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AIBU to ask you for some retorts

(22 Posts)
LilyLou1 Thu 02-Feb-17 23:57:44

Semi light hearted,...

An older relative of DH (60ish) is visiting this weekend, she's always saying things (mainly regarding the 'modern way' I bring up my DC and the way I run my home) like 'oh I never used to do it this way' or 'why are you doing it this way, my way is much better'
You get the idea.
There's lots of this, it drives me mad!

AIBU to ask for your best 'well they never did this xyz in your day either and look how that turned out' or 'well they thought the world was flat then too...' sort of retorts for me to use!

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 03-Feb-17 00:00:34

FIL gets a, "if it's good enough for the World Health Organization" when he mithers on about BFing.

Depends what she's criticizing really. There's no arguing with my aunt some people.

SmallBee Fri 03-Feb-17 00:10:35

I think my favourite way of dealing with this is to say ' that's nice ' sip my tea and then do what I damn well please.
However I'm sure I can come up with some retorts...

" and I bet you had a relative of your own telling you how they did it differently in their day. Isn't time a funny old thing'

' how interesting. Isn't it fascinating how much science/ technology / research has improved the way we lived '

' really? Well you/ your DC managed to survive at least. Thank God I don't have to do it that way '

' how dull. I expect you wish you'd had access to x/y/z like I do. '

' imagine that! How times change. I bet you're relived life is better now days '

' gosh how times change. Was it really that long ago since you did x/y/z'

' yes we tried it that way, but it was shit '

' yes we tried it that way, but it didn't work for us '

' I used to do it the same way as you until I realised it was a terrible way of doing things'

' interesting. Well I suppose even the best of us get it wrong sometimes. '


LilyLou1 Fri 03-Feb-17 00:14:40

Ooh SmallBee, there's some amazing replies here! Will defo be using some of those this weekend! Thanks!!

FireInTheHead Fri 03-Feb-17 00:17:27

Honestly I'd just say, "Hm. Interesting. Yeah, wouldn't work for us." Then deflect, change the subject. "Anyone fancy some tea?" "Oh look at that, another broken nail." "Before I forget, I must tell you about this amazing pub we found, such great food and really reasonable."
If she presses the matter. "Yes, you said. Now, about that tea..." Just keep refusing to engage.

SilverdaleGlen Fri 03-Feb-17 00:17:47

Take advantage just say "your way is right? Absolutely! Crack on then!" Then bugger off out for coffee

IMissGrannyW Fri 03-Feb-17 00:18:49

the thing is, the world turns....

I was recommended to do what was called 'lifting' with my DD. you do it at the point they're coming out of nappies. They manage it during the day, but often wee in the bed at night because they can't wake up enough to recognise they need to go to the loo. the solution when my dd (born 2001) was at that stage? You go into their bedroom, 'lift' them up, take them to the toilet, pull down pjs/up nighties, sit them on the toilet and say clearly "you're on the toilet, do a wee". Child wees, you pull everything back up/down and put them back into bed.

The world turns. This isn't recommended any more (probably for good reasons), but you recommend what you did that worked and it's painful when people the look at you like "yeah, but that's child abuse".

I was recommended to supplement breast feeding with baby rice. I gave those people the look too.

Go with your instincts!

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 03-Feb-17 00:27:01

I always enjoy, "yes but writing in wax with styli" or "yes but getting dinosaur much out of the carpet" but I'm childish.

7SunshineSeven7 Fri 03-Feb-17 00:27:52

''Yeah and the first iPhone seemed amazing at the start, now we have the 6 we realise how shit it actually was.''

Love51 Fri 03-Feb-17 00:28:14

Sometimes the best response is silence. Do you feel the need to justify yourself? Why?
I was secure in all of my parenting choices bar one. Guess which one i get upset about when criticised? Incidentally, I was right about that one, just not secure!
The thing with retorts is that they ate for the benefit of people other than the person being addressed. Is there a different response to dhs aunt? Research? A belief system? Acceptance? Laughter (kind or unkind)?

7SunshineSeven7 Fri 03-Feb-17 00:36:38

Love51 Does have a point about the silence. You could just look at them like Jim looks at the camera in The Office.

paxillin Fri 03-Feb-17 01:03:06

I am fully aware that most of my parenting makes no difference whatsoever. I only follow the modern parenting methods to make sure my kids are no more screwed up by my efforts than the "competition", since universities and workplaces are all going to be geared up for the generation brought up in the 2000s and 2010s, not the 1970s.

LoupGarou Fri 03-Feb-17 01:15:08

I personally like the kind of respoinse which gives the impression you aren't remotely paying attention and then diverts the attention back to them.
For example, she says something was never fed to kids in her day. You would say something like "that's so interesting, I'd never considered bed times being relevant to days of the week, perhaps I should be more flexible. Anyway, how are you getting on with/how's your <insert hobby here> coming along? What's news?"

Make sure its in a genuinely fascinated voice. If she goes hmm "what I actually said was...x, y / z". Laugh lightly and airily and say " oh really? Silly me! Now, you were going to tell me about <insert same hobby as before>".

LoupGarou Fri 03-Feb-17 01:18:21

Bursting out laughing hysterically, and being unable to catch breath for a few moments then gasping out "talk about the dark ages!!!! Thank goodness things are different now!!!" And then continuing to snigger publicly about it also works. So about ten minutes later start laughing again and mutter to yourself "ahhthe dark ages, thank goodness things have changed!!!"

toffeeboffin Fri 03-Feb-17 01:25:24

' yes we tried it that way, but it was shit '


Iwasjustabouttosaythat Fri 03-Feb-17 02:00:17

I found that pointing MIL to the corresponding infant mortality rates for the period shut her up for good after two pregnancies of complaining that I was being picky with food. hmm

I was also advised to say, "yes but you had black and white tv back then. We see the world through colour now. We have advanced."

Trifleorbust Fri 03-Feb-17 03:35:33

"I love hearing about the olden days." [draw up legs and cradle tea] "Tell me more."


SingingInTheRainstorm Fri 03-Feb-17 03:54:02

Depending on what era OH was born you could retort, 'In your day they all swore by Dr ... '

'Wasn't it Dr Spock who said trust your own instincts and you know more than you think you know! How much money was made from their books on parenting!'

If I was to judge your advise based on how OH has turned out, I'll stick with what I'm doing grin (Obviously if they take banter well)

In our day we let children run wild but you wouldn't let them go to the shops today. Times change, as does parenting.

My parents said spare the rod, spoil the child. Had the belt and allsorts and determined I will never lay a finger on DC. Reasoning and educating is far better.

I'm sure your in laws had lots of advice for you, but I bet you still did things your way.

Till its proven that 'X' is dangerous or I see it doesn't work, I'm happy to persevere. It's the only way you learn.

When DC is with you you're going to do as you wish, so when I'm with DC I'll do the same.

Are you offering to look after DC for a weekend. That would be great, was starting to think I'd never sleep again. Please tell me how you get on.

Didn't they advocate smoking to stop morning sickness? How times have changed.

Anything where the conjecture is Dr knows best. Well you could say I have little faith but look at what happened with that super, wonderful morning sickness drug! (Thalidomide - bit of a lowish blow but there's no denying Dr's don't always know what's best)

Sure you only learn by trying. It has X/Y benefits, so must be good.

Thank you for your advice, DC seems happy with it, so can't see any reason to change.

Parents do things differently, on MN you have Crunchy mums to Silky mums, it's all down to preference. This is mine.

The best I ever came out with was when the in laws were berating me for working and not being a SAHM. 'Surpringky it turns out after all these years there is something DH can do without overly screwing up. Plus on his old wage alone we couldn't afford to come here quite as often, so it seems like a win/win situation for everybody!'

SingingInTheRainstorm Fri 03-Feb-17 03:59:58

Ooh for MIL again if you think you can get away with it - I heard it's going to rain later, will your hair get wet whilst riding your broomstick?

With that bad weather outside you don't look too bad for saying you've had an hour on your broomstick to get here. All that hocus pocus making it look like a car. Can you magic ours into a brand new Ford Kuga. Would save SO much money.

Well if you think you can do better you're more than welcome to show me how it's done.

Didn't you say that about 'X' last time, there's no reassurance like a happy baby!

Next you'll be telling me to put brandy in DC's bottle. Look what good that did to OH. Actual age going on 15!

SingingInTheRainstorm Fri 03-Feb-17 04:04:45

Ah yes the good olden days, when washing was an all day job, TV was in black & white. I thought you liked your washing machine and flatscreen TV?

Why trust scientific research eh, when you have a walking talking baby whisperer. Oh that's right in OH's day everything was based on fads too.

GalenJustGalen Fri 03-Feb-17 05:16:12

"But this is how the robot nanny taught me to do it."

"Because the little voices tell me to do it this way."

"Wait, what? I'm doing x? Fuck all, I thought I was doing y!"
Example: "Wait, what? I'm feeding him? Fuck all, I thought I was changing his diaper!"

SmallBee Sun 05-Feb-17 22:26:54

Hi op, did you survive the weekend?

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