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To be fed up with mil casting me as Cruella Devill?

(38 Posts)
mitfordsisters Thu 25-Sep-08 14:22:45

Sorry, mils again.

Me, dh and ds (7 months) have returned from short stay at mil's. She was very generous and warm - took us out for lovely lunch and gave me a plant - thanked her for all this and had a few nice times together playing with ds and poring over gardening books.

We intended to leave for long car journey to coincide with ds's nap and said so. She laid out salad and things for lunch and I had something and ds had his. Then, half an hour later dh comes in and she says do you want sausages and she goes off and fries them, then lays the 'other' table outside and her and dh proceed to have a leisurely lunch outside. Meanwhile, car is packed and ds starts fretting, tugging ear and tired.

So when they have finished eating, she offers te and I say, no, we really must go. Mil evidently upset at us going and won't make eye contact with me, and very stiff with me.

Today she has been in tears to dh, saying she doesn't understand why i am so resentful and that I have upset her awfully. AIBU to think she is manipulating and casting me as the villain?

NotQuiteCockney Thu 25-Sep-08 14:24:59

You need to get your DH to handle her more, maybe? If someone has to be the Bad Guy with his family, it should be him, not you. (She is being unreasonable, but only in a normal MILish way, iyswim.)

(Oh, and stop wearing the coat made out of dalmations!)

lulumama Thu 25-Sep-08 14:25:26

hmmmmm........ could DS have not been settled for a kip in her house? a 7 month old is far more amenable to going to sleep anywhere, than say, a tired and ratty 2 year old..

she must have wanted to prolong a lovely family day. when are you seeing her next?

did you say, we must go, DS is so very tired and we need to get him settled, or just say, 'we need to go'?

i thikn that maybe you could have stayed, unless there was a major reason for leaving other than DS being tired?

he could have gone for to sleep in his car seat, then been transferred into the car whislt you had tea?

can see both sides though

NotQuiteCockney Thu 25-Sep-08 14:28:22

Also, what does your DH do when she calls? Does he soothe her? Or does he say, 'she wasn't resentful, she just could see DS needed his nap. If he gets overtired Bad Things happen. I am sorry you are upset, but no offense was meant.'

takingitasitcomes Thu 25-Sep-08 14:28:39

It sounds like a communication problem to me - she clearly didn't realise how important it was to you to leave when your DS was ready for a nap. IMO spending time with family is more important than sticking to a sleep schedule, which may be how your MIL feels too. Your way of doing things is fine too - it's just hard when these two philosophies meet. I do wonder, though, why your DH didn't say something??? It will have made you seem unreasonable if he wasn't backing you up. I think you need to talk to him about how important it is to present a united front in these situations.

So IMO, YAB a little bit U

mrsruffallo Thu 25-Sep-08 14:34:42

I think you are being YABU.
Sounds like you live quite far away, and she was just trying to make things nice for you. She obviously loves your visits.
I think you could have let the baby sleep at hers.

mitfordsisters Thu 25-Sep-08 14:39:53

I think it is a fine line. I was being quite firm about getting on the road, as the night before ds had got really overtired and cried for ages, so I'd said for all to hear - right he really needs to go down like clockwork...

though yes lulu, I could probably have put him in his car seat and had tea - hadn't thought of that.

And I do ask dh to back me up, takingitasitcomes, and at the time he agrees, but when it comes to it, he sides with her. god, that's a bit depressing - my dh is an invertebrate.

Combustiblelemon Thu 25-Sep-08 14:40:40

It sound like your problem is more with your DH. He should have been the one to say, "Thanks for the offer (of sausages) but we really should be going as DS is ready to settle down and sleep." I think it's a pretty common complaint from wives/partners that their DH/Ps often make them look like the 'bad guy' with friends/family. I get really fucked off quite annoyed with my DH when we agree a leaving time in advance, and when the time arrives, he becomes oblivious to all comments/signals and we only leave an hour or two later when I make our excuses.

lulumama Thu 25-Sep-08 14:42:13

i thikn then it is more about your DH. if MIL crying to him about you, he should defend your honour ! smile

mitfordsisters Thu 25-Sep-08 14:42:26

gosh, I didn't mean that - he's my dh and I love him. Only I get so upset when I think i've done the right thing and then realise everyone is upset. Oh god, confession time ... where's my valium?

NotQuiteCockney Thu 25-Sep-08 14:43:52

It does sound like your DH is the problem, I'm afraid. Or his relationship with his mother is. She sounds quite overdramatic and emotional about all this, is she often like this?

wehaveallbeenthere Thu 25-Sep-08 14:50:05

Perhaps you do live a far distance. Maybe she did want to prolong the the visit. Next time call and thank her again for the lovely time. Put the focus on how your LO was so much more pleasant after being put in his own home for a nap.
Is your DH her only child? It sounds like the focus is on him, and you and your child are welcome but on the fringe of their little circle.
Clearly you have a wonderful relationship with your MIL but your family (your DH, child and you) should and must take priority. Maybe you could give her a call and set things right?
She didn't lose a son, she gained a wonderful daughter in law and grandbabies!
Oh, if she is casting you as Cruella D. then you can cast her as "Monster-in-Law".

Bucharest Thu 25-Sep-08 14:52:00

YANBU- your child, you decide the nap times.

LavenderTea Thu 25-Sep-08 14:54:42

Sympathies mitfordsisters.
My mil is exactly the same. We (me dh and dd 4 months) have a 4 hour car journey home from PIL's, and every time we visit (usually over a weekend) when we get ready to leave on the sunday...."oooh well you must have lunch" .
Then it is insinuated that I have to also cook it these days due to MIL's ill health. But lunch isn't just a sandwich...oh no. It has to be a full Sunday Roast. FIL already buys the meat in ahead of our arrival. So I start cooking at about 9 am with the intention of leaving immediatly after lunch, say about 1 or 2 pm so we can let dd have her afternoon nap in the car, We tell them this, but oh no , half way through cooking MIL gets the life of a spring chicken, despite being really quite immobile. Zimmer frame and all ends up in the already very cramped for one person kitchen, and starts to intervene and gradually delays lunch later and later so that it ALWAYS ends up 1) grossly overcooked, and 2) more like dinner than lunch.

At first I felt guilty for trying to leave at midday, because both FIL and MIL are in their 80's and very used to their own ways and obviously they love to spend time with their new grandchild and they can't travel to us now with MIL's disability, so in the first 4 months of dd's short life she has already visited her grandparents 5 times, but in the last visit or two MIL has started to insult my cooking (even though it was her delays that turned the lamb into shoe leather and the veg to baby food angry !!! ), and then insulting me personally too, on our 2nd visit with dd, she said I had put weight on around the tummy ( WTF) I had just had a c section only 8 weeks earlier with their granchild !!

So now not only do her delay tactics get right up my nose, but now I have to stay longer and be insulted !!!

......Arghhhh can never win with MIL's .

My only satisfaction from the whole thing is that we (dh,dd and me) are having Christmas at home with my family this year.
And because MIL is immobile she can't travel to us.... wink
I know, I'm awful. blush

BlingLovin Thu 25-Sep-08 14:54:57

She sounds over sensitive frankly. If DH can't talk to her, can't you? It sounds like you have a relatively good relationship with her so could you ring her and say, "I'm sorry you felt we didn't want to stay, I was just worried about DS not sleeping, again, and couldn't face him being out of sorts. We have a lovely time and I'm looking forward to getting that gorgeous plant into the garden"? And then agree then and there when you're next going to visit?

MorningTownRide Thu 25-Sep-08 15:05:19

So you're not killing dalmatian puppies to make a coat?

wehaveallbeenthere Thu 25-Sep-08 15:09:55

LavenderTea, I sympathize with you. My MIL is golden, however the FIL and I don't get on.
I have two words for you in the cooking department. Kitchen Timers.
As far as your getting thick in the middle you can tell your MIL that it is the huge lunches at their house and perhaps you should reduce it to sandwiches?

wehaveallbeenthere Thu 25-Sep-08 15:12:44

Oh and LT, do send those lovely christmas pictures along to your MIL, complete with perfect dinner of course!wink

yomellamoHelly Thu 25-Sep-08 15:14:46

Maybe this hasn't happened before? In which case be firm and keep to your word and next time, tell dh in advance what your plans are so he can back you up. They'll learn - your ds is still young.

LavenderTea Thu 25-Sep-08 15:25:08

Thanks wehavealbeenthere.

Kitchen timers don't work at MIL's house. If I set it she just restarts it again and starts cooking something else which we have to wait for ie yorkshire puds or homemade apple sauce or veg that has been already cooked and lurking somewhere in the back of the fridge... !! . In that time the meat, freshly cooked veg and potatoes get cooked at least 3 times...shock

I will mention the thick middle and not needing any roast dinners next time I dare to go. And they really are huge because MIL just keeps making more and more things in her tactic to delay us... If she complains I shall smile sweetly and absolutely insist that I don't eat a roast dinner.

LavenderTea Thu 25-Sep-08 15:29:13

ooh and the christmas pictures sound like the perfect lunch over a sandwich in the new year topic of conversation. Thanks WHABT wink

stleger Thu 25-Sep-08 15:35:46

Lavender, she is genetically linked to my MIL. She is 6 hours away, we try to leave early so we can stop for lunch and get home before dark in winter. She tries to give us long breakfasts, made in stages, then sandwiches she is about to make, then we should go and visit her brother before we leave....

bloomingfedup Thu 25-Sep-08 15:36:53

op your post could have been written by me. my mil comes across and is lovley but can be very manupalitive too.

bloomingfedup Thu 25-Sep-08 15:39:29

i have just read some of the posts. I have to say - your baby, your life - leave when you want.smile I personally find that the worse thing I can do is give in to my mil in 'tis a slippy slope.grin

Bubbaluv Thu 25-Sep-08 15:53:05

I think the best thing to do is to confront these situations as and when they arise. If she is obviously stiff with you etc as you describe, then straight away say "Have I done something to upset you?" Then you can at least attempt to defuse the situation before it escalates.

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