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Help me stop this behaviour - MIL

(65 Posts)
TravellingSpoon Mon 22-Apr-19 09:58:04

I will start the thread by saying that we have a good relationship overall, she is funny and the kids love her, its just this one thing she does which drives me mad.

She will message that she is popping by and asks if we will be in. Sometimes I will say 'Yes I am but I am going out at X time'. She will then turn up every time without fail extremely close to that time and try and delay us going out, then feel affronted when I am trying to hussle her out of the door, and tell DH that I was abrupt or rude. I have tried explaining to her the stress her behaviour causes (I really dont like to be late, it makes me really anxious), have tried inviting her along, have tried telling her that I need to be out an hour before I do, nothing works. I think its a control thing, but its frustrating. I dont want to say to her that we are not in when we are, but its getting to the point where if its important, like DD's eye test on saturday I tell her we are not in.

She messaged this morning and I told her we were going out at 10.30. She said she would pop in and she still isnt here. She will turn up in about 15 minutes and try and delay us going out, by messing about with the children, telling long winded stories and making a cuppa.

I could leave her here I suppose, let her get on with it.

simplekindoflife Mon 20-May-19 13:09:00

If you need to be out by 10.30, tell her 9.30?? Just change the time.

Or stop trying to squeeze her in somewhere and say sorry we are out this morning but we can do tomorrow afternoon at this time.

Is she somehow feeling pushed out or that she's not spending enough time with the kids?

WhatchaMaCalllit Mon 20-May-19 12:45:44

@Travelling Spoon - have things improved? Are you being firmer with when you want to leave if she arrives close to that time?

ScrambledToe Tue 23-Apr-19 15:22:48

Did you go out and leave her there?

MulticolourMophead Tue 23-Apr-19 15:15:36

DH has spoken to her about it but he also feels bad because she is lonely (he feels). I think it would help her loneliness if he spent more time with her but that is another thread.

I felt this was all a control thing, given she's so predictable at turning up just before your stated time to leave.

I also think your DH needs to stop feeling bad. If he is more firmly on your side to his mum, she may find other ways to combat any loneliness.

Yes, it's nice to spend time with family, but not when its interfering with things you have to do.

It'll also be good for MIL to find things to do to maintain independence rather than rely on you and your DCs to entertain her when she wants it. Which leads us right back to the control thing.

gokartdillydilly Tue 23-Apr-19 14:40:47

She is not going to change, you have to change your way of dealing with her

^ this. It's always the same rule for anyone who get on your tits. Kids/MILs/husbands/colleagues/CFs. They are unlikely to change bad habits, so you change your approach. Suddenly you're in control and their behaviour alters

Deelish75 Mon 22-Apr-19 21:42:42

I had something similar with my own mother, she was ringing up for chats at random times of the day, expecting my full undivided attention which with a toddler I couldn’t do. I lost count how many times I told her evening were better but she still carried on during the day. She would then get upset at me “for having no time for her” it was about control and manipulation for her.
You can’t change your MIL’s behaviour, only yours, and your DH needs to back you all the way. As others have said make it inconvenient for her to come around before you are going out and only arrange for after you are home.

Likethebattle Mon 22-Apr-19 20:30:36

Maybe op isn’t at home maybe she updated from her phone.

Penguincake Mon 22-Apr-19 17:19:39

Did you get away on the end OP?

HopefulAgain10 Mon 22-Apr-19 12:12:19

Why on earth are you still there at 11??
You have a problem with this yet still hang around and entertain her.
You need to be very blunt with her in future. Either tell her no can do or leave when you need to. While shes busy talking/ stalling then you go about your day getting ready and ignoring her. She will feel awkward and out of place and hopefully stop doing this.

GreenTulips Mon 22-Apr-19 12:09:51

I’d go the other way

Say you are leaving at 10:15 when you really are going at 10 so you are already out when she pops over

Redshoeblueshoe Mon 22-Apr-19 12:02:15

Blonde I read your post twice, it was not rude.
Good luck OP

TheViceOfReason Mon 22-Apr-19 12:01:07

Stop telling her when you are going out!

Sorry MIL, we are out and about this morning, but i will be home after 2pm.

Blondebakingmumma Mon 22-Apr-19 11:56:28

Just curious - do you think that sounds rude?

makingmammaries Mon 22-Apr-19 11:55:20

‘We are not available just now, have to go out shortly.’

Oldraver Mon 22-Apr-19 11:48:32

Why were you still at home at 11am if you told her 10.30 ?

Twillow Mon 22-Apr-19 11:44:27

If you know you're going out, tell her you are already out. Simple.

PuppyMonkey Mon 22-Apr-19 11:39:08

Sounds like you’ve come up with the best solution yourself OP. Tell her when you are free, not what all your precise plans for the day are.

So “we’re free from 1pm” and not “we’re free until we’ve got to leave the house at 11am.”

I’d just be worried she might start turning up anyway, once she works out your new policy.wink

regmover Mon 22-Apr-19 11:31:37

Not now, we're about to go out. No timescales required.

Fairenuff Mon 22-Apr-19 11:28:42

You told her you had to go out at 10.30 yet you are still there at 11.00.

You are giving mixed messages.

Next time just say 'Ooops it's 10.30, I have to dash, see you later' and go.

Twickerhun Mon 22-Apr-19 11:23:10

Go out right before you expect she will arrive - she will soon get the nessage

cuppycakey Mon 22-Apr-19 11:20:35

This is very simple to resolve.

You just stop saying Yes if you know you are going out.

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 22-Apr-19 11:17:28

Bloody hell. 😳

NoSauce Mon 22-Apr-19 11:17:21

She will then turn up every time without fail extremely close to that time and try and delay us going out, then feel affronted when I am trying to hussle her out of the door, and tell DH that I was abrupt or rude

And? It’s her problem not yours. Stop pandering to her. Either tell her that it does r suit you or when you’re ready to leave just get your stuff and say you’ve got to go.

I don’t understand this at all. Would you put up with this behaviour from your friend or another family member??

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 22-Apr-19 11:16:23

Yeh I’m sure your dh is “on her side”. That way he doesn’t get to see his mother as much as she needs to reduce her loneliness. Think you’ve had some good advice glad you’ve taken it on board.

When you get to the appointment, send your dh a text that she arrived at x time when she knew you were going out at y time. Then he has something in b&w to see her unreasonableness. Do this every time. If he doesn’t like it he will have to react in some way.

FlossieTeacakesFurCoat18 Mon 22-Apr-19 11:14:49

To be extra nice you could sound enthusiastic about her coming - "Great! We'll be in from 3pm onwards so any time after that works l!"

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