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MIL abducted by aliens! No, not really- but AIBU?

(12 Posts)
DreamingAlice Wed 19-Feb-14 15:28:28

Oh god, another MIL thread. I wouldn't ask but I really do not know what to do about our situation with my MIL. I am worried about it and I would appreciate any perspective/advice. Sorry if it is a bit long, I do hate a drip feed.

My DH is an only child. MIL is widowed and on her own. We used to live about an hour away from her. However, last summer, partly because she really wanted us to be closer to her and partly because it suited us for other reasons, we moved to a small rural village about 7 miles away from her. DH and I have two children- a 2 year old DS together as well as my daughter from a previous relationship.

I am actually quite fond of MIL. I have in the past bent over backwards to be respectful to her and apart from the occasional minor jibe at my parenting skills she is usually very nice to me (to my face). DH, however, has always had a difficult relationship with MIL. DH describes what sounds like a fairly abusive childhood, which MIL strongly denies. In any event, the two of them tend to wind each other up. Once they start rowing, it blows up big style. It is then frosty for a bit and then- largely because I have always tried to mediate- things tend to calm down.

So, here is what happened. I work FT while DH is a SAHD. Because of the move, we now live over 60 miles from my office, which takes up to 1.5 to 2 hours each way to drive. Luckily I am able to work from home at least 3 days a week and I usually go into the main office once or twice a week. On those days if I have morning meetings, then I need to be up and on the road by about 5.30 am to beat the traffic in order to guarantee to get there in time.

A couple of weeks ago, I had two early starts. On the second one, when I got home about 6.30 pm at the end of a gruelling day, including a 2 hour drive back though bad weather, I found DH's car there but nobody at home. I checked my phone and found a text from DH sent much earlier while I was driving, saying they were at MIL's and perhaps I could pick them up on my way home if I was passing.

I thought this was a bit odd. MIL always comes for tea at ours on that particular day and my usual route home means I am never just passing her house. To do so would mean a 15 mile detour for me.

So I texted back and just say "Oops, missed this, already home, what happened?" He texted back to say they had been intercepted by MIL en route to ours while they were all out on a short walk and everyone had hopped into her car. Then DS had kicked off about getting out of the car when they got back here. So to placate him, as she always does, she said let's go for a drive- and then went all the way back to her own house! DH should have probably tried to stop her but I think he was really taken aback and then it was too late. There is no public transport available to get back.

I was knackered, hungry and not feeling all that great. I really, really didn't want to go out again and drive another 14 miles. Plus at no point in all this had anyone actually asked me to come pick them up. So I didn't reply and started doing a few things around the house. About 30 minutes later I got another text to say, "so are you coming?" and I said "um, no, wasn't planning on it".

At which point DH had to tell MIL she had to run them back here. She apparently threw a complete strop and said some horrid things about how "unhelpful" I was being. DH pulled her up on that whereupon she told him "never bring the DCs there again". And we have not spoken to her or heard from her since.

I am loathe to cut contact completely as I do want her to be able to see the children, who adore her. We have no other family here. My own parents live overseas and never visit us anymore (which is a whole other crazy tale) But I don't feel particularly inclined to mediate this one. I think she was bang out of order on this one and I do not want to just let her remarks about me slide. I work myself to the bone for this family, both in my job and with housework/childcare- so I am hurt and offended by her comments. DH says he doesn't want to speak to her and anyway she will absolutely not admit to being in the wrong or apologise.

Have I BU at all here? WWYD?

LadyAlysVorpatril Wed 19-Feb-14 15:39:17

Yanbu I would leave her to stew.

FryOneFatManic Wed 19-Feb-14 15:45:48

I'd leave her to stew. Your DH pulled her up on this, so follow his lead.

MommyBird Wed 19-Feb-14 15:47:51

YANBU. Leave her.

She decided to drive DH and DC to her house with no thought about how they would get home and after a long day and drive home pressumed you would pick them up.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 19-Feb-14 15:49:47

Follow your DH's lead. Stop mediating after every blow up. Let her contact you.

Hopelass Wed 19-Feb-14 15:50:21

Leave her to it, she needs to grow up. What is it with childish MILs. I hope to god I don't become one!

pictish Wed 19-Feb-14 15:51:16

Let your dh dictate. It's his mum after all. If he's happy to let her stew on this, then so be it.
What a stupid, trivial thing to chuck a strop about anyway!

OTheHugeManatee Wed 19-Feb-14 15:52:54

YANBU. Leave her to calm down. She either will or won't but she sounds like a PITA so giving in will just encourage her.

MarysDressSways Wed 19-Feb-14 15:54:50

I would leave her to it and let your husband deal with it for once. I'm sure she'll come and apologise when she realises you guys won't be pandering to it.

quirkychick Wed 19-Feb-14 15:55:33

What others have said really. She drove them to hers but you were expected to go out of the way to pick them up. Why couldn't she drive them back? Is she always nasty when she doesn't get her own way?

Definitely leave her to it and let your dh sort it out, or not as he sees fit. She might appreciate you if she sees the effect of you not mediating.

LouiseAderyn Wed 19-Feb-14 21:22:12

My mum spent years mediating with my dad's family and trying to keep the peace, when my dad's family were quite rude about my mum. In the end they didn't thank her for it or learn to appreciate her efforts. She could have saved herself a lot of bother by just letting it all go - you can't make people behave properly.

This is your husbands family, so ultimately his choice to decide how best to deal with them. I would stop busting my arse trying to fix everything and leave it be.

If nothing else it never hurts to show people you are not a pushover. She'll either come around or she won't - if not then you are better off finding out now rather than spending the next 20 years getting criticism from her for trying to help!

maras2 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:09:05

As long as DH is on side just do nothing ; go completely NC . She's playing games.

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