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AIBU? Another MIL one!

(105 Posts)
MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 08:35:45

We have three DC and live quite some distance to our relatives. We are travelling up soon to stay for a few weeks and have made the call to stay with my parents for the duration of our trip but to have plenty of day trips to see PIL.

There are various reasons for us making this choice. My mum & dad have a spare pushchair for us, plenty of spare bedrooms, a high chair, loads of children's toys & a big garden for them to run around in. MIL & FILs house really isn't geared up for kids. It's quite small so it feels like we are living in each other's pockets when we are there. They also don't have a bath and our youngest two can't use the shower (very powerful shower, DC2 is scared of the water hitting her face and their shower head can't be detached so showers are a big issue, DC3 is only 1). No grass in the garden, not a single toy.

I also haven't been very well lately and am under strict instruction from the GP to take it easy. Lugging three DC to various people's houses to stay is anything but relaxing.

On top of all that, my inlaws often undermine my husband and I. It's clear that they dislike me but I continue to take the kids to visit them, even though I feel like an inconvenience the whole time I'm there and they'd probably rather I wasn't in their lives.

Since I fell pregnant with our first, the relationship has been very tense. They tried to take over and boss me around. They lost it when we didn't choose their son as godfather etc. used to go behind my back and continually tell my husband I needed to FF rather than breastfeed as I apparently wasn't producing enough milk, when in fact DC1 was gaining weight perfectly.

Anyway, we tried to tell them that we were hurt about a few things and MIL basically said she couldn't talk about it and ended the call and then didn't talk to DH for over a month.

Now we've told MIL we'll be staying with my parents and she isn't happy. She has said she feels hurt and that if she's done something wrong, we should just say. The truth is, nothing has happened as such to make us not want to stay with them, it's just not as practical for us at this moment in time and we will definitely visit loads during our trip. I just find it a bit of a joke that she's saying we should tell he if we're upset because when we did try that, she got so defensive and then didn't talk to DH for so long, and when she did start speaking to him again, she acted like the conversation didn't happen so nothing got resolved.

AIBU with this or is MIL?

Ginslinger Wed 16-Aug-17 08:38:38

I think you should just explain the reasons as you've outlined above and then leave it. You aren't responsible for how she sees things - she does sound as if she's being unreasonable but sometimes people like to rewrite history hmm

skyzumarubble Wed 16-Aug-17 08:44:00

Just explain what you've said above!

GreenTulips Wed 16-Aug-17 08:44:53

Yes - tell her your mums house isn't more child friendly with the bath and garden.

You'd think she's be grateful you aren't putting her out with 5 guests in the house - which is hard work.

I think she just likes to be offended

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 08:48:27

We have told her the reasons but she just keeps saying she's hurt. I'm quite sensitive and she definitely manipulated me when I had my first DC but then I realised what was going on and grew a pair (excuse the expression) and finally started standing my ground as the mother. She hated it when that happened and when I stopped letting her just come over and take my babies out of my arms.

Somehow I end up still feeling guilty when she says these things about feeling hurt. Somehow it's me who ends up awake at night questioning myself. There's no way you'd ever catch her doing that though.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 08:55:26

I should add that my parents live 45 minutes away from them but like I said, we'll visit plenty.

SonicBoomBoom Wed 16-Aug-17 08:56:37

Your MIL sounds like my MIL, and our relationship sounds the same (right down to the feeding thing).

We have occasionally tried to raise things in a really tactful and casual way, and she just doesn't get it, and blithely carries on doing it. DH then tries to explain things explicitly clearly, saying "this might turn into a bigger problem so we thought it was best to talk about it" and she gets defensive, angry and then refuses to speak to any of us for X amount of time, then eventually just wants us to fall into line and pretend it never happened; no talking about it, nothing resolved.

We've recently decided that she's just a bit thick (which is why she gets defensive and nasty as she doesn't have the capacity to understand anything from another POV). And we need to put DC's safety and comfort first (if we don't, who will? Certainly not MIL) so we aren't going to pussyfoot around her to placate her.

PandorasXbox Wed 16-Aug-17 08:59:30

Sounds like there's some cross wires going on. I think she feels left out and a bit jealous of your parents and can't articulate it very well, that and being bossy and manipulative are making her look pretty bad in all this.

Davros Wed 16-Aug-17 08:59:59

YANBU. I don't think there is anything more you can say that will change anything so it's not worth trying but you must give yourself a break. Apart from anything else, you're BOUND to feel more comfortable living day-to-day with your own family, that should be enough.

SonicBoomBoom Wed 16-Aug-17 09:01:13

Somehow I end up still feeling guilty when she says these things about feeling hurt.

Exactly the same again as with us.

Somehow it's me who ends up awake at night questioning myself. There's no way you'd ever catch her doing that though.

And again!

And worse, even when she knows she's upset us, she doesn't seem to care. But when she's upset she tells other people and it all becomes about how we've upset her (by us raising the issue). Totally ignoring the fact that we had to raise it because we were upset. Our (my) upset matters not a jot.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:01:22

sonic your situation does sound so similar. FIL really isn't great either. They always told my husband to go to them if he's ever upset about anything but the reality is, they can't take criticism and also won't take the blame for anything. Nothing is ever their fault. They criticise our parenting at every opportunity. I just find the whole thing so draining and exhausting.

highinthesky Wed 16-Aug-17 09:01:58

Just as an aside, on holiday there was no bath and just a shower. Our 2 yo showered with me: I held her in my arms, she looked up and said "it's raining" and then proceeded to giggle her way through her wash. She loved it.

I don't think it's unreasonable for you to be honest with PILs about how you struggle in their home.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:02:49

They think we should have the utmost respect for them as they are our elders, but they don't respect us at all.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:04:11

high DC2 is scared of rain. No word of a lie grin but also, their shower cubicle is also tiny and sort of triangle shaped so that makes it even more difficult.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 16-Aug-17 09:05:33

Apart from anything else, you're BOUND to feel more comfortable living day-to-day with your own family, that should be enough.

Well that would mean her DH is BOUND to be more comfortable at the OPs IL house then.

Sounds like there's some cross wires going on. I think she feels left out and a bit jealous of your parents and can't articulate it very well, that and being bossy and manipulative are making her look pretty bad in all this.

There is probably some truth in that tbh.

Maelstrop Wed 16-Aug-17 09:06:07

Your DH needs to talk to her, telling her pretty much what you said about your parents' place being more DC friendly, with the rider that you aren't well and need to take it easy. If she can't understand this, hen she really is a cow. Don't lose sleep over ensuring your DC are safe and comfortable! Not having a bath is impractical for a small child.

Why are you staying for several weeks? Whose idea was that? Seems a crazy long time if you're all in the same country.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:06:32

They also don't have a proper dining table. Just a little table and two bar stools so it means we have to sit DC at the table with the bar stools and then we have to have dinner on the couches next door. I really need to help the youngest with her meals and obviously watch for her choking so it just doesn't work too well.

StylishDuck Wed 16-Aug-17 09:07:32

I can sympathise re the shower. My DD (2.6) is terrified of the shower for some reason. Though when we go swimming she'll happily stand under the shower there 🤷🏻‍♀️

Anyway, back to your actual problem. It's your DH's job to tell your PIL why you're not staying with them. The reasons you gave above are perfectly reasonable and I would do the same in your shoes. As long as you present a united front you have nothing to feel guilty about. Let them go in the huff if they want to. There's not much you can do stop it.

diddl Wed 16-Aug-17 09:08:05

If she decides to feel hurt then that's entirely up to her!

We always used to stay with my parents as they had room & stuff & ILs didn't.

We also both found my parents easier to be around.

Always on edge & awkward at ILs.

MoosicalDaisy Wed 16-Aug-17 09:09:07

Stay at your parents, but get them to visit you, don't go and see them smile

ChristopherWren Wed 16-Aug-17 09:09:08

You don't want to stay with them and that's fine as you don't feel that you have a good relationship with them. But the other reasons you mention - shower, table, no garden toys etc - are just excuses. They are not insurmountable if you wanted to stay with them. You just don't want to.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:15:25

They don't like coming to my parents house. My parents have hosted all of our DCs christenings and my in laws have been the first to leave each time. My parents are more well off than them and I think they have a bee in their bonnet about that but my parents are probably the least flash with money you can get but my mil tends to accuse anyone who is more well off than her of being up themselves. It's all her own insecurities. We did say to her that they're welcome at my parents any time while we're up but I know she won't want to come.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:16:27

We have two family events happening a couple of weeks apart, that's why we're staying for 3 weeks.

MissDeSilva Wed 16-Aug-17 09:22:26

Really dreading this trip now sad

ChristopherWren Wed 16-Aug-17 09:24:29

I think your in laws feel snubbed as it's always all about your family. Perhaps you could have hosted one of the christenings at their home? You original post is all about how your parents house is bigger and better than theirs. Understandable in many ways as you don't have a great relationship with them but don't make them feel that their home isn't good enough. They are your DH's parents.

When I was young we used to stay with my grandmother who didn't even have a bathroom. We used to wash at the kitchen sink. We survived.

By all means stay at your parents if you have issues with your in laws. But don't make it about their home.

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