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All these Mother-in-Law postings

(227 Posts)
Extended Fri 14-Aug-09 07:56:17

When I read all these Mother-in-Law postings it makes me sad. Not that I doubt the sincerity of what people write but because I think they don’t appreciate what it is like for young couples when there is no parental support available.

In the three years we were at university, this was prior to getting married, we lost all four parents (two in a motorway crash, one in a accident on the farm and one with cancer). Quite a lot to cope with in your late teens and early 20’s!

Try having no parents at your wedding, no grandparents for your children and no sources of emotional support available 24/7.

The loss of our parents was life changing for both of us so just remember that in the vast majority of cases any parent is better than none. sad

ssd Fri 14-Aug-09 08:00:27

agree, we also have have no grandparents support due to bereavement or old age

although some of the MIL stories on here make me shock, some others do sound really mean spirited and ungrateful

FlamingoBingo Fri 14-Aug-09 08:00:37

So sorry to hear your story, Extended. But sadly, although sometimes it is better to have some parents than none, it is certainly not the vast majority.

Please try not to take offence when people are moaning about spiteful, and damaging parents and parents-in-law.

I have fantastic parents (mum and step-dad) and parents-in-law, but my real father I could really do without - in fact, had he died instead of buggering off when I was 7 and then disrupting my life at frequent intervals, I would have just had to work my way through several months of painful therapy to try to rid myself of my life-long depression that has been spoiling my life and that of my children and husband too. And I know I'm not the only one with a story like that.

Toxic parents are certainly not better than no parents!

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 14-Aug-09 08:02:56

I am so sad to read your post. I guess we are lucky that my parents are fabulous with support but it is very difficult when you spend 8 hours in your PILs company and they say and do absolutely nothing with their GC. I also find it sad the way I see my SIL treat my mother but can see where she is coming from some of the time.

weegiemum Fri 14-Aug-09 08:04:18

I'm sorry about the early loss of your parents and in laws - it is tragic that they were lost so young, and in such tragic circumstances.

However,

My mother abandoned me age 12, was an emotional drain for the next 20 years, and it is only since cutting contact that my life has got on an emotional even keel.

My MIL tries hard, but she does everything her own way and expects me to parent in exactly the same way as she did (including putting my children at risk).

Having no parents is sad, tragic even. But having parents does not guarantee good grandparents and "emotional support available 24/7". Many, many people on MN would back me up on this - we only have to read the "stately homes" threads to get a feel of that.

PrincessToadstool Fri 14-Aug-09 08:05:53

I agree with FlamingoBingo - almost to the word actually...

FlamingoBingo Fri 14-Aug-09 08:07:00

Sorry, just realised that my post should have read:

"wouldn't have just had to have several months of therapy" blush

pagwatch Fri 14-Aug-09 08:08:17

I think that you have a point.
There are toxic and damaging parents and in-laws outthere. But it often amazes me how many people seem determined to be put upon and offended.
On here over the years I have read
'my mother in law came to see the new baby and just totally took over and monopolised her - who does she think she is. Would it kill her to help out a bit and make me a cup of tea or tidy up. I have just given birth FFs'
and
my mother in law came over to see the new baby and all she did was make tea and tidy. She is such a cold hearted bitch who clearly does not care about her own grandchild and is always looking to illustrate that she thinks I am crap at keeping house FFS'

There is an incredibly egocentric attitude in many now and I read these posting and wonder how much some are going to enjoy life in 20 years time when they are the disinterested/cold hearted/cloying/manipulative person in the family dynamic.

FlamingoBingo Fri 14-Aug-09 08:12:39

Yes, I agree with you Pagwatch. It was only the 'vast majority' statement in the OP I was taking issue with.

People are far to quick to moan about anything in life on MN at the moment! Everyone is grumpy!

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 14-Aug-09 08:22:26

OP - so sorry for your losses sad

My MIL is fantastic and lovely. There are occasions where she annoys me and I'm sure the feeling is mutual - much the same as it is for anyone you love/are close to. My mother on the other hand has done nothing except consistently try to fuck up my life at regular intervals with her jealousy and bitterness.

I do think some of the MIL complaints on here are ridiculously OTT. What really annoys me, on here and in rl, is when people moan like the devil about their in laws and then rely on them for free childcare shock. I know of one person who's in laws look after her dc's for three full days per week, have paid off their mortgage for them and do the housework/ironing etc. whilst they're there .... and she still moans constantly about them shock

Scotia Fri 14-Aug-09 08:24:08

I agree with pagwatch too, and I also think the op is right with her 'vast majority' statement. Of course there are going to be exceptions, but I can't believe that there are more toxic parents than decent ones out there.

Extended, sorry that you lost your parents and in-laws under such tragic circumstances. I appreciate how lucky I am that both my parents are still here, along with dh's dad and step-mum, and that my ds's have them in their lives - even though they all get on my nerves sometimes!

I do sympathise with those people whose parents are genuinely crap and I hope you can come to terms with what life has thrown at you. (Sorry that really does sound a bit clumsy - it's honestly not meant that way )

I do think that in many cases, MILs can't win whatever they do.

beanieb Fri 14-Aug-09 08:28:26

The reason why it looks like there are more toxic parents is because people post for advice about difficult people; they just don't need to post about the nice people in their lives - certainly not for advice.

I would have thoght that was obvious.

screamingabdab Fri 14-Aug-09 08:46:42

Maybe someone should start a "My PIL are great, and here's why", thread, beanieb

I avoid a lot of the MIL threads now, because they give me the heebyjeebies - how on earth am I going to live up to the high expectations of MILs? (I have 2 sons)

FlamingoBingo Fri 14-Aug-09 09:36:46

beanieb - I disagree actually. Since having therapy, and talking about it to people, I'm fast realising quite how many people have been screwed up by toxic parents sad

IsItMeOr Fri 14-Aug-09 09:52:53

Extended, I can understand why this offends you, and so sorry to hear of your losses. I have always assumed that people posting about, let's call them the lesser MIL "offences" on here, are really just looking to vent safely so that they can then go back to cheerfully living with their extended families. Having said that, the complexity of some people's family dynamics never ceases to amaze me...

IsItMeOr Fri 14-Aug-09 09:54:50

And I agree with Scotia that it seems MILs can't win whatever they do!

ConcernedMother Fri 14-Aug-09 10:12:26

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to Extended.

I used to work at A&E (as they now call it) close to the M1 and many, many years ago I can recall dealing with a double fatality and supporting two students whom the police had brought down to identify the bodies. It was one of the police officers first time doing this sad duty.

Extended, without meaning to intrude does Luton 1975? or 1976? mean anything to you?

dollyparting Fri 14-Aug-09 10:29:37

When I was in the midst of struggling with a young baby, and I was tired and stressed, I found it very easy to find fault with my PILs, and with my own parents.

I was trying to find my own way to parent my baby and I was resentful of intrusions that made me feel that I wasn't coping or that I wasn't doing the right thing.

Now I can look back at the fantastic support I had and the help that they gave me. I see my friend struggling with no help, and I feel guilty in retrospect that I did not appreciate how lucky I was.

I try to do what I can to help out my own parents now they are old. Sadly it is too late to do anything for my MIL.

hairband Fri 14-Aug-09 11:11:58

Oh no I feel really guilty about the post I did yesterday now.. I think I was just over-tired and feeling what dollyparting just said.. I take it back blush

KittyTN Fri 14-Aug-09 12:32:48

Extended - sorry for your losses but why are you reading all these posts about MILs/PILs? Only people who have problem relationships need to seek support or to vent on these pages. Surely you're upsetting yourself needlessly?

WinkyWinkola Fri 14-Aug-09 12:50:00

There are no high expectations of MILs or parents. Just be normal, loving, non interfering and things will be fine.

Try walking in someone else's shoes before judging.

I can't forgive my MIL for some of the stuff she's done/said out of sheer spite/jealousy.

That's not to say I'm not sorry for Extended's loss but I cannot let things slide because MIL might be dead one day.

missorinoco Fri 14-Aug-09 12:56:17

As pagwatch said. You have a good point, Extended.

IsItMeOr Fri 14-Aug-09 13:00:51

WinkyWinkola - "MIL might be dead one day" - do you think she might be immortal?

wannaBe Fri 14-Aug-09 13:07:53

I do think op has a point.

Because while there are clearly some toxic parents out there, there seems to be an expectation that the MIL will be a toxic resentful woman who is jealous of the time that her DIL spends with her precious son. And thus, if you believe in something enough, you can imagine it happening, iyswim.

Over he years I have seen posts on here along the lines of: "my mil is a toxic woman, she gave my child sweets/spoils them/bought them toys I don't approve of" and so the list goes on. It's almost like competitive mil bashing but without anything to compete with, iyswim.

I am also often shocked at the comments from posters along the lines of "you are your dh's family now, not your MIL." does that mean that those of us who have boys will cease to be related to them when they grow up? If someone posted on here that their dh had told them that he was her family now not her mother, there would be outcry, and he would be accused of being a controlling arsehole, but for some reason it's acceptable to say so the other way around? hmm

And maybe, just maybe, if a MIL feels that her DIL is resentful of her/expecting her to be a toxic woman, she's less likely to make the effort to form that relationship.

I think that it's a two-way street tbh, and while there may be some horrid MILs out there, there are certainly quite a few toxic DILs as well, except it seems to be more acceptable for the DIL to be a bitch to her MIL, as purely being a DIL qualifies her to do so.

Being the mother of a son it scares me actually, that he might end up with someone like some of the posters on here, who will resent any involvement I might want with my son/grandchildren.

HerHonesty Fri 14-Aug-09 13:09:57

I am sorry for all of those who have no parental support in any form. It must be very difficult.

I used to moan about my MIL alot. I then had a very frank conversation with my SIL and realised that she is a pain in the arse to everyone and has generally not coped with her children moving on in life.

I think the graduation from being a mother with dependent children to a momther with independent children (and grandchildren) is generally a very difficult transition which for some reason turns perfectly sane and normally nice individuals into headcases.

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