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AIBU? Sorry...it's yet another MIL thread :(

(32 Posts)
StillSquirrelling Mon 08-Dec-14 22:46:39

I've just had a massive barney with DH about MIL. She had just phoned and said that she wanted to come up and see the kids for Christmas. SIL (her daughter) and her family are coming up our way on New Year's Day to see BIL's mum (who lives in the same town as us, rather randomly). She lives 2.5 hours drive from us.

Whilst she was on the phone...

DH: it's OK if MIL comes up over New Year, for two or three nights, isn't it?
Me: hmm But <our friends - two adults, two kids> are coming over new year.
DH: Well I'm sure we can squeeze her in somewhere
Me: <Panicking slightly over the amount of people and only two loos in the house> (I have IBD and am currently in a rather bad flare) But what about all the people using the toilets?
DH: It'll be fine

Back story: MIL very obviously favours her daughter and other son, as well as their children. DH is treated like the poor relation, as are our children - this despite the fact that he's always the one she turns to when she needs help with stuff.
She never makes the effort to come and see us because 'it's too far,' despite the fact that when SIL and family were living abroad, she'd go and visit them all the time. I mentioned this to DH and he said oh but she's getting old and frail now so doesn't want to drive this far and it's a long way on the train - this doesn't stop her gallivanting all over the fucking globe 10 times a year though, long and short haul.
SIL was also recently given a very expensive plot of land at the bottom of MIL's garden - this still hasn't been sorted out in the deeds either. DH and BIL have been given nothing. MIL also treats the grandchildren completely differently. She lavishes gifts and treats on the other three and barely bothers with ours.
She hasn't been to see us here since last Christmas and last time she was here she criticised my parenting - my DS, who was 2 at the time, is rather boisterous and energetic - saying that when she had three young kids, THEY never behaved like mine. I was absolutely furious! She had a bloody servant looking after her kids most of the time (in quarters in Singapore) and we are always being praised for the manners and behaviour of all three of our kids when we are out and about.

So, AIBU to not want to have my MIL up here whilst we already have guests? She's far too busy to come beforehand apparently. He's adamant that she has to come then - we accede to her wishes even though it's going to be massively inconvenient for me - I, of course, will be the one doing all the sleeping arrangements sorting out, and cleaning up etc. All this whilst also struggling with my health issues.

DH is making me feel as though I am being massively U. Am I? sad

LlamaLover Mon 08-Dec-14 22:52:12

Are there enough bedrooms for everyone?

Do your PIL know/get on with your friends?

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Mon 08-Dec-14 22:53:14

So basically she's only staying at yours in order to gatecrash your BILs visit with his parents? Just no. Not in a million.

Tell her it's not a good time as you already have guests, so why not another week, and if she's really bothered about seeing your DH she'll make the effort. Your DH needs to back you up on this one, big time!

Poor you and poor BILs parents who are having their (no doubt precious) times with their grandkids shared with someone who sees them often. Do MIL and SIL live on the same town??

mausmaus Mon 08-Dec-14 22:59:38

yanbu at all
are you a hotel or what?

CheeseBuster Mon 08-Dec-14 23:00:17

If she was a helping out/ easy going type I'd say invite her but she sounds like she'd make life hard and you'd end up ignoring your friends trying to keep her happy.

Just say you've already got plans and the house if full. Is your dining table big enough for everyone to sit down to eat at? That is the sign of an overfull house IMO, when people can't breakfast together. Fine for a day but not for a few.

StillSquirrelling Mon 08-Dec-14 23:07:14

Is Chipping No - MIL is coming up with SIL and her family (BIL and two teenage kids) because they are coming up to our town - she's just cadging a lift. She won't be gatecrashing their visit. She'll be gatecrashing our friends' visit to us (we don't see them that often either as we are a couple of hours away). MIL knows the other mother (both of them are widows) and will sometimes go and stay with her when she's been up to us before (thus avoiding having to visit with us for very long). MIL also knows our friends as they've been friends with DH since school/uni.

We do have enough rooms/beds for everyone as the two girls of our friends are the same age as my girls and they usually top and tail. MIL will have to go on a put-me-up bed in the study but will therefore have her own room. Friends will have their own room too.

MIL and SIL live in the same garden - MIL gave half of the garden away to SIL and her husband a couple of years ago...for free...to build their own house. It's a very sought after village and the plot was worth about £250-£300K so it's a bone of contention with DH and his brother.

spamanderson Mon 08-Dec-14 23:10:28

YANBU at all, I'd tell her to bugger off tbh!

StillSquirrelling Mon 08-Dec-14 23:16:10

Cheese - there's enough room for 12 kids or 10 adults around the dining table - there's a small table in the kitchen too if we need it. So I can't use that excuse either.

The majority of my argument with DH was less about the fact that she's coming when we already have guests and more about the fact that she just cannot be bothered to make the effort to come and see us.

When we go down to see her she either shuts herself in the kitchen for most of the time - smoking like a chimney, and therefore I won't let the kids in there with her - or disappears off down the garden to visit SIL (whom she sees every single day). DH and I, and the kids (who are all aged 6 and under) are left to our own devices, in a completely child un-friendly house and no way for the kids to do anything except watch TV, which I restrict a lot at home anyway.

Sigh. I bet I am being unreasonable. I used to get on quite well with her - for the first 9 years before we had kids. I bet if it was one of my friends I'd probably make the effort to squeeze an extra guest in. I'm just pissed off because someone I don't particularly like is being forced upon me.

Kingoftheroad Mon 08-Dec-14 23:16:27

YANBU - no way, my advice to you would be to tell your DH it's just not happening It would be to much for you and would spoil your friends New Year.

If he cannot agree to this then I would tell him you're booking into a hotel for the time that she's here or going to stay with friends/family.

If you let it go this time you'll only feel resentful the whole time and she will continue to wipe her feet on you.

These men really get on my nerves, they'd rather upset and cause bad feeling within their own family than mad up and deal with these narcissistic Mothers.

I feel your pain. Hope it all works out for you

LlamaLover Mon 08-Dec-14 23:17:03

If you take out the paragraph about back story then it seems YABU.

You have enough beds and more than one toilet, and she gets on with other guests, so there isn't really a problem with her stating as such.

With the back story - you don't want to put yourself out for someone you don't really care for. Which is fine.

Do you think there's a way that you are not put out, ie DH does all beds etc?

Also - do you think your DH really wants to see her? Build bridges and all that? He might not have said that, but it may be what he is thinking. Could you ask him how important it is to him? If it's important to him, could you put yourself out for her to make him happy?

StillSquirrelling Mon 08-Dec-14 23:28:09

He's said himself that he feels the same way as I do but he wants us to just take what we're given in terms of her time and attention etc. She wants to come and see the kids, so we should be grateful for that.

He said to me that if she comes he wants me to be happy about it and if I'm not happy then he'll tell her to go and book into a hotel or something but he'll tell her it's because I don't want her staying, and why. I feel that's being really mean, as he feels the same way too. I said if it's important to him then she can stay but he can't really expect me to be happy about it.

In terms of the toilets - take today for example. Out of the 16 hours I've been up, I'd estimate about 6 hours have been spent in the toilet. I really need a toilet kept free at all times because when I need to go, I need to go immediately. I literally cannot wait. With 5 young kids in the house, this is going to be very difficult. MIL really belittles my health problems (I have ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis) and is of the opinion that I'm just being fussy or moaning about nothing (she's usually got an ailment that's much worse, or knows someone with the same as me that's 'cured' it or just battles on without complaint). It makes me really unhappy sad

watchingthedetectives Mon 08-Dec-14 23:36:25

It's really all about not liking/getting on with her - that's what all the MIL threads eventually boil down to.

It's then a matter of deciding whether you take the hit or put up with the consequences - all the other stuff (toilets, guests etc) is just flannel!

Amy106 Mon 08-Dec-14 23:36:57

YANBU at all.

Inertia Mon 08-Dec-14 23:37:07

I think you need to stop going through DH and just ring MIL yourself and say sorry, you already have visitors for new year but could put her up on x or y date instead.

bigredtractor Mon 08-Dec-14 23:40:42

"F#$k off" is a complete sentence. Whether you direct it towards DH or MIL is up to you.

YANBU

Is your dh supportive of your health needs? Your dh sounds horrible to me - the telling mil it's because you're unhappy with the arrangements specifically. I know what it's like to need access to a toilet and the anxiety it can cause, can you stress this, and the fact that your friends were confirmed guests first, and try to get dh to arrange different dates with mil on that basis, worth no blame?

shadowfax07 Mon 08-Dec-14 23:43:49

As someone who also has IBD, YANBU at all. We both know that the more you are stressed, the worse it's going to get. I'd offer alternative dates, and get your DH to go and pick her up.

ooooooooooooooohYessssssssssss Tue 09-Dec-14 00:37:27

I think you agree to let her stay it would be very unfair of you to make it clear that you don't want her there IYSWIM. It would make for a horrible atmosphere for everyone. I'd smile, disengage and be busy. I'd do it for my DH - it's his family and for him to deal with.

If I were you I'd let her come as I think it might not be so bad with other people there. There will be other people to talk to and to distract you.

I'd tell everyone that they can only use one of the bathrooms and I'd keep the other bathroom for yourself. One bathroom is quite enough for everyone else.

islandmama Tue 09-Dec-14 00:55:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jenny70 Tue 09-Dec-14 01:10:02

I like my MIL and I would be saying no - even if she doesn't come often/at all. The visit with the friends will be altered for the worse, trips out will need to accomodate her, children won't be allowed to run off and play for hours in their bedroom while you drink wine and laugh about old times - MIL will be there for it all.

I would say it's not convenient and she won't see much of the children as they'll be busy with friends children, and you'll be busy with friends.

It's not convenient, say so! If she can't be bothered to come other times, that is her loss quite frankly. Even if she comes she won't see much of the children, or you guys, because you'll be busy....

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 09-Dec-14 08:25:23

What about her disgusting smoking habit? Will she bring it with her, OP? Smokers should be kept out of kitchens so why does she smoke in hers?

Takes fag out of mouth.
Taps ash into ash tray -drops ash into soup / cake mixture / teapot
Puts fag back into mouth
Starts to touch food again.

Don't smokers realise how unhygienic their habit is? Probably not.

Another reason for not having her to stay in your house, OP.

Sister77 Tue 09-Dec-14 08:42:28

If you don't like her much and she brings nothing to your life, let your DH tell her what he wants.
If you want to be diplomatic use the nice responses above eg sorry we have a full house over new year when are you free in the new year?

diddl Tue 09-Dec-14 08:46:11

If you had just said a straight "no" instead of hinting, would he still have brushed aside what you were saying?

Will he at least be sorting a bed out for her, waiting on her if applicable & generally helping out due to there being guests in the house?

Donkeysleighbellsringing Tue 09-Dec-14 08:50:46

If you already have a flare up now I pity you later on, this stress is no good for you. I have RA and looking into my crystal ball predict you're going to have a flare up of that too roughly 24 hours before MIL rocks up, in which case you focus on entertaining the original guests.

DH must want to keep on good terms with her so I don't think you can block her visit. He hasn't secretly arranged his own escape route I take it? Hope he's on hand as Entertainment Officer! She's going to count as family not guest so if she's staying, she can enjoy the novelty of pitching in not sitting back criticising. Tbh if she plays favourites amongst her offspring, no amount of fawning will undo that kind of mentality. Keep to your planned timetable and cater primarily to the others' requirements.

AugustaGloop Tue 09-Dec-14 09:05:02

I don't think it is [just] about liking/ not liking PIL. I get on very well with my PIL, but if I already had guests who are friends rather than family, I would not particularly want them to join. Same would apply to my parents. I would think it not fair to my friends because they would be coming expecting one type of visit and might end up feeling like they are encroaching on a family gathering. A day's overlap fine, but any longer of an overlap would completely change the dynamics. Also, if friends have DC the same age, the DC will also feel a bit divided between spending time with their GPs and hanging out with the other DC (depending on age of DC).

But my PIL (and parents) are reasonable, so if we explained to them we already had guests they would arrange to come another time without second thought.

What would your friends make of your MIL being there? if your MIL is coming, I think you need to make this clear in advance and give them a get out.

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