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MIL passive aggressive or me being paranoid?

(55 Posts)
PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:15:49

Ok bear with me, so classic story, me and MIL got on really well pre DD1 being born. We moved house to be near DH work and MIL, SIL & BIL. Once I'd had the baby our relationship changed. She gave lots of advice which I listened to but didn't follow (give a bottle, give a dummy, do CIO, water at night, baby rice etc). I tactfully deflected all this, and when she forcibly would take DD1 away from me I would let her have a quick cuddle then take her back or not let her take her in the first place. Lots of PA comments like is she still feeding, whilst looking at her watch and doing pursed lips. And "she's not feeding again is she? She doesn't need it" etc etc, anyway I put up with all this and just laughed it off. There are other little things that happened in that first year with DD1, all in the same vein. Basically trying to say I was doing it wrong, or not how she would. I tried to civilly counter these comments.
One of the reasons we moved was because OH is military and he wanted to have as much time with DD1 as poss. MIL Spouted about how much she would help and was so onboard with it. She would tell me not to worry about the deployment, about how she would do washing and have the baby so I could get my haircut etc. So none of this ha happened. I did everything on my own. I think she mowed my lawn once or twice and let me have a nap a couple of times whilst OH was deployed. She always says "if
You ever need anything just ask" but when I was pregnant with DD2 and OH was in hospital she wouldn't look after DD1 even though on the phone the night before she said she could. She couldn't emergency babysit when I had to get checked over in hospital after birth because she said she was getting her piano tuned (she doesn't even play her piano anymore). I had an interview for a ft job and we asked if she could do 1 day a week childcare. She said she was busy every day apart from Thursday's and shed have to think about it. I didn't get the job and she hasn't mentioned it again. She also never asks me anything about myself. My SIL noticed it and she literally won't ask my or SIL one question about our lives when she visits. I wish she hadn't pointed it out to me! So basically she offers help with childcare but doesn't actually want to do it. She invites herself round every couple of weeks and brings carrier bags full of cakes and sweets and crisps for OH and full on outfits and toys for DD1 and DD2. Every fortnight! She then sits and expects me to bring her cups of tea all day and wants to just cuddle the kids. You can imagine they don't really want to sit there all day!
Another weird thing she has been doing is talking to me through the dog. Now to be honest since having the girls the dog has been put on the back burner. But he still gets a walk 3-4 days a week. But MIL keeps talking to him saying "oh look at the state of you" X 3 when I didn't react (he needed a groom), she brings him bags of dog treats and after being asked not to feed him more than 1-2 per visit secretly fed him four in the kitchen and then left the open packet on the side for me to find once shed left, so she obviously wanted me and DH to know she'd done it. That's weird right?!
And the last thing I can think of right now is the musical toys she buys. She always get our eldest whistles, toys that sing etc, so much so that OH has brought it up (jokingly) about three times "why do you always get DD1 noisy toys, you know how annoying they are right?" MIL replies "yes it's revenge for when you were little!" DH:"but I'm deploying/away a lot, really You're getting revenge OP". MIL (laughs a bit horribly) "well then OP you will have to watch out/keep on the right side of me" etc.
We've had a variation of this conversation many times. Light hearted on the surface, but I still get mean vibes. Then for DD1 2nd birthday OH was away on the actual day so I said just cards from family for her to open and bring pressies for the party, she wasn't happy about this but accepted it and then sent a musical card with V annoying birthday song! I got DD1 to ring to say thank you and MIL asked me gleefully if it was doing my head in yet! I said no I really think it's cute actually grin.
Finally (and well done if you got this far) OH is deploying for X months soon and I can't stand being in the same room as her. I don't know what to do as I don't want her to not see our kids but I literally can't hardly speak to her she's wound me up so much. Help!

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 10-Jul-16 12:19:47

I would just go low contact with her. Don't organise things with her and wait for her to come to you. When she's there take advantage of her babysitting and get on with chores/errands etc.

Your dog needs a walk every day though, having kids isn't a reason to neglect pets.

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:24:36

I have a 2 year old and a six month old a deployed husband and a 100ft garden. I think 3-4 dog walks a week is good going! I know he needs more but I'm trying my best. Really is not the point here but ty.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 10-Jul-16 12:31:46

I think 3-4 dog walks a week is good going

It's really not

Costacoffeeplease Sun 10-Jul-16 12:32:25

And he needed groomed?

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:33:16

He was groomed the day after the comment from MIL.

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:34:33

Maybe if I had more help I could walk him more!

Costacoffeeplease Sun 10-Jul-16 12:34:47

Thank goodness she mentioned it then

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:35:15

It was booked 6 weeks before.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 10-Jul-16 12:35:20

Were the two children and the deployed husband a surprise?

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:37:09

DD2 was! I really don't understand why you're being horrible here. Walk a mile in my shoes etc

FuzzyEyes Sun 10-Jul-16 12:37:15

Tbh she sounds passive-aggressive and insincere. She makes offers she doesn't intend to fulfil out of 'good manners' - and expects you not to take her up on her offers out of 'good manners'. Is she English?
She sounds like she had a bit of a fantasy about being a grandmother and how rosy it would be - but you have your own ideas about parenting- that put a right spanner in the works.
Its nice that she thinks of your DC a lot - all that shopping must occupy a lot of her time, and nice that she wants to cuddle them - but its all a bit self-centred. She wants everything to be like her golden-gran'ma fantasy where she is the sage-like hub of the family with everything revolving around her - little tots sitting at her feet and hanging on her every word.

Back to reality and she feels sidelined - so she wants you to be thinking of her all the time and she wants to pay you back for sidelining her. Those annoying toys give her satisfaction thinking that every single bleep is like a little "fuck you!"

mummytofourbabys Sun 10-Jul-16 12:37:40

Wow, don't think

mummytofourbabys Sun 10-Jul-16 12:39:55

Oops, posted early! Typical judge person u come across on here..
Op wasn't asking for ur opinion on how well cared for her dog was..the whole post is about her MIL..
OP I would just tactfully ease urself away from her, I can sympathise have a kind of similar situation with my MIL and Iv just distanced myself without being mean and disrespecting her..
Hope this gets better for u, nothing worse than stressing over MIL

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:40:17

I do feel like I don't live up to her expectations as a DIL. We used to get on so well before bambinos. It's sad really that she can't adjust her expectations to the reality, my mum is desperate to do more to help out and I think you're right MIL does feel sidelined, maybe I should make more effort and help her live the dream somehow?!

Costacoffeeplease Sun 10-Jul-16 12:42:01


PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:42:05

Thank you! And yes I think distance is the key, I've already been getting OH to phone her and organise visits and things rather than go through me. I just don't know how to handle it when he's away again. Maybe I should go to her?

mummytofourbabys Sun 10-Jul-16 12:45:45

That's a good idea if u go to her least then u can leave if it gets stressful or u feel like she's interfering too much ..really do hope things get easier though, must be tough on ur own when ur husband is away without that too..

Dutchcourage Sun 10-Jul-16 12:47:17

The dog walking isn't the point. op is struggling - sounds like she is doing her best, doesn't mean she is neglecting the dog hmm

I'd go very low contact op, your mil is just another adult woman. If you like she is being PA challenge her on if everytime. Mil do not get special rights to bring an arsehole. If she crosses the line tell her.

Put musical away the evend she leaves the house.

If she talks through the dog to get at you - challenge her. This was one of my mil habits. I just stated tittering at her like she was mad. In fact I made a point of laughing at her a lot .

Regarding your children - if she questions anything just say 'oh mil that was years ago - things have advanced since then'.

Start standing up for yourself but you have to not ask her to do anything .

Dutchcourage Sun 10-Jul-16 12:49:51

costa what's the point in being in this thread? Have you had a bad night or something?

mummytofourbabys Sun 10-Jul-16 12:51:03

Maybe Costa is the MIL confused

Volatile Sun 10-Jul-16 12:53:29

Hi OP - I'd go lo contact with her tbh. Have you tried contacting SSAFFA for help with dog walking or babysitting while dh deployed? They can often get volunteers to help in some situations, worth asking at any rate. Xx

PopeyesWench Sun 10-Jul-16 12:56:55

Thank you mumtofour it is really really hard. Especially when one of the main reasons we moved here, away from my family and friends, was because the ILs saying they would support me. I feel like I've been cheated in a way.

Paulat2112 Sun 10-Jul-16 12:58:56

My husband works 80+ hours a week near enough every week of the year, not the same as being deployed obviously, but I feel your pain. We get no help from anyone and live two streets away from my parents and a five minute walk from PILs. I feel very much like the both feel they are our kids, they've had kids and done their bit so its just up to me to get on with it. sad

I would do as Dutch has said. Also keep up with how th things are not annoying you, the kids love the toy, thanks for getting it, was such a greeaaaat idea! Fake smiles!!

But yeah the dog does need out more, again I get where you are coming from but the dog needs walked several times a day, floating about in the garden isn't the same as going for a walk. You could get a dog walker on the days you can't walk him, then at least he is getting one walk everyday. We got our dog when our kids were 1,2 and 6.

Shizzlestix Sun 10-Jul-16 12:59:39

She sounds like she's deliberately being a cow. Maybe it's a good time to call her out on it while OH is deployed?

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