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to be offended by SIL's comment....

(29 Posts)
scatterbrained Thu 16-Aug-07 11:26:17

i work FT and SIL is a SAHM. Most times we get along ok, but then all of a sudden she would say something that i would fine extremely insensitive. Or am i just being too sensitive?
For example, DD going to school from Sept and i said "she's quite confident, i think she's going to be ok". To which she says "oh she'll be fine, she's used to you not being around, you don't really have that bond anymore given you went back to work quite early". Once she was talking about another mum who works FT "they (other mum and husband) are going away on holiday to a hotel and they are making sure there are childcare facilities. They already have a FT nanny, really, what is the point of having children if you don't want to see them even when you're on holiday?". We have a FT nanny, who sometimes comes with us on holiday and she knows this.
Believe it or not, so far i have bitten my tongue and not said anything when she says these things, but i'm scared one day i'm going to say something i will regret.
PLEASE NOTE i am not having a go at SAHM because i know not all of them think this way (i have a good friend who is a SAHM who keeps telling me she wished she had my job so it was a no-brainer to go back to work - as it just wouldn't work financially for them for her to go back to work. She says she wished she had the option - not necessarily she would work FT).
Just re-read this and realised just having to let off steam really. Name changed as SIL might actually be on here.

Rhubarb Thu 16-Aug-07 11:29:51

For the second comment she was just airing her views and probably forgot that you are in the same situation. It's the kind of thing my MIL would say.

However I would take the comment about bonding as an insult and would tell her so. Unfortunately you can't do that after the incident, but just be prepared to stick up for yourself next time.

bosslady Thu 16-Aug-07 11:32:20

YANBU I am a sahm as that is my choice and we can afford to do so!! She is being insensitive towards you and in my view i would say she might be a tad jealous of the fact that you have a life other than your children,and that your children are confident and well adjusted!! I probably wouldnt say anything its soo not worth a family row!! Keep venting on here its far safer!!

scatterbrained Thu 16-Aug-07 11:33:33

i think you're right. sometimes the comments she makes are not about me, but think it is because it applies to me too. but am sure in some instances i'm being paranoid.
i was v. shocked with the 1st comment - in fact, the term was "you severed your bond with her already..." - i can't believe i didn't say anything.

bosslady Thu 16-Aug-07 11:34:54

its too late now though the moment has passed but like Rhubarb said be ready to defend next time!!

scatterbrained Thu 16-Aug-07 11:36:59

My PIL are wonderful about it (me working FT) and never say anything, sometimes even quite supportive. My DH and my SIL have in the past gotten into unrelated rows and can go on not speaking for months and i'm keen for that not to happen again. Her kids are the only cousins of my kids and they get on so well. However, i do dread seeing them because we can be having a nice time then, boom, comes out a comment and i just want to strangle her!
Wow, this is so therapeutic

WanderingTrolley Thu 16-Aug-07 11:37:32

She might be tactless, jealous or just stupid, or a combination of the three.

The "You don't have that bond" comment is complete bolleaux and rather simple-minded IMO.

But maybe she just wasn't thinking.

Agree with Rhubarb - get a stock of phrases to lightly throw in next time she comes out with a blundering oaf-ism.

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Thu 16-Aug-07 11:38:16

I don't think you are unreasonable. The bonding stuff gets on my nerves.

I had a friend who keep saying that DS being comfortable in his cot, in his nursery, with friends, rather than crying everytime he lost sight of me was an irefutabe proof that we had not bonded, and saying that was the reason her DD cryed everytime she put it down. I just bit my tongue and shut up while wanting to say, that's not bonding FGS! she is just cold!

Problem with the veiled comments is that unless you are very good with words she may think you are unreasonably sensitive if you reply!

bosslady Thu 16-Aug-07 11:39:23

see and you havent strangled anyone he he!!! I think everyone has someone in there family that can be insensitive and not think before making a comment in my case its my mil and her mother they can be brutal!!

flowerybeanbag Thu 16-Aug-07 11:41:49

she is either
insensitive
jealous
disagrees strongly with your views, wants to make it known and wants to provoke a 'heated debate'.
Probably all three.
I'd try and ignore it if I were you.

No, wait a minute, scrap that, what I would actually do is rise to the bait and have the heated debate!

Doodledootoo Thu 16-Aug-07 11:46:57

Message withdrawn

Lorayn Thu 16-Aug-07 11:49:36

I know many parents who wish they could got to work and many who wish they could stay at home!
I can understand the whole going on holiday, worrying about childcare and taking a fulltime nanny comment, I probably would make the same kind of comment myself not knowing the full situation!! But I doubt she was even thinking you were in the same boat. I often open my mouth and say something then realise it sounds like I'm criticizing someone and just wish the ground would swallow me up!!
Maybe she is just tactless??? Some of us are

scatterbrained Thu 16-Aug-07 11:54:22

Doodledootoo, unfortunately, she saves it when it's just the 2 of us.
Once i cried to DH about it - after we had DD, it was DH's 40th bday party and my DD was 4 1/2 months old. He was having his party 3 hours away with 2 other mates and it was overnight. We decided to leave DD with the nanny overnight (in fact, the only time we ever did that - and she is now 3 1/2) - just because we wanted to have a really nice time - and i left expressed milk etc. Anyway, the night we were leaving, SIL called, and said have a nice time - asked what we were doing with DD and i said, we'll leave her here but be back in the morning and she said "oh your poor children" (i.e. implying that if we had more, we would just happily leave them behind all the time). Bit my tongue, said goodbye, had a good cry to DH - who i had to stop from calling her to tell her to piss off, but i didn't know he called FIL instead! He nearly called her until i begged for him not to.....i think he doesn't know that she still has a dig at me now and again but given that experience and my need to keep the peace, i don't tell anyone anymore....
except the whole of Mumsnet of course

IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo Thu 16-Aug-07 11:58:13

If it's upseting you that much, and she choose the moment to annoy you so nobody else hears her, use it to your advantage. Just say "do you really think that??? proceed to laugh at her as if she were an idiot. She won't be able to complain about that but will know what you think of her comments ;)

LoveAngel Thu 16-Aug-07 11:59:38

It sounds like she is feeling insecure about her own choices and is projecting on to you - perhaps she is jealous of the perceived freedom / independence she thinks you have when compared to her own situation? Whatever her reasons, there is no need to take it out on you and YANBU to feel hurt by her comments (particularly the one about your bond with your child - thats was below the belt). I agree with pp who said there's not much you can say to her now after the incident, but you do have a right to politely but firmly point out to her in future when she says something hurtful.

scatterbrained Thu 16-Aug-07 11:59:51

ooooooooh i like that suggestion!
<practices her cackle for good measure!>

Lorayn Thu 16-Aug-07 11:59:57

Thats just wrong, is she implying that SAHM never leave their children with a babysitter? I relish the it when my children go to their grandma's, and tbh it is probably less stressful for children to be at home in their own bed with someone they know well and trust.
(btw I have been both a SAHM and a working mother)

Doodledootoo Thu 16-Aug-07 12:01:31

Message withdrawn

Kewcumber Thu 16-Aug-07 12:07:23

Big fan here of the "laugh at her as if she were an idiot" approach. I would actually laugh at her and say "and you don't think I'm going to find that comment offensive obviously " as if she is being a complete moron.

WanderingTrolley Thu 16-Aug-07 12:16:50

At the end of your cackle/tinkly laugh, tilt you head to one side, say "Awww" and pat her on the knee. You could also scrunch up your nose and shoulders and smile benevolently to add to the "There, there, you simpleton" approach. Beware the latter may make you look deranged. Practise in front of a mirror first.

MadMumsy Thu 16-Aug-07 12:50:38

She is jealous!! I think the laugh would be quite acceptable in this situation. What is she like......!!

NKF Thu 16-Aug-07 12:53:07

You are not being unreasonable. It's amazing how many people just open their mouths and let anything come out.

Niecie Thu 16-Aug-07 12:56:24

Your SIL seems to be very unkind or thoughtless or both to me. I am sitting here thinking about horrible things you can say about being a SAHM to get back at her and then I remembered I am one too. I just get cross when people won't just let others live and let live.

I think I would stick up for myself if she has another little dig though. Don't let it pass. If she can't live and let live I would agree she is insecure in her choices and has doubts about SAHM. As others have said she is probably jealous of your lifestyle in some way. However, I wouldn't stoop to her level and attack her choices as you will just get into a slanging match and nobody comes away with much dignity from those.

Laughing at her as if she made a joke is good or maybe just a tut, a raise of the eyebrow, give a pitying smirk and then very pointedly change the subject.

NKF Thu 16-Aug-07 12:56:30

If it bothers you I'd say something. Not of the jokey nature because that can easily be ignored or dismissed. But straight to the point. Something like 'I don't know if that remark was meant to be hurtful but I found it so.' Ball in her court. In the future, she can't pretend not to know that you mind.

NKF Thu 16-Aug-07 12:57:11

She may not be jealous. She might very well disapprove of your choices but it's none of her business.

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