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in-laws

(17 Posts)
frozen70 Tue 16-Dec-14 16:57:07

dh has 1 brother who is married with a 10 month old. We have 3dc. 8, 6 and 2. Mil has always favoured other dil. They live closer together and see more of each other. Mil is generally nice to me but has been critical re my decision to continue breastfeeding. Favoured dil also has abit of a pop re this. Just recently sil seems to have become even more judgemental. When I commented a couple of weeks ago that getting ds3 hair cut was problematic she basically said I left it too long. Mil had also made comments about his hair needing cutting which actually makes me feel like they have been bitching about me behind my back. She actually got her ds's hair cut really short to stop him fiddling with it for comfort. Incidently mil has bitched about others in front of me so it wouldn't surprise me.
On another occassion I said I was behind with my Christmas shopping. I needed to get some bits from the shops still but had donemost online. There was no appreciation of how busy I am at this time of the year with school stuff and doing anything like shopping with a lively toddler who won't go in a pushchair is more difficult than going with a baby that youcan strap in a buggy.
So maybeI am being sensitive but if as I suspect they are having a pop how do I handle them. Dh has the annoying habit of using the term we when I do stuff andI when hedoes so I guess he is not helping either.
Thank you

FelicityGubbins Tue 16-Dec-14 17:15:36

The "we" bit is easily dealt with, with a glare and a "is that the royal we?, or you taking the piss dear"
As for the inlaws I would just step back a little nit emotionally from them tbh, your kids, your rules and it doesn't really matter what they think so long as you and your kids are happy and healthy..

Drumdrum60 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:16:23

School stuff at theis time of year is beyond stressful. Sounds like they had not as much going on in their petty lives as you. My MIL is completely bonkers so I just smile and don't give a shit what she says or thinks. Similar to SIL.
Have the confidence to not bother and don't expect appreciation. Just be your wonderful self and they can like it or lump it.
Wonder if they're a tad jealous or controlling? Don't bother even thinking about it. Book a lunch with a RL friend who loves you. Choose who you bother about. Life's too short.

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Dec-14 17:19:57

Avoid giving them ammunition. If you say something critical of yourself to people like this, they will use it as a stick to hit you with. So don't tell them you're having problems, don't tell them you're 'behind', don't tell them much basically!

And have a word with your DH about the way he talks in front of them, so they don't get any chance to be divisive.

And then, just detach yourself emotionally from them - you know they bitch about other people, so you can guess they bitch about you too. They aren't worth getting upset by.

OttiliaVonBCup Tue 16-Dec-14 17:41:46

I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill here.

frozen70 Tue 16-Dec-14 18:28:08

Maybe I have lost some perspective. I guess I miss my mum who died 10 months before ds3 was born. Perfect sil was less than sensitive during my 1st Christmas without her too I Isuppose that still clouds my judgement. My dad died just before ds1 was born so I only have 2 siblings who live faraway.

LittleDonkeyLeftie Tue 16-Dec-14 20:27:35

If you don't like them, and they don't sound great to me, just spend as little time with them as possible.

You are very very busy.

holeinmyheart Wed 17-Dec-14 09:55:09

Aw come on. I have no axe to grind in favour of MILs but yours seems at the reasonable end of the spectrum. You also say yourself that generally she behaves nicely towards you.

As to liking the other DIL more than you, it may be true or not. However no one can help liking one person more than another. I like the DILs who seem to like me, or at least the ones who pretend they do. I also get on with the ones that I have more in common with, isn't that natural? Don't you ?

We are all dog tired at this time of year. This makes us a bit more ratty and intolerant than usual. Perhaps your MIL is dog tired as well, she is also older than you. People also have a myriad of troubles and secrets that they have to keep quiet about.
I am keeping a secret at the moment that is weighing on my mind so might appear to be preoccupied to others.

So concentrate on getting your own little family ready for Christmas. Think about your MILs good points and focus on them and give her the benefit of the doubt.
Xx

CogitOIOIO Wed 17-Dec-14 10:34:58

Families IME have more opportunities to be thoughtless than others. You're forced to be together often for long periods, you have very little in common beyond genetics, there's the false impression that you can be relaxed/honest in each other's company, and there's the ever present danger in the process of endless small talk that someone gets a bit too relaxed and oversteps the mark. Haircuts? Breastfeeding? .... is it really the end of the world what they think?

The beauty of families, however, is that it is actually OK to have a pop at the person making the thoughtless remark! "Oi! MIL! You're being a silly old bat! Shut up and pass the gravy!" And because you're family, they have to take it on the chin.

Give it a whirl.

frozen70 Wed 17-Dec-14 13:06:24

appreciate I am fortunate compared to most on here. I think perhaps deep down I am just a little bit jealous of sil. She has a close relationship with mil and both her parents are really supportive too. Her dh works sensible hours and help alot too. My dh works long hours and I pretty much have to do it all Monday to Friday with no help.

frozen70 Wed 17-Dec-14 13:08:32

should also have said nice to my face.

CogitOIOIO Wed 17-Dec-14 13:46:02

So how about making a deliberate effort to develop a closer relationship with MIL? It's easy to take offence at the things people say and back off but it might be worth batting some of them back, getting to know her better and ... in your case.... saying that you particularly need her support because you've lost your own parents. Who could resist that kind of invitation?

ZenNudist Wed 17-Dec-14 14:02:11

You do sound over sensitive sorry. Probably as you're feeling your lack of family you can count on. Good advice from pp saying to keep in touch with real friends and ignore family you don't get on with.

It does sound like you're the kind of person who looks for validation but then is put out if they don't get it. Your examples: bringing up that hair cuts are a nightmare, then being affronted that they agree it's getting too long; and actually telling them you are behind on Christmas shopping before feeling judged because they didn't chime in with 'oh you'll be fine, plenty if time still, poor you, you've got so much on' etc etc. Youre just opening yourself up to disapproval and possibly thinking things they aren't thinking!!

holeinmyheart Thu 18-Dec-14 22:31:15

frozen how refreshingly honest to say that you may be jealous ! Well done as sometimes I have moments when I think I am jealous of everyone.
I went to Castle Howard recently and the Howard family have clung onto the magnificent pile and oodles of cash for over 300 years. Bu**
It is human to be jealous, but really to have insight into your feelings is so adult.
I hope you are feeling more secure about your MIL now. I know my feeling used to go up and down depending on the time of the month.

Remember the most important person to you should be you. In reality your MIl isn't a particularity significant person in your life and isn't really worth getting too worked up about.
You would probably be amazed to find she may even be a bit frightened of what you think.
Have a lovely Christmas.

frozen70 Mon 22-Dec-14 03:06:33

Thank you for further replies. Just checking back as things kind of came to a head this weekend. My sister who lives 300 miles away came up for the weekend. I was going to travel to my home town with 3 dc to meet up and finish Christmas shopping. Dh was off to football as usual. As dc and dh had colds they stayed home. So I had a lovely day reminising with sister and got last bits of shopping.
When I retuned home 8 year old was quiet. Turned out mil had been round to help with dc. She had apparently said I was lazy. This is the person who was up at 7 yesterday dealing with poorly dc and doing loads of tidying and all of Saturdays washing up as nothing got done whilst I was out. I have a cold too btw and af.
Hair thing was constant snipes about it needing doing. I think perhaps I was out to prove that all the daily grind is down to me.
Dh wasbragging about doing all his shopping. Hence how conversation came up. Well that was because he can just take himself off upstairs to do online stuff whilst I am looking after dc. Also has every 2nd Saturday when at football to do it.
Assuming dd is right re mil and indeed dhs lack of defending me I need to have a long think about the future.

frozen70 Mon 22-Dec-14 03:08:54

Found this out at bedtime. Dh was out so haven't spoken to him yet.

frozen70 Mon 22-Dec-14 03:13:41

. o and I am up with youngest again whilst dh sleeps.

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