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Mil and some issues

(41 Posts)
SharonCurley Wed 13-Nov-13 18:33:00

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,

Twoandtwomakeschaos Wed 13-Nov-13 18:55:27

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.

runningonwillpower Wed 13-Nov-13 18:59:51

Maybe, MIL is just trying to keep the pressure off you.

SharonCurley Wed 13-Nov-13 19:02:06

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!

IamGluezilla Wed 13-Nov-13 19:02:35

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!

SharonCurley Wed 13-Nov-13 19:03:02

I would say that's exactly what it is.It is just my guilt.

SharonCurley Wed 13-Nov-13 19:04:16

It's guilt and jealousy!

FuckyNell Wed 13-Nov-13 19:14:16

Op congratulate yourself on a lucky escape from the sports day. Really.

gigglestar Wed 13-Nov-13 20:19:34

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'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.

Joysmum Wed 13-Nov-13 21:14:38

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.

gigglestar Wed 13-Nov-13 21:52:46

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 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 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.

SharonCurley Wed 13-Nov-13 22:56:03

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.

bunchoffives Wed 13-Nov-13 23:05:47

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 grin

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.

Teaandflapjacks Wed 13-Nov-13 23:19:16

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 (blush!) 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?

olgaga Wed 13-Nov-13 23:35:37

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.

gigglestar Thu 14-Nov-13 01:52:24

bunch my relationship with mil is totally irrelevant with regards to this post hmm

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 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....

Kandypane Thu 14-Nov-13 07:53:05

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.


NumptyNameChange Thu 14-Nov-13 08:21:40

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.

NumptyNameChange Thu 14-Nov-13 08:24:20

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.

Cabrinha Thu 14-Nov-13 08:35:17

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!

gigglestar Thu 14-Nov-13 13:43:30

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.

mynewpassion Thu 14-Nov-13 14:26:46

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.

gigglestar Thu 14-Nov-13 15:03:34

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?!!

mynewpassion Thu 14-Nov-13 16:43:46

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.

mercibucket Thu 14-Nov-13 17:12:26

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.

bunchoffives Thu 14-Nov-13 19:20:43

This is turning into cakegate. grin

Giggle, the reason I ask about your relationship with your MIL is because you seem resolute on interpreting this in the meanest, nastiest way possible.

Believe it or not a lot of DGMs, whilst they enjoy their DGCs, have a life of their own and don't want to takeover their DIL's role or look after their GC constantly. In fact most GPs I know still work.

Do you know how many years I've had sports days to go to? Over 30! Believe me when I say the attraction can pall a little grin <yawn>

gigglestar Thu 14-Nov-13 21:04:50

bunch i am in no way interpreting this is 'in the meanest nastiest way possible'. I am being REALISTIC and going off what info OP has given.

Sure,plenty of DGMs are made of sugar n spice n all that's nice...and there are plenty who are NOT.

It's very easy to use a working parents guilt to your own advantage-be that guilt over having to go to work or taking time off work to attend to things. Hence why i suggested OP liaise with dc school herself and decide for herself rather than relying on mil to keep her informed.

It wouldn't turn in to cakegate if you understood and accepted that everyone is an allowed an opinion on an open public forum...that you can disagree with an opinion without trying to turn it into a personal attack....and that you are no more knowledgable about OP's situation than any other stranger on MN.

gigglestar Thu 14-Nov-13 21:07:00

Wow! Were you there at the time mynew??!!! grin

NumptyNameChange Thu 14-Nov-13 21:12:23

not much point you two arguing about it.

either one of you may be right or it may be a mix of the two.

Kandypane Thu 14-Nov-13 22:26:20

Without actual evidence I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

bunchoffives Thu 14-Nov-13 23:06:05

Exactly, Kandy I think it's much nicer to give people the benefit of the doubt when there is one. Sadly there are often occasions when it is clear people are trying to be horrible. I don't think this is one of those occasions from the OP.

Giggle, did I say you were mean and nasty? NO

I said it was the meanest and nastiest interpretation of OP's MIL's actions. So NOT a personal attack at all... in fact exactly what you refer to: an opinion on an open public forum...that you can disagree with smile

gigglestar Fri 15-Nov-13 11:15:03

If you read my posts properly you will see i have given her the benefit of the doubt.....and my interpretation is in no way the 'meanest and nastiest possible' - you're exhibiting a hysterical over reaction!

I know exactly what you're doing bunch and your pathetic pa games don't wash with me.

It seems you have a problem with anyone who states a viewpoint different to yours,you obviously don't understand what it means to 'respect' anothers viewpoint because you're determined to take issue with it. You don't personally know the mil so you have NO IDEA of what she is like.

I find your reaction rather funny grin

Kandypane Fri 15-Nov-13 19:07:39

Jeeez, give it a rest giggle. Everyone, especially you (repeatedly) have had their say. YOU are the one over-reacting and, frankly, being ridiculous.

expects reactionary rant of a post in reply, which will be ignored

dozeydoris Fri 15-Nov-13 19:34:29

Believe it or not a lot of DGMs, whilst they enjoy their DGCs, have a life of their own and don't want to takeover their DIL's role or look after their GC constantly

This, inadvertently, answers the problem imo. This DMIL, albeit kind and well-meaning, I could bet doesnt have a busy life, and helping with DGD is filling it. Plus, she doesn't want OP to feel DMIL is taking over, or possibly, to be a bit more generous, doesn't want busy working OP to feel guilty for not being at things so doesn't mention the cake and discourages her from sports day.

gigglestar Fri 15-Nov-13 21:09:42

kandy passive aggressive much?! I'm merely replying to someone choosing to nitpick on my comments. Got a problem with me replying? hmm

bunchoffives Sat 16-Nov-13 11:45:51

Giggle what do you understand passive aggression to be out of interest?

Are you okay? You do sound a bit upset?

gigglestar Sat 16-Nov-13 16:40:02

I'm not upset in the least....just find it funny that you would take exception to my post and try turning it into an argument and try slating me at the same time grin

Sounds like you're the ones with a bee in your bonnet for getting antsy over a post that doesn't share your opinion.

So immature.

Ginga66 Wed 20-Nov-13 23:05:08

Sorry but this does sound like subtle manipulation to me. My MIL is the same. She knows I hate missing kids whilst working and dh knows it too but when I am not there she always inviting herself around to 'help' when actually DH should be managing if I am at work and use her sparingly. I don't work so my kids can be brought up by MIL! And to give a similar example I went out for ONE hr and when I came back she told me that my one year old had walked for the FIRST time! I mean even if he had she would know how I would hate to miss that and lied. My DM and I say my first son walk for the first time but didn't tell DH as we knew he would desperately want to see it. It is passive aggressive behaviour . It's saying look at me I am the granny who bakes the cake that mummy cldnt even get around to buying. Grandparents get to make up for a lot of mistakes. And live out a little fantasy that they are the parents? Don't get me wrong my MIL and DM are amazing help and my boys adore them but they are not the mommy and they need to respect boundaries. My mother does and follows my instructions but MIL often ignores what DH and I say and he is too scared of her to stand up to her and I think sometimes wants her around so he has an easier time which of course is fine in small doses but if they start taking over its anothe issu.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 21-Nov-13 00:08:23

I agree with Ginga and giggle.
Sharon, imho, all you need to do now is keep an ear out for any comment from mil about you missing the first sports day, or any sideways remark alluding to the fact that you failed to provide the birthday cake. (Mil makng the cake may be a red herring, but I get that you question the dynamic.) These kinds of comments will be shaming you, and you will then have the correct perspective validated.

gotthemoononastick Thu 21-Nov-13 13:33:06

This gels is why it is better to sort out you childcare with strangers,rather than Mil.

Manipulative old bags all!Imagine baking a cake and being so used to treading on egg shells that you have to lie!!

Mapleissweet Thu 21-Nov-13 13:42:21

It is very difficult to relinquish control when mother's work, particularly when the children are young or babies. Gp need to appreciate that although the DM is working, she still needs to be aware of absolutely everything that happens on her absence. Things like sports day etc. To deny the DM that information us unnecessary and cruel. Particularly when the DM is working to provide a quality of life for the children.
Working mothers do miss out on things and it appropriate and necessary that those who care for the children in the DM absence consider the DM feelings and needs too. I think many gm have absolutely no idea what it's like to leave children and go to work to pay the bills. They lived a different life compared to most mothers today. The gm has had her turn at being mom and she shouldn't deny her dil the pleasures if being a mom herself.

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