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To think that my friend is in danger of being one of those MIL?

(38 Posts)
kickassangel Wed 23-Dec-15 15:55:33

I met up with some friends for coffee yesterday. One of them has 3 adult children (oldest son, about 30, middle son late 20s, youngest daughter age 20 & a student).

She had been really looking forward to Christmas as her middle son just got engaged and was due to turn up today and stay until Sunday with his fiancee. Her oldest son has a steady partner who doesn't have much family so up until now she has always had all her children home for Christmas every year.

Anyway - middle son, who just got engaged - had called from the airport to say that he & fiancee had changed their plans. She was so excited about getting engaged that they were flying to her home town (we're in the US, and we're talking long travelling distances) to see her parents and old school friends to show off her ring etc. They would still be with my friends on Christmas day, but would be arriving in the afternoon and then staying a bit longer.

My friend sent them a text saying how upset she was - she and her 20 year old daughter were both crying - and that they felt they'd been put in second place.

Now. Changing Christmas plans this close is pretty inconsiderate so I can see why she's annoyed. But the comment about being put second made me wince a little. In spite of them being pretty thoughtless about suddenly switching around Christmas, when someone's just got engaged don't you smile sweetly and say nice things? Any other issues can be resolved later (if need be) rather than a load of texts which must surely be lessening the joy of the engagement.

GrimDamnFanjo Wed 23-Dec-15 16:11:56

Oh dear. Make sure you keep us updated with how this goes! grin

swansolistice Wed 23-Dec-15 16:19:37

It is not just inconsiderate to change plans so close but really rude. Imagine if everyone did this!

SidneyBristow Wed 23-Dec-15 16:21:24

What an awful way to start out her relationship with her soon to be DIL. Throwing a hissy for over missing a few hours of her son's time on Christmas Day is going to cost her in the long run. Your friend has bee put insect splice, but that's as it should be - her son is starting his own family now. Your friend really should apologize. Massive massive overreaction.

trevortrevorslatterfry Wed 23-Dec-15 16:21:38

Crikey! Of Course he should put everyone apart from his wife (and children if/when they arrive) into second place! YANBU

CheeseandGherkins Wed 23-Dec-15 16:21:54

I can't stand when people say that about being second best and that they're crying, but also involving the daughter in that crying too, it's manipulative and unnecessary.

CheeseandGherkins Wed 23-Dec-15 16:22:48

It's exactly the sort of thing my mil would say, and one of the many reasons we are now NC with her.

ceeveebee Wed 23-Dec-15 16:23:37

Sorry but I think it's really rude to call on the planned day of arrival to change plans - I can understand why she's upset.

EponasWildDaughter Wed 23-Dec-15 16:25:41

Oh dear lord.

OP, as this person's friend i think you should say something. Can you imagine what this girl is thinking about her future MIL? How embarrassing!

The couple are still going to be there on xmas day and are staying longer than previously planned.

Will there be tears and dramatics next year if her son decides to spend xmas with his fiance?

Birdsgottafly Wed 23-Dec-15 16:31:46

Did he propose, unexpectedly?

If that's the case then it totally justified a slight change in plans.

They're fitting both families in, that's how it's going to be from now on.

You need to be honest with her.

kickassangel Wed 23-Dec-15 16:32:58

I found it really hard. I did point out that DIL going to her home town meant seeing all her old school friends etc and flashing the ring, whereas coming to my friend's is just his family as they no longer live where he grew up.

While we were at coffee there were more texts going on. My friend was shaking her head and saying "he still doesn't get it". I do think that they're being a bit carried away with the excitement of it all, and not thinking about other people. After all, arriving at her mum's days earlier than expected, as well as then going to his family a couple of days later, causes a whole load of rescheduling for everybody.

BUT the DIL is super excited and carried away by it all. They've been dating for two years (and last year they were with my friend for Christmas) and there's never been any friction before. I would just shake my head and let it go as the selfish giddy excitement of it all.

My friend has both her other kids there, and partner of oldest son. I think she just has to realize that yes, they are now lower down the priority chain. Not because of DIL family, but because her son is setting up his own family and wants to make his future wife happy.

OF course, if they started to constantly behave like this, and always messed up plans or went to her family and ignored his, then she should say something, but not when they've just got engaged.

I bet they're starting to think they don't want to visit my friend at all if there's going to be an atmosphere.

I am well aware that as DD is only 12 I haven't yet had to deal with seeing an adult DC leave and strike out on their own - I may well completely change my mind 10 years from now!

Krampus Wed 23-Dec-15 16:33:53

I'm with grim oh dear!

It doesnt mater what the rights and wrongs are of a situation, emotional blackmail is never a good long term tactic and drives people away eventually.

A better reaction would have been to say - Oh that's very short notice. You must both be very excited, have a fantastic time, pass on my regards to her family.

Then back off with any emotional pressure and make sure they enjoy their stay when they arrive. In a nice friendly, relaxed, cosy environment fgrin

AbeSaidYes Wed 23-Dec-15 16:34:10

"My friend sent them a text saying how upset she was - she and her 20 year old daughter were both crying - and that they felt they'd been put in second place."

this is a bit of an extreme reaction.

However her son and soon to be DIL have been very rude.

CandlesAreBurning Wed 23-Dec-15 16:35:58

Yes it is annoying that they're not coming Christmas Eve, but the fact that they will still be there Christmas Day means can just do main meal in the evening and presents when they get there. If finances parents lived locally would be splitting Christmas Day likely anyway!

GrannyGoggles Wed 23-Dec-15 16:36:57

Inconsiderate behaviour from the newly engaged couple, but Kickass you are so right; sweet, sweet smiles, looking forward to seeing you Christmas Day, love to everyone. Daughter told to grow the f* up, and then if your friend must, she can have a little moan to you and/or her husband

scribblegirl Wed 23-Dec-15 16:39:00

So, soon to be DIL actually spent Xmas day with this woman last year, and will be doing so again this year (meaning her parents don't get her on xmas day twice in a row)? And it's the son's mother getting upset?

Oh wow.

Hihohoho1 Wed 23-Dec-15 16:40:12

Oh Ffs yes she's ridiculous. Of course the girl wants to show off her ring.

I am a mil

ThroughThinkandThing Wed 23-Dec-15 16:42:43

Yes, your friend needs to step back a bit, otherwise she will start to alienate them. However, son and future DIL have been incredibly rude - neither side particularly covering themselves in glory.

kickassangel Wed 23-Dec-15 16:43:16

Yeah, it was an unexpected proposal - all very picturesque in the snow etc. So they changed their plans, took an extra couple of days off work, and went to her mum's 2 days ago, instead of after Christmas.

They're getting to my friends 2 days later than planned, but then staying an extra couple of days to make up for it.

Normally my friend is very considerate and even-keeled about things. I think this is just a big shock as he's the first of her children to have in laws to add to the mix. My friend was aware of that, but very genuinely upset. As a family they always text and stay in contact all the time, but I think on this occasion she needs to pull back a little and let them do what they want.

CVB - my friend didn't expect them until Weds, and they phoned her to change plans over the weekend, so she had a few days warning. I do know my friend had already done all the food shopping so she was a bit fed up about that.

EponasWildDaughter Wed 23-Dec-15 16:44:38

Performance crying because one of her sons is going to arrive on xmas day rather than on the 23rd.

OP you should ask your friend what she thinks they should do if it happens that the fiance's mother is crying over the phone too. About not seeing her daughter 2 xmas' running.

Perhaps it will make her see how emotionally blackmailing she's being.

kickassangel Wed 23-Dec-15 16:51:53

I don't think she actually did performance crying. She didn't tell him about his sister being upset, just that she felt she'd been shunted into 2nd place by the change in plans. But it's very clear that she is really upset - talking about it to us was hard for her.

We were as sympathetic as possible, but actually we did all kind of say "well, DIL is obviously excited. It's annoying to change plans but let it go just this once." type thing. This is pretty out of character for my friend, so I think things will settle down at some point.

It did make me wonder how it feels to have DC go off and put their own agenda first. It had obviously had a big impact on my friend, and she was surprised by how upset it made her feel. But I think that this is the future now - she'll have to adapt around the DIL family as well as her own.

CheeseandGherkins Wed 23-Dec-15 17:03:07

I think really needs to back off, I can't believe she is behaving like a teenager when her son is late 20's! Did she think she could keep him for Christmas day forever confused. She is the one that will end up losing out here. If I were her I would be apologising for those manipulative texts.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 23-Dec-15 17:03:09

Well it is hard. My eldest two are in their twenties now, with boyfriends/girlfriends and we're just starting to get into them maybe not being her for Christmas; DD1 is only coming home today, because of Christmas temp job, and off to boyfriend's on Boxing Day. I'm a bit miffed at her going to her boyfriend's as she's seen more of him than us anyway while she's been at Uni.

But, after studying Mumsnet, I've decided that, rather than moan, I shall make Christmas at home lovely, so everyone always wants to come here.

Thurlow Wed 23-Dec-15 17:06:04

the selfish giddy excitement of it all - exactly.

It's not ideal to cancel plans like this at short notice. In fact, it's pretty rude - but they've just got engaged, FFS, they're just in the carried away stage and have tried to cram in seeing both families to share the excitement.

Surely this is one of those times in life when you might inwardly think, "fuck's sake, there goes half of that nice roast beef I'm making in Christmas Eve" while smiling broadly and telling them how excited you are?

Youarentkiddingme Wed 23-Dec-15 17:07:50

I think in this situation I would have text "you'll be missed the next few days as planned however have fun. We can't host you longer though than originally planned though as we don't want to change our plans for then last minute. See you Christmas Day".

Yes it's slightly PA, yes she needs to understand they both have family. But it was a little presumptuous to assume they could change plans and put your friend out at both ends of the arrangement.

I wouldn't want to be setting a precedent that I will be dumped last minute nor that I'm sat around waiting for their visit.

Basically - I'd like to think I'd play it cool grin

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