DM and my inlaws - who is BU?

(36 Posts)

My DM has reduced me to tears yet again - nearly 30, and she still has that power hmm I know it's pathetic, but please don't hold it against me. smile

My DM does not like my inlaws. She can just about tolerate DMIL, thinks she's a lovely person (she is!), but hates DFIL. Tbf, he can be socially awkward - he doesn't really get some social niceties, but he is a lovely man who'd do anything for his family, and he doesn't mean to be an arsehole (which I am aware some of the stuff he inadvertently does can come across as).

Anyway, especially since having my two DC, my
DM has become extremely jealous of my inlaws, as they choose to use their holidays to come and stay with us (we stay three hours from where we both were brought up), rather than go abroad. They come at least once a month, they generally come for a week at least once or twice a year. I enjoy having them. They're good company, great with our DC, and a pleasure to have.

My parents also both work, and DM has her own business, which is quite reliant on her. As such, they can't come at weekends as often as it means her losing money. They also choose to have their holidays abroad.

We are going with them on Friday on holiday, but my inlaws came yesterday afternoon to see us until tomorrow. A last minute visit which I'm very grateful for, as both DC had a bad night, and they took 2 yo DS this morning at 6:30 so we could catch up on sleep.

DM has just told me she can't be bothered with me, can't believe I didn't tell her they came down, that I made her look like an arsehole because she saw a pic of us on Facebook together. hmm

This has been building for a while. She was pissed off DMIL came down for a week to help me after dd was born - she 'stole' my DM place (DM came back later - was here for birth and actually with DH and I as I had both DC!).

She thinks that when we go back up to our birth town we should spend more time with my family as my inlaws come down more often than my parents can. I don't believe I should do that, as both sets of parents use their holidays as they see fit, and it's not fair to push out the inlaws because they travel to see us more often.

There are other things she's said, but this post is already epic enough. The way I feel just now, I want to tell her I'm quite happy to lose the half of the money we spent on the joint holiday. I won't. But I am fucked off with constantly being made to feel like shit.

So, my fellow mn'ers - who is BU? My DM, or me for trying, and apparently failing, to keep everyone happy?

Andro Sun 26-May-13 23:21:05


Your DM for using emotional blackmail and trying to dictate to her adult daughter - she shouldn't be going off at you for not telling her about a last minute visit for example and the competitiveness is OTT.

You for trying to please everyone - it's an impossible task and you are doomed to failure. All you can do is try and be fair, whilst doing what is best for your family.

AgentZigzag Sun 26-May-13 23:27:50

Your mum really does indulge herself doesn't she?

Such petty jealousy! shock

Why do you allow her to offload the immature way she deals with her feelings onto you?

I'm sure you've been brainwashed into thinking her opinions are the be all/end all, but where is any care of you or your DC in her demands?

Go on as though she'd said nothing, the more you think/talk/worry about it the more importance you give her.

You're a big girl now and can decide for yourself who stays in your home/where you stay when you visit your home town/how many more seconds your PIL spend with your DC than your DM.

flanbase Sun 26-May-13 23:35:03

Let your dm continue to have her tantrums & you can get on with life. Just ignore her attention grabbing ways and so what they you put a pic on fbook. If she was on there she could have called you up instead. She sounds jealous of your mil.

2rebecca Sun 26-May-13 23:39:43

Why should you tell your mum your MIL came to visit? It doesn't involve her. You need to tell your mum this and tell her to get on with her own life and stop trying to interfere in yours. If she wants to come down more often she can phone and arrange it but who you see isn't anything to do with her.
You don't tell her how to spend her holidays and she doesn't tell you how to spend yours.

Don't cry about it, you really haven't done anything wrong. If your mum is so petty I'd be seeing less of her not more.
Also don't forget that you still have a right to live your life your way when you have children. You don't suddenly cease to exist as a person and become at the beck and call of relatives wanting to see your children.
I didn't suddenly start visitng umpteen relatives when I had kids, I maybe visited less because travelling was more of a hassle.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 26-May-13 23:48:09

Your mum ibu

She's narky because she's busy and chooses to spend her holidays elsewhere her choice.

Oh and your a grown up you stopped being obliged to inform her of your plans and ask her permission when you became a grown up.

AgentZigzag Sun 26-May-13 23:48:47

Although I agree with you 2rebecca, that the OP should know better than to tell her mum when her PIL have been over, I would say it's just a chit chat update you'd tell someone when you're catching up.

Why shouldn't she rather than why should she?

If it's got to this point Bunty, how would you feel about 'warning' your mum that her behaviour is making you want to see her less and not more?

I'm imagining how she'd react (<hand to forehead>/woe is me/what have I done to make you hate me so much? grin) but how do you think she'd take it?

Thanks all. It is ridiculous, but I'm still desperate for her approval even now - I think because I've always been the disappointment as a DC, despite being the high achiever.

DM favours my sister, but my sister is an arse licker is a lot younger, still lives at home, spends her money from her part time job (she's a student) on things for DM. I can't and won't compete. She spends that money with no sacrifice to her standard of living, as my parents will bail her out if she's short at the end of the month. I'm not spending my family money to buy her approval.

I do really need to man up, especially for my DC sake. I am being so careful to not be the mother mine was. I love DM, but she wasn't demonstrably affectionate, never really did 'I love you', pride ... Or positivity, really! I don't want them to see their mother browbeaten by their grandmother.

In every other area of my life I have control and respect - I am infamous at work had legendary status whilst on first maternity leave as a ball buster for taking no shit, but she alone can make me feel two inches tall.

agent I'd be accused of favouring the inlaws (again), she'd tell me that I love them more than my own family, and the DC will end up preferring their other grandparents.

There would also be a lot of shouting.

Can you tell I may have gently told her that in not so many words before? wink

AgentZigzag Mon 27-May-13 00:07:05

I don't know whether you've seen the Stately Homes thread, and I've not read that many of them, but you're definitely not alone in finding it hard to resist the manipulation someone set up for you in your childhood.

The way you describe not being flavour of the month because you dare to speak your mind sounds very familiar.

But you have to believe that this is her and not you, that you don't need her approval, if she has such a low opinion of you may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb and please yourself because whatever you do will never be enough.

Have you ever managed to pull away and distance yourself from her? How did that pan out if you did?

IKnowWhat Mon 27-May-13 00:10:11


Your DM sounds awful. sad. I completely understand the fact that you find it hard to stand up to her. Does your dad have anything to say about it? Can he speak up for you?

AgentZigzag Mon 27-May-13 00:25:44

I don't mean this in a shitty way at all IKnow, but if the OP asked her dad to speak up for her, it not only stops her from doing the important thing of her mum hearing it from the OP herself, but it'd also acting like her mum and manipulating those around her to do her bidding.

Chottie Mon 27-May-13 07:00:33

This is so sad. I am writing as a new GM. My DD has a baby 10 days old and I am thrilled that DGS has two sets of GP who love him. I think it is great that DGS has so many people in his life giving him love.

I think your DM is totally out of order, I just don't get why she is so jealous of your PiL. It is not about her.

I realise this may be difficult for you, but you are the mother and need to do what you and DP agree is right for your children and family. I agree with AgentZZ although it will be hard, your mother needs to hear from you that her behaviour is unacceptable. Could you take her out to a neutral place like a coffee shop?

thetrackisback Mon 27-May-13 07:26:00

Hi was reading your thread and her behaviour sounds like my MIL. My MIL has narcisstic personality disorder. There are some brilliant websites about narcissism one especially is called daughters of narcisstic mothers. Have a read OP see if it rings any bells and come back for advice. There is a specific way of dealing with a narcissist.

"Mum, what you have said is completely out of order and when you behave like this it makes me want to see less of you." I would also risk losing the holiday to stand up to her - might make her rethink her childish behaviour. Good luck.

I've pulled back to an extent before - waited for her to contact me rather than me constantly doing all the running. I generally get a phone call like nothing has happened asking why I've not been in touch. It can take a while, though. For all that she adores the DC, she's not that bothered about seeing/speaking to us/them. Granted, they're 2.4 and 5 months, but still.

We've had more contact in the last week than previously as she now has an iPhone, so can FaceTime.

My dad is a very quiet man, and generally leaves us to get on with it. He and my DH are very alike (although DH not quiet!), in that they believe you should sort out your own problems, which I agree with. But I don't think DH would let me behave this why to our DC.

chottie congratulations on your new dgs! If DM lived closer, I could possibly take her out, but we're 260 miles apart. If we go on this holiday, I think I will get her alone for a talk, though. Half the problem is that I am an angry crier - and I hate that. I'd hate to fall to bits in a public place.

Thank you all for the advice. thanks

IKnowWhat Mon 27-May-13 09:32:39

AgentZigzag. I agree 100%. It is best to deal with these things head on.

maddening Mon 27-May-13 09:49:06

Change the settings on your fb so your dm can't see your inlaw pics.

If your dm is as she is and won't change, and you want to continue with your relationship with her then perhaps manage it a bit better - prevent triggers of jealousy such as fb pics with in laws. Invite her up as often as the in laws come (even.if she won't come the invite is there) and suggest she come to you for her next holiday -if she goes away then you have offered. Any future such discussions over jealousy then you have been in every way fair by offering her the time to visit.

raisah Mon 27-May-13 09:56:28

Emotionally detach yourself & compartmentalise your life. Dont mention your lovely pils to your dm, its hust not worth it. My inlaws are similar so I dont talk about my family to them in case they are insulted by them. I dont entertain them together, everything is separated and it works well for us now. If my inlaws make a comment, I zone out & leave the room. Emotiinally abusive people like your mum thrive on making trouble and the fall out from it. Dont give her anything to feed on she sounds a bit unhinged rather than unreasonable.

Update - I didn't contact her at all. This morning I got a phone call, "First thing's first - I'm so sorry for last night. There's no excuse - I'm a jealous, old cow who needs to get her priorities straight"

My face is [sh

shock even!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Mon 27-May-13 14:53:09

She's not a secret mumsnet is she.

I don't think so ... She's fairly computer illiterate. confused

jollygoose Mon 27-May-13 16:01:29

As a gm myself if have to make myself not be jealous if my ds mother sees the gc so much more than I do. I certainly hope I never show it but do get a bit green sometimes when I know they are having bbqs etc that im not invited to. Even though I do see ds and gc fairly regularly jealously is an ugly emotion its quite difficult to keep in check.

Good for her. It takes guts to admit you've been an arsehole and apologise. If she can do that then she can probably cope with an honest conversation about how things will be from now on.

Justfornowitwilldo Mon 27-May-13 16:09:33

Glad you got your apology.

MisguidedAngel Mon 27-May-13 16:13:13

I've just seen this thread and have been thinking all the way through - that's my DM! I always felt about 10 years old in my interactions with her in spite of being completely different in all other areas of my life and it never changed (she died 5 years ago). Your update this morning means there is hope ... your DM has a level of self-awareness and you can build on that, but it's got to be two-sided. Good luck.

Thanks all. It's a breakthrough, I feel, and I'm proud of her for apologising.

keep doing what your doing op, live your life the way you want to
you are in the right

IKnowWhat Mon 27-May-13 17:14:01

That is great that she apologised. Perhaps you can now go on to have a friendly but honest chat with her about her behaviour.

mrsmillsfanclub Mon 27-May-13 17:43:58

I feel your pain Bunty. My dm is exactly the same as yours. Dear sister had to lie for 20 years about visiting/being visited by her in-laws. My mum was full of jealousy.
Now It's my turn. My in laws are not English & there is1000 miles between us but dm still gets arsey if I mention they rang. On my annual visit to see them dm will sulk for months before I go & when I'm there and call her she refuses to speak to me!
I am getting bolder though (only took 30 years) and have told her that I would be horrified if dh ignored my family, so why should I ignore mine. That went down like a lead balloon.

Dahlialover Mon 27-May-13 17:52:45

My mother was like that - only she only ever justified herself, no apologies. And it sounds like a good one, so there is hope smile I am happy for you.

I found out eventually that the favouritism for my sister was because I was 'perfect' and she always needed compensation (only in my mother's mind, not my sister's). It is difficult being perfect as you are doomed to disappoint sad.

She had her chance when MIL died and she was the only gm, but she did not really step up to the mark and died not long after, so that was that.

diddl Mon 27-May-13 18:13:27

Well, well done her for admitting it.

I'm fairly certain if I'm every a GM I'll be upset if I get less time than the other.

Hope to goodness I don't say/show it!!

Classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Dawndonna Mon 27-May-13 18:14:19

Thanks all. It is ridiculous, but I'm still desperate for her approval even now - I think because I've always been the disappointment as a DC, despite being the high achiever.
That way, madness lies.
She is narcissitic and your dad enables her behaviour by not calling her on it. Your sister is the golden child and you are the scapegoat. She has trained you to seek her approval all your life, and you will never get it.
You are proud of her for apologising? Would you say that about a friend? Would you accept this behaviour from a friend?

MonstersDontCry Mon 27-May-13 18:47:43


Op are you me? Because this is exactly what my mum is like. She throws huge tantrums if I don't do what she wants. Especially if it involves my inlaws.

DontmindifIdo Mon 27-May-13 18:59:41

At least she's apologised. On holiday, take some time for the two of you to talk, say that she needs to accept that DH's parents are very different people and want to use all their free time to see the DGC, that you won't restrict that in order to ensure that she gets the same amount of time as that's not fair on your DH to say "no, your mum and dad aren't welcome in our home" when they want to come over and can just because your mum and dad can't visit the same amount.

Point out that she is your mum, but she needs to accept you are a grown woman and how you and DH arrange your lives is your business, you have been too old to need her permission to see someone for a long time. I think she probably has realised how stupid she sounds - it's hard to stop trying to win approval but you must. It doesn't matter anymore what she thinks. Keep telling yourself that.

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