Aibu to want a little less contact with my mil?

(43 Posts)
ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 04-Jan-16 23:00:03

I love and get on very well with my dm. I also love and get on well with my mil.
I live about 3hrs drive away from both of them.
Since moving out I've never lived near my mum, and we speak once of twice a month. We have our own lives going on, but we care about eachother's lives so we enjoy our contact. I see her every 3/4 months and we text/favebook every week.
My mil likes to call me every other day for a chat about nothing, she's lovely but it's too much! My dh works away so she speaks to him maybe once a month.
It's stiffling. To the point that I see her name on my phone and sigh. I have no new news from 2 days ago, the convos are short and strained as I have 2 young dc to look after. I'm mot great at phone convos in general but it's worse when 2yr old wants your attention at same time!
I want to ask her not to call so much but not sure how to. Aibu to even consider it?

mrsfuzzy Mon 04-Jan-16 23:09:53

yanbu, you could do it in a jokey way, 'sorry no news to share, i'll call you in a day or two' then stick to it.

ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 04-Jan-16 23:14:30

Thanks mrsfuzzy i do find myself making excuses like oh dd upset, gotta go! I hate not answering her calls!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 04-Jan-16 23:21:16

Why do you hate not answering? She cant see you!!

ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 04-Jan-16 23:24:51

I know, I just feel bad as if I do miss her call I end up with about 8 missed calls in the space of half an hr!

badg3r Mon 04-Jan-16 23:31:53

Wow - 8 missed calls in half an hour?! That would do my head in. Is she quite lonely? Can you download an app like Mr Number that blocks calls, but where you can still see they called? Then call her back when it suits you, but try and phase it out to once or twice a week. Is she the type to get the hint eventually? Maybe also you could tell DH she called, even if he's away, and he can call her slightly more frequently if she is just after company.

mrsfuzzy Mon 04-Jan-16 23:35:51

is she on her own ? may be she needs some to chat to, but that does not make it any easier for you, there are daily phones calls sally what can op keep talking about, we have a similar situation and it is very awkward at times not to feel irritated. it not's usually positive, just to moan about the weather/ general aches and pains, never really interested in what we're doing !

Iggi999 Mon 04-Jan-16 23:46:23

Is your dh "away" somewhere without phones? Could they not talk or Skype more regularly, and reduce your chats to once a week or whatever you were comfortable with?

knobblyknee Mon 04-Jan-16 23:51:29

Can you introduce her to the interwebs?

sleeponeday Mon 04-Jan-16 23:53:22

I think you need to arrange to see her, just her and you when your DH is home and can have the kids, and just be (gently, diplomatically) honest. You love her, which is amazing and, I think, quite rare with MIL - even when the relationship is good, it's not usually at a loving level - and you can stress that, but explain that you are from a family that express that love very differently, so you are very independent, and you just don't speak to anyone but your DH with that sort of regularity (bonus, in this context, if you can say you speak more to her by a country mile!). If this is normal in her family for mothers/daughters, then she may have no idea it is stressing you.

I know it's hard, and obviously you need to be tactful, but if you don't address it I think you may end up resenting her quite a lot. But I also think you could maybe suggest, if you can handle it, more regular meetings, so she sees more of you and the kids in person - that way she knows for sure there is no rejection happening, and it just isn't your family style.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Mon 04-Jan-16 23:56:06

Here, 2yo... Come and say hi to granny!

cakedup Mon 04-Jan-16 23:57:32

Could you say something like "I've got a busy few days coming up but i'll call you next week for a catch up."

I'm not much of a phone person and there have been times when people in my life have tried to keep in regular phone contact. I just don't answer the phone. People soon adapt! If they leave a message, then I call back when I can (presuming it's just for a chat and nothing time sensitive/urgent). If they call again and leave a msg, I just send a text "lovely to hear from you, will call you when I get a chance." You need your boundaries and you need to make them clear for your own sanity!

madmotherof2 Tue 05-Jan-16 00:13:18

It is hard work!

My mum and dad call religiously, every day at 9am. Now my youngest is going through Some medical treatment it's even more intensive and they want updates all the time! So as soon as we've been for a hospital appointment they expect to be called ( from the car!). I'll be honest, it's lovely they care and are concerned, but I find it stifling confused

trinity0097 Tue 05-Jan-16 01:22:19

Ask her to call at times when she could speak to your child, as that is really what she is calling to find out about!

Birdsgottafly Tue 05-Jan-16 01:28:08

I was going to suggest what WhyCant did and start putting the children on the phone.

Hellochicken Tue 05-Jan-16 02:14:03

Could you be busy a couple of times, then suggest one day a week "so you don't keep missing each other's calls"? I'm a complete coward

Headmelt Tue 05-Jan-16 02:24:29

Does she have any daughters/Is she on her own? If not, maybe she feels like you are the closest she'll get to having a dm/dd relationship or she could be lonely? I'm not saying you're being unreasonable, you're not, but there must be an explanation?

SaggingTits Tue 05-Jan-16 02:26:01

Pass phone to toddler for a nice chat with nanny grin

venividivicky Tue 05-Jan-16 05:34:25

We have this with my MIL but I just take the phone off the hook if I don't want to be disturbed or, if it's my mobile it will go straight to voicemail if I don't answer. Then if she says she's been trying to call I just say sorry but I've been busy, got lots on, talking to a client etc.

I work from home and I find it even more annoying that some people assume that I am available to chat at all times of the day because I am not in an office.

You just need to break the habit in a gentle way. Don't always answer or, if you do, say I'm really sorry but can I call you back, this isn't a good time for me etc there must be lots of excuses you can make with a small child.

She would have to be incredibly thick skinned not to realise that her calls are disruptive if you adopt this tack. Just as long as you are nice to her when you do speak, it should be fine - you just need to wean her off calling so much.

A great idea to put DC on the 'phone.

holeinmyheart Tue 05-Jan-16 05:59:15

I have friend who calls me from another country to chat about nothing on a regular basis.

So I have got into the habit of saying ' it is lovely to hear from you BUT I WILL LET YOU GO NOW' as I have to go out, etc. That phase usually works to end the conversation.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 05-Jan-16 06:41:16

Sounds like she's lonely or bored or something. It's nice that she wants to stay in touch with you but that's too much - perhaps you should answer questions as politely as possible but with "yes, the same as last time" "no nothing's changed" "no, still no news" "life goes on the same as always" or similar.

When I was young I used to be able to yap on the phone for ages about next to nothing - now, I just can't do it. My MIL used to phone me from Australia when I was still in the UK, for "a chat" - she didn't do it often because I just didn't have anything to say! blush Even friends in the UK, can't do it any more. I'm just keen to get off the phone as quickly as possible.

duckduckquack Tue 05-Jan-16 06:58:19

My MIL will ring 4 or 5 times in a row if I don't answer but I think she innocently thinks I haven't heard it/seen the call. She invariably rings when DS is in the bath or I'm doing bed time. She gets way worse when DH is working away and will ring daily because she thinks I'm lonely. I call back when I know she'll be busy so I've covered my ass but don't have to chat about nothing for 30 minutes. I pip her to the post with lots of whatsapp photos/Facebook messages so she doesn't feel she's missing out etc

iPaid Tue 05-Jan-16 06:59:02

Oh come on! A quick chat every other day is stifling and too much? Answer phone, discuss weather, news headlines, your plans/her plans for the day, something DCs have done. 'I'm just going to put toddler on now to say goodbye and I'll talk to you soon'.

Surely you can manage that 3 times a week?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 05-Jan-16 07:22:41

Yes it IS stifling if the phone rings continually until you pick it up! If it was just a call, and then a message and then nothing, no, it wouldn't be stifling. But this MIL is determined that she will speak to the OP every other day, and that's really quite demanding.

Unless you're the sort of person who likes to chat on a daily basis, that is. Which the OP appears not to be.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 05-Jan-16 07:41:01

Sorry Ipaid but I would hate it too - I can cope with impromptu chats but knowing that I was obliged to make boring small talk every 2 days with someone close in the family would stress me out (probably disproportionately but there you go). Many people recoil from social pressure and just because you're not one of them doesn't mean it isn't real.

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