"sensitive" MIL

(47 Posts)
PixieChops Fri 08-Jan-16 06:19:51

Cut a long story short I was explaining that I'd been finding it really hard ithe past few weeks with DS (he's s baby and has been really ill for the past 3 weeks- hospital etc and I've been exhausted with it all) and now DD (toddler) falling ill yesterday and felt I was getting to the end of my tether. I sent this to both SIL and MIL as we already had a group message going anyway about other bits and pieces and felt I may get some advice from them. SIL as usual was a gem and helped me out and we were having a bit of a joke towards the end of the conversation and it had turned a bit light hearted and I was feeling better. MIL had said nothing the whole time and then came back with this

You both stress me out when you stress about everything. And then to top it off FIL and my family stress me out too! My problem is I'm sensitive to everyone's problems and then I've got my own worries too.

This has made me feel like shit. she's blaming me (she mentions SIL but considering SIL was giving me advice and not talking about her problems I'm guessing MIL just put that in there to save face) for the reason she's stressed. She does this a lot. She doesn't help with my kids because I was sick of her telling OH that she does too much. Now I can't even talk to her about anything. I'm really annoyed about it and don't know whether I'm BU or if she is. MIL just can't be arsed listening to anyone else but is quite happy to come round here and moan at me about her problems but I get bollocked if I do the same?
Anyway I've taken the hint. I'm telling her fuckall. If her grandkids are in hospital she will be the last to find out in future.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 08-Jan-16 06:32:23

Well she said it herself: it's her problem. Not yours.

toomuchtooold Fri 08-Jan-16 06:34:56

In a minute 10,000 people will come on and try to see things from your MIL's point of view but bugger that. Complaining that, in the midst of a baby just out of hospital and a child getting sick, you're not giving enough thought to the impact of sharing this news with her? FFS.
You can't change people like this, you just have to step around her. Like you say, don't share bad news with her, don't rely on her for childcare - and you could also try and make yourself less available to listen to her problems, because why should you spend energy on a relationship where you put in all the effort and she puts in none?

PixieChops Fri 08-Jan-16 06:46:31

Thank you. I will do just that and distance myself. She used to come and have one of my children for 3 hours once a week which I was very grateful for but then she was constantly telling DH that she was doing too much for everyone and it was making her ill so I told her to stop helping me out so she'd have more time for herself. I just assumed as grandmother to her grandchildren she'd want to know about their health. My MH hasn't been all that great due to lack of sleep recently and I was just looking for a bit of comfort.

bigTillyMint Fri 08-Jan-16 07:08:02

She is thinking about herself and not you. It is her problem, not yours. Clearly she is marking herself out as someone you cannot turn to if you need support - put a bit of space between her and you for a while and turn to those who can give you some support. Maybe she will realise and come back to you.

PoppieD Fri 08-Jan-16 07:10:35

Oh Pixie! Am just glad for you that SIL is so lovely! Just be prepared (I'd probably getting called a stress causing negative thinker by MIL for this..) that tact may then change to, 'it's awful! Terrible! They shut me out and tell me nothing so I always fear the worst!'

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Fri 08-Jan-16 07:27:15

Most people could empathise about how exhausting it is when your little ones have been seriously unwell, and could let you vent. It's a shame she can't.

I do think you have to respect her request not to stress her out, even if she is rather on the oversensitive side, but equally then she has to shut up about her problems. Especially when you have so damn much on your plate. Hope your son and daughter are fully recovered soon.

Perhaps quietly change the subject if she starts on her problems and keep on changing it. Even go out if you have to and yeah, take a step back from her. Listening ears are a two-way thing.

IamCarcass Fri 08-Jan-16 07:54:50

Maybe you do stress her out, but that was a really rude way of telling you. Step back from her (no doubt she will then be complaining you don't tell her anything but hey ho!)

MistressDeeCee Fri 08-Jan-16 07:56:40

At least you have a lovely SIL to help you out.

Maybe your MIL is stressed, that being the case she can't help it unfortunately, she is human like everybody else. If she's been going on to you about her problems then you will know what they are, but perhaps from now on try to change the subject when she does. Don't take it on board.

Sometimes we expect more from others than they can give physically and emotionally, even if we think they "should" do more

shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 08:06:35

Sensitive my arse. Someone who was sensitive wouldn't ever have said that.

Some people are emotional vampires. They can't bear not to be the centre of attention or drama. If someone else talks about their problems or experiences, they will find a way to bring it back to their own pain, even engaging in a kind of competitive oneupmanship. In extreme cases, they even seem to make deliberately poor life decisions in order to ensure that they are always having one drama or another. They're exhausting, and they will take and take from you without mercy, and without any regard to your own situation. My honest advice is to distance yourself as much as possible from this woman.

I would send a message saying 'I'm sorry that you felt stressed by my problems. Please rest assured that I won't bother you with them again'. And then never tell her anything, ever. Shut. Her. Out. And hang out with your SIL instead, who sounds awesome.

Penfold007 Fri 08-Jan-16 08:07:09

Your MIL was honest with you both and not singling you out. Sounds as though she has a lot of stress and anxiety in her life and she's not in a good place to support you at the moment.

SIL is able to be a listening ear and source of support MIL isn't. Don't exclude her but do set up another message group for you and SIL.

Hope both your children soon recover and you feel better.

KaosReigns Fri 08-Jan-16 08:16:28

My mother is like this, lately I have been treated to long monologues about how much stress my HG is causing her and how she is "sick to her stomach and can't eat" from the stress. Yes she is completely oblivious to the irony.

Probably different as it is my mother not MIL but my general response is "oh dear, how selfish of me. How dare I have a complicated pregnancy without considering the impact it would have on you? Please let me stop vomiting and feeling ill immediately so I can deal with your strain." Shuts her up until the next visit at least.

Best advice, stop telling her anything. Then when she complains about that tell her exactly why.

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Fri 08-Jan-16 08:21:53

kaos if you have HG therés a nice and very supportive thread HG support here

diddl Fri 08-Jan-16 08:24:01

" 'I'm sorry that you felt stressed by my problems. Please rest assured that I won't bother you with them again'. And then never tell her anything, ever."

Absolutely perfect response imo.

She's not saying that she's even concerned about her GC, wishes she ould be there to help...

Just that she is stressed out because they are stressed out!

How the buggery fuck does she think that OP feels?

It's all about her, isn't it?

ReadyPlayerOne Fri 08-Jan-16 08:27:30

MM is like this at times. MIL even worse. When I had an mc followed by an mmc that required surgery, MIL was dreadful. Crying down the phone to DH about her grandchild hmm and how hard it was for her. It's nice she cared, but DH stopped calling her as he was sad enough without her shit.

In the future do as you've said and don't tell her anything until after the fact, or let SIL keep her informed. You don't need your MIL making it all about her.

LidikaLikes Fri 08-Jan-16 08:27:53

Kaos I had HG during my 2nd pregnancy in 2011-2012 (hospitalised for a while, awful!) the HG support thread was a great boast. I promise you, it'll stop, you won't be sick for ever.

Sorry for going off tangent...

OP, sad to read that you're kids are sick, that's bound to be hard to deal with, with your wimpy MIL on top. What does your DH say? I echo the advice from others: just ignore her, let her wallow a bit.

Borninthe60s Fri 08-Jan-16 08:47:27

I'd reply with Mil, a problem shared is a problem halved and we are all here to support each other, that's what family are for, you know you can offload to me and SIL anytime xx and leave it at that, guarantee she will feel like shit and you can just not include her anymore without feeling bad about it.

catfordbetty Fri 08-Jan-16 08:59:19

MIL should leave the group chat if your problems upset her. What's the alternative? You only post sunny descriptions of how well your day's going?

ohtheholidays Fri 08-Jan-16 09:00:20

OP my Mum could be the same,try to remember it's not about you it's all about them.The acting like a Martyr and being stressy over nothing used to drive me round the twist but then I turned it on it's head and I thought you know actually I should be grateful that I didn't get wound up easily by things that would have pretty much made my Mum explode.

I know it's really hard when you give alot of emotional support and your not able to get it back when you need it.I was a single mum to 4DC when my Mum could be at her worst,so for me I turned to my friends and they were great.

For you it sounds like it's your SIL and she sounds really lovely.

Jux Fri 08-Jan-16 09:09:24

Don't stop talking to sil when you need to offload. If mil can't cope, as she says, that's her problem and she can stop listening or leave the conversation. But maybe she wants to offload too? She's lost one opportunity to do that, when she stopped looking after your child.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 08-Jan-16 09:10:44

Take her out of the group message then and just keep talking to your SIL. If either of them ask why say you didn't want to bother her any more with your problems, so you wouldn't be telling her anything again.

PixieChops Fri 08-Jan-16 09:18:52

All very good advice and I just want to thank you all for sharing your stories etc. I've known women be torn apart in the AIBU section and was ready to have he same done to me if someone could explain why I would be BU.

To a PP, I'm so sorry to hear of your MC that must've been awful. Especially when your MiL was turning it all on her. I hope you are ok and lots of unmumsnetty hugs for you.

Thanks to everyone who has sent well wishes for my children. My son who is 6 months old has been poorly for the past 4 weeks now. He had a bad stomach bug followed by tonisiltis, bronchiolitis, thrush of the mouth (which looked quite painful bless him) a very bad cough which was keeping him awake for most of the night. He now has an inhaler. My daughter started with a cold/cough yesterday. She's 19 months old so probably won't be as bad as her immune system is a lot more mature than DS's but still brings about its own complications.

I can understand that sometimes she feels stressed but she does vent to me a lot. Her husband was recovering from cancer (he's in remission now, he's lovely, we get on really well) and she kept coming round here complaining that he was too tired to do anything and he snapped at her a lot and she wanted to leave him.
I had no words for her at that time because I just thought she was being very selfish. I can understand how looking after someone who is poorly from cancer can be very draining physically and emotionally but threatening to leave?
I don't care how poorly my DH gets, I would never ever leave him. I'd want to be there for him and nurse him and get through it together. Not jump ship when shit got rough.

PixieChops Fri 08-Jan-16 09:19:49

Oh and SIL is lovely, we do stuff together (without our kids) all the time. She actually is the sister I never had. We have the same sense of humour and text each other most days. I'll always keep in contact with her.

tobysmum77 Fri 08-Jan-16 09:20:02

Poor SIL that's her own mum I assume sad

Some people are like that unfortunately everything has to be about them. A friend of mine has fallen out with her mum recently because of very similar, but it was bereavement related and awful.

TheHouseOnTheLane Fri 08-Jan-16 09:37:50

Sounds like she is jealous of your relationship with SIL.

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