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MIL doesn't ask, she tells

(35 Posts)
Melyn Wed 25-Sep-19 13:23:28

So this is a bit of an odd post but I need to know if I'm right to be annoyed?

My MIL doesn't ask me to do things, she tells me I'm going to do it.

So for her birthday recently she travelled up North for a meal as most of her friends are from that area which is an hour away from my home. The plan was to have a meal and cocktails afterwards, I don't drink but I do like going out and chatting etc. So a few weeks ago she said to me "you can look after your SIL while I go out with FIL". So she didn't ASK me to look after her daughter, I was told to. I had my 2 year old with me anyways so I said fine and I dropped it and forgot about it until a few days ago where MIL said "on [date in November] clear your Saturday because you're going to help with SIL's 13th birthday by teaching her and her friends how to decorate cakes." Again, she did not ask if I would be willing to do this. I don't want to upset SIL and say no but I'm getting tired of MIL telling me to do things when she should ask me instead. I have my own life and my own child and I can think of 40 things I'd rather do than spend an afternoon with really loud teenagers teaching something I'm not comfortable teaching! Plus, I have a LOT of anxiety talking infront of people so I'm the WORST person to have do this.

Do I have the right to be annoyed? And how should I deal with it? Thank you x

yesteaandawineplease Wed 25-Sep-19 13:30:02

in short... say no.

this won't get better until you start to stand up for yourself. you need to decide how you are most comfortable approaching this, either directly by having a talk or more gently by challenging her each time. but essentially as above you need to learn to say no. which I know is easier said than done, and I don't mean to sound flippant or harsh, but just say no.

PatrickMerricksGoshawk Wed 25-Sep-19 13:30:08

Say "oh what a shame you didn't ask first, I'm busy with X" and change the subject.

CCquavers Wed 25-Sep-19 13:31:49

You need to stand up for yourself.

Melyn Wed 25-Sep-19 13:33:13

Thing is, she knows I don't get up to much really apart from spending lots of time with my son I'm pretty much a hermit lol. I'm a very non confrontational person, but I suppose I'll have to stick up for myself at some point lol

666onmyhead Wed 25-Sep-19 13:35:25

I would seriously call her out on this infront of people. She shouldn't treat you like this . It's disrespectful and rude . Channel your inner 'AnyFucker' and tell it to her straight. She must stop treating you like this .
Good luck ! thanks

PatrickMerricksGoshawk Wed 25-Sep-19 13:37:17

It doesn't matter if it's a good reason or not, it could be going to the supermarket or washing your hair; the point is she needs to realise she can't commit you to doing things and just presume it's OK, she's being flipping rude! Is your husband aware of the problem?

TerribleCustomerCervix Wed 25-Sep-19 13:37:50

You need to bite the bullet and stand up for yourself.

Don’t let you son see that other people view you as a pushover.

There are polite, reasonable and unconfrontational ways of declining to do this, it doesn’t need to be a row.

fruitbrewhaha Wed 25-Sep-19 13:40:54

This would annoy me too. There is only one way to stop her, you have to be assertive.

"you are helping at DDs birthday teaching cake decoration"

Oh god no, I can't do that, it takes all day to decorate a cake and I'm not teaching a bunch of 13 year olds"

"But you must"

"No thanks"

But if it's for something you don't mind doing, just roll with it.

Gustavo1 Wed 25-Sep-19 13:44:21

Could you try replying as though she HAD asked, ie “thanks for asking but I was looking forward to watching x and getting a takeaway that night so I won’t be babysitting” or “thank you for asking but I’m no good at cakes so don’t want to try to teach others” Then either move away from her or change the subject entirely so you can’t be drawn into reasons or excuses. Remember, just because you aren’t doing anything that she considers ‘plans’, it doesn’t make your time less valuable to you or more available to her!

Windydaysuponus Wed 25-Sep-19 13:46:13

Does she text these demands?

FinallyHere Wed 25-Sep-19 13:47:55

that would have been lovely, so sorry it won't be possible."

the "because I don't want to" is silent.

Seriously, nip this in the bud.

No excuses, excuses just give people something g to argue against. Maintain your boundaries, keep it up and in ten (or maybe twenty) years she might show some grudging respect. Much better than dancing to her tune for twenty years, she will definitely not respect you for giving in

It may not be easy, but it is very simple.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 25-Sep-19 13:48:22

Nothing is ever going to change until you start acting like an adult and not a child. Tell her NO, that doesn't work for me, and repeat as necessary. If she gets upset, so be it.

FawnDrench Wed 25-Sep-19 13:51:28

Where is your DH in all this - it's his mother after all!

FlyingSquid Wed 25-Sep-19 13:55:26

I had a sudden flashback to a pushy friend years ago who knew I was at home with my child, so didn't see why I couldn't have hers for free too.

I found myself saying, 'Oh god no, it's a miracle I manage to keep one child alive, let alone extras.'

That seemed to do the trick.

newname25432 Wed 25-Sep-19 14:06:01

My in-laws often do this they tell rather than ask. However, most of the family just answer as if it was a question. 'Sorry we are busy that day' etc. I found it annoying at first but I'm more use to it now.

DuckbilledSplatterPuff Wed 25-Sep-19 14:29:58

"clear your Sunday".. wtf? "your're going to help with.." Sounds like a reincarnated Margaret Thatch.

Your post said " I'm getting tired of MIL telling me to do things when she should ask me instead. I have my own life and my own child and I can think of 40 things I'd rather do than spend an afternoon with really loud teenagers teaching something I'm not comfortable teaching! "

Now you need to say the same back to her.

I get that there is a bit of blackmail in here.. its a favour for SIL and she knows you wouldn't want to upset a 13 year old. So talk to SIL.
But YOU ARE NOT HER SLAVE. You don't have to say yes. for example
"I cannot comment on this request as you haven't given me enough information." How many kids, does sil actually want this (she may hate the idea) how much will it cost, how long is the party do you have to cater as well. Is she helping or dumping it all on you. Is DH expected to participate (he'd better!!) who will look after your DC when all this baking is going on?
What a lazy cheapskate. Why can't she just run her own daughter's birthday party? Ask her that! Ask sil if she'd like a cinema party or skating party or something and offer to come along as a helper, but not a host.
Also. When she puts you on the spot because your time has no value. DO NOT be pressured into giving a list of what you are doing so that she can brush these activities aside, say. "I'm not giving you a list to justify what I'm doing... that would be ridiculous!!.. the offer doesn't suit me. Thanks"
You have her measure. This means you can think ahead of ways to combat this. What is your DH's opinion of all this? Use all the mumsnet sayings.. they work.

lunicorn Wed 25-Sep-19 14:33:50

This reminds me of Nessa putting on Gwen in Gavin and Stacey.
You need to say no, and if you don't like drama just make it a light conversation.
It's not very nice of your DH to allow this to continue.

Windydaysuponus Wed 25-Sep-19 14:35:32

Write these demands down and pass the paper to dh.
Block her number and let him deal with her.

user1493413286 Wed 25-Sep-19 14:44:07

It’s rude for definite but you’ll only stop but by saying no every so often if it’s not something you want to do

clarinstunic Wed 25-Sep-19 14:49:43

How does she know that you don’t get up to much? How does she know what you do at all?

Stop giving her j formation. If your H is doing it, tell him to stop gossiping about you.

Just say no, you have plans.

Plans are watching tv and eating chocolate but she doesn’t know that!)

Melyn Wed 25-Sep-19 15:00:15

She's wanting 12 friends, a couple of them are nice kids and I don't mind their company but others are just rude (as some teenagers are). I'm not sure if I'm meant to be doing it on my own or if MIL is helping but it's being held in a hall and DH was going to stay home and look after DS while I'm off doing it which isn't ideal. It's my SIL I don't want to upset with all this, I'd gladly put up with 40 screaming teenagers if it made her happy (I love her to pieces) but nobody ever thinks to ask me and it's upsetting. She wanted me to do a presentation on my native language to a group of children a couple of years ago and she didn't ask then. I said I didn't want to do it and she said "I've already said you would, so tough." Thankfully there was a LOT of snow so I wasn't able to go. I hate public speaking. DH feels the same as me, but the amount of times I have to ask him to speak to his Mum about something I'm unhappy with is ridiculous and he gets annoyed that I'm always annoyed at something she does.

Melyn Wed 25-Sep-19 15:01:54

**ask me first and it's upsetting. MIL wanted me to do a presentation

EcocabbyRickShaw Wed 25-Sep-19 15:10:00

Like other posters have said, you just have to start saying No. It gets easier with practice.
My MIL was like this and still tries it occasionally. It doesn't work though grin

NorfolkRattle Wed 25-Sep-19 15:52:39

"I've already said you would, so tough." She's definitely relying on you feeling uncomfortable about this, on you being anxious about letting people down. Don't fall for it! If she has been arrogant enough and silly enough to make promises on your behalf then she can bloody well sort out any ensuing mess.

I'm reminded of years ago when my SIL decided that I would be babysitting her toddler while she went off for a nice shopping trip. She had mentioned it to my DH and he had reassured her it wouldn't be a problem! I was going through morning sickness and the last thing I wanted to be doing was to be looking after her toddler (inc changing his nappies). DH's entire family are overbearing and overentitled and I lacked (and still lack) confidence. I learned the hard way that if you don't put your foot down, people like this will carry on taking advantage. They should know that it is completely unacceptable, and they probably do know, but they don't care.

The answer is "No." Every single time she does this. "No." You don't have to make excuses or explain why you can't/don't want to do whatever it is, in fact it's better if you don't: by prolonging the discussion, you allow the overbearing person to beat you down.

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