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To dread becoming a M-I-L

(319 Posts)
Partridge Thu 11-Oct-12 07:17:17

I'm sure this has been done to death, but as the mother of 3 ds I feel incredibly disheartened (and sad) about the utter intolerance shown towards MIL on mn.

I adore my boys (hopefully not smotheringly) and try to teach them to be compassionate, gentle and to look after themselves. I aim not to spoil them and to teach them how to be wonderful husbands and fathers. The majority of mil threads on mn are very negative and many are spiteful and generic about evil mil.

The only time I have felt sad about not having a daughter is when I read how little mil seem able to be involved in the lives of their ds and gc - do these posts come from mums of girls? Do these (often harsh) rules extend to their own mothers?

In this time of equality it seems wrong that the mil seems often to be required to be a doormat to be allowed access to her family. (By that I mean accept being merely "tolerated" by her DIL).

Obviously there are exceptions to this - and clearly there are some monstrous mil out there - but the prevailing theme is of total disdain and inequality towards mil. Please tell me I am being totally over sensitive and ridiculous. I really feel very sad at the thought of being "the enemy" by virtue of having 3ds.

PurplePidjin Thu 11-Oct-12 08:33:08

My mum (10 minutes away, drives) has invited my MIL (2 hours away, doesn't drive) to stay for a few days when PidjChick is born so they can both visit asap.

It's because they're both rational, functional adults capable of thinking of others hmm

People only moan when things are bad. How many mates ring you up to say "Oh, god, my arse of a husband just showed me some respect, what should i do about him?"

Shoshe Thu 11-Oct-12 08:34:16

I am a MIL and love my DDIL to bits. After having a DS it was lovely to have somebody to go shopping with. grin

Her own mum lives in SA so we have become very close and I probably see more if her than I do DS

PeshwariNaan Thu 11-Oct-12 08:34:44

I dearly love my MIL! She's the best! She welcomed me to the family with open arms and treats me like one of her daughters. She calls to chat just with me sometimes. We exchange books. In short, we get along really well, and she understands exactly how to give us plenty of space at the same time. She is a fabulous MIL. They are out there!!

Shoshe Thu 11-Oct-12 08:37:09

I suppose it does help us to get on that we are very alike. DS in fact says he has married his mum. If one of us isn't nagging him the other us grin

exoticfruits Thu 11-Oct-12 08:37:18

Don't worry Partridge- everything is 'done to death' on MN - there is nothing new!
Every few months you get worry about being a MIL, shock that all schools are Christian, people who want guests to take off shoes, people who bag seats in cafes, child-free weddings etc etc etc- they are new to someone and if we didn't discuss them there would be nothing to post about!

xxxresixxx Thu 11-Oct-12 08:37:46

I love my mil.. I get on with her better than my mother. She is supportive, non judgemental and takes the view that if DH (her only child) is happy then she is too. I speak to her everyday and my dh sometimes jokes that he's been sidelined :-). It doesn't have to be a negative relationship!

economistextra Thu 11-Oct-12 08:39:14

Mil is unneeded aggravation IME. she drives a wedge between dh and I. I wish she would back off and leave us to get on with our lives. My advice would be to be kind and only as involved with gc as you and your ds/ddil feel comfortable with.

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Thu 11-Oct-12 08:40:13

My Mil was a deeply unpleasant woman who had numerous children, but showed love and affection to the select few. She was manipulative and bullying.
Dh is damaged by her behaviour, and we saw her as little as possible...once a year before Christmas. We once went 2 years with no contact at all because of her behaviour towards us.
She died 2 years ago and I didn't go to the funeral.
Interestingly , dh has a much better relationship with his father now.

Softlysoftly Thu 11-Oct-12 08:43:26

YANBU, I personally have a good relationship with mil, we live nearer here than dm and she has the children a lot. She does thing that can annoy me, like giving dd a biscuit to make her feel better of I've told her off and turning up at hospital 10 minutes after I had dd2 while I was still sweaty and blood covered but I let it slide, talk to her about some stuff let other things go, tell her with a joke and a hug when she bugs me because I know she loves the DDs, that she loves me and DH and that if we all compromise we can be good friends.

But my sil hates her, she takes every damn thing the wrong way, sets bil against his mother it's awful. When I try to get her to compromise its impossible. I know at least 4 other RL friends with this issue.

I think a lot of women would be far more willing to compromise and let things go with a friend than they would with a mil. Everyone can be irritating but it seems like a visceral reaction when MILs do it. Perhaps it's an animalistic alpha female in the pack thing?

exoticfruits Thu 11-Oct-12 08:44:37

I have found that DSs have girlfriends very like me- it is a great help!

marshmallowpies Thu 11-Oct-12 08:49:48

I find this issue very upsetting as I have a lovely, kind-hearted, wonderful mum - but she and my SIL seem to rub each other up the wrong way and I can see, that despite adoring her, she can be a bit spiky...I wish I could say to her 'just don't be so disapproving and cats-bum-mouth at SIL and we will all get on better', and I wish I could say to SIL 'just cut her a bit of slack and don't take everything she says the wrong way'. Instead I sit there feeling stuck in the middle and miserable. I see my parents judging SIL about everything and wish they could just be a bit less harsh on her.

My own MIL is a bit full-on but lovely and I really do my best to make sure she enjoys being grandmother to DD. I have had experience of a really toxic MIL with my exP (although no children involved there), so I know how bad it can be.

cfc Thu 11-Oct-12 08:52:42

I love my MIL. She is different to my mother, that took some getting used to - but different isn't automatically bad, just different.

She's generous and kind and tries to be incredibly fair in every respect. She is intelligent and in any other generation, I believe, would be an awesome intellectual force to be dealt with in a professional sense. She's a fantastic role model for the girls in the family in that she believes education will set you free.

She's also brought up her boy (my DH) to be extremely loving, saying I love you to his family and kissing his dad for eg are de rigeur. Again, very different to my own family.

She also shows me where she went wrong - her boy (my DH) is incredibly spoilt! She's also a walkover for her DD my SIL. So she's well able to see her faults and remind me of them!

I love her. I really do, she told me she loved me in the family and I didn't reply Iwas not used to emotion like that! But she's taught me that life is too short to keep feelings to yourself. Hugs and kisses and 'I love yous' are free. Spare not the horses!

plantsitter Thu 11-Oct-12 08:55:58

Threads like this kind of explain the problem to me... depending on the age of your sons, your daughter-in-law may not even be born yet and you are already assuming she's going to be a cow! Why not trust your sons to choose well-balanced, thoughtful and kind wives/partners and assume they will be like that? Then you will treat them as if they are from the outset, and then things start out on an easier footing. Admittedly some people are horrid. But out of 3 sons you are bound to have at least one reasonable person for a daughter in law, surely?

By the way, I love my mother in law, but then she has never behaved with anything but sensitivity towards me and my children.

cantspel Thu 11-Oct-12 09:06:21

I am a mother of sons and i do worry i will be shut out my sons adult life by his wife.
It seems acceptable for a daughter to be close to her mother but if a son has to some how grow away. You see it all the time on here with men being called mummies boys and needing to cut the apron strings if the wife deems them to close. Some dil seem to think their needs must always come first and if that includes excluding the mil than that is ok as they are not their family.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 11-Oct-12 09:09:45

YABU. I love my MIL and she is fully involved in DS' life. I'm closer to my mum but that's natural surely? I think it depends entirely on the personalities of the MIL and DIL.

DoubleMum Thu 11-Oct-12 09:15:34

My MIL is lovely and has always treated me like a daughter. I'm more likely to phone her than DH (a recurring theme it seems!) and while she has her faults and I'm sure I have mine, we get on extremely well. She adores the children and she does spoil them a little bit but not in a ridiculous way. The PILs live quite near us and while they still work, they will always help out with babysitting etc if they possibly can.
I wouldn't have wanted her at the birth of my children but I certainly wouldn't have wanted my own mother either!

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Thu 11-Oct-12 09:17:26

I am not as it happens KilledIgglePiggle I get on with my MIL. I was looking at it from a very base animal one if you like.

It's to do with the basic instinct to protect your baby.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Thu 11-Oct-12 09:18:51

cantspel why lay the blame at the feet of the DIL when it comes to men growing away? My DH had a good relatoinship with his MUm but he can't be arsed to ring her...I have to tell him to. A lot of men are bloody lazy when it comes to staying n touch.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Oct-12 09:21:18

If you have a basic instinct to protect your baby you will make sure that they have as many people as possible to love them.
A lot of the problem comes from DIL thinking that DH is a foundling! My DSs come with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts and uncles, cousins, old family friends etc etc and we are not going to disappear!

Strawhatpirate Thu 11-Oct-12 09:21:43

Don't worry Partridge you sound like you will be a nice MIL. I've had loads of problems with my MIL and would like to have a nice relationship but some of the things she does are too upsetting. For example two weeks ago I was sent to hospital from antenatal with suspected pre eclampsia and kept in for two days. When they finaly let me out MIL rang DH and demanded he visit her immediateley, when DH said no he was busy she said I was dramatic and putting it on. Just be nice and you will be fine.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Oct-12 09:22:59

With the phoning you just bypass them-you can just as easily phone MIL and DH can phone your mother-you are all one family.

NervousAt20 Thu 11-Oct-12 09:23:24

I love my MIL, we've always gotten along really well and will go out shopping/ do errands or whatever together and it's always nice and easy I can relax and talk to her in confidence. She doesn't get overly involved in our lives but if she does DP is very good at saying enough a enough so I don't have to but i feel we have a good enough relationship that if I weren't happy with something we could talk about it, sort the problem and move on from it. I'm expecting the first GC and I hope it doesn't change our relationship but make it better. MIL has her way of doing things but I know she understands that we need to find out what's right for us

cantspel Thu 11-Oct-12 09:24:52

I am not talking about the ones who cant be arsed to stay intouch or make regular phones calls but the ones who do. Who still want to discuss their problems with their mum.
You often see a thread on here from a dil who thinks it is unreasonable that her husband has discussed a problem with the mil. Or the dil who wants mil to stay away from the hospital after the birth of a child but no account of what the father may want.

MaBumble Thu 11-Oct-12 09:31:45

My Ex MIL was awful. My current MIL is lovely. I have been a MIL in all but name for the last 10 years and I based my behaviour on being the exact opposite of my ex MIL. I have a lovely relationship with my daughter-in-law-to-be, we've even joked that if she & DS ever split (heaven forbid, I'd be devastated) I'm keeping her. Same with her lovely mum and my son.

Both of us MILs have got the daughter/son they were never lucky enough to have and they are now talking babies (Eeek!)

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 11-Oct-12 09:33:55

I think a lot of men are a bit crap at keeping in touch/organising visits. It's certainly that way in our house so organising things does fall to me. And if the MIL is rude or judgemental to the DIL, then it's not unlikely the DIL will think sod it then, and leave it to her DH to sort out the visits.

It's happened here. My MIL is by no means awful, but she is judgy and she has been known to belittle and undermine me a bit. I let it slide, I don't make a scene or bitch about her, but neither do I go out of my way to involve her in our lives. And since DH doesn't either, she sees less of us than she could. She's not a bad person, in fact she's a very warm and loving mother and gmother, but she seems to struggle to treat me as an equal, as another adult woman. It' a shame really. Sometimes I wonder if I should try and speak honestly to her, but I worry it would make things worse.

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