Advanced search

to be cross with my MIL........................

(21 Posts)
smellyeli Fri 17-Jun-11 17:56:21

.... for knowing for the past 3 years that FIL's eyesight was deteriorating to the point where he can no longer drive, but refusing to get behind the wheel herself (passed her test years ago but he has always done all the driving) and now they have sold the car and will be relying on lifts (from me!) and buses (which they are reluctant to take because they never come on time and there are lots of weirdos on them, apparently.)

We live 8 miles away (a fortunate coincidence to do with me and DH both getting jobs near to where he was brought up) but now it feels as if it might as well be 80. I already do all of the organising of get togethers and now I selfishly feel that we have had none of the benefit of living close to family (they haven't exactly been falling over backwards to help out or even pop in since we moved 2 years ago) and have ended up in a 'caring' role (taking them shopping, taking them to hospital appointments etc) much earlier than we would have done if she was happy to pootle along the B road to our town once in a while.

I know, I know - it's a generational thing - but I am so used to my completely independent mother (sam age as MIL) driving around the country (including thinking nothing of doing a 170 mile round trip in a day to come and see us) that I am feeling annoyed and do not want to express this to DH as none of it is his fault (none of it is anyone's fault really). So I am ranting on here.

<<Disclaimer: I am 39 weeks pregnant, potty training a stroppy 3 year old and unable to sleep for more than 2 hours at a stretch - be gentle with me>>

zeolite Fri 17-Jun-11 17:59:25

I find being less capable is helpful sometimes. Surely they'll have to find alternative arrangements over the next few months when new baby arrives?

eurochick Fri 17-Jun-11 18:01:10

YANBU to not want to run them about. YA probably being a teeny bit U to expect MIL to start driving them around if she is fairly elderly and not used to it. Give them the number of a reputable mini cab co. It'll probably be cheaper once you take into account your petrol costs of the 16 miles to get there and back plus whatever additional running around is expected. So if they don't have much cash, maybe you could contribute a bit?

Themumsnot Fri 17-Jun-11 18:03:01

How old are your PIL? Can't tell if YABU or not until I know that. grin If in their 50s then YANBU at all, if 70+ then I'm afraid this is just how it goes and you will have to deal with it.

AttillaTheMum Fri 17-Jun-11 18:05:20

how old are they?

Nuttychic Fri 17-Jun-11 18:05:27

YABU to expect MIL to drive if she hasnt for a long time. You have no idea what goes on in her head and there is probably a reason she doesnt drive anymore. Sometimes, unbelievable as this may seem, other people have phobias, MH issues, emotional issues etc to shock

TheProvincialLady Fri 17-Jun-11 18:06:01

If they have decided to get rid of their car - a sensisble decision - they need to make other adjustments such as moving nearer shops or taking the bus or a taxi. They can't expect to carry on doing the same things only with you driving the car. You need to make it clear what you are prepared to do and set boundaries, or you will all become resentful.

smellyeli Fri 17-Jun-11 18:07:53

MIL is 64. And Nutty is right, I think she is really scared and it is U of me to expect her to suddenly jump in a car. But she has had a few years to get used to the idea and lots of encouragement from us/ offer of refresher lessons etc. And they are family, and we will help all we can. I suppose I am just feeling a teensy weensy bit resentful...... (and hormonal and knackered)

Flisspaps Fri 17-Jun-11 18:09:40


If public transport is available then there is no reason for them not to use it, least of all because they'll probably be entitled to free or concessionary rate bus passes. I don't see that the occasional lift somewhere is a problem, but you're not operating a chauffeur service.

Also - it might be worth speaking to DH, he might not realise how much it is annoying you, and they are his parents. He might be able to offer some sort of solution.

I agree with zeolite and eurochick - be less available and offer them the number of a good cab firm.

FakePlasticTrees Fri 17-Jun-11 18:10:06

Talk to your DH about this, if you end up with complications and having to have a C section, you won't be able to drive for 6 weeks, that's a long time for them to be without transport if they rely on you. It's also not reasonable once you have a newborn to deal with to be expected to run round after them - nor to have your DH spend family time running round after them because buses are for weirdos.

If your MIL isn't too old, could you offer to pay for refresher driving lessons and put her on the insurance for your car for a few weeks, lending her the car while you're recovering so she can practice?

Nuttychic Fri 17-Jun-11 18:10:35

Smelly all the support and encouragement doesnt cure phobias and MH issues. You should google driving phobias, fear of driving, etc. Its a very real issue that cant just be sorted because everyone says it must.

MrsMuddlecombe Fri 17-Jun-11 18:12:52

If they are otherwise fit and healthy, I think they are taking advantage of you good nature. Fair enough if MIL doesn't want to take over the driving, but they need to loose their snobbery about buses. I also think you really need to talk to your DH about it. He probably thinks your fine about it when really it sounds like you feel overstretched. I wouldn't dream of relying on any future daughter in-laws or even my own children to run around after me even when very elderly. YANBU.

smellyeli Fri 17-Jun-11 18:14:45

Fake, I am pretty worried about the thought of a C-section. I don't mean to make it sound as if they expect me to run them around everywhere - it's just that if I don't take them places they will become increasingly isolated and frustrated so it's part expectation from them and part duty from me and DH. We've tried the refresher lessons thing, plus me going in the car with her but it has never worked.....

Flisspaps (great name) - they are not really public transport people but I agree that they need to try and get used to it and use their bus passes a bit more freely....

Thank you for all your comments - I have a bit more perspective now! DH has just offered me the chance of a nap whilst he does bath time so I will be back in a bit!

Flisspaps Fri 17-Jun-11 18:23:15

smellyeli Not taking public transport is their choice. No-one's saying don't ever give them a lift, but there's a difference between asking for an occasional lift and becoming dependent on someone unnecessarily.

Slightlyreluctantexpat Fri 17-Jun-11 18:25:23

If they are the kind of people to regard taxis as Terribly Extravagant, it'd be worth doing the sums with them comparing the cost of running the car (tax, insurance, petrol, repairs etc) with the cost of the two or three taxi rides a week they'd need in order to continue to be independent.

kerala Fri 17-Jun-11 18:28:23

If they are too grand to get buses they they will need to get used to the odd taxi - totally agree with slightlyreluctant - although a taxi fare sounds alot when its broken down against car ownership its an easier sell to them.

bubblecoral Fri 17-Jun-11 18:33:04

They should no longer have the choice of 'not being public transport people'.

I would simply not do it. Be busy doing other things. They can't reasonably expect you to arrange your life aound their needs to pop to the shops or the GP. They should just have to get used to public transport.

They do not need you to take them to the hospital, hospitals arrange transport for those that cannot use public transport.

My Granny is 83. She manages to get herself to the shops and the hospital when she needs to go. If she can do it alone then there is no reaosn your IL's can't do it together.

You could offer to help them apply for the mobility part of DLA, then they will be able to afford their own transport.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 17-Jun-11 18:46:50

They have sold their car, and no longer need to tax, insure, maintain or fuel it. This surely frees up enough cash to afford to use a taxi, should they not wish to use buses?

Bubblecoral "They do not need you to take them to the hospital, hospitals arrange transport for those that cannot use public transport." I used to be the person arranging transport for patients. That hospital recently tightened the criteria for transport as being for clinical need only - a dislike of using buses wouldn't be enough grin. And at an estimated £60 per patient per round trip, rightly so IMO!

FakePlasticTrees Fri 17-Jun-11 19:12:58

oh and to add, can you teach them how to shop on line? My parents have recently discovered this, my Dad is older than your MIL - it would save you a journey each week (and is probably the only one it's not reasonable to expect them to do on the bus)

Cymar Fri 17-Jun-11 19:26:13

You say you're 39wks PG!!!! You must be too uncomfortable to be driving unless absolutely needed, eg in early labour, IYSWIM wink.

smellyeli Fri 17-Jun-11 19:27:35

Fake, they do not own a computer I'm afraid -that would make life a bit simpler I agree.

I think it's just a bit of a transition period whilst we all get used to things - but I really don't want them to miss out on the DC's growing up or on being able to socialise (their main friend lives about 10 miles away, also doesn't drive and there are very few buses) I agree that they will have to get used to taxis and become less funny about public transport but I also think that I will feel bad if I don't help out at least a bit.

We will let it all shake down. I am just a bit sad that the situation I envisaged when we moved (them being so near, popping over for coffee, taking the DC's to school once in a while) has never materialised....

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: