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To be grumpy about MiL

(21 Posts)
NoRoomForALittleOne Tue 07-Feb-17 15:29:00

I'll say from the start that I know IABU really but...

Four weeks ago I had major surgery that should take about 3-6 months to recover from. During the surgery the surgeon realised that I was lucky to be alive and had to operate more extensively than was planned. All's well that end's well. I am extremely grateful to be alive if a little fed up of being in pain and recovering.

MiL knows the outcome of the surgery. I spent the day with her just before Christmas and that necessitated a couple of days in bed before and after to be able to cope with being out for the day (because she sadly couldn't make arrangements for all of her pets to be cared for to come and visit us as previously planned). When she heard how ill I was after the surgery (in ICU), she expressed surprise to my DH because when she saw me before Christmas, she couldn't tell that anything was wrong with me. I didn't think that I had managed that well, but I did try hard to keep the day as normal as I possibly could manage.

This morning I received an email from MiL that was entitled "Belated Happy Birthday". The contents of the email was not wishing me a happy birthday but was all about the holiday that she is currently on. It's a holiday of a lifetime and I'm glad that she is having a brilliant time. I don't know, maybe she thought that telling me all about her holiday would be a welcome distraction? But if I'm honest, I just feel even more frustrated about how slow and painful my recovery is. I'm not really in the mood to hear about how fabulous everything is when I'm struggling to get out of bed. It feels a little insensitive (I know I'm being sensitive!) and a little self-centred to supposedly write an email to wish me happy birthday but only talk about herself (although that's probably me being self-centred!).

Go on, MN. Tell me that I'm being selfish and totally unreasonable!

NavyandWhite Tue 07-Feb-17 15:38:45

You are a bit U but it's understandable given what you've been through. Is MIL a bit self centred? In her shoes I would be asking how you are, is there anything I could do to help/cheer you up. But some people just aren't like that as frustrating as it is.

Try not to dwell on it, it'll only wind you up. Hope you're feeling something like your self soon brew cake

FlyWaxSleepRepeat Tue 07-Feb-17 15:40:01

Yes YABU but you already know you are.

You're in pain and recovering from what sounds like extensive major surgery, with a while to go in your recovery yet, and you're taking your frustration out on your MIL who hasn't really done anything massively wrong.

FlyWaxSleepRepeat Tue 07-Feb-17 15:40:41

Oh I posted flowers DVD they didn't show up flowersflowersflowers

NoRoomForALittleOne Tue 07-Feb-17 16:11:00

Navy, MiL lives on her own and I think that she isn't used to thinking about anyone other than herself. I'm not saying that all people who live alone are selfish but it does seem that MiL is rather introspective.

Fly, no MiL hasn't done anything massively wrong. I'm frustrated that she hasn't done anything right though. DH is getting fed up that for months before Christmas MiL said that she wanted to visit us but didn't want to create work for me. We were both a bit hmm about that because she doesn't need me to wait on her, she just expects me to do so. She knows that my mum has come up to help out a few times as I had several hospital appointments hours away from home and needed help with the children. That is why MiL said about wanting to come and stay. I was very tempted to say "well come up then and don't create any work - try helping instead!" but obviously that stayed in my head as it would be rude!

NoRoomForALittleOne Tue 07-Feb-17 21:55:49

Forgot to say - thanks for flowers, tea and cake. All gratefully received!

user892 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:00:58

Did she not even ask how you were?

NoRoomForALittleOne Tue 07-Feb-17 22:24:28

No, she didn't ask how I am.

knackeredinyorkshire Tue 07-Feb-17 22:28:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

everdene Tue 07-Feb-17 22:39:08

Room my MIL is like this - lives alone, never lifts a finger when she stays with us, only talks about herself.

It's taken me a long, long time to realise she has kind of lost some social cues as a result of living alone. So cues about, y'know, not letting your six-month pregnant DIL wait on you throughout Christmas while you bore on about yourself hold court.

I'm not comparing your major surgery to pregnancy but I can sympathise.

Is it her clumsy way of trying to find something to chat about? What does your DH make of her?

Happy birthday, and I hope your recovery is smooth flowersflowersflowers

ChishandFips33 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:44:03

I'd just be greatful she's away on holiday and not calling round all the time grin

Hope your recovery goes well and you're back to full steam soon flowers

Blossomdeary Tue 07-Feb-17 22:44:47

Just get better soon - when you are in pain and frustrated by slow progress it is easy to feel sensitive about these things. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt. Take care. flowers

NoRoomForALittleOne Tue 07-Feb-17 23:01:54

Everdene DH is totally fed up with her and spends as little time with her when she visits as possible. I tend to end up entertaining her but she doesn't want to see me, she wants to see DH. She is very rude to me when he isn't around (tells me that I'm a slut for having five children - all with her DS!) but civil when he is there. DH has all but given up on her as it's clear that she won't change. He doesn't like to make waves though as he learnt that keeping his head down was the easy thing to do when his parents divorced. He has, however, learnt to say no to her and put some boundaries around her particularly with regard to the children in recent years.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 07-Feb-17 23:09:52

Were you not even tempted to tell her the holiday should have been a one way ticket??
She sounds delightful. . Her grandchildren are the devils spawn more or less then??

TheCatsMother99 Tue 07-Feb-17 23:22:21

I think considering what you've been through, and are still going through, that you are entitled to BU. But regardless of that, I actually don't think YABU as your mil sounds seriously self absorbed and selfish.

flowers wishing you a speedy recovery & glad to hear the op went well smile

NoRoomForALittleOne Tue 07-Feb-17 23:32:16

Apparently she treated DH's aunt badly as she had two birth children and then adopted two more. MiL said to aunt that having more than two children is common and MiL derided aunt for being a SAHM. I guess that I'm even worse as we have five children and I became a SAHM after the first three. MiL knows that DC4 was requested by DH and it was a big thing for me to give up work (DC5 was a bit of a surprise hence why I'm a slut). She also knows that it's hard for me to find work when we keep moving around the country for DH's work and that DH asked me to give up work. But apparently I'm bringing him down and I don't look after him enough. In reality, I suspect that MiL wanted more than two children but didn't feel that she could have more for multiple reasons. Sometimes I feel very sad for her knowing some of what she has been through. I try to love her and treat her like my mum but she doesn't make it easy.

CrikeyPeg Wed 08-Feb-17 03:52:58

Oh my goodness, at the very least any person who called me a slut wouldn't be getting an invite to visit. What is DH reaction to her being horrid to you? She's bloody lucky, you sound nice and way more tolerant than I would be. Def not BU, carry on! Speedy recovery smile

everdene Wed 08-Feb-17 07:08:00

You and your DH being on the same page is really positive. If she says anything to you that she wouldn't repeat in front of DH I'd be sorely tempted to have a couple of stock phrases to say to her (make the delivery worse than the actual words so she can't fall out with you) and see how that works.

My paternal GM used to do that to my Mum (and also said horrible things about her having a bigger family) - my GM had had my aunt ten years after my dad and uncle (so a surprise) and I suspect was always embarrassed so used to be awful around the topic of babies/pregnancy.

TheOnlyWayIsMN Wed 08-Feb-17 10:53:26

I think the only thing you can do is to keep contact as minimal as possible. If that's what she thins of the mother of her GCs then she doesn't deserve to see them!

user892 Wed 08-Feb-17 10:57:35

I would refuse to have anything else to do with her after she called you a slut. I would also not let her see your children. Imagine what she might say to them all over the years. Nasty woman.

SaucyJack Wed 08-Feb-17 10:59:48

Yeah, what Everdene said last night.

You can tell the people who've lived on their own for too long because they'll ring you up so they can tell you how they are, rather than asking how you are.

I genuinely believe they've spent so long in their own heads they've forgotten how to have an actual conversation.

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