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Aibu to think this about MILs

(67 Posts)
justanotherusername0 Sun 01-Jan-17 18:54:33

To think that sometimes MILs ...( am not generalising and not saying every MIL only has good intentions as I clearly don't know everyone's MIL) act picky or make digs etc not because they're a nasty person...But because they simply want the best for their son/daughter ?
I don't know most MILs to be fair but there does seem to be a lot of bad mouthing on boards. Some is yes justified in my opinion...But some seems quite petty... Could it be that the MIL is just looking out for their kid? Like I am sure we would do for ours ? We stand up for them right ?

AmeliaJack Sun 01-Jan-17 19:00:44

I think that most of the stuff that appears as petty on MN is the straw that broke the camel's back.

Looking out for your DS/DD does not involve undermining your DIL /SIL or interfering in your child's relationship.

Family relationships can be tricky, they take effort on both sides.

justanotherusername0 Sun 01-Jan-17 19:01:36

Totally agreed and as I said some stuff is just ridiculous and absolutely not on.
I'm talking about the petty seeming little things.....

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 01-Jan-17 19:03:46

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but the petty seeming things are only petty if they're a one-off.

If they continuously happen, it builds up into an actual problem.

Disclaimer: I have a lovely MIL who never interferes, judges, comments orndosapproves.

HecateAntaia Sun 01-Jan-17 19:04:34

We do.

When they are children.

When they are adults we are supposed to respect that and not infantalise them or get in the middle of their romantic relationships.

We should be there for them but not in the same way as when they were children. That's not our job any more.

We dont 'stand up' for an adult against the person they have chosen to build a life with. That's not our busines.

The only time id say a parent should step forward is in the case of abuse. And that is something to be handled supportively not dictatorially.

justanotherusername0 Sun 01-Jan-17 19:06:24

See I don't know if I agree. Our children are always our children. I'm not saying it's right to interfere when they're adults but I can very well imagine it's hard not to. My DC is young though so I have no experience here

justanotherusername0 Sun 01-Jan-17 19:07:16

Ok sorry that came out wrong. I do agree with you Hecate but I don't know if it's that easy to do

Mumzypopz Sun 01-Jan-17 19:15:29

I think it's a really tricky relationship. Firsty they have been in charge for so long, it must be difficult when a young Dil comes along, taking away some of this responsibility and doing things differently. It automatically devalues the Mil's role.

The ways of bringing up a baby have changed many times since many of our Mil's had theirs, and I also wonder if they want to standup for what they did as being correct and don't want to look as if what they did was wrong as again, it devalues them.

Every Mum believes what they are doing for their baby is right, so if they have a Mil telling them different it's going to cause issues. Some Mil's seem to want to continue ruling the roost and do this by criticising the Dil, perhaps without realising it.

Underthemoonlight Sun 01-Jan-17 19:15:45

My ex's mil was horrid and would constantly make digs at me during my pregnancy and as mother she would snatch him off me. she was actually EA. Such a horrible woman I was clearly not good enough for her DS. My mil is lovely totally different left us get on with our lives.

You have your DC you care and nurture them but when they reach adulthood you take a step back and allow them to make choices and decisions about their DPs. No parent has the right to abuse their child's partner. My ex mil is so abusive she demanded I have an abortion and caused so much distress I had problems in my pregnancy bleeding etc. She doesn't have DS on her own only when his DF is there. She is utterly toxic. My mil has DC whenever because she is respectful towards me as DH wife and mother of her GC.

Mumzypopz Sun 01-Jan-17 19:18:39

I also think a Fil's role must be tricky too, but they seem to be able to distance themselves more.

HecateAntaia Sun 01-Jan-17 19:20:27

There must be a transition mentally from parent of dependent child to parent of adult offspring.

It isnt easy but if it isnt done, the relationship is hugely dysfunctional and a barrier to their happiness in their adult relationships.

You absolutely can't have mummy's likkle soldier or mummy's princess when you have adult children with a family of their own. It never ends well.

You have to trust that you did a good enough job raising them that you don't need to parent them when they're 42 with kids of their own 😁

You cannot get in the middle of their adult relationships and fight the good fight over things that it is their business to sort.

I think the hardest part is possibly to do with ego and control. Accepting you arent the most important person in their life and that that is normal and the natural order and doesnt mean that you arent important or are less loved.

But that is how it is supposed to be!

I would love it. My children are 16 & 17. The nature of their disabilities mean that they arent going to marry or have kids or buy a house or choose a holiday or go to uni or have a career. They can look forward (respectively ) to a flat with sw support and a group home.

Believe me that independence and taking a step back and not fighting their battles for them is a far better feeling than the one you get knowing that you'll be standing up for them until the day you die and the terror of not knowing who will stand up for them after you're dead.

Mumzypopz Sun 01-Jan-17 19:24:19

I also think when a Son marries, a Mil sees it as 'her' family expanding, and the Dil as coming into her fold, whereas the Dil sees it as 'her' family just starting, and as being separate. We constantly hear the phrase "you marry your husband, not his Mother". So instantly you have two females battling for supremacy......A bit like in the animal world, ha ha.

ollieplimsoles Sun 01-Jan-17 19:26:37

I think it comes down to how much they rely on their children for everything.

My mil put everything into raising her sons to do everything the way she expected. She couldn't let them go and got angry or PA if they had a thought for themselves. They couldn't wait to get away from her.

I will never make dc responsible for my self esteem and happiness they way she tried to.

.

cherrycrumblecustard Sun 01-Jan-17 19:28:42

I think it can be a very tricky relationship because there's an element of competing for the sons attention, in the same way stepmother and stepchildren but especially stepdaughter relationships can be tricky.

Obviously sensible MILS will be happy their son is happy and go along with whatever he wants, although this can still end in tears sometimes.

justanotherusername0 Sun 01-Jan-17 19:31:24

All very very good points.
Hecate I work with SN, although no experience with my own DC, I have a small outsider insight into your situation. It must be so hard for you to deal with those feelings. I hope you find wonderful living arrangements for them when the time comes.

justanotherusername0 Sun 01-Jan-17 19:32:36

Seriously can't wait for my new phone to arrive it's been deleting and inserting text for no reason. Leading to a terrible mistype - I work with individuals WITH SN. Not "I work with SN" that sounded horrible. Please believe me it was a mistake !

Footinmouthasusual Sun 01-Jan-17 19:34:48

I love my kids and brought them up to be loving wonderful people.

All have partners and I have 2 dils who we adore and grandchildren we help care for.

In my mind you treat the people your kids choose to love with respect and love. You hope for the best and support all.

We do our best to be there for all.

My one dils mother is an absolute cow to her though and she's on borrowed time with us angry I coukd cheerfully smack her but we have taken on our lovely dil as our own. so it's nothing to do with inlaws but empathy and humanity.

HecateAntaia Sun 01-Jan-17 19:36:23

😁 i know.

Don't get me wrong, i understand (and have) the My Baby. MY Baby. feeling
That's just being a parent.
You just have to be sensible and reasonable about it and know when to step back.

ollieplimsoles Sun 01-Jan-17 19:38:33

foot you sound like a prize mil and I couldn't be happier for you.

I think some women are just doomed from the start. Mine is naturally controlling and cares very much about her image- her sons were always just extensions of herself so if they put a foot out of line, she had to go something about it

FatGreen Sun 01-Jan-17 19:42:15

OP, why would you take the automatic stance that you need to 'stand up for' your adult offspring against their chosen life partner, unless you suspect an actually abusive situation?

AmeliaJack Sun 01-Jan-17 19:55:07

My DC are only 9 yo and I'm already teaching them to stand up for themselves and to sort out their own problems.

If I needed to do it in everyday life as an adult I would feel I'd failed.

Most of the MIL/DIL issues on these boards are about power and control.

I have a son so hopefully I'll have a DIL one day. My benchmark will be to treat her with respect I would any other adult.

Mumzypopz Sun 01-Jan-17 19:56:46

FatGreen...I don't think she means like in an abusive situation. I took it that she meant more 'looking out for them' as you would if they were younger and had school friends that you didn't think we're good for them. Am I right OP?

Footinmouthasusual Sun 01-Jan-17 19:59:42

oll grin agree my mums mil was bat shit crazy and hated her dils!

My mil was lovely. I don't feel the need to stand up for my grown up kids to be honest. I mean I would if required but they have had a good childhood and teenage life and we trusted them to pick partners who make them happy and who they make happy.

You need to welcome people into your family

PeachBellini123 Sun 01-Jan-17 20:00:45

Agree Fatgreen. I have a difficult relationship with MiL. I don't think anyone will ever be good enough for her sons. She doesn't get on with SiL either.

I have made a future promise to my unborn son to let him get on with his own life!

pigsDOfly Sun 01-Jan-17 20:01:22

The secret lies in treating your adult children as autonomous adults and with respect. Something I think a lot of women have difficulty with, especially when it comes to their sons.

Knowing, and being happy that when your son or daughter has a partner you take a back seat and the partner becomes the most important person in your child's life; although, hopefully a mother should have taken a back seat long before that anyway.

I remember my exh's mother telling me that a mother is always the centre of her children's lives. She hated me for taking her son and made every effort to let me know that I'd never be as important to him as she was.

If a mother sees her DIL as a rival obviously it's going to end in tears. Having said that I think it can work the other way as well, lot of DIL who will have their backs up ready for a fight before they've even given their MIL a chance.

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