Has anyone got any tips on how I can assert myself with my MIL. She lives some distance and we don't see her awfully often but she drives me insane.
I've been with my husband nearly 13 years (since I was 18) and I feel that she still treats me like a teenager. She's condescending to me and to others to be fair. She's brought up children and my SIL has kids so she knows everything. Anytime I try and correct her or tell her the way we do things I just end up sounding petty.
Only yesterday over Skype she was going on and on to my husband about a household thing I'd given kids to play with was dangerous. Yes - it wasn't the best choice in toy (though not dangerous - 200g tins from the cupboard) but they were literally climbing up me while cooking and husband was no where to be seen.
Aside from being condescending she can be disrespectful, manipulative and controlling though not massively so in that it attracts attention.
Please please any tips on how to put up with her. I just want to be able to show her I rule this roost! I've had enough of her passive aggressiveness and need some passive aggressive quips back!!!!
I agree with Euphemia - the solution lies with your dh. He should be on your side and ought to be firm with his dm on your behalf.
Rather than passive-aggressive quips, I always think being straightforward about your annoyance is better. Could you actually say calmly and firmly, "Please allow us to decide how we..." ? Or even, "When you say .... I find it very annoying. I'm their mum and I do things my way." That way you're being very clear about your boundaries.
Personally, I don't think I would say "please allow us to decide...", as it sounds as if you are asking for permission. A firm "thankyou, MIL, for offering us the benefit of your experience. We know where you are if we have any questions" could work.
Overall, don't get drawn in to power battles with her. Make sure your DH is stepping up to the mark, as others have said. Nod, smile, be non-committal and then do things your way. And plan with DH in advance how to handle things when you're at their house, as she'll feel she has more right to tell you how to do things when you're on her turf.