To sometimes wish DH's family would disappear!!!(35 Posts)
DD is 4 and has a cousin the same age - I'll call her Lily. She is DH's sister's daughter. I really thought that having a cousin the same age would be a blessing but I'm really starting to hate it! Reasons are:
1. My Sil copies everything we do. Every time we book an activity e.g. a swimming class or dancing class for DD she sneakily books Lily to do it too. We booked a birthday party for DD and they immediately booked Lily's at the same place. My Mil says we copied them because Lily's party came first!! I hate getting into these petty who copied who arguments but I'm finding it intensely irritating and feel like if we do anything we have to keep it quiet or she will copy us and it's more than copying, she really hijacks it so it becomes all about Lily. We also end up having to ferry Lily around to these activities because SIL is working and doesn't want to be doing these things on her day off, which means we constantly have to keep rearranging our plans to fit in with them, often at the last minute.
2. Mil favours Lily and is blatant about it. All she talks about is Lily. I think it's mainly because she has to look after Lily A LOT when SIL is working or going for nights out with her partner so Mil is inevitably closer to Lily but then she makes hardly any effort to see DD and then wonders why DD isn't really comfortable with her. Lily is loud and obnoxious (she's been very spoiled and indulged) and DD, who is shyer, sometimes doesn't want to play with her and be bossed around but then MIL tells my DD off. Whenever DD says or does anything mil says something like "Oh you should have heard what Lily said the other day" or "you're just like Lily!" She never just praises DD for being herself or shows any interest in her. It's sad and irritating.
3. Just on a personal level I find SIL selfish and mean to people, she was really cruel to a friend of mine and also to her own parents yet she gets away with it. It's all forgotten about and she's so popular and has everyone running round after her all the time and sometimes I wish people could see her for how she is.
I hate being like this. I'm not a mean bitter person but I know I sound like one. This is become almost a daily irritation and it causes arguments between DH and me and I just need a practical solution of how to mentally switch off from it and deal with it because they're not going to go away!
Well, stop carting Lily around with your child. If her parents want to sign her up to activities, they have to take her when they're free. And just see less of them. You don't like them, you clearly feel they don't appreciate you, it doesn't sound as if you rely on your MIL for childcare, so just put some distance between you.
Stop giving the lifts. You need to constantly be busy or unavailable until they get the hint. Don't rearrange your plans.
I would also have some fun and mention classes, pretend dd is going just to see what happens
Unfortunately we can't really pretend we are busy as they know we are going to the activity. They purposely booked it the same day we go. Sometimes sil's partner's grandparents take her but we get lots of last minute calls because they can't for whatever reason.
Stop telling your SIL and MIL about your plans. Don't lie just don't mention them. make sure your DH is on side.
When you say she books swimming and dancing, are they the same classes that your child goes to?
Yes, stop giving her lifts. Why on earth do her parents book her in for things that they won't be able to take her to?
I wonder whether your dislike of your sister in law is colouring your opinion of Lily (perhaps understandable but worth being aware of). She is four and has very little control over what her parents choose to book or arrange for her.
Switch off your phone for the hour before classes.
You don't have to be "busy" you could easily be taking a friend and her DC with you, so have no room left in the car, or you could be out before hand and heading straight over to the activity, so you won't be able to pick Lily up, or you could be heading off somewhere, to meet someone, straight afterwards. Lots of different reasons, although to be fair, an "oh dear, I'm afraid we can't this week, it's just not convenient" would do.
Yes we have started to do that. It's probably the favouritism that upsets me more - I stew over it all the time!
You do not have to give her lifts, although I'm sure you'll get a mouthful if you refuse. Just say no, or say nothing but switch your mobile off.
"I wonder whether your dislike of your sister in law (and MiL - my addition) is colouring your opinion of Lily (perhaps understandable but worth being aware of). She is four and has very little control over what her parents choose to book or arrange for her."
Maybe just see less of MiL and SiL. Doesn't have to be a big deal - just be busy.
Yes CruCru they are exactly the same classes. Yes I suspect my view of Lily has become distorted because I'm so sick of hearing about her and how amazing she is, I do need to keep that in check you're right.
Have you posted about this a while back? Sounds really familiar.
Stop with the ferrying. id make it clear that next week you can't pick her up because you have X,y,z to do and are going to X,y,z after so can't drop her off. Then have your phone off next week.
Looks like they book things the same as you knowing you will be available to pick up, supervise and then drop off. Make yourself unavailable.
Sometimes it's worth being looked up on as being slightly a twat so people don't take the piss. I learned that the hard way.
Who cares what mil thinks anyway
Stop telling them what you are doing also. And if anything gets said just say that you think that your dd will benifit of doing somthing by herself for independancy
I also think l you should stop giving lifts. Say you have arranged to give someone else a lift and there is no room. Let them know before. Say, just to let you know will not be able to give for next activity because....so and so cannot drive, has had surgery etc. It does not have to be connected to the activity. You can make an excuse if you really want. If they get miffed then it's not a problem. As the other poster said it does sound as if you don't like them - maybe this is a way to step back.
I would also operate and general tone of vagueness. Do not tell them what activities or parties you have booked. If they asked just say, 'oh haven't decided yet or haven't given it much thought' Activities you can book and pass off as just saw it and luckily for us it started that week.
Speaking from experience, the only thing you can do about the favouritism is let it wash over you. If you bring it up everyone will deny it then you'll be left looking like the unreasonable one, and stewing on it will just make you miserable without changing anything. You know how lovely and special your DD is, and that's enough, you don't need validation from your inlaws. If the inlaws are favouring lily with presents and days out ignore it, as long as your DD is loved and valued by you she won't miss out on anything.
It's also been my experience that as children grow older and are not cute little things anymore a lot of the obvious favouring has died away naturally. Also as your DD grows older she will develope her own interests and circle of friends who have nothing to do with Lily. Whatever you do don't get competitive with SIL though, if Lily moves up a book band before your DD and SIL makes a big fuss about it, smile through gritted teeth and say nothing beyond polite noises.
You should definitely pull mil up on it when she compares your dd to Lily, you can do it nicely and not in front of dd "I know you don't realise you do it mil but dd just told you xxx, you could just say how lovely and show an interest as opposed to comparing it what Lily has done, I don't want their to be a comparison or competition but the older they get the more they will pick up on it"
And definitely stop telling details, say you are going to x for dd's birthday but book y, when Lily copies you and does x then your dd will get to do both
Can you take DD to a different place to do the activity e.g. a different swimming pool? And not tell SIL/MIL?
Agree that there's not much you can do about the favouritism but you can change certain things like ferrying SIL's DD about, especially if the girl is not nice to your own DD.
I think I'd be very tempted to change your DD's classes and just not mention it to SIL until a request comes in for a lift, then a cheery "sorry, DD doesn't go to that class anymore, we decided we'd rather keep the weekend free/she was too tired after school." type reply, not saying which one you've moved her to.
For other stuff, keep it to yourself.
But yes, it's not Lily's fault, she might also be learning you need to be 'pushy' to get attention, esp if her parents don't seem to enjoy spending their non-work time with her, children know very quickly if they aren't really wanted.
For MIL, she might well be compensating, she may realise her DD doesn't really enjoy spending time with her DGD and is trying to give her more attention and time to make up for it.
Be busy. You don't have to not go to the activity but say you have an appointment beforehand in the opposite direction and will be pushed for time.
Time to start talking about booking your DD into something really, really messy - pottery painting, or tag rugby maybe?
Or find something that SIL hates and make it your new favourite thing!
And stop with the lifts.
It would be tricky to get caught out in a lie if your MIL or someone is bringing Lily to the swimming pool st the exact same time and will see you arriving - if you are giving a lift to another child, make sure you really are giving the other child a lift.
I'd wait it out until there is a genuine reason to move - 'we've found a more convenient class somewhere else' or 'we're going to try a different day'. If you live close enough to be swimming at the same pool, better make sure the same doesn't happen at school with after-school childcare or clubs. Time to get boundaries in place now...
Never tell them what your doing or booking ever again.
If they ring you for lifts ignore the phone!It might take a while but they'll get the hint in the end.
What your MIL keeps saying your DH needs to pull his Mum up over it.I bet she wouldn't take kindly if he kept compairing your Mum and his Mum,or his Mum and an Auntie and heaping praise on about the other person and not your Mum if he won't pull his Mum up over the way she's behaving then try compaing her all the time,she might just get the hint.
I haven't any real practical advice I'm afraid, just wanted to say I sympathise. Especially with the tension it must be causing with your DH. My only advice in fact would be to attempt not to get into any conversation with him about his sister. His loyalties are split and they won't always fall down on your side.
I so relate to the last 2 paragraphs, I also hate how bitter it makes me. The only thing that I've ever found helps is just to avoid conversations about her and as much of the socialising with her as possible.
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