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Visiting MIL for the weekend ... I know its just the weekend ... but ....

(22 Posts)
weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:20:10

I actually think I have a pretty good MIL (after reading a lot of MN stuff about them smile.

We are leaving in a couple of hours to go there for the weekend and I am going nuts in my head! I'm pretty depressed at the moment and on a large dose of Antidepressants, which probably isn't helping, but I have realised I've made a few snarky comments on here over the last few days, and I didn't sleep last night worrying about it!

I'm clearly nuts, but bear with me!!!

MIL doesn't "like" me. My dh is a marvellous man, but he will never choose to go and live near MIL again (she's in Northern Ireland, where he grew up). He decided when he was about 17 that he never wanted to live there again, went travelling and then to Uni in Scotland, met me, got married, had kids etc ... he really does not ever want to go "home".

She wants him to. She has never said as much, but she drops huuuuuuge hints about for example her friends children who lived in Scotland or England for a while but chose to "go home" when they had children. As it stands we have 3 children who are 9, 7 and 5 and no, we are not planning to move "home". Its not my "home" anyway and certainly not our children's "home".

The children are there this week - she came and picked them up on Tuesday - and while ds and dd2 (7and 5) have had a great time, I have had dd1 (9) on the phone several times a day, moaning about Grannie.

I know I shouldn't moan - how many mummies get a week off in the middle of the school hols cos their MIL has been helpful?

Basically, MIL doesn't like me. When we got engaged, she burst into tears - and not tears of happiness! We were engaged for over a year and eventually after a year dh had to sit her down and tell her to butt out - that he was marrying me regardless and she had to be nice to me or we would not visit any more. She did, to her credit, get her act together, and has always been pleasant, but never warm, towards me. I am the mad crazy Scotswoman stopping her little boy moving "home", no matter how often he tells her that there was no way he was going back to Northern Ireland.

She also seriously favours BIL, my dh's brother. He has chosen an "artistic" job and can't get work, so she bankrolls his whole family. Though neither he nor his wife work (well, they have a 3 month old so I can understand why she is currently at home - but since she graduated she has never really worked - done some voluntary stuff but at 35 has never had a 'real' job) she still looks after their boys for 3-4 days a week. Yes, its her money, her choice - I don't want her money and the control that would go along with it ... but it annoys me that she makes such a big deal about "helping" BIL, who is a total layabout!

While our children have been there they have been forced to fit in with the tiny children's routines "so it is fair" - so coming home at nap times when they are having a fun day out, not having fun things to eat (no crisps, choccy or sweeties on their holidays), eating tea at 4.30, going to bed at 7.30 - 8 (home bedtime is 9pm in holidays - MIL knows this!). Even though BIL and his wife are at home full time, our kids have had to fit in to their children's routines while MIL has them. BIL and family live 5 minutes walk from MILs house, so it is not as if our children could not have been given a couple of days of priority over the grandchildren who see MIL every day?

I sound like a total raging harpy, don't I?

Just needed to offload really. It will be OK I suppose. DH has refused to spend time with the people who make the biggest fuss about us not living there (several of MILs friends) and we are having a family day out tomorrow to fun places.

But I have a lot of anxiety along with my depression and a bit of a tendency to obsess about things - plus I do lose my temper a bit and I am terrified I say something that shows how I really feel about all this in the 3 days we are there.

I don't know why I am posting ... to offload I suppose.

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:30:58

Bump ... can anyone be sympathetic as I leave in an hour ......


randomtask Fri 07-Aug-09 17:31:48

I hope you feel better for saying all that!

If anyone (inc your MIL) say about moving there, make sure it's your DH who says 'hell no' and not you. Practice your 'I'm daydreaming' face and he'll look like it's his choice so you can't be blamed (incidentally, if you were blamed, tough shite anyway).

Be pleasant and friendly to your MIL and of course BIL and his family. When you get annoyed, just remember that you don't have to deal with MIL constantly. Your BIL does or he wouldn't have money for food. Revel in the fact that you and your DH (plus DC's) are independent and a 'family unit' rather than needing your MIL to help out with everything. If you can hold on to that, you'll have a serene glow.

Oh and if it gets really bad, grab your children and go off to look at the 'local area'. You'll all escape and it'll get her hopes up so she might leave you alone.

Good luck. I manage three hours with my MIL and after one I want to kill or shout blush.

randomtask Fri 07-Aug-09 17:35:20

Oh on the 'artistic' thing with your BIL, my MIL has recently told DH she regrets not sending him to grammar school (he was a borderline pass) as she'd been out with her friend whose two boys had gone to grammar. Both are loaded. One through work (and has unhappy marriage as he never sees his wife) and the other is an actor (never really earning) but married someone with 'family money'. DH has just trained as a teacher, has a happy marriage (and family) and is (I feel) a much better person. I was insulted but took it as another sign or her lunacy!!

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:36:26


I like the idea of a "daydreaming" face!!

And that I can eat without relying on my MIL ... that is a good thing!!!!

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:41:41

My BIl and DH both went to grammar school.

Dh is a GP, has always worked hard etc ....

BIL has started but not finished about 4 qualifications, wants to work in film, was sound engineer for one film whic did get a cinema release in the US but was so awful that the company went bust .....

But somehow, MIL likes the artistic dream more than my dh providing for his family (and only having to work 4 days a week so we have a load of time together!)

MrsWobble Fri 07-Aug-09 17:44:14

my MIL has also cast me as the wicked woman who stole her son and forces him to live miles away from his family. In general it doesn't worry me and on the odd occasion it does start getting to me I remind myself that this is the woman who sent her son to boarding school at age 8.

squeaver Fri 07-Aug-09 17:47:40

weegie - saw your thread the other day about dd not having a nice time at Grannie's.

Can certainly empathise with one lot of gc's getting preferential treatment (although from my mum in my case).

Keep chanting (inwardly of course) "this too shall pass". Good luck

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:49:44

Aww thanks everyone.

I was beginning to think I was weird evil woman who didn't appreciate MIL cos I was ghastly.

It will be OK. Its 3 days (we come home Monday).

"this too shall pass, this too shall pass" etc etc

Confuzzeled Fri 07-Aug-09 17:52:00

I feel for you, a controlling MIL is a PITA.

You do have the support of your dh and thats good. But he probably feels bad that he's not got a great relationship with his Mum.

When I was depressed I also totally focused my attention onto specific people or incidents. It may take all your energy not to throttle your MIL.

cocolepew Fri 07-Aug-09 17:54:20

It's a shame that she can't put your DCs first, they're on holiday, she should be treating them. Have you a FIL? I agree it should be DH who says he won't be coming 'home'.

Just be thankful you're not English, it would be 10 times worse smile

Have a nice day out.

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:55:59

I know that when I am depressed (it comes and it goes) that I do tend to focus more on MIL the things that irritate me most.

I will do my best but if the papers are carrying a "Brutal murder of kind caring Belfast woman by her crazy DIL" headlines on Monday you will know it was me!

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 17:57:57

PIL are divorced, FIL is the most disinterested man ever, I have pretty much given up on interesting him in our family at all. He still lives there but is away this weekend!

CP - I am always grateful I'm not English, but that just comes from being Scottish born & bred grin

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Aug-09 17:59:04

God, I feel for you.

Apart from one occasion I have never lost my temper with my in-laws, but I am always afraid I will as the provocation is very great! I once snapped back and said something sarcastic and we were not spoken to for a year. It was bliss awful.

Hope it goes quickly!

cocolepew Fri 07-Aug-09 17:59:23

My MIL sobbed throughout my wedding, DH hissed "it's not a funeral you know" she said "it feels like one", It must be something in the water in Belfast grin

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 18:01:41

cocolepew, I didn't realise you were also dealing with a crazy Norhtern Irish MIL!

cocolepew Fri 07-Aug-09 18:03:25

Oh yes. I no longer speak to her hmm

oneopinionatedmother Fri 07-Aug-09 18:07:24

my mil annoys the crap out of me too,.though exactly opposit controlling behaviour (must DD go to bed? take naps? eat 'boring' foods? be punished for hitting people? gngngn)

cheer up - they didn't manage to make their sons so odious we wouldn't marry them. your kids will come back in one piece.

weegiemum Fri 07-Aug-09 18:17:46

Well that's me away - all packed, ready to go.

Feeling crap very positive about it!!!

Will update from MILs if I can get away get a few minutes to myself!

Horton Fri 07-Aug-09 18:25:50

Good luck, weegiemum. I have a similarly irritating family in law (particularly MIL, why is it always the mothers?) so know exactly where you are coming from.

cocolepew Fri 07-Aug-09 18:50:25

Good luck it was a lovely sunny day here today, hope it lasts!

Confuzzeled Fri 07-Aug-09 18:59:37

Good Luck, hope we don't read in the paper that you've lost it and strung her up

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