... to not want to spend time with MiL without DH?

(36 Posts)
VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 13:17:35

There is nothing "wrong" with my MIL. She's independent, politically 'right on', has a wide range of interests and hobbies, is very generous and is a lovely Grandma to DS (2).

But bloody hell she is so 'try hard'. And the more she pushes to try and be my best friend, the closer I get to snapping in her face and creating WW3.

I find it so tiring to be around her, she is incredibly intense. It's like a job interview, constant stream of questions 'how's work, how's the pregnancy, how's your Mum, how are you siblings' etc. I am SURE she thinks she is just being kind but it's exhausting.

I feel guilty finding her irritating because she is just trying to be friendly, but how the fuck do I persuade her I don't want to be her mate?! I just want to be a DIL and encourage her to have a good relationship with DS.

She's called and tested so often since I've been on mat leave wanting to meet up, I've ended up running out of polite excuses so have agreed to go swimming with her and DS tomorrow. I'd much rather she took him and I had a rest, but she is determined to "spend quality time" with me. Why? Why? Why?! Am I so U to not want this?

She is in her 50s with a (PT) job, partner and plenty of hobbies and friends btw so it's not about humouring a lonely little old lady.

Anyway, AIBU?.

defineme Tue 18-Jun-13 13:28:15

Has she any dds of her own? Does she think you are lonely? If some people sense rejection they get more intense in trying to build a relationship.

You are entitled to not want to be friends with her. What would happen if you asked her to take ds out on his own because you feel exhausted?

Can you not arrange time when the whole family sees her? see her at the weekend so dh can talk to her instead.

My pil are absolutely lovely and totally exhausting in their super intensity. We have a very strict routine-I see them every __night, so once a week with the kids and dh wil take kids over to their's at the weekend. This suits me as I don't have to fend off their invitations and they don't pop round.
Would it help if she came round once a week at 5 and then stayed to see dh too?
It gets better when you go back to work.

2rebecca Tue 18-Jun-13 13:29:57

One advantage of living over an hour away from inlaws is that they can't pop round and try and push in to your social life. It means we didn't get free babysitting either.
She may just be trying to help and be friendly and concerned you are lonely, but however well meaning her intentions when it's someone you feel you have little in common with then it can be frustrating to feel fussed over and obliged to socialise.
I would just tell her you are enjoying spending time alone with your child before returning to work, or go out alot. If you'd love time to yourself then if she suggests going out together suggest she takes out your son whilst you do other stuff.
I suspect you'll have to agree to meeting up occasionally so she doesn't feel rejected though, but don't feel guilty about fobbing her off most of the time.
Having a child doesn't mean you become obliged to be forever visiting people and being visited. keep stressing how much you're trying to do with your son because you'll soon be back at work and that you aren't lonely and needing company so she doesn't have to worry about you.
I'm sure there will be loads of women saying how they'd love their MIL to spend more time with them and at least one saying her MIL is dead and she wishes her MIL could still visit, but if you find time spent with her stressful and would rather do other stuff that doesn't help you.

QueenofallIsee Tue 18-Jun-13 13:32:16

A little bit as she is clearly trying to bond and build a strong relationship with the woman carrying her Grandchild, but as someone who isn't that arsed about being with other people I think I would feel the same way..I have actually defriended people who I think are a bit needy so this would drive me mental.

Next time she asks, say that you would really appreciate some 'me time' (a great expression for a right on type) and as she is free, maybe she could take DC1. I dispense this advice safe in the knowledge that I would avoid phone calls and feign illness as I am a wuss (not a serious illness you understand, maybe a sore throat or a touch of cystitis)

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Jun-13 13:33:49

Does she have a daughter? Maybe she was determined to be a really lovely MIL when her son found a partner - and she is, by all accounts.

Could you ask her for help sometimes, ie "It would be so lovely if you could have the baby so that I could have a nap..." etc?

madupnametotalkinlaws Tue 18-Jun-13 13:34:34

YANBU. I wouldn't want to either, though I thought at first you might be writing about how your DH invites MIL round then leaves you to host which often happens to me.

When my MIL is visiting I feel a bit like she would like a DIL who wanted to go out to town and have lunch and get pampered, which I am definitely not into.

She sounds nice mind you so perhaps you can do as suggested below and meet up with her once or twice. Do you and your DH ever meet up with her together?

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 13:38:27

Sorry, just realised my post is a bit confusing - DS is 2 and I'm on mat leave in preparation for DC2 - 38 weeks. DH & I have been together 12 years so she isn't just getting to know me!

Right will read & reply properly now!

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 13:38:58

Sorry, just realised my post is a bit confusing - DS is 2 and I'm on mat leave in preparation for DC2 - 38 weeks. DH & I have been together 12 years so she isn't just getting to know me!

Right will read & reply properly now!

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 13:40:01

Also she normally has DS one afternoon a week (at her request) and we often see her at weekends, too (this weekend we spent all of Sunday with her).

WinkyWinkola Tue 18-Jun-13 13:42:58

She sounds like she is keen to do the right thing and ask you about you instead of regarding you as merely a vessel for gcs. That is a positive. But it can be suffocating.

I can understand why you don't want to be alone with her without your dh. I wouldn't to be alone with my mil as she's very hard work.

Can you deflect her questions by 'interviewing' her about her friends, relatives etc. get onto more general topics of news etc?

2rebecca Tue 18-Jun-13 13:43:46

In that case it sounds as though you are seeing plenty of her and just need to continue to stress that you are busy/ have alot on/ are too tired today/ too antisocial. I'd maybe avoid answering the phone to her as well.
That sounds like inlaw overload to me. If you keep saying no she should get the message, you could always add "sorry i'm not very sociable and enjoy my own company"

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:44:14

Maybe for some odd reason she likes you, and wants to be friends with you. Although god knows why when you sound so unapproachable and hostile towards her.

My MIL is one of my best friends and like a mum to me. We go out together in the daytime, we go for lunch, I take her shopping. I would hate to have had a MIL who I wanted to keep at arms length and avoid.

Iseeall Tue 18-Jun-13 13:48:58

I think you are being a little bit unreasonable.
You say yourself she is ok, nice ,generous and has hobbies etc.
You find her constant questions irksome, do you get her to talk about her job, other family members, activities and so on.

I would make use of her especially as you are pregnant and she is not old.
Go to the park or soft play, you can sit down and let mil do the chasing around.
Go to a shopping centre, after a while you can have a coffee and mil can push your dd around the shops for a while.

Think along those lines, make the most of her in a way where she 'bonds' with you and you are doing what you want .

MaxPepsi Tue 18-Jun-13 13:50:58

Maybe she thinks you want the company and are stuck for things to do?

She does sound nice and it's a shame she's pissing you off as it will cause resentment. I have no helpful advice either, sorry.

I like my MIL, she's lovely but other than her son, (my DH) we don't really have anything in common and I find spending any time in her company a bit of a strain sometimes. As it happens DH finds it a strain also as he doesn't have anything in common with them either. He spends much more time at my parents house than he does his own which I find both nice and sad at the same time.

Mollydoggerson Tue 18-Jun-13 13:56:03

start asking her questions.

Lots of q's can be a bit intrusive, depends on the asker (I SUPPOSE), buit I think when you are forced to be in her company ask her the q's, or else when she wants you all to meet up, could you say, 'you know it would be great if you could take ds to the....., as that would give me the chance to get x done'.

defineme Tue 18-Jun-13 14:10:08

I forgot to add that my mil tells people that 'defineme likes her space' which is a bloody cheek considering how much I have organized so she sees her dgc and her ds(who would never organize seeing her) and all the holidays I've agreed to go on and inevitably been subjected to mind numbing 'chat' for 7 days. However, we generally see them on my terms so all is well.

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 14:11:06

Thanks, everyone.

No, she doesn't have any DDs. DH is a spoilt rotten only. I am one of 5 which I think highlights the difference as we don't generally have these kind of intense one-to-one relationships/"special time" in our family, although we are very close. I don't think she is after someone to do hair and nails with, though. Neither of us are into that kind of thing!

It does work out best when we do as lots of you have suggested and go somewhere where she can do 'something' with DS. Having said that it doesn't always work, when we were at the park on Sunday she left her partner chasing after DS while she came and sat on the bench next to me and grilled me on late pg symptoms just as I was looking forward to a quiet 15 mins on FB/MN

She has also mentioned wanting to do something together when DS is in nursery...

I know I am being a grumpy arse but honestly it's been going on for 12 years. I haven't snapped at her yet but it's getting close!

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 14:13:10

Oh and I will take on board the asking her questions instead thing! There are only so many ways I can answer "and how ARE you?" in one day without veering into the dangerously sarcastic.

BrokenBanana Tue 18-Jun-13 14:14:00

I think you are being quite harsh about her. You hear so many women moaning about their horrible MILs, yet you have one that is desperate to be your friend! You don't have to meet up every time she asks but it sounds as though your pushing her away every time she asks.

Surely it wouldn't kill you to just meet up with her?

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 14:17:10

I am, tomorrow Broken! unless this baby gets a move on, which would be awesome

Also saw her all day Sunday, and always see her at least once a week, usually more.

It's never enough, though!

LulaPalooza Tue 18-Jun-13 14:19:48

I think YAB a little bit U... it sounds as though she's just trying to be friendly and involved. Better that than her being critical/ overbearing/ rude... there are some awful stories on here of the MiL from hell and yours actually sounds lovely.

I miss my MiL... she lives 6000 miles away from us. I wish I could spend more time with her sad

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 14:20:26

DS was born at 38+5 so this could quite feasibly be my last few days of relative peace before newborn + toddler chaos, I am enjoying meeting up with my own friends, getting things sorted around the house and having lovely days out and quiet times at home with DS1 while I still can.

Justfornowitwilldo Tue 18-Jun-13 14:23:39

You see her at least once a week, she keeps on pushing for more (and more of you not more time with her grandchild), she's in her 50s with a (PT) job, partner and plenty of hobbies and friends (so not a lonely, isolated older woman), it's been going on for 12 years and is getting worse now you're very pregnant and dealing with a 2 year old.


Justfornowitwilldo Tue 18-Jun-13 14:23:48


SarahAndFuck Tue 18-Jun-13 14:26:38

I don't think either of you are being unreasonable as such.

You just seem to have different personalities and relationship styles.

I am similar to you, the more someone seems to want of me, the more I feel overwhelmed and back away.

But your MIL sounds kind and thoughtful and I think she genuinely likes you and enjoys your company.

What sort of relationship did she have with her own MIL do you know?

2rebecca Tue 18-Jun-13 14:28:19

Just say no then. She can ask, you can say no.
I don't think that the person who wants more contact has to be the one who gets her own way.
Just tell her you are busy, which you are, and keep repeating this.
It sounds as though she is well meaning, but you'll just resent her if you feel forced into socialising with her.
Men don't get this crap with their inlaws forever wanting to see them without their wives, women are the ones expected to be endlessly sociable and accommodating.
Try behaving like a bloke and say no.

Crinkle77 Tue 18-Jun-13 14:30:31

Can sort of sympathise OP. My partners mother is lovely and treats me so well but she is hard work at times. She talks and talks and talks and sometimes it is so wearing. She will tell a story but instead of getting to the point she goes all round the houses. She is always trying to force feed me. When I go there she always checks I have eaten and flaps if I say I don't want anything. I stayed at my boyfrinds parents one night and when I got up I said I was going to my mums and would eat there as she was doing lunch and she went in to panic mode saying my mother would think she was terrible sending me to hers without having any breakfast. I was like err my mother wouldn't care cos I am 35 and can feed myself. Anyway OP know where you are coming from as I too feel guilty for having these mean thoughts. Is there anyway when she wants you to go out together that you just tell her you are really tired and it would be a great help if she took the kids out on her own so you could have a rest?

ShatnersBassoon Tue 18-Jun-13 14:33:06

I think she's trying to be decent by treating you as a member of the family rather than as the gatekeeper to the grandchildren like many MILs seem to. Pity that's the exact opposite of what you want!

Be honest with her and tell her to take the children places without you. Why don't you call and say you don't feel up to swimming but you're more than happy for her to take DS if she'd like. It might give her the confidence to take him on her own, and you can keep suggesting it in future.

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 14:58:52

I think you are right shatner

She does pester DH to see him every week on his day "off" with DS but I think he finds it a lot easier to say no to her or say he is busy with work.

My job normally is pretty full on so it's not so much of an issue, although it does drive me potty if she is there when I get in from work as she will follow me round the house like a lost puppy asking "how ARE you?" rather than play with DS and let me have a cup of tea in peace like my DM would.

I sometimes feel like she wants the upsides of being "family" (close relationship, seeing each other regularly etc) without what are IMO the benefits ie being able to relax in each others' company, just have a cup of tea or me get on with the cleaning etc while she entertains DS.

Someone asked about her MIL - she never had one. She was a single Mum by choice (sperm donor) and her partner now has only been on the scene a couple of years.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 18-Jun-13 15:01:41

You need to be more assertive then, and tell her what you'd like her to do - "Watch DS while I sort out this washing", "Stick the kettle on" etc. Force her to become part of everyday life. She'll probably love it!

SarahAndFuck Tue 18-Jun-13 15:21:06

It was me that asked about her MIL. Thanks for explaining.

I don't get on with my MIL, and haven't seen here for about two and a half years now. It's been lovely smile

Seriously, my MIL is a cruel woman. I'm not sure if she is casually or deliberately cruel or both, but in the end it had the same result. She made me ill and we stopped seeing her. DH visits rarely, DS and I don't go and PILs are never invited to visit us.

Before that, we got along at times, had our moments of not getting on well, but we could have been friends. We have similar interests and it could have been different, but PILs are controlling, manipulative and unhappy at the best of times and it just hasn't worked out that way.

But I do remember the constant pressure from them to visit, to be visited, the demands on our time when we just didn't have it, the dropping in unexpectedly, the crying down the telephone if we went passed their house and didn't call in (even if we'd already seen them that day).

So your comment about always wanting to see DH on his day off made me think of that. Sometimes your day off is busier than your day at work, with things that have to be done. It's not leisure time or having something better to do, it's the only time you have to do everything that has to be done.

My PILs didn't understand that, and they took offence if we tried to explain.

AaDB Tue 18-Jun-13 15:28:11


After 12 years could, you treat get more liked your family. If this was your mum or sibling how would you behave? I think it's ok to be direct and proactive.

I don't want to spend time with my ils without my DH. He doesn't want to spend time with them but without meconfused. They don't want to spend time with ds on their own. It's tricky.

AaDB Tue 18-Jun-13 15:29:54

Sorry my phone turned that to crap. Treat your milk like a family member or friend. Be direct and firm.

AaDB Tue 18-Jun-13 15:30:26

Ffs mil not milk (gives up)

MrsLyman Tue 18-Jun-13 15:32:37

I'm wondering how much of the annoyance that you're currently feeling is to do with the fact that you're 38 weeks pregnant, isn't generally a time in our lives when staying at home on our own is a very common thing to want to do? (I'm not doubting that you always find her annoying I just mean why the annoyance currently feels magnified)

Perhaps in reply to a question about your late pregnancy symptoms you could respond that you're very tired and grumpy and if she could take DS to the park whilst you went and had a lie down and a grumble it would help loads.

WinkyWinkola Wed 19-Jun-13 22:36:09

Fwiw, I refuse to be with my mil without dh or fil. She really rubs me up the wrong way.

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