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in dreading this visit...very,very long.

13 replies

ParanoidPatty · 12/06/2008 13:54

Mil and sil arrive at the weekend to stay with us for a week and I am dreading it.

Fil passed away a few years ago and he was a very highly-strung,temperamental control freak who threw the most amazing tantrums when he didn't get his way.He worked away from home a lot and when he returned he made dh and his siblings' lives a misery. Looking at it now,I suppose he felt he had missed out on lots of stuff while he was away,but it just meant that everyone hated his arrival back in the country and nobody relaxed until he had left again.

Anyhoo,I think in many ways it suited mil that he was like this,as then she liked the connection that it gave her with her kids,it was very much them against fil.

Fast forward to now and fil has passed away and dh and I have our children. Since fil died,I have noticed that mil is really off with me,when he was alive,we were complicit in keeping fil happy/not telling him stuff/talking about how difficult he was (well,I listened) but now,it seems that I am the difficult one,I have taken fil's place as the one that is to be sidelined. Don't know if that's the right word,but mil when she is here seems to think that she has to 'protect' her gc and dh as much as possible,that their lives are awful while she is not here to look out for them and keep the ogre (ogress?!) ie me,happy.

It's really,really hard. Sometimes I find myself falling in with this view of me and pretending that I will be very cross if they do painting on the kitchen table but mil has talked me into it,and their enjoyment should increase exponentially because they have 'outwitted' me. I don't want to upset her,nor do I want to cause a scene,but it pisses me off,because I can see that MIL really enjoys doing that,it seems to give her satisfaction that she has managed to get her own way over something I would really be in favour of!

Sorry,my sentences are excruciating

Dh and I are not very,very strict parents,not where mess is concerned anyway. If the dc want to get out all their cars and trains and animals to make a giant park,well,we will worry about the tidying up later.Mil seems to think I will say no in the first instance and that they have to talk me around first.She talks to the children about What Mummy Will Say and We Mustn't Upset Mummy.

But I wouldn't say no ,and particularly because we have visitors and the children are excited,I am not going to say no just for the sake of it.Although I have done,in the past,because I could see it was what she wanted and I am used to being a people pleaser,regardless of how it makes me feel.

I hate feeling like I am being sidelined in my own home As the children get older,they know what I am like and they don't really take mil seriously,but then she tries all the harder and I really feel uncomfortable.

I don't think IABU but I am willing to be told I am over sensitive and am hoping I will get lots of advice on how to ignore it/what to say when it happens.

Dh can see it and is a great support to me but I don't think he realises how bad I feel when she starts.

OP posts:
cornsilk · 12/06/2008 13:57

She seems quite controlling. Do you think that's what caused the problems with fil?

Love2bake · 12/06/2008 14:01

Are you sure that you are not over-anaylising this? What does DH say about it?

mazzystar · 12/06/2008 14:04

Talk to her?

ParanoidPatty · 12/06/2008 14:04

He was super-controlling,I bought a coat once before Christmas and he went bananas when he found out because I should've waited until after when the sales were on...he went on and on and on about it and the coat only cost around £25

I never thought of her as controlling,but in many ways she got her own way because she could say that it'd please fil/stop him from kicking off if we did X.

So maybe they both got what they wanted from the marriage.

OP posts:
ParanoidPatty · 12/06/2008 14:07

Love2Bake,I probably am I am a bit premestrual and weepy and I just feel quite down,tbh,today.

Mazzystar,but what would I say?! What would it achieve? I would be happier for a while,no doubt,but then the guilt with kick in and she is the dc's gm and they love her.I want them to have a good relationship with her. I just like to moan about it,too ;)

OP posts:
cornsilk · 12/06/2008 14:09

You need to be more assertive around her then. When she starts, tell her (nicely) that you're not at all bothered about mess etc, get the chn to back you up.

WowOoo · 12/06/2008 14:12

It will be for a week only. Have to say it sounds tricky though. Lots and lots of deep breaths. I personally would have upset her a long time ago. I wish I could keep my mouth shut!!
We all have different ways of doing things and tend to think our way is the best for us..which it is. Am sure it will be far better than you think. Good luck.

milknosugar · 12/06/2008 14:13

if you dont feel comfortable speaking to her directly do it through the kids -

mil to dc - what will mummy say if we make a big mess?

you to dc - i wont mind at all will i, do you remember what a huge mess we made last week?

kids are unlikely to realise anything is going on at all, you dont have to actually confront her but you make sure you are still in the conversation and you have some control over it. she would look pretty silly if she had to start contradicting you when you had already responded to what she said and the kids will be on your side anyway - if they are anything like mine they will tell her you are right and she isnt!

Love2bake · 12/06/2008 14:13

All I can say is, just see how the visit goes and if anything does happen, then you have to try and talk to her about it.

Good luck

MsBombastic · 12/06/2008 14:36

I agree with milknosugar. i think it is very important that you do stand your ground, but if you do so whilst being positive about your mil it may well wrong foot her!

I suggest 'no, i don't mind the mess at all. Wasn't it good of grandma to think of doing this painting? She must know how much we all enjoy painting. It will be fun seeing who can clear up fastest afterwards'

I had similar situations with my late MIL - although in her case it was letting them do things/buy things I wouldn't have agreed to. Luckily we were very close - I don't think the intent was ever to make me look like the baddie, although that sometimes happened - and I coped with it by always speaking up straight away.
(you thought your sentences were bad, PP).

harpsichordcarrier · 12/06/2008 14:41

oh pp poor you
sounds like a bit of a difficult situation and tbh a bit of a dysfunctional family.
I agree with milknosugar, you should just be perky as heck about the whole thing and plan lots of things in advance to take the initiative. whenever she say ssomething outrageous, I would just pretend this is a joke (this is a useful trick ime in lots of situations - to pretend that someone who is being completely unreasonable must be joking!
what does dh say?

2point4kids · 12/06/2008 15:47

I agree with milknosugar as well. All 4 of us have manky eyes
Treat it as a joke and laugh at the thought of you being annoyed when they do x or x
can you easily predict what is coming when she start acting like this? If so, try and jump in first! Like if the kids say 'lets do painting' and you can see from her face that she is about to say something about you then dive in first and say 'oh YES lets see who can make the biggest mess! ha ha'

cheshirekitty · 12/06/2008 16:58

YANBU. When my dd was much younger, mil was bathing her. I overheard mil say to dd 'dont splash, your mum would not like it'. I popped my head into the bathroom and said to dd 'splash all you like love.' When dd was in bed I asked mil never to do that again.

Stamp on your mils behaviour. It will only get worse, I can promise you.

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