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MIL - Am I over reacting?

(103 Posts)
londonfever Wed 12-Apr-17 10:09:46

Hi all,

First time poster but long time lurker. Bit of back story, DP & I have been together 5 years have gorgeous 18 month old twins. DP's parents live far away and so when we see them they stay with us for at least a few days. DP's mother has very old fashioned views and thinks i should be at home with children and not working. I work 4 day week with one day at home.

DPs parents came to visit last weekend, all lovely, we go out for a walk & to have a bit of lunch. DPs mother starts questioning if I'm happy at wok, so i reply yes, the balance is good. It works for our family. Twins are really happy in nursery and I love having our day together during the week. She basically said that Nursery were raising my children, I disagreed and stated that I think they are looking after my children while I work ensuring we as a family are happy. She said she didn't agree and it was her opinion and she was entitled to it. Then she says 'Did you even want the girls in the first place?' which I took to mean why would I have children if I wasn't going to stay at home with them. I then said I totally disagree, She accuses me of shouting at her. I told her if I was shouting she would know about it. She then repeats that she thinks the Nursery are raising my children, so I stop in my tracks and tell her that I don't want to continue this conversation and she needs to keep her opinions to herself.

So I left it at that & didn't mention it again. On the way home from lunch though I told DP I was unhappy...I told him it was unacceptable for her to speak to me like that. The more I thought about it over Saturday night I was fuming with her. DP was like she didn't mean to question if I really wanted the girls etc. it's just a throw away comment that she didn't mean. But I was just so floored by it. We had trouble conceiving and she knows this...

Anyway, they left and since then I can't get this comment out of my head, it makes my blood boil. DP has said he will have his Dad speak to her but my argument is that she is always saying things like this and I end up upset after every visit (we see them every 2-3 months). I have stated that I don't want to talk her again. I will not stop DP or DC seeing her but I don't want to be there.

DP thinks i'm being unreasonable and that I just need to ignore it and move on and in future he will ensure that she doesn't upset me but I feel like we have this conversation after every visit.

So...am I being unreasonable? Any advise??

Moussemoose Wed 12-Apr-17 10:13:37

She needs to keep her opinion to herself. If she won't then you need to remove yourself from her opinions.

Does your DH want your daughters to hear this kind of nonsense?
If she thinks a parent should be at home volunteer her son.

Cherrysoup Wed 12-Apr-17 10:14:10

Tbh, I think you are being rather precious. She is entitled to her opinion, even if it's vastly different to yours. It's very dramatic to go NC over her voicing her opinion. Just get dh to speak to her to keep her opinions to herself and that she won't see you if she continues to wind you up.

Penfold007 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:16:20

How does DP feel about you working, I just wonder if he has moaned to his mother about it? It actually doesn't matter why you work (financial, personal satisfaction etc) it's what works for your family. MIL needs to keep her opinions to herself, your DP should have stepped up and supported you.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 12-Apr-17 10:16:55

I'd view her card as marked, but NC seems a bit OTT if this is the first time you've properly stated that you disagree with her and asked her to keep her views to herself. If she does it again then go ahead, but I'd say she should get one more chance to STFU.

ThePigletatwork Wed 12-Apr-17 10:18:23

She certainly is entitled to her opinion, but it's very rude of her to say the things that she did, and it's nonsense anyway.

If I were you OP I would have nothing more to do with her, and it's sad to see yet another case on here of a man without the balls to stand up to his mother and support his OH.

londonfever Wed 12-Apr-17 10:19:58

Thanks!
I have had this discussion with her in the past...it is a constant theme. I have repeatedly told her that DP is welcome to be SAHP if he so wishes but I will be continuing with work especially as I earn more than DP. She has repeatedly stated that she would not like to have to tell people her son is SAHP, that is my job. Have advised her this is 2017 not 1917 and is totally acceptable if that is how we choose to have our family.

I guess I worry that I am being too precious however, i don't want her out dated opinions and backward attitude to be influencing my DC. I know i need DP to step up and speak to her again but I feel at this point it just falls on deaf ears and she plays victim that I'm being mean to her...

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 12-Apr-17 10:29:06

Ah. In that case it does sound like she is doing this on purpose.

I'd be tempted to treat it as an amusing little quirk of her personality and dismiss such remarks with 'Oh you are FUNNY' every time. Refuse to take it seriously - this will utterly enrage her. Your blood pressure stays low, and hers will skyrocket. Winning situation IMO grin

I am half serious about the above - if you refuse to engage then she can't really hurt you, can she? And you'll feel happier too. I do sympathise though - it is hard!

GoodDayToYou Wed 12-Apr-17 10:33:11

I generally agree with the poster in mil threads but I also think that 18 months is very young for chn to be in nursery 4 full days a week. Sorry. Maybe your mil also feels strongly about this and feels she needs to speak up for your chn in case you don't realise any possible implications? Or perhaps she's trying hard to understand your thinking but just doesn't? (Rather than just wanting to criticise you per se.)

firawla Wed 12-Apr-17 10:33:58

She wouldn't be staying over again if that was me. I wouldn't go total non contact but I would cut it down a lot. If you're very rude and offensive to people when staying in their house you don't get to stay again - natural consequences! She sounds horrible

IamRonnieBiggs Wed 12-Apr-17 10:34:20

The main issue I had with my MIL was she thought I should always follow her advice, even if it was stupid (I never did either way)
She very much saw it my place to 'do as I was told' - even if she didn't know what she was talking about

You need to nip it in the bud - not in a rude way but be clear you have heard her, but it doesn't work for you. You're an adult, your decision is your decision
It's 2017 it's normal for most parents to work, it's how the UK works economically

mineallmine Wed 12-Apr-17 10:35:53

I have an opinionated MIL who over the years carefully chose her moments to make her comments when dh didn't hear. At the beginning I used to get dh to talk to her and she'd twist things so he'd end up defending her to me (she's a master manipulator.)

I learned to face her head on - and it was terrifying!!! In your situation when she makes a comment about you working stop dead in your tracks, look her in the eye and say 'I absolutely refuse to have this conversation again. You have made your views perfectly clear. I hope I've made my views clear. We don't agree. You raised your children your way. We are raising ours our way. End of discussion, I don't want to hear another word about it because I want us to have a pleasant visit. Are the primroses lovely over there? They grow in the poorest of soul, don't they?' And no matter what she says, prattle on about any inane thing at all (and concentrate on bringing down the temperature of your boiling blood)

My MIL eventually learned that I just was not going to engage with her. She us VERY careful with me now, and I'm careful with her and on the surface we have a pleasant relationship.

Your children will hear all the outdated ideas from elsewhere too hut they'll take their cues from you and will learn to smile and eye roll when they hear Granny say that mothers belong at home, or whatever. They'll check your reaction and that will he their reaction too

hellsbellsmelons Wed 12-Apr-17 10:38:11

'How old are your MIL?'
60??
'Ah.. that explains it, bless you' <PA head tilt and chuckle>
Then walk away!

pictish Wed 12-Apr-17 10:39:21

Look...I think your response to your mil's intrusive and judgmental nonsense was very good...reasonable, rational and eventually assertive. Well done.

Don't marr your good record by keeping this carrying on, refusing to speak etc. That negates your eloquence and strength of character. I think you've put her in her place very well. I doubt she'll dare speak to you like that again.

Rise above and be civil.

SovietKitsch Wed 12-Apr-17 10:41:20

She is entitled to her opinion, but she can't share it with you without being a rude cow. The mistake you're making is engaging with her on it - she is not entitled to your reasons for working, they're none of her bleeding business. I do think going NC at this stage is extreme, but when she says this kind of thing again I would go with the brush off approach "ha ha, not this one again?!" And don't engage further. But giving your reasons your giving her opinion airtime.

pictish Wed 12-Apr-17 10:44:11

Ack just seen that it's a recurring theme. God how overbearing of her.
Umm...I do think your dh needs to pull his head out of his arse on this one and stop with the, "she doesn't mean anything" cowardly get-out-of-jail free card. Lazy sod, she is being really rude to you!

"Mum, we've heard what you've got to say. We don't agree with you and neither of us want to hear it again. Is that clear?"

SovietKitsch Wed 12-Apr-17 10:45:31

Don't use hellsbells response - being 60 doesn't explain it - my 93 year old grandmother wouldn't support that misogynistic viewpoint...

EmilyByTheRiver Wed 12-Apr-17 10:47:18

Personally I think that questioning if a working mother (not working parent, it always seems to be put to the working mother) if she even wants her own kids because she works is borderline unforgiveable.

EmilyByTheRiver Wed 12-Apr-17 10:48:48

Being 60 also does not explain it. My DFather is 68 and he is staunch feminist.

coolaschmoola Wed 12-Apr-17 10:48:53

'Of course you are entitled to your opinion - but that doesn't mean that you are entitled to foist it upon me. Have any opinion you like, just keep it to yourself, as I do most of my opinions about you.' pointed look.

Batgirlspants Wed 12-Apr-17 10:48:54

How old is your mil for goodness sake? I am a mil and work and all my friends who have grandchildren of that age work. Wierd attitude.

I think going non contact is ridiculous op. Just tell her to shut up if she starts again and stay near your dh. He should be telling her to shut up too.

She won't influence your dds either way they may agree with her or may not. Everyone is entitled to opinions and choices on their own lives but not to criticise others.

Batgirlspants Wed 12-Apr-17 10:50:02

I like pictish response.

debbs77 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:50:26

How funny though, that your husband won't say anything to her? But will instead speak to his Dad to speak to her!

Heirhelp Wed 12-Apr-17 10:53:41

Gooddaytoyou the OP's MIL is not upset that the children are in nursery but that OP is not at home. MIL would be unhappy if the Dad was at home with the children.

I think what she is saying is completely unacceptable. Your DH need to talk to MIL and say that you are both happy with the current arrangement and that he is unhappy with her undermining you all the time.

Btw did you know that educational and career outcomes of girls whose Mums work is higher than those who don't.

londonfever Wed 12-Apr-17 10:53:41

Thanks all, some great advice here...I agree i may have over reacted slightly...I just found the question about if i ever really wanted my kids so so hurtful. She knows we had a long hard road to get them, full of set backs and heartache so I find it even more unforgivable.

I will take your suggestions of just not engaging. DP has already said that he will have it out with her again, he is clear with her on what is acceptable but she is so good at manipulating the situation to then be the victim he just rolls his eyes at her and I end up just leaving the room.

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