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PILs are engulfing me

(43 Posts)
DoughNut12345 Wed 06-Apr-16 00:48:44

How much is it reasonable for the PILS to see the kids? They have to see us for everything and as soon as one engagement is done...another one is planned. Sometimes two things can run together. For example...we have to see them for ALL SIX adult birthdays, 2 kids b'days, Easter, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day. And then of course there's the school hols. Three half-terms, summer etc etc. It doesn't end and it's exhausting with all the constant emailing (I managed to get them to stop phoning me a while ago wink) and I feel I don't get much of a chance to see the kids myself as I work full-time. We only get a break when they're on holiday!!
Does anyone else have PILS who are 'engulfers'. Oh, and they like to have a copy of dh's work schedule too so they can see when he's available (he does shifts) Lately though, thank god, he's refused to give it to them. Don't know if it's relevant but the kids are 13 and 15.

LineyReborn Wed 06-Apr-16 00:51:20

That's completely bonkers.

fatmomma99 Wed 06-Apr-16 00:51:33

I do understand your pain, but there are SO many women with no support and desperate for it, so it's a teeny BU from me, because their pain is harder than yours. But sorry for the lack of boundaries!

YokoUhOh Wed 06-Apr-16 00:53:19

Whoaaaaaaa they are intense! Perhaps your DCs are the key to this situation: they're at an age where they're arranging their own social lives and have activities etc. Why not just say that the kids are busy and you're ferrying them?

What would happen if you saw less of them?

Canyouforgiveher Wed 06-Apr-16 01:01:20

but there are SO many women with no support and desperate for it

where is the support here? all that I see is a family getting together A LOT. I had no support when I lived 3000 miles away from family and frankly I would have found what the OP experienced far more desperate.

And what pain do the PILs have harder? They have lovely grandchildren/family who spend a lot (A LOT) of time with them. What pain?

OP, your kids are going to be gone soon, doing stuff with friends etc. Have you any occasions that you spend just the 4 of you or were PILs involved in every occasion? We have lovely memories of time spent with various granny/grandads/ cousins/aunts and uncles but equally lovely and important memories to me are the times we've spend as a family ourselves.

How about your own family- how does that work? Does your DH have a sibling - do they buy into this engulfment?

Do your PILs have any friends or interests outside their family?

I would find this engulfing as well and clearly your dh does (it is NUTS for a parent to want to know the work schedule of an adult child who is the parent of teenagers).

You can't cure this overnight but you can start dropping one thing at a time to get to a reasonable level.

Herewegoagainfolks Wed 06-Apr-16 01:02:52

We do every weekend. All birthdays and anniversaries, Mothers day, Fathers day, Christmas and Easter.

We don't go on holiday with them (my foot is firmly down on that one) but I know they'd jump at the chance.

They are lovely, but we have started to engineer some more family only time.

DoughNut12345 Wed 06-Apr-16 01:04:07

Sorry, should have said 4 adult b'days, not 6.
Difficult coz they're not my parents, so it's hard to be straight. MIL is very over sensitive and would probably cry if I said anything.
You're right...once they're a bit older (and now even) and have their own social stuff, that should make us less appealing the see!

Alpies Wed 06-Apr-16 01:07:10

If you have a mobile phone then disconnect your home phone! That's what I did to not have to deal with MIL. At least with your mobile, you can deal with your ILS when you want to.

Just out of interest, have you put up with this for 13 years? You are a saint!!!

I think it's important from time to time to just do things with one's DH and kids. Especially if you work too. Surely you could let them know that you already have other plans and will make plans with them at a later stage?

Canyouforgiveher Wed 06-Apr-16 01:15:39

You're right...once they're a bit older (and now even) and have their own social stuff, that should make us less appealing the see!

At that point, even if your children are off, your PILs may be utterly dependent on your and your dh as their main social outlet and that could be really really hard as they get older.

My parents loved us, their grandchildren were the most important thing in the world to them, we celebrated everything together and spent some holidays/big occasions with them but they also had a circle of friends (various circles actually) and socialised/liked to connect with their siblings/cousins as well.

When my dad died it was awful- but the week after we buried him, my mother, age 80, had her women's meditation group on tuesday as usual, met her cousins for coffee on Wednesday as usual, had lunch with her friends on Thursday as usual. She also phoned all the people she usually phoned for a chat every day. We couldn't have filled the gap dad left but we could try to fill some of it because she had an existing life that still went on.

I know it sounds a bit dramatic but if your PILs rely solely on your family for all emotional/enjoyment/etc. then it will be tough on them and you in the next years.

YokoUhOh Wed 06-Apr-16 01:17:50

MIL is very oversensitive

Yep, mine too, it's how they get their own way. We've gone low contact with my PIL because (a) they won't stop undermining us and (b) they create 'scenes'.

Are you worried about upsetting them? DC with commitments is your best avoidance tactic here. If you don't mind causing a bit of upset, then a full and frank reassessment of your boundaries is in order.

TheBouquets Wed 06-Apr-16 01:24:33

How much time do you spend with your own DPs. I hope that is not an insensitive remark if so I apologise. There needs to be some time for both sides of the family, yours and his. It is nice to be part of a big close family but it can get a bit overbearing if you are from a small family. Birthdays are personal and I would probably agree to spending each of the adults' birthdays together but when it is the DCs' birthdays then it should be joint with his DPs and your DPs. Events like Christmas should be shared equally with both sides of the family. It is a difficult balance if one side is more pushy than the other.

DoughNut12345 Wed 06-Apr-16 01:34:34

I love the terms ' low contact' and 'best avoidance tactic'!! I'm going to use them from now on!
I do sometimes wonder if having parents like mine....who have absolutely no interest in me whatsoever (or my kids)....makes life a bit easier in some ways (of course it's not nice not to get love and support etc)
Anyway, luckily they do have lots of friends and other relatives. They're very Churchy too ( groan confused) so they keep busy in other ways other than us.
I feel they're trying to pack as many visits in before the kids are too old or they die (the PILS, not the kids!)
No, neither me or Dh have siblings. My two are their only grandkids.

DoughNut12345 Wed 06-Apr-16 01:40:51

Bouquets, you're right, seeing my family would be a perfect excuse not to see them so much. But I only have an email relationship with my parents and the PILS know that! Damn!

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Wed 06-Apr-16 06:10:38

Good grief you have done well to be so accommodating for so long. I'm surprised your teenagers haven't said anything- presumably they get on well with their GPs? Have you asked how they feel about seeing so much of their grandparents?

MattDillonsPants Wed 06-Apr-16 06:34:56

Just get in first....what's the next big event which is as of yet not grabbed by MIL? Get DH to tell her "We've decided to spend X day at home because we're very tired with work and feel we need more time as a family unit together...just us so we're not able to see you on that day."

And leave it at that...but when they try to book in, just say no to every other one.

MattDillonsPants Wed 06-Apr-16 06:35:46

You don't NEED an excuse other than "We don't want to go out or have visitors on that day"

That's it. They MAY take offence but that's THEIR issue.

LynetteScavo Wed 06-Apr-16 06:46:11

How long do you see them each time? DHs patents are divorced so I have to see both sits of PIL on all birthdays Christmas Easter Mother's Day Father's Day. But I limit to two hours each.

I only resent it on my birthday. I don't want to spend my birthday with them. They don't offer much support the rest if the time, but I have called on them for emergency childcare, and DH will do DIY for them. I suck it up because it's what families do.
I couldn't do a whole day though and will invent plans to avoid it. 2 x 2 hours of PILs (they won't be in the same room at the same time!) is enough.

LynetteScavo Wed 06-Apr-16 06:47:46

Oh, and they always park across my drive so I now park around the corner if I know they are coming so I can leave if I want to.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Wed 06-Apr-16 07:00:03

Donut - I used to think my parents had no interest either (my PIL are as you describe although I have managed to lessen visits over time as DH now sees how "challenging" his DM can be - tutting, undermining, questioning our parenting etc). After a recent outburst of her playing the victim and storming out without saying goodbye (like a 3 year old!), it dawned on me that my family are wonderful and normal: they are always supportive if I speak to them, only offer their advise and opinion if I ask for it (!), and only come and stay if we invite them because they understand that time as our own family is important, that we are busy etc and how all consuming the ILs are! "No interest" in my family is actually "letting your children go" and letting them live their own life without interference and no pressures for us to make time because they need To see the GC. I am now hugely grateful to them 😀

HomoHeinekenensis Wed 06-Apr-16 07:05:42

What Matt Dillons said ^^ especially the second sentence. You have to stop worrying about their reaction. They have to control their own reactions and emotions regarding this OP. Stop making nice, get a steely edge and some boundaries. I couldn't stand a tenth of what you are dealing with, you life isn't your own!

Janecc Wed 06-Apr-16 07:12:42

You are being manipulated my love. Yes she's sensitive but equally has no boundaries or ability to see your PoV. On your birthday?! Do what you want to do next time whether that be a spa day, family day or time alone with dh. You can let them know with love that you want family time. It's ok for mil to cry. With children this old, I would imagine they want to do stuff not suitable for GP's, eg visit a snow dome. I'd start to pull away Asap otherwise as another poster pointed out, they will expect to see you all the time once the children are grown. I'd also go away this Xmas if you can withou pils of course! It's nice for birthdays (excluding yours as its your day) perhaps but as for the rest. Too much. Just because they're not your parents, you still have a right to assert yourself.

228agreenend Wed 06-Apr-16 07:26:30

Easter, Christmas, birthdays - I don't see a problem.

How much time is it in the holidays - a day is fine, for long periods, not fine. You need to say 'no', and say it's not convenient.

Janecc Wed 06-Apr-16 07:27:58

My mother would be like that given half the chance and she is truly very nasty to me both in front of my DD and behind my back. Über critical about everything and everyone and recently fiercely criticised DD (only 7). Nipped that one in the bud pdq and ended up, that along with some other stuff, NC for 3 months. Mother is emotionally about 2 maybe 3 yrs old so heavily narcissistic, tantrums etc. I've had lots of counselling to get me to a happy place as she didn't have the emotional skills to parent me properly. It's very hard to get these people to back away. I am now minimum contact.

Longtalljosie Wed 06-Apr-16 07:39:51

Are you seeing them once or twice in the holidays / half terms or every day?

My PILs are similar. They now do some childcare for us and have calmed down enormously but before that I instigated the date in the diary as soon as the last visit ended because it stopped them panicking and summoning us at very short notice. They like the reliability of knowing they will definitely see the GC each week and get a bit antsy if I take annual leave meaning they miss a week...

Re Mothers Day you can arrange for DH to take you out somewhere next year and arrange an every other year situation. You deserve to be spoiled on Mothers Day occasionally too...

I think you may be seeing them about once every 2-3 weeks - is that right? Because while I feel your pain and they do sound hard work, that is about average.

Eustace2016 Wed 06-Apr-16 07:50:28

3 times a year we went to them (they were hundreds of miles away and now are virtually all dead sadly) and occasionally they would come here too in between but the visit/contact in both directions was never more than two nights. So that would about 7 days a year. It is different if they live near by and you all want to see each other or indeed as many of the Indian and Pakistani families who live near me do live with each other.

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