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MIL 60th birthday - AIBU or help me get some perspective

(141 Posts)
Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 18-Feb-14 12:16:44

I've posted about MIL before. Basically, I find her a very selfish person. That's fine - she's entitled to be so.

We have a 14 month old DS and a 4 week old DD. my parents are the antithesis of PILs and give us a huge amount if practical and emotional support. They are "doers". So they'll just arrive with meals and pitch in with cleaning etc. MIL sends weird passive aggressive emails saying she wants to "help" more but won't actually do anything practical. And, when she's with the DCs, isn't very good at putting their needs above hers - eg she'll have DS shrieking with hunger in his high chair whilst she has her lunch first etc.

It's MIL's 60th birthday and she wanted to have an evening meal thing. Again, she's quite entitled to have that but we felt that wouldn't be possible fir us given the age of DS in particular. And we live over a hundred miles from the PILs so it would have been a long drive home later. Staying with them isn't practical. But the main issue is that 14 month old DS needs to be in bed.

Instead, we suggested going out for lunch with the PILs as MIL always saying she wants to see the DC etc.

So it was agreed that we would travel to the PILs and take them out fir lunch. They would then have their evening do that day. Fine. We would go up and down in the day (long round trip) to facilitate this. Plus I am exclusively expressing to feed DD due to latch probs. but that's ok - it's only one day and I bought an in car charger for the expressing machine so I could sit in the car and do that.

Last night, MIL phoned DH to say that, actually, she would prefer to have her hair done in the afternoon so we would need to cancel the lunch and she would like DH to come to the evening do. The DCs and I can stay at home - ie she's not bothered about seeing them

For the avoidance of doubt, I want to be very clear that I entirely respect MIL's right to have whatever kind of celebration she wants for her birthday.

What is getting in my nerves is her self-avowed wish to see more if the DCs. Despite making no effort to come and see them and then turning down the opportunity to do so to have her hair done.

I'd quite like to say something to MIL, should the opportunity present itself, but I won't. Because at the end if the day, she's the one who choses what kind of relationship she has with the DCs.

AIBU re this

Nerfmother Wed 19-Feb-14 14:43:05

That's not really what I said ...

ScrambledSmegs Wed 19-Feb-14 13:14:02

Nerfmother, i think from gobbolino's posts she's being more than fair to the pils. Always happy to facilitate them getting their photo opportunities with the DGCs. Puts hand in pocket when ordered to requested. Very flexible and understanding re:MILs birthday plans. She knows what they are like and accepts them as they are.

The only thing that she's actually annoyed about is the PA 'oh I NEVER get to see my DGCs, oh woe is me, they are being kept from me' when it is factually incorrect. Gobbolino has done what she could to have MIL see them on her birthday. MIL has chosen not to see them. So the doting-but-deprived grandmother act is, very sadly, just an act.

Nerfmother Wed 19-Feb-14 12:51:12

Gobbolino, all I would add (because that seems reasonable) is that if you don't like/get on with pil but there's nothing abusive going on, try not to let the dcs know.
My dm and dgm had good reason to dislike each other and as kids we sort of inherited that. When I went to uni though I met up with her and we had stuff in common but not a closeness and I really regret that - she died when I was about 26.
I'm really keen for stuff to be left where it is, generation wise..

chemenger Wed 19-Feb-14 12:37:00

Oh - and if you can't be bothered to remember other people's birthdays, cheminger - don't expect people to be making a big effort for you. You can't have it both ways.

For the avoidance of doubt I don't care at all if people pay any attention to my birthday, I don't expect them to make a big effort for me. In fact it is my birthday today and I have had no cards or presents because I am at work and everyone else was in bed when I left. I did have a big party for my 50th which was great but I don't hold any grudge against anyone for not being able to come or anything else that might have been less than perfect in their behaviour. I do put a lot of effort into buying thoughtful presents and cards for others, but they may not arrive on the actual day, shoot me.

I was brought up by a parent who looked for offence in everything and bore grudges for years and years and years. I don't live that way, if things are nice I enjoy them, if they aren't I forget them. It makes me a very difficult person to insult.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 19-Feb-14 12:26:58

nerf - that is a good idea.

However, I'm starting to get a strong feeling from DH that he actually doesn't want to commit to specific times to see them

Instead, I think he's just going to leave it up to them to suggest visits. On balance, although they create a lot of work here, it is easier to host them as we have more room and don't have to pack everything up.

So, I think we'll not prevent them from seeing the DCs but not go out of our way to make arrangements.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 19-Feb-14 12:23:27

And the driving is a 200 mile round trip.

The alternative is to drive to the venue, have the meal, then drive to the next nearest hotel, 25 miles away, stay the night there and then drive back home the next day.

If he wants to drink, then he'll need to take taxis between the venues to pick up the car

Nerfmother Wed 19-Feb-14 12:22:13

Hi gobbolino.
I can see why you are frustrated - do you think mil suggested lunch then realised it wasn't doable? I can get wanting your hair done.
When we had small ones we decided to do monthly trips to Pil who lived hours away. Sunday pm, meant we could plan the rest of the month and still see them. Would that work? Could you pick a day and stick to it?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 19-Feb-14 12:18:46

nerf - as I said up the thread in later posts, lunch was what mil asked for because she wanted to see the DCs on the day. My original post was unclear in that - sorry. MIL was complaining that she wouldn't see the DCs on the day. So, DH offered to take her out for lunch on that day. Or a cup of tea or just a visit or a drink. Or we could go in another day. Or they could come to us on another day. Whatever MIL wanted. MIL wanted us to travel to her for lunch on the day. So we arranged to do that.

Now she doesn't due to the hair appointment. And her late cancellation means that all to rooms at the 5 bed hotel in the middle of no where are booked up. So DH will need to go to the meal, not drink and drive home.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Feb-14 12:13:03

but she doesn't ever seem to bother - I think one should take that information into account.

Nerfmother Wed 19-Feb-14 12:11:26

Humphrey. I won't bore you with replying in detail to your assertion that I can't read.
I just don't feel that the op is coming across as keen to offer opportunities - lunch on the day her mil has planned a special evening out seems a bit Hobson's choice tbh.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Feb-14 12:10:02

ALL the information is from the perspective of the op. Unless you are the mil???

ValentinesMassacred Wed 19-Feb-14 11:11:10

And I would say the way he has turned out is very much despite the PILs rather than because of them

well you would wouldn't you.

Humphrey Your summary is wholly inaccurate in that it misses out a massive chunk of information

information from the perspective of the OP who has already shown by her complete over reaction to the specific scenario described here that she may be just a tiny bit biased against her MIL.

MommyBird Wed 19-Feb-14 10:11:27

I say "them" as DD2 was due/born/newborn when we cut contact.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 19-Feb-14 10:09:59

amanda -seeing the midwife today or tomorrow so will report back. Am asking for a referral to the TT clinic

MommyBird Wed 19-Feb-14 10:08:39

Ohhh my MIL was the same! (We are NC now.)

She was adament she doesnt get to see DD enough. Once a week isnt good enough. She loves her so much..we used to get guilt tripping texts about how she doesnt get to see them often..

Yet you ask her to actually COME and see them.."i cant, im having my hair done/im tierd/ i have backache..." it goes on. she's early 40s

We have canceled Plans for her, invited her to lunch, DH has refused overtime..she canceled all the time.

I dont understand people like her.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Feb-14 10:05:18

Have you not read the thread Nerfmother? Your summary is wholly inaccurate in that it misses out a massive chunk of information re the MIL's form for telling other people that her grandchildren are kept away from her when making no effort to see them herself and turning down opportunities.

TO me MN seems full of people who can't read. I agree with the poster who suggested literary comprehension lessons angry

diddl Wed 19-Feb-14 10:03:51

She'll certainly never get it whilst everyone kowtows & goes out of their way to accommodate her!

Nerfmother Wed 19-Feb-14 10:02:34

I'm not really understanding the angst. Mumsnet seems full of people whinging about their pils for being normal, non perfect people and being validated by others. It's fairly unpleasant.
Op, you seem to be in the unfortunate position if living far away from family (cple hours drive?) making things like this a hassle.
You were all invited, you said no, your mil probably accepted lunch to be nice and then realised it would be too much, so got fil to ring you. Why take offence now? It's just a matter of distance it doesn't need to be a big 'thing.'

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 19-Feb-14 10:02:19

girly - that's actually a very good idea re the video.

We will be the bigger people and do it, of course.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 19-Feb-14 09:58:45

For the last time - I couldn't care less about MIL's party. What I am very upset about is treating my DH like shit common theme re the accommodation.

I am cross about MIL's self avowed wish to see more of her grandchildren including on her fucking birthday but then prioritising her hair appointment. MIL made a big fuss about not seeing them. Hence we offered to go up for lunch/a glass of tap water/a cup of tea. Whatever she wanted. She wanted lunch. Fine.

Then she wanted a hair appointment. Fine. Have a hair appointment. But just say at the time the lunch was offered, sorry, I want to get my hair done. Then DH can actually get accommodation at the middle of no where 5 bed venue for the evening do he is then basically ordered to attend. On his own. Stop dicking us about as per usual. MIL and FIL can't even commit to a time to arrive when they visit us - it's just indicative to me of their total inability to consider anyone else bar themselves.

As Dzh said last night, there's no point speaking to MIL about this. She doesn't get it. Her brain isn't wired to actually consider other people - it's been a common theme through his life.

What will make him feel a bit better is, on reading this thread, there are a few other people like that. So it's not just something he is doing thats making her act like this to him Thankfully they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

And I would say the way he has turned out is very much despite the PILs rather than because of them

girlywhirly Wed 19-Feb-14 09:42:39

OP, you could do a video, but just gather the DC and DH around you and start by saying Happy Birthday MIL, then move smartly on to filming the DC, making a big thing of introducing the new baby for those who haven't met him yet, and make it all about them.

Frankly, anyone who doesn't prioritise booking accommodation for their son and his family doesn't deserve their attendance. And I hope DH doesn't pay towards the party either. I'd be backing right away from the PIL after this.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Feb-14 09:38:49

And another one, I wouldn't respond OP. You made your position crystal clear to the rest of us smile

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Feb-14 09:37:37

Gosh Chemenger, everyone has the perfect right to be horrible to their family. The rest of us don't have to like it though.

Essiebee Wed 19-Feb-14 09:35:21

Own your behaviour; you were invited to your mother in law's party but declined for perfectly valid reasons; she declined your invitation also for perfectly valid reasons; you asked for advice to 'put this into perspective' but instead seem to be gathering support for an increasingly malicious witch hunt. Does it occur to you that you are revealing yourself to be exactly as you portray your mother in law: selfish and self-centred? What would her perception be of you? You are blessed with a happy marriage, healthy children and devoted parents; does your mother in law's perceived behaviour really matter that much?

ValentinesMassacred Wed 19-Feb-14 09:34:21

OP you sound predisposed to hate your MIL

she invited you all, you refused
you offered lunch on the same day as her party, I think that was challenging of you
She accepted but then decided, on balance, to stick to her own plans rather than dance to your tune
you describe this as 'prioritising a hairdo over her GC' - somewhat over dramatic, and blatantly unreasonable
She didn't then nag you again about going, you had already explained why you didn't want to - you describe this as 'excluding' you

On the evidence of this particular scenario, you are out of order. If this is how you react, maybe she's not the difficult one. She has managed to bring up a fine young man who you are proud to call your husband, so maybe at least give her a bit of goodwill for that; we all have our foibles and we mother's of sons sometimes have a bit to put up with too.

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