carry on she would surely find out through village shop/ gossip networks etc.
DH wants me just to ignore it, he thinks kids are happy, she is happy, I get to do things I want and to brush over it whenever she says anything and he reckons she'll drop it.
There is probably a sense of power in this for her, she is very used to being the matriarchal figure and struggles with me being quite strong minded and independent. For example I had to have words with the school to not discuss anything about the children's progress or well-being with her and bring it to me as she (and school) was bypassing me on dealing with some emotional issues ds1 had. She does however as I say adore our children and they adore her - so for them this set up works - just me who is the bad guy!

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