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To deal with MIL's lateness like this (sorry bit long)

(185 Posts)
breezeharbour Sat 16-Jan-16 11:02:05

MIL is always, always late. I love her but it's getting to the point where I'm finding it really inconsiderate. It's already spoiled things I've done with her in the past- things we used to do regularly which I ended up backing out of because it took up so much of my spare time just waiting for her. She's very big on guilt trips too, so if she'd ask if I was waiting and I'd say yes, I'd get a very long spiel of how busy she's been, how much she's had to do to rush round. Usually found out afterwards it's not been true and she's just farted around basically not holding our arrangements in any kind of priority.
She does do this with everyone in the family and seems to find it as some kind of funny quirk, so it's not just me.
However DC is our only child and to me, as they're under 1, I don't feel like I can just spend hours hanging around for her as it's not fair on me or DC.

So today, DH is out and we asked MIL if she'd like DC so I can have a day off. We arrange for her to come round at 9:30. This is pretty much at DC's nap time so I figured it would be good as DC can sleep in the car. I knew she'd be late so I gave it 15 minutes or so, keeping DC busy.
She was fucking 45 minutes late with no apology, just swanned in. I'm so sick of it! It's my day off, she chose the bloody time to collect DC. I know to some, it's not a lot of time to wait, but it's every single time we do something. I didn't want to put DC down to sleep as they have an hour and I didn't really want to then have to wake them mid-nap (always has a bad ending).

So as soon as she got in, I just turned on the fake smiles and merriment and said "you might have a grumpy DGC today, it's nap time but we've been waiting up for you!" Of course the reply is "No, you won't be grumpy with me will you!" Cue DC whining.
The other thing she will do is hang around and talk for as long as possible, just about absolutely nothing and usually things she's already said to DH on the phone the day before she comes round. I got DC's bag, picked up the car seat, went to the door and was just like, right there's everything you'll need, and started to say goodbye to DC. So kind of herded them both out the door. IMO 45 minutes late means you've lost your time to chat.

Was this the right thing to do? I have said thank you, several times before they left, for having DC. I am very aware as well that every time this happens, she is doing me a favour, which makes it worse because I think she sees that as "well I'm doing this for you so how can you complain?" But to me, it's my time sat waiting as is DC's. And is having her DGC for the day doing me a favour when she'd get so much out of it too?

In future I am going to specify a time at least an hour earlier than I mean. But she probably would still be late. It's like she has to make sure she's never waiting for anyone, that whatever she's doing it has to be her time that comes first.

timelytess Sat 16-Jan-16 11:04:46

I thought you meant late for outings. You mean late for babysitting? Doing you a favour?
I don't like lateness but tbh if your attitude was waiting to greet me, I wouldn't rush, either.

twirlypoo Sat 16-Jan-16 11:05:03

Gulp. It's annoying but she's doing you a favour! She's taking your dc so you can have a day off - Id be frustrated but swallow it down so she didn't stop taking dc and letting me have a rest!

ButterflyUpSoHigh Sat 16-Jan-16 11:07:47

I hate lateness but she is doing you a huge favour so you would be silly to complain.

Timeandtune Sat 16-Jan-16 11:13:00

Can you take the children to hers instead?

BackInTheRealWorld Sat 16-Jan-16 11:14:21

How dare she want to chat with you when she is already a bit late arriving to do you a favour. That's the trouble with free labour, they don't understand their place.

breezeharbour Sat 16-Jan-16 11:14:48

I don't think I would have been annoyed if it was a one-off. But she is late for everything, as in shopping trips, meals, family events, literally everything. We've even gone round there sometimes at a time she's specifically asked us to and she won't be there.

So it's probably made me feel more annoyed on this occasion. I haven't had a day to myself in about a month, which she knew, and she is always complaining she doesn't see DC enough. But it makes me feel like she doesn't value anyone else's time, and to me any time I have to myself is bloody gold dust.

guiltynetter Sat 16-Jan-16 11:15:02

you sound really rude.

it would annoy me if my MIL was always late but only for important things..,like if she was taking my DD so I could go to a hospital appointment or something. but she's taking her so you can have a day off! she's helping you out! you should be grateful whatever time she comes.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:15:03

Ugh, MN reality is not reality reality.

In reality reality, agreeing to do someone a favour doesn't mean you can turn up when you feel like it. What if you had a hospital appointment? Would she be on time then?

And as you've clearly said it's a constant problem, YANBU.

breezeharbour Sat 16-Jan-16 11:16:45

Thank you goodnight.

I am grateful, that's why I said thank you to her. I am very grateful that she wants to see her DGC.
I just wonder how I should deal with making effort to be on time with her when I don't get anywhere near the same effort back.

YouGottaKeepEmSeparated Sat 16-Jan-16 11:16:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:17:50

Looks like you won't get many sensible replies, OP. Some people on MN are determined to be contrary to how they would feel / act / think IRL if it was them.

ButterflyUpSoHigh Sat 16-Jan-16 11:19:02

I didn't get a day to myself until my youngest started school. You don't seem to realise how lucky you are.

RoganJosh Sat 16-Jan-16 11:20:02

You should just presume she'll be late I guess. Make arrangements where it doesn't matter if she is, so for when your child has just woken up, or you make sure you drop her off.

BackInTheRealWorld Sat 16-Jan-16 11:20:26

Thing is you know she will be late do why get worked up about it. If you want a punctual babysitter hire one.
And why did she have to come collect him, why couldn't you drop him off?

Narp Sat 16-Jan-16 11:20:54

I don't think you sound rude.

She's late and that's rude. IMO

RoganJosh Sat 16-Jan-16 11:21:17

I'm not clear why your DC being an only child means you are less willing to wait around?

"She does do this with everyone in the family and seems to find it as some kind of funny quirk, so it's not just me.
However DC is our only child and to me, as they're under 1, I don't feel like I can just spend hours hanging around for her as it's not fair on me or DC."

twirlypoo Sat 16-Jan-16 11:21:23

goodnight just because people disagree with you doesn't mean they aren't sensible replies! I've already said I would be frustrated, but I would still smile sweetly, do the small talk and suck it up - because otherwise you risk mil refusing to take dc at all and then you have no free days, never mind one a bloody month! You know timekeeping is a problem she has, mentally adjust your inner clock for when she visits op so you aren't expecting her for an hour after the agreed time and be grateful you have someone to have your child at all!

imjustahead Sat 16-Jan-16 11:21:36

as a one off yabu,

as yet another situation on top of other events spoilt or whatever yanbu.

You are knackered, enjoy the rest of the day to yourself.

MrsWooster Sat 16-Jan-16 11:22:29

Lateness is rude, regardless of purpose of contact.

AbsoluteBeginners Sat 16-Jan-16 11:22:50

I get the feeling that babysitting this time is a red herring; continual lateness is intensely annoying. It means you cannot plan anything involving fixed times to do with that person.
It is intensely frustrating, but you can't change people, only yourself. So, in your shoes, I would always suggest times an hour earlier than necessary, and if you were off to the hospital or something, I would either ask someone else to have your DC or take them with you.
At least you won't be mahoosively frustrated that way and it may preserve what is hopefully otherwise a rewarding relationship for you, your MIL and ultimately your DC.

Narp Sat 16-Jan-16 11:23:10

... I don't think people like this find it easy to change.

I think you have to tell them an earlier time, take the kids round to hers if it's babysitting, and if it's things like meals out - start eating.

IAmPissedOffWithAHeadmaster Sat 16-Jan-16 11:23:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IAmPissedOffWithAHeadmaster Sat 16-Jan-16 11:24:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tootiredtoknow Sat 16-Jan-16 11:30:03

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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