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To think my mil is odd?

(21 Posts)
changedtoday12 Tue 01-Nov-16 23:14:17

We visit PIL about once a year, would be more but they're not really interested in seeing us and they can't really be bothered to come to see us. They live about 3 hours away. However when we do go all MIL talks about is the next door neighbours kids. She shows no interest in our kids and tbh this really irritates my dc. I can't decide if she does it on purpose to try to make my kids jealous or if she just doesn't see what she's doing, but can anyone be that stupid? Literally everything she says has some reference to the kids next door.

AlexaTwoAtT Tue 01-Nov-16 23:16:22

She is trying to wind you all up. What weird behaviour.

EverySongbirdSays Tue 01-Nov-16 23:18:59

Is she passively aggressively making a point that she knows them better than her DGC?

All Passive Aggressive behaviour is best directly acknowledged.

"If you are saying that you'd like to know our children better.... etc"

helenatroy Tue 01-Nov-16 23:19:59

Just one of those women who does not value anything she has. The kind of person who thinks everyone else is having a great time and does not see what's under her own nose.

Oldraver Tue 01-Nov-16 23:20:25

My Mum does this...I had hours of her wittering on about some woman downstairs, daughters, fucking dog that they dog sit. I even got shown photos......hours of it.

We came home early

IMissGrannyW Tue 01-Nov-16 23:25:21

she might be. I don't know. Maybe she's (literally) trying to show that she's 'down with the kidz'? Maybe she likes the kids next door and hopes you'll all be friends? Maybe she's hoping to demonstrate she likes and understands children? Maybe she thinks she's saying things your DC will relate to? If you only see your ILs around once a year, unless you're in touch over the internet or something, you can't know each other very well, so she can't exactly ask you DC about details of their lives if she doesn't know about them. Maybe she's worried about awkward silences?

TBH, I can think of LOADS of inoffensive reasons why she talks about the kids next door. Of course you might be right, but from what you've posted, I think you're making a leap from "she talks about this" to "is this U?" Maybe get to know her better? Involve her in DCs lives more?

Sorry if this isn't helpful.

Dontpanicpyke Tue 01-Nov-16 23:26:28

Gosh how sad.

Can't imagine not bring involved with my kids and grand kids lives but people are strange.

What does your dh think?

IMissGrannyW Tue 01-Nov-16 23:26:44

oh. x-posted with loads of people who agree with you. Ignore me, then!

AlexaTwoAtT Tue 01-Nov-16 23:29:36

She sounds boring too.

user1477282676 Tue 01-Nov-16 23:46:20

Weird. My Mum does this to me though. She talks about my sister's kids to me ALL the time and never about my own.

Benedikte2 Tue 01-Nov-16 23:51:20

Does your MIL have anything else to talk about? Is she someone who normally talks about other people because she has such a boring and uneventful life herself?
Hard to be sure if there's any real motivation behind it but I can see how annoying it must be for your family.
I would make a joke of it with your kids when you leave after a visit

Biffsboys Tue 01-Nov-16 23:52:00

She lives 3 hours away but you only se her once a year ?? I'd think she's lonely and trying to project that she loves kids but doesn't get to see yours ?

SpunkyMummy Tue 01-Nov-16 23:52:50

Maybe she just doesn't know what else to say? Because she doesn't really have a relationship with your kids?
Or does she see these children as replacement grandchildren?

It's weird, yes. But maybe she isn't doing it for malicious/nefarious reasons.

SpunkyMummy Tue 01-Nov-16 23:53:37

I don't understand why you don't visit more often.

Did she do something unforgivable? Poor woman

agapanthii Tue 01-Nov-16 23:59:31

My mum used to do this - talked constantly about how wonderful my neices, who live near her were and it wound me up. I mentioned it to my sis and was told all they heard about was how wonderful my kids were!! And they were fed up of hearing about US! Ha! I bet the poor kids next door get earbashed with tales of your wonderful kids.

Wayfarersonbaby Tue 01-Nov-16 23:59:46

My gran used to do this! No interest in us, but would witter away for hours about someone next door's daughter's dog, her friend's cousin's hairdresser's grandchildren, you name it. It was really alienating and destructive of any good relationship with her actual grandchildren as we felt so unloved. I remember coming back from my first trip to American aged 19 and being so excited to show her the photos, which she couldn't be bothered to look at but she spent the whole visit taking about how wonderful her brother's adopted son's stepchildren were (she'd met them all of twice). I went home crestfallen. People told us she always talked about how great we were to other people, but she never once said anything of the sort to us, just talked endlessly about other people who we didn't even know!

My mum is starting to do it too, which drives me mad. I have to listen for hours to stories about how wonderful her friend's yoga teacher's daughter is and so on. Gah.

changedtoday12 Wed 02-Nov-16 17:48:48

Thanks everyone for your replies. We don't go more often because she genuinely finds it a chore to have us. They are also welcome to come to us anytime and I have frequently offered meeting somewhere half way even for a few hours but they're really not interested. They've never offered to babysit or even so much as read a bedtime story. I just feel a bit sad for my dc.

rainyinnovember Wed 02-Nov-16 17:51:12


Don't be. Honestly, children are fine without g/ps. Nice when they are there but a nice optional extra imosmile

junebirthdaygirl Wed 02-Nov-16 18:00:04

I don't think there is anything malicious in it. It's just someone who has never hot past the small talk stage of conversation. Also my elderly dm tells me it was unheard of in her day to talk about your children as it would seem like boasting. I think that generation often stayed away from personal stuff in chats. Our generation and below are more open and involved in each others lives. I would just accept her the way she is.

blueturtle6 Wed 02-Nov-16 18:11:07

Tbh she probably doesn't mean it, speaking from experience you'll just have to think this to stop your self going insane over her behaviour. When are you due to go again?

DaughterDrowningInJunk Wed 02-Nov-16 18:19:13

My mum does this. It is usually somebody she has never met, but she will spend ages gushing about their new wallpaper. It makes us all feel a bit shit.

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