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My MIL is competing with me?

(106 Posts)
Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 11:48:15

I'm starting to wonder whether my MIL is competing with me. Would be good to hear from anyone who's experienced similar?

My MIL showed no interest in sewing. I bought some lovely fabric to make my baby daughter a blanket. When I showed her the fabric (we bought it whilst visiting her), she acted oddly - stared at it blankly and said nothing. Then, she booked herself onto a sewing class and made my daughter a set of clothes for her doll.

Next, I said that I wanted to become a Pilates instructor. Next thing I know, she attends Pilates three times a week and it has become her 'thing' - she talks about it all the time. Previously she attended no exercise classes. As it happens, I had an illness which meant I am limited physically, so I dropped that idea.

My illness means that Yoga is a better option. I mention to MIL that I am doing a bit of Yoga instead. She started doing Yoga too, and is now posting photos of herself on FB in Yoga poses....

Whilst it's great that she's achieving things, I just have a feeling that she wouldn't be doing it if I hadn't mentioned that I was! It's starting to feel like she's trying to compete, which I feel uneasy about.

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TheVanguardSix Mon 11-May-20 11:51:13

Or maybe you're inspiring her? Could it be that you've enlightened her a bit and helped encourage interests she wouldn't have had otherwise?
Why do you feel uneasy? I mean, I know it's a bit annoying and to be honest, I'd roll my eyes a bit too probably, but it's no bad thing really, is it?

Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 11:51:39

Oh, and she also gets upset if she finds out that I know some news about her son (my DH!) that she hasn't been told about. e.g. if he gets an award at work, or something. It's as if she wants to know first.

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Lobelia123 Mon 11-May-20 11:54:57

It does sound weirdly there a husband in the picture or is she single? Its best to probably ignore if you can.

Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 11:55:46

I know what you're saying. I guess it's because she gives the impression that she is trying to tell me it's now 'hers' and that she's better at it than I am. She gets so into things, and braggy about it to me. You have to imagine (if you've not experienced that before), that some people have a way or making things feel like a competition.

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Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 11:56:25

She has a boyfriend.

OP’s posts: |
mama3bear Mon 11-May-20 11:57:09

I'd start inventing some new weird and wonderful hobbies to see if she follows grin

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 11-May-20 12:02:01

Oh yes such as skydiving without a parachute grin

GreenTulips Mon 11-May-20 12:05:32

Tell her your into nudism.

Soubriquet Mon 11-May-20 12:08:26


Tell her stupid activities and stop telling her your genuine activities

Disfordarkchocolate Mon 11-May-20 12:10:29

Either tell her nothing or find something obscure to mention. What does your husband think?

LightStars Mon 11-May-20 12:10:35

Oh OP, you can have some fun with this!!

Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 12:11:12

I feel as if I don't want to tell her my activities TBH! I guess, imagine you had a friend, and everything you said you wanted to do, they were suddenly crazy 'into' it, as if it was their 'thing' and identity all of a sudden. It would become annoying.

OP’s posts: |
Disfordarkchocolate Mon 11-May-20 12:12:25

I'd be very annoyed to, and then pretending to train as a tantric sex therapists.

Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 12:12:32

My husband never has a bad word to say about her (she trained him that way), so he looks at me blankly if I suggest anything.

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rosiepony Mon 11-May-20 12:12:50

Tell her your joining a circus school or something.

T0tallyFuckedUpFamily Mon 11-May-20 12:13:40

Tell her that you’re dying your hair purple for charity. You can’t wait until your dye arrives and you can post your photo on Facebook. grin

VettiyaIruken Mon 11-May-20 12:13:54

Tell her different activities instead of the things you do.

chunkyriverfish Mon 11-May-20 12:14:37

I would just stop telling her stuff about your lives. It is very strange that she is only doing these things when you talk about them. You need to get vague with your plans and maybe reduce contact.

Plus surely it is your Dh's responsibility to tell his mother that he won an award, unless you do "wife work".

Transformer123 Mon 11-May-20 12:17:34

chuckyriverfish - This is when he IS telling her. If he tells her something like that in front of me (i.e. when we visit), she is cross that I already know about it. She expects him to ring her and tell her before I know.

OP’s posts: |
Herpesfreesince03 Mon 11-May-20 12:17:48

@mama3bear exactly what I was going to say!! There is so much potential for fun here 😂😂

T0tallyFuckedUpFamily Mon 11-May-20 12:19:04

On the other hand, WHY on Earth are you telling her what you’re doing, if you suspect that she’s competing. If you want to pick up a hobby, then wait until you’ve been doing it for long enough to have something really good to show for it, then tell her. That way she’ll have to spend her time playing catch-up, while you get into your next project. When she shows what her achievement is, you can congratulate her and tell her you really enjoyed it, but you stopped months ago as you found it didn’t push you enough. winkgrin

Thatnameistaken Mon 11-May-20 12:20:59

The things that you genuinely want to do, don't tell her, don't tell your husband, just quietly get on and do it. And what PP said, tell her all about the purple hair dye you've ordered...

SomeBunny Mon 11-May-20 12:22:36

When I first started dating my husband, my MIL would do this, primarily with cooking. She had never been much of a cook, because she was always very busy with work so pre chopped, packet sauce, convenience food were staples.

It became a pattern that every time I’d cooked something for him that he enjoyed, she’d immediately have to try to replicate it. She’d then stand over him while he ate it, asking him constantly whether he was enjoying it (according to him, I was never present for this).

At the time, we thought it was weirdly competitive. Now looking back, having known her for a long time, I think she was trying to connect with him over something she’d never had time to invest in and was just going about it a little strangely.

Could it be that she’s trying to find common ground with you, and it’s coming across a little competitive and braggy? Of course you may be right and she could be trying to compete with you. In which case I’d either ignore it and stop sharing the things that are special to you where you can, or start telling her you’ve picked up some very obscure hobbies to see how committed she is!

Ninkanink Mon 11-May-20 12:23:03

I’d stop telling her anything about yourself, your plans or your activities and interests.

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