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Spectacularly passive aggressive MIL!

(74 Posts)
stinkingbishop Sun 28-Apr-13 07:57:03

Background - one year old twins and a 19 year old I've just rescued from Uni as, well, long story.

PIL come up for the weekend. Despite everything on my plate, get up 2 hours before the twins each day to cook in advance, clean, make beds etc...

MIL: "You're so wonderfully relaxed <stinkingbishop>, when I was a young Mum I tried so hard to make everything perfect".

Reasons why I shouldn't clump her one?!

DP cannot see the problem by the way - "it's a compliment, she's saying you're not stressy".

Yes, DP. But I got up at 4am and apparently it's not 'perfect'.


There are worst problems in the world, I know. Sorry....

IHateSafeStyle Sun 28-Apr-13 08:00:49

Think of it this was, she is jealous you are so in control her life must have been a nighmare

Sparkletastic Sun 28-Apr-13 08:01:29

I have one of those....

After descending unexpectedly for lunch and me managing to knock up a Tex Mex feast with the aid of some Old El Paso store cupboard essentials:

'Oh Sparkle this is such a lovely easy meal to make - its your signature menu really isn't it? I always feel its cheating if I don't cook from scratch.'

pudcat Sun 28-Apr-13 08:01:39

She hasn't said it's not perfect. I think she's complimenting you.

beeny Sun 28-Apr-13 08:03:05

I have one of those you have my sympathy.

Sparkletastic Sun 28-Apr-13 08:03:17

I now realise such comments come from an extremely anxious and neurotic person who sees her only value in her domestic goddess status. FIL taking an interest in cooking has nearly given her a breakdown.

VIX1980 Sun 28-Apr-13 08:04:08

I think shes complimenting you also, without knowing more about your background its hardly passive aggressive to give you a compliment is it hmm.

Not having a go at you btw, i tend to snap and be very critical of everything said to me when im under stress so 1 little thing can magnify by millions and i over analyse it to the point i stress myself out. I do genuinely think she was giving you a compliment that even under the stress you have going on at the moment your not showing it that much.

ginmakesitallok Sun 28-Apr-13 08:04:12

Don't read so much into it! She had to try hard to get things perfect, you can get them perfect without even getting stressed!

MaryRobinson Sun 28-Apr-13 08:06:09

You could reply ... "Yes I really value time and the relationship with my children above cleaning for what - I'm mean only the tuly horrid judge each other don't they ?"

diddl Sun 28-Apr-13 08:06:13

Sounds like a compliment to me also-as in she tried & failed/it was pointless.

What help is your OH giving?

Why are you getting up so early & seemingly doing everything for his parents?

Houseinmerseyside Sun 28-Apr-13 08:06:30

Is it a one-off comment or just one of many similar back-handed "compliments"? If one off I think she just meant to be nice but it came out awkwardly, but I get he feeling hats not the case and its just one example.

fairylightsinthespring Sun 28-Apr-13 08:06:41

eeeesshhh, yes, totally get where you are coming from on this one. My MIL can NOT respond to anything with anything other than one-upmanship. Whatever you make, as it goes on the table she'll say "oh I make this, I do it with..." which (and maybe I am being oversensitive here) but always feels like an implied criticism. If you say you've been away, she'll not even ask one question about it, just immediately respond with "we went away and it was the best possible room and we got a free upgrade and it cost us less than anyone ever spent in the world ever..."

jkklpu Sun 28-Apr-13 08:10:28

Don't get up at 4am - everything thing seems a million times worse/more negative when you're exhausted. It's not doing you any good. Where's your dp in all this? Does he help? It's really OK to change your house-keeping standards when you have wee kids - they certainly don't care and it just adds massive pressure on you if you try to make things anything near "perfect". If your 19yo is home, s/he should get his/her finger out and do some things around the house. Try to ignore your mil and cut yourself some slack.

Toadinthehole Sun 28-Apr-13 08:10:34


If someone said that to me, I'd have said "Actually this is the best I can do and I'd like some handy hints on how to make things easier for me".

If she's genuinely being passive-aggressive, she will provide you advice that will probably be so useless that you can pick holes in it.

malteserzz Sun 28-Apr-13 08:10:46

To be honest I can't see the problem with what she said either but maybe there is history between you. Hope your dp helped get things ready for his parents too ? If not its him you should be mad at !

YoniOrNotYoni Sun 28-Apr-13 08:11:11

Do you get up at 4am every day? Wow! Do you need to?

HellesBelles396 Sun 28-Apr-13 08:15:12

definitely snide.

that's a sign of her insecurity though. nod, smile, ignore.

or question ruthlessly: oh? what was your routine? interrupting each point with at least half a dozen questions.

EmmaBemma Sun 28-Apr-13 08:19:51

I think we need more evidence of potentially PA remarks and behaviour before making a judgement call. It's very possible you might have taken that one remark the wrong way.

sparkle12mar08 Sun 28-Apr-13 08:24:20

That is not a compliment, I can't believe some people think it is?! I'd go with HellesBelles suggestion myself...

IAmNotAMindReader Sun 28-Apr-13 08:30:48

I would interpret that comment as "You're a lazy sow who's living in a shit pit."

purrpurr Sun 28-Apr-13 08:41:30

I'm with MindReader on this one. OP, stop getting up so early. Set and meet your own expectations, don't try to meet those of others. It makes it so much easier for those that are inclined to, to move the goal posts so you never measure up. That includes pithy little PA episodes over the dinner table. Meet your own expectations.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 28-Apr-13 08:45:12

I dont read that as an insult at all. I read it as, you're doing so well keeping your shit together, when I was a young mum I struggled to keep my shit together.

Of course only you know your MIL though, so you'll be more intune to any undertone.

I think you're crazy getting up at 4am though.

Finallygotaroundtoit Sun 28-Apr-13 08:52:18

If she doesn't know you get up so early and is commenting on your calmness it's a genuine compliment

Finallygotaroundtoit Sun 28-Apr-13 08:54:54

Also, people who say stuff like "I make mine like blah blah " are just trying to find common ground confused

Some MILS can't do right whatever they do, apparently

sarahandemily Sun 28-Apr-13 08:55:18

You have 1 year old twins. That is exhausting! Give yourself a break please! I only have 1 and at that age I was still mostly following the sleep when she is sleeping advice. MIL sounds a PITA but you will feel much better if you get some sleep. If she is so perfect next time she comes she can have the kids for the day while you go and do something nice (or just sleep)

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