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how to respond, MIL stress

(31 Posts)
Newchat Thu 23-Mar-17 10:45:31

I have been married for 9.5 yrs and sadly do not get on with my MIL very well at all. She is so domineering and critical of me.

Without going into all the detail I would like advice on how to handle her comments such as
"you have missed a bit hoovering - under the sofa,
the shelves are dusty, the pushchair could do with a clean.
The boys look overdue a hair cut.
what a shame your meal hasn't turned out quite right.
There is something wrong with this coffee- oh I don't drink instant coffee" and hands it back to me.
Oh well done you have hoovered this time.

Honestly I am a working mum of two, my husband also helps with the running of the house but none of the critical remarks would never be directed to him.

Our house is not dirty and I would say was within the normal limits of a clean tidy house with two small children and toys etc. my children are clean and well cared for and have a lot of home cooking due to multiple food allergies. My inlaws are retired have a cleaner for the two of them and their house, to me, is no cleaner and infact much more cluttered than mine.

I am not perfect but I dread every visit and it ends up being a total cleaning stress mission ahead of their arrival to try and avoid feeling like a bad mum. I know she is just trying to be mean to me and wouldn't say these things in-front of my husband.
The sad thing is I just don't want to invite them over anymore.

They are coming over tomorrow night for dinner (why did i invite them????) as I feel so guilty we haven't seen them for ages - which for me has been bliss and significantly reduced my stress and improved things with hubby as we argue over it.

I am worried I may snap and loose it with her.

I keep thinking of things to say like - you are a guest not an inspector. OR I would enjoy your visits much more if I didn't feel we were under inspection. but then I feel like acknowledging her behavior gets to me would give her a sense of victory.

Any advice. other than keeping their visits to an absolute minimum.
She is a menace and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I needed to vent. thanks

TheElephantofSurprise Thu 23-Mar-17 10:47:45

Have a box of cleaning equipment to hand. When she comments, hand her the most relevant implement and say "Oh, thanks, I missed that, could you get if for me, please? That would be a great help."
If she refuses, smirk and say "Oh, well, if it's not that important, I'll do it when I get round to it."

TheElephantofSurprise Thu 23-Mar-17 10:48:35

get it. not get if.

Camomila Thu 23-Mar-17 10:49:51

Whenever your DH walks back into the room I'd say 'dh, your mum was just saying that x,y,z' and if it's something cleaning related I'd probably say 'dh, your mum was just saying that x wasn't dusted properly, don't forget to do it next time you dust'

If that doesn't work I'd go with full on 'MIL, that comment was rude and sexist, please don't say things like that in front of the children.'

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Thu 23-Mar-17 10:50:13

Look to your dh and see oh dh looks like you missed such and such!!

Notsandwiches Thu 23-Mar-17 10:51:52

Just say "thank you for pointing that out" and smile.

shineon Thu 23-Mar-17 10:52:05

You shouldn't do anything. This is your husband place to step in & tell his mother she has a bloody cheek to speak to his wife like that. He needs to step up here

Newchat Thu 23-Mar-17 10:55:21

Thanks ladies
But she is sneaky she doesn't say it in front of hubby.
This makes me feel better just to get the support. I shouldn't give a hoot I really shouldn't.

smilingsarahb Thu 23-Mar-17 10:57:05

Sounds stressful. It's probably easier and kinder to your husband not to rise to it but I would be tempted to just say something like ..'yes you didn't do a great job of teaching DH to hoover' 'Gosh your son isn't very close to you is he, he didn't even get the right coffee in for you'

KatharinaRosalie Thu 23-Mar-17 10:59:09

'And who made you Health and Safety inspector' or alternatively ' Oh, I must have misunderstood yo, as this would be a really rude thing to say'

LeninaCrowne Thu 23-Mar-17 11:01:38

Go passive agressive!
Get a piece of paper headed "MIL Inspection". Ask her to write down her comments and sign them so you can show her son.

MissJC Thu 23-Mar-17 11:03:30

Just tell her to fuck off. I say this in my head a lot and it does help. Then throw a bag of Flash cleaning wipes at her forehead.

LeninaCrowne Thu 23-Mar-17 11:05:02

If you don't want to invite her then just don't.

KatharinaRosalie Thu 23-Mar-17 11:05:19

But she is sneaky she doesn't say it in front of hubby - then do exactly as a pp suggested: 'Oh DH, your mum was just saying ...., didn't you, MIL?'

totorosfluffytummy Thu 23-Mar-17 11:06:14

I would invite MIL round a LOT less and when she is invited to dinner just turn her rude comments into a drinking game. This works with my MIL. Every time she snarls just top your own drink up while smiling at her winkwine

SilenceOfThePrams Thu 23-Mar-17 11:06:54

"Hi DH, your my was just saying you missed hoovering under the settee/you bought the wrong coffee/you didn't put enough salt in dinner"

Batteriesallgone Thu 23-Mar-17 11:12:28

Yes definitely go down the PA route of when your DH is in the room 'oh DH, I know you hovered earlier but your mum pointed out you didn't get under the sofa. Just saying now so I don't forget to remind you tomorrow'.

Also she's only saying these things because she can see it upsets you. Stuff like this only hurts if you let it. Try to let it wash over you.

Newchat Thu 23-Mar-17 11:12:49

Thanks ladies. I will get through tomorrow just thinking of these suggestions and I will definitely turn it into a drinking game! ginwine
I will also ask her if she really just said that? And if so was she offering to clean it then? Awkward! And don't worry I invite them about as little as I can get away with and usually within yet people too as she behaves better that way and it seems to dilute her a bit.

Newchat Thu 23-Mar-17 11:13:28

Usually with other people too

Newchat Thu 23-Mar-17 11:14:38

That's true batteriesallgone. I sometimes think the best response is to just be happy with my hubby and family and that seems to piss her off the most!?!

WhatchaMaCalllit Thu 23-Mar-17 11:17:32

Another way to deal with it is to talk to your DH before they arrive and say that you think his mum will say X, Y and Z (even if he isn't in the room when she says it).
If she does say the things you're thinking, then leap up out of your chair and shout "BINGO!!!" at your DH, and say "I told you she would say X, Y and Z about the cleaning/food/buggy/whatever. You owe me £10 now!" and have a good game of MIL bingo smile

Rockpebblestone Thu 23-Mar-17 11:31:15

Just laugh and say "It's a good job I'm not paid to be a servant isn't it?

Batteriesallgone Thu 23-Mar-17 11:53:16

If your DH is totally on your side, it's worth talking to him before. Then when she makes a comment, and you say it when he comes back in, he can say 'oh really? Oh no I'm sorry mum! Gosh I did try to adequately prepare for you, honest'. Then when she says oh no I didn't mean that or oh don't worry you can smile and say oh phew, I'm so glad.

TheMysteriousJackelope Thu 23-Mar-17 12:00:23

'Yes it's hard to keep up when you have to clean everything yourself. How long does it take your cleaner to do your house?....only that length of time? yes I've noticed she could do with a couple more hours. I won't offer you any coffee because I know you don't like instant, how about water?'. That's probably stooping to her level though.

bangbangprettypretty Thu 23-Mar-17 13:24:04

OP my MIL is a bit like this.

Rather than clever-clever retorts, I just give her comments time to float in the air then say calmly 'We're doing our best, MIL, and it's quite disheartening for you to be critical when we've invited you here.'

Usually she is quite taken aback as she is just saying the first thing that pops into her head. I've even had an apology or two after that!

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