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Shall I have it out with MIL?

(76 Posts)
womblesofwestminster Wed 02-Apr-14 11:51:52

To sum up my situation:

* I am a SAHM with a toddler and a preschooler.

* I do some freelance work on the side but it only pays pennies compared to DH.

* All my inlaws live at the other side of the country so we seldom see them but DH and MIL talk on the phone regularly.

* A few months ago the boiler broke, and we were in a pickle. No savings, etc. So DH went to his DM asking for a loan.

* MIL and SIL told DH that I should get a job.

* After hearing this I sent MIL a message asking her what she meant (my wages wouldn't even cover childcare), and she sent one back saying she values work ethic. It was a vague 'dodging the question' kind of answer and then she stopped replying to my messages.

They've made other digs in the past, such as criticising my freelance on facebook (MY facebook page no less).

I understand that, to outsiders, this may all seem petty, but I find their hostility towards me baffling and incredibly hurtful. DH 'doesn't want to get involved'. He's stood up for me once (the Facebook saga).

Soooooooo MIL is visiting in 2 weeks. This is my opportunity to invite her out for a drink - just her and me - and then I can ask her what her issue is. Good idea, or bad? Any tips on how I should handle 'the confrontation'?

rockin20s Wed 02-Apr-14 11:55:16

if you want to have it out with her i would do it as a family conversation! mention that you were hurt by the comments and that if she actually looked into the facts she would see that the child care cost would exceed your wages.

but i think you should have Dh and DFIL there so that there is no misunderstandings later. everyone will hear the full story.

Turnthepaige Wed 02-Apr-14 11:56:15

I wouldn't give her the time of day to justify yourself. Sounds like they are a right pair of cows and your husband needs to say it - otherwise you will end up doing more harm than good and trust me - they wont let you come out smelling of roses. x

onetiredmummy Wed 02-Apr-14 11:57:25

Will a confrontation clear the air or will it make it worse?

I have to say your DH's attitude is pretty shit. By not getting involved he has taken his mother's side by omission & clears the way for her to be as hostile as she likes. By not standing up for you he is giving her the opinion that he agrees with her & she can basically do what she likes.

Does your DH resent you for not working full time too?

Turnthepaige Wed 02-Apr-14 11:58:19

Why do you have to justify your own family life/finances to them - do they tell you about their state of affairs.

Just because they loaned you some money doesn't mean they now have a right to criticise you.

Sorry - am going through something similar myself and am angry! x

womblesofwestminster Wed 02-Apr-14 12:07:46

rockin20s interesting. I never thought about having everyone present. I thought that might make it 'awkward' but you make a very good point. Not sure DH will be v.supportive however.

Turnthepaige what do you think will happen if I confront? Please share your own story. I need some mutual hand-holding.

Will a confrontation clear the air or will it make it worse?

I'm not sure. But I feel I need to put my side across and as MIL ignores my messages, face-to-face seems the only option.

Does your DH resent you for not working full time too?

I think he deffo did at the time of the boiler breaking. It was a v.stressful time.

do they tell you about their state of affairs.

Do they heck!

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 02-Apr-14 12:37:12

I wouldn't confront , but I would wonder why your husband told You about the get a job comment. He must've known it would upset you. Apologies if I've misunderstood.

I wouldn't confront them about anything unpleasant they say to your husband. That's between them and you'll look the bad guy. Instead I would tell Dh that you don't want to hear any snipey remarks they make about you. In my experience the in laws are sometimes used to make points the husbands don't want to make directly. If challenged , they can challenge husband who will sheepishly say they must've got the wrong end of the stick and you'll look like you've over reacted.

If he doesn't like what they're saying , he tells them directly. Failing that he keeps quiet instead of tittle tattling. He's not at school.

Direct comments to you , or Facebook should be confronted in my opinion , perhaps something like turnthepaige says about not having the justify yourself is adequate. You may find though , that they are simply parroting back what Dh has been saying about a job. Note he's told you and he also doesn't want to get involved. Telling somebody that something was said about them is getting involved.

Vintagebeads Wed 02-Apr-14 12:37:17

You need to start by getting your husband to support you.
I dont see any point in confronting her if your DH is not supporting you.I find it sad that he doesnt get involved when they have a pop at you....he would be the one I would be having words with.

I dont think you need to defend your choices

Turnthepaige Wed 02-Apr-14 12:40:49

My sister in law to be randomly burst out crying last Saturday night (she is our bridemaid along with my two sisters and my best friend) and admitted she resented me for taking her brother away from her...she is 25, sulks and pouts if she doesn't get her own way.

She told her brother (my fiancé) that we all 'attacked' her and 'ganged' up on her.

We spent the rest of the evening trying to console her so god knows where this 'ganging up' on her happened.

She said she used to always know what he spent his money on and he never spends time with her anymore - the truth is she is so busy every night seeing her own friends and hobbies - I've said so many times she doesn't need an invite to come over. But she doesn't. we see both our families equally.

I'm just getting a bit sick and tired of being made to feel I have come between a brother and a sister. Every time I see his family I have had comments on how he now 'doesn't live at home he can make the he has left us.........oh he doesn't live here anymore....'

I thought a good idea was to get her over for dinner to clear the air but she said she would rather sort it out over the phone with her brother than come and see me. I asked for the meeting not just for her benefit - I am upset too - and so is her brother.

So once again she has come and caused drama, cried some crocodile tears and then flounced off again and left me & fiancé scratching our heads!

In my case it wasn't worth the confrontation - because it's not our problem - it's theirs.

As long as you and Husband are happy - that's all that matters.

womblesofwestminster Wed 02-Apr-14 12:43:27

He must've known it would upset you.

Yeah, he told me during an argument.

Speaking of arguments, I've just had a MASSIVE one with DH just now, when I asked if he would be there at the confrontation. Suffice to say, no he won't be there.

I would tell Dh that you don't want to hear any snipey remarks they make about you.

They made snipey remarks on FB so I removed them. DH thinks my removing them was childish. I can't win.

Note he's told you and he also doesn't want to get involved. Telling somebody that something was said about them is getting involved.

Exactly. Be he says I'm being unreasonable by not 'letting it go'. Truth is, before these job-related comments, I actually thought they liked me. I had no issues with them sad

You need to start by getting your husband to support you.

He's made it clear. He won't.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Wed 02-Apr-14 12:49:25

I think you need to have it out with your husband not his family because it sounds like he is the one with issues regarding your work and he is having a pop about it through his family.

Only two people's opinions here count yours and your DH's. If he is happy with your current set up and you are then personally I wouldn't give a toss what others thought

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 02-Apr-14 12:54:06

Has there been other comments and digs , or are they mostly job related ? I'm trying to work out whether they are typically toxic , or whether your husband has recruited them as his mouth piece . Does he generally support you ? Again I'm wondering if he is a unsupportive arse in general , or if he won't support you on this issues because he actually agrees with them.

Are finances tight ? Does he worry about it a lot ?

JoinTheDots Wed 02-Apr-14 12:55:00

What would you say?

Seems to me your PIL think your DH is taking on more than his fair share of the financial responsibility in the family. Since he also thought this at the time of the boiler incident they probably all agreed. He won't want to be there because he would have to take sides and possibly tell you he agrees with his parents.

Not sure confronting them about this will help. I would either get a job, so they no longer have an issue with you (seems unrealistic) or go as no contact as possible. Be out when they visit, don't engage etc.

I would also have a long and frank talk with your DH about how he feels about your financial situation to make sure he is not hiding some resentment

starfishmummy Wed 02-Apr-14 12:55:20

So why won't your husband support you? That's the real issue.

womblesofwestminster Wed 02-Apr-14 12:59:34

He won't want to be there because he would have to take sides and possibly tell you he agrees with his parents.

Yep, that's probably it.

We made the SAHM decision jointly and now it seems he's changing his mind. So because he's changed HIS mind I've got to jump to his tune?

kentishgirl Wed 02-Apr-14 13:02:43

They have no right to say you should go to work.

On the other hand, you have no right to expect loans from them if your income is is not enough (although I think most of us expect to be able to turn to family in an emergency, and most families do help out).

Lots of mums work and their families manage childcare arrangements/costs. I think there is part of tax credit to help with that? It is possible to work with young children, for most people, unless you are stuck in back of beyond with no childcare around. SAHM is a choice. If it's creating financial problems though then maybe you do need to look at the other options. Freelance work worth doing doesn't pay pennies. If it is, then it's more of a hobby than a job. Does your husband earn enough to allow one to stay at home? If there's no emergency fund/savings, then maybe not. Or maybe you don't manage your finances well. We don't know.

kentishgirl Wed 02-Apr-14 13:05:40

'she sent one back saying she values work ethic. It was a vague 'dodging the question' kind of answer and then she stopped replying to my messages.' I do think this was very rude and judgemental of her. Lots of people stay home with kids for a few years, it's nothing to do with work ethic. Most work before and after the key childrearing times. I'm sure you are not sitting at home twiddling your thumbs all day! She's a cheeky mare - she's basically called you lazy.angry

rockin20s Wed 02-Apr-14 13:07:15

I think i would have to agree with the others, the problem is your DH. you need to show a united front to the PIL.

if they say something to you and you confront then he most back you up.

if they say something about you to DH then he should defend you! surly it was both of your decision to have the baby and for you to be a SAHM! therefor if they are attaching you for being a SAHM they are also attacking the joint choice both of ye made for you to be a SAHM!

itiswhatitiswhatitis Wed 02-Apr-14 13:07:30

No of course you don't have to jump to his tune but you do need to have a conversation about it and tell him that his families views on the subject are of no importance end of.

You need to discuss why his feelings have changed, why yours haven't. Talk about why you both initially agreed that this is why you chose to be a sahm, talk about the future and how things may change in xx amount of years. Maybe he just needs to feel like there is a long term plan in place?

eightandthreequarters Wed 02-Apr-14 13:13:41

Ignore your in-laws. They have no business commenting on your working life, and you have no business trying to 'confront' them into agreeing to your life choices. You can't make everyone like you or agree with you, so it's best to stop trying now.

The problem here is what your DH thinks of your working life. I would cancel MIL's visit while you and your DH are sorting through this. I would also suspect that the reason they are commenting on your work is that your DH is complaining to them about it, or has done in the past.

Your argument here is with DH, not MIL.

Latraviata Wed 02-Apr-14 13:15:44

Your problem is not with your mil but your dh. I say this as someone who is in a very similiar situation btw. My mil loves to make little digs about me being a sahm and how hard dh workshmm

Tbh dh probably did agree with her for a long time but he now would'nt dare say that as he used to always say that mil would babysit if I went back to work and she has now made it abundantly clear to us both that she won't so that out his gas at a peep.

wyrdyBird Wed 02-Apr-14 13:20:34

your H has form for being unsupportive - and, I believe, hiding financial information from you.
I think this is why the big argument occurred this morning. There may be sensitive information you don't yet have access to. Don't want to say too much for reasons I've given elsewhere.

I don't think talking to MIL will work out well.

struggling100 Wed 02-Apr-14 13:22:08

First of all, being a SAHM with two tiny tots is more than a full time job. On top of that, your contribution in this area needs to be seen as a certain amount of money saved on childcare.

Second of all, you are also working freelance, so they have even less right to suggest that you do not have a work ethic. Bloody cheek!

I think you should speak to your DH about what you both want as a couple and as individuals. It should be an exploratory conversation that takes into account the work you already do as something that needs to be factored out of any increase in work commitment for you, e.g. "I would love to be able to grow my business, but for me to do that right now would mean us taking on childcare at a cost of £x and you doing x,y, and z around the house (be absolutely specific about the precise tasks)." Also, make a spreadsheet showing how much more you would need to earn to pay for full time childcare and what kind of hours you'd need to work to pay for it (I.e. Impossible high numbers) on top of existing bills. Figures talk very loudly in these circs.

The point of this conversation is absolutely NOT to row. Any argument should be avoided. The point is to ensure the opposite, that you are absolutely on the same page with regard to finances.

When you can reach agreement on this, you will be in a much stronger position to deal with the in laws, because you will essentially have SHOWN DH how the land lies and why the current arrangement makes sense,

ThatOtherTime Wed 02-Apr-14 13:32:03

I wouldn't bother having out with her. There is no point. I would just smile and nod and avoid her. I'd hide her posts or block her on Facebook. (You can tell you have had some security issues and need to downscale your friend list or some such crap). I would then let your DH deal with her at all times.
Inane chat and smile and nod. Give Evasive and vague answers to any jibes.

I speak from experience. grin

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 02-Apr-14 14:00:23

I too wondered if he was hiding any financial stuff from you.

I agree with everyone else who suggests talking about it in a calm way. Your goal is to reach an agreement and a solution , not to win the mil issue ( although I wouldn't blame you if you were tempted!)

Regarding the mil , I would also raise this in a diplomatic manner and talk about boundrys in your marriage . Nobody else should be privvy to private married stuff, especially financial stuff. You don't want anyone in your marriage , and especially not mil. Complaining to her makes you both look bad , and effectively opens the door for her to stick her nose in. Talk about what should stay private , and what you both agree should , or should not , be discussed with other people.

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