Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Mil and some issues(41 Posts)
It was dds birthday recently and they had a little party in preschool.Mil brings her to preschool as I work.She told me during the week that dd would need to bring in a cake-nothing special-just buy a cheap one in the supermarket.So the day before I went to the supermarket but thought that the cream on them wouldn't be fresh the next day so would go the next morning before work.Anyway the in store bakery wasn't open so I rang Mil and asked would she get one on her way.This was no problem.I see now from the photos that she baked one and brought it up but told me she just bought a 'cheap one'.Feel a bit funny that she lied about it.Also at sports day she told me that parents needn't come.I could have taken an hour off.Anyway turns out the parents did go.Am I over thinking this.Being a bit pfb and should just be more grateful,
I would deal with Pre-School directly to cut out any confusion: you can't be the only working parent who is unable to be there to talk to them in person.
Maybe, MIL is just trying to keep the pressure off you.
That's a good idea.I will do that in the future.I guess In an ideal world I'd be doing all this and am jealous but appreciative and trying to be rational.Just have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing my best!
With the cake I think she was being nice. Esp if she enjoys baking.
With the sports day "needn't come" is correct. If she had said "Aren't to come" then that's different.
Is there more to this!
I would say that's exactly what it is.It is just my guilt.
Op congratulate yourself on a lucky escape from the sports day. Really.
I'd feel a bit odd about it too....she may well be trying to be nice and keep the pressure off you,but i would be offended if my mother/mil deliberately lied to me about the cake-if she was sincere why not just say 'hope u dnt mind but i baked one as i like baking so you don't need to buy one'? As for sports day,true-parents don't HAVE to be there but children do love having their parents there,gives them a confidence boost and it helps create good memories-esp if parents are not able to do other things due to work reasons. Did you not want to be there?
As for guilt...it's your mil who should be feeling guilty for not encouraging you to be there for your childs FIRST sports day-and being deliberately deceptive with regards the turn of phrase! If she's taking control over things now whilst your child is at PRE-SCHOOL....what's going to happen later?
I think you need to reassess your approach to how involved/informed you are with regards to what goes on in your childs life at school-before this becomes a boundary issue between you and mil.
Why does the MIL need to encourage a mother to go to a sports day?
My hubby knows full well he doesn't have to be at any of our daughter's school activities but he wants to and comes if he can.
Also, I see the cake thing as sparing a guilt trip because she must realise how hard it is on working parents to not be able to devote as much time or effort to the kids as they'd like to.
I guess I think the best of people given my family and friends are all lovely and never given me cause to think the worst of people.
Well....because she knows how precious these moments are...because she knows what OP is missing out on...because she knows these are things that OP can make time for....like i said OP probably needs to reassess how involved/informed she is. Are you suggesting that OP didn't WANT to be there?! OP comes across as a bit too trusting and naive where mil is concerned....it would be normal to ASK if you're going to dc sports day-NOT say 'needn't come' -it's her childs FIRST sports day fgs! And this AFTER lying/choosing not to mention the cake...sounds like underhand subtle manipulation from mil to me...but then again i'm realistic as opposed to just seeing the best in people.
Hmm I don't know really...I'm not a very trusting person anyway.There have been a few other things.Like the first birthday party.She wanted all her side of the family to come to her house and give dd her birthday presents on the day of her birthday.I had organised her party for the weekend to suit all those who couldn't make a weekday.Had to put my foot down there.
Giggle Do you have a good relationship with your MIL?
Sharon, I expect your MIL was trying to be tactful and not ram it down your throat that you were too busy to sort the cake and had asked her to do so. I'd be very grateful in your position.
Re the Sport's Day, it's true you don't have to go, and many parents can't go. But if you wanted to go why didn't you? No doubt there'll be lots of opps to
be bored rigid see the lovely Christmas plays and things soon
Re the birthday, yes making arrangements to try to suit all the family is tricky - personally we haven't arranged Christmas in my family yet and somehow I think it's going to be fraught.
It sounds rather kind of her TBH - she is probably just trying to help you out. My MIL does stuff like this, she turns up with cooked meals which she stashes in my fridge, wine which she brings with her and insists i have a glass, the tops me up when I am not looking (I don't know why, we have tons of the stuff at home, but she wont hear no), or cleans my oven when I pop out (!) and takes my daughter off me so i can have a nap or a cup of tea, then makes a big fuss walking her round the street to show all her neighbours. She said her own Mum used to help her when she had kids, and since my own Mum is not near by (live in Germany) she wanted to do the same for me as she had had. She is also very much in love with her Grand daughter. I figure, what a lucky girl, everyone showering her with love and hugs - your little girl is lucky in the same way too. Sometimes it is nice to go with it and let people help you out a bit. Does she have a daughter herself? Maybe she wants to be like a Mum to you too?
She sounds very kind to me. Think you need to get over it really. A basic cake takes no time at all, if you couldnt buy or bake one yourself that evening why would you prefer your MIL to buy one rather than bake one?
As for "sports day", jeez you'll have plenty to go (or not go) to. Seriously, these things aren't that important.
You sound understandably upset and frustrated at what you can't do for your DD - forget that and concentrate on the great job you do as a working mum, and try to be gracious about the help you get.
bunch my relationship with mil is totally irrelevant with regards to this post
The OP's instincts are telling her there's something not quite right with the situation...and she should trust her instincts. This is her childs FIRST sports day and it's at PRE-SCHOOL-totally different to any other period during her school years-i'm shocked that you think it is of no importance.
I've seen with other friends n family the different ways and levels of how mil's can manipulate situations when it comes to gc.... i'm glad you put your foot down re the birthday. Your mil may genuinely be unaware that she's overstepping the mark-but you need to be able to recognise it and deal with it appropriately.
From what i can gather OP is relying on mil to keep her updated with dc school stuff....so a NORMAL conversation would be along the lines of informing parent and then asking them what their plans are (see-no 'ramming'!), NOT making the decision for the parent and disguising it as doing them a favour.
I don't think your mil is being nasty OP but i do think she is taking the piss-and using you working as an excuse to get away with underhand behaviour. It is your place as mum to share these kind of firsts,if you can't/don't want to then thst's fine-but you need to make that decision and not your mil.
As for those who find sports day/school plays boring,in my experience the FIRST ones never are-i cherish them. It's attending all subsequent ones that can have that effect....
Giggle I'm sorry but I really believe it sounds as if you are a suspicious person. There is no actually evidence here the MIL is being underhand.
Where would baking a cake instead of buying one get her!!?
I really think she is trying to help you out OP and also trying to alleviate some of the guilt you obviously feel. Be grateful.
at this stage with what we know it could be either/or.
what i'd watch out for - things like that birthday business of wanting it at HER house. how she talks about your child to others - watching out for any sense that she's propriatorial over her or gives people the impression she has her much more than she does, giving dd clothes and toys but always wanting to keep them at her house not let take them home etc.
put the boundaries where you're comfortable with them and i would say speak to nursery and ensure they know that you are the one to communicate with please.
it depends kandy - on the one hand could be innoculous though i wonder why she concealed doing it. on the other hand it could have been a i'm such a good granny, i've made a cake as OP is just too busy with her career, she couldn't even make it to sports day you know.
we don't know.
i think if you've never been exposed to people who play strange games and try to do things like this you wouldn't see it. as you say maybe those of us who are used to people like this would read more into it. <shrug>
hence me saying just keep an eye out.
What stops you bring honest with your MIL?
"Oh that's a lovely home made cake in the photo - thanks for making it, why on earth did you say you bought one when you made one?"
If she's lying to you in a bad way, you've called her on it. But if it was just something nice, you can both enjoy it.
I'm confused about the fresh cream though - is your corner shop Fortnum & Mason? Why couldn't you just get a regular cake, usually a week of shelf life! Makes me wonder if you're trying to balance working parent guilt with "perfection". A tub of cheap long life mini rolls would have done the trick! Don't feel guilty - bet she LOVES preschool. I used to try to pick my 4yo up early - every time, she'd say "but we're just reading" or "I'm playing with X". I've spent plenty of time waiting around for her. Preschool can be lovely!
I'm a realistic person kandy
I get the impression that mil wants that 'special' feeling and be the one that enjoys dc firsts. Not unpredictable,a lot of grandparents get like that. However,it isn't her place. She's had her time of enjoying those firsts with her own children.
I'm suspicious of her motives because it isn't normal to say to the parent 'oh,just get a cheap cake' and then go ahead and bake a birthday cake behind the parents back. Do you expect me to believe she just knocked one together that morning right after recieving OP's call?! Also coupled with the fact that she didn't say anything to OP about it makes me very suspicious of her motives. It isn't normal behaviour.
Like i said,i don't think she is being deliberately malicious but she is taking the piss by being selective in what she tells OP and how she phrases things.
That's why i think OP should liaise with dc teachers directly whether by phone/in person/email and not rely on mil to keep her informed.
Why couldn't she have baked a cake? Drop off at nursery come home bake cake bring in midday or mid afternoon.
She had plenty of time if she doesn't work.
Why not mention it to OP if that were the case? In my experience it's normal to talk/mention these things,i mean there must have been a follow up conversation?! I don't buy the 'she didn't want to make OP feel guilty/under pressure', not when combined with the birthday and sports day behaviour. It's normal to have these conversations and communicate,so if it transpires that the parent DOES feel guilty etc you can reassure them.
You have to let the parent decide how they feel about a situation and respond to it instead of projecting your own ideas onto them. If OP is already feeling bad about having to go back to work when what she really wants is to be with her dc, then how does missing out or not being a part of these occasions (when she COULD have been) help her?!!
I wasn't clear. The MIL had plenty of time to bake a cake after being informed by the OP in the morning that she didn't get one. She dropped GC at nursery, came home, baked the cake, and then brought to the class either midday or early afternoon. If the MIL wasn't working or had no plans, baking a cake is easy.
I don't want to add to the OP's guilt but she had choices. MIL didn't said to not attend or bake a cake. She left it up to the OP and DH to decide what they want to do: buy or bake a cake or go to sports day.
She could have bought her nice cake still. Have MIL drop DD at nursery per usual. OP could have taken an hour out of her day to go celebrate her DD's birthday at the nursery, bring said cake, take a couple of photos, and then head back to work. Same with sports day.
She also has a choice to communicate with the nursery and her DD's teacher directly instead of always relying on her MIL. If its important enough for the OP she will stand up against her MIL and put her foot down. Maybe these two incidents weren't that important in the whole scheme of things.
Yes, she feels guilty but working mothers usually have a bit of guilt. They have to prioritize and some things will be dropped.
baking a cake doesnt take long, although buying one from the shoo doesnt take long either so i dont see why the op couldnt just get one from the supermarket
the nursery sportsday - that could have been the exact message. school have done that to me lots of times.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.