AIBU to think this girl is crackers(138 Posts)
There's lots of other back story here but in an effort to make things simple I'll try and keep it short.
I have a very limited support network, my mum died before I met my husband and I've always been offered support by my in laws who are separated.
When I was expecting dc 1 my mil said whatever I needed she was there etc.
Her partner's son got a gf who immediately got pregnant. She has a huge family nearby, as well as her partner's mum etc as well, however she decided that she only wanted mil's help and she constantly had drama, sickness, family drama, relationship drama, to the point that if I was with mil she would have to leave 9 out of 10 times to sort her out. At the time I was ok, coping etc.
Since we had our children she's treated my mil like a free babysitter, found out our important dates and booked babysitting specifically on those dates so we've not been able to go out. Fair enough etc. Mil ended up having to spend several Xmas dinners with their family because this girl threatened to stop letting them see the gc unless they went etc. So my dc hasn't spent Xmas with her own grandparents and my husband with his own mum.
This girl is a lot of health problems and was told, quite categorically, she will be putting herself in danger if she was to become pregnant again. Her partner has said he doesn't want any more kids. End of. She then posted on lots of groups about the best way to conceive etc and what can she get financially support wise if she left her partner etc. Said she would probably be moving in with his parents (?!) and now refers to my mil and her partner as mummy and daddy.
Made a joke that when we found out we were expecting dc# 2 that's if she got wind of it she'd get a call saying "oh I'm pregnant again". Went out of my way for her not to find out (blocked social media platforms, limited mutual friends who knew and gave mil and her partner instructions not to tell).
Lo and behold she found out and she's now pregnant. I've struggled a lot with this pregnancy and I've needed a lot of help, especially for my dc but once again I'm finding that this girls problems are outweighing any issues I'm having and despite my husband having word with his mum, the severity and drama of this other girl is meaning I kept being left in the lurch.
I know the sensible option is to basically not rely on or expect from my mil at all, but I haven't got anybody else I can lean on. My dad is elderly and infirm. My husband has to work a lot and my fil does more than enough.
I feel so childish but it's really getting to me that this girl is this huge support network, she's always out with friends, big family occasions etc and even though she knows the situation she seems to do it out of spite and attention. Mil is behaving a bit stupidly but she's a good person and if you were faced with "I've not slept all night as dc has been up. I feel horrendous and won't stop being sick" and "I'm having a miscarriage" you'll obviously go to the second one's aid even if it's a boy crying wolf situation.
Also in the past I went out of my way for this girl. Drove her to appointments, took her to mum and bump groups, took her to lunch which she would pretend she forgot her wallet, got her job interviews at my then work and coached her for them and she wouldn't turn up, offered her advice on breastfeeding (which sadly did not go well for her and then she basically spent 6 months after saying it was a vile practice and should have been left with the cavemen), advice on weaning, sleep all sorts. Only to have it thrown back in my face. Obviously gave up offering help after a while. .
I sympathise hugely and I think it's perfectly reasonable to feel frustrated by this. Unfortunately, I don't see there's anything you can do.
If she's trying to make it into some sort of competition, just refuse to participate. Do your own thing and don't let her see that you're bothered.
Can you get any other help? Nursery, childminder?
This is your mils partners son's girlfriend? If I'm honest it seems like this lady, your mil is under pressure from everyone. Why is mil partner not stepping up to babysit more? You really can't expect her to be your support. But equally you are babysitting also for her? You're going to have to be firm and tell her you can't do it. If girlfriend is the sort of person who demands and expects you're going to have to.
YABU. She sounds a bit dramatic, granted, but how could she have found out the dates you were planning to go out on?
She may rely on your MIL a lot but her having a large family is irrelevant. She has every right to build a close relationship with MIL too. I have a large family but I wouldn't be able to ask any of them to babysit, for a variety of legitimate reasons.
You first say she has health problems which would likely lead to a high risk pregnant, but then say her pregnancy worries were just dramatics. Which one of these is true?
You sound overinvested in her life. You seem to know every detail about her health, relationship issues, etc. I think you need to step back from her and address the issues you have directly with your MIL.
What I basically mean is step out of the drama. It will make you miserable.
The only sane thing for you to do is to arrange your life to assume you won't be able to rely on your MIL. If you do that then any time she is able to babysit for you will seem a bonus.
I know it sounds a bit snarky but lots of people manage to have children without any, or with a limited support network.
It's not really an issue of childcare per se and I freelance so my work is sporadic anyway. It's more the emotional support of stuff and daft things like going to town for a coffee and look at baby clothes etc.
I get stuck at home an awful lot and my dc adores their nanny. The amount of times I've been told them (I've had to stop telling them) that we're going to nanny's to play or nanny is coming to see them for then it to be cancelled because she's ended up looking after their child or because this girl is in "such a state".
I guess for me it started off being about my lack of support, but now my kids are missing out. She quit work to childmind for free for her partner's other gcs, and whilst I would never ever expect that (nor would I want her to as I want her choose to spend time with her gcs) I'm conscious she ends up spending more time with other kids than her own gcs.
She's going to be their only nan or grandma as well, I want my kids to get a fair chunk of time and effort from her which seems to be currently having to be directed elsewhere.
Dates she found out were my birthday and our wedding anniversary. Dates I was discussing with other people (on my now blocked social media).
Mil has, to this date, babysat for us once in three years. Her partner "doesn't look after kids" I wouldn't expect people to drop everything at all.
I'm not denying she has a right to have a close relationship with my mil but it's a bit much bringing her washing over etc 😂
Why does your MIL do it? There must be a reason.
(And I will vomit if I read the word support one more time. She's your MIL- not your carer)
Yes, she sounds batshit.
But, you're embroiled in it yourself a bit and making it a bigger deal than you should, because you're getting caught in a cycle of competing for your MIL's attention, and she's "winning", and you are getting frustrated by that.
Just step away from the drama. Leave your MIL to it. Play the long game.
Don't expect any help or support. Develop your own emotional strength and networks.
Poor MIL she needs her own life.
Girl? She's under 16, has 1 kid and is already pregnant with another? Wow!
Either that or she's actually a woman?
Your post sounds very patronising and a bit bitter........ are you sure you're not jealous of having to compete for your MIL's affection?
I feel sorry for your MIL to be honest. It sounds as though she is being pulled in all directions.
I'm beginning to feel sorry for your MIL! She has given up paid work to look after her partner's grandchildren for free, thereby putting herself in a vulnerable financial situation. She is being blackmailed and emotionally manipulated by 'crackers' girl. And you want her to go for a coffee with you, go shopping with you, provide you with emotional support, and you want your kids to get a fair chunk of time and effort from her!!
No one is being fair to your MIL, including you.
So had you asked your MIL to babysit for you on those dates?
If so then your MIL shouldn't have agreed to babysit for her. That's not this woman's fault.
If not then you could have spoken to MIL first about asking her to babysit before you discussed your plans on social media. Otherwise how would you know that your MIL was free to begin with? Or you could have just got another babysitter.
Like another PP I also wonder why you refer to her as a girl - how old is she?
Because she's terrified if she doesn't then this girl stop letting her partner see the gc and because she worries about the gc as well. She thinks she's not capable.
And as for the support aspect. What am I supposed to say? 😞 And please read this in more of an upset tone and not an angry one.
No person is an island to themselves and unfortunately a lot of stuff most people would ask a friend, or a mum or a sister about I can't. My husband is great, but he works 60+ hours and is black and white about things.
I'm a stay at home parent, I also run my own business, run my house and care in turn for my elderly sick dad, who spends his days pining for my dead mum constantly. Who I also, in turn, miss dreadfully.
I know everybody has their own issues but is it so bad to be a bit annoyed some drama queen ruins my occasional chance to have a cup of tea and a normal chat sometimes? And for my child to spend time with their grandparent?
I get it. My sil is really similar even right down to the health issues, calling claiming there is some sort of disaster which always turns out to be nothing and planning stuff on our inportant dates. For example she knew it was dhs 40th and asked mum to have the kids.....even though her and dbro didnt even do anything.
She also used to threaten to stop mum and dad seeing the kids if they didnt agree to what she wanted.
The only way is to not participate. Mum and dad noticed we didnt go round (she was literally always there) or ask them for any help etc. When they asked i told them.
Everytime i saw he she tried to start a debate, i wont be drawn in.
I barely see her or dbro after sil told me working mums should be banned from having kids.
Mum looked after dbros and sil first child that much she cried when they announced she was pg a second time. And again sil wanted mum to do loads of childcare.
Mum eventually put her foot down when sil kicked off because me and mum went out for the day together and she demanded we couldnt spend time together unless she was there.
As a result of mum doing less dbro and sil swopped roles and dbro is now the sahp. Which is working much better for everyone. No more emergencies, no more babysitting everyday, not more threats of not seeing the kids.
I dont think you can blame your mils partner for not doing much. He probably knows she is taking the piss and refuses to get involved. If your mil chooses to dance to her partners son and his gfs girlfriend tune, why should the partner pick up slack if he disagrees with it?
Your mil sounds like she is in a bad position but she is choosing to keep doing this.
Go out and make your own support network. We have no family near us, th best thing is to go out to loads of playgroups etc, make lots of friends, go out separately (so no childcare needed), then do babysitting swaps with friends once you are good mates.
Step away from the drama. Find your own friends not your MIL.
Well maybe OP is a bit jealous and I don't blame her one bit.
My Sil chose to have another child when she was struggling with one and mil helped her move closer to her and provides on tap childcare and support whereas my support from her ( my own mum is disabled and dad is dead) stopped as soon as Sil got pg!!
OP you can't change this unfortunately, sounds like your Sil is very good at getting mil to do what she wants and as she's seen as " vulnerable" you are just going to look like the baddie here.
Just expect nothing and you won't be disappointed
She's 22. I refer to her as a girl because I truly forget that she is an adult sometimes.
First times I had asked my mil prior to those dates. But this woman suddenly panicked she had paid non-refundable deposits and I was asked if I "wouldn't mind". I relented and then they've been booked every years since. Totally my fault for discussing on social media. Hands up to that.
I don't expect anything from my mil really and I never put pressure on her to do anything etc. It's more the promise of help and then it being rescinded or not being able to rely on people.
I would make plans or rearrange plans to suit her coming round. Cancel appointments. Rush to finish work. And then it would be for nothing.
We have pulled back from mil, left her to it and then she got upset asking if she had done something, could she see her gc (of course!) and she was sick of dealing with all this. So we relented and the cycle starts again.
I understand your frustration but nobody owes you anything. MIL doesn't have to help you. Granted, it would be nice if she did but you cannot change the situation.
There are a lot of people without parents or support and most do fine. Nobody helped my parents and nobody will help me. My cousins are in Australia with noone to help.
You have to be more selfsufficient. Maybe get a babysitter and have a drink with a friend or go to a movie by yourself. Your kids aren't missing out, they don't know the difference. Only your MIL is missing out but that's her choice. Distance yourself from the drama queen and lead your own happy life. Your kids will learn from your example and hopefully will become independant people. I shudder to think how her kids are going to turn out....
Your MIL is an absolute saint putting up with having such demands placed on her. She has already had her life of child rearing and now has the chance for some freedom and 2 women are clawing at her for her precious time.
It's more the emotional support of stuff and daft things like going to town for a coffee and look at baby clothes etc
^ ^. This is the role of girlfriends not your MIL. A big gap in your life is having one or two friends as a social outlet, to share coffee and shopping trips with. Please cut your MIL some slack and distance yourself from her DSSs DP. And please stop calling her a "girl". Its very patronising. Even if she sounds feral.
Saying she sounds feral is worse than calling her a girl in my opinion. Feral is a horrible way to describe a person.
I agree that it is not MIL's role to provide emotional support.
Your MIL was wrong to cancel the agreement to babysit for you but it does sound like she is being pushed and pulled in all directions and subject to all kinds of guilt tripping and manipulation.
Next time mil is overwhelmed with helping her, and you feel you haven't seen her for a while, I'd drop a big bunch of flowers off al mil house with I nice card 'we miss you, GC miss you, but just wanted to remind you we love you'
Perhaps show mil what it's like to be appreciated, she sounds lovely (too nice for her own good!)
I agree that this woman sees you as competition, is probably jealous. Just stop competing, let her drive herself crazy with comparing herself to you. Just concentrate on your own little family, and spending as much time with mil as she can, it will get easier as your DC get a little older and it gets a bit easier.
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