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Am I being unreasonable?

(49 Posts)
chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 17:06:05

I'll try to make this as short as poss, i've just got of the phone to my mil - we are currently in usa for 6 months she's in uk - they are due to visit us in a few weeks for 2.5 weeks and i've just found out through her that my husband has told them its ok for them to stay with us rather than pay for a hotel, without even discussing it with me!!!! in addition she phones nearly everyday saying things like "the hildren won't remember me by the tiime we visit etc etc" what makes it worse is theat they (usually) live 5 minutes down the road from us and see the kids 3/4 times a week, whereas my parents live a couple of hours away and see them about once a month. I feel that they atre my children first and grandchildren second, do you think i'm being unreasonable and fell this way becuase she's an inlaw and not a "real" relative or am i justified in feeling this way, in addition am i right to feel angry with dh and feel he should be on my side (needs to cut the apron strings a bit) or am i putting him in an awkward position (between a rock and a hard place so to speak).

ok so it's not so short but i needed a bit of a rant

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 17:07:03

should have previewed before printing apologise for spelling mistakes

Bugsy2 Wed 08-Jun-05 17:12:05

what a nightmare. Your DH should have asked you first before inviting anyone (relatives or otherwise) into your home. Your MIL sounds tricky and I think you need to try and avoid phonecalls and maybe be quite firm with her and say "of course the children remember you".
Big sympathy.

Gwenick Wed 08-Jun-05 17:13:17

Hmmm well I've done the opposite - invited my parents down around the time I was expecting DS2 having 'in mind' that they'd be able to help with DS1 when the baby was first born........had to 'bluff' my way out of it when they duly turned up at the hospital the I was being induced and announced they were staying for a few days

Blu Wed 08-Jun-05 17:13:48

I can see how irritating it must be for you to find out from LIL rather than from DH, but I don't think it's unreasonable of him to let them stay with you, tbh, if you have the room. Also, I can understand that MIL does miss the children...read Ninah's posts on Handlemecarefully's thread about a trip with her DH....
I can also see how you feel the 'power balance' because your own parents are so much farthr away - I think that's sad for you, but try not to make it hard for your DH and his Mum as a result? My DP is in the same situation as yo9u - his parents are in another country, and he has to put up with my Mum coming to stay for the w/e a lot - she is a few hours away. it has caused friction, but now he lets DS enjoy his granny, and has chilled out - a HUGR relief for me...piggy in the middle is a horrible place to be!

Why not look at it from the children's pov, and see how it feels then?

Hope you are enjoying your tije in the U.S. Can your parents visit too, at some stage?

SoupDragon Wed 08-Jun-05 17:15:18

Your DH should have discussed it with you first but (imho) it is usual for relatives to stay with you when they come visiting from far away. My in laws stay here when they visit from Spain.

re "the children won't remember me..." tell her they have a photo of her to remind them.

Focus on the free babysitting you'll be getting and grit your teeth.

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 17:21:01

blu- do you not think its inappropriate for dh to invite them to stay without even approaching the subject with me -i find out totally out of the blue when she thanks me on the phone this morning, my dh invited her a couple of days ago ( may i add he did it whilst away on business and isn't home yet!!!) yes we do have room for them but it means ds (5 months) sleeping in the travel cot in our room not ideal when we have just got used to him sleeping in his ownn room. from the children's point of view ds is too young to know and dd (3 yrs old) will be harder to manage with them stating (going to bed etc) and she would see them everyday if they were in a hotel anyway

Blu Wed 08-Jun-05 17:41:53

I do think he should have talked to you first, he's either taking things for granted or very disorganised! But I think the fault is his, not MILs - and in our family it would be considered v inhospitable for family not to stay in the house. The travel cot thing isn't really an issue compared for someone to pay to stay in a hotel for two weeks - you'd put the baby in a travel cot if you went off on a trip, wouldn't you?

I honestly can see how irritating all this is for you - oooh yes, my MIL is coming for 6 weeks Aug - Sept - but I think you have to live with it, to a certain extent.

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 17:54:15

ok i admit its usually the norm to have visitors staying with you but we're in a rented appartment and aren't really geared up for people to stay (no extra towels, only 4 plates 4 glasses etc) OK time to be brutally honest - i was hoping to have a bit of respite being so far away but i've found the problems have just followed me. in the uk whenever i had a day of work she would make plans to see me (or rather the kids) i resented it because i couldn't say no if i didn't have any other plans but i didn't want to spend all my free time with my mil, i discussed it with dh and he had a word with her, as did my fil, but its water of a ducks back

shimmy21 Wed 08-Jun-05 18:09:34

please don't get the hump with me but it does sound to me as though you're being a teeny bit selfish. They are your dh's parents for heaven's sake. Surely you wouldn't expect them to stay in a hotel when they've come to see you

It sounds as if your mil really loves her grandkids and for that you are truly lucky. (see umpteen other threads about pils who don't want to know). I can understand the sadness you feel that they have more opportunity than your own folks to see the kids but don't let that get in the way of allowing them to build their own loving bond.

Just make sure you don't get dumped with all the housework when they're there.

Sorry if I've been brutal. Am rushing...

swivellyscooter Wed 08-Jun-05 18:23:24

"...because she's an in-law and not a real relative"

Can't believe you are saying this, she is the same to your children as your mother would be to them, FGS! I agree that your dh should have spoken to you first (I would not be happy if mine did this), so it's your dh you should be having a go at, not ranting about your MIL. If it was your own mother who was visiting, would you expect her to stay in an hotel or would you invite her to stay at your house?

WigWamBam Wed 08-Jun-05 18:24:31

I agree with you, Shimmy.

I think one way to work out whether you're being unreasonable or not is to imagine how it would be if your own parents were coming to see you. Would you want them to stay in a hotel? I suspect the answer is no. Would it have been unreasonable for you to say they could stay without asking dh? You say that your MIL is not a "real" relative, but she's your husband's "real" relative - not only that, she's his mother.

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 18:27:55

i agree that it is selfish i know she only wants to see her grandchildren but i just sometimes feel that my thoughts and feelings aren't taken into account, i'm just expected to drop everything and play host for 2 weeks whilst my husband goes to work and i have to cook clean and entertain. my parents are comimg to visit but they are staying in a hotel because they don't want to make extra work for us

swivellyscooter Wed 08-Jun-05 18:31:16

WWB - you put that much better than I did!

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 18:36:08

can you all honestly say that you have the same relationship with you mil as you do with your own mother, if this is the case you're lucky. personally i feel more comfortable around my own parents, perhaps this whole attitude stems from the fact that i went to boarding school ( which i thoroughly enjoyed by the way - so there are no issues there) so i'm not used to the intense codependance of his family (if that makes sense)i mean if i say i have a doctor's appointment for instance she'll ask what its for when we were looking at nurseries for dd she kept interfering and wanted to come with us when we went to look around etc i feel that there are certain domains that are for the parents and that she is overstepping the mark as a grandparent

WigWamBam Wed 08-Jun-05 18:58:44

No, I didn't say I have the same relationship with my MIL as my mother; I have a lot of problems with her but I have to make allowances for her because she is my dh's mother. She feels the same way about him as I feel about my dd.

Annoying as it is, it sounds to me as if she just wants to be part of the family, that's all. Again, it's likely that if your own mother had wanted to look around your dd's nursery, you wouldn't have thought it was strange.

tallulah Wed 08-Jun-05 19:01:11

chicagomum, I would feel exactly the same as you because I'm not comfortable with my ILs. But I do agree with WWB & Shimmy that actually you can't expect them to stay in a hotel. We are "lucky" in that the ILs live 10 mins up the road so don't ever need to stay with us, whereas my family is at the other end of the country. I can also see why you'd be annoyed at the thought of having to entertain them for 2 weeks while DH is at work. Can't you put it to him that he has got to have at least a few days off to give you a break?

So yes, you are being unreasonable, but I sympathise. (& I agree your point that they are your children first & grandchildren second )

WigWamBam Wed 08-Jun-05 19:05:38

I agree that they are your children first and grandchildren second, but the fact is that my dd's grandparents all think that she is the centre of the universe, they love her to bits, and I have learned to let go and not feel so possessive about her. They just want to feel that they are part of my dd's life, and they want to enjoy her growing up; it really sounds as if your ILs are the same.

For what it's worth, my MIL is the troll bitch from hell, but my dd loves her, and that's all that matters. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth.

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 19:11:29

WWB actually if my mother had said she wanted t look around the nursery i would have said no (but she doesn't do that) i just feel that that sort of thing is a decision myself and my dh should be making (why does she need to see what the nursey is like can't she trust our judgement )i feel like it is questioning my ability as a parent. i don't stop her from seeing the children or anything like that but i just sometimes feel she should but out a bit. I can see from the posts though that i'm in the minority here!!!

Eeek Wed 08-Jun-05 19:28:01

I don't think you are in a minority - I think people are saying yes, we agree but sometimes you just have to put up with it. My MIL cares deeply about my ds and sometimes its inappropriate in my opinion. Usually I let it go but sometimes I tell her so (as gently as I can through the red mist)Just choose your battles carefully. You really don't want a situation where you and your DH fall out over his mother, or where your kids lose out. She's only as much of a threat as you let her be.

Twiglett Wed 08-Jun-05 19:34:56

I think you should be annoyed at your DH not your ILs

If they normally see the kids 3/4 times a week then of course they will be missing them loads

the 'children won't remember me' comment is a standard oldie phrase IME

You can't go back on it now they think they're staying because they are family unless you have an excuse like no space

chicagomum Wed 08-Jun-05 19:38:11

ok but how much do you have to put up with let me give you an example of a typical week- phone call every evening, supper friday night, visit sat afternoon ,lunch sunday staying until the evening (plus thursday lunch and the whole of the afternoon, meeting dh at their house in the evening for supper and then home) one of the things that made my blood boil recently was when she didn't see the kids for 2 weeks because they went away for the weekend and then we went down to see my parents she complained that she hadn't seen the kids for ages which i thought was really insensitive as she knows how little my parent's see them

Tipex Wed 08-Jun-05 19:38:38

chicagomum, I have to say that I can see why everyone thinks she should stay with you, and yes, of course she should really and yes, shes only saying about the kids forgetting her as shes probably missing thm mheaps, but you have my sympathies as I couldnt bear to have my MIL stay with us full time for even a weekend. She does love my DS I think (altho is a bit hit and miss in her attention) but for some awful reason it makes me cringe to see her with him. Shes played us up alot since I was pregnant about other things and caused alot of stress and I think it stems from this. Just trying to say that I understand, its not really rational and not fair but I can see why its getting your goat! Could your DH take time off work whilst they are with you to give you a break? and could he arrange some time out with his parents sightseeing etc without you and the kids so that you still get some time alone with your kids to relax and play?
You just night find that your MIL really pulls her weight about the house and frees up some time for you?? you never know!! Anyhow, good luck with it.

lapsedrunner Wed 08-Jun-05 19:39:48

Think of the benefits of having a willing/free baysitter on hand for 2.5 weeks. Sounds like MIL will be so wrapped up with kids that you get lots of downtime

charlie72 Wed 08-Jun-05 19:44:00

chicagomum

can understand where you're coming from

my ex mil used to bug the hell out of me whether it was her 'good intentions'; her 'getting on a bit'; her 'I'm all alone, please move 40 miles away from your life & live in my house' or whatever. She had an opinion about everything & you could bet your life that it was the opposite of mine.

Mind you, ex dh couldn't see a thing wrong with it (which probably explains a lot, like why he's an ex dh!!!)

Anyway, I think Eeek has hit the nail on the head & we should all be selective with the battles we pick. You never know just when you might need them to be around.



ps hope the visit isn't as bad as you expect!!

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